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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-05-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis optimistic on future of education after visit to ministry
  • [02] Greek govt to comply with Court's ruling on OA, ministry says
  • [03] Public order minister and Pakistani interior minister discuss quadripartite conference on illegal immigration

  • [01] PM Karamanlis optimistic on future of education after visit to ministry

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday expressed optimism over the future of the education sector in Greece, and satisfaction with the present, following a visit to the education ministry.

    He said his talks focussed on the course of the education sector, noting that substantial work had been done by the ministry but adding that much more also remained to be done.

    Karamanlis outlined the work accomplished and changes made, stressing that the government considered the dialogue on education a national cause -- contrary to the preceding PASOK government that introduced changes unilaterally, without prior dialogue -- and that was why it had invited all related institutions and agencies to take part in the dialogue, which he said would be continued.

    He noted his government's institution of a system of ensuring the quality of tertiary educatin, the establishment of an international university headquartered in Thessaloniki, the resolution of issues concerning the technological educational institutions and the new structure of technical education.

    The premier further announced the donation of 20,000 PCs to pupils attending schools for children with special needs, the donation of 30,000 PCs to other schools,and of 5,500 PCs to the top pupils in junior high school (7th-9th grade).

    [02] Greek govt to comply with Court's ruling on OA, ministry says

    Greece's Transport and Communications ministry on Thursday blamed the previous PASOK government for an European Court of Justice's ruling against the country for failing to recover state aid offered to Olympic Airways and to comply with a European Commission's decision of December 11, 2002.

    A ministry announcement said that Greece did not appeal against the Commission's decision -the EU's executive had estimated state aid to Olympic Airways at around 153 million euros- leaving the door open to the Commission to seek a legal opinion on the issue. Under Thursday's Court ruling, the Greek state must seek recovery of aid given to the country's national carrier.

    The announcement stressed that the government would take all necessary actions to comply with the Court's ruling, taking in mind the interests and rights of Olympic Airways' staff. The government would continue a process to sell Olympic Airlines, currently underway.

    Meanwhile, the European Commission expressed its satifaction over the Court's ruling. A spokesman for EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barro said the Commission was satisfied with the outcome of the case and stressed the EU's executive now expected Greece to comply with the ruling. The spokesman noted that the Commission estimated state aid given to Olympic Airways to around 194 million euros.

    [03] Public order minister and Pakistani interior minister discuss quadripartite conference on illegal immigration

    Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao discussed the holding in Athens of a quadripartite conference between Greece, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey with the purpose of developing effective strategies for jointly handling the issue of illegal immigration.

    The meeting was held on Wednesday in the framework of the official visit Voulgarakis is making to the country.

    The two ministers discussed issues of bilateral interest, while both countries showed interest in developing cooperation in the sector of combatting illegal immigration, drug trafficking, terrorism and organised crime.

    The meeting was concluded with the signing of a bilateral agreement on police cooperation between Greece and Pakistan.

    "We signed a bilateral cooperation agreement which signals our will to work together to create an environment of security, stability and development for our peoples," Voulgarakis said after the meeting and invited the Pakistani interior minister to visit Greece.


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