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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Inflation remains relatively low, gov't asserts; main opposition disagrees
  • [02] PM confers with interior minister Pavlopoulos
  • [03] Alavanos, Kefaloyiannis discuss coastal shipping situation
  • [04] Bulgaria's floodwaters swell Evros river

  • [01] Inflation remains relatively low, gov't asserts; main opposition disagrees

    Inflation in July remained at the lowest levels achieved during the past four years despite soaring oil prices worldwide, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Deputy Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said on Tuesday.

    "Despite record-breaking increases in international oil prices (96.77% increase since the beginning of 2004), and their record impact on inflation, the consequences of these negative developments had a proportionately inverse effect on consumer price inflation (based on 30 products and 31 types of services)," the ministry statement said.

    "Just yesterday the price of brent crude oil rose to almost $64 a barrel, however, during the same period the price of unleaded gasoline in Greece increased 28.59% and is priced the lowest in the European Union," according to the same statement.

    Based on data from the Greek National Statistics Agency, 60% of the benchmark products/services saw a decline in prices.

    However, the ministry emphasised that these positive developments will not make it complacent and the government will continue its strict and regular inspections.

    Prices varied across the country's 12 prefectures leading to Sioufas calling on the Competition Committee to conduct an investigation into whether high market prices are a result of price-fixing by companies or gas stations.

    In response to the development ministry's announcement, main opposition PASOK released the following statement: "The responsible ministers Sioufas and Papathanassiou, with their statements, are congratulating themselves that prices aren't even higher than they are already. Consumers, however, witness the increase in prices on a daily basis."

    [02] PM confers with interior minister Pavlopoulos

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday met with interior, public administration and decentralisation minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Pavlopoulos told reporters after the two-hour meeting that discussions centred on matters concerning the social rehabilitation of immigrants, the METECHO programme, and the finances of the prefectural governments.

    The minister said that following the passing of the bill on immigrants, pending was the release of the integrated programme for the social rehabilitation of immigrants, which he said would be ready around end-December.

    Referring to the METECHO programme, he said it was relevant to the information society and would be unveiled after August 15, and concerned reinforcement of the SMEs via computerisation, adding that the interior ministry was participating in the programme.

    Regarding the finances of the prefectural governments, Pavlopoulos said that the funds earmarked for the second half of 2005 were increased by 220 percent, reaching 170 million euros, compared with 53 million euros in the second half of 2004.

    [03] Alavanos, Kefaloyiannis discuss coastal shipping situation

    Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis on Tuesday met with Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos, with talks focusing on the state of coastal shipping in Greece, especially during the ongoing summer season.

    The issue strung onto the national limelight over the past few weeks -- the peak of the tourism season in the east Mediterranean country -- as a series of ferry boat breakdowns amid the large exodus towards Greece's numerous island holiday destinations received widespread local media attention.

    [04] Bulgaria's floodwaters swell Evros river

    Floodwaters from Bulgaria have caused Evros River in northern Greece to overflow flooding approximately 1,000 acres of cotton and sugar-beet fields in Trigono on Tuesday.

    Railroad tracks in the Dikaia region were also flooded resulting in the disruption of train service between Orestiada and Dikaia. The Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) commissioned buses to service passengers.

    According to the Civil Protection Agency of the Evros Prefecture, floodwaters in Bulgaria are receding.


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