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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-12

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't sees leeway for lower fuel prices
  • [02] Gov't dismisses PASOK criticism on inflation; points to corresponding months of '02, '03
  • [03] Athenians leave for cooler destinations for August 15 holiday

  • [01] Gov't sees leeway for lower fuel prices

    The government sees leeway for lower fuel prices after markets inspections have revealed wide differentials, some unwarranted. "Any instances of price-rigging or adulteration of fuel will be relentlessly penalised," Deputy Development Minister George Salagoudis said on Friday.

    Despite adverse global oil prices running at 66 US dollars a barrel, domestic consumers had paid the lowest hikes in Europe over the last 17 months, Salagoudis told reporters after a meeting with market players.

    Representatives of refineries, traders and gas stations attending the session said that improvement would be seen in coming days.

    The ministry had identified price differentials in different areas and petrol stations of up to 0.08 euro in the wholesale trade and 0.10 euro among retailers, according to ministry officials.

    The Communist Party of Greece attributed a sharp rise in fuel prices to what it called robbery by the state and monopolies held by refinery and distribution corporations.

    "The main factors in the price rise are massive, hyper-profits by monopolies and heavy taxes, coupled with speculation on global stock markets," the party said in a statement.

    "It is continually being demonstrated that that lower fuel prices due to competition within capitalist deregulation is a myth for which workers have paid dearly," the statement said.

    Separately, a spokesman for the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology complained of price rigging, saying the government and management of Hellenic Petroleum acted to protect the Athens-quoted company's shareholders, and not consumers or the economy.

    "Astounding is a concerted silence about a cartel of refineries that is profiteeing at the expense of the Greek people, exploiting international speculation in oil prices. Today, the Greek people is being made to fork out for international speculators and for the cartel that controls the oil refining and distribution trade," spokesman Panagiotis Lafazanis said.

    [02] Gov't dismisses PASOK criticism on inflation; points to corresponding months of '02, '03

    The government on Friday flatly dismissed the latest criticism by a handful of main opposition PASOK cadres over the rate of inflation last month, with the relevant minister stressing that official data clearly shows that inflation fared better in July 2005 than in the corresponding months of 2003 and 2002, when PASOK was in power.

    "Ms (Rodoula) Zisi, Mr. (Christos) Protopapas and Mr. (Nikos) Athanassakis are kindly requested to use true figures, and to use a rational process as well as to come to correct conclusions," Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas emphasised, in response to criticism by the two former ministers and PASOK's current spokesman, respectively.

    Sioufas said data released by the National Statistical Service (ESYE) proved that the inflation rate (for goods and services) posted a lower month-to-month increase in July 2005 than in the corresponding months of 2003 and 2002.

    "The international problem caused by the more than doubling of the price of oil in two years is obvious. That price hikes caused by the consequences of rising oil prices cannot be turned into an object of feeble opposition (tactics)..." he charged.

    Reaction

    In a later reply, PASOK's press office issued a statement charging that Sioufas demonstrated a "selective memory", while ?ignoring the rate of inflation paid for daily by Greek citizens..."

    [03] Athenians leave for cooler destinations for August 15 holiday

    Passengers prepare to board a coastline ferry, in Piraeus, on Friday. The traditional August 15 holiday exodus gained impetus on Friday as thousands of Athenians left the Greek capital for cooler destinations.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met with Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyannis on Wednesday as the latter briefed him over recent problems in coastal shipping, mostly a handful of ferry boat breakdowns that plagued thousands of holiday makers over the past few weeks.

    Kefaloyannis told reporters afterwards that the government has taken all measures required for the safety of passengers and their smooth return from their holidays, with the summer tourism season now in full swing.


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