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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou chairs party meeting on corruption
  • [02] EU FMs examine fiscal prospects

  • [01] Papandreou chairs party meeting on corruption

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou on Monday chaired a meeting of the party's Political Council which exclusively dealt with the topic of corruption in the country and its confrontation.

    In statements after the Political Council meeting, Papandreou stressed that PASOK and he himself "have the political will to confront the phenomenon of corruption in the country." Specific proposals were presented during the meeting.

    Papandreou accused the government that "it used corruption and transparency" before the general elections "for political expediency and does not have the volition to confront the problem at its root."

    The PASOK leader called on the government "to change direction in this matter," adding that "it is necessary for a substantial inter-party dialogue to be held and for regulations of political culture to be shaped which will be consolidated in all the country."

    Papandreou said that "corruption has a social dimension which means social injustice, as well as social and economic inequality."

    He added that corruption also has a political dimension "given that it harms democracy, enabling those certain citizens who have special privileges for their vote to count more."

    A series of proposals for the improvement of the institutional framework for the combatting of corruption was discussed at PASOK's Political Council.

    The proposals concern legislation, fiscal issues, public administration, public works and procurements, the financing of political parties and the mass media.

    On legislation, it is propsed that each draft law before it is tabled in Parliament to pass through a compulsory stage of public consultation through a website.

    Every draft law should be accompanied by a quality report, which will include an analytical evaluation of the repercussions of the law, particularly regarding the economy, society and the environment. The tabling of amendments in Parliament will be forbidden after the the conclusion of the debate at the parliamentary committee. This adjustment, however, probably calls for a revision of Article 74 of the Constitution.

    The procedure of the compulsory public consultation will also be valid for the presidential decrees, for which a discussion will be preceeded on the basis of the plan which will be established.

    [02] EU FMs examine fiscal prospects

    The European Union's fiscal prospects over the 2007-2013 period, the issue of Kosovo and the EU's positions regarding consultations taking place in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were examined in Brussels on Monday by the EU's foreign ministers.

    On the question of fiscal prospects, Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis told reporters that few steps of progress have been taken since June, when the summit was unable to reach specific decisions.

    Molyviatis was accompanied in the council by Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis

    According to the present state, it is difficult for one to be optimistic as to the possibilities of the problem being solved at the summit in December, the Greek minister said, adding that for the time being it is logical that member-states are appearing unyielding on their positions but this does not rule out the possibility of last-minute changes taking place.

    As regards Kosovo, an issue that will preoccupy the EU in coming months, the 25 ministers listened to the UN secretary general's representative in the region, Marti Ahtisaari.

    Molyviatis expressed satisfaction over the fact that Ahtisaari's intervention moved "in the framewok of values" determined by the EU, pointing out that it would be a mistake if the price of stabilisation in Kosovo is the general destabilisation of the wider region.

    Well-informed sources said that for the time being the view prevailing in the EU is the preservation of the status quo and nobody appears to be proposing its change on the basis of specific timetables.


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