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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Economy responding to reforms, FinMin tells Euromoney conference
  • [02] Road accident deaths down 17.4 pct
  • [03] Greece, China closer commercial ties

  • [01] Economy responding to reforms, FinMin tells Euromoney conference

    The government is responsibly continuing its policy of reforms aimed at readjustment of the Greek economy, national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis said Wednesday, addressing a Euromoney Conference titled "Greece 2005: The year of competitiveness".

    Alogoskoufis said that the reforms were part of a wider policy framework, adding that the two were linked, and acknowledging that a difficult road has been chosen.

    The minister called on everyone to support the great effort being made for the Greek economy and society, and outlined the reforms carried out to date, including the fiscal adjustment, tax reforms, the new investment law for development and regional convergence, the collaborations between public and private sector, the new generation of denationalisations, the new operational framework for the DEKO public utilities and organisations, and others.

    The Greek economy, he said, was responding positively to the government's reforms programme and, despite such adversities as spiralling international oil prices and the fiscal adjustment, the economy was developing at a rate of 3.6 percent, and exports and tourist arrivals had also risen, while unemployment had dropped by half a percentage point.

    Alogoskoufis stressed that the achievements had not made the government complacent but, on the contrary, the efforts were being intensified in order to meet the challenges.

    The minister said that collective and systematic effort was needed to take advantage of the large opportunities arising in the wider region, adding that the effort to materialise the reforms would boost the economy, and change structures and attitudes consolidated in recent years that had put Greece behind the other EU member states.

    Meanwhile, Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) president Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, in a statement, welcomed the bill on reforming the DEKO public utilities and organisations, which was released on Tuesday, as a "verry correct effort".

    Kyriakopoulos noted that the DEKO could not function competitively if private sector rules were not implemented.

    He further said that tenure sustained mediocrity, adding that although it was a "necessary evil" in the narrow public sector, it was not so on the market.

    [02] Road accident deaths down 17.4 pct

    Road accident deaths fell by 17.4 percent in September 2005 over the same month last year, according to figures released Wednesday by Greece's national statistics service ESYE.

    More specifically, deaths resulting from traffic accidents fell to 133 in September this year, from 161 in September 2004.

    ESYE said 133 people died, 191 were seriously injured, and 1,703 suffered light injuries in a total if 1,456 road accidents throughout the country in September 2005, compared with 161 deaths, 266 serious injuries and 1,563 light injuries in 1,370 traffic accidents throughout the country in September 2004.

    According to the comparison, road accidents rose by 6.3 percent in September 2005 against September 2004, but the death toll dropped by 17.4 percent and the serious injuries also declined by 28.2 percent, while light injuries rose by 9.0 percent.

    [03] Greece, China closer commercial ties

    BEIJING (ANA/N. Melissova) - Greece and China laid the foundations for closer commercial ties and increased investments in both countries during the 9th Greece-China Interministerial Committee meeting, Chinese government officials said on Tuesday.

    The meeting, presided over by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Yu Guangzhou, came to a close on Tuesday.

    According to Greek diplomatic sources, the first day of the Greek-Chinese business forum, held in Beijing, also proved fruitful, producing "promising" results.

    Furthermore, the groundwork for Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' visit to China has also been laid, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said after meeting with Stylianidis on Tuesday afternoon.

    "We are convinced that this [Karamanlis'] visit will be very successful," he added.

    During Karamanlis' visit to China, it is expected that an agreement, facilitating the operation of SMEs in both countries, will be signed as well as an agreement for the export of 60,000 tons of fertiliser to China.

    The latter, according to the Greek side, means re-entry in a market after a lengthy hiatus.

    While speaking to Greek reporters, Stylianidis said that an agreement for strategic economic cooperation between both countries will probably also be promoted during the Greek premier's visit, an agreement that China has entered with only four EU member states.

    Zhang predicted concrete results to emerge from the cooperation between the two business communities which will underscore the importance of the overall Sino-European strategic cooperation.

    Additionally, both sides emphasised the role shipping can play in promoting Greek and Chinese products in each market.

    They discussed developing Greek ports, particularly in Thessaloniki and Crete, as well as Greece's emergence as a transit centre for Chinese products to Balkan, EU and Mediterranean markets.

    As for investments, Stylianidis noted that the amount of Greek capital flowing into China has more than doubled over the past four years, to stand at 140 million in 2004. This, has also had a positive effect on exports, which however, fall short of the Chinese market's capacity, Stylianidis said.

    Zhang called on Greek enterpreneurs to stake their claim on Chinese imports which are projected to reach $3 billion over the next five years.

    On Wednesday, the Greek delegation headed by Stylianidis, will travel to Shanghai where a second Greek-Chinese business forum will be held.

    Stylianidis will continue his meetings with Chinese government officials in preparation for Caramanlis' visit.


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