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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet discusses draft bill for professional sports
  • [02] Finmin urges 'constant effort' to wrap up 3rd CSF
  • [03] PASOK cites 'alternative plan' for education
  • [04] Athens on legal action against Patriarch

  • [01] Cabinet discusses draft bill for professional sports

    A draft bill setting up a new organisational structure for the professional sports, such as football, basketball and volleyball, was unanimously approved by a meeting of the inner cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday.

    Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos afterwards said the government was sending a message to investors and those who agree to this new course for professional sports that fans must see a better spectacle, fewer incidents and very few financial problems.

    "Look to your sports and the state will be a stern presence in the part that belongs to it," Orfanos stressed.

    The deputy minister said the meeting did not discuss the problems of individual teams or isolated issues, such as PAOK's administrative woes or the new stadium for Panathinaikos.

    Regarding sports-related violence, the minister stressed that the justice ministry had already tabled a bill, in which one article barred the suspension of sentences for soccer violence, while ministerial decisions were being prepared to better organise the police for sports events and to issue tickets with holders' names.

    [02] Finmin urges 'constant effort' to wrap up 3rd CSF

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Tuesday urged for more efforts to successfully complete the Third Community Support Framework (3rd CSF) programme.

    Addressing a meeting of a Monitoring Commission, the Greek minister said the government's main priority was that citizens would understand the significance of the 3rd CSF programme.

    "We have started from a very low point," Alogoskoufis said, adding "many efforts are being made in the fiscal sector and to improve economic competitiveness". The Greek minister said monthly absorption rate in March 2004 was 0.43 pct and had now risen to 0.88 pct. He added that great progress hasbeen made, many dramatic cutbacks have been avoided and measures were taken to ensure a more efficient implementation of community-funded programmes. "Our efforts must be constant while it is important to simplify procedures," Alogoskoufis said.

    Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Christos Folias, addressing the meeting, underlined the necessity of fully exploiting all 3rd CSF funds. "We do not want to see even one euro spent but invested," Folias said, stressing that the government was taking initiatives to creating a healthy economic environment in the country.

    Constantinos Mousouroulis, secretary general for Development and Investments said the government was making a final review of a Third Community Support Framework and noted that absorption rate of EU funds currently totalled 44.6 percent (ministerial programmes) and 42.2 percent (regional programmes). Mousouroulis said Greece has absorbed around 15 billion euros so far and that another 18 billion euros must be absorbed by the end of 2008.

    Representatives from the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), GSEE -Greece's largest trade union umbrella- and PASEGES -farm cooperatives union- urged for an acceleration of efforts to raise absorption rates of EU funds. SEB's representative said the next six month would be crucial not only for the future of 3rd CSF programmes but for completing procedures related with a National Strategic Benchmark Framework. He warned, however, of the risk of fiscal adjustments and stressed that municipal elections in October should not be used as an excuse for relaxing fiscal policy.

    Paris Koukoulopoulos, president of KEDKE -municipal authorities' central union- expressed his strong concern over progress in a Third Community Support Framework and urged for simpler procedures and inspections.

    [03] PASOK cites 'alternative plan' for education

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday accused the government of retaining the biggest responsibility for recent unrest in the higher education sector, while addressing a meeting of the party's new parliamentary group coordinators. He added that PASOK supported the struggle of the university community and at the same time was formulating an "alternative plan" for the younger generation.

    He also accused the government of confronting the situation with authoritarianism, and that its moves showed inability to reform society, with the education sector at the forefront.

    Education, he added, requires reform, but not the reform being advanced by the government, whereas PASOK wanted a competitive public education.

    [04] Athens on legal action against Patriarch

    The decision of a Turkish public prosecutor to initiate legal action against Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I appears to stem from a suit filed by an extreme political organisation with strongly anti-Patriarchate views, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros told reporters on Tuesday.

    "We would like to believe that such an action does not enjoy more general support. Such events generate the interest and invite the attention of all member-states of the European Union, and of course of Greece," the spokesman added.

    According to reports on Monday, a Turkish public prosecutor is conducting a preliminary investigation into the holding of an Orthodox religious service in Cappadocia last April and called on the Patriarchate "to submit as soon as possible and definitely within 10 days from the reception of the present document...the full identity, particulars and the addresses of the clerics who participated in the holding of the religious service."

    The public prosecutor also requested a "certified copy" of article 4 of a 1935 Regulation that allows the Patriarch "to appear publicly outside churches and outside the time for performing holy services in ecclesiastical attire."

    The investigation is taking place following a report by the representative of the "National Strength Platform" Kemal Kerinciz.

    On April 29 Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos was greeted outside the church of Saint Theodore in Malakopi by about 40 members of the nationalist and militant "Grey Wolves" group who chanted "God is Great" and raised their hands, forming the shape of the wolf with their fingers. The Patriarch entered the church and officiated at the church service.


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