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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't to revise GDP increase, FinMin says
  • [02] Greek-Turkish tourism protocol signed
  • [03] Univ. reform proponent cites 'war of ideas'

  • [01] Gov't to revise GDP increase, FinMin says

    Gov't to revise GDP increase, FinMin says

    Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, speaking on Saturday at an insurance company conference on the issue of "Private Insurance Day", said that the government will revise predictions on the increase in GDP. The conference was held on the occasion of the celebration for Private Insurance Day, while the minister also announced the gradual abolition of the 2.4 percent stamp duty imposed on all insurance rates.

    Alogoskoufis stressed that growth exceeded predictions during the third quarter of the year and the percentage is expected to be announced within the week and will be in the region of 4.3 percent.

    The finance minister further said that tax rates in the second and third stages of tax reform will develop as follows:25 percent for incomes between 12,000 and 30,000 euros and 35 percent for incomes of up to 75,000 euros, while from then on the rate will be 40 percent.

    Lastly, the minister said that the Private Insurance Committee will be undertaking the supervision of the insurance market at the beginning of 2007.

    Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda also said in her address that the appropriate functioning of insurance companies benefits both the citizen and the state.

    Awards were given during the conference to the honourary president of the Union of Insurance Companies of Greece, Dimitris Kontominas, and for the best performance of the year in the police force, the traffic police, the fire brigade and the harbour authority.

    [02] Greek-Turkish tourism protocol signed

    Greece and Turkey on Sunday signed a tourism cooperation protocol in Antalya, southern Turkey, envisioning a greater exchange of information on issues of infrastructure and especially maritime tourism, including potential marina partnerships and the hosting of joint sailing regattas.

    The protocol was signed on the sidelines of the 2nd joint Greek-Turkish tourism committee meeting and the 7th Greek-Turkish tourism forum by Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and her Turkish counterpart Atilla Koc.

    The committee agreed to make travel of third country tourists between the two countries easier and to inaugurate new ferry boat links.

    In her brief comments, Petralia noted that through mutual cooperation in the tourism sector, Greece and Turkey can better prepare for the future and achieve better results vis-?-vis international competition.

    In terms of figures, noted Turkish entrepreneur Can Eretem said roughly 50,000 Turkish nationals take yachting holidays in Greece every year, whereas Petralia said 120,000 Turkish nationals visited the country. Conversely, 585,000 Greek nationals visited Turkey in 2005, up from 100,000 in 2004.

    On his part, Koc called on the Greek side to participate in a tourism exhibition to be held in February in Istanbul.

    Caption: Petralia, left, and Koc after the signing of the protocol in Antalya on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / P. Stolis.

    [03] Univ. reform proponent cites 'war of ideas'

    The appointed head of the National Education Council on Saturday stressed that "whatever will shatter the inertia prevailing in the tertiary education sector is a legitimate change that must take place."

    Council president Thanos Veremis, a noted academic and university administrator, also emphasised that his proposals are "minimalist."

    "We are in an absolute war of ideas and in a state where (the other side) lacks any ideas, since none of these groups that supposedly care about education has ever raised any question regarding the improvement of teaching," he said.

    The outspoken Veremis made the statements during an address at an event entitled "Reforms in Education", organised in Thessaloniki by the Thessaloniki branch of the Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy.

    He went on to say that a dilemma of "public or private universities" is merely a "pseudo-dilemma".

    "There are no prestigious private universities anywhere in Europe ... free public education is a claim that has been fulfilled out long ago."

    Veremis also expressed support for greater autonomy of universities under conditions, such as abolition of "eternal" college students, election of deans by a majority of the entire student body students and abolition of the one textbook per lecturer rule.

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