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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM to chair Cabinet meeting on 2007 budget ahead of its tabling in parl't
  • [02] PASOK leader critical of new budget
  • [03] Deputy FM Kassimis visits Chicago
  • [04] Gov't seeks to open fashion museum

  • [01] PM to chair Cabinet meeting on 2007 budget ahead of its tabling in parl't

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis will chair a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon focussing on the 2007 state budget, which will be tabled in parliament immediately afterwards by national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis.

    Earlier, the premier met with employment minister Savvas Tsitouridis, who told reporters after the meeting that the government is not seeking solutions to the social insurance issue through raising the retirement age.

    Replying to questions prompted by press reports intimating at an increase of contributions to the TEBE social insurance fund for the self-employed and craftsmen, Tsitouridis stressed that the contributions would not be increased, adding that this would become apparent during the parliamentary debate on the 2007 draft budget, which was due to be tabled in the 300-member House later in the afternoon.

    He clarified that no contributions would be increased, nor would pensions of any category be reduced. On the contrary, he added, pensions such as those of professional drivers would be increased.

    Tsitouridis noted that implementation of the existing legislation and the policies being advanced by the government would enable, by the end of the government's present four-year term in office, a clear assessment so that the next government would be able to proceed with social insurance reforms aiming at an efficient system with prospects and which would be more socially just.

    The employment minister cited the national census of socially insured and pensioned workers as one such initiative, as well as the exploitation of the social insurance funds' real estate and other assets, computerisation of their services, and the establishment of uniform control mechanisms.

    The government, with its initiatives, was bringing about substantial changes to a system that was socially unjust and decimated, and which spent much of the insured parties' monies, he continued.

    Tsitouridis said he had also briefed the prime minister on the recent EU Council of Employment Ministers' meeting which he said had averted the imposition of "a work model that would not have been in line with the model wanted by the European Union".

    "Our country's government is advancing policies that find the silver lining between the need for flexibility and protection of the working people," the minister said.

    [02] PASOK leader critical of new budget

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday criticised the draft 2007 state budget, which was to be tabled in parliament later in the evening, of adding burdens to and creating impasses in Greek households, addressing a meeting of his party's coordinators.

    Papandreou also launched a more generalised attack on the New Democracy government, which he accused of deceiving the Greek citizens and of creating problems instead of solving the existing ones, as well as of continuing to pass out promises "which are belied every day".

    The opposition leader also charged that no one had faith in the present government to solve the problems "because it says one thing and does something else".

    He said the that the issue of the contract employees was only the tip of the iceberg, and was a matter that concerned "the dignity of all of us".

    PASOK, on the other hand, was undertaking initiatives to help out the Greek family "which has resorted to (bank) borrowing and credit cards in order to make ends meet", thus "undermining its children's future", said Papandreou, who also claimed that taxes have risen by 23 percent since 2004, which he attributed to borrowing by households.

    Economic growth founded on consumer loans was a growth without prospects and one that compressed the incomes of the popular strata, Papandreou warned, adding that the government has proved that it was not serving the people's interests, citing the policies regarding the country's ports, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), the education sector, and the public utilities and organisations (DEKO).

    The coordinators' meeting also discussed a draft law that the PASOK parliamentary group will table in parliament aimed at protecting consumers from the banks' loan contracts.

    [03] Deputy FM Kassimis visits Chicago

    Chicago (ANA-MPA) -- Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, responsible for issues concerning expatriate Greeks, is on a three-day visit to Chicago, on the fourth leg of his ongoing United States tour.

    The deputy foreign minister met with representatives of the 250,000-strong Greek American community in Chicago, and discussed issues concerning the teaching of the Greek language, Greeceās cultural presence and the creation of stronger ties between the third and fourth generation Greek Americans and Greece.

    Kassimis met with Metropolitan Bishop Iakovos of Chicago and members of the Pan-Macedonian Association. He also visited 2 of the 55 Greek American schools under the jurisdiction of the Chicago-based education coordination office.

    He also attended a working lunch hosted by World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens, and a United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) formal reception.

    The deputy minister further visited Chicagoās Greek Museum and Cultural Center.

    Caption: Greece's deputy foreign minister Theodoros Kassimis (R) with World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens. (ANA-MPA/A. Beltes

    [04] Gov't seeks to open fashion museum

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Monday that the government was seeking to open a fashion museum in Greece.

    The museum would aim to link the Greek designing and output market with global trends in fashion in line with the internationalised business environment, Sioufas told a news conference.

    In addition, the development ministry is seeking to provide Greek Fashion Week, which has been held four times, with steady and statutory backing, the minister added.

    Caption: A creation by Cypriot fashion designer Erotokritos at the 4th Greek Fashion Week featuring Spring-Summer 2007 collections organised last month by the Panhellenic Association of Fashion Designers at the Zappiong Hall in Athens. (ANA-MPA/M. Kiaou)


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