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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou addresses PASOK's Parliamentary Council
  • [02] Prospects good for Greek banking, FinMin claims
  • [03] Stylianidis, Ries to speak on 'Helping Hands'

  • [01] Papandreou addresses PASOK's Parliamentary Council

    Addressing the first meeting of his party's Parliamentary Council on Tuesday, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou attacked the government and said that it had failed on all fronts. He stressed that the key to the success of the newly created body would be to present a united front and take dynamic action against the government, while defending and promoting PASOK's positions and decisions.

    On the issue of the budget, Papandreou said that PASOK would ensure that it highlighted the under-funding of education, health, the undermining of social security and the government's lack of sensitivity toward families.

    Commenting on the government's tax reforms, meanwhile, PASOK's leader said that it was actually a harsh redistribution of income from the many to the wealthy few, which was socially unfair and did not lead to development.

    He also stressed that the members of the Parliamentary Council each bore "personal responsibility" for the sector that they had undertaken and the actions they decided to take, urging them to mobilise all citizens and party members on the issues discussed during the meeting.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou)

    [02] Prospects good for Greek banking, FinMin claims

    A series of reforms and privatisations undertaken by the government have created the right conditions for a better banking system in Greece, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis claimed on Tuesday while addressing the International Banking Forum organised by the Economist in Athens. According to the minister, banking was a healthy, productive sector and banks were introducing innovative services.

    Noting increasing competition within the sector that benefited businesses and households, he said this progress was largely due to the sector's heightened competitiveness.

    He attributed this to structural changes and reforms, a series of privatisations and the restructuring of the Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE). He also pledge to continue reforms with the further privatisation of the Post Offices Savings Fund and ATE, while pointing to the government's support of National Bank of Greece (NBG) in its expansion to Turkey, which he described as a historic event.

    The minister also referred to the marked progress of the Greek economy, with the improvement of fiscal indicators, falling unemployment, rising exports and increasing interest displayed by foreign investors.

    He pledged to continue the government's reform programme without wavering, noting that the first cycle of reforms was coming to a close at the end of the government's four-year term and that New Democracy would seek the electorate's mandate to embark on a new cycle of reforms in the next four years.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis)

    [03] Stylianidis, Ries to speak on 'Helping Hands'

    Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and U.S. Ambassador Charles Ries will speak on "Helping Hands: Greek and American Approaches to Development Aid Policy", the public affairs section of the American Embassy in Athens announced in a press release on Tuesday. The event will take place at the Foreign Ministry's "Yiannos Kranidiotis" Auditurium, 1 Academias Street on Friday at 10:30-12:00 noon.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of U.S. Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries)


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