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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] No deal with ND party on revision of Article 16
  • [02] Finmin Alogoskoufis raps tax evaders
  • [03] Mini social security bill ratified
  • [04] Meeting on European prospects of the Balkans

  • [01] No deal with ND party on revision of Article 16

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party Spokesman Petros Efthymiou on Wednesday denied the existence of any behind-the-scenes deal with the ruling New Democracy (ND)party on the debate in Parliament concerning the revision of Article 16 of the constitution. Efthymiou said that ND is attempting once again to turn the terms of political confrontation back to "dark ages" and to "condemned practices."

    He also spoke of a "wretched scheme by ND" in its effort to escape from the deadlocks of the government's policy.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK Spokesman Petros Efthymiou)

    [02] Finmin Alogoskoufis raps tax evaders

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis sharply criticised tax evaders on Wednesday, calling their behaviour antisocial. "When people avoid paying tax or consent to the theft of tax, they are contributing to the maintenance of high taxation for those who declare their income and to under-funding for services essential to the smooth workings of society," the minister told a parliamentary committee. The committee is studying a government tax bill.

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

    [03] Mini social security bill ratified

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Savvas Tsitouridis on Wednesday reiterated assurances that the government has "no secret agenda on the social security issue, either for this or the next four-year term." The minister added that "its positions are clear on a socially fair system that will not harm any insured person and it will be decided following prolonged consultations", while at the same time speaking of capitalising on fear games and inaccuracies.

    Deputies of the main opposition PASOK party had accused the government of concealing its real intentions.

    "Some people are playing the game of capitalising on fear but, fortunately, the government is being judged on the basis of what it does and not on what you say. For this reason it shall win the next elections," Tsitouridis said during the discussion on the mini social security bill, whose ratification was completed on Wednesday.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Employment and Social Protection Minister Savvas Tsitouridis)

    [04] Meeting on European prospects of the Balkans

    Several heads of state and government from western Balkan countries attended an international meeting on the European prospects of the region, organised in Brussels by the Constantine Karamanlis Institute for Democracy, in collaboration with the "Friends of Europe" Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Institute. The meeting took place in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

    Among those attending were Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, Bosnia-Herzegovina Prime Minister Adnan Terzic, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Deputy Premier Imer Selmani, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic and his Montenegrin counterpart Milan Rocen and ministers from other states in the region.

    Also among the participants were several EU member-state ministers and officials, European Commissioner for research Janez Potocnik and representatives of the UN and EU in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    The aim of the meeting was to assess the prospects for economic and political stability in southeastern Europe, the role of the EU in the region and the progress of regional cooperation among Balkan countries.

    All speakers agreed that a European prospect for all western Balkan states would benefit both the countries themselves and the EU, since it would contribute to their economic development and political stability.

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