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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK leader terms 2007 budget 'last' of ND
  • [02] Mass exodus for Christmas has begun

  • [01] PASOK leader terms 2007 budget 'last' of ND

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou said on Thursday night that the 2007 state budget tabled by the ruling New Democracy (ND) "makes arrangements regarding obligations towards specific interests and signals the end of tenure of the government."

    "It is the last budget tabled by the ND," Papandreou said during the debate on the 2007 state budget.

    Papandreou termed as "completely untrustworthy" the depictment of public finances in the draft budget. "You transfer pending expenditures with interest, you eliminate the hospitals' debts, you fabricate the data on unemployment, you find excuses to wipe out jobless from the registration forms," Papandreou added.

    He said that the reforms proposed by the government were "in essence clientele arrangements," asking Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis "to name just one reform that has profited the citizens, that has improved their standard of living, that has benefitted the country."

    Papandreou also accused the government of "a revival of pockets of parastate conceptions within the police force."

    The PASOK leader committed himself on four governmental measures, promising, when in power, to "govern with sincerity and transparency without shadows and dependencies."

    The committments concern, as he said, equality of taxation between dividends and salaries, transparency in the distribution of funds, the maintenance of the public sector's strategic role in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and the Public Power Corporation (DEH).

    He also promised a 5 per cent of the GDP for education, a one per cent for research and innovation and 5 per cent for public investments.

    FinMin response

    Responding to Papandreou, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said that citizens "have memory, they remember who has created the enormous debts and the great economic and social problems of the country."

    KKE SG accuses ND and PASOK of 'an anti-popular alliance'

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Thursday night launched a strong attack against the ruling New Democracy (ND) party and the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), accusing them of "anti-popular alliance."

    "Both the ND government and that of PASOK in the past have the same logic for anti-popular laws and the only difference between them is the time conjuction. The bus in essence is moving in the same direction," Papariga said during the debate in Parliament on the 2007 state budget.

    She also spoke of an "anti-popular class budget," adding that "as long as economic policy remains in this axis, in no way can it move in a pro-popular orbit or produce a pro-popular dividend."

    The KKE leader further spoke about Article 16 of the Constitution, arguing that "the objective is the privatisation of higher education."

    She went on to say:"If only there were three parties and have a class difference. We will not become a crutch of any party. Neither of the ND in order for PASOK not to return, neither of PASOK for ND to leave."

    SYN leader Alavanos focuses his speech in Parliament on education

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synasmismos) leader Alekos Alavanos during the debate in Parliament on Thursday night on the 2007 state budget, focused his speech on education issues and the problems faced by youths, at the same time criticising the government for its policy and stance.

    "For the New Democracy government, the youth constitute a fiscal difficulty. For Synaspismos, they are a source of great fiscal and social wealth," Alavanos stressed.

    He also made particular reference to Article 16 of the Constitution, noting:"We have the least funds for education in relation to other countries of the European Union. The apotheosis of the government's policy are its positions for universities where we see black crows over the body of the public university."

    [02] Mass exodus for Christmas has begun

    The greatest exodus in past years for the Christmas period began on Thursday.

    Thousands of excursionists are abandoning the big cities, taking advantage of the festive holidays.

    Most of them are travelling to the provinces and abroad. More than 250,000 Greeks will spend Christmas in European capitals, in tourism destinations and exotic islands.

    There will be an increase in movement in the coming days at the country's airports, as many will pass the festivities abroad and at tourism places domestically.

    At Athens' "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport, from December 22-28 there will be more than 300 extra flights and another equal number is estimated to be made during the New Year period."

    However, those who enjoy winter sports and are planning to have a white Christmas in one of the ski centres of Europe and Greece will most probably be disappointed, as the lack of snow is unprecedented for this period.

    From Friday, traffic police are expected to take extraorinary measures in the national highways so as to facilitate the exodus of the excursionists.


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