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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM addresses tourism forum; gov't eyes 'grand esplanade' in coastal Athens
  • [02] PASOK spokesman attacks PM

  • [01] PM addresses tourism forum; gov't eyes 'grand esplanade' in coastal Athens

    Tourism is exclusively a developmental industry and comprises a powerful tool for eliminating regional inequalities, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said Monday, addressing the inaugural Forum on Tourism at the Athens Concert Hall.

    The forum also serves as the venue where the government's comprehensive policy for the expanded tourism sector will be detailed.

    In opening the Forum, which is organised by the tourism development ministry, Karamanlis spoke of a model of tourism development revolving around the individual and aiming at generating prosperity.

    "It is necessary for Greece to become competitive in the tourism sector as well, so that it can develop even further," the premier stressed.

    Outlining the government's accomplishments in the tourism sector, Karamanlis said that Greece, for the first time, was acquiring a goal-oriented advertising campaign and specialised planning that ensured transparency in its tourism policy.

    Tourism minister

    On her part, Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia announced that the government would accelerate work to transform coastal Athens' seafront -- from the Peace and Friendship indoor stadium of Faliro southeast to the upscale resort of Varkiza -- into a single 35-kilometer bike and pedestrian way next to the sea, what planners hope will turn into the congested Greek capital's "grand esplanade" and a magnet for out-of-town tourists.

    Moreover, Palli-Petralia said the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) approved of plans for 22 conference centres, two golf courses, a ski resort and eight thalassotherapy spas over the past two years.

    Finally, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas called on local hoteliers to treat domestic and foreign tourists in the same manner, warning that discounts extended to foreign tour agencies and out-of-country holiday-makers should apply to Greek tourists.

    "The Internet, in fact, now allows Greeks to book reservations via foreign countries, so that they can now enjoy the same prices as, say, a German tourist," Sioufas added.

    [02] PASOK spokesman attacks PM

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman Petros Efthymiou said on Monday that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis "constitutes a problem for the country with his policies".

    Efthymiou said that Karamanlis "did not speak about any substantive issue in Parliament on Sunday, during the debate on the vote of censure against the government.

    Replying to a question on the time that elections will be held, the PASOK spokesman said that "fear leads to spasmodic moves," adding that for this reason Karamanlis should have accepted PASOK's "direct proposal".

    The spokesman, referring to the three-day debate held in Parliament on the vote of censure, said that PASOK's position on elections was substantiated during the debate, while on the question of the revision process he mentioned two reasons why PASOK walked out:Firstly, it was the first time that in a process for the revision of the constitution no proposal by the opposition was accepted. Secondly, he spoke of unprecedented moments in the 33-year post-junta era and the falsification of the verdict by the ruling New Democracy deputies who voted according to conscience on article 24 of the constitution.

    Focusing on statements made on Monday by the government spokesman, he accused Theodoros Roussopoulos of pretending not to understand all that PASOK's leader said and of trying to cover up everything with communication handling.

    On the question of PASOK's programme, Efthymiou said that its announcement is a matter of a short period of time, while the process to be followed will be its discussion at the Political and National Council and then at the Programming Council, whose date has not yet been set.


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