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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou to tour Kastoria, Kozani
  • [02] Dimas on missed CO2 emission targets
  • [03] Reforms aim at better state universities, minister

  • [01] Papandreou to tour Kastoria, Kozani

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou will tour the western Macedonia province prefectures of Kozani and Kastoria over the weekend, including stops at a PPC power station in the industrialised Ptolemaida district, where he will meet with the management and employees of the unit.

    On Saturday evening, Papandreou will address supporters at a Kastoria hotel, while on Sunday he will speak at a rally in Kozani, before meeting with local PASOK officials.

    Meanwhile, PASOK party's political council, its policy programme committee and its Parliamentary council will hold a joint meeting on March 1, during which the party's new platform will be unveiled and discussed. In the meantime, the PASOK political council decided that the party's MPs would vote against the framework law on higher education announced by the government.

    The decision was taken unanimously during a political council meeting chaired by Papandreou, and the negative vote affected the first reading (in principle vote), the vote by-article, and the vote on the bill in its entirety.

    Addressing the council, Papandreou said that the entire matter of the bill on higher education was indicative of the mentality that characterised the New Democracy government, but also all the conservative governments throughout the world.

    Papandreou claimed that conservative governments chose issues that mobilise the most conservative forces of society, citing US president George W. Bush as an example, in an effort to themselves determine the agenda, and consequently ND's selection of this specific bill was not by chance, the more so given that its regulations did not concern matters of primary priority in the education sector.

    In addition, he said, the PASOK members and society in general needed to be informed on what was really at stake.

    High-ranking cadre Mihalis Chrysohoidis, who holds the education sector portfolio, said that the bill essentially dealt with some matters related to the operation of the universities, but did not touch on the present-day and future needs and goals. He said the bill did not provide answers to such issues as autonomy and self-administration, evaluation, research and funding.

    The unanimous resolution adopted by the political council said PASOK's vision for Greece's future was inalienably linked with a new educational system from primary to tertiary education, and criticised the government of consciously disdaining and under-financing public education, and pledged that when PASOK returned to government, during its first year of governance it would increase expenditure in the education sector by one billion euros.

    As for the joint session of the political council, programme committee and Parliamentary council, which will open on March 1 and continue through to noon the next day, the party's platform would be presented for the first time and discussed.

    Immediately afterwards, the political council would meet to prepare its recommendation to the party's National Council on the following day, March 3.

    On March 4, an open political event would be held, addressed by Papandreou.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Papandreou.

    [02] Dimas on missed CO2 emission targets

    Greece is veering dangerously from targets for greenhouse gas emissions and urgently needs to take corrective measures, European Commissioner for the environment Stavros Dimas warned the Greek Parliament's European Affairs and Environment Committees on Friday.

    "Carbon dioxide emissions, based on the Kyoto Protocol and Community levels, should increase by just 25% in Greece [relative to levels in 1990]. We are at 26% and if we do not take immediate and strict measures we will reach 40%," the Greek Commissioner told MPs.

    Stressing his grave concern about the direct and indirect repercussions of global warming and climate change, Dimas said that an international agreement for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions "was the first and urgent priority".

    "The problem is political, economic and moral, while the repercussions - if measures are not taken on a global level - will be much more severe in developing countries. If we continue like this, by the end of the century there will be an increase in temperature by 4 degrees Celsius and this will have terrible, catastrophic consequences. It is indicative that, even if measures are taken, temperatures will increase by 2 degrees Celsius. In the Mediterranean, the repercussions may be greater," he said.

    The Environment Commissioner stressed the need to make use of new energy technologies, with an emphasis on alternative, renewable energy sources, and for a new international agreement for more drastic cuts to carbon dioxide emissions.

    Another point highlighted in his address was the need for reforestation and forest protection:

    "It is an issue I promote in all my international contacts. The destruction of forests, especially in tropical countries, has the result of increasing carbon dioxide by 20%. All countries that have forests must work together to prevent them being denuded," Dimas said.

    Among the measures that need to be taken is to adhere to Community regulations for the quality of fuels, he added.

    Finally, he advised separation of the environment and public works portfolios in Greece.

    "I consider that environment ministers are not very strong in their governments. A strong environment ministry is needed, a sustainable development ministry," Dimas told MPs, underlining that environmental protection should be at the top of the agenda of the next elections.

    [03] Reforms aim at better state universities, minister

    The government's unswerving goal is to create good state universities in Greece that are equal to the best universities abroad, with a draft framework bill for higher education serving as a first step in this direction, Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou said on Friday.

    She was speaking in the southern town Sparta while laying the foundation stone for new facilities of the University of the Peloponnese.

    Yiannakou also expressed satisfaction that a project that was vital for both Sparta and the prefecture of Laconia was starting to take form while she is at the helm of the education ministry.

    The new university buildings will cover an area of 6,000 square metres and include a 400-seat auditorium equipped with the latest audiovisual and automatic translation technology, an electronic library and fully-equipped IT laboratories.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Yiannakou.

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