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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Énner Cabinet discusses bank transparency, competitiveness issues
  • [02] Papandreou address to PASOK Parliamentary council

  • [01] Énner Cabinet discusses bank transparency, competitiveness issues

    The Inner Cabinet on Tuesday discussed matters falling under the competency of the economy and finance ministry, during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis told reporters after the meeting that he briefed the Inner Cabinet's members on the new operational framework for banks and investments management firms, in implementation of the relevant EU Directives.

    Alogoskoufis stressed that, with the new framework, there will be transparency in the banking system and in the sector of investments, while there will also be greater competitiveness and, to a large degree, reduction of the difference between loan and savings deposit interest rates, which, he added, will benefit consumers and businesses.

    The minister further said that Greece's adaptation to the framework adopted by the EU will result in more efficient operation of the banking system and the economy.

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who had accompanied the premier on his recent visit to Australia, when asked by reporters whether the visit to Australia had been a precursor of an election campaign, replied that "no election campaign has taken place".

    She stressed that during the visit the dynamism of overseas Hellenism was projected, a "Hellenism that succeeds; is present in the political affairs of Australia; a Hellenism we are proud of".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PM Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Papandreou address to PASOK Parliamentary council

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou addressed his party's Parliamentary council on Tuesday, touching on a variety of domestic and foreign policy issues as well as repeating his standing criticism of the ruling New Democracy government.

    In turning to one foreign policy issue that recently more-or-less returned to forefront, namely, the FYROM "name issue", the former foreign minister in two successive Simitis governments said that a PASOK government was "very near" a mutually acceptable solution with the neighbouring Skopje government, while charging that the current government has lost ground since 2004.

    He also repeated criticism that the government has returned Greek-Turkish differences to the bilateral level and cited two "lost opportunities", which he cited as being in 2004 and 2005, when ND was in power.

    Regarding a recent Karamanlis government initiative to give expatriate Greeks registered in their home country the right to vote in national elections here from their respective overseas place of residence, Papandreou said the "issue necessitates seriousness and not an opportunist approach, as ND is doing".

    Along these lines, he charged that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' recent week-long tour of Australia and his numerous meetings with Greek-Australian communities belied an effort to exploit those communities for petty partisan reasons.

    Additionally, he again repeated his criticism of the government over the ongoing structured bonds issue affair, while demanding that all particulars regarding similar purchases by other state-run pension funds be revealed.

    The primary issue up for discussion at the council meeting was public sector hirings, with charges of upwards of 365,000 partisan hirings being aired, on the one hand, and a draft bill by PASOK eyeing stricter criteria, on the other.

    PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou, a former minister, also highlighted what he called various networks run by the ruling party for petty partisan hirings, while again outlining the party's opposition to the re-establishment of a rural and agriculture law enforcement service (agrofylaki).

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

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