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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou slams media concentration bill
  • [02] Bakoyannis on developmental cooperation, aid

  • [01] Papandreou slams media concentration bill

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday underlined his complete opposition to the government's bill on concentration of the media and charged that the bill was unenforceable, while addressing the party's Parliamentary Council.

    He stressed that PASOK would modify the law as soon as it came to power and said that the clash with the government over this and other policies was an "issue of democracy".

    According to Papandreou, ruling New Democracy did not truly want positive and transparent measures. In terms of the media concentration bill, he said the government had two aims: one to cover up the fiasco over the 'major shareholder' issue under pressure from the European Union and secondly to be able to manipulate the media.

    He stressed that PASOK was completely opposed to this way of thinking and wanted the media to be independent and uninfluenced, as well as protecting the political autonomy of the parties from every form of influence so that they could authentically express the needs and hopes of society.

    Papandreou also strongly criticised ND's plans to privatise the state broadcasting organisation ERT, stressing that state television should have a central role.

    During the discussion PASOK MP Dinos Rovlias, in charge of transport issues on the Council, said the government's goal to control and manipulate the media was laid bare by its chief argument, which was a dearth of frequencies. He pointed out that the number of frequencies could be quadrupled, while some countries were employing technical methods that increased frequencies six-fold.

    PASOK criticises decision to sell 20% of Post Office Savings Fund

    Main opposition PASOK on Tuesday criticised the government's decision to sell a further 20 percent of the Post Office Savings Fund on the stock market, saying the decision was "consistent with its fundamental choice of selling off state property" and brought the Post Office Savings Fund "one step closer to full privatisation, which is the secret agenda for the Economy and Finance ministry".

    According to PASOK MP Vasso Papandreou, in charge of economic issues on PASOK's Parliamentary Council, the results of the ruling New Democracy government's management of the Post Office Savings Fund were "well known".

    "The Fund, with its large base of depositors, could have been a lever of pressure for greater competition and better lending conditions for households and small businesses. Instead, the management of Mr. Tsoupidis decided to burden the Fund, the chief bank of pensioners and the people, with low-yield and high-risk investments in order to serve and enrich Mr. Papamarkakis of North Asset Management and other 'select' privileged interlocutors of government officials," she said.

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

    [02] Bakoyannis on developmental cooperation, aid

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday officially presented an illustrated book prepared by the International Development Cooperation Service (YDAS) regarding its work, alongside Deputy Development Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and the general secretary for International Economic Relations and of Development Cooperation, Theodoros Skylakakis.

    In statements at the event, she noted that the foreign ministry's twin aims in this area were to increase developmental aid to 0.51 percent of Greek GDP by 2010 and to administrate this with efficiency and transparency.

    She expressed her personal satisfaction at the fact that "the Greek colours are found in a very large part of our planet", noting that it was an indescribable sensation for a Greek foreign minister "to see Greek ships arrive first on the scene of a great crisis, to see Greek doctors and rescuers where there was pain and fear for survival".

    Bakoyannis also underlined that it was very important for the country to earn the recognition of the people and governments that benefited as result.

    As examples of such Greek presence, the minister referred to the crisis in Southeast Asia following the earthquakes and tsunamis, that of Lebanon and in Africa, while she stressed the need to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

    "This decision is the only way for a more peaceful, just, prosperous and safe world," she added.

    Stylianidis stressed the role of Hellenic Aid as the "vehicle bringing Greek humanity to all the world," and noted that Greece had in the past year provided aid to 90 countries, of which 22 were at the forefront of Athens' developmental policy, and carried out 145 programmes.

    Foreign minister meets Archbishop Demetrius, Donohue

    Also on Tuesday, Bakoyannis had a meeting with the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Demetrius.

    No joint statements were made after the meeting, while the Archbishop confined his statements to the remark that "when the archbishop talks with the foreign minister, the discussion is always substantive and important and concerns Hellenism".

    Archbishop Demetrius is next due to visit Istanbul in order to take part in the 2nd International Conference of Orthodox Youth, where he will also have the opportunity to meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and discuss matters concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Immediately after her meeting with the Archbishop, Bakoyannis received the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue.

    Caption: Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis presenting the International Developmental Cooperation Service (YDAS) illustrated book on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 in Athens. ANA/MPA/Antonis Doukas.


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