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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] We've launched an era of changes and reforms, Karamanlis stresses
  • [02] Conference on ancient drama at Delphi

  • [01] We've launched an era of changes and reforms, Karamanlis stresses

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday opened his speech at the first session of the ruling New Democracy party's newly elected Central Committee by referring to the self-sacrifice shown by the men and women of the Fire Brigade, as attested by the recent tragic deaths of three firemen on Crete. The prime minister stressed that all Greeks are thankful to them and are on their side, adding that the battle they give is a battle to ensure quality of life for all. Karamanlis stated that "we suffer the consequences of climate change", adding that weather phenomena favor the outbreak of fires. The fight is tough but there is no other choice available but to continue fighting, he stressed. Referring to the 7th ND party congress last weekend, he said that party positions were confirmed, while at the same time it also served as a starting point for a new dynamic course. The prime minister expressed determination to move forward with reforms and changes and continue the effort aimed at dealing with the problems of society, stressing that in March 2004 the people opted for political change and the country entered an era of changes and reforms. Karamanlis lashed out at main opposition PASOK without naming it, stressing that the people reject polarization practices while adding that it promises today what it was unable to do in the past, without offering an apology either for the deficits handed over to the current government or the stock market crime. He stressed that the changes and reforms launched will continue with greater determination in the government's next four-year term, pointing out that the sweeping education sector reform will continue ensuring equal access opportunities for the young. The education reform will continue in the next four-year term, he stated, underlining that the revision of article 16 of the Constitution is imperative while adding that it was proposed by the main opposition as well. Referring to the public sector, Karamanlis stated that the State is the great patient that was inherited, adding that solutions were found to lingering problems, the local government was reinforced, procedures were simplified, red-tape was tackled, while problems are not being swept under the carpet but on the contrary they are spotted and dealt with. "We are in the middle of an uphill course and we are preparing the major reform in the administrative structure", he stressed. On the issues of transparency in public sector transactions, he said that corruption will be combated, stressing that there will be no discounts in the effort. Karamanlis also referred to the economic policy implemented by his government, stressing that the country has exited the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) and the growth rate achieved is among the highest in Eurozone. The absorption rate of community funds was increased while energy agreements of major national importance were signed turning Greece into an energy hub, he stressed. The results of the policy followed are beginning to show and are acknowledged both by the European Union and international organizations, while a rise is recorded in tourist flow. Exports have increased, inflation is at its lowest point and foreign investors were becoming reacquainted with Greece, said Karamanlis. He stressed that in 2006 investments recorded a 70 percent rise compared to 2003 while unemployment dropped under 9 percent and employment rate rose to 61 percent. The foundations for a strong economy were laid during the past 3.5 years, said the prime minister, to ensure a strong social state focusing on the individual, stressing that the social insurance problem will also be solved. Karamanlis stressed that the vision of ecumenical Hellenism is a top priority adding that the draft law on the voting rights of overseas Greeks will be introduced to parliament in October, characterizing the move as national duty constituting a major step for the participation of the Greeks living abroad in domestic political developments. In conclusion, he emphasized that the government will continue on the path of changes and reforms, stressing that there is no turning back for Greece. Unanimous election of the seven MPs on ND Political Council The seven MPs that will be members of the ruling New Democracy party's new Political Council were later unanimously elected by the party Central Committee. No ballots were used because the number of candidates equaled the number of the seats available. They are Prokopis Pavlopoulos, George Voulgarakis, Marietta Yannakou, Evangelos Meimarakis, Fani Palli-Petralia, Vyron Polydoras and Dimitris Sioufas. An election is underway for the non parliamentarian members of the party's Political Council, with 10 candidates competing for 7 seats. Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister and New Democracy party president Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Conference on ancient drama at Delphi

    The European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD) is organising a two-day conference this weekend at the eponymous site in mountainous central Greece focusing on the theme of "The Tragic Heroine as a Symbol in Modern Society", an event capping off the two-week-long 8th International Conference on Ancient Drama, which included numerous theatrical performances, roundtable discussions and presentations at the Centre by artists from around the world. Women's role in western and non-western society is the sub-theme of the series of events at the Delphi Centre, which lies just outside the boundaries of the renowned archaeological site of Delphi, considered by the ancient Greeks as the sacred "navel of the world" during antiquity.

    The conference is co-sponsored by the Athens-based Research Center for Gender Equality (KEThI), with an international panel of distinguished speakers scheduled to speak over the weekend. The Delphi Centreās 8th International Conference on Ancient Drama will conclude on Sunday evening with a performance of Euripides' "Medea", direction and translation by Pilar Tavora, at the centre's Phrynichos outdoor odeon.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph showing scenes from a performance of ancient drama by the National Theatre of Greece put on at Delphi's stage.

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