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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-08-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Keeping people on their land a priority
  • [02] Papandreou slams 'disappointing' gov't
  • [03] Latsis group to fund 60 mln euro aid program

  • [01] PM: Keeping people on their land a priority

    The government on Tuesday announced the establishment of special development programmes for every fire-ravaged prefecture in the country, with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis himself announcing the measures following meetings at the economy, health and social security ministries.

    Karamanlis emphasised that his presence at the ministries aims to stress the message that "we are all standing by the fire stricken ? All Greeks must be united. To demonstrate, as in the past, that faced with a natural crisis we become one soul, one fist. We are obligated to whatever is possible to support the citizens harmed by the fires," Karamanlis said, adding:

    "We must also do whatever we can so the younger generations are not disappointed, so that they remain in their villages to rebuild their homes, to farm their land. This is our absolute priority," Karamanlis added.

    The Greek prime minister noted that every effort possible will be made to dramatically reduce redtape and bureaucratic procedures in dolling out aid, assistance and long-term development grants.

    Caption: PM Karamanlis addresses a press conference in Athens on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007. ANA-MPA / M. KIAOU.

    [02] Papandreou slams 'disappointing' gov't

    The government of Costas Karamanlis "disappointed" the Greek people with its inability to handle the fires that raged all summer, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said on Tuesday after meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    "We are all facing a national tragedy. We stand forward during this national crisis with a united spirit and deep feelings of solidarity and support for the victims, with every desire to offer and every desire to contribute in all possible ways in the handling of this crisis," he told reporters after the meeting.

    According to Papandreou, the government had proved "pitifully incapable" of dealing with the issue of the fires throughout the summer and had not been been able to save the lives, property and homes of Greek citizens.

    It was now continuing to behave without the required sense of seriousness and responsibility by putting forward theories of a terrorist conspiracy that damaged the country's image, undermined democratic institutions and terrorised the Greek public, the main opposition leader added.

    Noting that the country could not cope with a government supported by fear, insecurity, division and fanaticism, he said it was time for the Greek people to choose for themselves a powerful government that guaranteed security, certainty, hope and prospects.

    He did not reply when asked if he and Papoulias had discussed a meeting of the political party leaders.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of George Papandreou.

    [03] Latsis group to fund 60 mln euro aid program

    The Athens-based Latsis banking and refinery group on Tuesday announced a whopping 60-million-euro programme to aid in the reconstruction of fire-ravaged areas in the country, and especially Ilia prefecture in the western Peloponnese, from where late tycoon Yannis Latsis - the founder of the group and patriarch of Latsis family - hailed.

    In unveiling the programme, Marianna Latsis, the daughter of Yannis Latsis, stressed on Tuesday that "our country is faced with events and conditions that we have never experienced. In the face of this disaster, it is the duty of all to substantially contribute from the heart. I am certain that our father, Yannis Latsis, would have instinctively acted in the same fashion, as he had on numerous occasions during his life to the benefit of his country."

    Caption: A file photo dated April 4, 2001 of Marianna Latsis. ANA-MPA / STR

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