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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou presents new gov't structure
  • [02] Papathemelis: Greece needs deterrence policy

  • [01] Papandreou presents new gov't structure

    A government to be formed by main opposition PASOK party, in case it wins the Sept. 16 elections, will be made up of 16 ministries, while its emphasis will be based on four policy axes.

    PASOK leader George Papandreou stressed that a new government model comes in response to the public's demand for a "national awakening, consultation, unity, security and optimism", adding that it will be more functional and overcome red tape.

    PASOK cadres, who will assume a government office or other state posts, will have to temporarily resign their party affiliation. The goal, said Papandreou, is a government for all Greeks, one free of partisan practices and discriminations.

    The new government will be made up of 16 ministries, some of them the result of mergers and others newly established.

    For example, the environment, town planning and public works ministry will be separated into a ministry of environment and a ministry of public works, infrastructure and networks. Mass media will come under the authority of the ministry of culture, which will merge with tourism and island policy; the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace will assume a symbolic role. The latter's goals will be to turn the northern Greece port city of Thessaloniki into a metropolitan centre of SE Europe in tandem with taking measures for the greater economic growth of Macedonia and Thrace provinces.

    In addition, the ministry of public administration will merge with the ministry of public order, while the justice ministry will be renamed into justice and transparency ministry.

    The four government axes and corresponding government ministries will be:

    Foreign Policy and Defense; State Security and European Affairs: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Ministry of National Defense;

    - Social state, social solidarity and human resources: Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

    - Economy and Viable Development: Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Development and Production Resources, Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Ministry of Research, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Environment and Land Planning, Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructures and Networks, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Island Policy, Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and Ministry of Merchant Marine.

    - State reconstruction: Ministry of Administration, Local Government and Public Security and Ministry of justice and Transparency.

    Papandreou also announced that the government spokesman will hold no ministerial post, while two cabinet ministers without portfolio will undertake to coordinate issues deemed as top priorities by the prime minister. Such issues are the reconstruction of fire-ravaged regions, information society, quality of life, cost of living and the coordinated promotion of Greece abroad.

    Papandreou stated that one of the immediate priorities will be to upgrade the parliament's audit and consultation power as well as to strengthen the role of independent authorities.

    Referring to the regional reconstruction of the State, he announced that the region general secretary will be directly elected by the people and among the office's priorities will be to bring radical changes to local government leading to decentralization.

    Papandreou pledged that the inner cabinet and the ministerial council will convene every 45 days, each time in a different city, stating that the three first meetings will be held in Olympia, the island of Kastellorizo and Orestiada, Evros prefecture.

    In addition, Papandreou also announced the establishment of a National Planning and Development Council with no executive powers made up of representatives of all parties, excluding government ministers. Council members will be former EU Commissioners, former high ranking international organisation officials and distinguished Greek expatriates.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of George Papandreou.

    [02] Papathemelis: Greece needs deterrence policy

    "Political parties have not yet realized the Greek nation's need for a national strategy of deterrence," Democratic Revival party leader and founder Stelios Papathemelis said during a press conference on Friday in Thessaloniki, his election base.

    Papathemelis appeared optimistic that his party will enter Parliament -- garnering above 3 percent of the general vote -- in Sunday's elections, stressing that it has kept its distance from the rest of the political parties.

    He added that there will be no collaboration with any political party that will result in a new version of the Annan Plan for Cyprus via "backroom deals" or parties shying away from a possible veto of neighbouring FYROM's Euro-Atlantic prospects.

    Finally, the one-time PASOK minister called rival Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) President George Karatzaferis a "recent defender of Macedonia", reminding that in the period 1992-1993 he had lashed out at the then foreign minister for his handling of the issue.

    Captoin: ANA-MPA file photo of Papathemelis.

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