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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis to meet finmin, marine and island policy ministers
  • [02] Stylianidis continues Peloponnese tour

  • [01] Karamanlis to meet finmin, marine and island policy ministers

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will have successive meetings on Monday with Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and with Marine and Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis at his offices.

    Following a meeting with the prime minister on Saturday on the course of the economy, the state budget and the finance ministry's legislative work, meanwhile, Alogoskoufis said that the economy moving in a positive trajectory, as was the case with the course of growth and of employment and the development of all the main economic indexes. The minister also said that the economy's development prospects and its positive course in the future as well are secure due to the reforms carried out in past years.

    He further said that the course of the state budget is satisfactory which, as he said, will close in accordance with the predictions contained in the draft plan and data to be presented in the final plan will also be based on the revised GDP.

    Alogoskoufis stressed that the deficit remains below 3 percent in 2007, despite the fact that we must jointly consider the European Union's contribution due to the revision of the GDP. He added that the targets set for 2008 remain as they have been described in the draft plan.

    As regards the course of his ministry's legislative work, Alogoskoufis said that all bills tabled before the elections that had not been ratified are now in the process of being ratified.

    Lastly, Alogoskoufis said that the pensions bill has been tabled in Parliament and will be discussed in the coming weeks, while the bill on the National Social Cohesion Fund on combatting poverty will be tabled in the next two weeks.

    Karamanlis also discussed environmental and water shortage issues on the same day with Stavros Dimas, the European Commission's Commissioner for environmental affairs.

    CAPTION: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Stylianidis continues Peloponnese tour

    Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis continued a tour of the Peloponnese on Sunday afternoon, arriving in the town of Argos accompanied by deputy education ministers Spiros Taliadouros and Andreas Lykourentzos in order to inaugurate a new Life-Long Learning Centre.

    In his speech at the inauguration, Stylianidis stressed that learning must never end and outlined a goal of "people-centred education that does not exclude anyone from knowledge even in the remotest part of the country, because one of the basic political goals of the ministry is digital convergence".

    Touring other areas of the Peloponnese the previous day, Stylianidis had also had attended the 56th Congress of University Rectors with Deputy Education Minister Spiros Taliadouros.

    The congress chairman Prof. Constantine Dimopoulos later said that the meeting had been held chiefly to report any problems or flaws with the new framework legislation for university operation and suggest ways of correcting these to the ministers attending. Dimopoulos also noted that the law for research contained many positive elements, while a second law on postgraduate studies was being evaluated by the academic community, which would submit its proposals.

    Regarding private Greek colleges offering franchise courses from European universities, Dimopoulos noted that their mode of operation was often "unacceptable" and stressed the need for strict control of their operation.

    Stylianidis congratulated Dimopoulos and the Peloponnese University on the organisation of the congress and noted that relations between universities and the ministry were governed by trust. He also stressed the government's willingness to cooperate in ironing out any problems arising in the implementation of the framework law for higher education, saying that the ultimate goal was speed and full autonomy for universities.

    He also noted the ministry's willingness to help university's on building infrastructure and ensuring absorption of funds, adding that the government wouldunveil its proposed legislation for franchise courses and colleges as soon as this was ready.

    The minister ended his visit to the prefecture of Messinia on Sunday by visiting a construction site of the Technological Educational Institute of Kalamata and attending a meeting at the prefecture's headquarters with Messinia Prefect Dimitris Drakos and Kalamata Mayor Panagiotis Nikas, who outlined the problems faced by the region in terms of education.

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