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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM briefed on new election draft law; receives Albanian President Topi
  • [02] PASOK finalises composition of congress com't
  • [03] FinMin to sign Operational Programmes on Mon.
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM briefed on new election draft law; receives Albanian President Topi

    The new draft election law will be tabled in Parliament this week, whereas proposed reforms in Greece's cavernous public administration were also on the agenda of talks on Monday between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Interior & Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    Afterwards, Karamanlis received visiting Albanian President Bamir Topi at his Maximos Mansion office. The latter is on a three-day state visit to Greece for talks with Greek leadership.

    Later in the afternoon, the premier is scheduled to meet with Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis, a one-time deputy of Karamanlis' ruling New Democracy (ND) party.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek PM Costas Karamanlis

    [02] PASOK finalises composition of congress com't

    Main opposition PASOK party on Monday announced the members of the secretariat of its central congress organising committee (KOES), which were hand-picked by party leader George Papandreou to head the Committee's 11 sectoral subcommittees.

    According to Papandreou, who spoke at the most recent meeting of his party's national council, no cadres who in the past served in a PASOK government or held or hold a parliamentary position have been appointed to the KOES, nor have cadres of major trade unions.

    A PASOK announcement said the party was moving ahead to its next Congress with the "aim of formulating a new progressive political and social majority, adding that the first priority of a successful outcome of this venture is the renewal and unity of the party's forces, combined with the deployment of experienced cadres on the front line of PASOK's daily action in parliament and in the social struggles".

    Papandreou named former president General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) Christos Polyzogopoulos -- who resigned from the umbrella union confederation over the past summer to pursue a political career -- as Secretary of the KOES.

    [03] FinMin to sign Operational Programmes on Mon.

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis will sign the formal commencement of the implementation of the so-called Operational Programmes of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007-2013 in Brussels on Monday, together with European Regional Affairs Commissioner Danuta Hubner and Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities commissioner Vladimir Spidia, a ministry announcement stated on Sunday.

    The Greek delegation at the signing event will also include Deputy Minister Yannis Papathanasiou and ministry secretary general for investments and development Panayiotis Drosos.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The government's proposed measures for reform of the creaky social security system and reactions to professional unions, as well as alleged internal disagreements in ruling New Democracy (ND) party over the same issue, mainly dominated the front pages of Monday's dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Social security: Who the new plan affects - three billion euros in compensation from Greek insurance companies", adding that the government's finalised proposal contains changes to the retirement/pension regime of social security recipients of the 1983-1992 period (newly insured during that period), without changing the general retirement ages (60 for women and 65 for men), but gradually equalising the retirement ages, over a 10-year period, those categories of social security recipients retiring at younger ages.

    APOGEVMATINI: "Pupils holding sit-ins will pay for damages caused at six secondary schools in the Pagrati district of Athens - Lawsuits being filed against the perpetrators for payment of damages of one million euros", adding that, for the first time in the history of the school sit-ins, the education ministry's political leadership passes from "theory into action" and brings the culprits face-to-face with their responsibilities.

    AVRIANI: "Cchanges in the social security system begin with MPs - Government receives message from society", adding that significant changes to MPs' retirement/pension process is being prepared by government in the framework of the social security system's reform.

    CHORA: "Financial breather for three-children families" with benefit to be given by government, in total fulfillment of its commitments, adding that submission of applications for the benefit, which affects 150,000 families, will begin in January.

    ELEFTHERI ORA: " security phenomena - Flurry of mobilisations begin today with strikes and demonstrations", adding that a strike frenzy begins today, as disagreements continue in ND over the social security reforms.

    ELEFTHEROS: "Changes being attempted in social security system creating 'balance of terror' in government and ND", adding that everyone was now awaiting prime minister and ND leader Costas Karamanlis' 'fire extinguishing' intervention at Thursday's meeting of the ND parliamentary group, in order to clear up the landscape.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The new salaries and pensions in the public sector - Analytical charts with the remunerations for 600,000 civil servants, military officers, police and firemen", adding that 3-3.2 percent increases in basic salaries for 440,000 civil servants and 11.1-1.4 percent increases for 155,000 military officers, police, coastguard officers and firemen are foreseen in the government's 2008 incomes policy.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Magginas (employment minister), admirer of Sarkozy, abolishes the 37-year ceiling", saying that the government is raising the minimum working years thresshold (for retirement eligibility) from 37 to 40 years, envious of Sarkozy's glory, who is raising the years from 37.5 to 40 (and 42.5 for the young generation of workers), and adding that the government's measures are causing social oubursts but also internal worry in the ruling party.

    ESTIA: "Social security reforms a political 'one-way street' - The government must not back down", noting that some quarters believe that the government will be forced to retreat on its positions following the reactions caused by mistaken ministerial handlings over the past week on the social security issue, all the more so as the reactions spread to inside New Democracy, some MPs of which hastened to openly declare themselves opposed to any measure that in any way affects the interests and acquired rights of the working people.

    ETHNOS: "Wave of exodus (early retirements) blowing the social security funds into the air - Mass exocus in the fear of new changes to the social security system", adding that the government's policy was giving rise to mass exocus from the funds, as retirement applications are expected to double this year, and opining that, in the public sector alone, more than 18,000 people will open the...exit door by the end of the year.

    TA NEA: "Government counting rebels over the social security reforms, fears leaks among its 152 MPs", adding that the government's fragile 152-seat majority (in the 300-member parliament) was teetering, while the government and ruling party headquarters were in a state of alert, due to the vociferous disagreement by four ND deputies (so far) on the planned reforms.

    VRADYNI: "New package of measures for SMEs - Proclamations for subsidised programmes (in the context of the development ministry-managed 'Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship' Operational Programme 2007-2013) expected to commence in the beginning of the year (2008)".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo.

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