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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New employment minister Petralia sworn in
  • [02] Gov't steadfast on social security reform

  • [01] New employment minister Petralia sworn in

    Fani Palli-Petralia was sworn in on Monday as the country's new employment and social insurances minister -- following the resignation of her predecessor Vassilis Magginas over the weekend -- in the presence of President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Papoulias wished Petralia, a former tourism minister, every success in her task, while he also had a brief discussion with Karamanlis on his three-day official visit to Moscow at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the prime minister due to embark on the visit later in the day.

    Petralia said the government would forge ahead, with responsibility and sensitivity, for a just and viable social security system, without delays, adding that the country owed this to the working people and the next generation.

    She also said that she would seek the largest possible consensus.

    Finally, she noted that she would back proposals that do not change the way pension rates are calculated, increase retirement ages or the level of contributions.

    Caption: New Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia (R) with her predecessor Vassilis Magginas during a hand-over ceremony in Athens on Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. ANA-MPA / O. PANAGIOTOU

    [02] Gov't steadfast on social security reform

    The government spokesman on Monday fielded a barrage of press questions related to the weekend resignation of Vassilis Magginas from the employment and social insurances post and his replacement with veteran New Democracy cadre Fani Palli-Petralia, the former tourism minister, the latest development in the contentious social security reform issue.

    Speaking during his regular press briefing, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros reiterated that the Karamanlis government is unwavering in its decision to proceed with reforms in Greece's creaky pension system.

    "Whatever changes will aim to create a viable social security system in the long term, to the benefit of Greek citizens and society," Antonaros said.

    Moreover, he stressed that the government is still open to proposals by so-called "social partners", "as long as those that speak of proposals actually table them (proposals)".

    Additionally, Antonaros responded to questions over the resignation of Magginas following a week of particular "bad press" due to charges that he employed uninsured foreign workers at his country home, east of Athens, and that the latter residence, in fact, was built with a license listing a kiosk.

    "Vassilis Magginas had the sensitivity to resign, and his resignation was accepted. Mr. Magginas, even from the previous government, had performed much, including for preparation of the social insurance reform," he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of alternate Greek government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros.

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