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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK on state of economy
  • [02] Minister addresses FAO conference

  • [01] PASOK on state of economy

    The main opposition PASOK party on Wednesday strongly criticised the government on data publicised by the OECD on the Greek economy on the same day and on statements by Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    PASOK party economic affairs rapporteur Louka Katseli said that Alogoskoufis and the government "are currently exposed and accountable to the Greek people and the agencies of the European Union".

    "Every serious observer could from the end of the past year, already, assess that the deficit for 2007 would exceed the 'red line' of 3 percent of GDP. We had warned the government of this, during the discussion on the budget. The government paid no attention at the time. Today, the OECD is confirming the fiscal deviation. It assesses that the deficit for 2007 has exceeded 3 percent of GDP. This creates a major political issue and the government is obliged to provide explanations immediately," she said.

    Katseli further said that Alogoskoufis must reveal what the real amount of the "secret expenditures" is, what are the deficits of hospitals and of ELGA, what are the expenditures for armaments programmes and what are the real interest expenditures for serving the public debt.

    Lastly, the rapporteur called on the finance minister to present citizens with the real state of the Greek economy. An economy in which low growth rates in the region of 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008 are becoming consolidated and high inflation rates exceed 4.5 percent.

    [02] Minister addresses FAO conference

    Agricultural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos addressed the international conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome on Wednesday, stressing that the shortage and high prices of basic foods have created considerable tensions on a worldwide scale over the past two years, as well as over the past months.

    "It is an imperative need, more than ever now, that we should all assume initiatives and policies in the direction of curbing the present crisis and the effective handling of the phenomenon of hunger, instability and fluidity in markets, on a worldwide scale," he said.

    Referring to targets that must be achieved, the minister highlighted as priorities an increase in productivity in the sector of agriculture, providing assistance for the poorer countries, an ambitious agreement in the framework of the Doha Round and, lastly, the redefining of the goal of biofuel production at international level.

    "Greece has already contributed and will continiue to contribute in these efforts, through the implementation of concrete programmes, helping at the same time the most vulnerable countries both on a bilateral and a multilateral level," Kontos concluded.


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