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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis briefed by FinMin on CSF
  • [02] Papandreou meets with Chambers' union
  • [03] FinMin addresses EESC conf'

  • [01] Karamanlis briefed by FinMin on CSF

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Tuesday with Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, to review the course of the Third Community Support Framework (CSF), the biggest part of which will be completed this year, while some programs under the CSF will be completed in 2009, and chiefly those concerning the fire-stricken regions of the country, according to statements made to the press by Alogoskoufis after the meeting.

    The minister noted that Greece had on Monday signed with visiting EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hubner, an agreement for the disbursal of 90 million euros in EU aid for the fire-stricken areas, which he said would go to the reconstruction programs for those regions.

    He said it was very significant that the EU was assisting in the reconstruction process, adding that there was good cooperation with the Community services also in the closing of the Third CSF and the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), and things were progressing well.

    Alogoskoufis said that he also discussed with the prime minister a draft law currently in parliament concerning "very important issues" pertaining to the budget and the public finances.

    The bill, he added, also concerns "the major issue facing our society, which is stamping out tax evasion", as well as transparency in the wider public sector through the abolition of ministries' special accounts, which would henceforth be contained in the state budget.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (R) and Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis (L)

    [02] Papandreou meets with Chambers' union

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou met on Tuesday with the presidium of the Central Union of Chambers, headed by Union president George Kasimatis.

    Kasimatis told reporters afterwards that one of the top issues occupying the chambers is that there will be no new "surprises", especially on tax issues, adding that the Union was opposed to surprises, particularly given that the country was currently in the last four-month period of the year and of execution of the 2008 budget, adding that the new tax measures were "steps backward" for the economy.

    Describing the discussion with Papandreou as "constructive", Kasimatis said they exchanged views not only on taxation issues but also on the credit system, investments, port policy, the wider public sector, and the DEKO public utilities and organizations.

    He expressed believe that many of the recommendations put forward by the Union "will found ground for new institutional changes that will aid not only the country's economy, but also the Greek citizen and consumer, to whom we must pay attention and provide protection".

    Papandreou launched a series of meetings on Monday ahead of his visit to the 73rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)

    The PASOK leader will be visiting Thessaloniki from 11 to 14 September, combining his visit to the TIF with other activities and events, while he will speak at the Vellidis center on Saturday, September 13, outlining the PASOK positions, and will give a press conference at the Center at noon on the following day.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou

    [03] FinMin addresses EESC conf'

    Businessmen must abide by their obligation to pay their share of taxes, economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis said on Tuesday, addressing the second day of a two-day European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) biennial conference on "Entrepreneurship with a human face" in Athens.

    Alogoskoufis said that the target was to broaden the number of socially sensitive businesses through enhancement of incentives in that direction, and noted that, in tandem, the consumers should reward such businesses with their attitude.

    He stressed that in recent years Greek business enterprises have taken substantial steps in the direction of materializing actions in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, but warned that this should not cause complacency.

    Alogoskoufis said that implementation of law by businesses enterprises was the responsibility of everyone, and not only the State, and noted that the businesses themselves should proceed one step forward in the implementation of the laws and take measures with respect to their employees and the environment.

    Economic and Social Committee Hellas president Christos Polyzogopoulos pointed out that many steps have been taken in Greece to create an auspicious business environment, but added that even greater effort was required with respect to further reduction of bureaucracy and management cost, promoting growth, with the focus on SMEs, and boosting competitiveness in general.

    "We need to advance at a faster pace in actions and policies related to research and technology, as well as in the training and education of the human potential at business level," he added.

    EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, stressed the role of consumers as the driving force of the market European-wide, and noted that businesses and consumers should not be considered as antagonists between themselves in the new single market being created. She further underlined the importance of informing consumers on issues concerning them, and on enhancing the institutional framework on consumer issues, at EU level.

    EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hubner, said that the Europe of the peripheries can stand at the side of entrepreneurship, and expressed satisfaction following her tour in Greece in the past days, during which, she said, she ascertained immense progress in important infrastructure projects.

    Caption: Economy and Finance minister addresses at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) biennial conference on "Entrepreneurship with a human face" in Athens.


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