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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch visits Patras
  • [02] Almunia comments on Greek economy
  • [03] Tsipras tours school complex

  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch visits Patras

    A Patriarchal liturgy on Tuesday was held for the first time ever at the Aghios (St.) Andreas Cathedral in the western port city of Patras, on the occasion of a visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to the area, which marks the 100th anniversary of the church's construction. Speaking after the mass, Bartholomew referred to the international financial crisis, stressing that people are being tormented due to the unprecedented economic problems, while he pointed out that a root cause is the fact that people have placed their trust in the power of money, instead of God. Referring to the June 8 earthquake and devastating wildfires that destroyed the prefectures of Achaia and Ilia in August 2007, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed solidarity to the affected people.

    [02] Almunia comments on Greek economy

    The Greek economy is not in a condition of an excessive fiscal deficit, EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters after completion of a Eurogroup economy ministers' meeting in Brussels.

    The EU's Monetary Affairs Commissioner, commenting on a European Commission report showing that Greece's fiscal deficit exceeded 3.0 pct of GDP in 2007, said it was a "temporary phenomenon" that lasted only one year, while he noted that Commission was not going to begin excessive fiscal deficit procedures against the country. The EU's executive will draft a report for the monetary and economic commission of the EU-27 but it did not intend to recommend any action against Greece, Almunia said.

    The EU Commissioner said a forecast that Greece's fiscal deficit will stand at 3.0 pct of GDP in 2010 was based on the assumption that the Greek state budget for the year will have the same directions as that of 2007. However, he added, the Commission was aware that state budgets' directions in member states changed from year to year, and stressed that the Commission was also changing its forecasts.

    Both Almunia and Eurogroup's chairman, Jean-Claude Juncker, reiterated that an EU Stability and Growth Pact would not be abolished, or relaxed and stressed that the Pact itself envisages a more relaxed implementation of existing rules during times of economic hardships.

    Caption: A photo dated 27 August 2007 shows the building of the European Central Bank (ECB) behind the Euro sign logo by the artist Otmar Hoerl in Frankfurt, Germany. ANA-MPA / EPA/BORIS ROESSLER

    [03] Tsipras tours school complex

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday visited the large secondary school complex in the Grava district of Athens, where he talked with teachers and pupils. Later, Tsipras went to the Athens Town Hall and met with Athens municipality general secretary.

    Meanwhile, the parliamentary head of the Radical Leftist Coalition (SYRIZA) Alekos Alavanos met with the presidium of the Federation of Insurance Companies of Greece.

    Alavanos also tabled a question in Parliament towards Education Minister Evripides Stylianidis, calling the state to "close down" the private tertiary education institutes that lead to diplomas from affiliated universities in the European Union. He also called for respect for Article 16 of the Constitution, the unique provision that continues to ban all but state-run universities and colleges in the country.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras

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