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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 <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: EU role in easing credit crisis
  • [02] 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival opens on Nov. 14
  • [03] FinMin: Greek economy more resistant
  • [04] Plan to raise WWII aircraft off Crete

  • [01] Papandreou: EU role in easing credit crisis

    Europe is now called upon to play a major role in dealing with the current financial crisis, both on a European and international level, main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou said on Tuesday after a meeting here with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    "At a time of emergency needs and major economic crisis, it is necessary for the tools and policies that Europe has, such as the Stability Pact and the European Central Bank, to adapt to the needs of the time, so that they protect European citizens, employment and pensions, support small and middle-sized businesses, contribute to substantive and green development and the protection of the environment," he stressed.

    Papandreou noted that Europe was also called to play an international role in dealing with the crisis, especially in view of possible developments in the United States, adding that this should "promote the progressive agenda on a global level".

    [02] 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival opens on Nov. 14

    The 10-day-long 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival opens on Nov. 14, again reprising its role as a venue for most of the past year's Greek-language film productions, while a total of 14 foreign productions by "new" directors will be screened in the international competition section, including two local films. Events held on the sidelines of the film festival include exhibitions, special screenings and appearances by noted film industry veterans who will be honoured for their work. Award-winning Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, prolific Hollywood director Oliver Stone, who will unveil his new film "W", along with "radical" Japanese actor and director Takeshi Kitano, unconventional English director Terence Davies, noted Argentinean two-time Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla and Brazilian director Walter Salles are but a few of the "major names" expected to visit this year's festival

    [03] FinMin: Greek economy more resistant

    The Greek economy is showing a greater resistance to an unprecedented international financial crisis compared with other Eurozone countries, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters after an ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, Alogoskoufis noted that prospects of a further expansion of the fiscal deficit were extremely limited that in that framework the government would exhaust all limits to protecting low income earners from the impact of the crisis.

    The minister said the global financial crisis nevertheless affected the Greek economy, mainly because of low competitiveness and fiscal imbalances that were inherited from past governments. Alogoskoufis said a huge public debt was the "weak link" of the economy that was limiting the range of fiscal policy in the country. He noted that the government was drafting a final budget plan, within the framework set by a pre-draft budget already tabled to Parliament.

    Alogoskoufis said the government was implementing its reform program consistently and promoting a plan to boost liquidity in domestic markets, with the aim to lower lending interest rates and facilitate lending to enterprises and households. He stressed that the government had an integrated plan to deal with the crisis and that developments so far showed that government policy was effective.

    The minister said government policy ensured the interests of citizens and of the country. "It is a policy of responsibility, a policy with prospects," he noted.

    He reiterated that Greece could not afford to deviate from a fiscal discipline effort, a policy together with high growth rates were the main barriers defending Greek citizens from the crisis, while he noted that European Commission's forecasts for the Greek economy confirmed its resistance.

    [04] Plan to raise WWII aircraft off Crete

    The Hellenic Air Force will undertake to retrieve a WWII-era German fighter discovered at the bottom of the sea, off Hania on Crete, it was announced on Tuesday.

    An underwater salvage unit has arrived in the port city of Hania to examine the plane's wreckage, amongst the many WWII remnants discovered in the wider Maleme district, which hosted an important airstrip during the Nazi airborne invasion of Crete in May 1941.

    The submerged aircraft, identified as a Messerschmitt Bf 109, is one of the 1,280 warplanes dispatched by the Luftwaffe to fight in the "Battle of Crete", and one of the 210 shot down by the Allies or disabled during the operation. A total of 4,465 German paratroopers were also killed during the invasion.

    The specific aircraft was found lying upside down at the bottom of the sea, with a large part of it is covered by sand. Its propeller blade and wings are intact and despite the passing of 68 years its fuselage is in good condition. The plane's wheels are folded under its wings with its manufacturer's insignia still clearly visible. Most impressive is the fact that the engine's rubber collars remain unaffected, while certain aluminium parts of the fuselage are still shiny.

    The goal is to have the plane exhibited with other WWII artifacts at an Air Force Museum in Maleme.

    Caption: A flying World War II-Messerschmitt fighter during the shooting of a Hollywood film production in Loepten, Germany, on 19 July 2007. ANA-MPA/ EPA/Arno Burgi


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