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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cohabitation bill ratified in principle
  • [02] FinMin press conference
  • [03] Gov't unveils bids for OA

  • [01] Cohabitation bill ratified in principle

    Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said on Wednesday that the bill regulating the cohabitation agreement, marriage, divorce, adoption and social and human relation in general, under present-day conditions was "radical and pioneering, at least for Greek political reality."

    The bill was ratified in principle by the majority in Parliament. The main opposition PASOK party, the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party voted against it, while the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) voted "present."

    Speaking on the bill on "reforms for the family, the child, society and other arrangements," Hatzigakis said that the changes carried out in society shape directly people's personal relations.

    Ruling New Democracy (ND) party rapporteur Katerina Papacosta said the bill was of "extreme importance for Greek society and the Greek framily," while main opposition PASOK party rapporteur Theodora Tzakri termed "shortsighted and deadlocked" the arrangement that excludes same sex couples from concluding a cohabitation agreement.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) representative Antonis Skyllakos said the enactment of the agreement was a fragmental measure, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) rapporteur Theodoros Dritsas spoke of a bill that was "far behind needs and reality that confirms social conservatism" and Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) rapporteur Athanasios Plevris termed it a "monument of hypocrisy."

    [02] FinMin press conference

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday predicted a slowdown in the inflation rate to below 4.0 pct - probably in October - from 4.6 pct in September, and said that a 2009 budget to be tabled to Parliament this month will include measures to support lower-income earners, such as pensioners and debtors.

    Speaking to reporters, Alogoskoufis presented decisions taken during an ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, in the framework of preparing a common European stance against the credit crisis, while he stressed that Greece showed greater resistance to the crisis compared with other Eurozone countries.

    The minister said the 2009 budget will be based on a draft budget plan already tabled to a Parliamentary commission while he noted that prospects of a further widening of the budget deficit were very limited.

    The government will make every effort to supporting lower incomes and the real economy, not only with fiscal actions, but promoting reforms and boosting investments from EU structural funds and joint ventures between public sector and private companies.

    Alogoskoufis also said the new budget will envisage measures to relieving certain categories of debtors mainly suffering from a current financial crisis and stressed that the government would not deviate from a fiscal discipline drive.

    He said Greece, along with other countries, supported a proposal that the IMF should be the supervisor of the international financial system and stressed that a common EU stance would be decided next Friday during an EU Summit.

    Alogoskoufis also said that Greek bankers will finally need the government‚s plan to supporting the banking system, saying that the plan was necessary because the economy needed liquidity. The Greek minister said the banking system should not pull the economy‚s safety valve and warned that the government has ways of directing banks towards a more responsible behavior, while he reiterated that the government would not make any changes in the plan. He also criticized practices during this period of crisis aimed to undermine the country‚s credit system for the own benefit. ?This will not allow,? he said.

    [03] Gov't unveils bids for OA

    The government on Wednesday unveiled the names of bidders who expressed interest in three international tenders to sell Olympic Airlines. The list of bidders was presented after an Inter-ministerial Privatization Commission meeting chaired by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, with Development Minister Christos Folias, Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

    The Inter-ministerial Commission was briefed by the government's financial and legal advisors after they completed evaluation of the submitted bids.

    A total of 13 bids were made for Olympic Airlines' flight operations; 15 for ground handling and 10 for its maintenance and aircraft repair sector.

    The four investment consultants (Lazard, Alpha Bank, Emporiki Bank and NBGI) said the list included: Athens Airways, Chrysler Aviation, Fouad Al Ghanim Group, MyAir, Qatar Airways, Sky Europe and SkyOne for "Pantheon", Athens Airways, Ellaktor, Hellenic Cargo Group, Goldair and Swissport for OA's ground handling services and Athens Airways, Foud Al Ghanim Group and Iberia for OA's technical base.

    One European company, with activities in air transport, is also a bidder, along with five investment funds, for the Greek national carrier's flight operations; one foreign company and seven investment funds are additional bidders for the ground handling services and six investment funds for OA's technical base.

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