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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: EU can contribute to crisis handling
  • [02] Merchant marine minister holds talks with European Commission vice president

  • [01] PM: EU can contribute to crisis handling

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Friday that the European Union has shown that it can contribute actively to the handling of the global credit crisis, with the means at its disposal adding that the EU's special summit in Brussels provided the opportunity for proposals, which the EU will be promoting at the Washington summit on reforming the international monetary system, to be shaped jointly.

    Summing up the results of the special summit, Karamanlis said that the European Commission proposed on Friday, with the purpose of tackling the international economic crisis, an approach based on two pylons: Firstly, on a new monetary architecture in the framework of which a balanced intervention is required to support the banking sector. Secondly, on confronting the challenges of the crisis, namely in real economy.

    The prime minister further said that the EU will act on the basis of a four-point proposal presented by the French Presidency with regard to the changes that must take place in the architecture of the international monetary system.

    The new system that will be created must, as he stressed, have greater transparency and better supervision. Supervision must be entrusted to the International Monetary Fund, so that crises such as the present one will be avoided in the future.

    "It is certain that we would not have reached the current serious crisis if the supervision of the monetary system had been better and its transparency had been greater," the prime minister said.

    Commenting on recent economic predictions made by the European Commission, Karamanlis did not conceal the fact that "the news for the EU and for the eurozone countries in particular is not at all pleasant."

    He noted, however, that as far as Greece is concerned, the Commission is predicting better performances than almost all the eurozone countries.

    In parallel, the prime minister stressed that the Greek government is preparing specialised measures to relieve the financially weaker who, as he noted, are bearing a disproportionately big burden due to the repercussions of the crisis.

    Karamanlis went on to say that a continuous effort and an integrated growth plan is necessary, which will support employment, small and medium-size businesses, households and incomes.

    He reminded that Greece was among the first countries in the EU to guarantee citizens' bank deposits which, as he underlined, shielded confidence in the Greek monetary system.

    He also recalled the plan to boost the economy's fluidity which aimed at the smooth funding of businesses, and with good terms, and which is being discussed in Parliament. Moreover, he referred to initiatives to back small and medium-size businesses, such as the guarantee fund guaranteeing 80 percent of their loans.

    Referring to the role of banks in Greece, Karamanlis indirectly but clearly called on them once again to perform their task, stressing that no one has the right to convey the repercussions of the crisis to the citizens.

    Lastly, he referred to the issue of high prices, saying that market checks have been intensified with the purpose of dealing a blow at profiteering and that those who have not received the message of government determination will pay the price of their options.

    CAPTION: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arriving at the EU Special Summit in Brussels on Friday. (EPA Photo)

    [02] Merchant marine minister holds talks with European Commission vice president

    Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island Policy Minister Anastasis Papaligouras met on Friday with European Commission Vice President and Transport Commissioner Antonio Tagani with Greece receiving assurances that the European Commissioner will support the country's positions.

    Systematic cooperation at experts level was also agreed and, in this framework, a new meeting will be held in Brussels in early December and port infrastructure issues will also be discussed.

    Progress in the renewal of the Greek Register's recognition by the European Commission was ascertained during the talks on the issue of greenhouse exhaust emissions by ships, as well as on the issue of sea inland transport-Cabotage.

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