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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM conferred with Employment Minister
  • [02] Papandreou meeting with social partners
  • [03] Tatoulis out of ND parliamentary group
  • [04] Exports post rise in September
  • [05] Deputy FM in Chile

  • [01] PM conferred with Employment Minister

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conferred with Employment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Monday, focusing on issues concerning the relief of vulnerable social groups and small and medium sized businesses in view of the ongoing global financial crisis Speaking to reporters afterwards, Petralia stressed that no citizen will be left alone. Responding to a relevant question, the employment minister underlined that the lump sum retirement benefit of civil servants is not at jeopardy, stressing that there is no problem with the social security funds as the government guarantees both pensions and benefits. As regards the unemployment rate, Petralia stated that the government programme and the actions undertaken by the ministry of employment are being refocused, with the aim of preserving the existing job positions while, at the same time, creating new ones as well. Petralia stated that the issue was discussed in detail in the meeting with the prime minister and underlined that the unemployment rate has dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent under the New Democracy (ND) party governance. Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Maximos mansion (government's headquarters)

    [02] Papandreou meeting with social partners

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday presented his party's proposals for confronting the financial and credit crisis to representatives of the social partners.

    Papandreou told reporters afterwards that the meeting aimed at discussion the quality, effectiveness and usefulness of PASOK's proposals and regulations, as well as the legislative initiatives it was advancing.

    He said Monday's meeting was the commencement of a continuous process of open and constructive dialogue, adding that more such meetings would follow, particularly on such issues as agricultural policy, policy on SMEs and tourism policy.

    Papandreou said that the target of all those initiatives by PASOK was to create a new national, developmental and social pact to the benefit of the citizen.

    The PASOK leader stressed that the present conjuncture left no room for complacency and postponement, since the situation in the economy was deteriorating dramatically day by day.

    He said the four fundamental aspects describing the present situation in the economy were a rapid slowdown in economic activity, a sense of insecurity in the households and the producer classes compounded by a slump in the confidence of the consumers, new increases every day in interest on movement capital, business and consumer loans and credit cards while even more onerous were the problems for the sMES, compounded by the low incomes, and full lack of transparency and confusion regarding the management of the 28 billion euros package for the banks aimed at boosting cash flow on the market.

    Papandreou accused the government of not submitting an integrated and reliable proposal and of remaining steadfast in its same dead-end choices that have proved ineffective and harmful.

    PASOK's proposals, on the contrary, were both specific and realistic, and could be characterized by the phrase "security, growth, redistribution, transparency and prospect", and also comprised the party's commitment.

    Those proposals, he continued, aimed at supporting the credit system in order to restore liquidity on the market and reinforce the real economy, supporting the consumers and borrowers, strengthening the market and supporting the SMEs, relieving the financially weaker strata, and confronting unemployment, which he warned would increase dangerously if measures were not taken promptly.

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

    [03] Tatoulis out of ND parliamentary group

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday removed outspoken MP and former deputy minister Petros Tatoulis from ruling New Democracy (ND) party's parliamentary group, announcing his decision in a letter to Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas.

    The decision to oust the Arcadia-elected MP was made known to the press by ND Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, following a meeting with the prime minister.

    Zagoritis said the move comes after a series of moves by Tatoulis over time, indicating that the MP had distanced himself from the party.

    He expressed regret over the development, as it came at a time in which the government was faced with the global financial crisis and trying to provide solutions to the problems faced by the citizens.

    [04] Exports post rise in September

    The overall value of exports rose by 1.3 percent in September, compared with the corresponding month in 2007, reaching 1,613.6 million euros against 1,593.2 million euros in September 20007, according to figures released on Monday by the national statistics service ESYE.

    According to ESYE, the overall value of exports in the 12-month period October 2007 to September 2008 rose by 2.5 percent over the corresponding 12-month period of October 2006 to September 2007.

    The overall value of imports in September rose to 4,836.7 million euros from 4,690.2 million euros in the corresponding month of 2007, posting a 3.1 percent increase.

    The overall value of imports in the 12-month period October 2007 to September 2008 fell by 0.8 percent against the preceding 12-month period of October 2006 to September 2007.

    [05] Deputy FM in Chile

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis was warmly received in Santiago by the members of the ethnic Greek community in the Chilean capital, the third stop of his tour of Latin America. The Greek community, founded back in 1918, numbers some 1,500 individuals, 500 of them in Santiago. According to community leaders, the majority of ethnic Greeks in Chile are in mixed marriages but still dedicated in preserving their Hellenic identity. Speaking in the Greek Cultural Centre in Santiago, Kassimis underlined that the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) first regional conference for Central and South America will be held in the Chilean capital, in recognition of the active Greek community. The visit of the deputy FM to Santiago coincides with the SAE regional convention on Friday, inaugurated in the presence of Archbishop Tarasios of South and Central America, SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis and Greek Parliament MPs. In a meeting he had with his Chilean counterpart, Kassimis discussed ways to upgrade the Greek-Chilean relations and issues of bilateral interest.

    Caption: Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis addresses the ethnic Greek community in Santiago, Chile on Monday 10 November 2008. ANA-MPA/STR

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