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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK defence rapporteur on KYSEA meeting
  • [02] Commission satisfied with Athens' handling of OA privatisation
  • [03] Institute cites figure on number of illegal migrants in Greece
  • [04] Athens points to Turkish DM's comments
  • [05] Stocks fall 1.94 on Wed.
  • [06] PCs, Net use rises steadily

  • [01] PASOK defence rapporteur on KYSEA meeting

    Main opposition PASOK party defence issues rapporteur Vasso Papandreou, referring to Wednesday's session of the Government Council of Foreign and Defence Affairs (KYSEA), said that the new structure of the armed forces (the second after 2005) for which the briefing at KYSEA took place "is in the wrong direction."

    She said that "the New Democracy (ND) party government is continuing to open new units and staffs to satisfy political favour purposes, resulting in a decrease in the effectiveness of the armed forces and the exhausting of staff. The 15-year armaments programme presented is based on a mistaken structure of forces and objectives that lead to excessive armaments, huge defence expenditures and extravagance. At the present economic conjuncture in particular, this is unacceptable," Papandreou added.

    The rapporteur added that "our country's defence cannot be based on armaments alone. A change in structure is necessary with operational criteria, the training of staff and the improvement of living conditions, the strengthening of inter-service cooperation and overall planning. Steps had been taken in this direction by PASOK but, unfortunately, the ND governent, with its 'reformist' programme, has led the armed forces and the country's defence years back."

    [02] Commission satisfied with Athens' handling of OA privatisation

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- EU Commissioner for transports Antonio Tajani on Wednesday expressed his satisfaction over cooperation between the Greek government and the Commission regarding the thorny Olympic Airways salvation issue.

    Speaking at a press conference here focusing on the Alitalia case, Tajani said the Commission's cooperation in the OA privatisation and with Greek Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis was excellent.

    [03] Institute cites figure on number of illegal migrants in Greece

    The president of the Athens-based Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO) on Wednesday estimated the number of illegal immigrants in the country at between 172,000 to roughly 209,000, speaking at a press conference in the Greek capital.

    IMEPO chief Alexandros Zavos said a relevant study is based on various state sources, including the interior ministry, education ministry, police precincts, local government entities as well as questionnaires supplied by migrants' groups.

    [04] Athens points to Turkish DM's comments

    foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday underlined that "the statements made by the Turkish defense minister are unfortunate, to say the least," in reference to eyebrow-raising comments reportedly expressed by minister Mehmet Vecdi Gonul, namely, that the eradication of Greek and Armenian communities in Turkey was imperative in the process of the establishment of a modern Turkish nation-state. "Such statements are characterised by an unacceptable and dangerous reasoning that should have been left back in the dark past, where it belongs," he added, stressing that clarifications made "a posteriori" are not enough to change the initial negative impressions and the emotions they caused." On whether he shares the optimism expressed by UN special envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer, who spoke of a "steady progress" in the course of the negotiations, Koumoutsakos responded that the essence of the negotiations is what counts and what will determine the outcome of the process. "Based on the developments so far, it is proved that the Greek Cypriot side and Republic of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias have contributed in a substantive manner toward finding a solution ... we are expecting tangible indications of a constructive stance on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side."

    [05] Stocks fall 1.94 on Wed.

    Greek stocks continued a downward slide at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, again affected by negative trends on international markets. The composite index plunged 1.94 pct to end at 2,010.52 points, with turnover a low 198.6 million euros, of which only 1.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with Utilities (5.60 pct), Banks (4.99 pct), and Constructions (3.10 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index plunged 2.43 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.09 pct down and the FTSE 80 index dropped 0.07 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 153 to 72 with another 49 issues unchanged.

    [06] PCs, Net use rises steadily

    A 10-percent rise in the use of personal computers and a 14-percent rise in internet access were registered for 2008, compared to 2007, according to figures released on Wednesday by the National Statistical Service (NSS). Research on the use of IT and communication technology in 2008 was conducted on a sample of 5,045 households nationwide. Also, in the first quarter of 2008, 13.7 percent of internet users in Greece purchased PCs, recording a 5-percent rise compared to the same period last year.
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