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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou addresses KEDKE conference

  • [01] Papandreou addresses KEDKE conference

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addressed the annual regular conference of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Wednesday, stressing that the European Union's proposal to tackle the economic crisis is a positive initiative and a first step, but it falls short of Europe's needs.

    "Europe must play a role at global level, but it must also protect its citizens from the oncoming recession," he said.

    Papandreou recalled proposals he had made personally to European Commission President Jose Barroso, such as specific investments being excluded from the assessment of each member-state's permissible fiscal deficit.

    More specifically, public investments and infrastructures for education and reasearch and the tackling of unemployment must be excluded, as well as defence expenditures that are important for such countries as Greece.

    Moreover, the European Central Bank must not play a supervisory role alone, but it must promote growth and employment, while a European Fund must also be created to support the real economy and Europe must assume an initiative to support the economies of Balkan countries.

    Referring to the government, the PASOK leader said that the deadlocks in its economic policy are fully reflected in the 2009 budget, stressing that "it is a budget leading large sections of Greek society to poverty, undermining social cohesion and strangling the country's economic perspective."

    Focusing on what kind of a state his party desires, Papandreou said that what is needed is a more powerful and a more competent state.

    Lastly, Papandreou referred to the social and welfare structures with which municipalities function, pointing out that many of them are closing down and others are in danger. He called on the government to protect them and added that the state and local administration must take initiatives immediately to help sensitive social groups.


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