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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek PMI dropped to record low in November
  • [02] New national park created at Axios River wetlands
  • [03] Justice minister on 'European Supervision Order'
  • [04] FM on poverty-social exclusion

  • [01] Greek PMI dropped to record low in November

    Greece's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to an all-time low in November, reflecting a shrinking production, new orders and employment rates in the manufacturing sector of the country. The PMI index fell to 42.3 points, down from 48.1 in October.

    New orders fell for the second consecutive month in November, reflecting a further weakening of demand both from domestic and foreign markets. Lower production and new orders levels led to a decline in job positions in November, at record rates. Commenting on the figures of the Greek PMI, Gemma Wallace, Markit Economics' analyst said although the consequences of the global financial crisis don't seem to affect the Greek manufacturing sector, a recent decline in interest rates by the European Central Bank was decided at the right time. Production and news orders fell for the second consecutive month, while sentiment in the sector have not improved despite lower interest rates and government-sponsored plan to offer 28 billion euros in the economy.

    [02] New national park created at Axios River wetlands

    The wetlands formed by the deltas of the Axios, Loudias, Gallikos and Aliakmonas rivers in northern Greece were on Monday declared a national park based on a joint ministerial decree signed by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias.

    Included in the territory of the park are the areas of land, water and sea around the four rivers, the Kitrou Saltworks, the Kalohori lagoon and the surrounding region.

    Souflias said the park would cover an expanse of 33,800 hectares that comprised a habitat of global importance, one that was a home and breeding ground for several species of animals and plants. The area is also protected under the RAMSAR and Berne treaties.

    He also emphasised the region's major importance as a resting place on the central Mediterranean migration route for birds, as well as an area where several rare species of birds spent the winter. Souflias reported that 277 bird species have been recorded in the territory that will be included in the park, or roughly 63 percent of the total bird species observed in Greece. It is also home to 31 species of mammals.

    [03] Justice minister on 'European Supervision Order'

    Greek Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis on Monday said that Greece was largely in favour of a proposed 'European Supervision Order' for use in pre-trial procedures. He was speaking during a meeting of the European justice ministers' council.

    Commenting on the proposed measure, Hatzigakis said that Greece was following its progress with interest and that it was broadly in line with recent measures taken by the Greek government that were designed to relieve overcrowding in Greek prisons.

    The proposed European framework decision seeks to avert the unnecessary detention pending trial of EU citizens normally resident in another EU member-state, simply to ensure their presence when their case came to trial. Instead, it proposes placing them under the supervision of their home state to be tried and thus avoiding the disruption to their social and professional ties in the country they live in.

    "Our aim is to achieve full equality before the law for citizens of EU member-states, since we are living at a time of constant movement of citizens within the boundaries of the EU as a very simple, daily affair," Hatzigakis noted.

    He said the proposal was of particular interest to Greece, since it was among the member-states that received a steady flow of visitors from all member-states throughout the year.

    The minister emphasised, however, that the measures in no way concerned what he called "habitual and hardened criminals".

    [04] FM on poverty-social exclusion

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking at an event held at a downtown Athens hotel by the society of friends of the homeless foundation on Monday, said that the economic crisis must not be allowed to become a social one as well and harm sensitive groups of the population.

    Her address was based on the theme "poverty-social exclusion. The challenges of the 21st century."

    The foreign minister referred to the policy of the Karamanlis government, which "has defined a focused development policy for shielding the cohesion of Greek society."

    Bakoyannis further referred to the National Social Cohesion Fund, also known as the Fund against Poverty, and stressed the need for sensitisation by businesses on the development of partner social responsibility actions that will contribute to the difficult task of tackling poverty.

    The foreign minister spoke of Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis and praised him "for his considerable contribution to social cohesion actions and the expansion of the social solidarity network."

    She also underlined that "we must feel proud as a country and as a society because we have never experienced extreme phenomena and because humanity and solidarity are the strength of our society and the foundation stone for the development of actions to combat poverty and social exclusion."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis


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