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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation
  • [02] PASOK on economic policy
  • [03] Inner Cabinet on crisis

  • [01] Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday night, congratulating him on his election, wishing him success in tackling the challenges that he will be facing in the years to come and stressing that he is looking forward to meeting him in the near future.

    Karamanlis reassured Obama that Greece will provide full support for the fulfillment of the great hopes that his election has created.

    He further said that the greatest challenge today is the economic crisis whose handling constitutes a top priority for all, since the international economy is being faced with great and multidimensional adjustments.

    Karamanlis also told Obama that his election has taken place in a crucial conjuncture in which Europe, the United States and other partners must jointly tackle the challenges.

    The prime minister went on to say that the Greek American community has contributed and is continuing to contribute to American society.

    Karamanlis assured Obama that he appreciates in particular the clear and steadfast positions that he has taken on issues of Greek interest and pointed out that he is looking forward to close cooperation with the aim of finding solutions for all these issues, as well as the deepening of Greek-U.S. relations in all sectors.

    On his part, Obama thanked the prime minister for his wishes and underlined the great appreciation that he feels for the role of the Greek American society which, as he said, he knows well, having good friends in its ranks.

    Obama also noted that he has special appreciation for Greece's role in Europe and the wider region, expressing the wish that he will be having the opportunity in the near future of visiting the country about which he knows a great deal but without, however, having visited it so far.

    [02] PASOK on economic policy

    Main opposition PASOK deputy and economy rapporteur Louka Katseli on Wednesday strongly criticised the government's economic policy, referring to an inner cabinet meeting focusing on the economy.

    "Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis lives in his own virtual reality. He has lost all critical capacity of real problems; the capacity of credibly administrating the crisis and taking the necessary measures for an exit from the crisis," Katseli said in a statement.

    "At a moment when the market has frozen, economic activity is slowing at a fast pace and the danger of mass dismissals is visible, he declares that purchasing demand is being sufficiently supported ... It is obvious that the government either has no intention or is unable to prepare and table in Parliament and the European Commission a revised and updated Stability and Development Programme for the 2008-2011 period, as it is obliged to," Katseli charged.

    [03] Inner Cabinet on crisis

    "Greece has not yet seen any major consequences from the global financial crisis and I hope we will not see them," Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Wednesday following an Inner Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Alogoskoufis said he briefed the premier and other Cabinet ministers over the results of recent Eurogroup and Ecofin council meetings.

    "Europe is moving in a coordinated manner and we are positively examining proposals made by the European Commission for a more flexible implementation of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, to be able through fiscal measures and liquidity boosting actions to deal with this unprecedented crisis," he said.

    Many European countries have already fallen into a recession, with unemployment rising and of course a coordinated answer was needed.

    The minister underlined that the fact that Greece was suffering less, compared with other countries, was attributed to the efficiency of the government's policy, while he stressed that the government will continue taking initiatives to deal with any future problems, within the limitation of a fiscal consolidation policy.

    Alogoskoufis reiterated that a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy was one of the first such programmes in Europe and noted that the plan would significantly help economic growth next year.

    He said that the programme was currently implemented and added that the government was examining ways to help lower incomes, unemployed people or anyone facing problems in repaying their bank debt.

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