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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Inner Cabinet meeting on social security reform
  • [02] Interview: Defense Minister
  • [03] Anti-doping draft law

  • [01] Inner Cabinet meeting on social security reform

    The timetable for the implementation of the social security reform was discussed and approved at an Inner Cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia told reporters afterwards that certain pension funds will be incorporated into IKA, (the state-run Social Security Foundation, Greece's largest social security organization) after June 1, and mergers of the remaining pension funds will follow beginning August 1. Referring to proposals for limited wage increases submitted by the governor of the Bank of Greece, and by an experts' committee for raising the layoffs ceiling, she said that committees prepare reports and submit recommendations, but labor policy is planned by the government and the competent minister. Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Interview: Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis stressed that Greece wants all its neighbors to become members of NATO, pointing out that Athens is expecting goodwill gestures from Skopje concerning the FYROM name issue. In an exclusive interview with ANA-MPA, he also underlined that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is contributing to the region's peace and stability by accepting a composite name with a geographic qualifier for FYROM. Meimarakis stated that he is optimistic that a solution will be found to the problem, stressing, however, that he does not know when this will occur considering that FYROM is in a pre-election period. Referring to NATO and its enlargement, he pointed out that Greece wants all neighboring countries to become members, adding that the alliance is now a political organization, rather than a military one, interested in stability and peace and operating under the UN umbrella. NATO will not decide to launch a military operation without an earlier political decision and the UN's consent, he said. The NATO Summit in Bucharest was of historical importance because a decision was reached defining the alliance's new role, he stated, adding that a committee has been formed to hold high level discussions on the NATO-Russia relations and the prospect of being further strengthened. Regarding FYROM, he said that the country is Greece's neighbor, and forging good relations is necessary, stressing that this can only happen if existing problems are resolved. Premier Karamanlis is a Macedon himself, said Meimarakis, and the fact that he accepts a composite name with a geographic qualifier for FYROM is an immense contribution to the region's stability and peace, which should not be regarded as a concession.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis

    [03] Anti-doping draft law

    "It's better to foresee than cure," Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said on Tuesday, outlining the purpose of the measures that will be contained in a new draft law against doping, which will be tabled in Parliament in early May.

    Liapis and Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Yannis Ioannidis stressed at a press conference the State's determination to eradicate the doping plague from sports. Among the measures contained in the new bill is the abolition of most of the benefits currently enjoyed by athletic champions, including their free entry to the higher education institutions.

    Caption: Culture Minister Michalis Liapis (R) and Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Yannis Ioannidis(L) at a press conference in Athens on 22 April 2008 .ANA-MPA/MARIA MAROYANNI


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