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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New FinMin assumes post
  • [02] Humanitarian aid to Gaza

  • [01] New FinMin assumes post

    New Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou on Thursday took over the helm of the ministry from his predecessor and former boss George Alogoskoufis, after the swearing in of the new Cabinet arising from a sweeping government reshuffle the previous day and the first meeting of the new government scheme chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    The outgoing FinMin congratulated Papathanassiou, who served as deputy minister under Alogoskoufis in the previous Cabinet, and noted their very good collaboration over the past years, noting that "I fully briefed him on the challenges faced in the economy" and adding that "in economic policy, others spend and others pay".

    Alogoskoufis further congratulated incumbent deputy ministers Nikos Legas and Antonis Bezas, as well as the new deputy minister Athanassios Bouras, and thanked all his associates and ministry staff, whom he said had accomplished important work.

    Finally, the outgoing minister thanked the prime minister for the confidence he manifested in him since 2004, when New Democracy took over the government and the premier entrusted him with the strategic ministry, which Alogoskoufis headed consistently until now.

    Papathanassiou, in turn, said that Alogoskoufis had worked consistenty and advanced new policies, and supported the course of the Greek economy.

    "I succeed a good friend and honest politican, with whom I collaborated for a number of years, and this collaboration was exceptionally useful," he said.

    Papathanassiou noted that "I am assuming the duties of economy minister in an adverse external economic climate", adding that another major problem was servicing the state debt, and stressing that "2009 will be a year of hard work and responsibility".

    "This is not a time for promises, but for work," the new minister stressed, and listed his priority targets as intensification of the efforts to curb expenditure, combat tax evasion and accelerate the structural changes.

    Papathanassiou further assured that no additional burdens would be imposed on SMEs, farmers and low-income citizens.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of New Finance and Economy Minister Yannis Papathanassiou (L) and outgoing FinMin George Alogoskoufis (R).

    [02] Humanitarian aid to Gaza

    Aid to Palestinians was sent on Thursday after an initiative by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    The aid was despatched in the context of the humanitarian mission "Bridge of Hope". The military aircraft was loaded with a total of 13 tons of medicines, intravenous drips (IVs) and hygiene material, and is destined for arrival at Tel Aviv international airport, and from there on to the Gaza Strip.

    Foreign Ministry officials accompany the aid shipment, which was collected by the ministry in cooperation with the Parliament and the City of Athens.

    This is the second desptach of humanitarian aid from Greece sent to Gaza.

    Last Thursday, New Year's Day, two Greek C-130 military airplanes took off on Thursday with a cargo of 28 tons of humanitarian aid destined for the relief of the injured people in the Gaza Strip, in one of the first foreign aid missions to Palestinians in the wake of Israeli bombings.

    The C-130s, manned by a five-member crew each, departed on Thursday afternoon from the military airport at Elefsina airbase for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, carring one of the largest Greek despatches of blood and blood by-products ever organized, as well as IV drips, antibiotics and other medicinal supplies. In Tel Aviv, the aid was turned over to the World Health Organization (WHO) by a doctor of the Greek National Health Operations Center (EKEPY), for the wounded Palestinians in Gaza

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a relative who shouts as he carries the body of 4-year-old girl Dena Balosha, during her funeral in Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, 29 December 2008. EPA/ALI ALI

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