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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis meets with Merchant Marine minister
  • [02] Papoulias received Hellenic Red Cross president
  • [03] Agriculture minister appeals to protesting farmers

  • [01] Karamanlis meets with Merchant Marine minister

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis conferred on Thursday with Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island Policy minister Anastasis Papaligouras on matters concerning coastal shipping, and efforts to meet the needs of the country's island sector.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Papaligouras said that talks focused on coastal shipping in general, and on the funds earmarked for subisidization of the country's sea lines to the border islands in order to fulfill their residents' direct communication needs with the mainland.

    They also discussed the bill being drafted for ratification of the recent agreement signed for concession of the Port of Piraeus' container terminal to the Chinese-based COSCO, which Papaligouras said would be tabled within the next few days in parliament for discussion and vote.

    Papaligouras, who assumed the helm of the ministry in the recent government reshuffle, also noted the ministry's priorities and developments in the field of merchant shipping, as well as matters concerning the Coastguard.

    Replying to a question on the remote (border) islands routes, Papaligouras said that the necessary resources had been secured during a recent meeting he had with the economy and finance minister.

    On Wednesday Karamanlis sent a letter of congratulations to United States President Barack Obama on the assumption of his duties.

    The prime minister stressed his appreciation in his letter for the new U.S. President's commitment to tackling the ongoing global crisis in cooperation with the international community.

    Karamanlis further pointed out that President Obama's momentous speech on Tuesday, that also had an appeal extending beyond the borders of the United States, sent forth the principles of understanding, cooperation, solidarity and of the power of the example, values that both leaders jointly embrace.

    Lastly, Karamanlis expressed his hope of cooperation with President Obama, looking forward to meeting him in the near future.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Papoulias received Hellenic Red Cross president

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday received the president of the Hellenic Red Cross, Andreas Martinis, at the presidential mansion.

    Papoulias was briefed on the Red Cross' mission and the condition of police officer Dimitris Mantzounis, who was shot by urban terrorists ambush in downtown Athens.

    Martinis briefed Papoulias that the police officer is recovering, while praising attending physicians' actions.

    [03] Agriculture minister appeals to protesting farmers

    Agricultural Development and Foods minister Sotiris Hatzigakis on Thursday called on protesting farmers to not come into conflict with society, and announced that measures would be forthcoming for producers within the framework of the EU's Community Support Framework (CSF) and which would not "blow up" the State budget, speaking in parliament in response to a relevant question tabled by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP A. Skyllakos. He further announced that the National Council on Agricultural Policy would be reactivated.

    Responding to Skyllakos' question on what measures the government intended to take in order to safeguard farmers' incomes, Hatzigakis stressed that the government would support the farmers "with or without mobilizations", but noted, however, that it would act within the EU framework.

    "We will not be the scapegoats in the EU with our policy," he said, adding that "we will not blow the budget into the air".

    "We love, respect and support the Greek farmers. But at the same time we also love, respect and support the other weak groups...But I will not break the State or pit the classes against each other for the sake of politicking or so that I can say that I am liked by certain social groups," Hatzigakis warned.

    The minister assured of his and the prime minister's concern and, addressing himself to Skyllakos, said that "soon, that which you call crumbs will be a tangible support", adding that the farmers were a vulnerable and weak social group that needs support, "but I also call on them to understand certain things".

    "They should not come into conflict with society itself" but rather "come to work together (with the government) so that we can find solutions," Hatzigakis said, adding that he believed the farmers were a reasonable sector and would not be "carried away by a certain few who think that with the mobilizations and extreme forms of protests they will seek something to their benefit".

    The government, he explained, would have and will back the farmers, with or without mobilizations on their part.

    Earlier, Skyllakos had said that the ability existed for the 28 billion euros liquidity package for the banking sector "but when it comes to the working classes and the farmers you remember the limitations of the economy".

    As for what the farmers could expect from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it would be "a very small reinforcement that will not cover the year's immense losses" or "slightly larger VAT rebates which, in actuality, will be smaller than last year's", Skyllakos said, adding that "the farmers cannot live this year on the crumbs you are preparing to give".

    Hatzigakis further replied that, money from the 28 billion euros package to the banks would also be chanelled to agricultural enterprises via ATEbank (Agricultural Bank).


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