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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-31

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis to meet with GSEE presidium
  • [02] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday
  • [03] FM: Greece to bring Olgac case to UN
  • [04] OA tenders under evaluation
  • [05] Development minister on crisis
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM Karamanlis to meet with GSEE presidium

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to meet on Monday with the presidium of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE).

    The premier chaired a meeting on Friday of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Economy, which discussed the updated three-year stability program that was submitted later in the day by Greece to the EU.

    Presenting the updated Stability and Growth program for the period 2008-2011 later, economy and finance minister Yiannis Papathanassiou stressed that Greece is one of the five Eurozone member-states to achieve a positive economic growth rate in 2009.

    He also said it was the government‚s plan to deal with a global crisis and exiting stronger than before. The main axes of the plan are supporting growth and employment, reducing deficits and supporting lower incomes.

    ?The crisis has led to higher deficits, while there is also the problem with a high public debt that burdens the country,? said, adding that the government was seeking to reduce the deficit, the debt and to curtail overspending in the wider public sector. ?We will support vulnerable groups of the population and we will accelerate structural changes, promoting market deregulation and attracting investments,? he told reporters.

    The Stability and Growth program envisages that the fiscal deficit would be 3.7 pct in 2008 and 2009, falling to 3.2 pct in 2010 and 2.6 pct in 2011. The economy is expected to grow by 1.1 pct this year, while employment is projected to grow by 0.2 pct this year and by 0.6 pct and 0.7 pct in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Unemployment is expected to grow from 7.5 pct in 2008 to 8.0 pct this year and to remain at this level by 2011, before starting to fall.

    The program also envisages lower budget revenues (by 2.5 billion euros compared with 2009 budget provisions) reflecting reduced proceeds from direct taxation (600 mln euros), lower revenues from indirect taxation (1.6 billion euros), reduced revenues from rescheduling of outstanding tax debt (220 mln) and higher tax returns (400 mln euros).

    The Greek economy is projected to grow by 1.1 pct this year, 1.6 pct in 2010 and 2.3 pct in 2011, according to the program which was submitted to the European Union.

    The program also envisages privatization revenues totaling at least 1.0 billion euros and that hirings in the public sector would be drastically limited.

    ?We are witnessing an unprecedented international crisis. The government has the plan to deal with the crisis, to strengthen production and labour forces along with the competitiveness of Greek products and services. Greece can deal with the crisis and exit from it in a better and stronger position,? Papathanassiou said.

    [02] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday

    Adverse weather was forecast throughout Greece for Sunday, with heavy rainfall, storms and high winds beginning n the west and spreading to the rest of the country. Overcast in Athens, turning to rain at night, and temperatures ranging from 5C to 13 C. The same in Thessaloniki, with chance of light snowfall on high ground, growing in intensity at night, and temperatures ranging from 4 C to 10 C.

    [03] FM: Greece to bring Olgac case to UN

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said in a newspaper interview appearing on Saturday that in no instance would Greece limit itself to a verbal condemnation but would bring the issue before the UN and its Human Rights Council in Geneva, in reference to the recent admission by Turkish actor Attila Olgac of atrocities committed by Turkey during its 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

    Olgac recently admitted on Turkish television that he killed 10 Greek Cypriots, including a Greek Cypriot prisoner of war, during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    [04] OA tenders under evaluation

    The binding tenders submitted for the acquisition of national carrier Olympic Airways were in the process of being evaluated, as the deadline set out in the international tender for the three companies of the OA Group -- flights, ground service and technical back-up -- expired at midnight Friday.

    The tenders were being evaluated by the privatization consultants that have been appointed by the Greek State, who will inform the government, namely the Interministerial Committee on Denationalizations, on the details of the tenders, namely the price, the investment plans and the conditions set out by the bidders. A commissioner designated by the European Commission is also taking part in the evaluation procedure.

    The outcome of the tender is expected to be announced in the coming week.

    [05] Development minister on crisis

    The government's focus was on shielding the economy in this period of international crisis, boosting growth, and supporting the more vulnerable social groups, development minister Costis Hatzidakis said in a newspaper interview appearing on Saturday.

    Hatzidakis also said that high prices were not combated with "shows in the open-air produce markets" but through the proper operation of competition and enhancement of consumer awareness, adding, however, that wherever intervention was needed, the government would not be lenient with anyone.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Greece's updated Stability Program, the meeting between main opposition PASOK and SYRIZA leaders Andreas Papandreou and Alekos Alavanos, and political developments were the main front-page items in Saturday's dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "12 measures against the financial crisis, with the focus on reduction of state wasteful spending and boosting employment".

    APOGEVMATINI: "30 changes in this year's nationwide university entrance exams - 16 new Departments in Universities (AEI) and Technical colleges (TEI), 14 (university) Schools renamed".

    AVGHI: "Papandreou-Alavanos: Together in actions, but no to political collaboration".

    AVRIANI: "Big kickbacks were given by more German giants (in addition to Siemens) that monopolized the major contracts, public works and procurements during the Simitis (PASOK former priime minister) governance".

    CHORA: "6 central axes for a new ecnomy - What the Stability Program foresees".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "In-depth interview with a veteran who fought in Cyprus during the 1974 Turkish invasion: The Turks committed (war) crimes in Cyprus".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Message by Dora (foreign minister Bakoyannis) addressed inside and outside ND, in interview".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "18 SOS measures for social shield in 2009 - No new taxes - Targeted interventions for the financially weaker in the three-year Stability Program".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Salaries frozen - Three-year austerity foreseen in new Stability Program".

    ESTIA: "Wasteful spending curbed in public sector".

    ETHNOS: "Three-year tunnel of austerity - Real salary increases below the inflation rate".

    KATHIMERINI: "Restricution of expenditures".

    LOGOS: "Pessimistic messages from the economy front".

    NIKI: "New cold shower - Greeks in tight squeeze for another three years".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Common front for the just demands of the small and medium size farmers".

    TA NEA: "Masked program for tough austerity - 6.3 billion euros increase in taxes without...measures - Deep cuts to salaries, hirings".

    TO VIMA: "180-degree turnabout on the economy, with eyes on the crisis and elections".

    VRADYNI: "16 new Departments in the AEI and TEI will operate as of the coming academic year in cities of the periphery".


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