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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM calls for consensus to deal with econ crisis
  • [02] Ministers says 4th CSF to focus on provinces
  • [03] Papandreou : Top priority will be protection of financially weaker
  • [04] Weather Monday: Clouds, sleet
  • [05] FinMin: Public debt the problem
  • [06] Karatzaferis against early elections
  • [07] Tsipras addresses party congress

  • [01] PM calls for consensus to deal with econ crisis

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday toured Fthiotida prefecture of central Greece, where he called efforts to deal with the ongoing global financial crisis a "national issue", while again urging for the contribution of all political and social forces in the country to exit the crisis unscathed.

    "Our experience from history does not permit any illusions, whenever we Greeks were disunited, whenever we put petty politics first, whenever we adopted divisive practices the result was negative for all, sometimes it was even disastrous for the country. When we were united we have reached lofty targets; we successfully faced major challenges," he said.

    The premier visited a construction site for the upgraded Malliakos stretch of the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway - once amongst the most dangerous portions of the national roadway system -- and afterwards met with Lamia Mayor George Kotronias, Fthiotida prefect Thanassis Himaras and other local officials. He also visited the museum at the Thermopylae site and a railroad tunnel project.

    "I am not here to give out promises," he said Karamanlis, adding that 'big words' in such difficult times are of no substance.

    "I am here to talk with you so we can understand each other, to see what we can do best for the country, the prefecture, the municipality."

    Karamanlis called the financial crisis the worst after the end of WWII, stressing that the country cannot afford any more social clashes or irresponsible policies. "Consent on basic issues is imperative".

    "In such times saying no to everything is unconscionable as is the attempt to downgrade everything," he said in referring to the opposition.

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

    [02] Ministers says 4th CSF to focus on provinces

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Saturday, in an address in the city of Tripolis, southern Greece, said the country's developmental course is closely linked with the provinces' growth, the reason why the government will allocate more than 80 percent of the 4th Community Support Framework to the provinces.

    Referring to local government administrative reforms, Pavlopoulos said the government has made it clear that funding sources come first before proceeding with reforms, adding that the economic crisis has changed priorities. "Whenever though the crisis starts to ease, we will proceed."

    On early election speculation, Pavlopoulos said elections will take place when our tenure is completed, while he condemned PASOK for spreading such rumors.

    Commenting on results of opinion polls indicating a PASOK lead, Pavlopoulos said polls show PASOK with a lead but not a "dynamic lead".

    During his speech, he said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and ruling ND are the only suitable political forces able to deal with the current developments.

    [03] Papandreou : Top priority will be protection of financially weaker

    Main opposition PASOK's top priority, if it wins the next elections, will be the greater protection of the low-and middle-income levels of society, PASOK leader George Papandreou was quoted in an interview carried by the Sunday edition of an Athens newspaper.

    Papandreou insisted on an increase of public investments to boost the local economy.

    He also said PASOK's priority is the re-establishment of the social state through more spending in health and education and provisions to cut households' expenses".

    Among other changes, PASOK will attempt to limit the public sector's waste by studying and examining the articles of the state budget to find out where waste exists, adding that "we will spend where needed..."

    PASOK' leader said his government will radically change the tax system and transfer the burden from the low to the high-income levels, who are able today to evade taxes.

    Concluding, Papandreou pointed at PASOK's plan to deal with the financial crisis, which does not only deal with its management but is directly connected with another general plan to prepare the country for the future".

    The interview was carried in the Sunday edition of "Eleftherotypia".

    [04] Weather Monday: Clouds, sleet

    Rain and light snowfall is forecast for Monday throughout most of Greece. Morning snowfall in the north with temperatures ranging from -7C to 10C. Clouds and sleet on the rest of the mainland and southern Greece, -1C to 11C. Chance of rain on the islands, 5C to 13C. Overcast in Athens, 1C-10C. Scattered clouds in Thessaloniki, -2C to 4C.

    [05] FinMin: Public debt the problem

    Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou reiterated stressed that the possibility of EU supervision of the Greek economy does not frighten the government, noting that "the process of excessive deficit does not bother us ... such a procedure doesn't concern only Greece but also four other countries."

    He pointed out that the problem is not the excessive deficit but the high public debt and the cost of borrowing, the reason he is requesting drastic cutbacks in public spending, underlining that the "economy ministry's cutbacks are not enough, all ministries must proceed with mandatory cutbacks and must closely examine their spending."

    [06] Karatzaferis against early elections

    Popular Orthodox Party (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis on Sunday reiterated that he is against early elections in the midst of the ongoing economic crisis and a brewing social crisis, as he said, speaking in an interview carried by the Sunday edition of "Eleftheros Typos".

    Instead of early elections, Karatzaferis proposes a wider consensus and called on the prime minister to "abandon his arrogance and ask for this wider consensus", saying there are personalities in the political world that can assume responsibilities in order to "get the country out of the swamp".

    Karatzaferis said he would be open to the prospect of serving the country if Karamanlis called for it today, adding that ruling New Democracy's marginal majority in Parliament cannot bring about a smooth development in the prevailing situation".

    On the possibility of PASOK-SYRIZA cooperation, Karatzaferis said SYRIZA's presence in the government is not necessary, while he characterised SYRIZA's positions extreme.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Popular Orthodox Party (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis

    [07] Tsipras addresses party congress

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to lead the country towards a" democratic exit" from the crisis, as he said, via early elections.

    In an address on the closing day of a Synaspismos standing congress, Tsipras referred to the consequences of the economic crisis and gave credit to his party programme, stressing that it is a realistic programme that meets working class, youth and poor people's needs -- and does not benefit bankers of profiteers".

    In a criticism of bipartisanism, Tsipras said the governments of the two mainstream parties have dismantled society and made an alliance with big capital in order to ensure their governance, adding that "the development has turned into toxic products and their derivatives".

    "The dilemma on the verge of general elections is that now people will have a choice: Whether to support the powerful parties or to support the left".

    Caption: Synaspismos party leader Alexis Tsipras at his party Congress in Athens on Friday 13 February 2009. ANA-MPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

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