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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM calls for political, social responsibility
  • [02] Papandreou addresses supporters in Kalamata
  • [03] Greek teens regular Internet users

  • [01] PM calls for political, social responsibility

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday again called for political and social responsibility to deal with the economic crisis, addressing the general assembly of the Association of Insurance Companies of Greece. He said the ongoing economic storm around the world mandates that political forces assume their obligations and take a clear-cut position.

    He said the government's goal was to shore up the economy, as it has committed itself to doing, adding that the social needs of the present must not undermine the country's future.

    Karamanlis further said that the updated 2008-2011 Stability and Growth Programme was realistic, and anticipated that its targets would be attained.

    He also stressed that uncertainty was the only prevailing and known element of the present developments, adding that it was not by chance that, in the space of 14 months, the EU's forecasts for growth and the economy had been altered, for the worse, four times.

    Economy and finance minister Yiannis Papathanassiou, addressing the same event, referred to new legislation for streamlining and transparency in the insurance sector, and stressed that enterprises should themselves adapt activities on the basis of social responsibility.

    Association president Fokion Bravos cited a need for a national plan for the strategic development of the insurance sector, calling for dialogue among all sides involved for the drafting of such a national strategy, garnering a positive response by the premier.

    [02] Papandreou addresses supporters in Kalamata

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Sunday again demanded early elections this June to coincide with European Parliament elections, calling on the prime minister to declare elections and to agree on a consensus candidate for president of the republic.

    Papandreou, who spoke to supporters in the southeastern port city of Kalamata, charged that PM Costas Karamanlis is ignoring his demands.

    "PASOK doesn't call for elections for its own sake but for the country's sake. If we only cared for our party's interests we would let the government to fall apart, day after day. We only want to avoid the worst," he said, adding that "even if the following day is difficult we are ready to deal with it."

    He called on the people to "hold their head up high" and to know that there is hope for the country, while referring to the government he said it should "step back for Greece to pass; let the people speak".

    He criticised the government as having failed in all sectors and was critical over government's policy in agriculture and on public sector spending.

    "The country is in the midst of a crisis and needs to increase public investments, and the government has not only reduced them but has not taken advantage of even a single euro of the 4th CSF, leaving the country unprotected before the global economic crisis."

    Papandreou referred to the major and necessary reforms that must be made in the country, such as decentralisation, a new development model based on "green" development and an investment in human resources.

    He promised to create a "just state", pointing out that markets do not adjust themselves because this is a recipe of destruction. He also promised that Greece will recover its credibility in Europe, the Balkans and internationally, because PASOK's government will be a credible negotiator.

    "We can unite Greeks with a radical programme and we will be the winners of this battle," he concluded.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addresses his party supporters in Kalamata. ANA-MPA/NIKITAS KOTSIARIS

    [03] Greek teens regular Internet users

    The percentage of Greek adolescents with regular daily or even once-a-week use of a computer totaled 88.2 percent in the first quarter of 2008, while the percentage of juveniles using the Internet totaled 71.7 pct over the same period, the National Statistics Service announced on Monday.

    The percentage of the same group using a mobile telephone over the same period totaled 86.5 pct.

    In a report on the use of information technology and hi-tech communications by Greek households in 2008, the statistical service said the percentage of adolescents aged 12-15 years with access to the Internet totaled 84.9 percent in the first three months of 2008.

    The majority of the same age group that use either a computer or have access to the Internet did so from either their schools or homes. Access rates from other areas, Internet cafes, public libraries, cultural and athletic clubs, totaled 23.5 pct for computer use and 28.3 pct for Internet access.

    Some 68.3 pct of Internet cafes' visitors were males. The report also showed that 29.3 pct of adolescents were using MSN services for online communication.

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