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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: No thought of early ballots, end of election talk
  • [02] Brief disruptions in traffic on Rio-Antirrio bridge this week for maintenance work
  • [03] Papariga re-elected to KKE helm

  • [01] PM: No thought of early ballots, end of election talk

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis put an end to the early election talk on Sunday, addressing a meeting of his ruling New Democracy (ND) party's youth group ONNED's central committee.

    "They (elections) are of no concern to us. I am not thinking of elections. End of that talk," the prime minister stressed.

    Karamanlis also blasted main opposition PASOK, describing the election talk "incited by the main opposition party" as "irresponsible scenaria", and called on PASOK to clarify its position regarding the election of a new President of the Republic due in May 2010.

    "We have clarified our stance on this issue, we will not toy with the top institutions such as that of President of the Republic," Karamanlis said, adding that "everything else is blatant irresponsibility that compromises its progagonists".

    The premier also stressed the need to confront the impact of the global financial crisis. "What comes first right now is facing the crisis and limiting its inevitable consequences. This is our concern. Everything else is not our concern, but the anxiety of other parties, and harmful to the country," he said, stressing that he will not play games with the country's future nor will back down for the sake of temporary expediencies.

    Turning to the state debt, which he said his government had inherited from PASOK, Karamanlis notd that it was very high and was a big would of the economy today.

    In its five years in power, his government has accomplished substantial work, and dared to face comparison, Karamanlis continued, asking what would have happened today, given the crisis, if the country had the unemployment rates of 2004 (when his government took office from PASOK).

    Karamanlis said that his government's policy had yielded tangible results, and urged: "Let's not allow these results to be shadowed by petty politics, rumors and irresponsible scenario talk".

    The premier warned that challenges are not met with words and rationales of the past, charging that the stance displayed by the opposition parties during the recent closure of the country's highways (by protesting farmers) and the violent incidents before that "harms the economy", while those who were vying against each other in a race of benefit-promising were also doing damage to the country, adding that he was determined to "carry on and to overcome the crisis".

    Karamanlis devoted a substantial part of his address to the crisis, which he said no one could predict the size and extent of, but stressing that Greece was in a much better condition than the other euro-zone countries "given that, at a time when the powerful giants are collapsing and layoffs in Europe are turning into an avalanche, the forecasts for Greece are that it will have a positive growth rate, a lower deficit and low unemployment in comparison with the euro-zone".

    "However, we do not have margins for flexibility due to the immense debt, which is an open wound for the economy," Karamanlis warned, stressing that his decision is to "speak the truth to the Greek people".

    The premier further stressed that there were "no easy solutions" and that a "perpetual balance among the developmental fiscal and social targets" was neccessary. "It is our decision to put emphasis on the needs of today, but without undermining the tolerance of the economy," he said, noting that the three focal points of the government's policy for facing the crisis were growth, fiscal streamlining and fortification of the financially weaker strata.

    He also noted the government's 28 billion euros market liquidity boosting package, a program that he said was being undermined by the opposition and, referring in particular to PASOK, asked point-blank: "Does it agree or not with reduction of the interest rates? Does it agree or not with credit expansion for business and housing loans and, if it does, why did it not back the program?".

    Karamanlis also invited the youth to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on reforming the university entrance system.

    [02] Brief disruptions in traffic on Rio-Antirrio bridge this week for maintenance work

    Brief disruptions in traffic, in both streams, on the Rio-Antirrio bridge have been announced for Tuesday to Thursday due to maintenance work on the bridge.

    Traffic will be discontinued on the bridge at brief intervals from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on those three days, with each break in traffic estimated at 5-8 minutes.

    In the event of adverse weather conditions, the maintenance work will be postponed to the following week, a Gefyra S.A. announcement said.

    [03] Papariga re-elected to KKE helm

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga was re-elected to the party leadership at the KKE's 18th Congress, it was announced on Sunday.

    A KKE announcement said that Papariga was re-elected as secretary general of the party by the new KKE central committee that arose from the 18th Congress, in its first meeting.

    The Congress further passed two central theme documents: A central committee account on activities since the party's 17th Congress and its responsibilities leading up to the 19th Congress, and a report containing assessments and conclusions of the socialist structure of the 20th century and the KKE's perception of socialism.

    The 18th Congress further ratified the party's Financial Audit report on the KKE's finances.

    The two theme reports will be released in the next few days.

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