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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM chairs ministerial com't focusing on econ policy
  • [02] Gov't: All healthcare hirings to be conducted via ASEP
  • [03] Gov't on expatriates' voting rights

  • [01] PM chairs ministerial com't focusing on econ policy

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis chaired a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on economic policy on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said the global economic situation was reviewed, as well as the country's situation, noting that the government placed an emphasis on strict adherence to the updated stability and growth programme, recently submitted to the EU.

    Discussions further covered the extraordinary EU summit on the economy, which opens Sunday, and the upcoming ECOFIN meeting, Papathanassiou said, adding that no specific decisions were taken.

    In later comments, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros merely reiterated that the inter-ministerial committee focused directly on international developments and how they affect the local economy.

    The spokesman also dismissed press criticism citing difficulties by SMEs in participating in a 28-billion-euro government-sponsored plan to boost and guarantee liquidity by domestic lenders, saying 8,500 SMEs have so far taken credit lines under the plan.

    Additionally, in answer to a press question related to an ongoing visit to Greece by EU Commissioner for regional development Danuta Hubner, Antonaros said the government is confident it will post a 100-percent absorption rate of Community funds following a recent extension of deadlines.

    PASOK reax

    In reaction to the inter-ministerial meeting, PASOK MP and economy sector head Louka Katseli charged that the government is following a plan that is unable to formulate "even the basic conditions for fiscal reform, and which does not include measures for supporting the real economy ahead of a coming (economic) crisis."

    [02] Gov't: All healthcare hirings to be conducted via ASEP

    Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced in <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">Parliament <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">on Thursday that all hirings of much-needed healthcare staff <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">in public facilities <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">will be made via the Supreme Staff Selection Council (ASEP). Avramopoulos underlined that he has received assurances by the ASEP <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">leadership<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> that all hirings in the health sector will be finali<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">sed within a six-month period, pointing out that this provision will be included in a draft law amendment. In addition, the hiring of a total of 5,500 hospital nurses will be completed within the next three years, while a special clause places university doctors under the same work regime with the rest hospital doctors as requested by main opposition PASOK. Avramopoulos recently stated that he would have to proceed with a series of mass hirings of <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">urgently <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">needed healthcare staff (mostly nurses) outside the prescribed state hiring practice, which mandates increased transparency for state job appointments but is time-consuming. His stance was reversed following opposition<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> reaction.

    [03] Gov't on expatriates' voting rights

    "We believe that the suggested solution is the best possible at the present time, and that everyone should contribute towards it being accepted," government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stated on Thursday <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">vis-à-vis<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> objections by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) to a draft law granting voting rights in Greek national elections to eligible expatriates. Antonaros characterised the solution as transitional, pointing out that all necessary changes will be made along the way after the law is implemented, while he called on SAE to reconsider. "Reaching a consensus does not necessarily mean that it is the government that always has to back down," Antonaros said during his regular press briefing, while he underlined that the specific draft law is very important, as it allows Greek citizens living abroad to vote from their country of residence, thus avoiding trouble and expense of returning to Greece to cast one's vote. "I will not enter into an argument with an institutional body that expresses its opinions," Antonaros added.
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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