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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis in EU Summit on Sunday
  • [02] House president in Paris con'f

  • [01] PM Karamanlis in EU Summit on Sunday

    ?Greece will defend its national interests through Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis,? government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stated on Friday, announcing that the premier will be in Brussels on Sunday to attend the extraordinary EU Summit meeting which will focus on the global economic crisis and its repercussions for European Union countries.

    Responding to criticism from main opposition PASOK, Antonaros commented that it would be advisable to abandon the populist practices it systematically follows.

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

    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.

    [02] House president in Paris con'f

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas on Friday underlined the urgent need for action by EU national Parliaments, through a common framework of cooperation and exchange of experience that will allow them to meet international challenges, during his address to the Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments in Paris.

    Speaking during the conference proceedings on the institutional future of the EU and the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty regulations by national parliaments, Sioufas pointed out that the international community is faced with the challenge of an unprecedented economic crisis.

    He noted that the national parliaments in the EU are called to meet the challenge of implementing Lisbon decisions as Juneās European Parliament elections approach.

    Sioufas applauded the initiative undertaken by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to promote cooperation with national parliaments, even though the Lisbon Treaty ratification has not been completed yet, and referred in detail to cooperation mechanisms between national parliaments and with the European Commission.

    As regards the ipex data base ( ) created in 2006 by the European Commission to inform national parliaments on the European Commission legislative texts, Sioufas stated that it constitutes an important step of communication and cooperation, facilitating the exchange of best practices between parliaments while allowing the observation of parliamentary procedures.

    Such cooperation prepares national parliaments for the implementation of the new regulations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty that will affect all stages of the European legislative procedure, Sioufas stressed.

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