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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-10
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Equality secretary general on elimination of discrimination against womenNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - The international community recognises the "important task" being carried out in Greece on respect for international agreements with the purpose of "eliminating every discrimination against women," Interior Ministry Equality Secretary General Evgenia Tsoumani told the ANA-MPA.
Tsoumani, who headed a Greek delegation that participated in the 53rd session of the UN Committee on the Status of Women, taking place here between March 2-13, said that during the session, apart from her addresses and interventions in roundtable discussions, she had the opportunity of exchanging views with representatives of many countries, ascertaining that Greece has taken "considerable steps" through education, information and action.
Referring in general to progress achieved in Greece in vital sectors affecting and determining the equality of the two genders, Tsoumani said that "in our references here, we underlined the policies that we have as a country and always in the framework of the European Union."
 FinMin on economic stabilisation programmeBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) - The European Commission's reports on the economic stabilisation programmes of European Union member-states, preparations for the next summit and the Commission's proposals on reshaping the functioning of monetary foundations in Europe are the main issues that would be examined by the EU's economy ministers here on Monday and Tuesday.
Finance and Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou, speaking to Greek reporters here on Monday, said that the Greek government's main goal at this stage is to secure the undeviating implementation of the economic stabilisation programme and not the adoption of new measures. He added that the government is watching the economic indicators carefully and if some intervention is considered necessary in the future, it will take place.
On the question of the evaluation of the Greek stabilisation programme by the Council of Ministers here on Tuesday and on monetary self-restraint proposed to Greece, Papathanasiou reiterated that the decrease in the monetary deficit to 3 percent in 2010 (and not 2011 as was anticipated by the Greek stability programme) does not constitute a major problem for the government since, in essence, it is a difference of marginal significance.
 Distinction for FM BakoyannisPARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira) - Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, addressing the French Academy on the occasion of the official ceremony held on her proclamation as an associated member on Monday, referred to the grand concept of the European structure and the need for international cooperation to tackle the great challenges of the century.
The official ceremony for her proclamation as an associated member of the Academy in Humanities and Political Sciences took place in the La Coupole hall of ceremonies. The Greek minister, who is the first woman to take a seat as an associated foreign member, was enthusiastically applauded on her entry to the hall by many personalities from the political and scientific sectors, as well as from the world of literature.
Bakoyannis was welcomed by the Academy's president for 2009 Jean-Claude Cazanova and by Francois Terre, who was the Academy's president in 2008, the year in which the Greek minister was elected an associated member of the Academy (June 30).
Terre welcomed the Greek politician and, following the relevant address, delivered to her the sword that supplements the uniform of every acedemic. During his address, Terre expressed the academy's joy "in welcoming in its ranks the first woman in its history as an associated member."
Bakoyannis referred to the important role played by Europe for its citizens over the past decades, saying that "the peoples of Europe have been experiencing a new reality over the past 50 years."
Focusing on Greece and foreign policy, Bakoyannis said, among other things, that "geography and history have endowed Greece with all the necessary preconditions for it to be a real crossroads. A crossroads of cultures, languages, religions, ideas. We have forged strong bonds, close relations of understanding and cooperation with countries in our neighbourhood, as well as with peoples all over the world. We have built bridges to the North and South, East and West."
Caption : Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannnis at the official ceremony held on her proclamation as an associated member of the French Academy in Paris on Monday 9 March 2009. ANA-MPA/ANTONIS DOUKAS
 Employment Minister in BrusselsBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris) - Employment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, addressing the Council of European Union Employment Ministers here on Monday, stressed the need for the enactment of an Employment Treaty aimed at widening the social protection network for handling the economic crisis.
Petralia added that the international economic crisis "currently necessitates more than ever the strengthening, deepening and widening of a social protection network, particularly towards the social categories that will experience the consequences of the recession in a more intense way."
According to the minister, the handling of the crisis requires effective action, European coordination and solidarity with absolute respect for national particularities and needs of member-states.
"Since the autumn of 2008 we have inaugurated and we have proceeded with a wide dialogue with all the social partners and the agencies. Our aim is to achieve the necessary consensus to enable us to jointly handle the side effects of the crisis. To plan all the policies and to take actions that will contribute to the smooth adaptation of the market, the minimisation and neutralisation of its repercussions on businesses, working people and the more vulnerable groups of the population," she said.
Caption: ANA -MPA file photo of Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The meeting of EU economy and finance (ECOFIN) ministers scheduled later in the day and its anticipated recommendations to Greece, France, Spain and Ireland on their fiscal deficits, the measures planned by the Greek government for facing the crisis, the upcoming meeting (on Thursday) between main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and his predecessor, former prime minister Costas Simitis, the dialogue on Education, the Olympic Airways (OA) privatization process and new hirings for the aircarrier announced by Andreas Vgenopoulos (vice-president of Marfin Investment Group-MIG, which won the international tender for the acquisition of OA), and US president Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Turkey were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Tuesday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Government-ADEDY (Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council, the umbrella federation of civil servants' unions) consensus on salaries", adding that interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos will seek consensus on salary and benefits policy in the negotiations with ADEDY for the collective labor agreements for 2009.
APOGEVMATINI: "New wings for OA - Prime minister satisfied with the social acceptance of the aircarrier's denationalization".
AVGHI: "Four-day work-week, with half the remuneration", adding that Greece, too, would abide by the EU guidelines, with employment minister Fani Palli-Petralia 'digging up' again the four-day work-week proposal in branches and businesses of disputable viability in order to restrict the expected wave of layoffs.
AVRIANI: "New wave of hirings for OA by Vgenopoulos".
CHORA: "Media barons and the publishing establishment seeking...total return of Simitis, with Pangalos (high-ranking PASOK cadre and former minister) as the frontsman".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) not participating in the national dialogue, torpedoing the upgrading of education".
ELEFTHEROS: "What's behind the sweeping 'reshuffle' in the state machine", referring to Monday's announcement of changes in the public utilities' and state organizations' (DEKO) administrations.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Prosecutor orders lifting of confidentiality of bank accounts of 354 Tax Bureau officials and Town Planning employees" after the failed to submit 'source of wealth' statements.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "George (Papandreou) calls Simitis - Rendezvouz on Thursday (at PASOK offices) in parliament".
ESTIA: "OA paves the way - Smaller state, better economy".
ETHNOS: "We're paying dearly even for their cigars - Revelation of the posh lifestyles of the 'blue' (color designating the ruling ND party) golden boys", adding that it was revealing the bills paid by Ethniki Asfalistiki (the insurance subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece) for the 'golden boys' at the same time as it is planning the closure of bank branches and reduction of personnel.
KATHIMERINI: "All prospects open on taxes - VAT increase not ruled out".
LOGOS: "EU pressure increasing for 'tough' measures".
NIKI: "The bill is coming now - The European Commission to give policy line to Papathanassiou (economy and finance minister) for new, tough measures".
RIZOSPASTIS: "The 'carrot' of dialogue is a 'whip' for education - ND, PASOK and LAOS co-culprits in the dialogue on education".
TA NEA: "Europe and crisis bring them closer - George-Simitis tete-a-tete on Thursday".
TO VIMA: "Why Obama is going to Turkey - Key issues: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Palestinian issue", adding that the US president, recognizing an upgraded role for Turkey in the Middle East and central Asia, would visit Ankara in the coming weeks in an effort to close a series of 'burning fronts' such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian issue and for rapproce=hement with Teheran and Damascus.
VRADYNI: "The crisis 'freezes' construction sector - Slump in 2008, 'black' forecasts for 2009 as well".
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