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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM briefed by Education Min. on national dialogue
  • [02] Papandreou chairs party meeting on foreign policy
  • [03] MEP Hountis tops SYN internal elections for Europarliament ballot
  • [04] ASE : Strong rise

  • [01] PM briefed by Education Min. on national dialogue

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Tuesday with Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, who briefed the premier on the outcome of his first meeting with representatives of political parties sitting on a committee assigned the task of formulating a draft national plan for education, which includes school reform and upgrades.

    Speaking to reporters after the briefing, Spiliotopoulos said the Council on Primary and Secondary Education will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, chaired by noted Prof. George Babiniotis, with the focus on issues relating to the upgrading of the school, reforms in the university entrance system, introduction of a "culture curriculum", incentives for dexterities, and enhancing the links between education, culture and civilisation.

    Asked what instructions were given by Karamanlis, Spiliotopoulos replied: "to proceed and to listen to positions and views, in a flexible period of time, so as to be able to begin the substantive work".

    The minister clarified that dialogue was begun from scratch, without any previously taken decisions or political expediencies.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Papandreou chairs party meeting on foreign policy

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou chaired a meeting of his party's staff on foreign policy issues on Tuesday.

    Papandreou charged that Greece has, from a leader country in the wider region, become a problem country, while there was also a prevailing feeling that its international role was non-existent, giving rise to serious questions as to the country's repute.

    The PASOK leader added that the above sentiment was further exacerbated by the developments in the economy and the "lawlessness in the state', adding that Greece's presence in the EU was problematic, at best, and non-existent, at worst, while the country's absence in the regional developments in the Middle East and the Caucasus was a given fact and, in Greek-Turkish affairs, the government was complacent.

    The meeting also focused on defense issues, with Papandreou stressing that the priority should not be on new armaments, but rather on enhancing the battle worthiness of the Armed Forces, and charging that partisanism had been prevalent in the recent Armed Forces promotions and retirements.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou

    [03] MEP Hountis tops SYN internal elections for Europarliament ballot

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) founding member and Europarliamentarian Nikos Hountis topped the ballots on Tuesday in internal party elections for the party's ticket of candidates in the upcoming European Parliament elections, with Dimitris Papadimoulis coming in second and Panos Trigazis in third place.

    Hountis, who replaced SYRIZA (the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos in the Europarliament in April 2004 when the latter resigned from the MEP post after being elected to the Greek parliament in national elections, expressed his appreciation to the SYN members who "with their mass participation in the process for election of the Eurodeputy candidates reinforced the democratic, leftist nature of the party".

    Hountis further called on the public to back SYRIZA in the Euro-elections in June in order to give a strong message of reversal and change in Greece and Europe.

    [04] ASE : Strong rise

    Equity prices were rising on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 2.43 percent, standing at 1,505.08 points at 12:25 p.m., and turnover at 36.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Banks, up 5.20 percent; Food & Beverage, up 2.88 percent; Raw Materials, up 2.58 percent; and Oil and Gas, up 2.21 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Public Utilities, down 0.54 percent; and Insurance, down 0.21 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 3.03 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.54 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.70 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 105 were up, 37 were down, and 53 were unchanged.

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