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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou meets Serb official, economist Krugman
  • [02] OA's land services to MIG
  • [03] Major broadband expansion recorded

  • [01] Papandreou meets Serb official, economist Krugman

    The global economic crisis dominated successive meetings held on Wednesday by Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou, leader of Greece's main opposition PASOK party, with the head of Serbia's Socialist Party Ivica Dacic and prestigious economist Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for economics.

    After meeting Dacic, who is also Serbia's interior minister and first deputy prime minister, Papandreou expressed satisfaction that Serbia's government "was making decisive and systematic progress in important issues concerning its course toward the European Union."

    PASOK's leader said that his talks with Dacic had also covered developments in the Balkans and ways in which socialists in the Balkans could cope with the economic crisis, while announcing that Balkan socialist parties were mulling a meeting to exchange views and facilitate cooperation between them in view of the crisis.

    According to Dacic, the current crisis was proof that the neo-liberal economic model had failed and he stressed that socialists must become an alternative solution, while expressing his party‚s interest in joining the SI.

    The two men also discussed Kosovo, with Dacic noting the destruction of Serb cultural heritage within the region and the fact that various countries had recognised Kosovo's independence outside a United Nations framework.

    Papandreou praises Krugman

    Receiving Prof. Krugman, PASOK's leader described him as an academic that was not afraid to speak out boldly and without compromise, whose personal stance had shown that science and politics were not incompatible concepts.

    Referring to Krugman's work, Papandreou said that the renowned economist had provided answers to crucial questions regarding economies in the framework of globalisation.

    PASOK's leader noted that he approached the Krugman's work from a sociological viewpoint, raising the issue of democracy and whether the increasing economic inequality of the modern world cast doubt on the existence of democracy.

    The 2008 Nobel Economics Prize laureate, professor of economic and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will be the keynote speaker at a conference to be held in Athens on Wednesday on the theme "The stockmarket crisis: Management in periods of challenges".

    While in Athens, Professor Krugman also met Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou.

    CAPTION: George Papandreou (L) talking to economist Paul Krugman (R), winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for economics. (ANA-MPA photo)

    [02] OA's land services to MIG

    The land service package of Olympic Airways (OA) passes formally into the hands of the Marfin Investment Group (MIG), apart from the flight and technical services, following the green light given by the Interministerial Privatisation Committee on Wednesday afternoon, which accepted the relevant proposal made by the government's monetary and legal advisers.

    The development concludes the issue of the privatisation of all three pylons of Olympic Airways, whose privatisation will produce benefits amounting to 177.2 million euros for the state, while it is expected to have additional benefits later resulting from additional asset elements.

    Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said that the Greek taxpayers will stop paying about 350 million euros a year for OA and the state will be receiving 150 million in contributions to the Social Security Foundation (IKA), Spata airport stamp tax and salaried services taxes.

    The price for the land service amounted to 44.8 million euros, while another 5 million euros must be added to this figure, that is the buyoff of the share capital of the new land service company.

    According to Hatzidakis, the agreements between the Hellenic state and MIG will be signed next week and then the contracts will be forwarded to Parliament for ratification.

    [03] Major broadband expansion recorded

    Broadband penetration was 13.43 pct in Greece at the start of the year, and the dynamism of domestic demand for broadband services point to a feasible target of converging with the EU-27 average by the end of 2010, a report by the Observatory for Information Society stated on Wednesday.

    The report said that 13 out of 20 Greek citizens enjoy amongst the competitive retail access prices in the European Union, with an average of 1,975 new DSL connections made every day in the second half of 2008, of which 1,405 are LLU connections.

    Average nominal broadband speed access was 5.9 Mb/s early in 2008, ranking Greece sixth in the EU, with 30 pct of domestic subscribers enjoying connections with speed exceeding 2Mb/s.

    The number of fixed broadband lines in Greece totaled 1,506,614, an increase of 48.1 pct from the previous year and up 20.2 pct from the first half of 2008, with 6,260 leased lines and 184,625 wireless connections (data cards).

    European Union data shows that domestic broadband coverage was 86 pct in early 2008, slightly down from a 92 pct average in the rest of the EU.

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