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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet meeting
  • [02] Credit conditions worsen in April
  • [03] Papariga visits shipyard
  • [04] LAOS decries political climate

  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet meeting

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis said that Greece was in the middle of an exceptionally difficult year, speaking after a meeting of the Inner Cabinet he chaired on Friday.

    He noted that he had called the meeting amidst a critical conjuncture for the country, in order to reaffirm the priorities for the present and the future.

    The government has an institutional obligation to ensure that the upcoming European Parliament elections will take place under clear political terms. "We want the political dialogue to concentrate on the issues related to the unprecedented (global) financial crisis, on the issues of concern to the citizens, on their problems, every day lives and their worries," the prime minister said.

    At the same time, the government wanted the significance of Europe and Greece's membership in the European family to be highlighted, as well as the importance of cooperation and coordination in common goals, he added.

    "We are in the midst of an exceptionally difficult year for our country as well. In the preceding period we placed priority on our Plan for limiting the adverse impact of the global financial crisis and for enhancing our economy's defences, for supporting employment and our financially weaker fellow citizens, for backing the most hard-hit sectors and branches, and for fiscal streamlining," Karamanlis said.

    In that direction, he continued, the government was proceeding systematically to a drastic containment of expenditures that can be reduced, to changes to streamline the state and limit its expansion, and changes that ensure greater efficiency, better service to the citizens, with a smaller cost for the taxpayers.

    Following the completion of the Third Community Support Framework (CSF0 and the full utilisation of the Community resources, the government was now proceeding with the implementation of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for the period 2007-2013, Karamanlis said, stressing that 80 percent of the NSRF resources were being channeled to the Greek periphery for actions pertaining to development, infrastructure projects and boosting employment.

    The biggest priority today throughout the world was facing the international crisis, he said. All the countries and governments, in the face of the rapid developments, were being obliged to constantly revise their calculations and programs. Greece, he continued, could not be an exception, and therefore "we are readjusting our planning, updating our actions when required to the necessary degree".

    In the preceding years, crucial reforms made had shored up the Greek economy to such a degree that it was today displaying greater resilience than other, stronger economies, Karamanlis said.

    The global financial crisis was today acting as a catalyst for a new wave of reforms which are not only necessary, but mandatory, the premier said, adding that he had instructed his ministers to systematically prepare the new wave of changes and reforms, as the government's decision was that the new reforms should cover all sectors: institutions, state, economy and education.

    Karamanlis announced that the government would be immediately launching an initiative to enhance the institutions pertaining to transparency.

    "We are immediately setting in motion a dialogue of substance and depth in parliament's Committee on Institutions and Transparency" during which the proposal put forward by the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group and any other proposals forthcoming from the other parties can and must be examined, the premier said, adding that the target was to proceed with bold changes that are compatible with the Constitution.

    He stressed that the greatest possible consensus will be sought and, if possible, the advancement of regulations with the agreement of all the parties.

    The government, Karamanlis concluded, has opted for the path of responsibility against barren political speech, nihilism and irresponsibility.

    "Others have chosen to serve their party and personal interests. But the choices of all of us are judged by the citizens. They will be judged in the upcoming Europarliament elections," he said, adding his certainty that "once again, the Greek people will vindicate our choices".

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

    [02] Credit conditions worsen in April

    Credit conditions worsened for one more month in 2009, with the value of bounced checks and unpaid bills rising sharply in April.

    The value of bounced checks jumped 220.3 pct in April, compared with the same month last year, to 271.4 million euros, while volume was up by 243.78 pct to 27,740. The value of bounced checks in the first four months of the year totaled 984.1 million euros, while volume was 98,245.

    The value of unpaid bills grew 20.0 pct to 15.7 million euros in April, while volume was up 3.6 pct to 10,478. In the January-April period, the value of unpaid bills was 75.2 million euros with volume at 44,499.

    [03] Papariga visits shipyard

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga stressed on Friday that "voters face no real dilemma in the Euro-elections or the national elections because the policiesof the two mainstream political parties, ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK, have already been tested."

    Addressing workers during a visit to Perama Shipyards in Piraeus, Papariga stressed that "voting for KKE is very important because it measures the power of the workers' movement in conditions of crisis and in the absence of measures beneficial for the people."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga

    [04] LAOS decries political climate

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis on Friday sharply criticised Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, charging that they continue to insult each other and degrade the standards of the pre-election campaign.

    He also called the political environment "fetid and morbid" during a press conference held in Athens.

    Karatzaferis presented his party's candidates from the Macedonia province for the Euro-elections and referring to Parliament's adjournment he underlined that "many have been saved. Not only Mr. Karamanlis from Siemens but also PASOK. The Greek people will never know what happened at the Vatopedi monastery, Siemens and they will never know how much money former ND minister Aristotelis Pavlidis took and how."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis

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