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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK links Euro polls to gen. elections
  • [02] Greece, Moscow gov't eye tourism cooperation
  • [03] Industrial new orders index down 27.3% in March
  • [04] Progress in visa waiver bid

  • [01] PASOK links Euro polls to gen. elections

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday said that PASOK intends treat the European Parliament elections and general elections as connected, during a meeting of his party's EuroParliament Election Campaign Central Committee secretariat at PASOK's headquarters in Athens.

    "[PASOK] links them in terms of style, the message we want to give out and the arguments we intend to use. We want citizens to take their fate into their own hands and change the country's course," he underlined.

    Referring to the contribution made by the two main parties to the country's European course, Papandreou claimed that PASOK had been the party that managed to jointly establish conditions and demand things from the European Union that were in Greece's interest.

    Ruling New Democracy had displayed a passive attitude within the EU, as proved by the fact that it was forever citing the country's original accession in 1980, "without having anything else to show for itself".

    Referring to the Stability Pact, Papandreou said that his party was not seeking greater flexibility so much as targeted spending.

    "We say 'no' to waste and jobbery and 'yes' to productive investments," he underlined. The Stability Pact not only had some margins for its interpretation and flexibility but also allowed for a complementary employment pact, such as that sought by European socialists, he added.

    Unlike the government, which was making no effort to form alliances and affect decisions, PASOK was neither a refuser nor a simple onlooker of EU developments, Papandreou stressed.

    "We are with the European socialists, in order to change the current conservative Europe," he said.

    PASOK's leader noted, meanwhile, that the change sought by people was linked both to the economy and the way that the state operated, since the second was a condition for the proper functioning of the first.

    "The message being sent by PASOK to the citizens is one of participation and mobilisation," he added, concluding his brief address.

    During Wednesday's meeting, the secretariat of the campaign committee approved the party's programme for the coming period, starting with the launch of its televised campaign in the next few days. Papandreou is scheduled to address rallies in five or six large cities around the country, while there will also be an event this Friday at the Old Parliament on the State, institutions and transparency, to be followed by a second focusing on social policy and the welfare state.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou during a visit on Tuesday. ANA-MPA - P. Saitas

    [02] Greece, Moscow gov't eye tourism cooperation

    Greek tourism officials and the municipal government of Moscow on Wednesday agreed to draft a protocol of cooperation with the aim of boosting tourism relations. The decision was taken during the first meeting of an informal work group between the Moscow government and the tourism development ministry in the Russian capital.

    The meeting discussed ways of exchanging information for a mutual promotion of tourism packages and destinations, encouraging the participation of Greek and Russian tourism enterprises in international travel fairs organized by the two countries, conference meetings, seminars and festivals.

    The meeting also agreed that a work group should meet twice each year in Athens and Moscow, respectively.

    [03] Industrial new orders index down 27.3% in March

    Industrial new orders' composite index (measuring both the domestic and foreign markets) dropped 27.3 pct in March, compared with the same month last year, after a decline of 12.6 pct in the previous 12-month period, the National Statistical Service said on Wednesday.

    The statistics agency said the turnover index in the industrial sector also fell by 20.4 pct in March, after a decline of 1.7 pct in March 2008. The turnover index in the manufacturing sector fell 20.5 pct, reflecting lower turnover in oil, non-metal minerals, base metals, computers, electronic and optic products and machinery.

    [04] Progress in visa waiver bid

    Justice Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday predicted that Greece's inclusion in the US visa waiver programme was now in the final stages of completion, a development that would allow Greek citizens easier travel to the United States.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar at the National Judges' School in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Dendias said the issue was being handled by the Greek foreign ministry, and required the signing of an agreement on the handling of criminal cases before it could be concluded. After negotiations with US authorities, the justice ministry had implemented the groundwork for two protocols and an agreement that needs to be signed as part of the visa waiver program, the minister added.

    "A great deal of progress has been made. I consider that we are near a conclusion and that the justice ministry has laid the foundations that will allow the foreign ministry to conclude this important issue in a reasonable amount of time," he added.


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