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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis calls for intensified efforts on economy
  • [02] PASOK leader on Corfu visit
  • [03] ANA-MPA system upgrade-Temporary service disruption
  • [04] Decline at ASE opening

  • [01] PM Karamanlis calls for intensified efforts on economy

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed on the course of the economy and the national economy and finance ministry's activities, during a visit to the ministry on Friday, where he chaired a two-hour meeting of the ministry leadership comprising minister Yiannis Papathanassiou, the deputy ministers and the secretaries general.

    Karamanlis noted afterwards that the global financial crisis has impacted all countries without exception, explaining that the Greek economy was facing severe pressures, on top of its chronic structural weaknessed.

    The biggest burden on the Greek economy was the state debt, the servicing of which will require 12 billion euros in 2009 alone, he pointed out.

    This year will be a difficult one, the prime minister warned, but added on the upside that Greece is the only European Union member country with a positive growth rate prediction, while unemployment is anticipated at one percentage point below the eurozone average.

    "This, however, does not mean that we will be complacent. Our targets are not easy ones, and the first priority is to increase the state revenues" the premier continued, adding that "we are determined to combat tax evasion", which he described as an extremely anti-social attitude and sternly instructed his ministers and deputy ministers to exhaust all penalties provided by law on public servants who violate their responsibilities.

    Karamanlis further noted the efforts being made to curb expenditures, stressing that changes and reforms were mandatory, and announced that the government will draft a new salary scale for newly-hired employees, the 'opening' of the so-called closed professions, the abolition and merger of state agencies, checks and controls on medicines, and other steps.

    The premer also pointed out that the EU's Third Community Support Framework (CSF) has been completed, while more than 50 percent of the projects included in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) have already been tendered. Further, regarding the Public and Private Sector Collaborations (SDIT) program, Karamanlis noted that the construction has begun of the first such projects, while from here on one new project will be tendered each month.

    Finally, Karamanlis said he called for further intensification of efforts, so that "not a single day, not a single hour, will be wasted".

    [02] PASOK leader on Corfu visit

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou is visiting the island of Corfu, where he will address an International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Education on Friday, organised by Canada's University of Fraser Valley in collaboration with the Ionian University. Papandreou will further take part in a discussion on "The Open School in Greece" and will meet with representatives of the local tourism sector.

    Addressing a meeting of party officials in Corfu on Thursday night, Papandreou said that PASOK had achieved a very significant victory in the recent European Parliament elections, which gave the message that an alternative solution existed for the country, and that solution was embodied by PASOK and its efforts.

    However, he continued, "we have ahead of us the major battle of the national elections", noting that PASOK has called for early general elections the soonest.

    [03] ANA-MPA system upgrade-Temporary service disruption

    Due to an upgrade to be performed on ANA-MPA's two central servers and storage system, there will be a discontinuation of the renewal/updating of news on the agency's site on the Internet, but also in the direct links via leased lines, beginning at 20:00 at night on Friday, July 10, up to 13:00 on Saturday, July 11. The upgrade is being performed for the national news agency's better provision of services to its subscribers.

    We thank you for your understanding.

    [04] Decline at ASE opening

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.97 percent, standing at 2,159.39 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 16.9 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward nearly across the board, with the only gains in Travel & Recreation, up 0.33 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Banks, down 2.69 percent; Health, down 2.59 percent; Industrial Products, down 2.45 percent; and Raw Materials, down 2.45 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 2.09 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 2.18 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 1.97 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 11 were up, 96 were down, and 23 were unchanged.


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