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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 <>


  • [01] PM calls for intensified efforts on economy
  • [02] Govāt spokesman on PMās schedule
  • [03] Head guard at Alikarnassos prison suspended from duty

  • [01] PM calls for intensified efforts on economy

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

    Karamanlis noted afterwards that the global financial crisis has had an impact on all countries without exception, explaining that the Greek economy was under severe pressure, in addition to its chronic structural weaknesses.

    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-state 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 can be complacent. Our targets are not easy ones, and the first priority is to increase state revenue" the premier continued. He stressed 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 impose all penalties provided by law on public servants who violate their responsibilities.

    Karamanlis further noted the efforts being made to curb state spending, stressing that changes and reforms were mandatory, and announced that the government will draft a new salary scale for newly-hired employees, 'open' the so-called closed professions, find ways to abolish or merge state agencies, impose 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 Partnerships (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".

    Premier briefed on name issue proposals

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conferred Friday with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis at Maximos Mansion, the government headquarters in Athens.

    Bakoyannis stated that they discussed all pending foreign policy issues, underlining that ?we have a difficult and at the same time interesting six-month period ahead.?

    Bakoyannis briefed Karamanlis on the new proposals tabled by UN mediator in the FYROM name dispute Matthew Nimetz and the timetable of the meetings on the issue by Greeceās negotiator, ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis.

    ?The substantive change underlined by Nimetz is the desire for substantive negotiation emerging in Skopje,? Bakoyannis said, adding that ?I hope that this is real and that FYROM's leadership realizes that the solution of the name issue is for the benefit of the people of FYROM.?

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Govāt spokesman on PMās schedule

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be in Madrid on Monday, July 13 for contacts with his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the leader of Spain's opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy.

    The PM will return to Athens later in the afternoon on the same day.

    [03] Head guard at Alikarnassos prison suspended from duty

    Justice Minister Nikolaos Dendias on Friday ordered that the head prison guard of the Alikarnassos prison be suspended from duty while a disciplinary inquiry into his actions is carried out by a public prosecutors in Iraklio on Crete.

    The minister also ordered an official internal inquiry under oath to examine reports in the media alleging that the head guard had made arrangements with an inmate at Trikala prison to ensure his transfer to the Alikarnassos prison.

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