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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: five priorities for the economy
  • [02] Fire at old appeals court building on Sokratous St (ADDS)
  • [03] SYN Central Committee convenes

  • [01] Papandreou: five priorities for the economy

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Saturday outlined his party's five priorities and planned measures for the economy, in an article printed by the Greek newspaper "Kosmos tou Ependyti".

    Papandreou accused the government of being responsible for the current dire economic straits and fiscal irregularity in Greece, saying it had adopted measures that were wrong and ineffective. He stressed the need for "political will" to back a political and economic cleansing of Greece and cited five priorities for achieving these targets.

    The top priority, according to PASOK's leader, was to launch a plan for an immediate reorganisation of the economy, providing liquidity to the market and increasing public investment, with emphasis on green development and a more competitive economy.

    Next he called for the support of employment and ways to reduce unemployment through measures to subsidise employment, protect labour rights and support the unemployed.

    Other priorities listed by Papandreou was a fair redistribution of the tax burden, including a replacement for the uniform property tax ETAK, a proper management of public wealth marked by transparency, accountability and drastic reduction of wasteful spending, as well as a framework for supervising markets that would break cartels and combat high prices.

    [02] Fire at old appeals court building on Sokratous St (ADDS)

    Fires broke out at around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday on three floors of the former Appeals Court building on Sokratous Street, near Omonia in central Athens. For some time now, the vacant building has acted as a refuge for hundreds of homeless illegal immigrants who have squatted on the premises, resisting several attempts by authorities and police to drive them out on the grounds that the building is unfit for use and presents a hazard to public health.

    Police said that piles of mattresses and rubbish were on fire on the 4th, 5th and 7th floors in what are believed to be acts of arson following a dispute between foreigners living in the building. The blazes were promptly put out by the fire brigade and an inquiry has been launched by Attica Security in collaboration with the fire brigade.

    [03] SYN Central Committee convenes

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alexis Tsipras addressed a meeting of SYN's Central Political Committee on Saturday, which met to assess the results of the European Parliament elections and prepare the party's plans for the coming period. During this he urged an end to introspection and said that SYN should convene a conference in the middle of September to prepare for elections.

    "The Central Committee of the party is convening after a period of intense activity. It is clear that we are up against serious problems. Problems that we are obliged to overcome through solutions that synthesise viewpoints," he stressed.

    Tsipras underlined that the role of the Left was not to focus on itself but to provide a "shield of social solidarity" for the weaker members of society against problems that were continuing to get worse, irrespective of whether SYN resolved its internal problems or not.

    He also warned that the government, backed by main opposition PASOK, was planning new and even tougher policies that sought to pass the cost of the economic crisis onto working people by cutting back on their labour and social insurance rights and reduce welfare spending, while giving employers and big capital a free hand to exploit their workforce.

    He accepted a share of responsibility for the leadership crisis in the party after the poor election result, promising that he would refrain in the future from fuelling such confrontations and seek to overcome problems in a democratic way, through compromise and consensus.

    He also ruled out a merging with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) alliance representing the party in Parliament or SYRIZA's conversion into a single party, while stressing that a strong SYN meant a strong SYRIZA.


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