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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Improvement of the people's day-to-day life
  • [02] ASE opening: Rise
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: Improvement of the people's day-to-day life

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday visited the KEP (Citizen Service Center) in the southern Athens suburb of Ilioupolis, where he stressed that the KEP network throughout the country provided significant facilitation to the citizens while it was also key to the public administration's conversion to the digital age.

    Karamanlis, who was accompanied by interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and deputy minister Christos Zois, stressed that improvement of the people's day-to-day life their better facilitation is an immediate priority of the government.

    The premier presented his police ID card to a KEP employee to apply for a Social Security Number (AMKA), which is being introduced for the first time in Greece and which everyone must have acquired by October.

    The prime minister said that his government had set out a goal five years ago, when it took office, "to make public administration faster, more efficient, more citizen-friendly".

    Noting that there were many chronic and structural problems that still need to be solved, Karamanlis stressed, however, that the political will to do so was a given, and his government's determination was being proved in action.

    "The truth is that that significant steps have been made and are being made in the direction we all want and target: a state, a public administration, in the service of the citizen," Karamanlis said.

    The premier said that the KEP institution had the universal recognition and support of the citizens, and congratulated the KEP employees since that was due to a large degree to the employees' contribution and their processing of important and socially sensitive work, such as the issue of AMKA numbers to more than 1.6 million citizens so far.

    When his New Democracy (ND) government took office in 2004, the KEP were operating piecemeal and experimentally, without a solid legal regime and without specific funds. All these deficiencies were remedied and today the KEP are operating as integrated facilitation centers, speedily facilitating 1,045 different procedures (citizens' transactions with the state), many of which require only one visit to the KEP, while there is also the ability to submit an application by phone on the 4-digit line 1500, Karamanlis said, adding that the KEP's widespread network assured that the citizens could find a KEP near their home or workplace.

    In 2008 alone, he continued, more than 7 million people were facilitated by the KEP, whose "social acceptance comprises the firm foundation on which we are building their future, which is founded on e-governance and exploitation of the immense possibilities proved by the new technologies and the internet".

    Since May 1, the pubic administration's National Web Portal "Hermes" has been supporting all the services provided by the KEP and all related citizens' applications. The system caters to all new types of e-transactions, such as the procedures required for establishing new companies, reducing the time and cost require, Karamanlis noted, stressing that this was very important, especially today when new investments and the creation of new jobs was the only way for a safe exit from the global financial crisis.

    Through the Hermes system, each and every citizen now has the ability to acquire his own digital "signature", allowing him to transact with the state services through his PC, without having to leave his house or workplace, Karamanlis explained.

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

    [02] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.91 percent, standing at 2,352.52 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 22.1 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 3.55 percent; Chemicals, up 2.58 percent; and Construction, up 2.36 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Mass Media, down 1.32 percent; Food and Beverages, down 0.22 percent; and Oil and Gas, down 0.18 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.25 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.95 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.83 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 94 were up, 25 were down, and 19 were unchanged.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The economic crisis which, according to Eurostat, mostly affects women, Education, and the government's plans against crime and terrorism, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Main opposition PASOK party cadres are exploiting the upcoming Presidential election to satisfy their lust for authority".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Regulation for one million real estate cases".

    AVRIANI: "Well-known constructors had assigned the 'syndicate of crime' (abduction and hired killers gang led by inmate Panagiotis Vlastos) to do several dirty business ".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The media all over the world and their exaggerations have panicked the people over the virus A/H1N1".

    ELEFTHEROS: "IMF experts recommend to the government to abolish the pensioners' Christmas bonus".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Big brother to watch over us for our own good - Lawyers accuse government of violation of Constitiution provisions".

    ESTIA: "Firm stance against Turkey - The tolerance limits have been exhausted".

    ETHNOS: "Despite the generous summer sales the market is suffocating".

    TA NEA: "A-students' massacre in 55 colleges".

    VRADYNI: "Bank notes and installments for home acquisition - Market turns 20 years back in order for 200,000 houses in Attica to be sold".

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