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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: Country needs new gov't
  • [02] Sales turnover down 13.8%
  • [03] Stocks jump 3.38% on Thur.

  • [01] Papandreou: Country needs new gov't

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Thursday again reiterated his call for early elections that will lead to the "new government", this time during an address in Parliament during debate on a government draft bill eyeing reforms to the country's antiquated "heavy and hazardous" regime.

    Papandreou charged that the government has utterly failed to properly manage the economy and even engaged in "unconstitutional" practices, while he called the draft bill under discussion unacceptable and shoddily composed.

    The PASOK leader also charged that the budget deficit for the ongoing year was double than the figure during the corresponding period of 2008, reaching 18 billion euros. In pointing to PASOK's recipe for economic recovery, the opposition party leader cited an increase in public investments and what he called support of liquidity in the markets.

    Moreover, Papandreou said the government only took substantive measures against a possible outbreak of the novel influenza in the wake of his criticism.

    Minister's response

    In response to Papandreou's comments from Parliament's podium, Labour and Social Insurances Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, whose ministry tabled the relevant draft bill, referred to a "thirst for power".

    "Whoever listened to PASOK's leader understood one thing: That neither he nor you (PASOK MPs) are interested in the country or its citizens -- only a thirst for power.

    "Mr. Papandreou accused us of populism in our efforts to support employment. You are the ones exercising a populist policy when you ignore institutions, beginning with the president of the republic institution and continuing to issues involving employment and joblessness," she said, reminding that the oft-criticised "Stage" employment programmes were inaugurated when PASOK was in government.

    On his part, ruling New Democracy rapporteur Panos Panayiotopoulos called Papandreou's letter to the premier last week over the issue of "new flu" prevention measures "unacceptable in tone and content".

    [02] Sales turnover down 13.8%

    Greeceās retail turnover index dropped 13.8 pct in May, after an increase in the corresponding month last year, the National Statistical Service annnounced on Thursday.

    The statistics agency, in a report, attributed the major drop of the retail sales turnover to a 3.3-pct decrease in food sales, a 37.3-pct plunge in fuel sales and a 16.1-pct fall in other stores' sales. The agency said the retail sales volume index fell 14.5 pct in the five-month period from January to May 2009, compared with the same period last year.

    [03] Stocks jump 3.38% on Thur.

    Greek stocks surged in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, pushing the composite index of the market back above the 2,300 level. The index rose 3.38 pct to end at 2,353.09 points, with turnover remaining a disappointing 164.1 million euros, of which 4.3 million euros were block trades.

    All sectors moved upwards, with the Chemicals (4.49 pct), Raw Materials (4.27 pct), Industrial Products (4.26 pct), Food/Beverage (4.23 pct), Banks (4.23 pct) and Constructions (3.67 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 3.75 pct, the FTSE 40 index rose 1.75 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 2.27 pct higher. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 190 to 47 with another 25 issues unchanged.


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