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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM confers with central bank governor
  • [02] PM calls snap elections, date to be announced
  • [03] ECOFIN meeting in Brussels
  • [04] MEPs on mid-air incident

  • [01] PM confers with central bank governor

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday conferred with Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the central bank governor said they discussed the course of the economy. He declined comment on questions whether they discussed elections-related issues.

    [02] PM calls snap elections, date to be announced

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday evening announced the holding of a snap general election, speaking during a nationally televised address.

    In prefacing the announcement, he underlined the need for immediate and significant reforms and measures to deal with the repercussions of the international economic crisis and what he called decades-old problems in the domestic economy and public sector.

    Among others, Karamanlis said strict fiscal discipline, a "war" on tax evasion -- a severe problem in the east Mediterranean nation -- and long-sought structural reforms are imperative, reforms, however, he said necessitate a stable political system.

    Along those lines, he said the main opposition party's decision to cause early elections next March by utilising Parliament's vote for a new president of the republic led to his decision.

    Karamanlis said he has already briefed President Karolos Papoulias over his decision and will visit the latter on Thursday to officially request early elections..

    [03] ECOFIN meeting in Brussels

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- An informal ECOFIN meeting here on Wednesday discussed ways of finding a common European stance in a forthcoming "G-20" meeting in the United States.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia underlined the need to find a common strategy by the EU-27 member states on exiting the current economic crisis.

    On his part, Greek Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou met with Almunia and -- hours before Greek Prime Minister announced a snap election, probably for early next month -- presented the country‚s fiscal condition in the first half of 2009, a programme to promote structural changes and Greece's fiscal outlook for the year, more-or-less based on current data characterised as less than optimistic.

    [04] MEPs on mid-air incident

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Aroni) -- Swedish Infrastructure Minister Asa Torstensson on Wednesday stressed the need to respect the right of passengers to safe air transport, commenting on the recent interference of an Olympic Air airliner by Turkish fighter jets above the eastern Aegean on Monday morning.

    She was responding to a question put by Greek MEP George Koumoutsakos, the former foreign ministry spokesman, regarding flight safety in European air space, during a meeting of European Parliament's transport committee.

    In her reply to Koumoutsakos, Torstensson stressed that the safety of air transport was a very important issue for the Swedish EU presidency, as was ensuring that the treaties necessary for EU institutions to function were honoured.

    The incident was also denounced to European Commissioner Olli Rehn by Greek MEP Marilena Koppa, during a session of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Koppa said that Turkey had violated a moratorium on military exercises in the Aegean over the summer and also pointed to recurrent flights above the inhabited Greek islands of Agathonissi and Farmakonissi by Turkish fighter jets, as well as a simulated bombardment by Turkish military planes above the island of Fournous a few days ago.


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