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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou addresses first Cabinet meeting
  • [02] Greece's new government sworn in
  • [03] Putin congratulations to Papandreou

  • [01] PM Papandreou addresses first Cabinet meeting

    "Today we change page and embark on a new course for a just society, for a Greece that will make us proud, and to put the country back on a developmental track," newly-elected prime minister George Papandreou told the first meeting of his Cabinet on Wednesday, immediately after it was sworn in.

    "All together, united, we Greeks will write the next pages of our history," the premier said, stressing his goals of transparency across the board, systematic modernisation and upgrading of the state and the democratic institutions, a professional approach to resolving problems, and protection of the individual rights but also the collective public interest.

    Papandreou said that the new government "has received a mandate for the reversal of the situation...a mandate to change the way of governance of our country".

    The premier stressed that all the institutions need to be upgraded in order to become an element of the upgrading of democracy, to the citizens' benefit.

    Noting that the issue at hand "is not the money, but its proper management", Papandreou said that the "extensive corruption" has "taken on the dimensions of a pandemic", and pledged that "we will clash with perceptions deeply-rooted in the state and society".

    He instructed his ministers to take account of the problems existing in the ministries they are taking on, and to "not sweep them under the carpet" but to confront them and solve them.

    Papandreou asked that each minister record the problems faced by his/her respective ministry, so that they can present them to a Cabinet meeting or meetings next week, together with their priorities, noting that "the problems need to be known before measures are announced".

    The premier instructed his ministers to exercise authority without discrimination -- social, financial, religious or other -- adding that he as invited Ombudsman George Kaminis to address the Cabinet for that reason, given the latter's immense experience in public administration matters.

    He further instructed the ministers to seek the resignation of all the ad hoc committees in their ministries, noting that, after evaluation, if the operation of a specific committee was deemed necessary, it could be reinstated.

    [02] Greece's new government sworn in

    The Cabinet of newly-elected prime minister George Papandreou's PASOK government was sworn in on Wednesday morning by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and premier Papandreou, and immediately headed to the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) for the first Cabinet meeting, after which the ministers and deputies will head to their respective ministries for the handover ceremonies from their predecessor New Democracy (ND) ministers.

    Papandreou was sworn in as prime minister on Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon he announced the composition of the new 36-member streamlined government comprising 14 ministries,

    The new streamlined government comprises 14 ministries with an equal number of ministers and 22 deputy ministers, and introduces the new posts of Government Vice-President (deputy prime minister), assigned to veteran politician Theodoros Pangalos, and Minister of State, assigned to newcomer Haris Pampoukis, while the prime minister has retained the Foreign Ministry portfolio himself.

    Of the total 36-member Cabinet, 24 are first-time government members while 12 have served in previous governments. The Cabinet also includes nine women, of which five are ministers and four are deputy ministers, while another five are non-parliamentarians.

    Two deputy ministries will be headquartered in Thessaloniki: the interior deputy ministry and the economy and competitiveness deputy ministry.

    Seasoned PASOK former minister Filippos Petsalnikos will be nominated for parliament president, while former minister ex MEP Christos Papoutsis will take over as secretary of the ruling party's parliamentary group. Papoutsis, together with another former minister, Petros Efthymiou, will also be PASOK's parliamentary spokesman.

    Sotiris Lytras will take up the post of Cabinet secretary.

    [03] Putin congratulations to Papandreou

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday sent his congratulations to newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for his victory during Sunday's election.

    "You are recognised as a systematic supporter of development of friendly relations between our two countries ... I am counting on mutual and active cooperation with your government, aimed to establish strategic relations between Russia and Greece in the sectors of the economy, science, culture and others," Putin's letter, published on Wednesday on the Russian government's official site, state.

    "The rich, in content, mutually beneficial bilateral relations fulfill both countries' fundamental interests, stability and security in Europe," Putin concluded.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

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