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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM urges combined action on economy, env't

  • [01] PM urges combined action on economy, env't

    Efforts to exit the economic crisis should be combined with those for tackling the crisis facing the environment, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed at the European leaders' summit in Brussels on Friday. His proposal was supported by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other European leaders, as well as the European Commission.

    Papandreou called for new investments in the green economy, for boosting development, tackling the recession and reducing deficits.

    In a press conference given after the end of the summit, he gave specific examples of tools to finance such initiatives, such as a tax on international transactions, issuing of 'green' bonds and a carbon tax.

    Papandreou and Brown both submitted a proposal for a new development strategy that would create new jobs.

    Concerning the Greek economy, the Greek premier said his government was determined to make deep reforms, such as in the way that the budget was drafted and in taxation, with a major redistribution and a stimulus package to boost lower incomes and small to middle-sized businesses.

    He said that Greece's proposals to the European Commission were reliable but that Europeans questioned Greece's ability to adhere to them, after what they had seen in previous years.

    Papandreou went on to describe climate change as the most important problem facing the planet, which would likely cause the wave of migration to intensify. He also expressed satisfaction with the wording of the summit's draft conclusions, which urge Turkey to cooperate and implement an migrant readmission protocol.

    Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Papandreou stressed that this brought to an end a long period of uncertainty, while opening the prospect of further enlargement, such as the accession of western Balkan countries.

    He also referred to his meeting with the premier of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Nikola Gruevski and to the name dispute with FYROM, saying that he had made Greece's position clear and underlining that a solution of the name issue was a condition for the start of EU entry talks with Skopje.

    Greek society united against terrorism

    Referring to the recent terrorist strike in Athens, the Greek premier stressed that these found Greek society united against "blind, murderous violence that targets both ordinary citizens and those in uniform."

    "Together we can put an end to this cycle of blood that undermines individual and collective freedoms and at the same time damages our country's image worldwide," he stressed.

    Papandreou said that Greece would counter violence with more democracy and respect for individual and social rights.

    "For us, the rule of law means that the state has an obligation to protect human rights, which are life, property and freedoms."

    He also praised the responsible stance of the opposition parties, underlining its importance.

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