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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM chairs meeting on budget, draft bills
  • [02] Droutsas on fYRoM ties
  • [03] Gov't on illegal migration
  • [04] Stocks end 1.07 pct higher

  • [01] PM chairs meeting on budget, draft bills

    The draft budget unveiled by the new government was the first and decisive step for rescuing the economy and bringing the country out of the crisis, Prime Minister George Papandreou told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

    The meeting, in addition to discussing the budget, also focused on plans to convert the Greek Statistics Service into an independent authority, a draft bill for forest protection and a draft bill on loans and borrowers.

    The prime minister referred to the "battle" the government must give in order to change the state and carry out a 100-day programme announced by PASOK before the elections, adding that the government's work was now proceeding very rapidly.

    Referring to the budget, Papandreou said it would not 'magically' solve the country's problems but would strike a balance between the need to deal with the major problems inherited from the previous government and the need to redress glaring social injustices, inequality, poverty and lack of opportunities.

    He also emphasised the need to "show respect to all those that need protection and are not responsible for the country's current state".

    On the planned changes to the statistics service, the premier underlined the need to restore Greece's credibility in Europe and international markets by putting an end to the practice of each individual government 'cooking up' statistics at will.

    Commenting on the burnt forestland and rural areas of Attica, meanwhile, he said a draft bill brought by the government sought to tackle the corruption and lawlessness that had resulted in the destruction of the environment for profit.

    "This bill protects all areas damaged by fires but with it we also put a final end to unregulated building and encroachment, especially to the attitude that the state everywhere absent and that everyone can therefore do what they like, where they like," he stressed.

    Papandreou also emphasised a bill for borrowers, saying that "we are now entering the heart of our plan for the first 100 days and with this proving our trustworthiness."

    [02] Droutsas on fYRoM ties

    LJUBLJANA (ANA-MPA) - Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, who is accompanying President Karolos Papoulias on his visit in Slovenia, reiterated here on Wednesday that the Greek government's intention is to develop contacts and relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), without distancing itself from the "red line" on the "name issue".

    Speaking to reporters, Droutsas underlined the adherence of the Greek side to the process taking place under the auspices of the UN, and said that the new Greek government is "bringing a new breeze" to foreign policy.

    "It is our intention to develop our relations and contacts with Skopje ... We do not want the people of the country to hear only what their government tells them. We want to remind of the support that we provided for them in the past, including in the economic sector," the minister said.

    "We have the will to examine and find ways of approach. We shall not hesitate to do all that we can to find a solution on the issue of the name, stressing our clear position on the red line. This government is open-minded, everything is on the table," he added.

    Lastly, Droutsas pointed out that the government's intention "to open again" relations with Skopje "does not mean a parallel process" on the issue of resolving the name problem, and he reiterated the Greek side's adherence to the procedure under UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz.

    [03] Gov't on illegal migration

    Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chryssochoidis on Wednesday announced what he called a modernisation of the coast guard in order to more effectively deal with the waves of illegal immigrants that reach the coasts of the Aegean islands.

    He also decided to increase the number of personnel and update the means available to the port authorities in Lesvos, Samos, Leros and Patmos, while expressing concern about the daily arrival of illegal migrants on Greek islands.

    Following a meeting at the coast guard headquarters, Chryssochoidis told reporters that a special strategy squad will be established that will monitor movement from and to the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa, taking into consideration the seriousness of the illegal migration problem.

    He clarified that the new authority will be headed by the citizen protection ministry general secretary and the chiefs of Greek Police (ELAS) and coast guard.

    [04] Stocks end 1.07 pct higher

    Greek stocks recovered on Wednesday after a several-day decline in the Athens Stock Exchange, with the composite index of the market rising 1.07 pct to end at 2,528.95 points. Turnover was a strong 307.1 million euros, of which 13.7 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Oil/Gas (3.02 pct), Raw Materials (2.73 pct) and Banks (2.38 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Utilities (2.78 pct), Travel (1.56 pct) and Health (1.41 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 1.49 pct, the FTSE 40 index eased 0.10 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 1.07 pct up. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 109 to 88 with another 58 issues unchanged.


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