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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Pipelines projects discussed
  • [02] FinMin on monetary condition
  • [03] Meetings on pension reform

  • [01] Pipelines projects discussed

    The Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline, the Komotini-Haskovo natural gas pipeline and the possibility of the signing of an electric power exchange agreement between Greece and Bulgaria were discussed on Wednesday morning by Deputy Energy, Environment and Climatic Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis and Bulgarian Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Traicho Traikov.

    As regards the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline, Maniatis said that Greece is moving steadfastly towards the implementation of the project and announced that a bill will be tabled to facilitate the construction of the project, with emphasis on issues concerning land use.

    In parallel, the project's Local Committee will be recreated, the Interministerial Committee for its monitoring, as well as the Negotiating Committee of the Passage Agreement, while possible offset benefits for the local societies are being examined.

    The Bulgarian side stressed the need for securing the necessary quantities of oil as a precondition for the pipeline's viability. The timely settlement of the issue will also be requested from the Russian side which has assumed the contractual commitment.

    Maniatis and Traikov agreed to close cooperation between the two ministries for all the necessary measures to be taken for the passing of the pipelines through their territory, taking into consideration all the parametres (technical, economic, environmental, etc).

    On the question of the "vertical" Haskovo-Komotini (IGB) pipeline, the importance of the project was stressed, the prospect of its funding by the European Economic Recovery Plan was examined while the creation of a bilateral work group was decided for its implementation.

    At the same time, the initiative by the three ministers from Greece-Bulgaria-Italy to send a letter to European Union Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on securing the necessary funds was considered positive.

    [02] FinMin on monetary condition

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Wednesday, describing the government's efforts to tackle the country's major monetary problems and to submit a reliable stability programme to the European Commission in January, that the country's monetary state is very difficult.

    "We are moving along a tightrope to create order. We are under continuous surveillance by the international markets from which we borrow. They are punishing us with expensive spreads and high interest rates. We must restore the country's reliability deficit to be able to borrow with better terms," the minister said.

    Papaconstantinou was categorical as regards the country joining a surveillance status in February by the European Council, stressing that "this is a foregone conclusion and the only thing that is conditional is the time horizon until Greece succeeds in correcting its deficit."

    The finance minister, briefing the relevant Parliamentary committee on the results of ECOFIN, reassured that the PASOK party had not been informed before the elections by Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos, concerning the deficit of the general governance and that it would reach double-digit figures.

    "I can reassure that the briefing of the prime minister, and then main opposition party leader, on the cash deficit was at 8 units and that it would go to a double-digit figure. But what the Bank of Greece governor had not informed us about was where the general governance deficit would be, and which reached 12.7 percent. We did not imagine it even in our worse nightmares," he said.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of FinMin George Papaconstantinou

    [03] Meetings on pension reform

    Labour and Social Security Minister Andreas Loverdos will hold a round of meetings with the main trade union and employer groups to discuss reforms to Greece's social insurance system on Thursday.

    The meetings, which will also include Deputy Labour Minister George Koutroumanis, will kick off with one at 9:00 in the morning with trade unionists from the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), Greece's largest umbrella trade union organisation, and the civil servants' union ADEDY. Between them the two union organisations represent the majority of the Greek workforce in the private and public sectors.

    There will follow a meeting at 14:00 with the national artisans and workshop owners association GSEBEE, then at 16:00 with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and at 18:00 with the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE).

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Labour and Social Security Minister Andreas Loverdos


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