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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Droutsas interview to RIA-Novosti
  • [02] Labour policy priorities
  • [03] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Droutsas interview to RIA-Novosti

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/Th. Avgerinos) - Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement to the Russian news agency "RIA-Novosti" that the enactment and continuation of dialogue in the framework of the OSCE in the form of the "Cofu Process" will be the aim of the Greek side during the organisation's ministerial session which begins in Athens on Tuesday.

    "We approached major issues during the year. I believe that we succeeded in bringing all the sides close and we showed that we meant what we said and we shall act as 'honourable mediators'. However, the extra something that Greece brought to the OSCE, I shall agree, is the 'Corfu Process'," Droutsas said, adding that "the Greek Presidency tried to utilise as well the proposal by (Russian) President (Dmitry) Medvedev on a new European Security Treaty, as a start to a constructive and substantive dialogue."

    Asked about the course of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Greece, Droutsas said that in bilateral contacts one speaks of a "strategic relation" between the two countries and reminded of the close cooperation between the two sides "on major international issues and in particular our initiatives during the Greek EU Presidency on the promotion of Greek-Russian relations."

    Droutsas further said that "what is important for us are relations of substance and not of image and communication" and noted that "our priorities in the sector of energy are steadfast and aim at the strengthening of energy security and the securing of our country's energy adequacy and its promotion to a european energy hub."

    Lastly, the minister pointed out that "both the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the South Stream natural gas pipeline constitute steadfast priorities of our policy. They are considerable infrastructure projects having a repercussion on the entire region of southeastern Europe and we are proceeding with all the necessary actions concerning their speedy implementation. The environmental aspect has great importance for us, as well as for the Russian Federation."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas

    [02] Labour policy priorities

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Maria Aroni) - Labour protection and social cohesion, along with radical changes needed in the administration system of the social state were the main issues in the agenda of an Employment Minister's Council in Brussels on Monday.

    Labour and Social Security Minister Andreas Loverdos presented the government's policy priorities, which focused on subsidizing social insurance contributions for four years to boost hirings of younger people, preserving labour positions, and boosting employment initiatives in the fields of environmental development and social economy.

    The Greek minister underlined that the new government's intention was to offer guarantees for a new regulatory framework and an effective inspections mechanism in the labour market of the country, with the aim to combating informal labour.

    Loverdos said the government also intended promoting structural changes and a restructuring of the pension system, saying that money needed to pay for pensions and holiday' bonuses have tripled in 2009, from 850 million euros in 2008 to 2.5 billion euros this year and 3.8 billion euros in 2010.

    Commenting on unemployment rates in Greece, Loverdos said it totaled 9.5 pct of the workforce in July, while part unemployment was 6.0 pct. The Greek minister the vast majority of Greek workers preferred full employment status and stressed that a phenomenon of massive unemployment was a common challenge for European governments.

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

    [03] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Antonis Samaras' election as main opposition New Democracy's (ND) 7th president, his first meetings and his plans for radical changes in the party, the economy and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou's attendance at the Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "ND and open party with strong unity".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The president's people".

    AVGHI: "Social security, labour and tax policy issue on Brussels' altar".

    AVRIANI: "Which measures Antonis (Samaras) is planning to take immediately".

    CHORA: "Samaras' plans for radical changes in ND - New era with new ideas and staff for a major centre-right party".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis plays Samaras man-to-man".

    ELEFTHEROS: "US envoy Daniel Speckhard's recommendations on the Greek economy - He proposed abolition of tenured work in the public sector".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Order for radical changes in ND - Changes in opposition policy and in staff".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The Funds' image is gloomy - Social security: Two ministers sound alarm bell and intimate at new measures

    ESTIA: "Rally round ND - Rapid developments in the fourth quarter".

    ETHNOS: "Agreements and....arguments between leaders - What George (prime minister Papandreou) and Antonis (new ND leader) discussed in their first meeting".

    IMERISSIA: "Package of measures before the EU imposes them".

    KATHIMERINI: "Clear mandate, difficult task - Antonis Samaras after his election is called on to unite ND - He met with the prime minister".

    LOGOS: "Antonis Samaras' first actions".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Optimism that the companies that were listed on Athens Stock Exchange this year will bring 6 billion euros profit".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Government, following capital's demand, advances policy for even more inexpensive workers".

    TA NEA: "George's overture for consent, meanwhile the dialogue on pensions, taxes and state begins".

    TO VIMA: "Papandreou and Samaras' first meeting: Good start...".

    VRADYNI: "Samaras' first actions: 750,000 voters-members sent their message for major changes".

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