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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou on social solidarity issue
  • [02] ND leader addresses AHCC
  • [03] Eurogroup on 2010 State Budget
  • [04] Papoulias in Prague

  • [01] Papandreou on social solidarity issue

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking Tuesday in Parliament during the discussion on the bill on social solidarity and the special contribution by big companies, stressed that "we are bringing hope again."

    Papandreou said that the measure "sets the dividing line between the policies of the New Democracy party which the Greek people condemned and the government's policies of redistribution and social justice, proving that the latter is serving with consistency all that it has committed itself to.

    The prime minister also said that "it is a message to all those who were saying that 'we cannot', 'it canot be done', 'they are deceiving you' and 'where will you get the money'."

    Papandreou underlined that "two and a half million households will receive the additional financial backing anticipated by the draft bill, with the final expenditure exceeding one billion euros."

    Lastly, he said that "we can proceed towards the future, taking care in parallel of our public finances and our growth prospect and our fellow countrymen who have a need for protection and support."

    [02] ND leader addresses AHCC

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing the conference of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, set as preconditions for a change in the growth model and the country's exit from the economic crisis, the widening of taxable material, the acquittal of entrepreneurship, the handling of market deficiencies and the decrease of counterproductive public expenditures.

    Samaras said that the country's monetary state is very serious, but noted that this does not mean that "we are one step from bankruptcy" since, as he said, the Commission also "proclaimed that it is inconceivable for eurozone member-states to go bankrupt."

    He went on to say that "we must not launch a tax raid on households and businesses," adding that "there are many, businesses and households, that are already at the limit. And if we pressure them more they will find themselves under the water. And such pressure will not bring more revenues, it will bring more 'padlocks' for businesses, it will bring more unemployment, it will bring a liquidity crisis in the market, therefore a loss of revenues, etc. Ultimately, such pressure in the market and society in conditions of crisis will cause a decrease of public revenues and an increase in cyclical expenditures. Therefore, the swelling of deficits." He also warned that "if the government resorts to the tax raid it will find us in front of it."

    Samaras further said that it is essential that market deficiencies are tackled and explained that "when the cost goes up the prices also go up. However, when the cost falls, prices do not drop. It happened with oil and with the interest rates, meaning with the loan instalments, consumer, business and housing. This, among other things, means that there is a deficiency problem in our markets."

    The ND leader also stressed that the budget expenditures must be reconsidered and those that do not help the economy to become more productive and have no social yield must be reduced. "We shall exit from the crisis with development and not with compression," he added and called for "competitiveness everywhere."

    Caption: Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addresses the conference of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 1 December 2009 in Athens. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES

    [03] Eurogroup on 2010 State Budget

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Aroni) - Finance Minister George Papaconstantionou presented in Brussels on Tuesday to a Eurozone council of ministers Greece's 2010 draft state budget, which Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and Eurogroup President Jean Claude Junger termed as an "important step towards fiscal reform in the country".

    At the same time the two EU officials termed as "groundless" reports in the international press that Greece was "in a state of bankruptcy".

    Addresing a press conferenece at the end of an Eurogroup meeting, the two officials said they were satisfied by the fact that the Greek government committed itself to bringing down to 9.5 per cent of the GDP by the year 2010 the country's fiscal deficit.

    Almunia added that the Commission was awaiting for Greece's stabilising programme, which, as he said, should be tabled as soon as possible.

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photo of European Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia./ EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

    [04] Papoulias in Prague

    PRAGUE (ANA-MPA/N. Megadoukas) - President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived here on Tuesday evening and will begin a four-day official visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis and a group of Greek businessmen.

    President Papoulias will meet Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Wednesday morning and hold talks on bilateral, international and European issues.

    The President will then be meeting Czech Prime Minister Ian Fischer, who will host a working luncheon for him.

    In the evening, President Papoulias will be attending the official dinner that President Klaus will be hosting in his honour.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of Republic Karolos Papoulias.

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