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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Posting decisions on Internet a 'blow' to corruption, PM says
  • [02] ND rejects proposal for early election bid
  • [03] Greek-Chinese eco forum
  • [04] Stocks sharply down

  • [01] Posting decisions on Internet a 'blow' to corruption, PM says

    The Inner Cabinet, chaired by prime minister George Papandreou on Thursday discussed two bills on Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and on uploading all administrative acts and decisions on the Internet.

    Papandreou, in statements to the Inner Cabinet that were broadcast on state television, dedicated Thursday's session to the persons with a disability "who are waging a battle for a dignified life", stressing that "our policy is to eliminate all the obstacles that do not allow the equal participation of the citizens".

    The premier also referred to the killing of 15-year-old pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos (by a police officer in incidents in the Exarchia district on December 6, 2008), sending a message to the Greek youth that "we understand their problems, and also the reasons that make some of them feel they are in the margins, but we are here to give a message of hope to these children".

    "We are opposed to violence, both state and individual violence," Papandreou said, and called for the safeguarding of Athens and the institutions of democracy, while adding that a dialogue will take place to put forward the prospects of the young generation.

    On the first bill to be tabled by the government in parliament, Papandreou said that "society's cohesion cannot be achieved without transparency", adding that "the credibility of the institutions depends on the credibility of those who serve them".

    Papandreou said that the government will make significant changes in the manner of legislating, while regarding the uploading of administrative acts on the internet he stressed that "we want the citizens to known who decides what, and what the cost of every decision will be", adding that "the problem of corruption will not be solved overnight, but we are striking a heavy blow to the problem".

    Outlining the bill, interior, decentralisation and e-governance minister Yannis Ragoussis noted that the decisions of all ministers, general secretaries and special secretaries, first and second level local government agencies, public law entity administrators and agencies of the wider public sector will be uploaded, while a transparency service will also be set up in every ministry. He called on the political parties to shoulder their responsibilities "because public authority must be exercised in the light".

    He also explained that the uploading of the acts on the internet will not replace their publication in the Government Gazette or wherever else required by law, but supplement it, while decisions that are not required to be published in the Government Gazette will not be able to enter into force if they are not uploaded.

    Turning to other issues, Papandreou stressed that the country's exodus from the crisis will be accomplished through green development, and the second bill, that on the RES, provides for the production of new wealth, which will be shared out fairly.

    He said the RES are a top priority investment means, stressing that dependence on oil obstructs the autonomy of a country at the level of political decisions as well.

    Environment, energy and climate change minister Tina Birbili, outlining the RES bill, said the main goal was a drastic reduction of the time required for licensing RES, in conjunction with attainment of the national goal of meeting 20 percent of the country's energy needs by RES by 2020, with 40 percent of those covering electricity.

    [02] ND rejects proposal for early election bid

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman MP Prokopis Pavlopoulos, speaking in Parliament on Thursday, again voiced his party's rejection of a surprise proposal by the opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) aimed at forcing early elections in March.

    LA.OS president George Karatzaferis on Monday said the main opposition and his party should collaborate towards this end by employing the upcoming spring-time election of a new president by Parliament's 300 deputies, in which 180 MPs are necessary to elect a head of state. If no president is elected by the foreseen majority then general elections are declared, as dictated by the Constitution.

    [03] Greek-Chinese eco forum

    (ANA-MPA) -- European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas on Thursday inaugurated the first-ever Greek-Chinese Forum on the environment, held in Athens.

    Dimas, a former MP and minister in Greece, said the east Mediterranean country now trails behind other countries, as he referred to Spain and Denmark, which he singled out as world leaders in the renewable energy sources (RES) sector. He also pointed out that these two countries sell their RES technology, thus enjoying multiple gains.

    The two-day forum is co-hosted by the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) and the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST).

    [04] Stocks sharply down

    Stocks ended sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with the composite index of the market dropping 2.73 pct to end at 2,366.86 points. Turnover was 282.7 million euros, of which 10.7 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved downwards, with Foods & Beverages (5.35 pct), Insurance (1.49 pct) and Telecommunications (0.57 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day; the biggest losses were for Banks (5.35 pct), Media (4.88 pct) and Health (4.52 pct).

    The FTSE 20 index fell 3.67 pct, the FTSE 40 index lost 1.68 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 1.31 pct down. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 140 to 61 with another 47 issues unchanged.

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