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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papoulias congratulated by Samaras
  • [02] PM Papandreou congratulates President on re-election
  • [03] EU on Greece's fiscal cuts plan

  • [01] Papoulias congratulated by Samaras

    (-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday congratulated President of Republic Karolos Papoulias over his re-election to the post.

    Samaras went to the presidential mansion soon after Papoulias' election by Parliament deputies to convey his best wishes.

    "My congratulations for your sweeping re-election, allow me to wish you strength," Samaras was quoted as telling Papoulias, who thanked him for his support.

    [02] PM Papandreou congratulates President on re-election

    Prime minister George Papandreou called on newly re-elected President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday to congratulate him.

    "You honored the office in the best way and have the broadest consensus. I am certain that in the face of the national crises, as the country is going through a big misadventure, a very broad consensus is being formed among the Greek people to back the policies needed so that we may move forward," Papandreou said.

    Papoulias expressed his appreciation of the ruling PASOK's nomination and support for his re-election.

    [03] EU on Greece's fiscal cuts plan

    The European Commission on Wednesday adopted Greece's fiscal cuts plan but placed the country under surveillance, while it decided to start procedures against Greece for failing to deliver credible fiscal statistics in the past.

    The European Commission adopted a series of recommendations to ensure that Greece's budget deficit is brought below 3% of GDP by 2012, that the government timely implements a reform programme to restore the competitiveness of its economy and generally runs policies that take account of its long-term interest and the general interest of the euro area and of the European Union as a whole.

    The Commission, in a report, said it shared the ambitious budget-deficit reduction targets that the Greek government has set itself as well as the fiscal measures and structural reforms announced in the stability programme.

    The Commission also welcomed the announcement by the Greek government, on Tuesday, of a set of additional fiscal measures (concerning the wage bill, excises on fuel and pension reform), to safeguard the budgetary targets set in the programme. It called on Greece to spell out the announced fiscal measures and implementation calendar in the coming weeks and welcomed its readiness to adopt and swiftly implement additional measures if needed. The fiscal measures to be implemented in 2011 and 2012 should also be further detailed. Implementation of all the measures, including the reforms to increase the competitiveness of the economy in the field of pensions, healthcare, public administration, the functioning of product markets, labour market, absorption of structural funds, supervision of the financial sector, and statistics, will be carefully monitored through regular reports to be sent to the Commission by Greece.

    "Greece has adopted an ambitious programme to correct its fiscal imbalances and to reform its economy. Yesterday's announcement strengthens the government's commitment to deliver the programme's objectives of more sustainable public finances and a more competitive economy. This is in the interest of the Greek people, who will benefit of better and more durable growth and job opportunities in the future, and it is in the interest of the euro area and of the EU as a whole. The Commission fully supports Greece in this difficult task," said Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, adding: " The Commission will monitor the execution of the budget and of the reforms very closely and regularly and welcomes the Greek government's readiness to adopt further measures as and when necessary ".

    The Commission's integrated recommendations will be discussed at the February Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings.

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