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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Industries Federation president on government's measures
  • [02] Internal Affairs dept. discovers major scam by customs officials
  • [03] Droutsas meets UN Secretary General
  • [04] Farmers withdraw from Kedryllia
  • [05] Interior Min. on citizenship
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Greek Industries Federation president on government's measures

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni) - Federation of Greek Industries and Enterprises (SEB) president Dimitris Daskalopoulos reiterated here on Thursday the Federation's support for the Greek government's recent economic measures.

    He and the members of Europe's biggest employers organisation BUSINESSEUROPE presented the positions of European employers on the recovery of the European Union's economies to EU president Herman Van Rompuy and Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Asked by representatives of the European press to comment on the state of the Greek economy, he expressed the conviction that the Greek government took the right decisions and it is ready to implement the measures for the country's monetary adjustment to European standards.

    On the question of the degree of difficulty regarding the implementation of these measures, Daskalopoulos said that political consensus on the government measures is unprecedented for Greek reality and that, despite the existing reactions, Greek public opinion is aware that this is the only path for a solution to the problems of the Greek economy.

    Lastly, asked in what ways the Greek economy could return to growth rates, Daskalopoulos said that in Greece there is a huge business potential that could be released if the state modernises the legislative framework, curbs bureaucracy and deregulates the markets.

    [02] Internal Affairs dept. discovers major scam by customs officials

    ANA-MPA/The Greek Police Internal Affairs department has uncovered a major scam involving 10 customs officers that led to massive losses in customs and excise revenue. The discovery was the culmination of a year-long investigation whose findings were revealed on Thursday.

    The 10 customs officers are accused of forming a ring that used various tricks to falsify their books and allow thousands of trucks to cross the Greek-Albanian border into Albania in exchange for cash bribes.

    Accused in connection with the case are five employees of the Kakavia customs post, four employees of the Mertzani customs post in Ioannina prefecture and one customs officer at the central Ioannina customs service.

    According to the findings of the investigation, between September 27, 2008 and January 13, 2010 they allowed 11,814 trucks to illegally cross the Mertzani border crossing and 4, 780 trucks to illegal cross the Kakavia border crossing in the four years between January 2006 and 2010.

    The amount of revenue lost to the state is believed to be huge and the investigation has been extended to previous years. The money taken by the ring was proportional to the value of the goods being transported and was paid into a joint account to be shared out later.

    The customs officials involved have been charged with repeated counts of legalising income from criminal activity, repeated counts of conspiracy to abuse authority, and conspiring to commit breach of faith.

    [03] Droutsas meets UN Secretary General

    New York (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) -- Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas, on a visit to the US, met Thursday evening (NY time, early Friday Greek time) with UN secretary general Bank Ki-moon for discussions that included the Cyprus issue, the FYROM name issue, and the critical problem of ship piracy by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, given that Greece currently chairs the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

    The IMO, a special agency of the United Nations for maritime safety and security and the prevention of marine pollution from ships which is headed by Greece's Efthimios Mitropoulos, created the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), a voluntary ad hoc international forum that brings together and encourages countries, organisations and industry groups with an interest in combating piracy, on January 14, 2009. Greece will chair the 6th Plenary Meeting of the CGPCS that will be held in New York in May.

    Other issues discussed were the situation in Afghanistan and climate change.

    After the 40-minute meeting, Droutsas told reporters: "Beyond the major international issues, such as climate change, we focused our attention on matters of Greek interest, such as the developments in the Cyprus issue, particularly after the Secretary General's visit to Cyprus. The Secretary General briefed me on the outcome of that visit. We also discussed the FYROM name issue, and I once again briefed the Secretary General on the Greek positions and expressed to him Greece's volition to contribute to a resolution of the issue, expecting, naturally, the Skopje side to respond with the same constructive manner at the negotiations table in the UN. The Greek 'red line' is known to all."

    [04] Farmers withdraw from Kedryllia

    Protesting farmers from the prefecture of Serres, announced late Thursday night their decision to withdraw their tractors from the Kedryllia interchange on Egnatia road on Friday at 12.00.

    On Friday noon, farmers will also abandon their roadblock at the Strymonikos intersection on the Serres-Thessaloniki highway following a decision taken by their federations on Thursday.

    According to a spokesman for the Serres farmers, they are withdrawing from the roadblock "disappointed by the government's stance" but willing to give a "six-month grace period" for fulfillment of the government's pledges.

    [05] Interior Min. on citizenship

    Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis, on the occasion of the tabling in Parliament of the bill on citizenship, outlined the main points contained in the bill.

    The minister stressed that the bill only concerns legal immigrants in Greece, meaning those legalised over the past 20 years with the last procedure being that of 2005-2007, when 150,000 economic immigrants were legalised, that is those who had come to Greece by January 1, 2005.

    Children born in Greece from parents that both the mother and father are staying in Greece legally for at least five years take Greek citizenship automatically.

    The children of legal immigrants who have not been born in Greece but who have attended successfully lessons at a Greek school for six years can also receive Greek citizenship.

    For the first time, the right to vote in first stage local elections is enacted for expatriates and immigrants staying in the country legally, provided that they have final residence permits. Immigrants will be able to be elected up to the post of municipal councillor on condition that they can speak the Greek language adequately. The Interior ministry assesses that the number of those being able to register in election catalogues amounts to 266,250 people, that corresponds to 0.65 percent of voters.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    ‘he Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister George Papandreou's statements in New Delhi on the government's measures to curb tax evasion, the crisis in the eurozone and a draft law on the granting of Greek citizenship to legal migrants, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Main opposition New Democracy's (ND) stance hardens - Beginning with migration issue".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Fortunately, the government paid attention to main opposition ND leader Antonis Samaras' three crucial points on the migration issue'.

    AVGHI: "Turmoil in ruling PASOK over the government's unconditional surrender".

    AVRIANI: "Deutsche Bank's 'bomb' that Greece has already gone bankrupt and the planned heavy taxation on stock dividends...sink the Banks and the blue chips on the Stock Market".

    CHORA: "Euro's slump leads to supervision".

    ELEFTHEROS: "People hurry, the Greek citizenship is on offer!"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "PASOKs deputies admit that 'the government has no plan'."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: " 'Sharks' in the Mediterranean - After Greece, speculators attack Spain and Portugal".

    ESTIA: "The government is lost in words - Measures have been announced but are not being implemented".

    ETHNOS: "War against tax evasion".

    IMERISSIA: "Markets in new vortex - The crisis is spreading ".

    KATHIMERINI: "Debt 'virus' spreads in EU".

    LOGOS: "Migrants eligible for Greek citizenship must pass examination on Greek language and history".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet backs Greece's Stability Plan".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "United popular counterattack against capital and the parties of the bourgeois".

    TA NEA: "Law grants citizenship to 500,000 migrants".

    TO VIMA: "Speculation storm hits euro and banks - Crisis in eurozone widens".

    VRADYNI: "War between euro and US dollar - Pressure on eurozone peaks".


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