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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND proposes probe on economy since 1981
  • [02] Draft bill on citizenship
  • [03] Tourism minister at New York

  • [01] ND proposes probe on economy since 1981

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) on Friday tabled its own proposal for the establishment of a fact-finding commission to investigate the course of the fiscal indicators and quality of the fiscal data from 1981 to February 2010.

    The motion, which was submitted to the parliament president, is signed by ND leader Antonis Samaras and former prime minister Costas Karamanlis as the second signatory, and contains the signatures of the party's entire parliamentary group.

    In the motion, the government and ruling PASOK party are accused of "persistence" in the establishment of a "totally superficial" fact-finding commission.

    It notes that ND is submitting its own proposal for the establishment of such a commission on the economy so that, with the purpose of consolidating transparency and formulating firm and healthy rules for the future, the real causes may be brought to light that led over the years -- and specifically from 1981, when Greece acceded the then EEC (EU today) -- the Greek economy to its present condition, both with respect to fiscal indicators and the quality of the fiscal figures.

    It further notes that the content of PASOK's proposal for establishing the commission, and particularly the time period to which it limits the investigation -- from 2004 (when ND took government) to October 2009 (when PASOK took over the government) -- proves that the government and PASOK aim neither at the consolidation of transparency in the economy, nor the establishment of firm and effective regulations for the country's institutional credibility. The government and PASOK "are not seeking the disclosure of the truth but its concealment", the motion says.

    ND, in its motion, accuses the government and PASOK of first of all trying to conceal the fact that, prior to the October 2009 elections, "and although, in accordance with their own admissions, they were fully aware of the state of the economy, they deliberately lied to the Greek people and liberally made promises to them which, of course, they knew they could not fulfill", at the same time that ND "had clearly and frankly told the truth about the critical state of the economy, at the same time presenting a package of necessary measures".

    It also accuses the government and PASOK of "covering up their own immense responsibilities over the fact that for four months -- when the present conjuncture does not allow even a single day to be lost -- they took no adequate and effective measure to confront the crisis, despite the severe recommendations of the European Union bodies, with adverse consequences for the economy, employment and the country's cost of borrowing".

    [02] Draft bill on citizenship

    The Interior ministry on Friday tabled in Parliament a draft bill revising the requirements for someone to acquire Greek nationality. The bill will be go before the appropriate Parliamentary committee for processing next week.

    The draft legislation modifies and supplements existing laws, redefining the terms and conditions under which the children of foreign nationals may acquire Greek nationality. It also alters the terms under which an adult foreigner may apply for Greek citizenship through naturalisation and the supporting documentation that must be submitted.

    A final article gives foreign nationals that are permanently resident in Greece the right to vote in municipal elections and to stand for election as municipal councillors, provided they are over the age of 21 and have an adequate knowledge of Greek.

    [03] Tourism minister at New York

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA - P. Panagiotou)/ Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos had a series of meeting during his visit to the United States, where he was visiting the 2010 New York Times Travel Show organised by the newspaper "New York Times".

    In statements on Saturday, Geroulanos stressed that this New York travel fair was very important for the tourism sector and attracted a large number of visitors.

    "Our job here is to promote Greece and its comparative advantages, its people and hospitality, its natural wealth and rich cultural heritage. All the things, in order words, that make our country special in these very difficult times," he told reporters.

    According to the minister, the government was waging an "uneven battle" because there was a dearth of both money and technical support, but again stressed the importance of putting in an appearance at the specific travel show.

    "Tourism is a strategic sector for the country's growth and it is extremely important to emerge from the crisis. And we are making our presence felt, both to the visitors that are here, to the international media, but also to our competitors and the markets that we consider crucial," he said.

    Before his arrival in New York, Geroulanos had visited Boston on Friday, where he had met members of the Greek-American community and people involved in the tourism sector in Massachussetts and New Hampshire.

    Among meetings held by the minister in New York on Saturday was one with the deputy tourism minister of South Africa Tokozile Xasa, whose country is also hosting the FIFA World Cup finals. On Sunday he is scheduled to meet several foreign delegations and representatives of travel agencies at the NYT Travel Show and to give several interviews with U.S. and foreign media.

    Greece is a sponsor of the New York Times Travel Show - in which there are upwards of 500 participants and a minimum estimate of 30,000 visitors. This means that the country's tourism sector is also heavily promoted in printed matter issued by newspaper.

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