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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] Papoutsis on role of European Institutions in econ crisis (RECASTS)
  • [03] Conference on climate change policy ends in Athens
  • [04] Education minister presents Mathematical Society awards
  • [05] KKE calls for resistance
  • [06] Tourism minister in New York
  • [07] PAO tops standings

  • [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] Papoutsis on role of European Institutions in econ crisis (RECASTS)

    Ruling PASOK Parliamentary group spokesman Christos Papoutsis on Friday referred to European institutions amid the currrent Greek and European economic crisis, noting in Parliament that "if, and I strongly hope not, our country is forced to address the IMF, I want to make it clear to everyone that this will be the absolute responsibility of Mr. (Jean-Claude) Trichet, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the European Institutions that deny to play their role, accept their responsibilities and cover the big gap that exists in the European Treaty."

    Papoutsis, a former EU Commissioner, called for Europe to create a proper emergency financing mechanism and a support mechanism for euro and the European monetary system.

    "... We have decided to take all the appropriate measures for the Greek economy. We have decided to fight for the enhancement of both Euro and EMU but on the other hand we have definitely decided to guarantee the potential and the future of Greek people. And this is what we'll do with great consistency‚¶" he said.

    [03] Conference on climate change policy ends in Athens

    ANA-MPA/The need for a fresh political outlook able to mobilise social forces and a global conference of civil society organisations before the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico were stressed as necessary conditions for reversing the 'cuts' in policy to cut carbon emissions begun at Copenhagen, during the last day of a two-day conference held in Athens on "Copenhagen 2009: the environment in the wake of a global crisis" that ended on Sunday.

    The conference was organised at Pantion University by the European Centre for Environmental Research and Training, under the aegis of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change ministry.

    Among speakers on Sunday were Professor of International Law Grigoris Tsaltas, representatives of non-government environmental groups like Greenpeace, WWF Hellas and SOS Mediterranean Network and ANA-MPA Managing Director Nikolas Voulelis, who stressed the need for "new concepts, new words and a deep rechristening of classic meanings through a modern debate to mobilise citizens, simultaneous to the search for viable models for growth that are compatible with the protection of the environment."

    Voulelis also forecast that environmental issues would contribute to creating new political correlations and new political concepts in Europe.

    "I believe that the more advanced sections of the political spectrum, in other words certain forces of the Left and the ecological parties and movements can attempt to convert a renewed political speech on "common goods" to a motive force for huge social forces," he said.

    [04] Education minister presents Mathematical Society awards

    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou on Sunday presented the awards of the Hellenic Mathematical Society to students from middle schools and high schools throughout the country at a special ceremony held at the Athens University ceremonial hall.

    During remarks at the event, she underlined the need for major changes to primary and secondary education in Greece, citing serious problems with the curriculum but also teaching methods that tended to reward rote learning rather than encouraging children to develop critical ability.

    [05] KKE calls for resistance

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Sunday called for the working class to rise up against the dictates of the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying this struggle should take the form of a collective counter-attack.

    "Either the plutocracy will go bankrupt or the Greek people will go bankrupt. There is the Greece of the rich and the Greece of the people. We are with this last Greece, the one that must not go bankrupt: the Greece of the working people".

    Papariga was speaking at an event marking the 67th anniversary since the foundation of EPON, the youth group founded during the Nazi occupation of Greece by the National Liberation Front (EAM), the resistance movement affiliated to KKE.

    [06] Tourism minister in 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.

    [07] PAO tops standings

    Panathinaikos Athens kept its two-point lead atop the Greek Superleague standings on Sunday by downing a tough Panionios Athens team away 2-0. Earlier, Olympiacos Piraeus stayed in the championship hunt by edging lowly Atromitos Athens 2-0. PAOK Thessaloniki also shares second place with Olympiacos after thumping Xanthi away on Saturday 3-0.

    In other action:

    Asteras Tripolis - Iraklis Thessaloniki 0-4

    AEK Athens - Ergotelis Crete 1-0

    Panthrakikos Komotini - Kavala 1-3

    Levadiakos Livadia - PAS Yannina 4-1

    Aris Thessaloniki - Larissa 2-0

    The standings after the 24th week of play

    Panathinaikos 55

    Olympiakos 53

    PAOK 53

    AEK 42

    Aris 38

    Kavala 36

    Atromitos 31

    Asteras Tripolis 30

    Ergotelis 29

    Panionios 28

    Iraklis 28

    Xanthi 25

    Levadiakos 24

    Larissa 24

    PAS Yannina 21

    Panthrakikos 12

    Caption: Panathinaikos' players celebrate after their victory over Panionios, 2-0 on Sunday 28 February. ANA-MPA/ DIMITRIS BIRDAHAS

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