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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou to meet with Barack Obama
  • [02] Labour minister denies plans to cut wages in private sector
  • [03] 4.3R earthquake in central Greece
  • [04] Papoulias, Pangalos meeting
  • [05] Katseli on VAT increase
  • [06] 4.3R in W. Aegean
  • [07] Thessaloniki, Busan twinned
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou to meet with Barack Obama

    ANA-MPA/Prime Minister George Papandreou will meet on Tuesday with US President Barack Obama in Washington. Earlier, Papandreou will hold talks with with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol.

    On Monday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the efforts being made by the Greek government to handle the economic crisis and accepted the suggestion by the Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou for the US and the other major economies of the planet to discuss the need to improve auditing apparatuses in markets during the next G20 summit.

    During their 45-minute meeting at the State Department, the Greek prime minister and the head of American diplomacy also discussed developments on the issue of Cyprus, the Balkans and NATO operations in Afghanistan.

    [02] Labour minister denies plans to cut wages in private sector

    ANA-MPA/The European Commission has at no time asked Greece to cut the holiday wages in the private sector, Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos repeated on Monday in Brussels, where he is attending a meeting of EU employment ministers.

    Loverdos underlined that the issue had not been raised during his recent meeting with European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn, nor in two earlier meetings with experts sent by the European Commission, Eurostat and the European Central Bank.

    [03] 4.3R earthquake in central Greece

    A light earthquake registering 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded before dawn Tuesday in central Greece.

    According to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamic Institute and Thessaloniki Aristotle University's (AUTH) Geophysics Laboratory, the earthquake was recorded at 4:55 a.m. at a distance of 100 kilometers north-northwest of Athens, with its epicentre in the sea area between Northern Evia and Skopelos in the Northern Sporades island complex.

    [04] Papoulias, Pangalos meeting

    ANA-MPA/President Karolos Papoulias on Monday received government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos at the presidential mansion.

    Upon his arrival, Pangalos stated that "the atmosphere is not pleasant", referring to a series of austerity measures adopted by the government , while pointing out, however, that "it is justifiable".

    He also stated that "the prime minister won some good commitments in the meetings with our (European) partners."

    Later, Papoulias met with Health and Social Solidarity Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou

    Upon her arrival at the presidential mansion, Xenoyiannakopoulou stated that "a battle is being fought for the National Health System" and noted that "despite the major economic difficulties, the prime minister has made the specific sector a priority because hirings are necessary."

    Xenoyiannakopoulou stated that a priority is given to the Intensive Care Units (ICU), stressing that 83 new ICU hospital beds are already available expected to reach 150 in the near future.

    [05] Katseli on VAT increase

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Monday hailed pledges by industrial and business organisations for action to absorb the rise in VAT imposed by the government so that it was not passed on to consumers.

    "It is important to support the real income and not pass the increases onto prices. At the same time, we are taking all necessary steps, activating inspection mechanisms and consumer organisations and including new products and services in the price Observatory," she said.

    Her views were echoed by the head of the GSEBEE workshops and light industry union Dimitris Asimakopoulos, who stressed that it would be impossible to tack the VAT increase onto prices during the current period.

    "There is such a big reduction in turnover that not only can we not increase prices, even if this would be justified, but we are forced to reduce prices," he said.

    Replying to rumours about a possible reduction of the 14th 'holiday' wage in the private sector as well, Katseli said the government's role "is not to intervene in the negotiations of the social partners," meaning between trade unions and employer associations.

    [06] 4.3R in W. Aegean

    A light earthquake registering 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded before dawn Tuesday in the western Aegean Sea.

    According to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamic Institute and Thessaloniki Aristotle University's (AUTH) Geophysics Laboratory, the earthquake was recorded at 4:55 a.m. at a distance of 100 kilometers north-northwest of Athens, with its epicentre in the sea area between Northern Evia and Skopelos in the Northern Sporades island complex.

    [07] Thessaloniki, Busan twinned

    Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos signed a twinning protocol with Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik on Monday within the framework of his visit to South Korea.

    The signing of the protocol took place at the City Hall of Busan in the presence of state officials and production sector representatives.

    Busan, Korea's largest seaport and the fifth largest in the world, is a candidate city for the 2020 Olympic Games.

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime minister George Papandreou's visit to the US, the anticipated joint EU-US policy line against speculation, the foundation of a European Monetary Fund being advanced by the eurozone member states, and economy minister Louka Katselis' announcement of 2 billion euros in low-interest state-guaranteed loans under the Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Very Small Enterprises (TEMPME) were the main front-page items in Athens dailies on Tuesday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Two billion euros in low-interest loans for 100,000 enterprises".

    APOGEVMATINI: "30 percent less syllabus material for all primary and junior-high school classes as of September, by decision of education minister Anna Diamantopoulou".

    AVGHI: "Opinion poll shows rift over government measures - Turn-about in public opinion on the anti-social measures - From shock to rejection".

    AVRIANI: "The crisis is sinking the political system - PASOK and ND's percentages plunging - Strong wave of dispute of the economic measures by society".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Ministers in 'plaster casts' - Institutional divergence on the pretext of the crisis".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "European (Monetary) Fund vs. IMF (International Monetary Fund) - Green light from Merkel and Brussels, after Sarkozy".

    ESTIA: "The Greek public sector a barrel full of holes - It cannot be salvaged with liquidity 'patches'."

    ETHNOS: "Front against the international speculators - Papandreou conveying European proposal to Obama".

    IMERISSIA: "EU coordination for rescue of Greece".

    KATHIMERINI: "European designing its monetary defense, prompted by the Greek problem".

    LOGOS: "Visit to the US, with European backing - Critical meeting with Obama today - Papandreou appeal for front against speculators".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "European Commission: Proposal ready for European Monetary Fund".

    NIKI: "The nightmare of a social explosion causes turmoil in PASOK, brings government reshuffle".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Working women, rise up against the policy that is shattering your lives - PAME rally yesterday (Monday) on International Women's Day".

    TA NEA: "The speculators the 'first course' - Critical Obama-George meeting".

    TO VIMA: "Change the salary and work regime now - Olli Rehn (EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner), in interview with To Vima, calls for measures in the private sector as well".

    VRADYNI: "The 'green guards' are returning - Razing of the state, with Ragoussis (interior minister) draft law" on the selection of public-sector managerial staff.


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