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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou in Brussels on Wednesday
  • [02] Pension system reforms
  • [03] Rehn on Greek deficit

  • [01] Papandreou in Brussels on Wednesday

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday will fly from Budapest to Brussels where he will hold talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking on Tuesday at an event of the Hungarian Socialist Party, together with the party's candidate in the April 11 elections, Atila Mesterhazi, said that Hungary and Greece are managing the crisis while, apart from this management, the specific period is a period of changes that will lead to the stabilisation of the economy and will pave the way for "green growth", as well as fairer economies and fair redistribution of wealth.

    The prime minister said the crisis has an international character, mentioning that 20 years ago "the Berlin Wall fell and now the Wall Street wall fell and the mythologies on the God-state and the God-market fell with them respectively."

    Papandreou said "behind these mythologies lies a huge concentration of power, a concentration of bureaucracy and wealth and all this requires democratic arrangement, the enactment of rules and the enactment of limits for the handling of profiteering," stressing that one should cooperate in all these.

    He further said that the global governance constitutes a challenge for the younger generation and noted "we need more Europe and more global governance, whose challenge will be green growth, economic growth and democracy."

    "The vision of socialdemocracy is a realistic path of changes," Papandreou said.

    [02] Pension system reforms

    The team of experts holding dialogue on reforming Greece's ailing social insurance system held their final session on Tuesday and presented their report to the labour ministry's leadership. In the lengthy report, they basically arrive at 12 points of agreement that refer more to general directions than to specific measures.

    Accepting the report, Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos said that there was no other option than to adopt these policy directions and that the government was working in order to ready a draft bill that would be ready to table in Parliament immediately after the Easter holiday.

    The completion of the dialogue marked the start of a "race" by the ministry's leadership so that the entire Parliamentary process for reforming social insurance will have been completed within eight weeks and the bill passed into law by mid-May, Loverdos said.

    The minister said that the government's plans were already made and just two stages remained in preparing the draft bill: the first was an informal cabinet meeting where the ministry would outline the basic principles of the envisaged reforms and the second was the Parliamentary debate, which he said would be based on article 36, paragraph 7 of Parliament's regulations.

    [03] Rehn on Greek deficit

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said here on Tuesday that "Greece is now on track to achieve a target of 4 percent deficit reduction this year, 2010."

    He also added that Greece will present its next report by mid-May, reiterating that "euro-area member-states are ready to take determined and coordinated action to safeguard financial stability in the eurozone, if necessary," echoing statements from Monday's eurozone meeting.

    In concluding, he reminded that Athens has not asked for assistance as yet.


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