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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-24
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM: Tax bill a big reformPrime minister George Papandreou called the new tax bill an immense reform and revolutionary change, addressing an Inner Cabinet meeting he chaired for discussion of the bill in its finalised form.
Referring to the two-day EU Summit that opens Thursday in Brussels, Papandreou stated that if some members persisted against the creation of a European support mechanism, he would put forward the issue himself in cooperation with the Spanish EU presidency.
Regarding the tax bill more specifically, Papandreou said it was typical of his government's commitment that it would not make "patches" but, rather, change the philosophyof the taxation system.
He added that the bill "clearly bears the seal of our progressive perception, but also the sense of social justice that the citizens so need in the present difficult days".
Papandreou further said that the government has no delusions that the tax bill solves all the problems of the taxation system automatically, adding that corrections will be needed along the way.
He stressed that only with major structural changes will the country be safeguarded, and only those are able to guarantee that extroardinary measures will not be required again in the future, as they were this year.
 Samaras to address EPP session in BrusselsMain opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras will arrive on Wednesday to attend a European People's Party (EPP) Summit meeting in the Belgian capital.
Samaras has been invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be the keynote speaker at the session, focusing on the problems faced by Greece, while presenting proposals that will lead the country out of the crisis within the framework of the eurozone.
ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said Samaras is determined to utilise all available means in his possession to persuade Berlin to consent to finding a proper solution for Greece within the framework of the eurozone.
 Switch to Summer Time on March 28Greece will switch to Summer Time (or Daylight Saving Time) three hours after midnight on Sunday, March 28.
At 3:00 in the morning on Sunday, clocks will be adjusted one hour forward to read 4:00. The switch to Summer Time is made in all European Union countries and will apply until the last Sunday in October.
 Turkish corvette sailing between Falkonera and AntimilosANA-MPA/According to the National Defence General Staff, the Turkish corvette "Bafra" was sailing, on Tuesday evening, between Falkonera and Antimilos, in the Cycladic islands, in international waters and on a northward course, followed always by the Greek gunboat "Navmachos."
The Turkish corevette had sailed from the gulf of Izmir on Monday. It initially followed a northward course in the central and northern Aegean and then it moved to the south along the Turkish coast.
It then followed a westward course sailing in the southern Aegean. At noon it was located northwest of Santorini. The Greek gunboat has been watching the movements of the Turkish corvetee from the start.
 Policy of open horizonsWith initiatives and a foreign policy of open horizons, Greece was returning to the centre of international developments with its credibility restored, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said on Tuesday at an international business conference entitled "Greece at the Crossroads: Will reforms bring competitiveness and Investments?" organised by the International Herald Tribune.
"We are exercising a foreign policy of open horizons, we have interests in the broader region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, we are present when it comes to tackling the great issues that concern humanity, such as climate change, fighting terrorism and energy security," Droutsas told the conference.
Among others, he pointed out, Greece would soon take over the presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation pact and was currently chairing the Contact Group on Piracy off the Somalia coast.
As a part of this policy of initiatives, Droutsas highlighted both the meeting between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia premier Nikola Gruevski two days earlier in Brussels, as well as his own upcoming visit to Turkey on March 30.
 Tourist arrivals at 2009 levelsThis year's tourism arrivals are expected at the same level as last year's but at the same time tourist sector revenues are expected to be slightly down, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels president Giorgos Tsakiris predicted on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference, he called on all those involved in the tourism sector to join forces in an effort to reverse the negative picture.
On their part, Greek hotel owners have responded to the sector pleas for a 5-pct reduction in their prices, which in certain cases is larger than 15 pct, according to the chamber.
In an effort to boost tourist arrivals in Athens, the chamber again touched on the issue of cabotage, requesting the lifting of restrictions still in effect concerning the scheduling of cruises from Greek seaports (Piraeus in particular) suggesting that Piraeus be turned into a cruise ship hub.
As a result of such a move, the annual revenues are estimated to top the 500-million-euro mark with the prospect to exceed 1 billion euros.
 Melina Mercouri awardBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced here on Tuesday the creation of an award amounting to 1.5 million euros titled "Melina Mercouri award", which will be given every year to the cultural capitals of Europe.
"All started in 1985 in Athens, the craddle of European mythology under the auspices of (then culture minister) Melina Mercouri. She contributed decisively with her determination to the success of the first cultural capital of Europe. For this reason we decided to honour her name, through the new financing apparatus for the cultural capitals," Barroso said.
The initiative on the cultural capitals of Europe began in 1984 from former French culture minister Jack Lang in cooperation with his then counterpart Melina Mercouri.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The EU support mechanism for Greece and speculations of IMF involvement, the EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday and Eurogroup meeting, the new tax and social security measures and the taxation of Church property, dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Elastic working hours in public sector".
APOGEVMATINI: "Alarm for Greece - Its future and fate will be decided on Thursday and Friday in Brussels ".
AVGHI: "In the IMF's grips...Government's bluff a prophecy".
AVRIANI: "Church hierarchs ready to rebel - They threaten to dethrone Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece if he doesn't dynamically react against the taxation of Church property".
ELEFTHEROS: "German map presents the Dodecanese island complex in the Aegean Sea as belonging to Turkey - Meanwhile a Turkish corvette...cruised the Cyclades Islands complex".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Thatcherist PASOK (ruling party) - Flagrant implementation of the toughest and most antisocial economic model".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "German-French behind-the-scenes for agreement to be reached".
ESTIA: The newspaper published a copy of its 25 March 1901 edition.
ETHNOS: "Euroassistance at point zero - Prime Minister George Papandreou ready for tough bargaining at EU Summit".
IMERISSIA: "Solution under EU-IMF collaboration - The agreement closes, but with three tough conditions".
KATHIMERINI: "German-French agreement for IMF - Paris and Berlin advance a support mechanism in the event of inability to give loan to Greece".
LOGOS: "Germany sets three conditions for assistance to Greece - The target is an agreement to be reached today, before the EU Summit".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "The Europeans go for a solution with IMF implication".
NIKI: "Papandreou's message on the tax bill: "No patchwork".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Government's new attack - Bleeding of the people with the new tax bill".
TA NEA: "The new social security calendar of terror - Twenty two reversals in three installments".
TO VIMA: "Shock-regulations for pensions, too".
VRADYNI: "Final countdown - Tough bargaining at EU Summit over the Euroassistance".
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