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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] ND party expels Aristotelis Pavlidis
  • [02] Alternate FM Droutsas meets German SPD delegation
  • [03] City of Lefkada, the lady of colors
  • [04] BoG sees deeper recession
  • [05] PPC seeks rates increase

  • [01] ND party expels Aristotelis Pavlidis

    The Ethics Committee of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Tuesday proceeded with the expulsion of former minister Aristotelis Pavlidis.

    The Committee convened under the chairmanship of its president Ioannis Tragakis, at the request of the party's president Antonis Samaras, who referred Pavlidis with the question of final explusion from the ND party.

    The Committe decided unanimously that the reasons invoked by ND's president stand, that is "with his stance and behaviour in general, Mr. Pavlidis caused and is causing harm to the functioning of the party."

    [02] Alternate FM Droutsas meets German SPD delegation

    ANA-MPA/A Parliamentary delegation of the German SPD party met on Tuesday with Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, while SPD Deputy Angelika Swahl-Dieren said afterwards that the crisis does not concern Greece alone, it concerns the European Union and Germany, adding that "we are members of the Monetary Union and we must work together to overcome the crisis."

    The German deputy said that "we are impressed by the seriousness with which Prime Minister George Papandreou is handling the situation and is implementing the reforms and we hope that he will have the widest possible acceptance from the people in the efforts that he has scheduled and which are very difficult."

    Asked about the stance of Chancellor Angela Merkel on the implementation of the suport mechanism for the Greek economy, Dieren said that "the stance of the chancellor and the reservation that she has shown regarding support for Greece is not always understandable" and stressed that "it is in the benefit of all of us for the Monetary Union to remain stable."

    [03] City of Lefkada, the lady of colors

    Visitors to the city of Lefkada on the Ionian Sea island of the same name in western Greece, are greeted by impressive mansions of old aristocrats standing next to neoclassical and renaissance buildings that house museums and cultural institutions. Terraces made of wood, stone-built slip-roads and colorful tin houses, make up the old section of the city.

    The island is connected to the mainland by a long causeway, or draw bridge, and an undersea tunnel.

    The main shopping street is pedestrianised, and runs through the middle of the town to the north harbour. The stone-built pedestrian zone is where the city's heart beats.

    The city of Lefkada has been the capital of the island since the late 17th century when the Turks handed it over to Francesco Morosini, the descendent of a well-known Venetian family.

    Lefkada is said to be where the poet Sappho ended her life, while myths link the island to the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite and to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. In fact, it has been suggested that Lefkada was Odysseus' Ithaca.

    It was the birthplace and home of poet and politican Aristotelis Valaoritis (1824-1879) and the birthplace of the Greco-Irish orientalist and poet Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, who was later known also as Koizumi Yakumo.

    [04] BoG sees deeper recession

    ANA-MPA/Greece is facing a deeper recession this year, Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. George Provopoulos warned Tuesday, while he recommended a greater decrease in the fiscal deficit by the government.

    Presenting the bank's annual report, the Greek central banker said the current crisis was unprecedented for the country after the World War II, while he stressed it could not be dealt with using previous eras' reasoning. Provopoulos predicted that GDP would shrink more than 2.0 pct this year, while the country's public debt could surpass 120 pct of GDP and the fiscal deficit 13.6 pct of GDP in 2009.

    Provopoulos said that under such conditions employment could fall further, with the unemployment rate approaching 11 pct of the workforce. He acknowledged that negative developments in public finances and a crisis of confidence by markets have burdened the country's banking system, while he stressed that under these circumstances a government decision to request the activation of the eurozone-IMF support mechanism was a very positive development.

    [05] PPC seeks rates increase

    Public Power Corp. (PPC) chairman and chief executive Arthuros Zervos on Tuesday recommended a gradual increase of electricity prices from 2011, ahead of the abolition of free emission distribution rights in 2013, which was expected to raise power production costs.

    Speaking to reporters, Zervos said he did not exclude a decision for an immediate deregulation of electricity prices, within the framework of an agreement with the EU and the IMF.

    He said PPC was facing an increase of up to 25 pct in the cost of purchasing emission rights from 2013 (currently around 800 million euros annually) and cited IMF-recommended price cuts to boost the country‚s competitiveness.

    He said PPC‚s new business plan would be ready by June and would focus on renewable energy sources to meet a national target of covering 40 pct of power production in the country by 2020.

    Zervos said he was in favour of the state holding a 51-pct majority stake in the utility while he opposed the prospect of selling-off electricity production units.

    Finally, Zervos said PPC would complete a programme for 1,600 new hirings - which began in 2007 - as the utility was exempted from a general freeze of hirings in the wider public sector.


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