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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-05-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Resurgence in investor interest
  • [02] Unions call general strike for May 20
  • [03] Gov't on Erdogan's visit
  • [04] Athens archaeological unification
  • [05] OTE to delist from NYSE
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: Resurgence in investor interest

    The activation of the European support mechanism for Greece has led to a resurgence of interest by investors, Prime Minister George Papandreou told members of his cabinet during an informal meeting held on Wednesday to discuss ways to boost economic growth.

    Papandreou stressed that this interest had been expressed mainly after the rescue package for Greece was approved, showing that this had created a sense of security and stability for investors, who considered Greece protected by the support of the European loan mechanism.

    Regarding ways to revive growth, the prime minister stressed that developmental legislation was not a panacea but only part of an overall effort that must strive to create a viable and competitive model for growth.

    He stressed that Greece must take advantage of the present opportunity in two ways: firstly by facilitating enterprise and abolishing all bureaucratic obstacles, such as those required in order to found or operate a business; and secondly, by creating conditions that will help the country, inviting the kind of investment that will give another type of developmental prospect and another growth model.

    The prime minister repeated that social justice was among the priorities of the government, which would take all possible action to support the weaker sections of society. He stressed that the PASOK government was part of the solution and not part of the problem that offended the electorate's sense of justice, though it still had to prove this.

    The Greek people can daily see that there is justice and that this takes tangible form in anything related to cases of corruption, he added.

    Papandreou stressed that the government was making changes to a political system that was currently held in thrall by interests that were often extremely powerful. He emphasised the need to strengthen the political system, separate the powers, have an efficient government, transparency, systematic function of independent authorities along with protection of citizens and their rights.

    Among such changes he listed the 'Kallikratis' plan for local government reform, whose progress was outlined by Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis.

    The prime minister underlined that the support mechanism decided on by European leaders was a success for Greece, which would now have the time and space to carry out its programme while shielded from the worst excesses of the markets.

    He also highlighted that the decision made by the European Union had been delayed but was actually very fast compared with similar decisions in the past. He noted that the mechanism created was temporary and would apply for three years but that foundations had been laid for more serious changes to EU institutions relating to the economic coordination of the Eurozone.

    The Greek premier said his government and himself personally as president of the Socialist International would continue to strive for ways to control markets and tackle speculators, stressing that these were vital issues for the global economy.

    According to Papandreou, the majority of the electorate accepted the austerity measures taken by the government, even if they were unpleasant, but only on condition that the government succeeded in other areas. He emphasised the need for the stability programme to succeed, and to continue and make deeper changes capable of generating savings.

    Among the difficulties, he cited the way the public sector worked as a whole, stressing the need to find ways to save money and strike at waste and graft.

    [02] Unions call general strike for May 20

    The civil servants' trade union ADEDY and the private sector union GSEE have called a 24-hour general strike on Thursday, May 20, in opposition to a government draft law on social security.

    GSEE President Yiannis Panagopoulos on Wednesday referred to a "socially unfair" social security system sponsored by the government, adding that opposition of the private and public sector will be expressed in the nationwide general strike.

    On Tuesday, May 5 the two trade unions will give a press conference to present their positions and demands.

    [03] Gov't on Erdogan's visit

    Government spokesman George Petalotis stressed on Wednesday that the country's foreign policy is well-defined and "with clear-cut positions," adding that visits are being exchanged when necessary, referring to this week's visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Athens.

    "The visit will be held based on a specific framework and there is no question of misinterpretation as far as our positions are concerned; neither in Greek-Turkish relations nor in any other aspect of our international relations," he said.

    "It would be a mistake and our national interests will be hurt if we choose to avoid (meetings) because we have economic problems," Petalotis underlined, adding that "the government is implementing an aggressive policy and defends the country's rights at all levels and fora."

    On whether a discussion will be held on the joint exploitation of oil deposits that "certain ones" believe that exist in south Aegean, Petalotis stated that the framework of the discussions that will be held and the agreements that will be signed will be made public.

    "In theory, armaments reduction is a very positive doctrine for both sides," Petalotis said, responding to a press question on whether the government is open to a discussion on defence cuts.

    "Turkey should proceed with certain actions before we can speak about armaments' reductions," he said.

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Wednesday hailed an upcoming visit to Greece by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the start of a new effort for closer relations between Greece and Turkey.

    "It is a new effort, the start of this effort, which is happening with very careful steps, with very good preparation for a step-by-step approach," Droutsas said in Vienna, where he was attending an international seminar on the European prospects of the western Balkans.

    He appeared confident that the Turkish premier's visit, which he said had been "carefully and intensively prepared", would help in this direction.

    [04] Athens archaeological unification

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Wednesday unveiled plans to complete the 'Archaeological Unification Project' and create a 'walk' linking all the major archaeological sites of Athens through improvements to Vassilisis Olgas Avenue, annoucing a tender to choose the project contractor within 2010.

    Birbili said the project called for the linking of Zappion and the National Park with the temple of Olympian Zeus site and the completion of a 4km archaeological walk of the city that will begin at the Panathenian or 'Kallimarmaron' stadium to Kerameikos Square in Gazi.

    The budget for the project has been tentatively set at four million euros and will receive funding from the Regional Urban Programme of Attica.

    The results of the programme and the ideas submitted in the architectural competition will help form the final proposal and the tender for the project held within 2010.

    [05] OTE to delist from NYSE

    A decision by the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) to delist from the New York Stock Exchange is following a similar move made by Deutsche Telekom and other European companies, not only from the telecommunications sector, analysts said on Wednesday.

    OTE listed its shares in the NYSE in 1998, when the drachma was still in circulation, while the number of shares trading in the market totaled only 1.5 pct of total shares. Delisting from NYSE does not end trading of OTE's shares in the over the counter market.

    OTE said it reached this decision aiming to cut operating cost, reducing complexity of financial reports and concentrating trading of its shares in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new development bill, Finance Ministry Crime Squad's inspections and penalties that will start from June 1 against tax evaders, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Greece and the Environment Ministry's project on the upgrading of the historic district of Athens, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Greece will earn 1.1 billion euros every year from the lifting of cabotage restrictions".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Semi-enclosed balconies the model for all unlicenced buildings - Government wants fresh cash but without legalisation".

    AVGHI: "EU's strict surveillance mechanism - Commission will approve the member states' budgets before they are tabled in the parliaments".

    AVRIANI: "MPs fear system's total collapse - They lost their temper and verbally attacked publishers, entrepreneurs and journalists".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Government covers up the all night long Turkish provocations - Turkish fighter planes fly over the Aegean (inside Greek territory) and humiliate Greece".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Turkey's show of power ahead of Erdogan's visit to Athens - Unprecedented barrage of provocations".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Blocking of bank deposits for tax evasion of over 150,000 euros - Barrage of measures and audits against tax evaders".

    ESTIA: "How tax evasion can be fought - The reasons of the phenomenon are multiple".

    ETHNOS: "They are chasing the high prices - Government listing the cartels and attempts to stop price increases".

    IMERISSIA: "Three weapons against tax evaders".

    KATHIMERINI: "Probe into Ministers' penal accountability on scandals from 2000 on".

    LOGOS: "Checks into source of revenues in the acquisition of first home...and also for home loan repayment installments, effective retrospectively from Jan. 1 2010".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "EU asks to take over management of the economy".

    NIKI: "How they can block our savings accounts - What we are saying among us but dread to ask".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Counter-attack against penalisation pf struggles with a united front against the anti-popular policy".

    TA NEA: "Audit of wealth acquisition for one million professionals - Crosschecks with Tax Bureau".

    TO VIMA: "(Financial) Counter-terrorism squad against tax evaders - Special police squad established for the 'black' money".

    VRADYNI: "Awaiting the...investors - Worry in government over the lack of development".

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