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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras addresses ND pre-congress event
  • [02] PM on economy
  • [03] FinMin on banks

  • [01] Samaras addresses ND pre-congress event

    "Without the help of the Greeks abroad, we will not be able to rebuild the country the way it deserves," main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras said on Thursday, addressing the party's first Ecumenical Hellenism conference held in the context of the thematic pre-congresses being organised ahead of the upcoming ND 8th Congress.

    "You are the best part of Hellenism," Samaras told the delegates, and pledged that when ND takes over the government it will see to three items of priority, namely getting rid of the bureaucracy so that overseas Greeks can settle their problems without needing to go through all the red tape, boosting the teaching of the Greek language abroad, especially to the children of the overseas Greeks, and creating the conditions for the repatriation of all those who wish to return to Greece.

    On the issue of absentee voting for the Greeks abroad, he said that ND had tried to achieve this but had met with big resistance. "You know from whom. But I promise that we will try again, and this time we will succeed," Samaras said, adding that in the age of the internet distances are negated. "The Greek communities abroad have a say in Greece's destiny, and they should have a loud voice in its democracy. We promised you this, and we tried. I promise to try again, and this time we will succeed," he said.

    [02] PM on economy

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing Thursday's cabinet meeting, stressed that the great effort to reverse the country's disastrous course has started with success, adding that both the government's efforts and mainly the sacrifices of the Greek people are already being recognised.

    The prime minister said that the "course until now was not easy and the decisions taken were necessary to save the country, to enable us to be in a position today to pay salaries and pensions." In addition, as he said, "this effort aims at Greece never finding itself in the same position again and for this reason the deeper causes must be tackled that led to the current situation, which can only be handled with radical changes and reforms."

    Papandreou referred to his government's work over the eight-month period in office and stressed that the policies being applied "will allow us to exit permanently from the vicious circle of delay, inequality, the lack of the welfare state, low competitiveness as well as from the deficits and the debts."

    The prime minister further said that "it is our duty to secure that the state is in a position to pay pensions in the long run with a viable system and that this will be taking place with the greatest social justice possible. It is our duty to shape an employment environment that will protect, support and give opportunities to the most vulnerable citizens, and will also help the country to become more modern and more competitive."

    Papandreou once again rejected criticism that the Greek problem is due to the welfare state and underlined that Greece's problem was the management of both the welfare state and of the state in general. He added that the issue of competitiveness does not concern the welfare state, as it has also been proved in countries of the European north where it is being applied.

    He raised again the issue of the increase of the EU's own sources and mentioned that if a small tax was applied on fiscal transactions in the region of 0.05 percent, Europe could have revenues amounting to about 240 billion euros which would constitute a very considerable source. The issue of the increase of own sources through the imposition of the specific tax on fiscal transactions, a new tax on carbon dioxide and the issuing of Eurobonds will be raised, as Papandreou said, in discussions that will follow in the European Union on the new budget.

    As regards the bills discussed during Thursday's cabinet meeting, on the bill concerning fiscal management and responsibility and which will be tabled in Parliament by June 30, Papandreou stressed that it constitutes the first big step for the reforming of the budget that will be completed by 2013.

    Lastly, concerning the Environment ministry's bill, the prime minister said that the targets for Greece are the increase in the contribution of renewable energy sources to the energy balance and the decrease of gas emissions.

    [03] FinMin on banks

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, addressing the Hellenic Bank Association's (EET) general assembly on Thursday, appealed to the boards of Greek banks to "proceed with the big moves that will secure the future of the banking system."

    The minister stressed that the state supports, together with the European Central Bank, the local banking system and the banks in turn should "support themselves" and in extension the Greek economy and the households.

    Addressing the bankers, he said that it is time to look at the remuneration terms for their senior officials, as well as to safeguard the liquidity terms for households and businesses.

    The state, he added, has supported the Greek banking system with the 28 billion euros package, it recently increased the sector of guarantees by 15 billion euros and is prepared to do it more if necessary.

    The Finance minister appeared absolutely optimistic over the fiscal restructuring effort and in general over the implementation of the Greek economy's three-year adjustment programmne.

    The measures taken by the government are already baring fruit, the deficit has decreased by 39 percent in the first five months, while the revenues registered an increase of 8 percent and the decrease in expenditures amounts to 10 perecent. The minister underlined that the foundations have been laid and there is optimism that the state budget exceeds the targets that have been set.

    The minister stressed that the state supports, together with the European Central Bank, the local banking system and the banks in turn should "support themselves" and in extension the Greek economy and the households.

    Addressing the bankers, he said that it is time to look at the remuneration terms for their senior officials, as well as to safeguard the liquidity terms for households and businesses.

    The state, he added, has supported the Greek banking system with the 28 billion euros package, it recently increased the sector of guarantees by 15 billion euros and is prepared to do it more if necessary.

    The Finance minister appeared absolutely optimistic over the fiscal restructuring effort and in general over the implementation of the Greek economy's three-year adjustment programmne.

    The measures taken by the government are already baring fruit, the deficit has decreased by 39 percent in the first five months, while the revenues registered an increase of 8 percent and the decrease in expenditures amounts to 10 perecent. The minister underlined that the foundations have been laid and there is optimism that the state budget exceeds the targets that have been set.


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