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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM defends measures on transparency
  • [02] ND on party congress, pension reforms
  • [03] 11 bodies, believed illegal migrants, wash up on Evros River banks
  • [04] Ag minister discusses canned fruits ban with Argentine envoy
  • [05] Limnos-Canakkale ferry service

  • [01] PM defends measures on transparency

    (ANA-MPA) -- A draft bill dubbed "Programme Clarity" prompted heated arguments when it was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, including an intervention by Prime Minister George Papandreou in defence of government measures that he said were imperative for rescuing the country.

    "The common denominator in all that we do is transparency everywhere. All our choices are aimed at one goal, to permanently change Greece. To enable it to stand firmly on its feet and emerge from the crisis into which it was led by the old, bankrupt, opaque and clientelist political system and, above all, to create prospects for it," Papandreou underlined.

    The draft legislation tabled by Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis will make it mandatory for all acts by administrative and government organs to be posted on the Internet, in addition to existing forms of publications such as the government gazette, in a bid to boost transparency throughout the public sector. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] ND on party congress, pension reforms

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos on Monday emphasised that the 8th party congress showed that ND, under the leadership of Antonis Samaras, is being "renewed and reformed, and is ready to suggest a way out of the impasse created for the country by the ruling PASOK party."

    He also announced that the party's political committee will convene on Friday for the first time after the ND congress to elect a secretary and the executive committee members.

    Referring to the social insurance draft law, he said that ND will vote against it in principle but certain individual articles that are on the right direction will be supported. He stressed that "the government imposes tough sacrifices on the people which, however, do not ensure a viable social insurance system," underlining that "the sacrifices are meaningless."

    Panagiotopoulos said ND has called for a public dialogue after last week's deadly bomb attack on the citizen's protection ministry building to assess the security measures in the country and proceed with changes if necessary. "ND will engage in tough criticism when necessary and support the government policy when it is in the right direction," he said.

    Panagiotopoulos added that ND "strongly condemns such initiatives and actions" commenting on the union mobilizations announced to take place at the port of Piraeus. He underlined that the right to strike is guaranteed in the Constitution, adding however, that "blockades and sit-ins are unacceptable."

    [03] 11 bodies, believed illegal migrants, wash up on Evros River banks

    (ANA-MPA) -- Eleven bodies have been washed up on the banks of the Evros River in the last few days, authorities announced on Wednesday. Nine were found by fishermen during the last 48 hours, while two were found on Saturday.

    The bodies belonged to six men and five women and were all found on the riverside between Dilofos and Marasio. They are believed to belong to a group of illegal immigrants that attempted to cross the border from Turkey in a boat or dinghy that either sank or capsised. (ANA-MPA)

    All 11 were taken to a morgue in the NE city of Alexandroupolis for an autopsy, while coroners estimate that they were (ANA-MPA) each young individuals aged between 20 and 25 years old.

    [04] Ag minister discusses canned fruits ban with Argentine envoy

    (ANA-MPA) -- Agriculture Minister Katerina Batzeli met on Wednesday with Argentine ambassador to Greece Jorge Alejandro Mastropietro for talks focusing on the recent difficulties faced by Greek canned peach exports to the large South American nation.

    According to subsequent announcements, both countries enjoy excellent trade relations and do not wish to disrupt trade ties, a reference to a recent ban on canned peaches from Greece.

    The Greek minister added that such excellent relations should not be undermined by "unilateral commercial measures serving only short-term goals ... however, in the long term, such actions can lead to a disruption of bilateral trade ties."

    Athens had tabled the matter for discussion at the EU farm ministers' council in Brussels on Tuesday.

    [05] Limnos-Canakkale ferry service

    ISTANBUL (ANA-MPA) -- A commercial route linking the seaport of Canakkale, Turkey with the Greek island of Limnos in the northeastern Aegean began operation on June 17 following the signing of a relevant protocol between the local prefectural authorities of the respective regions. (ANA-MPA)

    Ferries disembark from Canakkale at 19:00 on Thursdays and Fridays and from Limnos at 07:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. The voyage lasts two hours and 15 minutes. (ANA-MPA)

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