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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: Gov't not distracted by criticism
  • [02] Samaras to address ND event on Migration
  • [03] Permanent exhibition on Nikos Kazantzakis opens on Crete
  • [04] Permanent exhibition on Nikos Kazantzakis opens on Crete
  • [05] Pension reform bill debate
  • [06] Katseli to brief FPA
  • [07] SYRIZA event on soc. sec. bill

  • [01] PM: Gov't not distracted by criticism

    Athens (ANA-MPA) - Prime minister George Papandreou said his government's attention on its targets was not distracted by the criticism his government was facing or the preparations for the founding of new political parties, in the second part of an interview with Eleftherotypia daily appearing on Monday.

    The first part of the interview was published in the newspaper's Sunday edition.

    He said he considered it an unprecedented feat for a parliamentary group to shoulder such immense responsibilities and to decide on such difficult matters, and also to ignore the temporary benefit and look instead to the collective interest, far removed from petty party expediencies.

    Papandreou sharply criticised main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, noting that the Memorandum signed with the EU and IMF was that of the policy followed by the preceding ND government.

    The wager, the premier stressed, is for Greece to turn page, "and I don't see ND willing to help".

    He also criticised ND former prime minister Costas Karamanlis of indifference to the international image of the country and the economy during his five years in office.

    The premier charged that those who conduct "easy criticism" on television programs and "salons" have not realised what Greece has gone through and how difficult its position is.

    On the other hand, "I considered it my patriotic duty to save the country and not to accept default without a fight", Papandreou said in reply to criticism from the Left that he is a "prime minister of limited liability".

    Papandreou further criticised the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) positions as being counter to the interests of the working people, the Greek society and the country itself.

    "Those who wish to be called Leftists must reject dogmatism and maintain a position of responsibility," he added.

    Reiterating that his predecessor in office, Karamanlis, never presented a clear picture of the reality, and charged that even two days before the last general elections the government had issued an official document that the deficit was only 6 percentage points of GDP instead of the actual 14 percent, which "he knew very well".

    On the formation of new political parties, Papandreou opined that it was only natural at a time when the country was going through such a big crisis, and particularly when the positions of the existing parties were not clear-cut or responsible and were "fishing in muddy waters".

    [02] Samaras to address ND event on Migration

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras will address a party event on Monday afternoon on migration issues.

    The event, titled "Migration: The Greek reality and European experience", is organised by the party's Secretariat on Migration Policy.

    Samaras chaired the first meeting of the party's new Political Committee that emerged from the recent 8th regular Congress, which elected Andreas Lykourentzos as the new ND secretary.

    [03] Permanent exhibition on Nikos Kazantzakis opens on Crete

    The permanent exhition on Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), perhaps the most important and most translated Greek writer of the 20th century, was inaugurated at the 'Nikos Kazantzakis Museum' in Myrtia village in the prefecture of Iraklion, on the island of Crete, on Saturday night.

    Present at the inauguration were National Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Economy Minister Satvros Arnaoutakis, independent deputy and former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, deputies and intellectuals.

    The 'Nikos Kazantzakis Museum' opened 27 years ago.

    [04] Permanent exhibition on Nikos Kazantzakis opens on Crete

    The permanent exhition on Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), perhaps the most important and most translated Greek writer of the 20th century, was inaugurated at the 'Nikos Kazantzakis Museum' in Myrtia village in the prefecture of Iraklion, on the island of Crete, on Saturday night.

    Present at the inauguration were National Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Economy Minister Satvros Arnaoutakis, independent deputy and former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, deputies and intellectuals.

    The 'Nikos Kazantzakis Museum' opened 27 years ago.

    [05] Pension reform bill debate

    Athens (ANA-MPA) -- Parliament on Tuesday begins a three-day debate on the government's draft law reforming Greece's pension system for the public sector. The debate concludes with a vote on Thursday night.

    Employment minister Andreas Loverdos on Friday tabled a draft bill on reforming Greece's pension system for the public sector in Parliament. Among the key features of the new bill is that it equalises retirement age for men and women, gradually abolishing rights previously held by women to retire at an earlier age if they had at least one child under 18 or had three or more children.

    For a brief transitional period between 2011-2013, both men and women will have the right to retire at a younger age based on these rules, increasing from 50 years to 52 in 2011 and 55 in 2012, while from 2013 onward the age of retirement for both groups will be 65, regardless of other factors.

    Age of retirement will also equalised for men and women with adult or no children based on the new bill. Women in the public sector currently have the right to retire at 60 years, compared to 65 for men. Under the new rules, both men and women will be able to retire at 61 in 2011, at 63 in 2012 and at 65 from 2013 onward.

    The exception will be men and women with handicapped children, where from 2011 the age of retirement will remain at 50 years for women, while it will be lowered from 65 to 50 years for men.

    Apart from the above, for pensions above 1,400 euros per month, the bill brings back the LAFKA fee and introduces the new "Pensioners Solidarity Contribution' ranging from 3-10 percent.

    It also places those hired in the public sector from 2011 in the unified IKA pension system and equates the status of public-sector pensioners with those of the private sector in other ways, establishing the same system of a 'welfare' and contributions-based pension for the public sector from 2015, while it abolishes the right to pension for unwed adult daughters with the exception of those that are judged incompetent or are still students.

    [06] Katseli to brief FPA

    Economy, competititiveness and shipping minister Louka Katseli will hold a press conference for foreign correspondents on Tuesday at an event in her honor.

    The event, organised by the Foreign Press Association (FPA) of Greece, is being held at the request of the minister, who wants to brief the international public opinion on the new legislative and administrative measures concerning her area of authority.

    The event will take place at noon on Tuesday at the FPA headquarters on 23 Academias street in downtown Athens.

    [07] SYRIZA event on soc. sec. bill

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras will address a SYRIZA event on Monday ahead of the debate and vote on the new social security bill.
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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