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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clear-cut relations between state, private sector
  • [02] Gov't announces establishment of social economy fund
  • [03] FM spokesman on efforts for Cyprus solution
  • [04] Alavanos to run for Attica regional authority
  • [05] New border crossing
  • [06] FM meets Unesco director general
  • [07] fYRoM sending 'mixed signals'
  • [08] Greek exports edge up
  • [09] ASE opening: Decline
  • [10] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Clear-cut relations between state, private sector

    ANA-MPA/Prime minister George Papandreou said on Friday that his government was clear-cut relations between the state and private sector, addressing an event on small and medium size enterprises organised in Thessaloniki by the ruling PASOK party's Commerce and Trade division.

    The relations between state and public sector have been "villified" due to the differences that had developed between the two sides, the premier explained, and stressed that "as socialists, we must not fear the concept of 'doing business'."

    He made note of social entrepreneurship which, "beyond business profit, also sees the need to assist in the solution of social problems".

    Papandreou further pledged that the government will support entrepreneurship and, in that context, there could be a review of the Guarantee Fund for Small and Micro Businesses (TEMPME) because, despite the government's determination, the system has been slagging since banks were not readily giving out financing, and called on the banks to assume the risk of funding in order to restart the economy.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Gov't announces establishment of social economy fund

    ANA-MPA/Labour and Social Insurance Minister Louka Katseli, speaking in Thessaloniki on Thursday, announced the establishment of a social economy fund, most likely before the end of the year, to be financed with 100 million euros from the European Social Fund (ESF) and private resources. The fund will finance actions that serve social purposes and entrepreneurship.

    Katseli also stated that by November those eligible will be able to utilize the new "Entrepreneurship Fund" to be financed with 450 million euros from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007-2013 and an equal contribution by financial institutions.

    In addition, the cultural entrepreneurship fund will be activated as of October financed with 40 million euros.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] FM spokesman on efforts for Cyprus solution

    ANA-MPA/The proposal of Cyprus Republic President Demetris Christofias concerning the future of Varosha (a quarter in the occupied Cypriot city of Famagusta) and the seaport of Famagusta can provide considerable momentum to the negotiating process and create the preconditions that will boost Turkey's European prospect by opening new chapters, foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said on Thursday.

    Referring to the visit to Cyprus by Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, he said that it was "very important", bearing a "strong symbolism", and added that its goal was substantive in a crucial conjuncture when good coordination is necessary before making the next steps.

    "President Christofias' initiatives show the way to a solution for the Cyprus issue," he said.

    "Any progress in the EU accession course for the neighbouring country (Turkey) is unthinkable if no progress is made in the Cyprus issue. If Turkey wants, according to official statements, to see a progress being made in the Cyprus issue now is the chance to prove it by responding to the proposal," he added.

    Delavekouras pointed out that the messages (by Turkey) received so far are negative, adding that there is a "distance between rhetoric and deeds." He also reminded that Turkey has occupation troops on the island, stressing that the Cyprus problem is a problem of invasion and occupation.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Alavanos to run for Attica regional authority

    ANA-MPa/Former party leader Alekos Alavanos, who for years had led the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group before stepping aside for current leader Alexis Tsipras, on Thursday announced that he will run for election as Attica regional authority chief.

    He said the local government elections were a unique opportunity for the Greek people to express their position of the social state and development and "against the Memorandum and a government that must leave as soon as possible".

    Concerning developments within SYRIZA and the left-wing alliance's inability to select a common candidate, Alavanos said this could have been avoided if those involvement had acted on the basis of society's criteria rather than the criteria of individuals and groups.

    Asked what he would consider a success in the local government elections, Alavanos conceded that the result may not be very good but added that "we are living in historic moments and no one can be absent".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] New border crossing

    ANA-MPA/President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov on Thursday celebrated the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries with the inauguration of the new Kyprinos-Ivaylovgrad border crossing in Evros.

    "The opening of one more border crossing affirms our mutual will to upgrade our cooperation in our shared border areas. We wish to improve the infrastructures, strengthen the local economy and local tourism, in a particularly adverse economic conjuncture," Papoulias said at the ceremony, at which the Greek government was represented by government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos and deputy foreign minister Spyros Kouvelis and the Bulgarian government by the government vice-president and the ministers of foreign affairs and infrastructures.

    Papoulias said he was deeply moved, as he himself had inaugurated the Ormenios-Svilengrad customs house in 1988, as foreign minister at the time.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] FM meets Unesco director general

    ANA-MPA/Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met on Thursday with the new Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, currently on a visit to Athens.

    "We support with all our powers the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus aimed at making the international public opinion aware of the abandonment and looting of the cultural and religious heritage in the occupied territories," Droutsas commented following the meeting which was held just a few hours after he returned from Cyprus where he was on a two-day formal visit.

    Droutsas reiterated that "the Cyprus problem in its core is a problem of invasion and occupation by Turkish troops," adding that "the cultural and religious heritage has been abandoned in the occupied territories of Cyprus and this priceless property is being looted and left to be destroyed by time."

    Bokova is in Athens to attend the two-day international forum hosted by UNESCO Hellas aimed at promoting the equality of the sexes and the strategic role women can play in global development.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [07] fYRoM sending 'mixed signals'

    ANA-MPA/Athens on Thursday cited what it called "mixed signals" by the leadership of the neighbouring former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), with a foreign ministry spokesman noting that "the latter must decide whether it truly desires good-neighbourly relations and a solution to the name issue."

    Spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras reiterated that the Greek government will continue efforts to improve bilateral relations and to keep the neighbouring country's European prospects open.

    "We have an invitation for a visit by (Greek FM) Dimitris Droutsas to Skopje, issued by his counterpart, yet a day earlier we have an interview by him (fYRoM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki) criticising Greece," the spokesman pointed out, adding that "Mr. Milososki should clarify whether or not he wants good relations with Greece."

    Continuing on the same subject, Delavekouras warned that such criticism and attacks "do not serve any purpose beyond radicalising and creating tension vis-a-vis the public opinion in fYRoM, something that makes achieving a solution difficult."

    Speaking during a routine press briefing at the foreign ministry in Athens, the spokesman said there is no invitation on the tabled by the UN mediator for a meeting with Milososki or another diplomat on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, although the Greek foreign ministry leadership is seeking a meeting with mediator Matthew Nimetz in New York City, he added.

    Caption: The building of the Foreign Ministry in Athens.

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    [08] Greek exports edge up

    ANA-MPA/Greek exports edged higher in July, while imports continued their plunge, reflecting shrinking private consumption in the country.

    The Hellenic Statistical Authority, in a report published on Thursday, said the value of import-arrivals dropped 30.9 pct in July to 3.030 billion euros, from 4.385 billion euros in July 2009, while the value of export-deliveries rose 0.03 pct to 1.325 billion euros, from 1.325 billion euros last year.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [09] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.58 percent, standing at 1,601.46 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 12.010 million euros.

    All individual sector indices were mixed with the biggest gains in Insurance, up 3.69 percent; and Oil and Gas, up 0.72 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Media, down 2.84 percent and in Financial Services.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.66 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.13 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.54 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 31 were up, 21 were down, and 18 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [10] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The recession and government's restructural changes, including the new payroll and curtailment of social expenditures ahead of the Troika's arrival next week in Athens, the Finance Ministry plan to review unaudited tax cases of the last decade and a World Economic Forum competitiveness report ranking Greece 83rd among 139 countries, mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Main opposition New Democracy (ND) presented its proposals for development - Government a sinking ship".

    APOGEVMATINI: "State property for sale - Finance Ministry's target to collect one billion euros per year in accordance with the Memorandum".

    AVGHI: "Deficient schools...After the cutback in the number of teachers, the government also cuts the extra educational support".

    AVRIANI: ęThe people livid over the government's 'mass tourism' in Thessaloniki - They booked all suites and expensive rooms in luxury hotels in order to send to the people the message for austerity and sacrifices".

    CHORA: "Deprecation over the Memorandum - Polls indicate that the people's fury surges".

    ELEFTHEROS: "George's (Papandreou, prime minister) opulent ministerial fiestas in Thessaloniki - He and his ministers are living it up in Thessaloniki".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou beseeches Troika to allow him to change policy".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "We will freeze before we starve - Government plan to double the price of heating oil".

    ESTIA: "Monstrous mistakes in taxation - The high tax rates brought the economy to its knees".

    ETHNOS: "The plan for rapid investment'.

    IMERISSIA: "Positive sign for the bonds - Strong (Norwegian) fund 'broke' the 'embargo' and bought Greek sovereign bonds".

    KATHIMERINI: "Greece ranks below even Rwanda in competitiveness, according to WEF's annual report".

    LOGOS: "Competitiveness plunges - Greek economy fell to 83rd place in the world ranking".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "State seeking to collect 4.7 billion euros from the market".

    NIKI: "The pros and cons of refinancing bank loans".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Government supports businessmen's interest in Health sector".

    TA NEA: "Finance Ministry will inspect unaudited cases of the last decade".

    TO VIMA: "The ten 'commandment' for a frugal public sector - Troika arrives in Athens on Monday with the new budget".

    VRADYNI: "Market sends out SOS - One business opens while two others close".

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