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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: 'No new measures as long as we are doing well'
  • [02] Truckers' strike on Monday
  • [03] Athens newspaper headlines

  • [01] PM: 'No new measures as long as we are doing well'

    There will be no new austerity measures as long as Greece was "doing well" with regard to the targets of the memorandum for the European financial support package for Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou assured reporters during a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair on Sunday.

    "We either change Greece or condemn it," he repeated in statements to reporters, while stressing the need to stop constant speculation in the media about probable additional measures and thus generating fear and panic.

    The process foreseen by the memorandum comes to an end in 2013 and the sooner the changes were made, the sooner Greece would be free of the restrictions of the Memorandum and possibly even before 2013, he said at another point.

    The prime minister stressed that his government had successfully changed the country's course and averted a disaster during its 11 months in power, saying that Greece had been saved from defaulting on its debts. At the same time, he stressed that the alert was not yet over.

    Noting that there were still problems with the size of state revenues, Papandreou claimed that this was not insuperable and that the government was still on track to meet its target of reducing the deficit by 40 percent by the end of the year.

    He also underlined, once again, that there was no question of Greece defaulting on its debts, stressing that such a course of action would be disastrous for the economy and the country's future. Avoiding this outcome was the reason for everything the government had done over the past 11 months, he added.

    Another point emphasised by the prime minister was the need for all Greeks to pay their taxes and contributions in order for the country to thrive. He noted that the government was doing its utmost to expand the tax base and ensure that those who should pay actually did so, pointing out that if people had been honest about paying their taxes it wouldn't have been necessary to take the austerity measures that had been taken.

    Papandreou described tax evasion as a "chronic illness faced by the state" that had to finally be tackled through major changes.

    "It is important to change the taxation mechanism and this is one of our priorities," he said, stressing that it was time for the rich to start paying.

    In another appeal to the media, he asked that journalists be careful not to present proposals or ideas under discussion as impending decisions and in this way "demonising" ideas and the exchange of opinions.

    With a call for "collective effort and responsibility," Papandreou underlined that the work of reforming the country had begun and stressed that the challenge before Greece was "patriotic and not party politics".

    "We either win together or we sink," he emphasised, adding that if all Greeks worked together the country would prevail.

    On fuel taxes, new cabinet

    Answering questions on more specific topics, Papandreou said that a system for equating taxes for heating oil and diesel used by vehicles would not go into effect until a redistribution mechanism was ready.

    Concerning the much larger cabinet created under the new reshuffle - in contrast to the much "leaner" cabinet appointed when PASOK was first elected to power - Papandreou said that the previous government had done well but that there was still room for improvement. He said the extra ministers were necessary in order to speed up control and supervision of the government's priorities.

    The prime minister denied any plans to "relocate" to some official position in the European Union or United Nations, stressing that he did not intend to "stand down".

    "I have taken charge in tough times and I will not shy away. This is where I have promised to be and this is where I will stay," he stressed.

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

    [02] Truckers' strike on Monday

    Truck owners, including public-use fuel tankers supplying petrol stations with fuel, have decided to begin another indefinite strike on Monday during a meeting held in Thessaloniki.

    The truck owners are demanding that the government withdraw a bill to "open" their profession and allow new licences to be issued.

    The previous truck owners' strike brought Greece to a standstill as the country was quickly starved of fuel.

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

    [03] Athens newspaper headlines

    The Sunday edition of Athens ' newspapers at a glance

    The economic recession, Prime Minister George Papandreou's speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), the prospect of new pay cuts and the recent cabinet reshuffle were the issues dominating headlines on Sunday in Athens newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Public sector as 'Big Brother'. An electronic files on everyone".

    APOGEVMATINI: "100,000 jobless every month. Return to 1960. Nightmare scenarios from Labour Institute of the [General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), civil servants' union ADEDY, Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE)]".

    ARTHRO: "'Beware the Greeks'. The IMF, bonds, corruption and Vatopedi. Provocative article in 'Vanity Fair' on the Greek crisis".

    AVGHI: "WE Don't want the Memorandum" [pun on Greek acronym for IMF]

    AVRIANI: "Thessaloniki doctor throws shoe at prime minister!!! People angry at politicians"

    CHORA: "IMF casts heavy shadow on this year's TIF. EU-ECB-IMF 'troika' forbid even the thought of social handouts".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "'Troika' seeking new cuts to wages. Drastic reductions in public-sector payroll demanded".

    EPOCHI: "SYRIZA a victim of leadership strategising"

    ETHNOS: "First opinion polls reveal surprises in November ballot boxes. MARC opinion poll in largest municipalities and regions".

    KATHIMERINI: "Confusion and infighting with the economy at danger point, while the responsibilities of ministers have not yet been assigned".

    LOGOS: "Government campaign to restore confidence. While waiting for a new... 'troika' visit to Athens".

    NIKI: "Autumn for the banks. Truths and lies about the safety of deposits".

    PARON: "George (PM) cuts them all down to size and... appoints an heir! Counter-rallying triggered by upgrading of [Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis]. Pangalos...on the shelf"

    PROTO THEMA: "Ministerial battles for the money spinners. Big interests shamelessly press for jobs".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Common framework of struggle to satisfy all popular needs".

    TYPOS ON SUNDAY: "[Main opposition New Democracy leader] Antonis Samaras interview: 'Everything that PASOK has to say about tomorrow is written in the Memorandum'".

    VETO (weekly): "Vice-rector ....specialising in sexual harassment. Shock revelations about Athens University"

    VIMA: "Tax reductions but only for businesses aiming at new investments and new jobs".

    VRADYNI: "150,000 new hirings. Work positions subsidised by OAED (Manpower Employment Organisation)"

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

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