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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM on Eurobond signatures collection
  • [02] ND on opening of closed professions
  • [03] Citizen's Protection minister on Greek Rural Police
  • [04] Headway in talks between ministry, pharmacists
  • [05] Gov't dismisses reports claiming abolition of free textbook regime
  • [06] Ministries urged to stick to budget provisions
  • [07] Strong bomb blast outside Athens courthouse
  • [08] Market turbulence to continue
  • [09] Fast-track tourism investments
  • [10] New metro station opens

  • [01] PM on Eurobond signatures collection

    ┴┴╠┴Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the coordination committee for the collection of at least one million signatures on a European level requsting the issuing of a Eurobond.

    According to reports from a committee member, the effort is focused on this initiative taking on a European character and not being "narrowly" Greek or coming only from the socialists.ana-mpa

    The same member also assessed that the rest of the Greek opposition parties could contribute on their part at a European level to this initiative, moving in the same way in the European "family" of parties to which they belong.

    Papandreou also held a separate meeting with Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou and Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Panaretos.

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

    [02] ND on opening of closed professions

    ANA-MPA/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos, commenting on Wednesday on "the contradictory statements by ministers, as well as the leaks from government offices on the issue of the closed professions", said that "the prime minister does not have the right to play communication games on the backs of hundreds of thousands of professionals, threatening to blow into the air the programming of their life, which they have made, decades ago."ana-mpa

    Panagiotopoulos added that "before any legislative arrangement on the closed professions, Mr. Papandreou, as ND president Antonis Samaras has already called on him, must himself make a direct dialogue with every branch and every professional category separately."

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

    [03] Citizen's Protection minister on Greek Rural Police

    ANA-MPA/The Greek Rural Police will be abolished and its duties will be transferred to the Environment and Climatic Change ministry, while they will now be exercised by the local forestry services.

    The bill also anticipates the creation and functioning of a special service for the handling of cases of arbitrary behaviour with the perpetrators being members of the security services. Issues concerning seasonal firefighters are regulated with the bill, also in accordance with the announcement by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

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

    [04] Headway in talks between ministry, pharmacists

    ANA-MPA/Health Minister Andreas Loverdos has reportedly reached an agreement with representatives of Athens pharmacists during a meeting to discuss issues concerning the "opening" of the profession, before a relevant health ministry-sponsored draft law is tabled in Parliament next month, it was announced on Wednesday.ana-mpa

    Specifically, sector representatives agreed to the "opening" up of profession to new pharmacists and to co-ownership schemes in existing pharmacies, thus preventing any further increase of the already huge number of pharmacies. They also agreed that a scale system of rebates (money returned to insurance funds from the pharmacies) will be effective for sales above a 3,000-4,000-euro threshold.

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

    [05] Gov't dismisses reports claiming abolition of free textbook regime

    ANA-MPA/An education ministry announcement on Wednesday flatly refuted press articles claiming that the free distribution of school textbooks will be abolished. The ministry said school books will continue to be distributed for free and that the publishing process will continue to fall under the ministry's responsibility.

    The announcement added that the responsible organisation in charge of the distribution will be integrated into another entity, which will be established and to support policy regarding digital education.

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

    [06] Ministries urged to stick to budget provisions

    ANA-MPA/Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis on Wednesday urged government ministries to strictly adhere to 2011 budget spending provisions aimed, primarily, at cutting the country's fiscal deficit to below 3.0 pct of GDP by 2014.

    In a circular sent to cabinet ministries to outline the main axes for executing the new and closely watched 2011 budget, the minister underlined that "implementing the spending leg of the budget, according to provisions, was a crucial point of fiscal policy and a necessary precondition to achieving its goals." ana-mpa

    He added that the budget plan did not allow for any overshooting of spending, and noted that any such cases would carry personal responsibilities.

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

    [07] Strong bomb blast outside Athens courthouse

    (ANA-MPA) -- A bomb planted on a motorbike generated a powerful explosion, recorded at 8:22 a.m. local time (06.22 GMT), outside the administrative first instance courthouse in central Athens.

    An unidentified caller to an Athens-area television station at 7:38 a.m. warned of an explosion in 40 minutes outside the specific building. Damages were reported to the modern glass-and-steel building's facade as well as to nearby parked cars.

    Police said the explosives-rigged motorbike was parked on the median of the wide two-way street where the courthouse stands, Louizis Riancour St. -- near Panormou metro station in the Ambelokipi district.

    A cloud of smoke was visible in the area. There were no reports of injuries and authorities managed to evacuate the building, while the immediate area has been blocked off.

    Caption: The building of the administrative first instance courthouse in Athens after the bomb explosion on Thursday 30 December 2010. ANA-MPA/ PANTELIS SAITAS

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

    [08] Market turbulence to continue

    ANA-MPA/The Greek government expects turbulence in international markets in January, while government officials said they did not expect any attacks on the Greek economy. The same sources said they were confident that an extension of the Greek loans' repayment will be agreed, although they underlined that the Greek problem would not cease to exist as long as a general solution was not reached in the Eurozone.

    Government sources said a prevailing turbulence in the Eurozone would keep spreads at current high levels and noted that skepticism was dominant in the Eurozone over the issue.ana-mpa

    The same sources said that the government would present a draft legislation on opening up closed professions in mid-January, saying that the troika has set the framework of opening up closed professions, while the Greek government was negotiating the terms of this process.

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

    [09] Fast-track tourism investments

    ANA-MPA/Deputy Minister of Culture & Tourism Giorgos Nikitiadis on Wednesday issued a response to a same-day Wall Street Journal article entitled "Golf in Greece: A Byzantine Ordeal", which referred to the red tape plaguing tourism investments in the country.

    Nikitiadis told ANA-MPA that the article "is not unfounded and most of what is mentioned is true. However, they concern a Greece that is changing. Major upsets are taking place in Greece, among them, the adoption of laws that help to accelerate investments."ana-mpa

    Referring specifically to the sector of golf courses and resorts, the focus of the respected US daily's article, Nikitiadis stressed that his ministry has already gathered the necessary information and that a meeting with competent authorities able to assist in the sector's development will be held soon.

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

    [10] New metro station opens

    ANA-MPA/The new Aghia Paraskevi metro station will be delivered on Thursday to the public. The station, the 30th underground metro station in the greater Athens, has three underground levels, two entrances and exits and can facilitate 20,000 passengers daily. ana-mpa

    The distance to the downtown Athens Syntagma square station will be covered in 13 minutes.

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


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