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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-06-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Measures 'unjust', but serve national need
  • [02] Papoulias receives Special Olympics athletes
  • [03] IOA anniversary celebrated
  • [04] Fire near Igoumenitsa
  • [05] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] Measures 'unjust', but serve national need

    ANA-MPA/Greece's new finance minister Evangelos Venizelos acknowledged that the measures contained in the government's Medium-Term fiscal programme and its Implementation Law are tough and in many instances unjust, but added that he took the responsibility of introducing them upon his assumption of the ministry because they were the only way at this time to serve a pressing national need.

    In a statement on Saturday evening, Venizelos said: "I am fully aware that the measures contained in the Medium-Term fiscal program and the Implementation Law are heavy and in many aspects unjust. I undertook the responsibility of introducing them, barely having been a week at the Finance Ministry, because only in this way is an urgent national need served at this time."

    He said that finalisation of the 28 billion euros Medium-Term programme, of which 5.6 billion euros are still outstanding, "needed to be done in order to close this circle of negotiations and for fulfillment of the conditions for the prompt disbursement of the (12 billion euros) 5th tranche of the 110 billion euro (EU-IMF bailout) loan", adding that "these 12 billion euros of this 5th tranche are absolutely necessary in order to service the cash needs of the public sector, which in reality is servicing of the immediate and vital needs of the citizens".ana-mpa

    Venizelos reiterated that the ministry is at the same time planning the next step, which contains three points: First, ensuring the viability of the state debt, "without which the sacrifices of the Greek people will be in vain"; Second, immediate change of taxation policy and the creation of a National Tax System that will remedy injustices and discrepancies and will restore the moral and social balance of the measures; and, third, negotiation for a new support programme that will lead Greece not only back to the markets but also the restoration of its fiscal and economic independence.ana-mpa

    "It is very easy for one to voice harsh criticism of the tax measures which, by their very nature, are unpleasant for the citizens. But that's not what this is about. It is about existing, necessary moves of salvation. What the country urgently needs is stabilization of the situation so that, immediately afterwards, all the required improvements will be made and the prospect that the entire Greek society seeks will be formulated," Venizelos continued.

    "It is, therefore, a shame that the collective psychology of the country is undermined and a sense of impasse and injustice prevails, without at the same time no one undertaking the responsibility for an integrated counter-proposal that is less painful for the citizens but on the other hand safe, and not dangerous, for them and the national economy," the finance minister added.

    In these coming days, we will have the opportunity in parliament to say all the bitter and harsh truths, so that every one may assume the responsibility of his choices," Venizelos concluded.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [02] Papoulias receives Special Olympics athletes

    ANA-MPA/President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received on Sunday a delegation of athletes and officials of the Special Olympics, that are taking place in Athens as of Sunday, and referred to the message of courage and hope that the athletes of the Special Olympics are conveying.

    The president spoke of the time that the Games are taking place, stressing that "it is the suitable one for you to boost the morale of the Greeks," adding that "you are giving us the strength, the hope to struggle and to overcome the difficulty."

    Timothy Shriver, President of the World Movement of the Special Olympics, termed the athletes of the Games "messengers who are appealing to the Greek people as well as to the entire world with a message that needs no words."

    Ioanna Despotopoulou, President of the Oraganising Committee of the Games, said that despite the economic crisis Greece decided to go ahead since, as she said, "we had given a promise to the kids that they will struggle in the country where the olympic ideals were born."

    The delegation of 20 athletes was also accompanied by Deputy Health Minister Christos Aidonis, while Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos also attended the event.

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    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [03] IOA anniversary celebrated

    ANA-MPA/The opening ceremony of the 51st International Session for Young Participants was held on Pnyx hill in central Athens on Sunday evening, marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Olympic Academy (IOA).

    The International Session, which will run through July 9 in Ancient Olympia, will be on the central theme "Olympism", with the special topic being "IOA: 50 Years of Olympic Education".

    IOA president Isidoros Kouvelos stressed in his address that the difficult economic conjuncture that Greece is experiencing also has repercussions on the IOA's functioning, but added that the operational deadlocks were overcome with the International Olympic Committee's support.

    "We aspire to turn the IOA into a continuous research workshop on the problems that the implementation of Olympic Education is facing in every end in the world," he added.ana-mpa

    On his part, International Olympic Committee president Dr. Jacques Rogge said that Olympic Education is a sector where the active cooperation of everyone plays a substantial role for the achievement of the Olympic Movement's main aim which is the promotion, cultivation and prevalence of the Olympic spirit in the next generations.

    Hellenic Olympic Committee president Spyros Kapralos in his speech welcomed the Academy's new members and wished them success in the IOA conference in Ancient Olympia.ana-mpa

    During the ceremony, the Academy awarded Jacques Rogge, Spyros Kapralos and Greece's IOC member and chairman of the IOC commission for Olympic Education and Culture Lambis Nikolaou.

    Caption: International Olympic Committee president Dr. Jacques Rogge speaks at an event held on Pnyx Hill in Athens on Sunday 26 June 2011 marking the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) . ANA-MPA/KATERINA MAVRONA

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [04] Fire near Igoumenitsa

    ANA-MPA/A fire that broke out early Monday at Plataria, near Igoumenitsa, Thesprotia prefecture, northwestern Greece, was still in progress at noon. The blaze is burning brushland on the mountain slope opposite the village, which is currently not threatened.

    Ten fire engines and 37 firemen are fighting to contain the blaze which, according to the Fire Brigade, has already burned 35 acres.

    Local residents assisting in the operation intimated at arson as the cause, saying that fire broke out simultaneously in five different spots.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [05] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.83 percent, standing at 1,222.35 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 10.829 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward nearly across the board, with the only gains in Telecoms, up 0.17 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 4.12 percent; Financial Services, down 2.48 percent; Travel and Recreation, down 1.35 percent and Banks, down 1.13 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.73 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.89 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.20 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 30 were up, 50 were down, and 21 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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