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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-11-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Metope removed from Parthenon for conservation
  • [02] PM announces surprise referendum decision over lending deal

  • [01] Metope removed from Parthenon for conservation

    AMNA Archaelogists examine a metope lowered on Tuesday from the Parthenon temple atop the Athens Acropolis for conservation. The 32nd metope, from the southwestern side of the Parthenon, a Classical Era temple dedicated to the mythical goddess Athena, is known as the metope of the Annunciation because it was thought to resemble the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and is the only metope on the structure not disfigured during the early Christian era. AMNA / ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

    [02] PM announces surprise referendum decision over lending deal

    AMNA / Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday announced an initiative to hold a referendum over the new lending agreement, while at the same time saying he will ask Parliament for a vote of confidence.

    Speaking to his ruling PASOK party's Parliamentary group on Monday afternoon, Papandreou said it was "the time for the citizens to reply responsibly. Do they want us to implement it or reject it? If the people do not want it, then it shall not be implemented. If yes, we shall proceed ... we never resigned from our responsibilities."

    Regarding what he referred to as a "road map" of his political initiatives, the prime minister added that he will call for a vote of confidence from Parliament, with the process to be activated on Wednesday.

    Moreover, in a bid to dampen growing calls for a snap election, Papandreou said his government holds a mandate for another two years, time it will use to implement its commitments.

    "We are not rejoicing, as the prophets of misery are claiming, but they shall not forbid us from being pleased, when conditions exist," he said, adding that the agreement at the European Union level means a reduction of debt and 4.5 billion euros less in interest payments every year.

    "The bigger debts bring bigger austerity," he said, before referring to a "systematic effort of disinformation by certain media and political parties ... All political forces should give support and the citizens as soon as they are informed correctly."

    He reiterated that with common shares the budget will contribute to the salvation of banks and, as he said, referring to the recapitalisation of banks, "if it is necessary, they should be nationalised, become state-owned." AMNA

    Briefing his party's deputies on decisions taken at the EU summit last week on the Greek debt, Papandreou said decisions were "historic", and stressed that nothing would have been decided if PASOK's Parliamentary Group had not taken the "historic decisions" voting for the omnibus bill two weeks ago. "It defended the national interest," he said.

    Debate will begin on Wednesday over Papandreou's bid for a vote of confidence and conclude on Friday at midnight via a roll call vote. AMNA


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