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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-12-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras on Foreign Ministry's budget
  • [02] PM: Structural reforms by mid Jan.
  • [03] Pharmacies closed on Jan. 2,3

  • [01] Samaras on Foreign Ministry's budget

    AMNA--New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday expressed his reservations over what he called the foreign ministry's limited budget for 2012, which stands at 0.17 percent of total draft budget, in statements during a meeting with Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas.

    Samaras visited the ministry and was briefed by its leadership and top ambassadors on the course of various foreign policy issues.

    In a statement afterwards, he expressed satisfaction over the handling of the foreign policy sector by the ministry's permanent administrative and diplomatic staff, while however expressing annoyance at the ministry's slashed budget.

    "I am very concerned over the major problem of this ministry's budget," he said.amna

    In response to press questions regarding the forest fire claim by former Turkish premier Mesut Yilmaz, Samaras merely noted that the foreign ministry's statements on the issue have "covered him completely".

    [02] PM: Structural reforms by mid Jan.

    AMNA--All structural reforms will have to be set in motion or either completed by mid January, ahead of the new loan agreement, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos underlined on Thursday during a Cabinet meeting, government sources said.

    Papademos has launched a series of contacts with government ministers for the purpose of pinpointing all structural reforms, as well as, the obstacles that need to be overcome in an effort to meet the timetable he has set, the same sources said, underlining that all decisions reached on Thursday enjoyed unanimous approval.

    The Cabinet meeting focused on a draft law on the environment and on a legislative act concerning a number of issues. The issue of the truck transportation sector deregulation and the licensing of law firms in the country will be settled within the framework of the omnibus draft law sponsored by the ministry of finance. amna

    As regards the Public Power Corp. (PPC SA) rates, the cabinet agreed on a 9-pct increase.

    On the wage scale for journalists employed in the wider public sector, the Cabinet agreed that the pay scale and wages will be determined by joint ministerial decisions reached through negotiations with the journalistsí unions, while Cabinet members approved a relevant amendment concerning the unified pay scale to be included in a legislative act.

    [03] Pharmacies closed on Jan. 2,3

    AMNA--The national association of pharmacists has called a 48-hour strike on Jan. 2 and 3, following comments by Health Minister Andreas Loverdos of cutbacks in the state-mandated profit margin for pharmacies. Moreover, the association reiterated its decision to stop filling prescriptions on credit to customers insured in all social security funds as of Jan. 1.

    The association charged the ministry announced measures without dialogue and that "it continues to downgrade pharmaceutical care and punish the pharmacists by further minimising their already small profit margin."

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