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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-10
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PASOK MP declares himself independentAMNA--PASOK party MP Christos Aidonis on Thursday announced that he is leaving the party and declared himself an Independent MP, in a letter addressed to parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis.
Aidonis who was elected on the PASOK ticket in Drama prefecture, refers in his letter, to "an attempt by all the political parties to exploit the 'Lagarde list' scandal", and accused PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and the party of attempting to disavow their political responsibilities in the handling of the "Lagarde list.amna
"I had the delusion that the PASOK leader would assume his responsibilities in order to release the party from the attempted 'collectivization' of the problem and, by extension, the three-party coalition government, and not to hide behind the threat of a destabilization of the co-governance," he said. amna
Concluding, Aidonis clarified that he will continue to support the coalition government's stability as the most appropriate political recipe, however he will not support recession policies and persons that damage the country and the democratic party's future.
PASOK in an announcement statement called Aidonis' decision 'sad and bizarre.
The full text of PASOK's announcement said: "Mr. Aidonis chose to do officially what he has been doing in the recent period unofficially, on the very day that the events themselves give the strongest answer to the fabrication against Evangelos Venizelos regarding the 'Lagarde list'. This is sad and bizarre."
 Tsipras: PostBank privatization 'criminal and incomprehensible'AMNA-Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Thursday called the government's policy on the privatization of the TT-Hellenic PostBank "criminal and incomprehensible", during a meeting with TT employees, to whom he expressed his full support for their mobilizations.
Tsipras criticized the government decision to privatize the bank, "because if this finally occurs, Greece will be the only country that will not have a PostBank", adding that the government, with its decisions, opted to recapitalize the private banks and punish the state banks.
"This policy is absurd," said Tsipras, "because the Greek State will have to pay double what it would have paid if it had proceeded with the recapitalization of TT, and it would have a acquired a tool for development in the process.amna
The SYRIZA leader called on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to explain "with transparency" the choices they made and the expediency of the policy they are following, underlining the need for the Greek state and government to have the ability of supervision of the banks.amna
On his part, the president of the TT employees Antonis Dilehatsios charged that the government is selling off the state assets, noting that TT has never been a burden to the State Budget. He also said that the TT employees' mobilizations will continue and will intensify.
 Unilever CEO pledges to PM that company will stay in GreeceAMNA--Unilever international president and CEO Paul Polman reaffirmed to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that the Anglo-Dutch food and detergent multinational will remain in and boost its presence in the Greek market, during a meeting on Thursday at the Maximos Mansion government headquarters.
Polman also commented that Greece was on the right track, to which Samaras replied that Greece was indeed on the right track, "but we need to overcome difficulties and obstacles", adding that "the situation is difficult as there are everyday problems", saying that solving these problems is a target, while priority was on "liquidity in order to unlock the economy".amna
During the meeting, which was also attended by Unilever's president for Europe Jan Zijderveld and president of Elais-Unilever Hellas Spyros Desyllas, the two sides exchanged views on the European and Greek economy and underlined the need to boost investments in Greece, while the Unilever senior executives stressed the importance of the Greek subsidiary to the international group and continuation of its investigation of prospects for further strengthening its presence in Greece.
While in Greece, Polman took the opportunity to see first-hand the conditions in the Greek market, and praised the Greek management and employees of Elais-Unilever Hellas for maintaining the viability f the Greek company and its commitment to stand by the Greek consumers.amna
Noting that Unilever this year marks the 50th anniversary of its successful presence in Greece, Polman said that although the conditions are difficult "we believe that, through innovation that meets the consumers' needs, the excellent execution of our plans in the market and the ongoing efforts of our employees, we will be able to turn the challenges of the Greek economy into opportunities for substantial growth in the coming years".
In mid-November, Unilever formalized an investment initiative to begin production 110 of its products in Greece, thus generating new jobs, at a meeting with Samaras and Development Minister Costis Hadzidakis.amna
The British-Dutch dual-listed firm Unilever announced in November its intention to produce 110 of its products that are currently imported to Greece from elsewhere in Europe in Greece itself, covering the needs of the domestic market and transforming its local subsidiary Elais-Unilever Hellas into a strategic arm of the multinational group.amna
The 110 products will not be produced by Unilever's Greek plants but will be outsourced to other Greek companies.
The initiative is expected to increase Unilever's turnover from domestic production to 60 percent in 2013 from the current 55 percent. Unilever-Hellas currently exports products to 19 countries, with a turnover of 30 million euros, accounting for 7.5 percent of its total turnover.
 Inflation up 1.5pct in 2012AMNA--Inflation rose by 1.5 percent on average in 2012, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Thursday.
ELSTAT, in a report, said that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December 2012 compared with December 2011, increased by 0.8%. In December 2011, the annual rate of change of the CPI was 2.4%.amna
The CPI in December 2012 compared with November 2012 decreased by 0.3%. In December 2011, the monthly rate of change of the CPI was -0.1%.
In the twelve-month period from January 2012 to December 2012 compared with the period from January 2011 to December 2011 the annual average rate of change of the CPI was 1.5%. The corresponding annual average rate of change of the CPI in the previous year (January 2011 to December 2011), was 3.3%.amna
The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in December 2012 compared with December 2011, increased by 0.3%. In December 2011, the annual rate of change of the HICP was 2.2%.
The HICP in December 2012 compared with November 2012, decreased by 0.3%. In December 2011, the monthly rate of change of the HICP was -0.2%.amna
In the twelve-month period from January 2012 to December 2012 compared with the period from January 2011 to December 2011, the annual average rate of change of the HICP was 1.0%. The previous year, in the corresponding twelve - month period, the annual average rate of change of the HICP was 3.1%.
 Unemployment jumps to 26.8pct in Oct. 2012AMNA--Unemployment in Greece jumped to a record 26.8 percent in October 2012, posting a 7.1 percent rise year-on-year over the previous year (October 2011), with the number of unemployed exceeding 1.34 million, with unemployment among youth nearing 60 percent, the independent Hellenic Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) said on Thursday.
ELSTAT, in a report, said that the unemployment rate in October 2012 was 26.8% compared to 19.7% in October 2011 and 26.2% in September 2012.
The number of employed amounted to 3,680,894 persons. Ôhe number of unemployed amounted to 1,345,715 while the number of inactive to 3,344,478. amna
The number of employed decreased by 309,335 persons compared with October 2011 (a 7.8% rate of decrease) and by 16,015 persons compared with September 2012 (a 0.4% rate of decrease).amna
Unemployed increased by 368,102 persons (a 37.7% rate of increase) compared with October 2011 and by 36,219 persons compared with September 2012 (a 2.8% rate of increase), reaching 1,345,715 unemployed persons in October 2012.
Inactive persons â€“that is, persons that neither worked neither looked for a jobâ€“ decreased by 23,828 persons (a 0.7% rate of decrease) compared with October 2011 and by 7,478 persons compared with September 2012 (a 0.2% rate of decrease).amna
The hardest hit category was once again the 15-24 age group at 56.6 percent, with an increasing number of young people seeking employment abroad.
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