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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK europarliament group leader resigns over exclusion of MEPs from new central committee
  • [02] Greece sells six-month T-bills raising 1.1375 bln euros
  • [03] Kraft Food Hellas plans new investments in Greece
  • [04] Co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in Aegean 'out of discussion'

  • [01] PASOK europarliament group leader resigns over exclusion of MEPs from new central committee

    AMNA---PASOK MEP Marilena Koppa, on Tuesday tendered her resignation as head of the PASOK Europarliamentarian group in protest over the party's Constitutional Congress, which ended in Athens on Sunday, to exclude its Eurodeputies from the new central committee.

    The 9th Constitutional Congress wound up on Sunday with the election of a new PASOK central committee. The Congress itself elected 130 members to the new central committee, who will be joined by however by emeritus members that include the 28 party MPs initially elected to parliament in the May elections but not re-elected in June's repeat elections, the former party leaders, and presidents of PASOK's tertiary organisations. The emeritus members do not include PASOK's Eurodeputies, according to a Congress decision.amna

    Koppa tendered her resignation as head of PASOK's group of deputies in the European Parliament in protest over the Congress' decision to exclude its MEPs from the central committee, arguing that the MEPs have always participated de jure on the central committee, together with all other elected MPs.

    In her letter of resignation addressed to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, she noted that the Congress decision to adopt a relevant proposal during the vote on the party's new Constitution, and for the first time in the history of a Greek and European political party, its European Parliament members have been excluded from the party's central political organ.amna

    The decision, she added, comes at a time when European policy is a fundamental component of national policy, and just before the European electoral campaign begins for the 2014 Euroelections, and at a time when the upcoming Greek presidency of the European Union is a national cause, and in which it is necessary to unite forces for the success of the presidency.

    She said that the recommendation for the exclusion of the MEPs from the central committee is without cause and incomprehensible, noting that the PASOK Europarliament Group has since 2009 waged tough battles on all fronts, in the midst of the crisis: to safeguard the country's credibility when it was suffering attacks from every direction; to present to the Europarliament's socialist group but also the entire European Parliament, the great efforts and sacrifices of the Greek people; and to make clear the heavy responsibility shouldered by the country's socialist government in 2009 to keep the country standing on its feet in the eurozone.amna

    All the MEPs, without exception, gave their best in this effort, Koppa said, charging that the Congress decision disdains this effort.

    Koppa added that she remains a soldier in PASOK's ranks and an active member of the Europarliament's socialist group, stressing that "the national duty for defence of the country in these difficult moments is and must be the absolute priority for all

    [02] Greece sells six-month T-bills raising 1.1375 bln euros

    AMNA--Greece on Tuesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bill issue raising 1.1375 billion euros from the market at a slightly lower cost. The Public Debt Management Organization, in a statement, said the yield on the 26-week treasury bills was set at 4.25 pct, slightly down from 4.27 pct in the previous auction of same bills in February 5, 2013. Bids submitted totaled 1.438 billion euros, 1.64 times more than the asked sum. The auction was made with the market's primary dealers, while settlement date is Friday, 8 March. The organization will also accept non-competitive bids up to 30 pct of the asked sum by Thursday, 7 March

    [03] Kraft Food Hellas plans new investments in Greece

    AMNA--Kraft Food Hellas plans to maintain its workforce, despite adverse economic conditions prevailing in the country and to continue investing in production facilities, human resources, research and development of products, Lefteris Haroulakos, the company's chief executive told reporters.

    He said that company's aim was to send optimistic messages to its parent company Mondelez International and to prove that the Greek market has possibilities that can be exploited.

    Haroulakos said that the company's workers, around 580, will receive wage increases of 1-2 pct, while he noted that Kraft Food Hellas did not pay any wage increases last year but offered higher bonuses. He categorically dismissed press reports that multinational companies asked for wage cuts during a meeting with Development minister last week. amna

    Kraft Foods has established activities in more than two decades in the Greek market and has developed and maintains a significant activity of production and distribution of food products. The company plans investments worth 5.0 million euros for the next two years, mainly on its chocolate factory Pavlides, which has increased its production capacity by 30-35 pct.

    [04] Co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in Aegean 'out of discussion'

    AMNA--"Matters of co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Aegean are out of discussion," PASOK parliamentary group secretary Yannis Maniatis, a former deputy environment and energy minister, said on Tuesday, in an exclusive interview on AMNA web TV.

    "We have the Law of the Sea (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) on our side. The mainland and island regions of our country have their own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is delineated on the basis of the principle of equal distances. It is what the Law of the Sea gives us and which we employ as a strong weapon in our negotiations with all our neighbors," Maniatis said.

    On Greece's mineral wealth, Maniatis noted that "we must all believe that the nature of our geography has endowed us, as a country, with much wealth. Naturally there are the hydrocarbons, but there is also the rest of the mineral wealth in mainland Greece".

    "Therefore, if we invest responsibly, seriously, steadfastly, and with inter-party agreement, in the hydrocarbons in both the marine and mainland areas, the Greek state can anticipate revenues which we had not even calculated on a few years ago," Maniatis added.amna

    According to estimations, based on a the current mean price of 100 dollars per barrel of oil, Greece could anticipate some 150 billion euros in the next 30 years, Maniatis said in reply to a question on the financial aspect.

    Maniatis said that PASOK has proposed a draft law be formulated -- which proposal has been accepted by the government -- that the above money not be used for state expenditures but instead go into a "Social Fund for Solidarity of the Generations" which, under the Norwegian model, will be used only for the sustainability of the country's social security system.

    "We therefore consider it necessary that these monies be invested in the next generations, and perhaps a small percentage could be used to invest in research and technology, innovation, to boost science and knowledge, mainly among young people that cannot get scholarships or financial support from elsewhere. Consequently, the mineral wealth is a great opportunity to increase the state revenues, but this must be done with religious devotion to protection of the environment, sustainable growth and preservation of what nature has gifted to us," he stressed.amna

    To another question, Maniatis said that Greece's mineral wealth, "which is indeed a big dowry for the present but also for the future generations, is an immense bequeathal for a future in which the country will not rely on borrowed money, but rather a future founded on our own powers, on our own comparative advantages, and can give us optimism that we can overcome the difficult circumstances we are facing today".

    Asked if Turkey is putting forward an issue of co-exploitation of the hydrocarbon deposits in the Aegean, Maniatis said that "matters of co-exploitation are outside any discussion whatsoever", adding that Greece has the Law of the Sea on its side.amna

    He noted that in August 2011 parliament passed Article 156, which says that the country's mainland and island regions have their own exclusive economic zone, which is delineated on the basis of the principle of equal distances. It is what the Law of the Sea gives us and which we employ as a strong weapon in our negotiations with all our neighbors".

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