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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras asks for EU action on growth and jobs
  • [02] MEP Papastamkos' condition 'critical but stable'
  • [03] DIMAR's Kouvelis opposes new austerity measures
  • [04] Museums, archaeological sites open over weekend

  • [01] PM Samaras asks for EU action on growth and jobs

    AMNA -- The European Union's efforts to stimulate economic growth and reduce unemployment were central in an address by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to the European Union Council in Brussels on Thursday.

    According to diplomatic sources, the Greek premier expressed satisfaction at the fact that the EU was now turning its attention to invigorating economic growth, underlining that specific initiatives and actions should be taken to this direction.amna

    Samaras referred specifically to the energy sector, noting that price hikes have actually erased the comparative advantages achieved by Greece through labour cost cuts.

    The high energy prices and the consequences on both sectoral and regional levels should be discussed at May's EU Council, Samaras told the meeting.amna

    [02] MEP Papastamkos' condition 'critical but stable'

    AMNA -- European Parliament Vice-President and New Democracy MEP Giorgos Papastamkos is in a critical but stable condition, his attendant doctors announced on Thursday.

    Papastamkos underwent surgery on Wednesday night and will remain under sedation for two days.

    His doctors at the Strasbourg hospital, where he was rushed after fainting during a EP vote, will be able to have a more concrete picture of his condition after the first crucial 48 hours have passed, provided there are no complications.

    Papastamkos, 58, was presiding over a vote when he interrupted the session at 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday "for personal reasons". He then got up, walked away from his seat and fainted.amna

    [03] DIMAR's Kouvelis opposes new austerity measures

    AMNA -- Addressing an open event of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) on Thursday in Athens, party president Fotis Kouvelis made a positive assessment of the progress of the government's work so far, confirming his party's fundamental choice to support and participate in the Antonis Samaras's government for the sake of achieving stability in the country.

    Kouvelis proposed a "road map" for the country's exit from the economic crisis, voicing his strong opposition to taking fresh austerity measures. He referred to a number of targets, such as implementation of reforms to reorganise the country, doing away with the austerity policy both in Greece and at European level and invigorating economic growth.

    Kouvelis, made clear that ideological and political disagreements remained between DIMAR and the New Democracy and PASOK parties, and rejected the idea of a new platform agreement between the three parties that make up the current coalition government.amna

    Referring to this week's failure for an agreement on a set of measures between the government and the country's troika of international lenders (EC-ECB-IMF), which would unlock just another bailout loan tranche, Kouvelis threw himself in favour of "a necessary modification and supplementation of the fiscal consolidation programme."

    He said that VAT in the restaurant and catering sector should be lowered and over-indebted households be effectively relieved by an increased number of installments to pay off debts.amna

    [04] Museums, archaeological sites open over weekend

    AMNA -- Museums and archaeological sites will be open during the upcoming long weekend of the feast for the start of Orthodox Lent, Alternate Education Minister for culture Costas Tzavaras said on Thursday.

    In a press conference, he clarified that the rumor that has upset tourism sector enterprises is untrue, noting that no museums were closed in Greece except for the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens.amna

    Referring to the rumor that museums and archaeological sites will be closed as a result of a strike by culture ministry employees, he said that it caused unnecessary upset, with tour operators asking if they should cancel trips and visits to the country. He noted that even the "Der Spiegel" website had mentioned that the archaeological site of the Acropolis will be closed.

    "The Acropolis was never closed and is not about to. I believe that the employees, whose rights I respect, have realized that monuments like the Acropolis should be kept out of political or trade unionist confrontations," he said, adding that the operation of the Acropolis or other museums and archaeological sites across the country has never been an issue.amna


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