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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-04-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU Commission Vice President-Negotiations are speeding up
  • [02] Health min refers to government's priorities

  • [01] EU Commission Vice President-Negotiations are speeding up

    European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on Monday in an interview with Bloomberg news agency said the negotiations between Greece and its lenders were very complicated and did not rule out the possibility of an extraordinary meeting of the Eurozone Finance ministers if needed.

    Asked how close an agreement is, he said the technical negotiations were ongoing and would continue until end of April, as it was agreed on February 20.

    The next Eurogroup meeting on April 24 will be a good opportunity to take stock of what has been done so far, he noted.

    He admitted that more progress could have been made as lots of time "was wasted on irrelevant topics".

    Negotiations are speeding up, however time is running out and a lot of ground must be covered by April 20, when the two sides need to have agreed on the reform list, he noted.

    Asked whether the April 24 Eurogroup meeting, which will be held in Riga, Latvia, will approve the disbursal of the next tranche to Greece or an extraordinary meeting will have to take place, he responded that this would depend on the progress of the technical negotiations.

    He reminded that Greece's programme was extended for four months and two have gone by which means there is more time ahead. On the other hand, he noted, Greece is in a hurry as its cash position is getting difficult. In order to meet the timetable by the end of April all sides, including Greece, should keep their commitments.

    [02] Health min refers to government's priorities

    The upgrading of public health care, the strengthening of the public health system and the combating of the so-called health poverty are among the government's priorities, Health Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis said on Monday.

    "We are here and we want to send out a message that this government is determined to support the public health system," Kouroumblis, who is visiting Chania in Crete, said. He noted that the "Prime Minister's decision to visit the Health ministry and announce the hiring of 4,500 permanent employees for 2015 is the most powerful answer over the government's objectives."

    "This regime of health poverty needs to change; because health is a good for all citizens," he noted.

    He said that until the process of the hiring of permanent personnel is concluded, needs will be covered by auxiliary staff and that legislative initiatives are being taken to that effect.

    He also referred to the initiatives underway for the completion of a computer system, which will monitor the overall functioning of the public health and is expected to be ready within 2015.

    He added that the issue of the supply of 190 ambulances through a tender would be soon resolved and that he expected this procedure along with the hiring of 200 permanent paramedics to be concluded within 2015.

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