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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-06-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Economy minister: Tax reform, competitiveness will bolster SMEs
  • [02] Cyprus FM tells ANA US has 'primary role' in efforts for Cyprus
  • [03] Estonia's Martin wins 50th Acropolis Rally
  • [04] Weather Monday: Sunny
  • [05] ND leader tours working-class Piraeus district
  • [06] Memorial service remembers slain British defence attache

  • [01] Economy minister: Tax reform, competitiveness will bolster SMEs

    08/06/2003 22:55:56

    Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christoudoulakis on Sunday underlined the governments commitment to bolstering small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) competitiveness long the backbone of Greeces economy -- in the wake of several high-profile bankruptcies and business closings in the country over the past two months.

    Christodoulakis pointed directly to reforms in the tax code and boosting competitiveness as the mainstays of the governments strategy to reinvigorate the economy, citing, among others, a decrease in the tax rate for transferring family-owned businesses; abolition of non-accounting methods to determine profits and incentives for mergers of real estate holding companies.

    ?The key to tax reform will not come from either (tax rate) co-efficients or procedures, but from the way well agree on conducting tax audits,? Christodoulakis told delegates at conference in Thessaloniki focusing on SMEs, and organised by the ruling PASOK party.

    Along those lines, he referred to what he called an ?amicable settlement? of tax disputes between businesses and the tax bureau, something he said will do away with much of the current tax bureau-related litigation.

    Regarding the controversial issue of store hours, he said he favoured allowing a more elastic schedule -- ?until when will stores in Greece remain closed three afternoons each week??

    [02] Cyprus FM tells ANA US has 'primary role' in efforts for Cyprus solution

    08/06/2003 22:55:50

    NICOSIA (ANA/G.Leonidas) - Cyprus Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou on Saturday called on the international community, and especially the United States, to work with the Turkish side in order to achieve a radical change in the latter's approach to the protracted Cyprus issue, something that will allow a resumption of intercommunal talks.

    In an exclusive interview with the Athens News Agency (ANA), Iacovou, who departed Sunday for the United States for talks with high-ranking United Nations and American officials, stressed that Washington can play a primary role in efforts for finding a solution on Cyprus.

    ''Particularly in the present conjucture, where what's needed is a change in the Turkish stance, we expect that the United States will exert the proper influence on Ankara,'' Iacovou added.

    The Cypriot foreign minister underlined that Turkey must accept negotiations within the framework of the UN's secretary general good offices mission and also accept that the Annan plan is on the table.

    Iacovou added that he was not in a position to say whether Turkey's stance would change soon, although he reiterated that the Greek side was ready at any moment to continue negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan for a solution based on UN Security Council resolutions.

    He also pointed out that any solution to the problem should be viable and functional, otherwise, the future of the island republic, its European course as well as peace and security on Cyprus and the region would be at stake.

    [03] Estonia's Martin wins 50th Acropolis Rally

    08/06/2003 19:14:46

    Estonian pilot Markko Martin, driving a Ford Focus, won the 50th Acropolis Rally on Sunday for his first-ever victory in the international circuit, beating out Carlos Sainz (Citroen) by 46 second after 22 stages.

    Norwegian Petter Solberg (Subaru) was third, 52.7 seconds behind the leader.

    [04] Weather Monday: Sunny

    08/06/2003 18:20:39

    Sunny throughout Greece on Monday, with only a chance of clouds, sporadic rain in the north. Northerly winds, moderate to strong on the Aegean. Temperatures 16C to 34C on the mainland; 18C to 29C on the islands.

    Sunny in Athens, 21C to 33C. The same for Thessaloniki, 19C to 32C.

    [05] ND leader tours working-class Piraeus district

    08/06/2003 15:27:32

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Saturday toured the working-class Piraeus district of Nikaia, where he met with local government, business and labour leaders.

    In a brief address, the ND president said the real level of umemployment in the country stands at 14 percent, with roughly one-third of that figure plaguing young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

    He also charged that Athens is ranked by an international organisation in 79th place out of 215 world capitals in terms of quality of life.

    [06] Memorial service remembers slain British defence attache

    08/06/2003 15:24:52

    A memorial service for slain British defence attache Stephen Saunders was held the main Anglican cathedral of Athens on Saturday morning, almost three years to the day since he was assassinated in morning rush-hour traffic by the notorious ?November 17? terrorist group.

    This years service, however, came amid the ongoing trial of 19 ?N17? suspects, all arrested in the days and months following what apparently was the lethal ultra-leftist terror bands final strike: a botched bombing in the port of Piraeus last June.

    Several of the 19 defendants currently on trial are charged with felonies related to Saunders murder.

    Saunders was gunned down by a pair of ?N17? hitmen riding a motorcycle as he was driving alone to the British embassy in downtown Athens.


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