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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-02-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government launches drive to spur competitiveness
  • [02] PM Karamanlis inaugurates new burn unit in west Attica industrial district
  • [03] Suspect linked to Djindjic murder extradited to Serbia

  • [01] Government launches drive to spur competitiveness

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Wednesday that the government had launched a drive to boost competitiveness of the economy.

    Among moves were a law to encourage joint ventures involving the state and private sector; simpler procedures to accelerate absorption of European Union funds; reform of real estate legislation; and fiscal revitalisation through the budget, Alogoskoufis told an event marking 2005 as Competitiveness Year.

    In addition, the government was working to increase regional growth through its development legislation, privatise companies to bring state coffers 1.6 billion euros, and promote exports, the minister said.

    In a statement on Competitiveness Year, the Federation of Greek Industry welcomed the government's launch of national policies and action in the sector.

    Needed was the removal of obstacles to doing business through a simple, clear-cut, lean and stable regulatory framework, the trade group said in a statement.

    [02] PM Karamanlis inaugurates new burn unit in west Attica industrial district

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday inaugurated a state-of-the-art burn unit established at the state-run Thriasio Hospital near the industrial district of Elefsina, west of Athens.

    Funding for the centre was donated by the Latsis family.

    In a brief address, Karamanlis thanked the Latsis family -- which heads a well-known shipping and banking group -- and noted that the state has the first word in the sensitive area of healthcare. However, he added that the private sector can effectively contribute to the creation of such care units within public hospitals.

    The premier added that staffing will be completed in one month, while a kidney dialysis unit and cardiac intensive care unit will be up and running in a matter of weeks.

    "Our vision is the establishment of a true social state; one that serves the citizen, offering upgraded health services, modern infrastructure and specialised staff," he stressed.

    The Latsis family's donation follows an industrial accident a few years ago at the nearby Petrola refinery, which is owned by the group.

    [03] Suspect linked to Djindjic murder extradited to Serbia

    A Serbian national implicated in the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in March 2003 was extradited to Serbia-Montenegro on Wednesday, after the Greek justice minister signed the extradition order three weeks ago.

    Dejan "Bagzi" Milenkovic, 34, was handed over to Serbian authorities on Wednesday to stand trial on multiple felony charges.

    Milenkovic is one of the main suspects in the gunning down of Djindjic in Belgrade on March 12, 2003. He was arrested in Greece's northern port city of Thessaloniki on July 16, 2004, after spending 15 months on the run, and charged with illegally entering and residing in Greece.

    On August 23, 2004, the Thessaloniki Appeals Court ruled in favour of Milenkovic's extradition, following an extradition request by Serbia-Montenegro, and on October 26, 2004, the Areios Pagos (Greek Supreme Court) penal department upheld the extradition ruling, rejecting an appeal by Milenkovic against the Thessaloniki court's ruling.


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