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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-02-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] BSEC ministers meet in Athens, agree to join forces against bureaucracy and graft
  • [02] Open telecoms market has brought lower rates
  • [03] Opposition leader doesn't foresee early elections
  • [04] President attends events marking the liberation of Ioannina

  • [01] BSEC ministers meet in Athens, agree to join forces against bureaucracy and graft

    Interior and justice ministers of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) pact countries meeting in Athens on Monday signed a joint declaration for an administrative agreement to tackle bureaucracy and corruption. Greece currently holds the rotating presidency of the BSEC.

    The 12 ministers met under the auspices of the Greek foreign ministry and agreed to create a permanent working committee to promote administrative organisation and cooperation, whose target will be "institutional renewal and good governance".

    At a press conference afterward, Greek interior and justice ministers Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Anastasios Papaligouras, respectively, stressed the importance of administrative infrastructure in promoting economic cooperation within the BSEC and stressed that Greece's experience within the European Union could be very useful to its BSEC partners.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said the meeting had been a great success, with BSEC member-states represented at a high level, including two deputy premiers from Georgia and Turkey. He said this lent additional weight to Monday's decision to combat bureaucracy and graft and also highlighted the commitment of BSEC member-states to strengthen the pact and the multilateral cooperation between its members.

    After the conference, the visiting ministers were taken on a tour of the archaeological museum in Corinth.

    [02] Open telecoms market has brought lower rates

    Telecoms rates have fallen continuously since deregulation of the market in 2000, the National Telecoms and Post Office Commission said on Monday.

    Citing government statistics, the regulatory body said that the communications consumer price index had slid while the general consumer price index had risen continuously.

    In 2000, the telecoms index dropped by 10.5% when inflation rose by 3.2%; in 2001 telecoms prices fell by 0.8%; and in 2002-2004 rates fell by more than 4.0% when inflation was rising by an average 3.0%, the commission said.

    [03] Opposition leader doesn't foresee early elections

    Main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou said he did not see a reason for early elections to be held, in comments he made after the meeting of the Secretariat of the National Council for the party's restructuring, which was held in Athens on Monday.

    He also said that if Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had wanted early elections he could have achieved this by naming a presidential candidate which it knew PASOK would not agree on. Instead, the government nominated Karolos Papoulias, who had served as foreign minister under PASOK governments, and who won the majority vote in Parliament earlier this month.

    Regarding the crisis facing the Greek Orthodox Church, Papandreou said that transparency needs to prevail throughout the institution. He also stressed that the issue is not merely removing the guilty individuals, but rather effectively protecting the institution itself. He accused the government of trying to control the Church and being indifferent to whether it functions properly as an institution or not.

    [04] President attends events marking the liberation of Ioannina

    President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos was on hand in Ioannina, northwest Greece, on Monday for celebrations to mark the 92nd anniversary of the city's liberation from Ottoman rule by Greek forces during the 1912-13 Balkan wars.

    The government was represented by the Minister of Defence.

    In comments to local residents and reporters, the outgoing president noted that Greeks should never compromise with the fact of being last amongst the 15 "old" European Union members, as the country‚s position of being somewhere "in the middle" of the current 25-nation bloc "is not the spot that befits us".

    Three days of events culminated on Monday with a military and civilian parade through Ioannina, the capital of the mountainous Epirus province.


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