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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government to press on with debt securitization
  • [02] PM briefed on new civil servants' code, election laws
  • [03] National team coach Rehhagel to stay on for 2 years
  • [04] Culture ministry inspects former royal estate

  • [01] Government to press on with debt securitization

    Next year's budget will not include the figure from a debt securitization plan, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday. The Greek minister noted that the figure would be included after completion of a technical consultation -currently underway- with Eurostat to approve the plan.

    Speaking to reporters, Alogoskoufis said the 2006 budget would focus on restraining public spending, and combatting tax evasion.

    The Greek minister said that even without revenues from a debt securitization plan, the government managed to reduce its fiscal deficit by more than two percentage points, as agreed with the European Union. The deficit will fall to 4.4 percent of GDP from 6.6 pct in 2004, excluding revenues from debt securitization. "We have said from the beginning that debt securitization is a temporary revenue and we have moved according to Eurostat's regulations," the Greek minister said.

    Alogoskoufis said the government would continue efforts to have a debt securitization plan approved by the European Union and stressed that revenues would be included either in the 2005 or the 2006 budget, depending on the approval by Eurostat. The Greek minister said approval procedures were taking longer these days since Eurostat was more cautious with such plans due to problems surfacing with similar plans in the past.

    Alogoskoufis said the Greek economy was moving in the right direction and stressed that no other EU member-state managed to achieve so many things during one year. "Our aim was to combine efforts to reduce fiscal deficits, safeguarding growth rates, and boosting employment and social cohesion," Alogoskoufis said.

    The Greek minister said the government would seek a full privatisation of Emporiki Bank, to sell another stake in Agricultural Bank and to list Athens Airport in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [02] PM briefed on new civil servants' code, election laws

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed on Monday by Public Administration and Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos over a timetable for a pair of top institutional reforms announced by the ministry, namely, a new civil servants' code and the election of mayors and prefects with 42 percent or more of the vote in the first round of local government elections.

    Pavlopoulos told reporters afterwards that he was optimistic the civil servants union, ADEDY, will lend its approval to the new code, as a meeting between the two sides was planned for later in the day.

    The government has announced that draft bills for the two reforms will be tabled by the end of the year. Municipal and prefectural elections are set for next year.

    [03] National team coach Rehhagel to stay on for 2 years

    German coach Otto Rehhagel on Monday detailed his decision to continue as the Greek national team's skipper for another two years, during a joint press conference with the Greek football federation's (EPO) leadership here.

    The announcement ends speculation that the veteran coach would leave the Euro 2004 champions for another national or Bundesliga side following Greece's failure to qualify for the World Cup 2006 competition in Germany.

    According to reports, Rehhagel's contract will be worth roughly 800,000 euros a year.

    "Never before in my career have the fans and players wanted me to stay on after a team of mine was eliminated. We talked a great deal to the players, and all of the team members asked me to stay. We owe the European championship to the players, and I need to give something back to them; to stay on and continue," Rehhagel said, while adding that the team's target is now Euro 2008.

    [04] Culture ministry inspects former royal estate

    Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis on Monday headed up what was apparently the first-ever public inspection by a ministry delegation at the former royal family properties of Tatoi, north of Athens.

    Tatoulis led a delegation of ministry officials and archaeologists for an on-the-spot inspection.

    The visit comes in the wake of ongoing restoration efforts at the site, especially on the main country residence within the wooded estate. The ministry has also begun to record all of the movable objects left in the buildings of the former royal properties. Finally, Tatoulis said the government will attempt to include the restoration project in the 3rd and 4th Community Support Framework (CSF) programmes.

    Greece paid 13.7 million euros, following a December 2002 European Court of Human Rights ruling, as compensation to the country's former monarch and two of his relatives for properties seized under a 1994 law.

    A referendum in December 1974 abolished the monarchy by a 2 to 1 margin, paving the way for the establishment of a Parliamentary republic.

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