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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM meets education minister, EU court president
  • [02] Thessaloniki to vie for int'l powerboat race
  • [03] Gov't won't get involved in labour talks, FinMin
  • [04] Papandreou: 'PM and government untrustworthy'

  • [01] PM meets education minister, EU court president

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Education Minister Marietta Yannakou on Thursday morning at 11:00 to discuss the full range of issues concerning her ministry.

    After the meeting, Yannakou said the talks covered a series of legislative changes that will establish the National Council of Education, draft bills on university education and for vocational and professional training that had already been approved by the cabinet.

    She said the government was seeking to replace current Technical Education Schools, which currently did not give those attending a chance to get into university, with a "technical and professional education along the lines of the best education systems in Europe, which give children alternative solutions."

    Later on Thursday, Karamanlis met European Court of Justice President Vassilios Skouris, who briefed him on the work and issues he is handling for the EU court.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Thessaloniki to vie for int'l powerboat race

    International Offshore Team Association (IOTA) general secretary Marco Sala met with officials in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Thursday after an invitation by the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) leadership, as the organisation announced its interest in hosting a World Class 1 powerboat race off the city's seawall.

    A meeting at the Macedonia-Thrace ministry included representatives of TIF, the ministry, the sports under-secretariat, the municipality, Thessaloniki prefecture, the port authority, the coastguard, the Greek Tourism National Organisation (GNTO) and Helexpo, among others.

    Caption: Speedboat "Victory 77", piloted by Mohammed Al Marri of the UAE and Jean-Marc Sanchez of France, races past the skyline of Doha, Qatar during the Qatar Duty Free Grand Prix in November 2004. EPA file photo.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] Gov't won't get involved in labour talks, FinMin

    The government must not and cannot get involved in the issues of collective labour negotiations, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, the minister stressed that a dialogue should proceed according to the law and noted that the existing legislation envisages the signing of sector labour agreements. "The government must not and cannot get involved in negotiations. It is not provided under the law," he said.

    Commenting on press reports alleging that a denial by Greek bankers to to begin talks with bank employees over a collective labour agreement was against the law, Alogoskoufis said it was a matter for Greek justice to decide. "We are not the justice system, we are the government," he noted.

    The minister also said that the government would proceed in a dialogue with political parties and all interested parties over the country's pension system.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [04] Papandreou: 'PM and government untrustworthy'

    In a renewed attack against the government and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday, main opposition leader George Papandreou told a meeting of the Agricultural Cooperatives Union in Sitia, Crete that Karamanlis was "untrustworthy". Papandreou arrived on Crete on Wednesday for a two-day tour of the prefecture of Lasithi.

    "We do not trust the prime minister and the government. We trust the people and with them we will govern," he said, asking those present to put their trust in main opposition PASOK when elections were next held.

    Papandreou said that the prime minister had failed to make good on the many promises he made before the elections, while calling on him "to tell the truth so that we have transparency".

    Turning to labour and economic issues, Papandreou praised the Sitia cooperatives for the strong export record and talked of the difficulties that exist in the global market.

    "In the face of these difficulties, there are two approaches: One is that of joint services and cheap labour, which is the right wing approach that will destroy the country if it prevails, creating division and placing the burden on citizens. This is the logic followed by the government and Karamanlis. The second approach is investment in quality and value and creating products that will be competitive throughout the world," he said.

    He warned that the battle would be hard and that support from the state was needed for it to have a good outcome.

    Finally, Papandreou stressed the need to rejuvenate and renew farming cooperatives and their unions to make them stronger.

    Before arriving in Sitia, PASOK's leader stopped at Makrygialos, where he talked with local residents and was briefed on the area's problems.

    According to Papandreou, many of these problems were the result of the central government cutting back resources to local authorities and he stressed that PASOK would restore the original Kapodistrias plan for municipal government and extend it even further in Kapodistrias 2.

    Criticising the government's recent changes to the Kapodistrias plan, Papandreou underlined the need for strong municipalities and regional authorities in order to create necessary infrastructure.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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