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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Experts committee submits proposals on telecoms privacy protection to PM
  • [02] 'We won't back down on reforms,' FinMin says
  • [03] Public order minister meets Chinese deputy security minister
  • [04] Gov't on amendment for bank workers
  • [05] U.S. Ambassador visits Democritus research centre

  • [01] Experts committee submits proposals on telecoms privacy protection to PM

    Clarification of the authorities of the independent Authority for the Protection of Communications Privacy (ADAE) and its general cooperations were contained, inter alia, in a 37-member memorandum submitted Monday to prime minister Costas Karamanlis by the ad-hoc committee of experts that has been set up to examine the institutional framework regarding the protection of telecoms confidentiality.

    Members of the committee, headed by professor Dimitris Tsatsos, called on the premier Monday and submitted the memorandum, the full text of which will be released to the press in the early afternoon.

    Tsatsos told reporters after the meeting that the memorandum outlined the status quo abroad, the types of electronic crime, and the legal status in effect in Greece, among other subjects.

    Asked whether an increase in the ADAE's authorities would be necessary, Tsatsos replied "clarification of authorities and general cooperation".

    Tsatsos warned that the issue should be turned into a "subject of gossip", stressing that it was a matter of national importance that concerned the shielding of democracy and protection of the citizens' rights, adding that other sides, too, could contribute to this effort with their own proposals. The bottom line, he added, was that "the all-powerful legislator (parliament) will decide".

    The ADAE representative on the committee, Christos Kapsalis, said in reply to other press questions that the issue of Vodafone was not discussed during Monday's meeting with the prime minister, and that a system of checks was proposed on private telecoms centres.

    Also present at the meeting was justice minister Anastasis Papaligouras. Transport and communications minister Michalis Liapis, who was present at the committee's first meeting with the premier on February 13, was absent from Monday's session as he is in Brussels.

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

    [02] 'We won't back down on reforms,' FinMin says

    Greece's reform programme was very positively evaluated by the European Union, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, the minister said Greece must make more effort than any other EU member-state to achieve goals set by the Lisbon Strategy since the country ranked in the bottom in all indexes in the period 2003-04 among the EU-15.

    A policy of reforms in the country was aimed to creating more job positions, to attracting more investments and to boost exports, Alogoskoufis said, adding that reforms were the government's main policy. "We won't back down on this," he stressed.

    Commenting on the results of an EU Summit in Brussels last week, the Greek minister said the European Council agreed to boost economic growth with more employment and by preserving a social model. The Council agreed that economic growth should be based on:

    -Research and innovation. EU member-states must spend 3.0 pct of the GDP in research and technology by 2010 although each country will have different targets.

    -Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises. All states must offer "one-stop" services by the end of 2007 to ensure simple and easy way of founding and operating an enterprise.

    -Raising employment particularly among young people, women and people with special needs or legitimate immigrants.

    EU heads of state also agreed on a common European strategy on energy.

    Alogoskoufis said Olympic Airways was not in risk of losing its brand name. He stressed that a plan to sale the national carrier was handled by the Transport and Communications ministry and that the Economy ministry's role was to ensure taxpayers money. The government was making efforts to prevent any possible impact from the fact that the Skaramanga Shipyard and the Elefsis Shipyard were trading accusations to each other at a time when the European Commission was examining if any of them had received illegal state subsidies.

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

    [03] Public order minister meets Chinese deputy security minister

    Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras on Monday received China's Deputy Minister of State Security Geng Huichang, in the framework of regular Greek-Chinese contacts to pass on necessary knowhow and expertise acquired during the Athens Olympics security programme to organisers of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

    The Chinese minister was accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Greece Tian Xuejun, while the meeting was also attended by National Intelligence Service chief Ioannis Korantis and the head of the Greek Police Anastasios Dimoschakis.

    The two sides also referred to the traditionally good relations between Greece and China and a recent visit to China paid by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Polydoras noted that the Athens Olympics were the first held after the terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001 and guaranteed the quality of his ministry's security services, while he also expressed his conviction that the Beijing Games will be a success and asked the Chinese side to provide an exhaustive list describing its security needs.

    "At this moment we have the accumulated experience of the Olympic Games of 2004, the best Olympic Games from every aspect and especially the one that interests us - the security of the Olympic Games," he said.

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

    [04] Gov't on amendment for bank workers

    Commenting on a 'surprise' amendment tabled in Parliament by Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis regarding Emporiki Bank, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Monday noted that the "amendment" tabled on Friday had been foreseen by a 2005 law.

    He also described the reaction by the bank workers' union OTOE as "unjustified and exaggerated".

    The amendment makes the 2005 law applicable to employees insured by Emporiki Bank and Piraeus Bank.

    "The course of their induction had begun from the summer of 2005 and is proceeding normally after the legal complaint of the management of Emporiki Bank, the rejection of an injunction and measures to increase Emporiki's share capital. Therefore there was nothing 'surprising' or untoward," Roussopoulos added.

    Asked why the government had gone ahead with the amendment even though Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had said that nothing would be done apart from the law passed in the summer until dialogue on social insurance was completed, Roussopoulos reiterated that the amendment was foreseen under the law passed in the summer and noted that it did not affect any rights concerning the conditions for taking pension.

    Communist Party of Greece

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the amendment was tabled in "the framework of a more general attack that the forces of capital have unleashed against the sum total of insurance and pension rights of workers" and that the government was accelerating the implementation of anti-worker laws passed by itself and its predecessor PASOK.

    "ND is trying to overcome the obstacles created by the action of employees to the implementation of the laws in order to immediately and without obstacles satisfy the demands of bankers," KKE said in an announcement.

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

    [05] U.S. Ambassador visits Democritus research centre

    United States Ambassador in Athens Charles Ries on Monday visited the facilities of the Democritus National Research Centre for the Physical Sciences and was briefed on its activities.

    Ries met the director of the centre Dimitris Niarchos and then visited the institutes of nuclear physics and microelectronics, where he toured the laboratories and was briefed on their research programmes.

    There followed a meeting between Ries and the chairman of the Greek Atomic Energy Committee Leonidas Kamarinopoulos.

    After the visit, the ambassador praised the technological achievements of the Democritus laboratories, saying many of them would find their way to the market and help the Greek economy in the future, while he also referred to the cooperation between the centre and its counterparts in the United States.

    With respect to the Greek Atomic Energy Committee, Ries said it had played and would continue to play an important role in the establishing and strengthening relations between Greece and the U.S. and said that the good cooperation between the Committee and its U.S. counterparts reflected the good cooperation between Greece and the U.S.

    Kamarinopoulos spoke about the Committee's cooperation with the U.S. department of energy, which focused on protecting the country from the illegal movement of radioactive materials, and said the talks with Ries had focused on continuing and extending this cooperation.

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


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