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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-07-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Pension policy, new initiatives discussed by PM, employment minister
  • [02] Papandreou renews call for peace in Middle East
  • [03] Three new suburban railway stations inaugurated
  • [04] Petrol stations urged to restrain fuel price hikes
  • [05] U.S. seeks Greek help in Lebanon evacuation

  • [01] Pension policy, new initiatives discussed by PM, employment minister

    Social insurance and pension policies were the focus of an extended discussion on Monday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis.

    Afterwards, the minister announced that auxiliary pension funds will be grouped by the end of the year on the basis of the Reppas law and other laws passed by PASOK that are currently in force.

    A "mini-bill" on social insurance will also be tabled in Parliament for discussion over the summer, he added.

    Tsitouridis referred extensively to what he called "active policies to boost employment before retirement" and said that a draft bill was on the way to help vulnerable groups - such as women, young people and those aged over 55 - to enter the workforce.

    The minister also spoke about plans to create a social solidarity fund to assist those 55-plus, as well as vulnerable groups and areas.

    Stressing the need to stamp out contribution-evasion, Tsitouridis said the government planned to set up a single coordinating body to monitor payment of social insurance contributions and stop the loss of funds.

    [02] Papandreou renews call for peace in Middle East

    Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International president George Papandreou on Monday renewed a call for peace in the Middle East, during a visit to the island of Ikaria to attend celebrations for the anniversary of the island's liberation from Ottoman rule.

    He said that Greeks should continue to have faith that they can achieve major targets and realise great visions, especially in the face of the challenges of the age and the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

    Papandreou stressed that the international community should bring the warring sides to the negotiating table, with the goal of establishing a free and independent Palestine that will co-exist side-by-side with Israel, in conditions of peace and cooperation.

    Lebanon must also be able to live independently and peacefully, he added.

    PASOK's president also reiterated that the Socialist International will undertake every feasible initiative in this direction, condemning violence and unilateral actions.

    Papandreou arrived on the island in a Greek Navy vessel from Samos, where he returns on Monday afternoon. He took part in a meeting of party officials on Ikaria and then attended a service at Aghios Kirikos Church, laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen and watched a show of traditional island dances organised by young people on Ikaria.

    During the meeting with PASOK party members, he stressed that PASOK can win not only the local government elections but also the national elections and gain a victory that will be more beneficial for the Greek people.

    He accused the present government of having created a sense of defeatism and a sense that problems will not be solved and listed ferry boat services, health and education as areas where it had "made a mess of things".

    Papandreou also leveled criticism against the government over foreign policy, pointing to rising tension with neighbouring Turkey and alleging that Greece was losing out on EU funds.

    [03] Three new suburban railway stations inaugurated

    Transport Minister Michalis Liapis inaugurated three new suburban railway(Proastiakos) stations on the Athens-Corinth section on Monday. The stations will open to commuters on Tuesday.

    The 10-million-euro stations of Ano Liosia, Aspropyrgos and Magoula are capable of serving an estimated 5,000 people living in the region of western Attica as well as those working in the emerging industrial region.

    Liapis characterized the Proastiakos as a very important project offering quick and safe transportation. Referring to the three new stations he said that they will facilitate commuting in the regions of western Attica and contribute to their economic growth.

    He also said that the new Proastiakos stations under construction at Penteli and Piraeus will be ready by the end of the year, while construction works at the stations of Chalkida, Kiato and Metamorphosis will be completed by early 2007.

    [04] Petrol stations urged to restrain fuel price hikes

    Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Monday urged for self-restraint in rolling over rising international oil prices to domestic fuel prices.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting of a Commission on European Business Awards, the Greek minister urged consumers to use their powerful weapon and to isolate speculators by opting for petrol stations with the cheapest prices.

    Sioufas reiterated that fuel prices in Greece were the lowest in Europe and stressed that international oil prices and petrol prices have risen by 145 pct and 168 pct respectively, since 2004, while petrol prices in the domestic market have risen by 48 percent over the same period. The Greek minister noted that ministry agencies continued inspections in the domestic fuel market and stressed that the situation in the market was rather fluid.

    [05] U.S. seeks Greek help in Lebanon evacuation

    US ambassador to Greece Charles Ries on Monday sought the assistance of the Greek government to ensure sea transport for US citizens that may request to be evacuated from strife-torn Lebanon, during a meeting with deputy foreign minister Theodoros Kassimis.

    The two men discussed the present situation in the Middle East.

    Kassimis stressed that the Greek govenrment was making major efforts to assist not only Greeks but also citizens of other countries desiring to leave Lebanon.

    Regarding the ensurance of vessels to meet all the requests that have been submitted, Kassimis said that all the margins will be exhausted, despite the increased needs in Greek coastal shipping due to the summer season.

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