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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader supports abolition of death penalty
  • [02] FinMin, regional officials discuss CSF progress

  • [01] PASOK leader supports abolition of death penalty

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou had a telephone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Wednesday to whom he conveyed his party's and the Socialist International's (SI) "full support" to his initiative at the United Nations for the abolition of the death penalty.

    The PASOK leader is also SI president.

    According to statements by party spokesman Petros Efthymiou, who made the announcement, Papandreou will address a letter to the leaders of all SI member parties proposing the undertaking of concrete actions towards this direction.

    Papandreou and Prodi will also jointly organise an international conference with the participation of international personalities, while he will contact UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on the issue, Efthymiou added.

    [02] FinMin, regional officials discuss CSF progress

    National Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday chaired a meeting at the ministry, attended by Deputy Minister Christos Folias and ministry secretary general for investments Constantine Mousouroulis, as well as the regional general secretaries, to review the materialisation of projects under the country's Regional Operational Programmes (PEP) and planning for the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA).

    During the meeting, Alogoskoufis referred to the immense effort made in 2006 so avert the loss of EU funds earmarked for Greece under the Third Community Support Framework (CSF).

    He described as "relatively satisfactory" the absorption rate, which had more than doubled to 58 percent at the end of 2006, compared with 23 percent in 2004 (when New Democracy took over as government).

    At the same time, however, he described 2007 as a "very difficult year" because there were fewer margins for flexibility than up to the present.

    Alogoskoufis announced that the meetings between the ministry leadership and the general secretaries of the regions would henceforth be on a monthly basis, taking place on the last Friday of each month, aiming at better coordination, while he at the same time acknowledged the difficulties given that there was a dual task to be accomplished in 2007, namely, advancement of the Third CSF, and the "dynamic commencement" of the National Strategic Reference Framework, which was slated for approval by the European Commission by end-March, while the operational programmes (PEP) would be approved in the first half of 2007.

    The target, he continued, was to boost the developmental momentum of the periphery, adding that 82 percent of the ESPA funds would be channelled to the periphery.

    Alogoskoufis further referred to the proposals pending for the development of the sector of technologies, such as the third cycle of proclamations of the SMEs, noting that 5,400 proposals have been submitted, with an overall projected expenditure of 530 million euros, and which are expected to create 7,000 new jobs.

    He added that a new system of management and supervision of expenditures would be in effect for the ESPA.

    Folias, in turn, said that no well-intentioned individual could dispute the progress made in the 3rd CSF and the fact that the system of management and supervision had been streamlined. He added that with every month and year that passes, Greece was becoming an increasingly credible partner, stressing that the slogan for the effort should be "no euros for expenditure and up to the very last euro for investment".

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