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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis briefed on Bank of Greece restructuring, forecasts
  • [02] Waste management vital for Greece - Souflias
  • [03] Economic sentiment index up in 2006
  • [04] Winter sales begin

  • [01] Karamanlis briefed on Bank of Greece restructuring, forecasts

    Athens, Greece - Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas on Monday at his office.

    Garganas reportedly briefed the prime minister on issues affecting the central bank, such as an ongoing restructuring. He also referred to international economic developments and euro-zone developments, ?as seen in Frankfurt?.

    Moreover, the central banker briefed Karamanlis on Bank of Greece forecasts for the Greek economy stressing that a monetary policy report he is expected to present in Parliament and the Cabinet is nearing completion.

    Alogoskoufis, responding to a press question, said that at present there is no issue of a rate hike by the Public Power Corp. (PPC).

    Meanwhile, it was announced that the Inner Cabinet chaired by the prime minister will meet on Tuesday to focus on tourism development-related issues. Afterwards, the high-ranking Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) will convene.

    PM receives former FM Molyviatis

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday received former foreign minister Petros Molyviatis at his office in Athens.

    No statements were made afterwards to reporters.

    Molyviatis, a long-time career diplomat before his retirement, served as the first foreign minister in the current Karamanlis government.

    [02] Waste management vital for Greece - Souflias

    Sounding the alarm over waste management in Greece, Environment Minister George Souflias on Monday stressed that it was a vital issue of national importance that was now in the hands of local and regional authorities.

    According to the minister, central government had completed national planning, passed the necessary legislation and outlined specific policy guidelines that local authorities should now put into action.

    He also pointed out that there was no need for a new environmental policy but only to implement the policies already formulated by the environment ministry on this issue, which covered all forms of waste management from landfills to recycling, incineration, composting and biological processing.

    Regarding planning for three new landfill sites in Attica, in Fyli, Keratea and Grammatiko, Souflias said a final decision was still pending from the Council of State, Greece's supreme administrative court but noted that the recommendations to the court were positive so that the final decision was also expected to be positive.

    The minister stressed that the government had done its part, which was to pass laws, formulate policy and monitor its implementation, and that it was now up to regional and local authorities to decide which method or methods they will use to handle waste in their district, using the tools provided by the ministry.

    Noting that landfill sites would be necessary regardless of the other waste management methods used, he nevertheless underlined that it must not be the only solution for handling solid wastes:

    "We must not forget that from the management of waste we want the production of power and fertilizer and, in every case, the recovery of recyclable materials - a landfill does not give us any of these," the minister added.

    He advised the use of a combination of waste handling methods that would reduce the volume of rubbish ending up on landfill sites, while pointing out that there will always be a residue, regardless of what methods are used.

    Souflias also warned that the need to deal with the waste management crisis in Greece was imposed both by environmental considerations and the prospect of heavy fines from the European Union, advising local authorities to pick up the pace in this area.

    And pointing out that recycling begins at home, he called for publicity campaigns to advise the general public on the need to recycle and separate wastes from recyclable materials.

    Hazardous waste management

    According to Souflias, the ministry had also completed the legislative framework and infrastructure for the handling of hazardous wastes, while the specifications and conditions in a EU directive on this issue would begin to be implemented in September 2007.

    All industries would have to submit studies for waste handling by the middle of the year, while the system would be organised along the lines of a "polluter pays" scheme, in which the ministry would carry out inspections to ensure that the guidelines were followed and impose penalties where necessary.

    Targets for waste management

    Noting that recycling rates in Greece in the past two years had reached 14% and were estimated to rise to 20% in 2007, Souflias listed a series of targets for reducing the volume of biodegradable wastes sent to landfills and the rehabilitation of unsupervised dumps by 2008.

    Regarding biodegradable wastes, he said that the aim was to reduce the amounts going to landfills to less than 1,950,000 tonnes in 2010, 1,300,000 tonnes in 2013 and 900,000 tonnes in 2020.

    With respect to unsupervised dumps, the minister said that 2,626 had been recorded throughout Greece and 1,850 had already closed. Of these, 615 were low-risk and were being restored by local authorities themselves, while for another 552 the restoration work had been inducted into various funding schemes.

    [03] Economic sentiment index up in 2006

    Greece's economic sentiment index rose to 107 points in December, reversing a two-month decline, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.

    In a monthly report, IOBE said the average economic sentiment index in 2006 surpassed the long-term average at more than 103 points. The Greek indexe's growth rate was the highest in the EU-25 by September but the index still lagged behing the European average.

    The report attributed the December index mainly to an improvement in the consumers' confidence index.

    Business expectations in the manufacturing sector improved in December recording the highest levels in the last four years. The business expectations index in the construction sector fell for the third consecutive month, but was up compared with the average rate in 2005. The business expectations index in the retail sector was almost unchanged at 121 points, up from December 2005 and exceeding the long-term average rate. The business expectations index in the services sector eased slightly to 109.2 points in December, from 110.9 in November, but was still up compared with the long-term average rate.

    IOBE said the consumers' confidence index improved in December, but remained at low levels since consumers remained pessimistic over the forecasts for the future. The index rose to -28 points in December from -33 in November, the highest reading since 2004.

    [04] Winter sales begin

    Department stores and shops began their winter sales on Monday, that will last until February 24. Both the previous and the new prices of good sold at a discount must be written in conspicuous parts of stores.

    Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou left open the possibility of the sale period beginning earlier as of next year, noting that such a thing will be decided after the course of the institution during this year's crisis as well are evaluated.

    The development ministry and the relevant General Consumers Secretariat have issued a special informative pamphlet containing instructions on what the consumer should take note of during the sales period.

    Consumer General Secretary Yiannis Economou said that the pamphlet is titled "What I must take care of during the sales. I choose carefully, I purchase correctly."

    It contains all necessary information to enable the consumer to know what he must take care of when making his purchases during the sales period and what his rights are. Moreover it contains useful instructions on how to check purchases so as not to burden the family budget needlessly, as well as the quality of goods.

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