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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-09

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

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


  • [01] Papandreou meeting with trade union leaders
  • [02] Europe Day celebrated

  • [01] Papandreou meeting with trade union leaders

    A joint delegation of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the civil servants' union (ADEDY) met with main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday, hours after a similar meeting with new Labour and Social Protection Minister Vassilis Magginas.

    During his meeting with the delegation, Papandreou repeated his charge of a "raid" against state-run pension funds' reserves, as the ongoing "bonds affair" dominated talks between the two sides.

    The unionists presented their plan for the annulment of a controversial structured bond purchased by the civil servants' supplementary fund, which garnered Papandreou's approval.

    Finally, he again called on the government to release a detailed list on similar bond purchases.

    Following the joint GSEE-ADEDY meeting with the new minister, Magginas said his goal is to employ a policy of dialogue and understanding with the trade unions based on solving wage-earners' and pensioners' problems.

    Magginas was also presented with the unions' plan to return the funds spent for the bond's purchase.

    [02] Europe Day celebrated


    Greek leadership on Wednesday emphasised Athens' support of EU candidate-countries' course towards Europe, with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis citing the specific point during events in the Greek capital to mark Europe Day.

    Karamanlis made the comments during a ceremony in Athens' Zappeion Hall -- a venue that hosted the accession ceremony for Greece nearly three decades ago and only a stone's throw from the Greek Parliament -- on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaty.

    "Our country's position is one of support for the consolidation, the entrenchment of stability, cooperation, development and prosperity in our neighbourhood," he said, adding:

    "Today we celebrate Europe Day. Over these past 50 years the European Union has demonstrated that peace and cooperation can replace conflict and suspicion, with spectacular results for all."

    The premier noted that that proof of Europe's attraction lies in the fact that "every country in our wider region wants desperately to become a member."

    On his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, who served as the host of the commemorative event, said the Treaty of Rome laid the foundations for the spectacular course that followed, "which continues as spectacularly and provocatively in the present day, and where European nations put an end to the use of war and violence."


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