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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek truck owners call off strike
  • [02] PM: Boosting development, major reforms up next
  • [03] Samaras on PM statements
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Greek truck owners call off strike

    ANA-MPA/Striking freight and fuel truck owners called off their mobilisations shortly after midnight Thursday after a marthon meeting that lasted more than five hours. The strikers, whose mobilisations have entered their third week, will begin removing their trucks from roadblocks throughout the country on Friday, giving a breath of relief to the market, where severe shortages have taken a heavy toll.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] PM: Boosting development, major reforms up next

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday referred to the country's economic course, the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party's stance, a draft bill envisioning the irrevocable settlement of outstanding tax obligations as well as high-profile and damaging mobilisations in the road freight sector.

    Speaking to reporters at Maximos Mansion, Papandreou underlined that "we have met our obligations by doing everything we have said we'll do," pointing out that "we are on the right track, a fact that is being recognised internationally, and the country is regaining its credibility."

    He pointed out that "a different Greece from what we have known so far is emerging, despite the protests and the pain from the sacrifices made ... we know that the measures taken were of temporary use, adopted in order to deal with the crisis. Now, we are moving on to boost development and proceed with major structural reforms."

    The PM stressed that "the government was expecting a broader consensus from the opposition parties which has not been the case," adding that "we have the society's consensus."

    As regards the position expressed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Antonis Samaras, namely, that the deficit could be eliminated in 2011, Papandreou countered that "he should have given us his formula and presented his proposals six months ago, so that our problems would be solved."

    As regards the Vatopedi Monastery land swap case, he stressed that the relevant parliamentary committee has highlighted what he called the "huge damage" caused to the state and stressed that ND and former PM Costas Karamanlis have issued contradictory statements.

    Responding to a question on whether former PASOK premier Costas Simitis will testify before a separate parliamentary committee probing the Siemens bribery scandal, Papandreou stated that "we have said that everything will be brought to light."

    On the irrevocable settlement of outstanding tax cases, a measure that has been criticised as unfair to law-abiding and conscientious taxpayers, he justified those who are against it, adding that this is the last time that such a measure will be implemented, considering that the new tax system puts an end to such practices.

    As regards the protests against the liberalising of the road freight sector, Papandreou attributed the ongoing opposition to the relevant legislation by "closed-shop" interests. He stressed that the so-called "closed professions" will be opened to ensure more job positions.

    Commenting on the role of his advisors, such as former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos and Italian banker and economist Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, the Greek PM stated that "they have their views, but the fact that they are advisors does not mean that they make decisions."

    Finally, in response to a question related to a "Financial Times" article co-signed by Schioppa, he said the advisor never spoke of default.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Samaras on PM statements

    ANA-MPa/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras criticised Prime Minister George Papandreou for what he said in a meeting with journalists at the Maximos Mansion at noon on Thursday.

    Addressing deputies and cadres of the Attica basin, the ND leader termed Papandreou's statements, in which the latter criticised the ND for the present state of the economy, "inconceivable", stressing that the spreads increased from 130 units to 1000 during PASOK's governance.

    "Someone should tell Papandreou that the reason the spreads are at these levels at present is that the economic policy he is following is being disputed," Samaras said.

    As regards the prime minister's commitment that he will go ahead with a factfinding commission for the economy, Samaras replied that he has no objection, but requested that the probe begin from 1981.

    "We shall not place a barbed wire of time. Greece was not founded in 2004, nor did it end in 2009. Greece existed both before and after," Samaras stressed.

    The ND leader accused the ruling PASOK party of being unable to govern without factfinding commissions since, as he said, it needs a permanent disorientation of public opinion.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new uniform payroll and the scissoring of benefits, a planned VAT rate increase in some products and reactions, the new development bill to be tabled in end-October, and the changes in the banking sector announced by prime minister George Papandreou, mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Prime Minister envisions another (parliamentary) fact-finding committee, (this time) on the Economy".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Express transfers for 10,000 university students".

    AVGHI: "New cuts in civil servants' salaries".

    AVRIANI: "Papandreou points finger at former PASOK prime minister Costas Simitis - He will be called to testify before the fact-finding committee on the economy".

    CHORA: "23 percent VAT on souvlaki, cheese pies and pizzas!!".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Papandreou: "I know the measures are painful, but them".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government 'cooking' cuts of up to 40 percent in civil servants' salaries".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Incomes reduction in the entire public sector - New cutbacks in benefits".

    ESTIA: "Economy's engine failure - The damage from truckers' mobilisation incalculable"

    ETHNOS: "Regional development and Competitiveness Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis' plan to deflate prices on the market".

    IMERISSIA: "Papandreou to bankers: Proceed with the deals."

    KATHIMERINI: "Scissoring of benefits - Government's uniform payroll for civil servants opens up a new front".

    LOGOS: "Papandreou gives consent for fact-finding committee".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Substantial reversals in state aid - The new bill will be revealed at the end of October".

    NIKI: "Civil servants will lose an additional 2,500 euros per year with the new payroll".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Council of Europe: They want to put the people and the anti-monopoly struggle in a cast".

    TA NEA: "Public sector: New cuts in salaries in the horizon".

    TO VIMA: "Multi-speed uniform payroll".

    VRADYNI: "40,000 small and medium size enterprises in the red".

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