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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin on 2011 draft budget
  • [02] Culture ministry contract employees close Acropolis
  • [03] Commission: Greece on track
  • [04] FM on human trafficking
  • [05] Two injured in steel plant fire
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] FinMin on 2011 draft budget

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, presenting in Parliament the draft budget for 2011, observed on Tuesday that "the state of the Greek economy is very serious for us to play games of impressions," and criticised the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party for its leader's statements on the annulment of the deficit in a year, speaking of the "continuation of the deception of the people."

    Papaconstantinou added that "it is not a serious policy, a solution that the deficit is 9.9 percent and not over 14 percent and that the half can disappear painlessly. Because this is what you are telling us: a 18.5 billion deficit, can be annulled, if we take the sacrifices of the Greek citizen back."

    The minister also rejected allegations of an "alternative solution" that is proposed by the minor opposition, wondering "what exactly is our alternative? Who will lend the 110 billion euros and with what terms?"

    Papaconstantinou further stressed that "the budget wants to be the passport for the full restoration of our country's credibility. Its starting point, is the result of the policy that we exercised in 2010. By the end of the year, we will have decreased the general governance deficit from 32.7 billion euros to 18.5 billion euros and we set as a target the decrease of the deficit to 7 percent of GDP."

    The minister further stressed that "on the basis of this development of the deficit that we predict next year, the first stage deficit will have been almost annulled at the end of 2011."

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    [02] Culture ministry contract employees close Acropolis

    The Acropolis archaeological site in Athens was closed Wednesday morning by protesting contract employees of the culture ministry.

    The protestors are demanding that their specific-term contracts be converted to open end employment contracts.

    The contract employees will continue mobilisations throughout the month, their president told ANA-MPA

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

    [03] Commission: Greece on track

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Aroni) -- The European Commission on Tuesday played down prospects of extending the repayment period for loans offered to Greece by the Eurozone and the IMF.

    "There is no such discussion," Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told reporters, adding that "the Greek finance ministry clearly stated that there was no such request. It seems that the media are discussing a possibility not yet put on the table".

    Altafaj stressed that the Commission has noted a significant improvement of investment climate towards Greece over the last few weeks, including a spectacular decline of Greek bond spreads.

    "The Greek government is implementing effectively and with determination a stability program. We believe that Greece will be able to fully cover its borrowing needs from markets by 2012. Greece is on the right track and markets are responding positively. There is no case to envisage such an extension," the Commission spokesman said.

    Gov't spokesman

    Meanwhile in Athens, the government spokesman merely noted, in response to questions about the same issue, that "...we have set no demand, at least for now. Our position is that we should observe our goals firmly because only then we have results. This is very important and everything points to that, namely that we have results when we work with consistency."

    "Greece has not raised the issue of the extension of the repayment period for the loan it has received from the troika," government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said, while adding, nevertheless, that a relevant discussion is underway.

    Moreover, he said "no new measures will be imposed" and condemned any attempt to associate the discussion on any extension of the loan repayment with the adoption of new measures.


    Main opposition New Democracy (ND), moreover, clarified that its response will be negative if new measures are hidden behind any extension and, in essence, a new memorandum.

    ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos has made it clear, however, that an extension would be positive if it is being considered to facilitate payments.

    Panagiotopoulos accused the prime minister of failing to negotiate the "cruel terms" of the memorandum.

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

    [04] FM on human trafficking

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas conveyed the message that "any action taken will never be enough for as long as the exploitation of human beings by fellow human beings continues" speaking on Tuesday at a conference entitled "European Union Policy and the National Action Plan for Fighting Human Trafficking".

    He underlined that "the goal set is to make Greece a pioneer in the international campaign against human trafficking" and unveiled the anti-trafficking National Action Plan, stressing the collaboration underway on domestic and international level.

    Droutsas also pointed out that the policy followed has yielded fruit, stressing that indictments increased 65 pct, convictions 52 pct and victim protection 60 pct.

    The conference was hosted within the framework of the European Day against Human Trafficking, by the foreign ministry - in collaboration with co-competent ministries, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the International Organization for Migration.

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

    [05] Two injured in steel plant fire

    ANA-MPa/Two workers were seriously injured in a fire that broke out early Wednesday at a Hellenic Halyvourgia S.A. plant in Aspropyrgos, near Piraeus.

    A strong team of 30 firefighters with 10 fire engines were battling the blaze, that broke out at 7:45 a.m. and was reported two hours later as having been partially contained.

    The two workers were rushed to Thriassia hospital with serious burns, and one of the two was in critical condition.

    Fire Brigade investigators were examining the causes of the fire.

    According to early reports, the fire broke out in trash and flammable material and spread to the steel plant's metal melting (casting) funnel, where the flames were contained by the firemen, but oils and other material continued to burn, although this did not pose a threat.

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    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Speculation of a new memorandum after 2013, optimism on a change of the climate after the drop in the Greek spreads and the crisis in the building construction sector, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspaper.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Black market costs Greece 9 billion euros".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The insistent minister of a 'country of corruption' - Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou unrepentant ".

    AVGHI: "Education Minister asks police and parents' contribution to restore pupils to order".

    AVRIANI: "Government's modus operandi for a new long-term Memorandum is a crime against the country".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Stop lying Mr. Papaconstantinou".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "IMF's prisoners .....until 2020".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The 110 billion euros debt longer and deeper".

    ESTIA: "Why the indirect taxes are being increased".

    ETHNOS: "150,000 newly-built apartments, houses, remain unsold - Constructors in despair".

    IMERISSIA: "Optimism for reversal of climate".

    KATHIMERINI: "DEKO (Public Utilities and Organisations) will be included in the Memorandum".

    LOGOS: "European Commission shuts the door to extension of the debt repayment period".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The possibility of a new memorandum after 2013 is open".

    NIKI: "Focus on the low incomes".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party of Greece (KKE) announcement calls for single state energy agency".

    TA NEA: "Finance Ministry foreclosed on 70 houses in forty days".

    TO VIMA: "DEKO and civil servants' salaries targeted".

    VRADYNI: "Hostages of the European Union and IMF".

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

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