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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-09-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] KKE leader to PM: Greece should stay out of Syria war
  • [02] FinMin: No possibility of tax reductions right now
  • [03] Troika rejects gov't plan to liquidate defense industry; party reactions

  • [01] KKE leader to PM: Greece should stay out of Syria war

    ANA/MPA--Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Wednesday expressed his unequivocal opposition to Greece's involvement in any military intervention in Syria, during his meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    Koutsoumbas called the use of chemical weapons in Syria a provocation by powers other than Assad's regime and said that USA and its allies invocation of that excuse is a "fib".

    KKE leader called on the Greek people to be alert and support the struggle against the government's and EU's antisocial measures, to put up a fight against the war, demanding that Greece not get involved and not offer whatever facilitation to the US, EU and NATO military forces.

    [02] FinMin: No possibility of tax reductions right now

    ANA/MPA--There is no latitude for tax reductions, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras insisted on Wednesday, speaking to Skai private TV, saying that the major negotiation with the troika will be held when Greece achieves primary surplus this year.

    "I am worried and will not relax, because we must keep the deadlines and follow the programme" Stournaras said.

    Stournaras underlined that the country is on a good course and the figures prove it, adding however that the seven months of good returns in 2013 are not twelve months.

    He noted that the debt's sustainability depends on the debts of the past, from the primary surpluses and the GDP rate change and expressed his estimation that in the midst of next year it will begin to de-escalate.

    Particularly on the heating oil, the Finance Minister said that he plans to change the criteria for the heating benefits.

    Concluding, Stournaras ruled out the possibility of new taxes being imposed.

    [03] Troika rejects gov't plan to liquidate defense industry; party reactions

    ANA-MPA -- Greece is preparing an alternative plan over the future of its defense industry and Larco metallurgical company following a decision by the troika to reject the government's initial plan, insisting that the government should close down the three loss-making companies without compensating workers, Alternate Defense Minister Fofi Gennimata said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, Gennimata said she has contacted Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, vice-president Evangelos Venizelos and National Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, while the issue was discussed earlier in the day during a meeting between representatives from the Finance and Defense ministries and the prime minister's aides.

    Gennimata said she asked for an intervention at the highest possible level while the prime minister's office has undertaken the task of coordinating the government's next moves.

    The Greek government's proposal was to liquidate the three industries while remaining operational, separating factory units into military and civilian and offering voluntary retirement incentives to workers.

    The troika offered its assessment, rejecting the Greek plan through an e-mail sent to Finance ministry late on Monday.

    Party reactions

    Main opposition Radical Left Colition (SYRIZA) deputies and defence committee members Thodoris Dritsas, George Varemenos, Agni Kalogeri and Vassilis Hatzilambrou issued a joint statement regarding reports that the troika is demanding the immediate closure of the country's defence industry.

    "The Samaras-Venizelos government and all the previous ones bear the full, the absolute responsibility for the annihilation of the defence industry," the SYRIZA statement said. "Implementing the mandates of creditors and usurers, they participated, planned and implemented the present development, applying in full the commitment they voted for in the medium-term fiscal programme in 2011 on the sellout of the Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS) as a prior action for the continued lending to our country, extending it to the remaining groups of the defence industry as well."

    It added, "The Samaras-Venizelos government is dangerous for the people and the country. It is dangerous for the country's national defence. Hands off the Greek defence industry! Employees at the EAS, at Hellenic Vehicles Industry (ELVO), the employees of all sectors that they have declared war on to close, once and for all, the door to this dangerous government."

    The Democratic Left party (DIMAR) said in an announcement that the restructuring of the defence enterprises EAS, ELVO, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV) and Larco must take place while they are operating and by shutting down. It added that "the troika, for as long as it is not being faced with strong negotiating, will put forward new illogical demands and across-the-board layoffs, the abolition of specialities and closure of enterprises of the wider public sector".

    "DIMAR proposes this path be stopped, since the defence industry constituting a crucial industry for the country must be taken into consideration," it added.

    Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos said about the issue that "the coalition government, with a mandate by the troika, while delivering public property and confiscating private property, has decided to abolish the ammunition of national defence. For shame".

    In another development, the European Commission, according to a spokesman to European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, is waiting for the adoption of final decisions regarding the restructuring, including a considerable decrease, in light of the privatisation or the liquidation of ELVO, EAS and Larco.

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