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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-08-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Structural reforms and public investments will take Greece out the crisis
  • [02] Higher education evaluation report handed to Parliament President
  • [03] SYRIZA leader meets with uniformed staff representatives

  • [01] Structural reforms and public investments will take Greece out the crisis

    Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Tuesday addressed the parliament during a debate on the government's omnibus bill and referred to mistakes that have been reported in the uniform real estate ownership tax (ENFIA) statements. The minister acknowledged there have been many mistakes and authorities have been making efforts to correct them.

    On the omnibus bill, he made clear the aim was to set up a national development plan as well as move from an internal consumption-based economy to an external demand-based one and the production of internationally traded goods and services. Hardouvelis noted that Greece did not end up like Argentina as it was not left alone. The main issue in this debate, he said, is whether a country can confront by itself the international speculative funds and added that in this confrontation, Argentina was alone and for this reason the county was still facing problems and had no access to the markets.

    "Greece, by contrast, took decisions jointly with its European partners and had their support," he noted adding that during the Greek crisis, speculative funds had to deal with the whole of the Eurozone.

    The way to deal with long standing economic stagnation, Hardouvelis noted, is not only through the strengthening of domestic demand, especially when public debt is really high. "The main tool to curb recessionary pressures is not policies aimed at boosting consumption; it is structural reforms and public investments," he noted.

    In view of that, he said it was time for Greece too to face the reality. "We should all agree – government and opposition – on the need for reforms," he noted and urged the opposition to vote in favor of the omnibus bill "or at least some of the most significant provisions," as this would "send a strong message of the maturity of our political system to our European partners and allies." Referring to the omnibus bill provisions, Hardouvelis noted that they are mainly structural ones and help build the relations between the state and the market or are aimed at improving basic state functions.

    [02] Higher education evaluation report handed to Parliament President

    The Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQAA) on Tuesday handed a 600-page report on the evaluation of Greece's universities and technological educational institutions (TEI) to the Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis.

    It is the first time in the history of higher education that such a report has been drawn up, as all the departments of Greek universities and TEIs have been evaluated. Its findings will be taken into consideration for the restructuring of the country's higher education.

    At the same time, the evaluation report compiled by an independent party on the organisation charts of the universities with staff placed under the mobility scheme, has been delivered to the Parliament's Committee on Cultural and Educational Affairs. The Committee will discuss both reports in the near future.

    [03] SYRIZA leader meets with uniformed staff representatives

    Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday met with representatives from the uniformed forces personnel.

    "Article 221 should be withdrawn," Tsipras said. "It is not just against the social security system itself, it is deeply antidemocratic and includes antidemocratic provisions. This article annuls accumulated social insurance rights and limits the options for the insured."

    He added that what the government was putting forward could not be called restructuring and consolidation but "elimination of the social insurance."

    He also accused the prime minister of being the "moral and physical instigator of the spoliation of the funds and the uniformed personnel's lump sum."

    With its policy, the government "imposes the privatization of supplementary pensions and lump sum benefits, in another special favour to the private capital. It primes the entry of private insurance companies in the second pillar of the social security system," he said.

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