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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-09-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis unveils regional policy plan
  • [02] PM rules out early elections, stresses Cyprus developments
  • [03] PM talks to local bodies on Thessaloniki-based public works
  • [04] PM Simitis inaugurates section of Egnatia Road
  • [05] Govt't spokesman visits ANA and MPA pavilion at TIF
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud and rain on Monday
  • [07] PM talks to local bodies on Thessaloniki-based public works

  • [01] Simitis unveils regional policy plan

    07/09/2003 22:51:42

    Regional development is the top priority of the government's economic policy and a challenge to achieve real convergence with the European Union, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Saturday.

    Addressing an official dinner, traditionally held by the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Simitis stressed that real convergence passed through regional convergence. ''We want Greece to converge with the European Union with no parts or region of the country lagging behind in a process of improving living standards in the country,'' the premier said.

    In his speech, Simitis offered a more detailed view of the government's regional policy.

    ''Our policy is not focusing only on regions lagging behind in growth. Our policy covers all geographical regions of the country as they all offered significant and unexploited potential in production and employment. Regional converge offers the chance to highlight all advantages attracting investments and creating employment. Within this context, it is desirable and that's what we are doing, we support more those regions with more weaknesses,'' Simitis stressed.

    The Greek prime minister presented in detail the government's public investment programme, ''the more stable engine'' of development procedure in Greece as he described it.

    The government is channeling the biggest part of all public and private investments to the country's regions, establishes investors' support centres in every prefect (five pilot centres are already operating), sets up Business and Development Centres around the country with the aim to coordinate and integrate regional initiatives funded by a Third Community Support Framework, to support small- and medium-sized enterprises and to promote employment, and finally creates regional venture capital schemes to fund high-risk investments.

    Simitis stressed that projects funded by a Third CSF programme were the criteria for the quality of regional development in the next 10-15 years.

    He said that 80 percent of total funds, around 14 trillion drachmas, were earmarked for projects and actions in regional Greece.

    [02] PM rules out early elections, stresses Cyprus developments

    07/09/2003 22:45:30

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Sunday ruled out all prospect of early elections during the customary press conference given by the prime minister at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) each year, stressing that the government intended to exhaust its term.

    On the issue of foreign policy, meanwhile, he predicted that developments on the Cyprus issue and relations with Turkey would dominate the term of the next government in office.

    ''We do not conduct opinion poll politics, we make policy based on four-year planning, our work is in progress, the economy is doing better and we have no reason to hurry,'' he said, regarding the elections.

    He advised main opposition New Democracy to ''show patience'' and said that the party's victory in the coming polls was doubtful.

    Turning to the package of social measures announced by the government the previous week, Simitis said that these were the result of a ''planned and decisive policy that has been evolving since 1996''. As to the funds that will cover the new benefits, he said these would come from a rise in GDP, which was expected to come to 10 billion euros in 2004.

    [03] PM talks to local bodies on Thessaloniki-based public works

    07/09/2003 22:41:31

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday evening called on all forces in Thessaloniki to mobilise in order to generate policies and carry out work that will help the city ''even better reflect the image of a metropolitan centre of southeastern Europe''.

    Simitis was speaking at a meeting attended by representatives of dozens of local Thessaloniki organisations and bodies, held in the framework of his visit to the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    The prime minister said the effort might also require ''restructuring'' the city's administration model to overcome problems of ''multiple authority or unclear responsibilities''.

    He said he would be open to any proposal for the city's development that was jointly submitted by the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry, the regional authority, the prefectural authority, municipal local government and the Regulating Organisation.

    Simitis also noted that government initiatives to make Thessaloniki the base of several major international organisations, the venue for EU councils and for the final summit held under the Greek EU presidency had helped place the spotlight on the city, ''which has passed into the history of major European developments''.

    He added that significant progress had been made over the past year in implementing government policies and major public works for the area, such as the Egnatia Highway, the state airport, the submarine roadway, the junctions on the ringroad and on the issue of a metro system.

    Overall, public works budgeted at around 3,82 million euros were currently underway throughout the northern city.

    [04] PM Simitis inaugurates section of Egnatia Road

    07/09/2003 22:37:46

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Sunday inaugurated a section of the Egnatia Road which covers the distance from Derveni to Nymfopetra.

    The 30 kilometre-long section is budgeted at 140 million euros, while another two kilometres of road will be open to traffic in December.

    According to Simitis, with the Egnatia Road the region is upgraded in that it gives Greece new capabilities as the major road axis links the East with the West, from Turkey to Italy.

    [05] Govt't spokesman visits ANA and MPA pavilion at TIF

    07/09/2003 20:40:27

    Press and Mass Media Minister Christos Protopapas visited the pavilion of the Athens News Agency (ANA) and the Macedonian Press Agency (MPA) at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday.

    The minister was received and given a tour by ANA General Director Andreas Christodoulides and MPA President Paraskevas Papaskevopoulos and General Director Spyros Kouzinopoulos.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud and rain on Monday

    07/09/2003 20:30:27

    Cloud with rain and storms is forecast in the Ionian, Peloponnese, central mainland Greece, Thessaly, Epirus and Macedonia on Monday. Scattered cloud with the possibility of sporadic rain is forecast in the Cyclades and Crete. Partly cloudy weather is forecast for the rest of the country. Winds variable, light to moderate. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 14C to 26C; in the west from 17C to 27C and in the rest of the regions from 16C to 29C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 28C; and in Thessaloniki from 16C to 25C.

    [07] PM talks to local bodies on Thessaloniki-based public works

    07/09/2003 16:53:06

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday evening called on all forces in Thessaloniki to mobilise in order to generate policies and carry out work that will help the city ''even better reflect the image of a metropolitan centre of southeastern Europe''.

    Simitis was speaking at a meeting attended by representatives of dozens of local Thessaloniki organisations and bodies, held in the framework of his visit to the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    The prime minister said the effort might also require ''restructuring'' the city's administration model to overcome problems of ''multiple authority or unclear responsibilities''.

    He said he would be open to any proposal for the city's development that was jointly submitted by the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry, the regional authority, the prefectural authority, municipal local government and the Regulating Organisation.

    Simitis also noted that government initiatives to make Thessaloniki the base of several major international organisations, the venue for EU councils and for the final summit held under the Greek EU presidency had helped place the spotlight on the city, ''which has passed into the history of major European developments''.

    He added that significant progress had been made over the past year in implementing government policies and major public works for the area, such as the Egnatia Highway, the state airport, the submarine roadway, the junctions on the ringroad and on the issue of a metro system.

    Overall, public works budgeted at around 3,82 million euros were currently underway throughout the northern city.

    Speaking after Simitis, main opposition New Democracy-affiliated Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis and other representatives of local bodies criticised the government for delays in carrying out public works and for going back on promises that had been made by the prime minister in the past.

    During the meeting, Simitis was given three memoranda with demands regarding the city's problems, one by the prefect referring to the prefectural authority's finances, one by Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, who had earlier complained about the delay in beginning work on the metro, and one by the mayor of a Thessaloniki suburb.


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