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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't to seek EU-sanctioned solution for OA that ensures job security
  • [02] Greek FinMin presents National Reform Programme for 2005-08
  • [03] Govt to discuss Olympic Airways' future on Thursday

  • [01] Gov't to seek EU-sanctioned solution for OA that ensures job security

    Transport Minister Mihalis Liapis on Wednesday said that the government was seeking a solution for Olympic Airlines that would ensure the security of the workforce and had the approval of the European Commission.

    Liapis made the statement after the Commission announced an anticipated decision that ordered OA to return more than 500 million in illegal government aid to the Greek state.

    The minister admitted that the Commission decision was a heavy blow to the airline's already precarious financial state and made the process of its privatisation even more difficult. He stressed, however, that the government would exhaust all margins for OA's sale and was already working on alternative solutions for the day after.

    Liapis noted that Olympic Airlines and Olympic Airways will continue to operate until the "best possible" solution is achieved and also reiterated the government's pledge to protect the rights of the workforce.

    The minister again blamed the current state of the national carrier on the policies of previous governments, which he said had driven OA and the thousands of people working for it into an absolute impasse.

    [02] Greek FinMin presents National Reform Programme for 2005-08

    Restoring fiscal balance, boosting productivity, improving the business environment, raising employment and promoting actions to support social cohesion are the five policy priorities set by the government in a National Reform Programme aimed for the period 2005-2008.

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, presenting the programme's draft plan, said "these priorities were an answer to those saying we move one without a plan, with compass and with no targets". The Greek minister stressed the government had specific targets aimed to achieve economic growth and improving living standards in the country.

    Alogoskoufis said he expected political parties, and the main opposition in particular, to present the positions on the programme, adding: "We do not deserve to be at the rear due to failed past policies". He underlined that a National Reform Programme reflected the determination and commitment of the Greek government, together with restoring fiscal discipline, to accelerate a process of structural reforms and speed up implementation of Lisbon targets, adding that all reform initiatives and actions were focusing towards the same direction.

    The draft plan was presented to the public so that all interested parties would express their reaction and after a debate in parliament to be submitted by October 15 with the European Commission.

    The programme includes all actions needed to achieve Lisbon targets, aimed to transform the EU into the most competitive economy in the world.

    Analytically, the draft plan envisages the deregulation of energy markets, improving the country's business environment, telecommunications market, transportation, deepening of internal market, knowledge society, investing in human capital, protecting the environment and others.

    The draft plan of a National Reform Programme is the compass to the future, Alogoskoufis said. "It guarantees that Greek economy is changing course and efficiently uses opportunities lying ahead," the Greek minister said.

    [03] Govt to discuss Olympic Airways' future on Thursday

    An inter-ministerial commission, including Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, Transport Minister Mihalis Liapis, Labour Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos, with Lazards, the foreign consultant in privatisations, will on Thursday discuss developments in Greece's national carrier OA following Wednesday's decision by the EU Commission giving Greece a two month period to resolve the issue, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said.

    Speaking to reporters, Roussopoulos reiterated that the Greek state is losing 1.5 million euros daily from the operation of OA, while replying to questions over the alleged interest by foreign investors to buy the national airline said "I don't think anyone considers OA to be a profitable company. A general interest is one thing and the problems facing the airline company are another. I don't think anyone has expressed interest to buy OA as it is, with its thousands workers and its financial burdens".

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