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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Airports and harbours set for privatisation in 2007
  • [02] PASOK leader charges that 'gov't is rudderless'
  • [03] Minister finalises action plan ahead of bad weather
  • [04] Memorial service for victims of terrorism

  • [01] Airports and harbours set for privatisation in 2007

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis plans to privatise airports and harbours in 2007 as part of a new phase in the government's wide-ranging privatisation plan.

    "This new generation of privatisations is infrastructure, which must work competitively," the minister told the Sunday Ethnos newspaper in an interview.

    The banking sector was the immediate priority with the part-flotation of Post Office Savings Bank; the sale of more stock in Athens-quoted Agricultural Bank of Greece leaving the state with a bare majority; and the full privatisation of Emporiki Bank, also listed on the bourse, Alogoskoufis said.

    He also noted that one possible method of aiding fiscal discipline was to enter forecasts from the country's growth and stability pact into the constitution, and to embark on a mandatory formulation of three-year budgets.

    In addition, the minister said that tenure in the public sector remained the norm, with open-ended contracts an exception; and the tax-exempt level for income from 2007 would be 12,000 euros annually.

    [02] PASOK leader charges that 'gov't is rudderless'

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou on Sunday charged that "we are dealing with a government which is rudderless, with a government which is chaotic, which concerns itself with its own problems and interests and not for a solution to the problems of the people."

    Papandreou made the statements at Orhomenos, first stop of his visit to Viotia.

    The PASOK leader met at Orhomenos with many farmers of the region, in their majority cotton producers and discussed with them their problems.

    He accused the government that before the general elections were held, it had made many promises "and did not implement any of them."

    Papandreou futher accused Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis that "although he had promised that he himself would negotiate in support of the farmers in Brussels, he did not negotiate in the recent EU summit, resulting in Greece losing funds for the agricultural sector."

    [03] Minister finalises action plan ahead of bad weather

    Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis on Sunday finalised the government's plan of action for a bout of bad weather including snow that has been forecast in coming days.

    Voulgarakis told senior officials of the police force and fire brigade that staff were to be ordered on full alert to tackle any contingencies.

    A sharp drop in temperature is forecast in all parts of the country, with rain or sleet in many areas and snow in the north and on high ground elsewhere. Winds northeasterly, strong to gale force. Temperatures in Athens from 4C to 8C; and in Thessaloniki between -2C and 2C. Snow will fall on the mountains ringing Athens, and later in the day in the capital's northern suburbs.

    [04] Memorial service for victims of terrorism

    A memorial service was held on Sunday to honour the victims of terrorism.

    The annual service requested by the Thanos Axarlian Association was held at the Aghia Triada Church in Piraeus.

    The group was created after a youth of the same name was killed as an innocent passer-by during a terrorist attack in central Athens.

    Among public figures taking part were Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou, Deputy Defence Minister Vassilis Mihaloliakos, also a casualty in a terrorist attack, the deputy speaker of parliament, Yiannis Tragakis, and the British ambassador in Athens.

    "This memorial is to remind us that the victim of terrorism is Greek society itself, and not only individuals," said Axarlian's mother.

    Yiannakou announced that a memorial day for the victims would officially become an annual event.

    "This will take place on the third Sunday of January each year. A presidential decree will state the manner in which it will be conducted," Yiannakou said.


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