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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't slams 'illicit' opposition tactics on Emporiki sale
  • [02] PASOK on social insurance system

  • [01] Gov't slams 'illicit' opposition tactics on Emporiki sale

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis on Thursday renewed accusations against "sections of the opposition" that they said were employing illicit tactics and methods, including intimidation, to persuade the social insurance funds not to participate in the sale of the state's shares in Emporiki Bank to France's Credit Agricole.

    According to Alogoskoufis, there had been "party interventions and threats against fund board members" to prevent the sale going ahead, while certain people had been forced to resign.

    "We have had complaints from board members at insurance funds that they came under pressure to not go ahead with the Emporiki issue," he said.

    The two ministers also stressed that the government had not given the funds any instruction apart from doing what was best for the interests of those insured with them.

    They made the claims following a meeting on Thursday, during which they decided on the composition of an expert committee that will discuss the problems facing Greece's ailing pension system and present its report in about a year.

    The committee, made up chiefly of government technocrats, will convene for the first time within August and its aim is to make a technical assessment of the situation concerning pension funds and their future prospects.

    [02] PASOK on social insurance system

    Maria Damanaki, in charge of the Employment, Social Affairs and Health Department of the Political Council of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), in statements on Thursday regarding the government's tactics over the social insurance system, noted that "the New Democracy (ND) government has seriously burdened the country's social insurance problem. These past two-and-a-half years, the State's debts to the Funds have doubled, the non-payment of pension insurance contributions increased by 20 per cent, the law which had been passed under PASOK goevernance is still not being implemented, while the provocative voluntary retirements, as occurred at the Hellenic Communications Organisation (OTE), give luxury pensions to a few."

    Responding to statements made earlier in the day by Employment and Social Protection Minister Savvas Tsitouridis and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Emporiki Bank, she said that "the big talk of the ministers has only one target. To avoid the explanataions which they are obliged to give to Parliament and to the Greek people regarding the government's pressures on the administrations of the Funds."

    Ministers Alogoskoufis and Tsitouridis on Thursday renewed accusations against "sections of the opposition" that they said were employing illicit tactics and methods, including intimidation, to persuade the social insurance funds not to participate in the sale of the state's shares in Emporiki Bank to France's Credit Agricole.

    Damanaki added:"We insist, as we have the right and obligation, for them to submit in Parliament all the data for every Fund separately. On the basis of which studies, which recommendations and the opinion of what advisers did they reach decisions for the sale of the shares of Emporiki Bank? We will check, one by one, all the data."


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