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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-11

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: 4.59 billion euros collected via privatisations since March 2004
  • [02] Greek humanitarian aid to Lebanon cotinues
  • [03] UK developments should not affect arrivals to Greece
  • [04] Syn MP condemns arrest of Palestinian parliament speaker
  • [05] Government is determined to support regions

  • [01] Gov't: 4.59 billion euros collected via privatisations since March 2004

    A number of privatisations of state-owned companies recorded since the Karamanlis government's assumption of power in March 2004 have generated 4.59 billion euros in revenues - a figure that includes the most recent sale of Emporiki Bank - money that goes directly towards high-profile efforts to reduce the public debt, according to the economy ministry on Friday.

    Government officials again reiterated this week that privatisations are a primary economic goal, with the emphasis on the restructuring and smoother running of the economy itself as well as state-run companies eyed for future privatisation.

    In the wake of the successful sale of state-run Emporiki to France's Credit Agricole, other prospects repeatedly cited by the economy ministry's leadership include facilities belonging to the Tourism Development Co. (ETA), the Greek Public Gas Corp. (DEPA) and a better exploitation of state-owned real estate properties.

    The government has also reiterated that it hopes the privatisation programme is boosted through the implementation of a legal framework on public-private sector partnerships.

    [02] Greek humanitarian aid to Lebanon cotinues

    A Hellenic Air Force C-130 transport plane was scheduled to depart from an airbase west of Athens on Friday afternoon loaded with 10 tons of humanitarian aid for Lebanon, the eighth such mission coordinated by the foreign ministry's Hellenic Aid programme.

    Foodstuffs, medicines and baby food, collected by the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece's NGO "Solidarity", the Greek Red Cross and the Doctors of the World organisation will be flown to Larnaca Airport on Cyprus, before being delivered to war-ravaged Lebanon aboard the Greek military transport carrier "Chios".

    Meanwhile, the foreign ministry's Hellenic International Development Cooperation Department (Hellenic Aid) has already contributed 260,000 euros towards relief efforts in Lebanon.

    [03] UK developments should not affect arrivals to Greece

    The government on Friday reiterated that Greece enjoys a high degree of security, with Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia noting from Hania, Crete, that developments in Britain will no affect tourism arrivals here.

    She also said the successfully hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games consolidated the view that Greece is an absolutely safe travel destination.

    Addressing local tourist sector representatives at the Hania Chamber, she stressed that the increased number of tourists visiting the country is partly due to a successful ad campaign overseas.

    During her visit to Hania, the minister visited the Greek National Tourism Organization offices and met with local government representatives.

    [04] Syn MP condemns arrest of Palestinian parliament speaker

    Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda on Friday briefed Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) parliament spokesman Fotis Kouvelis on the statements she made, in her capacity as vice-president of the Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly, condemning the arrest of Palestinian parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik by Israeli forces last Sunday in Ramallah.

    Kouvelis, in a letter addressed to Benaki-Psarouda, called for the release of the Palestinian leader, while noting that Greece's Parliament has an obligation to express its displeasure to the Israeli government over the ?unprecedented move", as he said. He also called for the immediate release of Aziz Duaik and other Palestinian deputies.

    [05] Government is determined to support regions

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in the course of a press conference he gave at the Aegean and Island Policy Ministry, on the occasion of his visit to the island of Lesvos, stated on Friday that "the government is determined to support the regions to that they do not lose anything at all from what they had in the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF)."

    Pavlopoulos criticised the previous governments of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) that "they did not care to prepare, even rudimentarily, the country for the coming challenges," adding that "the New Democracy government had to quickly undertake initiatives so as to cover lost ground and lost time, in the best possible way for the country's interests."

    As he stressed, "the coordinated and systematic efforts which were made from 2004 onwards, show that, following the revisions which were made, the course of our regional development is proceeding satisfactorily."

    The interior minister said that "added to the overall resources of the Regional Operational Programme of the northern Aegean 2000-2006, following the revisions which were made in the past two-and-a-half years, were another 32 million euros."


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