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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM meets separately with heads of industrial federation, major trade union

  • [01] PM meets separately with heads of industrial federation, major trade union

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday began a series of meetings with representatives of producer classes ahead of the customary "state-of-the-economy? speech inaugurating the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) next month.

    On Monday, the Greek premier met with the presidency of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB).

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said the government was seriously examining the views of producer classes, adding that the meeting focused on the "positive progress recorded by the Greek economy".

    Alogoskoufis stressed that the government has successfully dealt with any problems after the Olympic Games, while noting that economic growth is strong, unemployment is dropping and a reforms programme was underway. He also cited a tax reform implemented by the government and said that funds have been secured to better support low income and pension earners.

    Commenting on a demand by GSEE - Greece's largest trade union umbrella group - for the government to offer a heating oil subsidy to low-income citizens, Alogoskoufis rejected the prospect, saying "the government has made clear its position on the issue".

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who also attended the meeting, underling that the government focuses on a dialogue with all social partners and stressed that confidence was building over the implementation of a new development model for the country. Commenting on the high-profile policy of reforms in the wider public sector, Sioufas said "we are doing OK, and continue even better".

    Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of SEB, told reporters that his meeting with the premier covered the social security system, education, economic developments, as well as upcoming constitutional reform, while he stressed that a national reforms programme was a primary tool of economic policy.

    Daskalopoulos said he hoped this year's TIF will not become a venue for campaign or pre-election confrontation.

    "Citizens do not want fireworks; they want effective words and deeds".

    PM meets with GSEE presidium

    Earlier, Karamanlis met with the leadership of GSEE, with Labour Minister Savvas Tsitouridis later saying the meeting was useful and constructive. He noted that the government‚s top ministers briefed trade unionists on the results of its policy.

    Conversely, GSEE president Yiannis Panagopoulos strongly criticised government policy, referring to what he called a "wave of price hikes, higher unemployment, and poor conditions in the social security system and education were the results of government policy.?

    GSEE also demands a heating oil subsidy of 600 euros per households with an annual income of up to 11,000 euros and 300 euros for households with annual income of 11-15,000 euros.

    Caption: PM Karamanlis, centre, meets with a delegation of GSEE trade union leaders on Monday, Aug. 28, 2006, at his Maximos Mansion office. Economy Minister Alogoskoufis is seated to the right of Karamanlis. ANA-MPA / O. Panagiotou.

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