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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU Competition Commissioner meets with FM, FinMin
  • [02] Papandreou praises role of NGOs

  • [01] EU Competition Commissioner meets with FM, FinMin

    Visiting European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes on Thursday met separately with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, for talks on a wide range of competition-related issues.

    During her meeting with Bakoyannis, Kroes reviewed all issues of concern to the European Union, with an emphasis on EU enlargement and the future of Europe with respect to the European constitutional treaty.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    Earlier, Kroes met with Alogoskoufis, with whom she discussed issues related to competition and cartels.

    Alogoskoufis told reporters after the meeting that they had discussed a number of items concerning competition, which, he stressed, was the key to growth of the economy and prosperity of the citizens.

    "We have a very good cooperation with the European Commission to tackle certain problems of the past," Alogoskoufis said, adding that "all the major decisions have elements of competition".

    Kroes, in turn, said that the discussion had included the bank employees' social insurance, and more general items related to competition.

    Caption: An ANA-MPA file photo of Kroes.

    [02] Papandreou praises role of NGOs

    &quot;Co-responsibility&quot; of the state and the society of citizens is a one-way road for main opposition PASOK and will lead to a just society, PASOK president George Papandreou stressed on Thursday. He was speaking at a seminar on &quot;Society of Citizens, non-governmental organisations and the Constitutional revision&quot; attended by PASOK's volunteer sector at the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies - Andreas Papandreou (ISTAME).

    &quot;We want you as partners but also as monitors of this course and I personally guarantee your active participation through decentralised state institutions, as well as a Constitutional upgrading of NGOs,&quot; Papandreou said.

    PASOK's leader praised the role of NGOs in society, saying that they addressed &quot;all that is finest, most valuable and most beautiful in our fellow human beings&quot;.

    At another point in his speech, meanwhile, Papandreou aimed criticism at the government, saying that it had allowed NGOs to languish forgotten in spite of its lofty pre-election promises, and emphasized that Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos had refused to upgrade NGOs via the Constitution.

    Noting that Greek society was in the midst of a generalized crisis in all areas, he said the government was unable to &quot;consult with society and, through a relationship of partnership, find common goals, common values and finally arrive at synthesis.&quot;

    As an example of this inability, Papandreou cited the crisis over the teachers' strike, saying that beyond pay demands the striking teachers were also demanding to be treated with dignity and respect.

    &quot;The government represents a type of thinking about power that comes from the past and has no future, a view that sees the State as a prize, at the same time undermining independent institutions and turning one social group against the other,&quot; Papandreou asserted.

    This view of the State could not survive if Greece had acquired a truly independent society of citizens and, among others, had created a powerful &quot;third sector&quot;, parallel and independent from the structures of the state and market. This is a sector that we must reinforce in order to have a strong society of citizens that will not be manipulated,&quot; PASOK's leader stressed.

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