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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou meets with Israeli envoy to Athens
  • [02] Interior minister opens con'f on e-Governance

  • [01] Papandreou meets with Israeli envoy to Athens

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, a former foreign minister, on Friday received the Israeli ambassador to Athens Ali Yahia in the Greek capital.

    A day earlier, the PASOK leader charged that Greek farmers have by now discovered the "fine print" in ruling New Democracy's promises, while the government's rallying cry of "zero tolerance" for corruption has ended up being the country's shortest joke, during his address at an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament on agricultural policy -- initiated by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).

    In a broad allusion to revelations that Greek pension funds may have lost money by investing in high-risk structured bonds issued by the government, Papandreou said that Greece's unsuspecting farmers had been persuaded to "buy the bond called ND government" in the elections three years earlier by ND's promises to increase farming incomes.

    "They now know that the government of the Right has proved to be a high-risk bond with a low yield. They know they were cheated. They know that you fooled them," Papandreou asserted, adding that farmers were now worse off than before ND came to power.

    In a diatribe against the government's agricultural policy, he pointed out that the government had itself increased VAT by 1 percent, even as it professed to be fighting for a reduction of VAT in the framework of the EU, and that it had agreed to reopen talks on EU subsidies for farming in 2008 after guaranteeing that these would be non-negotiable until 2013.

    At the same time, it was leading the state agricultural insurance organisation EL.GA to bankruptcy and using it as a party tool to benefit a minority of farmers, while 13 studies commissioned three years earlier on the repercussions of the new CAP had yet to materialise.

    "What do you know about the company 'Noisis'? Does it have any scientific links to the sector or is it linked with the families of government members?" Papandreou continued.

    He further criticised the government for seeking a one billion euro reduction of the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) budget and for its poor results in negotiations over cotton, tobacco and sugar - while pointing out that the prime minister had promised to undertake these personally.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou in Parliament on Thursday, May 3, 2007. ANA-MPA / M. MAROGIANNI.

    [02] Interior minister opens con'f on e-Governance

    The qualitative upgrading of services provided to the citizens by public administration and local government agencies, the simplification and acceleration of administrative procedures, and greater transparency in the state-citizen transactions are based on effective and intensive promotion of e-Governance combined with the creative usage of new information and communications technologies, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Friday.

    In a keynote address at a one-day conference on "e-Governance" held by the Public Administration and Local Government National Centre Training Institute, Pavlopoulos also said that the endeavour is difficult, stressing that meritocracy in the promotion of administrative executives in combination with their continuous and substantial training is the key to success.

    Pavlopoulos also referred to all the e-Governance-based programmes that promote decentralization such as the National Authentification System which would be linked soon with all digital systems developed by public agencies.

    Caption: Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos inaugurates a conference on e-Governance in Athens on Friday, May 4, 2007. ANA-MPA / A. BELTES.


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