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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece signs accord with EU for NSRF programmes
  • [02] Press strike on Tues. against fund merger

  • [01] Greece signs accord with EU for NSRF programmes

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis has co-signed an agreement for the 13 programmes of Greece's National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), on the basis of which EU funds totalling 20.3 billion euros will be earmarked for Greece for the period 2007-2013.

    The agreement was also signed, in Brussels, on behalf of the EU, by European Commissioners for regional affairs, Danuta Hubner, and employment, social affairs and equal opportunitiesm Vladimir Spidla.

    Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Alogoskoufis expressed satisfaction over the fact that the process of drawing the EU assistance for Greece was beginning promptly, adding that early approval of the programmes had been the result of good cooperation between the relevant Greek and EU services, while also noting that the Greek programme was in essence the second to be approved by Brussels.

    He also cited the tough negotiations carried out by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis with his European colleagues in 2005, when the Community funds for Greece were decided, and which will reach a total of 24.3 billion euros up to the year 2013.

    Alogoskoufis further stressed the particular contribution the NSRF will have in raising the general standard of living of residents in Greece, as well as to modernising the Greek economy.

    He noted that the NSRF was of a transitional nature, given that, in essence, it would lead to disengagement of the Greek economy's growth from EU funds, and would also be instrumental in accelerating the rate of convergence of the Greek economy with the economies of the other EU member countries.

    Hubner, in turn, expressed satisfaction over the approval of the NSRF programmes for strengthening the growth of the Greek economy, and welcomed Athens' commitment for implementation of the Lisbon Strategy.

    According to Hubner, the target of the programmes is to improve the standard of living of the citizens in Greece through concentration of investments in key sectors such as innovation, strengthening SMEs, information technology, trans-European networks, and the environment.

    Spidla also expressed satisfaction over the approval of the programmes, which he said further aimed at advancing employment and social integration.

    He said the programmes approved aimed at economic growth on the basis of improved flexibility of the workforce and at the development of a more efficient public administration.

    Spidla further recalled that 12 programmes have been approved for Greece since 2000 under the European Social Fund, from which one million Greek citizens have benefited.

    [02] Press strike on Tues. against fund merger

    The Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) on Tuesday will hold a 24-hour strike (from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday) as a result of the Union's standing opposition to what it described as a framework of proposals for journalists' pension funds, made last week by Labour and Social Insurances Minister Vassilis Magginas to ESIEA's elected board of directors.

    Among others, the government has 'floated' an initiative to merge Athens journalists' primary penion fund (TSPEATh), one of the most robust in the country, with the physicians' fund, the engineers' fund and the previously troubled Athens lawyers' fund, a prospect that ESIEA has heatedly opposed.

    ESIEA's president, veteran police reporter Panos Sobolos, has stressed that the board has called on MPs and Euro-MPs that are members of the Union to a meeting, whereas it will also request meetings with the prime minister himself and political party leaders.


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