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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-04

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM requests discussion on global economic situation
  • [02] KKE on PASOK,SYRIZA alliance
  • [03] Women Leaders' conf'
  • [04] Event on "Road Safety"

  • [01] PM requests discussion on global economic situation

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday addressed a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso requesting the inclusion of the current international economic situation in the agenda of an upcoming Summit on June 19-20.

    Moreover, the Greek premier recommends a more effective pan-European policy to deal with the repercussions of rising prices on European citizens, particularly.

    "The international economy is facing a series of major and extended crises related to the price of oil, basic goods and foodstuffs. According to IMF estimates, real international prices for foodstuffs have increased by 47.3 percent during the past two years. The increase in prices for minerals and oil has reached 39.7 percent and 46.8 percent, respectively. These external repercussions are common for all our economies and threaten the stability of prices, growth and progress in the sectors of employment and social cohesion," Karamanlis' letter states.

    The Greek prime minister also emphasised that spiraling prices disproportionately harm lower-income levels of society, while European leaders must focus on what measures they will take to relieve the negative consequences from the current crisis.

    Karamanlis called for further improvement in the level of competition and efficiency in the European Union's markets, along with targeted social benefits to sensitive segments of the population and improved global coordination with the Union's trade partners to combat the root causes behind the rise in international inflation pressures.

    "Our citizens rightly expect from us to arrive at an effective answer during this difficult juncture. I hope that the next European Council will provide the opportunity for us to agree on the general principles that comprise such an answer."

    Caption : ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] KKE on PASOK,SYRIZA alliance

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, commenting on Tuesday on scenarios concerning cooperation between the main opposition PASOK party and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), said that "from the time that a programme convergence exists between the two parties, it is natural for a discussion to be taking place."

    Papariga added that what the people need today is a "radical alliance that will schedule a different path of development for Greek society and for working people and not an alliance that will secure that the other leg of two-party rule will become firmer."

    Referring to the issue of high prices, she said that "after increasing prices sky high, after making incalculable profits, they are now deceiving the people by removing few sents."

    Lastly, Papariga noted that "the problem of high prices begins from production, which is monopolised and from trade which is also dominated by the monopolies."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    [03] Women Leaders' conf'

    Women participating in a conference for female entrepreneurs in North Africa and the Middle East, held in Athens in the framework of the Women Leaders' Working Group, ended a two-day meeting on Tuesday with a decision to set up a fund to promote local and regional entrepreneurship in North Africa and the Middle East.

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who took the initiative to organise the conference, said that a committee will be set up to draw up an organisational structure for the Fund, adding that this would "guarantee the participation of women-representatives from the Middle East and North Africa".

    She said the Fund's agenda would be to organise funding efforts and initiatives in the region that were currently running concurrently and often counter-productively, with the main focus on initiatives to provide vocational education and training to women in the area.

    Other decisions adopted by the meeting were establishing a prize for female entrepreneurship to be awarded every two years to important business initiatives by women in the Middle East and North Africa, whose cost will be undertaken by Greece, and positions offering on-the-job training for women outside the region, starting with two such positions in Greece.

    Bakoyannis also stressed the increasingly important role of local and regional business activity by women in overcoming problems faced by societies that had suffered conflict and violence.

    The Athens conference was attended by Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, who co-hosted the third meeting of the Women Leaders Working Group. She expressed satisfaction with the way the initiative was unfolding, saying that "we are all learning, trying to develop a form of encouragement for those whose voice cannot be heard."

    "What is being attempted is the stabilisation of societies, which is essentially part of the peace-making process," she added.

    The international conference entitled "Next Generation Initiative: Local Business for Global Rights - Middle East Regional Forum of Local And Regional Women Entrepreneurs" was held on June 2-3 2008 at the seaside resort of Lagonissi, under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry.


    [04] Event on "Road Safety"

    The National Metsovio Polytechnic held an event at the Old Parliament building on Tuesday on the theme "Road Safety".

    The event was held under the auspices of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    The data presented at the event showed that Greece is firmly in last position in road safety among the 15 older members of the European Union and among the last positions in the EU of the "27".

    It was revealed that about 150 people are killed per one million inhabitants on the roads annually in Greece, at the time when the best countries in road safety have about 50 dead annually per one million inhabitants.

    Over the past few years, the number of people killed in traffic accidents in Greece amount to more than 1,600 annually.

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