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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM :The economy is a national cause
  • [02] FM spokesman on continental shelf

  • [01] PM :The economy is a national cause

    What was at stake today was responsibility, and the clash between responsibility and irresponsibility would be the judge of society's choices, prime minister Costas Karamanlis said on Wednesday, adding that he who can take the country out of the explosive landscape of the global financial crisis, and not he who metes out promises, is "useful".

    Addressing a meeting of his ruling New Democracy (ND) party's parliamentary group on the theme "International financial crisis: Challenge of responsibility for everyone", Karamanlis accused the opposition of giving out unappliable promises that have not been cost calculated, of demagogy, toying with public opinion, and verbosity.

    Some quarters, he said, refused to realise the criticality of the situation, obeying self-serving and petty political expediencies and engaging in demagogy and serving reaction. Those quarters, he continued, claim that there is no financial crisis and that it was an alibi used by the government for political reasons, proving only that they cannot see what is going on in the world.

    In times of difficulty, everyone is judged by the cost he dares to assume, Karamanlis said.

    The premier stressed that there were no "ready recipes and solutions", adding that the criticality of the present conjuncture cannot be tackled with populism, but rather a plan, a sense of responsibility and constant flexibility were necessary, as well as conservation of strength in order to ensure strong endurance.

    Karamanlis further stressed that those who claimed that billions of euros were being "given away" to the banks, through the government's 28 billlion euros plan for fortification of the credit system were "lying", engaging in disinformation, and fighting the truth for self-serving petty political expediencies.

    Turning specifically to the international credit crisis, Karamanlis said that it was beyond every forecast, given that the conditions were changing day to day. The developments, intensity and duration of the crisis cannot be predicted, Karamanlis added.

    He stressed that, as recession was crossing the threshhold into the eurozone, the economy has become a major national cause tht concerns not only the government but also the political forces and the social partners in their entirety.

    The government, he continued, was confronting the crisis with realism and responsibility, while the government's plan focused on five aspects: Action for boosting liquidity and for reduction of the credit risks, support of the social strata with the greater need, shielding of employment, strengthening of the social protection network, and continuation of the reforms.

    Among the mesures being taken by the government, Karamanlis particulary noted the tabling of the draft law for boosting the liquidity of the business concerns, and on its interventions for eliminating the fine print in bank transactions.

    The government was also reinforcing the farmers and SMEs, he said, and stressed the activation of the loan guarantee fund for SMES, the subsidisation of new farmers and the reduction of interest on farm loans.

    He also categorically stated that there would be no increase in taxes, but rather a check into expenditures, while adding that a heating subsidy would soon begin being given through the social solidarity fund.

    The government, Karamanlis said, had a comprehensive, realistic and responsible plan and was determined to take every necessary and feasible measure, but warned that it would not 'blow everything sky-high' for the sake of impressions.

    He called on the political forces, but also the social partners, to shoulder their share of the responsibility.

    Regarding the credit system, Karamanlis said that it must increase its cash flow to business concerns and reduce interest rates and its own profit margin, while the businesses, in turn, must accept a reduction in profits, in order to protect employment and avoid dismissals.

    Addressing himself to the opposition, Karamanlis warned that irresponsibility and populims, in the shadow of the global crisis, were assuming the dimensions of a severe threat to the country's course.

    In closing, Karamanlis stressed that the government was working to reduce the repercussions of the international crisis and for a better tomorrow, and was determined to convert the international challenge into a national opportunity.

    [02] FM spokesman on continental shelf

    A foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday responded to press questions related to a Norwegian vessel that conducted research within Greece's continental shelf, stressing that the shipowners and the Turkish side have been fully briefed on which section, claimed by Turkey as an "exploration site", lies within Greek limits. Spokesman George Koumoutsakos again reiterated, during a regular press briefing, that Greece continuously exercises its sovereign rights, therefore, no surveying or studies of any kind can take place without Athens' permission. Koumoutsakos stated that the vessel in question is now sailing outside the Greek continental shelf. Asked whether data provided by Greece regarding its continental shelf will be binding in the future, Koumoutsakos said this was based on the International Convention on the Law of the Sea and concerns only the section where the illegal exploration was being conducted. Koumoutsakos referred to research carried out by the Norwegian vessel "Malene Ostervold", spotted south and east of the SE Aegean islet of Kastellorizo on Nov. 14. The vessel reportedly conducted geophysical surveying for Turkish interests, and was shadowed, interestingly enough, by a Turkish warship.
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