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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM sternly defends gov't record on employment
  • [02] Papoulias address GSEE con'f
  • [03] Athens Stock Exchange :Strong rise

  • [01] PM sternly defends gov't record on employment

    "This juncture calls for a measure of responsibility without populist practices," Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis emphasised on Friday, speaking in Parliament in response to a tabled question by the head of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group on the effects of the global economic crisis on the younger generations. "The present juncture does not allow for populism or measures that could prove disastrous," he stressed. The most pressing social problem stemming from the unprecedented global crisis is skyrocketing unemployment, he said, adding that support of the real economy is a priority. Referring to the latest legislative initiative undertaken by the government, he said that it constitutes a fundamental and necessary precondition to ensure the financing of the small and medium sized businesses, support economic activity and protect employment. "This is a substantive response to young couples wishing to get their own house and need a loan and the most drastic response aimed at preventing economic activity slowdown that would subsequently have a negative effect on the employment rate. On his part, SYRIZA Parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos referred to the draft state budget, pointing out that the banks are set to receive the sum of 28 billion euros to boost and guarantee liquidity, while for the employment ministry and the ministry of education 11.3 billion and 7.2 billion euros, respectively, have been earmarked. Karamanlis stated, in response that the references made by Alavanos, that his intention was to engage in demagogy. Referring to what he called "systematic efforts" made by the government to boost employment-related prospects for the younger generations, Karamanlis reminded that policies proposed for a qualitative upgrading of education and reforms were met with strong opposition, while a policy currently promoted to support the real economy, protect employment and reduce interest rates is also met with disinformation and wanton populism. "Wishful thinking will not solve problems," Karamanlis stated. He also referred to a reduction of the unemployment rate from 11.2 percent in March 2004 to 7.1 percent last August, while as regards the younger generations, he stressed that unemployment has dropped from 30.2 percent to 19.2 percent.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addresses in parliament on Friday 21 November 2008.ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [02] Papoulias address GSEE con'f

    Europe will have to adopt a public policy for the relief of the majority of the people hit by the global financial crisis, President Karolos Papoulias emphasised during the opening an international conference of trade unions on Friday. Speaking at the conference on the worrying issue of forced labor and trafficking, hosted by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) in Athens, Papoulias said the EU must display flexibility as regards the Stability Pact, using the individual citizen as a point of reference. He also underlined that the global economic crisis constitutes a "challenge and an opportunity for Europe". Papoulias underlined that slavery and slave trade are among the darkest pages in human history, underlining the importance of human rights. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis also addressed the conference, stressing that trade unions can become the voice of people who are helpless and while at the same time clarifying that she is referring to a well-meaning trade union movement, also noted that the trade movement contributes to a viable economy and development. Bakoyannis said that according to international figures, a total of 12.3 million people are victims of forced labor worldwide, while forecasts show an increase of the unemployed by 20 million. "Neither the free economy nor open societies are to blame for the situation," she said, stressing that the problem stems from the lack of rules, regulatory framework and control mechanisms. The foreign minister suggested stricter penalties for culprits, increased protection for victims and higher public awareness.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of Republic Karolos Papoulias

    [03] Athens Stock Exchange :Strong rise

    Equity prices were rising on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 2.03 percent, standing at 1,853.52 points at 12:25 p.m., and turnover at 44.6 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Food and Beverages, up 4.44 percent; Raw Materials up 3.80 ; and Construction, up 3.64 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Chemicals, down 1.55 percent; Travel & Recreation, down 1.42 percent and Telecoms, down 0.19 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 2.19 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.60 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 1.57 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 133 were up, 34 were down, and 30 were unchanged.

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