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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Interview: Council of State pres.
  • [02] Gov't: EU absorption rate up in '07

  • [01] Interview: Council of State pres.

    A Constitutional Court, by its own nature, will have an effect not only on the Council of State (supreme administrative court) but also on the rest of the Courts of Justice in the country, Council of State President George Panagiotopoulos said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    He pointed out that all courts have the right to rule on the constitutionality of a specific legal provision adding, that two factors will determine whether the establishment of a Constitutional Court is necessary: namely, its jurisdiction and its composition.

    The fact that there is a backlog of cases pending trial is due to the large number of cases that are brought to court, said Panagiotopoulos, stressing that roughly 2,000-2,500 cases are outstanding each year and therefore, over a period of ten years their number will eventually rise to approximately 25,000. On December 31, 2006 the pending cases in the Council of State were roughly 30,000, he noted.

    Limiting the number of cases that are brought before the Council of State after being tried in lower administrative courts -- which makes the process more expensive -- could be the solution to the problem, he pointed out.

    Concerning allegations on Supreme Court sessions that were held via teleconference, Panagiotopoulos said that a quorum is necessary for the Council of State to rule on a case, otherwise it must adjourn for another date.

    He maintained that there is no inter-dependence between the political leadership and the high courts, despite the fact that the Supreme Court heads are appointed by the Inner Cabinet.

    The president of the Council of State also stressed that the separation of powers is guaranteed by the Constitution, preventing any form of interference in exercising their duties.

    "Regardless of whether judges are approached for the purpose of issuing a favourable ruling, they should always do their duty and this is the case as far as the Council of State is concerned", he stressed.

    [02] Gov't: EU absorption rate up in '07

    The Greek government's absorption rate of EU funds reached 75.18 percent at the end of 2007, up from 58 percent in 2006, Deputy FinMin Yiannis Papathanasiou said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, Papathanasiou stressed that there was no loss of community funds from the 3rd Community Support Framework programme in 2007.

    He also noted that absorption rates of sector operational programmes and regional operational programmes were 74.25 percent and 77.38 percent in 2007, respectively, up from 57.7 pct and 58.5 pct in 2006.

    Papathanasiou said the absorption rate of EU funds was just 23 percent in March 2004, when the ND government took over.

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, speaking to reporters, said that higher absorption rates confirmed the efficiency of government policies with EU funds.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Deputy Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou.


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