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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet
  • [02] Six killed in car crash
  • [03] Premiere for winter sales
  • [04] Illegal migrant drowns

  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet

    The Inner Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis convenes on Tuesday morning on issues concerning the Education Ministry. Earlier Karamanlis met with Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    On Monday evening, Karamanlis pledged to fight corruption through a "comprehensive medium-term and long-term strategy, with bold changes and reforms," while addressing a one-day conference organized by the Greek Section of the non-governmental organization "Transparency International", on the theme "State and Corruption", held at the Athens Concert Hall.

    "In our country, the countdown has already begun. This is the truth. And this truth cannot be covered up by any shadow," the prime minister said, adding:"In the past four years we have closed many gaps and we have tackled chronic weaknesses of the public sector, we have introduced rules which shed light into its functioning, we have promoted adjustments which render unbearable the cost of corruption for those guilty, we have referred and we are contining to refer to justice every case of irregularity, arbitrariness, illegality," the prime minister underlined.

    The prime minister said that the government's fight against corruption "led to the improvement of our country's position from the relevant assessment, from 4.3 in 2004 to 4.6 in 2007," while he summed up the legislation against corruption introduced by the government.

    "Our will is strong. Our psition is clear. Legality everywhere. Ethical administration everywhere. Transparency everywhere," Karamanlis said.

    "This is the road which the citizens demand. And in this road we continue steadfastly, decisively, unwavering. We are, and will be in constant clash with every sick phenomenon. We are determined to change things which hassle and bitter the citizens. We are determined to achieve this. We owe it to all the Greeks," the prime minister added.

    Karamanlis also stresssed that corruption harms social justice. "Corruption delays the developmental course and brings about an enormous economic cost. It undermines the functioning of the State and threatens the essence and quality of democracy. In the final analysis, a chronic illness which does not accept one-dimensional interpretations."

    The prime minister assessed that the phenomena of corruption are fed by the deep rooted conceptions and mentalities in society, and indirectly referred to the previous governments.

    "Conceptions according to which public functionaries could accept 'gifts' were catastrophic. Mentalities of compromise with the existing bad realities fed strong tendencies in the expansion of corruption. The identification of the state with each government had extremely unfavourable repercussions," Karamanlis said.

    The prime minister further said that corruption benefits from bureaucratic procedures.

    He said that "the state is the big patient in our country. Corruption, however, does not only develop in the public sector, but also in the private sector. It is not a unified and homogenic problem. It is a structural and chronic issue. Complex and multi-levelled. Political, economic but also social. Its confrontation demands systematic, constant, persistent work."

    Karamanlis added:"Things do not change but only through targetting, struggle and determination. They change with comperehenisive medium-term and long-term strategy. With bold changes and reforms. With the activation of the citizens, the broad social recruitment. What is certain however is that things are changing."

    [02] Six killed in car crash

    The members of two families were killed in a car crash in the early morning hours of Tuesday on the Athens-Patras motorway near Kiato, southern Greece. A total of six people, two couples under 40 and two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 5 year-old girl, all Albanian nationals, were killed when their car collided successively with two trucks and caught fire en route to Athens from the border crossing of Kakavia, on the frontier with Albania. According to local Traffic Police, the accident was probably the result of slippery road conditions due to earlier rainfall combined with the driver's fatigue from being at the wheel for too many hours. The car veered into the opposite traffic lane and was cut in half after colliding head-on with a refrigerator truck carrying fish to Patras. One part of the car was dragged by the truck for a distance of 150 meters, while the second part hit the protective barriers of the motorway and was struck by another truck, also on its way to Patras. The two truck drivers involved in the accident were not hurt and an investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of the tragedy.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a car crash

    [03] Premiere for winter sales

    Premiere for winter sales As bargain-hunters gear up for the start of Greece's six-week winter sales formally launched on Tuesday, January 15, the development ministry announced strict market inspections and called on retailers to act responsibly while advising consumers to make well-considered choices and avoid pitfalls. Development ministry officials stressed that discount prices should not mean a reduction in the quality of goods and consumer rights. The Consumer Protection Centre (KEPKA) has also published a list of advice to consumers informing them of their rights.

    [04] Illegal migrant drowns

    A female illegal migrant drowned while attempting to cross Evros River, northeastern Greece, along the borders with Turkey, on board a rowboat together with another five migrant women and an unidentified migrant smuggler. The victim fell into the frozen river waters when the boat capsized after hitting a floating tree trunk. The smuggler swam to the Turkish side of the river while the illegal migrants crossed over to the Greek side where they were spotted by Boarder Guards and were taken to the Alexandroupolis Hospital to receive first aid. The woman's body was found later in the region of Petra when her sister, who was among the boat passengers, informed the authorities of the accident. According to the testimonies of the illegal migrants, they paid the smuggler 500 euros each to ferry them across to Greece.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Evros river

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