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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] President meets with TI chairwoman
  • [02] Government's strategy in Education
  • [03] PASOK MPs at Competition Com.

  • [01] President meets with TI chairwoman

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias met Tuesday with visiting chairwoman of Transparency International (TI) Huguette Labelle.

    Greeting Labelle, Papoulias said he had been shaken by the information on corruption he had read in the newspapers.

    Papoulias said that combatting corruption was the democratic duty of all the citizens, adding that corruption was the biggest threat to democracy, as it dissolved the relations of confidence with the citizens.

    "Everyone must mobilise, because this is a harmful ailment," the President said, and expressed regret over the breadth of corruption in Greece but also in Europe and the world in general.

    Papoulias also called corruption as the "illness of the era", for which a cure must be found.

    Labelle, in turn, said that corruption was a crime against humanity, and was directly linked with poverty, violence and terrorism.

    She further noted that the TI Congress will be held in Greece next autumn.

    Labelle was accompanied by the director of the Greek National Chapter of TI, Costas Bakouris, and the members of the administrative council.

    [02] Government's strategy in Education

    Issues pertaining to the education ministry were discussed on Tuesday during an Inner Cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    After the meeting, education minister Evrypides Stylianidis told reporters that he briefed the Inner Cabinet on the strategy in the education sector, in which the top priority was a comprehensive plan for the construction of a "smart school" in the period 2008-2012.

    He said the funds for the construction of 1,233 school units throughout the country have already been planned and secured, while priority was also on completing or upgrading the existing school buildings and their equipment.

    Stylianidies announced that he presented to the Inner Cabient an innovative policy platform titled "The Greek, a citizen of Europe - The Greek, a citizen of the world".

    He explained that the policy was founded on five unities of measures for human-centred, environmental education, multilingualism, knowledge of the Greek language, digital convergence, education, culture and sports.

    Each one of those actions was accompanied by a comprehensive study carried out by relevant institutions, and contained specific targets, the minister said and, referring to human-centred education as an example, explained that it contained interventions for persons with special needs and the socially sensitive groups, while environmental education aimed at sustainable development and instilling an environmental conscience in the young generation.

    Stylianidis further said that the advancement of the Greek language, and multilingualism among Greeks, was the third target area, while the fourth concerned digial convergence, which aimed at eliminating "digital illiteracy", and the use of new technologies in the education system.

    He also said that culture and sports were elements intertwined with the identity of the modern-day Greek and needed to be cultivated by the education system.

    Development minister Christos Folias said, in turn, that he discussed progress regarding the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project with the prime minister, adding that the agreement on establishing the international company for the project would possibly be signed by the end of the week in Sofia, so that the project could begin.

    All the procedures have been completed, and the road was opening up for the project, Folias said.

    [03] PASOK MPs at Competition Com.

    A delegation of the main opposition PASOK party, headed by MP and former Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, met on Tuesday with the president of the Competition Commission, Spyros Zissimopoulos, to discuss the high cost of living in Greece and the Committee's smooth operation as the supervising authority on competition on the Greek market.

    The meeting took place at the headquarters of the independent authority.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Chrysochoidis said that "competition does not exist on the Greek market", charging that business cartels were operating without control on the market, fixing the prices of stable goods through concerted pricing.

    He said that the Competiton Commission's efforts were not enough to tackle the problem because "the government does not want to clash with the foods, fuel sectors and supermarket cartels".

    Chrysochoidis also accused the government of understaffing of the independent authority, unacceptable delays in the issue of decisions, provocative inertia in reinforcing anti-oligopoly legislation, and non-existent effect of sanctions in the operation of the market and protection of the consumer.

    The phenomenon of high prices is out of control, and the government does not want, and cannot, confrong this situation, Chrysochoidis said, adding that Greece has acquired the role of "negative champion" in Europe in recent years, with spiralling prices, reduced buying strenth, and increased business profits.

    PASOK, he added, committed itself to institutionally reinforce the anti-monopoly and anti-oligopoly legislation and monitoring mechanists against mopolies and oligopolies, and to wage war on the high cost of living.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Michalis Chrysochoidis

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