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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Meeting the challenges of the future
  • [02] Papandreou letter to PM on novel influenza
  • [03] Photo exhibition on restoration of Democracy
  • [04] Trade balance deficit

  • [01] Meeting the challenges of the future

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conferred on Friday with Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Stavros Kalafatis at the Maximos Mansion, the government headquarters in Athens.

    In statements afterwards, Kalafatis said that the government is picking up pace and exercising modern and groundbreaking policies, responding to the challenges of the future.

    "The necessary guidelines and directions given by the prime minister were based on these axes," Kalafatis stated after briefing Karamanlis on issues that concern northern Greece.

    Kalafatis stated that special attention is placed on the daily life agenda, focusing on quality of life issues, social assistance and development.

    He also underlined the initiatives being undertaken, referring to the Business Forum in Northern Greece and the Tourism Regional Development Committee.

    "These are policies that strengthen the development prospects of northern Greece and bring together the healthy business forces," he said.

    [02] Papandreou letter to PM on novel influenza

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, in a letter on Friday addressed to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, expressed strong concern over the likely aggravation of the situation as regards the A/H1N1 novel influenza (swine flu).

    He suggested setting up a Standing Ministerial Committee chaired by the prime minister, stressing that he puts all party cadres and members at the disposal of the competent authorities to contribute to the "national effort", as he characterized it, to limit the negative impact of the novel influenza on the country. He also underlined the need for a comprehensive national plan and accurate information "with no more delays and inconsistencies in the public dialogue."

    Papandreou mentioned that "my own concern, stemming from the lack of a serious operational planning as regards preparation and coordination, is shared by the country's medical and scientific communities."

    The leader of PASOK underlined that the problem is taking the form of a management problem, concerning preparation, planning, coordination of responsible agencies, public information and mobilization of the state and social mechanisms.

    Papandreou mentioned that his concern becomes more intense due to the lack of policies observed in recent years that would have reinforced infrastructure and manpower in the sector of health.

    [03] Photo exhibition on restoration of Democracy

    The 35th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece is celebrated on Friday.

    On the night of July 24, 1974, just after the collapse of the 7-year military dictatorship, Constantine Karamanlis was sworn in as Prime Minister of the ecumenical government.

    An exhibition of rare photographs from one of the most important moments in the history of modern Greece, many of which made the rounds of the world, are on display at the City of Athens' "Technopolis" arts center, in an exhibition titled "Before & 35 Years After".

    The photographs are by award-winning, veteran Associated Press photo-reporter Arisotelis Sarricostas.

    Caption: Constantine Karamanlis being sworn in as Prime Minister on July 24, 1974, following the collapse of the dictatorship in Greece. (ANA-MPA/A Sarricostas)

    [04] Trade balance deficit

    Greece's trade balance deficit was more than halved in May year-on-year, posting a 53.8 percent decline to 1.667 billion euro from 3.608 billion euro in May 2008, according to figures released on Friday by the National Statistics Service (ESYE) on imports/arrivals and exports/despatches to and from Greece.

    The trade balance deficit further dropped 44.4 percent in the five-month period of January-May 2009 to 9.792 billion euros from 17.624 billion euros in the corresponding period of 2008.

    The total value of imports/arrivals in May marked a 42.8 percent decrease without the inclusion of petrol products, which fell by 29.6 percent.

    The total value of exports/despatches in May posted a 17.5 percent decline over the corresponding month last year, without the inclusion of petrol products which fell by 8.6 percent.

    The overall value of imports/arrivals dropped by 36.7 percent in the five-month period, while the value of exports/despatches fell by 17.4 percent in the same period.

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