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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Gov't to fulfil commitments

  • [01] PM: Gov't to fulfil commitments

    The government is picking up speed in fulfilling its commitments, prime minister George Papandreou said on Tuesday after chairing a meeting of his Inner Cabinet, adding that a plan to change the state through an open governance is being advanced, noting that such an extensive intervention for rationalisation of the structure of the government is being attempted for the first time since the restoration of democracy in Greece.

    He stressed, however, that such an intervention requires time, and will be continued with restructuring by individual ministry.

    "Today is an important day, as the Inner Cabinet discussed the PASOK government's first draft law," the premier said, adding that "this is the first act in the fulfillment of our commitments, and indeed with our program for our first 100 days in office".

    The draft law concerns an extraordinary "social solidarity" benefit the low income brackets and a "social responsibility contribution" through an extraordinary tax contribution by large, profit-making enterprises.

    Referring to the principles of the draft law, which he described as a "redistribution and solidarity" bill, Papandreou said it aimed at reinforcing the financially weaker strata and middle classes, since "approximately one billion euros will go to 2.5 million beneficiaries", through a "reverse redistribution" of that employed by the preceding New Democracy (ND) government, thus boosting the economy and rekindling the market.

    Papandreou further said that the draft law is "fiscally neutral", meaning that it does not burden the state budget, which is of great importance due to the present bad state of the economy.

    The premier said that the Inner Cabinet also discussed a broad range of issues, adding that "we are working collectively, and this is apparent in the government's day-to-day activities".

    Papandreou also met on Tuesday with visiting Croatian President Stjepan Mesic.

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