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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND leader Karamanlis' mother passes away
  • [02] Meetings on FYROM issue
  • [03] Ministers on social security
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] ND leader Karamanlis' mother passes away

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis' mother, Aliki, passed away on Friday morning, after more than a month in hospital.

    Aliki Karamanlis was hospitalised at the Eric Dunan Hospital since October 5, the day after the general elections in Greece.

    [02] Meetings on FYROM issue

    New York (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) -- UN special mediator on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz had a working dinner with Greece's chief negotiator, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, on Thursday evening (NY time).

    Earlier, during a private meeting, meeting between the two men, Vassilakis briefed Nimetz on the initiatives of the Greek government regarding the name issue, including Greek prime minister George Papandreou's recent meeting with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Gruevski, and also on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's meetings during his recent visit to Athens.

    This was Vassilakis' first meeting with Nimetz after the election of a new government in Greece last month.

    Vassilakis told ANA-MPA that he was in New York at Athens' initiative for the purpose of briefing Nimetz on the new government's "approach and basic pillars" on the FYROM name issue.

    "The Greek side is taking part in the (UN-brokered) negotiations with full respect for the UN's role and its relevant Resolutions".

    "We are entering the negotiation with an open mind and constructive attitude. Our positions are crystal clear, and known to all. We seek a definitive solution to this matter. A solution that will free the cooperation prospects of the two countries and their peoples. A name with a geographical qualification for all purposes, erga omnes," Vassilakis stressed.

    The Greek negotiator further stressed that his visit was for the purpose of briefing Nimetz in-depth on "how we see things".

    "We speak clearly, so that there will be no surprises, or misunderstandings. Mr. Nimetz expressed his intention of preparing a trilateral meeting in the immediate future," Vassilakis added.

    Asked to comment on press speculations in Skopje (FYROM) that Greece has submitted specific proposals to Nimetz and was prepared to make concessions, Vassilakis denied the speculations as "ludicrousness unworthy of comment", adding that "no such discussion has ever taken place",

    He explained that the purpose of his visit on Thursday "was not to get into the substance and content of the issue, but to brief Mr. Nimetz on the government's approach for the coming period".

    "I briefed Mr. Nimetz in a clear-cut way on Greece's publicly declared position: There can be no commencement of accession negotiations for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the EU without prior resolution of the long-standing problem," Vassilakis stressed.

    Nimetz is due on Friday to meet with the FYROM negotiator Zoran Jolevski, in order to assess when he can go ahead with convening a trilateral meeting between himself and the Greek and FYROM negotiators.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of UN special mediator on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz (R) and Greece's chief negotiator, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis(L)

    [03] Ministers on social security

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Labour and Social Security Minister Andreas Loverdos had a meeting on Thursday to discuss issues concerning the two ministries, especially the problems of the country's ailing social insurance system.

    After the meeting, Papaconstantinou said that serious problems had arisen in the financing of social insurance funds from the 2009 budget and that the government was launching a series of policies to address the problems as a whole.

    Loverdos noted that the already massive deficits of the social insurance funds had widened further in 2009 and that the present government had taken charge of a system facing huge problems and enormous funding needs, in excess of those legislated for.

    He reported that the recorded additional requirements for state financing of social insurance funds in 2009 exceeded 2.5 billion euros and that a policy to deal with the system as a whole was needed.

    The two ministers said that the social partners (trade unions and employer associations) would be asked to give their opinions over the next few days and then the two ministries will announce the steps that the government will take to address the problems.

    According to Loverdos, all the envisaged measures were prepared and ready to be set into motion without delay.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Labour and Social Security Minister Andreas Loverdos

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The government's intention to proceed with immediate changes in social security and the measures on tax evasion, EU recommendations to FinMin George Papaconstantinou for an even more severe fiscal policy, the new flu outbreak and the in-party backstabbing in main opposition New Democracy (ND) between top leadership candidates Dora Bakoyannis and Antonis Samaras, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Council of State ruling: The extraordinary contributions are illegal".

    APOGEVMATINI: "10 reversals in social security - Papandreou government hastens to reopen the most burning social issue the in public and private sector".

    AVGHI: "Cutbacks in social security and expenditures".

    AVRIANI: "Why are Greek soldiers in Afghanistan when Cyprus continues (to be) under occupation over the last 35 years"?

    CHORA: "ND'S grass roots' torrent drowns manipulations and nepotism! Polls indicate Samaras leading the election race, ahead of Bakoyannis".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Ecofin's shocking proposals on salaries, pensions and uninsured work to FinMin Papaconstantinou".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Pensions: 8 shocking changes via express procedures before Christmas".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Rapid changes in social security - Government calls General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) on Tuesday to start a dialogue".

    ESTIA: "Taxation being simplified - The existing system is conducive to tax evasion".

    ETHNOS: "New labour map for teachers and high school professors".

    IMERISSIA: "Reversals in social security - Pensions in accordance with the level of contributions".

    KATHIMERINI: "Reversals in the terms of detention pending trial - Distinction between sentences for substance users and for drug dealers".

    LOGOS: "Dialogue on social security to start immediately, under the pressure of the deficits".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Bank of Greece's plan for an exit from the crisis".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Increase in retirement age bashes the working women".

    TA NEA: "New flu's outbreak knocks on our door".

    TO VIMA: "New taxes immediately".

    VRADYNI: "Social security: "What will change in 2010".

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