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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Economic crisis 'a crucial national threat'
  • [02] ND shadow gov't meeting on Tuesday

  • [01] PM: Economic crisis 'a crucial national threat'

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a cabinet meeting on Sunday, termed the economic and monetary crisis "a crucial national threat".

    Papandreou, however, expressed optimism over the favourable outcome of the struggle being waged by the government, calling on all Greeks and the mass media in particular to say "no to panic ."

    The major changes that have been scheduled for 2010, which he termed a year of great changes and reforms, must be turned into practice as a precondition for this.

    The prime minister made a positive assessment of the first 100 days of the country's governance which, as he said, "we assumed in a deep and multifaceted crisis with a large size debt and deficits that were bequeathed to us by the previous government."

    He added that the economy alone was not at the root of problems, but the country's way of governance as well.

    Papandreou further said that during the first 100 days the "government stood at the level of its historical responsibility which is to have the citizen as its first concern," adding that apart from changes in regional administration, great reforms and changes are also required in central administration.

    He stressed that the changes will meet with great resistances but expressed certainty that they will have the approval of the Greek people.

    Papandreou said that at the end of the coming week the stability and growth programme will be announced, as well as the proposals for government and legislative work that will be following in the near future.

    He said he would be giving a press conference at the Zappion Mansion in the middle of the week and would be announcing the main conclusions on governance so far and priorities for the coming period, while calling on ministers to do the same in their field of responsibility.

    The prime minister also announced the creation of a "prestigious advisory committee" on the modernisation and operation of the government and institutional bodies with the principle "the citizen first" always being the target.

    He stressed that the new architecture of self administration is part of the government's overall planning so that on November 14, 2010, local administration elections will be held for the new strong municipalities and the regions.

    Papandreou added that the "implementation of the great vision of the world of local administration will begin," terming this task extremely difficult and for which the consent of all is required and that the government shall seek.

    He further pointed out that resources for local administration will be secured in the framework of taxation policy and added that with the electoral law which will be voted in Parliament "a decisive blow will be dealt at black political money".

    Papandreou also referred to the government's struggle for transparency and expressed satisfaction for the positive response met by his initiative to request from the President of the Republic to convene a meeting of party leaders.

    Lastly, the prime minister also referred to the bomb attack that occurred in front of the Parliament building on Saturday, stressing that "no one and with no action can intimidate the country's political world" and underlined that "we are not going to let such an action pass like this."

    CAPTION: Premier Papandreou arriving at the cabinet meeting on Sunday. (Photo: ANA-MPA)

    [02] ND shadow gov't meeting on Tuesday

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras will chair a meeting of his party's shadow government on Tuesday at the ND headquarters on Rigillis street in central Athens.

    Meanwhile, the party's officer (shadow minister) for the interior, public administration and e-governance, MP Christos Zois, said on Sunday that after 100 days in office, one would expect of the government to have set the standard high on Sunday, at its Cabinet meeting on the country's administrative reform, "because administrative reform is absolutely necessary for the Greece we desire".

    On the contrary, however, "we saw a composition of ideas, with statements of intentions, and public relations ruses", he added.

    Zois said that administrative reform is not possible without reform of the public administration, "but we did not hear anything about such a reform".

    Further, administrative reform is not possible without funds, but "all we heard were nuances of new taxes, which will also possibly include an increase in VAT", he added.

    Thirdly, there can be no administrative reform without spatial distribution of the new municipalities being formed with the merger of existing municipalities and communities planned by the government, "but again the government said nothing about better facilitation of the citizens", he continued.

    Fourthly, there can be no administrative reform without new authorities and transfer of the corresponding funds, "but yet again the government said nothing about better facilitation of the citizens," Zois added, and accused prime minister George Papandreou of not touching on the substance in his statements to the Cabinet.

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