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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: State of economy symptom of chronic problems
  • [02] ND on migration policy, local gov't mergers
  • [03] Stocks drop 5.0% on Tues.

  • [01] PM: State of economy symptom of chronic problems

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking after a working luncheon he hosted at the Maximos Mansion for European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday, said that the present state of the Greek economy "is the symptom of chronic problems and what is most important is the credibility deficit which we guarantee that we shall achieve again both towards the Greek people and our partners in the European Union."

    The prime minister stressed that the stability and development programme that the government will submit to the EU Commission will be an act of recovery for the country and will reflect institutional changes as well.

    He also referred to the administrative reform plan presented at the Ministerial Council, as well as to the target of decreasing the deficit over a three-year period, a target that will be accompanied by the utilisation of funds for the turn of the country's economy to the competitive model of green development.

    "We look forward to close cooperation both with the European Council president and the European Commission," Papandreou also stated.

    Focusing on the discussion he had with Rompuy on immigration and asylum issues, the prime minister referred to the agreement between the EU and Turkey on these issues, to Frontex, to the EU's policy towards third countries and to the incorporation of legal immigrants and pointed out that the EU must play a decisive role on these issues.

    Papandreou also referred the issue of the "Agenda 2014", meaning the proposal he has submitted for the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU in that year, saying that the cycle that opened 100 years ago with World War I must close with stability and rules of law abiding in the region, while this orientation will contribute both to internal reforms in these countries and to solving bilateral and regional problems.

    On his part, the European Council president said that Greece is facing substantive economic, taxation and monetary challenges that are of interest to the Euroezone and stressed that "the Greek government's package of reforms is urgently required for an improvement of the situation."

    He also assessed that Greece's draft budget is a considerable step in this direction, adding that in 2010 a monetary consolidation must begin while the commitment on a decrease in the deficit within three years must be backed with specific and reliable measures.

    The working luncheon was attended by Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    The prime minister will be speaking at a press conference at the Zappion Mansion on Wednesday where he would be announcing the main conclusions of governance so far and priorities in the coming period, while calling on ministers to act likewise in the sectors of their responsibility.

    CAPTION: Prime Minister George Papandreou (L) welcoming European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) at the Maximos Mansion.

    [02] ND on migration policy, local gov't mergers

    (ANA-MPA) -- "For 10 years until 2004, when PASOK was in office, Greece had no migration policy whatsoever and had become a country without borders for illegal migrants," former Interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated on Tuesday.

    Pavlopoulos responded to comments made by the government spokesman on the local government administrative reform and migration policies followed by the previous government of New Democracy (ND).

    Pavlopoulos stated that after 2004 the government of ND legalised scores of illegal migrants in compliance with responsible EU fora and in full adherence to the EU acquis, adding that it also prepared an updated, democratic, humanitarian and socially fair migration policy instituting, at the same time, an updated naturalisation code.

    "The government's legislative initiative confuses the policy on migration with the naturalisation policy in an attempt to solve the immigration problem by granting Greek citizenship to massive numbers of migrants," Pavlopoulos said.

    Referring to the local administration reform promoted by the current government, Pavlopoulos stated that an administrative reform got underway back in 2007 but it was postponed in view of the economic crisis until better conditions were formed.

    [03] Stocks drop 5.0% on Tues.

    Stocks came under strong selling pressure to end sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The composite index of the market dropped 5.0 pct to end at 2,199.53 points, with turnover an improved 270.52 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index plunged 5.70 pct, the FTSE 40 index fell 4.55 pct and the FTSE 80 index dropped 4.32 pct. All sector indices ended significantly lower, with Banks (6.99 pct) and Technology (6.40 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Elfico (19.83 pct), Lanakam (17.07 pct), Newsphone (13.64 pct) and Klonatex (11.11 pct) were top gainers, while Xylemporia (19.75 pct), United Textiles (14.29 pct) and Hatzioannou (10.0 pct) were top losers. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 183 to 26 with another 24 issues unchanged.

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