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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou chairs cabinet meeting
  • [02] ND rejects most provisions in social security bill
  • [03] Explosives discovered buried in backyard of one-time Iraqi embassy
  • [04] Eurostat on citizenship figures

  • [01] PM Papandreou chairs cabinet meeting

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, stressed that the memorandum and its strict observance are a necessary precondition for the coutry's salvation,"but there are sectors in which we can expand and implement specific policies that will support the citizen."

    Papandreou mentioned two sectors in which government initiatives can be taken. The one sector is of the creation of a social protection network and the other the country's growth model and a different growth.

    According to the prime minister, two corresponding committees will be created that will complete their work by the end of August. In the first of the two government officials, deputies and members of the Movement will be participating.

    Papandreou further said that "our government has the citizen at the epicentre of its attention and serves him." As he said, "maybe the events and the legacy of the past diverted the government's attention, of the mass media and of the citizens necessarily to how we shall avoid the worse, meaning a course scheduled in advance towards bankruptcy, but this does not mean that our basic target is not the serving of the citizen."

    The prime minister also mentioned that "despite the unprecedented crisis and the extra effort made by the government for the country's salvation, all this time it has laid considerable foundations for a change in the state's way of functioning," while noting that this is only the beginning and the basis on which the government is supporting itself to build a different state.

    The cabinet endorsed a proposal by Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis regarding the draft law on the electoral expenditures of lists and of candidates in the municipal and regional elections, that will be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

    As of the next municipal elections that will be held on November 7, the aim of arrangements anticipated in the draft law is "the substantive reshaping of the process of checking the revenues and expenditures of the lists and candidates, that will be taking place with the criterion of the principles of transparency and legality."

    [02] ND rejects most provisions in social security bill

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras reiterated on Tuesday that his party will vote down, in principle, many of the provisions of a landmark social security reform bill tabled by the government in Parliament last week.

    Samaras described the proposed reforms as "unfair and ineffective", stressing that the draft bill does not safeguard the viability of Greece's creaky social insurance system. He pointed out that "ND will vote in favor of certain articles that it believes to be in the right direction."

    Samaras justified the decision by stressing that the state is backing away from constitutionally guaranteed social insurance. He pointed out that ND rejects the division of the main pension into a basic pension rate and a separate amount added on, depending on the total contributions paid, stressing that "the pension paid out should be one and undivided".

    He stressed that crucial changes that concern verified years of work, social security contributions and retirement age limits are introduced without necessary documentation, while the draft law does not safeguard the constitutionally guaranteed principle of balance between contributions paid by the employees and pensions they will receive.

    Samaras stated that new methods for calculating pensions creates incentives for widespread contribution evasion, stressing that the draft law is interested in "revenue collection" and does not meet the country‚s developmental needs.

    "The draft law does not constitute reform," Samaras said, "because it is neither financially sound nor socially fair."

    [03] Explosives discovered buried in backyard of one-time Iraqi embassy

    (ANA-MPA) -- Explosives were found on Monday buried in a courtyard of a stately residence in Athens' upscale Paleo Psyhiko district, which up until four years ago housed the embassy of Iraq in Greece.

    The discovery was made by construction company workers during renovation works underway at the vacant building. (ANA-MPA)

    [04] Eurostat on citizenship figures

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) - In 2008 16,920 foreigners living in Greece obtained Greek citizenship, compared to 3,650 foreigners in 2007. A total of 59 percent of the new Greek citizens came from Albania, 7.6 percent from Georgia and 5 percent from Russia, according to data publicised by Eurostat on Tuesday.

    In the 27 European Union countries, citizenship was given to 696,000 foreigners in 2008 as against 707,000 in 2007. ANA-MPA

    As regards Greece in particular, in 2008 1.5 new Greek citizenships corresponded to 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 1.4 citizenships per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU of the "27. ANA-MPA

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