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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Majority OKs, in principle, pension reforms
  • [02] ND: 'Models, ideals' only solution for youth
  • [03] Greek exports down 5.8% in May
  • [04] Greek economic sentiment index up in May
  • [05] US envoy: Time right for fYRoM name solution
  • [06] ECHR on Greeks abroad vote
  • [07] Stocks 5.27% up in the week

  • [01] Majority OKs, in principle, pension reforms

    (ANA-MPA) -- A majority of Parliament deputies ratified, in principle, late Wednesday evening a landmark social security reform bill tabled by the government last week.

    Addressing the Parliamentary debate just before the voting, Prime Minister George Papandreou gave a 'personal guarantee" for the improvement of the terms of the social security bill after the Greek economy's exit from the crisis and supervision. (ANA-MPA)

    Highlighting the slogan "solidarity, viability, social justice" for the future social security system, Papandreou stressed that this initial intervention secures viability "even in today's difficult conditions."

    The prime minister added that this means that "when our economy stands on its feet we shall be able to improve pensions and provide better services for working people, the insured, and pensioners. Because this is our target. For this reason we explicitly predict the adjustment of the 800 euros bonus. I personally guarantee that this will happen when we overcome the crisis."

    He further said that the government had to make drastic interventions in the social security scheme even without the troika since, among other things, "without our intervention, the expenditure for pensions would reach 26 percent of GDP, that would mean that the system would be blown into the air and we would have a country that paid pensions and nothing else."

    [02] ND: 'Models, ideals' only solution for youth

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Friday called for "models, ideals and potential" as the only solution to the problems faced by the country's youth, speaking in parliament during an off-the-agenda debate on social issues and rights instigated by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga.

    "Models, ideals and potential are the only solution for the problems faced by the young people, who have no need of 'leaders' and populists," Samaras said.

    He noted that it would be easy for him to attribute everything to and blame everything on the Memorandum, "but unemployment, narcotics, increasing violence, problems in the education system all existed before the (economic) crisis, which simply helped to 'open our eyes' (to the problems)".

    Samaras said that there are "three problems", or "three causes" in which the reasons of the problems faced today by the young generation should be sought, namely lack of models, lack of potential, and the education currently provided.

    "To avert today's youths from our own problems, we need, and owe it to them, to give them ethical and social models. The less they believe in those principles, the greater their insecurity. And it is we who all these years have been demolishing traditional and timeless models," Samaras said.

    Second, the youth need to be given potential and prospect, something to look forward to, the ND leader continued, "something that doesn't exist today, with everyone certain that the crisis will worsen and that unemployment, which currently stands at 12 percent, will climb to 20 percent, with greater insecurity for the youth".

    [03] Greek exports down 5.8% in May

    (ANA-MPA) -- To view the specific article please contact the ANA-MPA's sales department at 2106400560.

    [04] Greek economic sentiment index up in May

    (ANA-MPA) -- To view the specific article please contact the ANA-MPA's sales department at 2106400560.

    [05] US envoy: Time right for fYRoM name solution

    Greece's presence in international fora remains unaffected by the economic crisis and the tough economic conjecture due to the international prestige enjoyed by Prime Minister George Papandreou, US ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard underlined on Friday.

    Speaking to reporters at the US consulate in Thessaloniki, he praised Greece's economic presence in the Balkans, pointing out that as a member of the EU the country represents the greater European market.

    As regards the prospects for US investments in Greece, Amb. Speckhard underlined the need for less red-tape and the implementation of structural reforms to make the business environment more flexible and friendly.

    On the fYRoM "name issue", he stated that "this is a good time" for a solution and reiterated that the United States will support any settlement mutually reached by Athens and Skopje.

    Speckhard's tenure as US ambassador in Greece ends in the coming period.

    [06] ECHR on Greeks abroad vote

    PARIS (ANA-MPA) -- The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Greece has "not proceeded to ensure through the necessary legislation that the Greeks living abroad will be able to exercise the right to vote from their place of residence."

    Nevertheless, the Court declined to award compensation to the plaintiffs.

    The applicants, Nikolaos Sitaropoulos and Christos Giakoumopoulos, both living in Strasbourg, France, appealed to ECHR because they were unable to exercise their right to vote in the Sept. 16, 2007 Greek national elections from their place of residence. Both are Court of Europe (CoE) officials. (ANA-MPA)

    According to the ruling -- issued on July 8, 2010 -- the applicants contacted the Greek ambassador to France on Sept. 10, 2007 and requested to exercise (ANA-MPA) their voting rights in France for the Greek parliamentary elections, being permanent residents of France.

    [07] Stocks 5.27% up in the week

    Greek stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, with the composite index gaining 5.27 pct in the week. The index was up 0.17 pct on Friday, to end at 1,527.62 points, with turnover remaining a low 88.781 million euros.

    The Big Cap index fell 0.16 pct, the Mid Cap index eased 0.30 pct and the Small Cap index ended 0.64 pct lower. The Chemicals (4.36 pct) and Travel (2.48 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Health (4.63 pct) and Technology (2.13 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 88 to 84 with another 50 issues unchanged. Eurodrip (14.29 pct), NEL (12.50 pct) and Alsinco (10 pct) were top gainers, while Edrasi (18.18 pct), Elfico (17.86 pct) and Klonatex (12.5 pct) were top losers.

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