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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou: Optimism on country's future
  • [02] Hellenic Rescue Team awarded by France
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM Papandreou: Optimism on country's future

    Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed optimism and confidence on Greece's future, speaking at the closing session Thursday of the 13th annual Symi Symposium held on the Saronic island of Poros.

    "In nine months that have passed (since the PASOK government took office), we have achieved the impossible. We succeeded both in avoiding bankruptcy and proving that Greece is a worthy country once again," he said.

    Papandreou spoke of the global economic crisis and its Greek dimension, and of the situation his government inherited when it took office, stressing that if his government had allowed the crisis to progress, the country today would have been led to bankruptcy and a deep and long-lasting decline. "It was the gibbest crisis in Greece in recent decades," he noted.

    The premier said that the international and the Greek crisis had certain "common symptoms", which were manifested "with a crisis in the established mentalities, concepts and practices, aggravated corruption and impunity and tolerated social and economic injustice", resulting in the prevalence of the law of the powerful rather than the power of the law.

    "All this brought us to the brink of poverty, particularly during the past six years of a conservative governance which invested in the inherent weaknesses of the Greek economy and society in order to serve specific interests and petty party choices that are counter to the interests of the country," he said.

    "We knew that we would face many problems and injustices when we assumed the governance of the country, and we promised, and promise agan today, to change many things...The country was on the brink of bankruptcy and collapse, and its credibility was non-existent. But we did not hesitate to shoulder our responsibilities and we waged battles everywhere to put Greece back on its feet, and to prove that Greece is a worthy country and can assume its responsibilities and correct its mistakes," the premier said, adding that "we achieved this together, the government and the Greek citizens".

    Papandreou said that one of the government's important targets is "the change of the country's model that will link the word value with the word Greece, that will not mean corruption but absolute transparency."

    Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz also addressed the closing session, stressing that he is impressed by the way that Greece is handling the crisis which it is experiencing. He said that Greece is showing with the decisions taken by the government that it will turn the crisis into an opportunity.

    [02] Hellenic Rescue Team awarded by France

    The members of the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) were honored by France at an event in Thessaloniki marking the anniversary of the French National Day.

    French Consul General in Thessaloniki Christian Timonier, presenting awards to the HRT members, stressed that "today's economic crisis needs to be accompanied by acts of solidarity among the French people, between the Greeks and French, and also among Europeans".

    The HRT was set up in 1978 in Thessaloniki, number just 10 volunteer rescuers. Today, the number has grown to more than 4,500 volunteers throughout Greece, taking part in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations all over the world. A non-governmental organisation, HRT is funded by donations from friends and supporters.

    The most recent operation was in Haiti, which made the HRT known world-wide.

    In the first of a total three SAR and humanitarian missions to Haiti, the HRT and French rescuers were cheered on by the entire world as they freed a 12-year-old Haitian boy from the rubble 12 days after a catastrophic 7.0 Richter earthquake struck outside the country's capital Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010 killing more than 230,000 people.

    Haiti, however, was the 19th country to which the HRT has rushed to provide its assistance and expertise, including Indonesia after the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the massive earthquake in Turkey in 1999.

    The HRT's third and final mission to Haiti was completed month and a half ago, and although the international spotlight has gone, the needs remain, according to HRT chief Athanassios Sotirakis.

    "The situation in Haiti remains the same. The needs are immense in medical and pharmaceutical aid and food, and are aggravated further due to the monsoons," Sotirakis tells ANA-MPA. "There are people who are still sleeping under awnings, not even in tents," he stresses.

    HRT's next project is to build an orphanage in Haiti that will be home to 58 children who lost their homes and families in the disaster, a project that will be financed by Greek businesswoman Elena Amvrosiadou. The project is expected to be completed in eight months. "It was a very time-consuming procedure, because all the public services had been razed to the ground and we couldnāt get the necessary licenses," Sotirakis explains.

    "Our reward will come the day when we will see the Greek flag raised over the orphanage, something that we pledge will happen," the HRT leader says.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Piraeus Bank's offer to acquire the state's major stakes in ATEbank and TT-Postbank, and the new national collective labor agreement were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Friday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "First major merger in banking sector - Piraeus Bank (proposes) to absorb ATEbank and TT-Postbank".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Proposal a springboard for major agreements".

    AVGHI: "Farmers, too, a gift to the banks (referring to Piraeus Bank's proposal to purchase the state's major stake in ATEbank, which is the Agricultural Bank of Greece)".

    AVRIANI: "Scenery in banks and economy changing radically".

    CHORA: "Thousands of civil servants on the streets".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Sallas (Piraeus Bank chairman) proposal ignites fires - He seeks acquisition of TT-Postbank and ATEbank".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "700 million euros 'flirtation' for 'marriage' of banks - Sallas proposal for ATEbank-TT Postbank opens the mergers game".

    ESTIA: "The climate changing in the economy - Proposal for purchase of state banks".

    ETHNOS: "Life-raft for 13th and 14th salary (Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses) - 10 percent loss for employees from the new collective labor agreement".

    IMERISSIA: "Deals begin in banks - Piraeus Bank offer for TT-Postbank and ATEbank".

    KATHIMERINI: "Springboard for changes in banks".

    LOGOS: "Piraeus Bank 'double proposal' for...ATEbank and TT-Postbank - Status quo in banking system changing".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "ATEbank and TT-Postbank eyed by Piraeus Bank".

    NIKI: "Sallas 'hitting' for ATE-TT with state money".

    PARASKEVI+13 (weekly): "Light at the end of the tunnel from Piraeus Bank - 701 million euros offer for ATEbank and TT-Postbank".

    RIZOSPASTS: "GSEE (General Confederation of Workers of Greece) sells out to capital, signs 3-year national collective labor agreement for reduction of salaries".

    TA NEA: "Hard poker for banks - Piraeus Bank wants ATEbank and TT - Intense behind-the-scenes".

    TO VIMA: "Seismic changes after Sallas proposal - Piraeus Bank-ATEbank-TT Postbank 'super-bank'."

    VRADYNI: "Uproar over prospective merger of banks - Government examining Piraeus Bank chief's offer".

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