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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM in Paris for Socialist International session
  • [02] Final decisions on 2011 budget plan next week
  • [03] Aid vessel diverted
  • [04] Samaras: Vote for hope

  • [01] PM in Paris for Socialist International session

    Prime Minister, PASOK party President and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou will chair the sessions of the Socialist International's Council that will be held in Paris on November 15-16.

    The Council's opening will be addressed by OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria and the President of the French Socialist Party Martine Aubry, while Papandreou's address will follow.

    Three main issues will be discussed during the Council: Global economy: planning a viable recovery for the benefit of all; handling the repercussions of climatic change: an urgent need for a substantive agreement in light of the Cancoon Conference and overcoming conflicts: strengthening democracy and security.

    While in the French capital, the premier will have a meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday.

    The session of the Socialist International's Council coincides with the start of the French Presidency at the G-20.

    In the next meetings of the G-20, many issues will be discussed that preoccupy the socialists, such as the adoption of a global tax for monetary transactions and for "green growth", the balancing of the monetary system and the better coordination of international organisations for recovery from the economic crisis sooner.

    During the Council, the prime minister will be having a bilateral meeting with the French Socialist Party's president, as well as with other leaders who will be attending the Council.

    The Council will be held at the OECD's building and will be attended by about 400 leaders and representatives from the Socialist International's member parties.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Final decisions on 2011 budget plan next week

    A round of talks between the Greek government and troika experts is entering its final stage next week, with final decisions expected to be reached over taxation and spending of a new budget.

    A determining factor for these decisions will be the revised figures for the country‚s budget deficit for 2009, to be published by Eurostat on Monday. The same day, the head of the troika group of experts will arrive in Athens for a regular inspection of the Greek economy ahead of approval of the third tranche of a support loan to Greece, worth 9.0 billion euros.

    According to information, Eurostat will raise the country‚s budget deficit above 9.0 pct of GDP, from 7.8 pct envisaged in the budget draft plan. Covering this difference will be the subject of continuous meetings between the government's economic team and the troika group early next week, based on commitments included in a memorandum signed between Greece, the IMF, the EU and the ECB.

    Final decisions are expected by Wednesday, as the government is expected to table its budget plan for 2011 to Parliament on Thursday. The budget plan will envisage measures to raising tax revenues and cutting public spending. Decision will cover issues such as: raising VAT rates from 11 pct, restructuring of public sector enterprises aimed at cutting spending, implementing a single payroll system in the public sector, reducing spending by a Public Investments Program and savings in the health system.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Aid vessel diverted

    (ANA-MPA) -- All crew members and passengers aboard the ship "Strofades IV" were reported to be well and safe on Friday, following the vessel's anchoring at the port of Piraeus. According to the London-based 'Road to Hope' charity, the ship was meant to take aid to Gaza but broke its moorings at the Libyan port of Derna and set sail for Greece instead, with at least 10 activists on board being held against their will, according to initial and as yet unconfirmed reports.

    Six Britons, two Irish nationals, one Nigerian and one Moroccan, activists of the aid organisation, were on board the vessel when it arrived in Piraeus, along with seven Libyan port officials and the 16-member crew comprised of 10 Ukrainians and six Egyptians. (ANA-MPA)

    Greek port authorities boarded the vessel at 11:15 a.m., where it was ascertained that the organisation's members and ship's crew were all well in health.

    Authorities said the vessel broke its moorings when a pay dispute broke out between the owners and activists for the conveyance of trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to an Egyptian port.

    An announcement by the shipowners, Ionian Bridge, later on Friday claimed that the activists had boarded the vessel without having any written contract or charter-party. While 'Road for Hope' claimed to have paid for transport of the aid, no written contract or charter had been received, it said. (ANA-MPA)

    The shipping firm's announcement also cited a "tense atmosphere" aboard the vessel at Derna and said Libyan authorities had not responded to a call for assistance. The skipper, fearing for the safety of the ship and crew, then set sail for international waters while informing authorities in Malta, (ANA-MPA) the operations room at the Greek maritime affairs ministry and the Greek foreign ministry.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Samaras: Vote for hope

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, in a message to the electorate on Friday on the second round of local government elections on Sunday, said "vote for hope."

    Samaras said that the second round of the elections is the leading political moment of this confrontation and the elections were political from the beginning and now they are becoming even more political.

    The ND leader further said that it has now been confirmed that the memorandum was a mistake and that "economically it did not produce results and was unjust socially."

    He mentioned that "all indicators are out of every control and despite the sacrifices imposed by the government, it only managed to decrease the deficit very little."

    "And now they are preparing new extraordinary measures that will also not produce results but will create greater harm," he said, adding that society and the economy cannot stand such a thing.

    "Don't do it for any party. Do it for the country and your children. The extortions have collapsed now. Vote for hope," Samaras concluded.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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