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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-02-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Archbishop issues appeal towards PM over econ crisis
  • [02] Twenty eight MPs raise German war reparations issue
  • [03] Pharmaceutical spending to fall to 2.88bln euros in 2012

  • [01] Archbishop issues appeal towards PM over econ crisis

    AMNA / Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Thursday addressed a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos voicing his strong concern about the situation the country, referring to the "despair", as he said, being experienced by the people who lose their jobs and homes.

    “The phenomenon of the homeless and the famished, a reminder of WWII conditions, has taken the dimensions of a nightmare,” he underlined, adding that “the homeless increase by the thousands everyday, while small and medium-sized enterprises are forced to go out of business. Young people, the country’s best minds, choose to emigrate, while our fathers are unable to live after the dramatic cuts in pensions. Family men, particularly, the poorest, those with many children, wage earners, are in despair due to repeated wage cuts and unbearable new taxes. The unprecedented tolerance of the Greek people is being exhausted, rage pushes fear aside and the risk of social upheaval cannot be ignored anymore by those who are in the position to give orders and those who execute their lethal recipes.”

    The current head of the influential Greek Church, who rarely makes statements on non-spiritual and non-ecclesiastical issues, underlined that the situation will deteriorate further and stressed that “in these difficult and undoubtedly, crucial times, we should realise that every Greek home is plagued by insecurity, despair and depression, which unfortunately, have caused, and sadly enough, continues to cause the suicides of those unable to bear the ordeal of their families and the pain of their children.”

    He warned that “it is obvious that the drama our country is experiencing will not end here but it could take up new uncontrollable dimensions.”

    The Archbishop used uncharacteristically tough language to refer to new austerity measures, which are expected to be implemented, saying the country’s national resources will be surrendered, stressing that the Greek people call for honest answers. (copy/paste)

    “Even tougher, more painful and unfair measures are being demanded within the same ineffective and unsuccessful policy that is being followed. We are forced to have even larger dosages of a medicine that has proven to be deadly. We are being demanded to undertake commitments that do not solve the problem and only temporarily postpone the foretold death of our economy while, at the same time, we surrender our national sovereignty. They use as collateral our country’s wealth and the wealth that we can recover from our land and our seas,” the Archbishop stressed, adding that “the voices of the desperate, the voices of the Greek people, are being provocatively ignored in decision-making.” amna

    The Archbishop underlined that Greece “will be able to make it if it will resist the blackmail that comes from abroad and rejects these deadly recipes ... the Greece of culture, history and traditions cannot be lost because a few believed that this is possible.” AMNA

    [02] Twenty eight MPs raise German war reparations issue

    AMNA / A proposal signed by 28 MPs of PASOK, New Democracy (ND), Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and independent deputies has been tabled in Parliament requesting a discussion on issues concerning the so-called German occupation loan from Greece during WWII, as well as the issue of war reparations to victims of Nazi atrocities and stolen treasures from the country.

    In a letter addressed to the presidents of responsible parliamentary committees, the MPs requested that the issue should be discussed in the presence of the ministers of finance, foreign affairs, national defence and justice, as well as, representatives of all interested parties. They also called on Parliament to adopt a clear stance on this “crucial national issue”. amna

    The 28 MPs underlined that in the Italian-German Fiscal Experts Conference in Rome in 1942, the Axis powers arbitrarily decided that occupied Greece, on the Allied side, was obligated to fund their military operations through a "loan".

    MPs stressed that the now unified German state owes WWII victor Greece roughly 54 billion euros before interest, underlining that Greece was the victim of unparallel cruelty inflicted by the Nazi forces during WWII.

    The MPs stressed that the injustice done to Greece is obvious, because it is the only country to which Germany has not paid reparations. amna

    Caption: A file photo dated June 10, 1994 shows German occupation forces in the town of Distomo, south-central Greece, after the massacre of 218 civilians in reprisal for the killing of German soldiers by partisans. AMNA / Photo Shop Digital / N. Axelis

    [03] Pharmaceutical spending to fall to 2.88bln euros in 2012

    AMNA / State pharmaceutical spending will be no less than 2.88 billion euros this year, despite a demand by the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" to cut spending to 2.1 billion euros (1.0 pct of GDP), Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said on Thursday, speaking during a meeting with pharmaceutical industry and medical representatives.

    The minister said the ministry would like pharmaceutical spending to be around 3.1 billion euros in 2012 and noted that a compromise was reached with the 'troika'. Pharmaceutical spending totaled 4.1 billion euros in 2011, surpassing a budget target of 3.8 billion euros.

    Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry said their businesses could not afford any more pressure, saying the government decision was not only eating away at their profit margin but at their capital as well. amna

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