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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-04-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin: We need stable gov't after elections
  • [02] Defence minister meets U.S. counterpart
  • [03] NGO objects to gov't policy on illegal migration
  • [04] Policy report on domestic energy sector
  • [05] Petty corruption still plagues Greece

  • [01] FinMin: We need stable gov't after elections

    AMNA--Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis stressed on Wednesday that "we need a stable government after the elections in order for the economy to restart", speaking to private television station MEGA, and appeared negative to the possibility of new elections if a self-sufficient government is not elected, noting "we will not leave the country without a government".

    "If we proceed with the commitments we have undertaken, a third support package will not be necessary and the danger of new measures and new cuts will be reduced," he said, and estimated that "if everything goes well then in 2013 we expect and foresee the country's turn towards development". amna

    Sahinidis was on the size of the Greek deposits in banks abroad and said that discussions with Swiss officials will begin on the issue, adding that the agreement on bank accounts taxation may be signed before the general elections. Currently, a series of checks and cross-checks are underway to determine which incomes (deposited abroad) have not been taxed in Greece, he said.

    [02] Defence minister meets U.S. counterpart

    NEW YORK (AMNA - P. Panagiotou) Greek Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, currently on a visit to Washington, on Tuesday met U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta for talks on issues of Greek interest, agreements on Greek-U.S. bilateral defence cooperation and defence-sector programmes, and the overall situation in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

    In statements after the meeting, Avramopoulos said that Panetta had also thanked Greece for its contribution to the operations in Libya.

    "I noted that the national defence system of [Greece], in spite of the economic crisis, continues to be one of the strongest and most reliable in the surrounding region and will always be at the service of peace, cooperation, security and stability in our region," Avramopoulos said.amna

    According to the Greek minister, they also had the opportunity to discuss other major regional issues such as the Cyprus problem, the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greek-Israeli cooperation and to confirm a mutual desire to promote defence cooperation programmes.

    [03] NGO objects to gov't policy on illegal migration

    AMNA--The Greek government's plan to round up and detain what it calls "irregular migrants" and asylum-seekers in country, "including those suspected of carrying infectious diseases such as HIV", was called "deeply alarming" by Amnesty International on Monday.

    The international NGO opined that "those considered vulnerable to such diseases, based on their country of origin, poor living conditions, occupation as sex workers or their drug use, will be targeted."

    "The Greek authorities must withdraw such measures immediately, which will only exacerbate the stigmatization of migrants and asylum-seekers in the country," AI spokesperson Jezerca Tigani said.

    [04] Policy report on domestic energy sector

    AMNA--Greece aims to fully cover its needs in electricity from renewable energy sources, investing 45-63 billion euros on power production units and new networks by 2050, a policy report presented on Tuesday by Envrionment, Energy & Climate Change ministry states.

    The report said a decline in energy demand as a result of an economic crisis in the country will be temporary and predicted a significant increase in demand in the long-term. The report examines three scenarios over trends in energy demand and the ways of meeting this demand in the coming decades without taking into account any finding from oil and gas explorations which are expected to begin in the country. amna

    The first scenario is based on the continuation of current policies, the second scenario aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 60-70 pct and maximising renewable energy sources' share to 100 pct of electricity production and the third scenario aims at minimizing investment cost on renewable sources. Investments in the energy sector are forecast to range from 45 in the first scenario to 80 billion in the second and 63 billion euros in the third scenario.

    [05] Petty corruption still plagues Greece

    AMNA--Despite the punishing economic crisis in the country, instances of petty corruption are still widely reported in Greece, particularly in the public sector, namely, hospitals, tax offices and construction licensing bodies.

    For the first time, however, a change in the citizens' attitude toward bribery or under-the-table transactions offers a gleam of hope, according to the 2011 National Survey on Corruption in Greece, unveiled on Tuesday by Transparency International-Greece.

    According to the survey, the public sector still takes the "lion's share" of the petty corruption's pie, as indicated by the increased percentage of households who report corruption incidents in the public sector (7.4 pct in 2011 versus 7.2 pct in 2010) compared to the private sector (3.4 pct in 2011 versus 4 pct in 2010).

    The financial crisis seems to have affected the so-called "fakelaki" (money put into small envelopes) as well, given the fact that the 2011 survey records a reduction of the bribe amounts, requested and paid, which shrinks the overall estimated cost of petty corruption for the year of 2011 by 78 million euros (554 million euro in 2011 versus 632 million euro in 2010). Nevertheless, the amounts spent on petty corruption remain significantly high.

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