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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-04-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Banks recapitalisation to start soon
  • [02] Parliament passes Siemens agreement
  • [03] Search underway for war reparations claims
  • [04] Gov't dismisses claims Greek 'no show' at Olympics

  • [01] PM: Banks recapitalisation to start soon

    NICOSIA (AMNA/A.Viketos) - The recapitalisation of the Greek banks will begin immediately with a cabinet decision on April 20 and is expected to conclude at the beginning of September, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said here Thursday.

    Addressing a joint press conference with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias after talks at the Presidential Palace, Papademos said that "there is not even one day to be lost and no question for the government's work easing off," adding that Greece's new economic programme foresees reforms and other measures, the implementation of which will gradually lead to the country's economic recovery.amna

    Papademos underlined that consistency is needed regarding economic adjustment and the introduction of reforms, which aim at improving the economy's functioning, cutting down of expenditures and upgrading the quality of public administration.

    The Greek economy is in a state of recession for the fifth consecutive year, the Greek premier noted, indicating that unemployment has reached unacceptable high levels.

    [02] Parliament passes Siemens agreement

    AMNA--The Greek Parliament on Thursday ratified a 270-million-euro settlement agreement with the German multinational Siemens. In exchange, the Greek government will waive any compensation from civil action or administrative fines in relation to a bribery and corruption scandal dating back roughly a decade.

    The deal, ratified by a majority of 164 MPs from the PASOK and main opposition New Democracy parties, does not make Siemens exempt from the possibility of prosecution in a criminal court.

    Under the deal, Siemens will waive claims of 80 million euro for implemented projects and equipment delivered to the Greek state. It will also pay 90 million euro to fund academic and research programmes and, according to a Siemens press release, "transparency initiatives and anti-corruption programmes".amna

    Lastly, the company is required to invest 100 million euro in Greece, through its Greek subsidiary Siemens Hellas, and "examine the construction of a local manufacturing plant to generate jobs".

    [03] Search underway for war reparations claims

    AMNA-- Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis on Thursday informed Parliament that he had ordered the archives of the General Accounting Office to be searched for evidence to support Greece's claims against Germany for war reparations that have been outstanding since the period of the Nazi occupation in WWII.amna

    Sahinidis said that finance ministry officials had already found dossiers with the details of Greeks who had received compensation from Germany in the 1960s, while the search of the archives would continue and any documents found would be utilised and converted to digital form in order to ensure that it would not be lost.

    [04] Gov't dismisses claims Greek 'no show' at Olympics

    AMNA--The government on Thursday flatly denied a report, carried in the "Financial Times", that Greece would not send teams to this summer's Olympic Games in London, with a top sports official blaming the Greek athletics federation (SEGAS) for generating "misinformation" that caused the negative press.

    Sports general director head Panos Bitsaxis, whose post comes under the culture ministry's portfolio, told an Athens radio station that Greece's participation in the upcoming Summer Games will be exceptional, with nearly 100 Greek athletes set to participate.amna

    "I am witnessing SEGAS misinform the international press with a bogus report, namely, that the Greek teams will not go to the Olympics. The Greek presence at the Olympic Games will be exceptional," Bitsaxis said, adding that the government is not neglecting SEGAS or athletics.

    "Certain gentlemen in SEGAS should take under consideration the time and place in which we live. It is undeniable that the crisis cannot leave Greek sports untouched; resources have been cut. However, from the era of waste and wholesale grants, we've moved into an era of a more rationale management of money," he concluded.

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