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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: 'The worst is over, 2013 will be turning point'
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Sunday

  • [01] PM: 'The worst is over, 2013 will be turning point'

    AMNA/ The worst is over for the Greek people, 2013 will be a turning point year, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in an interview with Ethnos newspaper appearing on Sunday.

    "From the start (of the year) there will be some relief, and in the second half the first signs of recovery will appear," Samaras said, noting that by "changing the policy mix -- more money coming in (to the economy) than that going out -- and putting emphasis now on the structural changes, the trend of the economy will also change".

    He also said that "the worst is over" for the citizens, "but this doesn't mean that tomorrow we will return to where we were three years ago", adding that the state will be reduced but not dissolved.

    "For years the public sector razed both the citizens and its best people. The new public sector to arise will serve the citizen but also distinguish the worth civil servant. It will be smaller, of course, but it will be much more efficient," Samaras said, and on the prospect of layoffs said that nothing more is being done than that which has been already announced, noting that the "reduction of personnel is not affected only with layoffs but also with the hiring of fewer people than those retiring."

    On the new tax bill, he said that an effort is being made to reduce the tax burden on the salaried and on businesses by clamping down on tax evasion.

    "It is much simpler, more development-oriented, it can take advantage of new technologies and remedies to a great degree some of the injustices that existed before, such as reinstating the large-family (four or more children) benefits," he said.

    On the uproar created by leaks on the new tax bill, Samaras said that a technical plan was initially made public which did not express the views of the coalition government or any of the three parties supporting it, noting that "it is not the first time that great extent is given to rumors that do not correspond to reality, nor the intentions of the government".

    The prime minister further rejected speculation of early general elections, which he said no one ones, not even those who supposedly are demanding them.

    "To speak again about elections -- even to just discuss them -- is madness," he said, adding that "only as a scenario of catastrophe" could election speculation stand.

    He also launched a scathing attack on main opposition SYRIZA, accusing it of belonging to the "drachma lobby".

    "What does unilateral abolition of the Memorandum or its application laws mean? Just by saying it, it was butter on the bread of all those outside Greece who wanted to kick us out of the euro," Samaras charged, and blasted SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras personally over his statement that an exit from the euro is not 'taboo'.

    "Even if he (Tsipras) did not realize it when he said this, such statements create the impression that there is a danger of returning to the drachma," he added.

    On his collaboration with the junior partners in the coalition government -- PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis -- he said that "all of us, Vangelis and Fotis and I, realize that this is a big opportunity for all the reforms that were never done and which the country has always needed to be made", while on the prospect of PASOK and DIMAR participation in the government with "front-line" political figures, he said he could not reply on something that has not been put forward as an issue.

    Samaras also described his cooperation with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras as "exceptional" and announced that the government is moving quickly to the materialization of the denationalizations, while at the same time criticizing the trade union organizations of the large public utilities and state enterprises (DEKO), accusing them of "acting as if the DEKO, which are public property, are their own property".

    "I say to them that the DEKO are not their property. They frequently act like forgotten 'soviets'," he added.

    Samaras further expressed disagreement with a prospective outlawing of the ultra-right Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) party, saying that "they are succeeding on their own in making themselves repulsive".

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Sunday

    AMNA/ Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    AGGELIOFOROS: "The ambiguities and the tricks of the new tax bill".

    AVGHI: "Derailment - ND, PASOK, DIMAR (the three parties of the coalition government) but also Samaras (prime minister) in free-fall".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Balance of terror in the government of the 'three'."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Double trap for pensions, lump-sum retirement superannuities".

    EPOCHI: "Balance of terror in government".

    EXPRESS: "Wave of retirements of freelance professionals".

    KATHIMERINI: "They lost billions in wagering on Greece's exit from the euro".

    LOGOS: "Death penalty for the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs)".

    NIKI: "The market ruses lead to prison".

    TO PARON: "The new bosses are coming".

    PROTO THEMA: "A ''clean' Lagarde list is coming".

    REALNEWS: "Confidential report to the prime minister on the oil deposits".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "KKE 19th Congress - Strong party for social and political upset".

    TO ARTHRO: "Dangerous relaxation".

    TO VIMA: "Tax trap for the middle class".

    VRADYNI: "The new salaries in public and private sector as of January 1, 2013".

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