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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-10-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Health Minister Voridis briefs Parliamentary Committee for Social Affairs on Ebola
  • [02] Parliament committee opens discussion on draft state budget for 2015
  • [03] Fiscal policy is the responsibility of the government, FinMin says‏
  • [04] PM Samaras held meeting with top London legal team

  • [01] Health Minister Voridis briefs Parliamentary Committee for Social Affairs on Ebola

    The Health ministry will proceed with the direct recruitment of 30 health officials who will be sent to entrance points of undocumented migrants, so as to detect any possible Ebola cases, Health Minister Makis Voridis on Wednesday told parliamentarians.

    Doctors in hospital emergency departments will also be further trained to deal with such cases, while a drill will take place next Friday in cooperation with the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) and the National Health Operations Center (EKEPY).

    In view of EU Health ministers' meeting on Thursday in Brussels on the possible emergence of Ebola virus and measures to tackle it, Voridis along with KEELPNO and EKEPY are currently briefing the Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs.

    Voridis informed the deputies-members of the Committee that a questionnaire will be distributed by the airliners and will also be handed out in ports, on which passengers should fill in their country of origin, the time of departure from their country of origin, as well as details on their health condition. The aim is to increase the level of alertness of the travelers themselves, as he said. Voridis added that this questionnaire has already been distributed in the USA.

    Voridis also stated that a measure proposed by several countries is the installation of thermal cameras at the entrance gates. "But it is considered a controversial measure because it indicates fever from any cause. Instead a milder screening seems to be more adequate," he noted.

    [02] Parliament committee opens discussion on draft state budget for 2015

    Parliament's Standing Committee on Economic Affairs began discussion of the state draft budget for 2015 on Tuesday, with introductory comments by the ruling coalition parties, New Democracy (ND) and PASOK.

    ND's Andreas Lykourentzos and PASOK's Yiannis Koutsoukos' central argument was that the 2015 budget will be executed as successfully as that of 2014, as long as there is political stability in the country. Both referred to the predictions of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) that were proven false about the current budget's execution.

    SYRIZA's Efklidis Tsakalotos expressed doubt about the success of the government's policy, saying that the cost of the recession was not dealt with, investments did not return to Greece and exports cannot make up for the drop in the GDP.

    MP Nikos Nikolopoulos, speaking for opposition Independent Greeks (ANEL), said that the indexes of the public deficit do not include the cost of banks' recapitalisation, while the primary surplus assessed is reached by the irregular inclusion in numbers of profitable local government agencies (OTA).

    Also speaking were MPs of Golden Dawn, Democratic Left (DIMAR), Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and MP Mimis Androulakis, representing independent deputies.

    The debate at Committee level will be completed in three sessions and the minutes will be sent to Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, who will study the Committee's recommendations. He will table the 2015 final state budget in Parliament at least 40 days before the new financial year.

    [03] Fiscal policy is the responsibility of the government, FinMin says‏

    Fiscal policy is the responsibility of the government and even more during the era of crisis when all relative decisions have to do with the survival of the country, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said in a report submitted to Parliament in an answer to a question by Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos.

    Kammenos had tabled a question to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras following comments made by Finance Minister over the solution sought by the government in the aftermath of court decisions on special payrolls. Hardouvelis had said, during a speech at the Association of Hellenic Enterprises annual assembly, that "politicians decide on fiscal policy and not the judicial authority," adding that "Justice has a word on what it right and not right, but it cannot decide on fiscal policy". Kammenos had strongly criticized these comments.

    "Court decisions on judicial and uniformed men pay have a significant impact on the public sector's payroll cost and on the fiscal policy of the country," the Finance Minister said in its response submitted to Parliament, adding that "fiscal policy was the responsibility of the government, much more during the crisis, when all relative decisions have to do with the survival of the country".

    "Our parliamentary democracy offers the possibility to every government that has won the general elections to draft its own fiscal policy through the execution of the state budget," Hardouvelis said, adding that "in any case the government respects judicial decisions and uses every means offered by the law to deal with issues related with the smooth execution of the budget".

    [04] PM Samaras held meeting with top London legal team

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with British distinguished barristers Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, Geoffrey Robertson and Norman Palmer as well as the president of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles David Hill completed earlier o Wednesday.

    The Greek premier welcomed the valuable support given to Greece at its efforts for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.


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