Kozani.- ANA – Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met with representatives of local production agencies at the Kozani Chamber of Commerce on Saturday and stressed afterwards that it is not by chance that Greece has been showing greater endurance with the crisis so far, compared to its partners in the European Union.
“The perspective of our economy is far better. And this is not by chance. It is due to the reformist strategy that we are following. To mild fiscal adjustment. The development policy that brought big investments. Our exports policy. The promotion of big public projects all over the country and to international energy agreements that are paving the way for new investments and new jobs,” the prime minister said.
Karamanlis further said that “our aim is not only to safeguard all, all women and all men together, that we have achieved with sacrifices, but to widen our achievements.”
He also expressed certainty that “all of us together, placing first the major issues that unite us, placing above all the interests of the country and of the citizens, can do it.”
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis announced measures supporting farmers to enable them to cope with the consequences of the international economic crisis.
The measures concern the payment of equating compensation for entitled farmers at an earlier stage and the interest-free funding of farmers unions that gather cereals to ensure that producers can be given an advance payment now and their products can be sold later with more satisfactory terms.
“We are showing our concern for the farming world in practice. Firstly, with the timely payment of subsidies and compensation. Secondly, with the local farming development centres and the farming advisers. Thirdly, with the inclusion in the 4th Community Support Framework of infrastructure projects and programmes giving a new breather and impetus for the entire region. Fourthly, with the new Greek farming model that aims at quality for standardised products having a name of origin that secure increased income for producers and, fifthly, with the taking of very specific measures to tackle the international economic crisis, namely with the payment of equating compensation to support entitled farmers much earlier than expected and with the interest-free funding of unions gathering cereals, to enable the advance payment to be given now to producers and for their products to be sold later with more satisfactory terms,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking after meeting local officials in the city of Kozani on Saturday, said that the government is responding to the real needs of the financially weaker citizens with social sensitivity, seriousness and responsibility.
Karamanlis presented the measures taken by the government to tackle the international economic crisis and that concern the national economy, as well as each household separately. The aim is to decrease inter-bank interest rates and, consequently, to decrease interest rates for the loans and subsidies of businessmen.
“We have exercised, we are exercising and we shall exercise every necessary intervention to achieve low interest rates and for the exclusion of abusive terms by banks,” the prime minister said.
As regards measures being taken by the government, he said that they will not burden Greek citizens but will secure 500 million euros for the Social Cohesion Fund and public investments.
Karamanlis acknowledged that problems do exist that are being intensified by the economic crisis and said that the greatest one is unemployment. He pointed out at this point that through Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) programmes 50,000 new jobs will be created by the end of the year and another 140,000 new jobs in 2009.
The prime minister also referred to issues concerning Western Macedonia, and the prefecture of Kozani in particular, and spoke analytically of projects that are already under way and of others that are being scheduled.
Karamanlis was accompanied on his visits in the region by Agricultural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos, Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Margaritis Tzimas, ruling New Democracy party Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis and by local ND deputies and officials.