NEWS

Simitis lays out 8 prime objectives

During yesterday’s first session of the new Inner Cabinet, Prime Minister Costas Simitis outlined the principal areas on which his government intends to focus over the next three years in order to secure its re-election. These were defined as the Athens 2004 Olympics and the need to strictly observe construction timetables, the swift and efficient use of European Union structural support funds, the creation of 300,000 new jobs, a solution to the thorny issue of social security reforms – through dialogue and with a much laxer time schedule than initially suggested, – completion of tax reforms in 2002, the successful tenure of Greece’s forthcoming EU presidency in the first half of 2003, the introduction of the common European currency and the improvement of services in the sectors of education, health and public administration. Simitis said that, after the September 11 attacks on the USA, new problems have arisen in the global economy… and special care is required in economic planning in the immediate future. Growth rates are falling all over the world, and we must make a tough effort, the PM said. Simitis added that ruling PASOK officials must avoid complaints and internal conflicts, and stressed the need for progress on matters that have an immediate effect on ordinary citizens’ living standards. The Inner Cabinet is to meet again next Thursday, and is expected to discuss economic policy. On November 21, it will approve the new state budget.