02 October, 2006
Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Sunday outlined his government's actions over the past two-and-a-half years aimed at upgrading the quality of life of the elderly, addressing a conference in Athens organized jointly by the European People's Party Group's (EPP) European Union of the Elderly, on the occasion of International Day for the Elderly and Greece's ruling New Democracy party (which belongs to the EPP grouping in the European Parliament).
Outlining the actions for the elderly being advanced in the overall framework of his government's economic and social reforms, Karamanlis explained that they aimed at:
a) reinforcing the real incomes of the elderly through an increase in pensions, and particularly the low-bracket and farmers' pensions substantially above the inflation rate;
b) upgrading the public health and welfare services; and c) protection of the family and reinforcement of the elderly citizens' participation in society.
Regarding the EPP, Karamanlis said that it belonged to a political tradition that puts forward and tackles problems with social sensitivity and efficiency, which renders its agencies credible to the European peoples, and also capable factors for ensuring the social acquis, which he warned appeared to be at risk due to the intense economic and demographic changes taking place.
"The Europeans trust us, believing that at both European and national level, we will remain true to our political tradition and dare to go ahead with changes and reforms that will enable Europe to widen the effectiveness of its social intervention," he said.
Included in that framework were the reforms being advanced by the government in the economy and society, the prime minister added.
Karamanlis further stressed the deeper demand of the EU peoples for advancing the principles and ideals of European civilization as a basic gnomon of political action because, in an era such as the present, giving a specific and modern content to the timeless humanitarian principle, which was recognition of the human being as the highest value, was the most important service that the EU could render to humanity.
Source: Athens News Agency