Politics: PM chairs meeting with local authorities, agencies in Nafplio

Replying to questions on unemployment and a shift toward more flexible labour relations, the prime minister expressed the opinion that flexible forms of employment or part-time work were not a problems in themselves. According to Papandreou, the problem actually lay with Greece's very inflexible labour laws that actually led to lawlessness. He said the government was making a great effort to support employment, even in the form of part-time work, on condition that everything was done legally and above board, referring to ideas such as subsidising insurance contributions. The prime minister pointed out that Greece could not compete with countries like China and India in terms of low labour costs, nor compress Greek wages to that level in order to make the Greek economy more competitive.
Papandreou repeated his position that the competitiveness of the Greek economy will be based, in large part, on the quality of its products.
The prime minister led a government team that included Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, Deputy Interior Minister George Dolios, Deputy Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis, Deputy Health Minister Christos Aidonis and Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Yiannis Koutsoukos.
Peloponnese Regional Authority chief Petros Tatoulis, on his part, highlighted the regional authority's goal for making the Peloponnese synonymous with sustainability and a strongly growing regional economy, with its human resources as its primary tool in this effort.
He said that responsibility for a number of areas, including protection of forests and mountains, town planning and healthcare facilities, should be transferred to regional authorities, with central government setting the general policy guidelines that these should follow.
Earlier, Papandreou was given a guided tour of the Archaeological Museum in Argos.

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