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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin satisfied with Commission's forecasts on Greek economy
  • [02] Che's daughter addresses seminar
  • [03] Intl conference on banks' regulatory compliance

  • [01] FinMin satisfied with Commission's forecasts on Greek economy

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Friday expressed his satisfaction over the developments and prospects of the country's economy.

    Speaking to reporters, after an ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, the Greek minister said according to the European Commission's spring economic forecasts -due to be released on Monday- the country's fiscal deficit would shrink to 3.0 percent of GDP this year. Alogoskoufis said the Commission's forecast was a very positive development, although he stressed that according to the Greek Economy ministry's forecasts the fiscal deficit would fall to 2.6 pct of GDP in 2006.

    The EU's executive also forecast that economic growth in Greece would reach 3.5 pct this year and 3.4 pct in 2007, almost identical with Greek government's forecasts.

    Alogoskoufis said any measures necessary to stabilise the country's fiscal deficit below 3.0 pct of GDP would be included in the 2007 budget. The Greek minister, commenting on the intention of the European Commission to forecast that Greece's fiscal deficit would rise to 3.6 pct of GDP in 2007, said the Commission was not fully aware of the Greek government's planning on economic policy for 2007.

    Alogoskoufis sounded optimistic over international developments in oil prices, saying that despite a significant increase in prices the European economy was not expected to face any big problems and that the Eurozone was able to easily absorb any turbulence from rising oil prices.

    The Greek minister said a Eurogroup meeting on Thursday agreed to a closer coordination of economic policies in the euro currency area.

    Greece suffered losses in competitiveness in the period from 2000 to 2004 and recorded a slight improvement in 2005, Alogoskoufis said, adding it was important to maintain strong growth rates. The Greek minister said a planned expansion of the European Union to the Balkans would have a significantly positive effect on Greece. He presented to his EU counterparts an economic analysis on the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in the European Union.

    Commenting on news that Cosmote was in advanced talks for the takeover of Germanos, Alogoskoufis said adjustments and takeovers of enterprises were factors supporting the improvement of economic competitiveness.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Che's daughter addresses seminar

    Aleida Guevara, eldest daughter of legendary revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, on Thursday attended a seminar held in Athens titled "Stop the embargo on Cuba", in the framework of the 4th European Social Forum, where speakers at the event blasted the embargo on Cuba as "a crime of an international scale".

    Addressing the seminar, Aleida said that "one cannot speak of an embargo on Cuba but of its complete blockading, aimed at the impoverishment and eradication of the Cuban people."

    She also said that Cuba's move to nationalise nickel deposits became an example for other countries in Latin America as well to proceed with the nationalisation of their mineral wealth.

    Aleida further said that the "people of Cuba are determined to continue to struggle" and called for the "assistance and solidarity of other peoples for this struggle".

    Referring to the position observed by the European Union, she said that the peoples of Europe "are isolated from information on what exactly is taking place in Cuba" an isolation which, in her view, "has been imposed by the United States".

    Aleida Guevara also met later with world renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who spoke warmly about Che, whom he had personally met.

    According to an announcement by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), also present at the meeting was KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga. Keen interest was expressed in the life and struggles of Che and in the developments in Cuba as well as throughout Latin America.

    The KKE announcement said that Aleida Guevara, a 46-year-old doctor working in Havana, expressed her appreciation for Theodorakis' artistic work and for his particular contribution to the solidarity movement with the people of Cuba "in the struggle against the exclusion and the imperialistic interventions".

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] Intl conference on banks' regulatory compliance

    The Hellenic Bank Association on Friday, in cooperation with the European Bank Training Network (EBTN) held an international conference in Athens on regulatory compliance in the financial sector and the role of training.

    The conference was attended by senior executives from large banking groups, such as Citigroup, Societe Generale and AIB Group.

    Addressing the conference, Hellenic Bank Association's head and chairman of National Bank, Takis Arapoglou, said most Greek banks already operated regulatory compliance departments following a decision by the Bank of Greece, while he stressed that Greek banks would be ready timely on all institutional regulatory issues.

    The Greek banker said the Hellenic Bank Association would introduce in the domestic market a certified training programme on regulatory compliance.

    Panagiotis Kyriakopoulos, director of Supervisory Department in the Bank of Greece, addressing the conference said that Greek banks must ensure the participation of both their boards and senior executives in regulatory compliance issues.

    EBTM's president, Mario Spatafora, underlined the significant European role played by EBTN with the promotion of training programmes.

    Regulatory compliance is related with the movement of capital under a wide institutional framework including supranational regulations, specific legislation and code of ethics, internal regulations and directives.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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