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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Central bank sees growth topping forecast
  • [02] Industry officials optimistic over tourism

  • [01] Central bank sees growth topping forecast

    The governor of the Bank of Greece, Nikos Garganas, said on Tuesday that the growth rate for 2006 was likely to top 4.1%, exceeding expectations.

    "It is positive that this increase is accompanied by a rise in employment and a reduction in joblessness," Garganas told a news conference to present the central bank's interim monetary policy report.

    "Favourable economic conditions will also allow a greater and swifter reduction of the deficit," he noted.

    The fact that average annual inflation was 3.5% against 2.2% in the eurozone meant an accompanying decline in competitiveness in terms of prices, which brought costs to employment.

    The economy's competitiveness fell by about 14% in 2000-2006 in relation to the country's 27 trade partners.

    "The loss in competitiveness is only partly due to a 9% rise in the euro, and, apart from other negative consequences, means high prices for consumers," Garganas said.

    The economy still faced problems due to its structural weaknesses.

    "Although monetary conditions are loose, we have entered into a phase of rising interest rates, and credit expansion that supports consumption cannot continue," the central bank chief warned.

    "Reform is needed to ensure that the country will attract foreign investment, competitiveness, viability of the pensions system, better education, modernisation of public administration and action against corruption," he stated.

    [02] Industry officials optimistic over tourism

    Tourist arrivals are expected to rise by 8-10 percent this year, while revenues are projected to total 13.7 billion euros, up 10 percent from 2005, Stavros Andreadis, the president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises, said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters during a news conference on the occasion of the 22nd Philoxenia tourism fair in Thessaloniki, Andreadis stressed that Greek tourism had not room for complacency.

    "I fear this feeling of happy inactivity," he said, adding that Greece "sells as an idea and we must build on this by strengthening the country's tourism profile with "high added value products".

    Andreas Andreadis, president of the national association of hoteliers, said that 40-50 percent of new investments in Greece covered hotel projects, while he noted that it was equally important to build new five-star hotels and to upgrade the existing 7,000 hotel units around the country.

    Andreadis said the association was developing a cooperation with large Internet tour operators and noted that Expedia's turnover from Greek hotels was expected to reach 300 million euros in the next three years.

    Tourist arrivals from Russia and Ukraine - arriving by airplane - to central Macedonia grew by 16 percent and 100 percent in the 10-month period from January to October this year, compared with the same period 2005, while the Association of Thessaloniki Hoteliers reported a rebound in room occupancy rates in the first half of 2006, after a steady decline in the previous three years. Average occupancy rate reached 54 percent in the city of Thessaloniki.


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