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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: 'We're not all the same'
  • [02] Greece re-submits 2007-10 stability, growth plan

  • [01] Papandreou: 'We're not all the same'

    Main opposition PASOK party's newly formed political coordination organ convened on Thursday afternoon, as the session was chaired by party leader George Papandreou.

    "PASOK will exercise a programmatic opposition, with creative proposals that will demonstrate that we are not all the same and that one-way options do not exist; another path will be demonstrated," Papandreou was quoted as saying by the Athens daily "Eleftheros Typos" over the weekend.

    He added that the only deadline for concluding his work is "victory in the elections", noting also that "citizens will be persuaded that whatever sins of the past do not touch or burden PASOK."

    Moreover, he again called on the left to join PASOK in dialogue for political cooperation.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [02] Greece re-submits 2007-10 stability, growth plan

    The Greek government on Thursday announced that it has submitted its updated stability and growth programme for the period 2007-2010 to the European Commission. The programme envisages a further reduction of the country's fiscal deficit and the public debt, while maintaining high economic growth rates.

    The economy and finance ministry aims to present a balanced budget in 2010 by slashing the country's fiscal deficit to 1.6 pct of GDP in 2008 and to 0.8 pct in 2009. This aim will be achieved through measures to contain overspending in the public sector, as well as combating tax evasion and smuggling, especially in the fuel sector. Public debt is projected to drop to 82.9 pct of GDP in 2010, from 93.4 pct this year, while the structural deficit is expected to reach 3.2 pct of GDP this year and to fall to 0.8 pct in 2010.

    General government spending is projected to fall to 42.3 pct in 2010 from 42.6 pct in 2006, reflecting higher social spending over the four-year period.

    Economic growth remained above 4.0 pct in 2006 and 2007, reflecting higher exports in goods and higher investments. The programme notes that Greek economic growth rates remained strong despite the fact that several international organisations lowered their forecasts vis-?-vis global economic growth.

    Greece's updated stability and growth programme includes two scenarios: a primary forecast citing a 4.0-pct growth rate over the next three years, along with an "alternative scenario", which envisages a growth rate of 3.8 pct in 2008, 3.5 pct in 2009 and 3.7 pct in 2010. The general government deficit is projected to drop to 1.6 pct in 2008, 0.8 pct in 2009 and 0.0 pct in 2010 under the first scenario, while the alternative scenario's projections are 1.7 pct, 1.1 pct and 0.4 pct over the same years, respectively.

    The programme projects that gross fixed capital investments will reach 3.1 pct of GDP in 2008 and 3.0 pct in 2010. It also envisages promoting a pension reform strategy and efforts to reform the National Healthcare System.

    Caption: A file photo dated Thursday, 03 January 2002 shows the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main and a giant euro sign in front of the building. ANA-MPA / EPA PHOTO DPA/OLIVER BERG


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