|Wednesday, 21 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-16
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PASOK on gov't measures to support banksMain opposition PASOK party on Wednesday strongly criticized a government-sponsored plan to offer financial assistance to Greek banks amid an international credit crisis, saying the package of measures announced by Economy and Finance Minister was a "open cheque" to banks.
Louka Katseli, PASOK deputy responsible for economic affairs, speaking to reporters, said the government was offering cheap liquidity to Greek banks which in turn offered no insurance that increased liquidity would be distributed in the real economy to the benefit of Greek taxpayers.
The package of measures, included the offering of state guarantees and the issuance of special bonds, did not include any requirements over the capital adequacy ratios of banks, as it should, Katseli said, adding that the premium of 100-150 basis points that banks would pay to obtain Greek state guarantees for sums up to 15 billion euros was extremely low compared with international standards. The government was giving away around 100 million euros to banks, she noted.
 Minor earthquake in HalkidikiA minor earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale was recorded at dawn Thursday in Halkidiki, northern Greece.
The trembler was recorded at 6:38 a.m., with its epicenter 20 kilometers south of the town of Paliouri.
 28 billion support packageEconomy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday said an inner cabinet meeting approved a package of measures aimed at offering protection to Greek banks and strengthening the Greek economy amid an international credit crisis.
Presenting the package, Alogoskoufis said the government will offer a state guarantee worth 15 billion euros to all financial institutions in the country and noted that the move was aimed at cutting the cost of financing. Also, the package includes the issuance of special bonds to financial institutions, up to 8.0 billion euros, with banks offering adequate insurance for these bonds. The government will also offer up to 5.0 billion euros to strengthen Greek banks' capital base, with the Greek state purchasing banks' preference stocks.
The Greek minister said that any bank interested to be included in the measures will have to apply for approval with the Bank of Greece. Alogoskoufis said that an international credit crisis has taken unprecedented dimensions, creating problems to banks, undermining confidence and liquidity problems in markets.
The banking system in Greece, he add, has solid basis, but because of the crisis there was always the problem with rising interest rates and lack of liquidity. Alogoskoufis said the package of measures was taken to ensure fair competition, since other countries have taken similar measures to protect banks.
The measures are compatible with actions agreed during an ECOFIN meeting and an special Eurozone summit last week. The Greek minister reiterated the government's political commitment to protecting all bank saving deposits and noted that the package of measures would not put a burden on the country's fiscal condition.
Bank of Greece's governor, George Provopoulos, told reporters that Greek banks will take advantage of the government measures to avoid facing any competitiveness problems and said that the package of measures will be table to Parliament in the next 10 days.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of FinMin George Alogoskoufis
 FM on Lisbon TreatyForeign Minister Dora Bakoyannis expressed in Brussels on Wednesday the hope that a "legal way" could be found to overcome the problem created by the Irish rejection of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of an EU Summit, Bakoyannis said the Union's foreign ministers were in search of a legal way to overcome the problem and underlined that such ways existed "on the horizon".
The Greek minister also urged countries which have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so.
Regarding energy issues, which are on the agenda of the Summit, Bakoyannis underlined that Greece's positions were in line with European positions as regards separating energy supply from energy distribution.
The Greek minister also referred to the composition of the EU's Reflection Commission on the Future of Europe (20020-2030), headed by former Spanish prime minister Felippe Gonzalez, saying that despite the fact that the Greek government had proposed the participation of former premier Costas Simitis as a member, the proposal was rejected by Gonzalez.
Commenting on the failure of talks on the issue of Georgia, held in Geneva on Wednesday, Bakoyannis expressed her disappointment, adding that "the size of the problem has become manifest, as well as the need for the EU to observe a very careful stance so as to maintain balances."
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis
 Papoulias wraps up Vietnam visitPresident of the Republic Karolos Papoulias concluded Wednesday a four-day visit to Vietnam with the inauguration of a school building, whose construction was financed by Greece.
The 200,000-euro school, with a capacity of 500 students, was built in the ancient city of Hue, in central Vietnam.
Greece also donated 100 wheelchairs and 40,000 euros for disabled children as well as 30,000 euros for the construction of a bridge outside Hanoi.
During his visit, Papoulias had a series of meetings with the country's top state and political leadership, while three bilateral agreements were signed concerning investments in renewable energy sources and cooperation at foreign ministry level.
Papoulias returns to Athens on Thursday.
Caption: President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias during the inauguration of a school in Hue, Vietnam on Wednesday 15 October 2008. ANA-MPA/VANGELIS VARDOULAKIS
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The government's motion for the establishment of a parliamentary fact-finding commission on the Vatopedi monastery affair and the international financial crisis dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Fact-finding commission in parliament on Vatopedi".
APOGEVMATINI: "Outstanding tax cases from 2000 to be settled - Opportunity for 300,000 professionals".
AVGHI: "The threat of recession deepens the crisis- Plunge on international stockmarkets despite the rescue measures".
AVRIANI: "Main opposition PASOK's political isolation - All the other parliamentary parties support the establishment of a fact-finding commission on Vatopedi".
CHORA: "Who is the maestro of the Vatopedi orchestra?".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "The 'holy' scandal is sent to parliamentary fact finding commission".
ELEFTHEROS: "Major cover-up ruse - Karamanlis makes spectacular move and calls for a fact-finding commission".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Karamanlis makes move on Vatopedi chessboard, targetting PASOK".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Three Ministers walking on hot coal over the Vatopedi scandal".
ETHNOS: "Karamanlis in fear of a preliminary investigation committee, remembered the fact-finding commission".
ESTIA: "Its engagement in fact-finding commissions a dramatic development for the government".
KATHIMERINI: "Fact-finding commission for Vatopedi - Karamanlis takes the initiative".
LOGOS: "Prime Minister's motion for a fact-finding commission to be discussed in parliament on 22 October".
NIKI: "Karamanlis covers up Roussopoulos', Doukas' and Bassiakos' sins - Prime minister makes political manoeuvre in proposing a fact-finding commission on Vatopedi scandal".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Government gives to bankers fabulous wealth and huge poverty to the people".
TA NEA: "We accuse the 'holy trinity'(refering to PASOK' s accusations against Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos, Deputy Foreigns Minister Petros Doukas and former minister Evangelos Bassiakos)- PASOK asks for preliminary investigation commitee on Vatopedi".
TO VIMA: "Government walking in a minefield".
VRADYNI: "Prime Minister Costas Karamnalis takes transparency initiative - He called for a fact-finding commission on Vatopedi affair".
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