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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Illegals intercepted in 4 separate instances off Lesvos
  • [02] Trade deficit down 1.6 bln euros in Jan-July
  • [03] Greek industries urge urgent implementation of gov't reforms
  • [04] Brussels on US visa waiver pledge
  • [05] Greek stocks plunged 6.11 pct

  • [01] Illegals intercepted in 4 separate instances off Lesvos

    A total of 80 illegal immigrants were intercepted by the Greek coast guard over the past 24 hours (Thursday-Friday) off the large eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, including 13 minors.

    In all four instances, authorities said the illegals, all of whom were identified as hailing from Third World countries, had disembarked from the opposite Turkish coast.

    In one instance, off a sea region known as "Tomaronissia", a 34-year-old man amongst the illegals was charged as a migrant smuggler, as he piloted the wooden craft loaded with 21 individuals.

    In the other three instances, the separate groups of illegal migrants destroyed the inflatable dinghies transporting them upon sighting Greek territory, a more-or-less "modus operandi" used to prevent Greek authorities from forcing their craft back into Turkish waters.

    [02] Trade deficit down 1.6 bln euros in Jan-July

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- Greece's trade deficit totaled 21.4 billion euros in the January-July period this year, down by 1.6 billion euros compared with the corresponding period in 2007, Eurostat said on Friday.

    The EU executive's statistics agency, in a report, said Greek exports totaled 10.1 billion euros in the seven-month period, while imports totaled 31.5 billion euros, with exports up 2.0 pct and imports down 4.0 pct compared with the same period last eyar.

    Eurostat said Germany (116.9 bln) and the Netherlands (25.5 bln) recorded the biggest trade surplus in the EU-27, while the UK (72.7 bln), Spain (58.1 bln), France (37.2 bln) and Greece (21.4 bln) the biggest trade deficits.

    Eurozone recorded a trade shortfall of 9.3 billion euros with the rest of the world, while the EU-27 a trade deficit of 27.2 billion euros.

    [03] Greek industries urge urgent implementation of gov't reforms

    The Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) on Friday urged for the urgent implementation of all government measures to deal with the effects of an international credit crisis, in order for the economy to rebound.

    In a statement, SEB said any delay in implementing the government's reforms would risk leading the real economy into a deep recession, with immeasurable consequences for growth, employment, the national debt and the country's future.

    The Federation noted that the domestic market was already suffering from a lack of liquidity, with banks reluctant to lend each other, thus turning squeezing funding to thousands of businesses.

    It also stressed that the Greek banking system's wise attitude, to avoid so-called "toxic" bonds, safeguarded both the system and the Greek economy from the most violent effects of the global credit crisis.

    [04] Brussels on US visa waiver pledge

    <!--The European Commission is ready to take punitive measures against the United States if Washington fails to meets its commitment to include other EU nations in the so-called "Visa Waiver Program" until the end of the year, a spokesman for EU Commissioner Jacques Barrot said here on Friday.

    In response to a press question during a regular briefing, spokesman Michele Cercone emphasised that there is a clear commitment on the part of the outgoing Bush administration to include other EU states in the program.

    "We are waiting for the United States to fulfill this commitment," he said, warning that the Union would consider reprisals, such as mandating the issuance of visas for holders of US diplomatic passports.

    Cercone said the Union does not want to see this situation drag on, as US citizens travel freely on the European continent while Europeans need visas to enter the United States.

    In reference to Greece, the only member of the previous EU-15 not included on the visa waiver program, the spokesman said he could not forejudge any decision by the Bush administration before it is announced.

    However, he said that if Greece remains outside the waiver program then the Commission will examine Athens' reaction.

    Widespread media speculation in Greece over the past month claims that the Bush administration reneged on promises to include the east Mediterranean EU and NATO member-state in the visa waiver program, with a foreign ministry spokesman touching on the matter only days ago.

    Spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Wednesday repeated that "the Greek side expresses a hope that this will not be an irreversible decision."

    Asked whether Greece's exclusion from the visa waiver program qualifies as some sort of "retribution" by the outgoing Bush administration for certain aspects of the Greek foreign policy, Koumoutsakos echoed Greek leadership's previous statements, namely, "Greece neither comprehends nor accepts the application of pressure tactics between allies."-->

    [05] Greek stocks plunged 6.11 pct

    Greek stocks suffered another heavy blow in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, in sharp contrast with a positive climate in other European markets. The composite index plunged 6.11 pct to end at 2,117.41 points, reversing an early 3.48 pct gain. Turnover was a strong 373.8 million euros, of which 10.6 million euros were block trades.

    All sectors moved lower, with the exception of the Food/Beverage sector which ended 3.44 pct higher. Banks (10.07 pct), Healthcare (9.30 pct), Constructions (8.11 pct) and Industrial Products (6.07 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index dropped 7.40 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 4.71 pct down and the FTSE 80 index eased 3.33 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 217 to 28 with another 37 issues unchanged.


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