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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't defends actions in support of banking system
  • [02] Opinion poll on expatriate Greeks
  • [03] Credit expansion slows slightly

  • [01] Gov't defends actions in support of banking system

    The government on Wednesday emphasised that a state-sponsored package of measures to support the country's banking system was aimed to benefit of all Greeks and particularly those most in need, while a government spokesman rebuffed main opposition criticism, saying the programme was drafted with safe standards and had specific targets.

    "These are times of responsibility, specific positions and not declarations," government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros told reporters during a regular press briefing, while he strongly criticised press reports for spreading unfounded rumours, as he said.

    The spokesman also cited Employment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, who recently said that the government was examining all aspects of the crisis.

    Antonaros said a credit crisis was here, it was evolving and that the government was closely monitoring developments. Finally, he stressed that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis would actively participate in an extraordinary EU summit in Brussels.

    [02] Opinion poll on expatriate Greeks

    FRANKFURT (ANA-MPA) -- Conclusions of an unprecedented opinion poll on the Greek expatriate identity were presented in the SAE Europe regional convention held here last week, with the participation of 220 delegates from 20 European countries. The poll was conducted by the Athens-based Kapa-Research firm between 2006 and 2008 on a sample of 15,000 ethnic Greeks living around the world According to the poll, held under the auspices of the foreign ministry, Greeks who immigrated to America left in search of a better future, whereas Greeks who left the country and moved to Europe did so because of poverty. Most of the Greek immigrants came from the provinces of Macedonia, the Peloponnese, and Epirus, in the northwest. Most marriages between expatriate Greeks are still held in a traditional manner, thus forming a link with the homeland, while one in three families speaks mostly Greek at home. Family ties are also very strong, with 7 in 10 Greeks having relatives abroad. As regards language, the majority of expatriates believe that good Greek schools are impossible to exist abroad. A majority of expatriate Greeks believe that they are more hardworking compared to residents in Greece. Entrepreneurship is also apparently higher among expatriates, whereas in Greece a large portion of respondents expressed a desire to work in the public sector. Overall, Greeks abroad are in a better financial state, considering that only one in 10 say that they are on the verge of poverty, compared to 20 percent in Greece. Three in four have property in Greece but only one in three maintain that they are exploiting the property. According to results, a large majority of Greek expatriates have high self-esteem, are hardworking and consider themselves responsible taxpayers. A vast majority said they were extremely proud to be Greek-Americans or Greek-Australians and nine in 10 said they wanted their children and themselves to preserve their Greek identity. Conversely, most of the Greeks abroad expressed bitterness vis-à-vis the stance of the Greek state through the years. In their overwhelming majority, respondents believe that they are integrated in their country of residence and that in the future they will be fully assimilated. Nationality, a good profession and a high-level education are regarded as the fundamental elements for their integration in the societies of their adopted countries, the opinion poll showed. The work of the Orthodox Church is evaluated in positive light, generally speaking, and one in three ethnic Greeks sees the Church as the foundation for developing social relations. A high percentage of the Greeks of the Diaspora watch Greek satellite TV; one in three reads Greek newspapers, while also one in three wants subtitled TV shows. The majority has a positive view of ERT, the Greek national broadcaster, while Greeks abroad are more familiar with the Internet than Greeks in Greece. A detailed presentation of the opinion poll conclusions will be held in Athens on Nov. 28-29. Caption: Greek-American parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan during the annual Greek Independence Day Parade in New York City, in a photo dated Sunday, April 6, 2008. ANA-MPA / DIMITRIS PANAGOS.

    [03] Credit expansion slows slightly

    The credit expansion rate to enterprises and households slowed slightly in September, compared with the same month last year, the Bank of Greece announced on Wednesday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said credit growth eased to 19.7 pct in September, down from 20.1 pct in August, with credit expansion to enterprises slowing to 22.7 pct in September, down from 22.9 pct in August, totaling 1.961 billion euros.

    Credit expansion slowed mostly in the retail sector (21 pct in September, from 22.4 pct in August), manufacturing (16.2 pct and 17.3 pct, respectively) and other financial institutions (-4.6 pct in September, from 1.2 pct in August 2008). Credit expansion growth remained unchanged in agriculture (19.0 pct in September, 18.9 pct in August), and grew in tourism (28.1 pct and 27 pct, respectively) and shipping (26.1 pct and 21.5 pct, respectively).

    Households' borrowing rose by 1.577 billion euros in September with the growth rate slowing to 16.4 pct, from 17.0 pct in August 2008. Mortgage loans rose by 882 million euros in September, with credit growth slowing slightly to 15.1 pct, from 15.5 pct in August.

    Consumer loans was almost unchanged with annual growth rate of 20.7 pct in September, from 20.6 pct in August, while credit card debt was unchanged at 11.7 pct in September, from 11.8 pct in August.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo.

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