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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM issues stern warning for banks
  • [02] SW Bulgarian tourist resort project presented in Thessaloniki
  • [03] PASOK MPs table question on Larco
  • [04] PM briefed by interior minister

  • [01] PM issues stern warning for banks

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday issued a stern warning to banks and noted that, while their participation in the government package to support market liquidity was voluntary, "no one can heedlessly say no to the common effort."

    Responding to reporters' questions after a meeting with visiting Serb premier Mirko Cvetkovic, Karamanlis said that some financial institutions had begun to understand that it was not acceptable to pass the cost of the crisis on to consumers and were responding to the demand for fair treatment.

    At the same time, Karamanlis stressed these were not enough and incomplete, and that the government would not allow some banks to retain terms or interests rates that were worse than those of countries in the European Union.

    "They have an obligation to display social sensitivity," the prime minister underlined and said the government would not deviate from this target.

    Regarding the unfolding economic crisis, Karamanlis said the government's primary goal was to support the real economy and especially those having the greatest need.

    "Without delay, we have worked out a plan that has three goals: first the reduction of interest rates; second, ensuring liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises; and third, to support the economic activity of the country," the premier said.

    He repeated once again that this plan would not burden the budget and that not a single euro would be "given" to banks.

    According to Karamanlis, the supervisory board that will be appointed by the state will monitor whether the 28 billion euros available under bank-liquidity package was being used for the purpose intended. This body, which will be chaired by the Finance Minister and include the Bank of Greece governor among its members, will meet once a month to monitor the implementation of the package, he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] SW Bulgarian tourist resort project presented in Thessaloniki

    A major resort project in Bansko, Bulgaria, was presented in Thessaloniki by the investors' exclusive representative in Greece and Cyprus on Tuesday. Christened the Pirin Golf & Country Club, representatives of the firm, Parthenon Real Estate, dubbed the endeavour as the largest tourist investment in SE Europe, while announced an estimated construction budget of 300 million euros. The planned resort, occupying 200 hectares, features two golf courses, private residents, a five-star hotel with a capacity of 320 beds, is expected to be ready this summer. Additionally, it will host an upscale spa. According to representatives at a press conference given in the northern Greece port city, 50 percent of the project is ready -- the emphasis now apparently centres on attracting foreign investments and commercial interest in the project. The wider Bansko ski resort region, 220 kilometres northeast of Thessaloniki, has emerged as a tourist destination during the past few years.

    [03] PASOK MPs table question on Larco

    Forty-six main opposition PASOK party MPs tabled a question in Parliament addressed to the ministers of finance and development, in which they allege mismanagement at Larco, the General Mining and Metallurgical Company (GMMSA). The opposition MPs maintain that both the "dismissed" and the new board of Larco, amongst the largest ferronickel producers in the world, are responsible for mismanagement and decreased corporate losses.

    [04] PM briefed by interior minister

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed by interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Tuesday on the ministry's planning for more efficient combating of crime and on the recently agreed EU pact on immigration and asylum.

    Pavlopoulos told reporters after the meeting that a new plan on curbing crime has entered into effect, adding that the improvement was visible with regard to case solving by the Greek Police.

    The minister said that he was not underestimating the problem, especially in specific neighborhoods, adding that the ministry would continue its efforts, while he also noted that the Greek Police has made significant steps as regarded organized crime.

    Regarding the migration pact, Pavlopoulos said that two crucial meetings would be held in November, at the initiative of the Italian EU presidency, concerning implementation of the Pact, keeping in mind human rights, and added that Greece has taken initiatives on that issue, which have been acknowledged by the EU.

    Pavlopoulos said that Greece would put forward at those meetings the matter of implementation of the Pact mainly by non-EU countries or countries wishing to join the EU, so that they would abide by their obligations in combating people trafficking.

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