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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis confers with FM on Middle East
  • [02] PASOK calls for Gaza ceasefire
  • [03] Greek PPI down 0.6 pct in Nov.
  • [04] Credit expansion slows to 18.2%

  • [01] Karamanlis confers with FM on Middle East

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Tuesday with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis to review the latest unfortunate developments in the Middle East and the situation in the Gaza Strip.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Bakoyannis said "we are in agreement on the Greek government's proposals and preparations we have made in order to be present, first and foremost, at the humanitarian level".

    She said a condition for Greece's being able to provide humanitarian aid was for an "immediate truce, ceasefire, and a humanitarian corridor, which is necessary for the safe passage of medical aid as well as people who will need to go to Gaza to help the Palestinians, who are in an exceptionally tragic condition at this time".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo shows Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis outside the Maximos Mansion (government's headquarters) in central Athens.

    [02] PASOK calls for Gaza ceasefire

    A main opposition PASOK spokesperson on Tuesday stressed that the party has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. "All acts of violence are condemned, while the deadly Israeli air strikes in Gaza, which have killed hundreds of civilians, were condemned as soon as they started. The massacre has to end," Maria Karaklioumi stressed, pointing out that the acts of indiscriminate violence and bloodshed in the Middle East destroy any hope for a peaceful and viable solution. "The Israeli government, unfortunately, and it is not the only one, does not realise where escalating violence can lead," she said, noting that a blockade of Gaza has to be lifted to allow humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinian people. PASOK's spokesperson also condemned the ramming of the "Free Gaza" organisation's vessel by the Israeli navy. "An appeal is issued to the international community, the EU in particular, to assume their share of responsibility and make all possible efforts to defuse the crisis by reaching a ceasefire and engaging in peaceful dialogue," Karaklioumi said. "The EU will have to take action and the Greek government has to mobilise its EU partners toward this direction," she stressed. Karaklioumi also referred to telephone contacts PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou had within the framework of preparations for a new Mideast to be undertaken by the political grouping. Caption: Smoke rises after an Israeli missile attack in the streets of Gaza City, 28 December 2008. ANA-MPA/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

    [03] Greek PPI down 0.6 pct in Nov.

    Greece's Production Price Index in the industrial sector fell by 0.6 pct in November 2008, compared with the same month last year, after increases of 8.1 pct and 2.6 pct in November 2007 and November 2006, respectively, the National Statistics Service announced on Tuesday.

    The Greek PPI fell 3.5 pct in November from October, after an increase of 1.7 pct in the same period in 2007.

    [04] Credit expansion slows to 18.2%

    Credit expansion in Greece slowed to 18.2 pct in November, down from 19.7 pct in October, the Bank of Greece announced on Tuesday. The central bank, in a report, said credit expansion slowed both vis-à-vis enterprises and households.

    Credit expansion towards enterprises totaled 940 million euros, an increase of 22.2 pct in November, down from 24.1 pct in October, but was up compared with a 20.6-pct hike in December 2007. Credit expansion slowed towards most sectors with the exception of agriculture, industry and commerce, where credit expansion growth accelerated in November.

    Credit expansion towards Greek households totaled 500 million euros in November, an increase of 14 pct, down from 15.1 pct in October and 22.4 pct in December 2007. Mortgage loans grew by 269 million euros, for an annual growth rate of 12.3 pct in November, down from 13.7 pct in October.

    Consumer loans grew by 233 million euros for an annual growth rate of 17.8 pct in November, down from 19.1 pct in the previous month, while other loans towards households fell by 2.0 million euros, for an annual increase of 10.8 pct in November, up from 5.5 pct in October.

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