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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] BoG chief on euro anniversary
  • [02] Anti-war rallies

  • [01] BoG chief on euro anniversary

    The euro currency has proved to be a pole of confidence and stability, Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos said in an article appearing in a Sunday newspaper, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the euro as the single currency of the EU member states participating in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Without the euro, the central bank chief continued, the countries that have adopted the common currency would have been exposed, in the present global financial crisis, to serious turbulence, as had occurred in 1992 and 1993.

    In his article, appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini daily, the utilization of the flexibility elements contained in the Stability and Growth Pact, in the present conjuncture, could contribute to the stabilisation and also to the recovery of the European economy. In the case of countries such as Greece, however, who have a high state debt coupled by a high current accounts deficit, possible relaxation of fiscal caution would in the medium-term have the opposite of the desired result. Such a relaxation would further weaken the fiscal credibility, inflate the cost of servicing the debt and the problems of the balance of payments, and would render more remote the prospect of restoration of fiscal and external balance, Provopoulos noted.

    He said that further enlargement of EMU with new members comrpised another challenge for the European Central Bank (ECB) and the single currency. There were also three more challenges faced by central banks internationally, and not only the ECT: globalization (which impacts inflation downwards at times but also upwards in other instances), technological progress (which influences productivity, cost and prices), and population ageing (which influences savings and investment decisions).

    A revision of the global fiscal architecture and its enhancement with regulations that will discourage excessive devotion to short-term yield would restrict the potential ability of the credit system to enlarge the fluctuations of the macroeconomic cycle and increase the transparency of the credit sector, Provopoulos concluded in his article.

    [02] Anti-war rallies

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and its youth wing KNE organised an anti-war rally in Athens on Sunday in solidarity for the Palestinian people that heightened with a protest march outside the Israeli embassy, where slogans were shouted against Israel and two Israeli flags were burnt.

    The march started from the War Museum in Vassilis Sophias avenue and then headed for the U.S. embassy, where the demonstrators stayed for a while and burnt an American flag.

    Earlier, at the gathering at the War Museum, the Ambassador of Palestine to Greece Samir Abu Ghazalah and the member of KKE's Central Committee political bureau Dimitris Koutsoumbas stressed the Palestinian demand for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with its capital based in Eastern Jerusalem.

    Ghazalah expressed his gratitude for the Greek people's solidarity for the Palestinians and said that "the only thing that we are asking for is our freedom and our independence."

    Koutsoumbas said that we are here to express the indignation of the Greek people against Israeli occupation, the plans of the U.S. and the responsibilities of the European Union, of the Greek government and of other political forces in our country that are not proposing the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the territory of 1967, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

    A similar rally was also held in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on the same day.


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