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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis briefed on OA tender, railways
  • [02] Greek banks must strengthen their capital base
  • [03] Pavlopoulos inaugurates conf' on migration
  • [04] Ôrade deficit down 20.8 pct
  • [05] Athens Stock Exchange : Rise

  • [01] PM Karamanlis briefed on OA tender, railways

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday was briefed by new Transport and Communications Minister Evripides Stylianidis. "The main strategic goal is for Greece to become an important international transit, trade and communications centre in the wider region," Stylianidis commented afterwards. "The qualitative improvement of the services provided by the ministry is the first priority," he stressed, followed by the implementation of reforms aimed at harmonising the public-run companies with the new European and international standards and the systematic cooperation with workers and self-employed, who work with the ministry, in order to help them overcome the international economic crisis. Regarding national carrier Olympic Airlines (OA), Stylianidis said timetables have been set and binding tenders will be tabled at the end of the week. As regards loss-making Hellenic Railways (OSE), he stated that the priorities are known and detailed announcements will be made as soon as there is progress, pointing out that a systematic effort is underway to make the Greek trains comparable to the European.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Greek banks must strengthen their capital base

    Greek banks must work towards further strengthening their capital base by creating additional reserves and provisions for bad debts -likely to rise from a worsening economic environment- cutting operating costs and revising their international plans by suspending spending on expansion and lending only to the extent allowed by domestic sources of lending capital, ATEbank's governor Dimitris Miliakos told an Economist's conference in Athens.

    Addressing the conference, Miliakos said that worsening economic conditions in the Balkans and the wider Southeast European region could hurt the fundamental figures of parent groups -under a worst case scenario. "Generally, I would say that the crisis -which could lead to a political and social unrest- must become the reason for a wider revision of Greek relations and the EU's with the Balkan states. The Greek policy must remain focused on building a "leading" and not a "dominant" financial role, continuing taking constructive initiatives in close cooperation with West Balkan states to accelerate their rapid integration in the European Union," he said.

    The Greek banker said 2009 would be a difficult year for the global economy, with high uncertainty and volatility. The challenge for each country will be to creating the necessary preconditions to restore economic growth rates, but bringing international markets back to normality and a gradual recovery of economic activity should be expected before early 2010, Miliakos noted.

    [03] Pavlopoulos inaugurates conf' on migration

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Monday inaugurated the 5th conference on "Immigration Cooperation and Procedures: Upgrading Development Results of Migration", organised by the Institute of Immigration Policy (IMEPO).

    Pavlopoulos referred to management of the immigration phenomenon taking for granted the international financial crisis. He stressed that close cooperation and support must be established with migrants' home countries in order to manage the immigration flow.

    The Immigration and Asylum Policy Minister of Sweden, Tobias Billstrom, on an official visit to Greece, stressed that migration may work as a tool to exit the financial crisis.

    The meeting will be concluded in the evening.

    [04] Ôrade deficit down 20.8 pct

    Greece's trade deficit shrank by 20.8 pct in November totalling 2.444 billion euros, from 3.087 billion euros, in the same month in 2007, the National Statistics Service said on Monday.

    Excluding oils, the trade shortfall fell by 9.2 pct or by 236.9 million euros in November 2007. The statistics service attributed this development to a 19.5 pct decline in the value of import-arrivals to 3.776 billion euros in November 2008, from 4.689 billion euros in November 2007, while the value of export-deliveries fell 16.9 pct.

    The trade deficit fell by 5.3 pct in the January-November 2008 period, compared with the corresponding period in 2007, for a shortfall of 31.368 billion euros, compared with a deficit of 33.115 billion euros in the same period in 2007. The value of import-arrivals fell 3.1 pct in the 11-month period, while the value of export-deliveries rose 1.5 pct over the same period.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of vehicles at Pireaus port customs

    [05] Athens Stock Exchange : Rise

    Athens Stock Exchange : Rise

    Equity prices were rising on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.53 percent, standing at 1,688.89 points at 14:25 p.m., and turnover at 37.8 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving upward nearly across the board with the biggest gains in Public Utilities, up 3.09 percent; and Banks, up 2.92 percent and Industrial Products, up 1.77 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Trade, down 1.16 percent; Technology, down 0.67 percent and Mass Media, down 0.22 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.92 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.41 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.75 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 87 were up, 88 were down, and 51 were unchanged.

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