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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Responsibility by all needed amid int'l crisis
  • [02] Greek inflation to fall further, report
  • [03] Mutual funds' assets down 5.22% in 2009
  • [04] Stocks down for 3rd straight session

  • [01] PM: Responsibility by all needed amid int'l crisis

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called on all of the country's political forces, professional associations and social partners to act responsibly in order to face repercussions of the ongoing global financial crisis, speaking in Parliament during an off-the-agenda discussion held at his own initiative.

    Karamanlis explained that agreement was not required on everything, but a "no to everything" stance was detrimental to tackling the challenges faced by the country.

    "The future of our society, the future of our country relies on the clash between responsibility and irresponsibility," he said, adding that his New Democracy (ND) government's choice was a given fact and unchanging: "It is the policies that prove responsibility in action; the policies that mitigate the repercussions of the global storm; the policies that serve the security of all the citizens."

    The premier also predicted that "the global economic crisis will not be easily or speedily overcome".

    Everyone, he continued, was obliged to "adapt our actions in accordance with developments".

    "It is our duty to join forces to limit, as much as possible, the adverse repercussions. It is our duty to contain our demands, but also to check the ways of going after those demands. It is our duty to think about the future as well. Incidents such as last December's vandalisms or the closure of roads last month seriously harm the economy, society in general. They hurt our country's image. The pressure of the international environment is intensifying, difficulties are multiplying," the premier said.

    Karamanlis noted that the government understood the concerns, worries and the hardships of social groups, adding that "the government adopts every fruitful and realistic proposal, wherever it originates from. We aspire to a synthesis of views, far removed from one-sided viewpoints. We do not choose our actions on the basis of extreme statist perceptions, nor on the basis of neo-liberal obsessions. Words are useless unless they are turned into specific measures and actions," Karamanlis added.

    He reiterated that there was no such thing as a 'plan without a cost' or 'magic, cost-free solutions', nor did the proposals of those -- businesses or trade unions -- who do nothing other than indicate "what the others should do for them" comprise a solution.

    [02] Greek inflation to fall further, report

    Alpha Bank expects a further decline in the inflation rate in the next few months until July, but a gradual increase in the last three months of the year.

    A report by the bank's analysts said the inflation rate was expected to fall to 1.3 pct in July 2009, while the average inflation rate in 2009 was projected at 1.8 pct, sharply down from a 4.2 pct figure in 2008.

    The bank's analysts also noted an accelerating decline in the industrial production index in December, with manufacturing production falling by 4.2 pct in the last month of 2008, after an increase of 1.8 pct in 2007. A global financial crisis is negatively affecting the manufacturing sector in Greece, adding to the negative impact of a strong euro currency exchange rate (until July 2008) and a large increase of labor cost per product unit in the country. The country's industrial production is negatively affected by a 25-pct drop in building activity last year.

    [03] Mutual funds' assets down 5.22% in 2009

    Greek mutual funds' assets are down 5.22 percent so far this year, totaling 9.8 billion euros, a report by the Association of Institutional Investors said on Thursday.

    National Bank Asset Management (with a market share of 25.59 pct) topped the list of mutual funds in the domestic market, followed by EFG Mutual Funds (23.12 pct), Alpha Asset Management (17.46 pct), Pension Funds (8.31 pct) and HSBC Mutual Funds (4.05 pct). The report noted that 14 out of a total 22 companies in the sector held an accumulative 14 pct of total assets in the market, evidence of intense consolidation in the Greek market.

    [04] Stocks down for 3rd straight session

    Greek stocks continued moving lower for the third consecutive session at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with the composite index falling 0.86 pct to end at 1,729.41 points. Turnover was disappointing 105.5 million euros, of which 3.9 million were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Raw Materials (2.32 pct), Food/Beverage (2.31 pct), Healthcare (1.82 pct) and Utilities (1.39 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Technology (2.83 pct), Chemicals (1.21 pct) and Media (0.76 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index eased 0.89 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.55 pct down and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.78 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 104 to 90 with another 64 issues unchanged.

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