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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet approves new spatial plan for industry
  • [02] Greek economy in better condition

  • [01] Cabinet approves new spatial plan for industry

    The inner cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday, focused on the new national spatial planning rules for industry and approved the relevant framework presented by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias. Commenting afterwards, Souflias underlined that the government is carrying out a major spatial planning reform that for the first time allows people to have a clear picture of what is permissible. He pointed out that the objective is the decentralization of industry aimed at promoting regional development and environmental protection, stressing that the general spatial plan and the special spatial plan for the Renewable Energy Sources, RES, have already been enacted. Asked to comment on the European Commission Report and the statements made by Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, he stated that the government has a plan as regards the economy, while the stability and development programme submitted to the EU is currently being discussed. "The minister of national economy and finance has specified the measures to be implemented," Souflias said, pointing out that "the government is determined to carry out the programme and certain adjustments will be made if they are deemed necessary."

    [02] Greek economy in better condition

    ?The Greek economy is in better condition compared with the average condition in the Eurozone, which is currently in recession,? EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in Brussels on Wednesday.

    Speaking to reporters, in Brussels, Almunia underlined, however, the need to accelerate a restructuring program of the Greek economy, starting this year.

    Presenting the European Commission‚s report on Greece‚s updated Stability program, the EU Commissioner noted that economic growth in Greece remained positive, with forecasts made by the Greek government being more optimistic compared with the European Commission and the Bank of Greece, at a time when Eurozone records negative growth rates.

    Almunia stressed that the Commission‚s message to Greek authorities was to accelerate a fiscal adjustment program, adding it was not the Commission that was pressing Greece with yield spreads, but the market.

    Greek FinMin

    "The Greek economy will closely monitor developments and it is determined to achieve all targets set. In this crucial for the global economy period, we put first our national interest," Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou said on Wednesday, commenting on a European Commission‚s recommendation over the country‚s updated Stability and Growth Program for the period 2008-2011.

    Speaking to reporters, Papathanasiou said Greece was one of five Eurozone states expected to record a positive growth rate this year (1.1 pct), although the European Commission insisted that economic growth in the country would be 0.2 pct. The Greek minister said that the country‚s fiscal deficit and the unemployment rate will be lower compared with Eurozone‚s average.

    He stressed, however, that there was no room for loosening the government‚s fiscal policy, adding that the public debt -which tripled in the period 1980-2004- was the country‚s largest problem.

    Greece‚s Stability and Growth program seeks to gradually reduce the fiscal deficit below 3.0 pct of GDP by 2011, while an additional cut in the deficit would be achieved through measures to cut public spending. Papathanasiou said that neither the Greek government‚s or the European Commission‚s projections over economic growth rates could be declared infallible.


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