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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New Crete airport to open in 2014
  • [02] BoG Gov. on SE European banks

  • [01] New Crete airport to open in 2014

    A new airport in Kastelli, on the large island of Crete, is scheduled to open in 2014, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias said during a meeting with local administration officials in Irakleio, Crete on Tuesday. Tenders will be considered in May and a contractor will undertake the 1.2-million-euro project by the end of the year. Construction of a new road linking the airport with the north and south road axes on Crete will be included in related infrastructure projects. The airport, auxiliary facilities and infrastructure will cover an area of 600 hectares, including a 3.8-km-long runway to accommodate large aircraft and meet the island's needs in air transportation. Roughly 1,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, while 2,500 people will be employed as airport staff. Thirty major projects with a total budget of 500 million euros are currently under scheduled for Crete.

    [02] BoG Gov. on SE European banks

    Greek banks are in a position to deal with the impact from the international economic crisis hitting southeast European markets, as they are less exposed to the region compared with other West European financial institutions, while they enjoy strong capital adequacy to absorb increased bad debts, Bank of Greece Gov. George Provopoulos said on Tuesday.

    In an interview with Reuters, the Greek central banker said economic activity was slowing down in Southeastern Europe.

    "There is a significant slowdown and, of course, we monitor closely the situation. The Bank of Greece has demanded that Greek banks maintained high capital adequacy ratios (Tier 1) to deal with any possible problems. In any case, Greece banks must be prudent and they are. Even if the situation worsened there are many mounds," Provopoulos said.

    Greek banks have expanded in the region but not so much as other countries' banks, such as Austrian banks. Lending by Greek banks totaled 55 billion euros, around 16-17 pct of Greek GDP, while the rate for Austrian banks was around 70 pct, the central banker said, adding:

    "This shows that the Greek banking system is not largely exposed to the southeast European region". Provopoulos, however, stressed he was not overly relaxed, saying the situation must be closely monitored. "Temporary hardships should not change the long-term prospects of these countries. Greek banks will continue to suppor these economies," the central banker said, adding that he was not overly concerned with non-performing loans. "Greek banks have a strong capital base to absorb such shocks," he noted.

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