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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't measures to cut spending, boost revenues
  • [02] Permanent exhibition of Cypriot antiquities inaugurated
  • [03] Athens eyes informal OSCE summit
  • [04] Greek stocks end 0.35% down

  • [01] Gov't measures to cut spending, boost revenues

    e government on Wednesday announced a series of measures aimed at reining in public spending, including a freeze on salaries of public sector employees earning more than 1,700 euros a month, as well as a symbolic 5-percent tax hike for Parliament MPs, judges and physicians.

    Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou also announced the imposition of a one-off tax levy of 1,000 euros for annual incomes above 60,000 euros and up to 80,000 euros; 2,000 euros for incomes ranging from 80,000 to 100,000 euros; 3,000 euros for incomes ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 euros and 4,000 euros for personal annual incomes exceeding 150,000 euros.

    The Greek FinMin said the decisions were difficult, while he announced to civil servants with a monthly income of up to 1,500 euros by Dec. 31, 2008 would be given a one-off financial bonus totaling 500 euros for the year. He added that the measures would aid the incomes of financially weaker groups of society and better allocate the burden of the ongoing international economic crisis.

    Additionally, the government said announced a series of measures for pensioners, with monthly pensions up to 800 euros given a one-off support of 500 euros, while for pensioners receiving between 800 and 1,000 euros a one-off bonus of 300 euros is given.

    The government also announced that hirings in the public sector would total 12,000 this year despite the fact that 21,500 civil servants retired last year.

    Papathanassiou said both the Greek and the European economies were facing the biggest crisis since 1929 and that forecasts by international organisations were becoming more and more pessimistic. He stressed that the government's aim was to strengthen the Greek economy.

    "We are creating a safety net for the economy against the crisis," he said, expressing his confidence that the measures would help in achieving better results. He added that the decisions also aimed at boosting the country's economic credibility.

    Finally, the minister said the government's volition to take these measures comes as the crisis has hit the economy, adding that governments around the world are protecting enterprises and employment. Papathanassiou said the measures would save state coffers more than 350 million euros this year.

    [02] Permanent exhibition of Cypriot antiquities inaugurated

    A <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">permanent exhibition of antiquities from Cyprus was inaugurated on Wednesday at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">during an<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> ceremony attended by the Presidents of Greece and Cyprus, Karolos Papoulias and Demetris Christofias<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, respectively<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, and Culture Minister Antonis Samaras. The museum's collection of Cypriot antiquities <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">commenced in<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> 1879. The first ancient Cypriot pottery <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">artifact <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">was purchased by the Archeological Society on Feb. 17, 1879 and was donated to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. A total of 180 artifacts, covering the entire spectrum of Cypriot antiquity and highlighting the unity of Hellenic civilisation, will constitute one of the permanent collections of the museum. Audio-visual material available to visitors will offer additional information on Cypriot antiquity.

    [03] Athens eyes informal OSCE summit

    The Greek OSCE chairmanship has announced its intention to hold an informal OSCE foreign ministers' summit to exchange views on the so-called new "<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">European security architecture<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">"<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> based on proposals <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">. "We believe that the informal character of the meeting will be helpful in dealing with this complex issue, which <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">needs time to mature," <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">spokesman George <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">Koumoutsakos said<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">, reminding that the first relative discussion was held at the end of the Finnish chairmanship in Helsinki last December. In an unrelated development and asked about a controversial <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">Turkish military exercise in the <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">eastern <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">Aegean, code-named "Egemon", Koumoutsakos stated that<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> participating European countries have provided<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> "assurances" that Greek positions will be taken under very serious consideration in the maneuvers and their participation per se. The exercise is being closely monitored by the Greek side, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">he stressed. Regarding<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> the Greek Helsinki Monitor, GHM, <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">its <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">programmes <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">and <font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek">funding, Koumoutsakos stated that the second stage of its financing has been suspended due to inadequate supporting documents.

    [04] Greek stocks end 0.35% down

    Greek stocks ended moderately lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, following a decline in other international markets. The composite index fell 0.35 pct to end at 1,578.63 points, with turnover a low 93.9 million euros of which 2.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Constructions (1.65 pct), Food/Beverage (1.06 pct) and Personal/Home Products (0.46 pct) scoring gains, while Financial Services (3.29 pct), Oil (1.46 pct) and Insurance (1.02 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index eased 0.50 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.22 pct up and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.16 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 94 to 92 with another 57 issues unchanged.

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