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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-31

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] OECD report on Greek economy, opposition reaction
  • [02] Eurobank Properties says H1 profits up 7.3 pct
  • [03] Young foreign national arrested on kidnapping charges
  • [04] ┼conomy to shrink 1.3 pct

  • [01] OECD report on Greek economy, opposition reaction

    Main opposition PASOK spokesperson on the economy Louka Katseli underlined Friday that the "forecasts by international organizations for negative growth rate until 2010 combined with the note that the crisis in competitiveness will continue beyond 2014 leave no room for further beautification of the situation and misinterpretations."

    Katseli called for the adoption of immediate measures and the implementation of fiscal reform in comments she made in response to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) annual report and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts on the Greek economy.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) spokesman Makis Maillis underlined that "once again is being confirmed that things will only get worse for the people."

    "The OECD is suggesting to breakup society," Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology (SYNASPISMOS) Central Political Committee Secretary Dimitris Vitsas stated, adding that "we work to overturn the government policy and the bipartisan landscape."

    Referring to the OECD suggestions, Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.) spokesman Kostis Aivaliotis stated that the implementation of tougher measures becomes the motto shared by all international organizations.

    [02] Eurobank Properties says H1 profits up 7.3 pct

    Eurobank Properties on Friday reported a 7.3 pct increase in its net profit to 25.9 million euros in the first half of 2009, compared with the same period last year. The company attributed its increased figures to a 22 pct rise in net leasing revenues to 18.5 million euros, while earnings from a re-evaluation of property investments' fair value totaled 5.9 million euros. Interest revenues totaled 5.4 million euros, up 8.0 pct from last year, while pre-tax earnings totaled 27.4 million euros, up 5.0 pct.

    Eurobank Properties said it sold three investment properties in the first six months of the year, for a profit of 721,000 euros. The company said its cash reserves totaled 200 million euros, while bank debt totaled 77 million euros in June 30, 2009.

    [03] Young foreign national arrested on kidnapping charges

    An 18-year-old Iranian national was arrested in Nikea district, Athens, on Thursday accused of being a member of a gang responsible for the kidnappings of illegal migrants, who were kept hostage at a house.

    The abductors demanded the sum of 6,500 euros from the relatives of each one of the hostages in order to release them.

    The young Iranian was arrested during a police raid at the house-turnd-prison where two Pakistanis, aged 20 and 28, and a 29-year-old Sri Lankan man, were held at the time against their will. The Iranian's accomplices are still wanted.

    [04] ┼conomy to shrink 1.3 pct

    The Greek economy is expected to shrink by 1.3 percent this year and return to growth in 2010, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Friday.

    In a report, the Paris-based organization recommended that the Greek government implement a series of reforms to boost public revenues, cut public spending and a series of changes in the pension, healthcare and education systems. OECD said the Greek economy has been affected by a global economic crisis but has fared relatively well so far, although it stressed that the country's high public debt left only small room for maneuvering in fiscal policy in order to limit the consequences of the crisis on the economy. OECD's economists, however, underlined that the Greek economy remained vulnerable because of the big imbalances in public finances and the trade balance.

    The organization expects that the Greek economy would grow by 0.3 pct next year, while the budget deficit would total 6.1 pct of GDP this year and 6.7 pct in 2010. Unemployment is projected to reach 9.5 pct of the workforce this year and 10.3 pct in 2010, while the inflation rate was expected to reach 1.3 pct in 2009 rising to 1.7 pct in 2010.

    OECD noted that fiscal stabilization should remain the government's main economic policy, as a high public debt (around 100 pct of GDP), a rising public deficit and high spending on the pension system, threatened the country's fiscal stability in the long-term. These factors were reflected in an increase in the yield spread between the Greek and German state bonds.

    Fiscal consolidation should focus on efforts to boost revenues and cutting spending, through specific measures such as improving tax collection system, combating tax evasion and limiting tax exempts. OECD's analysts recommended that public spending should be limited through a change in the execution of the state budget and policies to contain wage increases.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Economy and Finance Ministry in Athens


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