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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek exports to Egypt increase
  • [02] Amb. Zepos to participate in NATO group of experts
  • [03] IOBE: Fiscal targets for 2009 unfeasible
  • [04] Bean Festival in Florina
  • [05] Stocks end higher on Mon.

  • [01] Greek exports to Egypt increase

    Greek exports to Egypt recorded a noticeable increase in the first four months of 2009 compared to the same period last year. The rise recorded was much higher than the increase in the imports from Egypt, leading to the reduction of Greece's bilateral trade balance deficit.

    Greek exports to Egypt increased to 76.03 million euros in Jan.-Apr. 2009 compared to 33.35 million euros in the same period last year, corresponding to an increase of roughly 128 pct, according to foreign ministry figures released Monday.

    Imports from Egypt increased roughly 35 pct in the first four months of 2009, reaching 135.33 million euros compared to 100.54 million euros in the same period last year.

    [02] Amb. Zepos to participate in NATO group of experts

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) - The Greek ambassador in Egypt, Ioannis-Alexios Zepos, will be part of a 12-member group of experts charged with shaping NATO's new strategic doctrine, it was announced here on Monday.

    NATO members have called on the Alliance's new Secretary-General, former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to prepare the new strategic doctrine, a decision taken during the Strasbourg/Kehl Summit in April this year.

    The completion of the new doctrine's framework is expected at the end of 2010, at NATO's Lisbon Summit.

    Rasmussen selected members of the group among several leading personalities, while the Greek foreign ministry proposed Amb. Zepos, given the diplomat's significant experience with NATO-related issues.

    Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright will be the president of the group of experts, while high-ranking officials from Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Spain, Germany, France, Latvia and Poland will also participate in the group.

    [03] IOBE: Fiscal targets for 2009 unfeasible

    Implementation of fiscal policy goals is unfeasible due to budget deviations observed, particularly in revenue gathering, according to the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research's (IOBE) quarterly report for the Greek economy, which was released on Monday.

    Figures for the first half of 2009 show major inconsistencies, according to IOBE, as regards the budget goals, mainly in the section of revenues.

    Specifically, net revenues dropped 0.7 pct in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 (15 pct increase set as the annual goal for 2009). This development which was forecast early enough has led to extraordinary measures.

    Despite of the fact that extraordinary contributions and taxation revenues will be collected in the second half of the year, their effectiveness is uncertain (revenue increase of 0.8 pct of the GDP).

    Moreover, any revenue increase will be outbalanced to a certain extent by increased spending considering that the goal set in terms of spending will be overshot by 1.2 billion euros in the first half of the year.

    Therefore, the goal to have deficit reduced to 3.7 pct of the GDP in 2009 appears at the moment to be extremely difficult, if not unfeasible, IOBE concluded.

    IOBE is a private, non-profit, public-benefit research organisation based in Athens since its establishment in 1975.

    [04] Bean Festival in Florina

    The fifth annual Bean Festival in the Prespes lake region of northwest Greece included traditional folklore events and local delicacies, featuring the eponymous giant beans grown in the region.

    Roughly 3,000 tons of high-quality beans are produced annually in the Florina-Prespes region, cultivated on 1,300 hectares of land. The crop's uniqueness is attributed to the verdant region's microclimate and soil, and certified by the Greek state as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. The same bean variety is recognised by the EU as a Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) product.

    This year's Bean Festival was held a month earlier than usual, instead of early September, to honor various expatriate groups visiting the region this summer from Australia.

    [05] Stocks end higher on Mon.

    Stocks ended higher on Monday at the Athens Stock Exchange with the composite index of the market gaining 2.61 pct to end at 2,423.96 points. Turnover was a low 263.7 million euros, of which 80.1 million were block trades.

    Sector indices moved mostly upward with the Chemicals (5.53 pct), Health (4.66 pct) and Banks (3.82 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index ended 3.01 pct up, the FTSE 40 index 1.65 pct up and the FTSE 80 rose 3.66 percent.

    From the stocks moved, 186 ended up, 34 declined and 46 remained unchanged


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