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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM underlines gov't supports for SMEs
  • [02] Status of wildfires around the country on Fri.

  • [01] PM underlines gov't supports for SMEs

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis paid a surprise visit on Friday to the Athens headquarters of the Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Very Small Enterprises (TEMPME SA).

    Karamanlis was briefed by Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, whose ministry has the fund's oversight, as well as TEMPME officials on the course of support measures for the country's all-important SMEs sector.

    After his visit the premier expressed satisfaction for the fund's work, adding that the lack of liquidity in local markets is one of the most serious problems created by the international economic crisis. In response, he said the government has undertaken measures via TEMPME to support SMEs and to protect jobs.

    "The government has undertaken, first amongst European governments, the necessary measures and garnered the (EU) approval of a programme that guaranteed interest rates for (business) borrowers. Up until now, 47,000 requests for loans have been submitted, totaling 4.5 billion euros, with guarantees reaching 3.7 billion euros," he said, adding: "We provided a much-needed breather to 47,000 SMEs and secured more than 195,000 jobs. This is a fact, yet we will remain vigilant."

    The premier stressed that the second stage of the programme will guarantee loans totaling up to 9.5 billion euros for an eligible 80,000 enterprises.

    "If necessary we will take more measures, with a common sense approach, and within the economy's constraints; this government responds with actions, not words, to the challenges of this crisis, which has sunk economies around the world into recession," he noted.

    The premier also referred to the government's major reforms over the past few years, specifically citing the ongoing privatisation of Hellenic Telecoms (OTE) by Deutsche Telekom, the high-profile and long-sought sale of Olympic Airlines along with the management concession for the port of Piraeus to China's Cosco, as well as Athens ' emphasis to turn the country into a regional hub for energy and energy transport.

    "This crisis has not left our country unaffected, although the consequences are milder than in other countries ... we are telling our citizens the truth, however, and taking all of the difficult and necessary decisions needed to secure long-lasting benefits for all and to guarantee a secure exit from the economic crisis".

    [02] Status of wildfires around the country on Fri.

    A wildfire erupted on Thursday morning at the Maries site on the Ionian island of Zakynthos. A large force of fire fighters together with three fire-fighting aircraft were dispatched to the scene. Two other wildfires that erupted on the island during the night were immediately contained.

    Moreover, another wildfire that broke out on Thursday night in a forested area near the city of Arta, northwest Greece, is in progress.

    A particularly nasty wildfire that erupted on Thursday in the industrial Magoula district of western Attica prefecture -- west of Athens -- was partially under control by Friday morning. A large fire brigade force remains in the area to contain the blaze and avoid a rekindling.

    Wildfires on Cephallonia island, Astakos, western Greece, and in Thesprotia prefecture were also under control.

    According to authorities, two other wildfires broke out on Thursday and burned forestland in Gortynia, Arcadia prefecture, in the central Peloponnese.

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