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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM completes official visit to Cyprus
  • [02] Greece raises 1.95 bln. euros from 13-week state bill auction
  • [03] ECOFIN briefed on Greek econ
  • [04] Stocks end 0.98% higher

  • [01] PM completes official visit to Cyprus

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA) -- Prime Minister George Papandreou had a brief meeting with Cyprus House of Representatives President Marios Garoyian here on Tuesday morning before completing his official visit to the island republic later in the afternoon.

    The meeting took place in the presence of President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, before the special session of the House of Representatives, held on the occasion of Papandreou's visit.

    Papandreou underlined that his visit would hopefully give an impetus to relations between Cyprus and Greece, to the Cyprus problem and to relations within the EU, while, on his part, Garoyian stressed that Turkey must abandon its unyielding stance in order to pave the way for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of the country.

    Garoyian said that in order to achieve Cyprus' reunification, Turkey must abandon the hard-line and unyielding stance it has been following for years, and realise that it is in its own benefit to solve the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and EU principles. "But what discourages us is the tolerance shown by many toward Turkey's stance. While at tête-à-tête meetings they agree that Ankara has not fulfilled any of its obligations and does not contribute in a substantive manner to the solution of the Cyprus problem, when the time comes to assess Ankara, they use different pretexts to avoid responsibilities," he remarked.

    He continued saying that Cyprus' role, in collaboration with Greece and other countries, is to ensure that Turkey fulfills its obligations.

    Papandreou said that everybody should assume their share of responsibilities, including the EU, the UN and Turkey.

    Replying, Garoyian noted that for 35 years now, neither the EU nor the UN has succeeded in exerting the necessary pressure on Ankara. He continued saying that they have created the framework for the solution of the Cyprus problem but they have not made any substantive moves.

    The House President reassured that the Republic of Cyprus has the patience, strength and will to do the right thing and expressed Nicosia's gratitude towards Athens for its contribution to Cyprus' accession to the EU, saying that Greece is Cyprus' main advocate.

    Papandreou expressed Greece's gratitude, saying "you have also supported us in difficult times and we thank you for that".

    Later, Papandreou addressed a special session of the House of Representatives, in the presence of Cypriot President Demetris Christofias.

    [02] Greece raises 1.95 bln. euros from 13-week state bill auction

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greece on Tuesday successfully completed the auction of 13-week state bills, raising 1.95 billion euros from the market. An announcement by Greeces Public Debt Management Organisation said that the issue was 4.7 pct oversubscribed. The bills yield 0.35 pct, significantly down from a 0.52 pct yield of a previous auction held in July 21.

    [03] ECOFIN briefed on Greek econ

    BRUSSELS / LUXEMBOURG (ANA-MPA) -- The Greek government's priority is to draft a medium-term programme that will help the economy exit the ongoing crisis and put the east Mediterranean country's public finances in order, Economy Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters after a closely watched ECOFIN meeting in Luxembourg, Papaconstantinou stressed that after private meetings with European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet and EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Monday evening, he briefed a Eurogroup meeting over developments in the Greek economy.

    The minister noted a significant worsening in many sectors of the Greek economy and mostly an expected shrinking of the GDP by 1.5 pct this year, a recorded 20-pct decrease in investments, a 15-pct decline in tourism and a 20-pct drop in shipping revenue.

    Papaconstantinou also told his Eurozone counterparts that the country's fiscal deficit would reach 12.5 pct of GDP this year and attributed this large deviation of fiscal data to three reasons: a negative economic conjecture; overestimating revenues, excessive public spending and a collapse of tax collection mechanisms and, finally, what he called the "hiding" of significant figures.

    The minister said he presented to his Eurogroup and ECOFIN counterparts a long-term programme of economic restructuring and deficit cutting in a period of three to four years. He pledged that with the introduction of necessary measures, Greece's fiscal deficit would fall to single-digit numbers in 2010, at least by three percentage points.

    EU expresses concern over developments in Greek economy

    Nevertheless, the EU on Monday expressed its "concerns" over the condition of the Greek economy. Speaking to reporters after a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg, Juncker, Almunia and Trichet expressed their concerns over developments in the Greek economy and over a complete - as they stressed - rejection of all statistics presented by the previous government.

    Commenting on a Greek request for more time to bring its fiscal deficit to 3.0 pct of GDP, the trio said the matter would be discussed in an EU summit in December.

    Almunia, in a written statement issued after a meeting with Papaconstantinou, said a pledge by Athens to cut its fiscal deficit below 3.0 pct of GDP by 2010 was no longer feasible, a development partly reflecting a worsening trend of the economy.

    Almunia expressed his deep concern over "significant new statistical deviations" and stressed that adoption of an ambitious fiscal consolidation programme for the coming years, accompanied by a structural reforms programme to boost economic competitiveness, was a top priority for Greece.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek FinMin George Papaconstantinou.

    [04] Stocks end 0.98% higher

    Stocks ended moderately higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the composite index of the market rising 0.98 pct to end at 2,892.82 points. Turnover fell to 292.7 million euros, of which 38.6 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Industrial Products (3.37 pct), Commerce (2.63 pct), Insurance (2.33 pct) and Raw Materials (2.27 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Health (1.38 pct), Chemicals (1.28 pct) and Food/Beverage (1.03 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 1.08 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.48 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index jumped 1.69 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 118 to 90 with another 62 issues unchanged.


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