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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens hotels' occupancy rates down in Jan-Sep
  • [02] Building cost index down 2.1% in Sept.
  • [03] Political reaction follows attack on police unit in Exarchia, detentions
  • [04] Deficit at 7.7% of GDP in '08

  • [01] Athens hotels' occupancy rates down in Jan-Sep

    (ŃÕŃ-ŐPA) -- «otels in the Attica prefecture (the greater Athens-Piraeus area) on Thursday reported significant decreases in their average room occupancy rates and revenues per available room in the January-September period, reflecting a decline in tourist arrivals in the Greek capital.

    A monthly report by GBR Consulting showed that average room occupancy rates fell by 13.62 pct, 9.26 pct and 9.25 pct for five-, four- and three-star hotels, respectively in the nine-month period, while prices fell by 9.71 pct, 10.0pct and 2.62 pct and losses in revenues per available room totaled 22.07 pct, 18.30 pct and 11.70 pct, respectively for these three hotel categories.

    The Association of Athens Hoteliers said the figures were fully in line with its forecasts for 2009 and stressed that the association is expecting the new government to act immediately towards resolving chronic problems in the sector.

    The Association again urged measures to boost security in Athens' centre and reiterated its opposition to government plans to raise a municipal tax on touristic and restaurant enterprises.

    [02] Building cost index down 2.1% in Sept.

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greece‚s new building construction materials‚ price index fell 2.1 pct in September compared with the corresponding month last year, after an increase of 7.4 pct recorded in September 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a report, also said that the construction works‚ price index fell 1.0 pct in the third quarter of 2009, after an increase of 4.6 pct recorded in the corresponding period in 2008.

    [03] Political reaction follows attack on police unit in Exarchia, detentions

    Several people, including two Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) cadres, were taken in for questioning by police late Wednesday night following a violent incident in the Exarchia district of central Athens.

    According to police, a group of approximately 30 hooded troublemakers appeared suddenly from a side street and attacked four officers patrolling on foot, throwing rocks, bricks and other objects. A nearby motorcycle police unit and riot police rushed to their colleagues' assistance and chased the attackers, who reached a cafe-bookshop where a book presentation was taking place.

    A few of the patrons at the presentation reacted, with police detaining at least three people at the event.

    Minister for Protection of the Citizen Michalis Chrysohoidis contacted writer Dimitris Papachristos as soon as he was informed of the incident, and ordered that all those taken in for questioning be released. He also ordered an investigation into the incident.

    In a reaction a day later, SYRIZA parliamentary head Alexis Tsipras tabled a questioned towards the minister, referring to an "unprovoked police intervention", while at the same time charging that following the elections a "permanent police state climate" is being cultivated in the specific neighbourhood -- often touted as Athens' "bohemian" and a magnet for "alternative" movements.

    [04] Deficit at 7.7% of GDP in '08

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- Greece‚s fiscal deficit was 7.7 pct of GDP and its public debt at 99.2 pct of GDP in 2008, Eurostat announced on Thursday, sharply up from 3.7 pct and 95.6 pct, respectively, in 2007.

    The EU executive‚s statistics agency, in its second estimates over fiscal data of the EU‚s 27 member-states, noted that ‚Eurostat expressed reservations over the data submitted by Greece because of significant uncertainties regarding the data compiled by Greek statistical authorities‚.

    Under Article 15 of Council regulation 479/2009, the term reservation refers to the case when Eurostat expresses doubts over the quality of submitted financial data.

    Eurostat also said the EU-27 member states‚ fiscal deficit jumped from 0.8 pct of GDP in 2007 to 2.3 pct in 2008, while Eurozone‚s deficit rose from 0.6 pct to 2.0 pct over the same period. Greece (7.7 pct), Ireland (7.2 pct), Romania (5.5 pct) and UK (5.0 pct) recorded the highest fiscal deficits.

    The EU 27 member-states‚ public debt also jumped from 58.7 pct in 2007 to 61.5 pct in 2008, while in the Eurozone from 66.0 pct to 69.3 pct over the same period. Italy (105.8 pct), Greece (99.2 pct), Belgium (89.8 pct), Hungary (72.9 pct), France (67.4 pct), Portugal (66.3 pct), Germany (65.9 pct), Malta (63.8 pct) and Austria (62.8 pct) recorded the biggest public debts.

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