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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Alternate FM meets with envoys
  • [02] Greek Commerce report

  • [01] Alternate FM meets with envoys

    Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas had a series of regular meetings with the ambassadors of the US, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium and Austria on Monday.

    US ambassador Daniel Speckhard told reporters after his meeting with the alternate foreign minister that the discussion had focused on bilateral and international matters "in the context of our effort to upgrade and enhance Greek-US relations, which are a matter of priority for both countries".

    Speckhard said he also voiced congratulations on the recent success regarding the Lisbon Treaty and the election of an EU president and foreign minister, while views were also exchanged ahead of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) ministerial conference in Athens, as well as on regional issues and security matters.

    He stressed the importance of stability and de-escalation of tension in the Aegean, and reiterated US support for direct cooperation and mutual understanding between the two communities on Cyprus so as to reach a solution.

    Droutsas also met separately with Dutch ambassador to Greece Cornelis Van Rij, Czech ambassador Hana Motlova, Belgian ambassador Pierre Vaesen, and Austrian ambassador Dr. Michael Linhart.

    [02] Greek Commerce report

    More than one in five Greek enterprises said they have cut their workforce this year, the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) said in its annual report on Greek commerce for 2009.

    Presenting the report, ESEE's president Dimitris Armenakis said Greek commercial enterprises were currently operating in an uncertain environment, while despite the fact that commerce remained the major employer in the economy, unemployment rose in the sector while around 40 pct of enterprises suffered lower sales and profits.

    Armenakis said government measures were moving towards the right direction and stressed that the commerce sector was in favour of a plan to reduce the number of social insurance funds and called for less legislation in the labour market.

    V. Korkidis, president of the Commerce Club of Piraeus said that Greeks were expected to spend around 420-700 euros on average during this Christmas season, the smallest amount in many years and predicted that the holiday sales would be around 15 pct lower compared with 2008.

    The vast majority of enterprises said sales were down in 2009 and expected a worsening of profitability. Three out of four enterprises in the sector said investment activity was unchanged, one in five cut investments and only a small minority said they increased investments.

    Most small- and medium-sized enterprises expect a recovery in 2010, while larger companies do not expect any improvement.

    Caption: National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) president Dimitris Armenakis releasing the confederation's annual report on Greek commerce for 2009. (ANA-MPA/A. Beltes)


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