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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] New ND leader received by PM
  • [02] Greek bank execs deflect criticism
  • [03] Greek side with fYRoM FM
  • [04] PMI falls to 47.3 in Nov.

  • [01] New ND leader received by PM

    Prime Minister George Papandreou met with newly elected main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras at the Maximos Mansion on Monday evening.

    The prime minister wished Samaras "all the best for the homeland as well, because the role of the main opposition party is important" and stressed that "we are particularly pleased over the procedure that you followed."

    Papandreou further said that "we look forward to close cooperation on national issues as well, because the problems have swelled and dialogue and consensus are required."

    On his part, the new ND leader thanked Papandreou, adding: "our constitutional role obliges us to have these discussions with the president of the government."

    Samaras added that "according to the issues, we are sometines tegether and sometimes on opposite sides. Together because we serve the same society, on opposite sides because we serve different ideologies. And this is the role of the opposition."

    [02] Greek bank execs deflect criticism

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek banking executives on Tuesday defended the local banking system's operations, in light of a series of recent attacks by political parties, during an annual congress organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in Athens.

    Bank of Piraeus' chief executive, Alexandros Manos, in his speech stressed that Greek banks helped thousands of private customers and enterprises -- who had an honest relation with their bank -- with their problems and noted it was "a mistake to try to create liquidity and distribute it to people unwilling to repay their debts towards the banking system."

    Manos stressed it would be better if the state repaid its debts, thus distributing more money to the domestic markets.

    Eurobank's financial advisor, Gkikas Hardouvelis, said banks are easy targets in the country.

    "Everyone agrees at hitting at the banks", he said, while he defended the banking system's operations, noting that compensation paid to high-ranking executives was based on a bank's profitability over a period of 3 to 4 years.

    Hardouvelis said the domestic banking system was strong, as it stood the test of an international crisis and fared better compared with other European systems. Greek banks have adequate capital, no toxic assets and one of the highest profitability in the European Union. He also stressed that there was no excessive borrowing from the European Central Bank.

    Attica bank chief executive Tryfon Kollintzas said the Greek banking system was in an excellent condition and stressed that even an increase in bad debt rates was slow and under full control.

    [03] Greek side with fYRoM FM

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met with visiting fYRoM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki on Tuesday on the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial conference in Athens, after which Milososki also had a brief meeting with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    Droutsas told reporters afterwards that Athens was taking advantage of every opportunity for direct contacts, with the aim of cementing a positive climate between the two sides, although he reiterated that the only process for negotiations on the outstanding "name issue" remains under UN mediation.

    Papandreou also conducted several sideline meetings with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Balazs, Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta, German Deputy FM Werner Hoyer, and OSCE secretary general Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Droutsas noted.

    The Greek alternate foreign minister said such meetings provided the opportunity to discuss Greece's issues, in addition to the OSCE issues, such as the Balkans and their EU course, the Cyprus issue and EU-Turkey relations, in light of the EU summit in 10 days' time.

    After a lunch break, Droutsas and Ukraine Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko are slated to sign a MoC between the two ministries, as well as a MoC between the postal services of the two countries.

    [04] PMI falls to 47.3 in Nov.

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greece's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 47.3 points in November, its lowest recording in six months, reflecting a moderate worsening of conditions in the Greek manufacturing sector.

    The purchasing managers' index, after a brief rebound in August, remained below the 50 points threshold since October 2008. Greek manufacturers cut production in November, as a result of a further decline in new orders volume, particularly from foreign markets. Employment also fell in the month, falling steadily every month since May 2008. Inventories declined more rapidly in November.

    The PMI records business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector, while readings below 50 a shrinking sector.


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