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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] New Hilton hotel on Kos
  • [02] FinMin: Gov't eyes major reforms

  • [01] New Hilton hotel on Kos

    (ANA-MPA) -- Hilton Worldwide on Thursday announced the signing of a franchise agreement with Akti Helona SA for the operation of the Doubletree Hotel complex on the eastern Aegean island of Kos by the well-known hotel chain.

    The hotel is scheduled to begin operations in May 2010.

    Hilton Worldwide already operates the five-star Athens Hilton.

    Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton Worldwide's vice-president of development for Europe and Africa, referred to the agreement, noting that "Hilton Worldwide continues the exciting expansion of its hotels in Europe. Greece has strong tourism infrastructure and Kos is the second most popular island in the Dodecanese. The Greek hotel market is characterised by independent privately owned hotels and domestic hotel chains, although we believe that there are significant growth opportunities for all of our brands throughout the country".

    The Doubletree Hotel is located in the southeast coastline of Kos. It features 238 rooms, 15 suites, three villas, two restaurants and bars, spa and gym, private beach and a conference hall.

    Caption: A file photo shows the main harbour on the Dodecanese holiday island of Kos. ANA-MPA

    [02] FinMin: Gov't eyes major reforms

    (ANA-MPA) -- "The Stability and Growth Programme is in fact a programme for the reconstruction of the national economy," Greek FinMin George Papaconstantinou said on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, the minister said the government‚s updated Stability and Growth Programme will be submit to the European Commission by the end of January and was expected to be approved by an ECOFIN Council on Feb. 16.

    He stressed that the programme highlights the government‚s will to promote major changes in public finances, in taxation, budget drafting and all the radical reforms promoted in the public sector and the economy‚s production model.

    Meanwhile, ministry officials were adamant that the government was not examining a hike in VAT rates, while stressing that the government also rejects calls for a freeze in civil servants‚ pay or abolition of the so-called "14th" monthly salary, paid as an end-of-the-year holiday bonus. Instead, they said the government was examining plans to offer incentives for the repatriation of capital, while he said plans were made to open the services market and liberalise so-called "closed professions".

    Greece‚s updated Stability and Growth Programme would include two scenarios over the country‚s public finances, a basic and a more pessimistic one. Under the basic scenario, the country‚s public debt will begin falling as of 2012.


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