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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Conference on Greek banking system
  • [02] Agriculture minister: Farmers will not get ready cash
  • [03] Situation unchanged at roadblocks
  • [04] ASE opening: Rise
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Conference on Greek banking system

    The Greek banking system is characterized by high capital adequacy and liquidity, but is currently dealing with many challenges because of a special economic conjecture, Pavlos Mylonas, director general and strategic consultant in National Bank Group said on Monday.

    Addressing an economic conference, organised by a local newspaper in Athens, Mylonas said the first challenge was a shrinking domestic liquidity because of lower saving deposits, new investment opportunities in stock and commodity markets, combined with higher funding costs as a result of negative developments in bond markets. The second challenge is related with a worsening of portfolio quality and the third challenge is a slowing credit expansion growth rate, currently 4.0 pct. He predicted a further worsening of credit expansion rates until the Greek economy began recovering from its current recession. Mylonas noted, however, the emergence of new opportunities, such as a positive outlook for credit expansion rates in the future, a diversification of banks' profitability because of their expansion in Southeastern Europe and actions to control operating costs.

    Spyros Pantelias, Hellenic Postbank's vice-president, addressing the conference underlined the importance and necessity of changing a Greek growth model, so far based on consumer spending and borrowing. Giannis Mourgelas, president of Teiresias, the credit market's watchdog, said banks must take effective measures to protect capital and reducing their bad debt rates. Trifon Kollintzas, Attica Bank's chairman and chief executive, said liquidity in the real economy was related with pressures coming from both the side of banks as well as households and enterprises and predicted that the Greek economy will exit the current recession at a later time compared with other developed economies.

    [02] Agriculture minister: Farmers will not get ready cash

    ANA-MPA/Farmers should not expect immediate cash handouts from the government, Agricultural Development Minister Katerina Batzeli emphasised on Monday after a meeting with Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli.

    "There will not be immediate assistance for farmers but there will be assistance for farm production through measures and policies that seek to stimulate the agricultural economy and to boost the quality of products and all this will take place via the revised National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)," she said.

    Katseli said that the government would fulfill a pledge to include farming enterprises in the Small and Micro-businesses Guarantee Fund (TEMPME) and would announce a new funding package for the farm sector to be given out via TEMPME in the next few weeks.

    She also noted that her ministry would investigate prices paid to producers and on a retail level, setting up a committee to look into this for each separate product.

    [03] Situation unchanged at roadblocks

    The border posts of Ormenio and Kipi in Evros prefecture were open on Tuesday, however protesting farmers kept their tractors lined up on both sides of the road but without disrupting traffic. Farmers at Ormenio are intermittently closing the border post

    The Promachonas checkpoint remained closed for trucks during the night, while farmers on the Serres-Thessaloniki highway at the Strymonikos intersection are intermittently blocking the road.

    Roads bypassing by the Doirani and Evzoni checkpoints in Kilkis prefecture are open, as are the Krystallopigi and Niki checkpoints in Florina prefecture.

    Protesting farmers of Serres prefecture remained throughout the night at their roadblocks at the Kedryllia intersection on the Egnatia motorway.

    The Exochi border post in Drama Prefecture was open during the night but the Chryssoupoli interchange at Kavala was blocked.

    Grevena prefecture farmers remain on the Egnatia motorway and several others have gathered at the Servia bridge in Kozani, but without obstructing the traffic.

    Thessaly (central Greece) farmers remain at their roadblocks at the Nikaia and Mikrothebes intersections.

    [04] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on uesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.53 percent, standing at 2,054.43 points at 11:15 a.m., and turnover at 20,940 million euros.

    The biggest gains were in Personal and Household Goods, up 1.90 percent and Food and Beverages, up 1.67 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Public Utilities, down 1.49 percent and Oil and Gas, down 1.10 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.64 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.60 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.54 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 37 were up, 31 were down, and 36 were unchanged.

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister George Papandreou's plea to political leaders for consensus during Monday's off-the-agenda discussion in parliament on corruption, and the government's measures for recovery of the economy, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Benefits to 'bogus' blind persons with forged documents".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Government-bankers in head-on collision over market liquidity".

    AVGHI: "We are turning back many years - Prime Minister George Papandreou's additional measures amount to a 20 percent reduction in income for large groups of the population".

    AVRIANI: "Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras' bold proposal to Papandreou: Impose harsh measures right away to avoid bankruptcy".

    CHORA: "Suffocation from banks' lack of liquidity".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Ruling PASOK deputy Mimis Androulakis admits that PASOK was not ready to govern".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Doublespeak in the midst of the crisis - Prime Minister calls on the banks for support and Economy Minister Louka Katseli accuses them of profiteering".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Dramatic plea for unity - Papandreou: We are in the cyclone's eye".

    ESTIA: "Time for decisions on the economy -Prime Minister to meet with political leaders".

    ETHNOS: "Additional measures every month if needed".

    IMERISSIA: "Take measures now - First step towards consensus".

    KATHIMERINI: "Consensus pending measures - Prime Minister to hold meetings with political leaders".

    LOGOS: "Round of meetings for consensus ....over measures for the economy - Papandreou called all the political leaders....".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Finance Ministry presses the Tax Bureau offices to increase revenues up to 10.6 percent".

    NIKI: "Govern, or else a 'directorate' - Brussels lying in wait, the time has come for major reversals".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The working classes' rights define the country's prestige, not the corrupt foreign credit rating agencies"

    TA NEA: "Zero hour for the measures - New tax on fuel - Cutbacks in salaries".

    TO VIMA: "Shocking report on the 55 billion euros lie - How we arrived at the cliff's edge".

    VRADYNI: "Massacre of employees - Preannouncement of the immediate implementation of Plan B".


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