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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Eurozone leaders pledge help for Greece
  • [02] OA, Aegean in partnership talks

  • [01] Eurozone leaders pledge help for Greece

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - V. Demiris/ G. Milionis) Eurozone leaders have agreed to assist Greece so that it can weather its current economic crisis, European Union president Herman Van Rompuy announced on Thursday to reporters at the EU leaders' summit. He also clarified that the Greek government had not asked for financial assistance.

    "We have a joint responsibility for the economic and monetary stability of the eurozone. In this context, we fully support the determination of the Greek government to do whatever is necessary, including the adoption of additional measures, in order to ensure that the ambitious targets included in the stability programme for 2010 and the following years are achieved," he said.

    Van Rompuy said the Eurozone leaders had asked the ECOFIN Council meeting on February 16 to adopt conclusions on Greece based on the recommendations of the European Commission and the additional measures taken by Greece.

    The Greek government was asked to implement all these measures in a determined way so as to ensure that the country's deficit was reduced by 4 percent in 2010.

    The EU president added that the Commission and the European Central Bank will closely monitor Greece's implementation of the recommendations and suggest additional measures based on the know-how of the International Monetary Fund, with a first assessment in March.

    "Euro-area members will take determined and coordinated action if needed to safeguard the eurozone as a whole. The Greek government did not ask for any financial support," Van Rompuy added.

    According to the Greek delegation at the summit, there was no pledge of a specific sum but there was political support.

    "For the time being, Greece has achieved what it wanted, because we needed a message from the Eurozone to markets that backed the credibility of Greece and the measures taken by the government to reduce the deficit," a member of the Greek delegation said.

    The European Council is now discussing a draft statement to be approved by the European leaders, arising from a French-German initiative. This will outline an agreement forged in talks between Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou during a Thursday morning meeting.

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker were also present.

    The Greek side views the development positively, with the government expressing satisfaction with the outcome, while clarifying that the government had not been asked to impose additional measures to curb the deficit.

    [02] OA, Aegean in partnership talks

    (ANA-MPA) -- Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines SA on Thursday confirmed partnership talks between their main shareholders, although both companies said there was "nothing concrete" to be announced so far. In a statement to the Athens Stock Exchange, Marfin Investment Group (MIG), commenting on press reports, confirmed the talks with Aegean Airlines over a future partnership.

    The two airline companies around about equally sized, based on the size of their aircraft fleet, passenger traffic numbers and network and both are significant regional air carrier players.

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