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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Palestinian Authority's Abbas in Athens
  • [02] Rehn in Athens on Mon.
  • [03] Barroso-Samaras meeting
  • [04] Rehn in Athens on Mon.
  • [05] Stocks end 2.82% down
  • [06] LA.OS proposals for econ

  • [01] Palestinian Authority's Abbas in Athens

    (ANA-MPA) -- President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias met Thursday in Athens with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

    The Palestinian leader briefed Papoulias on the contacts he had recently in Brussels and expressed satisfaction for the stance adopted by the EU as regards the Palestinian issue, characterising it as more advanced compared to that of the US administration.

    "We are expecting that the 'quartet' will adopt the European position, allowing us to materialise all these thoughts. We appreciate and respect the EU stance and there is no doubt that your support led the EU toward this direction, because Greece was always on our side," he said.

    Papoulias referred to the contribution of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to the efforts for the solution of the Middle East issue in his capacity as the president of Socialist International (SI) group.

    The Greek president also hosted a reception in honor of the Palestinian leader, where he reiterated Athens' support for a just solution to the Mideast problem.

    On his part, Abbas referred to the warm reception he has received every time he visits Greece, underlining that Palestinians do not see Greece as a foreign country.

    "For many years Greece stood by the Palestinian people. There was nothing we have asked that you did not provide. Many times our requests were met before we had the chance to make them ... The Palestinian people will never forget this noble stance and no doubt, when the Palestinian state is founded, your country will have a special place among the countries that will be invited to celebrate with us," he said.

    Earlier, PM Papandreou held a 45-minute meeting with Abbas at Maximos Mansion, the government headquarters, and afterwards escorted him on foot to the presidential mansion located a short distance away.

    [02] Rehn in Athens on Mon.

    (ANA-MPA) -- EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, who now holds the Union's monetary affairs portfolio, will arrive in Athens on Monday for talks with the Greek government, including the ministers of finance, labour & social insurances and economy-competitiveness.

    According to reports, Rehn will also be previously briefed by Commission officials over this week's visit to Athens by a delegation of EU experts, who in turn, were briefed by Greek officials on the course of the closely watched Stability and Growth Programme that Athens tabled to the Commission recently.

    [03] Barroso-Samaras meeting

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday called for immediate support of the Greek economy "for the good of the eurozone itself", during a meeting here with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    "I came to Brussels because I want to be of use to my country," Samaras told reporters after his meeting with Barroso.

    During the meeting, Samaras acknowledged that mistakes have been made "which must not be repeated", and proposed specific ways to solve the problem, such as the EU providing guarantees that it will not let Greece reach bankruptcy, either in the form of credit facilitation or in the form of guarantees that the Greek state bonds will continue to be accepted by the European Central Bank (ECB) until end 2011, or through a combination of the two.

    Barroso stressed that the Greek government must proceed with determination with the measures, which he said everyone in the EU deemed necessary, and assured Samaras that the EU will manifest its solidarity towards Greece, ensuring the economic stability of the eurozone.

    Samaras further expressed the opinion that the EU must commit itself to specific, and not theoretical measures, otherwise the markets will not be reassured".

    He also warned that the prospect of recourse to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be "extremely dangerous and anti-European", stressing that the EU must act immediately and help Greece.

    Caption: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) receives main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras in Brussels on Thursday 25 February 2010. ANA-MPA/G. Antoniou

    [04] Rehn in Athens on Mon.

    (ANA-MPA) -- EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn will arrive in Athens on Monday for closely watched talks with the Greek government, including meetings with the ministers of finance, labour & social insurances and economy-competitiveness.

    According to reports, Rehn will be previously briefed by Commission officials over a visit this past week in Athens by a delegation of EU experts, who in turn, were briefed by Greek officials on the course of the now imperative Stability and Growth Programme, which Athens tabled with the Commission recently amid the ongoing deficit and debt refinancing crisis.

    Sources in Athens on Thursday emphasised that Commission experts, in talks with Greek ministry officials and at the Bank of Greece (BoG), expressed "fundamental objections" to projections by the Greek government over the growth rate and state revenue collection.

    Additionally, the same Commission experts reportedly noted that if the recently announced austerity measures do not meet projections, then additional measures, worth 3.6 to 4.8 billion euros, must be taken.

    Retirment age hikes and more flexibility in the Greek employment sector were also reportedly cited by the Commission experts.

    [05] Stocks end 2.82% down

    Stocks ended sharply lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, hit by threats of further downgrades of the Greek economy by international credit rating firms and a consequent jump in the yield spread of Greek state bonds. The composite index of the market fell 2.82 pct to end at 1,872.53 points, with turnover a low 175.422 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 3.71 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.40 pct down and the FTSE 80 index ended 1.46 pct lower. The Food (1.25 pct) and Media (0.20 pct) scored gains, while Banks (4.92 pct) and Chemicals (4.27 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Maillis (14.29 pct), Vovos (11.83 pct), Tzirakian (9.76 pct) and Nexans (9.52 pct) were top gainers, while Neorio (19.57 pct), Allatini Ceramics (16.28 pct) and Klonatex (14.29 pct) were top losers. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 121 to 54 with another 52 issues unchanged.

    [06] LA.OS proposals for econ

    (ANA-MPA) -- Opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) President George Karatzaferis on Thursday outlined his party's proposals for the economy, maintaining that they can solve the ongoing cash flow and deficit problem.

    Karatzaferis also referred to recent criticism by the EU against Greece, underlining that "the deficit of other countries is much larger than ours, while our debt is smaller than the debts observed in half of the EU states."

    "A country's downfall is not associated with its deficit or debt but it is directly related to whether it has a strong production sector or not ... Greece has no production or growth ... the country's survival for a long period of time will be achieved through loans," he said, warning that "the situation will become extremely painful next year."


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