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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Papandreou in New York
  • [02] FinMin meets troika

  • [01] PM Papandreou in New York

    Prime Minister George Papandreou will be in New York on Saturday to attend the UN General Assembly meeting and a meeting on the "Millennium Development Goals", government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis announced on Friday.

    The premier will have a number of diplomatic contacts as well as meetings with leading Greek-American figures.

    PM Papandreou is scheduled to take part in a debate hosted by the Economic Club of New York focusing on the Greek economy, to be held in the presence of distinguished economic figures.

    Petalotis stressed that Papandreou‚s visit to the United States is placed within the framework of international level initiatives, "initiatives consistent with our principles which, at the same time, serve our national interest."

    Prime Minister Papandreou stated shortly after the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday that "the word austerity must be replaced by the word responsibility," stressing that the biggest problem faced by the country was the lack of reliability.

    Papandreou pointed out that responsibility must become evident in three sectors: the managing of macroeconomic indicators, the debt and the deficits, the growth strategy that will create new jobs and will make the economy more competitive and the transition to new infrastructures and renewable energy sources.

    The prime minister added that in order to reverse the climate of unreliability that was dealing a blow to the country, the government had to prove that it has the will to take difficult measures to enable the country to enter a restructuring path.

    Referring in particular to the high monetary deficit, Papandreou said that it is the result of practices, over the past years, that have to do with the governance, the country's rule of law, and untransparency and which did not permit the proper managing of the country's production sources and services, as well as the money of the Greek people.

    On the question of sanctions that preoccupied the European leaders on Thursday, in the framework of the discussion on the European Union's economic governance, the prime minister made it clear that Greece has no objections on the issue of sanctions, given that it is following a programme properly and this is recognised by its European partners.

    "A monitoring apparatus must be created as well as a sanctions apparatus," he said, adding that "if this apparatus existed years ago, Greece would not be in this position today."

    As regards the monitoring apparatus, Papandreou said that it must not concern monetary indicators only, but growth as well, while on the question of sanctions he said that they must be fair.

    More specifically, Papandreou noted that Greece's position is that sanctions must not be imposed on member-states only, but also on big financial establishments that favour tax evasion through tax paradises. He added that he himself proposed to the Council the implementation of new tools to improve economic governance, such as the green bonds, the tax on transactions and the tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

    Asked to comment on the possibility of the expulsion of a country from the eurozone, Papandreou replied that he considers this improbable, given that a change in the EU Treaty is not anticipatjed soon, but even if it existed, many countries have serious objections with this issue.

    As regards bilateral meetings he had with heads of state and government, on the sidelines of the European Council sessions, Papandreou stressed that it is an encouarging fact that the comments of all on the efforts being made by Greece to approach its targets were positive.

    "The positive comments of the Commission and our partners is an example of our country's reliability," the prime minister said, stressing that Greece desires to enter the markets as soon as possible and to forge ahead with its own forces.

    Called on to comment on the International Monetary Fund's report, that refers to the stance of the opposition parties, Papandreou stated that "there is a national crisis and not a crisis that serves petty political interests."

    The Greek premier also announced that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will be visiting Athens next month.

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    [02] FinMin meets troika

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Friday met with the heads of the all-important EU-ECB-IMF "troika" delegation here, for talks on the troika‚s interim report regarding the course of the Greek economy.

    The meeting focused on progress of a majors reforms programme, including the urgent restructuring loss-making and debt-ridden Hellenic Rail (OSE) and other state-run mass transit companies, deregulation of so-called "closed professions", privatisations and strategic moves, i.e. mergers and buy-outs, in the domestic banking system.

    The two sides also discussed ways to boost lagging tax revenues and particularly efforts to combat large-scale tax evasion, along with actions to contain spending vis-?-vis hospital procurements, pension funds and local government authorities.

    The heads of the EU/IMF delegation, which visited Athens on Thursday after completing a joint roadshow with the Greek government in London, Paris and Frankfurt, will return to the country in October to finalise a report on implementing a memorandum on restructuring the Greek economy.

    After the meeting with the troika, the Greek minister met with Germany‚s federal Finance and Technology Deputy Minister Bernd Pfaffenbach.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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