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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Brief Obama-Papandreou meeting
  • [02] ND leader blasts Papandreou
  • [03] PPC only bidder in power station tender in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • [04] Greece and Qatar signed bilateral agreement
  • [05] BoG chief: Crisis as catalyst
  • [06] IMF on Greece's return to markets
  • [07] Athens hotels revenues down
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Brief Obama-Papandreou meeting

    NEW YORK CITY (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held a brief meeting with US President Barack Obama early Friday morning (Athens time) during a reception hosted by the American leader in honour of visiting heads of state and government, held at a Manhattan museum.

    The US president reportedly referred to the difficult task facing the Greek government and positive steps taken so far.

    On his part, Papandreou congratulated Obama for his opening address at the 65th UN General Assembly and particularly for his recent initiatives vis-à-vis the Middle East, agreeing that all sides must contribute in order to find a solution.

    The Greek premier also extended an invitation to Obama and his family to officially visit Greece.

    Earlier, Papandreou addressed a "World Leadership Forum 2010" event at a New York hotel hosted by the Foreign Policy Association and presented a comprehensive view of the economic situation in Greece and the country's future prospects.

    "Greece is a small country," the Greek premier said, adding that "the economic crisis is not our problem only and this has been shown by developments." Papandreou placed emphasis on the need to further reinforcing cooperation.

    "Greece is a different country today, with a cradible government that works with determination in the path of longterm stability and growth," Papandreou noted.

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

    [02] ND leader blasts Papandreou

    ┴═┴-╠PA/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday harshly criticised prime minister George Papandreou and warned that when his party comes to power it will set up a parliamentary examination committee into how the country reached the point of the Memorandum.

    Samaras accused Papandreou of setting up examination committees because otherwise he would not be able to govern: "He thinks he is holding ND hostage. Let him set up as many examination committees as he likes. We will set up only one, on how we reached the point of needing to resort to the support mechanism and the Memorandum."

    The ND leader further accused Papandreou of having 'taken up residence' abroad for weeks, although the authorities of his (recently reshuffled) ministers' authorities have not yet been clarified. "The shortest joke in Greece today is the coordination of the government," he said.

    Samaras further criticised the PASOK government of preparing to set up an examination committee on the economy but limiting the period it covers to only 2004-2009, and not the periods before or after that.

    "They have forgotten the stock market, which was the biggest scandal of all," Samaras added.

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

    [03] PPC only bidder in power station tender in Bosnia-Herzegovina

    ANa-MPa/Public Power Corporation, Greece's electricity utility, on Thursday said it was the only participant in an international tender for the construction and management of four hydro-electric power stations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    The tender is expected to enter into the second phase of negotiations, after submitting formal interest to become a strategic investor in the project which is expected to have a power of 238 MW. PPC said it is the only participant in the tender out of a total 10 initial bidders.

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

    [04] Greece and Qatar signed bilateral agreement

    ANA-MPA/Greece and Qatar signed on Thursday afternoon (Greek time) in New York, a bilateral agreement to boost Qatari investments in Greece. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani signed the agreement .

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

    [05] BoG chief: Crisis as catalyst

    The Greek economy has great growth potential and the present crisis could become a catalyst for a new course that could reform the economy, improving competitiveness and prosperity, Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos said on Thursday.

    In a prologue to a series of surveys covering the countryÔs current accounts balance, published by the central bank, Provopoulos said many of the policies needed to achieve a transformation of the Greek economy are included in the economic programme of the memorandum signed with the EU and the IMF in May. The central banker stressed that the programme offered a unique opportunity to set in motion positive and long-term sustainable growth dynamism.

    The country current accounts deficit ranged between 0 and 5.0 pct of the Gross Domestic Product in the period from 1960 to 1990.

    But from 200 onwards a dramatic worsening of the situation occurred with the deficit skyrocketing to 14 pct of GDP in 2008, reflecting competitiveness losses. Since the countryÔs entry in the eurozone, all competitive indexes have suffered a loss of 20-25 pct, the central banker said, adding that reforms in the labour and product markets were needed to change this situation.

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

    [06] IMF on Greece's return to markets

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T.Ellis) - "We expect that Greece may return to markets within the next 12 to 18 months", Caroline Atkinson, the IMF's Foreign Relations director said on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, Atkinson noted that the Greek program was proceeding as anticipated and stressed that the Greek government's contacts with its creditors -that took place recently during a road show by Greek Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou accompanied by troika experts in European capitals- "went very well".

    The IMF official said Greece could return to markets by the end of 2011 or early 2012, although she underlined that a restructuring program allowed the country to remain outside capital markets for longer.

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

    [07] Athens hotels revenues down

    ANA-MPA/Athens hotels' revenues were down 6.1 pct in the January-August period, after recording a 17.8-pct decline in revenues throughout 2009, the Athens-Attica Hoteliers' Association said on Thursday, adding that any result better than -8.0 pct for 2010 should be considered a success.

    Despite the fact that the July-August period is a traditionally strong period for Attica (greater Athens) tourism, the results this year are definitely disappointing, both on occupancy rates and revenues. Four- and three-star hotels reported a decline in revenue per available room of -14.8 pct and -17 pct in July, reaching 26.2 pct and 24.7 pct in August, respectively.

    The figures appear even more disappointing if the average room price is compared with Athens' main competitors in Europe.

    The Athens hotel average room price was 70 euros per room, while in London it was 161.4 euros, in Paris 162.71 euros, in Istanbul 130 euros, in Rome 96.83 euros, in Amsterdam 93.77 euros and in Barcelona 90.7 euros.

    All other European city destinations showed an increase in August.

    Athens also reported the lowest occupancy rate (57.7 pct), the fifth lowest average price (109.36 euros) and the third lowest revenue per available room (63.14 euros) in the eight-month period.

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

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister George Papandreou's statements over alternatives to avoid another VAT increase, continuing efforts to boost VAT revenue collection as well as speculation over developments in the domestic banking system, an investment memorandum signed with Qatar and main opposition New Democracy (ND) Antonis Samaras' criticism of Papandreou mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Tax bureau gets tougher in order to fill empty state coffers".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras throws down the gauntlet to PM Papandreou -- parliamentary committee for Memorandum".

    AVGHI: "Prime Minister signed memorandum with Qatar regarding investments (in Greece)".

    CHORA: "Samaras demands committee of inquiry for Memorandum".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Samaras to George (Papandreou): Stop playing deaf - Listen to ND and your economists friends' proposals and change policy".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Green growth a ... gambling table - Instead of a Metropolitan park ... former Athens airport will turn into gambling metropolis".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Banking environment changes".

    ESTIA: "Lessons to politicians by economist Daniel Mitchell on unified tax factors".

    ETHNOS: "Heating oil on fire - New bomb against households' budget".

    IMERISSIA: "Resounding message to banks - Papandreou: One state-owned bank and 2-3 private ones".

    KATHIMERINI: "Development law without money - Only 500 million euros to be given for direct subsidies of investments in 2011".

    LOGOS: "Samaras sharply attacks Papandreou: Committee of inquiry on how we were led to Memorandum".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Bank of Greece's recipe for crisis".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Now it's time to punish plutocracy, ruling PASOK, ND robbing the people".

    TA NEA: "The Emir of Qatar brings five billion dollars for investments".

    TO VIMA: "Finance ministry's raids to collect VAT debts".

    VRADYNI: "Tax amnesty for the period 2000-2004".

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