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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-01-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek budget deficit down 36.5 pct in 2010
  • [02] Greek pupils top in OECD in extra-curricular reading
  • [03] Exports jump in November
  • [04] Industrial production down
  • [05] New ND shadow gov. on Tues

  • [01] Greek budget deficit down 36.5 pct in 2010

    Greece's state budget deficit was around 1.0 billion euros lower in the January-December 2010 period, compared with provisions included in the 2011 budget, falling to 19.603 billion euros from 30.871 billion euros in 2009, for a decline of 36.5 pct surpassing a budget target for a 33.2 pct decline in the year, the Finance ministry said on Monday.

    The ministry, in an announcement, said that the 2010 budget performed better than expected, exceeding forecasts made in the 2011 budget report. The ministry attributed this favourable result to a 9.0 pct cut in regular budget spending last year, surpassing a budget target for a 7.5 pct decline, and a 12 pct drop in Public Investments Program spending, surpassing a budget target for a 11.3 pct decline in the year. Primary spending fell 10.7 pct in 2010, up from a budget target for a decline of 9.0 pct, while spending on interest rose by 7.3 pct, slightly down from a budget target of a 7.6 pct rise.

    Regular budget revenues grew around 7.0 pct in 2010, with net revenues up 5.5 pct -short of a budget target for a 6.0 pct annual increase, while Public Investments Program revenues grew 50.2 pct, up from a budget target for a 41.7 pct growth. The figures covered only state budget execution and did not include general government figures.

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

    [02] Greek pupils top in OECD in extra-curricular reading

    (ANA-MPA) -- Although not exceptionally studious, according to the OECD's recent PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) study, Greek pupils are, however, 'champions' in extra-curricular reading, according to the same report.

    According to the survey, 82.5 percent of 15-year-old Greek pupils state that they read for personal pleasure, holding top place among the 35 OECD member countries, with Turkish pupils holding the second place spot in the 2009 report. (ANA-MPA)

    Indicatively, the proportion of Greek pupils who read for their own personal enjoyment presented a substantial increase of 4.5 percentage points against base year 2000, while the OECD average fell from 68.8 percent in 2000 to 63.8 percent in 2009. (ANA-MPA)

    PISA is an internationally standardised assessment that was jointly developed by participating economies and administered to 15-year-olds in schools. (ANA-MPA)

    Broken down by gender, girls appear to have a better relationship with extra-curricular reading than boys, with a 12 percentage point difference. A total of 86.4 percent of girls in Greece read for their own pleasure, against 74.4 percent of boys. (ANA-MPA)

    "The fact that a proportion of more than 80 percent of 15-year-old pupils read for their own enjoyment is definitely encouraging," Pavlos Haramis, a teacher and director of the Federation of Secondary School Teachers' (OLME) Center for Research and Documentation told ANA-MPA, but noted that questions arise regarding what and how much the youth read. (ANA-MPA)

    Indeed, in Greece as in the other OECD member countries, the 15-year-olds read mostly magazines in their free time, with 60.5 percent stating that they read magazines on their own initiative "several times" a month or week, followed by newspapers (42.8 percent), comics (24.7 percent), literature (21.5 percent) and dissertations (7.2 percent). (ANA-MPA)

    The OECD study also turned up interesting conclusions on the relationship between reading and the internet, with the survey indicating that, in all member countries, on-line reading is linked with higher performance in understanding of texts. (ANA-MPA)

    "Pupils who are acquainted with activities such as reading messages in e-mails, forum discussions, on-line news and on-line encyclopedias or seek out information on the web generally have a better reading and understanding ability," according to the report. (ANA-MPA)

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

    [03] Exports jump in November

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek exports jumped in November last year, with the value of export-deliveries rising 39.8 pct to 1.625 billion euros from 1.163 billion euros in November 2009, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report on the country's merchandise trade, said the value of imports-arrivals totaled 3.321 billion euros in November, from 4.008 billion euros in November 2009, for a decline of 17.1 pct. Greek exports grew 6.3 pct in the December-November 12-month period period last year, compared with the same period in 2009, while imports dropped 20.7 pct over the same period. (ANA-MPA)

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

    [04] Industrial production down

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek industrial production fell 7.6 pct in November, compared with the same month in 2009, after falling by 5.2 pct in the previous 12-month period, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed the 7.6 pct decline in the industrial production index to a 3.5 pct fall in mining production, a 6.5 pct decline in manufacturing production (reflecting a 38.3 pct drop in tobacco-leather-footwear, a 34.7 pct drop in transport equipment, an 11.9 pct fall in beverages, a 22.9 pct decline in textiles and a 17.9 pct fall in clothing), a 13.3 pct fall in electricity production and an 1.3 pct decline in water production. (ANA-MPA)

    The industrial production index was down 5.7 pct on average in the January-November period, compared with the same period in 2009. (ANA-MPA)

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

    [05] New ND shadow gov. on Tues

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras is expected to announce the party's new 'shadow cabinet' on Tuesday.

    According to sources, up-to-now director of Eleftheros Typos newspaper Yiannis Mihelakis will be appointed party spokesman. (ANA-MPA)

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


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