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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-05-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Next moves' discussed in Luxembourg
  • [02] PM: Leave Greece in peace to do its job
  • [03] Greece's Diamantidis wins Euroleague trophy
  • [04] Greek 'euro exit' denied
  • [05] PM in Lefkada
  • [06] Lawyers reject Troika meeting
  • [07] Population census 

  • [01] 'Next moves' discussed in Luxembourg

    (ANA-MPA)-Finance minister George Papaconstantinou said that the next moves, due to Greece's need to secure 27 billion euros in 2012 and a corresponding or larger amount in 2013 in the event that it has not managed to return to the international markets by then, was the subject discussed at an extraordinary informal meeting called Friday evening in Luxembourg by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker.

    In a statement, Papaconstantinou said that "what we discussed was the course of the (economic) program in a conjuncture in which the markets continue to be disbelieving towards Greece and in which we must also plan our next steps for 2012 and 2013 so that Greece will be able to either return to the markets or make use of the European Council's recent decision enabling the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) to purchase bonds".(ANA-MPA)

    The minister noted that "the difficulties are well-known, we will continue to have difficulties, we know that the economic situation in our country is tough, but we are moving ahead with absolute determination to complete the task that we have commenced", and stressed that the Athens government "has taken, continues to take and will take very decision necessary in order for the course of the country's salvation to continue".(ANA-MPA)

    Papaconstantinou further explained that meetings such as that in Luxembourg between Juncker and eurozone members are frequent and informal, and that is why they are not announced.(ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [02] PM: Leave Greece in peace to do its job

    (ANA-MPA)-Prime minister George Papandreou made an appeal for Greece to be left in peace to do its job, responding to a flurry caused by a German magazine article that Greece was considering exiting the euro currency and returning to the drachma, and which drew sharp reactions and denials from Greece and various EU officials.

    "I call on everyone, especially in the EU, to leave Greece in peace to do its job," Papandreou stressed on Meganissi on Saturday, on the sidelines of the 4th national Conference of Small Islands, and rejected the speculations as "irresponsible".(ANA-MPA)

    Papandreou stressed that his government is managing the country's debt with responsibility and seriousness, with the interests of the Greek people as its criterion.(ANA-MPA)

    The premier charged that certain individuals attempted on Friday to spread fear for "speculative purposes", and warned of dangers lying in wait and provocations, stressing that no scenario of Greece's exiting the euro was discussed at Friday's informal meeting chaired in Luxembourg by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker.(ANA-MPA)

    The premier stressed that the changes will proceed, and must be fair and more determined.(ANA-MPA)

    "We will attain our goal," he said.(ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [03] Greece's Diamantidis wins Euroleague trophy

    Dimitris Diamantidis, point guard of Panathinaikos Athens, was awarded his 6th Euroleague Basket MVP trophy during an awards ceremony in Barcelona on Saturday evening.

    This marks the sixth time in the seven seasons since its inception that Diamandidis has won the Best Defender Trophy, and was also the first recipient of the award seven years ago.

    This season, Diamantidis was the overwhelming top choice of Euroleague head coaches, who gave him more than double the votes of any other player.

    Diamantidis was followed in the coaches' voting by three more players who put their teams in the Final Four: power forward Shaun Stonerook of Montepaschi Siena, and the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv duo of guard Doron Perkins and forward Chuck Eidson.

    Caption: Regal Barcelona's Ricky Rubio (L) tries to block Panathinaikos' Dimitris Diamantidis (R) during the second match of their Euroleague quarter final basketball match played at the Palau Blaugrana pavillion in Barcelona on 24 March. (ANA-MPA/EPA/A. Garcia)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [04] Greek 'euro exit' denied

    (ANA-MPA)-Finance minister George Papaconstantinou denied scenarios that Greece would leave the euro currency, in an interview with the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa.

    Asked if it would be easier for Greece, as suggested in a controversial article in the German magazine Der Spiegel, that Greece leave the euro currency, Papaconstantinou replied "no, that is impossible".(ANA-MPA)

    "No, that is not possible. First of all because there is no mechanism for a country's exit from the euro. The consequences would be catastrophic: The fiscal deficit would double, the buying power would collapse, the banks would be hard hit, and we would fall into a war-period recession," Papaconstantinou explained.(ANA-MPA)

    On restructuring of the state debt, Papaconstantinou said he continues to maintain that the cost of a restructuring largely outweighs any possible positive effects, warning that if Greece unilaterally imposed losses on holders of state bonds, the markets would exclude it for a very long time because the consequences to the banking system would be incalculable.(ANA-MPA)

    The finance reiterated that only intensification of the streamlining measures, with the achievement of a primary surplus and return to growth can, in the medium-term, convince the markets.(ANA-MPA)

    On Greece's return to the international markets, Papaconstantinou noted that six months in a huge space of time, and expressed his belief that after the summer, when the streamlining and privatisations plan will have progressed, the markets will settle down.(ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [05] PM in Lefkada

    Prime minister George Papandreou stressed that his government took office in order to proceed with major changes and lead the Greek society to certainty and security, and the creation of confidence between state and citizens, speaking after a meeting with local authorities on the island of Lefkada.

    He said the great changes and growth must be effected in crisis conditions, and stressed that the working people and pensioners more easily realise the necessity of the measures than the various organised interests with their privileges.

    Development, he continued, will be the result of an overall change, and not minor interventions, while he also placed special weight on education issues, stressing that the schools need to open up to the local societies.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [06] Lawyers reject Troika meeting

    Greece's lawyers rejected a meeting with the Troika representatives for Tuesday, in a vote during an extraordinary plenary meeting of the presidents of the Bar Associations throughout the country held in Athens on Sunday, stressing that they do not acknowledge the troika as an institutional body nor intend to "legitimise their presence" in Greece.

    The Athens Bar Association and various trade union and other bodies have taken recourse in the Council of state against the Memorandum, and a relevant ruling is pending.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [07] Population census

    A population and residence census will be conducted in Greece on May 10-24, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) announced in a press conference.

    A total of 55,000 census-takers will participate in the procedure aimed at putting together demographic, economic and social characteristics of the population which are necessary in decision-making and in planning the country's economic and social policy.

    The duration of the procedure will be under 25 minutes and citizens will have to respond to simple questions concerning their residence, the people living in it, their age, profession, education and their employment status. The information that will be collected will be confidential.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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