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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-05-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government announces additional measures
  • [02] European Commission on privatisations
  • [03] Fitch downgrades longterm credit rating of five Greek banks
  • [04] Turkish yacht runs aground on rocky islet south of Paros island
  • [05] 2,5 mln euros in RES in 2011
  • [06] OLP, Cosco agreement
  • [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines 

  • [01] Government announces additional measures

    ANA-MPA/A cabinet meeting on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou, reaffirmed its determination to continue with the fiscal consolidation programme by taking additional measures of over 6 billion Euro or 2.8% of GDP in order to achieve the 7.5% deficit target for 2011, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in a statement.

    In the statement, the minister stressed that the detailed measures together with the full medium-term fiscal strategy aimed to bring the deficit close to 1% of GDP by 2015 will be announced once the ongoing current review of the programme by the EU/ECB/IMF team is concluded and after consultation with the other political parties. ana-mpa

    At the same time, the Cabinet decided to immediately proceed with the sale of stakes in OTE, Hellenic Postbank, the Athens and Thessaloniki ports, and the Thessaloniki water company in order to frontload its ambitious privatization programme. To accelerate the process, the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund composed of privatization and real estate assets was also decided.

    "Following the unprecedented reduction of the fiscal deficit by 5 percentage points in 2010, and the wave of structural reforms in pensions, the labour market, budget, tax and business environment, the government is determined to continue and accelerate the path of fiscal consolidation and structural reforms," Papaconstantinou noted.

    PM Papandreou

    The battle to save the country is continuing, and no cowardice can be forgiven in serving this patriotic duty, Prime Minister George Papandreou told the Cabinet meeting held to discuss the government's Medium-Term Economic Program.

    Last year, he said, "with the government's decisions and the Greek people's sacrifices, we averted bankruptcy and, just like a year ago, today we are taking the decisions needed to permanently avert the danger and to permanently change the country."ana-mpa

    "We averted the threat of the country's bankruptcy and placed the country on a track of streamlining and growth. Back-stepping is not allowed, we have a duty to the country and to the Greek people to ensure our future course," the premier added.

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

    

    [02] European Commission on privatisations

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Aroni, M. Spinthourakis ) -- Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for European Commissioner Olli Rehn, on Monday said Greece must present details of a 50-billion-euro privatisation plan within days. In a statement to the ANA-MPA, he also refuted a news agency's report claiming that Rehn, while speaking at a Vienna conference, had expressed doubts about Greece's ability to reach its privatisation target.

    According to Altafaj, the report was a "mistake of the news agency" and the Commissioner's view was precisely the opposite, namely that it was feasible for Greece to raise 50 billion euro through privatisations.

    Altafaj stressed, however, that Greek authorities must specify, within the next few days, a package of measures for 2011 and the coming years. The EU spokesman underlined the need to overcome political quarrels and to reach a consensus on the main targets of a consolidation program.

    He said that Greece must begin, in an effective way, to implement a privatization program worth 50 billion euros -announced three months ago- which could reduce the country's debt by 20 pct of GDP. He noted that Greek authorities must first make specific the measures, timetables and ways of implementing this privatization program, although he acknowledged it was a difficult task. He noted that the European Commission was ready to support Greek authorities in setting up a new privatization agency.

    Commenting on the time needed for a troika delegation to complete its assessment of the Greek program, the EU spokesman said "the mission will last as long as it takes," adding that the Commission was not yet in a position to have a full assessment of the program. Altafaj reiterated the need for political forces in Greece to reach a consensus on the main targets of the fiscal consolidation program.

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

    

    [03] Fitch downgrades longterm credit rating of five Greek banks

    ANA-MPA/The Fitch Ratings firm proceeded on Monday with the downgrading of the longterm credit rating of five Greek banks. They are the National Bank, EFG Eurobank, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank and ATEbank. The ratings of the five Greek banks bear the note (Rating Watch Negative - RWN).

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

    

    [04] Turkish yacht runs aground on rocky islet south of Paros island

    ANA-MPA/The 16 people on board the Turkish-flag yacht Richmond 6 that ran aground on the rocky islet of Tsimintiri, south of the island of Paros, are in good health.

    The yacht's four-member crew refused aid from the Greek authorities and freed itself with its own means. The yacht reached the port of Paros where its sailing was prohibited until the damage is repaired.

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

    

    [05] 2,5 mln euros in RES in 2011

    ANA-MPA/Investments in renewable energy sources have more than doubled in the past year and it is estimated that in 2011 investments that will take place will be in the region of 250 million euros, while in the depth of a decade, meaning until 2020, investments will reach 16 billion euros and, in addition, another 4-5 billion euros will be invested in transport and distribution networks.ana-mpa

    This was mentioned from the podium of the monthly board of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry by Deputy Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, stressing that great importance is placed on investments in networks since every year Greece spends about 500 million euros for the electric power supply of unlinked islands.ana-mpa

    He reiterated that "there are serious indications that our country has investment utilisable deposits of oil and natural gas" and said that in the coming days an auction will be proclaimed for research in western Greece in land regions and the Ionian Sea as well as Crete, pointing out that it is the ministry's substantiated assessment that there shall be international investing interest.

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

    

    [06] OLP, Cosco agreement

    ANA-MPA/The government is expected to proceed with an amendment of the contract towards the Chinese side, of the commercial terminal at the port since, according to reports, the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and Cosco appear to have reached an agreement, through a "Friendly Settlement", on changes in the operation of docks which due to the international economic conjuncture has also dealt a blow at sea transport.ana-mpa

    According to judicial circles, the demands of the two sides are expected to be submitted for approval to the Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries ministry and the Finance ministry and if they are accepted an amendment will be prepared that will be tabled in Parliament for ratification.

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

    

    [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Monday's Cabinet meeting and decisions on the privatisations, new taxes and Prime Minister George Papandreou's meetings on Tuesday with the political leaders, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "All for sale immediately: TT-PostBank, Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (OLP), Public Power Corporation (PPC), Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE)".

    AVGHI: "For sale: Call Troika for further information".

    AVRIANI: "Greece for sale".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Papandreou's swan song: Pension of squalor and total sell-off ".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The looting of a nation".

    ETHNOS: "Shock and awe in the Greek people's lives".

    IMERISSIA: "Sweeping privatisations".

    KATHIMERINI: "Harsh decisions at the last minute (refers to speculation of early elections)".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Perpetuating tax storm and sell-off of state properties".

    : "New measures, same recipe...Taxes, surcharges, cutbacks in salaries and pensions".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist party's 'red line' is Greece and the people's salvation".

    VRADYNI: "Blood and land for the 5th installment".

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


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