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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-10-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Reichenbach on EU task force's role in Greece
  • [02] Banks offering high interest rates to retain deposits
  • [03] EU agrees 50pct haircut of the Greek debt

  • [01] Reichenbach on EU task force's role in Greece

    AMNA-The head of the European Commission's task force in Greece Horst Reichenbach stressed in statements to reporters on Wednesday that his mission was to provide technical assistance to Greece's government, not to dictate or approve its policies.

    "I neither co-sign nor ratify the decisions of ministers. I am here at the request of the Greek prime minister to the European Commission to contribute technically to implementing the programme," he stressed.

    He said his team's mission was to listen to the plans of the ministers, ask in what way it might assist and provide the organisational help requested to Greek authorities.

    "What is most important is that good cooperation has been created with the Greek authorities, we provide the technical suppoort and every effort is being made for the implementation by Greece of the medium-term programme to be supported," he said.amna

    Reichenbach noted as the "most important" need, Grece's return to a growth and competitive orbit. For this reason, as he said, horizontal structural reforms are needed.amna

    As regards energy, Reichenbach said that since in the projects for the utilisation of solar energy cooperation is required with other partners, the task force's intervention is in the direction of seeking potential associates.

    [02] Banks offering high interest rates to retain deposits

    -Greek banks are offering higher interests rates of up to 4.8 pct for time deposits and other similar products in an effort to attract back customers and stop a trend of shrinking savings accounts recorded as a result of the economic crisis.

    Banks are offering interest rates of up to 4.80 pct for savings accounts of more than 5,000 euros corresponding to annual interest of roughly 220 euros. The lowest interest rates are just over 1 pct.

    For savings accounts with more than 25,000 euros, interest rates can reach 5 pct corresponding to annual interest of 1,200 euros. The interest rates offered by different banks range from 2 pct to 5 pct. amna

    Bank customers should pay a special attention to the annual interest rate offered considering that in certain instances banks offer high interest rates in the last quarter of a 12-month deposit in an effort to attract customers. The average yield of the product is much smaller after calculating the interest rates offered in the rest of the year. amna

    Bankers confirm that savings deposits are absolutely safe regardless of the size of the haircut that will be decided for the Greek debt.

    [03] EU agrees 50pct haircut of the Greek debt

    AMNA/Eurozone leaders and bankers at dawn Thursday reached agreement for a 50 percent haircut of the Greek debt after marathon negotiations in Brussels that lasted throughout the night.

    The agreement will shave off approximately 100 billion euros from the Greek debt.

    Greek prime minister George Papandreou told a press conference afterwards that "we achieved our goal, despite the unprecedented adversities",adding that the decisions taken allow Greece to "close the accounts with the past".

    He said the agreement has all the "pros" of the July 21 eurozone summit agreement but not its "cons", while it also eases the burden from the Greek people and transfers it the banks, ans also spoke of a fair distribution of the weight.

    Commenting on criticism of supervision of the country, Papandreou said that the lightening of the debt burden, and the primary surpluses to be created, guarantee that "we will depart from dependencies slowly but surely".amna

    "Let's put an end to the propaganda and facile mudslinging...We are fighting for the country...Let's stop devouring our own flesh," the premier said.amna

    Papandreou also assured that the social security funds' insured workers and pensioners can rest assured about their pensions, as the agreement reached does not touch pensions but, on the contrary, through the easing of the servicing of the debt interest, facilities social policy.

    Papandreou further put a brake on snap elections speculation. "The people want changes, not elections," he said, adding that his government has responsible work of national importance ahead of it, so that those decisions will be implemented.amna

    The premier reiterated that the government wants the broadest possible consensus on decisions.

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