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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-02-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't: Negotiations in crucial phase
  • [02] Hike in private label product prices as market share rises
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Gov't: Negotiations in crucial phase

    An agreement with the troika (EC-ECB-IMF) on the country’s new loan programme is expected to be reached shortly, and will be completed in principle with a joint decision by political party leaders, government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis said on Wednesday.

    He added that a joint meeting chaired by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will be held within the next few days before a agreement with the country’s creditors is reached. “Messrs Papandreou, Samaras and Karatzaferis will be called on to make very important decisions,” he stressed.

    Kapsis pointed out that “negotiations with the troika representatives on the new loan agreement and the PSI are at a crucial phase,” adding that very important steps have been made.

    As regards the objections raised by New Democracy (ND) and Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) to the draft law on prison decongestion and their decision to walk out of parliament, Kapsis said that such problems are not unusual in a government made up of three political parties that do not agree on everything. amna

    Responding to questions on the status of the bank shares, and whether the law providing that they will be ordinary and not preferred will be changed, he stated that “placing the banks under state management is not the goal”.

    [02] Hike in private label product prices as market share rises

    AMNA--Private label products have increased their market share relative to brand name goods to about 20 percent, with one in five goods bought by consumers being private label. At the same time, their prices have risen faster than those of their brand name equivalents, according to figures presented by the Development, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry in Parliament on Wednesday.

    According to a document sent to Parliament by Alternate Development Minister Sokratis Xynidis, in reply to a question tabled in Parliament by PASOK MP Aphrodite Papathanassi, the private-label sector is expected to continue increasing its market share by one or two percentage points in supermarket and cash-and-carry sales in the next two years.

    In her question, Papathanassi had noted that prices of basic consumer goods had risen by 23.8 percent in the midst of the economic crisis and that this was caused by the rise in price for private label goods.amna

    Xynidis noted that private label products, including those distributed by supermarket chains under their own label and 'supply groups' created for smaller retail outlets, had increased their market share rapidly in recent years as consumers started to view them as comparable in quality and packaging as brand name goods.

    The growth of the private label market was also accelerated by the economic crisis until one in five products bought by consumers were private label.

    The dominant category in private label goods remains that of foodstuffs, where it occupies 61 percent of the market. Next in line are household consumables, such as detergents, paper, cleaning products with 16 percent, while households items and clothing hold 12 percent.amna

    Based on a phone survey conducted by the Athens Economic University marketing laboratory, the intention to buy private label products stands at 13 percent for alcoholic beverages, 12.5 percent for coffee, 10.2 percent for clothing, 29.3 percent for bread, 24.2 percent for milk and dairy products, 17.7 percent for non-alcoholic beverages, 70.7 percent for paper products, 14.7 percent for personal hygiene products, 40.5 percent for cleaning products, 35.3 percent for detergents, 57.1 percent for packaged foods and 20.1 percent for frozen foods.

    According to the Price Watch, however, for 1,100 products monitored in November 2011 the total price increase for brand name goods was 1.8 percent but that for private label products was more than 4 percent.amna

    Despite the increase, however, private label goods remain significantly cheaper than their brand name equivalents by up to 65 percent.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Ôhe Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The serious decisions that the leaders of the three parties backing prime minister Lucas Papademos' interim government (George Papandreou-PASOK, Antonis Samaras-ND, George Karatzaferis-LAOS) must take, the negotiations for the PSI and the new measures as well as the changes to the university entry exams, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "One million undeclared workers".

    AVGHI: "Execution in the next five days".

    AVRIANI: "End to nepotism in PASOK, too".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The new university entry exams system sets fire to High Schools".

    ESTIA: "The responsible for the unemployment".

    ETHNOS: "Everything changes in University entry exams".

    IMERISSIA: "The three leaders' huge dilemma".

    KATHIMERINI: "The difficult hour of the joint decision".

    LOGOS: "Sign of convergence under the troika's eye".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government awaiting troika's orders".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Rally in Athens on Thursday against the legalisation of narcotics".

    TA NEA: "Everything changing in university entry exams".

    VRADYNI: "The procedure for construction interventions in buildings lacking permits".

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