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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-03-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek inflation slows to 2.1 pct in Jan.
  • [02] Greece launches tender for the sale of DEPA
  • [03] Parliament passes application law on health reforms
  • [04] Barroso after meeting with Papademos: 'Greece can'

  • [01] Greek inflation slows to 2.1 pct in Jan.

    BRUSSELS (AMNA/V.Demiris) - Greek inflation rate slowed to 2.1 pct in January from 2.2 pct in December 2011, Eurostat said on Wednesday.

    The EU executive’s statistics agency, in a monthly report, said the inflation rate slowed to 2.6 pct from 2.7 pct over the same periods, respectively, but it was up compared with 2.3 pct in January 2011, while in the EU-27, the inflation rate slowed to 2.9 pct in January from 3.0 pct in December but it was up from 2.7 pct in January last year.

    Sweden (0.7 pct), Ireland (1.3 pct) and Malta (1.5 pct) recorded the lowest inflation rates in January, while Hungary (5.6 pct), Estonia (4.7 pct), Poland and Slovakia (4.1 pct) recorded the highest rates.amna

    Eurostat said that the inflation rate rose in nine member-states in January, it was unchanged in two and fell in 16 member states.

    [02] Greece launches tender for the sale of DEPA

    AMNA--Greece on Wednesday launched an international tender for the sale of DEPA, the state-owned gas company- as part of an ambitious privatization programme.

    The Greek state has a 65 pct equity stake in DEPA while Hellenic Petroleum SA has the remaining 35 pct. Both shareholders and the State’s Private Property Fund have agreed to jointly sell their stakes in DEPA. Under the terms of the tender, all interested parties will submit bids on a bundle or unbundle basis and stressed that the state will retain 34 pct of DESFA, the gas grid operator.

    The deadline for invitations ends in March 22, 2012. Preselected investors will then submit indicative bids in the second phase of the tender before a short-list is drafted. The tender procedure is scheduled to be completed in August 2012.amna

    DEPA is active in the wholesale, trading and supply of gas both to retail and industrial clients and participates in international gas pipeline projects, such as the Greece-Italy project (ITGI), the Greece-Bulgaria project (IGB) and the SouthStream project.

    [03] Parliament passes application law on health reforms

    AMNA--Parliament in the first hours of Thursday passed the application law on labor health ministry measures and reforms, with 213 votes for, 58 against and 12 abstentions, thus completing the "prior actions" promised by Greece ahead of the upcoming EU summit.

    The Articles on the merger of the auxiliary pension funds, liberalisation of pharmacy working hours and introduction of generic medicines were passed by majority vote both in principle and by-article in a roll-call vote asked by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties.amna

    The bill was passed with the votes of PASOK and New Democracy (ND).

    [04] Barroso after meeting with Papademos: 'Greece can'

    BRUSSELS (AMNA / M. Aroni) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos shortly after talks here, expressed his conviction that Greece can successfully complete the implementation of a second adjustment programme by enacting all necessary reforms.

    On his part, Papademos said Greece can and shall do what is necessary to implement this programme.

    Referring to the second adjustment programme that was approved for Greece recently, Barroso said the aim is not only the country's economic restructuring, but structural reforms as well, which will improve competitiveness and bring growth to Greece. He termed as "Herculean" the task of the Commission's experts who, in cooperation with Greek authorities, "are trying to find a solution for the long-standing problem of competitiveness that the Greek economy is facing."

    Barroso added that progress has been achieved in Greece, pointing out that time is necessary for reforms to produce results, as well as a specific plan for growth and higher employment. amna

    The head of the Commission stressed that the primary issue of his talks with Papademos dealt with accelerating the absorption of the EU programmes that will bring growth to Greece, adding that more must be done before 2013 whereas some 20 billion euros of the national strategic reference programme from the 2007-2013 period must be absorbed quicker. amna

    In this effort, Barroso expressed the Commission's will to assist Greek authorities so that it will be secured, so that EU funding will reach the real economy as soon as possible.

    Barroso further said that the progress achieved in all the aforementioned sectors will be assessed at the end of March, while he concluded by saying, in Greek, "Greece can."


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