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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-03-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Survey: Econ sentiment index unchanged in Feb.
  • [02] Eurobarometer: Greece 4th most popular destination in 2012
  • [03] Gov't announces Greece-Cyprus-Israel MoC in energy sector
  • [04] Hellenic Exchanges says profits down 26.3% in 2011
  • [05] Frigate recalled early from Somalia in bid to cut costs

  • [01] Survey: Econ sentiment index unchanged in Feb.

    AMNA / Greece's economic sentiment index was unchanged in February from the previous month, while the economic sentiment index improved further in the European Union and the Eurozone, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) announced on Monday.

    IOBE, in a monthly report, said the economic sentiment index remained unchanged at 74.9 points, reflecting a slight improvement in business expectations in the manufacturing and construction sectors, a slight decline in the services sector and a significant drop in the retail sector. Consumer confidence fell further, nearing last October’s historic low record. The Institute said uncertainty over economic developments in the country remained strong despite a ratification of a new memorandum by the Parliament and noted that lifting of a monetary risk, a recapitalization of banks and a gradual improvement of the country’s picture abroad, combined with a clear election horizon, were expected to improve economic sentiment in the country. amna

    [02] Eurobarometer: Greece 4th most popular destination in 2012

    BRUSSELS (AMNA) Greece is the fourth most popular holiday destination for European citizens in 2012 - after Spain, Italy and France - according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey released in Brussels on Monday.

    Four percent of Europeans are planning a holiday in Greece within 2012, compared with 10 percent in Spain, 7 percent in Italy and 6 percent in France.

    The same survey showed that 70 percent of Greeks did not go on holiday in 2011, while 80 percent of Greeks that took holidays chose a destination within Greece. Of those that did not go on holiday, 70 percent said that this for financial reasons. This answer was only given by 45 percent of respondents in the EU as a whole.

    A further 48 percent of Greeks said that the current economic crisis had caused them to change their holiday plans for 2012 (compared with 33 percent in the EU) while another 35 percent replied that they do not plan to go on holiday.

    In Europe, 73 percent said that they intend to go on holiday in 2012.

    The most popular holiday destinations in 2011 were Spain (11 percent), Italy (9 percent), France (8 percent), Germany (5 percent), Austria (5 percent) and Greece (4 percent). During that year, more Europeans chose to take holidays in their own country (Greece - 80 percent, Italy - 74 percent, Croatia - 73 percent) or another EU country. This trend was even more marked in 2012.

    The survey was carried out using a random sample of 30,000 European citizens aged 15 years or over in the 27 EU member-states, along with respondents in Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), Serbia and Israel.

    [03] Gov't announces Greece-Cyprus-Israel MoC in energy sector

    AMNA / Greece, Cyprus and Israel will sign a memorandum of cooperation on energy issues at the end of this month, the relevant Greek government minister announced during a press conference on Monday.

    He also announced plans for new tenders to conduct hydrocarbon surveys in 10-12 areas of mainland Greece in July, including Evros, Kavala, Serres, Thessaloniki, Grevena, Aitoloakarnania, Messinia, Achaia and possibly Crete.

    The memorandum will refer to the possibility of linking up the electricity grids of the three countries and the prospects of cooperation in the transfer of natural gas that has been discovered or will be discovered in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe via Greece, now that Greece has also begun searching for hydrocarbon fuels.

    Energy Minister George Papaconstantinou said that the situation emerging in Cyprus and Israel and the prospects for Greece were discussed during the last EU energy ministers' council since it creates the potential prospect of a third, alternative source of natural gas supplies for Europe, apart from Russia and the Caspian Sea.

    The minister said that the response to a tender to conduct seismic surveys in the Ionian Sea and waters south of Crete, the deadline for which expired last Friday, had exceeded all expectations. A total of eight bids were submitted and their evaluation will be completed over the coming month with a view to signing contracts in April.

    The data from the seismic surveys is expected to be evaluated by the end of the year and tenders for concessions to carry out exploratory drilling in up to 15 fields are due to be held by the first months of 2013. amna

    In the meantime, the ministry has already launched a tender for the start of exploratory drilling in three areas that have already been surveyed and shown to have hydrocarbons - in the Patras Gulf, Katakolo and Ioannina, which contain estimated reserves of 200, 80 and 3-4 million barrels, respectively. The deadline for bids expires in July. amna

    [04] Hellenic Exchanges says profits down 26.3% in 2011

    AMNA / Hellenic Exchanges Group on Monday reported a 26.3-pct decline in its consolidated net profits to 21.5 million euros in 2011, from 29.2 million in the previous year.

    The group said net earnings per share eased to 0.31 euros per share in 2011 from 0.32 euros in 2010. The board will seek shareholders’ approval to a plan to pay a 0.11 euros per share dividend to shareholders, along with a plan for a capital return worth 0.08 euros per share. amna

    Consolidated turnover fell 31 pct to 42.8 million euros last year, reflecting lower share prices and significant reductions in the group’s billing policy.

    Average capitalisation of the market fell 31.5 pct to 44.9 billion euros in 2011, average daily turnover was 33.4 million shares (unchanged from 2010 levels), while new capital raised from the market grew 17.5 pct to 4.7 billion euros. Average daily turnover in the derivatives market grew 14.2 pct last year.

    Operating spending fell 3.4 pct, while operating results (EBIT) was 22.1 million euros, down 36 pct from 2010. amna

    [05] Frigate recalled early from Somalia in bid to cut costs

    AMNA / The Greek defence ministry on Monday ordered the Hellenic Navy frigate "Hydra" to withdraw from the European Union Naval Force's Operation Atalanta operating against Somalian pirates and to return to Greece a month earlier than planned.

    According to sources at the ministry, the decision for the frigate's premature departure and an end to Greece's participation in the EU NAVFOR Somalia operation this year was taken in order to cut costs and reduce ministry spending.

    The frigate has been in the region since Jan. 29, carrying out patrols and escorting merchant vessels that might be targeted by pirates. It was originally scheduled to stay in the area for two months, since Greece's participation in Operation Atalanta was for two months in each six-month period. amna

    Greece will also not participate in Operation Atalanta during the second half of the year, thus saving 7.5 million euro during the current year. The cost of a frigate's participation in the European operation comes to 2.5 million euro per month.

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