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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-05-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Democratic Left leader proposes 'unity' gov't until 2014
  • [02] Tsipras: Memorandum illegitimate
  • [03] Greek unemployment rises to 21.7% in Feb.
  • [04] Stocks end sharply higher

  • [01] Democratic Left leader proposes 'unity' gov't until 2014

    AMNA / During a meeting with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday, Democratic Left party leader Fotis Kouvelis said he had proposed the formation of an 'unity' government with the participation of several parties, which will stay in power until the European Parliament elections in 2014 and seek to guide the country out of the crisis.

    Kouvelis said such a government should include trustworthy political figures and encapsulate and respect the message of last Sunday's election, appealing to all political forces to help in its creation.

    He clarified that this ecumenical government should have a binding policy platform and dual mission: to keep the country in the European Union and begin its gradual 'disentanglement' from the bailout agreements.

    "With a strong popular and Parliamentary support, it will exploit the now more favourable European political environment in order to achieve positive results, through systematic and tough negotiations. To keep Greece alive in Europe, with society still standing and the younger generation engaged," he added.

    Kouvelis noted that the Democratic Left was submitting its proposal while fully aware of the critical importance of the moment for the country and appealed to all political forces to respond with a sense of responsibility toward the country. amna

    He also stressed that neither he, nor his party, sought anything other than "the satisfaction of having contributed to the exit from the crisis for the benefit of the people and the country".

    Kouvelis was the first party leader to meet Venizelos after the exploratory mandate to form a government passed to PASOK, which came third in the elections with approximately 13 percent of the vote. www.amna.

    [02] Tsipras: Memorandum illegitimate

    AMNA / Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, in a letter he addressed on Thursday to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Parliament President Martin Schulz, stresses that the vote of the Greek people render the memorandum as politically illegitimate, saying it the bailout agreement has failed to achieve the aims it had set, while adding that a reconsideration of European strategy is necessary.

    The letter was also forwarded to European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker.

    Tsipras noted that due to the policies of the memorandum, Greece is the only European country in peacetime, which as of 2012, is experiencing a fifth consecutive year of recession.

    He further said that in no way can austerity be the cure for recession. Therefore, the immediate and socially fair reversal of the downward trend of Greece's economy is imperative.

    Tsipras stressed the need for economic and social stability to be secured in Greece and noted that for this purpose "we must undertake every possible political initiative to reverse austerity and recession." amna

    He went on to say that apart from the lack of democratic legalisation, the continuation of the implementation of the internal devaluation programme leads the economy to ruin, without creating preconditions for recovery, adding that the internal devaluation tends to lead to a humanitarian crisis.

    Consequently, Tsipras concluded, "we must reconsider the entire framework of the existing strategy, given that it is not only threatening social cohesion and stability in Greece, but also constitutes a source of instability for the European Union itself and the eurozone."

    [03] Greek unemployment rises to 21.7% in Feb.

    AMNA / Unemployment rate rose to 21.7 pct of the Greek workforce, a new record high in February this year, with the number of unemployed people totaling 1,070,724, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a monthly report, said that approximately 900 people every day, on average, lost their jobs in 2011, while youth unemployment surpassed 50 pct. The unemployment rate rose to 21.7 pct in February, from 15.2 pct in February 2011 and 21.3 pct in January 2012. The number of unemployed people rose by 318,435 compared with February 2011 (42.3 pct up) and by 14.237 from January 2012 (up 1.3 pct). amna

    The number of employed people in the country totaled 3,872,243, down 8.0 pct from February 2011 and up 0.2 pct from January 2012. Unemployment in the 15-24 age group rose to 53.8 pct (40.3 pct in February last year), in the 25-34 age group jumped to 29.1 pct from 20.4 pct and in the 35-44 age group rose to 17.6 pct from 12.9 pct over the same periods, respectively. Unemployment in the 45-54 age group rose to 16.2 pct (10.4 pct in February 2011) and in the 55-64 age group was 11.2 pct from 7.5 pct. Unemployment among women rose to 25.7 pct in February, from 18.8 pct last year, while among men the unemployment rate rose to 18.6 pct from 12.5 pct.

    Macedonia-Thrace (23.3 pct) recorded the highest unemployment rate among the country's regions, followed by Attica (23 pct), Epirus (22.3 pct), Thessaly (21.1 pct), Crete (20.1 pct) and the Peloponnese (19.8 pct).

    [04] Stocks end sharply higher

    AMNA / Stocks recovered strongly in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday on renewed hopes that the main political parties would agree to the formation of a new government in the country. The composite index of the market rose 4.19 pct to end at 640.91 points, after losing 10.83 pct in the previous three sessions. Turnover remained a low 37.560 million euros. The Big Cap index jumped 6.22 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.77 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 3.83 pct.

    The Food sector was the only one to end lower (0.15 pct), while Banks (12.96 pct), Financial Services (7.50 pct), Utilities (7.32 pct0 and Raw Materials (6.66 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    Coca Cola 3E (0.14 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end lower, while Alpha Bank (15.24 pct), Piraeus Bank (14.55 pct), Cyprus Bank (14.37 pct) and Eurobank (14.14 pct) were top gainers. amna

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 90 to 31 with another 21 issues unchanged. Elastron (29.4 pct), Euroholdings (20 pct) and Attica Holdings (19.77 pct) were top gainers, while Pegasus (19.8 pct), PC Systems (19.79 pct) and Lambrakis Press (19.1 pct) were top losers.

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