|Thursday, 22 March 2018|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-05
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Tsipras slams plan for sale of Hellenic Sugar Industry for 40 mlnAMNA--Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday warned the government not to go ahead with plans to "sell off public wealth for a song and especially the sale of those productive units that could be a lever for the productive reconstitution of the country".
Tsipras stressed that this would be tantamount to "the second biggest crime after the signature of the Memorandum [for bailout loans to Greece]" in statements after meeting with a delegation of workers from the Hellenic Sugar Industry (EBZ).amna
SYRIZA's leader strongly criticised a plan to sell off EBZ for what he called a 'paltry' 40 million euro, noting that the two factories owned by EBZ's subsidiary in Serbia were alone currently costed at more than 150 million euro. He also pointed out that EBZ was the largest agricultural-based industry in northern Greece and was currently making a profit that could be made even larger with the right plan and strategy. He also noted that the sale would not only affect EBZ's workforce but also thousands of farmers now growing sugar beet that supplied EBZ.
Tsipras promised that his party will stand at the side of workers in the coming period and stressed that privatisation processes in Greece, but also Europe and the rest of the world, had acted as sources of corruption and major scandals "especially in conditions with fast-track and pressure".amna
"We will not allow the same to happen here, especially at a time when the Greek economy is suffocating and suffering. We will strive for the Greek economy to have hope and prospects, so that they do not extinguish hope entirely through their choices," he said.
 Coalition gov't eye downsizing of constituenciesAMNA--Representatives of the three-party (ND, PASOK, DIM.AR) governing coalition on Wednesday continued consultations in preparation of a policy text ahead of the government policy platform presentation by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Parliament on Friday afternoon.
AMNA sources said that election law and political system reform issues will not be raised and be considered at a later time within the framework of the constitutional revision debate to be launched in June 2013. However, the government will proceed with downsizing the large constituencies to elect no more than six MPs each.
According to the same sources, the three coalition government parties have agreed to proceed with the amendment of the legislation on illegal migrants. The new legislation will provide that children of illegal migrants will receive the Greek nationality not at birth, as the current law says, but at the age of 18 and after renouncing the nationality of their parents.amna
As regards the imminent negotiation of the government with the troika the government coalition partners will suggest that the imposed taxes be paid in smaller installments to make it easier for taxpayers. amna
All three parties reject the obligation undertaken to proceed with 15,000 layoffs in the public sector by the end of the year, stressing that fiscal benefits will be minuscule, sending the wrong message by increasing unemployment. In return, they will suggest the abolition of organizations and agencies, with their employees being placed on labour reserve or transferred to other posts after undergoing evaluation.
 FM Avramopoulos holds talks with Bulgarian counterpartAMNA--Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and his Bulgarian counterpart Nickolay Mladenov held talks on Wednesday and confirmed the joint will of Greece and Bulgaria to deepen the already excellent relations between the two countries in all sectors.
Avramopoulos said that in the past years Greece has established strong bonds of friendship and sincere cooperation with Bulgaria, something that is now having even greater importance since the two countries are in the ranks of the European family.amna
He stressed that "our will is to contribute, through our cooperation, to the shaping of an environment of stability, peace, friendship and cooperation in the wider region, so that the Balkans, that were sometimes the bad example, to be turned into an oasis of cooperation and security."amna
On his part, the Bulgarian Foreign minister, after thanking Avramopoulos for the warm welcome, referred to the meeting in the morning between the presidents of the two countries Karolos Papoulias and Rosen Plevneliev, stressing that they were assigned with starting the planning of the next Bulgaria-Greece government meeting and expressed the hope that it will take place in the second half of the year.
Referring to the agenda of the next Bulgaria-Greece government meeting, Mladenov said: "we must strengthen our cooperation not only on bilateral issues but also on issues concerning our neighbourhood's European prospect here in southeastern Europe and the challenges that all of Europe is facing today."amna
He also stressed the usefulness of the discussions regarding the next fiscal framework, with the Monetary and Economic Union, "to enable us to coordinate our positions better and for us to be more active as two members, that are not only neighbours but longstanding friends and strategic partners as well."
 PM Samaras to meet with troika on ThursdayAMNA--Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will have his first meeting with the heads of the troika delegation at 13:00 at the Maximos mansion. At 11:00, immediately after his swearing-in, Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras will have a meeting with the troika.
 Wildfire on Rhodes islandAMNA--A wildfire broke out on Wednesday evening in a forested area on the island of Rhodes near the village of Apollonas. Firefighting forces on the island have been mobilised to place it under control and prevent it from spreading to a nearby forest, one of the few regions on the island that have not experienced fires in the past years.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' dailiesThe Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with the heads of the troika delegation and the coalition government parties' agreement on the policy statements, dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Samaras crucial meeting with the troika on Thursday".
AVGHI: "Government executes contracts for troika".
DIMOKRATIA: "Police unveil the 28 persons who burned Athens".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Package arrangement for all taxes".
ESTIA: "Here's the opportunity for Greece".
ETHNOS: " 'Troikan' war' for 31.5 billion euros".
IMERISSIA: "Growth jump-start with three major works".
KATHIMERINI: "Repayment tax plan in 9 installments".
LOGOS: "Halt to extraordinary contributions".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government will seek vote of confidence from the troika, too".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party : Tax allowances for the people and high taxation on the monopolies".
TA NEA: "Privates concerns in PPC, too".
 Athens Stock Exchange opening: RiseEquity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.27 percent, standing at 658.56 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 6.855 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.94 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.82 percent.
Individual sector indices were moving upward, with the biggest gains in Public Utilities, up 2.41 percent; Banks, up 1.46 percent and Telecoms, up 1.39 percent.
The heaviest losses were in Personal and Household Goods, down 1.53 percent; Constructions, down 1.12 percent and Oil and Gas, down 0.88 percent.
Of the stocks traded, 37 were up, 18 were down, and 5 were unchanged.
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