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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-08-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK leader holds talks on the phone with French PM
  • [02] FM Avramopoulos to visit Rome next week
  • [03] Coalition government leaders to resume deliberations next week
  • [04] Bronze for Greece in Women's Lightweight Double Sculls
  • [05] Athens' Newspaper Headlines on Sunday
  • [06] Government holds meeting on state of Skaramangas shipyards
  • [07] FinMin, BoG governor defend ATEbank transfer as necessary

  • [01] PASOK leader holds talks on the phone with French PM

    AMNA/ PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos held talks with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on the telephone on Friday.

    The talks focused on the situation in Greece, the course of the Greek government's talks with a EC/ECB/IMF troika and the situation in the eurozone.

    Venizelos briefed the French premier on the government's policies, while

    The telephone talks were held on the French premier's initiative. Ayrault reiterated France's stance that Greece is an integral part of the eurozone.

     

    [02] FM Avramopoulos to visit Rome next week

    AMNA/ Greek foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will visit Rome next week, at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi.

    Avramopoulos had a telephone conversation with Terzi on Friday, and the two foreign ministers decided to expand bilateral cooperation on EU issues and in the energy sector.

    Avramopoulos, who goes to Rome on Tuesday, will be accompanied by environment deputy minister Assimakis Papageorgiou and ministry officials.

    [03] Coalition government leaders to resume deliberations next week

    AMNA/ Prime minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis, will hold new discussions early next week, it was announced on Friday.

    The leaders of the three parties supporting the coalition government will meet at 16:00 on Monday and 18:00 on Tuesday to discuss privatizations and reforms.

    [04] Bronze for Greece in Women's Lightweight Double Sculls

    AMNA/ Greece's rowers Christina Giatzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou won the bronze medal in the Olympic Women's Lightweight Double Sculls final in London on Saturday, with a time of 7:12.09.

    Prime minister Antonis Samaras sent a message of congratulations to the two athletes, saying "you made all the Greeks proud".

    This was Greece's second medal in the London 2012 Olympics.

    Greece won its first medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games on Wednesday, when Greek judoka Ilias Iliadis won the bronze medal after defeating Brazil's Tiago Camilo (-90kg).

    [05] Athens' Newspaper Headlines on Sunday

    AMNA/

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The changes to salaries, pensions and one-off retirement benefit, the cutbacks in state health spending and mergers in the banking sector were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "What is to be done with pensions, one-off retirement benefit, benefits and retirement ages".

    AVGHI: "Sell-off with double the cost".

    AVRIANI: "10 million euros in account abroad of top-ranking ATEbank official".

    DIMOKRATIA: "By how much the pensions will be reduced".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The co-governance will not survive past winter".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Offsetting of state's-businesses' debts".

    ESTIA: "The cutbacks in the state expenditures".

    ETHNOS: "68,000 businesses have shut down".

    IMERISSIA: "Full-speed ahead towards 4 banks".

    KATHIMERINI: "Race against time to find the 11.6 billion euros".

    LOGOS: "EFSF intervention in crisis".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Spain knocking on bailout mechanism's door".

    NIKI: "Where the 'smart' deposits find refuge".

    PRESS TIME: "The worst are coming - Provocative confession by minister Lykourentzos on health system".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Privatization of ATEbank a blow to working farmers".

    STO KARFI: "Don't let PASOK's flame go out - Olymp

    TA NEA: "End to free healthcare".

    VRADYNI: "Upsets in pensions, benefits, and knife to special salary scales". ic truce sought urgently".

    [06] Government holds meeting on state of Skaramangas shipyards

    AMNA/ A government meeting to discuss the situation at the Skaramangas shipyards and the problems faced by workers there was convened on Friday morning. The meeting was ordered by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, based on a proposal made by Defence Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos.

    Speaking after the meeting, Panagiotopoulos said the ministry was concerned about the issue because there were currently three submarines undergoing work at the shipyard that were part of a broader order that had already been paid for. As a result of strike action now underway, due to management's failure to pay wages, there was a risk in terms of the guarding and maintenance of the three subs, the minister said, as well as a fourth submarine now at the same shipyard for repairs.

    Panagiotopoulos emphasised the importance of ensuring both the proper maintenance and guarding of the submarines and said that the ministerial meeting held on Friday "outlined the road map and route we must follow in order to tackle this major issue - which has to do with the future of shipyards in Greece - together".

    Noting Greece's position as a world leader in commercial shipping, he said it was inconceivable for the same country to have shipyards that did not work and where people remained unemployed or worked only occasionally.

    The minister added that the shipyards issuewill also be discussed next Tuesday at a meeting of the three party leaders supporting the coalition government, which Panagiotopoulos is also to attend.

    Referring to his ministry's efforts to find 'equivalent measures' to cut spending without further reducing the salaries of those serving in the military, Panagiotopoulos said the defence ministry had so far identified possible cuts exceeding 1.65 billion euro.

    [07] FinMin, BoG governor defend ATEbank transfer as necessary

    AMNA/ Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor George Provopoulos on Friday told a parliamentary committee that the transfer of ATEbank's sound assets to Piraeus Bank was "necessary, legitimate and beneficial for the Greek economy and society".

    Stournaras and Provopoulos appeared before Parliament's Standing Committee on Economic Affairs at the request of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), both underlining that ATEbank was not viable within a European framework that recognizes the need for fewer banks.

    ATEbank would have lost 6.3 billion euros in liquidity and the total cost for the taxpayers in order to cover the losses and have it recapitalized was estimated to 10 billion euros, considering that the European Central Bank (ECB) had decided that after July it would no longer provide liquidity to ATEbank because it was seen as "non viable, undercapitalized and without a prospect of recapitalization".

    According to Stournaras and Provopoulos there were two prospects, either to close ATEbank resulting in 5,000 jobs being lost and a financial cost of more than 20 billion euros (14 billion euros would be needed only to reimburse depositors) or to proceed with the merger which was the option preferred.

    Provopoulos stressed that procedures followed for the transfer of the sound assets of ATEbank to a private bank were provided by existing legislation, adding that there was no interest expressed by foreign investors. A total of four Greek banks expressed interest; two of them submitted their proposals to the Financial Stability Fund to receive its consent and one of them finally withdrew its interest.

    The only binding proposal was submitted by Piraeus Bank on July 27 and the fund decided that the necessary criteria were being met.

    As regards the confidentiality that characterized the transfer procedures, Provopoulos stated that "by definition, the transfer of a weak bank should take place in confidentiality conditions to avoid panic among the depositors with negative consequences for the economy and society."


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