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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Hollande, Rajoy urge support to keep Greece in eurozone
  • [02] Cigarette smuggling costs state 400mln euros in revenues

  • [01] Hollande, Rajoy urge support to keep Greece in eurozone

    PARIS (AMNA) -- French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy presented their shared vision on how the Eurozone should proceed in coming weeks during a press conference held at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday, indicating there must be progress on creating a European banking union and support for Greece to stay in the euro.

    "A Greek exit from the euro would be a collective failure for the EU, a failure that we cannot accept," Rajoy said, stressing that "Spain believes that Greece must stay in the euro".

    Hollande said that Spain and France have the same positions on how the Eurozone should proceed in the coming weeks and that both considered it a top priority that there be progress toward a banking union for Europe at the upcoming European Council on October 18.

    "We must also find a solution for Greece as soon as we receive the troika's report. Provided that Greece reaffirms its commitments, it must have Europe's support and there is no doubt about our own desire, of France and Spain, that Greece must remain fully in the eurozone," Hollande said.

    Rajoy expressed his conviction that European countries, working together, "will be able to find ways so that Greece can respect its commitments and the other countries can take the appropriate decisions for Greece to stay in the euro."amna

    [02] Cigarette smuggling costs state 400mln euros in revenues

    AMNA / The state loses up to 400 million euros annually in tax revenue from a thriving cigarette smuggling sector in the country, a sum equaling pension payments for civil servants for an entire month, or 860,000 unemployment benefits.

    Nikitas Theofilopoulos, chairman and chief executive of the Papastratos Group – a Greek cigarette manufacturer -- said during a news conference on Wednesday that smuggling and consumption of of cigarettes rose to 13.2 pct in April 2012.

    He noted that cigarette consumption totaled 26.8 billion cigarettes in 2011, down 8.4 pct from 2010, or 10.1 pct of total consumption in the country, five times more compared with a 2.2 pct figure recorded in 2008. Illicit whites accounted for 45 pct of illegal cigarettes.

    Greece recorded the second largest percentage increase in illegal cigarettes in the European Union (3.8 percentage points in 2011). A survey conducted in April 2012 showed that the trend of the illegal cigarette market was expected to surpass 13 pct this year and noted that combating all illegal activity would boost legal cigarette sales by 15 pct.

    Theofilopoulos said this illegal activity resulted to lower state revenue, more job losses and lost turnover for the industry, unfair competition, undermining of public health policies and funding of criminal activities in the country. Theofilopoulos stressed it was necessary to draft an integrated policy to combating illegal cigarette trade.amna

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