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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-11-23
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Case on former IMF rep's claims regarding Papandreou gov't to ParliamentAMNA--The file on an investigation into allegations made against George Papandreou's government by Greece's former representative at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Panagiotis Roumeliotis were sent to Parliament on Thursday by Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Nikos Pantelis.
The prosecutor asked Parliament to investigate any possible legal liability of politicians in the Papandreou government under the law on ministerial responsibility, based on Roumeliotis' allegations that he had informed ministers in that government that the IMF economic programme for Greece could not possibly work unless the country's debt was restructured beforehand.
In referring the case to Parliament, Pantelis was essentially agreeing with the conclusions drawn by financial prosecutors Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis that there should be an investigation of possible responsibility on the part of Papandreou's government ministers. The two prosecutors had originally sent the case to Supreme Court Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes, who assigned the investigation to Pantelis on September 5.amna
Peponis and Mouzakitis had referred the case to Tentes after the names of political figures arose during the examination of witnesses in the case. Among those giving witness testimony were Roumeliotis himself and former PASOK ministers Louka Katseli and Gerassimos Arsenis. The examinations were interrupted and the case referred to Tentes before the prosecutors had a chance to examine other political and financial figures, such as Vasso Papandreou, Yiannis Zannias and Petros Christodoulou.amna
In his testimony, Roumeliotis confirmed his public assertion that he had warned the former prime minister George Papandreou of serious doubts within the IMF on whether the economic programme imposed on Greece would work. In statements originally published by the New York Times, Greece's former IMF representative said that the IMF had known the programme could not be implemented from the start "because we had no, absolutely none, successful example".amna
Arsenis confirmed that Roumeliotis had made the same claims in private discussions but was unable to say whether the IMF representative had also informed the government's leadership, a position also taken by Katseli.
 Tsipras:Greece a kickball between IMF and GermanyAMNA--Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras launched a new attack on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in a statement from Barcelona, stressing that "at a time when the peoples of the European South are rising up and Mrs. (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel is not even finding an ally in the German Parliament itself, she is finding an unexpected supporter in Europe, Mr. Samaras and his government that with the policy of submission has made Greece a kickball between the International Monetary Fund and Germany".
Tsipras claimed that the IMF "is refusing to pay the cost of a programme that is not succeeding and Germany is refusing to pay the political cost of the haircut. And ultimately, those who are paying and will continue to pay are the Greeks, the Greek people, the working people, the unemployed, the young people who are leaving abroad as migrants."amna
Replying to Tsipras, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said: "Mr. Tsipras must be ashamed for disparaging Greece abroad in such crucial moments".
 PM: I will not let the Greek people's sacrifices go to wasteAMNA--"I am not anxious about the tranche, but every passing day without a final decision is bad for the economy, the psychology and the markets and affects the Greek people's 'filotimo' (sense of honour, integrity, pride)," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in Brussels on Thursday before going into the EU Summit.
Samaras said that he will not let the Greek people's sacrifices go to waste, underlining "you can be certain of that".
The prime minister also stressed that Greece has done its part and it was now time for Europe and the IMF to do theirs, stressing that they must also address the issue of cohesion.amna
"Cohesion is a matter for competitiveness and growth for the entire Eurozone and not just the countries that most need it," Samaras added.amna
A meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker on the issue of the disbursement of the next loan tranches to Greece was held late Thursday. The meeting was also attended by Eurozone labour group president Thomas Wiezer.
According to the negotiation at the Eurogroup on November 20-21, government sources stressed that there was satisfaction over the implementation of the adjustment programme, as well as the conviction that Greece has done its duty.
Government sources also stressed that the controversial issue at the meeting was the sustainability of the Greek debt and the funding vacuum, that are linked to a great degree.
 EIB approves 650-mln-euro loan for road projects in GreeceAMNA--The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday approved a 650-million-euro loan to Greece aimed to support the restart of works in major Greek road projects. The loan will cover the Greek state's financial obligations for the national road network linking Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki, with benefits for all contractors. This significant developments comes at a crucial moment, when negotiations to restarting the road project are currently underway.
"The decision will have significant impact on employment, development and will help towards the recovery of the Greek economy," a Development ministry statement said.amna
EIB is supporting Greece's efforts to return to growth and plans to approve a credit facility of more than 700 million euros aimed for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the transport, education and energy sectors.
 Greek households' incomes down significantly in Q2AMNA--Greek households lost 5.4 billion euros from their available income in the second quarter of 2012, hit by cuts in wages and social benefits and higher tax burdens, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, said the available income of households and non-profit institutions servicing households fell by 13.6 pct in the second quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2011 (34.1 billion euros from 39.5 billion euros, over the same periods, respectively).amna
This decline is attributed mainly to a 15.1 pct decline in workers' incomes, a 9.5 pct reduction in social benefits and a 37.3 pct increase in taxes.
The report said that the decline in available income resulted to a 7.3 pct decline in final consumption spending to 37.1 billion euros in the April-June period, from 40 billion euros in 2011. Also the saving deposits rate, as a percentage of gross available income, fell further to -8.5 pct in the second quarter from -1.2 pct last year and net lending by banks dropped to 2.4 billion euros from 6.1 billion euros in 2011.
Gross fixed-capital investments in the non-financial sector, fell by 20.6 pct to 3.0 billion euros in the second quarter, with the rate of investments as a percentage of gross fixed-capital investments to gross added value was 17.5 pct this year, from 20.7 pct in 2011. amna
Exports and goods and services fell by 400 million euros to 12.8 billion euros in the second quarter, while imports dropped by 1.9 billion euros to 15.4 billion euros.
The general government's net borrowing requirements totaled 4.2 billion euros in the second quarter of 2012, down from 6.1 billion euros in the corresponding period last year.
 IKEA employees in Greece call for 48-hour strikeAMNA--A group representing employees at IKEA stores in Greece has called for a 48-hour strike beginning on Friday. Representatives of employees have lambasted a company plan to cut salaries through individual labour contracts.
The call for a two-day strike comes after a work stoppage and rally outside an IKEA outlet on Kifissos Avenue on Thursday.amna
An announcement by multi-national on Friday said "the target is to secure jobs and the company's long-term growth for the benefit of employees ... a decrease in the salaries of our management staff was 13 percent on average, while this present arrangement for the rest of the work force is 8.5 percent, on average".amna
 Greek economy to shrink by 6.7% this yearAMNA--The Greek economy will shrink by 6.7 pct this year and by 4.7 pct in 2013, a report by National Bank, unveiled on Thursday, stated.
The bank, in its report, said the 2013 recession mainly reflects the strong negative impact from an accumulated shrinking of GDP this year and the implementation of a credible but strongly recession mixture of fiscal adjustment programme, based on a package of new fiscal measures representing 5.2 pct of the country's Gross Domestic Product.amna
National Bank's analysts said an expected release of the next tranche of aid to Greece will have direct and indirect impact on the economy, by reducing uncertainty and improving economic climate in the country, while at the same time improving liquidity conditions in the economy.
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