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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Dep.FM completes high-profile visit to China
  • [02] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies
  • [03] Greece launches procedure for debt buy-back
  • [04] BoG forecasts further GDP decline of 4-4.5pct in 2013
  • [05] Stolen items returned to ancient Olympia museum

  • [01] Dep.FM completes high-profile visit to China

    AMNA--Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas on Sunday completed an official visit to China with an address at a business forum in Shanghai.

    In his address, Kourkoulas reiterated Athens' message to international investors, stressing that "now is the right time to invest in Greece," with discussions, on both the official and business level, pointing to additional Chinese investments in the east Mediterranean country. The talks come in light of Chinese multinational Cosco's successful investment at the port of Piraeus, something that Cosco's leadership confirmed.

    Speaking to AMNA, Kourkoulas expressed satisfaction with the organisation of his visits and contacts, as well as the noteworthy promotion of the business forum in the Chinese media.amna

    Reviewing the results of his contacts, the Greek official stressed that the maritime shipping sector remains the main pylon of Greece-China bilateral cooperation, given that 120 Greek-owned vessels are currently being constructed in Chinese shipyards, while a whopping 30 percent of China's foreign trade is carried by Greek-owned vessels.

    Another growing and important sector is exports of Greek agricultural products to China, with the goal being to expand the market beyond Shanghai and Beijing. amna

    Moreover, a report that the China Development Bank is considering a mission to Athens was warmly received by the Chinese and the Greek sides, given that beyond funding large-scale Chinese investors, such a prospect would be positive for the Greek economy.amna

    Finally, Cosco's leadership also welcomed Kourkoulas, with the multinational's president, Capt. Wei Jiafu, reminding that Cosco's managers that the company aims to turn Piraeus into a "regional centre of distribution".

    [02] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The debt buy-back procedure for the private sector starting on Monday, the new taxation system and main opposition SYRIZA party's nationwide congress, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: 'Reserved optimism over the bonds' buy-back".

    AVGHI: "SYRIZA: Left, democratic, radical party".

    DIMOKRATIA: "In the Bermuda...triangle".

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Children the hostages of the tax rise".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Mini face-lift to new tax system".

    ESTIA: "SYRIZA in PASOK's role".

    ETHNOS: "45 percent tax on over 26,000 euros incomes".

    IMERISSIA: "Bond buy-back procedure begins".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Extreme scenarios for the taxation of incomes".

    TA NEA: "Salary earners again facing the firing squad".

    VRADYNI: "Three ways to reduce your loans' installments".

    6 DAYS: "Financial Crime Squad (SDOE) list with 1,747 prominent names".

    [03] Greece launches procedure for debt buy-back

    AMNA--Greece on Monday released the method for its debt buy-back, through a modified "Dutch" auction.

    The deadline for statement of interest in the buy-back is December 7, with the expected settlement date on December 17.

    The Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) on Monday announced an invitation to eligible holders of the bonds to submit offers to exchange the designated securities (together wth accrued and unpaid interest on them) for up to 10 billion euro aggregate principal amount of six-month notes to be issued by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

    "The invitation is designed to improve the Republic's (Greece's) debt profile in furtherance of the November 27, 2012 Eurogroup Statement," the PDMA said in an announcement.amna

    The PDMA set a minimum price range of 30.2 percent to 38.1 percent and a maximum price range of 32.2 percent to 40.1 percent depending on the bond maturities on the 20 series' of outstanding bonds.amna

    The PDMA announcement in full can be accessed at http://www.pdma.gr/index.php/el/debt-instruments-gr/announcements-gr/247-el031212a

    [04] BoG forecasts further GDP decline of 4-4.5pct in 2013

    AMNA--The country's central Bank of Greece (BoG) has predicted a further decline of the national GDP of 4-4.5 percent in 2013, sources said on Monday morning, citing the BoG's interim report on monetary policy that will be submitted to parliament later in the day by BoG governor George Provopoulos.

    The interim report will stress the need for adoption of a national plan for growth, and estimates that the recovery of the economy will be a basic tool for dealing with the challenges the Greece is facing: from the weight of the state debt to the budget deficit and spiraling unemployment.amna

    The BoG report underlines that the crisis has struck a blow to the Greek economy corresponding to that of the crash. Indicatively, real GDP slumped by 20 percent and continues to recede. Unemployment jumped to 25 percent from a percentage below 8 percent and continues to rise. The standard of living has spiraled down and continues to decline.

    However, the BoG ascertains that the first signs of improvement in competitiveness are starting to become visible.amna

    Specifically, the BoG predicts that competitiveness will have been fully regained by the end of 2013, or by 30 percent of the accrued loss of the competitive cost recorded since 2001.

    On the banking system, Provopoulos will recall the steps that have been made to date for their streamlining.amna

    Specifically, six banks have been streamlined, including the ATEbank agricultural bank, which represents the biggest relative example in Europe to date. The rest of the banks are in the process of mergers. Further, all depositors are fully protected so as to fully ensure fiscal stability.amna

    The BoG also assesses that the process of recapitalization of the systemic banks should be completed by April. The report notes that completion of the process will result in larger, well-capitalized banks, increased confidence on the part of the depositors and the ability to return to the capital markets.

    [05] Stolen items returned to ancient Olympia museum

    AMNA--A brief but special ceremony was held at the Museum of Olympic Games History at the ancient Olympia archaeological site on Sunday to unveil the artifacts that were stolen from the same museum last February, generating an international furor over lax security at the facility. amna

    Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras thanked the law enforcement authorities who recovered the priceless items. Several suspects, in Patras and Athens, were arrested and charged with the audacious early morning robbery at the museum.


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