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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-02-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Farmers, unhappy with talks, considering further action
  • [02] Tourism bookings 20 pct higher so far this year
  • [03] Trade deficit drops 17.2pct in 2012
  • [04] Tourism industry says early bookings up to 20 pct higher so far this year
  • [05] Greek exports rise to record 24.5 bln euros in 2012

  • [01] Farmers, unhappy with talks, considering further action

    AMNA -- Farmers will meet Tuesday morning to decide on further actions, after expressing dissatisfaction with results of their meetings with several ministers over the past few days.

    Karditsa agricultural federation president Vangelis Boutas said on Monday that all 16 demands of farmers, who have been blocking roadways in northern Greece, were discussed at meetings but the ministers had "invoked the fiscal adjustment programme and said they could not meet our demands."

    The farmers' representatives have met with the ministers of finance, labour, environment and agriculture. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Monday that the ministry heard all of their demands "but within the tight fiscal parameters, the potential (to resolve them) was limited. We are continuing our efforts, however. Certain of the issues that do not carry fiscal cost but are of a structural nature are in the process of being resolved."amna

    Earlier in the day, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said that a new bill expected to be tabled in Parliament will help those who want to receive their pensions to pay off their debts to insurance funds as long as it did not exceed 4,000 euros. The government was also reviewing the possibility of allowing farmers registered after 1988 to retire at 62 years of age, after completing 40 years of insurance.amna

    [02] Tourism bookings 20 pct higher so far this year

    AMNA -- The messages received so far four tourism trends this year were optimistic, with a 20 pct increase in bookings from the UK, a 15 pct rise in bookings from Germany, France and Skandinavia and a more than 20 pct increase in bookings for developing countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey, among others Andreas Andreadis, president of the Federation of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said on Monday.

    The tourism industry remained a strong supporter of the Greek economy after achieving its targets of attracting 16 million international arrivals and 10 billion euros in tourism receipts last year, he added.

    Addressing an event held on the occasion of the presentation of the Bank of Greece governor's report to the central bank's annual general shareholders' meeting, Andreadis said that annual investments worth 2.5 billion euros were needed in order to raise tourism's contribution to 40 pct of the country's future economic growth. He added that this figure was fully feasible and probably underestimated and stressed that the first 11 significant new investment plans were currently under licensing procedures by Greek authorities. Promotion of an ambitious privatisation programme and the sale or lease of idle tourist real estate assets by banks were also expected to help towards achieving this year, he noted.

    He underlined as extremely important to speed-up procedures for visa issuing, reducing a VAT on the restaurant industry to 13 pct and of the VAT on coastal shipping to 13 pct, with the goal of reducing a VAT on tourism to 6.5 pct.

    [03] Trade deficit drops 17.2pct in 2012

    Trade deficit drops 17.2pct in 2012

    AMNA -- Greece's trade balance deficit posted a substantial reduction of 17.2 percent in 2012, according to figures released by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Monday.

    ELSTAT, in a report, said that the deficit of the Trade Balance, excluding oil products, for the 12-month period from January to December 2012 amounted to 13196.8 million euros (16798.2 million dollars) in comparison with 15944.5 million euros (22027.0 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011, recording a drop, in euros, of 17.2%.

    The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, in December 2012 amounted to 2384.1 million euros (3118.5 million dollars) in comparison with 2358.7 million euros (3099.1 million dollars) in December 2011, recording an increase, in euros, of 1.1%.amna

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, in December 2012 amounted to 1295.5 million euros (1704.9 million dollars) in comparison with 1523.9 million euros (2014.5 million dollars) in December 2011, recording a drop, in euros, of 15.0%.

    The deficit of the trade balance, excluding oil products, in December 2012 amounted to 1088.6 million euros (1413.6 million dollars) in comparison with 834.8 million euros (1084.6 million dollars) in December 2011, recording an increase, in euros, of 30.4%.amna

    The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, for the 12-month period from January to December 2012 amounted to 30201.2 million euros (38720.7 million dollars) in comparison with 32127.4 million euros (44604.7 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011 recording a drop, in euros, of 6.0%.

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, for the 12-month period from January to December 2012 amounted to 17004.4 million euros (21922.5 million dollars) in comparison with 16182.9 million euros (22577.7 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011, recording an increase, in euros, of 5.1%.amna

    [04] Tourism industry says early bookings up to 20 pct higher so far this year

    AMNA -- The tourism industry remained a strong supporter of the Greek economy after achieving its targets of attracting 16 million international arrivals and 10 billion euros in tourism receipts last year, Andreas Andreadis, president of the Federation of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said on Monday.

    Addressing an event held on the occasion of the presentation of the Bank of Greece governor's report to the central bank's annual general shareholders' meeting, Andreadis said that annual investments worth 2.5 billion euros were needed in order to raise tourism's contribution to 40 pct of the country's future economic growth. He added that this figure was fully feasible and probably underestimated and stressed that the first 11 significant new investment plans were currently under licensing procedures by Greek authorities. Promotion of an ambitious privatisation programme and the sale or lease of idle tourist real estate assets by banks were also expected to help towards achieving this year, he noted.amna

    He underlined as extremely important to speed-up procedures for visa issuing, reducing a VAT on the restaurant industry to 13 pct and of the VAT on coastal shipping to 13 pct, with the goal of reducing a VAT on tourism to 6.5 pct.

    Andreadis said the messages received so far four tourism trends this year were optimistic, with a 20 pct increase in bookings from the UK, a 15 pct rise in bookings from Germany, France and Skandinavia and a more than 20 pct increase in bookings for developing countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey, among others.amna

    [05] Greek exports rise to record 24.5 bln euros in 2012

    AMNA -- The value of Greek exports surpassed 24 billion euros in 2012, a record year for the Greek economy, although a strengthened euro currency exchange rate against the US dollar undermined Greek exports to the European Union, the Panhellenic Federation of Exporters said on Monday.

    In its statement, however, the Federation stressed that the European Commission recently predicted that Greek exports will rise by 2.7 pct in 2013.

    Christina Sakellaridi, president of the Federation, said in the statement, "The engine of the Greek economy, export-going business activity, managed to move forward rapidly in the last three years, offering spectacular results with clear positive effect on the economy such as capital inflows, higher taxes and contributions, maintaining or creating new job positions amid a devastating recession. But the industry is meeting additional hurdles in its way. A recession in Europe and increased euro exchange rate against the US dollar are limiting its dynamism and the recovery possibilities of the Greek economy. It is imperative to take urgent action to support exporters in fundamental ways, otherwise new forecasts for an even deeper recession in Greece this year could be revised downwards."amna

    The Federation, in an analysis of Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures on trade transactions, said that the value of exports – excluding oils - fell to 1.295 billion euros in December, from 1.524 billion euros in December 2011, for a decline of 15 pct – the worst performance for a December in the last three years. Overall, the value of exports – excluding oils - rose to 17.004 billion euros last year, from 16.183 billion euros in 2011, an increase of 4.1 pct, while with oils included the value of exports totaled 24.5 billion euros in 2012, accounting for 12.3 pct of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

    Exports to EU states fell 1.7 pct last year, while exports to third countries jumped 17.8 pct, with the EU absorbing 60.85 pct of Greek exports and third countries the remaining at 39.15 pct. The report said that any further appreciation of the euro would further hit Greek products' competitiveness to third countries this year. The Federation said that exports to third countries fell 20.6 pct in December, while exports to the EU fell by 11 pct in the same month.amna

    The value of imports –excluding oils- totaled 2.384 billion euros in December, from 2.359 billion euros in December 2011, for an increase of 1.1 pct. In the 12-month period, from January to December 2012, the value of imports – excluding oils - fell 6.0 pct to 30.201 billion euros.

    The country's trade deficit – excluding oils - dropped 17.2 pct last year to 13.197 billion euros from 15.944 billion euros in 2011.amna


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