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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader to Troika: Society cannot bear more measures
  • [02] Unemployment eased slightly in Dec

  • [01] PASOK leader to Troika: Society cannot bear more measures

    AMNA/ The Greek society and economy cannot bear more fiscal measures, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, whose party is a junior partner in the three-party government coalition, told the heads of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika of Greece's international lenders during a meeting on Thursday.

    Party sources told AMNA that Venizelos told the Troika representatives that there can be no new fiscal measures because the Greek society and economy cannot bear them and that, if divergences from the targets arise, they need to be dealt with by interventions of a developmental type.

    The same sources said that during the 90-minute meeting, the Troika representatives assessed that Greece's picture is improved over that of the past and that a more attractive environment for investments has developed.

    The PASOK leader also pointed out the need for the European Commission to extend assistance on stamping out bureaucracy in the privatisations process, adding that the European Investment Bank (EIB) should play a more active role, especially regarding the Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs).

    Venizelos also outlined the programme proposed by PASOK to deal with unemployment, which concerns 700,000 new jobs and provides for the participation of the local governments and the private sector, which the sources said impressed the Troika, which considered the plan "reasonable" and doable.

    PASOK officials saw the meeting as being the first time that the Troika is holding a discussion of substance on growth issues, because it sees a better picture of Greece, the sources said.

    The issue of the over-indebted households was also discussed, with Venizelos maintaining that it would be to the banks' benefit as well to facilitate the repayment of those debts, adding that liquidity is needed, the sources continued.

    On the real estate market, Venizelos said a new type of study is needed to see how that market can be reopened and now to generate construction activity.

    The sources added that the issue of the civil servants was not discussed, noting that PASOK supports the structural changes in public administration in the direction of evaluation of the civil servants' mobility.

    Venizelos further briefed the Troika on the decisions taken at PASOK's recent Constitutional Congress, which indicate that PASOK is a factor of stability, supports the coalition government and is advancing the National Reconstruction Plan, the sources said

    [02] Unemployment eased slightly in Dec

    AMNA/ The Greek unemployment rate eased slightly to 26.4 pct in December 2012, from 26.6 pct in November, but remained five percentage points up compared with December 2011 (21.4 pct), the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ESTAT) said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said that the number of unemployed people rose by 263,596 in one year, to a total of 1,321,236, an increase of 898,368 from 2008 when the crisis began. Unemployment among young people (aged 15-24) remained at very high levels, 57.5 pct), while Attica –home of around 2/4 of the Greek population- remained at the top among the country's regions with an unemployment rate of 28.4 pct.

    Employment fell by 208,953 in December, compared with December 2011, to 3,679,074 workers, but was up by 40,316 compared with November 2012. Unemployment mostly hit women (29.3 pct in December 2012 from 25.4 pct in December 2011), while among men it rose to 24.3 pct from 18.4 pct over the same periods, respectively.

    The 25-34 age group recorded an unemployment rate of 34 pct, the 35-44 a 23.4 pct, the 45-54 a 19.5 pct and the 55-64 a 16.3 pct rate.

    The unemployment rate among the country's regions was: Attica (28.4 pct), Epirus-Western Macedonia (28.1 pct), Macedonia/Thrace (26.9 pct), Thessaly (25.9 pct), Crete (23.9 pct), Peloponnese-Western Greece-Ionian islands (23.7 pct) and Aegean (22.6 pct).

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