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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Samaras stresses record joblessness ahead of EU summit
  • [02] Commission praises progress in Greek reform programme
  • [03] Greek exports' growth rate to be highest in Eurozone in 2014

  • [01] PM Samaras stresses record joblessness ahead of EU summit

    AMNA -- Arriving for a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed that Greece is struggling with historically unprecedented rates of unemployment, especially for young people, and said that European leaders must turn their attention to growth.

    "Greece is suffering from unemployment, the highest in Europe and in history," he told reporters, adding that the lack of growth was the "number one problem" in the European Union at this time, since it was responsible for joblessness, and particularly high unemployment among the young.amna

    "In Greece this problem is even more acute as we are suffering from historically high levels of unemployment, the highest in Europe and the highest for young people. You realise, therefore, that today's summit meeting is important," Samaras said.amna

    [02] Commission praises progress in Greek reform programme

    AMNA -- The European Commission on Thursday praised Greece's progress in implementing a reform programme saying results were more than expected, but noted that a lot more needed to be done.

    Simon O'Connor, a spokesman for EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, speaking to reporters here, said that reforms made in Greece were above expectations and that "we already see significant and steady results". The EU spokesman stressed "it is not dramatic to suspend troika's mission to Athens," while commenting on the assessment of the programme he noted "overall the message is positive, but there is still a lot work to be done".amna

    O'Connor said the Greek adjustment programme was extensive, mainly on the necessary structural reforms and taking in mind the challenges facing Greece when the programme began. He noted that the troika's mission to Greece was suspended in order to continue a technical work by the Greek side in the next few weeks and stressed that the troika's delegation was expected to return to Athens in early April.

    O'Connor noted that disbursement of the 2.8-bln-euro tranche could be made without a new visit by the troika to Greece and said that Greek authorities were working to satisfy two preconditions set. He said that when the troika assesses that these preconditions have been met then a Euro Working Group could approve the disbursement.amna

    [03] Greek exports' growth rate to be highest in Eurozone in 2014

    AMNA -- Greece and other regional Eurozone states will enjoy the highest export growth rates in 2014 as the region will return to economic growth rates after several years of recession, a report by Ernst & Young said on Thursday.

    The Eurozone Forecast Spring 2013 report said that exports are expected to grow by 9.3 pct in Greece, 4.4 pct in Ireland and 4.1 pct in Spain in 2014 and noted that these three countries have achieved the biggest improvement in labor cost per product unit and of their competitiveness in general since 2008."Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma;color:#0F1419;mso-ansi-language:

    The report, however, noted that unemployment would remain at very high levels in Greece and Spain, surpassing 26.5 pct this year, while in the Eurozone, the unemployment rate will reach a record high level of 12.4 pct.

    Ernst & Young said it expected the Eurozone economy to recover this year, as a risk of a break-up continued evaporating. However, despite signs of improvement in business confidence since the start of the year, several fundamental data in the Eurozone remained weak and unpredictable, the report noted.

    It stressed that the release of more funds and a loosening of targets were convincing enough to avert the risk of a Greek exit from the euro this year, boosting optimism over the country's future within the Eurozone.amna

    Ernst & Young said that Greece still faced an austere fiscal policy in the next four years, raising implementation risks because of the social cost of the programme.

    The report expects the country's GDP to shrink by more than 5.0 pct this year and said Greece needed a further cut of its debt to the official sector to become sustainable in the long-term.amna

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