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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opinion polls gives SYRIZA 1pct lead over ND , Samaras more suitable for PM
  • [02] Gov't sources certain there is no problem with March tranche
  • [03] DIMAR's Kouvelis opposes new austerity measures

  • [01] Opinion polls gives SYRIZA 1pct lead over ND , Samaras more suitable for PM

    Main opposition SYRIZA was leading over New Democracy (ND) by 1 percentage point, according to an opinion poll conducted by Public Issue for the private SKAI television station and Kathimerini newspaper.

    According to the poll results, SYRIZA was leading with 29.5 percent, followed by ND with 28.5 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 10 percent, Independent Greeks with 8 percent, PASOK with 7.5 percent, Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 6 percent, and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.5 percent, while 5 percent of the respondents expressed support for other parties and the blank and invalid votes and abstention was 19.5 percent.

    To a question of who would be most suitable for prime minister, current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (and ND leader) was preferred by 44 percent of the respondents, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 27 percent, while 26 percent said neither of the two.amna

    The geographic coverage of the opinion poll was nationwide and was conducted between 8 and 12 March 2013.

    [02] Gov't sources certain there is no problem with March tranche

    AMNA--Government sources expressed certainty in Brussels on Thursday that "there is no problem with the tranche of March", stressing that the preconditions set by the troika for its approval will be met in a reasonable period of time.

    According to the same sources, the tranche for March, amounting to 2.8 billion euros will be assessed at the informal Eurogroup of April. As they reminded, two preconditions have been set for the approval of the tranche: the issue of medicines, that has already been fulfilled and the issue of the administrative reform, that remains to be arranged.

    As regards the reforming of the Greek public sector, the same government sources noted that three issues remain under consideration: the organisational plans of the ministries, the mobility of the civil servants and the forced redundancies. The same sources justified the delay with the argument that it is a "revolution in the Greek public sector".

    On the question of negotiations with the troika, in their entirety, government sources stressed that progress has been achieved, everything is going smoothly and there is no reason for concern. The same sources referred to the relevant statements by the troika and by the representative of the Economy Commissioner, Olli Rehn, expressing certainty that the government "will carry out the reforms in time".amna

    As regards the Labour ministry, the same sources stressed that no pending issues exist.

    Coming to the "tax" of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), sources close to the Finance ministry said that Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has proposed that the special tax on real estate be maintained in the PPC's bills until the end of 2013, even amended. The same sources said that the amendment is of a "milder" form, adding that "the PPC's receiving mechanism creates certainty".amna

    "The minister's proposal is on a realistic basis," the Finance ministry sources added, in order to enable the planning of a very good collecting mechanism for the unified tax on real estate as of 01/01/2014.

    [03] DIMAR's Kouvelis opposes new austerity measures

    AMNA--Addressing an open event of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) on Thursday in Athens, party president Fotis Kouvelis made a positive assessment of the progress of the government's work so far, confirming his party's fundamental choice to support and participate in the Antonis Samaras's government for the sake of achieving stability in the country.

    Kouvelis proposed a "road map" for the country's exit from the economic crisis, voicing his strong opposition to taking fresh austerity measures. He referred to a number of targets, such as implementation of reforms to reorganise the country, doing away with the austerity policy both in Greece and at European level and invigorating economic growth.

    Kouvelis, made clear that ideological and political disagreements remained between DIMAR and the New Democracy and PASOK parties, and rejected the idea of a new platform agreement between the three parties that make up the current coalition government. amna

    Referring to this week's failure for an agreement on a set of measures between the government and the country's troika of international lenders (EC-ECB-IMF), which would unlock just another bailout loan tranche, Kouvelis threw himself in favour of "a necessary modification and supplementation of the fiscal consolidation programme."amna

    He said that VAT in the restaurant and catering sector should be lowered and over-indebted households be effectively relieved by an increased number of installments to pay off debts.

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