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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-05-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek trade deficit down 46.3 pct in March
  • [02] Overwhelming majority of beaches have 'excellent swimming water'
  • [03] Lefkada island features in Austria's Kronen Zeitung daily

  • [01] Greek trade deficit down 46.3 pct in March

    ANA-MPA -- Greece's trade balance deficit shrank by 46.3 pct in March this year, as a decline in the value of imports overshadowed a decline in the value of exports, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Friday.

    The statistics service, in a report on the country's merchandise trade, said the trade deficit fell by 19.7 pct in the first quarter of 2013.

    The value of import-arrivals totalled 3.653 billion euros in March, down 29.6 pct from 5.190 billion euros in March last year (excluding oils, the value of imports fell 21.2 pct to 654.4 million euros).

    The value of export-deliveries totalled 2.071 billion euros in March, down 7.8 pct from 2.248 billion euros in March 2012 (excluding oils, the value of exports dropped 10.8 pct).

    The trade deficit dropped 46.3 pct to 1.581 billion euros in the January-March period (excluding oils, the trade deficit fell by 31.9 pct).

    The value of import-arrivals fell 7.6 pct in the first three months of the year to 11.744 billion euros, while the value of exports-deliveries rose 5.1 pct to 6.491 billion euros over the same period.

    The country's trade deficit fell to 5.253 billion euros in the first quarter, from 6.542 billion euros in 2012, for a decline of 19.7 pct.

    [02] Overwhelming majority of beaches have 'excellent swimming water'

    ANA-MPA -- Over 90 pct of beaches in Greece have "excellent water quality", according to a report published by the Ministry of Environment on Friday.

    Of water samples from 2,155 beaches, 2,009 beaches - or 93.2 pct - were found to be of "excellent quality", and therefore more than safe for swimming, the ministry said.

    Of the total, 114 beaches (5.3 pct) were found to have "good quality" water, 26 (1.2 pct) "adequate quality", and only 6 beaches (0.3 pct) were found to have having "inadequate quality" water. Of the total, 2,149 came from the sea and 6 from lakes.

    The sampling was carried out by the waters secretariat of the ministry, which also carries out statistical comparisons with previous years (2009-2012); the resulting report was submitted to the European Commission, per EU regulations.

    "Our seas, our beaches and our climate are our competitive advantage," Deputy Environment Minister Stavros Kalafatis said, adding that the government's policy was to defend and promote Greece's natural environment in sustainable growth. "Our seas are integrally linked to Greece's history, present and future....It is a constant responsibility of all, state and citizens alike, to safeguard this priceless sea treasure," he added.

    On Saturday, the "Blue Flags" of the Foundation for Environmental Education's programme will be awarded to beaches with the best swimming waters and to the marinas with the cleanest water. In Greece, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) handles the blue flag programme for FEE and monitors the quality of waters and natural environment.

    More information on the 2012 results of swimmability of Greek beaches is available at the ministry's

    [03] Lefkada island features in Austria's Kronen Zeitung daily

    A feature in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung highlights the beaches of the Ionian island of Lefkada, which are considered among the most beautiful in Europe.

    In "Lefkada, a visit to Greece's pearl", the top-selling daily noted that the island has no massive tourism on the island and the locals are very hospitable and welcoming.

    The article also noted that in 2012 all tourist accomodations on Lefkada were renovated, without changing the island's traditional architecture.

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