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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Syntagma to Elliniko in 14 minutes: New Metro stations open to public
  • [02] EU report: Greece making 'good but slow' progress, more needed

  • [01] Syntagma to Elliniko in 14 minutes: New Metro stations open to public

    ANA-MPA - The Metro line extension ending at the southern Athens suburb of Elliniko opened to the public at noon on Friday. The new extension includes four new stations at Ilioupoli, Argyroupoli, Alimos and Elliniko.

    The distance between Elliniko and central Athens' Syntagma Square will be covered in 14 minutes, said Transport, Infrastructure and Networks Minister Michalis Chryssochoidis. "It is a project that will bring relief to the people in the southern suburbs of Athens. A project that will bring growth to Athens' neighbourhoods," said Chryssochoidis.

    The metro station at Haidari is expected to open to the public at the end of October and afterwards the works for an extension to Pireaus will start.

    Attiko Metro president Christos Tsitouras announced that a new 1.1-km tram line will be constructed to link the existing coastal tram line with Argyroupolis metro station.

    [02] EU report: Greece making 'good but slow' progress, more needed

    ANA-MPA -- Greece continues to make overall, albeit often slow, progress under the Second Economic Adjustment Programme, with several important actions being delayed, while important progress has been made on public finances and the recapitalisation of the four core banks has been completed, the EU Commission said on Monday in its third review of the Second Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece.

    Monday's report is based on on the findings of a two-part joint Commission/ECB/IMF mission to Athens between 4-19 June and 1-7 July 2013.

    "The legal basis for the new semi-autonomous revenue administration has been created, but perseverance in implementing the ongoing reforms will be key to deliver concrete results in the fight against tax evasion," it said. It also cited reforms in the health sector but added that public administration reform, the business environment, energy and justice reforms were also necessary.

    The macroeconomic outlook is broadly unchanged from the previous review, the report says, adding that a moderate recovery led by investment and exports is projected for the beginning of 2014, leading to annual GDP growth of 0.6% in 2014, accelerating in 2015 and beyond.

    Regarding fiscal targets, the report says "after over-performing in regard to the 2012 fiscal target, fiscal developments up to May have been broadly on track. The 2012 primary balance according to the programme definition reached -1.3% of GDP, slightly better than the target of -1.5% of GDP."

    "The overall balance declined by 3.1 percentage points of GDP and reached 6.3% of GDP in 2012. The underlying fiscal improvement was even larger when taking into account the fact that it was achieved during a deep recession." it added.

    The mission identified new shortfalls, notably in the health sector, delays in the issuance of property tax bills, among others." Overall, in the absence of corrective measures, a fiscal gap of approximately 0.5% of GDP would have emerged in both 2013 and 2014," the report adds.

    "The fiscal outlook for 2013-14 remains subject to high uncertainty," it said, adding that "the design of the new real estate tax planned to enter in force in 2014 and the capacity of the administration to collect its revenues are key factors of uncertainty for the fiscal results in 2014."

    The EU warned that "a failure to implement structural reforms, including the privatisation programme, would hold back investment and the economic recovery. However, there are also some upside risks. In particular, sustained strong policy implementation can help lift uncertainty and prompt a faster return of investment, notably foreign. There could also be a somewhat stronger impact from the liquidity injection expected from the clearance of government arrears, public works programmes, and from a more dynamic tourist season," the report also says.

    Concluding, the Commission's report notes that "the programme is now broadly on track and the Commission services recommend disbursement of the tranche for Q3 2013 of EFSF funds under the second programme. Estimated financing needs for the coming quarter to be covered by the EU equal to EUR 3 billion, which will go towards funding the cash needs of the government, including for the payment of arrears to the private sector and outstanding debt service. The disbursement will be made in two tranches, with the first one amounting to EUR 2.5 billion paid in July 2013. The disbursement of the remaining amount will be made in October 2013, following achievement of new milestones."

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