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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'The Wall Live' tour at Athens' OAKA stadium on Wednesday
  • [02] Greece has made 'significant progress', says IMF report

  • [01] 'The Wall Live' tour at Athens' OAKA stadium on Wednesday

    ANA-MPA -- Roger Waters' historic megashow 'The Wall Live' returns to Athens on Wednesday for a single night at the city's OAKA stadium in the Maroussi Olympic complex, complete with fireworks, quadraphonic sound, giant flying pigs and the full range of special effects.

    For the 2013 tour, 69-year-old rock legend and Pink Floyd founding member Waters has redesigned the show specially for larger venues, describing the result as "really very good. Even more impressive, touching and dramatic than ever."

    So far, the new tour has played in 25 stadiums in Europe, including Wembley, Stade de France in Paris, the Olympic Stadium in Rome, the Amsterdam Arena and the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

    Last Thursday, Waters announced his decision to offer cheaper 18-euro tickets for the show in Athens, due to the economic crisis.

    "I know things are very difficult in Greece now. To make it easier for people we are offering cheaper tickets for 18 euros," he said. The tickets were sold on July 25.

    The doors at OAKA will open at 17:00 and the concert is due to start at 21:30.

    [02] Greece has made 'significant progress', says IMF report

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P.Panagiotou) -- Greece has made "significant progress" in correcting imbalances (existing) before the crisis, the International Monetary Fund said in a report.

    The report drawn up by the IMF's delegation to Greece underlined, however, that "there were significant delays and deviations" and that a reform effort is "way back from schedule".

    Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF's delegation to Greece, said that Greece, with the help unprecedented European and international support and a stable fiscal adjustment by Greek authorities, was now on the threshold of achieving primary balances - a remarkable achievement - while "external imbalances have also fallen significantly".

    The report said that Greece was now in the sixth year of recession, with GDP down by almost 25 pct, unemployment at around 27 pct and youth unemployment at 57 pct.

    It underlined, however, that "the high cost of adjustment in a significant part reflected the delayed, hesitant and fractional implementation of structural reforms," which had clashed, via "repeated political crises," with "vested interests" that affected the investment climate in the country. The report said that reforms needed to move forward rapidly "to unlock growth and create new jobs".

    The IMF report said that recent macro-economic developments are generally in line with the programme's estimates and that fiscal results so far are generally consistent with the programme's targets. The report said that delays in setting property taxes, overshooting in health budget spending and weaknesses in the tax collecting mechanisms were possible risks to the programme. The IMF said that there has been some progress in tax administration, in strengthening the independence of tax revenue, although debt collection is lagging behing targets despite recent legislative changes.

    The report also noted that Greek authorities closed down the former public broadcaster ERT in June and were planning to launch a new, smaller and more effective station.

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