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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-10-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Archaeological study at Alikanas on Zakynthos begins
  • [02] Gov't spokesman: We'll show people what GD is really all about
  • [03] Parliament 's report on sustainability of Greek public debt

  • [01] Archaeological study at Alikanas on Zakynthos begins

    The authorities of Zakynthos island and the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities started on Monday the mapping and archaeological study of the submerged archaeological site discovered off the Alikanas beach on northeast Zakynthos island.

    The site covers about 3 hectares and lies 2 to 6 metres deep. According to the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities it contains a visible courtyard, dispersed building material and at least 20 circular column bases, with a 34cm hollow in the centre where a wooden column may have been inserted.

    The pieces at initial assessment appear to belong to a large public building, possibly related to the ancient port, but dating is not possible yet as no pottery has been found on the surface. The size of the building however attests to the wealth of the community at Alikanas, archaeologists said.

    [02] Gov't spokesman: We'll show people what GD is really all about

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Wednesday underlined that "when we talk about conversation monitoring practices we should be very careful," underlining that "we cannot talk nonsense just to say something like (main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis) Tsipras did".

    Speaking on Skai television, Kedikoglou underlined that the procedures followed by the counter-terrorism squad as regards the surveillance focusing on the ultra-right Golden Dawn (GD) case are "absolutely legal", noting that this is a criminal and not a political prosecution.

    "It is a fact that the Greek society was caught by surprise when a criminal organization was elected to parliament after showing an anti-systemic face. Before we had a different kind of violent incidents, targeting politicians...I am just saying that violence had infiltrated society to a very alarming degree. People were saying 'we will send them to parliament just to beat the rest up'. It was decided to deal with them through the justice system and thus remove the political cover of the criminal organization and show people what DG is really all about," Kedikoglou said.

    Responding to criticism for delayed reaction to GD's violent actions, he said that all pending cases against it had to be combined "because we were being faced with an attempt to overthrow the existing system of government and this couldn't be documented based on a single action. The investigation was underway and Fyssas' murder was the catalyst that accelerated procedures".

    As regards the interruption of the GD state funding, he expressed the view that political parties will come to an agreement, adding that SYRIZA's negative stance is incomprehensible.

    Kedikoglou said that what is being discussed is to suspend the GD funding until the court investigation is completed.

    [03] Parliament 's report on sustainability of Greek public debt

    Greece will face the risk of a fiscal gap in the second half of 2014 and of an inability to service its public debt (funding gap), the Parliament's Budget Office said in a report released on Wednesday.

    The report noted that the current lending contract with the troika ends in 2014 when the last loan will be disbursed and underlined that in the second half of 2014 the funds available by the country will not be enough to cover its obligations on interest payments.The report said that a primary surplus will not be enough to cover interest payment. The International Monetary Fund estimates this fiscal gap at around 4.4 billion euros by the end of 2014 and an additional 6.5 billion euros in 2015, for a total of 11 billion euros, while the Greek government expects a smaller gap, hoping to achieve a primary suprlus of 2.83 billion euros in 2014. This gap will have to be covered either with new loans, lower interest rates and new measures, or a combination of all these. The Greek government has categorically dismissed the introduction of additional measures. The Budget Office said that if spending on overdue debt payments was added then this fiscal gap would become a funding gap. The report noted that it will not be easy for Greece to borrow on reasonal terms from capital markets to cover this funding gap and stressed that "an agreement on new support loans and other facilitations (lower interest rates) would be the most possible solution given current facts. Such an option is included in a November's Eurogroup council decisions. The Budget Office estimates that "a new loan agreement to cover the country's fiscal gap will offer only a temporary solution for a period of one or two years and postpone dealing with the major problem, the country's big public debt. The report is based on the assumption that the country's debt will not be sustainable by 2020 or 2022 exclusive through national saving efforts (primary surpluses, privatizations) with any other restructuring (new haircut) or readjustment (extending maturity periods) and other facilitations.

    The report offered alternative scenarios over the reduction of the country's debt, including lowering interest rates, extending maturity of the debt, issuing Eurobonds and a partial write off of debt.


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