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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-02-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras: Adriatic and Ionian Seas' a strategic field' for growth & security
  • [02] Greece has made progress on issues relating to upcoming troika talks, gov't spokesman says
  • [03] Budget revenues beat targets by 653 mln euros in 2013‏

  • [01] PM Samaras: Adriatic and Ionian Seas' a strategic field' for growth & security

    ANA-MPA -- Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday presented the Greek presidency's action plan to promote the region of the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas as a strategic field for growth and security, during the opening of an EU conference held in Athens on the issue.

    Samaras emphasized that the cooperation for the Adriatic and the Ionian should evolve to an axis of economic cooperation in Europe, underlining that the Greek presidency has put all matters of maritime policies on the agenda, highlighting the geostrategic importance of the sea.

    "The sea has made Europe what it is. Europe has dominated the sea and now it's time to treat it in a strategic way," he said, adding there were still many possibilities for economic growth.

    Samaras presented the four principles on which the European strategy would be based: shipping and shipbuilding, the exploitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which he said can ensure greater energy independence, the enhancement and improvement of the natural environment and the environment-oriented economy and research as well as the development of tourism across the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas.

    "The sea is an integral part of our European identity, it is a constant challenge and an inexhaustible source of wealth," Samaras said, noting that the strategy for the Adriatic and the Ionian has already given scope for cooperation, development and prosperity.

    [02] Greece has made progress on issues relating to upcoming troika talks, gov't spokesman says

    ANA - MPA -- Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Thursday said that Greece has made significant progress on a number of issues that are included in the country's upcoming negotiations with the troika representing its lenders.

    "The implementation of our commitments has progressed to a significant degree and on certain issues we are [doing] even better than the initial forecasts," Kedikoglou said in statements to the local radio station "Vima FM". He predicted that Greece would be ready before the next Eurogroup meeting.

    On the issue of debt sustainability, Kedikoglou said that Greece "wants to implement the Eurogroup agreement of November 2012, which refers to implementing commitments to reduce the debt without fiscal measures."

    "There are many ways. We will sit down and see which one is best but the goal is a given. Because when the sustainability of debt is ensured, then essentially we are free of the [bailout] memoranda. And we consider that the climate may change, because we have taken all the necessary, albeit difficult, decisions without the tangible results of these sacrifices having yet become apparent to people in their daily lives," he said.

    This was slowly starting to change, the spokesman added, with one indicator after the other showing improvement and the positive signs for the Greek economy starting to multiply.

    The spokesman ruled out the prospect of early elections, noting that the prime minister had made it clear "in a clearcut and absolute way, that we want to finish our work and exhaust the four-year term."

    [03] Budget revenues beat targets by 653 mln euros in 2013‏

    ANA-MPA -- Greek budget revenues surpassed targets by 1.75 pct, or 652.8 million euros, in 2013, reflecting a strong performance by all basic categories of tax revenue, the Finance ministry said on Wednesday.

    In a report, the ministry said that tax agency revenues totaled 38.14 billion euros in 2013, up 1.75 pct from budget targets, with VAT

    proceeds rising 3.2 pct to 292.5 million euros, while other tax agency revenues rose by 1.3 pct to 360.2 billion euros.

    Annual tax returns totaled 3.7 billion euros in 2013, up from a budget provision of 2.90 billion euros, an increase of 27.47 pct. The Finance ministry noted that overdue tax debt to the state grew by 13.7 pct last year to 63.7 billion euros, after a 24.1 pct growth rate recorded in 2012. Tax agencies said that overdue tax proceeds were 31.8 pct higher compared with 2012 and 49.2 pct higher compared with 2011 to a new record high of 3.26 billion euros.10.0pt;font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma;color:#0F1419;

    In a statement, the Finance ministry stressed that "these tax collection data were the result of significant organizational and administrative changes in the tax collection mechanism".

    The statement noted that the number of individuals with overdue tax debt to the sate fell by 191,000 in 2013 to 2.347 million from 2.548 million in 2012, while their debt grew by 13.1 pct to 23.43 billion euros, slightly down from a 13.8 pct growth rate of total overdue tax debt (both individuals and corporate).

    On the other hand, the number of legal entities with overdue tax debts jumped 202 pct and their debt by 14.2 pct, reflecting a credit squeeze in the market. The Finance ministry said that 157.000 debtors agreed to a renegotiation of debt, with a total debt of 1.15 billion euros, while tax agencies collected 235.9 million euros from this debt.


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