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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-07-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin: Fiscal policy is the government's responsibility
  • [02] Greek current account deficit down in Jan-May
  • [03] The impressive Cheimarros Tower on Naxos to be restored

  • [01] FinMin: Fiscal policy is the government's responsibility

    ANA/MPA---Speaking at the General Board meeting of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) on Monday, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis commented that it is the government's - not justice's - responsibility to decide on the fiscal policy mix to be followed, alluding to recent court decisions upholding certain public servants' claims that their wage cuts were illegal.

    Hardouvelis called enterpreneurs to open up their minds to the prospect of foreign investors owning a segment of their businesses, noting that "we must bring foreign capital so as to create a balance which will help the economy as a whole".

    The minister stood by the reform efforts of the government, noting that even without the lenders' immediate pressure "there can be no going back to the old times". He also conceded that the Greek taxation system is in need of a "great simplification", as well as to become "a stable tax system".

    Hardouvelis called on the businesspeople to restart investing, in view of the recovery of the Greek economy.

    [02] Greek current account deficit down in Jan-May

    Greece's current account deficit fell by 832 million euros in the January-May period this year to 2.5 billion euros, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    In a report, the central bank said that in May 2014 the current account balance showed a deficit of 246 million euros, against a 70 million surplus in May 2013, as a result of a rise in the deficits of mainly the trade balance and also the income account balance, as well as a year-on-year shift of the current transfers balance from surplus to deficit. The above mentioned developments were partly offset by an increase in the surplus of the services balance. The trade deficit increased by 345 million euros year-on-year, owing to the higher net import bill primarily for oil and secondarily for ships. By contrast, the trade balance excluding oil and ships did not show any remarkable change, although export receipts rose faster than the corresponding import payments.

    The surplus of the services balance increased by 190 million euros year-on-year, mainly as a result of the higher surplus of the "other" services balance, which largely reflects construction services. The travel services balance improved slightly, as receipts did not rise notably in May 2014, despite a 12.6 pct increase in non-residents' arrivals. The slightly increased surplus in the transport services balance reflects almost entirely a rise in the surplus of the sea transport services balance.

    In the January-May 2014 period, the current account deficit came to 2.5 billion euros, down by 832 million euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to improvements in the services, income account and current transfers balances, which more than offset the higher trade deficit.

    In more detail, as regards the trade deficit, increased net payments for purchases mainly of ships, which more than doubled, and also the higher net oil import bill offset a contraction in the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships. This contraction is attributable to the lower import bill, since receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships remained almost unchanged. As a result, the trade deficit rose by 565 million euros. The 834 million increase in the surplus of the services balance mainly reflects higher net transport receipts and, to a lesser extent, higher net receipts from travel and other services. As regards travel spending by non-residents in Greece, a year-on-year increase of 10.6% was recorded, reflecting a 17% rise in non-residents' arrivals, while travel spending by residents abroad rose by 16.3%.

    The income account deficit fell by 245 million euros, mainly as a result of lower net interest payments. Finally, the current transfers balance showed a surplus of 2 billion euros, up by 318 million year-on-year. This development is attributable to a rise in general government transfer receipts (mainly from the EU).

    In the January-May 2014 period, non-residents' direct investment in Greece showed a net inflow of 881 million, while residents' direct investment abroad showed a net outflow (increase) of 258 million.

    Under portfolio investment, a net inflow of 5.1 billion was recorded, mainly on account of a rise in non-residents' holdings of shares of Greek firms. These developments were partly offset by a net increase in residents' holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills, as well as of foreign financial derivatives.

    Under "other" investment, a net outflow of 4.4 billion was recorded chiefly as a result of a decrease (outflow) in non-residents' deposit and repo holdings in Greece, which was partly

    offset by a net rise (inflow) in the outstanding debt of the public and the private sector to non-residents.

    At end-May 2014, Greece's reserve assets stood at 5.0 billion, compared with 4.9 billion at end-May 2013.

    [03] The impressive Cheimarros Tower on Naxos to be restored

    ANA/MPA---One of the most important monument on the island of Naxos and one of the most remarkable in the Aegean Sea, Cheimarros Tower, will be restored following the approval of the Central Archaeological Council.

    The 15m high circular double wall tower of Cheimarros (is one of the highest monuments of this type, initially its height was 17 metres). It was constructed at the end of the 4th century BC for defence purposes. It was made of the local white marble without a binding agent and with great skill that indicated the high quality of stone carving in the classical antiquity.

    Cheimarros Tower was declared archaeological site in 2011 along with two adjacent Byzantine churches, a part of an ancient road and part of the Tower's fencing wall.


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