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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-09-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek economic competitiveness improving, Commission report‏
  • [02] Greek post office issues collectible stamps edition on El Greco

  • [01] Greek economic competitiveness improving, Commission report‏

    ANA-MPA - Greece ranked in the third category of EU member-states of "moderate but improving competitiveness", the European Commission said in its annual competitiveness report released here on Thursday.

    The EU's executive arm, in the report said that the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain were also included in the same category.

    The Commission said that statistics showed that Greece was returning to growth after a long and severe recession. Structural reforms have improved competitiveness and the Economic Adjustment Programme has reduced macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances. Absorption of substantial EU funds, through major EU-funded construction projects, will have a positive impact on investments.

    The EU's executive arm noted that economic recovery is forecast to gain strength in 2014 but that full implementation of the adjustment programme continued to be crucial to consolidate recent progress. The robust improvement of the tourism sector has helped the economy, while repayment of government arrears and substantial absorption of EU funds have a positive impact on investments. For example, work has started on four large motorways with a combined value of over 7.0 billion euros, the report said.

    The report stressed that small- and medium-sized enterprises still have problems in accessing funding with only 33 pct of Greek SMEs securing new funds in 2013, sharply down from an EU average rate of 65 pct. Access to funding remains to most urgent problem for 32 pct of Greek SMEs, more than double from a 15 pct average rate in the EU.

    "The Institute for Growth, set up by the Development ministry, is expected to facilitate access to funding," the Commission said, adding that EU funds offered significant money to access funding through the Greek fund for entrepreneurship and eevelopment.

    The Commission said that Greece's performance in innovation were below the EU average, falling to 74 pct in 2008 compared with the EU, to 69 pct in 2013. The Greek innovation system is supported by EU structural funds and from research funds, but with limited sources on strategy.

    Greece's improved ranking in a World Bank Doing Business Report can be attributed, among others, to recently adopted legislation in a number of areas. However, the country's ranking was still low as compared with other EU member-states, mainly due to a high level of regulations. Under the Economic Adjustment Programme, restrictions on competition are being removed in many part of the economy, the report noted.

    [02] Greek post office issues collectible stamps edition on El Greco

    ANA-MPA - Hellenic Post (ELTA) on Tuesday announced the issue of a collectible stamps edition to mark the 400th anniversary since the death of Domenicus Theotokopoulos, the master painter of the Spanish Renaissance that was also known as 'El Greco'.

    The series and various associated products (first-day circulation envelopes etc) will be on sale at post office branches from Wednesday and depicts details from El Greco's painting "The Burial of Christ" - a painting acquired by the National Gallery in Athens.

    All philatelic products will be sold by the central philatelic shop (Lykourgou 5 & Apellou, Athens) and post office branches while stocks last, except the first-day circulation envelopes, which will be withdrawn on September 9, 2015.


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