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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-09-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] SYRIZA leading over New Democracy in University of Macedonia poll
  • [02] Greece, EIB sign 815-mln-euro loan agreement‏
  • [03] Parliament ratifies first three concessions for hydrocarbon exploration rights in western Greece

  • [01] SYRIZA leading over New Democracy in University of Macedonia poll

    Main opposition SYRIZA party appears to be leading over ruling New Democracy by 6 percent, according to a nationally held poll by the University of Macedonia between September 11 and 15 for Skai TV.

    According to voting intention polled, SYRIZA got 24%, New Democracy 18%, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) 6.5%, Elia, Potami and the Communist Party of Greece 5.5% each, Independent Greeks (ANEL) 3%, Democratic Left (DIMAR) 1%. The remaining smaller parties got together a total of 10%. Those undecided came to 21%

    [02] Greece, EIB sign 815-mln-euro loan agreement‏

    ANA-MPA - Greece will see positive growth rates in the third quarter of the year, for the first time, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Thursday.

    Speaking during a ceremony for the signing of a loan facility worth 815 million euros with European Investment Bank for projects in the transport and energy sectors, the finance minister stressed that investments were the key word for Greece and that the EIB will play a significant role in these. He made special mention of the country's gradual return to capital markets and noted that fiscal adjustment cannot last long without large investment initiatives that will raise incomes, create new jobs and confirm that citizens' sacrifices are offering results. Hardouvelis presented figures which showed that investments have fallen by 50 pct in Greece since the beginning of the crisis and by 20 pct in Europe, mostly because of a sharp drop in investments on houses. The Greek minister noted, however, that investments on machinery equipment were stabilising.

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, in his speech, said that a restart of major road projects has been achieved and that 10,000 people were working on these projects. He called for EIB support of new projects, such as the expansion of the Athens metro, the Kastelli airport in Crete and railroad projects. Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, called for EIB's financial support to fund a series of energy projects in the country and said that Greece was nearing its goal to become a regional energy hub.

    EIB's president Werner Hoyer said that the bank's financial support to Greece totaled 9.0 pct of GDP, one of the highest in the EU and stressed that "only with these kind of investments can the economy recover and create new job positions".

    Since early 2014, EIB has signed loan agreements worth 1.375 billion euros to fund projects in Greece, including 232 million euros earmarked for loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    [Photo: Hardouvelis (L), EIB's Hoyer (R)]

    [03] Parliament ratifies first three concessions for hydrocarbon exploration rights in western Greece

    ANA-MPA - Greece's Parliament on Thursday ratified the first three concessions granting rights for hydrocarbon exploration and extraction in offshore locations in western Greece, specifically in Katakolo, Ioannina and the Patras Gulf. During the session, which Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis described as "historic," MPs also ratified a fourth contract that modified the existing hydrocarbon exploitation contract in the Thracian Sea, in the northeast of Greece.

    As soon as the first three concessions were ratified, Maniatis said, the board of Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management would be set up and the ministry would for the first time proceed to draw up a spatial plan for the country's mineral resources.

    Maniatis also sought to address fears concerning environmental safety issues, saying that a team of experts had for the past months been working on a new and stricter European legal framework for offshore drilling platforms, noting that Greece will be the first country to adopt the stricter standards established by EU directives.

    He also stressed that the 25 pct of public revenue from the concessions that is to be given to local communities is the most generous than for any other action, whether public or private.

    Main opposition SYRIZA voted against all three concessions and voted 'present' for the fourth, saying that the agreements were "provocatively favourable for the private firms given rights to explore and exploit hydrocarbons". The remaining opposition parties also voted against them, with the exception of Democratic Left (DIM.AR), which voted 'present'. They were ratified with the support of the coalition government MPs and independent MPs.

    Earlier, Maniatis had also tabled a concession in Parliament granting exploratory drilling and exploitation rights for hydrocarbons at a location on land in Ioannina.


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