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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-11-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek gov't sets and achieves fiscal targets‏, Alternate FinMin Staikouras says
  • [02] Piraeus Port, Cosco to sign new agreement

  • [01] Greek gov't sets and achieves fiscal targets‏, Alternate FinMin Staikouras says

    ANA - MPA --- "The country has entered from this year a period of primary fiscal surpluses and positive economic growth rates. This is the forecast of all international and domestic agencies and organizations. Only the main opposition political party questions this," Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said during a debate on the 2015 budget in a Parliament committee.

    In his speech, Staikouras underlined that fiscal targets were achieved for the third successive year and that the budget recorded, for the third time, a significant primary surplus. The country presents positive growth rates in 2014, after six years of recession, while GDP growth rate, consumption and employment were expected rise further in 2015. "These results were achieved with a high social and economic cost, paid basically by households and enterprises and we have to ensure that these sacrifices will not go wasted and that this positive development will become sustainable".

    The Greek minister noted that taking in mind the volatility in international climate and the strict framework of "tough and complex" negotiations between the government and the country's lenders "we have to approach the basic political issues of the country and of course the 2015 budget issue with realism, a spirit of unity and national cohesion, away from dangerous acrobatisms".

    Staikouras defended the 2015 budget provisions, saying "We have proven than we can set targets and achieve them", adding that "based on current data, an estimate for a 2.9 pct growth rate was realistic although not conservative".

    The Greek economy is expected to grow by 2.9 pct next year based on a recovery of private consumption and a further strengthening of investments and exports. An expected strengthening of liquidity in the economy, following a successful recapitalization of Greek banks and a reduction in social security contributions, a continuing repayment of overdue state debt towards the private sector, additional funds in a Public Investment Program and new investment plans, co-funded by the European Union, will also have a positive impact on economic growth.

    The unemployment rate will ease by 1.9 pct this year to 24.8 pct, from 25.5 pct in 2013, falling further to 22.6 pct in 2015, while employment is expected to rise by 2.6 pct due to a recovery in the economy and reforms in the labor market.

    The inflation rate will remain the lowest among EU member-states, with the consumer price index at -1.0 pct this year, rising to 0.3 pct in 2015.

    The country's current account balance will remain in surplus, up by 1.4 billion euros compared with 2013, because of a big increase in tourism, and was expected to be balanced in 2015. The primary surplus will be 3.3 billion euros this year, significantly higher from targets, rising further to 5.6 billion euros, or 3.0 pct of GDP, in 2015.

    The general government deficit will be the lowest in the last three years in 2014, to 1.3 pct of GDP, falling to 0.2 pct of GDP in 2015. The public debt will stabilize at 318 billion euros in 2014, falling by 1.0 billion euros in 2015.

    [02] Piraeus Port, Cosco to sign new agreement

    ANA - MPA ---- Piraeus Port Organization and SEP (Cosco) are expected to sign a new revised friendly settlement plan agreement later this afternoon on Thursday. The plan, approved by Piraeus Port's shareholders, envisages investment plans worth 230 million euros in the port.

    SEP (Cosco), in an announcement said that the agreement is a big business plan worth 230 million euros for Piraeus, the port of Piraeus and SEP SA which will be entirely covered by the company".

    The investment plan will boost the annual capacity of the port's II and III piers to 6.2 TEUs from 3.7 million currently, while the net current value of the contract will be raised from 498 million euros to 678-1,027 million euros, while SEP will build a new oil product pier with more favourable financial terms.


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