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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-12-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] German Finance Minister: Precautionary credit line for Greece with certain conditions
  • [02] Deputy Melas leaves from Independent Greeks (ANEL) parliamentary group
  • [03] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos at ministerial conferences of 'Rabat' and 'Khartoum' Processes
  • [04] Professor of Medicine Dimitris Trichopoulos dies
  • [05] Chamber of Hotels asks PM to intervene on possible VAT rate increase on hotel services

  • [01] German Finance Minister: Precautionary credit line for Greece with certain conditions

    ANA/MPA---Eurozone Finance Ministers will discuss in early December conditions for providing Greece with credit when its current aid programme expires, said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to Reuters.

    Greece, said Reuters, wants to quit the international bailout programme by the end of the year, but has been at loggerheads with the troika over Greece's projected budget shortfall next year.

    "At the moment, Greece and the troika have to determine whether Greece has fulfilled the conditions for the payment of the final tranche of the current programme" Schaeuble told German public broadcaster ARD.

    "Then we will have to see what is necessary for the next year after the current programme has expired. Greece is in an better position that what we assumed two years ago, but it needs support on financial markets, so the thinking is in terms of a precautionary credit line with certain conditions attached" he said.

    Eurozone's Finance Ministers will discuss the issue at the Eurogroup that will take place in Brussels in the second week of December, the German Finance Minister added.

    [02] Deputy Melas leaves from Independent Greeks (ANEL) parliamentary group

    ANA/MPA---The Greek Parliament has now a total of 24 independent deputies, after MP Panagiotis Melas left the Independent Greeks (ANEL) parliamentary group.

    After Melas' resignation from the party, ANEL comprises 12 deputies.

    Of the 24 independent deputies, 16 have joined the parliamentary group of Independent Democratic Deputies as opposed to the remaining 8 who are still fully independent MPs.

    Melas' decision to become an independent deputy follows his public statement that in the Greek President's election will act according to his conscience and the subsequent reaction by the party president Panos Kammenos.

    Melas in a radio interview earlier in the day attributed his decision to the reactions against his position on the Greek President's election and relates his stance to ANEL MP Stavroula Xoulidou's statements.

    [03] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos at ministerial conferences of 'Rabat' and 'Khartoum' Processes

    ANA/MPA---Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship participated in the ministerial conferences of the 'Rabat' and 'Khartoum' Processes in Rome.

    "Thanks to the Italian Presidency and the cooperation with Commissioner Avramopoulos, these two conferences were successful. We must act together and find solutions that address all aspects of migration," Mogherini said, after the completion of the works.

    "We often tend to treat this issue as a security issue, but our presence in Rome underlines the commitment of the European Union to approach the issue more broadly," she noted and stressed the need for combatting the trafficking of irregular migrants.

    On his part Avramopoulos underlined that "the Rabat Process has now entered a new phase. Our 'Rome Declaration' underscores two priority areas: 1) strengthening the link between migration and development and, 2) prevention of and fight against irregular migration. The Rome Declaration has also added a new pillar for cooperation: international protection."

    For the Khartoum Process, Avramopoulos said "today we laid down the foundations for substantial political cooperation amongst the countries of origin, transit and destination along the EU-Horn of Africa migration route."

    "We will finance the first projects that will support migrants and refugees stranded along the migration routes from Eastern Africa. Moreover, EU funds have been allocated in order to help strengthen the cooperation with our African partners for the fight against smugglers and traffickers. What is clear, therefore, is that our dialogue with our African partners is starting to pay off. Our strength has always been and will continue to be, the way in which we mutually reinforce and complement our cooperation at all levels," he concluded.

    [04] Professor of Medicine Dimitris Trichopoulos dies

    ANA/MPA---Academic, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard University and at the Kapodistrian University of Athens Dimitris Trichopoulos died early Monday at the age of 76.

    Trichopoulos who was treated at Evangelismos Intensive Care Unit died from severe heart attack.

    His contribution to the medical research is considerable invaluable, particularly in cancer. His research on the prevention of diseases with focus on nutrition were among the top news in the international media.

    Trichopoulos was born in Volos, in 1938. He studied Medicine at the University of Athens and specialized in Internal Medicine, Microbiology, Public Health and Epidemiology at the Universities of Athens, London, Harvard, and Oxford. He was Professor and Director of the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, since 1989, and Professor of Cancer Prevention and Director of the Center for Cancer Prevention, Harvard University, since 1992.

    In Greece he has served as Chairman of the Interuniversity Center, the State Council of Occupational Diseases, the State Population Committee and other Committees; as Rapporteur the State Health Planning Committee; and as member in more than 40 State committees.

    Dimitris Trichopoulos has authored or co-authored over 650 publications (mainly research papers but also books, monographs, reports, reviews, commentaries, etc). His research work has contributed to the discovery of the role of passive smoking in the causation of lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease, the elucidation of the aetiology of hepatocellular carcimona, the quantification of the association between psychological stress and coronary heart disease and the identification of several dietary and other important risk factors in the aetiology of the number of cancers and other diseases.

    [05] Chamber of Hotels asks PM to intervene on possible VAT rate increase on hotel services

    ANA/MPA---The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels has asked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to intervene in the issue of increases in VAT rates on hotel services.

    In a letter addressed to Samaras, the Chamber noted: "At a time during which tourism performed very well...instead of taking strategic measures and measures for the institutional strengthening of tourism with the aim of ensuring its sustainable development of relatively…shortsighted and wrong measures are being activated, which are based on an anti-development, purely revenue collection rationale and which condemn the Greek tourism to return to the old gloomy days."

    "Despite persistent rumors for a significant increase in the tourism VAT rate, we still believe that you personally...fully realize the false and dangerous path that such a possibility puts the Greek economy on and that you will move decisively to prevent it, even at the last moment, " the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels George Tsakiris said in his letter.

    The Chamber noted that the alleged increase in VAT rates of hotel services will be a blow to the viability of the industry, since all tourist contracts have already been concluded, while its impact on the competitiveness of the tourism product will be devastating and long lasting.

    According to the Chamber, the adjustment of VAT rates of hotel services at the levels of competitor countries resulted in a surge of the number of visitors to Greece and a subsequent rise in tourism revenues. These increases had, according to Bank of Greece data, a positive impact on the national economic activity, resulting in positive growth rates in the third quarter of 2014, for the first time since 2008. Given this situation, the Chamber said that its Board on December 2 will hold an extraordinary meeting.


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