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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-12-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] IMF says its negotiating team will return to Athens in January
  • [02] FM Venizelos meets German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel
  • [03] Retailers announce that shops will open this Sunday
  • [04] Shares dive for third session on Athens stock exchange

  • [01] IMF says its negotiating team will return to Athens in January

    ANA-MPA -- The negotiating team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will return to Athens in January and its aim is to successfully complete the sixth Greek bailout review, the deputy spokesman of the IMF William Murray said on Thursday, during a press conference at the Fund's headquarters in Washington.

    "We expect to return with the negotiating team in January. Our intention is to return to Athens in January," Murray said.

    Answering many questions on Greece, the spokesman refused to make any comments on political developments in Greece and repeated the Fund is cooperating with Greek authorities for the completion of the sixth programme review.

    Murray said the IMF knows Greece wants to replace the current programme with a precautionary credit line clarifying that the country has not made an official request which may be submitted after the completion of the current review.

    Asked whether Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras informed the IMF chief Christine Lagarde of his political initiatives, the spokesman said he couldn't confirm this information or whether IMF officials have contacted the leader of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party leader Alexis Tsipras.

    Murray also declined to comment on how the Fund visit could be affected if the government ends up having early elections in January.

    [02] FM Venizelos meets German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel

    ANA-MPA -- Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, currently on a visit to Berlin, on Thursday met German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economy Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, the head of Germany's SPD party. The meeting focused on economic, trade and energy cooperation issues, particularly with respect to renewable energy sources and innovative enterprises.

    "The primary issue is for the SPD and its MPs to help in the German Parliament so that we have approval before Christmas of an extension of [Greece's stability] programme for two months for technical reasons and Greece's transition to the new era via the precautionary credit line," Venizelos said in statements to the Greek state television channel NERIT after the meeting. He said that Gabriel's response had been very positive on this point.

    "We talked about Greece's real economy, about bilateral cooperation, investment opportunities and the need to create jobs," Venizelos said, noting that this discussion had been a "natural continuation" of his talk on Wednesday with Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. "I think he confirmed in the clearest way the decision of the Eurogroup, which sends a very positive message for Greece, a message that we can proceed in an orderly fashion to an exit from the memorandums and to the start of a new phase," he said.

    During the meeting, Venizelos and Gabriel agreed to continue preparations for business delegations to be sent by the two sides, while Venizelos briefed Gabriel on the details concerning the election of Greece's new president and asked for his support when the German government brought a request to approve a two-month extension of the existing stabilisation programme for Greece to the German Federal Parliament next week.

    [03] Retailers announce that shops will open this Sunday

    ANA-MPA -- On Sunday, December 14, shops nationwide will open from 11:00 to 20:00, according to an announcement on Thursday by the Hellenic Retail Business Association (SELPE). The Federation of private sector employees, which opposes Sunday opening in the retail sector, on Wednesday declared a 24hour strike on Sunday 14 December in protest against the measure.

    "We continue our struggle against the Sunday opening of the stores and the abolition of Sunday holiday that leads hundreds of small and medium sized business to shut down and supports the multinational companies, the malls and the discount villages. Moreover, we oppose to the total reversal and the imposing of flexible working ways with salaries of poverty and abolition of our labour rights, our right to rest and to free time. We will not become the slaves of the 21st century," said the Federation in its announcement.

    Retailers have proposed that shops stay open for two Sundays before Christmas (Dec. 14 and Dec. 21) and stay open longer hours on Saturdays and weekdays leading up to the holiday.

    [04] Shares dive for third session on Athens stock exchange

    ANA-MPA -- Greek stocks suffered another day of spectacular losses that pushed the bourse to new annual lows on Thursday, while the bearish climate extended to the bond market, where the yield of the 10-year bond spiked to above 9.0 pct. Rising concern about domestic political developments has made investors skittish about the country risk and led to a new sell-off of Greek paper.

    The composite index of the market fell below 850 points, shedding 65.73 points in a 7.35 pct dive to end at 827.98 points, the lowest close since July 2013. Turnover was again high at 180.27 million euros. The composite index recorded accumulated losses of 20 pct in the last three sessions and is down 28.79 pct since the start of the year, while losses since the highs in March amount to 39.54 pct.

    The Large Cap index nosedived 7.69 pct and the Mid Cap index fell by 6.11 pct lower. Motor Oil (+0.44 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end higher; Piraeus Port Authority (-14.44 pct), Piraeus Bank (-13.89 pct), GEK Terna (-13.22 pct), Folli Follie (-12.45 pct), MIG (-12.31 pct) and Jumbo (-11.83 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses. The National Bank of Greece (NBG) also recorded a new historic low after losing 9.38 pct.

    All sector indices ended lower, with the biggest losses in Health (-13.26 pct), Commerce (-12.44 pct), Personal Products (-10.68 pct) and Travel and Leisure (-9.80 pct).

    Decliners led advancers by 105 to 21, with another 17 issues unchanged. Kreka (19.75 pct), Sfakianakis (19.75 pct) and Levenderis (16.67 pct) were top gainers, while ELGEKA (-28.00 pct), Karamolegos (-26.77 pct) and SIDMA (-19.76 pct) were top losers.

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