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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-04-16

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] 6.1-magnitude quake hits off eastern coast of Crete, two smaller follow
  • [02] Greece wants 'honourable agreement,' FinMin Varoufakis tells Brookings
  • [03] Greece and Russia working on pipeline construction agreement

  • [01] 6.1-magnitude quake hits off eastern coast of Crete, two smaller follow

    ANA - MPA -- A 6.1-magnitude quake has struck off the eastern coast of the island of Crete near the town of Heraklion, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute on Thursday.

    The tremor struck at 21.08 p.m. local (18:08 GMT) at a focal depth of 10 kilometres. No reports of damage or casualties have been reported yet.

    A few minutes later, two more 4.3- and 4.0-magnitude quakes followed in close proximity to the first.

    [02] Greece wants 'honourable agreement,' FinMin Varoufakis tells Brookings

    ANA-MPA - Greece is dedicated to finding "an honourable agreement with its partners" but they must also acknowledge that the fiscal programme imposed on the country so far has proved a failure and the debt has been unsustainable since 2010, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said at Brookings Institution on Thursday.

    In an address focused on Greece's stance on negotiations with its loan partners - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission - Varoufakis said that the government's objection was not to signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU), it was to extending a reform programme imposed on the country that was "badly designed and administered by those who had to reform and refused to be reformed."

    This government "is keener than anyone to bring these negotiations to a successful and quick conclusion," he said, but not by extending the MoU it inherited that led to massive internal devaluation "that was bound to shrink violently the incomes from which the old and the new loan whould have to be repaid."

    Varoufakis said the government planned to start reforms with privatisations and pensions, and would proceed to other chronic problems such as procurements, bureaucracy and the political system's relations with the oligarchy and the media.

    Among other things he said that despite Greece's known issues, the EU needed to proceed to real consolidation and "a proper banking union," and he pointed out that Greece was "never really bailed out, as only 9 percent of the very large loans went to the Greek state - the rest were used to prop up irresponsible financial institutions, mostly in northern Europe.

    In the question and answer period that followed, Varoufakis reaffirmed the government's commitment to its membership in the EU and commented about a possible Grexit, "We are refusing to discuss a Grexit or toy with it - anyone who does so is profoundly anti-European."

    (The address and the question-and-answer period that followed were broadcast live on ANA-MPA WebTV.)

    [03] Greece and Russia working on pipeline construction agreement

    ANA-MPA - Greece and Russia are working on a memorandum for the construction of a "Greek pipeline" of natural gas that may be signed in Athens as early as next week, according to RIA-Novosti Russian news agency citing a Greek source, who said he was quoting Greek Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.

    The new pipeline is slated to begin operations in December 2016, and the Greek section will connect to a pipeline delivering Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe, according to the agency, which also said that signing on the Russian side would be Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

    According to the calculations, the Greek section is estimated to cost as much as 2 billion euros and run from the Greek-Turkish borders to the borders with FYROM. From here it will extend to Serbia and Hungary, ending up in Austria, according to Russian-based Gazprom.

    The agency quoted Greek sources as saying that construction would be carried out by the private sector and agree fully with EU legislation.

    No further details were available.


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