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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-04-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] There is still a lot of work to do in Greece, ECB's Coeure says
  • [02] Demand for further austerity in the public sector irrational, Greek FinMin says‏
  • [03] Greek banks are solvent, ECB's Praet says
  • [04] The Health ministry's proposals for health coverage of uninsured

  • [01] There is still a lot of work to do in Greece, ECB's Coeure says

    "There is still a lot of work to do" in Greece, European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Benoit Coeure said on Thursday.

    A possible "Grexit" - or Greek exit from the single currency - was "not a working hypothesis" for the central bank, Coeure told AFP.

    "A very large majority of the Greek population wants to remain in the eurozone. It's up to the Greek government to take the necessary action to make that possible, which is to say, reach agreement with the euro area," Coeure noted.

    The Greek government under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is obliged to draw up a list of economic reforms in return for the next tranche of aid.

    "Discussions have been difficult and slow," Coeure stated.

    "There remains sizeable disagreement between the Greek authorities and the three institutions -- the Commission, the ECB and the IMF -- on a number of issues that are key to the Greek economy, such as labour market reforms, privatisations, pension reforms... or the reform of the product and services market," Coeure said.

    "The process is on track and we're having good discussions. But there is an element of concern that the talks are proceeding slowly and that Greece has less and less time to find a solution," he concluded.

    [02] Demand for further austerity in the public sector irrational, Greek FinMin says‏

    A troika demand for further austerity and shrinking of the public sector, without taking in mind the impact on the Greek society and economy, serves only a strict implementation of lending terms and it is not based on some macro-economic model, Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis said in an interview in an Australian newspaper.

    Speaking to Business Spectator, the electronic issue of "The Australian" newspaper, the Greek FinMin presented the current situation of the Greek economy, after an unprecedented reduction of public and private spending and an accumulated 30 pct decline in the country's GDP, while the troika was demanding further reductions and austerity.

    Commenting on the domestic labor market, Varoufakis said it was in "full disorder" because of the recession which has led to a "breach" of labor legislation both in wages and working hours. Referring to the public sector he said that wages have collapsed, while workforce was reducing either through retirement or other ways, expect from dismissals. He noted that a troika demand for a further shrinking of the public sector lacked rationale since public sector workers had the remaining purchasing power to move the market.

    Varoufakis said the solution to the current problem of the Eurozone economy would be "a direct recapitalization of banks, a unification of the banking system and at the same time decoupling the crisis of the banking system with the economic crisis of any member-state, under the full responsibility of the European Central Bank".

    The Greek FinMin said that a Greek exit from the euro and its return to the drachma, following the example of Argentina, could be an option but it would lead to a full collapse of the banking system for months without any capability of borrowing, along with the obvious shortfall in currency. Varoufakis said that several enterprises have abandoned Greece because of the uncertainty over its stay in the Eurozone, but noted that this situation will continue not only for Greece but for other countries in the EU's region as long as the crisis in the Eurozone was not addressed as a systemic problem, but as a debt crisis of each member state, by approving expensive loans with no realistic prospect of repayment.

    [03] Greek banks are solvent, ECB's Praet says

    "Greek banks are assessed to be solvent," the European Central Bank's (ECB) chief economist Peter Praet said on Thursday at an event in Berlin.

    However, Praet acknowledged that it is a stressful situation.

    "I am not going to discuss how long this will go on. Verbal discipline is of the essence in crisis times," he said, referring to the central bank's ELA for Greece.

    [04] The Health ministry's proposals for health coverage of uninsured

    The unemployed, uninsured, and the poor, who need health care and are lost in the bureaucracy of a National Health System, resort to health centres in order to see a doctor, Alternate Health Minister Andreas Xanthos said on Thursday.

    According to Xanthos, around 2.5-3.0 million people are excluded from the health system. Fortunately, a network of health centers has been operating since the beginning of the crisis to help these people, the minister noted.

    Xanthos explained to ANA-MPA that the Health ministry has drafted a set of proposals to provide uninsured people with health coverage, which will soon be put to public consultation.

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