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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-07-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM at emergency services operations centre for briefing on fires
  • [02] Eurogroup welcomes completion of national procedures to approve Greek bailout

  • [01] PM at emergency services operations centre for briefing on fires

    ANA-MPA -- Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday visited the Civil Protection Agency operations centre to be briefed on efforts to fight four major fires that broke out in Greece on Friday, three of them near inhabited areas. He called for calmness and effort by all sides to coordinate the fire-fighting effort. Tsipras said that all forces are on standby to deal with the four fires currently underway and asked the head of the Greek armed forces to assist in efforts to put out the fire in the Kareas area on the outskirts of Athens, supplying fire-fighting aircraft. Two Canadair water-bombing planes were sent from Thessaloniki and two fire-fighting helicopters from Elefsina. Tsipras announced that an official request for assistance from European mechanisms has been submitted, while assistance from other countries will also be requested if necessary. Regarding the two Canadair pilots that had to make a forced landing, Tsipras said that he was briefed on their condition and that they were in good health. He appealed to all the mass media to inform the public calmly and said he had instructed the relevant civil protection officer to give detailed briefings on all fires, the prevailing situation and fire-fighting means every two days. He asked that people volunteer to the fire-fighting effort wherever this was allowed by the fire brigade, which he stressed was in charge of the operations. Tsipras said that all fire-fighting forces of the fire brigade, army and air force were on standby to assist with the two major fires in Kareas and Lakonia, as well as another four blazes that had broken out on Friday. The prime minister announced that he would take part in a meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss fire-prevention patrols, since the prevailing weather conditions enhanced the risk of both accidental fires and arson. Earlier, Tsipras visited the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) National Operations Centre and Alternate Defence Minister Kostas Isichos, Deputy Defence Minister Nikos Toskas and HNDGS chief General Mikhail Kostarakos briefed him on the situation on all fire fronts.

    [02] Eurogroup welcomes completion of national procedures to approve Greek bailout

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Spinthourakis) A Eurogroup statement issued on Friday welcomed steps taken by euro-area national parliaments to clear the path for a new three-year bailout for Greece from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), "and especially the recent swift legislative steps taken by the Greek parliament as a first step towards rebuilding trust." "Following a formal decision taken by the ESM Board of Governors, the institutions were entrusted with the task of swiftly negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing the policy conditionality attached to the financial assistance facility," it said. The announcement said the Eurogroup also welcomed a decision of the European Council to grant a 7.16-billion-euro bridging loan to Greece from the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) and "the very constructive approach taken by the non-euro area EU Member States" to financing Greece. "In this context, the Eurogroup agrees in principle to transfer the 2014 SMP equivalent profits to be held at an ECB account to ensure legally enforceable rights to protect non euro area Member States from a risk of loss resulting from an EFSM programme to Greece. This will be confirmed by a letter from the President of the Eurogroup to the ESM. The SMP profits will be exclusively used either as compensation to non-euro area Member States in case of losses or will be returned to the euro area Member States, if not needed. Should Greece fail to repay the EFSM loan, the available instruments to recover the debt and protect the Union budget will be used, confirming that the risks of not concluding swiftly the negotiations on the ESM programme remain fully with Greece," it said.
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