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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-07-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government sources deny existence of 'drachma plan'
  • [02] The government is not considering further prior actions, gov't sources say
  • [03] Technical-level negotiations on 3rd bailout for Greece began Monday, Tsakalotos said
  • [04] Greek stock market to remain close, pending ministerial decision
  • [05] Varoufakis replies to media over 'Plan B', parallel payments plan
  • [06] IMF's privatisation targets for Greece 'unrealistic', head of Austrian railways says

  • [01] Government sources deny existence of 'drachma plan'

    ANA-MPA -- "What is made abundantly clear by Mr. Varoufakis' announcement is that there was no plan or strategy for a return to the drachma," government sources commented on Monday, in response to the announcement posted by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on his website. As also confirmed by the statements made by Professor James Galbraith, there was only a report on the possible repercussions of euro exit, in the case of attempts to blackmail Greece by forcing it out of the eurozone, the sources said. The prime minister had referred to the existence of this report during a recent interview on state television, they added.

    The sources were commenting on an announcement posted by Varoufakis concerning press reports that he had been planning to hijack and hack into Greek tax system software in order to set up a parallel payments system,

    [02] The government is not considering further prior actions, gov't sources say

    The government is not considering taking additional prior actions, a government source told ANA-MPA on Monday adding that no such request has been submitted.

    "What matters for the government right now is the implementation of the summit's agreement," the same source noted.

    [03] Technical-level negotiations on 3rd bailout for Greece began Monday, Tsakalotos said

    ANA-MPA -- The first discussions between Greek authorities and the creditor institutions on a 3rd Greek bailout began on a technical level on Monday and will continue with greater intensity on Tuesday, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos announced. "We will study and implement the agreements of the Eurogroup and Euro Summit. We hope that everything will go well," Tsakalotos said, after a meeting of the Government Council on Economic Policy. A senior finance ministry source said that meetings between ministers and the heads of the institutions' missions will take place later "if necessary". A second source said that the discussions will take place in the hotels where the institution officials are staying. Regarding a rumoured "third package" of prior actions, a senior finance ministry source confirmed this was asked for this by some parties but said that Greece insisted on implementing the Eurogroup and summit agreements, where there was no mention of any 'third package'. Another member of the government's economic team said that, in addition to sums needed for repayments to the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, an additional 4.0 billion euros were being sought to settle public-sector debts to the domestic market.

    [04] Greek stock market to remain close, pending ministerial decision

    ANA-MPA -- Greece's stock market will remain closed until the issue of a ministerial decision ordering that it start operating again, the Capital Market Commission announced on Monday. Earlier, the European Central Bank (ECB) had declined a request from the Bank of Greece and the Capital Market Commission for the reopening of the Athens stock exchange without restrictions for Greek investors, who will not be able to use existing deposit accounts for the purchase of shares. According to the same sources, the stock exchange will open with restrictions for almost a week and then the situation will be reassessed.

    [05] Varoufakis replies to media over 'Plan B', parallel payments plan

    ANA-MPA -- Replying to a storm of media criticism concerning his recently unveiled 'Plan B' for a possible transition to a national currency and parallel banking system, former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday issued an announcement saying that the finance ministry would have been "remiss" if it had failed to to draw up such contingency plans. The announcement confirmed that a finance ministry Working Group had been set up for this purpose, at the behest of the prime minister, coordinated by Prof. James K. Galbraith. It also attached a note by Galbraith saying that the Working Group had essentially concluded its work by May, "with a long memorandum outlining major issues and scenaria that we studied." In his announcement Varoufakis pointed out that the Bank of Greece (which had a draft legislative decree for a bank holiday already prepared), the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Union member-state treasuries, banks and international organisations all had such plans since 2012 and that, prior to his confirmation that such a working group existed, he had been "widely criticized widely for having neglected to make such contingency plans." In the wake of the revelations, however, "the media have indulged in far-fetched articles that damage the quality of public debate," the minister's announcement added. "The Ministry of Finance's Working Group worked exclusively within the framework of government policy and its recommendations were always aimed at serving the public interest, at respecting the laws of the land, and at keeping the country in the Eurozone," it stressed. Regarding the efforts to use the tax office online system taxisnet as the basis of a parallel payments system, Varoufakis said that he had clearly described during the handover ceremony at the finance ministry on July 6 and stressed that this was not part of the remit of the finance ministry's Working Group. This project had been presented in full to the Cabinet and Varoufakis considered that it should "be implemented independently of the negotiations with Greece's creditors, as it will contribute considerable efficiency gains in transactions between the state and taxpayers, as well as between taxpayers," the announcement said. "In conclusion, during the five months of negotiations that gripped Europe and changed the debate throughout the Continent, the Ministry of Finance did everything possible to serve the public interest against many odds. The current media campaign to besmirch these efforts will fail to dent the legacy of a crucial five-month struggle for democracy and common sense," it added. The full announcement posted by Varoufakis is available at the link below: http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/27/statement-by-yanis-varoufakis-on-the-finmins-plan-b-working-group-the-parallel-payment-system/#more-9523

    [06] IMF's privatisation targets for Greece 'unrealistic', head of Austrian railways says

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/ D. Dimitrakoudis) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) targets and expectations from privatisations in Greece were unrealistically high, the head of Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) Christian Kern said in an interview with the local monthly magazine 'Trend' published on Monday. Taking the plan for the privatisation of the Greek railway as an example, Kern said he was surprised at the target sum to be raised from its privatisation and suggested that the IMF's stance was "out of touch with reality" and not in the interests of either Greece or its lenders. As had been the case in other countries, he added, the IMF and World Bank experts put down "imaginary numbers" in their documents, in this way striving for the privatisation of a sector that, in his opinion, was better off remaining public. "Reforms are necessary but the anticipated revenues from the privatisations are unrealistic," Kern stressed.
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