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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't seeks fruitful dialogue with political party leaders
  • [02] Review must close as soon as possible, says Econ Minister Stathakis
  • [03] Main opposition leader Mitsotakis lashes out at PM Tsipras
  • [04] We are facing the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII, UN High Commissioner for Refugees tells ANA-MPA
  • [05] Eurobank completes acquisition of Alpha Bank's branch in Bulgaria
  • [06] Greece must be ready for the worst scenario, Shipping Min. Dritsas says

  • [01] Gov't seeks fruitful dialogue with political party leaders

    The government seeks a fruitful and honest dialogue with the political party leaders, government spokesman Olga Gerovassili said on Tuesday.

    Gerovassili said that the government is looking into the positions it will present at the EU summit. In any case the government is willing to use whatever diplomatic tool for the fair allocation of the refugees and the rapid implementation of the refugees' relocation so that unilateral actions are prevented.

    The cabinet will convene on Thursday and then Tsipras will meet with European Council President Donald Tusk. The meeting will focus on the management of the refugees crisis.

    Referring to the negotiations with the institutions, Gerovassili said that IMF must explain why it insists on positions not included in the last summer's agreement, especially now that the economic figures on which the agreement was based are much better.

    [02] Review must close as soon as possible, says Econ Minister Stathakis

    The program review needs to close as soon as possible, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday to realFM.

    "We do not have the luxury the review to be extended, it must be completed as soon as possible and that is the government's aim. I believe that it is the other side's aim as well."

    At a question if he agrees with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos' position that it will be disastrous if it delays until May or June, he said: "I totally agree. The review must close; it is highly imperative for the economy and there is no reason why it should not close."

    Moreover, the minister announced that the government will table the development law in March. "The law is ready. We have sent it to the European Commission and we received their comments, which were positive in general, three months ago. The only thing that is pending is the institutions' evaluation because it has fiscal cost and it will be tabled in parliament."

    [03] Main opposition leader Mitsotakis lashes out at PM Tsipras

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking at the party's parliamentary group on Tuesday lashed out at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    "The refugee issue is out of control, the situation is even more tragic, the economy is sustained technically, the society is boiling, nothing progresses, the country is close to zero point," he said and added: "The only one who sees the things differently is the person who led the country to that situation. Tsipras' interview on Monday was revealing and worrying. Mr Tsipras has lost control when the country needs to be governed."

    He also said he is in favour of the political leaders meeting so that a national policy that will reduce the harm on the country is drafted.

    "We are working with all our strength to restore the prestige of the country. The government needs to get serious and agree on Friday on an efficient action plan to address the crisis," he added.

    [04] We are facing the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII, UN High Commissioner for Refugees tells ANA-MPA

    "What Greece is faced with is not fair," the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Melissa Fleming on Tuesday said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    Regarding the new restrictions some countries imposed on refugee flows, she said that that "they are particularly isolationist and are not consistent with the spirit of unity and European values."

    "This is not fair for Greece. It is not a problem that should be a problem of only one country due to its geographical location. This is a problem of the entire European Union; it must fight it and show solidarity to all those that bear the main burden," she underlined.

    She reassured that the UNHCR "does its best to help Greece and will do even more," but she admitted that "it will be a very difficult situation."

    "The issue is that we have proposed a lot of solutions to relieve Greece and there are also European proposals, but some countries decided to act unilaterally and they did not wait for the substantial and efficient proposals," she stated.

    Fleming admitted that "we are facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II."

    Moreover, she said she is moved by the stance of the Greek government and the Greek people. "It is a very human and humanitarian approach (of the government), but the Greek people are also amazing. Of course, there are some right wing movements, as we have seen in all European countries, and this worries us a lot. Of course, this kind of chaotic situations, with huge groups of people, can be used in a very negative way to generate fear and xenophobia with the sole purpose of gathering votes. We hope, however, that the compassion of the Greek people will prevail."

    When asked if they would ever be an end to all this tragedy, she admitted that the situation will not change overnight. "There could be an end if the global forces could think of a way to stop the war. But this would be too idealistic. However, we hope that there will be a renewed peace process and that hostilities will cease - as we now have truce. All the Syrians I know want to return home," she concluded.

    [05] Eurobank completes acquisition of Alpha Bank's branch in Bulgaria

    Eurobank and Alpha Bank on Tuesday announced the completion of an acquisition of Alpha Bank's branch in Bulgaria by Eurobank's subsidiary in the country, Eurobank Bulgaria AD (Postbank).

    Following the completion of the acquisition, Postbank becomes the fourth largest bank in Bulgaria, based on deposits and loans and was looking forward to further enhance its position in the Bulgarian market and to expand its customer base in the retail banking and corporate banking sectors.

    [06] Greece must be ready for the worst scenario, Shipping Min. Dritsas says

    Greece must be prepared for the worst scenario, Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas stated on Tuesday, adding that the government does not want to create permanent and large camps because "it is very difficult for someone to handle areas hosting 10,000 people."

    Speaking to private TV MEGA, Dritsas said that the hotspots have a transitive and pre-departure role adding that the state can construct permanent hosting facilities for the migrants and the refugees but "we mustn't do something like that now".

    Dritsas estimated that the fact that the refugees do not want to stay here (in Greece) is a safeguard for us adding that "in case of a fair allocation of refugees to all the European countries then we will have our share of refugees that will remain in Greece".

    Finally, Dritsas said that Greece has asked for emergency financing from the European Union for the refugees as well as for the people that will finally stay in Greece.


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