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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece can return to markets in 2017 if reforms continue, ESM's Regling says
  • [02] Return of deposits up to 25 bln euros possible, Karamouzis says
  • [03] Second review of Greek program to be completed by end-November, Econ Min says
  • [04] Greek scientists sound alarm over pharmaceutical expenditure
  • [05] The danger is to compromise with decadence, says Potami leader Theodorakis

  • [01] Greece can return to markets in 2017 if reforms continue, ESM's Regling says

    Greece can return to the markets in 2017, if it continues the economic reforms, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regling, said on Tuesday.

    "We have helped five countries during the crisis: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. Four of them are now success stories," Regling said at a conference in Nicosia, adding: "I expect that Greece, too, can begin to return to markets next year, if it continues to make reforms. "

    [02] Return of deposits up to 25 bln euros possible, Karamouzis says

    Improving economic climate and business outlook could lead to a return of deposits up to 25 billion euros in the domestic banking system in the next 18 to 24 months, Eurobank's chairman Nikolaos Karamouzis said.

    Addressing an event organized by the Hellenic Observatory of London School of Economics and Hellenic Bankers Association - UK, the Greek banker said that non-performing loans will begin falling from the first quarter of 2017 -unless there are any negative surprises in the Greek economy- something confirmed by prevailing trends in NPLs. He noted that it should be clear that reversing a trend in NPLs was not only related with their management by the banking system -which is necessary- but from the return of the country to a sustainable growth path, lifting capital controls and accessing capital markets.

    Referring to the Greek economy, Karamouzis said that the government was implementing a third adjustment program with success in several fronts, such as privatizations.

    [03] Second review of Greek program to be completed by end-November, Econ Min says

    A second review of the Greek program will be completed by the end of November, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday.

    In a radio interview, Stathakis said that talks went very well in the first week of negotiations and noted that the two sides have identified the areas of general agreement and the issues needed further negotiations, taking as granted that there are different views of these issues. "The review will be completed within schedule by the end of November," he noted.

    Commenting on talk over the possibility of a fourth memorandum, particularly if the IMF put fresh money in the Greek program, Stathakis said: "There is a confusion. The IMF has no program with Greece. This ended in early 2015 when SYRIZA became government. It is a technical adviser. If it puts money, it must have some kind of a program with Greece. This is not a fourth, or a fifth, or a sixth program. It is the current program, on which the IMF will have to decided whether it will participate or not. Therefore, any discussion over a fourth memorandum is based on a misunderstanding".

    "If the economy recovers, if we have the minimum debt relief measures, a return to QE, all these would mean that Greece could return to capital markets. It is very positive that enterprises based in Greece can borrow from international markets for the first time. All these concluded that by the end of the current program Greece will have returned to markets and there will be no discussion on a fourth memorandum," the Greek minister said.

    Stathakis said the Greek government and its creditors were very near to reach an agreement on a new legislation on the management of non-performing loans, while he categorically dismissed talk of additional measures. "We have voted all fiscal measures up to 2018 so there is no issue of new measures," he said, adding that there is an agreement in principle over 2016 and 2017 and that we are fully within targets.

    He said that the Greek economy will turn to positive growth rates in the last two quarters of 2016, paving the way for a 2.7-2.8 pct growth rate in 2017, as the private investment index shows a very strong growth.

    [04] Greek scientists sound alarm over pharmaceutical expenditure

    Pharmaceutical expenditure in Greece has been steadily reducing over the last years and needs to be increased by at least 200 million euros compared to the institutions' demands and the Health ministry's estimates, Greek scientists said in an international conference held in Vienna.

    They explained that in order for patients to have access to innovative medicine, pharmaceutical companies that produce this kind of medicine should continue to dispose them in the Greek market. However, this is at risk since the pharmaceutical policy followed over the last 5 years and the plethora of new expensive medicine have increased the clawback making it difficult for these companies to dispose expensive medicine in the Greek market.

    "If the policy of cuts in pharmaceutical expenditure continues without structural measures, we will soon be led to a new impasse. The use of medicine increases, but at the same time the returns of pharmaceutical companies to the state also increase. This is extremely negative for them," they said.

    The scientists stressed the need for rationalisation of the pharmaceutical expenditure in Greece. In 2009 Greece was a world champion with pharmaceutical expenditure amounting to 2.8 percent of GDP compared to an average of 1.5 percent of GDP in other countries.

    "But now we are on the other side. Institutions had been asking us to cut down on expenses and upgrade the whole system. Indeed we reduced the expenditure, but we are lagging behind in reforms at the same time when our Balkan neighbours are developing towards that direction," a professor of Health University said.

    He explained that according to the memorandum, pharmaceutical expenditure is GDP-linked, but GDP has significantly dropped. In addition it was not taken into account that the Greeks live by an average two more years than the average European and a large part of the Greek society is the elderly who are facing several health problems.

    "All the above combined with the fact that the penetration of generics remains low in our country (about 20 pct), when in England and Germany reaches 80 pct, increase the need for higher pharmaceutical expenditure," he added.

    [05] The danger is to compromise with decadence, says Potami leader Theodorakis

    "I never believed Tsipras (Alexis, prime minister) but know he is rolling down a hill that nobody knows where is the end and what wounds will leave to the country. He proposed extreme-right Polydoras (Vyron) head of Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), said Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis in an interview with mononews.gr.

    "The danger that lies before us is to compromise with decadance. The young to continue to migrate and the citizens to continue to suffer. People must understand that is not enough to change the governance but to change everything without devastating the country," said Theodorakis.

    He said that he admires Barack Obama and Nikos Kazantzakis (author) as politician. He has also been impressed by Olof Palme and Gerhard Schroeder. "People are making mistakes but we should become wiser by our mistakes. To learn and not repeat them but unfortunately here (in Greece) we are inclined to do the same mistakes.


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