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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Dijsselbloem: 'Specific clarity' on medium-term measures for Greek debt not possible now
  • [02] ND accuses government of tolerating lawlessness after rioting outside the Polytechnic
  • [03] U.S. ambassador speaks of the 'privilege to vote' during tour at Athenian Stoa

  • [01] Dijsselbloem: 'Specific clarity' on medium-term measures for Greek debt not possible now

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Aroni) Greece needs to make as much progress as possible on reforms so that the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) participation in the programme can be decided before the end of the year, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said as he arrived for Monday's Eurogroup meeting in Brussels. He also noted that medium-term measures for Greece's debt could not be made specific at present, adding that this was a conversation that could be picked up after the next Eurogroup on December 5.

    "For the 5th of December I think it is important to make as much progress as possible so that the IMF has as much clarity as possible on a number of reforms, on the fiscal trajectory for the coming years. And, of course, the next step will be for the IMF to go to their board before the end of the year. That is my purpose for the 5th of December," he said.

    The IMF had promised to go to its board within the current year as part of the agreement reached last May, when the Eurogroup had indicated its readiness to do more in terms of debt relief for Greece and listed a number of options, Dijsselbloem noted. "On that basis the IMF said they are prepared to go to the board before the end of the year," he added.

    At the same time, he ruled out any further commitment on possible medium-term measures for Greek debt for the present. The May agreement had listed a number of possible measures for the medium term but the extent to which they will be necessary was impossible to determine right now, he said.

    "It depends what happens between now and the second half of 2018 in terms of economic growth, inflation, and of course the commitment from the Greek government. So that kind of specific clarity on what is actually in the medium-term package is impossible to give. And that was also understood by the IMF in May, when we said that we can only put a figure on it when we are in the second half of 2018," Dijsselbloem said.

    Asked whether an agreement on Greece can be ready by the next Eurogroup meeting, he declined to give a firm reply, noting that the institutions had yet to brief the Eurogroup on the progress made so far.

    "As you know, they are in the second review; a number of reforms are part of that second review, so I will hear today how much progress there is and then - maybe - I will be able to answer your question about whether we will be ready on the 5th," he said.

    [02] ND accuses government of tolerating lawlessness after rioting outside the Polytechnic

    New Democracy accused the government of "tolerating violence and lawlessness" after the riots that took place in the streets outside and near the Athens Polytechnic University which had been closed for several hours.

    "All that is taking place with the 'known-unknown' individuals outside the Polytechnic reveal the government's tolerance for violence and lawlessness," the party said.

    "The –euphemistically called – civil protection minister must take responsibility before it is too late. Respect of the laws, which will be an immediate priority for the future government of New Democracy, cannot be scorned by anyone," it added.

    [03] U.S. ambassador speaks of the 'privilege to vote' during tour at Athenian Stoa

    U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, noted the importance of voting in a democratic society and Greece's resilience through the centuries during a visit at the Athenian Stoa in the center of Ancient Athens, one day before the American elections.

    "The experience of Greece over the last few years has a lesson for all of us. Greece has faced enormous challenges, but the democratic institutions of this country have functioned without interruption. And that's something that's worth remembering. To me, this shows both the remarkable resilience of the Greek people, but it also demonstrates the enduring power of democracy," Pyatt said, according to a press release by the U.S. embassy.

    The ambassador received a tour of the Ancient Agora site by Dr. Kevin Daly of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (ASCSA). Dr. Daly briefed the Ambassador on the role of the ancient Athenian Agora, the center of the ancient city, where citizens would assemble to cast their ballots for elections on many issues.

    "As we exercise our right and privilege as American citizens to vote, we remember that participating in an election is a tremendous opportunity that should not be taken for granted," he said and continued, "although it might seem like a simple process – dropping a bronze ballot or a piece of paper in a box – it is critically important. It is inspiring to be standing at one of the original ballot boxes where the world's earliest votes were cast."


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