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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Good news for economy as 3rd quarter growth, budget surplus figures surpass targets
  • [02] Ultra-tight security planned for Obama visit to Athens on Tuesday
  • [03] Five Athens metro stations to remain closed on Tuesday for Obama's visit

  • [01] Good news for economy as 3rd quarter growth, budget surplus figures surpass targets

    The figures recorded by Greece's independent statistical authority ELSTAT in its quarterly national accounts estimates reflect a positive growth course for the Greek economy, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Monday. The news was also welcomed by the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV), which said the economy appeared to be entering a stabilisation phase after the first review of the Greek programme was concluded.

    "GDP growth showed a 1.5 pct increase in the 3rd quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 and a 0.5 pct increase compared with the second quarter of 2016. The Greek economy has not seen a similar rate of growth since the first quarter of 2008," Tzanakopoulos pointed out.

    According to the spokesman, the economy's performance had exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts and confirmed that it had already begun a steady upturn toward growth.

    The main goal of this government is that the benefits from growth will have a footprint in daily life and in the living conditions and work of the social majority. We are continuing to work so that this growth will continue with even greater momentum, for measures to relieve Greece's public debt and for the country to join the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme, Tzanakopoulos added.

    ELSTAT said said the country's GDP grew 1.5 pct in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2015 (GDP was down 2.2 pct in the third quarter of 2015). On a quarterly basis, the country's GDP grew 0.5 pct in the third quarter from the second quarter.

    The statistics service revised upwards its estimate on the GDP in the first two quarters of the year, to -0.8 pct (instead of an -1.0 pct initial estimate in the first quarter and -0.6 pct from -0.9 pct in the second quarter).

    Provisional figures for third quarter GDP will be released in November 29, based on updated primary data. Based on non-seasonally adjusted figures, the Greek GDP grew 1.2 pct in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

    In another report on Monday, ELSTAT said Greek budget surplus had significantly surpassed targets at 1.306 billion euros in the January-October period, from a shortfall of 793 million euros in the corresponding period in 2015. The budget target was for a deficit of 3.499 billion euros, according to provisional budget execution data (amended cash basis). The budget recorded a primary surplus of 6.497 billion euros in the 10-month period, from a primary surplus of 4.532 billion in the same period last year and a budget target for a primary surplus of 1.791 billion euros.

    The news was also welcomed by the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) in its weekly economic developments report, which also pointed to the European Commission's autumn forecast that the Greek economy will grow at a rate of 2.7 pct of GDP in 2017 and 3.1 pct of GDP in 2018.

    "The economy is gradually entering a trajectory of stabilization since the 3rd quarter of the current year, immediately after the conclusion of the first review and the disbursement of the sub-tranches of the adjustment programme. The main indicators of economic activity do seem to reflect an image of stabilization, with positive messages, especially for the development of industrial production, exports and imports, retail sales and employment," SEV said.

    [02] Ultra-tight security planned for Obama visit to Athens on Tuesday

    Greek and U.S. authorities are expected to finalise the ultra-tight and escalating security operation planned for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Athens on Tuesday and Wednesday, in deliberations taking place on Monday evening.

    The first security measures in the Greek capital were already in place on Monday and will continue tightening ahead of the visit, with U.S. agents having the first say in their planning and organisation, in collaboration with the Hellenic Police (ELAS).

    U.S. sources said that the president will arrive with an escort and security personnel exceeding 500 people, most of whom are currently in Greece. Also in the country since Friday, carried by cargo planes, are the armoured limousine and the cars that will carry the U.S. President and his escorts during the visit, as well as a helicopter and the heavy weapons to be used by the president's security detail and the strike force teams that will screen the areas where he will visit. In addition to the above, there are a number of support vehicles equipped with the latest electronic security equipment, such as machinery that can locate and neutralise bombs, or turn off mobile phones and other electronic devices.

    The areas where the U.S. president will pass will be locked down at least half an hour beforehand, with snipers ranged all around on rooftops and other vantage points, and a mobile hospital with a staff of 150 on standby, also from the United States.

    The president's security team will only inform Greek services about Obama's movements at the last minute, while his personal escort and security team will number around 300.

    The Greek security operation will have a force of 4,500 officers, who will accompany the U.S. president, cordon off areas and roads and provide other forms of cover.

    Among the tight security measures planned are restrictions on vehicle traffic that will go into effect throughout the Greek capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, until the end of the visit. Roads will initially be closed along the route between the Athens Airport and the hotel where Obama will be staying and then modified depending traffic conditions and the president's movements.

    Roads will close some time before Obama and his escort are due to pass by and open again after a period of time that has not yet been specified.

    According to the Attica traffic police, provision has been made for measures to facilitate traffic in Athens during the visit, with the police advising motorists to comply with the directions given by traffic police to avoid further congestion.

    [03] Five Athens metro stations to remain closed on Tuesday for Obama's visit

    Greek police announced that five metro stations will remain closed as of noon in central Athens as part of the stringent security measures attached to the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.

    Trains will pass from Syntagma, Evangelismos, Megaro Mousikis (Athens Concert Hall), Acropolis and Syngrou-Fix stations without stopping and will reopen after a police order. The blue metro line will also stop its service to and from the Athens International Airport between 10:20 and 11:20.


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