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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek draft budget envisages 2.0 pct of GDP primary surplus in 2017
  • [02] Tsipras proposes meeting with Erdogan in bid to resolve obstacle of guarantees
  • [03] Benaki Museum launches crowdfunding campaign to support photo exhibition tour in U.S.

  • [01] Greek draft budget envisages 2.0 pct of GDP primary surplus in 2017

    Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis on Monday submitted the draft state budget for 2017 to Parliament President Nikos Voutsis. The 2017 draft budget envisages that primary surpluses for 2017 and 2016 will significantly surpass targets, paving the way for measures to boost social policy in the coming years.

    The primary surplus in 2017 is projected to reach 2.0 pct of GDP, surpassing a target of 1.75 pct set in the economic policy programme and confirming the positive trend of fiscal data. The 2016 primary surplus is also expected to surpass targets to reach 1.09 pct of GDP, from a 0.53 pct initial budget target.

    The Greek economy expected to grow by 2.7 pct after a contracting -0.3 pct rate in 2016, while the unemployment rate is projected to fall to 20.6 pct this year.

    The country's public debt is expected to ease to 176.5 pct of GDP in 2017, from 180.3 pct in 2016, although in absolute figures it is expected to rise to 319.2 billion euros in 2017 from 315.4 billion in 2016.

    The 2017 budget aims to maintain fiscal balance so as to complete a restoration of the country's credibility and enable an exit from the fiscal adjustment programme the soonest possible, also to fairly distribute adjustment costs and to achieve a socially fair distribution of the benefits of an economic recovery.

    The finance ministry, in an announcement, said "it is the third successive year that the government will achieve its goals, thanks to a prudent fiscal management, a gradual recovery of economic activity and an improvement in tax revenue".

    The draft budget also puts priority on strengthening and fortifying social protection and boosting public investments. For this reason, the budget incorporates a series of interventions, such as:

    -expanding the implementation of a social solidarity income with 760 million euros, covering more than 250,000 households living in poverty,

    -strengthening health, education and social protection with an additional 300 million euros,

    -contributing 100 million euros for the settlement of non-performing loans by over-indebted households with set income and asset criteria and

    -raising the national leg of a Public Investments Programme by 250 million euros.

    Voutsis said that the debate on the draft budget will begin before Parliament's Financial Affairs Committee on Thursday and take place over four sessions. The debate before the plenum will begin on Tuesday, December 6 and end at midnight the following Saturday, December 10, with a roll call vote.

    [02] Tsipras proposes meeting with Erdogan in bid to resolve obstacle of guarantees

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet to discuss the system of guarantees in Cyprus, which remains one of the thorniest issues in the ongoing negotiations during recent calls to the Turkish leader, government sources said on Monday.

    According to the sources, Tsipras told Erdogan differences between the two sides remain and any multilateral meeting before this issue is settled is bound to fail. The Greek premier and Anastasiades also agreed that the latter proposes a date for the multilateral meeting on the condition that Tsipras meets with Erdogan ahead of the talks.

    Tsipras has been in contact with Turkey's leadership as well as Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades in recent days as talks between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots intensify.

    [03] Benaki Museum launches crowdfunding campaign to support photo exhibition tour in U.S.

    The Benaki Museum is launching its first crowdfunding campaign to support the U.S. tour of its next exhibition, the presentation of the album of German photographer Albert Mayer from the first modern Olympic Games of Athens in 1896.

    The exhibition kicks off in New York City in December 2016 with events at both the United Nations and the Consulate General of Greece. The campaign's goal is to raise 100,000 dollars, which will allow the album to continue its 2017 tour in at least four additional U.S. cities, to allow Greeks of the diaspora, photo enthusiasts, Olympic memorabilia collectors and friends of the Benaki Museum to enjoy this unique album.

    Meyer was one of the most famous photographers of that period and he traveled to Athens for the Games, becoming the official photographer of the German team. The press announced the making of the album before it had even commenced. The Greek newspaper of Trieste "Imera" (Day) as well as the Athenian "Akropolis" both wrote that the album would turn out to be the keepsake of the Games for the royal courts all over the world, as well as for the members of the Olympic Games Committee.

    The 25 rather spartan photographs of the album capture the chronicle of the Games, beginning with the photograph of the International Committee and that of the Greek national benefactor Georgios Averof. The following photographs capture both the athletic rituals and efforts. The runners, the discus throwers, the shot put competitors and gymnastics athletes who project the urban tradition of western European countries in exercises of acrobatic precision, follow the photograph of the Philharmonic Orchestra. The photographs with the rings, the pommel horse and the horizontal bars lead to the one of the Greek emblem of the Games, the Marathon runner, (water carrier by profession) Spyros Louis, who poses for Albert Meyer wearing a national costume after winning the First Marathon.

    The photographic archive of Meyer, including his photos from the Olympic Games, was destroyed in 1945, when bombardments flattened Dresden, Germany, hence turning the original photographs into rare and priceless artifacts.

    The few copies of the leather album were distributed to the members of the Olympic Games Organizational Committee, amongst which was George Streit, banker and minister of the Greek government of the period. Marinos Yeroulanos, president of the Board of Trustees of the Benaki Museum for many years and grandson of George Streit, donated the album to the Historical Archives of the museum. Since then, this unique album is safeguarded with care as imposed by its rarity, being a unique token to both history and art.

    To support the campaign, go to or email

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