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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Coeure: Europe's success in dealing with Greece is Europe's success in dealing with itself
  • [02] Greek economy rebounded in H2 2016, OECD report
  • [03] Greek bank deposits up to 124.6 bln euros in October
  • [04] Alonissos in top less known islands worth visiting
  • [05] KKE concerned over the developments in Greek-Turkish relations
  • [06] Tourist arrivals in Chalkidiki to drop 40 pct as result of works in Macedonia airport

  • [01] Coeure: Europe's success in dealing with Greece is Europe's success in dealing with itself

    "Europe's success in dealing with Greece is Europe's success in dealing with itself," European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board Member Benoît Cœuré said in Athens on Monday, while failure to support Greece will also be a failure to support itself.

    He noted that Greece had made a lot of progress in reforms but also that a lot more remained to be done, while stressing that the Greek government's perceived commitment to reforms was among the criteria that will be taken into account when the ECB governing council considers whether to include Greek bonds in the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), better known as quantitative easing.

    "It is essential that Greek authorities continue to show commitment to the goals and measures taken under the programme....[leading to confidence] that reforms will not be reversed but in fact be strengthened after the programme."

    Other important input, he said, will be programme developments and especially the outcome of the debt sustainability assessment by the institutions, while important factors will be a successful programme review and a successful conclusion to debt measures talks.

    Coeure was addressing the 27th annual Greek Economy Conference "Greece and the Global Disruptive Environment: A look into the future" organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in Athens on Monday.

    [02] Greek economy rebounded in H2 2016, OECD report

    Economic growth has rebounded in the second half of 2016 and it is projected to gain strength in 2017 and 2018 as structural reforms start to bear fruit, the conclusion of a policy review with creditors raises business and consumer confidence and the economic and political environment stabilises, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Monday.

    The Paris-based organization, in its Economic Outlook report, said that exports of services are underperforming because of structural rigidities and capital controls (which particularly affect the export revenue from the shipping industry). Employment is projected to increase but unemployment remains far too high.

    OECD said that a Guaranteed Minimum Income program should help address rising poverty and make growth more inclusive. The implementation of key structural reforms to reduce the regulatory burden and ease regulation in the energy and transport sectors will boost productivity and growth. The high level of non-performing loans undermines credit growth, holding back investment. To deal with this, the authorities should implement already legislated incentives and performance targets for banks to monitor their progress in reducing bad debt.

    The huge public debt undercuts confidence in the Greek economy, a situation that calls for additional debt relief. Even if the ambitious medium-term fiscal targets established in the 2015 agreement with creditors were met, more should be done to make public debt clearly sustainable. The implementation of structural reforms would boost growth and thereby improve debt dynamics. Broadening further the tax base and ensuring that the new independent public revenue agency improves tax compliance and collection would increase revenues.

    Employment is expected to rise, but the unemployment rate will remain at very high levels, particularly among young people. The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 23.5 pct this year from 24.9 pct in 2015 and to fall to 23.1 pct in 2017 and 22.7 pct of the workforce in 2018. The inflation rate (harmonised consumer price index) is projected to rise to 0.1 pct this year from -1.1 pct in 2015 and to rise further to 1.1 pct in 2017 and 1.4 pct in 2018, due to "a higher increase in wages". The country's current account balance will show a deficit of 1.0 pct of GDP this year, falling to 0.6 pct in 2017 and 0.1 pct in 2018, the OECD said. The general government's deficit (including interest) is projected to fall to 2.0 pct of GDP this year, from 7.5 pct in 2015 and to fall to 0.2 pct of GDP in 2017, while in 2018 a surplus of 0.5 pct of GDP is projected. The country's public debt is expected to reach 185.7 pct of GDP this year, falling to 182.7 pct in 2017 and 177.6 pct in 2018.

    [03] Greek bank deposits up to 124.6 bln euros in October

    Greek bank deposits grew to 124.6 billion euros at the end of October from 123.47 billion a month earlier, but credit trends remained negative in the month, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said that in October 2016, the annual growth rate of total credit extended to the domestic private sector was -1.6 pct, from -1.7 pct in the previous month. The monthly net flow of total credit to the domestic private sector was negative at 308 million euros, compared with a negative net flow of 355 million in the previous month.

    In October 2016, the monthly net flow of credit to corporations was negative at 88 million euros, compared with a positive net flow of 25 million in the previous month, while the annual growth rate of credit was -0.3 pct, from -0.5 pct in the previous month. In particular, the annual growth rate of credit to non-financial corporations was 0.1 pct, from -0.2 pct in the previous month and the monthly net flow of credit to non-financial corporations was positive at 126 million euros, against a negative net flow of 153 million in the previous month. The annual growth rate of credit to insurance corporations and other financial intermediaries was -5.0 pct in October 2016, from -3.7 pct in the previous month and the monthly net flow of credit was negative at 214 million euros, compared with a positive net flow of 178 million in the previous month.

    In October 2016, the monthly net flow of credit to individuals and private non-profit institutions was negative at 184 million euros, compared with a negative net flow of 346 million in the previous month and its annual growth rate stood at -2.8 pct, from -3.0 pct in the previous month, the central bank said.

    [04] Alonissos in top less known islands worth visiting

    The island of Alonissos, in Sporades, was included in the top 10 less known islands of Europe, according to the Australian travel website traveller.com.au.

    The island Mljet, in Croatia, near the Dalmatian coast, ranks first followed by Alonissos and Andros. Other Mediterrannean and Northern European islands are included in the list.

    According to the website, Alonissos is "the dream of every nature lover" as it hosts the national marine park and is the shelter for the Mediterranean seal monachus-monachus, dolphins and rare birds.

    The Greek island is also a favourite place for sailors seeking tranquility and good food, and especially the bay of Steni Vala.

    [05] KKE concerned over the developments in Greek-Turkish relations

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is watching with concern the developments in the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue, stated KKE secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Monday.

    "The huge everyday life problems, expected to intensify in the next period, as a result of the second review of the Greek programme, of the government's new agreeements with the EU partners and with the IMF. However, they must not leave behind the very dangerous developments that are taking place in our region".

    Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan statements he said "these statements are accompanied by the consistent violation of the Greek airspace and the Greek sea borders by Turkey. The provocative and dangerous statements and actions are part of the Turkish authority systematic attempt to question the Aegean islands' sovereign status and in general the borders and Greece's sovereignty rights"adding that these statements are not said by chance in this period when the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus issue intensify.

    [06] Tourist arrivals in Chalkidiki to drop 40 pct as result of works in Macedonia airport

    Tourist arrivals in Chalkidiki are expected to be reduced up to 40 pct as a result of the works in the "Macedonia" airport, Grigoris Tassios, president of Chalkidiki Hoteliers Association, estimated.

    "These are works not related to the works of Fraport-Greece due to be held when it takes over the airport late January. These are works that were supposed to have been completed by the end of May," he explained to the radio station of the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

    "We have been rather concerned over the last week because aiport companies keep asking when the works will be completed because we do not have a specific timetable," he said.

    "The Civil Aviation Authority has estimated that arrivals and departures will drop 50 pct at least during the first four months. But we now see that there is not a clear answer to the companies that apply for parking positions (slots)," he underlined adding that a possible date is July 31, at the peak of the tourist season. "If this scenario comes true, the drop in revenues will be even higher," he said.


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