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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-03-08

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Polls Spark Wrangling
  • [02] Brussels Scrutiny

  • [01] Polls Spark Wrangling

    Wrangling broke up on the necessity for consent, required to tackle the global financial crisis. As per the first poll released after the prime minister's meeting with political party leaders, people support understanding, giving the lead to PASOK (Socialists) and Costas Karamanlis as prime minister. Wrangling is expected to extend in Parliament, where a debate on the foreign policy will take place this Thursday.

    News item: 19832

    [02] Brussels Scrutiny

    News

    Greece's interest is focused on the Eurogroup and Ecofin's meetings, due to be held in Brussels Monday and Tuesday. Finance Minister Giannis Papathanasiou will defend the Greek stability programme, having as an advantage the OA deal with MIG. Discussions will decided whether the supervision procedure of countries with a deficit over 3%, among which is also Greece, may commence. Greece will wait for the Commission's decisions until it decides on measures to tonic its revenue, without however affecting low incomes and tourism.

    Crucial Test for the Greek Economy

    The government's forecasts on the course of the Greek economy will be scrutinized in Brussels.

    The European Commission has already told Greece to reduce its deficit below 3% and improve its public finances and tax-collecting system, continuing with reforms in the Social Security System and Health System.

    As per information, a mild stance is expected to be adopted due to the crisis. In parallel, Greece may receive one year extension to reduce its deficit.

    For all eventualities, the government has prepared a packet of measures to implement if Greece is required to reduce the deficit in 2010 or development proves lower.

    ND Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis told Chora newspaper that the government's priority is to guarantee stability and help low incomes, something which it is already doing.

    Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis told Apogevmatinin newspaper that the rich should assume their responsibility in combating the crisis.

    Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos told Real News that measures will depend on the Finance Ministry's effort to increase revenue.

    PASOK (Socialists) MP Giorgos Papakonstantinou points out that it would be disastrous for Greece to have its economy supervised in exchange to escape bankruptcy.

    Difficult Times for All

    While inflation continues its downward trend, salaries and pensions to be announced in March will not be over 2%.

    There are two scenarios over how pay increases could proceed. As per the first scenario, a 2% increase will be implemented as of January and a 1% increase as of October. Thus, the final increase will be 2.2%. The second scenario speaks of a 1.5% increase as of January and 1.5% increase as of October with the net percentage being 1.9%.

    Estimates that Tourism will Drop

    As per estimates tourism will decrease this season by 20%.

    Tourism Development Minister Markopoulos told NET's programme Zoom that if the world economy does not deteriorate further, then tourism will rise this year less than 2008.

    At the same time, the rise of loans is a headache for Banks, as the deceleration of development and the expected increase of unemployment is expected to bulge delayed loans.

    2008 ended with delayed loans rising by 15 billion euros from 9.6 billion euros in 2007.

    The Bank of Greece has hammered out alert scenarios that forecast their doubling in 2009 due to the expected due to the collapse of the economy and the increase of unemployment.

    To eliminate dangers the Bank of Greece demands from Banks to proceed to be careful with unsafe demands.

    News item: 19833


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