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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-07-07
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 FinMin Optimistic over Developments in Economy & BanksWednesday, 07 July 2010 17:40
Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou, in an interview with Reuters, expressed optimism that Greece would return to the bonds' market in 2011 after a milder than expected recession. Greece will proceed to auctions of state bonds in July to cover expiration of older bonds. There will be two auctions , one in July 13 and the other in July 20 aimed to collect a sum slightly over 4 billion euros. Mr. Papakonstantinou also emerged positive on results of stress tests to Greek banks.
Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou, in an interview with Reuters, expressed optimism that Greece would return to the bonds' market in 2011.
"Our target is to close the year with triple goods news. Reduction in state deficit, effort for structural reform, which is convincing and fully successful and growth pace better than expected", stressed the Finance Minister and expressed conviction that there would be a change of climate in the markets if the triple target is achieved.
These three targets will convince we are on the right track which will facilitate our return to the markets some time in 2011 he stressed. Mr. Papakonstantinou, however, warned that efforts to manage the debt crisis linger concerns mainly regarding expenses for hospitals and social security funds.
Mr. Papakonstantinou ruled out once again that there was no question about debt restructuring and repeated that there was no need for additional measures as the government reforms were bearing fruit.
Greece will proceed to auctions of state bonds in July to cover expiration of older bonds. There will be two auctions , one in July 13 and the other in July 20 aimed to collect a sum slightly over 4 billion euros.
This is the country's first exit to the markets since the signing of the memorandum with the EU and the IMF in May. âThis moment I do not see us trying to collect more. Do not intend to send a message. Therefore it is a mere mechanical move" he said.
Sources: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8 Reuters
News item: 38276
 High Pitched Debate on Social Security D/BWednesday, 07 July 2010 15:04
Parliament debate on social security draft-bill has triggered a strong confrontation between the government and opposition parties. In his intervention, Employment Minister A. Loverdos launched an attack against both the ND and Left parties while he expressed optimism that Greece would be able to lift some of the austerity measures in the coming period. Opposition parties have strongly reacted to the social security draft-bill with the ND requesting a roll call vote. LAOS president George Karatzeferis also expressed his objection to the social security draft-bill.
Loverdos Launch Attacks against Opposition Parties
A high pitched debate on the social security draft-bill is being held at the Parliament Plenum while waiting for Prime-minister G. Papandreou speech.
Employment Minister A. Loverdos, addressing the Parliament Plenum, stressed that the government is reversing the decades long ailing climate by bringing the big reforms in the social security system without considering the political cost.
"We write off a period of artificial blissfulness and guarantee pensions to the next generation , at the same time trying to bring Greece back on the track of growth, credibility and blissfulness through fiscal purging" said the Employment Minister and committed himself "if the economy recovers there will be many possibilities to lift injustices our lenders set as terms".
"If measures bear fruit we will be in a position to lift the tough, unfair and dramatic decisions we have taken", said the Employment Minister, noting that 90% of the draft-bill were the government proposals as submitted in February before the memorandum.
He, however, admitted that the swift reform in retirement age and the abolition of 13 and 14 pensions were terms set by the lenders. But reassured that many injustices would be restored when the economy recovers.
Mr. Loverdos also spoke of fabrication of an unfair picture against the leadership of the Employment Ministry. "Television has projected a picture that we are mean people and want to do bad to people". He blamed the main opposition party for being arrogant as it could not convince that it could better implement reforms in social security and for voting against the rescue mechanism.
Source: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 38270
 Inflation in June Dropped to 5.2%Wednesday, 07 July 2010 14:40
Inflation rate slightly dropped to 5.2% in June compared against 5.4% in May. Economic analysts, however, forecast higher inflation rate in July after the second rise in VAT. Statistics Agency 12-month survey shows higher rises in oil prices 42.2%, heating oil 39.6%, highway tolls 28.4%, fuel 19.8%, transport insurance 18%, spirits 14.3%. It has also recorded biggest drop in prices of drugs 16.6%, fresh fruit 14.1%, vegetables 7.9% and bottle water 2.4%.
Inflation Rate in June Lower than May
Hellenic Statistics Agency (ELSTAT) has recorded a drop to 5.2% in June inflation rate compared to 5.4% in May. The General price index rose by 5.2% in June compared against the same month in 2009 when general price index rose 0.5% compared to 2008. The general price index dropped 0.3% in May 2010 compared against 0.1% in the same month last year.
The 5.2% rise in the general price index was mainly produced by rises in:
By 18,9% rise in the group" Spirits and tobacco".
By 7,9% in the group "Accomodation", due to rises in heating oil, rent, maintenance services, electricity bills .
By 18,2% in the group "Transport", due to rises in: car prices, road tax, tolls, fuel, car maintenance, transport.
By 3,7% in the group "Communications", due to rises in mobile phone services, part of which was counterbalanced by drop in regular phone bills.
By3% in the group "Education", due to rises in school fees.
By 3,5% in the group "Hotels- cafeteria- Restaurants", due to rises in food, beverages, coffee, drinks.
By 5,1% in the group "Other Goods and Services", due to rises in prices of beauty shops, hair dressers', jewelry, car insurance and other services.
On the other hand, the survey recorded drop in prices of drugs 16.6%, fresh fruit 14.1%, vegetables 7.9% and bottle water 2.4%, beverages and fruit juices.
Market factors forecast higher inflation rate in July, even reaching 6% after the second rise in VAT.
"State expensiveness comes to give the final blow to households and businesses according to the business world that requests an immediate change in the government's policy and particularly taxation policy and dedication to materialization of necessary reforms" said the president of the Athens Commerce and Industrial Chamber Kostas Mihalos. News item: 38268
 ND Economic PolicyWednesday, 07 July 2010 12:50
ND leader Antonis Samaras, in a press interview at Zappeio, on Wednesday morning, presented the general framework of the conservative party's economic policy for faster disengagement from the memorandum and launched a strong attack against the government's handlings. Mr. Samaras spoke of sacrifices with specific time horizon and target, stressing that exit from the commitments to the memorandum is a necessary precondition to boost growth and recover lost competitiveness. He also underlined reduction of fiscal deficit requires countermeasures to combat recession as well as remedial measures to correct mistakes such as restoration of low pensions. The ND president, among others, maintained that the country is sinking deeper into recession and blamed the ruling PASOK party for artificially inflating the state deficit which ,as he said, stood at 9.9% and not at 13.6%.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA News item: 38265