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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-12-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Parliament Debate on New BudgetTuesday, 21 December 2010 15:23
High pitched debate on new state budget, which concludes on Wednesday with a roll call vote, continues in the Parliament. Many deputies of the ruling party exercised criticism, with stronger criticism by former minister Vaso Papandreou. PASOK deputy Ektor Nasiokas suggested two-year freezing of political parties' subsidy and cut in deputies' bonuses for their participation in several committees. Opposition deputies also criticized the draft-bill.
Vaso Papandreou said she backed the government and would vote in favour of 2011 budget but stressed she did not considered it credible as it had many problems in both its targets and execution. "It is self-evident that I vote in favour of 2011 state budget. Does it mean, however, that we are speaking about a credible Budget that will take us out of the deadlock.
She also criticized the ND party saying that they could criticize the government's handlings from September on but being the party that sank the ship could not blame the ruling party not being able to sail off in force 9.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 53149
 Moody's Warns Portugal on Possible DowngradeTuesday, 21 December 2010 14:13
Moody's may downgrade Portugal's government bonds by a notch or two because of concerns over the country's ability to access debt markets, and weak economic growth, giving it, however, a three month time to maintain its position among credible borrowers. From Budapest, the European Council president Herman Van Rompey said the EU was prepared to do more if necessary to ensure stability in the euro region while China is ready to back any measures instructed by EU and IMF to deal with the financial crisis a development that pushed up euro exchange rate.
Portugal, believed to be the next euro region state to resort to bail out mechanism, has implemented strict austerity measures including cuts in public sector salaries, rise in taxation, pension freeze and cuts in social expenditures.
It is likely that interest rate on Spain, Belgium and Italy loans may rise in 2011.
European Council president Herman Van Rompey from Hungary, which is assuming EU rotating presidency as of January, 2011, said that Euro Region has strong foundations and what Europe needs is strong economic governance.
In the meantime, Chinese deputy president, during bilateral economic talks in Beijing, said China would support EU Summit decisions to ensure fiscal stability in Europe.
News item: 53144