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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek FinMin presents IMF report on economy
  • [02] PM chairs meeting with top ministers, PPC president
  • [03] Olympic Investors interested in Olympic Airlines as one company, its founder says

  • [01] Greek FinMin presents IMF report on economy

    The Greek government will not take any new initiatives to reform the pension system during its current four-year term, but will initiate dialogue on the issue, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis clarified on Tuesday.

    Presenting the report of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation on the Greek economy, Alogoskoufis noted that the IMF recommended that the government take immediate measures to resolve the pension problem and speed up reforms in the country. The Greek minister said the ministry did not favour "hard adjustment" polices and that a mild adjustment policy adopted by the government was a conscious choice.

    The IMF cites problems in the Greek pension system after the year 2010 due to an ageing population, while reiterating that the government did not seek to make any new changes in the system during its four-year term.

    The IMF report said the Greek labour market is currently in a phase of significant reforms, although the pace remained low, thus urging more deregulation in labour markets. Alogoskoufis said the government would not seek any changes in the labour market.

    The International Monetary Fund welcomed the government's target to reduce its fiscal deficit below 3.0 percent by 2006 and urged changes in the operation of the public sector, with "deep reforms in the management of spending and tax administration".

    On his part, Alogoskoufis again underlined that the government aimed to promote growth, employment and social cohesion in the country.

    Commenting on draft legislation to be debated in a parliamentary committee over changes in drafting a company's "information bulletin" listing in the stock market through a public offering, the Greek minister said the new law's innovation was the fact that the bulletin would be recognised by other EU member-states as well and no additional approval would be needed for listing in any other EU stock market.

    [02] PM chairs meeting with top ministers, PPC president

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday chaired a meeting at his office with Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas as well as with the president of the bourse-listed Public Power Corp. (PPC), Yiannis Palaiokrassas.

    Afterwards, Sioufas - whose portfolio includes state-run PPC - told reporters that the power utility's growth and expansion, both domestically and abroad, as well as recent friction observed in the operation of its top management councils were discussed.

    Moreover, the minister dismissed that there was any issue of Palaiokrassas' resignation from the utility's top job. He also said both he himself and the PPC president promised the premier that any problems will be overcome.

    Finally, Palaiokrassas said there was no issue of removing members of the current board of directors.

    [03] Olympic Investors interested in Olympic Airlines as one company, its founder says

    Olympic Investors continues to be interested in buying Olympic Airlines despite a huge fine imposed on the airline company by the European Commission, Costas Alexakis, the founder of Olympic Investors, told "GreekNews" a Greek newspaper published in New York.

    Olympic Investors participated in an international tender for the sale of Olympic Airlines and has signed a non-binding agreement with the Greek state. Alexakis reiterated his company's interest in acquiring the Greek national carrier, although he expressed his concern over the huge fine imposed on the company, saying he hoped the government would act on that. He stressed that the EU decision was expected.

    Alexakis said that Olympic Airlines should continue to operate as an integrated company and noted that his company was not interested in buying parts of Olympic Airlines. He said that York Capital has 6.5 billion US dollars, currently, in its coffers, which was more than enough to buy the Greek airline. He reassured that OA's workers would not lose their jobs and said that more staff would be hired after the beginning of a new line linking Athens with Baltimore, USA.

    Meanwhile, Greek travel agents on Tuesday announced they would start a pan-hellenic campaign aimed to save Olympic Airlines.

    Yiannis Evangelou, HATTA's president, said its members would begin a communication campaign and collect money for this cause. HATTA has expressed interest in participating in Olympic Airlines' shareholders list again in the past.

    Evangelou said if political parties and the Greek state returned money owed to the national carrier, then Olympic Airlines would not face any problems and stressed that OA carriers around 5-6 million passengers each year, of which 50 percent foreigners, evidence of its significance in incoming tourism.

    HATTA urged the government to persuade the European Commission over the significance of the national airline in the country's economic and social life.


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