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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou to chair SI meeting in Mexico
  • [02] Minister addresses French embassy event on private-public sector partnerships
  • [03] Greek OSCE presidency's priorities
  • [04] Greek stocks slide 1.53%
  • [05] BoG on bank support plan

  • [01] Papandreou to chair SI meeting in Mexico

    Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou will chair a meeting of the SI's council which will be held in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, on November 17-18.

    Issues to be debated at the SI council meeting include:

    -The return of politics: the governments' and the regulatory frameworks' crucial role in securing a sustainable and fair world economy,

    -New possibilities of international and multilateral cooperation following the U.S. presidential elections,

    -New approaches to policies of social justice and their incorporation in the economies of developing countries,

    -Dealing with inequalities and reinforcing regional cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    On Sunday, Papandreou will chair a meeting of the SI's Presidium, while the two meetings are held under the auspices of two Mexican parties-members of the SI, the Partido Revolucionario Institicional (PRI) and the Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD).

    On Friday, the main opposition leader is also due to address a conference on the economic crisis, international security and the new world economic architecture, in New York.

    [02] Minister addresses French embassy event on private-public sector partnerships

    Transport and Communications Minister Costis Hatzidakis on Thursday addressed an event at the French embassy on the subject of the government's high-profile "public-private sector partnerships", which he called a very modern form of financing for infrastructure and major projects.

    Referring to his portfolio, Hatzidakis said the initiative was especially important in Greece for funding and developing public transports, railways, new airports and telecoms.

    He specifically pointed to new underground parking terminals in Athens, a new electric train depot and in efforts to reform Greek Rail (OSE).

    [03] Greek OSCE presidency's priorities

    Greece's aspiration to exercise the 2009 OSCE presidency as an "honest broker" adhering to the organisation's objectives, was underlined on Thursday by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who addressed the "Ambassadors' Forum" in Athens on the upcoming Greek OSCE presidency. Bakoyannis stressed that the goal is to achieve the greatest possible consensus and to strengthen the organisation's role in early warning, crisis prevention and management. Outlining the main objectives of the Greek presidency, to be launched in January 2009, and in succeeding Finland, Bakoyannis underlined that Athens will focus its efforts on the Caucasus and Central Asia, with an emphasis on the "day after the crisis" in Georgia. The foreign minister referred to the constant communication and coordination with the directly involved parties and pointed out that this was the purpose of a meeting she had a few days ago in Athens with her Georgian counterpart Eka Tkeshelashvili, followed by Wednesday's telephone communication with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Looking at the crisis from a different perspective, the foreign minister stated that it could be "the grounds for a revised security structure in Europe's geopolitical map taking under consideration the EU and NATO enlargement as well as Russia's strategic role," while pointing out that Greece is ready to host a summit meeting if decided by the OSCE partners. Bakoyannis underlined the historical ties shared by Greece and the Mediterranean region countries, stressing that it intends to further strengthen relations with them, a role already undertaken since 2008 when it was a member of the Troika. Addressing the forum, OSCE Secretary General Amb. Marc Perrin de Brichambaut pledged to assist the Greek presidency and underlined that security has three dimensions: political-military, financial-environmental and the human dimension which is the responsibility of the OSCE. He also expressed certainty that Greece will meet the challenge having acquired the necessary experience from its three EU presidencies and the recent UN Security Council Presidency. Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos pointed out that the ability of the Greek diplomacy to achieve consensus will be highlighted during the OSCE presidency.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis.

    [04] Greek stocks slide 1.53%

    Greek stocks ended 1.53 percent lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, again following a similar trend in international markets. The composite index ended at 1,979.79 points with turnover shrinking to 193.3 million euros, of which 3.9 million were block trades. Most sectors moved lower, with the Oil (4.66 pct), Banks (4.44 pct), Food/Beverage (4.31 pct) and Commerce (1.89 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Insurance (3.77 pct), Travel (3.62 pct) and Telecommunications (3.52 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index ended 1.94 pct lower, the FTSE 40 index fell 1.08 pct and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.71 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 148 to 68 with another 49 issues unchanged.

    [05] BoG on bank support plan

    Greek banks are healthy and solid, but prolonged volatility in international money and capital markets gradually leads to conditions of a credit squeeze, with all its negative repercussions, George Provopoulos, the governor of the Bank of Greece, told a meeting with the board members of the Association of Hellenic Banks on Thursday.

    The Greek central banker urged banks to take advantage of a government plan aimed to boost liquidity in the domestic banking system and to avoid any negative consequences for small and medium-sized enterprises, households and the economy, in general.

    The Bank of Greece will be responsible for the technical procedure of the plan and has already prepared its services in order not to waste any valuable time.

    "This project, although complicated enough technically, is crucial for the speedy and smooth implementation of the plan," Provopoulos said.

    He also strongly criticised banks for raising their interest rates with no justification or without transparent actions, saying they were creating a climate of distrust vis-à-vis the banking system at a time when the society's acceptance of their role was necessary to ameliorate the consequences of an international crisis. He also urged banks to offer the necessary credit facilities to borrowers, households, enterprises (particularly small- and medium-sized), while he also expressed reservations over recent proposals to freeze repayment of debts for a period of time.

    Provopoulos said any relaxing of supervisory criteria would be risky for the country and its banking system, since it could create problems to banks' access in international capital markets.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of BoG Gov. George Provopoulos

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