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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras chairs ND shadow government meeting
  • [02] Greeces raises 2.080 billion euros from state bills auction
  • [03] IMF team in regular visit to Athens
  • [04] Tsipras meets Kyprianou
  • [05] Building activity down

  • [01] Samaras chairs ND shadow government meeting

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras chaired a meeting of his party's 'shadow government' on Tuesday.

    ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos stated afterwards that the message sent by Samaras was that "the tolerance and patience of the Greek people toward the government of PASOK expired with the completion of its first 100-days in office", underlining that "ND will continue to engage in responsible and composed opposition".

    "The ND leader pointed out that this is a time of very important developments in all sectors namely, politics, institutions, economy, society, national issues, and called on all the members of the shadow government to stay vigilant for obvious reasons," Panagiotopoulos said.

    The ND spokesman added that Samaras gave specific guidelines on handling issues such as the economy, the tax raid being prepared by the government, the local administration reform, the election law reform and corruption, and outlined the policy framework to be adopted by the shadow "ministers".

    The ND leader also referred extensively to migration issues as well, Panagiotopoulos stated.

    [02] Greeces raises 2.080 billion euros from state bills auction

    The Greek government on Tuesday successfully auctioned its first state bills issue for 2010, raising 2.080 billion euros from the market.

    The 12-month state bills auction attracted bids totaling 2.442 billion euros, 3.5 times more than the asked sum, with the Finance ministry finally raising 1.040 billion euros. The interest rate on the issue, however, jumped to 2.20 pct from 0.91 pct in the previous auction of 12-month bills in October 2009.

    The six-month issue attracted bids totaling 3.894 billion euros, 4.87 times more than the asked sum. The ministry finally raised 1.040 billion from the market while the interest rate jumped to 1.38 pct form 0.59 pct in October.

    [03] IMF team in regular visit to Athens

    A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is visiting Athens from Tuesday for a period of around a week on the request of the Greek authorities.

    The IMF team will explore possibilities for technical assistance from the Fund in the coming months on pension reform, tax policy, tax administration and budget management.

    The mission is within the context of the regular surveillance that the IMF provides to its membership."

    [04] Tsipras meets Kyprianou

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday met with the leader of the Cyprus AKEL party Andros Kyprianou and expressed to him his support for and confidence in the President of the Cyprus Republic Demetris Christofias.

    Tsipras was briefed on the latest developments and the outcome of the talks between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Ahmet Ali Talat, stressing once again that "we are at a crucial point". He also stressed that everyone must understand that the biggest danger at the moment is not -- given that the Left is the government in Cyprus -- of being taken by surprise and accepting a solution that will not be in Cyprus' interests. "The danger," he said, "is that in the event that these efforts for a solution fail, we will find ourselves before a de facto partition of the island and acceptance of the Turkish military occupation in northern Cyprus".

    "That is a development that must be averted, and Christofias' and the Cyprus government's efforts focus on preventing this very negative development".

    On his part, Kyprianou stated that Talat's latest proposals "are for us unacceptable and outside the framework of UN Resolutions and the framework agreed by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus". He added that Tsipras' and his views coincide -- and also noted the same in all his recent meetings with officials in Athens -- with respect to the substance of the Cyprus issue and also on the relevant handling.

    [05] Building activity down

    Building activity dropped 21.5 pct in volume in October 2009, compared with the same month in 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Tuesday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said building activity fell strongly in western Macedonia (55.8 pct), southern Aegean (47 pct) and in northern Aegean (33.5 pct), while it rose only in western Greece (8.5 pct).

    Building activity, measured in the number of permits issued, fell 17.9 pct in October, compared with October 2008.

    In the 10-month period from January to October, volume fell 28.8 pct, while permits were down by 15.8 pct.

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