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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 4.2R quake jolts western Greece
  • [02] FinMin at FT banking conf'
  • [03] ASE: Decline

  • [01] 4.2R quake jolts western Greece

    A light earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale jolted the areas of western Greece and the Ionian islands on Thursday.

    According to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamic Institute, the quake was recorded shortly before noon at a distance of 250 kilometers west of Athens, with its epicenter in the sea region east of the Ionian island of Cephallonia.

    [02] FinMin at FT banking conf'

    Finance minister George Papaconstantinou on Thursday expressed optimism on the course of the Greek economy, addressing an international conference in Athens on "The Future of Banking in Greece", organised by the Financial Times' magazine "The Banker" and Boussias Communications.

    "I believe that, precisely because we are in this very difficult juncture for our economy, the policies that are being implemented today give prospects to the economy to leave behind its long-standing chronic problems," Papaconstantinou said, stressing that the PASOK government has no intention of backing down on its tough choices. "We have a very clear mandate for changes and reforms, always with social justice as the criterion. In this effort, the government has the support of a strong social base, which is very positive," he added.

    Papaconstantinou referred extensively to the credibility problem the Greek economy faces on the international markets, stressing that "the goal of wiping out the credibility deficit is a priority for us, because otherwise all our other policies will be founded on shaky foundations; they will be moving in quicksand that could consume us".

    He also outlined in extent the government's initiatives aimed at restoring credibility, putting emphasis on the bill to be tabled in parliament rendering the National Statistics Service (ESYE) an independent bureau, and on the creation of an independent Budget Audit Corps that will monitor the execution of the budget.

    Papaconstantinou further stressed that the fiscal target of reducing the deficit to below 3 percent of GDP in the space of the next three years was a "tough but absolutely feasible" one.

    On taxation policy, he said that more than 20,000 citizens had submitted exceptionally interesting observations and suggestions in the on-line public deliberation that recently closed.

    He explained that the taxation bill currently being drafted will contain substantial changes to the corporate and individual auditing system, and introduce an across-the-board requirement for "source of wealth" statements and widening of the taxation base.

    "We will strike out mercilessly at all those who burden and steal from the Greek taxpayer," the minister said, adding that the taxation bill will contain severe penalties "for those who persist in not shouldering their share of the tax burden".

    In closing, Papaconstantinou stressed that "we will not allow this situation to continue".

    "We are taking, and will take, all the measures necessary in order for our country to change course," he said.

    The conference is under the auspices of the Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry

    [03] ASE: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.81 percent, standing at 2,013.86 points at 11:00 a.m., and turnover at 22.908 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Food and Beverages, up 2.87 percent and Travel and Recreation, up 1.69 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 1.57 percent; and Public Utilities, down 1.33 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.95 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.21 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 1.16 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 23 were up, 50 were down, and 24 were unchanged.

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