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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 2011 budget to be tabled Thursday
  • [02] PM newspaper nterview: Elections issue is closed, time now to elect capable and worthy local leaders
  • [03] GDP down 4.5pct in Q3
  • [04] T-bill issue on Tuesday
  • [05] Clothing truck hijacked
  • [06] Modern Ecclesiastical Art

  • [01] 2011 budget to be tabled Thursday

    A round of talks between the Greek government and troika experts is entering its final stage next week, with final decisions expected to be reached over taxation and spending of a new budget.

    A determining factor for these decisions will be the revised figures for the country‚s budget deficit for 2009, to be published by Eurostat on Monday. The same day, the head of the troika group of experts will arrive in Athens for a regular inspection of the Greek economy ahead of approval of the third tranche of a support loan to Greece, worth 9.0 billion euros.

    According to information, Eurostat will raise the country‚s budget deficit above 9.0 pct of GDP, from 7.8 pct envisaged in the budget draft plan. Covering this difference will be the subject of continuous meetings between the government's economic team and the troika group early next week, based on commitments included in a memorandum signed between Greece, the IMF, the EU and the ECB.

    Final decisions are expected by Wednesday, as the government is expected to table its budget plan for 2011 to Parliament on Thursday. The budget plan will envisage measures to raising tax revenues and cutting public spending. Decision will cover issues such as: raising VAT rates from 11 pct, restructuring of public sector enterprises aimed at cutting spending, implementing a single payroll system in the public sector, reducing spending by a Public Investments Program and savings in the health system.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] PM newspaper nterview: Elections issue is closed, time now to elect capable and worthy local leaders

    The issue of early general elections, with respect to the local administration polls, closed the previous Sunday, and in this Sunday's second round "we have the ability to elect, on the basis of local government criteria, the most capable, the most worthy, people to serve the citizen", prime minister George Papandreou stressed in an interview with the weekly PROTO THEMA newspaper appearing on Sunday.

    Papandreou accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) of attempting to undermine and dispute, without assuming its share of the major responsibility.

    He stressed that neither the government nor the country was incapable of reducing the deficit. "We can do it, despite the fact that Eurostat now tells us that the mess left behind by ND is even bigger than we had calculated".

    The premier said that the immense effort for reducing the deficit will continue "without new taxes, pension and civil servants' salary cutbacks", but with "major structural changes in the state, the DEKO (public utilities and organisations), the business environment and the country's growth model".

    "We are not discussing dismissals. What we want is to uproot the long-standing problems of the clientelistic administration, in the wider public sector. That's the crux, wasteful spending," Papandreou continued.

    The premier further said that his government does not fear the country finding itself out of the eurozone "because that is unreal", and stressed: "In 2010 we succeeded in doing something that, for all those who were betting on Greece's bankruptcy, appeared to be impossible -- the biggest reduction in deficit ever made."

    On the Memorandum, Papandreou said that "it formalises more than anything else the bankruptcy of a policy that was advanced to the fullest by the preceding government".

    "The fact that today we can speak about renegotiation is because we (his PASOK government) proved our credibility. In that context, the matter of extending the repayment period of the support mechanism loan has been put on the table".

    Asked to comment on speculation of collaboration governments in the future, Papandreou asked whether there are any in the political system who would want to share the political cost with the government. "If they wanted to help, they could and should have done it from the position that the people have placed them," he said.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] GDP down 4.5pct in Q3

    Greece's GDP decreased by 4.5 percent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2010, according to flash estimates of quarterly national accounts released by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), with the Greek economy continuing to move at high negative growth rates.

    According to ELSTAT, available data indicate that in the 3rd quarter of 2010, the Gross Domestic Product GDP) decreased by 4.5% in comparison with the 3rd quarter of 2009 and by 1.1% in comparison with the 2nd quarter of 2010. ANA-MPA

    As already reported, the GDP rate of change between the quarters of 2009 and 2010 should be treated with caution, due to the discontinuity of General Government data series. This issue will be addressed by the end of the year, with the backwards revision of General Government data, an ELSTAT release said.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] T-bill issue on Tuesday

    Greece will auction a three-month Treasury bills issue on Tuesday, Nov. 16, seeking to raise 300 million euros from the open markets.

    The Public Debt Management Organisation, in an announcement, said settlement date for the issue will be Friday Nov. 19 (T+3), while the interest of the Treasury bills issue will be calculated with the time basis ACT/360. The auction will be held with competitive bids from the primary dealers of the Greek electronic secondary bond market. The organization will also accept non-competitive binds up to 30 pct of the issue.

    No commission will be paid.

    Greece successfully auctioned a six-month T-bills issue last Tuesday, raising 390 million euros from the market, although at a higher interest rate.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Clothing truck hijacked

    Armed robbers hijacked a truck full of merchandise in Thessaloniki after locking up the driver and co-driver in a car trunk.

    The two robbers approached the truck, which was parked near a railway station, and at gunpoint forced the driver -- a foreign national -- and the co-driver to get out of the truck, and locked them in the trunk of a car, which they drove to a different spot and abandoned it.

    The robbers escaped with the truck, which was filled with clothing, and are being sought by police.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] Modern Ecclesiastical Art

    An exhibition of Modern Ecclesiastical Art, Architecture and Painting opens on Tuesday, November 23, at the Museum of Byzantine and Christian Art in downtown Athens.

    The exhibition, hosted in tandem with the 2nd Scientific Symposium on Modern Greek Ecclesiastical Art organised by the University of Athens' School of Theology, will feature works by contemporary architects and iconographers.

    The museum was founded in 1914 and houses more than 25,000 exhibits, including rare collections of pictures, scriptures, frescoes, pottery, fabrics and manuscripts, and copies of artifacts from the 3rd century AD to the late medieval era.

    Situated at 22 Vassilissis Sophias Avenue, it is considered one of the most important Byzantine Art museums in the world.

    The exhibition will run through November 28.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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