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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-01-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Chinese national development official arrives in Greece
  • [02] Study: Econ crisis drastically changes Greek consumer habits
  • [03] Greek enterprises report 45.8-bln-euro loss in 2011, survey
  • [04] Annual Holocaust commemoration event in Thessaloniki
  • [05] ASE suspends trading in Alpha Bank, Eurobank; requests merger timetable

  • [01] Chinese national development official arrives in Greece

    AMNA / Greece and China are focusing on an enhancement of their bilateral cooperation in the sectors of shipping, shipbuilding and tourism, Greek development, competitiveness and shipping minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said on Monday after a meeting with China's vice-minister of the national Development and Reform Commission Zhang Xiaoqiang.

    Chryssohoidis said that the Chinese official expressed interest in Greece's denationalisations programme and reaffirmed that COSCO wants to expand its activities in Greece.

    The minister further said that efforts are being made to simplify the visa procedures "which is an obligation of ours", while he also noted that there was a leap in Greek exports to China on 2010, which rose by 55.9 percent, whereas Chinese exports to Greece declined by 5.42 percent, reducing Greece's trade balance deficit vis-a-vis china by 7.35 percent to 2.7 billion euros against the preceding year.

    Zhang, in turn, said that with the efforts of the two countries, the relations between the two people are very satisfactory and could improve further. "China will help the EU and Greece to overcome the economic crisis," he said, adding that more imports of Greek products will be made to China and that the government will encourage Chinese companies to invest in Greece.

    He further noted that Chinese investments are made with respect for the environment and the laws of the other country, creating new jobs. amna

    [02] Study: Econ crisis drastically changes Greek consumer habits

    AMNA / "Greek consumers have made a turn towards their homes, family and friends, boosting household consumption, searching for better prices and products. In this environment, the current economic crisis offers opportunities to those enterprises that will react by timely strengthening their position in the market," a report by Boston Consulting Group stated on Monday.

    The report, on Greek consumers’ sentiment, showed that 85 pct of consumers said they would lower their spending in the coming months, up 32 percentage points compared with the same report published seven months ago.

    The report also showed that 18 pct of consumers have transferred their savings abroad, while only 24 pct consumers said they would buy Greek products, saying they could afford to pay for their higher prices. Some 65 pct of consumers said they faced a financial problem, while 56 pct said they felt insecure, whereas the percentage of respondents worried over losing their jobs doubled compared with the previous report.

    However, the crisis offers opportunities, Vasilis Antoniadis, head of BCG in Greece and Camille Egloff, BCG managing director, said. They stressed that Greek companies willing to act decisively by reviewing prices, adopting new technology, new trends and a more efficient promotion policy, would gain a large share of the market.

    The report showed that 73 pct of respondents said they had fully realised they were going to consume less compared with previous year, while 94 pct said they will postpone non-urgent purchases. Nine in 10 respondents said they would significantly cut expenses on non-primary need products, while 78 pct said they would focus more on discounts.

    A figure of 24 pct said they would change their consumption habits. amna

    Baby foods and fresh produce are apparently resisting the crisis, while 10 pct of respondents in the survey said they were prepared to spend more money to buy the best products. Alcoholic beverages, mobile telephony and luxury goods will suffer more from the crisis, the report said. amna

    [03] Greek enterprises report 45.8-bln-euro loss in 2011, survey

    AMNA / Greek enterprises reported losses totaling 45.8 billion euros in the 12-month period from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, a survey by Icap Group showed on Monday.

    The survey, conducted on the balance sheets of 943 enterprises, confirmed that private sector enterprises suffered another year of heavy losses. Specifically, sales fell 3.5 pct, while gross earnings dropped -13 pct in the 12-month period.

    These negative developments, combined with high operating expenses led to a ...

    To read the entire article, please contact the AMNA subscription department at 2106400560.

    [04] Annual Holocaust commemoration event in Thessaloniki

    AMNA / Greece's historic commitment to continue the study of the presence of the Jewish communities in the country was reiterated on Sunday in the northern port city of Thessaloniki by Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis, who spoke at the annual event commemorating the WWII Holocaust.

    Dollis reminded that the ancient metropolis of Thessaloniki lost 96 percent of its dynamic Sephardic Jewish community in the Holocaust, as 50,000 men, women and children were dispatched by occupation forces to Nazi concentration camps and killed there.

    During his address, Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris called for the bestowal of Greek citizenship to the children of Greek Holocaust survivors who now live abroad, a return of the Thessaloniki Jewish community's archives from Moscow, as well as a proposal to rename a major square in the port city in remembrance of its Holocaust victims. amna

    Israeli ambassador to Athens Arye Mekel and representatives of the local Jewish community also addressed the event.

    Wreaths were laid at the Holocaust monument of Thessaloniki at the conclusion of the event. amna

    [05] ASE suspends trading in Alpha Bank, Eurobank; requests merger timetable

    AMNA / The Athens Stock Exchange and the Capital Markets Commission on Monday announced the temporary suspension of trading in Alpha Bank and Eurobank shares, citing lack of adequate information over a merger plan timetable between the two major Greece-based banks.

    The decision was taken after Alpha Bank announced it was unable (amna) to offer specific timetable for its merger with Eurobank because of ongoing PSI negotiations, saying any developments in the merger plan should be expected after completion of a Greek bond 'haircut' plan. On the other hand, Eurobank said it was engaged in consultations with Alpha Bank to compete a merger procedure as soon as possible and stressed that there were no reasons to delay this project. amna

    The two banks’ shareholders have already approved the merger plan, which was also approved by the country’s Competition Commission.

    Greece’s finance ministry, commenting on the development, said in an announcement:

    “The government welcomed the decision by Alpha Bank and Eurobank to merge as a very important step towards restructuring and strengthening competitiveness of the Greek banking system. The two banks’ managements are fully aware of ongoing PSI negotiations, which offers nothing new or different compared with what the two banks know so far. One of the basic parametres of a new lending programme for Greece is to fully ensure the capital adequacy of Greek banks”. amna

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