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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras to meet with PASOK, Democratic Left leaders on Tues.
  • [02] FinMin: Greece has great potential to advance
  • [03] Undeclared work rose to 36 percent in Greece in 2012‏
  • [04] Winter sales period opens Tuesday
  • [05] Geniki Bank to issue 350-mln-euro convertible bond loan‏
  • [06] Greece unveils 456-mln-euro support programme for SMEs
  • [07] Four banks pay back the state €555.6 million

  • [01] Samaras to meet with PASOK, Democratic Left leaders on Tues.

    AMNA--Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be having a meeting at the Maximos Mansion at 6 p.m. on Tuesday with PASOK party president Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis.

    According to reports, the recent cases of violence will be discussed among other things, that heightened with the attack on the offices of the New Democracy party in Syngrou avenue and the shots at Samaras's office in the building.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed that democracy cannot be terrorised, on arriving at the New Democracy party's head office in Synggrou avenue in Athens on Monday.

    "You can shoot a man, or a building, as they did. But you cannot shoot Democracy. Let those who should hear this, therefore, take note: Democracy cannot be terrorised," he said.

    Samaras made the statement in the wake of an attack on the party's headquarters on Monday morning, in which an unidentified man fired a series of shots against the building using a Kalashnikov automatic weapon.

    [02] FinMin: Greece has great potential to advance

    AMNA--Greece "has great advancing potential," and "its economic diplomacy and international relations can help in attracting investors and entrepreneurs interested in domestic production," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told an event organized Monday by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), during which an award of excellence was given to former prime minister Lucas Papademos.

    Stournaras said the government has started laying the foundations for a new and modern state, of rational structures, clear legislation and swift processes. amna

    "If we can manage to exceed the primary results in 2013, up to 70% of that excess can be distributed to social groups in real need", he stressed, adding that "European perspective, growth, employment, innovation, competition and focusing on export activity, should be the targets uniting Greek people… I am convinced that we'll do just fine, as we Greeks always show the best in us at the worst of conditions."amna

    Referring to former premier, Stournaras said "Papademos will be among the personalities that history will reward for their contribution to Greece."

    [03] Undeclared work rose to 36 percent in Greece in 2012‏

    AMNA--Undeclared work has reached 36 percent in the country, rising as much as 44 percent in some regions, while 42 percent of uninsured workers were foreigners without legal documents, a report on "black" labour in 2012 said on Monday.

    The report was conducted by inspectors of the special agency of insurance control of the country's Social Insurances Foundation (IKA) and was based on inspections made during the previous year. The report said that from a total of 19,083 inspections made in 2012, 1,038 enterprises did not reported on their workforce. The report also said that 22,006 workers were undeclared (out of a total 60,796 in the inspections), or 36 percent. The inspection agencies imposed fines totaling 11.9 million euros.amna

    Undeclared work was 30 percent in 2011, while the percentage of uninsured foreign workers was 40 percent during the same year.amna

    Markos Tountas, director general of the agency, speaking to AMNA attributed this development to higher taxation and high levels of social insurance contributions. Also, long-term unemployment and unregulated illegal immigration in the country created a new large category of workers with limited demands who are seeking jobs in the unofficial labour market, he noted.

    [04] Winter sales period opens Tuesday

    AMNA--The winter sales period officially opened on Tuesday, January 15, with discount of up to 70 percent on offer in a bid to attract customers after a lackluster holiday period.

    The reduction in real incomes and pensions, rising unemployment and a higher VAT rate on staple goods have changed the everyday priorities of the consumers, and therefore winter sales are eagerly awaited by consumers this year, according to consumer organizations.amna

    At the same time, merchants are offering major discounts in the hopes of drumming up sales, which have plummeted in the last few years as cash-strapped shoppers have reduced their purchases to the bare essentials.

    The winter sales period will run through February 28.

    [05] Geniki Bank to issue 350-mln-euro convertible bond loan‏

    AMNA--A Geniki Bank extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on Monday approved a board plan to issue a convertible bond loan of up to 350 million euros through a private placement. Under the plan, Geniki Bank's older shareholders will waive their right to participate in the bond loan.

    [06] Greece unveils 456-mln-euro support programme for SMEs

    AMNA--The Greek government on Monday unveiled a new programme, worth 456 million euros, for the support of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the sectors of tourism, commerce and services.

    The programme was announced by the secretary-generals of Investments, Industry and Tourism, G. Giannousis, Sp. Efstathopoulos and G. Pyrgiotis.

    Speaking to reporters, the three ministry officials stressed that the program aimed to support existing enterprises and create 10,000 new ones, along with 4,000 new job positions. The programme, backed by Community funding, envisages offering support that is between 40-60 pct of the investment budget, depending on the geographical region. The program will cover investments on equipment, building facilities and environmental protection equipment.

    [07] Four banks pay back the state €555.6 million

    AMNA--The Greek government has received €555.6 million by four Greek banks, which got a capital boost, as shown in a letter by the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), tabled in parliament on Monday by alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.

    Staikouras specifically informed the parliament that on December 12, 2012, Eurobank paid the Greek state €154 million, while Piraeus Bank paid €133 million, National Bank €115.6 million and Alpha Bank €153 million.

    The letter was tabled in parliament in response to former parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis' accusation of Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras that he refrained from providing details regarding the recapitalisation operation of Greek banks, as well as of when the banks would pay back the funds owned to the state as a result of their first recapitalisation.amna

    "The government legislated and enforced the specific initiative in spite of the main opposition's estimations to the contrary," Staikouras said.

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