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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Parliament takes disciplinary action against Golden Dawn MP Zaroulia
  • [02] Bodies of two missing migrants located
  • [03] Greek current account surplus 1.5 bln euros in Jan-Nov

  • [01] Parliament takes disciplinary action against Golden Dawn MP Zaroulia

    ANA-MPA/ Parliament vice-president Christos Markogiannakis on Friday took disciplinary action against Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) deputy Eleni Zaroulia for improper parliamentary behaviour.

    Zaroulia called the members of the parliament "bums" after a discussion on prisoners' furlough.

    Markogiannakis asked Zaroulia's phrase to be recorded in the parliamentary minutes and called on the parliament to approve disciplinary action against Zaroulia for improper parliamentary behaviour.

    Under the decision, Zaroulia's parliamentary allowance will be partly cut.

    [02] Bodies of two missing migrants located

    The bodies of an 11-year old child and a 38-year old woman were located by the Turkish authorities at the Turkish coasts on Wednesday.

    The bodies belong to two of the twelve missing undocumented migrants that fell into the sea when the sailing boat they were on board capsized on Monday at the sea region of Farmakonissi, southeastern Aegean Sea.

    According to the Greek Port Authorities, a patrol vessel spotted early on Monday a fishing boat with an unknown number of undocumented migrants on board. When the patrol vessel started to tug the fishing boat, two of the undocumented migrants, for unknown reasons, fell into the sea. The other migrants, in their effort to see what had happened, moved to one side of the boat which capsized.

    The patrol vessel's crew managed to rescue 16 persons but, according to the other migrants, 12 more persons were missing.

    Despite Coast Guard's efforts, no trace of the missing migrants was found. The rescued migrants were sent and are hosted on Leros island.

    A unit of the United Nations HCR in Athens went on Tuesday to Leros, talked with the migrants and expressed their concern over the tragic incident at Farmakonissi and called the Greek authorities to investigate the circumstances of the accident and "how human lives were lost during the tugging process."

    According to testimonies of the migrants-witnesses to UNCHR, the Coast Guard vessel that was tugging their sailing boat was moving at high speed towards the Turkish coasts. The same witnesses said that the people were calling for help because there was a large number of children on board.

    "UNCHR calls on the authorities to investigate the circumstances of the accident and how human lives were lost during a tug process," the regional representative of the UNCHR for Southern Europe Laurens Jolles said.

    [03] Greek current account surplus 1.5 bln euros in Jan-Nov

    ANA-MPA/ Greece's current account balance showed a surplus of 1.5 billion euros in the January-November period in 2013, against a deficit of 4.1 billion euros in the same period in 2012, the Bank of Greece said on Friday.

    In a monthly report, the central bank said that this development was attributed, primarily, to a significant decline

    in the trade deficit (down by 2.7 billion) and, secondarily, to increases in the current transfers and services surpluses (up by 2.5 billion and 1.5 billion, respectively). By contrast, the income account deficit grew.

    In more detail, the contraction of the trade deficit is largely attributable to a considerably reduced import bill (by 5.4%) for all products and, secondarily, to a 3.3% rise in export receipts. Apart from oil product exports, which account for the bulk of this increase, the contribution of the sectors of foods and beverages and non-metallic mineral products was also significant. The decline in the import bill resulted mainly from lower oil imports.

    An increase in the services surplus is mainly due to higher net travel receipts and the improved "other" services balance, which offset a contraction in net transport receipts. In more detail, travel spending in Greece by non-residents grew by 14.9% year-on-year. At the same time, travel spending by residents abroad remained almost flat.

    The income account deficit rose by 1.1 billion year-on-year, mainly due to higher net interest, dividend and profit payments.

    Finally, the current transfers balance showed a surplus of 3.9 billion, up by 2.5 billion year-on-year. This development is mainly due to higher general government net transfer receipts (mainly from the EU).

    The current account balance showed a deficit of 744 million euros in November, down by 9 million year-on-year, mainly on account of an improvement in the current transfers balance, which recorded a surplus against a deficit in November 2012. The trade and services balances also improved, albeit to a lesser extent, while the income account balance showed a deficit, against a surplus year-on-year.

    The trade deficit fell by a mere 9 million, owing to the lower net oil import bill, which was the second most significant positive development in November after the rise in current transfers. By contrast, the non-oil trade deficit increased, as a result of a decline in export receipts concurrent with a rise in the import bill.

    The improvement in the services balance is attributable to higher net (mainly transport) receipts, while non-residents' travel spending in Greece appears somewhat reduced, despite a 10.8% increase in tourist arrivals year-on-year. It should be noted that cruise receipts are excluded from travel spending, as they have already been included in the November 2012 data.

    In the January-November 2013 period, non-residents' direct investment in Greece showed a net inflow of 747 million, whereas residents' direct investment abroad showed a net inflow (disinvestment) of 578 million.

    Under portfolio investment, a net outflow of 5.7 billion euros was recorded (compared with a net outflow of 74.3 billion in the same period of 2012), primarily due to a drop in non-residents' holdings of Greek government bonds and Treasury bills. This was partly offset by inflows due to non-residents' purchases of shares of Greek firms and a decline in residents' investment in foreign bonds, Treasury bills and shares.

    Under "other" investment, a net inflow of 531 million was recorded (compared with a net inflow of 77.3 billion in the same period of 2012). This is chiefly attributable to a 27.1 billion increase in the outstanding debt of the public and the private sector to non-residents (as a result of a 29.95 billion net increase in the outstanding debt of the public), as well as to a 16.6 billion decline in resident institutional investors' deposit and repo holdings abroad (inflows). These developments were partly offset by a 42.1 billion decrease in non-residents' deposit and repo holdings in Greece (outflow).

    At end-November 2013, Greece's reserve assets stood at 4.3 billion euros, compared with 6.0 billion at end-November 2012.


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