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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-08-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Defence minister meets with U.S. ambassador ahead of Washington, DC trip
  • [02] Gov't spokesperson Voultepsi to ANA-MPA: Gradual reduction of taxes
  • [03] Tsipras meets Greek business chambers' union in preparation for TIF
  • [04] Free peach distribution to socially vulnerable groups to begin shortly, minister says

  • [01] Defence minister meets with U.S. ambassador ahead of Washington, DC trip

    ANA-MPA - National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos met with U.S. Ambassador to Greece David D. Pearce at the ministry on Tuesday, his office announced, ahead of an official visit to the United States on Thursday.

    They discussed issues of mutual strategic and defence issues of the area and the topics Avramopoulos will discuss with his U.S. counterpart, Chuck Hagel, when they meet in Washington, DC on Thursday.

    Avramopoulos is departing for the United States on Wednesday; the visit follows an invitation by Hagel.

    [02] Gov't spokesperson Voultepsi to ANA-MPA: Gradual reduction of taxes

    ANA-MPA - Government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi on Tuesday said in an interview to ANA-MPA that the necessary corrections would be applied to the Single Real Estate Ownership Taxation (ENFIA) and order would be restored.

    "The issue has arisen due to a mistake that will be corrected. For this reason the government and the prime minister decided to suspend the first installment of ENFIA payments until the end of September instead of the end of August."

    Referring to the number of ENFIA's installments, Voultepsi noted that "the government will decide based on the corrections and the reviews."

    Asked on the need of tax reliefs in general, the government spokesperson said the government's efforts focus on the gradual de-escalation of "the burden that has fallen on the people's shoulders, something that we all recognise" adding that "the government's intention is to start a gradual tax reduction. A number of stops exist on the course of the country's exit from the crisis. One of them is the gradual start of tax reliefs.

    On the farmers' compensations after the Russian embargo, Voultepsi made clear that speculations that the Greek peaches are not included in EU's compensation list are ungrounded.

    [03] Tsipras meets Greek business chambers' union in preparation for TIF

    ANA-MPA - Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday met a delegation from the Union of Hellenic Chambers, led by the organisation's president Constantine Michalos. The meeting was part of a series of contacts initiated by SYRIZA's leader ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in September.

    Representatives of Greece's business chambers presented their positions and proposals for issues affecting them, especially with respect to non-performing loans and the measures for dealing with these.

    During the meeting, Tsipras pledged that a SYRIZA government will make immediate changes to current legislation if elected to power and correct tax injustices, as well as creating an environment that promotes growth through measures to alleviate problems due to excessive debts, including those to state insurance, and to lower energy costs.

    Michalos and other members of the delegation proposed different handling for businesses that were unable to handle their debt load but were still viable, with an adjustment of their debt to levels that could be paid off, and a "second-chance" scheme through rapid ratification of pre-agreed restructuring processes for improving efficiency, liquidity and credit-worthiness. They also urged different treatment of SMEs and micro-business loans from that given to large companies and a lower overall tax burden on business, as well as an end to crippling fines and punitive penalties - including arrest - imposed for tax-related offences.

    In statements after the meeting, Tsipras said he had chosen to speak first with the representatives of Greece's chambers in order to get an accurate picture of the market and listen to specific proposals and solutions that might help the country's economy recover from the crisis. He asked Michalos and the union's representatives for their permanent feedback and cooperation so that their proposals might be considered in drawing up SYRIZA's policy.

    He announced that SYRIZA will soon launch a series of special events on the economy and ways to return to growth, stressing that this demanding support for SMEs and the production base, which he said could achieve high growth rates up to three or four times the European average.

    [04] Free peach distribution to socially vulnerable groups to begin shortly, minister says

    ANA-MPA - The withdrawal of peaches through free distribution to socially vulnerable groups will begin soon, Rural Development and Food Minister Giorgos Karasmanis said after a meeting on Tuesday with producers who were left with excess peaches following the Russian embargo of EU imports.

    The meeting between the ministry and producers was called to discuss the impact of the embargo on the Greek peach sector the EU measures to help producers. Alternate Rural Development Minister Paris Koukoulopoulos also attended.

    In statements following the meeting, Karasmanis confirmed that the European Commission would pay 27 cents per kilo through producer gorups and 13.5 cents per kilo for individual producers for withdrawn produce and said that he had spoken with EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos and requested additional measures, within EU rules.

    Producers have said the unsold peaches total about 55,000 tonnes. The minister, who has called for registration of surpluses (on trees and in storage), said that if 10,000 tonnes were taken care of in an initial phase, it would relieve the glut in the market. The alternate minister added to this that Greece could handle, through alternative channels, up to 40,000 tonnes of the withdrawn fruit.

    Northern Greece's Imathia prefecture, had, up to the middle of last week, 12,000 tonnes of unsold produce, with an additional 13,000 tonnes on trees. Over 4,000 tonnes were sold to other countries - Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Baltic countries - for 30-35 cents per kilo, cooperatives head Christos Giannakakis told ANA-MPA.

    He also said that if processed fruit (juice) was included in the free distribution, the problem would be resolved directly and more effectively, a proposal he hoped the ministry could convey to the European Commission for approval.

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