|Thursday, 18 April 2019|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-10-17
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 SYRIZA gov't would be factor for stability, main opposition saysANA-MPA -- A SYRIZA government will be a factor of stability for Greece and Europe, an extensive analysis by the party's economic policy section emphasised on Friday, criticising Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for his statement to the cabinet that the main opposition party was undermining the stability of the country.
It also condemned the ongoing efforts to devaluate the shares "owned by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), namely the Greek state" via capital increases at prices much lower than the acquisition price and their current stock market value.
SYRIZA's economic policy section said it reserved its right to consider the "possibility of amending the relevant legislative regulations in order to defend the interests of the Greek state."
SYRIZA, among others, described the finance ministry's approach on the "deferred tax benefiting bankers, which caused ECB's intervention," as devastating.
The announcement reiterated SYRIZA's position that it would annul the memorandums by changing economic policy, while simultaneously demanding a write-off of the largest part of the debt and the repayment of the rest with a growth clause through the renegotiation of loans contracts on a European (and not bilateral) level, as part of a comprehensive European plan to address public and private debt and the financing of growth on terms of social justice, viability and sustainability.
"Stock markets are falling worldwide, which of course is not a result of SYRIZA, but of the widespread concern for the wider developments in the economy," SYRIZA noted among others.
"The European economy risks falling deeper into recession in the coming period after the publication of very alarming data on the German economy itself, while phenomena of deflation are looming for the entire Eurozone," it added.
SYRIZA also referred to international investment firms, some of which recently favoured an extended debt write-off. "At the same time, those analysts, although they are aware of the opinion polls which since mid-September have been constantly showing a big lead for SYRIZA, note there are no reasons for concern in the case of early elections. Those references did not cause any market reaction towards the Greek economy," the announcement said.
The turmoil in the Greek capital market, SYRIZA stressed, which has taken the form of a "mass exodus of capital, resulting in the collapse of stock market valuations and the sharp rise in interest rates (yields) of Greek bonds, occurred immediately after the vote of confidence that the Government got in Parliament."
"Based on the government narrative, Greece, through the 'Success Story', would be fully released from the memorandums. The constant denial of government's claims by the IMF and European officials, who essentially referred to a new Memorandumâ€¦completely undermined the credibility of the government in the eyes of foreign investors, who now have every reason to believe that the projections of the Samaras-Venizelos' government on the Greek economy are as reliable as the fanfare concerning an "end of the memorandums era," it said.
 Venizelos: Greece has achieved a lot but 'situation remains fragile'ANA-MPA -- The country has achieved a lot and has extremely good potential but the situation remains fragile because it needs consensus, unity and prospects, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos underlined on Friday. He stressed that national as well as government stability was needed, adding that "if this is not the case then, naturally, we will not be able to complete our work".
Addressing a meeting of the National Organisational Committee Coordinating Secretariat of the Democratic Bloc congress, Venizelos repeated the seven-point plan for leading the country out of the crisis that he had presented in parliament, during the discussion on the vote of confidence. He also added four basic preconditions, namely political stability, national consensus, respect for the sacrifices of the people and the fiscal achievements and a national obligation to the truth without false promises.
"Statements such as Greece engaging in unilateral moves without guarantees and security are not included in the plan," he said, noting that it is "a responsible and complete plan that leads the country out of the crisis and the memorandum."
"I am really surprised by the fact that many are saying that a statement of the self-evident made by the government, namely, that Greece cannot remain in the memorandum, is what caused the crisis in the stock market and the international bond market," Venizelos underlined. He added that "the people and those shaping public opinion, who do not know the facts, should be told again that, unfortunately, the Greek stock exchange is a very shallow capital market with a few shares that are trading, so that everything can be affected easily and without a second thought".
In the same context, he pointed out that the public debt shapes the country's security shield considering that 87 pct of it is not in the markets, therefore the spreads and interest rates are not affected by the large volume of Greek public debt. He also said that just 13 pct of the Greek public debt is in the hands of private creditors, is tradable and can affect or be affected by the international bond markets.
Responding to a question on the current situation, he referred to political uncertainty, lack of consensus, the country's picture, the accusations made, the insinuations, the political risk, noting that all these are reproduced abroad and are taken under consideration by research companies, funds, investors and credit ratings companies. "These are the factors that shape the so-called country risk," he said, underlining that "we guarantee the government's stability but this is not enough, because the stability of the country, strategy, society and economy is also necessary".
Commenting on the issue of the election of the new president of the republic, he doubted the main opposition's certainty that the government will not have enough votes in parliament to elect a new president.
Venizelos also repeated the seven key points necessary for the country to exit the crisis, namely, completion of the troika review and reaching an agreement with the troika that will be approved by the Eurogroup by December 18; completion of the stress tests of the banks; successful completion of the European section of the adjustment programme; shaping a post-programme period without a new loan; completion of the relation with the IMF; national plan of structural reforms and strong national social guarantees, social dividend.
 Vroutsis: minimum guaranteed income the 'greatest social reform in modern history'ANA-MPA -- The social security system has been stabilised and is now in balance, but it cannot afford political games for electioneering purposes, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told SKAI TV on Wednesday. Referring to the minimum guaranteed income (MGI) whose launch on a pilot basis was announced Tuesday, he said this was "the greatest social reform in modern history."
Vroutsis pointed out that the current pensioners would not be affected by the new system of minimum pension to be applied as of January.
The Labour minister added that a new mechanism has been set up for allocating the MGI so that the provision of social benefits will not be "blind" and money can go directly to those in need.
Vroutsis stressed that the minimum guaranteed income will eventually cover around 700,000 persons, taking into consideration their family and financial situation. Moreover, unemployed people living with their parents can also be beneficiaries of the minimum guaranteed income, he added.
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