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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-10-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Parliament's budget slightly down in 2015
  • [02] High taxes on tourism sector hurt demand, says Development minister
  • [03] FM Venizelos on presence of Turkish research vessel Barbaros within the Cypriot EE
  • [04] Biggest challege for Greek tourism in 2015 to extend season to 12 months, says Tourism minister
  • [05] Cost of Amphipolis archaeological dig does not exceed 590,000 euros, gov't says

  • [01] Greek Parliament's budget slightly down in 2015

    ANA/MPA---Greek Parliament's 2015 budget is slightly lower compared with the current year, reflecting a series of cutbacks decided by the Parliament and a harmonization of payroll, according to a draft plan approved by the Economics Commission.

    The draft budget, envisaging spending worth 139.922 million euros, was voted by all government parties. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) party voted against, while main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) reserved the right to present their cases during a debate in the assembly. Democratic Left (DIMAR) deputies said they were present, while Independent Greeks (ANEL) and other independent deputies offered a white vote.

    The Greek Parliament's regular personnel totals 1,395 staff with an average basic salary of 1,368 euros, rising to 2,238 euros per month if extra benefits were added.

    [02] High taxes on tourism sector hurt demand, says Development minister

    ANA/MPA---The high taxation imposed on businesses in the tourism sector increases cost and has a negative effect on demand, Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday during the annual conference of Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE).

    "The tourist product should be treated as the most exportable national product and, as such, it should be protected," Dendias said in his speech, adding: "The prime minister himself has pledged to set a unified tax rate of 15 percent for businesses, a promise which will be kept."

    The minister also said Greece is considering making changes to the visa entry requirements, saying proposals made by SETE are in the right direction.

    Discussing the real estate market, Dendias said property should be viewed as a modern form of investment. He noted that while property investment is widely developed abroad, "in Greece we are still reluctant, although property has a huge potential as a tool for growth."

    Dendias also said the next batch of EU funds will focus on promoting quality tourism that combines nature and culture.

    [03] FM Venizelos on presence of Turkish research vessel Barbaros within the Cypriot EE

    ANA/MPA---Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday issued a statement regarding the presence of the Turkish research vessel Barbaros within the Cypriot EEZ, according to a ministry announcement.

    "Unfortunately, Turkey did not listen to the voice of the international community, did not listen to the voice of the UN and the European Union, did not listen to the voice of international legality.

    Its vessel, Barbaros, is in the region of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and will attempt to carry out exploration that is obviously a flagrant flouting of the International Law of the Sea, because in this region there is no question as to the delimitation of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Turkey is not claiming anything there. Turkey appears to be acting in the name of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state. Thus, the core of the case is Turkey's refusal to recognize the existence and the international legal personality of the Republic of Cyprus. But the Republic of Cyprus is a member state of the UN, of the European Union and of the Eurozone; a state that is recognized globally by all the members of the UN, apart from Turkey," Venizelos said.

    "If Turkey does not see that the Republic of Cyprus exists, it is itself throwing up insuperable obstacles to its European course and perspective. If Turkey does not see that the Republic of Cyprus exists, there is no framework for the negotiations regarding the future of the Republic of Cyprus and the coexistence and symbiosis of the two communities.

    Turkey is undermining the dialogue in Cyprus and creating a crisis hotspot at a time when the international community's attention is focused – and must be focused – on Kobani, on ISIS, on the fight against international terrorism and the crises Europe is facing in its southern and eastern neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, the front is being ruptured, and Turkey's responsibility in this matter is huge.

    That is why we call on Turkey to reverse course, not just with the vessel, but also in its foreign policy, and to manoeuver within the framework of international legality, to assist and support the negotiations in Cyprus, and to move within the framework of legality, which is the secure framework both for our bilateral relations and for Turkey's European course," he added.

    [04] Biggest challege for Greek tourism in 2015 to extend season to 12 months, says Tourism minister

    ANA/MPA---Greece's biggest challenge in tourism for 2015 will be to extend the holiday season to twelve months a year and increase investments in the sector, the country's Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said at a conference on Monday.

    Kefalogianni said 2015 will be a good year for the sector, not just in terms of arrivals and revenues, but also in investments. "2015 is a crucial year and no success should be wasted," she noted at the two-day conference titled "Greece's Strategic Advantages: Investments and Growth", which was organized by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).

    Kefalogianni added the ministry is working towards attracting investment and the response has so far been positive.

    To achieve that, the ministry is mulling a new policy towards the cruise industry and initiatives to place Athens at the capital of Greek tourism, the minister said.

    Kefalogianni also rejected claims that Greece's good performance in tourism this year is coincidental, saying it's the result of having a clear vision, a plan and the political will to promote the industry.

    Crete's Regional Authority chief, Stavros Arnaoutakis, said the upgrade of the island's infrastructure is helping tourism, noting the government's planned tender for the construction of a new airport in Kasteli. He also said athletic and cultural events would increase tourism arrivals in popular Cretan destinations throughout the year.

    Macedonia's Regional Authority chief, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, stressed the need for a joint development strategy that will include all regions.

    Juan Jose Riveiro, Principal at the Boston Consulting Group in Spain, said the city of Murcia is a great example of how to combat seasonality.

    Riveiro said Murcia focused on tourism for the elderly and made investments based on this strategy, adding it's important for a city or region to differentiate itself from the usual tourism model of "sun and sea" and to create a unique identity. Murcia achieved that by taking advantage of the local infrastructure in real estate, as well as gastronomy and culture.

    He also mentioned the example of Bilbao, an industrial city in the north of Spain, which managed to become a tourism destination by building an important museum. Since then, revenues from the museum have jumped to 200 million euros.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to address the conference on Tuesday.

    [05] Cost of Amphipolis archaeological dig does not exceed 590,000 euros, gov't says

    ANA/MPA---The amount given in funding for the archaeological excavation of the Kasta Tumulus burial complex does not exceed 590,000 euros, according to document sent to Parliament by Culture Minister Costas Tassoulas. The document dated October 16 said that financial support for the excavation in 2014 was boosted by a National Bank of Greece (NBG) donation, as well as sponsorships from Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and Hellenic Petroleum.

    The document was sent in response to a question regarding the cost of the dig tabled by Independent Greeks MP Nikos Nikolopoulos.

    It listed the amounts given in state funding for the excavation every year since 2010, either by the Serres prefecture, the Macedonia-Thrace ministry or the culture ministry. The amounts reached 240,000 euros in the period 2010-2013, with a further 150,000 given by the ministry in 2014, matched by another 150,000 donated by NBG. The DESFA and Hellenic Petroleum sponsorship (35,000 and 25,000 euros, respectively) have not yet been activated, the document said.


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