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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-02-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Tsipras to Cyprus, on first state visit abroad
  • [02] U.S. President Obama to CNN on Greece: 'Austerity is not effective; there must be growth'
  • [03] Greece may reach agreement with creditors very soon, gov't VP says

  • [01] PM Tsipras to Cyprus, on first state visit abroad

    ANA-MPA - Alexis Tsipras will be visiting Cyprus on Monday in his first visit abroad as Greek prime minister.

    Tsipras will arrive around 08:00 at Larnaca airport, where he will be welcomed by Cyprus Republic Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. He will then go to Nicosia to be welcomed by President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential mansion, where their private meeting will be followed by talks between the two countries' delegations. Statements by the two leaders will also follow.

    Later the Greek premier will lay wreaths at the cemetery of mainland Greeks and Cypriot Greeks who died during the Turkish invasion of 1974 (Tymvos Makedonitissas) and the cemetery in the Nicosia central jail where fighters for the liberation of Cyprus from the British were interred (Fylakismena Mnimata).

    Tsipras will then meet with Cyprus Archbishop Chryssostomos at his office and in the afternoon he will meet separately with the committee of relatives of people missing since the invasion of Cyprus; Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organisations; President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou; and party leaders. He will then address the plenum of the parliament.

    His visit will be concluded with a formal dinner at the presidential mansion held in his honour by Anastasiades.

    [02] U.S. President Obama to CNN on Greece: 'Austerity is not effective; there must be growth'

    ANA-MPA - When the economy is in freefall, you need a strategy of growth, not just pressuring a population that is suffering more and more, U.S. President Barack Obama said in interview to CNN, in response to a question about Greece.

    Asked whether he agreed with new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that "austerity is not effective," Obama said that you cannot continue to pressure countries in recession - at some point there must be a strategy of growth in order for these countries to be able to repay their debts and reduce some of their deficits.

    He said there is no doubt that the Greek economy was in urgent need of reforms, and that the collection of taxes in Greece is famously tragic. In order for Greece to become competitive in the global market, they should have put a series of changes in the pipeline. These changes, he said, are very hard to achieve if the people's living standard has droped by 25% - this cannot be sustained either by the Greek society or the political system.

    Obama expressed the hope that Greece will remain in the eurozone, which would require compromises on all sides. When the economic crisis showed up a few years ago, the United States had an active role in the effort to resolve it. Germany and others, he said, understand that it would be better for Greece to remain in the eurozone than leave it; it's a situation that the markets do not like.

    The U.S. president said he was concerned about growth in Europe and that fiscal discipline was significant, while structural reforms are necessary in many of these countries. He added however that the American experience is that the best way to reduce deficits is to restore fiscal balance, grow, and when you have an economy in free fall, there must be a strategy of growth and not just try to pressure a population that is suffering more and more.

    [File photo/EPA, Jim Lo Scalzo]

    [03] Greece may reach agreement with creditors very soon, gov't VP says

    ANA-MPA - A political agreement with Greece's international lenders may be reached very soon, Government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis said on Sunday night, speaking to private television station Mega.

    A political agreement will render the request for a technical extension of Greece's fiscal programme unnecessary, Dragasakis said, and will also cover the European Central Bank in anything related to bank liquidity, over which he said he was not worried.

    In addition, he did not rule out the possibility of the next steps being mapped out at the meeting that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will hold with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday in Brussels.

    [File photo from Greek Parliament/ANA-MPA]


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