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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-02-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] There will not be credit event, State Min Flambouraris says
  • [02] Statements of 'hard' negotiation is an 'publicity scam', KKE's Koutsoumbas says
  • [03] Super League games suspended for a week after match violence
  • [04] Greece needs progress in implementation of pending reforms, BoG report‏

  • [01] There will not be credit event, State Min Flambouraris says

    ANA/MPA---State Minister for Coordinating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris on Thursday in statements to Mega TV appeared reassuring on the liquidity issue.

    "There is a liquidity issue but we believe that in the immediate future, with the measures we will launch, there will be liquidity," he said and referred specifically to taxation and fighting tax evasion and the non-payment of social security contributions.

    Regarding the repayment of the IMF tranche, he noted: "If we have not raised 1.4 and we have raised 0.8, we will ask for a two month extension" and added "there will not be a credit event; this is neither to their interest nor to ours."

    On the VAT, he reckoned there was no need for an increase since, he noted, such a move does not generate revenues.

    According to the minister, the 100 installment settlement will bring revenues and will not cause a financial problem. "The institutions cannot say No," he claimed and clarified that the relevant regulation will be tabled just as it was announced with the addition of a provision for a bonus to those "who have been paying properly up until now."

    On the so-called "objective" property values, he noted "we cannot have a horizontal reduction, there has to be a zoning" and "this will take a while." On the restitution of the tax-free threshold to 12,000 euros he said: "This needs at least three months, I don't expect it any earlier than May or June."

    He said the bill on the large property tax which will replace the Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA) is already being processed and called on citizens to pay the last ENFIA tranche.

    On the long meeting that SYRIZA's parliamentary group held on Wednesday, he said it was a very productive one, during which support and criticism were expressed.

    He said that 18 deputies either opposed to the agreement with the lenders or expressed deep concerns; however, 5 MPs voted against it and 5 cast a blank vote. Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis was among those who cast a blank vote, Flambouraris said, while the President of the Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou expressed her disagreement.

    He said it was quite reasonable to have disagreements over such a text "which was not clear and was not 100 percent along SYRIZA's lines."

    Asked if the agreement will pass through the Parliament, he responded this has not been decided yet. His own view, however, was that the agreement should be submitted to the Parliament.

    [02] Statements of 'hard' negotiation is an 'publicity scam', KKE's Koutsoumbas says

    ANA/MPA---In Friday's big rally at Syntagma square, the Communist Party (KKE) wants to inform the Greek citizens on its positions, the party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Thursday told ANT1 TV.

    People should not be disappointed, Koutsoumbas noted adding that they should get organised and fight.

    Among the things that the communist party will seek is the legislating of the minimum wage at 751 euros, the restitution of the 13th and 14th salary and pension, the restitution of collective agreements, the abolition of Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA) and anti-popular tax laws and a 40,000 euro tax free threshold for each family.

    Regarding the draft law tabled in Parliament by the communist party for the abolition of the memorandum and the implementation laws, he said that this can be done in a single law and reiterated that this proposal had been submitted to a parliament committee and it had been voted for in principle by SYRIZA too. "According to what it has been announced, SYRIZA needs to submit the proposal to the parliament plenary," he added.

    Koutsoumbas said that the government's statements regarding a "hard" negotiation with the creditors is a "publicity scam" adding that negotiation within the specific framework means that what the creditors say will be taken into account. The secretary general underlined that we will have a new memorandum late June - regardless of the name - which will include 70 percent of what has already been agreed while the rest 30 percent will include measures from the OECD toolkit.

    [03] Super League games suspended for a week after match violence

    ANA - MAP -- Greek Super League soccer games were suspended for a week on Wednesday following the latest turmoil in the sport, Alternate Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis announced on Wednesday.  "Under the current circumstances it's impossible to hold games on Sunday," Kontonis said following a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, adding the decision shows the government's determination to stop violence in sports. 

      The minister will have a new meeting with the Super League next Wednesday to see if steps have been taken towards resolving the issue and will also take into account updated reports prepared by the police and the Standing Committee for Handling Violence. 

    "The government's decision to stamp out violence in stadia is final and irreversible…We appeal to everyone and say that we won't tolerate the business interests that are developed in the unacceptable way we've been seeing in recent years because they turn against the sport, the fans and those who work in the sector," Kontonis added.

    Greece's police union said they submitted their proposals for dealing with sports violence to Alternate Civil Protection Minister Yiannis Panousis and Kontonis.

    [04] Greece needs progress in implementation of pending reforms, BoG report‏

    ANA/MPA---Greece needs to make progress in the implementation of pending reforms, while a new agreement between the country and its partners is a necessary precondition for the continuation and strengthening of an economic recovery currently underway, the Bank of Greece said in its annual report.

    Presenting the report, Yiannis Stournaras, the central bank's governor, said there were uncertainties in the growth outlook of the country this year, based on the implementation of a transition agreement with its partners and a possible deterioration of fiscal conditions.

    "Pending obligations were relatively limited and have a low cost compared with the huge volume of changes implemented in the previous years and the heavy burden paid by the Greek society," the central banker said. Stournaras noted that Greece needed a single cohesive growth program which will be based on strengthening production through investments and mostly through structural reforms.

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