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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] German FinMin Schaeuble cautious over an agreement on Monday
  • [02] SYRIZA has strong lead over ND, show two opinion polls
  • [03] When agreement is reached, Greece's economic conditions will improve
  • [04] Negotiations at defining phase; momentum is positive, French FinMin Sapin tells ANA-MPA
  • [05] Gov't Vice President Dragasakis' meeting with ECB's Draghi at 18.30
  • [06] Greek economy to grow by 0.5 pct this year, EC says‏

  • [01] German FinMin Schaeuble cautious over an agreement on Monday

    ANA/MPA---German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was cautious over the possibility of reaching an agreement by Monday.

    "I do not think that a Comprehensive Assessment will be submitted to us on Monday, because much time has been lost," Schaeuble said.

    Schaeuble also said that the German government does not wish a Grexit. "However, that does not mean that we are willing to do one thing or another. If Athens thinks so, it is probably wrong. Europe is above all in order to move on, to operate," he added.

    He also said that "it was a big mistake on the part of Germany and France not to comply with the Stability Pact" and added that "we have learnt our lesson so as not to allow something like this to happen again."

    "These are not easy decisions, but are always taken based on the best possible result for the future European integration," the German Finance Minister noted.

    [02] SYRIZA has strong lead over ND, show two opinion polls

    SYRIZA has a 14.8 percentage point lead over main opposition New Democracy, according to an opinion poll conducted by Marc for private TV Alpha.

    Specifically, at a question if general elections were held today what you would vote, 35.6 of the respondents said SYRIZA and 20.8 pct said New Democracy.

    To Potami was third in the citizens' preference with 5.8 pct followed by Golden Dawn with 5.3 percent, the Communist Party (KKE) with 5.1 pct, Independent Greeks with 4.2, PASOK with 2.8 pct, Democrats Socialists Movement with 1.4 pct.

    SYRIZA has strong lead over New Democracy with 14.5 percentage points, according to another opinion poll conducted by GPO for private TV MEGA.

    According to the poll 8 of 10 citizens prefer an agreement instead of rift with Greece's partners.

    Six of 10 citizens are against a referendum and seven in ten citizens say no to early elections if the negotiation is led to an impasse.

    At a question if they believe there is danger of a Grexit, the citizens appeared divided while 75.6 of the respondents believe that the country must remain in the eurozone.

    SYRIZA was preferred by 36.5pct of those asked and ND 22 pct (six points lower from the percentage collected in January 2015 elections). To Potami follows with 6.5 pct, the Communist Party (KKE) and Golden Dawn with 5.5 pct, followed by Independent Greeks with 5 pct and PASOK with 4 pct.

    Alexis Tsipras is the most popular for prime minister (63.9 pct) followed by Panos Kammenos with 41 pct, Stavros Theodorakis with 39 pct, Dimitris Koutsoumbas with 32.5 pct, Antonis Samaras with 28.1 and Evangelos Venizelos with 20.1 pct.

    Called to judge the first 100 days of the government's work, 57 percent of the citizens expressed a positive and 40.9 percent a negative opinion.

    [03] When agreement is reached, Greece's economic conditions will improve

    ANA/MPA---The ongoing discussions on the problems of the Greek economy for the last three months and the entailing uncertainty have negative repercussions to growth and public deficit, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici said during the presentation of European Commission's spring economic outlook.

    The Commissioner said that the most modest estimates of the Commission are based on the fact that an agreement between the Greek authorities and the institutions have not yet been reached.

    Moreover, Moscovici noted that when an agreement is reached, Greece's economic prospects will get better adding that whatever solution for Greece should be based on four pylons: the respect to the general elections' results, Greece's compliance to the commitments to its lenders, the remaining in the eurozone and the invigoration of the development.

    Moscovici also said that he will discuss all these matters at his meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Tuesday in Brussels noting that a number of Greek economic officials are currently in Frankfurt.

    [04] Negotiations at defining phase; momentum is positive, French FinMin Sapin tells ANA-MPA

    ANA/MPA---"There is no other solution than an agreement," French Finance Minister Michel Sapen on Tuesday said after the extraordinary meeting held in Paris with his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis.

    After the meeting, which lasted one and a half hour, and which Varoufakis described as "pleasant and useful," he explained to journalists the reasons of this extraordinary meeting with his French counterpart.

    "It is very important, because the communication of Finance ministers at the Eurogroup is difficult," he explained and added "we are too many and we do not have the opportunity to exchange information. We are all informed by the institutions. It is very important, especially in times like this when maximum communication is crucial, to expose the positive moves that the Greek government has made since February, in order to reach agreement and in particular to present the overall vision of how Greece will come out of the crisis, will recover and begin to grow. That was the subject of today's debate, always with the aim to find an immediate solution to unlock liquidity and to move into a new contract with Europe."

    Asked whether France would take initiatives, the minister replied: "The answer is positive, France cannot fail to take such initiatives in a Europe which hopes to overcome the crisis."

    Sapin, who accompanied Varoufakis to the exit, commented on the meeting with a statement to ANA-MPA, and spoke of "defining moment" and a "good momentum" for the conclusion of negotiations.

    "It was an important meeting, the Greek leadership wanted to get some messages to European ministers, the European Commission and the ECB."

    "I think we have reached a decisive moment. I think we have a good momentum in the discussions and are able -not immediately - but we can reach a good compromise.

    "We are at a dynamic moment, a useful time."

    Asked whether France intends to take any initiative, Sapen replied:

    "No, Europe works together, the initiative of each one does not matter, but what it matters is that they can all work together."

    Regarding the difficulties raised by the IMF, the minister said:

    "Every institution has its own concern and expresses its own views. At a given moment it should settle down though. But anyway there is no other solution than an agreement."

    [05] Gov't Vice President Dragasakis' meeting with ECB's Draghi at 18.30

    ANA/MPA---Government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis and Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos on Tuesday, at 18:30 (Athens time), will brief the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi on the Greek government's programme so that a mutually beneficial agreement is reached.

    According to government sources, the aim of the meeting in Frankfurt is to brief Draghi on the course of the negotiations and the proposals of the Greek government for a rapid, sustainable and mutually beneficial agreement.

    [06] Greek economy to grow by 0.5 pct this year, EC says‏

    ANA/MPA---The Greek economy is expected to grow by an annual rate of 0.5 pct this year, from 0.8 pct in 2014, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

    The EU's executive, in a report on Greek economy outlook, said however that the country's GDP was expected to grow by 2.9 pct in 2016. The general government's deficit as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall to 2.1 pct this year, from 3.5 pct in 2015, but to rise slightly to 2.2 pct in 2016. The general government's debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to rise to 180.2 pct this year, falling to 173.5 pct in 2016.

    The unemployment rate is expected to ease to 25.6 pct in 2015 and to fall to 23.2 pct next year, while the Greek economy is expected to remain in a deflation trend this (-1.5 pct), with the consumer price index rising to 0.8 pct in 2016.

    The country's current account balance is projected to show a deficit of 1.6 pct of GDP this year and 1.3 pct in 2016.

    The European Commission expects the Eurozone economy to grow by 1.5 pct this year and the EU economy to grow by 1.8 pct, revising upwards its previous estimates. For 2016, the Commission expects the Eurozone economy to grow by 1.9 pct and the EU economy to grow by 2.1 pct.


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