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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Current account deficit up in Q1‏
  • [02] Greece's contemporary art museum likely to open in 2015

  • [01] Current account deficit up in Q1‏

    ANA/MPA---Greece's current account balance showed a deficit of 404 million euros in March, up 316 million compared with the same month last year, the Bank of Greece said on Friday. The central bank in a monthly report attributed this development to a decline in the surplus of the services balance and to a deterioration in the primary and the secondary income accounts. The above developments were offset to some extent by an improvement in the balance of goods.

    The deficit of the balance of goods decreased by 281 million euros year-on-year, mainly on account of the lower net oil import bill, which reflects the fall in oil prices. In addition, net payments for purchases of ships also declined. By contrast, the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships registered an increase, despite a 12.8 pct rise in export receipts, given that the corresponding imports grew more. The surplus of the services balance shrank, owing to lower net receipts from construction and financial services, as well as from sea transport services. The surplus of the travel services balance rose slightly, as a result of an increase of 34.3 pct in non-residentsʼ arrivals in March and a 13.3 pct rise in the corresponding receipts, which offset an increase in travel spending abroad by residents. The primary income account showed a surplus of 40 million euros, down by 336 million year-on-year, mainly on account of lower net other primary income and higher net interest, dividend and profit payments.

    Q1 deficit up by 1 bln euros

    In the first quarter of 2015, the current account balance showed a deficit of 2.2 billion euros, up by 1 billion year-on-year. This increase is attributable to a deterioration in the primary and the secondary income accounts as well as in the services balance. By contrast, the balance of goods showed an improvement, which more than offset the decline in the surplus of the services balance, resulting in an improvement in the overall balance of goods and services. The deficit of the balance of goods decreased by 359 million euros, due to a drop in the net oil import bill, as a result of the fall in oil prices, and in net payments for purchases of ships. By contrast, the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships increased. It should be noted that receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships registered a 2.4 pct rise, as did the corresponding import bill, which grew by 9.3 pct. The surplus of the services balance shrank, as the

    decline in net transport and other services receipts was only partly offset by a rise in net travel receipts. In the first quarter of 2015, total non-residentsʼ arrivals increased by 45.6 pct year-on-year, but the corresponding receipts grew by a mere 12.8 pct. In the first quarter of 2015, the surplus of the primary income account narrowed, mainly on account of higher net payments related to investment income (interest, dividends, and profits) and lower net other primary income. Moreover, the secondary income account recorded a deficit, against a surplus in the same period of 2014.

    In the first quarter of 2015, residentsʼ net assets from direct investment abroad rose by 52 million euros, while the corresponding liabilities that represent non-residentsʼ direct investment in Greece declined by 64 million. Under portfolio investment, a net decrease of 6.7 billion euros in residentsʼ external assets is mainly due to a drop of 11.4 billion in residentsʼ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills, which was partly offset by a rise of 4.6 billion in residentsʼ investment in shares of foreign firms. Moreover, residentsʼ net external liabilities fell by 2.5 billion, mainly on account of a decline in non-residentsʼ holdings of Greek government bonds and Treasury bills, as well as in shares of Greek firms. Finally, under other investment, the net increase of 14.3 billion in assets primarily reflects the statistical adjustment that relates to the issue of banknotes (2) and a rise in residentsʼ deposit and repo holdings

    abroad. On the other hand, an increase of 12.2 billion in liabilities is attributable to both a rise in non-residentsʼ deposit and repo holdings in Greece and the issue of banknotes above Greeceʼs key for subscription to the Eurosystem. These developments were considerably offset by an increase in residentsʼ outstanding debt.

    At the end of March 2015, Greeceʼs reserve assets stood at 6.05 billion euros, compared with 5.5 billion a year earlier, the central bank said.

    [02] Greece's contemporary art museum likely to open in 2015

    ANA/MPA---"The building of the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) is ready, but not the museum," its director Katerina Koskina said in statements to ANA-MPA WebTV adding that a building needs a lot of work until it becomes a museum.

    "The vision is a vision, but from the vision to the practice there is great distance to cover. But when we want something, we succeed. We struggle to make it reality, but the contribution of the State, especially the Culture ministry, is also needed. I believe that if some administrative reforms and the hiring of staff are quickly approved along with the necessary financing, the museum will likely open in 2015."

    The full interview is available at: http://www.amna.gr/webtv.php?id=79284


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