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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The current situation is far beyond the capabilities of the Asylum Service, its head tells ANA-MPA
  • [02] Negotiations with Brussels Group expected to resume on Wednesday
  • [03] FinMin: Alleged 1.8 bln euro gap is part of the effort for further austerity

  • [01] The current situation is far beyond the capabilities of the Asylum Service, its head tells ANA-MPA

    ANA/MPA---"The current situation is far beyond the capabilities of the Asylum Service," Maria Stavropoulou, head of the Service on Wednesday said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    More specifically, she referred to staff shortages that have led the Regional Asylum Office Attica to close its doors to those who wish to submit an asylum request.

    As she said, the Office currently operates with 200 employees throughout Greece, while due to the increasing applications for asylum, twice that staff should have been employed. Lack of staff has led to a 35 percent reduction in the number of people whose applications are processed at the Regional Office of Attica, a figure that translates into only 25 asylum applications daily.

    Stavropoulou expects that the problem will be limited after the transfer of municipal police officers as soon as bureaucratic procedures are completed, while she proposed offering, at European level, temporary asylum to a large number of applicants.

    The full interview is available for subscribers at ANA-MPA website.

    [02] Negotiations with Brussels Group expected to resume on Wednesday

    ANA/MPA---Greek government's deliberations with the representatives of the institutions within the framework of the Brussels Group will resume on Wednesday, even with a small delay. The delay is attributed to the fact that due to an electrical failure at Brussels airport the traffic over the Belgian airspace was interrupted and the Greek negotiatiors along with the other passengers of the early morning flight from Athens had to land at Dusseldorf airport in Germany.

    The Greek delegation is expected to arrive in Brussels early afternoon and to start the negotiations with the Brussels Group.

    Greek diplomatic sources estimate that an agreement on principle can be reached within the next seven days in order the issue to be tabled for debate on eurozone ministers' level. The fiscal issues and particularly the average increase of VAT percentages are, according to information, on the focus of the deliberations. On its part the Greek side rejects whatever discussion regarding cuts on pensions and salaries in the public sector, starting from the armed forces.

    This picture was confirmed on Wednesday by European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis who underlined that lots of time has been lost and the time limits for an agreement have been reduced significantly.

    [03] FinMin: Alleged 1.8 bln euro gap is part of the effort for further austerity

    European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's statement for a 1.8 billion euro VAT deviation between Greece and its partners is an effort from the creditors' side to impose further austerity on Greece, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Wednesday.

    Upon its arrival at the Finance ministry, Varoufakis said that "speculations on a 1.8 billion euro fiscal gap is part of the troika's effort to impose further austerity. We have our doubts on that. We think there is no such fiscal gap."

    He also said that "the only reason why the issue of tax on bank transactions has not been raised is our strong opposition and my personal opposition."


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