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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Eurobank says core earnings up in Q4‏
  • [02] Migration Minister Mouzalas: 'We must consider the border at Idomeni closed'

  • [01] Eurobank says core earnings up in Q4‏

    Eurobank on Wednesday said its core earnings – pre provisions - were 188 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2015, from 166 million in the third quarter of the year.

    Net interest income grew 4.3 pct on a quarterly basis to 375 million euros, commission income was 62 million (up from 48 million in the third quarter) and operating spending fell 5.8 pct on an annual basis.

    The bank said provisions for loans in delay was 64.8 pct, deposits grew by 1.4 billion euros and borrowing from the Eurosystem fell by 9.0 billion to 23.3 billion euros.

    Eurobank said its international activities returned to profitability with net repeated earnings of 67 million euros in 2015, after losses of 182 million euros in 2014.

    Consolidated results showed a loss of 175 million euros in the fourth quarter and losses of 1.2 billion in 2015.

    Nikolaos Karamouzis, the bank's chairman, commenting on the results said that economic conditions in Greece remained uncertain following a successful completion of a bank recapitalisation exercise, burdened by a deteriorating international economic climate. He added that prolonged negotiations with creditors to complete the first review of the programme, combined with the big issue of the refugee influx, were undermining efforts to restore confidence in the Greek economic outlook. A rapid and positive resolution, in cooperation with European partners will become a turning point to boost stability, improving liquidity conditions, attracting new investments and capital – all necessary to cover a huge domestic savings and investment gap and opening a discussion for a restructuring of the Greek public debt.

    Karamouzis said that the Greek economy has the potential to return to positive growth rates this year if these preconditions were met and to begin creating new job positions, a necessary condition for the parallel social and economic reconstruction of the country. "With a spirit of consensus and cooperation towards national challenges, with convergence and joined forces in a strategy to exit the crisis, 2016 could signal the beginning of a virtuous cycle for the Greek economy".

    Fokion Karavias, chief executive of the bank, commenting on the results said that Eurobank's main priorities remained an active management of non-performing loans, taking advantage of a further improvement of the bank's interior infrastructure and of significant changes made or expected on a regulatory basis, designed to significantly reduce NPLs, the return of deposits, funding new healthy business plans and a further cost control.

    [02] Migration Minister Mouzalas: 'We must consider the border at Idomeni closed'

    Alternate Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Wednesday asked municipalities throughout the country to indicate both short and longer-stay hospitality facilities for refugees in their area, during an emergency meeting held by the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE).

    "In my opinion, we must consider the border at Idomeni closed. We have no reason to believe otherwise and we must prepare for the consequences of this action," he said.

    For as long as the Idomeni border crossing with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) remained closed and until the relocation and resettlement procedures were operational, "these people will stay in our country and some of them must receive the hospitality that accords with their legal status," Mouzalas said.

    The government was implementing a plan to provide temporary shelter, he added, but after the refugees were off the streets there would also have to be action to provide more adequate hospitality to those legally entitled.

    KEDE President Giorgos Patoulis levelled strong criticism at the government, saying there was no national planning on the issue, while promising that local government will provide support to help address the problems. He asked the government to provide guidelines, however, such as the number of people that must be given shelter and for how long, to enable local authorities to suggest possible spaces.

    "Spaces must be found that meet the requirements and standards to house human souls," he said, while he also highlighted the need for additional staff, suggesting that 1,600 be hired on five-month contracts from May for this purpose.

    Athens Mayor George Kaminis, meanwhile, said that KEDE should be involved in the planning stages and said the ministry's tactic of talking to each municipality separately was mistaken.

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