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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-04-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Lagarde expresses skepticism over Greece's fiscal targets
  • [02] An elected government has right to decide how to achieve fiscal targets, says head of ECON
  • [03] Eurostat: 22.2 pct of Greeks lived in poverty in 2015
  • [04] Police clears out protesters' blockade on Egnatia motorway

  • [01] Lagarde expresses skepticism over Greece's fiscal targets

    The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde, expressed her reservations on the achievement of the fiscal targets included in Greece's adjustment program, during a press briefing in Washington on Thursday.

    Lagarde said she wasn't sure if a primary surplus target of 3.5 pct of GDP by 2018 is feasible adding that it's also unsustainable. She also said Greece needs stability, sustainability and national sovereignty and for this reason, all estimations on macroeconomic targets must become realistic.

    Asked on the ongoing negotiations between the Greek government and the institutions, she noted the need to complete the program review as soon as possible, saying that "the last thing Greece needs right now is another delay," a point with which Greece agrees.

    Concerning the country's debt, Lagarde said a solution is neede for both the maturity of the bonds and the height of the interest rates and reiterated the IMF's position that the Greek program needs to be based on two pillars: reforms and debt relief.

    [02] An elected government has right to decide how to achieve fiscal targets, says head of ECON

    The agreement between Greece and its lenders must be implemented but an elected government can determine the ways to fulfill targets, said Roberto Gualtieri, President of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament, after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Thursday.

    "It's important to implement the deal, but of course there's the right of an elected government to determine the ways with which it will achieve the jointly agreed targets," he told journalists.

    He also noted the need for a swift completion of the Greek program review, saying this development will be important for the country and Europe.

    [03] Eurostat: 22.2 pct of Greeks lived in poverty in 2015

    Twenty-two percent (22.2 pct) of Greeks lived in poverty in 2015, versus 8.2 pct of the population in the European Union, according to data released by Eurostat on Thursday.

    The Eurostat report estimated the percentage of the EU population who are deprived of basin consumer goods, or is unable to meet their minimum financial obligations. Based on this data, about 2.37 million people lived in poverty in Greece in 2015 and 41 million in the EU in total.

    Furthermore, while the number of people living in destitution in the EU started falling from 2012 (9.9 pct in 2012 to 8.2 pct in 2015), in Greece the numbers have risen from 19.5 pct in 2012 to 20.3 pct in 2013, 21.5 pct in 2014 and 22.2 pct in 2015.

    [04] Police clears out protesters' blockade on Egnatia motorway

    Greek police intervened on Thursday to remove a group of about 200 refugees and activists who were blocking both directions of Egnatia motorway, a main road that extends from the western port of Igoumenitsa to the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi, since Wednesday.

    The group was protesting for the living conditions of the nearby accommodation centre of Katsika.

    During the operation, protesters threw stones and planks against policemen, with the later detaining 27 people. Among them was a Spanish national, member of an NGO, who has been working inside Idomeni camp.

    The detainees were later released, after they told police they chose this form of protest to highlight the bad living contitions in the Katsika accommodation centre.


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