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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece will not agree to additional measures after 2018, gov't spox Tzanakopoulos says
  • [02] ESM's Regling: Short-term measures will have significant impact on Greek debt pile
  • [03] Mouzalas: Greek government has asked Frontex to guard northern border

  • [01] Greece will not agree to additional measures after 2018, gov't spox Tzanakopoulos says

    The government has made it's position clear and will not agree to legislate for additional measures after 2018, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Tuesday. The government's position on labour and fiscal issues is firm, he told reporters, and the government will proceed with the negotiations for the second review without legislating for more measures.

    He also accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of using "inaccurate figures" and urged the fund to "respect the Greek people," noting the IMF's failed forecasts in 2012 and 2013, when it predicted growth at a time when Greece went into further deep recession, with the economy contracting at 3.3 and 6.6 pct.

    Tzanakopoulos said that the recently passed budget outlined the goals and laid the foundations for the Greek economy in 2017, while he again ruled out all prospect of early elections.

    He attacked main opposition New Democracy and its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that they wanted the negotiations to collapse and bring about destabilisation, in order to enforce a programme of harsh austerity that they could blame on the present government.

    Regarding the article posted by IMF officials Maurice Obstfeld and Poul M. Thomsen in the IMF blog on Monday, Tzanakopoulos said it was self-contradictory. On the one hand, the two officials criticised austerity and a policy of higher primary surpluses but then said they would accept higher primary surpluses demanded by Europeans in exchange for even more austerity, he pointed out.

    "According to the article, the IMF does not want more austerity and defends surpluses of 1.5 pct after the end of the programme. It causes surprise, however, that the two Fund officials, contradicting themselves, also say they will accept the Europeans' demand for 3.5 pct surpluses but demand more austerity measures, since they believe the forecasts of the Europeans are too optimistic," he said.

    "The Fund's forecasts are mistaken, however, while the information it refers to is false," Tzanakopoulos added, noting that the IMF had itself admitted to using the wrong multipliers in the past. In this case, he added, the IMF had reversed its tactics and inaugurated a series of pessimistic forecasts, which had again been proved wrong.

    Tzanakopoulos noted that a reply will also be given by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and that the government "expected the IMF to not distort reality and not depend on inaccurate or even untrue figures."

    "The IMF needs to restore its credibility, not just with Greece but with the international community, insisting on the necessity to reduce primary surpluses to 1.5 pct after the end of the programme and improving its technocratic competence as regards its forecasts," he said.

    [02] ESM's Regling: Short-term measures will have significant impact on Greek debt pile

    BRUSSELS (ANA/C. Vasilaki) – The impact of the short-term measures for Greek debt relief announced by the last Eurogroup meeting will have a significant impact on the sustainability of the country's debt, the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling said on Tuesday in ESM's monthly newsletter.

    "The impact of the measures is sizeable, which is another sign of the financial solidarity that euro area countries are willing to provide. The measures will help to put Greece's annual debt payments on a more sustainable footing, and support Greece on its way back to the market. There are also some upfront costs, but these will be borne entirely by the country itself," Regling says.

    The head of the ESM also said the measures will also mean a slight increase in the fund's funding volume for next year. "This is to cover liquidity needs for some of the different schemes that we will use, such as the bond exchange with the Greek banks, and collateral needs for the swap arrangements," he said.

    [03] Mouzalas: Greek government has asked Frontex to guard northern border

    The Greek government has asked Frontex, the European Union's border agency, to guard Greece's northern borders in a request filed in September, Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday, confirming a report by German magazine "Der Spiegel".

    "Yes, of course it is true and I'm surprised this issue resurfaced. Already from September we had invited Frontex and the organization, based on plans of the European Union, as it does in other countries, is operating at the northern borders and the borders with Albania to diminish secondary [refugee] flows," the minister said, responding to a question on the validity of the report.

    "Der Spiegel" reported that Frontex plans to deploy forces for the first time since the migration crisis started in Greece's border with FYROM.

    Mouzalas said this request was made as part of the effort "to avoid secondary flows - that is illegal movements of refugees towards other countries", adding this has "nothing to do" with the EU-Turkey deal.

    "The Greek government is trying to increase legal relocation towards Europe and we have no mood or intention to facilitate illegal migration," he continued.

    "This is how we refute the lies told by the Visegrad countries and Austria, which are spread by some sources [and claim] that more than 700 people per day cross the border illegally. This has stopped."


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