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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-15

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Schulz expresses support to Greek positions at his meeting with Tsipras
  • [02] Moscovici says decision for debt relief is solid
  • [03] Voting on Christmas bonus for low pensioners to be held on Thursday; ND to vote 'present'
  • [04] Greek official defends gov't decision to offer financial support to low pension earners
  • [05] Ski resort on Falakro opens on Friday
  • [06] Refugees, security and foreign relations to dominate EU discussions, Mitsotakis says
  • [07] World Bank pledged to help Greece

  • [01] Schulz expresses support to Greek positions at his meeting with Tsipras

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Thursday, during his meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, expressed his full support to the Greek positions, adding that a possible problem in the negotiations, a problem that could set the whole Europe at risk would be "inconceivable."

    On his part, Tsipras briefed Schulz on the positions of the Greek government.

    According to government sources, Tsipras said that a solution must be found as soon as possible for "the best of Europe in a period of uncertainty." He also said that a compromise on Greece's proposal for 2.5% - 1% primary surpluses can be reached.

    Referring to IMF participation in the Greek programme, he said that the fund must decide taking into account that "Greece is Europe" so here we have collective negotiations and not new measures.

    He also reiterated, in response to the Eurogroup's reaction, that "support measures for the weaker, that do not violate the programme and do not set the targets at risk, are the right of the Greek government."

    Concluding, the Europarliament President said that a solution must be found by January at the latest.

    [02] Moscovici says decision for debt relief is solid

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ Ch.Vassilaki) - The European Commission is still evaluating the measures announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Thursday said upon his arrival at the meeting of the European Socialists party in Brussels.

    He added that everyone who shares the same view must assume his responsibilities. He underlined that the decision for the debt relief is solid and is based on the conclusion of the first programme review so it cannot be questioned. "These factors continue to exist," he said and added that we cannot connect the debt relief, which is necessary, with the social cohesion.

    On his part, the chairman of the group of Socialists in the EP, Gianni Pittella said the decision of the Eurogroup was embarrassing and unacceptable. "We support Greece, the Greek people and the Greek authorities.

    [03] Voting on Christmas bonus for low pensioners to be held on Thursday; ND to vote 'present'

    The amendment on the Christmas bonus that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced for low pensioners is expected to be voted in Parliament on Thursday noon.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that his party will vote "present" in today's roll-call vote.

    "Mr Tsipras should not look for accomplices in that blind course. The Greeks can only move forward based on truth and unity," Mitsotakis stressed.

    [04] Greek official defends gov't decision to offer financial support to low pension earners

    "An honest government must return any fiscal difference from overshooting in budget execution to the society," Fragiskos Kountentakis, secretary general for Fiscal Policy told ANA on Thursday.

    Koutentakis said that "according to the state budget recently voted in Parliament, a prediction for a primary surplus in 2016 was 1.9 billion euros, or 1.1 pct of the country's GDP, surpassing a budget target for a primary surplus of 0.5 pct of GDP, or 875 million euros. This means an overshooting in budget execution by more than 1.0 billion euros. Essentially, in 2016 more fiscal measures, than needed, were implemented to achieve budget targets. An honest government must return this difference to the society, remaining within targets agreed in the framework of the country's economic programme"

    Koutentakis noted that criticism over a government decision to pay a one-off financial support to low pension earners was based on a misunderstanding. He stressed that this payment should be made in 2016 and not wait until Eurostat confirmed budget results in April 2017. "This is exactly what happened with the social dividend offered by the Samaras government in 2014. It spent around 500 million euros from a surplus in budget execution for 2013 and missed its budget targets in 2014," Koutentakis said.

    [05] Ski resort on Falakro opens on Friday

    The ski resort of Falakro, in region of Drama near Greece's border with Bulgaria, is ready and will open on Friday, Nevrokopi mayor Vassilis Giannopoulos told Athens-Macedonian News Agency's (ANA) radio "Praktoreio 104.9 FM" on Wednesday.

    "Our wish is to snow because snow is vital for the operation of the ski resort. We have beautiful and high quality hotel units in our villages, like in Volakas, Granitis and other places. But they cannot be preserved if the snow isn't enough for the ski resort to operate. Due to the climate change we see less snow every winter," said Giannopoulos.

    The resort will open with a series of events scheduled on 16, 17 and 18 of December. "There have been improvements on the roads, pistes and on the infrastructure which offer high safety conditions and the resort is ready to welcome the first visitors," said Nevrokopi mayor.

    [06] Refugees, security and foreign relations to dominate EU discussions, Mitsotakis says

    The refugee issue, the security and the foreign relations will dominate EU discussions as a difficult year comes to its end, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader said upon his arrival to the summit of the European People's Party (EPP) in Brussels.

    Mitsotakis referred to the problem of migration, noting that it has not been fully addressed and stressed that the creation of a European coastguard and border guard remains an EU priority.

    "At the same time member states are facing other challenges. They have to deal with the problem of youth unemployment. We have to be able to offer to the young people new tools and the opportunity to hope for a better future. If we fail in that, we will have failed in everything," he stated.

    [07] World Bank pledged to help Greece

    The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Wednesday promised Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou to help Greece in its efforts to return to growth.

    According an Economy Ministry announcement, Papadimitriou had separate meetings with American and Greek-American businessmen who already operate in Greece or are interested in investing. He also met with representatives of hedge funds, that have Greek bonds and are interested in further enriching their portfolios.

    On Wednesday, Finance Minister went to Washington where he met with President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim and the Director of Global Development International Finance Corporation (IFC), Marcos Brujis.

    They discussed the reforms that have been implemented by the Greek government, but also the possibility of transferring knowledge from both organizations to Greece regarding the actions to be taken in the coming period.


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