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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM stressed need to swiftly complete 2nd review in talks with Merkel, sources said
  • [02] Opposition parties declare position over island VAT amendment in parliament

  • [01] PM stressed need to swiftly complete 2nd review in talks with Merkel, sources said

    BERLIN (ANA/ N. Papadimitriou) The Greek economy and its recent positive performance was at the focus of talks between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday, government sources reported. Tsipras had noted the need to promptly conclude the second review and implement the short-term measures to relieve Greece's debt, as well as Greece's inclusion in the ECB quantitative easing programme, they said.

    The role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was also prominent in the discussion, the sources added, with the Greek premier expressing concerns regarding the IMF's stance in the negotiations and its possible desire to withdraw from the Greek programme.

    Tsipras relayed Athens' concern that the IMF's delay in deciding about its participation in the Greek programme could prevent a prompt conclusion of the review, given the upcoming political changes in the United States, the sources said.

    The two leader also discussed the crucial turning point in EU-Turkish relations, as well as the significance of the Cyprus issue and the refugee crisis in this framework.

    Analysing Greece's great efforts to cope with the refugee crisis, Tsipras said it was crucial to preserve the EU-Turkey agreement and said that the other EU member-states must also assume their share of the burden, both through relocation and the supply of staff in the short-term and in the long-term.

    Tsipras also informed the chancellor about Greece's positions on the Cyprus issue and the significance of bilateral, Greek-Turkish talks in order to ensure a successful outcome of the multilateral meeting on the Cyprus issue. He noted that the EU must have an active role in the multilateral meeting, the sources said.

    [02] Opposition parties declare position over island VAT amendment in parliament

    New Democracy will approve the lowering of the sales-tax rate (VAT) on the islands on the forefront of the refugee crisis which are included in a government omnibus bill on reforming bankruptcy law, electronic transactions and the voluntary disclosure of undeclared income, lawmaker Haralambos Athanasiou said on Friday during a debate in parliament.

    On its side, the Democratic Coalition submitted an amendment calling for the lowering of the VAT on all the islands, a measure that was originally passed by PASOK in the 1980s and remained in place until 2015.

    The Communist Party said through its rapporteur Sakis Vardalis it will not approve the bill because disagrees with the proposed bankruptcy law as it secures the interests of the businesses.

    Potami said it approves the bill on principle but expressed reservations concerning some articles and requested improvements on others, noting that small steps are being taken for reforms which must be accelerated.

    The rapporteur of the Centrists' Union, Theodora Megaloikonomou, also expressed reservation on the bill saying the party disagrees on main provisions such as the use of plastic money for transactions and the administration of justice.


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