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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Tsipras: 2017 will be the year of the real economy
  • [02] Talks between Greece, institutions to continue but 'heading toward solution,' Eurozone sources say
  • [03] Amendment suspending VAT hike for NE Aegean islands passed unanimously
  • [04] Tsipras measures 'no risk' for Greece's EU commitments, Cazeneuve says

  • [01] Tsipras: 2017 will be the year of the real economy

    The government's goal was to conclude the second review by the end of January and then join the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme in March, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras repeated in an impromptu talks with the journalists covering Parliament on Wednesday.

    According to the prime minister, 2017 will be "the year of the real economy" in which the government wanted to change the political agenda, begin a discussion on revising the constitution and the Greek economy's "productive reconstruction".

    Freshly arrived from Crete after the roll-call vote in favour of suspending a VAT hike on the islands hardest hit by the migration and refugee crisis, Tsipras once again ruled out the prospect of snap elections.

    "It is not our intention and, since it is not, how can we have elections. In order for a government to hold elections there must be a reason and such a reason does not exist. It is not our hobby to have elections," he said.

    Tsipras is due to address an event at the Athens Hilton hotel on Thursday morning for the signature of an agreement between the European Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank activating an Equity Fund of Funds for Greece.

    At noon, the prime minister will meet European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu at the Maximos Mansion.

    [02] Talks between Greece, institutions to continue but 'heading toward solution,' Eurozone sources say

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ C. Vasilaki) Greek authorities and the institutions will continue talks on Thursday in order to resolve the issue that has arisen with the suspension of short-term debt relief measures for Greece as soon as possible, European sources said on Wednesday.

    The same sources said that the institutions in Brussels were still waiting for the Greek authorities' to send a letter providing the assurances requested by member-states regarding the social welfare and VAT measures recently passed by Greece's government. The letter will probably be sent on Thursday, the source said.

    According to a Eurozone official, the letter is being drafted after consultations between all the parties involved and will therefore take more time than originally envisaged. The talks were "heading toward a solution," the same source added, and ruled out the prospect of an emergency Eurogroup meeting.

    Greece's creditors suspended short-term debt relief measures for Greece approved by the Eurogroup on December 5 after the Greek government announced measures awarding a one-off Christmas benefit to low-income pensioners, paid for out of an expected 2016 primary surplus surpassing programme targets, and suspending a VAT hike for islands in the northeast Aegean worst hit by the refugee crisis.

    A Eurozone source appeared confident that a solution unlocking the debt-relief measures will soon be found:

    "We are working constructively with the institutions and Greek authorities, in order to find a solution concerning the implementation of the short-term measures for the debt," the sources said, adding that the process can be completed "soon". Consequently, the source added, another emergency EuroWorking Group meeting is not considered necessary.

    [03] Amendment suspending VAT hike for NE Aegean islands passed unanimously

    An amendment suspending an increased in VAT for the islands of the northeast Aegean worst hit by the refugee crisis was passed with unanimous support from Greek lawmakers in Parliament on Wednesday, with 259 votes in favour.

    The amendment was passed in a roll-call vote requested by the the Democratic Alliance, three independent MPs and Ahmet Ilhan from the Potami party, with the support of all political parties.

    [04] Tsipras measures 'no risk' for Greece's EU commitments, Cazeneuve says

    PARIS (ANA/ O. Tsipira) The measures announced by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for low-income pensioners and for Greek islands coping with high migration flows "do not pose a risk...for Greece's commitments to the EU," French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told the French Parliament on Wednesday.

    Tsipras had taken the measures on terms that France considers pose no risk to the targets Greece must meet based on the commitments it has undertaken, Cazeneuve said in reply to questions from MPs.

    France will act within the EU in such as way as to "restore the facts," Cazeneuve added, so that EU member-states have "fair and balanced" positions and Greece can receive the support of the EU and the French government. He appeared confident that France will succeed in convincing the EU to "move in this direction," as well as his full confidence in both Greece's ability to meet its obligations and the "EU's ability" to recognise this.


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