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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Pavlopoulos meets Italian counterpart Mattarella
  • [02] Greek budget records primary surplus of 4.392 bln euros in 2016
  • [03] The government works hard to speed up the country's growth course, says Tzanakopoulos

  • [01] President Pavlopoulos meets Italian counterpart Mattarella

    "Greece with all its political forces united will overcome the crisis and will firmly continue its course within the European Union and the hard core of the eurozone," Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Tuesday said welcoming the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella at the Presidential mansion.

    Pavlopoulos thanked the Italian President for Italy's sincere and practical support to overcome the Greek crisis, but also for the warm hospitality during his stay in Rome in November 2015.

    Pavlopoulos stressed that Greece and Italy share common ideals for the future of our European family and of European integration in general, and added that the Greek people are ready to cooperate with Italy in the issues of migration and economic crisis to jointly protect the future of the European Union and its cohesion.

    "A future that is connected with the defense of Man, the Republic and the fundamental principles and values of the European culture," said the President.

    "Ancient Greece and Rome marched together to build a civilization, upon which rests the whole Western Civilization. And be sure that we will support this (Culture) together and with all our strength," stressed the President.

    On his part, Mattarella referred to the excellent bilateral relations between Greece and Italy, noting that the close cooperation between the two peoples is based on a millennial history, with shared values and a common culture.

    "All these create a strong friendship and a common way of addressing international problems. A common way, which leads us to the development of common strategies," he stressed.

    He made special reference to the need for the EU to focus on economic growth and boosting employment for young people. On migration, he stressed that there is not only a problem of Greece and Italy but a problem of all Europe and the EU.

    Finally, he expressed the hope, on the occasion of 60 years from the signing of the Treaty of Rome next March, that Europe will be given the opportunity to rekindle the sense of solidarity, which should govern the EU and its peoples.

    [02] Greek budget records primary surplus of 4.392 bln euros in 2016

    Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of 4.392 billion euros in 2016, surpassing a primary surplus of 2.270 billion in 2015 and a budget target for surplus of 1.983 billion euros, the Finance ministry said on Tuesday. Regular budget net revenue surpassed budget targets by 1.8 billion euros in the 12-month period, while Public Investment Programe's spnding totaled 2.8 billion euros in December, a significant increase compared with previous months. In December, tax returns surpassed targets by 180 million euros, money channeled to the real economy. The state budget showed deficit of 1.185 billion euros in 2016 (general government), from a shortfall of 3.530 billion in 2015 and a budget target for a deficit of 3.617 billion euros. State budget net revenue totaled 53.968 billion euros, up 3.1 pct from targets, while regular budget net revenue rose 3.8 pct to 49.796 billion euros. Revenue returns totaled 3.265 billion euros, down 22 million from targets. Public Investment Programe revenue amounted to 4.172 billion euros, down 204 million from targets. In December, state budget net revenue totaled 6.026 billion euros, up 114 million from monthly targets, while regular budget net revenue totaled 5.144 billion euros, up 372 million from monthly targets. Public Investment Programe's revenues totaled 883 million euros, down 258 million from targets. Revenue returns in December totaled 584 million euros, up 180 million euros from monthly targets. State budget spending amounted to 55.153 billion euros in the January-December 2016 period, down 817 million from targets. Regular budget spending totaled 48.865 billion euros, down 354 million from targets, but up 320 million compared with 2015. Public Investment Programe's spending was 6.288 billion euros in 2016, down 462 million from targets. In December, state budget spending was 9.234 billion euros, up 1.556 billion from monthly targets, while regular budget spending totaled 6.423 billion euros, up 935 million from targets. Public Investment Programe's spending was 2.811 billion euros, up 621 million euros from monthly targets.

    [03] The government works hard to speed up the country's growth course, says Tzanakopoulos

    "The government continues to work hard to accelerate the country's growth course, to meet fiscal targets and to protect the interests of the social majority" underlined State Minister and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos in a press briefing on Tuesday. He said that the State Budget figures reaffirm that the primary surplus is 439 billion euros in amended cash basis and that the figures show that the 1.98 bln euro target is outperfomed while the revenues were 1.6 billion euros over the initial target. Tzanakopoulos noted that the positive course is confirmed by Klaus Regling and Jeroen Dijsselbloem's statements adding that the negotiations continue on this basis. The positive is, said Tzanakopoulos, that everyone shares the view that the disagreement is not technical and for this reason it must be solved at higher level with political conditions. We intensify our efforts so that the second review is concluded without additional measures and with the restoration of the labour collective contracts and the participation in the quantative easing programme in 2017 Q1 and to speed up our exit to the markets, said the government spokesman. He said that the top national priority is the successful outcome of the negotations for the Cyprus issue noting that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in open contact with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades ahead of the restart of the negotiations on 18-20 January at diplomatic and technical level.
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