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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'A good discussion on Greece,' Moscovici says after Eurogroup
  • [02] Tsakalotos: IMF's requirements are sidelining European and democratic values
  • [03] Four-hour work stoppage at the metro on Friday
  • [04] Greek parties hail Supreme Court's decision to refuse extradition of Turkish army officers
  • [05] Greek competition authority approves Sklavenitis-Marinopoulos deal

  • [01] 'A good discussion on Greece,' Moscovici says after Eurogroup

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Spinthourakis) Greece has achieved remarkable results and "we are not very far from achieving the goal," European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici commented on Thursday, in a press conference after Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels. He expressed confidence that a swift resumption of talks on completing the second review was possible if everyone puts in "their best effort".

    Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, though more cautious in his assessment, said that the Greek economy was recovering more quickly than expected, with Greece set to surpass fiscal targets in 2016. "We encourage them to continue in this way and implement reforms," he said.

    Dijsselbloem said the Greek economy had entered a path of growth and fiscal reform and that there was a "joint interest" in rapidly completing negotiations to conclude the second review of the Greek programme.

    Moscovici said the discussion at the Eurogroup had been good and that he was "more optimistic" about concluding the review. Only two or three points were still outstanding, he said, while the Council considered that a mechanism to ensure Greece's fiscal stability was necessary.

    "Nobody wants a return to the past," the Commissioner added, expressing hope that the institutions will soon be back in Athens if all sides do what must be done.

    European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director Klaus Regling referred to the short- and medium-term measures adopted to relieve Greece's debt burden.

    [02] Tsakalotos: IMF's requirements are sidelining European and democratic values

    The demands put forward by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which require that Greece legislates now for measures that will be implemented after the end of the current bailout program are sidelining democratic values, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Thursday, after a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

    "You cannot request a country to legislate for what it will do as of 2019. In this way, European and democratic values are sidelined," the minister said, noting that this would commit future governments of a European country.

    Speaking about the meeting, Tsakalotos said all participants recognized that Greece has made great progress and that the Greek economy can achieve growth. "In all the meetings, we found common ground. Greek growth is doing much better than many expected," he said.

    Commenting on the pending program review, he said everyone noted the importance of reaching a solution quickly. He then asked to consider the IMF's demand for legislating precautionary measures that concern the period after 2018, saying if the country is making such progress, "new measures are not so necessary".

    [03] Four-hour work stoppage at the metro on Friday

    Athens will not have a metro service for four hours on Friday due to a work stoppage called by the drivers' union which is holding a general meeting. Lines 2 and 3 will remain closed from noon until four in the afternoon (12:00-16:00).

    [04] Greek parties hail Supreme Court's decision to refuse extradition of Turkish army officers

    Greek parties unanimously hailed the ruling of the Supreme Court on Thursday to reject an extradition request issued by Turkey for eight army officers who fled to Greece after the failed coup attempt last July, saying the rule of law has been upheld.

    "Greece has laws, there's full respect for the separation of powers and complies with all international agreements signed by the Greek state. The Supreme Court decided on the basis of those principles," SYRIZA said in a press release, commenting on the decision.

    New Democracy's shadow justice minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said the ruling was based on Greece's laws "upholding the country's prestige" and proved "the respect to European law and values, a cornerstone of which is the European Convention on Human Rights."

    "The Supreme Court ruling rightly takes into consideration the scope of protection of the asylum seeking Turkish officers," the Communist Party said. "From the first moment, the Communist Party argued that it is required to respect laws guaranteeing the rights of asulym seekers," it added.

    The Democratic Coalition (DIMAR) said the decision shows Greece "does not trade human lives, national and international rules, values and principles. The rule of law and respect for human rights is above any expediency".

    Potami said the top court took a "brave and fair decision" not to extradite the officers and didn't "bulk" under the pressures of diplomacy. "It operated taking primarily into consideration the human value and human rights that underpin the European legal culture and Greek laws," it said.

    On the same issue, the Centrists' Union MP Marios Georgiadis said the ruling confirms the independence of Greek Justice "which respects international law and human rights."

    [05] Greek competition authority approves Sklavenitis-Marinopoulos deal

    Greece's competition authority on Thursday approved the acquisition of Marinopoulos' supermarket stores by Sklavenitis, under conditions known to the public for the last two weeks. As a precondition for approving the deal, the authority required Sklavenitis Group to implement a series of commitments, such as liquidating 22 stores and to maintain for a transition period of three years and under conditions all commercial partnership agreements signed between Marinopoulos and small local suppliers.

    The authority said that these structural measures were "adequate, appropriate and proportional" for ensuring conditions of efficient competition in the supermarket sector on a local level and in the procurement market in Greece.


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