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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Austerity a dead-end policy, contrary to EU's founding principles
  • [02] European Commission works for the conclusion of the second review, says Breidthardt
  • [03] Second review delay "credit negative' for Greek banks, Moody's report
  • [04] New finds on Keros confirm its important role in antiquity
  • [05] Greek commerce wants reduction of bank charges on POS
  • [06] Third man dies in Moria hotspot

  • [01] Austerity a dead-end policy, contrary to EU's founding principles

    LISBON (ANA/ D. Kourkouli) The European Union needs to shift away from dead-end austerity policies, which are shrinking the GDP of most EU member-states and enlarging their debt, while negatively affecting both sustainable growth and social cohesion in the EU, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Monday.

    Pavlopoulos made the statement during a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe.

    Replying to an ANA question during a joint press conference with de Sousa, Pavlopoulos also referred to the creditors demand that Greece pass legislation for "preventive measures" taking effect in 2019, after the end of the current bailout programme. Such a demand was "unprecedented" in European history, he said, while such pressures were incompatible with European ideals.

    According to Greece's president, the current austerity policies must be replaced by an economic policy that harmoniously combines action to eliminate deficits and wasteful spending and to tackle the debt crisis with achieving sustainable growth.

    "This policy must support the necessary reforms and the appropriate investments, as well as a rationally designed boost to liquidity and demand. Such a policies will also support the fundamental gains of European democracy and European culture; in other words, the social state of law," Pavlopoulos added.

    He also noted that the meeting with his Portuguese counterpart was taking place at a time when their countries and the EU as a whole were being tested by a double crisis: the refugee crisis and economic crisis.

    "Our countries and our people have suffered - and continue to be subjected to - the repercussions of a specific economic austerity policy, which not only leads nowhere but is also contrary to the principles and values on which the European edifice was founded," he said. "These are the reasons why Greece and Portugal must work together closely and with determination in order to overcome this crisis that I mentioned as soon as possible and thus defend not only our own countries and people but also our great European family," Pavlopoulos added.

    Regarding the refugee crisis, he noted that this could not be tackled without the immediate and final end of the war in Syria and surrounding regions while noting that the EU must act in accordance with international and European law and "not phobic syndromes."

    [02] European Commission works for the conclusion of the second review, says Breidthardt

    BRUSSELS(ANA/Ch.Vassilaki)--- The European Commission remains "committed" to the conclusion of the second review of the Greek programme as soon as possible, said European Commission responsible for Financial Issues Annika Breidthardt during a press briefing on Monday.

    "We are working closely with the Greek authorities and the other partners for the conclusion of the review" she noted adding that "we continue to be working on all the open issues."

    Asked to comment on IMF's report calling the Greek debt "extremely non sustainable", Breidthardt said that "the European Commission welcomes the short-term measures" adopted by ESM. "Europe has committed to support Greece with additional measures after the end of the programme if necessary and on the condition that Greece has implemented all the reforms," she stressed.

    European Commission's representative underlined that Greece and Europe have agreed on an 'ambitious' and 'credible' reform agenda as well as on a respective fiscal course during the programme.

    Concluding, Breidthardt reiterated ESM's view that there is no reason for scaremongering over tthe condition or the the debt in Greece.

    [03] Second review delay "credit negative' for Greek banks, Moody's report

    A delay in concluding a second review of the Greek support programe threatens to put at risk the restructuring programes of Greek banks, Moody's Credit Rating said in its Credit Outlook weekly report released on Monday.

    Moody's said that a continuing delay in concluding a second review was credit negative for Greek banks since it put at risk their restructuring programes, including their basic axis to reduce NPEs by around 40 pct by the end of 2019. It added that a timely implementation of Greek support programe was of crucial importance for economic growth in the period 2017-2019 and to gradually restore depositors' and investors' confidence in the country and its banking system.

    The credit rating agency noted that a delay in concluding a second review was focusing on Greece's disagreement to legislate new fiscal measures for the period after August 2018, when a third economic adjustment programe ends. This raised the danger of abandoning banks' strategic planning, as the crisis-hit economy was possible to be negatively affected by a possible freeze in new investments and a credit crunch in the market, Moody's said.

    Greek banks want the government to conclude a review of a framework on the management of non-performing loans, expecting this tools to help them to resolve this problem, Moody's said in its Credit Outlook report, adding that concluding the review was also important in allowing Greek banks to improve their funding profile by raising deposits and reducing dependence from the ELA borrowing mechanism.

    The credit rating agency said that a long-awaited inclusion of Greek bonds in an ECB's QE programe, expected sometime this spring, also depended on concluding the second review. "A reduction of ELA and higher deposits will contribute to lowering banks' funding cost and boost their profits," Moody's said.

    Moody's warned that any further delay in the second review had the risk of not allowing banks to implement their restructuring plans and to return to profitability. "Such a scenario could place banks into a more vulnerable position ahead of a new round of stress tests to be conducted by ECB in 2018, significantly raising risks for creditors and depositors," Moody's noted.

    [04] New finds on Keros confirm its important role in antiquity

    One of ancient Greece's most enigmatic sites has revealed new levels of complexity after a decade of investigation. An impressive staircase and a causeway linking two parts of the Cycladic site of Daskalio Kavos are as old as the Pyramids, according to Times article.

    "The world's earliest maritime sanctuary" as described by British archaeologist Sir Colin Renfrew lies on the remote and uninhabited island of Keros in the southern Cyclades, between the larger centres of Naxos and Santorini, which were also important in the Bronze Age. Kavos is a stony, scrub-covered hillside, Daskalio a rocky islet just offshore linked by a now-submerged causeway.

    Where the causeway meets the steep slope at Kavos, the most recent excavations have uncovered the stairway, mounting the hillside towards the two areas of "ritual depositions".

    Thousands of fragmented parts of cycladic figurines as well as basins and ceramic vessels were found. The most impressive is that no whole figurine has been found or parts that 'fit' together meaning that the parts arrived to Kavos already fragmented.

    Moreover none of the over 500 figurine parts or of the 2,500 strange parts of marble basins have not found its other part in any cycladic object found elsewhere.

    In 2008 were found on Daskalio the remnants of a 16m-long stone sanctuary dated between 2,500 and 2,400 BC which had been abandoned in 2,000 BC. According to Renfrew it is the largest known building of Early-Cycladic Period which has the most impressive public architecture in Cyclades that is found nowhere else in the wider region of the Aegean Sea.

    It was the most important ritual center in the Cyclades in the middle of the Aegean from early 3,000 BC , 500 years earlier that any other ritual center in the prehistoric Aegean, said professor Renfrew.

    [05] Greek commerce wants reduction of bank charges on POS

    Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) begins a new round of meetings with government ministers, Hellenic Bank Association and the Bank of Greece to discuss a drastic reduction of charges by Greek banks and their harmonization with European levels.

    ESEE president Vasilis Korkidis, ahead of the obligatory introduction of payment card use from February 1, 2017, asked members of the Confederation to be careful and to select POS providers from the Greek market, avoiding the use of POS from foreign banks to have settlement of their electronic transactions outside the country. "These practices are sliding over capital controls therefore are illegal and bring enterprises face-to-face with huge fines, multiple of the benefit they could have from the use of such POS," Korkidis said.

    "The commerce community of the country wants the expanded use of electronic payments by card but it demands a loosening of bank changes and commissions impose on these transactions. Complaints from all over Greece over excessive bank charges, are constantly rising and in several cases the cost of this charge is putting a break on expanding electronic transactions in the country," Korkidis said.

    [06] Third man dies in Moria hotspot

    A 20-year old Pakistani was found dead early Monday at Moria hotspot on Lesvos. It is the third incident in Moria in the last ten days.

    On Saturday a 45-year old man from Syria was found dead outside his tent in Moria and on Tuesday 24 January a 22 year-old man from Egypt died in Moria.

    In both cases the initial autopsy was not able to find the causes of the two men's death. A histological and a toxicological examination was ordered to examine the possibility of fumes or other gases poisoning.

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