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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 <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Pavlopoulos: Austerity a dead-end policy, contrary to EU's founding principles
  • [02] Farmers break through police cordon, head for Evzones customs post
  • [03] Primary budget surplus for 2016 expected to reach 2 pct, Fiscal Policy GenSec tells 'Naftemporiki'

  • [01] Pavlopoulos: 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] Farmers break through police cordon, head for Evzones customs post

    Protesting farmers and livestock breeders at the Central Macedonia roadblock arrived at the Evzones customs post on the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Monday afternoon, after breaking through a police cordon barring their way shortly after 16:30.

    Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), farmer Giorgos Terzis said that farmers were now organising their tractors and would decide what their next move within the hour.

    Earlier, reports had said that more and more farmers were reinforcing a roadblock set up one kilometre from the Idomeni junction and 1.5 kilometres from the border, with new farmers arriving from Kilkis, Giannitsa, Halkidona and elsewhere. A police cordon stationed across the Thessaloniki-Evzones national highway to prevent them reaching the border was taken by surprise and allowed them to get through.

    [03] Primary budget surplus for 2016 expected to reach 2 pct, Fiscal Policy GenSec tells 'Naftemporiki'

    Greece's primary budget surplus in 2016 is expected to significantly exceed a 0.5 pct of GDP target and reach 2 pct of GDP, General Secretary for Fiscal Policy Fragkiskos Koutentakis told the Greek daily "Naftemporiki" in an interview published on Monday.

    Koutentakis said the government was still awaiting the figures from general government bodies to get a clearer picture of the result but "did not expect any bad surprises," while noting that the final "verdict" will be given by Greece's national statistical authority ELSTAT and the EU's statistics agency EUROSTAT.


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