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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-07-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin satisfied with course of economy, meeting with PM
  • [02] PASOK leader meets with central bank chief
  • [03] Greece calls on Israel, Lebanon for self-restraint

  • [01] FinMin satisfied with course of economy, meeting with PM

    National economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis on Thursday described as "satisfactory" the course of the Greek economy in the first half of 2006, speaking to reporters after a meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Alogoskoufis briefed the prime minister on the EU's ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings held during the past week and on the course of the economy in the first half of the year.

    The development of the economy, growth and all economic indicators is satisfactory, including employment rates and budget, Alogoskoufis said after the meeting.

    The budget development in the area of spending and revenues was very good during the first half of 2006, better than anticipated, Alogoskoufis said, adding that the budget issue is not over yet and that efforts need to continue to contain spending and improve revenues so as to have the best possible results.

    Alogoskoufis added that all issues concerning the public utilities (DEKO) will be discussed in the Inter-ministerial Committee meeting to take place next week. He said that there is no issue of public utilities‚ rate hikes, stressing that the DEKO operational programmes are the ones that need to be implemented in order to lift the economic burden off the shoulders of the Greek people.

    [02] PASOK leader meets with central bank chief

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Thursday met with Bank of Greece governor Nick Garganas, and discussed matters related to the central bank's supervision of the banking system and the problems in the sector due to competition, rising interest rates, commissions, and the development of borrowing by households.

    During the meeting, which was also attended by PASOK officer for economic affairs Vasso Papandreou, the main opposition party stressed that it endorsed the independence of the Bank of Greece and its role regarding the depicition of the true state of the economy.

    PASOK was also in favour of strengthening the central bank's supervisory role, given the problems that existed with respect to competition among the commercial banks, the excessive borrowing by households, the big difference between deposit and loan interest rates, and the commissions imposed on transactions.

    [03] Greece calls on Israel, Lebanon for self-restraint

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Thursday spoke of "dramatic developments" and a "worsening of the situation" on the Libanon-Israeli border, replying to a press question concerning Israel's bombing of targets in Lebanon on Wednesday.

    Replying to questions at a regular press briefing, Koumoutsakos stressed the danger of a generalised conflagration in the Middle East, and underlined Athens' "grave concern".

    He called on the Hezbollah to release the two Israeli soldiers it has seized, and on Israel to avoid "excessive, disproportional and purposeless" use of violence.

    Koumoutsakos called on all sides to display "calmness, self-restraint and responsibility".

    Greece, the spokesman said, was already participating in the ongoing deliberations at the UN Security Council (on which it holds a non-permament seat) and the European Union, but added that, for the time being, it appeared that the EU members were somewhat divided on their assessments.

    Koumoutsakos added that the Greek foreign ministry agencies were on stand-by, adding that an exit route via Syria for all foreign nations in Lebanon who wished to leave the country remained open.

    An as yet undetermined number of Greek business executives and tourists are currently in Lebanon.


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