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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-01-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin interview on economy
  • [02] Samaras: Econ policy 'killing growth'
  • [03] Arson attacks
  • [04] 'Stories of Coins, Narrations of Cities' exhibition
  • [05] Growth-oriented measures
  • [06] New growth model 

  • [01] FinMin interview on economy

    (ANA-MPA) -- The solutions put forward, such as the euro-bond, help but do not aim at postponement of today's difficult decisions, finance minister George Papaconstantinou stressed in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday, adding that the fundamental rule for achieving fiscal adjustment in Greece is succeeding with the deep and tough changes and radical reforms in the state in the next three years.

    On objections to the issue of a euro-bond, Papaconstantinou observed in his interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper that the voices openly in favor, or at least of examining the matter, have increased, compared with the few voices just a few months ago. (ANA-MPA)

    Regarding Monday's eurogroup meeting and the prospect of a decision being taken for extending the repayment period for Greece 110 billion euro EU/IMF support loan, the minister explained that this will require procedures that cannot be completed, nor even decided, in just one day. (ANA-MPA)

    The finance minister further denied press reports that Greece has proposed a "mild restructuring" of its debt and, commenting on negative forecasts by analysts and markets, he said that the forecasts are not "divine law" and explained that, in the real economy, the human decisions reverse the facts and conditions and can radically alter the prospects. (ANA-MPA)

    Regarding the rating houses and Fitch's recent announcement on Greece, Papaconstantinou cited the positive quarterly assessment of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, and noted that the decisions of the rating firms should be determined by real facts rather than forecasts for the future, which are based on many predictions that frequently are unfounded. (ANA-MPA)

    On the fight against tax evasion, Papaconstantinou acknowledged that "we have not reached our targets on the matter of punishment of the tax dodgers", adding that the next target will be the creation of an effective and convincing system of penalties for tax evasion. (ANA-MPA)

    Regarding the country's return to positive growth rates, the minister said he is more optimistic than he was a few months ago. (ANA-MPA)

    Papaconstantinou further assured that the actions contained in the Memorandum "are not law, but contractual commitments and, in their overwhelming majority, are subject to parliamentary approval". (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [02] Samaras: Econ policy 'killing growth'

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras renewed his attack on the government's economic policy on Saturday, at the same time pledging that he will continue his "anti-Memorandum" policy line, based on the principles of social liberalism.

    "If we are a popular party, it is because we look out for the poor classes," Samaras said, opening a meeting of the central committee of the ND-affiliated DAKE labor organisation in the private sector, and underscored the "triptych of Growth, Competitiveness and Social Cohesion" as "the only road for the country to exit the crisis". (ANA-MPA)

    He said ND was showing its "new face", which was being well received by the Greek people, as indicated by the fact that in just one year -- and coming from a heavy defeat (in national elections) -- it has managed to eliminate the difference from its opponent (ruling PASOK). (ANA-MPA)

    Greece can exit the crisis only with development, Samaras reiterated, and strongly opposed the government's across-the-board cutbacks in the public sector and reduction of the low incomes. (ANA-MPA)

    "Most everyone inside and outside Greece believes that this 'policy of the Memorandum' cannot bring us out of the current situation, and that it has indeed led Greece to an impasse," Samaras said, adding that ND has been vindicated for the determination it manifested with its 'no to the Memorandum'. (ANA-MPA)

    Samaras further maintained that the "alternative proposal for exiting the crisis with growth and recovery, rather than recession" that he has proposed "will take us out of the present impasse", adding that an ever increasing number of people agree with it. (ANA-MPA)

    Quite the opposite, he continued, "the government is killing growth with the asphyxiation it is imposing, torpedoing competitiveness with a vertical increase in taxes, and destroying the social cohesion through the downgrading of the incomes, and chiefly of those who are not to blame for the present crisis", while the climbing unemployment "has now affected each and every family in Greece". (ANA-MPA)

    Samaras also outlined the negative prospects for 2011, saying that unemployment was already running at 13.5 percent and would overshoot the Memorandum's prediction of 14 percent at the end of the year. (ANA-MPA)

    In addition, the government has cut back the Public Investments Program to a "desperate degree and consequently there is no private demand, there is no public demand, there are no new investments, and this has dried up, stifled, the market", while the cuts in the low incomes have aggravated the vicious cycle of recession, Samaras said, charging that the PASOK government "cannot understand that, apart from the fact that this money does not go into the market, this money is not spent, and creates the biggest injustice, because it has been taken away from the poorer classes". (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [03] Arson attacks

    Arson attacks took place in the early hours of Sunday in the greater Athens districts of Vyronas, Moschato and Halandri.

    A home-made incendiary device made of small propane canisters exploded at the entrance of a Proton Bank branch in Vyronas, causing damage to the facade and a fire that was extinguished by firefighters.

    A second incendiary device exploded at the entrance of a ruling PASOK former local office in Moschato that had closed 10 days earlier. The explosion broke the office's windows.

    A third device exploded outside a construction firm in Halandri, causing external damage.

    Security police are investigating the three incidents.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [04] 'Stories of Coins, Narrations of Cities' exhibition

    (ANA-MPA) -- Rare coins dating many centuries back in time and representative of the ancient Hellenic world, with the focus on the Black Sea and Asia Minor regions, are on display at the Foundation of the Hellenic World (FWH), or "Hellenic Cosmos" as it is more popularly known.

    "The FWH numismatics collection is the fourth largest Asia Minor collection in the world, and reached Greece in 2007, from a German collector who wanted to sell it," Foundation managing director Dimitris Efraimoglou told ANA-MPA.

    He noted that only a part of the collection is currently on exhibit, but gradually the entire collection will be on display.

    The exhibition, titled "Stories of Coins, Narrations of Cities", presents coins depicting gods and deities of antiquity, nymphs and heroes worshipped in the city or kingdom that minted the coin, depictions of temples and public buildings, statues that were found in sacred or public places, the region's flora and fauna, and even themes from Homer's Iliad. (ANA-MPA)

    A total of 160 coins from the Collection of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, the fourth largest coin collection from Asia Minor in the world, are initially on display. Geographically the exhibition covers the largest part of the ancient Hellenic world, from Thrace to Mesopotamia, while it covers the time span between the 6th century BC and the 3rd century AD. Unique representations and inscriptions on the coins bring to light unknown information about every aspect of life during that period of time.

    The Coin Collection of the Foundation of the Hellenic World includes more than 13,000 coins and was purchased from the German collector Karl Eduard Reinhard Donat on the 29th of November 2007. It is the fourth largest coin collection from Asia Minor in the world. The rarest and most representative coins have been selected for the exhibition. (ANA-MPA)

    The presentation of the coins is based in the illustrations on the coins, on the obverse (front side) and reverse (back side), as we all as to the information that can be drawn from these illustrations. The coins are exhibited in ten showcases, each one dealing with a specific subject matter.

    The newly acquired numismatic collection purchased from the German collector was built up by three generations of collectors from the same family in accordance with the European humanitarian ideals of the 19th and early 20th century. As relics of the past the coins have a close association with ancient Greek history and the civilisation of the Hellenic cities and kingdoms. (ANA-MPA)

    The collection of 13,689 coins and objects consists of 12,854 ancient Greek coins, dating from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, 254 Byzantine coins, 320 Byzantine lead seals, 104 Arabo-Byzantine coins of the Artukid dynasty, 99 seals and weights and 58 small objects.

    The coins represent most of the regions of the ancient Hellenic world, from present-day France to Egypt, with emphasis on the Black Sea area and Asia Minor. (ANA-MPA)

    The Foundation of the Hellenic World decided to purchase this collection not only to repatriate an important part of the country's cultural heritage but also because of the particular geographical focus of the objects, which coincides with the areas of Hellenism in which the Foundation aims to specialise.

    Most of the coins on display in the exhibition are rare, and they cover a geographical area from Thrace to Mesopotamia. (ANA-MPA)

    A permanent exhibition of the collection at "Hellenic Cosmos" is in the course of preparation. The collection is already accessible to the academic community, and it will be published in full in the international numismatic series Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. (ANA-MPA)

    The exhibition will run through February 28.

    Photo by ANA-MPA.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [05] Growth-oriented measures

    Government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos called for the government's policy and taxation to be more development-oriented, in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday.

    It is something that has begun with a series of legislation, Pangalos said in an interview with the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper, and admitted that "we have delayed a bit on this", but added that "it is not that simple, like pushing a button and commencing development, in other words convincing businesspeople to make investments".

    On economic developments, Pangalos confirmed that "we have not asked, nor intend to ask" a restructuring of the country's debt, and also defended the government's measures, noting that "we didn't have time for experimentation".

    He also appeared confident that Greece can achieve a primary surplus, "in other words to bring down the deficit to under 3 percent (of GDP) in order to halt the rise in the debt" by 2012-2013.

    This, however, "does not save us from the problem, and that is why we must turn our attention to growth", Pangalos stressed.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [06] New growth model

    (ANA-MPA) -- The creation of a new growth model is a one-way path for Greece, Regional Development and Competitiveness minister Michalis Chryssohoidis stressed during a visit to Kozani on Saturday evening.

    The minister had lengthy meetings with representatives of the productive classes and agencies from all four prefectures of Western Macedonia, urging them to turn to investments oriented to the production of innovative products. (ANA-MPA)

    The government's effort is not a rhetorical or propagandistic one, but a national effort, he said, and called for everyone's contribution to creating a new growth model and bringing the country out of the crisis. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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