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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-04-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek debt 'absolutely sustainable'
  • [02] Lyrid meteor shower peak on Friday, Earth Day
  • [03] Greece-UAE cooperatrion accord
  • [04] Accounts deficit down
  • [05] Fireworks warehouse explosion
  • [06] Major drug bust
  • [07] ASE opening: Strong rise
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines ´╗┐

  • [01] Greek debt 'absolutely sustainable'

    Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Wednesday said the countryÔs public debt was "absolutely sustainable" and categorically rejected -once again- speculation over a debt restructuring.

    Speaking to reporters, the Greek minister stressed that "a restructuring carries huge risks for the economy, the banking system, households and enterprises," and added that "we insist on implementing our program as in marketÔs mind, the debtÔs sustainability depends on the progress of the program". Papaconstantinou attributed the reaction of markets last Friday when the government unveiled its Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Framework, which pushed Greek bond spreads higher, to speculation of a debt restructuring.

    The finance minister noted that the governmentÔs aim was "returning to markets the soonest possible and definitely in early 2012" and said there were two alternative solutions to covering interest payment needs totaling 27 billion euros next year: Either the market returns to markets if spreads are not prohibitive, or seeking funding from a European Financial Stability Mechansim. "No one intends to lead Greece into a dead-end," Papaconstantinou said and announced that diaspora bonds for Greeks living abroad would be launched after June.

    A goal of raising 15 billion euros from privatizations in a period of three years was "absolutely feasible" and noted that the goal of raising 50 billion euros by 2015 would be covered largely by exploiting the stateÔs real estate property.

    A group of experts from the troika will visit Athens in early May, followed by the heads of the troika in mid-May, in order to finalize certain fields of the Medim-term Fiscal Strategy Framework. Papaconstantinou said there wonÔt be additional cuts in wages and pensions, or VAT increases. He said that the ministry will present an action plan to combat tax-evasion by the end of next week.

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


    [02] Lyrid meteor shower peak on Friday, Earth Day

    People in the northern hemisphere, including Greece, will be treated to a celestial 'fireworks' show this week, as the Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 22, Earth Day, with the greatest visibility between Friday night and just before dawn Saturday.

    The Lyrids, are a strong meteor shower occurring annually in mid-to-late April, and take their name from the constellation Lyra, where the radiant of the meteor shower appears to be located, but the source of the meteor shower is actually the periodic Comet C/1861 Thatcher.

    It is the oldest meteor shower recorded by humans, with the first recorded observation being in 687 BC by a Chinese man who wrote of "stars falling like rain".

    The 'shooting stars' are in actuality the dusty trail of the comet Thatcher. Particles the size of grains of sand shed by the comet shoot through the sky at over 100,000 miles per hour that "light up" when the reach the earth's atmosphere.

    Photo by ANA-MPA/EPA/G. Licovski)

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


    [03] Greece-UAE cooperatrion accord

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and his United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the promotion of economic and commercial cooperation between Greece and the United Arab Emirates, following the conclusion of the joint ministerial EU-Gulf Cooperation Council held in Abu Dhabi.

    A committee is being created with this agreement under the chairmanship of the two Foreign ministers, that will coordinate the promotion of bilateral relations in a wide spectrum of sectors and it is expected to constitute the institutional mechanism for the promotion of bilateral economic and commercial relations. The committee is anticipated to convene once a year, in turn in Athens and in Abu Dhabi.

    Droutsas also met on the sidelines of the meeting with his counterparts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman and exchanged views on developments in the region and Libya in particular.

    The Greek minister said Libya may be attracting the attention of the international community more at the moment, but it must not overshadow the fact that in many other countries in the region reforms have been scheduled in the right direction, without violence having prevailed.

    He reiterated that the EU, and Greece in particular, will support the efforts of the countries in the region, without dictating any reforms model, because the solution must ultimately come from the countries interested themselves, so that it will be viable in the longt term.

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


    [04] Accounts deficit down

    Greece's current accounts deficit fell by 2.0 billion euros, or 29.7 pct in the first two months of 2011, compared with the same period last year, to 4.7 billion euros, while the deficit fell by 38 pct in February 2011 compared with the same month in 2010, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday.

    The account deficit decreased substantially to 1.959 billion euros in February, from 3.159 billion in February 2010. This narrowing in the deficit reflects primarily a considerable increase of 1.091 billion euros in the current transfer receipts of general government (mainly from the EU) and, secondarily, a 237 million euros decline in non-oil imports, a 142 million rise in exports of goods excluding oil and ships, and an 82 million decrease in net payments for interest, dividends and profits.

    These developments more than offset a 322 million rise in the net oil import bill, the central bank said in a report. The improvement in the trade deficit excluding oil and ships reflects the continued recovery of export receipts in this category (up by 17.2%) and a decrease in the corresponding import bill by 5.5%.

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


    [05] Fireworks warehouse explosion

    Three people were injured when an explosion occurred shortly after 7:30 on Wednesday evening in a storehouse in the city of Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, during the making of fireworks for the "fireworks battle" that takes place at Easter on the city's west coast.

    The explosion took place due to unspecified causes and the fireworks exploded, while due to the gunpowder kept in the storehouse an ensuing fire spread but was eventually placed under control.

    The three injured persons are a 29-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man. The first two have been taken to a hospital in Kalamata and the elderly man, who was initially taken to the Kalamata hospital, was being taken to the Thriasio hospital, in Attica, to be treated for serious burns.

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


    [06] Major drug bust

    Attica drug squad police arrested two people and seized large quantities of narcotics in two incidents in Ilion and nearby Peristeri on Wednesday.

    Police seized a large quantity of narcotics and arrested an Albanian national during a raid Wednesday night of an apartment in the Ilion district used as a warehouse by an organised Albanian drug trafficking ring, police said on Thursday.

    An Albanian man, serving as a guard of the apartment, was arrested during the raid, while 271 kilos of cannabis, 2,800 euros in cash, two cell phones and two cars were seized.

    The investigation was continuing on Thursday to locate and arrest other members of the organisation.

    In a second incident, a 31-year-old man was arrested for possession and trafficking of large quantities of heroin.

    A total of 1.286 kilos of heroin and small quantity of cannabis and other items were found in the man's possession and seized.

    The detainees in both incidents will appear before a public prosecutor on Thursday.

    (Photo: ANA-MPA/Greek Police)

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


    [07] ASE opening: Strong rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.86 percent, standing at 1,425.74 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 27.783 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Food % Beverage, up 3.87 percent; Travel & Recreation, up 2.11 percent; and Banks, up 1.89 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Commerce, down 0.34 percent; and Personal Goods, down 0.44 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.77 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.82 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 1.37 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 59 were up, 15 were down, and 17 were unchanged.

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


    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Economic issues and increasing speculation of restructuring of the Greek debt were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Thursday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The 25,000 public administration governors/directors will be 'greenguards' (PASOK-affiliated)".

    AVGHI: "Collapse of state revenues, stocks and bonds - Instead of the targeted 8.5 percent increase, state revenues in first quarter of the year fell by 8.5 percent, falling short by 2.8 billion euros".

    AVRIANI: "Greece another Lehman Brothers, heading full speed to bankruptcy".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "'Settlement' of unlicensed buildings at cut-rate prices".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Settlement procedures for unlicensed buildings".

    ESTIA: "Last chance for the prime minister".

    ETHNOS: "Settlement for unlicensed buildings after Easter".

    IMERISSIA: "The 'piranhas' are here - Supply of medical materials at prices 20 times up".

    KATHIMERINI: "GENOP (Public Power Corporation employees' union) received 31.2 billion euros (in subsidies from PPC) for posters and excursions".

    LOGOS: "Shocking report on funding from PPC to GENOP".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "25 billion euros sought for the needs in 2012".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Battle against the abolition of state hospitals and IKA (state Social Security Foundation) units".

    TA NEA: "GENOP Tours - Shocking report on the PPC trade unionists".

    VRADYNI: "Panic over the revenues".

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

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