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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-11-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Rehn: Athens needs to restore confidence with Euro partners
  • [02] Papandreou tells ministers to have resignations ready
  • [03] ND leader Samaras: I will not allow anyone to doubt my word
  • [04] Banks' deposits fall to 183.2bln euros in Sept
  • [05] Stocks end 2.44% higher

  • [01] Rehn: Athens needs to restore confidence with Euro partners

    BRUSSELS (AMNA) -- European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn on Tuesday stressed that Greece's political classes had to accept their responsibilities, in statements after the end of an ECOFIN Council here.

    "Solidarity goes two ways," he said, repeating that the new 'national unity' government created by the two main Greek political parties must confirm in writing that they endorse the commitments arising from the agreement reached by Eurogroup leaders on Oct. 27.

    Rehn repeated that the 6th tranche of bailout loans to Greece will be disbursed only when it is absolutely clear that the Greek side is committed to the goals and policies foreseen under the Oct. 27 agreement and backs the new EU-IMF economic programme for the country.

    Asked to comment on the latest statement made by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras concerning the demand that he co-sign a letter agreeing to the terms of the Oct. 26-27 agreement, (AMNA) Rehn repeated that the surprise announcement of a referendum -- made by Greek PM George Papandreou early last week -- had "damaged relations of confidence" between Greece and the Eurozone, which now had to be restored.

    As a result, Greece's partners in Eurozone expected not just a written pledge from the new national unity government in Greece but also the actions that were a precondition for the 6th tranche, the start of negotiations to finalise the second programme and the participation of the private sector, Rehn said. AMNA

    [02] Papandreou tells ministers to have resignations ready

    AMNA / Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called on his ministers and deputy ministers to have their resignations ready, speaking during an urgently held Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, which lasted approximately half an hour. He also said that soon there will be a solution regarding who the new prime minister will be, government spokesman Ilias Mossialos told a press briefing afterwards.

    Mossialos also said that the deliberations with main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras were continuing.

    The spokesman explained that Papandreou did not ask to be given the Cabinet members' resignations, but that the resignations should be at his disposal at whatever moment he will need them.

    Addressing what is apparently this government's last Cabinet meeting, Papandreou outlined the global and European reality, as well as the role of the markets which, as a rule, operate independently and autonomously from the political system and democracy, he said.

    The procedure to be followed, as soon as Papandreou and Samaras reach an agreement on the prime minister and composition of the new coalition government, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will convene the Council of Political Party leaders, which will be attended by all party leaders desiring to do so. There, Papandreou will submit his resignation and the resignation of his government and announce the name of the new prime minister. After Papandreou, Samaras will announce his agreement with the new prime minister. After that, the new prime minister will set in motion the procedures for the formation of the new government and the swearing-in of the new government, and will seek a vote of confidence from Parliament.

    [03] ND leader Samaras: I will not allow anyone to doubt my word

    AMNA / Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Tuesday issued an official announcement in response to demands he sign a letter in support for the Oct. 26-27 EU summit agreements for Greece, as a condition for disbursing the 6th tranche of a bailout package for the country.

    "There is national dignity. I have already and repeatedly explained why, in order to protect the Greek economy and the euro, implementation of the Oct. 26 decisions has become inevitable. I will not allow anyone to doubt my word," he emphasised.

    In a later statement by ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis, following the same-day and controversial statements by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, stressed that "the fact Europe has lost every vestige of trust vis-a-vis the PASOK government cannot offend our national dignity." AMNA

    [04] Banks' deposits fall to 183.2bln euros in Sept

    AMNA / Banks suffered more withdrawals of savings deposits, both by households and enterprises, in September, the Bank of Greece announced on Tuesday.

    The central bank, in a report, said savings withdrawals totaled around 5.0 billion euros in September, with total reserves down 14 pct compared with the corresponding month last year.

    Private sector savings (enterprises and households) fell to 183.2 billion euros in September, from 188.6 billion euros in August, mainly reflecting withdrawals by Greek households (152.5 billion in September from 157.1 billion in August).

    This negative trend further worsens liquidity conditions (AMNA) for Greek banks which are turning towards the Bank of Greece to cover their liquidity needs, instead of the European Central Bank. Greek banks drained 26.7 billion euros from ELA, the extraordinary liquidity mechanism, in September, sharply up from 6.6 billion euros in August.

    Meanwhile, Greek banks are gradually reducing their dependence from ECB funding operations, with their debt to ECB falling to 77.8 billion euros in September, from 93 billion euros a month earlier. AMNA

    [05] Stocks end 2.44% higher

    AMNA / Stocks ended significantly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, as the market apparently banked on Lucas Papademos - a former ECB vice-president - being tapped to assume the premiership.

    A positive trend in other European markets, despite concern over Italy, also boosted sentiment in the market. The composite index rose 2.44 pct to end at 779.63 points, with turnover rising to 68.983 million euros. The Big Cap index jumped 3.51 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.57 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.90 pct. Hellenic Postbank (13.41 pct), Eurobank (12.16 pct), Alpha Bank (11.93 pct) and National Bank (11.86 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Marfin Popular Bank (3.06 pct) and Folli Follie (2.38 pct) were top losers. AMNA

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