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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-04-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 2013 expected to be the best tourism year for Rhodes
  • [02] IMF mission chief: Fiscal adjustment programme on track

  • [01] 2013 expected to be the best tourism year for Rhodes

    AMNA--2013 will be a year-record for tourism on the island of Rhodes, according to data to date and the local tour agencies' estimations.

    The increase in the tourist flow is expected to reach 20 percent, which brings an air of optimism to the local economic entities.

    Despite the fact that the season has not started off very well, from the first days of June until the first ten days of October the tourism flow will make a dynamic reappearance, according to island officials.

    [02] IMF mission chief: Fiscal adjustment programme on track

    ANA-MPA -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief for Greece Poul Thomsen said on Monday that the IMF's Executive Board will convene in the second half of May to approve its share of 1.8 billion euro in a 6.0 billion euro tranche for Greece for the first quarter of 2013, while the European Commission is likely to approve its 4.2 billion share of the tranche at the Eurogroup meeting scheduled for May 13.

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    Based on the above timetable set out by Thomsen after a meeting earlier with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, the 6 billion euro tranche is due to be disbursed before May 20, when the 5.6 billion euro in Greek bonds held by the European Central Bank (ECB), which were not subject to the ‘haircut', mature.

    As for a balance of 2.8 billion euro outstanding from December, this is expected to be approved at a Euro Working Group in April.

    Thomsen said that for Greece's fiscal adjustment programme to remain on track, tax evasion must be dealt with, competitiveness (as regards prices) must be reinforces, and the reforms in the public sector need to move forward. The delays in these three sectors, according to the IMF representative, is the reason why the programme is considered unjust by the citizens, but the government is aware of these matters.

    On the public sector, Thomsen said that based on the agreement reached (between the government and the troika of lenders, comprising the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF), the long-term goal of departures is met, but added that everyone is aware that the public sector requires new and well-trained civil servants.

    The heads of the troika are slated to return to Athens in June for the next review of the Greek economy, while the government is expected to release the agreement reached during the current review possibly later on Monday.

    Speaking at an Economist conference in Athens also on Monday, Thomsen said Greece's fiscal adjustment programme is on track, adding that agreement has been achieved in the negotiations between the Greek government and the troika.

    Thomsen stressed that the achieving primary surpluses was a priority, and anticipated that Greece could attain its targets without new measures affecting salaries and pensions, provided the targets in relation to taxes were met.

    There are no more margins for cuts to salaries and pensions or increases in taxes, he noted.

    On the reduction in the number of civil servants, affecting those who do not perform, Thomsen said that a taboo still exists, but noted that there are a large number of new, talented people, who could replace them.

    He further stressed the need for dealing more efficiently with tax evasion. Many of the rich do not pay their taxes, he said, and acknowledged that the liberalisation of professions has not yet brought the expected result.

    On the banking system, Thomsen said that «we do not want the state to govern banks and the government to distribute the credits».

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