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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-06-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Schaeuble 'proves he does not desire to see Greece on a path to growth,' says UGS chief Veniamis
  • [02] ELSTAT figures once again debunk ND's 'disaster' scenarios, PM's office says
  • [03] Refugees, migrants evacuated from Elliniko, send to Thebes and Kavala

  • [01] Schaeuble 'proves he does not desire to see Greece on a path to growth,' says UGS chief Veniamis

    The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) on Friday reacted angrily to suggestions made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that the Greek government had failed to keep promises to abolish a series of tax breaks for Greek shipping.

    In an announcement, UGS President Theodore Veniamis talked about an "unwarranted attack" against Greece over the Greek shipping sector, which represented 50 pct of the shipping sector of Europe, while noting that the German finance minister appeared ignorant of the extremely favourable regime governing Germany's shipping sector.

    "Mr. Schaeuble, pointedly overlooking the especially favourable regime governing German shipping, is turning with his statements against Greek shipping, which also happens to represent 50 pct of Community shipping, however - a primacy that clearly rankles.

    At a time with the European Union is called on to defend but also to enhance the competitiveness of its shipping against the tough competition from shipping centres outside Europe, Mr. Schaeuble's criticisms are provocatively without foundation," the announcement said.

    Veniamis said a question also arose whether the failure of German shipping policy, which despite the favourable regulations on all levels (ship ownership, management, individual), has not succeeded in supporting its shipping, was the motive that incited the minister to make such statements.

    "If the aim of his statements is to torpedo the close ties between Greek shipping and its country, he proves that he does not desire to see Greece on a path to growth.

    For Mr. Schaeuble's information, the Greek shipping community as a body has responded to the need to increase the revenues of the national economy, having decided four years ago on a voluntary basis to double its tax obligation even though this is historically protected by the constitution; an initiative that in practice proves its unity and its consistency toward the country," he added.

    [02] ELSTAT figures once again debunk ND's 'disaster' scenarios, PM's office says

    In an announcement commenting on the Greek GDP growth figures announced by the independent statistics agency ELSTAT on Friday, the prime minister's press office said that these had once again debunked the 'total disaster' scenarios painted by main opposition New Democracy and "reproduced by a large section of the systemic press".

    The Greek economy had gained the momentum to finally overcome the crisis, the announcement said, while decisions on the medium-term measures for the debt will be decisive and send a message to the partners and lenders "that there is no longer any reason for stonewalling."

    "We expect them to implement their commitments with a clean solution corresponding to the demands of the time and the sacrifices of the Greek people," the PM's press office added.

    The growth figures "irreparably expose those that greeted the previous estimates with malicious glee," the announcement said, while noting that the figures confirmed that the much-longed-for growth has already returned.

    Greece on Friday revised upwards its GDP figures for the first quarter, to an increase of 0.4 pct after a 0.5 pct decline initially recorded.

    The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), in a report, said that based on provisional data, the country's GDP grew 0.4 pct in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, after a 0.1 pct decline announced in May 15.

    The statistics service attributed this upward revision of GDP data to the integration of figures not available during the first estimate (monthly such as March balance of payments or quarterly such as turnover in the services sector and workforce survey).

    Household consumption grew 17 pct in the first quarter (from a 0.7 pct decline in the same period last year), while general government consumption grew 1.0 pct (down 3.5 pct in 2016). Exports of goods and services rose 4.8 pct (after a 10.4 pct fall in the first quarter of 2016) and imports of goods and services rose 10.9 pct (down 10.1 pct in 2016).

    Based on non seasonally-adjusted figures, the Greek GDP grew 0.8 pct in the January-March period this year compared with the same period in 2016, after a 0.3 pct decline earlier announced.

    [03] Refugees, migrants evacuated from Elliniko, send to Thebes and Kavala

    Police evacuated a total of 376 refugees and migrants from the former Elliniko airport in southern Athens on Friday, with the last busses leaving the former baseball and hockey fields.

    Most of the refugees will head to a refugee camp in Thebes, while three families will be sent to Kavala. Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas monitored the procedure and will then travel to Thebes.

    "Today concludes a difficult operation which was crowned with absolute success. Proper information, the humanism of the police forces, and the right way of implementing the operation had this result. It is a result that honors Greece because it showed it respects international law and human rights and honors the Greek government," the Migration ministry's general secretary Yiannetos Filippakos said, adding there were minimal objections which were quickly addressed.

    Asked why no journalists were allowed access to Elliniko, Filippakos argued that in an "operation plan, some rules have to be kept to protect the initial phase of the plan".

    He also explained that police will continue to guard the area until municipal crews clean it up in order to deliver the venue to the company "Elliniko SA."

    "They all left voluntarily from Elliniko without any problems," Police's Lieutenant General Zaharoula Tsirigoti, in charge of Aliens and Border Protection, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

    "It is indicative of the planning that everyone had a piece of paper with the particular container where they will be staying," she added.

    Medecines sans Frontieres spokesperson, Rebecca Murray, told ANA that in the last year the organisation offered medical assistance to the refugees and expressed concern because "this evacuation procedure does not help us continue offering our medical services."

    The head of the United Movement against Racism and Fascist Threat KEERFA told ANA that around 25 families living in the former airport opposed to their transfer to Thebes last night.


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