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Greece Outperforms Primary Surplus Target for Third Year in a Row

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ATHENS: Greece has recorded a primary surplus of 4.0 percent of GDP, or 7.080 billion euros, in 2017, according to data released on Monday by country’s independent statistics agency (ELSTAT). This is the third year in a row that Greece outperforms the target outlined under the bailout agreement. The target for 2017 was set at 1.75 percent. A government official, speaking to ... Read More »

Rights groups press Greek government on migrant ruling

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ATHENS: Rights groups on Thursday pressed the Greek government to comply with a court ruling to allow migrants to move freely within Greece instead of being confined to six Aegean islands. The Greek section of Amnesty International and local group SolidarityNow also called for the ruling by Greece’s top administrative court to be made retroactive so that some 15,000 migrants ... Read More »

Greek businesses as EIF and National Bank of Greece sign new EU guarantee agreements

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ATHENS: From very small businesses and start-ups to mid sized enterprises, more than 5,000 companies will benefit from loans amounting to EUR 640 million. The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the National Bank of Greece (NBG)have signed three guarantee agreements worth €640 million to improve access to finance for small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greece. These agreements benefit from ... Read More »

Greece Sees €2.3B Budget Surplus in 2018

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ATHENS: Greece’s state budget primary surplus totaled €2.320 billion ($2.873 billion) in January-March this year, up from a budget target for a primary surplus of €1.096 billion and a primary surplus of €1.070 in the same period last year, the Finance Ministry said on Monday. In a report on the provisional state budget execution data, on an amended cash basis, ... Read More »

Athens rules out post-bailout precautionary credit line

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ATHENS: Greek government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, clarified the coalition’s position on some aspects of the country’s post-bailout program arrangement that is expected to be agreed with creditors.   Speaking to 24/7 radio station on Wednesday, Tzanakopoulos ruled out the possibility of Athens relying on a precautionary credit line to secure access to debt markets after the existing bailout program expires in ... Read More »

Investments and exports boosted Greek economic growth in 2017

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ATHENS: A rise in investments and exports of goods and services contributed to Greece’s economic growth rate of 1.4 pct last year, the European Central Bank said in its annual report for 2017, according to ANA. The ECB report noted that gross investments rose 15.7 pct in 2017, compared with a 3.7 pct increase in the Eurozone, while exports grew ... Read More »

Green shoots of recovery but little relief for Greeks

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ATHENS: In Athens and across the eurozone, there is a cautious sense of optimism over an economic disaster that very nearly broke not just a nation but the European Union. Nine years after Greece was first plunged into crisis, the country is anticipating a record tourist season this year, giving hope that recovery is finally on the way. News that ... Read More »

Uber to suspend its service in Greece

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ATHENS: Ride hailing service Uber said yesterday that it would suspend its licensed service in Athens after the approval of local legislation that imposed stricter regulation on the sector. Uber, which operates a licensed service in the Greek capital, has faced opposition from local taxi drivers who accuse it of taking their business. “New local regulations were voted on recently ... Read More »

Bank of Greece governor sues witnesses in Novartis probe

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ATHENS: Greece’s central bank governor on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against two witnesses who reportedly claimed he was among several senior politicians who received illicit perks from embattled Swiss pharma giant Novartis. Yannis Stournaras’ office said in a statement the two protected witnesses, known only under their aliases, should be punished for perjury and defamation. He also called on the ... Read More »

Greek debt relief plan linked to growth submitted by ESM and France

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ATHENS: A plan to provide debt relief that will be linked to Greece’s economic growth until 2050 has been submitted by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and France, according to a report in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper. The proposal includes the extension of loan repayment periods, setting an interest rate limit and linking debt relief to economic growth, the paper said, ... Read More »

Greek banks beat target to shrink bad loan mountain

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ATHENS:  Greek banks made further progress during last year’s fourth quarter in reducing their exposure to doubtful and non-performing loans, central bank data showed on Thursday. So-called non-performing exposures (NPEs) are the biggest challenge facing the sector and at the end of December they had fallen by 4.7 billion euros to 95.7 billion ($117.84 billion), or 43.1 percent of banks’ ... Read More »

Greek enterprises to explore China market through import expo in Shanghai

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ATHENS: Greece, speaks during a presentation on the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Athens, Greece, on March 29, 2018. Greek enterprises are gearing up to participate in the first CIIE, which will take place in Shanghai from Nov. 5-10, officials and business representatives said here Thursday. Read More »

Property owners in Greece facing significant increase in taxation

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ATHENS: The property market in Greece is bracing up for a bumpy ride, faced with a radical overhaul of the system of property evaluation. According to taxation experts, properties in low-income areas (currently valued at 550 – 700 euros per square meter) are expected to see their “objective value” rise significantly, leading to heavier taxation (and particularly a rise in ... Read More »

Greece’s Creditors Approve €6.7B in Bailout Funds

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ATHENS: The Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) said the move followed Athens’ completion of a range of reforms needed before the monies could be released. According to an ESM statement, the funds will be used for “debt service, domestic arrears clearance and for establishing a cash buffer”. The majority of the money will be released on Wednesday, with ... Read More »

Greek PM criticizes tax havens and calls for fiscal justice at European Council

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ATTHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the issue of tax havens during his speech at the European Council on Thursday, noting they undermine fiscal justice which is essential for the European Union and its citizens, ANA reports. According to government sources, he supported the EU proposal for the adoption of a European tax on digital service providers, with the ... Read More »

Death toll increases to 16 in Greek boat-sinking incident

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ATHENS: The death toll in the incident of the sinking of a boat at off a Greek island in the eastern Aegean region has increased to 16. It was earlier reported that 14 people were killed after a suspected people-smuggling boat capsized on Saturday. As reported by the Sputnik News Agency a large search and rescue operation was underway involving ... Read More »

Businessman plans to produce mini electric Hummer in Greece

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ATHENS: Greek entrepreneur Thanasis Lazanas is planning to invest up to 100 million euros in the Greek economy, with his flagship project being the construction of an electric vehicles plant. Lazanas restructured many enterprises before acquiring Arclif, a holdings company through which he is planning to create the first electric car factory in Greece. Arclif was better known for its ... Read More »

11 arrested in Greece on migrant smuggling charges

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ATHENS:  Greek police say they have arrested 11 people on suspicion of running a smuggling ring transporting hundreds of refugees and migrants from the Greek-Turkish land border to the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki over the past year. Police said Thursday the suspects Armenians, Georgians and Greeks had transported more than 360 people from the Greek side of the Evros ... Read More »

Greek economy reforms are quietly backsliding

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ATHENS: Greece’s planned August exit from its third European Stability Mechanism bailout, has triggered investor optimism. Its July 2017 bond issuance, the first in three years, was oversubscribed, as were subsequent issuances in February of this year. And yet financial investors should curb their optimism. Greece’s return to the markets, and its economic recovery, are likely to be a bumpy ... Read More »

Greek innovation drive catches Tesla’s attention

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ATHENS: Greek students dreamt up the Pyrforos electric vehicle, they never imagined their futuristic, energy-efficient invention would inspire US automaker Tesla to invest in their crisis-hit country. The tiny, pod-like car created by engineering students at the National Technical University of Athens has won cult status in Greece, and won a string of awards at the Shell Eco-Marathon championship. The ... Read More »