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PM George Papandreou at the White House

» Meeting with Obama

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with US President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.
After the meeting Papandreou said that the US is willing to work with the European Union to regulate the international financial system so speculators cannot target countries with troubled economies.
The premier said  that the issue of speculation will be discussed at the G20 summit in Canada, in June. The two leaders also discussed foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus issue, the integration of Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as Greece’s relations with Turkey.

» Visa Waiver

Furthermore, the US side announced that Greece will be included in the ‘visa waiver’ programme, thus enabling Greek citizens to travel to the US without a visa.
Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

Kathimerini daily: US joins fight against speculators
The White House: Honouring Greek Independence Day (21.35mins)

» Papandreou’s Op-ed

In an op-ed published in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), Papandreou notes that the Greek case is not an outlier, but one more flare-up in a broken system of financial regulation and predatory behaviour.
“If global economic growth is to be sustainable, we need better coordination and greater solidarity between nations… We must now establish and enforce clear rules to contain the inordinate power of markets over our national economies and our common currency – not for Greece’s sake, but for Europe’s,” he stresses.
Prime Minister’s website: Meeting with President Barack Obama: Prime Minister’s statement ; Brookings Institution: Prime Minister’s speech & YouTube: PM’s speech at Brookings Institution  
New York Times & International Herald Tribune: Prime Minister’s article “Greece is not an island“; Hellenic Finance Ministry: Newsletter Updating Greek Fiscal Measures  


Eurozone: Greece exceeds Growth Average

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) In the wake of the informal meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union on November 7 in Brussels, the European Commission issued its autumn economic forecast 2008-2010 yesterday, revealing the gloomy influence of the financial crisis on the European economies.  According to the data, economic growth rates for the European Union should be 1.4% in 2008 (1.2% for the eurozone), half what it was in 2007, and drop even more sharply in 2009 at 0.2% (0.1% for the eurozone).  Greece’s growth rate remains resilient, topping all Eurozone economies’ GDP growth. Greece’s growth rate for 2008 is estimated at 3.1% in 2008 dropping by 0.9% since 2007, all due to a slump in private consumption and a decline in corporate investment, according to the European Commission. For 2009, predictions foresee a drop at 2.5% and 2.6% at 2010.

Greek Public Budget Balance

In terms of the country’s fiscal deficit, it was 3.5% of GDP in 2007 and was expected to fall to 2.5% (2008). The Commission’s forecast shows that it is expected to fall to 2.2% in 2009 only to rise again to 3% in 2010.

Inflation in Greece

After its soaring 2008 levels, inflation will fall to 2.5% in 2009 for the European Union and 3.5% in Greece. In 2010, it will succumb even further with 2.2% in the EU and 3.3% in Greece.    European Commission: Forecasts for member states- Greece