Greece beats 2012 deficit targets

According to an official announcement issued on January 10 by the Ministry of Finance, Greece has beaten budget and primary deficit targets for 2012.
stournaras123The data indicate a state budget deficit of €15.908 billion, compared to a target of €16.312 billion deficit. The report on government budget execution also showed a primary deficit of €3,684 billion, as opposed to a target of €4.577 billion.
Compared to the previous year, the budget deficit fell by €6.866 billion, while the primary deficit is also lower by €2.742 billion, with the state budget balance shrinking by 30.1% compared to 2011.This was due to drastic expenditure cutbacks, which counterbalanced a shortfall in revenues attributed to the reduced inflow of funds from the EU toward the Public Investment Programme.
State budget spending was €355 million lower compared to the target fixed in the national budget.
In a related development, Haris Theoharis head of Finance ministry’s General Secretariat of Information Systems was also appointed to the post of permanent a General Secretary for state revenues, it was announced on January 9.
Ministry of Finance: Announcement on 2012 Budget Execution (in Greek) & Report on 12-month Budget Execution (in Greek); Greek News Agenda: Primary Budget Record Surplus
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece`s new government

The members of Greece’s new government were unveiled yesterday afternoon, following a meeting among Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis -the respective leaders of PASOK and Democratic Left- that support the coalition government. The new government consists of 39 members of which 25 are New Democracy party deputies and 14 members are non-elected technocrats.
 
Non Executive Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Greece and University of Athens Professor Vassilis Rapanos has been appointed Economy and Finance Minister; Dimitris Avramopoulos is  the new Foreign Minister, and Kostis Hatzidakis, Development, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister.
 
The members of the new government were sworn in  in the presence of Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, with the exception of the Finance Ministry’s leadership. Addressing the first Cabinet meeting, the new PM said that the government, which has full power as stipulated by the Constitution ,”has no grace period.” He also announced a 30% cut in the ministers’ salaries.
 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

National Elections 2012 – Press Center & Accreditation of Media Representatives

In view of the upcoming Parliamentary Elections of June the 17th 2012, the Secretariat General of Information & Communication – Secretariat General of Mass Media is setting up a Press Center in Zappeion Hall for Media facilitation
– Friday, June the 15th, 2012: from 14:00 to 22:00 hrs                            
– Saturday, June the 16th, 2012: from 09:00 to 22:00 hrs
– Sunday, June the 17th, 2012: from 09:00 until the end of the working day         

Press Center technical infrastructure and equipment includes:

  • two working rooms fully equipped  with total capacity of 220 seats (telephones, PC’s, wi-fi internet access, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, two plasmawalls  with 9 tv screens, tv monitors, radio booths)
  • a Press Conference room with interpretation booths, audio system and plasma  tv screens
  • Accreditation and Information Desk

A special accreditation card is required to access the Press Center.

Media directors are kindly requested to confirm the names of their respective media representatives, mobile phone numbers and e-mails to the Secretariat General of Information & Communication – Secretariat General of Mass Media (fax no: 210 9098313 and 210 9098344, e-mail: publicrelations2@minpress.gr) until  Monday, June the 11th, 2012 and 14:00 hrs at the latest, by filling in the above application form: http://www.minpress.gr/minpress/en/senforma_diapisteusis_17_june_.pdf

 The above mentioned procedure applies also for technical/tv crew accreditations.
We would like to point out that the media representatives who were accredited for the elections of May the 6th do not need to fill in an application form again. They can use the same accreditation card and they are just asked to send an e-mail confirming that they are going to cover the elections of June the 17th.   

Accreditation cards (for those applying for the first time) can be collected as follows:

  • From Tuesday,  June the 12th, 2012 until Thursday,  June the 14th, 2012 from 09:00 to 19:00 hrs  from the Secretariat General of Information & Communication- Secretariat General of Mass Media (11 Fragoudi Str. & Al. Pantou,  Kallithea, office 405, 4th floor).
  • Friday, June the 15th, 2012 from 08:30 to 12:00 hrs from the Secretariat General of Information & Communication- Secretariat General of Mass Media and from 14:00 to 22:00 hrs from the Accreditation  and Information Desk of the Press Center at Zappeion Hall.
  • Saturday, June the 16th and Sunday June the 17th, 2012 from the Accreditation Secretariat and Information Desk at Zappeion Hall during the above working hours.

A last minute accreditation procedure for media representatives is possible only by presenting ID Card and Press Card along with a letter signed by the director of the Media.

National Elections 2012 – Press Center & Accreditation of Media Representatives

In view of the upcoming Parliamentary Elections of May the 6th, 2012, the Secretariat General of Information & Communication – Secretariat General of Mass Media is setting up a Press Center in Zappeion Hall for Media facilitation
– Friday, May the 4th, 2012: from 14:00 to 22:00 hrs                                        
– Saturday, May the 5th, 2012: from 09:00 to 22:00 hrs
– Sunday, May the 6th, 2012: from 09:00 until the end of the working day       

  

Press Center technical infrastructure and equipment includes:
* two working rooms fully equipped  with total capacity of 220 seats (telephones, PC’s, wi-fi internet access, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, two plasmawalls  with 9 tv screens, tv monitors, radio booths)
* a Press Conference room with interpretation booths, audio system and plasma  tv screens
* Accreditation and Information Desk

A special accreditation card is required to access the Press Center.
Media directors are kindly requested to confirm the names of their respective media representatives, mobile phone numbers and e-mails to the Secretariat General of Information & Communication – Secretariat General of Mass Media (fax no: 210 9098313 and 210 9098344, e-mail: publicrelations2@minpress.gr) until  Monday, April the 30th, 2012 and 18:00 hrs at the latest, by filling in the above application form:
http://www.minpress.gr/minpress/en/media_accreditation_form_elections_2012_en-2.doc

The above mentioned procedure applies also for technical/tv crew accreditations. Continue reading

International Court of Justice Ruling on Distomo Case

In an announcement, issued on February 3, concerning an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling upholding Germany’s position, that it enjoys state immunity from being sued in foreign courts by victims of Nazi atrocities during World War II, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the Greek government will study this Judgement closely, in the light of its firm and longstanding position that the matter of German compensations remains open.
The judgement affects the case of the south-central Greek village of Distomo, where Nazi troops killed 214 civilians on June 10, 1944, one of the numerous instances of WWII atrocities in occupied Greece. The court case concerned the confiscation of German property on Italian soil for reparations to be paid to victims of Distomo.

  • MPs Raise War Reparations Issue

Meanwhile, in Athens, 28 MPs from PASOK, New Democracy (ND), Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) as well as independent deputies tabled a motion in Parliament requesting a discussion on issues concerning the so-called German occupation loan from Greece during WWII, as well as the issue of war reparations to victims of Nazi atrocities and stolen treasures from the country.
In a letter addressed to the presidents of competent parliamentary committees, the MPs called on Parliament to adopt a clear stance on this “crucial national issue.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

EU Foreign Ministers meet in Poland (Sopot, 2-3/9/2011)

Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis was in Sopot, Poland (September 2-3), to participate in the Polish Presidency’s informal (Gymnich) meeting of EU foreign ministers
During the meeting, Lambrinidis, together with his Cyprus counterpart Erato Markoullis, briefed their EU counterparts on the recent threats voiced by Turkey regarding the planned start of hydrocarbons exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Topping the agenda was the Middle East peace process in light of the Palestinian side’s plan to bring the state recognition issue to the United Nations summit (New York, September, 19). Lambrinidis highlighted the need for the EU to maintain its unity within the UN, as well as to undertake a leading role in the process. 
The Palestinian issue was inevitably linked to Israel’s relations with neighbouring Arab countries, in the wake of the Arab ‘spring’ and days after the Paris international conference on the future of Libya.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Tourism: challenges and priorities outlined by PM George Papandreou

Addressing the 19th General Assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) on 4th May, Prime Minister George Papandreou outlined the priorities, the goals and the successes of the government policy in tourism sector and the promotion of Greece abroad. Papandreou focused on the simplification of the licensing process in tourist investments, stressing that tourism should be one of the basic pillars for boosting the Greek economy.
“In the coming months there will be a licensing simplification in investments and facilitation of visa issuing for nationals of emerging economies such as China and Russia. […] There will also be a reduction in the prices of sea transport tickets, as well as in landing and take-off fees at several airports,” said Papandreou noting that the tourism industry has been reporting positive signs as what is being offered is quality service at good prices.
Referring to the enormous potential of Internet and social networking, Papandreou hailed the online promotion of Greece via the official site of Visit Greece, the newly launched my-greece.gr, and through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Prime Minister.GR: Tourism policy – Results (in Greek); YouTube: You in Greece Campaign [VIDEO]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)