Latest News from Greece

Clear rules, for everyone

If we want to deal with the economic crisis, we need clear rules. A large number of individuals and businesses have amassed huge debts they cannot service. And some worrying symptoms have already been seen, such as businesses going bankrupt, only to return under a similar guise without paying off their debts to the state and suppliers.

Turkey third in world with 397 blue flagged beaches

Turkey has been chosen third in the world in 2014 with its 397 blue-flagged beaches, according to the Chamber of Shipping’s (DTO) İzmir Branch.

In 2012, the number of blue-flagged beaches in Turkey was 355, marinas 19 and yachts 13, while in 2013 the number of blue-flagged beaches numbered 383, marinas 21 and yachts 13.

Government to push troika for concessions as pressure to meet pledges intensifies

Talks between the coalition leaders last week led to them finalizing the requests that Athens will make regarding the easing of adjustment measures when the troika returns to Greece but European officials have warned that if the government does not stick to its pledges it will be forced to agree to a third bailout.

Deadline for Commission successor is looming

Speculation over who will become Greece’s next European commissioner continued during the weekend, with Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos emerging as the frontrunner to succeed Maria Damanaki.

Cypriot president to meet Greek PM during Athens visit

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is due in Athens on Monday for talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Anastasiades will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides for talks that are expected to focus on Nicosia’s reunification talks with Turkish-Cypriots.

Search under way for investment firm owner who made off with 1.5 mln euros

Police in Larissa, Central Greece, are searching for the owner of a local investment company who disappeared after allegedly embezzling 1.5 million euros from the firm.

A number of clients invested amounts ranging from 5,000 to 200,000 euros in a bond that would be purchased by the firm, which has been operating for the last 15 years.

Experts see drop in drug-use related HIV

 After peak of 2012, KEELPNO data show decline in first half of 2014

After a spiralling outbreak of HIV in crisis-hit Greece that peaked in 2012, figures from the first half of the year indicate a drop in infections by the AIDS-causing virus among drug users.

ELSTAT president slams decision to reopen probe

The head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Andreas Georgiou, has criticized a recent Council of Appeals Court decision to launch a new investigation into allegations that he inflated the size of Greece’s 2009 public deficit to pave the way for an international bailout.

SME minibonds to bypass bank lending

LONDON – The first batch of issuance under a “minibond” program that the Athens Exchange Group (ATHEX) has been promoting to finance Greek SMEs is set for launch after the summer break.

Fitch upgrades Greekbanks’ bond programs

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the mortgage-covered bond programs of four Greek banks.

The banks are National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank to B-/Stable/B with a b- viability rating (VR.

The outlook is stable, reflecting that on the respective banks’ Issuer Default Ratings (IDR).

Concrete measures

By Nikos Xydakis

The government’s decision to submit draft legislation on key environmental issues during the Parliament’s summer session has raised a fair amount of controversy. Most prominent are the bills on coastal development and construction on forestland.

Why insist on nuclear power over olives?

“In the event that olive growing activities and other investment fields overlap, other investments and natural resources should be evaluated in terms of whether or not the olive grove is less beneficial than other possible activities.”

This is the Energy Ministry’s justification for the bill it has just prepared, which has been dubbed a “death sentence for olive groves.” 

Number of 5-star hotel rooms rises 31.4 percent in four years

By Stathis Kousounis

The number of rooms at five-star hotels in Greece rose by 31.4 percent from 2009 to 2013, according to a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Tourism of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

Banks reluctant to issue credit

 Lenders are wary of the upcoming ECB stress tests and institutional handling of nonperforming loans

By Yiannis Papadoyiannis

The improvement in the liquidity conditions at Greek banks, through share capital increases, bond issues and growing deposits, has had no impact on the real economy as it has not been translated into new loan issues.