Latest News from Greece

Lazard hired to take rating over junk level

French company Lazard will be the new consultant of the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), replacing Rothschild, with the aim of bringing Greek bonds back to investment grade within the next couple of years.

This decision was reached on Wednesday by the government's Economic Policy Council on the recommendation of the PDMA and an opinion by the State Legal Council.

Staikouras to formally ask ESM to OK early IMF loan repayment

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras will present the priorities of the new Greek government at Friday's Eurogroup meeting before sending a letter to the European Stability Mechanism informing Greece's main creditor of Athens' intention to repay some of the loans from the International Monetary Fund ahead of schedule.

Healing wounds

The nomination on Tuesday of Margaritis Schinas to serve as a European Commission vice president by European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, constitutes a milestone for Greece.

Do we want a show of statism or a modern exhibition?

The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) is an important institution for Greece and it is high time it changed from a festival of Third World-type statism into a modern exhibition designed to highlight the most dynamic and outward-looking aspects of what the country has to offer.

Growth of Migrants' Attempts to Enter Bulgaria from Greece Again

The Ministry of Interior reports an increase in attempts of migrants to enter Bulgaria from Greece. Interior Minister Mladen Marinov explained that additional police and gendarmerie teams had been sent along the border with Bulgaria's neighbour. According to him, there is no need for the country to use army units for security, BNR reported.

Staikouras to discuss IMF loan repayment, gov't plan at Eurogroup

Greece's Finance Minister Christos Staikouras will discuss a request for an early repayment of part of the country's outstanding loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during Friday's Eurogroup meeting in Helsinki.
Athens is keen to repay the IMF loan which is more expensive than the yields Greece currently pays in the markets on its bonds.

Labor e-card to track working hours of all employees

Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis is expected to invite social partners and entities for a dialogue on a new measure concerning the introduction of an electronic card for workers in the next few days.
According to plans, the measure will be implemented after at least two months, at first by major enterprises and then by all corporations in Greece.

Energy security key in bolstered Cyprus-Egypt ties, says Cypriot defense minister

Cyprus' defense minister says the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties.

Savvas Angelides says the two neighbors' information-sharing extends to countering any extremist threats.

PM Borissov Met with Greece's Foreign Minister

They both believe that there are excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov meets with Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias.

Greece Supports Bulgaria For Schengen

Athens supports Bulgaria's entry into Schengen, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said after meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Greece mulls hiring Lazard to advise it on debt, says FinMin official

Greece's debt agency has proposed hiring US investment bank Lazard to advise the country on the management of its debt, a finance ministry official said on Wednesday.

Greece, which is emerging from a prolonged financial crisis, has the highest debt in the eurozone. [Reuters]

Czech President To Push for Kosovo Recognition Withdrawal

Czech President Milos Zeman delighted his Serbian hosts at a joint press conference on Wednesday with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, when he promised to push for the Czech Republic to withdraw its 2008 recognition of Kosovo at a counseling on the constitution expected to happen in one month.

Removal of military material from Leros base gradual

Greece has launched an investigation after an inspection revealed that weapons were missing from a navy facility on the Aegean island of Leros, its government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Authorities found anti-tank weapons, ammunition and hand grenades missing from a warehouse on the base this week, according to officials.

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