Stournaras calls for ‘re­al­ism and flex­i­bil­ity’

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece and its for­eign cred­i­tors must show “re­al­ism and flex­i­bil­ity” to swiftly com­plete a re­view of the coun­try’s bailout pro­gram, Bank of Greece Gov­er­nor Yan­nis Stournaras said on Wed­nes­day. The re­view has dragged on for months amid dis­agree­ments on la­bor re­forms and fis­cal tar­gets and a rapid con­clu­sion would “strengthen the forecast for Greek eco­nomic growth from 2017 on­wards,” Stournaras told a con­fer­ence, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of his speech. Greece wants to wrap up the re­view soon in or­der to par­tic­i­pate in the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing pro­gram within the first quar­ter. “A nec­es­sary pre­con­di­tion for eco­nomic re­cov­ery is pri­mar­ily the com­ple­tion of the sec­ond re­view and de­ter­mined im­ple­men­ta­tion of the struc­tural re­forms out­lined in the new [bailout] pro­gram,” Stournaras said. “At the same time, spe­cial em­pha­sis should be given to re­mov­ing ob­sta­cles to pri­va­ti­za­tions that have al­ready been agreed and the fur­ther pro­mo­tion of the pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­gram and uti­liza­tion of pub­lic as­sets.” the Sklaveni­tis su­per­mar­ket group’s takeover of the out­lets of its bank­rupt ri­val Marinopou­los, de­mand­ing the sale of 22 stores be­long­ing to the two chains (19 of them in At­tica), and the in­creased pro­tec­tion of sup­pli­ers with a high de­pen­dence on the two ma­jor re­tail­ers. The sup­pli­ers can only ex­pect to re­ceive 50 per­cent of what they are owed by Marinopou­los when Sklaveni­tis com­pletes its ac­qui­si­tion of Greece’s big­gest su­per­mar­ket chain. min­ing gi­ant’s cus­tomers. “It’s the first of its kind, cer­tainly for a char­terer of our rank,” Rash­pal Bhatti, BHP Bil­li­ton Freight vice pres­i­dent, told Reuters be­fore the first auc­tion on Wed­nes­day. BHP asked 13 ship own­ers and op­er­a­tors to sub­mit of­fers through its on­line plat­form to trans­port 170,000 tons of iron ore from Western Aus­tralia to China next month. They in­cluded Ja­panese firms NYK Bulk and Mit­sui OSK Lines, Greek-owned Anan­gel Mar­itime Ser­vices and com­mod­ity trader Cargill, Bhatti said.

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