news in English
A miserable failure of the IMF prescription
THE FIGURES disclosed by the Hellenic Statistical Authority last month show the complete failure of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescription for Greece, resulting in a rapid increase in inflation, but also a reduction in the revenues.
So, annual inflation in July rose to 5.5 percent from 5.2 percent in June 2010 and 0.6 percent in July 2009, now returning to 1997 levels! In addition, state revenues in July decreased by 10 percent overall and Value-Added Tax (VAT) returns by 5 percent, despite the fact that all indirect taxes have increased.
It has now become evident to the government and the IMF Συνέχεια
Taxi owners to strike on Thursday
Taxi owners’ unions will hold a General Assembly in central Athens on Thursday to discuss the new status quo that will arise from the provisions of the bill and to take decisions on further action.
The strike initially affects Athens and Thessaloniki, but local taxi owners’ unions from other parts of the country are also expected to state participation in the action.
The bill, unveiled during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting by Transport Minister Yiannis Ragoussis, provides for a return to exclusive state authority of the issue of taxi permits, the introduction of special nine-seat taxis and motorcycle-taxis, a hefty fee for acquiring a new taxi licence and a reduction of taxi fares by 10-20 percent.
More specifically, the issue of a taxi Services Provision Permit returns to the state and may be Συνέχεια
How Did Greek Yogurt Get So Popular?
By Derek Thompson
The mystery of Greek yogurt’s sudden ubiquity isn’t much of a mystery to me, as I glance from my computer to the recently discarded FAGEcarton in my trash can. I know I’m not alone. Greek yogurt is a $1.5 billion business in the U.S. Indeed, asking why Americans enjoy a pleasantly sweet and sourish yogurt with an avocado’s consistency and health benefits to boot seems to be an exercise in answering your own question.
The mystery isn’t «why greek yogurt,» but why now? Just five years ago, Greek yogurt was a $60 million market in the U.S. (Too sour! Too thick!) But sales have increased 2500%, accelerating through the Great Recession despite the fact that the «Greek» stuff (it’s actually more Lebanese, but anyway) tends to be twice as expensive as normal yogurt. Still the two leading brands– Συνέχεια
Greek banks:The first casualties
The impact of a sovereign-debt restructuring on Greek banks
A MESSY end to Greece’s debt crisis seems ever more plausible. Standard & Poor’s this week slashed the country’s credit rating to the lowest notch above an actual default. Violent protests against a fresh round of austerity measures scarred Athens on June 15th. And dissent among European policymakers about how to involve private creditors in a new rescue package for Greece rumbled on.
Much of this debate centres on whether a restructuring of the country’s debt would spark wider Συνέχεια
Revolt prompts tax retreat
A VERITABLE revolt by ruling party MPs and opposition pressure prompted Finance Minister Yiorgos Papakonstantinou on June 15 to revise a “poll tax” on virtually all salaries and pensions branded as “solidarity contribution” for the country’s growing number of unemployed.
The new tax was part of the government’s midterm plan for sweeping deficit-cutting measures worth 6.5 billion euros of additional savings this year and a total of another 22 billion euros in cutbacks for the 2012-2015 period, in accordance with Greece’s obligations agreed with the troika of EU-IMF-ECB creditors earlier this month.
The plan also calls for the privatisation of state assets and sale of public property to raise additional revenues of 50 billion euros. Συνέχεια
Taxis to face fiercer competition
Gov’t plans pave the way for private firms to compete for passengers
Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas said that taxi reforms aim to ‘modernize and organize the market along the lines of other major European cities’