Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα investments. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα investments. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

EUR 815 million support for transport and energy in Greece

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing up to EUR 815 million for motorways, the Thessaloniki metro and an improved electricity transmission network in Greece.

In the presence of EIB President Werner Hoyer, five finance agreements were signed today in Athens in a public ceremony by the EIB Vice-President responsible for Greece, Mihai Tanasescu, the Minister of Finance Gikas Hardouvelis, the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Michalis Chrysohoidis, the Chairman and Managing Director of Attiko Metro Christos Tsitouras, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Greek Public Power Corporation S.A. Arthouros Zervos, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) Yiannis Yiarentis. The ceremony was attended also by Minister of Environment, Energy & Climate Change Yannis Maniatis.


On this occasion, EIB President Werner Hoyer stated: “With this strong shot we continue our support for growth and jobs in Greece. We concentrate on key sectors and help the Greek State to proceed with the construction of the country’s major motorways and the Thessaloniki metro to improve the citizens’ living and economic conditions. We also contribute to realise the electricity interconnection of the Cyclades islands, a long awaited project in Greece. This investment boosts tourism, by putting an end to the blackout risks of the past. All five projects will create jobs during construction and after, through commissioning, and will have further positive spillover effects in the regional and national environment, economy and living conditions”.

EUR 300 million to the Hellenic Republic for the Greek motorway programme
The EIB loan will be supporting the State’s financial commitments to the country’s main transport corridor (Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki), which is also a trans-European priority transport investment. The loan will finance the construction of 239 km of new motorways and smaller upgrades on 434 km of existing motorways located along this main axis. This is the second and last tranche of the EIB facility of a total of EUR 650 million for the resumption of construction works on Greek motorways which, considering their strong impact on employment and GDP growth, play a special role in revitalising the Greek economy.

EUR 200 million in further support of the Thessaloniki metro
The Thessaloniki Metro project has been the focus of the Greek State’s strategy for providing an efficient and effective public transport system in metropolitan Thessaloniki, in parallel with the ongoing extensions of the Athens metro network. As such, it has been supported by the Greek State, the European Union through EU grants and the EIB. This essential public service project represents one of the most important areas of EIB value-added activity, as the EU Bank’s ability to provide long-term financing perfectly matches the long-term nature and requirements of the infrastructure provided. The EIB is already partially financing the Thessaloniki metro baseline, with previous loans totaling EUR 650 million, and the finance agreement signed today provides additional support for the network’s extension to the area of Kalamaria.

EUR 180 million for improved electricity network
The signature of EUR 180 million loan is the second and final tranche of a EUR 415 million facility to the Greek Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC), for renovating and reinforcing the electricity distribution network, as well as extending it to enable some 186 000 new connections throughout peninsular and insular Greece.
The investment programme will benefit consumers and suppliers by improving the electricity distribution infrastructure and increasing the effectiveness of electricity supply in meeting demand.
The promoter of the project is the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A. (HEDNO), a 100% subsidiary of PPC created in 2012.  

EUR 135 million for improved electricity transmission and interconnection of Cyclades
The funding to the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO or ADMIE) consists of two loans aiming at improved electricity transmission and the interconnection of the Cyclades islands to the mainland network.
The signature of EUR 70 million is the first tranche of a EUR 140 million facility to support the company’s current on-going power transmission investment programme. This includes the construction of the Megalopoli Extra High Voltage Station, the interconnection of Nea Makri (Attica mainland) to Polypotamos (island of Evia), and a cluster of smaller transmission schemes.  The loan is expected to support the integration of new generation resources into the grid, including renewable energy, to extend transmission capacity and contribute to improving the reliability of supply.
The signature of EUR 65 million is the first tranche of a EUR 130 million facility to support the connection of the main Cycladic islands Syros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros with the mainland interconnected system of Greece. The interconnection will be effected through a subsea cable grid operated at 150 kV. The project will substitute the local generation run on fuel oil with energy produced by far cheaper and less polluting stations operated in the mainland system. It will also support the development of additional wind and solar generation capacity that on the islands, which in the currently isolated configuration is restricted for technical reasons.
http://www.eib.org/infocentre/press/releases/all/2014/2014-195-eur-815-million-support-for-transport-and-energy-in-greece.htm?media=rss&language=en
18/9/14

Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 21, 2014

China, Greece ink $4.6 billion in deals. "Greece can become China's gateway in Europe and the start of a European trade corridor"

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited  port of Piraeus in Greece on Friday, after a series of trade and investment deals worth $4.6 billion were signed between the two sides during Li 's three-day visit to Greece.

The deals included multi-billion-dollar Chinese bank loans to build at least 10 Greek-owned ships in Chinese shipyards. There were also agreements on the construction of solar energy parks in Greece, AFP reported.


"Cooperation between Greece and China is always mutually beneficial. China is fully confident about the prospect of Greece's development," Li said at a Thursday joint conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, adding that China would continue to be a "long-term and responsible" investor.

Li also called for more investment in the Piraeus Container Terminal project at Greece's largest port, which is jointly run by Chinese shipping giant COSCO and the Greek port authority.

Another $1.9 billion worth of deals are expected to be signed, mostly in infrastructure, transport and energy, according to local media.

  • Greek is willing to deepen cooperation and cultural exchanges and will actively take part in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, according to Samaras. "Greece can become China's gateway in Europe and the start of a European trade corridor," he said.
  • China provided timely support during the Greek debt crisis, which brought confidence and strength, Samaras said. Li also expressed appreciation for Greek assistance during the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya in 2011.
Li and Samaras also inaugurated a rail link that will transport goods from Piraeus to central Europe, Associated Press reported Friday.
Source:Agencies  - globaltimes.cn
21/6/14
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Silk Road inscription into World Heritage list "hopeful" 

Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 26, 2013

Government of Greece and TAP sign host government agreement / Endgültiges Aus für Nabucco - Konsortium entscheidet für TAP

The Greek Government (the Ministry of Energy, Environment and Climate Change – MEECC) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project have today signed the Host Government Agreement (HGA) in Athens, agreed in principle last week.

The HGA sets out the framework by which the project will be realized and operated on Greek territory. This includes processes related to land easement and acquisition, the implementation of technical, safety, environmental and social standards and permitting.


TAP will be one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Greece, and is estimated to cost approximately Euro 1.5 bn for the Greek section. During construction, TAP is anticipated to create some 2,000 direct, and up to 10,000 indirect, new jobs across a number of industries including manufacturing and utilities, transport, communications and financial and business services. The project already collaborates with a number of Greek businesses and experts, and will seek to expand such cooperation in line with its commitment to Local Content.



TAP will enhance Europe’s energy security and diversity by providing a new source of gas. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II development in Azerbaijan, through Greece and Albania to Italy, from where it can be transported further into Western and Central Europe.

The longest section of the TAP pipeline will be in Greece. The pipeline will start at Kipoi at the Turkish-Greek border, and will cover some 550km entering Albania northwest of Dipotamia. As such, the project will support Greece’s ambition of becoming an important “Energy Highway.” Furthermore, the planned interconnection points and reverse flow capability of TAP will also support security of supply for other countries in the region.

Kjetil Tungland, TAP’s Managing Director, stated: “I am delighted to be here in Athens today on this very special occasion. I would like to thank the Greek Government and all those involved for their dedication, hard work and support, which has resulted in today’s signing of this Host Government Agreement.  We are well on our way to deliver a project that will have notable positive impact on Greece, the region as well as European energy objectives”

Rikard Scoufias, TAP’s Country Director for Greece, added: “Concluding on the contents of this agreement has required a significant amount of work from both parties. This achievement has resulted not only in an important component for securing Greece’s and TAP’s bid for the Southern Gas Corridor, but also constitutes an international benchmark for expediency in terms of establishing a positive investment climate. With the support provided by the Greek Government, as well as the Greek Parliament, I feel that we are well on our way to deliver a project that will have notable positive impact on Greece, the region as well as European energy objectives.”

- See more at: http://www.balkaneu.com
26/6/13---Related:

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Aliyev praises his army, warns Armenia

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  • Endgültiges Aus für Nabucco - Konsortium entscheidet für Trans-Adriatische Pipeline

Das von der EU und den USA favorisierte Nabucco-Projekt, mit dem Erdgas aus Aserbaidschan nach Europa fließen sollte, ist gescheitert.

Das für die Erschließung des riesigen aserbaidschanischen Gasfeldes Shah Deniz II zuständige Konsortium entschied für die Trans-Adriatische-Pipeline (TAP), wie der österreichische Konzern OMV, Aktionär bei der Nabucco Gas Pipeline Internationalen GmbH, am Mittwoch mitteilte. Aus der aserbaidschanischen Hauptstadt Baku verlautete am gleichen Tag, dass Vertreter des aserbaidschanischen Staatskonzerns SOCAR und der BP-Tochter BP Azerbaijan noch am Mittwoch nach Griechenland reisen, um Regierungschef Antonis Samaras über die Entscheidung persönlich zu informieren.


"Die Seiten werden voraussichtlich ein Abkommen über die Wahl der TAP-Leitung zur Versorgung Europas mit aserbaidschanischem Gas unterzeichnen", meldete die in Baku ansässige Nachrichtenagentur Trend unter Berufung auf die italienische Agentur ANSA. Über die TAP-Leitung soll Gas vom Kaspischen Meer via Griechenland, Albanien und das Adriatische Meer in den Süden Italiens transportiert werden.

Betreiber des Shah-Deniz-Konsortiums ist BP mit einem Anteil von 25,5 Prozent. Die norwegische Statoil hält ebenfalls 25,5 Prozent der anteile. SOCAR, der russische Konzern LUKoil, die iranische NICO und die französische Total besitzen jeweils 10 Prozent und die türkische TPAO 9 Prozent der Anteile.
http://de.rian.ru
26/6/13
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Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 01, 2013

Nοrth Korean Leader Makes Overture to South/ Kim Jong Un kündigt Ende der Konfrontation an

SEOUL, South Korea — The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an end to the "confrontation" with rival South Korea on Tuesday in what appeared to be an overture to the incoming South Korean president as she was cobbling together South Korea’s new policy on the North. 

North Korea on Tuesday issued a major policy statement on New Year’s Day, following a tradition set by Mr. Kim’s late grandfather, the North Korean founder Kim Il-sung, and his late father, Kim Jong-il, who died in December last year, bequeathing the dynastic rule to Mr. Kim.

Mr. Kim was the first supreme North Korean leader to issue the statement as his personal speech since his grandfather last did so before his death in 1994. During the rule of his reclusive father, Kim Jong-il, the statement — which laid out policy guidelines for the new year and was studied by all branches of the party, state and military— was issued as a joint editorial of the country’s main official media.
Mr. Kim’s speech on Tuesday, which was broadcast through the North’s state-run television and radio stations, was another sign that the young leader was trying to imitate his grandfather Kim Il-sung, who in life was considered a more people-friendly leader and is still widely revered among North Koreans.
Although Mr. Kim inherited the key policies of his father, outside analysts see him as trying to distance himself from the ruling style of his father, Kim Jong-il, who was more feared than respected among his people and whose rule was marked by a famine.
In his speech, Mr. Kim, echoed themes of previous New Year’s  messages, emphasizing that improving the living standards of North Koreans and rejuvenating the agricultural and light industries were among the improvised country’s main priorities.
But he revealed no details of any planned economic policy changes. He only mentioned a need to "improve economic leadership and management" and "spread useful  experiences created in various work units."
Since July, various news outlets in South Korea have reported that Mr. Kim’s new regime has begun carrying out cautious economic incentives aimed at boosting productivity at farms and factories. Some reports said the state was considering letting farmers keep at least 30 percent of their yield; currently, it is believed, they are allowed to sell only a surplus beyond a government-set quota that is rarely met.
Mr. Kim also vowed to strengthen his country’s military, calling for the development of more advanced weapons. But he made no mention of relations with the United States or the international efforts to halt its nuclear weapons program. He simply reiterated that his government was willing to "expand and improve upon friendly and cooperative relationships with all countries friendly to us." 
Mr. Kim’s speech followed the successful launching of a satellite aboad a long-range rocket in December. North Korea’s propagandists have since been busy  billing the launch as a symbol of what they called the North’s soaring technological might and Mr. Kim’s peerless leadership. Washington considered it a test of long-range ballistic missile technology and a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions banning such tests, and is seeking more sanctions to impose on the isolated country.
But it was his allusion to relations with South Korea that marked a departure in tone.
"A key to ending the divide of the nation and achieving reunification is to end the situation of confrontation between the North and the South," Mr. Kim said. "A basic precondition to improving North-South relations and advancing national reunification is to honor and implement North-South joint declarations."
He was referring to two inter-Korean summit agreements, signed in 2000 and 2007, when the then South Korean presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun were pursuing a  “Sunshine Policy” of reconciliation and economic cooperation with North Korea and met his father in Pyongyang.
As a result of those agreements, billions of dollars of South Korean investment, aid and trade flowed into the North. Billions more were promised in investments in shipyards and factory parks, as the South Korean leaders believed that economic good will was the best way of encouraging North Korea to shed its isolation and hostility while reducing the economic gap between the two Koreas and the cost of reunification in the future. 
But that warming of ties ended when conservatives came to power in Seoul with the inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak in 2008. When Mr. Lee was president-elect, North Korea offered a similar overture as Tuesday’s. But Mr. Lee suspended any large aid or investment barring a significant progress toward dismantling the North’s nuclear weapons programs, and inter-Korean relations spiraled down, further aggravated by the North’s shelling of a South Korean island in 2010.  
The incoming leader of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, who is the presidential candidate of Mr. Lee’s governing party, kept the conservatives in power by winning the Dec. 19 election. She is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the former military strongman under whose rule from 1961 till 1979 a  staunchly anti-Communist, pro-American political establishment took root in South Korea.
North Korea had engineered a couple of assassination attempts on Ms. Park’s father, one of which resulted in her mother’s death in 1974. But Ms. Park also traveled to Pyongyang in 2002 and discussed inter-Korean reconciliation with Kim Jong-il.
During her campaign for president, she said that if elected, she would decouple humanitarian aid from politics and try to hold a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un. She was in part reacting to widespread criticism in South Korea that Mr. Lee’s hard-line policy did little to change the North’s behavior.
During the campaign, however, Ms. Park stuck to Mr. Lee’s stance on the most contentious issue of large-scale investment, which the North considers crucial.
Ms. Park, like the current president, insisted that any large-scale economic investments be preceded by the “building of trust” through progress in denuclearizing North Korea.
Peace bought with “shoveling” of unrestrained aid under the Sunshine Policy was “a fake,” she said, citing the North’s long history of using military threats to win economic concessions.
North Korea called her a “confrontational maniac” and "fascist." But since her election, it has refrained from attacking her. 
31/12/12
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  • [EL] Τερματισμό στην κόντρα με τη Νότια Κορέα θέλει να δώσει η Πιονγκγιάνγκ

O βορειοκορεάτης ηγέτης Κιμ Γιονγκ Ουν κάλεσε σήμερα να τεθεί τέρμα στην αναμέτρηση με τη Νότια Κορέα και να υπάρξει μια ριζική στροφή που θα επιτρέψει την ανάδυση ενός "οικονομικού γίγαντα", στο πρώτο πρωτοχρονιάτικο μήνυμα βορειοκορεάτη ηγέτη τα τελευταία 19 χρόνια. Η οικονομική πολιτική πρέπει να επικεντρωθεί στη ριζική αύξηση της παραγωγής και σε βελτιώσεις στις συνθήκες διαβίωσης, ενώ άλλος σημαντικός στόχος είναι η άμβλυνση των εντάσεων με τη Νότια Κορέα, είπε ο αρχηγός του κράτους.

Είναι η πρώτη φορά που βορειοκορεάτης ηγέτης αναγιγνώσκει το μήνυμά του για τη νέα χρονιά από το 1994, όταν ο παππούς του, ο Κιμ Ιλ Σουνγκ, απηύθυνε ομιλία το έτος που απεβίωσε. Εκτοτε το πρωτοχρονιάτικο μήνυμα της ηγεσίας δημοσιοποιείται σε μορφή άρθρου στις εφημερίδες.

"Για να τερματιστεί ο διχασμός της χώρας και να επιτύχουμε την ενοποίηση είναι σημαντικό να σταματήσει η αναμέτρηση ανάμεσα στο βορρά και το νότο", δήλωσε ο νέος ηγέτης του κομμουνιστικού καθεστώτος στο μήνυμα που μεταδόθηκε από την κρατική ραδιοφωνία και την τηλεόραση. "Η ιστορία των ενδοκορεατικών σχέσεων δείχνει ότι η αναμέτρηση μεταξύ συμπατριωτών δεν οδηγεί πουθενά παρά μόνο στον πόλεμο".....................protothema.gr 1/1/12
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  • [DE] Nordkorea Kim Jong Un kündigt Ende der Konfrontation an

Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong Un hat sich für einen radikalen Wechsel in der Politik seines seit Jahrzehnten abgeschotteten Landes ausgesprochen. "Es ist wichtig, die Konfrontation zwischen dem Norden und dem Süden zu beenden", sagte Kim Jong Un in seiner Neujahrsbotschaft. So könne "die Teilung des Landes beendet und seine Wiedervereinigung erreicht werden". Die Vergangenheit zeige, dass Konfrontation zwischen Landsleuten zu nichts als Krieg führe.
Weiter erklärte Kim Jong Un zu seinem obersten Ziel für das neue Jahr, die Lebensbedingungen seines Volkes zu verbessern.  2013 werde ein Jahr "großer Schöpfungen und Veränderungen sein, die einen radikalen Umschwung bewirken", sagte er. Nordkorea solle zu einem "wirtschaftlichen Riesen" werden, sagte Kim Jong Un. Die Landwirtschaft und Leichtindustrie stünden dabei im Zentrum.
Der erfolgreiche Start einer Weltraumrakete in Nordkorea im Dezember soll dabei laut Kim Jong Un den Menschen als Ansporn dienen. Die USA, Südkorea und andere Staaten sehen in dem Start am 12. Dezember einen verdeckten Test für die Entwicklung von Interkontinentalraketen, die mit Atomsprengköpfen bestückt werden können. Nordkorea spricht von einem Satellitenstart zu friedlichen Zwecken.
Zugleich sagte Jin Jong Un, das Land könne sich "nur unter der Bedingung entwickeln, dass es seine militärische Macht in allen Bereichen ausbaut". Es sei dringend nötig, bessere Waffen zu konstruieren.
Erste Audiobotschaft seit 1994
Es war die erste Audiobotschaft eines nordkoreanischen Machthabers, seitdem Kim Jong Uns Großvater Kim Il Sung sich im Jahr seines Todes 1994 an die Öffentlichkeit gewandt hatte. Bislang hatte sich Kim Jong Un vor allem über Leitartikel führender, staatlicher Zeitungen zu Wort gemeldet. Kim Jong Un ist seit dem Tod seines Vaters Kim Jong Il im Dezember 2011 im Amt.
Südkorea hatte Mitte Dezember die konservative Politikerin Park Geun Hye als Präsidentin gewählt. Sie distanzierte sich von der harten Linie ihres Vorgängers Lee Myung Bak gegenüber der Regierung in Pjöngjang und sprach sich für eine stärkere Zusammenarbeit aus. Zur Voraussetzung macht sie jedoch einen Verzicht des Nordens auf sein Atomprogramm, was der aber ablehnt. Auffallend an der Neujahrsansprache war, dass genau dieses Atomprogramm keine Erwähnung fand.
Die Beziehungen zwischen den beiden Staaten sind seit dem Koreakrieg in den 1950er Jahren gespannt. Gegen Nordkorea wurden wegen seiner Atomwaffenversuche und Raketentests mehrfach UN-Sanktionen beschlossen. Die Bevölkerung Nordkoreas leidet unter extremer Armut, während die Streitkräfte des Landes zahlenmäßig stark und hochgerüstet sind.
.zeit.de
1/1/13

Κυριακή, Δεκεμβρίου 23, 2012

Mere cash injection may not be enough


By Dimitris Kontogiannis
The Greek government has invested a lot in the long-awaited bailout tranches to cope with the developing credit crunch and bring the economy to the stabilization phase late next year. However, a closer look at the figures indicates the positive impact may be less than hoped for, and therefore the risk of disappointment on the back of fostering high expectations should not be ignored or underestimated.

After much deliberation, the group of eurozone finance ministers decided to disburse 34.3 billion euros in bailout funds to Greece earlier this month and authorize the disbursement of two more tranches in the next few months. Greece is to receive a total of about 49 billion euros by the end of March 2013 and an additional amount of 3.4 billion euros from the IMF, bringing the entire amount to 52.5 billion euros, assuming the country complies with the terms of the new bailout agreement. The sum of 11.3 billion euros in the form of European Financial Stability Facility securities has already been used to pay for the debt buyback.
In addition, new initiatives were agreed to slash the projected debt-to-GDP ratio to 124 percent in 2020 from an estimated 144 percent, including debt relief of 21 billion euros via the recently completed debt buyback and interest rate cuts on bilateral EU loans in exchange for more policy commitments from the Greek side. The new initiatives support the case for a more sustainable public debt in the long haul but the majority of analysts and others strongly doubt they will suffice to convince the markets to start lending to Greece again.
Nevertheless, it is commonly accepted the adjustment program will slide off track again if the economy underperforms and the recession turns out to be much deeper than the officially projected 4.5 percent next year. Government officials have pinned a good deal of hope on the EU and IMF bailout funds to avert such an undesirable outcome. Much centers on the repayment of long- overdue bills to domestic creditors, including pharmaceutical companies, exporters and others, and the recapitalization of the systemically important Greek banks to restore the flow of credit to the economy.
Although no one doubts the positive impact of the bailout money on the economy, many analysts, bankers and others are cautious and less optimistic than officials. According to them, the real flow to the economy will in fact be the 7-8 billion euros earmarked for domestic arrears. Still, a few of them argue the actual flow will be smaller, since they expect some companies and individuals to hoard cash after repaying bank loans and their own overdue bills to the state, suppliers and employees. Unfortunately, this is the feeling one gets when talking to some company executives who admit new investments are not in their business plans for next year, citing the lack of visibility, suppressed consumption and insufficient bank funding.
Government officials and others reckon bank credit to the economy will be gradually restored following the recapitalization of important local banks, facilitating the realization of private investments put on hold. Greek banks are going to receive some 23 billion euros in the form of EFSF bonds out of the total 49 billion from EU funds by the end of January 2013 for the recapitalization and resolution process, with 16 billion euros allocated in the EU bailout tranche of 34.3 billion. This amount is additional to the sum of 25 billion euros in bridge capital already injected earlier this year.
The numbers may look big and promising but the credit inflows could turn out to be much smaller for two reasons. First, there should be strong demand for loans by healthy companies. However, it is not clear whether financially sound firms are willing to borrow much more than for refinancing existing loans. On the contrary, there seems to be a lot of demand by problematic companies and individuals but these are not the type of borrowers recapitalized banks want to lend to.
Second, and perhaps more important, banks will likely continue to face liquidity constraints after the recapitalization process is complete unless deposits grow fast. Government officials and some bankers hope some deposits will return, betting on increased confidence in the banking system by the public, following the large capital injections. But this remains to be seen, bearing in mind the protracted recession.
The major constraint preventing local banks from extending a lot of credit to the economy remains their dependence on Eurosystem funding to the tune of 125-130 billion euros. Their capacity would have been enhanced by a few billion euros if the stock of Greek treasury bills held by banks was reduced. Yet the state has no plan to do so and the stock is expected to remain unchanged at around 18 billion euros according to one official. Moreover, the European Central Bank is unlikely to agree to a rise in the Eurosystem’s exposure to the Greek banking system by increasing the overall limit, while some analysts even expect the ECB to seek a smaller exposure at some point. On the other hand, a number of top bankers expect local credit institutions to gradually regain access to money markets after the recapitalization. If this turns out to be true, it could help reduce the banks’ dependence on Eurosystem funding and/or boost credit to the economy.
All in all, the huge bailout funds should have a positive effect on the Greek economy, partly tackling the credit crunch. However, the impact may be smaller than officials hope for as actual credit flows may disappoint on cash hoarding and banks’ continuing large dependence on Eurosystem liquidity. It will take a sizable return of deposits in the face of a deep recession and banks’ obtaining access to money markets after recapitalization to prove the optimists right. Therefore, the risk of disappointment on the heels of rising expectations should be taken into account.
.ekathimerini.com
23/12/12
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Leading Greek banks in the doldrums and need over $17bn to recapitalize

Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 14, 2012

Bulgaria to Sign 6+4 Year Contract with Gazprom

Bulgaria will seek a gas supply contract with Russian Gazprom for a period of 6+4 years, according to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Borisov declared Wednesday that the contract would be valid for an extra four years in case Bulgaria failed to produce sufficient gas on its own territory.
Borisov's statement came one day before Bulgaria's signing of the final investment decision on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Speaking after the government meeting on Wednesday in the presence of British Ambassador Jonathan Allen, Bulgaria's Prime Minister emphasized the active efforts towards local natural gas production.
"In six years' time, Bulgaria will extract large amounts of gas. We have already secured over 10% of our consumption from local production, it is produced by Melrose Resources. I hope that we shall have sufficient quantities of natural gas in six years' time, which is why we want a contract with Gazprom for 6+4 years, in case we fail to find gas," Borisov stated.
Reminding that the issue of gas supplies involved huge amounts of money, he asked Bulgarian media not to sabotage the talks, urging them to resist the tricks of Russian media.
"The matter involves a lot of money which the Bulgarian economy has been paying. We want to achieve a maximum discount and to use all the leverage available to us. So please, help us for one day – stay out of it," Borisov declared, specifying that he did not mean to offend Bulgarian journalists, whom he held in high esteem, "save for some exceptions."
Borisov pointed out that he would give a press conference on gas supply issues at 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Delyan Dobrev, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, declared on Wednesday that Bulgaria and Russia had not yet reached agreement on the price of gas from 2013 on.
He assured that Bulgaria would get a discount of at least 11%, which entered into force on April 1 and will remain valid until December 31.
Meanwhile, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller came up with a statement insisting that the price of natural gas for Bulgaria and the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline were unrelated.
As regards the new prices of Russian gas for Bulgaria, he underscored that all necessary amendments to the contract had been made in 2012.
 .novinite.com
14/11/12
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Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 05, 2012

Land sold off and used for biofuels could have fed 1 billion people – report

Indian labourers work in a field of Jatropha in the village of Hassan, some 250 kms from Bangalore. Jatropha, a wild shrub that grows abundantly across India, has been hailed as an eco-friendly solution to the energy needs. (AFP Photo / Mission Biofuels India)
2 million kilometers of foreign purchased land in developing countries is either idle or used for Western biofuel production, according to a British charity. Oxfam's report estimates an area the size of London is sold every six days.
The report states that between 2000 and 2010, 60% of investment in agricultural land by foreign traders occurred in developing countries with hunger problems.

Yet two thirds of those investors plan to export everything they produce. While 60% of deals are to produce crops that can be used for biofuels. Land can also be left idle, as speculators wait for its value to increase.  
Oxfam estimates that this land could have fed 1 billion people.
According to the International Land Coalition, an NGO based in Italy, 106 million hectares of land in developing countries has been acquired by foreign investors in a period between 2000-2010, with some disastrous results.
30% of all land in Liberia has been handed out in large scale concessions in the last 5 years, while up to 63% of all available land in Cambodia has been passed on to private companies.

Farmers forced out

Oxfam emphasizes that much of the land sold off was already being used for small scale and subsistence farming or other types of natural resource use.
The report dismissed claims by the World Bank that most of the sold land remains idle, waiting to be developed. In fact most agricultural land deals target quality farm land, particularly land that is irrigated and offers good access to markets.
A 2010 study by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) – the official monitoring and evaluation body of the World Bank – supported Oxfam’s findings.
It found that 30% of World Bank projects involved involuntary resettlement. The study estimated that 1 million people are involuntarily resettled in projects financed by the World Bank.
In some cases people were violently evicted from their land without consultation or compensation.
Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive, told British newspaper the Guardian that, “The rush for land is out of control and some of the world’s poorest people are suffering hunger, violence and greater poverty as a result. The World Bank is in a unique position to help stop land grabs becoming one of the biggest scandals of the century.”
Internally displaced children line up to receive a food ration at a food distribution point at a voluntary centre in Mogadishu, Somalia. (AFP Photo / Mohamed Dahir)
Internally displaced children line up to receive a food ration at a food distribution point at a voluntary centre in Mogadishu, Somalia. (AFP Photo / Mohamed Dahir)

Freeze investments

Oxfam has urged the World Bank to freeze its investments in large scale land acquisitions in poor nations.
In the last decade the World Bank has tripled its support for land projects to $6-$8 billion a year, but it does not provide data on how much of this goes to land acquisition or any connection between lending and conflict in a country.
Oxfam wants the World Bank to make sure that information about land deals is publicly accessible, that communities are informed in advance and have the right to agree to or refuse to participate in projects.
Stocking said that the UK, as one of the banks largest shareholders and next year’s president of the G8, should try and get these land deals frozen.
“The UK should also show leadership in reversing flawed biofuels targets, which are a main driver for land and are diverting food into fuel. It can also play a crucial role as president of the G8 next year by putting food and hunger at the heart of the agenda,” Stocking said.
But in a statement released to the Guardian, the international Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private lending arm, defended its past transactions.
“IFC does not finance land acquisitions for speculative purposes. We invest in productive agricultural and forestry enterprises that can be land intensive to help provide the food and fiber the world needs.”
http://rt.com/news/world-bank-developing-world-689/
5/10/12
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