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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 April2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015 25 GREECE ATHENS DAILIES AT A GLANCE Out of cash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 RIZOSPASTIS: The co-governance blackmails the people to pay surcharge and gifts millions to the businessmen. AVGHI: Greece enters dynamically into the energy map. ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The universities in which the entry base marks rise. ESTIA: Instead of ‘flat tax’ they want ‘fat tax’! ETHNOS: Battle with time. EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Agreement on the horizon. "We sent a new document today to the Brussels Group (of EU/IMF lenders) which is more specific and quantified," a Greek finance ministry official told reporters, noting that labour and pension reform were the main sticking points in negotiations. Eurozone officials said, IMERISIA: We are running out of time and the agreement delays. KATHIMERINI: Warning from Merkel and Hollande. NAFTEMPORIKI: High performances against the crisis. TA NEA: Closer to Moscow. Buffett says Greek exit from euro ‘may not be a bad thing’ Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said the euro region could withstand Greece's departure from the currency union. "If it turns out the Greeks leave, that may not be a bad thing for the euro," Buffett told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. "If everybody learns that the rules mean something and if they come to general agreement about fiscal policy among members, or something of the sort, that they mean business, that could be a good thing." Europe's most-indebted state is locked in negotiations with euro-area countries and the International Monetary Fund over the terms of its 240 billioneuro ($260 billion) rescue. The standoff, which has left Greece dependent upon European Central Bank loans, risks leading to a default within weeks and its potential exit from the euro area. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to rally a consensus in parliament late Monday in Athens for an effort to secure bailout funds after proposals to bolster the nation's finances failed to satisfy his European creditors. The euro extended its biggest quarterly slide versus the dol- lar since its inception amid the wrangling. "I've thought that the euro had structural problems right from the moment that it was put it in, which does not mean it will necessarily fail," Buffett said on CNBC. "You can adapt to those structural problems, but maybe some countries won't adapt and they won't be in. It's not ordained that the euro has to have exactly the members that it has today." Charles Munger, vice chairman at Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., criticised Greek citizens last week for trying to vote their way to prosperity. The country's politics was shaken up in January when Tsipras' SYRIZA party won the election on a pledge to ease austerity and negotiate a writedown of some of the country's debt. Buffett told CNBC that, over time, the countries in the eurozone would need to better coordinate their labour laws, fiscal deficits and general management of their economies. "It can't continue with people going in dramatically different directions," Buffett said. "The Germans are not going to fund the Greeks forever." Source: Bloomberg however, that institutions representing the lenders - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF - got the list too late for it to be discussed by eurozone deputy finance ministers at a teleconference on Greece on Wednesday afternoon. One eurozone official familiar with the content of the call said recent talks on the reforms had made progress but that more work was needed for a deal. EU officials confirmed the new reform list, published by the Financial Times, was genuine, but noted it still needed more work. The 26-page document states clearly that Greece considers itself an irrevocable member of the single currency area, making clear it had no intention of exiting the eurozone or the European Union. It says that the country's financing needs in 2015 are 19 billion euros ($20 billion). It expects to get 1.5 billion euros from selling off state assets, a far cry from the 4 billion envisaged by the agreement with the previous government. The government pledges to crack down on tax fraud, raise tax on luxuries and review asset sales on a case-bycase basis. It also proposes reintroducing an extra payment for poor pensioners and a gradual hike in the minimum wage and retaining government administration staffing levels. Discussions on the reforms between Greece and the representatives of the creditors are scheduled to continue next week, officials said. A payment to the IMF of about 430 million euros due next week is shaping up to be the next financial test for Greece, which is already resorting to last-ditch measures like borrowing from state entities to tide it through the cash crunch. In an interview with German daily Der Spiegel, Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said that if foreign creditors do not send Athens further funds by April 9, the government would first pay salaries and pensions and then come to an agreement with lenders on paying the IMF late. But Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government, which was elected in January on promises to ease the terms of the bailout and cut debt, said the comments did not represent its stance. "There is no chance that Greece will not meet its obligations to the IMF on April 9," government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told Reuters. Labour Minister Panos Sk- ourletis said a planned visit by Tsipras to Moscow next week was "to find out whether our historic friendship with Russia can be stretched to other levels", German newspaper Die Zeit reported. "We'd like to stay on the ship called Europe," Skourletis was quoted as saying. "But if the captain pushes us overboard, we need to try to swim." But Athens would only re- veal what role Russia might play "if nothing works anymore", Skourletis said. Earlier, Economy Minister George Stathakis said he expected an agreement with lenders next week on a package of reforms submitted by Athens to help unlock remaining bailout funds. The list proposed by Athens includes the leasing of 14 regional airports and the sale of Greece's largest port, Piraeus, to raise 1.5 billion euros this year, although ministers have made conflicting statements on the port sale. Greece condemns British Museum’s refusal to allow mediation over ancient Parthenon sculptures Greece has condemned the British Museum's decision to reject a UNESCO offer to help resolve a decades-old dispute over returning ancient Parthenon sculptures to Athens. The sculptures are part of the collection popularly known as the Elgin Marbles, which were acquired by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s when he was ambassador to the Ottoman court. The British parliament purchased the art treasures in 1816 and gave them to the museum. For the past 30 years, Athens has been demanding the return of the sculptures, which had decorated the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens from ancient times. "We deplore the categorical refusal by the British of UNESCO's invitation to launch a mediation process over the Parthenon sculptures housed in the British Museum," Greek culture minis- “We believe that the more constructive way forward, on which we have already embarked, is to collaborate directly with other museums and cultural institutions.” Sir Richard Lambert ter Nikos Xydakis said. "The British negativism is overwhelming, along with its lack of respect for the role of mediators." The UN cultural agency had offered to mediate between Greece and Britain over the ancient artworks during a meeting in October 2014. But Sir Richard Lambert, the director of the British Museum, said in a letter to Athens this week that the trustees "decided respect- fully to decline this request". He said UNESCO's role was to pursue and safeguard endangered cultural heritage and that "the surviving Parthenon sculptures, carefully preserved in a number of European museums, clearly do not fall into this category". "We believe that the more constructive way forward, on which we have already embarked, is to collaborate directly with other museums and cultural institu- tions, not just in Greece but across the world." Sir Richard said the British Museum wanted to continue exploring collaborative ventures directly with Greek institutions - "not on a government-to-government basis". For his part, the Greek minister criticised Britain for viewing the dispute as just an issue between museums and not between states. "We call on Great Britain to reconsider its position," Mr Xydakis said.
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