Greece

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Greece raised 1.5 billion euros in a 7-year bond re-issue Wednesday, tapping markets days after a sovereign credit rating upgrade, the Associated Press reported. Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the money was raised with a yield of 2.4% ‒ up from the 2% yield in 2020 when the bond was first issued. The latest auction took place amid “uncertainty and a deterioration of conditions in the global bond market,” the minister said.
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Greece will raise the minimum wage from May 1 for a second time this year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday as rising inflation takes a toll on household incomes, Reuters reported. "The global surge in inflation is hitting low incomes. From May 1 the basic wage will rise by 50 euros a month to 713 euros a month," Mitsotakis said in a televised address. The conservative government raised the monthly gross minimum wage by about 2% to 663 euros in January, meaning that with the new increase the minimum wage will go up by 9.7%.
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Public transport largely ground to a halt in the Greek capital on Wednesday and state-run services remained shuttered as workers walked off the job in a 24-hour general strike to protest rising prices, the Associated Press reported. The strike left ferries to and from Greek islands tied up in port, and left Athens without a subway, tram, trolley or suburban railway, while buses were to run for 12 hours from 9 a.m.
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Greece plans to repay more than 7 billion euros in loans from the International Monetary Fund and eurozone partners in the next two months, paying down the rest of the IMF funds it borrowed to prevent bankruptcy during the financial crisis, two officials said, Bloomberg News reported. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Thursday the Treasury would repay 1.8 billion euros ($2.03 billion) in IMF loans ahead of schedule, the last batch of a total 28 billion euros the lender provided in two bailouts between 2010 and 2014.
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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the Greek economy could grow more than projected next year, saying he was "very bullish" about prospects for the economy and a successful tourism season unless there are further big complications from COVID-19, Reuters reported. Greece's economy attracts particular scrutiny after a decade of financial turmoil which saw the nation of 11 million people almost topple out of the euro zone as recently as 2015.
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Greece’s gross domestic product should return to its pre-pandemic level by the end of next year, according to its final budget for 2022, Bloomberg News reported. That outlook for the economy to shake off the slump in the fourth quarter reflects better-than-expected growth of 6.9% seen for this year, a projection that is still lower than that of the European Commission. For 2022, the forecasts envisage expansion of 4.5%. The country’s improved growth outlook will help reduce a budget deficit and debt burden which remains the highest in Europe, an ongoing scar from its decade-long crisis.
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PricewaterhouseCoopers' Greek affiliate has agreed to pay $14.9 million to settle with Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. shareholders who accused the auditor of failing to catch a $300 million fraud, Reuters reported. If approved by a federal judge in Manhattan, the deal proposed on Tuesday would end a Utah pension fund's claims that the auditor recklessly disregarded red flags when it audited the fuel transport company's financial statements in 2016. PwC Greece did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

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Former caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos has explained that the administration he was in charge of had prepared plans to shut down Greece’s banking system if elections in 2012 could not produce a government, Ekathimerini.com reported. Two ballots were held in May and June of 2012, with the second one eventually resulting in a three-party government led by New Democracy. “We were on the verge of bankruptcy,” Pikrammenos told Skai in an interview. “If elections [had] failed to yield a clear result, we would [have] shut down the banks.

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Orange2Fly Applies for Bankruptcy

Orange2Fly charter flight airline has filed for bankruptcy, ekathimerini.com reported. The Greek carrier, which was set up in September 2015 with share capital of 200,000 euros, has a fleet of four Airbus A320 aircraft, but in those six years of operation it failed to strengthen its financial report. In 2020 it had a negative net position of 7.8 million euros, with accumulated losses of 9.5 million euros and total obligations of 11.6 million euros.

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Authorities in Greece warned Tuesday that bars and restaurants could be shut down if they defy COVID-19 distancing rules following a jump in infections among young people, the Associated Press reported. Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said one-week license suspensions will be imposed on businesses that serve standing customers or ignore capacity limits, followed by two-week and indefinite suspensions if the violations persisted. Fines will range from 2,000 to 10,000 euros ($2,360-11,800) depending on the size of the business and the number of previous infringements, he said.
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