Author Archives: Santorini Hotels

Greek government eyes fiscal space of €1.5 billion in talks with lenders

Greek government’s negotiations with the country’s creditors are focused on five fronts, as Athens seeks to secure additional fiscal space so it can implement tax breaks and handouts in accordance with its policy, ekathimerini.com reports. Among the government's targets for this year are cutting the solidarity levy and the further reduction of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA). “Our priority is to secure some fiscal space to apply our policy,” a senior Finance Ministry official noted on Wednesday, stating the five fronts in the negotiations. They are the change of use for the profits of eurozone central banks from Greek bond holdings (SMPs and ANFAs), to investments rather than servicing the national debt; the option of transferring any primary surplus overrun from one year to the next; the exemption of the funds for tackling the increased migrant flows from the fiscal result as the post-bailout program defines it; the reduction of the primary surplus target; and the use of any primary surplus overruns for the reduction of ENFIA and the solidarity levy. These requests, the same source pointed out, have already been communicated to the creditors, while the first three of them were the object of specific proposals Finance Minister Christos Staikouras delivered on Wednesday to the heads of the creditors’ mission in Athens in the context of the fifth post-bailout assessment. “We are playing with our cards laid on the table,” said the same ministry official. The first three requests add up to fiscal space of at least 1.5 billion euros for this year: The change in the use of SMP and ANFA profits will secure 1.3 billion euros for investments, the exemption of funds for tackling migration some 200 million euros, plus any funds from the primary surplus. It remains unclear, the ministry official said, whether and how the fiscal space from the SMPs and ANFAs will count toward the primary surplus. The issue of the reduction of ENFIA and the solidarity levy is expected to be discussed from April when the picture of the projected fiscal result of the year will become clearer. Read more at thenationalherald.com RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

AP: Notre Dame renovation chief says rebuild won’t be rushed

AP reports from Paris that the French army general in charge of rebuilding fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris says renovation work will begin in earnest later this year. Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin told a French parliament commission Wednesday that workers are still securing the structure. Concerns persist that Notre Dame’s vaulted ceilings could fall. “Even if we are rather confident and even if all the indicators seem positive, it is still too early to affirm that the cathedral is saved,” he pointed. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: milliped Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek public sector workers set to strike over pension reform

Greek civil servants’ union ADEDY has heralded strike action as soon as a bill with the government’s pension reform is tabled in Parliament, ekathimerini.com reports. ADEDY’s executive committee indicated on Thursday that it would proceed with a 24-hour strike on the day the bill goes to the House, in line with a decision adopted during its session last week. The union's key demands are for the revocation of all pension cuts implemented during Greece’s bailout years and a full state guarantee for all pensions, while it is also against the privatization of social insurance in the country.  RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

U.S. Ambassador for religious freedom visits Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback visited the seat of Ecumenical Patriarchate and met with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Ambassador Sam Brownback, who had visited earlier the Holy Trinity Monastery, which houses the historic Theological School of Halki discussed with the Ecumenical Patriarch issues regarding the ministry of the Mother Church of Constantinople, both locally and internationally, the Greek Diaspora, and the status of Christians in Turkey. The Ecumenical Patriarch, in turn, made reference to his future visit to the United States this coming May and his planned meeting with President Donald J. Trump in Washington. Present at the meeting was the U.S. Consul General in Constantinople, Daria Darnell, together with the associates of the ambassador and the Consulate General. On behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate were in attendance Metropolitan Maximos of Silyvria, Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos, and Konstantinos Delikonstantis, Archon Didaskalos tou Genous, Director of the First Patriarchal Office. Read more at thenationalherald.com RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Pvasiliadis Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek parliament to vote on Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US

The foreign ministry bill on the “Ratification of the Protocol, Amendments to the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between Greece and the USA” will be tabled for a plenum debate and vote in the Greek parliament at 14:00 on January 30, Parliament President Kostas Tasoulas said after a meeting of the conference of parliament presidents on Thursday, ANA reports. Tasoulas pointed out that the debate on the bill, as it concerns granting permission to foreign troops, will be “extended” and held according to article 27, paragraph 2 of the Constitution. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Rennett Stowe Let's block ads! (Why?)

Foreign Minister: Greece and Saudi Arabia agree Turkey-Libya accords are void

Greece and Saudi Arabia share the view that the Memoranda of Understanding signed between Turkey and Prime Minister of Libya's National Accord government Fayez Al-Sarraj are void and non-existent, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in Athens on Friday afternoon, according to ANA. Following a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the Greek FM added that Athens and Riyadh are working closely together towards regional stability. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Orlovic Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek products offered great trade deal with Vietnam under new EU Agreement

Greece will enjoy a new trade arrangement with Vietnam which will see the removal of customs duties, non- tariff barriers and geographical indicator protections on the majority of its exported products, greekcitytimes.com reports. The new trade arrangement comes following the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade backed the free trade and investment protection agreements between the EU and Vietnam and gave its consent to the free trade agreement by 29 votes, six votes against and five abstentions and recommends that EP Plenary should do the same. The agreement will remove virtually all tariffs between the two parties within ten years. It will protect emblematic European products, and allow Europe to access the Vietnamese public procurement market. The agreement is also an instrument to protect the environment and promote social progress in Vietnam. The trade committee’s demands from Vietnam, include labour and human rights, as well as the mechanism ensuring the enforceability of the sustainability clauses, which was adopted by 29 votes for, nine against and two abstentions. The principal elements of the trade deal are as follows: Removal of customs duties: 65% of EU exports to Vietnam will be immediately duty-free, with the rest – including motorcycles, cars, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wines, chicken and pork – gradually liberalised over ten years. 71% of Vietnamese exports to the EU will be duty-free on day one, with the rest catching up in seven years. Duty-free Vietnamese exports of sensitive agricultural products, such as rice, garlic or eggs, will be limited; Non-tariff barriers: will be eliminated in the automotive sector, export and import licensing, and customs procedures. Vietnam accepted the “Made in EU” marking, beyond national markings of origin, for non-agricultural products; Geographical indications: 169 emblematic EU products such as Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Champagne, or Rioja wine, will enjoy protection in Vietnam, as will 39 Vietnamese products in the EU; Services: EU companies will have improved access to business, environmental, postal and courier, banking, insurance, and maritime transport services in Vietnam; Public procurement: EU firms will be able to bid for contracts with Vietnamese ministries, state-owned enterprises, as well as with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; Sustainable development: there are legally-binding rules on climate, labour, and human rights. The agreement commits Vietnam to apply the Paris Agreement. Vietnam scheduled the ratification of two remaining bills on the abolition of forced labour and on freedom of association by 2020 and 2023, respectively. If there are human rights breaches, the trade deal can be suspended. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

Global Tourism Plastics Iniative tackles one of the worst polluters

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is officially announced today by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to tackle the root causes of plastic pollution, enabling businesses and governments to take joint action. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is ground-breaking and ambitious in its goals. It aims to reduce the amount of plastic pollution caused by the tourism sector. To achieve this vision, tourism companies and destinations will be required to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025, including to:  Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and items by 2025;  Take action to move from single-use to reuse models or reusable alternatives by 2025;  Engage the value chain to move towards 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable;  Take action to increase the amount of recycled content across all plastic packaging and items used;  Commit to collaborate and invest to increase the recycling and composting rates for plastics;  Report publicly and annually on progress made towards these targets.  UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is a unique opportunity for tourism companies and destinations to step forward and lead the global effort addressing plastic pollution. Frontrunning tourism companies and destinations will set quantifiable targets as part of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and accelerate the transformation of the tourism sector towards more integrated solutions and circular business models.” The Initiative is a key activity of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet Network and it acts as the interface for the tourism sector of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  The New Plastics Economy Programme Manager Gerald Naber said: “The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites more than 450 businesses, governments and others behind a clear vision of a circular economy for plastics. We welcome the launch of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by UNEP and UNWTO, which unites the tourism sector behind this vision for a world in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution. It will be a challenging journey, but through concerted action, we can eliminate the plastics we don't need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be safely and easily circulated – keeping them in the economy and out of the environment.”  The Director of UN Environment’s Economy Division Director, Ms Ligia Noronha, added: “Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of our time, and tourism has an important role to play in contributing to the solution. Through the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, tourism companies and destinations are supported so they can innovate, eliminate and circulate the way they use plastics.”  RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

IATA monitors developments on Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan of China

IATA is closely monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan (China) and is actively engaged with the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat, ICAO and the US Centers for Disease Control. WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travelers. In case of symptoms suggestive to respiratory illness before, during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their health care provider. WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available on this event. Airlines are prepared to work with public health authorities when there are outbreaks of communicable diseases with well-developed standards and best practices. IATA will provide further updates as appropriate. To keep updated with WHO advise for international travel and trade, refer to the WHO web site.  RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Let's block ads! (Why?)

New initiative for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece

President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos described as institutionally just and ethical, the fight for the return of the Parthenon sculptures in the name of World Heritage, in his address at the inaugural Panhellenic Commission meeting, organized by the Presidents of the Greek Bar Associations plenary, int.ert.gr reports. The President of the Hellenic Republic reiterated that the Parthenon is one of the most significant monuments of Greek antiquity, while at the same time symbolizes the cradle of Western culture. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Solipsist~commonswiki Let's block ads! (Why?)