Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (pictured) dismissed on Friday calls by the Greek government for an International conference that would deal with Greece’s external debt problems.
Such a forum already exists, Mr. Dijsselbloem told reporters in a tense Press conference following a meeting with Greece’s PM and Finance Minister in Athens, and “it’s called the Eurogroup, as you know.”
Furthermore, he strongly advised the Greek government against showing indifference to the country’s international obligations arising from its bail-out agreements.
“Ignoring the compromises is not the road to follow,” the Eurogroup’s chief stressed.
Article written by LGR
Nicosia looks forward to Monday’s visit to Cyprus by the newly elected Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said, expressing certainty that discussions during the visit will once again prove the close long-standing cooperation between Cyprus and Greece.
According to Christodoulides, the Cyprus problem, the economy, Turkish provocations in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as many other issues will be on the agenda of the talks between President Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Premier.
The Government Spokesman said that Tsipras is expected to arrive on Monday morning. He will have a private meeting at the Presidential Palace with Anastasiades, to be followed by a meeting of the delegations of the two countries and statements to the press. Furthermore, he added, the Greek Prime Minister will have meetings with Cypriot parliamentary parties.
Asked if the two governments will further coordinate their actions with regard to the issue of EU sanctions against Russia, the government noted that during the meeting on Thursday of the EU Foreign Affairs Council “the vast majority of EU member states, even the bigger states, shared the same view as Greece and Cyprus, as regards way of approaching ans solving this problem.”
Article written by CNA
Nicosia District Court has referred to the Criminal Court five former Bank of Cyprus officials and the Bank as a legal entity, in the context of a broad investigation of the 2012 financial meltdown.
The five officials are: former Bank of Cyprus Board Chairmen Theodoros Aristodemou and his successor Andreas Artemi, former CEO Andreas Eliades and his successor Yiannis Kypri and former first deputy CEO Yiannis Pehlivanides, in charge of the bank`s Greek operations.
The Criminal Court will convene on February 27.
They face charges concerning market abuse and conspiracy to deceive investors.
They are charged with failure to inform the public that the bank`s capital needs had risen significantly compared to the €200 million which were announced on May 5, 2012 and with failure to take the necessary action to enable the company to announce that the bank`s capital needs had increased significantly from the €200 million announced on May 5 2012.
Excluded from international markets, Cyprus applied and received a €10 billion financial assistance from the EU and IMF to avert the collapse its banking sector and cover its fiscal needs. The programme featured an unprecedented haircut to recapatilise Bank of Cyprus. As a result almost half of deposits over €100,000 converted to shares, whereas the island`s second largest lender has been wound down.
Article written by CNA
And the winner is…
John Karayiannis… One Thing I Should Have Done…
Cyprus decides our tune with the Cypriot national final of the Eurovision Song Project airing on Sunday 1st February and all this week Cypriots have been voting for their favourite song after weekly auditions and Eurochallenge semi-finals, which started in early December. I guess if you are twitter savvy by using hash-tag #eurovisionCY this will mean something to you…
Back after a year’s hiatus, the new format had taken 55 entries to the open audition and our feature on lgr.co.uk extracted much attention from British Cypriot singers/song-writing and it goes without saying they can be proud of doing well in the quest for our tune…
Eurovision whips up our patriotic instinct and huge numbers of you support our song, so you will be pleased to know Cyprus have drawn the second semi-final on May 21st (diary ”note”) with us in the UK voting, final takes place on 23rd May at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna with our entry, aims to reach that far…
This reviewer believes we have potential qualifiers and every song is really good in 2015…
My brief review looks to the Top 6 finalists…
Hovig ‘Stone in a river‘ Hovig’s honest pop ballad is on point with the ”message” and refrain goes something like this… Why is everyone just a stone in the river, drifting by like a blind believer does anybody care to feel with his soul… flawless vocal and really liked the concept of what it has to say… good effort.
Doody ‘Magic‘ aka Stefanos Christoforou Pop track with catchy playful chorus and a more mid-tempo style, it’s all about magic and the last part with a little rap by Doody is good enough to break-up the chorus and show something of his identity as a young artist. He will hope to emulate his big bro Constantinos Christoforou who writes the music with lyrics by Zenon Zindilis has a long history with Cypriot Eurovision…
Panagiotis Koufogiannis ‘Without your love‘ Lovely piano introducing Panagioti he sings the ballad really well with sincerity/honesty… catchy hook is good enough on first listening and seems memorable… The final mix of the song has an epic feel with small orchestra strings… girls on cellos and violins adding to emotion and progressive way it builds… feels like a safe qualifier.
Song-writing by Nasos Lambrianides of ‘Life looks better in spring’ fame his Cyprus tune achieved qualifying in 2010…
Minus One ‘Shine‘ have good solid rock tune and credible in its genre with melody hooks and very nice verses… The usual band-set has their touch of baglamadaki in the break-down adding the Greek Cypriot feel to the tune. These boys are also called Marianne’s Wish has a large Cypriot fan-base and formed in 2009, going strong for five years… good energy on stage with lead vocal off Francois Micheletto, George Solonos (guitars, vocals), Constantinos Amerikanos (guitars, vocals) Antonis Loizides (bass), Chris Ioannides (drums)
John Karayiannis ‘One thing I should have done‘ Our Limassol artist, 21 years-old has the signature look of his black, thick-framed spectacles… simple acoustic ballad with good melody… modern… honest and understated with touch of acapella shows off John’s crisp vocal and delivers one of the moments in the song penned by Mike Connaris of Mcasso Music in Great Marlborough Street…
Mike gave Cyprus their equal best ever Top 5th result, for his song Lisa Andreas ‘Stronger Every Minute’ in 2004 writing himself into Cypriot folklore…
Nearxos Evangelou featuring with Charis Savva ‘Deila den agapo‘ Nearxos (21) and Charis (16) has intense chemistry, really nice, Greek-French mix with compatible voices and much feeling and emoting which has distinctive charm to it. In the first audition for me… sikostike i trixa mou we say in Greek or goose-bumps moment… it’s classic ballad with a modern hint with their young personality, slow start, erupts at 1 minute and 30 seconds in to Cypriot style dramatic power vocal… Nearxos is a singer/song-writer from Limassol and Charis represents Larnaca.
The judges with us for the whole process Alex Panayi, Elena Patroklou, Despina Olympiou, Tasos Tryfonos will be joined by Bruno Berberes (the former French Head of Delegation and executive producer of The Voice France) and Nicola Caligiore (of Italy’s public state broadcaster RAI). Previously in the Eurochallenge semis was two other jurors Christer Björkman and Dimitris Kontopoulos deciding our six…
The public has 50% voting also judges 50% and will go on to select our winning song…
Host is the gorgeous Antri Karantoni she was there back-stage with all of the acts’ support and has navigated the events so far…
The Eurovision Song Project Grand Final airs on Sunday 1st February at 19:30 GMT.
Article written by Tony Neophytou
Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (pictured) will visit three European Union capitals next week where he will hold talks with his counterparts on his government’s plan to renegotiate the debt stricken country’s bailout deal, according to the statement issued by his office on Thursday.
Varoufakis begins his tour on Monday in London where he will meet with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
Article written by LGR
As Greece’s newly elected leftist Premier Alexis Tsipras tried to strike a balanced note on Wednesday addressing his Ministers for the first time, a torrent of statements made by them signalling an overhaul of policies imposed under Greece’s bailout programme, forced Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis (pictured), following the negative reaction of financial markets, to make reassuring statements to investors.
Even though Mr. Tsipras stated that Greece wouldn’t default on its debts as he presided over his first cabinet meeting yesterday, and that he would negotiate with the country’s lenders over the 240 billion euro bailout without any “catastrophic” clashes, a barrage of statements made by newly appointed members of his government pledging, among other things, to increase the minimum wage and halt the sale of state assets generated a selloff in Athens’ stock exchange with the index falling by 8%.
Spreads on 10-year bonds climbed to 10.175 and three-year bonds went over 17%. Bank bonds lost over 30% in just a week with four banks losing 2.17 bln worth of capital share within a day dropping from 14.1 bln euros to 11.9 bln euros from the 34 bln euros they stood at last summer.
In an obvious attempt to calm the markets Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister intervened, following a meeting with Mr Tsipras, attributing the Ministers comments to lack of governmental experience.
“We have new ministers who are assuming such duties for the first time, and a society where a dynamic of such expectations has been created,” Mr Dragassakis said late Wednesday. “The Greek government is interested in attracting investors,” he added.
As a result the shares of the country’s systemic banks bounced back on Thursday.
Alpha Bank A.E. shares rose 18.1% , after losses of 30% on Wednesday. National Bank of Greece stocks also rose 12.3%.
Article written by LGR
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (pictured) told MEPs that any renegotiation attempt of Greece’s bail-out agreements would be “a waste of time”.
Speaking on Tuesday to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary affairs Committee, Mr Schaeuble assessed Troika’s – made up of representatives from ECB, EU and IMF- presence in the debt-stricken Eurozone countries as “positive” and dismissed the possibility of any debt write down for Greece.
Furthermore, although he admitted that the Greek people have suffered the most from the austerity policies imposed by the country’s creditors in return for bailout loans, the German Finance Minister squarely put the blame on the country’s political elite and the failed policies they adopted and implemented for years in the past.
Referring to Sunday’s election results in Greece and Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, decision to form a coalition government with hardline anti-bailout, right-of-centre Independent Greeks party (AN.EL), Schaeuble said that new government represents a very “interesting mix” of different political forces.
Earlier on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a congratulatory telegram to new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The telegram says, “You assume power at a difficult time that requires great responsibility. I hope that cooperation with you will further strengthen and deepen the tradition of a long and good friendship between our peoples. I wish you strength and success in you new position as prime minister.”
Article written by LGR
Deputy Prime Minister: Yiannis Dragasakis
Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction
Minister: Nikos Voutsis
Alternative Ministers: Giorgos Katrougalos (Administrative Reform), Yiannis Panousis (Citizens’ Protection), Tasia Christodoulopoulou (Immigration Policy)
Deputy Minister for Macedonia-Thrace: Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha
Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism
Minister: Giorgos Stathakis
Alternate Ministers: Theodoris Dritsas (Shipping), Elena Kountoura (Tourism), Christos Spirtzis (Infrastructure, Transport and Networks)
Ministry of Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy
Minister: Panayiotis Lafazanis
Alternate Ministers: Yiannis Tsironis (Environment), Vangelis Apostolou (Agricultural Development)
Deputy Minister: Panayiotis Sgouridis (Agricultural Development)
Ministry of Finance
Minister: Yanis Varoufakis
Alternate Ministers: Nadia Valavani, Dimitris Mardas
Ministry of Education, Culture and Religious Affairs
Minister: Aristides Baltas
Alternate Ministers: Nikos Xydakis (Culture), Tassos Kourakis (Education), Costas Fotakis (Research and Innovation)
Deputy Minister: Stavros Kontonis (Sports)
Ministry of Labor
Minister: Panos Skourletis
Alternate Ministers: Rania Antonopoulou (Unemployment), Theano Fotiou (Social Solidarity)
Ministry of Health and Social Security
Minister: Panayiotis Kouroublis
Alternate Minister: Andreas Xanthos (Health), Dimitris Stratoulis (Social Security)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister: Nikos Kotzias
Alternate Ministers: Nikos Hountis (European Affairs), Euclid Tsakalotos (International Economic Relations)
Ministry of Defense
Minister: Panos Kammenos
Alternate Minister: Costas Isichos
Deputy Minister: Nikos Toskas
Ministry of Justice
Minister: Nikos Paraskevopoulos
Minister of State for Combating Corruption: Panayiotis Nikoloudis
Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations: Alekos Flambouris
Deputy: Terence Quick
Minister of State: Nikos Pappas
Government Spokesman: Gavriil Sakellaridis
Article written by LGR