Athens.- Greek households lost 14 billion euros from their available income last year, hit by a 10.7 pct reduction in workers’ pay and a 12.3 pct cut in social benefits, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Friday.
The statistics service, in a report, said the available income fell to 122.2 billion euros last year, from 136.2 billion euros in 2012, for a decline of 10.2 pct. Greek households’ available income fell by 48.4 billion euros in the last five years, from 170.6 billion euros in 2009. Final consumption spending fell by 4.8 billion euros, or 3.6 pct to 129.9 billion at the end of 2013, from 134.7 billion euros a year earlier. The savings rate fell to -6.2 pct in 2013 from 1.1 pct in 2012.
Private investments (gross investments on fixed capital) totaled 11 billion euros in 2013, down 13.7 pct from the previous year. The statistics service also said that the country’s external balance of goods and services showed a shortfall of 5.4 billion euros in 2013, from 8.7 billion euros in 2012.
Lenders now focus on funding the real economy
The heads of the four Greek systemic banks in statements to ‘Kathimerini’ newspaper expressed their content over the stress tests conducted by the European Central Bank, noting that they would now focus on the financing on businesses and households.
Piraeus Bank chairman Michael Sallas said that the successful completion of the stress tests concludes the cycle of recapitalizations and paves the way for new initiatives on the part of the banks for the restructuring and the financial support of businesses, the strengthening of competitiveness and the Greek economy’s growth prospects.
Alpha Bank CEO Dimitris Mantzounis noted that the successive capital injections, the recovery of the operating profitability and in general the improvement of the economic conditions contributed to a positive result which conduced to the consolidation of confidence, a crucial factor for the smooth operation of the economy.
National Bank CEO Alexandros Tourkolias noted that Greek banks can now fulfill their main mission, namely the funding of the Greek economy.
Eurobank CEO Christos Megalou mentioned that banks would now focus on the implementation of their business plans and the funding of credible investment plans as well as of the households. He added that the key point was also how effectively the non-performing loans would be dealt with.
Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras told the same paper that the results of the pan-European stress tests were much better than expected.
“The good results of the stress tests, however, should not lead to complacency, especially as far as the quality of loan portfolios and the dealing with non-performing loans is concerned,” he noted. \\
Greece’s privatisation fund receives 27 bids for Plaka properties
Greece’s privatisation agency, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), received 27 bids for seven state properties located in the historic center of Athens, in the area of Plaka, completing the first phase of the tender, a statement by the fund said on Friday.
HRADF said it will go over the documents submitted by the candidates and will decide on who will participate in the online auction. It will also determine the minimum price that will be accepted for each property, based on the highest bid submitted and an independent estimate.
The fund also received four offers for four state properties abroad: in Washington, New York, Pretoria and Belgrade. HRADF didn’t receive any bids for its property in Ljubljana and will reconsider its options.
In the next phase of the tender, HRADF will determine the validity of the offers and, after the recommendation of its legal counsels, will unseal the envelopes containing the financial offers.
The bids were submitted through the online auctioning platform e-publicrealstate.gr.
Tourism Minister Kefalogianni in London
Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni left on Friday for London where she will visit the international tourist exhibition World Travel Market to be held on November 3-6.
During her visit to London, Kefalogianni will have a series of contacts with representatives of international travel organisations and will also give interviews to major mass media as CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Guardian, Independent and Telegraph.
Tourism Minister will refer, among others, to the National Strategic Plan and to the prospects for the Greek tourism in the next years.