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Monday, 21 October 2013

BELATED WEEKEND READING - 19-20 OCTOBER


  1. Greek deficit revised downwards by 1 percentage point.
  2. Presenting the Group of States Against Corruption - somehow, its acronym is GRECO.
  3. Nearly two years on, Greece has still failed to recover illegal state Aid from Ellinikos Xrysos, says the European Court of Justice.
  4. On the other hand, State Aid to DESFA to expand gas infrastructure is a-OK says the Commission.
  5. And so is the merger of Aegean and Olympic, says the Commission. Why? Because they received assurances that Olympic could not continue to operate as a going concern and thus further consolidation in the sector was inevitable - presumably no one would buy the company's assets in a fire sale? The reality, of course, is that the merger aims to ensure that long-distance routes remain expensive enough to cross-subsidise the politically sensitive but irreversibly loss-making internal routes. Note the phrasing on the 'Prices' section here. The effects were plain to me when I realised, way back in August, that holiday-time prices for the London-Athens route were already at the levels I was accustomed to seeing when booking last minutes in November.
  6. The IMF's researchers weigh in in favour of a Pan-European fiscal stabilisation mechanism.
  7. Construction in Greece surges by 20% yoy in Q2 2013. I smell a massive rat. Meanwhile, industrial production crashed year on year during the summer.
  8. Some things I did not know about the Greek Labour Force Survey: a) it only covers people who intend to stay in Greece for at least one year. b) taking the survey is compulsory c) the new census figures are still not being used to weight LFS responses - i.e. we can expect the LFS to be re-based sometime soon, with unpredictable results. d) 42% of interviews are carried out by proxy (!) This casts some doubt on statistics involving intentions (e.g. whether people working part-time would prefer a full-time job)
  9. The IMF's researchers warn against expecting structural reforms to deliver short-term growth in the European periphery.
  10. Switzerland has become the 58th country to sign up to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax matters. Greece is also a signatory.
  11. Greece continues to lag the rest of Europe for online purchases - especially (surprise!) those of books, which only 7% of Greek internet users (i.e. a sub-set of the population) have ever bought online.

1 comment:

  1. Σχετικά με την παράγραφο 11, τουλάχιστον από προσωπική εμπειρία (Ζω σε επαρχιακή πόλη), οι δανεισμοί βιβλίων από δημ. βιβλιοθήκη έχουν αυξηθεί κατακόρυφα . Χωρίς καμία διαφήμιση. Απλά, οι άνθρωποι που διαβάζουν, αντί ν' αγοράζουν βιβλία, προτιμούν να δανείζονται, προφανώς για λόγους οικονομίας.

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