Athens Digest 17.06.2017

• New poll predicts ND majority government and seven-party House

• PM warns Turkey with sanctions over reports of drilling activities in Cyprus EEZ

• EU Report paints dire picture for pension system over coming decades

• Piraeus Bank announces sale completion of its shareholding in Bulgarian banking subsidiary

# A third successive poll in the last week has predicted that main opposition New Democracy will form a majority government after the July 7 national election. The latest survey of voter intentions, conducted by Marc and published in Proto Thema newspaper, showed a seven-party Parliament and that ND would beat ruling SYRIZA by a margin of 9.8 percentage. More specifically, the conservatives would get 34.4-percent against 24.6-percent for the leftist party. Center left Movement for Change (KINAL) would get 7.1-percent, ahead of communist KKE with 4.9-percent, extreme right Golden Dawn on 3.5 percent. MeRA25 of ex finance minister Yanis Varoufakis would get 3.4-percent, with pro- Russian party Elliniki Lysi (Greek Solution) on 3-percent. Undecided voters were 10.8-percent. Based on these predictions, ND will get 154 seats in the 300-member Parliament, more than double those of SYRIZA (75). KINAL will have 22 seats, ahead of KKE (15), Golden Dawn and MeRA25 (12 seats each) and Elliniki Lysi (10).

# Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned yesterday that Athens and Nicosia will seek the imposition of sanctions on Ankara during this week’s EU summit if reports are confirmed that a Turkish vessel has begun drilling activities within Cyprus’s economic zone. “Whoever violates the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus and international law in the region will have consequences,” he said after convening Greece’s Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) yesterday. Earlier in the day, the defense ministry denied media reports that it moved troops to the Eastern Aegean Islands close to Turkey. During the 6th South EU Summit in Malta on Friday, the leaders of France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain called on Turkey to respect international law and the principles of good neighborly relations.

# Piraeus Bank announced on Friday that it completed the sale of its shareholding stake (99.98-percent) in its banking subsidiary in Bulgaria. “The Transaction represents the last major milestone towards the conclusion of Piraeus Bank’s Restructuring Plan commitments, as those were agreed with the European Commission. It has a positive impact on our capital base, enabling further the Bank’s capital enhancement strategy and focus on core banking operations,” Christos Megalou Piraeus Bank’s CEO stated.

On Our Radar: EU report paints dire picture for pension system over coming decades

By 2060, there will be 169 inactive people for every 100 workers in Greece, according to a report on “Demographic Scenarios for the EU – Migration, Population and Education” by the EC’s Joint Research Centre-JRC and the  International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The average for the EU would reach 1.36 in 2060. The reports said Greece’s labour-force dependency ratio (LFDR) ratio will reach 1.69 due to low fertility, higher life expectancy and low labour-force participation. On the other hand, it noted that EU member states such as Sweden and Denmark with medium or high fertility and a higher labour-force participation rate would have more favourable ratios – 1.04 and 1.05 respectively.