Athens Digest 26.07.2019

• As borrowing rates tumble, 10-year bond yield dips below 2%

• PM meets Latsis, vows to speed up Hellenikon development

• Greece, Spain head to court over data-protection delay

• Emergency number?

# Greece’s borrowing rates have hit new historic lows with the yield on the 10-year bond dropping below 2 percent for the first time before settling at 2.026 percent. Rates also narrowed further with euro area member Italy. Greece’s 5-year bond yield dropped to 1.044 percent, while Italy’s was up to 0.813 percent.

# Prime Minister Mitsotakis has promised to help overcome delays in the Hellenikon development project on the capital’s coastline at a meeting with Spiros J. Latsis, major shareholder of Lamda Development. “The prime minister and Mr Latsis agreed to take all the necessary steps required for this important investment, honouring commitments and overcoming obstacles that have delayed the start of a project that is beneficial for the national interest,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said. Lamda had accused the previous government of “systematic and organized efforts and (creating) serious bureaucratic obstacles,” to the EUR 8 billion project. Separately, the Hellenic Gaming Commission has for the fourth time extended a casino licensing tender at Hellnikon, with the new date pushed back to September 30, as reportedly joint ministerial decisions have to be released first.

# The EU Commission has referred Greece and Spain to the Court of Justice for failing to incorporate the bloc’s data protection rules (GDPR) into national law. “The protection of personal data is a fundamental right enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU,” a Commission statement said. “The lack of transposition by Spain and Greece creates a different level of protection of peoples’ rights and freedoms and hampers data exchanges between Greece and Spain on one side and other member states who transposed the directive on the other side.”

# Greece also received another warning under the Commission’s July Infringement Package: Along with Croatia, The Czech Republic, Germany, and  Spain, Greece has failed to effectively implement the 112 emergency number system _ as well as not securing proper access for disabled users. Member states are legally required to Integrate called location information into the 122 system and properly staff call response centres. The new government has said it plans to overcome the major delays in the Greek system by the end of the year.

On our Radar: Another headache for PPC? 
Public Power Corporation’s serious financial problems have been exacerbated by the failure to comply with the EU health standards regarding two coal-fired plants at Kardia and Amyntaio in northern Greece. The EU Commission has expressed concern that “Greece is failing to protect its citizens from noxious air pollution,” and gave the country’s authorities two months present its case on how it intends to comply with EU pollution rules.