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Greece votes in landmark referendum in debt deal

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credits: telegraph.co.uk
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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Greece participated on Sunday in a landmark referendum on terms of agreement on the next debt deal with the country’s lenders.

The voting unfolded smoothly and without problems at polling stations throughout the country, officials said.

Greece President Prokopis Pavlopoulos appealed to Greeks to remain united regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s vote, ANA-MPA news agency reported.

According to the Greek ministry of internal affairs and administrative reform, about 8.5 million people are eligible to vote in the referendum.

The referendum would be considered valid if at least 40 per cent of registered voters participate in the vote, TASS news agency reported.

The polling began at 7 a.m and is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. (9.30 IST). It would determine if Greece would avert a looming disorderly default or exit the eurozone.

Ahead of the referendum, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave a call to the citizens to vote against the creditor proposals for austerity reforms, thus throwing into question the country’s continuance in the eurozone.

He said the creditors’ proposals were clearly violating the pan-European rules and the right to employment, equality and dignity.

He urged the Greek people to say “no” to the proposals and the “no” vote would be the chief argument which the government would use as the basis for improving the parameters of the agreement during further consultations with the creditors.

The referendum would also decide whether to accept the debt draft deal with international creditors to restart financial aid to the country or to reject the lenders’ programme that requires Greeks to accept further austerity measures and economic reforms.

According to the IMF, the Greek debt load is unsustainable and Greece needs a debt relief in exchange for reforms and a new 50 billion euro ($5.5 billion) financial package until 2018 to stay afloat.

A day ahead of the referendum voting, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accused Athens’ creditors of “terrorism”.

European leaders say a “No” vote could lead to Grexit — Greece’s exit from the eurozone.
Meanwhile, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling has said he hopes the Greeks would vote for the draft agreement of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for settling the debt problem and its adoption by the Greek government.

“I hope that common sense will prevail because the Greek people know that it is not just the future of the euro which is in question. It concerns the future of Greece and their own future,” Schelling said.

“We have been making concessions to the Greeks for a long time and we are still extending our hand to them,” Schelling said, adding the EU would resume talks as soon as the Greek government states clearly what it really wants.

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At 7.4%, India Will be the Fastest Growing Major Economy in 2018

"The current account deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to widen somewhat but should remain modest, financed by robust foreign direct investment inflows," the report said.

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However, it added a note of caution:
Indian Economy is growing at the rate of 7.4%, Pixabay

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed on Wednesday that India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4 per cent that rises to 7.8 per cent in 2019 with medium-term prospects remaining positive.

The IMF’s Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report said that India was recovering from the effects of demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax and “the recovery is expected to be underpinned by a rebound from transitory shocks as well as robust private consumption.”

Medium-term consumer price index inflation “is forecast to remain within but closer to the upper bound of the Reserve Bank of India’s inflation-targeting banda of four per cent with a plus or minus two per cent change, the report said.

However, it added a note of caution: “In India, given increased inflation pressure, monetary policy should maintain a tightening bias.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed on Wednesday that India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4 per cent that rises to 7.8 per cent in 2019 with medium-term prospects remaining positive.
IMF declares Indian economy growth fastest among all, IANS

It said the consumer price increase in 2017 was 3.6 per cent and projected it to be five per cent in 2018 and 2019.

“The current account deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to widen somewhat but should remain modest, financed by robust foreign direct investment inflows,” the report said.

After India, Bangladesh is projected to be the fastest-growing economy in South Asia with growth rates of seven per cent for 2018 and 2019; Sri Lanka is projected to grow at four per cent in 2018 and 4.5 in 2019, and Nepal five per cent in 2018 and four per cent in next. (Pakistan, which is grouped with the Middle East, is not covered in the Asia report.)

Overall, the report said that Asia continues to be both the fastest-growing region in the world and the main engine of the world’s economy.

The region contributes more than 60 per cent of global growth and three-quarters of this comes from India and China, which is expected to grow 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019, it said.

The report said that US President Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus is expected to support Asia’s exports and investment.

The Asian region’s growth rate was expected to be 5.6 per cent for 2018 and 2019.

However, in the medium term the report said that “downside risks dominate” for the region and these include a tightening of global financial conditions, a shift toward protectionist policies, and an increase in geopolitical tensions.

Also Read: Hero Cycles to Grow 60% by 2022 and UK Will Help It 

Because of these uncertainties the IMF urged the countries in the region to follow conservative policies “aimed at building buffers and increasing resilience” and push ahead with structural reforms.

“While mobile payments are expanding sharply in such economies as Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, on average Asia is lagging sub-Saharan Africa,” the IMF said, adding that the region should take steps to ensure it is able to reap the full benefits of increasing digitalisation in the global economy. (IANS)

 

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