#AceFinanceNews – (Reuters) – Greek police have banned protests in Athens when the Greek capital hosts a meeting of European Union finance ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday, citing security reasons.
Demonstrators will be banned from rallying or marching in the centre of the capital, including around parliament in Syntagma Square, the focus of often violent protests against austerity measures imposed under the country’s bailout plans.
Athens has implemented such bans several times in the past, including when German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made high-profile visits to the Greek capital. Schaeuble is among ministers expected to attend the meetings this week.
#AceFinanceNews – BERLIN – March 27 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the crisis around Ukraine should be resolved by political means without imposing economic sanctions on Russia.
Merkel said in Berlin on Wednesday after talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye that the West “has not reached a stage that implies the imposition of economic sanctions” on Moscow.
“And I hope we will be able to avoid it,” she said. “I am not interested in escalation. On the contrary, I am working on de-escalation of the situation.”
German experts say economic sanctions against Russia that Western countries could impose for Russia’s position on the situation in Ukraine and Crimea would negatively affect Germany’s economy.
The German-Russian trade in 2013 totalled 76 billion euros; some 6,000 German companies do business with Russian enterprises; the overall volume of their investment totals 20 billion euros. Some 300,000 jobs in Germany depend on the country’s economic relations with Russia.
Earlier Wednesday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov commented on ratings agencies’ actions to revise the outlook on Russia’s sovereign rating.
“At present, the investors’ worries are connected with the consequences of sanctions. We see ratings agencies lower the outlook on Russia’s ratings.
It certainly puts us on alert. There are no basic grounds for changing the general stability of Russia’s economy,” Siluanov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.