Athens mayor presents progress report

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said that cost-cutting measures and good housekeeping turned the municipality's deficit of 47 million euros in January 2011 into a surplus in 2013, despite the City facing a 25 percent reduction in state funding.

The former ombudsman was speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the municipal council in central Athens on Monday evening, where he presented a report on the achievements made under his tenure, which began in November 2010.

He said that when he took over from his predecessor, Nikitas Kaklamanis, the municipality had run up a deficit of 47 million euros, debts to suppliers of 48 million euros and debts to banks of 219 million euros.

By January 2013, Kaminis said, the debt had been turned into a surplus of 12.5 million euros, debts to suppliers were more than halved to 22 million euros and loans were being regularly serviced.

He also presented data showing a reduction in the amount of rent the municipality pays to house its services of 30 percent and in overtime payments of 52 percent.

Kaminis was also upbeat about the social services the municipality provides to crisis-hit residents, saying that it distributes 1,300 school meals and serves 1,400 meals at its soup kitchens a day.

His presentation, however, was not met without criticism, especially by Kaklamanis, who expressed skepticism regarding the municipality's financial management.