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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-07-06

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

July 6, 2005

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM reiterates that gov't will absolutely proceed with structural reforms
  • [02] Cabinet unanimously approves of several top justices
  • [03] Relations between Greece and Russia have 'partnership character and stable positive power', Russian foreign ministry spokesman says
  • [04] European Commission satisfied with suspension of 'primary shareholder' law
  • [05] Greece presents its program to UN Security Council
  • [06] President Papoulias visits fire department operations centre
  • [07] European Commissioner on Environment presents strategy on air pollution
  • [08] Gov't told election of new Jerusalem patriarch pending
  • [09] Transport Minister Liapis receives British counterpart Ladyman
  • [10] European Parliament overwhelmingly votes for Greek MEP's report on child labor
  • [11] Equality secretariat and UNHCR sign memorandum for support of women refugees
  • [12] Government Council approves proposal on repatriated Greeks and gypsies, interior minister says
  • [13] Romanian deputy prime minister visits Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos
  • [14] Churches must be well preserved, respected, Ecumenical Patriarch says
  • [15] Pope Benedict XVI to visit Istanbul in November, Italian newspaper says
  • [16] U.S. Independence Day celebrated at ambassador's residence
  • [17] Gov't invites social partners to dialogue over labor relations, unions react
  • [18] Greece emerges as a significant energy hub, minister says
  • [19] Gov't sets up tourism bureau to publicize Attica
  • [20] Intracom company will keep its headquarters in Greece
  • [21] President Papoulias receives Bank of Greece governor
  • [22] Greek mutual funds' assets down 3.98 pct in June
  • [23] Competition Commission imposes 15-mln-euro fine against Greek supermarkets
  • [24] Deputy defense minister approves procurement of 30 Hummer armored vehicles
  • [25] Yachting market peaked in 2003, survey shows
  • [26] Mechaniki gets ministry road building contract
  • [27] Blue chip buying lifts ASE higher
  • [28] Jetfighter crashes, pilot ejects to safety
  • [29] MPs and Parliament correspondents to perform in concert organized by Karditsa Conservatory
  • [30] 140,000 euros in jewelry burgled from home in Thessaloniki
  • [31] Missing hiker found dead at the bottom of a ravine in Valia Kalda
  • [32] Young girl dies in swimming accident
  • [33] Canada's Hellenic Flame festival dedicated to gods of Olympus
  • [34] Athens mayor awards key officials for their contribution to 2004 Olympics
  • [35] Cyprus Government: Turkey must sign Protocol before EU negotiations
  • [36] AKEL and RTK agree to have intensive talks

  • [01] PM reiterates that gov't will absolutely proceed with structural reforms

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday said he was determined to absolutely proceed with a closely watched policy of reforms and structural changes.

    Addressing a Cabinet meeting, the Greek PM said the government has inherited an overburdened and dysfunctional public sector, while he stressed that changes under way, or ones necessary in the near future, were a one-way avenue for the government.

    "We are proceeding with self-confidence and continuing reforms," Karamanlis said.

    He also urged his ministers to continue their work and attain the maximum of productivity in their respective ministries, quicker and more effectively.

    Turning to the main opposition and the party that held power before his government, Karamanlis said PASOK was a "hostage of its own past", while adding, however, that in no way could the later act as an impediment to the course towards development that the government has chosen.

    Gov't to present draft legislation on unification of fuel taxes: The Greek government will present by the end of July a draft legislation envisaging the unification of a special consumption tax on heating and diesel oil in the country.

    The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The new legislation will be drafted in cooperation between Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    Government spokesman, speaking to reporters, reassured there would no extra burdens to consumers by the plan and that the government was seeking ways to effectively deal with fuel smuggling in the country. The new system will be honest and simple to facilitate citizens and at the same time deal with tax evasion.

    [02] Cabinet unanimously approves of several top justices

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The inner Cabinet on Tuesday unanimously approved of several new chief justices and deputy chief justices for the Supreme Court, the Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, as well as the General Audit Council.

    Specifically, Romylus Kedikoglou was elected as the chief justice of the Supreme Court, whereas Georgios Panayiotopoulos was elected to a similar post on the Council of State. The new deputy justices on the Supreme Court are: Spyros Giafis, A Moschandreou, Christos Baltas, Th. Apostolopoulos and E. Antoniou.

    [03] Relations between Greece and Russia have 'partnership character and stable positive power', Russian foreign ministry spokesman says

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Russian foreign ministry spokesman Aleksander Yiakovenko, who gave an interview to the PIA-Novosti news agency earlier on Tuesday, said relations between Greece and Russia have a "partnership character and stable positive power."

    Yiakovenko was speaking in light of the visit Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis will be making to Moscow on Thursday and his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

    The spokesman underlined in his interview the "favorable prospects which both sides recognize for the further development of mutually beneficial cooperation in many sectors" and added that "regular political contacts are being maintained at the highest level."

    Referring to the two ministers' agenda of talks, Yiakovenko said "bilateral political relations and the situation in the practical sectors of political cooperation are expected to be discussed, as well as crucial international problems, taking into consideration the fact that Greece is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. In the framework of the joint Greco-Russian declaration of cooperation for combatting terrorism, great attention will be paid to the important issues of cooperation in this sector."

    Yiakovenko also spoke of a "considerable coincidence of views by Russia and Greece in the evaluation of most world and regional problems" which "create a good basis for cooperation between the two countries in the framework of international organizations and fora."

    Issues to be raised during the meeting between the two ministers include, according to Yiakovenko, trade and economic relations between the two countries which are "developing dynamically" and, more specifically, the implementation of the agreement reached in 1987 on the procurement of Russian natural gas by Greece, the Russo-Greco-Bulgarian plan on the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, investments in the sector of high technology military and technical cooperation, tourism, etc.

    [04] European Commission satisfied with suspension of 'primary shareholder' law

    BRUSSELS, 06/07/2005 (ANA/B.Demiris)

    The European Commission expressed satisfaction with the letter it received from Greek authorities on Tuesday regarding the primary shareholder law.

    Specifically, the Greek letter clarified that law 3310 passed in 2005 and law 3021 passed in 2002 had been suspended, in response to a warning letter sent by the Commission.

    Oliver Drewes, Spokesman for the European Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market Charlie McCreevy, described the letter as a "very positive development."

    In its warning letter, the Commission emphasized that the 2002 law prevents companies doing business with mass media firms from bidding for public contracts and thus conflicts with EU legislation.

    Government addresses letter to European Commission on primary shareholder issue: The Greek government has addressed a letter to the European Commission, following consultations taking place on the issue of the "primary shareholder", informing it that the suspension of the New Democracy party's law 3310 also leads to the corresponding suspension of law 3021 prepared by the PASOK government.

    The letter comes as a reply to a letter addressed to the government by the European Commission last Thursday which set a five-day deadline for the suspension of PASOK's law on the "primary shareholder."

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Tuesday that processes for seeking a 'common point' with the European Commission are continuing, adding that remarks made by the EU have been taken into consideration.

    Meanwhile, the National Radio and Television Council has already stopped issuing transparency certificates.

    Papandreou criticism of gov't over 'primary shareholder' bill, judicial appointments: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tues-day reportedly launched into a sharp criticism against the government's 'primary shareholder' initiative, in addressing his party's Parliamentary group coordinating committee.

    According to press reports, Papandreou apparently charged that the government is simply creating a framework to hold certain business interests and media concerns "hostage".

    The PASOK president also reportedly criticized the government's latest top judicial appointments, charging political criteria were used.

    [05] Greece presents its program to UN Security Council

    NEW YORK, 06/07/2005 (ANA/P.Panagiotou)

    Greece's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Adamantios Vassilakis was scheduled to present Greece's program for the duration of its presidency to the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

    Greece assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council on July 1, following France.

    The council's plenary session was expected to approve the program in a closed session later on Tuesday.

    After the session, Vassilakis would hold a press conference during which he would present the issues on which the council will be focusing.

    The issues that are expected to be on the Security Council's agenda during the month of July include: problems facing various African countries, such as Congo, Papua-New Guinea, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia; the situation in the Middle East and the peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Georgia.

    On July 12, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis will preside over an open session regarding the Security Council's role in humanitarian crises.

    On July 18, a briefing on HIV/AIDS within the context of peacekeeping missions will be held, while on July 25 a public session will be held on progress made by the council's three committees which deal with terrorism.

    [06] President Papoulias visits fire department operations centre

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias paid a visit to the Fire Department's Operations Coordinating Centre (199 SEKYPS) in Halandri on Tuesday morning at 10:30, at the invitation of Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis.

    The president was received by the minister and public order ministry general secretary Leonidas Evangelidis, along with the fire department's leadership.

    Papoulias laid a wreath at a memorial for fire-fighters fallen in the line of duty and then spoke with fire department officers, thanking them on behalf of the Greek people for their work to protect the lives and property of the public.

    In his own speech, Voulgarakis noted that the fire department was the central branch of civil protection for the country and enjoyed 97 per cent acceptance in Greek society according to a recent survey.

    "The successes of the past years have been the result of long-term planning, based on cooperation, inter-branch collaboration, modern equipment and, primarily, human resources," he said, underlining that this effort had been possible due to a methodical approach, determination, discipline and sheer hard work at all levels and all ranks of the force.

    Fire Department Chief Christos Smetis briefly referred to the history of the force and its results in the past three years, which he said had been the best in the last 50 years of the fire department's operation. He noted that recent purchases of new equipment had endowed the Greek fire department with one of the strongest fire-fighting fleets in Europe.

    The president then toured the operations centre and showed particular interest in the new communications systems and the police surveillance cameras that allow fire-fighters to locate fires and monitor traffic levels on the roads, in order to reach fires more quickly and easily.

    [07] European Commissioner on Environment presents strategy on air pollution

    STRASBOURG, 06/07/2205 (ANA)

    European Commissioner responsible for the Environment, Stavros Dimas, presented the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution to the plenary session at the European Parliament here on Monday.

    "The Air Thematic Strategy is the first of seven strategies that represent a new way of making 'joined-up' environment policy," he explained.

    "It has undergone a lengthy consultation process - in which the Parliament has participated actively and is now ready for adoption," he continued.

    Dimas referred to the effects of air pollution, saying that approximately 350,000 premature deaths linked to air pollution occur annually.

    Regarding the consequences of air pollution on the environment, Dimas said: "There will also remain serious risks for up to one million square kilometers of natural ecosystems."

    Aside from the negative effects on health and the environment, the European Commissioner also referred to the economic impact of air pollution.

    "The health problems caused by bad air quality lead to about 150 million working days lost each year, productivity foregone and significant costs for health care. Agriculture is losing 2.5 billion annually from the damage that ozone creates," he said.

    In closing, Dimas said: "...the air strategy should signal a significant improvement in the quality of the air that we breathe. This is something we owe to the European citizens.

    I look forward to your support for this new stage in EU environment policy and hope to be able to present the final thematic air strategy to Parliament soon, a strategy ambitious but also achievable."

    [08] Gov't told election of new Jerusalem patriarch pending

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The Jerusalem Patriarchate's new Exarch in Athens on Tuesday briefed the Greek government of the Patriarchate's Holy Synod to proceed with the election of a new Patriarch in the Holy Land.

    The announcement came during a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis.

    "The new Exarch arrives during a crucial period for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and what I briefed him on is the fact that the Greek government, and all of Greece, cares for the institution of the Patriarchate and not individuals. Therefore, we must all struggle so that the Greek Orthodox character of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem continues," Skandalakis said.

    [09] Transport Minister Liapis receives British counterpart Ladyman

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis met with his British counterpart Steven Ladyman on Tuesday, for talks that focused squarely on the British EU presidency's priorities for the next six months.

    According to reports, air, land and rail transports were discussed, and in particular, the Community's commercial aviation relations with the United States.

    [10] European Parliament overwhelmingly votes for Greek MEP's report on child labor

    STRASBOURG, 06/07/2005 (ANA)

    The European Parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a report by Greece's New Democracy MEP Manolis Mavrommatis on child labor and the exploitation of children in developing countries, with 618 positive votes from a total of 632 MEPs that were present.

    Presenting his report, Mavrommatis noted that public opinion and the European Union showed particular sensitivity on this problem and cooperated fully with international organizations such as UNICEF and NGOs dealing with the protection of children's rights.

    The Greek MEP pointed out that 352 million children were currently working in conditions that were dangerous for their physical and mental health, while 1.8 million children were being exploited by prostitution and pornography rings.

    Mavrommatis also stressed that the report was the first initiative that dealt exclusively with the phenomenon of child labor, which was now taking on alarming dimensions throughout the world but especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

    Referring to the recent Live8 concerts in a press release, the MEP noted that the entire world showed its sensitivity and "thunderously declared itself present in the battle against hunger and poverty in Africa" and stressed that politicians needed to pay attention to this message.

    [11] Equality secretariat and UNHCR sign memorandum for support of women refugees

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The General Secretary for Equality and the UN High Com-mission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of cooperation that pledged to support and care for women refugees, in the presence of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    Speaking after the signing of the memorandum at Zappion, Pavlopoulos said its primary goal was to inform and sensitize Greek regions via regional equality committees and to monitor the living conditions of women refugees at refugee reception centers, as well as cooperation between the ministries involved to improve these.

    He noted that women refugees are seen as a special category by international organizations and in EU directives, since they are particularly vulnerable to persecution and are often the victims of violence, particularly young girls.

    The minister also noted that the state needed to ensure women refugees were integrated in society and then in the world of work.

    UNHCR representative in Greece Karen Farkas stressed that women refugees were often obliged to provide care and protection for their entire family and that many of them were teenagers, pregnant of survivors of torture, making their protection a collective responsibility.

    [12] Government Council approves proposal on repatriated Greeks and gypsies, interior minister says

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Speaking after Tuesday's Government Council meeting, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said "the Government Council approved today the proposal by the interior, public administration and decentralization ministry on the major social issues of repatriated Greeks and of gypsies."

    On the question of repatriated Greeks, Pavlopoulos said "it is a known fact that the state, for years on end, has not done its elementary duty towards them. This situation must stop. The completion of the infrastructures program is already being scheduled which concerns, in particular, the region of Evros and issues related to the granting of loans and the subsidization of rents are being addressed promptly."

    As regards the issues of gypsies, the infrastructures program is being completed and matters concerning the Greek state's guarantee for their housing loans are being handled.

    [13] Romanian deputy prime minister visits Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos

    ISTANBUL, 06/07/2005 (ANA/A. Kourkoulas)

    Romanian Deputy Prime Minister George Copos visited Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at the Fanar on Tuesday.

    Speaking during his meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, Copos said "I am very impressed by the visit and by my meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as by the discussion we had. I know him very well. We had met with the Patriarch in Romania last May and I am very proud to be at the Patriarchate."

    The Romanian deputy prime minister was accompanied on his visit to the Patriarchate by Romanian Ambassador Constantine Gregorie and the General Consul in Istanbul Radu Gabriel Safta.

    [14] Churches must be well preserved, respected, Ecumenical Patriarch says

    ISTANBUL, 06/07/2005 (ANA/A.Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos emphasized that churches must be well preserved and respected, during his visit to Nevsehir in Caesaria on Tuesday.

    "We ask that our places of worship not be made into stables and that they are maintained and preserved as much as possible," he said.

    "Of course, it is well known that the state does not have enough resources to maintain all these places of worship and we are not able to refurbish the churches," he added.

    But, he asked for local residents' understanding in helping to prevent the destruction of churches.

    "We must respect these ecclesiastical monuments," he said.

    According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, Vartholomeos thanked Nevsehir Prefect AlaatinTurhan for the interest Cappadocia's residents showed in the former's visit.

    Vartholomeos visited St. Dimitrios, a 19th century church located outside Nevsehir which is being refurbished in order to serve as a cultural centre.

    Speaking to the Turkish press, the ecumenical patriarch reminded reporters that the patriarchate has been based in Istanbul for the past 17 centuries and complained that certain groups in Turkey view it as a foreign institution.

    [15] Pope Benedict XVI to visit Istanbul in November, Italian newspaper says

    ROME, 06/07/2005(ANA/L. Hadjikyriakos)

    The newspaper "La Stampa" reported on Tuesday that "Benedict XVI's second visit abroad -following his visit to Cologne in August for the world conference of Catholic youth- is beginning to be planned and the Pontiff will be traveling to Istanbul on November 30 for a historic visit to the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate."

    "November 30 is the holiday of Saint Andrew, which is celebrated in an official manner by the Patriarchate. The presence of the Pontiff will provide the ceremony with an exceptional importance. It is a gesture of friendship and the expression of Benedict XVI's will to forge a very strong bond with the Orthodox Churches," the newspaper said.

    However, news of the possible visit has not been confirmed by the Holy See either officially or unofficially.

    [16] U.S. Independence Day celebrated at ambassador's residence

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The anniversary of U.S. Independence Day was celebrated at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries on Tuesday night in the presence of many cabinet members, representatives of the country's military leadership, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and many members of the diplomatic corps.

    "Long live the independence of America, long live Greece, the birthplace of democracy," the U.S. ambassador said in a brief speech. Referring to the role played by the United States, he said the "U.S. ever since its independence and until today and all over the planet until Iraq and Afghanistan is defending freedom and democracy."

    Guests at the reception included Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki, Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Agricultural Development and Foodstuffs Minister Evangelos Basiakos and Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis.

    [17] Gov't invites social partners to dialogue over labor relations, unions react

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Greek Labor Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos on Tuesday sent a letter to social partners seeking to begin a dialogue over labor relations. The government is seeking changes in annual working time and changes in overtime work.

    GSEE, the country's largest trade union umbrella, said it would not participate in a scheduled meeting with Labor Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos on Wednesday morning nor it would negotiate any changes in labor relations and in particular changing annual working time.

    The government is also seeking changes in an existing system of shopping hours around the country. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas is expected to table draft legislation to parliament this week. Workers in the retail sector are protesting against government-sponsored plans and are staging a 24-hour Panhellenic strike, while the association of small- and medium-sized enterprises is organizing a protest rally outside the parliament on Wednesday. Bank workers also are staging a two-hour work stoppage to support retail workers' protests.

    Development Deputy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou, speaking to reporters, said the plan to extend shopping hours would benefit consumers, enterprises and would create new job positions.

    Local authorities oppose government drive

    for longer shopping hours: The Union of Prefecture Authorities of Greece on Monday criticized a government plan to extend retail store opening hours as a threat to the survival of smaller businesses and a blow to working conditions for sector employees.

    "Consumers have a problem with prices and low purchasing power. They don't have a problem with shopping hours," said the union's president, Fofi Yennimatas, also senior prefect for Athens and Piraeus.

    "With Athens wages and Brussels prices, working people's income has evaporated. The solution is not to return to a Mediaeval state of industrial relations," Yennimatas said in a statement.

    Wednesday's meeting between employment minister and General Confederation of Workers of Greece cancelled: A meeting set for Wednesday between Employment Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) for a discussion on the framework of labor relations has been cancelled since GSEE's president will be abroad on Tuesday and Wednesday. The minister has set a new meeting on Monday at 6.30 in the afternoon.

    Meanwhile, Panayiotopoulos will be holding talks on the same issue on Wednesday with merchants' representatives and on Thursday with the Federation of Greek Industries and the Confederation of Professionals and Handicraftsmen.

    The ministry's target is to have discussions on a bill being promoted on arranging annual working time, as well as a decrease in overtime work since high percentages anticipated by the previous law did not produce the jobs estimated when the relevant bill was ratified.

    [18] Greece emerges as a significant energy hub, minister says

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Tuesday briefed cabinet ministers over latest developments in the ministry's energy policy.

    The Greek minister briefed his colleagues over the inauguration of a natural gas pipeline linking Greece with Turkey and a natural gas pipeline with Italy. Sioufas told a cabinet meeting that these two pipelines would supply natural gas from the Caspian region to Central Europe and that combined with a Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project Greece would emerge as a significant energy hub.

    Speaking to reporters, after the cabinet meeting, Sioufas said these developments would bring investments totalling 3.5 billion euros in the energy sector in the period 2005-2009. He added that latest developments were linked with a government policy to liberalize electricity and natural gas markets in the country. Sioufas also presented plans to re-enact a National and Energy Policy Council, an agency responsible for the country's long-term energy planning.

    [19] Gov't sets up tourism bureau to publicize Attica

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced on Tuesday that the government was setting up a metropolitan tourism organization to help entice travelers to Athens and Attica.

    The outlook was favorable for tourism in Athens but emphasis should be laid on improving quality of the sector's product, Avramopoulos told an annual assembly of the Union of Attica Hoteliers.

    In addition, the state-owned Greek National Tourism Organization would work to publicize city breaks in Athens and elsewhere, he pledged.

    The union's president, George Tsakiris, urged the government and the private sector to help redefine Attica's image in order to promote an identity separate from other areas vying for tourists.

    Conference and other specialized forms of travel should be publicized, he said.

    At the same time, plans to promote city breaks in Athens needed to attract low-cost travel operators, which, in turn, meant lowering steep fees at Athens international airport, Tsakiris added.

    [20] Intracom company will keep its headquarters in Greece

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The Intracom company, responding to press reports and announcements in the media, clarified on Tuesday that it will keep its headquarters in Greece.

    "There is no plan to transfer the headquarters of Intracom outside Greece," said Intracom's President Sokratis Kokkalis.

    An announcement by the company also said that "the Group employs 3.100 workers in Greece, out of a total of 5,450 employees, while a very large number of Greek businesses are working with the companies of the Group."

    [21] President Papoulias receives Bank of Greece governor

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    President Karolos Papoulias received Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas on Tuesday.

    The President of the Peloponnese University's Administrative Council Costas Dimopoulos was also received by President Papoulias.

    [22] Greek mutual funds' assets down 3.98 pct in June

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Greek mutual funds' assets fell by 3.98 percent in June from May to 29.17 billion euros, official figures showed on Tuesday.

    A monthly report by the Association of Institutional Investors, said that the mutual funds market recorded a capital outflow of 1.573 billion euros in June, with inflows recorded in the combined foreign funds (313 million euros), foreign bond funds (127 million euros) and combined domestic funds (8.1 mln euros). The domestic money market funds recorded the biggest monthly outflow (1.243 billion euros).

    The report attributed a steady capital outflow trend in domestic mutual funds and inflows in foreign funds to changes in market categories.

    [23] Competition Commission imposes 15-mln-euro fine against Greek supermarkets

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Greece's Competition Commission on Tuesday announced a decision to impose a 15-million-euro fine against the Association of Supermarket Enterprises of Greece, and fines ranging from 6,000 to 721,240 euros to the supermarket firms Atlantic, Veropoulos Bros, Masoutis Diamantis, Metro, Sklavenitis, Trofino and AB Vassilopoulos.

    The Commission said it was imposing a fine of 430,000 euros against Atlantic, 500,713 euros for Veropoulos, 347,784 euros for Masoutis, 338,201 euros for Metro, 611,844 euros for Sklavenitis, 6,000 euros for Trofino and 721,240 euros for AB Vassilopoulos on the grounds that they reached a "gentlemen's agreement" on their pricing policy that hurt consumers.

    The Commission threatened more heavy fines in the future if any of the supermarket chains breached market regulations again.

    [24] Deputy defense minister approves procurement of 30 Hummer armored vehicles

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The procurement of 30 Hummer M1118GR 1-2 armored vehicles, 20 of which will be used as Moving Target Radar (BOR-A) conveyors and the remaining 10 as Infrared Sensor conveyors, from the Greek Vehicles Industry, has been approved by the relevant deputy defense minister.

    The final cost of the procurement amounts to 7,900,000 euros and the price includes the procurement of all necessary implements and operation, maintenance and training manuals.

    [25] Yachting market peaked in 2003, survey shows

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    The yachting sector has shown major growth in recent years, peaking in 2003 with companies posting a 44% rise in revenue, Hellastat, a statistical data company, said on Tuesday.

    In 2001-2004 the rate of growth in turnover was 71%, according to the survey.

    A revenue increase of only 1.0% in 2004 was partly due to a 50% drop in turnover shown by Alpha Yachtings SA and results of Kyriakoulis Mediterranean Cruises SA, a market leader that holds 32%-35% of the market.

    Adjusting the data on the basis of the two companies' results, the turnover rise would have been about 11%, the report said.

    Sector turnover is anticipated to rise in 2005 against a year earlier as chartering deals have so far shown a rise of 15%-20%, it added.

    [26] Mechaniki gets ministry road building contract

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Athens-quoted Mechaniki S.A. said on Monday that it had signed a 50.8 million euro contract to build an access road to the Patras bypass.

    Tendered by the public works ministry, the project involves construction of a 4-kilometre connection to the city of Patras. The completion deadline is 920 days.

    [27] Blue chip buying lifts ASE higher

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended Tuesday's session slightly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange with buying interest focusing on blue chip stocks, particularly banks, while the majority of listed share prices ended with losses.

    The composite index rose 0.33 percent to end at 3,073.49 points with turnover a moderate 185 million euros.

    The Banks (1.17 pct), IT ( 0.79 pct), Retail (0.48 pct) and Investments (0.46 pct) indices scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while the Insurance (2.81 pct), Textiles (1.56 pct), Telecoms (0.84 pct) and Wholesale (0.83 pct), indices suffered the heaviest losses.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.57 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.56 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.26 percent.

    Agricultural Bank (4.84 pct), Alpha Bank (2.75 pct), Geniki Bank (1.36 pct) and National Bank (1.24 pct) were major gainers in the day.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 147 to 106 with another 77 issues unchanged.

    [28] Jetfighter crashes, pilot ejects to safety

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    An Air Force jet crashed Tuesday morning north of Sperheiada, but its pilot ejected to safety, sources from the Air Force General Staff (GEA) said.

    They said the jetfighter, an A7-Corsair, crashed 10 miles north of Sperheiada shortly before 10:00 a.m., while on a training flight.

    The sources said the pilot successfully used his seat ejection, and Air Force helicopters were immediately rushed to the area to pick up the pilot and take him to the 251 Air Force hospital for precautionary reasons.

    The Corsair had taken off earlier from Andravida airbase.

    A later report from the Airforce said the crash was tentatively attributed to mechanical failure, pending a full investigation into its causes by an expert fact-finding committee.

    The pilot, identified as Nikolaos Danias, 27, was successfully retrieved from where he landed after guiding the plane away from inhabited regions before ejecting to safety. He was initially taken to Lamia hospital and then to the 251 Air Force hospital, according to orders.

    At the time of the crash, Greek Air Force chief Lt. Gen. George Avlonitis was carrying out a courtesy visit to the National Defense ministry with his German counterpart. The visit was cut short in order to deal with the crisis and collaborate with the Regular Airforce Command in order to bring the pilot to safety.

    A-7 'Corsair' accidents since 1996: The latest crash of a US-made A-7 "Corsair" warplane late Tuesday morning off south-central Greece was at least the 11th such accident since December 1996, according to the ANA's database.

    The lone pilot of the single-engine, sub-sonic aircraft -- which first entered service with three US military branches in the mid-1960s as a tactical ground attack air platform -- ejected to safety over the sea while initially on a training mission, Greek air force officials said on Tuesday.

    The most recent batch of 26 A-7Es were purchased for the Hellenic Air Force in the mid-1990s, with deliveries of those planes commencing in July 1996 before being upgraded at a Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB) facility north of Athens.

    Greece, along with Portugal, was one of the very few countries, besides the United States, that included the aircraft in its arsenal for more than three decades.

    [29] MPs and Parliament correspondents to perform in concert organized by Karditsa Conservatory

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    An unusual musical evening will be held this coming Saturday night at Lake Plastira, in which MPs and parliamentary correspondents will join other amateur musicians in a performance of music and theatre entitled "Routes of love - from Bach to Theodorakis".

    The performance was organized by the Karditsa Conservatory, in collaboration with Karditsa's local government and local trade groups, and the grand piano used for the performance - which was purchased with the contribution of funds from Parliament by order of Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki - will then be transported to Karditsa's cinema theatre for use in future musical events.

    Among the performers are MPs Christos Aidonis, Nikos Georgiadis, Elsa Papadimitriou and Rodoula Zisi (along with her sister Katerina), journalists Irene Anastasopoulou, Laskarina Gerassimou and her son George, Katerina Gkika, Yiannis Diakoyiannis, Nikoleta Drouga, Adamantia Kariofylli and George Hatzidimitriou, as well as the six-year-old Myrto Galanopoulou, daughter of journalist Antonis Galanopoulos and the head of Parliamentary publications Ilias Markou.

    The event is part of a series of seminars on classical and modern song called "The Human Voice" organized by soprano Nina Kaloutsa, who will also be singing at Lake Plastira with her students, while the Neohori Nevropolis Agrafon Women's Association will perform traditional songs.

    [30] 140,000 euros in jewelry burgled from home in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Burglars broke into a one-family house in Filyro, Thessaloniki, and stole jewelry worth 140,000 euros, according to estimates by the owner, whose name was not revealed, local police said on Tuesday.

    Police were investigating the burglary.

    [31] Missing hiker found dead at the bottom of a ravine in Valia Kalda

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    Search-and-rescue teams on Tuesday found the dead body of a 45-year-old hiker from Volos that went missing in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Valia Kalda national forest, at the bottom of a ravine that was a short distance from the summit of Mount Flega.

    The last contact with missing hiker Sotiris Dondos, a father of five, was at 3:00 on Sunday, when he called his family on the phone. Authorities were alerted to begin a search on Sunday morning and his body was found by EMAK rescue workers at around 15:00 on Tuesday afternoon.

    A total of 17 rescue workers, from the EMAK teams of Ioannina, Grevena and Larissa, were deployed to carry out the search, assisted by teams of hikers. An operation is now underway to retrieve the dead man's body from the bottom of the ravine.

    No helicopter was used in the search because the tree cover in the area is particularly dense.

    The search was focused on Mount Flega, where the missing man appeared to be heading when last sighted by a team of hikers in Arkoudorema. There is as yet no information on why the 45-year-old set attempted to reach the summit during the middle of the night, which led to his fall.

    [32] Young girl dies in swimming accident

    Athens, 0607/2005 (ANA)

    One of two young girls, around 10 years old, who was taken to hospital after being found in a swimming pool in Ano Liosia, died on Tuesday.

    Doctors were able to keep the girl alive when she was brought to the hospital on Monday, but she was clinically dead and was unable to recover, doctors said.

    The two girls, the other was pronounced dead upon arriving at the Thriassio Hospital on Monday, were found half-dead in a swimming pool in a home in Ano Liossia.

    The accident occurred when the two girls, together with a third little girl, were playing at a fountain near the house and then decided to continue playing in the swimming pool. The owners of the house are away on holiday and according to police sources, have not yet been located to testify.

    According to the same sources, police are also examining the possibility of bringing charges against the girls' parents.

    [33] Canada's Hellenic Flame festival dedicated to gods of Olympus

    OTTAWA (ANA/I.Fragouli)

    The Hellenic Flame festival, organized by the Hellenic Community of Montreal, will be dedicated to the gods of Olympus this year when it begins on July 22.

    The 10-day festival will include musical and dance performances, while the Greek bookstore Eleftheroudakis in partnership with Canadian booksellers Chapters will present Greek books at their pavilion. The Philarmonic Orchestra of Lamia will also be performing, courtesy of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

    Various Montreal companies will provide visitors - around 70,000 are expected - with souvenirs and Greek products.

    The festival is being organized under the auspices of the municipality of Montreal.

    [34] Athens mayor awards key officials for their contribution to 2004 Olympics

    Athens, 06/07/2005 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis presented Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and former Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos with the City of Athens' Gold Medal of Merit on Tuesday for their contribution to the successful staging of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

    Bakoyannis also presented Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos and former Secretaries General for the Olympic Games Constantinos Kartalis and Spyros Kapralos with the Medal of the City of Athens.

    During her address, the Athens mayor referred to the cooperation among all officials and political parties in ensuring the success of the Olympic Games last summer.

    "Once again we proved that if we Greeks put our minds to it, if we put our heart and soul into teamwork, then there are very few things that we cannot accomplish," she said.

    Petralia also cited cooperation and teamwork as the factors that contributed to the successful Games.

    "Thus, thanks to the common perspective and cooperation among all political forces, thanks to the smooth functioning of the state, and finally, thanks to the active support and financial sacrifices of the Greek people, we were able to organize the most successful and the safest, modern Olympic Games," she said.

    Petralia also mentioned the significant contribution the Athens municipality made in promoting the capital's image.

    Venizelos warmly thanked Bakoyannis and the City Council both for the distinction awarded him as well as for the close and effective cooperation established between the then, major opposition PASOK government and the city of Athens.

    "Because politicians have a bad habit of underestimating themselves and the even worse habit of underestimating each other's work, the fact that an important political figure (...) as yourself, took such an initiative which involves Mrs. Petralia, Mr. Orfanos, Mr. Kartalis, Mr. Kapralos and myself, means a lot. It means that we can operate on a different level of political culture and that is very important," Venizelos said, addressing Bakoyannis.

    [35] Cyprus Government: Turkey must sign Protocol before EU negotiations

    NICOSIA, 06/07/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    The EU must have noted that Turkey has given promises plenty of times in the past that it will sign the Adjustment Protocol, Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said.

    ''This position is repeated, but we have not yet seen the signing of the Protocol, something which consists of an obligation of Turkey towards the EU before the beginning of the negotiations,'' he said.

    [36] AKEL and RTK agree to have intensive talks

    NICOSIA, 06/07/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    Greek Cypriot left wing party AKEL and Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party (RTK) have said that intensive talks between the parties must go on with a view to reach common positions on the Cyprus question and bridge the gap of views as regards the Annan plan.

    Delegations of the two parties under AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias and RTK President Ferdi Sabit Soyer met on Tuesday at AKEL offices for almost three hours.


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