|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-08-06
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 6, 2005
 Gov't approves 6.3 mln euros for SMEs in the mining sector
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Friday approved plans, submitted by Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises with activities in natural resources, worth 6.3 million euros as part of a "Competitiveness" Business Program.
The program aims to support domestic quarrying and mining production and the modernization of Greek SMEs in the sector seeking to boost production of new commercial type of products, with high added value, to promote new technologies and innovative applications and to better protect the environment.
A total of 32 investment plans were submitted and only 13 were approved.
Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki told reporters on Friday that she would have to sign an order dismissing a Parliament employee accused of leaking confidential documents about an MP.
"I have no other choice except this extreme decision," Psarouda-Benaki said. She explained that the disciplinary council that issued the decision to fire the woman could not have imposed any other, more lenient penalty in this case, since there was no provision for it in the law for the private-sector, indefinite contracts with which the employee involved had been hired.
"It's either all or nothing," the Parliament president stressed, noting that she had not yet signed the order but only because the paperwork was not ready.
The woman was dismissed on the grounds that she had collected, copied and removed from Parliament documents relating to stock market transactions carried out by New Democracy MP for Serres Achilleas Karamanlis, without having "the necessary right or permission, without any reason related to the needs of the service and at a time when she was not on duty".
An announcement by Parliament last Wednesday said that the documents in question concerned protected personal data about past financial transactions by the MP that were not contained in his 'means and assets' statement for this year, and to which only chartered accountants were allowed access.
A lawyer representing the fired employee on Friday formally requested a copy of the MP's 'means and assets' statement from Parliament.
 Thessaloniki mayor supports election of mayors with 42 per cent
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos on Friday supported a New Democracy party proposal for the first-round election of mayors with 42 per cent of the vote.
"It is really bizarre that with 39 per cent you can govern the country, taking decisions about war and peace or the development of the country, and that for local government and the kind of responsibilities this has you need 50 +1 per cent," he said.
Papageorgopoulos also pointed out that the present, absolute-majority system led to great imbalances between the government administration and opposition in municipal councils.
Thessaloniki's mayor also commented on the results of his recent 11-day trip to China, at the head of a municipal delegation, saying that this had been an absolute success. He said that one of the issues discussed during his contacts there was that of Chinese imports, where he had asked for measures to ensure legality and avoid illegal trade.
 KKE leader to attend Lebanese Communist party event honoring slain former leader Hawi
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga and KKE central committee member Elias Leggeris, leaves Saturday for Lebanon to attend a political event organized by the Lebanese communist party, a KKE announcement said on Friday.
The announcement said that the KKE officials would take part in the political event being organized on Sunday in Beirut in honor of slain Lebanese communist party former leader George Hawi.
Lebanese Communist Party former secretary general George Hawi was assassinated on June 21 in a car bomb attack in the Wata Mouseitbeh district in western Beirut.
Hawi is widely known as a living symbol of leftist political movements historically in Lebanon.
 SYN deputies hand memorandum to Parliament President 'for a world free of nuclear weapons'
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy, a delegation of deputies from the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) on Friday handed a memorandum to Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki "for a world free of nuclear weapons".
Addressing the party's delegation, the Parliament President said: "I very much appreciate your initiative because my impressions are very fresh and painful from Hiroshima which I visited in an official capacity, and in the presence of the mayor, I laid a wreath on the part of the Greek Parliament in the place of the destruction."
 Development minister rejects criticism over fuel price inspections/controls
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Accusing main opposition PASOK of being "ignorant of the facts and figures", Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Friday rejected criticism levied against the government for allegedly ineffective control of fuel prices along the national highways by the Competition Commission.
Replying to PASOK's deputy production and trade coordinator Christos Protopappas and MP Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Sioufas noted that world oil prices had jumped from 31 dollars a barrel on January 2, 2004 to 59.8 dollars a barrel on July 29, 2005, representing a 93.1 per cent increase.
"In Greece, the increase over the same period was just 27.6 per cent due to the government's policies and systematic cooperation with all the bodies in the petroleum fuel market," he added.
He also rejected complaints that the government was not subjecting the "big players" to inspections, saying that the government took action against all those that broke the law.
Sioufas also blamed the previous PASOK government's policies for present problems plaguing the market, saying that it had created "long-term problems, inflexibility and distortions" for which there was "no magic wand to make them disappear" and had fostered racketeering in the fuel market.
 State okays positions-memo for sale of Olympic Airlines to investors group
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)The ministerial privatization committee on Friday approved a memorandum of basic positions between the state and the York Capital/Olympic Investors consortium that bid in an international tender for Olympic Airlines.
The move followed a recommendation by the government's consultant in the tender.
Signature of the memorandum paves the way for sale of the national carrier, subject to regulatory approval from European Union authorities.
 Black Sea Bank offers 18-mln-euro loan for works in Ankara airport
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)The Black Sea Bank for Trade and Development on Friday announced it has approved a loan, worth 18 million euros, to fund development works in Ankara airport, Turkey.
The 12-year loan will be offered to TAV Yatirim Yapim ve Isletme SA, a joint venture between Tepe and Akfen construction groups. The project envisages the designing, construction, operation and maintenance of a new terminal station for domestic and international flights with the aim to triple the airport's capacity to around 10 million passengers annually.
Funding of the project, up to 196 million euros, is secured through Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank and includes sponsorship deals and commercial loans from banks and organizations, such as the Black Sea Bank and French development institute Proparco.
The Black Sea Bank will earmark another 5.0 million euros to fund the supply of machinery equipment in a glass producer unit in Azerbaijan.
The bank is an international financial organization, based in Thessaloniki, and was founded by 11 states (Greece, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine).
 Piraeus Port Organization blames breakdowns, shipping firms for port's problems
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)In an announcement on Friday, the Piraeus Port Organization (OLP) blamed the delayed departures of two ships due to breakdown and the failure of the shipping firms involved to promptly inform those affected for the problems created at the port in the past few days.
It said fines had been imposed on shipping lines that failed to promptly inform passengers of delays by the merchant marine ministry.
The announcement also listed the measures taken by the port organization to refurbish, repair and make preparations at the port for the busy summer months, including the bus service to take passengers from the Piraeus urban railway terminal to the more distant departure points and back, a new air-conditioned waiting area at Akti Vassiliadi, signposting and lighting.
It said that passenger traffic had increased by 20 per cent in July 2005 compared with July 2004 and that 1,020,000 passengers, 190,000 cars, 23,000 trucks and 35,000 motor-cycles had left via Piraeus during that month. OLP also handled the return traffic from all these destinations, thousands of visitors on cruises and millions of passengers using the Perama-Salamina crossing.
 Telecoms commission to spur digital, internet communication
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)The National Telecoms and Internet Commission are to encourage digital and internet communications, its new president, Nikitas Alexandridis, said on Friday.
The emphasis would be placed on serving consumers and ensuring quality access for the public, including remote regions, Alexandridis said.
The commission would also work to aid growth in telecommunications and postal services, spur investment, and encourage the use of broadband services, he added.
 Ministers inaugurate exhibition of Cretan products
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Evangelos Basiakos on Friday night inaugurated an exhibition of Cretan products entitled "Agricultural August 2005", being organized by the prefectural local government of Hania.
Sioufas said that the government's strategic aim is for Greek products to make inroads in the international markets "with quality as the weapon."
According to the minister, in the age of globalization, the "extrovert" business development is "a one-way road."
On his part, Basiakos said that on the basis of data of the first quarter of 2005, exports of agricultural products increased by 25 percent, while imports fell by 3.8 percent.
 Hellastat study in the sector of courier services in Greece
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)An increase in the demand of courier services in the 2005-2006 period, however with a reduced rate of growth compared to last year due to the gradual maturing of the market, is expected, according to a the conclusions of a study carried out by Hellastat for the courier sector in Greece in 2005.
The competition in the sector is quite intense, while businesses confront increased transport costs due to the increase in the price of fuel.
Over the past years, the Greek courier market shows a significant rate of growth with an average annual rate of increased sales estimated at 16 percent for the 2004-2001 period.
The total value of the market is estimated by Hellastat at 290 million euros in 2004 against 260 million in 2003. Characteristic of the market is the accumulation of revenue in five of the total 293 businesses of courier services which operated in 2004 against 152 in 1999, which gathered 67 per cent of the total revenue.
 Stocks drop, led by blue chips
Athens, 6/8/2005 (ANA)Stocks finished lower with players selling mainly high-capitalization paper, traders said.
The Athens general share index closed at 3,277.63 points, marking a decline of 0.60%. Turnover was 169.3 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalization shares ended 0.51% down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks closed 0.32% lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished unchanged.
Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 141 to 108 with 76 remaining unchanged.