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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-11-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria agree to work faster on Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project
  • [02] Gov't on Finnish initiative vis-a-vis Cyprus
  • [03] U.S. State Department spokesman calls for 'great seriousness' in EU efforts for improvement in Euro-Turkish relations
  • [04] Turkish National Defense General Staff chief ends official visit to Greece
  • [05] US sees Turkish military chief's visit to Athens as positive step
  • [06] PM briefed by interior minister on 4th CSF package
  • [07] President Papoulias meets with PASOK National Council Secretary
  • [08] PASOK leader to visit Chile in capacity of Socialist International president
  • [09] Interior minister dismisses speculation over early elections
  • [10] PM congratulates Bulgarian President Purvanov on re-election
  • [11] PASOK leader congratulates Bulgarian and Brazilian presidents on re-election
  • [12] FM addresses European National Youth Councils Conference
  • [13] Education protest again held in Athens, violence reported
  • [14] Kidnapped 'Doctors of the heart' official released, foreign ministry spokesman says
  • [15] Karamanlis meets with top Euro-MP Varvitsiotis
  • [16] Memorial service for Georgios Papandreou
  • [17] Energy policy is fundamental aspect of development strategy
  • [18] FinMin confers with central bank chief
  • [19] OTE to issue 1.5-bln-euro bond loan
  • [20] New tourism season opens in November
  • [21] 28th International Naval Exhibition beginning on November 11
  • [22] Economic diplomacy delegation to Germany
  • [23] Greece: Citibank's 2nd largest European franchise
  • [24] Greek closed-end investment funds' assets up 3.71 pct in October
  • [25] OTE telecom to sell stake in Armentel
  • [26] Greek mutual funds' assets up 0.5 pct in October
  • [27] Bond yields up in October
  • [28] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise
  • [29] Greek leadership expresses revulsion over Amarynthos incident
  • [30] Charges filed in Corfu resort CO deaths
  • [31] Minister briefs PM over incident
  • [32] President Karolos Papoulias meets large family representatives
  • [33] Culture minister addresses conference organized by Aristotelio University's journalism and mass media faculty
  • [34] Fatal traffic accidents down 11.6 pc on Greek roads between 2001-2006
  • [35] Conference held in Athens on climatic changes
  • [36] Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis receives Serb delegation
  • [37] Angelos Goulandris - 10 years after
  • [38] Tele-heating in Florina
  • [39] Thessaloniki's Science Center and Technology Museum
  • [40] Greek doctor heads UNESCO committee
  • [41] Heroin arrests in Larissa
  • [42] Cyprus pledges to continue working with Finnish EU Presidency
  • [43] Britain makes clear to Turkey that it must accept acquis to join EU
  • [44] Cyprus protests air space violations by Turkey

  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria agree to work faster on Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Greece and Bulgaria on Friday reiterated their intention to take a more active role in accelerating procedures to build an oil pipeline between Burgas and Alexandroupolis, with the aim that a tri-party agreement with Russia to be signed by the end of the year, Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov said in Sofia.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting to review developments over the strategically important project, Sioufas said the two countries would be included in a global energy charter after the pipeline began operations. The Greek minister briefed his Bulgarian counterpart over his talks with Russian government officials in Moscow on Thursday. Sioufas said his talks with his Russian counterpart focused on the next steps to be made and agreed that these steps should be accelerated for the agreement to be signed by the end of 2006.

    The Greek minister discussed the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project with his Bulgarian counterpart. "We agreed to make every possible effort to reach this agreement," Sioufas said after the meeting in Sofia and underlined the "exceptional for years" Greek-Bulgarian cooperation in the distribution of Russian natural gas. He noted that Greece was awaiting for Bulgaria's and Turkey's proposals on a plan to link Bulgaria with a natural gas pipeline between Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

    "The Greek side will examine any proposals in the framework of good cooperation with the two neighboring countries," Sioufas said.

    The meeting in Sofia also discussed a Greek proposal to build a new 400-KVolt electricity distribution grid between Greece and Bulgaria.

    The Greek minister underlined both countries' active role in founding and operating an Energy Community in Southeastern Europe since last June, a project with great importance for both countries and the wider region. Sioufas noted that according to World Bank's estimates around 21 billion euros were expected to be invested in energy infrastructure projects in the region over the next 10 years.

    The Bulgarian Minister reaffirmed Sofia's intention to work faster for completing the project and said that Bulgaria was ready to accept a 24.5 percent stake in the project, but not less. He stressed that the Bulgarian side would coordinate its proposal with the Greek side.

    [02] Gov't on Finnish initiative vis-a-vis Cyprus

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The government on Friday noted that Greece has not been invited by the Finnish EU presidency to any potential tripartite meeting in Helsinki convened to discuss the Cyprus issue -- a development discussed at length recently in light of a looming impasse in EU-Turkey relations due to intransigence by the latter.

    Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, in response to press questions, also referred to a recent announcement by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on the matter.

    “If there was a reason to attend, then she would attend, as foreseen by relevant Community organs," the spokesman said, while again reiterating that Turkey has assumed specific commitments vis-à-vis the Union.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan on Thursday ruled out the prospect of a meeting between the Turkish and Cypriot foreign ministers in Helsinki along with a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Erdogan balked at the prospect of a Turkish FM participating in such a meeting without the Greek foreign minister present.

    [03] U.S. State Department spokesman calls for 'great seriousness' in EU efforts for improvement in Euro-Turkish relations

    WASHINGTON 4/11/2006 (ANA-MPA - T. Ellis)

    U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, asked about the collapse of the European Union Finnish Presidency's mediating efforts on Euro-Turkish relations in relation to Cyprus, on Friday expressed the hope of the United States that the sides will continue to move with "great seriousness" and to work hard to take advantage of the Presidency's efforts aimed at achieving progress.

    The spokesman insisted that the U.S. has not changed its position with regard to the need for a solution to the issue of Cyprus, while replying to a question on a possible new American initiative for a solution to the problem, he stated that Washington supports the existing efforts.

    As regards the wider framework being shaped in Euro-Turkish relations and the obstacles that are appearing, McCormack noted that "a great deal of work remains to be done between Turkey and the EU", adding that the United States remains loyal to its steadfast position that it supports Ankara's European prospects, but does not interfere with negotiations between the EU and Turkey since it is not an EU member.

    [04] Turkish National Defense General Staff chief ends official visit to Greece

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Turkish National Defense General Staff chief Yasar Buyukanit ended his three-day official visit to Greece on Friday, visiting Epidavros and the city of Nafplio with his Greek counterpart Panayiotis Hinofotis.

    Buyukanit said in a statement to the NET television channel on Friday night that the purpose of his visit was the creation of a climate of security between the armed forces of the two countries.

    "The military can create a ground of security, while the politicians can take more constructive steps for peace on this ground. For this reason, I believe that my talks here were very constructive and positive. A positive climate is beginning to be created. If we are able to overcome our prejudices and begin to work for this with determination we can go much further," Buyukanit said.

    Hinofotis said on his part that "the talks that are taking place are in a very cordial climate and a spirit of sincerity is prevailing. And, of course, we must not conceal the fact that we have reached the conclusion that, in order to have all steps forward taken, the deficit in confidence that exists must be eliminated. This will lead to a change in the psychology of all military personnel on both sides, which is involved in all these situations."

    [05] US sees Turkish military chief's visit to Athens as positive step

    WASHINGTON 4/11/2006 (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis)

    The US State Department on Thursday welcomed the current visit by Turkish military chief of staff General Yasar Buyukanit to Athens as a good, positive step.

    Replying to a question on the visit, the first by a Turkish military chief to Greece in more than 30 years, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that he agreed with Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumou-tsakos, who described the contacts between the two countries as "positive and useful" during a regular press briefing.

    "I agree with my friend George and his comments. It is positive," McCormack said.

    "There are longstanding differences on a variety of different topics between Greece and Turkey," he noted, adding that "these are two good friends, two NATO allies and we encourage them to resolve their differences over the Aegean as well as other issues".

    "It is a good step, a good, positive step," McCormack said.

    [06] PM briefed by interior minister on 4th CSF package

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed by Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Friday regarding bureaucratic structures that will allow municipalities and prefectures to better absorb upcoming 4th Community Support Framework (CSF) funds.

    The government has already promised that roughly 80 percent of 4th CSF funds will be diverted to the provinces, Pavlopoulos said.

    [07] President Papoulias meets with PASOK National Council Secretary

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias met Friday with main opposition PASOK National Council Secretary Mariliza Xenoyannakopoulou and, according to statements she made afterwards to the press, they discussed a number of issues and particularly the sad and unacceptable incidents in an Evia school where a young female student was raped by schoolmates during a sit-in protest.

    Xenoyannakopoulou characterized the initiative undertaken by the President concerning this case as a move aimed at awakening people’s consciences adding that everybody has to resist racism, xenophobia and violence.

    Xenoyannakopoulou concluded that political parties, social institutions, local government, and teachers should undertake actions and adopt a position guaranteeing an open democratic society, a society of values, humanity, solidarity and justice.

    [08] PASOK leader to visit Chile in capacity of Socialist International president

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou departs on Saturday for Chile where, in his capacity as Socialist International president, he will chair the Women Socialists meeting and the International's Council in Santiago between November 5-7.

    On the sidelines of the Council, the PASOK leader will be meeting heads of state and government and leaders of parties that are members of the Socialist International, while his meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has already been scheduled for the evening of November 5.

    Papandreou will also hold meetings with the presidents of the three socialist parties participating in the Chilean government coalition, former Chilean president, Ricardo Lagos, the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, the President of Peru, Alan Garcia, and Isabel Allende.

    [09] Interior minister dismisses speculation over early elections

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Elections will be held as scheduled, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said in response to a question by PASOK deputy Dinos Rovlias regarding a government decision to exclude ASEP (the Supreme Staff Selection Council) approval of hirings in listed public utilities.

    Pavlopoulos said those who continuously speculate about early elections are merely afraid of them, in commenting on Rovlias' statements that hirings are the product of upcoming elections.

    He also called on the PASOK deputy not to count as new hirings work contract renewals of individuals hired by PASOK governments.

    [10] PM congratulates Bulgarian President Purvanov on re-election

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday sent a letter of congratulations to Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov on his re-election in the presidential elections in Bulgaria.

    In the letter, Karamanlis said he looked forward to building even closer relations between Greece and Bulgaria at both bilateral level and in the framework of the European Union.

    The Greek premier assured Purvanov that the Greek people and government looked forward to welcoming Bulgaria as a member of the European Union on New Years Day 2007.

    [11] PASOK leader congratulates Bulgarian and Brazilian presidents on re-election

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou on Friday addressed messages of congratulations to the presidents of Bulgaria and Brazil on their re-election.

    In a letter to Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, Papandreou said "at this crucial moment for Bulgarian history, in light of your country's accession to the European Union, your re-election will prove to be a considerable advantage", adding that "in our common target of strengthening stability, prosperity and democracy in the Balkans, I am pleased that we can rely on your leadership."

    In a similar letter to Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, Papandreou said "I am pleased that the citizens of Brazil have renewed their confidence in you and I wish you every success in handling future challenges" adding that "I hope that we shall have many opportunities to cooperate in the framework of the Socialist International to enable us to jointly promote our aims to create a fairer and more democratic world with sustainable development for all citizens."

    [12] FM addresses European National Youth Councils Conference

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed the opening session of the European Youth Councils Conference at the Zappion Mansion on Friday, focusing on "citizens' fatigue with politics, mainly among young people, and on disdain towards politicians being observed, phenomena leading to disappointment and limited participation in public affairs."

    Bakoyannis mentioned that the "Youth in Europe 2003" report showed that young people in the European Union are far more pessimistic than young people outside the EU, a cause of concern that does not allow for complacency, as she said.

    The view that "the EU means a better future for young people" was shared more by young people from candidate countries at the time, she added.

    Bakoyannis further said that "young people need new certainties and this must be realized and action must be taken accordingly, without overlooking what has been achieved so far."

    Referring to the future of the EU, she said "dialogue has begun and it appears more open and sincere than ever and, therefore, we have the opportunity of viewing Europe in its entirety and its relationship with young citizens."

    "The participation of young people in the shaping of a new Europe is not a foregone conclusion, we must gain it," she said.

    The European Youth Cooperation Conference being held in Athens between November 3-5 is an initiative by the National Youth Council aimed at improving coordination between National Youth Councils and international non-governmental organizations.

    The opening session was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis, while messages were sent by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and a number of ministers and de-puty ministers.

    [13] Education protest again held in Athens, violence reported

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Another demonstration against the government's high-profile education sector reforms and policies took to the streets of Athens on Friday, again coinciding with a one-day strike called by teachers' unions.

    The rally came on the heels of last week's decision by the primary teachers' union, DOE, to suspend its six-week industrial action and rejection of a proposal by the secondary teachers' union, OLME, for members to begin a strike. Friday's protest march also came as various sit-ins and takeovers of high schools around the country by disgruntled pupils appeared to wane, particularly after a spate of violent incidents at occupied schools -- with an alleged gang rape at a provincial high school's restrooms the most extreme case.

    Friday's demonstration was also marred by violence from masked firebomb-wielding youths that infiltrated the march at several points. Firebombs were thrown outside the Parliament building in downtown Athens and along the protest route, with several vehicles and storefronts damaged.

    DOE had declared a day-long strike for Friday, while OLME opted for three-hour work stoppages. Another mobilization has been threatened by union leaders for Nov. 9.

    In Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest urban area, teachers and students participated in a protest rally as well.

    According to reports, however, participation in high school sit-ins organized by groups of pupils is also apparently on the decline throughout the northern Greece prefecture, with only 17 schools participating in the takeovers.

    [14] Kidnapped 'Doctors of the heart' official released, foreign ministry spokesman says

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Friday night that Eleni Sotiriou, the vice president of the non-governmental organization "Doctors of the heart", who was kidnapped by unidentified persons outside a Baghdad hotel last Monday, has been released and is safe and healthy at the Greek embassy in Baghdad.

    "The foreign ministry, during these 5 days, took all the necessary action required by the particular seriousness and sensitivity of the situation," the spokesman said.

    "The responsible stance of the mass media also contributed to this successful result," he added.

    [15] Karamanlis meets with top Euro-MP Varvitsiotis

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday received the head of ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s Euro-deputies delegation, former minister and high-ranking ND cadre Yiannis Varvitsiotis, with talks revolving around European and domestic issues.

    [16] Memorial service for Georgios Papandreou

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The Georgios Papandreou Foundation held a memorial service on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the late Greek prime minister's death.

    The service was held in the presence of relatives, friends and colleagues.

    Georgios Papandreou, the father of late three-time premier Andreas Papandreou and grandfather of current PASOK leader George Papandreou, served as a prime minister of Greece in 1944, 1963 and 1964-65.

    [17] Energy policy is fundamental aspect of development strategy

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Energy policy is a fundamental aspect of the country's new developmental strategy, deputy development minister Tassos Nerantzis said Friday, addressing a day seminar on Energy Conservation organized by the Athens Academy's Energy Committee, adding that the goal was "development every-where, development with social cohesion and prosperity, development for everyone", which was an "everyday effort".

    In that framework, he said, a series of policies, measures and actions were being materialized, adding that it would be greatly useful to present the Committee's conclusions to the National Council on Energy Strategy.

    Nerantzis said that exploitation of the energy conservation potential could comprise a decisive and effective way of simultaneously improving energy supply safety, reducing carbon emissions, cultivate competitiveness and boost the development of a large market of high energy-efficient technologies and products, and also reduce energy demand.

    According to European Commission statistics for the EU, an energy conservation of 20 percent by the year 2020 would be equivalent 390 million tons of petrol, reducing carbon dioxide by 780 million tons by 2012, which was twice that foreseen for the EU by the Kyoto Protocol, Nerantzis said, adding that, according to the International Energy Agency, achieving an improvement in energy efficiency could in itself reduce energy demand by 2050 to half the present-day consumption.

    The deputy minister further listed the government's actions in the area of energy conservation which he said have already yielded results.

    [18] FinMin confers with central bank chief

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    National economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis met Friday with Bank of Greece governor Nick Garganas to discuss the course of the Greek economy.

    Replying to press questions after the meeting concerning a "self-destruction" case of euro paper currency in an EU member state, Garganas said that "the Greek euros are strong and steady".

    [19] OTE to issue 1.5-bln-euro bond loan

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) on Friday announced the beginning of a process to issue a 1.5-billion-euro bond loan through its subsidiary OTE Plc, as part of a Global Medium Term Note Program.

    The bond loan is expected to be issued in mid-November after completion of a roadshow program in international capitals.

    OTE Plc will issue, simultaneously, two bond loans with Citigroup, Dresdner Kleinwort, JP Morgan and National Bank GI acting as joint book runners.

    The funds to be raised will be used to refinance Cosmote’s 1.5 billion euros bridge facility, signed for funding the takeover of Germanos ABEE.

    [20] New tourism season opens in November

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The new tourism season opens in November, tourism development minister Fani Palli-Petralia told reporters on Friday after a meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis, whom she briefed on the course of tourism, and on her recent visit to Russia, which she said had had "very positive" results, as well as her upcoming visit to London.

    "Russia is a ripe tourism market for Greece," Petralia said.

    The minister further briefed Karamanlis on her upcoming visit to England next week, given that the largest world tourism exhibition opens in London on Monday.

    "Greece is ready to show that it is a modern, safe country, which receives 16 million tourists and honors them," she said.

    "Greece is a modern country that offers tourists high-quality services and is among the 15 most popular destinations in the world," she added.

    [21] 28th International Naval Exhibition beginning on November 11

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The 28th International Naval exhibition will be taking place between November 11-19, at the exhibition location at the Eastern Athens Airport at Elliniko, with the participation of 240 exhibitors covering an area of 35,000 square meters where sailing boats, cruisers, rubber dinghies, etc, will be on display.

    According to data provided by the Federation of Greek Plastic Boat Manufacturers (SEKAPLAS), the exports of plastic boats have doubled over the past three years.

    According to the Federation's latest data, 10,000 new boat registrations take place every year, while about 2,000 Greek-made boats are exported all over Europe a year, confirming the sector's dynamic extroversion.

    The sector has been developing dynamically in past years, with markets in the European Union being the main recipient, that absorb 90 percent of the sector's exports, while the number of Greek companies involved in the sector has remained stable over the past few years.

    [22] Economic diplomacy delegation to Germany

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Euripides Stylianidis, who handles economic diplomacy, will head a business delegation to Munich, Germany on November 6-7.

    The members of the delegation, whom Stylianidis will meet on Saturday in the northern port city of Thessaloniki for a preparatory meeting, are mostly from northern Greek enterprises.

    On Friday, he spoke at Macedonia University on the government's economic diplomacy, reporting that Greece has provided humanitarian assistance to 46 countries, and development aid to 19 countries.

    State aid stood at 0.28% of gross domestic product in 2005 against 0.21% two years earlier, Stylianidis said.

    [23] Greece: Citibank's 2nd largest European franchise

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Citibank's Greek operation is the company's second largest franchise in Europe after Germany, with a steadily rising rate of increase in terms of presence, fundamentals and profitability, the local bank's general director, Christos Vasiliadis, said on Friday.

    Success of the Greek operation is mainly due to emphasis placed on human resources and continuous training, continuity of management, and a timely introduction of innovative products and services, Vasiliadis told a seminar in Athens arranged by KPMG.

    [24] Greek closed-end investment funds' assets up 3.71 pct in October

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Greek-listed 10 closed end investment funds' net assets rose 3.71 percent in October to total 419 million euros, from 404 million euros in September, official figures showed on Friday.

    A monthly report by the Association of Institutional Investors, showed that the average numerical return of the sector was 9.88 pct so far this year, down from a 12.68 percent increase of the composite index in the Athens Stock Exchange over the same period.

    Out of the 10 companies in the sector, nine reported positive internal value returns ranging from 3.94 to 19.70 pct, while only one reported a negative value (-1.20 pct).

    The trade weighed discount of the sector was -18.98 percent at the end of October, with all 10 companies in the sector traded at a discount ranging from 12.57 pct to 25.77 pct.

    [25] OTE telecom to sell stake in Armentel

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Athens-quoted Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, a full-service telecommunications provider, announced on Friday that it has made an agreement with Vimpel-Communications, an open joint stock company, for the sale of a 90% stake in Armenia Telephone Company CJSC (Armentel), Armenia's largest telecoms provider.

    The sale price for OTE's 90% stake in Armentel, subject to closing adjustments, will be 342 million euros, implying an enterprise value of 420 million euros, which includes estimated net financial debt, tax liabilities and other liabilities of approximately 40 million euros, management said in a statement.

    The transaction is subject to regulatory approval due by the end of the year.

    HSBC Bank Plc is OTE's financial consultant in the sale, the statement said.

    [26] Greek mutual funds' assets up 0.5 pct in October

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Greece's mutual funds market's assets rose 0.5 pct in October to 24 billion euros from 23.88 billion euros in September, official figures showed on Friday.

    Most mutual funds' categories recorded an increase in assets, mainly in foreign money markets (+5.8 pct), equity Funds of Funds (+4.8 pct), domestic equity (+3.6 pct), while on the other hand the domestic money market (5.3 pct), foreign bond (4.6 pct) and domestic bond (3.4 pct) recorded monthly asset declines.

    The Greek mutual funds market recorded a new outflow of 264.5 million euros in October, while the average return of domestic equity funds was 18.39 pct so far this year, exceeding a 12.68 percent average increase in the composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange over the same period.

    [27] Bond yields up in October

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Benchmark bond yields on the electronic secondary securities market (HDAT) rose along the whole maturity spectrum with a substantial flattening of the yield curve, the Bank of Greece said in a report released on Friday.

    Three-year bond yields rose by 16 bps to 3.82% at the end of October compared to 3.66% at the end of September, and 10 and 30-year bond yields rose respectively by 9 and 4 basis points (bps) to 4.05% and 4.29% from 3.97% and 4.25%, the monthly report said.

    As a result, the yield curve (measured as the yield difference between the 30 and the 3-year bond yields) flattened significantly to 47 bps at the end of October from 60 bps at the end of September.

    In addition, the average monthly spread between the Greek and the German 10-year benchmark bond yields narrowed further in October to 29 bps from 30 bps in September.

    Benchmark bond prices fell in the range of 37 - 99 bps in October, according to the central bank.

    The 3-year bond price fell by 37 bps to 98.94 on October 31 from 99.31 on September 29.

    The 10-year bond price fell by 66 bps to 96.34 at the end of October from 97.00 at the end of September, and the 30-year bond price by 64 bps to 103.57 from 104.21.

    Trading volume on HDAT in October was EUR 52.64 billion worth of transactions compared to EUR 52.45 billion in September and to EUR 76.44 billion in October 2005, the report noted.

    Average daily turnover was EUR 2.39 billion compared to EUR 2.50 billion in September.

    Trading activity mainly focused on bonds with a remaining maturity between 7 and 10 years, which absorbed EUR 35.87 billion worth of transactions, or 68% of the overall traded volume.

    The most actively traded bond was the 10-year benchmark with EUR 23.7 billion worth of transactions followed by the 10-year bond, maturing on 20/7/2015, with EUR 8.1 billion.

    Of 9,296 orders executed on HDAT, 52.60% were ''buy'' orders and 47.40% ''sell'' orders.

    [28] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The Athens share index closed at 4,177.04 points, showing a rise of 0.94%. Turnover was 302.9 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalization shares ended 1.40% up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks 0.56% higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished 0.71% up.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 177 to 74 with 58 remaining unchanged.

    Foreign Exchange Rates

    Reference buying rates per euro released

    by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.286

    [29] Greek leadership expresses revulsion over Amarynthos incident

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    An alleged gang rape in the restroom of a high school taken over by a handful of pupils in a town near Halkida, Evia, continued to cause reverberations throughout Greece's political world and the education sector this week, with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday the latest political figure to decry the incident.

    The minister referred to a "horrible instance of racism", echoing earlier statements by the president of the republic himself, due to the seemingly inappropriate reaction by the local community and teachers regarding the alleged crime involving an attack by four local boys against a girl originally hailing from Bulgaria. Another three girls at the school are being investigated for complicity to cover up a felony.

    The incident occurred in the town of Amarynthos, in central Evia island, during last week's high-school takeovers by pupils and was not reported by the 16-year-old girl immediately. It made the headlines this week as press reports focused on possible xenophobic overtones involving the case, as well as a teachers' council decision to punish the alleged offenders with only a five-day suspension, a decision described by the education ministry as shockingly lenient.

    Acidic and widespread criticism also touched on the fact that the girl, considered the victim in the incident, was also suspended for five days.

    Bakoyannis made the comment while inaugurating a conference on cooperation between European youth groups, which commenced in Athens.

    The girl and her mother were received by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Friday, with the latter citing the Church's solidarity towards the family. They also met with the education ministry's general secretary and the director of the multi-cultural education division.

    In a later development, Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou ordered the ministry to investigate whether the decision by the school's teachers' council was legal.

    [30] Charges filed in Corfu resort CO deaths

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Misdemeanor charges were filed on Friday against at least five individuals in the carbon monoxide-related deaths of two British minors last week at a hotel resort on Corfu and the near fatal poisoning of the victims' father and step-mother.

    According to reports from the popular Ionian holiday island, the charges -- including manslaughter due to negligence, causing bodily harm due to negligence and building code violations -- were filed against the manager of the Louis Corcyra Beach hotel, the managing director of the group that owns the hotel, the contractor responsible for installing the boiler that caused the CO emissions, the head of maintenance at the resort, the contractor that installed the gas connection and the Thomas Cook representative responsible for inspecting the resort's safety measures, no less.

    The more-or-less expected indictment comes after the operating license of the hotel, located in the Gouvia district on the isle's eastern coast, was temporarily revoked days ago.

    The license will be permanently yanked if an ongoing investigation rules that the hotel was responsible for the deaths of the two children.

    The bodies of Christianne and Robert Shepherd, 7 and 6, were found in the bungalow suite the family had rented last Thursday, while their father, Neil, 38, and his second wife, Ruth Beatson, 28, were transported in a comatose condition to a Corfu city intensive care unit. Both adults have recovered but are still hospitalized.

    [31] Minister briefs PM over incident

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    In a related development, Tourism Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Friday again stressed that there is "absolutely no tolerance for incidents that malign and smear Greece's tourism sector, even if such incidents are isolated cases."

    Palli-Petralia made the statement to reporters following her meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis earlier in the day, a clear reference to the tragic incident on Corfu involving the UK holiday-makers.

    The minister also briefed the premier himself on the case, as the latter expressed his condolences for the victims and their family. Petralia also noted that Karamanlis has been continuously briefed on the matter since the incident was reported.

    Finally, the hotel issued a statement after the charges were filed, noting that "our first priority is to find the causes and to ascertain the exact conditions of this tragic incident. Safety is and remains the primary concern of our hotel," the statement read.

    [32] President Karolos Papoulias meets large family representatives

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    President Karolos Papoulias met at the Presidential Mansion on Friday, in the framework of celebrations marking Large Family Day, the board of the Supreme Confederation of Large Families of Greece and five mothers having many children, who will be given awards by the health and social solidarity ministry, accompanied by Deputy Minister George Konstantopoulos.

    Addressing the large family representatives, President Papoulias said they were bringing an optimistic message and termed the demographic problem a "national one".

    "I feel scared when I think what will happen in 10-15 years' time, with what we are all detecting now:that Greek families limit themselves to one child or to a second with difficulty. I don't know who is responsible. We must check it out," President Papoulias said.

    [33] Culture minister addresses conference organized by Aristotelio University's journalism and mass media faculty

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Voulgarakis addressed a conference organized by the Aristotelio University's journalism and mass media faculty in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Friday evening, stressing that "culture begins in the mass media from the definition of the limits and the trial of individual as well as collective journalistic responsibility."

    The minister also referred to the necessity of reformulating basic articles of a new code of news and information ethics.

    Voulgarakis focused on the privileged fields of influence of international communication networks that are the globalized economy and politics, entertainment and mass culture, while terming the "culture of information" as being "rich in material and poor in evaluating judgments, productive with news and inadequate in the processing of substantive events, plethoric in pictures and deficient in a meaningful content."

    He went on to say that "culture in the mass media begins from resistance to all the forces that push us towards resigning from the formation of criteria of objectiveness, as well as from the continuous rechecking of these criteria."

    The conference, taking place between November 3-5, will try, according to its organizers, to approach and highlight the problems appearing in the production of culture by the mass media and the ambiguous relationship between mass communication, cultural communication and cultural identity, particularly for young people in the globalised and industrialized environment of the mass media.

    [34] Fatal traffic accidents down 11.6 pc on Greek roads between 2001-2006

    BRUSSELS 4/11/2006 (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)

    Fatal traffic accidents on Greek roads decreased by 11.6 percent between 2001 and 2006, according to data publicized by the European Commission on Friday.

    Fatal accidents on roads of the European Union 25 member-states decreased by 25 percent over the same period, a percentage nearing the Commission's target of reducing accidents between 2001 and 2010 by half.

    The greatest progress in reducing the number of accidents on the roads has been achieved by France with an annual percentage of 12.6 percent, followed by Portugal with 12.4 and Luxembourg with 11.4, while Greece's annual performance is 3 percent.

    [35] Conference held in Athens on climatic changes

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The Bank of Greece and the Greek Environmental Protection and Cultural Heritage Society held a conference on climatic changes in Athens on Friday evening, while European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that "if the international community does not take urgent and drastic measures the change in climate will change life on our planet."

    Dimas also reminded of the EU's steadfast adherence to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

    "According to the Protocol of Kyoto, we have undertaken an ambitious target, meaning reducing emissions over the 2008-2012 period by 8 percent below the levels of 1990," he said.

    [36] Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis receives Serb delegation

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis received a delegation from Serbia at his office on Friday afternoon.

    Psomiadis welcomed the Nis Metropolitan of the Serb Patriarchate Irineos, the deputy mayor and Nis deputy Odejan Rajsic and the vide president of Nis University Dragica Bojovic and discussed with them relations of friendship and cooperation between Greece and Serbia.

    The Serb delegation arrived in Thessaloniki to participate in the conference on "Christian Macedonia, Thessaloniki - Ancient Naissos (Nis of Serbia)", which is being held in the framework of the 41st Dimitria Exhibition.

    The conference began at the Central Municipal Library on Friday and will come to an end on Sunday.

    [37] Angelos Goulandris - 10 years after

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The Goulandris Natural History Museum honored its president and founder Angelos Goulandris in a special event titled “Angelos Goulandris - 10 years after” held on November 2 in the presence of Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias.

    All speakers addressing the event referred to Angelos Goulandris’ multifaceted personality and work, underlining the fact that he was able to foresee the imminent environmental problems and realized early on the need to create a Natural History Museum. He believed that through the laws of nature man can discover the pace and ability for a continuous creative development.

    An exhibition of Angelos Goulandris’ works will be open to the public until November 20 at the GAIA Centre for Environ-mental Research and Education.

    [38] Tele-heating in Florina

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Florina, a city in northwestern Greece known for its early and long winters lasting until May, will enjoy low-cost heating in the next few years. Temperatures in the region drop as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius and the consumers’ pocketbook will benefit greatly by the tele-heating solution currently underway, a project budgeted at 50 million euros.

    Thermal energy produced from the by-products of the Public Power Corporation's (DEH) local power plant is being used in tele-heating, and similar projects have already materialized in Kozani, Ptolemaida and Aminteo.

    In the case of Florina, the water used to cool the DEH electricity production engines at the Meliti thermal power station will be utilized in central heating and will arrive at the city through pre-insulated pipelines. The water, after losing its thermal energy, will return to the hydroelectric power station to be used again to cool down the DEH engines.

    Apart from the low-cost -- consumers will save up to 40 percent in heating expenses -- there will also be huge environmental benefits as there will be no air pollution resulting from the use of heating oil.

    In addition more jobs will be created in support of the tele-heating network, while the heated water could be used in greenhouses, spas, agricultural applications, fish farming, swimming pools, etc.

    The tele-heating project has opened the way to the implementation of tele-cooling, an innovative idea that will replace air-conditioners in the summer.

    [39] Thessaloniki's Science Center and Technology Museum

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The number of visitors to the Thessaloniki “Noesis” Science Center and Technology Museum is expected to reach the 200,000 mark this year. An estimated 150,000 of them are schoolchildren from northern Greece who visit the museum within the framework of field trips and 50,000 are adults with their children, according to figures released Friday.

    “Noesis” opened in November 2004 and aspires to become a unique attraction in Greece and SE Europe in general, while an Energy Park will open by mid-2007.

    Visitors can “travel” to faraway places through high-tech audio-visual means offering them the opportunity of interaction and creating a sense of virtual reality at the Center's Cosmo-theater, Planetarium and Simulator.

    [40] Greek doctor heads UNESCO committee

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    The UNESCO Council has selected Patras’ “Agios Andreas” General Hospital Pathology Clinic Director and History of Medicine International Foundation chairman Athanasios Diamantopoulos to be the chairman of the History of Medicine Organizational Committee.

    This is the first time that a Greek doctor has been placed at the helm of such a committee. For the past four years, UNESCO has been working on the publication of a colossal project comprising of 900 volumes, part of which will be devoted to the History of Medicine. It will consist of 60 chapters written by 40 authors. Diamantopoulos was placed in charge of this endeavor and will be the author of a number of chapters.

    [41] Heroin arrests in Larissa

    Athens 4/11/2006 (ANA)

    Police seized more than two kilos of heroin in two separate operations over the past two days in the central city of Larissa, with three foreign nationals also arrested in the process.

    A 45-year-old man was arrested at the Tempi toll station on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway when police discovered a kilo of heroin hidden in his car.

    In an unrelated case, two suspects were charged with heroin smuggling following a sting operation.

    The suspects will appear before a local prosecutor while police are searching for another man allegedly involved in the trafficking network.

    [42] Cyprus pledges to continue working with Finnish EU Presidency

    NICOSIA 4/11/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis pledged Friday that the government will continue to cooperate and consult with the Finnish EU presidency, which continues efforts to promote its proposals with a view to avert a crisis in the relations between the EU and Turkey.

    Pashiardis comments came one day after Finish Foreign Minister Erkki Tumioja announced that it was not possible to hold a meeting, scheduled for November 5-6 between all parties concerned aiming to find a solution that ''enables the uninterrupted continuation of Turkey's accession negotiations and improves the situation of both communities in Cyprus,'' and that work would continue on political level.

    ''As it was expected the Turkish side has started attributing responsibility to our side for the cancellation of the meeting and that is no surprise'', Pashiardis said, adding that it would be surprising if Turkey ''stayed silenced.''

    ''It would be even more surprising if Turkey did not resort to its usual tactics to proclaim itself innocent and to distort the truth'', he added.

    Pashiardis noted that the Finnish presidency is very well aware of ''how constructive our stance was in its whole effort and initiative'' and referred anyone who seeks the reasons for the cancellation of the meeting to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan's statement that that Turkey cannot participate in a meeting from which Greece is absent.

    ''I want to reiterate our appreciation for the effort taken by the Finnish Presidency and to add that our side will continue to cooperate and consult with them with good faith and constructive spirit to secure the necessary preconditions for the success of the Finnish initiative,'' Pashiardis said.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, by opening its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.

    The Finnish presidency is trying to avert any possible derailment of Turkey's EU accession course, following Ankara's refusal to meet its EU obligations and Cyprus' position that Turkey must do exactly that before accession negotiations can move further on.

    [43] Britain makes clear to Turkey that it must accept acquis to join EU

    LONDON 4/11/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    British Minister of State for Europe Geoff Hoon has said that he made clear to Turkey that, in order to join the EU, it must accept the legal acquis, the legal basis of the Union.

    ''That means applying the Ankara Protocol allowing for free movement of vessels of all member states. As far as Turkey is concerned, the issue of Cyprus arises. That is why separate efforts have been made. This is in the context of the rules of the EU. That is a sensible way forward,'' he added.

    Replying to questions, Hoon noted that ''Britain has a special relationship with the people of Cyprus, there are substantial Cypriot communities in the United Kingdom and we obviously have Sovereign Base Areas on the island.''

    ''We have an interest in the outcome. We share the view that the people of Cyprus share that it is important that we work towards a settlement that respects the rights of all parties. That is one of the important reasons for our support of Turkish accession. I believe strategically it is in everyone's interest for Turkey to join the EU.

    It is important for Turkey to continue with the negotiations, it is equally important for them to satisfy their obligations in law to the EU,'' he added.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, by opening its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.

    [44] Cyprus protests air space violations by Turkey

    NICOSIA 4/11/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis protested in a letter to the UN Secretary General, dated 25 October, new violations of Cyprus' national air space and the Nicosia FIR by Turkish military aircraft, recorded from 4 August to 13 October 2006.

    In his letter, which was circulated at the UN as an official document on Thursday, Mavroyiannis expressed the government's strong protest for the violations and called for their immediate cessation.

    He also said that Turkey's policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations gravely jeopardized the safety of international civil aviation and the stability of the region.

    Mavroyiannis noted that ''Turkey's systematic attempts to undermine the sovereignty and unity of the Republic of Cyprus by promoting an illegal secessionist entity, arrogating, inter alia, to itself the right to control part of our airspace, further complicates the efforts to build trust and confidence between the two sides and resume negotiations.''

    ''Such actions are yet further evidence of Turkey's sole objective, namely to consolidate the existing division of the island and sustain its military presence in Cyprus in perpetuity," he concluded.


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