|Sunday, 26 May 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-07-17
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 17 July 2007 Issue No: 2646
 Greece, Croatia sign Friendship and Cooperation DeclarationGreece and Croatia on Monday signed a Declaration of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation , with prime minister Costas Karamanlis signing on behalf of Greece and visiting Croat premier Ivo Sanader signing on behalf of Croatia.
In statements to the press afterwards, the two prime ministers stressed the excellent bilateral relations between their countries, noting also the margins that existed for further strengthening of relations in the commercial, economic and tourism sectors.
Karamanlis reiterated Greece's support for Croatia's full EU membership, while Sanader expressed warm appreciation for the support.
To a press question on Kosovo, Karamanlis opined that there was still time for negotiations so that a solution could be found that would contribute to stability in the region.
Sanader, in turn, supported Thessaloniki becoming a regional centre of development for the region, while the two premiers endorsed the two countries' steadfast determination to proceed in the developing institutional and operational strengthening of the Southeastern Europe cooperation process.
The Declaration signed by Karamanlis and Sanader is as follows:
"The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia,
Reaffirming their strong commitment to the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, as well as to those of International Law and Agreements, with regard to relations among peoples, fundamental human rights and freedoms,
Acknowledging the high level of friendship, good neighbourliness and ever increasing cooperation between the Greek and Croatian peoples, in the context of the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, which relfects the substantial interests of the two peoples, and constitutes a guarantee for peace, development and a European perspective for the broader area of South East Europe,
Wishing to found upon the new environment of European integration a mutually beneficial enhancement of their relations,
The importance of the completion of Croatia's accession negotiations and the willingness of the two States to cooperate closely on issues relating to the European acquis. Greece consistently supports Croatia's intensive efforts to fulfill the aim of becoming a member of the European Union and provides the necessary political and technical assistance.
The readiness of the two States, in the above framework, to cooperate in a number of crucial areas, such as economic and social policy, energy, transports, the environment, education, agriculture and tourism, by coordinating their respective competent authorities, with a view to elaborating policies on the basis of common principles, values and interests.
To this end they call on respective Ministers to convene as soon as possible the existing Joint Committee for bilateral cooperation in order to identify long-term prospects of interest to the two countries.
The great importance the two States attach to the European perspective of the countires of South East Europe and the European Union's unremitting commitment to pursue it, n the spirit of the Thessaloniki Agenda. It his hoped that the Greek-Croatian cooperation, in the context of the European prospect, will be a dynamic factor for a broader cooperation in the region, that will send a message of constructive cooperation to the other countries of South East Europe.
The determination of the two States towards the ongoing institutional and operational enhancement of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), in order to promote more actively regional ownership, as has been expressed by all Participating Countries and supported by the European Union and the Stability Pact. SEECP, being the authentic initiative of cooperation in the region, needs such an enhancement in order to face imminent developments and to seize the historic opportunity to be at the centre of crucial transformations in the region. In this context, the two States welcome the new architecture of regional cooperation as embodied in the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and its relevant institutions and pledge their full support to its establishment and effective functioning.
In view of Croatia's integration into NATO, which Greece strongly supports, the willingness of the two States to enlarge and deepen their cooperation in the Defence and Security fields and intensify their efforts to advance regional cooperation, aiming at the consolidation of Peace and Security in South East Europe.
 British PM addresses letter to KaramanlisBritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed a letter to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis thanking him for his good wishes on the occasion of his taking over as Britain's premier.
The British PM referred to the close bilateral ties and cooperation on a number of international and European issues.
Brown expressed satisfaction for the attention given by Prime Minister Karamanlis to the effects of climate change and stressed that he is looking forward to cooperation between the two countries on environmental issues. He also referred to the recent disasters that hit the two countries; wildfires in Greece and extensive floods in Britain.
 PM wishes Leonidas Kyrkos a speedy recoveryAlternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday conveyed the best wishes of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the government for a speedy recovery to veteran leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos.
Kyrkos was admitted to the hospital on Sunday after suffering a heart attack.
 Ecumenical Patriarch sends wishesISTANBUL (ANA-MPA)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Monday expressed his wishes for a speedy recovery to veteran leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos.
Kyrkos was admitted to the hospital on Sunday after suffering a heart attack.
 Fire on Mount Hymettus put under conrol, fire brigade reportsA fire that broke out alongside the Kareas ring road and the Hymettus orbital highway at around 15:00 on Monday was put under control, according to the latest reports from the fire brigade at around 19:30.
Fire-fighters said that the strong winds that were blowing in the area earlier in the afternoon had died down, assisting their efforts to get the fire under control, but stressed that strong fire-fighting forces would remain to ensure that it did not flare up again.
The fire broke out at around 15:00 on Monday near the Kessariani junction on the Kareas ring road and was quickly fanned to large dimensions by strong winds blowing in the area, forcing traffic to halt in both directions on the Hymettus orbital highway.
The fire broke out for unknown reasons just beneath the Hymettus orbital road and quickly spread over a large distance along its length, while it was not far from residential areas.
A strong force of 30 firefighters with ten fire engines was initially sent to battle the blaze, assisted by three firefighting airplanes and three helicopters. Additional reinforcements were quickly sent in, led by the chief of the fire brigade Andreas Kois, in a bid to get the fire under control before it grew even further.
Taking part in the fire-fighting effort were six aircraft, three helicopters, 60 firemen with 20 fire engines and a 50-strong force of fire-fighters on foot, while more reinforcements were arriving constantly.
The Katechaki ring road was closed to traffic from Pindos Street and from the Kessariani junction on the other side, where traffic was being diverted, while traffic was forbidden to go up Ethnikis Antistaseos Road. The ring road was handed over to circulation around 19:00.
Brigade forces are still in the area trying to extingusih the remaining small fires.
Relevant authorities are investigating into the causes of the blaze not excluding the possibility of arson.
 Fire Brigade attributes Hymettus fire to arsonThe Fire Brigade said on Monday evening that the fire which broke out on Mount Hymettus earlier in the day was caused by arson.
The fire broke out alongside the Kareas ring road and the Hymettus orbital highway at around 15:00 on Monday and was put under control at around 19:30.
Fire Brigade spokesman Yiannis Stamoulis told reporters that the fire started at three different points, while after it was extinguished, four firecrackers were found in the forest, about 100 metres from the Katechaki ring road.
He also said that patrol cars belonging to the Fire Brigade, which are stationed in the area, had located two individuals riding a motorcycle without registration plates, who forced their way after refusing to stop at the patrol's signal.
 PASOK comments on Hymettus fireMain opposition PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou on Monday expressed the party's support for all the fire-fighting forces on the ground and in the air that were taking part in the effort to put out the fire that has broken out on Mount Hymettus, alongside the orbital highway and Kareas ring road.
"This is not the time to attribute responsibility, but we must note that every policy is judged by prevention and it has been over a year now that PASOK, with specific questions in Parliament and with specific Parliamentary control, has noted the overall shortage of human resources in the fire brigade," he said.
According to the spokesman, PASOK had pointed out the shortages in the specific two fire stations that were responsible for that section of Hymettus that was now alight.
"There has to be a sense that a government pre-empts events through systematic action on infrastructure and human resources, so that we do not mourn for a Parnitha, a lost source of oxygen for Attica and we do not live under the threat of similar losses, such as that currently emerging on Hymettus," he said.
 Greece wins court battle for property in ItalyROME (ANA-MPA - L. Hatzikyriakos)
The Greek State has finally won a lengthy court battle in Italy and secured the eviction of the Hotel Regency from a four-storey building in Rome that had been awarded to the Greek State in 1967 as part of war reparations made by Italy to Greece.
The building had been leased to the company Citorio which managed the hotel at a very low rent of just 8,000 euros a month and the Greek foreign ministry had initiated legal proceedings in 1993 to contest this lease. The four-star hotel had 60 rooms and was very near the famous Via Veneto.
The Regency's last offer for a settlement was 25,000 euros a month but a final ruling by an Italian appeals court vindicated Greece and ordered the hotel to evacuate the premises, which were cleared under the supervision of the police on Saturday.
Greece's general consul clarified that the eviction was not motivated by a desire to increase profits and that the building will be used to house Greek services in Rome.
 New higher court leadership pays courtesy visit to Justice MinisterThe newly appointed justices that will take over leadership of Greece's higher-level courts on Monday paid a customary courtesy visit to Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras, who stressed in his welcoming speech that they were taking over "at a crucial turning point" for justice.
"The work of cleansing justice is proceeding decisively and must be completed - it is a duty of the State and independent Justice toward Greek citizens. A judicial body relieved of the stains and shadows of past years, rid of all the oath-breakers that sullied the reputation of the great majority of honest judicial officials in the eyes of public opinion, is both a social demand and an institutional necessity," Papaligouras stressed.
He noted that a number of very important, if not crucial, cases were now before the courts and that the public was looking to justice to offer unbiased investigation and independent judgement on these high-profile cases.
 Government denies any involvement in 'Financial Times' supplementAlternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday denied any connection between the government and a controversial supplement appearing in the newspaper "Financial Times" that portrayed a map of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with the name 'Macedonia'.
"There was no advertisement. There was an editorial newspaper supplement, in which no Greek service and no ministry of the Greek State was involved," Antonaros stressed in response to a question claiming that the supplement was an advertorial.
Greece objects to the use of the name 'Macedonia' by FYROM, which is also the name of a northern Greek province that has a common border with the republic, on the grounds that it may give rise to future territorial claims on Greece.
 Deputy Defence Minister visits the ailing Archbishop in hospitalDeputy Defense Minister Vassilis Michaloliakos visited ailing Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece in Aretaion Hospital in Athens on Monday and presented him with a silver icon of Christ from Bucharest's Cojsia Monastery that he acquired during a recent visit to Romania.
Michaloliakos conveyed to the Archbishop the best wishes of Patriarch Teoctist of Romania for a quick recovery and presented him with a rosary, the patriarch's present to him.
 Two dead, in fire aboard tanker in PeramaTwo people were killed, after a fire broke out Monday morning on board the Panama-flag tanker ship "Alpha Trust" docked at a Perama pier in the port of Piraeus.
The tanker was empty of cargo when the fire broke, out but there are indications that a number of people are trapped aboard the burning vessel.
A force of 24 firemen and 8 fire engines battled the blaze.
One of the workers was earlier reported missing, but was found dead, in the evening.
Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday expressed the government's and the prime minister's regret for the loss of human lives in the Perama shipyard accident at the port of Piraeus earlier on Monday.
Rescue efforts are still in progress, stated Antonaros, while responding to a question on safety conditions at the workplace. He underlined that the government has promoted a number of measures, a list of which will be distributed by him during the day.
Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) spokesman Petros Efthymiou and the Genereal Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) on Monday evening commented on the accident at Perama, which resulted in the detah of two workers.
"Because today the government spokesman stated the government's dedication to its commitments, he should study the statements made by the present prime minister and then leader of the main oppoasition, when on October 8, 2003, he had visited Perama."
Commenting on Efthymiou's remarks, Minister of State and Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said "I cannot believe that in front of such a tragic event, there should be margin for partisanship, political confrontation."
He added that "finally, PASOK neither wants nor can even once show fundamental responsibility."
GSEE expressed its "deep sorrow but also outrage over the new tragic accident," noting that "there is a complete lack of safety measures."
PASOK MP Damanaki
Main opposition party PASOK MP Maria Damanaki, in charge of employment and social insurance in the party's parliamentary council expressed abhorrence for the conditions under which the accident in the Perama shipyard took place and reiterated her party's pledge for immediate measures against workplace accidents. In addition, she underlined that the body responsible for monitoring workplace conditions will have to be upgraded and extended PASOK's condolences to the families of the victims.
Damanaki blamed the ministry of employment for lack of inspections and preventive policy, which had led to the loss of human lives.
She also stated that, based on existing figures, roughly 25,000 workplace accidents are reported annually by the Social Insurance Institute, IKA, while roughly 11,000 workers leave the workforce annually on early retirement as a result of injury or illness caused by work conditions.
 Symi Symposium debates Turkish elections, environmentThe current political situation in Turkey and next Sunday's general elections in the neighbouring country were at the focus of discussions during the first day of the "Symi Symposium" on the Cycladic island of Paros on Monday.
The "10th Annual Symposium of Symi" organised by the Andreas G. Papandreou Foundation, was addressed Sunday evening by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou. Among those taking part are 30 internationally acclaimed politicians, business people and academics that include intellectuals, Nobel prize winners and activists, while the symposium is scheduled to end on July 20.
Former Turkish finance minister Kemal Dervis and journalist Ipek Cem, daughter of late Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, who are participating in the symposium, said that the expected victory of Prime Minister Tayipp Erdogan's party in Sunday's elections will "bring things back to their normal track, as regards Turkey's European Union course, with a steadfast orientation."
George Papandreou, on his part, reiterated his known position that the continuation of Turkey's EU accession course and its full accession is to Greece's benefit, on condition, however, that the neighbouring country complies to all prerequisites set by the union, as was the case for all countries including Greece and Cyprus.
Papandreou, as well as all other speakers, "did not detect any meaning" in French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal for the creation of a Meditarranean Union, assessing that such a proposal "is rather a proposal aiming at the exlusion of Turkey from the EU than something which can acquire a serious substance."
Climate changes and the environment were the second topic discussed during the first day, with speakers noting that the USA
"has not played the role it ought to, and this offers a double opportunity to the European Union, first to assume a leading role over an important issue on an international level and, secondly, by understanding this role, to be able to strengthen the union's cohesion."
Papandreou is expected in Athens on Tuesday to preside over a meeting of his party's parliamentary council. On Wednesday, the PASOK leader will address a rally on the island of Syros.
 PASOK Human rights sector criticises governmentThe ISTAME-Andreas Papandreou Foundation and the main opposition PASOK's Human Rights, Social Inclusion, Asylum and Immigration sector on Monday presented a report on "human rights violations during the New Democracy party's governance."
Presenting the report, the sector's secretary Costas Botopoulos referred to what he claimed was a "degradation of the not so brilliant situation of the past ten years" not so much on an institutional level but "on a qualitative and quantitave level," pointing to "recent incidents of police violence, the case of a beaten up student in Thessaloniki, the phone-tapping affairs, the abduction of Pakistani immigrants and the CIA's flights over Greek territorry".
Botopoulos said that there were human rights violations also during the PASOK governence -until March 2004- but he focused his criticism on the present government claiming that "at present problems are aggravated" and attributing this to the change of mentality.
 SYN leader on visit to SamosCoalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) President Alekos Alavanos on Monday called for the immediate appearance of Education Minister Marietta Yannakou in parliament to provide explanations on the university entrance exam tampering attempt.
Speaking during his tour of the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Alavanos also called for the immediate cessation of the prosecution launched against the teachers who unveiled the tampering attempt, calling it an effort to intimidate and silence them.
Speaking during a press conference, he reiterated that his party backs the free access of all secondary education graduates to tertiary education following the example of Austria and other European countries.
Earlier, Alavanos visited the Union of Vinicultural Co-operatives of Samos (UVCS) and the island's General Hospital, and met with management and personnel representatives.
Alavanos will visit the island of Ikaria on Tuesday.
 Court rules in favor of cessation of prosecution against former DEKA board membersThe three-member criminal appeals court in Athens ruled in favor of the objections raised by the defence calling for the cessation of the prosecution against 7 former board members of the Public Securities Company (DEKA) based on the statute of limitations.
The seven defendants faced a repeat trial on charges of breach of faith, compounded by laws on embezzlement of public funds.
The seven were accused of using DEKA funds from March until April 2000 to purchase large quantities of blue-chip stocks in largely state-controlled enterprises, such as the National Bank of Greece (NBG), Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and others, in order to drive up the Athens stock market in the run-up to the 2000 general elections, incurring significant losses for DEKA when share prices on the Greek bourse later slumped.
An appeals court ruling one year ago had allowed the accused to walk away from the charges by converting them to misdemeanours, for which the statute of limitations had expired, on the grounds that DEKA was a societe anonyme company with legal autonomy from the state.
This decision was later reversed by the Supreme Court, however, which found it was based on a misinterpretation and wrongly applied statutes concerning embezzlement of state assets, since DEKA's property was simultaneously the property of the Greek State.
 Tribute paid to participants in Cyprus operationsThe Greek State paid tribute on Monday to those who participated in military operations of Cyprus, in Tilyria and Nicosia in 1964, in Kofinou and Aghioi Theodoroi in 1967 as well as during the period from July 20 to August 20, 1974.
The ceremony was held at the Military Academy at Vari, Attica.
In the presence of the civil and military leadership of the National Defence Ministry, National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis said, "with this symbolic event, we are maintaing the flame of memory for the struggles of the nation and we honour our heroic compatriots. The fighters of freedom and the independence of our Cyprus."
Meimarakis reiterated that unilateral quests and arbitrary interpretations or violation of the regulations of International Law do not comply with European realities and with the principles and values of the international community.
At the same time, he assured that the Greek State will not cease to support the Greek Cypriots until a just, viable and agreed solution is reached, in accordance with International Law and the UN Security Council resolutions.
A total of 1,600 people were bestowed with a commemorative medal and honorary diploma.
Also present at the event were the Cypriot ambassador in Athens Giorgos Georgis, former commanders as well as relatives of the fighters.
 Greek inflation unchanged at 2.6 pct in June, EurostatBRUSSELS ANA-MPA/V.Demiris
Greek annual inflation was 2.6 percent in June, unchanged from May, Eurostat said on Monday. The EU executive's statistics agency said inflation in the Eurozone was also unchanged at 1.9 pct, down from 2.5 pct in June 2006, while in the EU, the inflation rate was stable at 2.1 pct in June, from 2.4 pct in the same month last year.
Malta (0.6 pct), Belgium, Denmark, France and Sweden (1.3 pct each) recorded the lowest inflation rates in June, while Latvia (8.9 pct), Hungary (7.8 pct) and Bulgaria (5.6 pct) the highest rates.
The inflation rate rose in 13 member states in June, from May, it was unchanged in 10 and fell by three member states.
 Government on shortfall in revenuesCommenting on an apparent shortfall in government revenues, as revealed by figures recently released by the finance ministry, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday stressed that the full picture would only emerge in the coming months.
"These are figures for specific months; we must wait to see how things develop in the next months in order to evaluate the course of revenues. Collection mechanisms have been modernised as computerisation has progressed, so there are no gaps during the collection of dues," he said.
The spokesman had been asked to comment on the fact that the ministry figures showed that spending had risen by more than 6 percent while revenues were stuck at 1 percent.
 OKE issues balanced report on Greek reform programGreece's Economic and Social Commission (OKE) on Monday issued a balanced report over the country's progress in implementing reform programs based on the Lisbon Strategy.
An OKE statement said the Lisbon monitor's report underlined positive developments in the fields of public finances, national product, labor productivity and business activity, while negative developments were noted in research, labor market, environment and living standards of the population.
The report said the public debt was reduced, although at a slow pace, labor productivity is expected to surpass the European-25 average rate, although average gross wages lag behind the EU-15 average, investment continue rising although there are no guarantees over the efficient use of capital inflows in the country.
OKE said spending on research remained at very low levels, still far behind an official target for spending at 1.5 pct of GDP, while in the labor market the employment rate was significantly lower compared with the Lisbon strategic goal. The country also lagged behind in environmental protection planning and measures to combat poverty, with Greece at the top of the EU-15.
 Adjustments pledged for protection of consumersAdjustments which will strengthen the protection of consumers are introduced with the new law 3587/chapter A' FEK.152-10-7-2007, which was passed in Parliament and which amended and completed law 2251/1994 for the protection of consumers.
The new law enables consumers to resort to court immediately in the event of damages incurred resulting from illegal trade practices.
Development Minister Dimitris Soiufas, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou and Consumers secretary-general Yiannis Iconomou in a joint announcement referred to the basic adjustments.
The adjustments include the upgrading of the National Consumers Council which will be renamed the National Council for Consumers and the Market and the possibility of individual consumers and collective consumer unions to file law suits in the event of damages.
 Basiakos attends EU agriculture ministers meetingBRUSSELS ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)
Reforms in the vine cultivation sector was at the focus of talks at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting here on Monday.
Greece was represented by Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Evangelos Basiakos.
Presenting the Greek positions, Basiakos expressed the need for sufficient funds for Greece in the vine sector, the effective management of the market and the shaping of an effective policy for the projection of and promotion of wine both in and out of the European Union.
 Marfin Investment Group completes purchase of 30 pct of VivartiaMarfin Investment Group (MIG) on Monday announced the completion of the purchase of a 30 percent equity stake in Vivartia ABEE, worth 549.8 million euros, or 25 euros per share.
In a statement to the press, MIG said following the transaction in the Athens Stock Exchange it was the largest and controlling shareholder in Vivartia. Dimitris Daskalopoulos (chairman of Vivartia) and Spyros Theodoropoulos (chief executive) agreed to remain with the company as owners of a 5.1 pct and 1.3 pct of Vivartia's shares. MIG's executive vice-chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos will become non-executive vice-chairman at Vivartia, while other MIG's representatives will participate in Vivartia's board.
MIG said that the purchase price valued Vivartia at 1.833 billion euros, a 37.4 percent premium over Vivartia's closing share price on Friday.
Commenting on the completion of the deal, MIG's vice-chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos said: "I am very happy because MIG became the largest shareholder in Vivartia, one of the most recognizable companies in the region. I believe MIG can become a valuable partner in Vivartia board's efforts to become a leader in the European market".
 Greek book market grew by 8.9 pct in 2006, surveyThe book publication sector in Greece is characterized by the large number of enterprises in the business of book publication and importing, a survey by ICAP said on Monday.
The survey noted that the small size of most enterprises in the business offered flexibility and specialization but also created problems such as reduced liquidity.
The book publication market is widely open, with larger enterprises in the sector presenting only limited market shares. A total of 730 publishers were active in the Greek market in 2006, up from 374 in 1996. ICAP stressed, however, that larger enterprises were increasingly strengthening their position in the market at the expense of small and medium sized publishers.
Book prices grew by 4.5 pct in the 1995-2006 period, while the number of new book titles rose by 9.0 percent in 2006 compared with the previous year. ICAP said the Greek book market's value grew by 8.8 pct in 2005 and by 8.9 pct in 2006.
 Intralot says joint venture wins South Korean lotto licenseIntralot on Monday announced that a joint venture under the name "Nanum Lotto", which includes the Greek company, has won an international tender for the exclusive operating and management license of Lotto games in South Korea , a market with an annual turnover of around 2.5 billion US dollars.
The five-year license begins from December 2, 2007, while lottery games will be offered through a total of 9,000 terminals around the country.
Nanum Lotto includes Intralot, Eugene Group, LG CNS, NH Bank, KTeMS, Angel Lotto and Samseong.
Intralot will be the main supplier of technological infrastructure, which included the supply and installation of "LOTOS" main games management system and the 9,000 terminals and their peripherals.
 Greek stocks end 0.21 pct down on MondayGreek stocks ended Monday's session slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange. The composite index fell 0.21 percent to end at 5,093.75 points with turnover a massive 1.229 billion euros, boosted by the transaction of a 30 percent equity stake in Vivartia to Marfin Investment Group.
Most sectors ended lower, with the Construction (3.33 pct), Media (2.15 pct) and Insurance (1.73 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while the Food/Beverage (5.35 pct), Financial Services (1.10 pct) and Oil (0.79 pct) scored gains.
The Big Cap index eased 0.27 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.19 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.75 pct.
Vivartia (30 pct), Alpha Grisin (19.94 pct) and Mermeren (9.37 pct) were top gainers, while Techniki Olympic (11.11 pct), Progressive (7.81 pct) and Alapis (7.36 pct) were top losers.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 180 to 92 with another 34 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +0.97%
Personal & Household: -1.61%
Raw Materials: -0.66%
Travel & Leisure: +0.17%
Food & Beverages: +5.35%
Financial Services: +1.10%
The stocks with the highest turnover were Vivartia, Marfin Investment Group, Titan and the National Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 24.90
Public Power Corp (PPC): 22.60
HBC Coca Cola: 33.98
Hellenic Petroleum: 11.94
Emporiki Bank: 21.00
National Bank of Greece: 45.46
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 27.10
Titan Cement Company: 41.62
 Greek bond market closing reportTurnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 2.551 billion euros on Monday, of which 1.205 billion euros were buy orders and the remaining 1.346 billion were sell orders.
The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2017) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 975 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was unchanged at 0.22 percent, with the Greek bond yielding 4.85 percent and the German Bund 4.63 percent.
In the domestic interbank market, interest rates moved higher. National Bank's overnight rate was 4.08 pct, the two-day rate was 4.08 pct, the one-month rate 4.10 percent and the 12-month rate eased to 4.58 pct from 4.59 pct on Friday.
 ADEX closing reportGreek futures contract prices saw their discount shrink in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, while turnover was a moderate 127.887 million euros.
The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 0.64 pct, while the June contracts on the FTSE 40 index were traded at their theoretical price.
Volume in futures contracts on the FTSE 20 index totaled 6,496 contracts worth 93.737 million euros, with 41,661 open positions in the market, while on the FTSE 40 index volume was 607 contracts worth 21.793 million euros, with 1,597 open positions.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 6,116 contracts worth 12.356 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Titan's contracts (762), followed by Eurobank (132), PPC (109), National Bank (367), Alpha Bank (563), Marfin Popular Bank (617), Intracom (388), Viohalco (180), Intralot (236) and Mytilineos (281).
 Foreign Exchange Rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.389
Pound sterling 0.681
Danish kroner 7.500
Swedish kroner 9.223
Japanese yen 169.18
Swiss franc 1.668
Norwegian kroner 7.965
Cyprus pound 0.588
Canadian dollar 1.453
Australian dollar 1.59
 Large forest fires on island of Evia, LamiaFire-fighters appeared confident late on Monday afternoon that they would soon manage to bring a large forest fire on the island of Evia under control, saying that it was only a matter of time. They said that a large force of fire-fighters on the ground and four fire-fighting aircraft in the air had managed to contain three of the fire's four fronts, which were now under partial control.
The Evia fire brigade sent 23 fire-engines from areas throughout the island to battle the blaze, while firemen were assisted by local inhabitants that encircled the inhabited areas near the fire and prevented it reaching the houses.
The fire broke out between the villages of Aghios Georgios and Lihada in the north of Evia on Monday at around 14:00. It started in a forest of pines and quickly blazed out of control.
Authorities immediately sent in fire-fighters on foot, who were assisted by local inhabitants and two fire-fighting aircraft sent from Lamia airport, but they were unable to contain the fire, whose flames were fanned by the strong winds and quickly spread to a front stretching over roughly one kilometre.
At around 15:00, another eight aircraft and two helicopters were added to those already battling the fire and more fire engines and fire-fighters were sent in on the ground.
Another large fire that broke out about 60 kilometres east of Lamia in forest near the village of Pelasgia, which again grew rapidly because of strong winds blowing in the area, was still blazing on two fronts but was not threatening any inhabited areas.
Nine fire engines and two aircraft were trying to contain the flames, while more fire-fighting aircraft will be diverted to tackle the Fthiotida fire after that on Evia subsides.
 Weapons found in Athens suburb after fire extinguishedAn arsenal of weapons was found in the Athens' suburb of Vyronas after a fire was extinguished on Monday evening.
Found in the ruins were an automatic weapon, three cartridge loaders, a pistol, a shotgun, three explosive devices, a number of hand-grenades, cartridges and a knife.
Police believe that the findings are related to common crime and that certain individuals had hidden them there, resulting in them being destroyed by the fire.
Investigations are underway.
 Nanotechnology conference in Thessaloniki predicts major future applicationsSpeakers at the 4th International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies that began in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Monday stressed that nanoscience applications were on the verge of revolutionising medicine and biotechnology.
They predicted that artificial organs made of nanomaterials that could be used in transplants would make their appearance in the next three years, such as an artificial kidney at was now at the research stage, as well as new cancer therapies using gold nanoparticles. Other possible applications included the healing of heart tissue after cardiac arrest, when about 30 percent of a heart's tissue was destroyed.
The conference, which ends on Wednesday, is organised by Physics and Thin Membranes-Nanosystems and Nanometry Laboratory at Thessaloniki's Aristotelian University.
According to Prof. Thomas Tsakalakos of Rutgers University in the United States, nanotechnology aimed to create materials that did not exist and extremely small vehicles that could carry targeted medication where it was needed to cure disease. He said that research in Greece required more investments, a more interdisciplinary approach and more "unusual" or innovative thinking by scientists.
Other potential applications of nanotechnology put forward was its use in the protection of ancient monuments, a project currently being worked on by the "Ormylia" Art Works Diagnostic Centre in collaboration with Thessaloniki University and the Western Macedonia Technological Educational Institute.
The aim of this is to create a new nanomaterial that will coat monuments and provide greater protection from rain without disrupting their balance.
The efforts of the European Union to promote research in nano-medicine, nano-materials and nano-technologies were also outlined at the conference, where speakers pointed out that Europe currently lagged behind the United States and Japan in this area.
The EU plans to give member-states 3.5 billion euros for research in nanotechnology, while the turnover from the trade in nano-tools, nano-materials, nano-systems and nanobiotechnology is expected to be somewhere in the region of 3.0 trillion euros by 2015.
Regarding Greece, speakers said that it had able scientists but that the relationship between industry and research was weak, while they noted the need for greater investments.
As part of the conference, Thessaloniki University is for the first time organising a summer school in nano-sciences from July 14-20.
 Firebombs at Finance ministry branch cause material damageA group of people threw firebombs at a Finance ministry branch office off Syntagma Square in downtown Athens on Sunday night, causing material damage.
The group threw molotov cocktails inside the building housing the ministry's General Secretariat for Investments and Development, after breaking the entrance to the building. The ensuing fire between the ground floor and first floor caused material damage before being extinguished by firefighters.
 450,000 euros taken in Serres bank heistTwo armed robbers walked away with 450,000 euros early on Monday morning when they held up a central branch of ATEBank in the northern Greek town of Serres.
The two unidentified men arrived at the bank on a large motorbike and entered wearing motorcycle helmets. The held up customers and bank tellers at gunpoint and grabbed 450,000 euros from the tills before they escaped.
As they were leaving the bank they fired a warning shot into the air when they realised that the bank security guard was attempting a pursuit.
The motorcycle used by the two robbers was found just minutes after the robbery and turned out to have been stolen from the Thessaloniki region on Sunday night.
Police have launched a manhunt to find the two robbers.
 Sunny, strong breezes on TuesdayHot weather and high winds are forecast throughout most of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 6-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 37C. Sunny weather in Athens, with winds reaching 6-7 beaufort and temperatures ranging from 23C to 34C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 20C to 35C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceElection time scenarios, the cancellation of renowned laika singer George Dalaras' concert organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the closing event of the 2nd Orthodox Youth Conference in Istanbul, after the Istanbul municipality revoked the licence it had issued for the conference, and the wildfires were the main front-page items in Monday's dailies.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Public sector employee transfers - The changes to be in effect in fall - Prerequisites and procedures".
APOGEVMATINI: "In favor of elections in March - Exclusive interview with Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis".
AVRIANI: "(Ruling party) ND and (main opposition party) PASOK ready to bring to light new round of scandals".
CHORA: "10.6-million-euro programme for female entrepreneurs - The documentation required".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "The Turks banned a George Dalaras concert scheduled to take place within the framework of the 2nd Orthodox Youth Conference in Istanbul - Once again Greece's reaction was low-key".
ELEFTHEROS: "They dread the likelihood of September polls - (PASOK leader) George Papandreou in tough spot, appears ready but does not want elections".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "44,112 new job openings in public sector - Announcements in the fall - All vacancies to be filled by the end of the year".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Unholy ministerial job - 8,600 stremma of forestland secretly characterized as building ground".
ESTIA: "Scepticism over Turkey - The crucial July 22 elections".
ETHNOS: "Public Power Corporation SA (PPC) rate hikes in view - The company's proposals - Government fears political cost".
TA NEA: "Seven forestland regions turn into powder-keg - Abandonment is the arsonist".
VRADYNI: "80 percent discount on fines and tax surcharges - Tax Bureau: the ministry of finance draft law".
 President praises work on issue of missing personsNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos stressed on Monday that the issue of missing persons is not merely a question of exhumations and identification of remains, but it is primarily a matter of respect of the dignity of those missing and their next of kin.
The president was full of praise for all those who are dedicated to the arduous task of exhuming and identifying remains and paid special tribute to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who work in perfect harmony on such an emotional issue.
This, he pointed out, sends the message that the island's two communities can build a common future in a reunited Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The president pledged that the government will spare no effort and no expense to help conclude the process of exhumation and identification of remains, unearthed in the northern Turkish occupied areas as well as the southern government-controlled part of the island, believed to belong to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion and the inter-communal strike in the early 60s.
Papadopoulos' remarks were made after a visit to the Anthropological Laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), in the UN controlled area at the now defunct Nicosia airport, where he was briefed about the work carried out by forensic experts.
The president said he was very moved by the experience of his visit to the Laboratory and the briefing he was given.
"This is where the whole tragedy of our country lies," he said in a statement, issued after the visit earlier Monday, adding that the relatives of missing persons have the right to be supported by the state and society at large in this trying time.
The state, he said, has to do all it can to give convincing answers to the families concerned about the fate of their loved ones and to support them in every possible way.
"I want to stress once again that the issue of missing persons is not simply a matter of exhumation and identification. It is mainly a matter of showing respect to the dignity of the missing and their relatives. Consequently, it is a matter of correct, full and effective investigation of all the cases of missing persons so that the relatives will be notified of all the available information about the disappearance of their next of kin until the identification of the remains," the president added.
In his remarks, Papadopoulos noted that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots work "in remarkable harmony" to identify exhumed remains.
"Their task and their cooperation to solve this emotionally loaded issue revives memories, in the most traumatic manner, of the tragedy of Cyprus and its people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," he said.
In addition to this, this work and cooperation also conveys the message that the island's two communities can, through learning lessons from the past, build together a common future in a reunited Cyprus, without foreign intervention and military occupation, in a truly independent and sovereign country, where everybody will enjoy his human rights without discrimination and have peace and prosperity within the European Union.
The president expressed regret that the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat did not accept his invitation to visit jointly the Laboratory and meet with the three members of the CMP.
"We missed out on a good chance to send jointly a strong message to the members of both communities in Cyprus, a message of reconciliation and collaboration. I hope we can do that another time," he added in his statement.
Papadopoulos expressed warm thanks and appreciation to all those involved in and working for this effort by the CMP noting that "the humanitarian task all these people carry out is worthy of a lot of praise and sincere congratulations from all of us".
A press release, issued after the visit, said that Papadopoulos was given a tour of the Laboratory and scientists explained the procedure they follow leading to the identification of remains through the DNA process, stressing that identification is decided at joint meetings between geneticists and anthropologists, who examine in a painstaking process thoroughly and scrupulously all available data.
Papadopoulos also visited the venue where families are invited to see the remains of their missing relatives and are provided with information about the scientific procedure forensic experts apply.
The Laboratory operates under the guidance of scientists from the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropologists and Archaeologists.
Papadopoulos, who was accompanied by the Director of his Diplomatic Office Ambassador Tasos Tzionis, was met at the Laboratory by the
Third Member of the CMP Christophe Girod, in the presence of the Greek Cypriot representative to the CMP Elias Georgiades, all of whom attended an informal meeting on site. Present at the meeting were Georgiades' assistants Xenofon Kallis and Popi Chrysostomou and Girod's adviser Jennifer Wright.
CMP members explained to the president how the work is carried out, from the time exhumation begins at a specific location, to the collection of remains, the anthropological analysis, the genetic examination through the DNA method until the final identification.
Papadopoulos said he was pleased with the work carried out and congratulated everybody who contributes towards this task one way or another.
He expressed hope that the climate of cooperation, which produces positive results, will continue, stressing that this is a purely humanitarian project and should remain far from political expediencies to help end the suffering and the pain of thousands of relatives, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Girod thanked the president for this initiative to visit the Laboratory and have a creative communication with the scientists and others in the Committee, the press release said.
In a statement to CNA, Girod described Papadopoulos' visit as ''helpful and good'' and said it was encouraging to see parties concerned show their interest in the work carried out with respect to the CMP and the process of exhumation, identification and return of remains.
 UN SG encourages parts to engage in dialogueUNITED NATIONS (CNA/ANA-MPA)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon revealed Monday he had a telephone conversation on Friday with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
Replying to a question during a press conference, SG said ''I am continuing to encourage the two leaders of the two communities to engage in dialogue and this is what I will continue to do''.
''We are faced with so many challenges around the world, including of course the situation in Cyprus'', he noted.
Ban said that UN and he as Secretary General have been in contact with many leaders around the world.
"I have been speaking over the phone and meeting them in person at least three - four times, sometimes five or six times" aiming to address the various challenges, he said adding that he has not always announced all these contacts with world leaders.
"That's because some journalists have told me that I am a faceless person but even behind the scenes you should know that I have been very active'', he added.
Regarding the Cyprus question, Ban said ''I have had a good talk again with one of the two parties of the Cyprus question, Mr. Talat, last Friday I think and I am continuing to encourage the two leaders of the two communities to engage in a dialogue and this is what I will continue to do''.
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