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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-11-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 13 November 2007 Issue No: 2747


  • [01] PM and interior minister discuss local authority issues, Zoniana
  • [02] Gov't unveils Hestia programme for migrant integration
  • [03] Gov't on social security reforms, constitutional revision, fire-ravaged regions
  • [04] FM briefed by Russian rep in Kosovo troika
  • [05] Papandreou re-elected with landslide to PASOK leadership
  • [06] PASOK announces leadership election results with 63 pc of vote counted
  • [07] PM congratulates PASOK leader on re-election
  • [08] Deputy FM Kassimis receives Victoria State trade and industry minister
  • [09] KKE leader holds talks with Federation of Oropos Societies
  • [10] SYRIZA leader meets Thessaloniki Prefect, discusses environment
  • [11] SYRIZA leader Alavanos visits Stavroupoli
  • [12] Alavanos eyes Helliniko park issue
  • [13] Patriarch Theodoros received aboard Greek Navy frigate "Ydra"
  • [14] SAE president meets Africa Patriarch Theodoros
  • [15] Panama donates 20,000 dollars in aid for fire victims
  • [16] FinMin Alogoskoufis satisfied with talks with EU commissioners
  • [17] Government invites trade unions, employers to second-round talks on pension reform
  • [18] 'Greece the True Experience' debuts as slogan for country's int'l ad campaign
  • [19] Tourist development minister visits London International Tourist Exhibition
  • [20] Development minister holds talks with alternate Chinese science and technology minister
  • [21] Greece holds fifth place in foreign investments inflows for Romania
  • [22] Black Sea Trade and Development Bank selects third mediator for Ukrainian market
  • [23] Credit conditions improved in northern Greece
  • [24] Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling in joint venture with illycaffe SpA
  • [25] Agriculture minister meets Thai Science & Technology minister
  • [26] ANEK shipping company increases sales, profits
  • [27] Greek stocks end 0.45 pct lower
  • [28] Greek bond market closing report
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday
  • [31] Int'l promotion of Kazantzakis' work in Asia
  • [32] President Papoulias delivers speech after being awarded honourary doctorate by Ioannina University
  • [33] European Ombudsman's role and scope of action to be outlined
  • [34] 89th anniversary of WWI Armistice commemorated in Thessaloniki
  • [35] Greek film festival ends in Netherlands
  • [36] Waste management conference i n Attica prefecture
  • [37] Three foreign nationals arrested in abduction, torture incident
  • [38] Skeleton of a woman found inside car in Thesprotia
  • [39] Syrian FM assures illegal routes issue will be resolved soon
  • [40] Nicosia satisfied with assurances given by Syria Politics

  • [01] PM and interior minister discuss local authority issues, Zoniana

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos had a meeting on Monday morning to discuss issues concerning municipal government and the police operation to restore law and order in the Cretan village of Zoniana. The discussion of municipal government issues was held in view of an upcoming conference by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece, KEDKE.

    Pavlopoulos reported that the police operation in Zoniana - a village in the highlands of Rethymno prefecture on Crete - was going very well and would unfold so as to restore lasting order in the area without the lawless phenomena seen previously.

    Asked how long police would remain in the area, Pavlopoulos replied "as long as it takes" and added that additional measures would involve installing authorities where they were needed and, in terms of legislation, of taking the measures that were needed to deal with similar situations elsewhere so that they did not arise in the future.

    The minister stressed that the government's effort for a solution would have a permanent and legal basis and that it was not simply being carried out for the sake of appearances or to solve the problem temporarily.

    He underlined, meanwhile, that the law enforcement operation fully respected the rights of local residents and was fully conscious of the fact that the problem was confined to a few individuals that were taking advantage of a certain state of affairs to carry out illegal activities, rather than the people of Crete as a whole.

    Regarding local government issues, Pavlopoulos said he would present the government's positions on the major reforms that must be carried out at KEDKE's conference, especially those referring to financial support for local authorities. He said this would be based on the discussion and agreement reached by KEDKE's president Nikitas Kaklamanis, the mayor of Athens, and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    In a sweep of the entire area around Zoniana by special forces police that began last week, authorities have discovered weapons and ammunition - including bullets for Kalashnikov rifles - quantities of drugs, a number of stolen vehicles that have been used in robberies and were dumped in surrounding gorges and valleys, hashish plantations and remnants of stolen cashpoint machines that indicate the area may have been a base for a notorious gang of ATM robbers.

    [02] Gov't unveils Hestia programme for migrant integration

    The Hestia Programme, a complete action program for the adjustment and social integration of third country nationals living in Greece, was presented on Monday by the interior and public administration ministry.

    The program's completion coincides with the establishment of a Migration Policy and Social Integration General Directorate that will participate in policy planning for the social integration of third country nationals, Greek expatriates and other vulnerable social groups.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that this is the first complete action program drawn up in Greece focusing on the social integration of immigrants living legally in the country, thereby filling the immigration policy void observed for more than 10 years. The program is aimed at consolidating social cohesion by accepting diversity and displaying respect for human rights, he stressed.

    Based on ministry figures, the Greek regions with the biggest concentration of immigrants are Attica prefecture, central Macedonia, Peloponnese, Crete and southern mainland Greece.

    The countries of origin are Albania (58.22 percent), Bulgaria, (7.56 percent), Romania (4.49 percent), Ukraine (4.32 percent), Georgia (2.71 percent), Pakistan (2.48 percent), Russia (2.40 percent) and Moldova (2.19 percent).

    Most legal immigrants have a work permit (61.2 percent) followed by residence permits for purposes of family reunion (20.5 percent), independent financial activity (0.5 percent), marriage to a Greek (1.9 percent) and seasonal work (0.1 percent).

    The program will be funded by national resources and the newly established European Integration Fund. The funds allocated are: 1,527,626.75 euros in 2007, 2,063,575.78 euros in 2008, 2,371,000 euros in 2009, 2,550,000 euros in 2010, 3,132,000 euros in 2011, 3,827,000 euros in 2012 and 4,275,000 euros in 2013.

    Hestia Program actions concern all third country nationals living in Greece legally with a special attention to the young, elderly, women and children or other vulnerable groups, such as refugees and human trafficking victims. It is a highly decentralized program and local government is called to play a major role in its implementation.

    The program's objectives are to record the existing situation in all integration sectors, reflect the European reality and determine the national strategy priorities for an effective immigration policy. A main priority is cooperation with the countries of origin and the association of the migration phenomenon with development and progress in all sectors.

    [03] Gov't on social security reforms, constitutional revision, fire-ravaged regions

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Monday stressed that the government is always seeks consensus and will do the same regarding the paramount social security reforms issue as well as Constitutional Revision.

    Referring to Constitutional Revision, he said that based on the current Constitutional provision it will be completed in the first Parliament session, although the opening date of debate has not been decided yet. He also added that the election law issue will not be discussed at the inner cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

    Asked about an opinion poll, according which one in two citizens does not trust the two major political parties, Roussopoulos said opinion polls are being respected as tools and are taken under consideration.

    He said the first reform to be immediately implemented by the government will concern the social security system, adding that it is a very important issue and a relative debate is already underway.


    Meanwhile, Roussopoulos announced that Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias signed three ministerial decisions last week defining the procedures to be followed in the reconstruction and repair of buildings destroyed in 18 fire-ravaged prefectures.

    A total of 2,500 buildings, 1,500 of them private homes, will be reconstructed, while 1,500 buildings, among them 800 private homes, will be repaired, at an estimated cost of 150 million euros that will be fully covered by the Special Emergency Relief Fund.

    He also announced that a joint ministerial decision was signed by the ministries of education and health for the implementation of a psychological-social support program for schoolchildren in the fire ravaged areas.

    Regarding the damaged archaeological site of ancient Olympia, Roussopoulos pointed out that anti-flood projects have been completed in the three hills surrounding the site, while the planting of roughly 30,000 trees will get underway shortly.

    Queried over anti-flood and soil erosion prevention projects, he stressed that they are completed, by 83 percent, in Theologos, Evia, and by 70 percent in Avlida.

    In Viotia prefecture, restoration projects have been completed by 85 percent, while in Fthiotida prefecture there are no pending projects and riverbeds have been cleaned up.

    [04] FM briefed by Russian rep in Kosovo troika

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met Monday with the visiting Russian Federation's representative in the Kosovo mediation troika, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko.

    After the meeting, held at the initiative of the Russian official, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told reporters that "Greece has a constant and particular interest in the issue of the future status of Kosovo, and this issue is included in and preoccupies all the international meetings of the Greek foreign minister with her counterparts".

    He added that Greece was also in contact and meetings with all the sides involved.

    Koumoutsakos said the Russian diplomat made an extensive and in-depth briefing on the current situation and the prospects for the efforts undertaken by the troika, adding that Bakoyannis reiterated Greece's position on the issue, namely:

    "A solution of stability for the region must be found with respect to the European principles and values. Even now, the greatest possible convergence of views must be sought, while seeking the greatest possible international legitimisation is also mandatory. It is necessary to formulate a uniform European stance on a European issue such as Kosovo."

    The Kosovo issue is also expected to be a key item on the agenda of Bakoyannis' meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris on Wednesday.

    [05] Papandreou re-elected with landslide to PASOK leadership

    Main opposition PASOK president George Papandreou was clinched a landslide re-election to the party leadership in the first round, in Sunday's internal party election, as the tally on Monday morning, with the results of just 46 percent of the polling stations counted, gave the incumbent Papandreou an ample 59.50 percent irreversible win, against 34.02 percent for MP and former minister Evangelos Venizelos and 6.13 percent for the third candidate, MP and former minister Costas Skandalidis.

    According to PASOK Charter and Certification Committee chairman George Anomeritis, the final results of the vote will be announced at noon on Tuesday, following a meeting of the Committee.

    The newly-reelected Papandreou, in a statement in the early hours of Monday after it became apparent that his victory was irreversible, called the election result the first major step in the direction of building a political system that respects the citizen and will give power and a voice to the Greek people.

    Venizelos, in an early morning statement, said that PASOK's "rival was and is conservatism, the Right and its government".

    He said that all who participated in Sunday's process "have a common goal: PASOK's victory, and we will all work together for that".

    Papandreou statement

    Addressing himself to the Greek people and to the PASOK voters, whom he thanked for their participation in the election process, and said he would spare no effort in the building of a political system that respects the citizen and gives strength and a voice to the Greek people.

    Papandreou was conciliatory and unifying in his message, stressing that "we are all comrades and brothers", but aded that his mandate was clear-cut and strong vis-a-vis the "non-institutional centers and interests" and what he called "mediacracy", against those who wanted a "small and phobic" PASOK, and against conservatism.

    PASOK, he said, will have a new strategy with a new developmental vision for the autonomy of politics and the genuine expression of the people in decisions concerning them.

    The election, Papandreou continued, was the the final day of an internal party process, but the first day of a new agreement for a new beginning and a new victorious victory.

    Papandreou further stressed that the mandate he received was binding also on all the PASOK cadres, adding that he will be "the president of the big, unified and victorious PASOK".

    He congratulated and thanked everyone who worked on the "impeccable" leader election process, and also congratulated Venizelos and Skandalidis on their participation in the election, which participation, he added "confirmed the meaning of the process".

    Papandreou said that in the next few days he would announce his first decisions, based on the large, clear-cut and binding popular mandate he received.

    Venizelos statement

    In an early morning statement, Venizelos welcomed the large turnout in the election and thanked, "from the bottom of my heart", all the PASOK members and friends who turned out to vote, regardless of who they voted for.

    "All who took part in the process want, we want, an institutional, collective, democratic and structured PASOK. The majority selected George Papandreou once again as the president of PASOK. I congratulate him and wish him every success in the missin he is shouldering for a second time," Venizelos said.

    He thanked all those who "spontaneously backed my candidacy, all over the country", noting that a "large, dynamic, groundbreaking and optimistic trend was formed", and adding that "I feel greatly honored and a great responsibility because such a trend is expressed from within my candidacy".

    "Our rival was and is conservatism, the Right and its government. All who took part in today's process have a commong goal: PASOK's victory, and we will all work together for that," Venizelos concluded.

    PASOK spokesman Yannis Ragoussis, speaking Sunday evening after polling stations had closed, spoke of a massive participation in the party election, estimating the turnout at some 900,000 voters.

    Venizelos called Papandreou before midnight to congratulate him on his re-election, something done hours earlier by Skandalidis.

    [06] PASOK announces leadership election results with 63 pc of vote counted

    PASOK party Charter and Certification Committee president George Anomeritis on Monday night announced the results of the party's leadership elections from 1,060 polling stations, that account for 63 percent of the vote and 590,000 voters.

    According to the announcement, George Papandreou is leading with 56 percent, followed by Evangelos Venizelos with 38 percent and Costas Skandalidis with 5.80 percent.

    Anomeritis said that the assessment regarding the total number of voters is in the region of 830,000, stressing that results that are announced are certified through the records of the supervising committees.

    Lastly, he underlined what had already been announced in October that the final results will be issued 48 hours after the election, meaning on Tuesday.

    [07] PM congratulates PASOK leader on re-election

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis has sent a message of congratulations to main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on his re-election in Sunday's internal party election, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Monday.

    "Dear George, congratulations on your re-election. I look forward to good cooperation between government and opposition on the country's major problems," the message said.

    [08] Deputy FM Kassimis receives Victoria State trade and industry minister

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis on Monday received the trade and industry minister of the Australian State of Victoria, Theo Theophanous, who is currently on a visit to Greece. The Australian minister was accompanied by Australian Ambassador Paul Joseph Tighe.

    The purpose of the visit by Theophanous is the widening of economic and trade relations between Australia and Greece, particularly in the sector of new technologies, on issues concerning electric power production and reforestation.

    Theophanous said that the results of the recent official visit by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, as well as by Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis to his country is very positive and an exchange of business visits between Australian and Greek businessmen is already being organized.

    Kassimis extended Greece's appreciation for Australia's assistance during the recent disastrous wildfires that struck the country, as well as its satisfaction over the stance being observed by Australia on the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), since Australia supports the UN procedure for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution.

    [09] KKE leader holds talks with Federation of Oropos Societies

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga held talks with the Federation of Societies of Oropos, north-eastern Attica, on Monday saying afterwards that "when 100,000 people, and even more tomorrow and in the rest of Attica, are being poisoned by chromium, when cases of cancer have increased, that also harm small children, there can be no explanation and no excuse and no delay and, first of all, on the part of the government and the relevant ministry."

    Papariga added that "half-measures can no longer be tolerated and stressed the need for work to be carried out immediately, apart from every effort for real responsibilities to be attributed."

    [10] SYRIZA leader meets Thessaloniki Prefect, discusses environment

    The leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) alliance in Parliament, Alekos Alavanos, on Monday paid a visit to Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis during his tour of the prefecture.

    Alavanos said they had main discussed the region's environmental problems, such as the state of Lake Koroneia, the facilities of the former DIANA industrial plant, the Axios River and aquaculture enterprises.

    SYRIZA's leader noted the need to make use of EU funding and mobilise the government in dealing with these problems, as well as highlighting the need to activate procedures for joint action by Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on issues related to protecting ecosystems, especially shared ecosystems like the Axios River.

    [11] SYRIZA leader Alavanos visits Stavroupoli

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos addressed a party event at the municipal theatre in Stavroupoli, in northern Greece, on Monday wishing "good luck" to the PASOK party, adding that the election of a president closes a cycle of great crisis and of intraparty conflict.

    Alavanos pointed out that there is no wider ground for general cooperation with PASOK and extended proposals for joint action to PASOK and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in sectors of interest such as article 16, the closure of Free Studies Centres and free access to universities for senior high school graduates.

    He also expressed satisfaction over the September 16 election results and noted that "the scene has changed and the aim of ending the two-party era can be turned into practice."

    [12] Alavanos eyes Helliniko park issue

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alekos Alavanos will receive the mayors of Helliniko, Argyroupolis, Glyfada and Alimos on Tuesday 13 November at the party's headquarters for talks on the future of the old Athens airport in coastal southeast Athens.

    The 590-hectare area of the former airport is projected to be turned into a massive, by Greek standards, metropolitan park for utterly congested greater Athens area.

    [13] Patriarch Theodoros received aboard Greek Navy frigate "Ydra"

    ALEXANDRIA (ANA-MPA - N. Katsikas)

    Alexandria and All Africa Patriarch Theodoros was on Monday received aboard the Greek Navy frigate "Ydra" with full honours. The "Ydra" is currently taking part in a multinational naval exercise code named "Bright Star 007" that is taking place in Egypt, with 13 countries taking part.

    He was met by Greece's defense attaché in Egypt, Navy Captain Apostolos Bastas and the commander of the vessel Ioannis Drimousis.

    The ship's four-day stay in Egypt will come to an end on Monday night with a reception given by the captain for Egyptian authorities and the Greek community in Egypt. The "Ydra" is due to depart on Tuesday morning for Greece.

    [14] SAE president meets Africa Patriarch Theodoros

    ALEXANDRIA (ANA-MPA - M. Katsikas)

    Alexandria and All Africa Patriarch Theodoros on Monday met the president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Stefanos Tamvakis, who briefed him on the results of a lengthy trip to the United States and issues concerning Greeks in Africa.

    [15] Panama donates 20,000 dollars in aid for fire victims

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday accepted a cheque for 20,000 U.S. dollars in aid for the victims of last August's fires in Greece, which was presented on behalf of his country by Panama's Ambassador in Athens Antonio Fotis Taquis Ochoa.

    Receiving the money on behalf of the Greek government, Bakoyannis warmly thanked the ambassador for his country's response to the disaster.

    Financial News

    [16] FinMin Alogoskoufis satisfied with talks with EU commissioners

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)

    Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis appeared satisfied with the outcome of his talks here on Monday with Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and European Union Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaité.

    In his meeting with Almunia, the finance minister expressed his satisfaction with the European Commission's recent predictions on the course of the Greek economy and briefed the EU commissioner on the reforms program concerning the Lisbon strategy. The development of Greece's macroeconomic indexes, the social security issue, the restructuring of the public sector and the curbing of expenditures were also discussed during the meeting.

    Talks with the budget commissioner focused on funding by the EU of regional programmes, with emphasis being placed on those concerning the wildfire-stricken regions.

    [17] Government invites trade unions, employers to second-round talks on pension reform

    Employment Minister Vassilis Magginas on Monday sent letters to the "social partners" - employer groups and the main trade unions - inviting them to take part in the continued dialogue on social insurance reform before a joint session of Parliament's Economic Affairs and Social Affairs Committees convening next Thursday.

    The letters were addressed to the president of the General Confederation of Employees of Greece Yiannis Panagopoulos, the president of the civil servants' union ADEDY Spiros Papaspiros, the head of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (HFE) President Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the head of the Greek confederation of small-scale manufacturers and traders, GSEBEE President Dimitris Assimakopoulos, the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) President Dimitris Armenakis and the president of the Economic and Social Committee Christos Polyzogopoulos.

    The minister reminds the recipients that by joint agreement, the second round of dialogue will include issues concerning pension fund mergers, establishing a social insurance card and electronic support for the social insurance system.

    [18] 'Greece the True Experience' debuts as slogan for country's int'l ad campaign

    LONDON (ANA-MPA / C. Halkiadakis)

    Greek tourism officials on Monday unveiled the east Mediterranean holiday destination's new slogan for an upcoming international ad campaign, with the phrase "Greece the True Åxperience" announced at the Greek National Tourism Organization' s pavilion in the World Travel Market (WTM) here.

    In a brief address, Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said the goal of the 2007-2008 tourism campaign is to consolidate Greece's position amongst the world's top tourism destinations and to achieve a carve out a greater share of the market.

    "We're aiming for the so-called 'creative class', in other words, the 10 percent of travelers that seek new and true experiences," he said.

    According to the freshman minister, Greek tourism is also seeking out new era modes of advertising, via the Internet, for instance.

    Finally, he reiterated that the government's strategy in the all-important tourism sector aims to bolster specific brands of tourism that more-or-less veer away from traditional forms of tourism offered in Greece over the past decades, instead emphasising sea sports, trekking and hiking routes, tours of cultural sites, health spas, conferences and conventions, luxury packages, agro-tourism and weekend getaways.

    [19] Tourist development minister visits London International Tourist Exhibition

    LONDON (ANA-MPA/C. Halkiadakis)

    Tourist Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos met on Monday with Turkish Tourism and Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay and the secretary general of the International Tourism Organization Francesco Franchiali at the Greek Tourist Organization's (EOT) pavilion in the framework of the London International Tourist Exhibition.

    The meeting between the two ministers was held in a very good climate and was aimed at promoting tourist cooperation between the two countries.

    "I am particularly pleased that the Tourism and Culture Minister of Turkey visited the Greek pavilion. It was an indication of courtesy as well as the reflection of will on the part of Turkey to forge even closer relations with Greece," Spiliotopoulos said after his meeting with his Turkish counterpart.

    "As I pointed out to him, Tourism is something more than ideology. And since it is more than ideology what unites us is more than what separates us. And I feel that the tourist development of the region, with joint actions, can benefit both sides," the minister added.

    As regards the meeting with the International Tourism Organization's secretary general, it focused on environment issues and the holding of a conference in Athens was decided.

    [20] Development minister holds talks with alternate Chinese science and technology minister

    Development Minister Christos Folias held talks on Monday with China's Alternate Science and Technology Minister Wu Zhongze on the occasion of the signing of a Protocol by Research and Technology Secretary General Ioannis Tsoukalas and China's Alternate International Cooperation General Director of the Science and Technology Ministry Yao Welke.

    The two sides expressed their satisfaction over the course of the joint research programs agreed during the previous meeting held during Folias's recent visit to Beijing.

    Folias conveyed his satisfaction to the Chinese official over bilateral Greek-Chinese cooperation in the research and technology sector and expressed the Greek government's strong interest in its further strengthening.

    Folias and the Chinese alternate minister praised the significance of bilateral cooperation and proposed its strengthening with an increase in bilateral funding. The decision will probably be taken during the signing of the next cooperation protocol in 2009.

    On the part of China, great interest was shown in boosting this cooperation since China considers Greece a gateway to the European Union and the West.

    [21] Greece holds fifth place in foreign investments inflows for Romania


    Greece holds fifth place regarding direct foreign investments made in Romania last year with 7.8 percent of the total investments or 2.6 billion euros.

    The first place is held by Austria with 7.9 billion euros or 23 percent of the total investments, followed by the Netherlands with 5.8 billion euros (17 pc), Germany with 3.4 billion euros (10 pc) and France with 2.7 billion euros (8 pc).

    [22] Black Sea Trade and Development Bank selects third mediator for Ukrainian market

    The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank has increased to three its financial mediators in the Ukrainian market. The Thessaloniki-based bank has selected "Kreditprombank" as a financial mediator for the funding of the exports and imports businesses of Ukraine.

    "Kreditprombank" will be managing capital amounting to 10 million euros that it will be providing for Ukrainian businesses, stepping in the "path" of the two other mediators, the "First Ukrainian International Bank" and the "ProCredit Bank," which are already cooperating with the Bank in the Ukrainian market.

    [23] Credit conditions improved in northern Greece

    The value of bounced cheques fell by 40.2 percent in Macedonia and Thrace in the eight-month period from January to August 2007, while the value of unpaid bills rose by 4.5 percent over the same period, according to figures released by the Bank of Greece.

    The value of bounced cheques fell to 122.75 million euros on Monday, from 205.6 million euros in the corresponding period last year, while the value of unpaid bills rose to 34.42 million euros from 32.87 million euros over the same period, respectively.

    The value of bounced cheques fell by 40.9 pct in central Macedonia to 89.19 million euros in the January-August period, from 151 million euros in the corresponding period in 2006, while the value of unpaid bills rose to 24.09 million euros from 21.98 million euros over the same period, respectively.

    In western Macedonia, bounced cheques totaled 10.5 million euros from 8.73 million euros last year.

    [24] Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling in joint venture with illycaffe SpA

    Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling on Monday announced the signing of a pre-agreement with The Coca-Cola Company with the aim to developing a three-party joint venture with illycaffe SpA.

    A company statement said the joint venture will work on the production, sale and distribution of ready-for-consumption coffee in countries with activities by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling. Talks over the framework of the joint venture are expected to be completed by early 2008.

    [25] Agriculture minister meets Thai Science & Technology minister

    Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Alexandros Kontos on Monday met visiting Thai Minister of Science and Technology Yongyut Yutthawong.

    According to an announcement, the meeting focused on possible cooperation between Greece and Thailand in the agricultural sector and promoting Greek products on the Thai market.

    [26] ANEK shipping company increases sales, profits

    The post-tax profits of the ANEK shipping company increased by 21.8 percent during the first nine months in 2007, totaling 24,192 thousand euros compared to 19,855 thousand euros during the corresponding period in 2006.

    Profits before tax, financing, investments results and depreciation increased by 12.8 percent and reached 47,159 thousand euros as against 41,813 thousand euros during the corresponding period last year.

    Turnover also increased by 6.9 percent, amounting to 188,688 thousand euros compared to 176,551 thousand euros during the first nine months in 2006.

    [27] Greek stocks end 0.45 pct lower

    Greek stocks fell 0.45 percent on Monday despite strong buying interest for telecommunications stocks in the aftermath of a 2.9-billion-euros bid made by Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation to acquire Cosmote.

    The composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange ended at 5,124.97 points, with turnover a huge 1.477 billion euros, of which 937.77 million were block trades.

    Most sectors ended lower with the Raw Materials (2.73 pct), Food/Beverage (2.44 pct), Chemicals (2.12 pct) and Technology (1.90 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while the Telecommunications (4.23 pct) and Oil (0.89 pct) scored gains.

    The Big Cap index fell 0.76 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.17 pct lower and the Small Cap index plunged 2.64 pct. Praxitelio (19.23 pct) and Tsoukaridis (8.81 pct) were top gainers, while Mohlos (18.18 pct), Parnassos (16.67 pct) and Lanacam (16.31 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 223 to 46 with another 32 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -0.24%

    Industrials: -1.58%

    Commercial: -0.91%

    Construction: -0.79%

    Media: -1.65%

    Oil & Gas: +0.89%

    Personal & Household: -1.58%

    Raw Materials: -2.73%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.98%

    Technology: -1.90%

    Telecoms: +4.23%

    Banks: -1.65%

    Food & Beverages: -2.44%

    Health: -1.14%

    Utilities: -0.59%

    Chemicals: -2.12%

    Financial Services: -0.11%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Cosmote, OTE, Alpha Bank and Bank of Cyprus.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 25.00

    ATEbank: 3.84

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 26.38

    HBC Coca Cola: 40.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 10.58

    Emporiki Bank: 21.00

    National Bank of Greece: 45.80

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 24.26

    Intralot: 28.96

    Cosmote: 26.24

    OPAP: 26.36

    OTE: 26.00

    Titan Cement Company: 33.00

    [28] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 1.739 billion euros on Monday, of which 904 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 835 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2017) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 940 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 0.31 pct, with the Greek bond yielding 4.41 pct and the German Bund 4.10 pct.

    In the domestic interbank market, interest rates were mixed. National Bank's overnight rate was 3.9 pct, the two-day rate was 4.10 pct, the one-month rate was 4.15 pct and the 12-month rate 4.56 pct.

    [29] ADEX closing report

    Futures contract prices ended Monday's session with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange, while turnover was an improved 177.561 million euros. The December contract on the Big Cap index was traded at a discount of 0.63 pct and the November contract on the Mid Cap index at a discount of 0.72 pct.

    Volume in futures contract on the FTSE 20 index totaled 9,988 contracts, while on the FTSE 40 index volume was 635 contracts. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,738 contracts with investment interest focusing on Marfin Investment Group's contracts (1,859), followed by OTE (1,859), Eurobank (443), Cosmote (850), National Bank (248), Alpha Bank (548), Intracom (1,072), Post Savings Bank (1,098) and ATEbank (1,240).

    [30] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.469

    Pound sterling 0.710

    Danish kroner 7.512

    Swedish kroner 9.396

    Japanese yen 160.83

    Swiss franc 1.653

    Norwegian kroner 7.937

    Cyprus pound 0.588

    Canadian dollar 1.406

    Australian dollar 1.664

    General News

    [31] Int'l promotion of Kazantzakis' work in Asia

    The International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis is organising a series of events in Japan, Vietnam and Qatar on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the renowned Greek novelist's death.

    Speaking to ANA-MPA from Geneva, the society's coordinating committee president, George Stasinakis, said the three countries complete a long list of more than 100 countries where the society has been active since its establishment in 1988.

    "Participation of scholars and the presence of the ambassadors of Greece and France at an event organized earlier in the month in Doha, Qatar, was enthusiastic and participants' interest in Kazantzakis' relations with the Arab and Muslim world was unprecedented," Stasinakis said.

    In an event to be held in Tokyo on Nov. 16, Stasinakis will refer to Kazantzakis' relations with Japan. The event is organised with the assistance of local authorities under the auspices of the Greek and French embassy in Japan.

    In Hanoi on Nov. 22, Prof. Ngo Tu Lap will organize an event with lectures, readings and video screenings.

    Between Nov. 18 through Dec. 3, Stasinakis will tour Australia and New Zealand to address events organized in cooperation with Greek diplomatic services, Greek and Cretan expatriate communities, including in Perth (Nov.18), Adelaide (Nov. 21), Canberra (Nov.23), Melbourne (Nov. 25 & 26), Sydney (Nov. 28), Auckland (Dec. 2), and Wellington (Dec. 3).

    Roughly 200 events for the promotion of the work of Nikos Kazantzakis will be hosted in 72 countries within the framework of the culture ministry-proclaimed "2007: Year of Nikos Kazantzakis".

    Stasinakis pointed out that the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis, established 19 years ago in Geneva, numbers more than 4,000 members in 103 countries with roughly 70 branches worldwide.

    [32] President Papoulias delivers speech after being awarded honourary doctorate by Ioannina University

    President Karolos Papoulias was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Ioannina University, in northern Greece, on Monday delivering afterwards a speech on the theme "Politics and ethics."

    "Ethics and politics are not incompatible with one another. The invocation of ethics is not always a way of covering up power demands by the person attempting to do so. Such a conception would lead to extreme value relativism which is dangerous both for democracy and for social cohesion, as well as for the international system. I believe, in any case, that this value relativism was one of the main causes of the collapse of the ancient world," President Papoulias said.

    "Of course, politics are not exercised in a moral vacuum. The politicians must primarily respect the constitution and the laws of the country. However, their formal compliance with our legal status quo is not enough. We do not judge many of their actions and attitudes only politically, but morally as well. Consequently, we judge a politician whom we consider to be corrupt morally and not only politically," the President added.

    President Papoulias also referred to the issue of security and the contemporaneous protection of human rights, stressing that it is also a great challenge for present-day societies and their leaderships.

    "It would be good for us to remember that history has proved that those who believed that security is achieved by torturing or humiliating people were mistaken," President Papoulias concluded.

    [33] European Ombudsman's role and scope of action to be outlined

    European Ombudsman professor Nikiforos Diamantouros will brief businessmen in northern Greece on the role and activities of the European Ombudsman's office in a special event to take place in Thessaloniki on November 20 co-hosted with the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Prof. Diamantouros will present the way in which the European Ombudsman can support companies, organizations and private citizens in solving problems they face in the course of their cooperation with institutional bodies and EU organizations.

    [34] 89th anniversary of WWI Armistice commemorated in Thessaloniki

    Greek officials and foreign envoys on Sunday commemorated the 89th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the First World War on November 11, 1918 with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Allied Cemetery of Zejtinlik and at the III Army Corps Monument in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, a major hub in the Balkan theatre of operations during WWI.

    A minute of silence was observed while the national anthems of all WWI Allied forces were played in honor of the fallen soldiers.

    [35] Greek film festival ends in Netherlands

    DELFT, Netherlands (ANA-MPA)

    The Greek Film Festival, organized by the Press and Communications Office of the Greek Embassy in The Hague, came to an end here on Sunday.

    The festival, in which films by contemporary Greek directors were presented, was inaugurated on November 9 by Greek Ambassador Constantine Rallis who noted that through Greek cinema "one can follow Greece's difficult historic course and social evolution from the beginning of the 20th century until today."

    [36] Waste management conference i n Attica prefecture

    The Local Union of Municipalities and Communities in the Prefecture of Attica prefecture will host a one-day conference on waste management shortly after the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE) conference.

    The decision was reached within the framework of the materialization of the pledges made during the Attica local government conference held recently in an effort to launch a dialogue on waste management, one of the most serious problems in the region of Attica.

    [37] Three foreign nationals arrested in abduction, torture incident

    Police on Monday arrested three Albanian nationals in Athens on charges ranging from kidnapping to torture and extortion, following the rescue of a 32-year-old French national from Cameroon allegedly held captive since April by a total of six suspects.

    According to reports, the 42-year-old man was repeatedly beaten, tortured and raped during his captivity, the last two months of which he was imprisoned in a basement apartment in downtown Athens.

    Police said the suspects believed the French-Cameroonian was linked to a ring that had duped them out of 50,000 euros using the so-called "black money" scam - where con artists sell "dyed" banknotes exported from an African country to be de-inked by naïve investors expecting to double or triple their "investment". The "dyed banknotes" are usually simple paper or currency of inferior value.

    Authorities were led to the man by his sister, identified as an MP in Cameroon and the owner of a cosmetics firm in France, who had been contacted by the Albanian gang for ransom.

    Police officers traced the apartment where the victim was being held by information relayed by him to his sister, ostensibly in French, a language the abductors apparently did not understand.

    The three suspects are due to face a local prosecutor, while a manhunt is on for the remaining three.

    [38] Skeleton of a woman found inside car in Thesprotia

    The skeleton of a woman was found by chance by residents of the village Nea Selefkia in the prefecture of Thesprotia, locked inside a car without any license plates.

    According to evidence collected by the police, it is believed that the skeleton belongs to a 47-year-old Finnish woman that for the past eight years had lived inside her car on her own, in a remote, deserted area.

    The bones were collected and sent to Ioannina University Hospital for testing by coroner Theodoros Vougiouklakis, in order to determine the cause of death. So far, the evidence collected by the Igoumenitsa police headquarters, however, do not indicate that foul play was involved.

    Cyprus Affairs

    [39] Syrian FM assures illegal routes issue will be resolved soon


    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Ad Muallem has assured his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis that the issue concerning the illegal sea routes from the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta to Syria will soon be resolved.

    An official statement said that during her meeting on Sunday with Muallem in the Syrian capital, Marcoullis briefed her counterpart on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue and efforts to implement an agreement the UN has brokered between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides to help resume negotiations, including Turkey's refusal to assist these efforts. She also briefed Muallem on measures which the government of Cyprus is taking to strengthen economically the Turkish Cypriots.

    Discussions between the two ministers covered the situation in the Middle East and regional issues. On the issue of the sea routes from the closed port of Famagusta to Latakia, Syria, Muallem repeated to Marcoullis his assurance that the issue will be resolved soon. Last month a Turkish cruise ship sailed from the closed port of Famagusta for Latakia.

    Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also assured Kozakou-Markoullis, duringtheir meeting Sunday, that the issue will be settled very soon.

    Nicosia has sought explanations from Syria to ensure that such an incident will not occur again and that no agreement has been reached between Damascus and the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus on permitting vessels to travel from occupied Cyprus to Syria.

    Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    The UN has branded the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus "legally invalid" and called on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    [40] Nicosia satisfied with assurances given by Syria

    Nicosia has said it was pleased with assurances Damascus has given that it will sort out very soon an issue relating to an illegal sea route from Turkish occupied Cyprus to Syria.

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos expressed Monday satisfaction over the assurances given to Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis by the President of Syria Bashar Al-Assad, regarding the issue which arose with the illegal sea routes between Latakia, Syria, and the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta,

    "The assurances that we have received satisfy us," Papadopoulos said, invited to comment on Assad's assurance to Marcoullis that the issue will be settled very soon.

    Papadopoulos said that "from the beginning Syria had explained to us the reasons these arrangements were made on a private level and said that the position of the Syrian government is that this illegality must be lifted in the way Damascus feels that it can be achieved in the best way for both countries."

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