|Tuesday, 26 May 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-05
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 5 August 2008 Issue No: 2962
 PM briefed by Interior MinisterPrime minister Costas Karamanlis met on Monday morning with interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, for a discussion on progress in the administrative reform of the country.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Pavlopoulos noted that the dialogue with the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) on the spacial planning following the mergers of smaller municipalities and communities was nearing completion, explaining that "the target is fewer and stronger municipalities with consensus", and adding that "this is the difference from the past".
Pavlopoulos said that the reform would forge ahead, in conjunction also with economic measures for the local government organizations (OTA), following a relevant decision by the economy and finance ministry, so that the OTA will have steady resources.
The minister further said that the discussion also focused on the Special Operational Plan on electronic reform, in which priority would be placed on simplifying procedures.
He said that there has been substantial progress in that area, and announced that a discussion would soon commence on the basis of the second draft being prepared in order to give Greeks abroad the ability of absentee voting.
"Common ground has been found with the representatives of the political parties, and we are currently discussing the matter with the foreign minister," Pavlopoulos said, adding that another discussion would also be held on the second draft.
He added that this latter was the only executive law of the Constitution that has not been advanced.
 KEDKE president on administrative reformThe president of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, said on Monday that the Institute of Local Government will complete its studies that have been assigned to it and which concern the administrative reform of the country, by August 30.
Kaklamanis made the statement in regard to a meeting between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos Monday morning focusing on progress in the administrative reform.
Nevertheless, Kaklamanis warned, "these studies will not be the object of deliberations and, much more, they will not be the object of a dialogue with the government unless the fulfillment of what has been promised takes place," adding that the government "has promised the disbursement, by the end of August, of 250 million euros to local government authorities," among other things.
 Culture minister meets Chinese counterpart in BeijingVisiting Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis met on Monday in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Cai Wu with whom he discussed issues regarding the fight against antiquities smuggling and the broadening of cultural cooperation between the two countries.
"Greek-Chinese relations are better than ever, while the Greek Year in China has given us the possibility of projecting not only our ancient civilization but contemporary Greek cultural creation as well," Liapis said after the meeting.
"We agreed with my counterpart that our two countries can do many things in the sector of culture and mainly in combating antiquities smuggling and their return to their country of origin...We are going to establish a partnership relation, a holy alliance with other countries as well which possess a rich cultural heritage, so that we can unite our forces for the return of antiquities," the Greek minister added.
Liapis also proposed to his Chinese counterpart the organizing of a corresponding China Year in Greece, while inviting him to attend the inauguration events of the New Acropolis Museum.
The Greek minister inaugurated later an exhibition by Greece's National Archeological Museum titled "Agon", at Beijing's Capital Museum.
Before meeting his Chinese counterpart, Liapis addressed the Chinese media in light of events organized in the framework of Greece's Cultural Year in China.
 FM Bakoyannis leaves for Beijing TuesdayGreek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will depart on Tuesday for Beijing, the foreign ministry announced on Monday.
Bakoyannis, together with Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis, who is already in Beijing, will represent Greece at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.
 Nimetz to have talks in NY with Greece and FYROM representativesSKOPJE (ANA-MPA/ N. Frangopoulos)
The UN Secretary General's special mediator on the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Mathew Nimetz, is expected to have a new round of talks in New York in mid-August with representatives from Greece and FYROM.
It was disclosed that Nimetz called for August 14-15 in New York, the representatives of Greece and FYROM, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis and Nikola Dimitrov, respectively.
 PASOK on party electoral cooperationsMain opposition PASOK spokeswoman Maria Karaklioumi said on Monday that electoral cooperations were the product of society's needs, while commenting on statements by Greek party officials over the weekend regarding prospective party collaborations.
"PASOK has formulated its proposal, which concerns the cooperation with the forces of the Left, which the movement considers as ideologically close to it, while it rejected in a categorical manner any prospect of cooperation with the ruling New Democracy (ND) party," Karaklioumi added.
The spokeswoman also clarified that PASOK's target "is only one, that is, victory and self-reliance in elections".
"When PASOK is called on to rule, it will seek the consensus of the broadest possible sectors of society so that reforms which will be implemented can have the broadest possible acceptance," she pointed out.
 LA.OS leader calls for early electionsPopular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis called on Monday for immediate early elections to be held under a caretaker government, in statements from Iraklio, on the island of Crete.
He justified his call by saying that the country needed "something more clear, which can lead it out of present impasses and make it advance."
He also charged that the country's economy "is not doing well".
 Patriarch of Alexandria meets with Georgian PMPatriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa met with Georgia's Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze within the framework of his formal visit to the country.
Welcoming the Patriarch at the Premier's Mansion in Tbilisi, Gurgenidze stressed that Theodoros' visit was of great significance considering the difficult times experienced by the country. "A major endeavor aimed at restoring our cultural heritage and the Church is in progress," the Georgian PM said, addressing the visiting Patriarch who was accompanied by Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia, adding that "the countries with a history will not be lost in the era of globalization."
Patriarch Theodoros responded that 22 years after last visiting the country he finds it being "reborn, governed by young people".
On his part, the Patriarch of Georgia referred to the importance of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and underlined that countries should preserve their distinct identity.
 Ecumenical Patriarch in Crete on OctoberEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and other Orthodox prelates will be visiting Iraklion, Crete, on October 16, in the framework of events celebrating "2008-Year of Apostle Paul".
This was announced on Monday by the Holy Regional Synod of the Church of Crete at the end of a meeting, which termed the visit as a "great and unique ecclesiastical event".
 Federations of Greek communities' representatives meet in ThessalonikiAction planning, the development and strengthening of community cohesion in view of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Europe Regional Convention at the end of October and the voting rights of the Greeks living abroad, were among the issues discussed in the first meeting of the Coordinating Council Secretariat of the Federations of Greek Communities in Europe, which was established in Stockholm last April.
In the meeting held in Thessaloniki on Monday, a special reference was made to the ministry of the interior statement following a briefing of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis by minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos as regards the second draft plan on the vote of the Greeks abroad. The secretariat members reiterated their position calling for the establishment of an electoral district in Europe allowing the Greeks living in European countries to vote in Greek national elections from their countries of residence.
 File on TOR-M1 missiles referred to justiceParliament on Monday conveyed the file concerning the TOR-M1 missiles systems to an Athens public prosecutor.
In the coming days, it is expected that the file will be examined to clarify penal responsibilities by non-political individuals.
Among the offences which will be examined is the legalization of revenue from illegal activities and bribery.
 Development Minister Folias meets petrol station ownersDevelopment Minister Christos Folias, in the presence of Trade Secretary General Dimitris Skiadas, met on Monday with the president of the Federation of Petrol Station Owners of Greece, Michalis Kiousis and later with representatives of the refineries, the managing director of Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), Ioannis Kostopoulos and the alternate managing director of Motoroil, Ioannis Kosmadakis.
The meetings, in combination with the meeting which was held last Thursday with representatives of petroleum trade companies, concluded the cycle of contacts with the chain for shaping the price of fuel in the Greek market.
Assessed during the meetings were all the parameters determining the final price which the consumer pays and the three sides (refineries, trading companies and petrol stations) confirmed their readiness to contribute in smoothing the market on all levels of pricing which will correspond to the international price of petrol.
The inspections are continuing, registering the market prices and sale of fuel throughout Greece.
 Eurobank Properties buys 99.99 of Romania's Seferco Development SAEurobank Properties on Monday announced the completion of the purchase of 99.99 per cent equity stake in Romania's Seferco Development SA. for 20.35 million euros.
The agreement had been initialled on August 8, 2007.
 Greek stocks end 0.47 pct lower on MondayGreek stocks ended slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday. The coomposite index of the market ended the day with losses at 3,362.18 points, 0.47 percent down, with turnover rising to 114.701 million euros.
Most sectors moved lower, with the Food & Beverages (+1.65 pct) and Travel & Leisure (+1.19) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Commercial (-3.15 pct) and Utilities (-2.36 pct) suffered losses.
The FTSE 20 index fell by 0.64 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.03 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index increased by 0.13 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 119 to 75 with another 70 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.57%
Personal & Household: -0.82%
Raw Materials: -0.72%
Travel & Leisure: +1.19%
Food & Beverages: +1.65%
Financial Services: -2.22%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, HBC Coca Cola, Public Power Corp (PPC) and Piraeus Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 18.40
Public Power Corp (PPC): 18.60
HBC Coca Cola: 16.34
Hellenic Petroleum: 8.32
National Bank of Greece: 30.88
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 15.68
Piraeus Bank: 18.90
Titan Cement Company: 24.36
 ADEX closing reportGreek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover at 52.485 million euros. The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a small premium of 0.25 pct and the August contract on the FTSE 40 index at a discount of 1.95 pct.
Volume in futures contracts on the Big Cap index totaled 5,105 contracts worth 47.133 million euros, with 34,161 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was six contracts worth 122,961 euros, with 24 open positions.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 3,695 contracts worth 4.616 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Investment Group (692 contracts) followed by Marfin Popular Bank (626) National Bank (585), PPC (380) and OTE (146).
 Greek bond market closing reportTurnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond markets totaled 510 million euros on Monday, of which 285 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 225 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (August 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 365 million euros and with the Greek bond yielding 4.99 pct.
In money markets, interest rates changed slightly. The 12-month Euribor rate was 5.37 pct, the six-month rate was 5.18 pct, the three-month rate 5.00 pct and the one-month rate 4.51 pct.
 Foreign Exchange rates: TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.569
Pound sterling 0.797
Danish kroner 7.520
Swedish kroner 9.531
Japanese yen 169.74
Swiss franc 1.647
Norwegian kroner 8.063
Canadian dollar 1.616
Australian dollar 1.683
 Man decapitates companion, injures three others, on SantoriniA 31-year-old man from Alexandroupolis was arrested on the holiday island of Santorini on Sunday night after he decapitated his companion and injured three other people, including a policeman.
According to police the man, who was working as a cook in a restaurant in the village of Imerovigli, stabbed to death his 25-year-old female companion, a teacher from Thessaloniki, after a fight, and was roaming around the village of Vourboulo holding her head and the knife he killed her with in his hands.
A police patrol car rushed to the area, and the officer and rookie manning the patrol car called to the man to surrender. The man, pretending he wanted to give himself up, approached the officer who had exited the patrol car with service revolver in hand, and suddenly rushed at the officer with the knife, wounding him in the mouth.
The officer fired four shots as he was falling to the ground, three of which hit the perpetrator in the chest and one in the liver. Despite the gunshot wounds, the perpetrator took off with the patrol car in an effort to escape, but a short distance away he rammed into a moped with two young women doctors from the Thira medical center, wounding them seriously.
As he was fleeing the site with the patrol car, several other patrol cars alerted by the injured officer surrounded the patrol car driven by the perpetrator and rammed it to immobilize it.
The perpetrator was arrested, and the man, the injured police officer and the two women doctors, one of which was in very serious condition, were transported by C-130 military aircraft to the KAT hospital in Athens.
Police give details
Greek Police General Inspector for Southern Greece Lieut.Gen Dimitris Bouloukos gave to publicity details of the gruesome crime on the island of Santorini that shocked Greece and made headlines worldwide.
In a press conference in the Thira Police Station, he gave a minute by minute account of the unprecedented crime in Greece.
A telephone call reporting to police that an individual had killed a dog in the village of Vourvoulo, some 3.5 km from Fira, was made on Sunday afternoon and in response a patrol car with a two-member crew, only one of the officers was armed, was immediately dispatched to the scene followed by a second patrol car with three police rookies who were also unarmed.
A second call reporting to police that a man was walking around the village holding a big knife and the severed head of a woman was received by the police operator while the two patrol cars were arriving in the village.
It was later established that the man in question was 31-year-old Athanasios Arvanitis from Alexandroupolis who worked as a cook in a hotel in Imerovigli. For reasons that still remain unknown he began arguing with his 25-year-old wife, a teacher in Akrotiri, early on Sunday afternoon at their house in Vourvoulo. Neighbors who heard the shouting gathered outside the couple's house and saw the woman's small-sized dog decapitated and thrown out on the street. The suspect probably killed the animal when it started barking in defense of its owner.
Arvanitis then killed his 25-year-old wife, decapitated her body took to the streets holding a knife in his left hand and her head in his right hand.
Some 800 meters from the scene of the crime police spotted him and called on him to surrender. Initially he pretended to comply and lied on the street to be handcuffed. When two police officers approached he suddenly got up swearing and threatening them with a knife.
The armed officer fired one shot into the air for intimidation purposes and called on him to give himself up but he did not comply and the officer shot him twice in the chest. He continued to resist arrest in spite of the injuries and in the process he injured a police officer in the mouth area. The suspect was able to throw the woman's head inside a patrol car and using the car keys left on took off towards Fira. At the city entrance he was met with two more patrol cars.
During the car chase that followed with the purpose of leading him away from residential areas, the patrol car driven by the suspect entered the opposite lane and collided with a motorcycle ridden by the two women doctors serving in the local Clinic seriously injuring them. The two patrol cars chasing him were able to ram the patrol car driven by him managing to arrest him.
The injured suspect in a state of amok attempted to disarm the police officer and in the struggle that followed he was shot five times in the chest and liver. One of the bullets injured a Greek woman bystander who was on vacation to Santorini.
Police managed to immobilize the suspect and handcuff him following a struggle. He and the rest of the injured were airlifted to Athens on a C-130 military aircraft.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos has visited the two female doctors in Athens' General Hospital where they are listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
The injured tourist was taken to "Agia Olga" Hospital in Athens and her condition is described as good.
 Modern-day 'Argo' arrives in AlbaniaGjirokaster (ANA-MPA/P. Barkas)
The modern-day "Argo", a reconstruction of the legendary first long ship which according to ancient Greek myth carried Jason and his Argonauts from the coast of Iolcos (Volos, today) to recover the Golden Fleece from Colchis and bring it back home, arrived in the port of Sarande in Albania late Sunday night.
The "Argo" was greeted on arrival by Sarande mayor Edmond Gjoka, senior officials from the Greek Consulate in Gjirokaster, and a plethora of Greek and Albanian residents of the area.
The "Argo's" captain, Coast Guard Vice-Admiral Apostolos Kourtis, who heads the Argo research program, addressed a brief greeting.
The replica ship spent the night at Sarande, before setting sail back to Volos, where on June 14 it set out on a jpurney of 2,000 nautical miles with stops at 37 ports in six countries along the way, including Albania, Croatia and Slovenia, before completing the journeyin the port of Venice on August 12.
The modern-day Argo is a reconstruction of an ancient Greek penteconter with a ram (a ship with one tier of 50 oars, 25 on either side) and a simple sail that was built of half-cured wood cut from forest timber.
It is built along the line of prehistoric ships of the Greek mainland in the 14th century B.C. and belongs to the same family as Homer's long ships and the later ram-bearing warships of antiquity.
The present-day penteconter Argo is traveling between 10 and 15 nautical miles a day until it reaches its final destination in Venice, stopping at 37 ports on the way. It is accompanied by the ship Hellenic Seaways, where the volunteer rowers of the penteconter eat, wash, dress and receive medical treatment.
The ship's journey is expected to be completed in the port of Venice on August 12, and until July 7 it will sailed in Greek waters, accompanied by coast guard vessels. During the trip it will raise six flags, equal to the number of countries whose waters it will traverse. These include Greece, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.
It is also scheduled to stop at several ports and harbors along the way, where it will remain for one day and be part of various cultural events.
 Clean sea in 181 coasts of the Saronic Gulf and Southern Evia GulfSamples taken by the Health Department of the Eastern Attica Prefecture show that the sea in 181 coasts of the Saronic Gulf and Southern Evia Gulf are clean.
The laboratory tests of the 181 samples, which were made by a certified laboratory, showed that the quality of the water for swimming in all the coasts corresponded completely with the parameters set by the 1986 Ministerial Decision.
Samples were taken from Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Koropi, Lagonisi, Saronida, Anavyssos, Fokea, Lavreotiki, Keratea, Markopoulo and Artemida, Rafina, Nea Makri, Marathonas Oropos and other places.
 Exclusive interview: WWF Hellas President Dimitris KaravelasThe upgrading of the Forestry Department to better handle forest fires was suggested by environmental organization WWF Hellas President Dimitris Karavelas in an exclusive interview with ANA-MPA.
"We must be more diligent in terms of prevention and focus on this aspect more," he said, stressing that the Forestry Department must be upgraded while also pointing out that the national cadastre (Land Registry) and the drawing up of forest maps projects should proceed with no delays.
He also suggested the establishment of a special firefighting corps, within the framework of the Fire Brigade, trained to combat forest fires all year round.
"This challenge is so sizeable and the problems are so many, making imperative the active involvement of volunteers," Karavelas stressed.
The entire interview is available on the ANA-MPA internet television.
 Bill on special training for people with disabilitiesThe education ministry-sponsored bill on "The special training and education of people with disabilities or special training needs" was tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The bill is aimed at ensuring that students with a disability or special training needs will be receiving a complete education and be offered equal opportunities allowing them to be active members of society, self-sufficient, financially independent and autonomous.
 Bomb explodes outside AGB Hellas chief's home, minor damageA bomb exploded outside the home of the president of the AGB marketing research company in the northern suburb of Penteli in Athens shortly before midnight Sunday.
The explosive device, planted at the root of a pine tree outside AGB Hellas chief Iannis Anastassakos' home, exploded at 11:20 p.m., causing a small crater and damage to the house's stone fence, while also breaking a window.
The police counter-terrorism squad was investigating the incident.
 Illegal migrant arrests across GreeceA rescue operation set up by the Coast Guard Monday morning saved from drowning 34 illegal migrants when their wooden boat capsized after taking on water off the coasts of Agathonisi, southeast Aegean, due to heavy seas and strong winds of 7-8 Beaufort blowing in the region.
The migrants, all lacking travel documents, originally had set off from the Turkish coasts and they were spotted by a Coast Guard patrol boat while in the water trying to swim to the shore.
Seven of them were picked up by a Super Puma all-weather helicopter and the remaining 27 by the Coast Guard patrol boat.
Meanwhile, Chios Island Coast Guard officers arrested 72 illegal migrants, 46 men, 9 women and 17 children, after being spotted on a remote shore of the island of Psara, eastern Aegean. According to their testimonies to the Greek authorities, they too had originated from the Turkish coasts using a wooden boat for their transportation.
Border Guards arrested an Albanian who attempted to smuggle into Greece five fellow nationals after receiving a fee. The illegal migrants and the trafficker were arrested following a car chase on the Egnatia Odos motorway section near the northwestern city of Ioannina. The trafficker, who used a car stolen last June from Athens to transport the aliens to the capital, was slightly injured when he attempted to flee on foot.
In a separate incident, an Albanian driver and two Greeks, one of them a taxi driver, were arrested accused of smuggling 8 Albanians into the country in return for a fee.
In total, 174 Albanian nationals were arrested across the northwestern province of Epirus during the past three days while trying to enter Greece illegally and have already been sent back to Albania through the border crossing of Kakavia.
 Foreign nationals appear before Chania prosecutor accused of illegal migrant smugglingThe four Ukrainian nationals, crewmembers of an 18-meter-long ship spotted Friday night in Elafonisi, Chania, on the southern Aegean island of Crete, with 70 illegal migrants on board from Egypt, India and Pakistan were led before a Chania prosecutor on Monday.
The four are accused of migrant smuggling and their testimonies will continue on Tuesday.
A Pakistani, who was among the 71 illegal migrants in total, is also involved in the case. According to the Ukrainians, he served as a middleman and is believed to be a member of an international human trafficking ring.
The 70 illegal migrants will be housed in facilities in the region of Kissamos until a decision is made on their fate considering that the procedures followed are time-consuming.
The Egyptians will be returned back to their country in accordance with a bilateral agreement between Greece and Egypt, while a decision on the fate of the rest will be made by the Greek authorities.
 Three foreign nationals killed in car accidentThree Bulgarian nationals were killed in a head-on collision on the Ardanio-Orestiada motorway section, northeastern Greece, on Monday morning when their car swerved into the opposite lane and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The three women in the second car, the 42-year-old driver, a 17-year-old and a 44-year-old, were seriously injured and taken to Alexandroupolis Hospital.
The three Bulgarians, the 46-year-old male driver and two passengers, a 43-year-old woman and a 50 year-old man, were in an automobile with Greek licence plates. The causes of the accident are being investigated.
 Rescue operation off the island of KosThe crew of an all-weather Super Puma helicopter on Monday brought to safety all passengers, 4 adults and 2 children, stuck on board a sailboat that ran adrift due to mechanical failure while sailing west of the Dodecannese island of Kos.
The rescue efforts were successful in spite of being hampered by 8 Beaufort strong northwesterly winds blowing in the region. The sailing boat was also safely tugged into the port of Kos.
 Fire damages Vouliagmenis Marine ClubA fire broke out before dawn at the Vouliagmenis Marine Club (NOB) on Monday, causing extensive damage to the Club's facilities and nearby craft.
The fire, which broke out at 4:00 a.m., was extinguished two hours later by firefighters, but destroyed the Club's canteen and caused damage to several sailboats docked nearby.
The Harbour Corps was investigating the causes of the fire.
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