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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 6 August 2008 Issue No: 2963


  • [01] Inner cabinet discusses digital broadcast issues
  • [02] FM on FYROM name issue new round of negotiations
  • [03] Justice Minister on hideous crimes punishment
  • [04] SYRIZA deputy Lafazanis visits Lesvos
  • [05] German, Swiss authorities seek Greek cooperation in Siemens case
  • [06] Defence ministry hosts dinner for Premier Karamanlis
  • [07] Greek economic sentiment index falls to 91.6 points in July
  • [08] Social security Funds committee convenes
  • [09] Greek stocks end 2.38 pct higher on Tuesday
  • [10] Greek bond market closing report
  • [11] Event marking the 63rd anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • [12] Greek cultural centre in Belgrade announced
  • [13] Shocking evidence on Santorini crime
  • [14] Wildfire in Daskalio under control
  • [15] Drug dealer arrested in Nafplion
  • [16] Athens Mayor in Beijing for Olympics opening Politics

  • [01] Inner cabinet discusses digital broadcast issues

    The first trial digital broadcast will be launched on November 1, 2008, announced Minister of State and government spokesman Thodoros Rousopoulos after the inner cabinet meeting Tuesday that focused on sector issues chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    A presidential decree and two joint ministerial decisions will have to precede the issuing of broadcast licenses to radio and television channels by the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR), Rousopoulos stated adding that the goal set is to ensure that television channels will have financial independence from commercial sponsors.

    "ERT public television has already commenced the broadcast of three pilot digital programmes," Rousopoulos said, stressing that nothing had been done in the field since 1961 when a total of 107 frequencies had been allocated to Greece. The radio and television frequency chart was drawn up after the international convention in Geneva in 2004 when Greece acquired the right of use for a total of 2,500 frequencies.

    Responding to a question by a reporter on the different opinions expressed by government MPs, he said that the government proceeds with the implementation of its election pledges.

    On the planned mergers of municipalities and prefectures, Rousopoulos commented that the government makes its moves following consultations with the National Union of Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE) and the Greek National Union of Prefectural Local Authorities (ENAE) aimed at making local government organizations (OTA) more flexible and effective able to receive EU funding and best utilize their own funds.

    [02] FM on FYROM name issue new round of negotiations

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis referring on Tuesday to UN mediator on FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz's invitation to Greek negotiator Adamantios Vassilakis and FYROM's negotiator Nikola Dimitrov to meet in New York on 14 and 15 August and begin an new round of negotiations said "The negotiation's issue is one, the name and its implementation. Greece will enter to those negotiations expressing its positions which are already known".

    [03] Justice Minister on hideous crimes punishment

    Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said on Tuesday that hideous crimes should be punished severely.

    "Particularly serious and hideous crimes such as manslaughter, human and drug trafficking, child pornography, arson of forests, destruction of the environment...should be treated with the proper severity," he said in statements released by the ministry, regarding horrible crimes committed in recent days.

    Hatzigakis reiterated his position that he did not interfere with the judges' tasks and that in such cases the names of the perpetrators should only be released after their confession or after being charged with a crime.

    "The Justice Minister defends the judges' functional and personal independence and acts within the framework of the Constitution and the laws, in order to ensure the work of Justice. He does not interfere with the courts' judgment and avoids any act or statement that may influence it," the minister said, adding that he was "nevertheless responsible in the eyes of the people for the well functioning of courts and the right administration of justice."

    [04] SYRIZA deputy Lafazanis visits Lesvos

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) deputy Panayotis Lafazanis on Tuesday visited the island of Lesvos where he described the Paganis reception centre for immigrants as "deplorable."

    "It is not a centre for hosting people and can be described as a warehouse for animals," he said.

    After his visit, Lafazanis told reporters that "it is necessary for the European Union to change its migration policy and for refugees not to be regarded as detainees."

    [05] German, Swiss authorities seek Greek cooperation in Siemens case

    The authorities of Germany and Switzerland are seeking cooperation with the Greek judicial authorities for further investigation into the Siemens affair.

    In a document sent by the two countries' judicial authorities to the Court of First Instance Public Prosecutor, they are requesting a meeting with the special public prosecutor handling the Siemens case, in order for there to be an exchange of data and information.

    [06] Defence ministry hosts dinner for Premier Karamanlis

    The National Defense Ministry hosted a dinner on Tuesday evening in honor of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his wife Natasha at the Greek Navy's resort in Aghia Marina, eastern Attica.

    National Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, Deputy Ministers Constantine Tasoulas and Ioannis Plakiotakis, Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff General Dimitrios Grapsas and other generals and admirals attended the dinner.

    Financial News

    [07] Greek economic sentiment index falls to 91.6 points in July

    Greece's economic sentiment index fell by 0.6 points in July standing at 91.6 points, the lowest level in the last two-and-a-half years (108.2 points in July 2007), the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Tuesday.

    July's index also remained far below the long-term average level (99.9).

    IOBE said the index reflected the difficult economic juncture and strong uncertainties and pessimism covering all sectors of the Greek economy, and in particular consumers. With the exception of the construction sector, all other sectors suffered declines.

    Business expectations in the industrial sector fell slightly in July, while forecasts for new orders were moderate with the inventories level at satisfactory levels for the season, as compared to June. Business expectations in the services sector appeared rising. In the retail sector, business expectations are also slightly rising.

    Greek consumers were less pessimistic over the country's general economic situation and the financial condition of their households, while their intention for saving presented a considerable increase of 18 points.

    [08] Social security Funds committee convenes

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Fanny Palli-Petralia is speeding up the process for the full implementation of the new institutional framework for utilizing the property of the Funds (Law 3586/07).

    In this context, the Investment Policy Committee of Social Security Agencies (FKA) convened on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Social Security Secretary General Dimosthenis Mammonas to discuss the Ministerial Decision and the rules of investment conduct of the FKA.

    The processing of the plan of the Ministerial Decision is expected to be concluded at the Committee's next session, which has been slated for August 28.

    [09] Greek stocks end 2.38 pct higher on Tuesday

    Greek stocks ended higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The coomposite index of the market ended the day with gains at 3,442.31 points, 2.38 percent higher, with turnover rising to 288.294 million euros.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Food & Beverages (+5.50 pct), Telecoms (+5.05) and Technology (+3.40 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index rose by 2.67 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.07 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index increased by 1.01 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 158 to 57 with another 61 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -0.37%

    Industrials: +2.24%

    Commercial: +0.81%

    Construction: +1.23%

    Media: +1.51%

    Oil & Gas: +0.74%

    Personal & Household: +1.35%

    Raw Materials: +0.94%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.09%

    Technology: +3.40%

    Telecoms: +5.05%

    Banks: +2.99%

    Food & Beverages: +5.50%

    Health: +1.03%

    Utilities: +0.36%

    Chemicals: +0.72%

    Financial Services: +0.97%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and HBC Coca Cola.

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

    Alpha Bank: 19.00

    ATEbank: 2.44

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 18.68

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.34

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.36

    National Bank of Greece: 32.10

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 15.94

    Intralot: 9.98

    OPAP: 23.30

    OTE: 14.14

    Piraeus Bank: 19.34

    Titan Cement Company: 24.50

    [10] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond markets totaled 1.147 billion euros on Tuesday, of which 617 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 530 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (August 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 675 million euros. The 10-year Greek bond yielded 4.97 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 pct and the one-month rate 4.51 pct.

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

    U.S. dollar 1.561

    Pound sterling 0.799

    Danish kroner 7.520

    Swedish kroner 9.537

    Japanese yen 168.4

    Swiss franc 1.644

    Norwegian kroner 8.095

    Canadian dollar 1.629

    Australian dollar 1.702

    General News

    [11] Event marking the 63rd anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    An event marking the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held in Thessaloniki on August 6 organized by the local committee for International Détente and Peace (EDYE).

    Sixty three years after the dark anniversary of the nuclear holocaust, humanity is in turmoil due to international developments in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, the Committee points out, calling on the people to attend the event commemorating the victims of the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively.

    The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.

    Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore, World War II.

    [12] Greek cultural centre in Belgrade announced


    A centre of Greek Culture will start operating in Belgrade as from November, George Babiniotis, President of the Hellenic Foundation of Culture, announced here on Tuesday.

    Speaking at a press conference, Babiniotis said the centre's activities will focus on projecting ancient and modern Greek civilisation and the promotion of cooperation between Greek and Serbian cultures.

    The centre, which will be housed in a building located in the centre of the Serbian capital and renovated by the Serbian state, will be inaugurated on November 6.

    Another task of the centre, Babiniotis also said, is the promotion of Greek language and the operation of a Greek library.

    [13] Shocking evidence on Santorini crime

    The autopsy of the 25year old teacher who was murdered and decapitated by her husband on Santorini island on Sunday revealed new evidence over the horrid death of the woman.

    According to Coroner Nikos Karakoukis the woman was stabbed 10 times, 7 of them after her death. Shocking is the fact that she was partly decapitated while still alive. The victim was taken by surprise because there was no evidence of struggle or fight.

    The father of the murderer gave a testimony on Tuesday before the Athens Police Headquarters.

    He claimed that his son during the last 10 years was suffering from psychosis and for this reason he did not complete his military service. He also took medication until 2000. Eight years ago he met his future wife and lived together at her homeplace in Thessaloniki.

    They got married a year ago, and they moved to Santorini island on September 2007. The victim was teaching at the primary school of Akrotiri, while her husband worked as a cook in a hotel in Imerovigli village.

    According to police, last Friday the murderer visited with his wife Santorini's Medical center and asked for psychological support because he felt very tense and was suffering from insomnia. The doctors of the center suggested him to see a private psychologist whom the couple never visited.

    On Saturday the couple met with the man's employer and asked him to hire the victim as an assistant at the hotel. The owner refused saying that the woman was working in the public sector. The man got furious and tended his resignation, while the victim tried to make him change his mind.

    [14] Wildfire in Daskalio under control

    A fire which burst out at 15,30 on Tuesday at Daskalio, eastern Attica, is partly under control. Ten fire engines operated by 30 firemen were battling the blaze, assisted by one fire-fighting aircraft and a helicopter and a team of fire fighters on foot. The fire burned mainly brushland.

    Half an hour later another fire burst out in a forest near Lichada, northern Evia island. Two airplanes and a helicopter together with firefighters are battling the blazes.

    Another fire broke out at a forest near Mazarakia,Thesprotia, northern Greece. A helicopter and 10 fire engines with a 35 member crew and fire fighters on foot are trying to contain the blazes.

    [15] Drug dealer arrested in Nafplion

    A man was arrested in Nafplion, southeastern Greece on Tuesday accused of drug peddling. At a police raid in his house, officers found and confiscated 8 packets of heroine containing 0,250 grams each and a shot gun.

    The man was send before a local prosecutor.

    Olympic Games

    [16] Athens Mayor in Beijing for Olympics opening

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis was scheduled to arrive in Beijing Tuesday evening where he will attend the August 8 opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

    Mayor Kaklamanis is undertaking an official visit to the Chinese capital upon the invitation of Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong.

    As part of the visit, Mayor Kaklamanis will meet with his Beijing counterpart on Wednesday.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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