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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-07

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

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

Thursday, 7 August 2008 Issue No: 2964

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM confers with finance minister
  • [02] PASOK criticises government's economic policy
  • [03] FM Bakoyannis arrives in Beijing
  • [04] Athens Mayor meets with Beijing counterpart
  • [05] Sioufas sends wishes to China
  • [06] PASOK on administrative reform
  • [07] PASOK delegation visits fire-stricken regions on Rhodes
  • [08] Council of State rules in favour of health ministry presidential decree draft plan
  • [09] Tourism ministry utilizes OLP for projection of Greek tourism
  • [10] NTOG president meets with Zakynthos tourism officials
  • [11] Greek stocks end 0.10 pct lower Wednesday
  • [12] ADEX closing report
  • [13] Greek bond market closing report
  • [14] Foreign Exchange rates: Thursday
  • [15] Illegal migrant reception centre to be inaugurated in Sparta, southern Greece
  • [16] Anniversary of the Battle of Mycale
  • [17] Victim of Santorini crime buried
  • [18] Drug arrests in Thessaloniki, Kozani
  • [19] Mostly fair on Thursday Politics

  • [01] PM confers with finance minister

    The economic situation and international developments were discussed in the meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had Wednesday with Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    "The direction of our policy is given as regards fiscal and structural reforms which we intend to continue," Alogoskoufis stressed, adding that the implications stemming from international developments and the difficulties caused are taken under consideration.

    [02] PASOK criticises government's economic policy

    The main opposition PASOK party criticised on Wednesday the government's economic policy, with spokeswoman Maria Karaklioumi saying that it resulted to an increase of inflation of 4.9 per cent.

    Commenting on statements by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis earlier Wednesday, Karaklioumi said "this government has proved that it occupies itself with how to empty the citizens' pockets...Unfortunately, it shows that it is incapable of protecting the citizens' income."

    She also addressed a question to Alogoskoufis on "whether he intends to impose new taxes on citizens."

    [03] FM Bakoyannis arrives in Beijing

    BEIJING (ANA-MPA.G.Mantaios)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis arrived here on Wednesday, to represent the Greek government at the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday.

    During her five-day visit, Bakoyannis will attend, on Friday, an event hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao in honour of heads of state present at the Games, before attending the opening ceremony.

    The Greek foreign minister's visit also includes, among other things, meetings with the Greek Olympic team, TV interviews -she will be the first foreign official to give her impressions of the opening ceremony- attendance of a Francophonie event in Beijing, while on Saturday evening (Beijing time) she will be visiting the Greek Home, created for the needs of the Greek Year in China.

    A press conference for Greek and foreign reporters is also scheduled for Monday. Bakoyannis will depart from the Chinese capital next Tuesday.

    [04] Athens Mayor meets with Beijing counterpart

    Visiting Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis met on Wednesday with his Beijing counterpart Guo Jinlong in the Chinese capital, ahead of the launch of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Mayor Kaklamanis, who is heading a municipal delegation, was the first official Beijing Games guest to meet with Mayor Guo, according to a City of Athens press release.

    As part of the visit to the Olympic City, Mayor Kaklamanis was also received Wednesday by Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) chairman Liu Qi.

    Mayor Guo warmly welcomed Mayor Kaklamanis, who conveyed wishes from the Athens City Council for the successful holding of the Games.

    Kaklamanis said he hoped the success of the Beijing Olympics would continue to impact on the city after the Games, particularly with regards to the utilization of sporting venues.

    "You have given thousands of people the opportunity to visit and familiarize themselves with your country. You are acquiring new friends and this will be your greatest gain when the lights go out," the Athens Mayor said.

    The two Mayors discussed ways to enhance cooperation between their cities through the implementation of initiatives to promote economic development, cultural exchange and tourism.

    Mayor Kaklamanis invited his Beijing counterpart to visit the Greek capital and promised to take him on a personal tour of the city of Ancient Olympia, the press release noted.

    On his part, Mayor Guo said that Mayor Kaklamanis was the first official guest he had received, emphasizing the significance the city of Athens holds for China. He pointed out that Chinese travelers were very interested in visiting Greece and suggested that they acquaint themselves more fully with Athens.

    During his meeting with BOCOG chairman Liu Qi earlier in the day, Mayor Kaklamanis wished Liu every success in the staging of the Olympic Games.

    "I am certain that the Olympic Games opening ceremony, which we will attend, will prove to be impressive," said Kaklamanis, who referred to the excellent cooperation between the two cities in the lead-up to the Beijing Games.

    [05] Sioufas sends wishes to China

    On behalf of the Greek parliament, House President Dimitris Sioufas sent on Wednesday best wishes to the president of the All Chinese People's Congress Wu Banguo for the Beijing Olympic Games beginning on Friday.

    Greece, says Sioufas in his letter, "the country that born the Olympic Games and have organised them 4 years ago, wishes and believes that your noble ambitions will be fulfilled."

    "We wish and we firmly believe that by achieving your targets, you will add another glorious moment to the history of the Olympic Games. We believe that at the difficult times the world community is going through, the Olympic ideals, the noble competition, the Spirit of Olympic Truce, peaceful coexistence and cooperation among peoples, and the principles of humanism are the safest guidelines in the course of modern world," Sioufas added.

    Sioufas expressed his belief that the 2008 Olympic games will help to the development of China.

    Concluding, he also sent best wishes to all Greek athletes participating in the 29th modern Olympic Games.

    [06] PASOK on administrative reform

    Main opposition PASOK spokeswoman Maria Karaklioumi expressed on Wednesday her party's "total disagreement" with the government's planned administrative reform, terming the project an "administrative restructuring".

    "In order to change the government-proposed restructuring to a real administrative reform, two preconditions are needed: The first concerns the radical transformation of the central state and the second relates to resolving all economic, technical and administrative problems that remain since the first Kapodistrias I reform ," she said.

    She added that her party would abstain from every debate on "this restructuring-joke proposed by the ruling New Democracy (ND), if the above two fundamental preconditions are not respected."

    [07] PASOK delegation visits fire-stricken regions on Rhodes

    A main opposition PASOK party delegation headed by Yiannis Magriotis, responsible on public works issues, is since Wednesday morning visiting regions that were hit by last month's extensive wildfires on the Dodecannese island of Rhodes.

    The delegation met with Dodecannese Prefect Yiannis Machairidis and the island's mayors who briefed it on conditions now prevailing in the regions hit by the wildfires.

    The local officials asked from PASOK to "increase its pressure on the government so that the interior ministry abides, as they said, by its commitments", undertaken by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos who also visited the island a few days ago.

    [08] Council of State rules in favour of health ministry presidential decree draft plan

    The health ministry presidential decree draft plan on the terms, preconditions and procedures necessary for the establishment and operation of privately owned primary healthcare service institutions has been ruled as legitimate and constitutional by the Council of State plenum.

    The presidential decree abolishes the restriction based on which, 51 percent of the healthcare companies' share capital had to be owned by doctors thus clearing the way for private businessmen to operate diagnostic centres.

    The supreme administrative court reached the ruling by interpreting EU legislation and an earlier decision issued by its plenum according to which, there can be no restrictions in company shareholder composition.

    Financial News

    [09] Tourism ministry utilizes OLP for projection of Greek tourism

    The Tourism Development Ministry has proceeded to upgrading the country's entry and exit points for the projection of Greek tourism.

    According to a ministry press release, in this context, "the ministry has creatively enriched the Cruise Passenger Station "Akti Xaveriou" of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) with the purpose of hosting the advertising campaign of the ministry for the eco-tourism routes, which have been co-financed by the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF)."

    These include eco-tourism routes in popular destinations, such as Santorini, Ancient Olympia and Alonnisos.

    The utilization of OLP's Cruise Passenger Station for the projection of advertising messages through issues which promote the advantages and potential of Greek tourism to passengers of cruise ships, is of decisive importance, as more than 1.5 million cruise ship passengers pass from the port of Piraeus annually.

    This initiative has a strategic and symbolic character due to the great importance which the Tourism Development Ministry attributes to the continuously increased cruise ship market, which attracts more than 11 million tourists annually, the press release concluded.

    [10] NTOG president meets with Zakynthos tourism officials

    National Tourism Organization of Greece (NTOG) President Athanasios Iconomou on Wednesday held a meeting with local agencies and representatives of the tourism sector of the Ionian island of Zakynthos aimed at restricting negative phenomena which are manifested in the broader tourist region of Lagana.

    Iconomou's visit took place following instructions by Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, for immediately dealing and averting unpleasant conduct by sections of tourists who create a negative image of the island.

    The NTOG president, accompanied by British Ambassador to Greece Simon Gass, ascertained at close hand the extent of the problem and jointly processed with the competent local agencies a series of proposals for its eradication.

    [11] Greek stocks end 0.10 pct lower Wednesday

    Greek stocks ended slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The coomposite index of the market ended the day with losses at 3,438.82 points, 0.10 percent down, with turnover rising to 267.159 million euros of which 5.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Travel & Leisure (+2.00 pct) and Media (+1.79 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Financial Services (-3.20 pct) and Food & Beverages (-2.68 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index fell by 0.15 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.57 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index fell slightly by 0.07 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 113 to 99 with another 64 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +0.71%

    Industrials: +0.74%

    Commercial: -0.22%

    Construction: +1.43%

    Media: +1.79%

    Oil & Gas: -0.65%

    Personal & Household: +1.22%

    Raw Materials: +0.67%

    Travel & Leisure: +2.30%

    Technology: -0.40%

    Telecoms: -1.27%

    Banks: -0.07%

    Food & Beverages: -2.68%

    Health: +1.18%

    Utilities: -0.14%

    Chemicals: -2.15%

    Financial Services: -3.20%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OTE, Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank.

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

    Alpha Bank: 18.52

    ATEbank: 2.57

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 18.68

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.82

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.22

    National Bank of Greece: 31.88

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 16.26

    Intralot: 9.98

    OPAP: 24.00

    OTE: 13.96

    Piraeus Bank: 19.50

    Titan Cement Company: 25.20

    [12] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended mixed in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover at 99.847 million euros. The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a premium of 0.65 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 9,351 contracts worth 89.524 million euros, with 32,477 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was four contracts worth 82,615 euros, with 22 open positions.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 6,978 contracts worth 9.662 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank (1,240 contracts) followed by Marfin Popular Bank (879 contracts), OTE (770), Marfin Investment Group (369) and Eurobank (363) .

    [13] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond markets totaled 1.467 billion euros on Wednesday, of which 842 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 625 billion euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 995 million euros. The 10-year Greek yielded 4.95 pct.

    In money markets, interest rates changed slightly. The 12-month Euribor rate was 5.37 pct, the six-month rate was 5.20 pct, the three-month rate 5.00 pct and the one-month rate 4.51 pct.

    [14] Foreign Exchange rates: Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.560

    Pound sterling 0.798

    Danish kroner 7.520

    Swedish kroner 9.521

    Japanese yen 169.51

    Swiss franc 1.642

    Norwegian kroner 8.092

    Canadian dollar 1.628

    Australian dollar 1.705

    General News

    [15] Illegal migrant reception centre to be inaugurated in Sparta, southern Greece

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos will inaugurate Friday the newly built Illegal Migrant Reception Centre and the prefectural authority building in Sparta, Lakonia Prefecture, in southern Greece.

    The 180sqm illegal migrant reception centre can host up to 42 people with separate accommodations for men, women and children.

    Since 2000, local authorities have intercepted a total of 1,272 illegal migrants, most of them from Asian countries, in 17 separate operations along the prefecture's coastline.

    [16] Anniversary of the Battle of Mycale

    The 184th anniversary of the battle of Mycale was celebrated on Wednesday in Pythagorio, Samos island. Deputy Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island policy Minister Panos Kammenos who attended the celebrations handed over to volunteer firefighters from all regions of the island firefighting material and equipment.

    "The ministry relies to the cooperation between the State and the citizens. We value considerably the volunteers' assistance" Kammenos said.

    In the Battle of Mycale that took place on August 6, 1824, the Greek fleet destroyed the fleet of the Sultan during the Greek war of Independence against Ottoman rule.

    [17] Victim of Santorini crime buried

    A 25year old woman, victim of a hideous crime committed at Vourvoulo village on Santorini island, was laid to rest in Thessaloniki cemetery on Wednesday.

    The woman who worked as a teacher at a primary school on Santorini was stabbed and decapitated by her 31year old husband last Sunday.

    [18] Drug arrests in Thessaloniki, Kozani

    A 47-year-old man was arrested in Kordelio, Thessaloniki accused of drug peddling and trafficking after police found in his house 686 grams of heroin, 50.1 grams of cocaine, 804 grams of cannabis and a precision scale.

    In a separate incident in the town of Servia, Kozani Prefecture in northwestern Greece, a 37-year-old man was arrested accused of growing 29 cannabis plants. Police also found in his possession a total of 335 grams of cannabis.

    Weather forecast

    [19] Mostly fair on Thursday

    Mostly fair weather with northerly, northwesterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday, with wind velocity reaching 6-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 20C and 36C. Mostly fair in Athens, with 4-5 beaufort northerly winds and temperatures ranging from 23C to 35C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 23C to 33C.

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


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