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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 12 August 2008 Issue No: 2968


  • [01] Greek GDP increases 3.4 pct
  • [02] No ethnic Greeks among the refugees from S. Ossetia
  • [03] PASOK calls on government to take stance over S.Ossetia
  • [04] KKE on war in S. Ossetia
  • [05] SAE offers support to the people of Greek origin in Georgia
  • [06] Greece-Russia Friendship Group President Kedikoglou on developments in South Ossetia
  • [07] Georgians demonstrate in Thessaloniki
  • [08] Greek stocks fall by 0.19 pct Monday
  • [09] ADEX closing report
  • [10] Greek bond market closing report
  • [11] Foreign Exchange rates: Tuesday
  • [12] Patriach Vartholomeos to visit Mount Athos from August 21-26
  • [13] Funeral of former Metropolitan Dionysios of Neapolis and Stavroupolis
  • [14] 7.263 illegal migrants arrested in the last seven months
  • [15] Wildfires in Halkidiki, Kastoria, Pella
  • [16] Mother and child killed in car accident
  • [17] Arrests for gun possession
  • [18] Man arrested on drug charges
  • [19] Fair on Tuesday
  • [20] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [21] China expects Cyprus to act as bridge with the EU, Cypriot President says Politics

  • [01] Greek GDP increases 3.4 pct

    The Greek Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2008 compared to last year's corresponding period, the National Statistics Service (ESYE) announced on Monday.

    Investments during the same period fell by 2.8 pct compared to the 2007 corresponding period.

    Exports increased by 3.7 pct, while imports decreased by 3.8 pct in the same period, ESYE said.

    PASOK, SYRIZA criticise gov't on GDP

    Main opposition PASOK party economic rapporteur Louka Katseli commenting Monday on the Greek Domestic Product data for the second quarter of 2008 released earlier in the day, said "the continuing slowdown of the GDP increase rate at a 3.4% indicates that the country's economic development reserves are running as a result of the government's policy."


    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party representative Pana-yiotis Lafazanis on his part commented: "The steadfast decrease, from one year's quarter to another, of growth rates makes real the nightmare of a recession. The government's escalating neo-liberal reforms are destructuring, instead of shielding, the Greek economy and lead to the looting of the workers' income."

    [02] No ethnic Greeks among the refugees from S. Ossetia

    Vladikavkaz (ANA-MPA / T. Angerinos)

    There are no ethnic Greeks among the people fleeing S. Ossetia seeking refuge to Vladikavkaz, the capital of N. Ossetia, confirmed Greece's Consul General to Novorossiysk Theodoros Economou-Kamarinos.

    The Greek consul general arrived in Vladikavkaz on Sunday following orders by Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, responsible for Greeks abroad, to find out if there are any ethnic Greeks living in S. Ossetia, who might be trapped in the war zone, and if so what is their current state.

    The Greek diplomat is scheduled to have consultations Monday with local political authorities in N. Ossetia and with the Russian military commander in charge of the operations in the region.

    [03] PASOK calls on government to take stance over S.Ossetia

    A main opposition PASOK representative called Monday on the Greek government to "unequivocally condemn the agressiveness, the violation of International Law and the attempt to create faits accomplis through unilateral acts in the case of South Ossetia (Georgia)."

    Party rapporteur on foreign policy Andreas Loverdos, in a written statement, added that Greece has "every reason to proceed likewise. Both the case of Kosovo and our national issues impose such an attitude. That is why we formulate straightforwardly and timely the question to the government and the Foreign Ministry on the stance Greece intends to adopt at the European Union's Council of foreign ministers which will convene extraordinarily on August 13 to examine the events in South Ossetia (Georgia)."

    "PASOK, from the very start of the bloody conflicts in S. Ossetia (Georgia), has condemned the war, violence, bloodshed, the killings of civilians and asked for an immediate ceasefire. Also from the very first minute we denounced the games played in the region by some third but powerful parties," Loverdos said in his statement.

    "Responsibilities for the bloody events in S.Ossetia (Georgia) are concrete and are attributed to those who have put in motion the war machine. Encouraged by previous acceptances of faits accomplis which were the product of violent actions -e.g. in Kosovo- in violation of International Law, they have attempted, the day of the Olympic Games' opening ceremony and thus violating the Olympic Truce, to create, through war, new faits accomplis in the region of Caucasus. And all these have happened with attacks against the agreed, since 1994-95 peacekeeping force," Loverdos added.

    [04] KKE on war in S. Ossetia

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Monday accused NATO and EU over the conflict in South Ossetia.

    "At the time when the bloody war clashes are raging in Ossetia and the dangers of the conflict being spread become greater, the governments of NATO and of the European Union are pretending to be surprised, non-participant and peacemakers," a KKE announcement said.

    "The Greek government shares responsibilities for the imperialistic contradictions becoming more acute in the region of the Caucasus. It has placed its signature for NATO's expansion and the NATO accession of Georgia and Ukraine as well as for NATO becoming a policeman of the roads of oil.

    "The Greek government should take back its signature. It must commit itself to the Greek people that it will not support and more so will not take part in any military mission, neither of NATO nor of the EU, in the Caucasus," the KKE statement concluded.

    [05] SAE offers support to the people of Greek origin in Georgia

    The people of Greek origin living in the greater South Ossetia region are well, confirmed World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) former Soviet Union countries Regional Coordinator and Russian Duma deputy Ivan Savvidis, who is in contact with the Greek community leadership in Georgia since hostilities broke out.

    SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis was also briefed on the developments and has conveyed to Savvidis and Federation of Greek Associations in Georgia President Kyriakos Iordanidis the support of Greeks worldwide to the people of Greek origin experiencing difficult times in the region.

    [06] Greece-Russia Friendship Group President Kedikoglou on developments in South Ossetia

    President of the Greek Parliament's Greece-Russia Friendship Group and Information Secretary of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy MP Simos Kedikoglou voiced concern over developments in South Ossetia and Georgia in general and called on the EU to move "quickly and effectively" to restore stability in the region.

    "The deficit of Democracy in Georgia led the country's leadership in Tbilisi to choices that do not benefit the Georgian people," Kedikoglou mentions, adding that the attack on Ossetia is incomprehensible much more when taking place on the opening day of the Olympic Games.

    "Russia has a duty to guarantee the safety of the Russian people, as dictated by its constitution, as well as peace and security in the wider region, home to other Orthodox peoples," Kedikoglou pointed out, adding that war action should be as limited as possible and civilian safety should be a priority.

    [07] Georgians demonstrate in Thessaloniki

    Georgians living in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, protested on Monday in front of the Russian Consulate. The demonstrators holding banners and shouting slogans against the war in South Ossetia demanded the "immediate end of the conflict in their country."

    Another protest has been programmed for Monday evening.

    Financial News

    [08] Greek stocks fall by 0.19 pct Monday

    Greek stocks fell sloghtly in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday. The coomposite index of the market ended the day with losses at 3,327.91 points, 0.19 percent down, with turnover rising to 139.5 million euros of which 15 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Raw Materials (2.28 pct), Health (2.25 pct) and Banks (0.60 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Telecoms (4.66 pct), Oil and Gas (1.83 pct) and Travel and Leisure (1.71 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index fell by 0.10 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.12 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index fell by 0.37 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 128 to 91 with another 48 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +0.4%

    Industrials: -0.28%

    Commercial: -0.88%

    Construction: +0.22%

    Media: -0.93%

    Oil & Gas: -1.83%

    Personal & Household: -1.20%

    Raw Materials: +2.28%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.71%

    Technology: -0.25%

    Telecoms: -4.66%

    Banks: +0.60%

    Food & Beverages: -0.04%

    Health: +2.25%

    Utilities: -0.29%

    Chemicals: -1.11%

    Financial Services: +0.49%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Public Power Corp (PPC), OTE and Piraeus Bank.

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

    Alpha Bank: 18.46

    ATEbank: 2.45

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 19.00

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.02

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.32

    National Bank of Greece: 30.50

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 14.96

    Intralot: 9.28

    OPAP: 23.42

    OTE: 13.10

    Piraeus Bank: 17.82

    Titan Cement Company: 25.08

    [09] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended mixed in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover at 55.254 million euros. The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a small premium of 0.04 pct and the August contract on the FTSE 40 index at a discount of 1.94 pct.

    Volume in futures contracts on the Big Cap index totaled 5,367 contracts worth 49.217 million euros, with 33,401 open positions in the market while on the Mid Cap index volume was five contracts worth 101,975 euros, with 21 open positions.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 7,728 contracts worth 5.331 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank (872 contracts) followed by Marfin Investment Group (498), National Bank (486) and OTE (400).

    [10] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond markets totaled 715 million euros on Monday, of which 345 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 370 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 645 million euros. The 10-year Greek bond yielded 4.89 pct.

    In money markets, interest rates changed slightly. The 12-month Euribor rate was 5.33 pct, the six-month rate was 5.17 pct, the three-month rate 5.01 pct and the one-month rate 4.51 pct.

    [11] Foreign Exchange rates: Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.513

    Pound sterling 0.787

    Danish kroner 7.519

    Swedish kroner 9.472

    Japanese yen 166.05

    Swiss franc 1.633

    Norwegian kroner 8.061

    Canadian dollar 1.614

    Australian dollar 1.698

    General News

    [12] Patriach Vartholomeos to visit Mount Athos from August 21-26

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is to pay a six-day visit to the monastic community of Mount Athos from August 21-26, it was disclosed on Monday.

    Vartholomeos will arrive at noon on August 20 in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, and stay overnight at Ouranoupoulis.

    At 9 a.m. on August 21, he will arrive at Dafni and later go to Karyes where he will be officially welcomed. The Patriarch's visit takes place on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of one of the founders of the Dionysios Holy Monastery, Saint Nyfon.

    [13] Funeral of former Metropolitan Dionysios of Neapolis and Stavroupolis

    The funeral of former Metropolitan Dionysios of Neapolis and Stavroupolis will be held in Thessaloniki on Monday afternoon.

    The hierarch passed away on Friday at the age of 79 and since Saturday morning his body lays in state at the Holy Prodromos Church.

    [14] 7.263 illegal migrants arrested in the last seven months

    A total of 7,263 illegal migrants, mostly coming from the Turkish coasts, were arrested by the Greek Coast Guard between January and July 2008, according to data released by the merchant marine ministry on Monday.

    In the same period 131 traffickers were charged, 117 vessels and 11 vehicles were confiscated.

    The Coast Guard Drugs Dept. arrested 184 persons involved in 151 drug trafficking cases and confiscated 42 kilos of hashish, 110 kilos of cannabis, 64 kilos of hashish oil, 17 cannabis plants, 24 kilos of morphine and heroine, 1 kilo of cocaine and hundreds of drug pills.

    [15] Wildfires in Halkidiki, Kastoria, Pella

    A wildfire broke out in the region of Yiovanitsa, near the monastery of Zographou at Mount Athos on Monday. The fire, which was placed under control, burnt more than one acre of forest expanse.

    A fire also burnt forest expanses in Sithonia, Halkidiki, which was extinguished immediately.

    A fire was in progress in a forest expanse in the region of Fotini, Vitsio municipality, in the prefecture of Kastoria. No inhabited areas were in danger.

    A fire was also raging for the fourth consecutive day, in the village of Loutraki, Aridea, in the prefecture of Pella.

    [16] Mother and child killed in car accident

    A woman and her child were killed on Monday in the Ioannina-Arta motorway, northwestern Greece, in a car crash with a truck. The driver of the car was slightly injured. The three passengers of the car, all Albanian nationals, were going to their hometown in Albania.

    Investigations in the causes of the accident are carried out by Ioannina police.

    [17] Arrests for gun possession

    Two men, aged 42 and 48, were arrested at the border station of Promachonas, in Serres, northern Greece, coming from Bulgaria, after a search in their car revealed a blank cartridge pistol, a flare launcher, 105 blank cartridges, 176 flares and two pepper spray canisters.

    The two, both Greeks, will appear before a prosecutor.

    [18] Man arrested on drug charges

    A 24year old man was arrested late Sunday night by border guards after a chase at the 39km of Florina-Kastoria (northwestern Greece) motorway.

    A search in his car revealed 2.5 kilos of hashish. According to police the man is member of a drug trafficking ring.

    Weather forecast

    [19] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair weather with northerly, northwesterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 5-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 18C and 34C. Fair in Athens, with 4-5 beaufort northerly winds and temperatures ranging from 21C to 34C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 33C.

    [20] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The bloody conflict in Caucasus and the dangerous turn of events in the region were the main front-page items in Monday's dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "They make a fuss over (former King) Olympic champion and IOC member Konstantine's appearance on TV and cover up China's hymns of Greece".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Russia is boosted by the three-day war - Georgia calls for truce and withdraws troops from S. Ossetia".

    AVRIANI: "Major military victory for (Russian PM Vladimir) Putin - Took Americans, NATO and Europeans by surprise".

    CHORA: "Russian troops control the Caucasus and the Black Sea".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "While the Olympics are underway in Beijing, war rages on in the Caucasus".

    ELEFTHEROS: "(FYROM FM Antonio) Milososki drops bomb on Greek government - Maintains that has opened dialogue on alleged "macedonian" minority".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Power and horror games - Over 2,000 killed in S. Ossetia war - Tens of thousands left their homes - New Kosovo in the Caucasus - (Russian PM) Putin - (Georgian President) Saakashvili blame each other".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "New Kosovo in the routes of petrol - Caucasus in flames - Over 2,000 dead, tens of thousands of refugees".

    ESTIA: "Fatigue symptoms in the government - Renewal is imperative".

    ETHNOS: "Students opt for (Technological and Educational Institutions) TEI that guarantee them a place in the job market".

    TA NEA: "Passing grades are lowered in (tertiary education institutions) AEI-TEI".

    VRADYNI: "Caucasus in flames - A real war replaces the dead "cold" war".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [21] China expects Cyprus to act as bridge with the EU, Cypriot President says


    China expects Cyprus to act as a bridge between Beijing and Brussels, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Monday, speaking after a meeting in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, an official statement said here Monday.

    Hu expressed China's long standing support for Cyprus' efforts to defend its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement added.

    In his remarks after the meeting, Christofias said that Hu warmly welcomed the Cypriot delegation and reminded the Cypriot President of his visit to the country while he was President of the House of Representatives, "a visit which contributed to further promoting the multi-faceted relations between the two countries", the statement noted.

    Christofias said Hu proposed that the two countries work together in all sectors to further promote and strengthen them.

    The two presidents agreed that delegations from the two countries exchange visits and work to further develop economic, commercial and other relations.

    According to the Cypriot President, Hu said Cyprus is a very credible partner for China in the EU. The Chinese president also said that he looks forward "to the Republic of Cyprus acting as a bridge between China and the EU, to help Beijing expand ties with Brussels, making the Union a credible partner" for China, said Christofias.

    On the Cyprus issue, Christofias said President Hu "expressed clear positions. Over the years, the People's Republic of China has supported the Republic of Cyprus in its effort and its struggle to defend its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese president wished that talks to reunite Cyprus will bear fruit soon."

    President Hu, Christofias continued, "has stressed that China, at all international organisations and especially the UN as a permanent member of the Security Council, will continue to maintain positions of principle and solidarity towards the Republic of Cyprus".

    Christofias thanked China for its longstanding positions on the Cyprus issue and its support in efforts to end the continuing Turkish occupation of the island's northern part and reunite the country to the benefit of all Cypriots.

    "I have stressed our support for a single China and the reunification of Taiwan with China, a position which the Republic of Cyprus maintains with great consistency", Christofias said, adding "I stressed that Tibet is an integral part of China".

    According to the official statement, Christofias expressed regret for various events which, as he pointed out, aim at marring China's credibility and the will of the Chinese people to organise the Olympic Games in an impressive manner. The opening ceremony of the Games was impressive and spectacular.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islandÔs northern third.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat decided on July 25 to start full-fledged negotiations on September 3rd, with a view to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.

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