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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Thursday, 14 August 2008 Issue No: 2970


  • [01] FM Bakoyannis on Caucasus crisis
  • [02] Greek aircraft carrying humanitarian aid lands in Georgia
  • [03] UN envoy Nimetz holds talks with FYROM delegation
  • [04] PASOK spokeswoman on FYROM, unemployment
  • [05] PASOK spokeswoman on party leader's programme
  • [06] Greek stocks down by 1.71 pct Wednesday
  • [07] ADEX closing report
  • [08] Greek bond market closing report
  • [09] Foreign Exchange rates: Thursday
  • [10] Proposal to include Trikala regions in UNESCO's lists of ICH monuments
  • [11] Major Coast Guard bust of contraband cigarettes in south Peloponnesus
  • [12] Coast Guard officer allegedly present in brutal beating of Australian tourist is suspended
  • [13] Wildfire burns forestland near Konitsa
  • [14] Drug sting operation turns into deadly shootout in Athens
  • [15] British tourist injured
  • [16] Fair on Thursday
  • [17] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [18] EC launches grant scheme for Turkish Cypriots Politics

  • [01] FM Bakoyannis on Caucasus crisis

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said here on Wednesday that the consistent observance of the ceasefire, the confirmed final ending of operations, the return to the previous state and the beginning of a substantive dialogue are the four immediate targets that must be achieved to pave the way for a solution to the crisis in Southern Ossetia.

    The foreign minister further pointed out that avoiding resorting to force, as a means of resolving conflicts on the one hand, and respect for the territorial integrity of countries on the other have always been two fundamental principles of Greek foreign policy.

    Speaking after the European Union's extraordinary Council of Foreign Ministers on Wednesday, regarding the Caucasus crisis, she said that "we welcome yesterday's positive development that may constitute the starting point for a substantive effort for a final settlement of the problem, for the benefit of security and stability in the region."

    Bakoyannis went on to say that as far as Greece's overall stance is concerned "the region of the Caucasus is a complicated, geopolitically very important and sensitive region. Its stability is not only vital for regional, but for international security and peace as well. For this reason, every move there requires special attention, responsibility and prudence.

    The crisis in Southern Ossetia should not have begun. There have evidently been mistaken moves and decisions. Now, what is important is that it should not continue. Therefore, the consistent observance of the ceasfire, the confirmed final ending of operations, the return to the previous state and the beginning of a substantive dialogue is urgently required."

    The foreign minister stressed that "Greece's stance, as a member of the European Union and NATO and as the next Presidency of the OSCE, is shaped on the basis of these principles and following a detailed assessment of developments in every parameter of theirs, as well as on reaching an understanding with partners, friends and allies."

    Bakoyannis noted that "we have supported and we are steadfastly supporting the efforts of the French Presidency of the European Union and the initiatives of President Nicolas Sarkozy. The prompt and effective activation of France deserves congratulations. It is obvious that we place particular importance on the humanitarian dimension of the crisis and we are in a state of readiness to offer our assistance. The first Greek humanitarian aid mission is taking place at this moment with a C-130 aircraft."

    Lastly, the foreign minister said that "providing economic aid amounting to 100,000 euros, through the UN High Commission for Refugees, was also decided to relieve the refugees of Southern Ossetia who are heading to the North. Lastly, I wish to add that from the very beginning the Foreign Ministry placed special importance on the security of the ethnic Greeks, taking the necessary relevant action immediately."

    [02] Greek aircraft carrying humanitarian aid lands in Georgia

    A Greek Air Force C-130 aircraft carrying Greek humanitarian aid to Georgia has landed at the airport in Batumi at 18:10, instead of Tbilisi, the National Defence General Staff revealed on Wednesday evening.

    [03] UN envoy Nimetz holds talks with FYROM delegation

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    UN envoy in talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Matthew Nimetz, said after meeting FYROM's delegation on Wednesday, that was composed of Nikola Dimitrov and Martin Proteger, that the issue of FYROM's name "is solvable."

    Nimetz said that "ways and ideas" on achieving progress in the issue were discussed during the meeting, adding that there are "quite a few issues" between the two countries, but the "main issue", as he said, "is the issue of the name" and this is the mandate that he has from the UN Secretary General, based on the "interim agreement."

    The envoy further said that "complicated issues" exist, but that he believes that they will be resolved, provided that the issue of the name is solved.

    The UN Secretariat announced that "the main issue of the name was the focus of the meeting, although the relevant issues raised by the parties involved were also discussed. Mr. Nimetz will be meeting the Greek side later (at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Greek time) and he plans to travel to the region next week."

    [04] PASOK spokeswoman on FYROM, unemployment

    Main opposition PASOK party spokeswoman Maria Kara-klioumi, referring on Wednesday to the issue of the name of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), said that "the only thing that must be discussed is the issue of the name of FYROM and for this reason we want to request from the Greek diplomat and negotiator to do what is self-evident in talks in New York, meaning to call for and receive the necessary clarifications, following the latest letter by (FYROM Prime Minister Nikolas) Gruevski to (UN envoy) Matthew Nimetz, that the only issue for discussion with the neighbouring country is that of the name."

    Karaklioumi also commented on the issue of unemployment, saying that "PASOK cannot share the assessments of the government that speak of a 'miracle', when unemployment has been recorded at 6.6 percent and we are raising (first of all) the question of how, when the growth rate of the economy and competitiveness are decreasing and the cost of living is soaring, are new jobs being created?"

    The spokeswoman called on the government "to abandon the creative assessment of unemployment and to proceed with the implementation of creative policies for the economy and, consequently, the handling of unemployment."

    [05] PASOK spokeswoman on party leader's programme

    PASOK party spokeswoman Maria Karaklioumi said on Wednesday that PASOK leader George Papandreou will be travelling to the island of Tinos on August 15 on account of the celebration of the religious holiday and the tragic anniversary of the sinking of the frigate "Elli" 68 years ago, on August 15, 1940.

    Financial News

    [06] Greek stocks down by 1.71 pct Wednesday

    Greek stocks lost ground in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The composite index of the market ended the day with losses at 3,287.93 points, 1.71 percent down, with turnover amounting to 162 million euros.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the greatest increase recorded by Oil and Gas (+2.49 pct), Industrial Products (+0.48 pct) and Chemicals (+0.35 pct). The FTSE 20 index dropped by 2.25 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.03 pct lower and the FTSE 80 index decreased by 0.91 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 144 to 71 with another 55 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.44%

    Industrials: +0.48%

    Commercial: -0.83%

    Construction: -0.78%

    Media: -2.03%

    Oil & Gas: +2.49%

    Personal & Household: -1.16%

    Raw Materials: -1.21%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.45%

    Technology: -1.35%

    Telecoms: -3.01%

    Banks: -2.73%

    Food & Beverages: -0.11%

    Health: -1.15%

    Utilities: -1.99%

    Chemicals: +0.35%

    Financial Services: -1.51%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 17.74

    ATEbank: 2.46

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 18.48

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.02

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.62

    National Bank of Greece: 30.10

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 15.00

    Intralot: 8.92

    OPAP: 23.40

    OTE: 12.90

    Piraeus Bank: 18.00

    Titan Cement Company: 25.50

    [07] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover 69,783 million euros. The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 0.06 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 6,923 contracts worth 62,181 million euros with 33,044 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was worth 221,130 million euros with 18 open positions.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 5,842 contracts worth 6,597 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Popular Bank (774) Marfin Investment Group (717), National Bank (723) Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (474), Bank of Piraeus (388), Alpha Bank (264), ELTEX (215), Public Power Corporation (203) and Bank of Cyprus (203).

    [08] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 1,142 million euros on Wednesday, of which 657 million were buy orders and the remaining 485 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 850 million euros.

    In the domestic interbank market, interest rates moved higher. National Bank's overnight rate rose to 4.33 pct, the two-day rate jumped to 4.33 pct, the one-week rate to 4.41 pct, the one-month rate rose to 4.51 pct, the three-month rate to 5.01 pct, the six-month rate to 5.18 pct and the 12-month rate was 5.32 pct.

    [09] Foreign Exchange rates: Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.496

    Pound sterling 0.787

    Danish kroner 7.461

    Swedish kroner 9.464

    Japanese yen 164.41

    Swiss franc 1.624

    Norwegian kroner 8.03

    Canadian dollar 1.596

    Australian dollar 1.709

    General News

    [10] Proposal to include Trikala regions in UNESCO's lists of ICH monuments

    Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Lengas and Greek UNESCO Committee President Maria-Ekaterini Papachristopoulou-Tzitzikosta discussed the proposal to have the part of Pindos Mountain Range, located in the prefecture of Trikala, central Greece, included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) monuments list. The rock towers of Meteora are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

    The discussion was held within the framework of the 1st Green Festival events in Aspropotamos.

    The ICH is manifested, among others, in the following domains: oral traditions and expressions including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre); social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; traditional craftsmanship.

    [11] Major Coast Guard bust of contraband cigarettes in south Peloponnesus

    Greek Coast Guard frogmen raided the Panama-flag cargo ship "Svetlana" off the Messinia Bay, south Peloponnesus, at dawn Wednesday and arrested its six Ukrainian crewmembers acting on information received by the Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP) concerning large shipments of contraband cigarettes coming from Egypt. The ship was led to the Port of Kalamata.

    The operation was conducted by the mercantile marine ministry security division in cooperation with the Special Audit Service and the Greek Police.

    Two truck drivers were also arrested in the region of Rizomilos, in Messinia Prefecture after one of the trucks was found loaded with packs of contraband cigarettes that had originated from the "Svetlana".

    The National Intelligence Service had been informed 20 days ago that a ship was about to leave Egypt carrying contraband cigarettes, most of which were destined for western European countries and that it would unload its cargo onto smaller ships in the sea region between Kalamata and Kyparissia.

    [12] Coast Guard officer allegedly present in brutal beating of Australian tourist is suspended

    The Coast Guard officer serving on the island of Mykonos, who was allegedly present in the fatal beating of 20-year-old Australian tourist Doujon Zammit in late July, has been suspended from his duties following an order issued by Hellenic Coast Guard Commandant vice admiral Theodoros Rentzeperis. The allegations against the officer have been made by one of the suspects, who is currently detained pending trial, and his friends who were involved in the bloody incident.

    A Coast Guard special inquiry is underway to determine if there is any incriminating evidence against the officer in question. In such a case, Military Penal Code penalties will be imposed while the prosecutors on Syros Island and the Naval Court in Piraeus will also be briefed.

    The 20-year-old Australian was savagely beaten by nightclub staff outside a bar on the island of Mykonos and died on August 1 at a hospital in Athens after he was taken off life-support.

    [13] Wildfire burns forestland near Konitsa

    A wildfire that burst out in a forestland near Amarando village, Konitsa, northeastern Greece is in progress. The blaze has already burnt 80 stremma. On the scene are operating major firefighting forces and a water dropping helicopter. The fire broke out in the Albanian territory but due to strong winds that are blowing in the area the blaze passed to Greece.

    The Epirus Fire Brigade Administration at an announcement released on Wednesday stated that a fire that broke out on Tuesday at Petoussi in Thesprotia prefecture was the result of arson. The fire burned 100 stremma of forestland.

    [14] Drug sting operation turns into deadly shootout in Athens

    A 37-year-old man involved in a cocaine trafficking case was killed in a shootout Wednesday at dawn in Voula, Athens while attempting to avoid arrest.

    The victim, who was the recipient of 4.5 kilos of cocaine, was fatally wounded by police while trying to get away.

    The case came to the attention of the Greek Police when a 40-year-old Bulgarian national, who arrived in Athens from Romania, declared his luggage lost in Athens' "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport. His suitcase was later found in the airport in Romania and Romanian police discovered 4.5 kilos of cocaine hidden inside.

    The Bulgarian was arrested in Athens and confessed that he had undertaken to deliver the cocaine, which came from Spain via Romania, to a Greek.

    The shootout happened when the man arrived in a prearranged place in Voula to supposedly pick up the drugs and realized that he was being trapped by police. He was fatally injured by police gunfire while trying to speed away in his car.

    [15] British tourist injured

    A British tourist was injured on Wednesday early morning in Mallia, Crete. The 17year old who was drunk fell at a sun lounge on his way back to his hotel room.

    According to doctors of Venizelio hospital in Heraklion, Crete, where he remains hospitalised, the young tourist's life in not in danger.

    Moreover, at a police operation at Heraklion municipality, 68 people were arrested, 22 of them in Mallia and Hersonissos on sanitary and drugs charges and violation of traffic regulations.

    Weather Forecast

    [16] Fair on Thursday

    Fair weather with northeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 37C. Fair in Athens, with 4-6 beaufort northeasterly winds and tempera-tures ranging from 21C to 36C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 35C.

    [17] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The reform measures in Hellenic Railways (OSE) announced by Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis, the war in Caucasus and the ceasefire ahead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Moscow, the provocative stance of FYROM PM Nikola Gruevski and the ministry of development intention to impose price control on fuel were the main front-page items in Wednesday's dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "New (Hellenic Railways) OSE - Drastic reorganization measures announced by (Transport Minister Costis) Hatzidakis".

    APOGEVMATINI: "14,832 job openings - Detailed lists".

    AVGHI: "OSE derailment plan".

    AVRIANI: "PM Karamanlis backs Russia despite the US pressures - Russian PM Putin has absolute dominance in the Caucasus, strategic defeat for Washington".

    CHORA: "Clear message by Moscow to Georgia, the USA and EU defining its zone of influence".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Unilateral ceasefire ordered by Putin opens window of hope for peace".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Three new aggressive acts by (FYROM PM) Gruevski - Allegations in the UN that Greece boosts its military forces along the borders".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "One step before the imposition of price controls on fuel by the ministry of development while fuel prices remain high".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "(Georgian President) Saakashvili: I live the worst nightmare because my friends in the West were assuring me - USA: We advised them to show self-restraint".

    ESTIA: "Geopolitical instability in the former Eastern Block countries".

    ETHNOS: "Taxation wave beginning in September - Source of wealth statement on credit card purchases".

    KATHIMERINI: "Warm war is over - Fears of Cold War between Russia and the West".

    LOGOS: "OSE is being tidied up - Painful reorganization plan for the railways".

    NIKI: "Trains too go to private investors - After the seaports, OSE is sold out followed by Olympic Airlines".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "OSE on dissolution course before being handed over to private investors - PASOK's work is completed by the government of New Democracy".

    TA NEA: "People get in line for land registry applications in mid August".

    TO VIMA: "Pax Russa - Moscow imposes its terms - (Presidents of Russia and France) Medvedev-Sarkozy joint plan on the region's future".

    VRADYNI: "And Europe is praying - Clashes, blood and more dead in a week-long war".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [18] EC launches grant scheme for Turkish Cypriots


    The European Commission has announced the launch of the first call for proposal of the grant scheme "Community development through village initiatives improving the quality of life in rural communities".

    According to a press release issued by Commission Representation office here on Wednesday, the European Commission is launching a 5,000,000 euro grant scheme to support projects aiming to improve quality of life in villages in the northern part of Cyprus.

    This initiative is funded under the 259 million euro EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, managed by the European Commission, it adds.

    The call, the press release continues, aims to respond to some of the problems most commonly faced by rural communities and it is divided into three broad fields under which local communities and civil society organisations can apply in partnership or association among themselves and other local actors.

    Proposed projects can range from improving existing and introducing new local community services to improving economic opportunities and diversifying off-farm economic activities, to improving the living environment in specific villages, etc.

    The deadline for submission of proposals is October 15, 2008.

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