|Sunday, 24 May 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-26
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 26 August 2008 Issue No: 2979
 PM Karamanlis confers with GSEE ahead of TIF addressPrime minister Costas Karamanlis met on Monday with the presidium of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), as part of a series of deliberations with the social partners ahead of next week's Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), where the prime ministers traditionally unveil the economic policy for the following year.
The GSEE delegation called on the prime minister for measures to boost the financially weaker strata and to tackle the high cost of living.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, GSEE officials stated that "we are leaving poorer than when we came, because we did not receive answers to our demands for strengthening of the (financially) weaker strata, for confrontation of expensiveness, for a heating subsidy".
The delegates said that "the same economic policy will be continued, in other words the rich will get richer and the poor will become poorer", and strssed that "the working people will give a militant response on September 6", the day of Karamanlis' address at the TIF.
Asked what the prime minister told them, GSEE president Christos Panagopoulos said that 'the prime minister does not share our worries, and considers that the economic policy has yielded results", warning that GSEE would not accept "abolition of the law and decimation of the list of 'heavy and hazardous' professions".
GSEE secretary and leader of the DAKE (ruling New Democracy-affiliated trade union organization) Costas Poupakis said that they had a "very good discussion, on all the issues".
"We demand immediate measures for confrinting expensive-ness and boosting the low income brackets," Poupakis said, adding that all the government officials must turn their attention to solving the every-day problems.
Asked whethr DAKE would take part in the workers' mobilizations in Thessaloniki, Poupakis replied that DAKE "will be present in the mobilizations, removed, however, from any expediencies".
GSEE vice-president Alekos Kalyvis noted that he has proposed that the GSEE presidium should not attend the prime minister's address in Thessaloniki.
Karamanlis was due to meet later with the presidium of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) for similar tals.
Also present at the meeting were economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis, development minister Christos Folias, and employment minister Fani Pali-Petralia.
 Greek PM confers with Federation of Hellenic IndustriesGreece needs to enter into a new development course, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of the Federation of Hellenic Industries, said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, Development Minister Christos Folias and Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, Daskalopoulos said "the country was in the vortex of an international crisis that highlighted its accumulated problems," adding that "the crisis was a challenge for all social and political forces. Without a minimum social consensus the future is closed".
Daskalopoulos said the Federation of Hellenic Industries submitted its proposals for the economy: redistribution and cutting of public spending to release more funds for lower income classes, deregulating all economic sectors to boost competitiveness and support business activity that will lead to higher production and employment. "To avoid more taxes we need growth," Daskalopoulos said, adding extraordinary situations must not be dealt with permanent taxes.
 PM Karamanlis receives merchant sector representativesPrime Minister Costas Karamanlis received representatives of the National Greek Trade Confederation (ESEE) at the Maximos Mansion on Monday, who outlined the demands of the merchants' sector for him. The meeting was attended by Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis and Development Minister Christos Folias.
Speaking after the meeting, ESEE President Dimitris Armenakis said that "we came to get and not to give and we briefed the prime minister on the issues of the market."
He added that they called for the continuation of their social security fund's financing and the establishment of a pension for those having consecutive social security that equals that received by the beneficiaries of one fund.
"The social security funds are robbing those who are receiving successive pensions," Armenakis said, while on the question of their demands he said that "the prime minister said that he will be examining them and giving us a reply."
 Greek Trade Confederation on economic reformsThe National Greek Trade Confederation (ESEE) has sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, stressing that a speedup of economic reforms, changes and privatisations and the state ridding itself of any business activity in sectors that are being covered or that can be covered by the market is now necessary.
The memorandum further notes that first and second stage local administration bodies are not honouring existing regulations and are abusing their duties to the point of creating serious suspicions of favouritism.
Merchants believe that the protection of organised and housed trade from the absolute unaccountability of illegal outdoor trade is an urgent necessity and strict sanctions must be imposed on lawbreakers and on local officials who are not applying the existing institutional framework.
 Gov't refers to FM's statement vis-a-vis FYROMA Greek government spokesman on Monday, speaking during a regular press briefing in Athens, declined to comment further on the latest provocative statements by the premier of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), merely noting that FM Dora Bakoyannis' response was absolutely clear.
Bakoyannis responded on Sunday to comments by FYROM PM Nikola Gruevski a day earlier.
 PASOK spokesman on Papandreou's contacts, economyMain opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papa-constantinou said on Monday that party leader George Papandreou will be having a series of meetings with representatives of social agencies ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), while on Tuesday morning he will be having his first meeting with the Federation of Industrialists of Northern Greece.
He added that at these meetings the party will be explaining its plan for the country and calling for social consensus on certain issues such as the granting of a special solidarity bonus.
"We do not believe that the payment of such a bonus will solve the problem, however it is helpful at a specifici time of economic crisis," he said.
Referring to contacts between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and social agencies in light of the TIF, the spokesman said that "at this TIF as well, the prime minister has nothing to tell the Greek people and the Greek citizen has nothing to expect from the prime minister and the government."
 PASOK spokesman on FYROM name issuePASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou, com-menting on Monday on the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) name, said that it is evident that there is a nationalistic downward trend on the part of Skopje and it is also evident that there is no intention of finding a solution to the known problem with the name.
"They are trying to place non-existent issues on the table and, unfortunately, they have been encouraged in this direction by the tactic of the Greek government of replying and indirectly of allowing other issues, apart from the name, to be placed on the negotiating table," he said.
The spokesman stressed that only the name issue exists and this can and must be solved "in the framework of the 'red line': One name with a geographical qualifier for all uses."
 Caucasus crisis could create domino effects, KKE saysThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) assessed in an announcement issued on the Caucasus crisis on Monday that the war in Southern Ossetia was launched by order of the United States and NATO, by the government of Georgia that they control, while taking advantage of the known conflicts between Georgia and Russia.
KKE added that these developments, that are related to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and to preparations of war against Iran, could create 'domino' effects that will affect our region as well, and even our country."
It further said that the United States, in order to safeguard their dominant position in general, and towards Russia in particular, are preparing to establish in Europe the so-called "anti-missile shield" in the Czech Republic and in Poland with the aim of overturning the current nuclear power correlation with Russia and predicted that this move will unavoidably lead to a response that will intensify the armaments race, aggravating negative repercussions in all sectors for peoples.
At the same time, the announcement pointed out, they are pursuing the militarisation of space and the further enlargement of NATO towards the Balkans and the fomer USSR and the appearance of a new network of military bases with the aim of "encircling" and weakening Russia.
 Alavanos tours Ilia prefectureRadical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group President Alekos Alavanos carried out a tour of the Ilia prefecture, in the Peloponnese, and criticised the government in relation to the healing of wounds left behind by last year's devastating wildfires in the region.
Alavanos said that work to restore and reconstruct the wildfire-stricken region has not gone ahead and no step has been taken to prevent wildfires.
"New Democracy is a government of low capabilities, that is not leaving scorched earth symbolically but literally as well and it must leave the country's governance as soon as possible, with the placing of the ballot box now being a one-way road," he said.
 Parliament president receives OmbudsmanParliament President Dimitris Sioufas met on Monday with Greek Ombudsman George Kaminis. The two men discussed issues referring to the independent authority's operation and Parliament amendments aimed to improve supervision of the authority.
Sioufas also referred to the establishment of a new unit that will focus on the best cooperation between Parliament and independent authorities.
 Greek officer in OSCE mission to GeorgiaGreece on Monday announced that it will assign a military officer to a 20-member group of OSCE monitors in Georgia. The Greek officer will depart for the country on Wednesday.
 Calabria children hold event for KassimisTwenty one children from Calabria aged between 14-18 held a farewell event on Monday in honor of Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis.
The children from Calabria departed from Athens on Monday, from the Greek-speaking region of southern Italy which Kassimis visited last May, opening a new chapter in the relations of Greek-speaking regions of the neighboring country with Greece.
It was a hospitality program which next year will be extended to three weeks, the deputy minister promised. He was accompanied by the principal, A. Vantale and professor Salvatore Dieni.
 Government's economic policy will not change, FinMin saysGreek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday said the government would not change its economic policy, and reiterated that the government would continue steadfast with its policy with only minor readjustments because of an international economic crisis.
Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with representatives of GSEE -Greece's largest trade union umbrella- and the Federation of Hellenic Industries, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Alogoskoufis said that the Greek economy was growing with satisfactory rates despite an international crisis with higher interest rates and inflation. He noted that economic growth was 3.5 pct in the first six months of 2008, double compared with the Eurozone's average growth rate. Alogoskoufis said unemployment fell during the first half of the year and acknowledged that Greek households were feeling the impact of higher inflation and interest rates.
 Dodecanese officials bring up ferry routes in meeting with ministerMerchant Marine & Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis began an official visit to the eastern Aegean island of Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese chain, on Monday for talks with various local and prefectural authorities.
Voulgarakis was on the small Dodecanese island of Symi on Sunday.
Among others, local officials on Rhodes pointed to the issue of regular and dependable ferry boat connections as the Dodecanese chain's biggest problem, while Prefect Yiannis Mahairidis also referred to a surge in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to land onto the islands from neighbouring Turkey.
Water shortages on the more arid holiday islands were also brought up.
 Trade balance deficit up in June, marks decline in 1st-half 2008Greece's trade balance deficit rose by 3.7 percent in the month of June year-on-year, compared with the corresponding month in 2007, according to figures released on Monday by the National Statistics Service (ESYE).
According to ESYE, the trade balance deficit reached 3,117.1 million euros in June this year, up 3.7 percent from 3,005.0 million euros in June 2007, and was attributed to the difference between a 5 percent increase in the overall value of imports/arrivals and a 7 percent rise in the overall value of exports-dispatches.
The deficit fell by 4.7 percent, however, in the six-month period of January-June against the corresponding period in 2007, dropping to 17,098.8 million euros from 17,942.1 million euros in the same period last year.
 Greek trade deficit up 3.7 pct in JuneGreek trade deficit rose by 3.7 pct in June 2008 to 3.117 billion euros, compared with 3.005 billion euros in the same month last year, the National Statistics Service said on Monday.
The statistics service said the deficit in the trade balance reflected the difference between the value of import-arrivals (up 5.0 pct) and the value of export-deliveries (up 7.0 pct).
The statistics service said the trade deficit in the six-month period from January to June 2008 totaled 17.099 billion euros, from 17.942 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, a decline of 4.7 pct.
 Intralot signs partnership agreement with FIFAIntralot on Monday said its subsidiary Betting Co. has signed a partnership agreement with Early Warning System GmbH, a subsidiary of FIFA, the Federation of International Football Associations.
Under the agreement, Betting Co. will become a member of FIFA's global network, informing EWS over any signs of football match manipulation practices, something that will be extended to other athletic events. Betting Co. was founded in 1998 to cover an increasing demand for betting services.
 ATE Insurance reports 5.8 pct increase in premium productionATE Insurance on Monday reported a 5.8 pct increase in its premium production in the first half of 2008, totaling 99.8 million euros and said pre-tax profits totaled 1.26 million euros, down from 6.78 million euros in the corresponding period in 2007, while after tax profits eased to 300,000 euros from 3.2 million euros last year.
The decline in profits reflected a negative impact on its commercial portfolio from securities transactions.
Consolidated pre-tax profits totaled 1.8 million euros in the January-June period, from 6.2 million euros last year, while after tax net profits shrank to 800,000 euros from 4.7 million euros in 2007. ATE Insurance said compensation payments totaled 56 million euros, up 14.7 pct from last year, while operating spending grew 19.2 pct to 14.3 million euros.
 ELVAL says H1 turnover 9.9 pct downELVAL on Monday reported a 9.9 pct decline in its first half consolidated turnover to 468.2 million euros, from 519.8 million euros last year, reflecting an 11 pct decline in the average price of primary aluminium compared with the same period last year.
Gross profits fell 26.1 pct to 34.9 million euros, from 47.2 million in 2007, while earnings before taxes, interest and amortizations (EBITDA) dropped 31.2 percent to 31.6 million euros and pre-tax profits shrank to 3.0 million euros from 20 million euros last year. After tax profits fell to 1.2 million euros, from 13.9 million euros last year.
 Greek stocks end 0.18 pct higherGreek stocks moved slightly higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with the composite index of the market ending 0.18 pct higher at 3,302.57 points. Turnover was a low 157.2 million euros, of which 55.7 million euros were block trades.
Most sectors moved higher, with the Travel (1.30 pct), Oil (1.12 pct) and Financial Services (0.93 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains, while Technology (3.52 pct), Healthcare (1.51 pct) and Chemicals (1.38 pct) suffered losses.
The FTSE 20 index rose 0.25 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.21 pct down and the FTSE 80 index eased 1.42 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 115 to 92 with another 64 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +1.12%
Personal & Household: +0.13%
Raw Materials: +0.25%
Travel & Leisure: +1.30%
Food & Beverages: -0.06%
Financial Services: +0.93%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), Alpha Bank and OPAP.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 18.62
Public Power Corp (PPC): 18.24
HBC Coca Cola: 18.22
Hellenic Petroleum: 8.68
National Bank of Greece: 28.78
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 14.30
Piraeus Bank: 17.10
Titan Cement Company: 24.98
 ADEX closing reportGreek futures contract prices ended with a small premium in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover 54.640 million euros. The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a premium of 0.32 pct and the August contract on the FTSE 40 index at a premium of 0.36 pct.
Volume in futures contracts on the Big Cap index totaled 5,083 contracts worth 46.258 million euros with 32,904 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was worth 59,720 million euros with 10 open positions.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 5,199 contracts worth 8.276 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank (830), Atebank (393), Mytilineos (346), Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (338), Public Power Corporation (203), Marfin Popular Bank (192) and Eurobank (119).
 Greek bond market closing reportTurnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 778 million euros on Monday, of which 375 million were buy orders and the remaining 403 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 590 million euros.
In the domestic interbank market, interest rates moved higher. National Bank's overnight rate rose to 4.84 pct, the two-day rate jumped to 4.13 pct, the one-week rate to 4.41 pct, the one-month rate rose to 4.51 pct, the three-month rate to 4.99 pct, the six-month rate to 5.18 pct and the 12-month rate was 5.32 pct.
 Foreign Exchange rates: TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.477
Pound sterling 0.797
Danish kroner 7.464
Swedish kroner 9.357
Japanese yen 162.43
Swiss franc 1.622
Norwegian kroner 7.938
Canadian dollar 1.543
Australian dollar 1.703
 Part of Mylonas ransom, weapons, found in hideoutPolice on Monday confiscated weapons and retrieved part of the ransom paid for the release of then president of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) George Mylonas to abductors by his family in June 2006, in ongoing investigations in Thessaloniki following last week's arrest of the kidnapping's matermind, escaped convict Vassilis Paleokostas, and seven accomplices.
Thessaloniki Security Police chief Dimitris Papadopoulos told ANA-MPA that an early-morning search of an apartment in the Peraia region of the northern Greek capital, which had been rented in recent months by the kidnapping ring and was used as one of its hideouts.
He said that 2.9 million euros in marked bills from the ransom money, four submachine guns, two pistols, two handgrenades, 1910 bullet, silencers, gas masks and other objects were found in the apartment.
The weaponry will be examined by ELAS (Greek Police) ballistics expers, while the investigations are still ongoing.
 Wave of illegal migrants arrests in eastern AegeanAnother 69 illegal immigrants, including nine minors, were intercepted overnight Monday in various spots in the eastern Aegean, adding to the dozens of mostly Third World migrants detained over the weekend attempting to disembark on various Greek isles from the adjacent Turkish coast.
In employing a now more-or-less summertime "standard practice", according to the Greek coast guard, when detected by patrol boats the illegal migrants aboard inflatable dinghies or flimsy speedboats sink their vessels and jump in the water to await rescue.
Practical all of the foreign nationals in such cases also destroy travel or ID documents before their clandestine journeys in order to delay or prevent deportation, Greek officials charge.
The islands of Kos and Lesvos were reportedly the targets for the groups of illegal migrants on Monday.
 Wildfire in Kastoria prefectureA wildfire broke out in an inaccessible mountainous region in Yerma in the municipality of Ion Dragoumis, in the northern prefecture of Kastoria, on Monday afternoon. According to the Fire Brigade, the blaze was not threatening residential areas and was being tackled by seven fire engines and 18 firemen.
 Drug trafficking arrest in KarditsaPolice arrested on Sunday a 60-year-old man in Karditsa, central Greece, on drug dealing charges. Police reportedly found and confiscated 25.1 grams of heroin.
 Fair on TuesdayFair weather with northeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 36C. Fair in Athens, with 3-5 beaufort northerly winds and temperatures ranging from 24C to 36C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 23C to 33C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe new economic measures to be announced by prime minister Costas Karamanlis at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September, the FYROM president's statement and the Greek response dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers .
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "1,290 New Democracy(ND) members who had been found capable of taking part the ND government after the 2004 general elections".
APOGEVMATINI: "Prime Minister of FYROM takes the gold medal for his nationalistic blindness- He broke all the records in unreliability and provocation".
CHORA: "Police investigation for the ransom money from the Mylonas abduction - Where have the abductors hidden the 10 million euros treasure".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "Gruevski, the US mouthpiece in the Balkans , provokes again".
ELEFTHEROS : 'The eight secrets for pensions - For what must new and old insured be careful of".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The social security reform leaves out 500,000 workers from the 'heavy and hazardous' professions category".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "We can't hold up any more, Mr. Karamanlis - GSEE: Do not even think of imposing more taxes on the citizens".
ESTIA: "The 151 majority in (the 300-member) parliament will be stronger if the rebel ND deputy member is expelled".
ETHNOS : "University students queue up for transfers - Record applications this year".
TA NEA: "FinMin George Alogoskoufis recipe is 'taxes for all' - The bad news will be announced this week".
VRADYNI: "Four-speed 'heavy and hazardous' professions - What the report foresees for 700,000 workers in the latter category".
 Cyprus House President conveys Morphou petition to foreign officialsNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/CNA)
Cyprus House President Marios Garoyian has conveyed to the Presidents of the national parliaments of the EU member states and the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as the Chairmen of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the Interparliamentary Union a petition adopted by the Municipal Council and other organizations of the occupied town of Morphou.
The petition was adopted on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the occupation of the town by the Turkish troops.
An official press release said that in a letter attached to the petition, Garoyian stressed that that ongoing painful experience of expatriation for Morphou inhabitants, as well as for all the refugees of Cyprus, is a result of the illegal Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern part since 1974.
The international community with UN Security Council resolutions, the EU and other international and European organizations has repeatedly denounced Turkish occupation, Garoyian points out.
Garoyian noted that he conveyed the petition considering that Morphou refugees and all Cypriot refugees can count on the support and solidarity of the international and European officials, to whom he sent the petition that will allow the peaceful reunification of the island and its people.
House President said that on the threshold of the beginning of talks between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on September 3, 2008, aiming at a Cyprus settlement "your solidarity and the exercise of your influence aiming at a substantive pressure towards Turkey, which holds the key for a settlement and could facilitate, if it wanted, these talks, means a lot for the people of Morphou and for all Cypriots."
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
 Syrian FM to pay official visit to CyprusNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/CNA)
Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic Walid al-Muallem will pay an official visit to Cyprus August 26-27.
During his visit al-Muallem will have official talks with his Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou and will be received by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.
During their talks, the two Ministers will discuss about the two countries bilateral relations, developments in the Middle East and the cooperation between Cyprus and Syria in the framework of international organizations. Kyprianou will also brief his Syrian counterpart on developments in the Cyprus question.
Kyprianou and al-Muallem will sign an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic on the Abolition of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports.
They will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Political Consultations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Syrian Arab Republic.
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