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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-11-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 18 November 2008 Issue No: 3049


  • [01] PM briefed by interior minister
  • [02] Greece: FYROM violated 'interim agreement', not Athens; Crvenkovski pans gov't
  • [03] SI president Papandreou gives speech in Mexico
  • [04] Political leaders commemorate Polytechnic uprising anniversary
  • [05] President Papoulias lays wreath at Polytechnic memorial
  • [06] March from Polytechnic to US Embassy concluded
  • [07] FM has phone conversation with U.S. Vice-President elect
  • [08] ND Parliament group to discuss financial crisis
  • [09] Antonaros again denies election and reshuffle rumours
  • [10] Government spokesman on Turkish survey vessel
  • [11] Vatopedi commission in Parliament expected to call Thessaloniki prefect
  • [12] Papariga calls for state control of Hellenic Postbank
  • [13] Interview with SYN spokesman Andreas Karintzis
  • [14] Kassimis addresses int'l meeting in Nicosia
  • [15] Balcinet meeting concludes in Sarajevo
  • [16] EU Greek sides discuss bank support plan
  • [17] Government denies EU misgivings over Greek liquidity plan
  • [18] FinMin defends plan to support banking system
  • [19] Gov't again says guarantee of all pensions, social benefits standing
  • [20] Livestock farmers planning nationwide protests on Dec. 2
  • [21] Trade delegation from Murcia to visit Athens
  • [22] Credit conditions worsen in Oct.
  • [23] EU celebrates 1st birthday of MiFID
  • [24] Greek stocks plunged 4.24 pct on Monday
  • [25] ADEX closing report
  • [26] Greek bond market closing report
  • [27] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday
  • [28] Liapis inaugurates HFC centre in Sofia
  • [29] Growth of Greek-Bulgarian cultural cooperation
  • [30] Metropolitan Nikodimos of Patras passes away
  • [31] Athens Univ. study on Sat TV
  • [32] Total of 98 illegals nabbed in 3 separate incidents around Aegean
  • [33] AEK Athens coach resigns
  • [34] Storms on Tuesday
  • [35] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [36] Property issue on agenda of talks by end of year, says president
  • [37] Cyprus Archbishop addresses opening ceremony of International Meeting for Peace
  • [38] Saint Egidio founder hopes efforts to reunite Cyprus will succeed Politics

  • [01] PM briefed by interior minister

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis conferred on Monday with interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who briefed the premier on the upcoming EU-Africa meeting to take place November 25 that will deal with migration issues.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Pavopoulos said that there would be reinforcement of the countries from which migrants originate, adding that so long as hunger, social inequalities, dictatorships and wars existed, so would there be migration, and consequently those countries needed to be strengthened.

    Pavlopoulos stressed the need for collaboration with those countries as well as repatriation agreements for illegal immigrants, and accused Turkey once again of not abiding by the commitments it has assumed with respect to illegal immigrant trafficking.

    The interior minister further briefed Karamanlis on the reorganization of the Greek Police (ELAS), noting that the plan for confronting crime was progressing day by day.

    He noted that the Greek police have had successes in uncovering organized crime rings, adding that the results of the police force's reorganization will be visible by the end of the year.

    [02] Greece: FYROM violated 'interim agreement', not Athens; Crvenkovski pans gov't

    Greece sharply condemned a decision on Monday by the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to seek recourse at an international court several months after the landlocked former Yugoslav republic's bid to join the NATO alliance collapsed.

    A Greek foreign ministry spokesman charged that the Gruevski government's claims, namely, that Athens violated Article 11 of the September 1995 "interim agreement" by airing reservations over FYROM's coveted bid to join NATO, came after the same FYROM government recently rejected a set of ideas submitted by the relevant UN mediator in the "name dispute", ideas aimed at achieving a resolution.

    "(the Gruevski government) sought recourse while hiding the fact, of course, that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) had previously and blatantly violated a series of basic article-obligations clearly listed in this agreement, as well as the fundamental principle of good-neighbourly relations," George Koumoutsakos' written statement read.

    "During the legal process we will have the opportunity to submit relevant memoranda, while detailing at length Greece's positions over the unprovoked and continuous violations of the interim agreement by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ... With this legal redress the government in Skopje once again confirms the fact that it is not interested in a speedy solution to the dispute over the final name of this country, as stipulated by Resolution 845 (1993) of the United Nations' Security Council," he added.

    Koumoutsakos said Greece will, of course, appear at the ICJ in The Hague with all of the self-confidence and decisiveness afforded by its comprehensive, succinct and substantive arguments.

    In conclusion, he said Athens will remain devoted to the UN process for achieving a mutually acceptable solution to the "name issue".

    According to an ANA-MPA dispatch from Skopje earlier on Monday afternoon, the FYROM foreign ministry announced that Skopje had filed legal proceedings against Greece at the ICJ.

    In an announcement, the country's foreign ministry said Skopje had applied to the international court in order to "bring Greece into compliance with its legal obligations under the Interim Accord "

    According to the FYROM foreign ministry, Article 11 of the accord obliges Greece not to object to the land-locked country's application to join NATO.

    "We have strong confidence in the International Court of Justice to help us resolve this discrete legal dispute ... We are not asking the Court to deal with other political issues, so that the dispute over the name is not the subject matter of our Application," FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki told local reporters.

    FYROM president: No prior consultation

    Nevertheless, an announcement released by the cabinet of FYROM President Branko Crvenkovski charged that the "(Skopje) government has brought a decision without any prior consultation with the (FYROM) president ... thus violating the constitution and the law on foreign affairs."

    "By this act, as well as the attitude toward the process of negotiations with Greece over the name dispute, PM Gruevski and the government take all responsibility over resolving the dispute, which implies the country's success or failure in the process of integration with EU and NATO," the Crvenkovski cabinet statement reads.

    PASOK reaction

    Finally, main opposition PASOK MP and former deputy foreign minister Andreas Loverdos on Monday charged that the "nationalistic leadership of FYROM is leading efforts for a solution to the 'name issue' problem to an impasse."

    Loverdos said the Gruevski government has consciously chosen "nationalism instead of relations of good neighbourliness with Greece."

    [03] SI president Papandreou gives speech in Mexico

    NUEVO VALLARTA, Mexico (ANA-MPA/V. Mourtis)

    Greece's main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou referred to the international economic crisis during the start of the sessions of SI's Council which is being held in the Mexican city of Nuevo Vallarta.

    Papandreou noted the "danger" of socialist principles and values becoming a "fashion" as more and more conservative politicians use certain socialist principles when referring to the economic crisis.

    "For us, this development was a pleasant surprise, but we do not want to become a fashion. We want our principles and values to remain clear and stable. We have a great responsibility to make things clear, as conservative forces have created an upheaval. However, the challenge we are facing is historic," Papandreou said.

    The SI president presented five proposals for a way out of the economic crisis.

    Firstly, the creation of a fund for social protection in order for social security to be guaranteed, particularly in developing countries.

    Secondly, the establishment of a special fund which will support small and medium-size businesses and the employees working in them. "This will be an answer to one of the greatest problems of the international economic crisis," Papandreou said.

    Thirdly, the creation of a special fund which will undertake the support of fluidity in the economy.

    Fourthly, special measures for the support of developing countries and their economies, which must have fluidity so that they do not end up bankrupt.

    Fifthly, the promotion of the necessary reforms in the international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.

    [04] Political leaders commemorate Polytechnic uprising anniversary

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias paid his respects on Monday at the Athens Polytechnic memorial, on the 35th anniversary of a students' uprising against a military dictatorship then ruling Greece.

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas, heading up a Parliament delegation, also laid a wreath at the Polytechnic memorial. "The night of the Polytechnic brought the dawn of democracy", Sioufas said afterwards.

    Earlier, tributes were paid by Deputy Education Minister Spyros Taliadouros.

    The gates of the Polytechnic closed at 2 p.m. ahead of the customary march through downtown Athens.

    As with every Nov. 17 commemoration, police are taking increased security measures along the thoroughfares where the march will pass.

    "The message of the Polytechnic Uprising can be traced today in the collective struggle of resistance and disobedience launched against those who wish to make our future worse than the present," Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) President Alexis Tsipras stressed, laying a wreath at the Polytechnic Monument.

    On his part, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos underlined the timeless messages derived from the Polytechnic uprising, pointing out that democracy in the country is consolidated and has evolved smoothly, underlining that "we are struggling for a better quality democracy while protecting human rights."

    He also expressed a hope that scheduled marches and events commemorating the uprising will be peaceful.

    "The 35th anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising is being commemorated by the Greek people and all political forces," government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stated, pointing out that "we pay tribute to the known and unknown fighters who stood up to the dictatorship demanding freedom, justice and dignity."

    "In line with the spirit of this great anniversary we reaffirm our commitment to keep on fighting for democracy and the consolidation of a new political culture in a spirit of unity and consensus, guaranteeing more opportunities for education, employment and prosperity for the young," the government spokesman stressed.

    [05] President Papoulias lays wreath at Polytechnic memorial

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias payed tribute at the Athens Metsovion Polytechnic memorial on Monday, the 35th anniversary of the students' uprising against the military dictatorship, while parliament president Dimitris Sioufas, heading a parliament delegation, layed a wreath at the Polytechnic memorial. "The night of the Polytechnic brought the dawn of Democracy", said Sioufas.

    Earlier, tribute was also paid by education deputy minister Spyros Taliadouros.

    The gates of the Polytechnic will close at 2.00 noon and the main commemorative event will begin. Professors, students and social and trade unions' representatives will remain inside the premises to guard the Polytechnic.

    The annual march will start at 3:00 p.lm. and will end outside the US embassy in central Athens. Police are taking stringent security measures to safeguard along the streets in which the demonstrators will march, while the circulation in streets around the Polytechnic has been closed off since early Monday morning

    [06] March from Polytechnic to US Embassy concluded

    The march from the Polytechnic to the US Embassy, marking the 35th anniversary of the student uprising against the dictatorship, ended at 7 p.m. on Monday.

    Despite the strong rainfall, the demonstrators sent for yet another year their message.

    Minor incidents occurred during the march when self-styled anarchists threw a fire-bomb, stones and bottles with water against the riot police in front of the embassy.

    [07] FM has phone conversation with U.S. Vice-President elect

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis held a telephone conversation on Monday afternoon with U.S. Vice-President elect Joe Biden, congratulating him for his election.

    According to a foreign ministry announcement, Bakoyannis also wished Biden "good success in his difficult tasks".

    The Greek minister "had the opportunity for a cordial conversation with Mr. Biden, who, thanks to his long participation in the U.S. Senate and specifically in the Foreign Affairs Committee, has a deep knowledge of the issues that preoccupy Greece. Both sides acknweledged the width and quality of bilateral relations and committed themselves to work for their further improvement," the announcement concluded.

    [08] ND Parliament group to discuss financial crisis

    Ruling New Democracy's Parliamentary group will hold a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to discuss the international financial crisis.

    Invited to speak at the meeting are the head of the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) Ioannis Panagopoulos, the president of ADEDY civil servants' union Spyros Papaspyros, the head of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) Dimitrios Daskalopoulos and the heads of other other trade unions and employer federations.

    It will also be addressed by Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Development Minister Christos Folias, while the premier will open and close the proceedings.

    [09] Antonaros again denies election and reshuffle rumours

    Rumours of an imminent reshuffle and early elections were once again dismissed by government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday, who stressed that the government intended to exhaust its term.

    "The government has been elected for four years. It intends to stay in its position and to carry out all the things that it said and promised to the Greek people. All discussion concerning early elections is without content," Antonaros stressed.

    The decision to carry out a cabinet reshuffle was the constitutionally established privilege of the prime minister, he added.

    Asked to explain a statement by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis referred to a "new victory for New Democracy" with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis as leader, Antonaros said the minister was merely "stating the obvious".

    He further denied that the prime minister's engagements in various parts of the country were in any way linked to the ruling party's poor showing in opinion polls.

    [10] Government spokesman on Turkish survey vessel

    The Greek government has taken all the steps required to defend Greece's interests, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said on Monday in response to questions concerning the presence of a survey vessel hired by Turkey to conduct in the region of the Aegean contintental shelf.

    "As you know, Turkey disputes Greek territorial rights over a part of the continental shelf. We are taking all the measures needed, all sensitive steps to protect our territorial rights," he said, adding that the foreign and defence ministries had cooperated seamlessly on this issue.

    [11] Vatopedi commission in Parliament expected to call Thessaloniki prefect

    A parliamentary fact-finding commission on the state-Vatopedi Monastery land transactions furor decided on Monday to issue a summons to Constantina Kannou, the woman who was present at a meeting between lawyer Stamatia Sotiropoulou with Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis.

    Sotiropoulou has claimed in a deposition before the commission that Kannou, a New Democracy (ND) cadre, was present when Psomiadis allegedly told the lawyer that "this case comes from very high up -- you can't get higher ... who am I to take on Karamanlis."

    The commission also decided to request a DVD allegedly showing Sotiropoulou's companion, Michalis Koukovinos, blackmailing businessman Markos Karaberis, a friend of another buisnessman whose company purchased land plots given to the Vatopedi Monastery in land exchanges with the state. The commission will also summons Koukovinas, Karaberis, Psomiadis and the directors of the Building Inspectorate and the State Properties Company (KED) in Thessaloniki for statements.

    [12] Papariga calls for state control of Hellenic Postbank

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday said the state assume full control of Hellenic Postbank, during a meeting with the bank's employee union.

    "We have strongly opposed all privatisations that had been successively promoted by New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK, knowing that these would place employees in a much worse position, in combination with the overall strategy of privatisation that they served," she said.

    Under the present conditions, it was not hard to understand the demand by Hellenic Postbank staff that it return to state control, she added.

    Papariga conceded that something along these lines would help alleviate the intense problems caused by the capitalist crisis but it also required, on the part of the state, a policy that was opposed to market deregulation in order to prevent the exploitation of state bodies to further the interests of capital or to "avoid competition from private interests that led state institutions to bankruptcy".

    [13] Interview with SYN spokesman Andreas Karintzis

    The outcome of elections can offer a way out in the sense that the forces responsible for the crisis will be punished, according to Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology (SYN) spokesman Sotiris Karintzis.

    In an exclusive interview with ANA-MPA, he also pointed out that the current crisis is not an independent phenomenon and stems from specific policies that should be condemned by the people.

    The SYN spokesman added that there is no issue of a 'diarchy' (dual leadership) in the political parties of SYN and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance as a result of the actions of their leaderships, pointing out that there is coordination and their actions are placed within a common framework. Karintzis also warned that a turn by society toward conservatism due to the crisis is not unlikely, stressing, however, that his party will see that this will not happen.

    [14] Kassimis addresses int'l meeting in Nicosia

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis said here on Monday that Europe was the body that can create real bridges to overcome differences.

    He made the statement in an address at an international meeting for peace, entitled "The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue", organised by the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the St. Egidio Community.

    Kassimis represents the Greek government at the meeting, which comes to an end on Tuesday.

    "The civilisation of illumination has essentially come to an end. It has come to an end through disputes and international practices which had pushed away values that had kept us bound for some centuries ... In this deployment of a new cultural reality, Europe has the obligation to participate effectively. This precedes any kind of action in individual fields. A human-centred and social Europe has begun to wake up," the Greek minister noted.

    Referring to Europe's special role, Kassimis said it has started, over the past three years, operating in a unified manner, citing the 2006 war in Lebanon, the crisis in Georgia and the ongoing world financial crisis.

    "Europe's hour has come. The question is whether the whole of Europe has become aware of it," Kassimis added.

    The meeting is being attended by religious leaders, heads of state and representatives of different cultures and faiths, as well as intellectuals, secular scholars and journalists.

    [15] Balcinet meeting concludes in Sarajevo

    Mayors from 30 major Balkan cities concluded their meetings in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on Monday. The mayors' congress was concluded following a decision to appeal to EU governments for an immediate and effective management of issues concerning immigration and the environment together with upgrading living conditions for children in major urban centers.

    Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos underlined that Sarajevo is a city devastated by war.

    "Today, remarkable and significant monuments' restoration is taking place and new residences are under construction Sarajevo is a very nice city with very kind citizens ... I believe that in the years to come and with today's developments rates, Sarajevo may become the centre of the western Balkans," he said.

    Thessaloniki municipality founded the Balkan Cities Net (BALCINET) in December 2000, in which members include the largest cities in the Balkans.

    Financial News

    [16] EU Greek sides discuss bank support plan


    Greek and EU agencies are currently in a round of consultations over a Greek-government plan to support the country's domestic banking system, a spokesman for EU Competition Commissioner Nellie Kroes told reporters here on Monday.

    The Commissioner's spokesman said talks between the two sides were continuing and noted that the EU Commissioner contacted Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis over the weekend. The spokesman underlined that there were no disagreements between the two sides.

    The Greek government is seeking EU approval to a 28-bln-euro plan to offer support to the country's banking system.

    [17] Government denies EU misgivings over Greek liquidity plan

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday denied that the European Commission had expressed serious misgivings concerning the Greek plan for ensuring the liquidity of the banking market, saying that the reports to this effect were exaggerated.

    "There is nothing like this, not to the extent suggested in certain publications," Antonaros told reporters. He said that the Commission had made certain "technical observations" of the kind made for every plan that each country presented separately and the proposal was now at the stage of receiving the final touches before it was tabled for ratification by Parliament.

    According to the spokesman, the objections raised by the European Commission did not warrant the alarmist attitude taken by certain sections of the press and he pointed out that the government was among the first to take initiatives to protect the interests of Greek people in the face of the international economic crisis.

    He repeated that the government plan aimed to ensure liquidity and protect the real economy.

    [18] FinMin defends plan to support banking system

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday defended a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the domestic banking system, through exchanging letters with Marfin Investment Group's vice-chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos who earlier had requested changes in the draft bill.

    In his reply letter, the Greek minister said that the majority of observations made by Mr Vgenopoulos were already included in the draft bill, while others were not compatible with European Union's directives over national programs to support banks.

    In a letter sent earlier to the Greek minister by MIG's vice-chairman, Vgenopoulos urged for the need of changes in the draft bill in order to avoid any misinterpretations or supervision mistakes that could damage the banking sector. The Greek banker also warned that the government plan to guarantee loans would not result to supporting Greek enterprises and households while it would not lead to a reduction of interest rates in the country.

    [19] Gov't again says guarantee of all pensions, social benefits standing

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Monday reiterated that the government was guaranteeing all pensions and all benefits offered to beneficiaries by pension funds.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting with representatives of pensioners unions, Petralia said the meeting was constructive and noted that the world was witnessing a difficult juncture because of an international financial crisis and said that the government would stand by those in need.

    The Greek minister said the ministry was ready to unveil a package of measures to support employment.

    [20] Livestock farmers planning nationwide protests on Dec. 2

    Livestock farmers throughout Greece are planning to hold protests and demonstrations in various parts of the country on December 2, demanding better wholesale prices for milk and dairy products and the payment of compensation for this year's drought.

    They announced plans for separate rallies in northern Greece, Thessaly, Epirus, the Peloponnese and Crete, decided by the local livestock farmers associations in collaboration with the livestock farming association within PASEGES, the farmers' union.

    A representative of the farmers announced that the demonstration in Thessaloniki would be held outside the Macedonia-Thrace ministry, where farmers would distribute milk, cheese and yoghurt to passers-by.

    If their demands were not met, they would pass from regional action to the organisation of a large rally in central Athens, they said.

    [21] Trade delegation from Murcia to visit Athens

    A delegation from the Trade and Industrial Chamber of Murcia, southeastern Spain, will pay a visit to Athens from December 9-10.

    Also taking part in the mission are companies which are interested in cooperation with Greek trade-import businesses, for the promotion of their products to the Greek market.

    [22] Credit conditions worsen in Oct.

    Credit conditions worsened significantly in October, with the value of bounced cheques rising 50.5 percent from September to 152.4 million euros, or 19.12 pct in volume to 11,842, official figures showed on Monday.

    The value of bounced cheques in the period from January to October totaled 967.8 million euros. The value of unpaid bills, however, fell by 1.79 pct in October to 14.6 million euros, compared with September, while in the 10-month period from January to October, the value was down 8.86 pct.

    [23] EU celebrates 1st birthday of MiFID

    Athens Stock Exchange president Spyros Kapralos on Monday said that MiFID laid the foundations for new forms of activities in capital markets in Europe, a very positive prospect as a fact, although it remained unclear wheter higher competition has resulted to the benefit of investors.

    Addressing a conference organized by the European Union on the occasion of the first birthday of MiFID's implementation in European stock markets, Kapralos -who is also president of FESE- said figures so far showed an improvement in new services and activities offered in the market and better investors' protection from the introduction of transparency regulations. Kapralos, however, expressed his doubts over the quality of transaction execution, market transparency, price discovery and the neutrality of various trading platforms.

    [24] Greek stocks plunged 4.24 pct on Monday

    Greek stocks plunged in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, in line with a negative climate prevailing in other European markets. The composite index fell 4.24 percent to end at 1,921.96 points, with turnover a low 135.8 million euros of which 2.1 million euros were block trades.

    All sectors ended lower, with the Raw Materials (6.21 pct), Banks (5.77 pct), Telecommunications (5.77 pct), Technology (5.52 pct), Chemicals (5.25 pct) and Construction (4.79 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index ended 4.94 pct down, the FTSE 40 index fell 3.20 pct and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.42 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 190 to 33 with another 36 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -2.82%

    Industrials: -2.09%

    Commercial: -1.32%

    Construction: -4.79%

    Media: -4.38%

    Oil & Gas: -3.30%

    Personal & Household: -3.04%

    Raw Materials: -6.21%

    Travel & Leisure: -2.54%

    Technology: -5.52%

    Telecoms: -5.77%

    Banks: -5.77%

    Food & Beverages: -3.69%

    Health: -0.73%

    Utilities: -0.98%

    Chemicals: -5.25%

    Financial Services: -3.29%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 8.80

    ATEbank: 1.64

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 8.96

    HBC Coca Cola: 10.42

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.38

    National Bank of Greece: 14.80

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 7.24

    Intralot: 4.74

    OPAP: 19.24

    OTE: 11.10

    Bank of Piraeus: 8.18

    Titan Cement Company: 12.00

    [25] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a larger discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover shrinking further to 63.524 million euros. The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 2.90 pct, while volume totaled 10,907 contracts worth 54.306 million euros, with 27,039 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 9,461 contracts worth 9.045 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (2,380), followed by Marfin Investment Group (712), OTE (1,424), Piraeus Bank (518), Alpha Bank (685) and GEK (632).

    [26] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 230 million euros on Monday, of which 160 million euros were sell orders and the remaining 70 million were buy orders.

    The three-year benchmark bond (March 20, 2011) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 85 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 147 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 5.15 pct and the German Bund 3.68 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month Euribor rate was 4.32 pct, the six-month rate 4.26 pct, the three-month rate 4.19 pct and the one-month rate 3.37 pct.

    [27] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.276

    Pound sterling 0.855

    Danish kroner 7.507

    Swedish kroner 10.092

    Japanese yen 122.91

    Swiss franc 1.527

    Norwegian kroner 8.862

    Canadian dollar 1.562

    Australian dollar 1.958

    General News

    [28] Liapis inaugurates HFC centre in Sofia

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA - B. Borisov)

    Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Monday inaugurated a new centre of the Hellenic Foundation of Culture (HFC) in Sofia, noting that it allowed Greece's steady cultural presence in Bulgaria to take on "flesh and bones".

    "The HFC Centre in Sofia will support and promote every initiative that furthers knowledge and creativity between the two countries, it will boost bilateral cultural ties, exchanges, joint productions and finally assist to really promote our culture in the broader region of southeastern Europe," he said at the inauguration ceremony.

    [29] Growth of Greek-Bulgarian cultural cooperation

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA/B. Borisov)

    Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis had a meeting in Sofia on Monday with his Bulgarian counterpart Stefan Danailov, with whom he discussed prospects for the further broadening of cultural relations between Greece and Bulgaria.

    "The relations between Greece and Bulgaria are excellent," Liapis said after the meeting.

    On his part, Danailov said that the scope for joint initiatives in archaeology but also in the preservation and restoration of Byzantine icons in Bulgaria, with the help of Greek experts, is great.

    "The political volition of the two governments for support of the efforts in this direction is a given fact," Liapis said.

    [30] Metropolitan Nikodimos of Patras passes away

    Metropolitan Bishop Nikodimos of Patras passed away early Sunday morning in an Athens hospital at the age of 93.

    He served the Metropolis of Patras for 30 years until 2005 when he resigned due to old age.

    His body will lie in state at the Saint Andreas Cathedral in Patras on Monday and his funeral will be held on Tuesday. The deceased will be laid to rest at the Saint Ioannis Chapel courtyard next to the Archdiocese of Patras.

    [31] Athens Univ. study on Sat TV

    A study compiled by the University of Athens' mass media and communications faculty, focusing on Greece-based satellite television channels and expatriate Greeks' preferences, was recently unveiled in the Greek capital.

    Specifically, a majority of respondents in the study (46 percent) said they preferred the state broadcaster, ERT-World, followed by 35 percent of respondents who said they prefer the Athens-based Antenna network's satellite channels. Athens-based Mega Cosmos was selected by 8.1 percent of respondents.

    One of the study's findings shows that a primary condition for subscribing to a Greek satellite channel or viewing Greek language programming is a good knowledge of the Greek language

    The study was conducted between January 2006 and June 2007 on a sample of 2,053 respondents in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. A majority of respondents are first-generation expatriates, 65.2 percent, according to the study.

    The study was authored by Athens University Prof. Evangelos Sorogas.

    [32] Total of 98 illegals nabbed in 3 separate incidents around Aegean

    Eighteen illegal migrants were intercepted by Coast guard patrol on Sunday near the eastern Aegean island of Samos. According to reports, they disembarked from the opposite Turkish coast with an inflatable dinghy that was subsequently destroyed when they were spotted by the patrol boat.

    In a separate incident in the same sea region, another 21 illegal migrants were collected from the sea soon after they also destroyed their dinghy and fell in the water in order to force the Greek coast guard to rescue them and take them to Greek territory -- now apparently the standard procedure used by migrant traffickers operating out of Turkey.

    Another 59 migrants were spotted and arrested on Sunday by the coast guard on the islet Paximadia near Aghia Galini, Crete.

    The illegals were transferred to the harbour of Aghia Galini port and afterwards to a nearby reception centre.

    Police, later acting on a tip-off, spotted a sail boat in the harbour allegedly used to transport and drop off the illegals to the islet. Two individuals were arrested.


    [33] AEK Athens coach resigns

    The AEK Athens football club on Monday announced that George Donis has resigned as head coach of the popular team, following the latest poor showing on Saturday -- a scoreless tie at home against lowly Panserraikos Serres. According to team announcement, Donis' contract with AEK was terminated by mutual consent.

    Donis, 39, was a well-known striker for Panathinaikos Athens in the 1990s before earning a transfer to Blackburn FC. He essentially finished his career at AEK.

    Nikos Kostenoglou, a former AEK football player, appears as a frontrunner to take over the coaching spot.

    Weather forecast

    [34] Storms on Tuesday

    Stormy weather with northeasterly winds are forecast in all parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 6-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 6C and 19C. Storms in Athens, with 3-5 beaufort northeasterly winds and temperatures ranging from 12C to 17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures ranging from 9C to 11C.

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

    The 35th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic students' uprising against the dictatorship in 1973 and new revelations on the Vatopedi monastery land exchange scandal dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Athens Polytechnic anniversary: Wreaths and honours, but also hooded troublemakers".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Ruling New Democracy Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis preannounces in an interview to the newspaper: Raises in EKAS (low pension benefit), farmers' pensions and unemployement benefits".

    AVRIANI: "Conspirators left uncovered and blackmailers sent to court (in Vatopedi monastery case)- Video tapes turned into smithereens the dirty plot targetting prime minister Costas Karamanlis".

    CHORA: "The financial junta is shaking - Fears of uprising by society and mass reactions".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Prime Minister attempts to reverse the bad climate".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Turkey's 'grey zone' scheme in the Aegean - Red alert over oil exploration in the Greek continental shelf ".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Red card for 4 in 10 loans - Thousands of household unable to repay the banks - Flurry of applications to banks to freeze the repayment installments".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Disgruntlement over the 28 billion euros fortification plan - FinMin Alogoskoufis targetted after European Commission decision to reject the plan".

    ESTIA: "Distrust in the the economy".

    ETHNOS: "Five ministers in a vise - Shocking testimonies pave the way to the establishment of a parliamentary preliminary examination committee".

    TA NEA: "While Europe talks about decrease in interest rates, Greek banks add surcharges".

    VRADYNI: "The documentation of the shameful dealings - Who attempted to implicate Karamnalis in the Vatopedi affair, and why".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [36] Property issue on agenda of talks by end of year, says president


    End of this year or beginning of 2009 the leaders of the two communities will start discussing the property issue at the ongoing direct negotiations, President Demetris Christofias said after Monday's meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    This issue is not easy, he pointed out, although the principles on which the two leaders should rely on are in place, as he noted. "I am sure that we will face many issues that call for a lot of discussion", he added.

    Responding to questions at the Presidential Palace, President Christofias said that the meeting went fairly well and there was a friendly exchange of views.

    Asked why there was no discussion on deadlock resolving mechanism on Monday, he said "we discussed other issues. We had agreed to consult more experts on issues relating to the judiciary".

    At Monday's meeting they discussed about independent offices, he added. The two sides put forward their positions on the issue, outlined the positions they agree on and agreed to continue the discussion at the working groups, comprising experts from both communities. "Beyond that there are issues to be discussed at the level of the leaders," he explained.

    President Christofias said that there are still issues to be discussed on this chapter.

    He said issues already placed in "the basket of differences" can be retrieved for further discussion.

    Christofias said that weekly meetings have been arranged for the next 3 to 4 weeks. The next meeting is planned for Tuesday, 25 November.

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in talks since early September, with a view to finding a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    [37] Cyprus Archbishop addresses opening ceremony of International Meeting for Peace


    Peace must be based on justice and safeguard the freedom of individuals and peoples, Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos B' has said addressing the representatives of the various religions and civilizations gathered in Cyprus for an international meeting.

    Addressing on Sunday the opening ceremony of the International Meeting for Peace "The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue", organized here by the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Saint Egidio Community, Archbishop Cyrisostomos said that religion constitutes the most spiritual aspect of human life and serves peace.

    Referring to the Cyprus question, the Archbishop said that an unjust war from Turkey, a country that is 70-100 times bigger than Cyprus resulted to the occupation of 40% of the island.

    Noting that Turkey calls its bloody intervention a "peace operation", Chrysostomos said the results of this "peace" were 200 thousand refugees, six thousand people dead and two thousand missing persons, the illegal settling of the occupied areas by 400,000 settlers, the looting and destruction of more than 500 of our churches, and hindering of free movement, settling and purchase of property in Cyprus' occupied areas.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos underlined that the fact that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriost have two different religions does not have anything to do with what happened in Cyprus.

    "We lived in peace with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots for years. And we are sure that we can coexist in the same way," he added, noting that Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is making great efforts to reach an acceptable settlement, without finding any response by the occupation force.

    Chrysostomos called on conference participants to help to the extent they can to the establishment of peace in Cyprus, through the restoration of justice and liberty.

    "Peace will be achieved if human rights are being respected in practice," he added.

    Referring to the International Meeting for Peace, Archbishop Chrysostomos expressed hope that delegates will draw some useful and applicable conclusions.

    [38] Saint Egidio founder hopes efforts to reunite Cyprus will succeed

    Founder of the Saint Egidio Community Andrea Riccardi expressed hope on Sunday evening that efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem would succeed.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Meeting for Peace ''The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue'', Riccardi said ''our ambition is to turn this wounded island into a place of encounter and dialogue within the Mediterranean Sea.''

    ''I would like to thank the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias for the warm hospitality of the Government of Cyprus. I wish it success for its initiatives fostering peace and dialogue. I wish to underline the decisive role of His Beatitude Chrysostomos, Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus, in accomplishing this event. The Church of Cyprus welcomed us with generous hospitality,'' he added.

    The meeting is taking place from November 16 to 18 and is attended by religious leaders, heads of state and representatives of different cultures and faiths, as well as intellectuals, secular scholars and journalists.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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