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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-12-09

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

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

Tuesday, 9 December 2008 Issue No: 3067

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM promises just punishment for teen's death
  • [02] Gov't says will not tolerate further incidents
  • [03] PM Karamanlis to inform president of the republic on riots
  • [04] Government on rioting, police response
  • [05] Coroner confirms that bullet killed Grigoropoulos
  • [06] Papandreou says 'enough is enough'
  • [07] KKE leader addresses rally in downtown Athens
  • [08] Alavanos tables question in parliament on teen shooting death
  • [09] SYN leader says boy's killing a 'cold-blooded execution'
  • [10] Incidents in downtown Athens, Rhodes
  • [11] High school children nationwide protest teen's killing by police
  • [12] Education minister: Secondary schools to remain closed on Tuesday
  • [13] Universities announce two-day closure over teen's shooting
  • [14] Athens suspends holiday events in mourning over 15-year-old teen's death
  • [15] Foreign minister notes 'sorrow and anger' at boy's killing
  • [16] Greek FM for strengthening of European Security, Defence Policy
  • [17] Papandreou addresses Prosecutors' Union
  • [18] Prosecutors subpoena Vatopedi case witnesses
  • [19] FinMin Alogoskoufis meets market agency representatives
  • [20] Trade unions shift Wednesday rally to Syntagma Square
  • [21] Shopowners demand greater protection from rioters
  • [22] Athens Chamber events cancelled
  • [23] EU Council of Energy Ministers
  • [24] Kalafatis visits European Investments Bank head office
  • [25] Welfare programmes for elderly, disabled get funding
  • [26] CPI figures for November
  • [27] EFET instructs recall of Irish pork
  • [28] Aegean Airline flights cancelled on Wednesday
  • [29] Greek stocks rally strongly, end 3.21 pct up
  • [30] ADEX closing report
  • [31] Greek bond market closing report
  • [32] Foreign Exchange rates: Tuesday
  • [33] Culture Minister Liapis pays tribute to the Patriarch of Russia
  • [34] Security firm former partner accused of security van holdup
  • [35] Apostolos Bakatselos' funeral held in Thesasloniki
  • [36] Serres police arrest pensioner muggers
  • [37] Athens-Piraeus Superprefecture closed in mourning for boy's death
  • [38] Fair on Tuesday
  • [39] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [40] EU Foreign Ministers call on Turkey to implement additional protocol
  • [41] Christofias:ready to show flexibility Politics

  • [01] PM promises just punishment for teen's death

    Those responsible for the death of 15-year-old Alexis Andreas Grigoropoulos will receive the punishment they deserve, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis underlined on Monday. He made the statement as Greece entered the third day of demon-strations and riots in all major cities, held in response to the death of the teenager shot dead by a police officer in Exarhia.

    In statements after a meeting with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, Karamanlis condemned extreme behaviour that destroyed the property of innocent citizens and said that he had asked Alogoskoufis to do his utmost to compensate those who suffered damages in the riots, with more specific announcements to be made in a few days.

    The premier went on to express his very deep anguish at the loss of the 15-year-old: "I know that nothing can assuage the pain; life is the supreme boon and its loss cannot be replaced".

    "Let the behaviour of all be the least tribute to the loss of Alexis," he added.

    Karamanlis repeated that the state would not tolerate any leniency in attributing blame and ensuring that those responsible received the punishment they deserved.

    He also emphasised that the state will do everything in its power to prevent such an event occurring again.

    "Everyone has a say and a part of play," the prime minister told reporters concerning the reactions of the political forces and the protests organised by Greek youth and other bodies.

    Karamanlis charged, however, that extremist elements were taking advantage of the event and were proving through their violent behaviour that their only goal was destruction. He noted that the government's obligation was to protect society as a whole, stressing that the things done in response to the tragic event could not be tolerated.

    "The state will protect the citizens," he underlined.

    [02] Gov't says will not tolerate further incidents

    Interiot Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that the govern-ment would not tolerate incidents that were taking place in various cities of the country following the killing of a 15-year old teenage youth on Saturday evening.

    Speaking to reporters after an emergency inner cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis late Monday night, Pavlopoulos said that the police, the fire fighting brigade and the entire state apparatus were functioning in order to protect citizens, their property and the quality of democracy the country has shaped.

    "We will do what we have to do and those who act as they act must bare in mind that they expose themselves and that whatever they do they do it in order to serve own intersts, which I do not wish to refer to," Pavlopoulos added.

    [03] PM Karamanlis to inform president of the republic on riots

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be meeting President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday morning to inform him of the situation prevailing in the country in the wake of riots and incidents following the killing of a 15-year boy on Saturday.

    [04] Government on rioting, police response

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, in comments on the rioting and upheaval over the weekend, on Monday said that the behaviour of certain individuals did not define the great majority of Greek citizens and stressed that the government would deal with all phenomena that occurred.

    Those resorting to acts of violence exhibited extreme behaviour and acts of violence by anyone were something to be condemned, he added

    "I condemn all forms of violence, wherever they might originate. The use of violence is not compatible with a democratic regime," the spokesman underlined.

    When asked what the government intended to do in order to protect citizens and society, he urged reporters to "wait and see".

    He repeated the government's sorrow over the death of the 15-year-old killed by a police officer in Exarhia, noting that the government has always condemned actions by men and women in the police force that were not in line with the behaviour they should have.

    "As regards the technical issues, these are the subject of an investigation that is underway and I am certain that this will lead to results," Antonaros said.

    According to the spokesman, there had been several past cases where members of the police force had been punished for acting inappropriately or wrongfully, which such behaviour had never been "rewarded" by the government.

    He rejected suggestions that much of the damage caused over the weekend could have been avoided and denied that police had been ordered not to arrest the hooded rioters running rampage throught Greek cities.

    [05] Coroner confirms that bullet killed Grigoropoulos

    The coroner that carried out the autopsy on the body of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos on Monday has confirmed that his death was the result of being shot in the chest by a fire-arm.

    Completing his examination in the presence of an expert representing the boy's family, coroner Christos Lefkidis said the boy had been hit in the chest by a bullet from a small-calibre fire-arm, which had gone through his heart and lodged in his 10th vertebrae.

    The bullet was removed and given to the police forensics service for a ballistics investigation.

    The coroner did not specify whether the bullet that killed the boy had hit him directly or as a result of a ricochet, saying that this would be answered by the ballistics report that would be released later on Monday or by Tuesday at the latest.

    Grigoropoulos was killed when a police officer opened fire following an altercation with a group of youths in the Athens district of Exarhia.

    [06] Papandreou says 'enough is enough'

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou commented on Monday on the killing of a 15-year-old boy by police on Saturday night, saying that "enough is enough" and that this phrase "is on the lips of all Greeks."

    Papandreou used the same expression while referring to the government, which he accused of refusing to assume its responsibilities, claiming that the government was only occupied "with its own interests and does not protect citizens and their property."

    The PASOK leader also appealed to citizens to participate in a peaceful rally "against violence without violence, in every corner of Greece, pray for young Alexandros and unite their forces for hope, peace, justice and humanity."

    Accusing the government of "failing to realise the real problems" and that the "only thing that it is guaranteeing is a worse tomorrow," Papandreou assessed that statements made on Monday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis fell short of what must be done, stressing that it is not enough for one to speak of the self-evident application of justice and of the restoration of damage for those who have lost their property.

    The PASOK leader further said that "it is time for a different conception of governance and for a new mentality to enable the younger generation and society in its entirety to realise that the state will prove in practice that it cares about the citizens and their rights."

    Papandreou added that one should categorically reject the conception of force and of arbitrariness from wherever it may come from and that responsibility primarily lies with the state in this respect.

    He also addressed a letter of condolences to the boy's family, expressing his profound sorrow over the loss of the young pupil and stressing that his death causes indignation and anger and places all before their responsibilities.

    Papandreou will be chairing a meeting of PASOK's Parliamentary Group in Parliament at noon on Tuesday.

    [07] KKE leader addresses rally in downtown Athens

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga addressed a party rally in downtown Omonia Square on Monday evening, referring to the death of a 15-year boy in the capital over the weekend.

    "The death of Alexander is murder, it is neither an isolated nor a chance event," she said, adding that it is "the event of a death announced in advance, by state force and suppression, from a policy that sees the people as an enemy when they claim, that hates the strike and the demonstration, the sitin and the struggling forms of contesting."

    Papariga expressed indignation "when the PASOK and the New Democracy parties are trying to offset between them, the dead through force. It is of no importance if during PASOK's governance one or two demonstrators met with death and more during ND's governance. What is of importance is that they are using force, Legislative Content Acts, betrayal, extortion, to crush the organised movement, as well as the spontaneous struggler."

    Papariga also demanded the abolition of anti-terrorist laws voted by PASOK and New Democracy governments.

    [08] Alavanos tables question in parliament on teen shooting death

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader Alekos Alavanos on Monday tabled a current question in parliament on the "cold-blooded murder" of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos by Athens police.

    Alavanos stressed in the question addressed to Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos that the shooting death of the young boy calls for the exemplary punishment of those guilty of the crime and of those who are responsible for the uncontrollable growth of police disregard for the law. He also asked the interior minister to outline the measures he intended in order to encourage tolerance and democratic behavior in the police force.

    [09] SYN leader says boy's killing a 'cold-blooded execution'

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday said that the killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos at the hands of police was "a murder" that concerned all Greeks.

    "For two days now the country has been swept by an unprecedented flood of fury and outrage that has inundated roads, squares, schools and colleges," he stressed.

    Tsipras underlined that the prime minister bore "grave responsibility" for the events but had instead refused to accept the resignations of the ministers responsible and chosen to adopt the interpretation of an 'isolated event' while barricading himself behind smashed shop windows. According to Tsipras, the spontaneous demonstrations reflected what was "now on the lips of every thinking democratic citizen: this cannot go on."

    "Until now, we knew that to be young and to doubt, to be young and to dream, was a grave offence in this country. We now learn that this offence may be punished by the taking of life itself," he said.

    SYN's leader also noted that the violence seen during the demonstrations, while not reflecting his party, could not be lumped together and traded off against a "cold blooded execution".

    [10] Incidents in downtown Athens, Rhodes

    Firemen were continuing their efforts to extinguish fires burning in downtown Athens late on Monday night, following arson attacks carried out by anti-establishment groups.

    A fire was still raging at the offices of the Athens Bar Association, while another fire was reported at the intersection of Sina and Academias streets, in a building housing a mattresses store on the ground floor and lawyers' offices on other floors.

    Other fires broke out at a hotel located at the intersection of Solonos and Benaki streets, as well as at a book storehouse at the intrersection of Koleti and Benaki streets.

    An apartment building was also set ablaze in Syngrou avenue.

    The fire brigade was also alerted to extinguish a fire at the National Library, but the fire had ultimately been started outside the building.

    Earlier, large scale riots had erupted in downtown Athens, where the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) had organised separate rallies.

    Hooded youths who infiltrated the rally on the Athens University campus had started fires and caused extensive damage to shops located in Panepistimiou street. Among them were the REX theatre and the Titania hotel, while the "Grigoris" shop at the intersection of Panepistimiou and Harilaou Trikoupi streets was destroyed completely. Police forces "responded" with the use of tear gas.

    In another development, eight policemen including the Dodecannese police chief Ioannis Mesodiakakis were injured during incidents that took place in the city of Rhodes at noon, during the pupils' rally.

    The injured policemen were taken to the city's hospital for treatment, while an announcement by the police revealed that five people were taken to the Rhodes Police precinct with one of them, a 23-year-old student, being arrested and the rest being released.

    [11] High school children nationwide protest teen's killing by police

    High school children throughout the country took to the streets in protest on Monday, holding marches and demonstrations over the killing of a 15-year-old boy by police on Saturday night. Many also boycotted classes as a sign of protest over the events over the weekend.

    Reports of protest action organised in schools were coming in from all parts of Greece, while several demonstrations were marked by high tension and one in central Trikala led to scuffles with police in which one student and four policemen were injured, while nine protesting highschool students were brought in for questioning.

    Violence was also reported from the city of Iraklio on Crete, when a march by school children was infiltrated by members of far-left, anti-establishment groups that attacked the local prefecture building with stones and other objects. They then turned their attention to a camera crew, two media vehicles covering the events and policemen in the area and started lobbing stones through shop windows.

    Minor damage to shop windows and banks was also caused by a march held in the centre of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki by university students and highschool students together, while separate marches were also organised by schools in several districts of the city and the surrounding regions. Dozens of schools in Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia had been taken over by pupils or had boycotted classes.

    Reports from Rhodes said the police resorted to using tear gas after groups of protestors taking part in a morning rally by highschool students attacked the Rhodes police station, creating confusion in the centre of the town.

    Violent incidents were also reported from the port of Piraeus when some 300 youths gathered outside the police headquarters and set fire to police motorcycles and patrol cars parked outside, destroying seven motorcycles and 10 police cars.

    In other cities - such as Ioannina, Hania, several schools in Athens and the surrounding suburbs and even in faraway Paphos on Cyprus - highschoolers took to the streets without incident, bearing makeshift signs protesting against the killing of the slain teenager that they had prepared in their schools the same morning.

    Earlier on Monday, the education ministry announced that all high schools around the country will be closed on Tuesday.

    [12] Education minister: Secondary schools to remain closed on Tuesday

    Education minister Evrypides Stylianidis on Monday announced that the operation of all secondary schools throughout the country would be suspended on Tuesday, in the aftermath of rioting in several parts of the country over the shooting death of a 15-year-old youth by police in the Athens district of Exarhia on Saturday night after a run-in between a police patrol car and a group of stone-throwing anti-establishment youths.

    Stylianidis expressed the ministry leadership's deep grief over the "tragic loss" of the 15-year-old pupil's life "under conditions that wound the quality of our democracy", and expressed deep condolences to the boy's family.

    [13] Universities announce two-day closure over teen's shooting

    The university of Athens and two higher education institutes in Thessaloniki on Monday announced that they will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday, as a protest and sign of mourning over the 15-year-old shot dead by a police officer in Exarhia on Saturday.

    An Athens university announcement expressed deepest sorrow and anguish over the "events that resulted in the tragic and unjust death of a young person". It appealed to all members of the academic community to "demonstrate wisdom, self-restraint and active dedication to democratic principles, human rights and values and the traditions of the oldest state university of the country".

    Similar announcements were issued by Macedonia University and the Thessaloniki Technical Educational Institute, while Thessaloniki's Aristotelian University voted during an emergency session of the rector's council to keep the university open but suspend all teaching and research during the funeral held for the unlucky teenager.

    The announcement also condemned the acts leading to the boy's death as "cowardly" and called the academic community to "be vigilant".

    Student unions are currently holding general meetings to decide on protest take-overs in response to the boy's shooting, while rallies are being planned to coincide with the funeral. Leftist students are continuing an occupation of the Thessaloniki Bar Association begun on Sunday, which they intend to use as a press office to inform the public on events linked to the teen's killing.

    [14] Athens suspends holiday events in mourning over 15-year-old teen's death

    The City of Athens on Monday suspended all its holiday events in mourning over the death of a 16-year-old pupil in a facas with police on Saturday night in the Exarhia district of the capital.

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis expressed his personal condolences and on behalf of the entire Municipal Council, announcing that all municipal holiday events scheduled and the holiday lighting of the city's central squares and monuments has been suspended until further notice.

    Kaklamanis further expresed his deep sorrow over the violence that once again beleaguered the city's commercial center and economic life of Athens, which he said further burdened the psychology of the market and the worries of the working people.

    The Mayor assured shopowners and residents whose properties suffered damages in the riots that ensued after the youth's death that the municipal services will assist in the efforts to restore the conditions for the speediest possible return to normality demanded by the majority of Athenians hit by the global financial crisis.

    In that direction, Kaklamanis said that he would recommend to the Municipal Council that the merchant shops that suffered damages be excluded from the corresponding municipal taxes in 2009.

    [15] Foreign minister notes 'sorrow and anger' at boy's killing

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - M. Aroni)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday expressed sorrow, grief and anger at the death of 15-year-old boy Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was shot dead by a police officer in Exarhia on Saturday. His death triggered a wave of the worst rioting seen in Greece for decades.

    "The thoughts and prayers of everyone, I believe, are with his parents, his family and his friends. I have no doubt that the punishment for those guilty of this criminal behaviour will be fitting, in other words stern and exemplary," she said.

    The minister condemned the violence seen during the protests of the past three days, as a result of the shooting.

    "Nothing can justify social violence, the clashes, the torchings, the destruction of property. None of these things reflect the common desire for justice. On the contrary, I believe that they harm society as a whole during an extremely difficult time. In a democracy, no one is above the law, no one has a right to immunity, whether they wear a uniform or a hood. We all have the same rights. Demonstrators, shop owners, employees, police officers. Democracy cannot tolerate raw violence and lawlessness, wherever this might originate. And I believe this concerns us all," she said.

    [16] Greek FM for strengthening of European Security, Defence Policy

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking shortly after the European Union's Council of Foreign Ministers here on Monday, stressed the need for strengthening the European Security and Defence Policy, as well as respect for the EU's autonomy regarding the adoption of decisions.

    "The continuous strengthening of the European Security and Defence Policy, both political and operational, has always been Greece's steadfast option and pursuit," Bakoyannis said, adding that the fundamental principle of autonomy in the taking of the EU's decisions, on which the EU can and must boost its cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance, must be respected.

    The foreign minister noted that Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are underlining the need for cooperation in the Black Sea, on the occasion of the Commission's announcement on the EU's Eastern dimension.

    "Being members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and of the EU the three countries underlined the need for all the EU's initiatives in the region to be workable and coordinated and not to lead to coverups with the successful bodies already existing," the foreign minister further said and added that Greece has promoted cooperations in the Black Sea decisively and will continue to show the same interest in a very important region, both economically and politically.

    Asked about Greece's participation in operations against pirates in Somalia, Bakoyannis said that being a big maritime force it was impossible for Greece not to be a part of an effort by the international community to combat piracy.

    She went on to say that Greece has assumed the responsibility of a leading force in this region and will participate in the force under the UN with a frigate with 130 men and a helicopter.

    However, she pointed out that certain "open issues" and problems still remain that the international community and Europe are facing, and which have been raised for discussion, such as where will pirates be taken in the event that they are arrested, which court will try them, etc.

    The handling of the economic and monetary crisis and achieving an agreement on the package on energy and the climate, in light of the European Council on December 11-12, were the main issues examined by the EU's Council of Foreign Ministers. Also discussed were the course of the mission of the EU and EULEX in Kosovo, as well as developments in the Congo.

    [17] Papandreou addresses Prosecutors' Union

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Monday termed Justice the shield of Democracy in an address at the 24the congress of the Prosecutors' Union of Greece on Sunday, and called for a common effort to restore the Greek people's confidence in the democratic institutions and the consolidation of a state of justice and dignity and respect of each other's distinct role in the function of the institutions and their mutual checks and balances.

    He also underlined the need to oppose cover-up, corruption and collusion by serving as forces of revelation, in which battle the judicial functionaries have front-line position and respon-sibility.

    "We cannot be passive in the face of an ever-growing certainty of general umpunity, the belief that nobody is punished today in Greece and especially those who have political, financial or media power, the conviction of a general lawlessness, that there are no rules that are being adhered to. Responsibility has two sides: Pay and Reward. And when there is no responsibility, there is no meritocracy," stressed Papandreou.

    Papandreou specifically reffered to Justice's independence and the judges' role, and accused the government of attemtping to manipulate the judicial functionaries.

    [18] Prosecutors subpoena Vatopedi case witnesses

    Private individuals implicated in the Vatopedi Monastery land swap scandal were on Monday being subpoenaed to testify as suspects facing felony fraud charges.

    Appellate Court Prosecutors Efstathia Spyropoulou and Pantelis Stragalis, who are in charge of the case, have subpoenaed 27 individuals. Sixteen of them are members of the Legal Council of the State while the remaining 11 are members of the Public Land and Exchangeable Property councils.

    The first nine witnesses will appear before the prosecutors on Thursday, while testimonies will also be heard on Friday and Monday.

    Over 50 individuals are expected to be subpoenaed to testify on the case.

    Financial News

    [19] FinMin Alogoskoufis meets market agency representatives

    Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis met on Monday with market agency representatives, who briefed him on damage caused to department stores and other shops throughout Greece.

    The meeting took place in the framework of the government's decision to have citizens whose property has been destroyed or damaged to be compensated immediately and in full. Relevant announcements will be made in the coming days.

    The meeting was attended, among others, by Athens Trade Society President Panagis Karellas and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Constantine Mihalos.

    [20] Trade unions shift Wednesday rally to Syntagma Square

    The two largest umbrella trade union groups in the country, the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) representing the private sector and the Supreme Administration of Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY), on Monday announced that they would alter the programme of their strike mobilizations on December 10 taking under consideration the conditions created following the death of a 15-year-old boy in Athens.

    As a result, a protest rally initially scheduled to take place in Pedion tou Areos, within the framework of the strike action against unemployment, will be held in Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament Building.

    ADEDY has also decided to support the teachers' rallies scheduled for Tuesday with a work stoppage from 12pm until the end of the shift effective in all public sector agencies, in cities where striking teachers will hold demonstrations.

    [21] Shopowners demand greater protection from rioters

    The Athens Traders Association (ATA) on Monday accused opposition parties and members of the government of capitalizing on the events that followed the death of a teenager at the hands of police on Saturday, calling for the postponement of scheduled mobilizations for "some other time".

    ATA President Panagis Karellas stressed that the postponement was necessary because demonstrations were regularly infiltrated by groups of self-styled anarchists, who over the past 30 years had made their demands by causing extensive material damage.

    He also stated that a total of 130 private businesses in downtown Athens have been damaged, and about four or five completely destroyed, while pointing out the need for a dialogue to avoid having such incidents repeated again.

    Meanwhile, the Hellenic Retail Business Association (SELPE) expressed deep regret for the loss of the young boy and extended its condolences to the victim's family, stressing the need for a dialogue that will lead to the adoption of measures for the protection of local merchants.

    SELPE condemned the unprecedented violent incidents in downtown Athens, and a number of other major cities, and accused the government of displaying tolerance, while calling for the immediate compensation of all private businesses that were damaged as a result.

    [22] Athens Chamber events cancelled

    The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday announced that it was cancelling all events planned that week, including the presentation of awards for students and school pupils on Wednesday, as a result of the upheaval of the last few days in Athens after a teenager was shot dead by police in Exarhia.

    [23] EU Council of Energy Ministers

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)

    Development Minister Christos Folias stressed the need at the European Union's Council of Energy Ministers here on Monday for the carrying out of investments concerning energy infrastructures.

    According to Folias, these infrastructures that lie at the heart of the real economy and investments that have been scheduled must be implemented without even one euro being lost, or even a day from their implementation.

    The minister further said that priority must be given in accordance with the progress of every pipeline, based on the principles of the guaranteed supply and security of the energy product.

    Folias also noted that there are no competing pipelines, but only supplementary ones, while priority is also given to renewable energy sources.

    [24] Kalafatis visits European Investments Bank head office

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    Deputy Development Minister Stavros Kalafatis visited the head office of the European Investments Bank and met with its vice president Plutarchos Sakellaris, while a discussion he had in Luxembourg on Monday focused on utilising possibilities of funding small businesses.

    According to a relevant announcement, the discussion concerned all production sectors, particularly high technology and innovation businesses.

    The deputy minister pointed out during the meeting that the transition to an economy based on knowledge is a primary goal for the Greek government, adding that for the time being Greece is implementing a programme to boost its competitiveness on the basis of innovatioin and entrepreneurship, that represents public expenditure amounting to 3.2 billion euros.

    Sakellaris said on his part that "I am very pleased because the visit by Deputy Minister Mr. Kalafatis signals the strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the European Investments Bank and the Greek authorities on supporting the private sector, and the small and medium-size enterprises in particular, in Greece."

    [25] Welfare programmes for elderly, disabled get funding

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Deputy Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou on Monday said that they had signed a ministerial decision that released 25.8 million euros to fund the "Help at Home" programme and other welfare programmes for the elderly and disabled.

    [26] CPI figures for November

    The General Consumer Price Index (GCPI) in November rose by 2.9 percentage points over November 2007, according to figures released on Monday by the national statistics service ESYE.

    The index posted a 0.3 percentage point reduction in November over the preceding month of October, against a 0.7 percentage point rise over the corresponding period in 2008.

    According to ESYE secretary general Manolis Kontopyrakis, the de-escalation of inflation is due to the decrease in petrol by 10.2 percent, a 13 percent reduction in the price of heating oil, and the continuing containment and/or reduction of prices in supermarkets.

    He further said that the GCPI, in the 11-month period January-November, was running at a mean level of 4.35 percent against 2.78 percent in the corresponding period in 2007.

    Also, the Harmonized Consumer Price Index had dropped to 3 percent in November from 4 percent in October, and against 3.9 percent in November 2007.

    Finally, the Core Consumer Price Index (core inflation) was running at 3.4 percent in November from 3.5 percent in October, and against 3.3 percent in November 2007.

    [27] EFET instructs recall of Irish pork

    The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) on Monday called for the withdrawal of all pork meat and by-products originating from Ireland, in the context of its collaboration with the European Commission and the relevant Irish authorities following briefing on Monday of the existence of dioxins in port originating from Ireland and the ecall of all Irish pork in Ireland with slaughter dates from September onward.

    In an announcement, EFET called on "every company that prospectively markets pork meat or pork products originating from Ireland to immedately withdraw those products" to enble conduction of the required testing and to inform EFET and the consumers.

    EFET further called on consumers to refrain from consuming pork or pork products (such as bacon) originating from Ireland, as a precautionary measure.

    EFET said it has commenced the relevant inspections, while all businesses involved in meat and meat product production and marketing have been informed, while there would be further announcements for the public if deemed necessary.

    [28] Aegean Airline flights cancelled on Wednesday

    Aegean Airlines on Monday announced that all its flights on Wednesday are cancelled due to a 24-hour strike by air traffic controllers on December 10.

    [29] Greek stocks rally strongly, end 3.21 pct up

    Greek stocks rallied strongly on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, following a similar trend in international markets. The composite index shot up 3.21 pct to end at 1,845.91 points, with turnover at 114.1 million euros, of which 9.3 million euros were block trades.

    The majority sectors closed higher, with the biggest gains in Travel-Leisure ( up 5.45 pct), Construction (up 4.90 pct) and Telecommunications (up 4.78 pct); The greatest losses, conversely, were in Public Utilities (down 0.52 pct), Technology (down 0.05 pct) and Industrials (0.01 pct).

    The FTSE 20 index rose 3.68 pct, the FTSE 40 index rose 1.69 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 1.26 pct up. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 160 to 61 with another 37 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +2.13%

    Industrials: -0.01%

    Commercial: +0.38%

    Construction: +4.90%

    Media: +2.68%

    Oil & Gas: +3.71%

    Personal & Household: +2.04%

    Raw Materials: +3.01%

    Travel & Leisure: +5.45%

    Technology: -0.05%

    Telecoms: +4.78%

    Banks: +3.14%

    Food & Beverages: +1.78%

    Health: +1.65%

    Utilities: -0.52%

    Chemicals: +2.58%

    Financial Services: +3.89%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Alapis and OTE.

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

    Alpha Bank: 6.80

    ATEbank: 1.54

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.16

    HBC Coca Cola: 10.86

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.60

    National Bank of Greece: 14.30

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 6.02

    Intralot: 3.18

    OPAP: 20.46

    OTE: 12.28

    Bank of Piraeus: 6.60

    Titan Cement Company: 12.48

    [30] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover amounting to 44.102 million euros. The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 0.69 pct, while the volume was 7,686 contracts worth 36.572 million euros, with 31,996 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 8,820 contracts worth 7.288 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (1,505) followed by Alpha Bank (1,340), Intralot (816), OTE (731), OPAP (464) and PPC (413).

    [31] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market eased to 260 million euros on Tuesday, of which 190 million were buy orders and the remaining 70 million euros were sell orders.

    The 5-year benchmark bond (August 20, 2012) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 80 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 1,70 per cent, with the Greek bond yielding 4.79 pct and the German Bund 3.09 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month Euribor rate was 3.66 pct, the six-month rate 3.56 pct, the three-month rate 3.48 pct and the one-month rate 3.15 pct.

    [32] Foreign Exchange rates: Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.295

    Pound sterling 0.872

    Danish kroner 7.509

    Swedish kroner 10.498

    Japanese yen 121.06

    Swiss franc 1.571

    Norwegian kroner 9.2

    Canadian dollar 1.619

    Australian dollar 1.953

    General News

    [33] Culture Minister Liapis pays tribute to the Patriarch of Russia

    Moscow (ANA-MPA / Th. Avgerinos)

    Culture Minister Michalis Liapis was among the first foreign dignitaries to arrive at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in the Russian capital to pay tribute to Patriarch Alexiy II whose body lies in state.

    Liapis extended the condolences of the Greek government to the Russian people for their loss and speaking to reporters stated that the late Patriarch "was a genuine friend of Greece, a great hierarch, a religious and spiritual leader, a wise and holy man". He also stressed that the deceased had contributed to the "restoration of the religious sentiment of the Russian people after the breakup of the USSR, strengthened the democratic institutions and assisted the dialogue among the Churches".

    The Culture minister is in Moscow on a formal visit and on Tuesday he will attend the Patriarch's funeral representing the Greek government.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who will officiate the memorial service, arrives in Moscow later on Monday.

    Patriarch Daniel of Romania, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, Metropolitan Amfilochios of Montenegro and Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia are among the hierarchs expected to attend the funeral while the head of the Georgian Church Elias II was the first to arrive in the Russian capital.

    The Patriarch of Russia will be buried at the Epiphany Cathedral in the center of Moscow.

    [34] Security firm former partner accused of security van holdup

    A security van belonging to a private security firm was the target of a robbery committed by a former partner in the firm, a 44-year-old father of two, who was arrested on Sunday. He told police that he turned robber because he was facing serious financial problems.

    The holdup took place on a provincial road between Serres and Kilkis, northern Greece, while the security van was on its way to a bank branch in Rodopolis.

    The suspect was a friend of the driver's and set up a meeting with him on the pretext that he intended to pay back the sum of 10,000 euros he owed him. Instead, he opened fire and in the struggle that followed he stabbed him in the chest.

    The culprit took off with 200,000 euros when he realized that police were on the way.

    He sought refuge in remote regions around Mt Kerkini but, lacking any means of survival, was forced to leave his hideout and was arrested while carrying a sack with the money he stole.

    [35] Apostolos Bakatselos' funeral held in Thesasloniki

    The funeral of Apostolos Bakatselos, one of the leading business figures in Thessaloniki, was held Monday in the northern Greek port city.

    A distinguished businessman in the sector of sanitary ware, he served for a number of years as Thessaloniki Commerce and Industry Chamber (TCCI) vice-president and alternate president as well as Greek Red Cross Thessaloniki Division president.

    He was born in Ellinokastro, Karditsa Prefecture, in 1915. He studied Law at Thessaloniki's Aristotle University.

    [36] Serres police arrest pensioner muggers

    Police in Serres on Monday announced the arrest of two Romanian nationals that were part of a gang of robber preying on old-age pensioners.

    They said the pair belonged to a gang of four men that used rented cars to drive to Serres from Thessaloniki, where they would lie in wait for pensioners coming to withdraw money from ATMs and then mug them as they left.

    The two have been remanded in custody, while police are now looking for their two accomplices.

    [37] Athens-Piraeus Superprefecture closed in mourning for boy's death

    Athens-Piraeus Superprefecture services will be closed to the public between noon and 14:00 on Tuesday, as a sign of protest and mourning over the shooting death of 15-year-old highschool student Alexis Grigoropoulos at the hands of police in Exarhia on Saturday.

    Weather Forecast

    [38] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair weather and northwesterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -1C and 15C. Fair in Athens, with northwesterly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 5C to 13C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 1C to 8C.

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

    The riots in Athens and a handful of other Greek cities that erupted after the shooting death of a 15-year-old teen by a policeman on Saturday dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Shock, sorrow and questions prevailing over the death of the 15 year old pupil in downtown Athens - The perpertrators will be punished severely".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Hell! Self-styled anti-state general uprise throughout Greece".

    AVRIANI: "All the parties must sit round a table and take serious decisions - People, shop owners and the entire city of Athens can no longer suffer this situation".

    CHORA: "Rage and fire - Greece on fire - The murder of the 15 year old teen was the fuse for the uprise"

    ELEFTHEROS: "Anarchists' most spectacular show of power - In coordinated action, they set on fire and destroyed everything in Athens and Thessaloniki".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Crime, terror and violence between two worlds".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Crime and uprise - Police officer, without cause, murdered a 15 year old teen in downtown Athens".

    ESTIA: "Government's major responsibilities for the damages - The state could have stopped the clashes".

    ETHNOS: "They shot down the serenity in cold blood - Peril of social uprising after the killing of a 15 year old boy".

    TA NEA: "Murder in cold blood - President of Republic Karolos Papoulias states: Wound to democracy".

    VRADYNI: "Black page for the Greek Police - According to eye witnesses a policeman killed in cold blood a 15 year old pupil - Chaos in Athens and major Greek cities".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [40] EU Foreign Ministers call on Turkey to implement additional protocol

    BRUSSELS (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    The EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed their regret on Monday for Turkey's failure to implement the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and called on Ankara to take urgent measures in that direction and to normalise its relationship with the Republic of Cyprus.

    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou expressed his total satisfaction for the conclusions regarding EU enlargement, approved by the General Affairs Council, and congratulated the French presidency for managing to present such a balanced text.

    The conclusions point out the necessity to fulfill all criteria and note that every candidate country is assessed on its own performance.

    They add that the progress rate of negotiations depended on the rate of reforms and harmonisation with the acquis communautaire.

    Regarding Cyprus, Kyprianou said that ''the references in the text satisfy us and are fortified compared to previous conclusions.''

    He added that the Council expresses regret because Turkey has not yet met its obligations regarding the full and without discrimination implementation of the additional protocol and because no progress has been made in the normalisation of its relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. The 27 EU members point out that they expect urgent progress on behalf of Turkey on these issues.

    The Council will continue to monitor and assess Turkey's progress on the issues included in the EU Statement of 21 September 2005, based on the Council Conclusions of December 2006, Kyprianou said.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Kyprianou described as especially satisfactory the references for the urgent fulfillment of Turkey's obligations and the just solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

    The Council expects Turkey to actively support the negotiating process aiming at a just, comprehensive and viable settlement, based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles. The reference to UN Security Council resolutions is especially important, since it leaves no room for misinterpretation of the form of the solution.

    Turkey is also called on to take specific measures in order to establish a positive climate for the progress of the negotiations.

    Kyprianou said another important factor was the Council's encouragement towards Turkey to avoid any threat, friction or action that may adversely affect the good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of differences. This, he pointed out, was significant for Cyprus, given the recent provocative actions by Turkey in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.

    Regarding Turkey's EU accession course, the Council expresses disappointment over the fact that in 2008 limited reforms took place, and calls on Turkey to step up the process, especially in the sectors of human rights, with special reference to women's rights, and freedom of expression and religion.

    Concluding his remarks, Kyprianou said that the opening and temporary closing of negotiating chapters occurred according to the existing procedures and the December 2006 Conclusions, which explicitly determine what must precede the closing of any chapter for Turkey, namely that Turkey must fully and without discrimination meet its obligations emanating from the additional protocol and must lift the restrictions against the Republic of Cyprus.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have been engaged in direct negotiations since early September, with a view to reach a mutually acceptable settlement that will reunite the island.

    [41] Christofias:ready to show flexibility

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said that that Greek Cypriot side is ready to show the necessary flexibility with a view to creating the necessary preconditions that will lead to a mutually accepted settlement of the Cyprus question.

    He also said that he is "determined to defend principles and values which are internationally safeguarded."

    "We do not compromise with division or the notion of the existence of two peoples on the island and no one has the moral right for such compromises", Christofias stressed, adding that direct negotiations on the Cyprus question which began on September 3 this year opened a window of hope.

    "We have proved internationally our sincere intention and political will to reunite our country," he said, noting that "we refuse to compromise with unacceptable and new given solutions."

    Cyprus President said that "we remain firm on our principles, on a settlement that will end Turkey's occupation and terminate illegal immigration by Turkish settlers, a solution which will restore and safeguard human rights and the fundamental freedoms of the people, including the right of the refugees to return to their homes and properties."

    Christofias noted that "we expect that the other side will also show the same spirit of cooperation÷, adding that ’we stand at the beginning of a difficult effort."

    "Based on our long-standing and friendly relations with Mehmet Ali Talat (Turkish Cypriot leader) and the Republican Turkish Party, we expected a more optimistic course at the negotiations. But we are not disappointed. With prudence, political maturity and defending principles we will struggle for a settlement that will come from the Cypriots -Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots- and serve only the interests of the Cypriot people," he added.

    Christofias reiterated that "we are struggling for a settlement on the basis on UN resolutions for Cyprus, a settlement that will provide for the demilitarization of a United Federal Republic of Cyprus, with a single and undivided sovereignty, an international personality, a single citizenship and political equality, as provided by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and a settlement that will certainly abide by EU principles and values."

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Christofias and Talat have been engaged in talks since September to find a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite the country.

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


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