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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-12-10

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

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

Wednesday, 10 December 2008 Issue No: 3068

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis calls for national unity against violence
  • [02] Greek leadership convenes in wake of unprecedented urban riots
  • [03] Papandreou: Gov't has lost people's confidence
  • [04] Premier Karamanlis informs House president on incidents
  • [05] PM requests cancellation of rallies
  • [06] Gov't spokesman: No thought of taking emergency measures
  • [07] Ministers examine compensation for destroyed business premises
  • [08] Athens to offer fee exception
  • [09] Thousands at slain teen's funeral
  • [10] PASOK party organises silent protest in Peristeri
  • [11] Demonstrations over teen's death continue on Tuesday
  • [12] Damages assessed after violence
  • [13] Noted attorney assumes defence of officers charged in teen's death
  • [14] Government must go, Papandreou says
  • [15] KKE leader on Wednesday's strike, latest developments
  • [16] French FM stresses need for agreement between FYROM, Greece on name issue
  • [17] National Bank of Greece announces measures for damaged businesses
  • [18] Cost of borrowing up in 2008, Bank of Greece reports
  • [19] Financing programme approved by PPC
  • [20] Greek stocks hold ground on Tuesday
  • [21] ADEX closing report
  • [22] Greek bond market closing report
  • [23] Foreign Exchange rates: Wednesday
  • [24] Exhibition on women in ancient Athens inauguration, Onassis Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary
  • [25] Scientific symposium on expatriates and voting rights
  • [26] Panathinaikos beats Anorthosis 1-0
  • [27] Cloudy on Wednesday
  • [28] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [29] Foreign Minister satisfied with GAERC conclusions on Turkey Politics

  • [01] PM Karamanlis calls for national unity against violence

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, commenting in a statement on Tuesday night on ongoing riots and incidents in the country, stressed that "those who create disturbances and vandalism are enemies of democracy" and added that he made this position clear in successive meetings he held with the President of the Republic, party leaders and the Parliament President earlier in the day.

    "National unity and the shielding of the democratic form of government from the violence of extremist groups is the duty of all of us at this moment," the prime minister said and called on party leaders to condemn these acts unequivocally.

    "It is the responsibility both of the government and of the political forces in their entirety to achieve the social and political isolation of the elements of violence, lawlessness, of undemocratic behaviour," Karamanlis said.

    He further said that he requested from the trade union organisations to postpone Wednesday's rallies, "because the possibility exists of extremist groups exploiting the struggles of the working people with the purpose of continuing their violent actions."

    "The struggles of the working people, or the unjust death of a youth cannot be confused with actions that are directed against the security of the citizens, against society and democracy," Karamanlis went on to say.

    He said that political differences between parties are legitimate and respected, but added that "we must all observe a joint stance against illegal acts. We must condemn unequivocally and with clear speech and not with half words the looting, vandalism and the disruption of social peace that is being attempted by these groups."

    Karamanlis said that unity in isolating extremist elements is the responsibility and duty of all and stressed that he personally will not be following party conflicts.

    "Generalisations and levelling aphorisms in the name of democracy deal a blow at democracy itself," the prime minister said and concluded by saying that the government is handling the situation with responsibility and calmness, but with determination and with the focal criterion being protecting human life, securing legality and restoring the feeling of security.

    [02] Greek leadership convenes in wake of unprecedented urban riots

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday morning briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the situation prevailing following three nights of extensive violence and destruction in central Athens and other cities throughout the country during riots sparked by the shooting death of a 15-year-old pupil by police on Saturday.

    Karamanlis told reporters after the meeting that he had assured the president that there would be no lenience in the attribution of responsibilities, but warned that no one has the right to exploit the tragic incident as an alibi for actions of blatant violence against innocent civilians, property and society and, in the bottom line, against democracy itself

    In these critical hours, the prime minister stressed, it was the obligation of the political world to unanimously condemn the incidents, adding that this was mandated by the democratic duty of everyone.

    Karamanlis was scheduled to hold similar briefings with the political party leaders throughout the day.

    On his part, Papoulias called for faith in the institutions and the law, in a stated issued on the day of the funeral of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos.

    Papoulias called on everyone to honor the teen's memory, peacefully.

    "Today, the day of Alexis Grigoropoulos' funeral, is a day of mourning. His murder deeply wounded our democracy. The preceding days brought to everyone's mind a big 'why'. If our society does not give a convincing answer, giving solutions, the wounds will remain open. But in its response, we must persist with respect on the institutions and the laws. As a member of the generation that lived difficult years in our history, I call on everyone to honor Alexis' memory peacefully," the president said.

    [03] Papandreou: Gov't has lost people's confidence

    "The country lacks a government capable of protecting the citizen and his rights and security," main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said on Tuesday after a meeting Karamanlis.

    The PASOK leader said the government has lost the confidence of the Greek people, adding that he told Karamanlis that citizens were suffering from a multiple crisis, "an economic crisis, a social crisis, a crisis of the institutions, a crisis of values," which the government was unable to confront.

    PASOK, he said, as the main opposition party today and as the future government tomorrow, guaranteed a just state that would protect the rights of the Greek people.

    Everyone shared the young generation's indignation and rage over the death of 15-year-old Alexandros, Papandreou said, but added that this rage was not identified with the scenes of violence of the past few days, "which we condemn".

    Papandreou called for a joint campaign against violence, for a humane society.

    "In every democracy, there are no dead-ends. The people will give the solution," he added.

    KKE

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) believes that there is a "way out" of the crisis, party leader Aleka Papariga said on Tuesday, speaking to reporters after a meeting with Karamanlis. She called on working people, particularly those who in recent years have withdrawn from an active interest in politics, to organise themselves into unions and in workplaces ... "because a major storm is ahead of us".

    Papariga was briefed by the premier in the aftermath of three nights of rioting in Athens and other cities across the country that erupted after the shooting death of Grigoropoulos.

    The KKE secretary general said her party does not "identify the justified rage and indignation over the death of the young pupil with the hard-core of hooded individuals", noting that the nucleus of the self-styled anarchist groups have emerged from within the state authority and was useful for slandering and breaking the popular movement. "I don't know if they've become something like the Taliban, in other words are out of control," she added.

    On a KKE-organized protest rally over the teen's death on Monday night, Papariga said that an attempt was made of involvement with the hooded individuals "but they did not succeed", referring to an attempted attack against the Thessaloniki offices of the KKE parliamentary group in the city centre by a group of hooded anti-establishment youths who had broken off from the main demonstration, but were averted from entering the premises by party members and friends who were guarding the building.

    Papariga also called on the rival Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary alliance to stop "caressing the ears of the hooded individuals ... looking ahead to elections, cushions or chairs (positions)", although she clarified that she does not identify SYRIZA's leadership with the hooded rioters.

    Questioned on the prospect of early elections, Papariga said that if and when elections are held, they should result from a rise in the class struggle, because "if they take place under conditions of violence and suppression, not much will come out of them".

    She further warned that many times a chance incident can be exploited by "various circles", referring to the 15-year-old's death, and clarified that the killing had not been premeditated, but also noting that "the training of the police forces is not at all incidental".

    SYRIZA

    Greece was up against a new social uprising by its youth, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos said on Tuesday after also meeting with Prime Minister Karamanlis.

    He stressed that the situation could not be answered with greater authoritarianism but demanded political solutions to address the problems of young people.

    "New Democracy's policy is the policy of fire," Alavanos said in criticism of the government's stance, noting that it was now unable to put out fires raging in Greek cities just as it had been unable to quench fires that incinerated Greek forests in 2007.

    He predicted that the death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos had triggered a "social phenomenon" that would be extensive.

    "We are faced with political problems demanding political solutions," Alavanos underlined in statements to reporters, calling for more jobs, more rights for workers and radical democratic reforms within the police force.

    The rioting showed that the country could not stay as it was, SYRIZA's leader said and stressed that the government must actively apologise, by taking measures that would deal with the problems faced by young people.

    Asked whether he condemned the destruction inflicted on central Athens by rioting youths, Alavanos indicated that this was self-evident:

    "Do you imagine that we applaud them? Look at which forces benefit from this situation," he pointed out, while rejecting a statement by Communist Party (KKE) leader Papariga, namely, that SYRIZA was "indulging" the rioters.

    Along those lines, a later statement by the leftist party sharply attacked Papariga over her statement, charging that it "exceeds every boundary". SYRIZA also said that "KKE leadership's systematic attacks against SYRIZA's leaders are not news anymore.

    The party also said that the claim that SYRIZA is "coddling" the self-styled anarchist hoodlums "identifies with the most extremist circles in (ruling) New Democracy (party) and the ultra-right."

    LAOS leader calls for 'responsible stance' to violence

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis was the last political party leader received by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis late on Tuesday, in a round of meetings that the premier requested in order to discuss the street violence that followed the shooting of a teenager by police.

    "We have an economic and social crisis that we need to weigh well but I fear some people's lack of judgement," Karatzaferis said as he exited the meeting.

    He stressed that the events of the past few days caused sorrow and all sides had to castigate the "appalling event of Saturday night".

    But we must all stand responsibly on what has followed and, above all, not ignite it further, he added.

    [04] Premier Karamanlis informs House president on incidents

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Tuesday afternoon with Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas.

    Sioufas told reporters afterwards that the prime minister informed him about the way the government was handling the situation created by riots and incidents over the past three days, following the killing of a 15-year youngster last Saturday evening.

    "One must place the protection of human life above all," the House president said, adding that coolheaddeness should prevail.

    Ministers' statements

    Following an Inner Cabinet chaired by Karamanlis, Environment and Town Planning Minister George Souflias, amongst the most senior government cadres, stressed that the government is determined to take action against violent incidents, underlining that violence is not combatted with violent actions.

    "It is widely considered that some of the violent incidents are the result of a separate violent incident but it upsurged violent reactions against the citizens and destruction of people's properties ... We call everyone, the people, the leaderships, children and social forces to contribute against the phenomenon of violence," he underlined Souflias, adding that this will be done within legal framework.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose portfolio includes public order and law enforcement agencies, said that "today is the day of Alexis' funeral and it's our duty to consider the way we will honor best the memory of the child and also the way we will take our lesson and take care that such a tragic incident will not occur in the future".

    Pavlopoulos added that the guilty will be exemplary punished, noting that "nobody has the right to injure the democracy and provoke the social sentiment with violent actions".

    [05] PM requests cancellation of rallies

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has addressed letters to the heads of the country's largest trade unions, the GSEE union umbrella organisation and the ADEDY civil servants' union, calling on them to cancel planned rallies for Wednesday, amid heightened concerns over renewed rioting and violence in downtown Athens.

    According to reports on Tuesday afternoon, the Greek premier stressed in his letters that some quarters have used the tragic shooting death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos as an "alibi" to engage in "unprecedented violence" against "innocent citizens, against property and against all of society; acts which harm democracy itself."

    In his letter to GSEE President Yiannis Panagopoulos and ADEDY head Spyros Papaspyros, Karamanlis emphasises:

    "Demands and protest are absolutely respected and inviolable democratic rights. However, due to the situation that has developed over the last few days, I call on you to show the required responsibility and cancel the planned rallies for tomorrow's (Wednesday) 24-hour strike, so that there is no opportunity to exploit an event by wage-earners in order to proceed with new acts of catastrophic violence," Karamanlis said in reference to the violence by self-styled anarchists and anti-state activists that plagued urban centres in Greece since Saturday evening.

    [06] Gov't spokesman: No thought of taking emergency measures

    The government spokesman on Tuesday flatly dismissed claims and speculation regarding the institution of any emergency measures in the wake of a particularly devastating spate of self-styled anarchist and so-called "anti-state" riots in central Athens and other Greek cities over the last three days.

    Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros again reiterated that no such discussion took place within the government to activate relevant constitutional articles.

    The spokesman also echoed previous statements by the premier and top ministers that the violence must be condemned by all rational citizens.

    "There is not doubt that the loss of the young pupil's life is an extremely tragic development, but it must not be used as an alibi for those resorting to violence," Antonaros said during his regular press briefing.

    [07] Ministers examine compensation for destroyed business premises

    Elaboration of the compensation for the business concerns and professionals whose business premises were destroyed or suffered damages and for the employees of those businesses was examined on Tuesday during a meeting between economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis, development minister Christos Folias and employment and social protection Fani Palli-Petralia.

    [08] Athens to offer fee exception

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Tuesday conveyed condolences on behalf of the Greek capital's municipal council to the family of the 16-year-old youth who died on Saturday in a police shooting, suspended all municipal Christmas events and lighting in central squares and monuments until further notice.

    Kaklamanis, the former health minister, also expressed his deep sorrow over the unprecedented violence that erupted in Athens' commercial centre.

    The Athens mayor assured business owners and citizens whose property was damaged that municipal services would invest every possible effort in restoration works so as to "re-establish stability in a time of economic crisis which is affecting the majority of Athenians."

    Among others, the city government is expected to submit a proposal to the city council recommending that business establishments hit by riot-related damage receive an exemption from payment of 2009 municipal rates.

    [09] Thousands at slain teen's funeral

    Large crowds of people - friends and classmates of the unlucky boy but also many having no relation to the family - turned up at the cemetery in Paleo Faliro on Tuesday to pay their solemn last respects to 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos. The unlucky teenager was shot dead at the hands of police in the Athens district of Exarhia on Saturday, in an incident that sparked three days of non-stop protests and rioting throughout Greece.

    The funeral began at about half past three in a highly emotional atmosphere, especially as the white, flower-laden coffin was carried into the cemetery by Alexis' friends from school. Large numbers of highschool children, students and teachers were among those crowding the cemetery and several people applauded, others threw flowers, while some shouted slogans against the police.

    Hundreds of wreaths were sent from various organisations, political parties, schools and private individuals. Among the crowds that came to express their sorrow and support for the family were Olympic medallist Pyrrhos Dimas and his children.

    A sour note was the chaos that erupted a few streets away, in the adjoining district of Nea Smyrni, as a group of young teenagers that broke away from the gathering outside the cemetery clashed with riot police, setting fires and throwing stones, while police replied with use of tear gas.

    The fighting spread to a primarily residential area around Eleftheriou Venizelou Street and the tram route, while journalists and camera crews were also targeted for abuse.

    [10] PASOK party organises silent protest in Peristeri

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou attended a silent protest organised by his party at the Metro station in the Athens district of Peristeri on Tuesday, with citizens holding lighted candles in memory of the youth killed on Saturday night, stressing that "we are lighting a candle for Alexandros in a protest event against violence without violence."

    Papandreou said that his "can guarantee security and democratic procedures," adding that the government "has a great responsibility in allowing these events to develop and which are degrading the country on the international scene."

    [11] Demonstrations over teen's death continue on Tuesday

    Demonstrations and protest held in response to the death of a teenager shot dead by police continued unabated in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities around Greece on Tuesday. In several instances there was fighting between riot police and demonstrators, who continued a three-day spree of destruction that began after the teen's shooting on Saturday.

    Marches and rallies were held during the day in the cities of Tripolis, Kalamata and Corinth in the Peloponnese, in the northwestern Greek city of Ioannina, on the island of Samos, in Trikala and elsewhere, while two peaceful marches were held in Thessaloniki.

    What started off as a peaceful rally by high school children and teachers outside the Greek Parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens ended in disarray as riot police advanced on protestors and trapped them in the entrance of the metro, where several were arrested, while violent incidents occurred in streets of Nea Smyrni near the cemetery where the victim's funeral was being held.

    As evening approached and the capital prepared itself up for what promised to be another difficult night, youths driven from the rally at Syntagma descended on the crossroads of Alexandras Avenue and Patission Street and began lighting fires until they were driven back by police using tear gas.

    As a result of the clashes between rioting youths and police, public transport in the city centre was at a virtual standstill by mid-Tuesday, as the metro stations at Syntagma and Panepistimio remained closed and trams, trolley buses and ETHEL buses avoided the centre.

    Violent clashes with police were repeated in the port city of Patras on Tuesday afternoon, while others occupied the office of the Western Greece Regional Authority.

    Tension was still running high and looked set to carry on throughout the night at the start of Tuesday evening, as reports of skirmishes between hooded youths and police continued to come in from areas of Athens and other Greek cities.

    The capital is also gearing up for more demonstrations and upheaval on Wednesday, when trade unions are holding a 24-hour general strike and demonstration to protest against government policy on employment issues and the overall financial crisis.

    Responding to a letter from Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to cancel the planned march and rally in view of the three-day spree of violence and rioting, the head of the General Confederation of Employees of Employees of Greece (GSEE) Giannis Panagopoulos declined to call off the planned mobilisation by trade unions.

    "As head of the Greek trade unions I am aware of how critical the situation is and of the difficulties involved. I have shown and will continue to show responsibility, even with personal cost. The decision to hold the rally was taken unanimously by the presidency of our organisation and I consider that this unanimity will contribute so that all rise to the occasion," he said in his reply.

    [12] Damages assessed after violence

    Ninety-two arrests were reported during unprecedented violence in central Athens late Monday, the third day of rioting sparked by the shooting death of a 15-year-old teen by police in the Exarhia district of central Athens on Saturday.

    Felony and misdemeanor charges were filed against the suspects by a public prosecutor on Tuesday, with charges ranging from vandalism and assaults against police officers to looting.

    A total of 176 people were taken in for questioning throughout the night by authorities, of which 87 were arrested and charged.

    Among the shops destroyed and looted was a replica firearms shop in downtown Omonia Square.

    Additionally, 12 police officers were injured during the violence in Athens.

    Dozens of office buildings, department stores, shops, the city's landmark Christmas tree, numerous banks, two hotels, public buildings, a building housing foreign ministry services, an economy ministry annex, among others, were among the buildings set fire to or damaged in the rioting in Athens.

    In Thessaloniki, 16 people were arrested, including a 14-year-old youth, for looting shops in the city centre after damage caused by masked individuals during demonstrations, and were due to be brought before a public prosecutor.

    Thessaloniki authorities said the suspects included local residents and eight foreign nationals -- Romanian and Albanian nationals. Police said that of the 16 suspects, 14 were charged with theft, while the other two were charged with attempted theft.

    Another 10 people were arrested on the island of Rhodes, mainly students and pupils, in violence during a demonstration in the city centre after midnight, in which protestors set fire to 30 trash receptacles, destroyed tens of lighting pylons, set fire to the local court building and caused damage to banks and other buildings.

    A further 16 people were arrested in Kozani and Kastoria for taking part in violence on Monday night in the two cities. Fifteen of the arrests were in Kozani in clashes between demonstrators and police that had turned the city center into a battlefield, with destruction of merchant shops and banks, while the other arrest was in Kastoria, where several police patrol cars were smashed.

    Rioting was also reported in Larissa, Corinth, on the island of Crete and Ioannina, among others.

    [13] Noted attorney assumes defence of officers charged in teen's death

    A well-known Athens-area criminal defence attorney has taken over the defence of the two special police guards accused in the shooting death of a teenage boy in Athens' Exarhia district on Saturday.

    The defendants will testify only after a preliminary investigation is completed and after receiving autopsy and ballistics test reports, according to a press release issued by Alexis Kouyias' law office on Tuesday. The press release added that otherwise the police officers' defence team will request more time to prepare their case.

    Kouyias said his clients are innocent until proven guilty and called on authorities and the press to respect this fact, in order "to help justice hand down an unbiased and fair judgement."

    [14] Government must go, Papandreou says

    The only service the present government can do for the country is to depart, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou told the party's MPs on Tuesday. He said the country should resort to elections, so that the people can provide a solution.

    PASOK's Parliamentary group convened shortly after Papandreou's meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    PASOK's leader said that he stressed in the meeting with Karamanlis that Greek society was undergoing a multiple crisis, one that was economic, social and a crisis of values and institutions. The government was unable to deal with this crisis because it had lost the confidence of the Greek people, he added.

    Papandreou's call for the government's departure was greeted with a standing ovation by main opposition MPs.

    He stressed that the country was going through a very difficult time in which all people were mourning and enraged at the murder of a child and the extensive violence that followed it.

    According to the main opposition leader, the current situation was the result of the very poor way that ruling New Democracy exercised power, using insecurity and fear as a tool and trying to pin blame on others without ever assuming its own responsibilities.

    He dismissed the offers of resignation made by ND government ministers to date, noting that these were either "for show" or had been forced as a result of public outrage.

    Another charge laid by Papandreou at the government's door was that of cultivating tolerance of brutality in the police force through its handling of incidents that had occurred, such as the violence against immigrants or the beating up of a Cypriot student by plainclothes officers in Thessaloniki, as well as allowing para-state enclaves to form in the security forces.

    Papandreou went on to condemn all forms of violence, whether by police or by rioters, stressing that PASOK's opposition to violence would be loudly proclaimed at the peaceful demonstrations organized by the party on Tuesday evening in all municipalities.

    There are no "asymmetric threats," he added, and the government was being destabilised by its own policies, because it had put first its own interests and those of its friends, who were now enriching themselves through its policies, while ignoring the common good.

    "There is no future with this government," he concluded, stressing that the future for Greece lay with a government of change.

    [15] KKE leader on Wednesday's strike, latest developments

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga called Tuesday night on working people, students and pupils to turn Wednesday's strike into the heightening of the events and the mobilisations of the past days, stressing that it will be the best reply to the latest events.

    Papariga also announced that the party's Central Committee that convened at noon, after examining the political developments and the tragic events of the past days, calls on the party's members and friends to be in a state of electoral readiness.

    Asked whether she believes that early elections can take place, Papariga expressed the view that the government "will not only be unable to exhaust the four-year term, but it will also be unable to hold out for long" and added that if the elections come earlier so be it, but stressed that "we shall not leave the struggles to look at the ballot boxes."

    In a written statement released later in the day, the KKE's Central Committee "hails the young men and young women, pupils, students and working people who, from the very beginning until today, reacted with mass mobilisations and a catalytical protest to the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, they highlighted the longlasting political causes that armed the hand of the murderer, the specific responsibilities of the New Democracy party."

    Referring to the activities of the hooded youths, the Central Committee said that "an effort is being made by the bourgeoisie state, the ND government to utilise the blind violence of the hooded people, which we are witnessing mainly through the television channels, to check the swelling wave of discontent and popular intervention that is developing."

    [16] French FM stresses need for agreement between FYROM, Greece on name issue

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    French Foreign Minister and Council President Bernard Kuchner and Deputy Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet stressed the need here on Tuesday for an agreement to be reached between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece on the issue of the former's name.

    Asked to comment in the course of the European Union's relations with FYROM, during a press conference held shortly after the end of the General Affairs Council and the EU-FYROM Council, the two French ministers stressed the need for progress to be achieved regarding both the country's democratisation course in general and consultations with Greece over the name issue.

    On his part, FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said that his country also desires the finding of a solution that, as he stressed, must be a compromise solution.

    Financial News

    [17] National Bank of Greece announces measures for damaged businesses

    Special measures aimed at restoring the smooth operation of small and medium-sized businesses damaged during rioting in several Greek cities over the past few days were announced by the National Bank of Greece on Tuesday.

    The measures include suspension of payments of monthly loan instalments for a period of up to 12 months, as well as issuance of new loans with a 12-month grace period, aimed at repairing damaged businesses and to replace equipment and merchandise.

    National Bank is the largest financial institution in SE Europe.

    [18] Cost of borrowing up in 2008, Bank of Greece reports

    The cost of borrowing in all categories of loans and deposits has increased in Greece since the start of the year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the central bank.

    The biggest increase in interest rates since December 2007 was 1.16 pct for mortgages, the Bank of Greece said, bringing floating mortgage interest rates to 5.92 pct in October.

    Interest on one year term deposits increased by 0.85 pct from 4.52 pct to 5.37 pct. The increase for consumer loans was around 0.81 pct, reaching 5.28 pct. The average interest for new repos was reduced by 50 base points to 4.26 pct, returning to August 2008 levels.

    The average interest rate for consumer loans without a fixed duration, which includes credit cards, open loans and overdrafts, increased by 0.815 pct from the start of the year and rose to 15.28 pct.

    The interest rate for business loans without a fixed term increased by 0.25 pct to reach 7.81 pct. The average interest rate for new business loans of a specific duration increased by a substantial 0.52 pct and rose to 6.31 pct.

    The average interest rate for new mortgages with fixed interest rates for one to five years increased by 0.82 pct to 5.03 pct.

    Changes to interest rates in other categories of loans and deposits were marginal, with the exception of two-year closed account deposits by households that increased by 0.82 pct to reach 5.2 pct.

    [19] Financing programme approved by PPC

    The Public Power Corp. SA's (PPC) board on Tuesday approved the Euro Medium Term Notes programme, financing the utility's investments with the sum of up to two billion euros.

    The programme constitutes a flexible tool for medium-long-term funding through which a company can draw capital to quickly take advantage of emerging investment opportunities, according to a press release.

    [20] Greek stocks hold ground on Tuesday

    Greek stocks held their ground on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, stabilising after the previous day's strong rally. The composite index ended marginally higher by 0.06 pct at 1,847.07 points, with turnover a robust 138.6 million euros, of which 16.7 million euros were block trades.

    The majority of sectors ended lower, with the biggest gains in Foods and Beverages ( up 2.93 pct), Construction (up 2.93 pct) and Travel-Leisure (up 2.28 pct); the greatest losses, conversely, were in Media (down 2.52 pct), Banks (down 2.20 pct) and Health (2.17 pct).

    The FTSE 20 index fell by 0.28 pct, the FTSE 40 index fell 0.58 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 0.77 pct up. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 127 to 84 with another 44 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -2.09%

    Industrials: -1.30%

    Commercial: +0.99%

    Construction: +2.89%

    Media: -2.52%

    Oil & Gas: +0.09%

    Personal & Household: -0.96%

    Raw Materials: +0.78%

    Travel & Leisure: +2.28%

    Technology: -0.17%

    Telecoms: +1.79%

    Banks: -2.20%

    Food & Beverages: +2.93%

    Health: -2.17%

    Utilities: -0.48%

    Chemicals: -0.10%

    Financial Services: -0.18%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 6.70

    ATEbank: 1.53

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.10

    HBC Coca Cola: 11.22

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.60

    National Bank of Greece: 13.80

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.92

    Intralot: 3.18

    OPAP: 20.98

    OTE: 12.50

    Bank of Piraeus: 6.70

    Titan Cement Company: 12.80

    [21] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover easing to 29.269 million euros. The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 0.11 pct, while the volume was 4,625 contracts worth 21.861 million euros, with 29,807 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 9,356 contracts worth 7.272 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (1,883) followed by Marfin Investment Group (964), OTE (873), PPC (638) and Intracom (506).

    [22] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market eased to 155 million euros on Tuesday, of which 110 million were buy orders and the remaining 45 million euros were sell orders.

    The 3-year benchmark bond (March 20, 2011) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 60 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 1,71 per cent, with the Greek bond yielding 4.92 pct and the German Bund 3.21 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month Euribor rate was 3.61 pct, the six-month rate 3.51 pct, the three-month rate 3.42 pct and the one-month rate 3.10 pct.

    [23] Foreign Exchange rates: Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.294

    Pound sterling 0.878

    Danish kroner 7.509

    Swedish kroner 10.590

    Japanese yen 119.8

    Swiss franc 1.571

    Norwegian kroner 9.223

    Canadian dollar 1.63

    Australian dollar 1.975

    General News

    [24] Exhibition on women in ancient Athens inauguration, Onassis Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou)

    Culture Minister Michalis Liapis inaugurates on Tuesday the exhibition "Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens" at the Onassis Cultural Center in Manhattan.

    The exhibition coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Manhattan-based Affiliated Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA). Onassis Cultural Center Executive Director Ambassador Loukas Tsilas stated that Greece has had a distinguished cultural presence in the United States during the past 10 years.

    Ambassador Tsilas stated that a total of 260,000 people have visited the ten major and the 15 smaller exhibitions hosted by the Center, while roughly 120,000 attended various events. Approximately 70,000 students and professors took part in seminars and international conferences held in North and South America, he said.

    In addition, at least 110 intellectuals, academics and scientists from Greece and other countries have been invited to the United States and have addressed over 300 universities and educational institutes, while US and international media like The New York Times have covered events hosted by the Onassis Cultural Center using positive and encouraging comments.

    The major exhibition Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens will be on view from December 10, 2008, through May 9, 2009, at the galleries of the Onassis Cultural Center in New York. The exhibition brings together 155 rare and extraordinary archaeological objects in order to re-examine preconceptions about the exclusion of women from public life in ancient Athens.

    Worshipping Women is organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) in collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Greece and is the first major exhibition in the 10th anniversary season of the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Onassis Cultural Center.

    Among the treasures brought to New York for the exhibition are marble statues of the goddesses Artemis and Athena (National Archaeological Museum, Athens); a white-ground vase with an image of Artemis, by the Pan Painter (State Hermitage Museum, Petersburg); a red-figure vase with an image of Iphigenia, the legendary heroine worshiped as a cult figure and seen as a model for priestesses (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Ferrara); a vase depicting the Trojan priestess Theano, another model for priestesses, receiving the Greek warriors who had come to recover Helen from Troy (Vatican Museums); and a limestone grave marker (conserved with support from the Onassis Foundation) carved with the image of a young woman in bridal costume, holding a votive offering (State Museums of Berlin).

    Interspersed with these and other exquisite artworks are archaeological objects that document the religious practices of Classical Athens and tell the complex story of women's roles in that society.

    [25] Scientific symposium on expatriates and voting rights

    A scientific symposium on Expatriates and Voting Rights will be held Thursday in Thessaloniki held under the auspices of the Consular Corps in Greece and hosted by the Faculty of Law, Economic and Political Sciences, Thessaloniki Aristotle University.

    Participants will focus on issues concerning the voting rights of Overseas Greeks, reach conclusions and present proposals contributing to a better understanding of emerging relative policies.

    The symposium will be attended by World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Stefanos Tamvakis, Regional Coordinators of SAE Oceania and Far East and Europe, George Angelopoulos and Giorgos Amarantidis respectively, Greek MPs, consular authorities, academics and journalists.

    Soccer

    [26] Panathinaikos beats Anorthosis 1-0

    Panathinaikos beat 1-0 Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus in a match played in Athens for the Champions League Group B, on Tuesday. A second-half goal from Greece midfielder Giorgos Karagounis secured Panathinaikos a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

    Weather Forecast

    [27] Cloudy on Wednesday

    Slightly cloudy weather and southeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -3C and 16C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with southeasterly 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 5C to 15C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 1C to 13C.

    [28] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Unprecedented riots in which hooded individuals set fire to, destroyed and looted Athens' and other major cities' commercial centers dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Night of agony and terror - Athens, Pireaus and Thessaloniki at the mercy of hooded individuals".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Night of terror - Madness and lunacy in Athens".

    AVGHI: "SYRIZA party leader Alekos Alavanos: General elections are the only democratic solution".

    AVRIANI: "The teenagers dismantled the state and hooded individuals burned Athens".

    CHORA: "Volcano - The international media talks of a government sinking in scandals".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Athens and Pireaus shops owners' outburst of rage against politicians and prosecutors".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "At anarchy's mercy - Night of terror in the center of Athens - Hooded individuals vandalised shops and banks - Human lives endangered".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Ungoverned state - Athens and Thessaloniki on fire - Damages in Heraklion, Chania. Larissa and other cities".

    ESTIA: "Situation out of control, with unpredictable consequences- Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will meet with President of Republic Karolos Papoulias and party leaders".

    ETHNOS: "Government a simple spectator of the destruction - Hellish night in Athens - Chaos prevails in Greece- Bizarre police absence".

    KATHIMERINI: "Flames in the governance void- The government did not have a plan of action - The damage and destruction is countless".

    LOGOS: "Outrage ....Pupils' uprising - Athens turned into a battlefield".

    NIKI: "Chaos, the country in a state of emergency - The pupil's death sparked a social outburst".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The working class movement will counter-attack - Struggle and alertness against the government's dangerous antisocial action".

    TA NEA: "Ungoverned country at the hooded individuals' mercy - Police was absent - The government, in panic, has tossed in the towel".

    TO VIMA: "The domino effect of violence - Athens and Thessaloniki in flames for the third consecutive night - Reactions over the pupil's death paralyze the country".

    VRADYNI: "Greece on fire - Groups of hooded individuals throughout the country dismantled the state".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [29] Foreign Minister satisfied with GAERC conclusions on Turkey

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has expressed the full satisfaction of the government of Cyprus with the conclusions of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) as regards the EU enlargement and Turkey.

    In statements Tuesday Kyprianou said that the GAERC conclusions ''not only clearly outline Ankara's obligations, they also adopt all previous decisions with a stronger language, especially as regards Turkey's responsibility and role in solving the Cyprus issue".

    The Cypriot foreign minister said that the conclusions make clear that Turkey's EU accession process can not proceed if Ankara does not fulfill its EU obligations, one of which is the implementation of the Ankara Protocol which demands from Turkey to open its ports and airports for vessels and aircraft from Cyprus.

    ''The language used is clear and responsibilities are being attributed to Turkey. Moreover, Turkey is requested urgently to fulfill its obligations and contribute to the just - and this is the new word that is being used this year - solution of the Cyprus problem, based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions", he stressed.

    Kyprianou added "this is something which prevents any sorts of misinterpretations regarding the form of the solution".

    Replying to questions, Kyprianou said that President of the European Commission Manuel Barroso has sent a letter to Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, in which he states that he will contribute to the efforts to reach a Cyprus solution and would like to be informed about the progress of the ongoing negotiations, which began early September between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with a view to reunify Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Asked whether Barroso has replied to President Christofias' letter regarding the EU role in the Cyprus talks, Kyprianou replied positively, saying that Barroso will ''follow developments and contribute, with the support of experts, mostly to the process of solving the Cyprus issue, especially for matters concerning the EU".

    "Let us not forget that the state, that will emerge from the solution of the Cyprus problem, must function effectively as a member state of the EU", he concluded.

    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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