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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-01-09

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

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

Friday, 9 January 2009 Issue No: 3091


  • [01] PM calls for 'few words, more work' from new Cabinet
  • [02] PASOK: Gov't judged by work, not intentions
  • [03] Handover ceremonies held at several ministries
  • [04] Papathanassiou takes the helm of economy/finance ministry
  • [05] Papandreou addresses rally in Serres
  • [06] KKE on Gaza conflict
  • [07] Alavanos calls for Parliament com't review of police
  • [08] Second despatch of humanitarian aid to Palestine
  • [09] Greece priorities for OSCE Chairmanship
  • [10] Czech ambassador outlines Prague's EU priorities
  • [11] Russian Navy warships to visit the port of Piraeus
  • [12] Interministerial Economic Policy Committee convening on Friday
  • [13] EU satisfied with decision opening job market to Romanian, Bulgarian citizens
  • [14] NBG to discuss share capital increase plan on Jan. 22
  • [15] OTE general assembly meeting postponed
  • [16] Attica Bank eyes 100.2-mln-euro share capital increase
  • [17] Greek stocks down 0.37%
  • [18] ADEX closing report
  • [19] Greek bond market closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates: Friday
  • [21] Four foreign nationals sought for fraud through Internet
  • [22] Lorry driver arrested at port after illegals found in vehicle
  • [23] Cloudy on Friday
  • [24] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM calls for 'few words, more work' from new Cabinet

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday advised his newly sworn-in new Cabinet members to engage in "few words, and much more work", in the new Cabinet's first meeting after a swear-in ceremony.

    Karamanlis said the government was making a new beginning, with a step towards renewal and continuity. "We don't care about impressions, but about substantive results," the premier said, adding that the experience of the old and the dynamism of new members was being utilised.

    He said the government's goal was to provide efficiency, stability, certainty and security to the citizens. "We have an uphill road ahead, and there are no easy solutions," the premier said, stressing that "we are determined to succeed".

    The priorities he set out were the national interests, the citizens' security, the economy, and solving the problems faced by the youth and in the sectors of education, health and social cohesion, as well as the impact of the global financial crisis.

    The government's plan, he continued, was founded on five central points: Boosting liquidity, protection of jobs, assistance for the financially weaker, continuation of reforms and intensive implementation of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the immediate priority of which were support programmes for employment and the provinces.

    "We are determined to display unwavering devotion to a clash with the citizens' everyday problems," Karamanlis said, and stressed that the government would also confront the phenomena of street rioting with determination.

    He said the country's future depended on the outcome of a clash between responsibility and irresponsibility. "We know that certain political forces, as well as some trade union leaderships, have engaged in a game of demagogy and populism. But we will not toy with the country's future. We are determined to succeed. We have chosen the difficult path of responsibility and we will succeed," Karamanlis continued.

    Earlier, during a meeting of the Inner Cabinet, Karamanlis set out the fundamental elements of the work awaiting the ministers and deputy ministers.

    Stressing that the road was hard and uphill, with many challenges concerning the national interests, the exacerbation of anti-social phenomena and the citizens' feeling of security. "They concern the problems faced by society, the young generation's agony and the global financial storm." he said.

    He said the main elements of the adverse global conjuncture were the inter-dependence of the economies, the globalization of the turbulence, the speed of the developments and the unpredictability of the international crisis.

    All these, at national level, necessitate flexibility of movement and strong reflexes, as well as policies that contain the adverse effects and guarantee a better prospect, the premier noted.

    He called on his ministers and deputy ministers to redefine the problems, by sector, with immediate prioritization and specific timetables that would be strictly adhered to, and tangible results from each and every one of the government members.

    "I call for much work and measured words," the premier said, and asked for regular, written briefings from them.

    Second, he called for curbing of spending by the ministries and elimination of all unnecessary expenditures, urging that trips, visits and events be restricted only to those absolutely necessary and that they be organised at the least cost possible.

    "It is proof of responsibility, but also sets the good example," he explained, adding that effectiveness was required from all in this respect, and would be a main criterion of the appraisal of the work in each ministry.

    The third principle was a clash with the phenomena that cause bitterness to the citizens, and called for bold initiatives to reduce bureaucracy and consolidate transparency in all sectors, warning that the inabilities, omissions and tardiness belonged to the past.

    The fourth principle was strict implementation of the regulatory reform program that commenced in July 2006, on which the prime minister asked for detailed appraisal reports of the economic and social impact of very proposed legislative regulation.

    The fifth principle was speed in incorporation of the EU directives.

    Sixth, he called for a reduction in the public and wider public sector agencies in order to avoid unnecessary expenditures.

    Seventh, he called for an updating of the ministries organisational plans, and, eighth he demanded a collective spirit and coordination with the co-responsible ministries and close cooperation with the party's parliamentary group, warning that "personal strategies" were unthinkable and would not be tolerated.

    Finally, the premier called for full dedication to the interests of the social whole, which meant, first of all, responsibility, the regular presence of everyone in the problems, and lasting and two-way communication with the citizens.

    "We are determined to succeed, and we will succeed. You can be sure of that," Karamanlis concluded.

    [02] PASOK: Gov't judged by work, not intentions

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou on Thursday charged that the government and the prime minister have had four and a half years in office and are being judged by the people based on their work and not by the prime minister's intentions.

    Commenting on the statements made by Premier Costas Karamanlis in the first meeting of the new Cabinet on Thursday, Papaconstantinou stressed that "the government reshuffle is not convincing enough to say that it will last long, while statements made by the prime minister do not include any new proposals or a serious intention to intervene in any issue."

    [03] Handover ceremonies held at several ministries

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis welcomed new deputy minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis to the ministry on Thursday, as the latter replaced Petros Doukas. Bakoyannis underlined that 2009 will be a year of challenges and that the foreign ministry must rise to the occasion.

    Bakoyannis pointed out that the foreign policy followed Athens Greece is consistent, based on principles and focused on the protection of national interests, underlining that "our country is recognised by all as a reliable power of stability and development for the entire region."

    Taking over the leadership of education ministry, former tourism minister Aris Spiliotopoulos stressing that lost expectations have created an atmosphere of tension. He underlined that he is aware of the difficulties involved with the portfolio, pointing out that he believes in dialogue.

    Outgoing minister Evripides Stylianidis stated that he served during a productive period, adding that reforms in the sector were embraced by the majority and will continue.

    The improvement of the citizens' daily life through the imposition of strict controls on cartels, measures in support of small and medium-sized enterprises, and initiatives in the energy and R&D sectors are the priorities cited by new Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, who transferred from the transport and communications ministry.

    Speaking at the handover ceremony in the presence of outgoing minister Christos Folias, he also referred to the difficult circumstances revolving around the global financial crisis and the unstable energy landscape of late in Europe.

    "Tourism is the oxygen of the Greek economy, the strong antidote to this unfavorable economic situation," outgoing minister Spiliotopoulos told his successor Constantinos Markopoulos, who in turn reiterated the PM's statement for virtuous, bold and effective management of citizens' high expectations.

    New Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, who left the justice portfolio to replace Alexandros Kontos, along new Deputy Minister Michalis Papadopoulos, pledged to continue the efforts aimed at protecting farmers' income, while supporting the viable development of agriculture through an emphasis on better quality, young farmers and the environment.

    Employment Minister Fani Pali-Petralia, in welcoming new Deputy Minister George Kontoyiannis, stated that 2009 is a crucial year, pointing out that the sectors of construction and tourism are the most vulnerable to the crisis.

    Meanwhile, new Deputy Health Minister Marios Salmas, who took over the portfolio from George Constantopoulos, stated that he will continue the work done by his predecessor.

    New Alternate Minister for Public Order Christos Markoyiannakis underlined the three key-points on which his term at the interior ministry will be based, speaking at a handover ceremony earlier on Thursday. He referred to "zero tolerance" vis--vis crime, respect for civil rights by law enforcement and support for work-related rights and benefits for police and other security personnel.

    Markoyiannakis thanked his predecessor, retired admiral Panagiotis Hinofotis, for his contribution and the efforts made to defend the rights of the Greek citizens.

    On his part, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stressed that the creation of an alternate minister for the public order portfolio highlights the significance attributed to such issues.

    New Culture Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday assumed the ministry from his predecessor Michalis Liapis, after a swearing in of the new Cabinet and the first meeting of the new government combination, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Samaras was received by ministry's officials and employees during the hand over ceremony held at the amphitheatre of the culture ministry.

    Liapis referred to his work the last 16 months while at the helm of the ministry, stressing that Culture Ministry was at the centre of the "storm" when the "Zachopoulos affair" occurred. "We had to cope with difficult issues in a perilous period. I think that we have succeeded to restore the ministry's lost honor".

    [04] Papathanassiou takes the helm of economy/finance ministry

    New economy and finance minister Yiannis Papathanassiou on Thursday took over the helm of the ministry from his predecessor and former boss George Alogoskoufis, after the swearing in of the new Cabinet arising from a sweeping government reshuffle the previous day and the first meeting of the new government scheme chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    The outgoing FinMin congratulated Papathanassiou, who served as deputy minister under Alogoskoufis in the previous Cabinet, and noted their very good collaboration over the past years, noting that "I fully briefed him on the challenges faced in the economy" and adding that "in economic policy, others spend and others pay".

    Alogoskoufis further congratulated incumbent deputy ministers Nikos Legas and Antonis Bezas, as well as the new deputy minister Athanassios Bouras, and thanked all his associates and ministry staff, whom he said had accomplished important work.

    Finally, the outgoing minister thanked the prime minister for the confidence he manifested in him since 2004, when New Democracy took over the government and the premier entrusted him with the strategic ministry, which Alogoskoufis headed consistently until now.

    Papathanassiou, in turn, said that Alogoskoufis had worked consistenty and advanced new policies, and supported the course of the Greek economy.

    "I succeed a good friend and honest politican, with whom I collaborated for a number of years, and this collaboration was exceptionally useful," he said.

    Papathanassiou noted that "I am assuming the duties of economy minister in an adverse external economic climate", adding that another major problem was servicing the state debt, and stressing that "2009 will be a year of hard work and responsibility".

    "This is not a time for promises, but for work," the new minister stressed, and listed his priority targets as intensification of the efforts to curb expenditure, combat tax evasion and accelerate the structural changes.

    Papathanassiou further assured that no additional burdens would be imposed on SMEs, farmers and low-income citizens.

    [05] Papandreou addresses rally in Serres

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, addressing a rally in the northern city of Serres on Thursday night, referred to peace, condemning "in the most unequivocal way every act of violence from wherever it may come from" and the "Israeli bombings resulting in many casualties and the operations in Gaza," calling on all for an "immediate ceasefire and end to hostilities" and expressing the hope that "efforts aimed at achieving a ceasefire will meet with success."

    Papandreou also referred to the "greatly increased provocative activity of Turkey in the Aegean", that he denounced in the most categorical way, adding that the President of the Republic provided the best response with his presence on Agathonissi and pointing out that "we reply to Turkey, and to whatever other party interested, very simply and directly that nobody can dispute the sovereign rights of Greece, we shall not allow it."

    The PASOK leader said that what is necessary is a foreign policy that will fully safeguard the country's interests, that will provide Greece with the necessary prestige and leverage and will not permit audacity from Turkey or from anyone else, while noting that the PASOK goverments showed the right path in the past and stressing that "we shall prove it again for the Greek people, and indeed very soon."

    Papandreou also focused on the country's domestic issues and said that preoccupying oneself with a reshuffle over a period of three months is not policy and underlined that a reshuffle without a serious plan and without a route plan for the country is "like changing rowers but using the same defective compass."

    Lastly, he stressed "and this requires a change in course, a firm and safe compass-plan and a reliable helm."

    [06] KKE on Gaza conflict

    Communist party leader Aleka Papariga on Thursday stressed that the Israeli attacks against Gaza must stop without conditions and engagements, "because the attacker cannot pose conditions".

    Speaking at a press conference after her return from Ramallah two days ago, she pointed out the need for the immediate creation of an independent Palestinian state and the immediate withdrawal of Israel forces from all Arab countries.

    "What's cited as the pretext for the attack, election expediencies or Hamas' provocations, is hypocritical".

    Referring to certain Arab countries' positions, Papariga said these countries are US "outposts" or are interested in controlling the region.

    She also took aim at main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou, citing a statement by Israeli Defence Minister and SI vice-president Ehud Barak, charging that Mr. Papandreou "must be happy with his vice president".

    Referring to Wednesday's Cabinet reshuffle, the KKE leader said prime minister proceeds with a reshuffle when he wants to create the impression of changing something, "but the truth is that Mr. Karamanlis wants to gain time until the people test the new Cabinet."

    [07] Alavanos calls for Parliament com't review of police

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary head Alekos Alavanos on Thursday called for the establishment of a Parliamentary committee that will focus on the "radical democratisation of police", as he stated in a letter to Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas.

    Alavanos said his initiative comes "after the events that followed the fatal crime against the young pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos to the murderous attack, which caused the serious injury, to young police officer Diamantis Mantzounis."

    [08] Second despatch of humanitarian aid to Palestine

    Humanitarian aid to Palestine will be sent on Thursday after an initiative by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    The aid is being despatched in the context of the humanitarian mission "Bridge of Hope". The military aircraft will be loaded with a total of 13 tons of medicines, intravenous drips (IVs) and hygiene material, and is destined for arrival at Tel Aviv international airport, and from there on to the Gaza Strip.

    Foreign Ministry officials will accompany the aid shipment, which was collected by the ministry in cooperation with the Parliament and the City of Athens.

    This is the second desptach of humanitarian aid from Greece sent to Gaza.

    Last Thursday, New Year's Day, two Greek C-130 military airplanes took off on Thursday with a cargo of 28 tons of humanitarian aid destined for the relief of the injured people in the Gaza Strip, in one of the first foreign aid missions to Palestine in the wake of Israeli bombings.

    The C-130s, manned by a five-member crew each, departed on Thursday afternoon from the military airport at Elefsina airbase for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, carring one of the largest Greek despatches of blood and blood by-products ever organized, as well as IV drips, antibiotics and other medicinal supplies. In Tel Aviv, the aid was turned over to the World Health Organization (WHO) by a doctor of the Greek National Health Operations Center (EKEPY), for the wounded Palestinians in Gaza.

    [09] Greece priorities for OSCE Chairmanship

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis)

    The unique opportunity offered to Greece to take over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2009 was underlined by the head of Greece's permanent mission to the OSCE headquarters here, Amb. Mara Marinaki.

    Marinaki referred to current OSCE issues and missions and the imminent address Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will deliver on Jan. 15 to outline the chairmanship's programme and priorities.

    The Greek envoy underlined that Greece supports consensus in decision-making, the respect of international law and the non-negotiable principle of territorial integrity, pointing out that OSCE is the second largest international organization after the United Nations, with 56 members.

    She also referred to Greece's lengthy experience, as a NATO and EU member, over the last 60 and 30 years, respectively, and pointed out that it can contribute greatly to the settlement of ongoing disputes, stressing that the country joined the OSCE roughly 34 years ago.

    Amb. Marinaki clarified that progress is being made in the issues of Nagorno-Karabakh and Upper Dniester-Moldova, while regarding Georgia she stated that the new circumstances should be taken into account before OSCE is involved in a future attempt to reach a settlement. On the OSCE mission in Georgia, she stated that it is in the process of shutting down due to the fact that its mandate was not renewed by Dec. 31, 2008, adding that "Greece intends to strengthen the organization's presence in western Balkans to upgrade its role in the region".

    Greece took over the 2009 OSCE chairmanship on Jan. 1 from Finland and at the end of the year it will be passed on to Kazakhstan, the first country east of Vienna to chair the organization's rotating presidency.

    [10] Czech ambassador outlines Prague's EU priorities

    The Czech Republic's European Union presidency will be organising a cultural event in Athens on Jan. 13, on the occasion of the central European country's assumption of the Union's rotating presidency in the first half of the year.

    The announcement was made in Athens by the Czech ambassador to Greece, Hana Mottlova, who outlined the priorities of the Czech Presidency during an event Thursday at the European Parliament's representation in Athens.

    Replying to a press question on the issue of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by her country, she said the issue has been discussed on the part of the Czech Republic and that the process is continuing.

    Amb. Mottlova also referred to the issue of energy security, saying this is a priority for the Czech presidency, stressing that Prague's goal is to develop conventional relations with third countries and regions with the aim of diversifying sources and transit corridors for energy, adding that communication with Russia is also necessary, since it is the EU's top energy supplier.

    [11] Russian Navy warships to visit the port of Piraeus

    Three Russian Navy vessels -- the "Sergey Osipov" and the "Nikolay Chiker" support ships and the destroyer "Admiral Levchenko" -- will arrive in the port of Piraeus on Friday for a courtesy visit.

    According to the Greek Navy General Staff (GEN), the oiler "Sergey Osipov" and the "Nikolay Chiker" salvage tug will be in Piraeus between January 9 and 12, while the "Admiral Levchenko" torpedo boatl, with the North Sea Fleet deputy commander vice-admiral Aleksandr Fedotenkov on board, will remain in the port of Piraeus from January 12-15.

    While docked at Piraeus, the Russian warships will be open to the public on Sunday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 13 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    The vessels are accompanying the aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" in the Russian air and naval exercises being conducted south of the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete.

    The Hellenic national defence general staff (GEETHA) had announced on Friday that the Russian aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov", which is sailing in the southeastern Mediterranean, requested the engagement of areas within the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) for the holding of air and sea exercises with the participation of Russian aircraft.

    The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) approved the request, and the Russian air/sea exercises will be held southeast of the island of Rhodes on January 3, 4, 8 and 10 and south of Crete on 11 January, the GEETHA added.

    Financial News

    [12] Interministerial Economic Policy Committee convening on Friday

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis decided on Thursday night to set up an Interministerial Economic Policy Committee that will be responsible for the systematic monitoring and coordinating of the implementation of government policy in the finance and economy sector, as well as for development.

    The Committee will be headed by the prime minister himself and the participating members will be Finance and Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias. The Committee will be convening at the Maximos Mansion for the first time on Friday morning and the governor of the Bank of Greece will be present.

    Relevant ministers will also be invited to the Committee's sessions in accordance with the issues being examined.

    [13] EU satisfied with decision opening job market to Romanian, Bulgarian citizens

    The European Commission on Thursday expressed its satisfaction over a decision by Greece, Spain, Hungary and Portugal to lift restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals in their respective job markets, a decision effective as of Dec. 31, 2008.

    The Commission stated that after the decision Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will be able to travel freely in 14 EU member-states. Another 10 EU members that have not lifted the restriction must do so by December 2013.

    Denmark announced that will open its job market to Bulgarians and Romanian by May 1, 2009.

    [14] NBG to discuss share capital increase plan on Jan. 22

    National Bank will hold an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on Thursday to discuss a board plan for a share capital increase worth 350 million euros, through the issuance of preferred stock without voting rights, as part of a government-sponsored programme to boost liquidity in the economy and to deal with the impact of an international financial crisis.

    The majority of large Greek banks will participate in the 28-billion-euro government plan.

    [15] OTE general assembly meeting postponed

    Thursday's extraordinary Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) general assembly, scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon, was postponed after shareholders were unable to enter OTE's headquarters in the northern Athens district of Maroussi, trade unionists had blocked entrances to the building.

    Union activists had gathered outside the building earlier in the day to protest the Greek telecoms utility's management transfer to Deutsche Telecom.

    OTE's administration is expected to announce on Friday a new date for the general assembly to take place.

    [16] Attica Bank eyes 100.2-mln-euro share capital increase

    Attica Bank on Thursday announced a share capital increase plan, worth 100.2 million euros, as part of a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy and to deal with the impact of an international financial crisis.

    The bank will issue 286,285,714 prefered stocks with voting rights, of a nominal value of 0.35 euros each. The share capital increase plan will be covered fully by the Greek state. Following the plan, Attica Bank's equity capital will total 147,816,639 euros, or 136,047,541 common nominal shares of a nominal value of 0.35 euros each.

    [17] Greek stocks down 0.37%

    Greek stocks changed direction at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, ending lower after Wednesday's sharp advance, as investors took profits. The composite index of the market ended 0.37 pct lower at 1,913.60 points, with turnover a steady 140.7 million euros, of which 13.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Travel (5.11 pct), Financial Services (4.43 pct) and Chemicals (3.0 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Telecoms (4.72 pct), Food/Beverage (2.52 pct) and Raw Materials (2.02 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 0.12 percent, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.32 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.14 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 108 to 90 with another 53 issues unchanged.

    [18] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a widened discount at the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover shrinking to 39.848 million euros. The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 1.31 pct, with volume of 6,330 contracts worth 31.190 million euros and 21,274 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 10,853 contracts worth 8.012 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (1,471), followed by Marfin Investment Group (616), PPC (696), OPAP (695), GEK (768), Alpha Bank (1,290), Marfin Popular Bank (1,324), Intralot (1,008) and OTE (401).

    [19] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover at the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 130 million euros on Thursday, of which 85 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 45 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 35 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds widened to 214 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 5.25 pct and the German Bund 3.12 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates fell further. The 12-month Euribor rate was 2.88 pct, the six-month rate was 2.81 pct, the three-month rate was 2.72 pct and the one-month rate 2.44 pct.

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates: Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.372

    Pound sterling 0.900

    Danish kroner 7.512

    Swedish kroner 10.797

    Japanese yen 125.33

    Swiss franc 1.506

    Norwegian kroner 9.558

    Canadian dollar 1.647

    Australian dollar 1.951

    General News

    [21] Four foreign nationals sought for fraud through Internet

    Two British and two Syrian nationals living abroad have been indicted and are being sought by prosecuting authorities, after being accused of phishing through the Internet at the expense of a Greek inhabitant of the northern city of Thessaloniki.

    The scam was prepared in November, 2005, when one of the defendants sent an e-mail to the victim notifying him falsely of having won 2.2 million British pounds (3.2 million euros) in a draw carried out by a British chance games company.

    The plan was uncovered when the Greek, asked to pay 22,000 British pounds as taxation for his gains, contacted the British bank where his gains had supposedly been deposited and ascertained that he was a victim of fraud and appealed to the police to intervene.

    [22] Lorry driver arrested at port after illegals found in vehicle

    Authorities at the port of Patras, in western Greece, arrested a 20-year-old foreign national on Wednesday night shortly before he was about to board a passenger ferry sailing for Italy, after he producing forged travel documents.

    In another incident, a 44-year-old truck driver was arrested at the port of Igoumenitsa, in northwestern Greece, on Wednesday night after six foreign nationals lacking documentation were found concealed in the vehicle's cargo, again with the purpose of leaving the country illegally.

    The driver, a foreign national, was arrested.

    Weather Forecast

    [23] Cloudy on Friday

    Cloud and local showers and northeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Friday, with wind velocity reaching 4-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -1C and 16C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens, with northeasterly 4-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 7C to 12C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 2C to 5C.

    [24] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The Cabinet reshuffle, the new faces and balances in the government and the reaction on the new Cabinet's composition dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "After the reshuffle, what? The Prime Minister's steps will be very cautious".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Government of new speeds - The new Cabinet is younger and more flexible".

    AVGHI: "Reshuffle: Right turn aiming at party (ruling New Democracy) unity ".

    CHORA: "Karamanlis made bold moves aiming to the ease the political climate from the scandals and the financial crisis".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Reshuffle to reverse the bad political climate caused by former government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos and the youth's uprising".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis signals for early elections via the strangest and most bizarre reshuffle".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Heading towards ballots with 'beheadings' and new faces".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Patches aiming at party balances, and surprises. Karamanlis: After a 2-month meditation he slightly changed the troupe".

    ESTIA: "The pros and cons of the reshuffle: FinMin Alogoskoufis' removal from the government is the dominant issue of the reshuffle".

    ETHNOS: "Reshuffle made by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Enviroment and Public Works Minister George Souflias - Reshuffle tailored to serve the in-party balances".

    KATHIMERINI: "Reshuffle with reversals - Alogoskoufi , Culture Minister Michalis Liapis and the cadres involved in the Vatopedi scandal left out of the Cabinet - Changes in Education and Public Order ministries".

    LOGOS: "Reshuffle of balances and surprises - Image of revival with the government's milestones intact".

    NIKI: "Karamanlis 'whipped' - A hostage of the 'barons', he simply recycled 'worn out' cadres".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Intensification of the popular solidarity with the struggle of the people of Palestine".

    TA NEA : "Reshuffle with a view to the ballot box - Changes were based on the results of the opinion polls".

    TO VIMA: "FinMin George Alogoskoufis leaves and general elections arrive ......Reshuffle aiming to placate the public opinion".

    VRADYNI: "Reshuffle of reversals aimed at better coordination and reversal of the political climate".

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