|Sunday, 21 July 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-08-06
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Thursday, 6 August 2009 Issue No: 3264
 PM chairs Inner Cabinet meeting on culture, educationPrime minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Inner Cabinet that focused on education and culture issues.
After the meeting, culture minister Antonis Samaras announced the completion of the digital hub on culture, which will help boost school learning, and which is funded under the Third Community Support Framework (CSF).
He added that there would be two related actions under the 4th CSF (the National Strategic Reference Framework-NSRF), according to which pupils will be provided with a special card giving them free access to modern cultural spaces as well as to the so-called neo-classical strolls.
Education minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said that education and culture were intertwined actions, stressing that due to the very good cooperation between the two ministries, various cultural activities were being incorporated into the education process.
 Foreign ministry responds to Turkish allegationsA Greek foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that Greek positions regarding Greek-Turkish relations were based on International Law and that they applied in their entirety.
"There is nothing new in what the spokesman of the Turkish foreign ministry has said. The Greek positions are based on International Law, are well known and they apply in their entirety," spokesman Gregoris Delavekouras said in response to statements by a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman earlier in the day.
The Turkish spokesman said that "great changes have been registered in Greek-Turkieh relations in the past decade," and referred to "great differences" as regards the Greek Imia islets incident 14 years ago.
He also said Turkey believed that through good relations with Greece "problems would be resolved".
 Turkish foreign ministry dismisses media claims over reporters' arrestISTANBUL (ANA-MPA)
Turkey's foreign ministry on Wednesday dismissed reports by certain media outlets in Turkey claiming that Greek coast guard officers "detained" or "arrested" a trio of reporters attempting to videotape activities on the islet of Rho, near the island of Kastellorizo, in the extreme southeastern Aegean.
A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said Greek and Turkish coast guard officers held a brief communication over the presence of the reporters' vessel, before the latter returned unhindered to the harbour town of Kas, across from Kastellorizo.
 FM Bakoyannis congratulates new NATO SGGreek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis congratulated on Wednesday NATO's new Secretary-General, former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the assumption of his duties, the ministry said in a press release.
In her message to the new NATO SG, Bakoyannis expressed wishes for success while referring to the challenges the Alliance will be facing such as the shaping of its new Strategic Doctrine. The minister also expressed her readiness to exchange views with Rasmussen on all issues of mutual interest during the latter's upcoming visit to Athens, the press release added.
 Employment ministry, PPC reach agreement on hiring of unemployedThe employment ministry and the Public Power Corporation (PPC) on Wednesday reached an agreement for the employment of 2,000 unemployed by the PPC on an annual basis over the next two years.
According to the agreement, reached by employment minister Fani Palli-Petralia and PPC managing director P. Athanasso-oulos, the PPC will hire 2,000 unemployed persons registered with the state's Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) with specified time contracts. Under the terms of the agreement OAED will receive the unemployment benefits for the hired unemployed, which will thus be converted into employment benefits, while the unemployed hired will be paid in accordance with the collective labor agreements by the PPC, which will also pay the relevant contributions to the social security funds.
The relevant memorandum of cooperation between the ministry and PPC will be signed in September.
 Major fiber optic initiativeDevelopment Minister Evripides Stylianidis on Wednesday unveiled a draft law entitled "Fiber to the Home", during a press conference in Athens, where he stressed that the initiative will dramatically improve Greece's standing in the EU's list for gauging new technology innovation.
Stylianidis said the programme is a radical step forward in terms of household and small business communications and innovation, with the budget reaching 2.1 billion euros -- 700 million euros coming from state coffers and 1.4 billion from private domestic and foreign investors. The scheme is part of the Greek government's high-profile public-private sector partnerships.
The draft bill's provisions call for the fiber-optic connection of two million Greek households and businesses in 54 cities.
 MIG Holdings increase participation in SingularlogicMarfin Investment Group S.A. Holdings on Wednesday announced that its participation in Singularlogic increased to 75.58 percent from 57.80 percent.
 Aegean to fly to Heathrow, beginning in Oct.Aegean Air on Wednesday announced that it will begin daily flights to London's Heathrow airport -- at least two flights a day -- beginning on Oct. 25 and using its new Airbus A321 fleet.
Aegean also reiterated, in a press release, the company's goal of joining the Star Alliance, estimated by the summer of 2010.
 Car sales downOverall car sales dropped by 23.5 percent in the 7-month period of January-July 2009 over the corresponding period in 2008, according to figures released on Wednesday by the national statistics bureau ESYE. The figure includes both new and used cars.
ESYE said that a total of 185,043 cars entered into circulation for the first time in Greece in the 7-month period, against 241,853 in the same period last year.
In July, car sales rose by 9.5 percent to 40,869 against 37,322 in July 2008, which ESYE attributed to the reduction in the classification duties.
 Stocks slip on Wed.Stocks slipped on Wednesday at the Athens Stock Exchange with the composite index of the market losing 1.80 pct to end at 2,390.24 points. Turnover was a very low 189.9 million euros, of which 7.5 million were block trades.
Sector indices moved mostly upward with Insurances (1.27 pct) and Telecoms (1.21 pct). Health (13.47 pct), Financials (4.32 pct) and Utilities (3.34 pct) recorded the biggest losses.
The FTSE 20 index ended 1.56 pct up, the FTSE 40 index 2.63 pct down and the FTSE 80 rose 1.48 percent.
From the stocks moved, 67 ended up, 148 declined and 45 remained unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.90%
Personal & Household: -0.43%
Raw Materials: -0.93%
Travel & Leisure: -0.21%
Food & Beverages: -2.76%
Financial Services: -4.32%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alapis, Marfin Popular Bank and Bank of Piraeus.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 9.96
Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.12
HBC Coca Cola: 15.90
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.35
National Bank of Greece: 20.52
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 9.71
Bank of Piraeus: 8.95
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading almost at its fair price in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover falling to 43.257 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4,864 contracts worth 30.575 million euros, with 24,580 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 15,584 contracts worth 12.682 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Popular Bank's contracts (2,760), followed by National Bank (2,202), Piraeus Bank (2,001), MIG (1,734), Alpha Bank (1,098) and OTE (1,012).
 Foreign Exchange rates - ThursdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.452
Pound sterling 0.853
Danish kroner 7.504
Swedish kroner 10.350
Japanese yen 138.48
Swiss franc 1.543
Norwegian kroner 8.737
Canadian dollar 1.563
Australian dollar 1.721
 Illegal migrants and trafficker arrestedPolice arrested early Wednesday a 42-year-old human trafficker in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.
The arrest was made during an organised operation following a tip off informing police of the trasport of 9 illegal migrants, among them a minor, from Feres, northeastern Greece near the Greek-Turkish borders, to Athens with a stop-over in Thessaloniki.
According to their testimony the migrants paid between 5,500 to 9,000 euros each, via their relatives.
Police are investigating the possibility of other persons involved in the case.
 Foreign national arrested for human traffickingBorder guard police in Kotyli, northeastern Greece, arrested on Wednesday a 25-year-old Bulgarian who attempted to smuggle into Greece three Iraqi illegal migrants who were hidden in his car. Officers confiscated the vehicle and a mobile phone.
The suspects will be sent before the Xanthi prosecutor while the border guard police are conducting a preliminary investigation
 Illegal migrants on Samos threaten hunger strikeSome 580 illegal immigrants being held at a migrant reception centre on the eastern Aegean island of Samos threatened to go on a hunger strike as of Wednesday to protest their possible deportation.
According to reports from the island, the illegal migrants also demand travel documents to be issued in a short amount of time so they can travel to Athens, and from there, to other destinations in western Europe.
Samos has emerged as a major transit point for migrant smugglers operating from the opposite Turkish coast, with hundreds of mostly Third World migrants attempting to reach the verdant Greek isle every year.
On Tuesday, groups affiliated with the Communist Party and other local groupings protested to prevent the transport of 26 illegal immigrants aboard a ferry boat headed for northern Greece.
 Queen Sofia in OlympiaQueen Sofia of Spain, accompanied by members of the Spanish royal family, on Tuesday visited ancient Olympia.
Queen Sofia, currently in Greece for holidays, was welcomed at the archaeological site by western Greece Secretary General Spyros Spyridon and Ancient Olympia Mayor George Aidonis. The Queen of Spain was given a tour of the new Olympia museum and the site by archaeologist Georgia Hatzi.
 The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe Turkish provocations at the Aegean Sea and the economy mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Government takes measures for citizens' protection - Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met with Justice Minister Nikos Dendias".
APOGEVMATINI: "The road is open for former Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos' extradition to Greece".
AVGHI: "Government authorizing the industrialists to protect the environment".
AVRIANI: "Christoforakos coming to Greece".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Government's fear of defeat in elections brings grumbling and benefits".
ESTIA: "Turkey crossed the line - It's a mistake that we tolerate the provocations".
ETHNOS: "Small enterprises' debts stifling the market".
KATHIMERINI: "Government will ask EU for extension of deadline on the deficit".
LOGOS: "No more taxes from September - FinMin George Papathanassiou states: Only structural changes".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Additional provocative gifts to big enterprises - Government's bill on Business Parks".
TA NEA: "Government offers loans with state guarantees".
TO VIMA: "(Post-dated) Checks are the new threat - Government's intervention is mandatory".
VRADYNI: "Old cars withdrawal measure - The new law will be tabled on 24 August in parliament".
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