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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-08-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Friday, 14 August 2009 Issue No: 3271


  • [01] Political leaders' programme for the feast of 15th August
  • [02] ND Central Committee Secretary Zagoritis on Siemens issue
  • [03] PASOK on Siemens issue
  • [04] PASOK on allegations of involvement in SIEMENS case
  • [05] Government spokesman on Siemens issue, decision by PASOK leader
  • [06] Tsipras on SIEMENS case
  • [07] Stocks end higher on Thursday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [09] Ecumenical Patriarch to visit Tripolis in September
  • [10] Drug dealers arrested during transaction
  • [11] Police operation in Athens
  • [12] Serious case of new flu
  • [13] Cloudy on Friday
  • [14] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Political leaders' programme for the feast of 15th August

    President Karolos Papoulias will celebrate the August 15 feast of the Dormition of The Virgin Mary on Ithaca island. President Papoulias, currently on vacation on Lefkada island will attend the liturgy in Theotokos church in Gardelaki.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be in the northeastern town of Komotini on Saturday, where he will celebrate the August 15 feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

    Karamanlis will attend the liturgy in the church of the Theotokos (Mother of God) in Komotini on Saturday morning.

    On that same evening, the Prime Minister will address the World Congress of Thracians being held in the town.

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou will be on Paros island and will attend the liturgy in Panagia Ekatontapyliani church. Communist party of Greece leader Aleka Papariga will be in the Athens coastal suburb of Nea Makri while SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos will be in Chania, Crete. Synaspismos leader Alexis Tsipras will visit his hometown in Arta, northwestern Greece . Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis will celebrate in Arkitsa, central Greece.

    Archbishop of Greece Ieronymos will be present at the liturgy in Panagia Soumela, northern Greece.

    [02] ND Central Committee Secretary Zagoritis on Siemens issue

    Ruling New Democracy party Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, replying on Thursday to questions by the press concerning the decision taken by main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou to contact the lawyers of Mihalis Christoforakos by mail, stressed that "we have stated and I am repeating again that there has been no inflow of money into the ND party from Siemens."

    Zagoritis added that "the double-entry accounting system that we have been using since 1995 is absolutely reliable and the management by our party's General Directors has been irreproachable to date. I have stated in previous observations that I have made that Mr. Christoforakos is accountable before Justice, to which he is obliged to declare all that he knows. Everything about everybody. So that all that he is claiming can be checked, because he is using lies to defend himself. Mr. Papandreou and PASOK, as it also appears from the case of Mr. Tsoukatos as well, has neither reliable economic data and books, nor does he trust assigned senior officials and his close associates. For this reason he is resorting to correspondence with Mr. Christoforakos, who is accountable to Justice, sidestepping it in this way and offending the country's institutions once again."

    [03] PASOK on Siemens issue

    Main opposition PASOK party alternate spokesperson Maria Karaklioumi, commenting on Thursday on the statement by ruling New Democracy party Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, regarding the decision taken by PASOK's leader on the Siemens issue, said that "the perplexity of ND's leadership over the decision by the President of PASOK is obvious. This, however, is something that concerns them.

    Karaklioumi added that "the relentless question that remains unanswered and concerns the country and the citizens is for what reason they do not call for what PASOK is also calling for. Evidence and proof to come to light."

    Lastly, she stressed that "as long as this does not happen, as long as the Siemens file does not open, the only person responsible and exposed for this is the prime minister himself. He is responsible for the grey political scene being shaped in Greece from German soil. He is responsible, because he did not accept the probing of the scandal by a Factfinding Committee. He is responsible, because he handled matters in such a way so that Greek Justice will be unable to probe the issue in all its aspects."

    [04] PASOK on allegations of involvement in SIEMENS case

    Main opposition PASOK party secretary Yiannis Ragoussis, on party leader George Papandreou's instructions, will in the next few days send a letter to Siemens Hellas former CEO Michalis Christoforakos' lawyers asking them to disclose whatever evidence or proof in their client's possession so as to "substantiate his claims as they appear in his testimony before the German justice, alleging that PASOK received money from Siemens", a party announcement said on Thursday.

    "Our firm and unwavering position is and remains: full transparency and the need for everything to come out into the open, for to truth to be revealed and to liberate the political system from all forms of hostagery," the statement said.

    "PASOK is determined not to leave a single aspect of the scandal in the dark, and to permit no one to slander without evidence and proof for their own personal interests and on the altar of petty politics through unsubstantiated allegations and ridiculous concoctions" the statement concluded.

    [05] Government spokesman on Siemens issue, decision by PASOK leader

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, commenting on Thursday on the decision taken by main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou to communicate with the lawyers of Mihalis Christoforakos by mail, said that "PASOK and its leadership are insisting on not respecting Greek Justice, whose investigation is bringing to light aspects of this (Siemens) case continuously."

    Antonaros further said that "PASOK and its leadership are insisting on seeking an unacceptable dialogue with the lawyers of an accountable fugitive, who must provide Justice with all the vidence that he possibly possesses on the groundless allegations that he is making."

    The spokesman concluded his statement by saying "our position is simple, clear and unquestionable: Everything must come to light. Everything must be probed by Justice. PASOK and its leadership must stop at last, who are in a state of absolute confusion, trying to conceal their anxiety with pettyparty quips. Seriousness is required that has abandoned Mr. Papandreou and his leadership group."

    [06] Tsipras on SIEMENS case

    Coalition of the Left Movements and Ecology, (Synaspismos) leader Alexis Tsipras stated on Thursday, referring to the developments and revelations in the SIEMENS Hellas bribery and kickbacks case, that "(former Siemens Hellas CEO) Michalis Christoforakos' testimony (to a Munich prosecutor) certifies the Greek people's prevailing sentiment that the two mainstream parties (ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK) have set up a long time ago a consortium with Siemens as the sponsor".

    Tsipras added that the two parties' cadres involved in the case, and specifically the two past treasurers allegedly named by Christoforakos, "could not have been acting in absentia of their parties' leadership".

    Tsipras called on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou to "give straight answers to the people", underlining that "both leaders must give answers on who took the money, how much money they took, what they did with it and, more importantly, when will they return the money to the Greek State".

    "Those monies are not Siemens' money, but the money of the Greek State, which can be used to build schools, hospitals and other public works," Tsipras added.

    [07] Stocks end higher on Thursday

    Stocks ended higher on Thursday at the Athens Stock Exchange with the composite index of the market gaining 1.18 pct to end at 2,322.77 points. Turnover was a low 184.6 million euros, of which 6.6 million were block trades.

    Sector indices moved mostly upward with the Health (6.32 pct), Banks (2.69 pct) and Raw Materials (2.55 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day. Chemicals (2.04 pct), Insurance (1.87 pct) and Food and Beverages (1.69) recorded the biggest losses.

    The FTSE 20 index ended 1.66 pct up, the FTSE 40 index 0.74 pct up and the FTSE 80 rose 1.44 percent.

    From the stocks moved, 152 ended up, 57 declined and 49 remained unchanged

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.87%

    Industrials: -0.95%

    Commercial: +1.58%

    Construction: -0.26%

    Media: -0.67%

    Oil & Gas: +0.21%

    Personal & Household: -0.33%

    Raw Materials: +2.55%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.97%

    Technology: +0.34%

    Telecoms: +2.19%

    Banks: +2.69%

    Food & Beverages: -1.69%

    Health: +6.32%

    Utilities: +0.78%

    Chemicals: -2.04%

    Financial Services: +1.16%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 9.54

    ATEbank: 1.57

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 14.80

    HBC Coca Cola: 15.28

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.35

    National Bank of Greece: 20.80

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 9.24

    Intralot: 4.21

    OPAP: 16.87

    OTE: 10.25

    Bank of Piraeus: 8.42

    Titan: 20.14

    [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.440

    Pound sterling 0.865

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 10.277

    Japanese yen 138.62

    Swiss franc 1.545

    Norwegian kroner 8.676

    Canadian dollar 1.557

    Australian dollar 1.706

    General News

    [09] Ecumenical Patriarch to visit Tripolis in September

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will pay a two-day official visit on 21 and 22 September to Tripolis, central Peloponese.

    According to Tripolis Mayor Alexandros Kotsianis, the Ecumenical Patriarch has been invited by the Tripolis municipality and the Mantineia and Kynouria Metropolitan Church.

    [10] Drug dealers arrested during transaction

    Four drug dealers were arrested in the Evosmos district of Thessalonik, in the process of a narcotics transaction, a police announcement said on Thursdayi.

    Narcotics Squad officers arrested two Greeks while they were receiving from two Albanians an equal number of packets of heroin weighing a total of 1 kilo and 32 grams, which were destined for sale.

    The suspects were sent before a local prosecutor.

    [11] Police operation in Athens

    A total of 53 people were arrested and another 11 were remanded for questioning in an extensive police crime-fighting operation conducted Wednesday night in Athens.

    An immense force of 220 officers from several police divisions carried out checks on 490 individuals, 61 cars, 33 motorcycles and 51 stores. During the operation, police seized minor quantities of various narcotic substances, PCs and a knife.

    [12] Serious case of new flu

    A 28-year-old man contracting new flu and experiencing difficulty in breathing, while on holiday on an Aegean island, is currently being treated in an intensive care unit at the Athens Navy Hospital. The patient's condition is considered critical.

    Meanwhile, a 29-year-old German woman, a member of the crew of the Italian-flag cruise ship Aida Vita, found positive with the virus of the new flu A (H1N1), was reported in good condition in a private hospital on Thursday. She had been taken to the hospital for treatment on Wednesday.

    Weather Forecast

    [13] Cloudy on Friday

    Cloudy weather with possible local showers and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Friday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 34C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 4-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 22C to 33C. Cloudy with possible showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 30C.

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

    Claims by Siemens Hellas fugitive CEO Michalis Christoforakos - in custody in Germany since June on a European arrest warrant issued by Greece and whose extradition was decided on Wednesday by the German authorities - that he had given graft money to the financial officers of the then PASOK government Costas Geitonas (currently and MP) and (the late) Yiannis Vartholomeos (New Democracy, the main opposition party and the time and today's government), and the state of the economy were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Thursday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Christoforakos to be turned over to Greece, following ruling by Munich appeals court".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Christoforakos 'bomb' on the political system".

    AVGHI: "ND-PASOK consortium, with Siemens as the sponsor".

    AVRIANI: "Christoforakos 'fingered' (then) PASOK treasurer Costas Geitonas and the late Vartholomeos, who had dealt with ND's finances for a short time".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Bulgarian 'slap' against Gruevski (FYROM prime minister", adding that Bulgaria responded to FYROM provocations similar to those against Greece with an immediate deployment of troops to its borders with the pseudo-statelet rather than words, 'dialogues' and other such foolishness.

    ELEFTHEROS: "Christoforakos coming (being extradited) to Greece, throwing 'bombs' at ND-PASOK - 'I was giving bribes to Geitonas, Vartholomeos'."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Christoforakos ignites fires in ND, PASOK - He named the then treasurers Vartholomeos and Geitonas".

    ESTIA: "Five years (to the day) since the Athens Olympics (2004 Opening Ceremony), Greece unrecognisable, towards the worse".

    ETHNOS: "Thriller with Christoforakos' games - The new revelations in the Siemens case a catalyst for political developments".

    KATHIMERINI: "Christoforakos in extradition 'orbit'."

    LOGOS: "Unemployment hits 'red' - It climbed to 8.5 percent". in May 2009 from 6.6 percent in May 2008.

    NIKI: "The high prices are not on vacation - Jump in prices in all staple goods".

    PARASKEVI+13 (weekly): "Elections flurry in PASOK - Papandreou (party leader) awaiting candidacies and recommendations by August 20".

    PONTIKI: "Karamanlis doesn't dare to call (early general) elections in the autumn".

    PRESS TIME: "The big looting of Greece's antiquities - It is not only the 'Elgin' Marbles in the British Museum", adding the British have managed to 'lose' the greatest part of the antiquities looted by Elgin, 'perhaps the biggest thief in world history' from the Acropolis but also from all over Greece.

    RIZOSPASTIS: "ND's and PASOK's strategy breeding unemployment".

    TA NEA: "Christoforakos 'fingers' ND and PASOK, with amounts and names - Explosive ruling on Christoforakos in Germany".

    TO VIMA: "You gave bribes to ND and PASOK via Vartholomeos and Geitonas - The full text of the German case charge sheet against Christoforakos".

    VRADYNI: "More names in view of his arrival - German 'yes' to Christoforakos' extradition to Greece".

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

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