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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-09-22

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

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

Tuesday, 22 September 2009 Issue No: 3303

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: need for immediate measures in economy
  • [02] PASOK leader proposes three axes on economy
  • [03] KKE leader proposes increase of minimum salary
  • [04] Other opposition parties on social policy, economy
  • [05] Small parties on foreign policy
  • [06] Bakoyannis to receive Galileo 2000 prize
  • [07] OA: Flights to remote destinations retained even without subsidies
  • [08] Greek authorites revoke licenses in five insurance companies
  • [09] Chemical industry urges measures to deal with econ crisis
  • [10] Int'l jewelry exhibition KOSMIMA 2009 opens Oct.17
  • [11] Stocks end 1.07% down
  • [12] ADEX closing report
  • [13] Greek bond market closing report
  • [14] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [15] Ecumenical Patriarch arrives in Tripoli
  • [16] Nees Morfes exhibition at Benaki Museum
  • [17] 9th Astronomy Congress in Athens
  • [18] Ioannis Kapodistrias bust to be unveiled in Lausanne
  • [19] People trafficking ring broken up
  • [20] Bizarre incident in west Athens
  • [21] Disaster Management Team formed by Thessaloniki university volunteers
  • [22] Man caught with five kilos heroin on Lesvos
  • [23] Armed robbers broke into home of Varvakios market president
  • [24] Skeleton of Russian man found in Trikala
  • [25] 2009 Cliff Diving World Series final showdown held at Lake Vouliagmeni
  • [26] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [27] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM: need for immediate measures in economy

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated the need during a televised debate with party leaders on Monday evening, in view of the October 4 general elections, for the necessary, although unpleasant, measures to be taken immediately to tackle the economc crisis and to avoid worse in the future.

    Karamanlis said that in 2004 "a great effort was made to tidy up the public sector and expenditures, which resulted in the deficit decreasing from 7.5 percent to below 3 percent. The effort was made and this decrease took place for this reason."

    The prime minister further said that due to the international economic crisis there was an increase in public expenditures and for this reason it is necessary for measures to be taken now.

    He added that the question is "shall we take the necessary measures now, or shall we remain with wellwishing and the pleasant measures that the main opposition (PASOK) party is proposing."

    The prime minister said "the path of responsibility necessitates the taking of measures to handle the public debt."

    Karamanlis said that the country has the ability to exit from the crisis and stressed that Greece is experiencing the economic crisis less intensively than other countries. "However, it is necessary that the fiscal debts inherited from the past should be handled."

    Summing up, the prime minister said that "a considerable effort was made, reforms were carried out, on some issues we did not move speedily enough, a great deal has yet to be done, we must make certain dificcult policies and make them now. On some issues we must move faster."

    "Let's be sincere. The citizens have honoured me twice. It is time that we take decisions as a people. I ask for the confidence of the citizens on the basis of this sincerity," Karamanlis added.

    Foreign policy

    Focusing on foreign policy issues, the premier stressed that his party supported Turkey's European orientation "to the degree that it shall fulfill all, but all its commitments towards the European Union."

    "A Turkey that has assimilated the European rules is in the interest of all its neighbours and of Greece," he added.

    Asked whether Turkey has fulfilled its commitments, the prime minister said "because, precisely, it has not fulfilled them, Greece has made its demands part of the European demands."

    He added that "Turkey is being judged and indeed a focal point of its evaluation is the coming December," when the neighbouring country's EU accession course will be assessed.

    Karamanlis also mentioned that Greece has two considerable successes: "Firstly that it joined allied planning, an exercise on the Ai Stratis island and, secondly, with regard to illegal immigration which, apart from internal measures, we have made EU policy with Turkey being the main recipient."

    The prime minister further stressed that it is a mistake to say that "Turkey has closed all its fronts with other countries. Its biggest front is in the east."

    Referring to Greek-US relations, he said that "we are allies with the US and we must have relations of cooperation. I saw (U.S. President) Barack Obama and a visit by me to Washington was pending, which would place things again in a relation of close cooperation."

    Karamanlis stressed that the American government had a different opinion in Bucharest on the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), that wanted its accession to NATO, and "we had a different position and convinced the rest of the partners."

    Lastly, the prime minister referred to the energy pipelines, stressing that Greece is proceeding with national interest as its criterion and not the interest of any third party.

    [02] PASOK leader proposes three axes on economy

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, speaking during the televised debate of party leaders on Monday evening and responding to the question where will his party get money from and how will it negotiate in Brussels, said that "Mr. (Prime Mnister Costas) Karamanlis was pleasant for the few and powerful and unpleasant for the few."

    Papandreou said that "he (the premier) created debts for the state amounting to 100 billion and did not absorb two EU programmes to the extent that was necessary, while the second supervision was imposed before the crisis. Therefore, the question is not only where shall we get the money from but also where did the money go."

    The PASOK leader further said that "the money went to clientele extravagance, untransparency and corruption" and stressed that he is determined to clash with these phenomena.

    Papandreou presented three axes in his economic policy, the tidying up of the state, redistribution through the tax system and growth, mainly through "green development."

    He further spoke of "toning up the market with a realistic programme in the fiscal framework being left by the Karamanlis government."

    Asked whether PASOK will borrow or will tax if it succeeds in persuading EU finance commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Papandreou said that first of all he has "personal contacts with the Commissioners and Mr. (EU commission president Jose Manuel) Barroso" and pointed out that PASOK's programme that anticipates tidying up and growth and the toning up of the economy coincides with what the Commission has said.

    "We shall go to negotiate on this basis, we know and I know how to make negotiations," Papandreou said and set a duration of three years for a decrease in the debt and the country's development.

    Foreign policy

    Addressing foreign policy issues, Papandreou said that Greece "has lost its prestige on the international scene" and accused the government, with regard to Turkey, of "losing two considerable opportunities and of abandoning the right of veto, when the issues that were related to the continental shelf, flights and violations over the Aegean and the issue of Cyprus, could have been raised and us to negotiate toughly to get it over with."

    Papandreou stressed that if PASOK comes to power "it shall not abandon the right of veto to Turkey's European course in December."

    He also said that he was opposed to the antimissile shield, "while the government was positive during Bush's term" and is opposed to the installation of missiles in the region of the Southeastern Mediterranean.

    On the question of relations with Russia, Papandreou said that "I have worked with the Russians on Kosovo, jointly shaping a text on which the integrity of Serbia was based," while about the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline in particular, he said that "it started during our (PASOK's) tenure and I hope that it will come to an end during our tenure, however negotiations are continuing and certain points require renegotiating."

    Papandreou said that there was no displeasure from Russia "and I know this from the Russians."

    Regarding relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the PASOK leader said that "if there is a promotion of a solution there is no reason for a veto," reminding that "PASOK set the 'red line' and supported the government."

    Lastly, referring to Greek-US relations, Papandreou said that with his government relations will be in the interest of Greece.

    [03] KKE leader proposes increase of minimum salary

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary Genaral Aleka Papariga proposed on Monday night the increase of the minimum salary to 1,400 euros and the abolition of VAT in supermarkets, while speaking at a TV debate of Greece's political leaders in view of the October 4 general elections in the country.

    "There is a whole system of class exploitation. Market means entrepreunial giants and go-betweens and rodents around them. Extravagance in the public sector is little compared to the money which is directed to the coffers of enterprises, bank deposits and the capital expatriated," Papariga said.

    The communist leader also said her party proposed 45% taxation on big capital "something on which the two mainstream parties (the ruling New Democracy and the main opposition PASOK) disagree, as well as Brussels, which is interested only in the European capital's profits in its antagonism with the U.S., Russian, Japanese and Chinese capital."

    "The people must not be pressed in this antagonism," Papariga said, adding that the measures against tax fraud which are being announced "are directed towards small enterprises and working people."

    [04] Other opposition parties on social policy, economy

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras said during Monday night's televised debate between party leaders that "bounced cheques amounting to two billion currently exist, while banks received 28 billion, the small and medium-level entrepreneurs cannot receive loans and the banks are stiffling the commercial world," adding that "difficult days are coming and society shall claim its rights."

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis said that the country cannot handle so many immigrants and added that there should be a dialogue with the European Union on the issue and termed the policy being applied so far "mistaken". He also said that there is a "great increase in crime and a large percentage is due to illegal immigrants."

    The head of the Ecologists-Greens, Nikos Chrysogelos said that economic activity can survive if the economy makes a qualitative turn to "green professions" and pointed out that it is something that Europe has already started to turn to.

    [05] Small parties on foreign policy

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, asked during Monday night's televised debate between party leaders how she envisages Greece's survival outside NATO and the European Union, said that "the logic of the 'poor country' is returning continuously with modern cosmopolitan wrappings. The European Union's position is incompatible with popular prosperity, Greece's peaceloving position and the guaranteeing of its borders."

    Papariga further wondered "since when is a party judged for its positions with regard to international organisations and not to what extent it serves the interests of the people and of its country."

    The KKE leader further said that "NATO blesses the violations of our sovereign rights to which Turkey proceeds, and it is obliging us, together with Turkey and despite its allegations about grey zones, to become the gendarmes of other peoples who are suffering from NATO's imperialist interventions."

    Also asked whether U.S. President Barack Obama's policy will reduce tension in the region, Papariga said that "there may be a change in tactic, but not strategy. Maybe, Mr. Obama wants to convey tension in Eurasia and Afghanistan elsewhere as well. He does not have many differences with Bush's policy."

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) leader Alexis Tsipras, when asked if the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) supports the country's European participation, said that the party is struggling in the European framework in cooperation with other European parties and movements for the EU's change.

    However, he added that the problem is the dominant policy in the EU and Greece is not doing well abroad as well, criticising the New Democracy government for "strictly following the mandates of the EU and NATO".

    Tsipras went on to say that the country remained "trapped in what is being set by the EU, the US and NATO" and that, however, "we are not optimistic with a change in government, that something will change for the better".

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, asked abouty the stance Greece should observe towards Turkey, said that "we are Greece and we must defend ourselves, we must take examples from countries such as Israel that have problems around them", adding "we have no confrontation with Turkey because we say yes to everything."

    Karatazaferis further said that the policy which increases armaments and decreases military service is contradictory and stressed "we must assert ourselves, have courage and seriousness and not bow our heads." He assessed that the situation is tragic due to the policy that was applied by the government.

    [06] Bakoyannis to receive Galileo 2000 prize

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis has been selected as this year's outstanding female personality that will receive the Galileo 2000 'Leonarda Woman Genius' prize awarded in the Italian city of Florence. The award ceremony will take place on October 24 in the Basilica di Santa Croce.

    Bakoyannis' prize was given in recognition of her "record-breaking" role as the first woman to be mayor of Athens and Greek foreign minister and for her active contribution to the organisation of the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

    Other recipients of Galileo 2000 prizes in other categories for this year include actor and director Roberto Benigni, German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, Spanish ballet dancer Angel Corella of the American Ballet Theater of New York and the mayor of L'Aquila Massimo Cialente.

    Financial News

    [07] OA: Flights to remote destinations retained even without subsidies

    Marfin Investment Group on Monday said it would recommend to the management of its Olympic Air subsidiary to continue servicing 24 remote flight destinations in the country without any state subsidies, until completion of a "transparent and fair tender procedure", as it stated.

    A MIG statement said a tender for these remote destinations was annulled after the government called for early general elections in the country and that a new tender was expected to be launched by the next government.

    Rival Aegean Airlines, citing "social interest", has recommended taking over 17 remote flight destinations with only 50 pct of subsidies.

    [08] Greek authorites revoke licenses in five insurance companies

    Greece's insurance market watchdog on Monday announced it was permanently revoking the operating licenses of five insurance companies, Aspis Group, Aspis Life Insurance, Aspis General Insurance, General Union, General Trust and G.H. Skourtis Insurance, after the five companies failed to cover the necessary credibility margins.

    The watchdog said in a statement that it reached this decision after the companies failed to meet their financial obligations towards their customers and workers. The watchdog also said that Pavlos Psomiadis, chairman and chief executive of Aspis Insurance Group presented a letter of guarantee, worth 550 million euros, by HSBC which proved to be fake.

    The Private Insurance Supervisory Commission said that according to Greek law, a supplementary fund to offer cover to all five insurance companies' customers for 30 days, while a Supervisor of Life Insurance Portfolio will take over the management of Aspis Life Insurance to ensure that customers maintained their contract rights and money saved.

    [09] Chemical industry urges measures to deal with econ crisis

    Greece's chemical industry on Monday urged for measures to deal with an economic crisis in the country. In a statement, issued by the Association of Hellenic Chemical Industries, the association said that chemical industries suffered a 10 pct decline in the first half of 2009.

    "Especially, businesses with activities in products for the construction sector suffered strongly with a decline in business around 15-25 pct," Vasilis Gounaris, president of the Association said, adding that although a recovery was expected in the second half, this year's results would be lower compared with 2008.

    Gounaris said that the European Chemical Industry Council expects the industry to suffer an 11 pct decline in business this year, recovering with a 5.0 pct growth in 2010.

    He noted that there was a danger that this recovery to reach Greece with delay because of the country's economic weaknesses.

    [10] Int'l jewelry exhibition KOSMIMA 2009 opens Oct.17

    The 24th International Exhibition of Jewelry, Clocks, Watches, Precious Stones, Machinery, Equipment "KOSMIMA 2009" will be held on the grounds of Thessaloniki's International Exhibition Center on Oct. 17-19 organized by HELEXPO.

    Roughly 100 exhibitors from Greece, Italy, India, Germany, China, Poland and Belgium will participate in this year's event under the theme "Taste of Luxury".

    A jewelry design competition for children will also take place.

    [11] Stocks end 1.07% down

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with the composite index of the market losing 1.07 pct to end at 2,527.90 points. Turnover was 158.7 million euros, of which 10.7 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Insurance (4.49 pct), Personal/Home Products (1.97 pct) and Food/Beverage (0.47 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Health (4.28 pct), Financial Services (3.46 pct) and Travel (2.31 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 1.03 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.52 pct lower and the FTSE 80 index dropped 0.58 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 146 to 60 with another 43 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +4.49%

    Industrials: -2.01%

    Commercial: -0.62%

    Construction: -1.33%

    Media: -1.80%

    Oil & Gas: -0.88%

    Personal & Household: +1.97%

    Raw Materials: -1.65%

    Travel & Leisure: -2.31%

    Technology: +0.10%

    Telecoms: -1.72%

    Banks: -0.57%

    Food & Beverages: +0.47%

    Health: -4.28%

    Utilities: -0.69%

    Chemicals: -0.85%

    Financial Services: -3.46%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Marfin Popular Bank, National Bank, Eurobank and OPAP.

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

    Alpha Bank: 11.50

    ATEbank: 1.57

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 14.86

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.40

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.54

    National Bank of Greece: 21.92

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 9.67

    Intralot: 4.86

    OPAP: 17.30

    OTE: 11.45

    Bank of Piraeus: 11.40

    Titan: 22.93

    [12] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -0.98 percent in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover shrinking dramatically to 29.370 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,600 contracts worth 23.598 million euros, with 19,277 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 7,230 contracts worth 5.775 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Popular Bank's contracts (2,182), followed by National Bank (803), OTE (458), OPAP (469), Intracom (977), MIG (412) and Alpha Bank (201).

    [13] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 2.239 billion euros on Monday, of which 1.080 billion euros were buy orders and the remaining 1.159 billion euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 1.984 billion euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was 117 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 4.55 percent and the German Bund 3.38 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.25 pct, the six-month rate 1.03 pct, the three-month rate 0.76 pct and the one-month rate 0.45 pct.

    [14] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.477

    Pound sterling 0.913

    Danish kroner 7.500

    Swedish kroner 10.220

    Japanese yen 136.54

    Swiss franc 1.530

    Norwegian kroner 8.719

    Canadian dollar 1.590

    Australian dollar 1.715

    General News

    [15] Ecumenical Patriarch arrives in Tripoli

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos arrived in the city of Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, on Monday evening and was welcomed by the local mayor, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, the Education and Religion undersecretary and thousands of people.

    Varthlomeos thanked all for the "warm reception and the unique experience," saying he was pleased to find pious people and terming the prefecture of Arcadia the "Mount Athos of the Peloponnese."

    The Patriarch was also due to visit the Agios Vassilios Cathedral later in the evening, where an official religious service will be held.

    [16] Nees Morfes exhibition at Benaki Museum

    A group exhibition of work by 70 artists that have shown their work at the "Nees Morfes" art gallery will be presented for the first time in the Benaki Museum. The exhibition is entitled "Nees Morfes, 50 years afterwards" and has its official opening on Tuesday at the Benaki Museum building on Pireos Street. It will run until November 2009.

    Museum curator Angelos Delivorias said the aim of the exhibition was to pay tribute to an art gallery that had influenced art in Athens for roughly half a century, reflecting the changes in aesthetics over a period marked by profound social changes and upheavals.

    It includes 70 out of a total of 310 artists that have exhibited their work at the Nees Morfes gallery, in chronological order and with supporting material like video taken during the period in question depicting the dominant sociopolitical climate of the time.

    It is divided into three periods along these lines - 1959-1967 (the abstract period), 1967-1980 (the influence of the military junta) and 1980 to the present day.

    A book accompanying the exhibition also includes a rich selection of photographs that recreate the climate of each period.

    The exhibition also marks the end of an era for Nees Morfes, which is soon to close as a private gallery and be refounded as a non-profit organisation called the Institute of Modern Greek Art.

    [17] 9th Astronomy Congress in Athens

    The 9th Congress of the Greek Astronomy Society began in Athens on Sunday at the 'Aristotle' amphitheatre of the Athens University's Physics Department.

    Scientists from Greece, Britain, USA, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Australia, Iran and Turkey are taking part in the congress, which winds up on September 24.

    [18] Ioannis Kapodistrias bust to be unveiled in Lausanne

    A bust of Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831), Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and first governor of the Greek State, will be unveiled on Monday in Lausanne on the occasion of the two-day formal visit to Switzerland by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

    According to an article in the Swiss daily "24heures", the bust was made by Russian sculptor Vladimir Surovtsev, and commissioned in a joint initiative by Russia, Greece and Lausanne in order to highlight the leading role played by Kapodistrias in cementing the unity of Switzerland. He is also regarded as the patron of Canton Vaud, the independence of which he supported as requested by Czar Alexander I, according to an extensive article in the daily "24heures".

    Kapodistrias, as member of the Russian delegation in the Congress of Vienna in 1815, secured the recognition of Switzerland's independence and neutrality.

    [19] People trafficking ring broken up

    A 9-member ring involved in people trafficking was broken up by the Nikea security police, it was announced on Monday.

    Police on Saturday arrested a 23-year-old man from Afghanistan and eight Pakistani nationals aged 18-44, accused of trafficking in persons, and detained eight illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who were kept captive in conditions of squalor in a house in Nikea, near Piraeus.

    Police also seized two cars used by the ring members to transport illegal immigrants, as well as two forged passports.

    The police investigation turned up that the ring would pick up illegal immigrants from the coast of Evia, where they would arrive by boat from Turkey, from where the 23-year-old transported them in a van to the house in Nikea, while three other ring members would precede them in a car as look-outs for police road blocks.

    The other five ring members acted as "guards" for the illegal immigrants, and would beat them severely and threaten them in order to force the captives' families to pay 4,000 euros each for their release.

    The arrestees were taken before a public prosecutor.

    [20] Bizarre incident in west Athens

    A bizarre incident, reportedly a botched suicide attempt, was reported in extreme western Athens on Monday, involving a 45-year-old local man who set himself on fire while driving his car over a cliff.

    The man's burning vehicle got snagged in trees some 15 metres before reaching the bottom of the cliff, located in the industrial district of Schisto. The victim was hospitalised with severe burns.

    [21] Disaster Management Team formed by Thessaloniki university volunteers

    Twenty nine volunteers comprise the natural and technological disaster management team set up by Thessaloniki's Aristotle University (AUTH) Civil Protection Office.

    The team is made up of 24 AUTH employees and 5 students and its goal is to deal with natural disasters and technological accidents not limited on campus by offering immediate help to students and citizens in need. They are trained in fire fighting, rescuing drowning people, first aid and rescuing of earthquake victims trapped under collapsed buildings.

    The AUTH Civil Protection Office also held first aid seminars attended by 130 university employees, while other 33 have become certified users of automated external defibrillator (AED).

    [22] Man caught with five kilos heroin on Lesvos

    Authorities on the Aegean island of Lesvos on Monday reported intercepting five kilos of pure heroin that a 31-year-old Estonian national had tried to smuggle into Greece, the largest quantity of drugs ever found by law enforcement officials on the island.

    The man had arrived on a small ferry boat connecting the island's capital Mytilene and Aivali on the coast of Turkey, with the drugs stowed inside his suitcase. The Estonian was accompanied by a young Estonian woman who had already gone through customs control when her companion was caught and who slipped away as soon as she realised he had been stopped.

    When customs officers took the man aside to search his luggage, he made several attempts to contact someone with his mobile phone. The fabric suitcase he was carrying turned out to have a false bottom in which a large package of drugs had been concealed, wrapped up in a plastic bag along with various herbs that might confuse sniffer dogs.

    This ruse did not foil the specially-trained dogs, however, which soon located the hidden package of heroin.

    Authorities on the island are now looking for an interpreter to question the Estonian, who does not speak Greek or English, so that he can testify before an examining magistrate.

    [23] Armed robbers broke into home of Varvakios market president

    Three armed robbers broke into the house of Athens' Varvakios meat market president Kleanthis Tsironis at dawn Monday and, after tying up his wife and daughter and threatening them with a gun, took off with 3,000 euros in cash and jewelry.

    Tsironis was away on business when the three broke into the house through an unlocked ground-floor kitchen window and found the two women alone.

    They stayed in the house for approximately one hour and according to the victims' testimony they were foreign nationals and only one of them had his face covered, wearing a hood.

    [24] Skeleton of Russian man found in Trikala

    The skeleton of a Russian national has been found in an uninhabited house in Trikala, local police announced on Monday.

    Police said that documents had helped them identify the remains found as those of Vladimir Chumakov, 61, who had been resident in the city of Trikala.

    None of the evidence found so far points to foul play, police said.

    Sports

    [25] 2009 Cliff Diving World Series final showdown held at Lake Vouliagmeni

    The eighth and final round, or 'stop' of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2009 was held at Lake Vouliagmeni, near Athens, on Sunday afternoon, with the ruins of Poseidon's Temple at nearby Sounio serving as an impressive backdrop for a synchronised 21 meter helicopter dive before the closely contested final, as only nine points separated the two top contenders, Orlando Duque of Colombia and Gary Hunt of Britain.

    The final showdown ended with Duque and Hunt tied at 127 points each, with Duque ending the series in the first position and Hunt in second position, after their breathtaking dives at Vouliagmeni from a board mounted 26 meters high.

    The World Series began in May, in La Rochelle France, and continued in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Polignano a Mare (Italy), Antalya (Turkey), Hamburg (German), and Sisikon (Switzerland), before the Vouliagmeni final.

    The final standings after the last leg in Vouliagmeni are as follows: 1) Orlando Duque (Colombia, 127 pts.), 2) Gary Hunt (Britain, 127 pts) 3) Artem Silchenko (Russia, 111 pts.), 4) Andrey Ignatenko (Ukraine, 83 pts), 5) Hassan Mouti (France, 54 pts), 6) Steve Black (Australia, 51 pts), 7) Michal Navratil (Czech Republic, 45 pts), 8) Slava Polyeshchuk (Ukraine, 43 pts) and Kent de Mond (USA, 43 pts), 10) Cyrille Oumedjkane (France, 38 pts), 11) Alain Kohl (Luxembourg, 27 points) and 12) Eber Pava (Colombia, 22 pts, following injury after stop 5).

    Weather Forecast

    [26] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 12C and 28C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 15C to 26C. Cloudy with possible showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 15C to 24C.

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

    Ruling New Democracy's and main opposition PASOK's announcement of their State MP tickets, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis speeches in the cities of Larissa, Ioannina and Messolonghi and prevailing optimism in PASOK for the October 4 election results, and the political leaders' TV debate scheduled for Monday evening, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Stern queries to PASOK leader - Karamanlis' speeches in the provinces were fiery and numerous".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Change of the political climate in the provinces - Positive messages from Larissa, Ioannina and Messolonghi".

    AVRIANI: "Why all the parties have stopped speaking about the SIEMENS case - Do they think we are stupid and do not know what has happened?"

    CHORA: "Game over - Karamanlis hands over the governance".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The debate and State MPs ticket are ND's only hope for a turnabout".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Karamanlis, Papandreou in TV 'arena' - The most critical 48 hours in the elections battle".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "ND's, PASOK's state MP tickets are indicative of the parties' priorities".

    ETHNOS: "George (Papandreou) put his mark on PASOK's State MPs ticket".

    TA NEA: "Papandreou won the renewal wager - Fresh blood in PASOK's state MP ticket".

    VRADYNI: "Culture Minister Antonis Samaras says to newspaper: PASOK will make small and medium sized enterprises bleed".

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