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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-12-29

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

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

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Issue No: 3384

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Papandreou visits Attiko Hospital
  • [02] Greek military rejects Turkish airspace violation complaint
  • [03] ND on law to 'clean up' fuel market
  • [04] Work on Tempi Valley road diversions
  • [05] Greek stocks end flat on Monday
  • [06] ADEX closing report
  • [07] Greek bond market closing report
  • [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [09] Jeep shooter goes before examining magistrate on Tuesday
  • [10] Bomb blast at central Athens building
  • [11] Unidentified assailants injure bar clients
  • [12] 'Aegean Wind' towed to Curacao after deadly fire
  • [13] Author Galateia Sarante passes away
  • [14] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] PM Papandreou visits Attiko Hospital

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday visited the Attiko Hospital in Haidari, Athens where he announced the "delivery" of 77 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to state hospitals.

    "As we had pledged ourselves, social welfare and health are a priority for us, and we are handing over 77 ICUs to the hospitals with the aim of upgrading the public health sector," said Papandreou, who was accompanied by the leadership of the health and social solidarity ministry.

    The prime minister reiterated that roughly 1,000 doctors and 3,000 nurses will be appointed underlining that the public health sector will meet higher standards and become more accessible for the people.

    [02] Greek military rejects Turkish airspace violation complaint

    The Greek Armed Forces General Staff on Monday announced that it had rejected as unjustified a Turkish air force complaint that a Greek Air Force C-130 transport plane carrying military personnel had violated Turkey's airspace while carrying out a scheduled flight in the southern Aegean.

    The aircraft took off from Rhodes at 12:35 and was notified by Turkish radar at 12:38 that it was violating Turkish air space.

    At 12:40, the Eskisehir air base in Turkey activated the telephone "hotline" link with the Larissa command centre in Greece to report the incident.

    The Greek side pointed out that the "hotline" was activated only when there was a danger of an accident and dismissed the Turkish claim, underlining the provisions of international law.

    [03] ND on law to 'clean up' fuel market

    In a question tabled in Parliament on Monday, main opposition New Democracy asked the government whether it has taken action to implement a law requiring petrol stations to install and use cash registers for all transactions by February 7.

    The question was tabled by the former development minister under the previous ND government, MP Kostis Hatzidakis, and referred to a law passed in 2009 that calls for a comprehensive system tracking cash inflow and outflow at petrol stations, linked to an electronic cash register.

    The measure was among those proposed by the Competition Commission in a bid to combat tax avoidance, contraband and adulteration in the fuel market.

    "The measure is even more imperative since the government must take measures to boost public revenues and at the same time promote a best functioning of the market and protection of consumers," Hatzidakis said.

    [04] Work on Tempi Valley road diversions

    The infrastructure, transport and networks ministry on Monday said that the state would remain on full alert in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic through diversions around the Tempi Valley, where the main north-south axis remains blocked due to a landslide.

    On December 24, Infrastructure Minister Dimitris Reppas had approved sums amounting to 13.6 million euros for the regional authorities of Thessaly and Western and Central Macedonia in order to carry out works for upkeep, improvement and removal of ice and snow on roads used in the diversions, as well as other roads that helped ease the volume of traffic using those routes.

    Financial News

    [05] Greek stocks end flat on Monday

    Greek stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, the first trading session after the Christmas holidays. Investors remained on the sidelines pushing the day's turnover to 53.972 million euros, the second lowest level this year. The composite index of the market rose 0.02 pct to end at 2,208.34 points, with the FTSE 20 index rising 0.01 pct, the FTSE 40 index ending 0.36 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rising 0.21 pct.

    The Insurance (2.71 pct), Travel (1.84 pct) and Chemicals (1.30 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Financial Services (2.13 pct), Utilities (1.91 pct) and Technologies (1.98 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 102 to 76 with another 54 issues unchanged. CPI (9.38 pct), Zampa (8.70 pct), Boutaris (8.70 pct) and FG Europe (8.40 pct) were top gainers, while United Textiles (14.29 pct), Xylemporia (10 pct), Mihaniki (9.38 pct) and Elfico (8.47 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +2.71%

    Industrials: -0.24%

    Commercial: +1.08%

    Construction: -0.16%

    Media: -1.58%

    Oil & Gas: -0.81%

    Personal & Household: +1.17%

    Raw Materials: -0.26%

    Travel & Leisure: +1.84%

    Technology: -1.98%

    Telecoms: -0.67%

    Banks: +0.18%

    Food & Beverages: +0.57%

    Health: +0.17%

    Utilities: -1.91%

    Chemicals: +1.30%

    Financial Services: -2.13%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 8.40

    ATEbank: 1.94

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 13.41

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.10

    National Bank of Greece: 18.42

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 8.00

    Intralot: 3.97

    OPAP: 15.43

    OTE: 10.31

    Bank of Piraeus: 8.20

    [06] ADEX closing report

    Turnover in the Athens Derivatives Exchange shrank to a low 14.135 million euros on Monday, with the March contract on the FTSE 20 index trading at a small premium of 0.29 pct. Volume on the Big Cap index was 2,002 contracts, worth 11.453 million euros, with 21,475 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 2,723 contracts worth 2.682 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (627), followed by Eurobank (160), PPC (124), Piraeus Bank (343), GEK (279), Alpha Bank (152), Hellenic Postbank (247) and ATEbank (141).

    [07] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 25 million euros on Monday, of which 20 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 5.0 million euros were sell orders. The 17-year benchmark bond (March 20, 2026) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 10 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 239 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 5.74 pct and the German Bund 3.35 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate rose to 1.24 pct, the six-month rate was 0.99 pct, the three-month rate 0.71 pct and the one-month rate 0.43 pct.

    [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.452

    Pound sterling 0.908

    Danish kroner 7.502

    Swedish kroner 10.479

    Japanese yen 132.91

    Swiss franc 1.500

    Norwegian kroner 8.410

    Canadian dollar 1.519

    Australian dollar 1.635

    General News

    [09] Jeep shooter goes before examining magistrate on Tuesday

    The 31-year-old taxi driver arrested as the mystery "jeep shooter" was charged with five attempted homicides and weapons law violations when he appeared before a public prosecutor on Monday. He will now be led before an examining magistrate on Tuesday morning.

    He is suspected of carrying out five random attacks on unsuspecting passers-by in Athens and Piraeus during the last eight days, opening fire on them as he passed by in a jeep with tinted windows. Two people were gravely injured in the attacks and another two sustained less serious injuries.

    The suspect denies all charges against him, while his defence lawyer has stated that he intends to request that his client undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.

    The suspect was caught at a police road block on Sunday while driving a dark khaki jeep that contained 9mm pistol shells. A ballistics investigation showed that the shells came from the same gun used to shoot at the unlucky victims of the mystery shooter. Police also found in the suspect's possession a 9mm pistol that ballistics tests later confirmed to be the weapon used in at least two of the attacks.

    The suspect has been identified as a 31-year-old Greek residing in the working class district of Kolonos and working as a taxi driver.

    In statements on Monday, Attica security police chief Yannis Dikopoulos said that the investigation has revealed that the perpetrator has carried out a total of five attacks, injuring four of the targets, while he had also fired shots in the district of Korydallos, near Piraeus, during which a projectile had made a hole in the roof of a woman's house and landed in the interior of the home. Authorities had originally connected the jeep shooter with only three attacks targeting two men and a woman, all unrelated to each other.

    The suspect is charged with:

    - The shooting injury of a 16-year-old national from Afghanistan on the night of December 20 in Kolonos.

    - The shooting injury of a 45-year-old Bulgarian national on December 21 in the Votanikos district of Athens.

    - The serious shooting injury of a 57-year-old Greek man in Moschato, near Piraeus, one hour later on December 21. One bullet was lodged in the spine of the victim, who was still in critical condition on Monday.

    - In a third incident on December 21, again in Moschato, the shooting attack against a 42-year-old woman, who was not injured.

    - The shooting of a 47-year-old woman, who was seriously injured in the abdomen, on December 22 in Kolonos.

    According to Dikopoulos, an extensive manhunt was launched by police, and more than 100 jeeps fitting the description of the attacker's vehicle were stopped and searched.

    The breakthrough came when a woman called police saying she had spotted a jeep like the one being sought in the center of Athens.

    Police rushed to the scene and set up an ambush, and arrested the driver when he went to pick up his jeep

    In addition to the 9mm shells found in the back seat, police also found traces of gunpowder from gunshots in the vehicle, while a search of the suspect's house turned up the 9mm pistol in a storage space, which was later identified as the weapon used in the attacks.

    The suspect has denied all charges, but police say that the evidence against him is overwhelming, while there is also video footage from some of the attack scenes that leave no doubt as to the identity of the assailant.

    Dikopoulos also thanked the public for the wealth of information forthcoming over the past days that helped to trace and arrest the suspect.

    [10] Bomb blast at central Athens building

    A makeshift bomb went off at 23:01 on Sunday night in the Athens district of Neos Kosmos. The explosion targeted the Ethniki Asfalistiki building on Galaxia Street off Syngrou Avenue, which houses a branch of National Bank of Greece on the ground floor.

    An unidentified caller called the newspaper "Eleftherotypia" at 22:46 on Sunday and warned that the bomb would go off in the building within 15 minutes.

    There were no injuries as a result of the blast because the police managed to cordon off the area but there was extensive damage.

    Anti-terrorism squad officers are now on the scene conducting an investigation, with a forensics team.

    [11] Unidentified assailants injure bar clients

    Three people were being sought on Monday by local police in Chania, on the southern Aegean island of Crete, accused of attacking the clients of a nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning, hitting them with their bare hands and with objects they carried with them.

    A German woman was admitted to hospital for face injuries sustained during the attack on the nightclub, situated in the Old City of Chania. Another two people, a Moroccan and a Palestinian, were slightly injured in the incident.

    [12] 'Aegean Wind' towed to Curacao after deadly fire

    The Greek bulk carrier "Aegean Wind", which caught fire on Christmas day as it was sailing 90 miles off Venezuela, claiming the lives of nine seamen, was being towed on Monday to the port of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles.

    The tug "London" reached the distressed freighter late Sunday.

    The vessel, which belongs to Athens-based Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd., was carrying a crew of 24 seamen, nine of whom are Greek mariners. It was sailing from Brazil for Houston, Texas loaded with iron ore.

    The fire began in the vessel's mess hall and quickly spread throughout the ship. Three Greek seamen and six Filipino seamen perished in the fire.

    The ship's captain and a skeleton crew remained on board the vessel, which was due to reach Curacao at around 1:30 p.m. (Greek time) on Monday.

    Meanwhile, two officers of the Greek Harbor Corps are en route to the Dutch Antilles to investigate, in cooperation with the technical inspectors of the American P & I Club, the precise causes of the fire, and to take all necessary actions for the repatriation of the six Greek survivors and the bodies of the three Greek seamen who died in the fire.

    [13] Author Galateia Sarante passes away

    Greek author Galateia Sarante, the first woman ever to be elected a member of the Athens Academy in 1997, passed away on Monday at the age of 89.

    She was born in the port city of Patras in 1920, graduated in law from Athens university and published her first short story entitled "To Kastro" (The Castle) in the magazine "Nea Estia" in 1945.

    Sarante went on to become a prize-winning author with her novel "The Return", which received the "Prize of Twelve" award in 1953. Two more of her books also won prizes, "To Palio Mas Spiti" (Our Old House) in 1969 that won the 2nd state award for a novel and "Na Thymasai ti Vilna" (Remember Vilna) that won the 1st state literature prize for a short story in 1979.

    She also won the Athens Academy's Ouranis Prize in 1979 for her novel "Rogmes" (Cracks).

    In addition to her work as an author, Sarante worked with state radio, appearing in programmes on literature, and several literary magazines.

    She was married to the lawyer Stavros Patsouris, with whom she had two children.

    Her funeral will be held at noon on Wednesday at the Athens 1st cemetery.

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

    Measures intended by the government for the economy and the lukewarm movement in the market were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Three-day weekend of crimes and tragedies - Christmas with many victims".

    APOGEVMATINI: "25 changes in taxation".

    AVRIANI: "The unwieldy government unable to make decisions on the critical problems".

    CHORA: "Terror returns to international flights".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Miserable Christmas for George (prime minister Papandreou)".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Triple provocation by Turkey on Christmas - Ankara suddenly 'discovered' spy network in Izmir".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Hard rock with parliamentary fact-finding commissions and surcharges".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Tax receipts divide - Big participation (by public) in public deliberation on tax system".

    ESTIA: "Some optimism sought - The negative climate must be reversed".

    ETHNOS: "Taxes 'full house' on real estate in 2010 - Tax Bureau preparing to strike four times".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The basic policies are of uncertain effectiveness".

    TA NEA: "Early sales period in 'empty' shops".

    VRADYNI: "Big Brother - EU team in Athens next week".

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


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