|Sunday, 25 February 2024
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-01-27
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 27 January 2010 Issue No: 3407
 Papandreou promotes 'Agenda 2014' at PACESTRASBOURG (ANA-MPA)
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday addressed the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly here, where he initially referred at length to globalisation and its effect on the world, before detailing Athens' positions on a variety of issues of Greek and regional interest.
Papandreou, who also holds the foreign minister's portfolio and serves as the president of the Socialist International (SI), underlined that the European Union has work before it in order to humanise and democratise globalisation, which he likened to the "Wild West".
He qualified his statement by saying that in the Wild West there were abundant resources, but no rules or a rule of law, "where outlaws sometimes turned into sheriffs." Along those lines, he warned of a massive concentration of wealth and mass media into a few hands.
Papandreou said other governmental institutions, such as the judiciary and law enforcement, are often being targetted by such interests.
He also noted that the ongoing global economic crisis is the result of a lack of rules, with the former creating greater burdens for the world's poor, the middle classes and weaker countries.
'The world needs more Europe today, not less", he stressed at one point during his address.
In addressing the issue of regional conflicts in Europe's peripheries, Papandreou referred to the long-standing Cyprus issue, as well as conflicts in the Caucasus and Georgia. He noted that solutions must be promoted for these conflicts, noting, for instance, that Cyprus has been divided for the past 35 years by foreign occupation, with both communities on the island republic remaining separated.
Moreover, in again referring to Greece's "Agenda 2014" initiative for the accession of western Balkan states into the EU on the anniversary of the beginning of WWI, Papandreou said integration of the region's countries into the Union would counter "enlargement fatigue" in the EU and act as a catalyst for internal reforms in affected countries, as well as solving major issues, such as Kosovo.
Additionally, Papandreou said time has matured for a mutually acceptable solution to the fYRoM "name issue", one with a geographic qualifier as part of a composite name for all uses.
In again detailing Greece's standing position, he emphasised that a geographic differentiation must take place to distinguish between the historic province of Macedonia in northern Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), "because these are different peoples and cultures".
If successful, he added, Athens has the volition to vigorously assist the neophyte country on the EU and NATO accession path.
Amongst the participating delegates who directed questions to Papandreou on the issue were former Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and a MP from fYRoM.
The prime minister stressed that no one was satisfied with the progress made by Turkey on issues of human rights, individual and collective freedoms and in upholding international law. Replying to a question by Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Dimitris Papadimoulis on Turkey, he also pointed to a lack of progress in delineating the Aegean continental shelf, saying that his letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- conveyed this week -- proposed that both sides take the issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Papandreou similarly noted a lack of progress on the Cyprus issue, for which he blamed Turkey, noting that dialogue on solving the Cyprus problem was failing to make progress in spite of the efforts being made by the Cyprus president.
Responding to a question by a Turkish MP, he flatly denied espousing anti-Turkish sentiments and stressed that he had always supported Turkey's European accession prospects. He also pointed to the results of cooperation between the two countries after the destructive earthquakes of 1999, saying that Greece wanted better relations, a shared European vision and better prospects with Turkey.
On Greece's ailing economy and current fiscal crisis, the Greek premier said admitted that past Greek governments were responsible for the bad state of the economy through excessive spending and client politics, stressing that Greece "had to get its house in order".
At the same time, he also noted that Greece had been used by some parties as the "weakest link" through which to strike at the Eurozone, which they opposed.
The Greek premier devoted a considerable part of his speech to policies being pursued by his government to integrate migrants, such as through a bill for giving Greek citizenship to the children of migrants born in Greece or by reforming the system for granting asylum to refugees.
Papandreou underlined that this was a high priority issue for his government, both because of Greece's location in a region plagued by large waves of illegal immigrants and because of its long coastline and hundreds of islands, which made it easy for migrant traffickers to clandestinely land migrants to its shores.
He stressed the need for more bilateral agreements concerning the repatriation of illegal immigrants, as well as policies to assist the development of third countries and thus stem the tide of migration to Europe.
 PM on economy, relations with TurkeySTRASBOURG (ANA-MPA/V. Mourtis)
Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday termed the securing of a five-year joint venture loan of five billion euros a "positive vote for the country" despite the fact, as he said, that the loaning was costly.
Papandreou told Greek reporters following the end of his visit here that, in any case, it is a first good message for the country, "but we have a lot and systematic work to do for Greece to regain its credibility and this was only the beginning."
Referring to the farmers' mobilisations, Papandreou said that the farm sector is experiencing a deep crisis and for this reason a solutioin to all the problems that have been accumulated is difficult.
Papandreou was also asked about his meetings in Davos, which he will be visiting on Thursday and Friday, accompanied by Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, and said that he will be having many meetings with the mass media, mainly with the financial media.
He also said that next week he will be visiting India in the framework of the government's effort to have good relations with four big countries, such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.
Furthermore, Papandreou was asked about Greek-Turkish relations and whether he is more optimistic now and said that it is always difficult for one to judge and mentioned the example of 2004, since it had appeared then that some issues were heading for a solution.
He added that many efforts must be made and termed the latest statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou positive.
Questioned about revelations in the Turkish press regarding the intentions of the Turkish armed forces, he said that everything is being evaluated but at the same time everything is not taken at face value and this, as he said, due to the many internal tensions existing in Turkey and which can affect the relations of the two countries.
Papandreou also expressed hope that political will exists for some steps to be taken.
Commenting on the immigration problem, the prime minister pointed out that the country is not a free-for-all and that it has to be able to grant political asylum to those in need.
 Meeting between Droutsas-Clinton on February 2Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras announced on Tuesday that meetings have been arranged between Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and the U.S. State Department's leadership and specifically with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Washington, on February 2.
The precise programme of Droutsas's working visit will be announced as soon as it is finalised.
 Droutsas in London conference on AfghanistanDeputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will be participating in an international conference on Afghanistan to be held in London on Thursday, January 28, heading a Greek delegation.
Droutsas is due to meet, on the sidelines of the conference, with foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of Australia Steven Smith and of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Antonio Milososki.
On Thursday evening, Droutsas will have a working dinner with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou.
 Government announces measures for agricultureAgricultural Development and Foods Minister Katerina Batzeli on Tuesday presented a package of measures designed to create a national strategy for farming over the coming months, after the end of a two-day conference on farming issues in central Athens that was shunned by farmers manning protest road blocks around the country.
Among the key measures presented by the ministry's leadership was the injection of some 5.5 billion euros in cash to boost liquidity and incomes in the agricultural sector in 2010, as well as reforms of the agricultural compensation organisation ELGA to make the distribution of compensation more equitable, greater participation of younger farmers in the sector's union organisations (up to 60 percent), steps designed to lower production costs and measures to control the market and close the gap between producer and retail prices for farm products.
Regarding the last issue, the government intends to ensure that retail prices are no more than 100 percent over that paid to farmers, while wholesale prices should be up to 30 percent over that paid to farmers. Those violating those limits will face additional taxes, while the ministry also intends to create a databank of companies that violate food safety laws or charge excessive prices.
Other measures will seek to improve farming as a profession, including eligibility for life-long learning programmes at the education ministry. Batzeli said that one of the main obstacles to improving the operation of the agricultural economy were outdated attitudes, including that which said that farmers should live off subsidies.
In the short-term, she promised completion of an IT system for paying farm subsidies and the payment of sums still due for 2009, followed by prompt payment of those due in 2010.
In terms of controlling the market for food and agricultural products, Batzeli said the government's policy would focus on reducing the number of middlemen and also cutting back their profit margins, clamp down on the practice of passing off imported products as Greek, set up mechanisms and cross-referencing links with other systems to trace imported products and closely monitor the supply chain.
She also promised a reorganisation of the farmers' insurance fund OGA along the lines of that in other social insurance funds.
The minister also announced plans for a national agricultural research programme, the start of national debate on the new CAP, linking agricultural land with the new nationwide spatial plan and possibly subsidising interest on the purchase of agricultural land by new farmers, and promised greater transparency in the payment of subsidies to farmers, saying that these payments would from now on be posted on the Internet.
 ND leader meets with protesting farmers' representativesMain opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Sama-ras on Tuesday called on prime minister George Papandreou to "shoulder his responsibilities and proceed immediately to a dialogue with the farmers, so that a solution to their problems may be found".
Samaras made the statement during a meeting in Athens with representatives of the farmers' unions of Western Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly.
He also said that ND had backed the farmers last year, as it does thies year, but added that his party objected to the roadblocks set up throughout the country, noting the major economic problem that Greece is facing.
Samaras was briefed by the representatives on the problems faced by farmers.
 Farmers to close again Promachonas borderpost and RR stationProtesting farmers from Serres prefecture intend to again block the Promachonas border post on Tuesday morning. The producers had withdrawn from their roadblocks at 2:00 a.m. due to the bitter cold prevailing in the area but they decided to block again the road indefinitely, as well as the railroad station at Promachonas for a few hours.
 Farmers at Strymonas retire from roadblocksProtesting farmers who have been blocking the Egnatia motorway at Strymonas intersection and farmers from Orphanos municipality in Kavala prefecture withdrew from the roadblocks late Monday night.
According to the president of the local farmers association Costas Papameris, Agriculture Minister Katerina Batzeli has pledged to fulfill eight out of their ten institutional demands concerning the cultivation of olive and almond trees.
Papameris underlined that the local farmers will continue to support the struggle of the protesting farmers throughout the rest of the country, and explained that the reason for their immediate withdrawal results from the fact that they must return to work in order to begin the pruning of almond trees otherwise their crop will be destroyed.
On their part, Kavala farmers decided to continue their mobilisations and continue their roadblock on Egnatia motorway at the Chryssoupoli intersection. However, the old Kavala-Xanthi national highway will remain open.
Xanthi prefecture farmers will continue their roadblock on Nestos River bridge and will close the highway for two hours daily.
 Ormenio and Kipi checkpoints openThe border posts of Ormenio and Kipi in Evros prefecture were open on Tuesday. According to Alexandroupolis police, farmers have lined their tractors along both sides of the road at both border stations, but without blocking traffic.
 Parliament unanimously passes motion for fact-finding commission on Vatopedi Monastery-Lake Vistonida land swap dealThe Parliament plenary in the early hours of Tuesday unanimously voted in favor of a motion tabled by 128 MPs of the ruling PASOK party for the establishment of a parliamentary fact-finding commission to investigate anew a controversial land swap exchange between the Mt. Athos Monastery of Vatopedi and the state, in the case referring to areas surrounding Lake Vistonida.
According to critics of the series of controversial deals, the state exchanged prime real estate holdings throughout Greece, including buildings in the Athens Olympic Village, for remote tracts of land where development is either restricted or prohibited, such as forestland, RAMSAR-protected areas around Lake Vistonida, even archaeological sites.
The case concerns suspect land deals by the Vatopedi Monastery, where low-value property on the shores of Lake Vistonida was exchanged for prime pieces of public real estate in other parts of the country in transactions carried out by Hellenic Public Real Estate Corporation which were approved by ministers.
The parliament plenary adopted a proposal by parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos that the fact-finding commission comprise 19 MPs proportional to the seats held by the five parties represented in the 300-member House.
The commission will be set up on February 1, while it is slated to complete its inquiry by March 15.
 LAOS tables questions to PM on Synagogue arson, Bulgarian PM's intercession with protesting Greek farmersPopular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Tuesday submitted a timely question in parliament addressed to prime minister George Papandreou on the recent double arson at the Jewish Synagogue in the Old Town in Chania, on the island of Crete.
Karatzaferis says in his question that although the US State Department and a large-circulation American newspaper had accused Greece of anti-Semitism over the incident, it later arose that the two arsons were carried out by two Americans serving at the Souda base, two Britons serving, according to information, as trainers at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) at Souda, and a Greek involved in supplies to the base.
Karatzaferis asks the prime minister if he believes the arsons were an isolated incident by persons acting of their own accord, or an incident linked to outside pressure faced by Greece in the fields of the economy and diplomacy, and also, what he intends to do with regard to the alleged perpetrators and the "unacceptable defamation" of the country.
In a second question submitted, Karatzaferis questions Papandreou on the Bulgarian prime minister's recent meeting with a delegation of protesting Greek farmers (over the roadblocks that have blocked traffic at the border posts between the two countries), asking him how he allowed the intervention of a foreign leader in a Greek affair, and whether Papandreou has realised the damage this caused to Greece's international image.
 Briton charged in synagogue attacks remanded in custodyA 32-year-old British national, one of five men accused by Greek authorities of involvement in the unprecedented twin arson attacks on a medieval Jewish synagogue in Hania (Crete) earlier this month, was remanded in custody on Tuesday.
The man was jailed pending trial following a joint decision by an investigating magistrate and a public prosecutor in Hania.
A local man from the nearby port city of Irakleio, 24, as well as another Briton, 22, was released after providing testimony in the extremely sensitive incident, which generated international media attention and condemnation from around the world.
The pair were conditionally released and ordered not to leave the country and to appear at a local police station twice a month.
Bail was set at 2,000 euros for the Greek national and 3,000 euros for the Briton. All three are facing felony charges for intentional arson and collusion to carry out arson. The two British nationals have been alternately identified as bartenders and bar touts in Hania's popular old quarter.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old US citizen arrested at the beginning of the week due to his alleged involvement in the case will be led before an investigating magistrate on Thursday
Another suspect, also identified as a US national, is wanted in the case.
 President Papoulias receives re-elected European Ombudsman DiamandourosPresident of Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received the newly re-elected European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros at the Presidential Mansion.
Papoulias congratulated Diamandouros on his re-election, stressing that it is a great honour not only for himself but for all of Greece, underlining that Diamandouros' re-election shows to Europe that "another Greece" exists.
Diamandouros, in turn, thanked the President and said that his re-election is not only an honour but also carries greater responsibilities on his part towards the Greek as well as the European citizens.
 Skopje con'f on building bridges between Greece, fYRoMSKOPJE (ANA-MPA / N. Frangopoulos)
Academics from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) and Greece took part in a one-day conference here entitled "We jointly build bridges".
Participants from both countries noted that in order to eliminate stereotypes and correctly evaluate developments and whatever problems existing in the two countries' societies, a better acquaintance and cooperation between the two was needed.
What organisers dubbed the (mis)use of national history, the formation of a national identity through history as well as human rights, were also debated.
Noted Skopje University law professor and former minister Ljubomir Fr
koski announced a follow-up of the initiative at the university level, which, as he said, will focus primarily on issues pertaining to human rights and freedoms as well as the operation of a state of law.
He also noted that the difference over the "name issue" will not be discussed during the meetings, underlining however, that the current VMRO government in Skopje does not have a "real will" to solve the problem, whereas citizens in the one-time Yugoslav republic are confused over the content and the course of talks between the two countries held under UN auspices.
Christina Koulouri, a professor of modern and contemporary history at the Peloponnese University, called for a transgressing of "nationalistic approaches" in the teaching of history in the Balkans, while proposing the promotion of the teaching of what she called a "common regional history".
 UN conference on crossborder operational cooperationCrossborder operational cooperation of the northern and southern Mediterranean is the issue of a UN conference on organised crime that is taking place at the Foreign Ministry in Athens.
According to the UN office's regional representative on drugs and organised crime Mohamed Aziz, croosborder operational cooperation of the northern and southern Mediterranean is coming to tackle:
-The lack of adequate crossborder cooperation in exchanging information and data on travelling foreigners between countries of the north and south.
-Closer cooperation between judicial authorities.
-An increase in the operational capacity of police.
-The funding of investments in the countries of the south by the European Union.
 Employment minister delivers draft law on labour relationsEmployment and Social Solidarity Minister Andreas Loverdos delivered to social partners the draft law on labour relations on Tuesday.
The draft law includes clauses for subsidisation by the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) for social security contributions for the hiring of young employees over the next four years (for the first year 100 percent, the second 75 percent, the third 50 percent and the fourth 25 percent).
Loverdos underlined the ministry's effort to drastically reduce contribution evasion, as well as the expenditures of funds in the sector of health and medical and pharmaceutical care.
 OAED says activation of EU funds top priorityGreece's workforce employment organisation (OAED) on Tuesday said its top priority was to rapidly activate available funds in a 4th Community Support Framework programme for the implementation of the organisation's employment policy.
In a statement over the organisation's finances, the current OAED management blamed the previous government's policies for a deterioration of its finances and in particular a long delay and negligence in claiming funds worth 220 million euros, included in a 3rd Community Support Framework programme, already completed and paid for by OAED's reserves.
The organisation also stressed that almost zero absorption of EU funds for employment policies was not the only problem, adding that lower revenues from IKA, the largest social security fund, the use of stage employment programs which burdened OAED's budget by 250 million euros, added unemployment benefits for workers in Olympic Airlines and an increasing unemployment rate in the country as a result of an economic crisis. OAED said it was currently subsidising around 250,000 unemployed people at a monthly cost of 140-150 million euros.
OAED said its account in the Bank of Greece totaled 406 million euros in Sept. 1, 2009. In the September-December period, revenues totaled 900 million euros, while spending totaled 1.2 billion euros, a development further reducing the organisation's reserves.
OAED also said that revenues from IKA accounted for 68 pct of budget -around 145 million euros per month- and estimated that social contribution evasions surpassed 6.0 billion euros in 2009, or 2.5 pct of the country's Gross Domestic Product, up from 2.0 billion euros in 2003.
 Deputy Environment, Foreign Affairs ministers on natural gasDeputy Industry and Energy Minister of Azerbaidjan Gulmamad Yavadov stressed during his meeting with Deputy Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Minister George Maniatis and Deputy Foreign Miniter Spyros Kouvelis on Tuesday that Azerbaidjan has opted for a strategic cooperation with Greece on the issue of the transportation of Azeri natural gas to the European and Greek market with the safeguarding of the necessary quantities.
The Azeri government official also revealed that his country intends to invite interested Greek companies for a briefing and cooperation in these sectors soon.
The meeting aimed at specialising and implementing the cooperation memorandum that had been signed by the Greek Deputy Foreign minister and the Azeri Deputy Energy minister during Kouvelis's visit to Azerbaidjan and in which issues regarding bilateral cooperation were discussed, as well as the preparation for the interministerial meeting that will be taking place in Baku in the autumn of 2010.
Maniatis raised with his counterpart the issue of the promotion of the Greek-Italian natural gas pipeline "ITGI/Poseidon", as well as quadripartite cooperation between Greece-Azerbaidjan-Italy-Turkey on the implementation of the project.
The Deputy Environment, Energy and Climatic Change minister further referred to the intention of the two sides regarding the procurement of one billion cubic metres of natural gas a year for the Greek market and the way for its practical implementation.
 Piraeus Bank Romania in 50-mln-euro funding programme for SMEsThe European Investment Bank (EIB) on Tuesday announced a 50-million-euro loan agreement with Piraeus Bank Romania, aimed to fund SMEs in Romania, especially in the sectors of industry, services (including tourism), agriculture, health, energy, environmental protection and the knowledge-based economy.
A bank statement said the loan will offer greater access and more attractive funding terms to small-&-medium-sized enterprises in Romania, while it will also contribute in dealing with the consequences of the current economic crisis.
The EIB has simplified funding procedures and has set new standards in lending.
Eligible companies will have to employ less than 250 employees, while municipalities could also participate in the funding programme.
 Stocks end 1.83% downStocks resumed their downward spiral at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the composite index of the market ending 1.83 pct lower at 2,052.77 points, reflecting heavy losses in bank shares. Turnover was a moderate 183.9 million euros.
The FTSE 20 index fell 2.31 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.63 pct down and the FTSE 80 index fell 1.06 pct. The Banks (3.64 pct) and Media (2.05 pct) sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Utilities (1.67 pct) and Personal Products (0.93 pct) scored gains.
Vision-Sound (15.38 pct), Compucon (12.50 pct), Koubas (10.0 pct), Petzetakis (8.57 pct) and Alma-Atermon (7.69 pct) were top gainers, while Texapret (20 pct), Plias (16.67 pct), Desmos (11.11 pct) and Akritas (10.0 pct) were top losers. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 137 to 62 with another 41 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -1.06%
Personal & Household: +0.93%
Raw Materials: -1.54%
Travel & Leisure: -0.82%
Food & Beverages: -0.37%
Financial Services: +0.01%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Alpha Bank and Eurobank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 6.84
Public Power Corp (PPC): 13.18
HBC Coca Cola: 16.12
Hellenic Petroleum: 8.76
National Bank of Greece: 16.32
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 6.36
Bank of Piraeus: 6.55
 ADEX closing reportThe March contract was trading around its fair value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover at 72.153 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 11,777 contracts, worth 61.858 million euros with 26,292 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,257 contracts worth 10.295 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (2,682), followed by Eurobank (1,049), MIG (502), Piraeus Bank (945), GEK (542), Alpha Bank (1,075), Cyprus Bank (1,535), Hellenic Postbank (1,560) and ATEbank (583).
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened again to 304 basis points in the Greek electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 6.24 pct and the German Bund 3.20 pct.
Turnover in the market totaled 1.368 billion euros, of which 491 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 877 million were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 435 million euros.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.24 pct, the six-month rate 0.99 pct, the three-month rate 0.67 pct and the one-month rate 0.43 pct.
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.419
Pound sterling 0.880
Danish kroner 7.504
Swedish kroner 10.354
Japanese yen 127.32
Swiss franc 1.484
Norwegian kroner 8.316
Canadian dollar 1.508
Australian dollar 1.581
 Environmental groups present plan for handling Attica's wasteFour environmental organisations on Tuesday submitted a proposal for low-cost and environmentally-friendly manage-ment of Attica's waste in order to solve the capital's long-standing waste problem. The Ecological Recycling Society, Greenpeace, WWF Hellas and Mediterannean SOS Network outlined their proposal in a press conference, stressing that ridding Attica of its rubbish was within everyone's grasp.
Their proposal hinged on creating infrastructure to reduce the production of waste through prevention, reusing, composting and recycling, and stressed that it was both feasible and realistic to carry out this plan within five years. They said the total estimated cost would be 24 million euros a year for the next five years, money that could be obtained with funding from both private and public investment.
The plan calls for developing recycling in more than 650 municipalities, with the creation of 2,370 new full-time, permanent jobs and a further 1,420 part-time jobs, and they stress that this will contribute to green development and the economies of several areas.
The total cost of the investment for Attica is an estimated 119 million euros, which they said would work out six to 10 times cheaper than the alternatives because it does not generate toxic wastes and does not demand landfill sites.
In terms of legislative measures, they propose a bill to create a national organisation for the management of packaging and other products, fairer billing of local authorities and municipal taxes for land fills, the creation of 25 recycling centres, promotion of domestic composting and action to prepare local authorities for composting etc.
 Karatzaferis calls for action to clean up polluted AsoposPopular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Tuesday had a meeting with members of the Oinophyta Institute of Development and Culture to discuss the problem of pollution in the Asopos River.
Karatzaferis stressed that this was a problem dating back 50 years, ever since the area became industrialised, and not only severely affected quality of life for the area but all of Greece, through foods produced in the region.
He stressed the need for legislation to tackle the problem and expressed hope that this would be done.
 Woman found murdered in AthensA 30-year-old woman was found shot to death on Tuesday morning in the first-storey hallway of an apartment building in the Athens district of Gyzi. Beside the body police found a gun cartridge.
Attica police attribute the woman's death to criminal action and are conducting an investigation.
 Case file against ten individuals for child pornographyA case file against ten individuals, of which two of them were arrested under "in flagrante delicto" procedures for child pornography via the internet, was established on Tuesday by the Athens and Thessaloniki Police's Electronic Crime Squad in the framework of an operation codenamed "Twins" which took place over the last three months.
The case was uncovered during an international investigation in which 38 digital traces of Greek web users were found. The Greek Police (ELAS) was informed and after a 3-month investigation the ten suspects that trafficked child porn via the internet were located.
The activities were traced in Athens, Thessaloniki, the island of Spetses, the island of Corfu and the northwestern Greek city of Igoumenitsa.
According to prosecutor's order, and following completion of the investigation, police officers searched the suspects' residences and found and confiscated thousands of digital archives containing what they described as "hard core" child pornography, twelve hard discs, a laptop and a substantial number of CDs and DVDs, which are being processed by the police crime labs.
 Anti-racist rally in Omonia SquareAn ani-racist rally was held in Omonia Square in downtown Athens on Tuesday afternoon to promote the demand for the legalisation of all immigrants, citizenship for all the children of immigrants and asylum and housing for all refugees.
The rally was concluded with a march to Parliament, while similar events were also held in Thessaloniki and other cities in the country.
 Cloudy, rainy on WednesdayCloudy weather with rain or sleet and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-9 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -9C and 13C. Cloudy and rainy in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 1C to 8C. Cloudy with sleet or snow in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 0C to 2C.
 ิhe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe escalation of farmers' protests and the start of a dialogue in Athens, the impasse in meetings between government and farmers' representatives and the dramatic repercussions on the Greek economy, and the substantial offer of capital from foreign markets to the Greek state arising from the five-year syndicated bond loan floated on Monday carrying a high interest rate of 6.2 percent to be paid by the Greek state, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Government at a loss - Incapable of finding solution to the farmers' issue".
APOGEVMATINI: "Hypocrisy - Dialogue without the farmers at the Zappeion Mansion".
AVGHI: "Farmers' rage over the government's intransigence".
AVRIANI: "Foreign bankers and investors are robbing us".
CHORA: "The farmers turned their backs to the social dialogue".
ELEFTHEROS: "Prime Minister George Papandreou's letter ultimatum to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanding revocation of the casus belli".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli exposed - Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) left her uncovered".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "They lend to us and strip us - Government gets breather with the 8 billion euros (bond) loan but, the lenders had a party".
ESTIA: "National consensus mandatory in order for the country to exit from the crisis".
ETHNOS: "Blackout in roads, ports and border posts".
IMERISSIA: "8 billion euros breather with a high cost".
KATHIMERINI: "8 million euros...expensive breather".
LOGOS: "Impasse on the farmers' front".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "The 5-year bonds' success is extremely expensive".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Farmers' roadblock on the government's fraud-dialogue".
TA NEA: "Breather from abroad, suffocation inside the country".
TO VIMA: "Eight billion euros breather via a bond loan with extremely high interest - Government relieved".
VRADYNI: "Dialogue without the farmers - Government's clash with farmers reaches the extremes".
 Community leaders continue intensive talks, President Christofias saysNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Ali Talat, continued here Tuesday the intensive talks on governance and power sharing, as part of their effort to find a Cyprus settlement.
In statements to the press on his return to the Presidential Palace after the conclusion of the second day of the second round of intensive talks, President Christofias said the discussions will continue on Wednesday.
Asked about the reports suggesting that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is scheduled to visit Cyprus next weekend, President Christofias said is not appropriate for him to announce it whereas the competent authorities are the United Nations.
President Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
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