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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-02-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 Issue No: 3429


  • [01] OA, Aegean Airlines announce merger deal
  • [02] PM chairs meetings on growth, social policy
  • [03] Samaras in Cyprus: Negotiations at a critical turning point
  • [04] ND leader continues contacts in Cyprus
  • [05] ND leader concludes visit to Cyprus
  • [06] Gov't on Samaras criticism; ND reaction
  • [07] EU Council of General Affairs Ministers
  • [08] Alternate FM Droutsas gives interviews to newspapers
  • [09] PASOK tables proposal for factfinding committee on economy
  • [10] Draft law foresees felony counts for public sector corruption, graft
  • [11] Parliament president calls on German ambassador for meeting
  • [12] Investments amounting to 20 billion euros
  • [13] Katseli on economy
  • [14] Katseli meets with Azeri minister of emergencies
  • [15] Azeri minister holds talks with Greek business representatives
  • [16] Gov't on nationwide strike; dismisses EU loan speculation
  • [17] Turkish business delegation from Izsiad association in Athens
  • [18] Athens hoteliers expect drop in revenues for 2010
  • [19] Emporiki Bank unveils 225-mln-euro share capital increase plan
  • [20] New home building cost index up 1.5% in Jan.
  • [21] Stocks end 1.54% higher
  • [22] Greek bond market closing report
  • [23] ADEX closing report
  • [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [25] Arrests on drugs and weapons possession
  • [26] Trikala collects humanitarian aid for flood-stricken areas in N. Albania
  • [27] Joker jackpot won by local man on Karpathos island
  • [28] Greece's Vougiouka wins gold in Fencing World Cup in women's sabre
  • [29] Cloudy, rainy on Tuesday
  • [30] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] OA, Aegean Airlines announce merger deal

    Aegean Airlines and recently privatised Olympic Air on Monday announced their merger, referring to a "national airline champion" in a press release.

    Both carriers said their main shareholders reached an agreement on Monday regarding the merger, and the formation for a new listed air carrier.

    Additionally, they said Olympic Handling and Olympic Engineering (the maintenance base) will become 100-percent subsidiaries of the new company.

    The new carrier will also carry the name and logos of Olympic Air, following a transition period, during which the name and logos of Aegean will be used in parallel, the press release states, adding that the deal is "subject to the approval of the European Commission".

    "Until then, the exact process mechanics and associated timetable will be articulated. According to the terms of the agreement, the main shareholder of Aegean (Vassilakis Group) and the sole shareholder of Olympic Air (Marfin Investment Group) will have an equal shareholding in the combined entity, while the groups of Messrs Laskaridis, V. Constantakopoulos, G. David and L. Ioannou as well as Piraeus Bank will all maintain their proportional equity participations in the new company, thereby continuing to support this particularly important venture for the country," the press release stated.

    Aegean's Thodoros Vassilakis and Andreas Vgenopoulos, both considered as amongst the most influential Greek executives, are expected to head up the new company.

    [02] PM chairs meetings on growth, social policy

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday chaired two ministerial meetings at the Maximos Mansion, during which the government's growth and social policies were examined.

    The first meeting concerning growth was attended by Dimitris Reppas, Louka Katseli, Tina Birbili, Filippos Sahinidis and Pavlos Geroulanos, while the second on social policy was attended by Andreas Loverdos, Anna Diamantopoulou, Mihalis Chryssochoidis and Marilena Xenoyiannakopoulou.

    Drafts bills being prepared by the ministries for boosting growth in each sector were examined in the meetings.

    [03] Samaras in Cyprus: Negotiations at a critical turning point

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    The Cyprus negotiations were currently at a critical turning point, Greece's main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said on Monday, after a meeting with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias in Nicosia, where Samaras launched a visit to the island republic.

    Coming out of the talks at the Presidential Mansion, Samaras told reporters he had been briefed in detail by Christofias on developments in the Cyprus issue and the ongoing negotiations.

    The ND leader stressed that rallying together and unanimity is needed to achieve a just and viable solution that will at the same time respect the European acquis.

    "We, too, are contributing in this direction with views, positions and observations," Samaras added.

    The ND leader declined to go into detail on his positions when asked to comment on proposals that have been put forward.

    Asked if he was planning a meeting with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Samaras replied that such a meeting was not on his itinerary.

    [04] ND leader continues contacts in Cyprus

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A.Viketos)

    Visiting main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras held talks here on Monday with the president of the Democratic Rally party (DISI), Nicos Anastasiades.

    "Each one of us has already shaped views regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and this does not mean that such a cooperation, which is truly indispensable, will automatically mean an identity of views," Samaras declared after the talks, in which delegations from the two parties also participated.

    Samaras is on a two-day official visit to the island republic at the invitation of Anastasiades.

    "What is crucial is that we need to talk so that we may highlight everything we agree on with greater that the Greek position can become clearer to foreigners," the ND leader added.

    On his part, Anastasiades expressed his satisfaction, pointing out that the talks were "among the most productive".

    He said that the bases for a more close cooperation between the two parties, which are both members of the European People's Party (EPP), were laid down. As regards the Cyprus issue, Anastasiades said that there was an exhange of points of view, "particularly on what we should focus in the coming weeks, and not on what happened in the past."

    The two party leaders also decided the establishment of an ND-DISI coordinating body and a "Cyprus issue group", which will operate on a poiltical and scientific level.

    Samaras also held a meeting with the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, with the Greek leader saying afterwards that they had "very fruitful talks" on the Cyprus issue. Garoyian said that he felt "wiser" after the meeting.

    "We have common assessments regarding the dangers," the Cypriot official said adding: "Through the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus, the international community should press Turkey to abandon its deadlocked and provocative policy."

    The Cyprus issue is not at a stage in which we can be optimistic, main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said in Nicosia on Sunday night, at the start of a visit to Cyprus.

    Speaking a dinner in his honor hosted by the Cyprus Democracy Rally (DISY) party Political Bureau, Samaras said that the developments on the part of the Turkish Cypriot side are "rather bleak".

    However, he added, it was significant that "with DISY we are jointly forging a course that may give us the synergy for achievement of the common purpose, in other words to work together for a solution of the Cyprus issue through a common target and procedures that we will faithfully adhere to".

    The Greek main opposition leader also assured that "the effort for joint confrontation of the Cyprus problem, based on specific UN resolutions, but also with new aspects for Cyprus, such as the European acquis, never leaves our mind, nor will it", and stressed the need for supporting the struggle of the Cypriot people for a solution and reunification of the island, jointly with all the parties in Greece.

    Samaras is due to be received on Monday by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, and will have separate meetings with the leaders of the Cypriot political parties.

    [05] ND leader concludes visit to Cyprus

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras on Monday exchanged views and assessments on the issue of Cyprus and the prospects of the direct negotiations in separate meetings with AKEL party secretary general Antros Kyprianou, Socialist EDEK party president Yiannakis Omirou, EYROKO president Dimitris Syllouris and a delegation comprised of secretary general Maria Panagiotou and deputy George Perdikis.

    In statements, Samaras stressed the need for cooperation between the political parties of Cyprus and Greece.

    Samaras added that in the meetings "we exchanged in a very friendly and constructive climate views on various issues of vital importance concerning the issue of Cyprus."

    The ND leader, who also met with Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, concluded his visit to Cyprus on Monday evening and departed for Athens.

    [06] Gov't on Samaras criticism; ND reaction

    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis on Monday accused the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party of "hypocrisy", referring to a high-profile speech and scathing criticism against the government by ND leader Antonis Samaras a day earlier.

    Commenting on excerpts from Samaras' address, delivered on Sunday before party cadres in Athens, Petalotis spoke of a "lack of respect" toward the Greek people and underlined that the government took measures aimed at tidying up the economy since the first day it took office on Oct. 5, rejecting the ND leader's allegations over "delays" in the specific area.

    As regards to Samaras' references of an economic "asphyxiation", the government spokesman stated that in the past five years the country has dropped 35 places in the international competitiveness list.

    He underlined that the government seeks ND's "real" consent, adding that the main opposition should realize the state the country is in and its share of responsibility to this extent.

    ND reaction

    In a reply, ND spokesman Panos Panayiotopoulos countered that "it would be better if Prime Minister Mr. G. Papandreou, instead of assigning the government spokesman the task of attacking the ND president, rushed to adapt and implement the proposals of Mr. Antonis Samaras, so that the Greek economy can exit the crisis..."

    [07] EU Council of General Affairs Ministers

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Union's Council of General Affairs Ministers convened here on Monday.

    The council, in which Greece was represented by Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, examined the EU's economic strategy until 2020, as well as foreign policy issues such as the situation in Haiti, the question of Iran's cooperation with the Atomic Energy Organisation and the situation in Libya.

    On the question of the EU's economic strategy, Droutsas stressed that Greece places emphasis on the issue of combatting social inequalities and the issue of the creation of new jobs.

    The alternate foreign minister also said that he referred to the issue of "handling the economic crisis and profiteering attack that Greece is sustaining," noting that Greece "has a reliable government that tackled problems from the very beginning with seriousness and with systematic moves."

    Droutsas pointed out that the only thing that Greece is calling for from its partners is clear political support and the expression of solidarity.

    As regards foreign policy issues, the minister, referring to the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), underlined that at the initiative of the Greek side UN mediator Matthew Nimetz has been called on to visit the region and added that it will be the first official acquaintance meeting that the new Greek government will be having with him.

    Droutsas reiterated that without a prior solution to the issue of the name of FYROM there can be no question of beginning accession negotiations between the EU and this country.

    [08] Alternate FM Droutsas gives interviews to newspapers

    Journalists of the Slovak newspaper "SME" and the Czech "HOSPODNSK NOVINY" focused their interest on economic issues in corresponding interviews with Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    On questions concerning the need for cutbacks in the public sector, Droutsas replied that, apart from the enlargement of the tax base, and the curbing of tax evasion, bonuses on salaries are being restricted and salaries are being frozen.

    Another measure is that for every five working people being pensioned off or who will be departing only one will be hired. He also said that the limit for pensioning will be increasing so as to approach the European level and to corresond to increasing life expectancy.

    "With our interventions we are restricting the use of tax paradises and exemptions in high incomes and we are aiming at transferring the biggest part of the new tax obligations to the wealthy, providing at the same time support for those in greater need," Droutsas said, expressing certainty that the positive results of the measures taken will become evident even earlier than the middle of March.

    To both newspapers, the minister expressed Greece's intention to continue to cooperate closely with the European Union's agencies, but stressed that a policy of dismissals will not be followed but the restriction of the public sector will take place with the restriction of hirings.

    [09] PASOK tables proposal for factfinding committee on economy

    The ruling PASOK parliamentary group (with the exception of government members and the parliament president) tabled on Monday night a proposal for setting up an investigating committee to probe into the affair of "modified fiscal data in the period 2004-2009".

    [10] Draft law foresees felony counts for public sector corruption, graft

    Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haris Kastanidis on Monday presented a draft law on transparency in the public sector, noting that the draft law is essentially an amendment of the "means of wealth" statement and the criminal code provisions vis-a-vis corrupt civil servants.

    According to the draft law's clauses, individuals who provide evidence proving the involvement of civil servants and helping uncover corruption in the public sector will enjoy judicial immunity. The same will be in effect for civil servants who provide evidence in cases involving colleagues or superiors. In the case of crimes covered by the statute of limitations, the individual who will provide evidence and is also involved in the criminal act will not have the charges against him dismissed but will face a reduced penalty.

    As regards individuals who must submit "means of wealth statements" they latter will face felony charges in case of illegally obtained wealth that exceeds 73,000 euros. If found guilty of participation in off-shore companies, they will be stripped of their civil rights and have their share in the companies in question confiscated.

    In cases of breach of faith by civil servants, tax bureau employees or customs officers, alleged offenders will face felony charges instead of misdemeanor counts.

    Kastanidis stated that the draft law includes ministers' liability.

    [11] Parliament president calls on German ambassador for meeting

    Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos has addressed a letter inviting the German ambassador to Athens for a meeting.

    Petsalnikos will deliver to the German ambassador all the "abusive" reports of the German press on Greece and will protest German media reports that "are not characterised at all as being objective, while they are often full of inaccuracies and false information."

    Petsalnikos also addressed a letter to the German magazine Stern with which he strongly protests for an article it published on February 18 which, as it notes, "goes beyond all limits."

    Replying to the article's author, Petsalnikos mentioned that the magazine deduced from "an extremely difficult and complicated situation for Greece the following oversimplified and distorted denominator: "We Germans pay and you Greeks receive."

    Financial News

    [12] Investments amounting to 20 billion euros

    Government vice president Theodoros Pangalos chaired an informal Interministerial Committee meeting on Monday, during which moves for the release of major investment plans amounting to 20 billion euros were decided.

    According to reports, Economy, Competitivenesss and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli briefed the Interministerial Committee on "the obstacles and delays that were inherited from the previous government in the promotion of specific investments plans."

    The promotion of political initiatives for the release of those of the plans that can be implemented was decided, with interventions in every stage where obstacles appear.

    Katseli also presented growth policy pylons aimed at warming up economic activity and the production restructuring of the Greek economy, that include programmes supporting small and medium-size enterprises and arrangements for simplifying the establishing and licensing of businesses.

    [13] Katseli on economy

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Monday stated that "since November 2009, all our efforts are focused on switching on the economy's engine with liquidity in enterprises and boosting private and state investments and major changes", after a meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou for coordination of the government's actions regarding investing and its social work.

    To a press question on whether there is a 'red line' on the pressure from the EU, she said that the government's Stability and Growth Program is "our basic proposal for exiting the crisis".

    [14] Katseli meets with Azeri minister of emergencies

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Monday met with visiting Azeri Emergencies Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov, focusing on the prospects of cooperation between Greece and Azerbaijan in the sectors of trade and investments.

    Katseli underlined that they focused on business cooperation in the sectors of farm products, tourism, manufacturing and energy, considering Azerbaijan's impressive progress in the areas of oil and natural gas, while adding that a joint committee will be set up to coordinate the cooperation agreed.

    On his part, Heydarov stated that the talks concerned the sectors of tourism, security and industry, adding that they also discussed the establishment of a bilateral committee that will help in the implementation of common policies and promote cooperation.

    [15] Azeri minister holds talks with Greek business representatives

    Azeri Emergencies Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov and the 10-member official delegation accompanying him discussed investment possibilities in Azerbaidjan's market, prospects for improving bilateral economic and trade relations and Greek products of interest for promotion were discussed with Greek agency and business representatives, during his visit to the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA).

    EBEA President Costas Mihalos stressed that economic relations between the two countries have been widened considerably in past years. Greece is located in a geostrategic position for the passing of Azeri natural gas to major European capitals.

    He also said that both sides will benefit considerably from the exchange of know-how, the encouragement of business initiatives and the planning and implementation of joint energy and other projects.

    [16] Gov't on nationwide strike; dismisses EU loan speculation

    "Striking is a sacred right but equally sacred is the duty for each one of us to rise to the occasion and realise that this conjuncture creates responsibilities," government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said Monday in response to a press question on whether Wednesday's nationwide strike action will affect government policy.

    "It is very important for all of us to realise that there is no time, especially at this period, to set forth a framework of demands or present the government with unrealistic demands," he added.

    The public will face problems in travelling with public transports on Wednesday due to the 24-hour strike called by the two leading trade unions, the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY).

    From midnight on Tuesday until midnight on Wednesday, Greece's air space will be closed, in essence, due to the air traffic comptrollers' participation in the strike.

    Regarding increased press speculation over an alleged 25-billion-euro loan the government is seeking with European guarantees, Petalotis said the government's firm position is that "we do not ask for money, let alone free of any obligation."

    He underlined that "we are asking for the political support of our EU partners, for a reasonable political time, to allow the Updated Stability Plan to produce results, and that's that."

    Petalotis also denied that the Greek government has decided on the implementation of specific additional economic measures.

    [17] Turkish business delegation from Izsiad association in Athens

    A delegation comprised of Turkish entrepreneurs from the Izsiad industrialists and businessmen's association of western Turkey and Izmir on Monday visited the offices of Greece's Economic and Social Committee (OKE).

    OKE president Christos Polyzogopoulos greeted the members of the Turkish business delegation, while the head of the Izsiad delegation, Ilknur Denizli, referred to the initiative "kalimerhaba" -- combining the Greek and Turkish words for "good morning".

    Denizli said the initiative aims at the balanced and equal development of Athens and Izmir, both on a political and economic level.

    [18] Athens hoteliers expect drop in revenues for 2010

    Athens hoteliers expect lower revenues, despite forecasts of a slight increase in room occupancy rates this year, Yiannis Retsos, the president of the Federation of Hoteliers in Athens-Attica said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters during a news conference, Retsos warned that any decision to raise VAT on the hotel industry would be catastrophic for the viability of hotel enterprises in the country.

    Presenting a consulting firm's survey and forecasts made by WTTC, he said hotels in the Attica region (greater Athens) could have lost around 3,580-3,750 jobs in 2009, or around 25 pct of total workforce in the region's hotel industry.

    Retsos said room occupancy rates were the worst in the last 15 years in 2009, with the average decline in occupancy rates in Attica hotels totaling 10.2 pct at 60.9 pct, while average rate per room was 112.32 euros, down 8.3 pct. Hotel revenues fell 17.6 pct in 2009, compared with the previous year, with five-star hotels' revenues down 19.7 pct in the year. He also stressed that any negative conjecture in the capital's tourism was largely affecting the country's tourism and noted that Attica hotels' losses accounted for 14 pct of total decline in the country.

    Finally, Retsos urged the government to include Athens as a tourism destination in a labour subsidy programme and to cut social insurance contributions by hotel enterprises. He also urged the abolition of the cabotage policy, saying the port of Piraeus (in the greater Athens area) could welcome around 300,000 sea cruise passengers annually if the provision was scrapped.

    [19] Emporiki Bank unveils 225-mln-euro share capital increase plan

    Emporiki Bank on Monday announced a share capital increase plan worth 225,380,709 euros, after a decision taken by a bank's extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on Dec. 14, 2009.

    Under the plan, the bank will issue 225,380,709 new common nominal shares at a nominal value of one euro each, with preference to existing shareholders at a ratio of 11 new shares for 14 existing ones and at an offering price of 4.39 euros per share.

    Following completion of the share capital increase plan, Emporiki Bank's equity capital will total 512,228,885 euros, divided into 512,228,885 common nominal voting right shares of a nominal value of one euro each. The bank said the new shares will be traded at the Athens Stock Exchange from Feb. 26, 2010.

    [20] New home building cost index up 1.5% in Jan.

    Greece's new home building materials' cost index rose 1.5 pct in January this year, compared with the same month in 2009, following an increase of 2.9 pct recorded in the previous 12-month period, the National Statistical Service announced on Monday.

    The service, in a report, said the index was up 0.3 pct in January from December, after a decline of 0.3 pct recorded in the corresponding period in 2009.

    [21] Stocks end 1.54% higher

    Stocks ended significantly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, although trading conditions remained thin in the market. The composite index rose 1.54 pct to end at 1,957.39 points, with turnover a low 164.711 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 2.03 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.72 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.25 pct. Banks (3.79 pct) and Health (3.51 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (1.96 pct) and Utilities (1.0 pct) suffered losses.

    Klonatex (16.67 pct), Vivere (11.36 pct), Kekrops (9.8 pct), Elfico (9.76 pct) and Paperpack (9.52 pct) were top gainers, while Tzirakian Profil (20 pct), Nakas (9.70 pct) and Fieratex (8.0 pct) were top losers. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 133 to 59 with another 41 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Industrials: +3.33%

    Commercial: +1.10%

    Construction: -0.16%

    Media: -0.88%

    Oil & Gas: -0.63%

    Personal & Household: +1.65%

    Raw Materials: +2.69%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.96%

    Technology: +3.05%

    Telecoms: -0.32%

    Banks: +3.79%

    Food & Beverages: +1.79%

    Health: +3.51%

    Utilities: -1.00%

    Chemicals: +2.61%

    Financial Services: +1.43%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 7.01

    ATEbank: 1.68

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.00

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.30

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.42

    National Bank of Greece: 14.61

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.86

    Intralot: 3.45

    OPAP: 15.15

    OTE: 9.30

    Bank of Piraeus: 6.35

    Titan: 17.95

    [22] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 320 basis points in the Greek electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 6.43 pct and the German Bund 3.23 pct. Turnover in the market was a low 329 million euros, of which 254 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 45 million were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 44 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.22 pct, the six-month rate 1.10 pct, the three-month 0.66 pct and the one-month rate 0.42 pct.

    [23] ADEX closing report

    The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -0.16 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover easing at 64.487 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 10,404 contracts, worth 50.752 million euros, with 34,420 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 17,516 contracts, worth 13.735 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (5,338), followed by Eurobank (2,027), MIG (1,888), OTE (643), Piraeus Bank (1,777), Alpha Bank (1,751), Marfin Popular Bank (2,075) and ATEbank (361).

    [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.373

    Pound sterling 0.886

    Danish kroner 7.503

    Swedish kroner 9.887

    Japanese yen 125.38

    Swiss franc 1.476

    Norwegian kroner 8.099

    Canadian dollar 1.424

    Australian dollar 1.523

    General News

    [25] Arrests on drugs and weapons possession

    A 52 year-old local and a 34-year-old man from Ukraine were arrested on Sunday after an Areopolis and Gytheio police coordinated operation, and are charged with breaking the law on explosives and drugs.

    A police raid on the local's residence in Haria village in Diros, Laconia prefecture, revealed 10 handgrenades, 3 pistols -- two of 3.5mm and one of 9mm with a silencer -- a revolver, two military rifles with detachable breech, 301 military rifle cartridges, several gun bullets, 1.9 kilos of an explosive substance, a folding switchblade, a flobert bb gun, 680 grams of hashish and a precision scale. In the the house's basement, which had been turned into a bedroom used by the Ukranian, police found another 506 grams of hashish and a precision scale.

    Police confiscated the drugs and weaponry, while the two suspects were due to be taken below the local prosecutor in nearby Gytheio.

    [26] Trikala collects humanitarian aid for flood-stricken areas in N. Albania

    Trikala prefectural authorities in coopeartion with the Trikala-area Orthodox bishopric have collected 10 tons of humanitarian aid that will be dispatched to flood-stricken areas in northern Albania.

    Trikala authorities in central Greece also worked with the Albanian ambassador in Greece to ensure the most effective transport of the aid to the region.

    [27] Joker jackpot won by local man on Karpathos island

    A local man from the southeastern Aegean island of Karpathos won the Joker lottery jackpot that exceeds 5 million euros on Sunday.

    The lucky ticket cost 225 euros and was played in a lottery agency in the village of Pigadia.


    [28] Greece's Vougiouka wins gold in Fencing World Cup in women's sabre

    Greece's individual women's sabre champion Vassiliki Vougiouka won the gold medal in the FIE Fencing World Cup held in Budapest, Hungary on the weekend.

    The 24-year-old Vassiliki (Vasso) Vougiouka became the gold medalist after defeating Gioia Marzocca of Italy in the women's sabre fencing final on Sunday in the International Fencing Federation's (FIE) World Cup 2010.

    Vougiouka is the top ranker in women's fencing in Greece, with 300 points.

    Weather Forecast

    [29] Cloudy, rainy on Tuesday

    Cloudy and rainy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 2C and 20C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens, with southerly 3-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 9C to 18C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 8C to 15C.

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

    New tough measures being mulled by the government, a European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) team due in Athens Monday evening, and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras' statements at the party's first pre-Congress conference leading up to the June 25-27 8th regular Congress were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Yes, ND is being reborn - The entire rank and file a tight fist".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Resistance front by top ministers - Government cadres place 'red lines' on Maximos (government headquarters)".

    AVRIANI: "The officials who took deliver of the C4I (security system for the Athens 2004 Olymmpic Games), who returned the letters of guarantee and relieved Christoforakos (Siemens Hellas fugitive former CEO) of accountability in the affair must face the docks - Prosecutor's intervention necessary in the immense scandal".

    CHORA: "The search for 25 billion euros for interest payments in a 'fog' - Speculation of rescue plan by eurozone countries intensifies".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "PASOK (government) putting gravestone on March 25 (Greek Independence Day) - Citing the economic crisis, the foreign ministry instructed Greece's embassies and consulates abroad to cancel the commemorative events of the national anniversary".

    ELEFTHEROS: "G.A.P. (prime minister George A. Papandreou) reveals how he became a politician, in 'entertaining' interview with German magazine Spiegel".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Lethal game - How the inflated the GDP deficit - The fraud with the government's accounting 'alchemies' on the economy brought to light".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Cookery for 25 billion euros assistance - 'Window' from German' finance ministry - Loan-test for the markets".

    ESTIA: "The antidote to the crisis - We must all work more".

    ETHNOS: "Three scenarios on the final 'deal' with the EU, as Commission-ECB-IMF auditors are due to arrive today (Monday)".

    IMERISSIA: "Final stretch to new measures - The road opens for assistance, borrowing".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The 12 changes to the income statement (E1 document)".

    TA NEA: "George's 'tough poker game' for 25 billion euros loan - Counter-attack on all fronts to change the climate".

    VRADYNI: "We will become a leading power - Samaras unveiled ND's political and ideological manifesto".

    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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