|Thursday, 14 December 2017|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-05-11
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 11 May 2010 Issue No: 3489
 PM: Greece has immense prospects, but change is necessaryPrime minister George Papandreou stressed Monday that the Greece has immense prospects, not only natural wealth but also intellectual wealth and manpower, but changes are necessary to leave behind the Greece of the past, of injustice and impunity, in a statement to the press after a meeting of the Political Party Leaders' Council chaired by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.
The meeting, which was convened by Papoulias at Papandreou's request, was not attended by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance).
"We all know that Greece has immense abilities. Not only natural wealth, but also intellectual wealth and manpower. Abilities to create a viable and fair economy. But changes are necessary. We need to leave behind the Greece of the past. To put an end to the Greece of injustice and impunity," the premier said.
It is necessary to put an end to the Greece of intransparency, lack of meritocracy, and the Greece in which a political system serves special and specific interests rather than the collective interest of the country, the people, the citizens and the homeland, he added.
"But first we needed to save Greece, before we could change it. And we were vindicated in our struggle because, with the sacrifices of the Greek people as well as the fight we waged in Europe and globally, we ensured a support mechanism for Greece and its economy, with the decisions we took on Friday and yesterday in the European Union. There, we were vindicated again because we had said that Greece's problem was not only a Greek but a global problem. It is a problem that has to do with the international credit system and the need for regulations and changes to that system," Papandreou continued.
That mechanism, he added "gives us the time to make serious and major changes".
"And we have a specific program, which we naturally discussed again today at the Leaders' Council. But this specific program requires everyone to be present, it requires all the citizens, all the parties to be present in order to make the great changes," Papandreou said.
That was why it was a shame that KKE leader Aleka Papariga and SYRIZA parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras were absent, he added.
"At any rate, we will wage the battle and we will win it. For a different Greece that Hellenism deserves," the premier concluded.
 Papoulias: Crackdown on tax evasion; punish rogue civil servantsPresident of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday reportedly called for stricter legal action and a "special offense" status vis-à-vis tax-evasion and tax evaders, speaking at a meeting of political party leaders' at the presidential mansion the same day, focusing entirely on measures and initiatives aimed to abate the debt crisis.
The meeting, presided over by Papoulias, was attended by Prime Minister George Papandreou, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras and Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis. The leaders of Parliament's two leftist parties, the Communist Party (KKE) and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliament grouping declined to attend.
Papoulias called for stricter legal provisions to combat tax evasion to allow a more rapid adjudication of such cases; abolition of MPs immunity from prosecution while in office; changes in the law regarding ministers' liabilities; decreases in state funding towards political parties; changes in the statement of means regime for deputies as well as modifications in the electoral law.
The Greek president proposed what he called a "zero tolerance" for politicians violating laws that apply to every other citizen.
Turning to developments on the debt crisis, Papoulias said it was important that European leaders finally, albeit with some delay, provided a "strong message to speculators attacking the euro. The Greek problem is a symptom of the international financial system's illness, and the deficit in the eurozone's political integration."
He added, however, that this doesn't mean that the severe crisis faced by Greece today is without its own domestic causes. "The crisis is not only economic, it is deeply political, because the client state and a model exercise power in an opaque manner is bankrupt. At the point we reached, our lenders are now imposing terms."
Additionally, Papoulias, a former foreign minister, underlined that the civil servants' code must absolutely be followed, "so that rogue (public servants) are punished quickly and strictly ... something that is a prerequisite for a catharsis of the state apparatus".
Finally, the Greek president referred to the shocking death of three bank employees, one of whom was pregnant, last week during violence along a protest march through central Athens.
"The grief over the horrible death of three people, who fell victim to disgusting violence, is unbearable ... protests cannot be exploited to commit illegal acts. Everyone's freedom of protest stops where the right to life, freedom and work of the other begins. We must end this now," he emphasised.
 Samaras: Cut MPs to 200; increase transparency everywhereA package of "bold reform" measures to help overcome the ongoing economic and political crisis was proposed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras during the meeting of political party leaders, chaired by President of Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday.
The measures include changes in the law on ministers' liabilities, reducing the number of Parliament deputies to 200, adoption of measures for greater transparency in the management of public funds, adoption of statement of means for civil servants, banning party cadres from heading up public organisations and stricter controls on political party finances.
Samaras also suggested holding a Constitutional revision to promote necessary reforms.
He underlined the importance of "national understanding" and called for the immediate withdrawal of the legislation on migration and the "Kallikratis" public administration mergers plan, pointing out, however, that his proposal for withdrawal of the two draft laws was rejected by the prime minister.
He reiterated that a public real estate property should be utilised to allow the economy to exit what he called the "vicious circle" of recession and underlined that a "crusade" should get underway to limit bureaucracy and regulate the "investment environment". He also said that there should be no initiatives on national issues under the present circumstances.
 Karatzaferis on political leaders' meetingPopular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis said on Monday that the crisis can be turned into an opportunity for the country, speaking after a two-hour meeting of the Council of Political Party leaders chaired by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.
He said that the meeting, which was not attended by the KKE and SYRIZA leaders, was held in a good climate and the discussion covered the country's economic situation but also a series of other matters, "and I am of the impression that everything discussed will be materialised".
Asked if he had called for the creation of an ecumenical government, Karatzaveris said "I asked for ecumenical agreement".
 KKE sharply criticises other parties, trade unionsA statement issued by the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) central committee on Monday called on the working classes to "claim the power" by "organising its own front and turning its back to the political parties responsible for the current situation, and the trade union leaderships."
The KKE proposal suggesting a new course for Greek society will be outlined in the rally on Saturday, May 15, in Athens, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the political party leaders, which was held earlier on Monday under President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, was derided as a "circus".
The statement also pointed out that "the crisis is European and not a Greek phenomenon" and called on the working classes "to withdraw their vote of confidence from ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND), to isolate the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) and resist being fooled by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA)," terming the latter as "unreliable".
 SYRIZA critical of political party leaders' meetingOpposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group president Alexis Tsipras said in a press conference on Monday that a meeting of the political party leaders, held earlier under President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias without Parliament two leftist parties, was a "major mistake".
Tsipras said that suggestions for a "universal understanding" are untimely, considering the society's strong reaction.
He referred to the political party leaders' meeting characterising it as a "travesty", pointing out that it was a meeting of the "domestic troika", which is ready to sacrifice social cohesion and decades-old labor movement conquests.
 PM addresses cabinet meetingPrime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon, set as a precondition for the "future that Greece deserves the consolidation of a climate of social justice and mutual trust." He added that this "is needed by society, it is needed by the country".
The prime minister stressed in his address that due to the measures that have been taken the feeling of injustice has been aggravated in society, something that he himself raised on Friday at the European Council meeting.
Papandreou pointed out that the feeling of justice is very important in dealing a blow at impunity, something that concerns the entire political system. He further said that the government and his ruling PASOK party "are promoting the great reforms with changes and reversals, but with a steadfast democratic way that consolidates the feeling of justice".
Referring to Monday's meeting of the Council of political party leaders, the prime minister said that he ascertained a positive response on many issues. However, he kept certain reservations because, as he said, all these will be judged in practice and added that "many things that are based on words are not supported in practice."
 Gov't unveils draft legislation on pension system reformThe government on Monday unveiled a pre-draft legislation envisaging drastic reforms to the country's pension and social insurance system.
Presenting the draft legislation, Employment and Social Insurance Minister Andreas Loverdos said the changes were designed to ensure the viability of the pension and healthcare system, rescuing the national economy and favouring positive assessments of Greece in the framework of the European Union and ensuring the smooth operation of an EU/IMF support mechanism for the country.
The main changes of the new system include: introduction of a basic pension, guaranteed by the state, totaling 360 euros. Introduction of a retributive pension based on paid contributions and the working time which will begin operating from 2018, offering incentives for longer stay at work. The new system aims to raise the real average retirement age from 61.4 years currently to 63.5 by 2015, prohibiting all voluntary retirement programs and imposing penalties for early retirement.
It also envisages that all civil servants will be included in the IKA system from 2013, introducing a single management agency for pension funds' reserves, integrating social insurance agencies and separating the healthcare from the pension system.
Speaking to reporters, Loverdos said the measures were aimed to reconstructing the social insurance scheme, by rescuing it from collapse, while at the same time it will contribute decisively to achieving the government's primary target of avoiding bankruptcy, restructuring public finances and taking the country into a new cycle of sustainable growth.
 Samaras: We should have taken measures, even if it had toppled usMain opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras said that the preceding ND government should have taken the appropriate measures for the economic crisis, even if this would have resulted in the toppling of the government, in a newspaper interview published on Monday.
In an interview with Ta Nea daily, Samaras also charged that the current PASOK government is seeking "co-culprits, not backing".
Samaras acknowledged that the previous government of ND should have promptly taken measures to face the economic crisis. "We should have, last summer, ourselves taken measures, which would naturally have been milder than today's measures. And they would have given early on the proper message to the markets. Would that we had taken the proper measures then, even if it had toppled us," Samaras said, noting at the same time that ND former prime minister Costas Karamanlis had, before the elections, "at least made his self-criticism" on this.
Samaras further accused the PASOK government of seeking a "blank check" in parliament, and of expecting the parliamentary parties to vote for "undetermined measures", while he also criticised it for refusing to convene the Council of Political Party Leaders "before he signed the (austerity) measures".
 Alternate FM Droutsas in BrusselsBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)
Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas expressed his satisfaction over the references contained in the European Union's common position that will be presented at the EU-Turkey Association Council taking place on Monday.
According to the alternate Foreign minister, the EU's common position places emphasis on the promotion of the constitutional reform in Turkey, hailing the Turkish government's relevant intention.
Droutsas further said that without these reforms and the structural changes in the Turkish state and Turkish society there can be no genuine vision of Turkey's full accession to the EU.
As regards issues of special Greek interest of the common position, Droutsas said that Greek positions are fully covered. Regarding the relations of good neighbourliness and the issue of Cyprus, the Council returns to the positive formulations of the conclusions of December, while there is explicit reference to Sea Law.
The alternate Foreign minister also mentioned that in the relevant text the adoption of the latest Confidence Building Measures is hailed and Turkey's obligations towards minorities, their property rights and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are recorded, while mention is made of the recent relevant opinion by the Venice Committee.
Referring to relations between the EU and Russia, an issue discussed at Monday's General Affairs Council, Droutsas said that the EU and Russia share common interests and face common challenges. For these reasons, as he said, the strengthening of this relation is supported with the enlargement of the field of cooperation to issues that will have an impact on the daily lives of citizens, such as trade relations, Russia's participation in the World Trade Organisation and the starting of a substantive discussion on the deregulation of the visa system.
 Greek Alternate FM Droutsas to visit ViennaVIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis)
Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will be outlining the Greek "Agenda 2014" initiative on the European incorporation of the Western Balkans on Wednesday, at an international seminar at the famous Vienna Diplomatic Academy.
The seminar, titled "A region in the path to Europe-Reactivation of the European perspective of the Western Balkans", will be attended, among others, by Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, with whom Droutsas will be holding separate talks at noon, and the European Commission's enlargement general director, Michael Leigh.
The participation of the Greek alternate Foreign minister in the seminar in Vienna constitutes the continuation of his talks with the Austrian foreign minister in Athens last January and the then initiative by the two on the sending of a joint letter to all their foreign minister counterparts of the EU member-states to promote the idea of the accession course of the Balkan countries with 2014 as the horizon.
Athens believes that the joint actions of Greece, which is at the centre of the Balkan region, and Austria, that has a historic presence in the Balkans, will substantively help the target of the European accession of the countries of the Balkans.
 AHEPA condolences for dead bank employeesWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA)
The president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based association of Greek-Americans, issued the following statement on recent developments in Greece:
"Greece is enduring an unprecedented financial crisis and yesterday adopted a tough and necessary austerity program that will be instrumental in shaping the country's future. As with any debate in a democracy voices on both sides of the issue have the right to be heard. Marching peacefully in protest is certainly acceptable; however, protests that result in the destruction of property, violence, and the murder of fellow citizens, are simply unacceptable and deplorable. We are deeply saddened by the murders of three Marfin banking employees who were dutifully working when their building was set on fire by rioters. Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers are with the victims and their families. We echo the call of Prime Minister George Papandreou to bring the perpetrators of this tragic and heinous act to justice," AHEPA president Nicholas Karacostas said, in a statement.
 City of Athens plaque at torched Marfin bankThe Athens City council on Monday arrived at a unanimous resolution, following a proposal by Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, to place a plaque at the Marfin Egnatia bank branch off Stadiou street in memory of the three employees, one of whom was pregnant, killed there on May 5, 2010.
The dedication on the plaque, to bear the City of Athens insignia, will be one of condemnation of the tragic event and of violence, in general, while all municipal tickets will jointly decide on the message to be inscribed.
 FinMin: Commission signs 80bln eurozone loan to GreeceBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA)
The loan agreement between Greece and the European Commission was signed on Sunday in Brussels for the 80 billion euros support mechanism for the Greek economy, finance minister George Papaconstantinou announced in the first hours of Monday after an urgent marathon 11-hour session of the EU economy and finance (ECOFIN) ministers, who also decided a mammoth 720 billion euros EU support mechanism, with International Monetary Fund (IMF) participation for the eurozone countries threatened with default.
The ECOFIN Council also said it "strongly supports the ambitious and realistic consolidation and reform program of the Greek government".
Papaconstantinou further announced that the IMF Board, in a meeting on Sunday, also approved a 30 billion euros loan for Greece.
He added that disbursement of the first tranche of the total 110 billion euros EU-IMF support package for Greece will commence in the next few days so that the country will not face problems with its borrowing needs and smoothly service its debt this month and in the coming months.
Papaconstantinou further said that the ECOFIN Council further decided the creation of a support mechanism of 500 billion euros from the EU and 160 billion euros from the IMF, which will operate under the same terms as that for Greece, to be available for the EU members, and backed Spain's and Portugal's commitment for significant additional fiscal adjustments in 2010 and 2011.
The relevant ECOFIN press release appears below:
"The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"The Council and the Member States have decided today on a comprehensive package of measures to preserve financial stability in Europe, including a European Financial Stabilisation mechanism with a total volume of up to ¬ 500 billion.
In the wake of the crisis in Greece, the situation in financial markets is fragile and there was a risk of contagion which we needed to address. We have therefore taken the final steps of the support package for Greece, the establishment of a European stabilisation mechanism and a strong commitment to accelerated fiscal consolidation, where warranted.
First, following the successful conclusion of procedures in euro area Member States and the meeting of euro area Heads of State or Government, the way has been cleared for the implementation of the support package for Greece. The Commission has signed today, on behalf of the euro area Member States, the loan agreement with Greece and the first disbursement will proceed, as planned, before 19 May. The Council strongly supports the ambitious and realistic consolidation and reform programme of the Greek government.
Second, the Council is strongly committed to ensure fiscal sustainability and enhanced economic growth in all Member States and therefore agrees that plans for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms will be accelerated, where warranted. We therefore welcome and strongly support the commitment of Portugal and Spain to take significant additional consolidation measures in 2010 and 2011 and present them to the 18 May ECOFIN Council. The adequacy of such measures will be assessed by the Commission in June in the context of the excessive deficit procedure. The Council also welcomes the commitment to announce by the 18 May ECOFIN Council structural reform measures aimed at enhancing growth performance and thus indirectly fiscal sustainability henceforth.
Third, we have decided to establish a European stabilisation mechanism. The mechanism is based on Art. 122.2 of the Treaty and an intergovernmental agreement of euro area Member States. Its activation is subject to strong conditionality, in the context of a joint EU/IMF support, and will be on terms and conditions similar to the IMF.
Art 122.2 of the Treaty foresees financial support for Member States in difficulties caused by exceptional circumstances beyond Member States' control. We are facing such exceptional circumstance today and the mechanism will stay in place as long as needed to safeguard financial stability. A volume of up to ¬ 60 billion is foreseen and activation is subject to strong conditionality, in the context of a joint EU/IMF support, and will be on terms and conditions similar to the IMF. The mechanism will operate without prejudice to the existing facility providing medium term financial assistance for non euro area Member States' balance of payments.
In addition, euro area Member States stand ready to complement such resources through a Special Purpose Vehicle that is guaranteed on a pro rata basis by participating Member States in a coordinated manner and that will expire after three years, respecting their national constitutional requirements, up to a volume of ¬ 440 billion. The IMF will participate in financing arrangements and is expected to provide at least half as much as the EU contribution through its usual facilities in line with the recent European programmes.
At the same time, the EU will urgently start working on the necessary reforms to complement the existing framework to ensure fiscal sustainability in the euro area, notably based on the Commission Communication to be adopted on 12 May 2010. We underline the importance that we attach to strengthening fiscal discipline and establishing a permanent crisis resolution framework.
We underlined the need to make rapid progress on financial market regulation and supervision, in particular with regard to derivative markets and the role of rating agencies. Furthermore, we need to continue to work on other initiatives, such as the stability fee, which aim at ensuring that the financial sector shall in future bear its share of burden in case of a crisis, also exploring the possibility of a global transaction tax. We also agreed to speed up work on crisis management and resolution.
We also reiterate the support of the euro area Member States to the ECB in its action to ensure the stability to the euro area."
 Barroso: 'Any effort to weaken euro will fail'BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / V. Demiris)
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday expressed confidence that an ECOFIN decision to establish a European support mechanism will ensure that "any effort to weaken the euro will fail".
Addressing a World Economic Forum in Brussels, Barroso said the European Union reached - within 48 hours - an agreement ensuring a coordinated, rapid and effective response to dealing with difficulties faced by any Eurozone member-state.
The Commission President stressed that the ECOFIN decision did not only envisage offering of financial support but promoting efforts over fiscal stability, while he expressed his satisfaction over commitments made by Spain and Portugal to take urgent additional fiscal adjustment measures.
Barroso noted that the recent crisis showed that "if we want a monetary union we must promote economic union as well".
 Budget deficit down 41.8% in Jan-AprGreece's budget deficit shrank 41.8 pct in the first four months of the year to 6.283 billion euros, down form 10.791 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2009, the finance ministry announced on Monday.
Net budget revenues grew 10 pct in the January-April period, down from a budget target of 11.7 pct, while budget spending fell 8.1 pct, surpassing a budget target for an annual decline of 4.8 pct. Primary budget spending dropped 8.7 pct in the four-month period.
 Bank of Greece reportGreece's state budget deficit shrank by 28.4 pct in the January-April period to 7.7 billion euros, from 10.7 billion in the same period last year, the Bank of Greece announced on Monday.
The central bank, in a report, said the improved budget deficit figures reflected a 5.0 pct rise in budget revenues and a 10.5 pct drop in spending in the four-month period. Budget revenues totaled 15 billion euros in the January-April period, up from 14.3 billion euros last year, while spending eased to 19.6 billion euros from 21.9 billion euros in 2009.
 Marginal hike of foreign investors' participation in Athens bourseForeign investors slightly raised their participation in the Athens Stock Exchange's capitalisation to 50.4 pct in April, slightly up from 50.3 pct in March and 47.2 pct in April 2009, while Greek investors owned 48.4 pct of the market, official figures showed on Monday.
Foreign investors' activity in April recorded a net outflow of 368.15 million euros, while Greek investors were net buyers with capital inflows totaling 349.46 million euros. Foreign investors accounted for 53.9 pct of total turnover in the market (up from 52.2 pct in April and 47.1 pct in April 2009), while Greek investors accounted for 29.5 pct of turnover up from 28 pct in March and down from 35.1 pct in April 2009.
Turnover totaled 4.703 billion euros in April, up 22 pct from March (3.869 billion euros), while active codes jumped to 76,753 in April.
The Greek market's capitalisation totaled 71.9 billion euros at the end of April, down from 79.3 billion euros in March and 75.7 billion in April 2009.
 Industrial production down 3.7% in MarchGreece's Industrial Production composite index fell 3.7 pct in March this year, compared with the corresponding month in 2009, after a decline of 7.0 pct in March 2009, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Monday.
The statistics service said the average industrial production composite index fell 5.5 pct in the January-March 2010 period, compared with the same period last year, after a decline of 8.8 pct recorded in the first quarter of 2009.
The statistics service attributed the 3.7 pct decline in the index this March to an 11.5 pct drop in mining production, a 1.0 pct fall in manufacturing production, an 11.1 pct drop in electricity production and 3.7 pct rise in water production.
 Pharmacists suspend strikeThe country's 11,000 pharmacies will operate as normal on Tuesday, since the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Society has suspended its strike, following the meeting held on Monday between the Society's directorate and Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli.
The Society's president D. Vagionas said after the meeting that "Mrs. Katseli reassured us that there shall be no surprise and that the 'red lines' that have been set by the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Society will not be touched, as are the land planning and population criteria."
The Society's board will convene again on Wednesday to reconsider the situation that has been created and to proceed with new decisions.
 Casino operators call for ban of online casino radio adsFive casino operators in Greece have appealed to the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR), the independent watchdog authority that supervises and regulates the broadcast sector, demanding that a radio ad for an online casino be banned.
The appeal was filed in response to a commercial for an online casino aired on a radio station.
The companies that filed the complaint maintain that the commercials in question are in violation of Greek law, and also constitute an act of unfair competition, while also harming society, particularly minors.
 Stocks soar 9.13% on Mon.A decision by European leaders to set up a massive rescue package for the support of the euro created a eurphoric climate in Greek capital markets, with the Greek bonds' spread shrinking spectacularly and stock shares soaring in the Athens Stock Exchange. The composite index of the market jumped 9.13 pct to end at 1,779.30 points, recording the biggest daily percentage rise since October 29, 2008, while turnover rose to 332 million euros.
The FTSE 20 index jumped 10.51 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 9.93 pct up and the FTSE 80 index ended 7.60 pct higher. All sectors moved higher, with the Banks (14.42 pct) and Health (14.41 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 197 to 20 with another 21 issues unchanged. Viohalco (23 pct), Sprider (22 pct), Koumbas (20 pct) and Aspis Bank (19.05 pct) were top gainers, while FHL Mermeren (9.70 pct), Nutriart (7.69 pct) and Olympic Catering (7.48 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +6.00%
Personal & Household: +10.71%
Raw Materials: +12.19%
Travel & Leisure: +8.30
Food & Beverages: +3.51%
Financial Services: +10.06%
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: 5.50
Public Power Corp (PPC): 13.30
HBC Coca Cola: 18.10
Hellenic Petroleum: 8.01
National Bank of Greece: 12.11
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.55
Bank of Piraeus: 5.41
 Greek bond market closing reportThe Greek electronic secondary bond market showed signs of life on Monday, after several days of inactivity, with turnover at 3.0 million euros, of which 2.0 million euros were sell orders and the remaining 1.0 million euros were buy orders. The five-year benchmark bond was the only security which was traded in the market. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank spectacularly to 478 basis points (falling as low as 370 bps during the session), with the Greek bond yielding 7.74 pct and the German Bund 2.96 pct.
In interbank markets, interest rates were almost unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.22 pct, the six-month rate 0.95 pct, the three-month rate 0.64 pct and the one-month rate 0.40 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -0.82 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover rising to 115.389 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 21,371 contracts worth 92.716 million euros, with 31,075 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 27,539 contracts, worth 22.673 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (10,850), followed by Eurobank (1,527), MIG (1,019), OPAP (1,121), Piraeus Bank (1,928), Alpha Bank (3,585), Intralot (707), Cyprus Bank (1,915) and Hellenic Postbank (516).
 Foreign Exchange rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.307
Pound sterling 0.870
Danish kroner 7.501
Swedish kroner 9.763
Japanese yen 121.94
Swiss franc 1.436
Norwegian kroner 7.931
Canadian dollar 1.335
Australian dollar 1.442
 Athens unveils new Holocaust monumentA Holocaust monument was unveiled in central Athens on Monday, close to the Acropolis, during a special ceremony organised by the City of Athens and the Greek capital's Jewish community.
"I want to salute the Greek government, the municipality of Athens, and the Jewish community in Greece for this important initiative in building this monument in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in Athens," visiting Knesset Deputy Speaker Ruhama Avraham said during the ceremony in the ancient Kerameikos district of Athens.
The monument, comprised of six triangular marble blocks detached from a central hexagon of the same material, appears is reminiscent of a Star of David. The site of the monument is also within close proximity of a synagogue on Melidoni street, from where Nazi occupation troops rounded up some 1,000 Athenian Jews in April 1944 before sending them off to death camps.
The monument is the work of noted Greek-American artist DeAnna Maganias.
Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou and the president of the Jewish community of Athens, Benjamin Albalas, were scheduled to attend the event.
 Athens attorney accused of libel via the InternetAn Athens attorney has been charged with libel committed through the internet and violations of personal data statues.
According to the indictment, the man is charged with sending email to the La Scala Opera House's board of directors in Milan with libellous content, allegedly targeting a high-ranking executive of the opera of Greek descent, a permanent resident of Italy.
The Electronic Crime Squad in Athens launched an investigation after the theatre executive filed a lawsuit against the attorney, accusing him of slander and violation of personal data committed through the internet. Based on the findings of the probe, the defendant sent email with the purpose of harming the professional status and jeopardizing the man relations with the board of directors.
A police search of the attorney's house focused on a PC unit, three hard drives, a laptop and a Blackberry.
 Ministerial decision allows cremation in GreeceThe first-ever cremation centre will soon be established in Greece, following a ministerial decision signed last week at the initiative of the environment, energy and climate change ministry. The decision was also signed by the ministers of interior and health.
 Fair on TuesdayFair weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 11C and 31C. Fair in Athens, with light winds and temperatures ranging from 16C to 31C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 14C to 29C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceEU decision to establish a support mechanism with IMF participation for eurozone countries threatened with default and the 18 fundamental changes included in the new social security bill, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Sweeping changes in social security - Relevant bill to be released on Monday".
APOGEVMATINI: "Forty years of work mandatory for retirement".
AVRIANI: "The Europeans fooled us and led Greece to take out loans with delay and high interest rates and they stuck us with the IMF".
ELEFTHEROS: "Government is concealing the anti-popular measures package which is included in the agreement with the IMF".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Clout - Government handed us over to IMF - IMF is not the only solution".
ELEFHTEROTYPIA: "EU-IMF with 600 billion euros against the markets - Tough bargaining in Ecofin on a support mechanism based on the Greek model".
ESTIA: "A low euro parity is good for Greece - It acts positively for competitiveness".
ETHNOS: "16 changes in pensions and retirement ages - The final regulations for social security".
IMERISSIA: "They are shielding the euro - Alarm for a 600 billion euros support package".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Europe gives powerful triple response to the crisis".
TA NEA: "Lower pensions, more labour slavery - The final plan of the new social security bill".
VRADYNI: "Government baptizes the labour Middle Ages .....development - Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou preannounced new measures".
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