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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-06-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 8 June 2010 Issue No: 3511


  • [01] Founding charter for South Stream pipeline company signed
  • [02] Gov't denies drastic pension cuts in the works
  • [03] Gov't orders public sector census; creates new payroll authority
  • [04] ND tables question on delayed public-sector payments to businesses
  • [05] PASOK com't strips Tsohatzopoulos of party membership
  • [06] ND leader Samaras meets with Lord Mayor of London
  • [07] KKE's Papariga on political developments
  • [08] Foreign ministry spokesman on flight plans
  • [09] Erdogan dismisses link between occupied Cyprus, Gaza
  • [10] Gov't denies rumours of Greek default, return to drachma
  • [11] Katseli on lifting of cabotage
  • [12] Shipping minister inaugurates maritime exhibition
  • [13] 2nd Joint Greek-Russian Tourism Committee protocol signed in Moscow
  • [14] Intracom Telecom reports lower 2009 results
  • [15] Supreme Court wants third magistrate assigned to Siemens case
  • [16] Pharmaceutical expenditures drop 5 pct
  • [17] Foreign investors cut participation in ASE
  • [18] Stocks drop to 12-year lows
  • [19] Greek bond market closing report
  • [20] ADEX closing report
  • [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [22] Two girls, minors, before magistrate for stabbing 80-year-old
  • [23] The spectacular rock formations of Perama Cave
  • [24] SAE US coordinator has consultatins with education ministry officials
  • [25] Latsis Foundation grants in culture sector
  • [26] Girl, 7, killed in fire at gypsy camp
  • [27] Man dies in fire
  • [28] Panathinaikos again wins b-ball championship amid hooligan-mirred match
  • [29] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [30] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [31] Spokesman: basis of Cyprus talks defined by UN
  • [32] Spokesman: Pope's visit promoted Cyprus internationally Politics

  • [01] Founding charter for South Stream pipeline company signed

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA / Th. Avgerinos)

    The founding charter of the joint Greek-Russian company that will undertake the construction and exploitation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline was signed here on Monday by the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and the Russian Gazprom.

    The signing of the charter by DESFA CEO Giorgos Paparsenos and Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev took place in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis and Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, co-chairs of the 7th Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee meeting held earlier in the Russian capital.

    A memorandum of understanding between the Greek and Russian transport ministries was also signed as well as a protocol of the 7th Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee meeting.

    The new company, called South Stream Greece S.A., will be headquartered in Athens, with each side holding an equal 50 percent stake in the joint venture.

    According to the relevant Greek-Russian interstate agreement, the pipeline, which passes through Greece, will transport Russian natural gas to central and southeastern Europe via the Black Sea, while it will also contribute to diversifying natural gas sources and enhance Europe's energy security. Other states participating in the pipeline are Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria.

    The pipeline will supply the Greek market with approximately 1.5-3 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, and serve as a transit hub for Europe.

    Kouvelis expressed satisfaction over the interministerial committee meeting conclusions, while referring to the Greek business mission he said it "was a follow up and a tangible implementation of the agreements reached during the talks of the prime ministers of Greece and Russia, George Papandreou and Vladimir Putin."

    He stated that "the South Stream project is of major geopolitical importance for Greece," adding that the signing of the company Charter constitutes a proof of commitment as regards the speeding up of the Greek-Russian energy plans.

    He underlined that consultations on the acceleration of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project continue and reminded the recent meeting of the Greek and Bulgarian ministers of environment in Athens.

    As regards the launch of the Thessaloniki-Moscow freight train service, it was termed as an important step to further boost Greek exports to the Russian market.

    On his part, Levitin stated, referring to the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project, that the "Bulgarian side is not rejecting its implementation," adding that "the postponement observed is due to additional studies conducted. However, the intensive work by the Greek and the Russian companies continues."

    The Russian transport minister will accompany the Greek delegation to Sochi on the eastern Black Sea coast, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    Levitin stated that "there is room to further develop bilateral relations" as confirmed by a 70 pct increase recorded in the volume of bilateral transactions during the first four months of 2010, underlining the prospects of participation of Greek companies in Olympic Games projects currently under construction in Sochi.

    He referred to the great prospects of cooperation in the tourism sector underlining the need for speedier issuance of entry visas for Russian citizens.

    A new protocol on tourism cooperation with an emphasis on alternative forms of tourism was signed by the two sides in the meeting of the 2nd Greek-Russian tourism issues committee that took place within the framework of the 7th Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee meeting. The protocol also referred to investments in seaports, hotel and spa infrastructures.

    [02] Gov't denies drastic pension cuts in the works

    Government spokesman George Petalotis underlined on Monday that pensions will not be subjected to dramatic cuts and, referring to various Parliamentary investigation committees, he stressed they should meet the Greek people's expectations for results.

    "Clearly the government knew what was included in the memorandum signed and the statements made by the European Commission representatives have come to prove that," Petalotis stressed in the face of repeated press questions over the matter and sharp criticism by main opposition New Democracy, namely, that the government "didn't know what it was signing".

    He underlined that the "European Commission has confirmed that no pension will be cut to 48 pct," and pointed out that "at last, we will have a viable social insurance system."

    Referring to the parliamentary investigation committees and the likelihood of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party walking out, Petalotis said the committees should not be trivialised, adding that "we should prove that the political powers want and can have results."

    [03] Gov't orders public sector census; creates new payroll authority

    Interior minister Yiannis Ragoussis and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Monday issued a joint decision for a census of all persons employed in the public sector, due to be completed before the end of July. After the census is complete, the entire public sector payroll will be paid by the newly created Integrated Payments Authority via bank accounts.

    The decision calls for a census in the civil service, legal entities subject to public-sector law and local authorities at the municipal and secondary levels, while providing for the creation of the payments authority.

    Through the census and the creation of a single authority handling all payroll spending, the government aims to facilitate the monitoring and analysis of overall payroll figures and thus simplify the process of paying public-sector wages.

    The census will be held between July 12 and July 23 and will be preceded by a census of the General Secretariat for Public Administration and Electronic Governance at the interior ministry, as well as the General Accounting Office at the finance ministry between July 1-9, 2010.

    Those required to take the census will be asked to complete an electronic form, supplying their personal information, their position in the service and their educational qualifications. The information will then be collected at the General Secretariat for Information Systems at the finance ministry and cross-checked against the information held by social insurance funds in order to ensure proper identification.

    During the cross-checking process, each public-sector employee will be issued a unique payroll code, while a similar code will be issued to each new member of staff hired by public-sector bodies.

    Concerning the new payments authority, its mission will be to pay through bank accounts all salaries, bonuses and compensation to the personnel of the civil service, legal entities subject to public-sector rules, local authorities and persons employed as contract workers. Once it goes into operation, it will be the sole legitimate form of payment of public-sector wages.

    All bodies whose payroll comes out of the state budget are obliged to induct all payments coming under the purview of the new Payments Authority by August 31, while for local authorities and public-sector legal entities the final date is December 31.

    [04] ND tables question on delayed public-sector payments to businesses

    Main opposition New Democracy's head of growth and competitiveness policy Kostis Hatzidakis on Monday tabled a question in Parliament concerning the public sector's growing debt to private businesses, which he said was further stifling the Greek market.

    Hatzidakis cited figures showing major delays in public-sector payments to businesses, including the return of VAT.

    He noted that this, in combination with a freeze of the investment law, delays in the National Strategic Reference Framework and unfavourable terms of programmes under the Small and Micro-Business Guarantee Fund were depriving the business community of valuable financial resources and restricting liquidity even further.

    [05] PASOK com't strips Tsohatzopoulos of party membership

    Members of a ruling PASOK party transparency committee on Monday unanimously decided to strip former minister and long-time deputy Akis Tsohatzopoulos of his party affiliation, in the wake of heightened press speculation over the latter's property holdings.

    Tsohatzopoulos himself appeared before the party committee, which also examined recent press articles and the former minister's statements of means declarations.

    The ruling, according to the committee, is not linked with whatever legal ramifications the case may entail and does constitute an extra-judicial intervention, as a statement read.

    [06] ND leader Samaras meets with Lord Mayor of London

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras met on Monday with Lord Mayor of the City of London Nick Anstee.

    The meeting, at the ND central party offices in Athens, focused on Greek economy issues. Samaras also accepted an invitation to visit London.

    [07] KKE's Papariga on political developments

    Opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga underlined in a press conference on Monday that the political developments have brought indications of labor movement recovery, adding that this recovery should be stabilized and better organized.

    Papariga underlined the "absolute deterioration of the workers' status" and warned of more packages of measures in addition to those included in the memorandum signed (with the IMF, ECB, EU troika) that will focus on sectors such as education and health or local administration.

    The KKE leader stressed that "the people should consider the option of Greece's disengagement from the EU," pointing out that "such a likelihood has ceased to be regarded as taboo."

    She stressed that in such crisis conditions local conflicts are likely to increase, citing the example of Turkey and Israel.

    On the crisis in the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) andthe SYN-led Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance), Papariga said that the recent developments were "unavoidable", adding that "opportunism has always been the enemy of the popular movement."

    Referring to the KKE, Papariga stated that the party has gradually modernized its agenda and positions and has adapted them to current developments.

    As regards the bribery scandals involving politicians, Papariga stressed that they are symptomatic of the crisis and not its cause.

    She expressed opposition to the draft law aimed at lifting the cabotage restrictions in Greek seas, stressing that such moves are "half measures", while responding to a question on local government elections, scheduled to take place in the fall, she said that the KKE ballots will not be limited to candidates that are party members.

    [08] Foreign ministry spokesman on flight plans

    Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Monday termed "absolutely inaccurate" reports on the country's alleged consent on the lifting of the obligation of submitting flight plans in the framework of ICAO.

    "What is being said on a reported change in the international air traffic rules of ICAO and with our country's consent, are absolutely inaccurate. No amendment has been made to the Chicago Treaty and its appendexes, where the Greek demand is based for the submission of flight plans by all aircraft entering the Athens FIR," he said.

    "The fragmental and inaccurate presentation of nationally sensitive data distorts reality and has as a result the creation of mistaken impressions," the spokesman added.

    [09] Erdogan dismisses link between occupied Cyprus, Gaza

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA/A. Abatzis)

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday dismissed any link between the occupation of one-third of northern Cyprus by Turkish forces and the situation in Gaza.

    The Turkish premier made the comment when asked to comment on a report that an Israeli vessel would sail to Cyprus to protest the Turkish occupation of one-third of the island republic.

    "The Turkish military is not an occupier on Cyprus, rather it is on the island for the needs that arise from Turkey's capacity as a guarantor power," he told reporters.

    "If the ship goes to south Cyprus {the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus} then the issue does not affect us," he said.

    "The Turkish military ... is there (Cyprus) to ensure the peace and due to the needs that arise from Turkey's capacity as a guarantor power. Whatever other claim is unacceptable. After all, soldiers are present in south Cyprus as well," he said.

    Erdogan made the comments during a press conference in Istanbul with visiting Syrian leader Bashar al-Asad, on the sidelines of a Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, or CICA.

    Financial News

    [10] Gov't denies rumours of Greek default, return to drachma

    Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday strenuously denied rumours speculating about a possible default by Greece and a return to the drachma.

    "We have recently become witnesses of various rumours about an alleged return to the drachma, alleged rescheduling of the debt, hybrid money systems and various other things that we are hearing for the first time," Petalotis said, adding that such groundless rumours could only create confusion and disorientation in Greek society as it tried to overcome the crisis.

    "Naturally, we categorically deny all these fanciful scenarios, wherever they may originate from and in whatever way they are disseminated in Greek society," Petalotis added.

    The spokesman stressed that people should feel confident in the government's implementation of the Stability and Growth Programme, saying that this will "put us on a different course from here on".

    He criticised those spreading rumours of a default for undermining the Greek public's sense of financial security, while refusing to comment on how these rumours had arisen, noting only that "everyone has own their views and motives for making statements about the Greek economy".

    Petalotis emphasised that the government was working and had made a very great effort for the creation of the EU-IMF support mechanism, "without which we could not now speak with the certainty and security we do now."

    "We are trying through our actions to reassure the Greek people and instill a sense of economic security in citizens during very difficult conjunctures in which we act and give prospects and a target in Greek society," he said.

    He also emphasised that assessments by Brussels concerning the implementation of the stability and growth programme were "not in any way linked with fanciful scenarios of bankruptcy and return to the drachma".

    According to Petalotis, the indications concerning the implementation of the stability and growth programme were so far positive, both in terms of reducing spending and in terms of increasing revenues. He also noted that the government did not have enough figures yet to be able to make a final estimate concerning revenues, so that no assessment could justify the kind of rumours that had circulated.

    He also denied that the government was considering additional austerity measures.

    [11] Katseli on lifting of cabotage

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli participated in an interministerial meeting held at the Maximos Mansion on Monday on the issue of cabotage.

    "As you are aware, the direction given by the prime minister and his announcement is that we must proceed swiftly with the lifting of cabotage for the sea cruise as well. We discussed the last details of the draft law that will be coming to Parliament in the coming days. They are the terms that are jointly acceptable by all the agencies that deal with the cruise issue, so that our country will become a sea cruise centre for the entire Mediterranean," Katseli said later.

    According to the discussion held during the interministerial meeting as well, the draft law will be tabled in Parliament during the coming days.

    [12] Shipping minister inaugurates maritime exhibition

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli inaugurated the 22nd International Maritime Exhibition "Poseidonia 2010" on Monday afternoon.

    Katseli said that the "Poseidonia" have been for many decades the forum of the Global Maritime Community in which the leading Greek position is distinguished.

    A message sent by Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed that for the country shipping was and is the proved comparative advantage and underlined that the government is determined to proceed with all the necessary changes to secure a dynamic and competitive shipping industry in Greece.

    [13] 2nd Joint Greek-Russian Tourism Committee protocol signed in Moscow

    The protocol of the 2nd Joint Greek-Russian Tourism Committee was signed in Moscow on Monday, headed on the side of Greece by Tourism General Secretary George Pousseos and on the Russian side by the vice president of the Federal Tourism Service of Russia's Tourism Sports and Youth Ministry Evgeni Pisarevski.

    The main points contained in the protocol are the strengthening of tourist movement between Greece and Russia, cooperation between the two countries in the tourist investments sector, and mutual tourist promotion as well as tourist training and the encouragement of direct cooperation between the Tourist Organisations of Greece and Russia as well as the tourist agent unions.

    [14] Intracom Telecom reports lower 2009 results

    Intracom Telecom, Greece's largest telecoms equipment maker, which is jointly owned by the Russian Group Sistema and Intracom Holdings, on Monday reported lower 2009 results.

    Consolidated sales totaled 297.51 million euros last year, down from 373.97 million euros in the previous year, a decline of 20.4 pct, while gross earnings fell to 62.88 million euros, down 11.4 pct from 2008. The gross profit margin rose to 21.1 pct.

    Operating pre-tax earnings fell 50.4 pct to 7.22 million euros in 2009 and consolidated pre-tax and after financial expenses results showed a loss of 1.92 million euros, after earnings of 2.57 million euros in 2008. After-tax and minorities losses totaled 4.35 million euros, more than double compared with a loss of 2.02 million euros in 2008.

    [15] Supreme Court wants third magistrate assigned to Siemens case

    Supreme Court Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes on Monday asked the head of the Athens Appeals Court to request that the Appellate Judges plenum assign a third assistant magistrate to the Siemens case, to help the two appellate-level examining magistrates currently working on the case and speed up the course of the investigation.

    [16] Pharmaceutical expenditures drop 5 pct

    Stepped up inspections by the ministry of labor in pharmacies nationwide, following press reports on excessive and fraudulent prescription writing, has reportedly led to a 5-pct reduction in pharmaceutical expenditures since the beginning of 2010, a ministry statement stated.

    A prosecutor will undertake the investigation in 10 separate instances where evidence collected showed fraudulent prescription writing, even to deceased individuals and via forged prescriptions.

    Meanwhile, a total of 150 pharmacies nationwide are currently under inspection by the agency monitoring health sector expenditures and the financial crimes squad (SDOE).

    [17] Foreign investors cut participation in ASE

    Foreign investors cut their participation in the Greek stock market's capitalisation in May to 49.5 pct, down from 50.4 pct in April, although their participation remained above last year's levels (48.7 pct in May 2009).

    Foreign investors were net sellers in the previous month, with net capital outflows totaling 339.3 million euros, while Greek investors were buyers with capital inflows totaling 320.5 million euros.

    Foreign investors accounted for 51.6 pct of total turnover in the market in May (down from 53.9 pct in April but sharply up from 40.9 pct in May 2009), while Greek investors accounted for 29.7 pct of turnover (29.5 pct in April and 42.2 pct in May 2009). Greek institutional investors accounted for 16.6 pct of turnover (15.1 pct in April and 14.2 pct in May 2009). The value of turnover totaled 3.2 billion euros in May, down 32 pct from April but up 39 pct from May 2009.

    [18] Stocks drop to 12-year lows

    Stocks fell to their lowest levels since February 1998 at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, hit by a wave of strong selling pressure. The composite index of the market dropped 5.45 pct to end at 1,403.92 points, with turnover at 141.030 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 5.85 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 3.24 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 3.38 pct down. The Financial Services (1.54 pct) was the only sector to score gains, while Telecoms (11.69 pct) and Food (7.13 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 173 to 17 with another 38 issues unchanged. Attica Publications (8.5 pct), Fourlis (8.33 pct) and Marfin Egnatia (7.0 pct) were top gainers, while Ikona-Ihos (20 pct), Sfakianakis (19.28 pct) and Cyclon Hellas (14.89 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.71%

    Industrials: -3.33%

    Commercial: -2.85%

    Construction: -3.20%

    Media: -1.00%

    Oil & Gas: -1.41%

    Personal & Household: -1.96%

    Raw Materials: -5.41%

    Travel & Leisure: -6.74%

    Technology: -3.17%

    Telecoms: -11.69%

    Banks: -5.64%

    Food & Beverages: -7.13%

    Health: -3.52%

    Utilities: -5.03%

    Chemicals: -5.50%

    Financial Services: +1.54%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 4.31

    ATEbank: 0.97

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.41

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.80

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.45

    National Bank of Greece: 9.25

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.63

    OPAP: 10.70

    OTE: 5.74

    Bank of Piraeus: 3.76

    Titan: 14.00

    [19] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 80 million euros on Monday, of which 53 million were sell orders and the remaining 27 million euros were buy orders.

    The three-month state security was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 40 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened to 559 basis points, from 545 bps on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.14 pct and the German Bund 2.55 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month rate was 1.26 pct, the six-month rate 0.97 pct, the three-month 0.70 pct and the one-month rate 0.43 pct.

    [20] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -1.53 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover a low 62.731 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 14,355 contracts worth 47.910 million euros, with 31,335 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 25,510 contracts worth 14.821 million euros, with investment interest focusing on OTE's contracts (6,311), followed by Eurobank (1,391), MIG (2,742), OPAP (1,230), Piraeus Bank (696), National Bank (6,001), Alpha Bank (2,344), Marfin Popular Bank (418), Ellaktor (494), Cyprus Bank (322) and ATEbank (493).

    [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.205

    Pound sterling 0.831

    Danish kroner 7.497

    Swedish kroner 9.722

    Japanese yen 110.74

    Swiss franc 1.402

    Norwegian kroner 8.000

    Canadian dollar 1.277

    Australian dollar 1.472

    General News

    [22] Two girls, minors, before magistrate for stabbing 80-year-old

    Two girls, both minors, appeared before an examining magistrate on Monday on charges of stabbing an 80-year-old man to death in the Serres town of Kerkini and were given an extension until Friday to prepare their statements.

    The two minors apparently stabbed the old man 15 times and stole 10 euros before running away but were spotted by neighbours and the brother of the victim and arrested a few minutes later. Under lengthy questioning, they confessed to their crime.

    [23] The spectacular rock formations of Perama Cave

    The Perama Cave, on the northernmost tip of Lake Pamvotis in Ioannina, is the first cave to be exploited for tourism in Greece, and the most notable horizontal cave in the Balkans, comprising several chambers and labyrinthine passages with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

    Situated near the town of Perama (which means 'passage) the Cave, Greece's largest and one of the largest in Europe as well, extends five kilometers below the ground, and is famous for its remarkable variety of stalagmites and stalactites.

    The Cave is entered through small taverns, bringing the visitor to a huge main cavern containing every imaginable type of calcium rock formation.

    The tour takes the visitor through a field of stalagmites in the main cavern, some over 7 meters tall, then down through twisting tunnels opening into more caverns, all of which have been impressively lit, containing more than 20 different types of rock formations.

    Perama Cave, which dates back some 1.5 million years, was accidentally discovered in 1940 when local villagers were looking for shelter from bomb raids during WWII.

    After the war, amateur speleologist Constantine Kasvikis and his team took photographs that were published in the local and Athens press, drawing the attention of speleologists Ioannis and Anna Petrocheilos, who began systematic exploration and charting of the Cave.

    During their exploration, the Petrocheilos' found the bones and teeth of a family of cave-bears that lived there some 800,000 years ago, the first such discovery in Greece.

    The Cave opened to the public in 1956.

    [24] SAE US coordinator has consultatins with education ministry officials

    Greek-language education in the US and the Greek American community's support, as well as the community's efforts for the recovery of the Greek economy through the issue of bonds were the main topics of discussion in meetings held in Athens by World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) regional coordinator for the US Theodore Spyropoulos, during the annual visit of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Board of Directors' annual visit to Greece, in his capacity as member of the AHI Board.

    In meetings with education deputy ministers Ioannis Panaretos and Evi Christofilopoulou, the SAE official put forward proposals for upgrading the outdated teaching of the Greek language in the US, combined with conservation of resources.

    Spyropoulos told reporters that the ministry was particularly sensitive on issues concerning the education of the Greek community abroad and manifested interest in the particularities of Greek-language education in the US, adding that he asked the ministry to examine the possibility of backing a pilot program, that has already been prepared, at the University of Illinois for the training and certification of Greek American educators, with the aim of hiring at least 20 Greek American and migrant Greek educators for that purpose in the next relevant Ministerial Decision.

    [25] Latsis Foundation grants in culture sector

    The continuation of systematic excavations and the promotion of scientific research conducted under the aegis of the ministry of culture and tourism are being supported by John S. Latsis Pubic Benefit Foundation through cultural sponsorships.

    The systematic excavations in the site of "Mandra" on islet of Despotiko in the Cyclades chair was funded with 5,000 euros, while an additional 5,000 euros was offered in support of an international scientific meeting on Hellenistic pottery.

    The Latsis Foundation also sponsors the protection of the Greek cultural heritage at the archaeological site of ancient Olympia in southern Greece. The sum of 120,000 euros was offered to the ministry of culture for the restoration of a building used as a warehouse south of the ancient stadium at Olympia.

    [26] Girl, 7, killed in fire at gypsy camp

    A seven-year-old girl died at 14:00 on Monday when a fire broke out within a gypsy encampment on NATO avenue in Aspropyrgos. Her grandfather suffered slight burns and is now being treated in hospital.

    The fire broke out inside the shack where the gypsy family lived, which was completely burned down. There was also damage to a shack next to it.

    The fire was put out by the fire brigade, which is conducting an inquiry into what caused it.

    [27] Man dies in fire

    A 29-year-old man from Albania died in a fire that broke out in the house he was staying in Zakros village on Crete island early Monday.

    The causes of the fire are yet unknown. The Fire Brigade is conducting an investigation


    [28] Panathinaikos again wins b-ball championship amid hooligan-mirred match

    Panathinaikos Athens won the Greek first division basketball championship for the 31st time in the club's history on Sunday evening by defeating bitter rival Olympiacos Piraeus in a tumultuous fourth game (in a best of five series) marred by extensive fan violence in the stands.

    The win also marked the unprecedented eighth consecutive championship for the European basketball powerhouse.

    The match, played at Olympiacos' home court at the Peace & Friendship indoor stadium, was discontinued with 63 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and with Panathinaikos ahead 76-69.

    The game opening had initially been pushed back 40 minutes due to fan violence outside the stadium while Olympiacos fans without tickets stormed the court and attempted to attack journalists. They were repelled by riot police using teargas.

    Midway through the game, fans throwing projectiles, firecrackers and even flares caused Panathinaikos' players and coaching staff to retreat to the locker rooms and the referees asked for the evacuation of the stadium. Police, aided by riot control units, evacuated most fans from the venue although a few hundred remained and the game resumed an hour later, with a warning that if more projectiles were thrown, the game would be terminated.

    No Panathinaikos fans had been given tickets, as per the decision to not allow opposing teams' fans at away games.

    The final interruption at 1:06 in the fourth quarter, due to unruliness by the remaining spectators, means that Olympiacos will forfeit the match with a score of 20-0. Additionally, the Piraeus club, which reached the European Cup Final Four this season, faces a minus 4-point deduction for next season and playing at least two games without spectators at its home court. A relevant sports judge must validate the penalties.

    Weather Forecast

    [29] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 12C and 32C. Fair in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 18C to 30C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 15C to 29C.

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

    The social security system, Eurogroup's meeting on Monday on the economic crisis in Europe, the government's efforts to reverse the negative climate and main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras' harsh attack against the memorandum during ND's pre congress meeting, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Olli Rehn: Neither EU nor IMF demanded the pensions to be cut in half".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Pension at the age of 65 for the working mothers in the private sector - Troika's new demands, the government bargaining again".

    AVRIANI: "Scandals out of control are strangling the two mainstream parties and destroying the country".

    ELEFTHEROS: "The Greeks who were invited to the Bilderberg Group meeting - The Group convened in Spain on the euro".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "End to PASOK's mockery - The pensioners' drama begins".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Pensions: Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos satisfied because....the memorandum will be implemented".

    ESTIA: "Emergency Government in order to avoid bankruptcy".

    ETHNOS: "Cold shower on social security ".

    IMERISSIA: "Insecurity virus in markets - International alarm over the deficits".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Sweeping changes in public works".

    TA NEA: "The new pensions: the size of pensions and the retirement age".

    VRADYNI: "Antonis Samaras sternly attacked the government on the memorandum: They did not know what they voted for".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [31] Spokesman: basis of Cyprus talks defined by UN


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou stressed on Monday that the basis of talks to solve the Cyprus problem was the one described by the UN Secretary General and was part of UN resolutions.

    He also pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has expressed support to that basis.

    The spokesman said that negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, namely President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris

    Christofias and Eroglu, would continue, adding that the role of the negotiating basis was to act as a criterion regarding the content and quality of positions submitted by each side.

    Asked about the basis of the talks, which began in September 2008, Stephanou said ''the statement of the UN Secretary General is clear, that the negotiating basis is a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in relevant UN resolutions, for a Cyprus with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international identity.''

    Regarding remarks by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer, Stephanou said Downer had referred to and agreed the basis of the negotiations.

    Asked if Eroglu accepted this basis, Stephanou said Eroglu had expressed his support to this basis, adding that the role of the negotiating basis was ''to act as a criterion regarding the content and the quality of positions submitted by each side.''

    He also said ''the negotiations will continue'' and that ''from thereon the process of the negotiations is an open process and this gives us the right to judge and see how the negotiations develop.''

    Replying to questions, Stephanou said that no one could determine when an international conference would be held on the Cyprus problem, adding that the position of the Republic of Cyprus and President Christofias himself was clear.

    The spokesman announced that President Christofias has called for Tuesday an informal meeting of the leaders of the parliamentary parties, at the Presidential Palace, to discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

    The President and Eroglu, who succeeded Mehmet Ali Talat in April as the head of the Turkish Cypriot community, have met once since Eroglu became the leader of the Turkish Cypriots. Last week's scheduled meeting between the two was postponed, following remarks by Eroglu that questioned his adherence to the basis of the ongoing UN-led talks.

    The top aides to the two leaders have met since to discuss development. Talks are set to continue between the two leaders. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    [32] Spokesman: Pope's visit promoted Cyprus internationally


    The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cyprus was an historical event, which promoted across the world Cyprus and its political problem, as well as the struggle of the people of Cyprus for a solution and reunification, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Monday.

    He added that the Pope sent messages of support to the efforts of President of the Republic Demetris Christofias for a political settlement, showed great interest in the destruction of the cultural heritage in the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, and referred to the contribution of the Christians and Moslems to reconciliation among Cypriots, which could serve as an example for the people of countries in the region.

    Stephanou noted that the three-day official visit was successful, and was ''an historical event and honour for our country and our people.''

    ''His presence on Cypriot land promoted internationally our homeland, the problem of Turkish occupation and de facto division of the island, and the struggle of our people for a solution and reunification,'' Stephanou pointed out.

    He said ''the Pope sent messages of support to the efforts of the President of the Republic for a solution to the Cyprus problem, efforts he will continue to show an interest in,'' adding that the Pontiff showed ''great interest in the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied areas, which he pointed out belongs to the whole of humankind.''

    ''The Pope underlined the necessity to restore and protect the cultural heritage of Cyprus and promised to contribute in this direction,'' Stephanou added.

    The spokesman noted the significance of the Pope's reference ''to the contribution of the Christians and Moslems for reconciliation among Cypriots, which can serve as an example for the peoples of other countries, especially for the peoples of the region and the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, which has been stricken by conflicts and wars for many years.''

    ''Cyprus can contribute to the solution of these problems and become a bridge of peace, understanding and cooperation in the region. This is one of the visions of the Christofias government and for this vision he will continue to strive,'' Stephanou said.

    Asked about the role the Vatican could play concerning the cultural heritage in the areas under Turkish occupation, Stephanou said ''it is important, through this intervention and the interest of the Vatican and the Pope personally, to deal with this destruction, which is the result of the occupation and the inability of the Republic of Cyprus to act due to the Turkish occupation to save treasures of world cultural heritage, despite the fact that specific steps have been taken in this direction.''

    He added it was ''significant'' that the Pope referred to issues concerning the strengthening and continuation of efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Replying to questions, Stephanou said the government and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus cooperated for the success of the Pope's visit, and that Archbishop Chrysostomos II played ''a very positive role.''

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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