|Saturday, 24 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-06-14
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 14 June 2010 Issue No: 3516
 Deputy FM addresses BSEC Bank meeting in IstanbulANKARA (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas)
The unique abilities of the Bank established in Thessaloniki by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation were presented by deputy foreign minister Spyros Kouvelis during an address to the opening session of the 12th meeting of the Council of Directors of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank taking place in Istanbul.
The Bank is one of the most important elements of the BSEC, adding that the organisation's headquarters in Thessaloniki provides more prospects "which we want to make use of as a springboard for achieving developmental cooperation in the Black Sea area, and at the same time give opportunities to Greek and non-Greek enterprises to become active in the region," Kouvelis told ANA-MPA on the sidelines of the meeting.
After his address, Kouvelis left for Luxembourg to attend a meeting of the EU Developmental Cooperation Ministers, on the sidelines of which he will have bilateral meetings with European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva, and a delegation of ActionAid volunteers.
 PM Papandreou gives interview to Austrian newspaperVIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis)
Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in an interview with the Austrian newspaper "Der Standard", underlined the abandonment of the mismanagement of the previous government and the economy's full restructuring as a duty and the need to invest in human capital and for the existence of a social state.
Papandreou stressed that Greece is no longer in danger of bankruptcy and called on Europe to invest for its growth and in order to obtain resources to enact monetary exchange taxes and to proceed with the issuing of Eurobonds.
Referring to the need for boosting competitiveness, the prime minister said that Greece has products for specialised markets, it can play an important role in tourism, agriculture and in the renewable energy sources sector.
Papandreou also said that "the government has done everything to prevent the threat of the danger of their losing their job, their pension and the euro with which the Greeks have been living over the past eight months, who are being shocked by rumours and fears."
The prime minister's interview is accompanied by his biography and a photo of himself and information on Greece's economic state.
 Tsipras: Renewalists' withdrawal from SYRIZA a 'leap into the void'Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance leader Alexis Tsipras severely criticised the withdrawal of four renewalist MPs from the alliance, in an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.
Tsipras, whose own party, the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos), heads the SYRIZA alliance, criticised the move as a "leap into the void" by the four renewalists, who were elected to parliament on the SYRIZA ticket.
Four MPs from the renewalist wing of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance on Wednesday withdrew from the SYRIZA coalition, and declared themselves Independent MPs.
Up to then SYRIZA parliamentary rapporteur Fotis Kouvelis, Nikos Tsoukalis, Thanassis Leventis and Grigoris Psarianos submitted their resignations from the alliance during a meeting of the SYRIZA parliamentary group and sent a letter to parliament president Philippos Petsalnikos informing him of their decision and announcing that they will remain in parliament as Independent MPs.
"In any event, we will not engage in a war of attrition. Their course will be judged by life itself, as will the stance of all of us be judged," Tsipras said.
"You don't abandon your home because the people next door are making noise. Unless you have somewhere better to go, but I don't think so. The future will see," he added.
He also said that the voters had backed SYRIZA on the basis of what it was at the time of the elections, with the different viewpoints and different political tendencies it encompassed.
 Tsipras addresses Coalition party's Central Political CommitteeCoalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) president Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday that he and his party will not embark on a war of attrition with the Renewal Wing and stressed the need for a new contract in the framework of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA).
Inaugurating the session of the party's Central Political Committee, Tsipras criticised government policy, saying that "the government majority is hanging from a thread" and that "it is in a state of anxiety due to the antipopular measures that it has taken."
Tsipras further said that the party's targets in the near future are the social security issue, labour issues and the question of privatisations.
Moreover, he accused the two mainstream parties for the scandals, stressing that "there is a derby between them as to who stole the most."
Tsipras wenty on to say that the Left is not part of the problem and that the party will soon be presenting its own plan.
 Deputy culture/tourism minister in CyprusDeputy culture and tourism minister George Nikitiadis begins a two-day visit to Cyprus on Monday for talks with government officials on matters of his area of responsibility.
On Monday he will meet separately with Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism minister Antonis Paschalides and with Cyprus Sport Organisation general director Costas Papacostas.
On Tuesday, Nikitiadis will meet with Education and Culture minister Andreas Demetriou, before departing for Athens in the afternoon.
 New opinion pollsTwo opinion polls appearing in an equal number of newspapers on Sunday indicated that Greek citizens rate the country's governments as falling below par.
According to a Public Issue opinion poll appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini daily, the respondents ascertain a crisis in the political system.
In a sampling of 498 respondents nationwide, 52 percent never, or almost never, have confidence in the governments of Greece, while 4 in 10 respondents trust the government only on occasion.
Also, an overwhelming majority of 89 percent of the respondents feel that the governments serve the large interests, while 77 percent feel that the public money is being mismanaged.
On corruption, 65 percent of the respondents believe that corruption is very widespread in Greece, and 27 percent that it is rather widespread, with politicians heading the "black list of the corrupt", followed by doctors. Finally, 53 percent of the respondents have no confidence in the two mainstream parties -- ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND) -- with respect to dealing with corruption in the country.
In a Pulse RC opinion poll appearing in the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos daily, the respondents graded the government as failing to pass the grade in four crucial sectors: the economy, eliminating corruption, growth, and foreign policy.
In a nationwide sampling of 1,095 respondents, 70 percent overall (including PASOK voters) evaluate the government's picture as "bad to very bad" and 20 percent as "mediocre". On management of the economy, 85 percent evaluate the government as "very bad", while 48 percent evaluate as "bad to very bad" the government's handling of corruption, and 42 percent evaluate as "bad to very bad" the government's handling of foreign policy matters.
 FinMin: No reason for worryFinance Minister George Papaconstantinou said that if additional measures prove necessary "then we will not have done our job, and we will all be judged for that", in an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of RealNews newspaper.
"Although noting has been won yet, we are progressing well and, the more we proceed at these rates, there is no reason for worry," he added.
Papaconstantinou noted that the government has a "strong four-year mandate" with which it is forging ahead, and said that "the critical times the economy and the country went through and are still going through revealed the maturity of the Greek society today".
"A maturity that is reflected in the daily demand of the citizens for transparency, abolishing impunity, for justice, growth and a prospect. A maturity that is encapsulated in the phrase 'I want my sacrifices to not be in vain'," the minister added.
The government's measures have come at a very difficult time for the country and its economy, as the only exit from catastrophe, he said, adding that he, personally, listens too and takes into consideration the criticism for mistakes and omissions in individual handling and matters under his area of responsibility.
Papaconstantinou further said he is "more optimistic than ever" on the course of the euro in general while, on Greece's course to the second tranche of the EU-IMF support mechanism loan due to be disbursed in September, he stressed that "we have no reasons to worry, so long as our program is being materialised at today's pace, and with success".
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.222
Pound sterling 0.835
Danish kroner 7.498
Swedish kroner 9.657
Japanese yen 112.02
Swiss franc 1.400
Norwegian kroner 7.897
Canadian dollar 1.260
Australian dollar 1.441
 First heatwave of the summer expected in middle of the weekTemperatures are increasing throughout the country and are expected to approach 40 degrees Celsius in the middle of next week. Thousands of Athenians headed for beaches around the capital on Saturday, while people in other major urban centres also left their homes to go to the closest beaches.
Temperatures will remain high on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, reaching 37 degrees in Athens and 36 in the northern city of Thessaloniki. Temperatures are expected to decrease gradually as of Thursday.
 Greece loses 2-0 to South Korea in World Cup gamePORT ELIZABETH (ANA-MPA/P. Koumantaros)
The Greek national soccer team lost to South Korea 2-0 in its first World Cup Group B game played in Port Elizabeth in South Africa on Saturday. The game was held at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and the goals were scored by Lee Jung-soo 7' and Park Ji-sung 52'.
 Fair on MondayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-5 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 20C and 38C. Fair in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 24C to 37C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 23C to 35C.
 Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glanceThe economy and speculation pressure, the Siemens slush funds scandal, social security changes, union mobilisations and political developments were the main front-page items in Sunday's newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "This is how we opened up the back door to the Aegean for Turkey".
APOGEVMATINI: "All the changes to the social security system for the public sector - What the burning draft law foresees".
AVGHI: "What divides us, or what unites us?"
AVRIANI: "Socrates (businessman Kokkalis) holds them all in his hands - Careful he doesn't get angry and begins making revelations..."
CHORA: "Everyone in Siemens' 'oven' - Politicians, businessmen, stock brokers implicated in the scandal that has rocked Greece".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Papandreou in a panic after being booed during his visit to Tripolis".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Siemens' little black book".
ETHNOS: "The 'tough gang' that is gambling at Greece's expense: Foreign banks and large-scale investors behind the 'bankruptcy' speculations".
KATHIMERINI: "The IMF (International Monetary Fund) had warned Greece as early as spring 2009".
LOGOS: "What has been agreed for the social security system".
NIKI: "Cries and whispers at Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) - Government's slow reflexes in management of crises".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Escalation of mobilisations, with strike in the last week of June".
REALNEWS: "The salvation plan has been 'locked in' - The secret agreement among the EU leaders in Brussels".
TO VIMA: "30 names in the finance ministry's financial crimes squad (SDOE) trap - Raid on surgeries, courts, nightclubs and notaries".
VRADYNI: "The new salaries in the public sector - The changes being brought by the uniform salary scale".
 European Conference of Presidents of Parliament closes in LimassolLIMASSOL (CNA/ANA-MPA)
The Council the Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) fully support the ongoing negotiations and peace process in Cyprus, and hope that everlasting peace will be found, President of PACE Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference with President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus Marios Garoyian, after the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament wrapped up its works in Limassol, Cavusoglu said he established very good personal relations with Garoyian and said that he looked forward to meeting him again when he returned to Cyprus for an official visit.
Garoyian said Cyprus and its people await the support of the participants, especially concerning the support of their rights, for a solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that Cyprus and its people are entitled to enjoy the same rights as all states and peoples of Europe.
Opening the press conference, Cavusoglu said ''this Conference was very successful indeed,'' adding that ''over 50 presidents and vice presidents of parliament have attended this event and confirmed that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is the largest pan-European parliamentary forum.''
He noted that ''with all this diversity, we have managed to speak the same language, the language of democracy, plurality and human rights, the language of our deepest convictions.''
Cavusoglu said ''it was in this spirit that we approached the two very important themes chosen for our conference,'' namely ''Rights and Responsibilities of the Opposition in a Parliament'' and ''National Parliaments and International Human Rights law: Implementation of the principle of non-discrimination.''
''Not surprisingly, we have all spoken in favour of these principles but there is a long way from the general acceptance to the concrete application and implementation, and that is where I see the main value of this Conference. We could learn from each other the best practice and learn from our mistakes,'' he pointed out.
Furthermore, he thanked Garoyian for hosting the Conference, noting that they established ''very good personal relations.''
''I look forward to meeting him again when I will come back here for my official visit, hopefully this autumn,'' he added.
Replying to questions, Cavusoglu said ''the Council the Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly fully support the ongoing negotiations and peace process on the island, and we hope that they will reach everlasting peace and solution.''
To other questions, Garoyian said it was a great pleasure that Cavusoglu was in Cyprus and co-chaired the Conference, adding that ''cooperation was excellent and there was very good coordination from the beginning till the end.''
''Cavusoglu will visit Cyprus officially. I have sent him an invitation to visit Cyprus and this visit will take place,'' he added.
Asked about the absence of Turkey from the Conference, Cavusoglu said he was in Cyprus as the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe'' and was not in a position to answer that question, and thus referred journalists to the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament.
Closing the press conference, Garoyian said that during the Conference ''we focused, with a great sense of responsibility, on issues concerning mainly human rights and, on the basis of PACE principles and declarations, with sought ways to support and safeguard human rights.''
''We also dealt with issues concerning the role and the responsibilities of the parliaments, the role of the ruling parties, and mainly the role of the opposition in a democratic parliament,'' he said.
He also expressed certainty that the Conference ''has made us even better ambassadors of human rights.''
Garoyian added that Cyprus and its people await the support of the participants, especially concerning the support of their rights, ''in order to at last see the Cyprus problem reach a just, functional and viable solution.''
''Cyprus and its people are entitled to enjoy the same rights as all states and peoples of Europe,'' he concluded.
The next Conference will take place in Strasbourg, in 2012.
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