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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-06-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 Issue No: 3517


  • [01] Droutsas at EU General Affairs Council
  • [02] EU Council of development cooperation ministers
  • [03] Environment ministry presents plan for Athens-Attica
  • [04] New law for prosecuting ministers ready this week
  • [05] Gov't on Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline
  • [06] ND blames PM for proposed pipeline plan's troubles
  • [07] Health minister: Medical suppliers using 'blackmail' tactics
  • [08] Ministry draft laws on electronic communications; public contracts
  • [09] MPs seek extra time to wrap up Siemens probe
  • [10] LA.OS leader on gov't demand for Siemens cooperation
  • [11] ND deputy Killtidis declares himself Independent MP
  • [12] Commission satisfied with Greek econ programme progress
  • [13] Government on Moody's report on Greek economy
  • [14] Loverdos addresses ILO labour con'f
  • [15] Samaras urges support for shipping, return of merchant marine ministry
  • [16] Greek tourism deputy minister holds talks in Cyprus
  • [17] OTE board support for CEO Vourloumis
  • [18] Greek banks' deposit outflows continue in April
  • [19] Black Sea Bank: Net profits reach US$15.2mln in 2009
  • [20] Hellenic Petroleum to pay 0.45-euro dividend to shareholders
  • [21] Local authority workers' union to join GSEE-ADEDY rally
  • [22] Stocks end 3.81% higher
  • [23] Greek bond market closing report
  • [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [25] Abducted Morrocan escapes
  • [26] Man arrested for attempted rape of teenager
  • [27] Fair on Tuesday
  • [28] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [29] Leaders to meet on Tuesday
  • [30] President meets with newly appointed UNSG's Special Representative Politics

  • [01] Droutsas at EU General Affairs Council


    The European Union's General Affairs Council convened here on Monday, focusing on developments in the Gaza Strip and the accession prospects of the Western Balkan countries. Greek positions were backed by Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    On the question of the blockading of Gaza in the wake of Israel's mlitary operation against the activists' flotilla, the alternate foreign minister said that the EU adopted conclusions that include all the Greek positions expressed recently.

    He stressed that with their decisions the "27" presented the framework of a substantive intervention by Europe to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza to increase, condemning in parallel Israel's action.

    According to Droutsas, the EU's foreign ministers spoke clearly about the need for a peace process and called for the holding of a full and in depth independent investigation that will bring everthing to light.

    Droutsas further said that Greece and Cyprus assumed a joint effort regarding the increase in the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza. He maintained that with an understanding with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the important actors in the region the possibilities will be probed of creating a mechanism for humanitarian aid to be provided in Gaza.

    The ultimate aim, as he said, remains the total lifting of the blockade, stressing that "we must do all that we can so that the life of the Palestinian population in Gaza can be improved immediately."

    Droutsas also referred to Turkey's role in developments in Gaza, saying that "when Turkey refers to the need for respect and the implementation of international law and of sea law it cannot forget its own attitude particulary with regard to the Aegean."

    He went on to say that "when Turkey refers to the occupation of foreign territory Turkey itself cannot forget its own occupation troops in Cyprus. The principles of international law are not implemented a la carte, they are not impemented only when it suits us."

    As regards the Western Balkans, Droutsas reiterated Greece's satisfaction, also following the initiatives that Greece has assumed, for Europe's new commitment concerning the accession prospects of the countries in the region.

    The alternate foreign minister had the opportunity of briefing his counterparts on efforts that Greece has made recently on improving the climate in relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and "on the effort for us to achieve a mutually acceptable solution on the issue of the name. A solution that would also open Skopje's path to the EU and NATO."

    Also referring to Turkey's accession course, Droutsas said that Greece supports this process so that Turkey can become a full member of the EU on condition, of course, that Turkey will implement all the commitments that it has undertaken towards the EU and all the member-states.

    [02] EU Council of development cooperation ministers


    The European Union's Council of development cooperation ministers convened here on Monday and examined the implementation of the Millenium's growth targets. Participating on behalf of Greece was Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis.

    Kouvelis said in a statement that the Council reached an agreement on the EU's position at the international conference to be held in New York in September.

    According to Kouvelis, at the relevant discussion at the Council, Greece despite the difficult economic period that it is experiencing expressed its commitment for a strong policy in the development process and for its participation in develop-ment cooperation.

    [03] Environment ministry presents plan for Athens-Attica

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Monday presented a programme for the environmental management of Athens and Attica in 2010-2014, outlining the ministry's priorities for the capital and surrounding countryside.

    These included arresting the spread of urban sprawl to rural areas of Attica outside the town plan, better transport options that include bicycle lanes and make heavier use of train and tram routes, a major programme to improve currently run-down inner city areas like Aghios Panteleimonas, Theatrou Square, Kolonos and others, the creation of three metropolitican parks and protection of the Attica countryside and mountains.

    The minister clarified that the programme "Athens-Attica 2014" was binding in terms of its goals and directions for the "New Attica Regulatory Plan", which is due to be completed in the form of a draft bill and presented for public debate at the end of 2010.

    She also announced that the ministry hoped to have a similar programme ready for Thessaloniki and its surrounding regions within six months.

    The ministry programme calls for extensive pedestrianisation in central Athens, including Vassilissis Olgas Avenue and Panepistimiou street, which will only be open to tram and trolley buses.

    There are also plans to hold a tender in June for improving run-down areas around Menandrou Street and Theatrou Square near Omonia Square and a pilot scheme to declare Evripidou Street the 'street of spices and traditional shops'. If this succeeds, it may be extended to other roads in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

    Apart from the above, the ministry will invite proposals and immediately begin projects to improve squares in rundown inner-city areas such as Aghios Panteleimonas, Agios Nikolaos Acharnes, Kolonos, Kaminia and Ano Liosia, projects to create greenspaces in smaller roads intersecting city blocks and improvements to the archaeological site at Plato's Academy.

    The plans for metropolitan parks serving the entire city include a redevelopment of the Faliro Bay area and the conversion of the former Tae Kwon Do stadium into a conference centre, completion of the oft-announced metropolitan park at the site of the former airport at Elliniko, a redevelopment of the Drapetsona-Keratsini port-industrial zone to create a park and a centre for shipping, improvements to the Elaionas region in Athens and the creation of two unified metropolitan parks of Goudi and Ilisia, among others.

    Birbili mentioned two envisaged bicycle lane routes - one stretching from Faliro Bay to Limanakia, Vouliagmeni along the southern coast and one from the northern suburb of Kifissia to the Faliro coast that will span a distance of 25 km and pass by the city's archaeological sites.

    To help preserve and restore biodiversity in Attica, the ministry plans to complete maps of forest in north and south Attica covering 70 percent of the region within 2010, decide on the areas and specifications for running reforestation programmes, take action for an integrated plan to restore old quarries, take action to monitor water quality and restore Lake Koumoun-dourou and action to protect the Vourkari wetland in Megara.

    [04] New law for prosecuting ministers ready this week

    The contents of a proposed new law for prosecuting ministers are scheduled to be unveiled to the Cabinet later this week, Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haris Kastanidis revealed on Monday.

    Kastanidis refused to reveal any details about the draft bill before this was shown to the Cabinet but did clarify that the new rules would not have retroactive force, as was the case with all criminal law.

    Concerning existing cases of scandal where there is a possibility the statute of limitations under the old law might expire, Kastanidis stressed that the was a "huge legal armoury" dealing with this issue and ensuring that those involved were given fitting punishment.

    According to Kastanidis, the decision by the previous Karamanlis government to suddenly end Parliament early aimed to have certain offences statute-barred but this did not necessarily mean that the aim would be achieved.

    [05] Gov't on Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline

    Greece wants the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project to operate and is prepared to operate the pipeline if a solution is found between Bulgaria and Russia, government spokesman George Petalotis said on Monday.

    "We have seen the announcement by the Russian side and some thoughts from the Bulgarian side," Petalotis told reporters when questioned about the Bulgarian government's sudden announcement last week that it intends to withdraw from the project.

    "We want the project to go ahead, we consider that it is a project that serves the public interest," he stressed

    [06] ND blames PM for proposed pipeline plan's troubles

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos on Monday accused Prime Minister George Papandreou of sharing responsibility for the recent decision by the Bulgarian government to backtrack on the its participation in a high-profile pipeline project.

    Panagiotopoulos said Papandreou, during the 2009 general election campaign, referred to environmental protection problems generated "second thoughts" for the proposed Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project. He added that eight months later the project is cancelled. The ND deputy called on Papandreou to brief Parliament and the people on the reasons that led to the negative development.

    ND energy and natural resources sector head MP Mihalis Yiannakis also accused the Greek prime minister of being responsible, while he underlined that the country will suffer immeasurable damage the cancellation.

    [07] Health minister: Medical suppliers using 'blackmail' tactics

    Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou on Monday charged that hospital suppliers have adopted a "blackmailing stance", which has led public hospitals' finances to the nadir and caused an extreme shortage in some medical supplies.

    "The party is over in the sector of health as well," was the minister's statement.

    "Despite its pledge to reach a settlement with suppliers and pay off debts, the government is faced with a double blackmail, by those who do not accept the terms of the settlement and by others who do not want new rules to be put into effect, ones aimed at ensuring better pricing and monitoring of hospital procurements," she said.

    Xenoyiannakopoulou stated that overpricing practices in previous years generated extravagant profits for hospital suppliers, to the detriment of the social insurance funds and the National Health System (ESY).

    [08] Ministry draft laws on electronic communications; public contracts

    Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haris Kastanidis presented two draft laws on Monday regarding electronic communications and judicial protection in awarding public contracts.

    The first draft law ratifies Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks. The data in question will be preserved for a period of six months to be used in the investigation of serious crimes such as terrorism or organized crime. Violators will be faced with a minimum prison term of 10 years and fines.

    The second draft law provides judicial protection in accordance with Directive 2007/66/EC on the improvement of the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts.

    [09] MPs seek extra time to wrap up Siemens probe

    The Parliamentary examination committee investigating the Siemens kickbacks scandal has asked that it be allowed to continue its investigation until September 30, by unanimous decision of its members. The request has been initially agreed to by Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos.

    According to the committee chairman Sifis Valyrakis, a team of MPs is preparing to visit Germany in order to examine former Siemens executives Reinhard Siekaczek and Michael Kutschenreuter and try and extract testimony from the main suspect in the Greek scandal, Mihalis Christoforakos.

    Christoforakos fled to Germany once the investigation into the Siemens case was begun by Greek justice, managing to avoid extradition to Greece as a German national.

    [10] LA.OS leader on gov't demand for Siemens cooperation

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Monday praised a decision by Minister of State Haris Pamboukis to demand information by the current management of German multinational Siemens in an ongoing Parliamentary investigation into a kickbacks and bribery scandal involving the company's Greek subsidiary.

    Pamboukis warned that unless cooperation by the German company was forthcoming, then future cooperation between it and the Greek state would be reconsidered.

    Karatzaferis said the letter sends a clear message to Siemens and stressed that this move should have been made sooner, during a previous New Democracy government.

    In an unrelated development and in reference to MP Costas Kiltidis' decision to leave main opposition New Democracy (ND) and become independent, Karatzaferis he (Kiltidis) has his "respect and appreciation".

    [11] ND deputy Killtidis declares himself Independent MP

    MP Costas Kiltidis, elected to parliament on the main opposition New Democracy (ND) ticket, on Monday announced his withdrawal from the ND parliamentary group and his intention to become an independent MP.

    Kiltidis, a former deputy agricultural development minister, announced his decision in a letter to parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos in which he criticised ND leader Antonis Samaras.

    ND, in a brief reaction, said: "This was no surprise for ND. Mr. Kiltidis followed the path he has forged for some time now".

    In a statement, Kiltidis said that "there is no room for other interpretations, as the essence of this (move) is self-evident...I must safeguard my personal integrity and dignity in these difficult moments of restructuring of the political system".

    He charged that, in the difficult period the country is going through, Samaras and his entourage in ND are engaging in internal restructuring and purging, in the framework of the civil war that is raging among individuals, and not even groups.

    Kiltidis added that twice in the past six months he had "conceded his conscience" to the choices of the ND leadership, "manifesting tolerance and perseverance in the name of the party's history", intimating that the two instances in which he had backed down and toed the party line were with the forestry bill and the bill on the harsh economic measures.

    "In particular, I in no way wanted my party, or me personally, to refuse to look the truth straight in the eye regarding the economic salvation of the country," he said.

    But in the last few months the "cup has runneth over", Kiltidis continued, charging that "I see before me a blatant and orchestrated effort, manifested daily, by the party I belong to aimed at hurting me ethically and reducing my political repute".

    "I am obliged to accept the decision/demand of my political friends and comrades-in-arms and dissociate my position from Mr. Samaras' ND by withdrawing from the ND parliamentary group and party organs," Kiltidis concluded.

    Financial News

    [12] Commission satisfied with Greek econ programme progress

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Commission on Monday said a memorandum of cooperation signed between Greece, the EU and the IMF, is being positively implemented.

    A Commission spokesman, speaking to reporters, said the first assessment by Community services of efforts by Greece to comply with the terms and preconditions -- set to activate a financial support mechanism -- was satisfactory and noted that a final assessment of progress would be made in roughly a month from now, while approval of the next loan tranche to Greece was expected in September.

    [13] Government on Moody's report on Greek economy

    The Greek government rejected on Monday night a Moody's Investors Service report downgrading Greek bonds to junk, saying that "today's downgrading of the Greek economy by the Moody's firm in no way reflects neither the progress achieved over the past months nor the prospects opening up from fiscal restructuring and the improvement of the country's competitiveness."

    A Greek finance ministry statement added that "data on the implementation of the budget show with great clarity that the programme which Greece has agreed with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund is being carried out as normal, with the deficit having decreased 40 percent compared to 2009. This considerable improvement has been recognised by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In addition, recession in the first quarter is smaller than what is anticipated by the Memorandum for the entire year. Receipts from VAT, that was created during the first quarter, increased 6 percent while last year they had decreased 11 percent.

    "All various structural actions anticipated in the Cooperation Memorandum are being implemented as normal and many are already ahead of the timetable that has been set. The course of the debt, although on an upward trend today, is expected to de-escalate as of 2013 and maybe earlier since more favourable conditions appear to be shaping gradually.

    "The Greek Government remains absolutely adherred to the task of monetary adjustment and the improvement of the country's development prospects."

    Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded Greek bonds to junk, citing risks in the implementation of a rescue package agreed with the EU and the IMF. The agency downgraded the country's rating by four notches to Ba1, from A3, with stable outlook.

    The rescue package "effectively eliminates short-term risk of default and encourages the implementation of a credible, feasible set of structural reforms," Moody's senior analyst Sarah Carlson said, adding however, that "the macroeconomic and implementation risks associated with the programme are substantial and more consistent with a Ba1 rating".

    Meanwhile, circles close to the Bank of Greece on their part also termed Mooday's downgrading unjustified.

    [14] Loverdos addresses ILO labour con'f

    Greek Labour & Social Securities Minister Andreas Loverdos spoke at the 99th International Labor Organization (ILO) Conference in Geneva on Monday.

    "Greece is going through the most difficult period in its history after WWII but it will win the battle. It took only a few months to implement many and important reforms in labour relations ... The changes in the labour relations favor competitiveness when unemployment is over 12 pct..." Loverdos said.

    He stressed that the causes for the dramatic economic deterioration of Greece's social insurance system are a demographic implosion, exhaustion of the potential of the "pay-as-you-go" pension financing system and the clientele state decisions made by the political system over the past 35 years. He also added that within is framework "we are fighting to drastically cut undeclared and uninsured labor."

    [15] Samaras urges support for shipping, return of merchant marine ministry

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras promised to reinstate the merchant marine ministry if his party returns to power, during an address on Monday to Greek shipping firm representatives and owners. He strongly criticised the government for dividing up the merchant marine ministry into three parts and abolishing the two ministries for shipping and tourism.

    "It is as if Saudi Arabia shut down its ministry of oil. Tourism and shipping combined generate more than 30 percent of our country's GDP," Samaras pointed out.

    He expressed clear support for the lifting of cabotage, however, saying that this was something that should not be done with "half-measures" and called for an overall reassessment of the country's policy for ports.

    ND's leader also promised to preserve laws and special tax regimes protected by the Constitution in order to support the shipping sector, improvements to training for the naval professions and greater promotion of naval careers, as well as greater support for the interests of the Greek shipping sector on the level of countries and international organisations.

    He particularly emphasised the need for measures to handle problems in coastal shipping and to fight "outdated trade union attitudes" that were undermining efforts to attract investments, tourism and trade.

    Samaras stressed that Greece had to support shipping in order to emerge from the crisis and achieve what Greek shipping had managed years ago - to become competitive.

    [16] Greek tourism deputy minister holds talks in Cyprus


    The issue of tourism in Greece and in Cyprus has been discussed on Monday during a meeting Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides held with Greece's Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Giorgos Nikitiadis, who is paying a two day visit to Cyprus.

    Speaking after the meeting, Paschalides said that they reached a decision for updating an existing agreement on tourist packages, and that they discussed the issuing of visas for citizens of third countries, mainly from Russia.

    Paschalides also said that they discussed the issue of shipping connection between Greece and Cyprus. An issue, as he said, that it will be examined in cooperation with the relevant Ministries.

    "We have made a very good start and we are sure that the directions that we will give to the Cyprus and Greece Tourist Organisations will bring results", he pointed out.

    Nikitiadis expressed satisfaction for the very good climate that prevailed in the meeting, which "has already led to some initial co-decisions, in order to implement some common programmes", he said.

    "In this context, we co-decided to exert pressure on the EU in order to facilitate the issuing of visas to citizens of third countries that wish to visit Greece and Cyprus," he said.

    The Greek minister noted that there is an agreement that was signed between the two countries on tourism twenty years ago. "We decided to update that agreement and to include issues of common interest, such as issues concerning investments and the exchange of experience", he added.

    "In Greece we are planning to call on Cypriot investors, in the area of tourist real estates", he said adding that there are many other programmes, such as the religious tourism, that can be implemented between the two countries.

    Finally, he thanked the Cyprus government and the people of Cyprus for the help they offered to Greece amid the financial crisis.

    [17] OTE board support for CEO Vourloumis

    Hellenic Telecommunications' (OTE) board of directors on Monday unanimously lent their support towards OTE CEO and President Panagis Vourloumis, including members appointed by major shareholder Deutsche Telekom, who also holds the utility's management.

    The vote comes in the wake of an indictment last week against Vourloumis related to a judicial probe in into procurement deals signed during his tenure.

    OTE's board of directors convened in the absence of Vourloumis and discussed the latest developments.

    [18] Greek banks' deposit outflows continue in April

    Greek banks continued suffering from an outflow of saving deposits in April, with the domestic banking system's savings reserves falling by around 15.8 billion euros in the January-April period this year, the Bank of Greece announced on Monday.

    The central bank, in a report, said saving deposits by enterprises and households totaled 222.125 billion euros at the end of April, down 6.6 pct from the start of the year, reflecting outflows of private depositors - affected by a negative climate in the country - and lower deposits by enterprises which were using more liquid assets to deal with reduced cashflow conditions.

    Households' saving deposits fell 5.3 pct to 186.299 billion euros at the end of April, while enterprises' deposits dropped 14 pct to 31.181 billion euros.

    [19] Black Sea Bank: Net profits reach US$15.2mln in 2009

    he Black Sea Trade & Development Bank on Monday announced net profits of 15.2 million US dollar last year, excluding new non-performing loans.

    The Thessaloniki-based investment bank said 2009 profits were down compared with 2008, but stressed that the financial organisation managed to achieve its strategic targets for the year despite a global economic crisis.

    The bank said its active portfolio of 91 approved loans totaled 907 million US dollars, of which 230 million were loans approved in 2009.

    The bank's balance sheet was approved by the 12th annual meeting of the board in Istanbul, during which the IFC and PROPARCO - a French development organisation - obtained the status of observers in the Black Sea Bank.

    Nezir Haldeda, the Albanian governor was elected as the new chairman of the board.

    The board meeting was also attended by Greek Deputy FM Spyros Kouvelis and members from the European Investment Bank, the Scandinavian Investment Bank NIB, IFC, KfW from Germany and OeEB from Austria.

    The Black Sea Bank was founded in 1997 by 11 member-states of the Black Sea Cooperation Organisation: Greece, Russia, Turkey, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine.

    [20] Hellenic Petroleum to pay 0.45-euro dividend to shareholders

    A Hellenic Petroleum general shareholders' meeting on Monday approved a board plan to pay a 0.45-euro per share dividend to shareholders.

    The group has already paid a pre-dividend of 0.15-euro per share, leaving a remaining 0.30-euro dividend to be paid.

    The shareholders' meeting said Hellenic Petroleum's shares will be traded ex-dividend at the Athens Stock Exchange from July 5, 2010.

    [21] Local authority workers' union to join GSEE-ADEDY rally

    The local authority workers' union federation POE-OTA on Monday urged its members to participate in the protest rally being organised by the civil servants' union ADEDY and the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) in Klafthmonos Square in Athens on Wednesday.

    The rally is being held to protest against the bill on reforming the pension system that is due to be tabled in Parliament in the next few days.

    [22] Stocks end 3.81% higher

    Stocks ended significantly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, supported by a positive climate in other European markets. The composite index returned above the 1,500-level, closing at 1,540.69 points, up 3.81 pct. Turnover was a low 114.923 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 4.27 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 3.0 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 3.89 pct. All sectors moved upwards, with the Media (12.12 pct) and Telecommunications (6.17 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 161 to 28 with another 42 issues unchanged. Dionic (20 pct), PC Systems (20 pct), Lambrakis Press (17.92 pct) and ANEK (15.83 pct) were top gainers, while Klonatex (14.29 pct), Tzirakian (9.38 pct) and Xylemporia (9.09 pct) were top losers

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +3.53%

    Industrials: +3.33%

    Commercial: +3.18%

    Construction: +3.02%

    Media: +12.12%

    Oil & Gas: +1.22%

    Personal & Household: +2.24%

    Raw Materials: +4.82%

    Travel & Leisure: +4.89%

    Technology: +4.66%

    Telecoms: +6.17%

    Banks: +4.69%

    Food & Beverages: +2.50%

    Health: +3.59%

    Utilities: +2.04%

    Chemicals: +4.89%

    Financial Services: +4.70%

    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: 4.75

    ATEbank: 1.15

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.50

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.70

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.08

    National Bank of Greece: 10.25

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 4.19

    OPAP: 12.90

    OTE: 5.85

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.01

    Titan: 15.25

    [23] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 74 million euros on Monday, of which 26 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 48 million euros were sell orders.

    The five-year benchmark bond (August 20, 2015) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 7.0 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened further to 572 basis points from 555 bps on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.34 pct and the German Bund 2.62 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower.

    The 12-month rate was 1.26 pct, the six-month rate 0.97 pct, the three-month 0.73 pct and the one-month rate 0.43 pct.

    [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.234

    Pound sterling 0.837

    Danish kroner 7.497

    Swedish kroner 9.643

    Japanese yen 113.33

    Swiss franc 1.402

    Norwegian kroner 7.88

    Canadian dollar 1.268

    Australian dollar 1.433

    General News

    [25] Abducted Morrocan escapes

    Thessaloniki police are investigating the case of a kidnapped 24-year-old Morrocan national, who managed to escape.

    The victim told police that on May 22, 2010 while he was in a cafeteria in Attikis square in Athens, seven fellow Morrocans kidnapped him and dragged him into a car, initially taking him to a house in an unidentidified area and afterwards to another house in Evosmos, Thessaloniki, nothern Greece.

    The kidnappers phoned to the victim's relatives in Morroco and asked 3,000 euros ransom in order to set him free.

    According to his testimony the 24 year old Morrocan said that the kidnappers hit him and molested him with a wooden object.

    On Sunday the Morrocan managed to escape and reported the kidnapping to police.

    The house where the man was kept hostage has been located and an investigation is underway.

    [26] Man arrested for attempted rape of teenager

    76 year-old-man was charged with attempted rape of a 13-year-old boy on Monday. According to the teenager's mother the man attempted to rape the boy at his country house in Kiato in Corinth prefecture (Northern Peloponnese). A relative who searching for the boy rescued him before the action was completed.

    The suspect will be led before a Corinth prosecutor, while the teenager was examined by a coroner and a child psychologist.

    Weather Forecast

    [27] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair 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 19C and 39C. Fair in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 24C to 38C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 22C to 36C.

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

    The Greek economy and arrival Monday of an EU, IMF and ECB team, the new social security and labour bill and the Siemens scandal, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Everything changing in public sector appointments, transfers and promotions".

    APOGEVMATINI: "10 shocking changes in social security - Draft bill to be tabled under express procedures in parliament on June 23.

    AVRIANI: "Parliament fact-finding commission on Siemens case will propose to offer asylum to former SIEMENS Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos in exchange for not revealing the names of politicians that received bribes from SIEMENS".

    ELEFTHEROS: "President of parliamentary fact-finding commission on the Vatopedi monastery scandal Manolis Beteniotis reveals to newspaper: Why we didn't call former prime minister Costas Karamanlis to testify on the Vatoped case".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Fire Brigade 'unarmed' in the face of the heat wave - Forests defenseless due to cutbacks in staff and airborne means".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Crisis 'erases' traffic tickets - The transgressors are unable to pay the fines".

    ESTIA: "The economy is being led to a huge recession - Change of policy is mandatory".

    ETHNOS: "Raid on 'secret' properties - Tax Bureau starts sweeping checks throughout the country".

    IMERISSIA: "Troika will check banks and public sector".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Bank of Greece: We need inflow of foreign capital immediately in order to reverse the recession".

    TA NEA: "All women will receive pension at the age of 65 - The measure will be applied in the private sector as well".

    VRADYNI: "The die has been cast for social security and labour relations - Troika (IMF, EU, ECB) experts in Athens to check that the measures are being applied correctly and to give final directions".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [29] Leaders to meet on Tuesday


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet on Tuesday at 4.00 pm, in the framework of the UN led direct negotiation process aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. The meeting will take place at the UN protected area of the Nicosia airport.

    The last meeting on June 3, 2010, was postponed at Christofias' initiative, after statements by Eroglu who questioned the basis of the talks.

    In statements, Christofias had said that he asked for the postponement of the meeting with a view to avoid a crisis and a deadlock at the talks and asked the issue to be discussed by the two leaders' advisers George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began peace talks in September 2008. Talks now continue with the President and Eroglu.

    [30] President meets with newly appointed UNSG's Special Representative


    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias held a meeting on Monday with Lisa Buttenheim, the newly appointed UNSG's Special Representative in Cyprus and Head of the UN Peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    "It's my first day in Cyprus. I had an excellent meeting with his Excellency Mr. Christofias. I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with him", Buttenheim said in statements after the meeting.

    "I am just taking up my new responsibilities as Special Representative of the Secretary General and also as Deputy to Mr. Downer. I am looking forward to my stay in Cyprus", she concluded.

    Butteneheim succeeded Taye-Brook Zerihoun.

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