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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Issue No: 3545

CONTENTS

  • [01] Ballistic tests indicate terror group gunned down slain journalist
  • [02] PM to visit Israel, Palestinian territories
  • [03] Droutsas meets Kyprianou, calls for end to occupation of Cyprus
  • [04] Education ministry announces 400-million-euro research budget for 2010
  • [05] Amendment seeks to rein in graft in state health services; hospitals begin five-day strike
  • [06] President Papoulias briefed on transport ministry plan for road safety
  • [07] FinMin received by President Papoulias
  • [08] Greek gov't announces package of measures to support SMEs
  • [09] Bank stress tests to be released July 23
  • [10] Greek FinMin confident banks will successfuly pass stress tests
  • [11] Greek enterprises' sales down 7.0 pct in 2009, survey
  • [12] Arab-Hellenic Financial Forum to be held in Athens, Sept 23-25
  • [13] Greece to push for Med agreement on climate
  • [14] Eurobank CEO calls for new economic growth model
  • [15] Greek stocks end moderately higher
  • [16] Greek bond market closing report
  • [17] ADEX closing report
  • [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [19] Investigation into ties between Vatopedi Monastery and Marfin
  • [20] Caratheodory's original correspondence on display in museum dedicated to his work
  • [21] Bear hit by car, dies of injuries
  • [22] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [23] President: Turkey must show will for Cyprus solution in practice
  • [24] Property issue the most difficult aspect of the Cyprus problem, Iacovou says

  • [01] Ballistic tests indicate terror group gunned down slain journalist

    Ballistics tests on cartridges collected from the crime scene have linked the dawn shooting of journalist Socrates Giolias to the terror group "Revolutionaries' Sect", police announced on Monday.

    The ambush killing was quickly condemned by the country's political leaders.

    Giolias, 37, general director of the private Thema 98.9 FM radio station and long-time former associate of investigative journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos, was riddled with bullets outside his home in Ilioupolis by unidentified individuals in the early hours of Monday morning.

    A ballistics investigation of cartridges collected from the scene of the shooting revealed that both weapons have been used in all three past attacks by the terror group "Revolutionaries' Sect".

    Police found a total of 16 9mm cartridges, of which 13 came from the same gun used in the June 2009 murder of 41-year-old counter-terrorism police officer Nektarios Savvas, who was gunned down in Patissia while guarding a key female witness in the trial of the urban guerrilla group "Revolutionary Popular Struggle". The woman had been in a witness protection programme since 2002. Officer Savvas was also riddled with bullets in the attack.

    The remaining three were fired from a different 9mm pistol that had also been used in the Patissia attack, as well as in the armed attack on Korydallos police station in February 3 2009 and an attack on Alter television station on February 17 the same year.

    The cartridges fired by the specific gun are also a match for a cartridge found on the gravestone of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a teenage boy shot by two police guards in December 2008, on the day after the attack on the Korydallos police station, along with a proclamation claiming responsibility for the specific attack.

    According to a statement to police by Giolias' wife, an unknown man rang the doorbell of their second-floor apartment at about 5:20 a.m. and when Giolias opened the door the man told him that the alarm of his car, parked outside the apartment building, had gone off.

    When Giolias descended to the building entrance where he had parked his car, the gunmen were waiting in ambush and shot him several times as he came out of the elevator, killing him on the spot.

    The perpetrators, tentatively believed to be three, fled in a car.

    At around 7:00 a.m. a burned car was found approximately 1.5 kilometers from the murder scene, and police believe it was the killers' getaway car. The car had been stolen from nearby Alimos two days earlier (Saturday, July 7) and its theft had been reported by the owner to the local police station.

    The motives of the killing are still unknown, and police are examining all possibilities.

    According to an eye-witness account, the perpetrators were at least three and were wearing uniforms, possibly of a security company or the municipal police.

    Based on the method used and ferocity of the attack, police initially surmised that it was a contract killing, since the attack was well-organised.

    Giolias' wife, who has suffered an intense shock, and the couple's 3-year-old child were in the apartment at the time of the killing.

    Reactions

    The government expressed its strong condemnation of the "cowardly, cold-blooded murder", and expressed its condolences to the victim's family.

    "Democracy and freedom of speech cannot be muzzled, terro-rised or threatened," government spokesman George Petalotis said, adding that the authorities have already taken action to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

    Petalotis disassociated the killing from "social violence", warning that "if we adopt such an idea, it would be tantamount to lending legitimacy to what happened".

    In a written statement, parliament president Philippos Petsal-nikos, on behalf of the House, expressed rage and grief over the killing, and conveyed the MPs' condolences to Giolias' family.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party press officer Panos Panagiotopoulos, a former journalist himself, said the "cold-blooded murder of journalist Socrates Giolias creates sentiments of abhorrence in the public and shocks the journalistic family, of which he was an eminent member".

    He added that Greek society was expecting the authorities to quickly solve "this very dark case" and "locate and arrest the murderers as speedily as possible".

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) condemned "the heinous murder" and expressed its condolences to the deceased's family.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis said that "today is a sad day because not only a courageous journalist was murdered but journalism itself".

    "Socrates Giolias' murder was an act of intimidation, a death contract signed by those who were displeased with Socrates' revealing reporting," Karatzaferis added.

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) said the "gangster-style" murder has caused shock among journalists but also more generally as well, and expressed its condolences to the deceased's family.

    The Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) strongly condemned the killing, adding that the execution of the killing employed the most barbarous method witnessed by Greek society, and renders imperative the immediate and drastic action of the authorities to solve the crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    POESY also expressed condolences to Giolias' family, stressing that it was at their side.

    [02] PM to visit Israel, Palestinian territories

    Prime minister George Papandreou will make an official two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Wednesday and Thursday. During his visit, Papandreou will have meetings with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

    [03] Droutsas meets Kyprianou, calls for end to occupation of Cyprus

    Meeting Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou on Monday, the 36th anniversary since Turkey's invasion of northern Cyprus, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed that it was time to put an end to the island's illegal occupation by Turkish forces.

    "The time that has passed since the Turkish invasion on Cyprus is extremely long and the current unacceptable situation has to be ended," he said.

    In joint statements after their meeting, Droutsas and Kyprianou both underlined Greece' complete support and close coordination with the Cyprus Republic. The message that Athens stands by the Cypriot people in both words and deeds will also be conveyed by Prime Minister George Papandreou when he visits Cyprus on Wednesday.

    Droutsas underlined that the occupation troops on the island "must finally leave" so that the people of Cyprus might live free, in peace, security and prosperity. He also indicated Greece's support of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias's proposals for a just, viable and functional solution in the framework of UN resolutions and based on European principles and values, without artificial deadlines or arbitration, that aimed at a Bi-communal, Bizonal Federation with political equality, a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single nationality.

    The alternate foreign minister emphasised, also, that the solution could not be based on outmoded systems of guarantees that did not fit in with the current situation in Europe.

    "We want a united Cyprus that is properly represented, fully complying with European regulations and entitlements, because this is the present and future of the island," Droutsas said.

    He also expressed sorrow that the "rhetoric" currently used by the Turkish-Cypriot side was strongly reminiscent of the past.

    Droutsas and Kyprianou had lengthy talks that they later described as "very productive", during which they reviewed the situation and exchanged views concerning Turkey's prospects of joining the EU. They also discussed the results of meetings held by Kyprianou in the UK and bilateral issues, such as a joint Greek-Cypriot initiative to step up humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    On his part, Kyprianou also reaffirmed Nicosia's commitment to a solution that would transform the island republic into a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation based on UN resolutions and European rules, with a single nationality and international identity.

    The Cypriot minister stressed also, the need to preserve the form of the process when talks on the Cyprus issue resume, saying that this was an inseparable part of the decision to resume direct talks without deadlines or arbitration.

    "One cannot change the rules of the game when this was a basic condition for the start of dialogue...I expect from Turkey a real effort for constructive proposals in the talks and not communication games and gimmicks," Kyprianou added.

    Concerning Turkey's EU accession, the Cypriot minister stressed that the Cyprus government was in favour of full accession for Turkey but only if it had fulfilled all of the terms and obligations toward the EU and especially those that concerned Cyprus.

    "There cannot be selective application of the obligations, nor should Turkey expect to receive more favourable treatment than other countries. The sooner it realised that it can only make progress toward the EU when it complies with the agreements, the sooner this will happen," he added.

    Concerning the Turkish side's response to the proposals made by President Christofias, Kyprianou said that the initial reactions had not been positive:

    "It is truly ironic that Turkey claims to be in a hurry and wants a solution as quickly as possible but when a proposal is made to start talks on all outstanding issues, it finds excuses and reasons not to continue," he said.

    The Greek minister then replied to questions concerning Greece's relations with Turkey, particularly the activities of the Turkish oceanographic vessel "Piri Reis" in the Aegean, stressing that Turkey's aims were "nothing new" and accusing Turkey of trying to raise tension.

    Greece would not be drawn in but reply "clearly and calmly" to the Turkish efforts, setting the rhythm and pace of the dialogut itself and not allowing the country to engage in dialogue outside proper frameworks as Turkey clearly wanted, Droutsas stressed.

    "Our positions are strong and based on International Law. There is a process of exploratory talks that aims to delineate the Aegean continental shelf. The exploratory talks have a strict framework that protects our positions. This is where we will hold talks with Turkey and nowhere else," Droutsas underlined, adding that the next resort was the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    [04] Education ministry announces 400-million-euro research budget for 2010

    The education ministry intends to allocate more than 400 million euros to be spent on research during 2010, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou announced on Monday.

    The minister said that 140 innovative projects with a combined budget of 82 million euros had been approved for funding so far, while activities accounting for another 320 million euros were due to begin by the end of 2010.

    Diamantopoulou stressed that the government's policy in this areas was to link research with production and to create an architectural network of research institutes and centres in the country. Among the programmes already approved, 40 aimed to develop new products and 15 were based on patents.

    Concerning ministry policy on research, she said the ministry was promoting cooperation and joint ventures between university research centres and the private sector, with emphasis on information technology, biotechnology, agrobiotechnology and environmental science, as well as on alternative energy sources.

    The aim was to link knowledge with production in order to convert the Greek economy into a modern knowledge-based economy that emphasised human capital and the production of highest quality products and services.

    [05] Amendment seeks to rein in graft in state health services; hospitals begin five-day strike

    Directors and managers of national health system hospitals and health centres will henceforth be asked to submit annual statements of their wealth and assets, based on an amendment tabled in Parliament by Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou on Monday.

    The minister said that the change was made as a way of reinforcing supervision of the state health system. Similar statements of wealth and assets are currently submitted by public officials in key decision-making positions, such as MPs, ministers, judges, police officers and tax officials but also journalists and other groups.

    Meanwhile, hospital doctors on Monday began a five-day strike to protest against round-the-clock operation for state hospitals, which all will operate with a skeleton staff until Friday.

    [06] President Papoulias briefed on transport ministry plan for road safety

    Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Nikos Sifounakis on Monday briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the government's plan to promote road safety. Sifounakis said the plan centred on building better roads and pavements but also on driving instruction.

    He also revealed plans underway for an overall plan funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) to tackle the problems comprehensively throughout the country.

    The deputy minister also briefed the president on progress in tearing down illegal billboards set up along the side of roads, saying that 583 had been removed thus far and work would continue along the route of the Classic Marathon, which this year coincides with the 2,500th anniversary since the historic Battle of Marathon.

    The battle gave its name to the Marathon race based on stories that the ancient runner Phidippides first ran the distance from the battlefield to the City of Athens to bring news of Athens' victory over the Persian army.

    Financial News

    [07] FinMin received by President Papoulias

    Finance minister George Papaconstantinou said on Monday that the difficulties are many, but things have started to be put on a proper path, and this has been achnowledged by Greece's partners, and also the Greek citizens, in a statement before being received by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    Papoulias, in turn, noted that the minister is also waging battle with many difficulties, and wished him that everything will go well, stressing that the Greek people are expecting much and the difficulties are many "but we hope that we will come out of the crisis".

    Papaconstantinou called on the President to introduce to him the new president of the State Legal Council Fokionas Georgakopoulos and the Council's new vice-presidents Vlassios Assimakopoulos and Vassilios Souliotis, whom the minister described as exceptional legal experts but also people with a broad spirit who will help strengthen the Counil so that it will be an evey more powerful ally of the state and consultant on the major issues.

    [08] Greek gov't announces package of measures to support SMEs

    Greek Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Monday announced a package of measures worth more than 1.5 billion euros over the next three years, aimed at boosting liquidity in the market as part of a plan to support small- and medium-sized enterprises in the country.

    Announcing the measures, during a ceremony to sign a "National Support Plan for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises 2010-2013), the Greek minister stressed that the small business act was proof of the government's will to support small enterprises. She conveyed a message by Prime Minister George Papandreou saying that "the plan is a contract for cooperation between the state and the market. We can deal with the crisis all together and become stronger".

    The package of initiatives announced by the government envisaged:

    - The activation, in cooperation with European Investment Bank, of a Jeremie initiative with 290 million euros

    - The set up of a Business Fund with a capital 460 million euros from a Competitiveness Business Program, to finance investments totaling 1.5 billion euros in the next three years

    - Announcing actions from the Industry's general secretariat, in the framework of a fourth Community Support Framework Program, budgeted at 300 million euros.

    The contract to supporting small enterprises, signed by the Greek minister and representatives of the business world, includes three actions: supporting innovation and competitiveness, boosting export activities and boosting liquidity in the market

    Officials from the manufacturing and commerce sectors welcomed the signing of the contract.

    [09] Bank stress tests to be released July 23

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Maria Aroni)

    European Union finance ministers and officials from the European Commission and the European Central Bank will discuss the final details of European banks' stress tests during a teleconference in July 22, before the results were published in July 23.

    The results of the stress tests on 91 European banks will be published by European capitals, with the responsibility of central banks, with the European Bank Supervision Authorities Commission -a London-based organization- announcing a report on the results.

    EU states have agreed on the criteria to be used during the stress tests. A core Tier ratio, measuring the capitalization of a commercial bank, is one of the criteria, with the criteria placing a 6.0 pct as a minimum requirement by market investors. Eurogroup's president Jean Claude Juncker, in an interview with an Austrian newspaper said he did not expect any catastrophes resulting from the tests.

    [10] Greek FinMin confident banks will successfuly pass stress tests

    Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Monday appeared confident that Greek banks will be able to pass upcoming stress tests successfully and said that the government was carefully examining a proposal by Piraeus Bank to acquire ATEbank and Hellenic Postbank for 701 million euros.

    "The government is examining every proposal very carefully -based on the public interest and viability of Greek banks, of the banking system and of the Greek economy in general- with open procedures for all," he said while addressing an event on "the Greek economy and the Stability Program".

    The Greek minister stressed also, that despite the fact that the Greek banking system exited the crisis relatively unscathed, it was currently in a difficult turning point. While certain that stress tests will be passed, he urged Greek banks -traditionally one of the most important engines of growth- to implement changes and restructuring plans.

    Commenting on the prospects of the Greek economy, Papaconstantinou said he was optimistic it would win the budget bet, as budget revenues will be boosted by new VAT hikes and special fuel consumption taxes along with additional cuts in public wages, pensions and subsidies. He also announced the government's next round of interventions, by reining in overspending in the health sector and similar problems in municipal authorities, public sector enterprises and pension funds. He said a reform of the pension system was "deeply fair", while he welcomed the signing of a national collective labour agreement.

    Papaconstantinou sounded certain that despite sacrifices and problems, citizens were supporting the government, as they have acknowledged the necessity of the measures. The government's big challenge is to persuade citizens there was light at the end of the tunnel and that all burdens would be equally distributed. He reiterated that the government did not fear any political cost for its policies and it would not back down under any pressure. Papaconstantinou said economic growth will return when confidence was re-established and private initiative begins working. He called on Greek shipowners to return capital in the country.

    [11] Greek enterprises' sales down 7.0 pct in 2009, survey

    Greek enterprises's sales fell by an average 7.0 pct last year, for the first time in the last 10 years, Hellastat said in a survey on Monday.

    The survey said that enterprises suffering a decline in turnover surpassed those with an increase by 60-40, a worrying development since the previous worse rate was 50-50 in 2005 after the Athens Olympic Games.

    Net profits fell 12.6 pct in 2009, after a 10 pct decline in 2008, with 55 pct of enterprises reporting a decline in results, while operating earnings fell 9.0 pct after remaining unchanged in 2008.

    Large enterprises with a turnover of more than 50 million euros reported a 2.0 pct decline in turnover last year, after an increase of 6.8 pct in 2008, while smaller enterprises with revenues up to 1.0 million euros reported a 10 pct decline in turnover, after a 0.3 pct rise in 2008.

    Hellastat said sales fell by an average 10 pct last year (-9.5 pct in the commerce sector and -7.5 pct in transport). The construction sector fell 5.0 pct, while hotel/restaurants fell 4.0 pct and the real estate sector reported a 2.9 pct rise in turnover.

    Net profitability in the construction and transport sectors fell 20 pct and 21.5 pct last year, while in the manufacturing and commerce sectors fell by 16-17 pct.

    [12] Arab-Hellenic Financial Forum to be held in Athens, Sept 23-25

    The 3rd Arab-Hellenic Financial Forum, organized jointly by the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development and the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises, will be held in Athens September 23-25. The forum follows the first two events held in 2006 and 2008 and aims to boost financial and business relations between Greece with all Arab countries stretching from West Mediterrranean to the Arabian Gulf.

    This year's event seeks to highlight investment and business opportunities in several Arab markets and also to highlight recovery prospects of the Greek economy and the country's geostrategic position for investment activities. President of Republic Karolos Papoulias will officially inaugurate the forum, while Prime Minister George Papandreou will address the official dinner. The forum will bring together government officials and business leaders from Greece and Arab countries.

    [13] Greece to push for Med agreement on climate

    Greece hopes to persuade Mediterranean countries to agree to a regional action plan for dealing with strong pressures caused by climate change, such as climate change refugees, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili said in a press conference on Monday.

    "As a member-state of the European Union we have an obligation to have a national adaptation plan. Why shouldn't we also have a regional plan for dealing with climate change?" Birbili said when outlining her ministry's Mediterranean initiative.

    She admitted that such a decision would be hard to achieve now that the momentum for climate change policies had lessened but stressed that Athens should go to a regional meeting of Mediterranean countries with this as one of its major goals, so that Mediterranean countries head to the Cancun Climate Conference with a deal already decided between them.

    "I think a major role in this year's Conference will be played by the meeting of European environment ministers in October and here Europe must press forward more dynamically. At the moment, I doubt whether it will do this but I believe that we must all strive within the framework of the EU to go with a strong voice," Birbili said.

    The minister also appeared positively disposed toward proposals for a higher emission cuts target of 30 percent - instead of 20 percent at present - and the revival of the debate within the European Commission about imposing a carbon tax, both as a way of encouraging European research and innovation in 'green technologies' and as a way of reduction carbon emissions.

    [14] Eurobank CEO calls for new economic growth model

    The transformation and modernization of a problematic economy needs time and persistence, Nikolaos Nanopoulos, chief executive of Eurobank EFG said on Monday. Addressing an event on "The Greek economy and the Stability Program", the Greek banker said time and persistence was also needed to combat old-fashioned views as well and stressed he was optimistic that despite a negative international climate and a domestic wave of negative rumors, the government's efforts towards fiscal consolidation and structural reforms was feasible and could bring the expected results, even beyond originally planning.

    Nanopoulos said fiscal interventions were positive and effective and stressed it was time to build on these first positive performance and to focus more on economic growth. "A growth that will lead us out of the crisis and offer prospect and vision to Greek citizens. A growth based on a different model than in the past, based on export activities, quality, expanding production base and with the private sector in a leading role," he said.

    Nanopoulos said that "basic precondition is to establish a positive investment and growth climate combined with economic stability, restoring confidence and credibility in markets. These will allow our country and its banking system to return to international capital markets, restoring liquidity in the economy and strengthening its growth potential. For all these time is needed but primarily consistency between government announcements and actions".

    Nikolaos Karamouzis, Eurobank's deputy chief executive, in his address said "exiting the crisis is inevitable without the rejuvenation of private, domestic and foreign, investments, without a new growth course with targets and timetables, without the quality upgrading of the wider public sector, with a smaller but a more efficient state".

    Eurobank has issued a number of reports on the country's economic outlook. Its latest report, the bank's analysts underlined a series of positive factors, either ignored or underestimated by international markets which have adopted a very negative view of the country's prospects. The report, among others, stressed that high growth rates and achieving primary budget surpluses were the basic preconditions to exiting the crisis.

    [15] Greek stocks end moderately higher

    Greek stocks ended moderately higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, reflecting renewed interest for bank shares. The composite index of the market rose 0.85 pct to end at 1,626.60 points, with turnover at 110.285 million e uros.

    The Big Cap index rose 1.29 pct, the Mid Cap index eased 0.07 pct and the Small Cap index jumped 2.34 pct.

    Banks (2.50 pct) and Raw Materials (2.21 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Construction (1.31 pct) and Health (1.20 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 101 to 76 with another 43 issues unchanged.

    Mohlos (18.18 pct), Technical Olympic (17.24 pct) and Attica Bank (13.56 pct) were top gainers, Boutaris (18.75 pct), Vioter (11.76 pct) and Elbisco (10 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +0.16

    Industrials: -0.91%

    Commercial: +1.03%

    Construction: -1.31%

    Media: +0.53%

    Oil & Gas: +0.47%

    Personal & Household: -0.80%

    Raw Materials: +2.21%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.53%

    Technology: +1.57%

    Telecoms: -0.80%

    Banks: +2.50%

    Food & Beverages: -0.39%

    Health: -1.20%

    Utilities: +2.20%

    Chemicals: -1.05%

    Financial Services: -0.24%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.18

    ATEbank: 1.12

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.71

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.32

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.11

    National Bank of Greece: 11.20

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.21

    OPAP: 11.40

    OTE: 6.40

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.55

    Titan: 17.27

    [16] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 82 million euros on Monday, of which 37 million were buy orders and the remaining 45 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 26 million euros. The 10-year Greek bond yielded 10.43 pct, up from 10.28 pct on Friday.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.39 pct, the six-month rate 1.12 pct, the three-month 0.87 pct and the one-month rate 0.61 pct.

    [17] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -0.29 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover a low 38.569 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,966 contracts worth 31.464 million euros, with 19,797 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,234 contracts worth 7.105 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (3,897), followed by Eurobank (1,482), MIG (533), Piraeus Bank (619), Alpha Bank (2,366), Mytilineos (538) and Hellenic Postbank (694).

    [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.306

    Pound sterling 0.855

    Danish kroner 7.512

    Swedish kroner 9.607

    Japanese yen 113.74

    Swiss franc 1.374

    Norwegian kroner 8.207

    Canadian dollar 1.377

    Australian dollar 1.506

    General News

    [19] Investigation into ties between Vatopedi Monastery and Marfin

    Greek authorities on Monday launched an investigation into possibly suspect dealings between the Vatopedi Monastery and Marfin Bank, acting on press reports that the monastery had received a loan of 156.9 million euros from Marfin without putting up any collateral.

    First-instance Court Chief Prosecutor Eleni Raikou assigned the investigation to public prosecutor Antonis Eleftherianos, who has orders to study all the evidence concerning the findings of the Parliamentary examination committee on the case.

    A part of the loan that the monastery received from Marfin was used to buy shares in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation in September 2007, on the Marfin Investment Group share capital increase and on investments in the group's companies.

    Meanwhile, the examining magistrate investigating the land swaps between the monastery and the state on Monday former premier's aide Giannis Angelou, a close associate of the previous prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Angelou has been charged with criminal counts of breach of faith in connection with the case. He asked for and received a new date to testify to the magistrate but this was not announced.

    [20] Caratheodory's original correspondence on display in museum dedicated to his work

    The correspondence exchanged between world-renowned Greek mathematician Constantin Caratheodory and other two leading 20th century mathematicians, Christos Papakyriakopoulos ("Papa") and Dimitris Kappos, also Greeks, are on display in the Caratheodory Museum in Komotini, northeastern Greece.

    The hand-written letters, dated back to 1937-1943, were acquired in an auction that took place in Athens in June 2010.

    The 10 original manuscripts are in Greek except from one written in German and refer to scientific views on treatises which are also on display in the museum.

    Constantin Caratheodory (1873-1950) made significant contributions to the theory of functions of a real variable, the calculus of variations, and measure theory. His work also includes important results in conformal representations and in the theory of boundary correspondence. In 1909, Caratheodory pioneered the Axiomatic Formulation of Thermodynamics along a purely geometrical approach.

    The contents of letters exchanged between Caratheodory and Einstein suggest that the work of Caratheodory helped shape some of Albert Einstein's theories.

    [21] Bear hit by car, dies of injuries

    An adult five-year-old male bear weighing 120 kilos died after it was hit by a passing car on a road intersecting the Egnatia Highway in northern Greece, on the Siatista-Krystallopigi section of the road.

    The accident occurred on Saturday night, after the bear managed to climb over the fencing at the side of the road and attempted to cross over the other side, colliding with an oncoming car. The driver and passenger in the car were not injured, though the vehicle itself has suffered extensive damage.

    The environmental groups Callisto and Arcturos were alerted to the accident by Kozani police and both sent emergency medical teams to the site of the accident but were unable to save the bear, which died of its injuries.

    According to the two organisations, this is the third such incident on the specific stretch of the road, while there have been a total of 10 traffic accidents in which bears were the victims on the Siatista-Krystallopigi road in the last five years. They stressed that on the specific stretch of the road where the accident occurred, the fencing is inadequate while there are also no special passage points for bears and other wildlife that need to get across, so that both drivers and wildlife are constantly exposed to danger.

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

    The devastating fires in NE Attica and the social security reforms were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Blazing hell in Athens - Arsonists and high winds the perpetrators".

    APOGEVMATINI: "'Window' for new reduction of pensions - IMF interim report on Greece contains many 'gray points'."

    AVRIANI: "Sweeping changes in government and PASOK (ruling party)".

    CHORA: "42 areas in the Aegean for lease - Public opinion speechlessly watching the government's moves".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Turkish penetration...in Greek continental shelf".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Turks unobstructed exploring for oil in the Aegean - Erdogan's (Turkish prime minister) 'brother', prime minister George Papandreou, nowhere to be found".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Czar's (finance minister Papaconstantinou) political favors to 'friends' - Papaconstantinou appointed 'super-directors' via the...back door of 'opengov'."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Black list with 8,200 yachts - SDOE (financial crimes squad) raid in marinas in battle against tax evasion".

    ESTIA: "They're undermining their own policy - The big problem with those governing the country".

    ETHNOS: "The changes in all the social security funds - The pensions and new retirement ages in the private sector".

    IMERISSIA: "Countdown for the banking sector deals".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Quarterly crash tests for the Greek banks".

    TA NEA: "How the cuts in pensions will be made".

    VRADYNI: "Nero's or brainless fools? The indifference of the State, local administrations and citizens burned northeastern Attica".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [23] President: Turkey must show will for Cyprus solution in practice

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus expects the UN and the international community to turn their attention to Turkey because, ''in order to pave the way for a solution'' of the Cyprus problem, ''Turkey must leave behind words and slogans, and show in practice that it is ready for an honorable, viable and functional compromise,'' President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Sunday.

    Addressing an event for the persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, President Christofias said ''we are indeed dealing with a very difficult interlocutor,'' who ''is declaring everywhere that it is seeking a solution within 2010.''

    President Christofias pointed out that ''we are expecting the Turkish Cypriot leadership and Ankara to show in practice, at the negotiating table, that they are committed by the agreed framework and to submit reasonable and constructive proposals, which will create the preconditions for a realistic compromise.''

    He assured that the Greek Cypriot side would continue to sincerely pursue a settlement, providing for a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in UN resolutions, safeguarding the unity of the state.

    ''This is the historical compromise of the Greek Cypriot side,'' he said, adding that ''a bizonal bicommunal federation solution will guard against division and division means destruction.''

    President Christofias welcomed a Greek delegation that attended the event and expressed appreciation for the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, noting that the government supports its efforts.

    Referring to the Committee's work, President Christofias said six teams were carrying out exhumations in the Turkish occupied areas and two in the government controlled areas, adding that after intensive efforts and representations in various directions, a commitment was obtained that investigations would be allowed in military zones in the Turkish occupied areas.

    He noted that the Committee has carried out 274 exhumations and found remains believed to belong to 600 persons missing from both sides on the island, and that so far the remains of 179 Greek Cypriots and 52 Turkish Cypriots have been identified by DNA.

    ''The Committee's exhumation programme undoubtedly creates a climate of optimism,'' he said but pointed out that efforts were being made so that Turkey fulfills its commitments and provides access to military records and other services, which will help determine the fate of missing persons.

    ''For us, the issue of missing persons, the most tragic aspect of the Cyprus problem, must not be seen through a political lens but everyone must show the necessary sensitivity in this humanitarian matter,'' he added.

    President Christofias referred to the 1974 coup d' etat and the Turkish invasion of the island a few days later, noting that ''the lessons of history must act as a calling for all of us to take our responsibilities in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, bringing the true reunification of our homeland, the people, the economy and the institutions, which will terminate occupation and settling, and will restore the human rights of the whole of the people of Cyprus.''

    ''Thus we will heal the wounds, those who fought and gave their lives will be justified, and we will truly guarantee a peaceful and hopeful future for our children,'' he said.

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

    [24] Property issue the most difficult aspect of the Cyprus problem, Iacovou says

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Property issue is probably the most difficult issue to be discussed in the direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou has said, noting that it is directly linked with many other aspects of the Cyprus problem, such as the issue of refugees, the territorial and the issue of settlers.

    Speaking on Sunday, Iacovou said that the return of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants constitutes a separate and real issue and that its approach derives from the UN Security Council resolution 550 that demands the immediate end of the occupation of the city and its return to its lawful inhabitants.

    In addition, Iacovou referred to the issue of the international conference for the Cyprus problem, noting that the impression that Cyprus President Demetris Christofias opposes to the international conference is wrong.

    There are two points regarding the international conference, Iacovou said. The first has to do with the composition of the conference, he said, stressing that "for sure we will not accept an international conference, which will either degrades the Republic of Cyprus or upgrades the pseudostate".

    Secondly, this international conference will mainly focus on the international aspects of the problem, such as the issue of guarantees.

    Asked about the construction works on the road linking Kato Pyrgos and Limnitis, Iacovou said that it is feasible the works to be concluded within the timetable, that is to say by September.

    Peace talks are underway since September 2008 between the leaders of the two communities to find a negotiated settlement to reunite the country under a federal roof.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: "http://www.ana-mpa.gr" * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS


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