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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 10 August 2010 Issue No: 3563


  • [01] Greece's sovereign rights are totally guaranteed, Droutsas says
  • [02] Papandreou sends telegram of solidarity to Putin
  • [03] IKA losing 30 percent of its revenues due to contribution evasion
  • [04] BoG: Central gov't cash deficit down in Jan-July 2010
  • [05] Registered unemployed down in June
  • [06] GNTO expenditures decrease
  • [07] Industrial production down 4.5 pct in June
  • [08] Stocks end 0.45 pc lower
  • [09] Greek bond market closing report
  • [10] ADEX closing report
  • [11] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [12] 'Antikythera Mechanism' exhibition opens on Kythera
  • [13] West Nile virus cases confirmed in Thessaloniki
  • [14] Thessaloniki TV producer sentenced for sexual harassment
  • [15] Drug arrests
  • [16] Chania arms cache investigation continues
  • [17] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Greece's sovereign rights are totally guaranteed, Droutsas says

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed on Monday from the islet of Rho, in the extreme southeast Aegean, that "Greece's sovereign rights are totally guaranteed".

    The Alt. FM, who is in the region within the framework of his stay in nearby Kastellorizo island, made the comment in response to the recent Turkish activities in the Aegean Sea.

    "Just recently, the Turkish FM requested to be received in our country as a neighbour and a friend and that's what we did - because we mean what we say. Therefore, we demand that the other side display equal consistency between words and deeds," he said, adding that there is "no room for 'sly tricks' and provocations".

    Droutsas stated that "such practices cannot hurt Greece's sovereign rights which are totally guaranteed," adding that "such practices, that reveal different intentions from those put forth by our interlocutors, can dispute the credibility and confidence, necessary elements for this policy to have a positive result."

    "Everyone should know that the Greek-Turkish rapprochement policy we implement is our choice and does not constitute a one-way street for Greece," he said.

    "A precondition for the attempted rapprochement and cooperation to have a future and a positive result is to be mutually beneficial and be based on the respect of International Law and our sovereign rights. Everything can be assessed and revised along the way," he pointed out.

    During his stay on Kastellorizo, Droutsas met with local authorities, including the police and the Coast Guard while he also met with local people.

    He visited the military unit based on the island and the outposts on the islands of Rho and Stronggyli.

    Wrapping up his visit to Kastellorizo, Droutsas pointed out that "the government's top priority is to exercise a comprehensive policy on the border islands, particularly those of major national and strategic importance, such as Kastellorizo."

    [02] Papandreou sends telegram of solidarity to Putin

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday sent a telegramme of solidarity to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, regarding the disaster caused by the wildfires that hit the country for a third week.

    "My grief is great for the tragic loss of human lives and the destruction caused by the wildfires raging in Russia these days. On behalf of the Greek government, I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and our support for all those that were hit by this tragedy," Papandreou siad.

    Financial News

    [03] IKA losing 30 percent of its revenues due to contribution evasion

    The state Social Security Foundation (IKA) is losing 250-300 million euros in revenues each month, IKA's new governor Rovertos Spyropoulos said in an interview with an Athens daily appearing on Monday, adding that the accrued debt of private and public enterprises to the foundation have reached 8 billion euros.

    In an interview appearing in Monday's edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper, Spyropoulos said that 30 percent of IKA's revenues are 'lost', resulting in the foundation facing a financial shortfall and its beneficiaries feeling that their social security fund will be unable in the future to meet its obligations. "We have no more margins," he stressed.

    He warned that as of November 1 there will be no tolerance on contribution evasion.

    "Up to October, we will be lenient and give an opportunity to them to settle their debts. As of November 1, however, no tolerance," he said, adding that the target is to contain contribution evasion from the current 30 percent to 25 or even 20 percent in 2011.

    [04] BoG: Central gov't cash deficit down in Jan-July 2010

    The central government's cash deficit (net performance of state budget with debt management accounts) was on the decline in the first seven months of the year, according to an announcement by the Bank of Greece (BoG).

    According to the central bank, the cash deficit in the period January-July 10 fell to 14,474 million euros from 21,470 million euros in the corresponding period of 2009.

    During the first seven months of 2010, the revenues of the regular budget rose by 27,890 million euros from 26,779 million euros last year.

    As for the expenditures of the regular budget, the dropped to 37,891 million euros in the Jan-July period this year from 42,714 million euros in the corresponding period last year.

    [05] Registered unemployed down in June

    Unemployment in Greece dropped 1.03 pct in June compared with May 2010, according to figures released on Monday by the Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED).

    The number of registered unemployed dropped to 566,804 in June while those on unemployment benefit were 177,443, down 14.69 pct (corresponding to 30,549 people) compared with May 2010.

    Recorded hirings reached 117,576, increased by 3.5 pct compared with June 2009.

    [06] GNTO expenditures decrease

    The decrease in expenditures recorded in the first half of the year in the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has reached 55 pct compared with the same period last year, corresponding to 51,381,285.31 euros, according to figures released by the GNTO on Monday.

    Based on current financial figures, the GNTO operating costs were notably reduced compared to previous fiscal years, the organization's statement stressed.

    [07] Industrial production down 4.5 pct in June

    Industrial production index fell 4.5 pct in June 2010, compared with the same month last year, while its decline in the 6-month period of January-June 2010 was 5.8 pct compared to the same 6-month period in 2009, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Monday.

    Meanwhile, exports rose 10.6 pct in June, while imports dropped 25 pct. According to ELSTAT figures, in the 12-month period of June 2009-June 2010 exports dropped 8.8 pct, while imports fell 19.4 pct.

    [08] Stocks end 0.45 pc lower

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday. The composite index of the market fell 0.45 pct to end at 1,705.23 points, with turnover at 54.757 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 0.62 pct, the Mid Cap index eased 0.69 pct and the Small Cap index ended 1.56 pct down. Commerce (-3.90 pct) and Technology (-2.28 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Food & Beverages (+1.22 pct) and Travel & Leisure (+0.38 pct) scored gains. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 91 to 58 with another 56 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.66

    Industrials: -0.46%

    Commercial: -3.90%

    Construction: -1.71%

    Media: -1.09%

    Oil & Gas: -0.91%

    Personal & Household: -0.16%

    Raw Materials: -0.05%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.38%

    Technology: -2.28%

    Telecoms: unchanged

    Banks: -1.04%

    Food & Beverages: +1.22%

    Health: -0.55%

    Utilities: -0.83%

    Chemicals: -1.66%

    Financial Services: -0.43%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.85

    ATEbank: 1.17

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.80

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.95

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.32

    National Bank of Greece: 11.15

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.91

    OPAP: 11.86

    OTE: 6.20

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.98

    Titan: 16.76

    [09] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market rose to 14 million euros on Monday, of which 8 million were buy orders and the remaining 6 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 12 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds increased to 769 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 10.22 pct and the German Bund 2.53 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.43 pct, the six-month rate 1.16 pct, the three-month 0.904 pct and the one-month rate 0.65 pct.

    [10] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a small discount 0.19 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday with turnover falling to 27.405 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 5,100 contracts worth 21.859 million euros, with 25,861 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 6,848 contracts worth 5.546 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (2,251), followed by Eurobank (793), Alpha Bank (711), OTE (424), MIG (312), Bank of Cyprus (345) and Piraeus Bank (278).

    [11] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.335

    Pound sterling 0.837

    Danish kroner 7.510

    Swedish kroner 9.469

    Japanese yen 114.39

    Swiss franc 1.388

    Norwegian kroner 7.960

    Canadian dollar 1.374

    Australian dollar 1.453

    General News

    [12] 'Antikythera Mechanism' exhibition opens on Kythera

    The exhibition on "The Mechanism of Antikythera" will be on display on the southern Aegean island of Kythera on Aug. 11-Sept. 19 at the initiative of the ministry of education.

    The formal inauguration will take place on Aug. 11 in Potamos, Kythera and on Aug. 19 the exhibition will open in Chora, the island's main town, to run until Sept. 19.

    The visitors of the exhibition will learn about the history of the mechanism believed to be an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as a "mechanical computer") designed to calculate astronomical positions.

    It was discovered in the Antikythera wreck, off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, and has been dated to about 150-100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity appeared a thousand years later.

    [13] West Nile virus cases confirmed in Thessaloniki

    Sixteen patients, two of whom died, were infected with the West Nile virus (WNV), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) lab tests showed on Monday. The majority of the 16 cases were elderly patients.

    The virus is known for many years and the main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito.

    Scientists said that there was no reason for alarm stressing that the infection caused is mild and most of the time asymptomatic. The elderly are more at risk of a central nervous system infection which, however, is easily curable.

    [14] Thessaloniki TV producer sentenced for sexual harassment

    A Thessaloniki court gave a 49-year-old local television producer an 18-month jail term, suspended for three years, after finding him guilty on Monday of sexually harassing a 17-year-old boy.

    The man was arrested last Saturday in a football field where he had met with the 17-year-old, an amateur soccer player, to have him photographed for the newspaper he publishes.

    Police were called by eyewitnesses who saw the culprit sexually harassing the 17-year-old.

    [15] Drug arrests

    Three men, two Albanians aged 30 and 35 and a 49-year-old local were arrested on Monday in Variko, Pieria, northern Greece charged with drug dealing.

    The three suspects had hidden half kilo of heroin in a street lamp.

    According to police the suspects are believed to be members of a drug trafficking ring. Police are conducting an investigation iocate and arrest possible other members of the ring.

    [16] Chania arms cache investigation continues

    A 45-year-old man arrested on illegal arms possession charges last Wednesday in Chania, on the island of Crete, will be remanded in custody, an examining magistrate ruled on Monday. The suspect will be detained until ballistics tests on a "Scorpion" semiautomatic found in his possession are completed.

    The 45-year-old, a practical shooting champion, was arrested after a sizeable arms cache was found in his possession including the Scorpion semiautomatic, two pistols, two shotguns and a number of cartridges. Other 12 pistols were found in a bank safe deposit box owned by the suspect.

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

    The University passing entry grades, the implementation of the Memorandum and government's next actions for opening the closed-shop professions, the streamlining of Public Utilities and Organisations (DEKO) and the clamp down on tax evasion, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMETOS TYPOS: "Government and opposition on vacation! Country closed for summer".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Guide for the insured in all social security funds".

    AVRIANI: "Black September arriving - Shut downs, mass lay offs, unemployment, high cost of living and poverty comprise an explosive cocktail that may lead us into uncontrollable situations".

    ELEFTHEROS: "New cutbacks in salaries in public sector and layoffs foreseen in government's plan in order to collect two billion euros".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "University entry base grades fall".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Shocking plunge in State Revenues in July - Government worried".

    ESTIA: "Greece has huge potential if we decide to change policy".

    ETHNOS: "University entry exams: The crisis a criterion for candidates' selection of college".

    IMERISSIA: "IMF's directive for mergers - 'Marriages' with foreign banks".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government proceeds with major changes in DEKO".

    TA NEA: "University entry grades: Rise in many colleges".

    VRADYNI: "Public property for sale - Mass privatisations in 2011".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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