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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-08-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 Issue No: 3574


  • [01] PM, gov't cite major 'structural changes'
  • [02] Droutsas: 'Crisis an opportunity for creation of new Greece'
  • [03] ND spokesman on gov't reshuffle speculation
  • [04] Bank deposits drop in June
  • [05] Stocks reverse slide
  • [06] ADEX closing report
  • [07] Bond market closing report
  • [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [09] Foreign national arrested in murder of missing Bulgarian girl
  • [10] Hostage situation resolved; suspect arrested
  • [11] Passerby shot during bank robbery
  • [12] Man dies in wildfire on Crete
  • [13] Two dead in police chase of vehicle carrying illegal immigrants
  • [14] Wildfire front reignites in Karystos
  • [15] AEK-Dundee game moved
  • [16] Fair on Tuesday
  • [17] The Monday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance

  • [01] PM, gov't cite major 'structural changes'

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday referred to major "structural changes" envisioned for the country, writing on his webpage, a statement echoed the same day by the government spokesman.

    "There is no doubt that we are being called upon and we must respond to our loan commitments with reliability and seriousness, so that we can protect our country from the storm of international profiteering; as well as from the collapse of every social protection institution," Papandreou said, adding:

    "The monetary result might only be of significance for some technocrats and analysts, in our case: to decrease the deficit, to tackle the debt, to pay off the loans. For us, no. We are not content with these. We are aware that no positive result will have a permanent character without bold institutional changes in the functioning of the state and the political system," the Greek premier said, noting however that "...institutional changes are a politically neutral meaning. Behind them lies a true political struggle, which is taking place around them and for them, at both national and international level."

    On his part, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis referred to the start of a "new cycle" of political and other major changes that have been scheduled, focusing on the citizen and growth.

    He linked these changes to the "structural changes" that he announced in advance that will take place both in the ministerial council and the prime minister's office, mentioning that the studies of the committee to which Papandreou has assigned this task, is underway and to be processed.

    On the question of a rumoured reshuffle, the spokesman underlined that the policies and not the persons are of interest to the government, reiterating that if government members turn to the election struggle for local administration, they will be replaced.

    Meanwhile, the Greek government is awaiting recommendations from a committee on the modernisation of the government's functioning, whose coordination has been undertaken by Minister of State Haris Pamboukis.

    The committee is composed of Kevin Featherstone, a modern Greek studies professor at the Eleftherios Venizelos Faculty and Director of the LSE's Greek Observatory; Richard Parker, a public policy lecturer at Harvard; Roger Wilkins, a special adviser to the Australian premier; Leif Pagrotsky, MP and a former industry and trade minister in Sweden and Jeoff Mulgan, a former strategic planning head in the British PM's office.

    The committee was created by Papandreou in February, and assigned with coming up with proposals to reform decision making and to make governance more effective and democratic.

    [02] Droutsas: 'Crisis an opportunity for creation of new Greece'

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, addressing an international conference in Salzburg on Sunday, again cited the Greek government's position that the ongoing economic and fiscal crisis is a "real opportunity for the creation of new Greece".

    Droutsas said the country has passed the first stage of the immediate handling of the crisis, and has regained its reliability and prestige internationally, whereas the Greek government is now proceeding with "the next, very important, phase, of the reforming and reorientation of the Greek economy, with emphasis on the country's economic growth."

    Reminding that funds received by Greece are not a gift but loans that will pay off with interest, he reassured that this is an investment in Greece for the necessary reforms and changes in the country, and will not be used for a return to the negative practices of the past.

    The minister also referred to the work of the presidency being exercised by Greece from June 1 and until the end of this year at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organisation, since the agenda of the "Salzburg Trilogies" placed emphasis on the specific region.

    On the Austrian side, a proposal was made for cooperation by the presidency of Greece in holding, this coming June in Vienna, of the regional forum for the Black Sea, which Austria is assuming.

    Droutsas held contacts and bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference with the foreign ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

    [03] ND spokesman on gov't reshuffle speculation

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos on Monday commented on the speculation, mostly in the press, regarding a possible government reshuffle issue

    "The prime minister is aware that his policy will bring an even heavier (political) storm in the autumn, therefore, he will attempt, via a reshuffle to lessen some difficulties."

    "Whatever changes in persons will not have a positive result because it is the memorandum that is to be blamed, not the individual person," the spokesman said.

    Financial News

    [04] Bank deposits drop in June

    A hemorrhaging of deposits from Greek banks apparently continued in June, as the Bank of Greece (BoG) announced that deposits by businesses and individual depositors dropped during the month by 3.3 billion euros in relation to the previous month, May 2010.

    Total deposits in Greek banks stood at 216.5 billion euros in June, with the figure since the beginning of the year decreasing by 7 percent, or roughly 16.3 billion euros.

    [05] Stocks reverse slide

    Stocks on Monday reversed a three-session slide -- of roughly 5 percent -- at the Athens Stock Exchange, with the market's composite index up 0.57 percent to end at 1,598.88 points, with turnover still a low 51.55 million euros.

    The Big Cap index jumped 0.81 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.05 pct higher and the Small Cap index fell 0.98 pct. Industrial products (1.66 pct) and Telecoms (1.56 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Insurances (2.89 pct) and Commerce (2.14 pct) suffered the biggest losses.

    Broadly, advancers trailed decliners by 59 to 95 with another 41 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -2.89%

    Industrials: +1.66%

    Commercial: -2.14%

    Construction: +0.12%

    Media: +0.04%

    Oil & Gas: -1.35%

    Personal & Household: -0.90%

    Raw Materials: -1.03%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.94%

    Technology: -0.76%

    Telecoms: +1.59%

    Banks: +1.32%

    Food & Beverages: +0.50%

    Health: +0.41%

    Utilities: -1.70%

    Chemicals: -0.24%

    Financial Services: -1.15%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, Motor Oil and Coca Cola.

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.55

    ATEbank: 1.09

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.62

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.75

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.96

    National Bank of Greece: 10.30

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.31

    OPAP: 11.50

    OTE: 5.76

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.39

    Titan: 15.68

    [06] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a small discount 1.15 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday with turnover rising to 22.075 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 4,647 contracts worth 17.960 million euros, with 24,558 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 6,588 contracts worth 4.115 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (1,718) followed by Eurobank (1,024), Marfin Investment Group (763), OTE (416), DEH (56), OPAP (138) and Piraeus (221).

    [07] Bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market fell to 87 million euros on Monday, 11 million of which were purchase orders and the 76 million sell orders. The 3-year benchmark bond (20-03-12) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 25 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds increased to 872 basis points from 851 basis points on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 11.00 pct and the German Bund 2.28 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates remained mostly unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.418 pct, the six-month rate 1.14 pct, the three-month 0.89 pct and the one-month rate 0.63 pct.

    [08] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.280

    Pound sterling 0.823

    Danish kroner 7.509

    Swedish kroner 9.469

    Japanese yen 109.1

    Swiss franc 1.326

    Norwegian kroner 7.966

    Canadian dollar 1.339

    Australian dollar 1.429

    General News

    [09] Foreign national arrested in murder of missing Bulgarian girl

    A 41-year-old Albanian national on Monday was arrested for the murder of an 11-year-old Bulgarian girl in a village in the central Peloponnese , hours after the girl's disappearance was broadcast around the country as part of an "Amber alert".

    The girl's body was found at daybreak on Monday at the bottom of a well in a field near the village of Eleohori , in Arcadia prefecture.

    A canvassing of the area and local residents by police reportedly led to the suspect, who according to reports, has lived in the village with his family for the past 10 years.

    Police said the man confessed to offering the girl a ride home from the village's main square at approximately 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning. However, he subsequently drove the child to a remote area seven kilometers outside the village, where he raped her before throwing her in the well. Authorities said the water inside the well was at least 10 metres in depth, although a coroner's report is pending to pinpoint the exact causes of death.

    The alleged perpetrator reportedly led police to the site where the crime occurred.

    The foreign national was expected to be led before a local prosecutor in the Arcadia capital of Tripolis on Monday afternoon.

    [10] Hostage situation resolved; suspect arrested

    A hostage situation at the port of Piraeus was concluded without incident on Monday after a botched bank robbery at the same branch. A lone gunman surrendered to police in the early afternoon, while no injuries were reported amongst the hostages, the gunman or his two accomplices, who were arrested earlier.

    According to reports, two out of three armed robbers were nabbed outside the bank. However, the third suspect, carrying a handgun and grenade, remained in the bank with four hostages.

    [11] Passerby shot during bank robbery

    An armed robbery led to the injury of a passerby who attempted to stop the gunmen outside a National Bank of Greece branch in Megalopolis, in the central Peloponnese .

    According to reports, three masked perpetrators rushed into the bank and threatened customers and employees at gunpoint before taking an unknown amount of money.

    While attempting to escape, a man tried to stop the trio but was shot and injured.

    The victim was transferred to hospital and is undergoing an operation.

    Police have launched a manhunt to locate the perpetrators.

    [12] Man dies in wildfire on Crete

    The body of a 55-year-old local man was found on Monday in a field near the village of Rodakino, in Rethymno prefecture of Crete , where a wildfire raged over the past two days.

    According to an initial investigation, the man was overcome by smoke from the wildfire, falling and fatally hitting his head.

    [13] Two dead in police chase of vehicle carrying illegal immigrants

    A 53-year-old local man and the driver of a fleeing vehicle carrying illegal immigrant were killed in a two-car collision on Sunday evening near the northern city of Kavala. Additionally, two policemen in a separate patrol car and five illegals in getaway car were slightly injured.

    According to authorities, the probe of a suspected immigrant smuggling ring near Kavala led to the detection of two cars emerging from a forested area in the Aghios Syllas site. The first vehicle was stopped and the driver, a Syrian national was arrested along with eight illegals, four Iraqis and four Palestinians.

    The other car sped away but crashed with another passing car and then with the patrol car on the old Amfipolis-Serres-Kavala motorway.

    Both cars used by the suspects had been stolen, one in the Attica prefecture and the other in Fthiotida prefecture.

    [14] Wildfire front reignites in Karystos

    A wildfire front in Karystos, southern Evia, which reignited on Sunday evening, continued to rage in the mountainous Kastro (Castello Rosso) site, north of the harbour town, on Monday.

    A large force of fire-fighters was battling the flames, assisted by four water-dropping helicopters. Gusty winds prevented fixed winged aircraft from patrolling in the area.

    According to the fire brigade, a total of 83 wildfires were reported throughout the country in the last 24 hours.


    [15] AEK-Dundee game moved

    Athens' Olympic Stadium (OAKA) has been ruled out for this Thursday's AEK Athens-Dundee United FC game in the Europa League third knock-out round as well as Friday's Panathinaikos Athens-Xanthi match up inaugurating the 2010-11 Greek Super League season, with stadium officials pointing to the extremely poor condition of the pitch.

    The recently changed grass turf at OAKA was judged as unsuitable on Monday, a day after a Panathinaikos-Genoa CFC friendly was punctuated by large chunks of playing field sliding off players cleets. In fact, Panathinaikos star striker Djibril Cisse suffered a muscle pull on Sunday that was attributed, in part, to the playing field.

    The president of OAKA's board on Monday blamed the contractor for the poor state of the playing field, charging that it failed to estimate when the turf would be mature enough for play, as well as the previous management for lack of maintenance of the pitch.

    Weather Forecast

    [16] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 18C and 36C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 24C to 35C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 22C to 33C.

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

    The disastrous wildfires on southern Evia island and in a palm tree forest on Crete, speculation over more reforms in the social security sector and labour market, as well as government reshuffle rumours mostly dominated the headlines on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Ordeal for salaries, working hours and lay-offs - FinMin dismisses reports of new austerity measures".

    APOGEVMATINI: " End to collective bargaining contracts - Troika' ultimatum for private sector negotiations".

    AVRIANI: "Wave of strikes in utilities in order to block privatisations and safeguard benefits and bonuses".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Ministers' quarrel over new appointments".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Unemployment benefits curtailed".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Fine print amid heavy measures - Memorandum No2: Troika's latest measures sealed in October".

    ESTIA: "Recovery of climate of trust prerequisite for development".

    ETHNOS: "Supplementary pensions under scrutiny".

    IMERISSIA: "Four emergency measures aimed to save 2.2 billion euros".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government's plans to 'legalise' squatted land - State will collect 1.5 billion euros by offering deeds to trespassers".

    TA NEA: "George (Papandreou) prepares a supra ministry".

    VRADYNI: "Hell in Karystos, Evia - Large expanses in southern Evia turned into ashes".

    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: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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