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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-08-27

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

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

Friday, 27 August 2010 Issue No: 3577


  • [01] ND leader addresses party's Executive Secretariat
  • [02] Two F-16s collide; one pilot dead, two rescued
  • [03] Alt. FM receives outgoing US ambassador
  • [04] ND, SYRIZA criticise hirings of foreign consultants for PM's office
  • [05] KKE demands Parliament review of updated memorandum
  • [06] PPC profits slide in 1H 2010
  • [07] Slide in OPAP net profits in 1H 2010
  • [08] Stocks rally; up 1.69%
  • [09] ADEX closing report
  • [10] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [11] Antiquities discovered during builiding works
  • [12] Corfu man arrested for rapes, robbery
  • [13] One arrest in brazen Alonissos bank robbery
  • [14] Fair on Friday
  • [15] The Thursday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance

  • [01] ND leader addresses party's Executive Secretariat

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras emphasised the political challenge posed by the local administration elections, addressing the first session of the party's Executive Secretariat on Thursday.

    Samaras linked the elections on local administration to the strategy against the memorandum and its consequences for the economy and society. Under the present conditions, that are "crisis conditions" the political element dominates that of local administration.

    Her described his strategy, saying that "ND will begin to build a big majority coalition of forces that rejects the deadlocks of the memorandum and supports the alternative prospect."

    Samaras also predicted that "new extraordinary measures are almost unavoidable" and reiterated that ND had proposed in time a different mixture of economic policy that places emphasis on handling recession phenomena.

    [02] Two F-16s collide; one pilot dead, two rescued

    wo Hellenic Air Force F-16s collided south of Crete on Thursday with two out of three pilots subsequently recovered alive in the immediate aftermath, while the lifeless body of the third pilot was found in the same sea region.

    One of the two rescued pilots was reported in serious condition at an Ierapetra hospital with a punctured lung and head injuries. According to reports, the Greek defence ministry was en route to Crete.

    President Papoulias on loss of Air Force pilot

    In a message of condolences over the loss of an Air Force pilot on Thursday, President Karolos Papoulias said that "the tragic death of the Air Force pilot shocked us and reminded us of the respect we feel for those who with a strong sense of responsibility fell on the altar of duty."

    President Papoulias added "I express my sorrow and my sincerest condolences to his family, as well as my support for all his colleagues."

    PM Papandreou over tragic loss of Air Force pilot

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday expressed his and the government's profound sorrow over the tragic loss of the Air Force pilot in the line of duty.

    "Our thoughts in these difficult moments are with the family of the officer, who lost his life, as well as the two pilots who are undergoing treatment, together with our wishes for a speedy recovery," the prime minister added.

    [03] Alt. FM receives outgoing US ambassador

    Outgoing US ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard on Thursday paid a courtesy visit to Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    "My heart is with the families that struggle to make amends in these difficult times" Speckhard said, while expressing his certainty that Greece will exit the ongoing difficult times and will enjoy more prosperity in the future.

    Speckhard referred to the very good and strong ties between Greece and United States as well as Athens' noteworthy role in international issues.

    He also cited Prime Minister George Papandreou's visit to the White House and the visa waiver programme for Greek nationals, which was recently ratified.

    [04] ND, SYRIZA criticise hirings of foreign consultants for PM's office

    A main opposition ND spokesman on Thursday sharply criticised PM George Papandreou for the hiring of a handful of high-profile foreign consultants attached to the premier's office, as he said.

    "Obviously, there is money (available), as the prime minister said during the pre-election campaign. Not, of course, for wage-earners or pensioners, but for Mr. Papandreou to hire armies of consultants for his personal office, burdening the Greek taxpayer with hundreds of thousands of euros every year in expenditures," spokesman Panos Panayiotopoulos said.

    On his part, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MP Dimitris Papadimoulis also referred to an article published in an Athens daily charging that the premier has decided to hire an additional 20 advisers and associates for his political office. Papadimoulis demanded to know from relevant ministers and the prime minister why the latter was proceeded with the hirings; the exact role for each new hired individual as well as the total and individual salaries for each.

    [05] KKE demands Parliament review of updated memorandum

    The Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) Parliamentary group on Thursday demanded that the government unveil the updated memorandum - agreed to with the Commission, ECB and IMF -- in parliament.

    KKE said the updated memorandum is not a simple elaboration of the already known memorandum but adds new reforms, an even more decisive step towards creating a cheaper work force.

    "The struggle must continue even if growth materialises, because such will be frail. What is needed is a 'popular, decisive organisation and counterattack'," KKE opined

    Financial News

    [06] PPC profits slide in 1H 2010

    State-run Public Power Corp. (PPC), a heavily traded share on the Athens Stock Exchange, on Thursday announced after-tax profits of 345.5 million euros for the first half of 2010, down from 475.2 million euros in the corresponding period of 2009, a decrease of 26.8 percent.

    Higher fuel prices and continued imports of electricity were blamed by PPC's board for the slide in profitability.

    Pre-tax profits stood at 463.6 million euros, down from 636.3 million in the first half of 2009, while turnover fell to 2.894 billion euros from 2.990 billion, a slight decrease of 3.2 percent.

    [07] Slide in OPAP net profits in 1H 2010

    Net profits of the Football Pools Organisation S.A. (OPAP S.A.) decreased by 32.1 percent during the first half of 2010, amounting to 251.9 million euros compared to 371.2 million euros during the corresponding period in 2009.

    According to an announcement, turnover remained at about the same levels, totalling 2.744 billion euros from 2.764.1 billion euros. Turnover in the second quarter of 2010 amounted to 1.37 billion euros, up by 5.4 percent, including the additional revenues of a direct betting game from the holding of the world cup, in relation to the corresponding period in 2009.

    [08] Stocks rally; up 1.69%

    Stocks sharply rebounded on Thursday at the Athens Stock Market following a two-day decline to gain 1.69, with the market's composite index ending at 1,541.72 points. Turnover was a low 81.25 million euros.

    The Big Cap index increased by 2.40 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.47 pct higher and the Small Cap index was up by 0.82 pct. Conversely, Telecoms (1.84) and Insurances (1.36 pct) posted the biggest percentage losses of the day.

    Broadly, advancers surpassed decliners by 108 to 56 with another 40 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.36%

    Industrials: +1.50%

    Commercial: +0.29%

    Construction: +0.38%

    Media: -0.32%

    Oil & Gas: +1.47%

    Personal & Household: +0.08%

    Raw Materials: +3.54%

    Travel & Leisure: +1.83%

    Technology: +2.17%

    Telecoms: -1.84%

    Banks: +4.05%

    Food & Beverages: -0.72%

    Health: +0.08%

    Utilities: +0.10%

    Chemicals: +3.90%

    Financial Services: -0.11%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.22

    ATEbank: 1.08

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.90

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.31

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.85

    National Bank of Greece: 10.15

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.08

    OPAP: 11.30

    OTE: 5.35

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.15

    Titan: 15.20

    [09] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a small discount 0.92 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday with turnover rising to 32.358 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 6,774 contracts worth 25.190 million euros, with 26,690 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 11,056 contracts worth 7.168 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank contracts (3,463) followed by Eurobank (1,472), Marfin Investment Group (233), OTE (298), PPC (225), OPAP (82) and Piraeus (571).

    [10] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.279

    Pound sterling 0.823

    Danish kroner 7.506

    Swedish kroner 9.505

    Japanese yen 108.01

    Swiss franc 1.313

    Norwegian kroner 8.068

    Canadian dollar 1.353

    Australian dollar 1.443

    General News

    [11] Antiquities discovered during builiding works

    An archaeological excavation is currently underway at a building plot in the Milia site in the municipality of Mantineia, Arcadia prefecture, in Peloponnese. The antiquities are located during building works.

    [12] Corfu man arrested for rapes, robbery

    37-year-old man was arrested near the coastal village of Lefkimi on the island of Corfu on Thursday and charged with the rape and robbery of foreign women in the Cavos resort region over the past two months.

    The suspect has a criminal record and was previously incarcerated on several felony convictions, including rape.

    Authorities sealed off a wooded region on the island where the suspect was hiding, using K-9 units and foot patrols to finally locate the man.

    [13] One arrest in brazen Alonissos bank robbery

    A 38-year-old convict out on an 11-day prison furlough, no less, was arrested on Thursday in Athens for the brazen but ultimately botched bank robbery on the island of Alonissos earlier in the week.

    The suspect was convicted in 1995, along with seven other local accomplices, for the murder of a hospital cashier at the Geniko Nikea facility.

    Another two suspects are at large in the Alonissos heist.

    Two of the three suspects initially made off with up to 600,000 euros from a National Bank branch on the central Aegean isle, before fleeing aboard a motorbike in a haphazard attempt to reach a stolen inflatable craft where the third suspect awaited. The pair of gunmen fired with assault rifles at pursuing law enforcement officers before finally fleeing aboard the craft -- leading at least three coast guard patrol boats and a helicopter on a seaborne chase.

    However, the loot was dropped during the chase through Alonissos' harbour.

    Weather Forecast

    [14] Fair on Friday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Friday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 16C and 37C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 3-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 21C to 36C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 33C.

    [15] The Thursday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance

    The spectre of closure for thousands of SMEs due to the economic crisis, a "mini" tax bill to be tabled in parliament in September and changes in university and college entry exams system following a collapse in entry scores - one as low as 0.9 out of a possible 20 - mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Entrance scores for all colleges".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Entry level scores for some colleges near zero".

    AVGHI: "SMEs in despair ".

    AVRIANI: "Wild course of spreads eliminates Greece from international markets and brings back bankruptcy scenarios".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Blank (test) sheets, gloomy education".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Crisis drove entry scores crazy".

    ESTIA: "Worry in USA over recession".

    ETHNOS: "Crash in university entry scores - Storm of changes in exam system".

    IMERISSIA: "Government pressure towards banks to increase loaning to markets".

    KATHIMERINI: "Education below zero".

    LOGOS: "One out of five businesses will close".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Tax bill to be tabled in parliament in September".

    NIKI: "Banks taking part of salaries and pensions from payrolls".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Families of working classes struggle to offer their children a better future".

    TA NEA: "New university entry exam system pending".

    TO VIMA: "Zero score was enough for technological colleges".

    VRADYNI: "They're fooling society - Government refers to 'light' while 175,000 businesses on verge of closing".

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