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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-08-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 30 August 2010 Issue No: 3579


  • [01] Loverdos: No new austerity measures
  • [02] Pangalos on reshuffle, economic situation
  • [03] Culture ministry addresses 'Tracing Istanbul' exhibition
  • [04] ND again calls for 'different policy mix'
  • [05] KKE calls for local gov't elections
  • [06] KKE on PPC electricity cost hikes
  • [07] Tsipras touring Mytilene
  • [08] Second pilot in Thursday's F-16 collision dies
  • [09] New draft law on Civil Aviation Service
  • [10] Major heroin haul in Igoumenitsa
  • [11] Police cite raids on 2 fur-producting units
  • [12] Pair charged with antiquities smuggling
  • [13] Illegal immigrants rescued off Paros
  • [14] Three arrested for illegal immigrant smuggling
  • [15] Arsonists target diplomatic corps cars in Thessaloniki
  • [16] 3 wildfires continuing; 3 contained
  • [17] Former Florina metropolitan Avgoustinos Kantiotis passes away
  • [18] Greece downs Puerto Rico in world basketball championship
  • [19] Greece beats China 89-81 in World Basketball Championship
  • [20] Football kicks off
  • [21] Cloudy on Monday
  • [22] The Sunday edition of Athens ' newspapers at a glance

  • [01] Loverdos: No new austerity measures

    Employment & Social Insurances Minister Andreas Loverdos was quoted on Sunday as precluding any new austerity measures, while adding that the country's emergence from the current economic and fiscal crisis will be achieved via the completion of already announced reforms and, primarily, through economic growth.

    In an interview published in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia", he stated that most supplementary pension funds in the country are in a "good shape", whereas any measures dealing with the latter will be considered after actuarial studies are completed by April 2011.

    In response to heated opposition criticism of the memorandum agreed to by the government and the EU-ECB-IMF "troika", the key minister underlined that "for Greece to overcome the memorandum it will have to implement it in a clear and unwavering manner".

    In an unrelated development, Loverdos, a veteran PASOK minister in previous governments, ruled out his candidacy for the Athens municipality in the upcoming November election.

    [02] Pangalos on reshuffle, economic situation

    Government vice president Theodoros Pangalos reminded that it was the prime minister's prerogative on when and if a reshuffle takes place, merely noting that a consideration of ministers' performance should take place, while stressing that PASOK always has "strong reserves."

    In his interview with an Athens weekly paper on Sunday, Pangalos admitted that there is sluggishness in terms of economic growth, as investment plans are on the table that, nevertheless, get stuck in various ministries.

    At this point he cited the finance ministry, the town planning and environment ministry, and possibly the culture ministry, as the primary culprits where investment plans can face delays.

    As regards the memorandum, he said it constitutes a reality, although the role of the government, apart from its implemen-tation, is "to proceed with structural changes, which are essential and compulsory for some time."

    Referring to the possibility of a fact-finding committee on the economy, he said that "it cannot be done." There is no criminal offence, there is only popular disapproval."

    [03] Culture ministry addresses 'Tracing Istanbul' exhibition


    Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, addressing guests at the inauguration of the art exhibition "Tracing Istanbul" at the Halki School of Theology on Sunday, referred to "the strength of the creation of faith and the announcement of new eras that will make all of us, Greeks and Turks, feel proud."

    He characteristically noted that the exhibition could be considered "a routine event if the issues and the premises, with which it is dealing, had not been points of tension in the past.

    "We shall not know for a long time yet if these moments that we are experiencing are historic," the minister said and stressed the significance of cooperation between the creators of the two countries.

    The secretary general of the Turkish culture ministry, the mayor of Princes Isles in the Sea of Marmara, the director of Istanbul's famed Topkapi Museum and numerous Greek and Turkish artists were among the guests at the inauguration and a reception that followed in the seminary's gardens.

    [04] ND again calls for 'different policy mix'

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, in an article published in an Athens weekly on Sunday, again aired and detailed his criticism of the government and the memorandum agreed to between the state and the EU-ECB-IMF "troika".

    Samaras referred to a worsening of a series of economic indicators and concluded that "the memorandum is not a restructuring of public finances. It is killing the Greek economy and dissolving Greek society."

    He reiterated a proposal for a "different policy mixture," with measures that combat the deficit and recession simultaneously; which will erase the deficit in two years and slash the state debt to 100 percent of GDP by 2013 -- compared to 150 percent that he predicted on the basis of the memorandum policy.

    "With our plan we shall do away with restrictions of the memorandum, so that we can follow a policy of growth; not dolling out grants with borrowed money, but with a decrease in tax rates and a drastic abolition of distortions; a strengthening the competitiveness of the Greek economy," Samaras stressed.

    Lastly, he aired a personal criticism of the prime minister, saying that his policy is leading the country into the "vicious circle of recession", while ND's political proposal is an exit from the crisis with recovery and growth.

    [05] KKE calls for local gov't elections

    The Communist Party (KKE) central committee on Sunday issued an announcement calling for "joint struggle" ahead of the upcoming local government elections by working people in the private and public sectors, by self-employed professionals, what it called farmers of "small to medium sized" plots and "all those that based their hopes on PASOK and ND".

    KKE called the local government elections in November a major opportunity to distance voters from "the parties of plutocracy and the European Union..."

    [06] KKE on PPC electricity cost hikes

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement over the weekend, expressed disagreement with increases in Public Power Corporation (DEH) invoices and called on working people for a "struggle front" for the abolition of VAT and other indirect taxes, as well as for 30 percent cheaper electricity, water and telephone rates for the unemployed and low wage earners.

    KKE added that working class households cannot bear the PPC's invoices that are already very costly and if the exorbitant increases decided by the government are implemented, combined with the high cost of living that is surging and the new increases in VAT, it will be the final blow for them.

    [07] Tsipras touring Mytilene

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras, speaking to reporters during his two-day tour of Mytilene, said "we must quit the memorandum and the troika."

    During his visit to the market in Kalloni, Tsipras said that with government policy with its "cutbacks in salaries and pensions, the tax raid on small and medium-level wage earners and plenty of money for banks, not only shall we not exit from the crisis but we shall sink even more into it."

    Tsipras added that "there is another path, and it is the path of growth, redistribution, support for employment, of the laying of new foundations for security. The only thing is that this path necessitates us breaking the plaster of the memorandum."

    [08] Second pilot in Thursday's F-16 collision dies

    A second pilot injured in Thursday's mid-air collision of two F-16s south of Crete died in the early morning hours of Sunday.

    Flight Lt. Sifis Anastasakis, 36, died at the Irakleio hospital's ICU after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the collision, which left another pilot dead. A third pilot sustained milder injuries and is recuperating.

    Condolences, meanwhile, poured in on Sunday from the country's political leadership, including President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister George Papandreou, DM Evangelos Venizelos and others.

    "It was with great sadness that I was informed of the death of Lt. Iosif Anastasakis. Let his dedication to duty and heroism live forever inscribed in our memory, with a wish that we will not need to again mourn for our pilot officers," a statement by Papoulias read.

    Meanwhile, a funeral for the other fatally injured pilot took place on Sunday in the NW city of Arta. Flight Lt. Anastasios Balatsoukas, 33, was laid to rest in his home town. Alternate DM Panos Beglitis represented the government.

    A period of mourning in the armed forces was extended by two days.

    Financial News

    [09] New draft law on Civil Aviation Service

    A new draft law being promoted by the Infrastructures, Transport and Networks ministry will bring about changes in the existing institutional status of the Civil Aviation Service.

    The aim of the draft law is the upgrading of the Civil Aviation Service and its reorganising in accordance with international and European standards, to enable the Service to handle increased requirements regarding security, specialisation, effectiveness and the performance of aeronautical services.

    General News

    [10] Major heroin haul in Igoumenitsa

    Officials in the northwest port of Igoumenitsa on Sunday confiscated roughly 120 kilos of heroin in an Italy-bound truck with Croatian plates. The drugs were found in packets weighing 450-500 grams.

    The lorry's Serbian driver was arrested and will be led before a local prosecutor.

    According to information obtained so far, the narcotics were destined for markets in western Europe.

    Interpol and authorities in Italy were informed of the bust.

    [11] Police cite raids on 2 fur-producting units

    The latest apparent raid on a mink farm to release thousands of the furry animals was reported at dawn on Saturday outside the northern town of Siatista -- one of two major fur-producing areas in the country.

    According to police, perpetrators entered a production unit via an "unsecured metal door" before freeing about 2,000 animals.

    A day earlier, a similar incident occurred in the Hiliodendro region of Kastoria prefecture -- the other fur-production region in the country -- were about 50,000 minks were released.

    No information was given on if or what type of alarm systems were in use, or whether security guards were employed at the units.

    [12] Pair charged with antiquities smuggling

    A pair of local men, 47 and 38, were charged on Saturday with carrying out an illegal dig for antiquities in a remote site in Serres prefecture, northern Greece, with police reporting that duo was apprehended "in the act".

    [13] Illegal immigrants rescued off Paros

    Two Harbour Corps patrol boats, a Super Puma helicopter and other vessels spotted a waterlogged boat carrying 60 illegal immigrants northwest of the island of Paros at dawn on Saturday. The people on board were reported in good health and were transferred to other boats, while their problematic vessel was led to the port of Paros.

    [14] Three arrested for illegal immigrant smuggling

    Police arrested three people at the Malgara tollgate at dawn on Saturday for attempting to bring 14 illegal immigrants into the country. The three, a Greek and two foreign nationals, had been initially spotted by police in the region of Soufli.

    [15] Arsonists target diplomatic corps cars in Thessaloniki

    Five vehicles belonging to diplomatic corps and foreign missions were targeted by arsonists in Thessaloniki at dawn on Saturday. Using gas canisters and inflammable fluid, the arsonists caused serious damage to the cars that had been parked in the regions of Faliro and Kalamaria. In one case, the fire spread to two other cars parked nearby.

    [16] 3 wildfires continuing; 3 contained

    Three wildfires were reported on Sunday afternoon, while another three were earlier contained, reports state.

    The most pressing blazes were reported at the Mavrokordato site of Drama prefecture in northern Greece; at the Sperhiada site of central Fthiotida prefecture and near the town of Filiates, in extreme northwest Thesprotia prefecture.

    [17] Former Florina metropolitan Avgoustinos Kantiotis passes away

    Former metropolitan of Florina, Prespes and Eordea Avgoustinos Kantiotis passed away at 5 in the morning at the age of 104. His body will lie in state for three days at the Avgoustinos Monastery in Florina, while the funeral service will be held on Monday. The former metropolitan was hospitalised in Florina about a month ago after suffering a stroke.


    [18] Greece downs Puerto Rico in world basketball championship


    Greece beat Puerto Rico 83-80 here on Sunday, posting its second straight victory in Group C of the World Basketball Championship. The 10-minute intervals were: 23-21, 41-35, 56-59, 80-83.

    [19] Greece beats China 89-81 in World Basketball Championship

    The national basketball team beat China 89-81 in its first game for Group C in the World Basketball Championship here on Saturday. The 10-minute intervals had the following scores: 25-18, 47-37, 65-62, 89-81.

    [20] Football kicks off

    Reigning champion Panathinaikos Athens was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Xanthi and Olympiacos Piraeus lost 2-1 away to Iraklis Thessaloniki, while AEK Athens lost 2-1 away to championship newcomer Kerkyra as the new Super League championship kicked off over the weekend.

    In other action:

    Larissa-Atromitos Athens 1-0

    Panionios Athens-Olympiacos Volos 0-1

    Ergotelis Crete-Asteras Tripoli 0-1

    PAOK Thessaloniki-Panseraikos Serres 3-2

    Kavala-Aris Thessaloniki 0-1

    Standings after one week of play:

    1. PAOK 3 points

    2. Iraklis 3

    3. Kerkyra 3

    4. Aris 3

    5. Larissa 3

    6. Asteras 3

    7. Olympiacos Volos 3

    8. Panathinaikos 1

    9. Xanthi 1

    10. Panionios 0

    11. Ergotelis 0

    12. Atromitos 0

    13. Kavala 0

    14. AEK 0

    15. Olympiacos 0

    16. Panseraikos 0

    Weather Forecast

    [21] Cloudy on Monday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 15C and 35C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with southerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 24C to 35C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 20C to 30C.

    [22] The Sunday edition of Athens ' newspapers at a glance

    Dire economic predictions and political developments mostly focusing on the ruling party dominated the headlines on Sunday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: The newspaper banners a front-page headline ridiculing statements by two foreign professors favouring property development over a potential park for congested greater Athens where the old Athens airport lies today.

    APOGEVMATINI: "Municipalities merger with ... IMF surcharge".

    AVGHI: "Sept. 13 ... attack to hit education sector due to shortages."

    AVRIANI: "Payments stoppage by thousands of businesses".

    CHORA: "Coffers empty -- Dramatic reduction in revenues causes alarm in finance ministry."

    ETHNOS: "Plan for another three billion euros in public sector cuts in 2011".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "First we vote in local elections, then we pay".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Government searching for alternative solutions in order to take nine tough measures".

    EPOCHI: "Generalised (economic) anaesthesia due to memorandum."

    ESTIA: "The lesser effort prevails".

    KATHIMERINI: "Middle class' anxiety -- Combination of recession, tax pressures create asphyxiation".

    LOGOS: "Development of a feminine shade".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Lower taxation for distributed profits".

    NIKI: "A respite for 150,000 households with heavy debts".

    PARON (weekly): "A government of bureaucrats -- New model planned by Papandreou after fiasco of current one".

    PROTO THEMA (weekly): "Look at the adviser they found for (PM George) Papandreou -- They're embarrasing the premier."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Joint action to satisfy modern rights, people's needs".

    TO VIMA: "Seven in 10 degree-holders want to emigrate abroad".

    VETO (weekly): "1.2 million unemployed in next six-month period."

    VRADYNI: "Heavy and hazardous work -- which specialties avoid getting axed from list".

    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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