|Sunday, 21 January 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 1 September 2010 Issue No: 3581
 PM briefed on nationwide anti-smoking banPrime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday received the "anti-smoking committee, along with the relevant health minister, whom he congratulated for what he called their "exceptional work".
The committee and Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou visited the premier a day ahead of a nation-wide ban of smoking in public indoor areas, with the latest ban now accompanied by fines against proprietors and even individuals.
"Your efforts are extremely significant and contribute to the work we are doing today in our country, aiming to change attitudes, models and manners in order to upgrade the quality of living and to make our country viable, not only regarding the economy but also in every day life," Papandreou stressed.
Xenoyiannakopoulou handed the premier a file containing the ministerial decision, the framework for its implementation and details of a public awareness campaign.
 PM meets former ECB vice-president PapademosPrime Minister George Papandreou had a meeting on Tuesday with former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos, lasting more than an hour.
Papademos made no statements as he was leaving the meeting, while government spokesman George Petalotis noted that the banker had held an extremely important position within the ECB, had extensive experience and expertise and the meeting would serve as a briefing for both sides.
The spokesman did not confirm whether Papademos was being tapped for a seat on the cabinet.
 Alternate FM Droutsas arrives in AnkaraANKARA (ANA-MPA/A. Ambatzis)
Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas arrived here on Tuesday afternoon, to watch the basketball match between the national teams of Greece and Turkey in the framework of the Mundobasket 2010 championship, together with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.
Droutsas will be having a discussion with Davutoglu before the match and later he will be having dinner with him.
Droutsas will be going to Istanbul on Wednesday to attend a religious service at Saint George Cathedral. He will also be meeting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.
 Alternate FM Droutsas has conversation with Turkish FM DavutogluAlternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas held a conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Davutoglu's residence here on Tuesday. After the dinner that followed, the two ministers will be watching together the basketball match between Greece and Turkey that will take place in Ankara.
Davutoglu received the Greek minister at the entrance. No statements were made. At the beginning of the conversation and although photographers were allowed to take photos, the two ministers exchanged views on the match.
Droutsas will offer to the Turkish minister as a gift a shirt of the national basketball team with the players' signatures on it.
Speaking in the morning to the Turkish television channel NTV, Davutoglu referred among other things to Greek-Turkish relations and asked about recent reports in the Turkish press that a revision is being prepared on the Turkish national security doctrine in a way that the extension of Greek territorial waters in the Aegean will not be considered casus belli, he said "work regarding the national security doctrine is classified. In the past years serious changes occurred in our relations with the neighbours." He added that "on the question of the 12 miles, Turkey will not take a unilateral step. Turkey and Greece will change stance with mutual steps, the one towards the other."
 Government spokesman on local electionsThe government rejects the opposition's effort for the character of a vote against the memorandum to be given in the local administration elections in November.
"Those placing a memorandum dilemma or of an antimemorandum are stepping on the anxiety of citizens to snatch votes," government spokesman George Petalotis said in an exclusive interview with the ANA-MPA.
He reiterated that in the event that government members are candidates in the local administration elections they will be replaced and the restructuring of the government formation will take place to enable it to respond to the modern-day international and national requirements.
Petalotis also pointed out that society is showing maturity and the government's aim is to make the citizen a participant in the shaping of a new social state and this will also appear at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
 ND withdraws from investigation into Vatopedi land swapsMain opposition New Democracy on Tuesday announced its decision to withdraw from the Parliamentary committee investigating whether former government ministers may have broken the law in facilitating the land swaps between the State and the Vatopedi Monastery.
According to ND MP Nikos Dendias, remaining on the committee "would only serve PASOK's plans to mislead the Greek people in order to indict members of the previous government without evidence".
He asserted that ruling PASOK had set up the Parliamentary investigation with the express intention of sending former ND ministers to the Special Court without first having established that the state's interests had been harmed in any way.
According to Dendias, it was virtually impossible under given circumstances to assess the commercial value of the properties exchanged by the two sides, making any argument about over-valued or under-valued properties moot. As a result, it was also impossible to draw up charges concerning any criminal liability in the case.
Commenting on ND's decision to withdraw, PASOK MP Tilemachos Hytiris pointed out that it had taken the main opposition party two years to discover that there was no scandal at Vatopedi and, in defiance of common logic, to conclude that the transactions had not harmed state interests.
"Irresponsible ND is once again attempted to string along the Greek people and even its own followers," he added.
 Employment minister tables in Parliament electronic prescription registration draft lawEmployment Minister Andreas Loverdos has tabled in Parliament the Employment ministry's draft law that will take on the form of a bill and concerns electronic prescription registration and in the coming days he will be briefing the department deputies accordingly. The arrangements will be implemented by all the health and social security agencies and branches.
 Defence minister meets outgoing U.S. envoyGreek National Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday had a farewell meeting with outgoing U.S. Ambassador in Athens Daniel Speckhard. In statements concerning the meeting, Venizelos said they had an opportunity for a final review of the "excellent" state of Greek-U.S. relations on a political and military level.
Speckhard stressed that Greece had a strong ally and partner in the United States "which will be at your side, now and in the future."
 Education ministry shuts down HAU for not complying with legal requirementsThe education ministry on Tuesday announced its decision to close a second private franchise college that had failed to comply with requirements set down by law for its operation, specifically the Hellenic American University.
Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou stressed that HAU had been given ample time to comply with the standards required by law since receiving its first warning from the ministry in March this year.
Concerning students already studying at HAU, the minister only noted that "everyone, when they make their choices, must be careful".
The minister made the statement during the tabling of a bill on life-long education to Parliament's educational affairs committee.
 PASOK party's Political Council to convene on ThursdayThe ruling PASOK party's Political Council will convene on Thursday morning under the chairmanship of Prime Minister George Papandreou, in the framework of preparations for the party's 9th National Council Session.
National Council secretary Sokratis Xynidis will be proposing the political framework for the session, that will be taking place at the Faliro indoor stadium from Friday September 3 until Sunday September 5.
In addition, the political framework for the local administration elections, combined with the implementation of the "Kallikratis" plan, will be proposed by Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis and Xynidis.
 ND calls for return of tourism and shipping ministriesIn a call to the prime minister on Tuesday, main opposition New Democracy urged the government to bring back the scrapped ministries of shipping and tourism when a future cabinet reshuffle takes place.
Stressing that shipping and tourism represented two of Greece's major comparative advantages, ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said that re-establishing the two ministries was a "major obligation" of the government.
He also criticised ruling PASOK ministers for seeming less concerned about Greek households and businesses struggling under austerity measures and more concerned with who will have the upper hand within the government.
Meanwhile, ND leader Antonis Samaras was on Tuesday continued a round of meetings designed to mend bridges within ND in the run-up to the local government elections. According to reports, however, Samaras has sent an ultimatum to Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, warning Psomiadis not to include his brother in his election ticket for the Thessaloniki regional seat.
 New Pharmaceuticals Price List to be publicised on September 1The Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry will be publicising the new Pharmaceuticals Price List on September 1. The new list will be containing 2,648 prices.
 EYDAP sales down, profits upAthens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) on Tuesday reported an 1.2-pct drop in its 1st-half turnover to 181.892 million euros, down from 184.092 million euros in the corresponding period last year, reflecting lower consumption of water.
Pre-tax profits increased 34.76 pct and totaled 7.580 million euros in the January-June period, up from 5.625 million euros last year, while after tax profits totaled 3.015 million euros from 2.972 million euros over the same period last year (up 1.45 pct).
An EYDAP announcement said that net profits in the first half were restricted by the extra tax levied on 2009 profits that came to the sum of 2.26 million euros.
 Alpha Bank net profits down 53.1 pct in 1st half 2010Alpha Bank on Monday reported a 53.1 pct drop in net profits during the first half of 2010 to 100.2 million euros, reflecting a continuing deterioration of business conditions in Greece and Southeastern Europe. The bank said 1st half results were just 38.2 million euros if an extra tax of 61.9 million euros imposed on 2009 profits was included.
Customers' capital under management totaled 42.7 billion euros at the end of June, while saving deposits dropped 7.4 pct to 39.7 billion euros. Saving deposits in Greece fell 9.1 pct to 32.9 billion euros, mainly as a result of clients in the shipping sector transferring part of the liquidity outside the country and the adjustment of business cash reserves to the new environment of limited liquidity.
Lending pre-write-offs grew 2.0 pct to 53.3 billion euros, up from 52.2 billion euros in the same period last year, reflecting a 2.6 pct annual growth rate in Greece and a 3.7 pct growth rate in Southeastern Europe. New loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises and mortgage loans totaled 2.6 billion euros and 0.6 billion euros, respectively, in the first half of the year.
Alpha Bank Board Chairman Ioannis Kostopoulos said in a statement that Alpha Bank would continue to support its efforts to support its customers during the current difficult circumstances with a balanced policy, while Managing Director Dimitrios Mantzounis stressed that the group's priority would be to preserve adequate liquidity, which was increased further by restricting the investment portfolio and cutting back on operating costs to reduce spending.
 Kiosk owners strike on Sept. 9-10The Kiosk Owners and Tobacconists Federation of Greece has decided to hold a two-day nationwide strike on September 9-10 and begin a hunger strike outside the finance ministry on September 8 in order to protest against a sharp plunge in their profit margins as a result of higher taxes on tobacco. They also object to tobacco industry plans to reduce the retail price for cigarettes.
 Local administration organisations to participate in Thessaloniki rally on September 11The Panhellenic Federation of Local Administration Organisations (POE-OTA) announced its participation in the rally to be organised by the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) and the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday, September 11, in the afternoon at the statue of Venizelos.
 ASE: Stocks 0.37 pct down on TuesdayStocks eased downward on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) on Tuesday, with the composite index closing 0.37 percent down at 1,555.41 points and turnover at 72.157 million euros.
The Big Cap index fell 0.24 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.57 pct lower and the Small Cap index was marginally down by 0.10 pct.
Travel (1.75%) and Chemicals (1.58%) posted the biggest gains of the day, while Construction (-3.73 %) and Financial Services (-3.38 %) posted the biggest percentage losses of the day.
Decliners led advancers 108 to 50, while 45 shares did not move.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +0.68%
Personal & Household: -1.90%
Raw Materials: -1.20%
Travel & Leisure: +1.75%
Food & Beverages: +0.72%
Financial Services: -3.38%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, PPC, Alpha Bank and Coca Cola.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 5.10
Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.22
HBC Coca Cola: 18.64
Hellenic Petroleum: 5.91
National Bank of Greece: 9.96
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.14
Bank of Piraeus: 4.10
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a small discount 1.33 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday with turnover rising to 32.732 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 6,737 contracts worth 24.995 million euros, with 28,012 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,438 contracts worth 7.737 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank contracts (3,009) followed by Eurobank (986), MIG (729), OTE (1,981), PPC (706), OPAP (66) and Piraeus (923).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.278
Pound sterling 0.831
Danish kroner 7.504
Swedish kroner 9.464
Japanese yen 107.93
Swiss franc 1.303
Norwegian kroner 8.088
Canadian dollar 1.359
Australian dollar 1.441
 Tourists adrift on jet skis rescued by Air Force helicopterThree missing tourists from New Zealand were located and picked up at sea in waters southeast of Santorini by an AB-205 Air Force helicopter at 13:20 on Tuesday. The three went missing after going out on jet-skis while one of them was lightly injured.
The helicopter had joined the search at 11:50 at the request of the coast guard at the National Centre for Search and Rescue Coordination.
An inquiry into the incident will be carried out by the coast guard.
 'Myrtis' exhibition moving to National Archaeological MuseumThe girl that put a face to distant antiquity, the reconstructed 11-year-old 'Myrtis' of ancient Athens, will be moved to a new home in the National Archaeological Museum as of September 13. The nameless young girl that died and was buried in a mass grave during the plague that struck Athens in 430 B.C. will now stand next to the funerary stele of the city's more illustrious dead that are kept in the museum.
The name 'Myrtis' is borrowed, given to her by scientists that worked on the reconstruction of her features. Following her 'resurrection' nearly 2,500 years after she died of typhoid fever - the plague that also struck down the statesman Pericles and one third of all Athenians at that time - she has now also been made a "Millenium Friend" and her picture posted on a website supporting the UN Millenium Goals as a message to the world about disease prevention.
"My death was inevitable. In the 5th century BC we had neither the knowledge nor the means to fight deadly illnesses. However, you, the people of the 21st century, have no excuse. You possess all the necessary means and resources to save the lives of millions of people. To save the lives of millions of children like me who are dying of preventable and curable diseases.
2,500 years after my death, I hope that my message will engage and inspire more people to work and make the Millennium Development Goals a reality," a letter posted next to her picture says.
Orthodontics professor Manolis Grigorakis, the man that first conceived the project of reconstructing Myrtis, said his team had already begun working on reconstructions of the faces of a man and woman found in the same mass grave in Kerameikos.
"I am moved and happy to watch Myrtis' journey throughout Greece. She has already been admired by some 12,000 visitors at the Goulandris Museum and I am in a position to know that most are fanatical admirers. I hope these are multiplied at the new exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens," he said.
The exhibition "Myrtis: Face to face with the past" is centred on the facial reconstruction by scientists of an 11-year-old Athenian girl that lived and died in ancient Athens during the 5th century BC.
Her bones were discovered in 1994-1995, in a mass grave with another 150 bodies, during work to build the metro station in Kerameikos. Her skull was in an unusually good condition and this inspired Professor Papagrigorakis to enlist the help of specialist scientists from Sweden to recreate her features, using the 'Manchester' facial reconstruction technique.
The final result, wearing a linen dress made especially for the purpose by Greek fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki based on images of clothing styles of that time, forms the backbone of an exhibition that explores both the various stages of a facial reconstruction. It also exhibits the finds uncovered by archaeologists at Kerameikos, which date around 430-426 B.C. and are linked with the plague that contributed to Athens' defeat from Sparta during the Peloponnesian Wars.
Scientists decided to give 'Myrtis' brown eyes and brown hair, arranged in a Classical era style, like the majority of Athenians at that time but stressed that her true colours could only be discovered by expensive DNA analysis that has not yet been carried out.
DNA analysis techniques have confirmed, however, that Myrtis and two other bodies in the mass grave had died of typhoid fever, confirming theories about the historic plague.
 Events to mark 2,500th anniversary from Battle of MarathonThe municipality of Marathon in Attica on Tuesday announced a programme of events to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary since the historic Battle of Marathon on September 12. On this crucial battlefield, the ancient Athenians managed to thwart invasion by a numerically superior Persian force, inaugurating an era in which Greece flourished and laid the foundations of western culture.
With money donated by the Leventis Foundation, the municipality will mark out historic routes for cyclists and pedestrians that will link monuments such as the Marathon Tomb, the Trophy, the ancient quarries and others.
On September 12 itself the events will reach a peak and will feature a walk to the Tomb followed by the reading of descriptions of the battle from Herodotus by well known Greek actors, accompanied by ancient Greek instruments such as the lute, pan-pipes, horn and others.
Among those attending will be Greece's female marathon runner Maria Polyzou, who recently became the first woman to repeat the legendary 520-kilometre run from Athens to Sparta and back again in six days. The distance was originally run by the ancient messenger Pheidippides when he was sent to ask for Sparta's aid in the battle.
 Ancient cemetery discovered in Arcadia prefectureExcavations at a plot in the Milia site of Arcadia prefecture, in the central Peloponnese, have unearthed findings dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman eras.
The findings were located during construction.
The site is believed to have served as an ancient cemetery and excavations so far have yielded gold funereal objects.
The remains of a youth were found in a marble container with a lion's head carved on the outside, while a marble stele engraved with the word "X A I Ñ Å" was also found inside.
The skull was adorned with a golden wreath and a gold necklace, while a gold ring engraved with the image of equestrian rider was also found. Vases made of clay and bronze, a scrapper used by athletes and a figurine of a frog was found near the remains which, according to archaeologists, probably would have been the boy's dearest toy.
The findings have been transferred to Tripolis archaeological museum for restoration.
 In search of Alexander's RoxanneExcavations at the Kasta Hill site in Amphipolis, in northern Greece, will begin next month in search of the tomb of Alexander the Great's spouse, the Bactrian maiden Roxanne, along with the ancient conqueror's only offspring, Alexander IV.
According to the head of the Serres archaeology bureau (ephorate), archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, the Kasta Hill site was initially excavated and researched by the archaeologist Dimitris Lazaridis from 1956 until his death in 1985.
The latter focused on the well-known ancient city of Amphipolis -- the name of an eponymous ancient battle of Classical antiquity -- as he theorised that several members of the Macedonian royal house of the fourth century BC might be buried on the specific hill. A state-of-the-art scanner of subterranean surfaces will be employed at the site.
At the same time, more digging to uncover the ancient theatre of Amphipolis is scheduled.
The Serres ephorate intends to include whatever new findings in an exhibition dedicated to ancient Macedonian antiquities at the Louvre Museum -- scheduled for 2011.
 Road accidents 3.9 pct down in JuneThere were 1,364 road accidents throughout Greece in June that resulted in deaths and injuries, down 3.9 percent in relation to the same month in 2009, the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Tuesday.
As a result of the above road accidents there were 97 deaths (27.1 pct reduction), 165 people were seriously injured (7.8 pct increase) and 1,489 suffered lighter injuries (7.4 pct reduction).
 Traffic restrictions in central Athens resume on September 6Traffic restrictions in the central Athens "Daktylios" will resume on September 6, after which cars will only be allowed to enter the restricted area on alternate days, based on the final digit of their licence plate number (odds-evens system).
An announcement by the Athens traffic police said the restriction will apply until July 15 next year. For those having permits to enter the city centre every day, police said the same permits are still in force while those wishing to apply for new permits must submit an application by November 30 at Attica Traffic Police headquarters at 24-26 Deligianni Street, Athens.
 Migrant-trafficking arrests in IgoumenitsaA Bulgarian and Turkish national were arrested in the northwestern Greek port of Igoumenitsa on Tuesday for transport three Turkish illegal immigrants in their private car. The migrants had each paid for their passage and diplayed forged travel documents during an inspection.
The illegal migrants and the suspected migrant traffickers will be led before a Thesprotia public prosecutor to be charged.
 Escaped prison inmate recapturedGreek authorities on Tuesday successfully recaptured a 29-year-old inmate that escaped from Larissa prison while being transferred to the city's university hospital.
The 29-year-old was being held on remand for drug offences and theft was picked up by Z motorcycle police in Larissa's Alkazar area, riding on a motorbike he had stolen a few hours earlier.
 Greece loses 76-65 to Turkey in Mundobasket gameANKARA (ANA-MPA)
Greece lost 76-65 from Turkey in a Mundobasket Group C match played here on Tuesday night. The 10-minute intervals had the following scores: 15-22, 39-41, 51-65, 65-76.
 Fair on WednesdayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday, with wind velocity reaching 4-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 15C and 32C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 20C to 31C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 26C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceReactions against the memorandum and press speculation over new measures ordered Brussels; the government's moves to boost liquidity as well as the latest ban of smoking mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Stop to smoking".
APOGEVMATINI: "Agony over closures - Markets at a loss, entrepreneurship collapses and unemployment skyrockets".
AVGHI: "Sales with debt as alibi - State to borrow more than 73 million euros in 2010'.
AVRIANI: "Karamanlis (Costas, the former ND government prime minister) syndrome infects Papandreou's government - 80 percent of population disappointed from PASOK governance, poll indicates".
CHORA: "Hellenic Telecommunications Organization to delist from NYSE".
ELEFTHEROS: "Papandreou was against IMF before elections; called it disastrous".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Civil war over government control".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Document: 20 changes memorandum - new, painful measures Brussels demands".
ESTIA: "Market reacts to taxes - You can't take from someone who doesn't have enough to give".
ETHNOS: "Government's plan on salaries in public sector".
IMERISSIA: "Revenues collapse - Tax hikes fruitless".
KATHIMERINI: "Market says no to new taxes".
LOGOS: "Civil servants' payroll foresees unification of benefits".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Businesses demand immediate change of policy".
NIKI: "Attention: Taxes!".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga: People rally with KKE"
TA NEA: "Up to 80 percent discount for debts to social security funds".
TO VIMA: "Breather for debts, VAT, (civil servants') mortgages - Alarm in government over market asphyxiation".
VRADYNI: "Growth with support to SMEs- Merchants, manufacturers tabled their own anti-memorandum".
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