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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-02

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

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

Thursday, 2 September 2010 Issue No: 3582


  • [01] Alternate foreign minister meets Patriarch Bartholomew
  • [02] Alt. FM attends Feat of Indiction at Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • [03] Govt: Turkey must prove good intentions through actions, not words
  • [04] PM awarded Quadriga Award
  • [05] ND leader receives U.S. Ambassador
  • [06] Meimarakis new chairman of Constantine Karamanlis Institute for Democracy
  • [07] Interior ministry prepares for regional, municipal elections
  • [08] Greek banks' raise deposit interest rates in July
  • [09] ND official on tax evasion
  • [10] Katseli meets with SEPE reps
  • [11] Citizens Protection Minister meets HRS delegation
  • [12] Vivartia Holdings to buy 57.8% in Mevgal for 77mln euros
  • [13] Summer sales turnover down more than 25%
  • [14] Stocks end 1.01% higher
  • [15] Greek bond market closing report
  • [16] ADEX closing report
  • [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [18] Rethymno police arrest five for kidnapping academic
  • [19] Wildfire on Zakynthos
  • [20] Youth Parliament to take place on September 3-6
  • [21] Athens Planetarium plans new show on the Sun
  • [22] Greece beats Ivory Coast 97-60 in Mundobasket
  • [23] Fair on Thursday
  • [24] The Wednesday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Alternate foreign minister meets Patriarch Bartholomew

    ISTANBUL (ANA-MPA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Meeting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Wednesday, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas expressed hope that the Theological School on the island of Halki will soon re-open for its true purpose of training clergy.

    The school, which has been closed upward of 30 years, was recently re-opened and used to house an exhibition.

    "We are seeing positive steps in relation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and we welcome these," Droutsas said, stressing that the Patriarchate will always have Greece's at its side in the long road that still lay ahead.

    Bartholomew thanked Droutsas' for the Greek government's interest and support, agreeing that there had been "positive developments" and "steady steps in the right direction" on the part of the Turkish authorities.

    He also noted, however, that Fanar was "still waiting for words to become actions."

    "We have many promises, both on the issue of Halki and other long-standing issues of the Patriarchate and the Greek community and we want to believe that the political will for their resolution exists and that we will soon have tangible actions and not just words," he added.

    [02] Alt. FM attends Feat of Indiction at Ecumenical Patriarchate

    Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas on Wednesday attended the ceremony of the Indiction Code, which marks the beginning of the new Liturgical Year, at the patriarchal church of St. George at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul.

    The signing of the Indiction Code is one of the oldest traditions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with its origins in the 4th century AD.

    In 1989, the Ecumenical Patriarchate declared the first day of September each year, on the occasion of the Feast of Indiction, which is the first day of the ecclesiastical year, to be also the day of protection of the natural environment.

    [03] Govt: Turkey must prove good intentions through actions, not words

    Greece will not back down from its territorial rights and expects Turkey to prove its good intentions with actions rather than just words, government spokesman George Petalotis stressed on Wednesday.

    The spokesman was responding to statements concerning the results of a meeting on Tuesday between Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of a basketball match between the Greek and Turkish national teams, as well as reports that Turkey intends to remove a 'casus belli' threat in the event that Greece extends its territorial waters to 12 miles.

    "Mr. Droutsas and the government have a standing view that there is no concession and there will be no backing down from our national territorial rights and that Turkey must, beyond words, also proceed with actions to show that it means what it says," Petalotis said.

    "We are neither intimidated nor terrified by statements of friendship, hostility or anything else. We are interested in the substance, which is the defence of our national rights," he added.

    [04] PM awarded Quadriga Award

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will be amongst the recipients of Germany's prestigious Quadriga award for 2010 for his social contributions and high-profile efforts to reform Greece's fiscal policies in tandem with efforts to avert the country's bankruptcy, it was announced on Wednesday.

    According to the award's website, the Quadriga has been bestowed every year since 2003 on Oct. 3 -- the anniversary of Germany's reunification -- in Berlin to four personalities active in politics, the business world, social issues and culture. Recipients are honored for their commitment to a future of enlightenment, regeneration and their pioneering spirit.

    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis called the premier's selection for the award as "particularly distinguished', in comments to the ANA-MPA.

    The name of the award refers to "Die Quadriga", the legendary ensemble at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

    [05] ND leader receives U.S. Ambassador

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday received outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard. During the meeting there was a detailed review of Greek-U.S. relations and Samaras presented his party's positions on major foreign policy issues for Greece.

    [06] Meimarakis new chairman of Constantine Karamanlis Institute for Democracy

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) former defence minister Evangelos Meimarakis was on Wednesday named the new chairman of the Constantine Karamanlis Institute for Democracy, replacing Ioannis Varvitsiotis.

    After a meeting with ND leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday morning, Meimarakis told reporters that the confidence in him displayed by Samaras is a great honor, while he also paid tribute to the outgoing Varvitsiotis' great contribution to the party and to his ethos.

    [07] Interior ministry prepares for regional, municipal elections

    The interior ministry has ordered "the immediate cutting of fifty-five million blank votes" from the national printing office for the upcoming regional and municipal elections. The blank votes will have dimensions of 14X25 centimetres, weigh 60 grams and white quality A paper will be used.

    Financial News

    [08] Greek banks' raise deposit interest rates in July

    Greek banks' deposit interest rates rose to 3.71 pct in July, from 3.61 pct in June and 2.10 pct in December 2009, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday. The central bank, in a report, said Greek banks' limited liquidity this year has pushed deposit interest rates higher.

    The report showed that lending interest rates, with the exception of business loans of more than 1.0 million euros, were largely unchanged.

    The average rate for consumer loans (including credit cards, open loans and overdraft) fell 0.08 pct to 14.29 pct, while the average business loan rose by 0.27 pct to 6.73 pct.

    The average mortgage loan rate (for a period up to 12 months) rose significantly to 3.54 pct, while the rate for mortgage loans with a duration between one and five years fell to 4.52 pct.

    [09] ND official on tax evasion

    Main opposition New Democracy party alternate economy sector head Christos Staikouras, commenting on the creation of action groups by the finance ministry, attributed a delay in the handling of the problem of tax evasion.

    Staikouras said the government has failed on the major issue of tax revenues, both in the planning of policy and its implementation, adding that the failure is being reflected, apart from the strangulation of households and businesses, in the considerable and widening towards targets lag in revenues.

    [10] Katseli meets with SEPE reps

    Economy minister Louka Katseli and interior minister Yannis Ragoussis met on Wedensday with representatives of the Association of Informatics Companies of Greece (SEPE), headed by Association president Pantelis Tzortzakis.

    Tzortzakis stressed that the informatics and telecoms sector could serve as a steam engine for growth, in statements after the meeting.

    He said that the two sides agree on the targets, but "ļur difference ies in the fact that we want a political interlocutor on the issues that concern us, so as to forge a strategy in this sector".

    [11] Citizens Protection Minister meets HRS delegation

    Citizens' Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis on Wednesday met a delegation from the Hellenic Register of Shipping, which may be stripped of EU recognition by the European Commission for failure to meet required standards.

    The delegation presented proposals for dealing with the problems that will arise when EU recognition is removed for the ships that are currently registered with HRS and have received certificates of seaworthiness from the organisation.

    According to sources, HRS has proposed that its certificates continue to be valid until the date foreseen on the certificate issued by HRS and not until February 28, 2011. They also asked that there be a distinction between MARPOL ships and those subject to Greek law, while asking that HRS retain the right to issue certificates to small fishing craft, some 3,600 leisure boats and passenger ships.

    The minister has not replied, promising an answer to the above requests in the next few days.

    [12] Vivartia Holdings to buy 57.8% in Mevgal for 77mln euros

    Vivartia Holdings SA on Wednesday announced the signing of a pre-contract for the purchase of a majority share in Mevgal SA, a Greek dairy company.

    The purchase agreement was signed with the Papadaki-Hatzitheodorou family - owners of 43 pct of the Mevgal equity capital - while Vivartia Holdings has already reached a similar agreement with the Hatzakou family - another major shareholder in Mevgal. Under the agreement, Vivartia Holdings will buy at least 57.8 pct of Mevgal's equity capital through its subsidiary Delta Foods SA.

    Vivartia Holdings said the purchase will be completed in two phases: first, buying a 14.8 pct stake in Mevgal from Hatzakou family for 19.6 million euros, along with an option for buying an additional 13.6 pct equity stake and second, buying a 43 pct stake from Papadakis-Hatzitheodorou family for 57 million euros.

    Mevgal SA was founded in 1950 and it is the largest dairy industry in northern Greece. Its 2009 turnover totaled 184 million euros with pre-tax, interest and amortization earnings totaling 11 million euros.

    The new group, resulting from the merger of Delta and Mevgal will have annual sales of 640 million euros, of which 500 million euros domestically and 140 million euros abroad.

    Dionysios Malamatinas, Vivartia's chief executive, commenting on the deal said:

    "We are particularly satisfied with the takeover deal with Mevgal. Our aim is to give greater value to the new group and offer our consumers the benefits of creating a national champion, maintaining our established growth, innovation and quality course. The new group will be able to overcome competitive challenges of our times and contributing to the support and growth of Greek cattle-breeding industry and of the Greek economy in general".

    [13] Summer sales turnover down more than 25%

    The summer sales season apparently failed to materialise the retail sector's hopes for a recovery, with turnover falling more than 25 pct this year, after a decline of 22-24 pct in 2009.

    Presenting results of the summer sales season, Vassilis Korkidis, the president of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE), said early hopes of a recovery - based on better-than-expected sales in the first fortnight of the season - did not materialise and stressed that sales fell as much as 65 pct in some regions of the country.

    The retail sector said the situation was expected. ESEE said the retail sector has launched an aggressive discount offer campaign as of Sept. 1.

    [14] Stocks end 1.01% higher

    Stocks ended a volatile session higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The composite index of the market rose 1.01 pct to end at 1,571.12 points, with turnover a low 110.392 million euros. The Big Cap index rose 1.41 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.10 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.43 pct.

    The Financial Services (4.85 pct) and Oil (2.54 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (3.65 pct) and Insurance (1.46 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 102 to 66 with another 41 issues unchanged.

    Klonatex (20 pct), NEL (20 pct) and Edrasi (12.5 pct) were top gainers, while Creta Farm (9.65 pct), Atlantic (8.70 pct) and Viokarpet (7.29 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.46%

    Industrials: +1.44%

    Commercial: +0.67%

    Construction: +1.60%

    Media: +0.99%

    Oil & Gas: +2.54%

    Personal & Household: -0.31%

    Raw Materials: +4.77%

    Travel & Leisure: -3.65%

    Technology: -0.89%

    Telecoms: +1.85%

    Banks: +1.88%

    Food & Beverages: +0.30%

    Health: -0.37%

    Utilities: +2.37%

    Chemicals: +0.22%

    Financial Services: +4.85%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.25

    ATEbank: 1.08

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.56

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.70

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.06

    National Bank of Greece: 10.10

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.08

    OPAP: 11.45

    OTE: 5.52

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.10

    Titan: 15.21

    [15] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 109 million euros on Wednesday, of which 47 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 62 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 18 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 928 basis points, down from 940 bps on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 11.38 pct and the German Bund 2.10 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.41 pct, the six-month rate was 1.13 pct, the three-month 0.88 pct and the one-month rate 0.62 pct.

    [16] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -0.17 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover a low 52.616 million euros.

    Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 10,501 contracts worth 39.918 million euros with 26,172 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 21,344, worth 12.698 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Cyprus Bank's contracts (4,562), followed by Eurobank (2,331), MIG (702), OTE (2,047), Piraeus Bank (2,452), National Bank (3,156), Alpha Bank (2,919), Mytilineos (453), Hellenic Postbank (525).

    [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.290

    Pound sterling 0.837

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 9.423

    Japanese yen 108.4

    Swiss franc 1.307

    Norwegian kroner 8.006

    Canadian dollar 1.366

    Australian dollar 1.425

    General News

    [18] Rethymno police arrest five for kidnapping academic

    Police in Rethymno on Wednesday reported a further five arrests in connection with the abduction on the island of Crete of a 50-year-old lecturer from Manchester University in England. The five, all residents of Iraklio, have been charged as accomplices in the kidnapping.

    They include two Greek women aged 32 and 60 years, respectively, and three Greek men aged 37, 41 and 43 years old. According to police, all five participated in the preparation and execution of the kidnapping. They will now be led before a public prosecutor in Lasithi.

    The kidnapping was planned and carried out by the brother of 20-year-old student Aggeliki Stavroulaki from Asi Gonia in Hania. The young student has been missing since she left home on February 18 this year and her brother kidnapped the 50-year-old lecturer in the belief that he knew of her whereabouts because of the friendship between them.

    Stavroulakis turned himself in to police on Tuesday and admitted to the kidnapping. The unnamed academic had been on holiday in Lasithi when he was abducted last Thursday. The victim has been found but police say he has suffered both physical and mental abuse.

    [19] Wildfire on Zakynthos

    A wildfire broke out at about six in the evening on Wednesday in a forested area at the village of Aghia Marina on the island of Zakynthos.

    Residential areas are not in danger. The Zakynthos Fire Service has called for reinforcements from services in the Peloponnese since 7-8 force winds are blowing on the island and there is the risk of the blaze spreading towards the village and placing homes in danger.

    [20] Youth Parliament to take place on September 3-6

    Greece's 15th consecutive Youth Parliament will this year be held on September 3-6, with the participation of 300 youngsters that were in the second year of lyceum during the 2009-2010 academic year.

    The 300 teenagers, 260 from Greece, 20 from Cyprus and 20 from Greek communities abroad, were selected among 11,134 candidates that applied to participate. They are due to arrive in Athens on Friday and on Saturday and Sunday will convene in committees equivalent to those of the standing committees of Parliament, as well as participating in the programme of cultural events.

    The three-day event will culminate with a session of the entire Youth Parliament plenum at 10:00 on Monday morning.

    [21] Athens Planetarium plans new show on the Sun

    The Eugenides' Foundation Digital Planetarium in Athens kicks off its 7th autumn season on Wednesday, with a new show on the Sun among the upcoming features.

    The planetarium remains one of the largest and best equipped in the world and has so far introduced more than two million visitors to the wonders of the universe, science and technology.

    The programme in September will be based on older digital shows prepared for the planetarium, including "The Seven Wonders of the World", "The Death of the Stars", "The Great Adventure" and the films "Corals and Reefs" and "The Little Prince".

    The new show "Star of the Day" that is about our own sun will begin in October and will explore the way that different cultures over the centuries have viewed the star that is closest to us and the phenomena that astronomers are still trying to explain today.


    [22] Greece beats Ivory Coast 97-60 in Mundobasket


    Greece beat Ivory Coast 97-60 in a World Basketball championship Group C match played here on Wednesday. The 10-minute intervals had the following results: 14-20, 19-47, 38-81, 60-97.

    Weather Forecast

    [23] Fair on Thursday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 32C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 22C to 31C. Fair in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 18C to 26C.

    [24] The Wednesday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance

    Significant losses at the Athens Stock Exchange over the last six months, supposed changes in the price of pharmaceuticals as well as an education ministry draft law eyeing alternative ways of entering Greece 's scores of colleges and technological institutes mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens ' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Chaos over public agencies' staff - What the census revealed".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Entrance into universities via credits system".

    AVGHI: "Memorandum gnawing at GDP".

    AVRIANI: "Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras attacks nepotism".

    CHORA: "Medicines, water rates will go up".

    ELEFTHEROS: "People openly despise two mainstream political parties ".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Samaras ultimatum to Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis: No nepotism".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Pensions for sale".

    ESTIA: " Greece sends away (best) Greeks".

    ETHNOS: "Bonus to private colleges' graduates".

    IMERISSIA: "ASE listed companies in a vice".

    KATHIMERINI: "Unprecedented damage to listed companies - 1.37 billion euros in losses".

    LOGOS: "Government reshuffle rumors return".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Recession-afflicted profits of listed companies".

    NIKI: "Greeks' purchasing power returns to 1984".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Education ministry's new bill aims to offer cheap workers for big capital".

    TA NEA: "Up to 60 percent reduction in medicine prices".

    TO VIMA: "University entry without exams".

    VRADYNI: "Tax amnesty"

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

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