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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-03

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

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

Friday, 3 September 2010 Issue No: 3583

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou: Dilemma is change, or not
  • [02] GSEE president presents demands to PM
  • [03] PM Papandreou at UN summit
  • [04] Foreign ministry: Turkey must withdraw casus belli
  • [05] Foreign ministry briefing on FYROM name dispute, Middle East and Kosovo
  • [06] Defence minister unveils draft bill on armed forces career advancement, hierarchy
  • [07] Parliament to 'adopt' orphans of recent armed forces accident victims
  • [08] Outgoing US envoy praises growth in Greek-US ties
  • [09] ND withdraws from Parliament com't on structured bonds issue
  • [10] Bail for Angelou set at 150,000 euros
  • [11] GDP shrinks 3.5% in Q2, Eurostat
  • [12] FinMin gives interview to La Tribune newspaper
  • [13] Minister on Thessaloniki 'cultures crossroads' programme
  • [14] European Court of Justice on fishery licences
  • [15] Building activity down 32.24% in Aug., report
  • [16] Stocks jump 2.69% on Thurs.
  • [17] Greek bond market closing report
  • [18] ADEX closing report
  • [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [20] Police dismantle ring pirating Nova signal
  • [21] Wildfire on Zakynthos contained
  • [22] Tourist crushed to death by falling rocks on Mykonos
  • [23] Arms cache found buried in Kastoria
  • [24] Greece loses 73-69 to Russia in Mundobasket
  • [25] Cloudy on Friday
  • [26] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Papandreou: Dilemma is change, or not

    Ruling PASOK party's national council convened on Thursday, chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou, to focus on the upcoming November local and regional elections, given that the party will announce a series of candidates for municipalities and 13 recently created regional entities around the country by Sunday.

    In referring to criticism by the opposition and press coverage of an unofficial "referendum" on the landmark memorandum agreed to by the government with the EU-ECB-IMF "troika" to secure 110 billion euros in loans, Papandreou said:

    "I consider that the dilemma, which is political, is to either proceed forward, to change the country, or, to not change the country. It is very easy for someone to invite citizens to vote against the troika. Yet this is not simply a protest vote, but one without substance, as the purpose is to hide real issues that we have to deal with," he said.

    Papandreou emphasised that the concept of national sovereignty is sacred for PASOK, which he further added wants a country that can stand on its own two feet.

    In recapping his government's first year in power, Papandreou said a deficit in the country's trustworthiness was the greatest problem faced when PASOK took over the government's reins.

    He also acknowledged that some of the recent austerity measures were painful, while noting that effects of the memorandum -- "the contract for the support mechanism" -- could have been softened had the government had more time.

    Nevertheless, he appeared unwavering in his view of the memorandum's necessity, noting that "if the government had not managed to deal with the issue of a possible bankruptcy, our public wealth would have been left open to the appetites of profiteers and creditors; pensioners would have been left to the mercy of God; the social security system would not exist and public services would not have been able to operate, while basic goods would have been left in the hands of the black market."

    In later comments following a meeting with the social partners at the Maximos Mansion, Papandreou said "the danger of the country's bankruptcy has not been eliminated completely although it has been averted in its largest part."

    Reiterating his steadfast position that the state constitutes the great "sick man" in Greece, the prime minister stressed that we must not target the civil servant, but public administration as a whole, which is not functioning properly, "first of all with the responsibility of the politicians."

    According to reports, PASOK is expected to announce on Thursday 60 to 65 candidates that it supports, with another 20 on Saturday, whereas it may not provide "official support" to roughly another 140.

    On Sunday, PASOK is expected to announce its candidates for the three major municipalities in the country -- Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus -- as well as for the 13 regions.

    [02] GSEE president presents demands to PM

    General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) president Yiannis Panagopoulos, speaking after his meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday, said that "we set out the demands of wage earners to the prime minister, people who are in the vice of policies being exercised through the memorandum, as they were dictated to by the political representatives of the creditors.

    "We requested a new mix of economic and social policy, one that will dynamically exceed the memorandum and will restore, as a priority, the needs of the unemployed, of low-pension earners and of salaried employment in the private sector of the economy."

    "... A bankruptcy of public finances cannot drag the real economy and working people along with it," he said.

    [03] PM Papandreou at UN summit

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou)

    Prime Minister George Papandreou will address a UN summit on the first day of its session, due to take place between September 20-22, and participate in a roundtable discussion.

    During his presence in New York City, Papandreou will have several meetings with heads of state and government, as well as with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

    The international meeting will be held at the international organisation's headquarters with the participation of leaders and representatives of the 192 UN member-states, as well as representatives of non-profit organisations and private agencies.

    [04] Foreign ministry: Turkey must withdraw casus belli

    Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Thursday stressed that Turkey must withdraw a threat to initiate hostilities against Greece in the event that Athens decides to extend the country's territorial waters to 12 nautical miles. Pointing out that Greece had a sovereign right to extend its territorial waters under both maritime and European law, Delavekouras said that the mere existence of Turkey's 'casus belli' was unacceptable.

    "It is inconceivable that there is a threat of war by an candidate state against a member-state of the EU, given also the framework in which international relations develop in our times. It is up to Turkey to abolish it," the spokesman underlined when asked about recent statements made on the issue by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Delavekouras repeated Greece's support for Turkey's rapprochement with the EU and said that Athens will continue efforts to improve bilateral relations "with very careful steps and without compromising sovereign rights".

    He underlined, meanwhile, that there could relations between Greece and Turkey could never be normalised unless there was a stop to violations of international law.

    Concerning Turkey's prospects of EU accession, the spokesman said that Turkey must first meet the criteria and fulfill its obligations, including that of good neighbour relatons.

    While noting that the governments of both countries have clearly stated their desire to deepen and improve bilateral ties, Delavekouras said that Greece has systematically decried the existence of the casus belli as contrary to the UN Charter and made sure that its objections went on record in the documents of international organisations of which Greece is a member.

    "That the threat of war continues to exist is unacceptable. It is recorded everywhere and Turkey must explain to the world how it is possible, today in 2010, to preserve the casus belli," he added.

    Concerning a meeting between Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Davutoglu on Tuesday night, the spokesman said that this had focused on the possibility of allowing one-day excursions from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands for all nationalities.

    Greek authorities were currently in contact with the appropriate EU agencies in order to test the measure on a pilot basis in the near future, he said.

    "It is important for Greek tourism and has been carried out in the past with very good results," the spokesman pointed out.

    Also discussed by Droutsas and Davutoglu was the progress of issues handled by the Higher Level Cooperation Council set up by the two countries, developments in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Cyprus issue and regional affairs, as well as the prospects of a further meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and planning for a return visit by Davutoglu to Athens in November.

    [05] Foreign ministry briefing on FYROM name dispute, Middle East and Kosovo

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will very likely have a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz, the mediator in the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said on Thursday.

    He said the Greek side would seek a meeting if Nimetz had time for one, while he did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister George Papandreou and FYROM premier Nikola Gruevski if both were in New York at the same time and their schedules allowed.

    Questioned about the statements of U.S. Ambassador to Skopje Philip T. Reeker during an interview on August 26, Delavekouras underlined that Greece "continues to invest in the process that is underway at the United Nations under the auspices of Matthew Nimetz and has, in fact, asked the American side to explain the thinking behind Reeker's statements".

    He noted that such statements and publicity were not helpful, especially when made outside the framework of the negotiations process.

    In an interview with the television station Alfa TV, Ambassador Reeker said that Washington did not consider that a resolution of the name issue "has to involve a change of the constitutional name or a change of the Macedonian Constitution." According to Reeker, the U.S. considered that "the two sides, Greece and Macedonia, need to agree on an international reference that can be used in place of FYROM."

    Delavekouras noted on Thursday that Athens continued to have an "open" policy toward FYROM, in spite of occasions when FYROM's leadership made statements that did not help the goal of resolving the name issue.

    "It must be clear that Greece is systematically continuing the effort for a solution and has proposed a framework for arriving at a solution," he stressed, adding that there was no "secret diplomacy" but a confidential process that was underway, supervised by the UN envoy.

    "We are now waiting from some activity on the part of FYROM, whose leadership tends to barricade itself behind the same arguments we have been hearing for the past 20 years," he added.

    On Middle East talks

    Responding to questions about the talks beginning on Thursday in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Delavekouras described them as "a great opportunity".

    "Greece welcomes them and makes an appeal to the people and governments of the region to not submit to the logic of violence and proceed to an honest, fair, lasting and viable solution of the problems in the area," he said.

    The spokesman said that Greece fully supports the statement of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton concerning the murder of four Israeli civilians near Hebron and offered condolences to their families, while he also condemned an attack on Wednesday in which two people were injured.

    "Greece, for many years now, supports the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state that will live beside Israel and its neighbours in a state of peace and security for these countries and their people. The murder of four Israeli subjects, yesterday's attack and every other expression of violence wherever it originates from, turns against every brave effort to achieve the goal of the two states," he said.

    Greek position concerning Kosovo

    Regarding Kosovo, the spokesman said that Greece desired a solution that was the product of consensus between the 27 EU member-states and Serbia and would support this position at the UN General Assembly.

    He stressed that the Greek government was following a consistent policy and, through the Agenda 2014, had succeeded in reviving the debate on the European future of the western Balkans within the European Union.

    [06] Defence minister unveils draft bill on armed forces career advancement, hierarchy

    National Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday presented a draft bill for career advancement, promotions, hierarchy and related issues within the Greek armed forces.

    According to the ministry leadership, the draft bill is an ambitious and broad-ranging legislation that tackles the sum of outstanding issues within the military, establishing a comprehensive system by which members of the military rise up the ranks based on transparency and professionalism.

    Among others, Venizelos noted that the government's goal was a realistic and rationalised method for designing a medium-term and long-term arms procurements programme, while he emphasised the need for full Parliamentary transparency.

    "Our goal is to make better choices of arms programmes for protecting our national integrity," he said, adding that the ministry leadership also intended to carry out an audit of arms procurements over the past 20 years.

    Replying to a question on the prospects of defence cooperation with Israel, the minister said that Greece was a country that needed to have its eyes on the Mediterranean and that Israel offered opportunities for exchange of know-how, joint military exercises and political-military cooperation.

    Concerning the draft bill, Venizelos said that it was designed to compensate for recent changes to the pension system in the military, ensuring that each member of the armed forces was able to complete the necessary period of actual military service (35 years) and meet the criteria for buying five additional pensionable years available under the system (40 pensionable years).

    The bill also established minimum periods of remaining at each rank, so that officers reach the rank of colonel after completing 35 years of actual military service.

    Among others, the bill deals with issues like the categories of officers, the status of professional and long-term volunteer troops, establishes criteria for appointments, transfers and detachments, criteria for assessing and promoting officers, armed forces structure and hierarchy and bringing the disciplinary rules for armed forces personnel in line with the rulings of Greek courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

    The draft bill will be tabled in Parliament and discussion by the appropriate Parliamentary committee is expected to begin on Monday.

    [07] Parliament to 'adopt' orphans of recent armed forces accident victims

    The Greek Parliament is to "adopt" the children of two unlucky armed forces pilots that were recently killed in the line of duty, based on a proposal made on Thursday by Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos and approved by the Parliament presidency.

    Based on the decision, Parliament will undertake to financially support the six children of officers Iosif Anastasakis and Andreas Dermaris from its budget until they become adults or, if they begin studies, until they reach 25 years.

    The sum for the two children of Anastasakis, who was killed on August 26 when two F-16 fighter planes collided during a training exercise, has been set at 18,000 euros. For the four children of Major Andreas Dermaris, who was killed during a helicopter crash on July 30, the sum has been set at 25,000 euros a year.

    [08] Outgoing US envoy praises growth in Greek-US ties

    Outgoing US ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard on Thursday referred to a distinct growth of bilateral relations over the past three years beyond a handful of issues that usually top Athens' agenda -- such as Cyprus, the "name issue" and ties with neighbouring Turkey -- while he appeared particularly optimistic that Greece will overcome its current fiscal and economic crisis.

    Speckhard briefed local reporters for the last time in his official diplomatic capacity, as a new envoy -- identified as ambassador-designate Daniel Bennett Smith -- is expected to arrive in the east Mediterranean country next month.

    The veteran US diplomat listed a handful of issues he said now form a "broader and more global agenda" in Greek-US relations, including the effects of the fiscal crisis throughout the world, a coordinated response to migration pressures -- a problem he said is faced by both the United States and Greece -- as well as climate change, people trafficking and shipping security, as Greek-owned vessels comprise the biggest merchant fleet in the world.

    He listed the visit of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to the White House last March as a "high point" of his three-year tenure in Athens, coming on the heels of Greece's long-sought inclusion in the US visa waiver program, while pointing to the killing of innocent people by urban terrorists and extremists as the "low point".

    Speckhard emphasised that he worked well with both the previous government and the current Papandreou government, noting that the latter is currently pressing forward with "strategic issues" while at the same time facing massive domestic problems, i.e. the fiscal and economic woes.

    Asked directly about the prospect of returned economic growth in the country vis--vis a bevy of austerity measures taken as part of a memorandum agreed to with the EU-ECB-IMF 'troika', Speckhard stressed:

    "The previous path led to bankruptcy, so whatever (economic) growth would have been greatly delayed. Now, growth will come sooner," he said.

    Queried on the issue of transnational illegal immigration, especially on Greece's sea and land borders with EU hopeful Turkey, the US ambassador said the problem is not just a Greek-Turkish matter, but a European and often a global problem, and one that requires a multi-level approach. Along these lines, he repeated that peace-keeping efforts by the international community in Afghanistan and support for ravaged Pakistan are fundamental to keeping the tide of illegal immigration from Central and South Asia towards Europe in check.

    As in previous press briefings, the envoy cited US concerns over the possibility of international terrorist networks and cells using illegal migration and undocumented migrants' communities as covers.

    [09] ND withdraws from Parliament com't on structured bonds issue

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party announced on Thursday its withdrawal from a fact-finding committee probing the structured bonds affairs, following its withdrawal from a similar committee on the Vatopedi issue, denouncing a "structured disorientation, structured extortions and structured lies."

    In statements, ND deputies and members of the committee stressed that they had warned that they would not tolerate such attitudes and accused PASOK of refusing repeatedly to have an in-depth probe of the bonds issue since 1997.

    [10] Bail for Angelou set at 150,000 euros

    The Appeals Court Council on Thursday set bail for former premier Costas Karamanlis' aide Yiannis Angelou, who is accused of moral instigation of breach of faith in the case of the land swaps between the Vatopedi monastery and the state, at 150,000 euros.

    The decision followed a petition for reduction of the original 300,000 euros bail imposed last month by the investigating magistrate to 60,000 euros.

    The bail money must be paid by September 20, according to the court's decision.

    Angelou was also barred from leaving the country after testifying before an examining magistrate assigned with the case.

    Financial News

    [11] GDP shrinks 3.5% in Q2, Eurostat

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / V. Demiris)

    The Greek economy shrank by 1.5 pct in the second quarter of 2010, compared with the first quarter, Eurostat announced on Thursday.

    The EU executive's statistics agency, in a report on its first estimates over economic growth in the Eurozone and the EU-27, said GDP in both areas grew by 1.0 pct in the April-June period.

    Eurostat said Gross Domestic Growth in Greece was down 3.5 pct in the second quarter of 2010 compared with the corresponding period in2009, while GDP in the Eurozone and the EU-27 grew by 1.9 pct over the same period.

    [12] FinMin gives interview to La Tribune newspaper

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)

    In a report titled "An increase in VAT would be negative for economic activity" the economic newspaper La Tribune publishes an interview with Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou.

    The minister said that thanks to the control of expenditures the government succeeded in laying the foundations for a healthy economic environment, recognising at the same time that it is possible "for us to do even better."

    Asked whether there is a possibility of new measures being imposed to decrease expenditures, Papaconstantinou clarified that there will be no new measures, but only those that have ben anticipated and included in the economic programme for 2010 and 2011.

    [13] Minister on Thessaloniki 'cultures crossroads' programme

    The culture and tourism ministry's proposals for implementing a five-year "Cultures Crossroads" programme in Thessaloniki were presented by Minister Pavlos Geroulanos in the northern Greece city on Thursday.

    "The aim of the programme is, in essence, coordination of the action of the cultural agencies of Thessaloniki, so that the considerable wealth of the city, which begins from antiquity, down to Byzantium and to the new metropolis, be utilised in the best possible way, so that Thessaloniki may direct to the Balkans and to Athens a unified cultural and tourism identity," he said, addressing representatives of agencies of Thessaloniki supervised by the ministry.

    Archbishop Ieronymos, Employment minister, Health deputy minister sign cooperation memorandum on tackling poverty

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos and Deputy Health Minister Fofi Yennimata signed a cooperation memorandum on Thursday night, with the aim of tackling the problems of poverty since at present thousands of our fellow countrymen are facing great financial problems.

    The Archbishop said that there are many difficulties in the country at present and the cooperation of many agencies is necessary, but mainly cooperation between the Church and the state and stressed the need for poverty to cease to exist, amateurism to cease to exist and a serious effort to be shown to handle these problems.

    [14] European Court of Justice on fishery licences

    The European Court of Justice on Thursday ruled that:

    "Article 1(2) and Article 1(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1626/94 of 27 June 1994 laying down certain technical measures for the conservation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean, as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 2550/2000 of 17 November 2000, must be interpreted as meaning, first, that the entry into force of that regulation does not affect the validity of a supplementary national measure, a prohibition, which was adopted before that entry into force and, secondly, that those provisions do not preclude such a measure, provided that that prohibition is in conformity with the common fisheries policy, that it does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objective pursued and that it is not contrary to the principle of equal treatment, those being matters which it is for the national court to determine."

    The ruling was issued in respone to a question submitted by Greece's Council of State regarding the interpretation of European Council (EC) Regulation 1626/94.

    [15] Building activity down 32.24% in Aug., report

    Building activity fell 32.24 pct in August, compared with the corresponding month last year, the Technical Chamber of Greece announced on Thursday.

    The chamber said the August figures were the lowest in the last five years, during which actual data was recorded on a daily basis.

    The chamber said building activity fell for the third consecutive month in August, while revenues from surveys and supervision services fell 12.19 pct and 14.01 pct in June and July, respectively.

    "It is a tragic course resulting from government measures in taxation, liquidity, breaking down industrial relations and a lack of a cohesive and growth strategy in the building sector," said Yiannis Alavanos, the chamber president.

    [16] Stocks jump 2.69% on Thurs.

    Stocks ended sharply higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with buying activity boosted by talk over anticipated deals in the domestic banking sector. The composite index rose 2.69 pct to end above the 1,600 level after nine sessions, at 1,613.41 points. Turnover was a low 105.393 million euros.

    The Big Cap index rose 3.09 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.37 pct higher and the Small Cap index ended 0.28 pct up. The Media (5.67 pct) and Banks (3.78 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Oil (0.26 pct) and Personal Products (0.05 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 111 to 50 with another 43 issues unchanged. Edrasi (11.11 pct), Atlantic (9.52 pct) and Creta Farm (9.47 pct) were top gainers, while Vell Group (12.77 pct), Logismos (9.59 pct) and Vivere (9.09 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +1.48%

    Industrials: +1.26%

    Commercial: +0.08%

    Construction: +2.12%

    Media: +5.67%

    Oil & Gas: -0.26%

    Personal & Household: -0.05%

    Raw Materials: +0.83%

    Travel & Leisure: +3.47%

    Technology: +2.14%

    Telecoms: +1.27%

    Banks: +3.78%

    Food & Beverages: +3.00%

    Health: +1.78%

    Utilities: +1.63%

    Chemicals: +0.43%

    Financial Services: +2.33%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.45

    ATEbank: 1.09

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.76

    HBC Coca Cola: 19.27

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.00

    National Bank of Greece: 10.68

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.29

    OPAP: 11.88

    OTE: 5.59

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.18

    Titan: 15.65

    [17] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 69 million euros on Thursday, of which 43 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 26 million were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 14 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds fell to 904 basis points with the Greek bond yielding 11.30 pct and the German Bund 2.26 pct.

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

    [18] ADEX closing report

    The September contract was trading at -0.63 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover a low 37.387 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,401 contracts worth 29.373 million euros, with 26,172 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 13,977 contracts worth 8.014 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (3,034), followed by Eurobank (575), MIG (305), OTE (585), Piraeus Bank (2,755), Alpha Bank (1,474), Marfin Popular Bank (852), Ellaktor (872) and Hellenic Postbank (781).

    [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.292

    Pound sterling 0.839

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 9.393

    Japanese yen 108.67

    Swiss franc 1.305

    Norwegian kroner 7.964

    Canadian dollar 1.355

    Australian dollar 1.421

    General News

    [20] Police dismantle ring pirating Nova signal

    Police on Thursday reported the dismantling of another ring that was illegally pirating Nova television channel's signal and selling the keys on the Internet, causing financial harm to the company and the Greek State.

    The case was cracked by the Attica Security Electronic Crime squad based on a complaint made by the company Multichoice Hellas.

    Two individuals, a Greek man and a foreign woman, have been arrested in connection with the case and a further seven Greeks are to be charged with violations of copyright regulations as a means of livelihood and violating rules on the protection of subscriber services.

    The ring operated by using a decoder with illegal software to crack the Nova signal and then sell the key for decoding the signal over the Internet for a fee. According to Multichoice, their activities cost the Greek State a total of 15,975,360 euros for the years 2008-2009.

    [21] Wildfire on Zakynthos contained

    A major wildfire that broke out on Wednesday afternoon near the village Aghia Marina on the Ionian island of Zakynthos was reported as having been contained on Thursday noon.

    The blaze had reached close proximity to the first houses of the village, but firefighters succeeded in halting its course, assisted by reinforcements from Patras and Andravida.

    An estimated 75 acres of forest land was devasted by the fire.

    [22] Tourist crushed to death by falling rocks on Mykonos

    A 63-year-old Italian tourist was crushed to death by a falling rock in the Fanari region of Mykonos, authorities said on Thursday.

    The incident occurred late on Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 when the man entered a building site in order to take photographs of the island. He attempted to climb up a pile of loose rocks dug up workmen but at some point lost his balance, causing a large rock to shift and fall on him.

    Mykonos police arrived on the scene and managed to extricate the body from the rocks but the man had already died. The owner-contractor of the building site has been charged with failing to take required safety measures while carrying out building work and is now being sought.

    [23] Arms cache found buried in Kastoria

    A cache of weapons was found buried and packaged in a mountainous region near the Dipotamia site of Kastoria prefecture.

    Police found and confiscated four assault rifles, three submachine guns of an unknown type and origin, eight magazines, 14 grenades, 14 grenade detonators, and thousands of rounds along with 500 grams of explosive materials.

    Basketball

    [24] Greece loses 73-69 to Russia in Mundobasket

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA)

    Greece lost 73-69 to Russia in a Mundobasket Group C game played here on Thursday evening, coming third in the group with three wins and two defeats. Greece will be playing in the stage of the "16" with the team coming second in Group D (France or Spain) on Saturday. The 10-minute intervals had the following results: 10-20, 30-30, 43-59, 69-73.

    Weather Forecast

    [25] Cloudy on Friday

    Cloudy 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 10C and 32C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 22C to 32C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 18C to 29C.

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

    The increase in heating oil rates following government's decision to freeze the VAT rate at 11 percent, the decline in shops' turnover during summer sales, the merger of two major dairy companies, DELTA and MEVGAL, following MEVGAL's acquisition by VIVARTIA, the collective labor agreements issue and the unions' reactions and the prevailing rumours of a government reshuffle, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Smokers congregate on the sidewalks - First day of restriction of smoking in indoor public places".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Ruling PASOK fears defeat in the local administration elections".

    AVGHI: "Oligopoly in milk, too - DELTA, MEVGAL merge - They will control 30 percent of the dairy market".

    AVRIANI: "Burning 60 percent rise in heating oil in order for the state to collect one billion euros to close the State Budget's black hole".

    CHORA: "Papandreou awarded by the Germans for his contribution to....German banks".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Wild war between prime Minister George Papandreou and ministers who refuse to resign and be candidates for prefects".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Finance Ministry to impose new tax measure - They will stop cheap heating oil".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Chaos in the Armed Forces - Radical changes in supplies, promotions, and upgrading of the volunteers".

    ESTIA: "Drastic reduction in taxation the only way for the economy to breathe".

    ETHNOS: "Cold shower with the heating oil".

    IMERISSIA: "Express procedures adopted to 'unfreeze' major investments".

    KATHIMERINI: "Government's plan to increase VAT from 11 percent to 23 percent cancelled".

    LOGOS: "Unions' front to protect the collective labor agreements".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government retreats on VAT increase".

    NIKI: "Banks run dry of money - Another 10 billion euros in withdrawals in the last months leading to a crash".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "A popular action committee established to protect the working class households from the crisis".

    TA NEA: " Over 200,000 bogus pensions".

    TO VIMA: "VAT rate in heating oil frozen".

    VRADYNI: "The market a 'desert' - Over 25 percent decline in summer sales' turnover".

    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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