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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 7 September 2010 Issue No: 3586


  • [01] PM Papandreou proceeds to wide cabinet reshuffle
  • [02] Petalotis on PASOK choices for local government elections
  • [03] Kaminis: memorandum shouldn't dominate local elections
  • [04] Tatoulis on backing from PASOK, LAOS
  • [05] SYRIZA president on local election candidates
  • [06] Call for tv debate of Athens mayoral candidates
  • [07] Registered legal migrants, repatriated Greeks to vote in municipal elections
  • [08] PM meets with outgoing US ambassador
  • [09] Greek, Cypriot Presidents attend emblematic event on Republic of Cyprus' 50thy anniversary
  • [10] Spokesman on Nikos Papandreou's criticism of finmin
  • [11] Alt. FM Droutsas meets with foreign ambassadors to Greece
  • [12] Eurogroup meeting to approve 2nd tranche of EU loan to Greece
  • [13] ECB chief on euro, Greece
  • [14] Finmin interview in 'Libre Belgique'
  • [15] Culture minister concludes official visit to Israel
  • [16] Greek foreign debt totaled 297.2 bln US dollars, BIS report
  • [17] 75th TIF to open on September 11
  • [18] Small enterprises request immediate measures
  • [19] ND leader meets with ESEE
  • [20] Cuture/Tourism minister in Israel
  • [21] Invest in Greece now in ... Chinese
  • [22] Greek banks' deposits down in July
  • [23] Greek mutual funds market resisting crisis
  • [24] Athens public transport strike on Wednesday
  • [25] Sit-in at Corfu museum
  • [26] Stocks end 1.0% higher
  • [27] ADEX closing report
  • [28] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [29] Last day of 15th Youth Parliament
  • [30] Preveli palm tree forest designated for reforestation
  • [31] Environmentalists slam mink release
  • [32] Trio of men charged as accessories in Himare death released
  • [33] Two arrested in Hania for thefts on beach
  • [34] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [35] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Papandreou proceeds to wide cabinet reshuffle

    Prime Minister George Papandreou proceeded to a wide cabinet reshuffle in the early hours of Tuesday. According to a statement by government spokesman George Petalotis, the composition of the new cabinet is as follows:

    Prime Minister: George Papandreou

    Government Vice President: Theodoros Pangalos.

    Interior Minister : Yiannis Rangoussis

    Deputy Ministers: George Dolios, Theodora Tzakri

    Finance Minister: George Papaconstantinou

    Deputy Ministers: Filippos Sahinidis, Dimitris Kouselas

    Foreign Minister: Dimitris Droutsas

    Alternate Minister: Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou

    Deputy Ministers: Spyros Kouvelis, Dimitris Dollis

    National Defence Minister: Evangelos Venizelos

    Alternate Minister: Panos Beglitis

    Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister: Mihalis Chrysohoidis

    Alternate Minister: Socratis Xenidis

    Deputy Ministers: Panayiotis Rigas, Dinos Rovlias

    Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister: Yiannis Diamantidis

    Deputy Minister: Elpida Tsouri

    Environment Minister: Tina Birbili

    Alternate Minister: Nikos Sifounakis

    Deputy Ministers: Yiannis Maniatis, Thanos Moraitis

    Education Minister: Anna Diamantopoulou

    Alternate Minister: Fofi Yennimata

    Deputy Ministers: Evi Christofilopoulou, Yiannis Panaretos

    Infrastructures, Transports and Networks Minister: Dimitris Reppas

    Deputy Ministers: Yiannis Mangriotis, Spyros Vougias

    Labour and Social Insurance Minister: Louka Katseli

    Alternate Minister: Giorgos Koutroumanis

    Deputy Ministers: Vassilis Kegkeroglou, Anna Dalara

    Health and Social Solidarity Minister: Andreas Loverdos

    Deputy Ministers: Christos Aidonis, Mihalis Timosidis

    Agricultural Development and Food Minister: Costas Skandalidis

    Deputy Ministers: Milena Apostolaki, Yiannis Koutsoukos

    Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister: Haris Kastanidis

    Citizen's Protection Minister: Christos Papoutsis

    Deputy Minister: Emmanuel Othonas

    Culture and Tourism Minister: Pavlos Geroulanos

    Alternate Minister: Telemachos Hytiris

    Deputy Minister: Giorgos Nikitiadis

    State Minister: Haris Pamboukis

    Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesman: George Petalotis.

    [02] Petalotis on PASOK choices for local government elections

    Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday stressed that the candidates backed by ruling PASOK for the local government elections were all people that have contributed and left their mark on local communities. The ruling party announced the candidates it will back for regional authorities and the largest municipalities on Sunday.

    He also urged the candidates of the other parties to realise the values and the extent of the changes brought about by the Kallikratis plan with the aim of reforming local government and putting citizens back at the centre of politics.

    According to the spokesman, some of these had failed to appreciate the changes and were looking at the politics of the future on the same terms as the past, attempting to shift to the local elections the issues of the central political scene.

    He slammed the dilemma posed by main opposition New Democracy and other opposition parties concerning support or non-support for the bailout package as "false" and an attempt to mislead the Greek people, adding that ND was trying to overcome its internal difficulties by focusing on this issue.

    [03] Kaminis: memorandum shouldn't dominate local elections

    The issue of the memorandum signed by the Greek government and the troika (IMF, ECB, EU) should not dominate in the local government election campaign, Athens mayoral candidate Giorgos Kaminis stressed in a radio interview on Monday.

    Kaminis, formerly the Greek Ombudsman, who is backed by ruling PASOK, stressed that, "undoubtedly, the memorandum affects the daily lives of the Greek people but it is not a crucial issue in the local government elections."

    Referring to the lead in opinion polls enjoyed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) candidate, incumbent Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, he expressed confidence that he will be able to cover the distance before the Nov. 2 local government elections.

    [04] Tatoulis on backing from PASOK, LAOS

    Independent candidate for the regional authority in the Peloponnese Petros Tatoulis, an estranged former minister of the previous New Democracy government, on Monday welcomed announcements by ruling PASOK and the right-wing opposition party Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) that they would back him in the upcoming local government elections as "transcending" political norms.

    "From the start our initiative was an initiative based on the political view that these issues must activate and mobilise healthy forces from all political areas in order to have an excellent result," he stressed.

    According to Tatoulis, the new local government institutions were a great and possibly the last opportunity that the country would have to reorganised and refound itself. This wager required brave decisions, as well as proposals and views that moved outside the reference points that had so far guided developments and been proved disastrous for the country.

    He also noted that the Kallikratis plan and the idea of creating elected regional chiefs was one that New Democracy had proposed in the past but not had the courage to carry out.

    [05] SYRIZA president on local election candidates

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras made the assessed on Monday that the ruling PASOK party "will fail to mobilise" voters and supporters of the candidacy of George Kaminis, "as it failed to mobilise top class cadres for the regional and municipal elections."

    After meeting the directorate of the Panhellenic Federation of Railway Workers and replying to a question on Kaminis' candidacy, Tsipras said "it is evident that Mr. (Prime Minister George) Papandreou is searching to find loans of ethics in other places" and added that "what Greek society needs is a change in direction in both the regional and municipal elections and the citizens will give this message."

    [06] Call for tv debate of Athens mayoral candidates

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Monday called for a televised debate with mayoral candidate George Kaminis ahead of the November 2 local government elections.

    Kaklamanis, a former minister who is backed by main opposition New Democracy, said that the candidacy of Kaminis, formerly the Greek Ombudsman, who is backed by ruling PASOK, has "political characteristics".

    [07] Registered legal migrants, repatriated Greeks to vote in municipal elections

    A total of 12,762 repatriated Greeks and long-time legal immigrants (2,665 and 10,097, respectively), have registered nationwide to vote for the first time in the imminent municipal elections of November.

    Voter registration for participation in the Nov. 2 elections was completed on Aug. 31. Those registered after the August deadline will be eligible to vote in the next municipal elections.

    Repatriated Greeks and long-time legal immigrants can vote only in mayoral elections and not in regional elections. They also have the right to run for the office of the city councillor.

    [08] PM meets with outgoing US ambassador

    Prime minister George Papandreou had a meting on Monday morning with outgoing US Ambassador in Athens Daniel Speckhard. No statements were made after the meeting.

    [09] Greek, Cypriot Presidents attend emblematic event on Republic of Cyprus' 50thy anniversary

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias attended on Sunday night an emblematic event at Athens' open air Herod Atticus ancient theater marking the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus, featuring a production of Aristophanes' "Clouds" by the Cyprus Theatre Organisation.

    In a brief greeting before the commencement of the performance, Christofias said that the fight was continuing for the completion of Cyprus' independence, and expressed certainty that mutual understanding and tolerance will finally prevail in Cyprus.

    "It is time to accomplish the truly great miracle. To develop to such a degree culturally -- both we and our neighbors, of course -- so that at the end of the day there will be mutual tolerance, unity of the people, state and institutions, and Cyprus will be a bridge of peace, friendship and cooperation among the peoples of the region, the European Union, and between the friendly Arab peoples and Israel," Christofias said.

    He further thanked all the past and present Greek governments and the people of Greece for their support and solidarity in the Cyprus struggle.

    [10] Spokesman on Nikos Papandreou's criticism of finmin

    Government spokesman George Petalotis stated on Monday that Nikos Papandreou, the prime minister's brother, "had expressed a personal view" in his criticism of Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou's policies, and that the finance minister was "doing his job, having a specific mission, to attract major investments greatly needed by the country."

    Petalotis made the statement in response to a question on the criticism exercised by Nikos Papandreou on the minister of finance in a commentary bearing his signature published in the latest issue of the monthly magazine "Economiki Epitheorisi".

    [11] Alt. FM Droutsas meets with foreign ambassadors to Greece

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas had separate meetings at the foreign ministry on Monday with Italian Ambassador to Greece Francesco Paolo Trupiano, outgoing Czech Ambassador Hana Mottlova, Chinese Ambassador Linquan Luo, and Swiss Ambassador Paul Koller-Hauser.

    Financial News

    [12] Eurogroup meeting to approve 2nd tranche of EU loan to Greece

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Tuesday will brief his EU counterparts over progress in implementing an economic consolidation program agreed with the EU and the IMF before a Eurogroup meeting approves the handout of a second tranche of an EU loan facility to Greece, worth 9.0 billion euros.

    Eurogroup ministers are also expected to adopt recom-mendations made by the European Commission over accelerating implementation of structural reforms and strengthening the revenue leg of the mechanism.

    A group of "troika" experts are expected to visit Athens again in Sept. 13 to help the Greek government in drafting a 2011 state budget and finalising fiscal measures for next year.

    The ECOFIN and Eurogroup meetings, in Brussels, will focus on developments in the financial sector and more particularly on imposing a tax on banks and bank transactions.

    [13] ECB chief on euro, Greece

    ROME (ANA-MPA/Th. Andreadis)

    European Central Bank (ECB) chief Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday that for Greece to withdraw from the euro currency and return to the drachma would be "the worst possible choice", in reply to press questions on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti international economic forum in Cernobbio, northern Italy.

    Trichet also stressed that the euro "was not created against the dollar, but to secure stability and prosperity in the European Union".

    [14] Finmin interview in 'Libre Belgique'

    Greece's Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou appeared confident that Greece will be able to to reduce its public deficit below 3 percent of GDP by the year 2014 and regain the trust of markets, in an interview published on Monday by the Belgian newspaper "Libre Belgique".

    In the interview, Papaconstantinou said the target was "achievable and realistic" and he also appeared certain that the Greek economy will begin to grow again in 2011. The minister also predicted a significant change in the climate toward Greece in international markets by the end of 2010 and said that the country could probably return to markets during 2011.

    Concerning rising social discontent in Greece, the finance minister said that those predicting that the government would be unable to push through austerity reforms in March had been proved wrong and appeared certain that, beyond protests and demonstrations, there would not be any more dramatic developments.

    He clarified that no new measures were planned for 2010 and 2011 but that the existing measures might be "adjusted".

    Asked about a shortfall in state revenues that are currently below targets, Papaconstantinou pointed out that the government was waiting to see the results of a series of measures that had been taken and had not been considered, such as a 2 percent increase in VAT imposed in July and taxation of real estate etc that had not yet been paid.

    Papaconstantinou defended his policy, stressing that development depended on investors having confidence and that this confidence could not be restored until the tax system was overhauled. He stressed that the effort to clean up public finances had changed Greece's image abroad and contributed to a return in investors' confidence while some results were already apparent in the national economy and this had boosted consumption.

    "All these things take time but there is development," he added.

    Commenting on an opinion poll showing that seven in 10 Greeks were thinking of emigrating abroad, Papaconstantinou expressed concern and noted that an economy and society that was unable to give young people work opportunities equivalent to their qualifications was failed.

    He stressed that the current government was in the midst of carrying out changes that would end the clientelist political system and allow people to see how their tax money was being spent, while stressing the need for radical change to the education system.

    [15] Culture minister concludes official visit to Israel

    TEL AVIV (ANA-MPA/P. Haritos)

    Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos concluded his official visit to Israel late on Monday night.

    The visit came in the wake of contacts and visits exchanged recently between the leaders of the two countries George Papandreou and Benjamin Netanyahu and the agreements that they signed for the further strengthening and development of relations and cooperation between Greece and Israel in such sectors as tourism, new technologies and agricultural cultiva-tions.

    During the working luncheon hosted for the Greek minister by his counterpart, Israeli Tourism Minister Serge Mesentzikov, discussed among other things was also the fact that Greece has been upgraded in the preferences of tourist destinations selected by Israeli citizens, continental Greece in particular and winter tourism especially combined with other activities offered by the Greek winter tourist resorts.

    [16] Greek foreign debt totaled 297.2 bln US dollars, BIS report

    Greek foreign debt totaled 297.2 billion US dollars in March 31, 2010, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced on Monday.

    In a quarterly report, BIS said the country's debt to foreign banks included both the debt by the public and private sectors.

    Ireland (843.8 billion US dollars), Portugal (322.4 billion) and Spain (1.102 trillion) reported higher foreign debts.

    The Greek public sector's debt totaled 92.5 billion US dollars, while the public debt in Ireland was 29.7 billion, in Portugal 62.9 billion and in Spain 127.6 billion dollars.

    Greek bank's debt to foreign banks totaled 26.1 billion US dollars, lower compared with debts by the three other countries, while private enterprises' debt to foreign banks totaling 83.2 billion dollars, also significantly smaller compared with the other three countries.

    A sum of 95.2 billion US dollars, including in the Greek foreign debt, accounted for the market value of derivatives, credit obligations and guarantees.

    French banks are the biggest holders of Greek debt (111.6 billion US dollars), followed by German banks (51 billion) and US banks (41.2 billion).

    In its report, BIS said European banks held a significantly larger percentage of Eurozone bonds with higher yield - Greek, Italian, Irish, Spanish and Portuguese - compared with the banks in the United States, Japan and the UK, which focus more on state bonds from Germany and France.

    [17] 75th TIF to open on September 11

    The 75th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) will open on Saturday September 11, while this year's participants exceed 1,041 so far, compared to 915 last year.

    About 250,000 visitors are expected and three out of 10 exhibitors will appear for the first time. The Hellenic state's participation has been limited to levels below 20 percent, reflecting according to HELEXPO president Paris Mavridis "the government mandates for a cutback in state expenditures."

    This year's TIF, that will last until September 19 and have Hungary as its theme country, will focus on innovation-green growth and have 16 official state participations. It will include 11 special dedications, conferences, concerts and several "green" activities.

    [18] Small enterprises request immediate measures

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Monday received the leadership of the union representing professionals, craftsmen and merchants (GSEBEE), with the latter's president, Dimitris Asimakopoulos, citing the need for immediate measures to support SMEs in the country.

    "It is not possible to have fiscal order without growth; it's two sides of the same coin," he said, adding that SMEs must be supported today, "if we want them to exist tomorrow".

    Asked about the government's announced support measures, Asimakopoulos said they are positive if applied quickly and without bureaucracy.

    [19] ND leader meets with ESEE

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader met on Monday with National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) president Vassilis Korkidis, who said afterwards that "we want clear-cut positions, proposals and solutions for the small and medium size entrepreneurship".

    He said that the ESEE delegation and the ND officials were in full agreement on all issues, but the matter at hand was "how all these will be materialised", given that "the market has no time", and "small and medium size entrepreneurship must be saved from annihilation".

    Korkidis noted that 45,000 employers (or 17 percent) have shut down their businesses, and warned that the situation is not easily reversible.

    [20] Cuture/Tourism minister in Israel

    Culture and Tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos will have a series of meetings in Tel Aviv on Monday, aimed at attracting Israeli visitors to Greece.

    Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on a recent visit to Greece, noted the need for strengthening Greek-Israeli tourism relations during a meeting with Greek premier George Papandreou.

    During his visit to Tel Aviv, Geroulanos will meet with his Israeli counterpart Stas Misezhnikov and tour operators, and will also give a series of press conferences.

    [21] Invest in Greece now in ... Chinese

    The "Invest in Greece" agency website is available in the Chinese language as of Monday.

    The website is also available in Greek, English, German and French. Before the end of September will be translated into Arabic and by the end of the year will be available in Spanish and Russian.

    Invest in Greece is the official Investment Promotion Agency of Greece that promotes and facilitates private investment. Invest in Greece identifies market opportunities and provides investors with assistance, analysis, advice, and after-care support free of charge.

    [22] Greek banks' deposits down in July

    Greek banks continued suffering an outflow in saving deposits by enterprises and households in July, the Bank of Greece announced on Monday.

    The central bank, in a report, said the value of bank deposits fell by 4.3 billion euros in July, from the previous month, to 212.2 billion euros. Bank deposits are down 26 billion euros, or 11 pct in the first seven months of the year.

    Households' deposits fell by 1.14 billion euros to 177.8 billion euros in July, with capital outflows totaling 19 billion euros in the January-July period. Bank of Greece's officials, however, said the situation showed signs of stabilisation in August.

    [23] Greek mutual funds market resisting crisis

    The mutual funds market is apparently resisting the current economic crisis, emerging as a primary alternative investment option, Aris Xenofos, president of the Association of Institutional Investors told ANA-MPA on Monday.

    Xenofos attributed a 21.63-pct decline in the under management mutual funds' assets so far this year, from 10.6 billion euros to 8.3 billion euros, largely to a devaluation of Greek securities (one billion euros), with the remaining 1.3 billion euros attributed to capital outflows from the money market mutual funds category as investors prefer higher deposit rates offered by commercial banks. He said real capital outflows totaled 300 million euros so far this year.

    Xenofos said the figures showed that the mutual funds market has reached a "hard core" point, with investors remaining calm under adverse conditions.

    A total of 22 mutual funds management companies are currently operating in Greece, managing 311 mutual funds.

    [24] Athens public transport strike on Wednesday

    Workers in public transport across Athens, including the buses, metro, electric railway, Proastiakos suburban railway, trams and OSE trains, have annnounced a five-hour strike between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

    The Greek Railways and Proastiakos services will also hold a second five-hour strike at the same time on Thursday.

    The public transport worker unions decided on the work stoppage as a protest to the changes planned to the Greek Railway Organisation (OSE) in order to modernise and restructure OSE, as well as changes in other public transport organisation and particularly OASA.

    [25] Sit-in at Corfu museum

    A group of former employees at the Corfu casino held a sit-in at Corfu's Achilleion Museum on Monday in demand of tenured work elsewhere in the wider public sector.

    [26] Stocks end 1.0% higher

    Stocks moved higher for the fourth consecutive session in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as the market eyed positive developments in the domestic banking sector. The composite index of the market rose 1.0 pct to end at 1,673.40 points, with turnover shrinking to 89.121 million euros.

    The Big Cap index rose 0.93 pct, the Mid Cap index rose 0.13 pct and the Small Cap index rose 0.35 pct.

    The Travel (3.88 pct) and Services (3.52 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Chemicals (2.08 pct) and Financial Services (1.99 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 94 to 75 with another 36 issues unchanged. Koubas (16.67 pct), NEL (16.67 pct) and Parnassos (13.86 pct) were top gainers, while Druckfarben (18.18 pct), Dromeas (9.52 pct) and Vioter (9.43 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -0.98%

    Industrials: +0.63%

    Commercial: -1.90%

    Construction: +0.43%

    Media: -0.69%

    Oil & Gas: -0.49%

    Personal & Household: -1.10%

    Raw Materials: +0.56%

    Travel & Leisure: +3.88%

    Technology: -1.11%

    Telecoms: +0.35%

    Banks: +0.69%

    Food & Beverages: +0.52%

    Health: +0.73%

    Utilities: +3.52%

    Chemicals: -2.08%

    Financial Services: -1.99%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 5.72

    ATEbank: 1.10

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.40

    HBC Coca Cola: 20.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.14

    National Bank of Greece: 11.20

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.76

    OPAP: 12.50

    OTE: 5.82

    Bank of Piraeus: 4.45

    Titan: 16.20

    [27] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at its fair value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover a low 43.017 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index was 7,800 contracts worth 34.321 million euros, with 23,344 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 13,770 contracts worth 8.696 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (2,802), followed by Eurobank (1,706), OTE (730), Piraeus Bank (1,346), Alpha Bank (1,420), Cyprus Bank (1,823) and ATEbank (406).

    [28] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.297

    Pound sterling 0.844

    Danish kroner 7.505

    Swedish kroner 9.375

    Japanese yen 109.29

    Swiss franc 1.317

    Norwegian kroner 7.943

    Canadian dollar 1.342

    Australian dollar 1.414

    General News

    [29] Last day of 15th Youth Parliament

    The 15th Youth Parliament ended on Monday in a session attended by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister George Papandreou. The last day of the three-day Youth Parliament was devoted to a session of its plenum of 300 teenage 'MPs', during which they discussed and voted on the proposals and various texts prepared during committee meetings in the last two days.

    Participating in the annual event were 300 students that have just finished the second year of lyceum in Greece, Cyprus and other Greek communities abroad.

    In a speech at the end of the 2010 Youth Parliament, Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos stressed that he had listened carefully to their "criticism and rage sometimes expressed for the previous generations, that you feel have bequeathed you with more problems and responsibilities than are due to you".

    "There is no doubt that at this time we all realise our mistakes and the omissions of the past. Just as there is no doubt that a huge, collective national effort is underway to correct the wrongs and build a better future for you and the coming generations".

    He appeared confident that Greece could overcome the current problems if people acted collectively, by putting the common good above their individual interests.

    The 300 teenagers participating in the 2010 Youth Parliament were chosen among 11,134 applicants, with 260 from Greece, 20 from Cyprus and 20 from Greek communities abroad. Of the total, 160 were girls and 140 were boys.

    So far, 4,500 youngsters have participated in a Youth Parliament and the Greek Parliament is open to school students throughout the year through education visits for schools throughout the country. As a result of the programme, more than a 1.1 million students have visited Parliament since 1994 and learned about its history and principles of Parliamenta-rianism.

    The session of the Youth Parliament plenum was also attended by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, the head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group Alexis Tsipras, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP Ioannis Giokas as representative of KKE, a number of government ministers, Cyprus education and culture minister Andreas Demetriou and several former Parliament presidents.

    [30] Preveli palm tree forest designated for reforestation

    The prefecture of Crete on Monday designated for reforestation the expanse of the Preveli palm tree forest, which was totally destroyed by a wildfire in August.

    According to the local authorities' announcement, camping and grazing are prohibited in the area for the next 10 years. The cutting of trees, branches, brush and shrubs is also forbidden, as well as all kinds of recreational activity, such as camping, biking, etc. The decision prohibits, in general, any action that may further harm the already ravaged environment, in a bid to restore and protect the forest's ecosystem.

    [31] Environmentalists slam mink release

    Greek environmental organizations warned on Monday that the release of species alien to a specific ecosystem can be disastrous for local wildlife. The environmental organizations ANIMA, Arcturos, Kallisto and the Ornithological Society issued the warning in response to the recent release of roughly 50,000 minks from two fur farms near the towns of Kastoria and Siatista, northwest Greece.

    The statement underlined that only a few of the animals will survive, given that the Greek climate is not ideal for them. They also stressed, however, that the ones that do manage to survive will seriously disrupt the ecosystem along rivers and lakes.

    [32] Trio of men charged as accessories in Himare death released

    first instance court in the central Albanian city of Vlore on Saturday ordered the conditional release of three men initially accused of being accomplices of a suspect charged in the hit-and-run death of a 35-year-old ethnic Greek man in the town of Hirame last month, an incident that sparked protests and even a highway blocking.

    Aristotelis Goumas was reportedly run down on Aug. 12 following an altercation with the group of suspects in his own shop, and after the group demanded he stop speaking Greek, according to eyewitness reports from the township. Goumas was rammed by a car while riding his motorcycle and fatally injured.

    According to local press reports, the three men -- identified as Blendar Meminai, Aleksandr Ghioka and Andi Kotori -- were charged with aiding and abetting the primary homicide suspect. They were released following a 20-day judicial detainment period under the condition of appearing before local authorities whenever requested.

    The homicide suspect, Ilir Muca (or Muka) and another man are remanded in custody pending trial.

    [33] Two arrested in Hania for thefts on beach

    Two Algerian men aged 20 and 30, respectively, were arrested in Hania on the island of Crete, accused of robbing a 54-year-old tourist from Denmark, police said on Monday.

    The two suspects had allegedly snatched the tourist's backpack that he had left unattended to take a swim at Agii Apostoli beach.

    Police were led to their arrest using information and the stolen backpack with 1,100 euros-worth of personal effects was returned to its owner.

    Weather Forecast

    [34] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 32C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 21C to 32C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 29C.

    [35] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Ruling PASOK's announcement of its candidates for the local government elections and imminent Cabinet reshuffle, and the economic crisis dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Rift in Memorandum's government - PASOK announced its candidates".

    APOGEVMATINI: "We are changing in words, but in fact we are plunging - PASOK's campaign slogan for local governance elections Are we changing Greece or not'."

    AVRIANI: "Ministers' mass defection from the crucial elections battle shakes up Prime Minister George Papandreou".

    CHORA: "Government fears ballots' outcome and abstention - The Memorandum supporters will be devastated".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Even the prime minister's brother Nikos, condemns his policy".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Papandreou is hiding behind Karatzaferis (Popular Orthodox Rally president), Kouvelis (leader of newly-created Democratic Left party) and rebels ".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Towards a new model beyond PASOK".

    ESTIA: "Uncertainty for the future - Citizens feel they are in a state of incessant persecution

    ETHNOS: "Thriller no2 with sweeping reshuffle - George (Papandreou) ready for rifts".

    IMERISSIA: "Labour Ministry's revealing data: 180,000 enterprises on the verge of default on payments".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Draft State Budget draft with messages to markets".

    TA NEA: "Prime Minister's crucial wager and a message to 'unwilling' Ministers pointing at the exit door".

    VRADYNI: "Elections put Memorandum at stake".

    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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