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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-11-02

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

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

Tuesday, 2 November 2010 Issue No: 3634

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM addresses PASOK Central Macedonia regional conference
  • [02] ND leader calls for vote against memorandum
  • [03] KKE's Papariga urges voters to be 'merciless' with main parties
  • [04] Tsipras visits Rethimno
  • [05] Intercepted parcel-bomb targeted Sarkozy, police say
  • [06] No question of debt restructuring, government spokesman says
  • [07] Papoulias receives Interior Minister
  • [08] Greece, Bulgaria air forces to cooperate in fighting terror, air-piracy
  • [09] President receives visiting Bulgarian defence minister
  • [10] BoG governor meets government vice president
  • [11] FM Droutsas meets Imvros society representatives
  • [12] OAED launches 60 million euros program in support of employment
  • [13] Reppas on the restructuring of public transport in Athens
  • [14] Greece wins award in pavillion contest in Shanghai EXPO
  • [15] Marathon event boosts Athens' tourism
  • [16] Commerce sector calls for single 15 pct VAT rate
  • [17] Hellenic Bank raises lending interest
  • [18] Piraeus bank extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Nov. 23
  • [19] Marfin Popular Bank to seek share capital increase plan worth 1.15 million euros
  • [20] Eurobank Sec top securities firm in October
  • [21] Hellenic Register of Shipping certificates extended by six months
  • [22] Plaisio Computers reports lower nine-month results
  • [23] New Australia- Greece airlink
  • [24] Stocks end 2.79 pct down
  • [25] Greek bond spreads remain under pressure
  • [26] Greek bond market closing report
  • [27] ADEX closing report
  • [28] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [29] Culture minister visits interactive exhibition on ancient Macedonia
  • [30] Greece adopts Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources
  • [31] Curtain falls on Athens' 23rd Panorama of European Cinema
  • [32] Sotiris Felios art collection on show in Istanbul
  • [33] Gore to address MPB conference in Athens
  • [34] 'Real estate mafia' case arrest
  • [35] Man dies when collected by garbage truck
  • [36] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [37] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [38] Downer describes tripartite meeting in New York as important
  • [39] Cyprus FM and Cavusoglu discuss the Cyprus peace process Politics

  • [01] PM addresses PASOK Central Macedonia regional conference

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing the ruling PASOK party's Central Macedonia regional conference on Monday, stressed that "we all vote and decide on whether our country will complete the great effort that we began together last year, for its salvation and reshaping, or whether we shall leave the effort unfinished. If we shall let the toils and the sacrifices we made to be lost, returning to the past, to all that have led us here."

    The prime minister stressed that this is the dilemma of the November 7 local government elections.

    "In this difficult course for all, every day, with our actions, with our options, we will decide if this path, for the change of our country, shall be continued, or we shall leave it incomplete in the middle," the prime minister said.

    "We proceed steadfastly or we place Greece in adventures again. This option belongs first of all to the citizen himself, to the Greek people, who with their actions and options every day, with their stance, either ratify it, or stop it," he added.

    Papandreou said that for this reason he repeats what he has said many times that "the vote of all of us in the elections on November 7, is a vote of increased and great responsibility. Responsibility towards the country and its future."

    The prime minister called on citizens to go to vote and not to opt for abstention and in the event that some attempt to keep the country trapped in the past, he said that then Parliamentary elections must take place for the people to speak.

    "In our country's course for salvation and change, the more we vote, the more we give the message that this course must be continued unobstructed, the stronger the blow will be for all those who are struggling to keep Greece trapped in its past," he stressed.

    "In such an event, meaning if some attempt to trap the country and the citizens in the past, there is no other solution, but for the citizens themselves to speak. There are no deadlocks in democracy. The salvation and reforming of our country is an affair and a decision of the citizens, of the people. Not of any enlightened political elite," Papandreou concluded.

    [02] ND leader calls for vote against memorandum

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in the city of Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, on Monday evening, called for a "vote against the memorandum and its candidates."

    He appealed for a "vote for a change in policy. For an exit from the crisis, with growth, not with suffocation".

    Samaras criticised Prime Minister George Papandreou for his policy, while speaking of a "secret agenda" of the government, on the occasion of the statements by Government Vice-President Theodoros Pangalos on the restructuring of the debt.

    "The forces of victory and of hope for for a better and proud Peloponnese have rallied here tonight," the ND leader said at the beginning of his address.

    "I have come to bring a message of struggle and a message of victory," he further said, adding that he was touring Greece and seeing that "Greece is also turning a page. It is finding itself again and is rejecting the government extortions."

    Samaras went on to say that the loaning crisis is overcome with growth, stressing that "with the new stricter rules imposed in the Eurozone, it is in essence necessary that we annul the deficit. Because otherwise we shall be unable to lower the debt."

    The ND leader underlined that "the people are not afraid, they will not be terrified and will not be blackmailed. The people know that if they do not send a clear and resounding message in the elections, for a change in policy, then after the elections new tougher measures will come."

    [03] KKE's Papariga urges voters to be 'merciless' with main parties

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday accused the prime minister of having arranged in advance for a "controlled" default by Greece. Speaking in the Piraeus district of Nikaia, Papariga stressed that the "dilemma" that Prime Minister George Papandreou had put to voters in the upcoming local elections did not, therefore, have any basis.

    "A controlled bankruptcy means the following: an uncontrolled, extremely rapid bankruptcy for the people and, from then on, there will be a negotiation about how much the creditors will receive. In other words, the dilemma raised by the prime minister 'PASOK or bankruptcy' has no basis, is absolutely outdated. By voting for PASOK, you vote for faster bankruptcy," she said.

    She urged voters to be merciless to both ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy, ensuring that neither had a chance at recovery and stressed that both parties were the "pillars" serving big capital.

    [04] Tsipras visits Rethimno

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras toured the old city and market of Rethimno on his second stop in Crete, after Hania.

    "The image of the market of Rethimno is precisely the same as in every corner of Greece," Tsipras said, pointing out that "the market is drying up, the citizens are not consuming and if this situation continues the market will sink in recesssion. An end must be given to the course towards disaster, bankruptcy saying a big 'no' to tolerance by condemning the memorandum through the strengthening of the tickets of active citizens who are supported by SYRIZA."

    [05] Intercepted parcel-bomb targeted Sarkozy, police say

    One of the three parcel bombs intercepted by Greek authorities on Monday had been destined for the president of France Nicolas Sarkozy, the Greek Police counter-terrorism squad revealed.

    The booby-trapped parcel was found on one of two people arrested on Rizari street following the explosion at 12:40 of a similar parcel bomb that they had dropped off earlier at a 'Swift Mail' courier firm in central Athens. The parcel that exploded was addressed to the Mexican Embassy in Athens and the blast caused minor injuries to a woman working there.

    A third parcel addressed to the embassy of the The Netherlands was found by police at the offices of ACS couriers, also in Pagrati, and a fourth, addressed to the Belgian embassy in Athens, was found on the two suspects.

    The two men arrested were a 22-year-old man wanted for participation in the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" and a 24-year-old that initially refused to reveal his identity to police and declared himself an "urban guerrilla". The second man was known to police but was not wanted for any particular offence.

    At the time of their arrest, the two suspects were both carrying Glock pistols concealed in bags, one with three clips and the second with two clips, and receipt for the package they had delivered to the ACS courier firm. The 22-year-old, who had dropped off the parcel-bomb at the 'Swift Mail' courier firm, was wearing a disguise that included a wig, a baseball cap and was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

    The same man wearing the same disguise had stopped by the firm's offices the previous Wednesday to inquire about the procedure for sending packages. His disguise had made an impression on the woman clerk, who recognised him when he dropped off the booby-trapped parcel on Monday and realised that there was something suspicious about the parcel.

    After initially attempting to remove the parcel, she then cast it away when she realised that it was something dangerous and the impact of its fall caused it to explode, injuring her fingers. The police were then notified immediately and located the two young men on Rizari street.

    The parcel bomb left at ACS couriers and the two found in the suspects' possession were neutralised through controlled explosions by the counter-terrorism police's special bomb squad.

    The 22-year-old is wanted for planting a makeshift explosive device on an Athens urban transport bus three years ago.

    The counter-terrorism squad is continuing an investigation into the affair. Police officials believe that at least one of the parcel bombs is related to the death of an anarchist in Mexico a few days ago, who was killed in a confrontation with police.

    [06] No question of debt restructuring, government spokesman says

    Government spokesman George Petalotis, speaking in an interview with the Mega Channel's main news bulletin, clarified that there is no question of debt restructuring.

    "What is clear and steadfast is that the Greek government is not discussing the event of the debt's restructuring. We are on a course, that we have a great deal to cover still both as a government and a country and this is important for us, because we have set targets and we are implementing them," Petalotis said.

    He also termed discussion on the prolongation of the paying off of loans very premature.

    [07] Papoulias receives Interior Minister

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received on Monday Interior Minister Yannis Ragoussis.

    Ragoussis, asked by the President whether he is also ready for general elections, expressed his conviction that "the Greek people on November 7 will not give to main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras the opportunity to put in doubt the government's legitimacy, in other words and the country's rescue and recovery course".

    Ragoussis stressed that Prime Minister George Papandreou has already make clear his position, adding that "the Prime Minister means what he has said".

    The Interior Minister met with Papoulias to brief him on the completion of the preparation of the election mechanism for Sunday's local government elections.

    [08] Greece, Bulgaria air forces to cooperate in fighting terror, air-piracy

    Greece's Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Bulgarian Defence Minister Anyu Angelov on Monday signed an agreement on cooperation between the Greek and Bulgarian air forces in tackling terrorism, aircraft hijackings and other incidents of this type.

    After a meeting lasting 2.5 hours at the Greek defence ministry, the two ministers explained that the agreement concerns cross-border operations dealing with incidents of terrorism and air-piracy that require common rules of engagement, cor-responding infrastructure and immediate response.

    The two sides are also activating a military cooperation agreement between Greece and Bulgaria signed the previous July in Sofia that relates to training between the general staffs of the air forces and navies of the two countries, the defence industry and armaments. Greece, Bulgaria and Romania further agreed to undertake an initiative relating to the European Defence Agency.

    The two ministers said that Greece and Bulgaria have shared views concerning the new NATO defence strategy, NATO's new command structure and anti-missile defence.

    [09] President receives visiting Bulgarian defence minister

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday received Bulgarian Defence Minister Anyu Angelov, who is currently on a visit to Greece.

    Angelov conveyed the regards of Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov to the Greek president, who is scheduled to visit Bulgaria on November 17-18.

    He also outlined the results of his meeting with Greek Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos, which ended in the signature of an agreement for cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries during cross-border Air Policing operations.

    [10] BoG governor meets government vice president

    Central Bank Governor George Provopoulos and government vice president Theodoros Pangalos held 30-minute talks on Monday that had an informative character and according to bank sources the meeting had been scheduled.

    The governor briefed Pangalos on economic developments inside and outside Greece.

    [11] FM Droutsas meets Imvros society representatives

    Vandalism at the Greek Orthodox cemetery of Imbros was initially the focus of the discussion held early on Monday afternoon between Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and the representatives of the Federation of Imvros Societies P. Asanakis, S. Poulados and C. Christoforidis.

    "They are tragic events and hideous acts," the minister said, for which the Greek embassy in Ankara immediately contacted the Turkish Foreign ministry.

    Droutsas, as well as his interlocutors, placed emphasis on the fact that the Turkish Foreign ministry condemned immediately and expressly the events on Imvros, and that the Turkish authorities committed themselves to taking all the necessary measures to ensure that similar events will not be repeated.

    The Foreign minister was briefed on the occasion on the activities of the Imvros societies and underlined the Greek Foreign ministry's continuous and undiminishing interest in their work.

    Financial News

    [12] OAED launches 60 million euros program in support of employment

    Greece's Workforce Employment Organisation (OAED) on Monday launched a new program aimed at supporting employ-ment and putting a break to rising unemployment in the country.

    The program "Structural adjustment of workers and enterprises within the economic crisis", with a budget of 60 million euros, focuses at offering financial support to enterprises with a workforce of more than 50 workers, benefiting around 14,000 workers.

    Under the program, enterprises will be offered financial support to help them adjust to new conditions prevailing because of the economic crisis, by integrating new technologies in the production and services process.

    The new program is part of a total of 19 programs currently implemented by OAED.

    [13] Reppas on the restructuring of public transport in Athens

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas assured on Monday that there will be no layoffs in the public transport companies operating in Athens that are currently in the process of merging. Speaking in the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) in Thessaloniki, he also announced labour relations and salary changes for new employees, as well as cuts in the subsidized ticket prices from 70 pct to roughly 50-60 pct.

    Referring to the merger of the public transport companies namely, Attiko Metro, ETHEL buses, Athens-Piraeus Area Trolley Buses (ILPAP), the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP), TRAM SA and Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), Reppas clarified that new employees will be subjected to new personnel regulations and their salaries will be harmonized with the salaries received by the employees in the public and broader public sector.

    Within the framework of the restructuring of the greater Athens public transport network, the minister had announced recently that the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) will be replaced by a Metropolitan Urban Transport Authority, while two subsidiaries will also be established, one for fixed track means (metro, tram, etc) and one for buses and trolleys.

    [14] Greece wins award in pavillion contest in Shanghai EXPO

    Greece ranked third among 192 countries and 50 international organizations in an architectural and design contest of national pavilions held during the international Shanghai EXPO, in China.

    Receiving the award, I. Drymousis, secretary-general in the Economy, Regional Development and Competitiveness ministry, said "this significant award, justified Greece's systematic efforts to boost its export presence particularly in the Chinese market, one of the most important markets in the world".

    The EXPO fair is the largest international trade fair in the world, held every four years in a different state for a period of six months, projecting each countries particularities and products. The Shanghai EXPO attracted around 77 million visitors.

    The Greek pavilion was designed by Alexandros Tompazis, a Greek architect, covering a space of 2,000 sq.m. The pavilion attracted more than 5.5 million visitors

    [15] Marathon event boosts Athens' tourism

    The successful organizing of the 28th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday brought back memories of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games to hoteliers in the Athens-Attica region. Yiannis Retsos, president of the Athens and Attica Hoteliers' Association, speaking to ANA-MPA, reaffirmed comments made by Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos saying that Athens' hotels enjoyed 90 pct room occupancy rates, while he stressed that room prices were around October levels.

    Retsos noted it was the first time after a long period that Athens was positively commented around the world and stressed that the Marathon event helped in boosting tourism to the country's capital. He said that events like these helped in the promotion of the country abroad with minimum cost and direct results.

    The Association said room occupancy rates fell by 10.30 pct in September, for a decline rate of 6.7 pct in the January-September period.

    [16] Commerce sector calls for single 15 pct VAT rate

    The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) on Monday urged the government to adopt the introduction of a single 15 pct VAT on all items, excluding basic food products and tourism services, as an alternative move to boost its budget revenues.

    The Confederation said it repeated its recommendation given the serious decline in retail sales and a persistent high tax inflation in the country.

    ESEE said enterprises in the commerce sector were finding it very difficult to meet even their basic obligations, with 68,000 enterprises and self-employed unable to submit periodical VAT statements in the last quarter and to pay VAT in September, facing legal procedures by the state. A 9.0 pct drop in retail sales turnover, and a 12 pct fall in volume, were signs of the urgency of the situation.

    ESEE urged the government to reconsider its policy on VAT, bearing in mind not only the consumers but market sentiment as well. The Confederation said any price increases resulting from a rise of the VAT rate from 11 pct to 15 pct, would be overshadowed by a cut in VAT rates from 23 pct to 15 pct, covering almost the majority of consumer retail in the country (worth 65 billion euros).

    "The tax policy so far has sparked price increases and has worsened the financial and social living standards in the country," ESEE said.

    [17] Hellenic Bank raises lending interest

    Hellenic Bank on Monday announced it was raising its lending interest rates as a result of a rise in the three-month Euribor rate, effective immediately.

    The bank said its base lending rate was rising to 6.55 pct from 6.40 pct, its base mortgage rate from 4.9 pct to 5.05 pct and the base consumer loans rate to 10.69 pct from 10.54 pct.

    [18] Piraeus bank extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Nov. 23

    Piraeus Bank will hold an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting in November 23 to approve a board plan to proceed with a 1.05 billion euros share capital increase scheme.

    The meeting will also discuss a plan to cut the bank's equity capital, through a reduction of the nominal value of its share with the aim to creating a special reserve fund.

    [19] Marfin Popular Bank to seek share capital increase plan worth 1.15 million euros

    Marfin Popular Bank on Monday said a board meeting scheduled for November 11 will examine, among others, actions to boost the bank's capital structure.

    The bank's executive committee will recommend to the board a share capital increase plan, worth 488.6 million euros, through the issuance of one new share for two existing ones at a price of 1.0 euro per share. The recommended offering price reflects a 30 pct discount compared with Marfin Popular Bank's closing price of November 1.

    The board will also recommend a convertible bond issue worth 660 million euros at a minimum conversion price of 1.80 euros per share.

    Both decisions will need approval from a general shareholders' meeting. These actions aim at further improving the group's capital structure, strengthening its organic growth and facilitating a gradual adjustment of the bank to forthcoming new stricter capital adequacy rules of Basel III.

    [20] Eurobank Sec top securities firm in October

    Eurobank Securities ranked first among securities firms in Greece, based on transactions made in October and in the 10-month period from January to October, with market shares of 13.52 pct and 14.05 pct, respectively, officials figures showed on Monday.

    National Securities (12.8 pct) was second in October, followed by Investment Bank (12.61 pct), Piraeus (6.61 pct), Alpha Finance (6.13 pct), Euroxx (4.68 pct), Cheuvreux (3.78 pct), HSBC (3.45 pct), UBS (2.84 pct) and Citigroup (2.68 pct).

    In the 10-month period, Investment Bank was second with a market share of 12.99 pct, followed by National Securities (12.6 pct), Alpha Finance (6.56 pct), Piraeus (6.26 pct), Euroxx (5.15 pct), Cheuvreux (4.44 pct), HSBC (3.60 pct), UBS (3.31 pct) and Merrill Lynch (2.41 pct).

    [21] Hellenic Register of Shipping certificates extended by six months

    Certificates issued by the Hellenic Register of Shipping that expire on February 28, 2011 will be extended for a period of six months, Greece's maritime affairs, islands and fisheries ministry announced on Monday.

    Maritime Affairs Minister Yiannis Diamantidis has signed circulars granting General Inspection Protocols to 28 ships operating under temporary certificates that expired on October 31 and also granted a six-month extension to all certificates that expire on February 28 next year.

    During the intervening months, the HRS must carry out reforms in order to comply with European rules on issuing certificates.

    [22] Plaisio Computers reports lower nine-month results

    Plaisio Computers on Monday said its after tax earnings totaled 62,000 euros in the nine-month period from January to September 2010, down 95.2 pct compared with the same period last year. The company said its after tax earnings, both consolidated and parent, were negatively affected by an extra tax charge of 761,000 euros.

    Excluding the extra tax charge, earnings totaled 823,000 euros in the nine-month period, down 36.1 pct from the corresponding period in 2009, while EBITDA totaled 5.959 million euros and EBT totaled 1.498 million euros.

    Group sales totaled 260 million euros, down 2.3 pct from last year, despite a continuing improvement in market shares.

    Plaisio said consolidated expenses were down 5.6 pct.

    [23] New Australia- Greece airlink

    The Australian airline Jetstar, an affiliated company of Qantas, is programming new flights to Greece and Italy starting in mid 2012

    The flights will be carried out with the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which are able to make long distance flights with lower fuel consumption.

    [24] Stocks end 2.79 pct down

    Greek stocks came under strong selling pressure in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday to end sharply lower, remaining on a downward trend of the fourth consecutive session. The composite index of the market fell 2.79 pct to end at 1,504.23 points, with turnover at 123.545 million euros.

    The Big Cap index dropped 3.28 pct, the Mid Cap index fell 4.07 pct and the Small Cap index ended 1.70 pct lower.

    Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (1.02 pct) was the only blue chip to end higher, while Hellenic Postbank (6.99 pct), Viohalco (6.86 pct) and Ellaktor (5.99 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses.

    Only the Food sector scored gains (1.04 pct), while Health (9.30 pct), Oil (4.70 pct) and Banks (4.59 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 133 to 31 with another 39 issues unchanged. Hatzioannou (16.67 pct), Compucon (11.11 pct) and Dias (9.93 pct) were top gainers, while Alapis (10.32 pct), Evrofarma (10 pct) and Tzirakian (9.76 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -4.49%

    Industrials: -3.70%

    Commercial: -3.10%

    Construction: -2.48%

    Media: -3.63%

    Oil & Gas: -4.70%

    Personal & Household: -2.49%

    Raw Materials: -2.48%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.41%

    Technology: -4.42%

    Telecoms: -1.39%

    Banks: -4.59%

    Food & Beverages: +1.04%

    Health: -9.30%

    Utilities: -3.32%

    Chemicals: -2.96%

    Financial Services: -3.68%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, OTE and Alpha Bank.

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

    Alpha Bank: 4.60

    ATEbank: 0.83

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.62

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.79

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.42

    National Bank of Greece: 7.51

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 4.22

    OPAP: 13.40

    OTE: 5.67

    Bank of Piraeus: 3.53

    Titan: 15.27

    [25] Greek bond spreads remain under pressure

    Greek bond spreads widened further on Monday, with the yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds rising to 850 basis points early in the session to fall to 825 bps in early afternoon in the Greek electronic secondary bond market.

    Bond spreads widened also in Portugal, with the 10-year Portuguese benchmark bond yielding more than 6.0 pct, and the yield spread against the German Bund rising to 356 basis points.

    Analysts are closely monitoring fluctuations of state bonds in Greece and other Eurozone countries with fiscal problems to see how much their bonds will be affected by an EU summit decision last Friday to create a permanent mechanism to deal with financial crisis in the Eurozone, after 2013.

    [26] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened further to 835 basis points in the Greek electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 10.83 pct and the German Bund 2.48 pct. Turnover in the market totaled 28 million euros of which 3 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 25 million euros were sell orders. The five-year bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 8.0 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.54 pct, the six-month 1.26 pct, the three-month rate was 1.04 pct and the one-month rate 0.84 pct.

    [27] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 1.86 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover at 51.199 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 11,193 contracts worth 40.595 million euros, with 22,993 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 18,860 contracts worth 10.604 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (6,277), followed by Eurobank (1,752), MIG (766), OTE (1,743), Piraeus Bank (2,485), Alpha Bank (2,326), Mytilineos (766), Cyprus Bank (395) and Hellenic Postbank (464).

    [28] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.403

    Pound sterling 0.873

    Danish kroner 7.516

    Swedish kroner 9.350

    Japanese yen 112.84

    Swiss franc 1.386

    Norwegian kroner 8.210

    Canadian dollar 1.427

    Australian dollar 1.420

    General News

    [29] Culture minister visits interactive exhibition on ancient Macedonia

    Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos visited on Monday a unique exhibition hosted at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki that uses interactive technology focusing on the history and culture of ancient Macedonia.

    "The exhibition proves that advanced technology can help science and also can make the exhibits more alive, directly accessible to young visitors while, at the same time, it creates a digital wealth that can be utilized in many different ways," Geroulanos stated.

    The exhibition virtually links the "tesserae" (small coloured pieces of material) used in the construction of ancient mosaics with today's digital imaging pixels. It is the first formal and open to the public high-tech application on archaeological exhibits aimed at enhancing accessibility and is the product of cooperation between the museum and the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) based on Crete.

    The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki will be the permanent host of the interactive exhibition which will be expanded to cover more exhibits through the use of new software.

    [30] Greece adopts Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources

    Greece, together with other countries, adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, the Environment ministry announced on Monday.

    With the specific Protocol and the new Strategic Plan on the protection of biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period and with the year 2050 as the horizon, the UN Conference was concluded in Nagoya, Japan, in which ministry officials participated.

    The ministry's announcement stresses that the Strategic Plan places emphasis on the causes of the loss of biodiversity, its salvation at all levels, the boosting of benefits for its preservation and the decrease in pressure on natural resources.

    This agreement creates a framework that balances access to genetic resources, on the basis of the previous briefing, consensus and acceptance of common terms together with the equal and fair distribution of benefits.

    The Nagoya Protocol, which is expected to be activated by 2012, proposes the creation of a global apparatus, that will also intervene in crossborder regions or situations where there can be no agreement.

    [31] Curtain falls on Athens' 23rd Panorama of European Cinema

    The German movie "Die Fremde" directed by Feo Aladag won the international jury award in the 23rd Panorama of European Cinema that ended in Athens on Sunday night following ten days of premieres of European films.

    The award winning film focused on a young woman of Turkish origin and her confrontation with her family -- Turkish immigrants in Germany -- as well as on the chain reaction caused by her fight for independence.

    A special distinction was awarded by the jury to the Italian film "The Man Who Will Come" by Giorgio Diritti.

    The International Federation of Film Critics - FIPRESCI Award was given to Pascal Rabate's comedy "Les petits ruisseaux".

    The Panorama of European Cinema Special Award was presented to director Jersy Skolimowski by Alternate Culture and Tourism Minister Tilemachos Hitiris.

    Greek film directors and actors were also awarded distinctions for their contribution to cinema.

    [32] Sotiris Felios art collection on show in Istanbul

    An exhibition of contemporary Greek art owned by Greek collector Sotiris Felios will open its doors on Tuesday at the Sismanoglio Hall in Istanbul. Among the artists featured in the exhibition are Stefanos Daskalakis, Tasos Mantzavinos, Christos Bokoros, Costas Papanicolaou and Giorgos Rorris - all of them examples of representative art in Greece, mainly in the past 25 years.

    At the entrance to the exhibition there are also paintings by Yiannis Moralis and Chronis Botsoglou.

    [33] Gore to address MPB conference in Athens

    US former vice-president and environmental activist Al Gore, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize together with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be the keynote speaker at a conference on "Merchandise Markets, Environment and Climate Change" organised by Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) in Athens on November 22.

    [34] 'Real estate mafia' case arrest

    An allegedly leading member of the so-called "real estate mafia", also involved in the new trial fixing case, was arrested on Monday morning in the Athens district of Neo Psychiko in response to a lawsuit filed against him by a prosecution witness.

    According to the lawsuit, the suspect was intimidating the witness through messages.

    The detainee will be brought before the prosecutor.

    [35] Man dies when collected by garbage truck

    A man, believed to be homeless, was killed on Monday morning in the Athens district of Tavros after a garbage bin he was sleeping in was emptied into a garbage truck.

    The garbage collectors did not immediately notice the man and emptied the bin into the truck, resulting in the fatal injury of the man.

    The garbage collectors managed to extricate him and rushed him to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

    Police are investigating the incident.

    Weather Forecast

    [36] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-8 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 4C and 23C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 8C to 21C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 6C to 15C.

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

    A measure for the closure of outstanding tax obligations, results of the 28th classical Marathon race, upcoming local government elections and raging speculation over snap general elections mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Greece at ... centre of world".

    AVRIANI: "New memorandum until 2020".

    VRADYNI: "Salary cuts in private sector, too".

    ETHNOS: "Seven tough matches will judge which party will be winner of local government elections".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Former PM Costas Simitis put Greece into Economic Monetary Union with fake data".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Elections' marathon".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos plays dangerously with debt".

    ESTIA: "Early general elections would be a national disaster".

    TA NEA: Banners a headline on the number of participants in Sunday's marathon.

    IMERISSIA: "Debtors threatened with confiscations".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Third installment of support mechanism will bring additional measures".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [38] Downer describes tripartite meeting in New York as important

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer expressed the belief that the forthcoming meeting of UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon with Cyprus President Demetris Chrsitofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in New York on November 18 is important, adding that Ban wants to meet with the leaders in the hope of re-injecting momentum into the process of the ongoing direct negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

    In statements after a meeting between Christofias and Eroglu in the framework of direct negotiations on Monday, Downer noted that "the leaders decided to establish a new committee to look into opening new checkpoints between the north and the south and had some discussion about that."

    "So, that joint committee will no doubt be put together fairly soon. Secondly, the leaders had an exchange of views about their upcoming visit to New York for the meeting with the Secretary-General," he noted.

    He added that "the leaders had the opportunity to spend a good deal of their time talking still further about the property question."

    Dower said that the representatives of the two leaders are going to meet on Wednesday November 3 and possibly on Friday November 5 and that the leaders are going to meet again next Monday November 8 at 3 o'clock.

    Asked about the agenda of the New York meeting, Downer said the details of that are still being worked through, "and we know the leaders have another meeting between now, at least one more meeting, perhaps more, between now and then; and the Representatives have meetings and those meetings will no doubt principally, not exclusively, be on the property issue."

    "So, no doubt the Secretary-General will want to talk to the leaders, inter-alia, about the property question, but I am sure will want to talk more broadly about the whole process. But all of that will be finalized much closer to the time; we have a way to go yet. We still have two and half weeks to go until the meeting takes place, so all of that will be worked out much nearer the time. And we, of course, in the United Nations here on the ground in Nicosia are in discussions with the two leaders about the meeting," he noted.

    As he said, he met with Eroglu on Friday and with Christofias on Saturday morning and "we've had discussions about it already. So they have talked to each other today about it in a meeting that included me and Ms Buttenheim (UN SG's Special Representative in Cyprus), and we'll have further discussions with them and of course we will be talking with New York as well about how it will all work."

    Asked how important the meeting in New York is, Downer said he believes it is important. "We want there to be real momentum in this process. There obviously has been some slowing of the momentum in recent times, and the Secretary-General has taken the initiative of calling the leaders about that, and he thought it best to invite them to New York and to meet with him," he noted.

    He expressed the belief that "this is an important part of the overall engagement by the United Nations with the leaders. We always emphasize that this is a Cypriot-led and Cypriot-run process. We do what we can to help; we obviously, other than hosting the meetings, help in a number of different ways, and the Secretary-General will very much want to continue to help, not change the modus operandi of the United Nations. That is not the objective here. He wants to meet with the leaders in the hope of re-injecting momentum into the process," Downer pointed out.

    Asked if any of the leaders put any new proposals on the table on the property issue Monday, Downer said he was not in the habit when there are or not new proposals put forward of making public announcements about that.

    "I don't want to sound as though we in the United Nations are cagey about this because we don't want to be. But our role here is to help the leaders as best we can to achieve a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem and a constant stream of announcements from us on all of the details that occurs in these meetings is probably not going to be helpful," he noted.

    Asked what the Secretary-General can say to the two leaders that has not been said here, Donwer said "the Secretary-General obviously does from time to time convey messages through me. I have a fairly constant stream of contact with him and his officials in New York."

    He also noted that the Secretary-General can talk to the leaders on the telephone. "And as you know he did that last Thursday, and he has done that on other occasions."

    "But thirdly, if the Secretary-General actually meets with them and they spend some time together talking through the issues, particularly the two leaders together. Because as you know the Secretary-General met with both of the leaders individually late September, early October. So he has met them fairly recently but to meet with them together obviously is a different situation again. So we will see how that goes," Downer concluded.

    Direct negotiations have been going on since September 2008, with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    [39] Cyprus FM and Cavusoglu discuss the Cyprus peace process

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    The ongoing process aimed at solving the Cyprus problem has been discussed between Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu, during a meeting they held here on Monday.

    Speaking after the meeting, Kyprianou said that they had a friendly and interesting meeting, during which they had the opportunity to discuss issues concern the Foreign Ministry and PACE. As he said they referred to the ongoing negotiation process for the Cyprus issue and to other issues linked with the Cyprus problem and that PACE can provide assistance, such as the issue of missing persons, the cultural places and the population census in the Turkish occupied areas of the island.

    "These issue can be promoted by the PACE, contributing by that in the Cyprus peace process", Kyprianou said.

    Asked about the issue of the participation of the Republic of Cyprus to the programme Partnership for Peace, Kyprianou said that it is not in the Government's priorities, noting at the same time the non participation in that programme does not affect the participation of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU Common Foreign and Defence Policy.

    Replying to a question on the participation of Cyprus in the Treaty of Schengen, Kyprianou said that the Republic of Cyprus is obliged to participate in that Treaty.

    "We have already reached a decision in the Council of Minister, and a Ministerial Committee under my Presidency has been appointed", he said explaining that this Committee will coordinate the implementation of the governments obligations in fulfilling the criteria for the Treaty of Schengen.

    Kyprianou finally said that "we are at the stage of the implementation of our obligations for the Treaty and that we will need around three years in order the whole procedure to be concluded."

    Peace talks began in September 2008 between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Talks continue now with Eroglu, who succeeded Talat in April this year.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

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