|Saturday, 21 April 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-11-16
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 16 November 2010 Issue No: 3646
 Papandreou, Sarkozy discuss permanent EU bailout mechanismPARIS (ANA-MPA - O. Tsipira)
Emerging from a lengthy meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Monday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told reporters that they had agreed on the issue of institutionalising a permanent financial stabilisation mechanism for member-states in crisis within the EU Treaty.
According to Papandreou, such a mechanism would help complete the EU's economic governance, the lack of which created imbalances, difficulties and victims such as Greece and other countries that found themselves prey to the moods and insecurities of international financial markets.
Through this specific mechanism, countries will be helped in their reorganisation but also in achieving growth, he added.
Speaking to the press as Sarkozy walked him out after a working dinner, Papandreou thanked Sarkozy for reaffirming France's continued support of Greece's "very positive" efforts to exit its own economic crisis and reduce its deficit.
Concerning the policies that should be adopted by Europe, Sarkozy and Papandreou agreed that, in addition to fiscal stability, decisions had to be taken that would help boost growth.
"Growth that will bring jobs and will help transform the European economy into a green and competitive economy," the Greek prime minister stressed.
The Greek premier once again referred to his proposal for a new tax on capital market transactions in order to generate income for member-states and the European Union.
"This money, in combination with a carbon tax, could help the support mechanism as a legacy for dealing with any new crisis but also with the EU's development," he added.
During their meeting Papandreou and Sarkozy also discussed the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East while exchanging views on cross-border cooperation.
The Greek premier informed Sarkozy on a Greek initiative for dealing with climate change in the Mediterranean.
"We launched this initiative in view of the climate change conference in Mexico at the end of the month, so that Greece is in the front line of efforts for green development in the broader region," he added.
 PM satisfied over France's stancePARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)
Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking to Greek reporters on the sidelines of his meetings here, reiteraterd his satisfaction over the stance shown by France until now, "a stance that you do not find in other leaderships."
Papandreou also said that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is positive on the issue of the extension of the repayment of the Troika's loans, a fact that constitutes a token of confidence towards Greece.
On the question of Eurostat's revised data for 2009, Papandreou said that he believes that they can influence the issue of the repayment positively. He added that the data for 2009 concern a situation left behind it by the New Democracy party and noted that this year's deficit will decrease by 6 percent.
The relevant discussion on the repayment could take place soon, in the prime minister's view, on the occasion of the discussion on the enactment of the Permanent Support Mechanism. The possible inclusion of Ireland in the Mechanism as well could give a new dimension that for the time being "we do not know whether or not will affect Greece."
As regards the Euro-bonds, Papandreou said that France agrees, but Germany disagrees, and this is the reason for which France is not insisting in particular.
Papandreou also referred briefly to the results of the local government elections, saying that people like George Kaminis and Yiannis Boutaris are social forces outside party walls, progressive forces that are capable of attracting young people and other social groups that have been marginalised. They are supported by a social mixture and they are capable of expressing a different Greece.
Asked whether such a social alliance could also be translated at government level as well, Papandreou replied "I am always positive over these issues."
 PM Papandreou addresses Socialist International's conferencePARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)
Greek Prime Minister and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou highlighted the SI's capabilities to contribute to the prosperity of citizens in the midst of the difficult times of globalisation, in a "globalised uniting action and cooperation", while addressing the SI's conference, that he presides over.
Papandreou made special reference to "the Group of 20" and the decisions that must be taken at international level.
"The solutions for the global balances must include issues such as the protection of labour, the handling of unemployment, support for women, combined with the safeguarding of the fundamental rights and the strategies for the decrease of poverty," he said.
Papandreou stressed the necessity for a global reform of systems governing and regulating international capitals, "a reform that must secure the political and economic rights of all the citizens of the world." Otherwise, as he said, "the leaders will have to face the outcry of billions of citizens."
He focused on the problems created by the strengthening of markets in front of the lack of political will on the part of leaders and spoke of the need for "a real economy, a real growth, capable of securing real jobs."
Papandreou pointed out that in a globalised economy there should also be globalised action, as is the aim of the Socialist International.
"We must act outside our borders. We must convince our fellow citizens, in the cities, in the regions, that there is a global prospect, a global mobilisation and a global support, for a better world, provided that we act united."
Making special reference to the Greek economic crisis for which he had to take difficult decisions, the prime minister said that the conservatives often claim that the problems come from the social protection system or the welfare state.
"It is certain that we want to make the system more effective. The problems, however, mainly come from the injustices and imbalances around the world: between working people and employers, between the countries, in the sector of natural resources, in pharmaceuticals and others. They are inequalities that create competitive disadvantages for some and advantages for others," he said.
Papandreou noted that "the Socialist International expresses the policies of change, solidarity, logic, of a policy with vision. We want open societies, with a better living standard for our citizens also through an environmental policy, believing in a human dimension for globalisation."
He concluded by saying that "for a large part of citizens worldwide day-to-day life is marked by the feeling of insecurity and fear. Such policies of fear have disastrous consequences in democratic life. The Socialist International's pursuit is to present a reliable alternative solution, something that we are trying sincerely."
 SI Council meeting opens in Paris, chaired by PapandreouA two-day meeting of the Council of the Socialist International (SI) opened in Paris on Monday, chaired by Greek prime minister and SI president George Papandreou, with the Global Economy, Climate Change and the forthcoming UN Climate Change conference (COP16) in Mexico, and Resolution of Conflicts as the three themes of the agenda.
The Paris meeting, being held at the Organisation for Economic and Cooperation (OECD) headquarters, is the SI Council's second meeting in 2010. The first was held at the UN headquarters in New York in June.
In the first main theme, under the title "The World Economy: mapping out a sustainable recovery that works for all", the Council will discuss the latest developments in the global economy, including the G20 Seoul Summit and its outcome. Looking at recovery from a social democratic perspective, contributions will be heard on ways to ensure that the recovery is fair, equitable and sustainable, and to the benefit of ordinary citizens.
The second theme is "Facing the Consequences of Climate Change: The urgent need for a meaningful agreement at COP16". With the Sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 to December 10 representing another vital opportunity for leaders of the world to unite and take meaningful action on climate change, the SI will once again put this theme at the heart of its agenda, to define the social democratic priorities on this most crucial of issues, which will shape the future of the planet.
The discussions on the third main theme, "Overcoming Conflict: Strengthening democracy and security", will concentrate on the positive effect that resolving conflicts wherever they occur can have on the ability of a country and a society to have a stable democracy and provide security for all. In 2010, the SI has actively promoted conflict resolution in the South Caucasus and the Middle East, continued to develop its platform on disarmament issues, supported democracy in different regions of the world and sent electoral observation missions.
 Final tally of local administration electionsWith the final count completed from Sunday's second-round local government elections, the ruling PASOK-backed candidates were elected as Regional heads in eight of the country's 13 Regions, the new geographical administrations created under the Kallikratis local administration reform plan, with the remaining five Regions won by main opposition New Democracy (ND) backed candidates.
PASOK-backed candidates also won 73 of the country's 325 municipalities, while ND-backed candidates won in 41 municipalities.
Outgoing Athens prefect Yianns Sgouros, who was backed by PASOK, will be the Attica Region's first elected regional head, with a percentage of 52.87 percent and 61 seats on the Regional Council, against 47.13 percent and 12 seats for ND-backed Vassilis Kikilias.
The biggest winner, however, was abstention, which reached an all-time high of 53.23 percent, sharply up from 39.01 percent in the first round the preceding Sunday, while blank and spoiled votes reached 11.67 percent from 5.49 percent in the first round.
The second round was also characterised by surprise upsets in the country's three largest cities, with a "change of guard" in Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus.
In Athens, PASOK-backed candidate and former Greek Ombudsman George Kaminis carried the vote with 51.94 percent against incumbent mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis with 48.06 percent, while in Thessaloniki PASOK-backed Yiannis Boutaris prevailed with 50.20 percent over ND-backed Costas Gioulekas with 49.80 percent.
Conversely, ND-backed Vassilis Michaloliakos won the mayoral race in Piraeus with 51.76 percent against PASOK-backed local government veteran Yiannis Michas with 48.24 percent.
Another surprise was recorded in the western port city of Patras, where Ioannis Dimaras, the candidate jointly backed by SYN and the Democratic Left party, carried the vote with 53.63 percent against 46.37 percent for the PASOK-backed Constantine Katsikopoulos.
The vote count of the run-offs was completed at noon on Monday, with 20 new mayors having secured percentages upward of 60 percent, while another 30 amassed percentages just over 50 percent.
The biggest percentage of votes in the second round was received by Andreas Pachatouridis in the municipality of Peristeri, followed by Nikoloas Hardalias in Vyronas municipality in Athens with 64.69 percent and Antonios Hatzidiamantis with 64.61 percent on the island of Limnos.
A total of 78 mayors were re-elected in the second round.
In the Filadelfia-Halkidona municipality, Eftychia Apostolaki, the widow of mayor George Apostolakis, who died after suffering a heart attack while driving his car earlier in the week after making it to the run-offs in the first round of elections the previous Sunday, took her late husband's place and was elected with 51.50 percent.
In Larissa, the winner was decided by a mere 217 vote difference, as ND-backed Constantine Tzanakoulis carried the city with 50.23 percent over PASOK-backed Ioannis Sapkas with 49.77 percent, while abstention reached 50.23 percent.
The narrowest wins were on the island of Amorgos with mayor-elect Nikitas Roussos receiving 50.04 percent, followed by Istiaia-Aedipsos mayor-elect Zachos Christofis and Evrota (Lakonia) mayor-elect Ioannis Grypiotis with 50.05 percent.
A total of 27 municipalities were decided with narrow leads, and several of the candidates intend to take recourse in the Election Court for a recount. On the island of Amorgos, the new mayor Nikitas Roussos (50.04 percent) was elected with a single vote difference from opponent Nikolaos Fostieris (49.96 percent), while in Evrotas municipality in Lakonia prefecture the city was carried by an 11-vote lead by Ioannis Grypiotis (50.05 percent) over Filippos Piliouras (49.95 percent) and in the Attica municipality of Kesariani, Antonis Kambakas (50.07 percent) was elected with a 12-vote lead over Spyridon Tzokas (49.93 percent).
Of the total 325 'new' (merged) municipalities formed under Kallikratis, candidates backed by PASOK or PASOK collaborations with other parties won in 73 municipalities, of which 18 in the first round and 55 in the second round. Candidates backed by New Democracy (ND) or ND in collaboration with other parties won in 41 municipalities, of which 7 in the first round and 34 in the second round.
Candidates backed by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) won in one municipality, by SYN in six municipalities, by LAOS in one municipality, by the Ecologists Greens in 14 municipalities, and by the Democratic Left in 35 municipalities.
Of the total 325 mayors elected, 166 are independents, 19 are independents coming from PASOK, 11 are independents coming from ND, and 129 were backed by one or more parties.
In the Regional elections, six of the Regional heads elected, including Yiannis Sgouros in Attica and Panagiotis Psomiadis in Central Macedonia, are currently Prefects.
 Gov't: 'We're determined to succeed'Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis stated on Monday that in Sunday's second round of local government elections the people reaffirmed their strong will for radical change in all sectors, a message also sent in the first round of the vote a week earlier.
Commenting on the election results, he added that the people voted for stability and chose the candidates that will undertake to materialise the Kallikratis local government reform.
"We are determined to succeed having as an ally the democratic forces of progress and the will for substantive change," he said, stressing that "the government has three years of intensive and creative work ahead". He added that together with "the political and social forces, regional authorities and the people -- displaying a strong sense of responsibility and patriotic duty -- we are called to promote the necessary major changes the country needs to get out of the crisis without jeopardizing security and cohesion."
"Consensus and national understanding are necessary," he said, pointing out that "those who can realize that should assume their share of responsibility" and that "all political forces should rise to the occasion."
He said that it should be realized that "putting the people before bogus dilemmas leads nowhere and that was the lesson learned in Sunday's elections", adding that "the people know who is getting the message and who isn't."
Petalotis stated that there is common ground on which consensus is possible in order to get out of the crisis quickly and steadily, "this does not mean that the political forces will abrogate their main principles or that the government will give way because simply there is no room for that."
Asked to comment on the proposals the prime minister will make to the political leaders to ensure their consent, Petalotis stated that a framework will be ready when the process for the materialization of the call for national understanding and consensus is launched.
Responding to a question on whether the government will request setting up a fact-finding parliamentary committee on the economy, the government spokesman stated that "we should not confuse consensus with impunity".
On whether the election law will be up for discussion, Petalotis commented that it was among the pledges undertaken by the ruling PASOK party.
 ND on local gov't election resultsMain opposition New Democracy (ND) party characterised as positive Sunday's second round local government election results, considering that its candidates were elected in five regions when a year earlier, based on the 2009 election results, it wouldn't have been able to win any of them.
Based on the ND assessment of the election results, the party has improved performance even in the regions it lost.
ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos stated on Monday that the choices made by party leader Antonis Samaras were the right ones based on the results, pointing out that the party assumes again a leading role in the political scene.
Referring to the high voter abstention, Panagiotopoulos stated that it records an overall disbelief toward the political system.
"ND has assumed its share of the responsibility," Panagiotopoulos stated, pointing out that the high abstention rate also reflects the rejection of the blackmailing dilemma set by the ruling PASOK party.
He also said that ND leader Samaras had called on the people to send a clear message to the government that it needs to change its policy "and the message was sent".
Referring to the ND defeat in the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki, he stressed that there are regional characteristics that affected the result, pointing out that in both municipalities the centre-right was in office for more than two decades which obviously had an impact on the voters.
As regards the prime minister's invitation for consensus, Panagiotopoulos stated that he cannot respond to a hypothetical question reminding, however, that ND leader Samaras has stated that he will back the government measures that lead to the right direction but he will not give his consent to new harsh measures that lead nowhere.
On the occasion of the visit of troika representatives to Athens and the consultations in progress, Panagiotopoulos asked the premier if he intends to take new austere measures.
 LA.OS satisfied with election showingOpposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) expressed overall satisfaction for its showing in the first round of the local government elections and in Sunday's second round in which it supported candidates backed by ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND).
Referring to the election results, an associate of party leader George Karatzaferis stated that "we are satisfied but not completely because we did not get what we have expected," adding that "we have paid for our consistent stance".
LA.OS insisted that a government, comprising distinguished figures regardless of political party affiliation, is necessary, adding that its stance toward the government will not change, backing the right moves and objecting to the wrong ones.
 Government rules out cuts to wages, pensions, jobsFurther cutbacks in state spending will not be achieved by cutting wages and pensions nor by imposing more taxes, nor by shedding state sector jobs, government spokesman George Petalotis emphasised on Monday.
"There is no chance that measures will be taken to cut wages and pensions, nor taxation beyond that we have announced, nor also dismissals," the spokesman assured reporters when asked to comment on the talks begun earlier the same day between Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and EU-IMF inspectors visiting Athens before the 2011 budget is tabled on Thursday.
According to the spokesman, there were margins for further cuts in wasteful public-sector spending and the government would do its utmost to rationalise the way the state operated.
"We will try and will succeed in not reducing the income of citizens further," he said.
On the issue of raising taxes, Petalotis said that the "existing parameters were open" and that there would not be changes to certain "basic issues".
Concerning a statement made by Prime Minister George Papandreou criticising Germany's tough stance on a future debt-restructuring mechanism, Petalotis said that this expressed "our country's experience on how the EU must proceed, what is meant by the principle of partnership and community solidarity that we had said must be displayed from the start".
Germany has been pushing for a system that would require bondholders to cover some of the cost of a future bailout to debt-ridden eurozone members, rather than just tax payers. Papandreou on Monday warned that this tough stance could "break backs" and become a self-fulfilling prophecy, forcing some economies to bankruptcy.
Petalotis pointed out that Greece was the first country to try and obtain financial support from its partners in the EU and "thus necessarily became a pool of experience and knowledge concerning the crisis and how this might be overcome".
The spokesman also denied that any negotiation was underway to remove "harsh" terms from the Memorandum for the bailout mechanism to Greece or to extend the repayment schedule, stressing that there was no discussion on this with the EU-IMF troika nor any official request of the Greek government.
 'Tomorrow we shall be many more', KKE leader saysCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a rally in Syntagma Square in downtown Athens on Monday evening, expressed confidence that "we shall be many more tomorrow", meaning that KKE's strength will increase even more.
Papariga said that "the people must deny the prime minister's jugglery who presents PASOK's great decline as if the people gave him approval to proceed with the barbaric measures", while for the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party she said that "there is no total return."
The KKE leader further said that harsh measures against working people are being taken all over Europe, even in Germany which is not overindebted, saying that the support mechanism "is a gallows for the Greek people."
Papariga called for "no consensus, on the contrary, release, emancipation and joint action with KKE, to enable the social popular alliance to become a protagonist, the rallying of radical forces that are struggling with the prospect of popular power," adding that "the Troika is not welcome in Greece" but noting that the troika did not come to Greece uninvited, nor forcibly. "The door was opened wide by the PASOK government," she said.
She also said that the Memorandum "does not constitute simply and only an economic agreement on the repayment of the debt. It is the political tool as well, the political alibi to enable the advancement of reactionary structural measures, that were written clearly in the programmes of PASOK and New Democracy, with the bugbear of bankruptcy as the vehicle."
Papariga stressed that "an alternative solution exists" and KKE has analysed a long time ago the content of the proposal for the popular power and economy, but added that what "is urgent now is for the people to stand their ground before the terrorist operation of the government, of the political system in general, the EU."
 Theodorakis eyes 'independent citizens' movementNoted Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis on Monday reiterated his goal of establishing a movement of "independent citizens", as the 85-year-old personality said, while speaking at the Athens Concert Hall on the occasion of a series of concerts featuring his works.
Theodorakis' "March of the Spirit" (Pnevmatiko Emvatirio), "Canto General" and "The Hostage" (Enas Omiros) will be performed at the concert hall between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, with proceeds earmarked for the new intensive care at Evangelismos Hospital of Athens.
 Greece: Solution should be Cypriot and European in CyprusNegotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General that are taking place should lead, without deadlines or arbitration, to a solution without occupation troops, one that is viable, functional and fair and based on UN Security Council decisions and the implementation of the acquis communautaire, the Greek Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
In a statement, the ministry said that a solution should be both Cypriot and European, because the most effective guarantor for the safety of the people of Cyprus is the implementation of the European principles over the territory of the Republic of Cyprus as a whole.
The statement said that on the occasion of Monday's "dark anniversary of the declaration of the illegal regime in the areas occupied by the Turkish army in Cyprus, (the anniversary) has one and single significance for the international community: it reminds that an independent UN and EU member state continues to be under military occupation, that an unacceptable, illegal and divisive situation continues to exist".
"Despite the adversities, the leadership of the Republic of Cyprus is making continued efforts for a reunited, independent and sovereign state, in which Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be able to enjoy the fruits of co-existence, in an environment of security, freedom and welfare, within the framework of the European family," it added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third territory. Cyprus UN-led talks are underway between the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. On 15 November 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared a UDI, which the UN has described as "legally invalid". Only Turkey recognises the self-styled regime in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus.
 Xenoyiannakopoulou hosts dinner for Turkish minister BagisAlternate Foreign Minister in charge of European affairs Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou on Monday hosted a working dinner for visiting Turkish Minister of State Egemen Bagis, who is head of Turkey's team for the EU accession negotiations. No statements were made afterward.
Bagis is in Athens to take part in a conference of new Greek business people. The visit comes just days after the European Commission unveiled its progress report on Turkey and a few days before Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot community leader Dervis Eroglu will be meeting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York.
 Siemens ex official involved in slush funds scandal flees Greece, investigation launched, Euro-warrant pendingAn appeals court prosecutor on Monday launched an urgent preliminary examination after a former Siemens official who is a suspect in the Siemens slush funds affair has skipped the country in violation of the restrictive conditions of his release after testimony.
An investigation has also been ordered by chief appeals prosecutor Yiannis Sakelakos into possible penal responsibilities by the authoritative state employees.
According to a report, appearing in the German-based Der Spiegel, Volker Jung, a one-time head of Siemens AG's Communications unit who served as chairman of the Greek subsidiary's (Siemens Hellas) supervisory board from 1998-2003, fled Greece in the middle of last week from the island of Paros, where he was residing, and was currently in Munich.
Jung was released on his own cognizance after testifying before an examining magistrate investigating the case in June 2009 and was banned from leaving the country, while also required to show up at the local police station on Paros the first week of every month.
Jung had testified in early June 2009 before the examining magistrate investigating the case at the time, Nikos Zagorianos, on charges of complicity in bribery (in conjunction with Law 1608/50 on embezzlement of public money) and on money laundering (legitimisation of income from illegal activity).
The examining magistrate and prosecutor at the time agreed to the release of the suspect on restrictive conditions including a prohibition of leaving the country and obligation to appear at the local police station on Paros, where he resided, in the first five days of each month.
Sakelakos has ordered appeals prosecutor Galinos Bris to speedily investigate when, with what means and from where Jung fled Greece. He has also ordered an investigation into blame of the authoritative state employees at airports or ports, and of police officers both at the Paros precinct or their superiors, for not immediately informing the prosecutors' office that Jung had failed to show up at the police station by November 5.
The prosecutors' office was informed verbally on the afternoon of Saturday, November 13, when all the services were closed. According to Der Spiegel, Jung has been in Munich since last Tuesday.
The Appeals Council is due to convene later on Monday to covert the restrictive conditions into temporary remand to enable the immediate issue of an arrest warrant and commencement of procedures of a European arrest warrant.
 Arrest warrant for former Siemens executive issued by GreeceGreek authorities on Monday issued an arrest warrant for former Siemens executive Volker Jung, at one time head of the multinational's branch in Greece. Jung had been charged in connection with an investigation into kickbacks paid by Siemens in Greece and had been released pending trial.
The arrest warrant was issued after he failed to report to the Paros police station near his home, in accordance with the terms of his release after his testimony in June 2009.
The two examining magistrates in charge of the ongoing investigation into the case, as well as the appeals public prosecutors office, were informed of Jung's failure to report to the police station on Monday. In fact, Jung's presence in Munich had been reported by the press the previous Saturday, in an article appearing in the German magazine "Der Spiegel", but no public prosecutor had been officially informed.
The head of the first-instance court public prosecutors was told informally late on Saturday.
An urgent inquiry was launched on Monday to discover how Jung was able to leave the country and to discover who was responsible for allowing his flight.
This is the third time that a suspect wanted in connection with the Siemens case has succeeded in fleeing the country and Greek authorities. He was preceded by former Siemens executive Christos Karavellas, who fled to South America and is also wanted under an international arrest warrant, and Mihalis Christoforakos who took refuge in Germany where he was shielded from extradition as a German national.
Jung's flight to Germany was also discussed by the Parliamentary fact-finding committee investigating the Siemens scandal on Monday. Members of the committee laid the blame for his flight squarely on judicial authorities and said the magistrates investigating the case had delayed in calling Jung to testify a second time.
They pointed out that the 71-year-old former Siemens executive admitted in a document sent to Appeals Court Public Prosecutor Georgios Hatzikos on January 18, 2010 that Siemens executives had essentially formed a criminal organisation.
In light of this, MPs added, Jung should have been summoned to give additional testimony and then remanded in custody given the greater seriousness of the offences he had been accused of.
 New round of talks between govt and EU-ECB-IMF 'troika'Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Monday met with a visiting delegation of EU-ECB-IMF "troika" representatives, who arrived in Athens for a regular inspection of the Greek economy ahead of the approval of a third tranche (9 bln euros) of a support loan to Greece in December.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, ministry officials said the meeting focused on technical issues and covered the execution of the current budget and provisions for the 2011 budget, along with progress in all-important structural reforms.
The "troika" representatives will remain in Athens for a week to tour other crucial ministries related with the 110-billion-euro memorandum, as well as the Bank of Greece, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority, the State Accounting Office and social agencies.
In the wake of an upward revision of the country's fiscal deficits (15.4 pct of GDP in 2009 and 9.4 pct of GDP in 2010) along with a shortfall in budget revenues -- totaling 2.0 billion euros this year -- troika officials are reportedly demanding additional austerity measures, including an immediate reduction of the wider public sector by 30 pct, the closing loss-making state-run utilities and enterprises, along with municipal enterprises (along with employee lay-offs), the long-expected opening of so-called "closed professions", bolder interventions in the labour market (i.e. replacing all sector and private contracts), drastic spending cuts in defence, health, education and more reforms in the pension system.
The ministry is opposing any new measures, with one officials noting that "a drastic cut of the fiscal deficit by 2014 will be made in a balanced and fair way, according to commitments undertaken by the country. It will not happen with additional cuts in salaries and pensions, or with higher taxes beyond those already announced. It will be made through a restructuring of state spending".
The government is examining plans to readjust VAT rates or to equalise taxes on petrol and heating oil. At the same time, the government is seeking the troika's approval to cut VAT rates in certain sectors of the economy, such as the tourism sector.
The finance ministry is also seeking a larger decrease in spending by state hospitals, healthcare, public sector enterprises and municipalities, under the supervision of the troika. Specifically, the government said that from a 3.8-billion-euro increase of the fiscal budget in 2009, 3.7 billion accounted from the wider public sector, while from the 3.5 billion euros increase of the budget deficit for 2010, 3.4 billion also accounted from the wider public sector.
Ministry officials said any new scenarios will be finalised before the government tables its draft 2011 budget to Parliament on Thursday, which will be followed by a new tax draft bill. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou will brief his EU counterparts during a Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
 Eurostat figuresEurostat revised the country's fiscal deficit for 2009 upwards to 15.4 pct of GDP, up from 13.6 pct in April, along with the country's public debt to 126.8 pct of GDP, up from 115.1 pct in April.
On a positive note, the EU executive's statistics agency, in an announcement, said it withdrew all reservations regarding the quality of Greek statistics.
Eurostat said Greece's fiscal deficit totaled 9.4 pct of GDP in 2008, up from 6.4 pct in 2007 and 5.7 pct in 2006, while the country's public debt rose to 110.3 pct in 2008, 105 pct in 2007 and 106.1 pct in 2006.
Greece has the highest fiscal deficit in the EU, followed by Ireland (14.4 pct), the UK (11.4 pct), Spain (11.1 pct), Latvia (10.2 pct) and Portugal (9.3 pct). Luxembourg (0.7 pct), Sweden (0.9 pct) and Estonia (1.7 pct) recorded the lowest fiscal deficits.
 Greece projects deficit of 9.4pct of GDP for 2010 after release of revised 2009 figures by EurostatGreece on Monday revised its projected deficit for 2010 to 9.4 percent of GDP, following an upward revision of deficit and state debt figures for 2009 published by Eurostat earlier in the day and the lifting of its reservations on Greek data.
Greece's fiscal deficit for 2009 has been upped to 15.4 percent of GDP and the state debt to 126.8 percent of GDP, in revised figures published by EUROSTAT in Brussels on Monday.
In a release issued Monday, Eurostat also announced that it is "lifting the reservation on Greek data expressed in its News Release of 55/2010 of April 22, 2010", adding that "Eurostat and the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) have addresses all of the issues identified in the last reservation during a series of EDP (Excessive Deficit Procedure) methodological visits".
A Greek finance ministry announcement issued later said that "the cycle of dispute and lack of credibility of the Greek statistical data closes today, and one more step in the direction of restoring the confidence of the citizens, the international partners and markets in the fiscal administration of Greece is completed".
In that context, the ministry reassured the public regarding speculation on new additional measures, noting that "the drastic reduction of the deficit by 2014 will be effected in a balanced and fair way and in accordance with the commitments that the country has assumed".
"It (the deficit reduction) will not be made through further cuts in salaries and pensions, nor with tax increases beyond those we have already committed ourselves to. It will be done mainly through a rationalisation of state expenditures, so that the taxpayers' money will not go to waste".
According to the finance ministry, apart from Eurostat's lifting -- with its publication of the finalised data for the period 2006-2009 -- of all its reservations on Greek fiscal data, equally important is the fact that the biggest deficit reduction ever in Greece -- 6 percentage points of GDP or more than 14 billion euros, much higher than initially planned -- is being achieved in 2010.
The ministry further noted that the government has committed to continuing the fiscal effort in accordance with the 3-year Economic Policy Program ('Memorandum').
According to figures released by the finance ministry, the fiscal deficit for 2009 has been revised upward from 13.6 percent of GDP to o 15.4 percent of GDP, or 66,150 million euros, representing an increase of 1.8 percentage points of GDP.
The upward revision is attributed to the inclusion of public organisations to the General Government (representing a deficit increase of 0.7 percent of GDP), adjustment of the social security funds' and OTA (local government) accounts (representing a deficit increase of 0.9 percent of GDP), and a reduction of the 2009 GDP (corresponding to a 0.2 percent increase in the deficit).
The revision also affects the figures of the state debt, into which the accrued debts of the state enterprises that have been entered into the General Government have been incorporated. The 2009 General Government deficit has been revised to 298,032 million euros or 126.9 percent of GDP from 115.4 percent of GDP, representing an increase of 11.4 percentage points of GDP, the ministry said.
The revision is attributed chiefly to the incorporation of the DEKO (public utilities and organisations) to the General Government figures (representing a debt increase of 7.75 percentage points of GDP, or 18,204 million euros) and adjustment of the off-market swaps (representing a debt increase of 2.3 percentage points of GDP, or 5,530 million euros).
Following the 2009 debt and deficit revision, the deficit for 2010 is now projected at 9.4 percent of GDP, the ministry said, adding, however, that, in relation to 2009, a fiscal adjustment of more than 14 billion euros has been achieved, from over 36 billion euros in 2009 to approximately 22 billion euros in 2010. As for the state debt, it has now been revised to 144 percent of GDP.
The ministry also said that the figures released by Eurostat on Monday are the result of close cooperation and hard and consistent work by Eurostat and the recently-established independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and all other agencies involved in the provision of fiscal statistics.
That, it continued "also proves the magnitude of the misorientation of the Greek citizens and the international partners that was attempted with the concealment of the true size of the deficit on October 2, 2009, and the provision of data that estimated the deficit at 6 percent of GDP, in other words nearly 10 percent of GDP or more than 20 billion euros above what it actually was...an effort that struck the biggest blow to Greece's credibility and led to an even greater crisis in confidence faced by the country in its recent history".
The finance ministry acknowledged that the revision of Greece's macroeconomic indicators leads to a more adverse 'starting point' for the Economic Policy Program. However, if the deficit figures had not been revised, Greece would have achieved the targeted 8.1 percent of GDP this year. But even given the current conditions, the deficit reduction achieved is the reply "to those speaking of 'shortfalls', 'failures' and 'minimal reduction of the deficit' with respect to execution of the toughest budget in recent decades," the ministry announcement concluded.
 EU: Greek statistics credible, transparentBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Aroni)
EU officials on Monday expressed satisfaction over the fact that Eurostat fully ratified Greek statistical data after several years of efforts, following an upward revision of the country's fiscal deficit and public debt, noting that Greek authorities and troika officials are discussing the period of covering the "black hole" in the country's finances.
Speaking to reporters, Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj declined to say whether additional fiscal effort would be necessary next year or in the next three years and noted that troika officials were currently in Athens for a quarterly assessment of the country's economic progress. Altafaj noted that the goal for 2010 was to cut the fiscal deficit by four percentage points, compared with 2009, and stressed that this goal has been surpassed by the Greek government.
The EU spokesman said Eurostat's figures for the country's fiscal deficit and public debt did not include any reservations and that "figures released today are credible and transparent".
"It is a very significant development since it was the first time in five or six years that Greek statistics are not accompanied by reservations or remarks," Altafaj said.
"It is also very significant in order to restore confidence in the Greek economy," he said, adding that Greece has fulfilled all its commitments for the year and was on the right track.
 KKE leader: Deficit revision an alibi for more austerity measuresCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Monday expressed an opinion that any revision of the Greek budget deficit results from a change in the European Union's audit model, while merely serving as an alibi for "newer, harsher anti-social measures."
Papariga forecast that civil servants and employees in private sector will bear the burden of new, harsh measures.
The KKE leader said new measures for the private sector are not necessary, because "businesspeople, either way, do whatever they want".
Papariga also noted that statements by IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, namely, that ruling PASOK's prevalence in local government elections means acceptance of the IMF, should make PASOK voters think.
 Greece expects higher number of UK tourist arrivalsCulture and Tourism Deputy Minister George Nikitiadis on Monday expressed satisfaction over the results of his visit to World Travel Market in London last week, saying he expected an increase in tourist arrivals from the UK to Greece.
Speaking to reporters, Nikitiadis predicted that tourist arrivals from the UK would rise by at least 2.0 pct compared with 2009 despite economic difficulties facing the UK.
The minister said the executives of low-cost airlines such as Ryannair, EasyJet and Monarch expressed their intention to raise their charter flights to Greece and stressed that Greek authorities would seek cooperation with all aspects of the tourism industry and dismissed talk with low-cost carriers' passengers were low-income tourists.
He also announced that the tourism ministry would draft a survey on the pros and cons of an extra duty charge on airline tickets and whether it would be useful to either abolish or cut this duty.
 Bank union against change in collective contractsThe bank employees' union OTOE expressed opposition on Monday to the changing of sector collective work contracts.
A statement issued by OTOE underlined that "pressures and provocative interventions on the government are escalating on behalf of employers (bankers and industrialists) aimed at undermining the sector collective work contracts in favor of individual business work contracts to facilitate the abolition of fundamental worker rights".
"The government prepares to table a draft law that concerns the sector collective work contracts," the statement mentioned warning that "if it decides to proceed with the abolition of sector collective work contracts and free collective bargaining -- thus curtailing democracy itself and constitutionally guaranteed fundamental workers rights -- reactions will be overwhelming and the government will be solely responsible for anything that might happen considering the difficult conjuncture our country is experiencing".
 Greek mutual funds market grow in Q3Capital under management grew 2.17 pct to 12.03 billion euros in the third quarter of 2010 despite difficult market conditions with high volatility in international markets and concern over developments in the Greek economy, official figures showed on Monday.
A monthly report by the Association of Institutional Investors showed that capital under management in the Greek mutual funds market grew by 150 million euros in the third quarter to 8.2 billion euros, reflecting a significant slowdown of capital outflows and improving prices of Greek state bond and share prices.
Funds of Funds continued leading the way as the most highest performer, with equity funds of funds yielding as much as 20.61 pct, combined funds of funds yielded 9.09 pct and fixed-income funds of funds yielded up to 5.76 pct. From the 64 domestic equity mutual funds in the country, 60 surpassed the composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange in returns.
Closed-end investment funds' assets rose to 220.45 million euros in the third quarter of 2010, with the sector trading at an average weighed discount of -41.69 pct in the third quarter for an average weighed performance of -5.02 pct so far this year.
 Stocks end higherStocks ended higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, pushing the composite index of the market above the 1,500 level. The index rose 0.84 pct to end at 1,509.85 points, with turnover a low 68.928 million euros. The Big Cap index rose 0.27 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.01 pct higher and the Small Cap index fell 0.77 pct.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (5.52 pct), Ellaktor (4.68 pct) and OPAP (3.90 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Viohalco (2.67 pct), Piraeus Bank (2.48 pct) and Cyprus Bank (2.15 pct) were among losers.
The Food (5.26 pct) and Travel (3.28 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Chemicals (2.15 pct) and Banks (1.42 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 84 to 56 with another 53 issues unchanged. Avenir (9.52 pct), Imperio (6.90 pct) and Rilken (6.50 pct) were top gainers, while PC Systems (12.5 pct), Attikat (11.11 pct) and Epsilon Net (9.23 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +1.21%
Personal & Household: +1.08%
Raw Materials: -1.20%
Travel & Leisure: +3.28%
Food & Beverages: +5.26%
Financial Services: +0.90%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Coca Cola 3E, Alpha Bank and OPAP.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 4.68
Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.16
HBC Coca Cola: 20.26
Hellenic Petroleum: 5.51
National Bank of Greece: 7.19
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 4.30
Bank of Piraeus: 3.15
 Greek bond prices down in Oct.Greek state bond prices continued falling in October in the domestic electronic secondary bond market, with returns rising further in the month, the Bank of Greece said on Monday. In its monthly report, the central bank said the five-year benchmark bond yielded 11.51 pct at the end of the month, up 103 basis points from September, while the three-year bond yield rose 20 bps to 10.65 pct. The 10-year benchmark bond return rose 28 bps to 10.76 pct and the 30-year bond return rose 32 bps to 8.84 pct.
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank slightly to 820 basis points from 824 bps a month earlier. The three-year price fell slightly to 87 points at the end of October, from 87.05 points a month earlier, the five-year bond price fell to 80.51 points, the 10-year fell to 73.58 and the 30-year bond price fell to 55.85 points.
Turnover in the market totaled 1.94 billion euros in October, up from 1.82 billion in September, but sharply down from 55.42 billion euros in October 2009. Average daily turnover rose to 97.1 million euros, up from 82.7 million in September, with the five-year benchmark bond the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 386 million euros in October. (ANA-MPA)
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was stable in the Greek electronic secondary bond market on Monday, at 889 basis points from 891 bps on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 11.44 pct and the German Bund 2.55 pct. Turnover in the market was a low 30 million euros, of which 14 million were buy orders and the remaining 16 million were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 19 million euros.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.54 pct, the six-month rate 1.27 pct, the three-month rate 1.04 pct and the one-month rate 0.85 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -1.70 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover a low 29.974 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,159 contracts worth 25.186 million euros, with 34,892 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts one equities totaled 8,253 contracts worth 4.788 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (1,865), followed by Eurobank (476), MIG (427), OTE (1,111), Piraeus Bank (1,496), Alpha Bank (928) and ATEbank (224).
 Foreign Exchange rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.373
Pound sterling 0.854
Danish kroner 7.513
Swedish kroner 9.444
Japanese yen 114.22
Swiss franc 1.353
Norwegian kroner 8.200
Canadian dollar 1.385
Australian dollar 1.393
 Events for 37th anniversary of Polytechnic uprising commenceEvents commemorating the 37th anniversary of a students' uprising at the Athens Polytechnic that led to the collapse off the seven-year dictatorship in Greece began on Monday with the opening to the public of the Polytechnic's gates in downtown Athens.
Events will climax on Wednesday with an annual street march through Athens that will conclude in front of the American Embassy.
Until Wednesday, the Polytechnic's gates will be open from 9.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the laying for wreaths by organisations and individuals. The Polytechnic Senate will be on constant session through Thursday.
Approximately 7,000 police officers will be patrolling the city of Athens to prevent violent incidents.
 Alt. minister to attend Aristotle Onassis award ceremonyAlternate Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Nikos Sifounakis will be in Hamburg on Nov. 15 and 16 to represent Greece as a formal guest in the award ceremony of the Aristotle Onassis International Prize for the Protection of the Environment 2010.
The prize, which is accompanied by a 250,000-euro monetary award, is bestowed for the first time and will be awarded to the organisation "Friends of the Earth Middle East" (FoEME).
FoEME is an environmental organization in the Middle East within the framework of which Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians cooperate on the protection and management of water resources.
The prize, launched by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, will issue rewards on a biannual basis to individuals or organisations for "outstanding contributions towards protecting and improving the environment, including sustainable use of energy".
 Gunmen make off with 18,000 euros from supermarketTwo gunmen held up supermarket in Thessaloniki early Monday morning, and made off with 18,000 euros.
Two men, with their faced covered, stormed the supermarket at 6:00 a.m. where two women, the supermarket's manager and an employee, were working.
The two women told police that the intruders took them, at gunpoint, to the office where the safe was, removed 18,000 euros from the safe, and locked them up before fleeing.
 Woman dies from severe burnsŃ 38-year-old woman died from severe burns she suffered when a fire erupted on Saturday in her house at Aghios Haralambis settlement on Zakynthos island (Ionian Sea).
According to information a plastic canister containing gasoline caught fire for reasons as yet unknown. The woman's 19-year-old son attempted to remove the burning canister but both became trapped in the blaze in the house's corridor.
Mother and son were transferred to Zakynthos hospital with severe burns. The woman, who was in critical condition due to third and fourth degree burns, was transferred to an Athens hospital where she died late Sunday.
 Private journalism workshop targeted by arsonistsA private journalism workshop in downtown Athens was targeted by arsonists in the early morning hours of Monday, as a powerful home-made incendiary device exploded, causing extensive damage.
The mechanism, comprising 27 small propane canisters as well as plastic bottles of alcohol and a can of gasoline, exploded shortly after 2:30 a.m. at the entrance of the five-storey building on the corners of Sina and Kaplani streets.
The explosion and ensuing fire caused extensive damage to the ground, first and second floors and broke all the windows in the five-storey building. The walls of the ground floor are also covered in soot from the fire.
The workshop belongs to George Hagios.
 Human traffickers arrestedThree human traffickers aged 50, 23 and 21, who were on board a sailing boat, were arrested by Skopelos Coast Guard officers on Monday. The smugglers, all foreign nationals, called for help due to engine failure while sailing 4 miles north of Skopelos island in the Aegean Sea.
A nearby fishing boat tugged the suspects' vessel to Glossa port, Skopelos.
An investigation revealed that the three suspects had taken on 40 illegal migrants from the Turkish coast and disembarked them in the area of Potoki Sykis in Pelion, central Greece.
Authorities have launched an operation to locate the illegal migrants.
 Panathinaikos FC terminates contract with coach Nikos Nioplias, Gmoch takes over as 'temporary coach'Panathinaikos Athens football club coach Nikos Nioplas' contract with the team has been terminated, according to a Panathinaikos announcement released on Monday.
According to the announcement, a mutual decision to terminate the collaboration was made during a meeting between the team's coach and the president of the football club Nikolas Pateras. "We thank Mr. Nioplas for his services to the team and his contribution to the winning of the Greek superleague and Greek Cup titles, and we wish him every success".
On his part, Nioplias stated on the football club's official website: "I would like to thank the board of directors, the fans and the players for their confidence in me, which I returned by dedicating all my efforts to achieving all the team's goals... I depart as a friend, with the conviction that I always acted in the interests of Panathinaikos and its success."
Panathinaikos FC announced later that former Panathinaikos coach Jacek Gmoch will be serving temporarily as the team's coach.
In a brief statement on the team's site, Gmoch said that "I am a soldier at Panathinaikos service for as long as asked. This is not a time for statements but for hard work".
 Super League resultsPanathinaikos Athens drew 1-1 with Larissa at home in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while PAOK Thessaloniki beat AEK Athens 2-1 at home and the game between Olympiacos Piraeus and Ergotelis Crete was abandoned due to the rainsoaked terrain.
In other action:
Panionios Athens-Atromitos Athens 0-1
Asteras Tripoli-Kavala 0-1
Panseraikos Serres-Olympiacos Volos 2-2
Iraklis Thessaloniki-Aris Thessaloniki 1-0
Standings after 10 weeks of play:
1. Olympiacos P. 21 points (9 games)
2. Panathinaikos 21
3. PAOK 17
4. AEK 16
5. Kavala 15
6. Iraklis 15
7. Olympiacos V. 14
8. Aris 13
9. Asteras 13
10. Kerkyra 13
11. Panseraikos 11
12. Larissa 11
13. Atromitos 10
14. Ergotelis 9 (9 games)
15. Xanthi 8
16. Panionios 7
 Rainy on TuesdayRainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-5 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 6C and 23C. Cloudy with possible local showers in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 13C to 23C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 10C to 20C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe results of the second round of the local government elections with major reversals in the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki and huge abstention, and the government's deliberations with the troika (EU, ECB, IMF) dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "And now, the additional austerity measures".
AVRIANI: "The party of 'rage' received 70 percent (referring to abstention)".
ELEFTHEROS: "Resounding messages to Prime Minister George Papandreou and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Abstention and Left and Right wing voters' support saved the government from the edge of the cliff".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Vote/breather ahead of harsh measures".
ESTIA: "Who won the elections".
ETHNOS: "Landmark victories in the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki".
IMERISSIA: "Post-election reversals"
NAFTEMPORIKI: "The post-election fronts of the economy open".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Protest rally at Syntagma square (downtown Athens) against government and troika".
TA NEA: "PASOK won in 8 prefectures and 185 municipalities".
VRADYNI: "Abstention mirrored the citizens' rage".
 Government declares its opposition to the division of CyprusNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
The government of Cyprus declares its opposition to the division of the island and reiterates its will to continue working to end the occupation and the illegal settlement of Cyprus occupied by Turkey areas. It also declares its will to solve the Cyprus problem, to reunify the country and its people in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as described by the UN resolutions for a state with a single sovereignty, one citizenship, and one international personality.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, in 1983, Government Spokesman, Stephanos Stephanou stressed on Monday that the illegal declaration of the so called state in the north is the culmination of separatist and partitionist actions of Ankara, and of its efforts to legitimize the occupation and implement its goal of creating two separate states on the island.
"The international community not only refused to recognize the illegal formation, but with two resolutions of the UN Security Council, the 541 and 550, it condemned it, considered the action legally invalid and called all countries not to recognize the so-called Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus''.
The spokesman underlined that no other country than Turkey recognized the so called state and added that Turkey's efforts for its recognition continue. ''Turkey continues to work and still tries to upgrade the illegal regime using as an alibi the lifting of Turkish Cypriots so-called isolation,'' he said. In addition, Ankara tries to promote and enforce the upgrading of the illegal regime even through the proposal on the property issue submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side in the negotiations, he added. This proposal aims to legitimize the so called state by presenting it as the legal owner of Turkish Cypriots' properties which claims to have the right to exchange with Greek Cypriot properties, Stephanou said.
The fiestas for the illegal declaration of the puppet regime, headed by the negotiator of Turkish Cypriot community, and the illegal presence of Turkish officials in these fiestas, show that the Turkish side lacks good will and can not convinced that they want a solution, the spokesman said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of its territory.
Peace talks began in September 2008, between President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Talks currently continue with Dervis Eroglu, who succeeded Talat.
 Spokesman: Turkish side lacks wood will for a Cyprus solutionThe Cyprus problem cannot be solved by ideas that promote the division of the island or do not comply with UN resolutions on the issue, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.
Turkish Cypriot side demonstrates a lack of good will for the solution of the Cyprus problem Stephanou stressed on Monday, adding that the recent statements of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu do not convince that he wants a solution.
Speaking to the Media and invited to comment on Eroglu statements, Stephanou said that both the position the Turkish Cypriot leader repeatedly expresses and officials of Turkey repeat regarding the existence of two people and republics in Cyprus contradict the UN resolutions on Cyprus as well as the relevant decisions of other international organizations and the EU, which Turkey aspires to join.
These statements also oppose Turkey‘s declaration that it wishes a Cyprus solution the soonest, Stephanou said.
"A solution to the Cyprus problem can not be found with ideas promoting the division of the island and positions that are not in compliance with the UN resolutions," he said and added that the occupation of Cyprus is real and a fact recorded in UN resolutions and decisions. "Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus in 1974 and illegally occupies 37% of the territory of the Republic", the spokesman underlined.
Invited to comment on press reports that the UN Secretary General will welcome the proposals of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on the property chapter, submitted in the framework of the direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities currently under way, Stephanou said that a lot has been said in public. He pointed out that the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has already informed party leaders regarding the meeting with Ban Ki Moon and Eroglu to be held in the UN Headquarters on November 18. However, Stephanou refrained from any further comments on the issue.
"President Christofias is ready to go to New York to defend Cyprus case and to ensure that we will be able to continue our efforts to solve the Cyprus problem based on the UN resolutions", he said.
 Cyprus condemns UDI in Turkish occupied areasThe government of Cyprus, political parties and organisations have denounced the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, on November 15, 1983.
Anti-occupation rallies as well as various protest events to denounce the UDI were organised Monday by political parties, students and different organisations.
In his message of condemnation, Minister of Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou, said that the anti-occupation events constitute an appeal to the international community to substantively contribute to the efforts for an agreed solution of the Cyprus problem.
In written statements political parties and organisations have condemned the UDI and reiterated their will to work towards a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of its territory.
UN resolution 541 (1983) adopted by the Security Council on 18 November 1983 considers the declaration by the Turkish Cypriot authorities issued on 15 November 1983 to create in independent state in northern Cyprus, as incompatible with the 1960 Treaty concerning the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.
The UNSC, in its resolution deplores the declaration of the Turkish Cypriot authorities of the purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus, considers the declaration refereed to above as legally invalid and calls for its withdrawal, calls for the urgent and effective implementation of its resolutions 365(1974) and 367(1975) and requests the Secretary-General to peruse his mission of good offices in order to achieve the earliest possible progress towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus.
It also calls upon the parties to co-operate with the Secretary-General in his mission of good offices, calls upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus, calls upon all states not to recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus and calls upon all states and the two communities in Cyprus to refrain from any action which might exacerbate the situation.
UNSC resolution 550 (1984) reaffirms its resolution 541(1983) and calls for its urgent and effective implementation. It also condemns all secessionist actions, including the purported exchange of Ambassadors between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot Leadership, declares them illegal and invalid and calls for their immediate withdrawal.
UNSC resolution 550 reaffirms the call upon all States not to recognise the purported state of the ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'' set up by secessionist acts and calls upon them not to facilitate or in any way assist this, the aforesaid secessionist entity.
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