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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-06-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 7 June 2011 Issue No: 3806


  • [01] PM says country's default avoided
  • [02] ND again slams austerity policies, stresses failure of Memorandum
  • [03] FM Droutsas at ASEM forum in Budapest
  • [04] FM Droutsas to participate in World Economic Forum for Europe and Central Asia
  • [05] Health minister highlights public health risk of illegal migration at EU council
  • [06] PASOK requests criminal charges against former DM
  • [07] More than 2,000 linked to public-sector corruption
  • [08] Papariga visits PYRKAL, stresses need to 'fight in the workplace'
  • [09] Germans group stages protest in Athens, demanding payment of WWII reparations
  • [10] Joint training exercise for Greek, US forces
  • [11] Deutsche Telekom to buy additional 10% of OTE for 400 mln euros
  • [12] Closer business, trade & investment ties outlined at Greek-Chinese Business Forum
  • [13] Finance ministry on Greek bank depositors abroad
  • [14] Greek banks' dependence on ECB declnes
  • [15] Greek banks' deposits down 2.4 bln euros in April
  • [16] Business Briefs
  • [17] Stocks end slightly lower
  • [18] Greek bond market closing report
  • [19] ADEX closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [21] Cycling tour marks World Environment Day
  • [22] New Albanian-language webpage by ANA-MPA
  • [23] Book on Jewish Holocaust in Thessaloniki, Balkans
  • [24] Chilean miners visit Iti bauxite mines
  • [25] UNESCO, SEGAS announce cooperation
  • [26] More archaeological sites, museums with extended hours
  • [27] One arrest in kiosk owner's fatal shooting
  • [28] Court denies terrorist's release for treatment
  • [29] Burglars with truck smash into jewellery shop
  • [30] Drug smuggling arrests in NW Greece
  • [31] Fixed matches suspects testify before prosecutor
  • [32] Man shoots girlfriend in face
  • [33] Illegal migrants found in truck in NW Greece
  • [34] 3 foreign nationals arrested for providing forged documents to illegals
  • [35] Two prisoners escape from N. Greece prison farm
  • [36] Tourist dies in Crete
  • [37] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [38] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [39] Cyprus supports Serbia's EU bid, Christofias assures Serbian PM Politics

  • [01] PM says country's default avoided

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a marathon informal cabinet meeting on Monday, said the country's bankruptcy has been avoided so far but remains as an "issue at stake", adding that among the institutional changes that will be promoted by his government is also that of the referendum, an issue for which he will give instructions to the relevant minister Yiannis Ragoussis.

    Papandreou ruled out, according to reports, once again the possibility of early elections and reiterated his proposal for a consensus of the country's political parties, calling on them "to close the negotiations (with the EC/ECB/IMF troika) together". He also asked for the greatest possible consensus in the voting of the medium-term programme making it clear that he does not intend to ask for a 180 vote majority.

    He categorically dismissed scenarios on the appointment of commissioners (in the ministries), placing the blame for the exaggeration of the issue on the media.

    "We do not accept and we never accepted the logic of commissioners," Papandreou stressed, adding that "we do not accept anything that will decrease our dignity, our basic sovereign rights, whether it is the vote, or the commissioners or whatever attitudes or demands of a similar character."

    He clarified that he had asked from Greece's EU partners "for experts to come in order to apply their know-how in sectors that we are behind."

    On a critiacal note, the premier admitted that despite important steps taken by his goevernment "we did not manage to bring to society a new feeling of justice and of democratic accounting." He also gave reason to Greek citizens who "are feeling today that they are paying the price of an outdated system."

    "The time has come to go ahead with greater boldness in the big reforms that the country needs," the premier said, adding that these reforms "will not be introduced by any saviour whatsoever, but through democratic procedures."

    [02] ND again slams austerity policies, stresses failure of Memorandum

    Main opposition New Democracy's spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis attacked the government on Monday over a promotional advertisement released the previous Saturday, which he said was little more than propaganda.

    "Who are they targeting and who believes them? They claim to have done things over the past 20 months that had not been done in all the years previously but the truth is that in the past 20 months we have lost all that has been gained in the previous years," Mihelakis asserted.

    He stressed that nothing was moving forward as the country sank into recession.

    The spokesman also referred to the protests taking place in Syntagma and other cities around Greece in the past weeks, stressing that these were not protests organised by political parties but under "symbols that unite" and that no one could count the protestors as their "own voters".

    Mihelakis said the dilemma "Medium-Term Strategy or default," raised by the government was false and that the country was courting default by continuing down its present path, using the same mistaken formula for exiting the crisis.

    He repeated the need for an immediate renegotiation of the terms of the memorandum, adding that the government was not seeking consensus but "accomplices".

    "The prescription of the Memorandum has failed and what is being given is a bigger dose of the same wrong medicine. We will wait for the measures to be made specific and then adopt a position," the spokesman added.

    Mihelakis also announced that ND leader Antonis Samaras will begin a European tour on Tuesday, meeting with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in Paris at 5:15 p.m. and the president of the European People's Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens in Brussels on Wednesday morning.

    There will follow a dinner for Samaras given by Martens that will be attended by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. At 3:30 on Wednesday, Samaras will meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    [03] FM Droutsas at ASEM forum in Budapest

    Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas represented Greece at the 10th meeting of EU-Asia foreign ministers (ASEM) in Budapest in the framework of the Hungarian EU presidency.

    ASEM is an informal forum of dialogue in which 48 European and Asian countries as well as regional agencies are participating.

    During the two-day meeting, participants are expected to focus on the handling of "non-traditional threats against security".

    Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the Greek foreign minister focused on the issue of piracy and pointed to its tremendous consequences on Greece, which has one of the most important merchant fleets in the world, underlining at the same time the country's efforts in handling the problem.

    On the sidelines of the forum, Droutsas met with his Mongolian and Filippino counterparts.

    During his meeting with his Mongolian counterpart, Droutsas signed a cooperation memorandum aiminig at the reinforcement of bilateral economic, political contacts between the two countries.

    [04] FM Droutsas to participate in World Economic Forum for Europe and Central Asia

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas will participate here on Wednesday in the World Economic Forum for Europe and Central Asia.

    The forum's two-day sessions (on June 8-9) are expected to be attended by 13 heads of state and government, and a total of 500 representatives of politics and the economy from dozens of countries from these two geographical regions.

    At the World Economic Forum, Droutsas, who will be participating earlier in the meeting of EU-Asia foreign ministers in Budapest in the framework of the Hungarian presidency at the EU in the first half of 2011, will be intervening in the discussion "A vision for a sustainable future."

    The Greek Foreign minister will also be holding talks with his Austrian counterpart and vice chancellor Michael Spindelegger and will be attending the official dinner that will be hosted for the heads of delegations by the Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer, and he will then be going to Abu Dhabi to participate in the meeting of the Contact Group for Libya.

    [05] Health minister highlights public health risk of illegal migration at EU council

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - V. Demiris)

    Addressing the EU health ministers' council in Luxembourg on Monday, Greek Health Minister Andreas Loverdos stressed that the huge influx of mainly African and Asian migrants into Greece in 2010 posed heightened risks to public health, as well as putting massive strain on the country's overburdened state health services. The council meeting focused on the impact of migration on public health.

    Loverdos said that illegal migration was currently one of the most important problems faced by Greece, with more than 132,000 illegal migrants entering the country in 2010 and a further 9,000 in the first third of 2011.

    The minister noted that the majority of these migrants originated from countries in Africa and Asia with an entirely different epidemiological profile to those of Greeks and other Europeans, bringing with them new but also some forgotten diseases, such as polio, cholera or malaria. Due to their poor living conditions, meanwhile, they served to increase the incidence of diseases such as tuberculosis or hepatitis.

    Loverdos underlined that the impact on public health exceeded the means and ability of the Greek health services to cope, while the total cost was prohibitive and came to nearly 140 million euro in 2010. He noted that the assistance received by Greece in this area was more "symbolic" than substantial, with just 10 million euro approved for the first half of 2011.

    Loverdos pointed out that the repercussions were hard to assess and did not concern Greece alone, since epidemics did not recognise borders and any deterioration of conditions in Greece would inevitably affect the rest of Europe.

    Urging a common European solution to the issue, he said that this should be comprehensive and permanent, underlining that Greece and other countries of the European south had need of European solidarity in the form of laws or financial instruments, either new or modified to deal with the new challenge.

    "What we need is a public health 'Frontex' capable of protecting the European population," he said.

    During a general discussion on health systems, Loverdos said that the spread of non-communicable diseases and restricted funds were among the biggest challenges. He called for a shift in funding toward integrated approaches that emphasised prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and management of complications.

    He further underlined that Greece's top priority at present was to reorganise the system and drastically cut back spending on health while maximising cost-efficiency through appropriate, timely and good quality services for all.

    Also a priority for the health ministry was to promote healthier life styles, with a reduction in smoking rates, more exercise and healthier diet. Toward this end, Loverdos supported the introduction of an international solidarity tax for tobacco in order to raise funds for tackling NCDs and the reduction of smoking.

    The Greek minister stressed the need to enhance cooperation between member-states to find sectors where working together might yield a better result for the same or lower cost.

    [06] PASOK requests criminal charges against former DM

    A proposal to file criminal charges for passive bribery and money-laundering against former PASOK defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will be submitted by the ruling PASOK party, while at the same time the party proposed a simultaneous confiscation of his assets, sources said on Monday.

    All the members of the Parliamentary preliminary examination committee investigating the German submarines case have been briefed since early on Monday about PASOK's proposal, while efforts focus on reaching a joint decision that will bear the signatures of as many political parties as possible.

    A committee meeting was held on Monday afternoon.

    On its part, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party backed the proposal by ruling PASOK to bring criminal charges against Tsohatzopoulos, while further suggesting that his indictment include espionage charges, namely, violating the law on the disclosure of state secret.

    [07] More than 2,000 linked to public-sector corruption

    Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis on Monday revealed to the ANA-MPA that he had drawn up a list of 1,540 public-sector employees whose names were linked to cases of corruption, while a further 500 had already been found guilty of corruption by the courts.

    According to Rakintzis, several of the offences involved were serious, such as embezzlement, forging public documents or taking bribes, and carried more than just disciplinary penalties.

    Supreme Court Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes, on his part, announced that he had sent out a circular asking justices to speed up the processing of the above cases. Meanwhile, a copy of the list has been sent by Rakintzis to public sector disciplinary bodies so that they can take the appropriate action.

    Those found guilty will face tougher sanctions than before, based on changes in disciplinary rules for the public sector about to be introduced by Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis.

    Among others, the more than 2,000 employees involved will no longer be eligible for promotions and will face a significant reduction in pay, even if they are not fired or suspended from duty. They will also not be eligible for the productivity bonus to be introduced under the new wage scale system. Furthermore, those working in agencies or organisations that are to be abolished or merged are very likely lose their jobs, since one of the assessment criteria for their transfer to another service will be whether disciplinary action has been taken against them for corruption.

    Rakintzis told the ANA-MPA that he had asked for a meeting with the prime minister in order to present his annual report for the year 2010 and he welcomed the intervention of the Supreme Court prosecutor as positive, noting that he had had several meetings with Tentes for this reason.

    [08] Papariga visits PYRKAL, stresses need to 'fight in the workplace'

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday paid a visit to the state-owned munitions plans PYRKAL for talks with the workforce there, stressing that Greece now needed more than just a movement but also something that could effect real change.

    KKE's leader stressed that developments were now unfolding on a daily basis and, unless there was resistance and a reaction from workers, it would be too late.

    While conceding that there were signs that people were rising up with the gatherings in cities throughout Greece, she also warned that there had been other moments in recent history when it seemed as though there might be fundamental change in Greece, such as when the junta fell in 1974 or when PASOK was voted into power in 1981.

    She stressed that class struggle in the workplace was more effective at bringing this about than spontaneous demonstrations, no matter how large the participation in these might be.

    "It is not that we underestimate [demonstrations in the squares], we also have central mobilisations, but in order for the struggle to take root and have results it must stand in each place of work, directly against the class enemy," Papariga added.

    [09] Germans group stages protest in Athens, demanding payment of WWII reparations

    A group of German citizens gathered in protest outside the German Embassy in Athens on Monday to demand that German authorities pay Greece war reparations for Nazi atrocities committed during World War II.

    Based in Hamburg, the group "Distomo" is made up mainly of German citizens and relatives of the victims of German occupation troops in Greece.

    Members of the group stressed that the amount due in restitution for atrocities plus interest comes to the sum of 126 billion euro, or roughly one third of Greece's total debt.

    According to veteran Greek politician Manolis Glezos, who is head of an organisation seeking payment of the German reparations to Greece, Germany has a financial and moral obligation toward Greece and the total sum due, if one added unpaid war reparations, a loan that Greece was forced to make to Axis forces during its occupation and the damage to the Greek economy during that period, is as high as 1.5 trillion euro.

    The Distomo group's lawyers Martin Klinger and Gabriele Heinecke stressed that Germany had an obligation to withdraw its appeal at the International Court of Justice against an Italian court ruling awarding compensation to relatives of the victims of the Distomo Massacre.

    [10] Joint training exercise for Greek, US forces

    Greek and US military personnel will undergo joint training for peacekeeping operations in populated urban areas, training that will be held at a special training centre in Drossato, Kilkis prefecture in northern Greece, next week.

    The exercise will take place with the participation of a small number of personnel from the 79th Airborne Brigade and a limited number of US military personnel.

    "The aim of the training is familiarisation with the demands associated with the military missions abroad, more specifically, with participation in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions, such as KFOR and ISAF," the Hellenic Army General Staff announced.

    "The aforementioned training activity has absolutely nothing to do with policing-type actions inside the country, considering that they are not part of the mission of the armed forces as defined in the Constitution," the same press release stressed.

    Financial News

    [11] Deutsche Telekom to buy additional 10% of OTE for 400 mln euros

    Deutsche Telekom (DT) on Monday announced its decision to proceed with the purchase of an additional 10-pct equity stake in Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) from the Greek state.

    The German telecoms group said that under an agreement signed in May 2008, during the purchase of a 30-pct equity stake in OTE, the Greek government informed DT of its decision to exercise an option to sell an additional 10 pct stake in OTE, with negotiations starting immediately.

    Deutsche Telekom said the exact sum for the purchase will be determined according to the agreement signed in 2008.

    In particular, the sell price will be based on the average share price of OTE over the last 20 working days on the Athens Stock Exchange, with a premium of 15 pct. Based on the current share price, Deutsche Telekom said the total price of the purchase will be around 400 million euros.

    Once the transaction is completed, Deutsche Telekom will own 40 pct plus one vote, while the Greek state will own 10 pct plus one vote in OTE.

    [12] Closer business, trade & investment ties outlined at Greek-Chinese Business Forum

    Greek exports to China jumped 55.9 pct in 2010, Regional Development & Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said on Monday, during an address at the high-profile 2011 Greek-Chinese Business Forum in Athens.

    The Greek minister added that the east Mediterranean country's ambition was to further increase exports, saying that economic powerhouse China is a timeless and significant partner for the country.

    Within this framework, he called on Chinese entrepreneurs and multinationals to take advantage of a new investment environment created in Greece and to develop joint actions with local enterprises in fields where both countries have increased know-how, especially in ocean-going shipping, tourism, energy, commerce and constructions.

    "The future of the Greek economy is in exports. The present is already promising. We are implementing a major plan covering the creation of financing tools to support exports and to abolish all counter-incentives," Chryssohoidis said.

    Tourism boost

    On his part, Culture & Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos noted that 2010 witnessed a 75-percent increase in the number of Chinese nationals visiting Greece, although he noted that the absolute number still remains low, at roughly 15,000.

    Geroulanos emphasised that Greece is keenly interested in attracting visitors from China and other so-called "BRIC" countries, such as Russia, Turkey and India.

    He nevertheless cited three obstacles that the Greek side must overcome in order to boost arrivals from China, namely, easier issuance of Schengen Pact visas for Chinese nationals; a permanent air link connecting Beijing and Athens as well as a better understanding by Greek entrepreneurs of the vast Chinese market and Chinese society.

    Geroulanos said Greek authorities have already issued directives to consulates to streamline and simplify visa-issuing procedures, while reminding that Greece supports easier visa rules for nationals from China, Russia and Turkey. Additionally, he praised the recent inauguration of an Air China route from Beijing to Athens via Munich, saying interest exists by other air carriers as well.

    Finally, the minister said the ministry is already implementing two joint campaigns in China, a Greece-Turkey promotion and a Greece-Israel joint promotion, while talks are being held with Italian and Egyptian tourism authorities for similar promotions.

    "We believe the future lies in China," the minister said.

    The ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Greece, Luo Linquan, expressed China's support to the country's efforts to promote cooperation between Greek and Chinese enterprises, stressing Chinese multinational Cosco's agreement to operate cargo terminals at the port of Piraeus -- the largest in Greece -- are progressing smoothly, while he announced that a large business delegation from Canton was expected to visit Greece over the next few days for contacts with Greek business people.

    Zhang Yujing, the president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said bilateral trade now totals 4.35 billion euros, while he added that 86 Chinese entrepreneurs from 61 enterprises are participating in the Athens forum with the aim to sign agreements with representatives of 187 Greek businesses.

    Konstantinos Hasiotis, an advisor to Minister of State Haris Pamboukis, said the goal was for Greece to become an attractive investment destination, while Costas Yannidis, the president of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber said that despite an ongoing economic crisis, Greece remains a "gate" for Europe and the Balkans along with a valuable companion for Middle East markets.

    Constantine Papadopoulos, secretary-general of the international economic affairs of the foreign affairs ministry, told the forum that Greece was the 25th customer of China, while 75 pct of Greek exports to China covered raw and construction materials, whereas the vast majority of Chinese exports to Greece were industrial and retail products.

    [13] Finance ministry on Greek bank depositors abroad

    The Finance ministry has identified 30,000 Greek bank depositors abroad, it has began checking and already has the first receipts, from those who had concealed these deposits, said Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Kouselas, in reply to a question by ruling PASOK deputy Panayiotis Kouroumblis.

    "We are aiming at having precise data of depositors abroad and a full picture, so that on the one hand we receive the taxes corresponding to them and on the other, for the sources of income. In the framework of the data we have in our hands from interstate agreements, we have identified 30,000 depositors abroad, we also have their tax record numbers, we have started checking them and we have the first receipts. There are tax services that are functioning pilotically, such as the Glydafa tax service and we have a good receipts average from those who had not even declared their deposits abroad," Kouselas said.

    [14] Greek banks' dependence on ECB declnes

    The Greek banks' borrowing from the European Central Bank decreased further in April, according to figures released by the Bank of Greece on Monday.

    The Greek banks' total debt to the ECB was 86.8 billion euros in April, down from 87.9 on March 2011.

    ECB has set as a condition for the new 30 billion euros package of state guarantee to the banks, the establishment of programmes for the gradual reduction of their dependence on liquidity from the ECB.

    [15] Greek banks' deposits down 2.4 bln euros in April

    Greek banks continued suffering from a wave of capital outflows in April, with total deposits by Greek enterprises and households falling by 2.4 billion euros in the month to 196.8 billion euros, the Bank of Greece announced on Monday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said Greek banks have lost a total of 12.8 billion euros in deposits so far this year, with households' deposits falling by 2.3 billion euros in April to 163.5 billion euros.

    In April 2011 average interest rates on new deposits and loans generally increased, except for the average rate on corporate loans up to EUR 1 million with floating rate or with an initial rate fixation period of up to one year which remained unchanged and the one on housing loans with an initial fixation period of over 1 and up to 5 years which decreased, the central bank said in a report.

    Specifically, in April 2011, the average interest rate on overnight deposits from households remained basically unchanged at 0.46 percent, while the corresponding rate on deposits from non-financial corporations decreased by 3 basis points to 0.38 percent. On the contrary, the average interest rate on deposits from households with an agreed maturity of up to 1 year increased significantly by 12 basis points to 3.88 percent.

    In the case of loans, the average interest rate on consumer loans without a defined maturity (a category which includes credit card debt, open account loans and debit balances on current accounts) increased slightly in April 2011 by 4 basis points to 14.74 percent. The average interest rate on corporate loans without a defined maturity increased by 21 basis points to 7.26 percent and the corresponding rate on loans to sole proprietors increased by 13 basis points to 9.91 percent.

    The average interest rate on corporate loans with a defined maturity at a floating rate or with an initial rate fixation period of up to one year remained unchanged at 6.46 percent for loans up to 1 million euros, while for loans above 1 million euros it increased by 16 basis points to 5.55 percent. Finally, the average interest rates on housing loans increased by 21 basis points to 4.25 percent for loans at a floating rate or with an initial rate fixation period of up to one year but decreased by 6 basis points to 3.80 percent for loans with an initial fixation period of over 1 and up to 5 years.

    [16] Business Briefs

    -- Greece's economic sentiment index remained at 74 points in May, unchanged from April, after a two-month decline, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) announced on Monday.

    -- Club Hotel Loutraki Casino on Monday reported lower revenues and losses in 2010, with consolidated after tax revenues falling to 124.43 million euros, from 150.45 million euros in 2009, a decline of 17.3 pct.

    -- Mytilineos Group on Monday announced the start of the commercial operation of a second power production unit in Viotia prefecture -- north of Athens -- as of Friday, 3 June, an investment programme envisaging the operation of three new electricity units.

    [17] Stocks end slightly lower

    Stocks ended slightly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with investors sidelined ahead of developments in a mid-term fiscal strategy programme discussed by the government. The composite index of the market fell 0.78 pct to end at 1,323.27 points, with turnover shrinking to 62.980 million euros. The Big Cap index fell 1.01 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.27 pct lower and the Small Cap index rose 0.57 pct. ATEbank (10 pct), Viohalco (2.96 pct), Titan (1.95 pct) and Coca-Cola 3E (1.14 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (4.29 pct), OTE (3.23 pct), National Bank (2.29 pct) and Eurobank (2.05 pct) were top losers.

    The Technology (2.37 pct), Food (1.14 pct) and Constructions (1.0 pct) sectors scored gains, while Telecoms (3.23 pct), Financial Services (3.97 pct) and Health (2.31 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 77 to 68 with another 45 issues unchanged. ATEbank (10 pct), Allatini Ceramics (10 pct) and Q&R (9.52 pct) were top gainers, while Imperio (25.93 pct), Elfico (17.86 pct) and Altec (16.67 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Industrials: +0.90%

    Commercial: -0.04%

    Construction: +1.00%

    Media: Unchanged

    Oil & Gas: +0.72%

    Personal & Household: -0.56%

    Raw Materials: -1.60%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.54%

    Technology: +2.37%

    Telecoms: -3.23%

    Banks: -1.40%

    Food & Beverages: +1.14%

    Health: -2.31%

    Utilities: -0.04%

    Chemicals: +0.59%

    Financial Services: -3.97%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 3.49

    ATEbank: 1.32

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.77

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.70

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.03

    National Bank of Greece: 5.13

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.35

    OPAP: 12.00

    OTE: 6.89

    Bank of Piraeus: 1.08

    Titan: 17.25

    [18] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 12.79 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 12.99 pct last Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 15.82 pct and the German Bund 3.02 pct. Turnover in the market was an improved 28 million euros, of which 22 million were buy orders and the remaining 6.0 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 11 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 2.14 pct, the six-month rate 1.71 pct, the three-month 1.43 pct and the one-month rate 1.22 pct. (ANA-MPA)

    [19] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.62 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover a low 32.397 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,173 contracts worth 24.709 million euros, with 34,472 short positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 23,301 contracts worth 7.688 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (6,260), followed by Eurobank (1,282), MIG (2,642), OTE (1,141), Piraeus Bank (3,032), Alpha Bank (1,261), Marfin Popular Bank (944), Hellenic Postbank (785), ATEbank (3,156), GEK (396) and Cyprus Bank (489).

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.481

    Pound sterling 0.903

    Danish kroner 7.567

    Swedish kroner 9.131

    Japanese yen 118.81

    Swiss franc 1.241

    Norwegian kroner 7.940

    Canadian dollar 1.453

    Australian dollar 1.380

    General News

    [21] Cycling tour marks World Environment Day

    Hundreds of cyclists of all ages gathered on Sunday in downtown Athens to mark World Environment Day with a cycling tour and also to send a message of ecology, "healthy living", and quick and safe transport.

    The cycling tour started from Eleftherias Park, with the final destination being the coastal city of Faliro seven hours later.

    The Greek national cycling team took part in the event.

    The cycling tour was organised under the auspices of the Transport and Environment Ministries.

    [22] New Albanian-language webpage by ANA-MPA

    The ANA-MPA, in its bid to further expand its international and regional presence, on Friday inaugurated a new Albanian-language webpage,

    The effort, which debuted on a pilot basis, aims to offer objective, accurate and timely news and information to Albanian speakers throughout the southeast European area about Greece, issues affecting the east Mediterranean nation as well as the entire region.

    [23] Book on Jewish Holocaust in Thessaloniki, Balkans

    The assistance offered by the Church of Greece to the Jews of Thessaloniki to escape the roundup organised by Nazi occupation forces during WWII is the main theme of a recently published book, entitled "The Holocaust in the Balkans" (Epiketro Publishing).

    The 670-page book, a collective work by university professors Giorgos Antoniou, Stratos Dardanas, Nikos Zaikos and Nikos Marantzidis, includes essays and conclusions presented at an international conference hosted by the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki.

    The first part of the edition focuses on the persecution of the Jews in Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia; the second part refers to the application of the diabolical "Final Solution" in Thessaloniki, while the third section outlines the memory, monuments and the museum presence of the Holocaust in Greece, as well as the timely war reparations issue. The last part of the book views the Jewish Holocaust through international law and justice. ana-mpa

    A special reference is made to the solidarity displayed by Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios of Thessaloniki who is quoted as begging the Nazi occupation regime to spare the roughly 48,000 Jews of Thessaloniki -- the largest and most influential Sephardic Jewish community in the world at one point -- and not send them to concentration camps in eastern Europe.

    [24] Chilean miners visit Iti bauxite mines

    The Chilean miners, who are currently visiting Greece, on Monday visited the underground tunnels at the Iti bauxite mines at Dio Vouna, in central Greece.

    Greek and Chilean miners found themselves at a depth of three kilometres in the mines' underground tunnels for a close view of the production method, security measures and the mechanical equipment used by their Greek colleagues.

    "We are enthusiastic with our days of stay in Greece," said a representative of theirs on coming out of the tunnels with his Greek colleagues," adding that "both the tools and the production means in the specific mines are very modern."

    Thirty-three miners that were rescued after being trapped underground in a Chilean mine for more than two months last year, arrived with their families in Athens last Tuesday. The miners are visiting Greece at the invitation of the Greek Mining Company (ELMIN).

    [25] UNESCO, SEGAS announce cooperation

    UNESCO and the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) announced at a joint press conference held in a hall of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday, the beginning of their cooperation, with the frist step being the upcoming 2011 Classic Marathon.

    The event was attended and addressed by SEGAS president Vassilis Sevastis, the vice president of the federation and president of the Athens Classic Marathon's organising committee, Costas Panagopoulos, the ambassador and permanent representative of Greece at UNESCO, Theodoros Passas and the president of the Greek National Committee for UNESCO Ekaterini Tzitzikosta.

    [26] More archaeological sites, museums with extended hours

    Three new museums and the archaeological site of Delphi have been added to the list of 53 museums and archaeological sites nationwide that will operate on an extended timetable throughout the summer months, it was announced on Monday.

    The Archaeological Museum of Delphi will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays and from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

    The archaeological site of Delphi will open at 8 a.m. for twelve hours every day.

    The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Messini and the Archaeological Museum of Vravrona were also added to the list.

    [27] One arrest in kiosk owner's fatal shooting

    A 24-year-old Albanian man was arrested and two more Albanians are wanted in the February 8 shooting death of a kiosk owner in the Ano Liossia district of Athens, police said on Monday, adding that the perpetrators belong to the same gang that opened fire on a team of eight DIAS motorbike policemen on March 2, killing two officers, in the Renti district near Piraeus.

    Police said Monday that they have solved the case, and that a 24-year-old Albanian has been arrested, while two more Albanians are wanted.

    The 45-year-old kiosk owner was gunned down in the early hours of February 8 in the Ano Liossia districtby robbers wielding a Kalashnikov rifle.

    The officers were killed, and two others were seriously injured, while DIAS police were in pursuit of a suspicious vehicle after a hold-up of a kiosk in the Menidi district.

    Police said the perpetrators had set up a criminal organisation for the purpose of carrying out thefts and hold-ups, and were supplied with stolen vehicles by a second criminal organisation headed by a 31-year-old Albanian, who is accused of supplying the stolen car to the four Albanians involved in the Renti shooting.

    [28] Court denies terrorist's release for treatment

    A Piraeus court on Monday refused to allow the temporary release of convicted 'November 17' terrorist Savvas Xiros from prison so that he might be admitted to hospital and receive treatment for a series of health problems during a 2002 bomb blast that led to his arrest.

    Xiros was seeking a five-month release from prison so that his various health issues might be addressed together at AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki, claiming that the prison system hampered his access to treatment.

    In addition to problems with his eyes and ears, Xiros claimed to suffer from swelling in his lower limbs that has so far defied diagnosis to find the cause.

    The prosecutor on the bench argued against his release, noting that the hospital had not yet made it clear when the surgery would take place and how long his treatment or recovery would last.

    An ear, nose and throat doctor confirmed that Xiros needs treatment in a hospital with specialised facilities since he is at risk of going completely deaf at any time. An eye specialist also confirmed that he needs an immediate eye transplant and the removal of silicone from the other eye or his condition will deteriorate further, adding that Xiros was currently unable to care for himself in prison and required the assistance of his brother who shared the same cell.

    Xiros was caught in 2002 when a bomb that he intended to plant in Piraeus port exploded prematurely, causing him serious injury. His arrest helped police track down the until-then elusive November 17 terror group, which had operated unchecked for decades, giving Greek police one of their first major breakthroughs against domestic terrorism.

    [29] Burglars with truck smash into jewellery shop

    Burglars smashed into a jewelry shop with a stolen lorry at Nea Philadelphia district of Athens at dawn Monday and made off with a stash of jewelry the value of which was unknown.

    The thieves crashed a stolen truck into the shop's glass facade at around 5:25 a.m. and grabbed all the valuables in sight before escaping in a second car, abandoning the first car at the scene.

    The stolen car has been transported to the police crime lab for investigation.

    [30] Drug smuggling arrests in NW Greece

    ?wo Albanians nationals, aged 25 and 26, were arrested on Monday at the Kalpaki intersection north of the city of Ioannina, NW Greece, charged with drug smuggling.

    Police said they found 66 kilos of cannabis in the suspects' vehicle.

    In a separate incident, a 41 year-old local man was arrested at a toll station on Egnatia Motorway of northwestern Greece and charged with drug smuggling. Police said they found 65 kilos of cannabis in his vehicle.

    [31] Fixed matches suspects testify before prosecutor

    An Athens economic department prosecutor on Monday pressed criminal charges against eight persons out of fifteen suspects allegedly involved in a fixed football games case.

    The eight suspects had placed bets on fixed games and will testify in court on their 'predictions' in the specific games.

    The prosecution is continuing its investigations of the other seven "winners", who are being examined for the felonies of fraud and money laundering against OPAP S.A., the state-run betting and lottery pools group. Based on OPAP claims, most of the suspects have won large amounts, up to 90,000 euros, by wagering on fixed games.

    According to the prosecutor's office, the suspects allegedly placed their bets into predictions for more than five fixed games in 2010.

    Case files for "suspicious" matches are expected to be put together by prosecutors in other cities as well, including Thessaloniki, where similar instances of "super winners" have been reported.

    [32] Man shoots girlfriend in face

    A 27-year-old Albanian national early Monday shot in the face his Romanian girlfriend, resulting in her serious injury.

    According to police, the incident occurred two hours after midnight in the center of Athens. The couple was in a car and had a fight for reasons as yet unknown.

    The man shot the woman and afterwards threw her out of the car and fled. The perpetrator threw the gun in a dustbin a short distance away from the scene and disappeared.

    The 20 year-old victim was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

    Police are conducting an investigation to locate the perpetrator.

    [33] Illegal migrants found in truck in NW Greece

    Twenty-seven third country nationals, all from Asian countries, were found packed in a truck with Bulgarian licence plates, which was stopped by police after a brief chase in the northwestern city of Arta.

    The vehicle's driver initially tried to avoid a routine traffic check, it was announced on Monday.

    The driver was able to flee but his co-driver, a foreign national, was arrested.

    During questioning it was established that the foreign nationals, 13 of which held valid ID documents, had paid 3,000 euros for transport from Athens to the NW seaport of Igoumenitsa, and a subsequent attempt to try and board an Italy bound ferry boat.

    The migrant smuggler and the 14 illegal migrants were led before a prosecutor while the truck was impounded.

    [34] 3 foreign nationals arrested for providing forged documents to illegals

    Three foreign nationals -- from Syria, Iraq and the Palestinian territories -- were arrested in central Athens' Neos Kosmos district accused of supplying illegal migrants with forged documents for use in a legalisation process, as well as for entering Greece or for easier access to other European countries, authorities said on Monday.

    A police search in a house used by the 26-year-old Syrian man revealed 101 forged passports from various countries, two Bulgarian ID cards, four Belgian residence permits, a Portuguese citizen card, a Belgian driver's license, a blank German consular certification, nine Greek residence permits, paraphernalia used in forgery schemes and a UV device used to identify forged documents.

    [35] Two prisoners escape from N. Greece prison farm

    Two inmates, both foreign nationals, escaped on Monday morning from the Nea Kassavetia prison farm in northern Greece.

    One inmate was serving a three-year sentence on convictions of receiving stolen goods, possession of forged passport and illegal entry to the country. The second man was serving a 25-year sentence for felony drug trafficking.

    According to a justice ministry announcement, the two escapees used a ladder to scale the prison's outer wall.

    Meanwhile, the ministry ordered a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 44 year-old man remanded in custody at the Korydallos penitentiary. The victim was found on Sunday by other prisoners hanged in his cell.

    He was facing a charge of aggravated assault and has been hospitalised at the facility's psychiatric ward recently.

    [36] Tourist dies in Crete

    A 60-year-old man from Belgium died in the Lissos gorge in Hania, on the island of Crete on Monday. He and his wife had been out walking in the region. His death is attributed to pathological causes, since he had no wounds or injuries.

    Weather Forecast

    [37] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 35C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 17C to 33C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 17C to 30C.

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

    The 'Indignants' protest message, and the new tax policy, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Zero hour for Prime Minister George Papandreou".

    AVRIANI: "The people have spoken - The Memorandum government leaves".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "National indignation over Memorandum's impasse".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Under total foreign control".

    ESTIA: "Government's first twenty months were a nightmare".

    ETHNOS: "Thousands of people against Memorandum".

    IMERISSIA: "New taxes on real estate".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "New tax measures with express procedures".

    TA NEA: "Messages and dilemmas".

    VRADYNI: "The great rage".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [39] Cyprus supports Serbia's EU bid, Christofias assures Serbian PM


    The Republic of Cyprus strongly supports Serbia's efforts to join the European Union, President Demetris Christofias, said on Monday, expressing the hope that there won't be any "new excuses to delay the commencement of Serbia's EU membership talks".

    After official talks with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, who is paying an official visit to Cyprus, Christofias wished that the arrest of Ratko Mladic by Serbian security services and his extradition to the war crimes court in Hague, would contribute to reconciliation in the Balkans.

    The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on the issue of the European integration of Serbia.

    The president also stressed that the Republic of Cyprus does not recognize and will not recognize Kosovo.

    "The solution must be based on mutual bilateral consultation which will lead to an agreed settlement which will respect the territorial integrity of Serbia and will be adopted by the UN Security Council'', he said.

    At the same time, he expressed deep gratitude to Serbia for the principled stance it maintains regarding the Cyprus problem and it's firm support, saying that the country's positive contribution is expressed through participation in the peacekeeping force of the United Nations in Cyprus.

    The positions of Serbia on Cyprus problem he said, ''are based on the respect for international law, the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. ''

    Christofias briefed the Serbian Prime Minister on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the forthcoming meeting with UN Secretary-General on 7 July. He also expressed hope that during the meeting Turkey will move from theory as to its political will to support the ongoing talks aiming to a solution of the Cyprus problem, to practical steps on the negotiations table.

    On his part, Cvetkovic underlined the importance Serbia attaches to its cooperation with Cyprus and expressed the hope that this cooperation will further develop in the future.

    He also said he hopes that Cyprus will be able to help his country on the road to the European Union, especially during its Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012.

    Cvetkovic expressed his country's gratitude for Cyprus' principled position on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and stressed that Serbia supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus and the efforts of President Christofias for a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the principles of international law.

    Furthermore, Cvetkovic referred to the economic cooperation between the two countries, saying that it should be promoted in order to become more efficient in the future. He added that tomorrow's meeting of businesspersons from both countries will help to strengthen bilateral economic relations in areas such as tourism and construction industry.

    Asked if the arrest of Ratko Mladic has helped accelerate the integration process of Serbia to the EU, the Serbian prime minister said that his country wants above all to join the EU and expressed hope that they could be much more optimistic in the future.

    Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander, was captured in Serbia after 16 years on the run. He is accused of orchestrating the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during Bosnia's war in 1995. Mladic's arrest was a condition the EU had set Serbia on starting EU pre-membership talks.

    Cyprus was divided after the 1974 Turkish invasion. UN led talks are underway between President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in an effort to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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