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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 6 July 2011 Issue No: 3830


  • [01] PM chairs successive meetings in Parliament
  • [02] FinMin chairs ccordination meeting on implementation of Memorandum, Mid-Term fiscal programme
  • [03] Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to examine social economy, energy policy and violence
  • [04] FinMin in Berlin Wednesday
  • [05] Foreign Minister in Berlin on 2-day visit
  • [06] German FinMin defends aid for Greece and the euro's support mechanism
  • [07] ND leader speaks to WSJ
  • [08] FM general secretary briefs Arab ambassadors on Gaza initiative
  • [09] US skipper of Gaza aid vessel released; supporters hold press con'f
  • [10] Several "Free Gaza" flotilla vessels remain docked in Greek ports
  • [11] Spanish activists take over Spanish embassy to protest Gaza flotilla ban
  • [12] Sailing operation from Corfu to Gaza
  • [13] ND on taxi sector deregulation
  • [14] University profs' union objects to higher education reform bill
  • [15] State social security organisations to post 2.58 billion euros surplus in 2011
  • [16] Credit expansion rate remains negative, BoG report
  • [17] 8,000 cancellations in Athens hotels after violent incidents
  • [18] Business Briefs
  • [19] Stocks end 1.39% down
  • [20] Greek bond market closing
  • [21] ADEX closing report
  • [22] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [23] Road accident fatalities down 10%
  • [24] Frontex patrol detains 21 illegal migrants on boat, three migrant smugglers arrested
  • [25] Charges against 2 British women over alleged fake rape claim
  • [26] Delphi Centre summer events open Friday
  • [27] Drug arrests in Piraeus port
  • [28] Wildfire in Schino in Corinthia prefecture under partial control
  • [29] Cannabis plantation uprooted on Crete
  • [30] Cloudy on Wednesday
  • [31] ?he Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [32] President hopes Geneva meeting to create prospects Politics

  • [01] PM chairs successive meetings in Parliament

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday chaired successive meetings in Parliament focusing on unemployment, the judicial sector and economic growth.

    In the meeting with Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) president Elias Kikilias and National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) special secretary Ifigenia Orfanou, the talks focused on the absorbance of community funds used in tackling unemployment.

    The justice sector meeting attended Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou, Interior Minister Haris Kastanidis, Development Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis and Alternate Development Minister Haris Pamboukis. Discussions focused on vacancies in the sector's leadership, measures against civil servant corruption and the acceleration of procedures leading to court trials of major public interest.

    [02] FinMin chairs ccordination meeting on implementation of Memorandum, Mid-Term fiscal programme

    Finance Minister and government vice-president Evangelos Venizelos chaired a wide inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday for coordination of the government's actions for implementation of the Memorandum, the Medium-Term fiscal adjustment programme and the programme's Implementation Law.

    According to a ministry announcement Venizelos, in coordination with the prime minister and the parliament president, will submit to the Cabinet a specific timetable of the legislative initiatives dealing with the implementation of the Memorandum and the Medium-Term programme, given that a large number of initiatives need to be set in motion in the next two months.

    In that context, the inter-ministerial committee will be in session at both ministerial level and at the level of ministry secretaries general for constant monitoring of the timetable and list of required initiatives.

    [03] Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to examine social economy, energy policy and violence

    A cabinet meeting will be held on Wednesday and issues to be discussed include the tackling of violence in the wake of what happened in Syntagma Square in Athens during the 48-hour strike last week, as well as attacks on Parliamentary deputies.

    Prime Minister George Papandreou will be referring to this issue during his address.

    The other issues on the cabinet meeting's agenda, that will begin at 12:00, are the social economy and energy policy.

    Earlier, at 11:30, the prime minister will be meeting in his office in Parliament with Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis.

    [04] FinMin in Berlin Wednesday

    Government vice-president and finance minister Evangelos Venizelos will be in Berlin on Wednesday for a previously scheduled working dinner with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble, a ministry announcement said on Tuesday.

    [05] Foreign Minister in Berlin on 2-day visit

    Greek foreign minister Stavros Lambrinidis was due to begin a two-day visit to Berlin on Tuesday, during which he will meet with German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle.

    Lambrinidis' itinerary also includes meetings with SPD parliamentary group leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Greens vice-chairman Cem Ozdemir.

    The Greek foreign minister will also address the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) on the theme "Reclaiming Europe's lost values: responsibility and solidarity".

    [06] German FinMin defends aid for Greece and the euro's support mechanism

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/G. Pappas)

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch?uble on Tuesday defended decisions on Germany's participation in the loan aid contract to Greece and the temporary support mechanism of the Euro EFSF.

    Sch?uble invoked at the hearing before Germany's Federal Constitutional Court the threat conditions for the euro that led to the decisions for support for Greece and the other overindebted countries of the Eurozone.

    The plaintiffs claim that the decision for aid to Greece and the euro's protection shields violate article 125 of the Lisbon treaty with the clause prohibiting the assumption of the debt of another EU member-state (No Bail out).

    They also claim that with the 147 billion of Germany's guarantees for the mechanism, and another 24 billion of guarantees for the aid to Greece German Parliament's fundamental right is curbed to decide on the country's budget.

    Sch?uble opposed this argumentation and stressed that since the beginning of 2010 the resilience and cohesion of the eurozone and the European Union are put to the test in general. "Due to the challenges of globalisation there is no better economic and political alternative solution than European unification. Every European country by itself, even the Federal Republic of Germany, is very small to respond to our interests and to our responsibility in the globalised world," Sch?uble said.

    [07] ND leader speaks to WSJ

    The international plan to fix Greece's finances is failing and needs a rethink, main opposition Nea Democracy (ND) party President Antonis Samaras said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, his first with international media since becoming Greece's main opposition leader.

    Instead of strangling the Greek economy with tax increases, Europe and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should let Greece cut taxes to jump-start growth, Samaras said.

    The austerity program for Greece "is a failure," Samaras said in his interview. Citing Greece's poor tax revenues amid a worsening recession, he said: "I think our lenders will have to change their policy. My question is why do we have to go further down the drain in the meantime?"

    Samaras also warned that Greece will again fail to meet its budget targets under current policies. "In three months we'll be asking for more money," he warned.

    Last week the ND pary voted against a new, five-year, 28 billion euros austerity plan in a hard-fought parliamentary vote. The measures, which the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF have made a precondition for extending any fresh aid to Greece, passed with the support of the ruling PASOK party.

    Samaras said he agrees with government plans to cut spending and sell 50bn euros of state-owned assets. But he argued the latest tax increases will only compound Greece's economic and fiscal woes.

    The solution, he said, is to slash corporate taxes rates to 15 per cent from 24 per cent now, while also lowering taxes on everything from personal income to tourist lodgings to fuel.

    Sharply lower tax rates, Samaras added, would produce a "creative shock" that would stimulate business investment and consumer demand, while also reducing incentives for tax evasion, a chronic problem in Greece.

    "Part of economics is psychology, and you need a demonstration effect to show investors that this is an economy that you can invest in - whereas right now money is being taken out of the economy and supply is being killed," the ND leader said.

    The resulting growth would close Greece's budget deficit faster than the grim austerity plan demanded by Greece's international creditors, he argued.

    Samaras also told the newspaper what he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during an European People's Party (EPP) summit in Brussels late last month. He said he told the German chancellor that his program offers the only solution for Greece, and by extension for the stability of the euro zone.

    "I told Merkel: Look, if your plan works, then I am wrong," Samaras said. "But if it doesn't work, then you are going to need a new plan and I'm the one who can bring that about."

    [08] FM general secretary briefs Arab ambassadors on Gaza initiative

    Foreign ministry general secretary Amb. Yiannis-Alexis Zepos briefed Arab ambassadors to Athens over Greece's proposal to undertake the transport of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the foreign ministry announced on Tuesday.

    In the meeting held earlier in the day at the foreign ministry building, Amb. Zepos briefed the diplomats on the historical background of the case, underlining that the Greek government's decisions were reached taking under consideration the safety of the participants and avoiding tensions that could affect stability in the wider region at a critical time. It was also stressed that a relevant request from the UN Secretary General was also taken into account.

    Zepos mentioned the contacts to this end between PM Papandreou and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and between Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, both expressing support to the Greek initiative.

    The Greek officials repeated Athens' positions on the Middle East issue and the Palestinian question, reaffirming that the Greek side supports a just and viable solution for the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state that will co-exist with Israel in conditions of peace and security.

    [09] US skipper of Gaza aid vessel released; supporters hold press con'f

    The 60-year-old skipper of the US-flagged vessel "Audacity of Hope" was released on Tuesday with no restrictions, after appearing before a Piraeus examining magistrate. The skipper has been charged with one felony count and two misdemeanours for safety violations.

    A judicial council will subsequently decide whether he will be tried in court or whether the charges will be dismissed.

    The "Audacity of Hope" was part of a flotilla of five vessels carrying aid to Gaza that was banned from leaving Greek seaports, following a decision by the relevant citizens' protection ministry. The "quartet" on the Middle East (USA, Russia, EU, UN) had requested that all governments should use their influence and prevent the departure of the flotilla for Gaza.

    Meanwhile, it was still undetermined whether the French-flagged ship "Dignite Al-Karama" had passed through Greek territorial waters. The vessel, with eight people on board, is reportedly sailing in international waters en route to Gaza.

    According to coast guard sources, the vessel had set sail from Corsica on June 25 while a ban on the departure of vessels destined for Gaza was into effect in all French ports.

    [10] Several "Free Gaza" flotilla vessels remain docked in Greek ports

    During a press conference on Tuesday, members of the "Boat to Gaza" initiative and representatives of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZIA) parliamentary alliance and other local leftists criticised the Greek government, accusing it of backing out and rejecting a foreign ministry proposal for the transportation of the humanitarian aid to Palestinian territory on board Greek vessels.

    A "Boat to Gaza" representative said the UN secretary-general's proposal to have the humanitarian aid shipped to the Israeli port of Ashdod by Greek vessels constitutes an "unlawful confiscation, corresponding to theft".

    SYRIZA MP Thodoros Dritsas stressed that "the Greek government's stance is hostile ... for years, foreign ministry officials and diplomats have been reassuring that the campaign was not in violation of international law."

    Finally, a media umbrella federation in Greece, POESY, announced that it will publicly condemn whatever practices preventing journalists from doing their job, a reference to the media people on board the "Free Gaza" vessels.

    [11] Spanish activists take over Spanish embassy to protest Gaza flotilla ban

    Twenty-one Spanish activists took over the Spanish embassy in central Athens on Tuesday to protest a decision by Greek authorities to ban the sailing of vessels headed for Gaza.

    The activists, who were on the vessel "Gernica", arrived from the Cretan port city of Hania, where their vessel remained docked on orders of the Greek coast guard.

    Local authorities have banned the nine-vessel flotilla, loaded with aid and carrying pro-Palestinian activists, from sailing towards the Middle East sliver of land, which is under an Israeli naval blockade.

    The embassy is located across from the Acropolis archaeological site on one of the Greek capital's most exclusive pedestrian ways. (ANA-MPA)

    [12] Sailing operation from Corfu to Gaza

    Members of the initiative "A ship for Gaza", despite the ban imposed, have been at the marina of Gouvies on the island of Corfu since noon on Tuesday, in an effort to sail with the ship "Sotirakis" that until recently sailed on the Corfu-Agioi Saranda route.

    The organisation's delegation that is in Corfu is mainly composed of Dutch and Italian activists.

    [13] ND on taxi sector deregulation

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Tuesday strongly criticised the government performance, following a decision to proceed with the deregulation of the taxi sector in the country.

    Mihelakis accused the government ministers of inconsistency, stressing that "without previous consultation, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis cancelled everything agreed to by his predecessor Dimitris Reppas."

    The ND spokesman said the draft presidential decree that was forwarded by Reppas to the Council of State for further processing was the result of consultation with sector representatives and defined the taxi sector deregulation terms.

    "The current minister refuses to have the presidential decree signed and overturns the policy implemented by his predecessor," Mihelakis said.

    [14] University profs' union objects to higher education reform bill

    The national federation of associations of university lecturers (POSDEP) on Tuesday rejected, in principle, the education ministry-sponsored draft law that introduces major reforms in tertiary education, underlining that the various reforms do not have the consensus of the local academic community.

    POSDEP representatives met earlier in the day with Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, requesting a period of three months to study the draft law.

    The federation representatives claim that "recent ministry of education practices systematically downgrade the country's universities, defame faculty members and result to as high as 50 pct cuts in state budget funding," underlining that their main objection concerns the changes in the management of university institutions.

    Financial News

    [15] State social security organisations to post 2.58 billion euros surplus in 2011

    The state social security funds will have a surplus of 2,580 million euros in 2011 from 73 million euros in 2010, according to estimates by the employment and social security ministry presented in parliament on Tuesday by minister George Koutroumanis.

    In reply to a question tabled by an MP, Koutroumanis said that the revenues of the social security organisations would reach 47.173 billion revenues this year against 45.181 billion euros in 2010, while the social security organisations' expenses were estimated at 44.593 billion euros against 45.108 billion euros last year.

    Koutroumanis further said that the total monies owed to social security organisations totals 10.8 billion euros, of which 5.9 billion are owed to the IKA Social Security Foundation.

    He also noted that, due to a series of legislative regulations and interventions, an effort has been made to curtail the health expenditures of the social security funds with the aim of preserving their viability, ensuring the rights of the working people and the organisations' public and social character, in tandem with the provision of a satisfactory level of medical and pharmaceutical care to all the insured citizens.

    Koutroumanis said that pharmaceutical expenditure of the social security organisations was estimated at 3.308 billion euros in 2011 from 3.873 billion in 2010, while sundry health expenditures were estimated at 2.886 billion euros in 2011 from 2.961 billion in 2010.

    Payments to hospitals are estimated at 1.35 billion euros this year from 921 million euros last year.

    [16] Credit expansion rate remains negative, BoG report

    The annual growth rate of total credit granted to the domestic private sector decelerated further to -1.1 percent in May 2011, from -0.5 percent in April 2011 and 0.0 percent in December 2010, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said the net flow of total credit to the domestic private sector was negative amounting to -1.557 million euros (May 2010: positive net flow of 167 million euros).

    The net flow of credit to enterprises in May 2011 was negative, amounting to -959 million euros (May 2010: positive net flow of 310 million euros) and the annual growth rate of credit decreased to 0.3 percent compared to 1.2 percent in April 2011 (December 2010: 1.1 percent).

    The net flow of credit to sole proprietors and unincorporated partnerships was also negative, amounting to -165 million euros in May 2011, and the annual rate of change of credit decreased in comparison with the previous month (May 2011: -3.2 percent, April 2011: -1.5 percent, December 2010: 0.3 percent).

    In May 2011, the net flow of credit to individuals and private non-profit institutions was negative, amounting to -433 million euros (May 2010: -143 million euros). As a result, the annual growth rate of credit to individuals and private non-profit institutions decreased further (May 2011: -2.3 percent, April 2011: -2.1 percent, December 2010: -1.2 percent).

    [17] 8,000 cancellations in Athens hotels after violent incidents

    Cancellations of 8,000 bookings in 20 Athens hotels were reported in the space of just five days, due to the recent violence in downtown Athens, president of the Association of Athens-Attica Hoteliers, Yiannis Retsos, told a press conference on Tuesday.

    Retsos sounded a warning bell and called for immediate measures to consolidate Athens as a safe destination on the global tourism scene.

    [18] Business Briefs

    -- REDS - a listed real estate developer - on Tuesday said it has invested around 75 million euros in the development of a "Smart Park" commercial park, located east of Athens proper and near the international airport.

    -- Greek banks continued suffering from a trend of capital outflows, which began last year, with the value of savings deposits by enterprises and households falling by 4.9 billion euros in May, the Bank of Greece announced on Tuesday.

    -- The Association of Athens-Attica Hoteliers on Tuesday urged the government to approved a series of specific and fundamental measures aimed at supporting hotels located in the country's capital to overcome losses suffered as a result of violent street protests late last month.

    -- Greece's clothing industry is shrinking at a dramatic pace this year, after the sector suffered losses in 2010, a report stated on Tuesday.

    [19] Stocks end 1.39% down

    Stocks ended significantly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the composite index of the market losing 1.39 pct to end below the 1,300 level at 1,288.32 points. Turnover shrank further to 53.864 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 1.87 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.38 pct lower and the Small Cap index rose 0.91 pct.

    Viohalco (3.19 pct), Mytilineos (1.03 pct) and Motor Oil (0.93 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while ATEbank (11.6 pct), PPC (6.57 pct), Alpha Bank (4.32 pct) and National Bank (2.88 pct) were top losers.

    The Raw Materials (2.34 pct), Commerce (1.52 pct) and Industrial Products (1.22 pct) sectors scored gains, while Utilities (6.19 pct), Media (5.41 pct) and Banks (2.84 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 70 to 68 with another 46 issues unchanged. Unibios (20 pct), Euromedica (19.44 pct) and Vioter (10 pct) were top gainers, while ATEbank (11.60 pct), Ideal (10 pct) and Mohlos (10 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Industrials: +1.22%

    Commercial: +1.52%

    Construction: -0.14%

    Media: -5.41%

    Oil & Gas: +0.64%

    Personal & Household: -0.18%

    Raw Materials: +2.34%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.40%

    Technology: +1.12%

    Telecoms: +0.16%

    Banks: -2.84%

    Food & Beverages: -0.86%

    Health: -1.63%

    Utilities: -6.19%

    Chemicals: -0.92%

    Financial Services: -1.98%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 3.54

    ATEbank: 1.60

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.81

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.50

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.49

    National Bank of Greece: 5.05

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.34

    OPAP: 10.90

    OTE: 6.32

    Bank of Piraeus: 1.09

    Titan: 16.35

    [20] Greek bond market closing

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds remained stable at 13.16 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 16.17 pct and the German Bund 3.01 pct.

    Turnover in the market was an extremely low 2.0 million euros, all sell orders. The five-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 2.0 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 2.18 pct, the six-month rate was 1.81 pct, the three-month 1.56 pct and the one-month rate 1.33 pct.

    [21] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.22 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover remaining a low 33.604 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 9,640 contracts, worth 28.280 million euros, with 28,239 short positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 14,416 contracts worth 5.324 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (4.195), followed by Eurobank (1,613), Piraeus Bank (799), Alpha Bank (1,506), Mytilineos (446), Cyprus Bank (1,491) and ATEbank (2,316).

    [22] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.467

    Pound sterling 0.911

    Danish kroner 7.571

    Swedish kroner 9.216

    Japanese yen 118.99

    Swiss franc 1.239

    Norwegian kroner 7.868

    Canadian dollar 1.413

    Australian dollar 1.372

    General News

    [23] Road accident fatalities down 10%


    Road deaths were down 10 pct in Greece in 2010 compared with 2009 (116 deaths per 1 million inhabitants), according to European Commission figures made public here on Tuesday. The number of deaths in road accidents in the EU dropped 11 pct (62 per 1 million inhabitants).

    The biggest decline was recorded in Luxemburg (33 pct), in Malta (29 pct), in Sweden and Slovakia (26 pct). Portugal was the only EU country recording an increase in fatal road accidents (+1 pct).

    The decline recorded in the number of fatalities in road accidents in Greece in 2010 was 30 pct compared with 2001, while in the EU was 43 pct.

    [24] Frontex patrol detains 21 illegal migrants on boat, three migrant smugglers arrested

    A group of 21 illegal migrants sailing on a wooden boat originating from the Turkish shores were intercepted by a Frontex EU border patrol team and taken to Souda port on Crete on Tuesday.

    The illegal migrants, including children, were spotted at dawn Tuesday by a Frontex patrol boat as it was sailing south of Kythira island.

    The migrants, all from Afghanistan, told authorities that they were trying to sail to Italy.

    Hania port chief Antonis Daskalakis told ANA-MPA that the Frontex patrol boat had at noon Monday spotted a suspicious boat sailing north of Crete, and when Frontex and Greek coast guard officers approached the vessel on Monday night they found that it was carrying illegal migrants.

    Authorities said the group of illegal migrants comprised 10 men, 3 women and 8 children aged 4-15, while 3 Turkish migrant-smugglers aboard were arrested. Two of the Turkish nationals, authorities said, stated that they were simply crew members.

    The migrants were taken to the old city hall at Souda, where they were given food and water before being examined by doctors, who found them to be in good condition. The children were taken to Hania hospital for precautionary reasons.

    [25] Charges against 2 British women over alleged fake rape claim

    - Two British women, who had filed a report with local police on Crete claiming they had been sexually assaulted by unidentified individuals, were charged with perjury and of filing a false complaint.

    According to reports, both women have since departed Greece as soon as received an official document listing the rape report.

    On June 22, the two women maintained that they were attacked and raped on the way back to their hotel after a night out. However, a police investigation and medical report found no proof that the specific crime was committed.

    A probe was begun into whether the two British nationals had intentionally made a false claim in order to receive a relevant certificate for use in their home country. (ANA-MPA)

    [26] Delphi Centre summer events open Friday

    The international symposium entitled "Byzantium and historical continuity" opens on July 8 at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD), followed by a Byzantine music concert.

    The central theme of this year's summer events at Delphi will focus on Byzantium from a political, cultural and artistic point of view.

    [27] Drug arrests in Piraeus port

    Two foreign national were arrested in Piraeus port late Monday for drug trafficking and possession.

    A search of their car by port authority officials revealed 25 kilos of cannabis.

    According to initial information the suspects were ready to embark on a ship for Rhodes island.

    [28] Wildfire in Schino in Corinthia prefecture under partial control

    A wildfire in Schino, in the Corinthia prefecture in the Peloponnese, was placed under partial control on Tuesday afternoon.

    Firefighting forces remained in the area, however, until the fire is completely extinguished.

    [29] Cannabis plantation uprooted on Crete

    Rethymno narcotics squad police on the island of Crete on Tuesday discovered a large cannabis plantation in a difficult-to-access spot near the border with Heraklion prefecture.

    Acting on a tip-off, police discovered a total of 1,048 cannabis plants near Kamares.

    The cannabis plants were uprooted and Heraklion police were investigating, as the area administratively belongs to Heraklion prefecture.

    Weather Forecast

    [30] Cloudy on Wednesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 35C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with variable 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 20C to 35C. Cloudy with local showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 29C.

    [31] ?he Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The internal government discord over the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Framework, the European Commission's report on the Greek debt and the changes in public sector as well as the draft law on Higher Education, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "One hiring for every 5 retirements in public sector".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Additional fiscal measures target 8.1 billion euros in 2011, and not 6.7 billion presented by the government's propaganda".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Higher education institutions: With 'directorate' and without asylum".

    ESTIA: "(Columbia University history professor) Mark Mazower's weighty article (in NY Times newspaper)".

    ETHNOS: "Seven changes in Universities and Colleges".

    IMERISSIA: "Bomb to tourism - Violent incidents scared off foreign visitors".

    KATHIMERINI: ?First arrhythmias in Mid-Term programme".

    NAFTEMPORTIKI: "Plan without result for the debt problem".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The 48-hour strike and the prospect".

    TA NEA: "Mr. Rector you are fired!".

    VRADYNI: "Massacre in public sector - Salary cutbacks in armed forces".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [32] President hopes Geneva meeting to create prospects


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has expressed hope that his meeting on July 7 in Geneva with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu would generate better prospects for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at a ceremony, during which he received an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Mariupol in Ukraine, wrapping up his official visit to the country, President Christofias referred to the strong traditional and historical ties between Cyprus and Ukraine, noting that they could create a broader bridge of cooperation in all sectors.

    He said that during his official visit, four interstate agreements were signed, the Cypriot Embassy in Kiev was opened, and the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Forum was held.

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, President Christofias said the Greek Cypriot side continued efforts to reunify the island, in the framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    ''Our aim is to achieve a viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem the soonest possible,'' he said, adding that ''the efforts of our side and the international community face the insistence of Turkey to impose its expansive policy, which is manifested with the creation of the illegal pseudostate and the promotion for its recognition internationally.''

    He noted that after Ukraine he would be travelling to Geneva for the meeting with the UN chief and Eroglu, adding that ''we are going to that meeting, with the evaluation that the negotiations, especially over the past period, are not proceeding as we had expected.''

    ''We have opinions and suggestions on how to become more effective, based on inviolable principles. We hope that this meeting will create better prospects for the current process,'' he said.

    Mariupol University Rector Konstyantyn Balabanov referred to President Christofias' efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, adding that he attributes great importance to expanding cooperation between Cyprus and Ukraine.

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

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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