|Tuesday, 20 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-07-26
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 26 July 2011 Issue No: 3847
 Greek FinMin Venizelos meets US Treasury Secretary GeitnerWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/P.Panagiotou)
Visiting Greek government vice-president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos met here on Monday with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner with talks focusing on the new environment created after a Eurozone summit decision regarding the Greek debt last week.
The two ministers exchanged views on developments, the efforts deployed by the Greek government for reforms as well as on issues regarding the US budget and fiscal situation.
According to a diplomatic source, the intention of Washington to help Greece in "the most creative manner" both through the International Monetary Fund and on a bilateral level, was also discussed.
Venizelos began his official visit to the US capital earlier on Monday with a meeting with Greece's representative to the International Monetary Fund and other IMF officials, followed by a meeting with the chief executive of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), Charles Dallara.
The Greek minister discussed with Dallara the start of the implemention process of the Eurozone summit decisions last week and the form of participation by the private sector in the program regarding the Greek debt's viability. Reports said that the process is under the Greek government's control while the first international working meeting will be held in Athens on July 28.
In a brief address to IIF's officials, Venizelos underlined the Greek government's determination to proceed without delays in its program of necessary reforms.
"The protection and the viability of the Greek public debt is a measure of self-protection for the euro, as well as for the Eurozone," he noted.
"We must all - the IMF, the IIF, the US government, the European Union, the European Central Bank - send from here, a clear and strong message: We have a program, we believe in its implementation and its prospects and we will achieve our common goals," Venizelos added.
Venizelos will also meet with leading members of the US Congress, Tim Johnson and John Kerry, while he will address the Peterson Institute for International Economics on "Greek crisis: challenges and opportiunities".
 Greek FinMin Venizelos meets IMF general director LagardeWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/P.Panagiotou)
Visiting Greek government vice-president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos met here on Monday with the new International Monetary Fund general director, Christine Lagarde.
The meeting, which according to Greek sources was held in a "very good climate", was also attended by top IMF officials.
"The IMF's stance is very positive, but of course everything depends on us. Everything depends on our capability in implementing the program and register concrete results. If we implement the program and if we show results the IMF and the international community will continue their support to Greece until it restores its fiscal sovereignty and independence," Venizelos told reporters afterwards.
 Acclaimed director Cacoyannis passes away at 89Internationally acclaimed film director, screenwriter and producer Michael Cacoyannis died in and Athens hospital in the early morning hours on Monday at the age of 89.
The director of the award-winning film 'Zorba the Greek' and 'Stella', Michael (Michalis) Cacoyannis was born in Limassol, Cyprus, and was sent by his father to London in 1939 to become a lawyer, but after producing Greek-language programmes for BBC World Service during WWII he developed an interest in film instead, ending up at the Old Vic school and enjoying a brief stage career as "Michael Yannis", before beginning to work on films.
Having trouble finding a directing job in the British film industry, Cacoyannis moved to Greece and in 1953 made his first film "Windfall in Athens".
He is best known for his 1964 film 'Zorba the Greek', and in 1983 directed a Broadway revival of the musical based on Zorba.
Most of his work is rooted in classical texts, particularly those of the Greek tragedian Euripides. He was nominated five times for an Academy Award (Oscar), receiving the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film nominations for 'Zorba the Greek' and two nominations in the Foreign Language Film category for 'Electra' and 'Iphigenia'.
Cacoyannis worked on many occasions with renowned Greek actress Irene Papas, teaming up with her in 1971 for the film 'The Trojan Women' starring Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn, and was a close friend of Darryl F. Zanuck and George Cukor.
A pioneer of post-war Greek cinema and director of international hits, Cacoyannis refused a career in Hollywood, opting for quality theater. He also founded the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation for the study and support of the film and theater arts.
He died early Monday at Evangelismos Hospital in central Athens, where he had been hospitalised for 10 days.
 Cacoyannis funeral on Thursday; political reactionsThe funeral of internationally acclaimed film director, screen writer and producer Michael Cacoyannis will be held at public expense on Thursday, with a service at the Church of St. Dionysus Areopagite at 4:00 p.m.
His remains are to be buried in the courtyard of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation bearing his name, in accordance with his wishes.
Cacoyannis set up the foundation at the end of 2003, wishing to create a cultural body having modern means and innovative ideas in order to support the arts, especially film and theatre. Having achieved its first target, which was to build an arts centre, the foundation now intends to offer scholarships to talented young people and thus broaden the artistic potential of the country.
Cacoyannis, director of the award-winning films 'Zorba the Greek' and 'Stella', died in an Athens hospital in the early morning hours on Monday at the age of 89.
He died early Monday at Evangelismos Hospital in central Athens, where he had been hospitalised for 10 days.
The news of his death was met with messages of condolence and grief from most of Greece's state and political leadership.
President Karolos Papoulias stressed that he was an artist that inspired and a man that moved others.
"In the case of Michael Cacoyannis, life and art were not separate. Michael Cacoyannis was deeply politicised and his entire career had strong social references," Papoulias said, noting that the director had never once hesitated to clash with establishment in order to promote his ideas and his vision.
Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos spoke of a "great Greek, citizen of the world, whose film work promoted Greece and Hellenism to all ends of the earth".
According to Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, Cacoyannis had helped "enrich domestic and global film and theatre" with his talent, serving both with an "primary passion, devotion and integrity over an entire lifetime".
The main opposition New Democracy party highlighted his position as "one of the unique artists of modern Greece that honoured and promoted our country abroad, without any political or state support".
According to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), meanwhile, his work was "inseparably linked to life, through a deep social realism" and the issues it addressed those of ordinary people.
Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras described Cacoyannis as a "many-talented worker of culture" that helped bring Greece acclaim on an international level.
Announcements concerning the film director's death were also made by the Democratic Left, Democratic Alliance and Ecologists-Greens parties, as well as Athens Mayor George Kaminis.
 PM, ND leader on Michael Cacoyannis' deathPrime Minister George Papandreou and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras issued statements on the passing away of Cypriot born Greek director Michael Cacoyannis.
"People like Michael Cacoyannis remind us of the creativity and determination of Hellenism, its ability to wage victorious battles in every part of the globe and always come out stronger," Papandreou noted in his statement, adding that Cacoyannis' "life and work which was internationally recognised, constitute a luminous example in our course."
On his part the main opposition leader termed Michael Caco-yannis "a proud Greek", "a pioneer of Greek cinema" who acted as "a herald of Hellenism all over the world."
Cacoyannis, director of the award-winning films 'Zorba the Greek' and 'Stella', died in an Athens hospital in the early morning hours on Monday at the age of 89.
 PM to brief party leaders on eurozone summit decisions in separate meetings on WednesdayPrime minister George Papandreou will hold a series of one-on-one meetings with the opposition party leaders on Wednesday to brief them on the decisions taken at last week's extraordinary eurozone summit in Brussels.
Earlier on Wednesday, the ruling PASOK parliamentary group will convene for the same purpose, government spokesman Elias Mossialos said on private radio on Monday.
The premier will make a similar briefing to the parliament plenary on Thursday or Friday, in a "mini" off-the-agenda discussion at party leaders' level, Mossialos added.
 PM to meet UEFA head on Tuesday to discuss cleaning up Greek footballUEFA President Michel Platini is to meet Prime Minister George Papandreou and Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos during a brief visit to Athens on Tuesday, to discuss efforts underway to clean up the Greek top division football championships and restore their credibility.
Platini will arrive at the head of UEFA delegation and hold talks with Greek officials on problems plaguing Greek football, such as the revelations of match-fixing, sports-related violence and tightening up the Greek federation's disciplinary law.
 Interior minister unveils draft bill on conducting referendumsInterior Minister Haris Kastanidis on Monday unveiled a draft law for conducting national referendums, stressing that this was a "major initiative".
"This is an institution of direct and, largely, participatory democracy and its activation will enhance political participation, stimulate representation, broaden democracy and deepen sovereign rule by the people," he said.
He denied that the proposed referendums were a way of distracting public opinion from more controversial issues on the political agenda.
The draft bill will first be discussed by the cabinet, after which there will be an extensive public debate that will include the general public and political parties, stretching over the next two months before it is tabled in Parliament.
The minister clarified that the issue of how binding the result of a referendum will be has not yet been decided, with the ministry in favour of it having only an advisory character.
Kastanidis said that there were already provisions for holding referendums of two types in the Greek Constitution, one being on matters of critical national importance relating to foreign policy or defence and similar issues and the second taking the form of a complete bill. The draft bill presented on Monday contains measures activating these two options.
Among others, it defines basic terms in the Constitutional articles, such as what constitutes an crucial national issue, who is permitted to vote and where, the form of the ballots used in a referendum and other procedural issues.
It stipulates that the electorate's verdict on a given issue will be advisory and not binding, except in the case that a referendum is held on a complete bill, in which case the result is binding if at least 50 percent of the electorate turn out to vote. It also stipulates that the budget and financial management cannot be decided by referendum.
Kastanidis said that referendums initiated by private citizens were an "excellent political idea" and a future possibility but not something that could be implemented at present because this would require revision of the Constitution.
He estimated the cost of holding a referendum would be similar to that of holding European Parliament elections.
 Interior minister presents programme for debt-ridden local authoritiesInterior Minister Haris Kastanidis on Monday presented a series of measures designed to help local authorities overcome financial difficulties and carry out a general financial overhaul.
"Local authorities cannot constantly lack funds or depend on loans to achieve their goals," he stressed, higlighting their important role in promoting economic growth.
He said the ministry's plan hinged on providing assistance to local authorities to reform their finances, which would place the ministry in a position of oversight and control. The local authorities joining the programme, on their part, were required to make their own efforts at reform.
Kastanidis said the refinancing of local authority loans from the Consignment Deposit and Loans Fund had already been launched, with an extension of the repayment period by up to 25 years and a reduction of the interest rate from 11.5 percent to 5.9 percent.
The minister noted that this significantly reduced the amounts spent to repay loans and freed funds to settle debts and cover operating needs.
On their part, the local authorities have been asked to reduce payroll costs by transferring staff to other public-sector organisations and local authorities where they were needed.
Kastanidis clarified that the over-indebted municipalities were not more than 15 and that the total borrowing of municipalities came to 1.9 billion euro, of which 1.1 billion was owed to the Consignment Deposits and Loans Fund and 800 million euro to private banks.
Overdue debts to third parties were another 800 million euro.
 More generators from Greece arrive in CyprusNICOSIA (ANA-MPA - A. Viketos)
A second consignment of electricity generators from Greece arrived at the Cyprus port of Limassol on Monday. The generators were provided to Cypriot authorities by Greece's Public Power Corporation following the tragic accident at a navy base on July 11, which seriously damaged one of the country's main power plants.
The first and larger consignment of generators from Greece had arrived on the island on Saturday.
The containers containing the equipment have been unloaded and are now stored at Limassol port before they are carried to Vassiliko. When delivery is complete, there will be more than 150 containers of machinery that will require an entire fleet of trucks to transport.
The equipment sent by Greece is expected to generate up to 70 MW electricity.
The European Commission is covering 50 percent of the transport costs of the machinery, which comes to one million euro.
The first generators are expected to go online on August 15, according to Cyprus' regulatory authority for energy.
 Government unveils new list of heavy, hazardous professionsA new list of professions classed as heavy or hazardous, which will go into effect from September 1, was submitted to Labour and Social Insurance Minister George Koutroumanis on Monday.
The list was drawn up by a standing committee of experts and there will follow a period of public debate that must be completed by the end of August. It will initially be implemented for 80 percent of the professions included on the list, while for the remaining professions there will be an additional period of study until the end of the year.
The labour minister stressed that the list was not final and that the ministry has already begun talks with representatives of the employees and employer groups to arrive at a result that was both scientifically correct and socially just.
Up to 100,000 to 120,000 employees will find their jobs removed from the list of heavy and hazardous professions, leaving some 400,000 to 420,000 people insured in this category. There are currently 538,234 wage earners whose jobs are classed as heavy and hazardous, of which 394,817 are men and 143,417 are women.
This number has already been significantly reduced because of large rates of unemployment among construction workers.
Ministry officials have given assurances that the EU-IMF troika has not demanded a reduction down to a specific number and that the criteria for the measure will be entirely scientific.
The committee has proposed specific criteria for deciding the inclusion of a job in this category, with a reassessment every three years. These include the degree of morbidity, mortality and life expectancy associated with each type of job.
Factors contributing to morbidity include rotating shift work, especially working night shifts, exposure to carcinogens or biological pathogens, work at very high or very low altitudes, work outdoors and exposure to high or low temperatures. It also takes into account epidemiological data concerning work-related disease, industrial accidents, work-place stress, the international bibliograpy, theoretical approaches and factual data.
Those off the list include some 60,000 administrative staff working in heavy industry, chemical and pharmaceutical firms, where all employees had previously been included in the heavy and hazardous labour category.
Also removed were street hawkers, domestic servants, those working in modelling, radio announcers, hair dressers and certain jobs in tourism and catering, in addition to certain jobs that no longer exist, such as teletypists and asbestos workers.
On the other hand, the list has been expanded to include farm and fishery workers, nursing staff in public hospitals, scientists and technicians in heavy industry or the chemical industry, metro engine drivers, sanitation workers and others.
The ministry said that employees who are struck off the list but have already amassed 12 years worth of stamps will not find their rights affected by the change. There will also be measures allowing others that don't fully meet the criteria or were only now added to the category to 'buy' more of the special category stamps and thus speed up their retirement.
Koutroumanis noted that the changes were an attempt to resolve an issue that had been outstanding for nearly 10 years, since the last revision in 2002 in a system that had been built up over 60 years without any proper regulation.
 GSEE opposed to new list of heavy, hazardous jobsThe General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), Greece's largest umbrella trade union organisation representing private-sector workers, on Monday said it was opposed to all reductions in the list of jobs classed as heavy and hazardous.
It claimed that a report submitted to the labour minister by a committee of experts earlier the same day contained a number of points that were unjust and arbitrary.
"What trade unions want and demands is a job market that will ensure the health and physical integrity of the workers and for this reason GSEE has submitted specific proposals that include creating a working hazard committee," a GSEE announcement said.
 Greece's trade balance deficit drops 21.6pct in May, bringing 5-month decline to 30.9pctGreece's trade balance deficit fell by a further 21.6 percent in May, resulting in an overall reduction of 30.9 percent in the first five months of the year (January-May 2011), according to provisional figures released on Monday by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The deficit of the Trade Balance, excluding oil products, for the 5-month period from January to May 2011 amounted to 7219.7 million euros (9983.2 million dollars) in comparison with 10452.8 million euros (14065.3 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2010, recording a drop, in euros, of 30.9%, ELSTAT said in a report.
 Greek banks' debt to ECB totaled 103 bln euros in JuneGreek banks raised their dependence from liquidity operations of the European Central Bank in June, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.
The central bank, in a report, said the Greek banks' total debt to ECB was 103 billion euros at the end of June, up from 97.5 billion euros a month earlier. The bank attributed this development to a large withdrawal of saving deposits from the Greek banking system in the month, a trend which intensifies liquidity problems for Greek banks.
Under a new agreement reached in the European Union to solve a Greek debt problem, European states will offer guarantees totaling 32 billion euros to Greek banks in order to continue smoothly their borrowing from European Central Bank.
 Moody's new downgrade decision widely expected, Commission saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Spinthourakis)
A decision by Moody's to downgrade Greece's credit rating by three notches was widely expected, an EU Commission spokesman said on Monday. Speaking to reporters, the spokesman said it could be useful for someone to carefully read Moody's announcement and noted that the Commission was taking in mind the credit rating agency's reaction. The spokesman said that a troika delegation will visit Greece, but not immediately.
 Taxi market deregulation will boost competitiveness, Commission saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Spinthourakis)
Opening up the taxi market in Greece will boost competitiveness to the benefit of consumers and will lead to a strengthening of Greek economic competitiveness, Amelia Torres, European Commission spokeswoman said on Monday. Speaking to reporters, Mrs Torres said the government policy was aimed at boosting economic growth and therefore it should be implemented. Taxi drivers and owners have begun several-day protest mobilizations around the country, protesting against government measures to open up their profession.
 Main opposition attacks PM for inaction on taxi strikeMain opposition New Democracy on Monday accused the prime minister of acting like an "irresponsible observer" and failing to take action to resolve a damaging taxi strike.
ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis called on Prime Minister George Papandreou to adopt a clear position on what he called a dispute between the current and former transport ministers of his government, accusing them of continuing a personal vendetta at the expense of society and the economy that was also damaging Greece's strongest industry, that of tourism.
Mihelakis noted that the former transport and current administrative reform minister Dimitris Reppas was insisting on his original solution, which linked the number of taxi licences to the population of a given area. The current transport minister Yiannis Ragoussis, however, had scrapped his predecessor's preparations and also suggested that the Reppas measures encouraged the exchange of taxi licences with undeclared money, tax evasion and the informal economy.
"Faced with all this, the prime minister is obliged to adopt a position and say which side he agrees with: Mr. Ragoussis or Mr. Reppas? Because he cannot at the same time approve the Reppas measures and also agree with Ragoussis, who is trying to impose exactly the opposite," the ND spokesman said.
Mihelakis said ND support the liberalisation of the taxi services sector on the same terms as those in all countries of Europe.
 Greek FDI inflows at 1.269 billion US dollars in 2010Greece needs now more than ever a stable and clear regulatory investment framework to promoting sustainable growth, UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2011 said on Monday. The report on Greece underlined the inadequate performance of the country as a destination of Foreign Direct Investments. This year's report, focusing on NEMs (non-equity modalities), was presented during a news conference in Athens organized by UNCTAD and the American College of Greece.
Foreign direct investments to Greece totaled 2.188 billion US dollars in 2010, from 2.436 billion dollars in 2009, for a decline of around 10 pct, while FDI outflows fell 38 pct totaling 1.269 billion US dollars in 2010, from 2.055 billion in 2009.
Based on its performance, Greece ranked 119th in 2010, from 122 in 2209 and 120 in 2008, in a total of 141 countries, while Greece ranked 43rd in 2009, based on its ability to attract FDIs, down from 48 in 2008.
"UNCTAD's figures showed that FDIs towards Greece in 2010 remained markedly lower compared with 2008 levels, while Greek direct investments abroad were around 1/3 lower compared with the previous five-years' levels," Nikos Christodoulakis, a professor of International and European Economic Studies at the Athens University and a former Economy and Finance Minister, said presenting the report. He attributed this development to a deep recession in the country and to lending limitations by Greek banks. He noted, however, that an encouraging sign was a recovery in Greek exports, while an ambitious privatization program was expected to attract significant capital in the sectors of energy, transport and tourism. "Efforts must focus on attracting FDIs in manufacturing and production," Christodoulakis said.
Notis Mitarakis, a New Democracy deputy, commenting on the report said creating a stable tax system and a regulatory framework, emphasizing on growth and ensuring social cohesion, was a necessary precondition to attracting investments.
Global FDI flows rose to 1.24 trillion US dollars in 2010, but were 15 pct down from the average level before the economic crisis. UNCTAD noted that global FDI flows will reach pre-crisis levels, around 1.4-1.6 trillion dollars, in 2013. The year 2010 was a landmark year for FDIs, as it was the first time that developing countries absorbed more than 50 pct of total FDI flows, or 642 billion dollars.
 Finance ministry seeking new system to replace tapes for tobacco, alcohol dutyThe finance ministry on Monday announced that it is looking into a new system for indicating that duty has been paid on alcohol and tobacco products, replacing the current watermark tape.
Through the new system, the ministry hopes to more effectively combat illicit trade and tax evasion using modern, comprehensive systems for marking and tracking products and their digital verification.
The ministry has issued an open invitation to all companies involved in this area to submit their proposals for technological solutions that could be implemented for use in tobacco products and alcoholic drinks.
 Greek stocks end lower on profit takingGreek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as investors took profits after a two-day rally in the market which pushed the composite index up 8.6 pct. The index fell 1.33 pct to end at 1,269.04 points, with turnover remaining an improved 106.024 million euros. Traders said a decision by Moody's to downgrade the country's credit rating by three notches was widely expected and did not affect sentiment in the market.
The Big Cap index dropped 1.86 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.24 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 1.79 pct. OTE (1.71 pct), Hellenic Postbank (1.45 pct) and OPAP (1.10 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Alpha Bank (6.11 pct), National Bank (4.48 pct), Cyprus Bank (4.15 pct) and MIG (3.57 pct) were top losers.
Banks (3.84 pct) and Financial Services (3.68 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Chemicals (2.92 pct), Health (1.87 pct) and Telecoms (1.71 pct) scored gains. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 89 to 64 with another 48 issues unchanged.
FHL Mermeren (19.83 pct), Attica Publications (19.51 pct) and Reds (18.68 pct) were top gainers, while MIG Real Estate (8.92 pct), Teletypos (8.79 pct) and Kekrops (8.21 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.59%
Personal & Household: +1.58%
Raw Materials: +0.80%
Travel & Leisure: +0.88%
Food & Beverages: -0.82%
Financial Services: -3.68%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Coca Cola 3E, Alpha Bank and EFG Eurobank Ergasias.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 3.38
Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.38
HBC Coca Cola: 18.50
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.59
National Bank of Greece: 5.12
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.06
Bank of Piraeus: 1.00
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds remained stable at 11.76 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 14.53 pct and the German Bund 2.77 pct. Turnover in the market was an extremely low 5.0 million euros, all sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 3.0 million euros.
In interbank markets, interest rates moved higher. The 12-month rate was 2.19 pct, the six-month was 1.82 pct, the three-month 1.61 pct and the one-month rate 1.44 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.48 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover shrinking to 27.259 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 5,858 contracts worth 16.722 million euros, with 30,342 short positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 32,541 contracts worth 10.537 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (8,287), followed by Eurobank (2,931), MIG (768), OTE (930), Piraeus Bank (5,977), Alpha Bank (2,838), Mytilineos (633), Cyprus Bank (420), Hellenic Postbank (569), ATEbank (6,103) and Ellaktor (570).
 Foreign Exchange rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.459
Pound sterling 0.895
Danish kroner 7.565
Swedish kroner 9.244
Japanese yen 114.15
Swiss franc 1.173
Norwegian kroner 7.888
Canadian dollar 1.380
Australian dollar 1.344
 Bikes on tram, metro in August alsoThe Athens public transport body OASA on Monday announced that a pilot scheme allowing cyclists to load their bicycles onto metro trains and tram cars has been extended until the end of August.
The measure was first introduced on a pilot basis in March, as a way of encouraging Athenians to use bicycles to get around.
OASA said that up to two bicycles at a time will be allowed in the front of the first car and the back of the last car on Athens Metro trains while each tram car will take up to two bicycles in the back of the vehicle.
The Infrastructure, Transport and Networks ministry had originally announced that a final assessment of the measure will be made in September in order to decide whether it will be extended or not.
 Heroin arrests in PatrasTwo foreign nationals were arrested in the western port city of Patras on Monday charged with drug dealing.
Acting on a tip-off, police located a 25-year old man from Afghanistan, with 80 grams of heroin in his possession.
According to police the man had purchased the heroin from an 18-year-old man, also from Afghanistan, who was also arrested a short while later.
Police are continuing their investigation into whether the two detainees belong to a drug trafficking ring.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceFriday's massacre in Norway and economic issues dominated the front-page headlines in Athens' dailies on Monday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "China at Greece's side".
AVRIANI: "93 dead in Norway for a manifesto".
ELEFTHEROS: "Papandreou playing the 'borrowed money' in an early elections roulette".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Frenzy for doing business in Greece by Europeans".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Brutality - The ultra-right ideology armed the hand of the perpetrator who massacred 93 people (in Norway)".
ESTIA: "The prescription for salvation".
ETHNOS: "Grading scale with new system in civil service".
IMERISSIA: "Breather on 3 fronts: banks, stockmarket, bonds".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Immediate implementation of the measures for denationalisations, state revenues".
TA NEA: "Tax of up to 15 percent on deposits abroad on the horizon".
VRADYNI: "10,000 workers moved out of 'heavy and hazardous' work categories - New list of 'heavy and hazardous' occupations".
 Leaders start intensified talksNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met on Monday, for the first time in the context of the intensified phase of UN-led direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
After the meeting that lasted four and a half hours UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus Liza Buttenheim, said that the meeting was one of the four devoted on governance and power sharing.
"The meeting took place in a positive atmosphere. They discussed core issues under this chapter which will continue at the next leader's meeting on Friday July 29", she said.
Buttenheim pointed out that the leaders agreed that during this intensified phase, ensuring confidentiality about their discussion will be a precondition for progress
Answering to a question Buttenheim said that UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer will be returning to the island next week and will be present at next Monday's meeting.
She also said that the advisors of the two leaders will have a meeting on Thursday morning to discuss one issue that was raised this morning.
Cyprus was divided when Turkey invaded in 1974. UN led negotiations have been ongoing since 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, in an effort to reunite the island under a federal roof.
President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu met with UN SG Ban Ki-moon in Geneva, on July 7th, and according to Ban's statement after the meeting, they agreed to enter into an intensive period of negotiations on the core issues of the Cyprus problem, with an aim of achieving convergences before meeting again in New York, next October.
36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana-mpa.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS