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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-02-14

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

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

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 Issue No: 3997

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't spokesman: the way will be clear for elections in April
  • [02] PM: We are being judged by history
  • [03] EU commissioner Rehn welcomes parliament vote outcome
  • [04] German government: "We want to help Greece within the Eurozone"
  • [05] Heated vote on bailout package radically alters correlation of powers in Greek parliament
  • [06] LAOS demands that Georgiades gives up Parliament seat
  • [07] PASOK MP Mayia Tsokli resigns, citing personal reasons
  • [08] 93 buildings destroyed or seriously damaged, 74 arrests during Sunday riots
  • [09] ND party leader Samaras deplores Sunday's disturbances in Athens
  • [10] Citizen Protection Minister meets PM, urges 'calmness and self-restraint'
  • [11] ND party leader Samaras holds meeting with ND Prefectural Committee presidents
  • [12] KKE SG on new political landscape after Sunday vote
  • [13] Kouvelis: political system in decay
  • [14] Official websites go down overnight, possible organised hacker attack being investigated
  • [15] Parliament president signs cooperation protocol with Serbian Parliament
  • [16] Tsohatzopoulos requests bail reduction
  • [17] New memorandum envisages additional austerity measures of 3.2 bln euros
  • [18] Athens Chamber chief: Now the hard part begins
  • [19] GSEE trade union federation asks European Parliament to intervene against austerity cuts
  • [20] Agricultural Development and Food minister on visit to Russia
  • [21] Business Briefs
  • [22] Stocks jump 4.65 pct
  • [23] Greek bond market closing report
  • [24] ADEX closing report
  • [25] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [26] Modern art from British Council Collection at Benaki
  • [27] Cypriots collecting food and clothing for the poor in Greece
  • [28] Cargo ship abandonded due to fire- Crew safe
  • [29] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [30] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Gov't spokesman: the way will be clear for elections in April

    Minister of State and government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis on Monday predicted three "hellish" weeks ahead, during which Greece must begin imple-mentation of the new loan agreement and the PSI. He also underlined that the next month and a half will be hectic in terms of the efforts made by the government to produce a specific work.

    Kapsis stated the government mission will be completed by the end of March, clearing the way for elections in April.

    Commenting on Sunday's vote in parliament, he referred to the strong majority recorded despite the problems in the political system, stressing that "the message is that Greece wants to and will remain in the eurozone and will proceed with the implementation of the loan agreement."

    It was announced that before the Eurogroup's meeting on Wednesday the political party leaders will give their written commitments, probably in a letter, as requested by the European partners. The pending issue of the 325 million euros will also be settled and the country's new economic programme will be sealed.

    As regards the picture of the country's political system following Sunday's vote in parliament and the expulsion of PASOK and New Democracy (ND) MPs, the government spokesman stated that the reaction of the political party leaders and the commitments they have undertaken in their addresses show their determination to proceed with reforms and keep Greece in the eurozone.

    Commenting on the government reshuffle expected, Kapsis stated any changes will be made keeping in mind the specific mission undertaken by the government. According to government sources, a structural reshuffle is not realistic and that the reshuffle will be restricted to well-aimed and limited replacements.

    Responding to a question on the incidents in downtown Athens and the meeting between citizen protection minister Christos Papoutsis and prime minister Lucas Papademos, he said that Papoutsis' place in the government is not being questioned, adding that his resignation is not a option.

    Kapsis characterized the violence and disaster recorded in Athens as "extremely unpleasant" and unacceptable for the country's image abroad.

    [02] PM: We are being judged by history

    "We are being judged by history, and if we do not succeed in keeping the country standing, it will not forgive us," prime minister Lucas Papademos said late Sunday, in a closing address to parliament ahead of a critical vote that ratified a new bailout loan for Greece accompanied by a package of harsh austerity measures.

    "I am sure that you know better than anyone else what our patriotic duty is and that you will do it with the same determination and sense of responsibility that you have already shown," he added.

    Papademos also expressed conviction that the new economic programme for Greece to be introduced with the new law will not fail, explaining that the programme has three targets: First, fiscal consolidation aiming to ensure a primary surplus, which is necessary for a gradual reduction of the state debt; second, boosting the competitiveness of the Greek economy in order to spur growth and reduce unemployment; and, third, enhancement of the bank's capital position, so that they may deal with the affects of the restructuring of the state debt and perpetuating recession.

    The premier outlined the consequences of a default by the country if the new programme was not passed, adding that "the social cost entailed by this programme is limited in comparison with the economic and social devastation that would follow if w do not adopt it...an irregular default would plunge our country into a catastrophic misadventure, cause uncontrolled economic crisis and a social explosion...that would sooner or later lead to the country's exit from the euro, and from a country in the core of the eurozone Greece would be reduced to a weak country in the margins of Europe."

    "That is the raw truth...it is not coercion, but an obligation of responsibility on the part of all of us towards the Greek people," Papademos said.

    [03] EU commissioner Rehn welcomes parliament vote outcome

    European Commission vice-president and commissioner for economic affairs Olli Rehn on Monday welcomed the Greek parliament's approval of a second economic package for Greece and accompanying austerity measures, in a statement issued in Brussels, promising that the EU will continue to stand by Greece's side.

    The statement issued by Rehn reads as follows:

    "On behalf of the European Commission, I welcome the positive vote of the Greek Parliament on the second programme for Greece. Yesterday's vote is an expression of the determination prevailing in the country to put an end to the spiral of unsustainable public finances and to the loss of competitiveness.

    As outlined by the Eurogroup last week, this programme will be supported by unparalleled financial assistance from Greece's partners, which is a concrete expression of their continued solidarity and genuine concern. The European Commission remains strongly committed to reinforce the assistance to the Greek administration on the ground to achieve these objectives as regards return to sustainable growth and employment.

    In the last weeks, there have been tensions both in Greece and within its partners. The correction of the serious imbalances affecting the Greek economy and the restoration of the conditions for growth and jobs are inevitable a long-term endeavour. It will still take time and effort by the Greek society. The EU continues to stand by the Greek people. The Greek authorities and political forces should now take full ownership and make the case for the second programme, and then fully implement it, in order to ensure the return of the country to sustainable economic growth and job creation.

    It is evident that the economic model that Greece was following until 2009 had no further possibilities to be applied, as it lead to serious imbalances and uncertainties as the country systematically lived beyond its means for a decade. The second programme to be implemented now is going to be very demanding, but it will pave the way to redress the difficult situation. In any case, Greece should have implemented most measures to balance its economy and boost sustainable growth and employment even in the absence of such a programme, already several years ago.

    I also wish to join my voice to the Greek government in condemning the unacceptable violence that took place yesterday in Athens. These individuals who are responsible for this violence, do not represent the vast majority of Greek citizens who are genuinely concerned for the future of their country and are showing determination and resilience."

    [04] German government: "We want to help Greece within the Eurozone"

    BERLIN (AMNA - F. Karaviti)

    Welcoming Sunday night's vote in favour of tougher austerity measures to back up a second bailout package for Greece, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday underlined that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would not be part of any effort to push Greece out of the common currency.

    "We want to help Greece within the Eurozone," Seibert stressed, noting that Sunday's vote was an indication "of the will of Greeks to take difficult measures to put the country on a good path".

    At the same time, he urged the major political forces in the country to be prepared to follow through with reforms after elections took place.

    [05] Heated vote on bailout package radically alters correlation of powers in Greek parliament

    Sunday's heated vote in parliament on the new Memorandum, that ratifies an agreement reached with the troika for a 130 billlion euros second EU/IMF bailout loan to Greece and a package of introduces a package of heavy austerity measures accompanying it, has radically altered the correlation of political powers in the 300-member unicameral House, with the two mainstream parties, the former rulling PASOK party and its predecessor in the government New Democracy (ND) having fallen to 131 MPs from 160 elected in the 2009 general elections for PASOK, and to 62 MPs for ND from 91 in the 2009 elections.

    PASOK and ND, together with Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), are the three parties backing the interim government of prime minister Lucas Papademos that was formed to pass through the new loan agreement and the PSI bond swaps deal that will reduce Greece's debt by half.

    The two mainstream parties lost several MPs who either resigned their posts or declared themselves Independents in the process leading to Sunday's vote,, while PASOK expelled 22 MPs and ND expelled 21 MPs who voted against the bill on Sunday, while LAOS -- whose leader George Karatzaferis announced on Friday, just two days before the critical vote that his party will vote against the austerity measures but will not withdraw his four ministers from the coalition Cabinet -- expelled two of the ministers who defied the party line and voted in favour.

    The Independents in the House now number 63, making them the second largest grouping in the Greek parliament

    The new parliamentary blueprint on Monday morning is PASOK with 131 seats, ND with 62 seats, LAOS with 14 seats, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 21 seats, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) with 9 seats, and 63 Independents

    [06] LAOS demands that Georgiades gives up Parliament seat

    Conflict has broken out between the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party and its expelled former MP and minister Adonis Georgiades, who has not yet given up his seat in Parliament in spite of being expelled from the party after voting in favour of the new loan agreement and greater austerity measures during Sunday night's vote in Parliament.

    LAOS on Monday issued an announcement urging the former MP to give up his seat and stressed, in reply to statements made by Georgiades, that his activities as minister would in no way be affected by giving up his seat.

    Arriving at the Development, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry on Monday in order to say farewell to ministry staff he had worked with over the past three months, Georgiades announced that he will definitely resign as minister so as "not to confuse the message of his vote in Parliament".

    He defended his decision to vote in favour of the austerity measures, describing them as a "realistic plan for exiting the crisis" that would be Greece's "last chance" to avoid returning to the drachma.

    In statements at the ministry, the former minister announced that he will keep his seat in Parliament until a draft bill abolishing cabotage for cruise ships is passed, though noting that he would give up the seat if LAOS leader George Karatzaferis asked him to.

    [07] PASOK MP Mayia Tsokli resigns, citing personal reasons

    PASOK state deputy Mayia Tsokli on Monday announced that she was resigning from her seat in Parliament, in a letter sent to Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos.

    Tsokli, who participated in Sunday's vote and supported the second bailout deal for Greece, cited personal reasons for her decision.

    The next runner-up on the party's state deputy ticket was Stavroula Saloufakou, the head of the Athens Labour Centre, who declined to take up the seat in a letter to Petsalnikos.

    "Today, when workers are in the eye of the cyclone, when the role and existence of trade unions is questioned, I feel it is my duty and obligation to stay on the front line of the struggle and honour the trust of my colleagues," she said.

    The seat will now go to the second runner-up on the list of state deputies, Tatiana Karapanagioti.

    [08] 93 buildings destroyed or seriously damaged, 74 arrests during Sunday riots

    Ninety three buildings were totaly destroyed or suffered serious damage by fire, among them at least one listed building, and at least 150 others looted and damaged, were the sad toll of Sunday's violent riots in downtown Athens, according to the latest reckoning on Monday.

    Nine historical buildings are among those seriously damaged by fire.

    A total of 74 people were arrested during the rioting while more than 90 people were brought in for questioning by security police during clashes between riot police and groups of hood-wearing youths that infiltrated a large but mainly peaceful demonstration against new harsh austerity measures.

    Police used teargas and chemicals, while in many instances they also accompanied the fire engines to help them approach the flaming buildings.

    Some 103 police officers were injured and also a large number of citizens, who were taken to hospital.

    The clashes began when scores of black-masked individuals threw rocks, stones and firebombs at riot police outside the Greek Parliament on Sunday afternoon, once again spoiling a much larger demonstration by protesters rallying against the latest round of austerity measures demanded by Greece's creditors to approve a new bailout package.

    The original protest was called by the country's two major umbrella labour federations (GSEE and ADEDY) and the Communist Party-affiliated PAME labour organisation against the new memorandum.

    Among the buildings that suffered extensive damage was the two-storey listed building on the corner of Stadiou and Christou Lada streets, while some damage was also inflicted on the Aghios Dionysnnsios Cathedral on the corner of Panepistimiou and Omirou streets.

    Culture ministry preservation of monuments staff fear the two-storey building on Christou Lada, which housed the cinemas Attikon and Apollon, may have lost its upper floor entirely but were denied entry by the fire department on Monday on safety grounds. The building was erected between the years 1870 and 1881, based on a design by Athens' foremost architect of that period, Ernst Ziller.

    The damage to the Agios Dionysios Church is restricted to the exterior railings, iron gate and marble steps.

    On a more positive note, the listed building housing the Asty cinema on Klafthmonos Square escaped a fire in a building next door virtually unscathed, barring some damage to its entrance.

    Among the historical buildings that suffered serious damage are the State General Accounting Office building on the corner of Panepistimiou and Korai streets, Nikoloudi Building on Panespistimiou street, the five-storey building on the corner of Panepistimiou and Pesmatzoglou streets (formerly the Popular Bank building), a complex of historical buildings on 6-8 Stadiou street, the three-storey building on the corner of Athinas and Kakourgiodikiou streets housing the Bank of Cyprus and the four-storey building on 66 Ermou street.

    Meanwhile, more than 170 businesses in downtown Athens have suffered damages as a result of Sunday night's incidents based on an initial survey carried out by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) on Monday.

    EBEA teams recorded damage sustained on shopping high streets in central Athens, reporting that damage estimates by business owners run to tens of millions of euro and concern damage to buildings, fittings, equipment and looting of merchandise.

    At least 45 businesses suffered a total loss due to fire, while there was also extensive damage to 17 bank branches, four book shops, five department stores and shopping malls, 70 shops selling clothing or footwear and 29 other types of businesses.

    [09] ND party leader Samaras deplores Sunday's disturbances in Athens

    New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras on Monday reacted strongly to Sunday's disturbances in Athens.

    "They wrecked the city, they wrecked the market, they chose historical buildings deliberately and they burnt them. These hoodlums must know that when the time comes, I shall pull down their hoods. Because the hoods must come off not only for us to see who they are, but also who are hiding behind them, who do not want the Greek people to be able to have the right to express themselves freely," Samaras said.

    [10] Citizen Protection Minister meets PM, urges 'calmness and self-restraint'

    Emerging from a meeting with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos concerning Sunday night's rioting in downtown Athens, Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis on Monday urged all sides to show calmness and self-restraint after a night in which "irresponsibility in thought and action of some parties had prevailed".

    He underlined that such incidents could not happen again, adding that the riots were damaging for Greece's image abroad and "insulting to Greek democracy".

    "The country must stand upright, Greece must stand on its own two feet and if we do not all contribute to this in every way we will not succeed, for the glory of those seeking to bring Greece to its knees and to leave us outside the EU and the Euro," he added.

    Asked whether the police and emergency services response had been adequate, Papoutsis insisted that enough police had been deployed and that a superhuman effort made, adding that there were never enough police and fire-fighting forces in a country.

    Concerning police handling of the incidents and whether the country would witness a repeat of Sunday's riots, the minister noted that Greece was going through a difficult period that created social tensions, urging all sides to behave calmly and responsibly.

    He was also critical of political forces that he said should do more to pre-empt such violence rather saving their condemnation until after it took place.

    Sources within the ministry, meanwhile, accused sections of the media of targeting the current chief of police and suggested that their criticism would be much milder if the head of the police was a different person.

    [11] ND party leader Samaras holds meeting with ND Prefectural Committee presidents

    New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras held a meeting with about 60 presidents of ND's Prefectural Administrative Committees (NODE) at the party's offices late on Monday afternoon. According to reprorts, the ND leader reiterated the reasons that led him to his stance in Parliament on Sunday, stressing that the dilemma was, as he said characteristically, "doubtful salvation or extreme default."

    As regards the expulsions, Samaras was clear, saying that from the moment that he had raised an issue of party discipline and had underlined the challenge that existed for the country, he could never back down. "If I backed down what sort of prime minister would I become?", Samaras wondered, who listened for many hours to the views expressed by cadres on how the party should act in the coming period.

    [12] KKE SG on new political landscape after Sunday vote

    Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday said pressure exerted by the popular labour movement has led PASOK and New Democracy (ND) MPs to vote outside their party lines creating a new political landscape. She spoke about a small victory that can become a notable one if the movement is protected from "Trojan Horses".

    Speaking in a press conference, Papariga expressed strong reservations on whether the move of tens of MPs to break with their party lines can lead to new political scenery or to one that is perceived as being new.

    As regards the time of the general elections, she said that she is not sure if they will be called by the eurogroup or the prime minister and the political parties supporting his government.

    Papariga said that the political system will seek ways to be disguised in order to manipulate the people. She expressed certainty that the new political forces that could be created by the "rebel" MPs will cooperate either with PASOK or ND to have the memorandum implemented.

    The KKE general secretary also lashed out at Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and the Democratic Left saying that they defend the EU while being against the memorandum.

    Referring to Sunday's violence and destruction in downtown Athens, Papariga spoke about "organised state provocation" which is aimed at hurting the popular movement.

    [13] Kouvelis: political system in decay

    Democratic Left president Fotis Kouvelis on Monday called for general elections and said that the political system is "in decay and collapses, being reviled and scorned," commenting on the developments recorded in the political parties that support the Papademos government.

    Kouvelis stated that the country is entering an extremely difficult period with a fragmented society, adding that efforts should focus on seeking elements that could lift some of the burden laid on the people.

    He said elections should be held without a delay, stressing that the country is faced with a political crisis and elections is the only clear, honest and democratically useful solution.

    On the likelihood of cooperation with the MPs expelled from PASOK, Kouvelis said that his party promotes a relationshiop of confidence with society.

    [14] Official websites go down overnight, possible organised hacker attack being investigated

    Authorities were troubled on Monday morning by problems arising throughout the night with the websites of the Greek prime minister, government officials, political parties and state services, and the police electronic crimes division was investigating whether they were the target of an organised attack by hackers.

    More specifically, the websites of prime minister Lucas Papademos, citizens protection minister Christos Papoutsis, the Greek Police (ELAS) and the Hellenic Parliament were among official websites that went offline.

    Police said the problem occurred when the websites were bombarded by people attempting to access the websites simultaneously, causing the system to collapse.

    Technical services succeeded in restoring the sites during the night, but some of those sites, including the police site, the sites of the mainstream PASOK and New Democracy (ND) parties, the finance ministry and finance minister and government vice-president Evangelos Venizelos, went offline again.

    [15] Parliament president signs cooperation protocol with Serbian Parliament

    BELGRADE (AMNA - N. Pelpas)

    Greek Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos on Monday signed a protocol of cooperation between the Greek and Serb Parliaments with his Serb counterpart Slavica Jukic-Dejanovic.

    The agreement calls for the Greek Parliament to supply know-how to the Serb Parliament concerning the process of rapprochement with European structures.

    In a press conference afterward, Petsalnikos noted that the Greek proposal was judged the best among eight other proposals put forward by European Parliaments.

    He also referred to Sunday night's vote in favour of a new bailout programme for Greece, stressing the necessity for painful measures in order for the country to recover and remain in the Eurozone.

    Petsalnikos is scheduled to meet Serb President Boris Tadic.

    [16] Tsohatzopoulos requests bail reduction

    Former minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Monday filed an appeal against a decision by a court of appeals judge setting a bail of 150,000 euros for his release, requesting a reduced bail and the lifting of a condition barring him from leaving the country.

    A decision on Tsohatzopoulos' petition is expected to be issued in the next few days.

    Court of Appeals Judge Theodoros Kanellopoulos had also issued an injunction on a luxury home in Athens owned by Tsohatzopoulos following his testimony during an investigation into allegations concerning a false source of income declaration.

    The former high-ranking PASOK party minister was summoned to testify a few days ago after the source of income declaration he submitted in 2010, for the 2009 fiscal year, was considered "insincere".

    Financial News

    [17] New memorandum envisages additional austerity measures of 3.2 bln euros

    A new memorandum approved by the Greek Parliament on Sunday envisages additional fiscal measures worth 3.2 billion euros, as the government has committed to measures worth 14.2-14.5 billion euros in the 2012-2014 period, -- while a one-year extension of the memorandum until 2015 is also examined.

    In June, the troika will assess whether the government has achieved the targets set, in order to avoid additional, such as additional wage cuts in the public sector and further cutbacks in social and defense spending.

    The programme will be assessed on a quarterly basis, while the government has pledged to take additional measures if necessary. The state budget is expected to record a primary deficit of 1.0 pct of GDP (2.2 billion euros) this year as a result of a deep economic recession in the country, instead of a primary surplus of 1.5 pct of GDP as previously estimated. The government is projected to record a primary budget surplus next year (1.65 pct of GDP rising to 4.4 pct of GDP in 2014).

    The new memorandum among others also envisages new cuts in wages and pensions in the private sector, lay-offs in the public sector, closing down public sector agencies, freezing new hirings, reforming the labor market, raising property values, imposing more tax burdens, simplifying VAT, changes in property taxation, full opening of so-called closed professions, massive selling of public sector enterprises and the state's real estate property.

    The program envisages revenues totaling 4.5 billion euros from privatisations this year, namely, the natural gas provider DEPA-DESFA, Hellenic Petroleum, OPAP, Athens Water & Sewerage, Thessaloniki Water and the IBC (the procedure is expected to begin in the first half), followed by ports, airports and the Egnatia motorway in the second half.

    By the end of March 2012, all assets included in a privatisation programme - with the exception of bank shares and loss-making assets (TrainOSE, Hellenic Vehicle Industry and Hellenic Defense Systems) - must be transferred to the State's Private Property Fund. The memorandum also envisages further increases in the fares of Hellenic Railway, the urban bus systems and electricity bills issued by the Public Power Corp..

    [18] Athens Chamber chief: Now the hard part begins

    Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) president Constantine Michalos said on Monday that "now the hard part begins", adding that "now, more than ever before, a tough negotiation is needed by the Greek side".

    He said that the Hellenic parliament opted to ratify the new loan agreement for Greece and the accompanying harsh austerity measures, as well as the PSI. Parliament made this decision even when the representatives themselves of the EU/IMF troika, which imposed the Memorandum, and even top officials of the government that agreed to the Memorandum acknowledge that it contains tragic mistakes, admit that excessive emphasis is placed on increasing taxes and cutting salaries, and concede that the recession in Greece renders impossible the attainment of the fiscal targets," Michalos said.

    "Unfortunately, nothing has finished with the ratification of the new Memorandum. Implementation of the PSI and the new loan agreement are not a panacea and will not lead automatically to the salvation or the streamlining of the Greek economy," he warned, stressing that the country needs a new, clear-cut government programme that will be accepted by the majority of the Greek people, in order to make use of whatever easing of the burden arises from the bond swaps and to lead speedily and safely to the country's exit from the crisis.

    [19] GSEE trade union federation asks European Parliament to intervene against austerity cuts

    The General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), Greece's largest umbrella trade union group representing the private sector, on Monday asked the European Parliament to intervene against austerity cuts imposed on Greek workers under the new agreement for bailout loans to Greece.

    In an open letter to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, GSEE argues that the new loan agreement violates workers' fundamental social and economic rights that are protected under European law and Community regulations.

    It notes that the conditions and terms demanded by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) overturn basic and fundamental worker rights, such as the institution of collective labour agreements, that are protected by the Greek Constitution and European treaties.

    GSEE has sent copies of the letter to Greek MEPs, requesting their immediate intervention.

    [20] Agricultural Development and Food minister on visit to Russia

    MOSCOW (AMNA/Th. Avgerinos)

    Agricultural Development and Food Minister Costas Skandalidis began a four-day visit to Moscow and Saint Petersburg on Sunday in the framework, as he told reporterhs, of a wider policy aimed at promoting Greek farm products in markets overseas and in big markets in particular, such as the Russian one.

    On Monday, the Greek minister attended the official inauguration of Moscow's big annual international exhibition ProdExport. Over 30 Greek commercial and food production firms are represented in this year's exhibition, while the Greek Exports Promotion Organisation also has a big exhibition pavilion.

    Skandalidis was received at the Russian Agriculture ministry by his Russian counterpart Jelena Skrinik, with whom he discussed bilateral cooperation issues in the agricultural sector and matters concerning facilitating exports to Russia.

    Skandalidis stressed Greek interest in exports of Greek quality farm products to Russia, whose market still remains a virgin one for Greek products, while also referring to the upward trends in exports of Greek products to Russia, referring in particular to fruit and vegetables, Greek olive oil and olives, wine, sea food and dairy products.

    [21] Business Briefs

    -- The import price composite index in the industrial sector rose 7.2 pct in December 2011 after an increase of 6.6 pct recorded in the same month in 2010, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    -- Income tourism's spending in Greece totaled 492 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 466 million euros in the corresponding period in 2010, for an increase of 5.4 pct, a report by Visa Europe said on Monday.

    [22] Stocks jump 4.65 pct

    Stocks soared to new highs in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as the approval of a new memorandum by the Parliament on Sunday - paving the way for announcing the terms of a PSI+ programme - created euphoria in the market.

    Buying interest focused on bank shares. The composite index of the market jumped 4.65 pct to end at 834.41 points, off the day's highs of 843.64 points.

    Turnover was a strong 94.732 million euros.

    The Big Cap index jumped 6.22 pct, the Mid Cap index rose 2.98 pct and the Small Cap index ended 3.39 pct higher. Eurobank (27.27 pct), Hellenic Postbank (23.13 pct), Piraeus Bank (21.16 pct) and Alpha Bank (20 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while PPC (2.78 pct) and Folli Follie (1.38 pct) suffered losses.

    Banks (12.32 pct), Health (5.83 pct) and Technology (5.53 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (3.77 pct), Commerce (1.30 pct) and Utilities (0.92 pct) ended lower. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 139 to 37 with another 21 issues unchanged. Eurobank (27.27 pct), Creta Farm (23.85 pct) and Hellenic Postbank (23.13 pct) were top gainers, while Ilyda (20.43 pct), Euroholdings (20 pct) and Elbisco (20 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +2.48%

    Commercial: -1.30%

    Construction: +1.96%

    Oil & Gas: +1.38%

    Personal & Household: +2.10%

    Raw Materials: +3.70%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.45%

    Technology: +5.53%

    Media: -3.77%

    Telecoms: +1.03%

    Banks: +12.32%

    Food & Beverages: +5.45%

    Health: +5.83%

    Utilities: -0.92%

    Chemicals: +0.19%

    Financial Services: +5.07%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.74

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.20

    HBC Coca Cola: 15.40

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.88

    National Bank of Greece: 2.92

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 1.12

    OPAP: 7.21

    OTE: 2.94

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.62

    Titan: 14.23

    [23] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened to 27.97 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market, with the Greek bond yielding 29.91 pct and the German Bund 1.94 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate was 1.69 pct, the six-month rate 1.35 pct, the three-month rate 1.05 pct and the one-month rate 0.63 pct.

    [24] ADEX closing report

    The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.25 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover remaining a low 27.795 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,872 contracts worth 13.775 million euros, with 29,772 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 64,360 contracts worth 14.020 million euros with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (29,971), followed by Cyprus Bank (2,967), PPC (1,146), OPAP (1,130), Piraeus Bank (3,130), National Bank (18,883), Mytilineos (1,582), GEK (1,946), OTE (725), MIG (521), Hellenic Postbank (650), Motor Oil (427) and Marfin Popular Bank (332).

    [25] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.345

    Pound sterling 0.851

    Danish kroner 7.544

    Swedish kroner 8.941

    Japanese yen 104.4

    Swiss franc 1.227

    Norwegian kroner 7.684

    Canadian dollar 1.342

    Australian dollar 1.251

    General News

    [26] Modern art from British Council Collection at Benaki

    Roughly 150 works by 30 artists, including Keith Arnatt, Helen Chadwick, Peter Doig, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst, Mark Titchner, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger, will be on display in the exhibition entitled "Made in Britain: Modern Art from the British Council Collection" to open on Feb. 15 at Benaki Museum in Athens.

    The exhibition, to run until April 22, reflects the breadth and diversity of British art throughout the 30 year period 1980-2010 and constitutes a rare opportunity for art lovers to experience at first hand the creative journey of some of the most prolific contemporary British artists of the past thirty years.

    During the period since 1980, which is covered by the exhibition, enormous shifts have taken place in the role that art plays in British society. From Gilbert & George's Intellectual Depression (1980) to Gary Hume's Sister Troop (2009), the exhibition tells the story of how art has mapped and reflected these changes.

    [27] Cypriots collecting food and clothing for the poor in Greece

    NICOSIA(AMNA/A. Viketos)

    Cypriots are responding massively to the campaign by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) and the Archdiocese of Cyprus to collect food and clothing with the aim of sending aid to poor people and other people suffering from the economic crisis in Greece.

    RIK's campaign began on Monday, on the occasion of international radio day, and will be concluded at the end of the week.

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, speaking to RIK, expressed his gratitude to Cypriot Hellenism for its assistance.

    The campaign for the collection of food and clothing is being assisted by National Guardsmen, boy scouts and other volunteers. The aid that will be collected will be sent to the Athens Archdiocese and to bishopric centres in Greece.

    [28] Cargo ship abandonded due to fire- Crew safe

    The Liberian-flagged freighter "Konkge" was abandoned on Monday by its five member crew after a fire broke out, due to unknown reasons, northeast off the coast of the island of Limnos (northeastern Aegean).

    The vessel was loaded with cigarettes and its crew, all foreign nationals, were rescued by a coast guard vessel and were taken to Limnos. A Super Puma helicopter took part in the rescue operation.

    The fire is under control and the ship will be tugged to a port under the shipowner company's responsibility.

    Weather forecast

    [29] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -3C and 16C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens, with southerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 4C to 12C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from -1C to 6C.

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

    The approval of the new bailout loan programme by the Greek parliament and the expulsion of MPs who did not follow their parties' line, and the clashes in downtown Athens dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Parliament voted 'YES' to memorandum no. 2".

    AVGHI: "Memorandum invalid - The people voted against it".

    AVRIANI: "The government and its supporting parties must leave before they completely destroy the country".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Athens in flames, Greece in chaos".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Night of terror inside and outside the Greek parliament".

    ESTIA: "Unbelievable destruction".

    ETHNOS: "Historic 'yes' and storm in the parties".

    IMERISSIA: "Breather for the country".

    KATHIMERINI: "Step of responsibility, cracks in the parties".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "With 199 'yes' votes into a period of recession and austerity".

    TA NEA: "Yes amidst fire and tears".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The popular rage will crush the PASOK0New Democracy co-governance".

    VRADYNI: "Immediate elections the only redemption, due to the lack of correlation between the people and parliament!".

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


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