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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-04-11

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

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

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 Issue No: 4044

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't: Public sector employees, excluding utilities, total 712,076
  • [02] PM to call on President Wed. at 5pm, expected to ask for dissolution of parliament and declare elections
  • [03] PASOK leader: 'We've covered 2/3 of a difficult path'
  • [04] ND lashes out at new PASOK leader Venizelos
  • [05] Samaras meets with Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul
  • [06] Karatzaferis calls for caretaker government
  • [07] Publisher Kyrtsos to seek election on LAOS ticket
  • [08] SYRIZA leader Tsipras' press con'f
  • [09] Parliament: New Standing Committee on the Correctional System
  • [10] Parliament authorisation for opening of Swiss bank accounts
  • [11] Gov't presents clause allowing exemptions from EOPYY
  • [12] Tsohatzopoulos to face charges for inaccurate "source of income" declaration
  • [13] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from six-month T-bills auction
  • [14] Hellenic Petroleum looking for new sources of crude oil supplies.
  • [15] Euroconsultants announces share capital increase plan
  • [16] Greek merchant marine fleet down in numbers up in capacity
  • [17] Mutual funds report positive returns in Q1
  • [18] Stocks jump 3.17 pct on Tues.
  • [19] Greek bond market closing report
  • [20] ADEX closing report
  • [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [22] Donation to Athens Archdiocese by Church of America
  • [23] 2 foreign nat'l charged in ring stealing beach beds, umbrellas
  • [24] TRAINOSE increasing train seats on Good Thursday due to KTEL strike
  • [25] Cloudy on Wednesday Politics

  • [01] Gov't: Public sector employees, excluding utilities, total 712,076

    Public sector employees, not including public utility company (DEKO) employees, number 712,076, of which 636,188 are permanent personnel, according to a registry of employees on the state payroll, unveiled on Tuesday by Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    Their number dropped by 60,000 from 768,039, according to a census conducted in 2010.

    In 2010, a total of 53,000 employees retired and left the public sector, while roughly 22,000 were hired to cover vacancies, according to Reppas, who stated that roughly 40,000 employees retired in 2011 and hirings were under 10,000.

    He expressed optimism that the goal to reduce the size of Greece's enormous public sector by 150,000 employees before the end of 2015 can be met.

    Responding to a relevant question, he said the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" has called for layoffs which, however, should not be indiscriminate and should always be conducted within the framework of the sector's restructuring.

    [02] PM to call on President Wed. at 5pm, expected to ask for dissolution of parliament and declare elections

    Prime minister Lucas Papademos will call on President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

    Papademos is expected to ask the President to dissolve parliament and declare general elections.

    Earlier, the prime minister will chair a meeting of his Cabinet.

    [03] PASOK leader: 'We've covered 2/3 of a difficult path'

    "We assume our share of the responsibility for everything that happened in the past; for our mistakes and omissions," PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos reiterated on Tuesday.

    Addressing Parliament, he accused New Democracy (ND) and its leader Antonis Samaras of saying nothing about that party's responsibility and the responsibility of the previous Karamanlis government, of which he (Samaras) was a member.

    Venizelos said PASOK shouldered a disproportionate political burden in the past two-and-a-half years and became the "sacrificial lamb" for all sins committed in the recent past. He admitted that "many of the decisions taken were unfair to the people and caused the wrath of society, but they were imposed from outside because the country" had to find money".

    "We have covered two-thirds of a difficult path," he said, pointing out that the country is one step away from primary surpluses necessary to make it viable and competitive. He also claimed that the Greek people are very close to regaining what they have lost.

    [04] ND lashes out at new PASOK leader Venizelos

    New Democracy (ND) spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Tuesday countered criticism by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, calling the latter one of the main authors of the memorandum, and as such "he proves once again that when shame is lost, audacity rules."

    Responding to Venizelos' address before Parliament, Mihelakis said the PASOK leader "recommends the extension of the economic policy until 2015 and repeats what is already provided in the programme in case of a deeper recession. This way he admits that all his forecasts have failed."

    Referring to Venizelos' proposals, aimed at boosting competitiveness, he wondered why they were not implemented by Venizelos and PASOK in the two-and-a-half years they were in power and why he did not implement them when he was the minister of finance.

    Mihelakis also underlined that Venizelos lays the blame on ND for everything that is the sole responsibility of the PASOK government.

    [05] Samaras meets with Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul

    ISTANBUL (AMNA / A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras here on Tuesday, as the two exchanged wishes on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter this Sunday.

    Responding to press questions on the upcoming elections, and after meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch at the Phanar, Samaras stressed that "the people have the right to channel the pressure they are under toward a positive direction producing a constructive result for Greece."

    "There is anger and justified indignation but, on the other hand, there is also what's good for the country".

    Bartholomew wished for better days for the Greek people, saying that Resurrection may come in every sense of the word.

    [06] Karatzaferis calls for caretaker government

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis called for the formation of a caretaker government that will conduct the coming elections, during a meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday.

    Karatzaferis cited the fluid political climate and the critical importance of the elections, noting that the "ministerial offices are functioning as political (campaign) offices, and this is proven by the nearly 500 'political favor' amendments, which confirm our worries".

    [07] Publisher Kyrtsos to seek election on LAOS ticket

    Newspaper publisher George Kyrtsos has joined ranks with the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, LAOS leader George Karatzaferis announced on Tuesday.

    Kyrtsos, who publishes the free newspapers "City Press" daily and the Free Sunday weekly, will head the party's State Deputies ticket, and will also assume the post of party press spokesman as soon as elections are formally declared.

    [08] SYRIZA leader Tsipras' press con'f

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group president Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday predicted that a "state of chaos" will prevail in the country if the parties supporting the Memorandum, as he said, form a coalition government following upcoming general elections.

    Speaking at a press conference focusing on unemployment, Tsipras also called for the formation of a government by a "new coalition of powers", reiterating his proposal for cooperation between left-wing parties.

    "...because they (elections) are an important opportunity for an exit from the current impasse, for a solution to be found ... There is no doubt that if the parties of the Memorandum form a coalition government the day following elections --aimed at the unobstructed implementation of the loan contract and the second memorandum, we will have in June a state of chaos in the country."

    Tsipras presented his party's proposals to tackle unemployment, primarily a vast programme of public investments, support for SMEs and no layoffs in the public sector, along with the abolition of the labour reserve programme.

    [09] Parliament: New Standing Committee on the Correctional System

    The Parliament plenary on Monday night unanimously passed an amendment to the Rules of Parliament for the creation of a Standing Committee on the Correctional System.

    The Committee, proposed by parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos, will study, monitor and evaluate the correctional system in the country and submit recommendations for improvement of the living conditions of the inmates in the correctional facilities, modernisation of the institutional framework and in general the drafting of strategy on correctional policy issues.

    [10] Parliament authorisation for opening of Swiss bank accounts

    The authorization provided by Greek MPs, with the exception of New Democracy (ND) deputies, for the opening of bank accounts in Switzerland will be forwarded to the Swiss authorities via the diplomatic route, Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos said on Tuesday.

    Responding to a relevant question, ND parliamentary group secretary Costas Tassoulas said his party did not participate in the initiative because it was regarded as being a pretense, considering thatParliament has rejected ND's proposal for a "source of wealth" investigation to be conducted exclusively by members of the judiciary.

    [11] Gov't presents clause allowing exemptions from EOPYY

    Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Tuesday added a clause in a draft law on Social Insurance Foundation (IKA-ETAM) allowing social insurance funds, as well as, healthcare sectors to be excluded from being incorporated into the recently launched Unified Primary Healthcare Organisation (EOPYY).

    The deadline set for a relevant decision is Dec. 13, 2012, under the precondition that the healthcare funds interested in being excluded should become private law entities and, therefore, receive no state funding whatsoever.

    "Those who want and have the money can choose not to join EOPYY, they should have the courage to depend on their own resources," Loverdos said.

    [12] Tsohatzopoulos to face charges for inaccurate "source of income" declaration

    Prosecutor Galinos Bris on Tuesday recommended, to the Council of Court of Appeals Judges, that former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos face charges for filing an inaccurate "source of income" declaration in 2010, submitted for the fiscal year 2009. He also recommended that charges against Tsochatzopoulos for the years 1998 until 2005 be dropped.

    The suit against Tsohatzopoulos was put together after the results of a crosscheck, using personal data, became available by the responsible Parliamentary committee.

    According to findings of the committee that were forwarded to the Court of Appeals, Tsohatzopoulos' "source of income" declaration did not include his two-storey neo-classical residence on Dionissios Areopagitis boulevard directly facing the south side of the Acropolis in central Athens, while his declared income did not correspond with assets in his possession.

    Financial News

    [13] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from six-month T-bills auction

    Greece on Tuesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bills issue raising 1.3 billion euros from the market at a lower cost. The Public Debt Management Organization in an announcement said that the interest rate of the issue was set at 4.55 pct, down from 4.8 pct in the previous auction of same bills in March 6. Bids submitted totaled 2.620 billion euros, 2.62 times more than the asked sum.

    [14] Hellenic Petroleum looking for new sources of crude oil supplies.

    Hellenic Petroleum is searching for new sources of crude oil supplies to replace a shortfall created by an Iran decision to suspend oil supplies to Greece, company officials told AMNA on Tuesday, adding that preparations have begun a few months ago after the European Union said it was imposing an embargo on Iran oil supplies from July 1.

    Hellenic Petroleum Group's official position on the issue is: "we are not commenting on our commercial policy", but market reports said that Iran's share in Greek oil imports -which jumped to 25 pct in 2011 from 7.0 pct in 2010- was now covered by imports from the Middle East, North Africa and Russia.

    [15] Euroconsultants announces share capital increase plan

    Euroconsultants SA on Tuesday announces share capital increase plans aimed at boosting its liquidity and covering its participation in Seed Capital Fund - a fund with a 10-mln-euro capital, which will cover Greece in full but will focus on the central Macedonia region.

    The sum and terms of the share capital increase plan will be decided by a regular general shareholders' meeting, possibly in late May or early June. Euroconsultants said it expected its parent turnover to surpass 1.0 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, up 40 pct from the same period last year.

    [16] Greek merchant marine fleet down in numbers up in capacity

    Greek shipowners invested on larger but fewer ships in the period from 2011 until early March 2012, a report by the London's Committee said on Tuesday.

    The Committee, in its annual report on the Greek merchant marine fleet -compiled in cooperation with Lloyd's Register-Fairplay- said the number of Greek-owned ships fell in the period under review, but rose in capacity. The Greek fleet totaled 3,760 vessels in early March, down 88 units from the previous period, while capacity rose by 2.3 million to 264.05 million tons. The figures include a total of 437 vessels currently under work in shipbuilding companies. Worries over structural organizing of the Greek flag led to a decline in the fleet of vessels registered under the Greek flag. It currently totals 862 vessels, down from 917 in 2011 and 969 in 2010. The figures for 2012 include 85 shipbuilding orders, down from 127 in 2011 and 189 in 2010. The Greek flag lost the most Greek-owned vessels (55), followed by Panama (33), Cyprus (23) and St. Vincent (14). Liberia (38), Marshall Islands (15), Hong Kong (11), Bahamas (7) and Malta (5) recorded the biggest increases.

    The Greek register, however, remained the top flag among Greek shipowners with 862 vessels, followed by Liberia (630), Malta (523), Marshall Islands (491), Panama (408), Bahamas (293) and Cyprus (235).

    [17] Mutual funds report positive returns in Q1

    Mutual funds assets remained stable, while most categories recorded positive returns in the first quarter of 2012, a report showed on Tuesday. Only the fixed-income and combined mutual funds categories recorded negative returns due to the participation of mutual funds companies in a voluntary Greek bond exchange. Assets under management totaled 8.43 billion euros at the end of March, while assets under management by mutual funds was 5.225 billion euros at the of March, unchanged from 5.229 billion euros in January 1, 2012.

    Capital outflows in the mutual funds market totaled 72 million euros in the January-March period. The Developing market equity funds (14.12 pct), index funds (9.71 pct) and fixed-income non-sovereign high yield funds (8.16 pct) categories recorded the biggest quarterly returns.

    [18] Stocks jump 3.17 pct on Tues.

    Investors' expectations that the terms of a bank recapitalization plan will be more favourable for banks compared with initial estimates, sparked a strong rally of prices in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The composite index of the market jumped 3.17 pct to end at 730.03 points, pushed higher by a spectacular rise in bank shares -the relative index soared 21.05 pct. Turnover also rose markedly to reach 60.590 million euros.

    The Big Cap index jumped 6.58 pct, the Mid Cap index rose 1.56 pct and the Small Cap index ended 1.20 pct higher. The Bank (21.05 pct), Media (10 pct) and Financial Services (7.99 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Food (3.22 pct) and Chemicals (2.44 pct) suffered losses.

    Eurobank (28.65 pct), Piraeus bank (27.31 pct) and Alpha Bank (27.08 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Coca Cola 3E (3.32 pct), OPAP (1.93 pct) and Viohalco (1.55 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 96 to 52 with another 15 issues unchanged. Eurobank (28.65 pct), Q&R (27.84 pct) and Piraeus Bank (27.31 pct) were top gainers, while Audiovisual (21.35 pct), Edrasi (19.71 pct) and Flexopack (17.40 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -0.22%

    Commercial: +0.99%

    Construction: +2.88%

    Media: +10.00%

    Oil & Gas: +2.55%

    Personal & Household: +0.15%

    Raw Materials: +3.71%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.84%

    Technology: +4.98%

    Telecoms: +2.69%

    Banks: +21.05%

    Food & Beverages: -3.22%

    Health: +3.10%

    Utilities: +0.61%

    Chemicals: -2.44%

    Financial Services: +7.99%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.07

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 3.23

    HBC Coca Cola: 13.68

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.00

    National Bank of Greece: 2.05

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.67

    OPAP: 6.61

    OTE: 3.05

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.33

    Titan: 15.00

    [19] Greek bond market closing report

    Eurozone bond markets remained volatile after returning to operation from a five-day holiday, reflecting market worries over debt developments in regional Eurozone and stronger economies such as France.

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was almost unchanged at 20.50 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 22.15 pct and the German Bund 1.65 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate eased to 1.39 pct, the six-month rate was 1.06 pct, the three-month was 0.76 pct and the one-month rate 0.41 pct.

    [20] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.79 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover at 23.733 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 9,141 contracts worth 12.909 million euros, with 17,951 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 80,989 contracts worth 10.824 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (34,246), followed by National Bank (27,442), OTE (858), PPC (670), Piraeus Bank (4,218), Cyprus Bank (8,972), Marfin Popular Bank (623), Hellenic Postbank (1,782) and OPAP (409).

    [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.331

    Pound sterling 0.839

    Danish kroner 7.551

    Swedish kroner 9.006

    Japanese yen 108.08

    Swiss franc 1.220

    Norwegian kroner 7.695

    Canadian dollar 1.328

    Australian dollar 1.293

    General News

    [22] Donation to Athens Archdiocese by Church of America

    Archbishop of America Dimitrios conveyed the amount of 500,000 dollars, an offer to the Church of Greece by the Church of America, to Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos to be allocated to meals for poor people and humanitarian projects of the Archdiocese. The Prelate visited the Archbishop who thanked him for his offer.

    Immediately afterwards, Dimitrios visited the offices of the Humanitarian Organisation "Apostoli" where he was welcomed by the general director C. Dimtsas.

    Dimitrios referred in his address to culture and the history of Greece, stressing that Greece "has at least 6,000 years of life, it has history, culture."

    [23] 2 foreign nat'l charged in ring stealing beach beds, umbrellas

    Two Albanian nationals, aged 32 and 49, were arrested in Perdika, Thesprotia prefecture in the extreme northwest of the country after police found in their car a total of 32 beach beds they had allegedly stolen from a local business, it was announced on Tuesday.

    An investigation revealed that from Oct. 4, 2011 until their arrest they had reportedly stolen a total of 248 beach beds and 32 beach umbrellas from four local businesses and two in nearby Preveza.

    The suspects targeted hotels, cafes and similar businesses.

    The stolen items were recovered in a plot near the resort of Rio, near the city of Patras, as well as in a village near Ioannina. Authorities said an accomplice was due to pickup the beach beds and transport them to Albania for sale.

    [24] TRAINOSE increasing train seats on Good Thursday due to KTEL strike

    The number of seats provided by TRAINOSE trains along the Athens-Thessalonki route will be increased by 40 percent on Thursday to serve the public, since drivers of the KTEL longdistance buses have called a 24-hour strike on the same day and problems may be created despite the fact that buses will be operated by their owners.

    According to an announcement by TRAINOSE, the number of seats provided in all regular routes between Athens-Thessaloniki has been increased and, in prarallel, the circulation of an extra train numbered IC 4050 has been anticipated with the departure time from the Athens station being 20:18 pm.

    Weather forecast

    [25] Cloudy on Wednesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are expected in most parts of the country on Wednesday. Winds 3-6 beauforte.

    Temperatures between 5C and 20C. Cloudy in Athens with northerly 3-4 beauforte winds and temperatures between 6C and 19C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 5C and 17C.

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The seamen's strike, the ratification of the political parties' financing and the speculations for deregulation of PPC rates, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Greece a jungle!".

    AVGHI: "Now is the moment...".

    AVRIANI: "Properties', salaries' and bank accounts' foreclosures".

    DIMOKRATIA: "New attack on real estate".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Three wise men with pre-elections...gifts".

    ESTIA: "Time is being lost for the economy".

    ETHNOS: "Seamen's' bomb to tourism and islands".

    IMERISSIA: "Solution for the banks".

    KATHIMERINI: "The damage has been done, seamen's union insists".

    LOGOS: "Parliament passed the amendment of 'shame' for the parties' financing".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Two scenarios on deregulation of energy rates".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Seamen's 48h strike starts today".

    TA NEA: "New electric shock from PPC'.

    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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