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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-04-26

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

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

Thursday, 26 April 2012 Issue No: 4055

CONTENTS

  • [01] Participation in PSI bond swap at 96.9 percent, finmin announces
  • [02] FinMin says adjustments in econ programme possible
  • [03] Deputy FinMin meets with BoG governor
  • [04] Cabinet meeting on bank recapitalisation on Friday
  • [05] Venizelos unveils platform on governance
  • [06] Samaras: National policy for culture
  • [07] SYRIZA party calls for replacement of ministers
  • [08] Democratic Left leader: ND and PASOK responsible for rotten political system
  • [09] Dem. Alliance leader: We will cooperate in a coalition gov't
  • [10] Social Contract party to hold press conference on Thursday
  • [11] Eco-Greens press conference: 'Our dilemma is the course of the real economy'
  • [12] Citizen Protection minister stresses need to implement migrant readmission treaty with Turkey
  • [13] Disagreement between ministers over first illegal migrants detention centre
  • [14] Trade deficit sharply down by 27.4pctr in Feb. 2012
  • [15] Private power companies given 20 days to settle debts to market operator or face closure
  • [16] Hatzakos elected president of World Federation of Associations Cruise Ports
  • [17] Combined implementation of urban regeneration projects in Athens
  • [18] Two large seamen's unions call 24-hour strike on Mayday
  • [19] Stocks end flat on Wed.
  • [20] Greek bond market closing report
  • [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [22] 6th century BC underground aqueduct unearthed in Megara
  • [23] Araxos airport illegal migrants, new channel to Europe
  • [24] Police confiscate 169,340 packets of contraband cigarettes
  • [25] Armed robbery at gas station on Athens-Corinth motorway
  • [26] Fair on Thursday
  • [27] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Participation in PSI bond swap at 96.9 percent, finmin announces

    Private-sector participation in the PSI bond swap programme has reached 96.9 percent, Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis announced on Wednesday. The finance ministry said the third and final settlement in the bond swap programme was concluded on Wednesday, reducing the value of Greek state bonds with a total nominal value of 199 billion euro.

    [02] FinMin says adjustments in econ programme possible

    Greek Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis left the door open to future adjustments in an economic programme implemented in Greece, with the aim to boost economic growth. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the minister said that "Given the fact that a return to positive growth rates was very important for the success of the programme, future adjustments could be examined".

    He was commenting on whether Greece's creditors were examining a modification of a reforms programme to facilitate economic growth.

    Sahinidis reiterated that Greece will do whatever necessary to ensure that it will achieve its fiscal goals, as agreed and stressed that a second economic adjustment programme envisages funds up to 50 billion euros for the recapitalisation of Greek banks.

    "We work very closely with the troika to complete the details of a plan. We think that following completion of the plan, we will have a sector with strong banks which will offer liquidity -so much needed by the real economy."

    The finance minister stressed that the next prime minister of the country should be an elected politician who will want and have the ability to take the necessary decisions to lead the country out of the crisis.

    [03] Deputy FinMin meets with BoG governor

    Deputy Finance Minister Ioannis Mourmouras on Wednesday met with Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor Giorgos Provopoulos.

    The meeting focused on the Greek economic adjustment programme, European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy issues and the imminent bank recapitalization.

    [04] Cabinet meeting on bank recapitalisation on Friday

    The cabinet will convene on Friday focusing on the solution of certain serious pending issues as regards the recapitalisation of the banks following the completion of the PSI bond swap, a leading finance ministry official pointed out on Wednesday.

    On its part, the Public Debt Management Agency announced that the private investors' participation was at 96.9 pct corresponding to 199-billion-euro debt restructuring.

    The cabinet meeting is also expected to discuss the pending issue of the roughly 6.5-billion-euro worth foreign law bonds not swapped by their owners.

    According to the same finance ministry sources, decisions will be made in consultation with the European Union and the troika (EC-ECB-IMF) to ensure all necessary legal guarantees and avoid future problems. In any case, 450-million-euros worth of state bonds that did not participate in the PSI will not be redeemed on May 15, while the issue of the compensation of small bondholders will be dealt with after the completion of the PSI (most likely after the parliamentary elections).

    The troika representatives are expected back to Athens on May 15-20 to get acquainted with the new finance ministry staff. They will later come back again to check on the implementation of the memorandum and finalize the new measures for the period 2013-2014 corresponding to 11.6 billion euros.

    Finance ministry officials underlined that in case recession breaks the 4.7 pct threshold this year the implementation of new measures will be inevitable (in addition to the 11.6 billion euros already mentioned and the 3.5 billion euros in uncollected taxes or miscalculations).

    The centre of planning and economic research KEPE has already prepared backup plans but decisions will be made by the new government.

    [05] Venizelos unveils platform on governance

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos proposed an overall revision of the Constitution, the first phase of which could be completed by the parliament to arise from the May 6 general elections, in a televised address on Wednesday during which he presented his party's platform on governance.

    Greece, he said, needs a major "national and social pact for a 'New State', a democracy of consensus, because nothing is achieved with marginal majorities".

    He also proposed changes to the election procedure for the President of the Republic, noting that if parliament fails to elect a President with a three-fifths majority (180 votes in the 300-member parliament), then recourse should be taken in the electoral body, while he also suggested that the President be given new regulatory authorities.

    Venizelos further proposed abolition of the "vertical organisation" of the ministries and reduction of the number of deputy ministers to a maximum of 10, a drastic reduction in the state (budget) funding of the political parties, reduction of the maximum age of parliamentary candidates, abolition of the cross of preference on the parties' candidate tickets, re-examination of the Deputies of State institution, and radical changes to the Rules of Parliament, as well as increasing the number of members sitting on the parliamentary fact-finding commissions with the inclusion of judges and experts.

    Finally, he also proposed abolition of the statute of limitations and preferential treatment for ministers, especially in money laundering cases.

    [06] Samaras: National policy for culture

    New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday pledged to bring a national policy for culture, during his meeting with people of the arts and letters at the Mihalis Cacoyannis Foundation building.

    Samaras presented his proposal on a unified Education, Culture and Sports Ministry and referred to the need for a large cultural park in the area surrounding the National Archaeological Museum in Athens to be created, a project that can be carried out with the help of sponsors.

    The ND leader called on the people of the arts and letters to help so as to de-vilify terms and ideas such as homeland, God, entrepreneurship, development and security, adding that "the people believe in you more than they do in politicians and a call on you to show solidarity".

    ND' platform on governance will be unveiled on Thursday and in the evening Samaras will speak at a campaign rally in Sparta.

    [07] SYRIZA party calls for replacement of ministers

    The Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) in an announcement calls for the replacement of the Citizen's Protection, Interior, Justice and State ministers, as is customary in every general election.

    SYRIZA says that the government, while being in essence a caretaker one with the only mission of leading the country to elections, is taking decisions and binding the next Parliament and the next government.

    [08] Democratic Left leader: ND and PASOK responsible for rotten political system

    Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis on Wednesday said that PASOK and New Democracy (ND) are responsible for the rotten political system and corruption, at his meeting with young scientists to whom he presented in detail his party's proposals on the operation of the political system, corruption and transparency.

    In his statement Kouvelis underlined: "At the core of the crisis is the political system that ND and PASOK created. This rotten political system gave birth to the clientele state and corruption, benefitted the few and sent and continues to send large masses of society to poverty and unemployment."

    "This system must be toppled." he concluded.

    [09] Dem. Alliance leader: We will cooperate in a coalition gov't

    "We will cooperate in a coalition government but we will cooperate under specific conditions which we have stated openly to the Greek people," said on Wednesday the leader of Democratic Alliance party Dora Bakoyannis.

    She reiterated that her party is the only political party that from the start has clearly stated that it will cooperate. "PASOK and New Democracy are hiding it but the day after the elections they will appear to proceed with 'some kind of cooperation," said Bakoyannis.

    [10] Social Contract party to hold press conference on Thursday

    The head of the Social Contract party Louka Katseli will hold a press conference for all the media on Thursday at the facilities of the Athens municipality's radio station 'Athina 9.84' at the Athens Technopolis in Gazi.

    Katseli, who was on tour in Halkida on Wednesday, will earlier visit the offices of the Consumers Union for Quality of Life and present her party's proposals for over-indebted households and consumer problems.

    On Friday she intends to carry out a tour of Crete and is due back to Athens on Sunday, in order to address a rally at the Sporting cinema in Nea Smyrni.

    [11] Eco-Greens press conference: 'Our dilemma is the course of the real economy'

    Overcoming the current crisis called for a radical overhaul of the way people lived and the way the economy was run, candidates for Greece's Ecologists-Greens party said during a press conference to present their positions held in Zappion on Wednesday.

    "Our dilemma is what course the real economy will take and what the future of the country will be," said the head of the party's list of state deputies Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, who criticised the economic model promoted by the memorandum as an "economy of plunder" that destroyed jobs and prospects in the long-term for profits in the short term. Planned projects he criticised in this way included plans to drill for oil and dig gold mines in Halkidiki that he said would leave devastated environments that were good for nothing after generating some 20-odd years of income.

    "The crisis is a deep crisis of values and requires intervention on many levels. For this reason, the arguments of the EcoGreens will be a green light for changing the way we produce, consume and live. And there are modern ways to achieve this, provided we think clearly and take the plunge," said party candidate Ioanna Kontouli, who is running for election in the greater Athens constituency.

    The five main pillars of the EcoGreens economic model were the productive development of the countryside, weaning the country of dependence on oil and coal, protection of collective goods, a social economy with a strong welfare state and a separate plan for each region tailored to its individual needs.

    Paraskevopoulos especially emphasised the need for fair taxation that redistributed income without special privileges for the rich. He criticised the main parties for offering an 'amnesty' to those that returned capital from abroad, saying that this was essentially an invitation to launder cash. He also asserted that the tax system could become a tool for kickstarting the real economy.

    Referring to the recent high-profile arrest of former defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, he suggested that the former minister represented "just the tip of the iceberg" and that the sums spent to buy armaments systems by Greece had been proved to be a "looting" of the country's wealth on which limits must be placed.

    He expressed opposition to the memorandums for the loans to Greece, noting that fiscal discipline was quite different from plundering social sustainability, and said that there must be a detailed audit concerning the country's debt and loan obligations because " a part of this debt has a problem of political legitimacy".

    Both EcoGreens candidates ruled out cooperation with the two parties that had alternated in government in recent decades. They did not rule out cooperation with the Coalition of the

    Radical Left (SYRIZA), noting that they wished to be "part of the solution" and that they hope to act as the catalyst for this through their proposals and positions.

    The party underlined that it was in favour of Greece remaining within the eurozone, while Paraskevopoulos asserted that the loan agreements were a "road map" for ousting Greece from the euro when this could be done safely and he stressed the need to renegotiate these agreements.

    [12] Citizen Protection minister stresses need to implement migrant readmission treaty with Turkey

    BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni)

    Greek Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis underlined Greece's determination to protect its borders while addressing a discussion held on Wednesday on migration, asylum and guarding Greece's borders before the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee. He also emphasised the need to implement a readmission agreement between Turkey and the European Union.

    Chrysohoidis urged the EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers' council meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday to vote in favour of the readmission treaty with Turkey, suggesting that the obstacles raised were linked to pre-election strategies in France. He was also strongly critical of moves by France and Germany to reintroduce border controls in contravention of the Schengen Treaty.

    Replying to a statement by French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Europe's borders were "like a sieve", Chrysohoidis pointed out that in order for a country to protect its borders, its neighbours had to do the same.

    "Turkey does not guard its borders," he underlined, stressing that Turkish migrant traffickers threw women and children into the sea near Greek islands, forcing Greek authorities to rescue them.

    He asked that the European Parliament and European bodies implement the readmission agreement with Turkey, imposing specific obligations with third countries with which the EU had made such agreements, and asked that they assist in the absorption of funds for detention centres for migrants, as well as additional funds and the exchange of knowhow. The minister also called for an exception to memorandum rules on hiring civil servants for staff employed by Greece's political asylum service.

    [13] Disagreement between ministers over first illegal migrants detention centre

    The opening of the first detention centre for illegal migrants in Amygdaleza, north of Athens proper, apparently hangs in the balance as a result of disagreements between the competent government ministers.

    Infrastructures, Transport and & Minister Makis Voridis on Wednesday said the containers, in which the first 1,000 illegal migrants will be housed, are under his jurisdiction and not the citizen's protection ministry, stressing that they are built within the framework of earthquake protection planning.

    Voridis said Deputy Infrastructures Minister Yannis Magriotis was aware of the issue, adding that the citizen's protection ministry was allowed to use the containers for the sum of six million euros as it is made clear in a letter addressed by Magriotis to the citizen protection minister.

    Voridis, who stands as a candidate in the district where Amygdaleza is located (Attica prefecture), said Magriotis and Citizen's Protection Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis (both PASOK ministers) "went behind his back" on the matter in consultation with infrastructures general secretary Yannis Economidis, in order to ensure "election gains".

    He appeared determined not to allow the containers to be used and proceed with their removal, clarifying that the sum of 173,000 euros has been earmarked for this purpose.

    According to Voridis, he cannot allow the containers to be used because "they would be needed in the event of an earthquake" for the temporary housing of earthquake victims.

    Voridis stressed that he will send a letter to Citizen Protection Minister Chryssohoidis and at the same time, he will brief Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on the issue.

    Responding to a relevant question, he said New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras shares the same position, adding that ND has agreed with the overall institutional framework that will regulate the operation of such centres to house illegal migrants, but the selection of the centres' location and the overall process should be the responsibility of the new government.

    On his part, Chryssohoidis on Wednesday underlined that the illegal migrants' centre in Amygdaleza will operate as planned.

    Responding to statements made earlier by Voridis, he said his ministry's plans are moving as scheduled and that the reception centre will operate according to the timetable already announced.

    According to a ministry timetable, the reception centre in Amygdaleza will open before the May 6 general elections.

    Financial News

    [14] Trade deficit sharply down by 27.4pctr in Feb. 2012

    Greece's trade balance deficit dropped sharply by 27.4 percent in February this year, bringing the reduction in the first two months of the year to 28.6 percent, resulting from a continuing decline in imports arising from a drastic reduction in domestic consumer demand, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Wednesday.

    According to provisional figures released by ELSTAT, the total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, in February 2012 amounted to 2321.8 million euros (3061.0 million dollars) in comparison with 2721.3 million euros (3702.9 million dollars) in February 2011, recording a drop, in euros, of 14.7%.

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, in February 2012 amounted to 1241.8 million euros (1647.2 million dollars) in comparison with 1233.7 million euros (1688.9 million dollars) in February 2011, recording an increase, in euros, of 0.7%.

    The deficit of the trade balance, excluding oil products, in February 2012 amounted to 1080.0 million euros (1413.8 million dollars) in comparison with 1487.6 million euros (2014.0 million dollars) in February 2011, recording a drop, in euros, of 27.4%.

    The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, for the 2-month period from January to February 2012 amounted to 4562.1 million euros (5943.5 million dollars) in comparison with 5376.4 million euros (7239.2 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011 recording a drop, in euros, of 15.1%.

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, for the 2-month period from January to February 2012 amounted to 2452.7 million euros (3214.5 million dollars) in comparison with 2422.6 million euros (3281.9 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011, recording an increase, in euros, of 1.2%.

    The deficit of the Trade Balance, excluding oil products, for the 2-month period from January to February 2012 amounted to 2109.4 million euros (2729.0 million dollars) in comparison with 2953.8 million euros (3957.3 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2011, recording a drop, in euros, of 28.6%.

    [15] Private power companies given 20 days to settle debts to market operator or face closure

    The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) on Wednesday gave private power companies a 20-day deadline to settle their debts to the electricity grid operator or face the risk of fines and losing their licence. RAE president Nikos Vassilakos sent a letter to each of the alternative power providers on Wednesday, stressing "in the clearest and most categorical way" that they must immediately settle any outstanding debts and submit the require letters of guarantee.

    Otherwise, he warned, RAE will immediately begin proceedings for all sanctions foreseen under the law, including revoking their licence to supply electricity.

    The outstanding debts are to the electricity market operator LAGHE, power producers such as the Public Power Corporation and private energy producers and natural gas suppliers.

    According to the Association of Photovoltaic Power Producers, the "amateurish" deregulation of the retail power market through companies such as Energa or Hellas Power added 200 million euro to the deficit while the market was also struggling from consumers' inability to pay their electricity bill and attached property surtax, with unpaid bills to the PPC now at 1.2 billion euro. The total amount due to renewable energy producers, both in current and overdue debts, reached 162 million euro in January-March 2012, of which 60 million euro were owed to photovoltaic units.

    [16] Hatzakos elected president of World Federation of Associations Cruise Ports

    Stavros Hatzakos was elected president of the World Federation of Associations Cruise Ports, a newly-founded federation bringing together six sea cruise unions with the aim to set common policies on issues regarding cruise ports and related industries along with exchanging views and information over improving products and services.

    Stavros Hatzakos is managing director of Piraeus Port Organization and president of the MedCruise Port Association. MedCruise is expected to decide, during a board meeting in May 18, the relocation of its base from Barcelona to Piraeus.

    In Piraeus, Mihalis Lambrou, vice-president of the Shipowners Association and Cruise Shipping Agencies, said there was significant interest from large sea cruise companies to undertake port projects and to further expand their activities in the country offering new job positions and more tourism, although he stressed that this needed a more stable situation.

    Speaking to reporters, during a news conference, Lambrou said Royal Caribbean -which has already upgraded the Kusadasi port in Turkey and has undertaken port projects around the Mediterranean, has expressed strong interest for the ports of Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Heraclio.

    "We do not expect any miracles in the sea cruise, but a further growth of the industry from 2014 onwards," Lambrou said, adding that more emphasis must be given to port infrastructure and berth allocation for sea cruise vessels around the country.

    [17] Combined implementation of urban regeneration projects in Athens

    The potential for combined actions by the "Re-Think Athens" project implemented by the Onassis Foundation and the "Athens Again" project undertaken by the City of Athens in cooperation with the ministry of development was discussed in a meeting held on Wednesday between the competent minister Anna Diamantopoulou and Onassis Foundation President Anthony Papadimitriou.

    The meeting focused on the combined implementation of the two projects in sectors of vital importance for Athens such as, urban regeneration, boosting investment and entrepreneurship and adoption of social intervention actions aimed at restoring urban social cohesion.

    [18] Two large seamen's unions call 24-hour strike on Mayday

    Serious problems are expected to be created for coastal shipping routes on Mayday since the boards of two big seamen's unions, PEMEN and PENEN, decided to call a 24-hour strike on that day.

    PEMEN stressed in an announcement that despite the "attack" seamen are experiencing in their rights, the majority of the Panhellenic Seamen's Union (PNO) decided to call a 4-hour work stoppage, rejecting its proposal for a 24-hour nationwide strike.

    It also calls on seamen to safeguard the strike and speaks of an allout attack that the rights of seamen are sustaining with the abolition of the collective labour agreements, the "looting" of social security funds and the increase in unemployment.

    [19] Stocks end flat on Wed.

    Stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday with the composite index of the market remaining below the 700 level for the second consecutive session. The index ended at 698.03 points, up 0.03 pct, off the day's highs of 707.15 points. Turnover remained a disappointing low 21.101 million euros.

    The Big cap index rose 0.29 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.50 pct higher and the Small Cap index jumped 2.88 pct. The Chemicals (4.94 pct), Financial Services (2.60 pct) and Banks (2.37 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Telecoms (3.55 pct), Commerce (1.53 pct) and Travel (1.37 pct) suffered losses.

    MIG (7.09 pct), Cyprus Bank (6.98 pct) and Hellenic Postbank (5.29 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while OTE (3.55 pct), Alpha Bank (1.83 pct) and OPAP (1.61 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 59 to 53 with another 35 issues unchanged. Alco (28.57 pct), Unibios (20.69 pct) and HOL (19.8 pct) were top gainers, while Inform Lycos (13.24 pct), Axon Holdings (10 pct) and Motodynamic (10 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +1.68%

    Commercial: -1.53

    Construction: +0.30

    Oil & Gas: -0.11%

    Personal & Household: -0.12%

    Raw Materials: +1.38%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.37%

    Technology: +0.80%

    Telecoms: -3.55%

    Banks: +2.37%

    Food & Beverages: -0.27%

    Health: -1.06%

    Utilities: -1.18%

    Chemicals: +4.94%

    Financial Services: +2.60%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.05

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.52

    HBC Coca Cola: 14.65

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.45

    National Bank of Greece: 1.69

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.61

    OPAP: 6.72

    OTE: 2.72

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.26

    Titan: 14.66

    [20] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 19.61 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 19.8 pct on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 21.34 pct and the German Bund 1.73 pct. Turnover totaled 5.0 million euros, of which 4.0 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 1.0 million sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.33 pct, the six-month rate 1.01 pct, the three-month rate 0.72 pct and the one-month rate 0.40 pct.

    [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.340

    Pound sterling 0.831

    Danish kroner 7.551

    Swedish kroner 9.029

    Japanese yen 108.96

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.675

    Canadian dollar 1.321

    Australian dollar 1.296

    General News

    [22] 6th century BC underground aqueduct unearthed in Megara

    An underground aqueduct, constructed in the 6th century BC and apparently forming the initial part of the main ancient water supply system designed by ancient Greek hydraulic engineer Eupalinos of Megara was recently bought to light in excavations in a rural area in Megara by archaeologists of the Third Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

    The aqueduct, discovered in the Orkos area, comprises a network of shafts, cisterns and conduits that took advantage of the ground's natural downward slant ending up in the city's central water reservoir built in the 5th century BC, known as Theagenes' Spring or Fountain.

    The Fountain House, built by Eupalinos in the first half of the 5th century BC (circa 500 BC), probably stands in the same place where a century earlier (6th century BC) the tyrant Theagenes had constructed a smaller fountain house, and thus is known as Theagenes' Fountain (Spring).

    The front side of the building was occupied by a portico with five Doric columns, and at the back of this was a narrow cistern for the drawing up of water. Two more large cisterns, separated by a parapet, were used for the collection of water. The roof was supported by 35 octagonal columns made of poros stone, while the walls were built of large limestone blocks in the isodomic system.

    Eupalinos of Megara is better known for his famed aqueduct on the island of Samos (circa 550-530 BC), known as the Eupalinian Aqueduct or Tunnel and the second known tunnel in history which was excavated from both ends and the first with a methodical approach in doing so. Being also the longest tunnel of its time, the Tunnel of Eupalinos is regarded as a major feat of ancient engineering. It was constructed for the tyrant Polycrates of Samos, and was a remarkable 1,036 meters (3,399 ft) long.

    The finds were presented by Ephorate archaeologists Panagiota Avgerinou during a lecture at the Museum of Cycladic Art on Tuesday evening.

    [23] Araxos airport illegal migrants, new channel to Europe

    The illegal migrant trafficking rings are seeking new routes for smuggling migrants from Greece to central and northern European countries. Police reached to this conclusion following the arrest of eight illegal migrants at the Araxos (Achaia prefecture, northwestern Peloponnese) civil airport.

    The arrestees, five Afghanis, two Iraqis and a woman from Nigeria, were due to board an airplane for the city of Bergamo, Italy.

    The migrants were arrested after a customs check revealed that their travel documents were forged or their passports were stolen and had been tampered with. In all, five Bulgarian passports, two Bulgarian and one Romanian ID cards and a residency permit for Greece were confiscated.

    [24] Police confiscate 169,340 packets of contraband cigarettes

    A 42-year-old man was arrested by police for carrying 169,340 packets of contraband cigarettes in a truck that he was driving along the new Athens-Patra motorway. The truck, the amount of 3,000 euros and two mobile phones were confiscated.

    The loss for the state resulting from the non-payment of duties is estimated by the relevant Finance ministry service as amounting to 559.840 euros.

    The 42-year-old will be brought before a prosecutor in the city of Corinth.

    [25] Armed robbery at gas station on Athens-Corinth motorway

    An armed robbery with one injury was reported late Tuesday at a gas station on the Athens -Corinth national motorway in the area of Megara.

    Two unknown individuals stormed into the gas station and threatened the woman owner and her son at gunpoint and took approximately 1,000 euros cash.

    Leaving the gas station, the perpetrator shot the woman when she shouted for help, injuring her in the leg.

    The victim was taken to Tzanneio hospital for first aid.

    Weather forecast

    [26] Fair on Thursday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday. Winds 3-6 beauforte. Temperatures between 8C and 26C. Fair in Athens with northerly 4-5 beauforte winds and temperatures between 13C and 26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 10C and 25C.

    [27] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    New Democracy's and PASOK's State Deputies lists and the central Bank of Greece's (BoG) annual report for 2011, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "BoG calls for development and reforms".

    AVGHI: "Reheated blackmail".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Karamanlis' (Costas, former ND prime minister) Voice".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "MP candidate a National Information Service (EYP) employee".

    ESTIA: "Greece holds the world record of electoral laws".

    ETHNOS: "PASOK's selection to put Pyrros Dimas (Greek Olympics weightlifting gold medalist) to head party's State Deputies list a message for struggling Greece".

    IMERISSIA: "BoG governor George Provopoulos' message to parties and society: Consensus a matter of survival".

    KATHIMERINI: "200,000 bogus pensions".

    LOGOS: "2 percent hike in average Greek families' basket".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Provopoulos' dramatic warning for the euro".

    NIKI: "Who and why lifted up .....PASOK's Pyrros".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga: Vote must not be scattered in illusions'.

    TA NEA: "The Olympic champion and the judge".

    VRADYNI: "Lack of governance threatens pensions and social security funds".

    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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