|Wednesday, 18 October 2017|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-05-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 1 May 2012 Issue No: 4059
 May Day rallies, mobilisationsGSEE and ADEDY, the country's two largest umbrella labour federations representing the private and public sector respectively, will hold the main May Day rally on Tuesday morning in Athens' downtown Kotzia square, under the slogan "No one alone, together we can succeed".
The two federations also called on the workers in Greece to attend the May Day rallies in all the urban centers throughout the country.
The GSEE-ADEDY rally will begin at 10:00 on Tuesday morning in Kotzia Square, while the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) affiliated PAME labour organisation will hold a parallel rally at the Hellenic Steel plant, whose employees have been on strike for more than six months.
Ships will remain docked at ports on Tuesday due to a 24-hour strike called by merchant marine engineers, while mass transit employees will hold stoppages early in the day and late at night, so that public transport will be running throughout the day to facilitate the public in attending the May Day rallies.
 Public transport to run throughout the day on TuesdayMass transit employees in Athens will hold brief work-stoppages during the May Day strike in the early morning and night on Tuesday.
The Athens Metro, ISAP train and Tram services will operate normally from 8:00 in the morning to the end of the night shift, while Athens buses will run from 7:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night and the Trolleys will run from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Hellenic Rail employees and Proastiakos suburban railway will be observing a 24-hour strike, and thus the Metro trains will stop at the Doukissis Plakentias station and not continue to Athens Airport, which section is served by the Proastiakos.
 PASOK party leader Venizelos chairs election campaign committee meetingPASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos chaired a meeting of the party's election campaign committee on Monday afternoon, focusing on the party's organisational effort in the course towards the May 6 elections.
According to reports, PASOK will focus its efforts on rallying undecided voters, particularly those that voted for it in the previous elections and who, as its president has repeatedly stressed, "can maintain their criticism and their objections for the mistakes that have taken place", but must rally round the "democratic party and participate in the national alert."
Also according to reports, PASOK will move over the last pre-election week against the "loose" vote, since the party will point out that "nothing is a given fact on May 7" and that in any case there must be a clear popular mandate for the country's course.
In another development, PASOK spokeswoman Fofi Yenni-mata told a press conference that "next Sunday the citizens are deciding on the fate of the country and their future and that of their children", adding that "we have past the biggest part of a difficult course and in three years at the most 'self-sufficient Greece' can become a fact, provided that we find all that unites us and not all that divides us."
Yennimata referred to the presentation by PASOK of the National Reconstruction Plan and stressed that "we commit ourselves, we guarantee we can achieve the cooperation of all the pro-European forces of responsibility and of progressive reforms, to be present in the change of correlations in Europe, to protect the sacrifices that the citizens made and are making."
Yennimata also said that PASOK "commits itself, guarantees and can see that there shall neither be new taxes nor decreases for low salary earners and low pension earners nor horizontal salary and pension cuts."
 ND party leader Samaras says 'our party is the only one that can take the country out of the crisis'New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in the city of Patra, western Greece, on Monday evening, stressed that "our party is the only one that can take the country out of the crisis. PASOK merely wants to fall softly. The rest are taking advantage of the crisis, they are gambling on the people's desperation."
Samaras added that "they are not offering an exit. They are not explaining what they shall do. They are denouncing all the rest. They are also denouncing each other. We want the country to overcome the crisis."
The ND leader referred at length to the immigration issue, stressing that "you in Patra have a very bad experience", adding that "for years, PASOK and the Left abused whoever even dared to mention it. They did not even allow the word to be heard. The first law of the last PASOK government was the Rangoussis law. That made Greece a 'magnet' for the illegal immigrants. With the Rangoussis law they sent the message that here we give easily and automatically Greek citizenship to whatever foreigner crosses our borders."
As regards ND, Samaras stressed that "the first decision of our government shall be to abolish the Rangoussis law. And we shall do it. Greece cannot be a 'free-for-all'."
 KKE will not participate in coalition government, Papariga says in ThessalonikiCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a rally in Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki on Monday, appealed to voters, in light of the May 6 general elections, to "emancipate themselves from the intimidating dilemmas of the PASOK and New Democracy (ND) parties that have already been condemned by the people."
Papariga citicised all the other parties, from ND leader Antonis Samaras to Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader Alexis Tsipras of "concealing the truth from the people" and stressed that ND and PASOK deputies left their parties when "the ship started to sink."
She also stated that KKE will not enter the "fold", it will not participate in a coalition government and once again rejected the proposal for cooperation among all the leftist forces extended by SYRIZA.
 SYRIZA party leader Tsipras appeals to undecided to vote for the partyRadical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader Alexis Tsipras, speaking in the northern city of Ioannina on Monday evening, appealed to voters who are undecided and sceptical about their choice, to vote for SYRIZA "unhesitatingly for the country's course to change".
Tsipras criticised New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras and PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos, saying that "their panic is evident because they have one nightmare alone, a government of the left," adding that "the one fears us of getting an exploratory mandate and the other is chewing over absurd arguments to rally his supporters. We reply to them: whatever you say you can no longer hide."
 Bakoyannis attacks all parties during Dem. Alliance main pre-election press conferenceDemocratic Alliance party leader Dora Bakoyannis lashed out at all parties taking part in the upcoming elections during her party's main press conference on Monday, asking voters for their support.
"By voting for the Democratic Alliance you send a message to the system's two incorrigibles, without playing with the future of the country and knowing that your vote will count," she said, noting that her party was a force for stability that reinforced the 'euro' front and Greece's European prospects while "counterbalancing" what she called rising trend toward extreme populism.
She also slammed the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for protests that shut down ports and hotels, criticised the position adopted by Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos for the abolition of the debt as damaging for the negotiations for the amount Greece will receive, accused the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) of secretly condoning violence and the far-right Golden Dawn of openly adopted it. She said Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis was "sliding back" into populism and said Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis was hoping to be voted by keeping quiet and not saying anything that might offend anyone.
Concerning her own party's stance after the elections, Bakoyannis said the Democratic Alliance was prepared to participate in a coalition government "based on policies rather than people". Among the policies supported by her party, she listed the privatisation of all state-sector enterprises, public-sector lay-offs based on evaluation, taxation of Church property and above all, seeking to overcome the crisis within the framework of the Eurozone and Europe.
Asked about the memorandum, Bakoyannis said the agreements signed by PASOK and New Democracy leaders had to be honoured but suggested that certain aspects might be renegotiated, such as reducing taxation. On illegal migration, she called for migrant reception centres to be set up in neighbouring Turkey and for Europe to support the guarding of Greece's borders by using Frontex.
 DIMAR leader campaign speech in AthensDemocratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis on Sunday evening said that his party will participate in a government that will keep Greece in Europe and will start the effort for disengagement from the Memorandum, during his party's campaign speech at Kotzia square in downtown Athens.
He reiterated that DIMAR will not provide an alibi to a PASOK-New Democracy (ND) co-governance and noted that the country needs substantial reforms, which must proceed regardless of the Memorandum, such as the restructure and modernisation of the public sector without, however, dissolving the public sector.
Concluding, Kouvelis underlined that a vote for his party will help transfer the axis of the political life from the deep conservative position in which is today to a substantially progressive direction.
 Regional authorities on election procedure-related delaysA circular signed by Interior Minister Tassos Yannitsis on Monday called on all competent regional authorities to display "flexibility" in the event of a reasonable delay, on behalf of political parties running in the May 6 elections and their submission of ballots.
Normally, political party ballots cast by voters in polling stations have to be printed and ready to be delivered to deputy regional governors no later than eight days before the election date.
The regional authorities are called on to be "understanding" in the event of a delay, considering the short election campaign period and pressing deadlines, and accept the ballots that will arrive within a reasonable time after the expiration of the deadline.
 Financial prosecutor not recused from CDS investigationThe appeals justices' council on Monday refused a request by financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis to be recused from handling a case concerning Credit Default Swaps (CDS). Peponis had asked to be recused on the grounds that this was one of the cases where he reported attempts at outside interference in his work.
His request was denied, since the council opined that the "prosecutor is independent and not influenced".
A case concerning allegations that Andreas A. Papandreou, the brother of the former prime minister George Papandreou, was an executive in a company that invested in CDS against a credit event in Greece has been shelved. An investigation is continuing concerning claims of an organised and orchestrated speculative attack on Greece, made in a complaint filed by a lawyer and economist in April 2010.
Meanwhile, it was announced that the financial prosecutors Peponis and Spiros Mouzakitis intend to look into instances where tax rebates exceeded 50,000 euro for possible corruption by the tax officials involved, as part of an investigation of reports of widespread corruption in tax offices.
Mouzakitis has asked all large tax offices to hand over the files of tax payers - mainly companies - that received tax rebates above 50,000 in 2010-2011, in some cases running into tens of millions of euros.
The investigation was launched after former IT systems general secretary Diomidis Spinellis publicly charged that tax officials 'arranged' tax payments on the "4-4-2" ratio, with 40 percent being the 'discount' they gave the tax payer, 40 percent being cashed by the tax official and the remaining 20 percent going into state coffers.
 Tsohatzopoulos warns: Will make revelationsPASOK former minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos warned on Monday that he will go ahead with "revelations", reacting to the remand in custody pending trial of his wife Vicky Stamati, on Friday.
Stamati was remanded in custody by order of the public prosecutor and examining magistrate in charge of the case on Friday. The decision made her the seventh person to land in jail as the sensational bribery and money-laundering case approaches trial.
She joined Tsohatzopoulos, the former politician's daughter Areti Tsohatzopoulou and his cousin Nikos Zigras, who all face charges in connection with the case.
Tsohatzopoulos himself was remanded in custody before Orthodox Easter after appearing before magistrate Gabriel Mallis to answer to charges of money laundering, and specifically charges of kickbacks that he received in order to approve the purchase of the Russian-made TOR-M1 missile systems and German-designed (HDW) submarines for the Hellenic Navy.
The chief prosecutor's decision also concerns the bank accounts that belong to Asterios Economidis.
Economidis is the major shareholder of a construction company that did renovation work at the former minister's luxurious house on Dionyssios Areopagitis Street near the Acropolis and sold an apartment to Tsohatzopoulos' daughter located in Athens' upscale Kolonaki district.
Stamati denied the charges against her and claimed that the couple's financial affairs were handled exclusively by her husband, while the loan to buy the property near the Acropolis was taken out in her name because her husband was too old to take out a loan.
Her defence lawyers criticised the decision to remand her in custody as unusually harsh and 'unfair', pointing out that their client was the mother of a young child whose parents were now both in jail.
 Vicky Stamati begins hunger strikeVicky Stamati, wife of former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, has started a hunger strike since the morning of Saturday April 28, protesting what she says is her unfair remanding in custody. According to her lawyer, within the week Stamati will be submitting an appeal for her release.
 New head of jurists, prosecutors union announcedSupreme Court justice Dimitrios Mazarakis was selected on Monday as the new president of the Union of Jurists and Prosecutors (EDE), in place of outgoing president Haralambos Athanasiou, who picked to lead New Democracy's (ND) state deputies' list in the upcoming May 6 election.
Mazarakis was chosen by the body's administrative council.
 Commission dismisses report of a massive 'Marshall Plan' for EurozoneBRUSSELS (AMNA / M. Aroni)
The European Commission on Monday dismissed as unfounded and speculation a report published by Spanish daily newspaper 'El Pais' alleging that the European Commission was examining a massive Marshall plan to boost economic growth in the Eurozone, worth 200 billion euros.
An European Union's executive spokeswoman, speaking to reporters here, rejected the report and noted that the Commission has already a plan to boost growth in the EU, the Europe 2020 strategy, which was proposed in 2010 and approved by all member-states and the European Parliament. "Our first priority is supporting growth and employment. This issue is not new to us," the spokeswoman said.
She told reporters that the Commission has also proposed a capital strengthening of the European Investment Bank and promoting project euro bonds as a way to raise more capital to attracting investment in the euro area.
 Greek mutual funds assets down 16.4 pct in Jan-AprGreek mutual funds' assets fell to 4.3 billion euros in the first four months of 2012, down 16.4 pct compared with the corresponding period last year, official data showed on Monday.
The sector's assets totaled 5.2 billion euros in the first four months of 2011.
From a total of 22 mutual funds asset management companies operating in Greece, the top three managed more than 55 pct of total assets, while several mutual fund asset management companies operated with market shares of less than 1.0 pct.
 Passenger traffic in Greek port 3.7 pct down in Q3 2011Passenger traffic in Greek ports fell by 3.7 pct in the third quarter of 2011, compared with the same period in the previous year, after a decline of 4 pct recorded in the second quarter of 2009, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Monday.
The statistics service, in a report, said cargo traffic in Greek ports rose by 12.5 pct in the third quarter of 2011 in comparison with the same period in 2010, after a decline of 2.8 pct recorded in the same period in 2009.
 Stocks end April with 3.98 pct lossStocks ended slightly higher in the last trading session of April, extending their decline for the third consecutive month this year. The composite index of the market rose 0.6 pct to end at
699.91 points, with turnover shrank to its second lowest level in 2012 (15 million euros). The index ended April with a 3.98 pct loss, while the bank sector ended 7.15 pct lower in the month.
The Big Cap index rose 0.30 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.55 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.51 pct. The Food (2.82 pct), Personal Products (0.94 pct) and Telecoms (0.82 pct) were top gainers, while Utilities (0.98 pct) and Constructions (0.93 pct) suffered losses.
Coca-Cola 3E (2.95 pct), Motor Oil (0.16 pct), Hellenic Postbank (4.44 pct) and Jumbo (0.55 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (3.27 pct), Cyprus Popular Bank (1.94 pct) and Eurobank (1.15 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 60 to 52 and 22 remained unchanged.
AXON Holdings (20 pct), Altec (18.18 pct) and AEGEK (17.44 pct) were top gainers, while Euroholdings (19.44 pct), Lambrakis Press (18.06 pct) and Mohlos (13.75 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.04%
Personal & Household: +0.94%
Raw Materials: -0.05%
Travel & Leisure: -0.56%
Food & Beverages: +2.82%
Financial Services: -1.58%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Alpha Bank and OTE.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 1.06
Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.54
HBC Coca Cola: 15.00
Hellenic Petroleum: 5.55
National Bank of Greece: 1.68
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.60
Bank of Piraeus: 0.26
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.341
Pound sterling 0.825
Danish kroner 7.550
Swedish kroner 9.052
Japanese yen 107.44
Swiss franc 1.219
Norwegian kroner 7.701
Canadian dollar 1.318
Australian dollar 1.287
 Makis Psomiadis turned over to Greek authoritiesFugitive former nightclub and soccer team owner Makis Psomiadis has been in the hands of Greek authorities since 2:20 p.m. on Monday afternoon, when an Interpol team based in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia turned him over to Interpol officers from Athens at the Greek-FYROM border. Psomiadis has been charged with match-fixing and has been held in a Skopje prison since his arrest in the city on a European arrest warrant last November.
His extradition was approved after five and a half months and the handover took place in no-man's land between the two border posts in Evzones. The 56-year-old Greek businessman was then put in an Interpol car that is now heading for Athens. He is first due at central police headquarters in Athens and will then be taken to the Athens prosecutors' office so that a warrant ordering his temporary incarceration can be carried out.
The charges against him, linked to an investigation on match-fixing launched last summer, include running a criminal organisation, money laundering, extortion and fraud.
Psomiadis was first arrested by Greek authorities last September in Anavyssos, Attica for the match-fixing charge and was then released pending trial because the prosecutor and examining magistrate could not agree on whether he should be remanded in custody. An order for his temporary incarceration was then issued by the Athens first-instance judges' council but the 56-year-old had already fled the country and taken refuge in neighbouring FYROM.
Authorities in the neighbouring country caught up with him at a Skopje cafe and arrested him based on a tip-off provided by Greek police and the Greek secret service. A local magistrate ordered that he be remanded in custody and Greece has been seeking his extradition since that time.
 Two more instances of HIV+ prostitutes reportedTwo more alleged prostitutes were found HIV+ on Monday following medical checks by mobile health units in at least three inner city districts where brothels are found and where streetwalkers operate.
According to an announcement by the Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases (KEEL.PNO), "in the first health check in public spaces where streetwalkers operate (24 people were checked), one prostitute was found positive with the HIV virus (near Omonia square)."
KEEL.PNO units are carrying out checks in brothels, in public areas frequented by streetwalkers and seedy downtown apartments frequented by illegal migrants.
Later in the day, a third woman was found positive with the HIV virus.
She was identified as a Bulgarian national.
A Russian national, 22, was arrested on Saturday at an illegal brothel in central Athens and was later found to be HIV+.
 ASPIS' Pavlos Psomiadis receives 8-year sentenceAn Athens Criminal Court of Appeals on Monday handed down an eight-year sentence to former Aspis group president and board chairman Pavlos Psomiadis, on trial for presenting a fake letter of guarantee to the Private Insurance Supervision Commission in September 2009.
Psomiadis and his fugitive associate Andreas Loizos were both found guilty of forgery, with Loizos receiving a 7-year sentence.
The case concerns a fake letter of guarantee for the amount of 550 million euro Psomiadis submitted to the Commission to ensure that the Aspis Pronoia insurance firm, belonging to the Aspis group, could continue operating and avoid going through with a 203-million-euro share capital increase as requested by the competent bodies.
Psomiadis is already in custody and currently on trial for the ASPIS CAPITAL investors' fraud case.
 Publisher Kouris' trial to open on June 29The trial of well-known newspaper publisher Giorgos Kouris, arrested last week for debts to the state amounting roughly to 300,000 euros, will open on June 29, according to a decision by an Athens First Instance Court on Monday.
The attorneys of the defendant, who did not appear in court, maintained that a procedure is underway to settle their client's debts. The court adjourned until June 29 to allow defence attorneys to gather the necessary documents verifying that the procedure is indeed underway.
Kouris is publisher of the Athens daily Avriani and a shareholder of Alter television station that stopped broadcasting earlier this year.
 Municipality files injunction objecting to illegal migrant detention centreThe municipality of Acharnes, north of greater Athens, filed a petition for an injunction on Monday against Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis, charging "that the Amygdalesa detention centre for illegal migrants was illegally set up".
The municipal authorities are also considering "evicting" the police academy from the Amygdalesa facilities, which host the centre.
A formal notification dated April 12, signed by Acharnes Mayor Sotiris Douros and addressed to the prime minister's office, the ministry of finance and the ministry of the environment, stressed that the Amygdalesa site is the property of the municipality and therefore, a prior approval by the Acharnes city council is necessary ahead of any action.
On April 12, the municipality called on the citizen protection ministry to comply within five days and refrain from any action that would affect the Acharnes municipality property rights.
For the record, the first 56 illegal migrants were transferred to the facility on Sunday. The ministry announced that a total of 220 illegal migrants will be led to the centre by May 15. The centre's capacity is 1,000-1,200 people.
 Road accidents causing fatalities or injuries down 25.9 pct in Feb. 2012Road traffic accidents causing deaths and injuries fell by 25.9 percent in February 2012 relative to the same month in 2011, the Greek statistical authority ELSTAT reported on Monday.
The total number of such accidents in the month came to 681 and resulted in 64 deaths (a 7.2 percent decline relative to 2011), 88 serious injuries (11.1 percent decline relative to 2011) and 727 lighter injuries (27.9 percent decline relative to 2011).
 Kavala Police investigation into firebomb attacksAn investigation by police in Kavala, northeast Greece, continued for a second day on Monday for the arrest of hooded individuals who firebombed the police HQ and an ATM cash machine across the street late on Sunday night.
Authorities are looking for 10 individuals, three of whom used firebombs to attack parked police cars causing limited damage to four of them.
 Bear rescue hotline in Kastoria, NW GreeceA hotline operating on a 24-hour basis within the framework of the LIFE Arctos / Kastoria project offers advice to the public ensuring the smooth coexistence of man and bear in the northwest prefecture of Kastoria.
People can dial the number 24670-82300 for advice on how to handle instances of bear sightings close to villages or to report any material damage caused by them to local farm production.
The public can also call in to report road accidents involving bears for the immediate intervention by a special rescue team.
 Fair on TuesdayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 3-6 beauforte. Temperatures between 10C and 30C. Fair in Athens with northerly 4-6 beauforte winds and temperatures between 16C and 28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 12C and 28C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe political leaders campaigns six days before the general elections and their efforts to sway the undecided, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "How many votes a candidate MP needs to be elected".
AVGHI: "Government of the Left in order to annul the Memorandum and restructure society".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos' mockery".
ESTIA: "The continuous elections dissolved the economy".
ETHNOS: "Six days battle for the undecided voters".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Activation of 200 billion euros for development in Europe".
TA NEA: "200 billion euros for development!".
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