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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-05-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Thursday, 3 May 2012 Issue No: 4061


  • [01] PM: Elections will judge Greece's future in coming decades
  • [02] Venizelos: Future of our children, country at stake on Sunday
  • [03] Venizelos: First priority the re-establishment of the Merchant Marine Ministry
  • [04] ND leader Samaras says party wants clear mandate to change everything
  • [05] Karamanlis repeats support for ND leader Samaras
  • [06] KKE leader calls on weak social classes to vote for party
  • [07] Tsipras interview with AMNA: Target is to form Left government
  • [08] DIMAR cross-channel press conference
  • [09] Health Minister: Unprotected sex with prostitutes should be criminalised
  • [10] Prostitutes found positive with AIDS virus reach 17
  • [11] Report: More than 300 illegal brothels in Athens municipality
  • [12] Former Minion department store building picked to house environment ministry
  • [13] Former PM to address Swiss university event
  • [14] Unemployment in Greece records highest jump in Europe, Eurostat reports
  • [15] S&P raises Greek rating to CCC
  • [16] State broadcaster reports profits before taxes in 2011
  • [17] Stocks end 1.96 pct lower
  • [18] Greek bond market closing report
  • [19] ADEX Closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [21] Psomiadis taken to Korydallos prison
  • [22] Major blaze at Sindos Industrial Zone partially contained
  • [23] US embassy staff, expats join cleanup initiative at Kavouri beach
  • [24] New fence along Egnatia highway to reduce accidents with bears
  • [25] Illegal migrant found dead in truck on board Venice-bound ferry
  • [26] Super League playoffs
  • [27] Fair on Thursday
  • [28] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM: Elections will judge Greece's future in coming decades

    The results of the upcoming general elections on Sunday will determine the future of the country in coming decades, its strategic orientation, not just which government will come to power, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos stressed while addressing the last cabinet meeting to be held by the current government on Wednesday.

    "For this reason, I believe that public debate must focus on a better understanding of reality. But I am certain that the decisions of the citizens will look toward the future, not the past," he added, thanking the ministers for their cooperation and the work that was carried out.

    According to Papademos, the government's main mission had been achieved and Greece had avoided the imminent risk of default while at the same time establishing the best possible conditions - though even these were extremely difficult - for continuing the effort to restore and restructure the economy.

    The prime minister stressed that the present government had also proved that ideological and political differences were set aside for the good of the country and he noted that the government's achievements included 48 acts of legislation, with 70 percent of Greece's obligations under the Memorandum completed by the end of April, another 25 percent on the verge of completion barring a few details and only 5 percent not carried out.

    During its final meeting, the cabinet formally ratified an Act of Cabinet allowing the Financial Stability Fund to sign contracts with the EFSF for a bridge recapitalisation of Greece's four largest banks (National Bank, Alpha Bank, Eurobank and Piraeus Bank), who will be offered funds worth 18 billion euros in the form of EFSF bonds.

    This capital will be used to allow banks to maintain access to the European Central Bank's funding operations. In a later stage, these capital will be replaced with common shares or convertible bonds, depending on the final decision of a bank recapitalization plan.

    The cabinet meeting was followed by an inner cabinet meeting focusing on reforms in public administration, during which Administrative Reform and e-Government Minister Dimitris Reppas outlined the progress of a public-sector evaluation by French consultants.

    [02] Venizelos: Future of our children, country at stake on Sunday

    PASOK President Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday stressed that he is totally opposed to the likelihood of a new round of elections.

    Responding to questions in a televised press conference in Zappeion Hall, he added that the country's future for the next 20 years is at stake in Sunday's general elections.

    He underlined that repeat elections would increase uncertainty and hurt the country, accusing New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras of courting with the issue and Democratic Left (DIM.AR) leader Fotis Kouvelis of attempting to do the same.

    Venizelos stated that repeat elections are not a solution and stressed that the voters should give a clear mandate adding, however, that "we cannot blackmail the people to get their vote". He repeated that PASOK has made a bold proposal aimed at overcoming the memorandum in three years leading the country out of the crisis.

    He accused the leaderships of the political parties running in the elections of avoiding to comment on his proposal for a one-year extension to the adjustment period - to three years instead of two - which would have been accepted by the EC-ECB-IMF troika. "Instead of doing so, ND maintains that 'money can be found', whereas the Left has adopted an irresponsible position advocating the country's exodus from the Euro-zone," he stressed.

    Venizelos ruled out the likelihood of a strong majority government, stressing that ND's stance is a mistake considering that it is rejected by the Greek voters.

    He said that populism and demagoguery led Greece into a deep crisis, and warned that so long as an outlet from the crisis was being sought in even more brazen populism, the danger existed that the crisis will turn into a national tragedy.

    Venizelos said that there are many who do not respect the sacrifices of the Greek people and were playing with tampered dice on the people's backs, telling lies at the same time that they are leading the country to bankruptcy, the Greek people to poverty and Greece back to the drachma.

    He said a "horizontal party of the drachma" exists, and represents collusion and those who sent their money out of the country and are waiting to "purchase" the country at a cheap price.

    Venizelos sharply criticised ND and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and warned of disastrous consequences for Greece if it abrogated the loan agreement (Memorandum).

    Referring to the exploratory mandates that will be assigned to the political parties to form a government that will enjoy the parliament's confidence, he stressed that when such a mandate is assigned, the recipient undertakes an obligation to consult all parties and establish if it is possible to form a government.

    Referring to the Greek-Turkish relations on the occasion of Turkey's moves in the Aegean and Cyprus, as regards energy issues, he said that Greece's sovereign rights are non negotiable and are implemented in accordance with international law, the EEZ delineation included.

    He said that the message to Turkey is "good neighbourly relations, peace, cooperation for economic growth and adherence to international law."

    On the creation of detention centres for illegal migrants, he said that it is important that downtown Athens is changing and that similar action will be undertaken in Thessaloniki and other major cities.

    [03] Venizelos: First priority the re-establishment of the Merchant Marine Ministry

    Greek shipping, the leading maritime power in the world, and the Greek port and shipping infrastructure are the main pylons of the new productive model of the country, underlined PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos during a visit on Wednesday to the Piraeus Port Organisation (OLP).

    The PASOK leader said that the his first priority is the re-establishment of the autonomous Merchant Marine Ministry, adding that in OLP has been created the basis for the formation of a Greek ports network. He also stressed that there needs to be a distinction between the Port Authority, the ports' management and the port services.

    Referring to the private investments in ports, he said that they are welcome, but the state monopolies will not hand over their position to private ones.

    "We must invest in Piraeus port and in all the Greek ports, in the Port Authority and in an organised port policy that will enable major investments without creating new private but with the strong participation of foreign investors, because that's the only way for the Greek port industry to be competitive in the Mediterranean," stated Venizelos after the conclusion of his visit to OLP.

    Venizelos also underlined that there are no margins for missed opportunities, as happened with the cruise sector in 2004, adding that with cruises in particular, we can make small miracles.

    Referring to the shipbuilding industry, he said that he is in favor of the creation of a uniform entity of shipbuilding policy and said that the European Commission must be persuaded to give a chance to the Greek shipbuilding industry without legal and bureaucratic constraints, and underlined that the shipbuilding industry in Greece is also closely connected with the country's defence policy.

    [04] ND leader Samaras says party wants clear mandate to change everything

    New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening, called for a clear mandate to enable a majority New Democracy government to be formed. He termed the rally "amazing" and said that "Thessaloniki has spoken and on Sunday ND's victory will begin from Thessaloniki."

    Samaras's address was also watched by former prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

    The ND leader clarified that he does not desire joint governance with PASOK. "We are saying it clearly: we do not want to rule jointly."

    He went on to say that "we want a clear mandate to change everything. Those speaking of joint governance, do not want anything to change. And we are their great fear. Because we want to change everything...It is not only PASOK. Many do not want anything to change. Many want to have control in the coming years. And how will they have control? If there is a weak two-party government, that will hesitate to go ahead and will fear each other? And that will jointly fear elections?"

    Samaras attacked PASOK and the parties of the Left and at the same time appealed to their voters. "I did not chew over my words in my criticism of PASOK. Because the PASOK government has a great responsibility for what are experiencing now," he said.

    Without naming them, he also referred to the smaller parties that are not leftist, accusing them of trying to intercept ND's course and stressed that a vote to them is not merely a "lost vote", but also a "vote of political asylum", a "kiss of life" and a "lifejacket" to PASOK.

    Samaras concluded his address saying "with the help of God Greece will manage" and then the people attending sang the national anthem.

    [05] Karamanlis repeats support for ND leader Samaras

    Former prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday again spoke in support of New Democracy (ND) and its leader Antonis Samaras, his successor.

    In his brief meeting with reporters upon his arrival at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport, Karamanlis underlined that he supports the effort made by ND and Antonis Samaras, stressing that "ND is the political party we love and have faith in, that makes us hopeful about the future".

    Karamanlis arrived in Thessaloniki to attend an outdoor rally addressed by Samaras later in the evening.

    [06] KKE leader calls on weak social classes to vote for party

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a rally at Pedio tou Areos Square in Athens on Wednesday evening, criticised the political parties, with her first target being the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), stressing that she will not participate in any "so-called antimemorandum government."

    Papariga appealed to all the weak social classes to vote for KKE even if they do not agree with all of the party's positions, warning that on May 7 KKE "will not stay with its arms crossed."

    She further said that "every day the working people, the unemployed man, the pensioner hears from New Democracy (ND) and PASOK that these elections are the most crucial of the post-junta era. They hear from the other parties that there is the opportunity now for a government to be created of the antimemorandum forces, a government of the left, that will negotiate in the organs of the EU. Indeed false arguments were mobilised on the bonus of the 50 seats and the one-seat constituencies."

    Referring to SYRIZA's proposals, she said that "if a supposedly antimemorandum government is created as SYRIZA says, meaning a so-called antimemorandum government that will deal with the tip of the iceberg and not the iceberg itself, a government of a conjunctural composition, the people will live a dramatic experience."

    Papariga added that "the proposal for government cooperation with the KKE is a bluff, a pre-election proposal in safety, only for the snatching of votes to take place, meaning the snatching of hopes."

    The KKE leader also sharply criticised the EU and Greece's participation in it from which "the monoplies benefit exclusively" and with the Maastricht Treaty being a milestone for the "seizing of popular achievements."

    [07] Tsipras interview with AMNA: Target is to form Left government

    The goal of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) is to receive an exploratory mandate and to subsequently form a Left government, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said in an interview with AMNA.

    He expressed certainty that an upset in Sunday's general election in Greece will oblige the leaderships of both the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Democratic Left (DIMAR) parties to revise their stance, so that a Left government may be formed.

    Tsipras said his party's goal is to receive the exploratory mandate and form a Left government so as to avert a PASOK-New Democracy (ND) coalition government, adding that, on Sunday, "the Memorandum must be totally defeated", otherwise "these elections will be as if they never took place" since new austerity measures will begin to be implemented as of Monday.

    He also ruled out the participation of former ND deputy Panos Kammenos' Independent Greeks party in a Left government, noting that Kammenos was in essence advocating the ND positions that were subsequently abandoned by ND leader Antonis Samaras when he voted in favor of the Memorandum, and consequently Kammenos starting point was totally different and could not comprise a solution.

    Tsipras further intimated that the outcome of the Greek elections would impact all of Europe, saying that a turn to a democratic and social Europe is necessary, and adding that if German chancellor Angela Merkel voted in Greece, she would vote for PASOK and ND.

    He also reiterated that Greece needs to acquire a Constitution that will enhance its national sovereignty and not a "colonial" Constitution, which he accused PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos of advocating with his positions.

    [08] DIMAR cross-channel press conference

    The Democratic Left party (DIMAR) will address itself to all the progressive forces, without exception, for the formation of a government on the basis of a common platform, DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis said Wednesday in cross-channel campaign press conference.

    Kouvelis warned, however, that DIMAR will not provide a Left crutch to a PASOK-ND co-governance, adding that its stance towards the KKE and SYRIZA is negative.

    DIMAR is not saying, like the KKE, that it will take the reins on its own, nor does it propose, such as SYRIZA, an impossible Left front without principles and a platform that could also be backed by former ND deputy Panos Kammenos' Independent Greeks party, he said.

    The basis for any agreement, for DIMAR, is a mutually acceptable policy platform that would lead to disengagement from the Memorandum and Greece's continued membership in the euro, Kouvelis explained, adding that these two conditions are 'red lines' for DIMAR.

    Kouvelis accused PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos of constantly changing his positions, while the broad Left government scheme proposed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras does not meet the two red lines set by DIMAR for the formation of a coalition government.

    He said his proposal is addressed to all the progressive forces, including PASOK, adding that he does not desire Kammenos' backing.

    [09] Health Minister: Unprotected sex with prostitutes should be criminalised

    Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KEEL.PNO) officials on Wednesday referred to a "public health time-bomb" based on evidence of "uncontrollable activity" of prostitution rings now operating in Athens and across Greece.

    In an emergency press conference, KEELPNO officials on Wednesday said that following the release of the names and photographs of 12 alleged prostitutes that tested HIV+, a total of 1,600 men have contacted the centre's hotline, while the number is expected to rise. Officials said callers who claimed they had unprotected sex with prostitutes are the most concerned.

    On his part, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday laid a large part of the blame on the "clients" of prostitutes, saying their photos should be made public as well, "because they are also responsible for the spread of the virus that causes AIDS."

    He stressed that people who have unprotected intercourse with prostitutes are more than 50 pct responsible for the spread of the HIV virus, adding that that such individuals should face criminal charges.

    According to KEELPNO, a large number of the calls received reportedly were from married men aged 35-45.

    Since late 2010, health authorities in Greece warned that HIV infection rates are on the rise amongst injecting drug users (IDUs).

    Representatives of European health organizations are expected in Athens on May 20 to assist local authorities in dealing with the spike in HIV cases.

    [10] Prostitutes found positive with AIDS virus reach 17

    Health checks being carried out by KEELPNO (Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases) crews with prostitutes in squares and outdoor premises in the historical centre of Athens have revealed 5 new HIV persons, increasing the number of prostitutes found positive with the AIDS virus to 17.

    According to KEELPNO, the checks will be continued on Thursday and will be repeated on a daily basis.

    [11] Report: More than 300 illegal brothels in Athens municipality

    At least 315 illegal brothels operate within the limits of the Athens municipality, according to data provided by the municipality on Wednesday.

    In 2011 alone, municipal services, in cooperation with the Greek Police, which has law enforcement jurisdiction, issued decisions for the sealing of 87 such premises, with 82 sealed, while the re-sealing of another 196 premises was necessary.

    [12] Former Minion department store building picked to house environment ministry

    The building that formerly housed the historic Minion department store in central Athens has been picked as the best offer in a tender held to find a new site for the relocation of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change ministry, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

    The ministry said that the new building is large enough to house its current staff of 1,300 employees that are now scattered between a total of 28 properties being leased by the ministry, saving 70 percent of the current cost of leasing or 4.5 million euro a year, with an estimated saving in running costs of more than one million euro.

    Other benefits envisaged from the move are faster decision-making by the ministry due to the proximity of all its various services and greater convenience for the public, since it has easy access to all public transport.

    Plans for the building include creating a 'green roof' and using underground water for cooling air-conditioning units, while its selection coincides with government policy for reviving the centre of Athens.

    The move is expected to be completed by next September.

    [13] Former PM to address Swiss university event

    Former Prime Minister George Papandreou will address an event hosted by the University of St. Gallen (USG) in Switzerland on Thursday, his office announced on Tuesday.

    The event is held within the framework of the university's 42nd symposium dedicated to the issue of "Facing Risk" in the economy and politics.

    Financial News

    [14] Unemployment in Greece records highest jump in Europe, Eurostat reports

    The unemployment rate in Greece had the fastest rate of increase in the European Union over the past year, according to figures on European unemployment levels in March released by Eurostat on Wednesday.

    The Greek unemployment rate jumped from 14.7 percent in January 2011 to 21.7 percent in January 2012, Eurostat figures showed, with figures for Greece available only until January 2012. For figures spanning March 2011 until March 2012, the fastest increase in unemployment rates was in Spain, where it increased from 20.8 percent to 24.1 percent, and in Cyprus (from 6.9 percent to 10 percent).

    The average unemployment rate throughout the 27 EU member states in March 2012 was 10.2 percent (up from 9.4 percent in March 2011), representing 27.772 million jobless, while the average unemployment rate in the Eurozone was 10.9 percent (17.365 million people).

    The lowest unemployment rate in March 2012 was in Austria (4 percent), the Netherlands (5 percent), Luxembourg (5.2 percent) and Germany (5.6 percent).

    The highest rates were in Spain (24.1 percent), Greece (21.7 percent in January 2012) and Portugal (15.3 percent).

    Greece also ranked first for youth unemployment in January, with 51.2 percent of under-25s jobless in January, followed by Spain with 50.3 percent.

    Based on March figures not available for Greece, Spain was top for youth unemployment with 51.1 percent, followed by Portugal (36.1 percent) and Italy (35.9 percent).

    [15] S&P raises Greek rating to CCC

    Standard & Poor's on Wednesday raised Greece's rating to CCC from selective default, after the successful completion of a Greek state debt exchange programme.

    The credit ratings agency had downgraded Greek rating to SD after a decision by Greek authorities and the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" to launch a private sector involvement programme.

    [16] State broadcaster reports profits before taxes in 2011

    The state broadcaster ERT's profits before taxes amounted to 57 million euros in 2011 - despite a revenue reduction recorded in the past two years - as opposed to 2009, when it recorded losses of 9 million euros, it was announced on Wednesday.

    "The goal is to keep ERT independent and strong," Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT S.A.) CEO Lambis Tagmatarhis stressed.

    ERT's main source of revenue is a surcharge added to practically every electric bill in the country.

    [17] Stocks end 1.96 pct lower

    Stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday reflecting market concerns over the outcome of Sunday's general elections in the country, while investors ignored a decision by S&P to upgrade the country's credit rating from selective default to CCC.

    The composite index ended at 686.19 points, the lowest level since January 18, 2012, losing 1.96 pct, while turnover remained a disappointing low 29.352 million euros. The Big Cap index fell 2.59 pct, the Mid Cap index eased 0.14 pct and the Small Cap index ended 0.30 pct lower.

    The Personal Products (1.51 pct) and Travel (0.54 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Telecoms (7.29 pct), Banks (4.40 pct) and Raw Materials (3.91 pct) suffered losses.

    Jumbo (2.18 pct), OPAP (0.44 pct) and Cyprus Bank (0.44 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank (10.96 pct), Hellenic Postbank (10.75 pct) and Alpha Bank (10.38 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 75 to 49 with another 19 issues unchanged. Progressive (24 pct), FHL Kyriakides (13.12 pct) and Loulis Mills (10 pct) were top gainers, while Attikat (20 pct), Unibios (16.67 pct) and Lambrakis Press (15.25 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.23%

    Commercial: -1.58%

    Construction: +0.02%

    Oil & Gas: -0.58%

    Personal & Household: +1.51%

    Raw Materials: -3.91%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.54%

    Technology: -2.20%

    Telecoms: -7.29%

    Banks: -4.40%

    Food & Beverages: -1.98%

    Health: -1.79%

    Utilities: -2.28%

    Chemicals: -2.93%

    Financial Services: -1.79%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were HBC Coca Cola, OPAP, National Bank and Alpha Bank.

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.95

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.43

    HBC Coca Cola: 14.70

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.49

    National Bank of Greece: 1.62

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.54

    OPAP: 6.78

    OTE: 2.29

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.25

    Titan: 14.69

    [18] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds fell further to 18.94 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, with the Greek bond yielding 20.54 pct and the German Bund 1.60 pct. Turnover in the market totaled 4.0 million euros, all sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 1.30 pct, the six-month rate was 0.99 pct, the three-month 0.70 pct and the one-month rate was 0.40 pct.

    [19] ADEX Closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 1.68 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover shrinking to a low 6.758 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,240 contracts worth 2.920 million euros, with 22,705 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 29,591 contracts worth 3.838 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (14,962), followed by National Bank (10,705), MIG (439), OTE (394), PPC (565), Piraeus Bank (586), Cyprus Bank (979), GEK (127), OPAP (206) and Mytilineos (162).

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.332

    Pound sterling 0.824

    Danish kroner 7.550

    Swedish kroner 9.021

    Japanese yen 106.89

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.665

    Canadian dollar 1.317

    Australian dollar 1.290

    General News

    [21] Psomiadis taken to Korydallos prison

    Fugitive former nightclub and soccer team owner Panagiotis Psomiadis, wanted on a string of charges related to a match-fixing scandal, was led to Korydallos prison in Athens on Wednesday afternoon under tight security measures.

    Psomiadis was extradited to Greece on Monday, after five months in a neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia jail, and taken before a Greek public prosecutor on Tuesday so that warrants for his arrest might be carried out.

    [22] Major blaze at Sindos Industrial Zone partially contained

    Firefighters were continued on Wednesday to battle a major blaze that broke out shortly after midnight in a transport company warehouse in the Industrial Zone at Sindos, Thessaloniki.

    A strong force of 14 fire engines and 35 firefighters were trying throughout the night to extinguish the fire, which broke out about a half hour after midnight from causes as yet unknown and which spread quickly.

    Firemen were able to partially contain the flames at about 7:00 on Wednesday morning before it spread to other nearby installations, although the blaze gutted the transport company's storage spaces.

    A preliminary investigation was underway into the causes of the fire.

    [23] US embassy staff, expats join cleanup initiative at Kavouri beach

    Roughly 700 kilos of trash was removed by volunteers that participated in the clean-up campaign at Kavouri Beach in Athens' coastal district of Vouliagmeni, it was announced on Wednesday.

    US ambassador to Greece Daniel Smith and his wife, embassy officials and American community schoolchildren took part in the initiative, coordinated by the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA).

    The volunteers removed trash left behind by "litter bug" beach-goers, including plastic bags, straws, food packaging, bottles and lids.

    Participants vowed to meet again on Sept. 15, International Coastal Cleanup Day.

    [24] New fence along Egnatia highway to reduce accidents with bears

    Approval of funding for the construction of higher, reinforced fencing along the section of the Egnatia highway and roads leading to this between Siatista-Koromilia and other areas passing through bear country is expected to help reduce the number of accidents involving vehicles and bears. The amount of 10.5 million euro was approved for the project on Wednesday while a tender for the project is due to be completed within the month.

    According to the environmental group "Callisto", there have been 24 road accidents involving bears since 2009 in western Macedonia's road network alone.

    [25] Illegal migrant found dead in truck on board Venice-bound ferry

    The body of a dead illegal migrant was discovered in the baggage compartment of a truck with German licence plates that had boarded the passenger ferry "Crete II" bound for Venice from the Greek port of Igoumenitsa. In addition to the dead man, there were two more illegal migrants in the same compartment, one of them in serious condition.

    The ship had set sail from the port of Patras, stopping at Igoumenitsa on its way to Venice where the truck in question had come on board.

    The crew located the three migrants during the voyage and the case is now being investigated by Italian authorities and the public prosecutor at Igoumenitsa. No cause of death has yet been given for the man found dead.


    [26] Super League playoffs

    Panathinaikos Athens was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Atromitos Athens and PAOK Thessaloniki beat AEK Athens 1-0 at home in Super League playoffs on Wednesday.


    Panathinaikos 5 points

    PAOK 3

    Atromitos 1

    AEK 0

    Weather forecast

    [27] Fair on Thursday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday. Winds 3-6 beauforte. Temperatures between 9C and 30C. Fair in Athens with northerly 3-4 beauforte winds and temperatures between 15C and 30C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 13C and 27C.

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

    The two mainstream parties' attempts to rally their voters and the new measures foreseen in the Memorandum that will be applied in June regardless of the elections' result, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras: Strong government or lack of governance".

    AVGHI: "Left, or Memorandum with Venizelos and Samaras".

    AVRIANI: "PASOK's collapse radically changes the political system".

    DIMOKRATIA: "PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos' vertigo".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Troika's (EC, ECB, IMF) message 'via' Prime Minister Lucas Papademos".

    ESTIA: "Monday's impasse".

    ETHNOS: "Headache over the secret opinion polls".

    IMERISSIA: "Economy and Stock Market in nervous breakdown".

    KATHIMERINI: "The outstanding commitments".

    LOGOS: "Four days to...hell!".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Squad against corruption under troika's directions".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party's (KKE) grand May 1 rally at Steel Industry".

    TA NEA: "The puzzle of the 15 percent - Campaign for the undecided voters".

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