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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-05-22

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

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

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 Issue No: 4077

CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO summit reaffirms 'no FYROM accession without prior solution of name issue'
  • [02] PM has successive meetings with party leaders
  • [03] ND: Greece must remain in euro, benefit from changes arising in Europe
  • [04] Caretaker PM meets SYRIZA delegation
  • [05] Venizelos unveils 6-point plan for 'revising' bailout terms
  • [06] Kammenos: EU must act as partners of Greece, not as representatives of banks
  • [07] Papariga meets with caretaker PM ahead of EU summit
  • [08] Kouvelis: Caretaker PM must propose issue of eurobond at EU summit
  • [09] LAOS leader: Greece needs patriots
  • [10] Eco-Greens party submits growth platform to caretaker PM
  • [11] PM meets heads of Drassi, Recreate Greece parties
  • [12] Samaras refers to 'grand pro-EU front'; Bakoyannis returns to ND
  • [13] Two former LAOS deputies join ND
  • [14] ND leader Samaras calls party convention on Saturday
  • [15] Former MP Kiltidis to leave LA.O.S
  • [16] Tsipras gives press conference in Paris
  • [17] Greek FM meets German counterpart in Chicago
  • [18] Merkel did not propose a referendum in Greece, spokesman reiterates
  • [19] Caretaker PM's chief of staff announced
  • [20] Eurobonds a possibility but only with closer policies, Commission spokesman says
  • [21] Greek government debt slashed to 280.292 billion euro in March
  • [22] Posidonia 2012 maritime event in June
  • [23] Maillis Group reports 3.7 million euro losses in 1st quarter 2012
  • [24] Stocks resume downward slide
  • [25] Greek bond market closing report
  • [26] ADEX closing report
  • [27] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [28] Ierapetra coasts receive EUCC golden prize
  • [29] Medecins du Monde to hold international conference in Athens
  • [30] Foreign national arrested, two more wanted, in stabbing death of Greek man in Patras
  • [31] 70 illegal migrants spotted and arrested in Ionian Sea
  • [32] Publisher receives two-year suspended sentence for libel
  • [33] Jewelry store heist in Crete hotel reported
  • [34] Athens Festival advance booking launched
  • [35] Clouds and showers on Tuesday
  • [36] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] NATO summit reaffirms 'no FYROM accession without prior solution of name issue'

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou) The 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest decision that FYROM will be eligible for membership in the Alliance only after the solution of the name issue will be explicitly in the conclusions of this year's two-day summit that opened in Chicago on Sunday, where Greece is represented by caretaker foreign minister Petros Molyviatis.

    The Alliance further notes that a resolution of the name issue will contribute to the stability and security of the region, thus underlining the regional dimension of the issue.

    Further, the Alliance calls for a speedy resolution of the name issue, and also encourages FYROM to continue its efforts and the efforts for building a multinational society.

    "Some isolated attempts were made to alter the Bucharest decision, but failed," said Molyviatis, who had the opportunity to hold sideline talks with a number of heads of state and government.

    He said the main topic of the first day talks was the reorganisation of the Alliance so that it will be in a position to meet the challenges and threats of the 21st century, adding that the talks were successful both on that issue and on the other topics discussed.

    As regards FYROM, he said that indeed some behind-the-scenes and isolated attempts were made to alter the Bucharest decision, adding: "Those attempts failed. The Summit reaffirmed the Bucharest summit decisions, and this it is confirmed that the neighbouring country will be invited to join NATO only after the name issue has been resolved," Molyviatis told reporters after the relevant decision was taken on Sunday night (early Monday, Greek time).

    Molyviatis said that he had the opportunity to meet with many European leaders, including new French President Francois Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel 'with whom I had a lengthy discussion', Italian prime minister Mario Monti, and many others. "The conclusion is that Greece is at the focus of interest, but also concern, of everyone".

    The Greek caretaker foreign minister also had a brief discussion with US President Barack Obama during a welcome reception before the summit.

    The first day of the summit concluded with a dinner of the attending leaders, as well as Molyviatis, while a dinner of foreign ministers was also held in tandem, at which Greece was represented by foreign ministry secretary general Ambassador Ioannis Alexios-Zepos, as well as a dinner of the defence ministers of the member countries, with Greece presented by caretaker defence minister Frangoulis Frangos.

    [02] PM has successive meetings with party leaders

    Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos on Monday had a half-hour meeting with the leader of the far-right Golden Dawn - Chryssi Avgi party Nikos Mihaloliakos. Pikrammenos is holding a succession of meetings with all the political parties that received a sizeable percentage in the last elections, including some that did not enter Parliament, to discuss the upcoming EU summit.

    After the meeting, Mihaloliakos once again stressed that his party was against the bailout agreements and said thathe raised the issue of illegal migrants with the prime minister. He suggested that statements by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European officials that Greece might be ousted from the eurozone were provocative and benefited the mainstream parties.

    There followed a meeting with Democratic Alliance leader Dora Bakoyannis, who called for action to boost liquidity in the market and public works to stimulate growth and combat unemployment.

    [03] ND: Greece must remain in euro, benefit from changes arising in Europe

    Greece must remain in the euro and benefit from the changes appearing on the horizon in Europe, New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras said on Monday after a meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, who is holding separate talks throughout the day with political party leaders ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday.

    Samaras said that over the last two years he had been alone in advocating what the European leaders are saying today, namely the need for the issue of a euro-bond, an investment bond, but also recovery measures instead of one-sided austerity.

    "Now that Europe is changing, we must remain in the euro in order to benefit," Samaras said, adding that he told the caretaker prime minister that Greece must move in that direction.

    [04] Caretaker PM meets SYRIZA delegation

    Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos held a meeting with Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) deputies Dimitris Papadimoulis and Theodoros Dritsas late on Monday. The prime minister carried out a round of meetings with all the political parties in order to discuss the upcoming European Council on May 23.

    Papadimoulis told reporters after the meeting that they asked from the prime minister "to help, within the framework of the constitutional role that a caretaker government has, towards a change of policies in Europe and a change of Europe's stance vis-avis Greece."

    The SYRIZA deputy also expressed hope that at the next EU summit to be held on June 28-29, "Greece and the Greek people will be represented not by a government supporting the memorandum but by a government with the Left as its main component which will take the country out of the memorandum."

    [05] Venizelos unveils 6-point plan for 'revising' bailout terms

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, in statements after meeting Greece's caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos on Monday, presented a six-point plan for "revising" the bailout agreements between Greece and its European partners.

    According to Venizelos, now that Greece had achieved the goals set, the negotiations could take place on a different footing since there had been a drastic reduction and restructuring of the debt, which was now mostly in the hands of Greece's partners and not the markets.

    He said that the dilemma facing voters at the June 17 elections was whether Greece would unilaterally repudiate the loan agreements or seek a revision of the terms of the agreements in an organised way.

    Listing the changes that Greece should seek to make, Venizelos said that these should ensure that there were no further cuts to incomes, especially wages and pensions; protection of collective wage bargaining; action to boost liquidity and ensure that this was available to the real economy and businesses in order to boost investments and employment; activating public and private investments in infrastructure; implementation of promises for a package to boost growth in Greece made at the October 27 EU summit; and funds from the European Social Fund for programmes to tackle youth unemployment.

    On proposals for the issue of a eurobond, PASOK's leader said that this would benefit Greece only if it allowed access to cheaper credit than the current rates.

    Concerning his talks with Pikrammenos, he said that he had asked the premier to reaffirm decisions made at past EU summits concerning growth packages for Greece and for the 25 billion euro currently being held at the EFSF to be made immediately available to Greek banks.

    [06] Kammenos: EU must act as partners of Greece, not as representatives of banks

    Greece's partners in the EU must realise that they should be acting as partners of Greece and not as representatives of the banks, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos said on Monday after a meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, who is holding separate talks throughout the day with political party leaders ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday.

    Kammenos reiterated his position for abrogation of the Memorandum, adding that he was briefed in detail by the caretaker PM on domestic and international issues, as well as on the NATO summit that opened Sunday in Chicago.

    He said that Greece's partners in Europe "have the obligation to help our country, and not to serve the interests of those who are intermediaries between the European Central Bank (ECB) and Greece", and stressed that funds are needed for development.

    Kammenos expressed his support for the caretaker prime minister, adding that his party insists that it is clear "that the Memorandum is leading the Greek people to a dead-end...The Memorandum must be abrogated immediately, because the situation of the country does not allow us to continue in this direction".

    [07] Papariga meets with caretaker PM ahead of EU summit

    US President Barack Obama's 'not only austerity, but also growth' translates into 'growth with austerity, and this is what the peoples of Europe, including Greece, must seriously bear in mind, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said on Monday after a meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, who is holding separate talks throughout the day with political party leaders ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday.

    She said that the only response by the people should be "we do not commit ourselves to the commitments (undertaken by the previous governments) to now, we do not want to adhere to them".

    The national commitments, she said, means that the two Memorandums, a loan agreement, the implementing laws, and the recapitalisation of the banks will proceed as is, while any amendments made will not bring relief to the workers, much less improve their lives.

    She also warned that any new loans given to Greece will be given to the monopolistic business groups, chiefly for investments in energy, on condition of the full privatisation of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), transports (highways, etc.) and the natural gas and oil transport and distribution pipelines.

    The growth being talked about will increase the disproportionate development in the branches of industry, Papariga warned, adding: "The sectors in which investments will be allowed are sectors of low job-intensity, meaning that they will create or maintain very few jobs in relation to those that will be lost".

    [08] Kouvelis: Caretaker PM must propose issue of eurobond at EU summit

    The Greek government, regardless of its limited abilities in its caretaker capacity, must take advantage of the international environment and put forward a series of proposals that could relieve the Greek society, moblise the production engine, and boost employment and halt the galloping unemployment, Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis said on Monday after a meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, who is holding separate talks throughout the day with political party leaders ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday.

    In that direction, the caretaker prime minister must propose the issue of a eurobond, "as DIMAR has insisted from the very beginning", seek relaxation of the fiscal adjustment through extension of the time, propose direct financing of the member states from the European Central Bank (ECB) and insist on the need for boosting the funds for the European Investment Bank (EIB).

    Kouvelis said that the caretaker prime minister can and must put forward the need for a five-year developmental programme founded on lending y the EIB, in cooperation with the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds "which, unfortunately, as the programme is nearing its end -- and with immense blame on the part of the previous governments -- is in a deep sleep and those funds have not been put to use".

    The DIMAR leader said that these proposals are, today, "more realistic than ever", and stressed that "it is absolutely necessary that they are put forward and their acceptance demanded at the EU summit".

    [09] LAOS leader: Greece needs patriots

    The dilemma in the elections is either with the patriots or with the traitors, said Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis in a statement after his meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos on Monday.

    Karatzaferis noted that now is a historic crossroads for the nation and criticised the other political leaders for the quandaries they have put forward, rejecting them as pseudo-dilemmas.

    "We have gone through several divisions in the past we do not need another one" he said and sternly attacked New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras saying that: "Unfortunately he has not changed. Greece needs patriots, it does not need the traitors' DNA".

    [10] Eco-Greens party submits growth platform to caretaker PM

    The Ecologists Greens are a party that believes in Europe and the need to maintain Greece's relationship with the euro, Eco-Greens campaign chief Ioanna Kontouli said on Monday after a meeting with caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, who is holding separate talks throughout the day with political party leaders ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday.

    She said the discussion with Pikrammenos focused on EU summit issues concerning growth and the creation of jobs, adding that she submitted her party's platform on growth which, she said, must be oriented in a so-called "green direction", seeing to the sustainability of both society and the environment.

    Kontouli said they also discussed the economic difficulties faced by the country with respect to the upcoming elections, and reiterated the Eco-Greens' proposal for a 50 percent reduction in its financing in order to facilitate the election process.

    [11] PM meets heads of Drassi, Recreate Greece parties

    Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos held a meeting with the head of the Recreate Greece party Thanos Tzimeros and the Drassi party led by Stefanos Manos late on Monday. The prime minister is currently carrying out a round of meetings with all the political parties that gained a significant percentage of the vote in the May general election in order to discuss the upcoming European Council on May 23.

    Emerging from the meeting, Tzimeros said that he asked Pikrammenos to exploit opportunities to restore Greece's credibility at the summit so that the necessary reforms to the economy and the market can be carried out and aid to boost growth from Europe can be fully exploited.

    Drassi and Recreate Greece are expected to announce plans to run together in the upcoming elections on June 17 on Tuesday.

    [12] Samaras refers to 'grand pro-EU front'; Bakoyannis returns to ND

    New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras and Democratic Alliance (DISY) president Dora Bakoyannis on Monday formally announced their decision to join forces ahead of the June 17 elections, ending a political "feud" that resulted in the latter's expulsion from ND in 2010.

    Bakoyannis referred to "responsibility", pointing out that "the crisis in Greece and Europe has many stages and should be handled by forces that have a plan". She said that "the forces that want a strong Greek presence in Europe have an obligation to form a strong political front," and added that political and personal differences should be put aside and place Greece above all. "We should stop all those who take advantage of social discontent and lead Greece to disaster," she stressed.

    She also clarified that certain DISY cadres will be included in ND ballots and that her party decided to suspend its operation, allowing ND to be entitled to the 50-seat bonus in Parliament if it wins the elections, calling on DISY voters to support ND. Bakoyannis' party failed to gain more than 3 percent of the vote in the May 6 election, and thus did not meet the threshold for Parliament representation.

    On his part, the ND leader stated that he proposed the creation of a "grand pro-European front to defend the country, its European prospect and future," stressing that the "goal is to lead the country out of the crisis and stay in the eurozone."

    "The memorandum policy needs to be altered to have economic growth," he said, before again lashing out at the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), pointing out that they want to terminate the memorandum, a move that will lead the country out of Europe. Samaras stressed that the "environment in Europe is changing," adding that "Greece can be salvaged but in order to achieve that it will have to be a member of Europe. The battles are won by those who know how to join forces and put the general good above the personal good."

    He also welcomed Bakoyannis and stressed that "certain political leaderships have responded to our invitation by displaying petty political party obsessions. Obviously they have not realized how serious things are. We want to change everything and offer hope and dignity."

    [13] Two former LAOS deputies join ND

    Former Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) deputies Thanos Plevris and Giorgos Apostolakis met on Monday evening with New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras who welcomed them into his party.

    Samaras said the "patriotic European front is continuously expanding," noting that "it will wage the battle for a change in the memorandum's policies for Greece to remain alive in Europe."

    [14] ND leader Samaras calls party convention on Saturday

    New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Monday announced that the party will hold a national convention on Saturday focusing on developments ahead of June's elections.

    The party's policy and agenda will be outlined "launching the election campaign and marking the creation of a united front," a relevant announcement stressed.

    [15] Former MP Kiltidis to leave LA.O.S

    Former MP Costas Kiltidis on Monday justified his decision to leave the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S), which he joined after leaving New Democracy (ND) for the small Democratic Alliance, which he also left, saying that ND was always his "home".

    Speaking to a private radio station, the Kilkis-area one-time MP stressed that he was very disappointed when he decided to leave ND after 12 years in its ranks, adding that the "core of his ideas and value system are deeply rooted in ND".

    Kiltidis clarified that he will run for Parliament again only if certain policy terms are present.

    [16] Tsipras gives press conference in Paris

    PARIS (AMNA/O.Tsipira)

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group president Alexis Tsipras said here on Monday that the "policy of harsh austerity imposed by the Memorandum leads Greece to financial collapse and to a possible exit from the eurozone."

    Addressing a press conference, Tsipras also said that a "contradiction exists with those who support that the Memorandum and the eurozone can go together."

    The SYRIZA leader noted that the eurozone is a chain composed of seventeen links "and if one link brakes the whole chain will be destroyed."

    "Therefore, those who believe that they can destroy Greece and the Greek people but keeping eurozone untouched, are completely irrational. Because we believe that we are obliged, vis-avis History, to safeguard the coherence of the European Union, and because we believe in the idea of the European integration, we are struggling for the social coherence in Europe," Tsipras added.

    Responding to a relevant question, he said that if his party wins the June 17 elections, SYRIZA will fight for the formation of a left wing government.

    Tsipras in Paris on Monday, will visit Berlin on Tuesday for bilateral contacts with the leaderships of the French and German left.

    [17] Greek FM meets German counterpart in Chicago

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P.Panagiotou)

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Monday, on the sidelines of a NATO Summit in Chicago.

    There must be no doubt on the intentions of Germany, which wishes to stand by Greece's side in handling the crisis, Westerwelle told his Greek counterpart, according to diplomatic sources.

    The same sources added that the meeting was held in a "very good climate" and the German foreign minister extended an invitation to Molyviatis to visit Berlin.

    [18] Merkel did not propose a referendum in Greece, spokesman reiterates

    BERLIN (AMNA / F. Karaviti)

    Relations between Germany and Greece have not been affected negatively by the publicising of the contents of a telephone call between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek President Karolos Papoulias, the chancellor's deputy spokesman, Georg Streiter, confirmed in a press briefing here on Monday.

    He repeated that the German chancellor never suggested that Greece hold a referendum on its Eurozone membership at the same time with the general election, and stressed that it is "annoying" when a denial is not taken under consideration by those interested.

    On her part, German finance ministry spokeswoman Marianne Kothe also denied reports in Der Spiegel, according to which, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble raised the issue of a referendum first in the recent Eurogroup meeting.

    [19] Caretaker PM's chief of staff announced

    Christos-Georgios Skertsos will assume the post of chief of staff of caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos' office, it was annunced on Monday.

    Skertsos served as a close aide to Mihalis Chryssohoides, a previous minister of public order and development.

    Financial News

    [20] Eurobonds a possibility but only with closer policies, Commission spokesman says

    BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni)

    Issuing Eurobonds could potentially form part of the answer to the crisis but would require closer coordination of fiscal policy in the eurozone, European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told reporters on Monday

    "Any form of common debt issuance requires a closer coordination of fiscal policies and moving toward a fiscal union, it is a prerequisite," the spokesman for EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn said, noting that the course to fiscal convergence was not yet complete.

    He'd been asked whether the European Commission will support the issue of Eurobonds at the upcoming EU Summit in Brussels on May 23, to which he replied that this was a political decision that was up to the Eurozone member-state governments.

    [21] Greek government debt slashed to 280.292 billion euro in March

    Following the PSI bond writedown, the Greek central government debt was slashed to 280.292 billion euro at the end of March 2012, down from 367.978 billion euro at the end of December 2011, the Greek General Accounting Office announced on Monday.

    At the end of March, the country's available reserves were 4.401 billion euro, up from 3.629 billion euro in December.

    In the wake of PSI, 76.7 pct of Greece's public debt consists of loans from the European Financial Stability Fund, 3.4 percent are loans from the IMF and 19.9 percent are interest-bearing bonds. About 80.1 percent of this debt matures after five years.

    [22] Posidonia 2012 maritime event in June

    "Greek shipping is still an international pioneer and preserves its ties with the local production sector, while preparing to meet the challenges of an uncertain future despite the terrible global crisis and the tough days our country is experiencing," Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE) president Theodoros Veniamis underlined in a message on the occasion of Posidonia 2012.

    "A merchant marine fleet of 3,325 ships, constantly upgraded, with a capacity of 227 million dwt, and an average vessel age of 10.5 years all under flexible and creative management can justify optimism for the day after," Veniamis stressed, adding that this year's Posidonia breaks a new record in terms of participations.

    Among the most prestigious maritime events worldwide, Posidonia will take place on June 4-8 at the Metropolitan Expo centre next to the Athens International Airport.

    Roughly 17,000 people from 90 countries are expected to visit the exhibition featuring 1,857 exhibitors.

    [23] Maillis Group reports 3.7 million euro losses in 1st quarter 2012

    M.I.Maillis Group on Monday reported losses of 3.7 million euros after tax in the first quarter of 2012, up from a loss of 2.3 million euros in the same period in 2011. The group said the greater losses were the result of reduced income from foreign exchange transactions relative to 2011. Turnover fell 7.1 pct to 67.9 million euros in the first three months of the year, impacted by the slowdown of the European economy, while profit margin rose 0.62 percentage points to 18.65 pct.

    Pre-tax losses in the first quarter of 2012 were 3.3 million euro, from 1.7 million euro in the same period of 2011.

    [24] Stocks resume downward slide

    Stocks resumed their downward trajectory on Monday, with the results of the G8 summit and the statements of support for Greece unable to sustain Friday's gains or offset concerns about the uncertain political scene. The composite index of the market fell 1.01 pct to end at 544.56 points in a session marked by nervous, edgy trade and a very low turnover of just 27.845 million euro.

    The Big Cap index fell 0.82 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.13 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 1.46 pct. The Construction (1.65 pct), and Raw Materials (0.86 pct) were the only sectors to post gains, while Commerce (-4.77 pct), Utilities (3.67 pct) and Travel (3.41 pct) sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Titan (2.07 pct), Mytilineos (1.69 pct) and Eurobank (1.20 pct) were the blue chip stocks with the highest gains, while Viohalko (-5.03 pct), Motor Oil (-5.00 pct) and Folli Follie (-4.71 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 71 to 37 with another 22 issues unchanged.

    Papoutsanis (20.54 pct), Technikes Ekdoseis (19.80 pct) and NEL + (17.39 pct) were top gainers, while Paperback (-21.88 pct), Elgeka (-20.00 pct) and Maillis (-15.66 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.11%

    Commercial: -4.77%

    Construction: +1.65%

    Oil & Gas: -2.24%

    Personal & Household: -1.97%

    Raw Materials: +0.86%

    Travel & Leisure: -3.41%

    Technology: +0.20%

    Telecoms: -2.47%

    Banks: -0.20%

    Food & Beverages: +0.01%

    Health: -1.52%

    Utilities: -3.67%

    Chemicals: Unchanged

    Financial Services: -2.56%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.75

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 1.58

    HBC Coca Cola: 12.91

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.02

    National Bank of Greece: 1.26

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.51

    OPAP: 4.15

    OTE: 1.58

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.22

    Titan: 14.29

    [25] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds remained at high levels (27.28 pct) in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 28.72 pct and the German Bund (1.44 pct). There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.26 pct, the six-month rate 0.97 pct, the three-month rate 0.68 pct and the one-month rate 0.39 pct.

    [26] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 1.88 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with a turnover of 7.76 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 6,201 contracts worth 6.239 million euros, with 19,800 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,711 contracts worth 1.521 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (5,512) followed by National Bank (4,373), Cyprus Bank (598), OTE (558), OPAP (417) and PPC (243).

    [27] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.294

    Pound sterling 0.819

    Danish kroner 7.543

    Swedish kroner 9.255

    Japanese yen 102.58

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.740

    Canadian dollar 1.324

    Australian dollar 1.316

    General News

    [28] Ierapetra coasts receive EUCC golden prize

    The coasts of Ierapetra, Lassithi prefecture, on Crete received the golden prize awarded by the Coastal & Marine Union - EUCC QualityCoast programme in a special event at Torres Verdas in Portugal, it was announced on Monday.

    Ierapetra Mayor Sifis Anastassakis received the QualityCoast policy award underlining that its coasts are among Europe's top 10 regions ever receiving the distinction which constitutes a certification of their high environmental quality, the rich cultural heritage and the preservation of local traditions.

    An international jury evaluated roughly 1,000 international tourist destinations from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.

    Ierapetra received the golden prize coming second to the Azores that were awarded the platinum prize.

    With the QualityCoast programme, the Coastal & Marine Union - EUCC aims to establish a world wide network of coastal communities that share similar values on sustainable development, nature and biodiversity, cultural heritage and identity, and social responsibility, at the same time maintaining high standards in the quality of their tourism.

    [29] Medecins du Monde to hold international conference in Athens

    The international conference of the Doctors of the World-Medecins du monde (MdM) will take place in Greece for the first time on May 24-26 in a show of solidarity to the country.

    The conference will be held with the participation of the network's representatives in 14 countries, namely, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Argentina, Canada, Japan and United States.

    A press conference will be given by the MdM presidents in France, Spain and Greece on Thursday, May 24 at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, followed by a roundtable discussion on access to healthcare in new poverty times.

    [30] Foreign national arrested, two more wanted, in stabbing death of Greek man in Patras

    Police in the western port city of Patras on Monday arrested a 17-year-old illegal immigrant from Afghanistan and two more Afghanis, one of them also 17 years of age, are wanted in the stabbing death of a 30-year-old Greek man at dawn Saturday.

    The 30-year-old had been found fatally injured at a short distance from his home in the village of Itea at dawn on Saturday with six stab wounds in the chest and rib cage, and died in hospital a few hours later.

    A police investigation turned up that the three 17-year-old Afghani nationals had gotten into an argument with the victim outside the latter's home in the small hours of Saturday, and the victim followed them and a second argument ensued, during which the three stabbed the Greek man at least six times before fleeing.

    Police tracked down and arrested one of the assailants, while the other two are wanted. The two 17-year-olds had been arrested a month earlier for illegal entry and residence in Greece, and had been given a deadline to leave the country.

    [31] 70 illegal migrants spotted and arrested in Ionian Sea

    Two vessels carrying illegal migrants were spotted early Monday in the Ionian Sea off the coasts of Preveza and Corfu.

    53 illegal migrants were found on board a speedboat off Preveza coast. The migrants and the 64-year-old captain of the vessel were arrested.

    In a separate incident, a FRONTEX aircraft spotted a dinghy off the coast of Paleokastritsa, Corfu island, with 17 illegal migrants on board. The boat, accompanied by a coast guard vessel, was led to Paleokastritsa port.

    [32] Publisher receives two-year suspended sentence for libel

    A first-instance court in Athens on Monday handed down two-year prison sentences, suspended for three years, and a three-year deprivation of political rights to publisher George Kouris and the director of the newspaper "Avriani" George Tsirogiannis after finding them guilty of slander.

    The charges were based on a complaint filed by Ship owner Yiannis Alafouzos concerned an article run by "Avriani" the previous June, which suggested that a ship owned by the Alafouzos family was involved in a case of smuggling.

    [33] Jewelry store heist in Crete hotel reported

    Robbers made off with what store owners said was half-a-million-euros worth of gold jewelry they snatched in broad daylight. from a jewelry shop located in a luxury hotel outside the city of Rethymno, Crete, police announced on Monday.

    The robbers apparently went unnoticed by taking advantage of the large number of tourists gathered at the hotel lobby early on Sunday morning waiting for check-in

    The break-in was discovered much later by the shop's owner who found its front door unlocked and called police.

    There were no eye-witnesses among the hotel employees and tourists. No information was given on whether CCTV footage was available. An investigation is underway.

    [34] Athens Festival advance booking launched

    The Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2012 opens on Friday, June 8, with the world famous Venice Baroque Orchestra and Switzerland's Zimmermann & de Perrot.

    Advance booking for the two productions began on Monday.

    Venice Baroque Orchestra will perform Pietro Metastasio's libretto for L'Olimpiade, a hymn to the Olympic spirit, conducted by Markellos Chrysikopoulos.

    The Swiss duo Zimmermann & de Perrot return to Athens with their newest creation, Hans was Heiri.

    Weather forecast

    [35] Clouds and showers on Tuesday

    More wet, cloudy weather is forecast on Tuesday, with rain and showers in the west and central parts of the country and overcast skies elsewhere. Winds variable, ranging from 3-6 Beaufort, shifting to westerly directions from the afternoon. Temperatures will be between 14C and 28C. Initially sunny skies to turn overcast in Athens, with temperatures from 15C to 28C. Cloudy and wet in Thessaloniki.

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

    The G8 Summit and the crucial European Union Summit on Wednesday as well as speculation of Greece's withdrawal from the eurozone, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Employees 'tycoons' from bribes...".

    AVRIANI: "Former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos offered 435 bln euros to international speculator Kenneth Dart".

    DIMOKRATIA: "The problem with the bank accounts".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Hang on to the euro, development measures will come".

    ESTIA: "The political scenery reminiscent of 1981".

    ETHNOS: "French President Francois Hollande's initiative for a eurobond".

    IMERISSIA: "Clear message to Greece - G8: Abide by the agreements in order for us to support you".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Strict adherence to the commitments so as to remain in the eurozone".

    TA NEA: "G8 exorcises the drachma and resurrects the eurobond".

    VRADYNI: "They press for Development with loans and eurobonds".

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