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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-06-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 6 June 2012 Issue No: 4088


  • [01] State budget deficit 18 mln euros in Jan-Apr
  • [02] ND, SYRIZA trade barbs after debate prospect fizzles
  • [03] ND insists on televised debate with SYRIZA
  • [04] Bakoyannis to AMNA web TV: SYRIZA programme will turn Greece into another Bolivia
  • [05] SYRIZA president Tsipras addresses rally in Preveza
  • [06] Tsipras to brief G-20 envoys on SYRIZA's programme
  • [07] PASOK leader: 'we are in danger of being led to insuperable deadlock'
  • [08] KKE leader rejects 'dilemmas' placed by ND, SYRIZA
  • [09] KKE SG gives interview to AMNA web TV
  • [10] KKE leader: Solving the problems not a matter of negotiations but strategy
  • [11] Democratic Left party leader meets European Parliament president
  • [12] Greece, China mark 40th anniversary of bilateral relations
  • [13] Cypriot EU presidency outlines priorities during Athens visit
  • [14] French ambassador visits Western Greece regional governor
  • [15] Turkish ambassador visits Thessaloniki
  • [16] US embassy hosts first-ever anti-piracy seminar at Posidonia exhibition
  • [17] Independent Greeks party president visits industries in Kavala
  • [18] Greek -Russian Economic Forum in Moscow
  • [19] Tourist arrivals on Rhodes down 6pct in May
  • [20] Business Briefs
  • [21] Greek stocks plunge to lowest levels since Jan. 1990
  • [22] ADEX closing report
  • [23] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [24] Culture Minister meeting with foreign archaeological schools' heads
  • [25] 'Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future' exhibition opens Wednesday on Crete
  • [26] Cyprus Theater Organisation cancels Hellenic Festival performances
  • [27] Carnival Breeze docks in Piraeus on Wed.
  • [28] SKAI radio/TV headquarters targeted with fire-bombs, no injuries reported
  • [29] Illegal migrants sighted on Evros River islet
  • [30] Police say million-euro theft solved
  • [31] Armed robbery at jewelry shop in Piraeus
  • [32] Illegal migrants arrested
  • [33] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] State budget deficit 18 mln euros in Jan-Apr

    Greece's state budget primary deficit totaled 18 million euros in the January-April period this year, after a deficit of 1.481 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2011, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

    The ministry report on the general government's data said that the government's overdue debt to the private sector totaled 6.279 billion euros at the end of April, slightly up from 6.238 billion euros a month earlier, of which social insurance funds' debt were 2.823 billion euros, state hospital debt were 1.588 billion euros, local authorities debt were 805 million euros, government ministries' debt totaled 797 million euros and other legal entities' debt were 266 million euros.

    [02] ND, SYRIZA trade barbs after debate prospect fizzles

    New Democracy on Tuesday blamed the rival Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) for the failure to decide the framework of a debate between ND president Antonis Samaras and SYRIZA head Alexis Tsipras.

    ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis, in an announcement, said SYRIZA attempted to avoid critical questions in the current pre-election period, having initially accepted a proposal by Samaras for a televised debate, but in essence it "did all it could to dynamite it (debate)."

    "At the time, when the basic axes and the framework of the televised debate had been agreed to absolutely, and while the two sides committed themselves on issuing a joint announcement within the day, SYRIZA, both yesterday afternoon and at noon today, hurriedly issued two announcements ... contravening all that had previously been agreed to." ."

    SYRIZA had initially proposed the holding of two debates, one with the participation of all the party leaders, with the exception of Golden Dawn, and the second between Tsipras and Samaras.

    In a later heated response, a SYRIZA announcement referred to a "cowardly political stance" by ND vis-a-vis the debate, while charging that no agreement had been reached and that it was ND that was avoiding a public debate on issues and policies.

    [03] ND insists on televised debate with SYRIZA

    New Democracy (ND) on Tuesday reiterated its proposal for a televised debate between its president, Antonis Samaras, and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, "based on the rules agreed upon", according to a statement issued by alternate party spokesman Giorgos Mouroutis, who invoked relevant text messages exchanged with SYRIZA president office director Nikos Pappas for this purpose.

    Rejecting SYRIZA's previous allegations, Mouroutis referred to what he called "blatant lies" when commenting on SYRIZA's statement, namely, that "nothing was agreed" and only one meeting was held between him and SYRIZA cadre Nikos Pappas.

    Mouroutis said SMS exchanges between himself and Pappas prove that more meetings were held and that an agreement was reached, while the only thing left was a joint statement issued by the two parties formally announcing the debate.

    "The ND proposal for a televised debate between the two leaders based on the agreed upon rules still stands," Mouroutis said.

    [04] Bakoyannis to AMNA web TV: SYRIZA programme will turn Greece into another Bolivia

    In an interview with AMNA web TV on Tuesday, Dora Bakoyannis, who heads the New Democracy (ND) state deputies' ticket after returning to the party last month, underlined what she called the necessity for immediate structural reforms by the state.

    Bakoyannis said red tape and tax evasion should be tackled to allow the debt- and recession-plagued country become competitive and attract investments, stressing that social insurance funds will not be viable unless unemployment is reduced.

    She pointed out that if the country returns to its national currency, the drachma, the purchasing power of the Greeks will be reduced by roughly 60 pct.

    Bakoyannis stated that the next government should reflect broad social agreement because the country needs more cooperation to be able to exit the crisis. "Everybody should put our personal ambitions aside," she commented.

    Referring to the policy platform announced by Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), she said it "will turn the country into another Bolivia," adding that the so-called "deep PASOK has joined SYRIZA's ranks".

    She added said that the rise of the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party is "circumstantial", predicting that the extremist formation will lose strength in the upcoming June 17 election.

    Commenting on her return to New Democracy (ND) after failing to get elected to Parliament with her newly formed Democratic Alliance party, she said it was a necessary decision and pointed out that she and ND party leader Antonis Samaras have not made any discussion on her role in a future government.

    [05] SYRIZA president Tsipras addresses rally in Preveza

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras, addressing a rally in the city of Preveza, western Greece, on Tuesday evening, called for a strong popular mandate on June 17 "for the people to take their life in their hands."

    "The only real dilemma in this election is: 'Memorandum or SYRIZA', all women and all men together shall give SYRIZA-EKM a clear and strong power mandate for the immediate annulment of the memorandum and the renegotiating of the unfavourable terms of the loan contract," Tsipras said.

    Tsipras said that the pensions of the Greek people are not in danger from SYRIZA-EKM which, "with its government programme, will annul the memorandum and guarantee the dignified living of pensioners."

    On the question of health, Tsipras said that SYRIZA's programme anticipates the organising of an integrated system of first stage health care with emphasis on prevention and post-hospital care, near the place of residence and work.

    [06] Tsipras to brief G-20 envoys on SYRIZA's programme

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday will brief the ambassadors of the G-20 country members on his party's platform, at the Zappeion in Athens.

    According to SYRIZA, Tsipras will focus on the party's positions on the economy and foreign policy.

    [07] PASOK leader: 'we are in danger of being led to insuperable deadlock'

    PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos, speaking to young scientists at a downtown Athens hotel, made the assessment that "in no way will a majority government be formed" and that "we are in danger of being led to an insuperable deadlock."

    Venizelos added that "cooperations are necessary, governance of joint national responsibility is necessary."

    The PASOK leader went on to say that PASOK mainly has one "ambition", "to be the factor that will be able to secure both the character and mainly the direction of the new government."

    [08] KKE leader rejects 'dilemmas' placed by ND, SYRIZA

    Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Tuesday stated that the "real dilemma" of the elections is "a counterattack launched by the popular movement or the desolation of the working class", as she opined.

    Speaking at a press conference at the communist party's headquarters ahead of the June 17 elections, she said the dilemma "euro or drachma", set out by New Democracy (ND), and the dilemma "memorandum or SYRIZA", as set out by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) are "fictitious and misleading because they do not respond to the real dangers faced by the Greek people and the peoples of Europe as a result of the heightened capitalist crisis in the Eurozone."

    Papariga said the income and the rights of the majority of the "workers and the self-employed" will be under a fierce attack regardless of the government that will be formed.

    Referring to proposals outlined by ND and SYRIZA, she said that in the case of ND the sacrifices that will be asked of the people are obvious, while regarding SYRIZA she said its proposals will not stop the further deterioration of the situation plaguing the working classes.

    [09] KKE SG gives interview to AMNA web TV

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, speaking in an interview with AMNA Web TV on Tuesday afternoon, said that the people "must make KKE strong for a stop to be put to the impoverishment of the working class and of the popular classes and for the popular counterattack that the times require to take place."

    Papariga, who also replied to questions put through the twitter and facebook, said among other things that KKE will not give a vote of tolerance to a SYRIZA government from the moment that it does not trust it, while mentioning that "a SYRIZA government hasn't even the radical slogans of PASOK of the decade of the '80s" and added that "SYRIZA will comply 'with the indications' because it does not have a clash policy with the EU and the monopolies."

    She added that "before us lies the worsening of the crisis in all the eurozone and the possibility of uncontrolled or controlled default that will aggravate the problems, while whatever grants promised by SYRIZA will be crumbs."

    Papariga also said that KKE will prepare a draft law on the abolition of the memorandum, the loan contract and the antilabour laws in practice and stressed that her party supports Greece's disengagemnt from the EU and the unilateral writeoff of the debt on condition that the people take power and the wealth produced in their hands.

    [10] KKE leader: Solving the problems not a matter of negotiations but strategy

    Solving the immense problems faced by the Greek people and Greece is not a matter of negotiations and a "good" negotiator, but "a matter of strategy" and, in that respect "Greece's disengagement from the EU is, objectively, maturing, combined with radical measures inside Greece," Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said Monday night on private MEGA television station.

    "Although this was not the choice of the great majority of the Greek people, they will not set with their hands crossed, they must salvage what they can...In the end we'll wind up beggars in Europe," she added.

    Asked if a possibility existed for the KKE's participation in a government with SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left), she said "no, because this would destroy our ability to contribute so that the people will press for something better", adding that "the only party that SYRIZA does not want as a partner is the KKE".

    Due to the aggravation of the crisis, she continued, "either a SYRIZA government will collapse and New Democracy (ND) will, unfortunately, return triumphantly, or an ND government will collapse and a government of the new socialdemocracy will come".

    On the annulment of the Memorandum that SYRIZA says it will do as government, Papariga said that "it will not do anything", adding that SYRIZA's entire policy line is "contradictory, since it says that it will abolish the Memorandum and its application laws, and will afterwards negotiate the loan agreement but the loan agreement, the installments and distribution of the funds, are connected with the implementation of the Memorandum".

    "SYRIZA will abolish the Memorandum and sign a new one. The lenders will not give money without the signing of a memorandum," Papariga said.

    The most terrifying and dangerous aspect is the clear prediction of a prospective deepening of the crisis, and the weak links are Spain and Italy, she said, adding that when SYRIZA says that 'in no way' will they send Greece out of the eurozone because "everyone else will go bankrupt", it is either naive and it is deliberately deluding the people.

    "Is it possible to believe that the eurozone will back down on the measures it demands because it will be destroyed by the Greek economy?" she asked, adding that "SYRIZA is a force that we do not trust, a force with which we have substantial and deep-rooted differences, and the naivet? with which it is handling a series of matters troubles us".

    The "good scenario" foresees an "anemic recovery for the eurozone" and for Greece "recovery with heavy austerity", and consequently the SYRIZA platform "is founded either on superficiality in order to attract votes, or has a 'closed drawer' that it will open after the elections," the KKE leader warned.

    [11] Democratic Left party leader meets European Parliament president

    Democratic Left party president Fotis Kouvelis met in Brussels on Tuesday with European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

    Speaking after the meeting, Schulz stressed that the European Parliament counts on the contribution of the Democratic Left and Kouvelis personally for a solution to the problems Greece is facing. Referring to Kouvelis in particular, Schulz said that he is a politician who wages struggles with sobriety for the necessary solutions.

    Kouvelis said that Greece is entitled to and can proceed with paths of exit from the deadlocks which it is in. He added that a policy is necessary that will steadfastly serve Greece's stay in the eurozone in parallel with a policy that will disengage from specific arrangements and measures of the memorandum.

    [12] Greece, China mark 40th anniversary of bilateral relations

    The strong friendship ties forged between Greece and China and bilateral cooperation that became deeper, particularly after the adoption of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2006 were highlighted in messages exchanged between Athens and Beijing marking the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.

    President Karolos Papoulias, in a letter addressed to Chinese leader Hu Jintao, underlined that "cooperation between China and Greece has known notable progress since 1972," adding that the two countries have become "strategic partners enjoying strong friendship and economic ties in the economic, political and social sectors."

    On his part, Greek caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos stressed in a letter addressed to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that "this anniversary is a milestone for the Greek government, indicating the level of maturity reached by the Sino-Greek relations forged through long and systematic cooperation in political and economic fields."

    In a letter to his Chinese counterpart Jang Jiechi, caretaker Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis expressed optimism for the future of bilateral relations and made a special reference to the present international situation, stressing that "while a lot is at stake, economically speaking, there are many new opportunities that can bring our countries even closer sharing a vision of progress."

    China's president, prime minister and foreign minister also addressed letters to their Greek counterparts marking the anniversary.

    President Hu Jintao underlined that "China appreciates its long friendship relations with Greece" and wishes to forge even stronger cooperation ties while promoting cultural exchanges.

    The Chinese premier stressed that since bilateral diplomatic relations were inaugurated 40 years ago both countries "share stronger political confidence, various achievements in the shipping, economic and trade sectors and coordination in international and regional issues."

    On his part, the Chinese foreign minister underlined that the two countries "are strategic partners and the two ministries will join forces to further strengthen bilateral relations."

    Events marking the 40th anniversary include a joint philatelic edition that will be issued by the Chinese and Greek postal services, as well as, a Greek Cinema Week held on May 21-27 and an exhibition on the life and work of Socrates and Lao Tzu hosted by the Greek embassy in Beijing on April 4-9.

    [13] Cypriot EU presidency outlines priorities during Athens visit

    Visiting Cypriot Communications & Works Minister Efthymios Flourentzos on Tuesday met with the Greek caretaker ministers of development, infrastructure and citizens' protection ahead of Cyprus' assumption of the EU Council Presidency.

    The programme and priorities of the Cypriot EU Presidency on sectors of mutual interest, such as, sea transportation, integrated EU maritime policy and the opening of maritime routes between Greece and Cyprus, were discussed in the meeting between the visiting Cypriot minister and the Greek ministers of development, competitiveness & shipping and citizen protection, Yiannis Stournaras and Eleftherios Economou, respectively, held in the presence of the Cypriot ambassador to Athens.

    The integrated maritime policy will be among the issues to be under discussion in the informal EU ministerial meeting and Greece's contribution to the drawing up of the relevant document was requested, Flourentzou stressed.

    In the meeting with caretaker Infrastructure, Transport & Networks Minister Simos Simopoulos, the visiting Cypriot minister outlined the Cypriot EU Presidency priorities in the sectors of transport and telecommunications.

    As regards the transport sector, the Cypriot EU Presidency will suggest the adoption of common guidelines on tachographs and slot allocation, revision of the Third Railway Package and the funding of Inter-European Transport Networks with 10 billion euro from the Cohesion Fund.

    Referring to the telecommunications sector, Flourentzou said the Cypriot EU Presidency will finance 50-billion-euro investments in transport, energy and digital European networks, create a single digital market in information society, promote Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to improve digital networks, emphasize accessibility to public sector information and boost internet safety.

    [14] French ambassador visits Western Greece regional governor

    France's ambassador to Athens Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge visited the regional governor of Western Greece Apostolos Katsifaras on Tuesday and expressed his interest in Western Greece's production image and its potential.

    On his part, the regional governor raised the project of the Olympia motorway with the ambassador, stressing that "the role of the French construction company Vinci is focal, as the company has built the Rio-Antirrio bridge."

    [15] Turkish ambassador visits Thessaloniki

    Thessaloniki Deputy Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas on Tuesday received visiting Turkish ambassador to Greece Kerim Uras and discussed the prospects for closer bilateral cooperation through trade exhibitions and festivals hosted by local authorities in Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Izmir.

    They also discussed the launch of a sea route linking Thessaloniki with Izmir for tourist and commercial purposes, while boosting the tourist flow from Turkey to the greater Central Macedonia region of northern Greece.

    "We wish to build relations of mutual cooperation that will benefit both sides," the deputy regional governor stressed.

    On his part, the Turkish ambassador referred to bilateral cooperation in business, commerce and tourism.

    The potential for agreements on summer and winter tourism packages was explored by a group of Turkish tour operators who visited the region of Halkidiki for this purpose.

    Financial News

    [16] US embassy hosts first-ever anti-piracy seminar at Posidonia exhibition

    The persistent and growing scourge of piracy on the high seas - a problem that is costing billions of US dollars every year - was the focus of the first-ever seminar on available anti-piracy services and technology, hosted by the US embassy in Greece on Tuesday at the Posidonia international shipping exhibition, which is again taking place in Athens on June 4-8.

    In opening remarks, US Ambassador to Greece Daniel Bennett Smith noted that piracy at sea was a crime of global concern and that counter-piracy patrols - though supported by the United States - were not in themselves sufficient to guarantee ship safety.

    He pointed out that pirates - from their originally ad hoc, disorganised beginnings - are now using increasingly advanced methods and venturing further and further offshore in what is now becoming a highly developed, transnational criminal enterprise.

    While referring to cooperative efforts with other nations to investigate and prosecute these crimes and, especially, as he said "follow the money trail" that led to those financing the pirates, he noted they were too often simply let go when caught due to states' reluctance to prosecute.

    According to the US envoy, the "vast majority" of pirated ships had failed to employ best practice techniques and methods and protection services that had been shown efficient in deterring attacks and whose use will increase the safety of vessels.

    The range of solutions and services shown at the conference included a forward-looking presentation by Lockheed Martin expert Grigorios Koutsogiannis on the use of social-media and 'cloud' type IT systems to help "enhance situational awareness" and allow ships to share information on potentially 'suspicious' vessels in a geographical area, backed up various manned and unmanned types of aerial surveillance services available on a subscription basis or even the use of high-range, high definition electro-optical sensors attached to the masts of ships.

    Other technology included the ultra-loud "Long Range Acoustic Devices" (LRAD) capable of hailing and sending clear multilingual messages to vessels up to 3000 metres away, while at close range acting as an active repellent - in this way enabling ships to communicate with and distinguish between vessels that were a threat and those that were not, avoiding both risk but also an unnecessary use of force against innocent parties.

    Other speakers outlined the issues involved in hiring armed security for a vessel and one company presented a 'maritime evidence collection kit' that could be used by crew members to collect forensic evidence that could potentially be used in prosecuting pirates caught attempting to board a vessel.

    A huge and growing problem, which many ship-owners at the seminar emphasized was showing no signs of going away, maritime piracy has a high cost in both money but also in terms of human life, injuries and trauma. According to the Oceans Beyond Piracy 2011 report, the estimated economic cost of Somali piracy was between 6.6-6.9 billion U.S. dollars, of which 80 percent burdened the shipping industry and 20 percent was spent on government action countering attacks.

    The additional costs arise from greater fuel costs and military operations, while an estimated 1.1 billion dollars was spent on security equipment and armed guards, 635 million dollars on insurance, 486-680 million dollars is spent on re-routing to avoid high-risk areas and a further 195 million dollars on greater labour costs and danger pay for seafarers.

    In the meantime, average ransoms increased 25 percent to 5 million dollars per vessel in 2011, while 160 million dollars paid for ransoms - a fraction of the total economic cost.

    Speakers noted that the number of incident had risen in 2011 and that, even though a greater number were foiled, there had been more loss of life among crews. Seven seafarers were killed as a result of pirate attacks in 2011, up from two in 2010, while 241 seafarers were taken captive and 27 vessels hijacked.

    [17] Independent Greeks party president visits industries in Kavala

    Independent Greeks party president Panos Kammenos, speaking after visiting industries in the northern city of Kavala, stressed the need for immediate support for Greek industry.

    Speaking to reporters, Kammenos said that Kavala is a prefecture that constitutes an example of what the Greek countryside has experienced from the consequences of the memorandum, stressing that "a prefecture with industries, employment, growth, tourism has reached the point of being threatened with abandonment."

    [18] Greek -Russian Economic Forum in Moscow

    The Greek-Russian Chamber of Commerce is organising on Wednesday in Moscow the 1st Greek-Russian Economic Forum on the theme "Greece, new prospects for investment cooperation'.

    The Forum's aim is to inform the Russian business community on Greece's economy and investment partnerships as well as the potential for their development, and the legislation, banking and tax benefits for foreign investors.

    [19] Tourist arrivals on Rhodes down 6pct in May

    Tourist arrivals on the island of Rhodes posted a 6 percent decline in May 2012 against the same month last year, it was announced on Tuesday.

    A total of 197,505 tourists arrived on Rhodes compared with 210,273 that had arrived in May 2011. A decline was marked in tourists from Germany (19.4 percent), France (30.31pct), Finland (23.03), Netherlands (31.69), Austria (19.43) and Italy (58.62).

    Conversely, British tourist arrivals increased by 14.60 percent, Russians by 19.21 percent, Israelis by 51.52 percent, Norwegians by 37.10 percent and Danish tourists by 12.72 percent.

    According to local tourist operators the decline had been expected, but had been anticipated to be worse due to a tendency of cancellation of reservations in recent weeks.

    [20] Business Briefs

    -- Greece ranked fourth in the world photovoltaic market in 2011, based on power growth per resident, official data showed on Tuesday. A report by the Federation of Photovoltaic Enterprises, said that Greece ranked 10th in the world based on growth and eighth in the European Union based on its market size.

    -- French utility group Suez is expected to officially express an interest in the acquisition of 74 pct of Thessaloniki Water Co., which is currently under the ownership of the Private Property Development Fund of the State - the agency responsible for privatisation of state assets.

    -- Nestle Hellas on Tuesday reported a small rise in sales and higher profits in 2011. Revenues totaled 424.99 million euros last year, from 420.82 million euros in 2010, for an increase of 1.0 pct, while EBITDA totaled 59.2 million euros from 51.64 million euros (up 14.6 pct) over the same period.

    -- Production by the Greek plastics industry fell in the first quarter of 2011, Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Tuesday. The statistics service, in a report, said production of raw material products fell by 15.3 pct in the January-March period, after a 3.9 pct decline in the same period in 2011.

    -- Roche Hellas on Tuesday reported a loss of 61.5 million euros in 2011, reflecting a haircut in Greek state bonds received in compensation for state hospitals' debt to the company.

    [21] Greek stocks plunge to lowest levels since Jan. 1990

    Stocks plunged to their lowest levels since early January 1990 at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, as uncertainty over political developments combined with a worsening debt crisis in the Eurozone and a Grexit scenario reignited selling activity in the market.

    The composite index dropped 5.09 pct to end at 476.36 points, off the day's lows of 471.35 points. Analysts said the next support levels for the index were the 460 and 445 points. The market's capitalization fell below 20 billion euros, or less than 10 pct of the country's Gross Domestic Product, the lowest ratio in Europe.

    Turnover was a low 46.406 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 5.11 pct and the Mid Cap index fell 4.0 pct. The Personal Products (2.60 pct) and Travel (0.92 pct) sectors scored gains, while Banks (9.05 pct), Raw Materials (8.48 pct) and Health (7.57 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Jumbo (2.78 pct), OPAP (1.0 pct), Viohalco (0.63 pct) and Titan (0.48 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank (15.22 pct), Cyprus Bank (9.54 pct), Alpha Bank (8.85 pct) and Mytilineos (8.55 pct) suffered losses. National Bank's share price fell below 1.0 euro per share, while its capitalization fell to 870 million euros.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 90 to 33 with another 15 issues unchanged. Selman (20 pct), Varvaressos (18.64 pct) and Sidma (17.11 pct) were top gainers, while Balkan Real Estate (30 pct), Attikat (20 pct) and Teletypos (20 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.42%

    Commercial: -6.63%

    Construction: -0.19%

    Oil & Gas: -5.98%

    Personal & Household: +2.60%

    Raw Materials: -8.48%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.92%

    Technology: -6.34%

    Telecoms: -5.04%

    Banks: -9.05%

    Food & Beverages: -6.67%

    Health: -7.57%

    Utilities: -4.73%

    Financial Services: -3.26%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.69

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 1.18

    HBC Coca Cola: 12.60

    Hellenic Petroleum: 4.18

    National Bank of Greece: 0.92

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.39

    OPAP: 4.04

    OTE: 1.13

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.19

    Titan: 10.50

    [22] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.52 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover remaining a low 8.203 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4,399 contracts worth 3.804 million euros, with 20,372 open positions in the market.

    [23] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.261

    Pound sterling 0.822

    Danish kroner 7.542

    Swedish kroner 9.103

    Japanese yen 98.71

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.708

    Canadian dollar 1.312

    Australian dollar 1.295

    General News

    [24] Culture Minister meeting with foreign archaeological schools' heads

    Caretaker Culture Minister Tatiana Karapanagioti invited on Sunday evening the directors of the 17 foreign archaeological schools and institutes operating in Athens in an acquaintance meeting at her office.

    The heads of the schools, expressed to the minister their love for Greece, given that most of them live in Athens and spend long periods of time in the areas that are of their specific archaeological interest, and spoke of their experiences and impressions from their exchanges with foreign visitors every day.

    Referring to the negative climate for Greece created by foreign press articles in the past months, they said that this climate has been partly reversed given that more and more citizens from their countries are asking for information on the Greek islands and the other tourism destinations in Greece.

    The minister thanked them for the friendly attitude towards Greece and the important work that they contribute through teaching on and projecting Greece, its history and culture, and asked for their support in the effort to better Greece's image in their countries.

    Finally, Karapanagioti was briefed on the excavations and research work conducted by the Schools in Greece.

    [25] 'Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future' exhibition opens Wednesday on Crete

    An international exhibition titled "The Planet is Changing - Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future" opens to the public on Wednesday evening at the International Exhibition Center on the island of Crete, sponsored by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE) and the Cretaquarium, presenting the most complex and urgent scientific and social issues of the 21st century.

    According to the organisers, the exhibition is a scientific collaboration of the renowned American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York with universities, museums and foundations world-wide, and has been on an international tour since it closed at the AMNH in August 2009.

    In its comprehensive exhibition "Climate Change: The Threat to Life and A New Energy Future" the American Museum of Natural History addresses one of the most complex and urgent scientific and social issues of the 21st century: global climate change. The exhibition explains the science of climate change to visitors of all ages and explores the implications of unchecked climate change for future generations. While Climate Change makes clear that there is no single solution, it allows visitors to see how individual, collective, communal, and governmental actions in using energy more efficiently, in combination with pursuing promising new energy alternatives, can make a meaningful impact in reducing global warming.

    The exhibition will be inaugurated by the eminent atmospherics physicist Prof. Christos Zerefos, and attended by caretaker Environment, Energy and Climate Change minister Prof. Grigoris Tsaltas, while ELKETHE president Prof. Costas Synolakis and University of Crete honorary dean George Grammatikakis will address greetings to the event.

    [26] Cyprus Theater Organisation cancels Hellenic Festival performances

    The Cyprus Theater Organisation on Tuesday announced the cancellation of two performances it had planned at the ancient outdoor theater of Epidaurus on July 27 and 28 in the context of the Hellenic Festival titled "Electra and Orestes, the Trial".

    The performances will be replaced by Aristophanes' "Ecclesiazusae" by the Neos Kosmos Theater, directed by Vangelis Theodoropoulos, which has been initially scheduled for August 17-18 at the Epidaurus Theater.

    [27] Carnival Breeze docks in Piraeus on Wed.

    The administration of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) will welcome the state-of-the-art cruise ship Carnival Breeze at the commercial port of Piraeus on Wednesday during a special event.

    Capt. Vincenzo Alcaras will be welcomed by OLP board members and will be presented with a special commemorative plaque.

    The 130,000-DWT Carnival Breeze, which is 306 metres long and can host 1,386 crew-members and 3,690 passengers, will dock at the Themistokleous pier.

    The vessel began its maiden voyage from Italy on June 1, 2012 and its first port of call in the Mediterranean is Piraeus.

    [28] SKAI radio/TV headquarters targeted with fire-bombs, no injuries reported

    A group of unidentified individuals threw several home-made fire-bombs (molotov cocktails) at the building in Faliro, near Piraeus, housing the private SKAI television and radio stations on Monday night, but no injuries were reported.

    Three of the molotov cocktails landed in the station's outdoor parking lot, without causing any damage, while a fourth fire-bomb fell onto a second-floor balcony, breaking windows.

    [29] Illegal migrants sighted on Evros River islet

    Thirty illegal migrants, 29 men and a woman, were found stranded on an Evros River islet near the village of Nea Vyssa, on the border with Turkey, authorities said on Tuesday. The entire group was rescued from the spot.

    In an effort to cross the frontier from Turkey into Greece, the illegal migrants -- who by their own account include nine Algerians, eight Syrians, six Moroccans, five Palestinians and two Afghanis -- found themselves stranded on the islet until spotted by Greek police patrolling along the river bank.

    The Evros River continues to attract migrant smugglers ferrying mostly Third World illegal migrants into Greece from neighbouring Turkey, a situation that has generated enormous problems in Greece amid a punishing economic crisis and caused a growing backlash against illegal immigration.

    [30] Police say million-euro theft solved

    Police announced the arrest of three suspects in the theft of no less than one million euros taken from the residence of a businessman in the upscale seaside Voula district eight days ago, following wiretaps and computer tracing authorised by a relevant prosecutor.

    According to reports, a 35-year-old maid, a Georgian national, a one-time lawyer from the same country and another pair of Georgians were charged as the perpetrators.

    The woman was located and apprehended on Tuesday in the central Athens district of Kolonos, while 573,000 euros in cash was also recovered.

    According to authorities, the businessman told police the money was the product of a property sale, while the proceeds were not deposited in a bank.

    [31] Armed robbery at jewelry shop in Piraeus

    An armed robbery was reported on Tuesday in the Piraeus district of Keratsini. Four robbers threatened at gunpoint the owner of a jewelry shop, took an unknown number of pieces of jewelry and fled with a car that they abandoned later in the nearby district of Korydallos.

    Police have launched a manhunt in the area.

    [32] Illegal migrants arrested

    A 20-year old-Afghani national and a 30-year-old Somali that attempted to travel to Bergamo, Italy with fake Austrian and Italian documents were arrested at the civilian airport of Araxos, southwestern Greece.

    Moreover, a 23-year-old Syrian national was arrested at the civilian airport of Aktio, northwestern Greece with a fake Polish passport.

    [33] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    European officals' warnings to Greece and the speculations of a Greek exit from the Eurozon, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras statement: Neither reduction in salaries nor new taxes will be imposed".

    AVRIANI: "Troika (European Commission, European Central Banks and International Monetary Fund) and their subordinates in Greece have exceeded all limits".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Rapid hirings in municipalities to cover summer's needs'.

    ESTIA: "The country is heading to catastrophy".

    ETHNOS: "Aspirins for patients' ordeal".

    IMERISSIA: "New ultimatum - EU hardens its stance".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Decisive steps towards the economic unification".

    TA NEA: "Union or death! The wager for Europe".

    VRADYNI: "All the changes in pensions for those insured before 1993".

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