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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-06-21

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

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

Thursday, 21 June 2012 Issue No: 4101

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras sworn-in as new Greek PM
  • [02] Samaras meets President, receives go-ahead to form government-
  • [03] PM calls for 'solid national unity'
  • [04] PM holds meeting with coalition partners Venizelos, Kouvelis
  • [05] ND, PASOK and Democratic Left representatives conclude meeting
  • [06] Venizelos: Greece has a gov't
  • [07] Gov't of 16 ministers and 12 deputy ministers, according to Venizelos
  • [08] PASOK parliamentary group approves Venizelos' proposal
  • [09] DIMAR leader: Gov't possibly by Wed night
  • [10] SYRIZA believes new government will continue memorandum policy
  • [11] Independent Greeks statement on new prime minister
  • [12] KKE party says three-party joint government will not relieve working classes
  • [13] Biography of new PM Antonis Samaras
  • [14] German Chancellor Merkel invites PM Samaras to Berlin, congratulates him by phone
  • [15] Merkel pleased if Samaras present at Greece-Germany game
  • [16] German FM: Greece won't be overburdened
  • [17] Obama administration looks forward to cooperation with new PM Samaras
  • [18] EPP president Martens congratulates Antonis Samaras
  • [19] Ultra-nationalist party calls for abolition of state funding for political parties
  • [20] No less than 60 women elected to Parliament
  • [21] Only Zanias to attend Eurogroup, government sources reveal
  • [22] Outflow of deposits has been halted, bankers say
  • [23] Bank of Greece reply concerning 'decimation' of journalist pension fund capital reserves
  • [24] EDOEAP to resort to justice against Bank of Greece
  • [25] CNN-Turk promotes Crete in Turkey
  • [26] Court of Audit rules on conditional expenditures for hospital supplies
  • [27] Stocks end up for fourth straight session
  • [28] Greek bond market closing report
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [31] Forest fire in Nafplion partially contained
  • [32] Two wildfires in Attica prefecture and one in Corinthia prefecture
  • [33] Fire at Elefsina military air base
  • [34] Fire in Aspropyrgos, Attica
  • [35] Firefighter dies of heart attack while on duty
  • [36] Decision barring Lavrentiadis from leaving country upheld
  • [37] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Samaras sworn-in as new Greek PM

    Antonis Samaras was sworn-in as Greece's prime minister on Wednesday afternoon at the head of a three-party coalition government that assumes the country's reins amid the most crucial moment in the country's history after the restoration of democracy in 1974.

    Samaras, 61, led New Democracy to a first-place showing in last Sunday's election, garnering nearly 30 percent of the general vote, which translated into 129 MPs in Greece's 300-deputy Parliament. Following three days of negotiations, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DI.MAR) party leader Fotis Kouvelis agreed to back a Samaras-led government, promising a vote of confidence in Parliament.

    In his first statements as prime minister immediately upon exiting the presidential mansion, Samaras stressed that "with the help of God we will do whatever passes through our hands for our people to exit this crisis."

    PASOK took 12.28 percent of the vote in the June 17 election, and fields 33 MPs, while DI.MAR won 6.26 percent of the vote and picked up 17 MPs.

    What remains to be seen is the composition of the new Cabinet, namely, if and how many non-MPs (technocrats) will host ministerial portfolios, and if the two junior partners will acquiesce and field political cadres in the Samaras Cabinet.

    [02] Samaras meets President, receives go-ahead to form government-

    New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras arrived at the presidential mansion in Athens on Wednesday in order to officially inform President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias that he has successfully brokered an agreement for a three-party coalition to support his government.

    "What result did the marathon yield," Papoulias asked, as he received Samaras. "It yielded a [Parliamentary] majority," ND's leader replied, "and the need for a lasting government of stability and hope for the country".

    The president then officially instructed him to form a government and wished him good luck in meeting the many and difficult problems facing the country, after which a ceremony in which Samaras was sworn in as prime minister began, officiated by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos.

    Samaras is afterward due to make his way to the prime minister's offices for the handover from caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos.

    In announcements earlier on Wednesday, both the PASOK party and the Democratic Left (Dem.Ar) party indicated that they are willing to support Samaras' government with a vote of confidence in Parliament but will not be supplying any of their own members to serve as ministers in a government led by Samaras.

    [03] PM calls for 'solid national unity'

    Greece's new prime minister Antonis Samaras left the presidential mansion on foot immediately after the ceremony at which he was sworn in as head of Greece's government on Wednesday and headed toward the prime minister's offices at Maximos Mansion, to take over from outgoing caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos.

    Arriving at the prime minister's office, Samaras stressed the need for patriotism and 'solid' national unity and said he would ask the ministers of his government to work hard in order to give tangible hope to the Greek people.

    "We will do everything we can so, with the help of God, the country can emerge more quickly from the crisis," he said.

    He was received by Pikrammenos, whom he congratulated on his work as the head of the caretaker government that had guided Greece toward repeat elections.

    Pikrammenos noted that Samaras was taking over at a difficult and crucial time, when many battles would have to be fought both at home and abroad.

    "You must ensure that the sacrifices of the Greek people are vindicated, that social injustice is corrected, and that the basic structures of the state can function: health, education, energy. You must make sure that Greece once again finds the place that it deserves within Europe," the outgoing premier said, adding that Samaras was not alone and would find that everyone was prepared to rally around and help him.

    Replying, Samaras stressed that he was fully aware of the crucial nature of the current time and stressed the need to restore the dignity of the Greek people and ensure a quick recovery of the economy so as to restore social justice and social cohesion.

    [04] PM holds meeting with coalition partners Venizelos, Kouvelis

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras held a meeting late on Wednesday with the other two party leaders in his coalition government, PASOK president Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (Dem.Ar) president Fotis Kouvelis, just hours after he was sworn in as the country's new prime minister.

    The meeting was held to prepare for Thursday's Eurogroup meeting and was also attended by the outgoing caretaker government finance minister George Zanias and National Bank of Greece board chairman Prof. Vassilis Rapanos, who according to sources has been tapped to replace Zanias in the new government.

    Zanias will be representing the Greek government at the eurozone finance ministers' meeting and will also be participating in the Samaras government's economic team, albeit in a different position. He will, however, be informally accompanied by Rapanos who is likely to take over the finance ministry portfolio in the new government.

    At the upcoming European Union summit in Brussels next week, the new prime minister will also be accompanied by Kouvelis and Venizelos, who will seek to bolster the country's negotiating efforts through their contacts with related European parties.

    [05] ND, PASOK and Democratic Left representatives conclude meeting

    The meeting between representatives of the New Democracy party, PASOK and the Democratic Left on the policy framework of the new government was concluded on Wednesday night.

    The representatives agreed on a text of principles that they communicated to the three party leaders for approval, sealing in this way the political agreement on the formation of a government.

    [06] Venizelos: Greece has a gov't

    "Greece has a government as of today," PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos said after his meeting with New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday.

    The parliamentary requirements were reportedly met for the formation of a new government, backed by the largest party, in terms of MPs in Parliament, ND, along with PASOK and the small Democratic Left party (DI.MAR).

    Venizelos reconfirmed that caretaker Finance Minister Giorgos Zannias, with whom the three party leaders will meet within the day, will represent the country as a Eurogroup meeting on Thursday.

    He also criticised leftist SYRIZA, the main opposition party, for declaring that it will not participate in any future negotiation team with creditors.

    The first critical battle, he said, will be held two days before the EU Summit on June 28, "we know very well what we will ask for, from whom and in what manner," he concluded.

    [07] Gov't of 16 ministers and 12 deputy ministers, according to Venizelos

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday addressed his party's parliamentary group stressing that its members, who have served as government ministers in the past, should focus on their duties as parliament and party members. He said that "the government's ability to be persuasive is being tested politically and socially," adding that PASOK's participation was a strategic choice.

    He added that PASOK will participate in the new government with experienced party cadres that are not elected in parliament. According to information, he referred to George Zanias, Yiannis Stournaras and Tassos Yiannitsis.

    Venizelos revealed that the new government will comprise 16 ministers (including the reestablished mercantile marine ministry) and 12 deputy ministers stressing that they can form a functional government. He added that PASOK will monitor, have a say in shaping and support the government's policy and operation. However, he did not reveal if there is an agreement on the government's duration, namely, if there are plans on how long it will last.

    He said that "party politicking practices" will not be tolerated, adding that the negotiations with Greece's partners will focus on the extension of fiscal adjustment time, financial assistance to support the new elongated adjustment period and agreement on a package of measures that will ensure economic growth.

    [08] PASOK parliamentary group approves Venizelos' proposal

    PASOK's parliamentary group on Wednesday approved party leader Evangelos Venizelos' proposal that PASOK's deputies will not participate in the coalition government. PASOK proposes technocrats and possibly high-profile party cadres that have not been elected to parliament and from electoral districts that PASOK has no representation in parliament.

    [09] DIMAR leader: Gov't possibly by Wed night

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis opined after a meeting with New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday that agreement on a coalition government could be reached by Wednesday night.

    Kouvelis reiterated that the DIMAR central committee has approved, with a very large majority, the provision of a vote of confidence in a coalition government, provided the policy content agreed is acceptable, adding that the policy platform was currently being drafted.

    He further stressed his party's firm position for gradual disengagement from the Memorandum, with a parallel cancellation of the "measures that have hurt the Greek society".

    According to party sources, the possible that will comprise the new government were not discussed.

    Samaras, who holds an exploratory mandate for the formation of a coalition government after his party placed first in repeat general elections on Sunday but without garnering a parliamentary majority, is due to meet shortly with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos in ongoing deliberations for the formation of a coalition government.

    [10] SYRIZA believes new government will continue memorandum policy

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) spokesman Panos Skourletis said in a statement on Wednesday the new government is being created on the ground of the continuation of memorandum policies, adding that it is a government with similar conservative political characteristics with the main body being the forces responsible for the serving of the most extreme antisocial neoliberal policies that the country has experienced over the past decades.

    SYRIZA believes that the political correlations in the government "do not convince that it is capable and prepared to struggle for a substantive renegotiatig of the terms of the loan contract," as well as that "it intends to question the sovereign neoliberal policies in Europe claiming a new architecture for it."

    [11] Independent Greeks statement on new prime minister

    The Independent Greeks party, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed its wish for new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to succeed in his task, for "the good of all", as it stated.

    The statement added, however, that the party will closely monitor Samaras' work and "will judge him strictly on the basis of his promises."

    "Mr Samaras remains a memorandum (pro-bailout) prime minister, a politician who has signed the implementation of the memorandums, and who is known for his political flip-flops," the statement read.

    [12] KKE party says three-party joint government will not relieve working classes

    An announcement by the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) Central Committee press office on Wednesday stresses that "the new joint government between New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left will not bring about relief for the working classes that are suffering from the consequences of the capitalist crisis. What the joint government is presenting as renegotiating of the unfavourable terms of the memorandums and the loan contract is a compulsory readjustment that the deepening of the crisis in Greece necessitates as well as in the more economically powerful countries of the eurozone."

    The announcement added that "this readjustment will be determined by the aggravated contrasts and the temporary agreements between the leading forces of the EU regarding the way of managing the crisis. Whatever their conlusion may be they shall not stop and they shall not thwart the bankruptcy and impoverishment of the people."

    [13] Biography of new PM Antonis Samaras

    New Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose family hails from Messinia in extreme southwestern Greece, was born in Athens on May 23, 1951.

    The son of cardiologist Constantinos Samaras, his maternal grandfather was former Thessaloniki deputy Alexandros Zannas, the son of noted writer Penelope Delta. On May 26, 1990 he married Georgia Kritikou in the coastal town of Pylos, with whom he has a daughter and a son.

    Samaras graduated from the Athens College prep school in 1969 and then studied economics at Amherst, receiving his MBA from Harvard. In 1974 he completed his doctoral thesis on the subject of "Relations of Multinational Companies and Governments." He speaks English, French and Italian.

    In 1977, at the age of 26, he was elected for the first time as a deputy from Messinia prefecture with New Democracy.

    In July 1989, he assumed a government post for the first time as finance minister in the short-lived Tzannetakis government, followed by the post of foreign minister in the Mitsotakis government. On April 13, 1992 he resigned from the post following a policy clash with then prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis over the issue of the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM). Shortly thereafter, he resigned from Parliament.

    On June 30, 1993 he established a political party, "Political Spring", which participated in the Oct. 10, 1993 election, where it garnered 4.88 percent of the vote and elected 10 deputies to Parliament. During the Sept. 22, 1996 general election the party fell short of the 3-percent limit for Parliament representation.

    During the March 2004 election he expressed his support for New Democracy and then leader Costas Karamanlis, while on May 13 of the same year he announced the suspension of Political Spring. He subsequently rejoined ND and was placed on the party's ballot for the June European Parliament election, serving subsequently as a MEP.

    He returned to the national Parliament after the general election in September 2007, again elected from Messinia prefecture with ND. In January 2008, he assumed the culture ministry portfolio in the Costas Karamanlis government.

    On Nov. 29, 2009, following ND's defeat in the national election and the resignation of Karamanlis as party president, Samaras became the seventh president of the party, winning an internal party election.

    [14] German Chancellor Merkel invites PM Samaras to Berlin, congratulates him by phone

    BERLIN (AMNA/F. Karaviti)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a telephone conversation with new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to congratulate him on the assumption of his duties and to extend an invitation to him to visit Berlin.

    According to an announcement by Chancellery spokesman Steffen Seibert, Merkel wished Samaras "the best of luck and every success in the difficult task he has before him."

    "The Chancellor hopes for a good cooperation with Prime Minister Mr. Samaras and his government and invited him to visit Berlin," Seibert also said.

    [15] Merkel pleased if Samaras present at Greece-Germany game

    BERLIN (AMNA/ F. Karaviti)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, replying to a question by a reporter on whether she would like new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to also be in Gdansk on Friday, to watch with her the football match between the national teams of Germany and Greece (for the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012 championship), said "I would be pleased if he came, but he himself must see if he can."

    She said "on my part, I would be pleased if he came. Of course, he must see if he can. He himself must say this. I cannot speak on his behalf."

    Referring to the match, the German Chancellor said "however, it will be a good sports event. I hope a very fair sports event."

    [16] German FM: Greece won't be overburdened

    BERLIN (AMNA / F. Karaviti)

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble stated that "we have not overburdened Greece and we do not intend to do so," thus rejecting allegations that the Greek austerity programme includes extraordinary demands.

    "It's up to the Greeks to solve their problems," he stressed in a preview of his interview in "Die Zeit" newspaper published in its online section, denying that the terms included in the Greek programme are very harsh.

    He said that the preparation of the joint economic policy in the Eurozone will be completed much sooner than expected, adding that "this will not happen overnight". He clarified that a common fiscal policy is necessary, stressing that "the crisis has shown that separating risk from responsibility could be dangerous."

    [17] Obama administration looks forward to cooperation with new PM Samaras

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)

    The U.S. administration said on Wednesday it looks forward to cooperation with new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    "We look forward to cooperating with the new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras," a State Department official said, commenting on the formation of a new government in Greece.

    "We encourage the new Greek government to implement quickly the necessary reforms that will improve the longterm competitiveness of the Greek economy and will make Greece more attractive for investments," the same official also said.

    Lastly, he stressed that "president Obama and other leaders in the world have said they believe that it is in the interest of all for Greece to stay in the eurozone and to respect its commitment for the reforms."

    Diplomatic sources in the U.S. capital believe that soon there might be a telephone communication between President Obama and Prime Minister Samaras, with the American leader expressing his support to the new prime minister of Greece and the efforts he will be making for growth and the implementation of the reforms.

    [18] EPP president Martens congratulates Antonis Samaras

    BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni)

    European People's Party (EPP) president Wilfried Martens on Wednesday extended his congratulations for the creation of a "tripartite coalition government" in Greece under the leadership of New Democracy president Antonis Samaras.

    "I warmly congratulate my good friend Antonis Samaras for the successful conclusion of the negotiations with the aim of forming a strong and stable government. The three political parties that comprise the coalition government, brushed aside the ideological differences and agreed to a joint, pro-European programme that will keep Greece steadily in the eurozone," The EPP president stressed.

    He added that "taking into consideration that Greece does not have a political tradition with coalition governments, I am very impressed with the speed with which Antonis Samaras completed the negotiations. I sincerely hope that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his government will equally succeed in taking Greece out of the crisis and bringing it back to an orbit of economic growth."

    Lastly, the EPP president stressed that he is expecting Greece's new prime minister at the EPP's conference in Brussels on June 28.

    [19] Ultra-nationalist party calls for abolition of state funding for political parties

    Ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party on Wednesday called for the abolition of the state funding received by Parliament-represented political parties, stressing that they will demand that relevant legislation be passed in Parliament.

    A statement issued underlined that state funding earmarked for Chryssi Avgi will be diverted to social services, underlining that "it is unacceptable for political parties to receive millions of euros when people are destitute."

    [20] No less than 60 women elected to Parliament

    Women deputies make up 20 pct of Greece's 300-member Parliament following the results of the June 17 election. A total of 60 women have won seats in Parliament, up 2.7 pct compared with the 2009 elections.

    However, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality underlined that the representation of women in Parliament corresponds to 1/5 of the deputies comprising it and is still under the 1/3 quota adopted by the political parties and below the target of equal participation of men and women in decision-making centres.

    Based on the June 17 vote, a total of 18 women (13.95 pct) have been elected in Parliament with New Democracy (ND), Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) has elected 22 women (30.99 pct) and PASOK three women MPs (9.09 pct). Independent Greeks elected seven women (35.00 pct), Chryssi Avgi one (5.56 pct), the Democratic Left (DIM. AR) elected five women (29.41 pct) and Communist Party (KKE) four women (33.33 pct).

    Financial News

    [21] Only Zanias to attend Eurogroup, government sources reveal

    Only the outgoing finance minister of the caretaker government George Zanias will finally represent Greece at the Eurogroup finance ministers' meeting on Thursday, according to the latest update by government sources.

    They said that National Bank of Greece chairman Prof. Vassilis Rapanos, who has been tapped as Zanias' replacement in the new government, would not be accompanying him to the Eurogroup meeting after all.

    Reporting on decisions taken during a meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the other party heads in the three-party coalition government he leads, government sources said that an original idea that Rapanos might attend the Eurogroup meeting in an informal capacity were abandoned because it created problems in terms of EU institutions.

    Rapanos will therefore stay in Athens but will not be sworn in as minister until Zanias returns from Brussels, so that the latter will have the office of minister and is able to attend the ECOFIN council following the Eurogroup meeting.

    [22] Outflow of deposits has been halted, bankers say

    The outflow of bank deposits from Greece has halted, and a gradual return of those deposits to the domestic banking system has been recorded in the last three months, according to banking officials.

    They said that the substantial outflow of deposits of the last two weeks before the elections, through withdrawals from the bank branches and the ATMS and transfers of capital to subsidiaries of Greek banks abroad, as well as deposit of cash in safe deposit boxes and to homes has been halted.

    The overall sum of outflows in the past weeks or the inflows of the past three days --- since the repeat general elections, is not known, since the relevant reports and figures are given in regularly scheduled reports by the country's central Bank of Greece (BoG) and other commercial banks.

    [23] Bank of Greece reply concerning 'decimation' of journalist pension fund capital reserves

    Replying to a letter sent by the management of the Athens journalists' health and pension fund EDOEAP concerning the 'decimation' of the fund's capital reserves, the Bank of Greece on Wednesday said that the sharp reduction in available funds was brought about by selling bonds before maturity to raise cash for standing needs. On June 7, the fund's management received a fax from the Bank of Greece informing them that their available capital reserves had dropped from 115 million euro before PSI to a mere 5.6 million euro at the end of May.

    When EDOEAP President Eleni Spanopoulou demanded explanations, the central bank's deputy governor Yiannis Papadakis wrote back explaining that the nominal value of the fund's reserves after the 'haircut' imposed by PSI was roughly 59 million euro but only if the bonds were kept for 30 years until maturity. The value for which the bonds were trading on the market at that time, however, was closer to 35 million euro.

    The central banker noted that based on a 1997 law (2469), when some body such as EDOEAP participating in the 'Common Capital' at the BoG requested the withdrawal of funds held there, the money is raised by liquidating the said body's assets at current market prices.

    As a result of EDOEAP requests for withdrawals between March 19 and April 23, amounting to 25 million euro in total, the value of the funds available in EDOEAP's account was reduced to less than the pension fund's latest request for 6.0 million euro, Papadakis said.

    "[Following PSI], your Fund proceeded from 19/03/2012 and until 23/04/2012 to carry out five successive withdrawals of equal amount, totalling 25 million euro, that according to your statement were used to meet standing and regular needs of the Fund (specifically these withdrawals were carried out on 19/03/2012, 27/03/2012, 03/04/2012, 10/04/2012 and 23/04/2012). Following these withdrawals, on 30 May 2012 the current value of the participation, which based on the above law constitutes the highest available limit for withdrawal, was 5.6 million euro, in other words less than the amount of six million euro that the management of the Fund requested the last time," the bank said.

    Papadakis also noted that the liquidation of the fund's bonds at a time when their value on the market was falling had led to a loss of capital that would otherwise have been only potential, so that on May 30 2012 the fund had only 5.6 million euro available that could be withdrawn.

    [24] EDOEAP to resort to justice against Bank of Greece

    The board of the Unified Journalist Insurance Organisation (EDOEAP) chooses to resort to justice against the Bank of Greece and has authorised the Organisation's legal advisers to proceed with whatever actions they consider necessary.

    [25] CNN-Turk promotes Crete in Turkey

    The Turkish news channel CNN-Turk will dedicate four hourly shows to the large island of Crete in July.

    A television crew headed by journalist Fatih Turkmenoglu, currently on Crete to film the footage, highlighting the well-known island's tourist attractions, on Wednesday visited Regional Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis, who stressed that peaceful co-existence can lead to progress and economic growth for both countries.

    He invited the Turkish tourists to visit Crete, while stressing that many Greeks also choose the neighboring country for their vacations.

    [26] Court of Audit rules on conditional expenditures for hospital supplies

    A Court of Audit plenum ruled as legitimate expenditures earmarked for public hospital medical equipment and supplies under the precondition that procurements received through direct assignment will not exceed the "price observatory" ceiling, it was announced on Wednesday.

    According to information, the Court of Audit plenum ruled in favour of the exceptional implementation of the relevant legislation (Law No. 3984/2011) citing public health reasons as a result of the shortage observed in critical hospital supplies.

    [27] Stocks end up for fourth straight session

    Stocks moved higher, albeit marginally, for a fourth consecutive session at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, although gains of up to 23.23 percent were recorded during the day. The composite index of the market ended 0.49 pct higher to remain above the 600 level, ending at 603,04.

    Turnover was a moderate 83.117 million euros.

    The Big Cap index dropped 1.35 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.78 pct higher.

    Sixty-three shares moved higher, 71 lower and 22 remained the same.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +1.40%

    Commercial: +2.12%

    Construction: +2.02%

    Oil & Gas: +1.61%

    Personal & Household: +5.13%

    Raw Materials: +10.49%

    Travel & Leisure: +3.51%

    Technology: +1.64%

    Telecoms: +10.05%

    Banks: -10.09%

    Food & Beverages: +3.02%

    Health: +1.03%

    Utilities: -1.00%

    Financial Services: -3.89%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.25

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.06

    HBC Coca Cola: 13.55

    Hellenic Petroleum: 4.56

    National Bank of Greece: 1.43

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.71

    OPAP: 4.93

    OTE: 2.19

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.25

    Titan: 13.75

    [28] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 24.68 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 24.42 pct on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 26.29 pct and the German Bund 1.61 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates remained mainly unchanged. The 12-month rate stood at 1.21 pct, the six-month rate was 0.93 pct, the three-month rate 0.65 pct and the one-month rate 0.37 pct.

    [29] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.55 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover remainin at a low 16.891 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,655 contracts worth 4.199 million euros, with 22,664 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 77,565 worth 12.692 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (33,976), followed by Alpha Bank (20,061), OTE (6,671), OPAP (3,677), Bank of Cyprus (2,399), Piraeus Bank (2,263), Cyprus Popular Bank (1,867) and Mytilineos (1,207).

    [30] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.289

    Pound sterling 0.818

    Danish kroner 7.544

    Swedish kroner 8.976

    Japanese yen 101.74

    Swiss franc 1.218

    Norwegian kroner 7.618

    Canadian dollar 1.311

    Australian dollar 1.264

    General News

    [31] Forest fire in Nafplion partially contained

    A forest fire that broke out in the early morning hours of Wednesday in a forest expanse near the coast of Karathonas, in Nafplion, has been partially contained, firefighters said at noon.

    The fire, which broke out at 4:00 a.m., has burned some 75 acres of forest expanse, after being fanned by strong winds.

    The blaze has been contained to an inaccessible expanse, but strong winds of 5 beaufort velocity were hampering the firefighting efforts.

    Firefighters on foot were attempting to put the fire under complete control.

    [32] Two wildfires in Attica prefecture and one in Corinthia prefecture

    A wildfire was continuing in the area of Aspropirgos on Werdnesday evening, while NATO avenue has been closed for many hours due to flames that have reached the region. Another wildfire has been reported on the island of Salamina where, according to the fire brigade, homes have also been burnt in the region of Vasilika.

    The wildfire in the region of Kalogeriko at Stefani in the Corinthia prefecture was also underway at a different location from the one that had broken out on Monday and is laying waste forestland without, according to the fire brigade, homes being threatened.

    Lastly, the wildfire in the region of the 112 Battle Squadron in Elefsina has been placed under control. It is reminded that at

    14:49 the wildfire had broken out outside the unit and reached the northern part of the camp due to the strong winds blowing in the region, but the fire in the camp was ultimately placed under control shortly before 6 in the afternoon.

    [33] Fire at Elefsina military air base

    A fire has broken out in the northern section of the Elefsina military air base housing the 112 Battle Wing camp. It originally started outside the air base and migrated into the base at 2:49 p.m. due to strong, 50-mile-per-hour winds blowing in the area.

    The fire was burning low-lying vegetation as seven water-bombing aircraft and one helicopter attempted to get the blaze under control. Their efforts were being significantly hampered by strong winds, however.

    [34] Fire in Aspropyrgos, Attica

    A fire burning through dried grass and low-growing shrubs has broken out in Aspropyrgos, Attica on Wednesday, in an area known as Melissia. A force of 10 fire-engines and 20 firemen have been sent to put out the blaze while Nato Avenue in Thriasio has been closed as a precaution.

    [35] Firefighter dies of heart attack while on duty

    A 28-year-old firefighter died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack while participating in firefighting efforts aimed at extinguishing a major wildfire still burning in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens.

    The victim, the driver of the Attika fire brigade chief who was in charge of firefighting efforts, felt ill and was rushed to the Thriassio Hospital. A ruptured aneurysm was cited as the cause of death.

    Two more fire-fighters admitted to the hospital with injuries caused in the line of duty were discharged later on Wednesday, after receiving first aid treatment. One was facing respiratory difficulties and the second had a eye problem.

    According to the hospital, the fireman that died had no pulse when he arrived at the hospital's emergency room and doctors were unable to revive him, despite persevering for almost an hour.

    [36] Decision barring Lavrentiadis from leaving country upheld

    A judicial council on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by high-profile business magnate Lavrentis Lavrentiadis requesting to be allowed to travel abroad.

    The judicial council upheld a prior decision barring Lavrentiadis from leaving the country pending trial in the case of the unsecured loans issued by Lavrentiadis-controlled Proton Bank.

    A total of 28 individuals will stand trial on five felony charges in relation with the mismanagement of Proton Bank and loans of 701 million euros allegedly made out to companies owned by Lavrentiadis, who held a controlling share in the bank.

    The charges include forming a criminal organisation, defrauding the state, embezzlement, legalising income from illegal activity (money-laundering) and breach of faith.

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

    The deliberations on the formation of a coalition government and the new meeting among New Democracy (ND), PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR) representatives on Wednesday, dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "They shook hands for... a government".

    AVGHI: "PASOK, DIMAR hand in hand in Samaras' (Antonis, New Democracy leader) government".

    AVRIANI: "The country is sinking and in PASOK they are quarrelling over whether Fofi Gennimata (PASOK spokesperson) will be a minister or not!".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Who will be appointed to the ministries".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "European Commission open window for total renegotiation".

    ESTIA: "The opportunity for Greece is now"

    ETHNOS: "Ministers with the seal of consensus".

    IMERISSIA: "Change of climate with tax reductions".

    KATHIMERINI: "The agreement on the formation of a government 'locks in'."

    LOGOS: "Full term Antonis Samaras government".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Multi-party government with policy convergence".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "People must not be misled over any renegotiation of the memorandum".

    TA NEA: "The crossword of the new government is being solved".

    VRADYNI: "Hard poker over the names of the ministers and the policy framework".

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