|Tuesday, 24 October 2017|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-06-22
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Friday, 22 June 2012 Issue No: 4102
 PM Samaras says 'our target is to take country out of crisis'Prime Ministewr Antonis Samaras, addressing, Thursday evening, the first cabinet meeting immediately after the swearing in of the government's members, stressed that "the government has no period of grace" and announced a salary cut for ministers.
"A government is being formed with full duties and as the constitution anticipates, the coalition government is a great step that necessitates great consensuses. We achieved them to save the country and for the country to come out of the crisis," Samaras said.
"Our target is to take the country out of the crisis and for the sacrifices of the people not to be in vain. We shall achieve it by telling the people the truth," the prime minister said, adding that in a short period of time "we achieved identity of views. There is consensus on many points. This was also the mandate of the Greek people to which the parties that are cooperating responded."
He announced two measures: firstly the salaries of the cabinet members will be decreased by 30 percent. Secondly the use of state cars by the government and the members of public administration will be reduced to the minimum number necessary.
Samaras said he will rule with truth and modesty and added that the ministers cannot be at the television channels every day.
Addressing his ministers, he said: "I know that all of you have good intentions. But I am not interested in good intentions. I am interested in work and the result. The most crucial word is the word effectiveness. We shall make in every ministry a target-timetable for us to know what took place and did not take place at its time, what was late and why. This government has no period of grace. Despite its interparty composition it is unified."
Samaras also appealed to the opposition saying "We expect responsibility from the other parties as well. It is no time for sterile opposition. The country has paid for populism dearly. It cannot stand any more populism."
"Today all eyes are turned on us. Inside and outside Greece they are expecting a great deal from us. For the first time, for some time now, we are creating hope. We shall show both inside and outside Greece that something started to change in the country today. We shall do everything for the country to be saved, to stay in a European orbit. There shall be difficulties. I expect the support of all the forces of the nation and of our partners. The communication management shall take place focally for there to be no discords. It is the first and last time that television will participate in a meeting of the cabinet. In order for us to succeed we must be the most strict critics of ourselves and of our work," the prime minister concluded.
 Government to have full constitutional powers, duration, announcement saysThe new government under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will have full powers and duration provided by the Constitution, according to an announcement released by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Thursday, at the same time that he announced the composition of the cabinet.
According to earlier media reports, the two smaller parties in the three-party coalition government had originally pressed for an agreement in advance to end the coalition government's term early by calling a general election at the same time as the elections for the European Parliament.
The announcement, entitled "Declaration of National Responsibility Government", said the government's aim would be to "tackle the crisis, open a path to growth and review the terms of the Loan Agreements (Memorandum) without placing at risk the country's European course nor its presence in the euro [area]".
It stressed that the cabinet would not be made up of different pockets of party influence but operate as a single entity, supported by transparency, the policy agreements of the parties that support it and on the "staffing of all the administrative mechanism based on criteria of merit".
The new government will also be based on 'flexibility' so that any disagreements that may arise will not hamper its work nor undermine the consensus needed for this work to continue, the announcement said.
It also revealed plans for an initiative to be undertaken by the new government and the Parliament presidency to change the rules of Parliamentary operation in order to adjust for "the exercise of legislative work and Parliamentary control under the new conditions of coalition governments".
 Composition of the new government announcedThe composition of the new Greek government was announced in the Parliament on Thursday afternoon, by the new government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou. The government will be led by New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras as prime minister, while the other two parties in the coalition have not supplied any of its members but will only support the government with a vote of confidence. The new government is comprised of 17 ministries in total, with mergers of significant ministries, such as those of education and culture, and of development and infrastructure, and the reinstatement of separate ministries devoted to shipping and tourism.
1. Economy and Finance Ministry
Minister: Vassilis Rapanos
Alternate Minister: Christos Staikouras
Deputy Minister: George Mavraganis
2. Administrative Reform and e-Government Ministry
Minister: Antonis Manitakis
Deputy Minister: Manoussos Voloudakis
3. Interior Ministry
Minister: Evripides Stylianidis
Alternate Minister: Haralambos Athanassiou
4. Foreign Ministry
Minister: Dimitris Avramopoulos
Deputy Minister: Dimitris Kourkoulas
5. National Defence Ministry
Minister: Panos Panagiotopoulos
Deputy Minister: Panagiotis Karabelas
Deputy Minister: Dimitris Elefsiniotis
6. Development and Infrastructure,
Transport and Networks Ministry
Minister: Kostis Hatzidakis
Alternate Minister: Stavros Kalogiannis
Deputy Minister: Thanassis Skordas
Deputy Minister: Panagiotis (Notis) Mitarakis
7. Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry
Minister: Evangelos Livieratos
Alternate Minister: Stavros Kalafatis
Deputy Minister: Assimakis Papageorgiou
8. Education, Religions, Culture and Sport Ministry
Minister: Constantine Arvanitopoulos
Alternate Minister: Costas Tzavaras
Deputy Minister: Ioannis Ioannidis
Deputy Minister: Theodoros Papatheodorou
9. Labour, Social Insurance and Welfare Ministry
Ministry: Yiannis Vroutsis
Deputy Minister: Nikos Nikolopoulos
10. Health Minister
Minister: Andreas Lykourentzos
Deputy Minister: Marios Salmas
Deputy Minister: Fotini Skopouli
11. Agricultural Development and Foods Ministry
Minister: Athanassios Tsaftaris
Alternate Minister: Maximos Harakopoulos
12. Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Ministry
Minister: Antonis Roupakiotis
Deputy Minister: Constantine Karagounis
13. Public Order and Citizen Protection Ministry
Minister: Nikos Dendias
14. Tourism Ministry
Minister: Olga Kefaloyianni
15. Shipping and Aegean Ministry
Minister: Costas Mousouroulis
Deputy Minister: George Vernikos
16. Macedonia-Thrace Ministry
Minister: Theodoros Karaoglou
17. Minister of State: Dimitrios Stamatis
The new Greek government sworn in at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, with the exception of the finance ministry's leadership, according to an official announcement issued late on Thursday afternoon.
Evangelos Meimarakis is to be proposed for Parliament president.
 New gov't comprised of 39 membersThe new government is comprised of 39 members, 37 men and two women, in which 25 are New Democracy party deputies, whereas 14 members are un-elected technocrats.
The number of ministries is increased by one (from 15 to 16, or 17 if the minister of state is counted), as the development and infrastructures ministries were merged, along with education with culture; three ministries were re-established: tourism, merchant and Aegean, as well as the Macedonia-Thrace ministry.
Ministers number 17, alternate ministers seven and 14 deputy ministers, while the institutional status of the government spokesman was not clarified. Of the Cabinet members, 13 had a previous government tenure, while the remaining 26 assume government posts for first time.
According to reports, PASOK recommended five members, and specifically Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Evangelos Livieratos; Agricultural Development Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris; Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas; Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Elefsiniotis and Deputy Shipping & Aegean Minister Giorgos Vernikos.
The Democratic Left recommended four members, namely, Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis; Justice Antonis Roupakiotis (both of whom participated in the outgoing caretaker government) as well as the deputy ministers of health and education, Fotini Skopouli and Thodoros Papatheodorou.
 PM Samaras interview with Paris Match: 'Greeks chose Europe'PARIS (AMNA - O. Tsipira)
The period when Greece had "talked much, suffered a lot and done little" was now over, the country's new prime minister Antonis Samaras promised in an interview with the French magazine "Paris Match" published on Thursday, the same day as Samaras announced his new government.
In an article presenting Samaras as the man that would be Greece's "last chance", the magazine noted that the prospect of Greece's exit from the euro was receding after his election to power.
In the interview, Samaras describes the outcome of the June 17 elections in Greece as a "historic vote" that was a landmark for both Greece and Europe.
"The Greek people showed that they chose Europe, that they agreed to continue the efforts to remain in the euro. It is an act of entering into European unity and stability. It is also a message that the Greeks, despite the problems, are accepting their responsibilities. The people are suffering to an unimaginable extent. Our election shows, also, that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Samaras said.
The new Greek premier said that immediate measures that would help the Greek economy recover were the "exchange" that he expected from his European partners.
"The first challenge is unemployment. It has taken on dimensions that create a huge problem of social but also political cohesion. Look at all the shops around you that are shut and those that are going to shut. Measures must be taken to boost employment, in other words the economy and consumption. We, therefore, say to our partners: "Yes, we want to meet our commitments, to complete the structural reforms to the state, to strengthen our taxation system. In exchange, we need measures for the recovery of the economy immediately," Samaras explained.
As an example, he referred to the issue of Eurobonds, which are a position also supported by France, noting that this would help Greece fund a real economic recovery but also benefit other countries.
"In short, we need a 'third pillar' of help, which will fund a policy for growth," he added.
Through this policy, Samaras claimed that he would be able to restore the low-end pensions to their former level, noting that this was a matter of social justice. "These people are starving. But also because these small pensions finance daily consumption. By reducing them, we destroyed demand in the Greek economy. We have no consumption any more because no one has available income to consume. There is also no money from abroad because no one is investing. And there is no public spending, because the government is using this money to cover the deficits. We are in a situation known as a 'liquidity trap'. It is truly of vital importance that our partners help us to finance measures so that we can meet [our commitments]," he said.
Asked whether he was surprised that a socialist president such as Francois Hollande had supported a conservative politician like himself, Samaras said that he was not surprised and noted that in terms of social and economic measures, his positions largely coincided with those of the French president.
"The goal is the same: to boost employment. Greece knows that it can count of France's support, especially in the discussion on European policies," he noted.
Outlining how he intends to implement reforms in order to quickly benefit Greek society, Samaras said he would focus on attracting foreign investment and privatising state companies that should have been made private a long time ago. He stressed that his government would seek to guarantee the security of investments, especially in legal and taxation terms, and show that Greece could be a country of stability, meritocracy and a nation with a positive outlook.
"Certain social issues must be settled quickly. Such as the problem of the illegal immigrants. There are over one million in a country that has exactly over one million unemployed," he emphasised.
He promised that as soon as the new 'national unity government' took over, it would show Greeks that they have every reason to hope.
"We do not say that the reforms that are coming will be easy. But we will show them that we mean business and that we have a real plan. When people see that you believe in what you are doing, they are prepared to follow you even if the effort is difficult," he stressed.
 SYRIZA: 'Gov't has clear rightist orientation'A statement issued by the main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Thursday underlined that "the new three-party government does not intend to stray off the path of the Memorandum".
According to the statement, the individuals chosen to hold portfolios and the emerging policy convergence between the three parties indicates that the government formed "has a clearly rightist content and orientation, and is being supported mainly by the powers that are responsible for defending and implementing the most extreme and anti-popular policies in recent decades."
SYRIZA stressed that "the selection of the minister of finance from the banking sector is indicative of the alliances the new government intends to forge, in the footsteps of the 'successful' path followed by the (previous) Papademos government."
SYRIZA emphasised that it will be "consistent with its election campaign pledges as the major opposition party and will defend the interests of the majority of the people, Greece's exit from the catastrophic memorandums and the upset of the Eurozone's neo-liberal architecture."
 Independent Greeks party comments on new governmentAn announcement by the Independent Greeks party on Thursday stressed that the new government formed is a "memorandum" one, adding that it "will not allow them to continue the plan agreed in advance for the surrender of Greece to the New Order."
"Greece, unfortunately, has obtained a new memorandum government, and it is comprised of people having signed letters and voting for memorandums and burdensome and disgraceful loan contracts, ceding the country's national sovereignty," the announcement also said.
 KKE party comments on new governmentThe Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) Central Committee press office in a statement on Thursday said that "the new coalition government is committed towards the EU and the Greek plutocracy to load the capitalist crisis on the people."
"The renegotiating is not taking place to protect the people from the capitalist crisis. The popular rallying and struggle alone can prevent and reverse antipopular measures," the statement read.
 Barroso welcomes formation of new Greek governmentBRUSSELS (AMNA - V. Demiris)
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday welcomed news that a government had been formed in Greece by the three-party governing coalition.
"I am certain that the new government will enjoy broad Parliamentary support. I believe that this sends a clear message concerning Greece's determination to meet its commitments and remain in the eurozone," a written statement by Barroso said.
He also stated that he looked forward to working with the new Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras, the head of the New Democracy party that won the largest share of the vote in Sunday's elections, noting that he had known Samaras for many years and that the Greek premier was committed to the European plan.
"The European Commission stands at the side of Greece and its people," Barroso said, adding that it would work with Greek authorities in order to restore growth and create jobs in the country.
The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund 'troika' representatives are due to return to Greece in the next few days in order to meet the new government and begin an evaluation of what has been done and what remains to be done in terms of fulfilling the terms and reforms demanded under the bailout agreements, Barroso added.
 Merkel letter of congrats to new Greek PM SamarasGerman chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday sent a letter of congratulations to new Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras.
In her letter, Merkel warmly congratulated Samaras, noting that he was assuming his new duties at a difficult moment, in which great hopes and expectations were put on him and his government.
Merkel wished him good luck and every success in his task, adding the she looks forward to a cooperation that will reinforce and deepen the traditional good and deep friendship between their two peoples.
 Russian President Putin says results of Greek elections inspire reserved optimismMOSCOW (AMNA/Th. Avgerinos)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, said the results of the Parliamentary elections in Greece, that took place last Sunday, and certain other factors "inspire reserved optimism" regarding the economic situation in Europe.
Putin said in his address "the results of the elections in Greece, the decisive stance of the leadership of the European Commission and the European Union in its entirety and of certain leading European countries, on the imposition of fiscal discipline and the brushing aside of imbalances in the economy, inspire reserved optimism."
Earlier, Putin sent a message of congratulations to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the assumption of his duties. Confidence is expressed in the message that "the extensive political experience of Antonis Samras will help to resolve the complicated problems facing Greece and the Greek society." According to the presidential website kremlin.ru, the message also stresses "the necessity for further developing Russian-Greek dialogue on issues on the bilateral and international agenda."
A corresponding message of congratulations was also sent by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in which it is noted that "in Russia they honour the traditional friendly relations and the constructive partnership relation with Greece."
 CoS rules on presidential decreeThe Council of State (CoS) on Thursday upheld as legitimate a Presidential Decree on the establishment and renaming of government ministries and transfer of services.
The Presidential Decree concerns ministries and services under the newly formed government.
 Union leader calls on PASOK to expel himThe controversial head of the Public Power Corp. (PPC) employees' union (GENOP), Nikos Fotopoulos, called on PASOK to have him expelled from its ranks, in a letter publicised on Thursday.
Fotopoulos lashed out at PASOK, in which he has been a decades-old member, saying he "was not the one who left the party but in essence the party was abandoned by its cadres".
He also denied rampant speculation that he will join the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) saying, however, that in the last two elections (in May and June 2012) he did not vote for PASOK. "The party (PASOK) in its present state is nothing but a shadow of itself and has nothing to do with the party envisioned and created by its founder - which some of had wished dead to take over his place."
He also claimed that the president of PASOK is planning to dissolve the affiliated PASKE labour grouping, saying that "with all due respect, let me say that PASKE is independent ..."
 Belgian ambassador visits SamosBelgian ambassador to Greece Marc Van den Reeck on Thursday paid a courtesy visit to the eastern Aegean island of Samos, where he was received by local authorities.
The Belgian ambassador, currently on a tour of several Aegean islands, discussed issues concerning illegal migration and relations with local authorities on the opposite Turkish coast with deputy governor Themistoklis Papatheophanous .
The need for greater EU attention to Greece' s borders, which are also the EU' s external borders, was underlined during the meeting.
 Ecumenical Patriarch to visit NW Greece next weekEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be in the northwest city of Kozani on Wednesday afternoon, within the framework of his visit to the western Macedonia region, in the northwest part of the country.
After a church service at the Aghios (St.) Nikolaos Cathedral, the Patriarch will inaugurate the recently restored Metropolitan Home.
On Thursday, June 28, he will inaugurate the Church of the Assumption in the nearby town of Velventos, and later in the day will bless the local peach crop.
On Friday, June 29 he will officiate in a mass at the Aghios Konstantinos & Eleni Cathedral in Kozani and later he will visit the city's Historical - Folklore and Natural History Museum. On Friday afternoon, he will visit the Archaeological Museum in Aiani and later in the evening, he will attend an event in his honor at the regional headquarters building.
On Saturday morning, Bartholomew will visit a Public Power Corp. S.A. power plant. At noon, he will be declared honorary professor of the Western Macedonia technological educational institute's (TEI) geo-technology and environment faculty and soon after he will depart for the lake-side city of Kastoria.
 Shipowners to new gov't: Cut red tape to attract investments, re-establish ministryThe London-based Greek shipowners lobby, better known as the Committee, on Thursday publicised its proposal towards the new Samaras government for an immediate re-establishment of an independent merchant marine ministry, while also returning the coast guard under the jurisdiction of the ministry.
Moreover, the influential group said a reduction in red tape and increasing transparency are basic conditions for the east Mediterranean country to attract more and urgently needed shipping investments.
The announcement came on a day when the Committee is holding its annual general assembly for the election of a new board.
According to a yearly report on the occasion of the general assembly, the proposals towards the Greek government were issued before the June 17 election.
Committee President Haralambos Fafalios, who presented the report on the Greek-owned shipping - which still comprises the biggest portion of the international maritime transport sector - called on the new Greek government to better exploit the country's strong position as a major maritime power, adding that the shipping sector will be a primary factor for the country's growth.
He also cited what he called a trend by younger generations of Greeks to follow a career in the merchant marine and the success of the recent Poseidonia 2012 exhibition in Athens.
The Committee's report for 2011 states that Greek shipping contributed 14.097 billion euros in remittances, down from 15.418 billion in 2010. As of March 2, 2012 Greek-owned ships more than 1,000DWTs, reached 3,760 (88 less than 2010), representing 7.4 percent of the world's fleet.
Of the Greek-owned vessels, 862 are listed on the Greek register in 2012, down from 917 in 2011 and 969 in 2010.
Finally, 85 ships were on order in 2012 by Greek interests, down from 127 in 2011 and 189 in 2012.
The merchant marine ministry was eliminated by the then Papandreou government in October 2009, while the coast guard was shifted to the renamed citizens' protection ministry.
 SEB president expresses hope new government to succeedFederation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEB) president Dimitris Daskalopoulos, in a statement on Thursday, expressed the hope that the new government will succeed and reverse the country's course "because where things are now the country cannot bear another government failure."
"Political stability and social consensus are, self-evidently, basic preconditions for the country to forge ahead again. The coalition government, that the election result imposed, has widespread Parliamentary support and a popular mandate," Daskalopoulos noted.
He also said that in the present conjuncture the major targets are national and not party ones. The new government, as is every government, will not be ultimately judged by its composition and its intentions, but by its work.
 Alpha Bank report: 'Election result allows country to turn new page'Alpha Bank analysts on Thursday underlined that "the June 17 election result allows the country to turn a new page and leave behind the absence of governance, the instability and great insecurity that tormented the people and the economy in the past two months."
The bank analysts, in a report, stressed that "the proper preconditions are being created allowing a capable, stable and well-staffed government to continue the effort aimed at completing the fiscal adjustment (through timely primary surpluses) and the structural reforms, while improving the country's international competitiveness thus contributing to the timely recovery of the economy leading the country out of the deepest economic and social crisis in its history."
They underlined that "it is wrong to believe that renegotiation can lead the country by itself out of the crisis. Instead of tilting at windmills, we should focus on undertaking policy initiatives that will lead the country out of the crisis as soon as possible. We do not need a national negotiating team. We need a national team that will undertake to implement actions focusing on economic growth, structural reforms and fiscal adjustment."
 Financial prosecutor launches inquiry into loss of journalists' pension fund capital reservesFinancial Prosecutor Grigoris Peponis on Thursday ordered the start of an inquiry into the events that led to the 'decimation' of capital reserves given into the care of the Bank of Greece by the journalists' pension and healthcare fund EDOEAP, after the central bank informed the pension fund that its funds had been reduced from 115 million euro to just 5.6 million euro in the space of just three months.
The affair came to light following an exchange of letters between the BoG and EDOEAP's management, starting with a fax sent by the BoG on June 7 informing EDOEAP's board that their current assets were only worth 5.6 million euro. When EDOEAP's board demanded explanations, the bank informed them that their assets had been reduced from 115 million euro to 59 million euro in March as a result of the PSI bond haircut and that early liquidation of the resulting bonds had led to their sale at less than face value. Therefore, due to requests by EDOEAP for 25 million euro to cover its standing running costs, the available assets that only had a market value of 35 million euro were reduced to just 5.6 million euro.
The case has been assigned to Peponis' deputy, G. Noulis, who has been instructed to determine how the Bank of Greece had managed EDOEAP's capital reserves and to investigate whether there had been breach of faith.
EDOEAP's management does not accept that it ever consented to PSI for its capital reserves, saying that the balance of its deposits at the Bank of Greece on March 9 was 115,312,441.47 euro and that between that time and April 23, 2012 it made five withdrawals of five million euro so that the balance of its account should now be 90,312, 447.47 euro.
The central bank, on its part, has issued an announcement saying that the funds given to the bank by pension funds and other public-sector bodies are not paid into interest-bearing deposit accounts but for investment, which by law must be in state bonds, and that the assets are then sold at market rates when the funds are requested.
 New route links Samos with Sigacik on Turkish coastA new sea route linking the eastern Aegean island of Samos with Sigacik, near the port city of Izmir, will be inaugurated on Friday. The 50-minute route will be serviced by the Turkish-flagged catamaran "Prince of Teos", with a capacity of 255 passengers.
The ferry will depart from the Turkey resort on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and subsequently leave from Samos at 19:30 p.m.
Daily excursions from Samos to Izmir are expected to be inaugurated soon.
 Construction materials index rises 1pct in MayConstruction material costs rose by an average one percent in May, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Thursday.
ELSTAT, in a report, said that the Material Costs Index in Construction of New Residential Buildings in May 2012 compared with May 2011 recorded an increase of 1.0%. The index in May 2011 had recorded an increase of 2.3% compared with May 2010.
The Material Costs Index in May 2012 compared with April 2012 remained unchanged.
The index had also remained unchanged between May 2011 and April 2011.
The twelve-month average index, from June 2011 to May 2012, compared with the same index of the period from June 2010 to May 2011, increased by 1.4%. The previous year the twelve-month average index had increased by 3.4%
 Stocks boosted by formation of new gov'tStocks moved higher for a seventh consecutive session at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday with gains of up to 25.49 percent recorded during the day.
The composite index of the market was 1.83 pct higher, ending at 614.09.
Turnover was a moderate 61.381 million euros.
The Big Cap index rose 2.09 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.66 pct higher.
Ninety three shares moved higher, 30 lower and 17 remained the same.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +2.49%
Personal & Household: +1.20%
Raw Materials: +2.71%
Travel & Leisure: +1.36%
Food & Beverages: +0.39%
Financial Services: +2.11%
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: 1.30
Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.13
HBC Coca Cola: 13.60
Hellenic Petroleum: 4.64
National Bank of Greece: 1.49
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.74
Bank of Piraeus: 0.26
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 24.76 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, from 24.68 pct on Wednesday, with the Greek bond yielding 26.30 pct and the German Bund 1.54 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.
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.65 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover falling to12.691 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4,475 contracts worth 5.059 million euros, with 22,533 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 53,592 worth 7.632 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (18,750), followed by Alpha Bank (15,756), OTE (5,104), Bank of Cyprus (3,907), Piraeus Bank (2,286), PPC (2,026), Cyprus Popular Bank (1,851) and OPAP (1,094).
 Foreign Exchange rates - FridayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.286
Pound sterling 0.819
Danish kroner 7.544
Swedish kroner 8.968
Japanese yen 102.98
Swiss franc 1.219
Norwegian kroner 7.608
Canadian dollar 1.310
Australian dollar 1.263
 Exhibition of Thessaloniki's early Christian, Byzantine monuments in KievAn impressive photo exhibition of "Early Christian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki" will travel to Kiev, Ukraine, for display on the premises of the St. Sophia of Kyiv National Conservation Area, from June 26 until Aug. 13.
The flatbed exhibition features 15 monuments listed in the World Heritage Monuments of UNESCO.
It includes early Christian period (4th-6th centuries) monuments (the Rotunda, Virgin Acheiropoiitos, St. Demetrios, Monastery Latomos (St. David)) and Middle Ages and Mid-Byzantine period (7th-13th centuries) monuments (Hagia Sophia, Chalkeon Virgin, Byzantine Baths). Also, on display will be late Byzantine period (1204 -1453) monuments (Saint Panteleimon, Holy Apostles, St. Nicholas the Orphan, St. Catherine, Church of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, Monastery Vlatadon, Prophet Elias, the City Walls).
The exhibition, already successfully held in Odessa, Kharkov and Mariupol, is an initiative of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (HFC) Odessa Branch, in cooperation with the Greek embassy in Ukraine.
 New roof structure at 'Palace of Nestor' siteThe regional governor of Peloponnese on Thursday approved a 3.1-million-euro project to erect a state-of-the-art roof over the Mycenaean-era palace complex at Pylos, in Messenia prefecture of the southwest Peloponnese.
The archaeological site is popularly known as "the Palace of Nestor", after the wise mythical king of Pylos in Homer's Iliad.
The structure will be designed to protect and highlight an archaeological site of roughly 2,500 square meters.
The Mycenaean-era palace, located on the levelled peak of a hill known as Ano Eglianos, near the modern-day village Chora, flourished in the 13th century BC. It comprises a central courtyard with adjacent utility rooms.
 Three arrested for violence earlier in the week of Roma attack on public bus and injury of 5 policemenThree people, including a woman, have been arrested for an incident late Monday night in which a band of about 100 Roma gypsies attacked a passing public transport bus on Fylis Avenue in Ano Liossia and then went on a spree of looting and vandalism, as well as firing against and injuring five policemen that attempted to intervene.
The incidents began at around 10:00 p.m. on Monday night when the gypsies attacked the bus with stones and then forced the driver and passengers to get out before they doused it with petrol and set fire to it. Police from the local Ano Liossia police station rushed to the scene after they were alerted by the driver but the enraged gypsies did not hesitate to attack them as well, charging at them with stones and sticks. Some among them also fired hunting shotguns that injured a number of officers.
The marauding gypsy gang then set fire to rubbish dumpsters and looted at least two shops before fleeing back to their camp.
Police revealed on Thursday that officers who rushed to the site early Monday arrested a 56-year-old on the scene as he was stealing merchandise from a clothing shop that had been broke into and looted earlier by others.
An investigation by security police also led to the arrest of a second man, a 54-year-old local resident, as one of the assailants who had fired at the police officers with hunting shotgons. A search of the man's house on Wednesday turned up a hunting shotgun that did not have a licence, and a lab examination of the shotgun showed that it 20 of the 26 rounds that had been fired during the incident came from that shotgun. His 52-year-old wife, who was at home at the time of the search, was also arrested.
Case files for theft, grand theft, causing damage to foreign property and violation of gun laws have been drawn up against the three arrestees and the others who participated in the violence.
The investigation is continuing to identify the other Roma who took part in the violence.
The incident broke out in protest to the arrest of the Roma driver of a van that on June 17 overran a STOP sign and hit a DIAS police motorcycle, fatally injuring one officer who died in hospital later and wounding a second officer.
 60 fires reported on Wednesday in AtticaOne of the fronts of a major wildfire that broke out on Wednesday in the working class district of Aspropyrgos, south of Athens, was still in progress on Thursday. The two other fronts are under control.
According to a Fire Brigade announcement 60 wildfires were reported between 6:00 Wednesday morning and 6:00 in the afternoon in Attica prefecture.
 44 year-old found shot in his houseA 44-year-old local was found murdered, shot in the throat, on Thursday in his house in the Athens district of Egaleo.
The victim lived with his wife and two sons, who were asleep in rooms at the time of the incident. One of his sons was woken by a sound and went to his father's bedroom, where he found him dead.
The wife had fallen asleep in another room while watching TV.
Police are conducting an investigation.
 Woman found stabbed to death in her house on RhodesA 61-year-old woman was found dead in her house in the village Gennadi on Rhodes island late Wednesday. The victim bore multiple stab wounds on her body and was found by a relative.
A coroner is currently at the site of crime, while police are conducting an investigation.
 Three dead after car falls over cliff on SantoriniA 56-year-old man and two women aged 50 and 56, the driver and passengers of a car, where killed on Wednesday when their car fell over a cliff on Santorini island under unexplained conditions into the sea.
According to the Coast guard the 55-year-old woman was due to board a ship for Piraeus.
The bodies were recovered on Wednesday afternoon from Tsekoura beach.
Moreover, a search was continuing on Thursday for a 28-year-old speargun diver who went missing on Wednesday afternoon. The diver had gone fishing in the sea region of Marmara, Skyros island.
 Scuffles outside Hellenic SteelScuffles and minor injuries were reported on Thursday at the entrance gate of Hellenic Steel company in the working class Athens suburb of Aspropyrgos, west of Piraeus.
Forty workers, mostly administrative employees, attempted and managed to enter the building in order to start working.
The Hellenic Steel workers are on strike for the 235th consecutive day despite the fact that a court has ruled the strike illegal for typical reasons.
A meeting among the strikers, the Labour Ministry and the employers was scheduled to take place on Thursday, however the meeting was cancelled because the company representative did not show up.
 Burglars arrestedTwo members of a burglary gang aged 20 and 21 were arrested on Thursday. Police said that the suspects have broken into 35 residencies in the wider Athens region and made off with loot valued at approximately 140,000 euros.
Police are after three more suspects alleged to be also members of the gang.
 Fair on FridayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Friday. Winds 3-7 beauforte. Temperatures between 18C and 37C. Fair in Athens with northerly 4-7 beauforte winds and temperatures between 24C and 36C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 23C and 36C.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe formation of a coalition government and the names of the new ministers as well as the Eurogroup meeting on Thursday, dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "And now, hard work!".
AVGHI: "They swear in austerity".
AVRIANI: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' crucial wager".
DIMOKRATIA: "You said, I said, on the government".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "First battle for salaries and taxes".
ESTIA: "The new government under Mr. Samaras".
ETHNOS: "Race to make up for the time lost".
IMERISSIA: "Success the only way - Expectations and demands of the government".
KATHIMERINI: "From the swear-in ceremony to the Eurogroup".
LOGOS: "The three parties' (participating in the coalition government) five axes".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Negotiation 'test' in the ministers' (Eurogroup) meeting".
RIZOSPASTIS: "ND, PASOK, DIMAR co-governance will not bring relief to the people".
TA NEA: "Troika vs. 'troika' (3-party coalition government)".
TO PONTIKI: "God save your people...Wedding under troika's umbrella".
VRADYNI: "Work, national unity and progress with tangible results".
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