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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-07-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 4 July 2012 Issue No: 4112


  • [01] Manitakis on reforming public sector: The problem is not size but low efficiency
  • [02] PM orders abolition of ministry several special secretariats, salaried com't seats
  • [03] Task Force head says meeting with FinMin constructive
  • [04] Development Minister Hatzidakis holds talks with Task Force head
  • [05] Gov't policy debate starts on Friday
  • [06] PM must ask for vote of confidence within 15 days of swearing in
  • [07] Democratic Left calls for accession to agreement on direct bank recap
  • [08] Every effort being made to avert more sacrifices
  • [09] SYRIZA gov't 'monitoring' com'ts formed
  • [10] SYRIZA spokesman says memorandum policy extremely ruinous and dangerous
  • [11] Envoy conveys US support for government's reforms effort
  • [12] New FinMin to be sworn in on Thursday
  • [13] PASOK Nt'l Congress opens on Friday
  • [14] President Papoulias receives visiting Greek-Canadian supreme court judge
  • [15] Bulgarian President Plevneliev on two-day official visit to Greece
  • [16] President Papoulias delivers ceremonial swords to new Ensigns
  • [17] Ecumenical Patriarch wraps up tour of NW Greece
  • [18] Reichenbach: There are no easy solutions
  • [19] Alternate FinMin addresses Economist Con'f
  • [20] Development minister Hatzidakis says supporting liquidity main priority
  • [21] Deputy FM on new gov't commitments
  • [22] Venizelos: Greece must not become 'purgatory' of Eurozone failure
  • [23] Independent Greeks leader urges stable econ and tax environment to attract investments
  • [24] Dem.Ar calls for full separation of investment and commercial banking
  • [25] SYRIZA deputy on eurozone unemployment
  • [26] Annual summer sales to begin on July 16
  • [27] New National Bank CEO outlines strategy
  • [28] Stocks continue moving higher
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] Greek bond market closing report
  • [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [32] Police violence in Greece 'not just isolated incidents', Amnesty International report says
  • [33] Ex- football club owner Psomiadis' 2 children charged with money laundering
  • [34] Burglars break into jewelry shop in central Athens
  • [35] New arrests of foreign nationals at Araxos civilian airport
  • [36] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Manitakis on reforming public sector: The problem is not size but low efficiency

    Within the next 100 days, Greece must make immediate and decisive progress in implementing public administration reforms being planned with the European Commission Task Force for Greece and the French government, Administrative Reform and e-Government Minister Antonis Manitakis said at the Economist Conference in Athens on Tuesday.

    He stressed that the main problem with Greece's public sector was not its size but the low quality and small number of public services that it offered.

    "The number of employees and payroll cost does not diverge from the European average rate. The problem is low efficiency," he emphasised.

    Manitakis noted that the bureaucratic burden on citizens and business was around 8 percent but the low quality of service provided in key areas, such as health and education, drove citizens to use the private sector. The same low quality was responsible for excluding weaker social groups from access to basic services, he added.

    He noted that the huge volume of bureaucratic processes was absorbing the bulk of the government's few resources, adding that the ratio of inelastic to elastic spending in the public sector was three to one.

    "As a result, in one excludes the funds of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the margins for exercising developmental policy are extremely limited," he said.

    The minister also referred to the increasing pressure on weak welfare, health and education services as a result of the persistent recession and the urgent need to create a network of services to serve as a safety net against poverty and social exclusion.

    "The changes to the state are a one-way street," the minister underlined, "but cutbacks without a simultaneously radical overhaul of the public sector will lead to an impasse."

    He emphasised that any restructuring of the public sector must achieve huge economies of scale and thus create surpluses that will boost business enterprise, original research and education. At the same time, he stressed that privatisations were necessary, as was the merger and abolition of services that were not useful to citizens and businesses in order to liberate state funding for services needed to enhance social cohesion.

    The minister said that among the actions planned in collaboration with the EU Task Force and French government was an acceleration of processes for the evaluation of staff and structures in terms of quality, efficiency and how effective a service was offered to citizens and businesses. Also, an emphasis would be placed on simplifying procedures, restricting corruption and reducing the burden on the private sector in order to boost competitiveness.

    In all this, Manitakis emphasised, human resources would be the key factor and driving force, with the success of the reform programme dependent on the performance of public-sector staff.

    He emphasised that this could not be achieved in conditions of insecurity and drastic pay cuts that "undermined dignity".

    [02] PM orders abolition of ministry several special secretariats, salaried com't seats

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday ordered the abolition of several ministries' general secretariats and salaried committee memberships.

    A statement issued by the prime minister's press office underlined that special secretariats deemed necessary will continue to operate, after being completely overhauled.

    The prime minister's order will not apply to special secretariats, like the financial crimes squad SDOE, whose operation cannot be interrupted.

    The statement underlined that in "this way, a considerable amount of money is saved for the benefit of taxpayers and the state mechanism is put in order."

    The prime minister's decision was made after a relevant recommendation by Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis, according to AMNA reports.

    [03] Task Force head says meeting with FinMin constructive

    "Task Force" head Horst Reichenbach, speaking on Tuesday after his meeting at the Finance ministry with the new minister Yiannis Stournaras, said the repayment of the State's overdue commitments to private citizens for the funding of the economy to improve constitutes the big challenge for the Finance ministry.

    Asked about the state of the tax-receiving mechanism in the past months, Reichenbach replied that "we provided considerable assistance to the tax authorities and we see that there is an improvement and we are on the right path." He added, however, that "there is no technical assistance for the problem of liquidity." Also according to Reichenbach, negotiating with the troika is not the responsibility of the "Task Force", while terming the meeting with Stournaras "constructive" since the next steps in their cooperation were agreed.

    On their part, Finance ministry circles also spoke of a constructive meeting. They said that fiscal adjustment and growth issues were raised and an exchange of views took place on the handling of malfunctions, mainly on the issue of the mechanism for the collection of revenues and of tax reform, as well as for the better control of the expenditures of the general governance. On the Greek side, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis were present at the meeting.

    [04] Development Minister Hatzidakis holds talks with Task Force head

    Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Kostis Hatzidakis discussed the assistance of Task Force head Horst Reichenbach for European Investments Bank funds to be released with the aim of funding small and medium-size enterprises, during their two-hour meeting on Tuesday.

    Speaking after the meeting, Hatzidakis said the discussion focused on three sectors. On the improvement of the business environment, the progress of ESPA and assistance in the sector of privatisations. On the question of ESPA, the talks focused on the issues of liquidity, the more active involvement of the European Investments Bank and the idea for the creation of a Greek Investment Fund. Also discussed were issues having to do with the speeding up and simplification of the procedures for the 181 flag projects as well as with the speeding up of the absorption of EU funds.

    [05] Gov't policy debate starts on Friday

    The debate on the government's policy will start on Friday afternoon in parliament and will be concluded on Sunday midnight with a roll call vote.

    According to a statement by prime minister Antonis Samaras' office, on Wednesday the premier will sign the ministers' responsibilities given that the ministers' proposals on the sectors of their responsibility have been completed.

    Moreover, the Presidential Decrees for the mergers, the re-establishments and the changes in ministries' names are ready.

    [06] PM must ask for vote of confidence within 15 days of swearing in

    "If the prime minister asks for a vote of confidence in parliament we are in line with what the Constitution dictates," an associate of Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis on Monday stated in response to relevant media reports.

    According to article 84 of the Constitution, "the government has to ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament within 15 days of the swearing in of the prime minister."

    For the record, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was sworn in on June 20.

    [07] Democratic Left calls for accession to agreement on direct bank recap

    The Democratic Left party, in light of the arrival of the EC-ECB-IMF troika representatives in Athens, callede for Greece's accession to the Summit's agreement on the direct recapitalisation of banks as well.

    The party stressed that the national responsibility government is appearing at the meetings with the troika armed with the programme framework, which was unanimously shaped by the three party leaders.

    [08] Every effort being made to avert more sacrifices

    Every effort is being made so that there will be no new sacrifices or more losses of jobs, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said Tuesday on a morning programme on private Mega television station.

    He said that the prime minister and the leaders of the two parties supporting his government were working out the policy platform with a full four-year term horizon, and discussion on the platform for a vote of confidence would begin in parliament either Thursday or Friday.

    Asked on the coalition government's negotiation strategy with the Troika, he said alternative scenarios were being drafted. "We will do two things. We will present facts and figures that cannot be disputed...that prove the impasse of the policy currently being applied, especially with respect to the recession and unemployment, and with this data as the weapon and with the presentation of our alternative proposals, we believe we will succeed in a different path being approved," he said.

    Kedikoglou opined that the proper preparation has been made by the government for the discussions with the EU/IMF troika, but noted that the situation is difficult. He added that this visit by the troika was something of a fact-finding mission in which they will record the current picture of the Greek economy and what the intentions and plans of the new government are.

    [09] SYRIZA gov't 'monitoring' com'ts formed

    The main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group met on Tuesday and focused on the establishment of government monitoring committees by its MPs as well as the appointment of those in charge.

    A special committee to monitor Memorandum developments and legislative initiatives was also formed.

    Three parliamentary spokesmen were appointed to specific sectors, namely, Panagiotis Lafazanis was assigned to the sectors of economy and justice; Dimitris Papadimoulis the sectors of trade, production, national defence and public order, and Panagiotis Kouroublis the social affairs sector.

    [10] SYRIZA spokesman says memorandum policy extremely ruinous and dangerous

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) spokesman Panos Skourletis said in a statement on Tuesday "if the implementation of the memorandum continues not only will our country be distanced from the eurozone but from life itself."

    He made his statement with regard to statements by European officials and the government's stance and stressed that it has now been proved that the policy of the memorandum is "extremely ruinous and dangerous and its possible extension leads to disaster."

    Skourletis stressed that the troika is arriving in the country in the midst of statements by European officials "making it clear that it will not discuss any kind of renegotiating."

    [11] Envoy conveys US support for government's reforms effort

    Washington's support for the reforms being carried out by the new Greek government was conveyed on Tuesday by US ambassador in Athens Daniel Bennett-Smith during a meeting with foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    The envoy told reporters after the meeting that they discussed a broad range of issues of mutual interest concerning both bilateral and regional matters.

    He said he conveyed Washington's support for the Greek government's reform work and expressed hope that this effort will continue.

    [12] New FinMin to be sworn in on Thursday

    New finance minister Yiannis Stournaras will be sworn in on Thursday, government sources told AMNA on Tuesday.

    Also, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou will be sworn in as deputy minister of state, and Costas Tsiaras as deputy foreign minister.

    [13] PASOK Nt'l Congress opens on Friday

    The PASOK National Congress will start on Friday at 10:00 at the Peace and Friendship Indoor Stadium in the coastal Athens district of Faliro.

    Party leader Evangelos Venizelos is expected to present his plans for the reinstitution of the party.

    [14] President Papoulias receives visiting Greek-Canadian supreme court judge

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received Canada Supreme Court justice Andromache Karakatsanis and her husband Tom Karavanis, both members of the Greek-Canadian community, who paid him a visit accompanied by Canada's Ambassador in Athens Robert Peck.

    [15] Bulgarian President Plevneliev on two-day official visit to Greece

    Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev will be paying an official two-day visit to Greece as of Wednesday, at the invitation of President Karolos Papoulias.

    The Bulgarian president will be received officially at Herod Atticus by Papoulias and members of the government at 10:30 on Wednesday morning and immediately afterwards the two leaders will be holding a meeting at the Presidential Mansion and will be making statements to the press (11:45) at the end of their talks.?

    Plevneliev will be meeting Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis at noon, who will host a luncheon for him at the Dionysos restaurant at the Acropolis (13:00).

    Afterwards the Bulgarian president will be given a guided tour of the Acropolis Museum and visit the Athens Town Hall in the afternoon, where mayor George Kaminis will give him the city's gold medal.

    On Thursday morning the Bulgarian president will visit Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos and then he will be departing for Thessaloniki where he will meet the city's mayor Yiannis Boutaris and businessmen of northern Greece, while he will be proclaimed an honourary lecturer of the Macedonia University before leaving for Sofia on Thursday evening.

    [16] President Papoulias delivers ceremonial swords to new Ensigns

    New Ensigns were given their ceremonial swords by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Defence Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and Navy GeneralStaff chief Kosmas Christidis during a ceremony held at the facilities of the Midshipmen's School in Piraeus on Tuesday afternoon.

    The oath was taken by 55 men and women Ensigns of whom one was from Mauritania, two from Jordan, two from Cameroon, one from Syria, two from Libya and two from Cyprus.

    [17] Ecumenical Patriarch wraps up tour of NW Greece

    "When things are difficult, strong people take action and do not despair," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in a telephone call with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    Bartholomew spoke with Samaras on the phone last Sunday, expressing a conviction that the problems faced by the country "are difficult but not impossible to overcome".

    The Ecumenical Patriarch used the same words at a northern Greece airport, upon his departure for Istanbul, wrapping up a seven-day tour of the western Macedonia region in northwest Greece.

    The Patriarch said economic problems are not unique to Greece, stressing that "Europe and the whole world, even the United States which is regarded as a rich country, have their own economic problems. We Greeks should not be disappointed, we should have courage and pray, be united as a nation and everything will be fine. May God be with you."

    Financial News

    [18] Reichenbach: There are no easy solutions

    The situation is critical and there are no easy solutions that will bring immediate results for the Greek economy but only tough paths that need to be clarified, European Commission task force for Greece chief Horst Reichenbach told an Economist Conference in Athens on Tuesday, adding that even with the reforms success would not be absolute without a correct management of finances.

    He said that many measures have been taken by the EU to support Greece and solve the problem of access to funds. For that reason, the measures that the task force will propose in the following months will have to be materialised immediately. The task force chief said the privatisations are very important for Greece's economic future, and said he expected the new government to fulfill its commitments for the continuation of the reforms that will 'unlock' development.

    Reichenbach set out the priorities as follows:

    - Management of revenues. Over the past two years, he said, a joint effort was being made with the IMF for the collection of taxes, with the assistance of experts from Denmark, the Netherlands and France, while there was interest on the part of British and German technocrats, and he expressed hope that soon there would be agreement with Switzerland.

    - Public sector. There are specific proposals by the OECD and by French experts for the creation of an interministerial structure for speedy decisions that are being examined by the Greek government.

    - Reduction of the administrative burden by 25 percent in the coming years. Greece has signed a pact with the OECD for reduction of the administrative procedures in 13 sectors of the economy, in a 7-year programme aiming to reduce the administrative burden by 25 percent.

    - Reduction of bureaucracy. Reichenbach said that it was important to replace the existing book-keeping code with a new framework.

    - Simplification of the procedures for business start-up. Greece, he said, has made significant steps but is still behind with respect to global practices, and the task force is prepared to help Greece in this area.

    - Control of the limitation of businesses for a more competitive Greece, in four sectors: construction, tourism, retail and wholesale. There is already cooperation among the staff of the Competitions Committee, the OECD and the Task Force for dealing with the various distortions in the retail market and, for this reason, an OECD team, in cooperation with the development ministry, will work in the next seven months for a quality control of legislation and to eliminate the basic obstacles.

    - Improvement of exports. A report has been submitted in April on the administrative complexities, particularly at the borders and customs houses. The target is to reduce the permits and certifications from the hundreds required today to a few tens in the coming period. In that context, a large team of technocrats from the Netherlands will arrive within the month to provide advice for a better structure of exports.

    [19] Alternate FinMin addresses Economist Con'f

    Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Tuesday stressed that "the recent EU Summit meeting has created a more favourable environment for the reform of the programme implemented in Greece, if we will be consistent in implementing our obligations and proceed with structural reforms."

    Addressing the Economist Conference, he said "we should fully utilise the tendencies that are being formed," pointing out that "we can overcome the difficult phase we are going through with optimism and plan."

    The alternate finance minister referred in detail to the present state of the economy, pointing out that the diversions observed in basic indices are very important. He also stressed that the implementation of a national strategic plan that will change the course of the country with minimal economic and social cost, as well as, the adoption of a culture of national understanding are necessary.

    Staikouras said that the state should repay immediately its debts to the private sector that amount to 6.5 billion euros to reinforce market fluidity, underlining that 4 billion euros will be repaid by the end of the year.

    Referring to the policy mix to be adopted by the government, he said that it will focus on public sector spending cuts, the implementation of the 1:5 hiring replacement ratio (and even the tougher 1:10), reduction of the number of general government and public sector organizations, reform of public utility companies, and well-planned social spending.

    He said that stagnating reforms and privatisations should be implemented through the state property utilization programme.

    Staikouras also announced structural and operational improvements in the State General Accounting Office.

    [20] Development minister Hatzidakis says supporting liquidity main priority

    Supporting liquidity constitutes a main priority of the Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks ministry as the minister Kostis Hatzidakis stressed at the annual Economist conference, adding that a programme of electronic modernisation and rationalisation of the public sector will proceed immediately with the aim of providing better and speedier services to businessmen as well as to all citizens.

    "We must show that our commitment to go ahead with structural changes and reforms is strong and is being implemented," the minister said and explained that the target of liquidity will be achieved on the basis of five axes.

    [21] Deputy FM on new gov't commitments

    Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas, addressing an Economist conference on the subject of "turning uncertainty into stability and growth", referred to the commitments of the new Greek government for structural reforms and fiscal adjustment, as well as speeding up privatisations and strengthening competitiveness.

    "The new government is determined to claim a considerable and positive role for Greece in Europe, in our neighbourhood and beyond it," he said.

    [22] Venizelos: Greece must not become 'purgatory' of Eurozone failure

    Greece must not become the 'purgatory' of the Eurozone's failure but a workshop for the collective success of the European Union's aims, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos stressed in his address to the Economist conference in Athens on Tuesday. He also proposed a 10-point plan that he said would help kickstart Greece's economy after the elections.

    Venizelos, who heads one of the two junior parties in the coalition government, called for a change in the national and social way of thinking after the elections with the assistance of the political forces. He noted that the way the Greek people had cast their vote in the recent elections showed that they were against any unilateral actions and supported a revision of the more unfavourable terms of the bailout loan agreements in collaboration with Greece's EU partners.

    PASOK's leader also stressed, once again, that Greece will fufil its commitments and added that the problem is at the heart of the economic programme. He once again supported extending the period of fiscal consolidation until 2017 but also allowing Greece, Portugal and Cyprus to benefit from decisions made at the recent EU summit for direct lending to banks for their recapitalisation.

    He opposed a policy of reducing public-sector jobs and firing staff, with 150,000 scheduled for the current year, saying that it would be more effective to conduct an 'honest assessment' of public employees and services and make more effective use of public-sector staff and would lead to better fiscal results.

    [23] Independent Greeks leader urges stable econ and tax environment to attract investments

    Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos stressed the need for a stable economic and tax environment in Greece, which would enable it to attract investments, while speaking at the Economist Conference in Athens on Tuesday.

    Kammenos noted that Greece has essentially acted as the 'detonator' of the European debt crisis since 2009 and he was scathing in his criticism of former Greek premier George Papandreou and his government, saying that it had done its utmost to ensure that Greece "lost all that was most precious".

    He accused Papandreou of succeeding in selling Greek credit default swaps at a time when he had already agreed a bailout for Greece with the IMF and of allowing his finance minister to tamper with the country's statistical figures in order to bring it into a more difficult position.

    He was also harshly critical of Greece's current coalition government, saying that "precisely the same partners with a little of the Left thrown in" were doing nothing but make promises to all quarters to fulfil everything demanded of the country.

    [24] Dem.Ar calls for full separation of investment and commercial banking

    The Democratic Left (Dem.Ar) party, one of the two junior parties in Greece's governing coalition, on Tuesday asked for the full separation of investment banks from commercial and retail banks following the eruption of the scandal involving UK-based Barclays Bank and its attempts to manipulate the LIBOR and EURIBOR interest rate for interbank lending in order to boost its own profits at the expense of European citizens that lost dozens of billions of euros.

    Euro-leftist Dem.Ar underlined that the separation of commercial and investment banking was imperative and noted that such measures "will reduce the fluctuations and instability of money markets, protecting the economy and the citizens from the intensity of financial crises".

    [25] SYRIZA deputy on eurozone unemployment

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) deputy and labour policy committee coordinator Dimitris Stratoulis, referring to unemployment rates in the Eurozone in May 2012, said "the implementation of the new Fiscal Stability Accord, that imposes policies of eternal austerity on the peoples of Europe, will make unemployment and poverty in its member-states soar even more."

    Stratoulis said that according to official data, Greece has won a "silver medal" in the EU, "while according to the real data, in the winter, if the memorandum policies are not reversed, it will have secured a 'gold medal'."

    Meeting between Athens mayor and Chinese community reps, China's envoy

    The city of Athens and the local Chinese community expressed mutual desire to further strengthen relations, in a meeting held on Tuesday in the presence of China's ambassador Du Qiwen.

    Representatives of the ethnic Chinese community underlined, in the meeting with Athens Mayor George Kaminis and city councilors, that they want to support the local economy by promoting the Greek tourism brand in China and by boosting olive oil and wine exports to their country.

    The Chinese ambassador characterised the meeting as "historic", stressing that it was the first time the Athens city hall opened its doors to the representatives of the ethnic Chinese community. He underlined that the Chinese community wants the prosperity of the local community and economy and wishes to play a decisive role in forging closer relations between the two peoples.

    [26] Annual summer sales to begin on July 16

    The annual summer sales season will open throughout Greece on Monday, July 16 and run through August 31, it was announced on Tuesday.

    Summer sales offer consumers the opportunity to purchase products at discount prices. In the ten days ahead of the formal opening of the summer sales, stores can make special offers.

    [27] New National Bank CEO outlines strategy

    Adequate and rapid recapitalisation of National Bank to enable the bank to actively perform its institutional role, strengthening liquidity, to allow the Group to support the full range of its economic activity, as well as portfolio management to contain bad debt and fortify the Group, are the main strategic axes of National Bank's new management, Alexandros Tourkolias, the bank's new chief executive, said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to the bank's staff, Tourkolias said the main strategic would be a restructuring of operating costs, better exploitation of human resources in a stable and safe working environment.

    "Challenges are big and problems often seem to be unsolvable. Within the new conditions created in Europe, our main goal will be to multiply any possibilities offered not only for the support of the Greek economy but to restart investment activity in the country -the only and necessary condition to exit the current crisis," National Bank's CEO said.

    He noted that National Bank must shape a new relation with its customer base and the society in general.

    "My expertise all those years in the bank makes me certain that all together we will achieve our goal," Tourkolias said.

    [28] Stocks continue moving higher

    Stocks continued moving higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, supported by buying interest for blue chip stocks. The composite index of the market rose 0.75 pct to end at 620.07 points, after falling as much as 1.29 pct during the session. Turnover shrank further to 22.111 million euros.

    The Big Cap index eased 0.07 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.71 pct lower. The Food (4.97 pct), Utilities (3.82 pct) and Commerce (1.94 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (2.74 pct), Financial Services (2.73 pct) and Banks (2.19 pct) suffered losses.

    PPC (6.40 pct), Coca Cola 3E (4.96 pct), Metka (2.72 pct) and Folli Follie (1.96 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (4.37 pct), Eurobank (4.17 pct), Piraeus Bank (3.97pct) and OPAP (3.65 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 63 to 51 with another 19 issues unchanged. HOL (20 pct), Hellenic Fish Farms (20 pct) and Neorio (19.70 pct) were top gainers, while AXON Holdings (20 pct), Yalco (19.73 pct) and Nutriart (19.70 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +0.98%

    Commercial: +1.94%

    Construction: -0.48%

    Oil & Gas: -0.33%

    Personal & Household: -1.31%

    Raw Materials: -0.26%

    Travel & Leisure: -2.74%

    Technology: +0.72%

    Telecoms: Unchanged

    Banks: -2.19%

    Food & Beverages: +4.97%

    Health: +0.39%

    Utilities: +3.82%

    Financial Services: -2.73%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 01/01/17

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 01/02/16

    HBC Coca Cola: 14.80

    Hellenic Petroleum: 01/04/89

    National Bank of Greece: 01/01/39

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.69

    OPAP: 05/01/12

    OTE: 01/02/00

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.24

    Titan: 13.97

    [29] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.22 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover shrinking to 5.258 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,007 contracts worth 2.266 million euros, with 20,245 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 19,710 contracts worth 2.922 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (8,235), followed by National Bank (5,412), Cyprus Bank (712), OTE (1,315), PPC (1,719), OPAP (561), Piraeus Bank (646), Cyprus Popular Bank (156), Mytilineos (171) and Intralot (354).

    [30] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 24.20 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 25.81 pct on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 25.72 pct and the German Bund 1.52 pct. Turnover in the market totaled 3.0 million euros, all buy orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed to lower. The 12-month rate was 1.21 pct, the six-month rate eased to 0.92 pct, the three-month rate was 0.65 pct and the one-month rate 0.37 pct.

    [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. Dollar 1276

    Pound sterling 814

    Danish kroner 7545

    Swedish kroner 8861

    Japanese yen 101.76

    Swiss franc 1219

    Norwegian kroner 7632

    Canadian dollar 1297

    Australian dollar 1244

    General News

    [32] Police violence in Greece 'not just isolated incidents', Amnesty International report says

    Greece lacks adequate mechanisms to investigate complaints of police brutality and Greek authorities seem either "unable or reluctant" to follow up such cases, according to an Amnesty International report presented in Athens on Tuesday. Entitled "Police Violence in Greece: Not just isolated incidents', the report suggests there are long-standing problems in the system for investigating, prosecuting and punishing human rights violations by the law enforcement forces in Greece.

    The report was presented by AI in collaboration with the Hellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) during a press conference at the Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) and concerns the non-governmental organisation's monitoring of policing in the country for the last 10 years until April 2012.

    The report criticises the police for use of excessive force in several instances, including the liberal use of irritant chemical substances and flash-bang grenades during demonstrations in ways that violate international standards. There are also accusations of mistreatment during arrest and detention, of which migrants, asylum seekers and marginal groups such as Roma gypsies are frequent victims.

    Lia Gogou, a researcher for AI in Greece and Cyprus, noted that there was no official mechanism in Greece to record attacks that had racist motives.

    The head of the photo journalists' union Marios Lolos, who filed a report against MAT riot police after he was attacked while covering a demonstration in April 2012 and hospitalised with severe head injuries, reported that there were incidents of police violence targeting photojournalists at almost every demonstration, with 46 percent of photojournalists having been victims of police violence at some time.

    According POESY President Giorgos Savvidis, journalists were increasingly the victims of rising police lawlessness, while ESIEA President Dimitris Trimis suggested that attacks on those working the media was a "state policy".

    Amnesty International will hold meetings with Greek authorities in order to discuss the findings of the report and in suggestions to the justice ministry had proposed the creation of a truly independent body to investigate complaints, along the lines of a citizens' ombudsman.

    [33] Ex- football club owner Psomiadis' 2 children charged with money laundering

    Four close relatives of former AEK FC owner Makis Psomiadis, who is in custody pending trial on charges linked to a massive match-fixing scheme, were arrested on Tuesday and led before an examining magistrate, accused of money laundering.

    Those arrested include Psomiadis' son and daughter and two first cousins, while an arrest warrant is still pending against another family member. All of the suspects, including Psomiadis, are accused of money laundering through tax evasion, following an investigation conducted by a first instance court prosecutor.

    The suspects are also accused of defrauding millions of euros from AEK FC accounts in 2002. The case will be tried in court on November 21.

    [34] Burglars break into jewelry shop in central Athens

    A double burglary was reported in downtown Athens early Tuesday. The burglars initially broke into a shop on Panepistimiou street and afterwards they opened a hole in the connecting wall with a jewelry shop and took jewelry of unknown value. Leaving by the same way they grabbed from the first shop mobile phones and fled.

    [35] New arrests of foreign nationals at Araxos civilian airport

    Four new arrests of foreign nationals took place at the civilian airport of Araxos on Tuesday after they attempted to travel by air to Italy and Belgium by using forged travel documents.

    According to police, a 59-year-old Tunisian, a 24-year-old Moroccan and a 21-year-old Pakistani were arrested initially when the passport check ascertained that the 24-year-old possessed a travel document of the Italian authorities that was forged, while the other two attempted to travel with genuine documents of the French and Pakistani authorities respectively that belonged to third persons however.

    Shortly afterwards a 26-year-old Nigerian was arrested when the check revealed that a visa of the French authorities attached to his passport was forged.

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

    The imminent negotiations with the troika delegation and the government's policy statements as well as the deliberations on the Greek banking system, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Neither new taxes nor salary cuts".

    AVGHI: "Four conditions for recovery".

    AVRIANI: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' aggressive plan with structural changes and privatisations".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Three-speed reserve labour instead of layoffs in public sector".

    ESTIA: "Six months lost for the economy".

    ETHNOS: "Free medicine to the ensured".

    IMERISSIA: "Banking 'fever'."

    KATHIMERINI: "In August the crucial negotiation".

    LOGOS: "Red lines in the renegotiation".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Preparation of Greek defence stance against the troika".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Action to safeguard the Health and against the tax robbery".

    TA NEA: "No to layoffs and cuts".

    VRADYNI: "Government, troika crash test on 23 burning issues".

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