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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-08-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Thursday, 9 August 2012 Issue No: 4143


  • [01] PM Samaras: "All alternative solutions were examined"
  • [02] PM names coordinator for Skarmangas Shipyards problem
  • [03] SYRIZA says labour reserve measure is unconstitutional
  • [04] KKE strongly objects to labour reserve measure
  • [05] PASOK former merchant marine minister Katsifaras passes away at 77; condolences
  • [06] National Bank, Eurobank submitt offers to acquire Emporiki Bank
  • [07] Development minister and regional authorities discuss absorbance rate of ESPA funds
  • [08] Greek stocks end 1.44 pct lower
  • [09] ADEX closing report
  • [10] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [11] Three new fires Wednesday, Arcadia blaze still burning
  • [12] Wildfires in Mount Athos and on the island of Kos
  • [13] Man accused of DHKP-C membership arrested on Interpol 'red notice'
  • [14] Elementary school teachers to strike on first day of school year
  • [15] Sailing boat with illegal migrants intercepted near Zakynthos; arrests in western Greece
  • [16] Illegal migrant arrests in Igoumenitsa
  • [17] Injured Caretta caretta loggerhead sea turtle Louisa to return to natural environment on Thursday
  • [18] Louisa will be released back into the waters of the Cretan gulf on Thursday morning.
  • [19] Antiquities smuggling arrest
  • [20] Millionaire judicial employee dismissed
  • [21] Three arrests for overdue debts to the state
  • [22] Two arrested in hashish bust
  • [23] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras: "All alternative solutions were examined"

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday met with the govern-ment's economic staff at the ministry of finance focusing on measures that will be implemented over the next two years amounting to 11.5 billion euros.

    "We examined the panorama of all alternative solutions available," Samaras stated after the meeting and clarified that the ministry of finance will continue processing the proposals.

    Ahead of the meeting earlier in the afternoon, the prime minister had stated "we are seeking the most effective cuts for the deficit, the least painful ways for society."

    He also underlined that "in this effort, unemployment is our rival," adding that as regards spending cuts "we are looking into everything" and "we will not return to solutions that have failed in the past."

    [02] PM names coordinator for Skarmangas Shipyards problem

    Prime minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday appointed Nikos Anastassopoulos as coordinator for resolving the problem at Skaramangas Shipyards, where strike action is currently underway, due to management's failure to pay wages.

    .Anastassopoulos, who will provide his services without pay, will be responsible for submitting a recommendation to the government for dealing with the issue in cooperation with the European Union and the other sides involved.

    He has served in senior management posts in several Greek enterprises and the Piraeus Port Organization (OLP).

    [03] SYRIZA says labour reserve measure is unconstitutional

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Wednesday accused the government of launching an attack on the rights of the workers in every way possible.

    SYRIZA pointed out that the "unconstitutional labour reserve measure will lead to thousands of layoffs in the public sector," adding that "if combined with the leveling spending cuts and abolitions or mergers of public-run organizations the result will be further deterioration of public services."

    According to SYRIZA, every day it becomes clearer that "the memorandum cannot be implemented" and is nothing more than a huge recession programme that will tear down society.

    Referring to the public sector, SYRIZA stated that it needs to be redesigned to help in the productive reorganization of the country and its economic recovery. The statement concluded that "this cannot happen with the implementation of the catastrophic and cruel memorandum policy that promotes massive layoffs, spending cuts and privatizations of public goods."

    [04] KKE strongly objects to labour reserve measure

    Opposition Communist Party (KKE) on Wednesday rejected the option of the labour reserve measure, stressing that "capitalists and the EU strategy wish to abolish stable work".

    According to KKE, the objections to the measure, raised by the political party leaders backing the government, are misleading and were expressed only for the purpose of creating impressions, adding that "the workers have a right to stable and permanent work."

    [05] PASOK former merchant marine minister Katsifaras passes away at 77; condolences

    PASOK former minister George Katsifaras passed away on Wednesday at an Athens hospital following surgery, at the age of 77.

    Katsifaras, who was born in 1935 in the town of Kalentzi in Achaia prefecture, was a close associate of and minister in the governments of PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou.

    Katsifaras served twice as merchant marine minister from 1983 to 1985 and from 1993 to 1996, as well as, a term as commerce minister from 1985 to 1986.


    A telegram of condolences was sent to his family by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    Former Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed deep regret over Katsifaras' death and referred to his close relations with the Papandreou family. He underlined that the deceased had fought for democracy and actively participated in the course of PASOK since it was founded.

    Financial News

    [06] National Bank, Eurobank submitt offers to acquire Emporiki Bank

    National Bank and Eurobank submitted on Wednesday their official offers to acquire Emporiki Bank. A similar offer was submitted also by Alpha Bank.

    A National Bank statement said that its offer "which is part of the process of the restructuring of our banking system, is in accordance with the parametres that have been set by the Bank of Greece and the Financial Stability Fund."

    A Eurobank announcement said that in the framework of procedures and terms set by the Supervising Authorities and the Financial Stability Fund, the bank has submitted a binding offer to buy from Credit Agricole the 100 pct of Emporiki Bank's shares.

    [07] Development minister and regional authorities discuss absorbance rate of ESPA funds

    Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure & Networks Minister Costis Hatzidakis on Wednesday met with Regional Authorities of Greece (EN.PE) President Yiannis Sgouros and members of its executive committee focusing on the acceleration of the absorbance rate of National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) funds.

    They underlined the important role the country's regional authorities can play in meeting the goal and agreed to participate in a systematic and continuous dialogue.

    [08] Greek stocks end 1.44 pct lower

    Greek stocks ended significantly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the composite index of the market ending at 611.50 points registering a decrease of 1.44 pct . Turnover was 16.186 million euros.

    The Big Cap index fell 1.98 pct and the Mid Cap index fell 1.75 pct. Food (+0.57 pct) was the only gainer, while Raw Materials (-4.27 pct), Health (-4.21 pct) and Banks (-3.52 pct) suffered the heaviest losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 68 to 43 with another 20 issues remaining unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -1.31%

    Commercial: +0.52%

    Construction: -1.30%

    Oil & Gas: -2.85%

    Personal & Household: -0.08%

    Raw Materials: -4.27%

    Travel & Leisure: -3.25%

    Technology: -1.96%

    Telecoms: -1.89%

    Banks: -3.52%

    Food & Beverages: +0.57%

    Health: -4.21%

    Utilities: -0.19%

    Financial Services: -2.44%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.29

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2.43

    HBC Coca Cola: 13.98

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.60

    National Bank of Greece: 1.32

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.69

    OPAP: 5.13

    OTE: 2.08

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.22

    Titan: 12.64

    [09] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.73 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover falling to 4.011 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,613 contracts worth 1.787 million euros, with 22,754 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 15,364 contracts worth 2.224 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (5,628), follwed by Alpha Bank (4,988), OTE (1,167), PPC (1,084), Bank of Cyprus (644), Piraeus Bank (631) and Hellenic Postbank (520).

    [10] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.252

    Pound sterling 0.800

    Danish kroner 7.555

    Swedish kroner 8.401

    Japanese yen 98.13

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.413

    Canadian dollar 1.249

    Australian dollar 1.188

    General News

    [11] Three new fires Wednesday, Arcadia blaze still burning

    Wildfires broke out on Wednesday in Aghia Marina in the Koropi district of Athens, in the Pikermi region and in Solomo in Corinth prefecture.

    The fire in Aghia Marina was blazing in a forest expanse with a strong team of 30 firemen and 10 crewed fire engines battling the flames, assisted by a water-dropping plane, while the fire in Pikermi was burning low shrubbery and was also being by battled 30 firemen and 10 crewed fire engines.

    The Corinth fire, which broke out at 2:30 a.m. was blazing in a pine forest expanse, with 40 firemen, 18 crewed fire engines and four water-dropping planes battling the blaze.

    Meanwhile, a major fire that broke out at noon Tuesday in the Anemodouri region of Megalopolis, Arcadia prefecture, was still blazing on Wend say, and after burning 2,500 acres of forestland and olive groves was approaching a village near Tripolis. The fire passed through the villages of Anemodouri, Voutsara and Routsi as well as the outskirts of the villages of Kamaritsa, Anavryto, Grekou, Soulari, Leontari and Rapsommati, burning several farms in the area and homes of non-permanent residents. Two local people were injured on Tuesday, namely a 60-year-old man with severe burns who has been transferred to hospital in Athens and a women with burns who has been admitted to the Panarcadian hospital in Tripolis, while a fireman was also taken to Tripolis Hospital with respiratory problems. A major firefighting force has been battling the blaze, with water-dropping planes resuming operation at first light of day on Wednesday as Tuesday's 7 beaufort velocity winds subsided.

    Also, fires that broke out Tuesday in a forest expanse in the area of Anavra, Almyros in Magnesia prefecture in Damassi, near Larissa, and on the island of Oinousses were partially contained on Wednesday

    [12] Wildfires in Mount Athos and on the island of Kos

    Wildfires broke out on Wednesday in a forestland on Mount Athos in Halkidiki, northern Greece, and in the region of Kardamena on the south Aegean island of Kos.

    Nine firemen operating 3 fire engines and 2 water-bombing aircraft participate in the firefighting efforts in the region of Monoxelitis near the Monastery of Hilandari in the monastic community of Mount Athos. The monastery is not being threatened by the blaze that broke out in a farmland and spread to a nearby pine tree forest.

    Fourteen firemen and 4 fire engines assisted by 2 water-bombing aircraft have been dispatched to the region of Kardamena on Kos where a wildfire burns dried grass.

    Three hotels in the area have been evacuated for precautionary reasons.

    [13] Man accused of DHKP-C membership arrested on Interpol 'red notice'

    A 53-year-old potential political refugee from Turkey wanted by the neighbouring country for participation in the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which has been outlawed as a terrorist organization by Ankara, was arrested in Thessaloniki on Tuesday during a spot-check, after it was learned that a "red notice" had been issued against him by the Turkish branch of Interpol accusing him of being a member of the DHKP-C between 1993-1996.

    The man has been living in Thessaloniki recently and was planning on seeking political asylum from the Greek authorities.

    He will be taken before a Thessaloniki prosecutor for execution of the international red notice.

    [14] Elementary school teachers to strike on first day of school year

    The primary school teachers' union federation (DOE) on Wednesday announced a 24-hour strike for Sept. 12, the first day of the new school year, while a day earlier they will stage two-hour sit-ins at primary education regional administrative offices nationwide.

    A DOE statement underlined that the wage cuts imposed led "young educators to live in poverty with monthly wages of 570 euros".

    [15] Sailing boat with illegal migrants intercepted near Zakynthos; arrests in western Greece

    A sailing boat with 79 illegal migrants on board (77 men and 2 women) was intercepted by a Coastguard patrol vessel off the western coasts of the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The sailing boat was led to the port of Zakynthos and the illegal migrants, of various nationalities, are being temporarily held at the island's municipal stadium. Police have launched a manhunt for the arrest of the migrant smugglers who managed to flee.

    Meanwhile, dozens of illegal migrants were arrested over the past month in the western part of the country while attempting to enter or exit Greece illegally.

    A total of 251 individuals were arrested in western Greece in July for entering the country illegally, while other two were arrested on migrant smuggling charges.

    Seven Eritrea nationals and one Sudanese, all in their 30s, were arrested at Aktio Airport when they attempted to exit the country using fake travel documents, police announced on Wednesday. Roughly 20 illegal migrants were arrested at the airports of Araxos and Aktio in the month of July when they attempted to leave the country using fake passports.

    Other 15 illegal migrants from Armenia, Morocco, Moldavia, Syria, Iraq and Ghana, aged 19-42, were arrested at the Port of Patras in the past few days when they attempted to board ferryboats to Italy using fake travel documents.

    Four Norwegians, a Pakistani and an Afghan were arrested in the same period at the Port of Patras accused of facilitating four illegal migrants to travel to Italy.

    [16] Illegal migrant arrests in Igoumenitsa

    A 59-year-old foreign national was arrested on Wednesday at the Port of Igumenitsa, northwestern Greece, after authorities found 17 illegal migrants hidden in his Italy-bound truck.

    Other two foreign nationals, aged 26 and 37, were arrested when 3 illegal migrants were found hidden in their mobile home before boarding a ferryboat to Italy.

    According to police figures made public, a total of 733 illegal migrants were arrested in the northwestern region of Epirus in July. Other 18 individuals were arrested for human trafficking.

    [17] Injured Caretta caretta loggerhead sea turtle Louisa to return to natural environment on Thursday

    A female Caretta caretta loggerhead sea turtle that was found seriously injured two months ago in the Adelianou sea region on the island of Crete will be returned on Thursday to her natural environment.

    The 24-kilo sea turtle, which was given the name 'Louisa' by the volunteers at the Archelon sea turtle protection society, had been found with bite wounds in the neck and flipper, water in the lungs, other injuries by employees of a nearby hotel, who immediately alerted Archelon, and Louisa was subsequently transferred to Archelon's sea turtle rescue center in Glyfada, near Athens, for care by specialists.

    [18] Louisa will be released back into the waters of the Cretan gulf on Thursday morning.

    The Caretta caretta loggerhead turtle is the only one of the three species of marine turtles in the Mediterranean to reproduce in Greece.

    Although Laganas Bay, on the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos, is the most important nesting sites for the Loggerhead in Greece, the Cretan coast east of Retyhmno is also a well-known nesting area for the loggerheads.

    The Caretta caretta is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

    [19] Antiquities smuggling arrest

    A 50-year-old veterinarian in Nea Moudania, Halkidiki prefecture, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of violating the law on protection of antiquities, after being found in possession of several coins dating back to the Ottoman period and other antiquities.

    Police said searches of the man's veterinary clinic, residence and car turned up 10 silver and one bronze Ottoman coins, a silver ring, and several copper artifacts, which were confiscated.

    Police also found 45 books of foreign auction houses containing photographs of ancient coins with detailed descriptions and indicative commercial prices, three metal detectors, photocopies of 17 military maps of archaeological sites and a compass, which were also confiscated.

    The man will be taken before a Halkidiki prosecutor.

    [20] Millionaire judicial employee dismissed

    A millionaire judicial employee was permanently relieved of her duties on Wednesday after crosschecks conducted by public administration inspectors showed that she was the beneficiary of unjustified bank accounts amounting to 7.9 million euros, owned a private company and large real estate property.

    The woman, who served at Athens' First Instance Administrative Court for the past 31 years, will face criminal charges in court.

    Based on the findings of an investigation conducted by the Internal Audit Service of Public Administration - SEEDD, she was among 13 public sector employees found with unjustified bank accounts that totaled more than 25 million euros.

    [21] Three arrests for overdue debts to the state

    Three individuals were arrested in the cities of Corinth and Thessaloniki for millions of euros in overdue debts to the state, it was announced on Wednesday.

    A 51-year-old man, owner of a stock breeding farm in the region of Akropotamos near Thessaloniki, was arrested for overdue debts to the state amounting to 2.5 million euros for the period from Jan. 2010 to May 2011.

    A 51-year-old and a 37-year-old were arrested in Corinth for overdue debts to the state exceeding 1.4 million euros (716,635 euros and 712,366 euros respectively).

    [22] Two arrested in hashish bust

    Nearly 85 kilos of hashish were seized and two men were arrested who are believed to belong to a drug trafficking ring, police said on Wednesday.

    Police said a 51-year-old Greek male and a 37-year-old Albanian male were arrested in an ongoing investigation into the narcotics trafficking ring.

    They said the two were arrested Tuesday afternoon in a road block after 20 packets of hashish weighing a total 21.152 kilos were found in their car, which subsequent searches of their residences in the Kolonos district of Athens turned up another 62 packets of hashish weighing a total 63.806 kilos.

    Police also found and seized a precision scale, a hunting gun and 325 euros in cash believed to come from drug sales.

    The two will appear before an Athens prosecutor

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

    The economy, with speculations that the package of measures for 11.5 billion euro cutbacks in state spending will include new cuts to salaries, pensions and social benefits and the return of the reserve labor dominated the headlines in Athens' dailies on Wednesday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "More harsh measures".

    AVGHI: "The new measures will bring deeper recession".

    AVRIANI: "Germans declare (SYRIZA leader) Tsipras among 10 most dangerous politicians in Europe".

    DIMOKRATIA: "The numbers don't add up - 'Amputations' for the 11.5 billion euro".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Reserve labor for 45,000 civil servants".

    ELLADA: "Kouvelis veto, Venizelos' double-speak on reserve labor".

    ESTIA: "Wise words from Peres (visiting Israeli President)".

    ETHNOS: "70,000 civil servants up in the air, facing the specter of reserve labor".

    IMERISSIA: "Greek debt divides EU, IMF".

    KATHIMERINI: "Reserve labor and measures put the coalition government to the test".

    LOGOS: "Reserve labor a 'thorn' for the governmental coalition".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Reserve labor brings friction again in the government".

    NIKI: "How to 'vanish' your debts to banks".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The new drastic measures a crime against pensioners".

    TA NEA: "Where this year's base university passing grades will go".

    VRADYNI: "Three-speed reserve labor for 50,000 civil servants".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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