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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-08-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Friday, 24 August 2012 Issue No: 4156


  • [01] PM in Berlin on Thursday afternoon
  • [02] SYRIZA, KKE on PM's trip to Paris, Berlin
  • [03] Gov't spokesman's sharp reply to SYRIZA criticism
  • [04] Juncker tours Parthenon, New Acropolis Museum
  • [05] PM spoke on phone with Venizelos, Kouvelis
  • [06] Public Order Minister on migrants reception centres in Evros prefecture
  • [07] Special police division to deal with racist violence
  • [08] Gov't eyes law to stop hiring of relatives by state functionaries
  • [09] Independent Greeks spokesman: Juncker's requests will be the final stroke not last chance
  • [10] KKE on possible salary cutbacks in 'uniformed' corps
  • [11] KKE party on retail bondholders
  • [12] Ukranian president to visit Mt. Athos
  • [13] Ecumenical Patriarch sends message of hope from Imvros
  • [14] Tension in Corinth over operation of migrant detention centre
  • [15] FinMin signs Siemens compromise agreement worth 330 mln euros
  • [16] Greek-Russian Tourism Forum on Crete
  • [17] Stocks slide in weak trading
  • [18] Cup for first-ever Olympic marathon on show at New Acropolis Museum
  • [19] Living Legend' Nobel Physics laureate Alferov visits Museum of Hellenic Nobel Collection
  • [20] Police detail finds on terror suspect's laptop
  • [21] Foreign national found shot
  • [22] Foreign national seriously injures compatriot with knife
  • [23] Wildfire in Arcadia, Laconia prefecture
  • [24] Wildfire in Ilia prefecture
  • [25] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] PM in Berlin on Thursday afternoon

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will fly to Berlin on Thursday afternoon and on Friday at 11:45 he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Afterwards Merkel will host a lunch in Samaras' honour, followed by joint statements by the two leaders.

    Later Samaras will fly to Paris where on Saturday morning at 10:30 he will meet with French president Francois Hollande.

    Meanwhile there is satisfaction in Maximos mansion (government headquarters) on the outcome of Samaras' talks with Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday in Athens and it is believed that it will contribute to the success of Samaras' trip to Berlin and Paris.

    Samaras' talks with the top European leaders will focus on the situation in Greece as well as the recession in the eurozone. According to sources, Samaras who wants to restore Greece's reliability in Europe, will point out that Greece has already made very important steps and that in the next period it will do more towards fiscal stability, the acceleration of the privatisations and structural changes. He will also set out the Greece issues, although decisions will not be taken in these meetings.

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and other officials will accompany Samaras to Berlin and Paris.

    Samaras, who recently underwent eye surgery, will use the official state airplane on his doctors' orders, who recommended that due to the sensitive condition of his eye to avoid the high atmospheric pressure created in the high altitudes that civilian aircraft fly.

    [02] SYRIZA, KKE on PM's trip to Paris, Berlin

    Main opposition SYRIZA, in an announcement on Thursday, criticised the prime minister for travelling late this week to meet European leaders (Merkel, Hollande) "without any true inclination to negotiate on the part of the Greek government," as it said.

    The leftist party assessed that PM Antonis Samaras' highly anticipated visits to Paris and Berlin is merely part of a communications strategy, "one unable to hide the dangerous and catastrophic nature of the new package of (austerity and tax) measures."

    On an ideological note, SYRIZA said its conclusion is that "the government's strategy of alliance with the bankrupt European neo-liberalism, of fiscal discipline and extreme austerity, which is destroying Europe and eradicating the rights of wage-earners, comprises a crime against the country."

    The Communist Party (KKE) charged that Samaras is attempting a "campaign full of elements of advertising, in order to reassure and create false hopes for the Greek people. However, the entire government has completely acquiesed to the demands of both the oligarchy of capital in Greece, as well as in the EU..."

    [03] Gov't spokesman's sharp reply to SYRIZA criticism

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Thursday responded sharply to an announcement by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) regarding a published interview given by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to the respected French daily "Le Monde".

    "The prolonged holidays of Mr. (Alexis) Tsipras (the SYRIZA leader) did not permit him to be informed of the correction by the newspaper Le Monde, concerning the erroneous headline it placed in the interview of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. We recommend to Mr. Tsipras and his associates to first read and then comment," Kedikoglou said in a statement.

    Earlier, SYRIZA's press office had issued a comment, according to which "within the framework of the doctrine 'everything up for sale', Samaras announced in advance even the sell-off of the islands..."

    [04] Juncker tours Parthenon, New Acropolis Museum

    Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, during a tour of the Parthenon and the New Acropolis Museum on Wednesday, emphasised that "this is Europe".

    Acropolis Museum president prof. Dimitris Pantermalis himself gave a guided tour to the Luxembourg prime minister.

    [05] PM spoke on phone with Venizelos, Kouvelis

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday spoke on the phone with the party leaders that participate in his coalition government, namely PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis.

    Samaras briefed the two leaders on his discussion on Wednesday with visiting Eurogroup president Jean Claude Juncker and the strategy he will follow in his meetings within the next two days with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

    [06] Public Order Minister on migrants reception centres in Evros prefecture

    Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday reassured that the Illegal Migrants' Reception Centers that will be created in Evros prefecture, along the border with Turkey, will only be First Reception Centers, and not holding facilities.

    Replying to a timely question by PASOK deputy Giorgos Dolios in parliament, Dendias called the illegal migration problem 'explosive'.

    "I have repeatedly said in the past and I say it again today that the government's opinion is that the country is facing the absolute danger of a total reversal due to the migration problem. I can't see a reason why a minister should remain in his post if an overall solution is not found. To remain ignorant of the issue means danger for the country," he said.

    [07] Special police division to deal with racist violence

    Public order and citizens' protection minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday announced that a special division will be set up in the security police that will deal with racist violence, responding in parliament to a question tabled by main opposition SYRIZA deputy Nikos Voutsis.

    He said the government's intention is to stamp out such incidents, noting that only 3 incidents had been recorded in 2010 and 22 in 2011, while there were no figures as yet available for this year.

    [08] Gov't eyes law to stop hiring of relatives by state functionaries

    The government aims to draft and table a law precluding state officials from hiring, as their staff members, wives or other relatives of up to the second decree.

    The initiative comes after a relative order given by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday.

    According to a relevant announcement by the general government secretariat, changes will also be instituted in the regime for hiring temporary staff, such as in deputies' offices.

    [09] Independent Greeks spokesman: Juncker's requests will be the final stroke not last chance

    Independent Greeks spokesman Christos Zois on Thursday, referring to Eurogroup president Jean Claude Juncker's visit to Athens, stressed: "What Mr. Juncker asked for will be the final blow for the Greeks and not the 'last chance' for Greece. He asked from the Greece of recession, unemployment and destitution -- due to the implementation of the Memorandum, which everyone knows only recycles the crisis and does not deal with it -- to continue to eat away at itself".

    Moreover, Zois sternly attacked the government and the parties that participate in it for their stance on Juncker's recommendations.

    [10] KKE on possible salary cutbacks in 'uniformed' corps

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on Thursday referring to the possible cutbacks in the 'uniformed corps' salaries (special payrolls), charged that "the government, the bourgeois and the EU who have given to the uniformed corps' the role of the harsher persecutor against the people, are at the same time the steadily reducing their salaries and link it with their 'efficiency' by intensifying together with other regulations the antisocial, suppressive role of the armed mechanisms, in this way turning the uniformed corps' into victims".

    "The uniformed corps', just like all workers, have the right to react and to struggle against the measures that downgrade their lives and the future of their children. The KKE supports their struggle, just as that of every laborer, regardless of their profession".

    [11] KKE party on retail bondholders

    Communist Party (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga met on Thursday with the representatives of a group representing Greek state bondholders, as she expressed support for small bondholders "who in their majority are retail depositors, who chose the state bonds as a means of saving".

    As far as small bondholders are concerned, for deposits by individuals in Greek state bonds up to 100,000 euros, KKE demands that they be reimbursed.

    [12] Ukranian president to visit Mt. Athos

    President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych will pay a two-day private pilgrimage visit to Mt Athos on Sunday.

    According to the schedule submitted to the relevant Greek authorities, Yanukovych will visit Karyes and the Holy Monasteries of Vatopedi, Aghios Panteleimonas and Iviron.

    Last year, on the occasion of his official visit to Greece, the Ukrainian president visited Mt. Athos, where he met with visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    [13] Ecumenical Patriarch sends message of hope from Imvros

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Thursday sent a message of hope from his birthplace, the village of Aghii Theodoroi on the NE Aegean island of Imvros.

    Speaking at the Dormition of the Virgin church in the presence of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, according to a report on the website, the Ecumenical Patriarch emphasised that "Imvros has a future and has not faded forever from the map of Hellenism. That is what we all believe, this is how we want to believe, that the future and history will not prove us wrong".

    Bartholomew also referred to the very important, as he said, recent decision by Turkish authorities to grant permission for the re-opening of a Greek minority school on the island, called Gokceada in Turkish, after nearly half a century.

    [14] Tension in Corinth over operation of migrant detention centre

    A crowd of roughly 200 local residents in the northern Peloponnese city of Corinth, including members of the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Xrisi Avgi), on Thursday morning blocked the transportation of a group of illegal migrants to a disused army camp in the municipality.

    Police had already transported between 200 and 250 detained third country nationals within the camp's premises, as a law enforcement crackdown on the presence of illegal immigrants in the country shifted to Corinth, a one-and-a-half hour's drive west of Athens.

    One of the most vocal protestors amongst local residents was Golden Dawn MP Efstathios Boukouras, who was shown on television standing in front of the camp's main gate in order to block the remaining buses carrying illegal migrants from entering.

    Corinth's municipal council and mayor also expressed their sharp opposition to the camp, located more-or-less inside the city, being turned into a migrant detention camp. The municipality later cut off the water supply to the facility and said it was suspending trash pickup from the site.

    An anti-racist rally by several dozen demonstrators was also held in the city later in the afternoon.

    Financial News

    [15] FinMin signs Siemens compromise agreement worth 330 mln euros

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Thursday signed a compromise agreement worth 330 million euros between Greece and the Siemens AG and Siemens S.A. multinationals, based on the relevant authorisation by Parliament.

    The final deal is the result of a high-profile and massive kickbacks and bribery furor involving Siemens, its subsidiary in Greece and the multinational's numerous contract with the Greek states and affiliated public sector companies for nearly two decades.

    According to the finance ministry, a finalised text of the agreement shows no differences from a draft agreement approved by Parliament, while the signed agreement will be forwarded to Parliament for briefing.

    The main points of the agreement envision 80 million euros to off-set money owed by the Greek state and various public entities, including hospitals, to Siemens; 90 million euros by the German multinational over a period of five years to fund public sector agencies and initiatives aimed to combat corruption, fraud and money laundering, as well as university and scientific research programmes.

    Additionally, Siemens will fund 100 scholarships every year for post-graduate studies in the sectors of energy, health, industry, infrastructures and urban development through the State Scholarships Foundation (IKY); medical equipment (including the delivery, installation and maintenance of such equipment) in state hospitals, with a particular emphasis on pediatric hospitals.

    Siemens will also invest, in 2012, 100 million euros in its Siemens Hellas subsidiary to ensure its continuing presence in the country, which employs more 600 employees. Along those lines, Siemens agreed to build a new production facility in Greece, budgeted at more than 60 million euros.

    In addition, as was stated by the ministry, Siemens promises to provide every possible support to Greek authorities, whenever this is requested, in relation to a continuing investigation against whatever individuals involved in the kickback and bribery case, and undertakes to pay for the judicial expenditures with which the Greek state has been burdened in this case.

    SYRIZA reaction

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary spokesman Dimitris Papadimoulis later charged that "the extra-judicial compromise between the Greek government and Siemens, which was signed today after a five-month delay and a peculiar handling, is yet another scandal in a big scandal".

    He added that this development favours Siemens, which is giving "crumbs" and, indeed, in kind, and goes "scott free" for a huge scandal that cost the Greek state two billion euros.

    [16] Greek-Russian Tourism Forum on Crete

    The Greek-Russian Tourism Forum "Charting the Future", organised by the Hellenic-Russian Chamber of Commerce, will be held in Hersonissos on Crete from 3-4 September 2012 and concerns the entire touristic sector in Greece that wants or has relations with Russia.

    The event is held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the Russian Embassy in Greece and other tourism-related organisations.

    [17] Stocks slide in weak trading

    Stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday amid continued lack of interest in the market.

    The general price index ended 1.54 percent lower to finish at 629.69.

    The trading volume was a weak 26.46 million euros. Decliners led advancers by 65 to 48, while 159 remained unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.93%

    Commercial: +4.22%

    Construction: -0.55%

    Oil & Gas: -0.57%

    Personal & Household: +0.58%

    Raw Materials: -4.87%

    Travel & Leisure: -3.04%

    Technology: +0.07%

    Telecoms: -1.92

    Banks: -3.95%

    Food & Beverages: +0.39%

    Health: -5.02%

    Utilities: -5.77%

    Financial Services: -3.63%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1,37

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2,57

    HBC Coca Cola: 14,4

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5,39

    National Bank of Greece: 1,35

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0,7

    OPAP: 5,18

    OTE: 2,55

    Bank of Piraeus: 0,23

    Titan: 12,95

    General News

    [18] Cup for first-ever Olympic marathon on show at New Acropolis Museum

    The silver cup awarded to Greek runner Spyros Louis when he won the first-ever Olympic marathon at the 1896 Games in Athens will be displayed at the new Acropolis Museum for a year, starting on August 28. The news was announced by the 'Stavros Niarchos' Foundation, which bought the cup in an auction held by Louis's descendants in April with a promise to make it accessible to the public and put it permanently on display at the 'Stavros Niarchos' Foundation Arts Centre when this is completed in 2015.

    In the meantime, the Foundation has selected the new Acropolis Museum as a venue that combined maximum security with ease of access for the public and has prepared supporting audiovisual and printed material surrounding the cup and its history.

    During the year-long exhibition at the Acropolis Museum, the foundation will continue efforts to find other potentially suitable venues that could temporarily display the cup until 2015, when its own arts centre is due to be completed.

    The silver cup, which stands just six inches tall, was inspired by the French philologist and philhellene Michel Breal, who proposed the men's marathon race as part of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

    The Foundation bought the cup during a heated bidding session at Christie's involving six bidders. It sold for 514,250 pounds (860,000 dollars), breaking the auction record for Olympic memorabilia.

    [19] Living Legend' Nobel Physics laureate Alferov visits Museum of Hellenic Nobel Collection

    The Nobel Prize winner for Physics in 2000, Zhores Alferov, visited the Museum of the Hellenic Nobel Collection in the Athens suburb of Halandri on Thursday, where he was given a tour of the premises, currently under construction, by the museum's founder and sponsor, Greek historian Prof. Giorgio Marcou.

    The Belarus-born Alferov, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000, together with Herbert Kroemer and Jack Kilby of the US, "for basic work on information and communication technology" and "developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics", which form the basis for mobile telephones, CD players, bar-code readers, etc.

    Alferov invented the heterotransistor, which copes with much higher frequencies than its predecessors, thus revolutionizing the mobile phone and satellite communications and, applying this technology to firing laser lights, also revolutionized semiconductor design in a plethora of areas, including LEDs, bar-code readers and CDs.

    Winding up a private trip to Greece, of which he is a frequent visitor, Alferov commented that the Museum, which hopes to be completed in a year's time, is "a very worthwhile project".

    "The projection of Alfred Nobel and the Nobel laureates' work, in all fields, is a 'sacred cause'," he continued, and thanked Marcou for putting all his time and family resources into this endeavour.

    Alferov, whose name shares the same root as the Greek word 'eleftheros' (free) is the recipient of dozens of national and international awards, including the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology in 2001 from the Inamori Foundation in Japan, the Stuart Ballantyne Medal in 1971 from Franklin Institute in the US, the Mendeleev Reader Award in 19993, the Golden Plate award in 2002 from the Academy of Achievement in the US, the 1972 Lenin Prize (former USSR), and the Wisdom Award of the University of Athens, Greece in 2009, as well as the prestigious "Russian National Olympus" in 2001 in Russia, awarding him the title of "living legend", to name just a few.

    Reminiscing of his visits to Greece, "a wonderful country", Alferov noted his fist visit in 1987, for a physics conference on the island of Crete, but also in 1990 to Thessaloniki for a conference on semiconductors with a large Russian delegation -- "larger than the US delegation", noting the joint studies with Thessaloniki Aristotle University (AUTH) and Athens University scientists.

    With the promise of returning to Greece next September, Alferov said that the Greeks are the heirs of the Ancient Greek legacy, but "we all, especially physicists, are heirs of Ancient Greece".

    The Museum building, covering a total surface of 3,250 m2 located over a ground, first and second floor, will be fully accessible to the disabled, and includes a 250 m2 foyer, 700 m2 of permanent exhibition space, and 600 m2 for periodic exhibitions, a 240-seat amphitheatre fitted to the highest imaginable technical and technological standards, a 300 m2 library/reading room, 100 m2 archive, 300 m2 cafe - restaurant, private chapel and garage with 60 parking spaces.

    Built on the initiative of and with exclusive financing from Prof. Marcou and his family, the Museum to provide a major contribution to history and the advancement of sciences and the intellect.

    Its 4,500 plus -- and growing -- exhibits include rare and unpublished manuscripts, letters, documents, bonds, patents, plans, maps, engravings, photographs, state secrets and confidential leaflets, books, reprints, journals, stamps, first day of issue commemorative envelopes, posters, and objects from the explosive substances factories of Alfred Nobel, as well as medals and decorations awarded to Nobel and his family, and of 20th century Nobel laureates The pieces have been acquired from 250 private collections in 62 different countries. They were united with the original Nobel Collection for one reason alone: their comprehensive and proper display in the Museum of the Hellenic Nobel Collection.

    [20] Police detail finds on terror suspect's laptop

    Computer files on detecting secret CCTV cameras, picking locks, car theft and even a Greek army user manual on maintaining sidearms and assault rifles were some of the finds on a laptop allegedly belonging to Tasos Theofilou, a 30-year-old unemployed theology graduate charged in an urban terror-linked bank robbery and homicide on Paros.

    The laptop was found by police an apartment in the south-central city of Lamia, along with photos of firearms, blank ID cards, drivers' licences, ID cards in various stages of processing, fake beards and moustaches, a police identity card, passport type photos, photos of dead police officers and police seals, among others.

    Suspect of armed robbery and homicide on Paros remanded in custody pending trial

    An examining magistrate ordered on Thursday that Tassos Theofilou, the suspect in the armed robbery of Alpha Bank on the island of Paros and the murder of a local taxi driver, be remanded in custody pending trial.

    Theofilou denied the charges saying that he was not on Paros the day of the incident.

    [21] Foreign national found shot

    A 36-year-old foreign national was found, one hour after midnight Wednesday, shot by a firearm in Aghios Panteleimonas, downtown Athens.

    The injured man was transferred to hospital and police are conducting an investigation.

    [22] Foreign national seriously injures compatriot with knife

    A 62-year-old Albanian national stabbed and seriously injured on Wednesday a 50-year-old compatriot in Argos Orestiko, northern Greece.

    According to police the two men had personal differences. The victim has been hospitalised in critical condition.

    The suspect will be sent before a Kastoria prosecutor.

    [23] Wildfire in Arcadia, Laconia prefecture

    A wildfire was reported in a forested region in Panagitsa, Arcadia prefecture, in the Peloponnese. A group of 16 firefighters, backed by eight vehicles and four firefighting aircraft were dispatched to the scene.

    Further south, a wildfire was reported at the Lagio site in Laconia prefecture.

    [24] Wildfire in Ilia prefecture

    A wildfire is raging in forest and farmland in the region of Valmi, in the prefecture of Ilia in the western Peloponnese.

    [25] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker in Athens and the extension of the fiscal adjustment programme which will depend on the troika (EC, ECB, IMF) final report and the new austerity measures, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Juncker showed the way for extension and remaining in eurozone".

    AVGHI: "Juncker's sympathy for the 22.5 billion euros measures".

    AVRIANI: "ECB's robbery against Greece".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Juncker: You are holding the solution in your hands - Greece will remain in the eurozone".

    ESTIA: "State protects the non-payers".

    ETHNOS: "Juncker on Greece's stay in eurozone message: Support and strict recommendations"

    IMERISSIA: "Positive message from Juncker - The way for extension opens".

    KATHIMERINI: "Troika's report the key for the new measures".

    LOGOS: "Juncker open to the extension".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "European 'sympathy' over the last opportunity".

    NIKI: "Truth and tales over the Greek bankruptcy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "End to the foolery with the negotiation".

    TA NEA: "The three-day battle".

    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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