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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-08-30

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

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

Thursday, 30 August 2012 Issue No: 4161

CONTENTS

  • [01] Coalition government partners meet, measures not yet finalized
  • [02] SYRIZA warns new measures will demolish society
  • [03] Venizelos briefs PASOK cadres over party leaders' meeting
  • [04] Independent Greeks on leaders' meeting: Deception must end now
  • [05] KKE leader: Gov't to proceed to new massacre of Greeks
  • [06] KKE' s Papariga meets with school teachers' union reps
  • [07] PM speaks with Lagarde
  • [08] PM meets with local administration representatives
  • [09] FinMin receives Dutch European Affairs minister
  • [10] Deputy Minister Mitarakis in Alexandroupolis
  • [11] Gov't sources deny reports on 'immobility duty' on cars
  • [12] Greek-owned tanker taken over by pirates spotted off Nigerian coast
  • [13] Kaklamanis, Kefaloyiannis comment on ND party secretary race
  • [14] US ambassador visits Ioannina
  • [15] FinMin: Hellenic Postbank not viable
  • [16] Greek banks' deposits slightly up in July
  • [17] Piraeus Bank in advanced talks to buy Geniki Bank
  • [18] Producer's Price Index up 3.8 pct in July
  • [19] Greek-Russian tourism forum on Crete
  • [20] Hellenic-Chinese business con'f in Athens on Sept. 18
  • [21] PPC warns of liquidity problems due to unpaid debts
  • [22] PPC alternate CEO resigns
  • [23] Piraeus Port Authority reports mixed H1 results
  • [24] Hellenic Petroleum reports lower profits
  • [25] Intralot buys 100 pct of Russian sports betting firm Kelicom
  • [26] Municipal employees on 2-day strike
  • [27] Stocks up at ASE
  • [28] Greek bond market closing report
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] Bicycle tour in Nafplio and Mycenae organised by Bavarian TV
  • [31] Series of concerts organised by Belgian Embassy
  • [32] Armata 2012: Re-enactment of Naval Battle of Spetses
  • [33] Teacher arrested for child porn had placed hidden cameras in classroom, police say
  • [34] Wildfire receding on Rhodes
  • [35] Wildfire in NW Florina continues
  • [36] 98 Illegal migrants repatriated
  • [37] Armed robbery in bank
  • [38] Reactions in Corinth over migrant detention centre
  • [39] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Coalition government partners meet, measures not yet finalized

    Prime minister and New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis -- the leaders of the three parties supporting the coalition government -- met on Wednesday morning to continue deliberations on a package of measures to cut state spending by 11.5 billion euros in the next two years.

    Kouvelis told reporters after the meeting that elaboration of the measures has not yet been completed, adding that efforts were being made to avoid 'horizontal' (across-the-board) cuts, to which he said he was opposed, and to "protect the low and small incomes".

    Kouvelis also said that the package of measures needs to be accompanied by a developmental programme, and noted that the effort was constant, clarifying that there should no more 'bleeding' of the Greek society.

    Venizelos will make statements later from the PASOK headquarters on downtown Athens' Ippocratous street.

    [02] SYRIZA warns new measures will demolish society

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Wednesday warned that the new package of measures to be adopted by the government will demolish Greek society.

    In a statement issued after the meeting of the prime minister with the leaders of the political parties backing the government, SYRIZA stressed that "the domestic troika has agreed under the supervision of our creditors to proceed with the adoption of a another unfair and anti-social package of measures that will undoubtedly lead to the leveling out of the Greek society."

    "The package of measures starts with 11.5 billion euros in spending cuts but it is still undetermined how high it will go. The Greek people cannot and won' t stay idle when faced with the new measures that will lead to their destruction," SYRIZA stressed.

    [03] Venizelos briefs PASOK cadres over party leaders' meeting

    PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday briefed members of the party's political secretariat on the "strategic character" dicussion between the three party leaders backing the current government, which includes PM Antonis Saramas.

    According to party sources, he said measures amounting to 11.5 billion euros must be included in an overall package that will be presented in Parliament and public opinion.

    [04] Independent Greeks on leaders' meeting: Deception must end now

    Independent Greeks spokesman Christos Zois on Wednesday, referring to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with the leaders participating in his coalition government, stressed: "The 'willing' governmental partners with their supposed disagreements continue to play with the destitute, insulted and deceived citizens. Don't they understand that we are all aware that the new measures have been sealed? Just listen to the banker - Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras' statements, from whom we are promptly and directly, informed on the already 'closed' decisions?.

    Zois also said that "More and original disagreement would exist in a one-party government. The web of 'deception' must stop right now".

    [05] KKE leader: Gov't to proceed to new massacre of Greeks

    "It is a tragic farce," said Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Wednesday, commenting on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with the party leaders that support his coalition government (PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis). "Given that the three of them promise that they will not put in jeopardy Greece's stay in the eurozone and the EU, then it is clear that they are determined to proceed to a new massacre of the Greek people". Papariga reiterated that "the Greek people must get out of this trap, the delusion that Greece's remaining in the EU is the salvation or at least a life jacket in a stormy sea, because it is not".

    [06] KKE' s Papariga meets with school teachers' union reps

    Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Wednesday met with the board members of the primary school teachers' union federation (DOE) underlining that the party will participate in the struggles of the workers.

    Papariga stressed that "a new economic and social massacre is in the works targeting the education rights of the low income families with major consequences on the primary schools."

    The primary school teachers' union federation has announced a 24-hour strike for Sept. 12, the first day of the new school year, in protest to wage cuts.

    [07] PM speaks with Lagarde

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke by phone on Wednesday with IMF head Christine Lagarde, with talks expectedly focusing on economic developments in Greece and the eurozone, according to reports.

    [08] PM meets with local administration representatives

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday was briefed on the "dramatic" economic situation of the country' s municipalities, as described by Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) representatives, who called for immediate state assistance to solve the serious economic problems they face, as they claimed.

    In a meeting, which lasted more than two hours, and held in the presence of Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, KEDE president and Kallithea Mayor Costas Askounis underlined that the country' s mayors are up against an impasse, stressing that at least 40 municipalities will be unable to pay salaries in September.

    Askounis said the mayors received no definitive answers from the government but expressed a hope that the interior minister will bring specific proposals to a KEDE conference that opens on Thursday.

    Referring to a protest by sanitation workers in downtown Athens at the same time, Askounis said KEDE is against any extreme mobilisation stressing, however, that the situation in many municipalities is critical.

    On his part, the interior minister said the prime minister acknowledges the efforts made by the representatives of local administration and outlined three moves that could improve the situation.

    Stylianidis said municipalities will receive 204 million euros from tax revenues by the end of the year and an additional 299 million euros from the state budget. He also announced a settlement for over-indebted municipalities, adding that 90 million euros in annual financial assistance will be shared by all municipalities.

    [09] FinMin receives Dutch European Affairs minister

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and the Netherlands' European Affairs and Development Cooperation Minister, Ben Knapen, on Wednesday discussed ways of overturning whatever negative opinion exists in the Dutch public opinion vis-a-vis the Greek economic crisis.

    According to ministry officials, the Dutch delegation encouraged the Greek side to avoid the word "extension", as it constitutes a "red flag" for a majority of citizens in the northern European country, instead favouring the term "frontloading".

    Knapen was later received by Development & Competitiveness Minister Costis Hatzidakis, with talks focusing on accelerating procedures to simplify exports, as Dutch experts are now assisting the Greek state.

    Hatzidakis and Knappen also discussed structural changes being promoted by the ministry.

    [10] Deputy Minister Mitarakis in Alexandroupolis

    Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis on Wednesday stressed in Alexandroupolis that "every tool and development-boosting law will be utilized to create new job positions immediately considering the state of emergency our country is in."

    Investment issues dominated in the meetings he had with the northeast port city mayor, the president of the Chamber of Evros and Metropolitan Bishop Anthimos.

    Mitarakis stressed that the implementation of major investments in the region, including the goldmines, is within the government' s intentions, provided that the environment will be protected and EU legislation will be observed.

    [11] Gov't sources deny reports on 'immobility duty' on cars

    Government officials on Wednesday said press reports that the finance ministry was considering an "immobility duty" on cars as absurd and groundless.

    The same sources added that such an issue was been raised and questioned the motives of the specific reports.

    [12] Greek-owned tanker taken over by pirates spotted off Nigerian coast

    A Greek-owned oil tanker that was taken over by pirates off Togo in west Africa on Tuesday was spotted off the Nigerian coast on Wednesday, still being under pirates' control, the ship owner and Togo authorities stated.

    The ship was spotted off the Nigerian coast and is still under the control of pirates, who intend to steal its cargo, according to ship operator Golden Energy Management, which added that is in contact with a French Navy vessel sailing in the area.

    The company also announced that the ship' s crew is believed to be safe. According to the Greek coastguard, all 24 crewmembers are foreign nationals.

    Eight attacks or attempted attacks have been reported off the coast of Togo since January, according to the International Maritime Bureau' s website.

    [13] Kaklamanis, Kefaloyiannis comment on ND party secretary race

    Former Athens mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, one of the candidates running for the post of the New Democracy (ND) party secretary, on Wednesday repeated allegations of an intervention of party cadres opposed to his candidacy.

    Speaking to an Athens-based private radio on the eve of the election, he said he has named names in a formal complaint.

    On his part, Manolis Kefaloyiannis, the second candidate in the race for ND party secretary, stressed that democratic procedures are being observed, adding that party cadres have a right to express their preferences.

    [14] US ambassador visits Ioannina

    US ambassador to Greece Daniel Bennett Smith visited the northwestern city of Ioannina on Wednesday and met with the city's mayor Filippas Filios.

    A detailed briefing took place during the meeting, with a special emphasis on investments opportunities and the tourist sector of the region.

    "We are very glad to be in Yiannina. Our discussion with the mayor was very interesting. The bonds of the United States with Greece are very close and we are constantly seeking ways for greater cooperation," the US envoy said.

    Financial News

    [15] FinMin: Hellenic Postbank not viable

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, speaking befor a Parliament committee on Wednesday, said Hellenic Postbank was "not viable", citing an assessment by the Bank of Greece and the Financial Stability Fund, statement that generated heightened reactions by opposition MPs, particularly from SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks party.

    Agricultural Development minister discusses strengthening of bilateral commercial relations with British ambassador

    Strengthening bilateral economic and commercial relations between Greece and Britain and increasing Greek exports to Britain were at the focus of talks on Wednesday between Agricultural Development and Foods minister Athanasios Tsaftaris and British ambassador to Greece David Landsman.

    Britain is traditionally one of Greece's largest economic partners, and according to 2011 data it is the 4th largest commercial partner for Greek farm product exports, absorbing 5 percent of such exports, and the 8th largest commercial partner in imports of farm products, accounting for 3 percent of imports of such products by Greece.

    The two men also discussed British support for Greece in agricultural research and technology, provision of advice and applications in the farming sector in the context of the EU's new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), given that the funds in specific areas have increased substantially and collaboration among Greek and British research centres would be a boost in that area.

    [16] Greek banks' deposits slightly up in July

    Bank deposits grew slightly in July 2012 as Greek households and enterprises raised deposits in the month, after several months of decline, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said bank deposits rose by around 3.4 billion euros in July, to total 161.95 billion euros, up from 158.8 billion euros a month earlier.

    Deposits by households and enterprises totaled 153.9 billion euros, up from 150.6 billion euros in June. The central bank noted, however, that domestic banks still suffered from a liquidity problem as depositors have withdrawn a monumental sum, estimated at more than 83 billion euros from domestic banks since early 2010.

    [17] Piraeus Bank in advanced talks to buy Geniki Bank

    Piraeus Bank on Wednesday confirmed it was in talks with Societe General over a potential purchase of the latter's Greek unit, Geniki Bank, saying talks were at an advanced stage.

    In an announcement to the Athens Stock Exchange, Piraeus Bank said that although talks were at an advance stage, no final decision has been made by either side. The bank said it will continue offering information over developments in the talks.

    Piraeus Bank recently completed the acquisition of ATEbank' s healthy businesses.

    [18] Producer's Price Index up 3.8 pct in July

    Greece' s producer' s price index in the industrial sector (measuring both the domestic and external markets) rose 3.8 pct in July this year, compared with the same month in 2011, after an increase of 9.1 pct recorded in the previous 12-month period, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to a 4.1 pct increase in the domestic market index and a 2.6 pct rise in the external market index.

    The producer' s price index rose 2.0 pct in July from June, after an 1.1 pct increase recorded in the same period in 2011.

    [19] Greek-Russian tourism forum on Crete

    The course of and prospect for enhancement of tourist arrivals from Russia will be examined in the two-day Greek-Russian tourism forum "Charting the Future" that will be held from 3-4 September at a hotel in Hersonissos on Crete island. The forum is organised by the Hellenic-Russian Chamber of Commerce.

    According to the organisers the forum will be one of the most important meetings between Russian and Greek tourist agencies.

    The forum refers to all of the 'tourism Greece' that has or wants to have relations with Russia in the tourism sector.

    [20] Hellenic-Chinese business con'f in Athens on Sept. 18

    The 2nd Hellenic-Chinese Business Partnering Conference is scheduled to take place in Athens on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and will focus on business opportunities offered by privatisations and investments in Greece.

    The conference, entitled "Business Opportunities: Privatizations and Investments in Greece", will address current economic developments and explore the potential for investments and business partnerships in Greece.

    The Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), the Confucius Institute and the Institute for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE) are the co-organisers of the conference, which will be attended by government officials and business executives from Greece and China, academics and entrepreneurs.

    [21] PPC warns of liquidity problems due to unpaid debts

    Public Power Corp. (PPC) on Wednesday warned that a high level of unpaid debts to the utility  estimated at around 600-700 million euros - was creating a significant liquidity problem.

    The issue, along with a proposal to off-set public sector debt to PPC, were discussed on Wednesday during a meeting between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and PPC chairman Arthuros Zervos.

    PPC' s officials, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said a liquidity problem has been temporarily managed with a freeze in supply payments and a restructuring of PPC' s debt (extending repayment of a 525-mln-euro loan for one year).

    PPC officials stressed that the power utility was weary of a plan to raise electricity bills and noted that the listed company could also benefit from lower taxes.

    [22] PPC alternate CEO resigns

    Public Power Corporation (PPC) alternate CEO Nikos Hatziargyriou, an Athens Polytechnic University professor, on Wednesday tendered his resignation from the PPC post.

    The resignation was accepted by PPC president and CEO Arthouros Zervos, and will be effective as of September 1.

    Hatziargyriou holds the portfolio of supervision of the Electricity transport and distribution networks.

    [23] Piraeus Port Authority reports mixed H1 results

    The Piraeus Port Authorities on Wednesday reported mixed half-year results, with revenues rising 3.20 pct in the January-June period to around 53 million euros and net after tax profits falling to 1.1 million eurosfrom 3.65 million euros in the same period last year, reflecting accounting changes. The port authority said revenues from its container terminal (pier I) jumped 30.77 pct in the first six months of the year, while revenues from sea cruise rose 16.57 pct and revenues from car terminal rose 9.48 pct.

    Operating expenses fell by 4.08 pct in the six-month period, while gross profits totaled 9.8 million euros, from 4.5 million euros in 2011.

    [24] Hellenic Petroleum reports lower profits

    Hellenic Petroleum Group on Wednesday said net profits fell to 44 million euros in the first half this year, down from 170 million euros in the same period in 2011. The company also reported a loss of 28 million euros in the second quarter of the year, down from profits of 60 million euros in 2011.

    Comparable net profits totaled 131 million euros in the first six months of the year, down from 138 million euros last year.

    Hellenic Petroleum said its performance in the domestic market improved despite a decline in fuel demand, as the group raised its market share. The listed company said its refinery in Elefsina will begin full operations from early September, after completing significant upgrades.

    [25] Intralot buys 100 pct of Russian sports betting firm Kelicom

    Intralot Group on Wednesday said it has fully acquired the Russian company Kelicom, after raising its equity share from 33 pct to 100 pct. The Greece-based company said that following the acquisition it was taking full control of Favorit Bookmakers' Office LLC (Favorit) and its customer base.

    Kelicom is the majority shareholder of Favorit, one of the top sport betting operators in Russia, with a 74.9 pct equity stake in the compamy. It was founded in December 2002 and enjoys an operating license with indefinite time period.

    [26] Municipal employees on 2-day strike

    Local administration employees in Attica region as well as of other regions have called a two-day strike starting on Wednesday, protesting for the municipalities' economic condition, cutbacks in salaries and lay-offs.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet on Wednesday with the mayors at their request. The outcome of the meeting will be discussed on Wednesday afternoon at a Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) meeting.

    The striking Attica municipal employees, including garbage trucks, will stage a demonstration and march to the interior ministry on Wednesday.

    The final decisions on the further stance of the local administration employees will be taken on Thursday.

    [27] Stocks up at ASE

    Stocks ended higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, recovering after Tuesday' s significant losses, as news of a new deal in the domestic banking sector (Piraeus Bank confirmed talks with Societe Generale to acquire Geniki Bank) rekindled buying activity in the market. The composite index rose 1.49 pct to end at 640.84 points, near the day' s highs of 641.58 points, while turnover remained a disappointing low 16.876 million euros.

    The Big Cap index ended 1.69 pct higher and the Mid Cap index rose 0.82 pct. The Industrial Products (3.45 pct), Health (2.84 pct) and Banks (2.66 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains, while Oil (1.28 pct) and Utilities (0.76 pct) suffered losses. Piraeus Bank (8.44 pct), Viohalco (7.45 pct) and National Bank (3.68 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Cyprus Popular Bank (2.56 pct), Cyprus Bank (2.31 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.40 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 63 to 56 with another 25 issues unchanged. Unibios (27.86 pct), MIG Real Estate (21.51 pct) and Geniki Bank (19.72 pct) were top gainers, while HOL (19.69 pct), Sato (18.18 pct) and Sciens Holdings (17.07 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +3.45%

    Commercial: +0.46%

    Construction: +0.44%

    Oil & Gas: -1.28%

    Personal & Household: +1.93%

    Raw Materials: +0.85%

    Travel & Leisure: +2.31%

    Technology: +1.83%

    Telecoms: +0.78

    Banks: +2.66%

    Food & Beverages: +2.27%

    Health: +2.84%

    Utilities: -0.76%

    Financial Services: +0.23%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1,36

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 2,61

    HBC Coca Cola: 14,73

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5,63

    National Bank of Greece: 1,41

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0,69

    OPAP: 5,3

    OTE: 2,6

    Bank of Piraeus: 0,24

    Titan: 12,95

    [28] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds rose slightly to 22.35 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, with the Greek bond yielding 23.72 pct and the German Bund 1.33 pct. Turnover was a thin 2.0 million euros, covering one sell order.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate eased to 0.81 pct, the six-month rate fell to 0.54 pct, the three-month rate was 0.28 pct and the one-month rate was 0.12 pct.

    [29] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.75 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover shrinking further to 3.817 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,175 contracts worth 1.355 million euros, with 22,754 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 17,653 contracts worth 2.462 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank' s contracts (5,886), followed by National Bank (4,235), Cyprus Bank (1,193), OTE (1,076), PPC (631), OPAP (320), Piraeus Bank (2,448), Cyprus Popular Bank (901), Mytilineos (109), Hellenic Postbank (383), Intralot (95) and Coca Cola 3E (162).

    General News

    [30] Bicycle tour in Nafplio and Mycenae organised by Bavarian TV

    The Bavarian Radio-Television foundation BR has found another way for its viewers to be acquainted with Greek nature, the sites and the archaeological treasures.

    This year the cruiseship "BERLIN" will dock at the port of Nafplio on September 4 and a team of cyclists will visit the historic city of Nafplio and the archaeological site of Mycenae.

    The Municipality of Nafplio will organise in the honour of the German cyclists a Greek evening in the city's central square. On September 5, a team of 220 German cyclists, accompanied by local cyclists, will leave Nafplio port for Mycenae where they will be given a tour of the archaeological site.

    Live highlights of the bicycle tour and the visit to Mycenae will be broadcast by BR and a 45-minute documentary will be taped to be shown on Bavarian TV.

    [31] Series of concerts organised by Belgian Embassy

    The fourth event of the cultural programme entitled "The Belgians" organised by the Embassy of Belgium in Greece intends to take music fans on a journey "from Macedonia to the stars".

    Belgian pianist Elke Robersscheuten and Greek cellist Angelos Liakakis will give three concerts, with free entrance to public, starting from Thessaloniki on September 4, Veria on September 5, and Athens on September 7. All concerts will start at 20:30.

    The two musicians will perform works of Joseph Jongen, Nikos Skalkotas, August De Boeck and Cesar Franck.

    The programme is taking place for the second consecutive year.

    [32] Armata 2012: Re-enactment of Naval Battle of Spetses

    The sinking of the Ottoman (Turkish) flagship in the Spetses Naval Battle on September 8, 1822 will be re-enacted in the Spetsian harbor on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 8, in the annual "Armata" anniversary celebration, combined with the celebration of the feast of the island's Panaghia Armata (the Virgin Mary of the Armata).

    Spetses is one of eight European cities participating in the European Network of Historical Reconstructions (re-enactments). In each of the participating cities -- Brussels (Belgium), Dublin and Cork (Ireland), Bailen (Spain), Slavkov (the Czech Republic), Tewkesbury (Britain), and Hydra and Spetses (Greece) -- the reproductions are considered historic events.

    The Battle of Spetses was fought on the night of September 8, 1822, during the Greek War of Independence, and is re-enacted on the same day each year on Spetses.

    On 8 September, 1822 the Ottoman navy set sail from Monemvasia to bring supplies to the Ottoman fortress of Palamidi in Nafplion, which at the time was under siege by the ground forces of Alexander Ypsilantis and the naval forces of Laskarina Bouboulina. The plan also included attacks on the rebelling Greek islands of Spetses and Hydra en route to Nafplion.

    As it neared the islets of Trikeri and Spetsopoula, the Ottoman navy faced the naval forces of the islands of Spetses, Hydra and Psara under the command of Andreas Miaoulis, who ordered the Greek navy to sails towards the Argolic Gulf and lure the Ottoman navy away from the islands. However, in fear of putting Spetses' security at risk, most of the ships' captains ignored Miaoulis' command and instead opened a direct attack against the Ottoman navy.

    The battle between the small Greek naval force and the huge Ottoman navy was fierce. Spetsiote captain Kosmas Barbatsis heroically manoeuvred his ship next to the Ottoman flagship and burned it down. Most of the Ottoman fleet was burnt or sunk in the battle, and the remaining Ottoman ships retreated. As a result, the Ottoman navy never reached Nafplion, which was liberated by the Greek freedom fighters two-and-a-half months later, on November 30.

    The re-enactment of the sinking of the Ottoman flagship is the climax in a week of cultural and other events commemorating the Battle of Spetses and celebrating the Panaghia Armata.

    The events, which open on Monday, September 3 and conclude on Sunday, September 9, include an exhibition of traditional folk costumes from the Aegean, an exhibition of photographs by D. Papadimos titled "From Egypt to Spetses", an exhibition of paintings by Al. Tsironis and D. Tassoulis, a children' s choir concert, shadow theatre, Latin dances by a local dance troupe, a rock concert by the group Soul-less, and other musical performances.

    [33] Teacher arrested for child porn had placed hidden cameras in classroom, police say

    A 42-year-old highschool teacher who was arrested last year on child pornography charges had placed a hidden camera in a school classroom and had been secretly videotaping pupils, police crime squad laboratory analysis of the computer files that had been found in the teacher's possession revealed, the police electronic crimes squad said on Wednesday.

    Police said a total of 80 computer videotapes were found, while the hidden camera had been placed at a spot in the classroom so as to tape the genital area of the pupils without detection.

    The 42-year-old man was a teacher at a highschool in Pieria, and was arrested in January 2010 after a police search of his residence in Aghios Pavlos, Thessaloniki, turned up a PC, five hard disc drives, 42 CDs and DVDs and 3,000 files containing child porn material, all of which had been confiscated.

    After the arrest, the education ministry had ordered a Sworn Administrative Inquiry (EDE).

    The results so far of the analysis of the confiscated material and the investigation, which is continuing, have been submitted to the Thessaloniki prosecutors' office.

    [34] Wildfire receding on Rhodes

    More than 700 acres of forestland were burned by a wildfire on the island of Rhodes, which started at noon on Tuesday.

    Efforts to extinguish the blaze were continuing with assistance by firefighting aircraft and the authorities hope to place it under control before nightfall on Wednesday.

    According to reports, the wildfire was started arsonists since the remains of an improvised incendiary device were found at the location where it started.

    [35] Wildfire in NW Florina continues

    A wildfire raging in the western part of Florina prefecture since the beginning of the week, in the region of Skopos, has reached the borders of Pella prefecture, the fire brigade said on Wednesday afternoon.

    [36] 98 Illegal migrants repatriated

    Ninety-eight illegal migrants -- 89 Pakistanis, 7 Bangladeshi, 3 Egyptians, one Senegalese citizen and 1 Algerian-- were repatriated on Tuesday, following court orders issued against them.

    The foreign nationals left from International Athens Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" with destinations Dhaka, Algiers, Dhakkar, Islamabad and Lahore.

    The repatriation operation of illegal migrants to their country of origin is being held within the actions against illegal migration and is covered by the European Fund for Repatriations.

    [37] Armed robbery in bank

    An armed robbery was reported early Wednesday at a bank in the northern Athens suburb of Anixi. An unknown individual riding a motorcycle stopped outside the bank and started shooting at the glass facade of the bank and afterwards stormed the bank and took an unknown amount of cash after threatening the bank's director and an employee at gunpoint.

    The perpetrator put the cash in a bag and fled on the motorcycle.

    [38] Reactions in Corinth over migrant detention centre

    Reactions by local residents in the city of Corinth, west of Athens, continued on Wednesday, one week after the initial transportation of a group of illegal migrants to a disused army camp in the municipality, within the framework of a police crackdown on illegal migration.

    A meeting was held in the prefecture's chamber of commerce, attended by local MPs, representatives of police associations, the deputy governor of Corinth, the mayor, the chamber president and the head of the local health service.

    All present repeated their criticism, alleging that the government resorted to summary procedures in order to turn an active military base into a migrant detention centre.

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

    The new cutbacks to those pensioners who have already received the lump sum retirement bonus, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting on Wednesday with the two other party leaders who participate in the coalition government (PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left's Fotis Kouvelis), mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The hour of decisions".

    AVGHI: "The bankruptcy lobby".

    AVRIANI: "Venizelos' rebellion shakes the government's coalition".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Orgy of wasteful spending in Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki".

    ESTIA: "Democracy or rallies?".

    ETHNOS: "1% cut in pensions ".

    KATHIMERINI: "Samaras, main opposition SYRIZA head on collision ahead of (announcement of) measures".

    LOGOS: "Government coalition threatened".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government studies special economic zones".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Respond to the new antisocial measures with general strike".

    TA NEA: "Armed forces payrolls saved, pensioners sink".

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