|Thursday, 17 October 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-10-03
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 3 October 2012 Issue No: 4189
 Cyprus' right to explore EEZ inalienable, Greek PM Samaras stressesThe exploitation of hydrocarbons in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) constitutes an inalienable sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed on Tuesday, reiterating at the same time the determination of Greece to oppose any challenge to the sovereignty of the island republic.
On his part, visiting Cyprus President Demetris Christofias stressed that in a reunited Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots have nothing to lose, but only to gain from the exploitation of the country's natural resources. He called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus' northern occupied areas and abandon its unacceptable and intransigent stance on the Cyprus issue, which leads to a solution of two states in Cyprus.
Samaras and Christofias were speaking to the press following a meeting they had at the Maximos Mansion during which they discussed the Cyprus issue as well as European and bilateral issues.
Referring to the 52nd anniversary of the Independence of Cyprus (October 1), the Greek prime minister expressed his country's support to the continuing struggle of the people of Cyprus for freedom and praised the Cyprus EU presidency for its "successful work in an extremely critical and demanding period for the future of Europe".
He noted that the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Cyprus' EEZ constitutes its inalienable sovereign right and reiterated Greece's determination to oppose any challenge to the sovereignty of Cyprus.
Samaras added that Cyprus is a factor of stability and peace in the region, noting that Greece will always stand on the side of the Greek Cypriots and the Republic of Cyprus in the struggle to end the Turkish occupation and find a just, functional and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.
A solution, he added, which should be based on the decisions of the United Nations and the values of the European Union, and in line with the acquis communautaire.
On his part, President Christofias referred to the struggle of the Greek Cypriot side to achieve a solution to the Cyprus issue based on UN resolutions and high level agreements between the two communities providing for the evolution of Cyprus into a federal state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.
As he said, this type of solution constitutes the concession of Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots on condition that it will lead to a united state without the right of anyone to interfere in the internal affairs of Cyprus.
The Cyprus president made it clear that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou's position on a two state solution can never be accepted by any President of Cyprus and stressed Greece's firm support towards Cyprus both with regard to the effort to reunite the island and establish a federal state and to explore and exploit its natural resources.
He stressed that in a reunited Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots have nothing to lose, but only to gain from the exploitation of natural resources of Cyprus, adding that the Greek Cypriot side is consistent with this commitment, provided Turkey's occupation will end and Turkish occupation troops and settlers will leave the island and a federal state will be established.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island and occupied 37% of its territory. The latest round of UN-led direct negotiations began in September 2008 with a view to reunite the island.
 President Papoulias receives Christofias"You have experienced the economic crisis, we do not want to go through the same things" Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said in statements to the press after his meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday.
Replying to Papoulias' praise of Cyprus' EU presidency, Christofias noted that the staff involved with the presidency were determined to make it a success and were working night and day without claiming overtime.
Christofias stressed that "we wanted to prove that there are no minor or major presidencies, but only successful or unsuccessful." At a time of crisis, he added, the selfless contribution of the staff was especially important.
 Troika cannot call for more horizontal cutbacks in salaries and pensions, Damanaki saysBRUSSELS (AMNA/V. Demiris)
Greek Commissioner responsible for Fisheries Maria Damanaki reportedly appealed to European Commission President Jose Barroso underlining that the EC/ECB/IMF troika "cannot demand for more horizontal cutbacks in salaries and pensions; it will dissolve the Greek economy and society".
The reports added that, in her appeal, Damanaki also stressed that the Commission must insist on the structural reforms, meaning the main problem on which Greece is not presenting results.
According to the commissioner, it is clear that the depth of the recession must be taken taken into consideration in the decisions. Damanaki also said that Greece needs time for the implementation of the programme and made it clear to Barroso that the Commission has a responsibility and a possibility to intervene so that Greece will not become a victim between the different views in its creditors' camp.
 Labour minister holds talks with EU-IMF troika officialsLabour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis on Tuesday held a meeting with the heads of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika mission in Greece, focusing mainly on planned changes to labour laws.
In statements after the meeting ended, Vroutsis said it had been occupied with issues such as the mechanism for setting the minimum wage, an evaluation of the labour inspectors' corps by the Internation Labour Organisation, the reduction of non-wage-related costs and ways of dealing with unemployment.
Troika officials had also called for a reduction in redundancy payments but, according to Vroutsis, the labour ministry considers that the time is not yet 'ripe' to tackle this issue. Sources said the issue was mainly stressed by the IMF and the ministry countered by pointed to the significant reductions in this cost through a 2010 law.
Concerning the new mechanism for the minimum wage, the labour ministry promised to pass the relevant legislation immediately after the end of dialogue with employers and trade unions, due to end on October 31.
On the planned changes to the labour inspectors' corps, the minister said that the new law would be finalised after an ILO assessment and referred to his recent meeting with Public Order Nikolaos Dendias on ways that the labour inspectors might collaborate with the financial police.
The troika side agreed with a planned 5 percent reduction in labour costs not linked to wages, which is expected to have a positive impact on competitiveness and employment levels. This will include the abolition of contributions for the Labour Housing and Labour Welfare organisations, which have been scrapped, while the remaining 3.9 percent will come from reduced social insurance contributions.
The troika has asked for a specific time schedule and quantified proposals for equivalent measures to make up the lost revenues from social insurance contributions.
 SYRIZA leader tables question for PM over new salary and pension cutsThe head of the main opposition party 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA-EKM) Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday tabled a question for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Parliament, demanding that the premier explain why the three-party government had flipflopped on a pre-election promise to avoid more pay and pension cuts.
Tsipras demanded to know why the coalition government is further cutting wages and the public investments programme when it had promised precisely the opposite both before the elections and in the later policy agreement of the three coalition parties.
He also asked Samaras to reply "why, when he had pledged to restore injustices for low-paid pensioners, the government was proceeding to cut even pensions of 600 euro," and to increase the age of retirement from 65 to 67.
SYRIZA's leader noted the prime minister's original promise to recapitalise and reform the Agricultural Bank of Greece, whereas he was now instead "giving it away to a private investor", and asked whether he intended to do the same for Post Bank and the Consignment Deposits and Loans Fund.
"In a minimal space of time, the three-party government's policy agreement has given its place to the faithful and more rapid implementation of the memorandum, this disastrous formula that has led the country to economic and social collapse," Tsipras said, slamming the new measures as a "new package for extreme austerity and recession".
 KKE on negotiations with the EUThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in an announcement on Tuesday that "the government's negotiation with the representatives of the EU and the IMF does not concern how savagely they will continue the slaughter of the working class, but how it will be done for popular reactions to be controlled, so that they do not develop into an organised refusal for submission and a counterattack against the EU, the monopolies and their parties".
"No government, neither rightwing nor the so-called leftwing can benefit the people by holding negotiations with the EU and the business groups. Negotiating with them only means how the people will pay for the capitalist crisis".
 PASOK leader hands 'Lagarde list' to gov't; PM forwards to SDOEPASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday handed over to the government the so called "Lagarde list" containing the names of 2,000 Greek citizens with money deposited in a specific Swiss bank. Venizelos said that he had received the list when he was government vice president and Finance Minister from Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) special secretary Ioannis Diotis.
Venizelos told reporters that he was first informed of the list's existence by Diotis in August 2011. Diotis had then told Venizelos that the list was given to him by the previous finance minister George Papaconstantinou 'unofficially'.
In the SDOE chief's opinion, however, the information contained in the list was "in no circumstances a file that came into the service's possession via legitimate procedures" and could not therefore be subject to legal processing by the SDOE nor made public. According to Diotis, to act differently would from a legal standpoint be a violation of the law in which he, as a former public prosecutor, could have no part.
Venizelos said that he agreed with Diotis' opinion on this issue but also stressed the importance of reaching an agreement with Switzerland for the taxation of money deposited by Greek citizens in Swiss banks. He said that the furore surrounding the list is tending to 'expose' the country internationally and "to annul our efforts for a bilateral agreement with Switzerland on the taxation of Greek citizens' deposits.
An announcement issued by the prime minister's office later on Tuesday said that the 'Lagarde list' had arrived on the prime minister's desk earlier that morning, in an envelope containing a USB flash drive, and been forwarded to the SDOE unopened for all further actions.
 Prosecutors to investigate 'Lagarde list'; politicians accused of undeclared wealthA list with the names of 2,000 Greek citizens reportedly holding large bank accounts abroad, Swiss banks in particular, was transferred to financial crimes prosecutor Grigoris Peponis on Tuesday. The so-called "Lagarde list" was handed to him by Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) general secretary Stelios Stasinopoulos.
Earlier in the day, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos handed the government the controversial list he received from SDOE Special Secretary Ioannis Diotis, when the former was government vice president and minister of finance in the Papandreou government.
Venizelos told reporters he was first informed of the list's existence by Diotis in August 2011. Diotis had then told Venizelos that the list was given to him by the previous finance minister George Papaconstantinou, but "unofficially".
In the SDOE chief's opinion, the information contained in the list was "in no circumstances a file that came into the service's possession via legitimate procedures" and could not therefore be subject to legal processing by the SDOE nor made public. According to Diotis, to act differently would have constituted a serious criminal offence.
Venizelos said he agreed with Diotis' opinion on this issue but also stressed the importance of reaching an agreement with Switzerland for the taxation of money deposited by Greek citizens in Swiss banks. He said that the furor surrounding the list is tending to "expose" the country internationally and "annul our efforts for a bilateral agreement with Switzerland on the taxation of Greek citizens' bank accounts."
An announcement issued by the prime minister's office later on Tuesday said the "Lagarde list" had arrived on the prime minister's desk earlier that morning, in an envelope containing a USB flash drive, and been forwarded to the SDOE unopened for all further actions. The "list" is named for IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who reportedly gave the Greek government the data when she was the French FinMin.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court financial crimes deputy prosecutor Nikos Pantelis, in a meeting with SDOE general secretary Stasinopoulos, requested detailed information on another reputed list containing the names of 36 former ministers and current and former MPs allegedly being investigated by SDOE for suspicious acquisition of wealth.
Within the next 48 hours, Stasinopoulos will have to present a written report with the names of the politicians that are included in the list and specify when the investigation was launched.
 Ind'p Greeks party demand judicial action against former FinMinThe Independent Greeks party on Tuesday demanded the immediate indictment of former PASOK Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou over a reported "list" of tax evaders he received, while charging that the one-time minister covered up the case.
Party spokesman Christos Zois sharply attacked Papaconstantinou, calling him "a failed negotiator, unreliable and a liar".
Zois called on prosecutors to demand explanations from Papaconstantinou.
 Avramopoulos briefs president on trip to UN General AssemblyForeign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Tuesday briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the results of his visit to the UN General Assembly in New York and his meetings there with his counterparts from other countries.
Referring to Papoulias' own past experiences at the helm of the foreign ministry, Avramopoulos said that the contacts with other foreign ministers were important, as were contacts with those who help form public opinion at this time when Greece was "injured by crisis".
 SYRIZA's Tsipras invited to West BankMain opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday received an invitation from Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas to visit Ramallah, an invitation that was conveyed to him by Palestinian envoy in Athens Samir Abu Ghazaleh.
In the meeting with Tsipras, Ghazaleh referred to the Palestinian Authority's efforts to become a member of the UN and to the support it needs to meet towards this goal. He also asked for SYRIZA's support.
Both sides agreed to intensify cooperation on all levels.
 KKE MP Kanelli addresses PACE on impact of crisis on Greece, dangers of far rightAddressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on behalf of the Unified European Left group on Tuesday, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP Liana Kanelli underlined the negative impact of economic policies currently being implemented in Greece and also the rising threat of far-right extremism.
Kanelli reported that the policies being followed had created a situation where there were 1.5 million unemployed in the country of just 10 million, where despair prevailed, and the country had no credibility in international markets.
She warned that this situation was "awakening the 'snake' of the far right" and that this was "devouring young souls, desperate young people that were unemployed." She also pointed to the wave of migrants sweeping Greece from the countries of the so-called 'Arab Spring' that, she added, had "finally proved to be a war".
"We are seeing a harsh and bitter phenomenon spreading through Europe; not just in Greece but also in other countries. The poverty that prevails, the 'impoverisation' as it is called, the lack of a future, is leading to a system that eats at democracy in Europe," she said.
"We have seen democracies overturned, while throughout Europe they are talking about a democratic deficit," she pointed out, urging the need for solidarity because 'otherwise the 'snake' might swallow us all, not just in Greece but throughout the world".
 Archbishop Ieronymos calls on clergy to consider severity of current econ crisis"We are lacking inspiration and that's what everyone in this country is looking for," Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece said earlier on Tuesday, wrapping up his opening address at the Church of Greece's synod in Athens.
Referring to members of the clergy and their mission, he that "many of us have not realised yet what is happening. We are living in a virtual reality; we remain in the past and refuse to see the fretful situation around us."
He added that "if we wish to be honest we should be the first to confess to our own crisis and assume our responsibilities. The crisis is judging us and brings to the surface our mistakes, omissions and weaknesses ...we should have self-awareness and realise who we really are and how people see us."
The Archbishop referred to the daily problems that the Greek people face, while he underlined the major responsibility of the clergy in times when "everything changes", adding that "the economic crisis has led a large part of the population to depravation and has caused stress, depression and insecurity to our people."
 Alternate Development minister holds meeting with German ambassadorAlternate Development and Competitiveness Minister Stavros Kaloyiannis on Tuesday briefed German ambassador to Greece Wolfgang Dold on the course of major projects and the ministry's priorities in general.
On his part, Dolt asked to be briefed on telecommunications issues as well.
 Gov't on police crackdown on illegal migration from PatrasPublic Order Minister Nikos Dendias clarified on Tuesday that the creation of more detention centres for illegal migrants is not amongst his ministry's immediate priorities, although he did not rule out the prospect.
Dendias visited the western port city of Patras for a briefing on results of a police crackdown to evacuate mostly Third World illegal migrants from the harbour, a primary gateway for travel to western Europe via ferry boats.
Dendias expressed his satisfaction over the results, adding that the operation will continue. Moreover, he referred to an important a message sent abroad and to Greek society, namely, that the country is not unguarded and unprotected.
He also referred to the number of illegal migrants who have been repatriated in the recent period, putting the figure at 2,000 third country nationals. Of the illegals arrested in Patras, Dendias said they will be transferred to the controversial Corinth detention centre.
 Former armaments secretary general Yiannis Sbokos arrestedFormer armaments secretary general Yiannis Sbokos was arrested at his home in the Athens suburb of Kifissia on Tuesday afternoon.
Sbokos' arrest was based on an arrest warrant issued by the investigator that was forwarded to police on Tuesday. He is accused of legalisation of revenues from criminal activity and will be brought before a prosecutor on Wednesday.
The arrest of the former armaments secretary general of the Defence ministry, accused in the former defence minister Akis Tzohatzopoulos' case, was asked by investigator Gabvriil Mallis.
Sbokos was due to make his testimony to the investigator on Friday, following an extension he received a few days ago.
According to the file of proceedings prepared against him, the one-time close associate and subordinate of the former minister belongs to the focal group that handled and concealed huge amounts of money that constituted "benefits" from the procurement of the submarines and the TOR M1s.
According to Nikos Zigras, cousin and co-defendant of the former minister, Tsohatzopoulos's money reached Sbokos and was invested through a stock exchange company that belonged to Sbokos' father-in-law.
 House endorses bill on illegal immigrants centresThe Greek Parliament's plenum endorsed on Tuesday night the Public Order ministry's bill on the establishment of centres for the detention of illegal immigrants.
Out of 262 deputies, 149 (New Democracy and PASOK) voted in favour of the bill, while 99 opposition MPs voted against.
Fourteen deputies from the Democratic Left party, which supports the Antonis Samaras government, declared themselves "present".
 GSEVEE: Illegal fuel trading 'draining' Greek economyIllegal fuel trading, smuggling and adulteration is an "open wound" for the Greek economy, a fact that's now common knowledge for every citizen in the country, a Hellenic Confederation of Professionals Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVEE) announcement underlined on Tuesday.
The said that based on "modest" estimates the Greek state loses 300-500 million euros annually from "black economy" trading in the fuel market.
Specific proposals aimed at tackling the problem will be presented by the GSEVEE Institute of Small Enterprises (IME) in cooperation with the Federation of Petrol Station Owners (POPEK) on Thursday.
Former PM Lucas Papademos had stressed in an address delivered last January in Parliament that turnover from such "shadowy transactions" in the fuel market is estimated to total 2.5 billion euros annually. In addition, a recently published IMF assessment noted that "practices by oligopolies" in the Greek fuel market as a whole add costs of 1.5 billion euros annually to Greek businesses and consumers.
 Numerous tax code violations cited in pawn shops inspectionsSpeaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras responded to a tabled question by saying that his ministry's Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE) has inspected 100 pawnshops and related businesses providing retail loans to private borrowers, adding that of the enterprises inspected roughly 50 percent were found to have committed tax code violations.
Additionally, the government said 175 new pawn shops and 97 "loan service" businesses had opened by late July 2012, without, however, specifying the time period involved, i.e. between 2009 and 2011, or, only in 2012 alone.
 Gov't: Recent inspections reveal that one out of three workers uninsuredLabour ministry inspectors have reported that during inspections in the first seven months of 2012 roughly one out of three wage-earners recorded in workplaces was not insured, of which 57.8 percent were reported as Greek citizens; the rest were foreign nationals.
Labour & Social Security Minister Yannis Vroutsis revealed the figures in Parliament on Tuesday, in reply to a tabled question by New Democracy MP Yannis Mihelakis, who expressed concern on the problem of uninsured workers and employees.
 Development Minister meets with Arab-Hellenic Chamber board membersPotential for closer economic relations between Greece and Arab countries as well as the investment environment in Greece dominated talks during a meeting on Tuesday between Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce & Development president and general secretary, Christos Folias and Rashad Mabger, respectively.
The meeting concluded with the chamber pledging that it will actively support efforts toward this direction.
 NBG CEO: Bank remains present in sector's restructuringNational Bank on Tuesday reaffirmed that it was present in the ongoing restructuring of the domestic banking system, saying that it maintains a primary role in developments.
In an internal message to National Bank's workforce issued after developments in the sale of Emporiki Bank, Alexandros Tourkolias, the bank's chief executive, stressed that National Bank will intensify efforts and contribute decisively for the healthy and sustainable evolution of the banking sector in the country, based on the existing regulatory framework.
National Bank was one of three contenders to purchase Credit Agricole's subsidiary in Greece, Emporiki Bank, with Alpha Bank eventually beating out rivals National and Eurobank to begin what the French bank called "exclusive negotiations".
 Gov't debt to private sector rises to 7.9 bln euros in Aug.The general government's overdue debt to the private sector rose to 7.9 billion euros in August, from 7.6 billion euros in July, the finance ministry announced on Tuesday.
In a report, the ministry said the general government's biggest debt to the private sector emanated from pension funds (4.12 billion euros) and state hospitals (1.7 billion euros). Government ministries' overdue debt rose to 910 million euros and local authorities' debt rose to 835 million euros in August.
In the January-August period, the general government's deficit totaled 9.88 billion euros, while the government reported a surplus of 1.44 billion euros in the eight-month period. Revenues totaled 67.3 billion euros, while spending - excluding interest - totaled 66.09 billion euros. Interest reached 11.3 billion euros.
 Business Briefs-- Eurobank Securities topped the list of the most active securities firms at the Athens Stock Exchange in September, with a market share of 15.62 pct.
-- The government is organising a roadshow between October 9-11 in New York City, with the promotion of energy and real estate opportunities for institutional investors in the US topping the agenda.
-- Grimaldi Group and NEL Lines on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership agreement envisaging operational and commercial cooperation in Adriatic shipping lines
-- Hotel room occupancy rates continued falling in the July-August period in the greater Athens region, official figures showed on Tuesday.
 Stocks soar 4.91 pct higherStocks soared to their highest levels since March 20, 2012 at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with investors discounting a positive outcome in negotiations between Greek authorities and the EC-ECB-IMF troika over a new economic programe.
Bank shares remained at the focus of attention on hopes that a possible deal between Alpha Bank and Emporiki Bank will pave the way for a new restructuring of the banking sector in the country.
The composite index of the market jumped 4.91 pct to end at 780.94 points, with turnover rising to 67.049 million euros.
The Big Cap index ended 5.37 pct higher and the Mid Cap index ended 4.85 pct up. All sectors scored gains, with Raw Materials (7.99 pct), Utilities (7.54 pct) and Banks (6.94 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day. Titan (-0.07 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end lower, while Ellaktor (14.29 pct), Eurobank (10.89 pct), Cyprus Bank (10.5 pct), Mytilineos (9.18 pct) and Piraeus Bank (8.87 pct) were top gainers.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 103 to 39 with another 27 issues unchanged. Mathios (30 pct), Unibios (24.11 pct) and Eurobrokers (20 pct) were top gainers, while Minerva (30 pct), Logismos (29.97 pct) and Sato (18.84 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +4.25%
Personal & Household: +5.52%
Raw Materials: +7.99%
Travel & Leisure: +3.34%
Food & Beverages: +4.49%
Financial Services: +5.47%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, OTE and OPAP.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 1.83
Public Power Corp (PPC): 3.91
HBC Coca Cola: 15.50
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.55
National Bank of Greece: 2.00
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 1.12
Bank of Piraeus: 0.41
 Greek bond market closingThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds fell slightly to 17.86 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 17.89 pct on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 19.32 pct and the German Bund 1.46 pct. Turnover was a thin 1.0 million euros, one sell order. Eurobank's alternate chief executive Nikolaos Karamouzis, speaking to institutional investors in London said that turnover in the Greek secondary bond market has risen significantly, from 20-30 million euros daily, to 300-350 million euros, over the last few weeks, while Greek bond prices have almost doubled from their low levels.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.68 pct, the six-month rate was 0.43 pct, the three-month rate 0.22 pct and the one-month rate was 0.11 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.41 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover rising to 23.012 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,215 contracts worth 11.586 million euros, with 29,128 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 57,008 contracts worth 11.426 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (18,671), followed by Alpha Bank (13,592), Cyprus Bank (2,399), OTE (7,185), PPC (2,050), OPAP (1,851), Piraeus Bank (5,783), Eurobank (2,225), Mytilineos (499), Ellaktor (501), MIG (231), Motor Oil (196) and Intralot (260).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.312
Pound sterling 0.812
Danish kroner 7.567
Swedish kroner 8.660
Japanese yen 102.54
Swiss franc 1.228
Norwegian kroner 7.483
Canadian dollar 1.288
Australian dollar 1.271
 Court hands down heavy sentences to 'Conspiracy of Cells of Fire' terroristsA three-justice criminal appeals court on Tuesday handed down heavy sentences of 25 years imprisonment, the maximum allowed by the Greek penal system, to each of three defendants convicted of joining the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" and assisting in its terrorist strikes.
George Nikolopoulos, Mihalis Nikolopoulos and Damiano Bolano each received 25-year sentences, while the fourth defendant Christos Tsakalos was sentenced to seven years for his own part in the group.
The first three defendants were sentenced as accomplices in the explosions at the house of former minister Louka Katseli, at the office of former deputy minister Panagiotis Hinofotis and at the Macedonia-Thrace ministry, as well as for morally instigating the construction of explosives.
The court sentence, delivered after trial proceedings lasting several months, was announced in the absence of the defendants since in recent days they had refused to be present at the court in order to indicate their refusal to accept the state-appointed lawyers assigned to defend them.
 Police arrest six people for participation in Drama incidentsPolice arrested six people on Tuesday morning for participation in Monday's incidents outside the illegal immigrants temporary detention centre at the "Pantazopoulos" army camp at Paranesti, in the northern prefecture of Drama.
Police are also seeking another nine people for participation in the incidents, including the person who fired with a hunting rifle.
 Greek court decides against extradition of Turkish national accused as terroristA Thessaloniki appeals court on Tuesday decided against the extradition to Turkey of 53-year-old Turkish national Nevzat Kalayci, who is wanted by Turkish authorities as a suspected terrorist. Kalayci has denied the charges against him, claiming he is the victim of political persecution and at risk of torture if he is returned to Turkey. He has applied for political asylum in Greece since 2007.
Turkish authorities asked for his extradition as an alleged member of the DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party - Front), which has been designated a terrorist organisation in Turkey and declared illegal.
The 53-year-old was arrested in Thessaloniki last summer based on a red alert issued by Interpol and has since been held at the Diavates prison. He is accused of participating in illegal activities of DHKP-C in 1993-1996 near the city of Izmir.
He had also been accused in connection with an explosion that occurred a year ago in a Thessaloniki apartment, which resulted in the death of a 32-year-old Kurd, but was later acquitted of all charges due to a lack of evidence.
 Music and art school students march for school busesTo the sound of beating drums, a brass band and fresh young voices singing lustily, hundreds of students from Athens' music and arts high schools came down to central Athens on Tuesday for a protest march against government policies that have left their schools bereft of vital school bus services since the start of the year.
Highschool girls and boys carrying banners, placards and artists' easels, some with their faces painted like mimes, marched from Klafthmonos Square to Syntagma, demanding an end to a dispute between the ministry and private coach firms contracted to transport students from home to school over the amount they will be paid.
At the end of the march they congregated outside Parliament, chanting slogans and with each school giving impromptu performances ranging from traditional Greek folk songs to gospel music for gawking tourists and passers-by as the art school students joined together for a massive chalk-drawing session on the plaza.
The capital's music and art schools have an extended curriculum covering music and arts classes in addition to the normal academic lessons. Students are selected based on ability and the catchment areas cover the entire Attica region, making them particularly dependent on the free coach service in order to function. The unresolved dispute has now forced many students to make their way to school using public transport over large distances, which for many families and students is untenable.
The government and coach firms seemed close to an agreement a few days after the start of the school year when the government promised to immediately pay 30 percent of the money owed to coach drivers for the previous year and they agreed to a 17 percent reduction in their fees for the current year. School bus services resumed for a few days but the deal collapsed when the finance ministry insisted that coach drivers also accept a 20 percent cut in the sums they are asking for the previous year, which the bus drivers say they have already been taxed on.
 Union rejects public school teacher evaluation questionnaireThe primary school teachers' union federation (DOE) on Tuesday called on its members to refuse filling out a questionnaire prepared by the ministry of education for their evaluation. The union also warned that if the teacher evaluation initiative is implemented the sector will engage in "dynamic mobilisations", meaning strikes.
A statement issued by the teachers' union said they have their own proposals for an evaluation or assessment of their performance which are based on international experience, while the union expressed opposition to what it called the "the evaluation - manipulation attempted by the ministry of education."
 Three arrested for sexually abusing 13-year-old girlAuthorities have arrested three men on the island of Thassos and are now holding them in custody pending trial after they were accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl on the island.
An announcement issued by a Kavala first instance court public prosecutor on Tuesday said that a preliminary inquiry has been launched to determine whether a ring of paedophiles might be involved and whether the girl's mother or other relatives might be implicated in the affair, which continues to be cloaked in mystery and has shocked the local community on the island.
The case came to the fore about three weeks ago when the mother filed a complaint that her 13-year-old daughter had been raped by the three men, two of whom are married and the third engaged. A few hours later, the mother retracted her initial statement and claimed that her daughter had been sexual harrassed as opposed to raped.
The three suspects were arrested and have been charged with repeated counts of sexual abuse. Even though they have been arrested, testified to an examining magistrate and imprisoned on remand with the agreement of both the magistrate and the public prosecutor, the Kavala police have not yet issued an announcement concerning the arrest of the three men, who have been taken to the Tripolis court prison until a trial date is set.
 Commission to return fines for online gaming violationsMore than million euros in fines paid by Greece during the Dec. 2011-March 2012 period for violations of online gaming regulations will be returned to the country, following a decision by the European Commission to shelve the case.
The ministry of finance said the sum of 3,847,392 euros will be returned to Greece following the decision, taken at a meeting held on Sept. 27.
 Double armed robbery of banks in AstrosTwo armed and possibly related robberies were reported on Tuesday at an ATEbank and Piraeus Bank, respectively, in the eastern coastal Peloponnese village of Astros Kynourias.
According to initial reports, two individuals robbed the banks and used a motorcycle in their getaway.
 Mini Marathon 2012 on SpetsesA three-day sports and cultural event entitled "Spetses Mini Marathon" will be held on the eponymous isle this month. The event includes running and swimming competitions as well as a children's race.
Participants, visitors and athletes will also have a chance to taste local delicacies and participate in several cultural events.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe government's continuing negotiations with representatives of the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' upcoming meetings with European leaders mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Samaras seeks political solution (in negotiations with 'troika')".
AVGHI: "Champions in high prices, unemployment".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Troika demands additional cutbacks in civil servants' salaries".
ESTIA: "Substantial improvement in fiscal issues".
ETHNOS: "Grand bargaining with Europe's 'powerful'."
IMERISSIA: "Agony extended"
KATHIMERINI: "Distance (in positions) between government, troika remains".
RIZOSPASTIS: "We'll protest with the Communist party on Thursday".
TA NEA: "Champions in sacrifices, high prices".
VRADYNI: "Impasse (in negotiations) with troika; recourse to political solution".
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