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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-10-09

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

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

Tuesday, 9 October 2012 Issue No: 4194

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin: Government making every possible effort
  • [02] Chancellor Merkel will back Greek gov't, spokesman says
  • [03] German chancellor's Athens visit
  • [04] DIMAR on Merkel's visit
  • [05] Peaceful but massive demos to meet Merkel on Tuesday, SYRIZA leader predicts
  • [06] SYRIZA and Die Linke party leader to attend GSEE-ADEDY rally on Tuesday
  • [07] Municipal workers' union announce participation in Tues. mobilisations
  • [08] Greek police ban gatherings and rallies in city centre, airport route during Merkel visit
  • [09] PASOK against blanket ban on demonstrations, Gennimata says
  • [10] SYRIZA accuses government of 'creating climate of fear'
  • [11] GSEE condemns ban on demonstrations, rallies in Athens
  • [12] Venizelos: Clear statement sought from Eurogroup that process has visible end
  • [13] DIMAR opposes government-set minimum wage
  • [14] KKE's Papariga calls on the people to 'participate in offensive struggle'
  • [15] Current, former finance ministers to be summoned over 'Lagarde List'
  • [16] Financial crimes prosecutor receives testimonies from former Finance ministers
  • [17] GSEE-ADEDY rally in Athens ends peacefully
  • [18] Invitation to draw up a media legislation by Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Kedikoglou
  • [19] 18 arrested in unionists' take-over of PPC data processing centre
  • [20] Defence Minister at NATO meeting
  • [21] Former Armaments sg Yiannis Sbokos remanded in custody
  • [22] Korean ambassador: Admiration for efforts of Greek people and government
  • [23] SI's Papandreou meets WTO general director Lamy
  • [24] National Bank: Acquisition of Eurobank a landmark in domestic banking sector
  • [25] Gov't to scrap more than 200 market regulations in bid to lower prices
  • [26] FinMin Stournaras sends letter to European taxation and customs commissioner
  • [27] Greek tourism minister's interview with 'Ethnikos Kyrikas'
  • [28] Deputy Development Minister Mytarakis departs for the U.S.
  • [29] Foreign investors' share in ASE capitalisation down in Sept.
  • [30] Business Briefs
  • [31] Stocks end moderately lower
  • [32] Greek bond market closing report
  • [33] ADEX closing report
  • [34] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [35] Greek-owned tanker 'Orpheus' missing since Saturday
  • [36] Two slightly injured in attempted metro robbery; one suspect nabbed
  • [37] Brother of Chryssi Avgi MP arrested for gun possession violation
  • [38] Northern Greece motorway reopens to traffic after wildfire is extinguished
  • [39] Tram torched at terminal station
  • [40] Wildfire blocks traffic on northern Greece motorway
  • [41] Super League result, standings
  • [42] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] FinMin: Government making every possible effort

    The government is making every possible effort to meet its commitments to its partners and materialise the programme for fiscal consolidation of the country, ensuring the country's stay in the euro, finance minister Yannis Stournaras said in a document submitted to parliament regarding the new package of austerity measures being drafted.

    The document was in reply to a question tabled by Democratic Left (DIMAR) MP Odysseas Voudouris on horizontal (across-the-board) cuts to salaries and pensions, and stated that "in a follow-up to the extended pre-electoral period, the finance ministry is called on to face the loss of crucial time for the development of the fiscal indicators" and that "the effort being made concerns the formulation of an overall strategic framework that will boost the Greek economy and broaden the tax base, tackling tax evasion and financial crime, and will take the country out of the recession zone".

    "We respect the sacrifices of the Greek people and set as our basic priority the protection of the vulnerable social groups from additional burdens," Stournaras says in the document, adding that "to date, following examination of the recommendations that have been submitted and the need to protect, in the midst of the crisis, the core of the social benefits and distribute the burdens fairly, we are drafting a composite mix of expenditure cutbacks", and noting that "as soon as the final decisions are taken there will be formal announcements by the government".

    [02] Chancellor Merkel will back Greek gov't, spokesman says

    BERLIN (AMNA / F. Karaviti)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Athens to express support for the Greek government and the "ambitious reforms" it has implemented, spokesman Steffen Seibert noted here on Monday, in response to repeated press questions focusing on the former's visit to the Greek capital on Tuesday.

    He confirmed the chancellor's meetings with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and President Karolos Papoulias, clarifying that the full programme of her visit has not been finalised as yet.

    The two leaders will discuss the situation in Greece and progress of reforms, Seibert added, expressing the German government's respect for Greece's efforts. The measures are implemented through "unbearable sacrifices", he emphasised.

    Seibert referred to the progress made by Greece in meeting a goal of reducing the budget deficit, as a percentange of GDP, to 2.5 pct, and cutting labour costs by at least 10 pct, while he underlined that Germany wants to assist Greece stabilise its position in the eurozone. He clarified that this can happen only through the implementation of reforms agreed to in exchange for the economic assistance.

    The German government spokesman noted that "Europe is in an existential crisis" and that it is a positive fact when leaders of member-states exchange visits in order to talk.

    [03] German chancellor's Athens visit

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to land at Athens International Airport at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a one-day visit to Greece seen as a symbolic sign of support for the crisis-stricken country.

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet the German Chancellor at the airport, where there will be an official reception ceremony. The two leaders will then go to the Greek premier's offices at the Maximos Mansion, where the official meeting between them will take place.

    Merkel is due to be received by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias at 4:45 p.m. and will then head for the Hilton hotel, accompanied by the Greek prime minister, in order to attend an event organised by the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce.

    Immediately afterward the end of the event at the Hilton, she will depart for the airport.

    [04] DIMAR on Merkel's visit

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) in an announcement on Monday says that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Greece gives the opportunity to the government to promote a political solution to the country's problem.

    [05] Peaceful but massive demos to meet Merkel on Tuesday, SYRIZA leader predicts

    On her arrival in Greece on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will find herself met by peaceful but massive demonstrations including all Greeks, main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras predicted on Monday.

    Commenting on the visit, Tsipras said that Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras should ensure that their talks did not cover only the additional billions being demanded of Greek workers and pensioners but also whether the German company Hochtief intended to pay more than 600 million euro in unpaid VAT owed to the Greek state, or whether German authorities intend to make public the testimony of fugitive Siemens executive Mihalis Christoforakos to a German court, so that Greeks might find out who received kickbacks from the German company.

    SYRIZA's leader stressed that the Greek people would "provide an answer" through peaceful but massive demonstrations on Tuesday, adding that what was happening in Greece was "both unprecedented and criminal".

    "In other words, with a programme whose own inventors have admitted is a dead end, they are insisting on its implementation, on an implementation that is leading us to social disintegration. And the Greek people can no longer accept this crime," he added.

    According to Tsipras, protests during the visit will be a "message of democracy" reaching far beyond Greece's borders and will provide the trigger for a major change of course for Greece and for Europe.

    "Everyone must know that if Merkel comes to Greece without having anything more to say apart from what has been said over the previous period, in other words that we must implement a failed programme, then this visit will act as a boomerang for those that inspired it. Because it will be the trigger for all Europe and all European people to learn that Greek citizens, the vast majority of Greek society, is against the prospect of the voluntary suicide that the leaders of Europe are proposing to us today. In that sense, therefore, this visit might be very useful in order for Ms. Merkel to realise that this policy cannot go on and change her strategy," he said.

    Tsipras made the statements shortly after a meeting with the civil aviation service staff union OSYPA, during which he expressed his opposition to the privatisation of local airports, centring his criticism on the failings of the existing deal with Hochtief for the new Athens airport at Spata.

    In a reply to the comments by Tsipras, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said only that Tsipras had "repeated his well-known dogma: first his party and its components and then Greece".

    [06] SYRIZA and Die Linke party leader to attend GSEE-ADEDY rally on Tuesday

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras and the president of the German Die Linke Party (Left Party) Bernd Riexinger will be participating in the rally called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) at Syntagma Square in downtown Athens at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, in light of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's one-day visit to Athens the same day.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga, heading a party delegation, will be attending a rally by the PAME labour group in Omonia Square at the same time on the same occasion.

    [07] Municipal workers' union announce participation in Tues. mobilisations

    The municipal workers' union POE-OTA on Monday announced that its members will hold a work stoppage, beginning at noon on Tuesday, to participate in a protest to take place in downtown Athens at 13 p.m.

    The sector's trade union called on its member-organisations to facilitate the mass participation of municipal workers in the rallies, scheduled in view of the German chancellor's visit to Athens.

    [08] Greek police ban gatherings and rallies in city centre, airport route during Merkel visit

    The Greek police on Monday announced that all open-air gatherings and rallies will be banned in large sections of central Athens between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, as a security precaution to "preserve the peace" during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The ban extends to all areas bounded within the roads Vassilisis Sofias Avenue, Akadimias , Kanari, Patriarchou Ioakeim, Marasli, Deinokratous, Aristodimou, Athinaion Efivon, Koniari, Tsoha, Soutsou, Panormou, Kifissias, Katechaki, Kapetan Chrona, Vlahaki, Mesogeion, Mihalakopoulou, Dionisiou Aiginitou, Potamianou Ilia, Ionos Dragoumi, V. Alexandrou, Efroniou, Sp. Merkouri, Eftichidou, Plastira Square, Archimidous, M. Mousourou, Ardittou, Vassilisis Olgas up to Vassilisis Amalias.

    The ban also extends to the sections of the above roads that comprise the limits of City of Athens, the section of the Attiki Odos highway from the Athens International airport until the junction with the Hymettus ring road with Katehaki Avenue, the section of Katehaki Avenue from the exit of the ring road up to the junction with Messogion Avenue and for a distance of 100 metres on either side of these (Attiki and Katehaki) and on all bridges, overpasses and crossings along their length and in the surrounding region policed by the Athens airport.

    The ban extends for a wide area around the Hilton hotel, where Merkel will be staying during her visit, and along the routes of her planned itinerary during her stay.

    [09] PASOK against blanket ban on demonstrations, Gennimata says

    PASOK is opposed to the general and absolute ban on rallies imposed for the German chancellor's visit, PASOK spokeswoman Fofi Gennimata said on Monday.

    "Firstly, we far that it will have the opposite results, since it will be used by some as an excuse for demonstrations that go beyond the limits of legality, and secondly, it presents the visit as a matter of public order and security when it is a very good opportunity to present in a uniform and convincing way the Greek issue and the national line, concerning the need for a comprehensive agreement for the country's final exit from the crisis as soon as possible".

    [10] SYRIZA accuses government of 'creating climate of fear'

    The main opposition Radical Left Coalition's (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group, in a statement on Monday charged that the government with "its haste to exhume a junta legislative decree on banning gatherings, close the Metro stations and create a climate of fear proves how much it fears the massive presence of the people".

    Referring to an earlier announcement by the Greek police that all open-air gatherings and rallies will be banned in central Athens between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, as a security precaution during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the SYRIZA statement further said that "our people will not be afraid, it will make them afraid", adding that "their mass and peaceful participation in tomorrow's (Tuesday) rally in Syntagma Square will constitute a live referendum against the policy of austerity. A clear no to the new barbaric measures. A message of popular sovereignty and democracy that will be sent to all of Europe and will signal the beginning of a big political change".

    [11] GSEE condemns ban on demonstrations, rallies in Athens

    The General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), Greece's largest umbrella trade union organisation representing private-sector workers, on Monday strongly condemned a decision to ban demonstrations and rallies over a large swathe of central Athens on Tuesday, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Greece.

    Slamming the ban as "unprecedented" and "undemocratic", GSEE said that social and economic problems could not be solved through bans, police measures and threats of legal sanctions but by changing pointless policies that only succeeded in leading society further into poverty and the economy into ever-greater recession.

    Both GSEE and the civil servants' union ADEDY stress that a planned rally in Syntagma Square will be carried out as planned at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and have announced a public-sector work stoppage in Attica from noon until 3:00 p.m. The PAME trade union group affiliated to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has scheduled a separate rally at Syntagma at the same time.

    Trade union protests, beginning with a GSEE-ADEDY rally in front of the finance ministry, are scheduled to start on Monday evening at 6:00 p.m.

    [12] Venizelos: Clear statement sought from Eurogroup that process has visible end

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said Monday that Greece must seek and expect a clear statement from the Eurogroup that the process has a visible end.

    Speaking on state television Net and referring to the Eurogroup meeting later on Monday, Venizelos said that "we are not expecting anything final, but we surely must seek and expect a clear statement that the process has a visible end very soon".

    On German chancellor Angela Merkel's imminent visit to Athens on Tuesday, Venizelos said that "Mrs. Merkel is welcome", adding that "we would have wanted her to have come much sooner", adding that he will be present at her Athens talks with the government.

    "I am at the disposal of the prime minister if he wishes to invite us, with Mr. Kouvelis (Democratic Left leader) to the meeting" premier Antonis Samaras is scheduled to have with Merkel, Venizelos said, opining that this would be of assistance to the country since Merkel "because of Germany, plays a decisive role, together with 3-4 other factors".

    [13] DIMAR opposes government-set minimum wage

    The Democratic Left (DIMAR), one of the junior members of the three-party coalition government, on Monday expressed its disagreement with a government-imposed minimum wage set by law. The party criticised the labour ministry's announcement for the timeframe for establishing and implementing a new mechanism for setting the minimum wage as "at the very least, unfortunate".

    DIMAR said that the coalition partners had agreed and included in their policy agreement that the government would seek a revision of the loan agreement so as to restore the "collective autonomy and validity" of collective labour agreements in accordance with established prevailing European laws and practices, where the level of wages in the private sector - including the minimum wage - was agreed through collective bargaining between employers and trade unions.

    "The level of wages in the private sector must be agreed between the social partners, with first and foremost the settlement of the minimum wage. Where the state contributes through the state budget, such as issues concerning related benefits, then it must have its special role," DIMAR's announcement said.

    [14] KKE's Papariga calls on the people to 'participate in offensive struggle'

    Opposition Communist party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday invited the workers and the financially weak to an "organized and mass offensive struggle against the monopolies".

    In a press conference at the party headquarters in Perissos, Athens, she underlined that only an offensive struggle will bring results.

    Papariga noted that the legislative clause that will define the minimum wage constitutes abolition of the collective labour contract and stressed that the essence of trade unions is being altered by being turned into charitable networks aimed at familiarizing people with poverty and exploitation.

    Asked what will be KKE's message to Merkel, she said that her party refuses to play the game that sees the EU problem as a "Merkel problem".

    Responding to a question on whether the protest mobilizations are indicative of political developments, Papariga stated that the answer lies with the trade unions, the mobilizations at the workplace and the direction of the struggle.

    Commenting on the upcoming visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Athens, she said that "objectively speaking, a joint exploitation of natural resources in the Aegean, in essence, means abandonment of all efforts supposedly made by a government in support of its country's sovereign rights."

    Meanwhile, a statement by the KKE press office, in view of Chancellor Merkel's visit to Athens on Tuesday, underlined that the police measures taken should be met with the appropriate response to be given by the massive participation in the Communist Party-affiliated PAME trade union grouping demonstrations.

    The KKE also condemned the "show of force displayed by the government of New Democracy (ND), PASOK and Democratic Left (DEM.AR)".

    [15] Current, former finance ministers to be summoned over 'Lagarde List'

    The Parliamentary Committee on Institutions and Transparency on Monday decided to summon Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and his three immediate predecessors - Philippos Sahinidis, Evangelos Venizelos and George Papaconstantinou - to brief the committee concerning the 'Lagarde list' of Greeks with large Swiss bank accounts.

    Papaconstantinou and Venizelos, who is now PASOK party leader, will brief the committee on Thursday at 10 in the morning and Stournaras and Sahinidis on Friday.

    Meanwhile, Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) head Stelios Stasinopoulos confirmed during his marathon testimony before the same committee that checks are under way for 32 political figures, stressing that the number of those being checked is far greater that those publicised.

    [16] Financial crimes prosecutor receives testimonies from former Finance ministers

    Financial crimes prosecutor Grigoris Peponis has received, among others the testimonies of former finance ministers George Paconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos, in the framework of the investigation on the "Lagarde list".

    According to reports, Peponis has asked the Finance ministry to send to him the accompanying document of the French Economy ministry that was brought with the controversial list of the 1,991 depositors at the HBS bank in Switzerland.

    [17] GSEE-ADEDY rally in Athens ends peacefully

    Thousands of working people participated in Monday's rally organised in Syntagma Square in Athens by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) against the measures being promoted and the austerity policy, with the main slogan calling for a rejection of "the measures that annihilate society and the economy".

    According to the police, demonstrators numbered about six thousand. The rally was concluded peacefully, while it was addressed by leaders of the country's main trade unions.

    "The Greek working people are sending a message of protest to the government with a mass struggle and peaceful rallies," said GSEE spokesman Stathis Anestis.

    ADEDY president Costas Tsikrikas, speaking to AMNA, termed the measures "inhuman and ineffective" and called on working people to reverse the memorandum and the measures emanating from it.

    In light of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Athens on Tuesday, Tsikrikas noted that "we are not opposed to the German people, but to the recession policies which Germany imposes to all Europe."

    [18] Invitation to draw up a media legislation by Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Kedikoglou

    Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister responsible for media issues and Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Monday extended an invitation for cooperation to all democratic forces to jointly and transparently draw up a legislation that will regulate the media sector for the next 20 years while taking under consideration the human being.

    Addressing parliament within the framework of a current question tabled by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MP Dimitris Papadimoulis on the operation of television channels broadcasting nationally, Kedikoglou stated that the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is determined to set up a stable, serious and lasting legal framework.

    Kedikoglou stated characteristically that entrepreneurship in the media sector is necessary, underlining the importance of a properly designed legal environment. He said that the digital broadcast frequency map has already been approved, adding that television channels will receive their licenses based on the specific map and following a public debate.

    [19] 18 arrested in unionists' take-over of PPC data processing centre

    Eighteen people were arrested in the first hours of Monday as police stormed the Public Power Corporation's (PPC) data processing center in northern Athens to break up a takeover of the building by PPC unionists on Sunday evening who charged that a property tax tacked on to electricity bills is a "scandal against poor people".

    Among those arrested was Nikos Fotopoulos, the president of the GENOP-DEH union which represents the PPC employees. The arrestees are charged with disturbing the peace, and are being held at the Attica security police headquarters.

    Fotopoulos had said on Sunday that the take-over will continue until the "specific data is confirmed", while promising a news conference to outcome his claims.

    He also said the action occurred to prevent a "cover-up".

    [20] Defence Minister at NATO meeting

    Defence Minister Panos Panayotopoulos will represent Greece at the NATO Defence Ministers meeting that will take place in Brussels on 9-10 October.

    The safeguarding of the security level in a period of crisis will be among the issues to be discussed in the meeting.

    [21] Former Armaments sg Yiannis Sbokos remanded in custody

    Former Armeaments secretary general Yiannis Sbokos testified for many hours before the investigator of the former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos case on Monday and was remanded in culstody.

    The defendant reportedly denied the charge of legalisation of revenues from illegal activity. According to reports he claims that Akis Tsohatzopoulos, when he found himself in a bad economic state, demanded money from him considering that he received "benefits" from his post at the Armaments Department at the Defence ministry.

    Consequently, according to reports, he also explains the references of the former minister in his notes about money he asked for. He reportedly claims that he received threats to his life and had been threatened by phone by Vicky Stamati as well. In 2010, as he reportedly stresses, his car was burnt as well.

    As regards allegations that "black" money had been invested through the finance company of his father-in-law, Sbokos denied it saying that the specific company has been checked.

    [22] Korean ambassador: Admiration for efforts of Greek people and government

    South Korean ambassador to Athens Gil-Sou Shing expressed admiration for the efforts of the Greek people and government to exit the economic crisis, during celebrations for the S. Korean national day at a central Athens hotel on Sunday evening.

    During the event, the ambassador of one of the 20 most powerful economies of the world (G20) and an important trade partner of Greece also paid tribute to the Greeks that fought on the Korean War, adding that they became a bridge between the two countries and the backbone for the blossoming of bilateral relations.

    On bilateral trade relations, the ambassador described as important the building of Greek-owned merchant ships by Korean shipyards, while he also said that an increasing number of Koreans were opting for Greece as a tourist destination, and particularly the Greek islands, with Santorini as the top destination.

    [23] SI's Papandreou meets WTO general director Lamy

    Socialist International (SI) President and foremer Greek prime minister George Papandreou held a meeting with the geeneral director of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy at the organisation's head office in Geneva on Monday.

    They exchanged views during the meeting on developments in the world economy and the repercussions of the crisis, the situation in the European Union and Greece.

    Financial News

    [24] National Bank: Acquisition of Eurobank a landmark in domestic banking sector

    National Bank's public offer to acquire Eurobank is the most significant step, so far, in successfully implementing the bank's strategy, which focuses on adequate and rapid recapitalisation, boosting liquidity, rationalising operating costs and containing bad debt provisions, Alexandros Tourkolias, the bank's chief executive, told National Bank's employees.

    Bank sources said Tourkolias, in his message, stressed that this move will significantly contribute in strengthening the group, restructuring and consolidating the domestic banking system and helping in the recovery of the Greek economy.

    The acquisition will become a landmark moment for both credit institutions, since completion of the deal will create a single group with assets of around 180 billion euros, a leader in the domestic banking market and one of the top financial groups in Europe.

    The new group will operate a network of 925 branches in Greece and 1,700 units in SE Europe, while it will offer significant benefits through scale economics and operating synergies.

    "We have to deal with one of the biggest challenges in the history of the Greek banking system. The big experience in acquisitions and mergers by the two managements and the high quality of the two banks' personnel, are offering me the certainty and optimism over a successful completion of this very demanding project. Job completion in the new organization will be made using executives from both banks, in a fully transparency way. I look forward to welcoming Eurobank's executives and staff in National Bank's big family soon," National Bank's CEO said.

    [25] Gov't to scrap more than 200 market regulations in bid to lower prices

    The development, infrastructure, transport and networks ministry on Monday unveiled plans to scrap hundreds of largely out-dated market regulations, reducing them from a current 363 to just 144, in a bid to cut the administrative burden on businesses that it hopes will lead to a reduction in prices of products and services.

    In a joint press conference with the health ministry, Deputy Development Minister Athanassios Skordas said many of the market regulations being abolished were outdated and had been "overtaken" by developments, while others created 'protected markets' that drove up prices.

    Among the changes is a reduction in the weight allowance for packaging materials that is expected to a 1 percent reduction in prices, changes in rules for the sale of firewood (by volume instead of by weight), analytical display of final prices in receipts and menus to include VAT and other costs and a ban on offering customers any good or service they have not specifically ordered (bottled water, etc).

    The new rules also scrap restrictions on the sale of certain categories of foods by shops based on building coverage and other restrictions and obligations, such as that requiring bakeries to hold salt reserves or operate ovens for cooking food and others.

    Concerning measures to restrict fuel scams, Skordas said that the technical specifications for a system to check inflows and outflows will be announced next week, while tighter restrictions on pump sealing will be imposed.

    [26] FinMin Stournaras sends letter to European taxation and customs commissioner

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has sent a letter to European Commissioner responsible for taxation and customs issues Algirdas Semeta regarding the European Commisssion's proposal on the creation of a harmonised tax system for fiscal transactions.

    The letter stresses the Greek government's support for the harmonised implementation of the tax on fiscal transactions, based on the European Commission's proposals, but it is also stressed that the economic consequences must be evaluated that such a measure will have on issues concerning tax evasion, distortions, etc.

    [27] Greek tourism minister's interview with 'Ethnikos Kyrikas'

    Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni stressed the importance of Greece's diaspora in the country's efforts to reform and restructure its economy, in an interview with the Greek-language "Ethnikos Kyrikas" newspaper published in New York.

    "Our expatriates are the vanguard, they are the first in the battle for a new Greece and we know this," Kefalogianni said, outlining the government's goal to promote Greek tourism in the massive North American market.

    Kefalogianni is visiting the United States in order to attend the Greek Investment Forum 2012 entitled "Greece under Reform: Creating Growth-Revealing Opportunities" organized by the Athens Exchange and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in New York and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund. The forum will take place in October 9 - 11, 2012 at Bloomberg Headquarters.

    The minister is due to give a speech on "Tourism, a fundamental pillar of growth for Greece" and will have a series of meetings with major tour operators, as well as granting interviews to the American media designed to promote Greece's tourism abroad in which she will stress the country's political stability at this time.

    [28] Deputy Development Minister Mytarakis departs for the U.S.

    Deputy Development Minister Notis Mytarakis departed for the United States on Monday afternoon to participate in the 1st Investments Forum that will be jointly organised by the Athens Stock Exchange and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in New York on October 9-10.

    Mytarakis will address the conference that will be taking place at Bloomberg's headquarters on the theme "Promoting reforms in Greece for the attraction of investments", in which representatives of funds and businesess have been invited to participate.

    The deputy minister will be having a series of contacts on the sidelines of the conference with representatives of international investments capital companies participating in the Greek investments Forum, while he will also be participating in the press conference for representatives of the international press.

    [29] Foreign investors' share in ASE capitalisation down in Sept.

    Foreign investors' participation in the capitalisation of the Athens Stock Exchange fell to 49.7 pct in September, from 51.5 pct in August and 50.8 pct in September 2011, while Greek investors raised their participation in the market to 48.8 pct in September from 47.1 pct in August, official figures showed on Monday.

    In September, foreign investors were net sellers with capital outflows totaling 11.36 million euros, while Greek investors were net buyers with capital inflows totaling 14.51 million euros.

    Foreign investors accounted for 30 pct of turnover in September, down from 35.2 pct in the previous month, while Greek investors accounted for 45.2 pct of turnover (up from 34.8 pct in August). Greek institutional investors accounted for 22 pct of turnover in the month.

    The value of transactions totaled 1.266 billion euros in September, up 162.2 pct from August, but down 3.1 pct from September 2011. Average daily turnover in September was 63.3 million euros, up from 21.94 million euros in August and down from 59.37 million euros in September.

    The number of active investor codes rose to 35,999 in September from 20,025 in August.

    The market's capitalisation totaled 28,34 billion euros at the end of September, up 12.2 pct from a month earlier, but down 12.2 pct from September 2011.

    [30] Business Briefs

    -- Tourist arrivals at Greek airports fell by 2.46 pct in the January-September period this year, compared with the corresponding period in 2011, totaling 10,301,155 visitors, official figures showed on Monday.

    [31] Stocks end moderately lower

    Stocks ended lower in the first trading session of the week at the Athens Stock Exchange as investors took profits ahead of a crucial Eurogroup meeting and German Chancellor's visit to Athens on Tuesday.

    The shares of National Bank and Eurobank jumped higher after the market's watchdog lifted a share trading suspension. The composite index of the market eased 0.59 pct to end at 825.09 points, after rising as much as 2.22 pct early in the session. Turnover was a massive 92.827 million euros.

    The Big Cap index fell 0.45 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.74 pct lower. The Technology (7.45 pct) and Banks (1.12 pct) sectors scored gains, while Financial Services (3.23 pct), Telecoms (2.90 pct) and Commerce (2.43 pct) suffered losses. National Bank (5.74 pct) and Eurobank (5.13 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Alpha Bank (5.42 pct), Ellaktor (3.98 pct) and MIG (3.34 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 92 to 69 with another 14 issues unchanged. Xylemporia (26.09 pct), Aegek (19.85 pct) and Varvaresos (18.92 pct) were top gainers, while Logismos (29.64 pct), Pasal (23.05 pct) and Douros (20 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.59%

    Commercial: -2.43%

    Construction -0.68%

    Oil & Gas: +0.83%

    Personal & Household: Unchanged

    Raw Materials: -1.80%

    Travel & Leisure: -2.00%

    Technology: +7.45%

    Telecoms: -2.90%

    Banks: +1.12%

    Food & Beverages: -1.28%

    Health: -1.58%

    Utilities: +0.52%

    Financial Services: -3.23%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.92

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.15

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.91

    National Bank of Greece: 2.21

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 1.23

    OPAP: 4.37

    OTE: 3.35

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.49

    Titan: 14.87

    [32] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank significantly to 16.99 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 17.74 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 18.38 pct and the German Bund 1.47 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 0.66 pct, the six-month rate was 0.43 pct, the three-month rate was 0.22 pct and the one-month rate was 0.11 pct.

    [33] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.32 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover rising to 27.633 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,354 contracts worth 12.770 million euros, with 32,177 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 77,509 contracts worth 14.863 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (29,375), followed by Alpha Bank (13,130), Cyprus Bank (6,444), MIG (1,120), OTE (3,176), PPC (2,035), OPAP (2,356), Piraeus Bank (10,268), Eurobank (6,152), Intralot (936) and Mytilineos (424).

    [34] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.315

    Pound sterling 0.820

    Danish kroner 7.568

    Swedish kroner 8.734

    Japanese yen 102.97

    Swiss franc 1.229

    Norwegian kroner 7.513

    Canadian dollar 1.287

    Australian dollar 1.291

    General News

    [35] Greek-owned tanker 'Orpheus' missing since Saturday

    The Greek-owned tanker "Orpheus", sailing under a Bahamas flag, has been missing since Saturday according to an announcement issued by the shipping company Grace Management SA on Monday.

    The company said the ship had anchored off Abidjan, on the Ivory Coast, while its last known location showed it heading toward Lagos in Nigeria.

    The tanker had a crew of 24, of which the skipper and first engineer were Greek nationals and the remaining 22 were Filipinos. It was carrying 32,000 tonnes petrol.

    [36] Two slightly injured in attempted metro robbery; one suspect nabbed

    Two people were injured early afternoon on Monday in an attempted armed robbery at the Athens Fix metro station.

    Police said that two unidentified individuals tried to rob a Western Union currency exchange office located at the metro station. A 70-year-old local man and a Bangladeshi national waiting to board a metro train were slightly injured when one of the robbers dropped his gun, causing it to discharge.

    One of the suspects was arrested shortly after the incident, following a police chase, police said.

    [37] Brother of Chryssi Avgi MP arrested for gun possession violation

    The brother of opposition Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) ultra-right party MP Elias Kassidiaris is accused of gun possession violation, it was announced on Monday.

    Alexandros Kassidiaris, a Greek army officer, was arrested in a restaurant in Thessaloniki's Analipsi district when police found in his possession a CZ 9 mm hand pistol used in firearms training. Owners of such guns can only use them in shooting galleries and are not allowed to carry them in public areas.

    The suspect was handed over to the responsible military authorities.

    [38] Northern Greece motorway reopens to traffic after wildfire is extinguished

    The Thessaloniki-Evzoni national motorway in northern Greece reopened on Monday afternoon after being closed to traffic for a couple of hours at the Akropotamos site as a result of a brushfire which is now extinguished.

    Earlier, traffic was diverted to provincial roads for safety reasons as visibility was poor due to the thick smoke that covered the area.

    [39] Tram torched at terminal station

    An explosion in a tram wagon was reported early Monday at the tram terminal station in Neo Faliro.

    Three unknown individuals broke the window of a tram wagon, disembarked an elderly woman who was on board and afterwards left a bag which contained five gas canisters and a flammable liquid, set fire to the home-made incendiary device and fled.

    Extensive damage was caused to two tram wagons, but no injuries were reported

    [40] Wildfire blocks traffic on northern Greece motorway

    The Thessaloniki-Evzoni national motorway in northern Greece closed on Monday afternoon at the Akropotamos site as a result of a brushfire that broke out in the region, it was announced in early afternoon on Monday. Traffic was diverted to provincial roads, while visibility was poor due to the thick smoke that covered the area.

    Soccer

    [41] Super League result, standings

    Panthrakikos Komotini beat Levadiakos Livadia 3-0 away in a Super League game played on Monday evening.

    Standings after six weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 18

    2. Panionios 15

    3. PAOK 13

    4. Platanias 11

    5. Asteras 10

    6. Atromitos 9

    7. Veria 8

    8. Panathinaikos 7

    9. OFI 6

    10. Panthrakikos 6

    11. Aris 5

    12. Xanthi 5

    13. PAS Yiannina 5

    14. Kerkyra 5

    15. Levadiakos 4

    16. AEK 2

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.

    [42] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The Eurogroup meeting on Monday and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Athens on Tuesday, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Optimism over Merkel's visit".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New cutbacks in private sector".

    ESTIA: "Memorandum or street protests".

    ETHNOS: "Alarm over Merkel and Eurogroup".

    IMERISSIA: "The new National Bank of Greece the key for the markets' opening".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The solution to the Greek problem in the final stretch".

    TA NEA: "Will she (Merkel) give the OK for the disbursement of the tranche?".

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