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

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

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

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 Issue No: 4195

CONTENTS

  • [01] Merkel-Samaras: Determination to 'solve problems'; former cites key troika report
  • [02] German chancellor received by President Papoulias
  • [03] PASOK party on Merkel visit
  • [04] DI.MAR party on Merkel visit
  • [05] SYRIZA leader: Europe of people will defeat Europe of austerity
  • [06] SYRIZA leader Tsipras says Merkel visit 'big political fiasco'
  • [07] SYRIZA's Tsipras sends 'message to Merkel' in Guardian article
  • [08] Government spokesman Kedikoglou replies to SYRIZA leader Tsipras
  • [09] Ind'p Greeks party deliver petition to German embassy
  • [10] Golden Dawn party on Merkel visit
  • [11] KKE on Merkel visit to Athens
  • [12] Greek businesses call for wider European solution to the crisis
  • [13] Athens anti-austerity rally ends
  • [14] Demonstrations against austerity measures; protestors clash with police outside Parliament barricade
  • [15] Police detain 90, make two arrests as part of security operation for Merkel visit
  • [16] Gov't source: Bailout issues to be settled as package, deal at EU summit 'difficult'
  • [17] Greek FM to receive Turkey's Davutoglu on Wednesday
  • [18] Malmstrom reviews measures to tackle illegal migration problem
  • [19] EU Commissioner Malmstrom tours migrant detention centres
  • [20] Former FinMin on 'Lagarde list'
  • [21] Administration Reform Minister satisfied over restructuring progress
  • [22] Eurogroup: Implementation of adjustment programme by Oct. 18
  • [23] FinMin: Satisfaction with Troika's positive comments on Greece's performance
  • [24] Deputy Development minister addresses investments forum on Greece
  • [25] Greek inflation rate slows to 0.9% in Sept.
  • [26] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from 6-month T-bill auction
  • [27] Business Briefs
  • [28] Stocks end moderately up
  • [29] Greek bond market closing report
  • [30] ADEX closing report
  • [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [32] University of the Aegean suspends operation
  • [33] Anonymous' hackers down government websites
  • [34] Lawyers, doctors, pharmacists and court bailiffs to strike on October17
  • [35] Contraband cigarettes, bogus brand name items seized in warehouse raid
  • [36] Ieronymos in Edessa, Pella next week for liberation anniversary
  • [37] Arrest for antiquities smuggling
  • [38] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Merkel-Samaras: Determination to 'solve problems'; former cites key troika report

    Hope for an end to Greece's problems was beginning to emerge, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in joint statements with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at her side, after private talks in Athens on Tuesday.

    "I hope and want Greece to remain in the eurozone," she emphasised, acknowledging that the country was going through difficult times, but also her conviction that it was worth staying the course and that the two sides must work to solve problems. At the same time, she underlined that this would depend on the report of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), collectively known as the "troika", which would indicate whether Greece had met the conditions that would allow this to happen.

    Merkel admitted that the Greek people, especially, were suffering and that a great deal was being asked of them, as the country struggled to regain credibility. At the same time, she noted the progress ascertained during Monday's Eurogroup meeting and said that "a large part of the distance has been covered," so that even though the journey was difficult, it is worth while for Greece to complete it".

    On a practical level, she said bilateral cooperation will be reinforced and that Germany will do everything in its power on issues concerning investments, health and local administration, among others.

    Replying to questions on when Greece can expect to receive the next tranche of bailout loans, she noted that "to work in depth is more important than to be fast. We are pressing things but credibility must be regained".

    "It is our common interest to regain our credibility in Europe and show that we can solve our problems. We discussed the next steps. Also, we will promote bilateral issues and boost bilateral cooperation," she said, referring to the presence of the EU Task Force in Greece and Germany's Deputy Minister Hans-Joachim Fuchtel.

    The German chancellor spoke about a need for measures to boost growth alongside the austerity measures, promising that Germany will support action to enable Greece to receive money from the European Investment Fund.

    She also underlined that a good outcome for Greece was in Germany's "best interests"

    "We have a common currency, 60 percent of Germany's exports are to Europe and 40 percent to the Eurozone. If one is not doing well, then no one is doing well. The road is tough but it leads to success. Not everything has been achieved but important steps have been made," she said.

    Replying to a question put by AMNA concerning her visit, Merkel noted that she believed in face-to-face contacts between politicians as a way of coming up with new solutions to problems.

    "I am here to have a better view of what is happening in Greece, to understand what is happening and acquire oversight and a deep understanding of things so that I can help in finding a solution," she said.

    Earlier, the Greek premier had launched a joint press conference by underlining Greece's determination to stay in the eurozone and to meet its commitments under the bailout agreements, but he also stressed that beating the recession and soaring unemployment was a key condition for success. He added that Greeks "do not ask for more money but time to get up and stand on their own two feet."

    "Greece has turned a new page. Our credibility has been restored impressively and Mrs Merkel is one of the first leaders to recognize this," he said, adding that in his meeting with the chancellor "we ascertained sincerity, mutual understanding, solidarity and a feeling that we can overcome ... the problems that plague Europe, as Europe is our family."

    Samaras also repeatedly stressed that the Greek people, though suffering, were firmly behind the effort to stay in the eurozone and to carry out long overdue structural reforms. He noted that the chancellor had shown "complete understanding and respect" and stressed that the sacrifices would not be in vain.

    "We discussed practical ways of cooperating, especially in areas such as health and local government. Greece has much to gain from German technology and knowhow. Ms Merkel expressed her decision to help Greece. In a short space of time, Greece's success will overcome the crisis and will be a success for Europe. All those betting on Greece failing and the EU being harmed will lose the wager," he stressed.

    Replying to questions on whether he was confident that Greece would remain in the eurozone, Samaras replied that the "country's enemy is recession" and that Greece was only asking for "the right to fight and win". He expressed his confidence that all of the EU, united under the euro, will want to help Greece and recognised the sacrifices made by the suffering Greek people.

    He also noted that Merkel's visit had helped "break the international isolation that existed as a result of our own mistakes, also. The effort is constant, over and above deadlines. Greece will succeed," he said.

    The Greek prime minister and German chancellor then walked across the street to the adjacent presidential mansion, where Merkel was received by Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

    Merkel arrived in Athens just after 1 p.m. (11 GMT) on Tuesday for her first visit to the east Mediterranean country since the unprecedented eurozone and economic crisis devastated Greece after October 2009.

    She was greeted at the airport by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, before receiving head of state honours.

    They then made their way to Samaras' Maximos Mansion office for official talks, followed by a joint press conference carried live on television.

    Top government ministers on hand at the airport included Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

    [02] German chancellor received by President Papoulias

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, who met Papoulias immediately after holdings talks and a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    Greeting the German leader, the president noted that the Greek people "could not endure much more" and stressed the importance of her visit at these critical moments, saying that the country needed "measures of hope to deal with unemployment, measures for growth".

    Merkel noted that she came to Greece "as a friend" and understood the difficulties facing the country, adding that she wants to help and support Greece.

    [03] PASOK party on Merkel visit

    The PASOK party terms as very positive the fact alone of the visit to Athens by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to party sources.

    The same sources, due to the absence of official information, were reserved, saying that PASOK is waiting for this information from the prime minister on the meeting and his talks with Merkel, as well as from the economic staff on Monday's Eurogroup meeting.

    They same PASOK sources consider as a "fact of great importance" that Chancellor Merkel, just like the European partners in general, recognise the sacrifices of the Greek people and the efforts made by the country over the past two and a half years.

    The sources also underline that officials outside Greece recognise that the country has covered a large part of the road, but there is still a great deal to be covered.

    [04] DI.MAR party on Merkel visit

    "What is crucial for us is for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting to be productive; we have confidence in the government and the prime minister," Democratic Left party spokesman Andreas Papadopoulos said on Tuesday.

    Asked about various protests scheduled in a handful of spots in central Athens on the occasion of the German chancellor's visit, he noted: "I find them very natural, it is logical for people to be indignant, but at this moment political realism should prevail ...We hope that (political) extreme actions will not take place".

    Referring to the banning of rallies in the centre of the city, he said he believes this decision was pointless.

    [05] SYRIZA leader: Europe of people will defeat Europe of austerity

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Greece will serve to bring a message that the Europe of the people will prevail over the Europe of bailout memorandums and austerity, the head of the country's main opposition party 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA-EKM) Alexis Tsipras said shortly after Merkel's arrival in Athens on Tuesday.

    Tsipras made the statement at a protest rally in Syntagma Square opposite Parliament, which he took part in with accompanied by the head of the German left-wing opposition party Die Linke Bernd Riexinger.

    SYRIZA's leader said that the German chancellor was coming to Athens to support the "Merkelists" of Greece, namely Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the heads of the two smaller parties in the coalition government, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DI.MAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis.

    According to Tsipras, the punishing new austerity measures demanded by Greece's creditors, combined with revelations that the government has been 'sitting' on a list of potential tax-evaders that may have spirited their wealth abroad, have left the coalition government teetering on the brink and in danger from people's rage and frustration.

    "She is coming to support them but what she will accomplish is to give the Greek people a message that the Europe of the people will defeat the Europe of memorandums and barbarity. The symbolic presence here today of the leader of the German Left indicates that we have nothing against peoples. The tradition of democracy and of Europe does not allow us to be turned into guinea-pigs," he stressed.

    [06] SYRIZA leader Tsipras says Merkel visit 'big political fiasco'

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, addressing the inauguration of the Greek branch of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on Tuesday evening and commenting on the outcome of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Greece the same day, spoke of a "big political fiasco".

    Tsipras said, in his extensive reference to Merkel's visit, that the German chancellor had "nothing new to bring, apart from the confirmation of the deadlock and her insistence on the mistake" and pointed out that her visit to Athens "proved to be a big political fiasco".

    Tsipras added that "she only came to support the ramshackle government and the disastrous memorandum, the new measures for 13.5 billion, which will sink Greece even more if they are implemented and will destabilise Europe even more".

    [07] SYRIZA's Tsipras sends 'message to Merkel' in Guardian article

    With an article printed in the British newspaper "The Guardian" entitled "The Greek Message to Angela Merkel" late on Monday, main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA-EKM) party leader Alexis Tsipras warned Germany's chancellor that the cycle of austerity and recession in Greece cannot continue.

    Tsipras noted that Greece was now in its fifth consecutive year of recession since the crisis began, starting with the spillover from the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 but since then deepened by the austerity policies imposed as a 'medicine' for Greece's debt.

    He stresses that these policies are devastating for the Greek people and have cost the country 22 percent of its GDP over that period, while unemployment, especially among young people, has soared.

    Among others, he also notes that the loans paid for by European taxpayers do not go to ordinary Greeks at all but into an 'escrow' account used exclusively to repay past loans and recapitalise near bankrupt private banks and cannot be used to pay salaries and pensions or to finance health, welfare or education spending.

    "The precondition for these loans is even more austerity, paralysing the Greek economy and increasing the possibility of default. If there is a risk of European taxpayers losing their money, it is created by austerity," Tsipras emphasises, stressing that this has to stop and that Europe needs a 'new plan' that challenges neoliberalism and can lead European economies back to recovery.

    At another point in the article, he also suggests that the policies being imposed on Greece are not an attempt to resolve the country's debt issues but to set up a new 'architecture' for Europe: "We believe that their aim is not to solve the debt crisis but to create a new regulatory framework throughout Europe that is based on cheap labour, deregulation of the labour market, low public spending and tax exemptions for capital."

    The complete article is available on the Guardian website at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/08/greek-message-for-angela-merkel

    [08] Government spokesman Kedikoglou replies to SYRIZA leader Tsipras

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, replying on Tuesday to statements made earlier in the day by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, said "Mr. Tsipras remains out of place and time".

    He added that "at a time when Greece is breaking its isolation, he is doing all he can to keep it isolated".

    [09] Ind'p Greeks party deliver petition to German embassy

    The opposition Independent Greeks party's parliamentary group, headed by its leader Panos Kammenos, on Tuesday delivered a petition to the German embassy in central Athens.

    The petition, which was posted on the embassy door after the German diplomatic mission declined to receive it, said, among others, that it "is addressed to the German people", while also alleging that an "anti-Greek propaganda" is being carried out. The party also demanded that the so-called German "occupation loan" taken from occupied Greece during WWII be repaid.

    [10] Golden Dawn party on Merkel visit

    The opposition Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) party, in an announcement on Tuesday on the visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stressed that "the miserable Greek leadership did not dare to demand the self-evident from the usurer Merkel, meaning the participation of the European Central Bank in the restructuring of the Greek debt and the riddance of our country from the cost of the banks' recapitalisation".

    The announcement added that "the coalition government's policy of submission will lead to a new memorandum and the final ceding of national sovereignty".

    [11] KKE on Merkel visit to Athens

    The Communist Party (KKE) on Tuesday referred to statements made by the prime minister and visiting German chancellor, stressing "they prove that those who insist that only the troika is to blame mislead the people, because they conceal the responsibility and the strategy followed by the EU, IMF and ECB."

    A statement by the KKE press office noted that "Merkel cynically repeated what it has already been said by the troika and the rest EU leaders, that the people should accept the cruel sacrifices condemning them to poverty and destitution."

    The KKE statement underlined that "the memorandum of cooperation signed by Merkel and (former Prime Minister) Papandreou is being enriched. The joint businesses by the German and Greek capitalists, aside from the Helios photovoltaic project and the privatizations, will also include the so-called waste management sector namely the highly profitable environmental industry."

    [12] Greek businesses call for wider European solution to the crisis

    The head of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises -Greece's largest employers union- on Tuesday recommended that the fiscal problems facing Greece and other South European states should be included in a wider European solution to the crisis.

    Addressing a meeting between Greek and German businessmen with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Dimitris Daskalopoulos underlined that there should be no more cuts in lower wages, or a government legislation over the issue and requested the German Chancellor's intervention to help in negotiations with the troika towards this direction. The president of the Federation stressed that a new package of austerity measures was inevitable but at the same time was socially unfair and offered no way out, while he underlined that the only way out of the crisis was to have two stronger packages, one promoting structural reforms and the other promoting economic growth.

    He noted that extremely tough austerity measures proved to be ineffective so far, while necessary structural changes were undermined by a political system that resisted the need to change.

    Daskalopoulos said that an impressive fiscal improvement in the country resulted in 600,000 unemployed people in the private sector of the economy and in a continuing dramatic decline of the living standard for the majority of Greek citizens. He also underlined that the economic and political failure of the memorandum led to the distruction of the country's productive sector, to poverty and to justified social unrest combined with a dangerous rise of political extremism. He noted that Greek businesses were suffocating from lack of liquidity and called for actions to create an environment supporting investments and development initiatives.

    [13] Athens anti-austerity rally ends

    Clashes with police prematurely ended a massive anti-austerity demonstration held in the centre of Athens on Tuesday to coincide with a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to the trade unions organising the rally, there were at least 80,000 people at the largely peaceful protest, which was finally dispersed by a police operation against the inevitable hood-wearing 'anarchists' that have dogged Greek demon-strations in past decades.

    The clashes with police were sparked when a group of roughly 100 anti-establishment demonstrators attacked riot police guarding a barricade outside Parliament, at the same time as German Chancellor Angela Merkel was holding talks with the Greek prime minister at the Maximos Mansion nearby.

    The violence quickly spread, with peaceful protestors forced back from the square after police responded by using flash-bang grenades and tear gas. The hooded youths then gathered in the centre of Syntagma Square and attacked a riot control police unit stationed outside Grande Bretagne Hotel on Vasilissis Sophia's Street using rocks and pieces of wood.

    Police gradually forced the protesters to move towards Panepistimiou Street and the action briefly migrated to the corner of Edouardos Lo and Stadiou Streets, were several people were detained. Later on, tension was again high around Syntagma Square and the large Athens hotels, where protestors and police continued to "battle" with stones and extensive use of tear gas.

    The non-violent demonstrators soon departed, while minor incidents are still taking place in streets surrounding the square and police are continuing to detain protestors. An ambulance and two ambulance service motorcycles were called into Square during the clashes to give first aid to people at the centre of the square and at least one injured person was picked up.

    The protest rally was organised by Greece's two largest umbrella trade union organisations, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) representing private-sector workers and the civil servants' union federation ADEDY.

    [14] Demonstrations against austerity measures; protestors clash with police outside Parliament barricade

    A mass demonstration against the memorandum and the austerity measures was underway in downtown Athens on Tuesday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel was holding talks with the Greek prime minister at the Maximos Mansion nearby.

    Peaceful protesters were being forced back from the square later in the afternoon as a result of the chemicals used by police against a group of roughly 100 protestors wearing hoods over their heads, who gathered in the center of Syntagma Square and attacked a riot control police unit stationed outside Grande Bretagne Hotel on Vasilissis Sophia's Street using rocks and pieces of wood.

    Roughly 80,000 demonstrators participated in the protest rally at Syntagma Square expressing their opposition to the memorandum and the austerity measures, according to the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE).

    The protest demonstration remains solid at the corner of Stadiou and Karagiorgi Servias Streets and on Vasilissis Amalias Street. Most of the protesters demonstrating under the banners of the Communist Party-affiliated PAME trade union grouping have already left the area.

    The clashes with police at Syntagma Square started when a group attacked police stationed to guard a barricade set up outside the entrance to Parliament. Police responded by using flash-bang grenades and some tear gas, forcing the protesters to move towards Panepistimiou Street.

    Later on, the clashes between protestors and riot police moved to the corner of Edouardos Lo and Stadiou Streets, were several people were detained. Later on, tension was high around Syntagma Square and the large Athens hotels, where protestors and police continued to "battle" with stones and extensive use of tear gas.

    [15] Police detain 90, make two arrests as part of security operation for Merkel visit

    Police on Tuesday detained 90 people in Athens and various other locations in Attica, proceeding to make two arrests, in the framework of a massive security operation seeking to prevent violent protests during a visit to Greece by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The two individuals arrested will be led before a public prosecutor after they were found carrying cans of pepper spray and a smoke bomb.

    One of those detained in the Athens district of Haidari is facing charges as a member of the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" but has been released with conditions.

    In another detention carried out as a precautionary measure, police picked up a medical doctor who is also general secretary of staff union at Agios Savvas on Ermou Street. This prompted a protest in support of the detained doctor outside the central police headquarters on Alexandras Avenue, next door to the hospital, demanding his release.

    [16] Gov't source: Bailout issues to be settled as package, deal at EU summit 'difficult'

    All the issues in the agreement for Greece will be raised as a 'package' rather than individually, a high-ranking source within the government told reporters after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel concluded their joint press conference on Tuesday.

    According to the same source, the issue of extending the loan period for Greece has been raised, with the German chancellor's replying "let's discuss it," while there is little chance of an agreement being reached at the European leaders' summit on October 17-18. The same official said that the target is for the summit to authorise the next Eurogroup meeting or an emergency Eurogroup meeting to disburse the next tranche of bailout loans.

    [17] Greek FM to receive Turkey's Davutoglu on Wednesday

    Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will meet with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu late on Wednesday morning at the foreign ministry in Athens.

    The two delegations will hold consultations, followed by statements to reporters at roughly 13:30.

    Afterwards, Avramopoulos will host a working luncheon in honor of his Turkish counterpart.

    [18] Malmstrom reviews measures to tackle illegal migration problem

    EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Tuesday confirmed the Greek government's strong commitment to tackle the illegal migration problem menacing the country, while she noted that the European Commission is ready to help the country with additional funds and technical assistance.

    Malmstrom said the Union was taking under consideration the intense pressure stemming from illegal migration (now mostly Third World nationals smuggled into Greece via neighbouring Turkey) and the economic crisis.

    In a press conference following her two-day visit to Greece, she stressed "there is programme, planning, coordination and political will".

    During her visit she met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Shipping & Aegean Minister Costas Mousouroulis and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias, with whom she agreed on the implementation of an action plan.

    Malmstrom acknowledged the progress made with the creation of new migrant reception centres and a migrant readmission programme currently into effect, while noting, however, that a better asylum granting system will have to be set up to quickly respond to relevant requests. She also added that living conditions in certain reception centres need improvement.

    The EU Commissioner pledged that Athens and the European Commission will closely cooperate to prepare a Common European Asylum System.

    Greece has received 170 million euros in 2011-12, while 85 million euros have been earmarked for 2013 for the four funds on migration, asylum and border protection, adding that Greece's participation will drop to 5 pct from 25 pct.

    Malmstrom expressed Europe's concern about the situation in Syria and the refugee problem created by that country's civil war. The majority of 250,000 Syrians who have fled their country are currently in the neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Last week, 9,000 Syrians crossed onto to European soil, with most of ending up in Sweden and Germany, she said. The Swedish official added that the situation could deteriorate further and that a European response to the problem is necessary. As regards Syria, she said that it will be high on the agenda during the Internal Affairs Ministers' Council meeting next week.

    Malmstrom underlined that the European Commission will continue its efforts to convince Turkey to sign a readmission agreement and to remind that country that it has to fulfil its obligations toward EU member-states.

    Regarding would-be migrants that enter Greece illegally without being eligible for asylum, she said an effort is being made to support the democratic procedures and the economies in their home countries, in order to return to them there, referring to countries such as Indonesia and Morocco, while she admitted that cooperation to return illegal immigrants is very difficult with countries such Afghanistan and Pakistan, and territories such as the Palestinian Authority.

    [19] EU Commissioner Malmstrom tours migrant detention centres

    Citizens' Protection Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday held talks with visiting EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, with the spectre of illegal migration targeting the east Mediterranean country expectedly dominating the agenda.

    Malmstrom reportedly agreed to support Dendias' proposal for an increase -- from 75 percent to 95 percent -- of the Union's participation in programmes -- in Greece and other EU countries in an economic support mechanism -- to combat illegal immigration.

    After the meeting , Malmstrom expressed satisfaction over Athens' progress to curb illegal migration, terming the efforts as successful. She also toured a pair of migrant detention centres in Evros and Rhodopi prefectures, extreme NE Greece, calling repatriations of illegal migrants in Greece 'necessary'.

    Dendias thanked the EU Commissioner for her support, adding that extra EU funding in the anti-illegal migration initiatives is necessary due to the country's current economic situation.

    [20] Former FinMin on 'Lagarde list'

    Former finance minister George Papaconstantinou on Tuesday said he's at the disposal of any institutional body to provide details over his actions as a minister in the Papandreou government vis-a-vis the so-called "Lagarde list".

    Papaconstantinou referred to his testimony before a financial crimes prosecutor on events related to the "Lagarde list", citing an announcement on Sept. 27.

    He pointed out that he requested at the end of 2010 and received from French authorities electronic data on Greek citizens with bank deposits in a specific Swiss bank, before ordering the then head of the Financial Crimes Squad, Ioannis Diotis, to investigate the individuals reportedly holding the largest deposits. He also said he began negotiations with Switzerland to seal a bilateral agreement over the exchange of information.

    [21] Administration Reform Minister satisfied over restructuring progress

    Administration Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis on Tuesday expressed satisfaction in efforts for the restructuring of the public sector in the country, addressing a meeting on the exchange of know-how and experience. Manitakis said "huge progress" was recorded in the first three months of the Samaras government.

    Financial News

    [22] Eurogroup: Implementation of adjustment programme by Oct. 18

    LUXEMBOURG (AMNA/M. Aroni)

    The commitment to implement its fiscal adjustment programme by October 18 was asked of Greece at Monday's Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg as a condition for the disbursement of the next tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan.

    At a press conference after the meeting, Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde acknowledged the "substantial progress" made by Greece, particularly recently.

    Juncker said he was impressed by the performance of the Greek government and the determination of the parties of the three-party governmental coalition "to meet our demands".

    On the briefing by the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'Troika' of Greece's international lenders, Juncker said that "we were pleased to hear substantial progress has been made on Greece, especially in the last days".

    Lagarde, however, added that much remains to be done in many sectors, both fiscal and in structural reforms, taxation and recapitalization of the debt.

    European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Ollie Rehn acknowledged the Greek government's determination to agree with the Troika a package of austerity measures and put the Greek economy back on a sustainable orbit.

    "We stressed that before the next disbursement Greece clearly and credibly should demonstrate its commitment to fully implement the programme -- and 89 prior actions from March should be implemented by the 18th of October at the latest," Juncker said at the close of the meeting of finance ministers from the 17-nation euro single currency area.

    IMF managing director Lagarde clarified that "from the initial list a lot has already been done," adding that "the list of prior actions has to be implemented."

    In the next weeks a comprehensive decision must be taken on Greece, there is no time to lose, Juncker added.

    Asked if the next tranche of 31.5 billion euros would be disbursed in a one-off installment, IMF managing director Lagarde said it was too early to give a specific reply.

    To another question on whether the IMF presented a report on the sustainability of the Greek debt to the meeting, Lagarde replied in the negative, saying the report was expected.

    [23] FinMin: Satisfaction with Troika's positive comments on Greece's performance

    LUXEMBOURG (AMNA/V. Demiris)

    Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras expressed satisfaction with the positive comments on Greece's performance by the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika representing the country's international lenders, after conclusion of a meeting of the Eurogroup finance ministers of the 17 countries of the euro area in Luxembourg.

    Stournaras insisted, however that the progress in Greece should become an acquis of all the euro area countries, given that during the meeting some countries had the wrong impression that the number of civil servants in Greece has risen.

    On the package of fiscal austerity measures being drafted for the period 2012-2914, he stressed that 84 percent of the measures concern reduction of expenditure and 16 percent concern increasing revenues.

    He noted that the primary expenditures in Greece are the lowest in Europe, and are equivalent to 40 percent of GDP.

    Given the delays in the disbursement of the bailout loan tranches to Greece, Stournaras called on the eurozone partners for the disbursement of 36.5 billion euros -- representing the 31.5 billion euros of the next tranche of the loan and the 5 billion euros that were due in September.

    He also said that the Troika's demands for a "front-heavy" distribution of the new package of measures with 70 percent of the measures in 2013 were excessive and would reverse the benefits from the extension of the fiscal adjustment period that was currently being discussed.

    Stournaras further said that the funding gap from the extension of the Greek programme was estimated at 12 billion euros, which he added could be covered through "technical solutions" without requiring additional funding from the eurozone member countries.

    [24] Deputy Development minister addresses investments forum on Greece

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)

    Deputy Development Minister Notis Mytarakis, addressing Tuesday the 1st Greek Investments Forum which is taking place at the headquarters of the Bloomberg group in New York, stressed that fiscal stability constitutes a priority for achieving the targets set by the Greek government to overcome the economic crisis.

    Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni is also expected to address the same forum on the theme of "Tourism, a basic pylon of growth for Greece".

    Mytarakis referred to the promotion of reforms and the attraction of investments. The forum, which is being attended by members of funds and businesses, is being organised by the Athens Stock Exchange and the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the American-Greek Chamber of Commerce.

    The deputy Development minister presented analytical data on the efforts being made by the government and the Greek people with the aim of changing the country for the better so as to be in a position to attract more and immediate foreign investments, as he said.

    [25] Greek inflation rate slows to 0.9% in Sept.

    Greek inflation slowed significantly to 0.9 pct in September, from 1.7 pct in August, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Tuesday. The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to large price cuts in the private sector of the economy, although it noted that consumers faced higher burdens from price increases in certain food products and services, due to higher administration costs.

    The statistics service said that the inflation rate, measured by the consumer price index was up 0.9 pct in September after a 3.1 pct increase recorded in the same month last year. The index was up 2.5 pct in September from August this year, after an increase of 3.3 pct recorded in the corresponding period in 2011.

    September's 0.9 pct rise in the consumer price index reflected an 1.6 pct rise in food/beverage prices, an 1.4 pct increase in clothing/footwear, a 5.7 pct rise in housing prices, a 3.3 pct increase in transportation prices, a 0.2 pct rise in hotel/restaurant/coffee prices, while on the other hand, an 1.4 pct fall in alcohol/tobacco, a 2.5 pct decline in durable goods, an 1.7 pct fall in healthcare prices and an 1.9 pct decline in communication prices.

    Greece's harmonized inflation rate also slowed to 0.3 pct in September from 1.2 pct in August and 2.9 pct in September 2011. On a monthly basis, the harmonized inflation rate slowed to 2.5 pct in September from 3.4 pct in September 2011.

    [26] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from 6-month T-bill auction

    Greece on Tuesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bills issue, raising 1.3 billion euros from the market at a lower cost.

    The country's Public Debt Management Organization, in a statement, said that the interest rate of the issue was set at 4.46 pct, down from 4.54 pct in the previous auction of same T-bills in September 4. Bids submitted totaled 1.6 billion euros, 1.6 times more than the asked sum. The auction was made with the market's primary dealers and settlement date was set for Friday, 12 October.

    The organisation said it will accept non-competitive bids up to 30 pct of the asked sum by Thursday, 11 October.

    [27] Business Briefs

    -- FAGE, a Greek dairy producer, on Tuesday announced its decision to tranfer its base in Luxembourg, as part of an internal restructuring of the group to strengthen the efficiency of its corporate structure in order to better reflect the globalised nature of its activities.

    -- Greece's mutual funds market's assets rose 2.7 pct in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the start of the year, and by 3.5 pct from the second quarter, official figures showed on Tuesday.

    -- Building activity continued its plunge, hit by a deep economic recession, currently in its fifth year.

    [28] Stocks end moderately up

    Stocks ended moderately higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, reflecting cautious optimism among investors over political and economic developments in the country. The composite index of the market rose 0.55 pct to end at 829.59 points, off the day's highs of 840.10 points. Turnover eased to 61.585 million euros.

    The Big Cap index edged 0.03 pct higher and the Mid Cap index eased 0.66 pct. The Food (4.35 pct), Travel (2.92 pct) and Telecoms (1.79 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Utilities (3.86 pct), Personal Products (3.11 pct) and Raw Materials (2.18 pct) were top losers.

    Coca Cola 3E (4.38 pct), MIG (3.72 pct) and OPAP (2.97 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Cyprus Bank (8.21 pct), PPC (4.82 pct) and Jumbo (3.17 pct) were top losers. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 68 to 65 with another 28 issues unchanged. Logismos (30 pct), Livanis Publications (23.75 pct) and Alpha Grissin (20 pct) were top gainers, while Altec (20 pct), Spyrou Farm (15.45 pct) and Bioter (15.44 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -0.76%

    Commercial: +1.34%

    Construction -0.72%

    Oil & Gas: -1.60%

    Personal & Household: -3.11%

    Raw Materials: -2.18%

    Travel & Leisure: +2.92%

    Technology: +0.16%

    Telecoms: +1.79%

    Banks: -1.89%

    Food & Beverages: +4.35%

    Health: +1.32%

    Utilities: -3.86%

    Financial Services: +1.08%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.89

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 3.95

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.70

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.86

    National Bank of Greece: 2.19

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 1.20

    OPAP: 4.50

    OTE: 3.41

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.49

    Titan: 14.75

    [29] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 16.78 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 18.26 pct and the German Bund 1.48 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.66 pct, the six-month rate was 0.42 pct, the three-month was 0.21 pct and the one-month rate was 0.11 pct.

    [30] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading around its fair value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover remaining a low 13.076 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,665 contracts worth 4.060 million euros, with 30,249 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 50,769 contracts worth 9.016 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (15,013), followed by Alpha Bank (7,273), Cyprus Bank (5,623), OTE (2,163), PPC (1,531), OPAP (1,872), Piraeus Bank (11,522), Eurobank (2,088) and MIG (908).

    [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.314

    Pound sterling 0.820

    Danish kroner 7.569

    Swedish kroner 8.740

    Japanese yen 102.87

    Swiss franc 1.229

    Norwegian kroner 7.516

    Canadian dollar 1.282

    Australian dollar 1.285

    General News

    [32] University of the Aegean suspends operation

    The University of the Aegean on Tuesday suspended all academic and administrative operations, the university's rector Paris Tsartas announced at a press conference, adding that the suspension of operations aims at making public the strong protest over the operational problems faced by the state universities in their entirety "due to the handlings of the state and the repercussions of those handlings on the University of the Aegean".

    He said that the financing of the operational expenditures of the state universities is marginal for the funding of their fundamental needs, while the non-regulation of other necessary regulations of financing procedures and money flows leads the university administrations to an impasse.

    He noted that the funding for students, especially for housing, covers the needs of only a very small proportion of the students, since the fact that 90 percent of the University of the Aegean's student population comes from other parts of Greece, while the planned reduction of free textbooks will only further burden the students' cost of living.

    Further, the understaffing of the University results in the existing staff shouldering a super-human workload in order the meet the needs in teaching, research, administrative and social work, while their salaries were barely enough for their living expenses.

    [33] Anonymous' hackers down government websites

    Hackers associated with the "Anonymous" organization downed a series of Greek government websites on Monday night ahead of German chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Athens on Tuesday.

    Several government websites, including the public order ministry, the justice ministry and the Greek police website, were unavailable for a brief period of time.

    Anonymous took responsibility for the action on its Twitter website while in a video uploaded on YouTube the organization criticizes the draconian security measures in place for the Merkel visit.

    [34] Lawyers, doctors, pharmacists and court bailiffs to strike on October17

    Lawyers, notaries, doctors, pharmacists and court bailiffs will be holding a nationwide strike on October 17 to protest the government's measures that are being promoted and that harm their sectors, while on the same day they will be carrying out a rally and protest march to the Finance ministry.

    [35] Contraband cigarettes, bogus brand name items seized in warehouse raid

    The economic crime squad (SDOE) in the early hours of Tuesday raided a warehouse filled with contraband cigarettes and bogus brand name items in Aspropyrgos.

    SDOE found and confiscated 8,150,000 contraband cigarettes of Greek and foreign brands as well as 40,482 women's handbags, wallets, suitcases and accessories.

    An announcement said the illegal sale of the confiscated products would have resulted in a loss of more than 3 million euros in taxes and duties to the Greek state.

    [36] Ieronymos in Edessa, Pella next week for liberation anniversary

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos will travel to Edessa and Pella in northern Greece next week for events commemorating the centennial of the liberation of the cities from Ottoman rule.

    Ieronymos will also be declared an honorary citizen of the two municipalities during his visit.

    [37] Arrest for antiquities smuggling

    Roughly 40 ancient artifacts dated to the late Roman period were found in the possession of a 58-year-old local man, who was arrested near Patras, western Greece, it was announced on Tuesday.

    Police found a total of 37 objects, namely, architectural fragments of amphorae, sepulchral steles, statuettes and parts of sculptures made of marble, stone and clay, in the suspect's yard.

    [38] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The government's expectations from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Athens on Tuesday, the 'draconian' security measures in Athens and a series of demonstrations scheduled in Athens, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Merkel's message of support to Greece".

    AVGHI: "They gifted the surcharge to corruption".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Barrage of support but...the tranche on standby"

    ESTIA: "We remain in the eurozone".

    ETHNOS: "Merkel hour".

    IMERISSIA: "End to Grexit scenarios".

    KATHIMERINI: "Merkel's decisive visit".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Eurogroup: "You are on the right course but now you must run".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "All today we demonstrate with PAME (labour organisation affiliated to Communist Party)

    TA NEA: "Greek citizens: What I would say to Merkel".

    VRADYNI: "Warm welcome for Merkel from government and .....workers".

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