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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-10-30

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

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

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 Issue No: 4210

CONTENTS

  • [01] Productive transformation of Greek economy a nat'l responsibility, BoG chief says
  • [02] Troika letter 'closes' labor issues discussion
  • [03] Two-hour meeting between Labour Minister, DIM.AR president Kouvelis
  • [04] DIMAR official: No to labour sector reforms mandated by troika
  • [05] DIMAR spokesman on party's position on labour regime
  • [06] PASOK cancels FinMin's initiative for meeting with party MPs
  • [07] Gov't cites audit mechanism to monitor general gov't expenditures
  • [08] SYRIZA's influence on people 'haunts collapsing political system', Tsipras claims
  • [09] S&D Group leader Swoboda expresses skepticism over effectiveness of troika-inspired austerity
  • [10] FM's visit to NY, Canada postponed
  • [11] FM Avramopoulos on 'Lagarde list'
  • [12] Ind'p Greeks party eyes participation of expatriates in nat'l ballots
  • [13] KKE chief warns of nat'l defence industry 'death'
  • [14] Greece no longer 'problem' country vis-a-vis money laundering, corruption
  • [15] Ethnic Greek group in Albania condemns incidents during service for WWII fallen; ministry statement
  • [16] EU ministers discuss measures against cross-border organised crime
  • [17] Draft Presidential Decree on dealing with racist violence unveiled
  • [18] Greece, Israel hold joint Air Force training maneuver
  • [19] Gov't unveiles budget monitoring mechanism
  • [20] Gov't offers 1- month extension to domestic banks to publish their H1 results
  • [21] EU Commissioner Tajani on new investments
  • [22] Development minister on EU funding to Greece
  • [23] Athens Trade Society proclaims 10-day autumn merchandise offers
  • [24] ADEDY union calls work stoppage on Thurs.
  • [25] Business Briefs
  • [26] Stocks suffer dramatic losses on Mon.
  • [27] Greek bond market closing
  • [28] ADEX closing report
  • [29] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [30] Sign programme to make Lake Plastiras surrounds accessible to visitors
  • [31] Trikala villages devastated by torrential rainfall
  • [32] Illegal migrant crackdown continues
  • [33] Super League results
  • [34] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [35] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Productive transformation of Greek economy a nat'l responsibility, BoG chief says

    The effort for the productive transformation of the Greek economy into a new growth model is exclusively Greece's task. The Memorandum contains the last possible changes in that direction, but in no way replaces Greece's major national responsibility, central Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos said on Monday, introducing a Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) study on evaluation of the effects on the Greek economy from the policies financed by the EU budget.

    The BoG chief pointed out that the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and EU funds will truly serve as strong developmental tools if they are incorporated creatively in this wider plan. However, to date, the Community resources have had a positive contribution, but their specific distribution did not avert a reproduction of the warped model that finally led to the present crisis.

    In the new conditions, he continued, the use of Community resources should be incorporated in a national strategy, which will be in line with the priorities of the fiscal adjustment and reforms, thus enhancing the necessary transformations that will lead to a new, healthy production model.

    Presenting the results of the study, ELIAMEP general director Loukas Tsoukalis said that inflows from the EU from 1988 to the present exceed 110 billion euros, while per capita receipts in Greece have almost always been higher than the average for the EU member states.

    Indicatively, he said that in the decade 1990-1999 the proportion of net transfers from the EU budget to Greece were an average 4.2 percent of its GDP, and in 2008 alone exceeded 8.5 billion euros.

    However, it arose from the study that these resources were not adequately exploited, he said, but added that despite this it is acknowledged that the contributed positively to the creation of revenues to almost the entirety of the Greek economy, and particularly to the incomes of the agrarian population, especially in the decades of 1980 and 1990.

    But during this process 'pathogenies' arose and continue to exist, such as pretextual compensations and violations of Community legislation, while a strategic plan aiming at enhancing the strong points of Greek agriculture was never drawn up, he said.

    From 1980 to the present, 17.9 billion euros have been channeled to infrastructures, particularly transports, with mixed results, Tsoukalis said, citing as an example the construction of major road axes, noting excessions of the construction costs and problems in the operation of the institutional framework.

    The second part of the study contains the European Commission proposals for the programme period 2014-2020, which include a reduction of the resource transfers to Greece. Given that the cohesion policy will focus less on the developed regions, Greece is earmarked to receive 12-13 billion euros from the Structural Funds against 20.4 billion euros in the 2007=2013 period.

    Provopoulos noted, however, that due to the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), there will be a further reduction of the resources in this category, in the new programme period, but added that the negotiation for the 2014-2020 programme period is still ongoing.

    [02] Troika letter 'closes' labor issues discussion

    The European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika of Greece's international lenders on Sunday evening sent a letter to Labour Minister Yannis Vroutsis in which it "closes" the labour issues discussion, ministry sources told AMNA.

    According to Ministry sources, the representatives of Greece's international lenders state that "the Greek side, in the context of the negotiation on the labour issues, achieved the biggest possible agreement".

    The Troika rejects the preservation of the marriage benefit and says that its abolition has been already voted, while the Troika is also absolutely negative to preservation of the residual extension of the branch collective labour agreements.

    However, troika appears to be positive on the ministry's proposals on the layoff compensations so that the cuts will be contained at 15 percent for the high salaries, while the freeze on the three-year salary maturity raises will be maintained until the completion of the Medium-Term Programme at the end of 2015.

    [03] Two-hour meeting between Labour Minister, DIM.AR president Kouvelis

    Labour, Social Insurance & Welfare Minister Yannis Vroutsis had a two-hour meeting on Monday morning with Democratic Left (DIM.AR) President Fotis Kouvelis, one of the political party leaders backing the coalition government.

    The meeting, held at the party's main offices, focused on labour issues raised in the negotiations with the troika and on the agreements reached with the signing of the two memorandums.

    After the meeting, Vroutsis visited Maximos Mansion, government headquarters, to brief Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    [04] DIMAR official: No to labour sector reforms mandated by troika

    "We do not want to vote for changes in labour relations," Democratic Left (DI.MAR) central committee secretary Spyros Lykoudis said on Monday, in reference to EC-ECB-IMF troika-mandated liberalisations and reforms in the Greek labour sector.

    However, he left open a "window" for a compromise.

    Asked whether the government will face a risk of collapse if austerity measures and tax hikes are tabled in Parliament in a single article -- and thus risk a "no vote" by DI.MAR MPs -- he said: "That is true, but I believe prudence and a collective common sense will prevail in order for a solution to be found. We truly want the government's cohesion and not a political and governmental crisis to arise..."

    Referring to the publication of the so-called 'Lagarde list' by a local periodical and the subsequent high-profile arrest of its editor, he said:

    "It is beyond the primary mission of a journalist to retain the ability to publicise something he's acquired, and which he believes is significant, but rather to hide it. Conversely, someone who maintains that anything handed to a journalist must be verified at the source is also correct."

    [05] DIMAR spokesman on party's position on labour regime

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) spokesman Andreas Papadopoulos, speaking on private VIMA radio station on Monday, said that he doesn't know if his party will vote against the package of measures, but he clarified that it will not accept the foreseen changes to the labour regime.

    "There is time for negotiation, provided this takes place at a high level," said Papadopoulos, referring to the troika's persistence on not accepting changes on the issue of residual extension of branch collective labor agreements and in the abolition of the wedding benefit.

    [06] PASOK cancels FinMin's initiative for meeting with party MPs

    A difference of opinion between PASOK party and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras emerged after Stournaras' initiative to call to his office PASOK MPs who are members of the party's economic affairs committee, and who are demanding that Parliament has the final say on privatisations.

    Stournaras began telephone contacts with PASOK MPs, inviting them to a meeting at his office. PASOK leadership learned about the meeting, reportedly intervened and cancelled it, reminding Stournaras that only the PASOK leader, the party's parliamentary group secretary and the relevant rapporteur have the authority to convene meetings of the party's working groups.

    Last week the Finance Minister stated in Parliament that the privatisations will be discussed only in the Parliamentary standing committee on economic affairs and not in the plenum.

    [07] Gov't cites audit mechanism to monitor general gov't expenditures

    The government announced on Monday it will establish an audit mechanism to control general government expenditures, with a relevant legislative act signed the same day by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    A relevant announcement by the government clarified that "this mechanism is strictly a Greek government (regulatory body), without any involvement on the part of Greece's creditors ... and concerns the continuous monitoring of public expenditures to allow for the timely discovery of serious excesses; automatic measures for the correction of such excesses and an additional intervention mechanism when automatic measures are not implemented and are not enough".

    [08] SYRIZA's influence on people 'haunts collapsing political system', Tsipras claims

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday opined that efforts by the "collapsing political system", as he said, to deal with the major influence SYRIZA has on the Greek society, are in vain.

    "The problem is that the core of the policy that has been decided condemns Greek society to an absence of dignity and the economy to disaster," Tsipras noted after a meeting with representatives of the Association of Judges and Prosecutors, stressing that "the people will give a response very soon".

    Referring to the arrest of investigative journalist Costas Vaxevanis for the publication of 2,059 names of Greek citizens allegedly listed on the so-called "Lagarde list" -- a list ostensibly showing Greek citizens with deposits in HSBC Switzerland -- he said the latter's prosecution, "in combination with a widespread sense of impunity, is the drop that made the glass overflow".

    He underlined that "tax evaders and those who cover up for them do not face justice but those who proceed with revelations do."

    Gov't reaction

    Replying to Tsipras' statements, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that "any organisation, union, society or syndicate that passes Mr. Tsipras' door receives a huge 'yes to everything'. As to 'how and from where', of course, not a word".

    [09] S&D Group leader Swoboda expresses skepticism over effectiveness of troika-inspired austerity

    The president of the European Parliament's Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group Hannes Swoboda on Monday expressed skepticism as regards the austerity package suggested by Greece's foreign lenders and underlined the importance of structural reforms in the taxation system.

    In statements he made after meeting in Thessaloniki with the city mayor, Swoboda stressed that Greece should remain in the eurozone because being forced out would not solve the problem but, on the contrary, it will make it worse. He also underlined that Greece needs more time to exit the crisis.

    "We were skeptical about the troika since the beginning and that's why we have sent an alternative troika to Greece," he said, adding that "if necessary this alternative troika will return".

    Referring to the problem of tax evasion, he said that an agreement should be reached with Switzerland and other "tax heavens" that favour such practices.

    He underlined that the European Socialists and Democrats are ready to help Greece exit the crisis, adding that they had urged European Commission President Manuel Barroso to visit Greece.

    As regards his visit to Greece, Swoboda said that its purpose is to make the situation the country is going through clearer and is indicative of his party's intention to help.

    Swoboda will visit Athens to meet with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, Democratic Left (DIM.AR) leader Fotis Kouvelis, the Athens mayor, representatives of higher education institutions and NGOs.

    [10] FM's visit to NY, Canada postponed

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos' scheduled visit to Canada and New York was postponed on Monday due to the US authorities' emergency measures which include the closing of airports and the cancellation of flights, due to Hurricane Sandy.

    The visit will be rescheduled at a future date.

    [11] FM Avramopoulos on 'Lagarde list'

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Monday submitted a document in parliament referring to the so-called "Lagarde list" clarifying that "no official correspondence on the 'Lagarde list' has taken place between the French and the Greek authorities."

    The document, which was submitted in reply to a question by independent MP Nikos Nikolopoulos, says that "in September 2010 a sealed envelope, without any accompanying document, was sent unofficially via the Greek embassy in Paris from the French finance ministry to the then Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou".

    "The foreign ministry has no ability to certify the precise contents of the envelope," he added.

    [12] Ind'p Greeks party eyes participation of expatriates in nat'l ballots

    A draft bill on Greek expatriates' participation in Greek national elections to be tabled by opposition Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos suggests that a total of six Greek expatriates be included in state ballots -- lists of candidates that do not require individual votes by voters to be elected.

    The bill in question dominated a meeting held on Monday between Kammenos and World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Stefanos Tamvakis.

    [13] KKE chief warns of nat'l defence industry 'death'

    Opposition Communist party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday accused the government of following EU orders, like previous governments have done, noting that it seeks to "put the Greek defence industry to death" leaving jobless and without a future thousands of employees who will receive no compensation, according to the new law.

    After a meeting with chemical industry workers' and Hellenic Defence Systems trade union representatives, Papariga said that the country is being made fully dependent on European and other monopolies, adding that her party is opposed to the government's privatization plans.

    [14] Greece no longer 'problem' country vis-a-vis money laundering, corruption

    Greece not only has stopped being considered a "problem" country with respect to money laundering and corruption since June 2011, but according to official data of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but is also considered a model-country as regards the framework and organisation of its mechanisms for clamping down on money laundering, a document from Areios Paghos (Supreme Court) deputy chief prosecutor and the Independent Authority on money laundering and audit of assets statements Panagiotis Nikoloudis that was submitted to parliament on Monday said.

    The document, submitted in reply to a question tabled by Independent Greeks MP Maria Kollia-Tsarouha, also cited newer statistics for 2012, which Nikoloudis said "are not ready to be announced yet but are specific and convincing, and allow the thought that soon the image of Greece will change abroad, and chiefly the way that the state acts in the specific areas".

    The independent authority chief also submitted to parliament, in his document, figures concerning the clampdown on money laundering and corruption in 2011, noting that the independent authority had investigated and identified 162 cases of money laundering, which it forwarded to the authoritative prosecutors, and at the same time seized a "criminal product" of 223,982,146 euros.

    Comparing this to other EU countries, the document said that Belgium -- which is acknowledged as having the best organized and equipped unit -- had seized a total of 22,223,656 euros, while Portugal, which was about the same size as Greece, had seized 30,077,972 euros whereas much larger Spain had seized the sum of 12,398,000 (in 2005) and Britain, with its SOCA unit, had seized a criminal product of 327,600,000 euros.

    [15] Ethnic Greek group in Albania condemns incidents during service for WWII fallen; ministry statement

    The ethnic Greek minority organisation in neighbouring Albania on Monday expressed regret and disappointment over the incidents recorded in the southern Albanian town of Kelcyre (Klisura) during events a day earlier to mark the annual October 28 commemoration (Ochi Day) of Greece's entry into WWII.

    A statement issued by the organisation noted that a small group of individuals that were transported to the site from other areas of Albania attempted to disturb a memorial service for the Greek soldiers that died in southern Albania fighting against fascist Italian forces during WWII.

    According to dispatch by AMNA on Sunday, a handful of individuals -- described as members of extremist groups in the neighbouring country -- chanting anti-Greek slogans and hurled rocks against diplomatic vehicles and buses carrying relatives of WWII victims. Among others, former Greek Parliament president Giorgos Sourlas was in the Greek ambassador's car, which was also targeted.

    Despite an intervention by Albanian police, the memorial service in Klisura, the site of a WWII cemetery for Greek servicemen, was observed amid protests by Albanian nationalists from the so-called "Red and Black Alliance" and a marginal political party (PDIU ) identified with the Chams sub-group within Albanian society.

    A statement issued by Omonia added, nevertheless, that memorial services were held without incident in the Albanian towns of Deropoli, Himare, Korce and Sarande.

    Greek foreign ministry

    On its part, the Greek foreign ministry on Monday referred to "limited incidents" caused by a "group of Albanian ultra-nationalists" targeting Greek embassy representatives who arrived in Klisura to attend the memorial events.

    The ministry also noted that the intervention of Albanian police was necessary to prevent an escalation of the "unprecedented incidents".

    The statement underlined that the Albanian nationalists' actions were aimed at "tarnishing events marking the (Greek) national holiday and undermining bilateral relations, which develop in a positive manner to the benefit of both countries ... Greece and Albania are making steps toward a new era in their relations based on mutual respect on their common European future. Those responsible for the incidents should receive the message that the course adopted by the two governments is irreversible and expresses the true will of both peoples."

    [16] EU ministers discuss measures against cross-border organised crime

    The freezing and confiscation of crime proceeds in the European Union and the adoption of measures, aimed at combating cross-border organised crime more effectively, dominated in the EU justice and home affairs council meeting held in Luxembourg last week. Greece was represented by Deputy Justice Minister Costas Karagounis.

    [17] Draft Presidential Decree on dealing with racist violence unveiled

    A draft Presidential Decree on dealing with racist violence, which foresees the establishment of a specialised unit in the Greek Police (EL.AS), was unveiled during a press conference on Monday by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias.

    The draft Decree envisions the creation of racist violence police divisions initially in Athens and Thessaloniki, and gradually throughout the country, and a telephone hotline for reporting such incidents, Dendias said, noting that the country "does not lack a legal arsenal to deal with racist violence".

    He also announced his intention to file a lawsuit against the British daily "The Guardian" over an article alleging torture of detainees and the General Police Headquarters in Athens, adding that the matter was being examined by the Legal Council of State.

    Also, by order of the chief of police, the internal affairs department will investigate charges of police violence against immigrants and illegal immigrants.

    [18] Greece, Israel hold joint Air Force training maneuver

    A joint Greece-Israeli Air Force training maneuver was held inside the Athens FIR last week, in the context of the Greece-Israel 2012 military cooperation programme.

    The airforce base that hosted the participating Greek and Israeli aircraft was the 110th Battle Wing in Larissa.

    According to sources, participating in the exercise were the 110th, 111th and 114th Battle Wings from Greece and four squadrons from the Hatzerim and Ramon airforce bases in Israel.

    The Israeli mission comprised 10 twin-seat F-16 ISUFA aircraft tended by 150 staff, while the Greek side took part with F-16 and Mirage-2000 fighter planes.

    The same sources said exercises were conducted both during the day and at night-time, and included air-to-air interceptions, air-to-ground virtual ground target strikes and Composite Air Operations (COMAO).

    Financial News

    [19] Gov't unveiles budget monitoring mechanism

    The Greek government on Monday unveiled a legislative act aimed at safeguarding that all government ministries and agencies strictly adhere to budgetary goals and regulations.

    Finance Alternate Minister Christos Staikouras, presenting the initiative said it was aimed at changing the regulatory framework of responsibilities of all general government agencies using public funds. The act regulates issues regarding enhanced budget monitoring and fiscal discipline such as:

    -approval of all general government agencies' budgets by January 31 each year,

    -drafting of monthly budget execution programs and promoting quarterly goals for ministries and agencies,

    -close monitoring of quarterly goals and timely promotion of corrective measures in cases of deviation from budget goals,

    -closer cooperation between the Finance ministry and other government ministries, under which all parts will be bind to correctly implementation budget actions,

    -automatic budget cuts when deviation exceed 10 pct of agreed targets without taking correctional measures and

    -appointing a supervisor of financial services in all general government agencies with serious budget deviations.

    [20] Gov't offers 1- month extension to domestic banks to publish their H1 results

    Authorities extended for one month, until Nov. 30, a deadline offered to Greek commercial banks for the latter to publish their six-month results, amid a pending agreement with the country's creditors over the release of a 31.5-bln-euros tranche to pave the way for a bank recapitalisation plan to commence.

    The issue was discussed during a meeting on Monday between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and the leadership of Hellenic Bank Association.

    The meeting also focused on the controversial issue of Greek banks repaying 550 million to the Greek state. The banking group recommended that the recapitalisation plan should envisage the swap of new state bonds worth 11.3 billion euros owned by the four largest financial institutions in the country, with EFSF securities and guarantees.

    This proposal will contribute in reducing the capital needed to recapitalise the four largest banks by 9.4 billion euros (with the value at 16 pct nominal value).

    However, Greek banking officials said the proposal was rejected by the EC-ECB-IMF troika. The two sides agreed that less capital will be necessary for the recapitalisation plan -with smaller participation by shareholders - through an agreement to add postponed taxation (with an estimated benefit of around 1.5-1.6 billion euros to banks' balance sheets) to supervisory capital. The minister and the top officials of the banks' association also agreed to discuss greater flexibility in rescheduling private sector loans, during the next meeting.

    [21] EU Commissioner Tajani on new investments

    EU Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani, in a statement after his meeting with Greek Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis here on Monday, said that "we shall cooperate for new investments, for more flexible rules governing investments and mainly the investments from abroad. This is a steadfast commitment of ours regarding Greece, but not only for Greece, it is for all European Union countries. We shall cooperate in the coming months in the direction of attracting more investments".

    He also expressed satisfaction over the reforms that the Greek government has done, in favour of small and medium-sized businesses, and revealed that he also called on Greek businesses to participate in a trip being organised by the EU to Egypt with the aim of growth.

    On his part, Hatzidakis delivered a list to the commissioner containing all the structural reforms that have been promoted lately.

    [22] Development minister on EU funding to Greece

    Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, addressing Monday a conference jointly organised the Bank of Greece and the ELIAMEP think-tank, stressed the need for the EU's funding to Greece to increase in the framework of new negotiating of the 2014-2020 ESPA.

    Hatzidakis explained that according to the proposals presented by the European Commission last year, the funds anticipated for Greece over this period will decrease from 20 billion euros that they were in the past programmed period to just 12 billion euros.

    He termed the 40 percent decrease huge, given that during the assessment of the funds the data taken into consideration by the Commission were those that were valid from 2007 to 2009 and not the present ones, that have worsened dramatically.

    Consequently, as he said, what is required is a change in the method of assessing funds as regards Greece.

    [23] Athens Trade Society proclaims 10-day autumn merchandise offers

    The Athens Commerce Society has proclaimed a 10-day period of autumn merchandise offers for all of Athens' shops from Thursday November 1 to Saturday November 10, following its actions and initiatives aimed at upgrading Athens and increasing the visit rate.

    [24] ADEDY union calls work stoppage on Thurs.

    The Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) has called a work stoppage in the public sector in the greater Athens area on Thursday from noon until the end of the shift.

    The work stoppage will take place to enable civil servants to participate in a rally by unions representing employees in the public health sector outside the health ministry.

    [25] Business Briefs

    -- The top 500 most profitable Greek enterprises accounted for 49.2 pct of total turnover in Greece, with EBITDA totaling 10 billion euros and pre-tax earnings totaling 1.9 billion euros in 2011, a survey by the Icap Group showed on Monday.

    -- Greece's producer's price composite index (measuring both the domestic and external markets) rose 5.0 pct in September, compared with the same month last year, after an 8.3 pct increase recorded in September 2011, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Monday.

    [26] Stocks suffer dramatic losses on Mon.

    Stocks suffered dramatic losses at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, due in most part to reports that terms of a recapitalisation will not be favourable for Greek banks - in contrast with market expectations. Bank shares suffered greatly, while uncertainty over political developments ahead of a new package of austerity measures also undermined sentiment on the market.

    The composite index fell 6.28 pct to end at 819.61 points, while turnover rose to 115.26 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 8.34 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 7.78 pct lower.

    All sectors suffered losses, with Banks (15.82 pct), Raw Materials (9.91 pct) and Financial Services (9.78 pct) recording the biggest percentage losses of the day. All blue chip stocks ended lower with Piraeus Bank (18.6 pct), Cyprus Popular Bank (17.19 pct), National Bank (16.74 pct) and Cyprus Bank (14.93 pct) topping the list of losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 118 to 15 with another 25 issues unchanged. Yalco (19.1 pct0, Spider (18.92 pct) and Forthnet (11.36 pct) were top gainers, while Xylemporia (21.67 pct), Boutaris (19.78 pct) and Piraeus Bank (18.6 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -4.49%

    Commercial: -1.18%

    Construction -5.00%

    Oil & Gas: -2.48%

    Personal & Household: -1.43%

    Raw Materials: -9.91%

    Travel & Leisure: -7.16%

    Technology: -8.35%

    Telecoms: -6.18%

    Banks: -15.82%

    Food & Beverages: -1.42%

    Health: -9.56%

    Utilities: -6.19%

    Financial Services: -9.78%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.97

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.64

    HBC Coca Cola: 16.27

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.50

    National Bank of Greece: 1.99

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 1.06

    OPAP: 4.75

    OTE: 3.49

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.49

    Titan: 14.87

    [27] Greek bond market closing

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened to 15.88 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 15.61 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 17.35 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 was 0.62 pct, the six-month rate was 0.39 pct, the three-month rate eased to 0.19 pct and the one-month rate was 0.11 pct.

    [28] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 1.33 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover rising to 32.445 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 6,918 contracts worth 10.918 million euros, with 30,549 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 133,571 contracts worth 21,527 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (37,359), followed by Alpha Bank (17,879), Cyprus Bank (26,001), Piraeus Bank (19,258), MIG (2,951), OTE (4,851), PPC (3,469), OPAP (5,026), Cyprus Popular Bank (8,477), Eurobank (4,236), Intralot (1,080) and Mytilineos (925).

    [29] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.309

    Pound sterling 0.816

    Danish kroner 7.571

    Swedish kroner 8.751

    Japanese yen 104.23

    Swiss franc 1.226

    Norwegian kroner 7.563

    Canadian dollar 1.308

    Australian dollar 1.264

    General News

    [30] Sign programme to make Lake Plastiras surrounds accessible to visitors

    A programme to put up signs along the mountain footpaths in the area surrounding the man-made Lake Plastiras that was recently approved will enable visitors and hikers to become acquainted with the nearby villages and sites of interest, both for their history and natural beauty.

    The programme will also showcase the old access paths among the surrounding villages in a bid to boost "hiking tourism" in the area.

    All the routes will follow the old existing footpaths, which due to abandonment currently present access difficulties, which will be cleared of weeds and fallen trees and branches and reopened, while several paths that have been destroyed by torrents and excavation for forest routes will be laid out with natural rock.

    Forest rest areas with wooden tables and benches will also be created at spots with natural running water.

    Lake Plastiras, also called the Tavropos Reservoir, is an artificial lake fed by Tavropos River near the city of Karditsa and is named after the Greek general and later prime minister Nikolas Plastiras, in first envisioned the construction of an artificial lake in the area.

    Building of the dam (reservoir) started in mid-December 1955, and was officially inaugurated on October 30, 1960. Today the lake holds up to 400 million cubic meters of fresh water and is used for irrigation and to power a nearby hydroelectric plant, as well as being the main water source to the city of Karditsa,

    Due to its altitude, one of the highest in Europe, the Tavropos Reservoir is a popular tourist resort as the formed landscape is of unique beauty.

    [31] Trikala villages devastated by torrential rainfall

    Major damage has been caused in the prefecture of Trikala by torrential rainfall in the past few days, deputy regional director Christos Mihalakis told AMNA on Monday.

    Mihalakis said that there are severe problems with traffic on the national and regional road routes from Neraidochori to Krania, Aspropotamos due to landslides that have blocked off various points of access between the villages.

    Also, he said, residents in the villages of Neraidochori, Paleochori, Krania and Athamania have suffered major damages.

    "I'm 82 years old and never before in my life have I seen so much rain," Constantine Mastoras, for Pachtouri village, told AMNA.

    The octogenarian, who resides in Aghios Constantinos, Lokrida, was visiting his village to take care of personal affairs and with great surprise found himself face to face with unprecedented devastation, and says it's hard to explain how, in just a short time, so much rain fell, overflowing the torrents, which he said had never happened before even after several days of non-stop rainfall.

    Pachtouri community president George Hondros said that more rain had fallen in just a few hours than in several days of non-stop rain, resulting in "Biblical destruction".

    Meteorologist Theofanis Takoudis told AMNA that 398 millimeters of rain had fallen in the Gardiki-Pyrras region in just 24 hours, while 360 millimeters had previously fallen in the region since the beginning of the year.

    Heavy rainfall also caused problems in Tripolis, with flooding of roads, homes, shops and basements and electricity shortages.

    [32] Illegal migrant crackdown continues

    A total of 144 foreign nationals were brought detained, of whom 18 were arrested for lacking legal documents, Greek Police (EL.AS) announced on Monday.

    The arrests were made in the greater downtown Athens region within the framework of an police crackdown on illegal migration, particularly in certain congested districts of central Athens.

    Soccer

    [33] Super League results

    Olympiacos Piraeus drew 2-2 away with Aris Thessaloniki and Panathinaikos Athens also drew 2-2 away with OFI Crete in games played for the Super League on Monday evening.

    Standings after eight weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 22

    2. Panionios 18

    3. PAOK 17

    4. Asteras 14

    5. Platanias 11

    6. Atromitos 11

    7. OFI 10

    8. Kerkyra 9

    9. Veria 9

    10. PAS Yiannina 9

    11. Panathinaikos 9

    12. Aris 7

    13. Panthrakikos 6

    14. Levadiakos 6

    15. Xanthi 6

    16. AEK 5

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.

    Weather forecast

    [34] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and westerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 3-7 beauforte. Temperatures between 8C and 23C. Slightly cloudy in Athens with westerly

    3-5 beauforte winds and temperatures between 15C and 20C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 11C and 17C.

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

    The double complication with European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika and with the Democratic Left (DIMAR) party, a junior partner in the coalition government, the political storm from the publication of the supposed "Lagarde list" in a Greek magazine and the final plan on taxation, mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    DIMOKRATIA: "Typhoon over the 'Lagarde list'."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Tax decrease for incomes of up to 25,000 euros".

    ESTIA: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras maintains firm position".

    ETHNOS: "Everything at stake on Wednesday at the Eurogroup".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "What the final plan for taxation foresees".

    TA NEA: "Double complication with the Troika".

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