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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-11-20

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

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

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 Issue No: 4226

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM holds meeting on tourism with minister, SETE president
  • [02] PM Samaras in Munich on Dec. 9
  • [03] PASOK party leader says Greece has fulfilled its commitments
  • [04] Eurogroup must disburse loan tranche immediately, Kouvelis says
  • [05] FinMin: Greece fully prepared for Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting
  • [06] German Finance Minister 'not pessimistic' on Greek debt solution
  • [07] 'Elections will not be long coming,' SYRIZA leader says
  • [08] Gov't replies to Tsipras, accuses of 'old-party attitudes'
  • [09] Ind. Greeks accuse gov't of abolishing Parliament, country's sovereignty
  • [10] KKE charges escalation of attack against working people
  • [11] Public order minister: Police and Golden Dawn 'absolutely opposed'
  • [12] Greek FM says need for immediate ceasefire in Gaza
  • [13] UN envoy Matthew Nimetz holds separate meetings with Greek, fYRoM representatives
  • [14] Takeovers of municipalities throughout Greece
  • [15] Heckler has apologised, German consul says
  • [16] Act on Parliament staff, civil service pension issues in government gazette
  • [17] Takeover of Health Ministry
  • [18] Event on Cyprus for Andreas Christodoulides, former AMNA director
  • [19] BoG: Current accounts deficit posts 76.5pct decline in Jan-Sept 2012
  • [20] Greek gov't unveils measures to support indebted households
  • [21] Backdated public-sector pay cuts to be withheld from pay, finance ministry decides
  • [22] Olympic Games cost Greece 8,48 million euros, minister says
  • [23] Twice-yearly review of renewables levy under new legislative act
  • [24] Gov't awards unprofitable shipping lines
  • [25] Truckers threatening to strike from Dec. 10
  • [26] ADEDY announces work stoppage on Thursday
  • [27] Business Briefs
  • [28] Stocks end significantly higher
  • [29] Greek bond market closing
  • [30] ADEX closing report
  • [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [32] World, European Churches state solidarity for Greece
  • [33] Archbishop Ieronymos meets representatives of World Churches Council, European Churches Council
  • [34] Message by Papoulias on occasion of World Day Against Child Abuse
  • [35] Slight rise in EU citizenship acquisition for 2010, Eurostat reports
  • [36] Eighteen on trial for urban terrorism charges
  • [37] Trial of three accused of attacking German consul postponed to Nov. 28
  • [38] Two arrests, 22 detained in Agrinio during protestors clash with riot police
  • [39] Low-Budget Films Festival opens Monday
  • [40] Man arrested for explosives
  • [41] Three foreign nationals arrested for car break-ins
  • [42] Super League results
  • [43] T-storms on Tues.
  • [44] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM holds meeting on tourism with minister, SETE president

    The role of tourism as a lever for economic recovery dominated a meeting on Monday between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni and the head of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) Andreas Andreadis at the prime minister's office.

    Their talks focused on attracting new investments, creating jobs, increasing GDP through tourism and how to boost local societies and economies through a growing tourism sector.

    They also discussed issues relating to the training and education of staff in the tourism trade, agreeing to establish close cooperation between SETE and the tourism ministry.

    In statements after the meeting, Kefalogianni noted that Greek tourism can be the vanguard of economic recovery for Greece, stressing that the messages reaching the ministry were positive.

    "Our outward-looking policy, the institutional reinforcement of the ministry and our reformist interventions will soon start to yield measurable results," she said.

    "In this course, it is evident that the private sector and SETE can and should make the maximum contribution. We need their drive, their experience but also their desire to contribute at such a crucial time for the country," she added.

    The minister noted that there was close cooperation with all tourism bodies and expressed optimism that 2013 will be a better year for the sector.

    [02] PM Samaras in Munich on Dec. 9

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet wtih Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer in Munich on Dec. 9, after accepting a relevant invitation extended to him by the latter some time ago.

    The Bavarian leader and former president of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria party has observed a tough stand towards Greece.

    In a recent interview, Seehofer left open the possibility, for the first time, of his party agreeing to more time being given to Greece to meet fiscal targets. However, he clarified that if Athens does not fulfill terms of a bailout agreement, then for his party, Greece's exit from the eurozone is very possible.

    [03] PASOK party leader says Greece has fulfilled its commitments

    PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos, in a statement after holding talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday evening, said that "now is the time for final and reliable decisions on the part of our institutional partners" and expressed certainty that in the coming days the "new starting point" will be shaped that, as he stressed, the country needs.

    "Greece has fulfilled in full its commitments with the decisions it took for the last package of very difficult measures," Venizelos said.

    "Neither Greece nor the eurozone, the large majority of the member-states of the eurozone, can stand delays or vagueness. The problem is not Greek but purely European," the PASOK leader said and added that "we are in need, as a country, of a new starting point and I consider as certain that this will be shaped in the coming days assessing the factors of the negotiating and the conjuncture in Europe".

    In parallel, he said that those who "here in Greece by profession are investing in the 'death ' of the country for their party or business benefits" will be proved wrong pitifully.

    Venizelos concluded by saying that "the Greeks are suffering, they are anxious, they are protesting but they know deep down that this is the only feasible and safe course, the only way for us to gain the lost ground and make Greece self-sufficient again on firm foundations".

    [04] Eurogroup must disburse loan tranche immediately, Kouvelis says

    The Eurozone finance ministers meeting on Tuesday must release the next installment of the loan immediately, Democratic Left party leader Fotis Kouvelis said on Monday after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Parliament.

    "The Eurogroup must decide the immediate disbursement of the tranche, at least of the 31.5 billion euros, so that a growth plan can be implemented immediately to tackle unemployment and to provide funding for small and medium-sized enterprises," Kouvelis said.

    The two leaders discussed the issue of the allocation of EU sources for the next six years that will preoccupy the summit on Thursday and Friday.

    "Greece must not get involved in the tug-of-war of the IMF with the European partners on the sustainability of the debt," the Democratic Leader said, and denied that a government reshuffle is impending.

    The three coalition government party leaders rejected an unexpected demand relayed through email by the troika for layoffs of 22,000 employees in the public sector by the end of 2014.

    [05] FinMin: Greece fully prepared for Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting

    All outstanding issues have been closed, Greece is fully prepared for Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said late Sunday night after a marathon broad governmental meeting chaired by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    "There is no longer any outstanding matter on our part. Greece is fully ready for Tuesday," Stournaras said after the meeting.

    The meeting, which began an hour before noon on Sunday, aimed at finalizing two Legislative Acts to enable their immediate publication in the Government Gazette ahead of the Eurogroup session on Tuesday where decisions are expected on Greece.

    The first Legislative Act contains details and clarifications on the measures contained in the Omnibus bill outlining austerity cuts and structural reforms passed by parliament last week, while the second Legislative Act creates a mechanism that will monitor and automatically introduce sanctions in the case of diversions in the budgets of individual ministries, public organizations and local government organizations.

    Stournaras said that all the outstanding matters have closed, given that the first Legislative Act concerning the fiscal monitoring mechanism was finalized at Sunday's meeting, while the second Legislative Act is due for completion on Monday.

    Asked whether he expects the Eurogroup on Tuesday to give the thumbs up for the disbursement of the outstanding tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan to Greece, Stournaras replied that "I do not wish to say anything more on that".

    As for the sustainability of the Greek debt, he said that "we are also contributing to that discussion".

    [06] German Finance Minister 'not pessimistic' on Greek debt solution

    BERLIN (AMNA/F.Karaviti)

    Finding a solution to Greece's debt crisis is not hopeless, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told his party's parliamentary group, according to the German Press Agency on Monday.

    Based on reports by deputies attending the meeting, the Agency said Schaeuble was "not pessimistic" about a solution to the crisis, but he warned that a collapse of Greece would threaten Germany's economic development. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU/CSU) deputies requested a briefing on Greek aid, which Schaeuble said he will deliver before leaving for the Eurogroup meeting on Tuesday.

    [07] 'Elections will not be long coming,' SYRIZA leader says

    It will not long before the next elections, main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras stated on Monday in a news conference, held ahead of his party's nationwide conference on November 30-December 2. Tsipras urged SYRIZA voters and all those who believe in the sincerity of his intentions and who put their hopes in his effort to join the ranks of the party.

    He also stressed that his party will continue to be active in its opposition throughout the period of its reconstruction and reorganisation, since its primary aim is an immediate resort to elections.

    He strongly attacked the government over the latest flurry of legislative acts implementing dictates of Greece's creditors and for the oversight of the economy, saying that Parliament had seen itself demoted. According to Tsipras, the government was not only targeting the economy and society but also democracy itself.

    The head of the main opposition stressed that Parliament was not just being sidelined but its function essentially abolished. The fact that the EU-IMF troika were able to government through acts of law, like those approved on Sunday, meant that this was more than a democratic aberration but a "different country entirely, a protectorate," Tsipras added. He also underlined that it was not possible to simply overlook the fact that the government had pushed through no less than 11 legislative acts in this way and to regard this as satisfactory functioning of democracy.

    "When Mr. Samaras said that these would be the last measures, he was only telling half the truth. He meant that these would be the last measures voted on by Parliament because now Parliament is being 'exiled' from the political life of the country," Tsipras claimed.

    Concerning his party's efforts to reorganise its function to that of a more uniform party, rather than a loose coalition of different member-organisations, he insisted that the new party will be democratic, with free expression and the right to a different point of view as well as respect for decisions protected in its constitutional charter.

    Among others, he announced plans to establish referendums within the party to decide major issues and stressed that the aim was not to turn SYRIZA into a bureaucratic elite of leaderships and component members but a broad, popular, democratic vehicle that drew support from its ordinary, grassroots membership.

    [08] Gov't replies to Tsipras, accuses of 'old-party attitudes'

    In a reply to main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) party leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday, to statements made by Tsipras during a press conference to announce the launch of SYRIZA's restructuring through a nationwide conference at the end of the month, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said the main opposition leader's only political proposal was to hope for early elections.

    "Four months after a double electoral battle and with the social mandate still fresh, [we have] old-party attitudes in all their glory! Mr. Tsipras and his party defend all the mistakes and all the sins that brought us to this point," Kedikoglou said.

    The spokesman said that Tsipras had denounced the legislative acts passed by the government, despite being aware that they were a procedure fully recognised under the Constitution and that they would be approved by Parliament within a few weeks.

    "He wonders whether the country is in a state of war or under siege. In case he hasn't realised, Greece really is in a critical situation. And it must stand on its feet. He, rather, wants to bring [the country] to its knees," Kedikoglou added, noting that Tsipras seemed unaware that the country had for decades been hamstrung by pampered groups now losing their privileges.

    Commenting on Tsipras' call for renegotiation of the loan agreements and a write-off of Greece's debts, the spokesman said that a unilateral repudiation of the debt and the loan agreements would mean that Greece would automatically find itself outside the euro and needing "much worse memorandums".

    He also accused Tsipras and his party of having supported and covered-for the "hordes of hood-wearers" that had for years "demolished democracy and the economy".

    Responding to the government spokesman, SYRIZA later issued an announcement stressing that even with Kedikoglou's most earnest efforts "it cannot be disputed that constant and repeated acts of legislative content constitute a de facto abolition of legislative power".

    It was also an undisputed fact that the social and economic destruction was daily accompanied by the diminution and subordination of democracy to the interests of creditors and capital, making it clear that the way out of today's multi-faceted crisis passed through a democratic overthrow of the memorandum government and its policies, SYRIZA added.

    [09] Ind. Greeks accuse gov't of abolishing Parliament, country's sovereignty

    The opposition Independent Greeks party on Monday strongly criticised the government and its decision to pass a clutch of Legislative Acts 'amending' the omnibus bill passed by Parliament less than two weeks ago, in order to waive objections or further clarify 'ambiguities' as requested by the EU-IMF troika. According to Independent Greeks Labour Issues Secretary Yiannis Manolis, the government was placing the country "under full supervision and handing over the keys to its creditors".

    Manolis claimed that laws that the government had not dared present to Parliament in the omnibus bill "because it was afraid that even its own MPs will vote against them" were now being implemented through acts of legislative content, essentially abolising the function of Parliament.

    "Even if [the legislative acts come before Parliament] in 40 days or in three months, as is foreseen, the national crime will have been accomplished," Manolis added.

    He said that Independent Greeks called on MPs to resist the abolition of Parliament and their role and to demand that the coalition government does not proceed to abolish the country's sovereignty with Parliament sidelined.

    [10] KKE charges escalation of attack against working people

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) charged on Monday on escalation of the attack against working people, saying it is necessary to respond with an escalation of the disobedience and action in every place of work in both the public and private sector, in every working class neighborhood, for abolition of the perpetuating Memorandums and reversal of the capitalist barbarity.

    The KKE, in an announcement, said the Legislative Act, with which the government seeks the unwavering implementation of the anti-popular "bulldozer" against the public sector agencies, with the emphasis on the local governments, imposing obligatory transfers and dismissals via 'suspension' (reserve labor) and a dramatic increase in taxes and fees that will burden the working class families, should be dealt with likewise.

    [11] Public order minister: Police and Golden Dawn 'absolutely opposed'

    Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday denied the existence of links between the far-right nationalist party Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) and the police, stressing that the two were "absolutely opposed".

    "The Greek Police (ELAS) expresses legality and Golden Dawn, through the way it acts, illegality," he stressed in statements to the radio station 'Vima'.

    According to the minister, GD's main obstacle was the legal, successful and constitutionally correct action of ELAS, while it was the constitutional obligation of the police force not to put up with GD taking the law into its own hands.

    "Something of this sort, such as cooperation between ELAS and GD, has never been adequately proved to me so that I need to take action. There is complete vigilance on this score," he added.

    The minister also reported that a plan to return police officers detailed to act as bodyguards for politicians and private individuals to general, active duty was proceeding successfully and that more 600 such officers will have returned within the week.

    "In total, ELAS had 4,470 units stationed at targets (embassies, buildings etc). Our goal was to reduce this number by 20-24 percent," Dendias said. He also announced plans to reinforce the DIAS motorcycle police force with 10 groups of specially trained and more heavily equipped units to deal with more dangerous criminals.

    In other statements, he insisted that the new laws on university asylum will be enforced and police will no longer stand by and watch as offences were carried out and public property destroyed within campuses.

    "This is what happened in Thessaloniki and what will happen wherever else is necessary. The universities are an asylum for ideas, not an asylum for illegal actions," he added.

    [12] Greek FM says need for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

    BRUSSELS (AMNA/V. Demiris)

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, in statements after the conclusion of the EU Foreign Affairs Council here, expressed the EU's concern over the escalation of tension in Gaza and Israel. He stressed that an immediate ceasfire and de-escalation is imperative and above all "we must safeguard the prospect of the solution of two states".

    "We must return to the negotiating table as soon as possible and create conditions of confidence that are currently non-existent unfortunately," the Foreign minister further said .

    Avramopoulos pointed out that the EU has great possibilities when, however, it speaks in a coordinated way, with one voice and added that "we had the opportunity of underlining this during the discussions that preceded."

    Avramopoulos also stressed that Greece will continue to take initiatives for the shaping of a dynamic European policy in the region, utilising the relations of trust it has with both Israel and the Palestinians.

    [13] UN envoy Matthew Nimetz holds separate meetings with Greek, fYRoM representatives

    NEWS YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)

    The UN Secreteray Generals' personal envoy in talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), Matthew Nimetz, held separate meetings in New York on Monday with the two countries' representatives, ambassadors Adamantios Vassilakis and Zoran Jolevski respectively.

    A joint meeting between the three will be held at the UN's headquarters on Tuesday and then they will be making statements to the press.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his separate meetings last September with Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and fYRoM president Georgi Ivanov on the sidelines of the sessions of the General Assembly's 67th conference "reiterated the importance of them proceeding to decisions that will resolve the issue soon and in a mutually acceptable way," as had been mentioned in an announcement by the UN's Secretariat.

    Nimetz also, in a recent interview with a Skope television channel, claimed that the "Memorandum of Understanding" that Greece proposed is an "important step" in the direction of finding a solution to the name issue.

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, in a letter to his FYROM counterpart, Nikola Poposki, on October 3, proposed the signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding" between the two countries that will set the framework and the basic parametres for the final solution of the name issue.

    [14] Takeovers of municipalities throughout Greece

    The federation of local government employees POE-OTA proceeded Monday with generalized takeovers of municipal authority buildings and services throughout Greece to prevent the issue of any Administrative Act that would facilitate the placement of local government employees in reserve labor, or 'suspension', status.

    The action was launched as Monday is the deadline for municipalities to submit lists of names of the municipal employees to be put on suspension following the passing of the omnibus bill containing salary and pension cuts, reforms and changes to the labor regime.

    POE-OTA also calls on the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) to suspend the operation of the municipal services to facilitate the decision of most municipalities not to send relevant data to the Administrative Reform ministry and reaffirm in action their declared support of the municipal employees.

    The Association of Attica Local Governments has called on municipal employees to stage a 24-hour strike on Monday, the deadline for submission of the lists, and is organizing a demonstration at 11:00 a.m. outside the Interior Ministry building in downtown Athens' Klafthmonos Square.

    It has also called on Tuesday a 4-hour work stoppage from 11am-3pm for the morning shifts and from 3pm to 7pm for the afternoon shifts, and a demonstration and march to the Administrative Reform ministry.

    Similar demonstrations are being planned in other prefectural capitals throughout Greece.

    [15] Heckler has apologised, German consul says

    One of the municipal employees on charges of violence against the German consul in Thessaloniki apologised to the diplomat on Monday.

    Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier told AMNA that the employee approached him of his own volition at the court in Thessaloniki where he was awaiting to be tried and apologised. The consul accepted the apology and noted that "violence is not a means of resolving conflict."

    The employee excused himself by saying he was "emotionally overwrought" from austerity measures "threatening his job".

    The municipal employee, a colleague and a trade unionist (aged 39, 47 and 53) were arrested for heckling and throwing coffee and water bottles against the consul as he arrived at a conference centre for the 3rd Greek-German meeting of Regions, Municipalities and Citizens last Thursday. Their trial has been postponed to November 28.

    The defendants appeared before a public prosecutor on Saturday and were charged with illegal violence, disturbing the peace and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm. One of the three was also charged with insubordination because, according to police, he refused to have his fingerprints taken. The charges were filed by the police.

    [16] Act on Parliament staff, civil service pension issues in government gazette

    A legislative act outlining the new pension regime for Parliamentary staff was published in the government gazette on Monday, becoming law. This essentially stipulates that retirement and pensions for Parliament's staff will be governed by the same rules and with the same retirement age as all for other civil servants working in ministries, while they will receive the same pension as the equivalent ministry employee of their grade.

    The new rules go into effect from January 1, 2013 for all Parliament staff still employed there at this date, regardless of the time needed before they are eligible to go into retirement.

    The same act also introduces measures harmonising civil servants' pensions with those of the main social insurance funds, stipulating that if the overall sum of pensions, including supplementary pensions and dividends, exceeds 2,000 euro and up to the sum of 3,000 euro, the above sum is reduced by 15 percent. For sums exceeding 3,000 euro, the overall amount of the pension is reduce by 20 percent.

    It further increases the age at which pensioners can receive the EKAS low-pension benefit to 65 and stipulates that paraplegics and quadruplegics will continue to receive the Christmas, Easter and summer bonus payments abolished for other civil service pensioners. This additional sum will be divided into 12 equal installments and be paid with their pension.

    Other measures regulate the issues of decisions regulating the sale of formula milk, allowing these to be sold in shops other than pharmacies.

    [17] Takeover of Health Ministry

    Health Ministry employees staged a takeover of the ministry's central services on Monday, in protest of the reserve labor measure, after 70 employees of the ministry, who have completed secondary education, received notices of 'suspension'.

    The protestors are demanded the immediate change of the decision and the guarantee of all jobs.

    [18] Event on Cyprus for Andreas Christodoulides, former AMNA director

    An event was held in Nicosia on Monday evening in honour of Andreas Christodoulides, journalist and former general manager of the Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency (AMNA), who died in June 2012 aged 70.

    Christodoulides was born in Cyprus, completed a law degree in Athens and entered the field of journalism in 1965, working in several newspapers, including Ta Nea and Eleftherotypia. Prior to filling top-level positions at the agency, where he spent over 16 years, he had been a founding member of EDEK Cyprus and PASOK.

    Speeches were delivered by representatives of the Cyprus News Agency (KYPE), AMNA and the Union of Cyprus Journalists (ESK). Louis Igoumenidis, educator, political analyst and personal friend of Christodoulides was the main speaker.

    Christodoulides "was a great personage in politics, journalism and the public sphere in Cyprus and Greece," Cyprus News Agency (CNA) president Larkos Larkou said. An "innovator and a pillar" of the agency and "a worthy child of Hellenism, Cyprus and Greece," was how one of AMNA's managers, Stavros Tzimas, described him. AMNA public relations manager Dimitra Letsa, who also spoke, remembered the late journalist and colleague as gracious, fair to all and a tough judge of himself.

    The event was held at the initiative of the CNA.

    Financial News

    [19] BoG: Current accounts deficit posts 76.5pct decline in Jan-Sept 2012

    Greece's current accounts deficit posted a major decline of 76.5 percent in the nine-month period January-September, falling to 3.5 billion against 14.8 billion euro in the corresponding period in 2011, reflecting a sharp reduction of the trade balance deficit by 5.3 billion euro and a reduction of the income account deficit of 4.4 billion euro, resulting in a reduction of the country's financing needs from abroad by 1.9 billion euro from 13.4 billion euro in the same period last year, while in September 2012 the he combined current account and capital transfers balance, which corresponds to the economy's external financing requirements, showed a surplus of 767 million euro against a deficit of 1.1 billion euro in September 2011, the country's central Bank of Greece (BoG) said on Monday.

    The BoG, in a report, said that in September 2012, the current account balance showed a surplus of ? 775 million, compared with a deficit of ? 1.1 billion in September 2011.

    The trade deficit fell by ? 700 million, as a result of a ? 512 million decrease in the trade deficit excluding oil and ships, as well as declines of ? 68 million and ? 120 million in the net import bill for oil and ships, respectively. The trade deficit excluding oil and ships shrank due to the considerably reduced import bill (down by ? 726 million or 30.3%), despite the fact that export receipts fell by ? 213 million or 15.9% in September 2012.

    The surplus of the services balance narrowed by ? 75 million as a result of a decrease in net receipts from "other" services and transport services, while net travel receipts remained almost unchanged. In more detail, compared with September 2011, travel spending in Greece by non-residents grew by 0.6%, while travel spending abroad by residents rose by 5.1%; as a result, net receipts showed a small increase of ? 2.0 million. In the same month, non-residents' arrivals decreased by 2.5%, according to data from the Bank of Greece' s border survey. Gross transport receipts (chiefly from merchant shipping) fell by 16.5%, but the corresponding payments also fell (by 24.1%); as a result, net receipts decreased by ? 63 million.

    The income account showed a surplus of ? 144 million, compared with a deficit of ? 939 million in September 2011, because the interest, dividend and profit balance improved, as it showed net receipts of ? 160 million in September 2012, against net payments of 909 million in September 2011. This development, in turn, mainly reflects a decline in net interest payments on Greek government bonds held by non-residents, following the PSI.

    Finally, the current transfers balance showed a deficit of ? 66 million, compared with a deficit of ? 203 million in September 2011, chiefly as a result of lower net general government transfer payments (mainly to the EU), as well as a shift in the other sectors balance (mainly emigrants' remittances) from a deficit in September 2011 to net receipts. (It should be recalled that gross current transfers from the EU mainly include receipts from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), as well as receipts from the European Social Fund, while current transfers to the EU include Greece's contributions (payments) to the Community Budget.)

    In the January-September 2012 period, the current account deficit contracted by ? 11.3 billion or 76.5% year-on-year, to ? 3.5 billion. This development primarily reflects a significant decline of ? 5.3 billion in the trade deficit, a ? 4.4 billion decrease in the income account deficit, as well as increases of ? 933 million and ? 590 million in the surpluses of the current transfers balance and the services balance, respectively.

    In more detail, the trade deficit decreased as a result of a ? 3.1 billion (or 31.8%) decline in the trade deficit excluding oil and ships and a ? 2.0 billion drop in net payments for purchases of ships, whereas the net oil import bill shrank by ? 257 million or 3.1%. Receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships rose by 1.8%, while the corresponding import bill fell at a much faster pace (15.0%).

    The increase observed in the surplus of the services balance over the first nine months of 2012 is primarily due to higher net transport receipts and, secondarily, lower net payments for "other" services, as well as higher net travel receipts. In more detail, travel spending by non-residents in Greece fell by 2.7% year-on-year, while non-residents' arrivals declined at an average annual rate of 5.2% (according to data from the Bank of Greece's border survey). At the same time, travel spending abroad by residents fell by 17.6%; as a result, net receipts rose by ? 67 million. Over the same period, gross transport receipts (chiefly from merchant shipping) decreased by 3.4%, but the corresponding payments decreased even more (by 14.5%); as a result, net receipts rose by ? 445 million.

    The income account deficit fell by ? 4.4 billion year-on-year, mainly owing to a drastic decline in net interest payments on Greek government bonds held by non-residents, following the PSI, and deferred interest payments on loans under the support mechanism through the ECB owing to interest rate changes, as already mentioned in the June 2012 press release.

    Finally, the current transfers balance showed a surplus of ? 1.6 billion, up by ? 933 million year-on-year. This development is chiefly due to a ? 721 million rise in general government net transfer receipts (mainly from the EU) and a ? 213 million drop in the net transfer payments of the sectors other than general government (mainly emigrants' remittances).

    Capital transfers balance

    In September 2012, the capital transfers balance showed a small deficit of ? 8.1 million, compared with a surplus of ? 7.9 million in September 2011, reflecting mainly a shift in the balance of the sectors other than general government to a deficit, from a surplus in September 2011, while net EU capital transfers to general government remained almost nil. (Capital transfers from the EU mainly include receipts from the Structural Funds - except for the European Social Fund - and the Cohesion Fund under the Community Support Framework.)

    In the January-September 2012 period, the capital transfers balance showed a surplus of ? 1.6 billion, compared with ? 1.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2011. This increase stems exclusively from a rise in net EU capital transfers to general government.

    The overall transfers balance (current transfers plus capital transfers) recorded a surplus of ? 3.2 billion in the reviewed period of 2012, up by ? 1.4 billion year-on-year, reflecting the above-mentioned positive development in EU capital transfers.

    Combined current account and capital transfers balance

    The combined current account and capital transfers balance (corresponding to the economy' s external financing requirements) showed a surplus of ? 767 million in September 2012, compared with a deficit of ? 1.1 billion in September 2011. In the January-September 2012 period, this balance showed a deficit of only ? 1.9 billion, compared with ? 13.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2011 (down by 86.2%), i.e. it fell at a faster pace than the current account deficit.

    Financial account balance

    In September 2012, non-residents' direct investment in Greece showed a net outflow (decline) of ? 25 million. The most important transactions concerned (a) an inflow of ? 30 million for the participation of the parent company Abbott Investment SPRL (Luxembourg) in the capital increase of Abbott Laboratories Hellas S.A.; and (b) an inflow of ? 25 million for the participation of the parent company Abbvie Investment SPRL (Luxembourg) in the capital increase of Abbvie Pharmaceuticals S.A.; however, these inflows were offset by outflows due to negative reinvested earnings (i.e. losses instead of profits on the balance sheets of corporate direct investors in Greece). Residents' direct investment abroad recorded a net outflow (increase) of ? 15 million, without any remarkable transaction.

    As regards portfolio investment, a net inflow of ? 41 million was recorded, reflecting mainly a ? 803 million decline in residents' holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills, as well as ? 148 million fall in residents' holdings of foreign shares. These developments were partly offset by a ? 903 million outflow due to a decrease in non-residents' holdings of Greek bonds and Treasury bills.

    Under "other" investment, a net outflow of ? 685 million was recorded, which is mainly attributable to a net decrease of ? 1.7 billion in non-residents' deposit and repo holdings in Greece (outflow) and a small increase (of ? 33 million) in loans granted to non-residents. These developments were partly offset by a net ? 853 million decrease in resident credit institutions' and institutional investors' deposit and repo holdings abroad (inflow), as well as a very small rise of ? 7 million in the outstanding debt of the public and the private sector to non-residents (inflow).

    In the January-September 2012 period, direct investment showed a net inflow of ? 2.0 billion (compared with a net outflow of ? 2.0 billion in the corresponding period of 2011). Specifically, non-residents' direct investment in Greece showed a net inflow of ? 1.8 billion, while residents' direct investment abroad showed a net inflow of ? 185 million (disinvestment).

    A net outflow of ? 76.0 billion was observed under portfolio investment (compared with a net outflow of ? 16.9 billion in the corresponding period of 2011). In more detail, a capital outflow was recorded, on the one hand due to a ? 38.8 billion increase in residents' holdings of foreign bond and Treasury bills (including EFSF bonds) and, on the other hand, a ? 36.2 billion decrease in non-residents' holdings of Greek bonds and Treasury bills. Furthermore, a capital outflow was recorded also on account of increases of ? 719 million and ? 102 million in residents' holdings of foreign financial derivatives and foreign shares, respectively. A ? 149 million outflow was also observed due to a decline in non-residents' investment in shares of Greek firms.

    Under "other" investment, a net inflow of ? 77.3 billion was recorded (compared with a net inflow of ? 33.8 billion over the first nine months of 2011). This is chiefly attributable to a ? 76.0 billion increase in the net outstanding debt of the public and the private sector to non-residents (inflow) and to a ? 13.7 billion decline in resident credit institutions' and institutional investors' deposit and repo holdings abroad (inflow). In more detail, net general government borrowing came to ? 75.1 billion and reflects gross public sector borrowing of ? 75.6 billion from the EFSF and the IMF. These developments were partly offset by a ? 11.9 billion decline in non-residents' holdings of deposits and repos in Greece (outflow).

    At end-September 2012, Greece' s reserve assets stood at ? 5.9 billion. (It should be recalled that, since Greece joined the euro area in January 2001, reserve assets, as defined by the European Central Bank, include only monetary gold, the "reserve position" with the IMF, "Special Drawing Rights", and Bank of Greece claims in foreign currency on residents of non-euro area countries. Excluded are euro-denominated claims on non-euro area residents, claims (in foreign currency and in euro) on euro area residents, and the Bank of Greece share in the capital and reserves of the ECB.)

    [20] Greek gov't unveils measures to support indebted households

    A grace period of up to four years, interest rates of 1.5 pct and a monthly payment of below 200 euros are included in a package of measures, examined by the Development ministry, with the aim to relief indebted Greek households by restructuring their bank debts.

    The package of measures needs approval by the troika and the European Central Bank, Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Costis Hatzidakis said on Monday.

    Addressing a meeting with the presidency of Hellenic Banks Association, Hatzidakis said the changes -if approved by the country's creditors- would be implemented by early 2013. The measure will cover wage earners and pensioners with a family annual income of up to 25,000 euros and after suffering a 35 pct accumulated cut from January 1, 2010. During the grace period, the borrower will pay only the interest of the loan with a monthly payment of up to 30 pct of monthly income. The measure will cover the first house with an objective value of up to 180,000, or 200,000 euros for families with more than three children. The measure will also cover special social groups without income criteria, such as unemployed and handicapped people

    The package of measures also envisages a freezing of residence auctions by the end of 2013 and an amendment of an existing law on indebted households.

    [21] Backdated public-sector pay cuts to be withheld from pay, finance ministry decides

    Backdated pay cuts from so-called "special salary scales" in the public sector will be recovered from employees' monthly pay over the course of 2013, according to a decision unveiled by Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Monday.

    The money paid to public-sector staff before the pay cuts, which were backdated to August 1, 2012, will be returned in a maximum of 12 installments, while each installment cannot be greater than the new, reduced salary that will be paid from January 2013.

    The number of installments will also depend on the size of the amount to be returned, with one-off payment of sums up to 100 euro, rising to two from sums up to 250 euro and then in steps of 250 euro up to 1000 euro (five monthly installments), steps of 500 euro from 1,000-2,000 (nine monthly installments) and finally steps of 1,000 euro from sums from 3,000-5,000 euro (11 monthly installments). For all sums exceeding 5,000 euro, the amount will be withheld in 12 installments.

    The finance ministry clarified that the sums referred to the gross pay or pension of the employees, military personnel or pensioners involved, not including the relevant contributions and other payments. In cases where an employee has retired in the meantime, the money will be withheld from their pension or, if this has been transferred, from the pension of members of their family. For those that resign from their job, the sums paid will be returned as a lump sum and, if they refuse, they will be held liable according to the law.

    [22] Olympic Games cost Greece 8,48 million euros, minister says

    The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens cost the country a total of 8,48 million euros, according to a document filed by Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras with Parliament on Monday.

    The figures were disclosed in response to questions tabled by Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, who attributed the country's high public debt and deficit to the cost of the Games, and three party deputies. Staikouras said that the amount included expenses covered by the state and those incurred by the organising committee of the Athens Games.

    Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Ioannidis, responsible for sports, also replying in writing to the same question, noted that the expenses linked to the public investment programme have been audited by the Court of Audit and the Fiscal Control Service. However, he said, there is no audit report by the Sports General Secretariat on the organising committee because the Secretariat's audit committee can only issue reports on agencies it supervises and following a ministerial order.

    Ioannidis also said that 4.8 million euros had been spent on security for the Olympic facilities (up to February 2007) and 28.7 million euros on maintenance.

    [23] Twice-yearly review of renewables levy under new legislative act

    The levy paid by consumers in support of renewable energy sources through their electricity bills will henceforth be reviewed twice a year, in June and December, under a legislative act approved by the cabinet on Sunday.

    This will allow a regular assessment of the spending and revenues from the relevant fund so that this can remain balanced and restrict deficits (which exceeded 300 million euro last August). The government's aim is to eliminate the deficit by 2014.

    The same environment ministry act also limits the percentage of the Green Fund reserves available to cover its running costs to 2.5 percent, making the rest available to the state budget, it regulates issues concerning the public gas companies and operators DEPA and DESFA in view of their privatisation and outlines the credentials and registry process for energy inspectors.

    [24] Gov't awards unprofitable shipping lines

    The merchant marine ministry on Monday temporarily awarded two coastal shipping routes in the Cyclades to the vessels of "Diagoras" -owned by Blue Star Ferries- and "European express", owned by C-Link Ferries (a subsidiary of NEL Lines), ministry sources told AMNA.

    The ministry has not yet answered to demands made by coastal shipping companies -which were rejected from a tender to service unprofitable lines in the Aegean for reasons of procedure - and has decided to award the two contracts to the two companies in order to maintain regular transportation services with remote islands in the regions.

    "Diagoras" will service the Piraeus-Kalymnos-Kos-Nisyros-Rhodes-Kastellorizo route, as well as the Piraeus-Patmos-Lipsi-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Simi-Rhodes and Piraeus-Astypalea-Kalymnos-Cos-Nisyros-Tilos-Rhodes routes, while the "European express" will service the Samos-Ikaria and Syros-Evdilos-Aghios Kyrikos-Fourni-Karlovasi-Vathi routes.

    [25] Truckers threatening to strike from Dec. 10

    The owners of Greece's roughly 33,000 trucks-for-hire have threatened with potential indefinite strike action from December 10, in protest against measures liberalising their sector passed in an omnibus bill of cuts, reforms and other austerity measures recently approved by Parliament.

    The decision to strike was taken during a general assembly held by truck owners on Saturday night, which gave the development ministry until the end of the month to rescind the measures.

    The truck owners might be joined in strike action by the owners of the approximately 1,300 tanker trucks (primarily used to transport fuels) but the latter have not yet announced their decision.

    [26] ADEDY announces work stoppage on Thursday

    The civil servants' union federation ADEDY Executive Committee on Monday announced a work stoppage from 11:00 a.m. until the end of the shift this Thursday. The union will also organise a protest rally at Klafthmonos Square in central Athens at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, followed by a march to the administrative reform ministry.

    ADEDY also indicated that it intends to escalate strike action, holding a meeting with its member federations on this issue on Tuesday, followed by a Union General Council meeting on December 5 to decide the form and extent of the mobilisations.

    [27] Business Briefs

    -- Public Power Corp. (PPC) on Monday said a tender process for the power connection of the Cyclades islands with the country's mainland grid was annulled after a final assessment of a financial offer submitted by the only candidate in the tender -- a joint venture by Siemens-Prysmian Powerlink Srl-Nexans Norway AS.

    -- Piraeus Bank Group on Monday unveiled a new venture capital fund, named Piraeus Jeremie Technology Catalyst Fund (PJ Tech Catalyst), which aims to invest in newly established innovative enterprises in Information Technology Communications (ICT) in Greece.

    -- The new orders index in the industrial sector dropped 11.4 pct in September this year, reflecting a steady decline in orders from abroad, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    -- Hellas Online (HOL) on Monday said its EBITDA totaled 49.5 million euros in the January-September period this year, from 48.4 million euros in the corresponding period in 2011.

    -- Jumbo Group on Monday reported a 4.23-pct decline in net profits to 17.15 million euros in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013), down from 17.90 million euros in the corresponding period last year.

    [28] Stocks end significantly higher

    Stocks ended significantly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with investors discounting positive developments for Greece in Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting. The composite index of the market easily surpassed the 800-mark, ending at 820.91 points, up 3.85 pct. Turnover, however, remained at moderate levels (53.11 million euros).

    The Big Cap index jumped 5.54 pct and the Mid Cap index rose 2.69 pct. The Commerce sector was the only one to end lower (-0.82 pct), while Banks (13.54 pct), Health (6.23 pct), Financial Services (5.54 pct) and Technology (5.49 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    Folli Follie (0.85 pct) was the only blue chip to end lower, while Alpha Bank (20.67 pct), Eurobank (16.18 pct), Piraeus Bank (12.56 pct), National Bank (11.49 pct) and Cyprus Bank (10.27 pct) were top gainers. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 105 to 33 with another 22 issues unchanged. Elgeka (21.10 pct), Alpha Bank (20.67 pct) and Edrasi (20 pct) were top gainers, while Compucon (20 pct), Pegasus (10.04 pct) and MIG Real Estate (9.60 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: +3.22%

    Commercial: -0.82%

    Construction +1.14%

    Oil & Gas: +2.67%

    Personal & Household: +1.22%

    Raw Materials: +4.26%

    Travel & Leisure +2.97%

    Technology: +5.49%

    Telecoms: +4.11%

    Banks: +13.54%

    Food & Beverages: +1.48%

    Health: +6.23%

    Utilities: +3.91%

    Financial Services: +5.54%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Alpha Bank, National Bank, Bank of Piraeus and EFG Eurobank Ergasias.

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.81

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.46

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.25

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.27

    National Bank of Greece: 1.65

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.79

    OPAP: 4.76

    OTE: 3.80

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.45

    Titan: 13.44

    [29] Greek bond market closing

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 15.82 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 17.17 pct and the German Bund 1.35 pct. Turnover in the market was a thin 3.0 million euros, all buy orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were almost unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.58 pct, the six-month rate was 0.35 pct, the three-month rate was 0.19 pct and the one-month rate eased to 0.10 pct.

    [30] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.23 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover remaining a low 18.572 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 6,579 contracts worth 9.576 million euros, with 31,028 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 56,066 contracts worth 8.996 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (20,228), followed by Alpha Bank (14,568), Piraeus Bank (9,272), Cyprus Bank (2,990), Eurobank (1,245), OTE (1,500), PPC (1,938), OPAP (1,587), Cyprus Popular Bank (1,003), Mytilineos (352), GEK (390), Intralot (297) and MIG (162).

    [31] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.295

    Pound sterling 0.815

    Danish kroner 7.570

    Swedish kroner 8.771

    Japanese yen 105.15

    Swiss franc 1.222

    Norwegian kroner 7.482

    Canadian dollar 1.293

    Australian dollar 1.246

    General News

    [32] World, European Churches state solidarity for Greece

    The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) sent messages of solidarity and support for Greece, during a meeting of their delegations on Monday with deputy foreign minister Costas Tsiaras.

    Tsiaras said afterwards that a useful and constructive discussion took place, focusing mainly on the economic crisis in Greece, adding that the delegations were greatly interested in learning what exactly was happening in Greece "and how we can deal with it".

    They also discussed the problems faced by Christians in Syria, assessing all the parameters of assistance that the Churches can provide, as well as the prospects for humanitarian aid to the population and the region, Tsiaras said.

    Tsiaras thanked the delegations and expressed interest in and support for what the World Council of Churches has been trying to do all these years, which is to highlight the principles and values of the Christian faith, and chiefly to give ability for support to the population groups having need of it.

    Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, secretary general of the World Council of Churches said that "we are here to listen and to learn how the Church of Greece and the Greek people are dealing with this crisis".

    "We are here to state, with our presence and words, that the hour of crisis is the hour of solidarity. It is the hour for us all to be united and to learn from this situation, but also to see how we can mobilize all the human forces, spiritual and moral, to find the road to move forward," he added.

    "We express our support in this very difficult conjuncture, to the Greek people and the Church of Greece, which are in our prayers," he said.

    CEC president Metropolitan Emmanuel said the CEC is willing to contribute in any way it can, adding that "we came here to show how much we, too, share in this effort in Greece today, and how close we are, not only to the Church but to all the people...and how much we want Greece to exist this crisis for a better tomorrow, and this will happen when everyone begins to think in a different way".

    [33] Archbishop Ieronymos meets representatives of World Churches Council, European Churches Council

    Greeks are neither thieves nor frauds, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos said on Monday during a meeting he had with representatives of the World Council of Churches and the Council of European Churches.

    "Our people are neither a people of thieves nor a people of frauds, as reports by foreign media are presenting them," Ieronymos said.

    "Such presentation does not help, on the contrary, it worsens the situation. Greeks are still a hard working people, with self respect and with a culture which every state and every country would envy. Greece is experiencing today a difficult situation. We have gone through other crises as well, which we have overcome with pride, and we are optimistic that we will overcome the present one as well. But we feel biterness from the stance some European peoples have observed towards us," the Archbishop added.

    The social repercussions of the economic crisis in Greece and in Europe in general were also discussed at the meeting, as well as the way for action and cooperation by Churches to handle them.

    [34] Message by Papoulias on occasion of World Day Against Child Abuse

    President Karolos Papoulias, in a message on the occasion of World Day Against Child Abuse on Monday, stressed that "every form of violence is unacceptable and repulsive, but violence exercised against children is absolutely incon-ceivable".

    The president also noted that protection for children that were victims of child abuse "is of great importance for our social culture" and that the quality of the social state is always judged by its contribution primarily towards the weakest groups of the population."

    He concluded by stressing that "in a day such as today, let us consider how much we owe to the children that experienced and are experiencing human savagery at an age when they need sentimental security more than anything else".

    [35] Slight rise in EU citizenship acquisition for 2010, Eurostat reports

    BRUSSELS (AMNA)

    Roughly 810,500 persons acquired citizenship of one of the 27 EU countries in 2010, according to Eurostat data released recently.

    The European Union's statistical service said the highest number of citizenships were granted by the United Kingdom (195,000 persons), France (143,000), Spain (124,000) and Germany (105,000) which together accounted for 70 percent of all citizenships granted by the 27 EU member-states.

    Compared with 2009, the number of acquisitions rose by 4 percent in the EU, mainly due to an increase in the number of citizenships granted by Spain.The new citizens came from Africa (29 percent of the total number of citizenships acquired), Asia (23 percent), non-EU27 Europe (19 percent), North and South America (19 percent), another EU27 member-state (9 percent) and Oceania (1 percent).

    When compared with the total population of each member-state, the highest rates of citizenship granted were recorded in Luxembourg (8.6 citizenships granted per 1,000 inhabitants), Sweden (3.5), Belgium (3.2) and the United Kingdom (3.1). Twelve countries granted less than one citizenship per 1,000 inhabitants; including Greece, with 0.8 per 1,000 citizens.

    On average, 1.6 citizenships were granted per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU.

    In 2010, the largest groups that acquired citizenship of an EU state were citizens of Morocco (67,000 persons), Turkey (49,900), Ecuador (45,200), India (34,700) and Colombia (27,500).

    In some EU countries, a large part of the citizenships was granted to citizens from only one country. The states with the highest concentrations were Hungary (65 percent from Romania) and Greece (65 percent from Albania).

    For the full report click:

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-16112012-BP/EN/3-16112012-BP-EN.PDF

    [36] Eighteen on trial for urban terrorism charges

    Eighteen people will be will be tried by a three-justice criminal appeals court on charges of being members of the "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" terrorist group, according to a decision by the tribunal of appeals.

    Some of the defendants have already been sentenced for the urban terrorist gang's actions, including explosions at the house of former minister Louka Katseli and the offices of former deputy minister Panagiotis Hinofotis, as well as at the Macedonia-Thrace ministry in Thessaloniki.

    A new trial was ordered based up evidence dated from 2008 to 2011, and besides charges of forming and participating in a terrorist group include, case by case, charges of creating and possessing explosives, carrying out bombings and complicity in carrying out bombings.

    According to the tribunal's ruling, the 18 defendants are charged with a total of more than 200 terrorist-related actions, for most of which were claimed by the group through proclamations.

    The actions include bombings at the administrative first-instance court, the ministry of justice (through a letter-bomb), an National Bank-affiliated insurance office off Syngrou Avenue and Parliament's courtyard, as well as bombing attempts against politicians such as former prime minister Costas Karamanlis (before a campaign address by the latter in central Athens), current MP Mimis Androulakis and ex-MP Marietta Yiannakou.

    [37] Trial of three accused of attacking German consul postponed to Nov. 28

    The trial of two municipal employees and the trade unionist accused of attacking the German consul in Thessaloniki originally scheduled for Monday has been postponed to November 28.

    The three suspects, aged 39, 47 and 53 years old, respectively, appeared before a public prosecutor on Saturday and were charged with illegal violence, disturbing the peace and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm. One of the three was also charged with insubordination because, according to police, he refused to have his fingerprints taken.

    Hundreds of colleagues of the accused gathered outside the Thessaloniki court complex on Monday, where the suspects asked and were given an extension due to the absence of witnesses, who cited prior work engagements.

    MPs from the main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Independent Greeks party gathered outside the Thessaloniki court house to show their support. Scuffles broke out when some of them tried to enter the courtroom but were prevented by a strong police force.

    [38] Two arrests, 22 detained in Agrinio during protestors clash with riot police

    Police in the city of Agrinio in western Greece have arrested two individuals, aged 34 and 26 years old, respectively, and detained 22 during a clash between protestors and riot police on Sunday night.

    The incident occurred during a protest march organised by anti-establishment groups against the opening of a branch of the far-right nationalist Golden Dawn party in the city. The protestors attempted to approach the new GD offices and attacked MAT riot police stationed outisde with petrol bombs.

    Police responded with use of teargas and in the ensuing incidents there was damage to a shop window and two ATMs.

    The two men arrested will appear before a public prosecutor on Monday.

    [39] Low-Budget Films Festival opens Monday

    The third annual Low Budget Festival opens in Piraeus on Monday with the participation of 10 new films, of which seven are Greek.

    The Festival will run through December 18, with screenings in the garage of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation.

    The Festival opens with director Enke Fezollari's "The Road will kidnap you", based on the work by Sakis Serefas of nine bittersweet stories of everyday people trying to survive the crisis. The film will be screened Monday-Wednesday, with screenings beginning at 10:00 p.m.

    [40] Man arrested for explosives

    A 54-year-old man from the village of Kalyviani in Kissavos was arrested by Hania police, on the island of Crete, after 50 kilograms of explosives were found in a canteen run the by suspect in the Balou area.

    The man, who has a police record, is accused of possession and trafficking of explosives and firearms, as well as possession of narcotic substances.

    Police found and seized 2.1 kilos of TNT, 41.1 kilos of ammonia dynamite, 4.9 kilos of gel dynamite and 21.5 meters of quick-burning and slow-burning fuse, as well as 197 bullet shells, 72 grams of cannabis and 16,000 euros in cash from explosives sales.

    [41] Three foreign nationals arrested for car break-ins

    Three foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan were arrested in Thessaloniki on Monday for 17 car break-ins in the city center since September.

    The detainees are accused of breaking into the cars and stealing electronic devises, small cash sums and documents from the vehicles.

    They were caught in the act as they attempted to steal a photography camera from a car.

    Soccer

    [42] Super League results

    Olympiacos Piraeus beat Kerkyra 2-0 in a match played at home over the weekend and retained its lead in the Greek Super League soccer championship.

    In other action:

    Panionios Athens - Platanias Crete 4-0

    Aris Thessaloniki - PAS Yiannina 1-2

    OFI - Levadiakos 0-2

    Xanthi - Panthrakikos 0-0

    Veria - AEK Athens 0-4

    Panathinaikos - PAOK Thessaloniki 2-0

    Asteras Tripoli - Atromitos Athens 3-0

    Standings after eleven weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 31

    2. PAOK 23

    3. Panionios 21

    4. Asteras 20

    5. Atromitos 17

    6. Panathinaikos 16

    7. PAS Yiannina 15

    8. OFI 13

    9. Platanias 12

    10. Levadiakos 12

    11. Kerkyra 11

    12. Aris 10

    13. Xanthi 10

    14. Panthrakikos 10

    15. Veria 9

    16. AEK 8

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted

    Weather forecast

    [43] T-storms on Tues.

    Heavy rain is expected in most parts of Greece on Tuesday, with thunderstorms in the west and south.

    Variable winds from 4 to 6 Beaufort, rising to 7 in the Ionian and northern Aegean. Temperatures ranging from 8C to 21C. In Athens, rainy with strong thunderstorms locally. South-southeasterly winds 4 to 5 Beaufort weakening by night, temperatures from 15C to 17C. In Thessaloniki, similar, with east-northeasterly winds 4 to 7 Beaufort and temperatures from 12C to 15C.

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

    The critical decisions on Greece expected at Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting, the extended and stringent monitoring by Greece's lenders, the new taxes and the takeovers of municipal buildings throughout the country were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Tomorrow (Tuesday) the critical Eurogroup decisions".

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Per capital tax of 1,000 euros on every citizen".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Final solution for the loans".

    ELLADA: "The 44 myths about the 44 billion euros".

    ESTIA: "All of Europe at risk".

    ETHNOS: "The withheld taxes and revenues 'eat away' the salaries and pensions".

    IMERSSIA: "Breather with two 'yeses'."

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Yes to target clauses with penalties and commissioners".

    TA NEA: "Mutiny in municipalities, municipal residents hostage".

    VRADYNI: "Reduction of fines on homes lacking building licenses for large families (four children or more) and unemployed".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS


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