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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-02-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 18 February 2013 Issue No: 4290


  • [01] PM: No more cutbacks in minimum salary
  • [02] PM Samaras to address event at Zappeion on Monday
  • [03] PM to meet with Venizelos and Kouvelis on Monday
  • [04] Hollande in Athens on Tuesday
  • [05] New minister for European funds sworn in
  • [06] DIMAR on IMF's mistake in fiscal multiplier
  • [07] Independent Greeks leader on IMF's mistake
  • [08] SYRIZA leads ND by 0.9 pct, poll shows
  • [09] Successful firing by Navy on sea target east of Crete
  • [10] Greek ambassador to Mexico city dies
  • [11] Soufli silk of the best quality
  • [12] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [13] Gold workshop attacked at dawn in Halkidiki, four people wounded
  • [14] Greek citizen among the abducted in Bauchi, Nigeria
  • [15] Sri Lankan found dead in Pylea
  • [16] Arrest for child porn trafficking over the Internet
  • [17] 268 kg of hashish confiscated
  • [18] Three earthquakes recorded on Sun.
  • [19] Super League result
  • [20] Rainy on Monday
  • [21] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] PM: No more cutbacks in minimum salary

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledged that there will be no further cutbacks in the minimum salary, in an interview with Real News newspaper appearing on Sunday. "Of course I pledge this, even European Commissioner (for Economic and Monetary Affairs) Olli Rehn said it," stressed Samaras, and clarified that he has already put forward the matter of the the IMF's 'mistake' (on the fiscal multiplier) and has achieved substantial results.

    "We do not negotiate in public, these (negotiations) become known when we announce the results, because usually when you preannounce them, you burn them...", the premier explained..

    Samaras underlined that if the recession caused is higher than the predictions, then there will be no more measures for this reason, and conversely, when we surpass our targets we should be allowed to give relief to the people. Provided that we keep to our commitments.

    According to Samaras, all the above have been included in the new loan contract because it was understood that the preceding conditions were leading us to a vicious circle of recession, and he also underlined that what will change is that wasteful state expenditures will be halted, the structural changes will move forward, a blow will be dealt to bureaucracy and the privatisations will proceed.

    Asked what Greece seeks from its lenders, Samaras stressed that by adhering to our commitments we can seek changes to all those (measures) that do not function or that bring the opposite results, and referred to the citizens' ability to pay their obligations to the Tax Bureau and to the banks. He also said that the target for 2013 is to achieve a primary surplus and underlined that this programme can work and meet its targets. However, he warned, "If we have strikes every day, takeovers of streets public offices, Athens' centre is blocked or the circulation is prevented on national roads and everything is paralyzed, then no programme can work. He said that this was what some aspire todo " but we will not let them".

    Furthermore, Samaras voiced his full support for Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras while, questioned on the prospect of a government reshuffle, said that it will take place "whenever necessary".

    Referring to main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, he said that the latter "imitates the worst political attitudes of the past, although he is young himself.. "He hastened to become old," Samaras added.

    On the farmers' demands and mobilisations, the premier said that his government has done everything it could possibly do, but there are no more margins, and "I do not want and cannot deceive them".

    [02] PM Samaras to address event at Zappeion on Monday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be present and will address an event of the Stavros Niarchos foundation on the theme of "Initiative against the crisis, a year of actions" at 9:45 on Monday morning at the Zappion Mansion.

    Meanwhile, the speedier absorption of the funds of the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA), the actions required and that have not yet been implemented, the measures in support of the weakest citizens, as well as the visit to Greece by French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday will be on the agenda of the talks between the leaders of the three parties supporting the Samaras government at the Maximos Mansion at 6 p.m. on Monday.

    [03] PM to meet with Venizelos and Kouvelis on Monday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet on Monday at 18:00 with the political leaders that participate in his coalition government, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis.

    The meeting will be held at Maximos mansion (government's headquarters) and according to information the three leaders will discuss issues regarding the government's priorities against unemployment, the management of National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds and the government's work in each ministry.

    According to sources, starting from Wednesday, Samaras will have a series of meetings in private with each minister in order the government's work to be accelerated.

    [04] Hollande in Athens on Tuesday

    French President Francois Hollande will pay an six-hour visit to Athens on Tuesday, following an invitation extended by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras during the extraordinary EU summit meeting in November.

    The visit was initially scheduled to take place last November afterwards it was rescheduled for December and finally for February.

    According to sources, Hollande is expected to make cooperation proposals to the Greek prime mininster in an effort to restore the French investors' confidence.

    [05] New minister for European funds sworn in

    Newly appointed Deputy Development Minister responsible for the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds Kyriakos Virvidakis was sworn in on Saturday at 12:00 in the presence of Greece's President of Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday announced the appointment of a new deputy minister to take over management of National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds. The prime minister made the announcement during Friday's cabinet meeting, following a proposal made by Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

    [06] DIMAR on IMF's mistake in fiscal multiplier

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) on Saturday asked for the "amendment and supplementation of the fiscal adjustment programme" that our country has agreed with its lenders, because of the IMF's mistake in the fiscal multiplier. "The IMF's public acknowledgment of its mistake in calculating the repercussions from the reduction in state expenditures constitutes a confession of failure. This acknowledgment, however does not create real potential for the renunciation of Greece's loan commitments, but it points out the need, along with the reforms in the state and the economy, for an amendment of and supplements to the fiscal adjustment programme", a DIMAR written announcement said.

    The amendment must apply to the measures that brought the opposite of the anticipated economic results, such as the VAT increase and the excessive taxation of the reliable taxpayers. The supplementation must be applied on measures such as the financing of the real economy and a substantial increase in developmental interventions on specific projects that will generate jobs, and for support of the unemployed with direct actions, the DIMAR announcement concluded.

    DIMAR is a junior partner in the three-party coalition government.

    [07] Independent Greeks leader on IMF's mistake

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos on Saturday called on the political forces of the country to constitute a democratic patriotic axe against "a government that serves the lenders' interests".

    Kammenos who is currently visiting Epirus region, referring to the International Monetary Fund's assertions that it had made a 'mistake' in the size of the fiscal multiplier used to forecast the depth of the Greek recession that would result from austerity measures, said that "it was not a mistake but a crime".

    [08] SYRIZA leads ND by 0.9 pct, poll shows

    Main opposition SYRIZA leads New Democracy (ND) by a marginal 0.9 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper. .

    According to the poll results, SYRIZA leads with 20.45 percent followed by ND with 19.5 percent, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) 8.5 percent, PASOK 5.6 percent, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 4.8 percent, Independent Greeks 4.6 percent and Democratic Left 4.1 percent, Ecologists-Greens 1.2 percent and Drassi 1.1 percent while 4.2 of the respondents expressed support for other parties. The unspecified vote reached 36.1 percent.

    [09] Successful firing by Navy on sea target east of Crete

    National Defence General Staff chief Mihalis Kostarakos expressed satisfaction in a message on the twitter for a successful firing by Navy units against the old gunboat Eleftheria, east of the island of Crete on Saturday, that resulted in its sinking.

    Kostarakos said that the firing was carried out "under extreme conditions" in the framework of a combined exercise that anicipated high risk scenarios, some of which were tried for the first time, as was announced by the Navy General Staff.

    [10] Greek ambassador to Mexico city dies

    Greek Ambassador to Mexico city Dimitris Anninos died suddenly on Friday from aortic aneurysm rupture, one day after his official accreditation.

    Anninos had served for several years as Consul General in Melbourne and as ambassador to New Zealand and was recently appointed ambassador to Mexico city .

    Financial News

    [11] Soufli silk of the best quality

    The northeastern Greek city of Soufli is the only producer of silk not only in Greece but in all of Europe, and indeed Soufli silk is considered to be the best quality silk in the world.

    The silk 'industry' started in the Byzantine years and it had never entered the minds of the families involved in silk production that this 'exceptional raw material' would have such a broad usage in the future.

    Soufli silk is considered to be of the best quality, even better than the Chinese, and the prospects lying ahead for the area are huge given that it is the only place in Greece and in Europe that breeds silkworms (sericulture) and processes the silk threads from the cocoons.

    Soufli, in Evros prefecture, is notable for the silk industry that flourished there in the 19th century, and is also known as the Town of Silk.

    The older Silk Museum in Soufli (Thrace) belongs to the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP). It is housed in the Kourtidis Mansion (1883) and was set up in 1990. The purpose of the permanent exhibition housed on the ground floor of the Kourtidis Mansion is to show the pre-industrial techniques by which silkworms were bred (sericulture) and silk was woven. It also deals with the socio-economic significance of these activities for Soufli and the surrounding area. The exhibition is arranged as four units with 46 separate sets of exhibits of two -dimensional documentation and information material (texts, photographs, drawings, maps) and items traditionally associated with sericulture and silk-weaving.

    The first exhibition unit relates the history of silk over time, beginning with China, continuing through Greek and Roman antiquity and Byzantium and covering both the West and the Ottoman period. The second exhibition unit has as its theme the stages in the breeding of silkworms from the production of the "silk-seed" to the suffocation of the cocoons. The third exhibition unit is devoted to the manufacturing of silk, from the cleaning and sorting of the cocoons to the weaving of the fine silks that Soufli is famous for. The fourth exhibition unit deals with the broader socio-economic background against which silk-weaving developed in Greece and the rest of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on the rise and decline of the silk industry in Soufli and its contribution to the development of the town. The printed matter on the Silk Museum consists of a leaflet/poster and a monograph entitled Sericulture in Soufli. An educational programme entitled "Unwinding a cocoon ..., addressed to the first classes of primary scholl and covering traditional sericulture and silk-weaving, has been prepared as part of the MELINA project (Ministry of Culture, Benaki Museum).

    A more recent addition to the silk museums in Soufli is the Art of Silk Museum belonging to the Tsiakiris Family Silkmills. Opened in September 2008 in a renovated Neoclassical building (1886) on the main thoroughfare of the town, it displays the full sequence of sericulture (with live silkworms on show most of the year) and shows the more industrial side of silk manufacture and weaving incorporating fully functional machinery and exhibits from the Tsiakiri factory and videos of the various stages and methods of production. It features both live and electronically assisted guided tours (available in several languages).

    [12] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.352

    Pound sterling 0.873

    Danish kroner 7.570

    Swedish kroner 8.582

    Japanese yen 125.89

    Swiss franc 1.248

    Norwegian kroner 7.505

    Canadian dollar 1.356

    Australian dollar 1.308

    General News

    [13] Gold workshop attacked at dawn in Halkidiki, four people wounded

    Four people with slight wounds were taken to the Health Centre in Paleohori in Halkidiki, northern Greece, following the break-in at dawn on Sunday by hooded assailants at the workshop of the "Hellenic Gold" company in Skouries in Halkidiki, where they assaulted guards and set fire to installations, burning vehicles and offices.

    A Health Centre representative told AMNA that the three of the four left after being provided with first aid, while one was taken to the Polygyros hospital. "Indeed, a 27-year-old man was brought to us with abrasions and surface, but not dangerous, wounds. He is remaining at the hospital for treatment, however his health is in a good state," a hospital representative confirmed to AMNA.

    According to a police announcement, shortly after midnight "an attack took place by a group of about 40 persons who had the their faces concealed, with the use of inflammable material and molotov bombs at a workshop for the preparation of mineral gold ore excavation, in Skouries in Halkidiki. Material damage was caused to machinery, containers and vehicles".

    As was stressed in the announcement, 27 people were brought for questioning in the framework of police investigations, who were released later, while a preliminary investigation is being conducted by the Polygyros Security Station in cooperation with the Thessaloniki Security Department. A police source said that the police forces did not clash with the perpetretors, who had left when police forces of ELAS arrived, who began their search for them and carried out the questioning.

    [14] Greek citizen among the abducted in Bauchi, Nigeria

    A Greek citizen who is working for Setraco company in Nigeria was abducted by armed individuals on Saturday evening from the building the company staff resided in Bauchi, North Nigeria, according to a foreign ministry announcement released on Sunday.

    Foreign news Agencies say that six more persons were also abducted.

    The Greek embassy in Nigeria is in open line with the Nigerian authorities and other embassies involved as well as with the company's representatives.

    [15] Sri Lankan found dead in Pylea

    A 25-year-old Sri Lankan national was found dead in the pool of a private home in Eleones in Pylea, northern Greece, on Sunday.

    According to police, the man worked at the house as a servant, while traces of a burglary have been found. The owner was not at home at the time of the event.

    [16] Arrest for child porn trafficking over the Internet

    A 39 year-old Albanian national was arrested by electronic crimes squad police on Friday in Kapandriti, north of Athens, for possession and trafficking of hard core child pornography material.

    A search in the suspect's' residence turned up a hard disc drive and a laptop containing hundreds of digital files of child pornography, all of which were seized.

    The suspect will be sent to Athens prosecutor.

    [17] 268 kg of hashish confiscated

    Police on Sunday found and confiscated 268 kilos of hashish at a remote beach near the village of Plataria, northwestern Greece. A 25 year-old Albanian national was also arrested.

    [18] Three earthquakes recorded on Sun.

    Three earthquakes were recorded on Sunday in Greece.

    The first quake was recorded at 5:12 southwest of Zakynthos island and measured 5 on the Richter scale.

    At 7:42 a 5R quake was recorded thirty km southwest of Pylos, southern Greece and at 14:06 a 3.5R quake jolted the city of Florina, northwestern Greece.


    [19] Super League result

    Olympiakos Piraeus beat Xanthi 0-2 away in a match played over the weekend and continues to top standings in the Greek soccer Super League.

    In other action:

    Kerkyra-Panionios Athens 2-1

    PAS Yiannina-Panthrakikos 0-0

    AEK Athens-PAOK Thessaloniki 0-0

    Levadiakos-Atromitos Athens 0-0

    Veria-Asteras Tripoli 1-2

    Aris Thessaloniki-Panathinaikos 1-0

    OFI Crete-Platanias Crete 18/12

    Standings after 22 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 57

    2. Asteras 41

    3. PAOK 40

    4. Atromitos 37

    5. PAS Yiannina 31

    6. Levadiakos 29

    7. Xanthi 28

    8. Panathinaikos 26

    9. OFI 26 (21 matches)

    10.Panthrakikos 26

    11. AEK 26

    12. Panionios 25

    13. Aris 22

    14. Platanias 21 (21 matches)

    15. Veria 20

    16. Kerkyra 17

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.

    Weather forecast

    [20] Rainy on Monday

    Rainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday. Winds 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures between -1C and 15C. Local showers in Athens with northerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures between 6C and 13C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 4C and 10C.

    [21] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: "Nationwide strike on Wednesday a message for unemployment and salaries".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Role to the citizens says monthly barometre of Metron Analysis for Eleftherotypia".

    ETHNOS: "Fire to public sector - Troika's (EC,ECB,IMF) veto for layoffs".

    KATHIMERINI: "Alarm in Maximos mansion (government's headquarters) - Concern over privatisations, revenues and troika's arrival".

    LOGOS: "Liquidity injections to small and medium size enterprises".

    REAL NEWS: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' exclusive interview : I pledge for the minimum salary".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "All to the strike on 20 February and to PAME (labour organisation affiliated to Communist Party) rallies".

    TO ARTHRO: "Government forced for layoffs in public sector under troika's pressure".

    TO PARON: "Washington's suffocating pressure to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras - Rubin(Eric, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and the Caucasus) brought ultimatum".

    TO VIMA: "Ultimate opportunity for tax arrangements with low installments and high penalties".

    TYPOS: "Troika gave the 'green light' to Labour Ministry - Mammoth arrangements for debts to Tax Bureau and social security funds".

    VRADYNI: "Exclusive: Labour Ministry's omnibus bill ".

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

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