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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-02-19

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

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

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 Issue No: 4291

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Hollande in Athens: 'France stands by Greece'
  • [02] Greece-France Business Council to be founded in the presence of French President Hollande
  • [03] PM addresses Stavros Niarchos Foundation event
  • [04] Meeting of coalition gov't party leaders ends
  • [05] Defence Minister Panayiotopoulos on UAE visit
  • [06] Deputy FM Tsiaras visits Lebanon
  • [07] Venizelos reiterates support of coalition gov't as PASOK heads to party congress
  • [08] Journalists strike nationwide on Tuesday, AMNA included
  • [09] Gov't spokesman condemns press strike
  • [10] Greek enterprises hit by deep economic recession in 2012, report
  • [11] Registered unemployment 8.93% up in Jan.
  • [12] National Bank acquires 84.35 pct of Eurobank's shares
  • [13] Greece to participate in two international exhibitions
  • [14] Macedonia-Thrace Minister Karaoglou visited Sofia Tourism Expo
  • [15] Ships to remain docked on February 20 due to strike
  • [16] Business Briefs
  • [17] Greek stocks end 1.72 pct lower
  • [18] Greek bond market closing report
  • [19] ADEX closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [21] Identities of two suspects given to publicity by counter-terrorism squad
  • [22] BSA former director Hector Catling dies
  • [23] Man arrested over gold mine incident is released, investigation continues
  • [24] Bullet mailed to finance secretary general
  • [25] Greek finals for Eurovision song contest on Mon.
  • [26] More drugs found in suspects' car four months after being impounded
  • [27] Man wanted on international warrant arrested
  • [28] Super League result
  • [29] Rainy on Tuesday
  • [30] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] President Hollande in Athens: 'France stands by Greece'

    French President Francois Hollande begins an official visit to Greece on Tuesday that includes meetings with the president and prime minister and participation in a business forum.

    In statements to Ta Nea daily, Hollande said "I am here to offer France's support to Greece," and expressed confidence that French businesses would invest in Greece. "Both countries enjoy a long history of friendship during which each supported one another," Hollande noted. "The French people feel solidarity with the Greek people in the hardships they are experiencing. The meaning of my visit is to express France's support so that Greece succeeds as part of Europe's future."

    Greece's sacrifices "have been more painful than those of any other country," the French president said, and pointed out that although making the state budget healthier is necessary, it is not enough; what is needed is measures supporting development. "I am coming to Athens to express France's availability in contribu-ting to this through the cooperation of our administrative mechanism, the commitment of French businesses, and the mobilisation of European funds.

    I reject a Europe that would condemn countries to an austerity with no end in sight," Hollande pointed out. He said France could contribute in the sectors it excelled in, such as energy and water resources.

    Referring to Greece's efforts to restore its credit abroad, Hollande said "Trust has returned," adding, "I have no doubt that our large businesses will participate in future tenders" for projects.

    Hollande is meeting with President Karolos Papoulias at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, to be also attended by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, prior to attending a Greek-French business forum at the Hilton Hotel that starts at 3:45 p.m. The forum, which Samaras will also attend, is organised by the French Embassy and the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV).

    [02] Greece-France Business Council to be founded in the presence of French President Hollande

    Leading Greek and French entrepreneurs will meet on Tuesday afternoon in a central hotel in Athens in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and visiting French President Francois Hollande in an event hosted by the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV).

    During the meeting an agreement will be signed between SEV and the corresponding French MEDEF for the establishment of a Greece-France Business Council.

    The meeting will be addressed by Prime Minister Samaras, French President Hollande, SEV President Dimitris Daskalopoulos, SEV's Business Council for International Actions President Thanassis Lavidas and French Ambassador to Athens Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge.

    SEV President Daskalopoulos commented in view of the meeting that "the Europeans of the south expect of France to lead the effort for more insightful and decisive initiatives that will reverse the European ordeal. Because we have to care for our societies as much as we have to tidy up our finances. Unilateral austerity tears down social web and social cohesion. Our peoples want the revival of a European vision based on economic growth, solidarity, national pluralism."

    Speaking to AMNA, Lavidas, who heads SEV's Business Council for International Actions, stressed that the presence of President Hollande in the business forum constitutes "a recognition of the pioneer role entrepreneurship can play in this period of crisis," adding that the French president's presence is also "an invitation for Greek-French business collaboration of which Greece can benefit greatly considering France's advanced technology."

    He noted that there is "great interest in French investments in Greece and in Greek exports to France, as well as, in the establishment of Greek-French joint ventures that can be active in the greater Balkan region and the Middle East" focusing on sectors, such as, energy, constructions, infrastructures, transport, tourism and health.

    For the record, France is among the biggest foreign investors in Greece with 150 French-interest companies employing roughly 30,000 people.

    The event will be attended by the formal delegation accompanying the French president, the MEDEF International president, senior executives of French companies active in Greece, and Greek businessmen in France, as well as Greek entrepreneurs interested in Greek-French business collaboration.

    [03] PM addresses Stavros Niarchos Foundation event

    Social cohesion must be maintained in order to relieve social groups mostly affected by the crisis, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said, addressing a Stavros Niarchos Foundation event on Monday at Zappeion in Athens.

    The prime minister said that "in these crucial hours the Greek government is struggling day and night to hold up the country in order for the recovery to proceed," adding that "if we want development, we must give job opportunities to everyone and particularly the young".

    Samaras said the rise of youth unemployment to 60 percent is unprecedented in Greece but he expressed his belief in the sense of honour (filotimo) and heart of the Greeks along with the government's efforts to "win this battle with inspiration, work, dignity and love".

    The premier also praised the foundation's work, which he said went against the crisis, was growing and "gives us courage".

    [04] Meeting of coalition gov't party leaders ends

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met on Monday evening with the political leaders that participate in his coalition government, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis.

    The meeting, which was held at the Maximos mansion (government's headquarters) focused on 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.

    Kouvelis told reporters at the end of the meeting that there will be no layoffs in the public sector. He added that in the coming days a full programme will be announced in support of families having no employed person, with funds by the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA). He also said that no unemployed person must remain without medical and pharmaceutical care, while stressing that priority will be placed on growth. Kouvelis underlined that the prime minister and the PASOK leader accepted his proposal for the public sector to conclude programme agreements with the banks for specific growth plans.

    Earlier, Finance Mibnister Yannis Stournaras said on leaving the meeting that "our target is the decrease in unemployment among young people".

    [05] Defence Minister Panayiotopoulos on UAE visit

    Defence Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos met with crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of the International Defence Material Exhibition "IDEX 2013", that took place in Abu Dhabi.

    The meeting focused on cooperation between Greece and the United Arab Emirates in the sectors of defence, armaments and investments in the southeastern Mediterranean and the preparation of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' visit to country.

    Topics of cooperation included joint military exercises and the training of UAE officers at the Greek military academies.

    Speaking immediately after the inaugural ceremony, Panayioto-poulos said, "With its efforts to return to the course of growth again, Greece constitutes a country of interest in terms of wider cooperation with friends such as the Emirates in the economy, defence and military cooperation."

    [06] Deputy FM Tsiaras visits Lebanon

    Lebanon's political and state leadership expressed its solidarity for the Greek government's efforts for an exit from the crisis to Deputy Foreign Minister Costas Tsiaras during his visit to Beirut on Sunday.

    Tsiaras arrived in Lebanon's capital to attend the religious service of Antioch Patriarch Ioannis. However, on the sidelines of his visit he held contacts with Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman, the country's Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the former president of Lebanon Amine Gemayel, ministers and deputies.

    The deputy minister also had a meeting with the Antioch Patriarch and members of the Greek community, while he visited the University Hospital of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut, Beirut's helipad that was made with funding by the Greek state and the Greek community's new cultural centre.

    [07] Venizelos reiterates support of coalition gov't as PASOK heads to party congress

    The government is not a New Democracy government applying only that party's policy, but is based on a tripartite agreement, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos reiterated on Monday.

    At an event presenting the party's reconstruction proposals to the production sector and social entities prior to PASOK's congress, Venizelos said that bringing this agreement to date will guarantee that the current government completes its four-year term. "It is important we move united nationally, in agreement socially and with joint responsibility nationally," he said. PASOK's congress is scheduled for February 28 to March 3 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Neo Faliro, southwest of Athens.

    The president of PASOK, a junior member of the ruling coalition, noted that Greece should proceed to the future on its own-generated national reconstruction programme rather than rely on solutions imposed from abroad, "which no country with any dignity wants to accept."

    Commenting on whether Greece should have proceeded as it did in 2009, with the choice of asking for external help or not, Venizelos said "there was no good or bad choice," and that any other policy than the one followed would have been "bad and catastrophic," a choice that both ND and DIMAR (Democratic Left) agreed with. He added that the Radical Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA), the main opposition, also appeared to conclude the same with the stance it held in political trips abroad.

    [08] Journalists strike nationwide on Tuesday, AMNA included

    Journalists and press photographers and staff will go on a nationwide strike on Tuesday over labour demands.

    The unions are demanding, among other issues, new collective bargaining agreements and a revocation of the order that their health union (ETAP-MME) be included under the national health plan (EOPYY).

    Because of the strike, AMNA will not be updating its site from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday, while the English-French Bulletin will not be published on Wednesday.

    Newspaper distributors will be striking from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

    The press will not be striking on Wednesday, during the general and national strike of the private and public sector.

    [09] Gov't spokesman condemns press strike

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Monday condemned the strike by journalists called for Tuesday, saying that "the union leaders of the press yielded to the usual party interests and the Radical Left Coalition's (SYRIZA) plans to create a news blackout during the visit of French President Francois Hollande."

    Kedikoglou charged ESIEA union leaders of "proving once again that not only do they not care at all about journalists' real problems today, they also do not hesitate to harm Greece's image abroad in the name of party interests."

    Financial News

    [10] Greek enterprises hit by deep economic recession in 2012, report

    Greek enterprises suffered heavily from a protracted deep economic recession in the country last year, ICAP Group said on Monday. In an analysis of balance sheet reports by 762 enterprises (which published annual reports for the year ending on June 30, 2012), ICAP said there were significant differences in sector of activity, although all sectors recorded revenue losses in 2012, with sales down 6.4 pct, gross earnings falling by 4.2 pct and accumulated EBITDA of -5.9 pct.

    ICAP said from the total of 762 enterprises in the survey, 208 were manufacturing, 202 commercial and 352 in the services sector (excluding banks and insurance companies).

    The report noted that the final result of the sample was a profit of 10.6 million euros in 2012, from a loss of 15.2 million euros in 2011, but if Jumbo SA was excluded from the sample then the result would be loss of 86.3 million euros in 2012 and a loss of 117.3 million euros in 2011.

    The services sector recorded the worst result in 2012, despite cutting its losses in 2012 compared with 2011. The sample's capital fell by 5.2 pct in 2012, hit by a 36.9 pct fall in reserves, while own equity eased by 1.2 pct and short/medium-debt dropped by 12.1 pct and long-term debt fell by 5.4 pct. All cash-flow indexes deteriorated in 2012.

    The manufacturing sector recorded a 2.7 pct decline in total sales, and a 2.0 pct fall in gross earnings. The sector's 208 enterprises reported a loss of 8.4 million euros last year, from pre-tax profits of 4.3 million euros in 2011. EBITDA fell by around 9.0 pct.

    The commerce sector recorded an 11.6 pct drop in sales and a 10.9 pct fall in gross earnings. The sector's 202 enterprises reported a pre-tax profit of 83.3 million euros (down 20.2 pct) and an 1.3 pct fall in EBITDA.

    The services sector recorded a spectacular 86.7 pct rise in gross earnings, while net results showed a loss of 64.3 million euros in 2012, from a loss of 123.9 million euros in 2011.

    [11] Registered unemployment 8.93% up in Jan.

    Registered unemployment grew 8.93 pct in January 2013, compared with the same month in 2012, and by 4.04 pct from December 2012, the Workforce Employment Organization (OAED) said on Monday.

    In a report, OAED said that the number of registered unemployed people totaled 829,787 in January 2013, with the higher increase recorded in the Southern Aegean region (7.85%) .

    The percentage of unemployed men was 42.61 pct (353,596) in January with unemployed women totaling 476,191 (57.39 pct).

    Unemployed people receiving unemployment benefit dropped to 224,610 in January, down 4.20 pct from December.

    Unemployed people in the 30-54 age group accounted for 64.00 pct of all unemployed, the below-30 age group accounted for 25.66 pct and the over-55 age group accounted for 10.34 pct.

    [12] National Bank acquires 84.35 pct of Eurobank's shares

    Eurobank is officially a member of National Bank Group following the successful completion of a public offer tender under which National Bank acquired 84.35 pct of Eurobank's equity capital.

    In a message to the Group's staff, National Bank's chief executive Alexandros Tourkolias, said that "National Bank and Eurobank are joining their forces creating the largest banking group in the country, capable to successfully meet the challenges facing the Greek financial system".

    "With our decision to move forward with this strategic move, the bank has laid the foundations to achieve adequate and rapid recapitalization, to boost its liquidity, rationalizing operating costs and containing bad loans," Tourkolias said, adding that "our goals is to create the necessary preconditions which will contribute to the restoring of confidence to the Greek financial system and to offer increased funding to the real economy. The new group will have a wide range of customer service in Greece and in the basic regional markets of Southeastern Europe".

    The Greek banker expressed his certainty that National Bank Group's employees will support this complex endeavour to jointly create one of the largest and more dynamic banks in Europe, "capable of playing a leading role in a recovery process of the country".

    Eurobank will continue operating as an autonomous bank until a legal merger is completed, probably by summer. The two banks will launch a joint commission, comprising executives from both banks, to begin a coordinated cooperation between them.

    [13] Greece to participate in two international exhibitions

    The Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) will participate in two international exhibitions, it was announced on Monday.

    Greece will have a pavillion at the International Exhibition "Salone Del Mobile & Euroloce 2013" that will be held in Milan from 9 to 14 April at the Milan Fairgrounds.

    HEPO will be also present at the 9th International Exhibition "Beauty Eurasia 2013" that will take place in Istanbul from 13 to 15 June at the Tuyap Exhibition Center.

    [14] Macedonia-Thrace Minister Karaoglou visited Sofia Tourism Expo

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Thodoros Karaoglou, who visited the Holiday & Spa Expo - International Tourism Exhibition in Sofia, Bulgaria, last week, referred to the tourism sector, stressing that "it is an important factor of economic growth and among the most important factors that contribute decisively to the further improvement of bilateral relations".

    Speaking in a press conference within the framework of the international exhibition held on Feb. 13-16, Karaoglou invited Bulgarian tourists to visit Greece, stressing that northern Greece, in particular, has great prospects of development in alternative forms of tourism, such as, sea cruise, religious, historical and spa tourism.

    Karaoglou visited the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) pavilion on the exhibition grounds and met with Greek exhibitors and Bulgarian tour operators.

    [15] Ships to remain docked on February 20 due to strike

    Ships will remain docked at ports throughout the country on Wednesday February 20, due to the strike called by the Panhellenic Maritime Federation (PNO) as part of the general nationwide strike.

    In an announcement, PNO calls for the immediate signing of collective labour agreements in all categories of ships, the lifting of the back-to-work order that has been imposed on Greek seamen, and the recalling of the Shipping Ministry's omnibus bill which, it claims, is bringing radical changes in seamens' labour relations.

    The strike will also affect port staff.

    [16] Business Briefs

    -- Alpha Trust-Andromeda, a Greek-listed closed-end fund management company, on Monday said its shares will begin trading in the Athens Stock Exchange under a new nominal price of 16 euros per share from Thursday, 21 February.

    [17] Greek stocks end 1.72 pct lower

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, as investors took profits after the previous week's significant gains. The composite index of the market fell 1.72 pct to end at 1,026.82 points, with the Big Cap index falling 1.68 pct and the Mid Cap index ending 0.67 pct lower.

    Cyprus Bank (4.55 pct), Titan (1.72 pct), PPC (0.89 pct) and Folli Follie (0.37 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Viohalco (4.26 pct), Alpha Bank (3.33 pct), OPAP (3.12 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (3.09 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indexes ended as follows:

    Industrial Products/Services: 4,051.51 -2.74%

    Commerce: 1,932.92 +0.34%

    Constructions: 1,976.76 +0.33%

    Oil/Gas: 3,235.01 -2.97%

    Personal Products: 3,841.40 -0.15%

    Raw Materials: 2,767.05 -1.28%

    Travel: 1,362.90 -3.00%

    Technology: 815.16 +2.38%

    Telecommunications: 1,731.37 -2.02%

    Banks: 184.76 -0.72%

    Food/Beverage: 7,261.51 -2.89%

    Health: 303.23 +0.23%

    Utilities: 2,917.44 +0.33%

    Financial Services: 1,569.83 -0.58%

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 100 to 64 with another 24 issues unchanged. Hellenic Fish Farms (20 pct), NEL (20 pct) and Lambrakis Press (14.97 pct) were top gainers, while Evrofarma (29.72 pct), Pairis (21.37 pct) and Alsinco (19.23 pct) were top losers.

    Turnover was a low 49.038 million euros. Cyprus Bank, Kloukinas-Lappas, Cyprus Popular Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most actively traded securities. The market's capitalization fell to 38.437 billion euros.

    Blue chip stocks ended as follows:

    ALPHA BANK: 1.16

    FOLLI-FOLLIE: 13.65

    VIOHALCO: 5.40

    ELLAKTOR: 2.10

    PPC: 7.93

    COCA COLA: 19.33

    HELLENIC PETROLEUM: 8.79

    NATIONAL BANK: 0.995

    EUROBANK: 0.45

    CYPRUS BANK: 0.25

    JUMBO: 7.47

    METKA: 12.30

    MYTILINEOS: 5.42

    MOTOR OIL: 9.08

    OPAP: 7.45

    OTE: 6.29

    PIRAEUS BANK: 0.28

    TITAN: 14.75

    MARFIN INVESTMENT GROUP: 0.50

    OLP: 19.00

    HELLENIC EXCHANGES: 5.38

    TERNA ENERGY: 3.50

    EUROBANK PROPERTIES: 5.73

    FRIGOGLASS: 5.85

    INTRALOT: 2.26

    [18] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 9.33 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 10.94 pct and the German Bund 1.61 pct. Turnover was a thin 7.0 million euros, of which 4.0 million were buy orders and the remaining 3.0 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month rate eased to 0.58 pct, the nine-month rate fell to 0.47 pct, the six-month rate was 0.35 pct, the three-month rate rose to 0.23 pct and the one-month rate was 0.12 pct.

    [19] ADEX closing report

    The March contract on the Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.78 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover remaining a low 12.195 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,226 contracts worth

    5.660 million euros, with 38,796 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 24,837 contracts worth 6.535 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (4,815), followed by National Bank (3,950), Cyprus Bank (2,332), Piraeus Bank (3,583), OTE (1,627), PPC (1,978), OPAP (2,210), Intralot (1,269), Eurobank (1,355), Sidenor (170), Mytilineos (200), MIG (219), GEK (442) and Motor Oil (122).

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.355

    Pound sterling 0.874

    Danish kroner 7.571

    Swedish kroner 8.586

    Japanese yen 127.12

    Swiss franc 1.251

    Norwegian kroner 7.518

    Canadian dollar 1.364

    Australian dollar 1.314

    General News

    [21] Identities of two suspects given to publicity by counter-terrorism squad

    The identity and photographs of two individuals, against whom arrest warrants were issued last Friday for participation in the "Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire" terror group, were given to publicity by police on Monday afternoon following a relevant decision by the Court of Appeals Prosecutor's Office in Athens.

    The publicizing of their identity and photographs were deemed as necessary measure that could lead to their arrest.

    The two suspects are Phivos Harissis-Poulos born in Athens on March 22, 1990 and Anargyros Dalios also born in Athens on May 8, 1991. Both are studying in Athens.

    They are facing charges for membership and participation in a terrorist organization and for complicity in the robbery of the ATEBank in Filotas, Florina in northwest Greece, on Nov. 28, 2012 committed by culprits who had their faces covered. They are also regarded as suspects in the twin armed bank robberies in Velvendo, near Kozani, earlier this month.

    The counter-terrorism squad searched their family houses in Athens on Monday morning. It is unknown if evidence was recovered considering that both of them had stopped living with their parents two years ago.

    Police call on citizens who know anything about the two individuals to contact the telephone numbers: 170, 1014 and 1964 or the email address: ctu@hellenicpolice.gr.

    [22] BSA former director Hector Catling dies

    Former British School at Athens director Hector Catling died on Friday, Feb. 15 at the age of 89, it was announced on Monday.

    As School Director, from 1971 until his retirement in 1989, he undertook major excavation campaigns at Knossos (notably in the North Cemetery) and in Lakonia at the Menelaion and the sanctuary of Zeus Messapeus at Tsakona. His pioneering research in ceramic provenance was instrumental in the foundation of the School's Fitch Laboratory for Science-based Archaeology in 1973. He founded the Friends of the British School at Athens, serving as its honorary secretary in the UK until 2011. From 1955-1959 he was archaeological survey officer of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, and thereafter assistant keeper and, later, senior assistant keeper, in the Department of Antiquities of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford until his appointment to the British School.

    Dr Catling held an honorary doctorate of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and was an honorary member of the Archaeological Society of Athens and corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. He was appointed OBE in 1980 and CBE in 1989.

    [23] Man arrested over gold mine incident is released, investigation continues

    A 54-year-old man arrested for complicity in the incendiary attack against the Hellenic Gold worksite in the northern peninsula of Halkidiki on Sunday was released on Monday.

    The man gave his deposition before the magistrate of Halkidiki over charges of being accessory before the fact for a series of acts including setting fire-setting, bodily harm and property destruction. The magistrate returned the file to the police for additions.

    Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Halkidiki on Monday to be briefed by the police on the investigations involving the Skouries mine, which he was scheduled to visit later in the day.

    "Greece is a European law abiding state. We all have the obligation to safeguard foreign investments in the country. They can be the only solution to the huge and dramatic problem of unemployment," Dendias said.

    Police are continuing their investigation over the Sunday incident, after which continues 33 people were brought in for questioning; they were all released later on the same day. Ierissos residents held a rally at the village's main square protesting against the detentions, alleging that they were randomly made by police.

    According to witnesses, roughly 50 armed attackers, who participated in the raid, tied up two guards and doused them with gasoline. Then they set company cars and equipment on fire. While leaving the scene, they cut trees and placed them across the road leading to the mining site in an effort to prevent firefighting efforts. Four guards were slightly injured.

    According to police, it was a well-coordinated hit that lasted roughly 15 minutes.

    [24] Bullet mailed to finance secretary general

    A bullet from a small-calibre gun was mailed to Finance Secretary General Giorgos Mergos on Monday.

    The envelope with the bullet and a threat letter arrived by regular mail at Mergos' office in Syntagma. It was opened by staff at the entrance of the ministry who turned it over to the police for investigation.

    [25] Greek finals for Eurovision song contest on Mon.

    The finalist who will represent Greece at the 58th Eurovision song contest will be decided at 9:00 p.m. at the Gazi Music Hall in Athens on Monday.

    Four contenders -"One last kiss", "A thousand and one nights", "Angel" and "Alcohol is free" - will be judged by a five-member panel including noted Greek singer Vicky Leandros.

    The filmed event will be broadcast on ERT and other media.

    [26] More drugs found in suspects' car four months after being impounded

    Other 8 kilos of heroin were found hidden in a car, impounded since last October by customs authorities at Kipi border post in Evros, northeast Greece, in addition to 5 kilos of the drug initially found in the same vehicle, it was announced on Monday.

    The car belonged to an Albanian couple that was arrested after customs officers found the 5 kilos of heroin four months ago.

    Police acting on information, found the additional drug quantity hidden in the car's rear wheel arch with the help of two sniffer dogs after the vehicle was taken apart.

    [27] Man wanted on international warrant arrested

    A 35-year-old Albanian national wanted on a international warrant was arrested at Thessaloniki 'Macedonia' International Airport on Sunday.

    The suspect, who was wanted on an Interpol warrant for drug dealing, in 2004 brought into Greece 3.5 kilos of heroin.

    [28] Super League result

    Platanias Crete beat OFI Crete 3-1 away in a Super League game played on Monday evening.

    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

    10. Panthrakikos 26

    11. AEK 26

    12. Panionios 25

    13. Platanias 24

    14. Aris 22

    15. Veria 20

    16. Kerkyra 17

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.

    Weather forecast

    [29] Rainy on Tuesday

    Rainy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures between 2C and 16C. Local showers in Athens with southerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures between 3C and 12C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 3C and 9C.

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

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Government at razor's edge".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Opinion poll: 85 percent of citizens say politicians are responsible for the economic crisis".

    ETHNOS: "25,000 bank employees at the exit door".

    ESTIA: "Bank deposits become taxes!".

    IMERISSIA: "DEPA (State Natural Gas Company) privatisation locks".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Troika examines the deregulation of closed professions".

    TA NEA: "French President Francois Hollande to newspaper: I am coming to Greece to offer you France's support".

    VRADYNI: "Two-years freeze to mortgage loans".

    6 DAYS: "We are throwing away 1.5 bln euros ".

    We inform our readers that the News Bulletin will not be published on Wednesday February 20, as AMNA participates in Tuesday's strike of journalists and press photographers over labour demands. The Bulletin will appear on Thursday February 21.

    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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