|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-04-08
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 8 April 2013 Issue No: 4329
 National Bank-Eurobank merger postponedThe merger plan between the National Bank and Eurobank was the focus of Sunday evening's meeting between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and the heads of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika of Greece's international lenders. Also present at the meeting were Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos and the managing director of the Financial Stability Fund Anastasia Sakellariou.
Following the meeting, it was announced that National Bank and Eurobank will "pass" to the Financial Stability Fund, which "nationalises" the two banks. As a basic shareholder of the two banks, the Fund will be called upon to decide whether a merger plan by the two banks may go ahead at a later stage or whether they will be sold.
After a Bank of Greece announcement earlier on Sunday evening - on which the troika heads have agreed- the managements of the two banks have sent, according to government officials, to the Bank of Greece letters in which they stated that it was not probable that they could "bear" the ten per cent burden required for their separate recapitalizations.
Therefore, the Financial Stability Fund will immediately launch the necessary processes in order to take hold of them and proceed to their recapitalization.
According to a Greek Finance ministry official, all procedures for the merger between National Bank and Eurobank are postponed, while the final decision for their merger or not, will be taken by the Fund being the basic shareholder. The fund, according to the official, can take any decision it deems fit, based on existing criteria.
Finance minister Yannis Stournaras categorically stated, following these developments, that "deposits in Greek banks are absolutely secure."
It is noteworthy that the troika has raised objections over the merger, believing that the new bank's assets will amount to about 170 billion euros, almost equal to the country's GDP.
 Bank of Greece announces completion of recapitalisation process in AprilThe Bank of Greece confirmed on Sunday evening that the recapitalisation process for all four systemic banks (National Bank, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank) is proceeding normally and in any case will be completed before the end of April. All four banks have either called, or will be calling in the coming days, General Assemblies of their shareholders to enable the capital increases to be approved.
The Financial Stability Fund will cover fully the capital increases and has already paid the necessary capital in advance to all four banks. This capital constitutes part of the 50 billion euros that have already been approved and bound in the framework of the financial aid programme specially for the recapitalisation of the banking sector.
The stability of the Greek banking system is therefore fully secured, as all the deposits are fully secured according to the principles of the Greek programme, the Bank of Greece stressed.
 FinMin: Substantial progress in negotiations with troikaPrime Minister Antonis Samaras' meeting with the heads of the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) at the Maximos mansion (government's headquarters) was concluded on Sunday.
Leaving the Maximos mansion, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said to reporters that a substantial progress in the negotiations was achieved but he also underlined that many issues remain still open.
 Gov't circles deny reports on new meeting between Greek PM and German ChancellorCircles close to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office on Sunday evening denied press reports according to which he had reportedly requested a new meeting in May with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika of Greece's international lenders to "slacken".
"This governent does not operate like this. It has a specific programme and is proceeding step by step according to its programme," they said.
 PM briefs PASOK and DIMAR leaders on meeting with troikaPrime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday spoke on the phone with the party leaders that participate in his coalition government, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis and briefed them on his talks on Sunday with the heads of the troika (EC,ECB,IMF).
According to information, the thorn between the two sides is the layoffs in public sector.
 Labour minister says no further decrease in minimum salaryLabour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis in a statement to ANA-MPA categorically assures that there shall be no further decrease in the minimum salary.
The minister added that "the minimum salary will remain stable and at the present levels at least until 2017 when after the end of the medium-term programme the new mechanism for its assessment will be implemented".
He further said that "in a few days Greece will obtain a new process on the determination of the minimum salary, on the model that most European countries follow".
 DIMAR leader meets Administration Reform MinisterDemocratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis on Saturday met with Administration Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis. The two officials discussed the restructure changes in the public sector and the ongoing reforms actions.
The meeting was held following DIMAR's leader invitation, something that is interpreted as Kouvelis' total support to Manitakis and his plan on the reforms in the public sector. DIMAR is one of the junior parties that participate in the coalition government.
 Ceremony at Holy Trinity Church in New YorkNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/ P. Panagiotou)
Greece's ambassador to Washington Christos Panagopoulos, speaking Sunday during the religious ceremony on the March 25 national anniversary, said that "in difficult times the Greeks are being tested and we shall succeed".
The ceremony was held at the Holy Trinity Church in New York in the presence of the diplomatic authorities of Greece and Cyprus and officials of expatriate agencies.
Panagopoulos, who represents the government at the expatriates' celebrations, stressed that "we remember the past to define the present and to determine the future, especially in these difficult moments".
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.313
Pound sterling 0.861
Danish kroner 7.566
Swedish kroner 8.524
Japanese yen 126.36
Swiss franc 1.234
Norwegian kroner 7.559
Canadian dollar 1.333
Australian dollar 1.261
 Boat capsizes, one missingA man was declared missing on Sunday at Ierapetra, southern Crete after the boat he was on board capsized due to strong winds blowing in the area.
The other three passengers of the boat were rescued and transferred to hospital.
According to initial information the boat with the three men on board had sailed on Sunday noon from the port of Ierapetra. A huge rescue operation has been launched to locate the missing man
 5.2R quake jolts CreteA moderate earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was recorded on Saturday at 14.26 p.m in the sea region between Rethymno and Hania, northern Crete and 353km south of of Athens.
According to the Geodynamics Institute of Athens the quake's epicentral depth was estimated at 24 km.
No damages have been reported.
 Super League resultsOlympiacos Piraeus thrashed Platanias Crete 4-0 away and Panathinaikos Athens was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Panionios Athens in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while AEK Athens will be playing with PAS Yiannina away on Monday April 8.
In other action:
Kerkyra - Levadiakos Livadia 1-2
PAOK Thessaloniki - Veria 2-0
Atromitos Athens - Aris Thessaloniki 0-1
Panthrakikos Komotini - OFI Crete 3-1
Asteras Tripoli - Xanthi 0-1
Standings after 28 weeks of play:
1. Olympiacos 73
2. PAOK 56
3. Asteras 53
4. Atromitos 42
5. PAS Yiannina (27 games) 38
6. Xanthi 38
7. Panathinaikos 36
8. Panionios 35
9. Levadiakos 34
10. Platanias 33
11. OFI 31
12. AEK (27 games) 30
13. Veria 30
14. Panthrakikos 30
15. Aris 29
16. Kerkyra 20
NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.
 Rainy on MondayRainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday. Winds 4-8 beaufort. Temperatures between 7C and 20C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens with northerly 5-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 11C and 17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 9C and 14C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: "Fourth Memorandum on the table".
EPOCHI: "Crucial complication".
ETHNOS: "IMF's torpedo to Greek banks".
KATHIMERINI: "Multi speed minimum salary".
KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: "Cyprus model over Greece".
KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "450,000 families sample of living".
KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: "19th Communist Party Congress: People's alliance, power to the people".
LOGOS: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' negotiations with EC, ECB, IMF troika open".
Realnews: "Testimony-bomb for former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis - What former minister said to investigator".
TO ARTHRO: "Minister of waste and perjurers".
TO PARASKINIO: " 'Troikan' war - National bank of Greece the bone of contention".
TO PARON: "Haircut in bank deposit with the excuse of extraordinary contribution and then we will see...".
TO VIMA: "Dramatic dialogues between Samaras and troika on banks and layoffs".
TYPOS: "Reversals in university entry base marks and freshmen".
VRADYNI: "Public sector: Pension now with 11 years buyout".
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