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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-04-30

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

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

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 Issue No: 4348

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras briefed on infrastructure projects in the Peloponnese
  • [02] PM: Government stronger after ratification of omnibus bill
  • [03] Eurozone states approved 2.8-billion-euro disbursement to Greece, sources say
  • [04] Task Force for Greece presents 4th quarterly report, sees 'steady progress'
  • [05] SYRIZA-EKM says government's hidden agenda is revealed
  • [06] PASOK satisfied with the approval of its clause against unemployment
  • [07] Gov't spokesman: No reshuffle in the horizon
  • [08] Immediate transfer of 1,891 administrative employees
  • [09] PASOK amendment another blow to minimum wage, KKE says
  • [10] Unions urge large turnout for Labour Day rallies; Athens rally in Klafthmonos Square
  • [11] Public transport strikes and work stoppages planned for Labour Day
  • [12] Seamen on 24-hour strike on Wednesday
  • [13] Deputy FM holds talks with Russian official
  • [14] Deputy Finance Minister Mavraganis addresses conference in Helsinki on tax-evasion
  • [15] Health minister chairs meeting on accident response on holidays, peak travel days
  • [16] Theodoros Ambatzoglou new OAED governor
  • [17] Former DI.SY cadres return to ND
  • [18] Opinion poll gives ND marginal lead over SYRIZA
  • [19] Greek state overdue debt to private sector down in March
  • [20] Greek PPI down 1.5 pct in March
  • [21] Four investment groups express interest in privatization of Thessaloniki Water
  • [22] National Bank CEO confident ahead of share capital increase plan
  • [23] Alpha Trust Andromeda reports losses in Q1
  • [24] Coca Cola HBC begins triple listing in UK, Greek and US markets
  • [25] Frigoglass reports lower Q1 results
  • [26] Greek stocks end 2.08 pct higher
  • [27] Greek bond market closing report
  • [28] ADEX closing report
  • [29] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [30] Freighters collide, 2 dead, 8 missing
  • [31] City of Athens removes 25 tonnes of toxic waste from Votanikos area
  • [32] Car containing dead body found in Neda River gorge
  • [33] Fair on Tuesday
  • [34] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] PM Samaras briefed on infrastructure projects in the Peloponnese

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday met the head of the Peloponnese Regional Authority Petros Tatoulis and was given a full briefing on the progress of all infrastructure projects (roads, ports, airports and rail) currently underway in the region.

    Tatoulis informed the prime minister on the initiatives undertaken by the regional authority in order to set up an Institute of Research and Innovation, to shape policy for solid waste management, poliyc for tourism development and to help investments in primary production, through the creation of livestock breeding parks.

    The prime minister was also briefed on the Peloponnese Entrepreneurship Fund, which aims to support small and medium-sized businesses of the region.

    A second meeting with Tatoulis, with the participation of the appropriate ministers, is to be arranged in the next few days.

    [02] PM: Government stronger after ratification of omnibus bill

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in a statement after the ratification of a draft omnibus bill outlining a series of measures and prior actions agreed with Greece's troika of lenders late Sunday said that "the ratification of the omnibus bill has strengthened the government and belied the Cassandras that were talking about problems (in the government)".

    The omnibus bill was passed with 168 votes for, 123 against, one present but not voting, late on Sunday night. A total of 292 deputies voted.

    [03] Eurozone states approved 2.8-billion-euro disbursement to Greece, sources say

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Eurozone member-states have approved the disbursement of 2.8 billion euros in bailout funds for Greece, according to a statement by well-informed sources in Brussels on Monday.

    The same sources said that the disbursement of the next tranche of bailout loans, amounting to 4.3 billion euros, will be decided at the Eurogroup meeting on the Monday after next.

    That amount represents the sums to be contributed by Eurozone member states, to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) contribution of 1.7 billion euros will be added for the full sum of 6.0 billion euros due to be loaned to Greece.

    [04] Task Force for Greece presents 4th quarterly report, sees 'steady progress'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The head of the European Commission Task Force for Greece (TFGR) Horst Reichenbach on Monday said there has been steady progress in efforts to help Greece carry out reforms and maximise its use of available Community funding, while presenting the TFGR's fourth quarterly progress report on technical assistance to Greece in Brussels.

    The report describes the assistance provided by the Task Force, the EU member-states, international organisations and other specialist bodies to support Greece in the implementation of a comprehensive programme of reforms.

    It said that notable progress has been made in areas such as reforming central administration, through a review of the organisation of Greek ministries, in concession agreements for the construction and improvement of motorways, facilitating exports through simplified legislation and new structures allowing an out-of-court settlement of disputes through arbitration.

    In comments after the TFGR report was approved, European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn said that the Task Force plays an important role in supporting Greece during the implementation of the very demanding processs of deep structural reforms.

    He noted that the reforms were necessary to make Greece's economy more competitive and capable of generating sustainable growth and employment, stressing the need to keep up the pace of reforms, combined with the commitment and determination show in recent months by Greek authorities and the Greek people.

    Politics

    [05] SYRIZA-EKM says government's hidden agenda is revealed

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA-EKM) on Monday charged the government of having a "hidden agenda" which was revealed in Sunday's parliamentary debate and vote on the omnibus bill.

    "The government repeated the same blackmail threats made thousands of times before against the Greek people, and paved the way for even tougher memorandum policy measures that lead nowhere," SYRIZA-EKM said, noting that "the legislative procedure used has trivialized and downgraded the Parliament".

    According to SYRIZA, "the government's hidden agenda of more lay-offs, taxes, wage and pension cuts, was exposed completely in the debate ahead of the omnibus bill vote".

    The statement underlined that "the clauses sponsored by (Administrative Reform Minister Antonis) Manitakis, abolishing the temporary court protection of employees and by (Labour Minister Yiannis) Vroutsis, cutting the (Self-employed Professionals Insurance Organization) OAEE pensions, that were withdrawn only to be reintroduced at a later time; as well as, (PASOK leader Evangelos) Venizelos' clause on the hiring of the unemployed, constitute the memorandum canvas on which the government talent will unfold over the next months, utterly razing all rights and conquests of the Greek people."

    SYRIZA accused the prime minister of hiding from the Greek Parliament, in panic and completely unable to justify the catastrophic impact of the memorandum, which he was insisting that he would renegotiate.

    "There is no room to continue on the same catastrophic path of the memorandums. The memorandum is incompatible with economic growth, investments and the social state, and as such it should become a thing of the past, together with its supporters," the SYRIZA statement concluded.

    [06] PASOK satisfied with the approval of its clause against unemployment

    PASOK, a junior partner in the coalition government, on Monday expressed satisfaction that the amendment it proposed for fighting unemploment was included in the omnibus bill passed by Parliament on Sunday night.

    A statement issued by its press office noted that the importance of the specific intervention is highlighted by the reactions of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA-EKM) and opposition Communist party (KKE), underlining that both political parties react because they realize the importance of the new programme and the approval it has from society.

    According to the statement, those who speak about minimum wage reduction falsify the truth with purposeful lies, noting that numbers give a clear answer.

    PASOK underlined that the enacted minimum gross wage for employees over the age of 25 is 586.8 euros.

    The minimum net wage is at 490 euros after the social insurance deductions, PASOK clarified, adding that the wage for employees under the age of 25 is calculated in an similar manner, while the procedure is supervised and inspected by the civil service staff selection agency ASEP.

    [07] Gov't spokesman: No reshuffle in the horizon

    There will be no Cabinet reshuffle in the near future, according to government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Monday.

    Speaking to private radio RealFM, Kedikoglou said, "I am not the one to give you such information. I know that at this time the government's urgent priorities are to implement the relief measures."

    Asked about the issues of German reparations and the WWII loan to Germany, he said that "a process is under way that at this phase is purely legal. We must be prepared in the best possible way."

    [08] Immediate transfer of 1,891 administrative employees

    The definitive list with the 1,891 public sector administrative employees, currently on suspension while waiting to be transferred to other positions, has been forwarded to the administrative reform minister, it was announced on Monday.

    The list was finalized after the civil service staff selection agency ASEP assessed the objections filed by staff on suspension, refusing to be moved to other posts.

    According to the administrative reform ministry, the next and final step will be the issue of a transfer announcement by the minister, expected to take place immediately and its publication in the Government Gazette. Employees who fail to show up to their new posts will be fired.

    [09] PASOK amendment another blow to minimum wage, KKE says

    The last-minute amendment proposed by PASOK and incorporated into the omnibus bill by the coalition government is yet another blow to the minimum wage in the country, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in an announcement on Monday.

    "On the pretext of tackling unemployment, the government passed an amendment that allows the unemployed to be hired for public programmes and be paid less than the current, already pitiful minimum wage. In other words, by up to 490 euros gross a month, or 427 euros for young people under 25, and with a daily wage of 19.6 euros and 17.1 euros and self-insurance," the announcement said.

    According to KKE, the amendment also 'opened the way' for extending such programmes to all public-sector services. The move confirmed KKE's estimate that the aim of the public-sector lay-offs was the "root out permanent jobs with rights and replace employees with others that are cheaper and have no rights," it added.

    It was also combined with new privileges for big capital and a further reduction of employer contributions to social insurance funds, further exacerbating their financial difficulties and possibly allowing a new strike against the pension system on the grounds of its poor finances, the party said.

    [10] Unions urge large turnout for Labour Day rallies; Athens rally in Klafthmonos Square

    Greece's trade union organisations on Monday encouraged workers to turn out in force for the 24-hour strikes and Labour Day rallies taking place throughout the country on May 1, in the middle of Orthodox Holy Week.

    The umbrella trade union group General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), representing the majority of Greece's private-sector workers, and the civil servants' union federation ADEDY issued announcements demanding effective action against unemployment, the signature of collective labour agreements and restoration of labour laws abolished under the terms of bailout loan agreements, as well as action to end austerity and fight uninsured 'black' labour.

    The GSEE, ADEDY and Athens Labour Centre rally will be held at Klafthmonos Square at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

    [11] Public transport strikes and work stoppages planned for Labour Day

    Commuters and shoppers will face a difficult day on May 1 as a result of strike action by public transport unions to mark the anniversary of Labour Day, which this year coincides with the Wednesday of Orthodox Holy Week.

    Unlike shops and many businesses, which have opted to transfer the Labour Day holiday to the Tuesday after Easter, several public transport unions will participate in the 24-hour strike declared on May 1 by the country's largest umbrella trade union organisations, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) and the civil servants' union federation ADEDY.

    The trains of the Athens metro and electric railway will not be running from the start of the shift until 9:00 a.m. and all trains will terminate at Doukissis Plakentias station, with no trains running to the airport.

    Buses and trolleys in the capital will not be running from the start of the shift until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the end of the shift.

    In Thessaloniki, city buses will not be running from the start of the shift until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the end of the shift on May 1, participating in the strike mobilizations called by GSEE.

    The country's entire railway network, including the Proastiakos railway serving the airport, will be at a standstill throughout the day. The strike will also affect some train services on the previous and following days that cannot be completed before the strike begins.

    Cancellations on Tuesday include the 500 and 501 trains between Athens and Thessaloniki, the 1686 from Alexandrou-polis to Dikaia, the 743 and IC 85 between Thessaloniki, Edessa and Florina, the 3593 and 3592 from Larisa to Thessaloniki and the 2576 and 2577 from Larisa to Volos.

    The 500 and 501 that depart after the end of Wednesday's strike for Athens and Thessaloniki will not have car-transportation carriages, while the Thursday 1681 service (Alexandroupolis-Dikaia) and IC 82 service (Thessaloniki-Florina) are also canceled.

    No passenger and goods trains will run on Wednesday with the exception of trains serving tourist sites on the Olympia-Pyrgos-Katakolo line and from A. Lehonia-Milies line.

    Also on strike throughout the day are Greek ferries and all shipping, due to strike action announced by the seamen's union federation PNO.

    [12] Seamen on 24-hour strike on Wednesday

    Seamen in Greece will hold a 24-hour strike on the May 1st Labour Day, which this year coincides with the Christian Orthodox Holy Wednesday, and ferryboats will not be leaving their ports throughout the country.

    Passenger ships will stay in dock from 01:00 a.m. on Holy Tuesday, April 30 until midnight on Holy Wednesday May 1.

    The industrial action called by the Panhellenic Seamen's Union PNO was decided in the context of mobilizations against the omnibus bill sponsored by the ministry of shipping & Aegean passed in parliament last week. According to PNO, the omnibus bill destroys the existing legal framework for employment on ferries.

    Passengers set to travel on Wednesday are advised by the members of the coastal shipping companies' association SEEN to contact their travel agents.

    Industrial action has been called for May 1 and 2 by the towboat crews at Corinth Canal protesting against the decision of the finance ministry-supervised managing company operating it, to incorporate them in the uniform public sector wage scale.

    According to the strikers, the decision does not take under consideration the fact that they are seamen and are paid based on the collective work contracts signed by their union PNO.

    The Corinth Canal in the Peloponnese connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea.

    [13] Deputy FM holds talks with Russian official

    Deputy Foreign Minister Constantine Tsiaras met at the Foreign ministry on Monday with the president of the International Relations Committee of the Russian Federation's State Duma Alexey Pushkov.

    The excellent climate in bilateral relations between Greece and Russia was confirmed during the meeting and the possibilities of further strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries were discussed.

    [14] Deputy Finance Minister Mavraganis addresses conference in Helsinki on tax-evasion

    Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis referred to specific actions that need to be undertaken on a European and international level to combat tax-evasion and tax-dodging, addressing an international conference in Helsinki, it was announced on Monday.

    Mavraganis underlined the initiatives introduced by the Greek government in this direction, noting that countries are deprived of necessary resources and social justice is affected negatively for as long as such practices continue.

    Addressing the conference, Mavraganis said that the EU and international organizations, like the OECD and the G20, should promote the strengthening of administrative cooperation through information exchange, adopt a joint EU strategy as regards third countries on issues of taxation agreements and locate offshore companies through information exchange and coordinated action.

    On the sidelines of the conference, Mavraganis discussed taxation issues with European Commissioner Algirdas Semeta responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud. Later in the afternoon, he will meet with Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen.

    [15] Health minister chairs meeting on accident response on holidays, peak travel days

    Health Minister Andreas Lykourentzos on Monday chaired a meeting to discuss the national health system's road safety and accident response readiness during the upcoming Easter break and other peak travel days in the summer season.

    The meeting was held at the National Centre for Health Operations (EKEPY), with the participation of officials from the health ministry, the EKAB ambulance service, the National Organisation for the Provision of Healthcare Services (EOPYY) and the national traffic police headquarters.

    After the meeting, Lykourentzos expressed satisfaction with the system's readiness and with the substantial reduction in road accidents seen in 2012, which fell to 15,235 in that year from 16,841 in 2011.

    The minister noted that the traffic police, ambulance service and EKEPY had all issued advice to motorists to help avoid accidents.

    Asked about the need to renew the country's fleet of ambulances, Lykourentzos said: "It is a significant challenge for our country to achieve the renewal of EKAB's fleet of ambulances to a percentage exceeding 50 percent of their current availability, using the funds of the 4th programme period."

    In order for this to be achieved, however, the health ministry must step up its activity and the companies participating in the relevant tenders must avoid initiating court action over the slightest cause and thus delaying or cancelling tenders, the minister added.

    The ambulance service has taken emergency measures to cover the entire national road network over the Easter holiday, with the deployment of mobile emergency pre-hospital care units and ambulances at selected locations along the network. EKAB has also appealed to the public to ensure that they only call the 166 emergency line for real emergencies.

    Road accidents currently rank third as a cause of death after circulatory diseases and tumours in the EU, with 1.3 million traffic accidents leading to 43,000 deaths and 1.7 million injuries a year.

    [16] Theodoros Ambatzoglou new OAED governor

    Theodoros Ambatzoglou, former chief of the Social Security Fund (IKA) and president of the Panhellenic Pharmacists Association, has been appointed to the post of new Governor of the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED), following a decision by Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis on Monday.

    Ambatzoglou is succeeding outgoing Ilias Kikilias.

    [17] Former DI.SY cadres return to ND

    Candidate MPs in Thessaloniki, who ran with the Democratic Alliance (DI.SY) party in the last general elections, have returned to New Democracy (ND), it was announced on Monday.

    Petros Androulakis, Stella Vassiloglou, Giorgos Lefopoulos, who served as DISY Prefectural Committee head, and Asterios Tsoukalas member of the DISY Temporary Administrative Committee in Thessalonki, met with local ND Administrative Committee President Minas Samantzidis making their return to ND official.

    [18] Opinion poll gives ND marginal lead over SYRIZA

    New Democracy (ND) leads by a marginal 0.6 percent over main opposition SYRIZA, according to an opinion poll conducted by Alco for 'Newsit' website.

    According to the poll results, ND was leading with 20.5 percent, followed by SYRIZA with 19.9 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 9.3 percent, PASOK with 5.5 percent, Independent Greeks with 5 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 4.9 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 3.7 percent, while 5.2 percent of the respondents expressed support for other parties.

    In response to who would be most suitable for prime minister, current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (and ND leader) was preferred by 35 percent of the respondents, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 21 percent, while 44 percent said neither of the two.

    The geographic coverage of the opinion poll was nationwide and was conducted between 23 and 26 April 2013.

    Financial News

    [19] Greek state overdue debt to private sector down in March

    The state's overdue debt to the private sector totaled 7.9 billion euros in March, down from 8.1 billion euros in December 2012, the finance ministry said in a report on Monday.

    Finance Alternate Minister Christos Staikouras, presenting the report, said that pending tax returns fell to their lowest levels since the start of the year, reflecting an improving repayment of tax returns to the private sector.

    Social insurance funds' overdue debt to the private sector totaled 4.098 billion euros in March, down from 4.295 billion euros in February, state hospitals' debt fell to 1.902 billion from 2.012 billion euros, local governments' debt rose to 1.039 billion euros in March from 1.018 billion in February and government ministries' debt eased to 523 million euros from 538 million euros over the same periods, respectively.

    "The government's cash figures for March offer quantitive evidence showing a satisfactory trend of public finances in the first quarter of 2013," Staikouras said.

    The figures showed that the state cash budget recorded a primary surplus of 970 million euros in the January-March period, while the government has earmarked 1.7 billion euros in repayment of the state's overdue debt to the private sector.

    [20] Greek PPI down 1.5 pct in March

    Greece's producer's price index in the industrial sector (measuring both the domestic and external markets) fell 1.5 pct in March this year, compared with the same month in 2012, after a 6.4 pct increase recorded in March 2012, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to an 1.3 pct decline in the domestic market index and a 2.4 pct fall in the external market index. The producer's price index fell 1.1 pct in March from February.

    [21] Four investment groups express interest in privatization of Thessaloniki Water

    Four investment groups expressed interest in an international tender for the purchase of a 51 pct majority stake in Thessaloniki Water and Sewerage (EYATH).

    According to sources close to EYATH, the four investment groups are: the French group Suez Environment (jointly with Aktor of Ellaktor Group), GEK (in a consortium with Greek businessman Apostolopoulos owner of Athens Medical Group and the Israeli water utility), Ivan Savvidis and the "136 movement" (a citizens' initiative).

    A statement by Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund said that the privatization advisors will evaluate all four expressions of interest and will advise on the next stage of the tender, which envisages submission of binding bids by candidates.

    [22] National Bank CEO confident ahead of share capital increase plan

    Alexandros Tourkolias, chief executive of National Bank on Monday expressed his confidence that the bank will cover the 10 pct of private investors' participation in a forthcoming share capital increase plan.

    Addressing a general shareholders' meeting, the Greek banker said: "With the reassurances and message we have so far we believe that we will achieve this goal," adding that hundreds of thousands of traditional and new shareholders were joining their forces in this effort. He also stressed bank clients, individual depositors, large investors along with the bank's workers and pensioners were also participating in this effort.

    Tourkolias, in his address said that National Bank's shareholders will be asked to reach a decision "over a National Bank as we all want it: independent, very shareholding, in private hands, healthy, fortified against any risk, dynamic, innovative and the main growth tool for the economy and prosperity of the nation".

    "I am not asking you to participate in an endeavor with idealistic content. National Bank has multiple comparative advantages which distinguished the bank from other credit institutions in the country, advantages which will become the basis of its future recovery and will allow it to play its traditional role as a main source of funding and growth in the Greek economy," Tourkolias said. Commenting on the Greek economy, in general, the Greek banker said its basic weaknesses have been largely corrected and noted that reduced uncertainty and gradual restoring of the country's credibility paved the way for incoming investments. "Early signs of a Greek economic stabilization could be visible even during the currenty year," Tourkolias said.

    He noted there were encouraging signs of stabilization in the growth rate of bad loans in the first months of 2013, compared with the corresponding period last year.

    [23] Alpha Trust Andromeda reports losses in Q1

    Alpha Trust Andromeda -a Greek-listed closed-end fund- on Monday reported after tax losses of 332,000 euros in the first quarter of 2013, after earnings of 1.115 million euros in the same period last year. The company said its assets totaled 6.19 million euros at the end of the January-March period, down 5.11 pct, while its portfolio (in current prices) was invested in stock shares (91.03 pct) and the remaining 8.97 pct in money reserves. The company's internal share value was 23.03 euros, while its market value at 22 euros, trading at a discount of 4.47 pct.

    [24] Coca Cola HBC begins triple listing in UK, Greek and US markets

    Coca Cola HBC AG on Monday began a triple listing of its shares in the UK, Greek and US markets.

    Under the plan, the company will list 355,023,939 common nominal shares, worth 6.7 Swiss france each, in the premium market of the UK Listing Authority to be traded in the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

    The same number of shares will be secondarily listed in teh main market of the Athens Stock Exchange, while its American Depository Receipts, each one representing a common share of Coca Cola HBC, will begin trading in the New York Stock Exchange.

    [25] Frigoglass reports lower Q1 results

    Frigoglass on Monday said its net sales totaled 140.6 million euros in the first quarter of 2013, down 11.6 pct compared with the same period last year, and attributed this decline to lower sales in Russia, due to different seasonal periods. Sales in Europe dropped 23.8 pct due to a delay in new orders from Coca Cola Hellenic, while sales in Asia/Oceania, Africa/Middle East grew by 14.3 pct to 54.6 million euros boosted by strong sales in India.

    Net profits totaled 3.6 million euros, a decline of 53.3 pct compared with the first quarter of 2012.

    EBITDA fell 16.7 pct to 20.3 million euros, while pre-tax earnings fell 31.4 pct to 7.3 million euros.

    [26] Greek stocks end 2.08 pct higher

    Greek stocks ended higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with the composite index of the market rising 2.08 pct to end at 982.01 points -its highest closing since March 1, 2013. Buying activity focused on Coca Cola HBC shares, which jumped up to 21.30 euros, to end at 20.89 euros (+13.53 pct). Coca Cola HBC shares began trading in three markets on Monday, the UK market, the Greek market and the US market.

    Turnover, however, remained a low 59.44 million euros. The Big Cap index rose 1.27 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 2.02 pct lower. The Food (13.36 pct) and Telecoms (1.09 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Banks (4.30 pct), Commerce (2.45 pct) and Utilities (2.20 pct) suffered the heaviest losses.

    Coca Cola HBC (13.53 pct), National Bank (2.08 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.12 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (14.18 pct), Alpha Bank (9.09 pct) and Frigoglass (3.80 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 84 to 53 with another 24 issues unchanged. Fieratex (29.01 pct), Pegasus (20 pct) and Sato (19.44 pct) were top gainers, while Athina (19.18 pct), Spider (18.0 pct) and Nutriart (17.65 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -2.21%

    Commercial: -2.45%

    Construction: -2.16%

    Oil & Gas: +0.69%

    Personal & Household: -1.61%

    Raw Materials: -2.13%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.25%

    Technology: -0.93%

    Telecoms: +1.09%

    Banks: -4.30%

    Food & Beverages: +13.36%

    Health: -0.95%

    Utilities: -2.20%

    Financial Services: -2.18%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.10

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 6.99

    Coca-Cola 20.89

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.12

    National Bank of Greece: 0.79

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.23

    OPAP: 6.88

    OTE: 6.50

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.23

    Titan: 13.85

    [27] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 10.14 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 10.19 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 11.33 pct and the German Bund 1.19 pct. Turnover totaled 7.0 million euros, of which 5.0 million were buy orders and the remaining 2.0 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 0.51 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.41 pct, the six-month rate was 0.32 pct, the three-month rate was 0.20 pct and the one-month rate was 0.12 pct.

    [28] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 1.31 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover remaining a low 12.357 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4.263 contracts worth 6.998 million euros, with 34,628 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 37,410 contracts worth 5.359 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (21,719), followed by Piraeus Bank (9,054), Eurobank (747), OTE (2,525), PPC (1,524), OPAP (289), Mytilineos (212), GEK (589), Frigoglass (106), MIG (162), OPAP (289) and Sidenor (64).

    [29] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.331

    Pound sterling 0.856

    Danish kroner 7.568

    Swedish kroner 8.678

    Japanese yen 130.19

    Swiss franc 1.246

    Norwegian kroner 7.723

    Canadian dollar 1.349

    Australian dollar 1.286

    General News

    [30] Freighters collide, 2 dead, 8 missing

    Two of ten seamen who were missing on Monday morning after the freighter they were on board collided with another freighter, southwest of Sapienza island south of Messinia, were found dead.

    The Antigua-Barbuda -flagged freigther "Consouth" with 16 member crew (5 Russians, 10 Polish and one Philippino national) collided under inidentified conditions with Cook Islands - flagged freighter "Piri Reis" with 17 member crew, all from Syria.

    A huge rescue operation is underway in the area including a C-130 military aircraft, a helicopter, four ships and coast guards vessels.

    "Piri Reis" had sailed from Algeria loaded with fertiliser destined for Ukraine. According to initial information the freighter sank within seven minutes.

    "Consouth" freighter was void of cargo and had left from Turkey with destination Malta.

    [31] City of Athens removes 25 tonnes of toxic waste from Votanikos area

    City of Athens staff started clearing out 25 tonnes of toxic waste from a defunct detergent factory in the Votanikos area on Monday.

    The waste had been stored in plastic reservoirs and tubs in the abandoned factory on Orfeos Street in the western section of Athens. The company went bankrupt ten years ago and the waste had been stored inside the factory building, next to a densely-populated section of the capital.

    The city stepped in when the agency responsible did not respond to continuous messages of concern by local residents on health issues. A Greek company will process the waste and send on what it cannot recycle to Germany and Belgium for processing there.

    [32] Car containing dead body found in Neda River gorge

    A joint operation by the police and fire brigade was underway in the Neda River gorge near Mount Taygetos on Monday, after the discovery of a car containing a dead body at the bottom of a 100-metre drop.

    The car was spotted by two hikers on Sunday evening, who first noted the strong smell of decay and called the police.

    A coroner has been summoned to examine the body and authorities are investigating all angles, while the exact time that the incident took place has not yet been determined.

    Weather forecast

    [33] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures between 9C and 31C. Fair in Athens with northerly 3-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 11C and 30C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 11C and 29C.

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

    DIMOKRATIA: "Taxes' suffocation for the next nine months'.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "New school mergers on the verge".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Retirement age limits for women in all social security funds'.

    ELLADA AVRIO: "Dirty game with the minimum salary".

    ESTIA: "The employer's death".

    ETHNOS: "The criteria for layoffs in public sector".

    IMERISSIA: "Banks open the markets' gates'.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Bank deposits' seizure for debts to social security funds".

    TA NEA: "Relief for the financially weaker households".

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