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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-05-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 27 May 2013 Issue No: 4369


  • [01] PM addresses 'Re-engineering Greece' congress
  • [02] PM to meet with Venizelos and Kouvelis on Monday
  • [03] PASOK leader addresses party's central political committee
  • [04] PASOK party leader begins tour of country from Halkida
  • [05] DIMAR leader: Greece's growth model should be based on extroversion
  • [06] Tsipras on developments in SYRIZA
  • [07] KKE party leader addresses rally in Karditsa
  • [08] Opinion poll sees ND lead over SYRIZA
  • [09] Opinion poll gives 2.4pct lead to ND over SYRIZA
  • [10] Turkish warship violates Greek territorial waters
  • [11] Australian Ambassador on Crete for 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Crete
  • [12] FinMin: We are moderately optimistic
  • [13] Eurogroup president: Possibility of new haircut to be judged in 2014
  • [14] Hatzidakis: Greece has turned page
  • [15] Shipping minister concludes two-day visit to France
  • [16] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [17] Aegean Sea volcanos, a different kind of tourism
  • [18] Robber pushes student off a cliff, victim seriously injured
  • [19] Fair on Monday
  • [20] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

  • [01] PM addresses 'Re-engineering Greece' congress

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that credibility should be at the center of any serious effort for the growth of the Greek economy, in a letter addressed to the 'Re-Engineering Greece' congress organised by the Civil Engineers Association that takes place in Athens.

    In his letter the prime minister noted that "credibility should be the foundation of any building, architectural or spiritual. You civil engineers and we politicians share a common privilege: Your and our work can influence the quality of people's lives and can create or eliminate the aesthetic in substance and in culture and this by itself can set the framework of a substantial and fruitful 'redefinition' of the Greece we love, of Greece that inspires us".

    Re-engineering Greece means for us Re-making Greece: We rebuilt Greece with well known, however forgotten ingredients, courage, passion, history, tradition, vision new ideas and innovation.

    I want to reassure you that we (the government) are working night and day for the best of our country and that's what we expect from you in order to, all together, rebuilt Greece.

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

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the party leaders that support his coalition government, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis will meet on Monday at 6 p.m at the Maximos Mansion.

    An overall review of the current political issues is expected to be discussed at the meeting, with special focus on the antiracist draft law.


    [03] PASOK leader addresses party's central political committee

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday that he will set the issue of a total evaluation of the government and of the individuals' operation as well as of a review of the coalition government's agreement plan at the leaders' meeting on Monday.

    Addressing his party's central political committee Venizelos said that the government's success can be secured only if PASOK's proposals are implemented adding that without PASOK a ruling majority will not exist.

    Referring to the antiracist draft law which will be also discussed at the leaders' meeting, he said that the debate on the antiracist bill creates a bad image that is unfair for the government and for its political operational framework.

    [04] PASOK party leader begins tour of country from Halkida

    PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos began in Halkida, eastern Greece, a tour of the country in light of elections for the party's regional bodies.

    Speaking during his meeting in Halkida with the region's production agencies, he said that "I do not wish to think what would happen if the country defaulted or if the country quit the euro".

    The PASOK leader added that we can speak now of the loss of 30 percent and the saving of 70 percent, but if we had reached default we would speak of losses of 80 percent and the saving of 20 percent.

    However, he expressed optimism that "the country will make the big turn, will do better". And this, as he said, because "Europe is obliged, from a point onwards, to react politically", since "it is faced with a very big threat that cannot be handled with fiscal or monetary tools only, but changes of another type are also required".

    Venizelos also referred to some of the very important problems of households and of small and medium-size enterprises and in particular to the settlement of debts owed to the state and social insurance funds, as well as banks.

    He said that PASOK wanted much more flexible and clever arrangements which not take place and intends to return to the issue for this reason so that the arrangements can be improved.

    [05] DIMAR leader: Greece's growth model should be based on extroversion

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis speaking on Saturday at the annual general assembly of Thessaly industrialists in the city of Volos said that "Greece is leaving behind the ominous estimations and the negative evaluations and attempts the economic stability, the exit from the crisis and the recovery. Greece can hope again. Optimism exists and for the first time after a long period exists the certainty that we can make it"

    Kouvelis who was the main speaker of the event, added that Greece has avoided bankruptcy and already the first positive estimations for the country's course have been recorded and figures indicate a reversal of the course.

    He expressed the opinion that the economic, social and political stability, the spirit for reforms and the political volition for changes, the national adjustment programme and the boosting of the country and the economy's restructure along with the changes in the European policy against the crisis to be the mandatory prerequisites for growth.

    Moreover, DIMAR leader noted that the whole political system must rise to the occasion in order the country to exit from the crisis.

    According to Kouvelis, Greece's new growth model should be based on extroversion, increase in productivity in the public and private sector, on research and innovation, on the new education system, on the creation of new job positions.

    [06] Tsipras on developments in SYRIZA

    The course of SYRIZA's development into a single democratic party of the Left, explained SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in an interview with the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.

    "There is no serious person that will support that SYRIZA's problem is the reduced democracy. Let's finish with the anecdotes" said Tsipras and reiterated the need for the Left's unity which should, according to Tsipras, to reach the Left of social democracy.

    Tsipras said it is not SYRIZA's stance that brings rifts to the government but Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' extreme-right environment that rules the country and charged PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos that he acts as if he has not understood that the progressive citizens have not changed but that his party has changed and has turned into a component of the Right.

    [07] KKE party leader addresses rally in Karditsa

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoumbas, addressing a rally in the city of Karditsa, Thessaly central Greece, on Saturday evening, said that "the deviation of the Aheloos River is urgent and necessary, more than ever, that could water the entire plain of Thessaly, increase productivity and provide greater agricultural income. The deviation of the Aheloos River can and must constitute a demand of the people of Thessaly for both the utilisation of the water for irrigation and the water supply and enrichment of underground waters where we are deficient".

    He further said that KKE calls first of all on the farmers, the mass agencies and the people of Thessaly to demand with initiatives the immediate continuation and completion of the deviation of the upper course of the Aheloos River with the transfer of 600 million cubic metres of water a year.

    Also referring to the antiracist law, he stressed that with the "so-called antiracist bill the way opens for the reactionary decisions of the European Union to be implemented in Greece as well."

    Eight years passed on May 22 from the death of honourary KKE president Harilaos Florakis. Honouring his memory, KKE's Thessaly Committee held a political memorial service in his birthplace, Paliozoglopi in Karditsa, at noon on Sunday at the location of Ai Lias where his grave is situated. The event was also attended by Koutsoumbas.

    [08] Opinion poll sees ND lead over SYRIZA

    New Democracy (ND) leads by 2.8 percent over main opposition SYRIZA, according to an opinion poll conducted by Alco for the Sunday newspaper "Proto Thema".

    According to the poll results, ND was leading with 24.9 percent, followed by SYRIZA with 22.1 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 11 percent, PASOK with 5.8 percent, Independent Greeks with 5.2 percent,the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.1 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 4.1 percent, while 10 percent of the respondents said they have not decided yet .

    [09] Opinion poll gives 2.4pct lead to ND over SYRIZA

    New Democracy (ND) leads by 2.4 percent over main opposition SYRIZA, according to an opinion poll conducted by RASS for the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos newspaper.

    According to the poll results, ND was leading with 24.5 percent, followed by SYRIZA with 22.1 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 9.2 percent, PASOK with 4.7 percent, Independent Greeks with 4.6 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 4.6 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 3.8 percent, ANTARSYA with 1.5 percent, Nea Ellada with 1.1 percent while 3.8 percent of the respondents expressed support for other parties, 4.7 said they will abstain or cast a blank vote and 15.2 percent did not answer.

    In response to who would be most suitable for prime minister, current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (and ND leader) was preferred by 53 percent of the respondents, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 29 percent.

    [10] Turkish warship violates Greek territorial waters

    A Turkish warship has violated Greek territorial waters for yet another time.

    According to an announcement by the National Defence General Staff on Sunday, it was the Turkish missile boat ATAK this time that, coming from the port of Izmir, entered national territorial waters between Mykonos and Naxos at 7 in the morning. It then headed on a western course between Sifnos and Serifos, with a northerly, northeasterly course between Kea and Kythnos and at 14:25 it left national territorial waters.

    A Navy warship and Air Force planes followed the Turksih warship during the entire duration of its course.

    The Turkish ship is possibly participating in a Turkish exercise that is taking place in the Aegean these days.

    [11] Australian Ambassador on Crete for 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Crete

    The Australian Ambassador to Greece Jenny Polyxeni Bloomfield, will visit the island of Crete from 25-28 May 2013 to attend commemorative events on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Crete as well as to promote bilateral ties.

    On Sunday, the Ambassador will address a commemorative service at the Hellenic-Australian Memorial Park in Rethymno.

    The participation of the Australian armed forces in the Battle of Crete of May 1941 is one of the most important events in the shared history of our two countries. Australian soldiers fought alongside Greek, New Zealand and British troops and unarmed civilians of Crete, to prevent the Nazi invasion and defend our shared values of democracy and freedom. Stories of bravery and self-sacrifice, and of Cretans sheltering allied soldiers at great personal danger, have been passed down from generation to generation, laying the foundation for a long-standing friendship between our two nations.

    Moreover, during her visit, the Ambassador will meet local government representatives and will be the keynote speaker at an event co-organised by the Heraklion Chamber of Commerce, the Hellenic-Australian Business Council and the Australian Embassy, on 'Australia and Crete: Entrepreneurship, Development, Prospects', at the Heraklion Chamber on 27 May.

    An increasing number of Cretan companies are exploring trade and investment opportunities in Australia and Crete remains a popular tourism destination for Australians. There is potential to further strengthen these links. The Cretan-Australian community makes an important contribution to Australian society and to our economy and plays a vital role in supporting bilateral ties.

    Financial News

    [12] FinMin: We are moderately optimistic

    Greece will try to legally battle a European Commission decision calling for a return of funds given to regional businesses from 1993 to 2005 as being given by the state illegally, said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras at a dinner of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SVVE) on Friday.

    The Minister said that it is a historic responsibility of the current government and of the productive forces of the country to rise to the occasion and to found together a new economic model, based on competitiveness, extroversion and healthy entrepreneurship.

    "We have covered more that 2/3 of the distance regarding the fiscal adjustment and over 3/4 regarding the competitiveness" he said adding that the fiscal course of the country is satisfactory and "allows us to be moderately optimistic'.

    Among other issues, Stournaras said the government was trying to find ways to reduce the VAT in certain kinds of goods or the coefficients in property transfers, to help the construction sector, which would contribute to the overall economy.

    The privatisation of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and the normalisation of fiscal deficits in the energy market would allow energy cost to drop, helping manufacturers.

    The finance minister also said that the state would pay off all obligations to third parties - around 8.7 billion euros - by the end of 2013, affecting the GDP by 1 pct.

    As for deposits, he said that from June 2012 to March 2013, 22 billion euros worth of deposits returned to the Greek banking system and the trend would continue, despite the developments on Cyprus.

    [13] Eurogroup president: Possibility of new haircut to be judged in 2014

    Eurogroup president Jeroen Djisselbloem said that recovery indications exist and in Greece, noting that he is optimistic on eurozone's prospects, in an interview with the Sunday edition of VIMA newspaper.

    He also said that it is early for a discussion on a new haircut of the Greek debt to open adding that the issue will be judged in the middle of next year and under the condition that Greece has achieved its goals and met its commitments.

    [14] Hatzidakis: Greece has turned page

    Development Minister Hatzidakis said that the country has turned page in an interview with Sunday newspaper Realnews, adding that our partners' stance as well as the investing interest proves it.

    Asked on the privatisations, Hatzidakis said that the best offer will win.

    "The country is now in China's plans" said Hatzidakis adding that China expressed interest in TRAINOSE S.A. privatisation as well as for the regional airports and for Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos".

    [15] Shipping minister concludes two-day visit to France

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)

    Greek Shipping Minister Kostis Mousouroulis carried out a two-day visit to France and the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Boulogne on Friday and Saturday, at the invitation of French Transport Minister Fr?d?ric Cuvillier.

    The visit took place in the framework of the preparation for the Greek presidency of the EU during the first half of 2014.

    Mousouroulis also had the opportunity of meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Rouen, who showed special interest in the economic situation in Greece and "the course of stability and growth". The two ministers exchanged views as well on contacts by both sides with China, given that the visit to Beijing by the French president had preceded that by the Greek prime minister.

    At the big port of Le Havre, Mousouroulis attended the inauguration of the big workshop of the terminal station, regarding combined transport by train and river boats.

    In the sector of joint initiatives, Greece and France intend to cooperate actively in the framework of the EU's sea policy and the "Blue Development" programme. The two countries, with the aim of decreasing bureaucratic procedures in ports, can develop joint programmes, France being on the front of the Atlantic and Greece at the Mediterranean's entrance to Suez. Naval training could also be another joint initiative for which the French, according to the minister, showed special interest.

    [16] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.313

    Pound sterling 0.869

    Danish kroner 7.565

    Swedish kroner 8.727

    Japanese yen 133.22

    Swiss franc 1.265

    Norwegian kroner 7.641

    Canadian dollar 1.357

    Australian dollar 1.354

    General News

    [17] Aegean Sea volcanos, a different kind of tourism

    There are certain tourists who love "explosions" and adventure and who prefer exploring volcanos and calderas to relaxing on a beach in mid-summer.

    Thousands of tourists visit the islands of the Aegean Sea year-round to discover a new kind of tourism, the so-called volcanic-geologic tourism.

    The best-known volcanos of the Aegean are those of Santorini, with a 300m-high caldera and an 11km-diameter, and Nisyros, both volcanoes considered the largest in the Mediterranean. Volcanos also exist on Milos island and in Sousaki and Methana.

    All are considered "active", a classification of any volcano that has erupted in the last 10,000 years.

    Both the Santorini and Nisyros volcanos are under constant observation from special stations, and the data analysed on a 24-hour basis. "Volcanos are not like earthquakes, which strike without warning," University of Thessaloniki Seismology professor Dimitris Panagiotopoulos told told ANA-MPA, "they wawrn us weeks ahead of time and we can take all necessary measures."

    Michalis Fytikas, professor of Vulcanology and Geothermics at the same university, said that "If other countries had the Aegean Sea, they would do wonderful things with tourism in this respect." In central France and Germany, he pointed out, there is a rigorous tourism flow throughout the year "with a tiny little volcano crater."

    Reference was also made to the Volcanic Museum on Nisyros, which displays samples and photos of rocks and formations of the Greek volcanos and images of the volcanic belt in the Aegean. It was created under a programme partly funded by EU structural funds.

    The two scientists, with colleague Spyros Pavlidis, professor of Geology and dean of the School of Sciences, spoke on the topic of volcanos at the Centre for the Dissemination of Sciences and the "Noesis" Museum of Technology in Thermi, Thessaloniki, recently.

    [18] Robber pushes student off a cliff, victim seriously injured

    A female student was seriously injured on Sunday when she was attacked by an Afghani national on the island of Corfu.

    According to initial information the foreign national while attempting to rob the student he pushed her off a 7- meter cliff resulting to her serious injury.

    The victim is being hospitalised and according to doctors she is out of danger.

    The suspect was arrested and on Monday will be sent to the local prosecutor.

    Weather forecast

    [19] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday. Winds 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures between 12C and 29C. Fair in Athens with northerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures between 14C and 28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 16C and 26C.

    [20] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    AVGHI: Left or right the real dilemma - Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's conservative pole and the pole of the democratic reversal under Tsipras.

    EPOCHI: Government's political debts are overdue - Eurozone in an unstable balance.

    ETHNOS:Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to newspaper: My plan for a new, stronger SYRIZA.

    KATHIMERINI: "Visas bring us investors in real estate - Russia, China, Arab countries express strong investing interest.

    KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: Tax Bureau lurking

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Attachment of salaries and pensions for debts to Tax Bureau

    NIKI: Fifteen weapons give final solution to illegal buildings issue.

    REALNEWS: What Samaras, Kouvelis and Venizelos discussed in their last meeting.

    TO ARTHRO: Kouvelis (Fotis, Democratic Left leader), Venizelos' (Evangelos, PASOK leader) antiracist hypocrisy.

    TO PARON: Arrangement for heavily indebted households a deceit".

    TO VIMA: Everything changes - Cards reshuffled.

    TYPOS TIS KYRIAKIS: Opinion poll gives lead to New Democracy (ND) and Samaras- 41. 4 percent of respondents sees light at the end of the tunnel.

    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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