|Saturday, 24 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-08-14
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 14 August 2013 Issue No: 4433
 Piraeus port facing summer's last big holiday exodusGreece's main port of Piraeus is seeing a massive influx of travellers as Greeks are taking off for the Greek Orthodox holiday of "Dekapentavgoustos", the Virgin's Dormition on August 15 - a family's last shot at vacation time before schools start in September.
Port authorities said that on Tuesday there were 17 boats scheduled to leave Piraeus, 23 leaving from Saronic Gulf ports, 11 boats leaving Rafina and 6 leaving from Lavrio. On Wednesday (holiday eve), there will be slightly fewer runs. Most boats connect the mainland to islands in the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean Sea, including Crete.
Automated information on arrivals and departures is available by phone on 14944 (Hellenic Telecoms line) and 14541 (Piraeus Port Authority line).
 Subsidized holidays programme reintroduced after a one-year interruptionTens of thousands of people meeting the necessary requirements will benefit from subsidized holidays programmes reintroduced by the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), it was announced on Tuesday.
Those eligible for the "2013-2014 social tourism programme", providing low-cost holidays to thousands of beneficiaries from September 16, 2013 until July 31, 2014, can file their applications electronically at www.oaed.gr from August 14 until September 10, 2013.
"The revival, after a one-year absence, of the subsidized holidays programmes addressed to 110,000 people, both employed and unemployed, is the culmination of the efforts made by the labour ministry and the government in general to reset and reintroduce a very important social benefit," Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said.
Vroutsis highlighted the assistance offered by the OAED management, referring to constructive cooperation and coordinated actions undertaken jointly with the ministry of labour.
 SYRIZA party accuses government of hope tradingThe main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party, commenting on statements by the government's economic staff on the primary surplus, accused the government of "trading in hope."
A SYRIZA statement said that despite the rise in unemployment and its nightmarish increase among young people in particular, the continuing deep recession, the indebtedness of small and medium-size enterprises, the layoffs that are impending in crucial sectors of education, health and local administration and the threat of home foreclosures, the Samaras-Venizelos government is attempting once again to gain time through trading in hope.
It also stressed that the continuous struggle of the people and the creation of a majority social front can overturn this policy and the government, promoting at the same time the government of the left. A government, it added, of social salvation that will give hope and prospects to the people and the country.
Replying to SYRIZA's comments, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, said "it is expected that SYRIZA will not realise the importance of the primary surplus, as the party has a surplus of audacity and a deficit of proposals and is devoted to trading in desperation."
The spokesman added that SYRIZA is insisting on the deficits of the recipes of the past, which have led to the crisis. He stressed that the basic precondition for an exit from the crisis was to achieve a primary surplus.
 Democratic Left (DIMAR) criticises gov't on primary surplus figures, debt repayment optionsOpposition Democratic Left (DIMAR) charged the government with not portraying the real state of the economy, in the figures for July's primary surplus presented by the government on Monday.
"The primary surplus presented for the first seven months of 2013 is mostly based on the state's non-payment of its debts, on the restriction of the privatisation programme, and on the assistance of eurozone central banks, which returned profits made from the purchase of Greek bonds," DIMAR said in an announcement.
"The real state of the economy and families is over-taxation, unemployment, and the creation of more poverty," it added, calling on the government to "demand immediate changes in the fiscal adjustment programme so it is linked with development, social protection and the creation of jobs."
In a separate announcement, the party also criticised the government for "failing to cover fiscal targets" because of unsuccessful regulations for the repayment of back taxes and insurance fund contributions. "In many cases, debtors want to pay but can't," it said, because regulations make that difficult.
 KKE: Gov't surplus figures achieved from unprecedented taxation of populaceThe government's jubilation over the primary surplus figures is "provocative", the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) charge on Tuesday, in response to July data released on Monday, "when this was achieved thanks to the unprecedented financial blood-letting of the people."
In an announcement, the KKE said the tax drain would not stop and popular classes would have to face new taxes and wage and pension reductions, as well as a limiting of social benefits. There is no hope to be expected from the government and main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), it said.
 Independent Greeks Kammenos charges 'illegal actions' by magistrate on ELSTAT caseThe head of the opposition Independent Greeks party Panos Kammenos on Tuesday implied that justice was not being served in a case concerning the independent statistical authority ELSTAT and the allegations that it had artificially boosed Greece's deficit figures, accusing the magistrate in charge of "illegal actions" prompted by others acting as moral instigators.
According to Kammenos, the main witness making the allegations against ELSTAT Zoi Georganta had been invited by the magistrate to attend a private meeting to discuss the case "in an extra-institutional setting outside the magistrate's office".
"Such actions not only knock down the justice minister's claims concerning the existence of the rule of law but trivialise the institution of justice on all levels," Kammenos underlined, adding that the magistrate was also guilty of a slew of other irregularities in her handling of the case.
 Shipping minister visits Underwater Missions UnitShipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on Tuesday visited the installations of the Underwater Missions Unit of the Port Authority - Greek Coast Guard and met with senior officials, while informing the Unit's commander that the Unit is expected to be relocated at Skaramangas from Aghios Kosmas at the expense of TAIPED.
Varvitsiotis praised the Unit's cadres for their substantive and catalytic contribution during the search operation for the criminals who had recently escaped from Trikala prison.
"I wish to express the prime minister's gratitude to you, as well as of all the Greek people for your success. Your knowledge, training and coaching are very high and, at the same time, essential and valuable for society," the minister told them.
 'Matter of time' before Greece needs more help, Suddeutsche Zeitung saysBERLIN (ANA-MPA - F. Karaviti)
It is only a matter of time before Greece needs more financial assistance, according to an article appearing in the German newspaper "Suddeutsche Zeitung" on Tuesday. The article in the paper's financial pages notes that the country's debt remains high, while growth is slow and the targets set are overly ambitious.
At the same time, the paper points out that Greece appears to be on the right track, referring to the Greek finance ministry's announcement on Monday of a primary surplus in the state budget and signs that the recession is starting to level off.
According to the paper, the issue may return to the political agenda after the German elections and it raised key questions concerning the Greek economic crisis, such as how the Greek economy is doing, whether the first 'haircut' has been frittered away, how much help Greece has actually received and when new aid to the country will become necessary.
 Greece among 15 EU states that must return agricultural funds, Commission saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)
The European Commission on Tuesday claimed back 180 million euros in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds from 15 member states for non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures, it announced.
The financial impact on some EU member-states is lower - closer to 169 million euros - as some of the funds have already been recovered from or paid back by EU member-states.
Funds will be recovered from the following 15 EU member-states: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Finland and the United Kingdom.
The most significant corrections, it said, related to the UK, Poland, and Denmark (totalling 109.7 million, actual financial impact: 98.9 million euros).
Greece has to return 5.2 million euros, related to deficiences in controls of records kept by producers in fruits and vegetables; weaknesses in remote area records on olive oil production; and deficiencies in verifying eligibility for, and calculating and controlling rural development aid.
 Alt. Agriculture minister holds meeting on using EU fundsAlternate Agricultural Development and Food Minister Maximos Harakopoulos on Tuesday had a meeting with the ministry's new special secretary for Community Funds and Infrastructure Dimitris Iatridis. The agenda of the meeting focused on the progress of operational programmes, absorption of EU funds and preparing for the new programme period in 2014-2020.
 Greek designers' work, on tour through Asia, heads for TaiwanThe desire to describe to the world the situation in Greece and the reality of the crisis led top Greek designers to launch a global campaign entitled "Crisis is a Greek word".
Driven by the ongoing recession and its gradual expansion to more countries, 50 of the leading Greek creators, who excel in visual communication with over 1,240 international and national distinctions in their portfolios, are participating for the first time in a joint exhibition focusing on conveying to the world the message of creativity.
The exhibition's world tour has so far included the "Beijing Desing Week", the "Guangzhou Design Week" and two Canton Fairs. Its next stop is the Taiwan Design Expo in September 2013, to be held in Taipei, in collaboration with Design-lobby.Asia, a promotional platform of Greek design in Asia founded by Vassilis Bartzokas in 2012.
 Greece raises 1.3 billion euros from T-bill auctionGreece on Tuesday successfully auctioned three-month Treasury bills, raising 1.3 billion euros from the market.
Bids submitted totalled 1.866 billion euros, 1.87 times over the asked-for sum.
The yield of the issue was set at 4.02 percent, the same as that of the previous auction of three-month bills in July.
 GSEVEE announces mobilisations against government measuresThe Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) on Tuesday announced that stores will be closed across the country on September 16 and a demonstration will be held during the International Fair in Thessaloniki (TIF) in protest against new government measures.
According to GSEVEE, "measures such as the forced collection of overdue social insurance contributions by the newly established Social Insurance Debt Collection Center (KEAO), the opening of stores on Sundays and recently passed tax laws, turn the government into an 'exterminator' of SMEs."
"All anticipated benefits (financial, psychological) from the reduced VAT rate on restaurant and catering services vanish as a result of the cost of implementating recently passed legislation, so that the huge effort by GSEVEE and other organizations to have the VAT reduction reflected in lower prices is made very difficult and problematic," the announcement underlined.
 Chinese man to receive long-term residence permit after investing in Attica propertyThe real estate firm BuildUp S.A. on Tuesday announced the signature of the first contract for the sale of an Attica property to a Chinese national, who will benefit from the provisions of a recently passed law granting long-term residence to non-EU nationals who invest in Greek real estate worth more than 250,000 euros.
According to BuildUp S.A., the contract was signed on August 8 in the context of the company's exclusive cooperation with the Chinese CSDH to promote Greek real estate to Chinese investors.
 Majority of Greek homes uninsured, Interamerican saysThe majority of homes in Greece are uninsured, according to an announcement issued by the insurance firm Interamerican on Tuesday. The press release was issued in response to problems caused by an earthquake in Fthiotida prefecture, where hundreds of homes suffered structural damage and were deemed unsafe.
According to Interamerican, rates of home insurance in Greece are exceptionally low at roughly 15 pct of the total. Most home insurance contracts signed are for the event of fire and earthquake damage but not for theft, flooding, water damage from faulty plumbing, or for their contents.
Plumbing leaks, by contrast, are responsible for one in every two cases of damage reported and burglaries and theft have more than tripled in the last five years, especially for holiday homes, Interamerican said.
 Emirates airline organising 'Open Day' in Athens and IraklioThe Emirates airline will be organising two 'open days' in Athens and the city of Iraklio, on the island of Crete, as it is looking to recruit 3,800 flight attendants, to join its team of 12,000 Cabin Crew within the year.
The Open Day in Iraklio will be held on Saturday, August 24 and in Athens on Saturday, August 31.
On Open Day, interested women and men will have the opportunity to speak with Emirates representatives and learn more about the opportunities and the benefits of joining the airline's Cabin Crew team.
 Bourse ends 1.66 pct lower on profit-takingGreek stocks declined on profit-taking in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday as investors sought to cash in on gains made over the last nine sessions. The composite index of the market fell 1.66 pct to close at 961.01 points, in the first of the August sessions to end lower, with the general index having posted gains of 8.64 pct since the start of the month. Turnover was a strong 61.05 million euros.
The Large Cap index ended 1.86 pct down and the Mid Cap index fell 0.78 pct.
EYDAP (2.07 pct), Terna Energy (1.57 pct), Eurobank Properties (1.31 pct) and Corinth Pipeworks (0.88 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (-4.50 pct), National Bank of Greece (-4.02 pct), EXAE (-3.88 pct) and Titan (-3.46 pct) were top losers.
The Utilities (0.47 pct) and Travel (0.12 pct) sectors were the only two that scored gains, while Banks (-3.30 pct), Financial Services (-2.81 pct) and Technology (-2.69 pct) posted the greatest losses.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 67 to 59, with another 24 issues unchanged.
Attica Holding (20.00 pct), Hellenic Fish Farms (20.00 pct) and SATO (18.75 pct) were top gainers, while Domiki Kritis (-19.88 pct), ANEK (p' 90) (-19.66 pct) and Papoutsanis (-14.06 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -2.14%
Personal & Household: -0.40%
Raw Materials: -1.36%
Travel & Leisure: +0.12%
Food & Beverages: -2.43%
Financial Services: -2.81%
The stocks with the highest turnover were OTE, Piraeus Bank, National Bank and Alpha Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.50
Public Power Corp (PPC): 8.00
HBC Coca Cola: 21.64
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.83
National Bank of Greece: 3.10
Eurobank Properties : 7.75
 ADEX closing reportThe August contract on the FTSE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.35 pct on the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover at 22.885 million euros.
Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 10,926 contracts worth 18.107 million euros, with 55,175 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 15,427 contracts worth 4.778 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank (4,035), followed by Alpha Bank (2,955), Eurobank (1,686), Piraeus Bank (1,671), OTE (1,593), PPC (917), MIG (492), OPAP (375), Intralot (311), Mytilineos (271), Hellenic Petroleum (229), GEK (214), Jumbo (138), Hellenic Exchanges (124), Metka (67), Ellaktor (64), Titan (47),
Viohalco (47), Terna Energy (35), Frigoglass (29), Motor Oil (29), Sidenor (21), Corinth Pipeworks (19), Coca Cola HBC (18), Eurobank Properties (12) and OLP (7).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.348
Pound sterling 0.872
Danish kroner 7.571
Swedish kroner 8.792
Japanese yen 132.22
Swiss franc 1.254
Norwegian kroner 7.912
Canadian dollar 1.392
Australian dollar 1.476
 Culture minister extends condolences over death of film director George KatakouzinosCulture Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos expressed his condolences on Tuesday over the death of film director George Katakouzinos.
"The loss of George Katakouzinos leaves a big vacuum in the family of the Greek Cinema and an even bigger one for all of us who met him and were joined with him in friendship. George was bold, creative and talented. He had an opinion on all that was happening around him and told it in his own way. He offered a great deal to the Greek Cinema and was distinguished for this contribution by him," Panayiotopoulos said in a statement, adding that "we shall always remember him as a distinguished and successful creator and as a good friend. My sincere condolences to his family and his close associates."
 Power cut in Santorini, Thirasia due to fire at PPC plantThe Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC S.A.) on Tuesday announced that it is making arrangements to send generator sets to the Aegean island of Santorini to help restore the island's power supply as soon as possible and solve the problems created by a fire that broke out at noon in the local power plant.
The power plant supplied Santorini and Thirasia with electricity, so that both islands experienced a total blackout.
The generator sets will be delivered in cooperation with the general secretariat for civil protection and the ministries of defence and environment, while efforts are being made to fix the serious damage caused by the fire to the PPC plant and restore power to the islands.
 Two women to face charges for dead baby found in rubbish dumpTwo women are to be charged in connection with the death of a newborn baby found in a rubbish dump in Lechaina, Ilia prefecture, police announced on Tuesday. Based on a police investigation, they are the infant's 20-year-old mother and its 44-year-old grandmother.
A forensic examination of the body, found by a Roma gypsy at noon on Monday, showed that the dead newborn boy had been born healthy and at full term some two days earlier. It weighed 2.8 kilograms, was about 50 cm in length and bore signs of head injuries sustained either during birth or after his body was thrown in a trash bin.
 Man on dinghy arrested after three-hour chase by port authoritiesPort authorities arrested a man operating an inflatable dinghy in the eastern Aegean after a three-hour chase on Tuesday.
The name of the boat had been covered over and the man refused to stop when accosted near the eastern Aegean island of Samos. After a three-hour chase by port authorities, the dinghy was finally stopped at Serifos island and the man arrested. He will be brought before a magistrate on Syros island.
A search of the dinghy revealed nothing amiss.
 Railroad station engine room fire put out; cause unknownA fire that broke out in the engine room of the urban railroad station of Agii Theodori, Corinth prefecture, on Tuesday was put out by the fire brigade after burning for about three hours.
The cause has not been determined yet. The fire damaged mostly energy-storage batteries and caused damages of around 10,000 euros.
 Fire in the Old City of Nafplio damages restaurant, two apartmentsA restaurant in the Old City of Nafplio, southern Greece, was seriously damaged by an explosion and fire caused by propane leak at noon on Tuesday.
The fire spread quickly through the wooden floors of the building, damaging two apartments above the restaurant. No adjacent stores or houses were damaged as a result of the swift intervention of firefighters.
The fire was difficult to contain, mainly because the Old City's narrow streets did not allow fire engines easy access.
 Wildfire in Ano Doliana under partial controlA wildfire in forestland in Ano Doliana, in the prefecture of Arcadia in the Peloponnese, which broke out at noon on Tuesday was reported under partial control in the evening. Two water-bombing aircraft and a helicopter were assisting firemen in their efforts to extinguish the blaze completely.
 Power on Santorini partially restoredThe power supply on the Aegean island of Santorini, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, was partially restored by around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the Public Power Corporation announced.
At the same time, 10MW generator sets were being loaded onto a Greek Navy tank landing vessel to be transported to the island and help boost production from the local plant until fire damage sustained earlier in the day is fully repaired.
Generators are also being sent to Santorini from the island of Rhodes (5MW), Crete (2MW) and Paros (2MW).
Until the generators arrive, different areas of the island are being supplied in rotation.
Santorini and its tiny neighbour Thirasia experienced a total blackout earlier in the day after an explosion and a fire at the local PPC plant supplying the two islands at around noon.
 Power generators to arrive on Santorini early morningA ship carrying power generators destined for the island of Santorini has sailed from the port of Piraeus and is scheduled to arrive on the island in the early hours of Wednesday. The 10-MW generators it carries will assist in restoring power supply to the entire island, as well as to the nearby island of Therasia, following a blackout caused by a fire in the Public Power Corporation's power unit at noontime, as the PPC announced.
As ANA-MPA reported earlier, power supply on the island has begun to be partially restored as of 8:00 in the evening, by using the installed backup power generators.
More generators are expected to be transported to Santorini from the islands of Rhodes, Crete and Paros.
Another vessel is on its way to the island carrying a special crane needed to install the power generators.
 UK architect arrested on international warrant at Zakynthos airportA UK architect of Pakistani origin was arrested upon his arrival in Greece on Tuesday, when he flew into the island of Zakynthos from Stansted airport in London. Sheikh Abdul Hafeez, 71, was wanted on an international arrest warrant issued against him in 2005 for the collapse of Margalla Towers in Pakistan, where 78 people were killed and another 84 injured.
The suspect will be led before a public prosecutor in the port city of Patras on Wednesday. In the meantime, he is being held at the island's police headquarters.
Hafeez had supervised the construction of Margalla Towers in Islamabad, a residential block that collapsed in a deadly 7.6-Richter earthquake that hit the region on October 8, 2005. The earthquake's epicentre was about 95 km north of the city and claimed a staggering 50,000 victims throughout the country.
 Large cannabis plantation seized on CreteRethymno Police on the island of Crete uprooted and seized a total of 828 cannabis plants in the region of Mylopotamos, it was announced on Tuesday.
The plantation covered three specially modified areas in a hard-to-access tract of forest and was discovered during an investigation carried out with the assistance of a police helicopter.
The cannabis plants, up to 3 meters tall, were fully matured and ready to be harvested.
Police confiscated the plants and other evidence found in the area, while an investigation is underway for the arrest of the plantation growers.
The plantation is the largest seized in recent months on the island of Crete.
 Pistol found on seized speedboat had been used in the past, ballistics showedOne of the guns seized by authorities on an inflatable speedboat intercepted in the sea between the islands of Oinousses and Chios in the eastern Aegean, had been used in the past, it was announced on Tuesday.
Based on ballistics evidence, one of the pistols that was among the heavy munitions found on the speedboat by the Coastguard had been used in April 2004 by an unidentified assailant, who had opened fire on a butcher's shop in Vamvakopoulos district in the seaport city of Hania on the island of Crete.
 Second Greek swimmer wins bronze in international paralympics games, MontrealTwo Greek swimmers won bronze medals the first day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships on Monday (Canada time), taking place east of Montreal at the Jean Drapeau Aquatic Complex Park.
Christos Tampaxis won the bronze medal for men's 50m backstroke, class S1, and Yiannis Kostakis won a bronze in the men's 200m freestyle, class S3.
Tampaxis has participated in IPC championships since 1996 and so far has won a total of three golds and two silvers. At the 2012 IPC championships in London he took second place, with a time of 1:20.76. Kostakis has been participating in the IPC games since 2000, and again placed third in the 2004 games in Athens in the 100m freestyle, class S3.
The games are taking place from August 12 to 18. More than 650 athletes from over 60 countries are participating.
 Fair on WednesdayGenerally fair, with some clouding, from midday on, on the mainland - both north and south. Mostly north-northeasterly winds 3 to 5 Beaufort, rising to 6 at sea. Temperatures from 21C to 36C, lower in Macedonia, Epirus and the Cycladic Islands. In Athens, fair, north-northeasterly winds, 3 to 6 Beaufort. Temperatures from 24C to 36C. In Thessaloniki, fair with variable winds 3 to 4 Beaufort, gradually turning to south-southeasterly. Temperatures from 21C to 35C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: "Gov't preparing raid on homes"
DIMOKRATIA: "Cunning 'solution' about homes"
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Magical tricks: Budget deficit transformed into surplus"
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Rise in salaries of MPs, mayors!"
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Which towns get 40,000 seasonal employees"
ESTIA: "Extreme socialism phenomena: Tax raid on property"
ETHNOS: "Transfers in civil service under special criteria"
IMERISSIA: "Two positive messages"
KATHIMERINI: "Primary surplus of 2.6 billion euros"
LOGOS: "Homes to be auctioned off"
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Review of regulations on debts and insurance contributions"
RIZOSPASTIS: "Education plan of illiteracy and manipulation should remain on paper"
TA NEA: "The points [for civil servants] to keep a job"
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