|Thursday, 22 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-08-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 21 August 2013 Issue No: 4439
 PM's meeting to review ministries' prior actions finishedA meeting of eleven ministers called by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to review prior action commitments before a review by Greece's lenders in September ended on Tuesday.
Government Vice President Evangelos Venizelos did not attend.
Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the end of the meeting, "We discussed all outstanding issues in ministries in terms of the commitments each has undertaken" and said that the timeline for staff mobility in the public sector would be adhered to.
Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis said that the PM coordinated the acts of all ministries after actions, timelines and outstanding issues were presented by each minister.
 PM Samaras holds talks with government vice presidentPrime Minister Antonis Samaras held talks "on all issues" with PASOK party president and government vice president Evangelos Venizelos during a meeting held at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday, according to PASOK party sources.
The meeting between the two leaders was held after the cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister in the morning.
According to the same reports, Samaras and Venizelos will be meeting again on Thursday to discuss the controversial issue concerning the lifting of a ban on primary home foreclosures as of 2014.
 PM, party leaders prepare for Thessaloniki International FairPrime Minister Antonis Samaras will deliver his speech on the opening day of the Thessaloniki International Fair on September 7, but is expected to follow last year's example and not give a press conference.
His schedule has not been set yet, but he and a small number of accompanying ministers will attend the religious blessing ceremony and address a business event early on September 7, while it is likely that he will meet in Athens with northern Greece chambers representatives.
The annual event, the largest trade fair in the country, traditionally includes a speech by the prime minister on the state of the economy and future plans direction. It is held every September in Thessaloniki, and this year will run to September 15.
Plans by other party leaders were also at a planning stage. Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras will visit Thessaloniki on September 14 or 15, hold a press conference and meet with local business people.
PASOK president, also government vice president and foreign minister, Evangelos Venizelos, will visit the Fair on September 8 and may give a press conference, unlike last year.
Independent Greeks (ANEL) president Panos Kammenos will be in Thessaloniki from September 9 to 11, and will give a press conference as well as address a rally; his schedule is not officially set yet.
Democratic Left (DIMAR) Fotis Kouvelis has not set a date for his visit to the Fair, but is giving a press conference and holding local meetings.
Meanwhile, the umbrella unions of GSEE (private sector employees) and ADEDY (public sector), along with the local labour unions EKTh and EDOTh, will hold rallies protesting the government's austerity programme at 6:00 p.m. on September 7, at the Venizelos statue.
Earlier, on September 5, they will hold a press conference at the Imperial Hotel to present annual data on labour based on a report by the Labour Institute of GSEE. Communist Party of Greece-affiliated labour union PAME will separately hold a rally the same day, at the main Aristotelous Square, also at 6:00 p.m.
 State privatisation programme to go on without delays, managing director reiteratesThere will be no delays in Greece's privatisation programme, the state privatisation agency TAIPED's managing director Ioannis Emiris said on Tuesday.
Speaking to ANA-MPA, Emiris reiterated that the resignation of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) head Stelios Stavridis on Sunday "is no reason for any delays in the state privatisation programme."
TAIPED has already contributed 3.5 billion euros to the state and is changing Greece's structure and method of operation in general, placing the country on a development trajectory, he said.
Reviewing the agency's work, he also noted that in the last two years more than 3,152 real estate assets have been selected for privatisations and over 90 regulations promoted to lift obstacles in the process.
There is a great effort being made, Emiris said, which will continue despite any temporary obstacles.
 Venizelos in Brussels on Wed. for EU meeting on EgyptGovernment Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will represent Greece in the extraordinary EU meeting of foreign ministers to be held on Wednesday in Brussels focusing on the crisis in Egypt.
Venizelos is expected to return to Athens within the day.
 FM Venizelos holds telephone conversation with UAE counterpartGovernment Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos received a telephone call from United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday, congratulating him on the assumption of his duties.
A series of issues concerning bilateral relations between Greece and the UAE were discussed during the conversation and views were exchanged on issues regarding the wider region, including Egypt.
Venizelos and his counterpart from the UAE agreed to continue consultations on issues of mutual interest and meet in New York in September, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
 European Cental Bank official in Athens on WednesdayEuropean Central Bank (ECB) official Joerg Asmussen is expected in Athens on Wednesday to discuss Greece's progress on the fiscal adjustment programme and on the latest developments in the eurozone, according to an ECB announcement.
An announcement by the Finance Ministry said Asmussen is scheduled to meet with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras at 3:00 p.m.
He is also meeting with National Bank president George Zanias, Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos and business officials.
Asmussen's visit comes ahead of a review in September by Greece's troika of lenders that include the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
 Health minister extends checks of 'source of wealth' to doctors in EOPYYHealth Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Tuesday announced the extension of the "source of wealth" (pothen esches) checks to doctors providing prescriptions for the National Health Service Providing Organisation (EOPYY), following a similar review of hospital managers.
The minister reported cases of doctors who carry out all their prescriptions at one pharmacy or prescribe up to 75 percent of pharmaceuticals from a single company.
He further said that doctors with an excessive number of prescribed pharmaceuticals and tests will be checked by the relevant economic authorities.
The minister reasserted that no one will be laid off from the National Health Service (ESY) and said that the civil service mobility procedure is expected to be completed by September 16 at the eight hospitals where it is being applied.
He also said that in September EOPYY would begin a census of those insured.
 No increase in 5-euro fee for outpatient services at state hospitals, minister saysHealth Minister Adonis Georgiadis clarified on Tuesday that the five-euro fee for outpatient services at public hospitals will not be increased.
According to a law in November 2012 ratifying Greece's memorandum commitments, the fee for someone being hospitalised will be raised to 25 euros as of January 2014.
Georgiadis said the issue is on the agenda of the Health Ministry, which hopes to be able to negotiate with the troika of creditors in September for a lower rate for financially weaker patients.
 Main opposition SYRIZA against change, gov't spokesman chargesMain opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) is doing its best "to annul any change, and every time it does not succeed, its fixations reach a fever pitch," government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Tuesday.
Responding to criticism by SYRIZA on the meeting called by the prime minister to review progress by ministers prior to September's review by the troika of lenders, Kedikoglou said that "We are sorry for the party's demise, but the future Greece cannot be put on hold."
 Albanian Foreign Ministry calls for 'calmness and self-restraint' over incidentsGJIROKASTER (ANA-MPA/P. Barkas)
Albania's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday responded to a demarche filed by the Greek Foreign Ministry over violent incidents at the Greek Orthodox church in Permet and the attack of the Greek General Consul with stones in Gjirokaster, by stressing the need to "analyse events with calmness and self-restraint within the context they are developing in."
The announcement was included in the reply given by Albanian Embassy attache in Athens Ermira Braho to the Greek Foreign Ministry.
The Albanian side said in its announcement that "official facts speak of different situations" and that "at the Greek General Consulate in Gjirokaster a relatively small stone was found which, according to preliminary investigations, may have been cast up randomly by the wheels of a passing car."
Concerning the Permet incidents, the announcement said that the priests and attendees were partly to blame because, Braho said, they "broke through the private police's barrier, removed the protective material and entered the building."
The building in question is used as a Greek Orthodox church but the town has claimed ownership by court decision.
Two injured persons appeared in the town hospital but according to sources declined to file complaint reports with officials.
Early on Tuesday morning, staff of private police company "Aulona" and Permet town staff took over the building of the church again; there were no priests or worshippers at the site since Monday afternoon. The municipal staff cleaned up the church and again removed religious objects replaced on Monday by priests and worshippers, while they built in doors and windows to prevent a new attempt to take over the church.
 DIMAR requests immediate investigation of attacks against Greek Orthodox in AlbaniaDemocratic Left (DIMAR) party called for an "immediate investigation into the circumstances of the attack against Greek Orthodox citizens and the Greek consul in Premet" following incidents in that city and in Gjirokastr on Tuesday.
"The Albanian government must understand that tolerating and encouraging nationalistic fanatism and violating human and religious rights will do no good to the country and its European prospects, nor to Greek-Albanian relations," it said, calling for an and punishment of the perpetrators.
 Tsipras on the island of Corfu on Thurs., Fri.Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras will visit the Ionian island of Corfu on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 August. The main opposition leader will meet with local entities and workers unions and will deliver a speech in the central Corfu Town square Spianada on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
 European Broadcasting Union ends hosting of ERT broadcastsThe European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will stop broadcasting online the programme produced by former state broadcaster ERT staff, as of Wednesday morning (August 21), it announced on its website.
Following the shutdown of ERT by the government in June, EBU hosted the programme by staff refusing to leave the ERT premises in the northern suburb of Aghia Paraskevi.
According to the EBU, the decision to stop was taken following reports that ERT's temporary replacement, Greek Public Television, will start broadcasting news bulletins this week.
The Union said that from June 12 until today it had carried out 8.5 million live broadcasts in 4.4 million hours, with more than 2.5 million unique users watching ERT programmes through the internet, while EBU representatives visited Greece frequently to meet with government officials and express disagreement with ERT's closure.
Former employees occupying ERT's premises called on the Union's president "not to stop the broadcasting of ERT's signal and to keep it alive through EBU's satellites, as was the case until today".
 Turkish aircraft intercepted over islandsA formation of six Turkish fighter planes, with four F-4s and two F-16s, entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) between the islands of Samos and Chios at 11:13 a.m. on Tuesday.
At 11:28 a.m., the formation's four F-4s flew over the islet of Anthropofaghi of the Fourni island complex, at an altitude of 4,000 feet.
The formation left the Athens FIR at 11:31 a.m., according to an announcement by the National Defence General Staff.
"All the Turkish aircraft were intercepted and identified, in accordance with international rules and according to standard practice," the same source added.
 Motorways project schedules expected in SeptemberThe exact schedules for projects on motorways are to be presented in September, reports said on Tuesday after the end of a broad government meeting with the participation of the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Mihalis Chryssochoidis. The same sources said that efforts are being made to enhance the absorption rate of EU funds.
In the coming days small-scale work is expected to start in the "Ionian Motorway," from And?rrion to Ioannina, northwestern Greece, following the payment of 25 million euros, an advance of the total agreed project value of 90 million euros, to the construction joint venture.
Small-scale work is currently under way in the Corinth-Patra section of the Olympia Road and in the Aegean motorway.
 More tax returns this year, higher ones, revenue secretary saysMore tax filers will get returns this year and higher ones, compared to last year, according to General Secretary of Revenue Charis Theocharis on Monday.
In comments to private ANT TV, Theocharis said the finance ministry's financial crimes squad (SDOE) would continue its checks, and he added that extending the filing for this year to August 30 would allow nearly 200,000 taxpayers to file their taxes for 2012.
 Hydrocarbon exploration contracts to be ratified by Parliament in SeptemberAt least two contracts for hydrocarbon exploration, in the Patras Gulf and the Ioannina field, will be brought before Parliament for ratification in September, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis said Monday.
Speaking to private Mega television, Maniatis said, "Parliament will learn, investigate and ratify the first state contracts with private contractors relating to how Greece's mineral assets are developed."
Following the signing, "the contractor will be ordered by the state to proceed to exploration. Therefore, we shall see developments within 2014, I believe," he added.
On the blackout on Santorini, one of Europe's most popular destinations that lost power for several days following a fire at a power station, Maniatis said the cause of the accident is unknown, but such a blackout will not happen again.
 Thessaloniki labour union appeals to PM over Hellenic Vehicle Industry's futureThe Thessaloniki Labour Centre (EKT) on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to support the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) and change the government's stance on the company's future, which might include closure or liquidation.
In a letter to Samaras, they also called on the Ministry of National Defence to repay its debt of close to 8 million euros, and asked that the capital increase in the Thessaloniki-based company be completed.
According to its site, ELVO is the only Greek industry to manufacture wheeled and tracked vehicles, including tanks; it directly employs 375 people.
The EKT representatives said Thessaloniki could not afford to lose the jobs, as unemployment in the area was 35 percent, and gave a list of recent company actions that could lead to more contracts with foreign countries that include Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Botswana and Libya.
"The company's operational costs were significantly reduced from 32.7 million euros in 2009 to 19.2 million euros in 2012, and an expected 16.5 mililon euros for 2013 and 15 million for 2014," the letter said. "All of these achievements follow the private investor Mytilineos Group, which abandoned the company after 10 years in management, leaving a wreck behind them."
 Hellas Online profits up in H1Hellas Online on Tuesday reported a pre-tax profit of 34,7 euros in January-June 2013, a 3.4 percent increase in comparison with the corresponding period last year.
HOL said its income fell 9.9 pct in the January-June period to 112.9 million euros from 122,7 million euros in the same period in 2012, reflecting a decline in end-call fees.
Operating costs, excluding amortizations, fell by 3.8 pct, reflecting an efficient cost-cutting programe implemented by the management.
EBITDA grew 34.7 million euros in the six-month period, from 33.6 million euros last year.
The company said its total LLU customer base totaled 509,287, up 4.5 pct from the same period last year, while its market share rose to 27.5 pct.
 Minister refutes press reports on obligatory earthquake insuranceEnvironment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis refuted press reports that Greece's lenders will request the introduction of obligatory insurance coverage for earthquakes.
"There is no commitment to the troika of lenders, nor an intention by the government, to proceed to such a regulation," Maniatis said.
 Car insurance premiums drop in 2012 by 4.68 pctThe average car insurance premiums dropped by 4.68 percent in 2012, compared to 2011, the Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies (EAEE) said on Monday, based on data compiled for the Statistical Review of Car Insurance.
Of 31 car insurance companies, which produced 1.56 billion euros, higher premiums were paid in 2012 by taxi owners (up by 7.16 percent), motorcycle renters (by 52.44 percent) and motorcycle owners (by 0.89 percent).
The average damage insurance production dropped by 2.82 percent in 2012 over 2011, while the average cost of damage payments for the whole sector dropped by 10.50 percent, to 972 euros from 1,086 euros in 2011 (which had dropped by 8.51 percent compared to 2010). The greatest reduction was registered in rented cars (by 56.03 percent).
In terms of damage frequency per 100 insured cars, the index dropped by 0.41 percent in 2012 compared to 2011 (from 10.75 percent in 2011 to 10.34 percent in 2012). The average damage cost, both paid and pending, was reduced by 2.79 percent in 2012, while the damage index for most car types and coverage dropped to 45.2 percent in 2012 over 60.9 percent in 2011.
 Greek stocks dive 3.33 pct on TuesdayStock prices on the Athens Stock Exchange suffered heavy losses on Tuesday for a fifth consecutive day, with the composite index losing 3.33 pct to end at 896.11 points, but recovering from a session low of 889.95 points. Turnover was 50.35 million euros, with the market's total capitalisation dropping 1.7 billion euros
The Large Cap index fell 3.04 pct, while the Mid Cap index dropped 2.73 pct.
Viochalco (-8.58 pct), Titan (-7.11 pct), PPC (-7.10 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (-6.29 pct), Intralot (-5.92 pct), Mytilinaios (-4.87 pct) and National Bank (-4.05 pct) were top losers among blue chip stocks, all of which recorded losses but OLP (+1.45 pct).
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 94 to 28, with another 19 issues unchanged.
Boutaris (20.00 pct), Yalco (19.63 pct), Forthnet (15.18 pct), Tiletypos (13.60 pct) and NEL (12.50 pct), were top gainers, while Parnassos (-25.70 pct), Selonda (-19.10 pct), Attica Holdings (-16.57 pct), ANEK (-10.59 pct) and Lazaridis (-10.00 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -5.09%
Personal & Household: -3.83%
Raw Materials: -4.91%
Travel & Leisure: -1.69%
Food & Beverages: -0.88%
Financial Services: -2.75%
The stocks with the highest turnover were Coca Cola HBC, OTE, PPC and Piraeus Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.50
Public Power Corp (PPC): 7.20
Coca Cola HBC: 20.10
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.30
National Bank of Greece: 2.84
Eurobank Properties : 7.10
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE Large Cap index was trading near its theoretical rate on the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover at a low 17.459 million euros.
Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,812 contracts worth 11.986 million euros, with 48,826 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 18,113 contracts worth 5.473 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank (3,440), followed by Piraeus Bank (3,331), OTE (2,257), National Bank (1,899), Eurobank (1,759), PPC (1,436), MIG (844), OPAP (502), GEK (415), Mytilineos (406), Intralot (306), Ellaktor (201), Motor Oil (243), Hellenic Exchanges (200), Hellenic Petroleum (147), Eurobank Properties (117), Coca Cola HBC (84), Titan (83), Viohalco (78), Frigoglass (73), Sidenor (69), Jumbo (62), OLP (46), Metka (44), Terna Energy (36), Corinth Pipeworks (11) and Folli Follie (11).
 New medical ward to be built at Sparti general hospitalThe construction of a new 19-bed medical ward at the general hospital in the city of Sparti, in the Peloponnese, has been included in the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA). The public expenditure has been budgeted at 2,785,200 euros.
The extension will be made to the hospital's existing building and will include, among other things, three patients' rooms containing four beds, two rooms for two beds and three single-bed rooms.
In addition, the basement will be extended by 742.38 square metres, to include the engine room and store rooms.
 International Festival of Traditional Dance in DionTen dance groups from Europe and one from America will participate in the 1st International Festival of Traditional Dance that will be held on 25-26 August in Vrontou and Dion in Pieria prefecture,northern Greece.
Dancers from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Finland, Latvia, Greece and Canada will perform in the two-day festival.
 Car crashes into bus stop; one killed, four injured (UPDATE)One person was killed and four were injured, including two minors, after a car crashed into a bus stop on Tuesday morning at Oreokastro, Thessaloniki.
The 20 year-old car driver lost control of his car and hit the five people, who were waiting for the bus.
A 63 year-old was killed and two women and two children were injured. The injured were tranferred to local hospitals; according to police the children bore slight injuries.
The car driver, who was not injured, was arrested. Police are conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.
 Wildfire in Megalopoli under partial controlA wildfire breaking out at about 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, northwest of the city of Megalopoli in the Peloponnese, spread rapidly and temporarily threatened houses on the outskirts of the city.
The Fire Brigade reacted immediately with 16 firemen and eight vehicles, while five firefighting aircraft and a firefighting helicopter also assisted in curbing the blaze.
Fire Brigade forces will remain at the location and aircraft were continuing to operate until the wildfire is extinguished completely.
The Public Power Corporation's lignite centre, a major power supply centre, is in no danger from the wildfire.
 Wildfire on Mt. Olympus drastically containedA water-bombing helicopter will again continue efforts with the first light on Wednesday morning to put out a fire burning in the north slope of Enipea ravine on Mt. Olympus. Rough terrain prevents land fire fighting forces from operating.
The fire has been drastically contained, but observers remain in the area watching out for any rekindling of the blaze.
 Another suspect arrested in weapon-carrying speedboat caseA 21-year old doing his army service was arrested on Tuesday in Karditsa for his alleged involvement in the confiscation of an inflatable dinghy found with a load of heavy weapons between Chios and Oinousses islands on July 30.
An arrest warrant against the suspect was issued by the Chios chief investigator and he will appear before the Chios prosecutor.
The case opened when coast guard officers conducting a a routine check on the dinghy found ammunition and heavy weaponry on board, including anti-tank mortar rounds, hand grenades, guns, bullets and explosive devices. The boat was headed toward Turkey when it was intercepted.
Police have arrested a number of individuals in Athens and Thessaloniki over the case.
 Bulgarian national arrested for possessing ancient coinsA 46 year-old Bulgarian national was arrested on Tuesday in Giannitsa, northwestern Greece, on suspicion of antiquity smuggling.
Police found on his possession two ancient coins, one dated to the Hellenistic era and the other to the Roman era.
The finds will be sent for examination to the relevant Antiquities Ephorate.
 Fair on WednesdayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday. Winds 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures between 17C and 35C. Fair in Athens with northerly 3-7 beaufort winds and temperatures between 24C and 33C. Local cloudiness in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 20C and 32C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Political protection to off-shore companies.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Off-shore companies uncontrolled.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: The fate of 9,820 civil servants to be judged on Tuesday in Maximos mansion (government's headquarters),
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Tax statements submitted until 30 August without penalty.
ESTIA: The four years of disaster.
ETHNOS: The criteria for the home foreclosures".
IMERISSIA: Three fronts 'close'.
KATHIMERINI: Hot September in schools.
LOGOS: Fever in Maximos mansion.
NAFTEMPORIKI: Red alert over the state revenues.
RIZOSPASTIS: Raise protection shield against the looting of people's homes.
TA NEA: Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Venizelos (government's vice president) and...the burning issues in 11 ministries.
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