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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-09-17

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

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

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 Issue No: 4462

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece will need six years to return to pre-crisis state, PM says
  • [02] Greek PM invites Putin to visit Greece
  • [03] Venizelos receives Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko
  • [04] ND deputy Bakoyianni holds meeting with Russian official Matviyenko
  • [05] Russia's Matviyenko gives press conference for Greek and Russian media
  • [06] FM addresses letter to Russian counterpart on 185th Greek-Russian diplomatic relations anniversary
  • [07] PM Samaras attends 'IFG 2013' awards ceremony
  • [08] PM Samaras receives European Commissioner Damanaki
  • [09] EU Commission on Greek PM's meetings in Brussels
  • [10] President Papoulias in Slovakia for two-day official visit
  • [11] Tsipras in Berlin; to address Die Linke main rally
  • [12] Venizelos to meet with Enrico Letta in Italy
  • [13] FinMin briefs premier on Eurogroup meeting
  • [14] Defence Min. issues statement following Geneva conf' on Syria
  • [15] A SYRIZA government will rehire those dismissed by mobility scheme, Milios tells ANA-MPA internet TV
  • [16] SYRIZA on German war reparations, Golden Dawn
  • [17] PASOK calls for joint actions vis-a-vis Golden Dawn
  • [18] Strategy of tension not a solution to the country's problems, Administrative Reform Minister Mitsotakis says
  • [19] DIMAR leader meets with schoolteachers union
  • [20] School guard meeting with Admin Reform minister ends
  • [21] School guards picket Admin Reform Ministry, meet with minister
  • [22] Struggle in education sector should intensify, KKE says
  • [23] Protests in education continue; peaceful rally in downtown Athens
  • [24] Draft bill liberalising inter-city bus transport presented by Chryssohoidis
  • [25] Macedonia-Thrace Minister Karaoglou meets with new German Consul General to Thessaloniki
  • [26] Culture Minister Panagiotopoulos meets with visiting UAE Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
  • [27] ND youth group hosts international conference
  • [28] Environment minister addresses 3rd Greek-Russian Social Forum
  • [29] Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry honours Russian official
  • [30] Viohalco announces plan to move its base to Belgium
  • [31] Three bidders in tender to sell TrainOSE
  • [32] Deputy development minister in Kenya for 1st Greek-Kenyan business forum
  • [33] Greek banks cut funding dependence from ELA in August
  • [34] German tour operator to push Greek holidays in 2014
  • [35] City of Thessaloniki makes an impression in Beijing
  • [36] Labour ministry on combatting undeclared labour
  • [37] Eurostat: Greek inflation at -1.0 pct in August
  • [38] Employment in the retail sector up 0.2 pct in Q2
  • [39] Greek stocks end slightly higher
  • [40] Greek bond market closing report
  • [41] ADEX closing report
  • [42] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [43] Boy trapped in cave rescued, rushed to hospital
  • [44] Body parts found in garbage bin belong to woman killed by grandson, police reveal
  • [45] New tremors jolts Amfiklia in the prefecture of Fthiotida
  • [46] Cloudy on Tuesday
  • [47] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Greece will need six years to return to pre-crisis state, PM says

    Greece will soon return to growth, taking about six years to recover and be restored to its pre-crisis state, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras predicted on Monday. The Greek premier was addressing a seminar organised by the "International Herald Tribune" at the Attalos Stoa in Athens.

    While admitting that the country was not yet "out of the woods", Samaras emphasised that sweeping changes had taken place in the last 14 months and the picture presented by Greece was now very different. He expressed hope that, by the end of the year, the country will have achieved a primary surplus.

    The Greek premier also referred at length to the pressures placed on democracy over the years by populism, noting that the "political extremes" were trying to capitalise on people's anguish.

    He noted that, in times of crisis when people became disillusioned, public debate could degenerate into "a chaotic polarisation":

    "In these challenging moments Democracy breeds its own enemy, which is basically Extremism.

    Extremism polarizes society, preventing any democratic compromise. It undermines its Unity and its Freedom simultaneously. It undermines public order and the rule of law," Samaras said, stressing that populism must be combatted in order to fight fear.

    The full text of the prime minister's speech is as follows:

    "Democracy under pressure" is a challenging topic, taking place in a challenging country, at a very challenging historical moment, indeed.

    Democracy as a word was coined in the classical tradition of the city of Athens.

    And Democracy was established, as the President said, as the rule of the people, in the name of the people, by the people, and also by the law, as opposed to tyranny.

    Democracy is not just a fixed set of governing rules. It is alive! It deals with all kinds of internal pressures. It opens up, as the President said, a public discussion and comes up with majority decisions binding for all, as well as elected representatives to implement those decisions. Therefore, Democracy produces its own legitimacy, as everybody accepts in advance any decision to be taken by public consent.

    Democracy is the framework within which different views and groups resolve their differences peacefully, preserving the unity of the society, cooperation among themselves and prosperity for all.

    Within the democratic rule of law, society is not fragmented by different groups, nor is it kept together by coercion.

    Societies don't have to sacrifice their unity to protect their freedom, or sacrifice their freedom to protect their unity. Freedom and security are simultaneously guaranteed in the context of a democratic rule of law.

    Normally, therefore, Democracy lives in pressure, deals with pressure and turns internal pressures to civil unity, to social progress and economic prosperity.

    But as it happens with all living organisms, there are cases when too much pressure is simply not easy to handle. This is the case when deep economic crises, deep social crises or foreign threats, turn public discussion into a chaotic polarization instead of a compromise accepted by all; when extensive disillusion generates public discontent, instead of democratic legitimacy.

    This is the case when Hope is lost for the many; when common ideals lose their appeal to the public and common perspectives lose their legitimacy.

    In these challenging moments Democracy breeds its own enemy, which is basically Extremism.

    Extremism polarizes society, preventing any democratic compromise. It undermines its Unity and its Freedom simultaneously. It undermines public order and the rule of law.

    Both extremism and populism talk "in the name of the People" only to destroy public interest. They both talk "in the name of the Nation", only to the detriment of national interests. They both talk "in the name of society as a whole", only to subjugate society to all kinds of tyrants, usually presented as "saviors".

    It has happened so many times in antiquity - in Athens and in Rome - ending up in the demise of society and of Democracy.

    It has happened so many times in our modern times, in post revolutionary France and in the German Republic of the Weimar.

    But it is not the "inescapable" fate of democracy to fall victim of Populism and Extremism. We have the opposite examples of the United States under Franklyn Delano Roosevelt in the thirties; of France under General De Gaul in the fifties; of modern Greece under Eleftherios Venizelos in early 20th century and also of Val?ry Giscard d'Estaing's friend, Konstantinos Karamanlis in Greece in the seventies.

    In all these cases, severe social crises did not end up with the demise of Democracy. Instead they were transformed to new democratic regimes, more socially just, more growth oriented, more inspiring for the people, protecting and restoring the dignity of the country as a whole.

    In all these cases Democracy found itself under severe pressure, but it managed to survive because it restored Hope to the People. And then it restored public order. And then it restored common prospects for all, dignity to the society and the sense of unity for the nation.

    How did Democracy accomplished all these miracles?

    I believe through sweeping reforms!

    What kind of reforms? By providing opportunities to all! Because there is no individual freedom and dignity, when people are deprived of opportunities to better the lives.

    But reforms take some time to be implemented. And even after their implementation, they usually take some time before they can bring tangible results, results beneficial to all.

    In the meantime, people have to believe in them. So the first thing of paramount importance in times of crisis is public perception.

    People have to believe in a better life before they can achieve one. "Democracies under pressure" have to change the public perceptions, before they can change the actual terms of life for the people. In other words, they must first restore Hope.

    And there can only be hope, if there is self-esteem. In other words, people can believe in their future only if they believe in themselves, individually and collectively. That is why Extremism tries to break society's moral, tries to make people lose faith in their future and in themselves.

    If people retain their self-confidence and their dignity, they will never accept tyrants as "saviors". So hope and self-confidence are necessary requirements of public discourse for a Democracy to survive under pressure.

    Lastly, Democracies should always fight against Extremism and Populism.

    Populism destroys public discourse. Extremism destroys social unity. And often it is difficult to discern Populism from Extremism. They normally generate each other and feed on each other.

    Sometimes populism penetrates easier into legitimate political parties. It then degenerates into extremism. And then extremism of one kind generates extremism of the opposite kind. Soon enough, society is polarized between different extremisms with all moderate forces getting squeezed in the middle.

    This is a nightmare scenario for any Democracy. This is why populism has to be resisted in every step of the way. And extremism has to be confronted in all different shapes and forms.

    You cannot restore people's belief in Democracy and in themselves unless moderate forces prevail on extremism.

    The problem is that, when you are fighting against it, you are not fighting with reasonable arguments, you are fighting with conspiracy theories and perverse perceptions. And when you are fighting against Extremism, you are not dealing with people's rationale, you are dealing with deep rooted fears.

    The only way to change wrong perceptions is to lead by example. When you are asking people to make necessary sacrifices, you must be the first to make sacrifices. When you ask people to work harder, make sure that you yourself work harder. When the prevailing perception is that no "big shot" is ever brought to justice, make sure that many big shots are brought to justice. When the public perception is that "nothing can really change", make sure that you implement changes everybody looked for, but nobody had thought as possible so far.

    And also, when people are in pain, make sure you feel their pain. Populists try to capitalize on their pain. Extremists try to exacerbate their pain. You have to make sure everybody understands that you feel their pain, you are trying to relieve it and to ameliorate it.

    At every moment, people have to know the Truth. Give it to them undisguised! But also make sure that you give them some Hope, some realistic Hope, tangible Hope to endure the hardships and believe that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Populists and extremists will try to make people disparate.

    This is exactly what we now experience in Greece...

    Democracy has to make sure that people remain hopeful.

    For some time people will not know what to believe in.

    You have to insist of two things: Truth and Hope!

    You can only win people's confidence eventually, if you keep telling them the truth and justify their hopes.

    So what is the recipe for a successful democratic response during those times of extreme pressures?

    Sweeping reforms, constant fight against Extremism and Populism of all kinds, rule by example, show compassion, change the perverse stereotypes and perceptions, fight deep rooted fears with Truth and Hope!

    Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

    During the last four years, my country, Greece, has been going through an unprecedented crisis in times of Peace.

    We are going through the sixth year, Mr. President, of a recession during which we lost about 25% of our GDP. This is truly unprecedented since the days of the Great Recession, in the 30's.

    We are currently having a record unemployment of almost 28% for the overall population and more than 60% for our youth under 25 years of age.

    So if you want to find out something about "Democracy under pressure", you know where to look today...

    On the other hand, Greece is not only "unique" in its hardships; it has also managed some remarkable achievements as well:

    We have accomplished about three quarters of a gigantic fiscal adjustment of about 15% of our current GDP in just four years. We are achieving a primary surplus hopefully by the end of this year and, if you disregard our deep and prolonged recession, we are running the largest cyclically adjusted primary surplus in Europe, as well as the largest structural surplus.

    With the help of our European partners, we have achieved the largest debt reduction and the most extensive debt restructuring ever.

    We have lowered our interest rates to one half, compared to the start of the crisis and our interest payments to one third.

    Within a year, we managed to bring our program on track. And we also managed to change radically the image of our country worldwide.

    A year ago, many abroad were talking openly about "Grexit", about a perspective exit of Greece from the euro.

    Now, everybody talks about "Grecovery", in other words, everybody expects a recovery in Greece as early as next year.

    To put it differently, last year we were the "weak link" of the European Union; the basic source of uncertainty about Europe's future and the future of our common currency. Now there is no uncertainty about the Euro any more. And Greece is not perceived as the "weak link" of Europe. Quite the opposite, if you are to take into account what is happening in our region in the Eastern Mediterranean, we are now rather perceived as a stronghold of stability and security. And we intend to improve on that also.

    We are not out of the woods yet. There are many problems we have to deal with, ladies and gentlemen.

    But in these last 14 months, we have changed the image of our country abroad, we have stabilized our country internally, we have implemented sweeping reforms, we have brought our program back on track, with no compromises as to the extent of our fiscal adjustment and our structural reforms.

    There is no question that there were serious mistakes at the first stage of our Program.

    There is no question that austerity alone cannot bring about adjustment effectively. One also needs growth supporting and growth enhancing balancing measures...

    But now we have put all that in the past: we corrected what could be corrected, and now we are going through the end of the recession. Once Growth starts and people feel its benefits, we will move out of the crisis altogether.

    According to most, we will not need a couple of decades, not a couple of generations, but only 6 years to get back at the pre-crisis levels of our standard of living and GDP.

    So recovery is "ante portas". Long term sustainable Growth will soon become our official exit from the crisis.

    These are good news for Greece. But they are also good news for the European Union. Because despite everything, all the hardships and some bitter words exchanged in the process, Greece's example will eventually stand as a European success, whether some like it or not like it.

    But this is not time to relax. There is a "blind spot" in all this effort, which is the critical time after the actual turn of the economy and before the improvement is felt by the large part of the society. This will be the last chance for Populism and

    Extremism to try to derail the whole process. And they will do- believe me- everything possible to undermine any achievement of this country...

    This is what makes these next few months crucial. They are not the most difficult; but they are the most politically sensitive.

    We believe in our People. We believe in the vast potential of this country. We believe in the potential of United Europe. We came thus far and we know we can make it to the end.

    Democracy can defeat its enemies. Based on Truth, Hope and Growth.

    These are the powerful antibodies against Extremism and Populism.

    Democracy can make it eventually. Even under extreme pressure.

    Democracy can come out stronger and better under pressure.

    I am confident this will be the lesson learned from Greece in the years to come.

    [02] Greek PM invites Putin to visit Greece

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Greece, during his meeting on Monday with Russia's Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, who is currently in Athens.

    Matviyenko presented Samaras with a personal message from Putin and, according to sources, referred to the strong interest expressed by Russian firms for investments in Greece, as well as the Russian government's intention to support such investments in every way.

    The Russian official said that Gazprom intends to participate in a new tender for the sale of Greece's public gas company DEPA, while expressing complaints over the stance adopted by the European Union on this issue. She noted that the EU had created problems over Gazprom coming to Greece when the company had activity throughout Europe.

    Matviyenko also referred to Russian interest in the privatisation of Greece's railway and said she appreciated the difficulties and the struggle faced by Greeks.

    "The decisions you have made demand courage," she was quoted as saying to Samaras, according to sources. The Greek premier, in turn, appeared confident that Greece was now in the "final stretch" of a difficult course.

    Samaras also raised the issue of his letter to Putin concerning the price of natural gas, with Matviyenko replying that there had been an immediate response, that two rounds of talks had already taken place, and that she hoped that an agreement will be reached after the third round.

    [03] Venizelos receives Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko

    Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with visiting Chairperson of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko ahead of the meeting between the Greek and Russian delegations at the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

    Referring to the agenda of the talks, Venizelos said in statements following the meeting that they will focus on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations including tourism, energy, investments and privatizations. Greece will utilize to the fullest its six-month term in the rotating EU Presidency in the first half of 2014 to upgrade relations with Russia on all levels, bilaterally and with the EU, he added.

    On her part, Matviyenko thanked Venizelos for the warm welcome and referred to the years she served as the Russian Ambassador to Athens, noting that since then Greece has a special place in her heart.

    Making a special reference to the 185th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations, she said that the long cooperation between the two countries is indicative of the ties linking the two peoples through centuries, noting that "the right conditions are present to take our relations to another level".

    Matviyenko said that relations between Russia and Greece constitute an essential factor of stability in the Balkans and the greater region and, referring to the forthcoming Greek EU Presidency, underlined the need for closer relations between the EU and Russia.

    Underlining Russian President Vladimir Putin's special interest in the relations with Greece, she said that he has given her a specific order to contribute to the reinforcement of bilateral relations on all levels.

    Matviyenko said that the Russian side is very pleased with the relations between the two foreign ministries and in this context she conveyed the greetings of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of his meeting with the Greek foreign minister in the context of the UN General Assembly in New York.

    [04] ND deputy Bakoyianni holds meeting with Russian official Matviyenko

    New Democracy party deputy Dora Bakoyianni met with Russia's Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, who is currently in Athens

    The meeting focused on the report on EU-Russia relations. They also referred to developments in Syria, with Bakoyianni stressing that a political solution must be found and Matviyenko pointing out to her that her address at the Council of Europe "was very good".

    Bakoyianni called on Matviyenko to convey her congratulations to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the initiative with which the worse was averted in Syria.

    Matviyenko also spoke of Russian companies' investment interest in Greece. "We want to invest in your country," she reportedly told Bakoyianni.

    [05] Russia's Matviyenko gives press conference for Greek and Russian media

    Russia's Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, heading a delegation of the Russian Federation's Council that is in Athens since Sunday, speaking at a press conference for Greek and Russian media on Monday afternoon, expressed her great satisfaction over "constructive talks and negotiations" she held with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and government vice president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    The main issues Matviyenko referred to were Russian investments in Greece, GAZPROM's participation in further privatisations procedures, the interest by Russian railways in a unified TrainOSE and Thessaloniki port tendering package, the issue of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline and entry permits for Russian visitors to Greece.

    Matviyenko, stressing that an "inaccurate rendering" exists on the climate of relations between the two governments, as she observes in the Greek press, desired mainly to reassure that Russia's political leadership supports in every way the participation of Russian businesses, both big and small, in investment plans in Greece and all the necessary formal and informal decisions have been taken.

    Referring in particular to GAZPROM and DEPA, she said that the Russian firm's "interest in this investment has been expressed,, however it believes that the terms by which this tendering was carried out were not acceptable. The Greek side, at political level in particular realised the objections and the problems GAZPROM raised regarding the terms, the transparency of the tendering's holding. However, I guess, the time was not enough for all these to obtain a legal clear formulation in a document for the concerns and reservations of GAZPROM to be subdued".

    She added that "if from now on the terms for holding the tendering are on the basis of demands for fair international tendering GAZPROM has expressed its readiness to participate in further privatisations procedures".

    She went on to say that "we desire the Greek side to be the one that will take the final decision. Meaning, after everything has been agreed on the holding terms with the EU and the European Commission, the rest of the negotiating and the final decision to be in the hands of the Greek government as sovereign", explaining that the Russian side understands "that Greece is a part of the EU, that there must be an agreement on the terms that must not be contradictory between the one or the other international privatisation tender with the terms set by the EU, however the views and concerns of enterprises participating in the international tender must be taken into consideration".

    "We believe that the terms must be secified from the start in a legal document, we do not demand as Russian enterprises some special privileges but provenly transparent terms and participation in the tender on equal terms," Matviyenko noted.

    [06] FM addresses letter to Russian counterpart on 185th Greek-Russian diplomatic relations anniversary

    Government vice president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos addressed a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the occasion of the 185th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Greece and Russia.

    Venizelos stressed in his letter that "the long and deep bonds of friendship and confidence linking our two peoples constitute the strong base on which the multifaceted relations of cooperation were forged, on bilateral and multilateral level, between our two countries and created a relation of longstanding spiritual and cultural affinity".

    He further said that Greece and Russia are countries having the same religion and many common cultural and social values, with many common pages of glory as well as sacrifices.

    Venizelos also stressed that "the scheduled for 2016 Year of Greece in Russia and Year of Russia in Greece is also expected to play a considerable role in our relations, that will provide the two countries and their peoples with the opportunity for better acquaintance and closer cooperation in a variety of sectors, such as those of culture, trade, education, economy, the media and technology".

    [07] PM Samaras attends 'IFG 2013' awards ceremony

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, addressing the event for the IFG 2013 Awards at the Acropolis Museum on Monday evening, focused on the distinguished Greeks who "promote the image of Greece internationally that inspires respect all over the world".

    It regards the awarding of distinguished Greeks living permanently away from home and as the prime minister said at the ceremony "worthy children of the country are being awarded, who are successful in all the widths and breadths of the planet".

    He further said that "what they have in common is that they are carrying Greece in their hearts" and promote its image internationally, something "that inspires respect all over the world".

    IFG Greece president Aspasia Leventi said that these awards are given every three years to distinguished Greeks who promote Greece worldwide and thanked the ELTA for the issuing of a relevant commemorative series of postage stamps. "Modern Greece is creative and militant, it believes in its strength and looks at the future with optimism," Leventi said.

    ELTA president Kostis Melachrinos said that Greece has a considerable present, future and hope and we are all working in this direction.

    Six awards were given at the ceremony:

    -In the Category "Letters and Arts" to Vaggelis Papathanasiou

    -In the Category "Science" to Aristidis Patrinos

    -In the Category "Entrepreneurship" to Andreas Liveris

    -In the Category "Theatre and Cinema" to James Yiannopoulos

    -In the Category "Media" to Nikos Aliagas and

    -In the Category "Humanitarian Foundations" to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

    [08] PM Samaras receives European Commissioner Damanaki

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday received Greek European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, who is visiting Athens. Emerging from the meeting, Damanaki stressed that there were still difficulties that Greece must work to overcome, so that there might be growth and new jobs.

    "Greece has made significant progress. We have a primary surplus. But we still have difficulties to which we must respond positively in order to have growth and new jobs. This is the great wager," she said.

    The commissioner said she had come to hear the views of the Greek government ahead of the prime minister's crucial high-level meetings in Brussels.

    Asked whether Greece would send a message that there can be no further austerity measures, Damanaki said that Samaras will be clear:

    "The progress and the sacrifices made are acknowledged. There are many challenges ahead of us and we must all react positively," she added.

    [09] EU Commission on Greek PM's meetings in Brussels

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)

    The meeting between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will focus on the latest political and economic developments in Greece and the upcoming Greek EU presidency in the first half of 2014, European Commission spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said on Monday.

    Samaras is due to meet Barroso on Tuesday, when he visits Brussels. The Greek premier will begin his visit by meeting European Parliament President Martin Schulz at noon (Greek time), followed by a joint press conference with Schulz at 12:30 p.m.

    He will then head to the European Commission for his meeting with Barroso, which will be followed by a joint press conference at 3:45 p.m. Greek time.

    The Greek premier is next scheduled to meeting European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at 4:00 p.m. Greek time and also European Commission Vice-president and Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia.

    [10] President Papoulias in Slovakia for two-day official visit

    Greek President Karolos Papoulias met with his Slovak counterpart Ivan Gasparovic on Monday, launching his two-day official visit to Slovakia.

    In joint statements made after the meeting, the Slovak president praised Greece's efforts for exiting the crisis, saying that "Greece has our full support". He added, however, that it was difficult to persuade Slovenians to support Greece when they are in worse financial straits, while stressing that EU policies should show solidarity and support.

    On his part, Papoulias said that they discussed the prospects of the European plan - as they are being shaped under the pressure of the economic crisis and in the context of the Greek EU Presidency in the first half of 2014 - the EU integration of the Western Balkan states and European policy on good neighborly relations.

    They also discussed the economic situation in Europe and in the two countries, as well as developments in Egypt and Syria, with President Papoulias noting that the international community should act with self-restraint. "The crisis in Syria is political and needs a political solution by the Syrian people," he said. Papoulias also briefed his counterpart on the course of Greek foreign policy issues and developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Later, the Greek President met with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and visited Bratislava Mayor Milan Ftacnik.

    At noon, he attended a business forum hosted by entrepreneurs from both countries. Keynote speaker Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis underlined the positive developments in the Greek economy and the favourable investment environment that is being created.

    Later in the evening, Papoulias and the Greek delegation will attend a formal dinner hosted by the Slovak President in honour of his Greek counterpart.

    His official visit will be wrapped up on Tuesday after meeting with the country's parliament president and following a visit to the city of Nitra and its monument for Christian missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius, who arrived in Slovakia 1,150 years ago.

    [11] Tsipras in Berlin; to address Die Linke main rally

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras will be one of the speakers at the main rally of the German party Die Linke on Thursday in Berlin.

    The main opposition leader will also meet with European Central Bank member of the executive board Joerg Asmussen. According to SYRIZA sources, Tsipras will touch upon the issue of the return of the profits of the Greek bonds acquisition issue, something that ECB has declined to do today.

    Tsipras' final schedule in Berlin has not been finalised yet.

    [12] Venizelos to meet with Enrico Letta in Italy

    Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will pay an official visit to Italy on September 16 and 17, his office announced.

    On Tuesday, Venizelos will hold separate meetings with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and with European Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi.

    Issues regarding the developments in the wider area, European cooperation issues and the course of the Greek-Italian bilateral relations are on Venizelos' agenda.

    [13] FinMin briefs premier on Eurogroup meeting

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday to brief him on the Eurogroup meeting in Lithuania over the weekend.

    Stournaras declined to comment over press reports according to which Samaras, in his meeting on Tuesday with Brussels officials, will request that no new measures be introduced. The Finance minister did reject claims that there was pressure from abroad to Greece to take new fiscal measures.

    [14] Defence Min. issues statement following Geneva conf' on Syria

    "The Geneva Conference agreement on Syria that sets aside a military solution, reaffirms Greece's stance which from the first minute supported a political solution", Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos noted on Monday.

    Moreover, he said that "those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, which comprises a war crime and a crime against humanity, must be found and be punished".

    Avramopoulos added that "I reiterated this stance during the latest European Union Defence Ministers' meeting in Vilnius on the common defence and security policy in Europe, with a focus on the Syria conflict".

    [15] A SYRIZA government will rehire those dismissed by mobility scheme, Milios tells ANA-MPA internet TV

    The intention of a government led by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) will be to rehire those left jobless by the public-sector 'mobility' scheme, SYRIZA head of economic policy Yiannis Milios said in an audio interview with the ANA-MPA on Monday.

    The SYRIZA party official had been asked to clarify a statement made by main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who said that those illegally dismissed will be given their jobs back.

    "We will examine every case. Our intention is to rehire them because we have a very bad public sector that needs restructuring and we need to reinforce services for social welfare, health, education and others," he said.

    A SYRIZA government will also stop cuts to wages and pensions and the dismantling of the social state, creating a protective shield for those marginalised by austerity policies, Milios added.

    "We cannot restore incomes to the same level as in 2009 but we must first of all restore the lowest incomes, in other words the minimum wage, to 751 euros [per month]. This is the abolition of the memorandum," he said.

    Questioned about the cost of the measures announced by SYRIZA, Milios denied that the party was promising "everything to everyone":

    "On the contrary, we are stating the self-evident; that we need public hospitals, a programme for restructuring the economy and production, a change of course that will stop austerity and lead to a programme of social and economic restructuring," he said.

    Referring to the policies adopted by Germany and the EU, Milios said that they intended to link a third bailout memorandum to further financial aid.

    "We say that the cycle of recession and excessive debt is a vicious circle, which only benefits a small oligarchy through a drastic redistribution of income and power. The majority of the Greek people cannot cope with this and, therefore, the situation must change," the party official underlined.

    Commenting on Tuesday's visit to Brussels by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Milios stressed that "the prime minister and the government are sitting on the same side of the table as the creditors. We should not, therefore, expect that the prime minister will conduct any kind of negotiation."

    [16] SYRIZA on German war reparations, Golden Dawn

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) stressed that it will continue to demand war reparations from Germany, in an unofficial 'note' issued by the party on Monday. This also pointed out that SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is the only Greek political leader to have raised the issue in Berlin.

    The note was issued in response to reports concerning statements on the issue made by the German politician Bernd Riexinger, a senior member of the German leftist party Die Linke, on which Tsipras was questioned during his press conference in Thessaloniki.

    According to SYRIZA, the demand that Germany pay reparations for the forced occupation loan extracted from Greece by the Nazi regime in WWII "concerns the German government and political forces in Greece, which must form a "common front" to back the demand.

    Tsipras criticised the coalition government for negligence and for its failure to raise the matter in Berlin, adding that SYRIZA will seek to enlist the aid of Greeks and foreigners in a campaign to demand compensation if it is elected to power.

    Concerning Die Linke's position on the issue, SYRIZA noted that this was outlined in a interview given by Riexinger to the Greek newspaper 'Efimerida ton Syntakton' and was supportive of a demand for compensation, while the report in the German newspaper "was unrelated to the essence of Rieixinger's interview". The party appeared confident that the German Left, especially Die Linke, would not oppose justified Greek demands.

    In another announcement, SYRIZA also repeated accusations that tolerance on the part of the police and political support from the "memorandum bloc" within the New Democracy party had led to an escalation of provocative actions by the ultra-right-wing Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi).

    Among others, it pointed to what it called "provocative silence" on the part of the government to an attack against Communist Party members by GD supporters and the latest references by former minister Vyron Polydoras to possible cooperation between ND and Golden Dawn, saying these "reveal the real plans of ND's leadership".

    [17] PASOK calls for joint actions vis-a-vis Golden Dawn

    The PASOK party's Parliamentary Group secretary general Panayiotis Rigas addressed a letter to Parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis, calling for the immediate convening of the secretaries of the Parliamentary Groups of the "constitutional arc" parties for "joint actions to be taken to confront Golden Dawn's criminal actions."

    [18] Strategy of tension not a solution to the country's problems, Administrative Reform Minister Mitsotakis says

    Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday underlined that he is always open to dialogue but not under a regime of abuse and while sit-in protests in public buildings were underway.

    He made the comment after meeting with a delegation of school guards affected by the public sector employee "mobility scheme," who had earlier picketed the ministry and been confronted by riot police, who resorted to using teargas to force the school guards to leave the premises of the ministry.

    Referring to the incidents with the riot police and the use of chemicals, Mitsotakis said that the strategy of tension, that sometimes leads to the use of force, is not a solution to the problems the country is faced with. The meeting between Mitsotakis and the protesters' representatives was held in a good atmosphere, ministry sources said.

    As regards the meeting itself, Mitsotakis said that he listened carefully to their demands and explained in detail the logic behind the "mobility scheme" in the public sector. He said that the ministry's leadership wants dialogue with the sectors involved to continue in a fruitful and constructive manner.

    [19] DIMAR leader meets with schoolteachers union

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis met on Monday with representatives of the Schoolteachers Federation (DOE) and was briefed on their mobilisations and their demands.

    The DIMAR leader expressed his belief that the schools must stay open and that the teachers must think of social repercussions of mobilisations, but he declined to take sides, saying that nobody can intervene in union decisions.

    On his part, DOE president Haralambos Kokkinos said that the schoolteachers mobilisations' aim is to "shake things up" in order for the government to understand that it must invest in education to overcome the crisis.

    [20] School guard meeting with Admin Reform minister ends

    A meeting between the Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and a delegation of school guards was completed on Monday without any changes or statements.

    Earlier in the day the school guards had picketed the ministry and a confrontation with riot police created tension until the guards left the premises of the ministry. Both sides remained on the street, forcing the closing down of Vassilissis Sofias Avenue from Syntagma Square to the Hilton hotel area.

    The school guards have been placed under a civil sector mobility plan that seeks to reduce civil service staff either through transfers to cover needs elsewhere or through gradual layoffs.

    According to ministry sources, the meeting went well but the minister could not promise a change in their status, from suspension on their way to being laid off to transfers in other services. He committed to updating them when specific data is available.

    [21] School guards picket Admin Reform Ministry, meet with minister

    A confrontation between school guards and riot police outside the Administrative Reform Ministry on Monday was ended after the use of chemicals by police and an agreement by Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to meet with a delegation of school guards at the ministry.

    The school guards are protesting their inclusion in the mobility scheme, a programme to reduce the size of the civil sector by transferring personnel to cover shortages or by gradually laying them off.

    They had picketed at the entrance of the ministry on Vassilisis Sofias, which has been shut down to traffic from Syntagma to the Hilton Hotel since early Friday morning. Picketers, who were pushed out of the ministry's grounds, remain on the street and riot police is still in the area.

    [22] Struggle in education sector should intensify, KKE says

    The government's policy for a "new, more unfair school" and for public sector employee "mobility" and layoffs affecting teachers and other workers, which goes hand-in-hand with government high-handedness, should be met by a "wall" of protesting teachers, parents and schoolchildren, opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE) underlined on Monday.

    The struggle in education should intensify with the participation of all workers, a KKE announcement underlined.

    [23] Protests in education continue; peaceful rally in downtown Athens

    Participation was high on the first day of a five-day strike launched on Monday by the federation of secondary education school teachers OLME in protest, among others, to the public sector employee "mobility scheme".

    According to education ministry officials, participation was as high as 70-75 pct, while local associations of secondary education teachers ELME estimated participation at 90 pct.

    As regards private school teachers, participation reached 50 pct, the highest percentage recorded since 2009, trade unionist Giorgos Christopoulos told ANA-MPA. On its part, the association of private school owners announced that no private school was closed.

    Pupils have staged sit-ins at two high schools in the district of Petroupolis and one in Ilion, as well as in two vocational training high schools in Ilioupolis and Ellinikon, all in the region of Attica.

    Meanwhile, roughly 40,000 people participated in a protest rally held earlier on Monday in downtown Athens, according to organizers. The peaceful protest march from the Propylea to the parliament building, was joined by teachers, members of leftist youth movements, university student associations and trade union representatives.

    The secondary education teachers will continue their industrial action until Friday when they will reassess their stance. The private school teachers' strike ends on Tuesday, while elementary public school teachers will hold a 48-hour strike on September 18-19.

    [24] Draft bill liberalising inter-city bus transport presented by Chryssohoidis

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis on Monday promised lower fares, more justice and better competition through liberalized intercity bus transport services.

    In a press conference, Chryssohoidis outlined the main clauses of the relevant draft bill to be debated in parliament on Tuesday.

    The draft bill seeks to introduce more effectively organized intercity bus services, improved services to passengers, lower fares in the context of healthy competition, ensure that transport needs will be met, transparency in the concessions and updated institutional framework for the transport sector.

    The bill significantly relaxes current rules and restrictions, while creating three classes of bus routes. These include a subsidised route for lines with low passenger traffic, such as islands. that cannot be profitably run without such assistance, where operators will have exclusive rights to run the service. A second category will be routes awarded by tender that are not subsidised but do give operators exclusive rights and the third are routes with heavy passenger traffic, where any firm complying with specifications can offer transport services provided it does not engage in unfair competition.

    Under the new rules, those providing intercity coach transport will be free to decide the form of company their firm will have, in order to allow the founding of economically viable enterprises in line with market rules.

    The new intercity bus market will be regulated by an independent authority that will decide which bus routes will receive subsidies and the size of these subsidies, which routes will have exclusive operating rights, organise the rules of tenders, set maximum fares and supervise the 'free competition' routes and the terms of operation for these.

    The concessions to operate routes will be for a minimum of eight and maximum of 10 years, with an option to extend by up to 50 percent.

    The Regulatory Authority for Passenger Transport (RAEM) is a new tool for the operation of democracy, for social justice and solidarity, Chryssohoidis said, noting that it will have zero cost considering that will be staffed by public sector employees transferred in the context of the "mobility scheme".

    The liberalisation process is due to be completed by 2015 but the possibility of later deadline is not being ruled out.

    Other clauses in the draft bill concern tougher penalties (felony charges) for stealing or damaging railway material, third party investments in the national railway infrastructure, licenses for special transport work issued to taxi owners and regulations for the operation of natural gas vehicle refueling stations.

    Chryssohoidis said that an effort is being made to avoid a fare increase of 25 pct for urban-area buses, while criticising fare-dodging as antisocial behaviour that must be stamped out. The problem is expected to be solved through the introduction of the electronic ticket.

    As regards the resumption of major public works in the country, the minister said that this is a top priority, noting that economic growth passes through employment.

    [25] Macedonia-Thrace Minister Karaoglou meets with new German Consul General to Thessaloniki

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Theodoros Karaoglou on Monday received the new German Consul General to Thessaloniki Ingo von Voss, who underlined that "Greece can exit the crisis and become much stronger".

    The meeting focused on economic developments and improving the investment environment in northern Greece.

    Karaoglou outlined ministry initiatives aimed at utilizing manpower in the region and at turning Macedonia and Thrace into a trade and investment center.

    On his part, the German consul general said that northern Greece has a lively history, a dynamic present and a promising future.

    [26] Culture Minister Panagiotopoulos meets with visiting UAE Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

    Culture & Sports Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos on Monday met with visiting United Arab Emirates Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and discussed strategic bilateral cooperation in the sector of culture.

    They decided, among others, to host an exhibition in Abu Dhabi on "Byzantium and Arabs", explored the potential for a permanent presence of the New Museum of the Acropolis in the UAE and also agreed on closer cooperation with Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island and on opening modern Greek art exhibitions in the UAE.

    The UAE minister of state, who was visiting Athens for the preparation of the Greece-UAE Joint Ministerial Committee, extended a formal invitation to Panagiotopoulos to visit his country. They also agreed that a UAE team of experts will visit Greece soon to further specify the decisions reached.

    The meetings were attended by UAE Deputy Finance Minister Khalid Ghanim Al-Ghaith and UAE Ambassador to Athens Abdelhadi Abdelwahid Alkhajah.

    [27] ND youth group hosts international conference

    Ten delegations from nine countries in southern Europe and the Mediterranean attended the two-day "Work on it, Europe!" international youth conference on "Common Challenges for the youth in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", addressed by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    The first day of the conference hosted by New Democracy (ND) youth group ONNED ended on Friday in Athens with the signature of a declaration for joint action aimed at boosting youth employment in the region. A roundtable discussion was held on Saturday, the second day of the conference.

    Financial News

    [28] Environment minister addresses 3rd Greek-Russian Social Forum

    Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis, addressing the 3rd Greek-Russian Social Forum on Monday evening, expressed the hope that the negotiation on the renewal of the contract for the supply of natural gas from Russia will be completed as soon as possible, with mutual benefit and in a spirit of mutual understanding, good faith and cooperation.

    The Greek side is claiming in the framework of the negotiation a reduction in the price for the procurement of natural gas, in the spirit of similar reductions that have taken place in other European countries.

    Maniatis termed Russia a strategic supplier of Greece's national energy system with natural gas and stressed that the Russian Federation constitutes a traditional energy partner of strategic importance, not only of Greece, but of the entire European Union, in the framework of the diversification of energy transit paths and sources, with the aim of strengthening energy supply safety.

    The minister also said that Greece is gradually turning into a strong hub in the Southern Energy Corridor and in the wider Euro-Mediterranean sector and the Black Sea-Caspian region.

    Lastly, Maniatis raised the issue of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, stressing that Greece always believes in the plan for its promotion which, apart from its evident economic, energy and environmental benefits, is also a project of European importance.

    [29] Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry honours Russian official

    The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVEA) on Monday honoured Russia's Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, on the occasion of her official visit to Greece, at a special event held in the Chamber's "Ermis" amphitheatre in the presence of Greek Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis.

    EVEA president Constantine Mihalos delivered to Matviyenko EVEA's distinguished personality medal for her longstanding contribution to the development of the two countries' political and economic relations.

    Mihalos said during the ceremony, that "Greek-Russian friendship not only exists but can be deepened even more".

    He also said the further development of Greek-Russian relations in this difficult period of the economic crisis is necessary for Greece maybe even more than in any other time.

    Matviyenko said that this is precisely the purpose of her visit to Greece. "The strengthening of the interstate relations between Russia and Greece constitutes a priority for Russia and the purpose of my visit to Greece, that is taking place at the order of President Vladimir Putin, is to confirm this policy of my country. The consolidation and further strengthening of the two countries' relations constitutes a target of strategic importance, a necessary precondition in any case for peace and stability in the Balkans and the wider region of southeastern Europe".

    Greek Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis said on his part that "we see in the person of Mrs. Matviyenko a very good friend of Greece". He stressed the Greek government's intention to play a leading role for the simplification of procedures for the issuing of visas while, referring to investment opportunities in Greece and to privatisations, he said that all consultations take place with absolute transparency and with growth as the criterion. He concluded by saying that there is political stability and normalcy in Greece, necessary preconditions for the inflow of foreign capital and investments.

    [30] Viohalco announces plan to move its base to Belgium

    Viohalco, Greece's biggest metals group, on Monday announced plans to move its base and the listig of its shares to Belgium.

    A group statement said the boards of Viohalco Hellenic Steel and Aluminium Industry SA and Viohalco SA -a holding company based in Belgium- agreed to start a process of a cross-border merger under which the second company will absorb the first one. Viohalco said its subsidiary's shares were traded on the Euronext stock market in Brussels.

    "This restructuring aims at strengthening Viohalco's capital structure (and achieving) a more direct access to international capital markets," the statement said. Viohalco is one of Greece's most historic metals groups. It has several subsidiaries listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Reactions

    The fact that more and more industries decided or examine the possibility of moving their base abroad in the last 12 months should rung an alarm bell to the government's economic team and the political world in general, the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEB) said on Monday.

    Commenting on Viohalco's decision to move its base to Belgium, SEB supported the company's decision while it criticized the government's policy saying: "The government is working for a whole year with the issue of VAT on restaurants while at the same time it ignored the issue of special consumption taxes on energy". SEB said it was "positive that there were enterprises with international range, which have the ability to stand in international markets and through access in international capital markets to deal with the adverse conditions created in Greece by the bankruptcy of the public sector. It is also positive the fact that Viohalco's decision does not harm domestic production, employment and exports by Greek production units. It is time for the government to look with more determination into the vital problems facing the Greek industry, lack of liquidity, overtaxation, excessive energy costs and counter-investment environment."

    [31] Three bidders in tender to sell TrainOSE

    Greek authorities on Monday said that three investment groups expressed formal interest in a tender to buy 100 pct of TrainOSE.

    The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, in a statement said that the state's advisors will assess the submitted expressions of interest ahead of the second phase of the tender. The Fund said the exploitation of TrainOSE will contribute to the upgrading and development of passenger and cargo services, creating synergies between the country's infrastructure and improving the access of passengers and products in the rest of Europe.

    [32] Deputy development minister in Kenya for 1st Greek-Kenyan business forum

    Greece's Deputy Development Minister Athanassios Skordas on Monday stressed that Greek businesses are ready to lend their experience and skills to help Kenya realise its strategic development plans, addressing the first Greek-Kenyan Business Forum taking place in Nairobi.

    He noted that Greek enterprises could make contributions in the energy sector, in building infrastructure, construction, health and farming and that the volume of bilateral trade was very small and could be greatly increased.

    "Our economies are complementary and we can and should exploit the comparative advantages they offer. There is huge potential for developing bilateral trade," he said, adding that Kenya's market could absorb more Greek products.

    He also pointed to potential opportunities for investment, highlighting Greece's position as a "gateway to Europe" and the role of Piraeus port as a hub for international trade capable of receiving even the largest cargo vessels, with competitive rates for docking and storage.

    Skordas said that the business people accompanying the Greek mission are seriously interested in long-term cooperation with Kenya but also in third countries where Greece and Kenya have a notable presence.

    [33] Greek banks cut funding dependence from ELA in August

    Greek banks cut their dependence from the European Central Bank's funding mechanisms and the Emergency Lending Assistance of the Bank of Greece in August.

    A report by the country's central bank said that Greek banks drained liquidity worth 74.13 billion euros from both mechanisms in August, down from 78.04 billion euros in July. Credit institutions drained 11.7 billion euros from ELA in August, down from 16 billion euros in July, while their dependence from the European Central Bank rose slightly to 62.43 billion euros in August, from 62.04 billion in July.

    The report noted that Greek banks took advantage from EFSF's bonds which they had received as part of their recapitalization programe.

    [34] German tour operator to push Greek holidays in 2014

    TUI plans to raise by 300,000 the number of visitors to Greece next year, raising the total number of tourists travelling to Greece to more than 2.0 million euros, Peter Long, chief executive of the German tour operator said on Monday.

    Speaking during a visit to Athens, Long made optimistic forecasts over the country's tourism trend in 2014.

    George Telonis, president of travel agents in Greece (HATTA), speaking to ANA-MPA said that such forecasts would influence other major players in the market to direct more tourism to Greece. He underlined that a political turmoil in Egypt was expected to increase the number of tourists travelling to Greece.

    TUI acknowledged the improving economic climate in the country and its impact on foreign markets, Telonis said, adding that Greece needs to improve its infrastructure to meet an expected increase in tourism next year.

    [35] City of Thessaloniki makes an impression in Beijing

    A tourist stand promoting the city of Thessaloniki was placed in Beijing's busiest street for five days, Thessaloniki advisor on tourism and international relations Spyros Pegas told ANA-MPA on Monday.

    Chinese pedestrians picked up brochures on the city's activities and sites and on the European Youth Capital 2014, which Thessaloniki is hosting.

    Pegas, who was in Beijing to attend the World Tourism Cities Federation Forum, said that the Chinese were mostly impressed with the fact that Thessaloniki has targeted and opened relations in specific markets - such as Israel, Turkey, Russia and the Balkans overall - and that we are trying to involve residents in creating a more welcoming city."

    Thessaloniki was inducted in the Beijing-based Federation of Cities of Global Tourism in June 2013, with the official ceremony held on September 12. The 55 Federation members include Washington, DC, London and Sofia, among other cities.

    One of the activities that attracted most interest at the forum was the sleepover in museums programme for young children, free themed tours and free weekend entry at museums, summer concerts held on archaeological sites that are normally not open to the public, and language courses (Russian, English and Turkish) for tourism professionals offered at the town hall.

    [36] Labour ministry on combatting undeclared labour

    The joint auditing delegations of the Labour Inspection Agency (SEPE), the Social Insurance Foundation's (IKA) Special Insurance Control Service (EYPEA) and the Economic Police carried out checks at 340 businesses for the detection of undeclared labour, on Sunday, the first day of the measure's implementation that anticipates new high fines for cases of undeclared and uninsured labour.

    The checks led to the detection of 75 uninsured employees and fines totalling at least 320,000 euros were imposed.

    Labour ministry officials believe that "the employers' compliance tendency is appearing clearly now, also under the threat of the very high fines, as well as the changing of a considerable part of 'black' labour into insured and legal jobs" and stress that "during the past days alone, according to the data of the 'ERGANI' informatics system, September's balance of hirings is positive by 17,858 hirings".

    The ministry's leadership also points out that "it has become understood by all now and the employers in particular who, despite the repeated warnings of the past days did not comply, that the Labour ministry's auditing services are not joking".

    [37] Eurostat: Greek inflation at -1.0 pct in August

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V.Demiris)

    Greece remained in a deflation zone in August, the inflation rate falling to -1.0 pct in the month from -0.5 pct in July, Eurostat said on Monday.

    The EU executive's statistics service, in a report published here, said that the inflation rate in the eurozone eased to 1.3 pct in August from 1.6 pct in July and 2.6 pct in August 2012. In the EU, the inflation rate eased to 1.5 pct from 1.7 pct in July and 2.7 pct in August 2013.

    Bulgaria (-0.7 pct) and Latvia (-0.1 pct) recorded the lowest inflation rates after Greece, while Estonia (3.6 pct), Holland (2.8 pct) and Romania (2.6 pct) recorded the highest inflation rates in August.

    The inflation rate fell in 24 member states and remained unchanged in three. There were no figures available for the UK.

    [38] Employment in the retail sector up 0.2 pct in Q2

    The employment index in the retail sector grew 0.2 pct in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the corresponding period last year, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to a 2.2 pct increase in the food and fuel stores index and a 3.6 pct decline in the other stores index. The index was up 0.6 pct in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of 2013.

    [39] Greek stocks end slightly higher

    Greek stocks ended slightly higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, as the market found support in selective buying activity for blue chip stocks such as OTE, Piraeus Bank and Hellenic Petroleum, while Viohalco came under strong pressure following the announcement of plans to transfer its base to Belgium. The composite index of the market rose 0.18 pct to end at 993.23 points, off the day's highs of 997.72 points. Turnover remained a low 42.58 million euros.

    The Large Cap index ended up 0.06 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.65 pct higher. Athens Water (4.75 pct), Piraeus Bank (2.36 pct) and Jumbo (2.30 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Viohalco (7.62 pct), MIG (4.07 pct) and Motor Oil (1.96 pct) suffered losses. The Technology (3.32 pct), Personal Products (2.28 pct) and Commerce (1.90 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while

    Industrial Products (3.10 pct), Health (0.71 pct) and Raw Materials (0.68 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 65 to 53 with another 31 issues unchanged. Paperpack (29.45 pct), Altec (17.14 pct) and Kreka (14.68 pct) were top gainers, while Pegasus (20 pct), Yalco (19.83 pct) and AXON Holdings (19.05 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -3.10%

    Commercial: +1.90%

    Construction: -0.61%

    Oil & Gas: +0.18%

    Personal & Household: +2.28%

    Raw Materials: -0.68%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.03%

    Technology: +3.23%

    Telecoms: +1.59%

    Banks: -0.28%

    Food & Beverages: -0.11%

    Health: -0.71%

    Utilities: +0.91%

    Financial Services: -0.39%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, Folli Follie, OPAP, OTE and EYDAP.

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.562

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 7.90

    Coca Cola HBC: 23.24

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.64

    National Bank of Greece: 3.11

    Eurobank Properties : 6.98

    OPAP: 7.97

    OTE: 7.68

    Piraeus Bank: 1.30

    Titan: 16.00

    [40] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 8.48 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 8.42 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 10.39 pct and the German Bund 1.91 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates remained almost unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.55 pct, the nine-month rate was 0.45 pct, the six-month rate was 0.34 pct, the three-month rate was 0.225 pct and the one-month rate was 0.129 pct.

    [41] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.25 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover rising to 33.730 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 14,441 contracts worth 24.371 million euros, with 55,157 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 30,915 contracts worth 9.359 million euros, with investment interest focusing on MIG's contracts (5,230), followed by Alpha Bank (5,037), National Bank (2,953), Piraeus Bank (2,853), Eurobank (149), OTE (2,100), PPC (1,549), OPAP (1,052), Hellenic Exchanges (340), Mytiineos (1,367), GEK (4,491), Ellaktor (318), Intralot (703) and Viohalco (303).

    [42] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.355

    Pound sterling 0.851

    Danish kroner 7.568

    Swedish kroner 8.824

    Japanese yen 134.03

    Swiss franc 1.256

    Norwegian kroner 8.010

    Canadian dollar 1.396

    Australian dollar 1.446

    General News

    [43] Boy trapped in cave rescued, rushed to hospital

    A 13-year-old boy that fell into an 18-metre-deep cave in Attiko Alsos, a large park on a hill overlooking the Athens district of Galatsi, was successfully extricated by the EMAK search-and-rescue team on Monday afternoon and rushed to the Agia Sofia children's hospital in Athens with a broken leg. Doctors said his condition does not engender concern.

    The rescue operation ended at around 2:30 p.m. after several hours, in which EMAK team member strove to raise the boy up in a stretcher since he had broken his left thigh bone.

    He confirmed the account earlier given by his class-mates, saying that he had fallen into the mouth of the cave in an attempt to retrieve his school bag, which had fallen as he was examining the spot. An investigation into the accident is being carried out by the police.

    [44] Body parts found in garbage bin belong to woman killed by grandson, police reveal

    The chopped up body of an elderly female found in a garbage bin on August 23 in the east coast town of Artemis belongs to an 84-year-old Greek woman who was killed by her grandson, 28, Greek Police said on Monday.

    The police had released images of the woman's reconstructed face in an effort to identify her, after finding her body parts in the bin.

    According to police, the woman lived by herself in Patissia. Her daughter and mother of the murderer informed the police on September 14 that her mother had disappeared and her apartment had been ransacked. Police called the grandson in for questioning on Saturday and a positive identification was made through his fingerprints.

    Apparently, the man, a resident of Artemis, had visited his mother early in the morning of August 21, and after a fight with her killed her by knifing in the neck. He then moved her body to the bathtub and left the house.

    The next day, he returned with a knife and saw to cut the body up, placed it in bags and took it first to his house and then to the garbage bin. He had previously removed jewellery from her apartment to give the impression of a burglary and sold them at various pawn shops.

    The man was taken before a prosecutor in Athens to be charged.

    [45] New tremors jolts Amfiklia in the prefecture of Fthiotida

    An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook the region of Amfiklia in Fthiotida prefecture in central Greece at 18:01 on Monday, coming from the same epicenter that gave a tremor of 4.6 on the Richter scale a few minutes earlier at 17:45.

    According to the Geodynamic Institute, the epicenter of both quakes is located 23 kilometers west-southwest of the city of Atalanti.

    The region has been hit by a slew of tremors since a 5.3-Richter quake on August 7 that caused serious damage to roughly 300 buildings.

    Weather forecast

    [46] Cloudy on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures between 12C and 31C. Slightly cloudy in Athens with northerly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures between 18C and 30C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 16C and 28C.

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

    DIMOKRATIA:Tsipras (Alexis, SYRIZA lea-der)...wherever the wind blows.

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: 20,000 teachers to see the exit door in the next two years.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Retrospective cuts in lump sums and supplementary pensions.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Who will not be affected from the reduction in pensions and lump sums.

    ESTIA: Alexis Tsip-andreou in Thessaloniki (refers to main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras)

    ETHNOS: New landscape in lump sums and supplementary pensions.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Government plans to give tax incentives to attract investments.

    TA NEA: Public sector: 12,500 civil servants in mobility scheme until the end of the year.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS


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