|Thursday, 22 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-10-02
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 2 October 2013 Issue No: 4475
 PM Samaras discusses Greek debt with IMF's Lagarde, in WashingtonWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA / S. Goutzanis)
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had a 45-minute meeting here on Tuesday evening (Greek time) with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, during which discussion focused on the condition of Greece's economy following the latest inspection in Athens by the troika representatives.
After the end of the meeting, Samaras told reporters that his discussion with Lagarde, "went well" and focused on the viability of the Greek debt.
The IMF in an announcement posted on its website said:
"Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement after a meeting with Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece, in Washington today:
"Prime Minister Samaras and I had a productive discussion this afternoon on recent economic developments and challenges facing Greece. I commended him on the progress that Greece has made under its economic program towards fiscal sustainability, restoring competitiveness and financial stability, and stressed the importance of moving forward on institutional and structural reforms and implementing a robust 2014 budget to achieve the program's objectives. I assured him that the IMF remains committed to helping Greece in this endeavor."
 PM Samaras to meet U.S. Vice President Biden on WednesdayWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/S. Goutzanis)
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is scheduled to meet here on Wednesday with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L). The meeting will be held at the White House at 13:30 local time.
 PM Samaras visits school in AstoriaNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras paid a visit on Monday (local time) to the school of the St. Demetrius Greek Orthodox community in Astoria, which has the only Greek-language high school in the United States.
President of the managing committee Nikos Andriotis, in his introduction of the premier, made reference to the arrests of extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) deputies and party members this past weekend and said they were "people who preach things that are not Greek." Greece "deserves better," he said.
Samaras said Greece was at a difficult crossroads, but that it was entering a new chapter, and said children should be proud of their roots. He said students and parents should visit or invest in Greece, noting that "Greeks abroad were always generous and today we have drawn courage from you; I hope you are always strong."
Also attending the event, which included a performance with Greek songs, were school principal Anastasios Koularmanis, and student Vassiliki Tsangari, who welcomed the premier on behalf of the students.
The school has an enrollment of over 800 children.
 U.S. government shut down to impact Greek PM's itineraryNEW YORK (ANA-MPA / S. Goutzanis)
The shutdown of the United States government that started on Tuesday is likely to have knock-on repercussions on the itinerary of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who is currently on a visit here.
Among others, a reception to be attended by Samaras on Wednesday for the opening of an exhibition on Byzantium at the Washington National Gallery of Art will not take place.
 KKE on PM's New York statementsThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on Tuesday on the statements made by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in New York, said that "the prime minister's statements on stability are aimed at shaping a dangereous mixture of fear and false hopes for the people".
"False hopes for 'better days' that the capitalist recovery will supposedly bring and the advertised primary surplus and a declaration of law-abidingness by the people for submission to today's barbarism," the statement added.
The announcement further said that "the people must not relax. They must turn their backs on the trade of fear and hope and not be trapped in the two-party confrontation between the government and the main oppposition party as to who is the best guarantor of normalcy, that is translated into who can trap the people better in today's antipopular growth path," adding that "stability for the labour-wornking class rights requires a popular alliance and struggle, in the direction of a rift and reversal of the system that gives birth to the antipopular measures, barbarism and Nazism".
 Tsipras in Brussels; to meet with EU group, officialsMain opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras will pay an official visit to Brusells from Tuesday to Thursday.
On Tuesday, Tsipras will have dinner with the eurodeputies of the group GUE/NGL (Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left).
On Wednesday morning, Tsipras will meet with the GUE/NGL Group and then give a joint press conference with its leader, Gabi ZImmer. At 11:30 am he will meet with the president of Europarliament Socialists and Democrats (SD) group Hannes Swoboda.
At 3:00 pm, Tsipras will meet in private with Zimmer and at 17:40 pm he will meet with European Commissioner of Labour and Social Affairs Laszlo Andor.
Finally, on Thursday Tsipras will conclude his visit to Brussels with his meeting with Europarliament President Martin Schulz at 3:45 pm.
 SYRIZA leader again slams 'two extremes' theory in address to MPsAddressing a meeting of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MPs on Tuesday, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras strongly criticised the prime minister and his advisors for "insisting on the dangerous and historically unfounded theory of the two extremes," and said that the government was trying to 'dynamite' the political scene by cultivating tensions.
Welcoming the arrest of far-right Golden Dawn's leadership on charges of forming a criminal organisation, which he said vindicated the anti-fascist movement and SYRIZA, he claimed the prime minister had been forced into doing the self-evident under the pressure of public opinion, both at home and abroad.
"It was not their choice. They were forced to," he asserted of the government. He also pointed out that, in spite of the new developments and their isolation even within New Democracy, the 'extremists' in the prime minister's office were insisting on the 'two extremes' theory, which he interpreted as an attempt to distract attention from the failure of austerity policies.
Tsipras underlined that the memorandum was not just unworkable but also threatening society with collapse, while the much-discussed 'primary surplus' of 2.5 billion euros had 'evaporated' in just a few days. "What is coming is social hell," he warned, predicting that more harsh austerity measures were on the way.
"They are shutting down EAS, EAB, LARCO, lifting restrictions on lay-offs, there will be a tax on real estate and even agricultural land. In this light, the government cannot survive the destruction it is causing unless it invests in a strategy of tension, a strategy of polarity. Such a strategy, however, is dangerous for democracy and normality," he said.
 Government spokesman replies to SYRIZA leaderGovernment spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Tuesday that main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras was "attempting to present himself as a guarantor of normalcy at a time when he is insisting on the strategy of division and disaster talk."
"Unfortunately for him and fortunately for the country, he will be hopelessly alone on this path," Kedikoglou said and stressed that "not only do the Greeks not share but on the contrary reject in practice his adventurous and dangerously slippery positions on both the handling of the neo-Nazis and the effort for the economy's recovery".
 Tsipras: Citizens need a modern, democratic policeMain opposition Radical Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras presented on Tuesday his party's policy for Greek Police after his meeting with the Hellenic Federation of Police Staff and the Hellenic Federation of Police Officers.
Commenting on the latest developments and revelations that police officers participated in extreme-right Golden Dawn's (Chryssi Avghi) activities, Tsipras said that society needs a modern and democratic police that will protect its citizens. That means restructuring, education and democratisation in police; the latest developments offer a huge opportunity to proceed towards this direction, he noted.
Moreover, Tsipras reiterated his party's position that police should come under parliamentary control and underlined that is an issue of honour for Greek Police to reverse the reputation it has of aiding and abetting criminals.
 DIM.AR backs government's legislative initiatives in relation to Golden DawnOpposition Democratic Left (DIM.AR) Executive Committee member Thodoros Margaritis on Tuesday said that his party backs the government and, if necessary, will support the adoption of a legislative act in response to a mass resignation of ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) MPs, in protest against the arrest of a number of the party's leadership on charges of forming a criminal organization.
Speaking to VIMA FM private radio in Athens, he said that his party will vote in favour of a rider suspending GD's state funding and the salaries paid to its MPs.
 Golden Dawn detainees released after testimonyTwo members of far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) arrested on charges of participating in a criminal organisation were released on Tuesday after testifying before a investigating magistrate.
Both suspects denied the charges against them and were conditionally released pending trial, on condition they do not attempt to leave the country. A third party member who was scheduled to testify on Tuesday asked for an extension until Thursday.
The magistrate is expecting the imminent arrival of four of the party's MPs - Yiannis Lagos, Ilias Kassidiaris, Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Mihos - who are to testify before him on Tuesday, while party leader Nikos Michaloliakos has asked to testify before the magistrate on Wednesday and GD state deputy Christos Pappas on Thursday.
 Police release details of phone record evidence following Fyssas stabbingA series of calls was made between far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) MPs and the heads of the party's Nikaia branch around the time when the rapper Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed in the Keratsini district in Piraeus, according to phone record evidence released by the Greek police on Tuesday.
Presented as two charts showing the calls made and received by GD deputy Yiannis Lagos and the head of the party's local Nikaia branch George Patelis, the 'map' showed that Lagos repeatedly contacted Patelis and other individuals within the party - including the MP Ilias Panagiotaros.
After the stabbing, he also appears to have received a call from the party's leader Nikos Michaloliakos.
Prior to the incident, Lagos had received a call from Parliament but this cannot be shown to be linked to the stabbing that followed.
The 'map' shows that Patelis was at the centre of a succession of calls carried out prior to the stabbing and also revealed that he called the wife of the chief suspect Giorgos Roupakias immediately after Fyssas was killed. He also spoke with Michaloliakos over the phone on the afternoon of the following day.
 Detained MPs retain status unless found guilty, parliament VP explainsDetained Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) deputies can retain their positions until there is a decision on the charges filed against them, parliament's vice president and New Democracy deputy Christos Markogiannakis told private Vima radio on Tuesday.
In order for detained MPs to lose their rights, he explained, "there must be a ruling of guilt and at the same time a ruling stripping them of their political rights. The decision must be final, meaning it must be ratified by the Supreme Court as irreversible. We are talking about a period of 2 to 3 years." He was referring to the time it was expected to take for the appeals process to be completed.
According to Markogiannakis, "If there is no verdict of guilt, they will remain deputies and will have the right to stand for election again, as long as there is no verdict of guilt and elections take place before a guilty verdict."
"The only charge on which the investigating magistrate can rule at this time, in my opinion, is on the charge of membership in a criminal organisation," the parliamentary vice president said. "It's because this does not require a revocation by parliament of their immune status as deputies. Everything else - blackmailing, bearing and possessing arms, and so on - requires that immunity be lifted by parliament."
 Golden Dawn MP's defence attorney striken off ND party listThe New Democracy (ND) party has striken attorney Pavlos Sarakis off its membership list for "inappropriate behaviour which conflicts with party principles", after he assumed the defence of Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) MP Elias Kassidiaris, it was announced on Tuesday.
 KKE members testify about Perama incident, Golden Dawn involvementNine members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and a Piraeus-based metalworkers' union on Tuesday testified before an examining magistrate in Piraeus concerning an attack allegedly carried out by some 50 members of the far-right party Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) in the Perama district on September 9. The attack targeted a group of KKE members and trade unionists putting up posters for KKE's youth festival.
Nine people were injured during the attack, including the head of the Piraeus metalworkers' union Sotiris Poulikoyiannis and other trade union officials.
In supplementary testimony to the magistrate, the nine witnesses claimed that they recognised four of their attackers, one of whom had been arrested in connection with another case in the past. They also asserted that the attacking group had deliberately sought out and targeted the trade union president, attacking the trade unionists with crowbars and sticks.
The police had initially identified four individuals and, following the testimony on Tuesday, a public prosecutor is expected to issue the relevant arrest warrants.
In an announcement concerning the incident, GD had denied involvement in the attack and alleged that KKE was making false accusations in order to artificially cultivate tension, in response to the formation of a worker union in Perama affiliated to GD.
 Golden Dawn parliamentary group to convene on Thurs. at 1:00 pmGolden Dawn's (Chryssi Avghi) parliamentary group will convene on Thursday at 1:00 pm at parliament's senate hall.
The party had requested to convene at the parliament's senate hall and according to information the initial request tabled by the party's MP Dimitris Koukoutsis was to ask permission for an extended meeting in the specific hall with the participation of off-parliament political cadres of Golden Dawn.
Parliament accepted to offer the specific hall, however it hasn't answered yet on whether it will permit the extended meeting.
 GD demands that Mihaloliakos, Pappas address parliamentParliament President special secretariat office director Spyros Kotsoronis on Tuesday rejected a written demand made by ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) calling on the Parliament President to ensure that GD leader Nikos Mihalolikos and MP Christos Pappas, currently in police custody, will appear before Parliament to address it later in the day.
Kotsoronis responded to GD Parliamentary group secretary Polyvios Zissimopoulos that there is no procedure allowing the Parliament President to interfere in the specific issue.
GD leader Michaloliakos and MP Pappas are currently in police custody with other GD MPs and party members, on charges of forming a criminal organization.
The Parliament is scheduled to vote later in the day on the infrastructure, transport & networks ministry-sponsored draft bill on the intercity bus transport and discuss three defence ministry contracts.
 One more police officer suspended over ammunition violationAnother police officer was suspended from duty on Tuesday, as part of an ongoing internal affairs investigation within the police force.
The 25-year-old police constable serving in Attica, among those assigned as a guard to the far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party, was discovered to illegally possess ammunition of various calibres in his home during a raid on Sunday. He has been led before an Athens misdemeanours' court prosecutor and an internal inquiry launched.
Another officer in the Thessaloniki 'Z' emergency response unit, who is charged with illegal weapons possession and is being investigated for possibly trading in weapons on the internet, will stand trial on Wednesday.
 Policeman arrestedThe Greek Police Internal Affairs Service has arrested another policeman who had served in the past as guard of a Golden Dawn party deputy, for illegal possession of weapons and cartridges, as well as forgery and violations of the National Customs Code, since he was found in possession of two cars that had been confiscated as being products of smuggling.
He is a 55-year-old policeman who is currently serving in a police station in the Attica prefecture, but who was in the guard of Golden Dawn deputy George Germenis until a short while ago.
It is also considered possible that he used one of the two cars as a "bogus" patrol car as well. He was also found in possession of Golden Dawn party material.
 Troika insists on full liberalisation of commercial property leasesThe country's troika creditors rejected a compromise proposal tabled by the ministry of development and repeated its position in favour of the full liberalisation of all commercial property leases, it was announced on Tuesday.
According to the troika, both old and new commercial leases should be fully liberalised, based on the argument that the existing protection is damaging to the real estate market flexibility.
Sources say that the development ministry leadership will continue the negotiation on the issue insisting that recession is the main reason behind the large number of vacant stores.
The proposal that was presented by the ministry of development had suggested that old commercial property leases should be protected from eviction processes and introduced a three-year protection of new commercial leases.
 Defence minister wraps up Cyprus visitNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)
Greek National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos wrapped up his visit here and departed for Athens on Tuesday afternoon.
Before his departure, Avramopoulos, who represented Greece at events marking the 53rd anniversary since the declaration of independence by the Cyprus Republic on October 1, met with Cypriot political party leaders and representatives, whom he reassured of Greece's steadfast support for the island republic.
"In this difficult conjuncture Cyprus is not alone," Avramopoulos said, adding that Greece has one of the strongest defence systems in Europe and is "always ready to use it in the service of international legality, international law and the collective effort to shape an environment of security in our region."
He also noted that Cyprus should become an example of a harmonious coexistence and cooperation between the two communities on the island, "always with respect for international law and UN resolutions".
In statements after attending parades on Tuesday for the 53rd anniversary since Cyprus' declaration of independence, Greek Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos noted that this was a very difficult time for Greece and Cyprus, while stressing that "Athens always stands beside Cypriot Hellenism".
"In a spirit of unity and unanimity we will walk together - as in the past - and we will prevail," he added.
Avramopoulos noted that Cyprus was proving a factor for stability, security and peace in the surrounding region and expressed a wish that current President Nicos Anastasiades "will be the president that next year celebrations the reunification of the island".
 Greek PM's message for Cyprus independence day anniversaryNICOSIA (ANA-MPA / A. Viketos)
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday expressed his warmest wishes for peace, progress and prosperity in Cyprus and for the Cypriot people, in a message to mark the 53rd anniversary since the declaration of independence by the Cyprus Republic.
"A solution of the Cyprus issue and the end of Turkish military occupation have over the years been a major national priority for Greece. We fully support the Cyprus Republic and firmly support your strenuous efforts for a solution, which is based on the decisions of the UN Security Council and is in harmony with the Community acquis," he stressed.
The prime minister also offered assurances that Greece will "always be at the side of the Cypriot people and its leadership, in our common effort for a peaceful and united Cyprus".
 The Greek EU Presidency's three main prioritiesBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)
Boosting growth and employment, deepening economic and monetary union and European immigration policy will constitute, according to diplomatic sources, the three main priorities of the upcoming Greek EU Presidency during the first half of 2014.
As regards cost, the Greek Presidency will be frugal, "Spartan", as diplomatic sources said characteristically, with a budget not exceeding 50 million euros, compared to 60-80 million euros spent separately for the EU's last presidencies (the Irish and the Cypriot).
It is the fifth time that Greece is assuming the EU's presidency.
"Greece is assuming the Presidency of the EU's Council in an important transitional period for Europe," said well-informed sources in Brussels, stressing that unemployment and recession have shaken the confidence of European citizens in the European fabric, while strict fiscal discipline has affected social cohesion considerably in certain member-states.
Promoting policies for strengthening growth and employment constitutes an issue of primary importance for the Greek Presidency. As Greek diplomatic sources said, the balance between fiscal stability policies and growth policies constitutes the lydic stone for achieving necessary cohesion between the EU's economies.
Consequently, the Greek presidency will aim at balancing the fiscal restructuring timetable with the implementation of a realistic Pact for Growth and Employment, that will be able to be turned into a multifaceted European investment programme, with employment as the focus. In parallel, the target is for the European Investment Bank to be able to have a strong role concerning labour intensification projects (such as programmes for SMEs, basic infrastructures, energy and climate) with the support and confidence of the European Central Bank.
As regards the deepening of Economic Monetary Union, diplomatic sources said that special emphasis will be placed on promoting bank union that constitutes a precondition for strengthening confidence and liquidity in the European economy.
Regarding immigration issues, the guarding of borders and mobility, the Greek Presidency aims at promoting the positive consequences of an overall European managing of the immigration phenomenon in the service of growth. As diplomatic sources said, efforts will focus on promoting all the dimensions of immigration policy with prallel actions for the restirction of repercussions from illegal immigration at economic, social and political level.
 Parliament approves bills on military cooperation with Romania and BulgariaThe parliament on Tuesday approved three bills tabled by the Defense Ministry on military cooperation between Greece and Romania and Bulgaria.
The ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) party and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) killed all three bills, while main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) voted for the one on cooperation with Romania, rejecting the one on cooperation with Romania. SYRIZA approved cooperation with Bulgaria on other sectors, such as joint forces to deal with natural disasters and military medicine, excluding a strengthening of NATO's role in the region.
Similar objections were expressed by the KKE, which said that an expansion of military cooperation between Balkan countries was among NATO's imperialistic planning.
The Golden Dawn said it rejected the bill as it believed that Romania was "nowadays a US puppy against Russia, while Bulgaria raised certain territorial claims against Greece".
 Staff to contest hospital mergers before Supreme CourtThe nationwide state hospital workers' union federation POEDHN on Tuesday filed a case before Greece's supreme administrative court, the Council of State, asking for the cancellation of ministerial decrees leading to the mergers of Greek hospitals and the suspension of hospital staff.
POEDHN says the decisions are 'shrinking' the public health system and shutting down eight Attica and Thessaloniki hospitals, while creating new hospital organisational charts that abolish 770 departments, thousands of beds and permanent positions at a time when public hospitals are more greatly needed than ever before and 2.5 million people in Greece lack any kind of health insurance and have no access to public health services.
 Eurostat: Greek unemployment at 27.9 pct in JuneBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V.Demiris)
Greek unemployment rose to 27.9 pct of the workforce, or 1.4 million people, in June, from 27.6 pct in May, Eurostat said on Tuesday. The EU executive's statistics arm, in a report released here, said that Greece reported the worst performance in the EU, followed by Spain, where the unemployment rate was 26.2 pct.
The average unemployment rate in the EU was 12 pct in the eurozone and 10.9 pct in the EU in August, unchanged from July.
The unemployment rate among men was 24.9 pct in Greece, 31.9 pct among women and 61.5 pct among young people aged below 25 years. Average unemployment in the Eurozone was 11.9 pct (men), 12.3 pct (women) and 23.7 pct (young people).
The European Union had 26.595 million unemployed people in August, of which 19.178 million in the eurozone, up 895,000 in the last 12 months.
Cyprus (12.2 pct to 16.9 pct) and Greece (24.6 pct to 27.9 pct) recorded the biggest percentage increases in one year. Greece recorded the highest unemployment rates both among women and among young people.
 Greek employees living in fear of losing their jobs, survey findsGreek employees are living in constant fear of being dismissed and losing their jobs, according to an online survey unveiled on Tuesday by the Greek branch of the human resources firm Adecco HR.
Among the 451 individuals completing the survey, 68 percent said their working conditions had deteriorated in the last two years, 23 percent said that they had stayed the same, while only 9 percent reported an improvement.
Asked to elaborate in what ways their work conditions had deteriorated, 50 percent reported salary cuts, 25 percent said they had to work more hours, 14 percent reported a bad workplace environment due to higher stress and fear of dismissal, while 13 percent referred to staff shortages.
A high percentage also referred to higher demands and greater pressure in the workplace (9 percent), a reduction in turnover and profits (9 percent), hard working conditions (8 percent), greater work volume (7 percent), delays in payment (5 percent) and even working unpaid (4 percent).
Of the 9 percent that have seen their conditions of work improve, Adecco analysts note that they do not refer to salary increases or improved working conditions and surmise they are staff replacing high-earning executives removed from their positions. This conclusion is also backed by the finding that 45 percent and 42 percent of those completing the survey confirmed an increase in their workload and duties at work.
Of those asked, 31 percent said they were already looking for another job with better conditions and 27 percent that they intend to do so in the near future.
Adecco Hellas General Director Constantinos Mylonas warned that low morale among the workforce had an impact on the quality of work.
Roughly 55 percent of the sample were unemployed and, of these, 31 percent had been laid off by their previous employer, 20 percent had just entered the workforce and not yet found work, 11 percent were left jobless when the business or shop where they worked shut down and 5 percent had been owners of business that folded. Only 5 percent stated that they were jobless by choice. Nearly a third (31 percent) of those out of work had been unemployed for more than two years, 19 percent from 7-12 months, 18 percent for two years and 15 percent up to six months.
 Greek economic sentiment index rose to 93.1 points in SeptGreece's economic sentiment index moved up to 93.1 points in September, from 91.7 points in July and 89.2 in August, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Tuesday.
In a monthly report, IOBE said a strong improvement of climate in the construction and manufacturing sectors was partly counterbalanced by weakening expectations in the retail sector and consumer confidence, while the climate in the services sector remained unchanged.
Business expectations seemed to recover because of a slowdown in recession, with most businesses forecasting that the country was near its exit from a recession cycle. In the manufacturing sector they showed a significant improvement in short-term production developments and expectations over the current level of orders and demand gaining ground.
In the services sector, business expectations over their current activity fell slightly, counterbalancing a moderate increase in estimates over current demand, while estimates over short-term sales outlook remained negative.
In the retail sector, negative estimates over current sales improved markedly, although estimates over their short-term outlook deteriorated along with negative estimates over inventories.
In the construction sector, estimates over works programe improved while employment outlook in the sector fell slightly.
In consumer confidence, Greek households' estimates over their finances deteriorated slightly, while estimates over the country's finances were unchanged and saving intention over the next 12 months fell to historic low levels.
The economic sentiment improved both in the eurozone and the EU in September, for the fifth consecutive month, with the relative index rising to 96.9 points and 100.6 points respectively.
 Environment Minister Maniatis announces new start for land cadastreEnvironment Minister Yiannis Maniatis on Tuesday announced that the national cadastre, one of the most important national projects in Greece, is about to get off to a new start. He said that tenders for 28 new cadastre studies with an estimated budget of 527 million euros will be announced during the week by Ktimatologio S.A., the company in charge of organising and running land registry offices throughout the country.
Speaking during a press conference, Maniatis said that the new cadastre project will concern 16 million property rights, corresponding to 42 pct of the total property rights nationwide and to 62 pct of Greek national territory.
He also underlined that, as a result, an estimated 12,000 new job positions for civil engineers, lawyers and computer experts will be created until the year 2020.
Maniatis said that it is "a major land planning and environmental protection reform" and stressed the government's determination to have the project implemented in an organized, speedy and effective manner, within the timetables set by EU bodies.
The Hellenic Cadastre is a unified and constantly updated system of information, aimed at a modern, fully automated real estate property record, whose details are of an evidentiary nature, ensuring the best publicity and security of transactions.
 Tourism Minister: In 2013 Greek tourism made a huge comebackNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P.Panagiotou) -
Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni, who is currently in New York for a series of meetings, told ANA-MPA that "it is the first time after a long time that we have seen an increase of the tourist wave from North America and this is a very optimistic message".
Referring to 2013, Kefalogianni estimated that "it was the year that the Greek tourism made a huge comeback", adding that "this year we will break the record of all times, regarding foreign tourists' arrivals as well as revenues".
 Greek PMI fell to 47.5 points in SeptemberGreece's Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) eased to 47.5 points in September from 48.7 in August, remaining however at the second highest level recorded in the last 3.5 years.
It is the first time that the PMI fell in a period of six months, reflecting a stronger deterioration of business conditions in the country, mainly a decline in new orders. Manufacturers were forced to reduce their production levels at a slightly faster rate in September, while employment levels fell at the slowest rate recorded since January 2010. Pending works fell significantly in the month, while purchases fell further and delivery times deteriorated.
Inflow prices slowed in September, while factory prices fell to meet weakened demand.
The Purchasing Manager's Index is a composite index measuring business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector while readings below 50 a shrinking sector.
 Ellaktor to build waste management unit in SloveniaEllaktor, a Greek-listed construction group, on Tuesday announced the signing of a contract to build a waste management center in Dolenjska, in the city of Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The agreement was signed by Elektor SA, a subsidiary of Ellaktor, in a joint venture with RIKO d.o.o in which Elektor has a 54.54 pct majority stake.
The contract, worth 26 million euros (pre-VAT) envisages the building of a unit with a total capacity of 41,000 tons annually. The project is expected to be completed in 19 months.
 Frigoglass to upgrade its production unit in Kato Achaia, PeloponneseFrigoglass on Tuesday said it will invest around 500,000-800,000 euros to upgrade the production line of its historic unit in Kato Achaia, Peloponnese, aiming for the sustainable growth of the unit and job positions in a period of deep economic recession. Production of refrigerator parts - currently made in Romania and Turkey - will be transferred to Greece.
Following completion of the investment, Frigoglass said its production unit in Kato Ahaia will offer a service centre, production of parts for Europe and a production line.
The company said it was in talks with the workers' union to agree on a new payroll programme.
 Intracom Defense signs new contract with RaytheonIntracom Defense Electronics, a member of Intracom Holdings, on Tuesday announced the signing of a new contract with Raytheon in the production programme of ESSM (Evolved SeaSparrow Missile).
The deal, worth 3.3 million US dollars, covers the production of electronic subsystems of the guidance unit of the missile and will be completed in September 2015. Intracom Defense has been participating in the multinational ESSM programme since 1995.
 E-commerce to reach 3.5 billion euros in Greece this yearE-commerce turnover is expected to reach 3.5 billion euros in Greece this year, recording one of the highest growth rates in Europe, GRECA, Greece's E-Commerce Union, said on Tuesday.
Nikos Goulis, president of GRECA, speaking during a news conference said the Union plans a series of actions to support the sector, such as an e-commerce week in the first week of December, Networking Days for sector executives, other promotional and information actions to consumers, while he noted that a code of conduct was currently under consultation between the union's members.
"B2B commerce also has a significant importance to the national economy and business activity," professor George Doukidis said.
Stephanos Komninos, secretary-general of Commerce announced "a national plan on e-commerce in an effort to train and familiarize consumer with electronic activities".
 Greek-Albania business forum in Tirana on November 13A Greek-Albanian economic and business forum will take place in Tirana on November 13 hosted by the Greek embassy, the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs and the Association of Greek Enterprises, it was announced on Tuesday.
The event, in its seventh consecutive year, is aimed at highlighting the Greek presence in the banking sector and the Albanian economy in general, promote opportunities for business investments and boost bilateral economic and business cooperation.
The 7th Greek-Albanian Economic and Business Forum will focus on "The Role of the Banks in the Post-crisis Era".
Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor Giorgos Provopoulos and Bank of Albania Governor Ardian Fullani will be among those invited to address the event.
 Singapore Airlines to return to Greece in 2014Singapore Airlines on Tuesday announced its return to Greece during the summer tourist season of 2014 to meet "increased demand" for the country.
The airline said it will operate scheduled flights twice a week (Monday and Thursday) from June 9, 2014 to October 9, 2014, using a Boeing 777-200ERs aircraft.
Singapore Airlines suspended its flights to Athens in October 2012 citing a long period of adverse conditions.
 Court rejects bankruptcy filing by ATTIKATAn Athens Court of First Instance on Tuesday rejected a filing by Greek-listed construction group ATTIKAT ATE seeking protection by its creditors and a bankruptcy application by the company.
ATTIKAT in a statement said it will await for the release of the court order before deciding its next legal moves aimed at protecting the interests of its shareholders, workers and partners.
 CPI reports lower turnover and lossesCPI said its turnover fell 18.6 pct in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013 to 14.261 million euros, from 17.524 million euros in the previous year, hit by an economic recession in the country and a stricter credit policy adopted by the company.
Income from product sales fell to 9.725 million euros, from 13.019 million euros the previous year, while income from services rose slightly to 4.535 million from 4.505 million euros, accounting for 32 pct of the company's income. Gross profit margin rose to 23.52 pct from 21.9 pct, while EBITDA jumped to 514,000 euros, from 14,000 euros last year. Net after tax results showed a loss of 205,000 euros, down from a loss of 817,000 euros last year.
 Greek stocks end moderately higherGreek stocks resumed their upward trend in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, after Monday's sharp decline, supported by buying interest in selective blue chip stocks such as OTE, Athens Water, Viohalco and Piraeus Bank. The composite index of the market rose 0.76 pct to end at 1,021.80 points, after rising as much as 1.16 pct during the day. Turnover was a low 49.04 million euros.
The Large Cap index rose 0.73 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.35 pct higher. Viohalco (3.04 pct), Athens Water (3.03 pct), Eurobank Properties (2.29 pct) and Piraeus Port (2.19 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Hellenic Petroleum (1.54 pct), Frigoglass (1.28 pct), Motor Oil (1.15 pct) and Hellenic Exchanges (0.94 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
The Telecoms (1.95 pct), Commerce (1.89 pct) and Raw Materials (1.42 pct) sectors scored gains, while Oil (1.37 pct) and Financial Services (0.15 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 79 to 38 with another 31 issues unchanged. Pasal (18.52 pct), Douros (15.94 pct) and Geniki Bank (15.74 pct) were top gainers, while Sidma (19.89 pct), NEL (16.13 pct) and AEGEK (7.69 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -1.37%
Personal & Household: +0.50%
Raw Materials: +1.42%
Travel & Leisure: +1.17%
Food & Beverages: +0.31%
Financial Services: -0.15%
The stocks with the highest turnover were OTE, OPAP, Piraeus Bank, EXAE and Alpha Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.57
Public Power Corp (PPC): 8.30
Coca Cola HBC: 21.97
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.68
National Bank of Greece: 3.01
Eurobank Properties : 7.60
Piraeus Bank: 1.27
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 7.36 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 7.72 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 9.17 pct and the German Bund 1.81 pct. Turnover was an improved 18 million euros, of which 16 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 2.0 million were sell orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely 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.
 ADEX closing reportThe October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.25 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover remaining a low 10.732 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4,137 contracts worth 7.168 million euros, with 51,557 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 7,936 contracts worth 3.564 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (2,002), followed by National Bank (500), Piraeus Bank (1,092), OTE (1,334), PPC (1,174), OPAP (431), Mytilineos (175), Viohalco (116), Hellenic Exchanges (92), Ellaktor (81), Intralot (89) and Motor Oil (81).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.375
Pound sterling 0.847
Danish kroner 7.570
Swedish kroner 8.762
Japanese yen 134.59
Swiss franc 1.243
Norwegian kroner 8.253
Canadian dollar 1.417
Australian dollar 1.460
 Sirens to go off throughout Greece on Wednesday, as civil defence exerciseWarning sirens will go off in tests throughout Greece on Wednesday, as part of the week-long nationwide civil defence exercise "Parmenion 2013", it was announced on Tuesday.
At 11:00 am on Wednesday morning, the sirens will sound intermittently and at differing sound levels for 60 seconds, until 11:05 am, when an uninterrupted siren will sound for another 60 seconds.
"Parmenion 2013" is a civil defence and civilian protection planning exercise in the event of an emergency. It is organised by the Ministry of Defence and will be applied throughout Greece except for the Athens FIR and on army bases.
The last stage of the exercise will take place in Thrace on Thursday and Lesvos on Friday, and will be observed at both places by the ministry civil and defence leadership.
 Days of Greek-Russian Friendship on Lemnos islandThe Days of Greek-Russian Friendship events, hosted on the northern Aegean island of Lemnos at the initiative of the Russian embassy in Greece, were attended by more than 100 Russians honouring the memory of the Russian sailors who lost their lives during the Orlov Events, named after Count Orlov, commander of the Russian Naval Forces of the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774).
During their pilgrimage to Lemnos, the visiting Russians officials and citizens attended events in Myrina and Moundros.
Memorial events were held at the Russian cemetery on the island, while Russian artists performed two music recitals at the port of Myrina and in Moundros.
 Oxford U. economist to speak at KEPE on Oct. 7Economist Dimitrios Tsomocos, a university reader in Financial Economics at Sa?d Business School and a Fellow in Management at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, will speak on "International capital flows and Greece's exit from the crisis" at the Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) in Athens on October 7.
Tsomocos has consulted for many central banks and is co-creator of the Goodhart-Tsomocos financial stability model.
His lecture is scheduled for 1:00 pm at 11 Amerikis Street, and is free and open to the public.
 Greek barman collects gold in World Cocktail ChampionshipA Greek barman won gold for the best cocktail in the 39th World Cocktail Championship, sponsored by the International Bartenders' Association.
The winning entry, among 56 from throughout the world, was by Panagiotis Govatsos, who named it "Skyfall II".
Speaking to ANA-MPA, Govatsos said Skyfall II "captures all of natures aromas, from fruit and herbs to spices and fresh aromas." He explained that his entry to the competition was chosen because it was "based on aromas and tastes that bring Greece to mind; its main ingredient is the hibiscus liqueur, which releases a fabulous aroma which, combined with the vodka I used, gives a balanced in taste, aromas and colour."
Govatsos was born in California but his family moved to Monemvasia, the historic town of southern Peloponnese, where he lives and works. He began his career at 16 years of age as assistant to a waiter and then barman.
He was one of three representatives of the Greek Barmen's Association. Besides his entry in the classic cocktail category, Constantine Frantzis competed in Flairtending (freestyle), where he came in 21st, and Panagiotis Pallis, who competed in the non-alcoholic category. The competition took place in Prague in August.
Skyfall II's recipe is as follows:
Garnish: Blueberry, cranberry, grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple leaf, carrot, turnip, chili pepper and mint leaf.
 Police arrest drug trafficker with 154 kg of hashishPolice arrested a 22-year-old man from Athens in the region of Sagiada, near the Greek-Albanian border, at noon on Tuesday for carrying 154 kilos of hashish in a car. The drugs had been placed in 137 packets.
Police are seeking accomplices of the drug dealer, since the car he was driving did not belong to him and neither had it been reported stolen. He will be brought before a prosecutor.
 British tourist dies after falling into gorgeA female British tourist died on Tuesday after falling, under unknown circumstances, into a gorge in Rouva forest at Heraklio, on the island of Crete.
The 55-year-old tourist had gone hiking with her daughter when she fell into the gorge.
A rescue team including the Fire Brigade that rushed to the area confirmed her death.
 Lightning interrupts power supply for an hour in extended Tripoli areaA storm left half of Arcadia prefecture in the dark for an hour early on Tuesday morning.
Lightning struck the area at 4:15 am and damaged a 150 KW conveyor line, taking power down in the main city of Tripoli and in the areas of Mantineia plateau and Cynouria. Public Power Corporation restored power soon after.
 Rainy on WednesdayRainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday. Winds 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures between 8C and 25C. Possible local showers in Athens with northerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures between 14C and 24C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 14C and 20C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Despair recipe and for 2014.
DIMOKRATIA: Heavy taxes and in 2014.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Investigating magistrate's evidence against Golden Dawn's (Chryssi Avghi) leadership.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: 'Bomb' in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' courtyard.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The phone contact that nails Golden Dawn's leader Nikos Mihaloliakos.
ESTIA: Irresponsibility by main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.
ETHNOS: Police seeking Golden Dawn's weaponry and sponsors.
IMERISSIA: Stable course - Parliament puts a halt to scenarios of political dysfunction.
KATHIMERINI: Golden Dawn's leadership was aware of Pavlos Fyssas' murder.
LOGOS: Justice's burning inquiry report.
NAFTEMPORIKI: The function of pension funds.
RIZOSPASTIS: Popular alertness. The rotten state of the bourgeois unable to confront Nazism.
TA NEA: Golden Dawn MP 'godfather' of the underworld.
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