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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-10-16

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

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

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 Issue No: 4487

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras: 'We need more Europe, not less'
  • [02] PM Samaras holds meetings with multinational business officials
  • [03] Labour minister says EMU's social dimension essential
  • [04] FM Venizelos briefs President Papoulias on his visits abroad, current developments
  • [05] PM Samaras to brief President Papoulias on Wednesday on contacts in U.S. and Israel
  • [06] Citizen Protection Min.: Battle against terrorism 'endless'
  • [07] Golden Dawn finance in past 12 years under scrutiny
  • [08] Financial Crimes Squad audits Golden Dawn HQ
  • [09] GD MPs' request to attend parliamentary discussion on the lifting of their immunity rejected
  • [10] Businessman's house searched for GD guns
  • [11] President Papoulias, Prime Minister Samaras to attend Thessaloniki liberation anniversary celebrations
  • [12] Tsipras: SYRIZA will not compromise its stance
  • [13] Gov't spokesman on Tsipras' interview
  • [14] DIM.AR rejects initiative for new center-left
  • [15] KKE party calls on people to strengthen their struggle
  • [16] 'Greece can't expect exemptions all the time,' EC Commissioner tells Parliament
  • [17] MP Bakoyannis rules out 'horizontal measures' in ANA-MPA web TV interview
  • [18] Greece-Kazakhstan Joint ministerial Committee completes proceedings in Athens
  • [19] Opinion poll: ND leads in Athens A district, SYRIZA leads in Athens B district
  • [20] Wildfires less destructive in 2013; "voluntarism the future of firefighting," Public Order Minister Dendias says
  • [21] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits Mount Athos, Thessaloniki
  • [22] Russian Tourism Agency chief meets Kefalogianni, says Greece a 'strategic partner'
  • [23] Greek growth rate was -6.4 percent in 2012, ELSTAT reports
  • [24] Auction of Greek EUAs totals 34.4 mln euros in Q3
  • [25] EU Agriculture Commissioner in Athens for congress, talks
  • [26] Core Marine cruiseship operator to transfer its home port to Lavrio
  • [27] Greek budget cash deficit widens in Jan-Sept
  • [28] Trade association presents spending habits of tourists visiting Athens
  • [29] GSEE to decide on a 24-hour strike for November 6
  • [30] Sailors, ship mechanics to join GSEE strike
  • [31] Athens University History Museum staff on strike
  • [32] Alumil founds US company to trade aluminium products
  • [33] Fourth tender for construction of mosque in Athens postponed
  • [34] Novartis Hellas gets new CEO
  • [35] Greek stocks end up in heavy trading volume
  • [36] Greek bond market closing report
  • [37] ADEX closing report
  • [38] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [39] Greek expatriates organise event in support of Praksis' programme for aid in crisis
  • [40] Public prosecutor to launch inquiry into Hellas Gold ore spill
  • [41] Murder suspect Roupakias remanded for criminal organization charge
  • [42] Police find large number of guns in Voula house
  • [43] Acropolis Museum to host Hungarian music evening on Oct. 25
  • [44] Six arrested at Kalamata airport for attempting to travel with forged travel documents
  • [45] Romanian national wanted on European warrant arrested
  • [46] Rainy on Wednesday
  • [47] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Samaras: 'We need more Europe, not less'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ V. Demiris)

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday stressed the need for "more Europe, not less" at an event on the European Union, stressing that this had been the vision of the late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis.

    "Constantine Karamanlis was a true European visionary, because he, along with many other statesmen of his time, understood the immense potential of a United Europe," Samaras said, emphasising Karamanlis' major contribution to Greece's European course while addressing an event in Brussels on "The Necessity of Europe - The Europe we need" organised by the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

    Referring to the continent's troubled history, marked by centuries of war and conflict, Samaras noted that the last 55 years had seen Europeans trying to unite in a different way, not by force or subjugation or wars but through consensus, free will, democratic rules and economic integration.

    "There is no historic precedent to that, in our modern world," Samaras said, adding that uniting was the only way Europe could hope tocompete with the new emerging powers and the new challenges of the present and future.

    He noted that this effort required that Europe remain competitive, as well as progressing toward integration "because we cannot 'think big' if our horizon is limited by our national borders" and displayed solidarity "because there is no Union without solidarity among its members".

    "And this is what Greece is living through nowadays. On the one hand, unbelievable sacrifices by its people and on the other hand existing and expected further solidarity by the member states on this common family of all. These are precisely the fundamental elements defining a "community": A sense of common identity, a common view vis-a-vis the rest of the world, a sense of solidarity among its members and a sense of responsibility by each and every one of them; because only such a community can evolve to a strong and stable Union," he said.

    Samaras ended by underlining the need for more Europe, not less, including a more substantial Community budget, a secure and thriving banking system, a common energy policy and stable tax environment in Europe.

    "And yes, a better Europe, a more interactive Europe, a more balanced Europe, a more social Europe, a more competitive Europe. The United Europe Constantine Karamanlis had envisioned," he concluded.

    [02] PM Samaras holds meetings with multinational business officials

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday had a series of meetings while here on the occasion of a European Parliament event on "The Necessity of Europe - The Europe we need."?

    During his short visit to Brussels, Samaras visited the European-American Chamber of Commerce, where he met with top executives of multinational companies based in the European capital.

    Specifically, the Greek premier met with SAS Executive Vice President Mikael Hagstrom, IBM Europe chairman Harry van Dorenmalen, Strategy Accenture managing director Mark Spelman, Dell President EMEA Aongus Hegarty, Gowan Group CEO Juli Jessen, as well as with senior vice president of Europe and CIS at AES and the President of Alcoa Europe.

    [03] Labour minister says EMU's social dimension essential

    LUXEMBOURG (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis represented Greece at the EU's Council of Labour ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday, stressing that an essential step to strengthen the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was the appropriate monitoring and analysis of the social conditions, as well as diagnosing labour market's needs and the timely detecting imbalances.

    Vroutsis added that the creation and establishment of a Results-Performance Table with basic social indicators and employment indicators contributed to coordination and improvement of policies. He agreed that this Table must be examined in addition to other tools already available for the appropriate interpretation of results, taking into consideration the particularities of member-states and without creating or imposing additional procedures.

    The minister underlined that further investigating was necessary to choose the Table's suitable indicators, as well as the sectors that it will cover. He also referred to the need for another crucial social indicator in an aging Europe, that of the demographic dimension.

    With regard to the report on the Vigilance Apparatus and the selection of the suitable indicators, he said that further discussion and cooperation with ECOFIN was required.

    [04] FM Venizelos briefs President Papoulias on his visits abroad, current developments

    Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos briefed President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday afternoon on his recent talks in Albania, Israel and Palestine, as well as on current issues with the arrests of the Golden Dawn party's leadership, continuing crucial negotiations with the EC/ECB/IMF troika and developments for the Centre-left.

    Speaking after the meeting, Venizelos announced that the President will visit Tirana in a few days and said that his own visit to the Albanian capital prepared President Papoulias's visit since, as he said, "the upgrading of Greek-Albanian relations is of very great importance, for us to support Albania's European perspective, but at the same time for us to shape a substantive relation of good neighbourliness".

    "This not only concerns the land, but our sea borders as well. It concerns the agreement on the sea zones, it concerns the solving of the problems concerning our citizens, because the relations are close and the two economies are interlinked," he added.

    On the question of rapid developments in the case of the far-right Golden Dawn party, Venizelos appeared "vindicated", saying that "when PASOK only and I alone, as PASOK president, raised the issue of Golden Dawn, I had resorted to the President of the Republic many times, speaking of the need for the activation of the constitutional arc".

    Asked about pressures on the issue of the troika, he said "we are watching the same scenario once again: an international discussion on Greece being recycled, as if Greece is the big problem of the Eurozone or the global economy. Greece has achieved a fiscal miracle thanks to the dramatic sacrifices of the Greek people, Greece is presenting at the moment the best structural primary surplus in the entire eurozone, 5 percent of the GDP" and stressed that a fiscal miracle has been achieved.

    "We cannot eat the flesh of the real Greek economy. The target now is growth and employment," he added, and termed harmful the recycling of this discussion for both Greece and the Eurozone.

    [05] PM Samaras to brief President Papoulias on Wednesday on contacts in U.S. and Israel

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be holding a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon. According to reports, Samaras will brief President Papoulias on the outcome of his contacts in the U.S. and Israel.

    Earlier, the prime minister will meet Euro-Working Group president Thomas Wieser, while in the morning he will be watching the exercise "Pyrpolitis" off the island of Hydra.

    [06] Citizen Protection Min.: Battle against terrorism 'endless'

    Citizen Protection Minister said on Tuesday that "it must be understood by all, and particularly by the Greek society, that the battle against terrorism is endless. There was once the delusion that terrorism in Greece had ended after the end of the November 17 terrorism group.

    This is finished. Every day it is proven that this is no longer true", he said, following a review of this year's summer fire period at the Fire Brigade's headquarters.

    "Our answer is mainly operational readiness but mostly the rallying of society against the phenomenon, and its full rejection by the political parties and all the social entities", he added.

    [07] Golden Dawn finance in past 12 years under scrutiny

    The financial crimes squad SDOE on Tuesday launched an investigation into the finances of the ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party covering the last twelve years.

    Following the examining magistrate's orders for an in-depth investigation given last week, four SDOE inspectors arrived at the GD headquarters earlier in the day to investigate possible illegal funding or bogus transactions.

    They will inspect the accounts books the party is obliged to keep, open the party's bank accounts and investigate all sources of revenue to establish if it has received illegal funding.

    The audit is expected to last up to two months, while an investigation into the "source of wealth" statements filed by GD MPs, who face charges, is already underway.

    [08] Financial Crimes Squad audits Golden Dawn HQ

    A Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) team is currently investigating Golden Dawn's (Chryssi Avghi) finances at the party's headquarters in Athens, by prosecutor's order, it was announced Tuesday.

    SDOE is conducting an audit on the party's books, particularly its revenues and expenses.

    [09] GD MPs' request to attend parliamentary discussion on the lifting of their immunity rejected

    A Piraeus prosecutor responsible for Korydallos Prison on Tuesday rejected a request by ultra-right Golden Dawn (GD) leader Nikos Michaloliakos and two MPs, Christos Pappas and Yiannis Lagos, currently jailed on remand on charges of forming a criminal organisation, to attend the Wednesday's discussion in Parliament on the lifting of their immunity.

    They had filed a request with the Korydallos Prison warden asking for permission to go to Parliament on Wednesday to participate in the vote for the lifting of their immunity.

    [10] Businessman's house searched for GD guns

    A judicial investigation assisted by police was carried out on Wednesday in a private house, located in the coastal resort area of Voula in Athens, the property of a businessman with alleged links to the ultra-right Golden Dawn (GD) case, sources said.

    The search was ordered in response to accusations alleging that guns linked to GD were hidden on the premises.

    The specific businessman had been charged in the past with illegal gun possession and financial crimes.

    All three have the right to appeal to the First Instance Court Judges' Council against the prosecutor's decision.

    [11] President Papoulias, Prime Minister Samaras to attend Thessaloniki liberation anniversary celebrations

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will attend mass at Thessaloniki's Saint Demetrios Cathedral on Saturday, October 26 marking the anniversary of the city's liberation from the Ottoman rule and its patron Saint Demetrios feast day, it was announced on Tuesday. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who will be on a visit to Thessaloniki as of Saturday, October 19, will also be attending.

    Papoulias will arrive in Thessaloniki on October 25 and is scheduled to stay until Monday, October 28 for the grand military parade marking the OXI (NO) Day national holiday, in which the government will be represented by National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    The prime minister will arrive in Thessaloniki on the morning of Saturday, October 26 and will return to Athens at noon on the same day.

    [12] Tsipras: SYRIZA will not compromise its stance

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that his party has not relaxed its positions and will not compromise - when it becomes government - with the continuation of the memorandum, speaking to STAR private channel late Monday.

    Tsipras noted that if SYRIZA compromised its stance, it would constitute a huge blow against his party's credibility.

    The main opposition leader said a SYRIZA government would re-negotiate the loan contract, as his party has no commitments and dependencies that other parties which have governed in the past have had, with scandals, especially the Siemens Hellas scandal.

    He said that if a former PASOK member joined his party and proved to be involved in corruption and bribery, that person would be expelled from SYRIZA.

    Tsipras said that his party is open not only to people coming from PASOK but also from New Democracy's members, with honesty being the only criterion.

    On the memorandum, Tsipras reaffirmed that if SYRIZA wins the elections, there will be no memorandum because the people would have cancelled it with their vote. Regarding the loan contract, Tsipras reiterated that there will be a renegotiation, clarifying that his party will not proceed to unilateral actions, and if obliged, it will do so only to defend the country and people's dignity.

    The main opposition leader again called Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to a TV debate.

    On the migration issue, Tsipras stressed that one of the main cause of the migration flow is the wars and referred to the humanitarian tragedies in the Mediterrenean region with victims seeking a better life; Greece, Italy and Spain must undertake a joint initiave to renegotiate EU's migration policy, he urged.

    [13] Gov't spokesman on Tsipras' interview

    "The only right thing that (main opposition leader Alexis) Tsipras said in his interview on Monday at Star Channel is that there will be no memorandum in the next general elections, because by that time our government will have succeeded in our country's exit from it," said government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Tuesday.

    Kedikoglou said that Tsipras "was in a TV-confused state of mind" and that confusion and contradiction prevailed in his interview.

    "We learned that he will tear the memorandum but will not re-negotiate the loan contract," said Kedikoglou adding that Tsipras stated that "sources exist, but he admitted that our current lenders are the only loan source".

    [14] DIM.AR rejects initiative for new center-left

    Opposition Democratic Left (DIM.AR) Executive Committee on Tuesday rejected an initiative signed by 58 widely-known Greeks for a dialogue on a new center-left.

    The party's Executive Committee approved party president Fotis Kouvelis' position that "such an initiative cannot disregard and ignore crucial issues for the creation of a new progressive force, such as the current state of society and the substantive criticism on the policy implemented by New Democracy (ND) which breeds the crisis. The necessary political stability is incompatible with the policy followed".

    [15] KKE party calls on people to strengthen their struggle

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on Tuesday on economic developments and discussions concerning the coverage of the financial and fiscal gap, said that "the people must strengthen their struggle, without expecting anything from the outcome of the government's negotiations with the troika for the coverage of the country's so-called financial needs".

    It added that "regardless of the amount of Greece's fiscal and financial gap, as well as the way with which it will be ultimately covered, what is certain is that the working people and the working class families will foot the bill again, despite the government's assurances on the contrary".

    Lastly, KKE said that "in any case the antipopular measures, of a fiscal or structural character, have as a permanent and steadfast target the support of capitalist profit-making against the popular needs" and that "both the government and the main opposition party are deceiving the Greek people when they promise them that they have the magical recipe with which they can reconcile the irreconciliable, meaning capitalist profit and the needs of the people".

    [16] 'Greece can't expect exemptions all the time,' EC Commissioner tells Parliament

    Visiting Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos strongly condemned Greece's policy in agriculture over the past years in an address to Parliament early on Tuesday, saying that the country always requested exemptions from the rules despite its marginal role.

    Speaking on "The final agreement for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013" before a joint meeting of the parliamentary committees of European Affairs and of Production and Trade, Ciolos sent a strong message when answering MP comments, criticising Greece for "expecting tolerance" in its application of CAP policies and "begging from other member states".

    "Greece was always in the margins and always came to ask for exemptions from the rule so it could support its agriculture," Ciolos said. "Now you come and tell me that you don't agree with the new CAP," he told deputies, referring to the new 2014-2020 plan. "You again want a unified model with a main - or average - form of development, and for the rest you want exemptions. That is, you again expect us to be tolerant. And you (also expect to) always go to the European Council and beg from other member-states, asking for exceptions and deviations so you can survive in your agriculture. That's what we want to avoid, to put an end to this approach," the Commissioner said.

    His reponse came after deputies asked for special treatment of Greece in view of the new CAP, and comments by some deputies that the memorandum of agreement should be cancelled. According to Evangelos Apostolou, main opposition SYRIZA deputy, Greece is also facing a 1.3-billion-euro fine for bad application of the previous CAP.

    Parliament vice president and chairman of the European Affairs committee Ioannis Tragakis welcomed Ciolos and said that the EU's new CAP is a first-class opportunity to make the Greek economy viable, competitive and a true lever of Greece's exiting the crisis. He also pointed out that the agricultural sector is part of Greece's priorities as EU president in January 2014.

    Later in the day, Ciolos attended the second development congress on "Common Agricultural Policy for 2014-2020 and the formulation of national strategy," following an invitation by Rural Development Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris.

    Ciolos and Tsaftaris will give a joint press conference in late afternoon, following a meeting between the two on Greece's preparation for assuming the rotating EU presidency in January 2014 and on the new CAP for 2014-2020.

    "The EU, through Ciolos, wants to formally discuss the Greek presidency's priorities in agriculture," Tsaftaris told ANA-MPA, "what the European Commission expects Greece to complete as president, and what its position is on specific issues." He also noted that the voting on the four regulations applying the new CAP policy should have been completed by now, allowing Greece to apply the new round of funding by January 1, 2014.

    Greece stands to receive 19.7 billion euros in the next few years from the new CAP, not including fisheries funds. Europe will expend 2 percent of its total budget to support new farmers in continuing to be farmers or expanding into production.

    [17] MP Bakoyannis rules out 'horizontal measures' in ANA-MPA web TV interview

    In an interview transmitted by ANA-MPA's web television on Tuesday, New Democracy MP Dora Bakoyannnis ruled out the possibility of further 'horizontal' austerity measures, such as across-the-board salary and pension cuts.

    "I don't think that they can be passed by the Hellenic Parliament but, beyond that, the government itself has no desire to pass horizontal measures. Now, if you ask me whether there will be structural reforms, then yes, there must and will be structural reforms because, unfortunately, there is a great delay there," she said.

    The MP also warned of the risks of excessive taxation, which she said was a threat to any realistic plan for recovery, and stressed the need to eliminate tax evasion in order for tax-payers struggling under a heavy tax burden to feel a sense of justice.

    Commenting on a televised interview with main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday night and the escalating polarisation between the government and main opposition parties, Bakoyannis stressed that in an argument, it is never just one person's fault. Asked about the 'theory of the two extremes' that is currently dominating Greek political debate, she noted that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had said that this theory did not express his views.

    "It is good that he said this and cleared things up. The theory of the two extremes does not express our views at ND," she added.

    The full interview can be viewed at the AMNA WebTV site.

    [18] Greece-Kazakhstan Joint ministerial Committee completes proceedings in Athens

    The two-day 2nd Greece-Kazakhstan Joint Interministerial Committee meeting co-chaired in Athens by Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas and his counterpart from Kazakhstan Alexey Volkov was completed on Tuesday.

    The committee discussed bilateral cooperation in the sectors of energy, environment, road & air transport, agriculture, research, technology, tourism, manufacturing and local administration.

    A protocol of cooperation signed by the two chairs focused on boosting bilateral cooperation in the sectors of trade, tourism and investments. The participation of Greek firms in major infrastructure projects underway in Kazakhstan and the exchange of know-how were also discussed.

    The committee also discussed the prospects of EU-Kazakhstan relations ahead of the Greek EU Presidency in the first half of 2014.

    A meeting of the Greece-Kazakhstan Joint Committee on International Road Transport focused on reinforcing the framework of cooperation in the sector.

    [19] Opinion poll: ND leads in Athens A district, SYRIZA leads in Athens B district

    New Democracy (ND) is leading in the first voting district of Athens (Athens A) and SYRIZA in the second district (Athens B), according to an opinion poll conducted by GPO for news website newspost.gr.

    According to the poll results, ND leads in Athens A with 21.2 percent, followed by SYRIZA with 20 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 8.5 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.9 percent, PASOK with 5 percent, Independent Greeks with 3.9 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 3.6 percent, while 19.9 percent of the respondents said they haven't decided yet.

    In Athens B distict, SYRIZA leads with 24.4 percent, followed by ND with 17 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn with 8.2 percent, the Communist Party with 6.5 percent, PASOK with 4.1 percent, Independent Greeks with 4.1 percent and DIMAR with 3.8 percent, while 18 percent of the respondents said the haven't decided yet.

    The poll was conducted between 7-11 October.

    [20] Wildfires less destructive in 2013; "voluntarism the future of firefighting," Public Order Minister Dendias says

    The 4,248 wildfires recorded across the country in June-August 2013 burned half the size of the areas destroyed in last year's fires, according to fire brigade figures made public on Tuesday.

    In a presentation of the fire brigade's work during the 2013 wildfire season, it was announced that wildfires in 2013 destroyed a total of 23,392.9 hectares of land, down 56.8 pct compared with the average size of areas burned in the same period in recent years.

    Most of the fire alert season, 77 out of 92 days, were classed as "high" or "very high risk" due to the strong winds and drought that predominated during the summer.

    Also, an increase of 108 pct was recorded in the arrests of arson suspects (190) compared to 2012.

    Speaking during the presentation, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said that the effectiveness of the fire brigade was improved 100 percent, "despite the fact that means and money were less".

    He attributed the improvement recorded to the closer cooperation between fire brigade and local administration and also, to the timely financial support.

    The minister made a special reference to volunteer firefighters saying that "voluntarism will be the future of firefighting" and underlined that the citizens' participation in the battle against wildfires is imperative.

    [21] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits Mount Athos, Thessaloniki

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Thessaloniki on Tuesday and soon after he departed for Mount Athos in Halkidiki Peninsula, northern Greece, to attend events marking 100 years since the monastic community became a self-governing part of the Greek state.

    "I am spiritually uplifted every time I visit Mount Athos," the Ecumenical Patriarch stated upon his arrival at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" International Airport, where he was formally welcomed by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Thodoros Karaoglou, Central Macedonia Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and representatives of the Church and military.

    While in Mount Athos, he will lead a mass in Karyes and visit the monasteries of Koutloumousiou and Agios Panteleimon (known as the Russian monastery). He will also visit the Athonite Ecclesiastical Academy.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch will be in Thessaloniki on October 19-27 to attend events marking the city's liberation from the Ottoman rule and its patron Saint Demetrios feast day.

    On Saturday, October 19, he will visit the Metropolis of Neapolis-Stavroupolis and until Tuesday, October 22, he will be visiting churches, church welfare agencies, hospitals and education institutes in western Thessaloniki. On Tuesday afternoon, he will be received by the Metropolis of Thessaloniki at Saint Demetrios Cathedral.

    On Wednesday, October 23, the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit the Central Macedonia Regional Authority.

    On October 25, he will visit the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and attend a procession of the holy icon of Saint Demetrios.

    On Saturday, October 26, he will attend mass at the church of Saint Demetrios in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. On the same day, the Thessaloniki City Council will declare him a honorary citizen of Thessaloniki.

    On Sunday, October 27, he will visit the Metropolis of Nea Krini and Kalamaria.

    Financial News

    [22] Russian Tourism Agency chief meets Kefalogianni, says Greece a 'strategic partner'

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/Th. Avgerinos)

    Meeting Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni in Moscow on Tuesday, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism Alexander Radkov described Greece as a "strategic partner" and noted the rapid advances in bilateral Greek-Russian relations in tourism.

    Based on Russian figures, he added, the number of Russian tourists choosing Greece as their destination had increased 80 percent compared with the previous year, at the same time as an equally impressive 30 percent rise in Greeks visiting Russia.

    Kefalogianni agreed that "Russia and Greece have relations of strategic cooperation in many sectors, including that of tourism," and expressed satisfaction at the increase in tourists visiting both countries, thanking Russia's leadership for its active support in recent years.

    She noted that Russian tourists to Greece had exceeded one million in 2013, making a decisive contribution to local economies.

    Their talks focused on ways to further develop these positive trends and cement the traditionally strong historic and cultural ties between the two countries. On the question of visas, Radkov thanked Greece's General Consulate in Moscow for their work, noting that the season had been a success and there had been no complaints from travel agents. He pointed out that Russians tended to book holidays at the last minute, which meant that they would select destinations that either did not require visas or where visas could be obtained relatively easily.

    Kefalogianni told reporters that roughly 900,000 visas were issued by the Greek consulate in Russia in the first nine months of 2013, adding that Greece was the only EU country that issued visas within 48 hours and was everything possible, within the framework of the Schengen treaty, to help Russian tourists.

    She also noted that Greece intends to raise the issue of further simplifying visa procedures with its EU partners when it took over the EU presidency in the first half of 2014.

    Other topics discussed by the two sides covered niche tourism, such as winter breaks, spa and health tourism, religious tourism and others.

    "We want to highlight the many experiences and opportunities Greece offers and the fact that it is not just a good destination in the summer but also in the winter, due to its mild climate," Kefalogianni stressed in a press conference.

    [23] Greek growth rate was -6.4 percent in 2012, ELSTAT reports

    Greece experienced negative growth rates in 2012, with the rate of recession running at 6.4 percent, according to figures released by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Tuesday in its annual national accounts.

    At constant prices from the previous year, GDP shrunk to 195.2 billion euros in 2012 from 208.5 billion euros in 2011, while at market prices it is estimated at 193.7 billion euros (reduced by 7.1 percent relative to 2011).

    ELSTAT said the decline was due to a further reduction in consumption and investments, with household consumer spending dropping 9.1 percent and gross fixed capital formation reduced by 19.2 percent.

    The authority said that the greater reduction of imported goods and services relative to a reduction in exports (13.8 percent against 2.4 percent) had a positive impact on GDP.

    [24] Auction of Greek EUAs totals 34.4 mln euros in Q3

    The value of transactions from auctions of greenhouse gas emission rights made in the common auction platform of the European Union on the behalf of the Greek state, totaled 34,439,050 euros in the third quarter of 2013, a report by the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme said on Tuesday.

    The EU body, in its report, said that auctions made in the July-September period totaled 38, covering 7,475,000 Emission Allowances (EUAs) at an average weighed price of 4.61 euros.

    In the nine-month period from January to September, a total of 25,796,000 EUAs were auctioned at an average weighed price of 4.34 euros, worth 111,900,470 euros.

    [25] EU Agriculture Commissioner in Athens for congress, talks

    Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos is in Athens Tuesday to attend the second development congress on "Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020 and the formulation of national strategy," following an invitation by Rural Development Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris.

    Ciolos and Tsaftaris will give a joint press conference in late afternoon, following a meeting between the two on Greece's preparation for assuming the rotating EU presidency in January 2014 and on the new CAP for 2014-2020.

    "The EU, through Ciolos, wants to formally discuss the Greek presidency's priorities in agriculture," Tsaftaris told ANA-MPA, "what the European Commission expects Greece to complete as president, and what its position is on specific issues." He also noted that the voting on the four regulations applying the new CAP policy should have been completed by now, allowing Greece to apply the new round of funding by January 1, 2014.

    Greece stands to receive 19.7 billion euros in the next few years from the new CAP, not including fisheries funds. Europe will expend 2 percent of its total budget to support new farmers in continuing to be farmers or expanding into production.

    Also present at the congress was Alternate Rural Development Minister Maximos Charakopoulos.

    [26] Core Marine cruiseship operator to transfer its home port to Lavrio

    Core Marine Ltd, the operator of Louis Cruises sea cruise vessels, on Tuesday expressed its interest in transfering its home port base from Piraeus port to that of Lavrio.

    Company officials, speaking to ANA-MPA, said that the port of Piraeus was already considered to be congested and despite efforts made by the port's authority to promote new works, they would not be enough to avoid additional delays in sea cruise vessels' entry and exit from the port. The official noted that each day, from 5:00 to 9:00 am, sea cruise vessels are not allowed to dock in the port since priority is given to coastal shipping vessels and to larger containerships by COSCO.

    Core Marine officials also said that dozens of tourist buses were finding it difficult to transfer tourists to the Acropolis and other sightseeing locations around Athens due to increased traffic in the streets of Piraeus. Core Marine Ltd operates Louis Cruises' six sea cruise vessels. It currently operates two vessels in Greece using Piraus and Lavrio as its home ports.

    Commenting on Core Marine's plans, Stavros Hatzakos, managing director of Piraeus Port Organisation (OLP), said the Piraeus port cannot be compared with the Lavrio port since its installations are among the biggest in the Mediterranean, while he added that the organisation's current investment plan included the creation of two more new generation-vessels docking stations.

    [27] Greek budget cash deficit widens in Jan-Sept

    Greek budget cash deficit widened in the January-September period, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday. The central bank, in a report, said that the central government's deficit rose to 8.8 billion euros in the nine-month period, from 6.5 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2012. The bank's figures showed a primary deficit of 3.3 billion euros, up from a shortfall of 543 million euros in the same period last year. It should be noted that if proceeds worth 1.5 billion euros from the transfer of Greek state bond yield returns by European central banks were included in the cash deficit figures and spending worth 4.82 billion euros were deducted (from repayment of overdue debt to the private sector) then the Greek budget showed a primary surplus of 3.3 billion euros, around the same figure reported by the finance ministry for the nine-month period.

    On a cash basis, however, budget revenues were down 4.0 pct to 32.7 billion euros in the January-September period, from 34 billion euros last year, while regular budget spending grew 5.4 pct to 42.6 billion euros, leaving a state budget deficit of 8.7 billion euros, up 33.6 pct from last year. Spending on interest payments totaled 5.4 billion euros, down from 5.9 billion euros in 2012.

    [28] Trade association presents spending habits of tourists visiting Athens

    Cruiseship tourists spend more money on average than other tourists, most of which goes to shopping other than food or beverages, according to research by the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE).

    In a study tracking habits of visitors to Athens between August and October, ESEE found that the per capita spending of a cruiseship tourist - spending an average of 6.5 hours off the ship - amounted to 67.2 euros (44.3 euros spent at shops and 15.5 euros spent at food establishments including cafes and bars).

    The rest of tourists in Athens spent on average 64.1 euros, of which 30.1 euros was spent at food establishments, including cafes and bars, while they spent 29.8 euros shopping.

    In terms of points of preference, most activity was observed to and from the Acropolis and Syntagma Square, especially the route Syntagma Square-Ermou Street-Monastiraki district-Acropolis site.

    Omonia Square, where many hotels are located, was popular also as a gate to the capital's shopping district, while the Gazi-Keramikos district attracted a lot of tourists as part of the "great archaeological walk of Athens", as did Zappion Hall, the Panathenaic Stadium ("Kallimarmaro") and the Temple of Zeus nearby.

    The research also showed that cruiseship passengers belonged to a higher income bracket, the distribution of sexes is almost the same, with a slim majority of women, and the average age compared to the general tourist population was higher. The largest group among cruiseship passengers belongs to the 45-54 age bracket, 9 of 10 have completed university-level education, while most had annual incomes ranging from 30,000 euros to 70,000 euros.

    In terms of country of origin for all tourists overall, most male tourists were from Holland (62 percent), while most women were from France (63 percent). The largest age group was that between 25 and 34 years old, and again, 9 out of 10 had completed higher education. The analysis of educational levels for tourists surveyed did not show a statistically significant difference per country of residence.

    In terms of income level, there was a fairly equal distribution of tourists overall over a wide range, from under 15,000 euros annually to over 70,000 euros annually.

    [29] GSEE to decide on a 24-hour strike for November 6

    The board of the private sector umbrella union GSEE will meet on Wednesday to decide on a 24-hour nationwide strike for November 6, it was announced on Tuesday.

    Discussion will focus on a proposal by the union's executive committee as regards the future of mobilizations, while the positions of member federations and labour centers on the form of likely mobilizations will also be assessed.

    [30] Sailors, ship mechanics to join GSEE strike

    The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) will call a 24-hour strike the same day Greece's umbrella union for private sector employees, GSEE, calls a national strike, it said Tuesday.

    GSEE is considering a 24-hour strike on November 6, which mechanics and sailors of merchant marine ships have said they will support through their respective unions, PEMEN and PENEN.

    In their announcements, the unions are protesting "an avalanche of anti-labour measures and policies, a continual reduction in shipping staff that has reached dramatic levels, an increase in unemployment, and intensified job responsibilities for the sailors remaining, by constantly violating existing regulations". The measures, they charged, aim at "demolishing the sector and their labour and social rights".

    [31] Athens University History Museum staff on strike

    The Athens University History Museum remains closed due to a strike called by staff protesting against their suspension and possible eventual dismissal of roughly half their number under the public sector employee "mobility programme," according to a letter they addressed to mass media on Tuesday.

    They underlined that if the imminent "mobility programme" goes ahead, the museum will be severely understaffed, hampering its work and leading to the suspension of many of its functions.

    In the letter, History Museum staff members underlined that it will remain closed on weekdays and on the first and last Sunday of the month. Therefore, all scheduled free guided tours on the first Sunday of the month are being suspended, as well as the educational programme for families scheduled for the last Sunday of the month. Educational programmes and guided tours for schoolchildren and adult groups scheduled for weekdays are also canceled, the museum's staff members underlined, apologizing for the inconvenience they might cause due to cancellations of scheduled events like conferences, lectures, concerts, shows, seminars etc.

    [32] Alumil founds US company to trade aluminium products

    Alumil SA, a Greek aluminium product company, founded Alumil Fabrication, Inc. in the United States, it announced Tuesday.

    According to the announcement, the new company, fully owned by Alumil SA, will sell its parent company's and other companies' aluminium products, construction materials, photovoltaic and wind generators, and plastic and glass materials.

    The parent company has been trading in the Athens Stock Exchange since 1998; officials said the founding of the new company would not affect significantly the group's financial results.

    [33] Fourth tender for construction of mosque in Athens postponed

    A fourth tender for the construction of a mosque in Athens' Votanikos district has been postponed until October 24, it was announced. The tender - the fourth after previous tenders ended without the submission of bids - was scheduled to take place on Tuesday but was rescheduled because the chairman of the committee evaluating the bids was absent due to ill health.

    Roughly 25 companies had been invited to participate.

    The tender is being offered by the general secretariat for public works special service for buildings and has a budget of 946,000 euros.

    [34] Novartis Hellas gets new CEO

    Ricardo Canevari is the new CEO of Novartis Hellas as of October 1, replacing Georg Schroeckenfuchs, who was appointed to Novartis Italy.

    Canevari has held managerial positions in Italy, the United States and most recently in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from where he oversaw company activities in that country as well as in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, FYROM, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.

    [35] Greek stocks end up in heavy trading volume

    Greek stocks ended slightly higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday after an early strong rally that had temporarily pushed the composite index of the market to new highs for 2013, which was all but reversed by a wave of profit taking selling. Blue chip stocks were at the focus of investment activity while other blue chips such as PPC, Coca Cola HBC, Metka, Jumbo and Titan came under pressure. The composite index ended 0.06 pct higher at 1,119.99 points, after rising as much as 3.03 pct during the session. Turnover remained at impressively high levels (173.27 million euros).

    The Large Cap index fell 0.30 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.82 pct higher. The Financial Services (3.49 pct), Banks (3.11 pct) and Technology (2.21 pct) sectors were top gainers, while Personal Products (3.24 pct), Food (2.35 pct) and Utilities (2.30 pct) suffered losses.

    National Bank (4.84 pct), Hellenic Exchanges (4.46 pct), Piraeus Bank (2.67 pct) and Korinth Pipeworks (1.99 pct) were top gainers, while Metka (4.81 pct), Jumbo (4.30 pct), Frigoglass (3.31 pct) and PPC (2.82 pct) were top losers.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 90 to 55 with another 25 issues unchanged. Teletypos (20 pct), Varvaresos (19.66 pct) and Attica Publications (18.81 pct) were top gainers, while Athina (20 pct), PC Systems (20 pct) and Logismos (9.90 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Industrials: -1.44%

    Commercial: +0.65%

    Construction: -0.61%

    Oil & Gas: -0.70%

    Personal & Household: -3.24%

    Raw Materials: +0.53%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.69%

    Technology: +2.21%

    Telecoms: -0.66%

    Banks: +3.11%

    Food & Beverages: -2.35%

    Health: +0.70%

    Utilities: -2.30%

    Financial Services: +3.49%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, National Bank, OTE, Alpha Bank and OPAP.

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.632

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.65

    Coca Cola HBC: 20.12

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.94

    National Bank of Greece: 3.90

    Eurobank Properties : 7.68

    OPAP: 9.17

    OTE: 9.00

    Piraeus Bank: 1.54

    Titan: 18.20

    [36] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 6.43 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 6.99 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 8.32 pct and the German Bund 1.89 pct. Turnover in the market totaled 25 million euros, of which 23 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 2.0 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.53 pct, the nine-month rate was 0.44 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.

    [37] ADEX closing report

    The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a small premium of 0.32 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover rising sharply to 92.165 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 40,929 contracts worth 77.992 million euros, with 51,875 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 51,306 contracts worth 14.173 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (20,979), followed by National Bank (13,002), Piraeus Bank (7,247), MIG (1,471), OTE (2,191), PPC (1,133), OPAP (842), Mytilineos (1,122), Hellenic Petroleum (715), Motor Oil (260), GEK (305), Intralot (647), Ellaktor (181), Eurobank (138) and Hellenic Exchanges (279).

    [38] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.369

    Pound sterling 0.859

    Danish kroner 7.570

    Swedish kroner 8.893

    Japanese yen 134.88

    Swiss franc 1.254

    Norwegian kroner 8.239

    Canadian dollar 1.418

    Australian dollar 1.438

    General News

    [39] Greek expatriates organise event in support of Praksis' programme for aid in crisis

    Members of the Greek-American community on the east coast have organised an event in Los Angeles to support the 'Plus to Minus' (Syn sto Plin) programme providing humanitarian aid to victims of the economic crisis in Greece, organised by the non-governmental organisation Praksis

    The 'hostesses' included Olympia Dukakis, Melina Kanakaredes, Maria Menounos and Cat Cora, who offered their support to Praksis, which for the past 18 years has been involved in offering direct and free medical treatment, psychological and legal support to the homeless, poor, uninsured, refugees and immigrants in Greece.

    The aim of the 'Plus to Minus' programme that began in 2012 with financial and moral support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is to help families facing severe financial difficulties due to unemployment, who risk being made homeless. Its aim is for at least one of the two parents to return to the labour market so that the family can keep their home.

    It also runs two homeless shelters in Athens and Piraeus and plans to open a third in Thessaloniki, offering support to 200 people on a daily basis.

    Among others, the event was attended by Nia Vardalos, George Kotsiopoulos, Ellen Hollman, Ashley Palmer, Branca Ferrazo and Max Ryan. It featured a silent auction of products and services in support of the programme, all originating from donations.

    Organiser Jane Owen stressed that it was important for all Greeks to support Greece at a time when the need was so great. For more information on Praksis and other ways to financially support its work, visit the organisation's website www.praksis.gr

    [40] Public prosecutor to launch inquiry into Hellas Gold ore spill

    The head of the first-instance court public prosecutors Evangelos Mademlis on Tuesday instructed public prosecutor Anna Karamoschoglou to launch a preliminary inquiry into an ore spill on board a ship in Thessaloniki port the previous week.

    The incident involved a container of potentially hazardous or toxic ores extracted by the mining company Hellas Gold, which leaked during transportation and had to be removed from the port.

    The inquiry will examine whether any criminal offences have been committed, including any that arise during the course of the inquiry.

    Prosecuting authorities have also ordered a separate preliminary inquiry into an ore spill from a truck transporting material on behalf of Hellas Gold, which occurred in September in the northern Greek municipality of Volvi.

    [41] Murder suspect Roupakias remanded for criminal organization charge

    Giorgos Roupakias, a murder suspect that has confessed to stabbing musician Pavlos Fyssas, will also be remanded in custody for a charge of participating in a criminal organization allegedly formed by the ultra-right party Golden Dawn (GD), following a unanimous decision by the examining magistrates and prosecutor after he testified on Tuesday.

    Roupakias, is already being held on remand in Malandrinos Prison for the murder of 34-year-old Fyssas in Piraeus' Keratsini district last month.

    Based on the GD case file, Roupakias ranked high in the organization's structure despite his testimony, in which he insisted that he belonged to the party's rank and file.

    According to sources, the examining magistrates have testimonies that place Roupakias in the leadership group of the

    GD local offices in Piraeus' Nikea district and implicate him in GD "operations".

    [42] Police find large number of guns in Voula house

    A significant number of weapons and other objects have been found so far in a villa in Panorama, Voula, southeast of Athens, owned by a fugitive businessman, police announced on Tuesday evening.

    The operation was part of police investigation -with contribution by the Internal Affairs- in the framework of the far-right Golden Dawn case.

    The fugitive businessman is involved in a FBB bank loan case of detained ship-owner Victor Restis.

    Police said they have so far found some 20 US-made semiautomatic shotguns specifically, for which licenses were issued as shotguns, but are still examining the weapons to determine whether they qualify as shotguns.

    A same type semi-automatic shotgun was found in another house in Palaio Faliro district, also owned by the businessman.

    The search in the Voula house has also found some 60 knives of various types, 10 gun sight laser pointers and two taser guns, all of which were seized.

    [43] Acropolis Museum to host Hungarian music evening on Oct. 25

    The Acropolis Museum is to host an evening of music dedicated to renowned Hungarian composers and artists next Friday, October 25, to mark Hungarian National Day and the start of Hungary's presidency of the Visegrad Group in 2013-2014.

    The performance will take place on the museum second-floor balcony, while the programme includes classical music by Liszt and Hubay and the Hungarian dances of Johannes Brahms, as well as modern Hungarian music by Gyoergy Kurt?g, performed by the ensemble Edan Duo.

    It is taking place with the support of the Hungarian Embassy in Athens.

    [44] Six arrested at Kalamata airport for attempting to travel with forged travel documents

    Five Syrian nationals aged between 23-29 and a 51-year-old Georgian woman were arrested at Kalamata airport, in the Peloponnese, at noon on Tuesday, charged with forgery after attempting to travel with forged travel documents.

    A check of travel documents for a flight to Milan, in Italy, revealed that the six foreign nationals showed two forged Polish identity cards, two forged Italian identity cards, one forged Greek identity card and one forged Romanian identity card.

    [45] Romanian national wanted on European warrant arrested

    A 28 year-old Romanian national wanted on a European warrant issued by the Romanian authorities for robbery, was arrested on Tuesday in Argos.

    The accused will be sent before Nafplio prosecutor.

    Weather forecast

    [46] Rainy on Wednesday

    Rainy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday. Winds 2-7 beaufort. Temperatures between 12C and 27C. Local showers in Athens with southerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 14C and 26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 16C and 22C.

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

    AVGHI: Fall into 'void'.

    DIMOKRATIA: Who and how will receive the heating oil subsidy.

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Who are entitled to the heating oil subsidy.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Confusion prevails in apartment buildings over the heating issue.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Six changes in self-employed social security organisation (OAEE).

    ESTIA: Statism reproduces.

    ETHNOS: The terrorism nightmare returns.

    IMERISSIA: 'Blind' pressures - Agony extended - Decisions in December or January.

    KATHIMERINI: Bras de fer with troika (EC, ECB, IMF) over the measures.

    LOGOS: Heating oil subsidy sealed at 0.35 cents.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Foreign investors seek opportunities in Greek businesses

    RIZOSPASTIS: Labour movement and popular alliance the driving force of counter attack.

    TA NEA: Guerilla war with the troika.

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