|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-10-30
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 30 October 2013 Issue No: 4498
 Labour Minister meets with social insurance funds headsOnly zero tolerance for violations will prevent further painful cuts regarding pensions, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told a conference of health and pension funds managers at the ministry on Tuesday, ahead of a new draft bill the ministry is expected to table in Parliament.
"We are determined to fortify Greece's insurance system from violating behaviours, because only the observance of the law and zero tolerance toward sources of unlawfulness will guarantee that we will not need to take any painful decisions on pensions in the future," Vroutsis said.
The minister warned fund administrators, workers, and employers to "assume the duties they each have" in this time of crisis. "It's not possible for a whole social security system to be at the mercy of companies and employers who, with the excuse of a crisis, are not turning over the withholdings of their employees. It's not possible for insurance funds either to give out pensions without checking the contributions received or without going after their 'missing' revenues," he added.
On Sunday, Vroutsis had asserted that certain provisions of current pension laws would not change and that pensions given by specialised funds - such as public utility and bar associations - would not be reduced.
Speaking to private Mega TV, he had said that "our country has committed to and voted for certain things, which will be observed without exception...This however does not mean we will harm anyone or take them by surprise."
Age factors in existing pension laws would not be changed, he had said, or mothers with underaged children who had applied and qualified for early retirement be denied their request. He also said that after December 31, 2013 employees would not be able to use the clause of purchasing extra years to round off their pensions.
 PM Samaras holds meeting with Irish European Affairs ministerPrime Minister Antonis Samaras held a meeting with Irish European Affairs Minister Paschal Donohue at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday.
"We are working hard to exit from the programme before Christmas. And we believe that this will also be a help for you since Greece, like Ireland, we are facing difficulties and people are making tremendous sacrifices. And we hope that our exit will help you as well," Donohue said while addressing the prime minister.
"Therefore, we have two things to copy. Firstly the (Ireland's) successful presidency and secondly the successful access to the markets again," Samaras said on his part.
 Deputy FM outlines priorities and targets of Greek EU presidencyDeputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas held consecutive meetings at the Foreign ministry on Tuesday with a delegation of Eurodeputies from the Committee for Women's Rights and Equality of Genders (FEMM) and another from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL), focusing on the priorities and targets of the Greek presidency of the EU in the first half of 2014.
Referring to the prevailing conditions in which Greece will be called on to assume the EU presidency, Kourkoulas stressed that such high euroscepticism rates are being recorded for the first time within the EU.
He underlined Greece will try to hold a "European" not a "Greek" presidency that will bring the European concept back to the forefront and will attempt to regain the trust of European citizens.
The Greek deputy minister said Greece was assuming the presidency of the EU's Council in a transitional period for Europe and underlined the challenges, placing emphasis on growth and employment and stressed the importance of shielding Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) to enable Europe to exit the crisis.
 Russian FM Lavrov on official visit to Greece on WednesdayRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to arrive in Athens on Wednesday for an official visit to Greece, during which he will be meeting with President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and government vice president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Talks between Greek and Russian delegations will follow the meeting between Vernizelos and Lavrov, as well as the signing of bilateral agreements and then Venizelos and Lavrov will be making statements to the press.
Venizelos and Lavrov will also declare open the Symposium "Ioannis Kapodistrias and the modern-day relations between Greece-Russia," at central Athens Divani Caravel hotel.
 Main opposition leader claims EU 'discredited' PM at summit meeting; spokesman respondsAsserting that the main opposition party SYRIZA is "a hair's breadth away from victory" in elections, party leader Alexis Tsipras told a joint meeting of the party's parliamentary group and political secretariat not to be afraid of government propaganda, which he said would intensify, and not be affected by leaks pretending there is internal party strife coming, he claimed, from the prime minister's staff.
Tsipras warned that new measures against the weaker strata of Greek society were coming, as he launched an attack against Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the EU's summit meeting four days ago.
Accusing the premier of an attitude of "servitude" toward Merkel and of her "humiliating attitude" towards him, Tsipras said these were reflections of the strategic impasse practised by the government but affecting the country, and termed what he called the full discrediting of Samaras shameful for Greece.
The main opposition leader charged Samaras with lacking targets and a strategy and of being unable to demand anything, especially a reduction in the country's debt, which is unsustainable. The premier's argument behind closed doors is not that the Greek people cannot tolerate any more, he said, but that the EU should pity him because he will lose power and be replaced by SYRIZA. These are the kinds of arguments that made other EU members not take him seriously and allow him only 5 minutes to speak during the summit meeting, Tsipras claimed.
Among others, he also accused Samaras of "covering" government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos over what he claimed were scandals over contracts for submarines and for the Skaramangas shipyards when the latter was defence minister.
In reply, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said, "He who has turned the defamation of Greece internationally into a profession and threatens and subverts every effort for development, cannot talk about discredit and humiliation when everyone admits that Greece's image has been upgraded."
Greek citizens remember, Kedikoglou said, "and Tsipras had better look into the mirror to see who is being discredited."
 Main opposition SYRIZA, KKE table questions for prime minister on new property taxThe new single real estate tax is a "new attempt to steal the income of and confiscate the assets of Greek citizens," main opposition SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras said in a question to the prime minister tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
In the question, which has to be responded to shortly under parliamentary procedures, Tsipras said, "The last three years dozens of small and large tax bills have been tabled in and passed by Parliament - all of them aim at financially draining wage earners and pensioners. The most recent bill brought by the Finance Minister for consideration is obviously not just a seizure of income, it also aims at confiscating the assets of Greek citizens."
SYRIZA's leader also said that "corruption, the tax havens provided to large capital and offshore companies, inter-group transactions and the tax avoidance and evasion of the domestic elite have never been targeted by the taxation policy of the government, as inspection of large lists of tax evaders has never been carried out, nor has there been any attempt to draw up an updated asset registry that would aim at taxation fairness."
The main opposition leader said he was calling on the prime minister to brief Parliament why "the constitutional rule, according to which the burden of taxation is obliged to relate to the tax-giving ability of each citizen will finally be applied" and to tell "how long it will be before the provocative tax immunity for large-scale wealth at the expense of wage earners and pensioners ends."
A question to the prime minister was also tabled in Parliament by the spokesperson of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) parliamentary group, Aleka Papariga, who called the law "the apex of the anti-popular attack against the working-class family."
Calling on the government to take into account popular demand and withdraw the new property tax draft law, Papariga said that it adds to all the other taxes the Greek people have to shoulder related to income tax - the solidarity fee, the fee levied on freelancers and business owners, the real estate taxes (FAP) for 2011, 2012 and 2013 (recently mailed out), and the tax of buildings connected to the power grid, regardless of whether construction is completed and they are habitable.
"The government wants to collect about 3.5 billion euros for 2014 and for the next few years, when the taxation revenues from real estate assets have increased at least six-fold since 2009. This increase essentially burdened assets of working-class families, as revenues from offshores and other companies possessing tens of billions of euros' worth of assets belong," Papariga said.
 PASOK party criticises SYRIZA, Independent Greeks leadersThe PASOK party criticised main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras and Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos on Tuesday over statements made by Kammenos on Monday, terming PASOK a "criminal organisation" and over a reference made by Tsipras on Tuesday to the Skaramangas shipyards issue.
PASOK spoke of a "mudslinging" effort by the "far-right" and its "would-be allies" against PASOK to "achieve the country's destabilisation".
In an announcement, PASOK accuses Tsipras that in his address at the joint session of SYRIZA's Parliamentary Group and Political Secretariat on Tuesday "he returned to his vulgar, groundless and extremely suspicious attack against the president of PASOK on the Skaramangas shipyards issue that he strangely 'remembered' with a two-year delay..."
PASOK stressed that it is waiting for Tsipras "to come to Parliament as soon as possible because he has many things to explain on the interests he is serving, turning against the only period in which a determined and absolutely transparent intervention took place on the issue of the shipyards/submarines by Parliament and for the implementation of a law of the state".
 Defence Minister pays quick official visits to Georgia and ArmeniaDefence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos pad a brief official visit on Monday to Tbilisi, where he met with his Georgian counterpart Rakli Alasania.
The two officials discussed issues referring to Georgia's prospects for accession to the Euro-Atlantic institutions, while Avramopoulos reiterated that Greece supports Georgia's membership in the EU and NATO.
Moreover, they agreed on the upgrading of the two countries' relations in the defence sector. In this framework Avramopoulos invited Alasania to visit Athens given that Greece, as he said, "has one of the best defence systems in Europe".
Avramopoulos expressed his satisfaction on the democratic way the general elections were held in Georgia while Alsania thanked the Greek government for its support to his country's efforts to become part of the Euroatlantic family.
The Greek Defence Minister on Tuesday will pay an official visit to Armenia, where he will have consecutive meetings with his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan, with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan and will be received by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
Avramopoulos will return to Athens on Tuesday evening.
 Danish Parliament President Lykketoft on a visit to AthensVisiting Danish Parliament President Mogens Lykketoft met in Athens on Tuesday with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis.
Welcoming him at the Presidential Mansion, Papoulias referred to the mentality of the big EU countries, pointing out that "we are small countries. And this is important because big countries think differently from the small ones, they have other tendencies...of superiority".
The Danish parliament president agreed saying that the small European countries should cooperate closer with each other because this way they can be more influential compared with their size.
In the meeting with Finance Minister Stournaras, the Danish parliament president was briefed on the current state of the Greek economy and acknowledged the important progress made expressing solidarity to the Greek people.
Stournaras put an emphasis on the major fiscal adjustment achieved, underling that from now on efforts will focus on the promotion of structural reforms and the privatizations programme.
Parliament President Meimarakis, who had formally invited his Danish counterpart to visit Greece, underlined while welcoming him to the Greek Parliament, that such meetings between the parliament presidents of Greece and Denmark send to both peoples the message that "we can cooperate for the benefit of Europe and bilateral relations".
On his part, Lykketoft referred to the economic crisis and unemployment, expressing certainty that Greece will overcome its problems for the benefit of the entire Europe. He also expressed hope that developments will bring prosperity and more jobs to Greece "Europe's first democracy", adding that he is fully aware of the difficult situation the country is experiencing.
 Gov't spokesman on EYPGovernment spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Tuesday underlined that by law the National Intelligence Service (EYP) is responsible for the protection of national security and obviously, this will not change.
He also noted that EYP fulfills its mission in the framework set by the Constitution and the laws of the state while, at the same time, respecting friends and allies.
"Moreover, it is known that EYP cooperates for years with the corresponding agencies in the United States and other countries to combat the phenomenon of terrorism. Any further analysis and discussion as regards its mission it would only be considered as undermining its work and therefore, it is unnecessary," the government spokesman added.
 DIM.AR calls for demarche to the United StatesThe Democratic Left (DIM.AR) party on Tuesday called on the government to demand explanations immediately and at least make a demarche to the United States in response to news reports on the US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of European leaders and citizens.
"The questions raised and the concern caused are legitimate," DIM.AR underlined, noting it is unthinkable that a foreign embassy can operate as a "phone monitoring center".
 U.S. reactions on wiretapping operations involving GreeceNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)
The U.S. government is in contact with Greece and other allied countries in relation to the recent revelations about wiretapping operations around the world, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
Specifically, asked to comment on information about a "wire tapping hub" on the terrace of the U.S. Embassy in Athens and another 18 locations in Europe, including Berlin, and whether there was a reply by the Greek government on the issue, Psaki said that generally "we are open to participate and discuss on any concerns on such programmes."
Psaki also emphasized that the State Department participated in the reassessment of the way of collection of intelligence on the part of the U.S., led by the White House and in this process, as she noted, "we are in touch with our allies around the world, including Greece," noting however that further details will not be provided before the process was complete.
 KKE leader Koutsoumbas deplores further pension cutsThere can be no more cuts in pensions, the limit has been reached, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas said on Tuesday, referring to recent discussions on insurance and pension funds and the tabling of a new draft law in Parliament by the Ministry of Labour on the same day.
"There can be no more cuts," the KKE leader said, "as up to now over 50 percent of pensioners receive (monthly cheques of) no more than 500 euros, while 25 percent get paid between 500 and 700 euros (per month)...How can pensioners live on that, and go to doctors, get basic things, although they gave everything during their lives to be able to have this insurance and pension today?"
Koutsoumbas charged that "although new measures are being prepared, those already voted in haven't been applied yet." He said that from 2014 on there would be heavy cutbacks in the lump sum pensioners got at the start of their pensions, for those under 65 years of age, and drastic cuts in auxiliary pensions as of June 1, 2014.
Any talk about possible new measures affecting Greek pensioners or those planning to retire shortly is unacceptable he said, while he called for all public and private sector employees, including the self-employed, to "sound the alarm" over impending reductions.
 Admin. Reform minister requests abolitions, mergers data from ministriesAdministrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday requested from ministries details on what departments or services they have abolished or merged in each ministry and their related agencies, and figures showing the financial gains from such actions.
In a memo to the ministries, Mitsotakis said these should have been completed on the basis of laws published between 2010 and 2013, which aim to to "rationalize the public sector and prevent the burdening of the (state) budget with operational costs for services and agencies that no longer serve the public interest."
 Administrative Reform ministry calls for stricter observance of work schedule in public sectorAll public sector organizations will have to inform the Administrative Reform ministry no later than November 8 on the system they use to check their employees' punctuality, it was announced on Tuesday. Responses should be sent to the email address email@example.com.
A ministry-issued circular mentioned that this will ensure that working hours are being observed and that all public sector employees are being treated equally.
According to the circular, a unified system is necessary to ensure that the working hours are being observed. All public sector organizations that have not installed an electronic-digital monitoring system will have to proceed with its installation immediately, the circular underlined.
It is also reminded that if working hours are not observed by public sector employees and supervisors fail to address the issue, it will constitute disciplinary misconduct and the employee in violation will be suspended.
 Venizelos honors former deputy culture minister of Afghanistan Omar SultanGovernment Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in a ceremony on Tuesday conferred an honorary degree and the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour on former Afghan Deputy Culture Minister Omar Sultan.
The former deputy culture minister of Afghanistan, who speaks Greek fluently being a graduate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) Department of History and Archeology, was honored for his decisive contribution to the promotion of the Greek-Afghan friendship and for the important role he played in the reopening of the Museum of Kabul and the protection of major world cultural heritage monuments in Afghanistan.
Referring to the personality and work of professor Omar Sultan, Venizelos said that "it has been more than ten years now since you returned to Afghanistan, devoting yourself to the reconstruction of your country, under very difficult conditions, and you have served in very high offices - for many years, as Afghanistan's alternate Minister for Culture and Communications and Information."
"Thanks to you, cooperation between our governments was very close and very important, and the work you have carried out must be made known internationally. You have played a decisive role in the re-opening of the Museum of Kabul. You played a very important role in the protection of major monuments of global cultural heritage in Afghanistan. You have played a very important role in promoting the ancient findings in Bactria," Venizelos added.
On his part, the honoree thanked the Greek people for their help to Afghanistan, noting that Greece is his second homeland.
 Swedish MPs meet with Macedonia-Thrace ministerA visiting 11-member delegation of the Sweden-Greece friendship parliamentary group on Tuesday met with Macedonia-Thrace Minister Thodoros Karaoglou in Thessaloniki.
The Swedish MPs expressed their strong interest in the history of Macedonia and Thrace and the economic prospects of the greater region.
Karaoglou briefed them on the initiatives the ministry has undertaken aimed at turning northern Greece into an economic and investment centre in southeast Europe.
 World Bank's 'Doing Business 2014' report for GreeceGreece rose to the 72nd position in the World Bank's Doing Business annual ranking report for 2014, from 89th in the 2013 report, released recently, which measures how easy it is to set up and run a business in 189 countries globally.
The ranking was based on 10 indicators or topics and include considerations of how easy it is to set up a new business, how long it takes and what the start-up costs are.
Greece's highest ranking in the categories is for ease of starting a business (36th, from 147th in 2013) and in trading across borders (52nd). It also showed a significant rise in the category of protecting investors (80th, from 113th in 2013).
In the paying taxes category, the report found that despite a rise in ranking from 56th in 2013 to 53rd, Greece made paying taxes more costly for companies by incresing the corporate income tax rate, though it also reduced the employers' contribution rate to the Social Security Fund (IKA).
In other categories, Greece dropped in rank as follows, with two exceptions: Dealing with construction permits (66th, from 58th in 2013); getting credit (86th from 82nd); enforcing contracts (98th from 91st); and resolving insolvency (87th from 63rd, the largest drop in all categories). The two exceptions are getting electricity (61th) and registering property (161st), which remained the same.
 Public sector payroll cost down 20 pct, Greek minister says"From 2009 until today, Greece has made significant progress in reducing the number of workers in the public sector and of the payroll cost in the state budget," Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
Addressing a conference organized by the European Commission in Brussels, Mitsotakis said that payroll cost in the public sector has fallen more than 20 pct in the last four years, as a result of cuts in the workforce and of wages and stressed that this reduction will contribute in achieving a primary surplus in 2013.
The Greek minister noted that the country's commitments have become a basic goal of the government which was now focusing on reform actions. He stressed, however, that in order these reforms to be implemented, a turn from quantitative to quality targets was necessary.
 Lufthansa sees rising tourist trends in Greece"Greece has proved to be a reliable and strong ally," Jens Bischof, Lufthansa's commercial general manager said on Tuesday.
Addressing an event in Athens to present the German airline company's future plans, Bischof said recent data "recorded a stable increase of travelers from Greece to Europe, the US and in reverse, contributing to an increase in the number of tourists in Greece," and stressed that Lufthansa was "Greeks' most popular airline company because of the numbers, comfortable and schedule flights, its flight network and the excellent products and services".
He said that for the first time a significant increase in passengers from North America was recorded, offering positive signs for the outlook of Greek tourism.
"Lufthansa shows is constant support to Greece and recognizes Athens as one of the most significant hubs in Europe, for passengers travelling both for professional and leisure reasons," Bischof said, adding that this support was evident with the promotion of local Greek products, both on board and on the ground.
Lufthansa Group continues its investment in new technologies and has approved the purchase of 59 modern aircraft, a investment worth 14 billion euros, which will safeguard around 13,000 job positions in the German group and thousand of job positions in partners and suppliers.
 Greek PPI down 1.7 pct in SeptGreece's Producer's Price Index in the industrial sector (measuring both the domestic and external markets) fell by 1.7 pct in September this year, compared with the same month in 2012, after an increase of 5.0 pct recorded in September last year, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday.
The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to a 1.4 pct decline in the domestic market index and a 2.8 pct drop in the external market index.
The producer's price index fell 0.3 pct in September from August, after a 0.6 pct decline recorded in the same period last year.
 G. Apostolopoulos raises equity stake in Athens Medical to 38.883 pctGeorge Apostolopoulos Holdings SA on Tuesday said it had raised its equity stake in Athens Medical to around 38.883 pct following completion of a non-voluntary public tender to buy the listed company's common nominal shares at a nominal price of 0.31 euros each.
The acceptance period of the tender ended in October 25, 2013. During this period, shareholders offered 318,064 shares or 0.367 pct of Athens Medical's equity capital. G. Apostolopoulos had previously acquired 4,525,504 shares of Athens Medical, or 5.218 pct of its equity capital at a price which did not exceed the offered price.
George Apostolopoulos Holdings SA said it now owned 33,725,871 shares of Athens Medical, or around 38.883 pct of its equity capital.
 Greek authorities approve partnership deal between Terna Energy and PPC in waste management projectGreece's Competition Commission on Tuesday announced the approval of a partnership deal between Terna Energy and Public Power Corporation in the waste management sector -on conditions of confidentiality and safeguarding equal terms since both companies also have established activities in the electricity energy market.
Under the deal, Terna Energy entered as a shareholder in Waste Syclo Waste Management Services SA, in which PPC is the main shareholder, replacing Urbaser SA.
 Fairfax announces public tender for Eurobank Properties' sharesFairfax Financial Holdings on Tuesday announced an obligatory public tender for the purchase of the remaining shares in Eurobank Properties at a price of 6.86 euros per share.
Fairfax seeks to buy 15,193,523 shares, or 24.91 pct of Eurobank Properties' equity capital, along with its voting rights. In a statement, Fairfax said that following completion of the public tender, it will not seek the delisting of the company from the Athens Stock Exchange.
 PPC Renewables announces share capital increase planPublic Power Corporation Renewables SA, a 100 pct subsidiary of PPC, on Tuesday announced a share capital increase plan, worth 13,625,000 euros. Under the plan, approved by PPC's board, PPC Renewables will issue 13,625,000 new nominal shares, worth 1.0 euros each and with an offering price of 3.20 euros each.
 ATE Leasing put under liquidationATEbank, a bank currently in a special liquidation process, on Tuesday announced that the Bank of Greece has revoked the operating license of its subsidiary ATE Leasing SA, putting it under liquidation.
 Plaisio Computers says net profits up 75 pct in Jan-SeptPlaisio Computers on Tuesday said its net profits jumped 75 pct to 8.7 million euros, while earnings per share totaled 39.4 cents in the nine-month period from January to September 2013.
The company said its third quarter profits totaled 3.045 million euros, almost double compared with the same period in 2012. EBITDA margin jumped 50 pct to 6.7 pct in the nine-month period, while operating expenses fell by 7.38 pct.
Plaisio Computers said its short-term borrowing was a negative 14.5 million euros.
George Gerardos, chairman and chief executive of the group, commenting on the results said that "for one more quarter we are particularly satisfied as we achieved to improve our performance not only compared with past years but compared with previous quarters as well".
 Kri-Kri to issue 8.0-mln-euro bond loanA Kri-Kri extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on Tuesday approved a board plan to issue a series of common bond loans worth up to 8.0 million euros.
Under the plan, the new money will be used to finance an investment plan of expanding a dairy production unit.
 Greek stocks end 2.06 pct lowerGreek stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the composite index losing almost all the gains from the previous two sessions. The index fell 2.06 pct to end at 1,165.98 points, off the day's lows of 1,143.77 points. Turnover was a strong 97.15 million euros.
The Large Cap index fell 2.10 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 2.43 pct lower. Viohalco (2.71 pc) and Piraeus Port (1.95 pct) were the only blue chip stocks to end higher, while National Bank (5.95 pct), OPAP (5.42 pct), Motor Oil (5.23 pct), Metka (5.06 pct) and Intralot (5.03 pct) were top losers.
All sectors suffered losses with the Travel (5.30 pct), Telecoms (3.91 pct), Oil (3.45 pct) and Banks (2.80 pct) suffering most. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 94 to 42 with another 29 issues unchanged.
Pairis (28.48 pct), Boutaris (18.75 pct) and Teletypos (11.33 pct) were top gainers, while Athina (20 pct), Dias Aquaculture (18.16 pct) and Kathimerini (17.35 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -3.45%
Personal & Household: -0.54%
Raw Materials: -1.98%
Travel & Leisure: -5.30%
Food & Beverages: -0.93%
Financial Services: -1.24%
The stocks with the highest turnover were OTE, National Bank, OPAP, Piraeus Bank and PPC.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.659
Public Power Corp (PPC): 10.15
Coca Cola HBC: 21.24
Hellenic Petroleum: 9.35
National Bank of Greece: 3.95
Eurobank Properties : 9.25
Piraeus Bank: 1.64
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was almost unchanged at 6.82 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.56 pct and the German Bund 1.74 pct. There was no turnover in the market.
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 0.224 pct and the one-month rate was 0.129 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 1.29 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover rising to 20.712 million euros.
Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 5,342 contracts worth 10.320 million euros, with 50,105 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 18,478 contracts worth 10.392 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (3,196), followed by National Bank (2,765), Alpha Bank (1,531), Eurobank (293), MIG (518), OTE (2,894), PPC (1,788), OPAP (938), Viohalco (503), Mytilineos (783), Hellenic Petroleum (241), Motor Oil (891), Metka (238), GEK (271), Ellaktor (187), Intralot (352) and Jumbo (407).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.397
Pound sterling 0.869
Danish kroner 7.570
Swedish kroner 8.901
Japanese yen 136.9
Swiss franc 1.254
Norwegian kroner 8.241
Canadian dollar 1.459
Australian dollar 1.472
 "Ioannis Kapodistrias" honourary events conclude in NafplioEvents to commemorate the 185th anniversary of taking up office by Ioannis Kapodistrias as Greece's first governor concluded in the port town of Nafplio, eastern Peloponnese, Tuesday evening, organised by the Centre of European Studies and Humanities "Ioannis Capodistrias," the interregional public foundation Centre of?Russian National Glory (CRNG) and the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called (AFF), in collaboration with the Municipality of Nafplio.
The events were attended by a number of officials from both Greece and Russia, including Greece's Deputy Culture and Sports minister Giannis Adrianos and the president of Russian Railways and Chairman of the CRNG and the FAA Vladimir-Ivanovic Yakunin.
In a speech, Adrianos noted that that "Russians and Greeks honour the memory of the first governor of free Greece and a prominent diplomat of the Russian Empire, Ioannis Kapodistrias, here at Nafplio, the place of Kapodistrias' highest triumph and tormenting sacrifice."
He also welcomed the Russian delegation on behalf of the Greek government and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
"The emblematic personality of Ioannis Kapodistrias is an enduring bridge of friendship between the two peoples," he said.
He also pointed out that "Greece-Russia relations are at a particularly good level with prospects of increasing improvement and deepening" and added that "the life and work of Kapodistrias act as resonant reminder of the constructive role international relations and diplomacy can play."
On his part, Yakunin noted that Russians and Greeks were not united only by Orthodoxy but also by the motto Kapodistrias followed: "faith and honor," and this motto, he said, "I think it is appropriate also in our time."
 Conference on Christian-Islamic coexistence in ThessalonikiJordan's Islamic Affairs Minister Hayel Daoud brought the "Amman Message" to Thessaloniki on Tuesday while addressing a conference on "Strengthening the Islamic-Christian coexistence values in Greece".
The Jordanian minister referred to the need to promote the dialogue between Christians and Muslims, to the spirit of Islam of love, tolerance and coexistence, as opposed to stereotypes that often dominate in the west having a negative impact on world peace.
The "Amman Message" is an initiative launched by Jordan in 2004 in an effort to change the image of Islam abroad.
In this context meetings on the coexistence of Christians and Muslims have already taken place in the UK, Germany and Denmark.
The meeting in Thessaloniki was coordinated by the British Council, the Navarino Network, the Center of Social Relations - Coventry University and Jordan's Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies.
Addressing the conference, education ministry general secretary for religious affairs Giorgos Kalantzis noted that Greece is an open European democracy and religious freedom is guaranteed by its Constitution and laws.
 St. Andrew the Apostle holy relic arrives in Cyprus on TuesdayNICOSIA (ANA-MPA /A. Viketos)
Metropolitan Chryssostomos of Patras will accompany the skull of Saint Andrew the Apostle (Apostolos Andreas) to Cyprus on Tuesday where it will be on display for worship in the church of Saint Sophia in Strovolos.
The saint's holy relic will arrive at Larnaca International Airport on board a Greek military aircraft and will be formally received by Archbishop Chryssostomos of Cyprus and Church of Cyprus hierarchs.
A formal reception will take place at the church of Saint Sophia in the presence of Cypriot Republic President Nicos Anastasiades.
The holy relic will be on display to be worshipped by the faithful until November 7; a mass will be held on November 3 by the Archbishop of Cyprus.
Saint Andrew the Apostle is worshipped extensively on Cyprus, as is evident from the large numbers of faithful that visit the holy monastery of Saint Andreas in the occupied Karpas and the numerous churches on the island that are dedicated to him. In addition, many people on the island bear the saint's name.
 15 migrants picked up from sea off Kos; off-Pylos fishing boat now in Italian watersA fishing boat with about 120 migrants found sailing in international waters 110 nautical miles southwest of Pylos (southwestern Peloponnese) on Monday has entered the territorial waters of Italy, the Greek port authorities including the coast guard said on Tuesday.
Greek authorities had offered to assist the boat, but it was turned down. A Danish-flagged merchant ship nearby kept the Merchant Marine Ministry's Search and Rescue Centre informed of its movements.
Meanwhile, in the eastern Aegean, port authorities off the island of Kos picked up early in the morning of Tuesday 15 migrants of unknown nationalities in the sea. According to early reports, no other migrants or any boats were found in the area, while the migrants said one person was missing.
 Traffickers and undocumented migrants arrested at Patras portSix traffickers and 21 undocumented migrants were arrested in the last days at Patras port, during checks conducted by Patras police.
According to police 6 traffickers from Afganistan, Albania, Somalia, Ghana, Kuwait and Germany were arrested and charged for human trafficking.
Moreover, in the same period, 21 undocumented migrants of various nationalities were arrested while attempting to get on board ferries to Italy.
Police also confiscated a large number of fake travel documents.
 Cloudy on WednesdayCloudy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday. Winds 3-5 beaufort. Temperatures between 7C and 27C. Fair in Athens with northerly 4-5 beaufort winds and temperatures between 11C and 26C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 10C and 23C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceEFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: For whom does the bell sound?
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: 20 changes to 4.5 million pensions.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Who can take early pension and leave before the implementation of the new social security system.
ESTIA: Taxation in real estate an absolute farce.
ETHNOS: Salary checks in 150 public utilities and organisations and in other public agencies.
NAFTEMPORIKI: 'Operation Compromise' with troika for the fiscal gap.
TA NEA: NSA's bugs in Athens too.
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