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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-02-10
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 10 February 2014 Issue No: 4582
 'There is no dispute with Eurostat,' FinMin Stournaras says after meeting with Samaras, VenizelosEconomic issues have been the focus of a meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Government Vice President Evangelos Venizelos and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (photo) at the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) on Saturday evening.
Stournaras told reporters after the end of the meeting that he briefed Samaras and Venizelos on the outcome of his recent trip to Frankfurt, and discussed issues of broader economic policy.
With regard to doubts cast by Eurostat head Walter Radermacher in an interview with a German newspaper on the estimation of Greece's primary surplus, Stournaras said the surplus will be calculated according to the existing standards.
"The method (the primary surplus) is calculated (by Greece) is more limitative than that of Eurostat's. EU organs will be very happy, as will Mr. Samaras, with the results to be announced in a few days," the Finance minister added.
Replying to a question, Stournaras said "we calculate (the primary surplus) by the right method and the troika has been also informed on that. There is no dispute at all."
On the same issue, Finance ministry sources spoke of a technical observation by Eurostat.
 Greek EU Presidency's priorities presented in BudapestForeign Minister of Hungary Janos Martonyi expressed his support to the EU Greek Presidency's priorities that mostly focuses to the promotion of development issues and to the tackling of unemployment, speaking to a Greek embassy in Budapest event for EU envoys. The event was part of the "Week of the Greek Presidency" series of actions in the Hungarian capital aiming to promote Greece EU presidency and its priorities.
 Greece does not need a third bailout, PM Samaras saysThe Greeks are not richer than the Germans, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told German newspaper Bild, referring to recent reports based on an European Central Bank (ECB) survey that Greeks are on average wealthier than the Germans.
Regarding the ECB survey, Samaras said that is does not reflect the actual living conditions of Greeks.
The prime minister also said there is no need for a third bailout.
 Venizelos' statements after his meeting with Samaras"The question is not when the troika will return to Athens" said Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos late Saturday after his meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras at the Maximos Mansion.
"The issue is that all those we have said to be implemented, which is the turn towards the final exit from the crisis" said Venizelos to the press.
At a query on the primary surplus, Venizelos noted that "we give the national data and Eurostat will certify them as the troika and everyone else will".
 Gov't to bring in parliament legislation on voting procedureThe government is expected to bring in parliament over the next period a legislation that would change the voting procedure in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
In a meeting at Maximos Mansion under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras its was decided that candidates in each ballot ticket will be twice than they are now, that is 42 while the allowed number of crosses against preferred candidates has not been clarified yet.
Government sources underlined to ANA-MPA that thereby enhance the democratic process as citizens will have a clear say in the selection of those who will represent them in the European parliament.
 SYRIZA lashes out at gov't on changes in electoral lawMain opposition SYRIZA accused the government that the proposed changes of the law on European elections is another desperate attempt to avoid the loss in the upcoming elections.
In a statement SYRIZA stressed that the government peddles as "renewal" the changes in the electoral law providing for a cross against preferred candidates.
"PASOK and New Democracy are afraid of a confrontation over the course of Europe and suggestions for exiting the crisis and they try to make the elections a battle for specifis persons," the statement noted adding that their stay in the power is limited.
 Greek EU Presidency's priorities presented in BudapestVIENNA (ANA-MPA/ D.Dimitrakoudis)
Foreign Minister of Hungary Janos Martonyi expressed his support to the EU Greek Presidency's priorities that mostly focuses to the promotion of development issues and to the tackling of unemployment, speaking to a Greek embassy in Budapest event for EU envoys. The event was part of the "Week of the Greek Presidency" series of actions in the Hungarian capital aiming to promote Greece EU presidency and its priorities.
A cultural music event inaugurated officially the start of the Greek EU presidency in Budapest with the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister of Hungary responsible for European Affairs Eniko Gyori, the ambassadors of the 28 EU State-members, members of the Hungarian parliament, representatives of the Greek community in Hungary and other officials.
In her address, Gyori expressed the certainty that Greece will succeed, because as she said, "Greece is a great and important country with a long presence in the European institutions".
On his part, the Greek ambassador to Hungary Dimitris Yiannakakis presented Greece's main priorities at a special hearing at the European Affairs Committee of the Hungarian parliament. Yiannakakis noted that the economic growth combined with the reduction of the unemployment rate and the social cohesion, the boosting of competitiveness and the further enhancement of the financial and monetary unification are the main targets of the Greek Presidency adding that Greece assumes the EU presidency for the fifth time from her accession in the EU in 1981. He also clarified that due to the economic crisis the budget of the presidency has been cut to 50 million euros.
 FM Venizelos has telephone contact with Turkey's Davutoglu on Cyprus issueForeign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday had a telephone conversation with his counterpart of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, to discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.
"All the sides involved, especially the guarantor powers, should back the negotiations", Davutoglu said in a message on his personal account on Twitter.
On Friday, the Turkish minister discussed the latest Cyprus developments also with the UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon and his British counterpart William Hague.
The Cyprus issue was also touched upon during a meeting at Russia's Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 Greece and EU will support Tunisia, says Dep. FM GerontopoulosDeputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos who represented Greece in the official ceremony for the adoption of the new Tunisian Constituition on Friday in Tunis said that "Tunisia plays an important and stabilising role in the Arabic World and in the Mediterennean. Greece and EU will support Tunisia's efforts he noted in his address to the Tunisian authorities.
On behalf of the Greek President of Republic Karolos Papoulias, Gerontopoulos congratulated the people and the political parties of Tunisia for their struggles for democracy, peace and prosperity.
"Greece welcomes the adoption of the new Constituition and the appointment of the new government" he stressed adding that "these developments are a very important sign of optimism for the future of the democratic reform in Tunisia".
During his visit in Tunisia, Gerontopoulos visited the Holy Metropolitan of Carthage and North Africa and met with Metropolitan Alexios. Moreover, he visited the building of the Greek community in Tunisia and held talks with the Greeks that reside and activate in Tunisia who are 'a bridge', as he noted, for the better cooperation between Tunisia and Greece and the promotion of the economic relations between the countries.
Finally, Gerontopoulos paid tribute to the monument of the fallen soldiers of the Sacred Band (Greek army special forces in World War II).
 SYRIZA leader meets president of region of LazioMain opposition leader Alexis Tsipras who is paying a visit to Italy met on Sunday with president of the region of Lazio Nicola Zingaretti.
"Our discussion was very fruitful because we have a common experience in Greece and in Italy regarding cuts in local administration expenses. The local authority is probably the first victim of the austerity policies," Tsipras said.
Referring to the elections for the European parliament in which Tsipras is a candidate for the presidency, he said "the battle for the euroelections and the symbolism of my candidacy against the wrong strategy of austerity refers to all the structures of the political and social life in the European South and especially to the local government. An instituition that must stand by the citizen and should organise the solidarity towards our cocitizens that are mostly stricken by the crisis".
Finally, Tsipras said that he will meet again with Zingaretti in Athens on March 6-7.
Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is visiting Italy, part of his campaign as candidate for the European Commission presidency.
 Defence Minister in Moldova on MondayDefence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Moldova on Monday for a two-day official visit.
During his visit, Avramopoulos will hold talks with his Moldovan counterpart Vitalie Marinuta and will be received by the Moldovan President Nikolae Timofti.
The Greek minister will also meet with the Moldovan prime minister Iurie Leanca and with parliament president Igor Corman.
Avramopoulos will be accompanied by the president of the Greek parliament's permanent committee of national defence and foreign affairs Constantinos Tsiaras and by the Chief of General Staff Lieutanant General Michail Costarakos.
 German FinMin: Greece has made great progressGerman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview to German state TV ARD left open the possibility for an extension of the repayment of loans or a reduction of interest rates provided that Greece has met the conditions, but he ruled out the possibility of a new "haircut" of the Greek debt.
Schaeuble admitted that Greece has made "great progress", adding that there are though some structural reforms still to be done.
The German Finance Minister also predicted that there will be need for further economic aid at the end of the current programme.
 Development Minister Hatzidakis to speak at a conference on MondayDevelopment and Competitiveness Minister Costis Hatzidakis will speak on Monday, at 9:30 a.m., at a conferece on "National Strategic Waste Prevention Programme and Revision of the National Waste Management Plan" organized by the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry.
The conference will take place at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to a development ministry announcement.
 Council of State holds uncostitutional taxes on expropriated propertiesThe Plenary of the Council of State held unconstitutional the single real estate tax and the extraordinary real estate special duty when they are imposed on "frozen" properties due to expropriation.
These properties should be excluded from taxation since their owners cannot exploit them commercially, the Council of State said.
 KKE's Koutsoumbas blasts gov't, opposition for road toll hikes"The people cannot afford to keep on paying dearly even for the motorways. The new exorbitant toll hikes are unacceptable and provoking," Communist Party of Greece (KKE) general secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas said on Saturday.
"The public outcry should be directed both against the New Dempocracy-PASOK coalition government for the provoking hikes in road tolls, but also against the alternative proposals by (main opposition Radical Left Coalition) SYRIZA, which is now speaking of 'proportional tolls', that still require the people to pay dearly for tolls," Koutsoubas added.
He also said that "KKE has tabled an amendment in parliament, calling for the full abolition of all tolls. This is the only solution beneficial to the people."
 PASOK president Venizelos issues statement on death of KKE's Orestis KolozovPASOK President Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday issued a press release on the death of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) figure Orestis Kolozov, in which he said:
"Orestis Kolozov was a historic member of KKE, who stood out for his character and dedication to his ideas, but who also had what is necessary for a real leftist: The political ethos that dictates respect for opponents and a political discourse free of cries and slogans. My sincere condolences to his family and comrades."
Kolozov died on Friday at the age of 74.
 DIMAR issues statement on death of KKE's Orestis KolozovThe Democratic Left (DIMAR) party on Saturday issued a press release in which it expressed its condolences for the death of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) historical member Orestis Kolozov, 74, who died Friday.
"The Democratic Left expresses its condolences to Orestis Kolozov's family and comrades. He was a man who honoured the Greek Parliament with his ethos and presence, and left his own mark through his struggles and his consistency to his ideas," DIMAR said.
 Parliament President expresses condolences for the death of KKE's Orestis KolozovParliament President Evangelos Meimarakis on Saturday issued a statement in which he expressed his grief at the death of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) former deputy Orestis Kolozov.
"As President of the Greek Parliament and personally, I express my grief at the loss of Orestis Kolozov, a historical member of the Communist Party of Greece and a deputy for many years. He was a modest and courteous man, who served with loyalty and dedication the values and ideals of the ideological and political side that he dedicated himself to and worthily represented. My heartfelt condolences to his family, comrades and colleagues."
Kolozov died on Friday at the age of 74.
 Athens mayor's visit to Istanbul concluded Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis concluded on Sunday his visitto Istanbul after an invitation by Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas. Kaminis held talks with Topbas and took part in a press conference.
The mayor of the city of Athens also visited Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos (Bartholomew) at the Phanar.
 Mitarakis visits UAE to boost investments in GreeceEnhancing investment activity in Greece by the United Arab Emirates will be the focus of a two-day visit by the deputy Development and Competitiveness minister Notis Mitarakis in Abu Dhabi, starting Saturday.
In Abu Dhabi, Mitarakis is scheduled to meet with Minister of State, H.E. Sultan Al Jaber, as well as with representatives from investment businesses and funds.
 No official figures on Greek budget as yet, Eurostat head tells German paper"There are no reliable figures as yet on the deficit and debt for 2013," Eurostat Director General Walter Radermacher told Sueddeutsche Zeitung referring to Greece's primary surplus.
He stressed that until the end of March "everything is just a guess."
In an interview published in the German newspaper on Saturday, Rantermacher says that Eurostat "does not calculate the figures the way Greek Prime Minister (Antonis) Samaras would like to, but in accordance with the laws and standards."
The Eurostat head considers that Greek government success statements on positive 2013 budget figures are presumptive.
 Cephalonia will be present at BIT 2014 in MilanThe island of Cephalonia will participate to the International Tourism Exhibition B.I.T 2014 in order to promote their tourist product at the Ionian Islands region pavilion.
Despite the seismic activity on Cephalonia the major tour operators have not changed the plans the next tourism season.
The prospects of the next tourist season in Cephalonia are reassuring, the president of the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Spyros Galiatsatos told ANAMPA.
Galiatsatos said that there are no cancellations of bookings for the summer. On the contrary, bookings from Russia, Czech Republic, Netherlands and other counties have increased.
He also quoted the head of booking.com website saying that bookings have increased 100 percent.
Asked about the condition of the hotels, he said that there are few units affected by the earthquake, but the damage is repairable.
 Farmers protest underway at Nikaia interchangeA farmers' protest is underway at Nikaia interchange on the Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzones national road.
A large number of farmers and citizens are protesting against the government's policy and support the farmers' demands.
A strong police force is supervising the protest.
Meanwhile, Thessaly general police has set traffic regulations from Kileler to Platykambos interchange. Traffic moves on alternative routes.
On Monday, a group of farmers' representatives will try to meet with political party leaders, as they await a reply to a request to meet with Finance minister Yannis Stournaras.
 Tension in Malakasa and Afidnes against toll fees riseTension flared shortly before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday in the new tolls at Malakasa, while protesters have pulled up the toll barriers in Afidnes and cars pass without paying a fee.
About 500 people, local residents and members of the movement 'Den plirono' (I do not pay), gathered at Malakasa to protest against the rise in toll fees.
According to the police, the protesters set fire to a car tire on the side road and caused damage to a canopy of tolls.
The protesters symbolically closed for 10 minutes the two streams of the highway and then headed to Afidnes tolls where they pulled up the barriers allowing cars to pass without paying.
Police forces are in the area, but they have not intervened so far.
 Police lieutenant found dead in ThivaA police lieutenant was found dead on Thursday at his home in the mainland town of Thiva, with a bullet in his abdomen. As the 26-year-old man had been shot by his own service pistol, police believe they have to deal with a suicide case.
However, the fact that the young man had left no note and no serious motive for his act has so far been discovered, the police are waiting for the forensic surgeon's report and lab tests to shed light into the case.
 Seismic activity continues on CephaloniaThe seismic activity continued on Sunday on Cephalonia with a series of aftershocks.
According to the Geodynamics Institute of Athens the strongest aftershock (4.4 on the Richter scale) was recorded at 10.20 a.m. The cruiseship 'Aegean Paradise' is expected to arrive to Lixouri within the day which can offer accomodation to 600 citizens.
The cruiseship will remain in Lixouri for two months.
 Turkish national arrested on Turkish court warrant for participation in terror groupA 44-year old Turkish national against whom was pending an arrest warrant issued by a Turkish court for her participation into a terror group was arrested on Saturday at Heraklio, Crete island.
The woman was sent to eastern Crete prosecutor.
 Eight illegal immigrants arrested in a truck transferring cottonA 61-year old truck driver was arrested on Saturday for hiding eight illegal immigrants from Syria among cotton products in order to transfer them to Italy, via Igoumenitsa.
Police seized the truck while those arrested will be brought to the public prosecutor of Thesprotia. Investigations are continuing to find the accomplices.
Three year ago, three illegal immigrants had died from inhaling cotton.
Super League results
Panathinaikos beat PAOK by 2-1 at home in a match played over the weekend for the 24th round of the Greek soccer Super League.
In other action:
Platanias Hania-Ergotelis 0-1
Apollon Smyrnis-Xanthi 2-0
Atromitos Athens-Asteras Tripolis 3-1
PAS Yiannena-Panetolikos 1-0
OFI Crete-Panthrakikos 10/2
Standings after 24 weeks of play:
1. Olympiakos 68
2. PAOK 51
3. Atromitos Athens 49
4. Panathinaikos Athens 43
5. Asteras Tripoli 42
6. Panthrakikos 34 - 23 weeks
7. PAS Yiannena 32
8. Panetolikos 31
9. Ergotelis 30
10. Kalloni Mytilini 29
11. OFI Crete 27 - 23 weeks
12. Xanthi 26
13. Apollon Smyrnis 25
14. Panionios 24 - 23 weeks
15. Levadiakos 24
16. Platanias Hania 22
17. Veria 19
18. Aris Thessaloniki 14 - 23 weeks
 Mostly fairFair weather with high temperatures and northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Scattered clouds in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 4C-16C. Mostly fair in the central parts and in the south, 7C-20C. Scattered clouds over the islands, 10C-18C. Fair in Athens, 8C-19C; the same for Thessaloniki, 5C-15C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI TIS KYRIAKIS: They commit the country in nosolution for the debt.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: How the surplus will be allocated to the low pensioners.
ETHNOS: Happy medium over the lump sum in public sector.
KATHIMERINI: The gift to Athens and the war in the troika.
KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Corruption with... free pass!
KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Political opening up for Communist Party's (KKE) strengthening.
LOGOS: Court decisions bring reversals.
PROTO THEMA: Three New Democracy (ND) MPs have sent 3.5 million euros abroad.
Realnews: "Greeks have no State"
TO ARTHRO: The risks of the early growth.
TO VIMA: The mayors' fiasco.
VRADYNI: Pension with retirement age limit.
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