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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-05-20

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

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

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 Issue No: 4661

CONTENTS

  • [01] Official final results in for May 25 run-offs for regional directors; Rena Dourou ahead in Attica
  • [02] SYRIZA candidate Rena Dourou proposed televised debate with rival for Attica region Yiannis Sgouros
  • [03] New Democracy's results better than those of SYRIZA, government spokesman says
  • [04] Government supports Sgouros and Kaminis in the second round of elections, Kedikoglou says
  • [05] Gov't spokesman Kedikoglou on second round of municipal elections in Piraeus
  • [06] Interior Minister files complaint over exit poll-final voting count deviation
  • [07] 'SYRIZA puts the country's safe exit from the crisis and the memorandum into doubt' PASOK leader says
  • [08] All indications show that we'll be the winners in Greece, SYRIZA's Tsipras says in Italy
  • [09] Local administration elections will bring change to Greece, SYRIZA leader says
  • [10] Tsipras to speak at rally in Patras on Tuesday
  • [11] SYRIZA's spokesman Skourletis on the outcome of Sunday's local government elections
  • [12] Juncker visits Athens, is briefed on migration issues, metro extension to Piraeus
  • [13] PM Antonis Samaras and Juncker visit Acropolis Museum
  • [14] SYRIZA criticises Juncker visit, ND statement supporting Sgouros for Attica
  • [15] PM Samaras to present country's growth plan at party event on Tuesday
  • [16] PM Samaras holds series of meetings on Monday
  • [17] SYRIZA leader Tsipras to give a speech in Patras on Tuesday
  • [18] Independent Greeks' leader to hold party's central rally in Ptolemaida on Tuesday
  • [19] DIMAR reviews regional and municipal election results
  • [20] Independent Greeks the 'only party not taking orders from troika', party leader Kammenos says
  • [21] Independent Greeks leader Kammenos to visit Kastoria, Florina on Tuesday
  • [22] KKE urges voters to support its candidates, 'punish' austerity policy in May 25 elections
  • [23] Potami leader Theodorakis to tour regions with strong ultra-right GD presence
  • [24] Stylida Mayor and actor Apostolos Gletsos to launch new political party
  • [25] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concludes official visit to Germany
  • [26] Hellenic Paralympic Committee President Fountoulakis' interview
  • [27] Health Minister Georgiadis addresses WHO Assembly session
  • [28] Patients can resort to private clinics if hospitals are out of medical tests equipment
  • [29] FinMin Stournaras addresses ESMA summit meeting in Athens
  • [30] Business projects need 7.0 bln euros in new capital, PwC survey
  • [31] Greece needs strong dynamic to promote fundamental reforms, survey
  • [32] Piraeus Bank says agreement with MIG to offer more value to shareholders
  • [33] Greek stocks remain under pressure
  • [34] Greek bond market closing report
  • [35] ADEX closing report
  • [36] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [37] Greek EU presidency brokers deal on adoption of eCall system for cars by early 2018
  • [38] Subsidised holiday programme for tens of thousands of people
  • [39] May 19, Day of Pontian Genocide, commemorated by march, speeches
  • [40] Humanitarian assistance for the flood victims in Serbia
  • [41] Police release photographs of three suspects arrested for elderly couple's murder
  • [42] Hip-hop meets Shakespeare in 'Romeos & Juliettes' at Athens Concert Hall
  • [43] Thirty undocomented migrants rescued off Samos
  • [44] Overcast on Tuesday
  • [45] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies Politics

  • [01] Official final results in for May 25 run-offs for regional directors; Rena Dourou ahead in Attica

    The final count of ballots in Sunday's local government elections brought confirmation of runners-off for the second round of elections, on May 25, with all votes counted by Monday afternoon.

    Main opposition radical Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA)-supported candidate for Attica regional director Rena Dourou (23.80 pct) was ahead of incumbent Giannis Sgouros (22.11 pct).

    In the Athens mayoral election, Yiorgos Kaminis - supported by the Panhellnic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and Democratic Left (DIMAR) - was ahead of SYRIZA-supported candidate Gavriil Sakellaridis with 21.06 pct over 20 pct.

    In the Thessaloniki mayoral election, incumbent Yiannis Boutaris (PASOK and DIMAR) was ahead of Stavros Kalafatis with 36.03 pct over 26.19 pct.

    Independent candidate Yiannis Moralis (33.28 pct) in Piraeus was ahead of incumbent Vassilis Michaloliakos (31.33 pct).

    According to the Interior Ministry, official voting results for the remaining 12 regions (besides Attica), with 100 percent of the votes counted are as follows, top two candidates listed, surname first:

    Prefecture of Central Macedonia, northern Greece: Tzitzikostas Apostolos 32.79 pct, Ioannidis Yiannis 18.60 pct

    Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, northeastern Greece: Pavlidis Georgios 34.74 pct, Giannakidis Astridis 27.56 pct

    Prefecture of Western Macedonia, northwestern Greece (88.90 pct of votes counted): Dakis Georgios 35.61 pct, Karypidis Theodoros 29.13 pct

    Prefecture of Northern Aegean, northeastern Greece (99.62 pct of votes counted): Kalogirou Christiana 31.51 pct, Giakalis Athanassios 25.88 pct

    Prefecture of Western Greece: Katsifaras Apostolos 23.06 pct, Katsaniotis Andreas 19.85 pct

    Prefecture of Epirus, northwestern Greece: Kahrimanis Alexandros 50.83 pct, elected from first round

    Prefecture of Thessaly, central Greece: Agorastos Konstantinos 42.90 pct, Tsilimingas Nikos 17.30 pct

    Prefecture of Ionian Islands, western Greece: Spyrou Spyridon 21.76 pct, Galiatsatos Theodoros 20.55 pct

    Prefecture of Crete Island, southern Greece: Arnaoutakis Stavros 41.04 pct, Tsokas Serafim 26.21 pct

    Prefecture of Southern Aegean, southeastern Greece: Hatzimarkos Georgios 35.58 pct, Maheridis Yiannis 32.33 pct

    Prefecture of Peloponnese, southwestern Greece: Tatoulis Petros 43.21 pct, Voudouris Odysseas 15.73 pct

    Prefecture of Sterea Ellada, central Greece: Bakogiannis Kostas 41.32 pct, Apostolou Evangelos 18.74 pct

    [02] SYRIZA candidate Rena Dourou proposed televised debate with rival for Attica region Yiannis Sgouros

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) candidate Rena Dourou, who will be vying for leadership of the Attica region against incumbent regional governor Yiannis Sgouros in the second round of local government elections, on Monday proposed that they hold a televised debate before the Sunday election.

    In an announcement, Dourou suggested a debate would help Attica residents be better informed on the issues ahead of the second round of elections, saying they should be held according to the format used in similar debates between political party leaders.

    [03] New Democracy's results better than those of SYRIZA, government spokesman says

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Monday told the radio station 'Vima' that the ruling coalition leader New Democracy had done much better than main opposition SYRIZA in most regional and municipalities in the first round of local elections "but this was no reason to wax triumphant".

    He said that ND will support the candidacy current incumbents Yiannis Sgouros and George Kaminis for the Attica region and Athens municipality, respectively, even though they were centre-left candidates:

    "How could we possibly support someone seeking the citizens' vote in local government elections for the overthrow of the government? Could the government ever support such a candidate," he added.

    Analysing the result, he said that ND's candidate George Koumoutsakos would have done better if he had more time, noting that a portion of ND's local government staff had chose to work with Sgouros from the start and this made the choice for ND voters difficult. In central Athens, he estimated that ND had paid for the "blue division", with voters torn between party-backed Aris Spiliotopoulos and rival candidate Nikitas Kaklamanis, also from ND.

    [04] Government supports Sgouros and Kaminis in the second round of elections, Kedikoglou says

    The government does not support candidates who seek to overthrow the government, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Monday.

    Speaking on private TV station Mega, Kedikoglou said the government supports the candidacy of Yiannis Sgouros for the Attica region and the candidacy of Yiorgos Kaminis for the Athens municipality. Asked on Piraeus' election results, he said that nobody in Piraeus seeks to overthrow the government. He added that candidate Vassilis Mihaloliakos is a member of New Democracy, but nobody asks for a vote that would overthrow the government.

    [05] Gov't spokesman Kedikoglou on second round of municipal elections in Piraeus

    New Democracy has expressed its support to Piraeus' candidate mayor Vassilis Mihaloliakos from the first round of the local administration elections, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Monday. Asked on the second round of the elections, Kedikoglou noted: "Nothing has changed."

    [06] Interior Minister files complaint over exit poll-final voting count deviation

    Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis on Monday made a formal complaint to the president of the polling and marketing companies association about the great deviation between exit poll results and the final voting count during Sunday's local government elections.

    In a letter, Michelakis said "this happens in Greece for the first time" and resulted in "creating entirely unsubstantiated impressions and in confusing public opinion during the last phase of the voting process."

    He called on the relevant supervisory and auditing agencies of the assocation, following guidelines set out in the association's code of ethics and that of the relevant international organisation.

    [07] 'SYRIZA puts the country's safe exit from the crisis and the memorandum into doubt' PASOK leader says

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Monday stressed that the vote cast by the electorate during the European elections next Sunday must allow the government to complete its four-year term "in accordance with the wishes of the great majority of Greeks".

    Venizelos, who is also Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister, stressed that SYRIZA put the country's safe exit from the crisis and the memorandum into doubt but this would not happen because people will vote in a mature way, just as they did on the first Sunday of the elections.

    "The government...must exhaust its four-year term and Greeks must vote so that we are able to exhaust the four years, in order to complete the exit from the crisis, so the positive results that exist will begin to show and to multiply," Venizelos said in a press conference.

    Analysing the results of the first round of local government elections at the weekend, he noted that the country had experienced an "illusion" between 19:00 and 21:00 on Sunday evening, between the announcement of exit polls and the first real results, as a result of the premature celebrations on the part of main opposition SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras. According to Venizelos, this had "trapped" Tsipras into describing the upcoming elections as a referendum.

    "He raised the bar very high and thus helped to make every citizen understand what I mean, that the elections are a test of the government's legitimacy, of the political formation's resilience and of the policy for exiting the crisis," he added, noting that Greeks will better understand what is at stake next Sunday.

    PASOK's leader also underlined that people must not confuse stability with "stagnation" and endless sacrifices, insisting that the government's promise of no more austerity measures will stand.

    Asked about his party's stance in the second round of local government elections, Venizelos urged for a vote based on local criteria, while advising voters to shun SYRIZA candidates whose election would be interpreted as a 'referendum'.

    Regarding the PASOK party, he said that it "retained its core" despite losses and that those who "jumped ship" had been proved wrong because "the ship isn't sinking".

    [08] All indications show that we'll be the winners in Greece, SYRIZA's Tsipras says in Italy

    ROME (ANA-MPA / Th. Andreadis-Syggelakis)

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, the European Left candidate for European Commission president, on Monday underlined that SYRIZA will "by all indications be the winners in Greece, but we should enter broad alliances against brutality with European leftist and social forces."

    Responding to questions by reporters after delivering an election campaign speech in front of the main gate of the University of Milan, Tsipras noted that the European Left's Italian ballot "The other Europe with Tsipras", as well as SYRIZA, is directed toward the young, adding that Greece and Italy share the same "problems and causes, as well as, opponents".

    He said that he is impressed with the enthusiasm and interest expressed in Italy in response to SYRIZA's local election results in the Region of Attiki and the City of Athens in Sunday's local government elections in Greece.

    Later in the afternoon, Tsipras will visit Turin where he will address an outdoor rally.

    In the evening, he will be the keynote speaker in an outdoor rally in Bologna's central square, wrapping up the election campaign for the Italian radical left's European election ballot.

    [09] Local administration elections will bring change to Greece, SYRIZA leader says

    MILAN (ANA-MPA/Th. Andreadis-Syngelakis)

    The message of the local administration elections in Greece will bring a wider change across the country, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras told the Web TV of the Italian newspaper La Republica.

    Tsipras also noted that the candidate for the Attica region Rena Dourou and the candidate for the municipality of Athens Gavriil Sakellaridis have high chances of being elected.

    He stressed that the single European currency is a "tool" and not a "fetish", adding that after the revelations of the Financial Times, we all realized what the truth is: that the exit of one country from the eurozone would lead to the breakup of the euro. Tsipras also said he was in favor of a single currency that would protect all eurozone economies.

    SYRIZA leader underlined that "the same way that laws for the crisis were passed, the same way new measures to stimulate economic demand should also be passed" and added that "it is inconceivable to consider the stability and the fiscal pact a doctrine."

    [10] Tsipras to speak at rally in Patras on Tuesday

    Main opposition SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras will address a rally at 20:00 on Tuesday, at the Georgiou square in Patras.

    [11] SYRIZA's spokesman Skourletis on the outcome of Sunday's local government elections

    Athens and the Region of Attiki have sent the loudest message in the first round of the local government elections, main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) spokesman Panos Skourletis on Monday underlined, noting that this happened for the first time since 1974.

    Speaking on SKAI private television, he said that the vote was clearly anti-memoradum, noting that the outcome of the European elections will be decisive in determining whether there will be political developments that will lead to general elections. Both Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his government partner Evangelos Venizelos have admitted that government stability will be at stake next Sunday, he added.

    As regards the election showing of the ultra-right Golden Dawn party, Skourletis said that it was obvious that "it feeds off extreme anti-social policies and grows on social crisis," noting that "the causes that led to its rise should be removed".

    [12] Juncker visits Athens, is briefed on migration issues, metro extension to Piraeus

    The European People's Party (EPP) candidate for the presidency of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker was briefed on migration issues and work currently underway to extend Athens' metro system, in talks with Greek officials during his visit to Athens on Monday.

    Arriving on the day after the first round of local government elections in Greece, and one week ahead of the European elections, Juncker went to the offices of the European border agency Frontex in the Greek shipping and Aegean ministry, where officials outlined action taken to deal with migration flows from the country's sea borders and the joint operations run by Frontex and the Greek coast guard.

    He was received by Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias, as well as the chief of the coast guard Vice-Admiral Athanassios Athanasopoulos.

    Juncker next visited the coast guard's Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, where he was briefed on its mode of operation and its work.

    During the visit, Varvitsiotis presented Juncker with a briefing document outlining the challenges faced daily by the Hellenic Coast Guard in terms of handling illegal migration flows across Greece's sea borders. This described the operational reorganisation of coast guard forces, with more personnel and law enforcement means concentrated in the border regions of the eastern Aegean, and also a record of a trend for reduced funding from Frontex and the need to increase resources under the new planning of the European funds.

    A similar note was presented to Juncker by Dendias, who outlined the overall handling of migration flows and asylum seekers into Greece, with emphasis on action being taken, the cost for the state budget, as well as the financing gap from the relevant European funds for both the current and upcoming periods (2014-2020).

    Juncker's next stop was the work to extend the Athens metro system to Piraeus, where he was accompanied by Development and Competitiveness Minister Costis Hatzidakis. There, the CEO of Attiko Metro Christos Tsitouras and Public Works General Secretary Stratos Simopoulos outlined the progress of the project being carried out by Attiko Metro to create an additional connection between the port of Piraeus and the metro system. The project, which started in March 2012, is the biggest transport infrastructure project currently underway in the Greek capital and is expected to serve more than 130,000 passengers per day once completed in 2017. Budgeted at 730 million euros, the contractors for the line extension are a consortium of Greek and European companies.

    The work is running according to schedule, including archaeological digs discovered on site, and is expected to be completed without delays, linking the port with two lines of the Athens overground and underground metro network, the suburban railway line and the tram network and creating a direct link, via line 3, between the sea port in Piraeus and the international airport.

    [13] PM Antonis Samaras and Juncker visit Acropolis Museum

    The EPP candidate was also received by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras while in Athens, who accompanied Juncker on a visit to the Acropolis Museum, where they viewed the exhibits and panoramas of the Acropolis from the terrace outside the museum restaurant.

    [14] SYRIZA criticises Juncker visit, ND statement supporting Sgouros for Attica

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) criticised Monday's visit to Greece by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People's Party (EPP) candidate for European Commission president, as well as the ruling ND party's statement of support for the candidacy of Yiannis Sgouros for the Attica region, in two separate announcements.

    According to SYRIZA, Juncker was coming to support the prime minister Antonis Samaras and noted that "they are the same [people] that agreed on the Papademos government, which carried out the paid contract for the PSI that destroyed small bond investors and social insurance funds".

    "They are the same [people] that behind closed doors in Cannes appointed a government to circumvent the will of the Greek people," the announcement added, noting that "Greece now has a voice in Europe" and would take up the "place it deserves" and "stop being subject to the appetites of its lenders".

    Commenting on a statement of support for Sgouros by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, SYRIZA pointed to past criticism levelled against him by Interior Minister Yiannis Mihelakis, who had described Sgouros as a "failed" and "bad" regional governor whose leadership of the regional authority was beset by problems and "unsuccessful".

    The decision, SYRIZA added, "confirmed that PASOK and ND are one".

    [15] PM Samaras to present country's growth plan at party event on Tuesday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will present Greece's growth and development plan at 19:00 on Tuesday during a New Democracy party event on the theme of "Greece: A Vision of Growth" to be held at the Benaki Museum Annexe Amphi-theatre (138 Pireos Street, 2nd floor).

    [16] PM Samaras holds series of meetings on Monday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday had consecutive meetings at his office, at Maximos Mansion.

    The first meeting started at 8 am and the premier hold talks with his close associates and the economic staff on all current issues, with special focus on the economy.

    [17] SYRIZA leader Tsipras to give a speech in Patras on Tuesday

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will give a speech on Tuesday, May 20, in Patras, Peloponnese. The speech will take place at 20.00, according to a party announcement.

    [18] Independent Greeks' leader to hold party's central rally in Ptolemaida on Tuesday

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos on Tuesday will hold his party's central pre-election rally in Ptolemaida, Northern Greece.

    Kammenos will make a round of visits in Western Macedonia and will deliver a speech at a rally scheduled for 19.30 in Ptolemaida.

    On Wednesday at noon, Kammenos will give a press conference at Zappeion in Athens, while on Thursday at 19.30 he will speak at a rally in the western Attica district of Peristeri.

    [19] DIMAR reviews regional and municipal election results

    The Democratic Left (DIMAR) party's Executive Committee convened on Monday under the chairmanship of Fotis Kouvelis and evaluated the results of the first round of the regional and municipal elections.

    The results recorded by tickets supported by DIMAR in regions and municipalities throughout Greece were reviewed and it was also decided that the party will support worthy progressive candidates if there are no DIMAR-supported candidates in the repeat elections of May 25, which is also when Europarliamentary elections will be held.

    According to reports, serious scepticism was recorded at the meeting over the low percentage (1.7 percent) registered by the ticket under party deputy Maria Yiannakaki, who attended the meeting, in the Attica region.

    Special reference was made to the re-election from the first round of George Ioakimidis, a local administration official of DIMAR, as mayor of Nikea-Renti in Attica, with a percentage exceeding 60 percent of the total vote.

    DIMAR was a co-sponsor, along with PASOK, of leading incumbent candidates George Kaminis for mayor of Athens, who received 21.06 percent of the vote, and Yiannis Boutaris in Thessaloniki who received 36.03 percent (both, final official counts).

    [20] Independent Greeks the 'only party not taking orders from troika', party leader Kammenos says

    The Independent Greeks party is the "only political force not taking orders from the lenders and the troika," the party's president Panos Kammenos said on Monday.

    In a statement on the upcoming European elections and the second round of local government elections, he also noted that his party was the "only force that can represent Greeks in the European Union, the European Parliament".

    He also congratulated members of his party that participated in the first round of local elections "on their victory" and said that "today begins a great battle, a battle for Greece in Europe".

    [21] Independent Greeks leader Kammenos to visit Kastoria, Florina on Tuesday

    Independent Greeks (ANEL) party leader Panos Kammenos will visit the cities of Kastoria and Florina, in northern Greece, on Tuesday morning. Kammenos will be addressing an open election rally in the city of Ptolemaida, also in northern Greece, on the pedestrian street of the Municipal Library at 19:30.

    [22] KKE urges voters to support its candidates, 'punish' austerity policy in May 25 elections

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Central Committee on Monday urged voters to support candidates running on its ticket in the second round of regional authority elections, noting that its share of the vote in each region had risen significantly in comparison with the June 2012 elections.

    It also noted the rising trend in 214 Greek municipalities and the fact that its candidates had passed into the second round in Patras, Petroupolis, Haidari and Ikaria. KKE called for mass support of its candidates in the second round and a decisive push for KKE in the European elections, including those that abstained in the first round.

    In areas where none of its candidates was running in the second round of local elections, it urged voters supporting KKE to cast a vote condemning austerity policies and memorandums, the pro-Europe parties and their candidates, both where they were running with open support from these parties and where they were running as independents.

    [23] Potami leader Theodorakis to tour regions with strong ultra-right GD presence

    Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis, in a televised press conference on Monday, commented on the performance of ultra-right Golden Dawn (GD) in Sunday's local government elections, noting that it would be very negative for the country if a party that advocates violence has a strong showing in the European elections.

    He characterized GD as a "ghost of the past" and announced that he will change his itinerary and start a tour of the regions where the ultra-right party has a strong presence to understand "why these people feel isolated by the system and are led to such extreme solutions".

    He said that Potami should occupy at least the third place in the European elections and referring to last Sunday's election result, he noted that no safe political conclusions can be drawn.

    Theodorakis also said that a future cooperation with New Democracy or SYRIZA will be on the basis of the 20 proposals his party has presented and reiterated that he will leave Potami if it gathers less than 5 pct of the vote in next Sunday's European elections.

    [24] Stylida Mayor and actor Apostolos Gletsos to launch new political party

    Stylida Mayor Apostolos Gletsos, who was reelected to the post with 67.74 pct of the vote in Sunday's local government elections, announced his intention on Monday to launch a new political party.

    The popular television series actor and mayor of Stylida, central Greece, announced that he will head a new political party named "Teleia" (Full Stop).

    "We should put an end to those who have killed our dreams," he said and noted that his party will embrace all citizens regardless of ideology, clarifying that he does not intend to leave his post as the mayor of Stylida.

    [25] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concludes official visit to Germany

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concluded his official visit to Germany on Monday, paying tribute to the victims of the Dachau concentration camp.

    Bartholomew, spiritual leader of 300 million Greek Orthodox, held meetings during his visit with the country's state, political and church leadership, including Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer. While on his tour of Dachau he appealed to all to support their fellow humans at a time when clouds of racism and xenophobia are gathering on the European sky.

    On Sunday, Bartholomew held a religious service at the Greek Orthodox Church of All Saints (Agion Panton) in Munich. While in Germany, he also met with Bavaria Prime Minister Horst Seehofer.

    In Munich, the faculty of Catholic Theology at Munich University (LMU) - where he had studied - conferred an honorary doctorate on Bartholomew. "In so doing, we honour an outstanding personality who enjoys the respect of all denominations of Christianity, and we salute his unstinting commitment to the cause of ecumenism, to the process of reconciliation between Rome and Constantinople and to the promotion of interfaith dialog," the dean of the faculty, Professor Franz Xaver Bischof said in statements.

    The dean lauded Bartholomew's "exemplary dedication to peace, social justice and minority rights, and acknowledge his innovative ecological initiatives for the protection and preservation of all of creation."

    Bartholomew said while in Germany that he would be meeting with Pope Francis in Jerusalem on Sunday.

    [26] Hellenic Paralympic Committee President Fountoulakis' interview

    The government policy for the people with disabilities is racist, Hellenic Paralympic Committee President and MEP candidate for main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Georgios Fountoulakis said in an interview on ANA-MPA webTV on Monday.

    According to Fountoulakis, the people with disabilities "paid the cost of the ND-PASOK coalition government and the brutal reality of the memorandum imposed four years ago more than any other population group".

    He also noted that the legal framework that protected the people with disabilities was abolished and they experience their social exclusion in a dramatic way.

    [27] Health Minister Georgiadis addresses WHO Assembly session

    Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Monday addressed the 67th session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Assembly in Geneva, representing the EU in the context of the Greek EU Presidency.

    The health minister referred to the climate change, characterising it as a global issue that needs to be handled globally because of its impact on the weather, nutrition, water and air quality, the flora and fauna and on human health through the spread of viruses and epidemics.

    He praised the role of WHO, noting that it fully meets the complex challenges in the sector of health.

    As an EU representative, Georgiadis underlined the importance of the successful implementation of international health regulations and referred specifically to recent breakouts of epidemics like polio, the Mers virus and the Ebola virus. He also underlined the EU's concern about the ongoing humanitarian crises in regions like Central Africa, South Sudan and Syria and the disaster caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013.

    He stressed the need for reforms and participation of independent organisations in the WHO administration which should be free of any kind of conflict of interest to guarantee the successful implementation of health policies.

    During his visit to Geneva, Georgiadis met with Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Michael Moeller.

    [28] Patients can resort to private clinics if hospitals are out of medical tests equipment

    If hospital equipment is out of order or hospitals do not have the right equipment for necessary tests, patients are free to choose any private diagnostic centre they wish to carry out their medical examinations, the Council of State's Fourth Section ruled on Monday.

    The Council ruled on a case of a regional hospital director who decided that any patient who urgently needed examinations that could not take place at the hospital, it would refer them to medical centres in the area, by rotation, thus also ensuring the equal distribution among the centres.

    The decision affects both outpatients and inpatients. It also ruled that "it was obvious" such a decision should be applied, especially because the state must provide health services to its citizens.

    [29] FinMin Stournaras addresses ESMA summit meeting in Athens

    Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Monday evening addressed a European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) summit meeting dinner, which took place in the framework of the Greek EU Presidency, at Athens' Acropolis Museum.

    Financial News

    [30] Business projects need 7.0 bln euros in new capital, PwC survey

    The value of employed capital in the Greek economy fell by 11 billion euros in the period 2009-2012, exclusively because of the activities of so-called "zombie" enterprises in the country, while economic growth demands investments and more than 2,000 investment projects in Greece seek around 7.0 billion euros in new capital, a survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers said on Monday.

    The survey, titled "Stars & Zombies: Greek enterprises coming out of the crisis", was presented during an event organized by the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and PwC.

    The survey stressed that the Greek economy managed to preserve a large part of its dynamism during the crisis. The survey was conducted on a sample of 2,950 enterprises with revenues more than 10 million euros annually during the period 2008-2012. These enterprises represent 85 pct of revenues and 67 pct of fixed assets of Greek businesses and around 20 pct of GDP.

    PwC evaluated these companies and placed them into 10 categories, from Stars to Zombies based on the criteria such as average growth of turnover, return on employed capital and ability to service their debts. "Zombies" are the enterprises that cannot service their debts and have losses.

    The positive conclusion of the survey is that while during the crisis economic activity fell significantly, the country's productive web was not destroyed. Zombies reported an 11.0 billion euros decline in their empmloyed capital in that period, absorbing more capital than the one they produce and have negative impact on cash flow in the business sector.

    PwC said there was no strong basis for sector growth policies. All policies should focus on promoting and supporting business activity and creating the necessary preconditions to create more and bigger Stars.

    The report stressed it was necessary to change a bankruptcy code in the country and noted that by an immediate restructuring of capital worth 15 billion euros and transforming into high-risk capital another 10 billion euros, the market could mobilize an additional 7.0 billion euros through share capital increase schemes. More funding and a refinance of corporate economy could also create several opportunities of takeovers and mergers, the survey noted.

    [31] Greece needs strong dynamic to promote fundamental reforms, survey

    Greece has yet to establish a strong dynamic of promoting fundamental reforms, as in several sectors there are delays, political confrontation and social reactions against necessary real changes, a survey by the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on Monday.

    The survey, entitled "The role of structural reforms and the prospects of the Greek economy," will be presented on Tuesday by seven largest bilateral chambers in the country. It examines data, presents challenges, reflects the progress made and highlights the priorities of the Greek economy and the direct actions that are needed in order to continue and complete the necessary reform projects which will signal the country's entry into a new growth cycle.

    The survey said that the Greek economy showed signs of stabilisation after six years of deep and prolonged recession, with balance returning both in the fiscal sector and in the country's external balance, restoring confidence in markets. It noted, however, that a risk that the Greek economy could not achieve its necessary high growth rates and the necessary primary surplus still existed, which could prolong limitations on borrowing, while a further weakening of domestic saving could now spur consumer spending, leaving the country's growth in the hands of exports and direct investments.

    The basic preconditions for growth are promoting a regulatory framework of efficient governance and justice, upgrading the domestic business environment and strengthening Greek economic competitiveness. The survey noted that some reforms in this direction have been already implemented in the framework of an existing economic policy programme.

    The survey noted that priorities should be a fundamental change of mindset and operation of the economy, focusing on innovation and business activity, transforming a production basis by promoting its comparative advantages and implementing reforms. The role of bilateral chambers is crucial towards this effort as they link Greek enterprises with the country's largest trade partners abroad.

    [32] Piraeus Bank says agreement with MIG to offer more value to shareholders

    Piraeus Bank on Monday offered more details over a strategic agreement signed last week with MIG. In an announcement, Piraeus Bank said that the essence of the transaction was a corporate restructuring (debt to debt and debt to equity), a classic form of debt restructuring in the framework of the bank's recovery banking unit/task force.

    The transaction is within the framework of managing existing borrowing contracts of MIG Group with the aim to restructure its debt, offering more strategic flexibility and safeguarding the interests of creditor banks, with Piraeus Bank among them.

    Following a similar agreement with Bank of Cyprus, two loan contracts of MIG's subsidiary Robne Kuce Boegrad (75 million euros and 250 million euros) were transfered to Piraeus Bank for 165 million euros. The 75 million euros loan has asset-backed guarantees, while the 250-million-euro bond loan is part of an A class convertible bond with a conversion price of 0.54 euros per shares and an annual coupon of 7.0 pct.

    Piraeus Bank has committed to partially convert this convertible bond loan for a value of at least 90 million euros, or 17.7 pct of MIG's equity capital.

    Piraeus Bank said the agreement was aligned with its wider strategy aimed to boost the sustainability of problematic loans and to add more value to its shareholders.

    [33] Greek stocks remain under pressure

    Greek stocks remained under pressure in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, pushing the composite index of the market to its lowest levels since early October 2013.

    The index ended at 1,066.54 points, off 1.99 pct, after rising as much as 3.50 pct early in the session as the market reacted positively to the outcome of Sunday's local elections which seemed to eliminate any political turbulence in the country. Sellers, however, took the upper hand of the market again pushing the index down for the third successive session, with total losses of 9.47 pct and to its lowest level since October 3 (1,033.23 points). Turnover was a heavy 310.16 million euros.

    The Large Cap index fell 2.10 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.69 pct. Frigogalss (6.31 pct), Piraeus Port (3.83 pct) and Korinth Pipeworks (2.78 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (6.08 pct), Ellaktor (4.29 pct) and Piraeus Bank (4.14 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The Industrial Products (2.48 pct) and Health (0.69 pct) sectors were the only ones to move higher, while Financial Services (4.05 pct), Travel (3.22 pct) and Commerce (3.08 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 70 to 49, with another 18 issues unchanged. Yalco (19.49 pct), Kekrops (17.37 pct) and Kyriakidis (10.70 pct) were top gainers, while AXON Holdings (14.29 pct), Lavipharm (9.60 pct) and Nafpaktos Spin Mills (9.34 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: -2.90%

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Financial Services: -4.05%

    Industrial Products: +2.48%

    Commercial: -3.08%

    Real Estate: -2.61%

    Personal & Household: -2.28%

    Food & Beverages: -1.05%

    Raw Materials: -0.38%

    Construction: -1.05%

    Oil: -2.42%

    Chemicals: -0.46%

    Media: Unchanged

    Travel & Leisure: -3.22%

    Technology: -1.43%

    Telecoms: -1.02%

    Utilities: -1.29%

    Health: +0.69%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.60

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.40

    Coca Cola HBC: 16.64

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.14

    National Bank of Greece: 2.11

    Eurobank Properties : 7.68

    OPAP: 10.40

    OTE: 9.70

    Piraeus Bank: 1.39

    Titan: 19.52

    [34] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds fell to 5.54 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 5.68 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 6.88 pct and the German Bund yielding 1.34 pct. Turnover in the market totalled 94 million euros, of which 77 million were buy orders and the remaining 17 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.586 pct, the nine-month rate was 0.497 pct, the six-month rate eased to 0.409 pct from 0.410 pct, the three-month rate was 0.318 pct and the one-month rate was unchanged at 0.257 pct.

    [35] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.36 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover at 36.565 million euros.

    Volume on the Big Cap index totalled 14,776 contracts worth 26.147 million euros, with 58,813 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totalled 24,376 contracts worth 10.418 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (4,008), followed by Alpha Bank (2,455), National Bank (3,832), Eurobank (1,988), MIG (1,672), OTE (3,595), PPC (2,115), OPAP (510), Hellenic Exchanges (776), Mytilineos (756), Hellenic Petroleum (409), GEK (809), Ellaktor (329), Intralot (132), Frigoglass (138), Jumbo (118) and Terna Energy (172).

    [36] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

    Reference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.371

    Pound sterling 0.814

    Danish kroner 7.464

    Swedish kroner 9.046

    Japanese yen 138.79

    Swiss franc 1.222

    Norwegian kroner 8.135

    Canadian dollar 1.490

    Australian dollar 1.465

    General News

    [37] Greek EU presidency brokers deal on adoption of eCall system for cars by early 2018

    EU regulations for a European-wide emergency call system in passenger vehicles, known as eCall, will come into force at the end of 2017 or the start of 2018, based on a deal brokered by Greece's presidency of the European Union, the development ministry announced on Monday.

    Under the new regulations, all new passenger vehicles must be fitted with the eCall device, which will automatically alert authorities in case of serious road accidents at the European emergency number 112.

    Once it goes into effect, European Commission studies estimate that the new system will help reduce fatal road accidents by as much as 10 pct, mitigate the seriousness of injuries by 15 pct, reduce traffic congestion due to accidents and facilitate the provision of rescue services and the safety of rescue crews.

    The new EU regulation also stipulates that manufacturers must fully comply with European laws for the protection of personal data.

    A compromise proposal presented by the Greek EU presidency has succeeded in overcoming differences between the member-states and negotiations on the wording of the new regulation will begin with the European Parliament immediately after the European elections. It is to go into effect three years after it is adopted, possibly at the end of 2017 or the start of 2018.

    Development and Competitiveness Minister Costis Hatzidakis, as chair of the EU Competitiveness Council, stressed that tens of thousands were killed and millions injured on European roads each year, and that often just minutes or seconds were decisive in saving lives and avoiding serious injuries. He underlined that technological advances such as eCall literally save lives and stressed that the Greek presidency of the EU had done everything possible to promote the specific regulation, given the large number of accidents that occurred in Greece each year.

    [38] Subsidised holiday programme for tens of thousands of people

    Tens of thousands of people meeting the necessary requirements will benefit from the subsidized holiday programme reintroduced by the ministry of labour, it was announced on Monday.

    A total of 120,000 people will benefit from the 10-million-euro social tourism programme providing low-cost holidays, to be implemented from August 1, 2014 until June 30, 2015, according to a Joint Ministerial Decision (KYA) signed by Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis and Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.

    The ministerial decision defines the procedure to be followed and the criteria for those eligible for the new Social Tourism programme, which was launched in 2013.

    Details on the implementation of the programme will be posted soon on the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED website.

    [39] May 19, Day of Pontian Genocide, commemorated by march, speeches

    Greek associations and federations commemorated the 95th anniversary of May 19, 1919 and the Pontian Greek genocide by Ottoman forces with a rally before the Monument of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square and a march to the Turkish Embassy on Monday.

    The marchers were stopped by police cordons 200 metres from the embassy on Rigillis and Vassilissis Sofias Avenue in downtown Athens. They continued the commemoration events with traditional dances and speeches at the location, including representatives of Armenian youth.

    The Syntagma rally participants, which included men and women in traditional Pontian costumes, held a minute's moment of silence in memory of the 353,000 victims of the genocide that was perpetrated in Asia Minor between 1916 and 1921. The wreaths laid formed the number of victims.

    Addresses were delivered by the Pontian Federation of Greece (POE) president for southern Greece and islands and Erevan, Armenia, genocide museum director Haik Temoyian, who mentioned the necessity of coordinated action among Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, or all of the populations that were slaughtered or exiled by Ottoman Turkey.

    Party leaders, political candidates and press unions issued statements on Monday commemorating the Pontian Greek genocide in Asia Minor by Ottoman, as events were held elsewhere in Athens, and in Thessaloniki as well as overseas.

    Statements were issued by New Democracy, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, president of Greek European Citizens and Eurodeputy candidate Jorgo Chatzimarkakis - who called for recognition of May 19 by the European Parliament - and main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who demanded the Turkish government recognise the historical event.

    In Athens, an event titled "Barbarity is forbidden" was held at the Athens Union of Journalists (ESIEA) that included addresses by the Armenian National Committee of Greece and the Assyrian Community of Greece, as well as academics, museum curators and historians. It was organised by the Pontian Federation of Greece (POE).

    In Thessaloniki, an annual march to the Turkish consulate brought to a close a series of events held by the POE Federation at the Aghia Sofia square. The march was attended by local politicians and organisations from northern Greece and its participants posted a protest resolution on the consulate door calling on the Turkish government to recognise the murder of 353,000 Greeks.

    In Melbourne, the coordinating committee of Pontian associations held a memorial service at the St. Eustathios Greek Orthodox cathedral. Wreaths were also laid at the Hellenic Memorial Foundation and a book on the genocid

    [40] Humanitarian assistance for the flood victims in Serbia

    Humanitarian assistance for populations in Serbia hit by the heaviest rain and worst floods recorded in the region in more than a century, will be gathered by the Serbian Embassy in Athens and the General Consulate in Thessaloniki, it was announced on Monday.

    Those wishing to help the people affected by the unprecedented flooding can contact the Serbian Embassy in Athens at +30 210 777 43 44 or +30 210 777 43 55 and the General Consulate in Thessaloniki by dialing +30 2310 244 265.

    Money donations can be deposited in a special bank account number to be posted soon on the website of the Serbian embassy and general consulate in Greece.

    According to Greek Ambassador to Belgrade Konstantinos Economidis, a rescue team from Greece is expected in Serbia later in the day to join rescue crews from Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovenia, France, Germany and other countries.

    [41] Police release photographs of three suspects arrested for elderly couple's murder

    The Hellenic Police on Monday released the photographs of three suspects arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly couple in 2012, acting on the orders of a Piraeus public prosecutor.

    The suspects, two Albanian men aged 33 and 35, respectively, and one 25-year-old Albanian woman, are accused of killing the aged couple in their apartments in a block of flats in Piraeus. Authorities decided to release their photographs in an effort to discover whether they might be involved in other criminal acts, urging members of the public to come forward with any information they might have about the three individuals, contacting the Crimes Against Life and Personal Freedom department of the Attica police at the numbers 210-6411111 and 210-6476232, under conditions of complete anonymity and confidentiality.

    The suspects, posing as prospective tenants seeking to rent an apartment, stand accused of first robbing and then killing a 60-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man, then killing them with a knife. They face repeated counts of murder, robbery, illegally carrying weapons, weapons use and illegal entry.

    [42] Hip-hop meets Shakespeare in 'Romeos & Juliettes' at Athens Concert Hall

    A very different version of Shakespeare's classic drama 'Romeo and Juliet' will be staged at the Athens Concert Hall on May 22-23, courtesy of the hip-hop group "Trafic de Styles".

    Seven hip-hop dancers, a circus performer and an actor - choreographed by Sebastien Lefrancois - bring some 'street' to the stage, revamping the story of literature's most famous star-crossed lovers to the sounds of electronica but also some classical music.

    [43] Thirty undocomented migrants rescued off Samos

    Coast Guard rescued early Monday 30 undocumented migrants at Gatos cape of Samos island.

    According to initial information, the migrants had torn up the dinghy they were on board when they saw the Coast Guard's patrol vessel. They were all transferred safe to Pythagorio on Samos.

    Weather forecast

    [44] Overcast on Tuesday

    Cloudy weather with a possibility for rain and mainly northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Clouds and local showers in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging between 11C and 24C. Same weather in the central and southern parts of the country, 11C-26C. Mostly fair weather, with scattered clouds and possible showers over the islands, 15C-24C. Scattered clouds with a possibility for local showers in Athens, 12C-26C; the same for Thessaloniki, 12C-24C.

    [45] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies

    AVGHI: The first step has been taken. Local administra-tion elections send a message of reversal.

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: 4 messages-Second round dilemmas intensify.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Message from Athens-Attica. People has spoken but with many asterisks.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Conservatives lead. SYRIZA condemned.

    ESTIA: A prelude of bad developments.

    ETHNOS: Burning ballots-Two-speed vote by the citizens

    KATHIMERINI: Vague political landscape ahead of euroelections.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: One week's waiting for the elections' "winner".

    RIZOSPASTIS: KKE's results positive and promising.

    TA NEA: Seven crucial days.

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