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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-06-23

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

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

Monday, 23 June 2014 Issue No: 4689

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras inaugurates Iraklio Archaeological Museum renovated premises in presence of Chinese counterpart
  • [02] Chinese PM Li Keqiang says Greek-Chinese cooperation has great prospects
  • [03] Chinese PM Li Keqiang visits Knossos, accompanied by Greek counterpart
  • [04] Chinese PM Li Keqiang departs from Crete, concluding visit to Greece
  • [05] FM Venizelos' meetings in Luxembourg and Brussels
  • [06] SYRIZA's Central Committee adopts party leader Alexis Tsipras' strategy
  • [07] Tsipras presents plan for presidential election, SYRIZA reconstruction
  • [08] SYRIZA leader says struggle for re-establishment of Europe continuous and unabated
  • [09] 'SYRIZA's allegations over phone tapping are ridiculous,' government spokesperson says
  • [10] Kouvelis calls for coordinated dialogue for DIMAR's future
  • [11] Shipping minister says of heroin case, biggest quantity found at European and possibly global level
  • [12] Panhellenic Medical Association appeals to Council of State over claw back mechanism
  • [13] Areios Pagos, Court of Audit Presidents to retire judiciary
  • [14] Greece is the top tourist destination for Austrians this summer
  • [15] Austrian paper Die Presse issues special tourist report on Greece
  • [16] Luxury cruise ship 'Oceania Insignia' docks at Souda
  • [17] Loutraki Casino operating as normal as of Saturday night
  • [18] Woman arrested for extracting money from elderly people after pretending to be Patriarchate representative
  • [19] 14 arrested in latest heroin smuggling case to testify before Prosecutors on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • [20] New quantities of heroin found in warehouse in Koropi
  • [21] Man arrested for illicit trade, contraband cigarettes
  • [22] Fair on Monday
  • [23] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras inaugurates Iraklio Archaeological Museum renovated premises in presence of Chinese counterpart

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras inaugurated the renovated premises of the Archaeological Museum of Iraklio on Saturday, in the presence of his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, who will be concluding his visit to the island of Crete in the afternoon, stressing in his address the multiple messages for Greek-Chinese cooperation and the linking of the past with an encouraging future.

    The prime minister welcomed Keqiang as the first visitor of the renovated Museum, but mainly as "a true friend who is coming from far away", adding that "we are sharing with our cultures the common knowledge that brings us closer".

    Samaras then made special references to Minoan culture, stressing that it constitutes splendid capital in the duration of Greek culture. He spoke of strong roots and of the history and mythology of Crete, praising the island's leading role from ancient times with the tradition of the sea and its role as the crossroads of three continents and as a hub, while terming Minoan Crete "the focus of discoveries and of technology".

    Samaras also said that 61 major cultural projects are taking place on the island which will have changed Crete's cultural map by 2015 and that more than 100 million euros are being spent that provide jobs and "constitute a field of know-how for manpower".

    The Greek prime minister told Keqiang "friends demolish obstacles and build bridges" and gave him symbolically the ticket with the number 1 that came out of the Museum's ticket office in his name.

    [02] Chinese PM Li Keqiang says Greek-Chinese cooperation has great prospects

    Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, speaking during his visit to the Archaeological Museum in Iraklio, accompanied by his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, stressed that Greek-Chinese cooperation has great prospects and that "we shall continue to strengthen the policy of trust and cooperation policies between us".

    Keqiang expressed his admiration for Crete, "the roots of Europe" and for Minoan culture. He added that it was a great honour for him to be one of the first visitors to the premises and said he was impressed by the exhibits, "the valuable cultural goods that describe the history of Minoan culture".

    He spoke of a historic base and of similarities between the cultures of Greece and China and focused on culture's contribution to mankind's multilateral development.

    The Chinese prime minister once again thanked Greece and Crete for the repatriation of 13,000 of his fellow countrymen from Libya, in February 2011, saying "we shall never forget this".

    [03] Chinese PM Li Keqiang visits Knossos, accompanied by Greek counterpart

    Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited the archaeological site of Knossos, on the island of Crete, on Saturday morning, accompanied by his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, who arrived at the location shortly before 10 a.m. to welcome him.

    The two prime ministers toured the Minoan palace, accompanied by Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas, Culture secretary general Lina Mendoni, Crete regional governor Stavros Arnaoutakis and local deputies.

    The two prime ministers will also be visiting the Iraklio Archaeological Museum, where Samaras will be inaugurating the premises of the renovated museum that was delivered for use recently.

    Earlier, the Chinese prime minister was visited by Arnaoutakis at the hotel in Hersonissos where he is staying and discussed issues concerning Crete and possible cooperation with China.

    [04] Chinese PM Li Keqiang departs from Crete, concluding visit to Greece

    Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang departed from Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Iraklio, on the island of Crete, on Saturday afternoon after concluding his visit to Greece.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni, Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas, deputy ministers, deputies and local authority officials bid him and the members of his mission farewell at the airport.

    [05] FM Venizelos' meetings in Luxembourg and Brussels

    The developments in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria as well as EU's relations with Turkey and Albania are on the agenda of the EU and NATO summits, to be held this week in Luxembourg and Brussels, in which Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will participate.

    On Sunday evening, Venizelos will attend an informal meeting of European and Arab Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg for a discussion of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.

    On Monday morning, Venizelos will head the European delegation at the EU-Turkey Association Council in Luxembourg. The Turkish delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, while EU Affairs minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will also participate. All the crucial international and regional issues are expected to be raised, with particular reference to the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue. Venizelos, Davutoglu and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule will hold a joint press conference after the end of the meeting.

    On Tuesday evening and on Wednesday, the two Foreign ministers will participate in the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, the agenda for which includes the developments in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan and also issues regarding the prospects of new members and the strategic partnership with them. It is almost certain that Venizelos and Davutoglu will have the opportunity for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the official meetings.

    Ukraine's new Foreign Minister on Monday will brief the Foreign Affairs Council to be held in Luxembourg on the developments in Ukraine and the initiatives taken by President Petro Poroshenko.

    On Tuesday morning, Venizelos will chair the EU-Montenegro Intergovernmental Conference and then the General Affairs Council (GAC), which essentially concludes Greece's EU presidency.

    The GAC will prepare the agenda for the European Council to be held on Thursday and will reach conclusions on the European Maritime Security Strategy and the European Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region. The GAC will also consider Enlargement issues, including the Stabilisation and Association process with Albania.

    During the GAC and the press conference that will follow, Venizelos will refer to the main achievements of the Greek presidency's semester regarding growth, employment, the economic governance and particularly the Banking Union, migration policy and the European borders protection and as well as a comprehensive maritime policy.

    [06] SYRIZA's Central Committee adopts party leader Alexis Tsipras' strategy

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday addressed the main opposition party's Central Committee raising two dilemmas and calling on its members to decide whether they will let the government get worn out or try to cause early polls by preventing the election of a new Greek President.

    Earlier in the day, SYRIZA's Central Committee concluded its deliberations and approved by majority the draft policy plan, which was in the line of Tsipras' strategy.

    Tsipras said that SYRIZA's political planning should be determined within weeks or even days, as unexpected developments may occur anytime.

    The party has two strategic options before it, Tsipras said. The one is to let the government get worn out, which could take until 2016 and have a catastrophic impact on the country. The second one is to try and cause early elections within 2014, an option that was supported by Tsipras himself.

    On the President's elections and SYRIZA's tactics, Tsipras said this was not a technical issue but mainly a political one. He added that preventing the election of the President is an important decision that cannot be done on a central and institutional level but based on political and other initiatives. In this context, SYRIZA will take initiatives according to its policy commitments, he said citing as an example the gathering of signatures on the submarines issue.

    [07] Tsipras presents plan for presidential election, SYRIZA reconstruction

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, addressing the opening session of the two-day conference of the party's Central Committee on Saturday, outlined his plan for the "toppling of the far-right Samaras government" and the creation of a wide progressive and democratic alliance and the need for SYRIZA's political and organising reconstruction.

    Tsipras clarified that SYRIZA "shall be leftist in positions, leftist in alliances as well, radical in positions, hegemonistic and a majority in alliances".

    He also assured that "they must not expect from us compromises that maintain the current worn out status quo, compromises that perpetuate the tragedy of the many in the name of the power and wealth of the few".

    Repling to the question of SYRIZA's participation in a national grouping for negotiating the debt, Tsipras said a minority government has no right to negotiate the new agreement.

    Lastly, referring to the election of a President of the Republic, Tsipras said that the primary and immediate target of a political and social alliance that SYRIZA is seeking must be the downfall of the Samaras government and not its survival through the election of a President of the Republic.

    Gov't spokeswoman says Tsipras must finish 'negotiations' in his party first, then claim negotiating right for Greek people

    Government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi, replying to main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras' address to his party's Central Committee on Saturday, said "let Mr. Tsipras finish with the 'negotiations' inside his party first, let him find a way to control what he himself denounces as personal strategies and considerations and let him come afterwards to seek the right to negotiate on behalf of the Greek people. Until then the people are well aware who has the reliability, the ability and the unified policy to negotiate".

    Voultepsi also said "Mr. Tsipras is calling for elections...yesterday so as to be in power as soon as possible and save the country, at a time when he is unable to save his party from its childish illnesses and while at the same time he wants the people to be given the opportunity to decide 'who can and who must negotiate'."

    [08] SYRIZA leader says struggle for re-establishment of Europe continuous and unabated

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, addressing an event on the theme of a "Struggle for a different Europe" in the framework of the "Resistance" festival being held by the newspaper "Dromos tis Aristeras" (Path of the Left) at the Agronomy University, stressed that our struggle for the re-establishment of Europe must be continuous and unabated.

    Tsipras added that the re-establishment of Europe must take place on an economic, social and environmental basis, adding that the Left with a majority prospect can play a leading role aimed at the change from Europe of poverty and oppression to Europe of growth, solidarity and environmental conscience.

    [09] 'SYRIZA's allegations over phone tapping are ridiculous,' government spokesperson says

    Government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi on Sunday described main opposition SYRIZA's allegations over phone tapping as ridiculous.

    "What you are telling your comrades are ridiculous," she told Skai TV addressing SYRIZA's spokesman Panos Skourletis.

    Voultepsi categorically assured there had been "no order by the government to monitor SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, Skourletis or any other Greek citizen or politician."

    Earlier in the day, Skourletis called the government to give a credible answer to the complaints over phone tapping. Skourletis had first referred to the issue while addressing his party's Central Committee, while on Sunday he told Skai TV: "At the end of my speech at SYRIZA's Central Committee, I made a specific reference that recently and during the Euroelections period, phone communications were particularly difficult with Alexis Tsipras." He added that although his phone had a signal, it was hard to listen and be heard.

    [10] Kouvelis calls for coordinated dialogue for DIMAR's future

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) party leader Fotis Kouvelis, addressing the party's Central Committee on Saturday, called for coordinated dialogue for DIMAR's future through collective processes from DIMAR's members, such as the holding of a congress in autumn, without personal strategies and the avoidance of the assumption of responsibilities.

    The Central Committee is convening to determine the timetable and procedures regarding the holding of a congress by DIMAR in autumn.

    Kouvelis also said that there is no other process in the party for its future than the decision of its members, through a congress.

    "The main question that we must all answer, each one personally and all together collectively is if we believe in the possibility of the Democratic Left's recovery, if we believe in the need for the existence of this political sector", he said.

    Also referring to the country's open political issues, the DIMAR leader predicted that more measures will be coming.

    [11] Shipping minister says of heroin case, biggest quantity found at European and possibly global level

    A senior Greek Coast Guard security officer told the ANA-MPA, regarding the discovery of the total quantity of two tons and 120 grams of heroin on the Togo-flag "NOOR ONE" tanker, that the way the drugs were concealed was so well-planned that its detection was not easy and not even by the service's special dogs.

    Shipping Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis, presenting information on the case at noon on Sunday, conveyed congratulations to the Harbour Corps by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for Saturday's success.

    Varvitsioties added that the Harbour Corps' coordinated efforts, directness in operations and the high feeling of responsibility and professionalism led to the confiscation of the biggest quantity of heroin found at European and possibly at global level.

    "Some who believe that Greece is a free-for-all will be disappointed", the minister said, adding that "the country has reliable security authorities and a Harbour Corps that wages a battle at all levels on a daily basis and all deserve warm congratulations".

    [12] Panhellenic Medical Association appeals to Council of State over claw back mechanism

    The Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) filed an appeal with the Council of State asking for the annulment of the claw back measure on the grounds of being against the constitution, the Treaty Establishing the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

    The claw back is the mechanism for the automatic reimbursement of funds for excessive health care spending. The mechanism in question provides for the "retroactive reduction of legal and contractual payment of doctors and other health care providers" (Medical Centers, etc.) for services provided to citizens insured under the National Organisation for Health Care (EOPYY).

    According to Panhellenic Medical Association, the claw back mechanism obliges doctors to refund money they have not received as EOPYY pays the legal fees to doctors after months of delay.

    [13] Areios Pagos, Court of Audit Presidents to retire judiciary

    The President of Greece's Supreme Court Areios Pagos Michail Theocharidis as well as the President of the Court of Audit Ioannis Karavokiris will retire the judiciary, as they have reached the maximum age of judicial service.

    The two presidents as well as a number of judges and prosecution magistrates will retire upon the end of the current judicial year on June 30, 2014.

    Financial News

    [14] Greece is the top tourist destination for Austrians this summer

    VIENNA (ANA- MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Greece is the most popular tourist destination among Austrians this summer, Austrian paper Der Standard wrote in its weekend edition, citing data by domestic travel groups.

    According to the biggest Austrian travel agency Verkehrsburo, Greece ranks first (15 percent) among the top destinations for Austrians this summer, followed by Turkey (12.7 percent), Spain (12.1 percent), Italy (7.9 percent), the United States (5.9 percent) and Croatia (3.4 percent).

    Regarding bookings, Greece has recorded a double digit rise of 12.3 percent, with Croatia coming in second with a 2.4 percent increase.

    More than 400,000 Austrians on average visit Greece every year.

    [15] Austrian paper Die Presse issues special tourist report on Greece

    Austrian paper Die Presse published a special four-page tourist report on Greece in its weekend issue focusing mainly on Thessaloniki, the Ionian Islands and the Greek cuisine.

    According to the report, Greeks, who managed to maintain their pride and their joy of living during the crisis, still complain about the high prices of the past.

    The paper terms Thessaloniki the first and most important city in the Balkans, where one can enjoy a combination of qualities; a great location by the sea, a wonderful old town and a revitalized waterfront. The report gives details about the history of Thessaloniki and makes an extensive reference to its mayor Yiannis Boutaris.

    A 48hour city break guide offers advice and ideas on accommodation, restaurants, nightlife, sightseeing and cultural events.

    The paper also refers to sailing and gives tips on a four-day cruise around the Ionian Islands, while a special report presents the Greek cuisine as well as places of culinary interest around the Acropolis.

    [16] Luxury cruise ship 'Oceania Insignia' docks at Souda

    The luxury cruise ship "Oceania Insignia" docked at the port of Souda on Sunday morning. The ship, with 692 passengers on board and 399 crew, arrived in Souda from Nafplio and is scheduled to depart at 18:00 for the island of Kos. The vessel in question is being continuously awarded prizes for the quality of services provided for its passengers and for its vacation packages.

    [17] Loutraki Casino operating as normal as of Saturday night

    The prolonged strike by employees at the Loutraki Casino has been suspended by a decision of the union's general assembly and as of Saturday night, after a 39-day strike, the Club Hotel Casino Loutraki will open and operate as normal.

    The suspension of the strike was decided at Friday's employees' general assembly with 255 votes in favour, 143 against and 10 blank votes.

    General News

    [18] Woman arrested for extracting money from elderly people after pretending to be Patriarchate representative

    A 49-year-old woman was arrested in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, who approached elderly people and by either pretending to be a representative of the Patriarchate or invoking her supposed relation with charities had gathered 11,530 euros and valuables worth 43,500 euros.

    The woman had been active since March 2012 in the northern cities of Thessaloniki, Komotini and Serres, while she is involved in 33 cases of fraud and one attempt against elderly people. She was arrested in the district of Kalamaria in Thessaloniki by police motorcyclists.

    [19] 14 arrested in latest heroin smuggling case to testify before Prosecutors on Tuesday and Wednesday

    The 14 arrested, allegedly involved in the latest case of 986 kilos and 600 grams heroin that police found in a warehouse in Koropi on Saturday, were taken to the Piraeus Prosecution to be granted a specific deposition deadline.

    The persons arrested, accused of setting up a criminal organisation as well as of possession and trafficking of drugs, will appear before the prosecutors in two groups on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The latest quantity of heroin is linked with the finding of over a ton of heroin in another warehouse in Koropi and a mansion in the Athens suburb of Filothei a week ago and for which nine people have already been remanded in custody including a 40-year-old ship owner.

    The arrested include the 11 crewmembers of the "NOOR ONE" Togo-flagged freighter, which transported the drugs to Greece, and three more persons, including two Greeks: a 53 year-old female alleged to be the representative of the shipping company, a man who allegedly assisted with the transportation of the heroine to Filothei and an Iranian national, who was allegedly guarding the drugs found in the Koropi warehouse.

    [20] New quantities of heroin found in warehouse in Koropi

    Harbour officials and police found 986 kilos and 600 grams of heroin in a warehouse in Koropi during the night. According to reports, the drugs are linked with the finding of over a ton of heroin in another warehouse in Koropi a week ago and for which nine people have already been remanded in custody including a 40-year-old shipowner.

    All the drugs were reportedly brought to Greece in a freighter that had been in the sea region of Elefsina for some time and was being shadowed by authorities. The ship in question was intercepted on Saturday night and the 10 crewmembers were arrested and another four people who are reportedly members of the company.

    [21] Man arrested for illicit trade, contraband cigarettes

    Police arrested a 42-year-old Pakistani national on the old Corinth-Patra national motorway for illicit trade and possession of contraband cigarettes.

    A search of the car he was travelling in led to the finding and confiscation of 3,382 illicit trade items (watches, torches, etc) and 330 packets of contraband cigarettes.

    An administrative fine was imposed on the arrested man who will be brought before a prosecutor in the city of Corinth.

    Weather forecast

    [22] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday. Winds 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures between 15C and 33C. Fair in Athens with northerly 3-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 19C and 31C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 19C and 29C.

    [23] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Lumpsum of 4,650 euros for new beneficiaries.

    VRADYNI: Secret arrangements for early pension.

    AVGHI: Call for new power coalition.

    EPOCHI: Without a breather.

    RIZOSPASTIS: Vacations: Profits for capital...unattainable dream for the many.

    PROTO THEMA: They are also confiscating school benefits of poor children.

    TO VIMA: The new salaries. Who lose, who gain.

    REALNEWS: They report coverup.

    FREE SUNDAY: Between adjustment and slackening.

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