|Wednesday, 22 May 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-01-27
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 27 January 2015 Issue No: 4870
 2015 national elections - Official results from the Interior Ministry (100 pct of votes counted)Official results released by the Interior Ministry (100 percent of votes counted):
SYRIZA: 36.34%, 149 seats
New Democracy: 27.81%, 76 seats
Golden Dawn: 6.28%, 17 seats
Potami: 6.05%, 17 seats
KKE: 5.47%, 15 seats
ANEL: 4.75%, 13 seats
PASOK: 4.68%, 13 seats
Based on the final results, participation in the 2015 elections was at 63.87 pct, with 2.36 pct blank or spoiled votes and the remaining parties that did not get into Parliament receiving 8.62 pct. There will be seven parties in the new Parliament.
 Alexis Tsipras sworn in as Greece's new prime ministerRadical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Greece's new prime minister with a civil oath given before President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias at 16:00 on Monday. Earlier, Tsipras received a mandate to form a new Greek government in a meeting with the Greek President.
After being congratulated by the president on his election victory, Tsipras informed Papoulias that "following the results of yesterday's elections, I met with [Independent Greeks party leader Panos] Kammenos, who said he will support the new government. There is, therefore, the majority in Parliament demanded by the Constitution and I hope that the existing majority of 162 deputies can become greater."
"There is nothing more for me to do but to assign you the mandate to form a government, after I first swear you in," Papoulias replied.
Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, closely watched by the media and attended by his close aides Nikos Pappas, SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis and the new government general secretary Spiros Sagias, Tsipras affirmed on his honour and conscience - as required by the oath foreseen under the law on forming a government - that he will uphold the Constitution and will serve the interests of the Greek people as a whole.
 PM Alexis Tsipras visits Kaisariani memorialImmediately being sworn in as prime minister, Alexis Tsipras visited the National Resistance Memorial for the fallen in the Athens district of Kaisariani, where he laid flowers on the monument in order to pay homage to those executed at the Skopeftirio (former rifle range) in 1944, during the Nazi occupation.
The prime minister was accompanied by Nikos Pappas and Panos Skourletis, while crowds of people gathered at the site and cheered.
 Tsipras receives mandate to form new Greek governmentThe head of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party Alexis Tsipras on Monday received a mandate to form a new Greek government from President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias.
After being congratulated by the president, Tsipras informed Papoulias that "following the results of yesterday's elections, I met with [Independent Greeks party leader Panos] Kammenos, who said he will support the new government. There is, therefore, the majority in Parliament demanded by the Constitution and I hope that the existing majority of 162 deputies can become greater."
"There is nothing more for me to do but to assign you the mandate to form a government, after I first swear you in," Papoulias replied.
According to Tsipras as he left the president's office, they also agreed on the need to accelerate proceedings because there was much that needed to be done.
 New cabinet likely to be announced on Tuesday, senior SYRIZA source saysForming a government will be the first priority for new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with the announcement and swearing-in of the new Greek cabinet likely to be completed by Tuesday afternoon, a senior source within the SYRIZA party said on Monday. In every case, the new government will be formed by Wednesday at the latest, the same source added.
SYRIZA sources also indicated that Tsipras does not intend to include any members of To Potami party in his cabinet, nor ask for anything from the other parties. They said that the government will present its positions and the legislation it has pledged to pass and let the other parties "take responsibility" for their actions.
The new prime minister is also determined to insist on a 'lean' cabinet and has prepared a plan for the necessary legal steps to merge ministries and services. With regard to the people that will join the new government, the sources said that these will be up to the challenges faced by the country at this crucial time while also expressing SYRIZA's ideological tendencies to the greatest possible extent.
Regarding the reactions from abroad, SYRIZA said there was intense international activity with respect to the positions that the new Greek government will present, both on the issue of negotiations with the lenders and its broader strategy on foreign policy and international relations.
They noted messages arriving at the party from France, Russia and the European Commission and said that these indicated a readiness for negotiations with the new Greek government, while the phone call put to Tsipras by French President Francois Hollande was described by SYRIZA sources as "particularly warm." They said that the new premier will make "every effort" to accept Hollande's invitation to visit Paris for bilateral talks before the upcoming EU summit and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin's letter of congratulations to Tsipras, conveyed by the Russian ambassador, had also been warm in its tone.
Finally, they said that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in his letter congratulating Tsipras on his party's victory in the elections, had stressed the need to "promote sustainable solutions for employment and growth, at the same time ensuring fiscal stability," and noting that this was a challenge faced by all the EU. Juncker also stated that the European Commission "was ready to continue helping Greece to achieve these goals".
 Tsipras' new government plans to merge ministries, rename othersThe new government of SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras plans to form four new ministries into which it will merge the authorities of several others, while two others will be renamed, according to information on Monday.
In particular, the new ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform will merge the authorities of the ministry of Interior, of Administrative Reform and E-governance, of Public Order and Citizen Protection and of Macedonia and Thrace.
The new Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism ministry will merge the services and authorities of the ministries of Development and Competitiveness, of Shipping and Aegean, of Tourism and of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks.
The new ministry of Production Reform, Environment and Energy, will merge the ministries of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, of Agricultural Reform and Food and the services of the General Secretariat of Industry of the Development and Competitiveness ministry.
The government will also form the ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs under which it will include the authorities and services of the ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as Education and Religious Affairs.
In addition, the ministry of Health will be renamed ministry of Health and Social Security and the ministry of Labour, Social Security and Welfare will be renamed ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity. The General Secretariat of Social Security will be transferred from the ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity to the ministry of Health and Social Security.
Finally, all the authorities, jobs and staff of the merging ministries will be transferred to the new ones.
 SYRIZA, ANEL agree on small government cabinet and a minister's post to Panos Kammenos, ANEL sources sayIndependent Greeks (ANEL) Panos Kammenos will hold a ministerial post in SYRIZA's coalition government and does not intend to ask to be appointed as government Vice-President, according to ANEL sources.
The same sources said that the debt issue will be the top priority.
The same sources spoke of a "small cabinet" with 10 ministers, a few alternate and deputy ministers", which will often convene. They also noted that Kammenos referred to the vote of confidence to SYRIZA so that the country is not ungoverned and added that the so-called Thessaloniki programme forms the basis of the two parties' cooperation agreement.
They also noted that "the issue of the Greek President has been closed, where there seems to be an agreement", that "ANEL's red lines on national issues will be respected" and that "there is good chemistry and trust between Tsipras and Kammenos."
"We will not govern with blackmails but with sincere and public positions," the same sources said.
 SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' CVSYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was born in Athens in 1974. He studied civil engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and had postgraduate studies in Urban and Regional Planning. He has also worked as a civil engineer in the construction industry.
As a student, he joined the communist party youth organization KNE while during his university studies he joined the ranks of the renovating left-wing movement.
In 1999, he was elected secretary of Synaspismos youth organization, a position he held until 2003.
In 2004, he was elected a member of the party's Central Political Committee and consequently of the Political Secretariat, where he was responsible for educational and youth issues.
Two years later, in October 2006, he was elected municipal councilor for the city of Athens, getting 10.51 percent of votes. In February 2008, Tsipras was elected leader of Synaspismos party (Coalition of the Left, the Movements and the Ecology). In October 2009 he was elected member of the Parliament under SYRIZA's (Synaspismos and other left organisations) ballot ticket and assumed the leadership of the party's parliamentary group.
In December 2010, he was elected Vice-President of the European Left party, which in December 2013 nominated him as candidate President of the European Commission.
Tsipras lives with his partner and is a father of two.
 Caretaker Interior Min hands over election results to Parliament presidentCaretaker Interior Minister Michalis Theocharidis on Monday handed over the election results to the president of Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis.
Meimarakis congratulated Theocharidis on the "flawless electoral process." Meimarakis will be received by the President of Republic Karolos Papoulias at 13.30.
According to the Constitution, Papoulias will give SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras the mandate to form a government. The new Parliament, based on the presidential decree for the dissolution of the previous Parliament, is scheduled to hold its opening meeting on February 5.
 Parliament President informs SYRIZA leader of election resultsThe Parliament's President Evangelos Meimarakis, after being briefed by caretaker Interior Minister Michalis Theocharidis, spoke on the phone with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to inform him of the election results.
 Parliament President informs Greek President Papoulias of election resultsThe Parliament's President Evangelos Meimarakis handed the official results of Sunday's elections over to Greek President Karolos Papoulias.
"The elections were carried out smoothly and there were no problems; as I can see there will be no need for a second and a third mandate to form a government," Meimarakis said.
"No. Indeed, Mr. Tsipras has Mr. Kammenos' support. I will swear him in a prime minister in the afternoon," Papoulias said.
Tsipras, as it was made known, wishes to give a "civil affirmation"- take a "civil oath", as provided for in the legislation on the government and its cabinet.
Meimarakis wished that the country moves forward "despite our concerns" adding that "this is how it should be done, we will contribute to that."
 Outgoing premier's absence at government handover 'unprecedented', SYRIZA saysThe fact that there was no one at the government headquarters in the Maximos Mansion for the hand-over to the new government was "unprecedented", according to circles within ruling Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) said on Monday.
They categorically denied the version given by main opposition New Democracy (ND) and said that this behaviour was typical of the "political culture" of the outgoing government.
According to sources in ND, the former premier's general secretary Costas Bouras received a call from the aide of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Nikos Pappas, who asked him to brief the new premier's secretary Dimitris Tzanakopoulos about the operations at the Maximos Mansion and proceed with the hand over of materials.
In this way, the handover was carried out between the secretaries of the new and former premiers, ND said.
 Director of PM Tsipras' office criticises Samaras for missing handover ceremonyThe director of the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras criticised his predecessor Antonis Samaras for not showing up for the traditional government handover ceremony at the Maximos Mansion on Monday.
"Unfortunately, Mr Samaras chose not to be at the Maximos Mansion when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrived," Nikos Pappas said in a statement.
"This tradition has been kept by previous prime ministers who handed over the post and we expected to keep it today as well," he added.
 New premier Tsipras meets with Archbishop of Athens IeronimosThe new Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras earlier on Monday had a meeting with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronimos, in the Archdiocese of Athens, reaffirming the good relations between the State and the Church.
"I came to get your blessing; relations between the State and the Church will be further upgraded and more substantial than they were before," Tsipras said. "We have need of this power and especially in the field of social solidarity, where the role of the Church is very important. Our concern is to work closely in the existing good climate," he added.
On his part, the Archbishop said: "Our first concern is to help people who suffer and gradually we will see all the other issues."
Tsipras was accompanied by party spokesman Panos Skourletis and the director of his office Nikos Pappas. There were no statements after the meeting.
 ANEL leader Kammenos meets with Archbishop of AthensThe president of Independent Greeks (ANEL) Panos Kammenos met with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronimos on Monday afternoon in the Archdiocese of Athens, to discuss issues related to the Church and its work.
After the meeting, Kammenos said he asked the Archbishop's blessing "for the new start" while they discussed "issues pertaining to the Church and its work" which he called as immense.
He also said his party "will cooperate with anyone for the good of the Greek people," and added that the priority of the "new government is the debt issue and regain national sovereignty."
 As of now Greece has a government, ANEL leader Kammenos saysIndependent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos on Monday expressed his support to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on the formation of a government.
In statements after his meeting with Tsipras on Monday morning he stated: "I want to announce that from this moment there is a government in the country. The Independent Greeks give a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras".
Regarding the composition of the new Cabinet, Kammenos said that "the prime minister will announce it".
At a query on the target of the new government, Kammenos said that the aim is for Greeks to move ahead united and with respect for the national sovereignty, the operation of democracy and the Constitution.
 Potami leader Theodorakis says he's cautious ahead of SYRIZA's planThe leader of Potami, Stavros Theodorakis, said on Monday his party has some reservations concerning the policy SYRIZA plans to follow, after his meeting with the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Theodorakis noted his party is willing to participate in a national negotiating team, but he first wants to see what it is that SYRIZA wants to negotiate about, the main priorities of the party and also make sure Greece heads to the negotiations united and with a plan.
He also said Potami wants to help the government provided that its positions don't jeopardise Greece's place in the European Union.
"There are some reservations and some points of agreement," Theodorakis said, adding that it will be best to wait for the government's real proposals before making any statements.
 French president Hollande calls on new PM Tsipras to 'visit Paris soon'French President Francois Hollande on Monday called on the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to "visit Paris soon", during a telephone conversation between the two leaders, the French presidency announced.
"France will be at the side of Greece during this important time for its future," to help it find "the path to stability and growth," Hollande told Tsipras according to the announcement.
 Europarliament President Schulz congratulates PM Tsipras, 'looks forward to working with him'BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)
European Parliament President Martin Schulz congratulated SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras after the latter's swearing-in on Monday as the new prime minister of Greece following national elections on Sunday.
Calling Tsipras' win "a historical victory for his party," Schulz recalled Tsipras' campaign statements that "he intended to discuss many aspects of the memorandum and the troika." He added, "We are looking forward to discussing them with him. The European Parliament is open to all discussion, but negotiations must be based on mutual respect and trust."
He noted that "it will also be important to stick to agreements made to stabilise the country and the European Union" and said he looked forward to working closely with Tsipras on this as well.
In conclusion, Schulz also conveyed his gratitude to former prime minister Antonis Samaras, whom he called "a convinced pro-European who was also a member of the European Parliament," and said that "he led Greece during very dramatic times and chaired the Greek Presidency of the Council in a very respectful way."
 Europarliament President Schulz expected in Athens ThursdayEuropean Parliament President Martin Schulz is expected in Athens on Thursday, for a meeting with new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA announced on Monday.
Schulz will be the first foreign official to visit Athens after the installation of Tsipras as head of government.
According to party sources, the meeting is scheduled for 15.00 and will focus on the new government's negotiations with Greece's creditors, which Schulz will then convey to Berlin.
 White House congratulations on the election of the new government in Greece (adds)NEW YORK (ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou)
The United States will continue to support efforts for Greece's long-term prosperity, the US White House press secretary said in a written statement on Monday.
"We congratulate Greece on successfully completing its parliamentary elections, and we look forward to working closely with its next government," the White House press secretary underlined.
"The Greek people have taken many difficult but important steps to lay the groundwork for economic recovery. As a longstanding friend and ally, the United States will continue to support their efforts and those of the international community to strengthen the foundation for Greece's long-term prosperity," the press secretary statement noted.
A similar statement was made earlier by the White House's National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh, who underlined "we congratulate Greece for the smooth conduct of the parliamentary elections. We hope that we will work closely with the next government."
 Russian President Putin congratulates SYRIZA leader Tsipras on his victoryRussian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on his victory in the parliamentary elections, according to Kremlin's press service.
Putin expressed confidence that Russia and Greece will continue boosting the traditional constructive cooperation between the two countries in all spheres and will work together on resolving the recent European problems.
The Russian president wished SYRIZA's leader success, adding that his victory is taking place in a "not particularly easy" moment for Greece.
 Tsipras has phone contact with Cyprus President AnastasiadesCyprus president Nicos Anastasiades had a phone contact with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who congratulated him on his party's victory underlining that he is looking forward to a close cooperation and invited him to Nicosia.
According to SYRIZA sources, Tsipras stressed that Greece really values the support of Cyprus and its sovereignty rights, to the promotion of the intercommunity negotiations for the Cyprus issue and to the cooperation of the two countries within the context of EU and in the Eastern Mediterennean.
 Cyprus President Anastasiades congratulates SYRIZA leaderCyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday morning congratulated SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.
"I would like to congratulate you for your proud and historic victory, wishing every success to the mandate the Greek people gave you. I look forward to our close and sincere cooperation so as to face the challenges in all the major issues, whether they relate to the Cyprus issue or to the economic and other pursuits of Greece and Cyprus," he said in a telegram.
 Tsipras receives congratulations from European Council president and Turkish PMEuropean Council President Donald Tusk and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu each called new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday to congratulate him, and invited him to visit Brussels and Ankara, respectively.
Tsipras also received congratulatory telegrams from Bolivian President Evo Morales, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Gianni Pittella, chairman of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament.
In a separate announcement, Pittella expressed the certainty that Tsipras will join the Council's Group without being influenced by populist rhetoric. Pittella expressed reservations about whether the new government's collaboration with a centre-right party like Independent Greeks (ANEL) is the right way forward, saying instead that it would be more effective for the Greek economic and social crisis solving to forma government with progressive powers.
Nevertheless, he said, "we are ready to open a constructive dialogue with Athens to change Europe together."
 AJC congratulates SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Greek elections victoryNEW YORK (ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou)
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) with a written statement congratulated SYRIZA leader and new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on his victory in Sunday's general elections in Greece.
"Greece continues to face enormous economic and social challenges," AJC Executive Director David Harris said and wished success to the "new leaders", expressing hope that "they will continue the country's principal orientation toward the European Union."
He also noted that "moreover, in recent years, Greece has built strong, mutually beneficial ties with Israel, and fostered closer quadrilateral relations among the United States, Israel, Cyprus and itself, which we also trust will remain a pillar of Greece's international outlook."
"We look to the SYRIZA-led government to continue the measures implemented during the past years, and assure all minority communities, who are an integral part of Greece, that they will continue to be fully protected and respected, and that there will be no place for anti-Semitism in mainstream Greek society," the AJC Executive Director underlined.
 EU Commission ready for discussion with new Greek government, Juncker and Moscovici sayBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni, V. Demiris)
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici on Monday expressed their readiness to hear and discuss the demands of the new Greek government as they arrived for a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.
At the same time, both European officials said that Greece must meet the commitments agreed upon.
Juncker stressed that the European Commission will work with any democratically elected government that comes to power but also noted that there were rules that were agreed together with Greek authorities.
"We will see what the demands of the new Greek government are and we will discuss them, regardless of its composition, as we do with all governments," he said, adding that he was not in any way worried about the issue. On the issue of an agreement on Greece's debt, Juncker said that there were discussions with the outgoing Greek government and that the Commission will continue them with the new government.
Asked if he had already spoken with Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, who is to take over as Greece's new premier, Juncker quipped that a Greek prime minister had other things on his mind today than talking with the European Commission president.
Moscovici said it was positive that the Greek government will be formed from today, since that will allow the Commission to work quickly with Greek authorities. He noted that the Commission and Greece had common goals and the discussion would focus on how to achieve them.
"We want to see Greece stand on its feet, to be able to create jobs, growth, reduce inequality and pay its debts, something that is fundamental," Moscovici said.
The Commissioner noted that the new Greek government had its own programme and priorities but also emphasised the need for constructive dialogue with the new Greek authorities.
He said he was convinced that both sides will work together toward the same goals, in order for Greece to become strong and have a creative economy that meets the needs of its people, with the primary target of keeping Greece in the euro.
Moscovici expressed hope that Monday's Eurogroup meeting will send a clear message that will allow the resumption of talks with Greece on a positive and constructive basis and with respect for the commitments that have been agreed to.
On the issue of Greece's debt, he stressed that the review of the Greek programme must first be continued and concluded and that the issue will be discussed at a later phase.
Asked about the future of the EU-IMF troika, Moscovici noted that the presence of the institutions that offered assistance will alwasy be needed, though possibly in a new form. The return of growth and reduction of unemployment was "positive", he added, and said these gains should not be jeopardised.
Finally, the Commissioner said that he had not yet met the new Greek premier, adding that the door of his office at the Commission was open.
 European Commission is ready to discuss with the new Greek government, its spokesperson Schinas saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)
The European Commission is ready to discuss with the new Greek government, the European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said regarding the election result in Greece.
He reiterated that Greece has made significant progress and underlined that the Commission is ready to continue its aid to Greece. Asked on whether the president of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has regretted for his statement that he would prefer to see familiar faces in Greece, he noted that Juncker and Alexis Tsipras have known each other since the pre-election campaign, before the euro-elections.
 Eurogroup ready to work with the new Greek government, says DijsselbloemBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)
The Eurogroup is ready to work jointly with the new Greek government on the basis of the common rules and agreements and to support it, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem stated.
Asked upon his arrival to the Ministers' Committee on the Greek public debt issue he said: "We have done a lot to relieve it."
He also noted "we will return to the sustainability issue after the end of the fifth evaluation."
 Berlin ready to cooperate with new Greek governmentBERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears ready to cooperate with the new Greek government once it has been formed, her spokesperson Steffen Seibert said. She expected, however, the new government to respect the existing agreements.
"In our view it is important that the new Greek government's measures aim at the continuation of Greece's economic recovery, which means commitments must be kept," Seibert said and reiterated that the German government's aim was for Greece to remain a member of the Eurozone.
 IMF's Lagarde: 'We are ready to continue supporting Greece'NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - The International Monetary Fund is ready to continue supporting Greece and looks forward to talks with the country's new government, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Monday.
"We stand ready to continue supporting Greece, and look forward to discussions with the new government," Lagarde said in a statement.
 Greece must respect eurozone's rules and cannot ask for special debt treatment, IMF head Lagarde tells Le MondeGreece must respect the euro zone's rules and cannot demand special treatment for its debt in the wake of the victory of anti-austerity party SYRIZA, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde said in a newspaper interview on Monday, according to Reuters news agency.
"There are internal euro zone rules to be respected," Lagarde told Le Monde daily. "We cannot make special categories for such or such country."
Lagarde added that Greece still needed to carry out key reforms, such as tax collection and reducing judicial backlogs. ?
"It's not a question of austerity measures, these are in-depth reforms that remain to be done," she said.
 German FinMin Schaeuble says he will cooperate with new governmentBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, arriving at the Council of EU ministers in Brussels, where the Eurogoup meets, on Monday said he is awaiting the formation of the new government in Greece and that he will certainly cooperate with it.
He reiterated that what has been agreed between Greece and the eurozone countries should be met, and noted that the potential "haircut" of Greek debt is not up for discussion. On the sustainability of Greek debt, he said it is an issue that could be discussed after the conclusion of the fifth review of the Greek programme by the troika.
 Schaeuble's spokeswoman leaves possibility of extending bailout programme openBERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's spokeswoman Marianne Kothe on Monday left the possibility of extending the current bailout programme open, but ruled out the possibility of a new Greek debt haircut or restructuring.
"This (extension of the bailout programme) is of course a possibility or an option and we will participate constructively in any debate," Kothe said. "As always, it depends on how such a demand will be made as well as on the general framework - but in principle it is an option," he added.
'We will not forgive loans but we are ready to discuss extending the bailout maturities,' Finland's PM Stubb says
Finland is ready to discuss extensions for Greece's bailout programme if its new government can commit to existing agreements and promised structural reforms, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on Monday, according to Reuters news agency.
"We will not forgive loans but we are ready to discuss extending the bailout programme or maturities ... But this will not change the fact that Greece must continue economic reforms," Stubb told reporters.
He added he considered Greece's loan conditions already very affordable and did not see room for any radical change.
"We respect the democratic election result, but we will also stick to what has been agreed earlier.... One must remember that the whole euro crisis started from breaking of rules."
Finland was the only euro state to demand collateral for a bailout loan for Greece in 2012 following a rise of its euro-sceptic party The Finns, formerly known as True Finns, Reuters noted.
 EPP president calls on the new government to cooperate with its partnersBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / V. Demiris)
The sacrifices of the Greek people must not be jeopardised and the new government must respect its commitments, Joseph Daul, president of the European People's Party (EPP), said.
Daul praised the reforms made under the governance of former prime minister Antonis Samaras. In extremely difficult moments, Samaras was able to implement the necessary reforms aimed at reviving the Greek economy and correcting imbalances, he underlined.
Moreover, he called on the new government to cooperate with its partners. Only by meeting its obligations will Greece remain a reliable partner, he noted, adding that this is essential for investments and job creation, as investors only invest in an economy that they trust.
"EPP will always support the Greek people, just as we have done all these years. Solidarity is one of the core values of the EU and the EPP," he concluded.
 European Parliament Greens on SYRIZA victory in Greek electionsBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni) -
The European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard B?tikofer on Monday commenting on Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA)'S victory in the elections, saying that Greek voters had opted for change.
"By handing Syriza a decisive victory, Greek voters have clearly opted for basic change in their country. We congratulate Syriza on their victory and express our hope that they will make the best possible use of the mandate they have received.
"Greece needs change and together with our Greek Green friends, the European Green Party has advocated such change for a long time. The austerity policy which has unfairly burdened the average Greek citizen and in particular the most vulnerable parts of the population must be abandoned. Greece needs a better social balance on its way out of the crisis. The public debt burden, which has piled up as [a result of] policies applied by previous governments, failed to deliver a real economic turn-around and has long risen to a level that is unsustainable. Therefore, in the medium term, there has to be a negotiated agreement between Greece and its creditors on debt alleviation," the announcement said.
It also stressed the need for reforms to help Greece's economy move toward a sustainable future, urging a focus on Green investment.
"Syriza has indicated that it does not want to leave the Eurozone and wants to find a common approach to Greek problems with its European partners. We agree with that. Europe has heard the Greek people speak loud and clear. European institutions and member states must now look for a cooperative approach from their side," the announcement added.
The EGP also called the election result "a signal to all European policy-makers that the writing is on the wall" and that the time to abandon austerity and embrace investment was "long overdue". It criticised "tedious and irresponsible" narrow lobby interests bogging down the "timid Juncker Plan" and said the European Greens "will invest all we have into turning around our European Union in the interests of citizens. We want to cooperate with the Greek Government and any other partner towards turning anger about the status quo into hope for a better future."
 Greek vote constitutes explicit protest against the troika and austerity measures, PES President Sergei Stanishev saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / V. Demiris)
The Greek people have suffered a lot from the crisis and their vote constitutes an explicit protest against the troika and the austerity measures imposed by conservative Europe, Party of European Socialists (PES) President Sergei Stanishev on Monday stated, commenting on the results of the national elections in Greece.
Referring to the PASOK party, he said that its presence in parliament will remain a key factor that pushes towards a progressive and European path for the country, underlining that PASOK has shouldered a historic burden to keep the country on its feet and has been ready to pay any political cost necessary.
The new government led by SYRIZA needs to understand that, in order to be successful, it will need to keep an open dialogue with PASOK and other progressive parties to build a strong national consensus, he noted.
It is time for all social democratic forces to work together and act to counter the continued presence of the ultra-right Golden Dawn party, he concluded.
 Slovenian PM congratulates SYRIZA on election victory, says Greece must abide by EU rulesSlovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar on Monday congratulated Greece's Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party on its victory in Greece's parliamentary elections, expressing hope that Athens will continue observing EU rules.
"We hope that the money we contributed for Greece's growth will return one day," Cerar said, adding that everyone was waiting for the next developments in Greece and that the country "must adjust to the ... European rules that Slovenia and all the countries must equally respect."
Noting that it would be inappropriate for him to comment on whether SYRIZA's policy platform was realistic, given that it was an internal political issue of Greece, he stressed that it was now necessary for Greece to form a government and for the country to be dealt with as an equal partner in the EU.
"Slovenia and I hope all the other countries will anticipate that Greece will continue abiding by the rules that apply in our community, in this region," Cerar said on the sidelines of a Slovenian Parliament session.
 European Council president Tusk congratulates Tsipras on his appointment as PMBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Monday congratulated Alexis Tsipras for his appointment as Prime Minister of Greece.
"The European Union has stood by Greece from the first day of the crisis and is committed to continue to support the country in its efforts to put its economy on a sustainable path," Tusk said in a press release.
"I look forward to working closely together with the new Prime Minister of Greece, and I look forward to welcoming him at the informal meeting of EU Heads of State or Government in Brussels on 12 February," he added.
 Tsipras will have to compromise with European partners, Europarliament head saysMartin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, told German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Monday that SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will have to make compromises with his European partners.
"He is a realist," Schulz said referring to Tsipras. "He will have to reach a compromise with his European partners and I believe that he is aware of that," he added.
"Today is the day after the elections and is also the day of reason," he underlined.
The president of the European Parliament said that probably "there will be no majority" for a new Greek debt haircut and added that he is not extremely worried over the possibility of a eurozone destabilisation due to the political change in Greece as he does not believe that Greece will blackmail its European partners.
"I believe that this blackmail power does not really exist, because Greeks, including the new government, are aware of the fact that if they go too far, there will be no money for Greece," he said. "And what government can allow itself to leave the country without financing", he wondered.
 The Greek election result is not a defeat of austerity but a defeat of failed economic plans, UK FinMin Osborne saysThe Greek election result is not a defeat of austerity but a defeat of failed economic plans and should act as a reminder to Britain that it needs to stick to what it is doing, UK Finance Minister George Osborne said on Monday, according to Reuters news agency.
"People get tired of economic failure, they tired of rising unemployment ... what you see is not a defeat of austerity, it is a defeat of economic plans that don't work and in Britain we have got an economic plan that is working," Osborne told BBC radio.
Osborne said SYRIZA's promises were going to "be very difficult to deliver".
"I hope that both sides now act responsibly," he said. "It is certainly in the United Kingdom's interests that we have stability, that we have a proper dialogue here between members of the euro."
 ND anger at criticism for prime minister handover at Maximos MansionNew Democracy (ND) responded with anger to criticism by the director of the office of new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that previous premier Antonis Samaras did not show up for the traditional government handover at Maximos Mansion, government headquarters, on Monday.
"The terms of the handover were set out in detail - as (director) Nikos Papas know very well - during a telephone conversation between the two directors, of the outgoing and the newly-voted in prime minister," ND spokeswoman Maria Spyraki said.
Instead, the spokeswoman criticised Tsipras for breaking with tradition himself by taking a political oath of office instead of the usual oath before the archbishop.
SYRIZA's director Papas had said earlier the handover between prime ministers was a "tradition kept by previous prime ministers who handed over the post, and we expected to keep it today as well."
Spyraki retorted, "If we wanted of course to speak about who blatantly ignored a centuries-old tradition, we would remind (people) that Mr. Tsipras is the only Greek prime minister to take the oath of office in the absence of the archbishop and did not take a religious oath."
Tsipras had met with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece prior to his swearing-in ceremony, asking for his good wishes and assuring him that the relations between state and church will be "further upgraded and more substantial than up to now."
 KKE reiterates that will not give vote of confidence to new governmentThere is no point in meeting with SYRIZA leader and new prime minister Alexis Tsipras, the Communist Party (KKE) said on Monday.
It has been already announced that SYRIZA has agreed with the Independent Greeks to form the new government and Tsipras is going to be sworn in prime minister later in the day.
KKE said that, as it has pledged to the Greek people, it will not give a vote of confidence to the new government. The government, according to the procedure, must bring its programme in parliament where an open debate will be held and all the parties will express their view in front of the Greek people.
 KKE on the new SYRIZA-led governmentThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Central Committee, referring to Sunday's election results, noted that the government change and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA)-led government do not constitute political change in favour of the people.
It underlined that a SYRIZA-Independent Greeks (ANEL) coalition government will continue the country's anti-popular commitments to the EU and the international creditors.
SYRIZA has already admitted that there will be a programme in agreement with the creditors, KKE noted, underlining that "even if it is not called a memorandum or does not look like a typical memorandum, it will include anti-popular terms."
KKE blamed New Democracy and PASOK for the ultra-right Golden Dawn election results, noting that they fostered anti-communism, the theory of the two extremes and the incrimination of migrants. KKE also blamed the hazy "anti-memorandum" line promoted by SYRIZA that acquits the capitalists.
 Voter abstention at 36.13 pct in Sunday's general electionsVoter abstention in Sunday's general elections was 36.13 pct, slightly lower compared with the June 2012 elections (37.51 pct) and considerably increased compared with the May 2012 elections, it was announced on Monday.
The blank and invalid ballots were 2.36 pct, while the parties that will not be represented in parliament garnered 8.62 pct of the votes.
The ten electoral districts with the lowest voter turnout were Florina, Kefallonia, Evritania, Lakonia, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Arcadia, Thesprotia and Lefkada.
Conversely, the ten electoral districts with the highest voter turnout were Achaia, Halkidiki, Imathia, Thessaloniki's A' and B' electoral districts, Viotia, Larissa, Iraklio, Athens' B' electoral district and Attiki.
 PM Tsipras briefed by Defence minister, Air Force chief on F-16 crashPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras was briefed by the chief of Greece's Air Force this evening about the tragic accident in Spain where a Greek F-16 crashed during a NATO exercise.
Tsipras asked the Air Force chief to keep him posted on any updates on the incident. He also spoke with outgoing National Defence minister Nikos Dendias whom he also asked to keep him informed.
 Costas Karagounis, the new ND party spokesmanNew Democracy (ND) deputy Costas Karagounis, elected in Aetoloakarnania, western Greece, will be the new party spokesman, sources said on Monday.
He will replace ND MEP Maria Spyraki, who will return to her duties in the European Parliament.
 BusinessEurope comments on Greek elections, stresses need for 'responsible actions'BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Spinthourakis)
The European employers' organisation BusinessEurope, representing businesses in 33 European countries, on Monday commented on the results of the elections in Greece and stressed that "responsible actions are needed" in an announcement posted on its website.
"The Greek people have decided and a change of government is imminent. The rapid formation of a new government is positive, as a long period of uncertainty would be counterproductive at this stage. Now a responsible approach from the European partners but of course also the new Greek leaders is indispensable. 'We trust that the incoming Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, will act in a responsible and realistic way in the upcoming talks, respecting the European engagements agreed by the Greek government'," BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said.
 SEV Chairman Fessas congratulates Prime Minister Alexis TsiprasSYRIZA has won a major victory in the national elections, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) Chairman Theodore Fessas on Monday underlined in his congratulatory letter addressed to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
"In the days to come, you are called to make decisions that will lift uncertainty for our country's ability to meet its European prospects and bring back confidence in the Greek economy," the SEV chairman underlined.
He also noted that "in a crucial conjuncture for the country, the popular mandate gives you the authority and the power to lead the country safely and with self-confidence to a much-needed social and economic growth."
He said that the election campaign, despite the fact that it was brief, has burdened the Greek economy and added that the country's needs and obligations to the international and European community are known and pressing, underlining that SEV will stand by the government.
 Greek primary budget surplus at 1.872 billion euros in 2014Greek authorities on Monday said that the state budget deficit totaled 3.697 billion euros in 2014, down from a deficit of 5.441 billion euros in the previous year, but up from a revised target of a shortfall of 761 million euros.
A finance ministry report said that according to final budget execution data, the primary surplus totaled 1.872 billion euros in 2014, from a primary surplus of 603 million euros in 2013, down from a revised budget target of 4.939 billion euros.
Net state budget revenue totaled 51.367 billion euros in the January-December period, down 7.1 pct from targets, while net regular budget revenue totaled 46.650 billion euros, down 3.0 pct from targets.
Property tax revenues surpassed targets by 1.2 pct, capital transfers were up 3.1 pct, special consumption tax revenues surpassed targets by 0.4 pct, receipts from the EU were up 6.7 pct from targets, other non-tax revenues surpassed targets by 1.5 pct and liquidity boost revenues were up 7.6 pct from targets.
On the other hand, income tax revenues fell short of targets by 4.6 pct, corporate tax income were down 5.4 pct from targets, other direct tax revenues were 7.3 pct down from targets and a special consumption tax on fuel fell short by 2.1 pct.
Tax returns totaled 3.370 billion euros, up by 234 million euros from targets. Public Investment Programme revenues totaled 4.717 billion euros, down by 414 million from targets.
State budget spending totaled 55.063 billion euros, down 978 million euros from targets. Regular budget spending was down to 48.472 billion euros, reflecting a decline in primary spending by 488 million euros, a reduction in defence spending by 104 million euros and capital spending by 131 million euros.
Regular budget spending was down 6.4 pct compared with 2013. Public Investment Programme spending totaled 6.592 billion euros, down 209 million euros from targets.
 GSEVEE expects the new government to implement measures supporting SMEsThe election result is a historic opportunity for the reversal of a hopeless and destructive course for the Greek society and economy without compromising the country's position in the European and Monetary Union, the president of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) George Kavathas said.
"There is no room for delay, the Greek economy cannot wait, and therefore a government must be formed immediately. Small enterprises and self-employed paid a very heavy price for the austerity policy. More than 230,000 businesses closed down and more than one million workers lost their jobs since the crisis...while 70 percent of enterprises, according to GSEVEE data, saw their turnover being reduced by an accumulative 75 percent; moreover, the vast majority have arrears and debts to the state, the social security funds, the banks while 370,000 of them are now uninsured, " Kavathas said.
The GSEVEE said it expected a SYRIZA-led government to implement the measures that will give a breather to small and medium-sized companies and proceed with the restoration of the social dialogue in Greece and in cooperation with the social partners so as to develop and implement a National Strategic Development Plan.
 2nd Greek Deluxe Travel Roadshow to be held in Dubai on Feb 25The 2nd Greek Deluxe Travel Roadshow for the promotion of Greek luxury tourism in the United Arab Emirates' market will be held on February 25, according to a Greek embassy note.
The event will take place at JW Mariott (Deira) hotel, in Dubai, under the auspices of Marketing Greece and with the support of the Greek embassy in Abu Dhabi, and is organized by the Rollerdeck Associates companies and Amuse Concept Events in cooperation with Emirates Airlines.
The main target of the event is to enhance the flow of high income visitors to Greece.
Representatives of prominent Greek hotels will participate in the roadshow and will meet with travel agents of the area.
 Sklavenitis completes purchase of Halkiadakis SAI.S.Sklavenitis, a Greek supermarket chain, on Monday announced the completion of a purchase of a 60 pct equity stake of Halkiadakis SA from Veropoulos Group and said that the Halkiadakis board elected its new members, where Sklavenitis has majority.
Under the agreement, Sklavenitis gains strong presence in the Cretan market, where Halkiadakis operates a network of 38 units with a workforce of 940.
Sklavenitis said it was awaiting Greek competition authority approval for a deal to acquire Makro Cash & Carry.
 Greek stocks end sharply lowerGreek stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as investors preferred to take profits following Friday' s 6.14 pct rally. Traders said the market had discounted a positive outcome in Sunday' s general elections and was now focusing on the formation of the new government and its economic policy statement. Bank shares were at the epicenter of selling activity, pushing the sector index 13 pct lower, while the market's capitalisation fell by 3.0 billion euros from Friday.
The composite index dropped 3.20 pct to end at 813.55 points, with the Large Cap index falling 5.60 pct and the Mid Cap index ending 1.32 pct lower. Turnover was a strong 137.62 million euros.
Viohalco (5.26 pct), Grivalia Properties (4.88 pct), Terna Energy (4.43 pct) and Ellaktor (3.61 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (17.61 pct), National Bank of Greece (13.01 pct), Alpha Bank (11.59 pct) and Eurobank (10.40 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Among market sectors, Real Estate (4.29 pct), Utilities (2.91 pct) and Raw Materials (2.28 pct) scored big gains, while Banks (13.26 pct), Travel (4.38 pct) and Commerce (4.20 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 55 to 49 with another 14 issues unchanged. Attica Bank (27.08 pct), Attikat (19.23 pct) and Alpha Astika (10.51 pct) were top gainers, while AEGEK (20 pct), Piraeus Bank (17.61 pct) and Lavipharm (13.67 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Financial Services: -2.84%
Industrial Products: +1.33%
Real Estate: +4.29%
Personal & Household: -1.64%
Food & Beverages: -2.94%
Raw Materials: +2.28%
Mass Media: Unchanged
Travel & Leisure: -4.38%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and OTE.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE
Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.412
Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.82
Coca Cola HBC: 14.47
Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 3.69
National Bank of Greece: 1.27
Piraeus Bank: 0.80
Grivalia Properties: 8.39
Aegean Airlines: 7.64
 Greek bond market closing reportThe Greek electronic secondary bond market weathered market pressure from a government change in Athens after UBS said a government partnership in Greece would be a positive development for markets. Most bond yields were unchanged with only the three-year state bond yield rising to 11.7 pct. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 8.60 pct, from 8.90 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.97 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.37 pct. Turnover was a moderate 22 million euros, of which 19 million were sell orders and the remaining 3.0 million euros were buy orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed. The 12-month rate rose to 0.277 pct from 0.275 pct, the nine-month rate rose to 0.207 pct from 0.206 pct, the six-month rate edged up to 0.141 pct from 0.138 pct, the three-month rate fell to 0.054 pct from 0.055 pct and the one-month rate rose to 0.002 pct from 0.001 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe February contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.02 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 14,102 contracts with 51.158 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 53,704 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (16,595), followed by Alpha Bank (13,394), Piraeus Bank (8,530), Eurobank (5,708), MIG (321), OTE (2,895), PPC (3,311), OPAP (806), Hellenic Exchanges (243), Mytilineos (796), GEK (223), Ellaktor (183) and Jumbo (133).
 Foreign exchange rates - MondayReference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.1244
Pound sterling 0.74895
Danish kroner 7.445
Swedish kroner 9.3628
Japanese yen 133.03
Swiss franc 1.014
Norwegian kroner 8.7345
Canadian dollar 1.4009
Australian dollar 1.4227
 Greek F-16 jet crashes at Spanish airbase, killing 10 peopleA Greek F-16 fighter jet has crashed on the airport runway of Spain's Los Llanos airbase in Albacete during take-off, killing 10 people and injuring 13, the country's Defense ministry confirmed on Monday evening.
The Greek Air Force had announced the incident earlier.
The fighter jet was participating in a pilot training programme for armed forces of NATO member-states, the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP). According to the ministry spokesman, the aircraft "suffered a loss of power and crashed on an aircraft hangar...causing damages to other aircraft which were there."
Firefighters are trying to battle the blaze which erupted in the airbase and have sealed off the area.
The spokesman also told a French news agency earlier that he could not confirm the two Greek pilots were killed, as some Spanish media reported.
The F-16 belonged to the 341 Squadron of the 111th Combat Wing of Nea Aghialos and had been redeployed at the Los Lllanos airbase as part of the training programme which takes place in the airbase from January 19 to February 13. For the same reason, Greece has redeployed in the Spanish airbase three more F-16 Block 50 fighter jets and 41 air force staff.
 Pilot, co-pilot among 10 dead after Greek F-16 crashes during exercise at Los Llanos, SpainTen people died and 19 were injured when a Greek F-16 crashed during a NATO exercise in Los Llanos, nearly 260 km southeast of Madrid, on Monday.
According to Reuters and AFP sources, the casualties include the pilot and copilot of the F-16. The airplane fell on parked aircraft during takeoff around 16:20 Greek time,
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was briefed by the chief of Greece's Air Force this evening about the accident and asked the official to keep him posted on any updates on the incident. He also spoke with outgoing National Defence minister Nikos Dendias whom he also asked to keep him informed.
 Team of experts to head to Spain's Los Llanos airbase after F-16 crashA team of experts headed by the chief of the Tactical Air force will travel to the Spanish airbase of Los Llanos in Albacete to assist with the F-16 crash.
The Greek Air Force announced the other members of the Greek mission are well in their health but there's no information yet on the two pilots.
Spain's Defence ministry announced earlier a Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed on the airport runway of Los Llanos airbase in Albacete during take-off, killing 10 people and injuring 13.
 Greek singer Demis Roussos dies at the age of 69Greek singer and music composer Demis Roussos, who sold millions of records worldwide, passed away at the age of 69 on Sunday night in Hygeia Hospital in Athens where he was hospitalised for some time with an undisclosed illness, it was announced on Monday.
The internationally-acclaimed singer was born on June 15, 1946 in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents who returned to Greece after losing their possessions in the Suez crisis.
Roussos began his music career at the age of 17, when he joined the band called "The Idols". He became famous in 1968 as a member of the band "Aphrodite's Child". Their album "666" is regarded as classic.
Roussos went on to have a solo career, and Forever And Ever topped the charts in several countries in 1973.
His collaboration with world-renowned composer Vangelis, one of his bandmates in "Aphrodite's Child" produced the music record "Sex Power" in 1970 and "Magic" in 1977.
Other hits include My Friend the Wind, My Reason, Someday Somewhere and Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun. He was best known for his solo hits in the 1970s and 80s, including Forever and Ever, Goodbye and Quand je t'aime.
In 1982, together with Veronique Skawinska, he wrote the book "A Question of Weight" tackling the issue of obesity.
In September 2013, he received the French Legion of Honour, Grade of Chevalier, France's most important medal of valour in a special event held in the French Embassy in Athens.
 Turkish man, 37, to appear before Thessaloniki prosecutor prior to extradition hearingA 37-year-old Turkish national who was arrested on an international alert by Interpol for terrorist activity, will appear before an appeals court prosecutor in northern Greece's Thessaloniki on Tuesday.
He was arrested Friday after a request to Interpol by Turkish authorities and is being held in the Thessaloniki police headquarters. The appeals court will rule whether to free him pending a hearing that will determine whether he is to be extradited to Turkey.
The man was charged by Turkish justice with terrorist acts apparently carried out in 1992 when he was 14 years old and as a member of the "Dev Sol" group, which is outlawed in Turkey as a terrorism organisation.
His defence said that the man swam to Greece when he was 16 and has lived here as a political refugee. He is married to a Greek national and has a child. He is a musician specialising in string instruments and has performed and taught at several schools, including in the traditional music department of the Technical University (TEI) of Epirus.
 Irregular migrants rescued by Greek Air Force helicoptersTwenty eight irregular migrants were rescued by two Hellenic Air Force helicopters after being spotted on a rocky islet, 5 miles southeast of Paxos island in the Ionian Sea, it was announced on Monday.
Twenty six of them were transported to Paxos island and two to the city of Preveza, western Greece.
The two Hellenic Air Force AB-205 helicopters took off from the 131 Combat Group, Aktion Air Base and the 116 Combat Wing, Araxos Air Base respectively.
 Greek music documentary 'A Family Affair' wins Fipa film festival awardThe Greek musical documentary "A Family Affair" on the Xylouris family, directed by Angeliki Aristomenopoulou and jointly produced by Anemon Productions and Unicorn Films, has won the FIPA D'Or prize in the Performing Arts section of the 28th Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA) held in Biarritz, France.
The documentary describes life over three generations of the Xylouris family and their continued dedication to the tradition of Cretan music, passed down through the generations. From the legendary composer and singer Nikos Xylouris, whose name became a byword for Cretan music and was associated with the Greek popular music movement in the 1960s and 1970s, to his brother 'Psarantonis' an acclaimed Cretan lyre player credited with reinventing Cretan music, down to 48-year-old Psarogiorgis and his teenage children, the film follows Greece's most famous musical clan, to discover the electrifying power of their music and the sacred yet oppressive ties that hold the family together.
The Fipa festival ended in Biarritz on Sunday.
 Major traffic disruptions from hailstorm near CorinthAn intense hailstorm in the region of Aghii Theodori of Corinthia in the northeastern Peloponnese and the wider area caused major disruptions in traffic in the national highway on Monday afternoon.
In some areas the hail on the ground reached 10 centimeters, but the bad weather has now abated.
 Overcast and rain on TuesdayOvercast, rain and variable 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 snowfall in mountainous areas and temperatures ranging between 0C and 8C. Same weather in the western parts with temperatures between 2C and 14C. Partly cloudy and local showers in the eastern parts with temperatures between 03C and 13C. Overcast and local showers over the islands, 10C-16C. Cloudy weather with local showers in the afternoon in Athens, 06C-13C. Same weather in Thessaloniki, 05C-11C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Landmark victory for Greece.
DIMOKRATIA: Harsh punishment from the middle class.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Victory heavy like history.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Goodmorning...on a razor edge.
ESTIA: SYRIZA triumphed, New Democracy killed itself.
ETHNOS: Strong mandate for turning of page
KATHIMERINI: New landscape with SYRIZA's win.
NAFTEMPORIKI: The keys to SYRIZA.
RIZOSPASTIS: Positive rallying tension in KKE (Communist party)
TA NEA: 36.3% - Greece turned the page.
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