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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-05-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 Issue No: 4950


  • [01] Gov't VP Dragasakis discusses negotiations, Greek economy with ECB's Draghi
  • [02] Disagreements between EU and IMF are obstructing Greek negotiations, say gov't circles
  • [03] FinMin Varoufakis expects progress in talks to be discussed at Eurogroup on May 11
  • [04] FinMin Varoufakis meets with French Economy Minister Macron in Paris
  • [05] Negotiations at defining phase; momentum is positive, French FinMin Sapin tells ANA-MPA
  • [06] European Commissioner Moscovici: 'We hope for an agreement by May 11'
  • [07] EU Commissioner Moscovici: When agreement is reached, Greece's economic conditions will improve
  • [08] Grexit is not an option, EU Commission head Juncker says
  • [09] EU Commissioner Moscovici agrees with Juncker that Grexit is not an option
  • [10] German FinMin Schaeuble refers Greek debt sustainability issue to the institutions
  • [11] German FinMin Schaeuble cautious over an agreement on Monday
  • [12] IMF not insisting on further debt relief for Greece , German FinMin Schaeuble says
  • [13] Greek debt talks progress, no breakthrough yet, Austria's FinMin says
  • [14] FT: IMF threatens to hold back aid to Greece if Eurozone doesn't write off part of debt
  • [15] SYRIZA political secretariat 'supports Greek people's right to determine its own fate'
  • [16] PM Tsipras meets withTunisian Left leader Hammami
  • [17] PM Tsipras has phone contact with Chancellor Merkel
  • [18] ND leader Samaras: There's no more time, government must sign a deal
  • [19] EWG's Wieser: No Greek deal by next week, but it will be achieved
  • [20] Greece needs more solidarity and more time to implement reforms, German MEP Keller tells ANA-MPA
  • [21] Greece prepared to assist allied forces in fight against terrorism, Defence Minister says at Exposec-Defenseworld
  • [22] UN Special Rapporteur Ruteere in Athens
  • [23] UN special rapporteur meets with civil protection alternate minister in Athens
  • [24] Parliament Speaker says committee on public debt is obliged by EU law to audit it
  • [25] The draft law on reforming public administration is a 'first aid' bill, says minister
  • [26] Defence Min Kammenos meets Turkish Ambassador Uras
  • [27] Alt. Social Insurance Minister asks justice to investigate suspected mismanagement of bank pension fund
  • [28] ND says government using disagreements between lenders to shed responsibility
  • [29] Potami responds to gov't 'non paper', says 'moment of truth' has arrived
  • [30] KKE leader, Vietnamese ambassador meet at party headquarters
  • [31] PASOK: PM Tsipras is afraid of replacing FinMin Varoufakis
  • [32] Memorandum investigative committee to begin work in Parliament on May 14
  • [33] Sports Minister Kontonis says draft bill on tackling violence in sports is ready
  • [34] Sports Minister Kontonis meets with UEFA officials in Geneva
  • [35] Greek economy to grow by 0.5 pct this year, European Commission says
  • [36] Greece will finalise deals for regional airports 'immediately', says Greek official
  • [37] OLP's head says company has been vindicated for its views on sale of Piraeus port
  • [38] Defence industry could give Greece 'a competitive edge in the area,' minister tells int'l conference
  • [39] Greek taxpayers massively respond to ministry's favorable repayment plan for overdue debt
  • [40] National Bank focuses on funding of agricultural sector
  • [41] Sklavenitis Group buys Veropoulos supermarket chain
  • [42] Greek stocks end sharply lower
  • [43] Greek bond market closing report
  • [44] ADEX closing report
  • [45] Bulgarian man accused of murdering his daughter, 4, remanded in custody
  • [46] Evidence in four-year-old Annie's murder points to 'particularly heinous crime', police say
  • [47] Panousis: 'Hypocritical' to suggest comment on alleged murderer of 4-year-old is incitement to murder
  • [48] Arturo Sandoval in Athens on May 10
  • [49] Fair on Wednesday
  • [50] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Gov't VP Dragasakis discusses negotiations, Greek economy with ECB's Draghi

    The meeting between Government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis and the head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi in Frankfurt was concluded on Tuesday evening.

    According to the ECB, the two sides discussed the current situation of the Greek economy and reviewed the progress in negotiations taking place in Brussels, while Dragasakis added an agreement is a realistic goal.

    "We had a constructive discussion with Mario Draghi. We discussed the situation of the Greek economy and the progress in negotiations. The Greek delegation expressed to Mr. Draghi the view that achieving an agreement is a realistic and visible goal, provided that all the institutions will act constructively," Dragasakis said after the meeting which was also attended by Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos.

    Government sources also said the meeting was held "in a good climate".

    [02] Disagreements between EU and IMF are obstructing Greek negotiations, say gov't circles

    The serious disagreements and arguments between the IMF and the EU are obstructing negotiations and raising the risks, government circles said on Tuesday.

    Until recently, the circles said, the main argument of the institutions for not securing a deal, was that the Greek side had not submitted comprehensive proposals. "Now, it becomes apparent that the proposals have been submitted and substantial concessions have been made towards clinching an 'honest compromise.'"

    The same circles explained that the IMF considers reforms in pensions and labour as its 'red lines' while it is not so strict about the primary surplus. The IMF is also considering a debt write off, to make it viable.

    On the other hand, the EU considers the primary surplus an important issue and is against any debt write down, while it is not so strict about reforms in labour laws and pensions.

    Taken together, the government circles said, the result is that the institutions have 'red lines' everywhere: Pensions, labour laws, primary surplus.

    "With these facts, there cannot be a compromise. The responsibility lies exclusively with the institutions and their inability to communicate between them," the circles said.

    To deal with this "blatant contradiction", as the sources described them, the government has taken the initiative not to bring the omnibus bill to Parliament before there's a prospect for an agreement, to include in talks the plan for Greece's exit to the markets and to discuss funding growth in the post-June era.

    Commenting on the Financial Times report, government circles said Peter Spiegel's article reveals the conflicting strategies of the IMF and the Eurozone, as it claims that Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF's European department, warned eurozone' s finance ministers that "it may hold back its portion of a ? 7.2bn tranche of bailout aid to Greece" if "European lenders do not write off significant amounts of its sovereign debt."

    At the same time, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici confirmed the opposition between the IMF and the European Commission, stating that the debt issue may only be discussed only after a reform programme has been agreed.

    It is a strategic disagreement, centered on Greece, which works against the country.

    [03] FinMin Varoufakis expects progress in talks to be discussed at Eurogroup on May 11


    Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told journalists on Tuesday he expects the Eurogroup on May 11 to discuss the progress made in the negotiations between Greek authorities and the representatives of the institutions.

    The statements were made following a working lunch with European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici in Brussels.

    Varoufakis reported having a "lengthy and constructive discussion," with Moscovici that opened the way for a "successful Eurogroup on May 11." He said the aim of the Eurogroup meeting on Monday will be to record the common ground achieved on a Brussels Group level, in the talks between the Greek government and the institutions. According to the finance minister, the great progress made in the talks must now be stabilised and lead through fast and effective handling to a "bridging of the gap that remains."

    He stressed the need for agreements between Greece and its creditors that will help overcome the liquidity problem faced by the Greek economy, give a new boost to investments that will get the economy moving and chiefly promote a package of economic and social reforms needed to return the country to growth.

    The minister finally expressed his conviction that the May 11 Eurogroup will be "one more step in the direction of a comprehensive agreement."

    In a post on his personal twitter account later on Tuesday, Moscovici said the meeting with Varoufakis had focused on the "significant progress" of the Brussels Group and "preparing a useful Eurogroup on May 11."

    [04] FinMin Varoufakis meets with French Economy Minister Macron in Paris

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)

    The search for "technical solutions" was the focus of the second meeting Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had in Paris on Tuesday, with French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

    Earlier in the day Varoufakis met with French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, then went to Brussels where he met with European Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

    "Our talk was on technical level," Varoufakis said of his late Tuesday meeting with Macron in Paris. "It was especially complicated but constructive, within the framework of technical solutions we are jointly looking for," he told ANA-MPA.

    Macron, he said, "helped a lot in formulating some ideas in the framework of efforts to be expanded over the next few days towards a solution."

    Asked whether they discussed the reforms proposals, the finance minister said they discussed "fiscal, budgetary reforms, banks, non-performing loans, and overdue debts." The aim, he added, was to find a solution "that is not simply a solution but (something) that offers an in-depth solution to the crisis of the last few years."

    The minister is expected to go to Rome next.

    [05] Negotiations at defining phase; momentum is positive, French FinMin Sapin tells ANA-MPA

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/ O. Tsipira)

    "There is no other solution than an agreement," French Finance Minister Michel Sapen on Tuesday said after the extraordinary meeting held in Paris with his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis.

    After the meeting, which lasted one and a half hour, and which Varoufakis described as "pleasant and useful," he explained to journalists the reasons of this extraordinary meeting with his French counterpart.

    "It is very important, because the communication of Finance ministers at the Eurogroup is difficult," he explained and added "we are too many and we do not have the opportunity to exchange information. We are all informed by the institutions. It is very important, especially in times like this when maximum communication is crucial, to expose the positive moves that the Greek government has made since February, in order to reach agreement and in particular to present the overall vision of how Greece will come out of the crisis, will recover and begin to grow. That was the subject of today's debate, always with the aim to find an immediate solution to unlock liquidity and to move into a new contract with Europe."

    Asked whether France would take initiatives, the minister replied: "The answer is positive, France cannot fail to take such initiatives in a Europe which hopes to overcome the crisis."

    Sapin, who accompanied Varoufakis to the exit, commented on the meeting with a statement to ANA-MPA, and spoke of "defining moment" and a "good momentum" for the conclusion of negotiations.

    "It was an important meeting, the Greek leadership wanted to get some messages to European ministers, the European Commission and the ECB."

    "I think we have reached a decisive moment. I think we have a good momentum in the discussions and are able -not immediately - but we can reach a good compromise.

    "We are at a dynamic moment, a useful time."

    Asked whether France intends to take any initiative, Sapen replied:

    "No, Europe works together, the initiative of each one does not matter, but what it matters is that they can all work together."

    Regarding the difficulties raised by the IMF, the minister said:

    "Every institution has its own concern and expresses its own views. At a given moment it should settle down though. But anyway there is no other solution than an agreement."

    [06] European Commissioner Moscovici: 'We hope for an agreement by May 11'

    The spirit of negotiations between Greece and its European partners "is good now" and there is hope that an agreement will be reached by the next Eurogroup on May 11, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said in an interview by Euronews, reposted by ANA-MPA on Tuesday.

    Moscovici said that the forecasts show that if there is an agreement, "then there is room for manoeuvre for a strong growth in Greece because the fundamentals are sounder," but he cautioned that "again, the prerequisite - what we need first of all - is that agreement on reforms, and we must absolutely get it soon."

    Commenting on current talks, the European official said, "The spirit of the discussion is good now, we are starting to discuss reforms precisely. But we are not yet there." He added that the message was the same, "but it is true that the quality of the discussions is higher than it used to be and we hope that by the next Eurogroup on May 11 we are able to say that yes, there is progress, strong progress, and we are on the right track."

    Moscovici said the Commission is going step by step, and "we do not want to discuss the debt before concluding on reforms."

    (His statements are available on ANA-MPA WebTV, at

    [07] EU Commissioner Moscovici: When agreement is reached, Greece's economic conditions will improve

    The ongoing discussions on the problems of the Greek economy for the last three months and the entailing uncertainty have negative repercussions to growth and public deficit, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici said during the presentation of European Commission's spring economic outlook.

    The Commissioner said that the most modest estimates of the Commission are based on the fact that an agreement between the Greek authorities and the institutions have not yet been reached.

    Moreover, Moscovici noted that when an agreement is reached, Greece's economic prospects will get better adding that whatever solution for Greece should be based on four pylons: the respect to the general elections' results, Greece's compliance to the commitments to its lenders, the remaining in the eurozone and the invigoration of the development.

    Moscovici also said that he will discuss all these matters at his meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Tuesday in Brussels noting that a number of Greek economic officials are currently in Frankfurt.

    [08] Grexit is not an option, EU Commission head Juncker says

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Ch. Vassilaki)

    "Grexit is not an option," European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said during his speech at the University of Leuven in Belgium adding that this would cause important dangers in Europe.

    Juncker also referred to Greece's obligations to the eurozone and the need for solidarity among EU member states.

    "Greece has made mistakes in the past. The government of Antonis Samaras made the right moves and those who doubted these moves won the elections and now are faced with their pre-electoral promises," he said in reply to a student's question.

    The European Commission president noted that his main concern is not the Greek government, but Greek citizens. We have no right to address the Greek people as if it is the neglected part of Europe. We have to show solidarity, he underlined.

    "Athens must take major steps in our direction, and we must be ready to respond in an appropriate manner on the steps," he stressed.

    [09] EU Commissioner Moscovici agrees with Juncker that Grexit is not an option

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Ch. Vassilaki)

    European Commissioner for Financial and Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday said that he shares Jean-Claude Juncker's position that Grexit is not an option.

    He underlined that everyone's aim is to avoid an "accident" and in cooperation with the Greek government to set Greece again on growth track.

    The eurozone is not a fixed exchange rate zone, it is a single currency and the course is irreversible, he said adding that after a possible exit from the eurozone, the question of "who is next" would follow.

    Asked about whether he expects a decision that will boost Greece's liquidity, Moscovici replied that he hoped that in one week, Greece will have recorded strong progress in the negotiations, considering that "this it will be a strong sign for the Eurogroup and its partners."

    [10] German FinMin Schaeuble refers Greek debt sustainability issue to the institutions

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Tuesday referred the issue of sustainability of the Greek debt to the institutions.

    Asked about reports that the IMF is asking for a new "haircut" of the Greek debt, he said: "It is normal that rumours are heard before each Eurogroup meeting, but right now deliberations between Greece and the institutions are underway."

    As for the sustainability of the debt, he referred the issue to the institutions adding that Poul Tomsen informed the Finance ministers in Riga that before the general elections, Greece progressed faster than foreseen in the program and reiterated its plan for Greece which provides for the total debt to fall to 120 percent of GDP in 2022.

    [11] German FinMin Schaeuble cautious over an agreement on Monday

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was cautious over the possibility of reaching an agreement by Monday.

    "I do not think that a Comprehensive Assessment will be submitted to us on Monday, because much time has been lost," Schaeuble said.

    Schaeuble also said that the German government does not wish a Grexit. "However, that does not mean that we are willing to do one thing or another. If Athens thinks so, it is probably wrong. Europe is above all in order to move on, to operate," he added.

    He also said that "it was a big mistake on the part of Germany and France not to comply with the Stability Pact" and added that "we have learnt our lesson so as not to allow something like this to happen again."

    "These are not easy decisions, but are always taken based on the best possible result for the future European integration," the German Finance Minister noted.

    [12] IMF not insisting on further debt relief for Greece , German FinMin Schaeuble says

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had warned recently that Greek's financial situation was worsening but denied that it was insisting on further debt relief, according to Reuters news agency.

    Speaking to the foreign press association in Berlin, Schaeuble refuted reports that IMF official Poul Thomsen had told euro zone finance ministers at a recent meeting in Riga that returning Greece to a sustainable debt path would require debt relief.

    "The IMF of course did not make such a comment," Schaeuble said, noting however that Thomsen had been clear that Greek finances were deteriorating because of a pause in reforms linked to the election there.

    Thomsen did say things "had become more difficult," Schaeuble said.

    [13] Greek debt talks progress, no breakthrough yet, Austria's FinMin says

    Greece's debt talks with international creditors are making progress but have not yet made a breakthrough, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Tuesday, adding he could not tell if a deal was in reach next week, according to Reuters news agency.

    "From today's perspective I cannot say at all, because we do not have any documents with final results available," he told reporters before a cabinet meeting when asked about prospects for a deal when eurozone finance ministers meet on Monday.

    "Participants in the Euro Working Group tell us the atmosphere in talks is good, that there are some positions where Greece has changed its position in favor of what we always discussed, but on some subjects it seems it has not come to the movement that is necessary. I assume intensive negotiations will continue over the weekend," he added.

    [14] FT: IMF threatens to hold back aid to Greece if Eurozone doesn't write off part of debt

    Greece faces losing vital International Monetary Fund support unless European lenders write off significant amounts of its sovereign debt, the fund has warned Athens' eurozone creditors, according to a Financial Times report published on Monday.

    The warning, delivered to eurozone finance ministers by Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF' s European department, raises the prospect that it may hold back its portion of a ? 7.2bn tranche of bailout aid that Greece is desperately attempting to secure to avoid bankruptcy, the paper claimed.

    Half of the ? 7.2bn, which is the subject of intense negotiations between Athens and its creditors in Brussels-based talks that resumed on Monday, is due to come from the IMF. Without the funds, Greece is expected to run out of cash this month.

    Eurozone creditors, who hold the vast bulk of Greek debt, are adamantly opposed to debt relief. But IMF support is crucial both for its funds and to sustain political backing for the Greece bailout, particularly in Germany, FT said.

    According to two officials cited by the paper who were present at a contentious meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga last month, Thomsen said initial data the IMF had received from Greek authorities showed Athens was on track to run a primary budget deficit of as much as 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product this year.

    Under existing bailout targets, Athens was supposed to run a primary surplus of 3 per cent of GDP in 2015.

    With the large surplus now turning into a sizeable deficit, Greece's debt levels would begin to spike again. "This would force either Athens to take drastic austerity measures or eurozone bailout lenders to agree to debt write-offs to get Athens' debt back on a sustainable path, the IMF believes. Officials said Thomsen specifically mentioned the need for debt relief during the three-hour meeting."

    [15] SYRIZA political secretariat 'supports Greek people's right to determine its own fate'

    The government is faithful to the Greek people's mandate to abolish the memorandum policy and austerity, and supports "the right of a people to determine its own fate," the majority coalition SYRIZA party's political secretariat said on Tuesday.

    Following a meeting, the secretariat charged that the country's creditors were assisted by domestic and foreign media to "try and deconstruct the difficult compromise achieved" by the government on February 20 with the Eurogroup and "blackmail the new government into applying what the Samaras government was ousted for."

    SYRIZA stands by the government, as do most Greek citizens regardless of party origins, it said. "We want the people to take an active role in developments, to struggle and demand their rights," the party underlined in its announcement, and issued a call to all progressive and political powers in Europe to join their struggle against the neoliberal strategy of austerity.

    According to sources, government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis briefed the meeting about recent developments, while party Secretary Tassos Koronakis made the introductory remarks.

    The sources said the meeting focused on the difficulty of negotiations, and a debate on the possibility of a referendum was intense. The party apparatus is on a state of alert, while the SYRIZA central committee is expected to meet on Friday, they noted.

    [16] PM Tsipras meets withTunisian Left leader Hammami

    The importance of the promotion of peace and stability in North Africa and the Middle East, the effective confrontation of jihadism and fondamentalism was underlined at the meeting of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the leader of the Tunisian Left and head of the Popular Front of Tunisia Hamma Hammami.

    According to the prime minister's office , the meeting focused on Tunisia's importance in the region taking into account the serious democratic and constitutional changes that have taken place in the last years in the country.

    The two officials also discussed the importance of the mobilisation of the wider democratic, left and progressive forces of the region for the economic growth and the social solidarity.

    [17] PM Tsipras has phone contact with Chancellor Merkel

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras late Monday had a phone contact with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    According to government sources, the two top officials discussed the course of the negotiations in Brussels and exchanged views on issues related to Greece's agreement with the institutions.

    [18] ND leader Samaras: There's no more time, government must sign a deal


    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Monday warned the government that time is running out and that an agreement has to be signed in the next few days, following his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.

    "The message I have for the government is that it must finally stop lying, stop using communication tricks and sign an agreement in the next few days. There's no more time. The message is clear. It has to sign an agreement," Samaras said after he concluded a number of other meetings with European officials.

    [19] EWG's Wieser: No Greek deal by next week, but it will be achieved

    Greece and its European creditors will not reach a comprehensive agreement by next week, as it was expected, the chairman of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), Thomas Wieser, told US TV channel CNBC on Tuesday, but expressed confidence that a deal will be reached before a real crisis or bankruptcy occurs.

    "We will get a deal," Wieser was quoted as saying on CNBC's webpage. "I think all of the polls show in Greece, the Greek population is firmly convinced its future is in euro. It has given a mandate, which is quite clear it seems to me and it seems to the Greek politicians, [to] do whatever it takes to come to a conclusion with the creditors."

    On Monday, members of the Eurogroup had hoped they would be able to signal that an agreement was in sight, but representatives for European finance ministers in Brussels are still battling over fiscal and value-added-tax issues and labor market reforms, Wieser said.

    Asked about a possible Greek exit from the Eurozone, Wieser said that while this would have been "a real catastrophe" three years ago, today Europe is well insulated, but the outcome would still be negative.

    [20] Greece needs more solidarity and more time to implement reforms, German MEP Keller tells ANA-MPA

    Greece needs more European solidarity in order to face the economic crisis and migration, German MEP and vice president of the European Greens Ska Keller said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    Keller believes that the Greek government needs more time in order to breathe and to implement the changes for which the Greek people elected it. "Certainly, Greece needs changes and that is why the new government was elected. The question is what reforms. Real reforms need time, such as a good tax system. So does fighting corruption," she stated.

    She considers Grexit a catastrophe for both Greece and Europe. "I refuse to think of the possibility of a Grexit because it would be disastrous for Greece and for the European Union as a whole. The only way I think is going forward in an agreement based on mutual trust and solidarity. We are not rivals but partners; it has to do with the European co-existence; it has to do with all of us ."

    Referring to austerity, she said that, apart from the "devastating repercussions" it left behind, it "did not also meet its economic target."

    "Austerity policy had disastrous consequences to Greece and elsewhere, while it is not a solution for economic growth. The aim of the austerity policy was to make Greece more competitive, which did not happen. I believe we must reconsider the European economic policy and strengthen the economic cooperation. It is not practical to have one currency and many different economic and fiscal policies and we should make the European economic policy more sustainable. We cannot leave that only to exports. We must create sustainable benefits for the society, so we are seeking the social and economic reform of the economy, so that society operates for the benefit of society without harming the environment," she noted.

    Regarding migration, Keller said: "There is not enough solidarity from the EU side. On the issue of migration, we are in favour of fair sharing of responsibility in Europe. We need to completely reconsider the Dublin regulations that grant asylum only to the first country of entry. Moreover, Greece receives many refugees from conflict areas who need to be allocated to other member states, because Greece faces many problems due to the economic crisis and it is not easy to improve reception centres, as it takes time and money."

    [21] Greece prepared to assist allied forces in fight against terrorism, Defence Minister says at Exposec-Defenseworld

    Speaking at the 3rd Exposec-Defenseworld annual conference in Athens on Tuesday, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos underlined Greece's willingness to make its facilities and forces available to assist allied forces in the fight against terrorism.

    He stressed that the international community's efforts against terror and comtemporary threats must be collective, without exclusions, and at all times show full respect for international law. He repeated Greece's position that cooperation with Russia was essential in the fight against terror in the region, and that Russia should not be excluded due to sanctions.

    Among the additional security challenges, Kammenos included the exploitation of sources of wealth in the eastern Mediterranean and referred to an "inability by NATO, the EU and the UN to formulate a comprehensive strategic plan."

    He urged a revision of NATO policy for its southern wing and "not to show obsession with excessive and inflated dangers in the northern sector" and said the EU should carefully examine security issues during the accession process of southern European countries "in whose interior there are causes and risks of destabilisation."

    [22] UN Special Rapporteur Ruteere in Athens

    UN Special Rapporteur for racism and racial discrimination Mutuma Ruteere is in Athens in order to evaluate the conditions on racism phaenomena.

    It is the first official visit to Greece of an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council of UN on the evaluation of racism, discrimination and xenophobia throughout the world. The visit is held following a Greek authorities invitation.

    Ruteere is holding a series of meetings with members of the Greek government, representatives of the judicial and legislative authority, with UN services in Greece, the national committee of Human Rights, the Greek ombudsman and representatives of the society of the citizens.

    On Friday, Ruteere will give a press conference to present the first finds of his evaluation and the final report will be presented to UN's Human Rights Council in 2016.

    [23] UN special rapporteur meets with civil protection alternate minister in Athens

    Civil Protection Alternate Minister Yiannis Panousis met with Mutuma Ruteere, U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, on Tuesday to brief him on the ministry's programmes and exchange views on the issues related to racism and discrimination.

    Ministry General Secretary Dimitris Anagnostakis was present.

    Ruteere, who will remain in Greece until Friday for meetings, is expected to draft a report on his observations and proposals to the ministry.

    [24] Parliament Speaker says committee on public debt is obliged by EU law to audit it

    The public debt committee which officially started its session in Greek Parliament on Monday is obliged to audit state debt according to regulation 472/2013 of the European Council, Parliament Speaker Zoi Konstantopoulou said on Monday, as she opened the work of the Committee of the Truth on Public Debt.

    "Ordinary people, have nothing to fear from the Committee's work. They will only benefit. At the same time, humanity will benefit," Konstantopoulou said, adding that it's not coincidental that issues relating to debt are included in the UN's agenda.

    She continued to explain that the process of finalizing the methodology, the strategy and data collecting is starting, saying the data does not only derive from ministries, government or independent authorities, but they are also collected from international public organisations and bodies, as well as from testimonies.

    Taking his turn on the podium, scientific advisor Eric Toussaint said there is serious evidence of anomalies and lack of legality, of unsustainability and of the burdensome nature of the debt demanded from Greece.

    "We therefore have to provide arguments to the Greek government so that it can proceed with negotiations and write off, uproot the debt," Toussaint said.

    [25] The draft law on reforming public administration is a 'first aid' bill, says minister

    Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform George Katrougalos on Monday opened the first day of the parliamentary debate on the draft bill tackling bureaucracy in public administration.

    Speaking on the bill, whose debate will continue with an additional parliamentary session on Tuesday morning and will conclude in the evening, Katrougalos described it as a "first aid" bill which will restore and tackle the "most extreme injustices".

    "It's a bill away from neoliberal logic which aims at establishing a state that will represent the majority, not a state for the few," the minister said.

    "It's not our last word, but it's our first word. It's a first sample of the reform we will seek," he added.

    On his side, the rapporteur for the main opposition New Democracy, Simos Kedikoglou, accused the government of drafting a bill with an unknown cost, without a clear image, which aims at installing "a party state".

    [26] Defence Min Kammenos meets Turkish Ambassador Uras

    Defence Minister Panos Kammenos on Tuesday met with Ambassador of Turkey to Greece Kerim Uras, according to a Defence ministry's announcement.

    The two officials discussed the entire range of bilateral relations and the Turkish Ambassador extended an invitation to Kammenos on behalf of his counterpart to visit Ankara.

    [27] Alt. Social Insurance Minister asks justice to investigate suspected mismanagement of bank pension fund

    Alternate Social Insurance Minister Dimitris Stratoulis on Tuesday asked justice to investigate claims in a report regarding possible financial mismanagement of the Emporiki Bank supplementary pension fund.

    Stratoulis sent a copy of the report compiled by General Inspector for Public Administration Leandros Rakintzis to the Athens misdemeanours' court prosecutors' office, asking that it investigate possible disciplinary or criminal liability on the part of the fund's management.

    The report revealed that between 2007 and 2013, the fund had created a "hole" in its finances by illegally paying out both a "pre-pension" assistance and a regular pension to some insured simultaneously.

    The minister asked that the case be investigated and action taken for the return of money lost by the fund, while he also asked the governors of the much larger Social Insurances Foundation (IKA) and Unified Supplementary Pension Fund (ETEA) to conduct similar inquiries.

    Stratoulis stressed that the government will be indefatigable in uncovering those that had embezzled public funds, whether they were private individuals or organisations.

    [28] ND says government using disagreements between lenders to shed responsibility

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) on Tuesday slammed the government about its comments on the ongoing negotiations with the country's lenders, saying it's surprising they have only now realised that there are disagreements within the troika.

    ND spokesman Costas Karagounis said these differences have existed for years and criticized the government for wasting time and opportunities and finding a new pretext for not submitting the omnibus bill to Parliament.

    "It cites internal differences in the troika, but the real reason is the internal differences in their party," Karagounis noted, adding that "Greece's agony remains" and the "economic paralysis continues because of the government's inability to understand what's going on and take the necessary decisions."

    [29] Potami responds to gov't 'non paper', says 'moment of truth' has arrived

    Responding to an anonymous government press release regarding the ongoing negotiations with Greece's creditors, the opposition Potami party on Tuesday stressed that the "moment of truth" and the time for big decisions had arrived.

    "The government is attempting to shunt its responsibilities for a possible rift onto the disagreements between the partners. These differences, however, are not new. They have existed for some time. A good negotiator would have taken advantage of them, forming the appropriate alliances, so that these disagreements would work to our country's benefit," a Potami announcement said.

    Greece had instead achieved entirely the opposite, Potami added, with all sides united against it, in spite of the differences between them.

    "The government appears divorced from reality, as is proved by the reference in the non paper to a plan for trying to borrow from the markets, something that in the current conditions sounds like a joke," the party said.

    It called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to stop "misleading leaks" that led nowhere and urged an "understanding of the political forces and an agreement to keep Greece in the eurozone."

    [30] KKE leader, Vietnamese ambassador meet at party headquarters

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas met with Socialist Republic of Vietnam Ambassador to Greece, Madame Tran Thi Ha Phuong, at the party headquarters in Perissos, north of Athens, on Tuesday.

    They briefed each other about the situation in both countries and exchanged views on expanding ties of friendship and solidarity between the two peoples, and they discussed an upcoming trip of Koutsoumbas to Vietnam with a delegation that follows an invitation from the corresponding party in Vietnam.

    Political Bureau member Giorgos Marinos, responsible for the party's international relations, and central committee member in the section of international relations Nikos Seretakis were in the meeting as well.

    [31] PASOK: PM Tsipras is afraid of replacing FinMin Varoufakis

    Mr Tsipras continuously 'annuls' Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis but is afraid of replacing him, said PASOK party on Tuesday in an announcement on the occasion of the meeting of government vice president Yannis Dragasakis and Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos with European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Tuesday.

    "Government's 'charmer' Finance minister Mr. Varoufakis does not participate in the crucial meeting with Mario Draghi. Is it possible the Finance minister to be under guardianship? With what prestige will he go to the crucial Eurogroup with Mr. Draghi? Why, is Mr. Tsipras afraid of replacing Mr. Varoufakis when he continuously 'annuls' him'," the announcement concluded.

    [32] Memorandum investigative committee to begin work in Parliament on May 14

    The Parliament's Investigative Committee reviewing the conditions under which Greece accepted the memorandum agreements will begin its work on May 14, majority coalition SYRIZA party Deputy Dimitris Vitsas said on Tuesday.

    The sessions will be open to the public and expected to be completed by October 6; there is an option of extending them by two months.

    Vitsas said that key witnesses would be called to be questioned by Parliament. Asked if the committee planned to call on former finance minister George Papakonstantinou to appear, he said that during his testimony before the special court examining the "Lagarde issue" of Greek depositors abroad the former minister had made references to the memorandum that were worth looking into.

    "The truth is liberating," he noted, "We will investigate to the end any political liabilities and mete out justice to the degree we can."

    The committee consists of 17 deputies, with proportional representation by all parties in Parliament. The group from main opposition New Democracy will be headed by former ministers Christos Staikouras and his stand-in, Makis Voridis.

    [33] Sports Minister Kontonis says draft bill on tackling violence in sports is ready

    Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis announced on Tuesday that the draft bill on tackling violence in sports has been finalised, following talks with international federations to smooth out objections regarding some articles of the bill.

    Kontonis thanked UEFA and FIFA for the talks which he said will continue in the future to be "in good faith and constructive" despite "continuous efforts by many to torpedo the discussions."

    "After many months of intensive talks and exhaustive deliberations, the text of the draft bill on tackling violence in sports was finalised today. We're proud of the result which we believe serves legality in the best way possible as well as the need to clean up Greek football," the minister said.

    He also stressed that starting next year, the State will have a say and will be able to intervene in the sporting scene, to effectively address violence and corruption in sports, adding that all differences in football will be decided upon solely by judges, while electronic surveillance systems and nominal tickets will be used for every game.

    [34] Sports Minister Kontonis meets with UEFA officials in Geneva

    Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis traveled urgently to Geneva on Monday where he had a long meeting with UEFA officials to discuss amendments to the sports draft bill on tackling violence in sports.

    Talks in Geneva were conducted in a very good climate. The bill is expected to be submitted to the Parliament's plenum in the next few days.

    Financial News

    [35] Greek economy to grow by 0.5 pct this year, European Commission says

    The recovery fails to accelerate amid high political uncertainty, the European Commission titled its spring forecast report for the Greek economy.

    The report released here on Tuesday said that forecast figures for Greece were subject to a high degree of uncertainty and take into account developments up until the cut-off date of 21 April.

    In 2014, private consumption and net exports drove economic activity, prompting a long-awaited return to growth, which measured 0.8% in terms of real GDP. Backed by falling prices and the adjustment of the labour market, private consumption increased for the first time after five years of continuous contraction. Exports of services improved strongly thanks to the tourism and shipping sectors, goods exports also improved, although stronger domestic demand meant that imports also rose. Investment increased for the first time since 2008, mainly due to the increase in equipment investment.

    The positive momentum has, however, been hurt by uncertainty since the announcement of snap elections in December. The current lack of clarity on the policy stance of the government vis-?-vis the country's policy commitments in the context of the EU/IMF support arrangements worsens uncertainty further. Greece's economic sentiment indicator (ESI) deteriorated in March due to falling confidence in all business sectors, although consumer confidence remained at relatively high levels. Greece's purchasing managers index (PMI), recorded a further deterioration in business conditions for manufacturing in March, suggesting that the sector is still in depression, with new export orders and output falling.

    Conditional on agreement with the EU/IMF by June and assuming that business confidence returns along with the liquidity of the government and banking sector, the economy is now forecast to grow by around ?% in 2015, considerably lower than in the previous forecast. Private consumption should benefit slightly from the drop in oil prices and the return of 'under-the-mattress' deposits to the economy. Export growth is expected to continue in 2015 as tourism and shipping should benefit from the weaker euro.

    Uncertainty, however, is taking a heavy toll on investment, which is also suffering from limited credit supply from the financial sector and a build-up of arrears from the public sector. In 2016, real GDP growth is projected to strengthen to 2.9%, as investment rebounds on the back of structural reforms.

    Greece's current account balance is expected to improve further in the forecast horizon supported by past and ongoing structural and institutional reforms, as well as by the weaker euro. The current account deficit is forecast to shrink to 1.6% of GDP in 2015 and to 1.3% in 2016.

    The unemployment rate fell to 26.5% in 2014 reflecting the creation of about 100 000 new jobs. In 2015, the unemployment rate is projected to fall moderately to 25.6%, as the recovery remains muted. When growth picks up in 2016, the unemployment rate should fall further to 23.2%. Prices fell by 1.4% in 2014 and inflation is expected to remain below zero this year, due to weak domestic demand, before turning positive in 2016 as the recovery gains pace.

    The rise in uncertainty since the autumn of 2014 and the slowdown in the recovery have had a significant impact on Greece's public finances, In 2014, the real GDP of Greece grew for the first time since 2007, expanding by 0.8%. The conditions to support growth are in place but uncertainty and tighter financing conditions are holding back the recovery and weighing on public finances. The poor revenue collection around the turn of the year resulted in a significantly weaker-than expected fiscal outcome for 2014. The general government balance at -3.5% of GDP in 2014, is substantially worse than expected in the winter forecast. The headline balance in 2014 is, nevertheless, much better than in previous years, as it is no longer affected by the large one-off effects of bank recapitalisations recorded in 2012 and especially 2013.

    Given the existing uncertainty about the timely implementation of necessary reforms and budget commitments, projections for 2015 and 2016 are based on a no-policy-change assumption. Accordingly, the forecasts for the headline balance in 2015 and 2016 have been lowered to -2.1% of GDP and -2.2% respectively. This reflects weaker than-expected revenues due to lower growth prospects offsetting a rebound in collection after the first quarter of the year. The projection assumes that profits from Eurosystem securities transactions (the SMP and ANFA programmes) are transferred, which in turn presumes that new fiscal measures will be taken. Expenditure ceilings were binding in 2014 and are expected to remain so in the future as well.

    The government's debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to peak in 2015 before declining in 2016. Favourable interest rates, better cash management together with the back-loaded payment schedule for loans from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will help to keep interest expenditure low for a long period, despite the high stock of debt.

    [36] Greece will finalise deals for regional airports 'immediately', says Greek official

    Greece will finalise "immediately" a 1.2-billion-euro deal with Fraport to run regional airports and reopen bidding for a majority stake in Piraeus port a senior privatisations official told Reuters on Tuesday.

    The Greek finance, shipping and economy ministries involved in the sales declined to comment.

    "The issue of regional airports will be concluded immediately," the official at Greece's privatisations agency HRADF was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity, noting that an announcement could be expected by May 15.

    On Tuesday, the privatisations official said Athens would invite shortlisted investors to submit by July binding offers for a 51-percent stake in Greece's biggest port with the option to raise their stake to 67 percent over five years. "We will reopen the process in the coming days," the official said.

    [37] OLP's head says company has been vindicated for its views on sale of Piraeus port

    The Chairman and Managing Director of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) Yiorgos Anomeritis said on Monday the company has been vindicated for its opposition to the sale of 67 pct of the port, adding OLP's administration will present its view on the issue when the government takes its final decisions on the matter.

    "We have clarified our stance and when the government takes its final decisions, we will make it public," Anomeritis told ANA-MPA during a press conference to announce that the 2015 Annual Conference of the European Sea Ports Organisation will take place in Athens on May 21-22.

    Anomeritis also blamed the previous management of Greece's privatization agency (HRADF) on their handling of the sale. Responding to a question by ANA-MPA on whether he had any comment on reports claiming the government plans to sell 51 pct of the port instead of 67 pct, as originally planned, the head of OLP said the management has submitted its views in writing and had been discussed in the past with the troika, the previous management of HRADF and the relevant ministries.

    "When the previous management of HRADF decided to sell 67 pct of OLP, we told them it wouldn't go ahead and the views of OLP's management...have been vindicated," he added.

    Anomeritis also announced the conference, which takes place in Athens for the first time, is called "No ports no energy. No energy no ports" and participants will discuss the role of ports in a time of changing energy policies.

    [38] Defence industry could give Greece 'a competitive edge in the area,' minister tells int'l conference

    The Greek defence industry "could in a few years provide a competitive edge to Greece in the [geographic] area, with new jobs and incentives for older workers to train new staff," Alternate National Defence Minister Kostas Isychos said on Tuesday, in an address to the 3rd Exposec-Defenceworld conference at a central hotel in Athens.

    The theme of the two-day conference is "National Defence and Security Strategy in Today's Challenging World" and its purpose is to generate proposals and aim for solutions to major defence and security issues.

    Isychos charged Greece's lenders with liquidating the defence industry "in order to break it apart and have Greece's defence armaments serve as a fertile field for speculation and profiteering." The sector in Greece needed extroversion, a settlement of debts for Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), and production of updated products for foreign markets, he underlined, in order to revive.

    The opening address on Friday was delivered by National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos. Conference speakers include the Parliament president, former minister Nikos Dendias, the U.S. ambassador to Greece, deputies, academics, state and private sector managers, police and military representatives and officials of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, which is the organiser.

    Wednesday's agenda includes, on the government side, Alternate Citizen Protection Minister Yiannis Panousis and Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Tasia Christodoulo-poulou.

    [39] Greek taxpayers massively respond to ministry's favorable repayment plan for overdue debt

    Greek taxpayers massively responded to a finance ministry plan offering more favorable repayment terms on overdue tax debt.

    A finance ministry announcement on Tuesday said that a total of 278,000 applications for inclusion in the plan were submitted in the first 13 days of the plan's validity (93 pct by individual taxpayers and 7.0 pct by corporate) with an initial overdue tax debt of 1.92 billion euros, plus 280 million euros in charges.

    The ministry reported that a total of 101 million euros have been collected so far and that these figures sharply exceed the response by taxpayers to last year's similar plan, when a total of 230,000 applications had been submitted and 220 million euros collected during a period from November 25, 2013 to March 31, 2015.

    [40] National Bank focuses on funding of agricultural sector

    National Bank will focus on funding the country's agricultural sector through signing farm and livestock contracts as it acknowledged the dynamism and growth potential of the agricultural sector as a basic pylon of the economy's primary sector.

    In this framework, the bank has set up a special funding program for the support and modernization of the farm and livestock sector, which has already included more than 1,000 producers. The benefits of the program are very significant for producers, as they secure the necessary liquidity within their production period and lowered production cost through funding at very favorable terms.

    [41] Sklavenitis Group buys Veropoulos supermarket chain

    Sklavenitis Group on Tuesday announced the signing of an agreement to purchase Veropoulos Group's activities in Greece.

    In an announcement, Sklavenitis said the acquisition will be completed following a corporate transformation of Veropoulos Group and the split of its activities in Greece and abroad, an effort currently underway with the support of Sklavenitis Group. Sklavenitis expects the deal to be completed this year.

    The deal will create a big Greek group in the supermarket and cash & carry market, operating a network of 342 units around Greece. The deal needs approval from the country's competition authorities.

    [42] Greek stocks end sharply lower

    Greek stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, pushing the composite index of the market below the 800-point level as sellers took the upper hand on concern about the outcome of negotiations between Greek authorities and its creditors.

    Market sentiment was further hit by a downward revision of Greek economic prospects by the European Commission and following comments made by ECB board member Christian Noyer that Greek banks could run out of collateral used for ELA funds.

    Bank shares were at the focus of selling activity with the bank index losing around 10 pct. The composite index of the market fell 3.85 pct to end at 794.23 points, off the day's lows of 785.74 points. The Large Cap index fell 3.94 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 3.27 pct lower. Turnover was an improved 96.73 million euros, while the market's capitalisation shrank by 2.0 billion euros.

    Motor Oil (1.02 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end higher, while Piraeus Bank (14.19 pct), National Bank (10.57 pct), PPC (8.97 pct), Eurobank (8.21 pct) and MIG (8.0 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, the Media (9.94 pct), Banks (9.65 pct), Utilities (7.64 pct), Commerce (5.60 pct) and Financial Services (5.37 pct) suffered heavy losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 90 to 28 with another 13 issues unchanged. CPI (25 pct), Varvaresos (19.44 pct), G.E. Demetriou (12.50 pct) were top gainers, while Pasal (19.51 pct), Akritas (17.07 pct) and Progressive (17.02 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: -9.65%

    Insurance: -0.72%

    Financial Services: -5.37%

    Industrial Products: -3.17%

    Commercial: -5.60%

    Real Estate: -1.25%

    Personal & Household: -0.65%

    Food & Beverages: -0.33%

    Raw Materials: -5.05%

    Construction: -2.57%

    Oil: -1.14%

    Chemicals: -2.81%

    Media: -9.94%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.15%

    Technology: -2.81%

    Telecoms: -0.61%

    Utilities: -7.46%

    Health: -4.57%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Pireaus Bank and Alpha Bank.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE

    Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 0.293

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.28

    Coca Cola HBC: 19.44

    Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.15

    National Bank of Greece: 1.10

    OPAP: 8.00

    OTE: 8.20

    Piraeus Bank: 0.369

    Titan: 22.40

    Grivalia Properties: 7.10

    Aegean Airlines: 7.44

    [43] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 10.01 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 10.29 pct on Monday, with the Greek bond yielding 10.50 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.49 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 0.167 pct from 0.17 pct the previous day, the nine-month rate fell to 0.108 pct from 0.109 pct, the six-month rate eased to 0.061 pct from 0.064 pct, the three-month rate fell to -0.008 pct from -0.007 pct and the one-month rate was unchanged at -0.043 pct.

    [44] ADEX closing report

    The May contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.35 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday.

    Volume on the Big Cap index totalled 5,641 contracts with 52,149 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totalled 93,616 contracts with investment interest focusing on Eurobank's contracts (30,347), followed by Alpha Bank (17,086), Piraeus Bank (24,426), National Bank (18,065), OTE (1,169), PPC (1,069), MIG (432), OPAP (360), Mytilineos (166), Hellenic Exchanges (120), Viohalco (110), GEK (147), Ellaktor (128), Jumbo (239) and Hellenic Petroleum (94).

    General News

    [45] Bulgarian man accused of murdering his daughter, 4, remanded in custody

    A 27-year-old Bulgarian man suspected of having murdered his four-year-old daughter and then cutting her up to dispose of the body was on Tuesday remanded in custody, after testifying before the 10th examining magistrate.

    The unlucky girl's mother also appeared before the magistrate and was then transferred back to the central police headquarters in Athens after receiving an extension until Thursday to prepare her testimony.

    The 27-year-old testified without legal counsel, while the child's mother had a lawyer with her.

    Both were angrily denounced as they exited the magistrate's office, by citizens who were at the Evelpidon court complex at the time, and both had a strong police escort back to where police cars were waiting to take them away.

    The suspect had earlier confessed under police questioning to disposing of his daughter, four-year-old Anna Borisova, by cutting up and boiling her body, then throwing the various parts into dustbins.

    The child's disappearance was originally reported by her grandmother, also a Bulgarian national, who at first claimed the girl had been kidnapped by an acquaintace of hers. Police had interviewed the father, who is a drug addict, but let him go for lack of evidence. Genetic and other evidence found later linked him to the crime and an arrest warrant was issued.

    According to police sources, the suspect killed the girl and afterwards disposed of her body as described above, making it virtually impossible to recover any part of her. The suspect, however, claims that he woke to find the girl dead and then decided to get rid of the body. Police said that the reasons of the crime are still unknown.

    [46] Evidence in four-year-old Annie's murder points to 'particularly heinous crime', police say

    Presenting the results of the police investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of four-year-old Anna Borisova on Tuesday, Attica Security Police head Brigadier Christos Papazafiris told the press that there was no chance of "finding even one bone from the four-year-old's body".

    He said the evidence gathered by police pointed to an especially heinous crime committed by the girl's father, a 27-year-old Bulgarian national and drug addict, unmatched in both Greek and global police annals. According to Papazafiris, the suspect appeared to have essentially reduced her to a pulp in order to dispose of the body.

    The head of the Crimes Against Life and Property Department Giorgos Papasifakis said the date of the crime has been narrowed down to the period between April 8 and April 10, in the run-up to Orthodox Easter. Especially shocking to police was the fact that the suspect subsequently sold his daughter's belongings - such as her crib, pushchair and toys - to a Romanian man for the sum of 55 euros.

    Police believe the 27-year-old's motive was jealousy, because the girl's 25-year-old mother, also a Bulgarian, had a boyfriend in Germany that gave her money and the suspect feared he would be abandoned.

    Forensics experts found traces of blood in the apartment in Athens where the young girl lived with her father and on implements taken from the scene, as well as the suspect's blood on a knife and sheet.

    Based on the evidence and the suspect's own testimony, investigating officers believe the four-year-old's father killed her and then carved up her body and boiled it with rice. He then wrapped the parts in aluminium foil and threw them in the rubbish, while he also attempted to get rid of all items that she used.

    According to Papazafiris, witness reported that the suspect hung towels over the apartment windows to absorb the steam, to avoid alerting the neighbours' suspicions. He then cleaned the entire apartment, even the drain pipes, which he also intended to change in order to avoid any trace of the child's body coming to light. While witnesses had since come forward with accounts that the father had abused the child prior to the incident, police said, there had had been no official reports by neighbours that authorities might have acted upon.

    The case started to be unravelled, Papazafiris told reporters, after police were put onto the trail of a third Bulgarian national, a friend of the father, who they were told might have information on what took place. With the assistance of the Bulgarian police, they managed to track down this individual, to whom the suspect had partially related what happened, without admitting that he killed the girl.

    Regarding the mother's role in the case, the police said there was no evidence that she had known anything about the child's murder. They said that she was currently under observation by a psychiatrist and had not been told the grisly details of the killing.

    The suspect, on his part, claims to have found the child dead on the morning of Orthodox Good Friday and admits to then acting to dispose of the body in the ways described above.

    Regarding the mother's friend in Germany, Papadosifakis said the police had contacted him and that he confirmed giving the mother 12,000 euros because they were friends. Authorities have also confirmed that the mother travelled to Germany before Easter and had left the girl with her father, returning on April 21, and that the little girl had stayed with the suspect's mother for two weeks and was returned to him before Easter.

    Based on the evidence collected, the 27-year-old has been charged with murder committed in a calm frame of mind and with disrespecting the dead, as well as moral instigating false evidence by a witness and weapons use. The 25-year-old mother of the child has been accused of exposing the child to danger resulting in death and giving false evidence.

    [47] Panousis: 'Hypocritical' to suggest comment on alleged murderer of 4-year-old is incitement to murder

    Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Yiannis Panousis on Tuesday defended his comment on the alleged murderer of four-year-old Anna Borisova, saying reactions were "irrational and hypocritical."

    Speaking earlier about the heinous crime being investigated by police, the minister said it's "an extreme, non-human behavior" adding that "there's a code of honour in jail...and this is why...I believe in these cases we will soon have the death of the perpetrator."

    This statement raised a storm, mainly on the internet, with some people saying this amounts to incitement to murder.

    Replying to those criticisms, Panousis said: "I find at least irrational, hypocritical or a pretext for someone to interpret so easily the scientific and empirical ascertainment of a scientist as an incitement to murder."

    "The unbearable lightness of political wrangling cannot exceed morality, logic or science," he added and continued: "It's surprising that after my statement that 'we'll have dead in Skouries' I was not accused of promoting bloodshed in the region."

    [48] Arturo Sandoval in Athens on May 10

    Arturo Sandoval, a Cuban jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer, is coming to Athens on Sunday, May 10, for one performance at Gazarte.

    A student of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, who found him in the slums of Cuba in 1970, was so impressed with the talent and personality of the 21-year young musician, who placed him under his protection, giving him the opportunity to travel in Europe and the US.

    Sandoval has been awarded 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy. Sandoval is also the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    His compositions can also be heard at the soundtracks of films "Havana", "Random Heart", "Mambo Kings" and others.

    Weather forecast

    [49] Fair on Wednesday

    Fair weather and winds from variable directions are forecast for Wednesday. Wind velocity will reach 4 on the Beaufort scale. Scattered clouds in the northern parts with temperatures ranging from 13C-27C. Mostly fair in the western parts with temperatures between 13C-31C; the same for the eastern parts, 13C-30C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 17C-27C. Fair in Athens, 15C-30C; the same for Thessaloniki, 17C-29C.

    [50] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: An agreement requires two sides

    DIMOKRATIA: The IMF is playing the devil

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: That's the government plan

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: IMF's bomb on freezing funds

    ESTIA: 100 days of tragic handlings

    ETHNOS: Dramatic mission on three fronts

    IMERISSIA: Rapid progress ... They rush to avoid ECB's harsh decisions

    KATHIMERINI: IMF's bomb to the negotiation

    KONTRA NEWS: The minister receives pressure to change the law on medicine

    NAFTEMPORIKI: In the grip of uncertainty

    RIZOSPASTIS: Either a bridge agreement or a final agreement, the people will pay for it

    TA NEA: The government sees an agreement by mid-June

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