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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-08-03

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

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

Monday, August 3 2015

CONTENTS

  • [01] Main opposition leader Meimarakis calls on PM Tsipras to govern
  • [02] Main opposition MP blames government, PM, for stock market crash on Monday
  • [03] Ministers Tsakalotos, Stathakis to meet with representatives of creditors on Wednesday
  • [04] FinMin official calls main opposition's criticism on stock market plunge 'unacceptable'
  • [05] The government does not seek any foreign expert to draft the memorandum, gov't sources say
  • [06] 'Greece aims at reversing the deregulation of the five-year memorandum policy,' Labour Min Katrougalos tells ANA-MPA
  • [07] Mature pension rights will not be affected, say Labour ministry sources
  • [08] Alternate FM Anagnostopoulou meets with Egyptian envoy El Bidewy
  • [09] State Minister to ANA-MPA: Refugees to be relocated from Athens' centre to housing facility by end of week
  • [10] Athens Stock Exchange opening: 22.81 pct plunge
  • [11] Greek stocks suffer biggest daily fall since Dec 1987
  • [12] ADEX closing report
  • [13] Hellenic Capital Market Commission prohibits short sales on Monday
  • [14] Greek SMEs suffered a 48 pct drop in turnover because of capital controls, survey
  • [15] Greek economic sentiment index fell sharply in July
  • [16] Greece to auction six-month T-bills on Wednesday
  • [17] Greek PMI plunges in July
  • [18] Fire burning forest in western Athens brought under control
  • [19] Greece, China, discuss possible cooperation in broadcasting programs
  • [20] Acropolis Museum celebrates August full moon with tango
  • [21] Greek U18 basketball team wins Euro championship
  • [22] Forecast on Tuesday
  • [23] Athens News Headlines at a glance Politics

  • [01] Main opposition leader Meimarakis calls on PM Tsipras to govern

    "(Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras needs to understand that he is required to govern, to take responsibility and provide solutions," main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Evangelos Meimarakis said in an interview with Real News.

    Meimarakis accused the prime minister of giving the impression that the party matters dominate the efforts to solve Greece's burning issues.

    "This leads to an instability; it results in uncertainty and confusion both in the country and abroad," he noted.

    According to main opposition leader, Tsipras seems to be acting more as a leader of SYRIZA leaving aside serious issues that concern the citizens. Meimarakis added that elections at this stage would not be a solution and cleared out that New Democracy does not intend to table a motion of censure against the government.

    [02] Main opposition MP blames government, PM, for stock market crash on Monday

    Main opposition lawmaker Christos Staikouras, who comments on economic issues for New Democracy, blamed the government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for the historic plunge of Athens' stock exchange on Monday.

    Staikouras says there are responsibilities for what happened in the stock market which should be investigated on all levels. He accused the government of irresponsibility, constant retractions, amateurism and misguided statements even by Tsipras on the banking system and specific banks, as well as on playing dangerous games with the so-called plan B and plans to return to the drachma.

    "All these, as well as the closure of the banks and the capital controls which resulted from the actions and omissions of the government led to today's collapse of the stock market," Staikouras said.

    "It's a collapse which bears a huge cost for investors and mainly from small investors; a cost which has been accumulated and inflated in the first half of 2015," he added.

    [03] Ministers Tsakalotos, Stathakis to meet with representatives of creditors on Wednesday

    An initial overview of the negotiations between Greece and the representatives of the institutions, following the conclusion of the first round of talks, will take place on Wednesday, during a meeting between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy Minister George Stathakis with the representatives of the four institutions.

    According to government sources, the two ministers will meet on Tuesday with the representatives of the institutions at 13.30 (Athens time) to discuss the recapitalization of Greek lenders and Greece's privatization program. Earlier, at 12.00, a technical staff level meeting will look into labour issues.

    All meetings will take place in the hotel where the representatives are staying.

    On Monday, the representatives of the four institutions met with Labour Minister George Katrougalos at the ministry, following an invitation.

    [04] FinMin official calls main opposition's criticism on stock market plunge 'unacceptable'

    A senior finance ministry official on Monday criticized the main opposition for gloating and investing politically on the plunge of the Athens stock market, saying it is "unacceptable".

    The official said the government's actions on the stock market were taken under the supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), noting that the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) had also been informed.

    The statement of the official followed earlier criticism by New Democracy MP Christos Staikouras, who argued the government had acted irresponsibly and amateurishly, leading to the collapse of the stock market in its first day of trading after remaining closed for five weeks.

    [05] The government does not seek any foreign expert to draft the memorandum, gov't sources say

    The government does not seek any foreign expert to draft the memorandum, government sources said on Monday in reply to a media report.

    According to the same sources, the government is obliged to cooperate with "qualified experts" because specialised issues are discussed during the negotiation, such as the recapitalization of the banks and the creation of a new fund for the exploitation of public assets.

    Meanwhile, government officials have described as completely untrue the report that "the quartet is wandering the ministries," adding that the only meeting was that in the Labour Ministry following an invitation by the Minister George Katrougalos.

    [06] 'Greece aims at reversing the deregulation of the five-year memorandum policy,' Labour Min Katrougalos tells ANA-MPA

    The aim of the Greek side is to reverse the deregulation of the five-year memorandum policy, Labour Minister George Katrougalos on Monday said in exclusive statements to ANA-MPA after a meeting with representatives of the ECB, the European Commission, the ESM and the IMF.

    "The heads of institutions visited the Labour Ministry following my invitation to discuss the 'roadmap' of the negotiations on the labour and social insurance issues," Katrougalos stated.

    "The discussion was conducted in a constructive climate. The aim of the Greek side on labour issues is to identify and legislate the best practices that define the European Social Model, and to reverse the deregulation of the five-year memorandum policy. As for the pension system, we aim at reforms that will ensure the viability of a socially just and rational social security system," he underlined.

    As Katrougalos said "the new negotiation on labour issues will involve international organizations such as the International Labour Organisation and the Committee on Social Rights of the Social Charter of the Council of Europe and will seek to have the widest possible publicity. And this not only to ensure transparency, that was missing all the previous period, but also to enable the active participation of the society in the dialogue."

    [07] Mature pension rights will not be affected, say Labour ministry sources

    Pension rights which have been secured by 30/6 will not be affected by the new agreement between the government and Greece's lenders and this is something which the institutions have accepted, Labour ministry sources said on Monday after a meeting of its leadership with the representatives of the four institutions (the European Commission, ECB, IMF and ESM).

    The same sources said that specific proposals will be submitted on social security reforms by October, as it was agreed in the Euro summit and on labour reforms by the end of the year.

    Asked on whether the representatives of the institutions accept the specific timetable, a senior ministry official said the issue is open for negotiation.

    The sources also said the ministry's intention is to announce every step in the negotiations on labour reforms so that social partners and citizens can be informed. They also added that the ministry has come up with a roadmap in which international organizations are involved to propose the best practices.

    [08] Alternate FM Anagnostopoulou meets with Egyptian envoy El Bidewy

    Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs Sia Anagnostopoulou met on Monday with the Egyptian Ambassador to Greece, Ahmed Fouad El Bidewy at the ministry.

    During the meeting, the two sides reaffirmed the excellent relations between the two countries and discussed the migration issue, the Southern Dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and the domestic political situation in Egypt.

    Finally, special reference was made by the Egyptian Ambassador to the major project of the New Suez Canal, the opening of which will be attended by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    Last Friday, Anagnostopoulou also received the Albanian Ambassador to Athens, Dashnor Dervishi, with whom they focused on many aspects of Greek-Albanian relations and on Albania's European perspective.

    Anagnostopoulou reiterated Greece's support for Albania's European course and the Albanian Ambassador referred to a previous invitation from the Albanian Prime Minister for the Greek Prime Minister to visit Tirana.

    [09] State Minister to ANA-MPA: Refugees to be relocated from Athens' centre to housing facility by end of week

    The government is building a temporary housing facility in the wider Elaionas area in western Athens to accommodate refugees currently living in the Pedion tou Areos park in the city's center, State Minister for Cooperating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris told ANA-MPA on Monday.

    Asked on the issue, Flambouraris said refugees will be relocated by the end of the week, when the facility is expected to have been completed.

    The facility, located at the borders of the Municipality of Athens and away from inhabited areas, is a joint project of the ministries of Interior, Labour, National Defence, Health and Tourism, as well as of the Prefecture of Attica, the Municipality of Athens, and the power and water utilities PPC and EYDAP respectively, Flambouraris said. He also noted local bodies and volunteer organizations will also assist in the efforts.

    Finacial News

    [10] Athens Stock Exchange opening: 22.81 pct plunge

    Greek stocks suffered a dramatic fall in the reopening of the Athens Stock Exchange which remained closed for five weeks since the imposition of capital controls on bank transactions.

    The composite index of the market fell 22.81 pct immediately after the opening of the session, with the bank index falling 23.34 pct and all bank shares locked at the day's limit down.

    Traders said the market was assessing a new situation in the banking sector, while analysts said this was a special type session. The market is operating with significant limitations for Greek investors, while foreign investors -holders of a 58.41 pct of the market's capitalization and accounting around 60 pct of daily turnover- are free of any limitation.

    The last trading session of the Athens Stock Exchange was on Friday 26 June. The composite index ended 2.03 pct in the day and up 16.03 pct in the week, as the market discounted an agreement with the country's creditors.

    [11] Greek stocks suffer biggest daily fall since Dec 1987

    Greek stocks suffered the biggest daily decline since 1987 on Monday as the Athens Stock Exchange reopened after remaining closed for five weeks, following the imposition of capital controls in the country.

    The composite index of the market dropped 16.23 pct to end at 668.06 points, to its lowest levels since early September 2012, while the market's capitalization fell by 8.4 billion euros. It was the biggest daily decline of the index since the "Black Monday" of December 7 1987 when the index had dropped 15.03 pct on one day.

    ASE president, Socrates Lazaridis, in comments made to Bloomberg said Monday's sharp fall of share prices was expected and said that the marked needed to find some balance after absorbing developments of the past five weeks.

    The index fell as much as 615.22 points during the session, falling as much as 22.88 pct. Bank shares remained locked in the day's limit down of 30 pct, while pending sale orders for the four systemic banks surpassed 500 million shares. The Large Cap index fell 16.37 pct and the Mid Cap index fell 16.03 pct.

    Turnover was a thin 67.66 million euros.

    All sectors ended lower with Banks (-29.92 pct), Health (-28.48 pct), Financial Services (-24.62 pct) and Utilities (-19.42 pct). Broadly, decliners led advancers by 90 to 9 with another three issues unchanged. Dromeas (28.95 pct), G.E.Demetriou (20 pct), Attica Publications (9.98 pct), Elastron (9.79 pct), Kordellou Bros (4.76 pct), Euroconsultants (2.78 pct), Kanakis (2.16 pct), Heracles (1.67 pct) and Galaxidi (0.18 pct) scored gains, while National Bank (-30 pct), Piraeus Bank (-30 pct), Attica Bank (-30 pct), J&P Avax (-30 pct) and Ellaktor (-29.95 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Athens Bourse Close 2

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: -29.92%

    Insurance: unchanged

    Financial Services: -24.62%

    Industrial Products: -15.11%

    Commercial: -17.24%

    Real Estate: -8.35%

    Personal & Household: -11.44%

    Food & Beverages: -5.36%

    Raw Materials: -14.89%

    Construction: -14.61%

    Oil: -8.90%

    Chemicals: -15.29%

    Travel & Leisure: -14.73%

    Technology: -18.44%

    Telecoms: -11.59%

    Utilities: -19.45%

    Health: -28.48%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Dromeas, G.E Dimitriou, and Attica Publications.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 0.226

    Eurobank 0.101

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 3.66

    Coca Cola HBC: 18.94

    Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.12

    National Bank of Greece: 0.840

    OPAP: 6.49

    OTE: 7.25

    Piraeus Bank: 0.280

    Titan: 19.40

    Grivalia Properties: 6.99

    Aegean Airlines: 6.15

    [12] ADEX closing report

    The August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 1.35 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday.

    Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,504 contracts with 533 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 18,703 contracts with investment interest focusing on MIG's contracts (3,625), followed by Eurobank (2,746), PPC (2,397), National Bank (2,203), Alpha Bank (1,973), GEK (985), OTE (842), Piraeus Bank (696), Jumbo (645), OPAP (602), Mytilineos (370), Hellenic Exchanges (310), Hellenic Petroleum (258), and Motor Oil (110).

    [13] Hellenic Capital Market Commission prohibits short sales on Monday

    The Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC), during its 725/3.8.2015 Board of Directors' meeting and taking into account the Legislative Act ?Urgent restrictions on the transfer of capital and on cash withdrawals? (Official Gazette of the Greek Republic, number 84/18.7.2015) and the Decision of the Minister of Finance "Lifting of the restrictions of the Legislative Act regarding transactions in financial instruments on greek regulated markets" (Official Gazette of the Greek Republic, number 1617/31.7.2015), decided the following:

    a. The reopening of the ATHEX regulated markets and the Multilateral Trading Facility of "EN.A." (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange), taking also into account the relevant decision of the Athens Exchange Decision Committee,

    b. The reopening of the Electronic Secondary Market "HDAT", for government bonds, operated by the Bank of Greece, taking also into account the relevant decision of the Bank of Greece,

    c. The reopening of the ATHEXClear for all securities and derivatives instruments traded on the Greek securities and derivatives markets and the Multilateral Trading Facility "EN.A.,"

    d. The commencement of operations of settlement of securities traded in Greek markets, by the Hellenic Central Securities Depository (CSD),

    e. The temporary prohibition of implementation of article 5 and par. 1.ii of article 2 of HCMC decision 6/675.2014, regarding margin provided by investment firms within clearing deadline,

    f. Redemption of mutual funds' units will continue to be suspended.

    g. The prohibition (HCMC Board decision 722/27.7.2015) of transactions in any financial instrument which would create or increase a short position as well as the prohibition of short sales of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of "EN.A", for which the relative Competent Authority is the HCMC shall not apply to:

    (a) Market Makers performing transactions on the above shares,

    (b) Market Makers performing transactions on the stock derivatives of the above shares,

    (c) Market Makers performing transactions on warrants of the above shares.

    (d) Market Makers performing transactions on ETFs and Index derivatives of which the above shares are part of their composition.

    All the above exemptions referred to market making activities permitted only when the short selling transactions are conducted for hedging purposes.

    This decision enters into force as of today, the 3rd of August 2015.

    [14] Greek SMEs suffered a 48 pct drop in turnover because of capital controls, survey

    The Small Enterprises' Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME GSEVEE) on Monday said that the vast majority of enterprises have suffered an average decline of 48 pct in their turnover because of the imposition of capital controls on bank transactions, while three out of 10 enterprises reported a decline of more than 70 pct.

    In a report released on Monday, IME GSEVEE said that consumption fell by 50 pct, or 3.8 billion euros, which lead to losses of 570 million euros in lost taxes. GSEVEE also noted that the consequences from capital controls could be more painful in the next six months.

    The survey was conducted by MARC in the period 21-27 July on a sample of 1,005 enterprises. The survey also showed that small and medium sized enterprises were not prepared to deal with the consequences of capital controls as a 50 pct used e-banking services and seven out of 10 did not used EFT/POS machines to credit/debit cards.

    Finally, seven out of 10 businessmen said they were not going on vacations this year, the highest rate ever recorded in the country.

    [15] Greek economic sentiment index fell sharply in July

    Greek economic sentiment index deteriorated sharply in July, falling for the fifth successive month to 81.3 points, from 90.7 in June, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.

    IOBE said the July reading was the lowest since October 2012 and reflected a severe deterioration of business expectations in all sectors and a new, significant, decline in consumer confidence. The report said this development was an expected result of adverse and extremely difficult economic conditions that followed a July referendum, the imposition of capital controls on the banking system and a widening political uncertainty in the country.

    The real effect of capital controls -an unprecedented fact in modern Greek history- cannot be fully assessed today since it was still in progress, IOBE said, adding that it would further burden an already shrinking economic activity leading to a deepening of an economic recession and of the crisis in general.

    More analytically, business expectations in the manufacturing sector worsened markedly, with expectations over new orders and demand falling.

    In the services sector, negative expectations over current and short-term demand worsened further, while expectations over the current situation of enterprises deteriorated significantly.

    In the retail sector, expectations over current sales fell, along with forecasts over short-term developments, while expectations over inventories improved slightly.

    In the construction sector, expectations over scheduled works deteriorated along with expectations over employment in the sector.

    Finally, expectations over household finances, public finances and unemployment in the next 12 months, along with saving intentions, all deteriorated.

    [16] Greece to auction six-month T-bills on Wednesday

    Greece will auction six-month Treasury bills on Wednesday, 5 August, seeking to raise 625 million euros from the market. The Public Debt Management Organization, in an announcement said that settlement date will be Friday, 7 August. The auction will be made with the market's primary dealers, while the organization will also accept non-competitive bids at a cut-off prices up to 30 pct of the asked sum.

    [17] Greek PMI plunges in July

    Greece's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) plunged in July, recording the biggest percentage decline in the 16-year history of the survey, on heightened concern over a Greek default and after the imposition of capital controls on bank transactions in the country, Markit said on Monday.

    In a monthly report, Markit said that the PMI grew more than expected in the Eurozone in July, recording a slightly slowdown from June's 14-month high as rising prices reduced new orders. The PMI was 52.4 points in July, from 52.5 in June. The index measures business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector while readings below 50 a shrinking sector.

    "Policy makers will be relieved by the strong growth rates recorded in Eurozone countries such as Holland, Spain and Italy, and of the resilience showed by the manufacturing sector in total, particularly as growth in these countries was expected to speed up now that Greece has overcome the last hurdle in a continuing debt crisis," Chris Williamson, chief economist in Markit said in a report.

    General News

    [18] Fire burning forest in western Athens brought under control

    A fire which started on Monday morning at a low vegetation and forest area behind a local stadium in Keratsini, western Athens, has been brought under control, the fire brigade said.

    Authorities had deployed 25 fire fighters with 11 vehicles and two helicopters to battle the blaze which burned near an inhabited area. The fire brigade said it will remain in the area to prevent a possible rekindling of the flames, while local authorities have urged citizens to avoid burning dry grass or garbage during the summer months.

    [19] Greece, China, discuss possible cooperation in broadcasting programs

    Greece and China discussed prospects of cooperation in broadcasting services on Monday, following a meeting between Li Qiufang, China's Director of the central inspection team dispatched to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and Information and Communication General Secretary Lefteris Kretsos, as well as the head of Greek public broadcaster ERT, Dionysis Tsaknis.

    Li expressed interest on institutional issues relating to the operation of the Greek broadcasting market and specifically on the role and operation of ERT.

    The two sides also discussed possible cooperation between China's CCTV and ERT in exchanging programs mainly on news and culture, but also in joint productions.

    [20] Acropolis Museum celebrates August full moon with tango

    The Acropolis Museum is celebrating August full moon on August 29 (Saturday) with the music and dance event "Tango Acropolis", according to a press release on Monday.

    For the event, the museum's courtyard will turn into a dance floor where world-renowned artists will first present tango choreographies and then the public will have the opportunity to dance with music by the orchestra of the famous composer Marios Strofalis. The show is held under the aegis of the Argentinian embassy in collaboration with the Acropolis Museum and entry will be free.

    The event will be held from 8.30 pm (local time) until 11.30 pm.

    On the same day, the museum will remain open from 08.00 am to midnight (free entry from 8 pm onwards) and visitors will be able to enjoy the permanent exhibition areas but also the temporary exhibition "Samothrace. The Mysteries of the Great Gods".

    The restaurant of the second floor will be open during the same hours (telephone reservations on +30 210 9000915).

    Sports

    [21] Greek U18 basketball team wins Euro championship

    The Greek U18 national basketball team defeated Turkey 64 - 61 and won the gold medal in the 2015 FIBA Europe Championship that was held in Volos.

    President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos congratulated the Greek team. "Your great European conquest and distinction makes us proud. In addition, it gives a double lesson: it proves the huge potential of the new generation and shows us what Greeks can achieve with coherent collective effort and unity," he stated in his message.

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also congratulated the team and its coach. "This new great success of the Greek basketball team is a happy and moving moment for all the country and proves that the collective efforts, the commitment to our targets along with self-denial lead to such great moments," he underlined.

    ANAMPA Midday Newsletter

    Stathis Giannopoulos

    Tel.6974507878

    [22] Forecast on Tuesday

    Fair weather, scattered clouds and northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Fair in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures from 22C to 34C. Fair in the eastern parts with temperatures from 21C to 35C. Sunny weather over the Aegean islands and Crete, from 24C to 30C. Fair in Athens, from 24C to 34C. Same weather in Thessaloniki, from 23C to 33C.

    [23] Athens News Headlines at a glance

    DIMOKRATIA: What will happen with pensions

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The authors of the memoranda

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Changes in social insurance system to be delayed until autumn

    ESTIA: End of an era for early pensions

    ETHNOS: All sides should meet their commitments, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici tells the newspaper

    KONTRA NEWS: Prime Minister to announce elections on August 20

    NAFTEMPORIKI: The stock market to open after 25 days

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