|Saturday, 20 July 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-08-04
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, August 4 2015
 President Pavlopoulos to visit Samos on WednesdayThe President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos will visit Samos on Wednesday to attend the events for the 191st anniversary of the Battle of Samos.
In the afternoon, the President will visit the Archaeological Museum of Pythagorio and then he will attend the representation of the battle that will take place at the port.
On Thursday, he will attend the doxology at the Church of the Transfiguration and then he will go to the town hall, where he will be declared an honorary citizen of Samos.
He will return to Athens on Thursday noon.
 PM Tsipras to visit Rural Development Min on WednesdayPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit the Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy (Ministry of Rural Development and Food) on Wednesday.
The meeting will take place at 13:00. He will meet with the Alternate Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Evangelos Apostolou and ministry officials.
Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis will also attend the meeting.
 PM Tsipras to visit Egypt on Thursday for inauguration of new Suez CanalPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Egypt on Thursday (August 6) to participate in the inauguration of a new Suez Canal waterway, while he will also meet with French President Francois Hollande, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev who will attend the event.
Tsipras is expected to discuss the current developments in the wider Middle East and bilateral issues with the Egyptian leader in their second meeting in the last few months. According to government sources, the two leaders will also discuss supporting any effort to stabilize the region.
In his meeting with Hollande, the Greek premier will discuss the ongoing negotiations with the country's lenders, while in his meeting with Russia's Medvedev, Tsipras is expected to reassure him of Greece's commitment to the "Greek pipeline". The two leaders will also discuss strengthening bilateral relations.
 PM Tsipras to discuss government's agricultural policy with relevant minister on WednesdayThe implementation of the government's agricultural policy, the development strategy for the agricultural economy, the immediate problems of the sector and the necessary measures to support the rural world in the immediate future, will be the main issued discussed during a meeting of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the Alternate Minister for Rural Development Vangelis Apostolou on Wednesday, the prime minister's office said on Tuesday.
The meeting, scheduled for 13.00 (local time) will also be attended by Deputy Minister for Rural Development Panagiotis Sgouridis and Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis.
 FinMin Tsakalotos says deal with lenders possible by August 20Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Tuesday that based on the progress of the negotiations with Greece's lenders, an agreement could be achieved by August 20.
Speaking after the completion of the first part of the negotiations with the representatives of the four institutions, in which Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Minister George Stathakis participated, Tsakalotos said neither side has expressed doubts over the timetable for the completion of the talks. He also said that they have not discussed the possibility of a "bridge loan".
Talks between the two sides on Tuesday focused on the creation of a new Fund to manage public assets. Tsakalotos said there was "some divergence of opinion; we tabled our proposals, which they will consider and respond, but my impression was that these differences can be overcome. I do not foresee any obstacle."
The minister specified the divergence concerns the legal status of the fund and the way the transition will be made from the current privatization agency, TAIPED, to the new body.
Negotiations between the two sides are continuing on the recapitalization of Greece's lenders.
 FinMin Tsakalotos: Negotiations with Greece's lenders should conclude by the end of weekNegotiations with Greece's lenders must conclude within the week, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Tuesday, after the end of the second part of talks with the representatives of the institutions which centered on the recapitalization of the country's lenders.
On his side, Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Minister George Stathakis who participated in the meeting, said the government presented its proposal on non-performing business loans and mortgages, without discussing it. Stathakis said the aim is to stabilize the banking system as well as supporting affected social groups. He also added the proposal is in the spirit of the initial proposals but "three months of negotiations have passed."
The finance minister noted that negotiations have not yet included macroeconomic targets (growth rate, primary surplus), adding that on Wednesday there will be a first review of the first round of talks.
 Ministers Tsakalotos, Stathakis to meet representatives of institutions again on WednesdayFinance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Minister George Stathakis will meet anew with the representatives of the four institutions on Wednesday at 11.30 (local time), during which there will be a review of the first round of talks.
According to the schedule, discussions will be held on the minimum guaranteed income at 15.30 and on Justice issues at 17.30 (local time). All meetings will take place in the hotels where the representatives are staying.
 New Democracy spokesman says cost of recapitalization has greatly increasedThe plunge of the Greek banking stocks at the Athens stock exchange combined with the recent closure of the country's lenders, as well as the imposition of capital constraints has greatly increased the cost of the recapitalization of the country's lenders, main opposition spokesman said on Tuesday.
Costas Karangounis said that the cost rises for both the previous recapitalization "which has already been successfully completed, but whose share value which is held by the state has almost been reduced to zero," as well as the new recapitalization currently being discussed with Greece's partners. He added that the need for a new recapitalization was created because of the government's irresponsibility.
"Greek tax payers are paying and will continue to pay dearly for the mistakes and the omissions of the government in the last six months," New Democracy spokesman added.
 Italian FinMin expresses optimism over Greece's futureROME( ANA-MPA/ Th. Andreadis-Syngelakis) - Italy's Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan on Tuesday expressed his optimism over the future of Greece and stressed the need for restructuring.
Speaking to foreign correspondents in Rome, the Italian minister said that "institutions, such as the tax collection system, need to be restructured."
He explained that his optimism is based on the fact that Greece has been seriously committed to implement the reforms and added that after the completion of the memorandum, there will be significant reconstruction funds for a three-year period.
 Alt. ForMin Anagnostopoulou discusses bilateral relations with Slovakian envoy MichalkoAlternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs Sia Anagnostopoulou met on Tuesday with the Slovak Ambassador to Greece, Peter Michalko, at the foreign ministry, with whom she discussed bilateral relations and ways to improve them, as well as the debt crisis and its repercussions for both countries.
Anagnostopoulou expressed her desire to meet as soon as possible with her Slovak counterpart, within the framework of efforts to further upgrade bilateral relations.
 Greece to prepare new legislation on collective labour agreements by end of yearThe Greek government will prepare new legislation on collective labour agreements by the end of the year and negotiations with the institutions on the issue have already started, government sources said on Tuesday.
Earlier, the two sides discussed exclusively labour laws in a technical level meeting.
According to information, the government is proposing implementing the best practices, based on the reports of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR).
 Refugees will be transferred to Votanikos, State Min Flambouraris tells ANA-MPARefugees will be transferred to Votanikos, western Athens, from Pedion tou Areos park, State Minister for Coordinating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris told ANAMPA on Tuesday.
"The transfer will be made in a few days when the preparation of the area will have been completed," he added.
 Communist party KKE on government negotiations"With the SYRIZA-ANEL government in the leading role, and the aim to accept a third memorandum, we watch the repetition of the movie "bad troika-quartet" and "good" ministers that do not want but are forced to take anti-popular measures, communist party KKE on Tuesday said in an announcement on the government's negotiations.
"The reality is of course totally different. The quartet and the government are on the same side of the table. They are serving the 'one-way' path of the EU and the capital and that is the reason why both of them are negotiating measures that sacrifice the people on the altar of the capitalist road of development," KKE concluded.
 Greek stocks show signs of stabilizationThe Athens Stock Exchange showed signs of self-preservation and balancing, with the exception of bank shares which remained under heavy pressure on Tuesday, a day after Monday's historic sell-off which pushed the composite index of the market 16.23 pct lower - the biggest daily fall since December 1987.
The index fell 1.22 pct to end at 659.94 points, off the day's lows of 635.06 points. Turnover was a satisfactory 64.10 million euros. The Large Cap index fell 3.61 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.78 pct lower.
Lamda Development (12.39 cpt), METKA (11.94 pct), Folli Follie (11.20 pct), GEK Terna (9.52 pct) and Hellenic Exchanges (9.30 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (30 pct), Eurobank (29.70 pct), Alpha Bank (29.65 pct), National Bank (28.45 pct) and Coca Cola HBC (0.63 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
Among market sectors, Chemicals (16.41 pct), Commerce (11.11 pct) and Industrial Products (8.81 pct) scored gains, while Banks (29.26 pct), Health (7.40 pct) and Insurance (5.30 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 60 to 39 with another 10 issues unchanged. Nexans (29.47 pct), Kekrops (29.11 pct) and Ekter (28.57 pct) were top gainers, while Piraeus Bank (30 pct), Eurobank (29.70 pct) and Alpha Bank (29.65 pct) were top losers.
 ADEX closing reportThe August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a small premium of 0.15 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday.
Volume on the Big Cap index was 5,823 contracts with 1,803 open positions in the market, while volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 102,451 contracts with investment interest focusing on Eurobank's contracts (41,334), followed by Alpha Bank (15,900), Piraeus Bank (16,394), National Bank (18,614), MIG (6,215), OTE (579), PPC (1,287), OPAP (159), Hellenic Exchanges (225), Mytilineos (373), Hellenic Petroleum (163), METKA (156), GEK (352), Ellaktor (133), Jumbo (263) and Motor Oil (95).
 Return to normality will lift trading restrictions in Greek bourse, says head of regulatorA return of the stock market to normal operations but most importantly developments in the Greek economy and the completion of an agreement with the country's creditors, are the basic preconditions for lifting trading restrictions imposed on Greek investors, Konstantinos Botopoulos, president of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, during a news conference, Botopoulos said the aim was to keep these restrictions for short period of time and noted that market authorities along with the Bank of Greece will continue negotiations with the European Central Bank, which has the final say on the issue.
Botopoulos said that a ban on short selling on shares will be kept until the end of August unless there was a full return of the market to normality. Commenting on the trading of bank shares, he stressed that the market could not have reopened without trading on the four system banks' shares, which account for a large turnover on a daily basis. "It would be like half the market operating," he noted.
He said that a delay in reopening the market was attributed to the fact that banks remained closed and that almost a week of negotiations with the ECB was needed to reopen the market.
Athens Stock Exchange president Socrates Lazaridis, speaking to reporters, said that the second day of trading in the market showed that market conditions were returning to normal and noted that measures to control price volatility would not last for long. Commenting on "threats" made by foreign firms (FTSE, MSCI) over a delisting of the Greek market from international indices, Lazaridis said that September will be a crucial month for the market's evaluation and noted that capital controls did not affect foreign investors, while he expected that liquidity levels would have return to previous levels again.
Lazaridis said that from a series of contacts he had with the managements of listed enterprises he was left with the impression that listed companies did not wished to leave the Greek market. The Athens Stock Exchange is organizing a roadshow in London in September 10-11.
 Greek bourse shows signs of normalization just two days after reopening, head of regulator tells ANA-MPAJust two days after its reopening, the Athens Stock Exchange appears to be returning to normalcy, the chairman of Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) Konstantinos Botopoulos told ANA-MPA's television on Tuesday, adding that it's important for the market to operate in light of the recapitalization of the country's lenders.
"The most important thing is that the Greek stock exchange has reopened after a month of being closed and this is very important because there can be transactions and we can have the correct image of what the Greek economy is," Botopoulos told the news agency.
"It's very important for the Greek economy to have a functioning stock exchange especially in view of the recapitalization of the Geek banks," he added.
The president of the HCMC also noted that just two days after the opening of the stock market, there are the first signs of an overall normalization in trading. "If one draws out the banking sector which is normally and logically under pressure because of some uncertainties that are still there, most of the other Greek shares are gaining strength, so we are waiting to see what will happen but with more optimism today than we had two days ago," he said.
 Apartment prices down 5.6 pct in Q2Nominal apartment prices are estimated to have declined on average by 5.6 pct year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday.
The central bank, in a report, said that according to revised data, the respective decline in the first quarter of 2015 was 4.1 pct, while the average annual rate of decline in 2014 was 7.5 pct.
More specifically, the year-on-year rate of decline in prices was 7.1 pct for "new" apartments (i.e. up to 5 years old) and 4.7 pct for "old" apartments (i.e. over 5 years old) in the second quarter of 2015. According to revised data, the respective decline in the first quarter of 2015 was 4.7 pct for "new" apartments against 3.6 pct for "old" apartments, while the average annual rate of change in 2014 was -6.6 pct and -8.1 pct respectively. According to data broken down by geographical area, apartment prices are estimated to have declined year-onyear in the second quarter of 2015 by 5.2 pct in Athens, 8.2 pct in Thessaloniki, 7.1 pct in other cities and 4.0 pct in other areas of Greece. Based on revised data, in the first quarter of 2015 apartment prices in all urban areas declined year-on-year by 4.3 pct, while for 2014 as a whole they declined at an average annual rate of 8.1 pct.
Residential property appraisals conducted with Monetary Financial Institution intermediation for any purpose totaled 2,821 in the second quarter of 2015, down from 3,281 in the previous quarter (revised data). Year-on-year the number of residential property appraisals fell by 24.1 pct in the second quarter of 2015. The volume of residential property appraisals, expressed in total square metres, declined by 27.4 pct, while the value of residential property appraisals dropped by 31.2 pct year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015.
 Greek coastal shipping looking to foreign marketsThe outlook of Greek coastal shipping sector is heavily dependent on the stabilization of the Greek economy but any unpredictable political developments in anticipation of a difficult winter period could lead to a new exit of vessels from the Aegean Sea towards foreign seas, George Xiradakis, chief executive of XRTC shipping finance company told ANA-MPA on Tuesday.
Xiradakis said that any restructuring of the coastal shipping network and drafting of a new map will be done by the companies themselves as the Merchant Shipping ministry cannot offer anything specific. He added that political developments, combined with the imposition of capital controls on banks, concern ahead of signing a new bailout agreement and worries of a possible new general elections in the country, are creating a climate of uncertainty and turn companies to foreign markets.
Xiradakis said that in 2013 coastal shipping companies operated 57 vessels, a figure around 40 pct lower compared with the levels in the early previous decade, signalling a decline in passenger traffic. XRTC said that Hellenic Seaways was the largest company in the sector, operating 20 ships in the Aegean and Adriatic Sea. Minoan Lines operates two ships in the Piraeus-Crete sea line and four ships in Adriatic. Attica Group operates 13 ships, of which four belong to Superfast and nine in Blue Star Ferries (the company sold Blue Star Ithaki in November 2014). ANEK operates three ships in Adriatic and Crete, two in the Peloponese- Crete and Cyclades lines and has another two ships in contract abroad.
NEL Lines operates 16 ships but is banned for operations because of financial problems.
Xiradakis said that coastal shipping companies were in constant search of new markets and alliances outside Greece, seeking to cover the needs of new markets such as in the Black Sea and the Carribean.
 Greece's cybercrime unit launches investigation into alleged hacking attempt at state revenues secretariatGreece's cybercrime unit is launching an investigation to determine if there has been an attempt to hack the online system used by the General Secretariat for Public Revenues, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The Chief Prosecutor of the First Instance Court, IIias Zagoraios, ordered an inquiry from the head of the cybercrime department, Manolis Sfakianakis. The request comes as part of the preliminary inquiry conducted for any involvement of non-political persons in the socalled "plan B" drawn up by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
The prosecutor requested the inquiry by the unit because it will be concluded faster and because he wants to have two expert reports from different bodies on the issue.
During the week, the first witnesses are expected to be called to testify.
ANAMPA Midday Newsletter
 Forecast on WednesdayFair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Wednesday. 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 36C. Fair in the eastern parts with temperatures from 19C to 36C. Sunny weather over the Aegean islands and Crete, from 24C to 29C. Fair in Athens, from 24C to 35C. Same weather in Thessaloniki, from 22C to 34C.
 Athens News Headlines at a glanceAVGHI: The hard core of the negotiation
DIMOKRATIA: Pensions after death
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Ultimatum on pensions and farmers
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Stop early pensions right now
ESTIA: Capital controls' serious repercussions
ETHNOS: Halt to early pensions
IMERISSIA: Stock market crash with 16.23 percent losses
KATHIMERINI: Black Monday for the stock market
NAFTEMPORIKI: The Athens stock exchange is seeking a lifeline
RIZOSPASTIS: They have agreed to the changes, they are discussing the timeline
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