|Sunday, 21 July 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-08-11
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, August 11 2015
 PM Tsipras chairs meeting on ongoing negotiations with lendersTalks with creditors were interrupted on Monday so that Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy Minister George Stathakis could brief Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the developments in the negotiations and close any open issues.
The meeting of the Government Council for Economic Policy is already underway at Maximos Mansion. Talks between Greece and the institutions will resume right after the end of the briefing, it was announced.
 PM Tsipras holds meeting on MPs taxation draft lawA meeting called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the taxation of MPs salaries as well as the reduction of the ministers, Public Utilities and Organisation chiefs and the presidents of Independent Administration authorities' allowances was concluded at that Maximos mansion.
"When the abolition of the farmers' allowances is on the negotiations table we can't remain indifferent over the tax exceptions applied for us..." said Tsipras according to government sources.
The prime minister also noted that the draft law that abolishes the MPs tax free must be tabled immediately in parliament underlining that "it is not only a political initiative with economic results but also with a symbolic context".
Alternate Administration Reform Minister Christoforos Vernardakis, Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas and the Cabinet secretary Spyros Sagias participated in the meeting.
 Greece and lenders continue negotiations, aim to achieve deal by TuesdayNegotiations between the Greek government and the institutions were underway on Monday afternoon, with the two sides discussing a scenario for a zero surplus and a 2.1-2.3 pct recession for 2015, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The details of the agreement are being examined line by line, the same sources said, adding that talks are expected to last for many hours and the aim is to reach a deal by Tuesday at the latest.
 FinMin Tsakalotos says there will soon be a deal with the institutionsFinance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Monday there will soon be a deal with Greece's lenders, following a meeting of the Government Council for Economic Policy chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
"We have a discussion with the institutions which is going fairly well. As you understand, there are questions and issues they want to discuss again and again, but I think there should be optimism that we will soon have a deal," Tsakalotos told journalists.
Asked if the agreement will be achieved by Tuesday, he said: "I don't know if it will be achieved by tomorrow morning, but soon."
Commenting on reports that there will be a bridge agreement first, the minister said "I hope everyone is in the same spirit of mind as the [Brussels] agreement was and that they are working as hard as we are to achieve this deal."
Asked if the agreement will have been voted by the end of the week, Tsakalotos said it remains to be seen and added he is now focusing on the negotiation and how it will be submitted to parliament.
 Institutions working night and day to reach an agreement with the Greek gov't, says EC spokespersonBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)---The representatives of the institutions and the IMF that are currently in Athens are working day and night to reach an agreement with the Greek authorities, stated on Monday European Commission representative Natasha Bertaud adding that meetings were held throughout the weekend and were focused on the drawing of a list of the prior actions that the Greek government should implement in which will be included and the parliament's decisions.
Bertaud reminded that European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker had stated in a recent interview that he considers that the negotiations can be completed within July.
 The draft bill on abolishing tax breaks for lawmakersPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday chaired a meeting to discuss a draft bill abolishing tax breaks for lawmakers and reducing the wages of ministers and heads of public organizations and independent administrative authorities.
According to government sources, the bill will include, among other measures:
-Taxation of the full amount of the monthly parliamentary (the MPs) wage and the compensation MPs receive when they participate in parliamentary committees, according to the laws applicable for individuals.
It should be noted that until now, only 75 pct of the MPs wage was taxed, while the compensation for the parliamentary committees was tax free.
-The monthly wages of ministers, alternate ministers, deputies, secretary generals and special secretaries in ministries will be cut by 15 pct.
-The ceiling on the total remuneration for governors and members of the Board of Directors in public companies and entities will be set at 80 pct of the compensation received by nonparliamentary ministers.
-The compensation received by presidents and members of BoD in public companies and entities may not exceed the monthly salary of the head of the Supreme Court.
The same circles noted that this draft bill is not related to the ongoing negotiations with the institutions, but it constitutes a legislative initiative of the government which the prime minister had pledged in his pre-election proposals.
 The government is not considering elections, says spokeswomanThe government is not considering elections and talk of elections at this point is not useful, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said in a statement on Monday.
"The election talk which is promoted in the past few days is neither useful, nor does it reflect reality. At the center of the government planning is, at this time, the achievement of an agreement with the institutions, as well as the next day, whose first and main objective is the implementation of the commitment of the recent Eurozone Summit to tackle [Greece's] debt," she said and added "there's no though of elections."
Gerovasili also noted that the government is planning its next initiatives to "stabilize the economy, restore the sense of calm and normalcy in society and to finally promote the necessary reforms in the political system and for the operation of the state."
 Greece's lenders request the return of the five euro ticket in public hospitals, says Health MinisterGreece's lenders asked the return of the 5 euro ticket in public hospitals, a measure abolished by SYRIZA government, according to Health Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis in statements to Mega private TV on Monday.
Kouroumblis noted that the Health Ministry has proposed 140 million equivalent measures and expressed his opposition over the restoration of the 5 euros ticket to patients. However, in case the lenders insist, the socially weaker will be excluded from the measure.
 Main opposition spokesman: 'We support Greece's European path, not the government'The main opposition doesn't support the current government but it does support Greece's European path, New Democracy's spokesman told Austrian newspaper Der Standard in an interview published on Monday.
"We don't support this government but Greece's European path," Karagounis was quoted as saying to the paper, adding that this support will not last forever, but until things stabilize economically and politically.
He said the backing provided by New Democracy, Potami and PASOK constitutes a peculiar situation. But noted there was no other choice. The spokesman recalled that after the January 25 elections the opposition pressed the government for months to seal a deal with Greece's lenders, with no success, as the new government believed it had a better plan.
Karagounis said as time went by, the fiscal gap widened and the economy worsened and the end the government had no alternative but to sign a deal for a third bailout program which will be harsh for the Greek people.
 Greek stocks end with gains amid hopes for a dealGreek stocks closed higher in the Athens Stock Exchange in the first session of the week, as the market focused on signs that an agreement between Greece and its lenders is edging closer. The general index of the market jumped 2.06 pct to end at 690.24 points, with trading activity however remaining low.
The total turnover fell to 45.35 million euros. In the last three sessions, the index has risen 7.31 pct and the bank index regained 25.45 pct, while it recorded an intraday high at 691.96 points.
The Large Cap index rose 1.66 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 3.15 pct higher.
Piraeus Bank (13.89 pct), Eurobank (12.50 pct), Alpha Bank (10.66 pct), OPAP (7.67 pct), Hellenic Exchanges (6.22 pct), PPC (5.68 pct), Jumbo (4.96 pct), Athens Water (4.83 pct), Viohalco (4.29 pct) and National Bank (3.07 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Coca Cola HBC (-4.70 pct), Grivalia Properties (-1.44 pct), Folli Follie (-0.99 pct), Aegean Airlines (-0.43 pct) and METKA (-0.39 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
The Food (-4.69 pct) sector suffered heavy losses while Banks (8.33 pct) Travel & Leisure (6.52 pct) and Health (5.56 pct) scored big gains.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 62 to 32, with another 10 issues unchanged. Attica Bank (20.00 pct), Sato (19.79 pct), Kekrops (18.83 pct), Piraeus and Eurobank were top gainers, while Akritas (-19.35 pct), Unibios (-13.60 pct) and Centric Holdings (-12.50 pct) were top losers.
 ADEX closing reportThe August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 1.44 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday.
The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 205.04 points, registering gains of 1.66 pct.
Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 913 contracts with 8.832 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 14.950 contracts with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank (5,691), followed by National Bank's contracts (2,597), Piraeus Bank (2,922), Eurobank (1,967), MIG (436), ), OTE (170), PPC (284), OPAP (174), Coca-Cola HBC (12), Hellenic Exchanges (89), Viohalco (42), Mytilineos (101), Hellenic Petroleum (61), Motor Oil (43), Athens Water (26), METKA (16), GEK (60), Ellaktor (35), and Intralot (23).
 Greece to receive about 470 mln euros in EU funding to tackle immigrationBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) - Greece will receive about 470 million euros in EU funds for multiannual national programmes to support its efforts in tackling the surge in migration, the European Commission announced on Monday.
The funds will be provided under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF), with the total amount for all 23 programmes rising to about 2.4 billion euros for the period 2014-2020.
According to the Commission, the funds will be allocated as follows:
From AMIF, Greece will receive 259.4 million euros to increase its reception capacity by 2,500 people by the end of 2015 and improve the quality of services provided. The country will also commit to accelerating the process of granting asylum, to settle pending applications and strengthen the system monitoring the housing areas. Greece will also aim at implementing a comprehensive policy for the integration of immigrants with regard to employment, language, education, etc., with particular attention to unaccompanied minors.
From the ISF, Greece will receive 214.8 million euros to focus on the improvement of the Visa Information System (VIS), the modernization of consular services, the correct application of the Schengen rules and the fight against illegal immigration. Greece also intends to reinforce the integrated border management and its capacity as a first entry country.
 Emergency funding to Greek lenders falls to 85.3 bln euros in JulyThe emergency liquidity (ELA) provided by the European Central Bank (ECB) to Greek banks fell by 1.5 billion euros in July due to cash deposit inflows, according to data from the country's central bank on Monday.
Emergency funding fell to 85.3 billion euros in July from 86.8 billion in June, the Central Bank of Greece said.
 Light quake jolts EgionA light quake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was recorded at 00.40 on Monday. The quake's epicentre was located 11 km south-southwest of the coastal city of Egion, Western Greece.
No damages or injuries have been reported.
 Greek policeman who appears in video slapping a refugee is suspendedA Greek policeman who appears in a photograph and a video taken by a foreign correspondent slapping a refugee and brandishing a knife on the island of Kos has been suspended and an emergency administrative inquiry has been opened against him, police announced on Monday.
The photo and video showing the incident was posted by Associated Press video journalist Dalton Bennett on his Twitter account earlier today.
Police also said a file will be formed against the policeman and will be sent to the prosecutor, while a separate preliminary investigation by the police's Internal Affairs Directorate will investigate any criminal offences.
In the video, the policeman is seen marking the ground with a large knife to show Pakistani and Syrian refugees where they should wait to receive their documents, while he also appears to slap one in the face.
 Passenger traffic posted substantial increase in the first seven months of 2015Passenger traffic in all Greek airports grew 12.5 pct in the first seven months of 2015, compared with the same period last year, totalling 26.5 million passengers, while the number of scheduled and charter flights rose 7.7 pct in the January-July period, official figures showed on Monday.
A report by the Civil Aviation Authority said that the number of flights in Greek airports totalled 243,321 in the first seven months of 2015, of which 105,644 were domestic and the remaining 137,677 international flights (10.7 pct increase and 5.5 pct rise, respectively compared with 2014).
In July passenger traffic rose 12.75 pct in comparison with July 2014 and reached 7.7 million passengers in domestic and international flights. The Athens, Rhodes, Heraklion,
 Forecast on TuesdayClouds and winds from variable directions are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 4 on the Beaufort scale. Cloudy in the northern parts of the country with possibility of rain in the afternoon and temperatures ranging from 19C-35C. Same weather in the western parts with temperatures between 19C-34C. Partly cloudy with rain in the mountainous areas of eastern Greece and temperatures between 19C-35C. Mostly fair over the Aegean islands and Crete, 23C-33C. Scattered clouds in Athens, 23C-34C. Clouds in Thessaloniki, 21C-34C.
 Athens News Headlines at a glanceEFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The devil is in the detail.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The new pensions for those that 'leave' in 2015.
ESTIA: The hydrocarbons in the new Hellenic Asset Development Fund.
ETHNOS: Heading to agreement and ballots.
NAFTEMPORIKI: New tax burdens expected to be included in the agreement.
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