|Wednesday, 23 October 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-09-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>English Bulletin
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
 President Pavlopoulos to inaugurate 80th Thessaloniki International FairThe President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos will inaugurate the 80th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), which will run from September 5 to September 13.
The inauguration ceremony will take place at 8 pm on Friday (September 4), at Vellidis congress center. "The presence of the President of the Republic highlights the importance and gravity of the oldest and largest fair institution of the country, TIF, which still attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and exhibitors from the entire range of the domestic economy and production," according to a TIF-HELEXPO announcement,
The goal of TIF-HELEXPO is "on its 80th anniversary to promote innovations, extroversion initiatives and the continued effort to strengthen and reorganize the Greek economy and businesses."
 PM to inaugurate National Archaeological Museum exhibition on September 7A temporary exhibition exploring the city of Athens as seen by the European travellers between the 17th and 19th century will be inaugurated at the National Archaeological Museum on September 7, by caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou.
According to a culture ministry announcement, the exhibition will be a forerunner of events celebrating the 150th anniversary since the museum's foundation in 2016. It will offer a mental "ramble" through the monuments of the Athens in that historic period, as seen by the European travellers who, inspired by the history of Classical Athens, came to visit its ruins during those centuries and recorded their impressions in sketches, paintings and descriptive prose.
 EU Commission expresses satisfaction over continuation of key portfolios by caretaker governmentBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni) - European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas on Monday expressed the Commission's satisfaction over the continuation of key portfolios by the caretaker government.
"We see it as a good sign for the implementation of the programme agreed," said Schinas and added that the full and broad support of the programme, and its timely implementation is necessary for its success.
 SYRIZA leader Tsipras starts election campaign from Crete on TuesdaySYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will start his nationwide election campaign on Tuesday from Crete, where he will visit the towns of Chania and Rethymno.
In Chania, Tsipras will meet the local mayors at 09.30 (local time) and on 11.30 he will speak to farmers at Kasteli in Kissamos.
Continuing his trip to Anogeia of Rethymno, he will meet the mayor at 19.30 and at 20.00 he will deliver a speech at the central square and discuss with locals issues concerning the region.
 We have a duty to protect the country, SYRIZA leader Tsipras says"We will continue fighting with the same vigor so as not to allow the old regime to return," SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said at the closing of the two-day proceedings of the party's panhellenic meeting on Sunday.
Tsipras stressed that "we have a duty to protect the country", adding that the old political system is now disguised, presenting itself as a centrist party.
He also expressed his certainty that the Greek people will judge the party positions and programmes and at the same time "will judge and compare the purity, the honesty, and the sincerity."
 SYRIZA government has frozen home foreclosures, SYRIZA MP Pappas tells ANA-MPASYRIZA deputy Nikos Pappas on Monday in an interview with ANA-MPA underlined that the government has managed to freeze home foreclosures.
If we had a New Democracy government, home foreclosures would have started, he added.
Pappas, who is also former State Minister, said that SYRIZA honored the public vote. "We honored the vote of the people, we made the best possible use of it, we brought an agreement that gives many possibilities and we now need a clear mandate to proceed. We enter the final stretch of the election battle. The Greek people are aware of and as days go by it becomes more clear what the dilemmas of the upcoming polls are," he noted.
The full interview is available for subscribers at ANA-MPA website.
 Thessaloniki International Fair: Tsipras to visit on Sept 6, Meimarakis on 12-13SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will visit Thessaloniki's International Fair (TIF) on September 6 (Sunday) and speak at an event at the Vellidis conference center where he will present the party's program. Tsipras may also hold a press conference.
Main opposition leader Vangelis Meimarakis will also visit TIF on September 12-13 where he will present the program of New Democracy, while on Sunday he will hold a press conference.
The dates of the visits of the other political leaders have not been announced yet.
 SYRIZA spokeswoman urges Greeks to give strong mandate to partySYRIZA spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili called on Greeks once more to grant SYRIZA a strong mandate in the upcoming elections on September 20.
"A strong mandate to a SYRIZA government to save the country from the dire situation where 40 years of [bad] policies brought it to," Gerovasili told state radio Proto Prorgramma.
The spokeswoman noted that SYRIZA will not cooperate with New Democracy because the two parties are "different ideologically, politically" adding that SYRIZA doesn't carry the same burdens. "We have other aims," she added.
 We are dealing with the real needs of the society, SYRIZA spokeswoman Gerovassili says"While New Democracy is following a communication policy with populism and insults, we are dealing with the real needs of the society," SYRIZA spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili said on Monday.
"We have proven and we promise that Greeks will not lose their homes. We call on (New Democracy leader Evangelos) Meimarakis to explain why he abandoned the Greek family last December. We call on him to tell the Greek people what he will do regarding the protection of the first residence," she added.
 "We will implement the agreement' SYRIZA spokeswoman says"We all knew that this agreement had to be signed. We were the first to say so. And we will implement it. We have decided to be the guarantors of the country's return to stability," SYRIZA spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili on Monday said in statements to VIMA FM.
"This has been our pledge since the agreement was ratified. It is not necessary to approve of something that is needed to be done," she added.
On post-election cooperation, she cleared out: "We will not be the ones that will bring the old system back."
 Economy minister outlines main aims to supervised bodiesThe collection of revenues, restraining expenditures and facilitating investment are the three main targets to which the Economy ministry aims for the interim period until the upcoming elections.
Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis sent a letter to bodies supervised by the ministry on Monday in which he specifies the basic operation principles of the interim government, as they were discussed earlier in the cabinet.
 ANEL leader says Germany aimed for Grexit, drops dark hints about Varoufakis' roleGreece's European partners and especially Germany had aimed to push Greece out of the European Union in order to avoid taking responsibility for the three million migrants and refugees from Syria, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos claimed in statements to Alpha 989 radio on Monday.
"If Greece had exited the Eurozone and Europe, they would have no obligation via the asylum policy to absorb migrants in the EU," Kammenos said. "Greece would have been a bankrupt country, a country with a currency for which it had no currency reserves, because we were sold out by all those that said they would help us," he added.
Kammenos also dropped hints about the role of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, noting that "what we saw as a possible way out, a third solution, was that which the creditors had planned." History would show, he added, whether the creditors had accomplices during this time, such as Varoufakis.
 New Democracy will win the elections, its leader Meimarakis saysNew Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis, who tours Aitoloakarnania and Achaia to meet with local administration representatives and farmers, underlined that the aim of the party is to gain as many votes as possible from the undecided.
"New Democracy will be first in the elections," he estimated and stressed the importance of stability. He also said that New Democracy averted the 23 percent VAT on private education and pledged that the measures for farmers will not pass.
Meimarakis will speak at Patras, at 19:30.
 Main opposition leader to visit Strasbourg on Sept. 8-9New Democracy (ND) leader Vangelis Meimarakis will visit Strasbourg on September 8-9 to participate at the plenary session of the European Parliament.
Meimarakis is scheduled to meet with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Popular Party (EPP) Joseph Daul and the party's Chairman Manfred Weber.
He will also address the EPP'S parliamentary group to brief them on economic issues, on problems in absorbing EU funds and on migration.
 New Democracy is the party that will unite Greeks, says leader MeimarakisNew Democracy (ND) is the party that supports unity among Greeks, its leader Vangelis Meimarakis said in a speech at a closed stadium in the town of Patras, in the Peloponnese, where he is visiting as part of his election campaign.
"New Democracy is a political power which serves the unity of Greeks, because some others want to divide us with their rhetoric and speech," the leader of the main opposition said.
"ND is a European, patriotic, social and progressive force," he added.
Meimarakis accused SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras of spreading lies and noted: "Never before has a prime minister done so badly in such a short time; never before has a politician told so many lies as Alexis Tsipras."
Responding to a comment from SYRIZA on "leftist melancholy", he said that it was SYRIZA that made Greeks melancholic. "New Democracy will bring back the smile to the people."
 Potami will strive for government that truly represents majority, Theodorakis tells ANA-MPA radioGreece cannot be led by governments supported by a minority in society, opposition Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis stressed on Monday, speaking to the newly launched ANAMPA internet radio 'Praktorio 104.9 FM'.
"[Potami] is striving for a government that will express 50 pct of the Greek people. At least 50 pct. We do not believe that we are in an era where the 35 pct can rule," Theodorakis said on the programme 'Two at Twelve' with Nikos Giotis and Fani Grigoriadi.
Theodorakis said that Potami aims to participate in a cooperation government representing an overwhelming majority of Greeks.
According to Potami's leader, this was also the desire of Greek voters - a period of stability, certainty, when everyone would work together, instead of one half taking to the streets and "throwing stones" at the other half.
"We must share the responsibility, share the cost and try to create a great cooperation government with a policy programme as the substance that 'glues' it together, rather than government posts," he said.
He predicted minimal chances that the elections would yield a single-party majority in Parliament, adding that SYRIZA's goal for a clear-cut majority was unrealistic but also undesirable.
"On no account do I want us to go back to a time of single-party governments, either with SYRIZA and even more so with New Democracy, which gave some very negative samples in the period when it had the majority," Theodorakis added.
He noted that the country's problems did not "come out of nowhere" and, while they were made worse under SYRIZA, they were a creation of the previous Samaras government and the cooperation governments that ushered in the previous memorandums.
"For once in our lives we must decide that it is time to work together, either on the old terms or the new terms. I would like this to be on the new terms. I would like for Potami to be a part of the new government, which as I said will represent the overwhelming majority of the Greek people."
As to who the potential partners of such a coalition government might be, Theodorakis pointed out that the current election system with the 50-seat bonus to the first party did not allow the luxury of choice: there had to be cooperation with the party that came first or else repeat elections.
 Potami leader Theodorakis: Greece doesn't want to return to the past of Tsipras or MeimarakisPotami leader Stavros Theodorakis urged Greeks on Monday to reject the main contenders in the election battle, SYRIZA and New Democracy, saying it's an "old fairy tale" to believe one of them can save Greece.
"Greece doesn't want to return to the past of Mr. Tsipras, or to the past of Mr. Meimarakis," Theodorakis told attendees at an election event held in Thessaloniki where he also answered questions by journalists.
The leader of Potami accused Tsipras of being "incredibly insolent" for asking voters for outright majority that would give him the opportunity to make new bad decisions. During his speech, he outlined some of his party's proposals for a series of issues, including:
-Barring anyone from becoming a minister unless he/she has accumulated five-years-worth of insurance stamps
-Two consecutive parliamentary tenures with a maximum of four in total
-No pension from serving in parliament
-Breaking up large constituencies and abolishing the 50-seat bonus granted to the first party
-No new taxes
-Free and untaxed transfers of real estate
-Distributing the unified property tax (ENFIA) to the municipalities
-Privatizations with transparency during the government's first six months
-Return VAT to exporting businesses with a clean register
-Motives to farmers to sell their products through producers' groups
-Immediate review of the way the 2 billion euros of EU funds are distributed to farmers to include all of them and not just the "cunning ones"
-A single commission's body
 Potami leader visits Thessaloniki, promises to focus on society's problems in election campaignPotami party leader Stavros Theodorakis on Monday promised an election campaign that was about the problems of Greeks and Greek society, in statements after meeting Central Macedonia Regional Authority chief Apostolos Tzitzikostas in Thessaloniki.
"The old parties - and we now have the right to include SYRIZA among them, after its governmental stint of about seven months - want to transfer the discussion away from the problems to formalities. We will insist on trying to make the pre-election campaign about the problems of the Greeks...We have solutions. They problems might be theirs but we are obliged to have solutions and to highlight them," Theodorakis said.
He stressed that the upcoming elections must give rise to a government and called on the "prudent forces of the country to help each other, so that we have an immediate result after the elections and are not led to another repetition.
"We are not too optimistic because we don't think that the leadership has changed its ways of thinking, but I think that Greek people had impose solutions in the right direction," Theodorakis said.
 KKE slams SYRIZA-ANEL government for poor state of educationThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Monday attacked the previous SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government for the poor state of the education system, just days before schools open.
"Tens of thousands of teachers will be forced to re-submit their applications to be hired as hourly wage-substitute teachers for the 2015-2016 academic year, once again standing in line," KKE said.
In addition to the delays in hiring substitute teachers, there were almost zero appointments of permanent teachers, which were even fewer than those provided for in the current budget, KKE added. It called for an end to the situation where thousands of teachers were unemployed at the same time as there were thousands of positions remained unfilled.
 Parliament head Konstantopoulou says will collaborate with Popular Unity in electionsParliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou said on Monday she will collaborate with Popular Unity in the upcoming elections as an independent partner.
Speaking at a press conference she called which is still under way, Konstantopoulou said the party constitutes "the first bulwark against those who try to place society at the margin through the elections."
 Popular Unity leader says party will come third in electionsThe aim of Popular Unity is to be the third political party in the parliament, its leader Panagiotis Lafazanis said in interviews in radio and television earlier on Monday.
"It's a realistic target," he said adding that SYRIZA and the main opposition, New Democracy, will not manage to secure large percentages which means the post-election political landscape will change radically.
Lafazanis was especially critical of SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras and the policy he followed, saying "we had agreed to get the country out of the memorandums and the unpopular measures, but Alexis Tsipras, at the last moment, made a turn."
 Downward slide for Greek stocks on MondayGreek stocks lost ground while turnover remained low in the first session of the week on Monday, with banking shares under the most pressure.
The composite index of the market fell 1.52 pct to end at 624.20 points, off the day's lows of 621.57 points when the bourse was losing 1.93 pct. Turnover remained low at 32.44 million euros.
The Large Cap index fell 2.12 pct and the Mid Cap index stayed flat with no change.
The highest gains among blue chip stocks were for Lamda Development (7.06 pct), Jumbo (2.60 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (0.70 pct) and Motor Oil (0.22 pct). The biggest losses were registered by Alpha Bank (-10.64 pct), Eurobank (-10.00 pct), Titan (-5.22 pct) and Mytilineos (-4.62 pct).
The market sectors that made the biggest gains in the session were Real Estate (2.47 pct), Personal Products (2.47 pct) and Health (0.84 pct), while the greatest losses were in Banks (-5.49 pct), Raw Materials (-4.46 pct) and Construction (-4.39 pct).
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 55 to 28 with another 14 issues unchanged. Inform Lycos (28.11 pct), Vioter (19.72 pct) and AEGEK (18.75 pct) were top gainers, while Yalco (-18.92 pct), Alpha Bank (-10.64 pct), and Attica Holding (-10.60) were top losers.
 Athens Bourse Close 2Sector indices ended as follows:
Financial Services: -1.24%
Industrial Products: -1.91%
Real Estate: +2.47%
Personal & Household: +2.47%
Food & Beverages: -1.69%
Raw Materials: -4.46%
Travel & Leisure: -1.71%
The stocks with the highest turnover were OTE, OPAP, Motor Oil and NBG.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.084
Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.06
Coca Cola HBC: 17.98
Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.33
National Bank of Greece: 0.520
Piraeus Bank: 0.086
Grivalia Properties: 7.80
Aegean Airlines: 6.50
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.29 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday.
The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 182.72 points, registering losses of 2.12 pct.
Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 277 contracts with 7,531 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 13,350 contracts with investment interest focusing on Eurobank's contracts (4,519), followed by Alpha Bank (3,856), National Bank (2,644), Piraeus Bank (1,207), OPAP (227), GEK (135), Mytilineos (112), Hellenic Petroleum (96), PPC (87), MIG (79), OTE (69), METKA (38), Viohalco (17), Motor Oil (15), Ellaktor (10), while no contracts were made for Frigoglass.
 Austerity programs are to blame for drop in SME's activityThe problems facing the small and medium-sized businesses are not only due to the capital controls but also to the austerity programs that were implemented in the last five years, Popular Unity said in a statement on Monday.
"The economic strangulation of SME's, the dramatic decline in popular incomes and the sinking of the Greek economy are not only due to the capital controls, but are mainly the fruit of the memorandums that were implemented in the last five years," the party said in response to a report published by the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE), which recorded a 30 pct drop in commercial activity during the summer sales period.
 Hygeia reports significant improvement in EBITDAThe operating performance of Hygeia Group continues to improve, despite the adverse economic climate and the legislative obligation for EOPYY cutbacks, the company said in a statement on Monday.
Consolidated EBITDA rose significantly by 15.9%, amounting to 11.9 million euros in the first half of 2015 compared to 10.3 million euros for the same period last year. Consolidated sales for the group remained at high levels and amounted to 114.5million euros, posting a marginal drop of 0.5%. Consolidated revenue for the first half reached 114.5 million euros, marginally down by 0.5%, as opposed to 115.1 million in the same period last year.
"Given the current economic uncertainty prevalent in Greece and despite the continuing delays on the part of the social security funds in paying off their amounts in arrears, Hygeia Group has managed to increase its operating profitability, showcasing its leading position in the Greek healthcare sector," Hygeia's chairwoman, Rita Souvatzoglou, said in a statement.
"We will continue our unwavering corporate strategy and, especially during these tough times faced by Greek entrepreneurship, we will focus on keeping our capital base strong, securing adequate liquidity and continuously increasing the operating performance of the Group companies' business activities, while maximizing synergies within the Group," she added.
Moreover, she underlined: "A fundamental pillar in every step of our financial growth has been to boost corporate value and safeguard the long-term interests of shareholders and all stakeholders, while showing a deep sense of respect for people and the environment. At Hygeia Group, despite the adverse economic climate, we continue to advance and remain committed to achieving our vision, so that the hospital services we offer are in tune with the highest standards worldwide and Hygeia Group can maintain its leading position among the recognized international organizations."
 Large blaze near Patras under control, two fire fighters injuredA large wildfire that broke out in an agricultural and forest land on Monday afternoon near the city of Patras in the Peloponnese and injured two fire fighters is now under control, authorities said.
Earlier, two fire fighters battling the blaze were injured after their vehicle was trapped in the flames. The two men were transferred to the military hospital of Patras. One of them is said to be suffering from first degree head burns and was soon released while the other who was injured in the eyes is still being examined by an ophthalmologist.
The strong winds blowing in the area spread the flames quickly in the areas of Ano Syhena and Voudeni reaching just two kilometers away from Patras and creating a suffocating atmosphere in the city.
The authorities had dispatched 23 fire fighting vehicles, 40 fire fighters and 23-man hiker unit. The Canadair aircraft stopped throwing water after the flames abated.
 Authorities on Lesvos stretched to the limit as refugee number climbs to about 12,000Authorities and volunteers on the island of Lesvos are reaching breaking point as 1,700 refugees and migrants arrived on Monday, adding to the about 11,000 people who are already on the island waiting to be processed.
After reaching the shore or being rescued by the coast guard, the refugees, mostly Syrians, walk for hours under the hot sun to reach the town of Mytilene, where the process of identification will start so that they can then leave for Athens.
About 4,300 are expected to leave on Tuesday at noon with the Terra Jet and Eleftherios Venizelos ferries which will take on board 1,800 and 2,500 refugees and migrants respectively.
A side effect of the refugee crisis is the mountains of rubbish being dumped at the northern and eastern coasts of the island where most people arrive. According to local authorities, the coast is littered with orange life jackets, garbage and plastic dinghies left behind by the refugees arriving by the hundreds. "We can't take it anymore, we need help," the local community said in a statement commenting on the situation in Sykamnia and Molyvos.
However, the local authority says nothing can be done "at the moment" saying the priority is to secure some basic hygiene for those arriving exhausted from the coast of Turkey.
 Greece's top archaeological body to examine study for maintenance of Amphipolis tombGreece's Central Archaeological Council (CAC) will convene on Tuesday to decide on whether to approve a study for the maintenance and restoration of the Amphipolis tomb, in northern Greece, a year after the systematic publication of excavation finds in the region.
The study concerns the building temporary earthworks to secure the slope of the Kasta hill, the burial monument, the enclosure and its surroundings, as well as creating temporary water drainage for the protection of the monument ahead of autumn.
The Council will also examine the preliminary studies for the maintenance of the third chamber of the tomb as well as the floors.
 Greek 'solar' bench provides green solutions in an increasingly wired worldA 'solar' wooden bench that also doubles up as a charging station for the gadget-dependent denizen of the 21st century is among the original product proposals currently under development in Greece.
Presenting his ideas to the ANA-MPA on Monday, industrial designer Dimitris Haidas said his company was now working with the Thessaly Technological Educational Institute (TEI) Furniture and Wood Technology Design Department to make further improvements, such as reducing production costs, as well as improving safety and durability.
Haidas said the company was now working on various versions, while the concept was protected by patent.
The innovative park bench comes equipped with a solar 'roof' that powers two USB ports where the user can charge smartphones, tablets and other electronic gadgets. He said it provides a green solution to a problem everyone has faced at one time or another - running out of battery when far from home.
"I make a 'smart' combination of a piece of furniture - in this case a bench - with new technology, such as a solar panel, and convert the bench into a charging station. This is the start for the installation of green ideas in the urban environment," Haidas said.
He noted that the construction, in addition to wood, also used components produced by a 3D printer to make it cheaper and speed up delivery. A prototype built by the designer has been installed on a trial basis at the Larisa public pool.
 Forecast on TuesdayMostly fair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair throughout the country with temperatures ranging from 18C-36C in the northern parts, 20C-36C in the western parts, 21C-28C in the eastern parts and 22C-30C in the Aegean islands and Crete. Sunny in Athens, 25C-35C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki, 20C-35C.
 Athens News Headlines at a glanceDIMOKRATIA: 62,000 one-off payments freeze
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Operation of boosting morale
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: 11.5 pct plunge for SYRIZA after the memorandum
ESTIA: Wide government coalition
ETHNOS: Targeted strategies after the recent polls
KONTRA NEWS: He declared war to intertwined interests and the old system
NAFTEMPORIKI: A pile of pending issues
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