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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-09-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Thursday, 17 September 2015 Issue No: 5024


  • [01] President Pavlopoulos: Europe must prove that it has policy on the war refugee issue
  • [02] President Pavlopoulos and caretaker health minister discuss measures for refugees
  • [03] New refugee reception centres to be set up at Lavrio and Sindos, minister tells ANA-MPA
  • [04] European Parliament fast-tracks vote on 120,000 refugee relocation plan
  • [05] SYRIZA's Tsipras: 'We need to get rid of the old system'
  • [06] SYRIZA's Tsipras says there's need to revise Kallikratis plan
  • [07] ND will invite all parties to form cooperation government if it wins elections, Meimarakis says
  • [08] History will reveal the pressures the Greek government suffered, ANEL leader Kammenos tells ANA-MPA
  • [09] The choice at these elections is either 'back or forward with Potami,' Theodorakis says
  • [10] Former finmin Tsakalotos in ANA-MPA: 'We side with the aggrieved'
  • [11] Former minister Flambouraris denounces 'slanderous' attack, presents supporting documents
  • [12] French Ambassador to Greece Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge steps down; to be succeeded by Christophe Chantepy
  • [13] Forty-nine Greek ports to receive 4.3 mln for infrastructure upgrade
  • [14] Greek budget records primary surplus of 3.801 bln euros in Jan-Aug
  • [15] Hellas Gold 'ready for dialogue' on Halkidiki investments, CEO says on ANA-MPA radio
  • [16] Greek exports projected to fall in 2015, SEBE report
  • [17] 4th Social Media World 2015 Conference attracts industry leaders
  • [18] Greek inflation rate at -0.4 pct in August, Eurostat
  • [19] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from T-bill auction
  • [20] Lidl Hellas has invested more than 1.2 bln euros in last 17 years in Greece
  • [21] Greek per capita available income down 27.5 pct in 2007-2015, OECD report
  • [22] Greek stocks end 1.51 pct higher
  • [23] Greek bond market closing report
  • [24] ADEX closing report
  • [25] Conference on Art & Education:Teaching and Pedagogical approaches in 21st Century
  • [26] National Archaeological Museum presents rarely seen 'Ivory Lady from Prosymna' on Sept. 21
  • [27] Acropolis Museum archaeologists to tour visitors of Samothrace exhibition
  • [28] Thessaloniki University to offer postgraduate programme on extracorporeal circulation techniques
  • [29] Evros farmers blockade Kipi border crossing in protest over upcoming tax measures
  • [30] European Researchers Night
  • [31] Sunny on Thursday
  • [32] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] President Pavlopoulos: Europe must prove that it has policy on the war refugee issue

    President of Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos met on Wednesday with caretaker Interior Minister Yiannis Mouzoulas at the presidential mansion. "It is time for Europe to prove that it has a policy on the war refugee issue," underlined Pavlopoulos adding that the huge issue of the war refugee was highlighted in this period and that the convention of an EU Summit will help Europe to obtain a policy on this major issue.

    He also underlined that a foreign policy against war is needed from Europe.

    Referring to Greece's role, the president stressed that "Greece has proved that it deserves its place in Europe and it's time for other countries to prove if they really want to be in Europe but according to the principles and the values of Europe."

    On his part, Mouzalas noted that "despite the fact that president Juncker's position have not yet been passed in Europe, we achieved a substantial success, we reversed the climate. "It is Europe's turn to respond with solidarity," he said.

    Moreover, he estimated that we are on a good course reminding that an extraordinary Summit has been called with the hope that some countries' stance in relation with the refugees absorption has changed.

    [02] President Pavlopoulos and caretaker health minister discuss measures for refugees

    President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday received the caretaker government Health Minister Athanasios Dimopoulos, stressing the important role of Greece's doctors at this crucial time for Greece and Europe.

    "In this crisis of humanitarianism, this time when everyone must assume their responsibility toward others and especially refugees from war, it is well known that Greek doctors have outdone themselves to give that which belongs to all those that need our help and take the road to Europe because the fires of war do not let them live in their own country," he said.

    The president noted that Greek doctors had shown that the Greek people were "able to give, even when they are short themselves" and also that Greek doctors are European doctors "because these are European values".

    "For Europe, people are the centre of gravity. Let that be understood by those of our partners that are now displaying phobic syndromes in the face of a phenomenon that should, instead, demand that Europe show the nature of its strength, the strength of the West," he said.

    Dimopoulos highlighted the need to swiftly move migrants toward their final destination and said that all necessary measures have been taken to meet the healthcare needs of migrants and refugees, in collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Apostoli free clinic and other NGOs.

    [03] New refugee reception centres to be set up at Lavrio and Sindos, minister tells ANA-MPA

    Two new and open reception centres for refugees will be set up at Lavrio in Attica and in Sindos, Thessaloniki in less than a month, caretaker Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas told ANA-MPA on Wednesday.

    He said the new centres will be modeled along the same lines as that in Elaionas and serve as short-stay facilities for refugees awaiting the completion of identification processes and their departure to other destinations.

    "It is entirely outside our thinking - and we stated this at the Council of Europe - to turn our country into an endless camp. What we are building are small hospitality facilities, spaces where refugees will stay for one or two days before departing or completing identification. We are not going to build prisons. We are not going to transfer refugee camps into the cities," he stressed.

    Mouzalas said the former PYRKAL facility had been chosen for this purpose in Lavrio, while an old building within the industrial zone will be used in Sindos, following an necessary inspections and other preparations. Each centre will have a capacity to host between 500 and 700 people, he said.

    Based on the time schedule, the two centres are expected to operate in less than a month and the change in government is not expected to affect the overall planning.

    "We are continuing what we found and hope that the change in government will not affect our planning. These are things that, regardless of you political opinion, the refugees have a right to," he pointed out.

    Mouzalas denied that the government intends to request activiation of the European Civil Protection Mechanism, as suggested by Commission officials, saying: "No, no, no. It was the government's decision not to ask for its activation."

    [04] European Parliament fast-tracks vote on 120,000 refugee relocation plan

    The European Parliament's plenary will hold an emergency vote on Thursday at 10.00 on a scheme to relocate additional 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece, Italy and Hungary.

    This recourse to the urgency procedure (Rule 154) was proposed by President Schulz and approved in a plenary vote at the opening.

    "The current refugee crisis makes it absolutely necessary to act swiftly", said Schulz, backed by Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes, who invited MEPs "to express European solidarity on the refugee crisis".

    [05] SYRIZA's Tsipras: 'We need to get rid of the old system'

    Greece needs to get rid of the system that is keeping its political life a "hostage", SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said in an interview on private broadcaster SBC on Wednesday, citing the policies it intends to follow on the media and tackling vested interests.

    "There's a need to unsnarl this system that keeps the country's political life a hostage," he said, adding that "political life will breathe freely generally". Asked about the criticism he's received by media, he said that he "doesn't bother with media groups of shady journalism which have been out of control lately" and that he's only interested in the big problems facing the country.

    "If we lose this opportunity and we turn back now, we will remain in a rut for many years," he noted and said he will ensure a stable economic environment for the country.

    Asked if the door is open to those MPs who abandoned SYRIZA, Tsipras replied negatively. "Each one of us has chosen his path and when a person chooses a path, then there's no doubt these paths will be in different directions. When someone chooses ideological purity at a critical time so that he doesn't dirty his hands ... then he chooses a place and stance which for me I not the place and stance of the Left which will be useful for the country."

    [06] SYRIZA's Tsipras says there's need to revise Kallikratis plan

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday there's a need to reform the country's administrative division plan, known as Kallikratis.

    Speaking to the mayor of Larisa Apostolos Kalogiannis during a visit to the city and ahead of his campaign speech later in the evening, Tsipras said local administration has much potential which it will not be able to fulfill because of the difficulties arising from the implementation of the memorandums.

    He noted that institutional changes and measures to tackle bureaucracy are needed to improve the effectiveness of public administration. Part of the changes to the Kallikratis plan, he said, is the need to stop the constant audits of municipalities and mayors and just have one main audit at the end of each year.

    Commenting on the upcoming election, Tsipras reiterated his view that it's a battle between the "new" which must win and the "old" and the "progressive" versus "conservatism and vested interests".

    [07] ND will invite all parties to form cooperation government if it wins elections, Meimarakis says

    New Democracy will invite all the parties to form a government of "cooperation, understanding and national responsibility" if it wins Sunday's elections, ND leader Vangelis Meimarakis said on Wednesday.

    "We need to build relations of trust between us," he said, talking to young people around Gazi Square, a clubbing hotspot in Athens. "We cannot be divided any longer, or always keep talking about the old and the new. All together we can do better," he said and urged young people not to abstain from the elections.

    He also referred to what he called "leftist myths" and noted that the poorer social groups were those worst hit under leftist regimes, using free university education as an example.

    Meimarakis made it clear that he intends to abolish the newly-introduced 23 pct VAT for private education and stressed that he would not make empty promises.

    Discussing the economy, he attacked the previous SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government for imposing capital controls that he said had added additional liquidity problems to those that already existed and warned that the risk of grexit had not yet been eliminated entirely. The markets were waiting to see what government will form after the elections, he said.

    "There is no other way for reducing unemployment apart from investments," Meimarakis added, highlighting the need for a stable tax system.

    [08] History will reveal the pressures the Greek government suffered, ANEL leader Kammenos tells ANA-MPA

    Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos in an interview with ANA-MPA said that despite the tight framework of the implementation of the memorandum, the new government, as a continuation of the seven-month SYRIZA-ANEL coalition, will negotiate hard to relieve the large part of Greek people who fell victim of the crisis.

    He underlined the importance of re-opening small and medium sized enterprises, reducing unemployment, boosting the constuction sector, creating low-tax zones on the islands and offering incentives to the agricultural world.

    Kammenos noted that ANEL can help on the technical level of the negotiation adding that the migration is a European issue and the solution lies in the return of the refugees in their homes.

    Referring to the negotiations with the EU creditors, he noted that "history will reveal the pressure the Greek government suffered and we will see that the climate created was a climate that would lead to Schaeuble's solution, that is the withdrawal of Greece from the European Union and the transformation of the country into a 'warehouse of people'. And we managed to avoid it."

    Kammenos called on Greeks to vote for the Independent Greeks as they have proven their power and stability in the government and constitute a factor of security in a number of serious issues related to the country.

    The full interview is available for subscribers at ANA-MPA website.

    [09] The choice at these elections is either 'back or forward with Potami,' Theodorakis says

    The dilemma facing voters at the upcoming elections is "whether we go back, or forward with Potami," the party's leader Stavros Theodorakis said on Wednesday, during a pre-election press conference broadcast on all Greek television channels.

    He predicted that Potami will emerge stronger from Sunday's polls and stressed that it was a force that will stabilise the country.

    "If we fall below the January percentage, then that means there is a problem," he admitted, saying the party was currently aiming for a 10 pct share of the vote in order to be able to affect developments.

    "If you don't have the size, you can't take on the monsters. For this reason we need 30 seats," he added, noting that he was prepared to make "small and fair compromises" after the elections.

    He called on the other political party leaders to reach a political agreement that agreed on three fundamental points: that elections will not be held for the next three years, that the country will meet its commitments and that the parties will break free of their "partisan armies".

    Theodorakis said agreement on education issues will play a crucial role in deciding the party's stance, noting that all countries that signed memorandum agreements made major changes to their education systems. He also underlined that his party's priority were the "losers" of the memorandum years, especially the unemployed and small business owners that had lost their livelihoods or young people unable to see any future prospects in Greece.

    [10] Former finmin Tsakalotos in ANA-MPA: 'We side with the aggrieved'

    SYRIZA lawmaker and former finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Wednesday his party is on the side of those who are suffering most from austerity and that there may be social reactions when the third bailout is implemented.

    "Our role is to find a way to explain to people that we are on the side of the aggrieved, with the social classes that have suffered until now," Tsakalotos told ANA-MPA in an interview published on Wednesday.

    Asked if he's worried about potential social reactions when a SYRIZA government will try to implement the harsh measures of the bailout deal, he admitted that reactions are expected, but insinuated that the new government would try to make some corrective actions and promote growth that would help the weaker households.

    Commenting on post-election cooperation, he said that "most people have ruled out" a SYRIZA-New Democracy coalition, adding that it is also unlikely for the party to cooperate with PASOK and Potami. "Of course, this is an issue to be decided collectively by SYRIZA, but I have but I doubt that PASOK and New Democracy, which built their social base on clientelism and tax evasion, will be able to change and address these very important problems facing the Greek economy and Greek society."

    [11] Former minister Flambouraris denounces 'slanderous' attack, presents supporting documents

    With a written statement accompanied by nine supporting documents to back his case, former SYRIZA minister Alekos Flambouraris on Wednesday denounced what he called a slanderous attack against him by the newspaper "Proto Thema" and warned that he intends to take the matter to court if the newspaper persisted.

    Flambouraris denied the newspaper's claim that he remained on the board of the construction company "Diatmisi" after he was appointed a minister in Alexis Tsipras' cabinet, presenting documents showing that he had resigned on January 26, the day after the elections, sold his shares in the company and also gone into retirement, filing for a pension.

    "The unethical attack against me on Tuesday by electronic and print media is politically guided and slanderous, aiming at my political and personal elimination and to tear down the indisputable moral advantage of the Left and SYRIZA in order to launder four decades of corruption and graft by the bankrupt political system," he said.

    The nine pdf documents in Greek supplied by Flambouraris are available as an attachment.

    [12] French Ambassador to Greece Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge steps down; to be succeeded by Christophe Chantepy

    The French Ambassador to Greece Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge in a farewell ceremony on Tuesday thanked his collegues and friends after the completion of his four-year term.

    Delforge will be succeeded by Christophe Chantepy, consultant of former prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and minister Segolene Royal.

    During his speech, Delforge underlined that the relations between Greece and France have survived amid the crisis. "French companies did not leave Greece and continued their investments," he said adding that the cultural ties between the two countries were further deepened with the organization of Greece-France Alliance events.

    ""These four years," he said, "were marked by the economic, social and moral crisis in Greece, and the hope that the reforms will give new impetus to the country."

    Financial News

    [13] Forty-nine Greek ports to receive 4.3 mln for infrastructure upgrade

    Forty-nine Greek ports will receive 4.3 million euros in funding for important upgrade in infrastructure, following a meeting between Alternate Shipping Minister Christos Zois and Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis with the president of Union of Greece's Prefectures, Kostas Agorastos, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The ports were selected after authorities prioritized and assessed the problems they face and include Zakynthos, Agios Konstantinos, Gavdos, Halkida, Aedipsos, Karystos, Pylos, Serifos, Samos, Aegion, Ouranopolis, Thasos and Athinios.

    [14] Greek budget records primary surplus of 3.801 bln euros in Jan-Aug

    Greece's state budget recorded a primary surplus of 3.801 billion euros in the January-August period this year, from a surplus of 1.946 billion in the same period last year and a budget target for a primary surplus of 3.264 billion euros.

    The finance ministry, in a report released on Wednesday on provisional budget execution figures (amended cash basis) said that the general government deficit shrank to 1.101 billion euros in the eight-month period, from 2.849 billion last year and a budget goal for a deficit of 1.694 billion euros.

    State budget net revenues totaled 30.768 billion euros, down 11.9 pct from targets, while regular budget net revenues were 28.701 billion euros, down 12.4 pct from targets (of which 1.724 billion euros were a shortfall in revenue from the transfer of yields from Greek bond holdings by European central banks (ANFAs & SMPs).

    Tax returns totaled 1.772 billion euros, down 250 million euros from targets, while Public Investment Program revenues totaled 2.067 billion euros, down 83 million from targets.

    State budget spending totaled 31.869 billion euros in the January-August period, down 4.744 billion from targets - reflecting a 2.797 billion euros decline in primary spending and a 361 million euros decline in cash spending on defense contracts.

    Regular budget spending fell by 2.155 billion euros, or 6.6 pct. Public Investment Programme spending was 1.563 billion euros, down 1.527 billion from targets and down 1.745 billion euros compared with the same period last year.

    In August, state budget net revenues totaled 3.893 billion euros, down 5.0 pct from monthly targets, while regular budget net revenues were down 1.0 pct to 3.861 billion euros.

    State budget spending in August totaled 4.155 billion euros, down 267 million from targets, while regular budget spending totaled 3.790 billion euros, down 112 million from targets.

    [15] Hellas Gold 'ready for dialogue' on Halkidiki investments, CEO says on ANA-MPA radio

    Hellas Gold was "ready for dialogue" if the government elected on September 20 seeks to renegotiate the gold mining investments in Halkidiki, Vice-President and CEO Mihalis Theodorakopoulos said on Wednesday in an interview with the ANA-MPA radio station "Praktorio 104.9".

    "The original contract asked for nothing, we have offered much to the municipality, the local community and the public sector but we are open and ready for dialogue," he said.

    According to Theodorakopoulos, the environmental impact studies carried out by Hellas Gold had been irrevocably approved by the Council of State, Greece's supreme administrative court, and the environmental issues were now "closed". The issues that currently concerned the Halkidiki investment were "various minor obstacles that could be raised by any official on a local or central level," he added.

    He described the dispute as a "guerrilla war that has to end" and clarified that the problem was not confined to SYRIZA: "For 10 years we have been trying to licence the project and SYRIZA was not in government."

    "SYRIZA and New Democracy can exploit the issue of the mines however they like, we don't care if they put us on the political agenda and we don't want to be mixed up in the political atmosphere of the time," Theodorakopoulos added, noting that Greek engineers wanted this investment to go ahead.

    "Our vision of all these years is starting to be implemented and we will not hand this over to anyone, either in a positive or a negative sense," he said.

    Theodorakopoulos revealed that a meeting was held between company representatives and ministry officials immediately after Tuesday's CoS hearing, which postponed a ruling on the issues until after the elections.

    "We made it clear that the political game has nothing to do with us," he noted, and pointed out that the cost of employing the 100-150 employees of the mines was roughly five million euros a month. He said these had not been suspended and were currently employed chiefly on environmental protection issues, pumping water and the safety of the installations, as the mine was continuing to operate and there had to be continuous pumping of water and processing of acidic waters.

    [16] Greek exports projected to fall in 2015, SEBE report

    Greek merchandise exports are expected to fall in 2015, the Federation of Northern Greece Exporters (SEBE) said on Wednesday.

    In a report, SEBE said that the introduction of capital controls in the country deteriorated an already burdened situation in the market and were having very heavy consequences on the country's exports, with industrial production and exports projected to fall further in the coming months. "Difficulties in purchasing raw materials and products and an increase in unemployment in June offered a warning signal over a further weakening of economic activity in the second half of the year," SEBE said, adding that loosening restrictions on payments to foreign suppliers must be accelerated, becoming top priority for the government which will be formed after Sunday's general elections.

    "Our demand is to automatically approve, without any bureaucratic procedures and time delays, all business transactions abroad linked with the productive/manufacturing procedures and the import of raw materials and other products for enterprises," the Federation said, adding that authorities must work towards boosting liquidity in the market -a demand placed repeatedly by SEBE in the last five years.

    SEBE also asked for completion of all pending financial transactions between the state and the private sector.

    Specifically for Turkey, Greek exports rose 11.38 pct -excluding oil products- in the January-July period this year to 423.64 million euros, compared with the same period in 2014, while imports from Turkey -excluding oil products- totaled 542.42 million euros up 2.19 pct from last year.

    The Greek trade deficit with Turkey shrank by 21.07 pct in the seven-month period from 150.47 million euros in 2014 to 118.77 million in 2015.

    A report by the Greek embassy in Ankara said that the trend of Greek exports to Turkey depended largely on the trend of oil products, adding that without oil products the country's trade balance with Turkey would be negative.

    Greek exports totaled 1.05 billion euros in the first seven months of 2015, down 37.28 pct from 2014 (1.7 billion euros). Turkish exports to Greek totaled 697.92 million euros in the January-July period, up 6.18 pct from last year (654.81 million). The country's trade surplus fell by 65.18 pct to 358 million euros this year from 1.028 billion in 2014) reflecting a significant decline in exports of oil products (partly reflecting a sharp decline in international oil prices).

    In July, exports of oil products to Turkey accounted for 57.15 pct of total exports (down from 83.63 pct in July 2014). Exports of plastics totaled 9.12 million, aluminium (6.5 million), machinery (4.85 million), copper (4.12 million) and fertilizers (3.9 million).

    [17] 4th Social Media World 2015 Conference attracts industry leaders

    The fourth conference in the Social Media World was concluded on Tuesday, at Divani Caravel hotel, in Athens with the participation of executives and professionals working in the field of Social Media, eCommerce and eBusiness, the Internet, digital marketing, as well as advertising.

    This year's eBusiness & Social Media World Congress aimed at helping e-businesses to evolve in the field of Social Media and get a greater share of the customer's wallet. Therefore, a presentation and analysis was made on the current and future trends in the area of appropriate technological tools and solutions, successful strategies and the best practices implemented in different industries.

    Representatives of the Greek market described the recent developments in the social networks and digital marketing, while special reference was made to copyright protection on the Internet.

    The conference ended with the presentation of the best practices in different sectors such as Travel - Hospitality, Healthcare, FMCG - Retail, Banking and Telecommunications.

    [18] Greek inflation rate at -0.4 pct in August, Eurostat

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Maria Aroni)

    Greek inflation rate was -0.4 pct in August from -1.3 pct in July, Eurostat said on Wednesday. In a report released here, the EU executive's statistics agency said that the inflation rate in the Eurozone slowed to 0.1 pct in August from 0.2 pct in July, while in the EU-28 the inflation rate was 0.0 pct and 0.2 pct, respectively.

    Eleven member-states recorded a negative inflation rate in August, led by Cyprus (-1.9 pct), Romania (-1.7 pct) and Lithuania (-1.0 pct). Malta (1.4 pct), Austria (0.9 pct) and Belgium (0.8 pct) recorded the highest inflation rates. The inflation rate was 0.4 pct in the Eurozone and 0.5 pct in the EU-28 in August 2014.

    [19] Greece raises 1.3 bln euros from T-bill auction

    Greece on Wednesday successfully auctioned a three-month Treasury bill issue raising 1.3 billion euros from the market. The interest rate of the issue was set at 2.70 pct, unchanged from the previous auction of same issue last month. Bids submitted were 1.3 times more than the asked sum of 1.0 billion euros.

    [20] Lidl Hellas has invested more than 1.2 bln euros in last 17 years in Greece

    Lidl Hellas has completed investments worth more than 1.2 billion euros in Greece in the last 17 years, the company said on Wednesday on the occasion of completing 10 years of operation of its logistics center in Patras.

    Lidl Hellas is operating five logistics centers in Greece (Attica, Patras, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Theve) ensuring the supply of fresh products throughout its network. The logistics center in Patras covers Lidl's 45 stores in Crete, Peloponese, Attica, Aetoloakarnania and Ionian Islands.

    [21] Greek per capita available income down 27.5 pct in 2007-2015, OECD report

    Per capita available income shrank by more than 25 pct in the period from early 2007 until the first quarter of 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Wednesday.

    In a report, highlighting the impact of a financial crisis on Greek households, per capita available income fell by 27.5 pct in the 2007-2015 period, during which per capita GDP shrank by 22.8 pct.

    The OECD said that the growth rate of households' average available income has surpassed GDP growth rates in member-states since the financial crisis erupted in 2007. Per capita available income grew 8.1 pct in the 2007-2015 period in the OECD, while GDP grew by 3.2 pct over the same period.

    [22] Greek stocks end 1.51 pct higher

    Greek stocks continued moving higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, pushing the composite index of the market above the 690-point level. Traders said buying interest focused on bank shares. The composite index rose 1.51 pct to end at 692.44 points, off the day's highs of 695.55 points. Turnover was an improved 50.862 million euros, the highest in the last 27 sessions. The Large Cap index rose 1.98 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.21 pct higher.

    Alpha Bank (9.29 pct), Piraeus Bank (8.18 pct), Eurobank (8.11 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (6.67 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Titan (3.33 pct), OTE (2.24 pct), PPC (1.67 pct) and Lamda Development (1.52 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Banks (6.49 pct), Oil (4.44 pct) and Insurance (3.57 pct) scored big gains, while Telecoms (2.24 pct), Construction (1.59 pct) and Commerce (0.98 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 64 to 35 with another 18 issues unchanged. Yalco (19.61 pct), Dionic (19.05 pct) and MIG Real Estate (14.42 pct) were top gainers, while Vioter (15.88 pct), G.E.Demetriou (14.29 pct) and Audiovisual (13.79 pct) were top losers.

    [23] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 7.73 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 7.91 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 8.49 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.76 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate rose to 0.156 pct from 0.155 pct, the nine-month rate rose to 0.088 pct from 0.086 pct, the six-month rate was unchanged at 0.036 pct, the three-month rate fell to -0.037 pct from -0.036 pct and the one-month rate was -0.103 pct.

    [24] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.27 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,692 contracts with 11,157 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 131,280 contracts with investment interest focusing on Eurobank's contracts (41,272), followed by Alpha Bank (22,415), Piraeus Bank (27,987), National Bank (12,661), MIG (7,480), OTE (5,471), PPC (824), OPAP (428), Hellenic Exchanges (291), Viohalco (151), Mytilineos (4,849), Hellenic Petroleum (3,928), Motor Oil (1779), Metka (209), GEK (765), Ellaktor (608), Intralot (356), Folli Follie (333), Jumbo (200, Frigoglass (250), Korinth Pipeworks (220) and Terna Energy (247).

    General News

    [25] Conference on Art & Education:Teaching and Pedagogical approaches in 21st Century

    The Greek Institute of Educational Policy in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts and the Onassis Cultural Centre will hold a conference on "Art & Education: Teaching and Pedagogical approaches in 21st Century School" on October 2-4, at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

    The aim of the conference is to explore current pedagogical issues on the relation between Art and Education and to establish a forum for a substantial and productive dialogue among artists, educators, scientists and researchers from both the fields of Fine Arts and Higher Education.

    [26] National Archaeological Museum presents rarely seen 'Ivory Lady from Prosymna' on Sept. 21

    The National Archaeological Museum of Athens will present to the public the "Lady from Prosymna", an ivory statue of the Mycenaean period, starting on September 21, as part of the "Unseen Museum" initiatives to showcase artifacts from the vast collection kept in its storerooms.

    Antiquities selected from museum curators emerge every two months inviting fans of rarely seen objects to learn about their history and importance. Previous artifacts presented as part of this include the Ring of Theseus, the Bronze Cat sarcophagus votive offering, the Artemis from the Sea and Europe's Mirror.

    The Lady of Prosymna, a figurine of a standing woman in frontal view, of almost 12 cm height, was discovered in a tomb in Prosymna, Argos, and dates from the middle of 15th century BC. The figurine is important because of the information and details it provides for the costumes and adornment of that era.

    On October 16 and 25, as well as on November 6 and 15, museum archaeologists will welcome visitors at 13.00 and will talk about the artifact and the beauty secrets of Mycenaean women as they are presented in palace wall paintings, the Linear B tablets and chemical analyses of cosmetics substances found in luxury utensils.

    The statuette will be found in the Hall of the Altar (chamber 34) until November 22. To attend the event, visitors will have to buy a ticket and signing in on the day of the presentation. For information call +30 213 214 4891, or visit the museum's website

    [27] Acropolis Museum archaeologists to tour visitors of Samothrace exhibition

    The Acropolis Museum will offer its visitors the opportunity to discover the landscape, the people and the archaeological finds of Samothrace island with the assistance of archaeologists-curators within the framework of the European Cultural Heritage Days and the World Tourism Day.

    More specifically, on Saturday 26 and on Sunday 27 September from 17:00-20:00, the curators will be at the site of the exhibition "Samothrace: The Mysteries of the Great Gods" to answer to the visitors' questions. Moreover, the regular thematic presentations on Samothrace continue regularly.

    The programme of the thematic presentations :

    Friday 25 September: The Great Gods of Samothrace and Athena of Acropolis, at 20:00 in Greek and at 18:00 in English language.

    Saturday 26 September: Samothrace: The mysteries of the Great Gods, at 13:00 in Greek and at 11:00 in English.

    Sunday 27 September: Samothrace: The mysteries of the Great Gods, 13:00 in Greek, 11:00 in English and in French.

    Up to 40 persons per presentation while priority order will be followed strictly. Those interested should apply at the Museum's information desk.

    The Museum will be open on 26 and 27 September from 08:00-20:00 while entrance will be free from 17:00-20:00.

    [28] Thessaloniki University to offer postgraduate programme on extracorporeal circulation techniques

    The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) will launch a new postgraduate programme on extracorporeal circulation techniques and cardiac surgery devices technology for the first time in Greece.

    "The program aims to provide high-level scientific theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of technical extracorporeal circulation and technology cardiac devices, which will render university graduates capable of meeting the increasing needs in cardiac surgery center in the country and abroad," the director of Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinic of the Thessaloniki University General Hospital (AHEPA) associate professor Kyriakos Anastasiadis said.

    Graduates of departments of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physics-Biological Sciences and related Polytechnic and Nursing or Medical Laboratory will be made acceptable to the programme.

    The presentation of the programme will be held on September 18, 11:00 a.m.

    [29] Evros farmers blockade Kipi border crossing in protest over upcoming tax measures

    Evros farmers and livestock breeders on Wednesday set up a blockade with their tractors at the Kipi border crossing customs service, preventing the passage of trucks after 14:00 in the afternoon in protest against planned new taxes and social insurance measures for the farming sector.

    The protest had originally been planned for 10:00 in the morning but was delayed when police forces stopped the tractors at Peplo, a few kilometres before Kipi. After several hours of negotiation, the tractorcade finally reached the customs service, where they blocked the passage of trucks but not private cars or coaches in the presence of the police.

    The protest is scheduled to end at midnight.

    [30] European Researchers Night

    The "European Researchers Night" will be celebrated with a series of events on Rhodes, Crete and in Athens on September 17-18.

    The events will include, among others, an acquaintance with computers and robots that listen and understand information on how the best Greek synthetic voice is made, a painting competition on computer science, guided tours in the workshops, special meetings for teachers and others.

    Weather forecast

    [31] Sunny on Thursday

    Mostly fair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale. Temperatures in the northern parts will range from 17C-33C. In the western parts from 18C-33C and in the eastern parts between 15C-33C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 22C-32C. Fair in Athens, 20C-33C; the same for the Thessaloniki, 17C-31C.

    [32] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: Let's not waste a single vote

    DIMOKRATIA: A window for pension to citizens with debt to social security fund OAEE

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: New data for Lagarde list

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: New taxes and police without uniforms

    ESTIA: The six new tax measures

    ETHNOS: The three key points of the elections

    IMERISSIA: Race for the four largest banks

    KATHIMERINI: Evros to open

    KONTRANEWS: CIA and MI6 have files for all past politicians

    NAFTEMPORIKI: 26 pct and 33 pct taxation on undeclared income

    RIZOSPASTIS: Everyone at Syntagma for a strong communist party KKE

    TA NEA: Either me or him. The dilemma of Tsipras and Meimarakis

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