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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-09-23

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

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

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 Issue No: 5028

CONTENTS

  • [01] Organisational structure of ministries changed with decrees signed by PM
  • [02] Composition of new government to be announced by Tuesday evening, says SYRIZA MP Voutsis
  • [03] Greece's top administrative court approves renaming, re-establishment of ministry names
  • [04] Juncker to meet Tsipras on Wednesday at 18.00
  • [05] Merkel says Turkey must support Greece in protecting EU's external borders
  • [06] EU states approve 'by large majority' the relocation of 120,000 refugees, says Luxembourg
  • [07] European Commission welcomes EU ministers' decision to relocate 120,000 refugees
  • [08] US supports Greece's efforts for economic recovery, State Department says
  • [09] Nobel prize-winning economist Stiglitz criticizes austerity policies imposed on Greece
  • [10] Procedures for election of ND's new leader start immediately
  • [11] Piraeus port records highest percentage increase in container traffic
  • [12] Ryanair announces special offer for domestic flights in October, November
  • [13] Greek stocks end 2.32 pct lower
  • [14] Greek bond market closing report
  • [15] ADEX closing report
  • [16] Number of refugees waiting at Lesvos' port increases again, food stops in reception center
  • [17] Plight of Athens' refugees needs to be addressed before weather turns, aid workers warn
  • [18] At least 312 undocumented migrants and refugees rescued in the last 24h
  • [19] Two missing after refugee boat capsizes en route to Lesvos
  • [20] Around 200 refugees transferred to Tae Kwon Do indoor stadium
  • [21] Acropolis Museum ranks 8th in Europe's top museums for 2015
  • [22] Science takes centre stage in 'Science Reactors' performances for Researchers' Night
  • [23] Rhodes' airport closes after 8-meter-wide pothole opens in runway
  • [24] "Near - Check Who's Nearby": New app for tracking and making new friends
  • [25] Rain on Wednesday
  • [26] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Organisational structure of ministries changed with decrees signed by PM

    Key ministries previously merged with other portfolios have been re-established and renamed through two presidential decrees drawn up by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday, which introduce a number of changes to the organisation of central government.

    The changes split up the former Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism 'super-ministry' - which has been renamed the Economy, Development and Tourism Ministry - and create two additional autonomous ministries. One is the Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry and the second is the shipping ministry, which has been renamed the Shipping and Island Policy Ministry.

    The Culture, Education and Religions ministry has been renamed the Education, Research and Religions Ministry.

    Also split up is the former Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy 'superministry' - which had previously merged the agriculture, environment, energy and industry portfolios. This is now renamed the Environment and Energy Ministry, while the Agricultural Development and Foods Ministry becomes an autonomous ministry in its own right and the General Secretary for Industry is transferred to the Economy, Development and Tourism Ministry.

    Another change is the transfer of the General Secretariat for Combatting Corruption headed by Giorgos Vasiliadis and all the agencies it supervises to the Justice Ministry, under the supervision of the justice minister.

    [02] Composition of new government to be announced by Tuesday evening, says SYRIZA MP Voutsis

    The composition of the new government will have been announced by Tuesday evening, SYRIZA deputy Nikos Voutsis said on Tuesday speaking to private Mega TV.

    On the persons that will form the new government, Voutsis said that he has the impresson that there will be no "drastic changes".

    He noted that the swear in ceremony of the new government will take place on Wednesday at 10:00 so that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves for Brussels to participate in the EU Summit on the refugees issue.

    [03] Greece's top administrative court approves renaming, re-establishment of ministry names

    Greece's Council of State, the top administrative court, said the two presidential decrees issued by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras re-establishing and renaming four key ministries were approved, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

    The ministries in question are: 1. Economy, Growth and Tourism, 2. Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, 3. Environment and Energy and 4. Education, Research and Religion.

    The Court also noted that the decrees should include a provision making clear that supervised bodies will also be transferred under the relevant ministries.

    [04] Juncker to meet Tsipras on Wednesday at 18.00

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)

    European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will receive on Wednesday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at 18:00 (Athens time), announced earlier EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

    The meeting will be held before the start of the EU Summit on the refugee issue.

    [05] Merkel says Turkey must support Greece in protecting EU's external borders

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said that Turkey must assist Greece in protecting the EU's external borders, noting that Greece was unable to manage this alone, "without Turkey's support".

    In joint statements with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila ahead of Wednesday's European Council on the refugee crisis, Merkel again called on all member-states to meet their moral obligation and contribute to the effort. The first priority, she said, was to restore an orderly procedure in the handling of the refugees.

    She repeated the need to discuss the overall situation with Turkey in order to restore such an orderly procedure.

    Merkel noted that, in the long term, the EU must address the reasons the refugees were leaving their homes but that the current mission was to provide a refuge where they could live in dignity.

    Merkel and Sipila noted the need to install "hot spots" to process the refugees in countries on the EU's external borders, such as Greece and Italy, noting that this was a prerequisite for a fair distribution of refugees between the member-states.

    [06] EU states approve 'by large majority' the relocation of 120,000 refugees, says Luxembourg

    The 28 member-states of the European Union agreed on Tuesday on the relocation of 120,000 refugees from their "by large majority," Luxembourg, which currently holds the EU presidency, announced overriding objections from some states on the quotas proposed by Brussels.

    "The decision on relocation for 120,000 persons adopted today, by large majority of member states," the country tweeted.

    Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec announced through Twitter that his country, along with Slovakia, Romania and Hungary voted against the proposal. Finland chose to abstain.

    [07] European Commission welcomes EU ministers' decision to relocate 120,000 refugees

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/C. Vasilaki)

    The European Commission expressed its satisfaction on Tuesday for the decision of the EU's 28 Interior ministers to relocate 120,000 refugees within the next two years.

    "Today, European Home Affairs Ministers have taken an important decision to relocate 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and other Member States directly affected by the refugee crisis, less than 3 weeks after the Commission came forward with its proposal. The Commission welcomes the efforts undertaken by all Member States to reach this result, and salutes in particular the tireless work of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council," the Commission said in a statement.

    "Following this decision, the EU is now in a position to relocate a total of 160,000 people in clear need of international protection in the coming two years. The Commission and the EU agencies will organise together with the Member States the necessary coordination to implement the mechanism on the ground," it added.

    It also said the relocation is part of a comprehensive approach to deal with the ongoing refugee crisis and Interior ministers are now expected to move forward on the other proposals made by the Commission, including the EU List of Safe Countries of Origin and the further reform of the Dublin system, at the next Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8 October.

    At the same time, the Commission said, "the root causes of the refugee crisis must be addressed," which is why the EU will hold a summit meeting on Wednesday to discuss "the immediate priority actions which are necessary to address the instability in our vicinity, and the refugee pressures on neighbouring countries."

    [08] US supports Greece's efforts for economic recovery, State Department says

    The US government is ready to cooperate with the newly elected Greek government, even in its efforts for economic recovery, an official of the State Department told the Russian news agency Sputnik.

    "We congratulate SYRIZA on winning the elections and look forward to working with the new government," the official said. "As the new government will start its work, the United States will continue to support reforms in the country and international efforts to promote economic recovery of Greece," he added.

    The official explained that the interest of the US "was and remains the Greece will emerge stronger from the continuing economic crisis and play a stabilizing role in the region."

    At the same time he emphasized that Greece is an important US ally and Washington will continue to work closely with the Greek government on bilateral and regional issues.

    Source: Sputnik

    [09] Nobel prize-winning economist Stiglitz criticizes austerity policies imposed on Greece

    Nobel Prize-winning American economist Joseph Stiglitz criticized once again the austerity policies imposed on Greece by Germany and the eurozone, saying that "Germany is responsible for the mess."

    In an interview with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, Stiglitz estimated that Greece's financial problems have not been solved after the agreement on the third bailout.

    "The problem has been transferred to the future. We must wait to see what will happen after the elections, if there will be a coalition that will be able to break the old system of oligarchs. The troika has so far not helped much in this direction," the American economist underlined.

    According to Stiglitz, Greece needs a haircut on its debt. "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made clear that Greece cannot service its debt, the country needs a debt haircut. This is a fact regardless of how you name it: haircut, restructuring or anything else."

    The American economist also considered that if some of the goals set by the troika are not revised, "the recession in Greece will be greater."

    Among the targets that should be changed is the 3.5% surplus that Greece needs to achieve in 2018.

    "What kills Greece is not only the lack of efficiency in the public sector and the private sector. When the banking system in Greece is so destroyed, it cannot do much for small and medium sized enterprises, and Greece is a country of small and medium-sized enterprises. We must find a way to restart their financing," he stated.

    Stiglitz concluded that the austerity policy that Germany promotes "is a dangerous policy."

    [10] Procedures for election of ND's new leader start immediately

    The procedures for the election of new party leader will start immediately, said New Democracy (ND) in an announcement issued on Tuesday.

    The decision was taken late Monday after ND leader Evangelos Meimarakis' meeting with the secretary of the party's political committee Andreas Papamimikos.

    Financial News

    [11] Piraeus port records highest percentage increase in container traffic

    The port of Piraeus recorded the highest percentage increase in container traffic in the 2009-2013 period, with an increase of 476 pct, among 50 ports worldwide, according to data released by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

    The IAPH said that the port of Piraeus recorded cargo traffic of 3,163,000 TEUs in 2013, from 665,000 TEUs in 2009, for an increase of 476 pct. Container traffic in Piraeus grew further to 3,700,000 TEUs in 2014. Piraeus was followed by the port of Duisburg (Germany) with an increase of 321 pct over the same period, the Chinese ports of Dalian with an increase of 239 pct, Taicang (216 pct) and Yingkou (209 pct). In sixth place came the port of Ambarli in Istanbul with an increase of 184 pct in the five-year period.

    Meanwhile, an office from Hellenic Republic Assed Development Fund told ANA-MPA on Tuesday that binding bids to buy a majority stake in Piraeus Port Organization would be submitted by the end of October without any further delay.

    The official said that the new Merchant Marine minister, in cooperation with Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, were expected to have completed a draft legislation on the concession contract between the Greek state and Piraeus Port Organization. Under the new law, a new port authority will be set up which will take over all administrative and regulatory powers. Depending on the investments to be made by the new investor, the Greek state could sell up to 67 pct of Piraeus Port.

    Cosco (China), APM Terminals (Denmark) and ICTS (Philippines) are the main candidates in the tender, from a total of eight candidates who have expressed interest to buy up to 67 pct of Piraeus Port (APM Terminals, B.V., Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, GmbH, Duferco Participations Holding S.A., International Container Terminal Services, Inc, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., P&O Steam Navigation Company (DP World), Russian Railways JSC / GEK TERNA S.A., Yilport Holding Inc.

    [12] Ryanair announces special offer for domestic flights in October, November

    Budget airline Ryanair on Tuesday announced a new offer on domestic flights in Greece in the months October and November. All those that book a flight by next Tuesday, September 29, will be able to fly to or from Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Santorini and Hania for just 17.99 euros.

    [13] Greek stocks end 2.32 pct lower

    Greek stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, amid a negative climate in other European markets in the aftermath of the VW scandal. Bank shares were strongly hit on investors' worries over the process and the cost of a new recapitalization plan.

    The composite index of the market fell 2.32 pct to end at 677.47 points, off the day's lows of 673.37 points. The Large Cap index dropped 2.77 pct and the Mid Cap index eased 1.14 pct. Turnover was a low 33.949 million euros.

    Hellenic Exchanges (2.78 pct), Aegean Airlines (0.56 pct) and Jumbo (0.50 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (11.21 pct), Alpha Bank (10.69 pct), Eurobank (8.11 pct) and National Bank (6.56 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Financial Services (2.35 pct), Health (0.79 pct) and Personal Products (0.37 pct) scored big gains, while Banks (8.56 pct), Oil (3.69 pct) and Food (2.35 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 63 to 27 with another 12 issues unchanged. Audiovisual (24.14 pct), Akritas (15.15 pct) and Andromeda (9.98 pct) were top gainers, while Piraeus Bank (11.21 pct), Alpha Bank (10.69 pct) and Intertek (10 pct) were top losers.

    [14] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was 7.41 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.01 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.62 pct. Turnover was a thin 2.0 million euros, one buy order.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 0.15 pct from 0.156 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.085 pct from 0.088 pct, the six-month rate fell to 0.034 pct from 0.036 pct, the three-month rate remained unchanged at -0.039 pct and the one-month rate was -0.103 pct.

    [15] ADEX closing report

    The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.04 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,891 contracts with 10,657 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 75,937 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (26,805), followed by Alpha Bank (23,839), National Bank (11,840), Eurobank (10,098), MIG (255), OTE (517), PPC (919), OPAP (660), Hellenic Exchanges (210), Mytilineos (130), Hellenic Petroleum (120), Motor Oil (107), Frigoglass (101) and GEK (85).

    General News

    [16] Number of refugees waiting at Lesvos' port increases again, food stops in reception center

    The number of refugees crowding the port of Mytilene in Lesvos has risen dramatically again, as food delivery has stopped at the first reception center in Moria with refugees moving to the port to secure a meal, according to local authorities on Tuesday.

    The funding - totaling 2.2 million euros to date - given to companies which provided food to those living in Moria's reception center has stopped and with no meals in sight, adult and children migrants and refugees are relocating to the port in search of food.

    The problem is further exacerbated by the irregular operation of the extra ferry services. With 2,500 to 4,000 people arriving daily at the northern and eastern coast of Lesvos, the daily ferries are not enough to transfer them to Piraeus and the extra ferries do not maintain regular services to decongest the island.

    Police estimates that about 4,500 have camped at the port, in parks or are sleeping on pavements at the docks. The problem arises because police limits its work in granting documents to refugees and migrants to continue their trip to northern Europe, but then refugees are stuck in Mytilene until they can secure a ferry ticket. Those who do buy a ticket, often only find one for a week later.

    Adding to their problems, yesterday's downpour sent hundreds of people to seek shelter in sheds, arcades, shop windows, entrances to buildings and abandoned houses.

    [17] Plight of Athens' refugees needs to be addressed before weather turns, aid workers warn

    With the first spell of heavy rains highlighting the problems that the encroaching winter will bring, aid workers and organisations on Tuesday warned that action must be taken to provide shelter for Athens' homeless refugees before the weather turns.

    "There are many children that have a fever, who have no access to even basic treatment, or even a toilet and running water," said volunteer aid worker and doctor Irene, who regularly makes "house calls" at Victoria Square where many refugees are camped.

    She talked to ANA-MPA about the health problems that beset refugees exposed to the elements, especially the children. "Yesterday I saw small children with wet clothes, which is detrimental to their health. They often present with bronchitis as a result of the poor living conditions; they don't eat properly, they don't sleep properly and they're cold."

    Bronchitis, gastroenteritis and the common cold were the most frequent complaints, according to Irene, and though not life-threatening they made life difficult. Because most only stayed in Athens for a short time, she added, it was not always possible to provide proper treatment.

    "I given them the necessary medicine, which comes from donations, but it is not possible to give proper medical care because they leave. All I can do is give them some medicine to take with them and continue their journey," she said.

    The Greek Forum of Refugees has appealed for a solution before the onset of winter. The organisation's president Yonous Muhammadi said the refugees were currently trying to take shelter from the rain under umbrellas, in building entrances and the Victoria underground metro station.

    "It is necessary to open more hospitality centres and stadiums through Greece because, sooner or later, we will have dead people," he warned.

    On Monday night, authorities laid on buses to transfer some 200 refugees from Victoria Square to the Tae Kwon Do indoor stadium in Paleo Faliro, after refugees started crowding the platforms of the metro station to avoid the rain. Many remained at Victoria Square on Tuesday, however.

    According to the head of the Elaionas refugee reception centre Anthi Karaggeli, no one had been turned away:

    "We all know that the weather is changing and are making efforts for the best conditions. Whoever comes to the reception centre is not left outside. Yesterday, all those that came with the rain may have had to wait a little but they all got in."

    [18] At least 312 undocumented migrants and refugees rescued in the last 24h

    The Greek coast guard rescued at least 312 undocumented migrants and refugeess in the last 24h in 13 incidents that occured in the sea region of the islands of Chios, Samos, Kos and Lesvos.

    [19] Two missing after refugee boat capsizes en route to Lesvos

    Two people were reported missing on Tuesday after a boat carrying refugees capsized while making the crossing from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Lesvos.

    Greek coast guard patrol boats rescued nine refugees from the water at around 16:00, while two men were reported missing.

    [20] Around 200 refugees transferred to Tae Kwon Do indoor stadium

    Approximately 200 refugees, that had sought refuge to the train platforms, were transferred late on Monday in the indoor stadium of Tae Kwon Do in Paleo Faliro.

    "The refugees will stay in the indoor stadium of Tae Kwon Do for two days," the mayor of Paleo Faliro Dionysis Hatzidakis said to ANA-MPA.

    [21] Acropolis Museum ranks 8th in Europe's top museums for 2015

    The Acropolis Museum in Athens ranks 8th among Europe's museums and 11th in the world in the list compiled by TripAdvisor for 2015.

    TripAdvisor said that the the museum building is amazing and so are its exhibits, while it made a special reference to the glass corridor from which visitors can see the ruins and excavations below the museum.

    Museum award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

    [22] Science takes centre stage in 'Science Reactors' performances for Researchers' Night

    The aid of drama but also comedy has been enlisted in the effort to make science accessible to everyone, with two stage performances planned by the theatre group "Science Reactors" on September 24-25. The 'Science Reactors' are a group of young scientists - not actors, as they make clear - that decided to use the stage to teach while entertaining, explaining scientific concepts that are usually confined to the class room and laboratory.

    They plan to participate in the upcoming event 'Researchers' Night' on September 25 with two performances - the theatre play "Crime in the Laboratory" and Stand-up Science, which seeks to show that scientists also have a sense of humour.

    The play is an advance event for Researchers' Night that will be held at the Pasteur Institute on September 24 and builds its concept around the CSI-type television series, using a murder mystery in order to explain the science behind the various forensic techniques.

    The main event will be the stand-up comedy show 'Stand-up Science' that takes place on Researchers' Night (September 25) at the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre on Pireos Street.

    [23] Rhodes' airport closes after 8-meter-wide pothole opens in runway

    Rhodes' International Airport, "Diagoras", closed on Tuesday after last night's storm created a large pothole in the middle of the runway.

    The closure was deemed necessary because the eight-meter-wide pothole is preventing the taxiing of aircraft. Authorities said a crack that existed at the same spot had been fixed, but the torrential rain in the last few hours re-opened it.

    A meeting of airport officials is currently underway to decide how to deal with the problem, but the continuous rain prevents the restoration of the airstrip.

    [24] "Near - Check Who's Nearby": New app for tracking and making new friends

    An 18-year old Greek created an application to track and meet people at a distance of 1.5 klm.

    "I created the application because everyone at my age is online when they go out. This is an easy way to find each other," its founder Valentinos Tzekas said.

    The application offers the possibility to spot the people nearby and to tap the map pin to get instant directions. "It is the easiest way to discover, track and meet new people near you," Tzekas underlined.

    He is self-taught and interested in informatics since he was twelve years old. "I cannot imagine my life doing anything else," he told ANA-MPA.

    The distance is extended to 5 klm in big cities, he added.

    The application has not yet been launched. However, investors and entrepreneurs have already expressed their interest.

    Weather forecast

    [25] Rain on Wednesday

    Clouds, rain and northerly winds are forecast for Wednesday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Rain in the northern and western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 14C-28C. Thunderstorms in the eastern parts with temperatures between 17C-24C. Rain over the Aegean islands and Crete, 18C-26C. Unstable weather in Athens with rain in the afternoon, 18C-23C. Rain in the morning in Thessaloniki, 18C-22C.

    [26] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: Stability, debt, intertwined interests

    DIMOKRATIA: Rhodope region (Thrace) without a Christian MP

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Defeat brings nagging

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Storm of measures after the swear in ceremony

    ESTIA: What will happen in the next 40 days

    ETHNOS: Restructuring of the old scheme

    IMERISSIA: (Alexis) Tsipras' message with key persons

    KATHIMERINI: Suffocating deadlines and open fronts

    KONTRA NEWS: The fraud of the false mistakes

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Towards a government of immediate action

    RIZOSPASTIS: KKE on the front line for a strong anti-popular opposition

    TA NEA: Mystery over SYRIZA's proposal to PASOK

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 210 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 210 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: MICHALIS PSILOS


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