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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-09-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Friday, 25 September 2015 Issue No: 5030


  • [01] PM Tsipras meets Europarliament chief Schulz
  • [02] PM Tsipras in Brussels: 'Europe has finally understood the refugee issue is a European issue'
  • [03] PM Tsipras says balances in Europe must change
  • [04] Refugees' hot spots to start operating by end November, EU leaders say
  • [05] 1,742 refugees from Lesvos island arrive at Piraeus port on Thursday
  • [06] More than 100,000 refugees and migrants entered Greece illegally in August
  • [07] EU offers no solution for refugees and migrants, says Communist Party
  • [08] First cabinet meeting on Friday, at 11:00
  • [09] ANEL leader and Defence Minister Kammenos: No shadow should be hanging over gov't members
  • [10] Deputy Infrastructure Minister Kammenos resigns amid alleged tweet row
  • [11] Potami party questions abolition of anti-corruption ministry in new government
  • [12] Infrastructure Minister Spirtzis says priority for Skopelos is to record damages
  • [13] Russian and Turkish FM congratulate Kotzias
  • [14] Twitter account attributed to Alt. FinMin Chouliarakis is a fake, says ministry
  • [15] Foreign Ministry on the completion of the Libyan political dialogue
  • [16] Greek budget shows primary surplus of 3.798 billion euros in Jan-Aug
  • [17] Finance ministry examines tax reform plans
  • [18] Government will not add any new taxes, the finance ministry says
  • [19] New agreement for Piraeus Port ahead of privatisation to include rent raise, sources say
  • [20] Greek banks face four main challenges, says head of Greece's bank association
  • [21] Greek banks hold series of meetings w ith international investors
  • [22] Energean to start drilling at Katakolo, Greece in 2016-2017, CEO announces
  • [23] European Commission asks Greece to raise taxes on tsipouro, tsikoudia
  • [24] Greek stocks end flat
  • [25] Greek bond market closing report
  • [26] ADEX closing report
  • [27] Three arrested in Greek anti-terror operation in Volos
  • [28] Greece ranks first in excessive internet use
  • [29] Book Festival to be held from Sept 25-Oct 11 in Athens
  • [30] Rhodes airport resumes operation
  • [31] Archaeologists recover more than 50 objects in new Antikythera Shipwreck expedition
  • [32] "Antikythera Shipwreck" exhibition travels to Switzerland
  • [33] Peace Boat arrives in Mediterranean, expected at Piraeus on Monday
  • [34] Clouds, rain on Friday
  • [35] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras meets Europarliament chief Schulz

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ C. Vassilaki)

    The promotion of Alexis Tsipras' proposal for the European Parliament's involvement in the implementation and evaluation of the Greek programme dominated a meeting between the Greek prime minister and the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in Brussels on Thursday.

    Tsipras also met with the Vice President of the European Parliament and SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis.

    [02] PM Tsipras in Brussels: 'Europe has finally understood the refugee issue is a European issue'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/K. Vasilaki)

    The migration issue is a European issue and Europe has finally understood it, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in Brussels early on Thursday, following an emergency meeting of leaders of European Union member-states on how to handle the migration and refugee issue.

    Calling the meeting's results "a positive step," Tsipras said, "Europe has understood even if late that the great issue of refugee and migrant flows is a European issue which calls for a European solution." He added that the European Union could not operate on the rationale of "each member look after its own borders" and called for prioritizing "people first, then the economy."

    He confirmed that welcome centres set up at border countries that will register and house refugees will be in place by end-November, by which time the process of resettlement and return must have begun. Border countries must not become "depositories of souls," he warned.

    Tsipras said it was important to collaborate with transit countries, especially Turkey, "to end the image of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas as a watery tomb for refugees looking for a better life in Europe."

    EU leaders decided after a long meeting begun on Wednesday to earmark 1 billion euros for United Nations organisations, with the scope of helping Syrian refugees remaining in the Middle East.

    European Council and European Commission presidents Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, respectively, said they would host a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 5 to discuss how to control the number of migrants arriving in Greece from its neighbouring country. They also said the EU leaders agreed to tightening controls at Union border countries with personnel funded by the European Union.

    [03] PM Tsipras says balances in Europe must change


    The balances in Europe need to shift towards more solidarity and democracy, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Italian broadcaster Skai Italia on Wednesday, during his visit in Brussels where he's participating in the summit meeting for migration.

    He was speaking after his meeting with the president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) at the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, whom he called a friend who supported Greece during the tough negotiations with the country's European partners. The two men discussed strengthening ties among the progressive forces of Europe, he said and added that he invited Pittella to visit Athens as soon as possible.

    Asked to comment on the fact that he didn't keep his promise to the Greek people and instead brought a tough austerity program, Tsipras said that people understand his government had to give a tough fight to change the agreement and that staying in the Eurozone was the right thing to do.

    "The Greek people know that there will be difficulties in the future but that we have to fight together with the people of Europe to change our common home. We must fight to change the balances and create a common future for our people," he added.

    [04] Refugees' hot spots to start operating by end November, EU leaders say


    'Hot spots' for the identification of refugees in Greece and Italy must start operating by end November, European Council president Donald Tusk said in a press conference after the emergency summit in Brussels.

    French President Francois Hollande underlined that a discrimimation must be made between those entitled to international protection and asylum in the EU and economic migrants who should be deported within a short time.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that the reasons for the refugee crisis were discussed in the summit. "We all share the same view that the crisis is a challenge that we need to deal with together," she said. For this reason she said it is important to strengthen the external supervision of the EU borders, but also to support economically the countries receiving refugees, such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

    Regarding Turkey, Hollande noted that the Turkish government should give Syrian refugees who now live in its territory the possibility to work, which is currently prohibited.

    [05] 1,742 refugees from Lesvos island arrive at Piraeus port on Thursday

    The catamaran "tera jet" carrying 1,742 refugees from Lesvos island arrived at Piraeus port on Thursday.

    The ferry "Eleftherios Venizelos" is expected to arrive at Lesvos in the afternoon in order to transfer more refugees.

    Meanwhile, 265 undocumented migrants have been rescued over the last 24 hours in the sea regions of Lesvos, Samos, Farmakonissi and Kos.

    [06] More than 100,000 refugees and migrants entered Greece illegally in August

    More than 100,000 refugees and migrants entered Greece illegally in August, according to data presented by the country's Coast Guard on Thursday, showing the extent of problem.

    In total, 107,843 people were arrested for crossing illegally into the country in 887 separate incidents last month, while another 46 people were arrested for trying to illegally exit Greece.

    Authorities also arrested 66 traffickers in incidents of illegal entry or exit from the borders, during which 271 boats, seven vehicles and 32 forged travel documents were confiscated.

    [07] EU offers no solution for refugees and migrants, says Communist Party

    The decisions of the EU's summit meeting show that no solution can be reached for the refugees within the Union, the Communist Party said in a statement on Thursday.

    "The decisions of the EU's Summit meeting confirm that no popular solution can exist, not even for the issue of the refugees, in the framework of the EU," it said, adding that this is because the Union gives full emphasis on keeping the vast bulk of the refugees and migrants outside the EU and on their expulsion.

    [08] First cabinet meeting on Friday, at 11:00

    The first cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, will take place on Friday, at 11:00. An hour earlier the swearing in ceremony of Alternate Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas and Deputy Infrastructure Minister Panagiotis Sgouridis wil take place.

    [09] ANEL leader and Defence Minister Kammenos: No shadow should be hanging over gov't members

    "The government does not have the time to make investigations and lose a single moment from the battle it has to give inside and outside the country", stated Defence Minister and Independent Greeks(ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos on the resignation of Deputy Infrastructure Minister and ANEL deputy Dimitris Kammenos on Wednesday.

    Panos Kammenos said that his relation with prime minister Alexis Tsipras is excellent adding that "there should not be any shadow hanging and especially on matters of morality" speaking to ANT1 private TV.

    Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Kammenos was asked to resign on Wednesday after being heavily criticised for allegedly sending a series of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments through his Twitter account.

    Earlier, ANEL leader Panos Kammenos, who discussed the issue on the phone with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, tweeted: "Until the truth about the anti-Semitic, racism posts is proven, the deputy minister will facilitate [the government] with his resignation."

    [10] Deputy Infrastructure Minister Kammenos resigns amid alleged tweet row

    Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Kammenos who has been heavily criticised for allegedly sending a series of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments through his Twitter account submitted his resignation on Wednesday evening to allow "the smooth functioning of the new government".

    "Setting the interest of our country as my primary goal, the smooth functioning of the new government and honoring the trust offered to me by the Prime Minister, I announce my resignation from the post of Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks," Kammenos said in a statement.

    He also said he will lodge a lawsuit against "unknown persons" for the alleged hacking of his accounts adding that the police's cybercrimes unit investigated his social media accounts but "came up with nothing".

    He will be replaced by ANEL MP Panagiotis Sgouridis.

    [11] Potami party questions abolition of anti-corruption ministry in new government

    In an announcement issued on Thursday, the opposition Potami party raised questions about the abolition of the former ministry for combatting corruption in the new government announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and the absence of its head, state minister Panagiotis Nikoloudis, from the cabinet.

    Noting that Tsipras had presented the formation of the ministry as a "strategic choice" when forming first cabinet last February, it said that the prime minister had now executed a complete u-turn, scrapping the ministry and removing the minister "without feeling the need to offer any explanations".

    "Did Mr. Nikoloudis do nothing these last seven months or did he perhaps do too much? Did he disconcert those he shouldn't or no one at all? As head of the Authority for Illegal Money, Nikoloudis was well aware of the routes taken by black money in our country and would seen the most suitable to fight large-scale tax evasion. So what happened. Were the battles waged and lost or never waged at all," the announcement concluded.

    [12] Infrastructure Minister Spirtzis says priority for Skopelos is to record damages

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis on Thursday said that the first priority for the Aegean island of Skopelos, a popular tourist resort, was to record the damage inflicted by the recent devastating rains to public infrastructure and private property.

    "The destruction on the island, to both infrastructure and to homes and businesses, is very extensive," Spirtzis said in statements to the state broadcaster ERT. He noted that the regional authority and municipality must now proceed quickly to record the damage, so that the residents and businesses affected can be quickly helped.

    Spirtzis, acting on instructions from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, arrived on the storm-stricken island accompanied by Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Toskas, to inspect the damage and determine its extent. He met with local residents and assured islanders that they could count on the state's swift assistance, noting that heavy machinery was already arriving on the island to repair infrastructure. He also promised to make every effort to "fight the monster of bureaucracy" in dealing with claims for disaster relief.

    In talks with local government representatives and other bodies, Spirtzis discussed the causes that, in combination with the extreme weather conditions, resulted in the extensive damage suffered by the island and to draw up a plan of action for repairs.

    Spirtzis noted that the weather was only partially to blame since in many cases the affected infrastructure was sub-standard to begin with, including the island's harbour and roads. He also referred to a "total lack of spatial and town planning" and especially a poor management of water courses, though noting that responsibility for these had to be sought 50-70 years earlier.

    According to initial estimates of inspection crews, more than 40 shops and homes have been damaged.

    [13] Russian and Turkish FM congratulate Kotzias

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias talked by telephone a short while ago with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, who congratulated him on the assumption of his duties. The two Ministers agreed to meet in the coming week, in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, and Kotzias invited Klimkin to visit Greece.

    Accoriding to the Foreign ministry, Kotzias also received messages of congratulations on the resumption of his duties from the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, and the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Feridun Sinirliolu.

    [14] Twitter account attributed to Alt. FinMin Chouliarakis is a fake, says ministry

    A Twitter account that appeared under the name of Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakisis is a fake, the finance ministry said on Thursday, adding that the minister doesn't own and will not open an account on any social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) in the future.

    The account, which was presented as an official account of Chouliarakis and urged Twitter users to follow it, has been closed and police's cybercrime unit is investigating the incident.

    [15] Foreign Ministry on the completion of the Libyan political dialogue

    "We welcome the completion of the Libyan political dialogue, which culminated with the presentation, in Morocco, of the final text by the UN Secretary General's Special Representative, Bernardino Leon," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

    "Greece supported from the outset the international community's efforts toward achieving a viable agreement between the Libyan political forces in order to create the conditions for the country's reconstruction in conditions of security and peace. What is of particular importance now is for all of the involved political forces to approve the final text and work together constructively to form a government of national understanding, which will contribute to the prosperity and progress of the Libyan people as well as to the security and stability of the wider region," it added.

    Financial News

    [16] Greek budget shows primary surplus of 3.798 billion euros in Jan-Aug

    The Greek government on Thursday announced a primary budget surplus of 3.798 billion euros in the January-August period, from a primary surplus of 1.946 billion euros in the same period last year and a budget target for a primary surplus of 3.264 billion.

    The General Accounting Office, in a report on budget execution, said that the general government deficit totaled 1.104 billion euros in the eight-month period, from a shortfall of 2.849 billion euros last year and a budget target for a deficit of 1.694 billion euros.

    Net budget revenue totaled 30.765 billion euros, down 11.9 pct or 4.153 billion euros from targets, of which 1.724 billion were a shortfall in revenue from the transfer of ANFAs and SMPs (European central banks' profits from Greek state bond holdings) and another 917 million euros from a shortfall in property taxes.

    Regular budget net revenue totaled 28.699 billion euros, down 4.070 billion, or 12.4 pct from targets. Other direct taxes surpassed targets by 2.9 pct, tobacco taxes were 9.4 pct higher, vehicle registration duties were up 33.4 pct from targets, other consumption taxes surpassed targets by 4.7 pct and other non-tax revenue were up 8.2 pct in the January-August period.

    On the other hand, income tax revenues fell short of targets by 8.6 pct, corporate tax revenue were down 18.3 pct from targets, special category income tax revenues were down 15.6 pct, VAT on oil products fell short by 15.2 pct and other VAT revenues were down 6.6 pct in the eight-month period.

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

    In August, state budget net revenue totaled 3.890 billion euros, down 213 million from monthly target, while regular budget targets surpassed targets by 26 million euros to 3.859 billion. Tax returns totaled 226 million euros, up 67 million from targets.

    State budget spending totaled 31.869 billion euros, down 4.744 billion from targets, while regular budget targets totaled 30.306 billion euros, down 3.216 billion from targets. Regular budget spending were down 6.6 pct compared with 2014, while Public Investment Program spending totaled 1.563 billion euros, down 1.527 billion from targets and down 1.745 billion euros compared with the same period last year.

    [17] Finance ministry examines tax reform plans

    The Finance ministry is currently examining plans to reform income taxation with the aim to simplify an existing system and boost its efficiency in revenues.

    The new tax legislation will be ready in November with the ministry already examining a plan to introduce all income categories with one single tax scale. The ministry is currently using a different tax scale to tax incomes from wages and pensions in relation with incomes from self-employed people or incomes from rents.

    Alternate Finance Minister George Houliarakis said on Wednesday that "a revision of an income tax is aimed to become more progressive, with abolish unfair exclusions and to reform different tax rates based on income source which we think it has led to a great loss of revenue".

    Wage and pension earners are currently taxed with a scale of three income scales and three rates (for incomes up to 25,000 euros a tax rate of 22 pct, for incomes between 25,001 and 42,000 a rate rate of 32 pct and for higher incomes a tax rate of 42 pct).

    The ministry aims to design a more progressive scale, raising both scales and rates depending on incomes. The new changes will also include the integration of an extraordinary solidarity contribution with an income tax.

    Income from rents are currently taxed with an 11 pct tax rate for incomes up to 12,000 euros and with a 33 pct tax rate for higher incomes. Under the memorandum signed with the country's creditors, these rates must be raised to 15 pct and 35 pct.

    Finally, incomes of self-employed people are currently taxed with tax rates of 26 pct for sums up to 50,000 and 33 pct for higher incomes. Farmers are also expected to see higher tax burdens as a tax rate is expected to be raised from 13 pct to 20 pct in 2016 and to 26 pct in 2017.

    [18] Government will not add any new taxes, the finance ministry says

    No new taxes will be added during the changes which will be initiated in taxation in the coming months, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

    Commenting on criticism leveled against the government by the opposition, the ministry said the changes are "clear and defined" in the third bailout, noting that, in fact, some of the adjustments are in a "positive direction" (lowering interest rates in some debt settlement schemes etc). Other changes, it said, involve tackling tax evasion and smuggling and are expected to increase revenues.

    [19] New agreement for Piraeus Port ahead of privatisation to include rent raise, sources say

    A new contract between the Piraeus Port and the Greek state will include an increase in the annual cost of the lease, from 2 pct of total annual revenue at present to 3.5 pct of annual revenue, ANA-MPA sources said on Thursday. The concession will also govern terms of land use, buildings and infrastructure at the port and set steady rates for coastal shipping (ferries) for a specified period of time.

    The higher "rent" will be handed over to the municipalities adjacent to the port and affected by its activities.

    The new agreement is being drawn up ahead of the port's privatisation via a concession agreement to private investors and is expected to be concluded over the next few days.

    Shipping and Island Policy Minister Thodoris Dritsas has asked that a public port authority retain all the administrative and regulatory powers of the current Piraeus Port Organisation. Before the Piraeus Port Organisation is acquired by a new investor, it will only be able to conduct commercial activity, like the Piraeus Container Terminal run by COSCO does at present.

    State authorities must also define which areas in the port's land zones belong to the port and which to the respective municipalities.

    [20] Greek banks face four main challenges, says head of Greece's bank association

    Successful recapitalization, restoring of confidence, settling of non-performing loans and injecting liquidity in the real economy are the four main challenges facing the Greek banking system, the chairman of the Hellenic Banks Association, Louka Katseli, said during her speech as an official guest at a business event on Thursday.

    Outlining the challenges, Katseli, who also heads the National Bank, said the first one is the successful recapitalization of the country's banks without imposing a haircut on bank deposits - regardless of the amount - and noted that the process will be concluded by the end of the year.

    The second one is restoring confidence to depositors which can only be accomplished by ensuring political stability and consolidating a climate of credibility and solvency of banks towards their clients.

    The next challenge, she said, is settling non-performing loans in both the retail and corporate market and finally providing liquidity to the real economy through loans to innovative and export-oriented businesses as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

    She also noted that a necessary and sufficient condition for exiting the crisis and returning the country to growth is to prepare a comprehensive investment program, which will be able to mobilize resources and contribute to the economic and technological transformation of the country.

    The event was organized by the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and was attended by Britain's Ambassador to Greece, John Kittmer, former Prime Ministers Panagiotis Pikramenos and Vassiliki Thanou, representatives of Chambers and senior executives from the business and investment sector.

    [21] Greek banks hold series of meetings w ith international investors

    Greece's financial institutions will hold a series of meetings with international investors who already participate in the country's systemic banks in view of the recapitalization process to be completed later this year.

    During these meetings, bank officials will inform investors about general issues regarding Greek banks as the exact procedure and the terms of the recapitalization will be set towards the end of next month.

    In particular, the programme includes participation in the annual investment conferences of major firms like Merrill Lynch in London, UBS in Frankfurt, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

    [22] Energean to start drilling at Katakolo, Greece in 2016-2017, CEO announces

    Energean will start drilling for hydrocarbons at the Katakolo site in the winter of 2016-2017, followed by seismic surveys at the Ioannina site the following summer, company Chairman and CEO Mathios Rigas said at an international energy conference taking place in Croatia this week.

    He said Energean was currently awaiting an assessment of the offers it has submitted in tenders for the Aitoloakarnania and Arta/Preveza sites and was in the final stages of negotiations with the government of Montenegro for three offshore field blocks.

    [23] European Commission asks Greece to raise taxes on tsipouro, tsikoudia


    The European Commission on Thursday asked Greece to raise currently low taxes on the locally-produced alcoholic drinks 'tsipouro' and 'tsikoudia' - currently half the normal rate - and bring them in line with taxes on other alcoholic beverages.

    The Commission also objects to the extremely low tax rate (6 pct of the standard consumption tax rate) imposed when the same drinks are produced in bulk by farmers using so-called "two-day stills".

    According to a reasoned opinion sent by the European Commission, both tax regimes are in contravention of EU consumption tax rules and favour locally produced alcoholic beverages over those produced in other member-states, violating EU rules on the free circulation of goods.

    Greece now has two months in which to reply, after which the Commission can refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

    Tsipouro and tsikoudia are both traditional alcoholic drinks with a protected designation of origin produced in northern Greece and Crete, respectively.

    [24] Greek stocks end flat

    Greek stocks ended flat after volatile trading in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with the composite index of the market continuing to move lower for the fourth successive session. The index ended 0.11 pct lower at 667.82 points, with the bank index extending their losses to 24.47 pct during the last four sessions.

    The Large Cap index eased 0.43 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.57 pct lower. Turnover was a low 23.871 million euros in volume of 108,352,636.

    GEK Terna (5.33 pct), Motor Oil (3.80 pct) and PPC (2.27 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank (6.45 pct), Metka (3.83 pct) and Piraeus Bank (3.26 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Oil (2.99 pct), Health (1.62 pct) and Chemicals (1.47 pct) were top gainers, while banks (2.10 pct), Technology (1.80 pct) and Industrial Products (1.79 pct) suffered heavy losses.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 48 to 33 with another 23 issues unchanged. Creta Farms (12.83 pct), BIS (10 pct) and Intertech (9.95 pct), while Dionic (20 pct), G.E.Demetriou (15.38 pct) and Audiovisual (10.85 pct) were losers.

    [25] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 7.95 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond from 7.97 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 8.25 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.57 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed. The 12-month rate rose to 0.148 pct from 0.14 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.081 pct from 0.083 pct, the six-month rate fell to 0.032 pct from 0.033 pct, the three-month rate rose to -0.040 pct from -0.039 pct and the one-month rate fell to -0.109 pct from -0.107 pct.

    [26] ADEX closing report

    The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.18 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,375 contracts with 9,308 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 45,732 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (14,619), followed by Alpha Bank (11,495), National Bank (5,406), Eurobank (11,891), OTE (640), PPC (767), OPAP (252), Motor Oil (136), GEK (99), Mytilineos (82) and Metka (60).

    General News

    [27] Three arrested in Greek anti-terror operation in Volos

    Three people have been arrested following a raid by the Greek anti-terror unit in a house in the city of Volos earlier on Thursday.

    The three suspects, 36-year-old Giorgos Petrakakos and his girlfriend are wanted for a series of armed robberies which police believe they were committed together with jailed terrorist Nikos Maziotis, including a bank robbery in the town of Distomo last summer.

    According to sources, the third person is not involved in a criminal case.

    Weapons and a large number of cartridges were found in the house.

    Police are carrying out an investigation.

    [28] Greece ranks first in excessive internet use

    Greece ranks first in the list of EU countries with excessive internet use. More specifically, Greece has a 31 percent rate compared to a European average of 5 percent, according to the data of the 31 Helpline Insafe Pan-European Network in the second half of 2014.

    The second major problem in Greece is the protection of online privacy (16 percent) compared to an EU average of 12 percent and cyber bullying with 19 percent holds the third place compared to 21 percent in the EU.

    According to the statistics of the Greek Awareness Centre Saferinternet, 180 cases of excessive use of internet have been reported, 96 cases of online abuse privacy and 65 cases of cyber-bullying.

    [29] Book Festival to be held from Sept 25-Oct 11 in Athens

    The 44th book festival entitled "Reading as a political act" will start on Friday September 25, at Zappeion, Athens.

    The majority of Greek publishers participate in the festival with thousands of new and old books. Book presentations, meetings with writers and many cultural events from theater groups to musical bands have also been scheduled.

    The festival, which will last until October 11, is organised by the Book Publishers Association and the Cultural Organisation of the City of Athens in collaboration with UNICEF.

    [30] Rhodes airport resumes operation

    Rhodes airport opened on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, the airport closed for second time in two days due to a large pothole created on the runway.

    According to an announcement, only certain types of aircrafts will be able to land and take off from Diagoras airport in the next 24 hours.

    [31] Archaeologists recover more than 50 objects in new Antikythera Shipwreck expedition

    More than 50 objects were recovered during the underwater expedition at the site of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck between 26 August and September 16, the study of which archaeologists hope will expand scientific knowledge about the wreck and its cargo, and will contribute to the understanding of the event.

    On the wider area of the wreck, marine archaeologists pulled up, identified, labeled, and documented, among others, an intact amphora, a large anchor release ring - indicative of the size of the anchor for which it was intended - two nested lead anchor parts - the position of which indicates the direction the boat followed towards the seabed, a small four-sided stone "base" with 12 holes and of an undetermined mass, a small lagynos - a popular wine vessel - agglomerates and slag from iron and brass nails and other objects, lead sheets from the vessel's leading etc.

    Scientists say that the first systematic excavation taking place by Greek and foreign archaeologists is an arduous process that has to address the large depth of the wreck, the bad weather and an area which has searched many times in the past. Still, scientists believe the objects and data collected, along with the scheduled analyses on the materials will answer some of the important questions facing the wreck.

    The expedition is led by Dr Angeliki Simosi, head of the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, and the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's (WHOI) marine archaeologist Brendan Foley.

    [32] "Antikythera Shipwreck" exhibition travels to Switzerland

    "The Antikythera Shipwreck" exhibition of the National Archaeological Museum will be displayed at the Basel Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection, Switzerland, from September 27 to March 27, 2016.

    More than 370 exhibits of the shipwreck will be presented for the first time abroad.

    The exhibition is divided into five sections. Apart from the introduction to the socio-historical context of the time, it refers to the ancient sailing boat (boat, life on board, the trip), the tragedy of the sinking and the treasures found on the seabed.

    More than 800,000 people have visited the exhbition in two years at the National Archaeological Museum.

    The exhibition also features a section on underwater archaeological research, showing the recovery methods of the shipwreck and the study of underwater archaeological site from 1900 until the summer 2015.

    [33] Peace Boat arrives in Mediterranean, expected at Piraeus on Monday

    The 'Peace Boat' that set sail from Japan to spread a message against war, nuclear weapons and in support of refugees has arrived and was crossing the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday.

    It is expected to reach the shores of Turkey on Sunday at Kusadasi and then dock at Piraeus port on Monday morning. A series of events starting at 11:00 on Monday have been planned for its reception, organised by local government with the support of the Piraeus Port Authority.

    Peace Boat is a global non-governmental organisation headquartered in Japan, established for the purpose of raising awareness and building connections internationally among groups that work for peace, human rights, environmental protection and sustainable development.

    Its latest journey began in Yokohama on August 21, where it is due to return on December 6.

    Weather forecast

    [34] Clouds, rain on Friday

    Clouds, rain and southerly winds are forecast for Friday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Rain in the northern and western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 17C-28C. Clouds in the morning and rain in the afternoon in the eastern parts with temperatures between 15C-29C. Mostly fair over the Aegean islands and Crete, 18C-28C. Possibility of rain in Athens in the afternoon, 19C-28C. Rain in Thessaloniki, 18C-27C.

    [35] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: A simpler and fairer tax system

    DIMOKRATIA: Attack on middle class

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The 28 EU leaders play with the migrants' lives

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Tax increases for rents and farmers' income

    ESTIA: Radical changes in centre-right

    ETHNOS: The plan for the new social security scheme

    IMERISSIA: New tax rates

    KATHIMERINI: Single taxation system

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Reversals in taxation system

    RIZOSPASTIS: Harsh measures for labour, social security issues

    TA NEA: It is 'raining' taxes

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

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