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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-10-13

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

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

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 Issue No: 5042

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Tsipras receives UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres
  • [02] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, UNHCR Guterres discuss refugee crisis
  • [03] UNHCR chief thanks Greek people, volunteers for response to refugee crisis
  • [04] PM Tsipras to chair meetings on defence, refugee crisis on Tuesday
  • [05] Alternate FM Xydakis stresses need for peace in Syria at EU's Foreign Affairs Council
  • [06] Turkey and Greece must work together to stop refugee trafficking in Aegean, German gov't spokesman says
  • [07] Greek government tables omnibus bill on prior actions, voting on Friday
  • [08] Potami party says it will not vote for more recessionary measures
  • [09] PASOK will not support prior actions bill, PASOK leader tells 'Real FM'
  • [10] FinMin Tsakalotos meets IMF chief Lagarde
  • [11] Dijsselbloem and Berlin want the participation of IMF in the Greek program, Jaeger says
  • [12] Greeks are committed to the principles of freedom and democracy, President Pavlopoulos says
  • [13] SYRIZA will stand by the government and the people, says party's central committee sec' Rigas to ANA-MPA
  • [14] SYRIZA MEP Papadiloulis says there are many ways to alleviate Greek debt
  • [15] Draft bill on NPLs will not be tabled in October, says Economy minister
  • [16] SYRIZA, union ADEDY announce protest rally against Ankara bombings
  • [17] Parliament head Voutsis plans 10 pct cut in MPs main wages
  • [18] Greek gov't to redesign investment tools, Econ Minister says
  • [19] Greek economy to grow 0.3 pct in 2015, EY says
  • [20] Greek enterprises profits down 86 pct in 2009-2014, Grant Thornton survey
  • [21] German Minister Schmidt opens Anuga 2015 together with Greek Minister Apostolou
  • [22] Intrasoft Intl wins contract in Zambia
  • [23] Building activity down 25.2 pct in July
  • [24] Tourist arrivals up 20.8 pct in H1
  • [25] Greek stocks end moderately higher
  • [26] Greek bond market closing report
  • [27] ADEX closing report
  • [28] The present and future of Greek studies abroad
  • [29] Half of children in high-risk areas facing food insecurity, NGO Prolepsis reports
  • [30] CERN director general Heuer visits Athens
  • [31] Replica of Antikythera Mechanism to go on display at National Observatory Museum in Thissio
  • [32] 'Digital Revolution' at Onassis Cultural Centre
  • [33] Bird mating pairs triple at Axios Delta National Park, scientists report
  • [34] Trial of 14 university administrative staff over strike indefinitely postponed
  • [35] Light quake jolts Crete
  • [36] Partly cloudy on Tuesday
  • [37] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras receives UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received on Monday UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

    Guterres referred to his visit to the island of Lesvos where he had the opportunity to observe the conditions and management of the refugees problem and also referred to the Greek people's solidarity towards the refugees.

    "It is a very difficult condition but we do whatever possible," said Tsipras.

    "I am Portuguese and I understand the condition. My country and here is the same," said Guterres adding that he saw humanity and this is the most impressive. The problems can be solved but if there isn't humanity, nothing can be done, he reiterated underlining that this is a good example for Europe.

    "The difference between a refugee and migrant is clear now," noted Tsipras adding that the Greeks have the experience because in the past many Greeks came from the Aegean as refugees.

    Guterres has already visited the refugees reception centre at Eleonas in Athens and the island of Lesvos.

    [02] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, UNHCR Guterres discuss refugee crisis

    Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos met with UNHCR chief Ant?nio Guterres on Monday in his office in Athens to exchange briefings on the developments on the refugee crisis and the situation in Greece.

    The two officials agreed to meet again on Wednesday in Istanbul on the sidelines of the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

    Guterres had met earlier in the day with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    [03] UNHCR chief thanks Greek people, volunteers for response to refugee crisis

    UNHCR chief Ant?nio Guterres expressed his gratitude on Monday for the solidarity of the Greek people and volunteers towards refugees and noted his appreciation of the humanitarian approach followed by the Greek government.

    "The problems of refugees cannot be solved with a technocratic approach, cannot be solved only by policies based on rules and regulations," Guterres said during a press conference which concluded his two-day visit to Greece.

    "These problems need a human approach, an understanding that these people suffer and that they need solidarity. They need to feel welcome and this is a very important message, which the prime minister gave me in our meeting," the UN official continued, citing his earlier meeting with Alexis Tsipras.

    He also noted that UNHCR will strengthen its cooperation with the Greek government and civil society so as to organize and handle more effectively the refugee flows.

    Commenting on the current situation in Greece, he said that it is gradually moving from an emergency response to a more structured intervention, "considering this crisis will not be short-term."

    [04] PM Tsipras to chair meetings on defence, refugee crisis on Tuesday

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will chair a Government Council on National Defense (KYSEA) meeting on Tuesday at 10.30 (local time), while at 16.00 he will chair a second ministerial meeting on the refugee crisis. Both meetings will be held at the Maximos Mansion.

    [05] Alternate FM Xydakis stresses need for peace in Syria at EU's Foreign Affairs Council

    Alternate Minister for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis noted the need for a viable and peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria during a speech at the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

    "For Greece, which is at the crossroads of the refugee crisis, bringing peace to Syria is of the utmost importance for many reasons, with the main reason being the need to end the unprecedented humanitarian crisis and mass population movements," Xydakis told the Council.

    "Everyone has to work towards the same goal: a viable political solution to the Syrian crisis through multilateral diplomacy and the involvement of all international actors."

    The FAC, chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, looked at, among other things, recent developments in Libya, Syria, and migration policy issues.

    [06] Turkey and Greece must work together to stop refugee trafficking in Aegean, German gov't spokesman says

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)

    German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday stressed the need for cooperation between Greece and Turkey in order to control the activities of refugee and migrant traffickers in the Aegean.

    "We have at this time, especially in the Aegean between Greece and Turkey, a situation in which the borders are open in the sense that traffickers can act as they like there, and which leads many people to put their lives at immediate risk. This is something that must change. At this time I cannot tell you with which precise cooperation - the coast guard or units of the navy - this can be achieved," the spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

    An orderly situation was needed on the external borders of the European Union, which was only possible if Turkey and Greece worked together hand in hand to drive out the traffickers and prevent their activity, he added, pointing out that both countries were members of NATO. He also stressed the need to be able to record those reaching the EU.

    All this was not happening at this time and this meant that a major European mission lay ahead, he noted.

    [07] Greek government tables omnibus bill on prior actions, voting on Friday

    The Greek government submitted on Monday evening the omnibus draft bill on the prior actions the country must implement as part of its bailout agreement and lawmakers will vote on it on Friday. Approval of the bill will release about 2 billion euros of its bailout money.

    According to the procedure, the Economic, Social and Production and Trade Committees will convene on Tuesday to discuss the bill and on Wednesday they will draft their joint report.

    On Thursday, the Conference of [Parliament] Presidents will meet to decide the start of the debate in the plenum in the afternoon. The bill will be discussed on Thursday and throughout Friday, when it will eventually be voted in the evening.

    Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis said the government has "no pressure from abroad" and that "we could have debated it for more days. What interests them is to table the bill."

    It was also announced that "Prime Minister's time" will restart.

    [08] Potami party says it will not vote for more recessionary measures

    Potami party said on Monday it will not back the government if it introduces new recessionary measures in the omnibus bill tabled in parliament today.

    In a press release issued earlier, the party said it will ask for ask for severe penalties for tax evasion and for reforms that will help the economy, noting that "with the submission of the first batch of prior actions by the SYRIZA-ANEL government, the people are starting to realize the bill they will called to pay in taxes and cuts."

    [09] PASOK will not support prior actions bill, PASOK leader tells 'Real FM'

    PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata ruled out the possibility that the Democratic Coalition - formed between PASOK and the Democratic Left party - will support the omnibus bill on prior actions in Parliament, speaking to the radio station 'Real FM' on Monday.

    "It is clear at this time that [Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras] is looking for backups and willing accomplices. Or naive accomplices in the case of possible failure," she said.

    Gennimata stressed that her party was open to reaching an "understanding" on the issues, provided that "this has a basis...a specific orientation."

    She said that the Democratic Coalition will support the negotiation to reduce and restructure Greece's debt.

    [10] FinMin Tsakalotos meets IMF chief Lagarde

    The meeting of the Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde took place in a positive climate in Lima, Peru, on the sidelines of the annual summit of the IMF and the World Bank.

    Tsakalotos noted that Lagarde supports the effort of the Greek government to timely complete the first evaluation that will give the green light for the recapitalization of banks, as scheduled, before January 1, 2016. The minister also stressed that a substantive discussion on debt will then start in order to create the right conditions for Greece to turn the page and exit the crisis.

    According to IMF sources, the Minister briefed Lagarde on recent developments in Greece, among which the reform program.

    On her part, Lagarde said that the IMF is prepared to work with the Greek authorities to promote the country's reform program.

    [11] Dijsselbloem and Berlin want the participation of IMF in the Greek program, Jaeger says

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)

    It is not the intention of the Eurogroup chief to lose the IMF, by contrast, he wants to keep it, explained the spokesman of the German Finance Ministry Martin Jaeger on the contribution of the Fund to the Greek program.

    He also said that the German delegation had a discussion on the issue with the head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem during a meeting in Lima.

    "This applies explicitly and with great emphasis for the German government too. The IMF has and will continue to participate and we have no indication that it could be otherwise," Jaeger said.

    [12] Greeks are committed to the principles of freedom and democracy, President Pavlopoulos says

    The firm commitment of the Greek people to the principles of freedom and democracy and the unity towards any kind of present or future challenge are the two leading messages for the anniversary of the liberation of Athens, the President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said late on Sunday.

    Pavlopoulos was speaking at an event for the liberation of Athens from the troops of the German occupation, at the Athens Concert Hall.

    [13] SYRIZA will stand by the government and the people, says party's central committee sec' Rigas to ANA-MPA

    "SYRIZA will stand by the government and the Greek people in order to be the genuine expression of the social needs to the government," stressed new secretary of SYRIZA Central Committee Panos Rigas in a statement on Monday to ANA-MPA.

    The priority, on the course to the party's congress, is SYRIZA's organisational development for a broad opening to society, reconstruction and massification of the youth. Our aim is, noted Rigas, the mobilisation of the huge social majority towards a direction of the country's democratic and productive revival.

    [14] SYRIZA MEP Papadiloulis says there are many ways to alleviate Greek debt

    SYRIZA can achieve a substantial haircut of Greece's public debt "in another form" beyond the standard way, party MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis told radio station Praktorio FM on Monday.

    "What could that form be? A very long grace period, stabilization and reduction of interest rates and a very long maturity and debt repayment period," he said.

    Papadimoulis admitted that the government doesn't expect miracles but that it is obvious the debt is not sustainable. "SYRIZA has been saying this from the beginning. When we first said it, we were told 'it is forbidden to say it, you're not patriots and you're hindering the country's recovery effort'. The difference now is ... that everyone admits the public debt is not sustainable and that something must be done," he added.

    [15] Draft bill on NPLs will not be tabled in October, says Economy minister

    The draft bill on the settlement of non-performing loans will not be tabled by the end of October as was initially announced, as negotiations with Greece's creditors on the issue have not concluded, Economy Minister Gerorge Stathakis said on Monday.

    Responding to a journalist's question on whether the government is considering selling NPLs to foreign investment funds, he also said the negotiations are expected to continue for another two weeks.

    [16] SYRIZA, union ADEDY announce protest rally against Ankara bombings

    Main coalition partner SYRIZA and civil servants' union ADEDY called for a rally in central Athens on Monday afternoon to protest the bombings in the Turkish capital on Saturday that killed nearly 100 people.

    "Returning to peace talks and the defense of democracy is the only way to prevent the recurrence of such heinous attacks against human life," SYRIZA said in an announcement. The rally is scheduled for 18.30 (local time) on Syntagma square.

    ADEDY condemned the killings saying they were "an attack of the Turkish state against the protests of organizations and unions of the left and the labour movement" and urged the public to participate in tonight's demonstration.

    "This is literally a declaration of civil war of Erdogan's deep state and of the middle class against the popular movement, the unions and the Turkish Left who are fighting for bread, national and democratic rights of the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan," the union added, calling for a march towards the Turkish embassy.

    [17] Parliament head Voutsis plans 10 pct cut in MPs main wages

    Parliament President Nikos Voutsis is examining a 10 pct cut in the main wages of lawmakers which will be included in the parliamentary budget currently being drafted and will be implemented from January 2016.

    Voutsis said that this measure is a continuation of the cuts MPs have accepted in their overall remuneration but noted this will be the first time that MPs' main wage will be slashed. He also said that MPs' compensation for their participation in committees will not be cut, as it now stands at 75 euros which is the minimum for the public sector.

    The salaries of judicial officers will not be affected and efforts will be made to do the same with the wages of local government representatives.

    Financial News

    [18] Greek gov't to redesign investment tools, Econ Minister says

    The Greek government will redesign all tools currently available with the aim to boost investments and growth, through a new development draft law to be tabled to Parliament by the end of the year, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Monday.

    The new legislation, which will be put into force retroactively from October 1, 2015, will envisage the creation of a development council that will draft an integrated development strategic plan by March 2016.

    Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Stathakis said that the ministry will rapidly change the criteria for the categorization of investments to "strategic" by lowering the 100-million-euro ceiling currently in force, emphasizing foreign groups' investments to set up business and research centers and large tourist investments boosting employment. At the same time, ministry agencies were reviewing a list of investments included in the previous two development laws.

    Stathakis said that capital committed totaled 4.6 billion euros, while available funds from the EU totaled 1.1 billion euros, forcing the government to either exclude some investments from the program, or transferring (in agreement with investors) projects under new incentives, or even raising borrowing from the European Investment Bank.

    The Economy minister said the government was currently evaluating all interventions made so far in an effort to simplify licensing procedures for enterprises and drafting any additional interventions needed.

    Stathakis said that a new EU-funded program for the period 2014-2020 has not yet been activated and noted that there were no obstacles to making new investments in the country as a result of capital controls.

    The minister said that a new EU-funded program envisaged limited funds for large infrastructure projects, adding it was unclear how to cover a 600-mln-euro gap in the current work schedule of big motorway projects.

    Investment Deputy Minister Alexis Charitsis said that the government will put into consultation a total of four actions, budgeted at 350 million euros, to support the self-employed, start-ups and upgrading enterprises with export orientation.

    [19] Greek economy to grow 0.3 pct in 2015, EY says

    The Greek economy is expected to grow by 0.3 pct this year and shrink by 3.0 pct in 2016, Ernst & Young said on Monday.

    In its Eurozone Economic Forecast report, EY said that "following months of negotiations, Greece and its international creditors agreed finally on a new three-year adjustment programme. There are, however, serious doubts over whether the 86 billion euros package will be enough, while a Grexit risk still remains despite renewed determination by all sides to successfully complete the agreement."

    Ernst & Young said the Greek GDP grew 0.1 pct in the first quarter and 0.9 pct in the second quarter, but that the unexpectedly strong performance of the second quarter was mostly attributed to a decline in saving deposits on fears of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.

    "This could lead to a weaker second half," EY said, adding that "in the framework of the adjustment programme and prior actions, Greece will have to implement an austere fiscal policy, cutting budget deficits by around 4.0 billion euros, or around 2.5 pct of GDP in 2016. This will put a brake to growth, with the GDP expected to rise by 0.3 pct this year and to shrink by around 3.0 pct in 2016."

    [20] Greek enterprises profits down 86 pct in 2009-2014, Grant Thornton survey

    Greek enterprises suffered heavy losses in sales and profits in the 2009-2014 period because of an economic crisis, while one in seven enterprises suffered from heavy debt burdens, a survey by Grant Thornton said on Monday.

    The survey said that one in seven enterprises reported that their debt levels surpassed their turnover, while one in four could not cover their short-term obligations.

    Grant Thornton expects a further decline in Greek enterprises' sales by 3.1 pct this year. The survey will be presented during Grant Thornton's annual congress in the framework of Global Annual Conference to be held for the first time in Greece. The survey attributed this negative estimate for the current year to a declining activity of the oil industry. However, excluding the oil industry, the survey - conducted on a sample of 4,997 enterprises from 88 sectors - said that there were business sectors which were expected to record higher sales this year of up to 1.0 pct.

    The oil processing and trading business is expected to suffer a 17 pct decline in sales this year, while the consumer products and tourism (+1.3 pct) and entertainment (+5.82 pct) were expected show an increase in 2015.

    In the period 2009-2014, total profits of the 4,997 enterprises in the survey fell by 86 pct or by 5.3 billion euros. The survey said that operating earnings of the sample fell by 32 pct in the 2009-2014 period, while their corporate tax payments fell by 60 pct.

    [21] German Minister Schmidt opens Anuga 2015 together with Greek Minister Apostolou

    "It is in all of our interests that the economic potential of Greece finds its way back on track to a better future," the German Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, said on Saturday in his opening speech at the world food trade fair Anuga 2015 in Cologne. To this end, Schmidt announced bilateral discussions with his Greek counterpart Evangelos Apostolou that are also due to take place during the trade fair. Greece is this year's partner country of Anuga, which is opening its doors to trade visitors at the Cologne fair grounds again until 14 October.

    On his part, Apostolou underlined the great importance the agriculture and food sector continues to have for his country in addition to the tourist industry.

    In his speech at the opening ceremony of Anuga 2015, Apostolou called for foreign investments in this area. The Greek Minister stressed that the government in Athens wants to support the food sector with subsidies of six billion euros in total up until the year 2020. He stated that the regular presence of his country at Anuga complements the efforts of Greek politics, since an important marketing network has been established via the trade fair over the past decades.

    "Greece has been among the ten largest exhibiting nations at Anuga for many years," underlined Cologne's Mayor J?rgen Roters in his capacity as chairman of the supervisory board of Koelnmesse. "This is good for your country," said Roters. Roters proudly made reference to the new record number of exhibitors Anuga 2015 set this year, namely over 7,000 exhibitors from 108 countries. Exhibitors from Iceland and Qatar took part for the first time ever.

    Anuga is the world's biggest and most important business platform for the international food industry. With over 7,000 exhibitors from 108 countries, Anuga 2015 once again set a new record number of exhibitors. Around 155,000 trade visitors from all over the world are expected to attend the fair.

    [22] Intrasoft Intl wins contract in Zambia

    An Intrasoft International led consortium signed a contract with Zambia Electronic Clearing House Limited (ZECHL) for the supply, installation and maintenance of the country's National Financial Switch project.

    The contract has a duration of seven years and marks the first project signed by Intrasoft International in Zambia. The consortium also includes the local company Enfin Solutions Limited.

    [23] Building activity down 25.2 pct in July

    The volume of private building activity fell 25.2 pct in July this year, for a decline of 1.9 pct in the January-July period, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said that building activity fell by 29.2 pct in space and 25.2 pct in volume compared with July 2014. In the seven-month period from January to July, private building activity grew by 1.0 pct in space and 1.9 pct in volume compared with the corresponding period in 2014.

    [24] Tourist arrivals up 20.8 pct in H1

    Tourist arrivals grew 20.8 pct in the first six months of the year, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report said that tourist arrivals from Europe accounted for 86.1 pct of total arrivals, and were up 21.8 pct compared with the same period last year, while arrivals from EU member-state grew 32.4 pct. Tourist arrivals from Bulgaria jumped 149.5 pct, from FYROM were up 37.8 pct, from Germany 23.5 pct, from the UK 18 pct, from Italy 64.6 pct, from Romania 62.3 pct, Poland 41.4 pct and France 12.5 pct. On the other hand, arrivals fell from Russia (60.6 pct). Tourist arrivals from the US grew 41.6 pct and from Turkey were up 21 pct.

    [25] Greek stocks end moderately higher

    Greek stocks ended moderately higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday in thin trading conditions. Bank shares came under renewed pressure after rebounding spectacularly last week (the bank index jumped around 31 pct), while the market found support in selective buying.

    The composite index of the market rose 0.56 pct to end at 680.75 points, after falling by 0.88 pct early in the session. The Large Cap index rose 0.85 pct and the Mid Cap index eased 0.22 pct. Turnover was low 25.455 million euros.

    Grivalia Properties (3.26 pct), PPC (2.82 pct) and Folli Follie (2.07 pct) scored big gains among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (4.0 pct), Ellaktor (3.91 pct) and National Bank (3.33 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Health (3.17 pct), Real Estate (2.40 pct) and Commerce (2.04 pct) scored big gains, while Banks (2.71 pct), Oil (2.11 pct) and Chemicals (0.75 pct) suffered heavy losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 45 to 38 with another 16 issues unchanged. Nereus (11.11 pct), Newsphone Hellas (8.02 pct) and Euroconsultants (6.67 pct) were top gainers, while Attica Bank (14.29 pct), Sidma (13.78 pct) and G.E. Demetriou (12.5 pct) were top losers.

    [26] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 7.14 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 7.23 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 7.72 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.58 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was stable at 0.139 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.071 pct from 0.072 pct, the six-month rate was 0.027 pct, the three-month rate rose to -0.049 pct from -0.047 pct and the one-month rate was -0.113 pct.

    [27] ADEX closing report

    The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.37 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 4,091 contracts with 11,342 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 36,647 contracts with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (10,468), followed by National Bank (6,044), Piraeus Bank (8,997), Eurobank (8,894), MIG (281), OTE (478), PPC (417), OPAP (412), Motor Oil (201), Ellaktor (86), Frigoglass (67), Mytilineos (65) and Hellenic Exchanges (53).

    General News

    [28] The present and future of Greek studies abroad

    Greece has dominated the international political stage for many years, while the modern Greek culture has started gaining ground lately.

    The teaching of modern Greek literature in foreign universities is a secret cultural issue that we often tend to overlook or forget. An issue that despite the huge difficulties facing every day has not ceased to promote Greece both in Europe and in the rest of the world.

    Four distinguished Neohellinists, Greeks and foreigners, talk to ANA-MPA on the history but also the present and the future of Modern Greek studies at a very critical time.

    "The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of promoting the continuity of Hellenism," said Dimitris Tziovas, professor of Modern Greek Literature at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Birmingham. "I have organized four international conferences with huge success which have attracted speakers from three continents and many different fields. The conferences referred to significant issues of the Greek literature, culture and society, but always through an international dimension," he underlined.

    The series Birmingham Modern Greek Translations, launched in 1995, includes English translations of classic texts of modern Greek literature such as of Kostas Kariotakis, Dimitris Hatzis, Stratis Doukas and Yiannis Skarimbas as well as younger writers like Haris Vlavianos, Sotiris Dimitriou, Menis Koumandareas, Michel Fais.

    "The study of new Hellenism in Germany started in the 19th century when classicist hellenism and philhellenism met the romantic traditional interest," said Miltos Pechlivanos, professor of Modern Greek Studies at the Freie Universitat of Berlin.

    The Chair of Modern Greek Studies at Berlin's Freie Universitat is based on a bilateral Greek-German agreement, although the co-financing from the Greek side has been partially suspended in recent years.

    Asked on his estimates for the future, he said: "The recent crisis in the Greek-German relations has promoted Greece in Germany. We must not forget that the negative publicity is still publicity and for that reason the departnment of Modern Greek studies is required to meet this new reality."

    "Italy was, until a few years ago, the country with the most departments of Modern Greek studies in Europe, including the universities of Palermo, Rome, Viterbo, Venice and Trieste," noted Maurizio de Rosa, Neohellinist and translator. "Greek language lessons are also provided from regional associations and Greek communities, while the interest of publishers for modern Greek literature has also increased lately," he added.

    Jacques Bouchard, professor of Modern Greek Studies at the French speaking University of Montreal, noted: "The Modern Greek studies began 55 years ago at McGill University. Nevertheless, the Modern Greek Studies are no longer very popular in Canada.There are trends in language learning. The Chinese language attracts now more people than the Greek and the decline of classical studies does not help."

    [29] Half of children in high-risk areas facing food insecurity, NGO Prolepsis reports

    A quarter of a million school children in Greece have applied for help under the food aid programme 'Diatrofi' organised by the Prolepsis Institute, the head of the non-governmental organisation Prof. Athina Linou reported on Monday. She noted that half the students enrolled at schools in higher-risk areas face food insecurity, with one in six presenting health problems and a quarter experiencing emotional health problems, such as fear, sorrow, anger and worry about the future.

    Applications to join Diatrofi in 2016 were sent by 2,032 schools, or 16 pct of total state schools in Greece, and roughly 250,000 children in the country, Linou said. Now in its fifth year, the programme has delivered more than 11 million meals to some 450 schools and 75,000 students.

    The figures were collected by Prolepsis during the previous school year and presented on Monday during an event to mark World Food Day on October 16 and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17. They showed that 53 pct of the children in the programme experienced food insecurity and 21 pct experienced hunger. Of the families in the programme, one parent was without income in 64 pct of the families, while 15 pct had no source of income, 8.5 pct of students had no health insurance and 7 pct had no electricity for the space of more than a week.

    The ngo noted that children that are hungry show higher rates for absenteeism and dropping out of school, while children from families with food insecurity have an 18 pct rate for frequent absenteeism due to ill health, compared with 8 pct in families with food security. They also show greater difficulty in coping with school work and following lessons, with a long-term impact on their future and that of the country as a whole.

    Linou reported that the programme helped reduce the food insecurity index by 10 pct in the school year 2014-2015, that the number of children experiencing hunger was reduced by 20 pct and 33 pct of students attained a normal weight, while 38 pct showed improvements in physical health and 42 pct in emotional health.

    The Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health Prolepsis is implementing the food aid and nutrition education programme 'Diatrofi' until January 2016. The current programme is starting this week in schools in Thessaloniki, Imathia and Thrace, while the funds collected so far are enough to cover roughly 100 schools with 7,500 students.

    The core objective of Diatrofi is the reduction of food insecurity on a day-to-day basis for students who attend public schools in remote and rural areas. All participating students were provided on a daily basis with one free, healthy meal while simultaneously being educated on matters of health, nutrition and proper dietary habits.

    The Program on Food Aid and Healthy Nutrition - DIATROFI was implemented on the initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, who is also the founding donor, and in cooperation with the Prolepsis Institute. The Niarchos Foundation has donated 2.5 million euros to the programme, of which one million is spent on its direct support and the remaining 1.5 million euros is allocated as a matching grant for every 100,000 euros in donations raised by Prolepsis.

    [30] CERN director general Heuer visits Athens

    CERN director general Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer is paying a two-day visit to Athens after an invitation of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Physical Sciences of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), to celebrate 15 years since its creation.

    On Monday, Heuer had the opportunity to discuss the relations between Greece and CERN as well as the possibilities of a further strengthening in a meeting with Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation Kostas Fotakis and Research and Technology secretary general Thomas Malouta.

    Later, Heuer visited the University of Piraeus, where he signed an agreement (memorandum) between the university and CERN. It is a three-year agreement that provides for actions for the participation of the Greek university at CERN research projects, enhancing the mobility of professors, researchers and students, internships at CERN, as well as the organization of joint summer schools.

    The 67-year old German physicist will speak on Monday afternoon to NTUA professors and students and afterwards he will have a meeting with the rectorate authorities.

    Greece is founding member of the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN).

    [31] Replica of Antikythera Mechanism to go on display at National Observatory Museum in Thissio

    A new replica of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, whose remains are currently at Greece's National Archaeological Museum, has been built and put on show in the National Observatory of Athens on Nymphs' Hill in Thissio. Described as the world's first 'analog computer', the intricate Antikythera Mechanism is perhaps the most advanced example of ancient technology to be recovered to date.

    The new educational model will be on display at the Observatory's Thission Visitors Centre Museum until the end of October. It is the most recent and updated replica of the complex mechanism, which uses nearly all the latest information that archaeologists have discovered about the mechanism using the new scanning techniques.

    It is built of a 4:1 scale, or four times larger than life size, in order to make its workings more clearly visible and easily understood.

    Specially trained staff at the observatory will be on hand to provide tours of the museum to visitors from 10:00-14:00 on Monday to Friday. There will also be evening tours on specific dates (October 8, 13, 20, 21 and 22), starting every half hour between 19:30 and 21:00. For more information, contact the phone numbers 210 3490160 and 210 34 90036. The address is Lofos Nymfon, Thiseio, Athens 11810.

    The Antikythera Mechanism was first discovered more than a century earlier by sponge divers off the island of Antikythera, who recovered it from a shipwreck at a depth of 45 metres under the sea. Its origins and purpose were long shrouded in mystery until carbon dating and modern scanning techniques showed that it was built at some time between 205 and 100 B.C. as a complex clockwork device to predict astronomical and calendrical phenomena.

    Found housed in a 340 mm ? 180 mm ? 90 mm wooden box, the device is a complex clockwork mechanism composed of at least 30 meshing bronze gears. Its remains were found as 82 separate fragments, of which only seven contain any gears or significant inscriptions. The largest gear is approximately 140 mm in diameter and originally had 223 teeth. All the original fragments are now kept and displayed at the National Archaeological Museum.

    [32] 'Digital Revolution' at Onassis Cultural Centre

    From Pac-Man, Super Mario and Tetris to Gravity and Inception, from Bjoerk to will.i.am from the Back Eyed Peas, from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to Augmented Reality and from the Industrial Revolution to 3D printing, the "Digital Revolution" exhibition showcases the impact of digital technology on the evolution of the Arts, design, music, fashion, film and video games.

    "The future is here and it's made out of algorithms and pixels," the statement said.

    "Digital Revolution" is an experience for all the family. It will run from November 20, 2015 to January 10, 2016 at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

    [33] Bird mating pairs triple at Axios Delta National Park, scientists report

    The number of mating pairs of birds that chose the Axios Delta National Park in order to build their nests has tripled in the last year, according to figures presented by scientists on Monday.

    Speaking at a conference on the 12 years since the national park was established, biologist Eva Katrana said that the number of nests had increased from 860 in 2014 to 2,826 in the current year, while nesting birds included six new species, including four types of terns, a first appearance by cattle egrets and the return of great egrets, last seen nesting in this area during the 1990s.

    Speakers at the conference also outlined plans to clean up the Loudias and Gallikos Rivers running through the park and remove some 4,600 cubic metres of solid waste illegally dumped there over the years.

    Starting in December, visitors will also be able to visit an interactive exhibition at the park's information centre in Halastra.

    [34] Trial of 14 university administrative staff over strike indefinitely postponed

    The trial of 14 administrative staff at Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), who face charges over a strike in November 2013 to protest against the government's availability scheme, was on Monday indefinitely postponed. In light of this, staff unions will re-examine planned action in defence of their colleagues.

    [35] Light quake jolts Crete

    A light earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale was recorded on at 05:16 on Monday in the sea region south-southeast of Zakros, eastern Crete.

    According to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamics Institute, the quake's epicentre was located 64km south-southwest of Zakros and its depth was 12.2 km.

    Weather forecast

    [36] Partly cloudy on Tuesday

    Clouds and northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Light rain in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 12C-21C. Partly cloudy in the western parts with temperatures between 15C-25C. Clouds with a chance of rain in the eastern parts and temperatures between 13C-25C. Partly cloudy over the Aegean islands and Crete, 18C-25C. Clouds in Athens, 15C-25C; the same for Thessaloniki, 15C-20C.

    [37] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    DIMOKRATIA: Prior actions without mercy

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The tax office fights back

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The final list with the new pension limits

    ETHNOS: Higher ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Tax) and taxes on rents

    NAFTEMPORIKI: A series of harsh measures

    TA NEA: Safety boxes and ... jails to open

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 210 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 210 64.00.581-2


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