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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-09-20

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

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

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 Issue No: 5250

CONTENTS

  • [01] If world fails to tackle migration issue, 'repercussions will be felt everywhere,' Tsipras says
  • [02] Tsipras-Anastasiades meeting in New York postponed, Cyprus government announces
  • [03] State Minister Pappas on incident with two Greek journalists in New York
  • [04] Incident with journalists in NY shows ministers are being targeted, Transport Min. tells ANA
  • [05] FM Kotzias to meet UN's special adviser on Cyprus in New York
  • [06] Alternate FM for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis to Brussels for General Affairs Council
  • [07] FinMin Tsakalotos meets IMF's Velculescu
  • [08] New Democracy meets its targets and promises, Staikouras says
  • [09] ND leader should clarify his proposal for VAT rates on medicines, says FinMin Tsakalotos
  • [10] President honours Greek Rio team in reception
  • [11] German Deputy Interior Min Hans Fuchtel visits Kavala; promotion of religious tourism on the agenda
  • [12] Greece to launch 4.67-bln-euro program to support SMEs
  • [13] Trade body to ask IMF for unseizable bank accounts for businesses
  • [14] Celestyal Cruises to add new destinations by 2018
  • [15] Theodoros Pantalakis elected Attica Bank's new CEO
  • [16] DESFA CEO resigns as talks with SOCAR stall
  • [17] Finance ministry to submit provision for debts of retailer Marinopoulos, says Alexiadis
  • [18] Registered unemployment up 5.98 pct in August
  • [19] Intrasoft signs contract with EDCO in Jordan
  • [20] GEK Terna says sales up 29.4 pct in H1
  • [21] CMEC has pledged to use Greeks in construction of Meliti power station, say PPC sources
  • [22] Huawei P9 lite smartphone best seller in Greek market in July
  • [23] Dionic extends dateline to issue new bond loan
  • [24] Sky Express airlines to launch Athens-Skiathos airlink
  • [25] Aegean Airlines reports losses in H1
  • [26] Greek industrial turnover index down 5.9 pct in July
  • [27] Greek stocks end flat on Monday
  • [28] Greek bond market closing report
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] The restored archaeological museum of Kos opens to public
  • [31] Skeletal remains found inside Antikythera shipwreck
  • [32] Trial for Marfin Bank deaths, attack on Ianos bookshop, begins
  • [33] One in two Greek drivers prefer a smaller, "green" car, survey
  • [34] Mass break-out from Moria hotspot, fires set, on rumours of forced returns to Turkey
  • [35] Protests on Lesvos against migrants and refugees not in hotspots
  • [36] Fifty migrants and refugees rescued off Zakynthos
  • [37] More than 10,000 refugees and migrants on northern Aegean islands
  • [38] Woman with 3.5 kilos of cocaine arrested at Athens International Airport
  • [39] Light quake jolts the Ionian islands
  • [40] Historic Rally of Olympus on Oct 8-9
  • [41] Clouds, rain on Tuesday
  • [42] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] If world fails to tackle migration issue, 'repercussions will be felt everywhere,' Tsipras says

    The refugee and migrant crisis is a global challenge that no single country can face alone, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said at the United Nations General Assembly Summit on Migrants and Refugees held in New York on Monday. Addressing the heads of state and government gathered at the UN headquarters to discuss the large movements of migrants and refugees on a global scale, Tsipras warned that if the international community failed to support this effort, "the social and political repercussions will be felt everywhere."

    "We either succeed in managing it collectively, comprehensively and on the basis of our principles or we fail. Worst still, we don't only face the danger of failing in this particular challenge but also of betraying our principles," he said.

    The Greek people, despite facing a deep economic crisis, "have daily given one reply for the past year and a half: 'Yes, it is our duty'," Tsipras added.

    Greece faced this challenge as 1.2 million migrants and refugees passed through the country and again when its northern borders were closed through unilateral actions, he pointed out.

    "We face it as we strive to support the roughly 60,000 refugees trapped in Greece, as well as those that continue to come. Since our Asylum Service - which did not even exist three years ago - is handling the fourth largest number of asylum requests in Europe. Since our authorities, along with the European and Turkish authorities, are striving to implement the difficult but necessary EU-Turkey agreement. An agreement that led to a drastic reduction in flows and - most importantly - the number of deaths in the Aegean. An agreement that replaces the irregular, dangerous route to Europe with a legal route via the resettlement process," Tsipras said.

    Greece's efforts, both to guard its borders and reinforce its asylum service, could only succeed if there was solidarity and the responsibilities were shared, he added.

    "The commitments made to Greece must be adhered to. Our Asylum Service must be supported with many more European asylum staff. Many more refugees must be relocated from Greece to other European countries. We must reinforce our cooperation with Asian and African countries of origin and transit, so that we ensure that we can return those that do not merit international protection," he said.

    As Europe struggled to cope with the greatest migration flows since the Second World War and the repercussions of poverty, repression and war in its wider neighbourhood, questions arose about whether it still possible to safeguard social cohesion and the security of its citizens without violating international law and the Geneva Convention, Tsipras said.

    "If we do not to make a concerted effort to replace dangerous migration routes with others that are legal and humane, if we do not address the causes that generate migration, if we do not speed up the relocation of refugees to countries around the world that can receive them, then we will fail," Tsipras underlined.

    Such a failure would then give room to nationalist and xenophobic forces to rise up for the first time since WWII, he warned.

  • On Tuesday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will offer a reception in honour of the heads of states and governments followed by an event by the president of the General Assembly and the UN Secretary General for the first anniversary of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    The opening of the General Debate of the 71st UN General Assembly will follow according to schedule and afterwards UN Secretary General will host a dinner in honour of the heads of the delegations. The leaders' summit on the refugees issue chaired by US President Barack Obama will follow.

    On Wednesday, Tsipras will meet with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    On Thursday, Tsipras will meet with the Archbishop of America Demetrios, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and later he will address the UN General Assembly.

    The Greek premier will depart from New York to Vienna on Friday 23 September.

    [02] Tsipras-Anastasiades meeting in New York postponed, Cyprus government announces

    NICOSIA (ANA/ A. Viketos)

    A meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras scheduled to take place on Monday in New York has been postponed, according to a Cyprus government announcement. A new date and time for the meeting is to be announced later, it said.

    [03] State Minister Pappas on incident with two Greek journalists in New York

    "It is obvious that the two journalists have a large reponsibility for what they did," State Minister Nikos Pappas said on Sunday referring to the two Greek journalists who followed him in New York.

    Two disguised journalists of private TV channels STAR and ALPHA were following Pappas in New York and forged the signature of one of his associates. They raised suspicion when they were found watching and taking photos of prime minister Alexis Tsipras' security members who had arrived earlier in New York.

    Pappas is accompanying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who will participate in UN Summit on Monday in New York.

    [04] Incident with journalists in NY shows ministers are being targeted, Transport Min. tells ANA

    The incident with the two Greek journalists arrested while spying on State Minister Nikos Pappas' mission in New York shows the "extreme targeting" of certain ministers in the government, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis said on Monday.

    Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Spirtzis said this was an indication "of just how much some people have been put out by our effort to make the political system of this country free of its dependence for many years on the economic system and the media."

    According to Spirtzis, the incident showed the extremes to which some quarters were prepared to resort to in order to smear ministers and he predicted that more of the same would be attempted "because we will not back down."

    Asked which ministers were being targeted, Spirtzis suggested that Pappas, State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, Education Minister Nikos Filis, Environment Minister Panos Skourletis and Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis were among the prime targets.

    [05] FM Kotzias to meet UN's special adviser on Cyprus in New York

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will meet with the United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in New York on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the 71st Session and the high-level Week of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

    Kotzias is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Bolivia and Iraq and will attend a reception held by the EU as part of the high-level Week.

    [06] Alternate FM for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis to Brussels for General Affairs Council

    Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis is departing for Brussels on Monday, in order to attend the EU General Affairs Council on Tuesday.

    The meeting is expected to discuss preparations for the European Council on Oct. 20-21. Ministers will also be informed about the implementation of the June European Council conclusions and hear a presentation by the Commission of its mid-term review of the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020.

    A foreign ministry announcement said that Xydakis will present Greek positions on the migration issue, in terms of implementing the agreements and regarding future targets, as well as issues related to the multiannual financial framework, matters relating to trade policy and the EU's relations with Russia.

    [07] FinMin Tsakalotos meets IMF's Velculescu

    Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos met on Monday with the head of the IMF delegation Delia Velculescu at the Finance Ministry.

    According to Finance Ministry sources, the meeting focused on figures the IMF collects for its report on the Greek economy. Another meeting between the two officials will possibly take place after the end of the procedure.

    The IMF's delegation remains in Athens to collect data on the Greek economy within the context of the annual IMF report for the countries that are not in a programme (article 4 report).

    The IMF issued the specific report for Greece until 2010 and another one in 2013. The report is expected to be released in November and it will possibly be the base for the Sustainability Report (DSA) that the IMF will draft on the Greek debt.

    [08] New Democracy meets its targets and promises, Staikouras says

    New Democracy (ND) coordinator for Economic Affairs Christos Staikouras on Monday underlined that the main opposition has proved it can meet its targets and promises.

    Referring to the economic programme of the main opposition, he said that ND reduced the taxes in 2014 without equivalents.

    "The more structural reforms, the more possibilities for a better fiscal policy. ND has chosen to achieve fiscal ajustment through spending cuts and not higher taxes. Our aim is the stable, rational reduction of taxes on legal entities and individuals," he explained.

    [09] ND leader should clarify his proposal for VAT rates on medicines, says FinMin Tsakalotos

    Countering criticism from New Democracy (ND) vice president Costis Hatzidakis over a VAT hike on packaged foods, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on Monday replied that Hatzidakis appeared to have forgotten the higher VAT on medicines proposed by ND's leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a statement to the Athens Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

    "Mr. Mitsotakis had not clarified his proposal. Does he propose that VAT on medicine be raised to 11 pct or 22 pct," the finance minister queried.

    Tsakalotos was responding to a statement made by Hatzidakis on SKAI TV, who noted that Tsakalotos "raised VAT on packaged foods from 13 to 24 pct while showing sensitivity regarding theatre tickets."

    The finance minister said Hatzidakis' statement both "overlooks the tax raises on medicines proposed by his leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and focuses on theatre tickets. In parallel, he shows his indifference towards culture and his social insensitivity towards pensioners and poor citizens."

    [10] President honours Greek Rio team in reception

    President Prokopis Pavlopoulos honoured on Monday evening the Greek athletes who participated in Rio's Olympics in August, in an event organized by the Greek Olympic Committee.

    Pavlopoulos described the athletes as an "example of will, creativity and excellence in its purest form" who reached their goals because of their ethos.

    Turning his attention to 20-year-old Anna Korakaki, who won gold and bronze in shooting, he said: "Anna, I want to congratulate you personally for your success which is rare at an Olympic level, but essentially unique for Greece. But I also want to congratulate you and your fellow athletes publicly for another reason which I consider even more important: What you achieved is your own, personal achievement."

    [11] German Deputy Interior Min Hans Fuchtel visits Kavala; promotion of religious tourism on the agenda

    The promotion of religious tourism dominated the meeting of German Deputy Interior Minister Hans Joachim Fuchtel with the mayor of Kavala Dimitris Tsanakas.

    Fuchtel, accompanied by the German General Consul in Thessaloniki Anita Englert-Zerbin, spoke highly of the town of Kavala and expressed his pleasure that he is visiting the city of Kavala again as part of the initiatives taken by the Greek-German Meeting and the possibility given to Greek and German businessmen to cooperate in many areas.

    The mayor warmly welcomed Fuchtel and praised the excellent cooperation noting that they have common goals. During their meeting, they extensively discussed the issue of exchange of experience and expertise on the religious tourism sector.

    The German side stressed the importance of the participation of the archaeological site of Philippi in UNESCO World Heritage list.

    Financial News

    [12] Greece to launch 4.67-bln-euro program to support SMEs

    A Greek program aimed to boost competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation, one of the five sector business programs of a new Business Agreement on Development Framework (ESPA) for the period 2014-2020, envisages a budget of 4.67 billion euros (3.65 billion euros community contribution and 1.02 billion national contribution).

    The main strategic goal of the program is to create a new productive model focusing on productive, competitive and extrovert sectors of the economy with high added value and the capability of creating sustainable and quality job positions.

    The actions to be activated in the coming months of 2016 and 2017 include:

    -A second cycle of three business actions: support self-employment of university graduates (50 million euros), start-up business (48 million euros) and upgrading very small and small existing enterprises (70 million euros),

    -Supporting the set up of new touristic units, or upgrading existing ones,

    -Upgrading franchising companies,

    -Upgrading enterprises in the retail commerce sector: energy saving, logistics and IT/communication,

    -Home saving,

    -Company networking (clusters, meta-clusters),

    -Upgrading existing medium-sized enterprises,

    -Partnership between enterprises and research agencies to promote investments in research and innovation,

    -Supporting environmental industry,

    -Creating business parks at a local level related with manufacturing and food supply.

    The pogram will also support new structures to support business activity with the set up of a start-ups register.

    [13] Trade body to ask IMF for unseizable bank accounts for businesses

    The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneur-ship will submit to the representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a proposal for the creation of "special business bank accounts" to tackle the issue of business indebtedness towards the state, the body said on Monday.

    The proposals will be discussed at a meeting with the Fund's representatives on September 21.

    According to the body, in order for Greek businesses to continue to function in a difficult economic environment, a "special business bank account" should be set up, which would be used to cover the operating expenses of the business. If a business has outstanding debts to the state, the taxman should be allowed to seize only the amount due from this account and not freeze the entire account.

    [14] Celestyal Cruises to add new destinations by 2018

    Greece has a great opportunity to take advantage of tourist demand because of recent developoments in Turkey, but needs to develop home porting to safeguard a further growth of the sea cruise sector in the country, Kyriakos Anastasiadis, chief executive of Celestyal Cruises said on Monday.

    In interview with ANA, Anastasiadis said Celestyal Cruises planned to add new destinations in its schedule for 2018, such as Pylos, Kalamata, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Corfu, Igoumenitsa, along wih ports in Albania and Montenegro.

    He said that a total of 17,000 Greeks chose to have a sea cruise holiday this year, up from 13,000 in 2015 and stressed that home porting growth was based on two legs: first, the development of basic infrastructure in six ports to be able to accomodate new generation sea cruise vessels and the second, a long-term leasing and developing of specific port operations with sea cruise companies based on an offset measures agreement. He noted that Celestyal Cruises has recommended this alternative model to Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund for the port of Lavrio, but without any developments on the issue so far. Commenting on the official take over of management of Piraeus port by Chinese COSCO, Anastasiadis said a "tested and successful model" of large European ports should be followed and to have a closer cooperation with municipal authorities to resolve any problems in the accomodation of sea cruise passengers.

    He noted that Celestyal Cruises' top priority was to preserve job positions despite a prevailing difficult economic environment and particularly to preserve the quality of services. "The crisis has forced us to be very careful with what we do but at the same time it gave us an excellent opportunity to promote our product right and focusing on each passenger needs," he said, adding that in order to maintain a stable pricing policy, the company chose instead of offering a menu with 30 different food to offer a menu of 20 food plates of high quality.

    "Greeks have finally realized that sea cruise is one of the most affordable and comfortable ways for holidays," Anastasiadis said.

    He stressed that geopolitical developments in the eastern borders of Greece negatively affected sea cruise and tourism in general as foreign visitors -particularly from far away countries such as Americans, Canadians, Australians and Asians- are reluctant to buy a holiday package that will also include Turkey. "We have strong messages that in 2017, tourists from the US market wishing to visit Greece will be able to buy alternative tourist packages without any Turkish destinations," he said. He noted that most airlines should re-examine their ticket policy to Greece to boost tourism in the country.

    Celestyal Cruises will include Nafplio and Chania in its schedule for 2017 and for 2018 the company plans to offer three- and four-day cruises also in the Ionian Sea, with possible new destinations the ports of Pylos, Kalamata, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Igoumenitsa, Corfu, Sarande in Albania and Kotor in Montenegro.

    Anastasiadis said a Greek sea cruise commission, bringing together municipal authorities, port managements and representatives of sea cruise companies, could contribute to resolve several issues related with sea cruise industry in the country. Commenting on home porting, he said that a national sea cruise commission must draft a strategic plan to determine which six ports should develop infrastructure -beyond Piraeus- capable of accomodating new generation sea cruise vessels. Anastasiadis said there were two choices on how to invest in port infrastructure. Either the state secured these funds through European programs, or to sign concession contracts with sea cruise companies. "We have recommended this model for the port of Lavrio and I believe that other companies will also follow. As a sea cruise company we will develop the necessary infrastructure on a part of the port, using our own money, in the form of long-term leasing, while the property will remain at the hands of the state," he said.

    [15] Theodoros Pantalakis elected Attica Bank's new CEO

    Banker Theodoros Pantalakis was selected by the board of Attica Bank to be its new CEO, the bank said in a press release on Monday.

    "During today's meeting, the bank's board of directors, upon a proposal of the Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee, elected unanimously Mr. Theodoros Pantalakis as a member of the BoD," the bank said. "Then the BoD selected unanimously Mr. Panralakis as the bank's new CEO."

    The election closes a key outstanding issue in relation to the bank's management which fully complies with the recommendations of the regulators to continue its smooth operation, the bank added.

    Trading in Attica Bank was suspended last Friday as the issue of its BoD remained unresolved.

    [16] DESFA CEO resigns as talks with SOCAR stall

    Konstantinos Xifaras, CEO of natural gas grid operator DESFA, submitted his resignation on Monday, following a meeting with Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourlatis, according to information.

    Xifaras had been selected for the post in October 2013 and had stayed on board as discussions for its sale to Azerbaijan's state-owned oil company SOCAR continue.

    The initial deal to sell a 66 percent stake to SOCAR has been blocked by the EU. As negotiations stand, Greece will either sell its stake to the Azeri firm which will then limit its stake below 49 percent, or no deal will be achieved, in which case Greece will claim compensations through court.

    [17] Finance ministry to submit provision for debts of retailer Marinopoulos, says Alexiadis

    Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said on Monday the ministry will propose legal measures to manage the debts accumulated by bankrupt supermarket chain Marinopoulos, including unpaid VAT, after legal and business status of the retailer has been clarified.

    "We're waiting to see how the agreement between the businesses will be closed so we can then submit a provision on how to deal with the issues such as its VAT, revenues and debts of Marinopoulos towards the state, suppliers and employees," Alexiadis said, responding to a question by a New Democracy deputy.

    "We'll find the best possible solution," he added.

    [18] Registered unemployment up 5.98 pct in August

    Registered unemployment grew by 5.98 pct in August compared with July, or by 50,562 people, official figures showed on Monday. A monthly report by the Workforce Employment Organization (OAED) said the number of registered unemployed amounted to 896,562 in August, from 846,000 a month earlier, of which 476,479 (53.15 pct) were unemployed for more than 12 months, while women unemployed totaled 569,970 or 63.57 pct.

    The number of people receiving unemployment benefit grew by 3.22 pct or 3,648 people in August from July. Registered unemployment hit mostly the 30-44 age group (41.04 pct).

    [19] Intrasoft signs contract with EDCO in Jordan

    Intrasoft International on Monday announced the signing of a contract with EDCO, the energy distributor of Jordan, to modernize the operations of the company's meter-to-cash system, safeguarding accurate measurement and billing services.

    Intrasoft International won a 12-month tender process for the "Billing and Customer Care Systems CIS Acquisition and Implementation". The contract has a duration of six-and-a-half years and it is the first such contract signed in the Middle East as part of Intrasoft's plans to expand its activities in the SAP business in the region.

    EDCO covers the biggest part of Jordan area, with a network of around 8,396 km servicing almost 150,000 customers.

    Intrasoft is an official SAP Partner since 2004, SAP Channel Partner since 2007 and certified SAP PCoE-Partner Center of Expertise since 2012.

    [20] GEK Terna says sales up 29.4 pct in H1

    GEK Terna Group on Monday said its consolidated sales totaled 580.8 million euros in the first half of 2016, from 448.6 million in the same period last year, an increase of 29.4 pct.

    EBITDA, adjusted for non-cash results, totaled 122.7 million euros, up a spectacular 128.7 pct compared with the first half of 2015. Pre-tax earnings totaled 44.6 million euros in the January-June period, from 1.6 million last year, while net after tax and minorities earnings totaled 24 million euros from a loss of 14.4 million in the same period last year.

    Group investments amounted to 148 million euros, while net bank borrowing was 563 million euros and cash reserves totaled 330 million.

    In the construction sector, the value of pending works was around 2.7 billion euros, in the real estate sector, sales totaled 2.6 million, whle in the energy sector net results showed profits of 7.0 million euros in the first half, down from 11.5 mln in 2015.

    [21] CMEC has pledged to use Greeks in construction of Meliti power station, say PPC sources

    China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) has pledged to utilize Greek workers and executives to build the new coal-fired plant in northern Greece, sources from Greek power utility said on Monday.

    Last week, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to utilize local coal mines and construct Meliti II, a second power station in Meliti, Florina.

    The same sources said the Chinese company also said it will fully implement Greek labour and environmental laws, adding that in the coming days, the two sides will finalise the details for setting up a joint commission to run the project. The stake of each party in the new company will be determined by the amount contributed to the venture. The aim is to found the company in 2017.

    [22] Huawei P9 lite smartphone best seller in Greek market in July

    Huawei on Monday said its new P9 lite mobile phone -part of its popular family of P9 smartphones- ranked first in sales in July in Greece, while the company was the second most successful mobile phones company in Greece for the period January-July 2016, according to a GfK report.

    Huawai said that more than 10,000 people bought the P9 lite device in July, ranking the product as the month's best seller in the Greek market. The P9 lite has convinced the demanding and well-informed Greek consumer with its unique characteristics and its uncomparable abilities offered compared with other smartphones in the same category. Huawei said it was offering a new smartband Color Band A1 was a gift for every purchase of Huawei P9 lite.

    [23] Dionic extends dateline to issue new bond loan

    Dionic on Monday announced a board decision to extend a dateline to issue a non-negotiable convertible bond loan worth up to 4.0 million euros until October 27. In an announcement, the company said the decision was taken by its board in order to complete a round of talks and negotiations with investors interested in participating in the bond issue.

    A repeat regular general shareholder's meeting in July 27, approved a plan to issue an one-year bond loan worth up to 4.0 million euros.

    [24] Sky Express airlines to launch Athens-Skiathos airlink

    Sky Express airlines will launch a new air link from Athens to Skiathos.

    The flights initially will operate on Mondays and Fridays. The company is planning to offer a daily flight in summer based on demand.

    [25] Aegean Airlines reports losses in H1

    Aegean Airlines on Monday reported after tax losses of 23.7 million euros in the first half of 2016, after net profits of 14.8 million euros in the same period last year.

    The Greek airline said consolidated revenue was 403.5 million euros in the January-June period, unchanged from last year's levels, while passenger traffic rose 5.0 pct to 5.2 million. Domestic traffic was 2.5 million passengers while international traffic was 2.7 million, up 10 pct.

    Aegean Airlines said a continuing recession, a significant increase in total offered capacity, combined with an 11 percentage point increase in VAT on tickets (from 13 pct to 23 pct and finally 24 pct), led to a further reduction in average net fares. International traffic recorded a very small increase in the second quarter of 2016 in arrivals.

    Despite a weak result in the first half, cash reserves grew to 299.8 million euros at the end of the first half, from 236.8 million at the beginning of 2016.

    Dimitris Gerogiannis, chief executive of Aegean Airlines said the company continued investing to expand its network, covering 145 destinations, while its aircraft fleet totaled 61 aircraft from 52 in 2015. "Aegean remains focused on improving its services, network and its competitiveness, having the size, flexibility and the sources to meet challenges," he noted.

    [26] Greek industrial turnover index down 5.9 pct in July

    Greece's composite turnover index in the industrial sector (measuring both the domestic and external markets) fell 5.9 pct in July compared with the same month in 2015, after a 15.1 pct decline recorded in the same period last year, Hellenic Statistics Services said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to a 4.5 pct increase in the mining turnover index and a 6.1 pct decline in the manufacturing turnover index. The domestic market index fell 5.3 pct in July, while the external market index fell 6.7 pct.

    [27] Greek stocks end flat on Monday

    Greek stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday in thin trading conditions as investors remained on the sidelines. The composite index of the market eased 0.36 pct to end at 557.47 points, after rising as much as 0.63 pct early in the day. The Large Cap index fell 0.70 pct and the Mid Cap index eased 0.06 pct. Turnover was a thin 27.928 million euros in volume of 36,176,351 shares.

    Folli Follie (2.66 pct), GEK Terna (2.33 pct) and National Bank (2.15 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (4.38 pct), Jumbo (2.61 pct) and OPAP (2.38 pct) suffered heavy losses.

    Among market sectors, Commerce (2.66 pct) and Chemicals (1.33 pct) scored big gains, while Travel (2.31 pct) and Personal Products (2.02 pct) ended lower. National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 51 to 37 with another 17 issues unchanged. Hatzikraniotis (18.75 pct), Yalco (18.37 pct) and Naftemporiki (9.26 pct) were top gainers, while Varvaresos (20 pct) and Sidma (20 pct) and Sfakianakis (19.60 pct) were top losers.

    [28] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened further to 8.63 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 8.57 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.64 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.01 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed. The 12-month rate fell to -0.057 pct from -0.055 pct, the nine-month rate rose to -0.128 pct from -0.129 pct, the six-month rate rose to -0.202 pct from -0.204 pct, the three-month rate rose to -0.301 pct from -0.305 pct and the one-month rate was -0.371 pct.

    [29] ADEX closing report

    The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading around its fair value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 837 contracts with 5,590 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 26,193 contracts with investment interest focusing on Eurobank's contracts (8,880), followed by Alpha Bank (4,164), Piraeus Bank (6,435), National Bank (4,912), MIG (481), OTE (626), PPC (113), OPAP (172), Ellaktor (86), Athens Water (61), Jumbo (71), Mytilineos (35) and GEK Terna (43).

    General News

    [30] The restored archaeological museum of Kos opens to public

    The restored Archaeological Museum of Kos was inaugurated on Sunday by Culture Minister Aristidis Baltas and regional governor of southern Aegean Giorgos Hatzimarkos.

    The museum is a very important piece of culture, a jewel for the island of Kos as well as for Greece that is handed over to the people fully restored and upgraded, 60 years after its establishment in 1936 by the Italians.

    The museum is situated in the central square of Kos, at the heart of the historic and commercial centre of the island.

    It hosts all the finds from the excavations held on the island until today, mostly those found in the archaeological sites of the Ancient Agora, the west archaelogical site, separate monuments as the Altar of Dionysus, the Odeon and the Casa Romana.

    The scultures' exhibition also hosted in the museum is a collection of works dated back to the Hellenistic and the post-Roman era and aims to display the most important works of the island of Kos.

    [31] Skeletal remains found inside Antikythera shipwreck

    The skeletal remains of a person who was trapped inside the ancient ship that sank near the island of Antikythera more than 2,000 years ago were discovered and pulled up during an ongoing research conducted by the Department of Underwater Antiquities and the U.S.'s Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute from August to 28 September 14, the culture ministry said on Monday.

    The findings - skull, long and smaller bones - are not the only skeletal remains discovered at the famous Antikythera shipwreck. Archaeologists have uncovered bones from at least four different people during the underwater diving missions in 1900-1901 and 1976.

    The position of the bones and their relation to other findings near them point to a violent sinking of the sip. Additionally, the planned anthropological and genetic (DNA) analyses are expected to provide details on the dead - gender, age at death and allow the general reconstruction of his/her lifestyle.

    A second important finding is the lead sounding line, weighing 50 kg. Based on its features, the object was a probe used to measure the depth of the seabed and monitor its status. This tool was considered vital for safe navigation in antiquity.

    [32] Trial for Marfin Bank deaths, attack on Ianos bookshop, begins

    The trial for the torching of Marfin Bank and the deaths of three people trapped inside began before an Athens Criminal Court on Monday. The tragic incident occurred during a massive anti-austerity protest rally held against the first Greek bailout in May 2010, when protestors in the crowd set fire to a branch of Marfin Bank while people were working inside. The fire spread quickly and three employees, including a pregnant woman, were unable to get out in time.

    On trial are Theodoros Sipsas, who faces charges for the torching of the bank branch and the three deaths, and Pavlos Andreev, who has been charged with the bombing of the Ianos bookshop. Both deny the charges against them.

    The trial began with 37 of the 80 witnesses absent. Witnesses that took the stand included family and colleagues of the slain Marfin employees, as well as people who were on the scene. None of them were able to definitively identify the accused as the individuals that set fire to the bank. One witness declined to elaborate on the events of that day, citing fears for his or her safety and referring to a "dialogue that took place at the time, with certain people." The same witness did not recognise the accused.

    Other witnesses said that the bank branch was attacked by three or more individuals, who were "lithe and quick and not especially heavy." Another witness said he had heard someone shouting "burn them, burn them," but did not see who said it.

    Another witness, Anastasia Christaki, said the culprits appeared to her to be small and slim youths, rather than men, and that they had their faces covered.

    The trial wll continue on October 14.

    [33] One in two Greek drivers prefer a smaller, "green" car, survey

    A 50 pct of Greek drivers prefer a smaller but more "green" car, a survey by LeasePlan and TNS Icap said on Monday.

    A 80 pct of Greek drivers, down from 93 pct last year, said a car was the dominant mean of transport, with a 76 pct of respondents in the survey saying they prefered to use a leased car, while a 50 pct confirmed the use of a leased car both for private and professional purposes.

    A 17 pct of respondents said they were in favor of a common use of corporate cars, while a 56 pct said they did not want to share they car and a 74 pct said they would not do such a thing even fore more money.

    A 49 pct of Greek drivers said brand was the top criterion for choosing a car, a 47 pct said cost was a priority and 39 pct said the type of fuel was the top criterion.

    A 55 pct of respondents said they would use a "green" car, while a 22 pct said a significant role played the tax benefits related with "green" cars.

    [34] Mass break-out from Moria hotspot, fires set, on rumours of forced returns to Turkey

    Rumours that mass returns to Turkey were imminent on Monday prompted renewed incidents and a break-out from the Moria hotspot in Lesvos.

    About 300 migrants escaped the hotspot and attempted to set off on a protest march to Mytilene, the island's main town, but were stopped and forced to turn back by police. On their way back, fires broke out in olive groves south and north of the camp, which the fire brigade was called in to put out.

    According to the latest reports, the situation within the camp was calm, though some camp residents refused to accept food in protest against living conditions in the camp.

    [35] Protests on Lesvos against migrants and refugees not in hotspots

    Hundreds of Lesvos residents, especially around the Moria refugee camp and areas north of Mytilene, on Monday marched through the town in protest, demanding the evacuation of thousands of refugees and migrants that they said were living outside hotspots set up on the island, as well as the protection of their safety and property.

    Some of the protestors verbally attacked Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos when he attempted to address the crowd and also struck three young women, one of them well-known as a volunteer in one of the refugee facilities in Mytilene.

    In an announcement, New Democracy MP for Lesvos Haralambos Athanasiou hailed the protest by Moria residents and called for the immediate removal of migrants from the island, saying there should be no more hotspots on Lesvos.

    [36] Fifty migrants and refugees rescued off Zakynthos

    Fifty irregular migrants aboard a sailboat was located by the coast guard in the sea area between Kefallonia and Zakynthos on Monday, after transmitting a distress signal though Olympia radio.

    A freight vessel with a foreign flag rescued the migrants and is now transporting them to the port of Zakynthos, where they will stay temporarily.

    According to initial information, the sailboat was heading to southern Italy.

    [37] More than 10,000 refugees and migrants on northern Aegean islands

    A total of 308 migrants and refugees arrived on the islands of the northern Aegean over the last 48 hours.

    93 refugees arrived on Lesvos, 155 on Chios and 60 on Samos.

    According to the police, 5,264 are trapped on Lesvos, 3,700 on Chios and 1,166 on Samos. The total number of refugees trapped in northern Aegean exceeds 10,000 for the first time after several months.

    [38] Woman with 3.5 kilos of cocaine arrested at Athens International Airport

    A 21-year old woman from Venezuela was arrested at the Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" when police found 3.5 kg of cocaine on her.

    The suspect arrived from Rio via Zurich and according to police the drugs were hidden in her suitcase.

    Police said that the woman is member of a drug dealing ring that smuggles drugs, mostly cocaine, from Latin American countries to Western Europe including Greece.

    [39] Light quake jolts the Ionian islands

    A light earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded at 06:59 on Monday in the sea region between Cephalonia and Zakynthos.

    According to the Geodynamics Institute of Athens' Observatory, the quake's epicentre was located 15 km west of Lixouri at a depth of 10 klm.

    "There is no reason for concern. The buildings on the island have been constructed according to the provisions and so light earthquakes do not cause any problem," the deputy mayor of Cephalonia Evangelos Kekkatos said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

    Sports

    [40] Historic Rally of Olympus on Oct 8-9

    The 5th Historic Rally of Olympus 2016 will be held this year in Western Thessaly with stops at Plastira Lake and Meteora.

    The classic cars' rally started in 2012 and has became an institution in the region of Thessaly.

    A large number of Greek and foreign crews arrive every year to participate in the internationally acclaimed competition which is held under Thessaly prefecture auspices.

    Its originality is the rotation of routes and races every year in order for the crew to have the opportunity to get acquainted with the region of Thessaly with the mythical Mt. Olympus as its base.

    The rally will be held on 8 and 9 October.

    Weather forecast

    [41] Clouds, rain on Tuesday

    Unstable weather and westerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Rain in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 16C to 27C. Partly cloudy with rain in the afternoon in the eastern parts with temperatures between 17C and 29C. Rain over the Aegean islands and Crete, 20C-31C. Cloudy with a chance of rain in Athens, 20C-28C. Rain in Thessaloniki, 17C-23C.

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

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Probe into Attica Bank

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Lower taxes with cuts in the public sector

    ESTIA: (New Democracy leader Kyriakos) Mitsotakis sends clear messages

    ETHNOS: Centres for the support of bad loan holders to open

    KONTRANEWS: Two Greek disguised journalists followed State Minister Nikos Pappas in New York

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Under the IMF microscope

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