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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-12-02

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

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

Friday, 2 December 2016 Issue No: 5302

CONTENTS

  • [01] The government wants in principle agreement at Monday's Eurogroup, gov't spokesman says
  • [02] Greek issue to dominate afternoon meeting of Eurogroup on Dec 5
  • [03] PM Tsipras speaks on the phone with Chancellor Merkel
  • [04] PM Tsipras meets with Cyprus' DIKO leader Papadopoulos
  • [05] Tsipras meets with Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
  • [06] Labour minister says MEPs pledged to help Greece restore collective bargaining
  • [07] Gianni Pittella says EU acquis in labour issues should be applied in Greece
  • [08] Foreign ministry calls Turkish claims over Aegean islands 'provocative' and 'irresponsible'
  • [09] Pavlopoulos: Our duty to defend the Lausanne Treaty
  • [10] Transition to viable, just growth is a historic imperative, says gov't VP
  • [11] Bill on equal treatment in workplace approved, seperate vote on four articles on Fri.
  • [12] Two opposition parties request roll-call vote in heated parliamentary debate over equality bill
  • [13] Communist Party claims HQ's call center is tapped, asks government to find perpetrators
  • [14] Government will investigate 'extremely serious' claims on wiretaps, says gov't spox
  • [15] ND calls for investigation into Communist Party's wiretapping claim
  • [16] Greek PMI fell to one-year low in November
  • [17] The role of sustainable development in tourism
  • [18] Greek unemployment at 23.4 pct in August
  • [19] Sfakianakis Group sales up 16.7 pct in Jan-Sept
  • [20] Nereus Group sales up 7.0 pct
  • [21] FF Group says turnover up 9.2 pct in Jan-Sept
  • [22] Creta Farms expands activities in FYROM
  • [23] Ryanair reduces Athens-Thessaloniki flights due to airport works
  • [24] Greek stocks end sharply lower
  • [25] Greek bond market closing report
  • [26] Explosion in central Athens; one dead, five injured
  • [27] Freon gas leak a likely cause in deadly explosion at fast-food chain, says fire department
  • [28] Labour Inspectorate vowes to shed light in fatal gas explosion in central Athens
  • [29] Refugees protest outside two camps as they remain unprotected in Greek frost
  • [30] World AIDS Day
  • [31] Reduction in the average age of people affected by oral cancer
  • [32] Refugees hosting centre at Petra evacuated due to extremely adverse weather conditions
  • [33] Ships to remain docked on Friday and Saturday
  • [34] Mostly fair on Friday
  • [35] The Thursday's edition of Athens dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] The government wants in principle agreement at Monday's Eurogroup, gov't spokesman says

    The government wants an in principle agreement at the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, State Minister and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on Thursday said in statements to ANT1 TV.

    He explained that the country's creditors and the IMF should understand that: a) they are bound by the EU law in labour issues, not only as to the result of the agreement, but also during the negotiations and b) the Greek government cannot accept measures after 2018.

    "The Greek government is not discussing any measures after the end of the programme; there will not be such a discus-sion,"Tzanakopoulos said.

    [02] Greek issue to dominate afternoon meeting of Eurogroup on Dec 5

    BRUSSELS (ANA/Ch. Vassilaki)

    The Greek issue will dominate the afternoon meeting of Eurogroup on December 5, which is expected to start at 16.00.

    According to the announcement of the EU Council, the finance ministers of the eurozone will be briefed by the institutions on the course of the second programme review, following the negotiations held in Athens in mid-November.

    "Based on the progress achieved within the framework of the second programme review, the Eurogroup is expected to return to the issue of the measures related to the debt and the IMF participation in the Greek programme," according to the same announcement. It added that the main issues of the second programme review are Greece's budget for 2017, the medium-term strategy and the labour market reforms.

    On May 25, a comprehensive agreement for Greece was achieved, as it was explained in the announcement, terms for the first programme review and the measures for the sustainability of the debt.

    [03] PM Tsipras speaks on the phone with Chancellor Merkel

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    According to prime minister's office, the two leaders discussed the relations between EU and Turkey in the light of the developments on the Cyprus issue, the implementation of EU-Turkey agreement on the refugees and the neighbouring country's escalating agressive rhetoric.

    [04] PM Tsipras meets with Cyprus' DIKO leader Papadopoulos

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met on Thursday with the leader of Cyprus' political party Democratic Party (DIKO) Nicholas Papadopoulos at the Maximos mansion. Their meeting focused on the developments in the Cyprus issues.

    [05] Tsipras meets with Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met on Thursday with the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II to discuss the Patriarchate's work in Africa and the recent Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church which was held in Crete.

    During their meeting, the Patriarch thanked the prime minister for the support of the Greek government and informed him of the missionary, educative and social work carried out in Africa.

    [06] Labour minister says MEPs pledged to help Greece restore collective bargaining

    BRUSSELS (ANA/M. Aroni)

    Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou said on Thursday all European Parliament deputies who met with her during her two-day visit to Brussels support the Greek government's position to restore labour rights.

    "We presented the positions of the Greek government for the need to restore collective bargaining in the country. All the members of the European Parliament with whom I met strongly support the position of the Greek government for the country's return to what constitutes the European acquis on labour rights," the minister told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), adding she concluded a round of meetings in Brussels with important representatives of the European Parliament.

    On their side, MEPs said Greece should not be excluded from the European social model simply because it is implementing an adjustment program and Europe should not allow such an exception, Achtsioglou said.

    "The members of the European Parliament, who cover a wide range of political forces, said they will do everything in their power to exercise the necessary pressure on a political level to restore collective bargaining in the country," she added.

    Concerning the Eurogroup meeting on Dec. 5, the minister predicted that there could be a political agreement "in principle" on all issues relating to the second program review, noting that talks on labour rights will be crucial at the meeting because it is a "deeply political issue" which cannot be resolved at the technical level.

    [07] Gianni Pittella says EU acquis in labour issues should be applied in Greece

    BRUSSELS (ANA/M. Aroni)

    The EU acquis in labour issues should also be applied in Greece Socialists and Democrats leader in the European Parliament Gianni Pittella on Thursday said in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency after his meeting with Greek Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou in Brussels.

    Gianni Pittella said his meeting with Achtsioglou was 'productive' and positive' and agreed that with the position that there shouldn't be a 'punishing' implementation of the memorandum for Greece.

    "It must be ensured that Greece will not be the exception as far as it regards labour rights" said Pittella adding that the "collective labour contracts are a very important acquis which must also applied for Greece."

    [08] Foreign ministry calls Turkish claims over Aegean islands 'provocative' and 'irresponsible'

    Greek sovereignty over the Aegean islands is indisputable and backed by international law, the country's foreign ministry said on Thursday, in response to a new series of statements by Turkish officials who questioned the legal status of several islands and islets.

    "Greece's sovereignty over its islands in the Aegean, including Imia, is indisputable and enshrined in international law. Irresponsible statements to the contrary are provocative, as the legal status of the islands and islets of the Aegean is clear and has been explicitly determined by a number of international agreements of the previous century," the ministry said in a statement.

    "Anyone who ignores international legal reality does not contribute to the consolidation of the rules of good neighbourly relations, but in fact undermines them," it added.

    [09] Pavlopoulos: Our duty to defend the Lausanne Treaty

    Greece is determined to defend the unswerving implementation of the Lausanne Treaty, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Thursday during an event proclaming him a honourary president of the National Research Foundation "Eleftherios Venizelos" in Chania, Crete.

    Pavlopoulos reiterated that Greece does not claim anything that doesn't belong to the country but "we're not willing to concede one iota of what is, without a doubt, our national and European heritage."

    "On this principle, it is our duty to defend the unswerving implementation ... of the great legacy left by Eleftherios Vanizelos, the Lausanne Treaty," he said, noting that the treaty represents European as well as Greek borders.

    [10] Transition to viable, just growth is a historic imperative, says gov't VP

    The transition to a new model of viable, innovative and fair growth for all and not for a few is a historical imperative and national need, said government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis on Thursday, in his address at the "Growth Awards" event organized by Eurobank and Grant Thornton.

    "This demands a new, socially responsible entrepreneurship. We cannot, in the name of entrepreneurship, conceal these forms of entrepreneurship that want to enrich themselves parasitically through their relations with political powers, as was the case in the past," he said.

    "I'm glad to hear businesspeople, more and more lately, criticizing these phenomena themselves. Indeed, some business and market people are mentioning a need for patriotism of investments. They actually refer to the need - I'd say - for a new, socially responsible entrepreneurship, which invests its profits in research, creates jobs, feels responsible not only towards shareholders but also towards society and cares for its employees, their safety and training," he said.

    "This is the entrepreneurship that will get us out of the crisis," he added.

    [11] Bill on equal treatment in workplace approved, seperate vote on four articles on Fri.

    The draft bill incorporating EU legislation on the equal treatment of all people in the workplace regardless of racial or ethnic origin and sexual orientation was approved in its entirety and on the amendments on Thursday, apart from the articles 1, 2, 3 and 4, which will be voted in a roll-call vote on Friday.

    A separate provision calls for the creation of a national mechanism to investigate incidents of discrimination by law enforcement agencies and officials in detention centers.

    The bill also includes secondary legislation protecting the euro and other currencies from counterfeiting and forgery.

    [12] Two opposition parties request roll-call vote in heated parliamentary debate over equality bill

    Two opposition parties requested a roll-call vote during an intense debate in parliament on Thursday on a draft bill for the equal treatment of people in the workplace.

    The Democratic Coalition, Potami and independent lawmakers said lawmakers should vote on articles 2, 3 and 4 of the bill by name in a debate expected to conclude later tonight. The bill incorporates EU legislation into national law which bans discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin and sexual orientation in the workplace.

    The legislation is backed in principle by SYRIZA, New Democracy, the Democratic Coalition, Potami, ANEL (Independent Greeks) and the Centrists' Union. The Communist Party votes "present" and Golden Dawn said it will vote against it.

    However, the Independent Greeks announced through their rapporteur, MP Konstantinos Katsikis, they will not approve articles of the bill which, in his view, equate civil partnerships with marriage.

    "Can a gay be a baby sitter, or a transsexual a teacher?" he asked attracting intense criticism by the Democratic Coalition representative and DIMAR leader Thanasis Theocharopoulos who slammed Katsikis' "homophobic rant". Theocharopoulos described ANEL's position as "third-world" and wondered if the Independent Greeks will request that citizens present a "sex certificate" to find a job.

    He also criticized SYRIZA for tolerating such talk from their coalition partner, accusing Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis of keeping mum during Katsikis' speech.

    On the contrary, the rapporteurs of the Democratic Coalition, Potami and the Centrists' Union asked the government to extend the rights of LGBTQI people beyond the workplace - in education, healthcare, asylum requests, access to public services and housing - with Potami's MP Giorgos Amiras saying the party backs recognition of gay marriage.

    SYRIZA MP Christos Karayiannidis said "people are not selected for baby sitters or couriers based on their sexual identity". Responding to homophobic comments by Golden Dawn MPs, Karayiannidis said those who believe that those who don't fit in their own model of "normalcy" are "perverts" are racists guided by hatred. "Normalcy is not the heterosexuals. Normalcy is all humans," he said.

    [13] Communist Party claims HQ's call center is tapped, asks government to find perpetrators

    The Communist Party said on Thursday it recently discovered that the party's headquarters were wiretapped and called on the government to act swiftly to discover the perpetrators.

    According to the party's press release, it was observed that various recent telephone conversations were bugged, among which calls to and from the headquarters of SYRIZA, New Democracy and Potami.

    "These listen-ins are caused by an unknown third 'center'," the party said in the press release. "The Communist Party denounces this fact. The government must immediately investigate this issue in depth, uncover the perpetrators and ensure, as required by every government, the privacy of telephone conversations."

    The Communist Party also said it informed Parliament President Nikos Voutsis and the relevant minister, Nikos Pappas, on the matter, as well as the heads of the other parties involved.

    [14] Government will investigate 'extremely serious' claims on wiretaps, says gov't spox

    The government will investigate the "extremely serious" claims made by the Communist Party about wiretapping of its headquarters' call center, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Thursday.

    "The Communist Party's claims of wiretapping of the call centers of the party, SYRIZA, Potami and New Democracy are extremely serious. The government will exhaust any operational, institutional and legal means to investigate them," Tzanakopoulos said.

    "We have already given the relevant orders to the competent authorities in order to shed light on the case."

    [15] ND calls for investigation into Communist Party's wiretapping claim

    New Democracy requested on Thursday an investigation into the claims made by the Communist Party that its call center is tapped, saying the government must provide "convincing answers" soon.

    "The Communist Party's complaint is very serious. It's unthinkable nowadays to intercept the phones and communications of any political party or any citizen," ND said in a statement. "It's imperative to have a full investigation into this issue. At any case, the government is obliged to provide immediate and convincing answers," it added.

    Financial News

    [16] Greek PMI fell to one-year low in November

    Greek Purchasing Managers' Index PMI eased to 48.3 points in November, from 48.6 in October, falling to 2016 lows reflecting a decline in production and new works, Markit said on Thursday.

    Markit, in a monthly report, said that Greek manufacturers cut their purchasing activity amid intensified cost pressures which led to further declines in inflow inventories. On the other hand, manufacturers continued hiring new personnel, although fractionally, despite a new deterioration of pending works levels.

    The November data showed a decline in manufacturing production in Greece for the third successive month. The latest decline was the strongest recorded since July, while companies linked a decline in production with weaker demand for Greek goods. The decline in production was the result of intense shrinking of new work levels in November. New orders fell in he month, with new export orders falling at the strongest rate in 12 months, while pending works fell further, extending a trend which began in July 2008.

    Employment levels were almost unchanged in November, with new job creation rate falling at the slowest rate in six months. Average cost burden grew further in November, at the highest rate in 16 months. Inflows fell for the seventh successive month while inventories fell at the strongest rate in nine months. Finally, average delivery times extended in November, at the highest rate ever recorded.

    Samuel Agass, IHS Markit's economist, commenting on the survey said: "Intensified economic difficulties negatively affected the goods production sector's health in November, was the PMI fell to its lowest level in one year. Worrying is the fact that weaker demand for Greek goods continues suspending the sector's growth, while efforts to reduce sale price have no result".

    [17] The role of sustainable development in tourism

    "Sustainable development must be the basic pillar of the development strategy of the Greek tourism," the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, said at the Economist's Congress Sustainability Summit for Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean.

    "The growing interest of tourist facilities in certified sustainable hotels is extremely encouraging," Andreadis noted and cited a recent survey by Booking.com, according to which 52 pct of respondents said that travelers would be influenced by the environmental and social policy of a hotel.

    With environmental issues at the top of the agenda of entrepreneurship, the integration of sustainability in the Greek tourism industry is one way, he said adding that 2017 has been declared sustainable tourism year.

    The year 2017 will give us the chance to implement our strategy. Based on the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development of the United Nations and the World Tourism Organization, we will begin a series of actions towards sustainability. It is important for the next day of Greek tourism to plan a strategy that highlights the competitive advantages of our country. In this way we will achieve the better interconnection of tourism with the rest of the Greek economy. This is a way to lead the country to the much-needed development," Andreadis underlined.

    [18] Greek unemployment at 23.4 pct in August

    BRUSSELS (ANA/Maria Aroni)

    Greek unemployment rate rose to 23.4 pct of the workforce in August from 23.3 pct in July, Eurostat said on Thursday.

    The EU executive's statistics office, in a report released here, said the unemployment rate in the Eurozone eased to 9.8 pct in October from 9.9 pct in August while in the EU-28 the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 pct from 8.4 pct over the same months, respectivey. The unemployment rate in the Eurozone and the EU-28 was 10.6 pct and 9.1 pct in October 2015 (there are no figures for Greece in September and October).

    The number of unemployed people amounted to 20.448 million in the EU and 15.9 million in the Eurozone. Greece recorded the highest unemployment rate (23.4 pct in August), followed by Spain (19.2 pct), while Czech Republic (3.8 pct) and Germany (4.1 pct) the lowest unemployment rates.

    In Greece, the number of unemployed people totaled 1.12 million. The unemployment rate among young people (aged below 25 years old) was 46.5 pct in August and among women 28 pct. The unemployment rate among young people was 20.7 pct in the Eurozone and 18.4 pct in the EU-28 in October.

    [19] Sfakianakis Group sales up 16.7 pct in Jan-Sept

    Sfakianakis Group on Thursday said sales totaled 205.2 million euros in the January-September period this year, up 16.7 pct from the same period in 2015, while parent sales rose 17.6 pct to 169.8 million euros.

    Consolidated gross earnings amounted to 53.7 million euros (up 12.3 pct) and parent gross earnings totaled 17.1 million (+12 pct) in the nine-month period. EBITDA jumped 38.2 pct to 23 million euros, from 16.7 million in 2015, while operating results showed a profit of 1.4 million euros from a loss of 500,000 euros last year. Pre-tax losses fell to 3.7 million euros (group) from 7.9 million in 2015 and 12.3 million (parent) from 11.6 million over the same periods, respectively.

    The company said group results have been burdened by an investment loss of 3.9 million euros. Excluding this, pre-tax results showed earnings of 100,000 euros (group), up 101.5 pct and a loss of 8.4 million euros (parent), down 27.4 pct.

    Sfakianakis said car registrations totaled 63,216 in the nine-month period, up 8.6 pct from the same period in 2015.

    [20] Nereus Group sales up 7.0 pct

    Nereus Group -a Greek-listed aquaculture company- said sales totaled 149.9 million euros in the January-September period this year, from 140.1 million in 2015, an increase of 7.0 pct. Exports, accounting for 80 pct of sales, totaled 120 million euros, up 5.4 pct from the previous year.

    EBITDA rose 16.5 pct to 15.6 million euros, reflecting an increase in the quantity of sales and a decline in cost production.

    Pre-tax earnings showed a loss of 3.9 million euros in the nine-month period, from a loss of 4.9 million last year, while after tax results showed a loss of 1.6 million euros, from a loss of 3.6 million the nine-month period in 2015.

    Net debt pre-evaluation of new loans' fair value was 164.7 million euros, down 6.6 million from last year.

    The company's equity capital was 87,384,628 euros, divided into 291,282,095 shares, with a nominal value of 0.30 euros each.

    Antonis Chachlakis, CEO in Nereus said nine-month results were improved compared with 2015 levels and noted that the company has begun the implementation of a strategic plan to access new markets and to develop innovative products aiming to raise its market shares and its profitability.

    [21] FF Group says turnover up 9.2 pct in Jan-Sept

    FF Group said its consolidated turnover grew 9.2 pct to 956.2 million euros in the January-September period, from 875.5 million in the same period last year.

    The group said improved operating activity in all business sectors led to an increase in operating profits to 169.2 million euros in the nine-month period from 154.6 million in 2015, an increase of 9.5 pct.

    Consolidated EBITDA grew 9.8 pct to 192.3 million euros, while net consolidated after tax and minorities earnings amounted to 112.1 million.

    The jewelry, watch, accessory sector reported a 9.4 pct increase in turnover to 687.1 million euros, with EBITDA rising 8.6 pct to 169.5 million. The department store sector reported a 7.0 pct increase in turnover to 129 million euros and an EBITDA of 11 million euros, up from 9.8 million in 2015. The clothing/footwear wholesale/retail sector reported a 10.5 pct increase in turnover to 140.1 million euros in the nine-month period.

    Tzortzis Koutsolioutsos, CEO of FF Group, commenting on the results said: "We continue growing successfully in a very volatile environment and in all countries with established activities. In this framework and despite continuing challenges in the external environment (Brexit, terrorist attacks, etc) the Group's business sectors continue showing exceptional resilience. We continue a digital transformatin of the group to meet new market demands and to be ahead of our competitors in this field. We also restructure internal procedures and our operating model to support this significant transformation. We are all thrilled with this development and we are certain that this will add value to our employees, customers and shareholders in the coming years".

    [22] Creta Farms expands activities in FYROM

    Creta Farms on Thursday announced its entry in the FYROM market with its "En Elladi" product series.

    The Greek food company said its products will be placed in the country's super market shelves starting January 2017 through a strategic agreement with a local partner. In an announcement, Creta Farms said its decision was based on the exceptional results of wide acceptance of its "En Elladi" products in FYROM, a product series which established the country as a leader in Greece. "Access in FYROM, in combination with Romania and Bulgaria, creates a fertile ground for further developing Creta Farms' activities in the wider Balkans region," the company said.

    Creta Farms said both sides will support a specific ad campaign in the country and noted that its partner in FYROM was one of the largest distributors in the country covering a network of 2,581 sasles points.

    [23] Ryanair reduces Athens-Thessaloniki flights due to airport works

    Ryanair announced that it would reduce the number of flights from Athens to Thessaloniki in summer 2017 due to the works in Macedonia airport and the non-availability of the air corridor.

    Therefore, the flights will be reduced from seven to three every day.

    The low cost airline has already announced that it will operate 19 international flights from Thessaloniki including four new flights to Hamburg, Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Dortmund as well as a new flight to Berlin in the summer of 2017.

    [24] Greek stocks end sharply lower

    Greek stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday with market sentiment hit by European uncertainty ahead of an Italian poll on Sunday and delays in completing a second review of the Greek program. The composite index of the market dropped 2.25 pct to end at 614.61 points, with the Large Cap index falling 2.38 pct and the Mid Cap index easing 1.35 pct. Turnover was a strong 83.89 million euros.

    Piraeus Bank (0.50 pct) and Aegean Airlines (0.16 pct) scored gains among blue chip stocks, while Folli Follie (8.93 pct), Viohalco (5.26 pct) and Coca Cola HBC (7.29 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Among market sectors, Technology (0.38 pct) and Financial Services (0.28 pct) scored gains, while Commerce (8.93 pct) and Media (7.29 pct) suffered losses.

    National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 59 to 33 with another 124 issues unchanged. Pairis (9.72 pct), Epilektos (7.86 pct) and Q&R (7.85 pct) were top gainers, while Lazaridis Estate (19.86 pct), Space Hellas (9.93 pct) and Motodynamic (9.76 pct) were top losers.

    Blue chip stocks ended as follows:

    ALPHA BANK 1.84 euros

    EUROBANK: 0.6930

    FOLLI-FOLLIE: 18.45

    VIOHALCO: 1.26

    GEK TERNA: 2.19

    ELLAKTOR: 1.15

    PPC: 3.0

    COCA COLA HBC: 19.22

    HELLENIC PETROLEUM: 4.16

    NATIONAL BANK: 0.2140

    SARANTIS: 10.55

    JUMBO: 13.34

    METKA: 7.08

    MYTILINEOS: 5.88

    MOTOR OIL: 12.02

    OPAP: 8.70

    OTE: 8.60

    PIRAEUS BANK: 0.20

    TITAN: 20.50

    LAMDA DEVELOPMENT: 4.61

    PIRAEUS PORT: 12.60

    HELLENIC EXCHANGES: 4.71

    TERNA ENERGY: 2.72

    GRIVALIA PROPERTIES: 7.70

    AEGEAN AIRLINES: 6.26

    [25] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds fell significantly to 6.22 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, from 6.66 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 6.53 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.31 pct. Turnover was a thin 1.0 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was -0.075 pct, the nine-month rate was -0.131 pct, the six-month rate was -0.221 pct, the three-month rate was -0.312 pct and the one-month rate was -0.372 pct.

    General News

    [26] Explosion in central Athens; one dead, five injured

    One woman, aged 42, died and five more persons were injured at an explosion and subsequent fire at a fast-food outlet at Victoria Square, in central Athens, earlier on Thursday.

    The injured are being hospitalised out of danger.

    A team of 20 firemen and eight fire engines were sent to put out the blaze.

    Police have cordonned off the area, while the explosion caused damage to nearby shops and houses as well as parked cars and motorcycles.

    [27] Freon gas leak a likely cause in deadly explosion at fast-food chain, says fire department

    A leak of Freon gas is thought to be the most likely cause of the deadly gas explosion at a fast-food chain in central Athens on Thursday that killed one woman and injured five more people, the investigative team of the fire department said.

    According to the officials, the accident happened while the refrigerator technician was working at the basemen of the store where all the fridges are stored. They also said the store didn't use natural gas or propane.

    However a safe conclusion as to what caused the explosion will only be determined after the investigation is concluded, they added.

    [28] Labour Inspectorate vowes to shed light in fatal gas explosion in central Athens

    The Labour Inspectorate vowed to investigate the causes of the fatal gas explosion at a fast-food outlet in central Athens on Thursday morning that killed one woman and injured five more people.

    "The Labour inspectorate, responding to its role as a guarantor of labour laws, will exhaust all legal capacities for a full investigation into the case and the assignment of responsibil-ities, whoever they are due," the labour ministry said.

    The ministry also expressed its condolences to the family of 42-year-old victim, Vasiliki Parastatidou.

    [29] Refugees protest outside two camps as they remain unprotected in Greek frost

    Refugees in two camps of northern Greece protested on Thursday over the living conditions which worsened in the past few days due to the sudden drop in temperatures.

    Dozens of refugees from Oreokastro camp have been protesting since three this afternoon blocking both lanes of Simachiki Odos, saying living conditions have become very difficult since the weather worsened. At the refugee camp at Diavata, housed in the former "Softex" paper factory, people gathered outside the center with the same demands.

    [30] World AIDS Day

    The World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December at a decision of the World health Organisation and the UN General Assembly.

    AIDS virus, also called HIV virus or a virus of human immunodeficiency, infects the body and progressively destroys the immune system leaving it exposed to severe infections or various forms of cancers.

    Despite the reduction in new diagnoses of HIV, the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) does not settle.

    "Signs of decline in the number of new diagnoses of HIV, especially among people injecting toxic substances, does not mean in any way being complacent about the epidemic of HIV infection in our country," the president of KEELPNO Theofilos Rosenberg said on the occasion of today's World AIDS Day.

    In statements to www.praktoreio-ygeias.gr, he explained that in our country, after the great epidemic of HIV infection recorded in 2011-2013 among users injecting toxic substances, new diagnoses in this specific group of people has dropped.

    [31] Reduction in the average age of people affected by oral cancer

    The reduction in the average age of people affected by oral cancer in the last 20 years has caused concern in the scientific community, as in the past the disease usually appeared in people over 40-year old, according to George Laskaris, Professor of Stomatology, University of Athens and Visiting Professor of London University.

    Laskaris was speaking at a conference of the Public Health Institute of the American College of Greece on "Diseases of Oral Cavity: What you need to know."

    As he explained "early diagnosis of oral cancer is the key to rapid successful treatment - prognosis - quality of life and survival of more than 90-95 pct."

    According to scientists, cancer is the most dangerous of the 1,000 diseases that occur in the mouth. The key factors for the increase of oral cancer worldwide, including Greece, are smoking, alcohol, and possibly HPV viruses.

    "Everyone should be aware and be able to recognize any changes made to his mouth and promptly seeking the opinion of a stomatologist," said Laskaris. The oral cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in humans and 700 new cases are recorded every year in Greece.

    Smoking, excessive alcohol use, damaged teeth or dentures that injure poor oral hygiene may be the reasons for the high incidence of mouth diseases.

    Oral cancer occurs 6-8 times more often in smokers compared to people who never smoked. The increased rate is also related to the number of cigarettes and years someone smokes.

    The main symptoms are: pain, bleeding, burning tongue, white or red colour, black spots, wound that does not close, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, swelling of the gums, swelling in the neck lymph nodes, stiffness, bad breath, dry mouth, etc.

    For precaution scientists suggest good oral hygiene, avoidance or quitting of smoking, no excessive alcohol consumption, a visit to the dentist every six months, and stomatology advice when there are changes in the mouth.

    Laskaris also stressed the importance of accurate and rapid diagnosis, which is a prerequisite for correct treatment and prognosis, protection of the patient from health adventures and unnecessary financial and emotional burden.

    "The oral health is a valuable asset that we must and can preserve," said Laskaris and concluded: "This is because the mouth is the jewel of the human body, and relates to the most beautiful pleasures of life: the taste, the various expressions of love, love, speech and social presence."

    [32] Refugees hosting centre at Petra evacuated due to extremely adverse weather conditions

    All migrants and refugees were removed from the hosting centre at Petra on Olympus due to the extremely adverse weather conditions prevailing in the area. The evacuation procedure was concluded later Wednesday.

    Member of the Katerini municipal council Nikos Papaziogaas said to Athens-Macedonian News Agency that most of the refugees were sent to a new hosting center in the area of Volvi lake. 65 persons were sent to a hotel at a Katerini beach hotel and in two days they will be also transfered to Volvi.

    [33] Ships to remain docked on Friday and Saturday

    Hellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) has called a 48h strike for Friday and Saturday in protest against the seamen's new taxation proposed by the institutions within the context of the second review of the Greek programme.

    All ships will remain docked in all ports throughout the country.

    It is reminded that the Federation has already declared a 24h nationwide strike on Thursday 8 December asking for the protection and safeguarding of the Greek seamen's institutional labour rights.

    Weather forecast

    [34] Mostly fair on Friday

    Mostly fair and northerly winds are forecast for Friday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Partly cloudy in the northern and western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from -08C to 10C. Mostly fair in the eastern parts with temperatures between -02C and 12C. Scattered clouds over the Aegean islands and Crete, 06C-17C. Mostly fair in Athens, 06C-15C; the same for Thessaloniki, -02C-10C.

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

    DIMOKRATIA: Bad news for non-performing loans

    ETHNOS: Contribution for public utilities and public sector

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: 7 changes in 2017 contributions

    AVGHI: Political agreement within December

    EFIMERIDA TON SYTAKTON: Refugees under zero

    KATHIMERINI: The IMF's agreement is necessary for the programme review

    RIZOSPASTIS: Labour jungle

    TA NEA: Third memorandum plus

    KONTRA NEWS: Debt relief to start

    IMERISSIA: Plan for debt

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Winners-losers in trade

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