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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-07-29

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

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

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 Issue No: 4720

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government begins round of talks to forge new industrial policy
  • [02] Prime Minister Samaras meets with visiting Cyprus Republic President Anastasiades
  • [03] Venizelos to meet with Cyprus president Tuesday
  • [04] 'The social security system issue is really a cause of war' KKE secretary general says
  • [05] Troika, Greek economic team to meet in Paris Sept. 3-5, sources
  • [06] Potami leader Theodorakis visits Asylum Agency; launches tour of northern Greece
  • [07] Thirty three New Democracy MPs ask for the reduction of special consumption tax on heating oil
  • [08] Fuel station owners ask for the restitution of special consumption tax on heating oil to 2011-2012 levels
  • [09] New TAIPED president and CEO
  • [10] Prosecutor suggests that former FinMin Papaconstantinou be tried by a Special Court
  • [11] Admin. Reform Secretary General Dimitris Stefanou, 46, dies after illness
  • [12] Justice and Public Order ministers discuss maximum security prison and other issues
  • [13] Justice ministry to prepare comprehensive plan for the modernisation of rural prisons
  • [14] Court of Appeals to rule on civil servants' union federation mobilization after August 1
  • [15] Uniformed personnel protest outside Finance ministry
  • [16] Protesters against destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the Mediterranean express content over their open-sea mission
  • [17] Real estate ownership tax for 2014 to be processed on Friday
  • [18] Business climate improving among Greek SMEs, survey
  • [19] Development ministry mulls setting price ceilings on drinks and snacks sold on public beaches
  • [20] All those who produce will be benefited from the new Common Agricultural Policy, Alternate Rural Development minister says
  • [21] Greek state privatisation agency's outgoing CEO reflects on two-year tenure
  • [22] Hellenic Exchanges reports lower H1 results
  • [23] KEAO seized 105 real estate properties during June, against overdue social security contributions
  • [24] Greek authorities approve hotel investment project in Ios
  • [25] Cargo traffic in Thessaloniki port up significantly in H1
  • [26] Piraeus Port Authority president Anomeritis meets with visiting Korean MPs
  • [27] Trainee lawyers now taxed as employees, not freelancers
  • [28] Algae Farms suspends public offer procedure
  • [29] Greek stocks end slightly lower
  • [30] Greek bond market closing report
  • [31] ADEX closing report
  • [32] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [33] Plane tree collapse kills 9-year-old in Lamia
  • [34] Damaged vessel with 60 passengers spotted at the Ionian Sea
  • [35] Prespa Lakes tours by solar-powered boats
  • [36] Wildfire breaks out between the villages of Profitis Ilias and Partheni on Crete
  • [37] Foreign national apprehended on international arrest warrant
  • [38] Mostly fair on Tuesday
  • [39] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Government begins round of talks to forge new industrial policy

    Industrial policy will be the main issue on the agenda of a series of meetings scheduled this week aimed to facilitate business activity and creating new job positions in the country.

    An inter-ministerial meeting will be held on Tuesday -headed by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras- aimed to discuss industrial policy. The meeting will bring together government ministers and the president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) Theodore Fessas, while another inter-ministerial commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday to discuss industrial policy -headed by Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias.

    The agenda of the talks will also include energy cost, facilitating the set up and operation of enterprises and the management of non-performing corporate loans.

    On energy cost, following recent decisions taken by a Public Power Corporation's general shareholders' meeting -envisaging electricity rate cuts for industries- PPC decided to cut electricity rates for small- and medium-sized enterprises by up to 3.4 pct. The government also tabled to parliament an amendment creating the preconditions for the return to energy-consuming industries part of the burden on industrial electricity rates from the purchase of CO2 emission rights by electricity energy producers. Greek enterprises are demanding a reduction in the tax burden of energy.

    The Greek parliament voted in May a new legislation facilitating the setting up and operation of enterprises and the issuing of relative presidential decrees and decisions were pending. The Environment, Energy and Public Works ministry signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises on environment licensing issues.

    On the issue of non-performing loans, the government aims to put in place by next fall a new regulation covering the total of private debt (to banks, tax agencies and pension funds) aimed to save enterprises and job positions. This regulation will not burden Greek banks' balance sheets, it will require the participation of financially-strong shareholders and will support enterprises currently in the red hit by the crisis and a drop in consumption. One of the recommendations to be discussed, put by Development Minister Nikos Dendias during a meeting with French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, is to subsidize interest rates for existing loans with the use of community funds.

    [02] Prime Minister Samaras meets with visiting Cyprus Republic President Anastasiades

    The Cyprus issue dominated in the talks on Monday between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and visiting Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades.

    After the meeting at Maximos Mansion, government headquarters, Samaras stated that there is no noticeable rapprochement between the two sides in the Cyprus issue but, on the contrary, their completely opposite views on the community acquis and the confidence-building-measures, among others, are confirmed.

    "The talks continue, but in order to reach a solution, the other side will have to display willingness; Turkey should comply with international law and the recent Human Rights Court ruling," the prime minister underlined.

    "Regardless of the other side's stance, our common goal will be to end the illegal military occupation and reach a functional, fair, viable and mutually acceptable solution based on the UN," the prime minister underlined and assured that Greece will continue to support Cyprus' efforts for the solution of the Cyprus issue. "We are together," he said characteristically.

    On his part, the Cyprus Republic president thanked Greece for its support and referred to the Turkish side's refusal to meet its commitments.

    Anastasiades pointed out that "together with the Greek government we have decided that the option of dialogue is the best choice", noting that Greece and Cyprus are EU members and the European dimension of the Cyprus issue will have to be utilized.

    "Our understanding and firm strategic course overturn the Turkish designs," he added.

    [03] Venizelos to meet with Cyprus president Tuesday

    PASOK President Evangelos Venizelos will meet with President of the Cyprus Republic Nicos Anastasiades at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, the party announced.

    Anastasiades is on a two-day visit to Athens as of Monday.

    [04] 'The social security system issue is really a cause of war' KKE secretary general says

    The developments in the country's social security system involve all citizens, regardless of their age, communist KKE party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas said on Monday.

    "They are not only related to pensions but to the social insurance itself, the health of our people. They are about to further cut insurance, health and pension benefits; they want to abolish all cases of granting pensions to people below 62 years of age, which means there will be an increase in the retirement age," Koutsoumbas said.

    "The labour union movement needs to be prepared to deal with and prevent these developments as of September. The social security system issue is really a cause of war," he concluded.

    [05] Troika, Greek economic team to meet in Paris Sept. 3-5, sources

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    The representatives of the troika, Greece's creditors, are expected to meet with the government's top-level economic team in Paris from September 3 to 5, in the framework of the sixth review of the Greek fiscal programme.

    According to sources, the heads of the troika and its technical committees will visit Athens for a few days towards the end of September.

    [06] Potami leader Theodorakis visits Asylum Agency; launches tour of northern Greece

    Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis underlined during his visit to the Asylum Agency on Monday that "everybody should assume their share of responsibility, not only the Greeks".

    "Our country needs more personnel, money and infrastructure to handle the inflow of refugees and migrants. This is what we mean when we talk about a fair Europe; everybody to assume their share of responsibility, not only the Greeks," Theodorakis said.

    The Potami leader on Tuesday will be in Thessaloniki to launch a two-day tour of northern Greece. On Wednesday morning, he will visit Giannitsa and Skydra and in the afternoon on the same day, he will be in Edessa and Vryta.

    [07] Thirty three New Democracy MPs ask for the reduction of special consumption tax on heating oil

    Thirty three New Democracy deputies submitted a question to Finance Minister asking for the substantial reduction of the special consumption tax on heating oil.

    According to the deputies, the state will raise more revenues from the increased heating oil consumption. Moreover, the deputies said a special benefit should be granted to the unemployed, uninsured elderly, low pension and income earners, families with many children and other weak strata depending on the altitude of the place of residence.

    [08] Fuel station owners ask for the restitution of special consumption tax on heating oil to 2011-2012 levels

    The Panhellenic Federation of Fuel Station Owners and Oil Traders (POPEK) has asked that the special consumption tax on heating oil is reinstated to the levels of 2011-2012 winter period.

    The responsibility of fighting fuel smuggling and adulteration lies exclusively with the government, POPEK said in a statement on Monday. It added that the statements by Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on the failure of the equation of heating fuel with diesel confirm POPEK's opposition to the measure, which resulted in higher than 750 million euro public revenue losses for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 winter periods.

    [09] New TAIPED president and CEO

    Emmanuil Kondylis and Pashalis Bouhoris will be the country's privatization agency TAIPED new president and CEO respectively, replacing Konstantinos Maniatopoulos and Yiannis Emiris who have completed their terms in office, it was announced on Monday.

    Before their appointment, recommended by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, is finalized, the responsible parliamentary committee will have to express its opinion, according to the existing legislation.

    [10] Prosecutor suggests that former FinMin Papaconstantinou be tried by a Special Court

    Judicial Council prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas recommended that former Finance minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou and his relatives, who are co-defendants, be tried by a Special Court for their involvement in the so-called Lagarde list case concerning the handling of an electronic file with the names of Greeks with sizeable accounts at a Geneva bank, it was announced on Monday.

    Prosecutor Pliotas, who has replaced Anastassios Kanellopoulos following the latter's retirement, made the recommendation to the Council, which will convene to issue a decision.

    Papaconstantinou is facing felony charges for breach of faith and document forgery and a misdemeanor charge for violation of duty.

    Pliotas also recommended that three of the former minister's relatives should be led before the Special Court - his cousin Eleni Papaconstantinou, her husband Simeon Sikiaridis and Andreas Rossonis, husband of Papaconstantinou's cousin, Marina.

    The three are accused of moral complicity in the charges levelled at Papaconstantinou. His relatives, whose names he allegedly erased from the Lagarde list, will face charges for partaking in the crime for which Papaconstantinou is charged.

    Following his testimony last month, Papaconstantinou was released with conditions after posting a 30,000-euro bail. His relatives and co-defendants were released with no conditions.

    [11] Admin. Reform Secretary General Dimitris Stefanou, 46, dies after illness

    Administrative Reform Secretary General Dimitris Stefanou died on Tuesday after a serious illness; he was 46 years old.

    "He was an esteemed colleague who had much to offer still," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a message of condolences. "He served from many and critical posts in public administration, exhibiting a special zeal, passion and unblemished ethos."

    Stefanou was "an esteemed official at PASOK" and "served loyally" in the ministry from 2009, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in his message, adding, "I had known him since his college years... Reliable, hard-working, tireless and courageous to the last, he stood on the front line of efforts for a modern, rational, democratic country, friendly to its citizens."

    Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that "the reform in public administration bears his indelible signature... His fighting spirit and courage were for those who knew him a source of inspiration and admiration. The country lost a person who still had a lot to offer. I did not just lose my closest colleague, but a very good friend as well."

    Deputy Administrative Reform Minister Evi Christofilopoulou said "he knew how to inspire, lead and succeed."

    Stefanou was trained as a lawyer and worked as head lecturer at the University of Hagen's Institute for German and European Right of Political Parties. He worked under the administrations of premier Costas Simitis and Foreign minister George Papandreou and was active in negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue and to help in the island republic's accession talks to the EU. Among other offices he held were secretary of PASOK's Political Council and, successively, secretary general of the Foreign ministry (2009-2011), the Press Ministry (to 2012) and the Administrative Reform ministry.

    [12] Justice and Public Order ministers discuss maximum security prison and other issues

    The creation and functionality of a maximum security prison at Domokos, north of the city of Lamia, as well as the need to increase the number of police and prison guards, were the main issues discussed in a meeting on Monday between Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Charalambos Athanassiou.

    The two ministers also exchanged views on the issues of witness protection and juvenile defendants, while also focusing on the movement and protection of minors unescorted by adults - especially in cases of underage undocumented migrants - from the Centres of First Reception to other hospitality social structures.

    [13] Justice ministry to prepare comprehensive plan for the modernisation of rural prisons

    The Justice ministry will prepare a comprehensive plan to modernize the operation of rural prisons, according to a document submitted to Parliament by Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou.

    Athanassiou was responding to a question by SYRIZA deputies on the operation of Cassandra rural prisons in Northern Greece. The deputies had referred to the transfer of prison property to the country's privatization agency TAIPED, saying that it included the most productive parts of land.

    The plan should be ready by the end of October and the ministry will then proceed with its implementation, the minister said.

    Furthermore, according to the document, the Cassandra rural prison in Halkidiki has been cooperating with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki as part of energy savings efforts, while in March it was awarded the bronze prize in the European Sustainable Energy Awards for Prisons (E-SEAP).

    Athanassiou concluded that the ministry would not turn the specific rural prison into a closed detention establishment.

    [14] Court of Appeals to rule on civil servants' union federation mobilization after August 1

    The Court of Appeals will rule after August 1 on the civil servants' union federation ADEDY mobilization called in protest to the public sector employee evaluation measure, it was announced on Monday.

    The appeal filed by ADEDY against a First Instance Court ruling issued two weeks ago, that found the civil servants' union federation labour action illegal on procedural grounds, was discussed earlier today in the Court of Appeals.

    [15] Uniformed personnel protest outside Finance ministry

    Uniformed staff are currently protesting outside the Finance Ministry at Syntagma square asking for the implementation of the Council of State ruling regarding the restitution of special wage scales.

    [16] Protesters against destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the Mediterranean express content over their open-sea mission

    Protesters who participated in an open-sea mission on Saturday against the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the Mediterranean expressed their content over their attempt saying they managed to send out their message.

    Mission participants on Monday held a press conference in Chania, Crete and referred to their protest and their efforts to locate and approach the ship on board of which the hydrolysis of the chemical weapons was taking place. As they said, they decided to abort their mission due to adverse sea conditions but left two buoys afloat to signify their presence in the area.

    According to the Sfakia mayor Pavlos Pollakis, the mission was politically symbolic.

    "We managed to penetrate the wall of silence. We sent out a message of our opposition to the destruction of Syria's chemicals within Greece's exclusive economic zone and our solidarity with the people of Syria," he stressed.

    Professor Evangelos Pissias said the mission was successful adding that "the aim was to send out a message to those who destroy the ecosystem."

    Protesters said they would continue their action against the destruction of chemicals in the Mediterranean and did not rule out a new open-sea mission in the coming months.

    Financial News

    [17] Real estate ownership tax for 2014 to be processed on Friday

    Taxpayers who own real estate in Greece will be able to electronically seek in the TAXISnet state-tax system the amount of real estate ownership tax (ENFIA) they owe for 2014, starting next Friday (August 1).

    There have been no official announcements yet concerning the number of real estate tax installments to be offered to taxpayers in order to settle their tax. In all cases, the first installment - out of a possible five - is payable by the 31st of August.

    The Finance Ministry called upon taxpayers to swiftly conclude filing their E9 statements - which registers the full extent of each taxpayer's real estate properties - by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday (July 30). After this deadline, taxpayers will not be able submit their E9 statements for 2014 online and any E9 statements provisionally saved in the TAXISnet system but not finalized by the deadline, will be deleted.

    Taxpayers will be offered the opportunity to make corrections to their E9 statements, only after the completion of the processing of ENFIA.

    [18] Business climate improving among Greek SMEs, survey

    Business climate is constantly improving in Greece and there are "increased margins of accelerating the recovery in the business sector as export activity has not yet managed to operate as a dynamic recovery pylon," National Bank said in a bi-annual report on Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises.

    The report, based on a sample of 1,100 enterprises, said that Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises were expressing the need for institutional reforms so that an improved competitiveness -through a vertical cut in labor cost- to be reflected on increased export activity.

    "Demand expectations are positive for the first time during the crisis, however liquidity is restrictive. The business climate continued improving in the first quarter of 2014, returning to positive levels for the first time during the crisis. This improvement is more intense among large enterprises, as most smaller SMEs remained on a survival mode. On the other hand, the liquidity problem remains significant with the pressure intensifying mostly because of faster payment of suppliers," the survey said.

    The food and chemicals, tourism and transport sectors showed the biggest improvement, while commercial SMEs seemed financially weak while companies in the construction sector continued operating in an environment of very weak demand. SMEs located in Athens and Thessaloniki are more financially healthy, however, SMEs in regional Greece showed more strong improvement trends.

    The survey noted that despite improvement in demand and cost competitiveness, export activity of SMEs showed only a fractional improvement. "A weak export activity of SMEs shows that a significant improvement in cost competitiveness -a result of a reduction in labor cost by 50 pct in the last five years- is not enough to highlight exports as a driving force of the recovery.

    [19] Development ministry mulls setting price ceilings on drinks and snacks sold on public beaches

    The Development ministry is considering introducing price ceilings for products available at municipal and public beaches, such as water, coffee and sandwiches, Deputy Development Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos told ANT1 TV on Monday.

    Giakoumatos said high cost prevents families from visiting organized beaches adding that price ceilings should be set, a measure that the ministry can impose on public beaches.

    According to consumers' association EKPIZO, admission fees for organized beaches in Attica on weekends range between 4 and 25 euros per person, while a family with two children would have to pay 16-76 euros. Those prices do not include the cost of snacks and drinks (coffee, water, sandwiches etc).

    [20] All those who produce will be benefited from the new Common Agricultural Policy, Alternate Rural Development minister says

    All those who produce can only be benefited from the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Alternate Rural Development and Food Minister Paris Koukoulopoulos told ANA-MPA in an interview on Monday.

    He noted that the new CAP regionalizes direct subsidies in three areas - arable land, permanent crops, pastures - which form the basis for the effectiveness of structural policies.

    Asked whether certain farm subsidies would be reduced, he said it is not land possession that is funded but a land that produces.

    "There are no reduction plans for anyone," he said, adding that large amounts have been held out of the main subsidies so that structural interventions can be made in all sectors.

    The new CAP "is using the positive and negative experience of the previous periods," he said. "However, we must make a targeted intervention to production costs, from pesticides, fertilizers and seeds to VAT, taxation of farmers, the special consumption tax on oil and electricity and an organized intervention in the liquidity issue; otherwise the expectations of the CAP will be significantly lower," he added.

    The full interview is available for subscribers at the ANA-MPA website.

    [21] Greek state privatisation agency's outgoing CEO reflects on two-year tenure

    The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) completed significant privatisations during the last two years that are radically changing Greece's image and upgrading its growth prospects, outgoing CEO Yiannis Emiris said on Monday.

    "We succeeded in establishing the ground for the positive evolution of the privatisation programme in the future," Emiris said in a statement. "The country is changing for the better and I am proud I was member of a group that restored Greece on the international investment map," he added, expressing his appreciation to colleagues and to the prime minister for his collaboration, and profferring his services to the new administration of HRADF.

    Also on Monday, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis announced the government's nomination for his replacement, Paschalis Bouchoris. He and Emmanuel Kondylis, the government's nomination for president, will both have to be confirmed by Parliament.

    [22] Hellenic Exchanges reports lower H1 results

    Hellenic Exchanges on Monday said its consolidated net profits totalled 13.4 million euros in the first half of 2014, from 35.8 million in the corresponding period last year, a decline of 62 pct.

    Net earnings per share, after tax and bond valuation, totalled 0.22 euros per share in the first half, from 0.55 euros last year. The Group reported revenues worth 42.4 million euros in the first half of 2013 from corporate transactions by listed companies which could be considered as non-repeat activities (systemic banks recapitalisation, CCHBC public tender offer).

    Turnover totalled 26.5 million euros in the January-June period, from 59.5 million last year, while total consolidated revenues totalled 25.6 million euros, from 59.2 million euros last year. Turnover in the first six months was also boosted by a rise in trading activity and higher share prices. Trading, clearing and settlement of warrants also helped boost market turnover.

    The Greek market's average capitalisation rose by 72 pct in the first half compared with 2013 (73.2 billion from 42.6 million euros), while average daily turnover jumped 101 pct to 150 million euros. In the derivatives market, average volume of contracts fell by 9.0 pct to 46,500.

    Operating costs and spending totalled 7.6 million euros in the first six months of 2014, from 8.3 million euros last year. Consolidated pre-tax earnings fell to 18.2 million euros from 50.2 million euros in 2013.

    [23] KEAO seized 105 real estate properties during June, against overdue social security contributions

    The Centre for the Recovery of Social Security Contributions (KEAO) seized 105 real estate properties during June 2014 against overdue social security contributions of 669 million euros, according to official data by IKA social security fund.

    KEAO services confiscated movable property in 35 additional cases, while also seizing receivables in the hands of third parties (seized trade-transaction money originating from a payer to a payee who is an overdue debtor of social security contributions) and proposed 2,016 seizure requests.

    Against overdue IKA social security contribution debts alone, during June KEAO issued 687 property seizure warrants, having also proceeded to 40 real estate property seizures. In another 385 cases, movable property was confiscated, while there were also recorded 69 auctions and 44 bankruptcies.

    In the framework of the "New Adjustment" process offered by IKA to its overdue debtors since July 2013 - a programme allowing the settlement of overdue contributions in 48 installments - it has included only 844.33 million euros of overdue social contribution debts out of a total of 8 billion euros.

    [24] Greek authorities approve hotel investment project in Ios

    Greek authorities on Monday approved a project to build a hotel complex in the island of Ios. The hotel complex will be build in the Koumpara-Diakofto region and will have a capacity of 249 beds. It will include a five-star hotel, furnished apartments and a spa center. The project also envisages a series of supportive works such as desalination unit, harbor works, swimming pools, all infrastructure networks, parking and sport facilities.

    Greek authorities also approved another two significant investments for hotel complex projects in Milos and Kea, with a total capacity of 446 beds.

    [25] Cargo traffic in Thessaloniki port up significantly in H1

    Cargo traffic in Thessaloniki port grew significantly in the first half of 2014, with turnover rising by 10 pct compared with the corresponding period last year, leading to forecasts that 2014 will be the best performance in years for Thessaloniki Port Organization, it was announced on Monday.

    A company announcement said that cargo traffic in the container terminal of the port totaled 110,740 containers, with a volume of 161,640 TEUs, in the January-June period, up 12.97 pct and 12.63 pct compared with the same period last year. Cargo traffic in the port totaled 2,209,587 tons, up 2.24 pct from the first half of 2013.

    Stelios Aggeloudis, chairman and chief executive of the Organization, commenting on the results said that the port's performance was steadily encouraging and noted that the next step should be an investment injection to improve infrastructure to help the port evolve into a destination port.

    [26] Piraeus Port Authority president Anomeritis meets with visiting Korean MPs

    Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (OLP) chairman & CEO Giorgos Anomeritis and other officials on Monday met with a large delegation of visiting Republic of Korea MPs.

    The visitors' focus lay in the ongoing upgrading of the Port of Piraeus, as well as on the exchange of know-how and expertise on port policy issues between the major ports of the two countries.

    Special interest was expressed in the activation of the car terminal and the combination of train transport of vehicles and machinery to the countries of Eastern and Central Europe via Piraeus. Specific negotiations on the issue and exchange of visits will take place before this fall with the mediation of the Korean Republic embassy in Athens.

    OLP's car terminal, the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean following recent extension of its facilities, the restructuring of its operations and its linking to the Hellenic Railways system, will boost the port's services.

    [27] Trainee lawyers now taxed as employees, not freelancers

    According to an Athens Bar Association (DSA) announcement on Monday, trainee lawyers will henceforth be taxed as employees, not freelancers.

    DSA emphasized that following recurring representations to the Finance ministry and the General Secretariat of Public Revenue, its request for the new method of taxing trainee lawyers was finally accepted by the authorities.

    According to a circular already issued by the Secretariat, trainee lawyers will hereafter be taxed according to the tax rates applicable for employees and pensioners.

    DSA said that trainee lawyers - as well as law students who work as trainee lawyers - who have already filed their tax statements during 2014 for incomes earned in 2013, can now file an amending tax statement, requesting that their incomes be re-processed in light of their new tax treatment.

    [28] Algae Farms suspends public offer procedure

    Algae Farms on Monday announced it was suspending its public offer and listing of its shares in Alternative Market (EN.A.) of the Athens Stock Exchange. The company said it will inform investors over the setting of a new public offer period in September.

    In its announcement, Algae Farms also said the decision to suspend the listing and an electronic book-building process was taken because of the need to offer more detailed information to a larger number of investors. The company said it will release and return immediately to investors all money put so far in a public offer procedure.

    [29] Greek stocks end slightly lower

    Greek stocks ended slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as investors took profits after a four-day rally which pushed the composite index of the market 5.71 pct higher last week. The index eased 0.11 pct to end at 1,213.31 points, off the day's lows of 1,209.68 points. Turnover shrank to 71.41 million euros. The Large Cap index fell 0.13 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.37 pct lower.

    Intralot (2.67 pct), Titan (2.21 pct), Athens Water (2.17 pct) and PPC (1.89 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Ellaktor (2.02 pct), Mytilineos (1.95 pct), Alpha Bank (1.73 pct) and MIG (1.70 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The Utilities (1.81 pct), Travel (1.65 pct) and Construction (0.82 pct) sectors scored gains, while the Media (4.83 pct), Raw Materials (2.04 pct) and Health (1.45 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, decliners slightly outnumbered advancers by 59 to 57, with another 17 issues unchanged. Naftemporiki (30 pct), Kekrops (13.29 pct) and Creton Artos (9.90 pct) were top gainers, while Geniki Bank (20 pct), Compucon (19 pct) and Altec (18.18 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: -0.52%

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Financial Services: -1.23%

    Industrial Products: +0.59%

    Commercial: -0.17%

    Real Estate: +0.37%

    Personal & Household: -0.99%

    Food & Beverages: -0.40%

    Raw Materials: -2.04%

    Construction: +0.82%

    Oil: -1.03%

    Chemicals: +0.42%

    Media: -4.83%

    Travel & Leisure: +1.65%

    Technology: -0.79%

    Telecoms: -0.74%

    Utilities: +1.81%

    Health: -1.45%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, National Bank, OTE, and OPAP.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 0.625

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.35

    Coca Cola HBC: 17.55

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.02

    National Bank of Greece: 2.57

    Eurobank Properties : 9.69

    OPAP: 12.75

    OTE: 10.77

    Piraeus Bank: 1.66

    Titan: 24.03

    [30] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 4.68 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 4.78 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 5.81 pct and the German Bund yielding 1.13 pct. Turnover was a strong 87 million euros, of which 50 million were buy orders and the remaining 37 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed to lower. The 12-month rate eased to 0.489 pct from 0.490 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.398 pct from 0.399 pct, the six-month rate fell to 0.306 pct from 0.307 pct, the three-month rate was unchanged at 0.209 pct and the one-month rate fell to 0.099 pct from 0.10 pct.

    [31] ADEX closing report

    The August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.40 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday. Volume on the Big Cap index totalled 2,197 contracts with 55,145 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totalled 8,253 contracts with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (2,083), followed by National Bank (1,000), Piraeus Bank (1,440), OTE (917), PPC (523), OPAP (283), Hellenic Exchanges (192), Mytilineos (190), Hellenic Petroleum (506), GEK (417), Intralot (72) and Ellaktor (76).

    [32] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

    Reference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.343

    Pound sterling 0.790

    Danish kroner 7.456

    Swedish kroner 9.152

    Japanese yen 136.74

    Swiss franc 1.215

    Norwegian kroner 8.336

    Canadian dollar 1.452

    Australian dollar 1.427

    General News

    [33] Plane tree collapse kills 9-year-old in Lamia

    A nine-year-old boy died and his 4-year-old sibling was injured on Sunday evening at Kombotades village near the central Greek city of Lamia when a large piece of plane tree trunk collapsed on top of them.

    The accident happened at the central square of the village where children were playing.

    Police by order of Lamia's Misdemeanor Prosecutor arrested the city official responsible for Greenery on manslaughter charges as his department tasked with maintaining the trees failed to predict the potential hazard.

    Lamia municipality said that there are thousands of plane trees in residential areas and that its departments intervene whenever a tree poses danger to the public. On the Kombotades accident, the municipality claimed they had no indication or information that the tree was rotten or hazardous.

    [34] Damaged vessel with 60 passengers spotted at the Ionian Sea

    The Coast Guard authorities at the Ionian Sea islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia were on high alert on Monday, after being informed by the Shipping and Aegean Ministry operations centre that an unidentified boat in the area with 60 passengers on board - possibly undocumented migrants - was facing a mechanical failure, unable to perfom navigation maneuvers.

    It appears that the boat embarked on a journey to Italy from Istanbul. The boat was originally spotted in international waters, 16 n.m. away from the Argostoli port, Kefalonia and 40 n.m. from the Zakynthos port.

    Two Coast Guard boats from the port authorities of Zakynthos and Kefalonia rushed to the area, as well as a passing Turkish cargo ship, which was called to tow the vessel.

    According to the Zakynthos port authority, the passengers asserted there was no captain on board and refused to be towed to the port of Kefalonia.

    [35] Prespa Lakes tours by solar-powered boats

    Two solar-powered boats will be used for short excursions to the protected regions of the Small and Great Prespa Lakes in northwest Greece, it was announced on Monday.

    The two boats are the first of their type to be acquired by Greece through the "Green Boat" project in the context of the Greece-Albania 2007-2013 programme.

    The solar-powered boat excursions are expected to boost the local tourism product by promoting the region as an alternative tourism destination.

    [36] Wildfire breaks out between the villages of Profitis Ilias and Partheni on Crete

    A wildfire broke out shortly after noon on Monday in a region between the villages of Profitis Ilias and Partheni near Iraklion, on the southern Aegean island of Crete.

    Sixteen firemen operating 6 fire engines and a firefighting helicopter are battling the blaze. Their efforts to contain the fire are being hampered by the strong winds blowing in the region.

    The causes of the fire are unknown.

    [37] Foreign national apprehended on international arrest warrant

    A 47-year-old Bulgarian national was apprehended in Akrata, Achaia, in southern Greece on a European arrest warrant issued for him by the Bulgarian authorities on rape charges, it was announced on Monday.

    The suspect is accused of raping an underage girl in Bulgaria in January 2014.

    Weather forecast

    [38] Mostly fair on Tuesday

    Mostly fair weather and variable winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair weather with scattered clouds and possibly local showers in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging between 16C-34C. Same weather in the central and the southern parts with temperatures between 19C-35C. Fair weather over the islands, 22C-35C. Mostly fair with scattered clouds in Athens, 22C-32C; same weather with a possibility for local showers in Thessaloniki, 21C-34C.

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

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Special favours or work abroad

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Property foreclosures instead of protection

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Retirement on fictitious contribution years

    ESTIA: Tourism is taking off

    ETHNOS: Changes in teachers' hiring

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Heavy losses for the production base of society

    TA NEA: Small and medium sized entrepreneurs' social security fund wasted

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