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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-10-30

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

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

Thursday, 30 October 2014 Issue No: 4798

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek FinMin, German counterpart discuss Greece's post-memorandum era and reforms
  • [02] PM to meet with Gov't Vice-President on Thursday
  • [03] Greece, Cyprus and Egypt urge Turkey to respect Cyprus' sovereign rights
  • [04] FM Venizelos meets Cyprus President, notes Greece's 'naval presence' in eastern Mediterranean
  • [05] Prime Minister Samaras meets with former prime minister Karamanlis
  • [06] FM Venizelos to meet with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg on Thursday
  • [07] KKE: Sending naval forces to eastern Mediterranean does not serve the people's interests
  • [08] Europe showed solidarity and Greece showed responsibility, Barroso says
  • [09] Defence Minister Avramopoulos joins sea trial of the submarine 'Pipinos'
  • [10] Alt. Defence Minister Gennimata represented Greece in 100-anniversary events from the start of WWI
  • [11] Health Minister Voridis says irregular migrants in Greece a strain for country's health system
  • [12] The US recognise Greece's important role in the wider area, Public Order Min Kikilias says
  • [13] Ministries' new organisation charts into effect as of Wednesday
  • [14] Draft bill on 'bad loans' has no specific timetable, Development Minister Dendias says
  • [15] Bank of Greece governor to meet opposition party leaders
  • [16] No relief for masses in 'post-memorandum' era, KKE says
  • [17] SYRIZA spokesman terms criticism against Attica governor Dourou 'hypocrisy'
  • [18] Potami leader Theodorakis meets with Cyprus' AKEL party general secretary Andros Kyprianou
  • [19] Gov't spokeswoman testifies in MPs' bribery allegations case
  • [20] Ship owner Martinos testifies in MPs' bribery allegations case
  • [21] Greece improves ranking in Doing Business 2015 report
  • [22] Greece needs new growth programme, Parliament report says
  • [23] ANEL leader Kammenos calls on government to resign in response to Parliamentary Budget Office report
  • [24] National Bank moving forward with restructuring plan, no addtional capital needed, CEO says
  • [25] Shipping Minister Varvitsiotis inaugurates marine environment exhibition
  • [26] Energy Minister Maniatis to visit the US to attract investors
  • [27] Draft bill on business chambers, commercial registry to be tabled next week, Dendias announces
  • [28] Strategic cooperation to promote exports signed between the foreign ministry and SEV
  • [29] SETE chief asks for tourism businesses' financing at reasonable cost
  • [30] Aegean Airlines to invest 300 mln euros on new Airbus aircraft in 2015-2016
  • [31] New winter timetable for off-peak PPC tariff to begin Saturday
  • [32] Retailers to hold mid-season sales on Nov 1-10, shops open on Sunday, Nov 2
  • [33] Timetable for transition to terrestrial digital TV
  • [34] Athens metro, electric train and tram employees to hold three-hour work stoppage on Thursday
  • [35] Greek stocks remain under pressure
  • [36] Greek bond market closing report
  • [37] ADEX closing report
  • [38] Foreign exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [39] Head of Amphipolis excavations: There is no fourth chamber
  • [40] Hellenic Air Force to celebrate Patron Saint from Nov. 6-9
  • [41] Acropolis Museum to host specialised guided tours every Saturday
  • [42] Supreme Court deputy prosecutor finds no grounds to reverse acquittals in Nea Manolada shootings case
  • [43] Piraeus prosecutor orders investigation into the causes of the devastating floods
  • [44] London court to consider extradition of former justice Antonia Ilia to Greece on Nov. 21
  • [45] European Rhetoric Tournament in Thessaloniki
  • [46] Two women mildly injured after bus collides with trolley in central Athens
  • [47] Police in Larisa arrest a man for possession of ancient coins
  • [48] Rainy weather on Thursday
  • [49] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Greek FinMin, German counterpart discuss Greece's post-memorandum era and reforms

    The era after the bailout agreement and the search for a mutually accepted solution for the "next day" in Greece was discussed in a meeting between Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, on the sidelines of the OECD World Forum in Berlin.

    "The progress in reforms in Greece, how we're moving forward, how the Greek economy is doing and also the fact that at the end of the year the programme is ending and we have to form a new relationship from January 1. The German side understands that we have to find a solution soon, to delineate this relationship," Hardouvelis told public TV channel NERIT.

    The finance minister said he's optimistic Germany will help during the transition to the post-bailout era because "Germany - and especially Schaeuble - is pro-European. It wants a strong euro, a strong Eurozone. And to have a strong Eurozone we need to have a strong Greece," he added.

    Hardouvelis also said the upcoming troika review wasn't discussed saying "it was a discussion among two states. Germany has an opinion, it has helped Greece repeatedly. Now we're trying to find a commonly accepted solution for the next day."

    A finance minister official told journalists Greece's health insurance system is viable and the troika has not requested new cuts in pensions.

    According to the same official, the finance ministers didn't discuss the possibility of a third bailout package for Greece, but talked about a "new relationship" that will be formed in the post-memorandum era.

    The final form of that relationship has not yet been specified, the official said, but "if markets see there's a safety net, then the image of the country will improve and spreads and interest rates will ease."

    [02] PM to meet with Gov't Vice-President on Thursday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday at 14.30 will meet with Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos to discuss current developments.

    [03] Greece, Cyprus and Egypt urge Turkey to respect Cyprus' sovereign rights

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA / A. Viketos)

    The foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt urged Turkey to "respect the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Cyprus Republic over its EEZ," in a message after a trilateral meeting held here on Wednesday.

    GreeÎș government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry issued a joint communique in which they "deplored the recent illegal actions perpetrated within Cyprus's EEZ," including unauthorised surveys for hydrocarbons by a Turkish vessel, and called on Turkey to "cease all seismic survey operations underway within the maritime zones of Cyprus and refrain from similar activity in the future."

    They stressed that "any unilateral actions further undermine the stability and security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East area."

    Noting that this was their third trilateral meeting, the ministers said it paved the way for a trilateral summit in Cairo on November 8. They also stressed that their cooperation was not directed against any other country but could serve as a "model for regional dialogue and cooperation, contributing to the consolidation of peace, stability and prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean," and that it was based on respect for international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    They further agreed to expand dialogue on other levels, including through close coordination and cooperation in the framework of multilateral fora, and signed an agreement on tourism.

    Issues discussed at the meeting included "recent developments on the Cyprus issue, the political transition in Egypt, and the regional impact of the developments in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, ISIL/extremism threat, Libya, Gaza, MEPP)."

    The three sides expressed deep concern at the proliferation of terrorism across the region, reiterating their "commitment to cooperate on efforts by the international community to impede the flow of foreign fighters, control ISIL financing and expose ISIL's true ideology," as well as reiterating their support for the Egyptian people's quest for democracy and the important of fighting terrorism in Egypt in this context.

    [04] FM Venizelos meets Cyprus President, notes Greece's 'naval presence' in eastern Mediterranean

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    Turkey's provocations and its blatant violation of international law within Cyprus' EEZ dominated a meeting between Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday.

    Venizelos said the discussion was very interesting and substantial and noted: "There is full coordination and in-depth analysis and planning, with complete composure, based on reference to international law and in particular the International Law of the Sea."

    He added that the existence, the international legal identity, the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus form the basis for a sustainable and fair solution to the Cyprus issue for the benefit of both communities, not only of the Greek Cypriots but also of the Turkish Cypriot community, and this should be fully understood by the Turkish side.

    Asked whether Greece was sending war ships to the area, Venizelos said: "Greece is a member state of the UN, of the European Union, and, since the early 1950s, of NATO. We have been a NATO member for over 62 years. Greece is a country that respects its international obligations and participates in international missions. There are international missions of the UN and NATO in the wider Mediterranean region that Greece is participating in, as is the case, for example, with the UN mission in Lebanon, or the Active Endeavor operation in the Mediterranean, within the framework of NATO. So Greece has a steady naval presence in the wider region. This is for the reasons I stated, and it is a reality that we must all bear in mind."

    He added that "There is very significant Greek participation in the UN mission in Lebanon, and the UN has asked us, due to the crisis in the region, to have an upgraded presence on the level, potentially, of a frigate, and of course we are participating in Active Endeavor with a submarine, as I have seen reported by some media outlets. This is a naval presence in the Mediterranean for the reasons I have already mentioned to you."

    He pointed out that "Our collaborations and all of our initiatives are politico-diplomatic initiatives aimed at maintaining stability and peace in the region. Everyone should be aware of this. All countries should have as their sole goal the maintenance of stability and peace. And this is also my message to the Turkish side."

    Responding to an ANA-MPA question concerning UN references concerning the issue, Venizelos stressed that "there is no maritime dispute".

    Asked to comment on the statements that the Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide made on Tuesday in Ankara concerning hydrocarbons, he said: "Mr. Eide is a very serious politician and a representative of the Secretary General who can play a very positive role in the Cyprus issue. You will allow me to hear his views from him directly, during his visit to Athens on November 5."

    He added that "What is important is that we stress that there is no dispute between Cyprus and Turkey over the delimitation of the EEZ and the continental shelf in the critical area. Turkey is not claiming its EEZ there. There is no question that this is the EEZ and the continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover, Turkey is invoking its contract with the pseudo-state. It isn't invoking its own national sovereign rights. The hydrocarbons are, in my opinion, an additional incentive and means for a solution that is beneficial to all Cypriots and to both communities."

    Asked how Greece can contribute to the sense of security of the Cypriots, Venizelos referred to the recent, very important agreement for Search and Rescue that unites the Nicosia FIR with the Athens FIR, it unites sea areas that correspond to these two FIRs. "This is a very significant move. Moreover, you are well aware of the fact that Greece and Cyprus, within the framework of the EU but mostly of the common national policy, are doing everything they must in order for there not to be any sense of uncertainty or insecurity, "he said.

    Venizelos also said that he and President Anastasiades discussed the organisation of a visit by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' next week and the meeting of the leaders of the Cypriot parties with the participation of Samaras and himself.

    The meeting between Venizelos and Anastasiades also focused on the planning of the tripartite summit in Cairo on November 8, which is the first meeting at such a level. "We see the importance of this move for the region, for regional stability in the midst of crises," he said.

    [05] Prime Minister Samaras meets with former prime minister Karamanlis

    Prime Minister Antonis C. Samaras and former prime minister Costas Karamanlis had lunch in a downtown hotel in Athens on Wednesday, during which they discussed the latest political developments and the day after for the Greek economy.

    The meeting took place at the initiative of the prime minister following a telephone call between the two men, sources said.

    [06] FM Venizelos to meet with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg on Thursday

    Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will meet with the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, on Thursday, October 30 at 11:30, at the Foreign Ministry.

    Following the meeting, at about 12:30, they will make statements to the press, according to a ministry announcement.

    [07] KKE: Sending naval forces to eastern Mediterranean does not serve the people's interests

    Sending a naval force to the eastern Mediterranean does not serve the interests of the Greek people, said Greece's Communist Party (KKE) on Wednesday, adding it will exacerbate the political situation in the area. Earlier on Wednesday, Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos referred to Greece's naval presence in the region, via a submarine is taking part in NATO operations and the country's participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), both in the eastern Mediterranean.

    "The decision of the Greek government to send a frigate and a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean, in the context of UNIFIL and NATO shows the situation in the area has been dangerously exacerbated," KKE said in a statement, adding that this is a development the party had warned about long ago.

    "Sending a Greek naval force to the eastern Mediterranean does not serve the interests of the Greek people and reveals both the risks of engagement in a possible war, far and beyond the interests of the workers, as well as the risk of an open military intervention of powerful imperialist countries, mostly of the US, by promoting dangerous plans, like the trisection of the Aegean," it added.

    The party also said Cyprus and Greece's energy resources, as well as those of the eastern Mediterranean are in the centre of this development, which competing energy monopolies hope to grab.

    [08] Europe showed solidarity and Greece showed responsibility, Barroso says

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis)

    Europe demonstrated its solidarity and Greece demonstrated its responsibility, the outgoing president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday, during the regular weekly meeting of the Commission, referring to the outcome of the economic crisis of the last years.

    This was the last meeting of the Commission under the presidency of Barroso, who will be succeeded by Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1.

    Referring to Greece, Barroso did not make any predictions about whether and how it would exit the memorandum, saying that discussions are underway and any decisions will be adopted by the European Commission under the presidency of Juncker. He noted, however, that as long as Greece meets its commitments, the eurozone member states must show solidarity and defend the integrity of the eurozone.

    Referring to the past, he emphasized that many officials had had ambiguous positions, while some of them had betted on a so-called GREXIT.

    Barroso said that he felt proud of his insistence that Greece must remain in the eurozone, saying he was convinced that Greece's exit from the eurozone would have triggered a "domino" effect, with other countries following Greece's example.

    "Many people asked the Commission whether it would be better if Greece exited the eurozone and the answer was always no," Barroso said, stressing that the majority of the Greek people, despite the great sacrifices they had made, were still in favour of remaining in the eurozone.

    This, among others, demonstrates the credibility of the eurozone, he added.

    [09] Defence Minister Avramopoulos joins sea trial of the submarine 'Pipinos'

    Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Wednesday visited the Hellenic Shipyards at Skaramangas and joined a brief sea trial of the submarine "Pipinos" accompanied by the Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff (HNGS) Vice Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis.

    After the sea trial, Avramopoulos underlined the Navy's major role "in national security and the missions it will be assigned in the name of international legal order".

    Avramopoulos thanked the HNGS chief, as well as the captain and the crew of the submarine, noting that "with their competence, training and proficiency, they guarantee the effectiveness of this weapon in the hands of our capable men, and of the Hellenic Navy".

    Referring to the shipyard employees, he said that "the enormous potential of our shipbuilding and ship repair industry principally relates to our highly specialised personnel," adding "we should stand by their side and gradually resolve the remaining problems, so that this infrastructure could play a leading role in Greece's growth and progress".

    [10] Alt. Defence Minister Gennimata represented Greece in 100-anniversary events from the start of WWI

    Alternate Defence Minister Fofi Gennimata represented Greece in the events for the 100-year anniversary from the start of WWI that were held in Nieuwpoort and Ypres, Belgium.

    In the commemoration events of Germany's invasion to Belgium were invited country leaders and delegations from all the countries that took part in WWI including Greece.

    [11] Health Minister Voridis says irregular migrants in Greece a strain for country's health system

    The large number of irregular migrants received by Greece and the subsequently huge burden laid on the country's national health system was underlined by Health Minister Makis Voridis, who addressed a ministerial conference on "Health in the Mediterranean" hosted in Rome.

    Voridis noted the need for further cooperation and more solidarity among the EU member states. He also referred to the promotion of cooperation with Mediterranean states that are not EU members, focusing on capacity building in the migrants' countries of origin or in the countries the migrants pass through, to prevent and control threats from infectious diseases and also, to reinforce public health infrastructures.

    He highlighted that irregular migration flows were increasing and underlined the issue of their healthcare, as well as the burden laid on the national health system in terms of infrastructure and resources, especially in a period of crisis and economic restrictions.

    In the discussion on the International Health Regulation, the participating ministers referred to the importance of its implementation, highlighting the readiness predictions in case of epidemics that bear a special importance in relation with the response to the Ebola outbreak.

    They also referred to the rational use of antibiotics to prevent the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria and underlined the need for guidelines designed for health professionals, while raising public awareness.

    Another topic in the conference was chronic illnesses, with the ministers focusing on the importance of changing unhealthy behaviors like smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise to combat the "epidemic" of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

    Health Minister Voridis called on his colleagues to join forces to highlight the nutritional value of the Mediterranean diet for improved health and longevity.

    The conference was attended by European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg, EU health ministers, as well as those of North African, Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean countries, among them, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

    [12] The US recognise Greece's important role in the wider area, Public Order Min Kikilias says

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA - P. Panagiotou)

    The US government is satisfied with the way domestic terrorism has been dealt with in Greece while recognizing the "optimal level" of cooperation between the two countries in combating organized crime, Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said after completing his two-day contacts in Washington.

    Kikilias on Tuesday, the second day of his visit to the US capital, met with the US Justice Minister (Attorney General), Eric Holder, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan, the director of the FBI James Comey, and officials of the White House and the State Department.

    Security and terrorism issues dominated the meeting, according to a senior diplomatic source. US officials emphasized on the issue of information exchange and strengthening of operations for the monitoring and detection of foreign fighters, an issue of particular interest to the US, which is also discussed in meetings with government representatives and security services of allied countries.

    Kikilias presented the Greek positions on a wide range of issues, such as international and domestic terrorism, international and cyber crime and discussed with them ways to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.

    "I had the opportunity, in this very important trip organized by the Attorney General Eric Holder, to meet with senior intelligence and US Government officials and the Attorney General himself, with whom we discussed issues which have to do with common interests and common aspirations of the two countries in terms of security in the broader region of the Balkans and the Mediterranean," Kikilias noted.

    Kikilias also stressed that "Mr Holder expressed content on behalf of the US Government for the achievements of the Greek government lately on the issue of domestic terrorism," adding that "he reaffirmed his own and his government's to cooperate in new challenges, such as cyber crime and the issue of jihadists."

    The Greek minister added that "the Greek government remains firm in its position on security in the region. Security is equivalent to the political and economic stability and constitutes the only way for investments and hence growth."

    Earlier on Tuesday, Kikilias had visited the CIA headquarters, where director John Brennan acknowledged the important role of Greece as a factor of stability in Southeastern Mediterranean and expressed his own and the US side's readiness to provide "all possible assistance" to the Greek efforts in security issues.

    Then, he visited the FBI and met with its director James Comey. The two officials reaffirmed the "optimal level" of cooperation in the fight against organized crime.

    Finally, the two sides reaffirmed the relationship of "mutual trust" and agreed to continue and "further strengthen" their cooperation in dealing with terrorism and modern security threats.

    After a two-day visit to Washington, Kikilias will hold a series of meetings with US federal, state and local officials in Chicago, Boston and New York and will have meetings with members of the Greek American community. He will also attend and speak at an event co-hosted by the American Jewish Committee of Chicago and the Hellenic American Leadership Council on the October 28 'Ohi Day' national holiday.

    On Thursday, he will be the keynote speaker at an event organized by the Fletcher School / Tufts University, in collaboration with the Konstantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation, in Boston.

    His visit to the US will be completed on Friday with contacts in New York, where, among others, he is expected to meet with Archbishop Demetrios of America and chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate Robert Menendez.

    [13] Ministries' new organisation charts into effect as of Wednesday

    Greek ministries as of Wednesday have new, simplified organisation charts, with 40 percent reduced structures, Administrative Reform Ministry said.

    All presidential decrees related to the new law regarding the selection of managers in the public sector, were published from August 28 to September 3 and will come gradually into effect between October 29 and November 3. The new organisation of the Administrative Reform and e-Governance Ministry has been in force since September 29.

    According to the Administrative Reform Ministry, a constant demand for the rationalisation of the public sector has been met, with structures having been reduced by 40 percent and savings amounting to 10,800,000 euros.

    "The new charts of all ministries come into effect as of today, and this is the result of a systematic evaluation of all structures that has lasted over two years. The new charts are leaner, with more coherent structures and better defined roles, while they contribute to the creation a less bureaucratic state at the service of the citizens. Through this process, 11 million euros have been saved and the foundations have been set to enable the Public Administration get adapted to the needs of the 21st century," Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted.

    [14] Draft bill on 'bad loans' has no specific timetable, Development Minister Dendias says

    There is no specific timetable based on which the draft bill for the settlement of non-performing business loans should be tabled in Parliament, Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias said on Wednesday. However, the government-sponsored draft bill is ready and what is left is the completion of the negotiations with the troika representing the country's international creditors, he added.

    The crucial decision will be made by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who has a rough draft with the relevant regulations in his hands and, if nothing changes after the communication with the troika, this will be tabled in parliament for approval, sources said.

    According to the rough draft drawn up by the government, "small enterprises" are those who declared a turnover of less than 2.5 million euros in the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2013.

    Based on the rough draft, "freelance professionals" are defined as either private individuals or legal entities who have to sign up with a special registry in order to exercise their professional activity. Their turnover in the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2013 should be under 2.5 million euros as well.

    The debtors qualifying for debt settlements are small enterprises and professionals who meet certain conditions, namely, that they did not apply to be included in previous debt settlements, they are still active, they did not file for bankruptcy and do not have a final conviction for tax evasion or fraud against the state, among others.

    [15] Bank of Greece governor to meet opposition party leaders

    Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras will meet main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras at 13:30 on Thursday instead of Friday, at Tsipras' office in Parliament.

    Stournaras will also meet with Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis on Friday, before a trip abroad. After his return, he has arranged a meeting with a delegation from the Democratic Left party on November 13.

    [16] No relief for masses in 'post-memorandum' era, KKE says

    "The new attack on social insurance, labour and trade union rights, which are on the agenda of the talks between the government and the troika, proves that the so-called 'post-memorandum' era will not bring about an abolition of anti-popular enabling laws and real relief for the people, but lead to a continuation of anti-popular policies based on EU supervision memorandums," a Communist Party of Greece (KKE) announcement said on Wednesday.

    "The people will be called on to once again sacrifice their rights in order to achieve the goals of a recovery for capital and to pay off the onerous debt that they did not themselves create and should therefore not recognise," KKE said, regarding the new round of talks between the government and the troika representing Greece's creditors.

    [17] SYRIZA spokesman terms criticism against Attica governor Dourou 'hypocrisy'

    SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis, in statements to Skai TV on Wednesday, dismissed as 'hypocrisy' the criticism directed at Attica region governor Rena Dourou for signing off on her predecessor's decision to assign the cleaning contract for the regional authority headquarters to a private company, rather than hiring the former cleaners laid off by the finance ministry.

    "There is a law that forbids hiring," Skourletis pointed out, adding that this was "major hypocrisy" on the part of those "squawking in the government, given that they had voted in favour of laws that forbid the hiring of cleaners."

    He added that "a process launched by (former Attica region governor Yiannis) Sgouros was underway, which has yet to be concluded. But it is a real provocation when those responsible for implementing the policies that led to the cleaners being laid-off to now come out and make a fuss," he said.

    Regarding the 11.4 billion euro remaining in the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) and the scenarios regarding their use as the European precautionary credit line that the government has been pursuing, Skourletis said: "It is a plan that ushers us into a new memorandum era and does not take us away from the memorandum rationale and policy. I think that the use of these remaining funds from the banks' recapitalisation in order to form the backbone of this credit line, of this precautionary financing, especially since they are accompanied by new measures, is something that is in completely the wrong direction. We have received this money based on terms and conditions and are now called to put up with new prior actions for the same money...so that the country's memorandum supervision can continue."

    [18] Potami leader Theodorakis meets with Cyprus' AKEL party general secretary Andros Kyprianou

    Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis on Wednesday expressed support for the continuation of talks for a solution of the Cyprus issue after meeting with visiting Cypriot politician Andros Kyprianou, the AKEL party's general secretary.

    The talks should resume and lead to solutions, no matter how distant this likelihood seems to be, Theodorakis said, adding that "some day we will have a solution for Cyprus."

    On his part, Kyprianou said the discussion on the Cyprus issue was "very productive", noting that "a proper solution of the Cyprus issue is the only way to give prospect and hope to Cyprus and the Cypriot people."

    He underlined that "Turkey should make the moves that will allow [Cyprus President Nicos] Anastasiades return to the negotiating table because the Cyprus issue can be solved only through negotiations."

    [19] Gov't spokeswoman testifies in MPs' bribery allegations case

    Government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi on Wednesday testified to prosecutor Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos handling the investigation of allegations that Greek MPs had been bribed to sway their vote in the upcoming presidential election.

    According to sources, Voultepsi was summoned in relation to the prime minister's alleged statement - who reportedly said that the 180 deputies required for the election of the Greek President are given or will be found one way or another. This statement, according to sources, was cited by some witnesses in their depositions. Voultepsi reportedly said that there was no official statement of this kind.

    "Those who poison the country's political life with unfounded allegations and no evidence offer moral legitimacy to those who fight against democracy and parliamentarianism," Voultepsi said after the conclusion of her testimony.

    Asked why those allegations were made, she said: "This whole thing is purely for petty-political reasons."

    [20] Ship owner Martinos testifies in MPs' bribery allegations case

    Ship owner Andreas Martinos on Wednesday testified to prosecutor Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos handling the investigation of allegations that Greek MPs had been bribed to sway their vote in the upcoming presidential election.

    Martinos was summoned to testify as the allegations on MPs' bribery were reportedly made during the reception after his daughter's wedding with the son of businessman Socratis Kokkalis in September.

    According to sources, the ship owner told the prosecutor that he had not been aware of such discussions and he reportedly called everything published on this issue "myths".

    Kokkalis has been summoned to testify on the case in the coming days.

    Financial News

    [21] Greece improves ranking in Doing Business 2015 report

    Greece improved its ranking in the World Bank's report "Doing Business 2015, Going Beyond Efficiency", which was released on Wednesday. The report said that Greece ranked 61st for the ease of engaging in business activity, from 65th in the 2014 report, among 189 countries in total. It remained just one position from the bottom in the rankings of Eurozone states, however, surpassing only Cyprus.

    The report noted that a total of 21 reforms were implemented, facilitating business activity in the period 2013-2014. "Greece recorded the biggest progress in facilitating procedures to register property. In December 2013 it introduced a new property transfer tax of 3.0 pct, significantly lower from a previous tax of 10 pct, while it simplified post-registration procedures (tax registration, social security registration, licensing). The country also introduced an electronic filing system for commercial cases, allowing attorneys to submit the initial summons online," the World Bank said in its report on Greece.

    [22] Greece needs new growth programme, Parliament report says

    "Fiscal adjustment and reforms are implemented in a constantly changing international and European environment, like a quicksand," the Greek Parliament's State Budget Office said in a report. The quarterly report, covering the July-September period, released on Wednesday, noted that evidence of an unstable condition was the fact that a national programme for the era after the memorandum (ending in 2014) has not yet been drafted. The report noted that the most urgent issue was growth focusing on innovation and productivity and restructuring production. "Each growth plan needs a clear distribution plan and all redistribution measures should serve this purpose. Redistribution for growth needed a deep tax reform and a social policy on solid foundations," the Parliament's report said, adding that any government should seek the right balance between the operations of the state and the market taking in mind international and European experience, an evolving core of consensus in Europe and the particularities of the Greek economy which is trapped in vicious cycles. The report underlined that the end of the memorandum and the country's exit to capital markets for borrowing did not mean that the Greek economy was not burdened by serious structural problems nor that there was no big social problem in the country. "All these must be resolved with the implementation of a convincing growth program, which has yet to be announced," it said.

    [23] ANEL leader Kammenos calls on government to resign in response to Parliamentary Budget Office report

    Opposition Independent Greeks (ANEL) president Panos Kammenos on Wednesday called on the government to resign, characterising the Parliamentary Budget Office report released earlier in the day as "a slap in the face for the Samaras government".

    "What's left to be done is the immediate resignation of the prime minister and the New Democracy-PASOK coalition government," Kammenos said.

    On Thursday morning, the ANEL leader is scheduled to address a conference hosted by the "National Regeneration" Institute of Geopolitical Studies on "The Security of Europe: A New Geopolitical Dimension".

    [24] National Bank moving forward with restructuring plan, no addtional capital needed, CEO says

    National Bank's programme to inject liquidity worth 3.0 billion euros to the market was progressing satisfactorily and "we are glad to see that innovative export-oriented enterprises are based on our support as well, creating new job positions," Alexandros Tourkolias, National Bank's chief executive said on Wednesday.

    In a message to the Group's workers, on the occasion of completing a stress test procedure, Tourkolias stressed that "a new period, with prospect and timeless dynamism, begins for National Bank with the seal of European Central Bank which assessed the position and outlook of 129 European banks".

    "By adopting very strict scenarios for Greece, the ECB, which takes over the supervision of banks on a pan-European level, reached the conclusion that National Bank does not have absolutely any need of additional capital, after having an equity capital surplus of 2.0 billion euros. National Bank easily passed the European stress tests procedure. We continue implementing a restructuring plan for the period 2014-2018, approved by the European Commission and which is consistently implemented," the bank's chief executive said in his message.

    "Our National Bank covered the weakness and problems and has turned from a negative net position, with a good ranking, among robust European banks. No further capital action is necessary. What we have to do and what we will do is to implement our restructuring plan and to focus on our primary role of funding the Greek economy and supporting our customers. With a customer base of more than 6.0 million, the biggest by far, we have an extra obligation to reaffirm our role as the main supporter of the Greek economy and Greek households," Tourkolias said.

    [25] Shipping Minister Varvitsiotis inaugurates marine environment exhibition

    Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis expressed on Wednesday his disappointment about the garbage piling up on Greek beaches, saying people must do more to protect them.

    "We're not at all happy with the existing situation on what concerns the protection of our beaches," Varvitsiotis said in a speech during the inauguration of a new HELMEPA exhibition called "Marine environment, Shipping and Sciences".

    "The abandonment we see many times by local societies and the need to go only in May or October with volunteering groups to clean up the garbage left by visitors does not honour us. We have to protect the beaches ourselves and most importantly the younger generation which is more environmentally aware" he added.

    The exhibition opened its doors for primary schools and high schools of Piraeus at the premises of Piraeus' Port Authority (OLP) on October 29, as part of a campaign by HELMEPA to inform the educational community and the wider audience about the aforementioned topics.

    The exhibition, which will be held until Nov 5, was inaugurated by the president of HELMEPA Dr Ioannis Koustas and the Area Marine Manager for Greece, East Mediterranean and Adriatic of Lloyd's Register, Theodosis Stamatellos. President and Managing Director of Piraeus port (OLP) Giorgos Anomeritis also attended the event.

    The campaign is funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation and will tour 14 cities around Greece in the three year period 2014 to 2017. Apart from the travelling exhibition, it includes training workshops on the marine environment for teachers and volunteering actions.

    The aim is to educate children and the wider audience in regional cities and island towns on marine environment, shipping and sciences.

    [26] Energy Minister Maniatis to visit the US to attract investors

    The tenders for hydrocarbon exploration which are underway, the broader geopolitical developments in the region and the diplomatic and energy cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt will be on the agenda of Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis during his official visit to the US from Sunday, November 2 until Thursday, November 6.

    During his visit, Maniatis will meet, among others, with the US Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli and representatives of oil companies. The minister will give lectures at Columbia University in New York and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on energy developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The main aim of the visit, Maniatis said on Wednesday, is to attract investments in energy and particularly in hydrocarbons exploration and energy saving (the Minister will also meet with the Greek-American businessman George Sakellaris, who is the biggest investor in the US in this sector). Among the issues to be discussed are the developments in the region, while Greece's role as a "security oasis" in a troubled region will be highlighted. There will also be a briefing on the Greece - Cyprus - Egypt approach as part of which a trilateral summit has been scheduled for early November as well as a meeting of the three countries' Energy ministers.

    Maniatis also referred to the results of the recent European Council, highlighting the clear and unambiguous decision of the European leaders on Cyprus, according to which everyone must respect the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus in its territorial waters and its sovereign rights in the EEZ.

    Maniatis on Thursday will be in Patras to present the contract for hydrocarbon exploration in the Gulf of Patras to regional and local administration representatives.

    [27] Draft bill on business chambers, commercial registry to be tabled next week, Dendias announces

    A draft bill that will include measures regulating professional and business chambers, as well as the new General Electronic Commercial Registry (GEMI), is to be tabled in Parliament next week, Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias announced on Wednesday.

    "Our effort is to facilitate citizens and entrepreneurship, to make their life easier. We are proceeding with a series of facilitations that concern the capability of electronic processes in GEMI as well, such as submitting logos, patents and industrial designs," Dendias said.

    The announcement was made during a press conference presenting the new electronic procedures for joining GEMI, establishing patents and submitting a company logo, as well as a new electronic platform for public-sector contracts. The press conference was also attended by the ministry's deputy ministers and two ministry general secretaries.

    Deputy Development Minister Odysseas Constantinopoulos noted that, in addition to the greater ease in carrying out these transactions electronically, there was also a promise from the Industrial Property Organisation, in a letter to the ministry, to reduce its fees by 20 pct.

    Ministry officials also stressed the reduction in red tape involved in awarding public-sector contracts, stressing that the process was now greatly simplified and that the entire public sector was now obliged to conduct all tenders for goods and services costing more than 60,000 euros through the system www.promitheus.gr - a web site that any Greek citizen could visit and learn about any process for a public contract or any offers requested by public organisations, as well as who was awarded the contracts and for what fee.

    Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarachi, meanwhile, commented on the World Bank's 'Doing Business' report and said this reflected a continuous improvement in the position of the Greek economy. "Starting at the ranking 100 when this government took over, we are now in 61st place and many of the measures taken, as well as the measures announced today, are not included in this report," he pointed out.

    [28] Strategic cooperation to promote exports signed between the foreign ministry and SEV

    A protocol of cooperation aimed at improving export performance and upgrading the international presence of Greek enterprises was signed on Wednesday by foreign ministry Secretary General for International Economic Relations Panagiotis Mihalos and Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) chairman Theodore Fessas.

    In a meeting at the foreign ministry, they reaffirmed the importance of joint initiatives to promote new models of cooperation between the public and the private sectors to support Greek export enterprises.

    The new tools for the promotion of extroversion will be to select crucial export destinations with the cooperation of diplomats and businesses, the more effective preparation of export businesses through the "how to do business" workshops and the upgraded operation of the economic and commercial affairs offices as "business hubs" providing complete strategic information on-site at the export destinations.

    Mihalos also said that efforts will intensify to boost exports to the new dynamic markets of Latin America, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    On his part, Fessas noted that at the present crucial conjuncture, the increase of Greek exports will play a major role in the country's economic recovery.

    [29] SETE chief asks for tourism businesses' financing at reasonable cost

    After the successful completion of the stress tests, there is no longer any excuse for inadequate financing, at a reasonable cost, of the real economy and the tourism industry by the Greek banks, the president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) Andreas Andreadis said on Wednesday.

    On the occasion of the positive results of the Greek banks' stress tests, SETE president noted that the State and the banks have to deal immediately and efficiently with the existing bad loans and immediately support sustainable and healthy tourism enterprises by writing off surcharges due to overdue payment, extending the repayment of loans and rationalizing interest rates.

    The total amount of loans to tourism is around of 6-7 billlion euros, Andreadis noted, that is much lower of the annual turnover of the sector. Sustainable tourism enterprises, both large and small ones, are ready to actively assist in the economic recovery provided that they have sustainable financing solutions for both investments in renovations and expansions, and working capital.

    Andreadis underlined that deposits in Greek banks increased by 1.5 billion euros in August and September due to the increase of tourism, and the expansion of bank credit to businesses continued at a negative rate of around -3.5 percent in September.

    [30] Aegean Airlines to invest 300 mln euros on new Airbus aircraft in 2015-2016

    A year after its merger with Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines is entering into a new growth orbit investing 300 million euros for the purchase of seven brand new Airbus A320ceos in the period 2015-2016.

    Eftihis Vasilakis, vice-president of Aegean, speaking to reporters, on the occasion of one year since its merger with Olympic Air, said that the two companies covered a network of 120 destinations in 33 countries with 13 million available seats, 1.2 million more compared with the period before the merger. Vasilakis said that Aegean Airlines currently owns a fleet of 50 aircraft, with a workforce of 2,400, two technical hangars and with a passenger traffic of 9.8 million. The Greek airline company also plans a radical renewal of its fleet through an international tender, with priority to be given to aircraft bought in 2007. Vasilakis said the aim was to raise its fleet to 70 aircraft in 2023, covering 350 destinations with a passenger traffic of 14-15 million.

    Aegean is a large company by Greek standards, with an annual turnover of 920 million euros, Vasilakis said, adding that its contribution to the state from taxes and air duties was 280 million euros this year, from 248 million in 2013. The airline company also made a large contribution to the promotion of the country and the growth of tourism.

    Commenting on Aegean Airlines' interest in Cyprus Airways, Vasilakis said: "We are interested in the development of Cyprus and the development of Greece through Cyprus".

    [31] New winter timetable for off-peak PPC tariff to begin Saturday

    The winter timetable for the residential Off-Peak tariff (reduced night tariff) offered by the Public Power Corporation to its customers - available to those that have applied for discount-rate tariffs - will begin on Saturday. Instead of discount rates from 23:00-7:00 on each day, the winter off-peak tariff includes two hours in the middle of the day at the following times:

    For the mainland and islands conneted to the mainland grid (Ionian islands, Sporades, Andros, Tinos, Kea, Saronic Gulf, Thassos and Samothrace), from 15:00-17:00 in the afternoon and from 2:00-8:00.

    For islands not on the mainland grid, from 15:30-17:30 in the afternoon and from 2:00-8:00 in the morning.

    Further details are available at local PPC branches or the websites (http://www.dei.com.gr) and "http://www.deddie.gr" .

    [32] Retailers to hold mid-season sales on Nov 1-10, shops open on Sunday, Nov 2

    Retailers nationwide will hold mid-season sales between November 1 and 10, according to an announcement by the Hellenic Retail Business Association (SELPE).

    Moreover, shops will remain open on Sunday, November 2 from 11.00 to 20.00.

    [33] Timetable for transition to terrestrial digital TV

    For technical reasons, the final timetable for the transition to terrestrial digital TV, according to the Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry is as follows:

    21/11/2014

    Central Macedonia (Thessaloniki-Halkidiki excluding prefecture of Serres)

    Thessaly

    Part of Central Greece

    19/12/2014

    Epirus

    Western Macedonia (Florina, Kozani, Kastoria, Grevena)

    Region of the Ionian Sea

    Aetoloakarnania prefecture

    29/12/2014

    Crete

    Cyclades

    Dodecanese islands

    Samos, Ikaria and Kastelorizo islands

    The transition to terrestrial digital TV, despite changes to the previous timetable, will be completed within 2014.

    [34] Athens metro, electric train and tram employees to hold three-hour work stoppage on Thursday

    Athens' metro, electric railway and tram employees will hold a three-hour work stoppage on Thursday, from 11:00 to 14:00, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The work stoppage is called by the urban rail transport employee unions to hold their general assembly meetings to approve the signing of a new collective labour agreement.

    During the work stoppage buses, trolleys and the suburban railway will run as scheduled.

    [35] Greek stocks remain under pressure

    Greek stocks remained under heavy pressure in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, pushing the composite index of the market near the 930-point level. Bank shares were at the focus of selling activity, while other blue chip stocks such as OTE, Coca Cola HBC and Folli Follie attracted buying interest. The index fell 2.67 pct to end at 933.11 points, after rising as high as 973.91 points during the session. Turnover was a heavy 159.10 million euros.

    The Large Cap index dropped 2.54 pct and the Mid Cap index fell 2.30 pct. OTE (3.20 pct), Coca Cola HBC (1.68 pct) and Folli Follie (1.53 pct) scored big gains among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (8.46 pct), Hellenic Exchanges (8.10 pct), Ellaktor (7.20 pct) and PPC (6.85 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, the Media (7.41 pct), Telecoms (3.20 pct), Insurance (2.90 pct) and Food (1.65 pct) scored gains, while Financial Services (6.11 pct), Utilities (5.78 pct) and Banks (5.69 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 69 to 35 with another 24 issues unchanged. Minerva (29.64 pct), Domiki Crete (19.93 pct) and Dionic (18.75 pct) were top gainers, while Yalco (20 pct), Boutaris (19.35 pct) and NEL (19.23 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: -5.69%

    Insurance: +2.90%

    Financial Services: -6.11%

    Industrials: -1.77%

    Retail: +1.53%

    Real Estate: -1.50%

    Personal & Household: -4.67%

    Food & Beverages: +1.65%

    Raw Materials: -0.49%

    Construction: -2.25%

    Oil: -1.03%

    Chemicals: -3.19%

    Mass Media: +7.41%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.06%

    Technology: -0.41%

    Telecoms: +3.20%

    Utilities: -5.78%

    Health: -0.46%

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

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 0.56

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.85

    Coca Cola HBC: 16.95

    Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.20

    National Bank of Greece: 2.00

    OPAP: 9.60

    OTE: 9.35

    Piraeus Bank: 1.19

    Titan: 18.50

    Grivalia (Eurobank) Properties: 8.73

    [36] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened to 6.677 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 6.44 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 7.55 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.88 pct. Turnover was a moderate 65 million euros, of which 45 million were sell orders and the remaining 19 million euros were buy orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were mixed. The 12-month rate eased to 0.34 pct from 0.341 pct, the nine-month rate rose to 0.262 pct from 0.260 pct, the six-month rate was 0.188 pct, the three-month rate rose to 0.088 pct from 0.085 pct and the one-month rate eased to 0.010 pct from 0.012 pct.

    [37] ADEX closing report

    The November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.62 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 13,432 contracts with 42,681 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 50,831 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (15,042), followed by Alpha Bank (7,238), National Bank (9,682), Eurobank (9,879), MIG (1,048), OTE (2,588), PPC (1,473), OPAP (902), Mytilineos (361), Hellenic Petroleum (287), Motor Oil (205), METKA (190), GEK (606), Ellaktor (161) and Folli Follie (126).

    [38] Foreign exchange rates - Wednesday

    Reference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.2737

    Pound sterling 0.79095

    Danish kroner 7.4445

    Swedish kroner 9.3294

    Japanese yen 137.75

    Swiss franc 1.2059

    Norwegian kroner 8.4675

    Canadian dollar 1.4192

    Australian dollar 1.4334

    General News

    [39] Head of Amphipolis excavations: There is no fourth chamber

    The Macedonian Institute bestowed archaeologist and head of the excavations at Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis Katerina Peristeri on Tuesday with the "2014 Macedonian Award" at an event held in Drama.

    In her speech, Peristeri referred to the Amphipolis tomb saying that "if the tomb has indeed been looted, that means that someone very important, a very significant personality, was buried there and the grave robbers of the ancient years would not have left it untouched, but nobody really knows what he may find" she said among others.

    Regarding the process of the excavation works at Kasta Hill, Peristeri clarified that "there is no other chamber" adding that "what we said on the existence of a fourth chamber had not been proved. We had said that the excavation would prove whether another chamber existed or not. We are working in the third chamber and we are waiting to see what it will show us."

    Asked on how she explains the finding of parts of the sphinxes inside the third chamber, Peristeri said "There are many mysteries awaiting for us to solve them after the completion of the excavation and after the research work. It is difficult to say anything before the research is completed. We need time."

    At a query when we will know the identity of the dead buried in the tomb, Peristeri said that "the excavation will show the identity of the dead."

    The head of Amphipolis excavations also said to ANA-MPA on a possible existence of a a hatch door on the third chamber's floor "many things have been said, but, for our excavation, we can say nothing if we do not touch it with our own hands first."

    Peristeri was awarded for her total offer to the cultural and scientific work with crown the recent excavation in Amphipolis which constitutes a key for the strengthening and enrichment of the Macedonian historic truth.

    In her address she thanked all entitites that contribute to the excavation and particularly the Culture ministry and referred to the "magic" of archaeology. "Archaeologic is always magic and is always a voyage to the unkown. We never know what will hide and what will reveal the next day. That's the only truth, never to get dissappointed and always be optimistic that we will find beautiful things."

    [40] Hellenic Air Force to celebrate Patron Saint from Nov. 6-9

    The Hellenic Air Force will celebrate its Patron Saint Michail from November 6-9 with a series of activities, including aerial shows over border islands, photo exhibitions and events organised by flying clubs and associations.

    On November 6, the Air Force band will give a concert at the amphitheater of the War Museum at 20:00.

    On November 8, the Chief of Hellenic Air Force General Staff, Lieutenant General (P) Evangelos Tournas will lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Monument, while at 11:00 there will be an Official Celebration - Thanksgiving Ceremony at Dekelia Air Force Base, in Tatoi.

    The Hellenic Air Force Bases will be open to the public on the following days and hours:

    On November 6-7 and November 9 from 09:00 to 17:00, on November 8 from 13:00-17:00, while visiting hours at Dekelia Air Force Base on November 9 will be after 12:00.

    Demonstration Flight Program

    -Hellenic Air Force F-16 Demo Team "Zeus" will perform the following demonstration flights:

    -Friday, November 7 at 14:00, at the port of Patras

    -Saturday, November 8 at 15:00, at the Larisa Air Base

    -Sunday, November 9 at 12:00, at Nea Aghialos and Souda Air Bases

    The Hellenic Air Force "Daedalus" T-6A Texan II Demo Team will perform the following demonstration flights:

    -Friday, November 7 at 10:30, at Kalamata Air Base

    -Saturday, November 8 at 12:10, at Kalamata Air Base and at 14:00 at Larisa Air Base 116 Air Combat Wing/Araxos Air Base

    -Sunday, November 9 at 11:00, at Nea Aghialos Air Base and at 12:00 at Tripoli Air Base 117 Air Combat Wing/Andravida Air Base

  • The time of the scheduled Demonstration Flights, per case, are subject to change or be cancelled, due to weather conditions.

    [41] Acropolis Museum to host specialised guided tours every Saturday

    The Acropolis Museum announced on Wednesday its new programme for presentations and guided tours which will take place every Saturday afternoon until June.

    Through selected exhibits presented by the archaeologists-hosts of the museum, visitors will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with interesting aspects of antiquity, like the assembled art, the sacred caves of the Acropolis, the Erechtheion and many more.

    "The three-dimensional art of Athens was not made exclusively from a single piece of material, nor from only one type of material, e.g. stone, terracotta or metal. A variety of members from the same or different materials bound together in a harmonious ensemble, were used for its production in different sizes and for various purposes," the Museum said in a statement for the first alternating gallery talk, titled "Assemlbed Art", which will take place on November 1 (Saturday).

    Visitors will be able to talk with the archaeologist-hosts about the ancient representatives of this art to be found at the museum in a range of sizes, such as puppet dolls, idols, acroliths and chryselephantine statues, as well as their various functions in an ancient sanctuary, it added.

    Next Saturday, the museum will present the "Erechtheion: The identity of Athens" talk. The host will discuss ancient mythical figures that left their mark on the most ancient cult site on the Acropolis, like that of Athena Polias.

    For more information and the full programme of the Alternating Gallery Talks, go to the website of the Acropolis Museum, http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/el/content/enallassomeni-thematiki-parousiasi,

    Those interested, can also call the museum to arrange Gallery Talks on Saturday in English. Email: learning@theacropolismuseum.gr

    [42] Supreme Court deputy prosecutor finds no grounds to reverse acquittals in Nea Manolada shootings case

    Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Constantinos Paraskevaidis on Wednesday announced that he will not file to reverse a Patras appeals court ruling that acquitted two of four defendants accused in connection with the Nea Manolada shootings of April 2013. As a result, they will not face a retrial on charges of human trafficking after they were unanimously acquitted by the Mixed Jury Appeals Court in Patras.

    The business man and one accomplice were charged in connection with the shootings against a group of migrant field hands on a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada that occurred in April 2013, in which some of the victims were injured.

    Two more defendants in the case were found guilty for causing grievous bodily harm and as an accessory to causing grievous bodily harm, respectively.

    The ruling was contested by the victims, who asked that it be reversed, while Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani asked for the court ruling to be examined to see if their were grounds for reversing it. Submitting his report, Paraskevaidis found that there were no such grounds and that the appeals court had correctly applied the law.

    As a result, there will only be a new trial for those already convicted in the case.

    [43] Piraeus prosecutor orders investigation into the causes of the devastating floods

    Piraeus First Instance Court chief prosecutor on Wednesday ordered a preliminary investigation into the causes and possible liability in response to the recent devastating floods caused by torrential rains in the region of Piraeus. Hundreds of households suffered extensive damage as a result, while many private cars were damaged when they were swept away by flood waters.

    The damages caused are in the process of being recorded and citizens have been given relevant instructions by the west Attiki municipal authorities.

    [44] London court to consider extradition of former justice Antonia Ilia to Greece on Nov. 21

    LONDON (ANA-MPA/ I. Karipidis)

    A London appeals court is to consider Greece's request for the extradition of former justice Antonia Ilia to Greece on November 21, instead of Wednesday as originally scheduled.

    The decision was taken during a brief High Court session on Tuesday, after Ilia's lawyers asked that Macedonia University professor Constantinos Tsitselikis be examined as an expert witness. The professor is to submit a report on conditions of incarceration in Greek prisons, possibly through a video-link.

    The judge on the bench warned, however, that this is the last time the hearing will be postponed, underlining that it has been pending since 2011 and that there can be no further delay.

    A former Greek magistrate, Antonia Ilia has been a fugitive from Greek justice since 2005 when she was charged in connection with a judicial corruption scandal. The charges against her include fraud, money laundering, slander and violating the law concerning the statements of wealth and assets. She was arrested in Brighton, England in May 2011 based on five European arrest warrants issued against her by Greek authorities.

    After originally attempting to conceal her identity and claiming to be a French national, she was finally remanded in custody in Holloway prison for 19 months and released in December 2012. She has since been living in north London, with severe restrictions on her movements, and is fighting to prevent her extradition to Greece.

    Greek and UK authorities recently cancelled four of the five warrants against her and Ilia now claims the fifth should be cancelled as well, allowing her release, since those charged in the same case have since been acquitted by Greek courts. Among others, she has asked for political asylum on the grounds that her life is in danger and also accused the public prosecutors in charge of her case of lying to UK authorities to secure her "illegal" extradition.

    [45] European Rhetoric Tournament in Thessaloniki

    Over 100 young Europeans will participate in the European Tournament of Rhetoric and Argumentation speeches "Thessaloniki Open 2014" that will be held in the city of Thessaloniki from October 31 until November 2.

    The tournament will be held at the premises of DEI College. All competitions will be in British parliamentary language and the duration of each speech must not exceed 10 minutes.

    Thessaloniki Open 2014 is organised by the Association for Democracy in the Balkans, the Debating Society of Greece, the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe and Thessaloniki Debate Club.

    [46] Two women mildly injured after bus collides with trolley in central Athens

    A woman and her daughter were mildly injured on Wednesday evening when a bus collided with a trolley on Patision Avenue in central Athens.

    The 47-year-old Bulgarian national and her 15-year-old daughter were transferred to hospital.

    Authorities believe the accident may have been caused by slippery road conditions following an afternoon rain. Athens' traffic police is investigating the incident.

    [47] Police in Larisa arrest a man for possession of ancient coins

    LARISA (ANA-MPA/M. Apostolopoulou)

    A 45-year-old man on Wednesday was arrested by police in the city of Larisa, central Greece, for possessing ancient coins, illegal firearms, drug trafficking and violations of customs law.

    During a police search in the man's store, house and car, police found, among other objects, 16 ancient coins, a quantity of cannabis, 511 contraband cigarettes, a spray, a pistol, a glob, fireworks and a sum of money.

    The man will appear before the prosecutor of Larisa, while a preliminary inquiry has been launched by the city's Drug Enforcement unit.

    Weather forecast

    [48] Rainy weather on Thursday

    Rain and northerly winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Partly cloudy in the northern parts of the country with rain in the eastern parts and temperatures ranging from 9C-16C. Rain in the afternoon in the western parts with temperatures between 10C-22C. Partly cloudy in the eastern parts with heavy rain in during the night and temperatures between 11C-18C. Showers over the islands, 14C-22C. Clouds and rain in Athens, 13C-18C. Clouds with a chance of rain in Thessaloniki, 10C-15C.

    [49] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Goodbye liquidity!

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Private parade behind bars!

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Payment of ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax) in many installments...via arrangement.

    ESTIA: 'OHI day' anniversary after the Liberation.

    ETHNOS: Professionals' pensions saved.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Three hot months with aim the collection of 15 billion euros.

    TA NEA: Who will pay half or no ENFIA.

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