|Saturday, 25 October 2014|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-10-24
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Friday, 24 October 2014 Issue No: 4793
 PM Samaras: 'We are negotiating a judicious exit to normality'BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)
Greece is on the path of recovery and stabilisation and the Greek government is negotiating a "judicious exit to normality," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Thursday as he arrived for the European leaders' summit in Brussels.
"We are on steady course toward recovery and stabilisation. We are negotiating closely with our creditors for the next day after the end of the programme, for a judicious exit to normality," he said.
 PM Samaras meets with EU Commission President Juncker in BrusselsPrime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday met with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, at the Commission's offices in Brussels, government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi said.
According to Voultepsi, Samaras met with Juncker as soon as he arrived in Brussels, where he is to participate in the European Union summit.
After the meeting, Samaras met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, who had been discharged from hospital and had returned to his hotel.
Voultepsi announced that Anastasiades asked Samaras to represent him during the European Council meetings, considering that he should remain in bed following his recent health issues.
Samaras gladly accepted and undertook to represent the Cyprus Republic, a procedure for which there is provision in the European Union.
 PM Samaras to represent Cyprus President at the European CouncilBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will represent the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to the European Council and present the positions of the Cyprus Republic, the Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.
Christodoulides earlier in the day said in a written statement that Anastasiades was admitted to hospital after a prolonged nosebleed. The President received treatment and was advised to remain in bed for the next 48 hours, the spokesman said.
 Cyprus President admitted to Brussels hospitalBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday morning was admitted to a hospital in Brussels. Anastasiades was in Brussels to attend a European Council meeting.
Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said in a written statement that Anastasiades was admitted to hospital after a prolonged nosebleed, which it was found to have been caused by hypertension.
The spokesman said the President received treatment and was adviced to remain in bed for the next 48 hours.
The President is being monitored by a doctor in Brussels, Christodoulides said.
 Vote of amendment on arrears to state likely to take place on FridayThe provision for the installments of arrears to the State, due to be tabled by the government, is likely to be voted on in Parliament on Friday. This estimate is reinforced by the fact that the plenary accepted a main opposition SYRIZA's proposal to extend for one more day the debate on amendments attached to an Administrative Reform bill.
The initial planning of the legislative work provided that the discussion of the bill and the amendments would be completed on Thursday and no plenary debate had been scheduled for Friday.
However, as soon as the discussion on the articles of the bill started, the Parliament Vice-President Ioannis Tragakis, who was chairing the debate, announced that the request of SYRIZA MP Theodoros Dritsas for one more session has been accepted and suggested that this discussion take place on Friday.
Tragakis also informed the Parliament that if there was a request for a roll call vote, this would be conducted on Friday. Dritsas said that his party agrees to a session on Friday. Nevertheless, he reiterated SYRIZA's disagreement with the practice of submitting amendments for which there is no ample time for discussion and which are unrelated to the content of the draft law introduced by the government. That being the case, it is estimated that the amendment regarding the arrears, attached to the Administrative reform bill, will be eventually submitted on Thursday.
 Amendment on settlement of arrears to state submitted to ParliamentThe amendment on the settlement of arrears to the state, the VAT on restaurants and the solidarity contribution among others was submitted on Thursday to the Parliament.
The amendment was attached to an Administrative Reform ministry bill, which has been under discussion in the Parliament since Wednesday. As it was announced earlier in the day, the vote on its articles and its amendments will be completed on Friday.
 Amendment on arrears to the state will give a breather to companies and self-employed, Deputy Labour min saysThe settlement of overdue debts that the government tables on Thursday "largely deals with the liquidity issue of businesses and the insured and will give a breather to businesses and insurance funds," Deputy Labour Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis on Thursday told the Parliament.
Plakiotakis was responding to a current question by Independent Greeks deputy Marina Chysoveloni on debt notices sent by the Center for the Collection of Social Security Arrears (KEAO).
The Deputy minister also referred to debts by self-employed professionals, saying that the government acknowledges the problem and the difficulties they are facing and that being the case, it tables the legislative amendment on arrears to the state on Thursday. He noted that according to ministry data on July 31, 2014, 83 percent of debts related to years before the outbreak of the crisis, namely before 2009.
 Social insurance debts must not be withheld from EU subsidies to farmers, per amendment tabled by PASOK MPsSeventeen deputies of PASOK, junior party of the ruling coalition, tabled an amendment in Parliament on Thursday requesting that EU subsidies given to farmers not be withheld by the state over debts to their social insurance fund OGA.
The provision was tabled as a rider to the Administration Reform ministry's bill on accessibility and use of information of state transactions, under discussion currently.
The deputies argued that the subsidies for land and animals are disbursed to farmers to write off part of the cost of production, therefore they cannot be counted as income. In addition, they said, EU Regulation 13306/2013 forbids any withholding of subsidies and explicitly states that they must be deposited in their accounts and be used only to support production.
Also included in the amendment is a provision that farmers' outstanding obligations to OGA be offset by expected payments owed them by the state or individuals. A special OGA bank account should be set up for direct deposit by farmers, who may also authorise the insurance and pension fund to collect on their behalf the remainder of outstanding debts from agencies scheduled to repay them within the year. If all these options fail, OGA can certify the outstanding amount and turn it over to the debtor's tax office, which will collecting it as state debt and turn it over to OGA.
Signees of the bill include former prime minister George Papandreou and several former ministers.
 Partial NSRF funding to go to new businesses regardless of owner's age, deputy Dev't minister saysA call for new entrepreneurial projects to be funded through the EU's National Strategic Reference Framework, regardless of an applicants' age, will be announced by the end of November, Deputy Development Minister Odysseas Constantinopoulos told private TV station Star on Thursday.
Of a total of 270 million euros for front-load actions, 100 million euros will focus on no-age-restriction projects, he added.
In terms of the small and medium-suzed enterprises (SMEs), in which 14,000 people qualified or could qualify if they applied, over 60 percent of those approved for funding have not moved forwards in their investment; in his opinion, the reason they were stalled was political uncertainty.
The new NSRF bill being prepared is being discussed internally and needs to have some issues resolved before it is presented, he said.
 Deputy FM Gerontopoulos completes visit in RomaniaDeputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos on Wednesday completed his two-day tour to Romania with visits to the Greek communities of Braila and Galati.
"Our expatriates who live here are the 'bridge' and a link of the excellent relations between Greece and Romania," Gerontopoulos told the expatriates, the representatives of the Greek community and the Mayor of Braila, Aurel Gabriel Simionescu.
"Greece and Romania," the minister noted "were on the same side in the Balkan conflicts and now we are together in the European Union. We aim for the continuous improvement of our good collaboration and the presence of many leading Greek companies in Romania certainly plays an important role in that."
Gerontopoulos also visited the old Greek neighbourhood and the houses of the poet Andreas Embiricos, the composer Iannis Xenakis and the museum of the writer Panait Istrati.
 FM Venizelos' statement on the terrorist attack in OttawaGovernment Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday unequivocally condemned the terrorist action that took place on Wednesday in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, according to a ministry announcement.
"We express our undivided support for the victims' loved ones, for our friends the Canadian people and for the Canadian authorities," Venizelos said.
"Greece condemns every act of violence, especially when such an act stems from the intolerant motives of extremists, who are deceiving themselves if they believe that in this way they can impose their irrationality on democratic societies with a tradition of multicultural coexistence, respect for religious freedoms, and tolerance," he added.
 FM Venizelos addresses Francophone Business Forum ConferenceGovernment Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday addressed the Francophone Business Forum Conference saying he was pleased "because the slogan "Greece-France Alliance", which passed from the defence sector in the 1970s to the culture sector today, is...extending into the sector of the economy as well."
The minister said that during the difficult years of the Greek crisis "French businesses remained in Greece" and assured that the extrovertness of the economy is on the front line of the Greek government's priorities.
Venizelos set the targets of the economic and trade cooperation of Greece and France, saying "we can do a great deal to strengthen French investments in Greece, to support Greek-French cooperation, the export activities of Greek enterprises in France, and the joint actions that can even further promote France's economic relations with Greece."
He made a special reference to the sectors of construction, tourism, transport, health, RES, water resources management and information science, saying they provide "inexhaustible potential for economic cooperation between French and Greek companies."
On a political level, he said Greece has a comprehensive plan for exiting the memorandum and the status of being under troika monitoring, because at the end of this year the European part of the plan is coming to completion. "The government's goal is for this plan to constitute a comprehensive agreement with our partners, including the confirmation of the sustainability of the debt, before the election of the President of the Republic," he said.
With "strategic stability", he added, Greece is in "the last mile of the Marathon out of the crisis" on five axes:
"The gradual release from the memorandum...the implementation of the national recovery plan without the troika but within the institutional framework of the European Union and the Eurozone.
The political and institutional stability. This begins with the protection of institutions, with the election of the President of the Republic, with the necessary consensus.
The protection of social cohesion
The consolidation of Greece's position in Europe and the world
The rallying of the country's creative forces around the national growth plan, which is an employment plan."
Venizelos underlined that France has been a strategic partner of Greece and recalled that the visit of the French President Fran?ois Hollande in February 2013 marked France's full support for Greece's efforts to jumpstart its economy while he made special reference to France's participation with 30 million euros in the founding of the Greek Investment Fund (IfG).
 Development Minister Dendias addresses francophone business eventRoughly 4.5 billion euros in French capital have been invested in Greece in the last five years, the years of the crisis, and in this five-year period France occupies the second place in terms of direct foreign investments, Development Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday underlined at an event hosted by the Francophone Business Forum and the Hellenic-French Chamber of Commerce.
Addressing the event on the challenges to the recovery of the Greek economy, Dendias said that the French investments in manufacturing, insurance, banking and construction are extremely important to the Greek economy.
He announced that in the first half of November roughly a third of the paperwork necessary to start a private business in Greece will be abolished, noting that more than 400 documents are now required based on existing legislation .
"We hope that the first 120 will be abolished in the first half of November," he said.
Dendias said that the government wants to simplify the process and do away with red tape, stressing that this would facilitate exports. According to Dendias, roughly 50 pct of the red tape associated with exports will be abolished and this will lead to a 20 pct reduction in the export cost for Greek products.
He underlined that a new bankruptcy law for businesses and private individuals is being considered, while the government is also examining the utilisation of the real estate sector to boost the economy.
 SYRIZA leader Tsipras meets with visiting Austrian President Heinz FischerThe crisis in Greece and the situation in Europe was the main topic at a meeting on Thursday between main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras and visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
Tsipras presented his party's policy and alternative proposals as regards the public debt, the humanitarian crisis the country is going through and the multidimensional, active, pro-peace foreign policy the country should follow, a party announcement underlined.
The SYRIZA president also referred to the traditionally good bilateral relations between Greece and Austria and the prospects for their further improvement.
 SYRIZA will not be bound by Memorandum agreements on which it was not consulted, MP Stratoulis saysMain opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MP Dimitris Stratoulis on Thursday underlined that his party's collective position and the position of its leader Alexis Tsipras as expressed in parliament is that memorandum policy agreements reached without asking SYRIZA's opinion or consent will not be binding.
Stratoulis made the comment speaking on VIMA radio in response to a question on the likelihood that the SYRIZA leader will be called to agree with the troika.
On the likelihood of an understanding between Antonis Samaras, Evangelos Venizelos and Alexis Tsipras, he noted that "our policies on the main issue for the country, namely its public debt, are completely different. We say that it is not sustainable and needs a haircut or that most of it should be written off, whereas New Democracy (ND) and PASOK, their government, say that the debt is sustainable. No common ground can be reached, regardless of how many meetings or discussions are held, when policies on the specific issue move in a completely different direction".
Referring to the policy SYRIZA will follow, he said that "we will have our own programme in the negotiations," adding that "we don't have to ask anyone on the issue of the memorandum and the enabling laws. The Greek Parliament voted for them and the Greek Parliament will abolish them. As regards the public debt, it is obvious that there should be a negotiation...in the negotiation the SYRIZA government will have to be determined to meet its goal and use all available tools, from international financial audits to Germany debts to us. We will implement our programme down to the last letter."
 Health Minister: Adjustment of health sector was extremely violentThe adjustment of Greece's health sector was extremely violent, Health Minister Makis Voridis admitted on Wednesday, adding that eventually the vibrations were absorbed and a balance was achieved.
Speaking at the board meeting of Athens' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the minister said the pharmaceutical expenditure fell from about five billion euros to 2.2 billion, while this year's target is to repay most debts owed by the State towards the pharmaceutical industry (excluding debts from 2012, 2013 and towards Greece's main social security fund IKA).
Voridis also said authorities will intensify corruption audits and will review costs registered by private clinics and diagnostic exams.
He described claw back provisions as a necessary evil and expressed his view that "with proper work, pharmaceutical companies will not be burdened."
On his side, the President of the Chamber, Constantinos Michalos, said a coordinated reform approach is needed to identify the real sources of waste and fight the real causes of high costs.
Such an approach would end the targeting of specific sectors with measures that block the operation of the market and cause unimaginable suffering to citizens, while destroying companies and their employees, he said.
Michalos also noted that investing in innovative medicines and medical solutions can yield long-term cumulative economic benefits for public health systems and that the government must promote Greece as a destination of choice for clinical research and medicine production.
He also said the state has to restore its credibility towards its suppliers by paying in full all its debts towards them and ensure new ones are not accumulated.
 Pharmacists warn of major shortages of vaccines, pharmaceuticals on Greek marketThere are major shortages in vaccines and pharmaceutical preparations for which there is high demand, the head of the Greek pharmacists association Kostas Lourantos reported on Thursday.
"A shortage means that when I need a medicine, I don't have it," he clarified, calling the situation "unprecedented" and predicting that it would get worse in the winter months.
According to Lourantos, large quantities of pharmaceuticals were going abroad because of their low cost, saying it was a "humanitarian, health and social crisis" and pharmacists were daily struggling to find drugs for their customers, who often had to pay very high contributions.
 Transport Minister's reaction to Independent Greeks MP's statement"I am an honest man and a politician and I do not allow anyone, if he does not have evidence, to question my honesty," Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Mihalis Chrysochoidis said on Thursday.
Chrysochoidis, made the statement in reply to a claim by Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Nikos Nikolopoulos that guarantee letters were not activated in the Patras-Pyrgos highway and that contractors were pocketing tolls for a project that was not making progress.
The minister underlined that as long as he was in the ministry, blackmailers will not get a penny and nobody who is not entitled will get paid. Chrysochoidis added that, after the voting of the contracts regarding the resumption of highway projects, works are progressing and thousands of people are working there, as well as hundreds of businesses. He also said that the cost of the project will be lower than originally planned, while there will be no tolls on the Patras-Pyrgos highway.
 Ankara has generated 'huge distrust' of its ability to play a stabilising role, Deputy FM Kourkoulas saysTurkey's continued refusal to recognise the Cyprus Republic and respect its rights has generated "huge distrust" concerning its ability to play a stabilising role in the region, Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas said on Thursday on the radio station Real FM.
"Turkey did not listen to the voice of international legality, did not listen to the voice of the European Union," he pointed out, while noting that the U.S. side had "repeatedly underlined that the Cyprus Republic must enjoy all the rights enjoyed by any member-state of the United Nations, including the exploitation of its energy resources."
Through its latest actions (in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone) and with other foreign policy choices, Turkey "has generated huge distrust in the international community as regards its ability to play a stabilising role in the region," he said. Kourkoulas urged Ankara to realise "that it has taken the wrong path and rethink the way in which it acts."
Replying to questions referring to an apparent "tolerance if not encouragement," of Turkish actions in the United States, the Greek minister said exploration for natural gas was continuing as planned and stressed that "we do not need the permission of any capital, and especially not Ankara's, in order for a sovereign and independent state to exploit its marine wealth."
 ND MP Markopoulos says "the country is entering a new era"The country is entering a new era, New Democracy (ND) MP Kostas Markopoulos underlined in an interview with ANA-MPA on Thursday, responding to a question on the settlement of outstanding debts to the tax bureau and social insurance funds to be tabled in parliament.
Citing sources, he said that the settlement will provide for up to 100 installments for debts of up to 15,000 euros and 72 installments for larger debts.
He also noted that he does not want to go into details, underlining that this is the first tangible proof that the country is entering a new era with very reduced tax burdens - noting that tax cuts have also been introduced - with reasonable interest rates on the citizens' debts to the state, following their reduction from 8.5 pct to 4.5 pct. "This is a fast and easy way to give to the average Greek household additional income, considering that they will be paying much less," he underlined.
Referring to those who insist that reliefs are granted in response to the pre-election atmosphere created by the forthcoming presidential election in parliament, he termed them "spiteful", noting that the government turns into action what has been requested by all its MPs and even by MPs of other parties.
He noted that the substance of the presidential election is that "we want political stability", adding that it is necessary for the post-memorandum era and for economic growth.
Markopoulos underlined that "only main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) disturbs this political stability and is doing that because its leader Alexis Tsipras is anxious to touch the hope of becoming a prime minister, because he understands that in a year from now the country will have a totally different speed."
 Independent Greeks leader testifies in MP bribery investigationIndependent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos on Thursday testified in an ongoing judicial investigation of allegations that Greek MPs had been bribed to sway their vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Emerging from the office of Public Prosecutor Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, who is handling the case, Kammenos announced that he asked for the bank accounts of all MPs be opened.
Regarding his testimony, he said that he had submitted evidence to the prosecutor concerning a number of laws and amendements "tailored" to benefit specific firms and interests, which in their turn favoured mass media with specific campaigns. He stressed that the Supreme Court prosecutor had not looked into these amendments and that it was time for these cases to be investigated.
Kammenos also reported testifying that MPs in his party had come under "specific pressures from the state mechanism and especially the SDOE financial crime squad," adding that two remained in the party while another two left for no political reason, amid rumours that they had been blackmailed.
"I also gave my personal evidence of pressures. The prosecutor asked for evidence of bribery. If we had caught them red-handed, we would have reported it. I proposed that the bank accounts of all MPs be opened," he said.
Dep. Admin. Reform Minister Christofilopoulou says 'employee evaluation not linked with layoffs or any other changes'
The government does not link the evaluation of public sector employees with layoffs, Deputy Administrative Reform Minister Evi Christofilopoulou said in parliament on Thursday. She accused main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) of intentionally distorting things and spreading panic among civil servants.
She underlined that the government-sponsored reparative clause does not introduce layoffs or any negative changes in the employee status or wage and accused SYRIZA rapporteur Alexis Mitropoulos of "using electioneering populism that recognises no limits to suggest that the government links the employee evaluation with layoffs."
Christofilopoulou also said that the government has negotiated that there will be no quantitative goal for layoffs in the public sector in 2015.
On the draft law regulation under discussion in the parliament's plenary session concerning the preventive crosschecking of documents submitted by employees to have their status converted to permanent, she called on the political parties to give their vote and prove that they are against cronyism and preferential treatments.
On his part, Mitropoulos underlined that the mayors who proceeded with the work contracts' conversions did so by implementing the State Legal Council's opinion, which was accepted by the then minister who "had ordered that the controversial presidential decree should not be strictly implemented".
 Dep. Development Minister Mitarachi meets Danish ambassador, company execsThe privatisations of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports dominated a meeting held on Thursday between Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarachi and the Danish Ambassador in Athens Mette Knudsen. Also present at the meeting was the A.P.M. Terminals executive Sander Riemersma, General Manager Strategy and Investments.
Mitarachi then had a meeting with PCCW Global CEO Marc Halbfinger and the head of PCCW Global Hellas Petros Mavroeidis, as well as the founder and CEO of the Greek startup Crypteia Networks Yiannis Giokas. The meeting focused on PCCW Global's investment in Greece through its purchase of Giokas' company.
"PCCW Global's investment, by a very large telecommunications services provider in a Greek company, is a vote of confidence in both the Greek economy and the potential of Greek entrepreneurship. It is also a hopeful message for all startups that can design and construct high-tech/innovation products in Greece and take over foreign markets," the minister said.
 Teachers on labour reserve stage sit-in at the education minister's political officeState school teachers affected by the labour reserve measure on Thursday staged a symbolic sit-in demonstration at the political office of Education Minister Andreas Loverdos in downtown Athens .
The representation is continuing, with protesters demanding "and to their mockery and hostage-like situation."
They also demand that an announcement be issued immediately blocking all teacher layoffs.
 Opinion poll gives SYRIZA 5 percentage point lead over New DemocracyMain opposition SYRIZA was given a 5 percentage point lead over ruling coalition leader New Democracy in a nationwide Pulse RC opinion poll for "To Pontiki" newspaper, carried out on October 17-21.
More specifically, as far as the voting intention for national elections is concerned, SYRIZA took the lead with 27 pct (24 pct in the previous opinion poll on July 16, 2014) and ND came second with 22 pct (21 pct). Support for the remaining parties was as follows: Golden Dawn - 7 pct (9 pct), PASOK - 6.5 pct (7 pct), Potami - 6 pct (7 pct), Communist Party of Greece (KKE) - 5.5 pct (5.5 pct), Independent Greeks - 3 pct (3.5 pct) and Democratic Left (DIMAR) - 1.5 pct (1.5 pct). LAOS got 1 pct (2 pct). A further 4 pct (4.5 pct) supported 'other parties'; 7 pct (7.5 pct) of respondents said they would cast a blank vote or they would not vote at all while 9.5 pct (7.5 pct) of participants were "undecided."
The percentages in the voting intention excluding any invalid or blank votes and abstention are as follows: SYRIZA - 28.5 pct (26 pct), ND - 23.5 pct (23 pct), Golden Dawn - 7.5 pct (9.5 pct), PASOK - 7 pct (7.5 pct), Potami - 6.5 pct (7.5 pct), Communist Party of Greece (KKE) - 6 pct (6 pct), Independent Greeks - 3.5 pct (3.5 pct) and Democratic Left (DIMAR) - 1.5 pct (1.5 pct). LAOS got 1 pct (2 pct). A further 4.5 pct (5 pct) supported 'other parties' while 10.5 pct (8.5 pct) of participants were "undecided."
In reply as to who is the most suitable for prime minister, current premier Antonis Samaras took the lead with 32 pct (33 pct), with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras getting 28 pct (26 pct). A 36 pct (38 pct) of respondents said "none of the two."
On the Greek President's election, 43 pct said that the new President should be voted by the next parliament and 42 pct by the current house.?
 Potami leader on universities, cooperation with main partiesOpposition Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis on Thursday expressed his views on restricting the general public's access to university grounds and buildings, as well as the prospect of cooperating with the two main parties, in statements on the private broadcaster SKAI.
"The question is whether we want universities in our country to be guarded or not," he said, adding that Potami's view on this issue was a clear-cut 'yes' and that universities, not the state, must find a way to guard them.
"....the parties have no business in the universities," he underlined, saying he did not understand the idea that students needed 'protectors' from within the political parties to handle their affairs.
Asked if Potami was "against the system," Theodorakis said that Potami "preferred more down-to-earth expressions".
"We oppose - and consider a very big problem of the country - the old party system. In other words, I consider that very many problems of the country, the economy, society, education, health, emanate from the existence of party dynasty, a party yoke that is not only made up of the parties that are in government. Often it is the parties in the opposition that have big unions and block things," he said.
On the prospects of a meeting soon with either Prime Minister Antonis Samaras or main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, Theodorakis stressed that Potami had its own proposal that he wanted to submit to the two leaders.
"We are not getting in line...Potami has not given a white flag or a blank cheque to anyone. It has its own proposal for society and will defend this proposal, either with Samaras or with Tsipras."
 DIMAR deputies donate allowances to public benefit institutionsOpposition Democratic Left (DIMAR) deputies donated the allowances they received for their participation in parliamentary committees in the months of August and September to three public benefit institutions in the southern city of Patras, the office of the party's parliamentary group secretary Dimitris Anagnostakis on Thursday announced.
The money was deposited into a National Bank of Greece account in the name of the institutions.
Each month the DIMAR MPs donate their allowances to different institutions and public benefit organizations.
 Appeals Court resumes Akis Tsohatzopoulos' trialA Felonies Appeal Court on Friday resumed the second degree trial of jailed former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his co-defendants in the defense procurement kickbacks and money-laundering case.
The court was called to consider an objection by the defense asking that the State does not attend the trial. The court's prosecutor has already recommended that the objection be overturned, claiming that the State needs to be present as it suffered damage from the defendants' activities and has the right to defend its interests.
Only nine of the 17 defendants showed up at the court on Thursday. Tsohatzopoulos' wife, Vicky Stamati and his daughter, Areti Tsohatzopoulou are being represented by their lawyers.
The hearing is underway, while the next session of the court has been scheduled for October 31.
 FinMin officials brief Parliament on obligatory loan to Germany during WWIIFinance Ministry officials on Thursday briefed the Parliament's interparliamentary committee on German reparations on the methods they are using to calculate the loan Greece was forced to give to Germany during World War II.
Coordinator of a special working group at the ministry Panagiotis Karakoussis and his deputy Vassilios Malesiotis explained the method the group is using to collect information on how to evaluate the extent of the loan. They said they converted the total amount the German troops received from the Bank of Greece during the country's occupation by the Nazis into 1941-value U.S. dollars because the dollar was the only relatively stable currency at the time.
The ministry's group said it will begin calculating the interest on the originally disbursed amount from January 1, 1945, with an interest rate based on the average return of the ten-year U.S. Treasury bill.
The two officials said the group had collected 45,000 documents from the Foreign ministry, 761 files from the General Accounting Office and 5,000 documents from the State Legal Council and briefed the parliamentary committee on the difficulties of the project. They estimated the final report will be ready by December 31, 2014 and will include an assessment of all the types of German reparations.
In response, the parliamentary committee members said they would not issue their report if they do not have the working group's report, including all material classified as confidential.
 Greek Parliament president attends twinning event with Serbian National Assembly, in BelgradeParliament President Vangelis Meimarakis made an official visit to Serbia and Montenegro on Thursday, following an invitation by his counterparts, a Parliament statement said.
Prior to visiting Montenegro, Meimarakis met in Belgrade with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic and the president and members of the Serbia-Greece Friendship Group in the Serbian National Assembly.
The Greek and Serbian parliament presidents declared the completion of the European Union's Twinning Programme between the two parliaments, at a special ceremony.
In statements, Meimarakis said, "The restructuring of a parliament is an especially difficult and sensitive process, which is being experienced both by the Serbian National Assembly and the Greek Parliament. In Serbia's case, its purpose is to integrate the country into the European family. In Greece's case, it is to adapt to the country's new political and economic factors."
During the Twinning programme, he said, in 22 months, over 100 officials from 10 European Parliaments have visited Belgrade to share their technical know-how and experiences, while the collaboration will extend beyond the programme's end. "The Greek Parliament will be by your side during the entire process of negotiations with the European Union," he said, "and we hope your efforts bear fruit very quickly."
Greek Parliament Secretary General Athanasios Papaioannou, also speaking at the event, said that the programme's targets were met and in certain cases exceeded expectations. He mentioned among others an improvement of the legal framework, transparency, and the Assembly's improved effectiveness and internal operations.
"In addition, importance was placed on improving the communication procedures between the Assembly and the government or independent authorities, and the inclusion of citizens in the legislative process," he added, the success of which was recognised by independent assessors on behalf of the EU.
 EU Commissioner Hahn visits Lesvos' Petrified ForestEuropean Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn on Thursday arrived on the island Lesvos, northeast Aegean, in the context of his tour of the 13 administrative regions in the country seeking to ensure the effective utilization of structural funds' resources ahead of the new programming period 2014-2020.
Accompanied by North Aegean Regional Governor Christiana Kalogirou he visited the village of Sigri and was given a guided tour of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, a project co-financed by the European Structural Funds.
He was briefed on the protection, maintenance and promotion of the Petrified Forest, a preserved natural monument with a world-wide recognition.
The EU Commissioner was also expected to visit the Fortress of Mytilene and later address an audience on "blue development and smart specialization strategy: new challenges for North Aegean in the programming period 2014-2020".
 Akis Tsohatzopoulos' second degree trial adjourned to October 31A Felonies Appeal Court on Friday adjourned the second degree trial of jailed former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his co-defendants in the defense procurement kickbacks and money-laundering case to October 31.
The court was earlier called to consider an objection by the defense asking that the State does not attend the trial. The court overruled the objection and sustained the prosecutor's recommendation that the State attend the proceedings due to the damage it suffered from the defendants' activities.
 Greek economy to show positive growth rates in Q3, FinMin says"After six years of continuous shrinking, the Greek economy is expected to have a positive real growth rate in the third quarter of 2014 and a positive annual real growth rate of GDP in 2014, an overthrow development," Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Thursday.
Addressing a Francophone Economic Forum in Athens, the Greek minister said that the next day after the memorandum must be "a day of reasonable responsibility" and urged banks, particularly after completion of the stress tests round, "to become the basic pylon of growth, funding investments and offering liquidity to enterprises".
Hardouvelis reassured that fiscal credibility and structural changes would be protected and added that recent fluctuations in capital markets demand a better coordination in the Eurozone and consistency among member-states in completing their reform programs and fiscal convergence.
Referring to a new era of relations with the country's European partners and the IMF, Hardouvelis said a precondition was "fulfilling fiscal targets, improving economic data and continuing reforms and mostly political responsibility and stability". He said that the only sustainable road for the future of the Greek economy was raising productivity, attracting new investments and boosting exports.
The Greek FinMin said plans announced by the new President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker to drain 300 billion euros for additional public and private investments in the next three years were "very positive" and welcomed recent decisions taken by the European Central Bank to boost liquidity in the Eurozone through the purchase of securitized loans and covered bonds and the setting up of an action force by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to support enterprises.
"We look forward with great interest of a joint package of proposals aimed to boost investments by the French and German governments," Hardouvelis said, adding that Greece must take advantage of a national effort made in the previous years and to enter "with responsibility into a new era of prospect for the country and a gradual improvement of citizens' living standards".
 European authorities informing Greek systemic banks of stress tests resultsEuropean authorities will inform the managements of the four Greek systemic banks over the stress tests results related to the banks' capital adequacy rates today (Thursday), and release official results on Sunday.
On Sunday, systemic banks will release their own analytical reports based on the stress tests results.
Banks will have a two-week deadline to submit their capital plans, offering details on how they plan to cover their capital needs - in case there are any - and how to implement their plans within a period of six or nine months.
 Labour ministry to set up mechanism identifying market needsThe Labour ministry is proceeding, at an institutional level, to the creation of a mechanism that will help authorities identify the market needs, Deputy Labour Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said on Thursday in the Parliament.
The aim of the mechanism is to help young people choose job specialisations with high absorption rates.
In response to a current question by DIMAR deputy Maria Repoussi on funds for dealing with youth unemployment, Plakiotakis said that by the end of the month there will be a specific, targeted programme for tourism and in November, there will be specific actions for specific sectors of the economy such as export trade, the strengthening of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and new technologies. Moreover, the ministry is planning to finance social cooperative enterprises with disabled persons by the end of November. The funding will be directed to both salaries and equipment while the Social Economy Fund will also be set into operation.
The Labour ministry is working with the European Investment Bank and commercial banks in order to help young entrepreneurs either through providing collateral or funds, Plakiotakis said, stating that the aim is to change the overall understanding of the programmes and move from the social benefits to the training of young people and their support in order to set up their own business.
According to Plakiotakis, the Greek Action Plan on "Youth Guarantee" was revised and submitted to the European Commission last May. It concerns people of 15-24 years old not in employment, education or training. For Greece, the budget of this project is 171.5 million euros and rises to 393 million euros including national funds. Greece has already implemented actions, such as the "voucher" for work experience.
 European Space Agency officials visit Hellenic Aerospace Industry in TanagraA group of officials from the European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday visited the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV) in Tanagra, central Greece, following an invitation to consider possible collaborative projects.
EAV's Managing Director, Dimitris Papakostas and other top executives presented to ESA officials the company's capabilities in aerospace technology as well as its interest in forming a long-term cooperation with the European defence industry.
EAV said the company is interested in participating in developing technologies related to advanced materials, developing and building aerospace structures and developing and making electronic satellite systems, including unmanned autonomous systems.
One of the main missions of ESA is to fund projects that develop Europe's capabilities in aerospace.
The visit was organized by the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology.
 Greece expects more than 150 million euros from leasing lignite filed in Vevi, northern GreeceGreece expects to raise more than 150 million euros from leasing the lignite field in Vevi, in the country's northwest area of Florina, during the first 15 years of the agreement, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change ministry said on Thursday.
The decision to lease the right to operate the field was signed by Deputy Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou, while the agreement with the contractor, Aktor, will be submitted to Parliament for approval.
"By re-operating the lignite field, we create about 500 full-time jobs offering a real opportunity not just to Florina but to the entire Western Macedonia," Papageorgiou said.
In a statement, the ministry also said: "Re-operating the lignite field in Vevi contributes in the smooth and effective operation of power production units, ensuring the energy sufficiency of our country."
 Western Macedonia's lignite center is the largest in the BalkansA landscape where black dominates. Smeared faces where only the eyes stand out; ash, dust and dense clouds of smoke from burning coal cover the sky. Villages are expropriated and their inhabitants are removed so that the mines are extended.
Lignite renders the country more energy independent. The largest lignite deposit of Greece is concentrated in the area that extends from Florina to Ptolemais in western Macedonia.
The lignite center of Western Macedonia is the largest one in the Balkans. It ranks second among the EU countries and sixth worldwide. Eighteen power plants of total capacity of 4.388 MW, producing 52.1 percent of the country's electricity, operate in the center.
Thousands of people work every day under extreme conditions. For the "precious" wages, for the "precious" resource of energy, workers endanger their health and even their lives.
"Permanent and temporary workers, including those who work for contractors come to 10,000," George Adamidis, president of workers association Spartakos told ANA-MPA.
"Conditions are extremely difficult. We are not only exposed to the effects of mining and burning of coal, but also to difficult weather conditions. During summer, temperatures are rather high and the atmosphere becomes stuffy due to dust and ash, while in winter there are low temperatures...Two years ago temperatures dropped to -27 degrees Celsius," he added.
The full text is available at ANA-MPA website.
 New exhibition in Piraeus to explore marine envriromnent, shipping and sciencesA new exhibition on the "Marine environment, Shipping and Sciences" will open 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, will be 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 at 12:30. President and Managing Director of Piraeus port (OLP) Giorgos Anomeritis will also attend 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.
 Iberia announces direct flights from Athens to Madrid through winter monthsThe Spanish airline Iberia on Thursday announced that it was extending direct flights between Athens and Madrid during the winter months, with three flights a week. Extending the connection throughout the year is expected to raise traffic between the two cities but also to other destinations in Iberia's network, such as Latin America, the airline said.
An Iberia representative said flights to Madrid will depart from Athens every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 16:00 local time and arrive in Madrid at 18:50 local time. The flights from Madrid to Athens will depart on the same day at 10:50 local time, arriving in Athens at 15:15 local time.
Athens International Airport CEO Dr. Ioannis Paraschis said the airport will continue to support the efforts of Iberia and other airlines, providing incentives and assistance in order to promote and reinforce their presence in Athens' market.
 Tourist arrivals up 15.6 pct in H1Tourist arrivals grew 15.6 pct to 843,206 in the first half of 2014, compared with the same period last year, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, said that arrivals from Europe -which account for the biggest part of arrivals at 85.4 pct- grew 14.6 pct, while arrivals from the European Union grew 17.7 pct in the January-June period. Tourist arrivals from the UK jumped 33.8 pct, from France were up 15.1 pct, from Holland 32.2 pct, Romania 58 pct, Russia 13.5 pct, Cyprus 29 pct and Bulgaria 12.8 pct, while on the other hand, arrivals from Italy fell 10.2 pct, from Albania 8.0 pct and from Denmark 26.2 pct.
Germany has the biggest participation in tourist arrivals in Greece (11.4 pct), followed by the UK (11.1 pct), France (6.6 pct), Russia (6.1 pct) and Bulgaria (6.0 pct). Tourist arrivals from Turkey grew 5.5 pct and from the US 3.2 pct in the first half of 2014.
 Regulation recognises shipboard experience on foreign flag ships for Greek seamenThe shipboard experience of Greek seamen working on ships under foreign flag, not contracted with the seamen's fund NAT, will be recognized for seamen wishing to apply for certificates of competency, according to a legislative clause sponsored by Shipping & Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, it was announced on Thursday.
The clause meets a long-standing demand by the shipping community.
The relevant presidential decree provides that the prior navy experience on board ships under foreign flag will count for Greek seamen wishing to acquire competency certificates as long as the time served is accepted by NAT for retirement pension. Other necessary preconditions are that the ships should be owned by Greek shipping companies or should be under the management of Greek-based shipping companies.
 Greek stocks end flat on ThursdayGreek stocks ended slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, as the market easily absorbed an early wave of selling based on reports that two out of the four systemic banks passed the stress tests, while the results for the other two were fully manageable.
Buying activity focused on Piraeus Bank, Hellenic Exchanges and OPAP, while selling focused on MIG, Hellenic Petroleum and Athens Water.
The composite index of the market eased 0.37 pct to end at 990.04 points, after falling as much as 2.70 pct and rising to 998.71 points during the session. Turnover fell to 81.10 million euros.
The Large Cap index eased 0.14 pct and the Mid Cap index eased 1.01 pct. Piraeus Bank (2.46 pct), Hellenic Exchanges (2.35 pct), OPAP (2.04 pct) and Intralot (0.76 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (4.12 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (2.97 pct), Athens Water (2.78 pct) and GEK Terna (2.72 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Among market sectors, Travel (1.91 pct), Financial Services (0.76 pct) and Telecoms (0.41 pct) were top gainers, while Oil (2.78 pct), Utilities (2.37 pct) and Real Estate (2.12 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 75 to 47 with another 21 issues unchanged. Sato (20 pct), SIDMA (19.56 pct) and Pegasus (19.35 pct) were top gainers, while Compucon (19.51 pct), Progressive (19 pct) and Teletypos (12.03 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Financial Service: +0.76%
Real Estate: -2.12%
Personal & Household: -1.02%
Food & Beverages: -0.28%
Raw Materials: -0.04%
Mass Media: unchanged
Travel & Leisure: +1.91%
The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, National Bank, Alpha Bank, and Eurobank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.603
Public Power Corp (PPC): 6.80
Coca Cola HBC: 16.83
Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.57
National Bank of Greece: 2.27
Piraeus Bank: 1.25
Grivalia Properties: 9.16
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 6.54 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, with the Greek bond yielding 7.42 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.88 pct. Turnover was a low 37 million euros, of which 15 million were buy orders and the remaining 22 million euros were sell orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was stable at 0.341 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.260 pct from 0.261, the six-month rate rose to 0.188 pct from 0.187 pct, the three-month rate rose to 0.085 pct from 0.084 pct and the one-month rate rose to 0.011 pct from 0.009 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.06 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday.
Volume on the Big Cap index totalled 7,381 contracts with 40,142 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totalled 37,906 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (14,367), followed by Alpha Bank (6,707), National Bank (5,702), Eurobank (5,107), PPC (1,773), MIG (1,083), OTE (683), OPAP (498), GEK (368), METKA (243), Mytilineos (221), Jumbo (210), Hellenic Petroleum (197), Hellenic Exchanges (175), and Titan (79).
 Foreign exchange rates - ThursdayReference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.2669
Pound sterling 0.7904
Danish kroner 7.4462
Swedish kroner 9.1869
Japanese yen 136.42
Swiss franc 1.2067
Norwegian kroner 8.309
Canadian dollar 1.4208
Australian dollar 1.4404
 Strong winds lead to cancellation of Saronic Gulf boat schedulesStrong winds on Thursday led to cancellation of boat schedules from the Attica mainland to and from the Saronic Gulf.
The Port Authority said that hydroplane and catamaran schedules from Piraeus were cancelled as were runs between Salamina and Piraeus, or Elefsina. The Salamina-Perama schedules will run as normal.
(The Saronic Gulf islands include Salamina, Aegina, Angistri and Poros islands, as well as Methana on the Peloponnese.)
In the Gulf of Patras, the Rio-Antirrio schedule is back to normal as of 16:50 on Thursday after an interruption lasting a few hours.
Elsewhere, at the Lavrio port on the eastern Attica coast, a sailing boat crashed into the quay of the fishing boats area and started taking in water through a break in the hall. There was no one on board, and the Lavrio Fire Brigade and then took it to the main port of Lavrio after pumping the waters out. There was no sea pollution.
 Exhibition on Theophil Hansen, creator of Athenian Neoclassicism, inauguratedGreek President Karolos Papoulias and President of Austria Heinz Fischer on Wednesday inaugurated the exhibition "Hellenic Renaissance: The architecture of Theophil Hansen" held at the Theocharakis Foundation.
The exhibition, which will last until January 18, includes more than 180 original drawings (watercolors, crayons etc.), mostly originating from Austrian and Danish museums and Archives, most works of which remain unpublished. It, also, includes a number of furniture, objects of gilded bronze, as well as 19th century photos.
Theophil Hansen (1813-1891) was born and educated in Copenhagen. During his nine-year stay in Athens (1837-1846), he composed the architectural narrative that characterized Athens in the 19th century; that rendered him the main creator of Athenian Neoclassicism.
In 1859, based on the University building created by his brother Christian, he conceived the so-called "Athenian Trilogy" -the complex of the Athens University, Academy and Library- which constitutes the most important architectural ensemble of Greece, after the Acropolis. He also designed the Observatory, Zappeion and a number of unexecuted projects. At the same time, he excelled in Vienna where he designed a series of buildings, including the Parliament, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Greek Church, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Concert Hall, etc.
His whole work has developed in a distinct architectural idiom with "retrospective" characteristics which Theophil himself called ?Hellenische Renaissance? (Hellenic Renaissance).
The exhibition?is organized in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and the National Art Library of Denmark. It is under the auspices of the Austrian and Danish Embassy and its grand donor is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
 German Foreign Office minister lays wreath at Hortiatis communityMinister of State for Europe at Germany's Foreign Office Michael Roth laid a wreath on Thursday at a memorial in Hortiatis, in the greater Thessaloniki district, which was demolished by Nazis on September 2, 1944 and most of its residents burnt alive.
"Even if my own generation is not personally responsible for the crimes, my country and I, as representative of the federal government, assume our historical responsibility and in the name of the Federal Republic of Germany I ask from you, the families of the victims, for forgivance," he said.
He also said that there must never again be a stripping of human dignity, extremism of the right, xenophobia and racial hatred, and this was an obligation toward Hortiatis and the history there.
Roth also spoke with students in the community who asked by him about Greece's forced loan to Germany. "From a legal standpoint, these issues have ended," he said, referring in addition to reconciliation efforts by the Greek-German Youth Institute and the German Foreign Office's Greek-German Fund for the Future.
Earlier, in Thessaloniki, Roth met with organising committee members of the Thessaloniki 2014-European Youth Capital at their offices, in the presence of professional and production organisations' representatives.
 Police arrest 3 at Thessaloniki Aristotle University operationThe Thessaloniki anti-drugs squad late on Wednesday searched 17 people at the Thessaloniki Aristotle University campus and brought in four suspects for questioning, three of which were eventually arrested.
Police carried out a raid in the university campus as part of an operation against drug trafficking.
Small amounts of hashish were found on the three arrested, two foreigners and a Greek.
A case file for violation of the law on addictive substances has been established against them. The arrested will be brought before the Misdemeanors Prosecutor of Thessaloniki.
 OPAP to sponsor renovation of Athens childrens' hospitals via 'step-counting' appThe gaming and lottery company OPAP SA on Thursday announced that it will support the renovation of the university children's hospitals Agia Sophia and P. & A. Kyriakou via its capacity as Grand Sponsor of the Athens Authentic Marathon and the app 'diadromi prosforas'.
The app can be downloaded for free and counts a person's footsteps as they go about their daily business, automatically converting them into financial support for the renovation of the two hospitals. It can be downloaded onto mobile phones or via the website www.diadromiprosforas.gr.
Each time the app is downloaded, regardless of how many footsteps are made, OPAP has undertaken to offer one euro toward the hospitals' renovation. Users can also share their progress on the social media, inform others of their participation and encourage them to join.
 Prosecution presses criminal charges on "Greek section" of pan-European fraudProsecution authorities pressed criminal charges against the representatives of four companies involved in a big fraud case, regarding the funding of projects under the "Information Society" and "State" programmes within the European Union, in which Greek European Commission employees are also involved.
The charges were pressed based on data sent to the Financial Police and the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
The case is related to funds, which apparently amount to 25 billion euros across the EU, from the EU "Information Society" and "State" programmes that were granted to research and pilot programs. Those funds allegedly were not used for the approved purposes, but ended up in personal accounts or luxury properties.
The charges include the offenses of fraud against the financial interests of the European Communities, forgery and money laundering.
The case file that was established for the "Greek section of the fraud" is related to the representatives of four companies involved in the process of filing European subsidies requests for programmes of research, development and use of Information and Communication Technologies.
Based on OLAF data, investigated by the Greek authorities, there are indications of fraud in connection to the development and activity of inter-related companies, which filed a large number of research projects, which were being approved. These companies allegedly had illicit profit by using dummy companies which presented altered or fake spending documents.
There also seem to be indications regarding EU Commission employees, including Greeks, who approved the projects. Those employees allegedly set the terms of the projects so that the funds could end up to specific beneficiaries in Greece and other EU countries.
Regarding the Greek Commission employees involved in the case, the Greek side has required judicial assistance due to the parallel investigation conducted in Brussels.
The case has been assigned to an examining magistrate.
 Police arrest woman facing terrorism charges for violating conditions of her releasePolice on Thursday announced the arrest of a 30-year-old woman facing charges as a suspected member of the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" for violating the terms of her release pending trial. This was the second time she was arrested on similar grounds within a few months.
The 30-year-old was arrested in Dimitsana, Arkadia in the Peloponnese, having violating a condition that required her to remain in her house in Athens. She had also been arrested on similar grounds in Thessaloniki on July 17 this year, with a trial date set for March 2, 2015. The woman was led before a public prosecutor.
 Parliament briefed on action against catarrhal fever in livestockAlternate Rural Development Minister Paris Koukoulopoulos on Thursday briefed Parliament on the results of a wide-ranging meeting on averting the further spread of catarrhal fever in livestock, between the ministry veterinary services, representatives of regional services and specialist vets.
Koukoulopoulos said the ministry has issued circulars to regional services and municipalities with instructions concerning the burial of animals killed by the disease when there are insufficient facilities for their cremation. He also stressed that the epidemic posed no risk to public health and reported that roughly 5 pct of sheep and goats had been infected, with a mortality rate of 0.25 pct.
 Inmates in Greek prison to sleep on mattresses from cruise shipsThe regional district of Piraeus secured mattresses to cover the needs of inmates held in Korydallos prison, after an agreement with the union of ship owners, cruise ships and shipping agencies.
The correctional facility of Korydallos has big shortages in equipment and authorities in Piraeus along with the prison administration plan to continue working with the union in order to receive more equipment from ships that could be used to cover their needs.
 Major fire underway on the island of ChiosA major fire was continuing to burn on Thursday in the area known as Melanios, in the north of the Aegean island of Chios. The fire started on Wednesday afternoon and the rise of strong winds in the last few hours has hampered fire-fighting efforts, preventing aircraft from assisting from the air.
At present, the fire poses no threat to inhabited areas and is burning through a region of grassland and meadows. A force of 11 fire-engines, 26 firemen on foot, eight muncipal vehicles and 35 volunteers are battling to put out the flames.
 Man, 54, arrested on Andros island over arsonA 54-year-old man was arrested on the Aegean island of Andros, off the eastern coast of Attica, on Thursday, accused of setting 10 fires, all in the same forest and farm area.
According to authorities, he is suspected of setting ten fires between October 18 and 22, three the first time and seven the second time, all in the Katakilo area of the island. The man is detained and will be transferred to Syros island on charges of repeated arson.
 Daylight saving time ends at 04:00 on SundayDaylight saving time ends at 04:00 in the morning on Sunday, October 26, when clocks go back one hour to show 03:00.
Greece returns to "regular" or "winter" time until the spring of 2015.
 Rain and storms on FridayRain, local storms and mainly southerly winds are forecast for Friday. Wind velocity will reach 8 on the Beaufort scale. Cloudy and rainy weather with local storms in the northern parts of the country, with snow in mountainous areas; temperatures ranging between 5C and 14C. Same weather in the western parts with temperatures between 7C and 17C. Clouds and rain in the eastern parts with light snow on the mountains and temperatures between 11C and 19C. Cloudy weather and rains over the islands, 17C-23C. Clouds and rain in Athens, 13C-19C. Same weather in Thessaloniki, 10C-13C.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: The scenario on Greece's exiting the memorandum once again in the spotlight
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Mr Samaras, this is your minister (referring to ND deputy Argyris Dinopoulos)
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: The government is playing 'overtime'
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Final settlement for debts to social security funds and the Tax Bureau
ESTIA: A marathon for the obvious (referring to access to universities)
ETHNOS: Two changes in the final settlement for debts
IMERISSIA: Games over rumors about the stress tests
KATHIMERINI: A breather for debtors of social security funds and the Tax Bureau
NAFTEMPORIKI: With a 300-billion euro "tool" in the battle for growth
RIZOSPASTIS: They are suffocating the households with installments
TA NEA: 40 percent reduction in public sector supervisors
TO PONTIKI: They are dragging them to elections
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