|Thursday, 23 October 2014|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-10-22
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 22 October 2014 Issue No: 4791
 PM Samaras: Greece 'will be absolutely safe after memorandum ends'Greece will be absolutely safe in the era after the end of the memorandum and does not need another bailout agreement, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) annual congress on Tuesday evening. "We do not need another memorandum; we are not only exiting [the current one], but Greece will be absolutely safe in the post-memorandum era," Samaras said, adding that nobody wants polarisation in politics but the government cannot allow anyone to cancel everything that has been achieved and obstruct reforms. He said a lot had been achieved by the government in its two years and more could be achieved as long as "we do not fall into a vortex and political uncertainty; it is necessary to continue on the path of reforms, because this is in the interest of the country and the Greek people." In a brief review he said the government achieved the greatest fiscal health ever done, along with sweeping reforms, Greece rose by 111 positions in global competitiveness rankings, primary surpluses were achieved before the target deadline and the deficit would be balanced while paying the debt. It has all given Greece an image of being reliable and safe, which benefits all, starting with tourism and spreading to other sectors as well, he noted. Tourism, Samaras said, was Greece's great support during hard times and remains the engine and a restart lever for the Greek economy. The sector is breaking one record after another in quality and quantity, and will bring jobs and revenues to the state as long as Greece keeps to its steady course. The prime minister also criticised the opposition for trying to make fun of the success or cancel them out.
 PM Samaras meets with TUI travel agencyPrime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday met with the heads of travel agency TUI at the Maximos mansion. TUI's managing director Peter Long called the meeting very important noting that "the political stability that the government has succeeded is very important because a very strong and positive economic course has been achieved, something that is very good for tourism." Moreover, he said that 2014 was a very good year and the number of TUI's clients visiting Greece increased by 10 percent. "We have a very good and strong cooperation with the Greek Tourism Minister and we see potential to further develop it. We hope to increase the number of our clients in Greece by 10 percent in the next year as well," he added. Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni that was also present at the meeting stated that the huge success of the Greek tourism has been based in cooperations with major foreign tourist agents. "We are interested in having an increase in tourist arrivals in 2015, extend the tourism season and offer the opportunity to other Greek regions to get into 'the tourism game' so that local societies have profits from tourism," Kefalogianni said.
 TUI to bring more tourists to Greece in 2015The international tour operator TUI will bring to Greece 10 pct more tourists in the new tourist season compared to this year, its CEO Peter Long said on Tuesday addressing a conference hosted by the Greek Tourism Enterprises Association (SETE). Speaking in numbers, the international tour operator will bring 2.2 million tourists to Greece in 2015 compared to 2 million in 2014. He underlined that Greece is a leading Mediterranean destination and noted that TUI will continue to support the country. He said that TUI is interested in investing in Greece with new products in consultation with private investors and noted that the utilisation of regional airports is a basic precondition, considering the country's flexibility in the sector of investments and that the Greek tourism season extends throughout the year.
 FM Venizelos to meet with Austrian President Fischer on WednesdayGovernment Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday will meet with the President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer, according to a ministry announcement. The meeting will take place at 16:30 at the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens.
 Austria's Federal President interview to ANA-MPAVIENNA (ANA-MPA/D.Dimitrakoudis) Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer underlined, in an interview with ANA-MPA on Tuesday, the excellent relations between Austria and Greece. The Austrian President, who will pay a two-day visit to Greece on Wednesday, will meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the government vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras. Fischer said he had paid his first visit to Greece as president seven years ago. In the meantime, a series of developments have taken place and a lot of things have changed. For this reason, he said, he is very happy for the discussions he will have with the Greek President in order to have a personal view of the condition in Greece and on how it is seen by its leadership. Referring to the crisis, the Austrian president noted that in its start is was probably wrongly estimated and downgraded, while, as he said, he has the impression that even today nobody can clearly specify the reasons of the crisis and its repercussions. Regarding Greece, Fischer clarified that it has apparently overcome the more difficult part of the current crisis, and that there will be growth. However, the reasons of the crisis will be discussed for a long time and its repercussion will also be here for long. He reiterated that his opinion expressed in the past that he cannot even imagine how the Austrians would react if they had to bear so heavy burdens as those imposed on the Greek people. However, he said that he is happy that a new era arrives during which a recovery procedure will be possible and in which the indications for more positive developments are increasing. On the Cyprus issue, the Austrian president noted that the hope for Cyprus re-unification is justified and should not be abandoned as the hope for the collapse of the Berlin Wall had been considered non-realistic for a long time, but it was succeeded. He also expressed his sorrow for the cancellation of the negotiations adding that with good will a sensible negotiation procedure will open again.
 PM Samaras, FinMin Hardouvelis meet; no statementsPrime Minister Antonis Samaras met with Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday. The two officials discussed all current financial affairs, according to sources. Hardouvelis made no statements following the two-hour meeting.
 Top gov't ministers conclude meeting on settling arrears towards state, insurance fundsA meeting among top government ministers on finding a way to surpass the objections of the troika on settling arrears towards the state and insurance funds was completed on Tuesday night at the Finance ministry. The meeting was attended, among others, by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, Development and Competition Minister Nikos Dendias, Labour Minister Giannis Vroutsis and Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou. According to information, the representatives of Greece's international lenders have asked for stricter conditions to be included in the new legislation (that would allow the settling of debts in up to 100 installments), so as to stop debtors who have been included in previous arrangements from "jumping" into the new one. They also want the legislation to be complementary to the one on settling bad loans. For this reason, the ministry is in contact with troika officials in order to speed up the process of submitting the legislation to Parliament without the move appearing to be a "unilateral action" by Greece. The troika also wants all legislation on settling arrears to have similar conditions so that none of them will appear to be more advantageous than another and those who have debts both towards banks and the state will choose just one method of settlement. The problem with outstanding debts is so great, that in September alone, financial obligations towards insurance funds and other state bodies jumped by 1 billion euros and have now topped 70 billion euros.
 PM Samaras to meet Gov't VP Venizelos on Wed.Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet with Government Vice-President Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the upcoming summit meeting of the European Union in Brussels and developments in the economy, ahead of the next visit by the representatives of Greece's international lenders. The meeting has been scheduled for 18:00 at the Maximos Mansion.
 MEP Kefalogiannis says "Turkey undermines its European course"The Turkish violations of the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is also the European Union's EEZ, that create a negative atmosphere for Turkey on European level, were underlined by the head of New Democracy's MEPs Manolis Kefalogiannis in a meeting on Tuesday with European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule in Strasbourg. Kefalogiannis also referred to issues that concern human rights in Turkey, the progress in its democratic institutions, freedom of the press and expression and rights of ethnic and religious minorities. The meeting also focused on issues of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans (Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, FYROM and others). After the meeting, Kefalogiannis commented that "Turkey's provocations constitute a blatant violation of the international law of the sea and the Republic of Cyprus' sovereign rights. With its actions Turkey itself undermines its European course and, also, security and stability in the region of SE Europe".
 Gerontopoulos begins two-day visit to RomaniaDeputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos on Tuesday started a two-day visit to Romania, inaugurating the new premises of the Greek School "Athina" in Bucharest. He met with the school's educators, students and members of the parent-teacher association noting that the school "embraced a special generation of Greek students," who grew up far from Greece but remained close to the spirit of Greece and the Greek language through the efforts of the teachers and parents. He then met the President of the Hellenic Union of Romania and Romanian MP Dragos Zisopoulo, and was briefed on the group's activities. On Tuesday afternoon, the minister will inaugurate the new offices of the Greek-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
 Dev't Minister: Family house will always be protectedDevelopment Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday speaking to private TV ANTI reassured that the "first house" will not be auctioned. "The family house will be always protected," he underlined. Referring to the businesses' bad loans and the law he will table he noted that "the legislation refers to the small sized enterprises. Our aim is to relief these businesses from the burden of the crisis and in order for them to become viable, without debts, and keep their staff, hire more people and contribute to the country's GDP." He clarified that "whoever has a poor or ailing business and is wealthy himself does not need the legislation". The main parameter of the legislation is the gradual reduction of "the debts to the banking system", Dendias explained and noted that a precondition for the law to be applied is "to have an agreement with the troika and the Finance Ministry." Referring to the professionals and mostly to the young entrepreneurs he described a new 'tool' that will come into effect in November which "will allow bank lending for young entrepreneurs and innovative ideas" so that their ideas can be implemented.
 Education Minister Loverdos on universities' security guardingEducation Minister Andreas Loverdos in a letter to parliament regarding the ability of institutions to decide on the guarding and protection of universities' premises, students and staff referred to the Constitution that guarantees the nominal autonomy of universities and the Law on the abolition of the academic asylum. Loverdos' letter was sent to parliament on October 16 in response to a query tabled by New Democracy deputy Panagiota Iakovidou for the guarding of the universities. In her query, Iakovidou had cited statements by the rector of the Athens University Theodoros Fortsakis in September that the dozens of buildings of the university are scattered and as a result not guarded, with thefts exceeding 500,000 euros. She also referred to statements of the same rector that doors are not locked and the premises are full of trash, while citing statements by other rectors regarding drugs trafficking. The Education Minister told Iakovidou he had asked the rectors of the universities to inform him about the content of any complaints they may have and express their opinions on the matter, as the competent department of the Education Ministry had not received any such complaints in September.
 Athens University rector on deputies entering the universityAthens University Rector Theodoros Fortsakis on Tuesday said that the university is a place for professors and students and everyone else should ask for permission to enter, while speaking on ANT1 TV. "Can a deputy enter your house without permission? Can I go into SYRIZA's offices without permission?" Fortsakis asked. "Everyone is welcome at the university, including SYRIZA deputies, provided they have a permission," he added. "Three deputies pushed their way past the university entrance and allowed students, administrative staff and other people we don't know, to occupy the area. It is obvious that we have a situation of abnormality. As long as this situation exists, we cannot have a dialogue," the rector noted. Fortsakis called on the people who remain at the rectorship site to leave, otherwise they will have to face the consequences of the law. Commenting on the issue via the radio station 'Vima FM', SYRIZA secretary Dimitris Vitsas stressed that "It is fundamental that universities operate, that they are open to society and that the academic area is free...Protection and control of access cannot be imposed with face control, security or anything else." While condemning vandalism and destruction in universities and all public buildings as "inexcusable", he stressed that the university itself had guards and administrative personnel and a "great force on its own, which are the students". "It must avert such phenomena. This is not negotiable. And also facilitate the exchange of ideas, facilitate knowledge," he added. New Democracy Central Committee Secretary Andreas Papamimikos, in comments on Athens 9.84 FM, stressed that the university's leadership and Fortsakis "should have already implemented the law," and that when "someone obstructs the operation of the university, the police should go in and arrest them." "I do wonder," he said. "At SYRIZA offices, don't they have any security checks, any door people or police officers? Anyone who wants to get in may as well do so? Because my idea of this is that those who enter SYRIZA offices are also checked." Meanwhile, the situation within the university grounds remained tense, with a few dozen administrative staff and students again gathering in the forecourt of its central building on Tuesday and causing Fortsakis to postpone a meeting with their representatives that was scheduled to take place. The rector had ask the employees and students to clear the forecourt in order for the meeting to take place but his demand was not accepted by the protestors, who said they were determined to continue their mobilisations. The protest was sparked by a decision to shut the building's entrances taken last week, after the university's administration was tipped off that a group of students was planning a sit-in to protest against assigning the university's security to private companies. The central building opened on Monday, when main opposition SYRIZA MPs insisted on being allowed in and then allowed the protestors to follow them. Representatives of the university administrative staff and students, however, denied that the MPs had 'forced' their way in or facilitated others, while the claim was also denied by the three MPs involved - Apostolos Alexopoulos, Christos Mantas and Theano Fotiou - who said they could not meet Fortsakis until he publicly retracted.
 Public prosecutor launches inquiry into events at Athens UniversityThe head of the first-instance court public prosecutors Ilias Zagoraios on Tuesday ordered an urgent preliminary inquiry into recent events at Athens University, after Athens University Rector Theodoros Fortsakis filed a complaint that the university's functioning had been disrupted. Sources said the charge is a misdemeanour level offence and Fortsakis has not asked for the immediate intervention of the police since there are no damages that prevent the university's operation, noting that it operated as normal on Tuesday.
 Administrative Reform Minister Mitsotakis on uniform payroll, promotions and reformsAdministrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday on Parapolitika 901 FM referred to the need of having a true two-year trial period during which public sector employees will be paid less that the starting salary. "What we are discussing with the troika has already been discussed with PASOK representatives. PASOK ought to be more careful when it comments on reports that do not even reflect the views of the Administrative Reform ministry," Mitsotakis underlined. He also said that the ministry was considering partially unfreezing wage promotions. Referring to the uniform payroll, he mentioned the example of a ministry where employees of compulsory education earn 600 euros more than the equivalent employees of other ministries and added that any intervention would be "salary neutral", meaning that money saved will be given elsewhere. Regarding reforms, he said that "if we were bolder and implemented them in a more convincing and enthusiastic way, we could have a better performance in opinion polls." The minister also stressed that the "dividing line between New Democracy and SYRIZA must be absolutely clear." Finally, Mitsotakis said "half of SYRIZA feels comfortable with the idea of leaving the euro", adding that "when SYRIZA's policy to write off the debt will not work, it will have two options in order to finance the economy: either it will be forced to sign a new memorandum with creditors or it will be forced to leave the eurozone and print money."
 Government spokeswoman on arrested terrorist Maziotis' threat against New Democracy's GeorgiadisDemocracy cannot be terrorized, government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi said and called on all political parties to condemn the attempted terrorization against New Democracy's parliamentary spokesman Adonis Georgiadis. Voultepsi noted that a direct threat against his life by terrorists will not bend Georgiadis or any other Greek deputy's beliefs or parliamentary activity. "Let everyone consider what the political targeting of a Greek deputy means for our Democracy," she added. The arrested Nikos Maziotis had responded to comments made by Georgiadis during an interview to a radio station regarding a text by Maziotis posted on indymedia website. More specifically, Nikos Maziotis in a second text had said that "Adonis should be executed and hanged at Syntagma square."
 SYRIZA's Tsipras meets with armed forces political and military leadershipMain opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday had a meeting with the political and military leadership of the Defence ministry during which he was informed about Greece's geostrategic plans. Firstly, he met with Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and then with Alternate Defence Minister Fofi Gennimata and the military leadership of the armed forces. In his statements, Tsipras noted that Turkey's decision to conduct exploration with the participation of two naval vessels in the area of the continental shelf and the EEZ of Cyprus constitutes an unacceptable violation of the sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic, as defined by the international law. We consider, he added, that this challenge aims at thwarting the dialogue process for the solution of the Cyprus issue under the auspices of the UN and undermines the already volatile situation in the region. Referring to the "criminal political management of the unprecedented economic crisis" the country is facing, SYRIZA leader assured that its deterrent capability remains strong and this is due to the selfless stance of the personnel. At the same time, he stressed the need for the restitution of the injustices that military personnel have suffered. All court decisions must be implemented, he underlined. Tsipras also reassured the leadership of the armed forces that they are surrounded with confidence. Replying to a question, Tsipras stated that the deterrent capability is not associated with the arms procurement but the structure of the defence, among others. The major weaknesses of the army, he added, are not related to the present crisis, but with the scandalous arms procurement programmes of the past. Tsipras also stressed the need to refrain from the model of arms procurement programmes of the past and set a new basis, taking into account the management of the economic crisis, while pointing out the relative positions of the main opposition party.
 New Democracy's Papamimikos on universities and presidential electionThe University of Athens rectorship and the rector Theodoros Fortsakis "should have already implemented the law," the secretary of New Democracy's Central Committee Andreas Papamimikos told Athens 9.84 FM on Tuesday. "Namely, when someone obstructs the operation of the university, the police should go in and arrest those who obstruct the university's operation," he noted. "I do wonder," he said. "At SYRIZA offices, don't they have any security checks, any door people or police officers? Anyone who wants to get in may as well do so? Because my idea of this is that those who enter SYRIZA offices are also checked." As far the election of the President of the Republic is concerned, he said that "New Democracy President and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in the vote of confidence debate has addressed a clear call to SYRIZA. Let SYRIZA sit at the same table so we can find a new President together. We are still here...You don't send out invitations many times; you only send them once. The Prime Minister has sent it from the Parliament and said, let SYRIZA come so we can discuss the President's election; now it's up to them to make up their minds."
 "Expectation can easily turn into punishment", Deputy Development Minister Konstantinopoulos says"The future of this government depends on whether it will manage in the near future to lead the country out of the woods," Deputy Development Minister Odysseas Konstantinopoulos said on Tuesday. "Those who talk about failures and are getting ready for elections and power using irresponsibility and scare-mongering as a weapon should be patient for a few months. I'm telling them though that, contrary to what they hope for, the country will not fail. Everybody should know that 'expectation' can easily turn into 'punishment'," Konstantinopoulos said in an interview with ANA-MPA. He also expressed regret because "part of the Left resorts to sordid methods which it had suffered in the past and were condemned by all of us who refuse to throw Democracy in the gutter". "We are in an extremely crucial period of negotiations and decisions that will define the country's future. We are in a much better position and condition now compared to 2011-12, with a surplus and balanced twin deficits, but there is still a long way to go before saying that we have definitively escaped the crisis and the causes that created it. Now is the time for everybody to be dedicated to the truth and to table specific and applicable plans; it is the time for understanding," he underlined. On the country's course out of the crisis, he said that the way the country will return to the markets, the orderly and safe exit from the memorandum, is described in the seven points presented by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and approved by the party's parliamentary group. "Until now, it is the only well-planned road map that will lead the country out of the memorandum, that introduces tax relief policies and does not signal the end," he underlined.
 Central and local government entities should show respect to justice, Environment min saysEnvironment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, regarding the issuing of Council of State's decisions which rejected the petitions for the annulment of the Greek state decisions on the Integrated Waste Management Facility at the north-eastern Attica region of Grammatiko, made the following statement: "The last efforts for the annulment of the decisions by the State as regards the Integrated Waste Management Facility at Mavro Vouno, in the region of Grammatiko, were rejected by the Council of State." The minister noted that "it is high time that all central government entities as well as first and second degree local administration entities show due respect to the decisions of the justice and at the same time consider their responsibilities so that the country is not required to pay fines to the EU and Attica can get modern and in accordance with the EU Directives waste management facilities that would protect public health and the environment."
 Gov't prepared to listen to local authorities on PPPs but waste management plans can't wait, minister stressesThe government was willing to hear the views of the new local authority leaderships on Public Private-sector Partnership projects and ways to improve the existing system, but waste management plans were urgent and had to go ahead, Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Tuesday. "Honestly, on the issue of waste management there is no time. The projects should have been carried out yesterday. The plans have progressed, have passed the stage of consultation and have the acceptance of residents," he told a seminar to present PPP programmes. This was attended by representatives of all levels of local government in Attica, West and Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Southern Aegean and Crete. Mitarachi said that three contracts worth 130 million euros were signed in the first half of 2014, and were the first PPP projects signed since 2009 when the crisis began. The signature of the three projects put Greece in fourth place on a European level in implementing PPP projects and fourth in terms of the size of PPPs as a proportion of GDP. Another nine such contracts were expected to be signed within the first half of 2015 worth 650 million euros in total, he added, promising that the ministry will help local authorities handle PPP projects through special training seminars.
 Commissioner-elect Avramopoulos on Strasbourg visit; hosts farewell lunch for EU, NATO ambassadors in AthensNational Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will go on a 24-hour visit to Strasbourg on Wednesday to attend the special plenary session of the European Parliament that will vote on the new European Commission as a whole. The new European Commissioners will assume their duties on November 1. At noon on Tuesday, Avramopoulos, who will assume his duties in the European Commission as the Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner, hosted a farewell lunch in honor of the EU and NATO ambassadors to Athens.
 Defence ministry denies allegations it has outstanding debts towards Elefsina ShipyardsThe National Defence ministry denied on Tuesday an allegation made by the management of Elefsina Shipyards that it has outstanding claims towards it, arguing that "no contractual liability exists for the ministry of National Defence towards the Shipyards." "All the assertions made by the management of Elefsina Shipyards are claims from older programmes of the Hellenic Navy, which the relevant agencies of the ministry and the Navy didn't acknowledge as valid," the statement reads. The ministry also says that under a legislative regulation voted in Parliament in April 2013, Elefsina Shipyards were paid 25 million euros and should have already delivered the gunboat "Ritsos" in March 2014. In April, the government had initiated an agreement passed by Parliament to keep the shipyards operating and its 1,000-strong staff working, with a contract to deliver gunboats.
 Journalists' union federation POESY accuses gov't of new attack on collective bargainingThe board of the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY), in an announcement on Tuesday, denounced what it called a "new government intervention in the system of free collective labour bargaining." "Thinking up tricks to allow the violation of the constitutional obligation for the issue of an arbitration ruling, when an agreement for the signature of a Collective Labour Agreement is not achieved, the government has again abolished the Arbitration three months after the annulment of the Act of Cabinet of 28-2-2012 by the Council of State, which accepted a petition for annulment," the announcement said. The petition to the CoS had been filed by POESY. POESY noted that the backdated implementation of the new measures signals "the complete abolition of free collective bargaining" even for arbitration rulings issued after the CoS ruling cancelling the Act of Cabinet. "On the pretext of complying with that ruling, the government has cancelled all possibility of regulating terms of pay and labour by collective bargaining organisations. It is yet another suspension of a fundamental constitutional article, against which POESY calls its members and all journalists to present in every way our just demands and the restoration of free collective bargaining in Greece."
 KKE MEPs comment on Turkey's stanceTurkey's aggressiveness on the Cyprus issue and "the dangerous attitude of disputing the Cypriot EEZ constitutes a challenge against the Cypriot people," and acts in the direction of perpetuating the results of the Turkish invasion and occupation, leads to intensification of rivalries in the region and poses risks, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) European Parliament deputies said in a statement. "The stance of the EU on the issue proves those who presented it as a supposed protector of the Cypriot people wrong," it added. "It also refutes the celebrations that the finding of natural gas would be a 'tool' for the solution of the Cyprus issue. On the contrary, escalated rivalries complicate the problem," the statement noted. KKE called on workers to condemn the Turkish provocation, express their solidarity with the Cypriot people, and demand a solution for a united, independent Cyprus with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international identity, without foreign bases and troops, without foreign guarantors and protectors.
 KKE delegation, headed by deputy Giokas, visits Elefsina ShipyardsA communist KKE party delegation, headed by deputy Yiannis Giokas, on Tuesday visited the Elefsina Shipyards, where employees have been on a labour action claiming 9 months of accrued wages. The delegation had a meeting with the employees union and then the deputy spoke with the workers themselves, expressing the party's solidarity with their fight. According to a KKE announcement, Giokas said that KKE is committed to doing everything in its power to exercise pressure - in and outside the Parliament - so that accrued wages be paid to the workers. He said that the fight should also be focused on what kind of shipyards the people, the workers and the country need and whether their employees will work one day (per week) and will remain unpaid for months. Giokas underlined Greece's production potential and said that radical changes were needed through the overturning of the current situation and of the political parties and governments that by following EU directions for years have led the shipbuilding industry to decline. He also mentioned the need for a uniform state entity in the shipbuilding and ship repairing industry that would construct ships for the coastal shipping, the armed forces and the country's needs.
 Constantopoulos, Panoussis testify before prosecutor investigating MP bribery allegationsThe former president of SYN Nikos Constantopoulos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) MP Yiannis Panoussis on Tuesday testified before the prosecutor investigating MP bribery allegations, ahead of the forthcoming presidential election in parliament. Panoussis did not make any comments on the content of his testimony while exiting the prosecutor's office, as opposed to Constantopoulos, who has referred to behind-the-scenes moves speaking about "benefits and quid pro quo practices" aimed at avoiding early general elections. Constantopoulos told reporters after his testimony that many problems would have been solved if there was political will. In a written statement he underlined that "the government has an obligation to explain what it meant by saying, soon after the parliament was hastily closed and at a time when it had nobody's support other than its own, that 'they are given' or that 'the 180 MPs needed will be found regardless of how'." Next in line to testify before the prosecutor is Independent Greeks (ANEL) president Panos Kammenos. Emilios Liatsos, the director of Kontra News newspaper in which the controversial allegations were published, SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' political office director Nikos Pappas and Democratic Left (DIMAR) president Fotis Kouvelis have already testified.
 Government spokesperson Voultepsi on Constantopoulos' testimony before the prosecutorGovernment spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi on Tuesday commented on the statements made earlier the same day by former Synaspismos (Coalition of Left) party president Nikos Constantopoulos after his testimony before the prosecutor investigating MP bribery allegations. Voultepsi cited the comments Constantopoulos made last September in Parapolitika newspaper and after comparing them to what he said today following his testimony, she said that "he has changed his tune completely". She underlined that being a lawyer Constantopoulos remembered that none can play with justice, noting that he did not present any proof for the allegations. Referring to Constantopoulos, the government spokesperson also said that as a former Synaspismos president he did not hesitate to use undocumented and slanderous allegations that hurt democracy and the parliamentary system. (The Synaspismos party is now part of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), currently the main opposition party.)
 Former PASOK deputy minister under review by Parliament's Source of Income CommitteeFormer PASOK deputy Yiannis Anthopoulos is under review by the Parliament's Source of Income Committee, which is looking over the records of former politicians from 1974 to 2012. The Committee has processed the source of income (known as "pothen esches") statements for 455 politicians so far and has found that fewer than 10 cases need further checks, according to its chairman Giorgos Kaladzis. During its next session, the Committee will decide whether additional facts may justify the assets of Anthopoulos, who served as deputy in the ministries of Education (2 terms) and National Economy (1 term).
 Air Force, Navy, Coastguard hold joint search and rescue exercise south of KastellorizoA search and rescue operation designed to rescue Hellenic Air Force pilots following a simulated ejection while flying in a remote region of the Athens FIR was the scenario of the exercise, code-named "AETOS B' 14", held on Monday south of Kastelorizo in southeast Aegean, it was announced on Tuesday. The exercise involved the participation of two F-16 Block 52+ aircraft, a Super Puma AS-332 helicopter, a C-130 transport plane, the 31 Search & Rescue Operations Squadron, as well as Navy and Coastguard ships.
 Hellenic Air Force to send aircraft for Thessaloniki's 'OXI' day celebrationsThe Hellenic Air Force aerial display team will participate in the celebrations marking the anniversary of October 28, or OXI day, in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, it was announced on Tuesday. The Air Force will be sending F-16 Zeus aircraft, which will carry out a test flight at noon on Monday and then carry out an aerial display over the Thermaikos bay immediate after the customary military parade through the city centre.
 Council of State gives go-ahead to waste management facility projectWork on the solid waste management facility on Mt. Grammatiko, Attica, can go ahead, following a decision Tuesday by the fifth section of the Council of State, which overruled objections by officials and home owners in the municipality of Marathonas, northeast of Athens. The issue focused on whether the Mavro Vouno location, named in the injunctions, included a stream or not. The municipality wanted a review of the environmental terms approved for and the location of the facility, which will cover 52 hectares (520 stremmas). The Council accepted a study by a National Metsovio Polytechnic professor and a report by the ministry of the Environment, both of which said that there is no stream and no porosity of the ground, therefore no additional measures need be taken, and the plan stands as is. The waste management facility is scheduled to manage annual waste of around 127,500 tonnes.
 Funeral of historic PASOK figure Haralambopoulos held on TuesdayFormer Defence minister and historic figure of the junior government coalition partner PASOK Yiannis Haralambopoulos, who died on Thursday at the age of 95, was buried with full military honours on Tuesday. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, former Prime Minister George Papandreou, Parliament President Vangelis Meimarakis, National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and several deputies from opposition parties Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and the Communist Party of Greece attended the service held at the church of Agios Dionyssios in Kolonaki, central Athens. Haralambopoulos was buried in Zografou. Haralambopoulos was a close adviser of late Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and held various ministerial posts, including that of deputy prime minister. "The country, the President of the Republic, the Greek Parliament and its parties, the government and the Armed Forces today bid farewell to a man who honoured the nation and democracy like few have," Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a speech. Haralambopoulos fought on the Albanian front and in the Middle East in the Second World War. He was jailed for his political beliefs during the junta. He was first elected to Parliament in 1964 and became part of the first PASOK government in 1981.
 Greek primary surplus rises to 2.532 bln euros in Jan-SeptThe Greek government on Tuesday reported a primary budget surplus of 2.532 billion euros in the first nine months of the year, slightly down from a primary surplus of 2.632 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2013, but sharply up from a budget target for a surplus of 1.551 billion. The general government's deficit totaled 2.285 billion euros in the January-September period, from a deficit of 2.657 billion euros last year and a revised budget target for a deficit of 3.661 billion euros. Net budget revenues totaled 37.277 billion euros in the nine-month period, down 1.1 pct from budget targets, while regular budget net revenues totaled 33.869 billion euros, down 1.0 pct from targets. Tax revenues totaled 32.112 billion euros in the January-September period, down 1.7 pct from targets, with income tax revenues surpassing targets by 7.6 pct, VAT proceeds were up 1.8 pct, other transaction taxes surpassed targets by 26.5 pct and other non-tax revenues were up 19.5 pct in the nine-month period. On the other hand, corporate tax revenues fell short of targets by 19.9 pct, property taxes were 14.4 pct lower, while VAT on oil products were down 6.1 pct. Public Investment Program revenues totaled 3.408 billion euros in the January-September period, down 76 million from targets, while state budget spending totaled 39.562 billion euros. Regular budget spending totaled 35.914 billion euros, down 1.960 billion from budget targets and down 7.0 pct compared with the same period last year. This decline reflects mainly a reduction in primary spending by 5.7 pct. Public Investment Program spending totaled 3.648 billion euros, up 180 million euros form budget targets.
 Greek fiscal deficit at 12.2 pct of GDP in 2013, EurostatBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Maria Aroni) Greece's fiscal deficit was 12.2 pct of GDP in 2013, while the country's public debt totaled 174.9 pct of GDP, Eurostat said on Tuesday. In its revised figures for fiscal deficit and public debt in the EU, Eurostat said that the Greek fiscal deficit rose to 12.2 pct of GDP in 2013 from 8.6 pct in 2012 and 10.1 pct in 2011, while the country's public debt rose to 174.9 pct of GDP in 2013 (319.13 bln euros), from 156.9 pct in 2012 and 171.3 pct in 2011. In the Eurozone, the fiscal deficit totaled 2.9 pct of GDP in 2013, from 3.6 pct in 2012 and 4.1 pct in 2011, while in the EU the fiscal deficit was 3.2 pct, 4.2 pct and 4.5 pct, respectively. Eurozone's public debt rose to 90.9 pct of GDP in 2013, while in the EU, the public debt was 85.4 pct of GDP in 2013. Luxembourg and Germany were the only states to record a fiscal surplus in 2013, while Estonia, Denmark and Latvia recorded the lowest fiscal deficits. Estonia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Romania and Latvia recorded the lowest public debt rates in 2013, while Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Belgium the highest debt levels.
 Development minister meets entrepreneurs in networks for startupsDevelopment and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday had a meeting with entrepreneurs in the support networks for start-ups Orange Grove and 'egg - enter?grow?go', who briefed him on the problems they face, especially their difficulty in securing financing. "Investors abroad and especially from America that want to invest in start-ups or innovative businesses in Greece, as soon as they are told about the taxation and insurance regime in our country, push for the foundation of a second company abroad and often, there a parent company in Greece is not founded at all," they said. Other problems they highlighted was the delays dogging inclusion in National Strategic Reference Framework programmes, bureaucracy and the still-high social insurance and tax obligations that eat up precious working capital. The minister promised improvements and amendments in the transfer of funds from NSRF, saying that the first target was to remove all the obstacles to entrepreneurship, so that it might have a more important role in Greek society and the economy.
 National Bank's priority is to support the real economy, CEO saysNational Bank's top priority is to support the real economy along with implementing its restructuring plan, the bank's chief executive Alexandros Tourkolias said on Tuesday. Addressing a conference on "Internal control on the epicentre of developments", the Greek banker said that the majority of loans offered by National Bank were for investments as they lead to new job creation. National Bank has a strong cashflow, Tourkolias said while commenting on the forthcoming announcement of stress tests results, he noted that "under the existing data we can sleep quietly". National Bank's CEO focused on the need to adopt a new business model, in the framework of creating a new growth model for the country, which will be based on export activity, supporting new technologies and human resources, instead of the extreme domestic consumption which prevailed before the crisis. Businesses will have a larger participation in their investment plans in order to be sustainable and have greater performance, he added. Commenting on the importance of internal control, Tourkolias stressed that Greek banks have developed advanced internal control systems that are constantly readjusting to new demands. For National Bank, internal control is a timeless compass for its activity, he noted. National Bank has been prepared to meet a new stricter supervisory framework which will be put into force on a pan-European level.
 Tourism contribution to 2014 GDP stands at 20.5 pct, SETE head saysTourism contribution to the Greek Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased as a result of the performance of the sector this year, the head of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) Andreas Andreadis said in his address at SETE conference on "Greece's strategic advantages: investments and growth." According to Andreadis, the direct and indirect contribution of tourism to the real economy stands at 20.5 percent of GDP or 37.6 billion euros, based on a 2.2 multiplier that IOBE research institute estimated in 2012. Andreadis noted that in 2014 direct and indirect revenues for the Greek tourism will amount to 14 billion euros and to 17 billion euros, including those from air and maritime transport and internal tourism. He stressed that if the multipliers of KEPE institute on the allocation of tourism spending are adopted, then the relevant contribution rises to 45.3 billion euros or 24.7 percent of GDP. He also said that big municipalities and regions were called to assume a significant role, by facilitating the initiatives of the private sector and aiming for the development and the showcasing of each region's special characteristics. On his part, Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis praised the Greek capital's tourism performance this year and noted that the aim is for Athens to evolve to a capital with new production structures and robust economy. Tourism remains the central pillar of the municipality's growth strategy, he added.
 Outstanding tax debt surpassed 70 bln euros in SeptThe value of outstanding tax debt to the state surpassed 70 billion euros in September, official data showed on Tuesday. In a report, the Public Revenue General Secretariat said that old outstanding debt (up to December 31, 2013) totaled 60.680 billion euros by the end of September, while new outstanding debt (from January 1, 2014) totaled 9.683 billion euros, up from 8.654 billion in August. Taxpayers are increasingly unable to pay their tax obligations, with new tax debt rising by almost 1.0 billion euros per month.
 Farmers' to launch mobilisations on November 1Farmers have decided to launch mobilisations on November 1, with their participation in a protest rally called by the labour organisation PAME, affiliated to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in Athens' downtown Syntagma Square, it was announced in a press conference they held on Tuesday. They also warned that their protests may escalate, depending on their results, in the second half of January. The relevant decisions were made by representatives of farmers throughout the country, who attended a meeting in Larissa, central Greece, on Sunday. Farmers from Larissa, Karditsa and Lamia, who represented the farmers nationwide, said in the press conference their sector faces acute problems expected to intensify with the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy, which will result in a reduction of subsidies they receive today of up to 40 pct, while placing new restrictions on cultivations. They underlined that the heavy taxation on farmers as of this year, the extraordinary surtaxes and the Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA), the production cost increase and the very low prices of basic products, drastically reduced farmers' incomes and led thousands of them to poverty. The farmers announced their decision to participate in the PAME protest rally in Athens followed by protests outside branches of Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organisation (ELGA), Agricultural Insurance Organisation (OGA) and bank branches nationwide, including tax bureaus. In mid January they will assess their actions and decide on the future course of their mobilisations.
 Trade credit insurer Euler Hermes sees heightened demand for Greek exports in 2015Greece can expect to see heightened demand for its products and services from its trading partners in 2015, global trade credit insurer Euler Hermes forecast on Tuesday. Speaking at the International Trade Observatory 2014 conference held in Athens, the firm's economists and analysts estimated that this increase will be in the order of 1.3 billion euros. According to the head of the company's economic research team Ludovic Sobran, the global economic slowdown and rising political risk in many areas of the world could lead to expectations of a weakening euro, greater efforts for fiscal reforms and, possibly, a wide-ranging initiative to step up public investment programmes throughout Europe, along the lines of the Marshall Plan after WWII. "Farming products, chemicals and energy are among the [Greek] sectors with the most prospects for increasing their share in the global market," Sobran said, noting that the markets of Turkey and Eastern Europe are expected to continue absorbing a large share of Greece's increased exports, while an improvement in the cost of Greek products and services, combined with a series of favourable policies for businesses, could give even greater impetus. He stressed that the services sector, especially tourism and maritime transport, represented 60 pct of Greece's export activity and could be consider its "trump card" with respect to reinforcing growth.
 Greek current account surplus up in Jan-AugGreece's current account surplus grew significantly in the January-August period, totaling 2.1 billion euros, from 1.4 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, with exports of goods and services rising by 7.2 pct in the same period, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday. The central bank, in a report, said that exports of goods rose by 2.1 pct in the eight-month period, while exports of services grew 11.2 pct. However, the country's trade deficit grew by 922 million euros in the January-August period, burdened by increased payments for ship and fuel purchases. In August 2014, the current account balance showed a surplus of 1.8 billion euros, up by 612 million year-on-year, mainly on account of the higher services surplus. The trade deficit contracted by 62 million euros year-on-year, owing to the lower net import bill for oil and ships. By contrast, the trade deficit excluding oil and ships increased, since export receipts remained almost unchanged, while the corresponding import bill rose by 4.8 pct. The surplus of the services balance grew by 425 million year-on-year, chiefly on account of the surplus of the travel services balance. In more detail, travel receipts increased by 10.3 pct, reflecting a 25.0 pct rise in non-residents' arrivals. In addition, increases were also recorded in the surpluses of the transport and the "other" services balances. In the January-August 2014 period, the current account balance showed a surplus of 2.1 billion euros, compared with 1.4 billion over the corresponding period of 2013. In the same period, the overall balance of goods and services recorded a surplus of 1.5 billion, compared with 371 million in 2013. This development was attributable to the improved balance of services. It should be noted that, overall, exports of goods and services rose by 7.2 pct year-on-year in the January-August 2014 period. More specifically, exports of goods increase by 2.1 pct, while receipts from exports of services rose by 11.2 pct. The trade deficit grew by 922 million euros, on account of the higher net import bill for oil and ships, which more than offset the contraction in the trade deficit excluding oil and ships. This contraction is attributable to the rise in export receipts, given that the corresponding import bill also increased, but at a slower pace. The 2.1 billion euro The rise in the surplus of the services balance is due to the higher net receipts from travel, transport and "other" services. Specifically, as regards travel spending by non-residents in Greece, a year-on-year increase of 11.1 pct was recorded, reflecting a 22.1 pct rise in non-residents' arrivals. Moreover, in the January-August 2014 period, the income account deficit fell by 551 million euros, mainly as a result of lower net interest payments. Finally, the current transfers surplus contracted by 981 million euros year-on-year, mainly as a result of lower general government transfer receipts from the EU, and stood at 2.8 billion. In the January-August 2014 period, the combined current account and capital transfers balance showed a surplus of 4.0 billion euros, against 4.2 billion in the same period of 2013. In the January-August 2014 period, non-residents' direct investment in Greece showed a net inflow of 1.1 billion euros, while residents' direct investment abroad showed a net outflow of 249 million. Under portfolio investment, a net outflow of 1.1 billion euros was recorded, on account of a rise in residents' investment abroad (outflow of 5.4 billion), which was largely offset by an increase in non-residents' investment in Greece (inflow of 4.3 billion, mainly for investment in shares of Greek firms). Under "other" investment, a net outflow of 1.9 billion euros was recorded, mainly on account of a decline in non-residents' deposit and repo holdings in Greece, which was largely offset by a net increase in the outstanding debt of the public and the private sector to non-residents and a decrease in residents' deposit and repo holdings abroad. At end-August 2014, Greece's reserve assets stood at 5.0 billion euros, compared with 4.8 billion at end-August 2013, the Bank of Greece said.
 Coastal Communications Council says NEL's "Mytilene" can ply Kavala-Samos routeThe Coastal Communications Council has voted in favour of allowing the NEL shipping line car-ferry "Mytilene" to continue plying the North Aegean ferry route Kavala-Limnos-Mytilene-Chios-Samos, sources said on Tuesday. The service is currently being served by the Hellenic Seaways ship "Nissos Mykonos", which receives a subsidy to offer the route. The council's decision is due to be published on Wednesday. Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis had recently said in Parliament, in reply to a question by an MP, that he will personally block NEL's request regardless of the Council's opinion. "Personally, on no account and regardless of what the Coastal Communications Council decides, I am not prepared to condemn the islanders' of the North Aegean again to the delays, sparse connections and the sort of quality of service for which they are, in any case, constantly complaining," he said. Meanwhile, a Piraeus Appeals Court on Tuesday ruled to suspend a decision barring NEL from participating in tenders or making offers for a year, until the case is tried, finding that there were no reasons for its exclusion. It also suspended the forfeiture of NEL's letter of guarantee worth 1.5 million euros.
 9,000 applications submitted for heating oil allowanceAbout 9,000 applications for a heating oil subsidy were submitted online at the webpage of the General Secretariat of Public Revenues on Tuesday, within the first few hours of its operation, the office said. The subsidy is granted to individuals who meet specific income criteria and concerns the purchase of diesel fuel for the period between October 15 and April 30 of each year. Beneficiaries who want to receive 25 percent of their subsidy in advance for every period should note it in their application. Claimants have to submit their application by May 30 of each year.
 Greek stocks jump 5.64 pct on TuesdayGreek stocks rebounded strongly in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, extending their advance for the third successive session and pushing the composite index of the market closer to the 1,000-point level. Bank shares remained at the focus of buying interest, covering more than 50 pct of the day's turnover, with investors discounting that the stress tests results will be manageable for Greek banks. The composite index jumped 5.64 pct to end at 995.10 points, with turnover rising again to 158.69 million euros. The Large Cap index surged 5.80 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 2.33 pct higher. All blue chip stocks ended higher with Piraeus Bank (11.40 pct), Ellaktor (8.47 pct), Jumbo (8.31 pct), OPAP (7.95 pct), Titan (7.94 pct), PPC (7.48 pct) and Terna Energy (6.72 pct) recording the biggest percentage gains of the day. Among market sectors, Construction (7.55 pct), Travel (7.23 pct), Personal Products (7.11 pct) and Banks (6.77 pct) scored big gains, while Media (9.09 pct) and Insurance (0.70 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 89 to 41, with another 15 issues unchanged. Teletypos (19.42 pct), ANEK (18.92 pct) and NEL (18.75 pct) were top gainers, while Sato (20 pct), Compucon (19.61 pct) and Altec (19.23 pct) were top losers.
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was unchanged at 7.06 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 7.93 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.87 pct. Turnover was a moderate 58 million euros, equally distributed between buy and sell orders. Market sentiment improved after a positive recommendation made by Morgan Stanley to its customers to invest long-term in Greek bonds. In interbank markets, interest rates moved slightly higher. The 12-month rate rose to 0.339 pct from 0.337 pct, the nine-month rate rose to 0.258 pct from 0.256 pct, the six-month rate rose to 0.186 pct from 0.184 pct, the three-month rate was stable at 0.081 pct and the one-month rate rose to 0.008 pct from 0.006 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.03 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totalled 16,393 contracts with 45,211 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totalled 60,595 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (15,397), followed by Alpha Bank (11,758), Eurobank (11,747), National Bank (11,473), PPC (2,106), GEK (1,821), OTE (1,393), MIG (981), OPAP (792), Hellenic Petroleum (621), Jumbo (480), Mytilineos (451), Hellenic Exchanges (293), Titan (250), Ellaktor (152), Athens Water (149), Korinth Pipeworks (120)and METKA (112).
Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: +6.77% Insurance: -0.70% Financial Service: +4.00% Industrials: +3.15% Retail: +3.64% Real Estate: +5.71% Personal & Household: +7.11% Food & Beverages: +3.77% Raw Materials: +2.11% Construction: +7.55% Oil: +5.12% Chemicals: +1.02% Mass Media: -9.09% Travel & Leisure: +7.23% Technology: +2.21% Telecoms: +3.19% Utilities: +5.45% Health: +0.44%
The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank, National Bank and OTE.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows: Alpha Bank: 0.607 Public Power Corp (PPC): 7.04 Coca Cola HBC: 16.63 Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE): 4.80 National Bank of Greece: 2.18 OPAP: 9.64 OTE: 10.02 Piraeus Bank: 1.27 Titan: 19.43 Grivalia Properties: 9.23
 Foreign exchange rates - TuesdayReference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank: U.S. dollar 1.2762 Pound sterling 0.79 Danish kroner 7.447 Swedish kroner 9.2004 Japanese yen 136.2 Swiss franc 1.2068 Norwegian kroner 8.367 Canadian dollar 1.4356 Australian dollar 1.4475
 One of the sphinxes' heads found at Kasta tomb in Ancient AmphipolisA marble head discovered at the Kastas Tomb excavation in Ancient Amphipolis, northeastern Greece, on Tuesday belongs to the eastern sphinx found at the entrance to the tomb, the ministry of Culture said on Tuesday. The head measures 0.60m high, the nose is slightly chipped and it has a polos (head cover). The ministry said there is a clean break at the bottom of the neck that shows a perfect fit with the sphinx. The head is carved with wavy locks containing traces of red paint and held by a thin band. The hair would appear draped over the sphinx's left shoulder. Fragments of the sphinxes' wings were also found. The ministry also announced it was excavating the entrance to the fourth chamber at the tomb with a trial trench (2x2m, 0.45m deep). This area revealed two fragments of the western doors, with dimensions 0.89m x 1.49m/1.30m x 0.15m each. The northern section of the marble threshold - whose total area is 2.15m x 1.6m x 0.25m - was also uncovered. The threshold has indents to set the metal runners for the marble doors. There appears to be a floor of whitewashed limestone. Archaeologists found some of the floor's limestone slabs on either side of the threshold. .From trench evident, it appears that the floor settled in the eastern part, while in the west the floor is destroyed and its slabs have caved in; some of these which have fallen into the previous (third) chamber will be removed in the next few days, the ministry said.
 Victoria Hislop: Greece inspires me"I have no inspiration in England. In Greece I get inspired because there are stories and people I love, it is never quite, there is always action," the writer of the best seller "The island" told ANA-MPA on the sidelines of the six-day events of the Art links exhibition. The British writer, who is living in Athens, said that "people living in London are every day afraid. I am not afraid in Patissia where I live." At a query on the return of the Parthenon marbles, Hislop noted that "the matter is complicated and not easy at all. When I visit the British Museum and see the marbles and thousands of people admiring them and afterwards I visit the Acropolis Museum in Athens and see only a few visitors, I think that, in the British Museum, the marbles may work as a promotion for Greece and a reason to visit the country. From an emotional point of view, I believe they should return home, but every time I discuss this issue with the director of the British Museum, he expresses his concern over the other exhibits of the Museum in case other countries follow Greece's example."
 Wooden statue unearthed during work to extend Attiko Metro's line 3A wooden statue depicting a standing clothed male form was unearthed during work to extend line 3 on Athens 'Attiko Metro', in the section from Haidari to Piraeus, it was announced on Tuesday. The statue was found at a depth of 14.17 metres from the surface, as an archaeological dig to explore ancient wells discovered during construction of 'Dimotiko Theatro' station in Piraeus was nearing completion. The statue was found resting against the north wall of the well, with its rear side looking up and the upper section facing west. It was in a layer of grey mud that also contained many pieces of stone, within the water table. In the same level were pieces of pottery and parts of clay vessels dated to the end of the Hellenistic era (100-86 B.C.), in addition to other domestic refuse like roof tiles, metallic objects and small pieces of wood. At roughly the same level as the wooden statue, archaeologists also found a fragment of a marble statue showing a female form sitting on the back of a deer, possibly of the goddess Artemis. The wooden statue is missing its head, as well as the upper and lower limbs. The maximum height of the surviving sections is 0.47 m and the maximum width is 0.21m. It is standing and the legs are shown moving in opposite directions, as if taking a slight step, with the right bent forward and the back leg extended behind. It wears a short robe and has the elbows bent at the waist, with the arms extended forward. It was transferred immediately to the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities conservation laboratory, in accordance with all rules for the safe transfer of antiquities.
 Thessaloniki prosecutor for corruption orders preliminary investigation into Proton Bank loansThessaloniki prosecutor for corruption Argyris Dimopoulos ordered a preliminary investigation into allegations over loans reportedly granted to businessmen and Proton Bank members, just before the bank was "split-up" and placed under special liquidation. The investigation was ordered following an anonymous complain signed by a committee of small shareholders-small bond holders, which is focused on a 13 million euro loan that was allegedly granted to a businessman in Thessaloniki, who was member of the bank's board of directors. As it was made known, the businessman was granted the loan under an "express" procedure a few months before the bankruptcy of the bank, by using shares, the value of which does not exceed 100,000 euros - according to those making the complaint - as collateral. The preliminary investigation was assigned to the financial crimes squad SDOE and is related to the offenses of bank fraud, breach of trust and money laundering. It will also examine all loan contracts of large amounts that the bank granted to Thessaloniki businessmen during the same period of time.
 Court postpones trial on Egyptian worker's torture until March 10A Piraeus Criminal Appeals Court was on Tuesday forced to again postpone the start of a trial concerning the abuse and torture in 2012 of an Egyptian worker by his employer, after the interpreter summoned by the court was unable to attend, citing "personal reasons". This was the fourth time that the hearing of the case, now scheduled to take place on March 10, 2015, had been postponed. There are four defendants, including the Greek owner of a bakery on the island of Salamina where the Egyptian was employed, the owner's son, an Albanian national and a fourth man described as a friend of the family. The four of them are charged with abduction, robbery, inflicting unprovoked bodily harm and offence of sexual dignity. According to a lawyer representing the victim in the case, her client has suffered permanent damage to his health as a result of the incident and "is naturally afraid, as a victim of torture," while coming to court reminds him of the painful scenes of violence he endured. She also denied claims that her client was caught stealing from the shop where he worked, saying that there was no evidence to back them up. The four defendants, on their part, insist that the Egyptian had stolen 8,000 euros from the bakery, as well as mobile phone cards. They deny the charges of robbery and offence of sexual dignity and only admit to abduction and causing bodily harm.
 More unions to join archaeologists' 48-hour strikeThe 48-hour strike called by the association of Greek archaeologists SEA on Wednesday and Thursday, October 22-23, will be joined on Wednesday by the association of temporary archaeologists in northern Greece SEKA and the private law federation in the public sector POEIDD, in addition to the association of culture ministry employees POE-YPPO that has already joined the mobilization. Archaeologists are protesting against the new organisational chart of the ministry of culture, published in the Government Gazette last August, which they allege was drawn up without a prior dialogue with institutional interlocutors and scientific bodies, noting that the smooth operation of the archaeological service is being jeopardised.
 Romanian man arrested on European warrantA 38-year-old Romanian man was arrested by Argos police on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued against him by Romanian authorities for violence, abuse and disturbing the peace in Romania in 2008. He was led before a Nafplio appeals court prosecutor.
 Clouds, rain on WednesdayClouds, rain and southerly winds are forecast for Wednesday. Wind velocity will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale. Rain in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 8C-24C. Same weather in the western parts with temperatures between 12C-24C. Clouds in the eastern parts with temperatures between 10C-26C. Partly cloudy with rain in the afternoon over the islands, 14C-24C. Partly cloudy in Athens with a chance of rain during the night, 11C-25C. Rain in Thessaloniki, 10C-22C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Salaries are sacrificed to the markets and the troika.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The crisis is responsible for lower birth rates.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Greece's lenders put the blame on the government for the turmoil in markets.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Green light for independent heating in apartments.
ESTIA: ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax) a battering ram to break down the middle class.
ETHNOS: Permanent staff contracts under the microscope.
IMERISSIA: Stress tests a turning point for Athens Stock Exchange (ASE).
KATHIMERINI: Tension scenery in Cyprus.
NAFTEMPORIKI: Growth plan for Europe at snail's pace.
RIZOSPASTIS: New imperialistic interventions...a priority.
TA NEA: Awaiting (again) for the troika.
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