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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis in Brussels
  • [02] Papandreou to meet BoG governor
  • [03] Liapis in Ancient Olympia
  • [04] ASE: Marginal rise
  • [05] Kassimis in Uruguay
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM Karamanlis in Brussels

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will participate on Friday in the extraordinary European Union Summit held in Brussels for a concerted European confrontation of the global financial crisis.

    Moreover, the Summit is expected to set out its positions ahead of the G20 International Conference that will take place on November 15, in Washington.

    On Thursday, Karamanlis conferred with Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, who briefed the premier on the ministry's legislative work.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Hatzigakis called the bill to introduce a Free Cohabitation Agreement between a heterosexual couple that was passed in the first reading (in principle) in parliament as revolutionary, noting that the government had dared to take a step that other governments had not dared to take over many years.

    He also said that another social bill dealing with the sexual abuse of children and women as also ready to be tabled in parliament, and was relevant to a Council of Europe convention signed by Greece, adding that the bill adapted the convention's regulations to the Greek state of affairs and would solve many problems faced by society.

    Hatzigakis further briefed the premier on a bill being advanced by his ministry on narcotics and substitute substances (used to ameliorate withdrawal systems), a program that will be applied on users in the country's prisons.

    He added that the ministry was dealing with seriousness, consistency and great interest the issues that concern the prison system, and was in contact with the other political parties on the matter.

    Hatzigakis said that his recent discussin with representatives of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) had been "productive and useful", noting that a proposal was accepted for setting up an Inter-Party Committee that would regularly visit prison facilities.

    He noted that he was also due to meet later in the day with representatives of the inmates while, on the problem of congesion in the jails, Hatzigakis said that a program was being designed along two focal points, the one focusing on the effort for the removal of a number of inmates from the prisons, through various legislative measures, while the second focused on the establishment of new jails.

    Hatzigakis elaborated that 4-5 new prison facilities would be constructed in 2009

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Papandreou to meet BoG governor

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou will meet on Friday with the governor of Bank of Greece (BoG) George Provopoulos.

    On Thursday, PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou said that European leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday should take measures to exclude public investments and other types of spending from counting toward countries' public deficit, urging the government to act on its proposals.

    "The socialist parties of Europe adopted PASOK proposals for revising the Stability Pact and PASOK president George Papandreou submitted these proposals to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso when he met him in Brussels a few days ago. We are talking about an agreement for sustainable growth, employment and social cohesion that excludes public investments and other spending, such as investment in education, from deficit measurements. We are talking about a more powerful supervisory role for the European Central Bank, which also raises issues of employment and growth, of increasing the Community budget and structural funds and establishing new rules of transparent control and supervision of markets," said PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou.

    [03] Liapis in Ancient Olympia

    Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis inaugurated the first International Conference on the prevention and handling of dangers emanating from natural disasters on International Heritage monuments at Ancient Olympia on Thursday, underlining the work carried out to restore the Cronus hill, following the devastating wildfire in August, 2007.

    Liapis said that "a continuous and persistent effort was required to achieve the work's progress and to enable us to resolve the problems that appeared," adding that "at the beginning, nobody believed that we would succeed" but "the mobilisation of a group of people for this purpose was that which produced the present result."

    The minister further said that the factors determining success were determination, vision and adherrence to the objective.

    "The people who became involved in this, all of them excellent scientists, worked with self-denial and for this reason we succeeded. And what we achieved met with international recognition," he pointed out.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of ancient greek temple of Zeus in Ancient Olympia.

    [04] ASE: Marginal rise

    Equity prices were rising on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the major European markets, with the basic share price index up 0.04 percent, standing at 2,071.32 points at 12:15 p.m., and turnover at 54.4 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were mixed, with the biggest losses in Oil & Gas, down 1.87 percent; Mass Media, down 1.84 percent; and Trade, down 1.56 percent.

    The biggest gains were in Travel and Recreation, up 2.22 percent; Health, up 1.33 percent; and Technology, up 0.74 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.07 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.45 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.90 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 67 were up, 80 were down, and 46 were unchanged.

    [05] Kassimis in Uruguay

    Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for overseas Hellenism issues, Theodoros Kassimis, visited the installations of three Greek shipowners, Panayiotis Tsakos, Athanasios Laskaridis and Angeliki Frangou on Wednesday in the framework of his two-day visit to Uruguay, the second stop in his tour of Latin America.

    The deputy minister and the Greek delegation, who were amazed by the size of the investments, were told that 8,000 square metres in the port of Montevideo, 500 people employed at the country's only shipyard having an international market, a fleet of 85 ships two thirds of which are tankers having a capacity of 10 million tons, the production of eucalyptus timber for paper pulp, an energy factory of biomass with wood and rice residue, a new unit producing 10 megawatts with 90 percent of production already agreed to be purchased by the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEH), constitute businesses of gigantic dimensions and of a strategic significance for Uruguay.

    The local Greek community organised a celebration to honour Kassimis and the Greek delegation.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The international credit crisis and ECB President Claude Trichet's announcement of a half-point reduction in its benchmark interest rate to 3.25 percent dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS: "Total ban on smoking in all public areas (as of January 1, 2010) - The draft law was tabled in parliament".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The entrance of minors in bars is prohibited - The bill was tabled on Thursday in parliament".

    AVGHI: "Interest rates: They're falling in Europe but rising in Greece -Small and medium sized enterprises are suffocating".

    AVRIANI: "All banks are following FinMin George Alogoskoufis' plan to give cheap loans to people and enterprises that are facing the danger of shutting down".

    CHORA: "Government, bankers in tough poker game - Alogoskoufis' 28 billion euros plan is up in the air"

    ELEFTHEROS: "Mr. Karamanlis (Prime Minister), put order among the bankers - As the banks in Europe treducing the interest rates, the Greek bankers doing the opposite".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "PPC in another world .....PPC's president Takis Athanassopoulos sets a new surcharge on electricity bills at the same time that the households are suffocating from the high cost of living and their debts to banks".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Mockery with bank interest rates".

    ESTIA: "Major concern over the economy - Banks, tourism and shipping are being affected".

    ETHNOS: "Double shock for people after the increase in banks' loan interest and Public Power Corporation (PPC)rates".

    KATHIMERINI: "New changes in the banks' rescue plan and intense 'behind-the-scenes'."

    LOGOS: "Reduction of interest rates in Europe ....except Greece".

    NIKI: "People in the grips of the high cost of living - The market moaning, the households suffering".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Call for uprise against the 65-hour working week and its supporters".

    TA NEA: "The Greek miracle with the interest rates - They're falling outside and rising inside".

    TO VIMA: "The interest rates are falling but the money in Greece is becoming more expensive -Trichet reduced the ECB interest rate to 3.25%.

    VRADYNI: "The market suffocating - The lack of liquidity strangling the small and middle sized enterprises".

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