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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM greets Serbia's Cvetkovic; warning to banks
  • [02] Parliament honours WWII resistance heroes Glezos and Santas
  • [03] Hellenic Aerospace signs MoC with Russia's Irkut over BE-200
  • [04] Armistice Day in Thessaloniki
  • [05] Stocks slip 6.42% on Tues.

  • [01] PM greets Serbia's Cvetkovic; warning to banks

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday issued a stern warning to banks and noted that, while their participation in the government package to support market liquidity was voluntary, "no one can heedlessly say no to the common effort."

    Responding to reporters' questions after a meeting with visiting Serb Premier Mirko Cvetkovic, Karamanlis said that some financial institutions had begun to understand that it was not acceptable to pass the cost of the crisis on to consumers and were responding to the demand for fair treatment.

    At the same time, Karamanlis stressed these were not enough and incomplete, and that the government would not allow some banks to retain terms or interests rates that were worse than those of countries in the European Union.

    "They have an obligation to display social sensitivity," the prime minister underlined and said the government would not deviate from this target.

    Regarding the unfolding economic crisis, Karamanlis said the government's primary goal was to support the real economy and especially those having the greatest need.

    "Without delay, we have worked out a plan that has three goals: first the reduction of interest rates; second, ensuring liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises; and third, to support the economic activity of the country," the premier said.

    He repeated once again that this plan would not burden the budget and that not a single euro would be "given" to banks.

    According to Karamanlis, the supervisory board that will be appointed by the state will monitor whether the 28 billion euros available under bank-liquidity package was being used for the purpose intended. This body, which will be chaired by the Finance Minister and include the Bank of Greece governor among its members, will meet once a month to monitor the implementation of the package, he added.

    Meeting with Cvetkovic

    During the meeting with Cvetkovic, Karamanlis praised the excellent level of relations between Athens and Belgrade, while emphasising the long-standing friendship between the two peoples. In fact, the Greek prime minister referred to Serbia as a "strategic partner" for Athens.

    Among others, the premier said Greece continuously placed amongst the biggest foreign investors in Serbia, although the goal is an even greater increase in bilateral trade and investment.

    Karamanlis cited Greek state funding, to the tune of 100 million euros, for Corridor X, a pan-European road axis passing through Serbia, while underling that the European Union's integration is "incomplete as long as it does not include Serbia and other countries in the western Balkans, when, of course, they first meet EU criteria."

    Along those lines, Karamanlis said Greece sternly believes in the European course of its neighbours, cautioning that this goal must be linked with the efforts and volition of the candidate states themselves, a clear reference to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Referring to Kosovo, Karamanlis noted that Greece is following developments and giving priority to stability in tandem with a rise in the living standards of residents in the region.

    On his part, Cvetkovic said Greek-Serbian relations are excellent, recognising that Athens has stood by Belgrade in difficult times while thanking the Greek people for the support and aid given to the Serbian people.

    "We agreed with Mr. Karamanlis to intensify our cooperation," the Serbian PM stressed, while calling on Greek investors to invest in his country.

    Caption: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (L) greets his Serbian counterpart Mirko Cvetkovic in Athens on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008. ANA-MPA / ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU.

    [02] Parliament honours WWII resistance heroes Glezos and Santas

    The Hellenic Parliament on Tuesday awarded silver medals to the WWII resistance fighters Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas for their heroic actions on May 30, 1941, when they lowered the Nazi flag then flying over the Acropolis.

    "Parliament honours two of the most important fighters and patriots, two great Greeks. And the honour is still greater because it is delayed. Because 67 years afterwards, their action has survived the stream of great events that has intervened and is still unique, historic and timely," said Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas in an address at the event.

    He stressed that the lowering the Nazi Swastika from the Athens Acropolis was a source of "strength and an example for the people struggling for freedom and democracy" and that no other single action had managed to raise the morale of the beleaguered Greek nation as much that one.

    At a special ceremony organised by Sioufas, the two resistance heroes were also offered a papyrus scroll and a copy of the two-volume work by MP Constantinos Gioulekas on the 1940-41 Greek war against the Axis forces, which includes all Greek press publications of that time.

    [03] Hellenic Aerospace signs MoC with Russia's Irkut over BE-200

    Prospects of greater cooperation between Russia and Greece in the hi-tech sector were highlighted on Tuesday with the signing of MoC between the e Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and Irkut Corp., a leading Russian aviation firm. The agreement will become operation if Greece decides to purchase the Beriev "Be-200" amphibian fire-fighting airplane. A relevant signing ceremony was attended Development Minister Christos Folias, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Borisovich Khristenko, Russia's ambassador to Athens and the president of the Russian company. Folias referred to the friendly ties between Athens and Moscow, underlining that Greece is a "valuable partner for Russia in the sector of energy and now we are called on to prove that we are equally appropriate partners in the sector of high technology as well." The Russian minister pointed out that his country has ambitious plans and is seeking out trustworthy international partners. According to the MoC, HAI will be assigned a portion of the construction of various aircrafts' compartments and electronic subsystems. In addition, HAI would be designated as a certified maintenance centre for the specific aircraft type, serving the international market and would participate in the designing and construction of the Russian passenger plane "MC-21", which is currently under development.

    [04] Armistice Day in Thessaloniki

    Greek officials and foreign diplomats on Tuesday commemorated the 90th anniversary since the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. Those present observed a minute of silence in honour of the fallen, followed by wreath-laying ceremonies in the five sectors of the Allied Cemetery of Zejtinlik (Serb, Russian, French, Italian and British) and at the III Army Corps Monument in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, a major hub in the Balkan theatre of operations during WWI. The Macedonia-Thrace ministry was represented by its general secretary Loukas Ananikas, while the ceremony was also attended by representatives of Thessaloniki's local government bodies, church and military and a number of foreign envoys representing Serbia, Russia, Cyprus, Ukraine, Germany, the United States, Georgia, Italy, Croatia, Malta and the United Kingdom. Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of the landmark White Tower on Thessaloniki's seafront.

    [05] Stocks slip 6.42% on Tues.

    Greek stocks suffered heavy losses at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, mirroring a similar trend on international markets. The composite index plunged 6.42 pct to end at 2,050.31 points, with turnover a low 172.3 million euros, of which 9.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with Food-Beverages (8.64 pct), Banks (8.15 pct), Financial Services (7.75 pct), Constructions (7.74 pct) and Chemicals (7.10 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index plunged 7.28 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 3.55 pct down and the FTSE 80 index dropped 3.36 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 214 to 26 with another 17 issues unchanged.

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