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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis chairs Inner Cabinet meeting
  • [02] ASE opening: Rise
  • [03] Tourism Minister in London
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Karamanlis chairs Inner Cabinet meeting

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday will chair an Inner Cabinet meeting on issues concerning the Enviroment Ministry. Earlier, will convene the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence.

    On Tuesday, Karamanlis 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.

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

    [02] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the major European markets, with the basic share price index up 0.53 percent, standing at 2,061.11 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 13.5 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Insurance, up 2.38 percent; Telecoms, up 2.14 percent; and Banks, up 2.01 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Food & Beverage, down 0.80 percent; Mass Media, down 0.41 percent; and Travel & Recreation, down 0.31 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.76 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.93 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.25 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 53 were up, 15 were down, and 18 were unchanged.

    [03] Tourism Minister in London

    Tourist Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos visited the renovated Greek Tourist Organisation's (EOT) office in the heart of London on Tuesday in the framework of his visit to Britain.

    The renovated office will be operating officially in about a month.

    In carrying out a series of contacts, the tourism ministry's leadership hopes, in the midst of the global economic crisis, to maintain Greek tourism's shares in 2009 at last year's levels. Special reference must also be made to the fact that the major travel agents TUI and Thomas Cook predict an increase in tourists visiting Greece through them.

    The Greek side, in order to facilitate the tourist wave, is examining the possibility of approaching the low-cost company Ryanair at regional airports, while the contacts held revealed that the vacuum created in flights to Greece by the bankruptcy of the British XL tourist organisation has already been filled.

    The climate of optimism for a bloodless exit from the crisis is substantiated by the fact that international tourist industry officials are stressing that European destinations in the south will not be affected by the wave of cancellations for distant and costly destinations.

    Greece is insisting again this year in the tourist campaign titled Greece the true experience, with advertising posters being placed at main locations in the streets of London. The ministry's campaign this year will amount to about 40 million euros, 3.5 million euros of which will be directed to Britain's market.

    Caption: Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos at the renovated Greek Tourist Organisation's (EOT) office in London on Monday 10 November 2008. ANA-MPA/PANAGIOTIS STOLIS

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' new warning to banks to contain the interest rates in the midst of the global financial crisis dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "1,599 prisoners set free - New package of measures for correctional institutions".

    APOGEVMATINI: "14,948 hirings in public sector".

    AVGHI: "One out of two citizen fears that he will lose his job, indicates survey ".

    AVRIANI: "Karamanlis has sounded (early) elections alarm".

    CHORA: "The apostasy and (early) general elections scenarios rekindle".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Households run out of cash - People cannot pay utility bills, loans and credit cards".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Development Minister Christos Folias blocks the provocative increases in Public Power Corporation rates".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The bankers predict a 'black' 2009 - They did not open their cards on the conditions of their access to the 28 billion euros government plan".

    ESTIA: "A government reshuffle is mandatory - Today's political scene is detrimental".

    ETHNOS: "Endless Calvary for Karamanlis - Karamanlis and his ministers agonise over the party's marginal majority in parliament".

    KATHIMERINI: "Takis Athanassopoulos, PPC president with an expiration date ".

    LOGOS: "The government pulls the rug out from under the feet of Athanassopoulos, who asks for increases in PPC rates".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK compete over the antisocial measures against the financial crisis - They are mocking the people and fortifying the enterpeneurs".

    TA NEA: "The surcharges on credit cards are illegal, indicates the Bank of Greece".

    TO VIMA: "The bankers turn, now, to main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou - He had a succession of meetings at the party's headquarters on Tuesday".

    VRADYNI: "Karamanlis warns bankers: Reduce the interest rates".

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