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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't reshuffle announced, change of FinMin
  • [02] Papoulias onTurkish provocations
  • [03] ASE : Strong rise

  • [01] Gov't reshuffle announced, change of FinMin

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis proceeded with a mostly expected government reshuffle on Thursday just after noon, with a government spokesman announcing a change in the all-important economy and finance portfolio as well as in the transport ministry and the sensitive education ministry.

    George Alogoskoufis will be replaced as FinMin by up-until-now deputy minister Yiannis Papathanassiou, while current Transports and Communications Minister Costis Hatzidakis - the architect of current efforts to privatise national carrier Olympic and reform Hellenic railways (OSE) will move to the development ministry, holding the commerce, internal market and significant energy portfolios. Evripides Stylianidis, until today education minister, takes over for Hatzidakis, whereas Stylianidis' post at the education ministry will be filled by Aris Spiliotopoulos, the tourism development minister.

    Dora Bakoyannis remains as the head of the foreign ministry, with Evangelos Meimarakis continuing as the defence minister and Prokopis Pavlopoulos retaining the interior and public administration ministry, which also includes the public sector domain. No change at the environment, town planning and public works ministry, with high-profile government cadre George Souflias remaining, along with all the deputy ministers. Finally, a new alternate interior minister for public order was also announced, former deputy minister Christos Markoyannakis.

    The reshuffle also resulted in new ministers at the agriculture, justice, culture and Macedonia-Thrace.

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

    [02] Papoulias onTurkish provocations

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday sternly condemned what he called Turkey's "inconceivable and irrational provocations", such as the systematic and illegal overflights of Turkish warplanes over Greek islands, following his declaration an honorary resident of the remote eastern Aegean isle of Agathonissi, where he attended the traditional Blessing of the Waters ceremony to mark the Epiphany religious holiday.

    "The core of the problem in Greek-Turkish relations lies in the Turkish military's decisive role in the neighbouring country's political life," the president said, adding: "This reality enables a continuous projection of demands, such as the concoction of the outlandish theory of 'grey zones' (in the Aegean) since 1996".

    Papoulias stressed that "all the Greeks desire a peaceful future with our neighbours, but this future must be founded on respect of International Law".

    The president attended the blessing of the waters on Agathonissi, accompanied by Deputy Defence Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis and Deputy Merchant Marine & Island Policy Minister Panos Kammenos, while the ceremony was also attended by MPs for the Dodecanese.

    After the ceremony, Papoulias was declared an honorary resident of Agathonissi.

    In addressing the president, Agathonissi community leader Evangelos Kottoros asked for the state's assistance in solving the problems faced by the inhabitants of the small islands in the Aegean, noting a lack of infrastructure projects.

    Afterwards, Papoulias visited the island's military guard post, where he exchanged wishes with conscripts, NCOs and officers

    [03] ASE : Strong rise

    Equity prices were rising on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 2.66 percent, standing at 1,911.81 points at 12:15 p.m., and turnover at 65.6 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Public Utilities, up 4.54 percent; Food & Beverage, up 4.43 percent and Banks, up 4.35 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Travel and Recreation, down 0.65 percent; and Insurance, down 0.01 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 2.67 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 2.45 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 2.17 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 128 were up, 22 were down, and 22 were unchanged.

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