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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] PASOK on government reshuffle
  • [02] N. Greece industries call for gov't action on natgas supply
  • [03] Investment Bank top securities firm in 2008
  • [04] Turkish provocations in Aegean

  • [01] PASOK on government reshuffle

    A žain opposition PASOK party spokesman said Wednesday that the previously announced government reshuffle was made for "internal party consumption purposes" and is unable to solve people's problems. Lashing out at the prime minister, spokesman George Papaconstantinou said that the premier is incapable of regaining the control of his government and underlined that the country needs a new prime minister and a new government.

    Papaconstantinou also predicted that the new government will not be long-lived and that early elections are likely.

    "Policies remain unchanged," he stated, adding that "the economic policy that leads to the deterioration of the crisis will not change".

    He also said that no changes will be made in public administration and in the sector of security, in the inadequate funding of education, and the national health system, underlining that the prime minister was not bold enough to create an independent environment ministry.

    "The policies will not change because the prime minister, the only one who is responsible for the current situation, remains in his place," Papaconstantinou said.

    [02] N. Greece industries call for gov't action on natgas supply

    The Federation of Northern Greece Industries (SBBE) on Wednesday urged the country's new development minister to take urgent action to ensure the smooth operation of enterprises in the face of a possible natural gas shortage.

    In a letter sent to the development minister and the head of DEPA, George Mylonas, president of SBBE, stressed that if natural gas supplies are cut, then numerous of industries - particularly in the provinces - would be forced to close.

    Mylonas said comments by DEPA's chief executive, Asimakis Papageorgiou, that in emergency conditions industries would replace natural gas with oil, are completely unfounded.

    [03] Investment Bank top securities firm in 2008

    Investment Bank of Greece topped the ranking of securities firms in the Athens Stock Exchange in December and in the 12-month period from January to December 2008, presenting a market share of 13.90 pct and 20.41 pct, respectively, official figures showed on Wednesday.

    National P&K Securities (13.83 pct), Eurobank Securities (12.75 pct), Piraeus Securities (9.59 pct), Alpha Finance (6.35 pct), Eurocorp (6.13 pct), Euroxx (5.47 pct), HSBC-Pantelakis (3.44 pct), UBS (2.89 pct as a remote member) and Kappa Securities (2.78 pct) completed the 2008 ranking.

    In the 12-month period, Investment Bank was followed by Eurobank (15.7 pct), National-P&K (14.76 pct), Piraeus (8.03 pct), Euroxx (6.43 pct), Alpha Finance (6.28 pct), Kappa Securities (4.43 pct), Eurocorp (3.84 pct), Proton (3.25 pct) and HSBC (2.57 pct) completed the list.

    [04] Turkish provocations in Aegean

    A Hellenic Navy gunboat and military helicopter were harassed by a Turkish patrol boat and a pair of Turkish F-16 warplanes near the Greek islands of Farmakonissi and Agathonissi in the eastern Aegean on Wednesday morning, with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis ordering demarches to be lodged with the neighbouring country.

    In a statement, Bakoyannis called the Turkish actions "unacceptable", stressing that they were in "blatant violation of International Law", while they also hampered the efforts being made for improvement of Greek-Turkish relations.

    According to the Greek National Defence General Staff (GEEThA), during a search and rescue operation underway around Farmakonissi to locate illegal immigrants, in which the gunboat "Nikiforos" and a Super Puma helicopter were taking part at 9:15 a.m., the vessel was shadowed and interfered with by a Turkish patrol boat, whereas a pair of Turkish F-16s harassed the helicopter, "despite the fact that the area had been designated since Tuesday for the execution of this operation, with a NOTAM issued by the Merchant Marine Ministry via the Search and Rescue Coordination Centre".

    Hellenic Air Force fighter planes immediately intercepted the Turkish warplanes, which abandoned the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) at 9:22 a.m., flying at a low altitude above Farmakonissi, according to reports.

    Shortly afterwards, GEEThA said, two Turkish F-16s re-entered the Athens FIR, this time between the islands of Hios and Samos, without submitting flight plans. Greek jetfighters again launched a reconnaissance and interception of the intruders.

    A short while later the pair of Turkish F-16s entered the Athens FIR for a third time, again without submitting a flight plan, they were intercepted anew by Greek planes before abandoning the Athens FIR at 9:55 a.m., this time flying at a low altitude over Agathonissi.

    Also, at 12:17 p.m., a formation of eight Turkish warplanes entered the Athens FIR between Hios and Samos and were recognised and intercepted by Greek fighter planes. Two of the eight planes of the formation -- F-4 "Phantoms" -- flew at an altitude of 6,000 feet over Farmakonissi as the formation exited the Athens FIR at 12:39 p.m.

    The above data was forwarded to the foreign ministry for the relevant actions towards international organisations, a GEEThA announcement stated.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo shows a Greek coast guard patrol boat.

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