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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Guyanese President receives City of Athens medal
  • [02] Geniki Bank announces 180-mln-euro share capital increase plan
  • [03] Group condemns blocked aid to Gaza, Israeli embassy response
  • [04] FinMin, banks discuss liquidity
  • [05] Greek stocks end 2.35% up on Fri.

  • [01] Guyanese President receives City of Athens medal

    The president of the Republic of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, was bestowed the City of Athens' Medal on Friday "as a token of respect and friendship to him personally and the Guyanese nation", Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said.

    Kaklamanis and Athens city council chairman Theodoros Bechrakis received President Jagdeo at city hall for the ceremony, while they also held a meeting on matters of common interest.

    [02] Geniki Bank announces 180-mln-euro share capital increase plan

    Geniki Bank on Friday called for an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting for Jan. 29, 2009 to discuss a board plan for a share capital increase worth 180 million euros, through the issuance of preferred stock in the framework of a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy and to deal with the impact from the international financial crisis.

    [03] Group condemns blocked aid to Gaza, Israeli embassy response

    Members of an ill-fated attempt to deliver humanitarian aid directly to Gaza on Friday accused Israel of "cynicism", speaking at a press conference in Athens. A Greek-flagged vessel, the 'Arion', carrying the humanitarian aid was intercepted in international waters by Israeli gunboats on Thursday before it could reach the Gaza coast. The Arion had departed from the Cypriot port of Larnaca with 17 passengers of different nationalities and four crewmembers. Meanwhile, another 32-member delegation, headed by five Greek MPs from the main opposition PASOK party and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party, remained on the Egyptian border with Rafah -- since Thursday -- with the purpose of entering Gaza Strip. Finally, members of the organisation "Doctors of Peace" also held a press conference on Friday in Athens regarding their recent mission to Gaza, where they condemned the Israeli and Egyptian governments' restrictions on their right to offer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Members of the group were finally able to enter Gaza via the Egyptian border. Israeli embassy response Meanwhile, the Israeli embassy in Athens issued a reply on Friday vis-à-vis the Arion affair, an initiative of the "Free Gaza" movement.

    "The Embassy of Israel would like to state the following concerning the Arion 'Free Gaza' boat expedition:

    Since Israel attaches great importance to humanitarian assistance, 24,356 tons of aid in 1,029 trucks has been delivered to Gaza through Israeli border crossings via official channels, by international aid organizations and governments, including Greece. The crossings have been open to humanitarian aid since day one. If members of the boat expeditions were truly interested in delivering humanitarian aid they could easily do so through official channels. However, that is not their goal. In previous missions members of the Free Gaza movement were received and attended a reception by the Hamas leadership. Hamas is a terrorist organization recognized as such by the EU, which rejects Israel's right to exist<font color="#FFFFFF" size="3" face="Verdana">," the response read.

    [04] FinMin, banks discuss liquidity

    Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou on Friday met with the presidency of the Federation of Hellenic Banks for talks regarding the all-important level of liquidity of the domestic banking sector and ways to adequately fund business activity.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Greek minister said the aim of both sides was to immediately activate the third pole of a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy with 28 billion euros.

    He added that the meeting touched on liquidity in the banking sector and noted that the two sides agreed to immediately activate the programme's third axis - state guarantees. He stressed that the economy ministry, in cooperation with the Bank of Greece, will hold regular and substantive inspections to ensure that the programme is implemented for the benefit of the market and businesses.

    The meeting also agreed that state commissioners would be placed in banks next week, with the responsibility to monitor liquidity in the banking sector and in the real economy.

    Federation president In earlier statements, Secretary General Christos Gortsos recommended the unreserved guarantee by the Greek State to boost utilisation of the guarantee fund (TEMPME S.A.) for small-to-micro enterprises. In statements to a public TV network, he said that the 28-billion-euro package in support of liquidity of the Greek economy is in the process of implementation, in response to criticism that the domestic banking system is "dragging its heels" in dealing with the credit crisis.

    Gortsos pointed out that Greek banks are not exposed to the viral banking products responsible for the global financial crisis, and that local banks' credibility is unaffected.

    [05] Greek stocks end 2.35% up on Fri.

    Greek stocks jumped 2.35 percent on Friday, reversing a seven-day sharp decline of prices at the Athens Stock Exchange. The composite index ended 2.35 pct up to reach 1,749.95 points, with turnover a low 135 million euros, of which 10.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Travel (5.26 pct), Financial Services (3.60 pct) and Banks (3.52 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Healthcare (1.13 pct), Media (0.57 pct) and Telecommunications (0.51 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 2.99 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.27 pct up and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.17 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 122 to 73 with another 54 issues unchanged.

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