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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Aspis Bank announces 90-mln-euro share capital increase plan
  • [02] Bakoyannis meets Palestinian official
  • [03] Farmers reject government aid offer
  • [04] Greek stocks end 0.46% lower

  • [01] Aspis Bank announces 90-mln-euro share capital increase plan

    Aspis Bank on Friday said an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting approved a board plan for a share capital increase plan worth 90 million euros, part of a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy amid the international financial crisis.

    Under the plan, Aspis Bank will issue new preferred stocks worth 2.71 euros per share. The share capital increase plan will be fully covered by the Greek state.

    [02] Bakoyannis meets Palestinian official

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday met the Palestinian Authority Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Malki in Athens for talks focusing on all aspects of the situation that has arisen in Gaza since Israel's attack.

    The meeting, but also the fact that Greece is currently hosting a conference of Palestinian ambassadors to EU countries at an Athens hotel, intends to highlight Greece's desire and determination to help promote the Palestinian issue at an "exceptionally delicate time", in view of a special meeting that will be held by EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Sunday.

    In a joint press conference afterwards, the Greek minister underlined the need "to open the passing points in Gaza" so that humanitarian aid could reach those in need. She said that the opening of border passing points was at the heart of the negotiations, as was the lifting of the blockade.

    "We had an opportunity in Brussels, last Wednesday, to put a clear request to our Israeli counterpart," she told reporters.

    Bakoyannis underlined Greece's emphasis on the humanitarian aspects of the problem but also Athens' willingness to respond.

    "It is the duty of all of us to protect the human population, regardless of race or religion," she said, adding that Greece was prepared to receive children and wounded from Gaza in state and private hospitals.

    The two ministers also particularly stressed Palestinian reconciliation and unity as a condition for promoting the Palestinian issue, which lies at the heart of the Middle East problem.

    "A solution cannot exist without Palestinian reconciliation and unity," said Bakoyannis and expressed Athens' full support for Egypt's efforts in this direction.

    "Palestinian reconciliation is the greatest priority, so that we can deal with the great challenges," agreed Al-Malki.

    The Palestinian Authority minister expressed thanks for the hospitality offered by Greece to Palestinian ambassadors in EU countries, who will hold meetings at an Athens hotel on Friday and Saturday that seek to prepare a joint position regarding the priorities in dealing with the repercussions of the Israeli invasion. This will be prepared in time for the discussion on the situation in Gaza that will be held by EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Sunday, with the participation of their counterparts from the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.

    He also thanked Bakoyannis for Greece's offer to accept children for treatment in Greece.

    Regarding the issue of reconstruction that was discussed with Bakoyannis, he said the priority was in providing housing, especially for children that had lost both their homes and their family.

    The signature of a memorandum for political consultation and the renewal of a two-year educational programme "reaffirmed the ties of the two peoples and the desire to develop bilateral cooperation," al-Malki added.

    Bakoyannis noted that Greeks had "proved their desire to support their Palestinian brothers," while again dismissing reports that guns bound for Israel had been transhipped at the Greek harbour of Astakos, citing the premier's express denial in Parliament.

    [03] Farmers reject government aid offer

    Farmers will start receiving payments from the aid package announced by the government via the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organization, ELGA, with fast-track procedures beginning as early as Monday, Rural Development and Foods Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said on Friday. He failed to persuade farmers to end their mobilizations, however, after a deadlocked meeting between the minister and designated farmers' representative Vangelis Boutas, from the Nikaia roadblock in Larisa, central Greece. Boutas stated that the farmers' demands had not been met and called on Hatzigakis to withdraw the 500-million-euro aid package in order to proceed with solutions that will guarantee farmers' income.

    Meanwhile, the farmers' blockades continued on Friday at various intersections along the National Highways network and three border crossings, in demand of increased farm subsidies and pensions, guaranteed minimum prices for their products, reduction of refundable Value Added Tax (VAT), and lower fuel prices. Road blocks set up with tractors remained in place for a fifth consecutive day, with blockades along the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway at Tempi, central Greece, the Mikrothebes intersection, Nikaia in Larissa, and Kastro in Viotia prefecture. Blockades also continued at the two northern border crossings of Promachonas in Serres prefecture and Exochi in Drama prefecture on the Greek-Bulgarian frontier, while the Kozani-Florina stretch of the national highway was also blocked off by tractors. The Serres-Thessaloniki national highway at the Strimoniko section was blockaded as well as the Egnatia Odos national motorway to Kavala and Drama in the northeast. Farmers in Kilkis blockaded the Evzoni customs office for two hours at noon, while tractors are moving toward the customs office in Doirani. Farmers also went ahead on Friday morning with new blockades at the Halkidona junction, at the Triglia junction in Halkidiki, and at the Kipi border post in Evros. Meanwhile, the Chania-Rethymno national motorway on the southern Aegean island of Crete is closed by farmers for a fourth day. In addition, the newly established Greek Stockbreeders Union called on all its members to join the farmers' mobilizations, pointing out that the government announcements do not meet the sector's demands including more subsidies and higher milk prices.

    [04] Greek stocks end 0.46% lower

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday amid a negative climate in international markets. The composite index fell 0.46 pct to end at 1,663.39 points, with turnover a low 89.2 million euros, of which 1.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Insurance (5.46 pct), Travel (2.84 pct) and Raw Materials (2.30 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Telecommunications (1.79 pct), Financial Services (1.77 pct), Media (1.36 pct) and Utilities (1.32 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 0.39 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.0 pct down and the FTSE 80 index plunged 2.23 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 125 to 57 with another 62 issues unchanged.

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