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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] New Acropolis Museum to open in June
  • [02] PASOK spokesman cites election readiness
  • [03] Greek stocks ease 0.08 pct
  • [04] Separate MIG, Swissport bids for OA

  • [01] New Acropolis Museum to open in June

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Friday with Culture Minister Antonis Samaras, in their first meeting since the latter's assumption of the ministry portfolio after the Jan. 7 government reshuffle.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Samaras said he had a "substantive and fruitful" discussion with the prime minister.

    "Greek culture is a source of wealth for the country," Samaras said, adding that, in the present difficult and critical hours for the economy, it was necessary to further highlight this aspect.

    Furthermore, Samaras also announced that the New Acropolis Museum will be inaugurated on June 20.

    Asked about funding for the culture sector, Samaras said the ministry was naturally making the necessary cutbacks wherever necessary, although the basic needs would be fully met.

    Caption: A file photo shows one of the exhibition halls of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. ANA-MPA / P. SAITAS.

    [02] PASOK spokesman cites election readiness

    "The financial crisis is ideologically colored, and therefore, the exit that will lead away from it will have either a conservative or progressive orientation," main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou said on Friday, adding that his party has tabled a framework of progressive proposals, while "seeking progressive consensus". Papaconstantinou added that PASOK's central electoral committee for the European Parliament elections of June 7 will be announced in the next few days, while the secretariat of the committee will convene chaired by PASOK party leader George Papandreou. "The reconstitution of our forces is necessary because aside from the Euro-elections, general elections can be called at any time, considering the present situation," he stressed, pointing out that the prime minister has not ruled out such a likelihood during his address in Parliament on Thursday. "We are clearly stating that general elections will and should be held before the election of the new President of the Republic," Papaconstantinou said, adding that "we appreciate the work done by President Karolos Papoulias and if he wishes to run again we will support him."

    [03] Greek stocks ease 0.08 pct

    Greek stocks extended their losing streak for the fourth consecutive session this week. The composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange eased 0.08 pct to end at 1,727.98 points, with turnover a low 93.9 million euros, of which 7.4 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Raw Materials (2.33 pct), Insurance (1.73 pct) and Industrial Products (1.71 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (2.19 pct), Telecoms (1.73 pct) and Healthcare (0.44 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index eased 0.36 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.55 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.39 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 103 to 89 with another 62 issues unchanged.

    [04] Separate MIG, Swissport bids for OA

    The Greek government on Friday said it has received two binding offers for the sale of Olympic Airways' assets, totaling 177.2 million euros.

    Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, the government's "point man" for the closely watched privatisation of the ailing national carrier, told reporters that the government's investment advisors received a binding offer from Athens-based Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for the purchase of Olympic Airlines' flight operations (valued at 45.7 million euros) and for its technical base assets (valued at 16.7 million euros), while there was another binding offer by Swissport for the purchase of OA's ground handling services (valued at 44.8 million euros).

    These two offers, combined with the purchase of Pantheon Airways' capital, a new technical base company and a new ground handling service company raise the value of the offers to 177.2 million euros, according to the government.

    The Greek state's proceeds from the sale would be raised from additional assets, such as airplanes, ground handling equipment and technical base equipment, which were separately evaluated by auditors.

    The ministry announcement said the government, after taking into account the two bids, as well as requests exclusive negotiations, positive recommendations by its investment and legal advisors and the positive recommendation by a commissioner (jointly appointed by the Greek government and the European Commission), has decided that talks, currently underway, will continue exclusively for a period of three weeks. During this period, other offers can be examined according to the process of negotiations with the two bidders.

    "The government expresses satisfaction over MIG's positive response to a public invitation by the government and Swissport's decision to raise its initial offer. The government's goal is a healthy privatisation of Olympic Airlines".


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