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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM emphasises job-creation programmes
  • [02] Con'f on Cappadocia in Thessaloniki
  • [03] 3 Greek banks agree new credit line to Maillis Group
  • [04] Attica Bank reports 2.9-mln-euro loss in Q1
  • [05] Italian MPs briefed on migration
  • [06] Stocks end 2.55 pct lower

  • [01] PM emphasises job-creation programmes

    Preserving jobs and containing unemployment is the top priority in government plans aimed at dealing with the ongoing economic crisis, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis emphasised during his tour on Thursday of a Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) office in the Alimos district of southern coastal Athens.

    "The 3.2-billion-euro national plan drawn up and already implemented for this purpose concerns 1.35 million working people and the unemployed," he stated, pointing out that "OAED is one of the main levers for its implementation and will finance, with 1.6 billion euros, actions directed to wage-earners, the unemployed, small and medium sized firms and the self-employed."

    "The first 120,000 jobs of the 200,000 to be created this year are already available. More than 10 employment and self-employment programmes are in progress," the prime minister stated.

    "Today, we create the conditions that will allow us to meet the challenges that will emerge after the crisis," he said, pointing out that "we invest in vocational training and retraining with an emphasis on professions that will definitely be in demand in the near future. We currently finance modern education programmes that will ensure a better future for the young. Such an advanced technology programme with three-dimensional simulation systems is being currently taught by OAED."

    "Investing in knowledge, new technology and new generation is the best response to the challenges of the international conjuncture. Some have chosen to invest in empty words and irresponsible promises. The government has chosen the road of responsibility. We invest in the truth of our work, a work that produces tangible results and lays the foundations for a better future for all," the prime minister stressed.

    [02] Con'f on Cappadocia in Thessaloniki

    A one-day conference entitled "Memories of Cappadocia - Folklore, Culture, Tradition", will take place in Thessaloniki Sunday, focusing on the centuries-old traditions and culture of ethnic Greeks in the Cappadocia region of Asia Minor, modern-day southeast Turkey.

    The conference will examine the struggle of ethnic Greeks in the region to preserve their language, local traditions and the history of the village of Sinasos (today's Mustafapasa) known in the 19th century as "the beacon of Cappadocia".

    [03] 3 Greek banks agree new credit line to Maillis Group

    Maillis Group on Thursday said three Greek banks, EFG Eurobank, Alpha Bank and National Bank, agreed to offer a new secured credit line to finance the group's capital needs.

    In a statement, Maillis said the new credit line was agreed on the precondition that all other creditors would extend the duration of their loans, no interest or capital payment would be made during this period and that Maillis' board would commit to submitting a plan for a capital restructuring of the group.

    Ioannis Kourouglos, Maillis Group's chief executive, said the company was very satisfied and fully appreciated the efforts by the three banks to support the group and noted that Maillis has already hired Ernst & Young to support efforts for a new business plan.

    [04] Attica Bank reports 2.9-mln-euro loss in Q1

    Attica Bank Group on Thursday said its first quarter results showed a 2.9-million euros after-tax loss, while cautioning that it expected the return to profitability this year. Assets totaled 4.582 billion euros in the January-March period, slightly up compared with the previous quarter, while saving deposits grew 21.2 pct to 2.484 billion euros and lending (pre-provision) fell 2.8 pct to 3.418 billion euros, reflecting stricter credit conditions in the market.

    Credit risk provisions totaled 8.5 million euros, up 13.2 pct, compared with the same period last year, while accumulated provisions totaled 140.31 million euros. Attica Bank said equity capital totaled 313.7 million euros at the end of March.

    [05] Italian MPs briefed on migration

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis on Thursday briefed members of a visiting Italian parliamentary delegation on Greece's initiatives vis-a-vis the increasingly worrisome problem of illegal immigration, particularly from the east.

    According to Valinakis, the "Quattro Group" -- Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta -- is now cooperating jointly to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, given that phenomenon drastically affects all four Mediterranean EU countries.

    The Italian delegation, whose members serve on the Schengen Pact, Europol and immigration committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, is headed by veteran Italian lawmaker and politician Margherita Boniver.

    Valinakis stressed to the Italian lawmakers that Athens wants specific measures to be taken, such as a strengthening of the Frontex agency in order to better guard the Union's external frontiers; a fairer distribution of the financial burden of dealing with illegal migrants, as well as the implementation of previous re-admission protocols with third countries -- a direct reference to EU candidate-state Turkey and the foot-dragging of the neighbouring country to meet commitments emanating from a landmark November 2001 agreement signed by Athens and Ankara.

    Valinakis emphasised the point, saying that Turkey is simply not implementing the protocol, while stressing that the fundamental principle for Greece is solidarity by its EU partners to deal with the burden.

    Additionally, he briefed the Italian delegation's members on a new programme, code-named "Poseidon", to better guard Greek and EU territorial waters from Turkey-based migrant smuggling rings, as well as Athens' initiatives within the framework of the year-long Greek OSCE presidency.

    Caption: Greek Deputy FM Yiannis Valinakis (L) greets Italian lawmaker Margherita Boniver at the foreign ministry on Thursday, 21 May, 2009. ANA-MPA / M. MAROGIANNI

    [06] Stocks end 2.55 pct lower

    Greek stocks ended significantly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday as investors took profits following a trend prevailing in other European markets. The composite index ended 2.55 pct lower at 2,251 points, with turnover easing to 229.4 million euros, of which 2.1 million were block trades.

    Most sectors moved down, with the Banks (4.45 pct), Financial Services (3.90 pct), Health (3.85 pct) and Food/Beverage (3.48 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Travel (2.69 pct), Chemicals (2.12 pct) and Insurance (1.36 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 2.95 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.64 pct lower and the FTSE 80 index dropped 1.87 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 117 to 111 with another 45 issues unchanged.

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