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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece ordered to return 244 million in agricultural subsidies
  • [02] Greek bond market closing report
  • [03] 'Lahza' exhibition in Athens
  • [04] Stocks end 0.45% higher

  • [01] Greece ordered to return 244 million in agricultural subsidies

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - M. Aroni) The European Court of Justice on Thursday rejected Greece's plea for the annulment of a European Commission decision issued in December 2006, which demands that Greek authorities return an allegedly misspent 244 million euros paid out as agricultural subsidies.

    The sums involved concerned funds given by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) for the sectors of olive oil, cotton, grape and citrus fruits between 1999 and 2004, while the Commission also penalised Greece for late payments in the same period.

    The Commission excluded the above expenditure from financing after finding that Greece had failed to properly implement the required controls for confirming expenditure.

    Greece challenged the decision on the grounds that the Commission had failed to conduct a bilateral discussion with Greek authorities on the assessment of the gravity of the infringements and the loss suffered by the European Community and on the grounds that the Commission had imposed excessive corrections.

    The Commission's decision came after inspections showing that the electronic files in the olive oil sector were not in operation and that cotton gins did not give a numerical reference for the fields used but only their general location, thus preventing any kind of cross-check.

    For grape and currant crops, the Commission said Greek authorities had failed to note the geographic location of this variety and failed to control the destination of the crop harvested, while for citrus fruits the Commission found weaknesses in the accounting methods of the producer organisation and processing companies.

    The Commission also found that Greek authorities had failed to meet deadlines for payments.

    [02] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market remained a strong 1.674 billion euros on Thursday, of which 1.004 billion euros were buy orders and the remaining 670 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 935 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds shrank to 178 basis points with the Greek bond yielding 5.49 pct and the German Bund 3.71 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.66 pct, the six-month rate 1.48 pct, the three-month rate 1.27 pct and the one-month rate 0.96 pct.

    [03] 'Lahza' exhibition in Athens

    A unique photographic exhibition featuring the work of Palestinian children living in refugee camps in Lebanon, part of the REMAP2 modern art programme, will debut on June 16 at an art gallery in the Metaxourgio district of central Athens.

    The exhibition, entitled "Lahza" or "A moment" in English, is derived from an initiative to given the Palestinian children 500 disposable cameras, with which they shot scenes from daily live in their often squalid refugee camps.

    Designed by photojournalist Ramzi Haidar, the initiative provided "500 Children with 500 Cameras", complete with photography training sessions. The initiative began in the Baddawi camp.

    A selection of the most compelling photos has already been exhibited in Beirut, Paris, Princeton University and now in Athens.

    Palestinian envoy Samir Abou Ghazaleh will be present at the photo exhibition's inauguration.

    [04] Stocks end 0.45% higher

    Greek stocks ended moderately higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday with the composite index rising 0.45 pct to end at 2,386.92 points. Turnover was a moderate 205.3 million euros, of which 7.9 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Technology (7.10 pct), Financial Services (2.49 pct) and Industrial Products (1.76 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Insurance (2.84 pct), Travel (2.32 pct) and Telecoms (1.53 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.47 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.82 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index fell 0.17 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 121 to 105 with another 40 issues unchanged.

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