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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Egnatia motorway remains blocked for second day
  • [02] Policeman shot dead
  • [03] ‘ourism resists to crisis
  • [04] Law on prepaid mobiles
  • [05] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] Egnatia motorway remains blocked for second day

    The Egnatia Odos motorway remained blocked for a second day at the Panagia intersection, as some 400 workers employed by the construction firm stayed in place on Wednesday in demand of four months' back pay.

    Egnatia, a major motorway traversing the north-northwestern part of the country, was blocked at the intersection in both directions -- towards both Grevena and Ioannina.

    Member of the workers' board said to ANA-MPA that their mobilisations will continue until their demands are fulfilled. They also said that a delevation would go to the environment, town planning and public works ministry on Monday.

    [02] Policeman shot dead

    Three gunmen shot and killed a police counter-terrorism officer in Athens at dawn Wednesday as he was guarding a woman who turned state evidence on the ELA (Revolutionary Popular Struggle) urban guerrilla group in 2003. The woman, who was the wife of one of the ELA defendants, is in the Witness Protection Program.

    The gunmen riddled the police officer with bullets at 6:30 a.m. as he was in his car guarding the witness, in the Athens district of Patissia.

    Medical examiner Filippos Koutsaftis said the officer suffered multiple shots on his left side, including in the head, from very close range, as well as in the back, indicating that more than one weapon was used in the deadly attack.

    He said the victim died instantly, and apparently the incident took place very quickly as the policeman's service revolver was still in his belt.

    Koutsaftis declined further comment, saying he would have more to say after the post-mortem was conducted.

    Counter-terrorism police were examining the crime scene.

    [03] ‘ourism resists to crisis

    The anticipated percentage reduction in tourist arrivals to Greece this year will not reach two-digit figures, Tourism Development Minister Costas Markopoulos said in a press conference on Tuesday. The minister stated that he was satisfied with the figures on arrivals at Greek airports during the first five months of the year, which pointed to an overall drop of 8.8 percent.

    The minister stressed that Greek tourism had rallied and come through, in spite of a difficult period when bookings had been at very low levels, while pessimistic forecasts predicting a drop in tourist arrivals as high as 20 percent had been proved wrong.

    Markopoulos also pointed to a recent spike in legislation concerning the tourism sector, such as a codification of tourism-related laws, laws regulating agrotourism and the operation of travel agencies, with another bill regulating extreme sports in the wings.

    He went on to announce plans for a merger between the Hellenic Tourism Development Company and the Hellenic Public Real Estate Corporation as a means of reducing the size of the public sector, stressing that there could not multiple bodies all handling public real estate.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo

    [04] Law on prepaid mobiles

    The privilege of anonymity enjoyed by those using prepaid mobile phones will soon be abolished in Greece, with legislation now being prepared by the transport and communications ministry that will require all users to be identified. The draft law will soon be tabled in Parliament and is expected to become law by next month, with a transition period of roughly a year until June 30, 2010.

    Transport and Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis stated Tuesday that there are an estimated 13.5 million of the 'anonymous' prepaid mobile phone cards in Greece; 9 million of them are active connections and only 5 million of the users are identified.

    Stylianidis stated that the draft law to be unveiled on Wednesday seeks to reduce crime, while adding that it protects personal data.

    Current users of prepaid mobile phones can keep their 'pay-as-you-go' plan by submitting an application to their provider that gives their personal details, including name, address, tax number and a Greek ID or passport. Each user will be issued a SIM card with a unique code. Those failing to comply during the transition period will have their SIM cards disabled. As regards immigrants, only those who are legally resident in Greece will be able to get a prepaid mobile phone number.

    The issue of ending prepaid phone anonymity was debated after notorious criminal Vassilis Paleokostas staged a repeat jail break last February with help from the outside using prepaid mobile phones.

    [05] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.60 percent, standing at 2,266.22 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 17.8 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest losses in Banks, down 2.08 percent; Industrial Products, down 1.76 percent; and Health, down 1.64 percent.

    The biggest gains were in Public Utilities, up 1.91 percent; Technology, up 1.12 percent; and Financial Services, up 0.80 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.68 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.36 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.16 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 23 were up, 58 were down, and 13 were unchanged.

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