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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] OPAP reports mixed H1 results
  • [02] PASOK releases letter by Christoforakos' German attorney
  • [03] FM: Crucial period in fYRoM 'name issue'
  • [04] FinMin: Reforms needed to make economy more competitive
  • [05] ASE ends above 2,500 level

  • [01] OPAP reports mixed H1 results

    OPAP SA, Greece‚s state-run lottery group, on Tuesday reported a 0.1-pct increase in its first half sales to 2.764 billion euros, marginally up from 2.760 billion euros in the corresponding period last year. It added that pre-tax, interest and amortization earnings (EBITDA) fell 8.9 pct to 506.7 million euros, from 556.1 million euros, over the same period, respectively.

    OPAP said net profits eased 3.8 pct to 371.2 million euros, down from 385.8 million euros last year. Commenting on the results, OPAP‚s chairman and chief executive, Christos Hatziemmanouel, said first half results were satisfactory amidst an extremely difficult economic environment and given the absence of a large international sports event this year.

    ‚We remain steadfast to our goals for the year, seeking new partnerships abroad and improving our products in Greece,‚ he said.

    [02] PASOK releases letter by Christoforakos' German attorney

    Main opposition PASOK party on Tuesday released a letter by the attorney for one-time Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos, who remains jailed in Munich and wanted by Greek prosecutors for his alleged role in the local Siemens kickback and bribery investigation, where the lawyer categorically denies that he never told Greek media his client offered to provide information to political parties over campaign contributions.

    "I must point out that neither on Aug. 8, 2009 nor on any other occasion did we give an approved interview to the aforementioned newspaper, 'To Vima', or to any reporters (of the paper) ..." the letter by attorney Stefan Kursawe reads, while in the first paragraph Kursawe refers to the "alleged statements" attributed to him in the newspaper article.

    "Unfortunately, because I lack knowledge of the Greek language I am not in a position to follow Greek press articles, and thus, I cannot correct inaccurate references ... We merely stated on Greek state television that we will relay every written request towards Mr. Christoforakos by third parties, and we wonder why no such questions were directed until mid August 2009. Whether Mr. Christoforakos will answer such questions is exclusively his decision," Kursawe states.

    He adds that the ongoing judicial process in Germany, where his client is remanded to custody and fighting extradition to Greece, make it impossible to issue statements or to provide whatever evidence.

    PASOK party secretary Yiannis Ragoussis had addressed a letter to Kursawe on Aug. 18, 2009 requesting all evidence Christoforakos had in his possession and that concerned PASOK, following the publication of the article purportedly quoting the German attorney.

    [03] FM: Crucial period in fYRoM 'name issue'

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday predicted that the upcoming six-month period will be particularly crucial for solving the still unresolved fYRoM "name issue", a "thorn" preventing Athens' full normalisation of relations with the one-time Yugoslav republic for the past 19 years.

    Bakoyannis reiterated that Athens will continue, "with a positive disposition", its participation in the UN-mediated talks with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) to find a mutual acceptable solution "without winners or losers".

    "This, in fact, is the message towards Skopje by the international community, the EU and NATO," she added.

    On a stricter note, Bakoyannis also decried what has recently been lampooned as a policy of so-called "antiquisation" by the current Gruevski government, charging that "with inaugurations (of infrastructure projects) and antiquity theft it (Skopje government) thinks it can re-write history ... whereas on many occasions it goads its people into fanaticism and intolerance, thereby moving them further away from their Euro-Atlantic course."

    In uttering Athens' leitmotif vis-a-vis a possible solution, she cited a composite name with a geographic qualifier for all uses (erga omnes).

    [04] FinMin: Reforms needed to make economy more competitive

    Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou on Tuesday urged for a common effort to exit the current financial crisis and to lead the country into a new period of high growth rates.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting with representatives of the country's largest employers and workers' unions, GSEE, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), the National Confederation of Greek Commerce and Small Manufacturing Enterprises (GSEBEE), the minister called for understanding, cooperation and consensus. "Either we will take difficult but nationally necessary decisions, or we will slide many decades back," Papathanassiou told reporters.

    He stressed that although the crisis hit the country with some delay, it was causing serious problems to the real economy and the country's public finances. Papathanassiou again urged for the implementation of a wide-ranging reform programme that will make the Greek economy more competitive, capable of attracting foreign investments and creating more and better job positions.

    "It is time to open a national dialogue, to agree and move on. We have asked and expect social and producer classes' proposals towards this end," Papathanassiou said.

    [05] ASE ends above 2,500 level

    Greek stocks continued moving higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, pushing the composite index of the market above the 2,500 level for the first time this year. The index rose 0.91 pct to end at 2,505.74 points, with turnover at 175.3 million euros, of which 7.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Insurance (10.46 pct), Travel (3.75 pct), Commerce (3.68 pct) and Personal/Home Products (2.75 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Health (0.45 pct) and Media (0.42 pct) suffered losses. The FTSE 20 index rose 0.69 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 2.33 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.04 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 125 to 84 with another 49 issues unchanged.

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