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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign ministry spokesman on Rasmussen visit
  • [02] Heracles Group reports lower H1 results
  • [03] Gov't: 'Populism in PASOK's DNA'
  • [04] Mutual funds assets up 6.45%
  • [05] Metro to resume airport route

  • [01] Foreign ministry spokesman on Rasmussen visit

    A foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday said the process of preparing the NATO's new strategic doctrine, the alliance's operations and missions, primarily in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as efforts to confront piracy off Somalia will be on the agenda of talks between Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and new NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who arrives in Athens on Wednesday.

    Moreover, in reference to a handful of issues of particular importance to Greece, the spokesman said Rasmussen's first visit to Athens in his capacity as NATO chief will also include discussions on the entire gamut of Greek-Turkish relations, the nagging fYRoM "name issue" and even the Greek OSCE presidency's initiatives to boost European security.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras also cited "problems that also exist, even between two members of the Alliance, with their known consequences on cooperation between NATO and the European Union," in reference to the "paradox", as he said, of one NATO member and EU hopeful, Turkey, not recognising a full EU member-state, namely, the Republic of Cyprus.

    [02] Heracles Group reports lower H1 results

    «eracles group of companies on Wednesday reported a 24.5-pct decline in first half sales to 269.5 million euros, compared with the same period in 2008, with parent sales falling 24.8 pct to 241.4 million euros.

    The company attributed its results to a decline in cement and other building materials sales volume.

    Gross profits margin was 20.2 pct for the group and 18.5 pct for the parent company in the first six months, down from 21.1 pct and 23.1 pct last year, respectively. Net consolidated after-tax profits totaled 11.3 million euros, down from 29 million euros in 2008, while parent net profits fell from 31 million euros in 2008 to 22.9 million euros in 2009.

    [03] Gov't: 'Populism in PASOK's DNA'

    The government spokesman responded sharply on Wednesday to main opposition PASOK party's heightened criticism over the state's response and coordination to a bevy of devastating wildfires over the weekend, with a government spokesman charging that "PASOK's theatrical self-control lasted for 48 hours, or less."

    Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, in fact, said "populism appears to be part of PASOK‚s DNA".

    "...The things ticked off by PASOK's leader and his leadership coterie is extremely dangerous. We will not follow him ... Their so-called responsible stance is merely baseless danger-mongering," Antonaros said during his regular press briefing.

    In turning to the aftermath of the wildfires, the spokesman said a recording of damages has already begun, with the relevant environment and town planning ministry assuming the task.

    Asked about the ever-present suspicions that the scores of wildfires that erupted within a four-day period owed mostly to arson, the spokesman said whenever evidence arises against individuals the latter are sent before the courts.

    Along those lines, Antonaros noted that 10 case files were handed down on July 1, 2009 by the misdemeanors judicial council of Ilia prefecture for further investigation into the deadly fires of 2007 in the western Peloponnese.

    "This issue belongs within the jurisdiction of the judicial system," he concluded.

    [04] Mutual funds assets up 6.45%

    Greece‚s mutual funds assets grew 6.45 percent so far this year to 11 billion euros, official figures said on Wednesday. EFG Mutual Funds Management, a member of Eurobank Group, with a market share of 24.36 pct, was the largest player in the mutual funds market, followed by National Asset Management (17.79 pct), Alpha Asset Management (16.80 pct).

    [05] Metro to resume airport route

    The Athens metro route (Line 3 or "Blue Line") that reaches the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport of Athens will resume service by the end of the month, after being interrupted for six months to enable construction of three new metro stations on the same line -- Nomismatokopio, Holargos and Aghia Paraskevi.

    Only the Nomismatokopio (state mint) station is expected to operate at this stage, while the other two stations will be inaugurated at a later date.

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