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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-09
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Papandreou to attend SEECP meetingPrime Minister and foreign minister George Papandreou will be attending the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) foreign ministers' meeting taking place in Istanbul on Friday, Greek authorities announced on Thursday.
The premier will also meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, while after the SEECP session he will hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On Thursday Papandreou met with Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor Giorgos Provopoulos in the presence of government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli.
"The problems of the economy are known, its momentum is also known," Papaconstantinou stated afterwards, adding that the policy statements that will be made by the prime minister will be more specific.
Referring to the deficit, Papaconstantinou stated that the relevant figures are available and will be announced, pointing out that the biannual debt figures will be made public by the General Accounting Office on Thursday and additional figures will be announced at the appropriate time.
Papaconstantinou also stated that the BoG governor makes recommendations and the government makes decisions and implements them, adding that his replacement is not an issue.
On his part, BoG Governor Provopoulos stated that he had an in-depth discussion with the prime minister and the government ministers present, pointing out that he briefed them on the discussions held within the framework of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank annual meeting in Istanbul and on the alarming fiscal developments focusing on ways to solve the existing problems.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister George Papandreou
 ND meeting on upcoming CongressThere will be a meeting on Friday of the organisational committee for main opposition New Democracy's Extraordinary Congress which will convene on November 7 to elect a new leader for the party. The organisational committee will meet at noon at ND headquarters and be chaired by Dimitris Sioufas.
Meanwhile, ND Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis in statements on Thursday said he was in favour of increasing the number of electors, saying that "the more people participate in the process for electing a leader, the better it will be".
At the same time, he pointed out that any decision to change the way of electing the party leader can only be made or approved by the party conference.
Two former high-profile ministers considered to be "in the running" for the post of ND's leadership, Dora Bakoyannis and Dimitris Avramopoulos, also voiced support for the election of the new president by the party rank and file on Thursday.
Bakoyannis noted that, since 2000, she has been in favor of election of the party leader by the rank and file, but stressed that the party has a Charter and this could not be disregarded.
However, she added, she would be in agreement with any proposal for broadening the electoral body.
Former health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos also recalled an older proposal of his for election of the ND leader by the ND rank and file, speaking to reporters after a meeting with Karamanlis to discuss issues related to the upcoming Congress.
The only candidate so far for ND's leadership, Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, on Thursday appealed to Costas Karamanlis to remain president of the party.
He stressed that he was not backing down from his bid to become ND leader on November 7 but noted that he was "in favour of a single candidacy that can keep the party united and rekindle our hopes".
Psomiadis also called for the election of the new party president by all the party's members: " "I am very angry. It is time for the masks to fall. We must not go to a conference of simple succession but also be able to voice our criticism. It is imperative that we go to an open conference. It is not possible for the party's future to be determined by those members whose behaviour cast us into the nets of PASOK," he said.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition New Democracy headquarters in Athens
 U.S. Congressional delegation to Athens meeting on energyANA-MPA/U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings will lead a bipartisan Congressional delegation to an international energy security and climate change meeting that is taking place in Athens from Friday until Sunday.
With an eye toward the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December, Cardin will deliver a keynote address on the importance of international cooperation on energy policy and place a particular focus on the security and human rights dimensions of the energy debate.
More than 200 parliamentarians from 49 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) countries will participate in the fall meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Sessions will focus on energy security, environmental policy and Mediterranean trade issues. Cardin is vice-president of the OSCE-PA.
Hastings, a past president of the Assembly that now serves as its Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs, will present a report on the Mediterranean forum hosted in Washington last July. The Athens meeting will address economic cooperation in the Mediterranean region and evaluate the challenges within the OSCE Mediterranean Dimension. Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation Algeria, Egypt, Israel and Jordan are scheduled to participate.
 Inflation at 0.7 pctGreek annual inflation rate was 0.7 pct in September, the National Statistical Service said on Thursday. The statistics service, in its monthly report, said the inflation rate -measured by the consumer price index- rose 1.9 pct in September from August 2009.
The report attributed the 0.7 pct rise in the consumer price index to a 6.3 pct increase in alcohol/tobacco prices, a 4.1 pct rise in other goods and services, a 3.0 pct increase in clothing and footwear, a 2.9 pct rise in health prices and a 2.8 pct increase in education prices. Housing prices fell 4.9 pct and transport prices fell 3.7 pct in September.
Commenting on the figures, the secretary-general of the statistics service Manolis Kontopyrakis said he expected the October inflation figure to rise because of an increase in fuel prices.
Greece's harmonised inflation rate was 0.7 pct in September, while the country's core inflation rate rose 1.4 pct in September compared with the corresponding month last year.
 ASE opening: RiseAthens Stock Exchange opening: Rise
Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.65 percent, standing at 2,756.51 points at 10:55 a.m., and turnover at 27.6 million euros.
Individual sector indices were moving upward nearly across the board, with the only losses in Industrial Products, down 0.13 percent.
The biggest gains were in Insurance, up 2.98 percent; Telecoms, up 2.84 percent; Commerce, up 1.49 percent; Oil & Gas, up 1.28 percent; and Construction, up 0.98 percent.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.77 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.30 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.82 percent.
Of the stocks moved, 74 were up, 35 were down, and 25 were unchanged.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The new government's first regulations from PASOK's very first day in office, Prime Minister George Papandreou's meeting on Thursday with Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos on the economy and developments in main opposition New Democracy (ND), dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "ND's Extraordinary Congress Organising Committee will convene on Friday".
APOGEVMATINI: "Crisis in ND at a peak - The course towards the Extraordinary Congress on a slippery path".
AVGHI: "Provopoulos 'government' - Papandreou, Provopoulos discussed on Thursday measures on the economy".
AVRIANI: "The country's map is changing - New electoral law for local government elections".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "(Internal party) Election procedure divides Costas Karamanlis' (hopeful) successors"
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The economy on the table - Collection of revenues first, then benefits".
ESTIA: "ND going through an ordeal".
ETHNOS: "George (Papandreou) orders acceleration - Storm of initiatives in the first 24 hours of governance".
KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis' message to successors - He will retire at the end of the Extraordinary Congress".
LOGOS: "Concern over the fiscal economy - Papandreou met Provopoulos".
RIZOSPASTIS: "The monopolies must pay for the crisis, not the people".
TA NEA: "Shock: ND's legacy to PASOK reaches (a debt of) 292 billion euros".
TO VIMA: "New finance minister George Papaconstantinou: "I received a 'stripped' ministry, they took everything with them".
VRADYNI: "ND's grass roots demand a say on the election of a new leader".
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