|Tuesday, 20 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-23
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 ND leader concludes visit to CyprusNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos) - Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras on Monday exchanged views and assessments on the issue of Cyprus and the prospects of the direct negotiations in separate meetings with AKEL party secretary general Antros Kyprianou, Socialist EDEK party president Yiannakis Omirou, EYROKO president Dimitris Syllouris and a delegation comprised of secretary general Maria Panagiotou and deputy George Perdikis.
In statements, Samaras stressed the need for cooperation between the political parties of Cyprus and Greece.
Samaras added that in the meetings "we exchanged in a very friendly and constructive climate views on various issues of vital importance concerning the issue of Cyprus."
The ND leader, who also met with Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, concluded his visit to Cyprus on Monday evening and departed for Athens.
 Athens exhibition of 5 noted Istanbul artistsANA-MPA/An art exhibition featuring the works of five noted Istanbul-based artists will debut at a downtown Athens gallery, beginning on Thursday.
The exhibition, entitled "From Istanbul they come", will include paintings, photographs, sculptures, constructions and slides.
Works by Turkish artists Haluk Akakce, Hussein Chalayan, the duo of Yasemin Baydar and Birol Derim, known as "mentalklinik", and Arslan Sukan will be on disply.
The exhibition, in cooperation with the Pantheon cultural society, will run from Thursday, Feb. 25, to March 27, at the Kappatos Gallery in the Monastiraki district -- 12, Athinas St.
The event is supported by the consulate general of Turkey in Athens-Piraeus.
 Athens Stock Exchange protest by communist party affiliated unionMembers of a communist party-affiliated union on Tuesday morning blocked the entrances to the Athens Stock Exchange, a move aimed to prevent the commencement of trading at Greece's bourse.
Reports from the scene point to 250 to 300 protesters of the PAME grouping outside the stock exchange building.
 Droutsas in BrusselsBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) - The European Union's Council of General Affairs Ministers convened here on Monday.
The council, in which Greece was represented by Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, examined the EU's economic strategy until 2020, as well as foreign policy issues such as the situation in Haiti, the question of Iran's cooperation with the Atomic Energy Organisation and the situation in Libya.
On the question of the EU's economic strategy, Droutsas stressed that Greece places emphasis on the issue of combatting social inequalities and the issue of the creation of new jobs.
The alternate foreign minister also said that he referred to the issue of "handling the economic crisis and profiteering attack that Greece is sustaining," noting that Greece "has a reliable government that tackled problems from the very beginning with seriousness and with systematic moves."
Droutsas pointed out that the only thing that Greece is calling for from its partners is clear political support and the expression of solidarity.
As regards foreign policy issues, the minister, referring to the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), underlined that at the initiative of the Greek side UN mediator Matthew Nimetz has been called on to visit the region and added that it will be the first official acquaintance meeting that the new Greek government will be having with him.
Droutsas reiterated that without a prior solution to the issue of the name of FYROM there can be no question of beginning accession negotiations between the EU and this country.
 Draft law on transparencyJustice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haris Kastanidis on Monday presented a draft law on transparency in the public sector, noting that the draft law is essentially an amendment of the "means of wealth" statement and the criminal code provisions vis-a-vis corrupt civil servants.
According to the draft law's clauses, individuals who provide evidence proving the involvement of civil servants and helping uncover corruption in the public sector will enjoy judicial immunity. The same will be in effect for civil servants who provide evidence in cases involving colleagues or superiors. In the case of crimes covered by the statute of limitations, the individual who will provide evidence and is also involved in the criminal act will not have the charges against him dismissed but will face a reduced penalty.
As regards individuals who must submit "means of wealth statements" they latter will face felony charges in case of illegally obtained wealth that exceeds 73,000 euros. If found guilty of participation in off-shore companies, they will be stripped of their civil rights and have their share in the companies in question confiscated.
In cases of breach of faith by civil servants, tax bureau employees or customs officers, alleged offenders will face felony charges instead of misdemeanor counts.
Kastanidis stated that the draft law includes ministers' liability.
 Katseli meets Azeri MinisterEconomy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Monday met with visiting Azeri Emergencies Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov, focusing on the prospects of cooperation between Greece and Azerbaijan in the sectors of trade and investments.
Katseli underlined that they focused on business cooperation in the sectors of farm products, tourism, manufacturing and energy, considering Azerbaijanās impressive progress in the areas of oil and natural gas, while adding that a joint committee will be set up to coordinate the cooperation agreed.
On his part, Heydarov stated that the talks concerned the sectors of tourism, security and industry, adding that they also discussed the establishment of a bilateral committee that will help in the implementation of common policies and promote cooperation.
 ASE opening: Small riseEquity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.07 percent, standing at 1,958.84 points at 11:00 a.m., and turnover at 15.995 million euros.
Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Financial Services, up 0.92 percent; and Raw Materials, up 0.42 percent.
The biggest losses were in Mass Media down 0.69 percent; and Industrial Products.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.10 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.31 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.45 percent.
Of the stocks moved, 24 were up, 16 were down, and 23 were unchanged.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The tough additional measures the government intends to take under the pressure of the EU aiming to curtail the fiscal deficit and a European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Montary Fund (IMF) team that is currently in Athens to collect data on the Greek economy's progress, the merger of Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, and the abolition of tenure in the public sector, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "End to tenure in public sector".
APOGEVMATINI: "Airline giant - Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines merger agreement finalised".
AVGHI: "Government vice president Theodoros Pangalos' revealing statement on tenure in the public sector".
AVRIANI: "Olympic Air becomes a giant airline after its merger with Aegean Airlines - Olympic Air president Andreas Vgenopoulos' bold initiative (in the midst of the crisis) shows the way for mergers in banks, shipping, tourism, construction and industries".
CHORA: "Wedding in the air - Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines in common flight".
ELEFTHEROS: "Pangalos proposes abolition of tenure in public sector".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Pangalos brings up issue of abolition of tenure in public sector".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Heavier penalties for politicians who have stakes in offshore companies - State corruption targetted".
ESTIA: "The national 'rip-off' continues".
ETHNOS: "Strict law against corruption - Politicians with holdings in offshore companies will be stripped of their parliamentary seat".
IMERISSIA: "Olympic and Aegean's wedding".
KATHIMERINI: "First major business agreement due to the crisis, between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines".
LOGOS: "Final countdown.... for announcement of new measures".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Olympic Air-Aegean major deal closed".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Rise up with PAME (Communist party affiliated labour organisation) in Wednesday's strike - Shut the mouths of those who talk about consensus on the anti-social measures".
TA NEA: "Seizure of assets of politicians and civil servants involved in offshore companies - Severe law against corruption".
TO VIMA: "Brussels' ultimatum: "Make 7 percent cutbacks in salaries".
VRADYNI: "EU, ECB and IMF team decide on the measures".
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