|Thursday, 22 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-25
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Samaras to meet with BarrosoMain opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras will meet on Thursday with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels. On Tuesday, Samaras announced the establishment of a council of elected officials that will be under the authority of the party's secretariat on local administration. The council members will be political figures elected to local administration posts, according to reports.
The ND leader also appointed three alternate sector secretaries and the head of the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy in Thessaloniki.
 German Ambassador on recent articles in German pressANA-MPA/The ambassador of Germany in Athens Dr. Wolfgang Schultheiss in a statement on Thursday stressed that "the Embassy regrets the fact that recent articles published in the German press have offended and created a feeling of insult to the Greek public and media", adding that "I would like to make an appeal that the isolated voices in the German press are not confused with the differing German public opinion on Greece".
 Important archaeological finds at KnossosGeophysical studies at Kefala Hill in the Knossos archaeological site on Crete island, have revealed findings of the most ancient farm houses in Greece, and perhaps in all of Europe, dating back between 7,000- 6,400 BC.
The important finds were presented on Wednesday in Athens by the head of the British School in Athens and university professor Catherine Morgan at the school's open annual meeting held at the Archaeological Society building.
The British school, in cooperation with Dutch scientists, have been conducting studies in the Knossos area since May 2009 for the charting and imaging of the archaeological and geological deposits with the use of state-of-the-art radars.
Moreover, Morgan presented an annual review of the British School on the research progress on Keros island in the Cyclades complex, and especially at the Daskalio early Bronze Age settlement, at Kavos on the Ionian island of Corfu, in Thessaly region and on the islands of Kythera and Antikythera.
 Developments on pipeline projectsDeputy Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, addressing an event of the Energy Institute of Southeastern Europe on Tuesday evening, announced that the government will be taking a series of initiatives in the coming days in the framework of energy diplomacy on promoting pipelines that are being planned through Greece.
A meeting will be held at the ministry on Wednesday with the Deputy Energy Minister of Bulgaria Maya Hristova on the Greece-Bulgaria (Komotini-Haskovo) natural gas pipeline, while in addition:
-The bill on expropriations related to the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline is at the signatures stage.
-The Ministerial Council's Decree on the restructuring of the negotiating committee with the international company for the construction of the oil pipeline will be signed in the next few days, and maybe this week.
-Following the visit to Moscow by Prime Minister George Papandreou, the signing is expected of the charter of the company for the South Stream natural gas pipeline, in which there shall be "high representation" by Russia, according to the deputy minister.
Maniatis also said that the government will activate the bilateral energy relations with Gulf countries, and with Qatar in particular for the procurement of natural gas
 Wednesday's nationwide strikeA nationwide labor strike was staged in Greece on Wednesday, called by the country's two largest umbrella federations GSEE and ADEDY in protest of the government's tough economic measures.
Labor rallies were held in Athens, Thessaloniki and other large cities throughout the country, while according to unions participation in the strike was very large.
The central rally in Athens was addressed by General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) president Yiannis Panagopoulos and Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) president Spyros Papaspyros, at the Pedion tou Areos park.
Panagopoulos spoke of a "major political strike" and sharply criticised "the neoliberals of the markets, the Brussels bureaucrats and the sharks of the foreign rating firms", calling for coordination with the trade unions in the countries of the European south.
He said that those who are responsible for the crisis should be made to pay for the crisis, namely those who evade taxes, evade making contributions to the social security funds.
Addressing himself to employers' organisations, the GSEE leader stressed that the collective labor agreements "are a non-negotiable conquest of the trade unions".
As for criticism towards him from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the KKE-affiliated labor organisation PAME, which held their own separate rally in nearby Omonia Square, Panagopoulos accused them of attempting an organisational and operational break-up of the trade unions.
Papaspyros, in turn, invited the working people to take their fates into their own hands, and called Greece's Stability Program a "stupidity program", calling on the union leaders to escalate their opposition to that policy.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) was represented by a delegation headed by its secretary for trade union issues Yiannis Manolis, and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) was represented by a delegation headed by its parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras.
He also warned that ADEDY will not allow the salary scale, labor and social security rights of the civil servants to be razed as a gift to the markets, charging that the EU policy undermined Greece's growth momentum.
The Athens rally was also attended and addressed by European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) general secretary John Monks, who pledged the confederation's solidarity with the Greek workers, noting that the working people of Europe will not leave their Greek colleagues alone to face the risk of dissolution of the social fiber.
Also attending the rally were representatives of European civil servant's federations.
After the speeches, the protestors marched to parliament.
 Gov't on Development FundEconomy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Tuesday announced a plan to establish a Hellenic Development Fund aimed at exploiting investment opportunities in the Greek economy.
Addressing a conference entitled "Access to capital today-waiting for recovery", organised by Capital Link in Athens, the Greek minister also underlined the significance of the shipping industry in efforts current made for the recovery of the economy, Katseli stressed that ministry priorities are to attract young people in the shipping industry and to upgrade maritime education in the country.
 ASE opening: DeclineEquity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.72 percent, standing at 1,912.14 points at 11:15 a.m., and turnover at 12.473 million euros.
Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 1.54 percent; and Food and Beverages, up 0.77 percent.
The biggest losses were in Financial Services, down 1.70 percent; and Oil and Gas, down 1.44 percent.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.11 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.13 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.45 percent.
Of the stocks moved, 17 were up, 42 were down, and 18 were unchanged.
 Promotion of Greek gastronomyGreece should focus on promoting gastronomy as an additional tourism attraction in the next five years, by investing around 400,000 in marketing actions, the country‚s Federation of Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said on Tuesday.
The plan was presented during a news conference as part of a SETE initiative to upgrade the quality and enriching the country‚s portfolio in tourism services and products. SETE said a precondition to promoting Greek gastronomy abroad was including gastronomy in the portfolio of Greek tourism and adopting full employment of a group of professionals in the field.
SETE also called for the transformation of Hellenic Tourism Organisation to a marketing organization for Greek tourism.
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