|Thursday, 14 December 2017|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-05-18
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Samaras-Tsipras meeting(ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras met on Tuesday with Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) president Alexis Tsipras.
After the meeting, which lasted roughly an hour, Samaras merely noted that politics is the art of understanding and in times of crisis understanding is a political virtue.
"Even in the case of major differences, we should continue to talk and not become alienated," Samaras said.
Tsipras, who heads the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group, said it was "a meeting of political civilisation," stressing that "such bilateral meetings are important." He underlined that such meetings are not substitutes for institutional procedures, like the meeting of the political party leaders under the president of the Republic.
"We expressed our concern for the IMF measures and know how," Tsipras said, adding that they also "expressed concern that the country could very soon be led to a dead-end and possibly bankruptcy."
"We may have different views but we share the same conclusions," Tsipras said, while telling reporters that a party congress will be held on June 6-7.
 Mass transit stike on Thur.; air traffic controllers to work(ANA-MPA) -- Unions representing mass transit employees in Athens, with the exception of the ISAP electric railway, have called a strike on Thursday, part of a nationwide 24-hour mobilisation called by the two largest labour unions in the public and private sectors, ADEDY and GSEE, respectively.
ISAP services will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Hellenic Railways (OSE) employees will also participate in the 24-hour strike.
Meanwhile, the air traffic controllers announced that they will not to participate in the strike, meaning that all commercial flights will be held according to schedule.
Problems are likely in domestic flights mainly in small airports in case the union representing civil aviation authority employees (OSYPA) decides to strike.
 British woman dies from internal bleeding; boyfriend arrested(ANA-MPA) -- A 22-year-old British woman who was allegedly beaten up by her 21-year-old compatriot boyfriend died on Monday at an Irakleio, Crete hospital's ICU.
Authorities believe the woman was assaulted sometime last week in the Mallia resort, where the two were looking for summer jobs.
The victim was taken to the hospital by her friends on Sunday. She was suffering from severe pain in the abdomen and was diagnosed with a serious infection, reportedly caused by internal bleeding. The woman was admitted to the ICU but the delay in seeking medical assistance cost her life.
Police in the Hersonissos district arrested the victim's boyfriend as the main suspect in the case.
Neither the victim or the suspect were named by authorities. (ANA-MPA)
 Priceless ancient statues recovered by authorities(ANA-MPA) -- Two Kouros-style marble statues, dated to the 6th century BC, are displayed on Tuesday at the National Archaeological Museum in central Athens.
The priceless artifacts were recovered by authorities three days ago during a sting operation in the Corinth prefecture of southern Greece, and specifically near the village of Klenia, which is located in vicinity of ancient Nemea. Two local men, identified as farmers, were charged with antiquities smuggling, while another is wanted.
The wanted man is allegedly the mastermind of the ring and has a previous criminal record with antiquities smuggling offenses.
According to reports, the two statues were dug up in the area eight months ago. The emblematic kouros, kouroi in the plural, were presented to the press during World Museum Day.
Speaking at the museum, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and Greek Police (EL.AS) Chief Eleftherios Economou detailed the efforts made by authorities to apprehend the suspects as well as an ongoing probe into possible overseas buyers.
The sculptures, 1.82 and 1.78 meters tall, are considered unique works dating back to the late 6th century BC. According to archaeologists, the fact that makes them unique is that they are almost identical works sharing the same facial characteristics.
The damage observed on them, cut limbs and a head is recent and probably caused by excavation machinery, although archaeologists said the statues will be restored in full.
Caption: ANA-MPA photo / ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
 FinMin briefs EU on budgetBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / Ő. Aroni) -- Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Tuesday briefed his EU counterparts over the course of the Greek state budget and a series of legislative measures taken to cut the country‚s fiscal deficit, during an Ecofin meeting here.
The Greek minister told his eurozone counterparts that government measures to cut wages and pensions in the public sector, along with raising special consumption taxes, have cut the fiscal deficit by 41.8 pct in the first four months of the year, while he reiterated that Greece has taken more measures than needed to cut its fiscal deficit in 2010.
He underlined Athens' volition to strictly implement a programme agreed to with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Papaconstantinou confirmed that Greece received on Tuesday a loan of 14.5 billion euros from the European Commission, through the European Central Bank.
Papaconstantinou mentioned that the sum was covered by bilateral loans fro 10 eurozone states (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Luxemburg, Cyprus and Malta), while the remaining five eurozone states that did not participate in the loan faced domestic issues and that procedures need to be overcome. He stressed that these five members will participate in the support mechanism in the future.
He added said the remaining five Eurozone states that did not participate in the loan, faced domestic issues and procedures needed to be overcome and stressed that these five members will participate in the support mechanism in the future.
The FinMin said the first progress assessment of the country will be made in July, before approving the second tranche of the loan.
In July Greece will submit to the Commission and the IMF a report over the implementation of the measures agreed and figures over the country‚s fiscal deficit. The second tranche of the loan agreement will total 9.0 billion euros, while a third tranche, 9.0 billion euros, was expected by the end of the year.
Greek authorities will brief Brussels in June over progress in implementing an action plan to improve the quality of statistics. Commenting on a recommendation by the European Commission to strengthen budget supervision in the eurozone, the Greek minister said an extraordinary Eurogroup council next Friday in Brussels will discuss necessary changes in the eurozone.
Papaconstantinou acknowledged that Greece faced a competitiveness problem, although he stressed that the problem did not cover wages only. Finally, he said wage costs in the Greek public sector would be contained and stressed there was no need for further interventions over wage policy in the private sector.
 Stocks end slightly lowerStocks ended slightly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, unable to hold on to their initial significant gains. The composite index of the market fell 0.33 pct to end at 1,629.24 points, with turnover a low 113.464 million euros.
The FTSE 20 index fell 0.62 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.64 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.65 pct. The Industrial Products (2.06 pct) and Media (1.77 pct) scored gains, while Financial Services (1.53 pct) and Insurance (1.53 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 95 to 79 with another 55 issues unchanged. Hellenic Fish Farming (14.29 pct), Galaxidi (12.12 pct) and VIS (10 pct) were top gainers, while Alsinco (16.67 pct), Edrasi (12.5 pct) and Fintexport (9.68 pct) were top losers.
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