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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-01-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] ADEX closing report
  • [02] Merkel on historic Cyprus visit
  • [03] Organ trafficking angle probed
  • [04] Stocks end 1.09% higher

  • [01] ADEX closing report

    (ANA-MPA) -- The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at -2.79 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover a low 35.520 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,733 contracts worth 27.072 million euros, with 36,863 short positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 20,195 contracts worth 8.448 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National BankÔs contracts (8,180), followed by Eurobank (1,452), OTE (1,046), Piraeus Bank (3,121), Alpha Bank (1,455), Mytilineos (923), Cyprus Bank (1,548) and Hellenic Postbank (707).

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Merkel on historic Cyprus visit

    NICOSIA (CNA / ┴═┴-╠PA) -- Germany particularly appreciates Cyprus

    President Demetris Christofias' "courage, creativity and initiative", as

    demonstrated towards solving the Cyprus issue, German

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said here on Tuesday.

    Merkel is paying Cyprus a one-day visit.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with

    Christofias, Merkel said Germany does not see the

    Turkish side responding in a similar manner to this initiative.

    "Your steps show that you are ready to make a compromise," she said

    to Christofias.

    "We will support the path you have chosen to take in every way we

    can," Merkel said, adding that "we know this path is not easy and that

    the solution must be achieved by the people of Cyprus".

    Referring to the role of the United Nations, the German Chancellor

    said the UN can only support and facilitate matters, adding that

    she herself will be visiting the UN Representative on the island

    later on Tuesday and will be briefed on current developments.

    "Whenever I have the opportunity, I will talk with Turkish officials,"

    she said.

    "We understand your position because Germany has also been a divided

    country", she noted.

    Referring to Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU, she

    expressed Germany's wish that they continue regardless of the final

    decision, expressing the certainty that this will help improve

    relations between Greece and Turkey.

    It is to Germany's interest that relations between these two

    countries improve, just as it is that the Cyprus problem is resolved,

    she added.

    Caption: Cyprus President Demetris Christofias (L) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 11 January 2011. Merkel is in Cyprus for a one-day working visit. Their talks will lfocus on the conflict dividing the islnd for more than three decades. ANA-MPA/EPA/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Organ trafficking angle probed

    (ANA-MPA) -- Authorities in the northwest city of Ioannina, in cooperation with Interpol and Italian police, have launched an urgent investigation into a migrant smuggling case that may involve possible organ trafficking, given the enormous amount of money involved in the migrants' transport via chartered executive jets and high-end passport forgeries.

    Six Afghans, two couples, an infant and another adult, attempted to depart the Ioannina airport aboard a leased executive jet with forged Danish passports. The entire group was detained.

    A 19-year-old Moroccan woman with Italian nationality, identified as a Paris-based travel agency employee in Greece since Jan. 4, was also arrested. (ANA-MPA) The woman allegedly met the Afghan illegal immigrants in Athens with the group in tow boarded an intercity bus to Ioannina, from where they were supposed to fly to Rome on a chartered private plane reportedly leased in Milan.

    A police investigation revealed that the young woman had arrived in Athens from Milan on Jan. 4 accompanied by another 19-year-old Moroccan woman, both working for the same travel agency. The second woman was arrested at Kavala airport, northeast Greece, on Jan. 7 in a similar case of migrant smuggling -- the latter involving 15 Afghans who again sported forged Danish ID cards. The Kavala group of illegals was also arrested before boarding two leased executive jets to fly to Genoa, Italy.

    Authorities in Ioannina impounded the eight-seat private plane and arrested its two Italian pilots. The plane belongs to a Milan-based air transport company and was leased for a chartered flight by a travel agency in Paris. The leasing registration was made in Germany while in the Kavala airport case it was made in the UK. A flight plan was submitted in Brussels and Eurocontrol was notified, but the Ioannina airport authorities had no knowledge of the flight, considering that it requests a flight arrival notification 12 hours in advance due to the construction works underway. (ANA-MPA)

    Meanwhile, 31-year-old man, a travel agency employee on the Ionian island of Lefkada, was also arrested for paying the required flight fees. According to the flight confirmation documents, the plane was leased for 11,600 euros, a price deemed as bogus, considering that executive jets are leased for 6,000-8,000 euros per flight hour. Therefore, the specific flight should have cost roughly 40,000 euros.

    Greek authorities are now investigating whether similar flights could have been made from other provincial airports in the country over the recent period. (ANA-MPA)

    Caption: A seized executive jet remains parted at the King Pyrrhus Airport in the northwest Greek city of Ioannina on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. Authorities seized the plane after alleging that it was leased to transport illegal Afghan migrants from Greece to Italy. ANA-MPA / P. PAPPA.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Stocks end 1.09% higher

    Stocks recovered at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday after MondayÔs plunge, supported by positive results of a Greek Treasury bills auction and a sharp drop in bond yields. Bank stocks were at the focus of investorsÔ interest. The composite index of the market rose 1.09 pct to end at 1,369.35 points, after rising as much as 2.42 pct during the session.

    Turnover was an improved 114.627 million euros. The Big Cap index rose 1.84 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.71 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 1.35 pct. The Health (5.09 pct) and Banks (3.43 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Commerce (2.38 pct) and Food (1.86 pct) were suffered losses. Hellenic Postbank (5.60 pct), Piraeus Bank (5.30 pct), ATEbank (4.62 pct), Eurobank (3.69 pct) and National Bank (3.55 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (1.95 pct), OTE (1.46 pct) and Titan (0.32 pct) were top losers. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 85 to 72 with another 51 issues unchanged. Galaxidi (10 pct), Akritas (9.80 pct) and Avenir (9.52 pct) were top gainers, while Allatini Ceramics (20 pct), Progressive (9.52 pct) and Vivere (8.33 pct) were top losers.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form


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