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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-02-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Alpha Bank rejects NBG merger proposal
  • [02] Top gov't comÔt considers investment deal for Helliniko site
  • [03] Universities: agreement on 13 points
  • [04] Public transport strikes
  • [05] Contraband cigarettes ´╗┐

  • [01] Alpha Bank rejects NBG merger proposal

    (ANA-MPA) -- Alpha BankÔs board on Friday unanimously rejected National BankÔs merger plan, which was announced earlier in the day.

    The bid was the second in a decade where a merger plan between the two banks failed to materialise. A bank statement said Alpha BankÔs board "unanimously, and after examining the terms of the proposed merger, rejects the plan, taking in view the uncertainty created by the current economic situation and the context of the plan, whose terms are considered not to be to the benefit of Alpha BankÔs shareholders". (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [02] Top gov't comÔt considers investment deal for Helliniko site

    (ANA-MPA) -- Exploiting a valuable tract of land in coastal southern Athens, the Helliniko site, topped the agenda of a high-ranking inter-ministerial committee on Friday, with a "fast track" process on the table ahead of pending negotiations with Qatar investors.

    The meeting was chaired by Minister of State Haris Pamboukis, who heads the efforts to lure "strategic investors" to the recession-plagued country.

    The Helliniko site includes the previous Athens airport (with two separate terminals), an older military airstrip, other facilities, while border on a coastal sports facility and the greater Athens areaÔs only golf course. A handful of Olympic venues for less popular sports, now mostly disused, were also built on the site.

    Several ministers attended the meeting, including Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou. The entire site is greater than 500 hectares, roughly twice the size of New York CityÔs Central Park. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [03] Universities: agreement on 13 points

    University rectors reached full or partial agreement with Education, Lifelong Learning and Religions Minister Anna Diamantopoulou on 13 points concerning proposed reforms to higher education, during a meeting of rectors attended by the minister in the coastal town of Nafplio on Sunday.

    In statements afterward, Diamantopoulou said that dialogue had highlighted several areas of agreement between the ministry and the academic community regarding ways to improve academic and teaching processes in Greek universities and produce "degrees that have value".

    During their meeting with the minister, rectors also conveyed concern over drastic funding cuts that had reduced university budgets by 35 percent, which they said was also jeopardising research. They pointed out, also, that universities currently accounted for 70 percent of the research being carried out in Greece.

    They also objected to ministry proposals that university administrative boards should include non-academics, or measures allowing rectors to appoint individuals from institutions abroad.

    Among others, the meeting also discussed the issue of university asylum and rectors agreed to the foundation of a committee with the participation of all universities to deal with crises concerning this, such as the recent occupation of an Athens university law school building by illegal migrants to hold a hunger strike.

    Other points of agreement between the two sides were the use of quality and efficiency indicators for a percentage of university funding, that education institutes be fully in charge of their own financial management, establishing ways to make financial use of bequests to universities and a transitional period until 2013 until the changes are fully implemented.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [04] Public transport strikes

    Commuters and hard-hit retailers face another difficult week ahead, with another wave of strikes planned by Athens public transport workers that are continuing to struggle against the government's reforms to the sector even though these were passed by Parliament and have now become law.

    Athens buses will kick off the week with work stoppages starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. On Tuesday they will also be joined by staff in the ISAP electric railway, who will strike for four hours from noon until 4:00 p.m., while buses and trolleys will pull up their parking brakes from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in order to hold a general meeting and decide on their next course of action.

    Wednesday will see all public transport except the ISAP electric railway grind to a halt for the 24-hour nationwide strike declared by the country's two main union federations, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) and the civil servants' union federation ADEDY. The ISAP railway will operate from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in order to carry people wanting to take part in a march that will be held in the centre of Athens.

    Buses will hold yet another work stoppage next Friday, between 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. while all means of public transport will hold a work stoppage at those hours on the following Monday, February 28 so that public transport employees can attend a joint general assembly at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [05] Contraband cigarettes

    (ANA-MPA)A Ukraine-flag freighter loaded with 1,990 crates of contraband cigarettes was seized by port authorities off the Argosaronic Gulf early Friday.

    The ship was escorted to the port of Keratsini, near Piraeus, where its 8-member crew, all Ukrainian nationals, was arrested.(ANA-MPA)

    The ship was sailing from Cyprus to the Albanian port of Durres.(ANA-MPA)

    The freighter was spotted as it was sailing southeast of Salamis island by Greek port authorities, who immobilised it and escorted it to Keratsini for inspection.(ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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