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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-03-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Eight pension funds accept PSI invitation
  • [02] Private sector participation in PSI reaches 50 pct so far
  • [03] PM briefed on major energy issues
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • [05] UK national arrested for drug trafficking

  • [01] Eight pension funds accept PSI invitation

    AMNA-- Eight Greek pension funds, along with the social insurance organizations' mutual funds management company, have accepted a voluntary participation in a state bond swap program, or a 53 pct haircut envisaged by a PSI programe, adding another 3.31 billion euros to the programme, while another six pension funds did not accept the government’s invitation. These six funds own state bonds worth 3.4 billion euros.

    [02] Private sector participation in PSI reaches 50 pct so far

    AMNA--Private sector participation in a Greek state bond swap programme (PSI) has reached 50 pct so far. The Institute of International Finance on Wednesday announced that 30 of its members, Ageas, Allianz, Alpha Bank, AXA, Banque Postale, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CNP Assurances, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Credit Foncier, DekaBank, Deutsche Bank, Dexia,, Emporiki Bank of Greece, Eurobank EFG, Generali, Greylock Capital Management, Groupama, HSBC, ING, Intesa San Paolo, KBC, Marfin Popular Bank, Metlife, National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale and Unicredit, agreed to exchange bonds worth 81 billion euros, which account for around 39.3 pct of total Greek bonds eligible for the swap.

    Another 18 billion euros in bonds owned by the joint fund, under management by the Bank of Greece, will be included in the bond swap programme, along with around 2.7 billion euros in bonds owned by several Greek pension funds, raising the total value of bonds to 101.7 billion euros and participation to around 49.4 pct.

    [03] PM briefed on major energy issues

    AMNA--Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Wednesday met with Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister George Papaconstantinou, where the latter reportedly briefed the premier on the latest developments in hydrocarbon exploration throughout the country. amna

    The private firms that have expressed interest in conducting seismic and geological research will be assessed by the end of the month, according to reports.

    Papaconstantinou also briefed the prime minister on the energy market deregulation process and issues involving the state-run Public Power Corp. (PPC). According to reports, special advisors have already assessed PPC plants up for sale, while the introduction of a strategic investor in PPC distribution networks is also being considered. amna

    The prime minister was briefed on an imminent meeting between Papaconstantinou and his counterparts from Cyprus and Israel, scheduled to take place by the end of the month to focus on a tripartite pipeline cooperation memorandum. amna

    He also briefed Papademos on renewable energy sources (RES) projects, the long-heralded but much-delayed development of the site of the former airport at Helliniko in southern coastal Athens and the Helios photovoltaic project for the production and export of electricity, amongst others.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The ongoing negotiations for the PSI, the taxes on real estate and speculation of new austerity measures after the elections, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) will give account to the Europarliament".

    AVGHI: "Six social security funds react against their strangulation".

    AVRIANI: "Unpaid PASOK party employees block offices in Athens".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government, ahead of elections, gives raises to a small number of civil servants".

    ESTIA: "All of Greece waiting on lines".

    ETHNOS: "The tax burden for real estate gets heavier".

    IMERISSIA: "Zero hour for the PSI - Everyone now certain of success".

    KATHIMERINI: "The crucial 24 hours for the PSI".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Agony 'at the finish line' for the PSI's success".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Women, organise yourselves and demand your rights".

    TA NEA: "Brussels Commissioners in all Greek ministries".

    [05] UK national arrested for drug trafficking

    AMNA--A 25-year-old Briton was arrested on his arrival at Athens international airport after drugs squad officers discovered 6.8 kilos of the stimulant drug khat in his luggage. The arrest was made on Tuesday afternoon, during spot checks carried out by police in the airport arrivals area.

    Authorities also arrested two Albanian nationals aged 43 and 30 years old, respectively, on Tuesday for possessing and dealing cocaine.amna

    The suspects arrested were led before an Athens first-instance court prosecutor on Wednesday.


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