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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-03
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Tsipras critical of coalition, says austerity must endAMNA--Addressing an Economist Conference taking place in Athens on Monday, main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party leader Alexis Tsipras repeated that Greece must immediately renounce the harsh austerity demanded by its European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in return for bailout loans, stressing that the EU-IMF plan was simply not viable.
"The longer the [Memorandum of Understanding] lasts, the faster the social and economic resilience of the country will be exhausted," he underlined, stressing that the programme must be abandoned in collaboration with Greece's EU partners.
According to Tsipras, it was an insistence on the austerity policies of the Memorandum that would finally lead to Greece being pushed into a voluntary exit from the Eurozone, which was the only legal way for this to be effected and an outcome that all parties should strive to avoid. amna
He was also harshly critical of the three-party coalition government under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which he accused of ensuring that Greece was excluded from the "initially positive" decisions of the lastest EU summit for the debt-burdened European south. In doing this, Tsipras argued, Samaras "had sent a clear message that he has given up on Europe before he has even started".amna
The head of SYRIZA repeated that no discussion on any issue can begin with the troika before there is an express commitment to uphold the agreements made at the EU summit of 29 July 2011 concerning Greece.amna
SYRIZA had also strongly criticised the government's stance in an announcement issued earlier on Monday, saying it was going back on its pre-election pledges and postponing renegotiation of the harsh bailout terms until after their implementation, unaffected by the election result and the message sent by the Greek people.amna
It noted that Greek citizens were finding themselves "watching from the sidelines" as they became targets of new blackmail to speed up implementation of the memorandum measures, privatisations, the firing of public sector staff and the dismantling of the social state in a new vicious cycle of austerity and recession that led to ever harsher measures.
 Re-establishment of Shipping ministry discussedAMNA--The re-establishment of the Merchant Marine ministry and the privatisations of ports through assignments were among the issues examined during the meeting between minister Kostis Mousouroulis and the head of the European Commission's Task Force for Greece Horst Reichenbach in Piraeus.
The strengthening of the ministry's structures in the direction of the preparation of projects and actions for financing by the European structural funds, the external borders fund, was also discussed.amna
Island policy issues were also discussed as well as the national strategy and the new regulating framework of ports, the dynamic activation of the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, the issue of unemployment, the problems of the coastal shipping sector and maritime training.
 PM discussed gov't policy with supporting party leadersAMNA--The government's negotiation line ahead of the troika (EC, ECB, IMF) delegation's arrival on Tuesday in Athens as well as government's policy statement were discussed on Monday evening at a meeting between prime minister Antonis Samaras and the leaders of the two parties (PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis) supporting his government.
After the conclusion of the meeting, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou stated that "a broad and in-depth discussion was held on government policy. The three leaders will continue to be in contact". amna
Earlier, the members of the economic staff had briefed Samaras at his residence on their meeting held at the Finance Ministry. Finance Minister-designate Yannis Stournaras and Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras remained in Samaras' residence and continued their talks.amna
According to information the discussion on the government's policy statements will begin on Thursday or Friday in parliament. One day earlier the swearing in of the new Finance Minister as well as deputy State Minister-designate and government spokesman who will responsible for the media issues.
 Reports for online child porn material upAMNA--Greece's SafeLine hotline for illegal internet content received a total of 3,635 reports in 2011, it was announced on Monday.
According to the 2011 annual report by the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) all of the reports submitted concerned foreign websites. The majority of them, 57 pct, originated in the United States, 13 pct in the Netherlands and 10 pct in Russia and the Czech Republic followed by the UK, Cyprus, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland, India and Panama. amna
The reports submitted to INHOPE for websites with child sexual abuse material increased 24 pct and the time needed to remove the illegal content has been reduced (58 pct was removed in two days and 82 pct in seven days). amna
Reports in respect to illegal content seen online can be submitted by filling in the online form; by email, sending a message to email@example.com and by using SafeLine's Android Application.amna
SafeLine is Greece's formal representative to INHOPE hotline network that numbers 41 members in 36 countries. INHOPE coordinates a network of Internet Hotlines all over the world offering the public a way of anonymously reporting Internet material including child sexual abuse material they suspect to be illegal.
 Greeks less pessimistic after election, according to surveyAMNA--People in Greece appear to be less pessimistic after the June 17 elections, according to a quantitative survey entitled "Economic Barometer", conducted by the Alco polling company on behalf of Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), it was announced on Monday.
The pessimism index showed improvement as regards both public and private finances compared with the survey results of the last four months. A total of 84 pct of the respondents stated pessimistic as regards the course of the Greek economy, down 9 pct compared with the last two months. Eight percent are optimistic and other 8 pct chose not to respond. amna
As regards their private/family finances, 85 pct stated pessimistic down 8 pct compared with the previous two months. Eight percent stated optimistic and 7 pct chose not to respond. amna
The pessimism percentage records a notable decline combined with a small increase in the optimism percentage for the first time in a year since the ACCI Economic Barometer was first conducted.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailiesThe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The imminent negotiations with the troika delegation and the government's policy statements as well as the deliberations on the Greek banking system, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Neither new taxes nor salary cuts".
AVGHI: "Four conditions for recovery".
AVRIANI: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' aggressive plan with structural changes and privatisations".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Three-speed reserve labour instead of layoffs in public sector".
ESTIA: "Six months lost for the economy".
ETHNOS: "Free medicine to the ensured".
IMERISSIA: "Banking 'fever'."
KATHIMERINI: "In August the crucial negotiation".
LOGOS: "Red lines in the renegotiation".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Preparation of Greek defence stance against the troika".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Action to safeguard the Health and against the tax robbery".
TA NEA: "No to layoffs and cuts".
VRADYNI: "Government, troika crash test on 23 burning issues".
 Athens Stock Exchange opening: Small riseEquity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.05 percent, standing at 615.80 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 3.075 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.9 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.11 percent.
Individual sector indices were moving upward, with the biggest gains in Public Utilities, up 1.12 percent and Industrial Products, up 1.07 percent.
The heaviest losses were in Food and Beverages, down 1.80 percent and Banks, down 1.39 percent.
Of the stocks traded, 19 were up, 21 were down, and 5 were unchanged.
 National Bank confirms talks with Credit AgricoleAMNA--National Bank of Greece on Monday confirmed it was in talks with French banking giant Credit Agricole regarding the potential for future strategic alliances, although it stressed such talks were at an initial phase.
In an announcement to the Athens Stock Exchange, National Bank reported that "there were discussions between the managements of National and Credit Agricole regarding the potential for future strategic alliances, which are at an initial phase," adding that it would inform investors over developments in the talks.
Press reports over the previous days alleged that Credit Agricole was in talks with potential buyers to sell its Greek unit, Emporiki Bank. Another Greek institution, Alpha Bank, dismissed these reports, saying it was not in talks to buy all or part of any other financial institution. Alain Strub, Emporiki Bank's chief executive, speaking to AMNA two weeks ago had said: "It is obvious that the Greek economy passes through a very unstable period, while inevitably will lead to changes in the structure of the banking system in the country."amna
Emporiki Bank was founded in 1907. amna
Credit Agricole gradually acquired 100 pct of the Athens-based bank, which operates a branch network of 340 units in Greece.
Later on Monday, Emporiki Bank confirmed that it has engaged in discussions with Greek banking organisations and competent regulatory authorities. amna
Preliminary discussions are not yet at a stage where a decision can be taken. Discussions take place within the context of the process for the consolidation and restructuring of the Greek financial sector, the bank stated.
 'Chopper Riders' annual meetingAMNA--The most beautiful, the ugliest and the noisiest motorcycle were awarded by members and fans of the international "Chopper Riders" club that gathered for their annual meeting in the village of Litohoro, central Greece over the weekend.
The motorcycle riders from Greece, Germany, Bosnia and other countries gathered at a camping ground near Litohoro and provided a spectacular show to visitors and fans during their expeditions in the area. Rodeo events, concerts and other 'happenings' took place during the 14th Chopper Riders' meeting, that also included acrobatics and motorcycle riding skills shows as well as a motorcycle 'beauty contest'.
A 63 year-old rider won the title of the oldest rider as well as of the ugliest motorcycle.amna
"Our motorcycles are neither the quickest nor the most modern technologically, however they have something special because their owners fix them and paint them by themselves," explained the President of the Chopper Riders of Thessaloniki, who was responsible for the organisation of the event.
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