|Wednesday, 22 May 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-08-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 21 August 2007 Issue No: 2676
 Papandreou addresses PASOK's candidates, says new gov't will 'reverse wrongs'Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday spoke to his party' s candidates - announced a day earlier on Sunday --- for the Sept. 16 election, where, among others, he called them " fighters for a new change and victory" .
Papandreou, the former foreign minister, repeated that a PASOK government elected on Sept. 16 will " reverse wrongs and redistribute income" , as he met and shook hands with practically all of the party' s announced candidates for every election district in the country.
" (Ruling) New Democracy is leaving under the weight of its policy impasses, which had started to turn into impasses for the country and Hellenism. Fortunately, ND' s supposed work was left in the middle," he said, while charging that the ruling party was without a plan for the future and lacked direction.
In again centering on the issue of questionable purchases of structured bonds by state-run pension funds, particularly one bought by the civil servants' fund early in the year, Papandreou reiterated his call for " all money to be returned before the elections."
Additionally, he charged that Premier Karamanlis was forced to call early elections because of his government's inability to implement the ongoing state budget or even draw up a draft budget for 2008.
Finally, he flatly disputed the notion that both main parties are "the same thing" - criticism often aired by leftist parties - saying that there is both a major substantive and ideological difference between them.
 New Democracy announces campaign rally itinerary; PM briefed by interior ministerPrime Minister Costas Karamanlis will chair a meeting of his ruling New Democracy (ND) party's political council on Tuesday before a scheduled address on Thursday to ND central committee members.
Meanwhile, on Monday, new ND party spokesman Constantinos Arvanitopoulos announced the first part of ND's campaign schedule, with rallies set for Agrinio on Sept. 1; Larissa on Sept. 2; Irakleio, Crete on Sept. 10; Thessaloniki on Sept. 12, and finally, the main campaign rally in Athens, on Sept. 14 - two days before the election.
Other addresses and rallies will be scheduled, the spokesman said.
Earlier on Monday, Karamanlis was briefed by Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose portfolio includes most of the state apparatus that will organise and manage the election process.
 ND spokesman on run-up to electionsRuling New Democracy party spokesman Constantine Arvanitopoulos, speaking after Monday's meeting of the party's intersecretarial body, said that ND is heading for the elections with certainty and self-confidence, based on the criterion of its programme and the work of the Karamanlis government.
Arvanitopoulos said that the course towards the elections was examined during the meeting and stressed that ND's party organisation is in a state of readiness, it is fully deployed and in constant communication with the citizens.
 PASOK unveils Papandreou's programmeMain opposition PASOK party spokesman Yiannis Rangousis on Monday announced that party leader George Papandreou will address rallies in the cities of Agrinio, Karditsa, Serres and Alexandroupolis, beginning on Wednesday.
On Friday, Sept. 7, Papandreou will address a rally in Larissa, central Greece, while over the next three days he will be in Thessaloniki, where in the framework of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) inauguration he will follow a formal political leaders' programme.
On Monday, Sept. 10, the PASOK leader will hold an election rally in Thessaloniki.
Replying to the question on whether Papandreou will be have a 'face-to-face' encounter with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Thessaloniki, Rangousis said "we shall also be there over the three-day period, but from what I know, so will the rest of the parties -- the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and possibly the rest in the city of Thessaloniki. We believe that this is positive, it will be a good exercise in democracy for all of us and I think that all will go well."
Rangousis further said, replying to the quesdtion on whether there is a time limit in which PASOK will consider opinion polls reliable, that "according to the firms conducting polls, July and August are not suitable months for scientific polls to be carried out. On the other hand, according to a new law, opinion polls cannot be publicised 15 days before elections. The period of time that one can assume that a reliable sample can be used for reliable results is objectively very little. We are here to see how things will go."
Replying to another question, Rangousis reiterated that as far as PASOK was concerned, there was no reliable opinion poll, nor could one have been conducted over the July-August period, adding that if one could have been carried out, its results would be very unpleasant for Karamanlis.
Called on to comment on a remark made by Papandreou, during his address on Monday, about "polarisation, tension and blows below the belt", and asked whether "this was said so that the president of PASOK can counter planning by New Democracy and whether there is such evidence," the spokesman said: "Mr. Papandreou never says anything by chance."
 KKE leader calls for voters to condemn both major partiesCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday reiterated her party's standing position that a vote for the communist party means a condemnation of both ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK.
Speaking during a press conference to unveil KKE's campaign strategy ahead of the Sept. 16 election, Papariga sharply criticised the policies of her political opponents, including ND, PASOK and its leader George Papandreou personally, as well as the Coalition of the Left and the out-of-Parliament LA.OS party.
"New Democracy-PASOK won't change, you should change!" was the primary slogan announced on Monday.
Among others, Papariga - whose party polled 5.90 percent in the March 2004 elections - said a vote in the coming elections should have the criterion of youth and a carry a message, namely, to voice opposition against the strategies of the two main parties.
Additionally, she added that ND and PASOK's policies over the past 20 years are exactly the same, especially vis-à-vis the Maastricht Treaty and the "new NATO dogma", as she called it.
"Both parties have governed and again want to govern. They are tested parties of powers, because they have a confirmed common policy that must be condemned," Papariga said.
 KKE SG Papariga calls on voters to snub ND, PASOKCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga called on a gathering of party supporters in Athens on Monday night to "shorten the height of bipartisanship" in the September 16 early general elections by voting against the ruling New Democracy (ND) party and the main opposition PASOK party and to vote in favour of her party.
Speaking at a square in the district of Lambrini, Papariga stressed that "something realistic must happen in the elections, for the height of bipartisanship, which is extremely high in relation to the policies it exercises, to shorten."
She called on voters to show their "popular disdain" of ND and PASOK at the ballot box "given that they have nothing to gain from the two major parties."
 Synaspismos' Alavanos to vie for Parliament seat in Serres districtCoalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos on Monday announced that he will also vie for a deputy's seat in the northern prefecture of Serres, where traditionally his leftist party has not fared well in the past.
The decision comes after his announcement that he will also vie for a deputy's seat in Irakleio, Crete - leaders of recognised political parties have the right to list their names on ballots in two separate election districts - another area where Synaspismos has not generated noteworthy support in past elections.
In explaining his decision during a press conference in Serres - the ancestral home of the Karamanlis political family -- Alavanos said his presence on the ballots in both Serres and Irakleio is an effort to better highlight the provinces as well as Synaspismos' presence, both in quality and quantity, in the specific regions.
Meanwhile, asked about the recent and more-or-less expected surge in sharp political exchanges between the premier and the main opposition PASOK leader, Alavanos responded that "elections are not beauty pageants. The major battles on political issues were between (ruling) ND and Synaspismos".
He also charged that opinion poll firms are exercising an inordinately large influence on the country's political landscape, and at the same erring in ignoring the left and "seeing only PASOK" as a rival to the ND government. Along those lines, he said PM Costas Karamanlis' decision to declare snap elections for Sept. 16 was influenced by such opinion poll results.
Finally, he said that Synaspismos will ignore attacks by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) against it.
 Certain categories of civil servants ordered to cut holidays due to electionCivil servants whose duties are not linked to preparations for the Sept. 16 elections are obliged to return to work by Sept. 10, at the latest, while those employed by services involved in preparations for the elections are obliged to return to work immediately.
This was clarified during the meeting on Monday between Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the President of the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), Spyros Papaspyros.
 Foreign ministry spokesman on Greeks in region of MexicoA foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday that as soon as the foreign ministry was informed of the presence of Greek citizens in the city of Merida, in the Mexican region of Yucatan (a region threatened by a typhoon) that is a high-risk region for typhoons, it communicated with the Greek embassy's Charge d'Affaires in Mexico City and instructed him to restore contact with them and to provide every assistance possible.
"The first contact took place at 3 a.m. local time and since then our embassy has been making efforts to achieve constant contact with the group of Greek citizens. It goes without saying that contact is taking place with the difficulties that exist under similar unfavourable conditions," he said.
The foreign ministry's spokesman added that at the moment all Greek citizens are in good health and another briefing will follow in the event of additional information.
 Independent prosecutor's report on structured bonds affair forwardedA report prepared by George Zorbas, the head of an independent watchdog authority combating money laundering, has been formally transferred to investigating magistrate George Lekkas.
This was revealed on Monday by the head of the Athens Appeals Court head prosecutor, George Koliokostas, who completed a review of the Zorbas report.
Replying to a relevant question, Koliokostas said that "I took all the action anticipated by law and according to my conscience. I did not forward the report to Parliament, but to investigating magistrate, Mr. Lekkas."
 ETEM's sales mark increaseETEM S.A.'s sales in the first half of 2007 marked a 14.7% increase reaching 84.5 million euros compared to 73.7 million euros in the corresponding period last year. Correspondingly, the sales of the parent company reached 59.3 million euros, marking a 26.4% increase.
Pre-tax profits reached nine million euros, from 8.7 million euros in the corresponding 2006 period (3.4% increase).
Net profit after tax amounted to 2.4 million euros compared to 2.5 million euros in the first half of 2006 (6% decrease).
The net profits of the parent company in the first half of 2007 amounted to 1.9 million euros compared to 0.05 million in 2006.
 Vardas' sales amount to 27.67 mln eurosThe sales of Vardas AEBEE company amounted to 27.67 million euros in the first half of 2007 compared to 22.52 million euros in the corresponding period last last, marking a 22.87% increase.
The operational profits of the company (EBITDA) in the first six-month period of 2007 amounted to 5.1 million euros compared to 3.7 million in the corresponding 2006, marking a 37.8% increase
Net profits after tax in the first half of 2007 came to 1.890 million euros against 1.233 million euros in the corresponding 2006 period, marking a 53.28% increase.
 Athens Stock Exchange: Marginal rise on MondayGreek stocks posted insignificant gains on Monday, as investors mostly awaited developments on other international markets. The composite index recorded a meagre 0.11-percent increase to end at 4,683.48 points. Turnover was a low 344.4 million euros.
Most sector indices were up slightly, with the biggest gains recorded in Oil & Gas (2 percent), Industrial Goods (1.8 percent) and Foods & Beverages (1.7 percent). The biggest losses were in Utilities (-2.14 percent) and Personal/Household Goods (-1.22 percent).
The Big Cap index ended 0.14 pct down, the Mid Cap index was up by 0.21 pct and the Small cap index gained 0.66 pct.
Advancers led decliners by 182 to 80 with another 38 issues unchanged.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.358
Pound sterling 0.684
Danish kroner 7.500
Swedish kroner 9.404
Japanese yen 156.38
Swiss franc 1.641
Norwegian kroner 8.054
Cyprus pound 0.588
Canadian dollar 1.441
Australian dollar 1.692
 PM Karamanlis visits site of future Modern Art Museum; park at Keramikos SquarePrime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday visited the FIX building in Athens where the Modern Art Museum will be built.
In statements, he recalled that two months ago the relevant contract was signed and with the completion of work in two years time, "a considerable vacuum is filled in the country's cultural life, given that Athens was the only European city which did not possess a modern art museum."
Prime Minister Karamanlis further noted:
"We Greeks will have the joy to admire samples of modern culture, in an excellent space and from an aesthetic and operational angle.
"Greece, with this museum, but also with the academies of art and the new National Opera House, shows that it understands culture not only as management of the past, but also as modern creation which gives strength and presence to today and tomorrow."
Concluding, the prime minister said that "the government shows in practice that culture and education are the greatest comparative advantages which we possess in the modern era."
Karamanlis on Monday also visited the park at Athens' Keramikos Square and stressed that he was particularly overjoyed "to be in this free space in the centre, in the heart of Athens."
He noted that the government committed itself to transform into a park about 2.5 acres "for all the citizens of Athens" with the forecast of it expanding even further.
The prime minister said that the area was expropriated "at a cost of 14 million euros" and that the reformation was completed by the company of the unification of archaeological sites in cooperation with the Culture Ministry, the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry and the Athens Municipality.
Karamanlis stressed that "this very splendid project was secured at a very low cost and with the use mainly of recycled material." He also expressed his satisfaction over the decision by Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis for this space to be named "Artists' Park" and for a bust to be placed of late world renowned opera singer Maria Callas.
 Meeting held in Messinia on destruction caused by wildfiresA meeting was held in Messinia, Peloponnese on Monday under the chairmanship of Messinia Prefect Dimitris Drakos to discuss the issue of the payment of compensation to those affected by the destruction caused by the recent wildfires.
The prefect of Messinia gave orders for a direct initial assessment to be made of the extent of the burnt arable expanses so that these expanses to be also included in the text which will be drafted.
Decision was also reached for the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives to provide, in a first phase, animal fodder to those stockbreeders who have animals in the burnt region.
"We shall prepare a letter for the Agricultural Development and Foods Minister (Evangelos Basiakos), while at the same time a relevant announcement will be made by the municipalities for the affected producers to submit their applications for compensation in order for them to be included in the overall proposal which will be submitted to the European Union, through the special European programme, to enable them to be compensated," Drakos said.
 Dozens of illegals again intercepted on Samos after crossing over from TurkeyA total of 59 illegal immigrants were intercepted on or just off the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Sunday and Monday, the coast guard announced.
On Monday, a group of 18 illegals - including four women and three children -- was spotted and detained off the island, a favorite "passage" for mostly Third World nationals attempting to cross the very narrow strait separating EU member Greece and Turkey.
A day earlier, 41 illegals from Lebanon, Somalia and Afghanistan were spotted on a beach and detained.
 Protest march over death of Nigerian immigrantA protest march to the local police precinct was organised in the district of Kalamaria in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Monday night by the city's Nigerian community, the Anti-Racist Initiative and the Thessaloniki Immigrants Forum, due to the death of the 27-year-old Nigerian peddler last Saturday.
Holding banners and shouting slogans, the demonstrators headed for the local police precinct, where anti-establishment elements infiltrating the march hurled stones and sticks at police.
Riot police made limited use of tear gas, forcing the demonstrators to head for side streets in the region of Aretsou. A car and two motorcycles were damaged during the disturbances.
Another protest will be held in downtown Thessaloniki for the same reason on Thursday afternoon.
 Slight rise in temperatures on TuesdaySunny weather with westerly, northwesterly winds are forecast throughout the country on Tuesday with wind velocity reaching 4-5 beaufort. Scattered cloud in the afternoon in northern, western and eastern Greece an in the eastern Peloponnese. Temperatures will range between 19C and 38C. Sunny in Athens, with light, variable 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 22C to 38C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 36C.
 POMAK president believes 2007 congress most important yetLONDON (ANA-MPA/CNA)
President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) Charis Sophoclides believes that this year's POMAK congress is perhaps the most important of recent years, as it coincides with a transitional period for the Cyprus problem.
In an interview with CNA London correspondent Kyriacos Trioupras, Sophoclides points out that this period is transitional in that the meeting of President Tassos Papadopoulos with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat may pave the way for the creation of preconditions for a Cyprus settlement.
Sophoclides also makes an assessment of POMAK's role in the enlightenment effort regarding the Cyprus problem, saying it is satisfactory, adding that more could be done to solve the problems of overseas Cypriots.
''I consider the role of the overseas Cypriots' movement satisfactory regarding the first and utmost sector of its activities, that of the enlightenment effort on the Cyprus problem,'' he said.
He pointed out that the rejection by the Greek Cypriot community of a UN-sponsored settlement plan, known as the Annan plan, in a referendum in 2004, was followed by a period of iciness between the federations of Cypriots abroad and the governments of the countries they live in.
''However, this phase was gradually overcome and we are now on solid ground,'' he added.
Regarding the problems faced by the overseas Cypriots, Sophoclides said they differ from country to country and have to do with education and communication, among others, noting that ''much has been done and more should be done.''
Asked about this year's POMAK congress, Sophoclides said that it is perhaps one of the most important yet, as it coincides with a transitional period in the Cyprus problem, in that the meeting between President Papadopoulos and Talat ''could pave the way for the creation of preconditions for a settlement.''
He added that the congress would give overseas Cypriots the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues.
Regarding the fact that the congress is also being held in a pre-election period leading to the February 2008 presidential elections, Sophoclides said this gave additional significance to the congress but pointed out that POMAK always follows the policy of the democratically elected government.
Asked about the activities of the Federation's youth (NEPOMAK), Sophoclides said ''we must find the means to create the preconditions that would allow for the baton to be passed from the first to the younger generations.''
In conclusion, Sophoclides said he would ''like to find time to see our communities abroad cooperating, not only for the Cyprus problem and the needs of each community, but to begin thinking as a whole, broader and with higher aims, such as a national fund.''
 Italian Deputy to visit CyprusNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/CNA)
Arnold Cassola, member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and former Secretary General of the European Green Party, will be in Cyprus this week.
A statement issued by the Ecologists-Environmentalists Movement said Cassola is a guest of the Cyprus Foreign Ministry and will participate in the conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), which will convene between 21-24 August in Nicosia.
Cassola is responsible for issues concerning Italian nationals who live overseas and will attend a reception given in his honour in Nicosia on August 23, where he will meet Italians living on the island and inform them on issues concerning their country and ways to help them.
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