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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-06-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 3 June 2008 Issue No: 2909


  • [01] PM Karamanlis inaugurates 'Posidonia' maritime exhibition
  • [02] Greece laments election violence in FYROM; expects resumption of 'name issue' talks
  • [03] PASOK on FYROM issue
  • [04] LAOS leader on FYROM developments
  • [05] PM receives Moldovan counterpart
  • [06] FM Bakoyannis inaugurates Middle East, North Africa women's conference
  • [07] Deputy FM Petros Doukas in Moscow
  • [08] Government on educational reform, reactions
  • [09] Papandreou sees major crisis for Greek universities
  • [10] PASOK political council convenes
  • [11] Greek, Cypriot defense ministers discuss bilateral cooperation
  • [12] No change on expatriate vote, Roussopoulos says
  • [13] Dep. FM Kassimis on southern Russia tour
  • [14] Government: Police not responsible for Corfu killing
  • [15] EU needs common stance to combat inflation, Greek FinMin says
  • [16] Development minister holds talks with super market representatives
  • [17] Papandreou urges measures against high prices
  • [18] Greece, Britain seek statute revision of European Organisation for shipping safety
  • [19] Greek tourism enterprises urges for better policy coordination
  • [20] Public works minister announces new motorway network
  • [21] Intracom Telecom signs 3.2-mln-euro contracts in Central, Eastern Europe
  • [22] Greek PMI eased to 53.8 in May
  • [23] Athens Medical reports lower Q1 results
  • [24] EU Commissioner attacks Greece, Cyprus on food safety issues
  • [25] Greek stocks end slightly lower on Monday
  • [26] Greek bond market closing report
  • [27] ADEX closing report
  • [28] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday
  • [29] Cyprus' Lyssarides honoured by Athens Mayor
  • [30] AHEPA event on Greek-American friendship and education
  • [31] KEDKE, TEDKNA events for World Environment Day
  • [32] Animal rights group pickets KFC outlet in Athens
  • [33] Visit by delegation of Pakistani lawyers to Athens Bar Association
  • [34] Duo arrested for heroin trafficking
  • [35] Chicago delegation in Greece to promote 2016 Olympic bid
  • [36] Partly cloudy on Tuesday
  • [37] Cyprus ready to cooperate with Turkey to curb illegal immigration Politics

  • [01] PM Karamanlis inaugurates 'Posidonia' maritime exhibition

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis inaugurated the 21st "Posidonia" International Maritime Exhibition at the exhibition centre located at the former eastern Hellenikon airport on Monday afternoon, underlining the contribution of Greek shipping to the backing and strengthening of the economy.

    The prime minister placed special emphasis on the government's policy on privatizing the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

    He said that the government's immediate aim is to develop strategic alliances with international managers to enable their dynamic upgrading and further utilization.

    "Offers by international managers who will assume, for a specific period of time, the managing of their container terminals are already at the stage of assessment. The aim is for us to attract private capital and modern know-how. The purpose is to make our ports transit centres in southeastern Europe. To make Greece a bridge between East and West, a modern transit centre, an international trade hub," the prime minister said.

    Karamanlis referred to the present aggravated climate due to the international conjuncture and the energy and environmental challenge stressing that the rapid increase in prices of main farm products and consecutive upsurges in international oil prices are affecting the economies of the entire world, increasing the cost of production and transportation, fuelling inflation and compressing growth rates.

    He praised the contribution of shipping which, together with tourism, are the most extroversive sectors of the Greek economy.

    "They bring in exchange, they bridge the deficit in the trade balance, they create thousands of new jobs, they strengthen our economy and benefit society in its entirety," Karamanlis said.

    He further mentioned that Greek shipping manages 17 percent of the international merchant fleet, 20 percent of the international fleet in transporting dry cargo and 23 percent of the international fleet of tankers.

    Karamanlis also stressed that maritime exchange flowing into the country is increasing continuously and from 14 billion euros in 2006 it has reached 17 billion euros in 2007, while placing emphasis on the creation of new jobs.

    [02] Greece laments election violence in FYROM; expects resumption of 'name issue' talks

    Greece officially commented on Sunday's violence-plagued general election in the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) a day later, with the foreign ministry again emphasizing Athens' policy of ignoring much of the nationalistic rhetoric aired during the pre-election period in the landlocked former Yugoslav republic over the recent period.

    "Greece, throughout the entire period, carefully and critically monitored and assessed developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said, adding:

    "We share the international community's conclusions over the (violent) incidents, the irregularities and, overall, the democratic deficit that characterized the holding of yesterday's (Sunday) elections ... Beyond this, Greece now expects the continuation of the negotiating process, under the United Nations' auspices, with the representative of the government that will be formed in Skopje, in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution to the 'name issue' for the benefit of peace, stability and cooperation in the region," he stressed.

    [03] PASOK on FYROM issue

    Main opposition PASOK party foreign affairs rapporteur Andreas Loverdos said on Monday, referring to the name issue with the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), that Greece desires a reliable international interlocutor to enable a mutually acceptable solution to be found to the problem.

    "Greece has always guaranteed and will continue to guarantee the integrity and independence of FYROM. Greece desires an authoritative government and one that will be calm from internal problems, a reliable interlocutor to enable a mutually acceptable solution to be found to the problem harassing relations between us," Loverdos said.

    "The next few days are crucial, they are days in which the process in Skopje will be completed, so that we can have the interlocutor that the circumstrances demand," he added.

    [04] LAOS leader on FYROM developments

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party leader George Karatzaferis, referring on Monday to developments in FYROM, stated that auspicious conditions have been created for Athens to promote its positions vis-à-vis the "name issue".

    "My thesis in relation to FYROM is clear ... They can choose whichever name they want but Greece must not consent to their membership in any organization under the name or derivative of the name Macedonia," Karatzaferis said.

    [05] PM receives Moldovan counterpart

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Monday with his Moldovan counterpart Zinaida Greceanii at the Maximos mansion (prime's office).

    Greceanii is on an informal visit to Greece. No statements were made after the meeting

    [06] FM Bakoyannis inaugurates Middle East, North Africa women's conference

    Shaping a balance "between cultural traditions" and the "improvement of the social position of the woman through entrepreneurship" to facilitate a momentum that will ultimately provide benefits for societies themselves is what is being sought by the international conference taking place at the Athens seaside resort of Lagonissi, at the initiative of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, and concerns the women of the Middle East and of North Africa in particular.

    The conference is the continuation of the first meeting that had taken place in New York in September 2006, at the initiative again of Bakoyannis and the participation of 19 women, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Inaugurating the conference, the Greek foreign minister said that "we trust the world of women, mothers, sisters and daughters, the women that lead their societies through blood and hatred to peace and prosperity."

    Focusing on the Middle East, however, Bakoyannis observed that there "the equality of genders is slow." Only 30 percent of the women of Arabia participate in the region's productive forces, while the corresponding rate worldwide is 55 percent.

    The specific symptom constitutes one of the "greatest obstacles in the region's social, economic and political development."

    Bakoyannis stressed that this is partly due to the stereotypes that attribute to the woman the role of "passive victim," although it has been proved with surveys that in societies struck by conflicts "women have participated in the armed potential."

    Women's entrepreneurship, as well, usually develops faster, compared to men's entrepreneurship, despite the fact that it comes up against many obstacles.

    Bakoyannis further pointed out that in the 21st century, women's contribution "not only supports the family income, but also replaces social disorganization and instability."

    Lastly, she said that the promotion of women's entrepreneurship entails, in reality, the transaction between "divided societies" and facilitating the consolidation of conditions of security.

    [07] Deputy FM Petros Doukas in Moscow

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/N. Melisova)

    The signing of agreements in the energy sector by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Vladimir Putin, extensive reconstruction taking place in Russia, great investments opportunities presenting themselves with the assumption by Sochi of the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the rapidly increasing purchasing capacity of the Russian market are creating the preconditions for greater activation in Russia by Greek businesses, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas and Russian Agricultural Development Minister Andrey Gordeev, who are co-chairing the Greek-Russian business conference taking place in Moscow.

    The Greek delegation includes over 230 businessmen, who represent a wide range of the economy and people from the sectors of literature and art, with the purpose of seeking the best associates possible from the Russian side for investments in the two markets, as well as in third countries, and the further development of commercial transactions, Doukas said from the conference's podium.

    Doukas also spoke of the huge cooperation potential in the tourism sector with the development of investments activities by both sides and with the encouragement of Russian tourism in Greece.

    In order to achieve the latter, the deputy foreign minister revealed that the General Consulate in Moscow is holding consultations with a private company regarding the creation of a Centre for receiving applications, within the next few weeks, to speed up the process of issuing visas with processes required by the Schengen Treaty.

    Meanwhile, in the sector of tourism, a Russian company has bought out the former Club Mediteranee on the island of Corfu, while the half Greek Atlantica Hotels and Resorts and the Russian Nataly Tours tourist agency have announced a joint investments plan amounting to 1.2 billion euros for the creation of 20 hotels in Greece over the next five years.

    Th Russian investments presence in Greece concerns the sector of energy with the Prometheus Gaz, that belongs by 50 percent to the Kopelouzos group and to Gazprom, telecommunications through the subsidiaries of Sistema Holding and the sector of weaponry systems, in which Rosoboronexport, with exclusive rights to export Russian weaponry systems, has established a subsidiary in Greece. Interest in cooperation in this sector is being shown on the Greek side by EAB, which is present in the Greek delegation with its president Filipakos.

    The first Russian bank, Bank Kedr, has been operating in Greece since 2007, while Greek banks, having a considerable presence in the Balkans and in Russia are still on hold. The Bank of Piraeus recently established a Representation Office in Russia, while the National Bank is also showing interest and whose alternate managing director Yiannis Pechlivanidis is participating in the business delegation.

    The Greek businessmen are scheduled to hold meetings on Tuesday with Russian colleagues, seeking the best partner for cooperation, while Doukas was holding meetings in the afternoon at the foreign ministry with Alternate Foreign Minister Denisov and Deputy Foreign Minister Titov.

    A business meeting will be held at the Town Hall in Moscow on Tuesday and a meeting will follow between businessmen and the President of the Chamber of Trade and Industry Primakov.

    Eight Greek deputies are participating in the delegation, who will be holding contacts with Russian counterparts in the framework of the Greek-Russian friendship Parliamentary group and the presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation that Greece is holding.

    [08] Government on educational reform, reactions

    In comments on the success of the government's measures to reform Greece's universities and the reactions to the reforms, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Monday stressed that this was the first time that this was the first time that elections in universities had been so democratic.

    "The education reform is beginning to be implemented to be benefit of state universities and to the benefit of democracy," he said.

    He was referring to a change that allowed all students to vote in the elections for university rectors, pointing out that the election process had been completed in all but a handful in spite of the violent incidents and reactions by those objecting to the changes.

    The spokesman did not answer questions claiming a smaller student participation in the election for rectors than in the elections for the student unions, saying he did not have the precise numbers at his disposal.

    Questioned about the government's insistence on opening the doors for the foundation of private universities in Greece - even though an attempt to revise article 16 of the Constitution that expressly forbids non-state universities from operating in Greece has failed - Roussopoulos said that every party was entitled to its own ideological approach.

    He also refused to comment on a position expressed by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis about whether Community law supersedes national law, pointing out that the case regarding the law on main media shareholders was now being heard before the European Court.

    [09] Papandreou sees major crisis for Greek universities

    Greek universities are currently undergoing a major crisis, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said on Monday, blaming the government for "exiling state universities from its policies, its priorities and its funding". At the same time, "other minorities through their undemocratic behaviour were attempting to exile democracy from universities," Papandreou added.

    The main opposition leader made the statements after a meeting with the three-member chair of the Rectors' Conference.

    "PASOK wants universities to be free, democratic, self-governing and meritocratic. It wants state universities that are properly funded and give equal opportunities of access to all. Universities of values and ambition and, of course, universities that are open," Papandreou stressed.

    He invited the academic community to preserve this vision for universities and fight for state universities in this form, pledging that PASOK would stand by their side in this struggle.

    Commenting on the results of the meeting with Papandreou, meanwhile, the vice-rector of the Democritus University of Thrace Athanassios Karabinis described it as "exceptionally fruitful".

    He said they had discussed possible initiatives that would give universities a way out of the current crisis and ways "to isolate the slender minorities whose practices were daily diminishing state universities and indirectly but clearly serving interests that were outside Greek education."

    Technical University of Crete rector Ioakeim Gryspolakis was even more severe in his criticism of the groups responsible for the upheaval within Greek universities, comparing them to the colonels that had organized the military coup of 1967 and saying that universities had become "prey, at this moment, to the shock troops of the non-Parliamentary Left and not only them" that were trying to forcibly impose their views.

    [10] PASOK political council convenes

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou chaired a meeting of the party's Political Council on Monday, that focused on the issues of education, high prices and the political situation in general.

    Party spokesman George Papaconstantinou said that the Political Council unanimously ratified a text "on the political situation and on the country's emergence from the crisis."

    On his part, the party's responsible for dialogue with left wing parties Costas Skandalidis told journalists that his party was after "the greatest possible election victory and parliamentary majority while it seeks the broadest political cooperation in order to yield a government of change which the country needs."

    [11] Greek, Cypriot defense ministers discuss bilateral cooperation

    Greece's Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis and his Cypriot counterpart Costas Papacostas confirmed the excellent levels of cooperation between Greece and Cyprus on defense issues during a meeting held in Athens on Monday.

    During talks focusing on bilateral and European issues, Meimarakis once again confirmed Greece's active involvement in ensuring Cyprus' security and in finding a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and the principles of the EU.

    Papacostas thanked the Greek side for its support in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem along the lines of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The two ministers also agreed that bilateral defence cooperation could be even further strengthened, while underlining that nothing had changed concerning defense cooperation between Greece and Cyprus.

    "All actions are taken following consultation with the Cyprus Republic. We assess situations and act accordingly," Meimarakis stressed.

    Commenting on a recent visit to Turkey by the chief of the Greek Armed Forces General Staff, Meimarakis said that bilateral contacts at a senior military level helped create a better climate, while noting that he did not expect any "spectacular" improvements.

    He also indicated that Athens would not brook any Turkish objections to the search and rescue exercise "Argonaut" that Cyprus was planning to hold jointly with Greece and France in waters south of its shores.

    "We are a peaceful country that seeks relations of friendship and cooperation with our neighbors but we will not waive any of the rights given to us by international treaties and international law," Meimarakis underlined.

    Papacostas said that any reaction to an exercise that had a purely humanitarian nature would be totally unacceptable.

    The meeting between the two ministers was also attended by Greek deputy defence ministers Costas Tasoulas and Yiannis Plakiotakis and the armed forces chiefs of Greece and Cyprus.

    [12] No change on expatriate vote, Roussopoulos says

    The government has made its intentions clear on the issue of voting rights for Greeks abroad, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Monday.

    "Greek expatriates should take part in the electoral process," he stressed, while noting that such a change required a greater majority in Parliament than that possessed by the present government.

    The spokesman had been asked whether Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis would attend Thursday's session in Parliament, when a report on this issue by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) was going to be debated, and whether anything new had arisen in terms of giving a vote to Greeks abroad.

    Roussopoulos said he was unaware whether Karamanlis intended to attend the debate, while expressing hope that the draft bill would be backed by the other parties.

    "We believe that the other parties will agree and will not find excuses, such as those found by PASOK during the previous Parliament, not to vote for this bill," he said.

    [13] Dep. FM Kassimis on southern Russia tour

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA / S. Aravopoulou)

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, who holds the expatriate Greeks portfolio at the ministry, over the weekend continued a tour of southern Russia, visiting the Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.

    Kassimis was on hand for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ethnic Greek association "Prometheus", a week after the verdant city hosted a World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) regional council (Russia, Ukraine and Georgia).

    Kassimis and a Greek delegation were also received by North Ossetian Prime Minister Nikolai Khlyntsov.

    In statements, the Greek minister referred to the issuance of scholarships for ethnic Greek Pontians in the republic, primarily to study language and literature for a career as teachers.

    The Greek delegation also paid an emotional visit to a cemetery in Beslan to honor the victims of the dastardly terrorist attack at a local elementary school there in September 2004.

    [14] Government: Police not responsible for Corfu killing

    The government on Monday denied that the Greek Police were in any way to blame for the killing of a woman on Corfu by two men trying to escape capture by the authorities.

    Replying to questions about the incident, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said that some of the suspects in a police operation on the island had attempted to escape capture on a motorbike and ran over the unlucky woman during this attempt.

    "That does not mean that the police are responsible," he added.

    Financial News

    [15] EU needs common stance to combat inflation, Greek FinMin says

    Efforts to combat inflation in the European Union should be related with the taxation of fuel or prices, but with focused measures to support weaker classes -measures of supporting income- Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, after an Eurogroup council in Frankfurt, the Greek minister said the EU should accelerate structural reforms to boost competition and to benefit from lower prices, while he underlined the need for a coordinated policy in Europe to deal with increased inflationary pressures. Alogoskoufis said in international inflationary shock, caused by high oil, food and raw material prices, has affected all Eurozone economies and global economies. "The impact is not the same in all member-states, but we agreed that the best way to deal with this impact was a common policy approach," the Greek minister stressed.

    [16] Development minister holds talks with super market representatives

    Super market representatives conveyed to Development Minister Christos Folias their intention to proceed with price decreases, responding on Monday to his appeal to display a sense of social responsibility.

    Every business, however, will follow its own policy concerning the products whose prices it will reduce, as well as the extent of the decreases.

    The president of the Metro firm, P. Panteliadis told reporters after the meeting with the minister that super market businesses declared their intention to cooperate in connection with the ministry's appeal, although they noted that their profit percentages range between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, while in a few cases they reach 2 percent. However, they promised to pass on all the industries' decreases to the retail prices.

    "We shall see what we can do," Panteliadis said, adding that one must consider what is the cause of high prices, "apart fron increases in grain and oil" and pondering the role of industry in price increases.

    Super market administrations are expected to notify the ministry, within a period of 48 hours, for which products they will be decreasing prices and to what extent.

    Folias also held a meeting with representatives of milk industries, again on the issue of prices.

    [17] Papandreou urges measures against high prices

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday called for measures to combat high prices, such as reducing rates for state-controlled public utilities and enforcing laws against monopolies and cartels.

    During a break in a meeting of PASOK's Political Council, Papandreou attacked the government over the issues of prices, saying that Greece was becoming one of the most expensive countries in the European Union.

    According to Papandreou this constituted a theft of the people's income by a few that prospered.

    He accused the government of inertia and of tolerating and turning a blind eye to specific interests, while the country was given over to lawlessness since the government did not activate any of the mechanisms for enforcing the laws.

    PASOK's leader also pointed to announcements of a reduction in prices by some businesses, saying this showed that there were margins for lowering prices but the government refused to understand this.

    [18] Greece, Britain seek statute revision of European Organisation for shipping safety

    Greek Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis on Monday met separately with his counterparts from Britain, Liberia and the Bahamas and discussed bilateral issues.

    Speaking to reporters, after his meeting with Britain's Transport Secretary Jim Fitzpatrick, Voulgarakis said Greece and Great Britain maintain excellent bilateral relations in the shipping sector and cooperate in international for a to promote maritime issues. "Our views coincide on all significant maritime matters covering both the EU and IMO," the Greek minister said, adding that they agreed the need to promote five legislative proposals covering shipping safety. "We also agreed that an integrated maritime policy in the EU, based on the principle of supplementarity, can contribute decisively to the development of European shipping industry and support a revision of the founding statute of European Organisation for shipping safety.

    The two ministers also discussed illegal immigration, with the Greek minister briefing Mr Fitzpatrick over problems facing the country's port policy to oversee the EU's southern sea borders.

    Later, Mr Voulgarakis met with Merchant Marine Minister of Liberia, Binyah Kesselly and the Merchant Marine Minister of the Bahamas, Dion Folkes.

    [19] Greek tourism enterprises urges for better policy coordination

    The Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) on Monday urged for a better coordination of government policies and of the wider public sector's actions to promote the tourism industry in the country.

    In a statement to the press, SETE said "negative impressions caused to our visitors from limited visiting hours in the country's museum and archaeological sites were added to already negative views caused by lagging general infrastructure (airports, ports, road network)".

    SETE stressed that government efforts were useful but not enough to improve the country's profile. The Association underlined problems of coordination facing the public nature sections of the country's tourism product and said that local authorities must prove their real interest in the tourism industry by timely taking measures to prepare all tourist destinations in Greece.

    [20] Public works minister announces new motorway network

    Environment, town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias announced on Monday the construction of a new network of motorways in the prefecture of Attica, having a total length of 55 kilometers and linking the Attica motorway with the coastal Posidonos motorway as well as, with a tunnel through Imittos, with the Mesogia region from Agia Marina to Rafina, including the airport.

    The project, budgeted at 1.2 billion and be carried out with the method of assignment, will have a very important characteristic: The complete (up to 90 percent) length from Katechaki motorway in the region of Vyronas down to Posidonos motorway, having a total length of 14.5 kilometers, will be underground.

    Souflias said that this option will increase the cost of the project considerably, but it will result in the slopes of Imittos in the direction of Vyronas, Ilioupoli, Argyroupoli and Elliniko remaining intact. The sections that will not be built underground will be at locations where overpasses will exist.

    [21] Intracom Telecom signs 3.2-mln-euro contracts in Central, Eastern Europe

    Intracom Telecom, a member of Sitronics Group, on Monday announced the signing of six new contracts for the supply of WiBAS systems to telecom providers in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    Under the 3.2-million-euro contract, Intracom Telecom will supply and support 2G and 3G networks in T-Mobile (Slovakia), Globul Bulgaria, Smart Telecom (Ireland), MTS Russia, Kazakhtelecom (Kazakhstan) and Mediacom (Poland.

    JSC Sitronics owns 51 pct of Intracom Telecom.

    [22] Greek PMI eased to 53.8 in May

    Greece's Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 53.8 points in May, from 54.4 in April, recording a significant increase in production and new orders. The seasonally adjusted index, measuring business activity in the manufacturing sector, showed a significant growth rate in production, although slower compared with April, remaining in a growing trend for 54 consecutive months. The volume of incoming new orders rose in May, along with import prices reflecting higher transportation cost and higher raw material prices.

    Inventories fell with the highest rate since December 2006. The PMI index measures business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector, while readings below 50 a shrinking sector.

    [23] Athens Medical reports lower Q1 results

    Athens Medical on Monday reported lower first quarter results, with consolidated turnover easing to 74.2 million euros in the January-March period, from 77.9 million euros last year, despite an 8.2 pct increase in the number of patients.

    Consolidated pre-tax, interest and amortization earnings (EBITDA) fell to 14.1 million euros in the first three months of 2008, from 15.3 million euros last year, with consolidated after tax and minorities earnings to ease to 6.4 million euros from 7.9 million in 2007.

    Athens Medical said it expected this year's results to remain unchanged at last year's levels (consolidated turnover at 279 million euros, EBITDA of 44 million euros).

    [24] EU Commissioner attacks Greece, Cyprus on food safety issues

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA - A. Viketos)

    European Commissioner for health Androulla Vassiliou targeted health services in both Greece and Cyprus on Monday for their slow response to recent food safety scandals involving milk and sunflower oil.

    After a joint session of the environment and agricultural committees in the Cyprus House of Representatives, Vassiliou said that Greece and Cyprus were the last countries to take action and withdraw quantities of sunflower oil for which the European Union had issued warnings on April 23.

    "Greece reacted on May 6 while Cyprus some days afterwards," she noted.

    [25] Greek stocks end slightly lower on Monday

    Greek stocks eased on Monday following a similar trend in other European markets. The composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange ended 0.56 pct lower at 4,153.08 points, with turnover shrinking to 263.243 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 0.60 pct, the FTSE 40 index eased 0.22 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 0.19 pct lower. Most sectors moved lower with the Financial Services (5.19 pct) and Healthcare (2.21 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Industrial Products (2.09 pct) and Personal Products (1.64 pct) scoring gains.

    Ippotour (10.81 pct), Klonatex (10.0 pct), Mediterra (9.72 pct) and Viosol (9.52 pct) were top gainers, while Alma-Atermon (20.0 pct), Altius (9.82 pct), Fieratex (8.70 pct) and Elbsico (8.25 pct) were top losers. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 127 to 103 with another 60 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +0.48%

    Industrials: +2.09%

    Commercial: -1.54%

    Construction: +0.88%

    Media: -0.23%

    Oil & Gas: -1.34%

    Personal & Household: +1.64%

    Raw Materials: -0.83%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.92%

    Technology: -0.47%

    Telecoms: +0.33%

    Banks: -0.37%

    Food & Beverages: -2.07%

    Health: -2.21%

    Utilities: -0.52%

    Chemicals: -0.23%

    Financial Services: -5.19%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, MIG, OTE and Alpha Bank.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 22.84

    ATEbank: 2.52

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 24.28

    HBC Coca Cola: 28.54

    Hellenic Petroleum: 10.30

    National Bank of Greece: 35.40

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 18.48

    Intralot: 11.90

    OPAP: 25.70

    OTE: 18.06

    Piraeus Bank: 21.60

    Bank of Cyprus: 8.94

    Marfin Popular Bank: 5.50

    [26] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled to 1.824 billion euros on Monday, of which 828 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 996 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 835 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds rose to 0.57 pct with the Greek bond yielding 4.93 pct and the German Bund 4.36 pct.

    In the interbank market, interest rates moved higher. The 12-month Euribor rate rose to 5.09 pct from 5.06 pct, the six-month rate was 4.92 pct, the three-month rate 4.85 pct and the one-month rate 4.46 pct.

    [27] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices maintained their discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover shrinking to 83.277 million euros. The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 0.65 pct and the June contract on the FTSE 40 index at a discount of 1.46 pct.

    Volume in futures contract on the Big Cap index totaled 6,093 contracts worth 66.557 million euros, with 32,694 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was 93 contracts worth 2.282 million euros, with 219 open positions.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 10,506 contracts worth 11.468 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Popular Bank's contracts (3,743), followed by OTE (440), National Bank (1,062), Alpha Bank (708), Intracom (681), ATEbank (349) and Marfin Investment Group (2,086).

    [28] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.564

    Pound sterling 0.797

    Danish kroner 7.518

    Swedish kroner 9.420

    Japanese yen 163.94

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    General News

    [29] Cyprus' Lyssarides honoured by Athens Mayor

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis presented the City of Athens' Medal of Honour and Benefaction to Vassos Lyssarides, former chairman of the Cypriot House of Representatives and honorary chairman of the Socialist EDEK party, during a ceremony held at City Hall on Monday.

    Paying tribute to Lyssarides, Kaklamanis underlined the Cypriot politician's contribution to the struggle of Cyprus for vindication, terming him as a man "for whom entire Hellenism is proud of", a man "whose thought and action marked for decades long developments in Cyprus and a man who became the target, on August 30, 1974, of an assassination attempt."

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Athens mayor expressed his solidarity to the Cypriot people.

    "We stand by the Cyprus people for a permanent and viable solution, against the mentalities of oblivion, futility and withering," he noted.

    Kaklamanis wondered why the "European family, which is governed by special principles and ideals does not understand that a (viable) solution cannot exist as long as there is an (Turkish) occupation army on Cyprus."

    On his part, Lyssarides underlined his refusal "to stay silent in front of the attempt to write off homelands and rights, to falsify history, the attempt to have a virgin birth of a monstrous confederation under a multiple tutelage." "Indifference and silence equal complicity," he added.

    [30] AHEPA event on Greek-American friendship and education

    The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) on Monday evening awarded an honorary distinction to U.S. Embassy in Athens attaché Thomas Countryman and awards to students of the Hellenic-American Athens College, at an event held at the Old Parliament building on the theme of Greek-American friendship and education.

    The event, which was organized by the AHEPA Glyfada branch, was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, Education Ministry Secretary General Dimitris Platis, U.S. Ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard and Greek-American Senator Leonidas Raptakis.

    [31] KEDKE, TEDKNA events for World Environment Day

    The Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Attica (TEDKNA), the Unified Association of Municipalities of Attica Prefecture (ESDKNA), the Developmental Association of Western Attica (ASDA) and the Greek Society for the Implementation of Recycling (EEAA), are co-organizing three-day events dedicated to World Environment Day and within the framework of "Green Week: changing stance of life", at the "Antonis Tritsis" Environmental Park from June 5-7.

    With the slogan "Earth is unique, don't waste it", local government, agencies, ecological organizations, citizens and mainly youth and children from next Thursday, June 5, up to Saturday evening, June 7, will observe the events which will be inaugurated on Thursday evening by KEDKE president and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis. A concert will follow.

    [32] Animal rights group pickets KFC outlet in Athens

    Members of the international animal rights group 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) on Monday organised a protest picket outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet in Athens, demonstrating against the cruel treatment of chickens by the company's suppliers.

    Carrying signs reading "KFC tortures chickens" and "Scalded chickens", members of the group informed passers by of the mistreatment inflicted on the chickens during their rearing and urged consumers to boycott KFC.

    PETA's representative in Greece Olga Kikkou said the group has for the last five years been conducting a worldwide campaign to improve conditions in battery farms where KFC chickens are raised. Among their demands is an end to the use of electrocution and gas as methods for killing the chickens, gradual abolition of methods to unnaturally accelerate their growth that result in lameness and disrupt their metabolism and also a place for chickens to roost, rather than stacking them in cages.

    Nicolas Gresset of PETA Europe asserted that KFC killed 800 million chickens a year in the most brutal way and that negotiations with the company had so far failed, with the exception of KFC Canada that had pledged to give instructions to its suppliers to ensure more humane treatment of the chickens.

    [33] Visit by delegation of Pakistani lawyers to Athens Bar Association

    A six-member delegation of Pakistani lawyers, who are in Greece within the framework of the strengthening of relations between the lawyers of Greece and Pakistan, will visit the Athens Bar Association (DSA) on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

    According to a DSA announcement, the delegation is headed by Hamid Khan, member of the administration of the Union of Lawyers of Pakistan. He is the lawyer of the dismissed and imprisoned president of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

    [34] Duo arrested for heroin trafficking

    Police recovered more than a kilo of heroin early Monday morning after stopping a vehicle carrying two Bulgarian nationals, 28 and 33, on a provincial highway between the central Greek cities of Karditsa and Trikala.

    Authorities believe the two suspects are part of an international drug smuggling ring. Both men are due to face a local prosecutor.

    Olympic Games

    [35] Chicago delegation in Greece to promote 2016 Olympic bid

    The visiting mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, met with US diplomats in Athens on Monday, including US envoy Daniel Speckhard, as the veteran Illinois politician heads a municipal delegation that arrived in Greece to promote the "Windy City's" bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.

    "I'm very excited about the prospect of Chicago hosting these Games ... It's a fantastic city and close to my heart, since I grew up in the American Midwest; and Chicago is a great city to carry on the ancient Olympic tradition, started here in Greece, of bringing athletes together in the spirit of peace and friendship," Speckhard said.

    Meanwhile, in a separate development, the US embassy on Tuesday will host a large US delegation in Greece for this year's Posidonia maritime trade show, which begins in the Greek capital this week. The delegation will include some 30 delegates from Louisiana, representing the city of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana, the port of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.

    Weather forecast

    [36] Partly cloudy on Tuesday

    Partly cloudy weather with northerly, northeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 6-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 31C. Partly cloudy in Athens, with northerly, northeasterly 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 17C to 28C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 17C to 27C.

    Cyprus Affairs

    [37] Cyprus ready to cooperate with Turkey to curb illegal immigration


    The Republic of Cyprus is willing to cooperate with Turkey, in the context of the European Union, to contain illegal immigration, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Minister of Interior, has said.

    "Such cooperation has to take place, since most illegal immigrants who come to Cyprus arrive through the country's northern occupied areas, which have been under Turkish occupation since 1974 and therefore under the control of the Turkish military," he pointed out.

    Sylikiotis also said that asylum procedures must be accelerated and that detention areas for illegal immigrants must be separated. "By doing that, the government will be able to deal more easily with deportation orders for illegal immigrants," he added.

    Speaking in Larnaca on Sunday, Sylikiotis said that he explained the gravity of the situation, as far as illegal immigration is concerned, to the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs during last week's visit to Cyprus.

    The European Parliament Committee has pledged to present the problem Cyprus faces to the European Commission, "which is very important", Sylikiotis noted.

    Sylikiotis also said that the government is going to receive 48 million euro from the EU Solidarity Fund, to deal improve border surveillance and deportation of illegal immigrants.

    The issue of illegal immigration will be discussed during the next EU Council meeting, on Tuesday, June 5 in Luxembourg.

    "The government disagrees with the directive that is now being drafted by the Commission, on the extension of the long-term resident status to refugees and persons enjoying subsidiary protection", Sylikiotis pointed out, recalling that for decades, Cyprus has shown solidarity with the people of Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine who are facing this kind of problems.

    In his remarks about illegal immigration, Minister of Justice and Public Order Kypros Chrysostomides said that "illegal immigration is an EU problem too."

    Speaking on Sunday, he said illegal immigration is a big problem because most illegal immigrants are filtered through to the southern government controlled part of the country via the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.

    "The main and joint target of the Ministries of Justice and Interior is to make the European Union more sensitive to problems Cyprus faces, due to the Turkish occupation", Chrysostimides concluded.

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