|Saturday, 17 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-11-05
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 5 November 2013 Issue No: 4503
 PM Samaras tells TV interview he 'will not allow democracy to bow to criminal violence'Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, speaking during his first ever interview with a television channel on Monday evening, said that he would "not allow democracy to bow to criminal violence."
Referring to the two killings in the Athens district of Neo Iraklio last Friday, he sent a message of unity saying that the best memorial service for the youths was the people's unity. "There must be stability and unity and trust by Greeks in their country and trust by foreigners in Greece," Samaras told Mega channel's "Anatropi" talk show.
"For God's sake, we are not on the verge of civil war, we Greeks are united against violence," the Greek premier pointed out, underlining that what some people were doing at the moment was "throwing a match into the powder keg at a time when we have so many 'fires', social, economic, etc.
Samaras launched an attack on the main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), saying that "violence is always violence and should be condemned; the political parties should denounce violent acts and extreme behaviours that lead to violence. It is unacceptable (for SYRIZA) to call on the people to overthrow the government."
The premier added that he hoped "the leadership of SYRIZA would isolate and denounce any kind of extreme behaviours. Tolerating or justifying extreme behaviours was what just leads to violence."
In reply to SYRIZA criticism that the government has a far-right faction, Samaras said that SYRIZA "cannot stand criticism and some people just live in paranoia."
The Prime Minister rejected the idea that the Greek state was late in dealing with the ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) party. He said that the preparation work had been done and for the first time the Greek state acted instantly and in an organised way.
According to the prime minister, voters of the Golden Dawn have actually nothing to do with Nazi views: "There are no Nazi roots in Greece, it is just a reaction to the hard times the people are going through. As soon as unemployment will start being reduced... such phenomena will disappear."
Referring to the EC/ECB/IMF troika of Greece's lenders, the Prime Minister said that a very tough negotiation has been going on since last year, which has showed specific results.
"We are not in a war, it is just negotiation," he clarified, and explained that the Greek debt haircut which was the biggest in the world - 146 billion euros - was the result of negotiation.
Samaras further clarified that the government will take no additional horizontal austerity measures. He stressed that "such measures have not been agreed, and the Greek society and economy cannot afford any more measures."
He added that there was risk for an early election and that any gaps will be covered by taking structural measures.
"What is important is the fact from an unstable country in a stable region, we are now a stable country in a volatile region, thanks to Greek people's enormous sacrifices."
 FinMin Stournaras: Draft 2014 budget is realisticPrime Minister Antonis Samaras met with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Monday evening at the government headquarters of Maximos Mansion to examine latest economic developments.
After the end of the meeting, Stournaras was asked by reporters whether the government insisted that the "bad" scenario for the Greek economy was to record a fiscal gap of 500 million euros at the most, the Finance minister said that the time was not proper to talk about the specific issue.
"We have tabled a draft state budget (for 2014), and we have forwarded details proving that this draft budget is realistic, and we will persevere on it," Stournaras added.
 Venizelos-Schulz discuss troika accountability issueThe European Parliament's initiative to probe the role of the EU-IMF troika and to invite it to explain, among others, the course of the Greek programme - first before the Financial Affairs Council and then before the Plenum - dominated a meeting between European Parliament President Martin Schulz (a European Commission presidency nominee) and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday.
The troika, which has been legally established but whose operation intervenes in people's lives, will have to be accountable to an institution, Schulz said.
Venizelos referred to the need for a "new Europe" to face intense problems like unemployment, replacing the "conservative Europe that cannot undertake the necessary initiatives to overcome the crisis".
He underlined that Greece is one step away from exiting the crisis, adding that "we all know how difficult this step is and we also know that it is a one-way street and that there is no Plan B".
Venizelos welcomed Schultz' readiness to undertake financing initiatives for investments in Greece and for the preservation of social cohesion.
On his part, Schulz (the Socialist Group's nominee for the European Commission presidency) said that his election campaign will be "clearly European" with an emphasis on restoring the European citizens' confidence in the European Union.
He also underlined his willingness to boost the confidence of investors in the Greek economy and the self-confidence of the Greek people, noting that cash flow for small and medium size enterprises can come from the structural and regional funds and through access to credit.
 European Parliament President Schulz addresses "Diktio-Network" think tank discussionEuropean Parliament President Martin Schulz on Monday wrapped up his one-day visit to Athens after participating in a discussion hosted by former PASOK minister Anna Diamantopoulou's "Diktio-Network for Reform in Greece and Europe" think tank.
Addressing the discussion as the keynote speaker, he said that he is in favour of a banking union with the adoption of common rules of operation in the Eurozone and a single supervising authority to check the banking system.
He said that the European Central Bank should help economic growth and not limit its role to controlling inflation.
Referring to Europe's responsibility for the delay in dealing with the economic crisis, he said that early on he had underlined its impact on Greece but his warnings found no audience. He also blamed the Greek governments, saying that "the situation had been underestimated by many in Greece as well. It is wrong to say that Europe is at fault. It made mistakes but the decisions on the deficits and the debts were made by the Greek governments".
The EU treaties do not include rising unemployment in the fiscal policy criteria, he said, underlining that community funds will have to be utilized for investments and the creation of new jobs.
Referring to Greece, he said that quality products will ensure that Greek producers will get a share of the market they deserve.
 European Parliament's Martin Schulz gives proposals for exiting the crisis, at Athens congressEuropean Parliament president Martin Schulz spoke on four proposals to deal with the crisis, at a congress held in Athens Monday jointly by all Parliament press offices in southern European countries.
Addressing the congress titled "South4Europe", Schulz spoke on actions addressing youth unemployment, small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs), cooperation with Northern African countries and the union of banks.
Speaking about enterprises in particular, Schulz said that a credit programme and an investment strategy were vital for SMEs, which affected unemployment. A major problem faced by SMEs were lack of funds, as the European Central Bank loans carried an interest rate of 0.5 percent, and banks did not supply businesses with cash but focused on speculation.
Among the measures he proposed were completing a viable bank union so that banks can salvage other banks and break the link between banks and state loans.
There must be an end to mistrust and trust be restored, Schulz said, and added that violence is a sign of instability; people don't vote for extremists because they are neonazis but because they're desperate, he noted. Commenting on politicians criticising the EU, he said that European countries would not be stronger standing by themselves but would face tougher competition.
 Parliament president holds meeting with EP president SchulzVisiting European Parliament president Martin Schulz met with Parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis on Monday.
"The Greek presidency is upcoming and in my view this constitutes a unique opportunity at last for us to bridge extreme situations that may have appeared. And not only this, but to come closer, to abolish prejudices that we believed do not exist, but that ulltimately do exist," said.
Meimarakis said on his part that experience has shown how the composition and understanding takes place between the different political parties and groups, adding that in the national Parliaments as well "we presidents are trying to compromise and join these views to allow for a space for dialogue without effusions and without extreme attitudes that harm democracy".
He also said that in Greece in particular "we are irritated a great deal and we are trying to find the Parliamentary way on the basis of which we shall be able to restrict these extreme attitudes democratically, all the parties that believe in democracy and individual rights."
 Europarliament president comments on Cyprus issue during Athens conference"The solution to the Cyprus issue will be reached through small steps and patience," noted President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, speaking on Monday to the "South for Growth" conference in Athens.
Replying to a press question on the restart of negotiations between Cyprus and Turkey, he said that they must start immediately and called on the Turkish side to take a clear and constructive position.
On the energy issue, Schulz said that Greece is playing a very important role in Cyprus' growth. He added that in the next twenty to thirty years Greece and Cyprus have a very strong potential of becoming energy suppliers.
The conference is being organised by offices of European Parliament in southern Europe.
 President Papoulias and Albanian PM Rama discuss new chapter in Greek-Albanian relationsTIRANA (ANA-MPA/I. Patso)
Visiting Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama held talks in Tirana on Monday, focusing on the further development of bilateral relations and the opening of a new chapter in Greek-Albanian relations in light of developments in the energy sector in the region of the Western Balkans.
Papoulias and Rama expressed the conviction that with mutual trust and goodwill all the present problems can be overcome, as well as those that were "inherited" from history.
Papoulias reiterated that Greece will dynamically support the procedure of Albania's accession to the European Union, primarily during the EU's upcoming Greek presidency.
On his part, the Albanian prime minister stressed that Greece's role, as a member of the EU and NATO, is of great significance for the region and the Albanian government, as he said, appreciates in particular the attention paid by the Greek side to issues concerning the region.
Rama also assessed that a new era is coming in cooperation between the Balkan countries, following the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.
 Greece supports Albania towards EU membership, Papoulias saysTIRANA (ANA-MPA/I. Patso)
Greece and Albania are experiencing a renewed push in their relations, Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said Monday after meeting with Albania's President Bujar Nishani at the Presidential Mansion in Tirana.
At a joint press conference, Papoulias said the two countries should build their relations on what unites them, and noted that "the Greek ethnic minority is a stable element of friendship and cooperation between our countries." The Greeks of Albania, he added, "are among the most dynamic sectors of Albanian politics and the country's economic and social policy, whose rights we all agree must be respected."
Papoulias, on a three-day official visit to the country since Sunday, said they reviewed the bilateral cooperation on energy issues, calling it "an important aspect of our bilateral relations," adding that the Trans Atlantic Pipeline (TAP), of which Greece, Albania and Italy are signatories, "creates new factors in the area's energy influence."
"I have assured the president of Albania that Greece, during its presidency of the EU, will actively promote Albania's application process to become an EU member," the Greek president said, as Greece has done in the past.
Calling Papoulias "a great friend of Albanians" for his personal contributions, Nishani requested of Papoulias that he help out so that "the Greek parliament cancels the law that is still in effect of a state of war between the two countries which is keeping Albanian nationals' property in Greece under provisional seizure and to (help) recall all laws emanating from this which also oppose article 15 of the friendship agreement between the two countries."
Nishani also expressed his concern over the "still-unresolved issue of location names" and said that the delineation of sea borders remained unresolved. "We are prepared to find a solution in the framework of international law and the domestic regulations of every country," he added.
"This meeting was an opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in the area," the Albanian president noted. "Albania still believes that the Greek government will evaluate positively the recognition of Kosovo, with political will and to the benefit of peace and stability in the area."
 President Papoulias meets with Albanian Parliament Speaker Ilir MetaTIRANA (ANA-MPA/I.Patso)
President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, currently on a visit to Albania, met on Monday with the Speaker of the Albanian Parliament Ilir Meta in Tirana.
According to an anouncement released by Meta's press office, the Albanian Parliament's speaker stressed the importance of the meeting and referred to the start of "a new era of cooperation between the two countries".
Papoulias and Meta emphasized the importance and role of the Greek minority living in Albania and the Albanian community in Greece for promoting cooperation and friendship. Papoulias expressed Greece's support towards Albania and the country's goal of European integration. Meta said that, following the Greek president's visit and messages, relationships between Albania and Greece will see significant progress, leading to "constructive and reasonable solutions to issues inherited from the past."
 Greek President Papoulias meets with Greek diaspora in AlbaniaTIRANA (ANA-MPA/I. Patso) -
President Karolos Papoulias began his three-day official visit to Albania on Sunday by meeting with members of the Greek diaspora and the Archbishop of Tirana and Albania Anastasios.
The President of the Human Rights Union Party (KEAD) and vice-president of the Albanian parliament Vangjel Dule made extensive reference to the situation and the problems facing the Greek minority, such as the the issue of property ownership, which remains unresolved, and education problems.
Papoulias expressed his belief that he will discuss openly and truthfully all matters relating to bilateral relations with the "Albanian leaders, who are our friends."
Papoulias praised the contribution and role of the Greek minority in the development of the Albanian society and noted that Greece will be on Albania's side despite the crisis and will support Albania's path towards European membership.
On Monday, the President will meet with Albania's political leadership and then will travel to southern Albania, where he will visit areas of the Greek minority in Gjirokaster and Saranda.
 DM Avramopoulos and his Albanian counterpart agree to further strengthening of bilateral relationsTIRANA (ANA-MPA/I. Patso)
Greek National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and his Albanian counterpart Mimi Kodheli expressed Monday their will for further strengthening bilateral relations during their meeting in Tirana.
Avramopoulos, who is accompanying President Karolos Papoulias on his official visit to Albania, stressed the Greek government's full support for the country's accession to the EU, saying that "we have supported accession to NATO and we shall continue to support the course towards European integration. We cannot imagine the EU without countries such as Albania".
Avramopoulos thanked Kodheli for the warm welcoming and invited his Albanian counterpart to visit Athens to jointly discuss plans in the defence sector and in this framework the two ministers agreed to the creation of a work group for this issue.
On her part, Kodheli said "we must resolve the pending issues between us for a safer future" and focused, according to an announcement by the Albanian Defence ministry's Press office, on three points: "the Athens government to create greater facilities for the Albanian migrants living and working in the neighbouring country and education to be considered a basic issue and consequently greater attention to be paid on the education of the Albanian migrants' children. The third point is close cooperation between Albania and Greece being NATO members on the sector of security".
 EU Commission spokesman on troika's arrival in AthensBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)
A spokesman for European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn on Monday confirmed that the EU-IMF troika representing Greece's creditors had returned to Athens to resume negotiations after Greece sent information requested by the European Commission the previous week.
Spokesman Simon O' Connor said the information received by the European Commission last Friday related to fiscal issues, specifically ways to 'close' an anticipated financial gap in 2014, as well as information concerning the terms of the Greek programme.
He said the Commission had been waiting to receive the information from Athens in order for negotiations to go ahead and that the Commission's representatives were now back in Greece and had resumed their evaluation of the Greek programme.
Asked to confirm Monday's press reports claiming that the European Commission estimates the financial gap to be around 2.9 billion euros, O' Connor let it be understood that this figure did not reflect reality, saying that he did not "recognise" the sum. He also denied that there had been any difference of opinion between the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the previous week concerning the troika's return to Athens.
 Venizelos to meet British minister on TuesdayGovernment Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will meet British Minister for European Affairs David Lidington on Tuesday, November 5, at 10:30 at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, according to an official announcement.
 Labour ministry to meet with troika on pension funds gap on TuesdayLabour Ministry officials are expected to meet with representatives of the EU lenders on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the 500-million-euro gap in the pension funds' budget targets. The ministry officials have repeatedly said that there would be not further cuts in pensions beyond those already approved.
On Sunday, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told the newspaper RealNews that there shall be no retroactive adjustment of lump sums. Regarding auxiliary pensions, a mathematical formula will be introduced in mid-2014 to assess new pension amounts so they agree more closely with the contributions each pensioner has made during his or her working life.
 Public broadcasting minister in ANA-MPA interview: measures must not jeopardise economic recoveryDeputy Minister for Public Radio and Television Pantelis Kapsis on Monday warned against measures that might put economic recovery, political stability and the country's cohesion at risk, during an interview with the ANA-MPA web television service.
"We have made very great progress, there are visible signs [of this] and it would be a big mistake if the troika created this problem once again, as it has created it before with excessive austerity that is finally counter-productive," he said.
Equally important, according to Kapsis, was to avoid jeopardising political stability and social cohesion, while he noted that this sort of uncertainty was perhaps the biggest danger for the country.
"Therefore, it truly is a very difficult negotiation and we all want and hope that in the end the government will be able to convince its partners about the correctness of its own line...there are no easy solutions any more, nor margins for large tax increases," he said.
Questioned about Friday's murderous shooting attack, which killed two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party, and whether this might affect the negotiations with Greece's creditors, Kapsis noted that this was a factor that must be taken into account by the troika representing Greece's lenders but was primarily the country's own responsibility.
"Economic recovery, dealing with the deficits and political stability are also our responsibility. We cannot depend on anyone for these issues. The double homicide last Friday showed in the clearest way how violence can escalate and create such conditions of destabilisation. It is an important lesson for everyone, for all the political parties, how important it is to fully respect the law and avoid rhetoric and expressions that, if you like, facilitate the talk of violence that we have seen grip certain sides of the political system," he said.
 SYRIZA lashes out at government ahead of television licensing draft law vote in ParliamentMain opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) spokesman Panos Skourletis on Monday accused the government of wishing to preserve a state of absolute illegitimacy that has existed for the past 25 years or so in the radio and television broadcasting sector, by unconditionally handing out new operating licenses to broadcast media enterprises operating until August 31, 2013 under the pretext of its being a temporary measure.
He said that this is yet another concession to the so-called intertwined interests that are the only allies to the memorandum governments, assisting them in the destruction of society carried out in recent years.
SYRIZA has called for a roll-call vote on the specific draft law, which is calls a "gift to the television channel owners", Skourletis added, noting that "the government's stance tomorrow will give us the opportunity to see what implementing the law means for the government and if laws apply to everybody".
 DIMAR leader expresses support to Skaramangas shipyards workersDemocratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis on Monday expressed his total support to the workers at Skaramangas Shipyards at his meeting with the board of the workers' association.
The board briefed Kouvelis on the developments in the shipyards and informed him that employees remain unpaid given that the shipyard have remained closed since April 2012 and submarines in the shipyards are not being maintained and are exposed to greater dangers.
Following a company decision, the 1,100 workers were placed on a rotating work schedule from April 18 until September 30.
 KKE leader calls for vigilance after the attack against Golden Dawn membersCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Monday called the murderous attack against members of the Golden Dawn in Neo Iraklio an attack "which raises very serious questions about the goals and aspirations of the executioners."
 Alternate Environment Minister says illegal logging high on government's agendaThe problem of illegal logging in Epirus and Western Macedonia and of coordinating the efforts of all state agencies to tackle the phenomenon was discussed during a meeting chaired by Alternate Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Stavros Kalafatis at the Epirus and Western Macedonia Decentralised Authority on Monday.
"The waste of such a priceless natural resource as the forest must be stopped using every means," Kalafatis stressed after the meeting.
The alternate minister underlined that the problem of illegal logging is very high on the government's agenda, since it has acute environmental, financial and social repercussions.
He added that the ministry is intensifying efforts to deal with the problem while noting that the law allowed local residents in mountainous regions to cut down trees for personal use, providing they obtain permission from the forestry service.
Kalafatis reported that stricter penalties imposed on offenders have already led to a satisfactory reduction of illegal logging relative to the previous year. He said that the ministry was also collaborating with the public order and national defence ministries to restrict the incidence of illegal logging by Albanian nationals crossing over into Greece via mountain passes.
A rise in the special consumption tax on fuel used for heating led many households to turn to wood fires as a cheaper option in the winter of 2012, greatly increasing consumption of firewood.
 Koutsoumbas was speaking to the employees of Evangelismos hospital."It is a reason of concern, but people should not be terrified, because one of their goals is to terrorize people, to make them stay home and not participate in rallies and demonstrations. Such murderous actions always have specific targets and we consider them provocative," he added.
"It is not time for scenarios, but past experience says that such actions usually involve parts of the state apparatus, both domestic and foreign agencies, exploited by organized crime," he said, adding the the KKE "responds by saying that we should all be vigilant. Efforts to use such murderous actions for the benefit of the neo-Nazi organisation Golden Dawn are unacceptable".
Criticizing the minister of health, the KKE leader said that restructures in the health sector aimed to gradually privatise its infrastructure, as "through the calculated downgrading of public infrastructure they are sending clients to the private sector."
 Hospital doctors and nursing staff join Wednesday's ADEDY strike actionOnly emergencies will be accepted in hospitals, health centers, welfare units and ambulance services (EKAB) on Wednesday, November 6, following doctors and employees' decision to join a nationwide 24-hour strike called by the public service umbrella union ADEDY.
Doctors and nursing staff vowing to protect public health, referred to what they called smashing hospitals and public health services provider?EOPYY units, while closing down Departments and Intensive Care Units. Instead, they demand staff hiring, funding to the national health system (ESY), covering the uninsured, abolition of the 5-euro examination fee payment and the 25-euro hospital admission fee.
A rally outside the Health ministry building on Wednesday morning is being planned by the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees (POEDIN).
Also to join the ADEDY strike is the Athens Medical Association, with president Giorgos Patoulis saying that "health is impossible with no funds."
 Greek press federation condemns murders of Golden Dawn membersThe Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) on Monday unequivocally condemned last Friday's cowardly and deadly attack on ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) members.
A POESY statement underlined that the attack "objectively or provocatively seeks to undermine democracy, political normalcy and the abolition of society's fundamental freedoms and rights".
The Greek journalists' union federation joins society and the political world in condemning the assassination of Golden Dawn members Giorgos Fountoulis and Manolis Kapelonis and the serious injury of Alexandros Gerontas, extending its heartfelt condolences to the victims' families, the statement underlined.
POESY firmly opposes the murderous attacks and mistreatment of anti-fascists, immigrants and people who are different by criminal neo-Nazi formations, and joins the international journalists' federations in standing decisively against the resurrection of inhumane and hideous Nazism, the statement noted.
POESY called on all journalists to be vigilant in order to overturn the memorandum policies and to defend the sectors' fair demands, report facts objectively and strictly observe the journalistic code of ethics.
 Board of Attica waste management body's resigns in letter to PMThe president and entire executive board of the Attica solid waste management body EDSNA on Monday sent a joint letter of resignation to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, citing huge operational and financial problems that placed waste management of Greece's capital at immediate risk.
EDSNA President Yiannis Sgouros, who is also chief of the Attica Region Authority, had written repeatedly to the competent ministries to ask that EDSNA be included in the list general government bodies and be able to qualify for measures for overdue debts.
In their letter, the members of the EDSNA executive board note that "centres" in central government have failed to give EDSNA the support it needs, even though in the past year it has shouldered "a great burden that is disproportionate".
 Investigations look into wages illegally paid out to industrial, police unionsThe public prosecutor has called an investigation into allegations by Ethnos and Real News newspapers that the Industrial Property Organisation and the Ipiros Metalworks Industry's employees continue to take salaries and allowances that have been abolished under the unified payroll system.
The prosecutor has also called an investigation into the Greek Police after an article in Vima newspaper according to which police unionists continue to illegally receive allowances for alleged overtime employment.
 Environment minister on hydrocarbons research in Ionian Sea, sea region south of CreteEnvironment Minister Yiannis Maniatis on Monday set the proclamation of tenders for hydrocarbons research in the Ionian Sea and the sea region south of Crete for 2014-2015.
"About the end of 2013, when the processing and interpretation of seismic research data will have been completed, a clear picture will appear that will allow us to delineate the regions that will be proclaimed in 2014-15", the minister said while addressing in Tirana a conference on the theme "Bilateral energy cooperation as a lever of growth, in the framework of Albania's European course".
Maniatis termed energy cooperation as being of decisive importance for the two countries' further economic growth and the deepening of bilateral relations and referred at length to the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to Italy through Greece and Albania, stressing that the pipeline constitutes a historic opportunity for further widening bilateral cooperation with the aim of growth and mutual benefit.
"The implementation of the TAP pipeline makes our countries gateways of Azeri gas to the markets of Europe and upgrades the geopolitical importance of the two countries. The pipeline, having a total length of 870 kilometres, 550 kilometres of which on Greek soil, boosts the prospects of the two countries of becoming the exclusive transit hub in Southeastern Europe," the minister said.
 EU Regional Policy Commissioner holds talks in CorfuEuropean Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hannes held a series of meetings on the island of Corfu on Monday to discuss the effective management and utilisation of structural funds.
The Commissioner visited the building housing the Ionian Islands region authority, where he was welcomed by local officials. Talks focused on issues of major importance for the Ionian Islands, such as a dams project on Corfu for the island's water supply.
Hannes said it was a top priority project for the new programme period but also conveyed EU officials' concern regarding the island's ability to manage such a big project, pointing to negative previous examples on Rhodes and Crete. He also expressed concern about pricing policy and EU authorities' conviction that the Greek state must contribute.
On the question of the water supply for the island of Zakynthos and problems with the quality of water, Hannes said "both the region and the municipality must look at this important issue for the island". He stressed that thousands of tourists visit the island every year and the consequences of bad water quality could be severe.
 Deputy Dev't Minister on official visit in UAEDeputy Development and Competitiveness Minister Notis Mitarakis left on Monday for an official visit to the United Arab Emirates.
On Tuesday, Mitarakis will meet with UAE Minister of State Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and with Deputy Finance Minister Younis Haji Al Khoori.
 Greek economic sentiment index falls to 91.2 pct in Oct.The Greek economic sentiment index fell to 91.2 points in October, from 93.1 points in September, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.
IOBE, in its monthly report, said that deteriorating expectations in the manufacturing and construction sectors pressured the country's economic sentiment index, despite a slight improvement of the climate in the services and retail commerce sectors and a recovery in consumer confidence.
IOBE said the positive effects of a significant improvement in the fiscal field and a rally in the domestic stock market (where foreign investors are showing strong interest) were counterbalanced by rising unemployment, very limited liquidity in the market and additional tax burdens on households and enterprises over the next two months.
Business expectations in the manufacturing sector showed a deteriorating level of orders and demand and higher inventories.
In the services sector, business expectations improved, with forecasts over the current level of sales remaining unchanged.
In retail commerce, negative estimates over current sales and inventories deteriorated.
In the construction sector, unfavourable estimates for business work programmes worsened significantly, although the employment sector rose slightly.
Greek households' forecasts over their finances and the country's financial situation were more positive in October, with a rise in the next 12 months of intentions to save but also forecasts of higher unemployment.
 Tax revenues up 37.2 pct in SeptemberGreek authorities on Monday announced a significant improvement in state revenues in September, reflecting higher revenues from overdue debt and VAT proceeds. A report released by the Secretariat-General of Public Revenue showed that state revenues surpassed budget targets by 37.2 pct in September, with revenue from overdue debt totaling 2.132 billion euros in the January-September period, up 35 pct compared with the same period last year. VAT proceeds surpassed budget targets by 1.6 pct in the nine-month period and by 4.6 pct in September compared with the same month last year.
The report said that this performance helped to close a gap in budget revenue to 1.4 pct in the nine-month period, from 5.7 pct in the January-August period. The finance ministry reported "high collectivity" of revenue from direct and indirect taxes from previous years, totaling 273 million euros.
Meanwhile, the sum of overdue debt to the state totaled to 61.953 billion euros in September, from 61.214 billion in August, with the number of corporate taxpayers who failed to show up for a debt adjustment rising sharply to 526,477 in September from 182,785 in August.
 Disappointing turnover for stores that opened on Sunday, ESEE saysThe optional opening of stores on the first Sunday of the mid-season sales on November 1-9 did not bring the results anticipated in terms of turnover, according to a National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) survey made public on Monday.
Seven out of 10 traders' associations did not recommend that their members open their stores on Sunday; only one in 4 stores were open nationwide and one in 3 in the region of Attica, while "the majority of the stores that opened did not have the anticipated cash flow," ESEE underlined.
The majority of the consumers visited the commercial centers in downtown Athens, Piraeus, Kifissia, Glyfada and Thessaloniki.
According to the available figures, Sunday's results were not satisfactory for most store owners, as opposed to the first and second day of the mini sales season. The chain stores and department stores were the most favoured.
In the rest of the country, the majority of stores remained closed and the turnover for store owners who chose to open their shops was not enough to cover their operating expenses.
The final conclusions of the ESEE trade and services institute INEMY survey will be announced on Monday, November 11.
 Thrace meets Bavaria, through a Greek fashion show in MunichThe company "Arsinoe de Thrace" based in Alexandroupolis announced on Monday the presentation of the aesthetics and culture of Thrace in Munich, through a fashion show called "Thrace meets Bavaria" on December 16th.
The organizers of the event are "Arsinoe de Thrace" in collaboration with the Academy of Fashion and Design (AMD) in Munich. Eight haute couture dresses made entirely of silk will be presented at the Munich Glyptotek amongst the Greek sculpture collection of the Bavarian King Ludwig I who lends his title to the exhibition. The dresses are part of the company's 2014 collection and the colors represent the elements of the Thracian Land: the blue of the sea, the white of the clouds, the red of fire and the green of the forests.
The clothes are inspired by the historical monuments of both Thrace and Bavaria, such as the tunics and ethereal dresses of the ancient sculptures and Roman artifacts of the Munich Glyptotek.
 York Capital Management to acquire 9.99 pct stake in GEK TernaGEK Terna Group on Monday announced it has reached an agreement with York Capital Management, under which York Capital will invest 100 million euros to the Greek-listed group.
"The agreement will enhance GEK Terna's efforts to continue growing and implementing its investment programme, while it is also a vote of confidence in the recovery of the Greek economy," the company said in a statement.
Under the agreement, York Capital will fully cover a five-year convertible bond loan issue by GEK Terna. The conversion price was set at 2.5 euros per share. The agreement also envisages that York Capital will acquire a 9.99 pct equity stake in GEK Terna and a 3.0 pct equity stake in Terna Energy. York Capital will have representation in both companies' boards.
York Capital Management is an international investment management company with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. It was founded in 1991 by James G. Dinan and has around 18 billion US dollars in funds under management.
 Greek, British cooperation on food controlThe president of Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) Ionnnis Tsialtas met last week with United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency representative Andrew Rhodes as well as representatives of the British Embassy in Greece, at the Authority's offices, within the framework of cooperation between the two countries on the official food control.
Rhodes also met with EFET officials and the Agriculture Ministry's General Directorate of Veterinary Supervision to discuss issues relating to the structure and organization of official controls in both countries, with emphasis on foods of animal origin.
During the meeting they exchanged information on the organization of both systems as well as experiences and approaches to solve problems, such as the distribution of horse meat.
They also discussed issues related to the challenges each country is facing this period due to the economic crisis. At the end of the meeting, Rhodes invited the Greek authorities to the UK.
 Greek stocks end lower on profit takingGreek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as investors took profits ahead of the restart of negotiations between Greek authorities and the troika. Blue chip stocks such as PPC, Athens Water and OTE came under strong selling pressure but the composite index of the market managed to hold above the 1,150-point level. The index fell 1.27 pct to end at 1,162.77 points, off the day's lows of 1,150.20 points. Turnover was a reduced 71.94 million euros.
The Large Cap index fell 1.23 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.70 pct lower. Viohalco (1.88 pct), Terna Energy (1.11 pct), Folli Follie (0.72 pct) and Piraeus Bank (0.67 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while PPC (6.54 pct), Athens Water (4.59 pct), Metka (2.89 pct) and OTE (2.81 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.
The Commerce (0.70 pct) and Personal Products (0.09 pct) sectors scored gains, while Utilities (5.57 pct), Telecoms (2.81 pct) and Financial Services (1.96 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 87 to 50 with another 14 issues unchanged. Varagis (20 pct), Boutaris (20 pct) and AXON Holdings (19.44 pct) were top gainers, while Logismos (23.28 pct), Alsinco (19.23 pct) and Galaxidi (15.76 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.35%
Personal & Household: +0.09%
Raw Materials: -1.32%
Travel & Leisure: -1.22%
Food & Beverages: -0.16%
Financial Services: -1.96%
The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, PPC, OTE, OPAP and Mytilineos.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 0.650
Public Power Corp (PPC): 10.00
Coca Cola HBC: 21.27
Hellenic Petroleum: 9.51
National Bank of Greece: 4.11
Eurobank Properties : 9.08
Piraeus Bank: 1.50
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 6.24 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 6.36 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 7.91 pct -its lowest level in three years- and the German Bund yielding 1.67 pct. Turnover was a thin 3.0 million euros, all buy orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.53 pct, the nine-month rate was 0.44 pct, the six-month rate was 0.34 pct, the three-month rate was 0.224 pct and the one-month rate was 0.129 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a small discount of 0.09 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover rising slightly to 18.516 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 5,556 contracts worth 10.726 million euros, with 49,967 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 15,619 contracts worth 7.790 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (4,461), followed by National Bank (627), Alpha Bank (1,579), MIG (269), OTE (1,625), PPC (1,992), OPAP (593), Mytilineos (1,633), Hellenic Petroleum (232), Athens Water (250), GEK (1,126), Jumbo (155) and Intralot (146).
 Foreign Exchange rates - TuesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.370
Pound sterling 0.858
Danish kroner 7.570
Swedish kroner 8.903
Japanese yen 135.28
Swiss franc 1.250
Norwegian kroner 8.136
Canadian dollar 1.425
Australian dollar 1.442
 N. Iraklio shooting victim still in critical condition, doctors reportThe third victim of a fatal shooting outside the offices of the far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party in Neo Iraklio, Athens was still in critical condition, attending doctors said on Monday.
Alexandros Gerontas, 29, remained hospitalised in a Georgios Gennimatas General Hospital intensive care unit after undergoing surgery to deal with multiple gunshot injuries to the chest and abdomen.
The latest medical bulletin released by the hospital after surgeons examined the patient said that he will not have to undergo further surgery but that his condition is still critical.
Gerontas was the only one of three victims to survive Friday night's drive-by shooting outside the GD party branch office in Neo Iraklio, Athens when two men on a motorbike opened fire on three GD supporters in the street outside the party's offices, squeezing off multiple shots from a Zastava handgun before fleeing the scene.
 Same gun fired 13th bullet found at N. Iraklio double-murder siteThe 13th 9mm cartridge found at the site of the double shooting outside the far-right Golden Dawn party branch offices in Neo Iraklio was fired by the same gun as the rest of the spent bullets found on the scene, the Greek Police announced on Monday.
The 13th cartridge was found on Sunday and underwent ballistics testing at the Greek Police forensic investigations department.
Two men were killed and a third injured, all three of them GD supporters, in the Friday night drive-by shooting outside the party's offices, when two unidentified individuals on a motorbike opened fire with a Zastava 9mm handgun before fleeing the scene.
 Skeleton remains and artefacts, possibly Byzantine, found in Thessaly fieldSkeletal material and artefacts ostensibly dating to the Byzantine period were found by a farmer, 36 years old, in the greater Kalambaka area, Trikkala district, over the weekend as he was plowing his field.
According to the Thessaly prefecture police in Larissa, bones, four bronze bracelets, five earrings and four rings of unknown material were found at a depth of 30-50 cm.
According to an archaeologist of the 19th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, the objects are dated to between the 11th and 12th centuries AD and are considered antiquities. Following an on-site examination, the archaeologist identified a pit grave that contained a ring and two sections of earrings, all made of bronze, along with three fragments of a ceramic vase.
The objects will be sent for examination at the Ephorate, while the bones will be sent to the University of Athens Forensic Lab. The Trikkala police are also investigating the find.
 Restoration and reuse for the Ancient Theatre of SpartaThe biggest ancient theatre and a great technological achievement of Sparta, which was designed to fit 17,000 spectators, will be restored according to an announcement on Monday. The project will be funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which also paid for the initial study for the restoration work.
Despite its importance in antiquity, the Ancient Theatre of Sparta cannot now be visited and is in a bad condition today. A big part was destroyed by scavenging for the building of Byzantine and post-Byzantine buildings and many of its marbles were removed for the construction of the modern city.
After an initiative by the "DIAZOMA" association and former President Ioannis Varvitsiotis, the Ancient Theatre of Sparta will be restored, now that the study has been completed. The study, conducted by architect Wilhelm Orestides and a multidisciplinary team of architects and archaeologists, antiquities conservators, surveyors and civil engineers, cost 110,000 euros. It started in July 2012, was completed by July 2013 and approved on October 15th 2013 by the Central Arcaeological Council.
The Ancient Theatre of Sparta is located to the north of the modern city and on the south slope of the Acropolis. It was a benchmark for ancient Sparta and was constructed in about 30-20 BC, during the early Roman era.
The theatre stands out for its size, quality and construction using domestic white marble. The slope's diameter measures 141 metres and it was probably the biggest theatre in Greece. It is often compared with the Dodoni Ancient Theatre, with a slope diameter of 136 metres and Megaloupoli's Theatre with a diameter of 131 metres. The theatre's capacity surpasses the Great Theatre of Epidaurus.
 Demokritos research team receive 'Marie Curie' award for new cancer treatment methodA team of researchers led by Berthold Nock and Theodosia Maina-Nock at the Demokritos research institute in Athens has received the European Commission's prestigious "Marie Curie" award for their paper outlining an innovative technique to improve the diagnosis and treatment of several types of cancer using radio-peptides and targeting a specific receptor of the gastrin enzyme.
The method is shown to significantly increase the sensitivity of diagnostic tests and the therapeutic result of using radio-peptide imaging.
The Marie Curie Award is given each year by the European Union of Nuclear Medicine to the best research paper presented at its annual conference.
 Deputy culture and sports minister in HaniaDeputy Culture and Sports Minister Yiannis Andrianos on Monday visited sports facilities and centres for the arts and culture in the city of Hania, Crete accompanied by the Hania Mayor Emmanouil Skoulakis and Parliament Vice-President and MP for Hania Christos Markogiannakis, as well as other MPs for the region.
Among others, Andrianos inspected damage caused by vandalism and theft to the indoor pool in Akrotiri and discussed a proposal to give the pool to be used by the Crete Polytechnic, which will undertake to carry out the repairs and an energy conservation upgrade.
 Work stoppage Tuesday, strike Wednesday affect trains and urban railroadHellenic Railways (TrainOSE) trains and the urban railroad (proastiakos) will not run from 09:00 to 12:00 on Tuesday, in a work stoppage that will allow employees of both to rally outside the Council of State, which is examining the company's share transfer to the state privatisation company TAIPED.
The work stoppage also includes the section of the Metro running between Doukissis Plakentias and Airport stations.
On Wednesday, on which Greece's umbrella private and public sector unions have declared a 24-hour strike, the Metro will operate as usual up to the Doukissis Plakentias section. The electric train (linking Kifissia and Pireas) and the tram will also run as usual.
Athens urban buses will run from 09:00 am to 21:00. Trolleys, TrainOSE and the urban railroad will be on strike.
 Air traffic controllers, civil aviation authority employees to hold work stoppages on November 6Airline passengers planning to travel on Wednesday, November 6, the day of the nationwide 24-hour strike called by the civil servants' umbrella trade union ADEDY against the memorandum policy, will be faced with inconvenience as a result of work stoppages by the Greek Air Traffic Controllers' Association (GATCA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) employees participating in the industrial action, it was announced on Monday.
The air traffic controllers will hold a three-hour work stoppage from 12:00 to 15:00, while the Greek Civil Aviation Authority union federation OSYPA will hold a four-hour work stoppage from 12:00 to 16:00.
During the work stoppages, the flights that will be serviced will be those by commercial airliners and military aircraft flying over or crossing the Athens-Macedonia FIR, Greek and foreign military aircraft participating in scheduled exercises, aircraft on emergency, air ambulance flights, aircraft with heads of state on board and other emergency flights.
 Defendants in seamen's health fund fraud may have targeted more social insurance fundsAuthorities monitoring the telephone communications of the defendants in the seamen's health fund fraud have not ruled out the involvement of more individuals in the case, it was made known on Monday.
According to the testimony of the owner of a private clinic, who had reported the attempted fraud to police and cooperated with authorities to bring about the arrest of the culprits, the defendants had proposed to him to defraud more health funds.
Financial prosecutors have already announced that all health funds financed by public health services provider EOPYY will be investigated to trace cases similar to the attempted major fraud by seamen's health fund employees.
Four seamen's health fund employees were arrested on Friday morning in the presence of a prosecutor while receiving 205,000 euros from the owner of a private clinic as a first installment of an agreed sum of one million euros he would recoup via forged documents for alleged medical services provided to seamen's fund social insurance recipients. The transaction was caught on camera, while telephone conversations ahead of the arrest were recorded at the prosecutor's orders.
Those arrested are a former seamen's fund employee, who was transferred to the ministry of education, the fund's financial services head, two fund employees and the husband of one of them, all facing felony charges for setting up a criminal organization, defrauding the state and forgery.
 Protesting farmers on Crete force their way into courthouse trying case of fellow farmersTension erupted within the Iraklio Courthouse on the island of Crete early on Monday afternoon when a group of farmers forced their way into the building, demanding the acquittal of 92 farmers on trial for causing damage to public property when they staged a sit-in demonstration at "Nikos Kazantzakis" International Airport in 2009.
The protesting farmers, who had earlier participated in a rally expressing opposition to the taxation of farming land, a measure included in a government-sponsored draft law for real estate taxation, kicked down the courthouse door and entered the courtroom after the judges had withdrawn to deliberate on their ruling. A police officer and two special guards were injured by flying glass.
Earlier, farmers from across Crete with their tractors held a protest rally in downtown Iraklio and holding black flags gathered outside the Crete Regional Authority offices. The protest was held with the participation of local mayors and deputy mayors, as well as the local Labour Union Center and the civil servants umbrella trade union ADEDY representatives.
 Thessaloniki's Mikra airport to celebrate St. Michael's name dayThe Mikra military airport in Thessaloniki will be open to the public from November 7 to November 10, as part of the celebrations organized by the Air Force to honour its patron saint, the Archangel Michael.
During the celebrations, the public will have the opportunity to meet with the staff and see aircraft, weapons and equipment on display.
On Friday, November 8, the airport will be open to the public from 11:30 to 17:00, while on the remaining days (November 7,9 and 10) it will be open from 09:00 to 17:00.
The "Zeus" team will perform in an air show with F-16s at 12:00 next Saturday. The show will take place over the sea. Spectators in Thessaloniki can watch it from the promenade section between the White Tower and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall.
 Public prosecutor launches inquiry into Hellenic coastguard exam.A First-instance Court public prosecutor on Monday launched an inquiry into press allegations of irregularities in a coastguard cadets' examination.
According to an article in the Greek daily "Efimerida ton Syntakton" there were irregularities in the marking of an examination sat by 80 coastguard cadets, prompting the chief of the First-instance Court public prosecutors to ask for an inquiry.
According to the paper, the exam results may have been affected by pressure on the examiners.
The prosecutor's investigation aims to ascertain the truth of the complaints and whether any offences have been committed.
 356 undocumented migrants repatriated in OctoberThree hunded and fifty six undocumented migrants - including 111 Pakistanis, 90 Albanians, 26 Algerians, 18 Georgians and 11 Romanians - were repatriated in October, following court orders issued against them.
During the same period, the Greek authorities in cooperation with the International Migration Organisation (IMO) handled the repatriation of another 696 foreign nationals.
The repatriation operation of illegal migrants to their country of origin is being covered by the European Fund for Repatriations.
Moreover, 30,009 foreign nationals have returned to their country of origin (via the IMO voluntary repatriation programme, besides obligatory and voluntary repatriations carried out by the Greek police) since August last year.
 Rainy on TuesdayRainy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Winds 4-8 beaufort. Temperatures between 11C and 24C. Possible local showers in Athens with southerly 5-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 14C and 24C. Local showers in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 14C and 22C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceEFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Troika of lenders arrives on Tuesday and wants everything!
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Police found another 9mm shell at the crime scene (double murder outside Golden Dawn's (Chryssi Avghi) offices in Neo Iraklio)
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Last 'windows' for 300,000 employees to recognise 1-5 fictitious years.
ESTIA: Absurdity with taxes.
ETHNOS: Government to meet troika on Public Utilities and Organisations and social security.
NAFTEMPORIKI: 33 billion euro loans a direct threat for the businesses.
TA NEA: Between troika and terrorism.
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