Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Greek Foreign Affairs A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 10 April 2021
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-01-10

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

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

Friday, 10 January 2014 Issue No: 4556

CONTENTS

  • [01] German foreign minister meets Venizelos, says Greece 'is on a good path'
  • [02] German Foreign Minister in Athens
  • [03] Parliament president to meet with German FM on Friday
  • [04] Samaras accompanies EU's Barroso and Commissioners on Acropolis museum tour
  • [05] German MEP Brok: Germany will stand by Greece, whose exit from the tunnel will be bright
  • [06] Environment minister Maniatis presents EU presidency energy sector agenda
  • [07] The environment will have key role in Greek presidency's agenda, Environment minister says
  • [08] Development ministry's priorities during Greek EU presidency
  • [09] Public Order minister presents Greek EU presidency's priorities on security, justice and internal affairs
  • [10] Shipping and Aegean Minister Varvitsiotis presents Greek EU presidency's priorities for shipping
  • [11] Michelakis presents Interior ministry agenda during EU presidency
  • [12] European Commissioner Neelie Kroes met Greek admin. reform minister
  • [13] State TV minister praises staff for EU presidency ceremony coverage
  • [14] SYRIZA criticises minister's praise of interim public broadcaster DT
  • [15] FM Venizelos meets with visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
  • [16] Ecumenical Patriarch and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras meet on Thursday
  • [17] Innovation event to be attended by EU commissioners on Friday
  • [18] Albanian FM congratulates Venizelos on Greece's EU presidency
  • [19] SYRIZA accuses PM Samaras of being an 'unrepenting Merkelist'
  • [20] Main opposition MP Petros Tatsopoulos resigns from SYRIZA
  • [21] Communist party KKE calls on people to denounce parties of one-way Europe
  • [22] No date set for the return of troika to Athens, IMF says
  • [23] US State Department concern on convict Xiros' dissapearence
  • [24] Greece-US military exercise Jan. 5-19
  • [25] Joint proclamation by businessmen of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey on solution to Cyprus issue
  • [26] Turkish helicopter flies over northeastern end of Samos island
  • [27] Culture ministry launches dialogue on copyright and related rights
  • [28] Greek president's comments on judges are 'unacceptable', their association says
  • [29] ADEDY protests over arrest of teacher during rally on Wed.
  • [30] Examining magistrate summons Efstathiou's wife to answer bribery charges
  • [31] Court of Audit orders inquiry into subsidies for former minister's holiday home
  • [32] Corruption case damaged Hellenic Postbank with more than 400 mln euros
  • [33] SYRIZA attacks Bank of Greece, Financial Stability Fund over shady TT Bank loans
  • [34] KKE party on Hellenic Postbank developments
  • [35] Greek Districts can get EU funds if they develop a 'smart specialization strategy', Commissioner Hahn says
  • [36] Alternate FinMin congratulates Centre of Economic Research on its work
  • [37] Greek unemployment rate rises to 27.8 pct in Oct
  • [38] Rural development ministry organizes event dedicated to PDO and PGI products
  • [39] Greek producers at the 79th International Exhibition of Agricultural Products in Berlin
  • [40] York Capital Management buys 9.08 pct equity stake in GEK Terna
  • [41] Industrial production down 6.1 pct in Nov.
  • [42] Tourist arrivals at country's major airports increase 10.79 pct in 2013
  • [43] Greek stocks end higher for sixth consecutive session
  • [44] Greek bond market closing report
  • [45] ADEX closing report
  • [46] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [47] Hospitalized businessman Kontominas given to Tuesday to testify on Hellenic Postbank case
  • [48] Businessman involved in TT bank case to be transferred to state hospital
  • [49] Former TT chairman, named in arrest warrant, will return to Greece next week
  • [50] Businessman's lawyer appears before magistrate over TT bank case
  • [51] Third arrest over shady Hellenic Post Bank loans
  • [52] Famous Greek violinist George Koros to be buried Friday
  • [53] School guards protest outside the Administrative Reform Ministry
  • [54] Boatload of migrants picked up near islet of Symi
  • [55] Fair on Friday
  • [56] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] German foreign minister meets Venizelos, says Greece 'is on a good path'

    Arriving in Athens on Thursday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) was the first foreign official to visit Greece after the official opening of the country's presidency of the European Council. His first stop during his 36-hour stay in the Greek capital was at the foreign ministry, where he held talks with Greek government vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos (R).

    In a joint press conference after their meeting, the two ministers referred to the crisis in Greece and in Europe. Steinmeier said that Greece was "on a good path" in terms of carrying out reforms and that the sacrifices made by the Greek people, combined with the implementation of the necessary policies, appeared to be bringing results. Commenting on the primary surplus, he said this made the reforms "sustainable and lasting".

    Steinmeier also urged Greeks "not to talk constantly of new bailout packages," adding that this undermined both the reform efforts but also stability.

    Referring to the role and actions of the troika, the German minister stressed that, in his personal opinion, "the right institutions were represented" within it and described it as an important tool deriving from institutions that have democratic legitimacy.

    Venizelos, replying to questions, underlined that the basic goal was "the sustainability of Greek debt," while adding that the positive developments concerning the primary surplus would be made official when Eurostat confirmed the figures for 2013.

    Referring to Steinmeier's statements about the need to boost efforts for Greece's economic growth with German assistance, Venizelos said that the debt problem would not be solved by meeting fiscal targets alone but also required a steady rate of real growth. "The assistance of German agencies in this will be decisive, given that the international private sector is already showing interest in our country," he added.

    With reference to the troika, Venizelos said that he respects the institutions represented in the troika but also the democratic legitimacy of the European Parliament, "which wants to be informed and have an opinion on everything that happens in the EU".

    Replying to questions about the goals of Greece's EU presidency, Venizelos said he would be satisfied if two conditions had been met when Greece's term in the rotating presidency came to an end: that the European Parliament elections had "confirmed the European idea and the narrative of European integration," and also that Greece, with the "valuable support of its partners, without which we would have been led to an uncontrolled default," had reached the turning point for a final exit from the crisis.

    [02] German Foreign Minister in Athens

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is paying a two-day official visit to Greece as of Thursday.

    "The visit is a sign of solidarity with the Greek people," the German embassy noted in an announcement.

    The German minister is scheduled to meet with the Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and with parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis.

    During his two-day visit, Steinmeier will also meet with enterpreneurs and students.

    [03] Parliament president to meet with German FM on Friday

    Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis will meet with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Friday at 11:00, according to parliament.

    [04] Samaras accompanies EU's Barroso and Commissioners on Acropolis museum tour

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras accompanied EU President Manuel Barroso and members of the College of Commissioners on a tour at the Acropolis Museum on Thursday.

    "Everyone who visits the museum becomes enthusiastic," Samaras said, "Professor Pantermalis gave us a high-quality tour. We saw the Caryatids and the restoration work being done on them. It is astonishing when you walk into a museum and see restorers working on the monument itself, right there, it is amazing," Samaras noted.

    Asked whether Greece will gain anything from the EU presidency and whether the future will be better, he said: "Words do not count. Acts count, the strategy of exiting the crisis counts, this is our aim, we are doing that step-by-step, but steadily," he added.

    [05] German MEP Brok: Germany will stand by Greece, whose exit from the tunnel will be bright

    Germany has "decided to show its solidarity to Greece and this is resolved," Europarliament Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Elmar Brok, said after his meeting on Thursday with Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    Brok said that the troika of Greece's lenders - "who made mistakes but there was no crisis solution handbook," therefore "he who is without sin should cast the first stone" - will pass through many audits at Europarliament. He also noted that the difficulty lies in creating a balance "among reforms, economic activity and political burden".

    Brok stated that he supports the idea of an extension of the favourable-interest period to facilitate the sustainability of the Greek debt. He also underlined that the Europarliament is planning to organise a hearing on the maritime law, before the euroelections.

    On the Greek crisis, Brok noted that the "exit from the tunnel will be so bright that the Greek citizens will see it," pointing indirectly at those political leaders who chose not to attend the events for the assumption of Greece's EU presidency and chose instead to isolate themselves.

    Regarding the migration issue within EU and speculations over restrictions on European citizens' movement, Brok clarified his previous statements, saying that he does not agree with the opinion that the borders must be shut down. "Borders in Europe have opened and this is a new situation," he said.

    On his part, Venizelos noted that "in 2009 the Greek government was before a dilemma: either of the course towards a disorderly default or of a conditional cooperation with the EU" adding that "the selection was difficult". But, as he said, it "was taken by the Greek people, who with a clear majority indicated a specific strategy, which is difficult and painful but safer than the other choice. The end of the story will vindicate the people's selection".

    [06] Environment minister Maniatis presents EU presidency energy sector agenda

    The priorities of the Greek Presidency of the European Union in the energy sector were on Thursday presented by Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis and Deputy Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou, during a briefing event in Athens.

    High on the ministry's agenda is the issue of energy prices and their impact on the competitiveness of European industry and consumers, especially the more vulnerable strata. The specific issue will be discussed during the Energy Councils in March and June. In addition, emphasis will be given to energy conservation, improving energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty.

    The energy agenda also includes the following priorities:

    Integration of the internal market by the end of 2014. The Greek Presidency will work towards the creation and strengthening of infrastructure for projects classified as "projects of common interest "(PCIs), bridging the gaps in the interconnections between member states and strengthening consumers' role and rights.

    Energy security and energy infrastructure issues to be discussed at May's informal meeting in Athens will include developments on diversifying EU sources and routes, aimed at reducing dependence on imports. The informal meeting will also seek new ways to finance PCIs, such as special loans, project bonds, etc.

    International relations in the energy sector and especially international collaborations, such as the Energy Community for South-East Europe and the Mediterranean Partnership, bilateral relations with Russia and the United States and relations with international organizations such as OPEC, IRENA, etc.

    Referring specifically to nuclear energy, Maniatis noted that Greece is a non-nuclear country and nuclear energy is not an option in its national planning. However, he stressed that since a nuclear accident can have an impact across borders, Greece recognises the importance of nuclear safety and in this context sets as a priority the adoption of an amendment for the Directive on Nuclear Safety, which is already being discussed in the relevant working group.

    [07] The environment will have key role in Greek presidency's agenda, Environment minister says

    The environment will have a key role in the agenda of the Greek EU presidency, in the framework of sustainable growth, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said on Thursday. The minister was presenting the Greek presidency's priorities for the environment to the College of Commissioners and foreign journalists in Athens.

    The focus will be on 'green' development, as well as conservation of resources, the minister said. The Greek presidency will aim to "ensure a high level of environmental protection, by integrating environmental perspectives into the policy of each sector," Maniatis noted.

    As far as EU marine and maritime policy is concerned, the presidency will take significant action to redesign it by June 2014, when the European Council will be held, so that it covers issues such as the environment, safety, energy, transport, tourism, and the European Strategy for the Adriatic and the Ionia Sea.

    On the Enviroment and Climate Change, the presidency aims for an agreement with the European Parliament on a proposal for aviation, the emissions' trading system and a proposal on transporting waste.

    The presidency will also promote and examine in detail issues related to the 'Climate-Energy in the framework of 2030' package, which includes important decisions about the future of the European Union in energy and climate change.

    The Greek side will also try to promote issues related to a proposal on Invasive Alien Species and the proposal for monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon emissions of Shipping (MRV Rule).

    Moreover, the Greek presidency will try to make progress on the proposals for the ratification of the second binding period in the Kyoto Protocol and the package of proposals for air quality, as well as the proposal for plastic bags.

    On Climate Change, the Greek Presidency will focus on further preparing the EU position on the issue ahead of efforts for a global agreement - under the auspices of the United Nations - in Paris in 2015.

    [08] Development ministry's priorities during Greek EU presidency

    The completion of a directive calling for compensation for consumers and businesses from cartels is one of the key priorities of the Development ministry during the Greek EU presidency, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said on Thursday.

    "We will try under the Greek presidency to be practical, aiming at solving specific issues and be oriented to specific outcomes. We want to surprise our partners by being a successful presiding country," he noted.

    More specifically, the legislative priorities of the ministry are the following, he said: the completion of the compensaton directive, the safety of products other than food, the revision of the regulation on the Community trademark and the simplification of SMEs trademarks' registration.

    The electronic invoicing in public procurement, with benefits estimated at 2.3 billion euros, and the disclosure of non-financial business data with uniform rules, are two other priority issues, while the ministry's agenda for strengthening European industrial policy includes the reduction of energy costs.

    In regard to foreign trade, the aim is to promote bilateral trade relations between the EU and third countries, mainly the United States.

    [09] Public Order minister presents Greek EU presidency's priorities on security, justice and internal affairs

    Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday placed immigration issues at the top of the Greek European Council presidency's agenda for security, justice and internal affairs, during a presentation at the Zappion building in Athens.

    Dendias stressed that the Greek presidency will focus its efforts on examining the parameters of immigration policy with a dual goal: "On the one hand to alleviate the repercussions of illegal immigration in relation to the economic social and political reality of the member-states, but also, to the degree that this is feasible, to facilitate legal immigration with the criterion of its contribution to the economic growth of Europe. Also among our priorities is the effective handling of borders. In this framework, we shall work to promote important issues, such as European funding to cover expenditures resulting from illegal immigration flows and strengthening efforts for an effective joint European return policy," the public order minister said.

    Also among the ministry's aims in the next six months is to update the EU Action Plan on handling immigration pressure, while the Greek presidency intends to promote the practical implementation of the Joint European Asylum system, Dendias said.

    The minister further stressed the need for close cooperation with third countries on issues as asylum, readmission, the managing of mixed migration flows, legal immigration, the management of borders and agreements on facilitating visas.

    Concluding his address, Dendias stressed that "maybe the time has come for us to move from an alliance of partners to creating a true European family."

    [10] Shipping and Aegean Minister Varvitsiotis presents Greek EU presidency's priorities for shipping

    Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on Thursday outlined the Greek EU presidency's priorities on shipping during a presentation in Athens.

    Varvitsiotis stressed the importance of the sea for the European economy, underlining that maritime trade constitutes 90 pct of all trade conducted between the EU and third countries and 40 pct of its internal trade. In addition he focused on Greek shipping's contribution to total European maritime activities.

    "Greek shipping plays an important role since it represents 15 pct of global shipping and 40 pct of the European shipping. The Greek trade fleet consists of 1,386 ships of 72.6 million DWT of total tonnage, holding the seventh place and 4.73 pct of global total tonnage," Varvitsiotis said, adding that "Greek interests govern 7.3 pct of the total vessels globally and 6.1 pct of the liners."

    "Illegal migration and accidents related to it, require a common European strategy. Geopolitical instability in North African countries increase the pressure and create additional challenges," Varvitsiotis said and underlined that the Hellenic Coast Guard will do its utmost to ensure that no human life is endangered at sea.

    In this framework the minister presented statistical evidence proving the increase of the above-mentioned phenomenon. Specifically Varvitsiotis stressed that in a period of 17 months (August 2012-December 2013) in 14 different islands there were 615 incidents of illegal migration, including 10,902 citizens of third countries and 152 traffickers. "Task Force Mediterranean can play an important role in managing migration flows trying to enter the EU by sea." Varvitsiotis said.

    [11] Michelakis presents Interior ministry agenda during EU presidency

    The agenda of the Interior Ministry during the Greek Presidency of the European Union were presented by Interior minister Yiannis Michelakis at a Press conference for foreign correspondents in Zappeion Megaro Thursday evening.

    "The dramatic economic crisis experienced by many member states including Greece, creates an unprecedented economic, social and political environment, which now threatens social cohesion in many European communities," Michelakis said.

    He referred to the large number of migrants arriving daily at member states along the EU's external borders, stressing that one of the Greek presidency's priorities will be a comprehensive European handling of immigration.

    The minister pointed out that the Interior ministry will work on further promoting the current EU legislative activity in the field of legal migration, placing emphasis on reaching political agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on the proposal for a Directive on the entry and residence of third-country nationals in the context of intra-company transfers.

    In addition, it will promote discussion and seek agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on the proposal for a Directive on the entry and residence of third-country nationals for purposes of research, studies, student exchange, paid and unpaid activity, voluntary service and internal unpaid help.

    Michelakis referred to four main priorities in the context of the EU guidelines on Internal Affairs:

    ?

    The Union's policies on legal migration should be linked directly to immigration policies based on member states' labour market needs.

    Integration policies should be aimed at effective integration of immigrants in the context of European culture, with respect for diversity to avoid social exclusion and prevent xenophobia and racism.

    The principle of "solidarity" should be transformed into stable and permanent implementation mechanisms. The aim should be to ensure a gradual mechanism for equitable distribution of burdens for member states under increased migration pressures.

    Cooperation between the EU and its member states with third countries of origin and transit should be taken on a whole new level that would help enhance their broader ties with the EU.

    [12] European Commissioner Neelie Kroes met Greek admin. reform minister

    Administrative Reform and E- Governance Minister Kyriakos Mitsoatkis and Deputy Minister Evi Christofilopoulou on Thursday had a meeting in Athens with European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, the administrative reform ministry announced.

    The two sides agreed that the Greek Presidency of the EU Council should accelerate processing of a draft directive for the security of electronic transactions between citizens, businesses and the state.

    The meeting also covered issues relating to e-governance, open data and open governance. Specifically, the ministry's political leadership outlined the ministry's strategy on e-governance, saying that this aims to offer integrated electronic services for citizens and businesses, lower administrative burdens and increase public-sector transparency.

    The strategy includes actions such as an integrated citizen's service system, integrated human resources management system, the involvement of records and registries of various agencies and actions by other ministries (demographic, fiscal, financial, insurance, etc).

    Necessary conditions for the implementation of this strategy are revising the institutional framework and preparing a new Programming Agreement for 2014-2017, as well as revising structures and processes for faster absorption of EU funds.

    [13] State TV minister praises staff for EU presidency ceremony coverage

    Deputy Minister for Public Radio and Television Pantelis Kapsis praised on Thursday the staff of national broadcaster for doing an excellent job, covering the opening ceremony of Greece's presidency in the EU.

    "Despite the very tight schedules, they broadcast images of Greece around the world in the best possible way," Kapsis said in a statement.

    "The upgrade of Public Television is ongoing. As of yesterday, internet users can watch real-time television and radio programs from the website of Public Television. In a few days, the Third Program is scheduled to go live, while the TV program is being constantly enriched," he added.

    [14] SYRIZA criticises minister's praise of interim public broadcaster DT

    Main opposition SYRIZA on Thursday criticized Deputy Minister for Public Radio and Television Pantelis Kapsis for his praise of staff at the interim national broadcaster DT on their coverage of the opening ceremony for Greece's presidency in the EU.

    According to SYRIZA, the minister's triumphant praise "can only be explained if Kapsis did not actually watch DT's broadcasts of the ceremony."

    "The public broadcaster's debacle yesterday once again leaves the country exposed internationally and reminds us of the government's grave responsibility for shutting down the public broadcaster ERT. The fact that the European Broadcasting Union used a camera provided by a contractor and that state media of other countries had to use their own crews to cover the ceremony, is surely not a cause for celebration by the government," the main opposition said.

    [15] FM Venizelos meets with visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his wishes and his belief on Thursday that the Greek EU presidency will give Greece the chance to overcome its problems sooner and more successfully, thanks to the initiatives of the government, the prime minister and the vice-president.

    Following a meeting with government vice-president Evangelos Venizelos, Bartholomew also expressed his joy for having the chance to attend the opening ceremony of the Greek presidency of the EU Council and conveyed his solidarity and best wishes to the Greeks.

    "Europe is a large family and every family has its problems, but with zeal, effort and unity, we will overcome these problems and move towards a better future," he said.

    Venizelos thanked the Patriarch for his presence at the opening ceremony of the Greek EU presidency, saying that Greece's potential is great and expressed his hope that it can be used for the benefit of ecclesiastical diplomacy.

    [16] Ecumenical Patriarch and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras meet on Thursday

    Leader of main opposition SYRIZA met on Thursday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    During the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that "we do whatever we can to complete our universal mission" and noted that he will continue holding dialogues with the heads of the other churches and the other monotheistic religions such as Islam and Judaism.

    Alexis Tsipras highlighed the importance of Bartholomew's mission for Europe, while he briefed the Ecumenical Patriarch on issues that he will promote as a candidate for president of the European Comission, specifically regarding the economic crisis and the need for the immediate termination of austerity, as well as for the radical reform of immigration policy of Europe.

    The leader of the main opposition came to the meeting, accompanied by the deputy of SYRIZA, Rena Dourou.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch arrived in Greece on Wednesday to attend the ceremony for the assumption of the presidency of the European Union by Greece. At noon, 13:00 he has a scheduled meeting with Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    [17] Innovation event to be attended by EU commissioners on Friday

    The opening event of the European Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" will be held at 10:00 on Friday at the National Natural Science Research Center "Dimokritos" in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    The event is organised by the General Secreteriat of Research and Technology in the framework of the EU Greek presidency for the first six months of 2014.

    Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos will address the event, which will be attended by representatives of the Greek political authorities, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Maire Geoghegan Quinn and European Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries Maria Damanaki and other members of the European Commission.

    On Friday Dimokritos will also see the inauguration of an exhibition that promotes innovating research conducted in Greece and the strengthening of the cooperation between universities and the production sector of the Greece.

    The event will be held under the auspices of President of Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    [18] Albanian FM congratulates Venizelos on Greece's EU presidency

    Government Vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos spoke by phone on Thursday with Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmar Bushati, who called to congratulate him and wish him success on the occasion of Greece's assuming the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

    [19] SYRIZA accuses PM Samaras of being an 'unrepenting Merkelist'

    The main opposition party SYRIZA criticized Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as being a "Merkelist", in a reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Thursday.

    In an announcement, the party said, "We agree with the prime minister that actions count, and it these that show Samaras is an unrepenting Merkelist, continuing on the devastating path of the memorandum, which has driven the economy and the society overall to disaster. However, his time to continue doing this is running out."

    [20] Main opposition MP Petros Tatsopoulos resigns from SYRIZA

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MP Petros Tatsopoulos on Thursday submitted his resignation from the party to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, while sources said that his resignation might well be accepted.

    Tatsopoulos was summoned by the party's Parliamentary group to explain his statements on attitudes to terrorism by some elements within the party.

    "Nobody in SYRIZA is either politically or ideologically fond of terrorism," said SYRIZA's secretary Dimitris Vitsas, commenting on Tatsopoulos' statements. "It is an even bigger mistake to refer [in this way] to comrades with a long history and contribution to social rights and the overthrow of austerity," he added.

    Tatsopoulos submitted his resignation from the party to Tsipras but said he intends to keep his seat in Parliament.

    [21] Communist party KKE calls on people to denounce parties of one-way Europe

    People should denounce at the European Parliament elections the political forces that present the EU as one-way road, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in a statement on Thursday.

    "The real dilemma of the elections is yes or no to the EU and the parties of one-way Europe," KKE underlined, adding that people should answer to that based on their long experience.

    [22] No date set for the return of troika to Athens, IMF says

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/P.Panagiotou)

    "We expect (Poul Thomsen) to return soon (to Athens). The exact date has not been set yet," William Murray, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told reporters here on Thursday. The IMF spokesman said there were "several issues" still had to be examined by the troika's delegation and the Greek government. Murray said that confidence will expand to the Greek bond market as well if the programme's policies were implemented decisively, noting that the IMF would not proceed with speculation over when Greece could return to capital markets.

    "There are several challenges ahead us," he stressed.

    He noted that the IMF "remained committed" to an existing support program until its termination in 2016. Murray said that the IMF's European partners have offered reassurances over funding of the Greek programme to cover any possible gaps, adding there were details to be examined. Commenting on whether the IMF and Europe had differences over the assessment of the Greek programme, he said that differences so far were "merely an issue of timing."

    "I don't see anything else at this point," he added.

    [23] US State Department concern on convict Xiros' dissapearence

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/ P. Panagiotou)

    US State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki expressed concern over Christodoulos Xiros' case underlining that the USA and Greece are in close cooperation against any kind of terrorism.

    "We are deeply concerned over the fact that convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros, senior member of the notorious 'November 17' terrorist group which has assassinated five members of the American diplomatic mission to Greece, is missing after receiving prison furlough. Xiros has been sentenced to life for murder. We are in contact with the Greek authorities and we ask from the Greek government to locate Xiros and send him back to prison".

    Psaki also said that "Greece and the USA are partners in the fight against any kind of terrorism and we have a close cooperation with the Greek government against those who use violence in order to meet their targets" adding that November 17 was included in the US State Department's official list for terror groups in 8 October 1997" clarifying that "it remains in the list".

    Psaki also said that the US is in open line with the Greek authorities on the course of the investigation to locate Xiros.

    Finally, the State Department spokesperson refused to answer to press questions on the Greek legal framework which allows to life convicts to receive prison furlough.

    Xiros had been granted a nine-day furlough from Korydallos prison on 1 January 2014 to go to Kallikratia in Halkidiki.

    [24] Greece-US military exercise Jan. 5-19

    A military exercise, called "Cascade Gambit", involving officials and special forces from both Greece and the United States, is in progress since January 5 at Megara, Elefsina Bay and Karavia shooting field (at the Myrtoan Sea between the Peloponnese and Crete).

    The bilateral exercise, which ends on January 19, is conducted by the Air Force General Staff and involves Greek Special Forces and sections of the US Air Force.

    [25] Joint proclamation by businessmen of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey on solution to Cyprus issue

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    Four federations representing businesses and industries in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey on Thursday signed a joint proclamation, expressing their support for the efforts of the island republic's two communities to achieve a permanent, just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus issue.

    The Joint Proclamation was signed by the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB), its Turkish-Cypriot counterpart ISAD, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), who gave a press conference to present the initiative in Nicosia on Thursday.

    OEB President Philios Zachariades read the Joint Proclamation in Greek and the ISAD president in Turkish.

    "Based on the understanding of the interrelated political and economic issues, as well as the enhanced interest being observed, both internationally and from our wider region, the four organisations stress emphatically that the negotiations between the two communities of Cyprus constitute an excellent opportunity for finding a mutually acceptable solution to the prolonged problem of Cyprus," Zachariades said.

    The OEB president also said that the four organisations "underline that a solution to the problem of Cyprus will create a high-level economic cooperation between all the sides involved," and "formulate the conviction that, promoting the economic and social progress of Cyprus and the economic prosperity of the entire area of the Eastern Mediterranean, undoubtedly, will contribute to the speedy economic reunification of the island".

    TUSIAD president Muharrem Yilmaz said that the four organisataions, representing the business world in Turkey, Greece and the two communities in Cyprus, have come together today to express their joint will for an acceptable solution to the Cyprus issue and expressed the conviction that "the solution will bring economic prosperity and will eliminate the diplomatic problems," stressing that the new phase of negotiations "that is before us, constitutes a new opportunity for a solution."

    [26] Turkish helicopter flies over northeastern end of Samos island

    A Turkish Cougar AS-532 helicopter entered the Athens FIR without submitting a flight plan on Thursday at 14:33 and at 14:35 flew over the northeastern end of Samos at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the National Defence General Staff announced.

    The helicopter that left the Athens FIR at 14:37 was identified, in accordance with international rules and by standard practice.

    In all, 12 Turkish aircraft, flying in two formations of 10 and two aircraft, respectively, entered the Athens FIR on Thursday without submitting flight plans - three infringements of Athens FIR air traffic were recorded that turned into an equal number of national air space violations in the region of the northeastern and central Aegean. According to reports, there were four armed aircraft in the first Turkish formation, while in the second formation both aircraft were armed. According to the same reports, the aircraft were participating in an exercise inside the country.

    All the Turkish aircraft were intercepted and identified by corresponding Greek fighter jets.

    Military sources noted that all changes in Turkey's behaviour are always carefully monitored.

    [27] Culture ministry launches dialogue on copyright and related rights

    Culture and Sports Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos on Thursday addressed the first meeting of a Committee on National Dialogue for Copyrights and Related rights, stressing that the ministry will be strict with anybody engaging in illegal business infringing on copyright laws at the expense of society at large.

    Nearly all the parties in Parliament agreed on the need to conduct a national dialogue on problems related to copyright issues when this was suggested by Panagiotopoulos in November, during the voting of a culture ministry bill harmonizing national legislation with EU directives' on copyright and related rights.

    "We need to introduce new legislation, where this is required, to enhance producers' copyrights," Panagiotopoulos said referring to internet piracy. "We won't target unemployed students downloading one or two songs, but we will be strict with those who systematically conduct illegal business at expense of society," stressed the minister, announcing that the ministry is already working on the harmonization of EU directives on copyrights.

    Hellenic Copyright Organization (OPI) President Michail Margaritis, along with other institutions' delegations, congratulated the minister for his initiative, which they said reflected the ministry and OPI's goodwill for creative dialogue and solutions.

    [28] Greek president's comments on judges are 'unacceptable', their association says

    The recent comments by the Greek president regarding magistrates are "unacceptable", the Association of Judges and Prosecutors said on Thursday, pointing out that judges are not supposed to "condemn people right and left".

    Following "the statements by some officials, who repeatedly and without any hesitation turn over their responsibilities solely to Justice", the Association said in its statement,"Regarding the statements by the Greek president, who, in just a few days, insists on adverse criticism of Justice, while using unacceptable, in our view, remarks..., we note that the Stock Exchange scandal was a very serious political scandal. In this case, no political responsibility has been attributed to political figures, while at the same time the responsibility was attributed to judges without taking into consideration the court file, based on which the court discharged the accused".

    At the same time, they respond to comments made by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, regarding the furlough that was granted to November 17 member Christodoulos Xiros, who disappeared while on leave from jail, "No one is entitled to cancel the hard, painful and difficult task of magistrates, ignoring the fact they have conducted the interrogation, referred those involved in terrorist acts to a court, put them on trial and convicted them. No one is entitled to isolating specific cases and trying to place responsibility solely on magistrates, choosing to ignore the fact that the prison board, supervised by a prosecutor, took a decision in line with the applicable law".

    [29] ADEDY protests over arrest of teacher during rally on Wed.

    Members of the umbrella union of public sector employees (ADEDY) are holding a protest on Thursday at the Evelpidon Courts, asking for an end to the prosecution a member of the school teachers' federation who was arrested on Wednesday during a rally by political group Antarsya at Propylaea, central Athens.

    Federation of State School Teachers (OLME) member Pavlos Antonopulos is facing charges for participating in a rally prohibited by police and for resisting arrest. (Greek Police had banned public gatherings on Wednesday, the day of the arrival of European Union officials for ceremonies related to Greece's assumption of the six-month EU presidency.)

    ADEDY has declared a work stoppage in the wider are of Attica for today, Thursday, from 11:00 am until the end of work hours.

    Through an announcement, it also called the particular prosecution "political" and argued that the "decision to prohibit the rallies violates basic constitutional rights."

    [30] Examining magistrate summons Efstathiou's wife to answer bribery charges

    Examining magistrate for corruption Gavriil Mallis on Thursday issued a summons for the wife of Panagiotis Efstathiou, a former representative the German company STN ATLAS in Greece, to answer charges in an ongoing kickbacks investigation linked to a suspect submarines' deal and the ASRAD military equipment programme.

    Eirini Efstathiou, 70, had joint bank accounts with her husband and is also facing charges of bribery and money laundering brought against her husband.

    Efstathiou confessed to bribing a large number of individuals, especially military officers, in earlier testimony to an examining magistrate investigating the affair. He named ten individuals related to the case, who will appear before the magistrate within the coming week. After his testimony, a Misdemeanor Court's ordered his release on bail of 500,000 euros, while he was forbidden to leave the country and was required to report to his local police station three times a month.

    "If I remember correctly, submarines kickbacks were paid between 2002 and 2003 while for ASRAD in 2001. From 2001 until 2005, 3.0 million euros were given for both programmes and after 2005 5.0 million euros," Efstathiou testified. In a question regarding a meeting between the chairman of the German company Rheinmetal AG and former defence minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos, Eftstathiou said that their discussion was limited to issues not related to the case.

    Efstathiou also testified that he was absolutely sure that he had never bribed politicians. Commenting on the German company executives that authorised the kickbacks, he said that "it was common for Germans giving the bribery orders to ask for a return of the illegal money to themselves as well."

    [31] Court of Audit orders inquiry into subsidies for former minister's holiday home

    Court of Audit president Yiannis Karavokyris has asked the Evrytania Supreme Fiscal Court's commissioner to investigate whether legal requirements had been met for subsidies given to former minister Mihalis Liapis to renovate a residential property in the area, sources said on Thursday.

    The subsidies were given for to renovate a house owned by Liapis in the Evrytania village Megalo Horio. The investigation is to cover both European Union and national assistance received for the project.

    Both Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani and Financial Prosecutor Panayiotis Athanasiou have asked for a preliminary investigation into the affair.

    Financial News

    [32] Corruption case damaged Hellenic Postbank with more than 400 mln euros

    Corruption auttorneys pressed charges to 25 people and have already ordered the arrest of seven people related with a case of corporate loans which damaged Hellenic Postbank (TT) with more than 400 million euros in losses.

    The investigation began in July 2010 focusing on the bank's activities in the period 2007-2012. According to sources the bank approved excessive loans to certain businessmen without guarantees for which the bank has not gotten back "not even one euro". The investigation also revealed that in several cases these loans were not distributed to support business activity but for "the creation of wealth" through their transfer to offshore companies or through the purchase of real estate property abroad.

    Among the 25 people accused are businessmen and present or former Hellenic Postbank executives.

    Dimitris Kontominas, president of DEMCO Insurance, in a statement commenting on the case, said that there was nothing illegal with his business activities and stressed that "DEMCO's loans from Hellenic Postbank unlike other huge non-operating loans of well known entrepreneurs, are totally covered with guarantee my personal assets".

    Angelos Philippidis, former chairman of Hellenic Postbank, in comments made to Greek media said he will return soon from a trip abroad and said that Hellenic Postbank's non-performing loans totalled 5.0 pct of total loan portfolio, compared with a more than 20 pct of systemic banks in the country, proof of a proper management.

    [33] SYRIZA attacks Bank of Greece, Financial Stability Fund over shady TT Bank loans

    Main opposition SYRIZA on Thursday lashed out at the country's central banker and the Financial Stability Fund over developments concerning Hellenic Postbank (TT) loans and the situation in the banking system generally.

    SYRIZA demanded that the TT case be immediately and thoroughly investigated, so that responsibilities can be attributed to all parties directly or indirectly involved, as well as the supervisory authorities.

    SYRIZA "warns that it will seek the in-depth investigation of illegal funding by all banks and attribute the responsibilities held by their managements over their decisions, as well as the Bank of Greece and the Financial Stability Fund for inadequate monitoring seeking to cover up the illegal funding to specific intertwined interests of the business world"

    SYRIZA pointed out that "TT, after its division into to a 'good' and 'bad' bank and its recapitalisation by the Financial Stability Fund, has cost the Greek State 4.6 billion euros in total. This was followed by more looting when the New TT was given away to 'solvent' and 'viable' Eurobank, which is now about to under further recapitalisation since the last one was obviously not successful.'

    [34] KKE party on Hellenic Postbank developments

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on developments concerning Hellenic Postbank, on Thursday stressed that "in a period when the working class families are faced with extortion in the form of auctions and foreclosures for loans they were given to cover basic needs, the revelations about Hellenic Postbank highlight the rot within the capitalist system. Questions are raised by timing of these revelations, when there is escalation of bourgeoisie conflicts over the crisis management mixture and the reshaping of the political scene".

    KKE added that "the fact that these loans were given before the recapitalisation of banks and the privatisation of Hellenic Postbank exposes those who speak today of a banking pillar under state control, that will supposedly function within the framework of the capitalist system and the EU in favour of the people. It highlights that corruption is unbreakably linked with the monopolies' hunt for profits".

    [35] Greek Districts can get EU funds if they develop a 'smart specialization strategy', Commissioner Hahn says

    The development of a 'smart specialization strategy' by Greek districts is a precondition for the release of billion of euros of funding from a Partnership Agreement, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said on Thursday during a press conference.

    The new funding programming period 2014-2020 aims at strengthening innovation, research and entrepreneurship, Hahn said, praising the progress that the Attica District has made in using EU funds.

    He pointed out, though, that the target of the European structural funds is to increase the competitiveness of the European economy. This cannot be done by funding infrastructure, he noted. It can be done by funding ways and means to promote and reinforce the economy.

    In regards to the wider Athens area, known as Attica District, Hahn noted there should an effort to find the sectors that need investments, adding that about 450 million euros would be given for investments in small and medium-sized companies, technology companies, energy saving etc. Nevertheless, in order for these funds to be disbursed, it is necessary that the Attica District submits 'a smart specialization strategy'.

    [36] Alternate FinMin congratulates Centre of Economic Research on its work

    Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras praised on Thursday the Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) for its methodical, reliable and scientific research, according to a Finance ministry announcement.

    "Its contribution to the field of research is undeniable. Their studies have become valuable tools in the field of economic policy," Staikouras noted.

    Staikouras underlined there are now strong indications that the enormous sacrifices of Greeks begin to bear fruit. "However, these positive signs are not a cause for rejoicing. On the contrary, they should encourage us to continue the effort of exiting the crisis as soon as possible," he added.

    Staikouras also stressed that the historical, social, political and economic importance of our time requires convergence and constructive policies so that Greece returns to the virtuous cycle of prosperity for all citizens, within the eurozone.

    [37] Greek unemployment rate rises to 27.8 pct in Oct

    Greece's seasonally corrected unemployment rate jumped to 27.8 pct in October, from 26.1 pct in October 2012 and 27.7 pct in September 2013, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said that unemployment among men totaled 24.7 pct while among women was 32.1 pct in October. The unemployment rate in the age group 15-24 was 57.9 pct, in the 25-34 age group was 37.8 pct, in the 35-44 age group was 23.8 pct, in the 45-54 age group was 20.8 pct, in the 55-64 age group was 16.6 pct and in the 65-74 age group was 14.7 pct.

    The statistics service said that the number of employed people totaled 3,597,779 in October, while the number of unemployed was 1,387,520. The number of employed people fell by 94,531 in October, compared with the same month last year and by 21,861 compared with September 2013. The number of unemployed people rose by 85,314 compared with the same month last year and fell by 1,111 compared with September 2013.

    In a statement also released on Thursday, the Workforce Employment Organization (OAED) said the number of registered unemployed people grew by 0.82 pct, or 7.282, in November.

    The number of registered unemployed people totaled 858,882 in November, of which 418,071 were unemployed for more than 12 months and 440,811 for less than 12 months. The number of unemployed people was 851,600 in October and 786,236 in November 2012.

    OAED said that unemployment mostly hit women and the 30-54 age group. A 40.74 pct of the unemployed were men and 59.26 pct were women. Greek citizens accounted for 93.70 pct of total unemployed people (804,736), EU citizens accounted for 1.50 pct (12,847) and third-country citizens accounted for 4.81 pct (41,299).

    The number of unemployed people receiving unemployment benefit totaled 131,089 in November, down from 214,573 in November 2012.

    [38] Rural development ministry organizes event dedicated to PDO and PGI products

    The ministry of Rural Development and Food, in cooperation with the EU and the National Rural Network of Greece, on Thursday organized an event at the B&M Theocharakis Foundation focusing on foods and other agricultural products bearing Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) labels.

    "Our country has made a strategic choice to invest in the quality of its agricultural products," stressed Rural Development and Food Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris, underlining that Greece with its 100 PDO and PGI products is ranked fifth among the EU countries with such registered goods.

    "We really want our agricultural production systems to be connected with our history, tradition and culture," Tsaftaris said after announcing that Greece has registered Santorini's cherry tomato as its 101st protected product, with more PDO and PGI-labelled goods to come in the future.

    European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos underlined that PGI is the keystone of Europe's policy in this area, while the Common Agricultural Policy supports and will support development of quality products, which he said created added value, jobs and had exports.

    "Europe's agriculture sector is very important. We export 100 billion euros-worth of products annually and half of them are PGI products," Ciolos said, adding that the European Commission proposed a budget increase of 200 million euros for the development and promotion of the agricultural sector until 2020.

    "Europe has a comparative advantage regarding its fisheries and agricultural products because those willing to buy them are looking for products with guaranteed quality. This is why the inclusion of such products in the lists is of vital importance, especially for economies such as Greece and the rest of South Europe," said European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki. She noted that protected name products' sales reached 15.8 billion euros and referred to the efforts to register other fishery products, such as Simi shrimp, Kalloni sardines, Allonisos tuna fish, Thermaikos Gulf shrimp. The commissioner also referred to certain policies that will enhance local fisheries and small producers.

    The Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development Paolo De Castro referred to quality products, which he saw as the future.

    "Quality is Europe's most stable foundation, which can ensure its development prospects," De Castro said, stressing that Mediterranean agriculture must be promoted and pointed to efforts to support quality products and exports through the new Common Agricultural Policy.

    "Joint action taken with the Rural Development ministry, exploiting Greece's position in the EU presidency, will bring benefits for tourism, the primary agricultural sector and Greek economy in general," Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said, underlining that both ministries will work towards the development of agrotourism.

    Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis referred to the challenge of registrating PDO and PGI products in all large markets, saying: "It is not self-evident that what we recognize in Europe, is recognized in all nations." Mitarakis added that an informal council on foreign trade taking place in Athens, on February 27-28 will discuss the introduction of a European logo "a European brand that will label all PDO and PGI products."

    Hellenic Folklore Research Center Director Aikaterini Kamilaki and nutritionist Anastasios Papalazarou addressed the event.

    [39] Greek producers at the 79th International Exhibition of Agricultural Products in Berlin

    Greece will have an opportunity to showcase local products, such as tsipouro, wine and high quality dairy products, at the 79th International Promotion Exhibition of Agricultural Products in Berlin, taking place this year from January 17 till January 26.

    The Greek kiosk, which will include products from other regions as well, hopes to stand out among more than 1,600 exhibitors from 67 countries, and promoting export activities of the participating companies and producers.

    Internationally known Greek-American chef Diane Kochilas will be a special guest and will host two major events during the international tournament. The first will take place at the event's grand opening on Friday, Jan. 17, from 12:00 to 14:00, while the second one will take place on Saturday on January 18 2014, at the event "Come & Taste Greece". Kochilas will create special Greek dishes, inspired by the businesses' products participating in the event.

    [40] York Capital Management buys 9.08 pct equity stake in GEK Terna

    GEK Terna on Thursday announced that York Capital Management' s equity stake in the Greek-listed company surpassed the 5.0 pct limit.

    In a statement, GEK Terna said that York Global Finance Offshore BDH (Luxembourg) S.a.r.l. purchased 8,579,680 shares and voting rights, or 9.08 pct of voting rights in GEK Terna. York Global Finance Offshore BDH is an 100 pct subsidiary of York Global Finance Offshore BDH LLC, whose main shareholder is York Global Finance Manager LLC - a company fully controlled by York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC.

    [41] Industrial production down 6.1 pct in Nov.

    Greece's industrial production composite index fell by 6.1 pct in November, compared with the same month in 2012, after a 3.4 pct decline recorded in November 2012, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said that the average industrial production index in the period January-November 2013 fell by 3.9 pct compared with the corresponding period in 2012.

    The report attributed the 6.1 pct decline in November to a 17.6 pct fall in mining production, a 5.8 pct decline in manufacturing production, a 3.5 pct drop in electricity production and a 4.6 pct fall in water production.

    [42] Tourist arrivals at country's major airports increase 10.79 pct in 2013

    Data released by Greece's tourism association SETE on Thursday showed a double-digit increase of tourist arrivals at the country's most important airports in 2013, with an increase of almost 11 percent (+10.79%) compared to 2012.

    In absolute figures, in the past year Greece received 12,645,214 visitors as against 11,413,792 in 2012, meaning 1,231,422 more compared to the previous tourist year.

    The leaders in the increases for 2013, according to the percentages, are Kalamata with 61.25 percent (57,967 arrivals compared to 35,948 in 2012), while the largest volume of visitors was received by Iraklio airport with an increase of 17.15 percent and 2,475,927 arrivals compared to 2,113,501 in 2012.

    Passenger traffic at Athens international airport decreased by 3.2 percent in 2013 compared with 2012, with passengers totalling 12.5 million compared to 12.9 million last year.

    More specifically, domestic flight passengers amounted to 4.3 million in 2013, down from 4.5 million in 2012, decreasing about 4.6 percent, while international passengers amounted to 8.2 million compared to 8.4 in 2012, decreasing by 2.4 percent.

    This result was due to the overall limited demand for flights by Greeks (the corresponding percentage reached -9.1 percent), in contrast to international passengers, who exceeded 2012 levels by 2.7 percent.

    [43] Greek stocks end higher for sixth consecutive session

    Greek stocks extended their rally for the sixth consecutive session in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, pushing the composite index of the market to its highest level since July 4, 2011. Traders said the market easily absorbed an initial wave of profit-taking selling and maintained its positive trend. The composite index rose 0.83 pct to end at 1,289.98 points, for a net gain of 11.39 pct in the last six sessions. Turnover was a strong 119.24 million euros.

    The Large Cap index rose 0.90 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.13 pct higher. Technology (3.57 pct), Travel (3.42 pct), Insurance (3.03 pct) and Utilities (2.82 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains among market sectors, while Media (7.36 pct), Real Estate (2.83 pct) and Financial Services (1.67 pct) suffered losses. OPAP (3.76 pct), PPC (3.50 pct) and Terna Energy (2.61 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank Properties (2.82 pct), Frigoglass (2.50 pct) and MIG (1.89 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 99 to 45 with another 27 issues unchanged.

    Voyatzoglou Systems (29.09 pct), Dromeas (23.17 pct) and Varvaressos (20 pct) were top gainers, while Athina (18.78 pct), Alumil (9.82 pct) and Intertek (9.20 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +3.03%

    Industrials: -1.00%

    Commercial: +0.08%

    Construction & Materials: +0.04%

    Oil & Gas: -0.31%

    Personal & Household: -0.32%

    Raw Materials: -0.40%

    Travel & Leisure: +3.42%

    Technology: +3.57%

    Telecoms: +2.04%

    Banks: +1.69%

    Food & Beverages: -0.48%

    Health: +0.14%

    Utilities: +2.82%

    Financial Services: -1.67%

    Chemicals: +1.08%

    Media: -7.36%

    Real Estate: -2.63%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were OTE, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and OPAP.

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

    Alpha Bank: 0.70

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.83

    Coca Cola HBC: 21.89

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.00

    National Bank of Greece: 4.26

    Eurobank Properties : 7.58

    OPAP: 10.76

    OTE: 11.48

    Piraeus Bank: 1.68

    Titan: 21.34

    [44] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds rose slightly to 5.83 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, from 5.76 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 7.73 pct and the German Bund 1.90 pct. Comments made by Commerzbank's chief economist that Greece's plans to return to capital market were not realistic dampened sentiment in the market. Turnover was a thin one-buy order.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving higher. The 12-month rate rose to 0.557 pct, from 0.552 pct, the nine-month rate rose to 0.481 pct from 0.47 pct, the six-month rate rose to 0.388 pct from 0.383 pct, the three-month rate edged up to 0.282 pct from 0.281 pct and the one-month rate rose to 0.205 pct from 0.203 pct.

    [45] ADEX closing report

    The January contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.24 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover remaining at 25.528 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 6,544 contracts worth 13.817 million euros, with 48,288 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 26,839 contracts, worth 11.711 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (8,834), followed by National Bank (3,636), Piraeus Bank (3,830), MIG (3,772), OTE (1,853), PPC (999), OPAP (835), Hellenic Exchanges (260), Mytilineos (639), Hellenic Petroleum (346), GEK (309), Ellaktor (205), Intralot (368) and Motor Oil (115).

    [46] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.361

    Pound sterling 0.825

    Danish kroner 7.460

    Swedish kroner 8.926

    Japanese yen 142.92

    Swiss franc 1.236

    Norwegian kroner 8.407

    Canadian dollar 1.478

    Australian dollar 1.534

    General News

    [47] Hospitalized businessman Kontominas given to Tuesday to testify on Hellenic Postbank case

    Businessman Dimitris Kontominas, one of the people named in a Hellenic Postbank (TT) corruption case, has been given an extension to provide testimony to Tuesday, it was announced on Thursday.

    Kontominas has entered a private clinic, from where a coroner on Thursday ordered his transfer to a public hospital, following the directive of the chief prosecutor on the TT case. The prosecutor, Giorgos Andreadis, visited the clinic in person.

    The businessman, president of DEMCO Insurance, is facing charges of fraud, direct complicity in malpractice, and money laundering.

    Corruption auttorneys have pressed charges to 25 people and have already ordered the arrest of seven people related with a case of corporate loans which cost TT more than 400 million euros in losses.

    The investigation began in July 2010 focusing on the bank's activities in the period 2007-2012. According to sources the bank approved excessive loans to certain businessmen without guarantees for which the bank has not gotten back "not even one euro". The investigation also revealed that in several cases these loans were not distributed to support business activity but for "the creation of wealth" through their transfer to offshore companies or through the purchase of real estate property abroad.

    Among the 25 people accused are businessmen and present or former Hellenic Postbank executives.

    Dimitris Kontominas, president of DEMCO Insurance, in a statement commenting on the case, said that there was nothing illegal with his business activities and stressed that "DEMCO's loans from Hellenic Postbank unlike other huge non-operating loans of well known entrepreneurs, are totally covered with guarantee my personal assets".

    Angelos Philippidis, former chairman of Hellenic Postbank, in comments made to Greek media said he will return soon from a trip abroad and said that Hellenic Postbank's non-performing loans totalled 5.0 pct of total loan portfolio, compared with a more than 20 pct of systemic banks in the country, proof of a proper management.

    [48] Businessman involved in TT bank case to be transferred to state hospital

    A coroner ordered the transfer on Thursday of businessman Dimitris Kontominas, one of the people named in a Hellenic Postbank (TT) corruption case, from a private clinic to a state hospital.

    Head of the case, corruption investigator Giorgos Andreadis, ordered the coroner to verify the state of health of Kontominas, who has been issued with an arrest warrant over the case.

    [49] Former TT chairman, named in arrest warrant, will return to Greece next week

    Former Postal Savings Bank (TT) chairman Angelos Fillipidis on Thursday dismissed rumours that he is abroad so as to avoid an arrest warrant against him, in statements made to private Ant1 TV station.

    "I am at a scheduled trip abroad. I will squeeze my programme and next week I will be back," Fillipidis said at private TV station Ant1.

    He underlined that TT held 5 percent of bad loans against the ratio of systemic banks that exceeded 20 percent, adding that this is a proof of a good administration.

    Talking on Skai, Fillipidis said that he was informed about the arrest warrant through the internet. He claimed that if the bank held 0 percent bad loans, he would be a psychic, adding that the loans were approved uninamously and complied with all procedures.

    At least ten arrest warrants against noted entrepreneurs as well as former heads of the Postal Savings Bank (TT) were issued on Wednesday by public prosecutors for corruption offenses relating to malpractice, fraud and money laundering, associated with TT loans.

    The case, being handled by examining judge Giorgos Andreadis, relates to a deficit of several million euros allegedly detected in TT, based on evidence by the Money Laundering Authority, as well as on prosecutors' research material. According to the brief documents, losses are said to exceed 400 million euros.

    [50] Businessman's lawyer appears before magistrate over TT bank case

    The lawyer of businessman and former chairman of Hellenic Postbank (TT) Angelos Fillipidis, Athanassios Varlamis, appeared before the examining magistrate for corruption Giorgos Andreadis on Thursday and informed him that his client, against whom an arrest warrant is pending, is currently in the USA and will return to Greece within the next ten days.

    According to Varlamis, Fillipidis will testify as soon as he returns to Greece.

    Since Wednesday, corruption authorities have pressed charges on 25 people and ordered the arrest of seven people related to a case of corporate loans which incurred over 400 million euros in losses for Hellenic Postbank (TT).

    [51] Third arrest over shady Hellenic Post Bank loans

    Former Hellenic Postbank (TT) vice chairman Marios Varotsis was the third suspect arrested on Thursday over millions in 'bad' corporate loans paid out by the former state-owned bank. He was given until Monday to prepare his testimony by Examining Magistrate for Corruption Giorgos Andreadis.

    Another two of the bank's employees, including one 25-year-old, arrested on Thursday in connection with the case are due to appear before the magistrate later in the day.

    [52] Famous Greek violinist George Koros to be buried Friday

    Georgos Koros, famous Greek violinist and one of the foremost exponents of the traditional music on violin, died yesterday Wednesday January 8, at age 91.

    Born on March 19, 1923 at Androniani Evia, Koros learned a lot about Byzantine music from an early age through his father, who was a cantor singing in the Greek Church.

    He wrote approximately 1,200 songs and has many gold and platinum albums and major musical successes to his credit.

    George Koros had two children with his wife Asimina: Nicholas and Katerina Korou, known folk singer and writer.

    The funeral of George Koros will take place on Friday at 14:00 at the Church of Saint Tryphon in Kifissia.

    [53] School guards protest outside the Administrative Reform Ministry

    School guards from all over Greece rallied outside the Administrative Reform Ministry earlier on Thursday, protesting against the mobility scheme.

    Riot police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

    The protesters were holding black balloons and asked to meet with Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

    Since September, 2,200 guards have been included in the mobility scheme.

    [54] Boatload of migrants picked up near islet of Symi

    Twenty-three illegal immigrants were picked up in waters near the islet of Symi on Thursday after the inflatable dinghy they were sailing in started to take on water. The migrants were taken to Symi harbour, where they are being held.

    Weather forecast

    [55] Fair on Friday

    Fair, with low visibility in the early morning, throughout the country except western Greece, where it will be slightly overcast. Variable winds from 2 to 5 Beaufort, rising to 5 at the Ionian Sea. Temperatures from -1C (8C on the Aegean Islands) to 18C. In Athens, fair, with variable winds 3 to 4 Beaufort, turning later to west-southwesterly. Temperatures from 6C to 17C. In Thessaloniki, fair with low visibility early in the morning. Variable and weak winds. Temperatures from 1C to 15C.

    [56] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: Greek people a guinea pig!

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Arrests over Hellenic Postbank's scandal.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Big names, heavy handcuffs.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Resounding arrests over the 'grey' loans of Hellenic Postbank.

    ESTIA: Crucial landmark in Greece's European course.

    ETHNOS: European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso's double message for reforms and stability.

    IMERISSIA: Athens Stock Exchange skyrockets in first four sessions of 2014.

    KATHIMERINI: Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' Euroelections dilemma

    LOGOS: Greece again eurozone's unemployment 'champion'.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Greece's EU presidency premiere with 'injections' of optimism.

    RIZOSPASTIS: The popular opposition against EU, government's and capital's policies must intensify.

    TA NEA: Euroelections a referendum.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS


    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ana2html v2.01 run on Friday, 10 January 2014 - 19:11:14 UTC