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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-08-21

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

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

Thursday, 21 August 2014 Issue No: 4738

CONTENTS

  • [01] Dendias reports 'positive climate' and German willingness to help after Berlin visit
  • [02] German Vice-Chancellor to visit Athens in March, Dev't Minister Dendias says
  • [03] FM Venizelos issues a statement on the latest escalating developments in Iraq
  • [04] Defence Minister Avramopoulos to visit Washington DC
  • [05] Labour unions to hold protest rallies on inauguration day of TIF
  • [06] Main opposition SYRIZA leader Tsipras to reveal his master plan for governing Greece at the 79th TIF
  • [07] SYRIZA Central Committee secretary renews attack on gov't over peach growers
  • [08] PASOK announces planned meetings with BoG governor, Finmin
  • [09] SYRIZA leader meets head of GSEVEE traders' federation
  • [10] Communist Party says coalition gov't and main opposition SYRIZA party both want the continuation of tax raids to the popular households
  • [11] Justice minister on legislation for genocide denial
  • [12] Doctors and nurses express concern over situation in public hospitals
  • [13] Last chance exam periods for 'perennial students'
  • [14] Enterprise Greece supports Greek participation in World Economic Forum of New Champions
  • [15] Efforts to find solution for peach producers continue
  • [16] General Secretariat for Public Revenue responds to media reports alleging freezing of taxpayers' bank accounts and assets
  • [17] Greek current account balance shows 1.4-bln-euro surplus in June
  • [18] Greek stocks end 0.99 pct higher on Wednesday
  • [19] ADEX closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday
  • [21] New finds in excavations in Ancient Amphipolis
  • [22] Culture Ministry general sec' at Ancient Amphipolis excavation site
  • [23] Culture minister thanks DESFA for 30,000-euro donation to Amphipolis excavations
  • [24] Conference on human development and social justice to be held in Athens
  • [25] Two bodies found at remote area near Kardamyli
  • [26] Missing Dutch tourist found safe and well
  • [27] Large fire on Rhodes island now contained
  • [28] Young man being questioned as suspect for twin murders in Mani
  • [29] Body recovered from sea area of Makedonia Palace in Thessaloniki
  • [30] Rescue operation to locate missing monk in sea region of Mt. Athos
  • [31] Bodies of two men found in gorge; coroner says they were shot dead
  • [32] Large fire breaks out in forest area on Rhodes
  • [33] PM congratulates Greek athletes winning silver medals at Youth Olympics
  • [34] Hot on Thursday
  • [35] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Dendias reports 'positive climate' and German willingness to help after Berlin visit

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)

    Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday reported strong satisfaction with the results of his visit to Berlin and his meetings there over the last few days, in exclusive statements to the ANA-MPA. The minister said that German officials had displayed "realism" and expressed an overall positive assessment of Greece's progress, as well as a willingness to help by providing expertise and by directly financing of small and medium-sized Greek businesses.

    "We are at a phase where growth is starting, when what is needed is to intensify the effort and deal with the problems of the past," he said.

    Dendias arrived in Berlin late on Monday to attend a dinner given by the German investment bank KfW, which has put up capital for the Greek investment bank Institution for Growth (IfG). According to the minister, KfW was "delighted" with its participation and he emphasised the fact that the German bank was investing money in a foreign market experiencing conditions of crisis.

    He said the development ministry's aim was for the German side to also participate in a second "sub-fund" so that this might also be activated as soon as possible.

    "Emerging from the crisis, Greek businesses will not only need working capital and loan capital but also participation in their own capital in order to grow. And this is exceptionally important, provided it is achieved," he said.

    Dendias reported an equally positive climate during his meeting with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) regarding both the performance of the Greek economy and the future opportunities it might present.

    According to the minister, BDI understands the geopolitical role played by Germany and its economy, including the fact that Germany needs other countries to be able to import its products in order to continue being a net exporter. "It is necessary, therefore, for investments to be made [in other countries] and for employment to rise there, as well. In addition, these economies in their turn must be able to carry out exports to Germany," he pointed out.

    Among the results of the visit was an agreement for a business delegation to visit Greece in March, with the participation of German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel. The Greek side hopes that this cooperation will yield the desired results, Dendias added, noting that a similar attempt in 2011 had stumbled because Greece's economy was entering a period of rapid recession, whereas it was now entering a phase of growth when a foreign investor "can feel safer entering a market that is growing and hope for surplus value and profits in the future."

    This in turn will mean new capital and employment in an economy "hungry for both", he said.

    Replying to questions about the progress of reforms in Greece and Berlin's interest in Greece's performance, Dendias underlined that reforms represented "the Greek government's programme and an outstanding commitment to the Greek people and Greek society."

    He emphasised that his discussions about reforms with foreign officials was not held on "bilateral terms" and did not take the form of a negotiation, and that reforms were mainly about tackling the structural problems of Greece's economy. He pointed out that Greek exports were currently only one third of imports, while innovation's contribution to Greece's GDP was a mere 0.47 pct. "We must do whatever we can to reform our model, in order to survive," he stressed.

    "The prime minister has made his position clear to Greek society, even before the European elections - that we will continue these reforms and deepen them and he has analysed them. It makes me happy when foreign officials that I meet show an interest in this issue and support our efforts but I think the reforms have to do with our relationship with the Greek people," he added.

    [02] German Vice-Chancellor to visit Athens in March, Dev't Minister Dendias says

    German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel will visit Athens in March as head of a German business delegation to examine the existing investment opportunities for German businessmen in the Greek economy, Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias told state TV NERIT late on Tuesday.

    "After visiting the Federation of German Industries (BDI), I had the pleasure to meet with the Development Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany and to discuss all issues that concern the Greek economy," Dendias noted.

    "We agreed with Gabriel that in order to overcome the symptoms of the crisis, the Greek economy should be supported to enter the virtuous cycle of growth. Gabriel was kind enough to endorse the Greek government's plans so as to achieve growth," he added.

    Dendias also said that following his invitation Gabriel agreed to come to Athens in March, leading a delegation of German businessmen, to examine investment opportunities for German businessmen in the Greek economy. What is important, he said, is that Germany endorses the Greek economy's growth perspectives, and this is something really useful and necessary.

    [03] FM Venizelos issues a statement on the latest escalating developments in Iraq

    The Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos issued the following statement on Wednesday, regarding the deterioration of the security situation in Iraq:

    "The cold-blooded execution of the American journalist James Foley in Iraq, is an abominable barbarian act, which the civilized world finds impossible to conceive and tolerate. The perpetrators of this heinous murder should not remain unpunished. The only answer to the terrorism of the unreasonable regime ISIS has established in parts of Iraq can be the unanimous condemnation of such acts by all people and governments and the common understanding of all Iraqi political forces, so that they will be able to form a single stance against the threat of extremist terrorists.

    The regime of the so-called Caliphate, in the area which it controls, has fashioned an intolerable terror status for everyone who does not fit in or does not identify with its irrational ideological point of view.

    The main victims of their terrorism are the Christian and Yezidi communities, which are being ill-treated only because of their religious beliefs, as well as a great part of the Iraqi population, which is once again being compelled to undergo fear, violence, uncertainty and violation of fundamental human rights.

    We reiterate our support to the people of Iraq and hope that the escalation of violence and terrorism will cease and that the peaceful cohabitation, as well as the respect of the human rights of the ethnic, religious and social groups of the country will be restored.".

    [04] Defence Minister Avramopoulos to visit Washington DC

    National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will depart on Wednesday for the US after an invitation by his American counterpart Chuck Hagel.

    The two top officials will meet on Thursday and according to information, they will discuss Greek Armed Forces participation in peacemaking missions based on Greece's recognised stability role in the wider area.

    According to the same sources, the two officials will probably discuss matters that refer to the upgrading of the bilateral cooperation of Greece and USA in the defence and military sector.

    On Tuesday, Avramopoulos received United States Ambassador to Greece David D. Pearce at the ministry and they discussed mutual strategic and defence issues.

    [05] Labour unions to hold protest rallies on inauguration day of TIF

    Two protest rallies against the repercussions of the crisis and the government's policy will take place in Thessaloniki on Saturday September 6 during the inauguration of the 79th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

    The two major labour unions GSEE and ADEDY have called a rally at 6.30 pm in downtown Thessaloniki.

    On Thursday, September 4 the board of GSEE will give a press conference in Thessaloniki during which the Labour Institute's annual report will be presented.

    PAME (Labour organisation affiliated to Communist Party) will hold a separate rally at 6 pm on Saturday, September 6 at Aristotelous square, Thessaloniki.

    [06] Main opposition SYRIZA leader Tsipras to reveal his master plan for governing Greece at the 79th TIF

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras plans to reveal his party's master plan for governing Greece during his visit to the 79th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    According to the party's Central Committee secretary Dimitris Vitsas speaking on Wednesday from Thessaloniki, "For SYRIZA electing a [new] President of the Republic is not the main issue, whether or not 180 MPs will vote or not in favour of a new President, we want this government to fall under the pressure of the popular factor".

    Vitsas could not rule out the possibility of the government upgrading its appearance at the 79th TIF, using the exhibition podium for pre-election announcements.

    According to Vitsas, Tsipras will present at the TIF a medium-term master plan for governing Greece, which will be open for consultation within SYRIZA itself, but also with social partners and political forces with which a hypothetical SYRIZA government could cooperate.

    [07] SYRIZA Central Committee secretary renews attack on gov't over peach growers

    Main opposition SYRIZA Central Committee Secretary Dimitris Vitsas on Wednesday renewed the party's attack on the government over its handling of the peach growers' compensation issues, following a tour of Pella and Imathia and visits to agricultural cooperatives and farmers.

    "The government is voluntarily subjugated and unable to defend the interests of the Greek people. A change in government and in policy is needed," Vitsas commented, noting that the situation for peach growers was daily deteriorating and a solution was now urgent.

    Vitsas suggested a series of measures to alleviate the peach producers' plight, including higher Community compensation to cover lost income, compensation for consignments turned back at the Russian border and support for "satellite" activities related to peach production.

    He also urged the Greek government to push for a de-escalation of tension in Ukraine and a lifting of sanctions and measures in favour of a peaceful resolution of the issues.

    [08] PASOK announces planned meetings with BoG governor, Finmin

    The PASOK party, the junior partner in Greece's coalition government, on Wednesday announced that a PASOK delegation intends to hold meetings with Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras and Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Friday to discuss the new uniform tax on real estate and measures for non-performing loans. The party has also arranged a meeting with Development Minister Nikos Dendias next Tuesday morning regarding the business and household loan issues.

    [09] SYRIZA leader meets head of GSEVEE traders' federation

    Continuing a series of meetings with representatives of Greek businesses ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in September, main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday held talks with a delegation from the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE), led by GSEVEE President Georgios Kavvathas.

    The meeting focused on labour issues, particularly changes to the rules for negotiating collective labour agreements between employers and workers, and social insurance issues.

    GSEVEE representatives presented their positions and proposals for social insurance, tax issues, labour issues and the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises.

    In statements after the meeting, Kavvathas noted that it was an opportunity to exchange views on issues critical to merchants and small business owners, such as the state of the social insurance fund for the self-employed OAEE, and what he called an "excessive tax burden" on businesses. Labour relations issues had also dominated the talks, he added, with the "abolition in practice of free negotiations of collective relations between employers and employees".

    [10] Communist Party says coalition gov't and main opposition SYRIZA party both want the continuation of tax raids to the popular households

    In response to the coalition government's publicized intentions for a gradual de-escalation of the citizens' tax burden, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued a statement on Wednesday, in which it noted that "The tax relief promises the government makes, as well as the 'blurry' positions of [main opposition party] SYRIZA, share the common denominator of the capitalist recovery, which means the continuation of tax raids to the popular households, so that the profitability of capital can be supported also by the tax policy".

    The statement goes on to underline, that "It is now time for the abolition of all unfair and antipopular taxes. Large-scale capital must be taxed with a 45 pct rate on distributed and undistributed earnings, while the provocative tax breaks that it enjoys must be abolished".

    [11] Justice minister on legislation for genocide denial

    Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou on Wednesday reaffirmed that the draft anti-racism bill due to be tabled in Parliament will include legislation making denial of genocides an offence, including those genocides officially recognised by the Greek Parliament. Athanassiou made the statement in response to concerns expressed by MPs on this issue.

    "During the processing a few months ago of the anti-racism bill before the appropriate Parliamentary committee, I categorically stated that the malicious denial or belittling of genocides that the Greek Parliament has recognised will be also dealt with expressly in the final formulation of the relevant article as an offence, in the same way as the Holocaust or genocides that international or Greek courts have recognised with irrevocable court decisions. Therefore, there is no reason for concern over this issue. In any case, the colleagues themselves in their letter to the prime minister refer to my statement-commitment above."

    [12] Doctors and nurses express concern over situation in public hospitals

    Doctors and nurses on Wednesday expressed their concern over the situation in public hospitals and the healthcare system in general.

    "The healthcare system is on the verge of collapse," the Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) said.

    According to the Hospital Doctors Union Federation (OENGE) president Dimitris Varnavas, "the situation in the hospitals of the country is now beyond control."

    On its part, the Panhellenic Federation of Employees at Public Hospitals (POEDIN) said that hospitals were underfunded, adding that operating costs for this year have been reduced by over 50 percent compared with 2010.

    "The difficulties are evident in the provision of services, as hospitals are lacking medical and pharmaceutical supplies," POEDIN noted.

    OENGE called on the government to hire permanent staff, to provide funding and institutional support for the public health system with respect for the patients' dignity, who, as it stated, "are humiliated in hospitals, which cannot offer even the basic services."

    [13] Last chance exam periods for 'perennial students'

    Some 10 pct of the so-called "perennial" students still lingering on university registers several years after the started their studies will be given a last chance to get their degrees, based on an agreement reached between university rectors, Technological Educational Institute (TEI) presidents and Education Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday.

    The ministry proposes to allow them two additional examination periods, in September and February, when they can sit and pass any classes still pending, provided the students involved participated in the exams of the last two academic years, in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

    For the rest, they will be finally struck from the university's register of students on August 31, based on a measure to be voted on in Parliament on August 26.

    There are currently an estimated 120,000 such 'perennial' students at universities and another 50,000 at TEI. Roughly 90-92 pct of those at universities will be removed from the student body and more than 60 pct of those at TEI.

    Financial News

    [14] Enterprise Greece supports Greek participation in World Economic Forum of New Champions

    Enterprise Greece will support the Greek delegation to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions that will be held in Tianjing, China between 10-12 September.

    The Forum is organised with aim to bring together innovative companies, agencies, multinational companies and government officials as well as representative of the academic community from all over the world.

    Over 1,500 representatives from over 90 countries participate every year in the summit during which they examine how innovation can bring better results for all.

    The Greek participation in this year's forum is supported by Enterprise Greece and aims to promote the Greek economy's potentials and to inform the leaders of the international economy of the substantial progress of Greece's economy in the last years.

    The organisation Enterprise Greece is the transformation of "Invest in Greece".

    [15] Efforts to find solution for peach producers continue

    The Development Ministry is making efforts so that the distribution of peaches to vulnerable groups of the population will start as soon as possible, the president of Imathia peach producers confederation Christos Yiannakakis told ANA-MPA on Wednesday.

    Yiannakakis, who participates in the consultations made clear that "no one wants two-tier producers."

    The price per kilo for the free distribution as provided by the European Union is 26.9 cents/kg through producer groups and 13.5 cents/kilo for individual producers.

    Among the measures proposed in order to deal with the problem of peach producers as a result of the Russian embargo was to turn those peaches into juice. The proposal, however, needs to be approved by the EU and, as Yiannakakis said, "the European Commission will eventually give the green light."

    ? Such a development would significantly help peach producers since it is estimated that most of the overstock, that is 40,000 tonnes from a total of 55,000 tonnes, will go to the market.

    [16] General Secretariat for Public Revenue responds to media reports alleging freezing of taxpayers' bank accounts and assets

    In response to various media reports about the State allegedly freezing taxpayers' bank accounts and other assets, the General Secretariat for Public Revenue issued a clarifying statement on Wednesday in which it underlined, that through a circular it issued, it only offered guidance and instructions to the Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Source of Funds Investigation Authority as regards preventing and fighting financial crime related to tax and customs infringements.

    The Secretariat said that briefing the competent Authority was part of the Secretariat's obligations. In all cases, the Secretariat said that the Authority cannot automatically freeze bank accounts, neither can it proceed to any other such measures only meant for cases in which the Authority is convinced it is absolutely necessary and only in emergency cases directly linked to its competence.

    [17] Greek current account balance shows 1.4-bln-euro surplus in June

    Greece's current account balance showed a surplus of 1.4 billion euros in June, up 53 percent compared to the same period last year, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday.

    In a report, the central bank attributed this development increased surpluses of the services and current transfers balances.

    These developments were partly offset by a rise in the trade deficit. The overall balance of goods and services recorded a surplus of 1.2 billion euros, compared with 1.0 billion euros in June 2013.

    The trade deficit grew by 208 million euros year-on-year, owing to considerably higher net payments for purchases of ships, which were largely offset by declines in the net oil import bill and the trade deficit excluding oil and ships. More specifically, receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships rose by 17.4 percent, while the corresponding import bill also increased, albeit at a slower pace.

    The surplus of the services balance increased by 394 million euros year-on-year, mainly as a result of higher surpluses of the travel and transport services balances. In more detail, travel receipts increased by 16.3 percent, reflecting a 13.7 percent rise in non-residents' arrivals. At the same time, the increased surplus of the transport services balance reflects a rise in the surplus of the air transport services balance. Finally, the "other" services balance recorded a surplus, against a deficit in June 2013.

    In the first half of 2014, the current account deficit came to 1.1 billion euros, down by 1.3 billion euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to improvements in the services, income account and current transfers balances, which more than offset the higher trade deficit.

    In more detail, as regards the trade deficit, increased net payments for purchases of ships, which almost tripled, offset a contraction in the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships. This contraction is attributable to higher export receipts, given that the corresponding import bill remained almost unchanged. As a result, the trade deficit rose by 772 million euros.

    The 1.2 billion euro rise in the surplus of the services balance mainly reflects increased net transport receipts, as well as higher net receipts from travel and other services. As regards travel spending by non-residents in Greece, a year-on-year increase of 13.4 percent was recorded, reflecting a 15.6 percent rise in non-residents' arrivals.

    The income account deficit fell by 396 million euros, mainly as a result of lower net interest payments.

    Finally, the current transfers balance showed a surplus of 2.5 billion euros, up by 456 million euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to a rise in general government transfer receipts (mainly from the EU).

    [18] Greek stocks end 0.99 pct higher on Wednesday

    Greek stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the Athens (Stock) Exchange Composite index gaining 0.99 pct of its value compared to Tuesday's closing, rising to 1,119.97 points.

    The Composite index recorded an intra-session high of 1,122.66 points and a low of 1,106.38 points. Turnover was small for the day, at 76.40 mln euros.

    The Large Cap index gained 1.07 pct of its value, while the Mid Cap index closed the day higher by 1.45 pct.

    Among blue chip shares, top gainers on Wednesday were Jumbo (+5.35 pct), GEK TERNA (+3.32 pct), OPAP (+3.09 pct), OTE (2.65 pct), PPC (+2.00 pct), Mytilineos (+1.98 pct), METKA (+1.46 pct), Titan (+1.26 pct) and National Bank of Greece (+1.22 pct). On the other hand, the biggest decline was recorded by the share prices of OLP (-2.39 pct), Motor Oil (-2.13 pct), EYDAP (-1.60 pct), Eurobank Properties (-0.76 pct), MIG (-0.52 pct), Viohalco (-0.50 pct) and Folli Follie (-0.36 pct).

    Among sectoral indices of the Athens Exchange, top gainers were Personal Products (+4.12 pct), Travel (+2.99 pct), Telecommunications (+2.65 pct) and Health (+1.94 pct). There was a total of 67 shares whose price increased on Wednesday, with 40 share prices falling and 20 remaining constant.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Banks: +0.60%

    Insurance: +0.77%

    Financial Services: -0.16%

    Industrials: +0.24%

    Retail: -0.35%

    Real Estate: -0.28%

    Personal & Household: +4.12%

    Food & Beverages: +0.11%

    Raw Materials: +1.81%

    Construction: +1.35%

    Oil & Gas: -1.04%

    Chemicals: +1.65%

    Media: +0.89%

    Travel & Leisure: +2.99%

    Technology: +0.03%

    Telecoms: +2.65%

    Utilities: +0.98%

    Health: +1.94%

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

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 0.61

    Public Power Corporation: 10.71

    Coca Cola HBC: 17.04

    Hellenic Petroleum: 5.44

    National Bank of Greece: 2.48

    Eurobank Properties: 9.13

    OPAP: 12.35

    OTE: 10.47

    Piraeus Bank: 1.39

    Titan: 20.15

    [19] ADEX closing report

    The September 2014 futures contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index of the Athens (Stock) Exchange was trading at fair value on Wednesday, while the October 2014 futures contract was trading at a small 0.29 pct premium. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index, itself, closed higher at 361.96 points on Wednesday, gaining 1.07 pct of its value compared to Tuesday's closing.

    Futures volume on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index totaled 7,452 contracts, with 50,200 open positions in the market.

    Futures on equities totaled 11,084 contracts on Wednesday, with investor interest focusing on the futures contract on National Bank of Greece shares (2,824 contracts), followed by futures contracts on shares of Alpha Bank (1,992), Piraeus Bank (2,042), Eurobank (981), OTE (979), PPC (514), OPAP (261) and Marfin Investment Group (208).

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Wednesday

    Reference rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.328

    Pound sterling 0.7981

    Danish kroner 7.456

    Swedish kroner 9.165

    Japanese yen 137.23

    Swiss franc 1.211

    Norwegian kroner 8.204

    Canadian dollar 1.455

    Australian dollar 1.430

    General News

    [21] New finds in excavations in Ancient Amphipolis

    The total uncover of the marble Sphinxes found at the Kasta Hill in Amphipolis, the finding of a part of the back of the Lion of Aphipolis as well a small part of the superstructure of the monument are the developments in the archaeological excavations conducted by the KH' Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Ephorate in the area, according to a Culture Ministry announcement on Wednesday.

    The announcement said that "after the removal of the eleven stones from the sealing wallthe Sphinxes made of Thassos marble were totally revealed. The scupltures' height is 1.45m. Their total height with the head is estimated to have reached two metres. The plasticity and delicate work of the sculptures of the last twenty five years of the fourth century BC is depicted on their torsos.

    Parts of the wings of the Sphinxes were also found during the excavations, something that allows their full restoration.

    Moreover, part of the Lion of Amphipolis back. Both the Sphinxes and the Lion are apparently made at the same workshop. A small part of the monument's superstructure was also revealed, after the removal of the soil, that has traces of blue and red in two different shades.

    [22] Culture Ministry general sec' at Ancient Amphipolis excavation site

    Culture Minister general secretary Lina Mendoni on Wednesday visited the Kasta hill of Ancient Amphipolis to watch the progress of the archaeological excavations.

    Mendoni arrived at 8 am accompanied by a close associate.

    Meanwhile, according to information, two marble plates, weighing 500 kilos each, are being removed while a wooden cover is being set to protect the Sphinxes from possible adverse weather conditions.

    At the same time, a large number of visitors try to approach the site in order to take a photo of the findings.

    [23] Culture minister thanks DESFA for 30,000-euro donation to Amphipolis excavations

    Culture Minister Costas Tassoulas on Wednesday thanked the management of the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and Deputy Energy Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou for DESFA's decision to donate 30,000 euros to assist the archaeological excavation at Amphipolis, where significant finds were recently discovered.

    A ministry announcement said that Tassoulas was notified of DESFA's decision by DESFA President Antonis Natsikas and the company's CEO Costas Ksifaras. The announcement noted that DESFA has a "constant and fertile cooperation with the culture ministry in the framework of constructing and expanding the National Natural Gas System, which leads to archaeological discoveries and recovery excavations in many parts of Greece where the pipelines pass."

    [24] Conference on human development and social justice to be held in Athens

    The University of Ioannina and the Bielefeld Center of Education at the University of Bielefeld in Germany co-organize the annual International Conference of the scientific union Human Development and Capabilities Association (HDCA) entitled "Human development in times of crisis: Renegotiating social justice", in Athens, September 2-5.

    The conference will aim to connect demands for programmatic conceptions and social analyses in order to assess the opportunities for more capability-enhancing projects and public policies as well as to help counter the developmental setbacks from the current crisis, and to enhance the quality of society and social justice.

    Distinguished people from the field of Economics, Philosophy, Sociology and Law will participate in the conference. Among them are Amartya Sen (1998 Nobel Laureate), Daron Acemoglu (author of the Why Nations Fail), philosophers Martha Nussbaum and Phillip Pettit, Kaushik Basu (chief World Bank economist).

    The programme and registration information are available at: hhttp://www.hdca2014.org/

    [25] Two bodies found at remote area near Kardamyli

    Two bodies were found late Tuesday at a remote area near Kardamyli, southwestern Peloponnese.

    An operation has been launched early Wednesday in order a rescue team to reach and remove the bodies while a coroner has arrived on the spot to proceed with an autopsy and to define the reasons of the death.

    According to initial information, the two bodies, whose identity is still unknown, belong to two men aged 25 and 26 that have been missing from Monday.

    [26] Missing Dutch tourist found safe and well

    A Dutch tourist missing since Tuesday night was found safe and unharmed early on Wednesday afternoon in a location at the Salonikios headland, on the southernmost tip of the island of Thassos.

    The tourist was one of two Dutch men that went missing on Tuesday night, after consuming large quantities of alcohol, when they decided to go for a night-time swim in the sea with inflatable air mattresses and were carried away by currents.

    One of the two men had a cell phone on him, which he used to call the European emergency number 112. The European service alerted Greek authorities and the coast guard was mobilised, launching a search. The tourist that made the call was soon found by a fishing boat later the same night.

    The search continued to find his companion, with the assistance of a Super Puma helicopter and other vessels sailing in the area, and he was finally located in a remote location on the island on Wednesday.

    [27] Large fire on Rhodes island now contained

    The fire which broke out earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday in an area designated as forest on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes, near the village of Soroni, has finally been put under control. The authorities suspect the fire is the result of arson.

    A strong fire-fighting force was immediately deployed by the Rhodes Fire Brigade, along with volunteers, to put out the blaze, which quickly spread with the help of strong winds blowing in the area. Rhodes authorities asked for the assistance of four water-bombing aircrafts and a Chinook helicopter.

    [28] Young man being questioned as suspect for twin murders in Mani

    Kalamata Security police on Wednesday announced that a 19-year-old local resident has been brought in for questioning as a suspect for a twin murder in Mani. The bodies of two men that had been missing since Monday night were discovered in a gorge in Western Mani on Wednesday morning. Both had been shot dead with a shotgun.

    The investigation into the twin homicide is being carried out by the Kalamata Security Police, in collaboration with a team of the Prosecution of Crimes Against Life and Property department of the Attica Police headquarters.

    [29] Body recovered from sea area of Makedonia Palace in Thessaloniki

    A body was recovered early Wednesday from the sea area in front of Makedonia Palace hotel, Thessaloniki.

    According to Thessaloniki Port announcement, the body belongs to a 30-35 year-old man with brown hair and a beard, several tattoos and 1.85m height.

    The port authority calls whoever knows something about the body's identity to phone 2313325800.

    [30] Rescue operation to locate missing monk in sea region of Mt. Athos

    A rescue operation to locate a missing monk who was declared missing on Tuesday continued on Wednesday in the Mt. Athos monastic community sea region.

    The missing monk was on board a boat with two other monks when the boat capsized. A Coast Guard vessel rescued the two monks but did not locate the third monk who is still missing.

    [31] Bodies of two men found in gorge; coroner says they were shot dead

    The bodies of two men who were missing from early Tuesday were recovered on Wednesday from a gorge in western Peloponnese. The two men, aged 26 and 25 years old, were from Messinia and Samos respectively.

    According to the coroner's first estimation, the two men were shot on the head and the body at another place and were afterwards transferred to the spot they were found.

    The motorbike of the two men is still missing while authorities are conducting an investigation.

    [32] Large fire breaks out in forest area on Rhodes

    A fire broke out in an area designated as forest on the Aegean island of Rhodes on Wednesday afternoon at 16:00, near the village of Soroni.

    A strong fire-fighting force was deployed by the Rhodes Fire Brigade to put out the blaze, which quickly spread and is burning hotly due to strong winds blowing in the area. Rhodes authorities have also asked for the assistance of four water-bombing aircraft and a Chinook helicopter in putting out the flames.

    The Rhodes Deputy Mayor Agapitos Pallas, who was on the scene, described the fire as dangerous and noted that it started just five metres from the central road.

    Sports

    [33] PM congratulates Greek athletes winning silver medals at Youth Olympics

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday sent a telegram congratulating Greek athletes Athina Maria Angelopoulou, competing in the single sculls rowing race, and Christos Apostolou, competing in the men's 50m breaststroke, on winning silver medals in their respective events at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.

    "Congratulations on your major successes. You prove that the future of sport in our country promises to be bright. With your important distinctions you give strength and hope to us all. Thank you and we wish that you continue dynamically on the road to glory," the telegram read.

    Weather forecast

    [34] Hot on Thursday

    Hot weather and winds from variable directions are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 18C-36C. Same weather in the central and in the southern parts with temperatures between 18C-37C. Sunny over the islands, 22C-34C. Fair in Athens, 21C-36C; the same for Thessaloniki, 20C-33C.

    [35] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras: Greece should not get involved in the war of sanctions!

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The guinea pig (Greece) is dying!

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: They come and go with empty hands (refers to Development Minister Nikos Dendias' visit to Berlin).

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: 30,000 public and private sector's lump sums in the freezer.

    ESTIA: Real estate ownership single taxation (ENFIA) is wrong.

    ETHNOS: The tax-madness in new episodes.

    IMERISSIA: Subsidy to loans from NSRF's funds.

    KATHIMERINI: Rehearsal ahead of the negotiations with the troika.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Tax evasion 'freezes' bills and real estate.

    RIZOSPASTIS: Peach producers should fight against the European one-way street policy.

    TA NEA: Ceiling on medical examination expenses per prefecture.

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