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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-11-05
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Thursday, 5 November 2015 Issue No: 5057
 Those insisting on Grexit proven 'foolish and dangerous', PM Tsipras says after meeting SchulzAs the refugee crisis unfolded, it had demonstrated just how foolish and dangerous the insistence on 'Grexit' during the summer had been, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, during joint statements with European Parliament President Martin Schulz at the Maximos Mansion.
Tsipras urged those who had wanted the so-called Grexit to consider what would be happening today if they got their way."All those that wanted Grexit are now proven foolish and in they insist they will also be dangerous," he said.
"At the same time as we are doing our duty and attempting to establish the best possible conditions in order to house these people, even temporarily, the Greek government is being illogically pressed to abolish protection of primary residences," stated Tsipras, noting that the government will not give in to the pressures.
Tsipras said that he had a productive and frank dialogue with Schulz, while he particularly highlighted the "ethical" dilemmas created by the crisis and the pressures for austerity.
As an example, he noted the fact that the government, at a time when islanders were having to open their arms to receive the waves of refugees, was being obliged to increase the VAT rate in the islands.
Tsipras said his talks with Schulz were focused on the ongoing tragedy with the refugees in the Aegean, which increased the urgency for the establishment of a joint cooperation strategy and policy in order to confront this. Greece, he said, is assuming responsibilities that exceed its powers, particularly in a period of economic crisis. It is imperative that the refugee issue be seen under the founding principles and values of the European Union, of solidarity and responsibility sharing, noted Tsipras.
Moreover, the Greek prime minister announced that in the second half of November he will have the opportunity, on behalf of the EU, to hold talks with the Turkish government on issues regarding EU-Turkish relations on the refugees.
On his part, Martin Schulz agreed that the foreclosure protection and VAT hike issues raised by Tsipras are valid and that he will brief his colleagues to this effect in Brussels. He also said that he spoke with European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday night and expressed his opinion that "we can play a role towards this direction".
According to government sources, Schulz had agreed during the meeting with Tsipras that Greece cannot be subjected to constant pressure, especially in light of the burden imposed on it by the refugee issue.
They said Schulz referred specifically to the Stability Pact's exemption clause for countries facing emergency conditions.
On the issue of Greece's programme, Schulz recognised the need for continued contacts between Greek authorities and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici in order to resolve outstanding issues, ahead of the upcoming Eurogroup.
Schulz and the prime minister further agreed that an effective management of refugee flows depends on setting up refugee identification and resettlement centres in Turkey and better guarding of the Turkish border, the sources added.
They said that Schulz had welcomed the Greek prime minister's proposed visit to Turkey, noting that Tsipras would be visiting the country on behalf of the European Union as well.
According to the government sources, in both the preceding quadrilateral meeting and in the meeting between Tsipras and Schulz, the various sides reaffirmed the need for cooperation between Greece and the EU in order to absorb the funds envisaged to support Greece on the refugee issue.
 PM Tsipras: We must stop the human tragedy in the Aegean"Today we inaugurated a very important procedure, the relocation procedure. Most of the refugees that left today from Greece to Luxembourg set their lives in danger in their attempt to cross the Aegean. Today, they make a journey to hope" stated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a ceremony held at Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" immediately after the departure of Syrian and Iraqi refugees for Luxembourg.
Tsipras thanked European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, Greek Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Ioannis Mouzalas and European Commissioner for Migration Issues Dimitris Avramopoulos for their contribution in the first refugees relocation and for their presence in the event.
"We are fully aware that this is a beginning, that 30 refugees in the thousands that are leaving their country to get away from the war is only a drop in the ocean" noted Tsipras but underlined "We want this drop in the ocean to become a rivulet and to finally become a river of humanism, co-responsibility and shared responsibility because these are the principles on which EU has been based".
The Greek premier said that we must put a halt to the human sacrifice in the Aegean Sea that disgraces the European civilisation. It is our common responsibility and we must work hard in order to stop this drama".
He also said that the refugees families send their thanks to the Greek people who despite "the extremely difficult and bad economic conditions, because we must not forget that Greece is a country that is facing a humanitarian crisis due to the programmes implemented in the last years, the Greek people, and especially the people of the islands, opened their arms to them.
Moreover, the Greek prime minister stressed that Greece is not the entrance gate of the refugees' inflow route but part of the route. The entrance gate is Turkey and for this reason the most effective and less dangerous solution depends on EU's cooperation with Turkey in order the identification and relocation procedure to start at the Turkish coasts and not on the Greek islands "to switch from the relocation to the resettlement procedure" he concluded.
EU's relocation programme refers to persons in need of international protection from an EU state member to another. It is a European mechanism against the refugees inflow with aim the fairest distribution of the asylum seekers. The programme was inaugurated on Wednesday and thirty refugees left on Wednesday for Luxembourg.
 President Pavlopoulos receives EuroParliament President, urges correction of 'mistakes' in Greek programmePresident of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday stressed the need to "correct mistaken calculations" in the economic programme imposed on Greece in order to alleviate the impact of the economic crisis on people, while receiving European Parliament President Martin Schulz at the presidential mansion.
"It must be made known that Greece is going through an economic and social crisis that borders on becoming a humanitarian crisis. It is my fervent request that in the course of executing the programme, there be a correction of mistakes that are not the fault of Greece but the result of mistaken calculations, in order that Greece can provide support for people and the social state," he said.
Pavlopoulos said Greece had to be supported in order to remain in the EU and the Eurozone and needed help in tackling the refugee crisis, which he said the EU must face together, in accordance with Europe's values and principles. No European and democratic conscience, he added, could tolerate the conversion of the Mediterranean and the Aegean into a sacrificial altar of human values and a cemetery of innocents.
"We must face [the refugee crisis] together. Greece has need of help. Greece will meet its commitments to the letter. The belief that some have that Greece is taking shortcuts in applying European law is mistaken," he said.
Pavlopoulos also referred to the guarding of Greece's borders, pointing out that it was also the border of Europe Union and that it was a security issue for both Greece and Europe. At the same time, he said that this protection must be achieved in a way that accorded with European and international law.
"In other words, Greece determines these borders and the way in which they will be guarded - but here we need the cooperation and especially the reinforcement of Frontex, which must be converted into a truly European force," he added.
Responding, Schulz agreed with the president's statements and said that "there is no Grexit, it does not exist," stressing that "Greece belongs in the Eurozone."
He said Greeks were now faced with challenges that had not been encountered since WWII, as the economic, fiscal and refugee crises combined to create a "dire situation".
"Greece needs solidarity and will have this solidarity," he emphasised, saying that Europe did not have the right to abandon Greece at this time and clarifying that this applied to anything related to financial matters.
Referring to his visit to a refugee camp in the Athens district of Galatsi earlier on Wednesday, Schulz expressed his surprise at the large numbers of refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the camp, saying that this was an issue that needed to be negotiated on.
On the creation of refugee hotspots, he said these refugee registration and identification centres would only have a point if there was a binding system for allocating refugees.
 PASOK leader: 'Recession can no longer suffocate our country'The leader of PASOK party Fofi Gennimata said on Wednesday Greece needs to return to growth as recession is suffocating the country, following a meeting with European Parliament president Martin Schulz.
"Greece must find its way towards growth. We have to create a climate of investment," she said. "We have to protect the primary residence of the poor and middle-income households from auctions, like PASOK did all those years. Recession can no longer suffocate our country and our partners need to understand this necessity," she added.
 Eurozone official hopes for agreement on Greek programme by Monday, 9 NovBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / Maria Aroni)
A top Eurozone official on Wednesday expressed the hope that Greek authorities and representatives of the institutions could reached an agreement by Monday, 9 November -when a scheduled Eurogroup meeting in Brussels will take place- to disburse the sub-installment of 2.0 billion euros to Greece.
"I hope that by Monday an agreement will be reached on the implementation of prior actions included in the first package of measures," the official said here. Speaking to reporters, the official said that Greek authorities and the institutions were behind schedule on the implementation of the first package of reforms, but noted that "there is no reason for concern; we just have to speed up". He noted that negotiations will focus next on agreeing on the reforms to be included in the second package of prior actions, which are linked with the sub-installment of 1.0 billion euros.
Commenting on the assessment of the first package of prior actions currently underway, the Eurozone official said the top issues still pending were house auctions, a VAT on education and minimum prices on generics. On the recapitalization process of Greek banks, the official said that the 10 billion euros that are already put in a special account of ESM for this purpose are adequate to cover any capital needs, and hinted that the additional 15 billion euros envisaged in the August 14 agreement might not be needed. However, he noted that disbursement of the 10 billion euros for Greek banks needed the implementation of the two packages of reform measures. This means that completion of the first assessment was not a precondition to begin a recapitalization process, the official said, adding it would be to everyone's benefit that a recapitalization of Greek banks would have been completed before the Christmas holidays.
 Eurogroup expected to approve disbursement of 2.0 bln euros to Greece, Moscovici saysA Eurogroup meeting on Monday is expected to approve the disbursement of a first sub-installment of 2.0 billion euros to Greece, while the country will return to growth rates in the second half of 2016, Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, during a news conference, after the completion of a round of meetings with top government ministers in Athens, the EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner expressed his satisfaction over "a spirit of cooperation and confidence" restored between the institutions and the Greek government following the signing of the agreement on July 12.
Moscovici said his visit's aim was to prepare the next steps, such as the November 9 Eurogroup, which will be very important and stressed that "by the end of the week the government has to take difficult decisions". He added that both sides would reach a good compromise, while commenting on the recapitalization of banks he said that the release of capital needs is a very important step showing that the way was open.
He stressed that after the completion of the commitments for prior actions and recapitalization, a discussion over the restructuring of the country's debt will start, "in an ambitious and realistic way to have an intelligent outcome accepted by everyone".
Commenting on the pension system he said that reforms were needed to become sustainable and noted that reforms would be defined this month as not final decisions have been reached so far. On the problem of non-performing mortgage loans, he said that the social structure of Greece must be safeguarded but a culture of responsibility and payment should be created. "I believe we will reach a good compromise," he said.
Moscovici repeatedly expressed European Commission and his personal support to Greece's "difficult decisions"and stressed: "We want a strong Greece, with employment, improved social cohesion and attractive to investors." He also added that Greece is a blessed country with huge assets that could be developed for the benefit of all.
 Commission committed to help for more growth and jobs in Greece, Moscovici sayThe European Commission is committed to help for more growth and job positions in Greece, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, ahead of a meeting with Labour Minister George Katrougalos, the Commissioner said: "I am here for meetings with top government ministers. I will meet with Labour minister because Europe's goal is growth and job creation".
During the meeting, Katrougalos briefed the Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner over a reform of the social insurance system currently drafted by the ministry, along with job related issues.
Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, the Labour minister said: "The meeting was held in a good climate and focused on employment and social insurance issues. We had a good response. The pension issue is not just a fiscal adjustment matter but a matter of social justice since pensioners have suffered several cuts. We are close to a target on reforming the social insurance system, but there could be an extension until early December".
 Economy minister optimistic on solution for NPLs after meeting with MoscoviciEconomy, Development and Tourism Minister Giorgos Stathakis said on Wednesday he believes a solution will be found on the issue of non-performing loans, adding that talks he held with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici were positive.
"A solution will be found that will create a sense of safety to citizens and will constitute a new level on which we will achieve an agreement," he said after a working lunch with the EU official.
Stathakis reiterated the government's position that the three important steps which must take place is to complete the program review, complete the bank recapitalization to restore economic stability in the country and to start debt talks.
The minister said they also discussed other issues on which the two sides have not yet reached agreement. "I want to reassure everyone that the climate was positive; there's mutual understanding and we seek a mutually beneficial solution."
 Government wants to close all pending issues by the end of the year, says gov't spokeswomanThe government wants to close all the pending issues, such as bank recapitalization, non-performing loans, the program review and discussions on Greece's debt as soon as possible, so that stability can return to the economy, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said on Wednesday during an interview on private radio station Real FM.
"We're interested on closing all pending issues but with society standing on its feet," she said, so that "from next year, stability may return to economic and social life." The first milestone is Monday's Eurogroup, she noted.
Asked about the possibility of people losing their homes due to debts, the spokeswoman said the government will do everything in its power to ensure this doesn't happen. "We are willing to negotiate on all possible levels. If there's no technical solution, we will seek a political solution," she added.
 The reform in the social security system will be completed by the end of NovemberA Labour Minister announcement clarified on Wednesday that the reform in the social security system will be completed by the end of November and not early December.
 EU must support growth in Greece, not just impose terms, former Austrian chancellor Vranitsky saysVIENNA (ANA-MPA/ D. Dimitrakoudis)
The European Union must also make efforts to promote growth and create prospects for the future in Greece, not just set terms that the Greeks must fulfill, former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky said in an exclusive interview with the ANA-MPA here on Wednesday.
"We must think with the Greeks, for the Greeks, in order to give them a prospect for the future," Vranitzky said, noting that the EU must also provide funds for measures and programmes to boost growth in Greece.
Greece's EU partners can ask Greeks to make efforts only if they are themselves willing to really support them, said the Austrian politician, who served as Austria's chancellor from 1986 until 1997.
Vranitzky currently owns a house in Ierapetra, Crete and spends several months each year in Greece, saying his time there is a "dream vacation".
He said that Europeans should work with the Greek government to mitigate the social impact on Greece's citizens and protect social cohesion in the country. He noted that this was preventing Greece from acquiring national self-confidence and said this should be supported through policies on a European level.
According to Vranitzky, the end of a situation where Greeks were having to carry out cuts or show that they were implementing various austerity measures in exchange for financial assistance was still far away. He noted that it was not just a question of fiscal reform but also boosting the purchasing power of the Greek population, while he called for negotiations on supporting programmes for Greece's future.
Both transport infrastructure and the energy sector - where Greece possessed abundant solar energy - were potentially interesting areas of investment, the former chancellor said.
 PM Tsipras meets Athens Archbishop and Holy Synod membersPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday received Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos and members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece at the Maximos Mansion.
They discussed the need for assistance to those in need, in order to ensure that no one went unaided during the years of crisis.
The meeting was attended by Education, Research and Religions Minister Nikos Filis and Alternate Minister for Social Solidarity Theano Fotiou.
 ND leader: New Democracy will not allow Tsipras to continue his destructive workMain opposition leader Vangelis Meimarakis said New Democracy will not allow Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to continue his destructive work while he described government policies as "so-called leftist".
"The country needs New Democracy and the party will not allow Alexis Tsipras to continue his destructive work," Meimarakis said during a visit to the town of Egion in the Peloponnese.
Commenting on economic policy, he said he cannot understand why neighbouring countries have a lower VAT than Greece and added that no investment will come to the country if the government keeps blocking them. "How will unemployment fall? And if we get no investment, where will we find the money to 'warm up' the market?" he asked.
 ND leader Meimarakis criticizes Education minister on Pontic Greeks commentGreeks will not accept discounts on issues of national importance, main opposition leader Vangelis Meimarakis said on Wednesday speaking to members and friends of New Democracy in the town of Tripoli.
"We Greeks will not make discounts on national issues," he said commenting on a recent statement by Education Minister Nikos Filis who suggested that "ethnic cleansing" was a more accurate term than "genocide" to describe the massacres of the Pontic Greeks by Turks.
He also noted that the prime minister is "making weird moves in national issues" and that Filis' comments "created a strange impression".
 FM Kotzias discusses cooperation in trade, shipping with Singapore's Defence ministerEconomic cooperation and prospects for improvement of the trade, shipping and investment relations between Greece and Singapore were discussed in a meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias with Singapore's Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman in Luxembourg, on the margins of the 12th ASEM Meeting of Foreign Ministers.
The two officials also discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the sectors of culture, research, education and academic exchanges, as well as Singapore's relations with the European Union and Greece's cooperation with Singapore in international organizations.
Finally, it was agreed to schedule an exchange of visits of the two Foreign Ministries' Political Directors, who will launch a cooperation framework for promoting the aforementioned issues.
 Environment minister discusses energy issues in meeting with British envoyEnvironment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis noted on Wednesday the need to send a clear message that the environment is a priority, ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference in November, during a meeting with Britain's Ambassador to Greece, John Kittmer.
During the meeting, the two officials discussed issues of bilateral cooperation mainly in energy and exchanged views on investment proposals and potentials in the sector.
Kittmer also stressed the issue of climate change presenting his government's proposals in view of the Conference.
 New Dutch ambassador visits minister on corruption issuesThe new Netherlands Ambassador in Athens Caspar Veldkamp on Wednesday paid a visit to Greece's Alternate Justice Minister on Corruption Issues Dimitris Papangelopoulos.
According to a justice ministry announcement, the two officials discussed the ministry's priorities in the wake of the Greek prime minister's pledge to stamp out corruption and graft in all quarters.
The ambassador was briefed on the ministry's initial targets relating to the merger of certain inspection services and legislation on auditing the assets of political figures and others with the obligation to submit wealth statements, as well as promoting transparency in political party funding and other issues.
Papangelopoulos noted the need to upgrade inspection and auditing agencies and to boost their powers, saying that these must be exercised with transparency and independence from any extra-institutional influences. They also discussed the need to speed up justice, noting that this would help combat corruption and also encourage investors.
 SMEHA requests equal participation of Greek investors in bank recapitalizationThe Association of Members of the Athens Exchanges (SMEHA) on Wednesday, once again, requested the lifting of capital controls to allow Greek investors to participate in a round of share capital increase plans unveiled by Greek banks. SMEHA also urged Greek banks to find ways to allow the participation of domestic investors in their capital boosting schemes.
Spyros Kiritsis, president of SMEHA, in a statement, said there must be equal opportunities for Greek investors and stressed that the current operation of the stock market was distorted and not equal for Greek investors compared with foreign investors.
He noted that the experience accumulated over the past months dismissed concern of a large capital outflow abroad from a free operation of the stock market.
 Greek franchise business seek to be included in 2014-2020 development programmeGreek franchise enterprises want to be included in the 2014-2020 Corporate Pact for Development Framework (ESPA), taking advantage of favourable financing terms and conditions offered by community funds.
The issue was discussed during a meeting last week between Deputy Economy, Development and Tourism Minister Alexis Haritsis and a delegation of the Greek Franchise Union headed by president Stavros Tolias.
The delegation briefed the political leadership of the ministry over the activities and the dynamism of the franchise business in Greece, which emerges more and more into a credible tool of healthy development in the country. The franchise business has established more than 8,000 sales points around the country with a workforce of more than 30,000.
The meeting focused on the pre-release of actions and programmes of the 2014-2020 Corporate Pact for Development Framework, with the Union underlining the fact that previous Pacts excluded the franchise businesses from participating in similar actions.
The two sides agreed to forge closer cooperation in the issue, with the ministry stressing it would seek ways to lift this exclusion and at the same time undertake initiatives to further develop support programmes for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
 Clause for tax on small breweries withdrawn after ANEL refuse supportA clause that would have imposed a special consumption tax on beers produced by small and microbreweries was withdrawn during discussion of a draft omnibus bill before a Parliament Comittee on Wednesday, after the government's junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) withdrew its support for the measure.
The proposed tax, which was only supported by 145 SYRIZA MPs, was therefore removed from the bill.
 Greece raises 1.137 bln euros from T-bill auctionGreece on Wednesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bill issue draining 1.137 billion euros from the market.
The Public Debt Management Organization, in an announcement, said that the interest rate of the issue was set at 2.97 pct, unchanged from the previous auction of same issue in October 7. Bids submitted totaled 1.138 billion euros, 1.3 times more than the asked sum of 875 million euros. The auction was made with the market's primary dealers. The Organization will also accept non-competitive bids up to 30 pct of the asked sum by Thursday, 5 November.
 Piraeus Bank launches book-building process in 4.9 bln euros share capital increase planPiraeus Bank on Wednesday announced a board decision to call for an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on November 15 to approve a share capital increase plan worth 4.9 billion euros.
The shareholders' meeting will be asked to approve a share capital increase plan through issuing new common nominal shares without existing shareholders' rights, to be covered fully in cash by private investors, a liability management exercise -currently underway- and the issuing of new common nominal shares and a convertible bond issue for the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, along with a reverse split at a ratio of one new for 100 existing shares.
The board seeks to drain up to 4.933 billion euros from the market and to cover its capital needs from the AQR and the stress test under the base scenario. The bank has the option to raise the capital increase plan depending on the interest of investors, while the minimum per share price will be 0.30 euros. The capital boosting scheme will begin with a book building process to institutional and other selected investors. Deutsche Bank London branch and UBS Ltd will act as joint process banks and joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, while Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd will act as joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner, while Euroxx Securities and Mediobanca-Banca de Credito Finanziario SpA will act as joint bookrunners.
 Eurobank Equities most active securities firm in OctEurobank Equities topped the list of the most active securities firm in the Athens Stock Exchange in October, with a market share of 16.66 pct, followed by Euroxx (15.87 pct), National Securities (8.88 pct), Axia Ventures (8.71 pct) and Piraeus Securities (8.07 pct).
Eurobank Equities was at the top of the list for the January-October period, with a market share of 17 pct, followed by Euroxx (14.68 pct), National Securities (8.51 pct), Piraeus Securities (7.31 pct) and Axia Ventures (5.76 pct).
 Lufthansa includes Santorini and Corfu in its summer scheduleGerman airlines Lufthansa included two Greek islands, Santorini and Corfu, in 2016 summer schedule for Greece.
An airlink from Munich to Santorini and Corfu will be held ones a week in order to facilitate the passengers increased demand for the Greek islands during the summer.
According to the German company the two flights are expected to operate in mid-May 2016.
The first flight to Santorini will take off from Munich airport on Saturday 14 May at 14:40 (Munich time) and will land on Santorini at 18:15 (Athens time) and will leave for Germany at 19:05.
The first flight to Corfu will depart from Munich on Sunday 15 May at 06:45 (Munich time) and will arrive on Corfu at 09:45 (Athens time) and an hour later will leave for Germany.
Both itineraries will continue throughout the summer.
"We are very satisfied with the passengers traffic to and from Greece. The Greek tourism is rising and Lufthansa support the increasing demand. This summer we increased the capacity to Greece by 16 percent and we maintaned 90 percent occupancy. For Lufthansa Greece is considered as one of the countries with the higher perspectives of further growth in passengers traffic", underlined the chief of sales services and passengers of Lufthansa in Greece and Cyprus Harro Julius Petersen.
 Austrian airliner FlyNiki to fly to17 Greek destinations from 2016Austrian low-cost airliner FlyNiki announced on Wednesday it will fly to record number of 17 Greek destinations in its new summer 2016 program, adding that bookings are already open.
According to the press release, the airliner will focus in 2016 on Mediterranean destinations and mainly Greece. The cities are: Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Mykonos, Karpathos, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Lesvos, Kavala, Volos, Skiathos, Kalamata, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Preveza and Corfu.
Apart from Vienna, FlyNiki has already started offering since March 21 flights from Salzburg, Linz and Graz to Heraklion, while in May new routes will be added from Vienna, Salzburg and Linz to Rhodes, Corfu and Kos.
 Greek stocks remain under pressureGreek stocks remained under pressure in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday with bank shares losing significant ground, while the market found support in selective buying in blue chip stocks such as Titan, Coca Cola HBC and Folli Follie.
The composite index fell 1.33 pct to end at 708.59 points, off the day's lows of 704.59 points. The Large Cap index fell 0.85 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 0.55 pct lower. Turnover was a moderate 44.046 million euros with volume at 290,026,898.
Titan (2.45 pct), Coca Cola HBC (1.69 pct) and Folli Follie (1.67 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (22.55 pct), Alpha Bank (18.30 pct), Eurobank (9.09 pct), National Bank (4.09 pct) and PPC (2.34 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Among market sectors, Chemicals (2.24 pct), Food (2.11 pct) and Commerce (1.59 pct) scored big gains, while Banks (10.53 pct), Utilities (1.66 pct) and Real Estate (1.35 pct) suffered losses.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 62 to 33 with another 19 issues unchanged. Kekrops (26.19 pct), Progressive (18.18 pct) and Audiovisual (9.21 pct) were top gainers, while Piraeus Bank (22.55 pct), Perseus (19.91 pct) and Vioter (19.44 pct) were top losers.
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased further to 7.20 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 7.26 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 7.77 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.57 pct. There was no turnover in the market.
In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate fell to 0.101 pct from 0.106 pct, the nine-month rate eased to 0.040 pct from 0.044 pct, the six-month rate fell to zero from 0.003 pct, the three-month rate was -0.069 pct and the one-month rate fell to -0.122 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.31 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 2,536 contracts with 13,026 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 4,443 contracts with investment interest focusing on PPC's contracts (2,081), followed by MIG (1,170), OTE (280), OPAP (219), Viohalco (104), Mytilineos (264), Jumbo (61), Hellenic Exchanges (35), Ellaktor (46) and Folli Follie (36).
 More than 15,000 refugees stranded on Lesvos due to seamen's strikeMore than 15,000 refugees and migrants who have been identified and recorded are stranded on the port of Lesvos due to the ongoing 48-hour strike of Greek seamen's federation (PNO), local police said.
Those who have money are staying in hotels and rented rooms in the wider area around the port but the majority, among which women and children are forced to sleep in the streets, tents, public spaces and parks, police said.
PNO announced a new 48-hour strike starting on Wednesday, immediately after a 48-hour seamen's strike ended this morning. When it was announced that the strike had been extended, many migrants protested at the port and attempted to board a ship, but were pushed back by seamen.
Speaking to ANA-MPA this morning, the mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos said that while he understands the seamen's position, the thousands of refugees and local communities cannot be held hostage to their demands. He also called on the government to consider issuing "civil mobilization" orders to strikers to deal with the situation created on the island. He also warned the situation poses a risk for both the safety of the refugees and migrants and the locals.
On Tuesday, the mayor pleaded with PNO to allow ferries carrying refugees and migrants to leave the islands and reach Athens.
 New refugees boat tragedy leaves five dead in the AegeanFive persons, among them two children, drowned early Wednesday off the coasts of Lesvos.
A Frontex vessel spotted a dinghy with seventy refugees on board and rushed for their rescue. 62 were saved and informed their rescuers that 8 persons fell off the boat and are missing.
Three of the missing refugees were recovered alive while five were dead.
 Interfaith prayer held in Lesvos in memory of drowned refugeesAn interfaith prayer in memory of the hundreds of refugees and migrants who have perished in the Aegean trying to cross from Turkey to Greece was held on Wednesday in the village of Epano Skala on the island of Lesvos, as part of the three days of mourning called by the municipality.
The prayer was conducted by the Orthodox Metropolitans of Lesvos and Mythimnis, Iakovos and Chrystostomos, and Muslim religious functionaries and was attended by the island mayor Spyros Galinos, representatives of local authorities, volunteers and members of NGOs operating on the island and many islanders who said they wanted to alert the international community to find a solution to the continuing humanitarian crisis.
"With this highly symbolic gesture, we want to show around the world that, irrespective of religion and origin, we all stand united against the criminals who send mothers and young children to their death on a daily basis," the municipality of Lesvos said in a press release.
"We join forces in a silent protest rally against the modern slave traders - criminals and in favour of intervention to curb their murderous actions," it added.
 Three-day mourning on Lesvos for the dead migrants and refugeesThe black curtains in town hall of Mytilene and in other spots of the town initiated the three-day mourning declared by Lesvos municipality for the tens of dead migrants and refugees that drown every day in their attempt to reach the island of Lesvos, victims of the atrocious crime conducted every day by the human traffickers.
"European and international community should be alerted that must not only helplessly observe but also ought to find a solution to this continuous humanitarian crisis" said to ANA-MPA Lesvos mayor Spyros Galinos.
 Goethe Institut marks 70 years since Nuremberg Trial with exhibition on interpretationThe Goethe Institut in Athens and the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) organize an exhibition and conference to mark the 70 years since the start of the Nuremberg Trial, on November 10, 1045, which also marked the birth of simultaneous interpretation.
The exhibition, titled "Nuremberg: One trial - four languages" and curated by the interpreter Jennifer Fearnside-Bitsios, takes a look at the "people behind the voices" in the historic trial, the extraordinary challenges they faced as first interpreters and highlights the role of interpretation in the field of Justice and basic human rights.
The winners of the Second World War had to ensure "fair trial" which presupposed the translation of documents and the proceedings in a language understood by the accused. Moreover, the trial had to be conducted with the least possible delay. This is when the decision was taken to use the then unknown method of "simultaneous translation".
Apart from the exhibition, three events will be held under the general title "The birth of simultaneous interpretation in the Nuremburg Trial": On November 5, Roger Raminker, grandson of legendary interpreter Andre Kaminker, who was the first president of AIIC, will make a keynote speech. On November 13, a conference will be held with speakers - among others - Vasilis Skourtis, former president of European Union Court, Angela Kail, president of AIIC and Maja Popovic, interpreter at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The conference will open with the historic interview given in 2014 by Nuremberg interpreter Siegfried Ramler, titled "Memories from Nuremberg". The interview was filmed in London by Britain's and Ireland's AIIC.
 Unsullied Pylos tomb probably that of wealthy warrior or priest, archaeologists reportA heavy gold chain with three beads placed asymmetrically along its length and sea shells beneath the skeleton that would allow very accurate dating were just some of the rich finds uncovered by archaeologists Jack Davis and Sharon Stoker in a 3,500-year-old grave in Pylos, southwest Greece.
In a meeting with Culture and Sports Minister Aristidis Baltas on Wednesday, during which they briefed him on the valuable discoveries made in the tomb, the two archaeologists said the grave was probably that of a male warrior aged 30 to 35, or possibly a priest. They said no other information was currently available, such as the cause of death, because the skeletal remains had yet to be fully examined.
"He must have been a warrior, he could have been a priest. In antiquity, the same person could become a warrior, could be a king or priest, depending on the season and the role that he had, month to month. We cannot assign a single role to the man in the grave," Dr. Davis said.
They emphasised the significance of the finds in the particular tomb, which was found alone without any other graves nearby, because there was no evidence that it had been looted.
"It is a very rich, undisturbed grave and this is very important, because usually the graves that are found are looted. It has not been opened and this is an exceptional opportunity to investigate the finds on the spot," the excavators said.
The meeting was attended by the culture ministry's general secretary Maria Andredaki-Vlazaki and Messinia Antiquities Curator Evangelia Militsi, who said the finds will eventually be displayed at the Pylos-Nestoros Municipality Archaeological Museum after certain improvements to the building had been made, which were scheduled to be completed by the end of December.
She said a new, modern roof structure covering the Palace of Nestor will be completed at around the same time. The Palace of Nestor is currently closed to the public and is expected to re-open in early March.
 Kythira mayor says municipality is starting cleanup operation for oil spillThe municipality of Kythira, an island located opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula, said on Wednesday it is starting its own operation to clean up a large oil spill discovered last Saturday off the coast of the island. Authorities believe the oil spill, longer than 1,000 meters, was probably caused by a ship which emptied a large amount of oil in the sea.
"Starting today and using our own means, some absorbent materials, we begin the decontamination of beaches affected by the oil slick," the island mayor Efstratios Charchalakis told ANA-MPA.
He said the main areas affected by the pollution are the beaches of Agia Pelagia, Fourni and Kakia Langada, which are the most popular with locals and tourists, but it has also reached homes, as strong winds blowing in the area threw oil on the walls of coastal houses.
Charchalakis also said a private company has been asked to estimate the cost of the cleanup operation needed for the rocks and the sea which require specialized equipment while the Prefecture of Attica will assist in covering the cost.
The Port Authority has taken a sample of oil spilled into the sea for analysis to determine its type and therefore the perpetrator of the pollution and the mayor said if there's enough evidence, the municipality will file charges against those responsible.
Charchalakis believes the problem is caused by the illegal mooring of large vessels in the bay of Vatika which poses possible environmental risks and diminishes the aesthetic of the area.
 Greek authorities arrest trafficker who smuggled refugees on a jet skiGreece's coast guard arrested on Tuesday night a human trafficker who was transfering refugees and migrants from Turkey to Lesvos on a jet ski.
During a patrol in the sea area off the village of Agrielia, near the island's airport, a coast guard vessel located a jet ski with three passengers - two Syrians and one of Turkish nationality. Authorities arrested the Turkish man, who was driving the jet ski, for human trafficking.
 Tempi Valley to close for maintenance on Nov. 11 and 12The Athens-Thessaloniki motorway will close at Tempi Valley for maintenance works on November 11 and 12 from 07:00 and 20:00 .
Traffic will be conducted through alternative routes that will be announced in the following days.
 Mostly fair on ThursdayMostly fair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Scattered clouds in the northern and western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 03C-23C. Fair in the eastern parts with temperatures between 08C-23C. Mostly fair over the Aegean islands and Crete, 14C-24C. Fair in Athens, 12C-21C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki, 04C-20C.
 The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: First residence a red line for the government.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: The country of the lost children.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: New tax on 133,750 diesel cars.
ETHNOS: Households overdue debts to PPC an avalanche.
IMERISSIA: National Bank of Greece's huge deal.
NAFTEMPORIKI: The banks' response.
RIZOSPASTIS: Heading to contributions hike and reduction in pensions.
TA NEA: The silence of the calves.
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