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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-04
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Thursday, 4 August 2016 Issue No: 5221
 PM to announce measures to support islands in September, Shipping Minister saysThe prime minister will announce a series of measures to support the islands at the National Council for Island Policy that will be held next September in Mytilene, Shipping and Island Policy Minister Thodoris Dritsas said on Wednesday.
The minister said that directions for a series of economic, taxation and social measures designed to assist islanders in coping with the refugee crisis and the VAT hike were given at the joint session of the Government Council on Economic Policy and the Council for Social Policy held last week.
 President Pavlopoulos briefs Chios mayor on refugees' relocation planPresident of Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos discussed on the phone with the mayor of Chios Manolis Vournous the refugees and migrants' issue and its repercussions on the island.
According to Chios municipality announcement "the Greek President briefed the mayor on the Migration Policy Ministry's plan on the island's immediate relief from the problem. The specific plan foresees the immediate relocation of 300-400 refugees and migrants. On his part, the mayor asked for the adoption of a plan on the gradual and stable removal of the remaining refugees".
Speaking to AMNA, Chios mayor referred to President Pavlopoulos constant interest on the problems that afflict the island for which the citizens of Chios thank him.
 Europe needs a 'Plan B' for migration problem, Greece's Mouzalas says to 'Bild'Europe definitely needs a "Plan B" for the refugee and migration issue, Greece's Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said in an interview with the German newspaper "Bild" published on Wednesday. The minister expressed the Greek government "deep concern" at the statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu about Turkey possibly backing out of the EU-Turkey agreement on the refugee crisis.
According to Mouzalas, the EU must prepare for the possibility that Turkey will once again open its borders and allow migrants to reach Europe. He also asked for greater willingness on the part of EU member-states to accept some of the refugees. "The refugees must be distributed equally in all the member-states," he said.
Asked about the same issue and whether the EU needs a plan B on Tuesday, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the newspaper "Rheinische Post" that "we must stick to what has been agreed" and that there was no point to threats and ultimatums.
 1,000 migrants and refugees will leave from the Aegean islands, Migration Ministry sources say57,034 identified refugees and migrants were on the Greek territory on Wednesday while 119 new arrivals were reported in the last 24 hours.
According to the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body's figures, 22,250 of the refugees are in northern Greece, 10,102 are hosted in the region of Attica and 2,609 are hosted in facilities of central and southern Greece. 7,440 refugees and migrants are hosted in several facilities rented by the UNHCR, 2,849 in non-organised facilities 2,150 persons are living outside organised facilities.
9,634 refugees and migrants were recorded on the eastern Aegean islands.
On the occasion of the relocation of 300 to 400 refugees from Chios island (from the approximately 2,700 that are on the island according to the EU-Turkey agreement), well informed sources of the Migration Ministry said that approximately 1,000 people will transferred from the northern Aegean islands.
These are refugees that sought asylum and the first part of the procedure has been completed and approved and have not left for Athens for a number of reasons, mostly financial, where they must pass the second part of the asylum procedure.
Additionally, the ministry plans the immediate transfer of migrants, mostly from Africa or Asia lacking a refugee profile from the islands to other hosting facilities in the mainland to prevent infringing behaviour which result from being trapped for several months on the islands.
 German FM spox: Greece should utilize low refugee flows to manage migrants in its territoryBERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)
Greek authorities can take advantage of the drastic cut in refugee arrivals from Turkey to the islands to better organize and manage those who are in the country in a manner consistent with our values, Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, said in a news conference on Wednesday.
Asked whether Greece can implement its own obligations on the refugee issue, the spokesman said: "Precisely because the influx of asylum seekers from Turkey has basically stopped, the Greek authorities have been granted an indispensable breather - with the support of the European Union and bilaterally with Germany - to organize themselves in order to coordinate procedures and manage people from the Middle East and Syria who are still in Greece - some media speak of about 50,000 people - in a manner consistent with our values, attitudes and rules, but also to process asylum applications."
 All sides must join forces to restore damages from north Evia fire, ND leader says in LimniVisiting the fire-stricken town of Limni in northern Evia on Wednesday, main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said all sides had an obligation to set aside their differences and pool their forces to restore the damage after such a major natural disaster.
Mitsotakis attended a meeting of local bodies and thanked the men and women of the fire brigade, the volunteers, the municipality, regional authority and General Secretariat for Civil Protection for their efforts to put out the blaze.
He stressed that the immediate priority from here on was prevention and ensuring that there were no new fires, since the summer was not yet over. ND's leader also said the damage must be fully recorded and work begin on anti-flooding protection measures for the winter.
During the meeting, Central Greece Region governor Kostas Bakoyannis announced measures to promote Limni as a tourism destination, with an ad campaign to ensure that the tourism season isn't lost.
 ND agreed to EKAS cuts it could 'saddle' on left-wing government, sources say in reply to criticismMain opposition New Democracy was "passing off hypocrisy as social sensitivity," government sources said on Wednesday in response to a New Democracy announcement accusing the government that it had not negotiated the terms of the bailout memorandums.
When in government, the current main opposition had given the creditors "blank cheques" for measures it could then criticise from the safety of the opposition, the same sources added.
"New Democracy had come to terms with the creditors for the 'sudden death' of the EKAS low-pension benefit, the zero deficit clause for supplementary pensions and the drastic cuts to main pensions - with the intention of saddling these on the next government and accelerating the "leftist interlude" scenario. It now has the gall to accuse the government of 'not negotiating'. The people can see who truly negotiated and takes steps in even the most difficult conditions to support the weak, the sources said.
Picking up on a statement made by SYRIZA parliamentary spokesman Christos Mantas that the abolition of EKAS was a "defeat in the negotiations", ND earlier called this was an admission of what the main opposition had been saying all along, namely that Tsipras had "never negotiated" to support weaker groups and that his inadequacy had led to income cuts for thousands on very small pensions.
"Tsipras's so-called social face is nothing more than two or three lines in the propaganda non papers of the Maximos Mansion, intended to bamboozle our fellow citizens that have the greatest need," the announcement said.
 ND calls on PM Tsipras to take clear stand on church vandalismsThe prime minister must take a clear stand concerning the attacks and vandalisms against historic churches around Greece by anti-establishment groups, New Democracy said in a statement on Wednesday.
"SYRIZA's soft approach to anti-establishment groups only emboldens them," the party said, and called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take a clear stand on the issue and on Alternate Minister for Civil Protection, Nikos Toskas, to assume his responsibilities.
"After the invasion in Thessaloniki Cathedral, Greek citizens are faced with a barrage of attacks and vandalisms in churches in Crete, Nea Philadelphia and now in the center of Athens. Mr. Tsipras must finally take a clear stand. And the so-called Minister for Civil Protection, to assume his responsibilities before worse things happen," ND added.
 ANEL vote against building of mosque in VotanikosThe Independent Greeks (ANEL), the governing junior coalition partner, voted against a provision that will speed up the construction of a mosque in Votanikos, an area outside Athens, during a debate in the relevant parliamentary committees on Wednesday.
The provision is included in a draft bill on supporting renewable energy. In his address to MPs, ANEL lawmaker Giorgos Lazaridis said his party is voting against the provision. On the other hand, SYRIZA, New Democracy, the Democratic Coalition, the Communist Party and Potami voted in favour. The Centrists' Union reserved their decision for Thursday's debate in the plenum while Golden Dawn voted against it.
The article, along with the bill on renewables, will be voted through a fast-track procedure.
 Greece is a safe country, says Slovakian FM Laj?kForeign Minister of Slovakia Miroslav Laj?k sent a message of trust to Greece which he called a safe country from Chania where he is spending a short vacation with his family.
Laj?k who met with press representatives at the Consulate of Slovakia in Chania praised the people of Crete for their hospitality the island's natural beauty and the traditional cuisine.
"Greece is a friendly country. We have much in common as hospitality. Here, I feel at home" he said and noted "Greece is a country where you can feel safe and this is very important".
Moreover, Laj?k referred to the hike of tourists from his country to Greece underlining that he will also contribute towards this direction.
Referring to the migration issue he called it a European problem noting "We must find the best solution in order Greece not to bear most part of the burden. We are aware that it is huge challenge for EU and Greece and we are working on it".
The minister was accompanied by the Slovak ambassador to Greece Peter Michalko and the honourary consul in Crete Stavros Paterakis.
According to Slovakia tour operators' data, 70,000 Slovakians visited Greece in 2016, 25,000 of them chose Crete for their vacations.
 Television licence tender continuing normally, Gen. Secretariat for News and Communications saysThe national television broadcasting licence tender is continuing as normal, the General Secretariat for News and Communications said on Wednesday in an announcement.
The argument that the process should be delayed until after the Council of State rules on its legality "collapses" in the face of the same court's recent decisions, which rejected all petitions filed by television stations seeking a suspension of the tender process until the CoS hearing.
"The government, respecting the decisions of the supreme court and its relevant commitments, is taking care to ensure the smooth completion of the tender," the announcement added.
 Exports of Greek agro-food up 30 pct since 2012Exports of agro-food products grew around 30 pct since 2012, despite a deep recession in the country, offering evidence that the sector remains one of the most significant and most dynamic export sectors of the Greek economy, Dr Kyriakos Loufakis, president of the Federation of Northern Greece Exporters (SEVE) said on Wednesday.
Commenting on the monthly export report of the Federation, Loufakis said that despite this increase, the trade balance of the sector remained negative.
The EU market accounted for around 70 pct of Greek exports of agro-food products, mostly in Italy (22 pct market share), Germany (11.0 pct), Bulgaria (5.0 pct), UK (5.0 pct), Cyprus (4.0 pct) and Holland (4.0 pct), while the US accounted for another 5.0 pct.
"It is a fact that due to a prolonged crisis in recent years, consumption of fresh agricultural produce has been drastically reduced in central and eastern Europe, once important markets. For this reason, SEVE has repeatedly noted the need for a focused promotion of Greek farm products to countries with rising growth rates and large populations, such as China and India, which must become alternative markets for our products," Loufakis said. He added that Asian markets could become export targets for grapes and kiwi, following the examples of other community Mediterranean markets such as Italy, Spain and France.
Dr. Loufakis noted that the agricultural sector in Greece faced serious structural problems, such as small farm sizes, ageing agricultural population, high production costs, low productivity and competitiveness. At the same time, he added, there were some remarkable and unique positive elements which, if supported by the necessary action, could contribute to resolving these domestic problems and help kickstart the Greek economy.
"According to researchers from the universities of Harvard and MIT, the wealth of nations is created by knowledge and skills. This means that a comparative advantage of a country is built on raising skills in its economy", Loufakis said, adding that this could be done by attracting foreign investments. Mediterranean food is a comparative advantage, whose reputation we must exploit, he said.
 FinMin Tsakalotos urges Ergo to maintain jobs, create new ones, after ATE Insurance acquisitionFinance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said Munich Re's insurance subsidiary Ergo, which completed the acquisition of Greece's ATE Insurance on Tuesday, must prove in practice that the move will ensure existing jobs and create new ones.
The minister was speaking during a meeting on Wednesday with representatives of ATE employee's union to discuss the acquisition, the finance ministry said in a press release.
Ergo bought ATE Insurance from Piraeus Bank for 90.1 million euros, subject to net asset value adjustments. The sale had been announced by Piraeus Bank in 2014.
 Greek budget revenue up in Jan-July, down in July, says ministerGreek budget revenue surpassed targets by 1.02 pct in the January-July period, although July revenues fell short of targets by 9.6 pct, Deputy Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said on Wednesday.
In a report released by the ministry, Alexiadis said that excluding tax returns, budget revenues surpassed targets by 621 million euros.
Net revenue amounted to 4.854 billion euros, from a budget target of 5.367 billion euros. In the seven-month period, net revenue totaled 25.811 billion euros from a budget target of 25.550 billion.
Tax returns totaled 388 million euros in July, surpassing a budget target of 208 million. In the seven-month period, tax returns totaled 1.860 billion euros up from a target of 1.5 billion.
Alexiadis, in comments made in a radio interview said: "We are way above budget targets in revenue in the first seven months and if this positive course would be continued we won't have to activate the automatic spending cut mechanism".
 Budget cash revenue surpassed targets by 105 mln euros in JulyBudget cash revenues surpassed targets by around 105 million euros in July, General Accounting Office sources told AMNA on Wednesday, commenting on press reports alleging that budget revenues significantly fell short of targets in July.
The sources said that revenue cash flow in July was not a cause of concern and noted that regular budget net revenue amounted to 20.960 billion euros in the first half of 2016, up 777 million or 3.8 pct from targets.
 Greece drains 812.5 mln euros from T-bill auctionGreece on Wednesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bill issue draining 812.5 million euros form the market at an unchanged cost. The interest rate of the issue was set at 2.97 pct, unchanged from the previous auction of same issue last month. Bids submitted were 1.3 times more than the asked sum of 625 million euros.
 Mytilineos Group reports mixed H1 resultsMytilineos Group on Wednesday said its turnover was almost unchanged and net profits eased in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period last year.
Group turnover was 635.8 million euros in the January-June period, from 636.5 million in 2015, while EBITDA eased to 101.4 million euros (from 118.7 million in 2015) and net after tax and minorities earnings dropped to 12.4 million euros from 32.8 million in the same period last year.
The metals and mining sector recorded a turnover of 224.3 million euros in the first six months of 2016, from 297.7 million in 2015, while EBITDA fell to 37 million euros from 65.4 million euros, respectively.
The EPC project sector remained on a positive course with Metka recording a turnover of 262.6 million euros in the first half, up from 257.6 million in 2015, while EBITDA eased to 38.7 million euros from 46.2 million in 2015. Net after tax and minorities earnings eased to 19.4 million euros from 29.2 million.
The energy sector recorded the strongest growth, with turnover rise to 152.5 million euros in the first half from 86 million last year, an increase of 77.4 pct. EBITDA jumped to 27.2 million euros from 6.6 million. Electricity production jumped 62.5 pct, gaining a 9.7 pct market share in the first half, up from 6.0 pct last year.
Protergia raised its market share by 130 pct so far this year against its competitors.
 The list of most active securities firms in JulyEurobank Equities topped the list of the most active securities firms in the Athens Stock Exchange in July, with a market share of 13.05 pct based on market transactions. It was followed by Euroxx Securities (11.95 pct), Piraeus Securities (11.13 pct), National Securities (9.56 pct) and Investment Bank (6.97 pct).
Eurobank Equities was at the top of the list also in the January-July period with a market share of 15.91 pct, followed by Euroxx Securities (15.40 pct), National Secruties (9.97 pct), Piraeus Securities (7.29 pct) and Citigroup (6.56 pct).
 Greek stocks end flatGreek stocks ended flat in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Traders said a move by S&P to upgrade the ratings of Greek banks to CCC+ from SD offered some respite to the market, after Tuesday's sell off. The composite index of the market ended 0.01 pct lower at 551.61 points, after falling as much as 0.85 pct during the day. The Large Cap index eased 0.03 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.02 pct lower. Turnover was a thin 31.407 million euros in volume of 79,055,999 shares.
Alpha Bank (3.05 pct), PPC (1.90 pct) and Ellaktor (1.54 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day among blue chip stocks, while Terna Energy (3.33 pct), Viohalco (2.34 pct) and Hellenic Exchanges (1.92 pct) suffered heavy losses. Among market sectors, Banks (1.39 pct) and Raw Materials (0.53 pct) scored gains, while Financial Services (2.06 pct) and Personal Products (1.72 pct) suffered losses.
National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 48 to 42 with another 19 issues unchanged. Douros (12.5 pct), Hatzikraniotis (10.87 pct) and Papoutsanis (10.78 pct) were top gainers, while Kreka (19.48 pct), Yalco (19.48 pct) and Athina (16.67 pct) were top losers.
 ADEX closing reportThe August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.03 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,230 contracts with 5,388 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 49,296 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (17,012), followed by Alpha Bank (3,703), National Bank (15,620), Eurobank (9,857), MIG (2,130), OTE (139), PPC (356), Mytilineos (99), GEK (52), Ellaktor (56) Viohalco (31), Hellenic Exchanges (49) and OPAP (64).
 Archaeological Council approves restoration work at Parthenon's western pedimentThe Central Archaeological Council (KAS) approved on Wednesday two projects for the restoration of the upright marble slabs and background wall of the drum which form part of Parthenon's western pediment.
According to the researchers who presented the two studies, the work involves rescue interventions aimed at dealing with the problems found by restorers in that section of the pediment - mainly cracks caused by various causes. In the future, the studies could be used to evaluate whether it would be useful to add material in place of the two missing slabs, they said.
The process which will be followed will involve removing the oxidized iron parts (from the intervention of Nikolaos Balanos in the early 20th century), completing the structural restoration of each architectural part and systematically conserving the surfaces of the ancient marbles. The crew will also partially dismantle the wall and supplement it with stone plinths, where needed, to ensure its structural integrity.
 Boris Johnson in Greece for holidaysBritish Foreign Minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to Mt. Pelion (central Greece) for a 3-day holiday in the village of Horto.
The head of the British diplomacy on Tuesday sailed with a private sailboat for a mini-cruise in the Pagasetic Gulf and afterwards left for an unknown destination, probably for the island of Skiathos.
Former London mayor arrived at Macedonia airport of Thessaloniki on July 30.
In the last three years Boris Johnson is a constant visitor of Mt.Pelion and according to sources he owns a house in the area.
 Bullet found at building housing Mexican embassy is from a Kalashnikov-type rifleFragments of a bullet discovered on Monday at the fourth floor of a building housing the Mexican Embassy in Kolonaki, central Athens, was probably fired from a Kalashnikov-type assault rifle, a senior police officer investigating the incident told Athens-Macedonian news agency on Tuesday.
The embassy is housed at the fifth floor, while on the third floor, which houses the offices of a multinational clothing company, police found a second hole on the outside wall made by a bullet.
The investigation is conducted by State Security which has collected footage from CCTV cameras in the area.
 Hundreds of Yazidi Kurds plead to be relocated in center with co-religionistsMore than 420 Yazidi Kurds from northern Iraq living in the refugee center of Nea Kavala in Kilkis, northern Greece, said on Wednesday they want to be relocated to a different venue that houses people of the same religious affiliiation and nationality.
The group, most of them women and children, held earlier this morning a protest rally outside the center and later packed up their belongings and walked to a nearby field about 100 meters from the venue. According to the police, the Yazidis have contacted the relevant authorities asking to be relocated, as they argue that their religious beliefs cause frictions with other refugees.
The center in Nea Kavala hosts about 4,100 refugees and migrants (including the Yazidis), most of them from Iraq and Syria.
 119 refugees and migrants arrived on the Aegean islands in the last 24hA total of 119 refugees and migrants arrived on Lesvos and Chios in the last 24h.
62 persons arrived on Lesvos and 57 on Chios while no arrivals were recorded on the island of Samos.
The number of identified migrants that are hosted on the northern Aegean islands within EU-Turkey agreement reached 7397 on Wednesday. 3,627 are on Lesvos, 2,737 on Chios and 1,033 on Samos.
 Foreign national wanted on European warrant arrested on CreteA Romanian national against whom was pending a European warrant issue by the Romanian authorities was arrested in Phaestos, Crete.
The 27-year old Romanian is facing robbery charges.
The suspect was sent to Crete prosecutor.
 Scattered clouds on ThursdayMostly fair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Partly cloudy in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 22C to 34C. Mostly fair in the western parts with temperatures from 21C to 36C. Scattered clouds in the eastern parts with temperatures between 24C and 35C. Fair over the Aegean islands and Crete, 24C-33C. Scattered clouds in Athens, 24C-34C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki, 25C-32C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceDEMOKRATIA: "[Former ELSTAT chief] Georgiou in a precarious position"
ETHNOS: "Orgy of fraud with LPG for cars"
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Anti-establishment individuals admonish Tsipras!"
ESTIA: "They are abandoning Turkey"
I AFGHI: "The guild of 'reforms'"
I EFIMERITHA TON SYNTAKTON: "Operation 'fear and order'"
I KATHIMERINI: "The government embarrassed by wave of attacks"
RIZOSPASTIS: "First round of 'haircuts' on supplementary pensions"
TA NEA: "Heatwave of polarisation"
KONTRA NEWS: "ELSTAT's Georgiou sent to trial for a felony"
The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
AVGHI: Agreement on feet of clay.
DIMOKRATIA: German trick.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: War over TV channels' licences
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Ultimatum to non performing loans.
ESTIA: Is Christianisation a crime?
ETHNOS: 18 solutions for the non-performing loans.
IMERISSIA: Fear in the markets.
KATHIMERINI: Rules for non-performing loans.
NAFTEMPORIKI: Upgrade in the crossfire.
RIZOSPASTIS: Mobilisation against NATO' decisions and Greece's involvement.
TA NEA: Government opens front in Education.
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