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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 9 August 2016 Issue No: 5224


  • [01] PM Tsipras asks for Greek debt relief as he marks 63 years since London Debt Agreement
  • [02] Government's main aim is to increase investments, says economy minister
  • [03] Parliament head asks EU counterparts for feedback on transatlantic deals
  • [04] Declaring former airport an archaeological site won't affect investment, says minister
  • [05] Thessaloniki waterway receives environmental approval
  • [06] Migration minister in Crete on August 11
  • [07] Article in 'Kathimerini': The vice consul, the Gulenists and their role in Thrace
  • [08] Greek stocks end 0.42 pct lower on Monday with record low turnover
  • [09] ADEX closing report
  • [10] Wildfire in the old town of Lefkada
  • [11] Fire that burned six houses, one cinema in Lefkada under control
  • [12] Lefkada mayor says 10 buildings burned in fire
  • [13] Convicted felons Sakkas and Seisidis given extension until August 17
  • [14] 126 refugees and migrants arrived on the Greek islands in the last 24h
  • [15] Greek fencer Vougiouka qualifies in 'round of 16' in Rio
  • [16] President congratulates shooter Korakaki for bronze medal in Rio
  • [17] Clouds, rain on Tuesday
  • [18] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras asks for Greek debt relief as he marks 63 years since London Debt Agreement

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said "Europe must rise to the occasion" and grant Greece debt relief in a message to mark 63 years since the 1953 London Debt Agreement, posted in his personal Facebook account on Monday.

    "On this day, in August 8, 1953, a nearly six-month negotiation between Germany and its creditors was concluded, with the signing of the London Debt Agreement. The debt-ridden and war-torn Germany enjoys the ultimate move of solidarity in modern European history by having 60 percent of its foreign debt cancelled, its internal debts restructured and a trade surplus clause," Tsipras said.

    "The deal is implemented with Greece's signature. Since SYRIZA was in the opposition, but also today as government, it has raised the issue of the Greek debt, having won significant ground with specific results reflected in Eurogroup's decision on May 24.

    Europe must rise to the occasion and turn its gaze to the future by signing a new social contract that will guarantee the prosperity of its peoples," he added.

    [02] Government's main aim is to increase investments, says economy minister

    Economic recovery in 2016 will result from an increase in investments and the government's main aim is to bring more to the country, Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said on Monday during a press conference in Chania, Crete.

    "Of course we want investments. [Economic] recovery in 2016 will also come from an increase in investments. This is the government's main aim," he said speaking at SYRIZA's local office, adding that great changes are needed in the institutional framework.

    Stathakis said the plan will include public-private partnerships but the bulk will concern private investments and said the government is looking into actions to improve the business environment, such as simplifying the public investment's system to create more transparency.

    Stathakis was joined at the presser by SYRIZA MPs Valia Vagionaki and Antonis Balomenakis.

    [03] Parliament head asks EU counterparts for feedback on transatlantic deals

    Parliament President Nikos Voutsis send a letter to his European counterparts on Monday asking for their feedback and exchange of information and views regarding technical issues that may rise during the study on the content and procedures followed when signing transatlantic trade deals.

    Voutsis also informed his counterparts in his letter that the Greek parliament will set up a special committee to debate the content and the procedures for signing transatlantic trade agreements (TTIP,CETA, TISA).

    The minister said the committee will issue an opinion on the temporary implementation of CETA before a decision is taken by the EU Council in October 2016 and notes the importance of cooperation between parliaments on this issue.

    [04] Declaring former airport an archaeological site won't affect investment, says minister

    Declaring the site of the former Athens airport at Hellinikon an archaeological site will not affect the investment in any way, Culture Minister Aristidis Baltas said on Monday during a visit to Crete.

    The Culture Ministry's General Directorate for Antiquities and Cultural Heritage sent a letter last week to several government departments to inform them that it plans to declare the area an archaeological site.

    "Such a declaration does not affect anything in the investment. The center of Athens is a declared archaeological site but this hasn't stopped neither construction activity nor city life," Baltas said. "All this declaration means is that there is an institutional acknowledgement that antiquities have been found in the wider area, therefore there must be a systematic monitoring by the Archaeological Service of all the projects within the defined area."

    He also said the investors know about this issue and the two sides are in contact.

    The country's privatization fund (HRADF) and a consortium led by Lamda Development signed an updated memorandum of understanding a few months back for the development of the 6.2 million square meters coastal front site in southern Athens.

    [05] Thessaloniki waterway receives environmental approval

    The approval of the environmental conditions for the establishment of a waterway in Thessaloniki was issued on Monday, said the Environment Ministry.

    The ministry in its announcement reminds that the 11 approved environmental licences that have already been signed refer to the creation of waterways in the area of Aghia Marina in Grammatiko, in the island of Alonissos, Paxi, Patmos, Skopelos, Skyros and Tinos as well as in the cities of Volos, Patra, Rethymno and Thessaloniki.

    Environmental licence procedures are expected to be completed in the near future for the cities of Amfilohia, Heraklio and Lavrio, in order the operation of the waterways to start as soon as possible, underlined the Environment ministry adding that Corfu is the only waterway that had met all conditions and has licence to operate.

    [06] Migration minister in Crete on August 11

    Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas will visit Iraklion in Crete on August 11 to attend a meeting on the refugee issue with local mayors.

    [07] Article in 'Kathimerini': The vice consul, the Gulenists and their role in Thrace

    Turkey's general consulate in Thrace will not be excluded from the purges unleashed by Ankara against the supporters of Turkish cleric Fethullah G?len, following the failed coup in the country last month, according to an article in the Greek daily "Kathimerini", published on Sunday.

    The paper claims that two subconsuls in Thrace's general consulate have been targeted. A translation of the full article follows below:

    "A weird silence prevailed at the Turkish Consulate between the minority in Thrace on the night of 15 July while the attempted coup in Turkey was in progress. Vice Consul Irfan Cetin who is essentially the strong man of the Consulate did not appear to be worried and turned out late in his office despite the rapid developments in his country. Neither Cetin nor any of his close associates expressed their support to president Erdogan but waited for the outcome of the Turkish generals' operation.

    A few days later on 24 July, date of the death of the founder of the minority party Friendship Equality and Peace (FEP) party Ahmet Sadik, his supporters had organised a protest march in Komotini. The fact did not have raised interest of the Turkish consul in Thrace that closely monitors and mostly guides the activity of the minority entities that he funds. However, everything changed a few hours before the start of the march. The Consul General Ali Riza Akinzi was informed that the message of the specific mobilisation did not move within the limits of protest on the rights of the "Turkish minority in Thrace" but had also other dimensions with the offering of support to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan through the condemn of the failed coup in Turkey. Immediately, the Turkish Consul was informed on the intention of a part of the minority and rushed to receive himself the deputies of the governing Turkish party AKP that had arrived in the city of Komotini to attend the event and led them to the famous restaurant "Stavros" where they had dinner until the march was over and only then he took them to Sadik's grave.

    Drawing up lists

    What is hiding behind Turkish consul's sudden and special interest? Nothing but concern over what is taking place in Turkey after the failed coup, meaning the cleansing of any state structure from the supporters of Gulen. The dimensions of the cleansing operations reach the General Consulate of Turkey in Komotini where developments are expected. The stance the consulate has attested in the period from the attempted coup until today is dictated by the order send to the diplomatic authorities of Turkey to Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to proceed immediately with the drawing up of lists with Gulen supporters and their zones of responsibility either they have double nationality or are nationals of their country of residence.

    Bearing in mind the situation in Turkey, the investigation to draw up lists with the Gulenists is taking place at a very tense and conflictual climate. The Turkish diplomats have not been excluded from the cleansing including the consul in Komotini where according to information both vice-consuls are on target. In the last three years one of them, Irfan Cetin, has essentially replaced the consul.

    Cetin arrived to Thrace in 2013 with clear orders from Ankara and 'inheriting' from his predecessors a ready network with tentacles spread in all the Balkan peninsula. It closely cooperates with the pseudomuftis of Xanthi and Komotini Ahmet Mete and Ibrahim Sheriff, with the head of FEP Mustafa Ali Cavus and the editors of the Turkish-language newspaper Millet, Bilal Bodur and Cengiz Omer. Every Friday the vice consul visited the mosques in the regions of Rodopi and Xanthi at the hour of prayer in order to promote his relations. In the night he continues his activities by showing his talent in music and particularly in saz. The regular clients of the taverna "Ta Maggalia" at the village of Mischos near Komotini, had often the opportunity to be entertained by the popular Turkish vice consul's performances. However, they were also witnesses of the vice consul's tendency to drink alcohol and at times he got drunk he hurled insults against Erdogan and AKP. Rumours also said that the vice consul was very attracted to beautiful women regardless of his relation with a lady of the minority.

    However, the vice consul was extremely cautious on the handling of his sources and very familiar with Thrace's business environment with result his mistakes and slips to be almost none. Until 29 October 2015 when a photo from a reception on the celebration of Turkey's national feast that was held at a hotel in Komotini raised questions to the minority. The reception list was drawn by the vice consul and in it were two high ranked members of Gulen's movement in Thrace, a lawyer who had worked for a period as TRT's correspondent in Thrace and now an Istanbul resident and the director of a private school in Xanthi. In the photo the vice consul and his wife appear to welcome them both at the entrance of the hotel. Additionally, the vice consul's wife has a close relationship with the lawyer's wife.

    A special relationship

    The photo fuelled a series of debates in the minority circles and gradually information started spreading on the particular relation between the MIT (National Turkish Intelligence Organisation) and the Gulenists of Thrace. According to Gulen supporters, the vice consul in the beginning of his term appeared as a genuine Kemalist and supporter of the secularism state but later he changed and chose to cooperate with members of the Gulen community and not only. The same sources said that the general consul was aware of his selection and probably covered it provided that the consul general's wife frequently appears with the head (a Turkish national) of Gulen's women's movement in Thrace who also works in Komotoni pseudomufti.

    The talented vice consul has also chosen to closely cooperate with theologist-journalist of Millet newspaper Bilal Bodur also a member of Gulen's movement. His sister and his brother in law are responsible for Gulen's schools in Bucharest. Bodur's associate was aware of Cetin's relations with the Gulenists but chose to cover and support him. AKP deputy of Bursa Hakan Cavusoglu did the same. In the other hand the vice consul did not forget his religious duties but gradually become to get closer with the pseudomufti of Xanthi Ahmet Mete instead of the pseudomufti in Komotini. Mete is member of the Suleymanci order which has supported significantly officials of the Gulenist movement. For example it has financially supported the Gulenist Foreign Languages centres "Elite" in Komotini and Xanthi and has a number of imams-supporters of Gulen in his sphere of influence. The funds the pseudomufti supports his actions dictated by the vice consul are ordered by the Islamic Institutions IRCICA and by the Religious Affairs Directorate of Turkey. However, after the failed coup the cleansing have reached the specific Directorate and some sources say that Mete is losing his powerful backing in Ankara and is very worried over his future taking into consideration his relations with Gulen's community.

    In FEP's core

    Turmoil prevails and in FEP's leadership. Its president Ali Cavus appears to worry if his relation with the vice consul is seen as an opportunity to be accused as Gulenist. The common secret that Ali Cavus is influenced by former president of the former "Union of the Turkish Youth in Komotini" and today a prominent figure of FEP Ikbal Karasalih Osman that promotes the Gulen community via the internet, intensifies his concern.

    Another branch of the relations network that has developed the vice consul with the Gulenists refers to the relations he has developed, with pseudomufti Mete working as link, with some Muslim constructors from the Pomak villages. These constructors own shipyards in Germany and the Netherlands and offer seasonal jobs to compatriots from the minority. These constructors are members of Gulen community and alleged to illegal channel funds in Greece by financial actions in the name of the pseudomufti of Xanthi.

    The choice to remain silent in two occasions and the minority circles' concern

    Even after the failed coup when the Turkish government officially targeted the Gulen network as the instigator and organiser of the coup, the vice consul did not show any special zeal in briefing Ankara on the reaction of the Gulenists in the area of his responsibility. His close associates selected not to state ex ante their faith in Erdogan but waited to see what will happen before they express their devotion to the Turkish president. The same credentials had the opportunity to present twice in the next days the team of Ali Cavus, Ahmet Mete, Cegiz Omer and Ibrahim Sheriff.

    The first opportunity was offered when the eight Turkish military officers sought refuge in Alexandroupolis requesting political asylum. The pseudomufti and the others called the minority community to hold a protest on the extradition of the officers. The turnout was slim however the presence of Gulenists was remarkable. The second opportunity was the march on July 24 where the minority was called on to demonstrate against the coup leaders.

    The vice consul remained silent on both occasions. Bearing in mind some of his colleagues have been recalled, members of AKAM in Athens have not yet returned from their vacations in Turkey and the cleansing operation continues and in the main pillars of Erdogan's policy, even inside AKP, nothing cant be taken for granted. Some believe that as the end of Cetin's term is very close, his repatriation on the horizon. Cetin and his group of associates in Thrace is vague because it can't be excluded the possibility everything to be set on the target of the operation for MIT 'cleansing' from the slightest Gulen supporters.

    These indications raise concern in the minority circles for a series of other reasons, mostly to those with double nationality.

    Some believe that the vice consul's associates in an effort to reverse Ankara's negative impressions and to renounce their relations with Gulen community will not hesitate to draw up lists with allegedly supporters of the Gulen movement based on their own interest and not on reality. However, in order this scenario to bear fruit, MIT should have totally missed the depth and extent of the cooperation this group had developed with the Gulenists. Has this mysterious vice consul taken care to protect his network so well by keeping so many secrets from his service?"

    Financial News

    [08] Greek stocks end 0.42 pct lower on Monday with record low turnover

    The Athens Stock Exchange registered a record low turnover for the year on the first day of trading, with Greek stocks ending slightly lower. Investment inaction characterized Monday's session with turnover totaling just 14.9 million euros in a volume of 28,179,462 shares.

    The stocks of GEK-TERNA, OLP and Titan outperformed the market. The composite index fell by 0.42 percent at 560.39 points. The Large Cap index fell 0.63 percent and the Mid Cap index ended 1.20 percent higher.

    GEK TERNA (5.21 pct), OLP (2.54 pct), Titan (1.92 pct) and METKA (1.07 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains among blue chip stocks, while Lamda Development (4.27 pct), PPC (2.55 pct), Ellaktor (2.29 pct) and Piraeus Bank (2.29 pct) recorded the biggest losses.

    Among market sectors, Real Estate (2.15 pct), Chemicals (2.01 pct) and Travel-Leisure (1.91 pct) recorded the highest losses, while Construction (1.72 pct) and Industrial Products (0.91 pct) achieved gains. Piraeus and National Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 48 to 35 with another 14 issues unchanged. Revoil (26.54 pct), Motodynamic (20.09 pct) and G.E.Demetriou (16.67 pct) were top gainers, while Yalco (19.61 pct), Alpha Astika Akinita (16.73 pct) and Trastor (11.51 pct) were top losers.

    [09] ADEX closing report

    The August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at its theoretical value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange in a sluggish session on Monday. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 1,487.62 points, registering losses of 0.63 percent.

    Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 1,131 contracts with 5,251 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 9,803 contracts with investment interest focusing on Piraeus Bank's contracts (2,840), followed by National Bank (2,707), Alpha Bank (1,043), Eurobank (1,163), MIG (1,049), OPAP (260), OTE (182), Ellaktor (156), GEK (115), PPC (99), Mytilineos (35), Motor Oil (20), Viohalco (17), METKA (10) and Hellenic Petroleum (8).

    General News

    [10] Wildfire in the old town of Lefkada

    A wildfire broke out earlier on Monday in the old town of the Ionian island of Lefkada. Six traditional wooden houses have been already burned, local fire-fighting authorities said. A strong team of firefighters is currently in the area battling the blaze while a helicopter is participating in the operation.

    The area is densely populated and the wooden houses are next to one another. A resident of Lefkada told AMNA that "the area has been evacuated and the residents are trying to save whatever they can of their belongings."

    According to the Ionian islands' Fire Brigade chief, Efthimis Georgakopoulos, "we are doing whatever possible to contain the blaze that threatens the traditional southwestern old town of Lefkada and we have taken all measures to protect the citizens and evacute the area."

    The old town cinema has been destroyed while the blaze is very close to the house of renowned poet Angelos Sikelianos.

    [11] Fire that burned six houses, one cinema in Lefkada under control

    Firemen managed to contain a fire that broke out earlier on Monday in the old town of Lefkada after it had burned six traditional wooden houses and an old cinema.

    A thick layer of smoke covered the island as fire-fighters battled the flames to prevent possible injuries and from spreading to more buildings. The center of the town will remain closed to the public as authorities start to estimate the damages.

    [12] Lefkada mayor says 10 buildings burned in fire

    The mayor of Lefkada, Konstantinos Drakondaidis, raised the number of buildings burned by a blaze which broke out this morning in the old center of the town to 10 from an initial estimate of seven on Monday, adding that a municipal crew is recording damages.

    "Ten buildings have burned from the fire which was fully contained in the afternoon," he told ANA-MPA. "Thankfully, no lives were threatened. If the fire brigade, municipal employees and volunteers hadn't intervened as quickly as they did, the entire old town could have been destroyed," he added.

    [13] Convicted felons Sakkas and Seisidis given extension until August 17

    Convicted terrorist Costas Sakkas and bank robber Marios Seisidis received an extension until August 17 by an Athens misdemeanor court on Monday, as the three policemen who were witnesses for the prosecution in the case didn't show up.

    Sakkas and Seisidis have pending convictions for participation in a terrorist organization (the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire) and robberies respectively, police said in a press release after their arrest in Lakonia. They were arrested last week in the Peloponnese when they tried to avoid a police inspection.

    In this trial, they are charged with misdemeanors relating to their latest arrest: theft (the car they were driving when they were arrested), forgery, resisting arrest, false deposition and two traffic law violations.

    [14] 126 refugees and migrants arrived on the Greek islands in the last 24h

    57,047 identified refugees and migrants were on the Greek territory on Monday while 126 arrivals were reported in the last 24 hours.

    According to the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body's figures, 21,742 of the refugees are in northern Greece, 10,106 are hosted in the region of Attica and 2,752 are hosted in facilities of central and southern Greece. 7,469 refugees and migrants are hosted in several facilities rented by the UNHCR, 2,859 in non-organised facilities 2,200 persons are living outside organised facilities.

    9,919 refugees and migrants were recorded on the eastern Aegean islands.

    Olympic Games

    [15] Greek fencer Vougiouka qualifies in 'round of 16' in Rio

    Vassiliki Vougiouka qualified on Monday for the next round of women's sabre in Rio's Olympics on Monday. The Greek champion eliminated U.S.'s Dagmara Wozniak by 15-8 (8-6, 7-2) in the game and will now face either Tania Arrayales from Mexico or Russia's Yana Egorian.

    The top 16 phase is scheduled to start this evening at 18:00 (Greek time).

    [16] President congratulates shooter Korakaki for bronze medal in Rio

    President Prokopis Pavlopoulos congratulated on Monday shooter Anna Korakaki for winning the bronze at the 10m air pistol final in Rio's Olympic Games.

    "My warmest congratulations both for the great Olympic success and distinction as well as for the entire, admirable preparation and effort. Good luck at the 25 meters," Pavlopoulos said.

    Weather forecast

    [17] Clouds, rain on Tuesday

    Clouds, rain and northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale. Rain in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 20C to 34C. Partly cloudy in the western parts with temperatures between 21C and 33C. Cloudy in the eastern parts, 20C -34C. Mostly fair over the Aegean islands and Crete, 24C-35C. Scattered clouds in Athens, 24C-33C. Rain in Thessaloniki, 24C-32C.

    [18] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies

    at a glance

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Secrets and lies on Elliniko

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: How to get pension 12-17 years earlier.

    ESTIA: Fifth Column for terrorism.

    ETHNOS: Torpedo to Katseli law.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Trick with the solidarity contribution.

    TA NEA: One step forward, one and a half step backward.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 210 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 210 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: MICHALIS PSILOS

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