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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 Issue No: 5229


  • [01] PM Tsipras: We will continue our struggle for German reparations
  • [02] PM Tsipras: Whoever is considering early elections 'can only be a fool'
  • [03] Gov't spokeswoman Gerovassili accuses ND of lack of responsibility
  • [04] We cannot speak of elections right now, Deputy FM Amanatidis says
  • [05] ND says elections are 'only solution' to problems caused by the government
  • [06] ND: Greece is in need of a different economic policy mixture
  • [07] ND asks for probe into Aegina speedboat accident
  • [08] Greek budget shows primary surplus of 3.571 bln euros in Jan-July
  • [09] Greek stocks end lower on Tuesday
  • [10] ADEX closing report
  • [11] Four dead, 16 injured in speedboat crash in Aegina
  • [12] Free full moon events start around Greece on August 17
  • [13] Thirty lighthouses open their doors on Sunday
  • [14] Spyros Gianniotis takes silver in 10-km marathon swimming race in Rio
  • [15] President Pavlopoulos congratulates Olympic swimmer Gianniotis for silver medal
  • [16] PM Tsipras, political parties congratulate swimmer Spyros Gianniotis
  • [17] Lefteris Petrounias won the gold medal in men's rings in Rio Olympics
  • [18] Fair weather on Wednesday
  • [19] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras: We will continue our struggle for German reparations

    "For the first time Greece has a comprehensive national strategy on the issue of German reparations and the occupation loan," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday said in his address at the ceremony for the commemoration of the 317 Greeks that were massacred by the occupying German troops on 16 August 1943.

    "The Greek government will do what is necessary first at diplomatic and then at legal level, if necessary, to meet this historic obligation," he underlined.

    "It is now time for the German government, in good faith, to recognize that the issue is open and sit at the negotiation table.

    On our part, we reassure the Greek people that we are ready to close that chapter, that historically pending issue," he added.

    Tsipras referred to the difficulties of the Greek people which have been overcome. "And Greece has overcome these difficulties by claiming and not begging. We claim and we do not beg," he stressed. ?We have experience in fighting and overcoming difficulties. Our historic debt for justice as far as it concerns the German reparations does not relate to the current economic situation. We are not seeking revenge, but closing this open wound of the Justice."

    The Prime Minister also sent a message that Greece and the Greek people do not forget their history, the massacres and war crimes of the Nazi German army and asked the current German government to recognise them even with a 73-year delay. "And this moral and political obligation is not only towards the Greek people, but towards the whole of Europe and the German people, towards the millions of victims of Nazism across Europe. It is an obligation to justice and peace," he said and stressed that this struggle will continue until the end and at all levels."

    "The Greek Republic will do whatever is required primarily at diplomatic and, if necessary, at legal level, in order to fulfill this historic debt," Tsipras underlined.

    [02] PM Tsipras: Whoever is considering early elections 'can only be a fool'

    Whoever is considering early elections for Greece in September "can only be a fool", Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, during a visit to the village of Kommeno, at the regional unit of Epirus, western Greece, to participate in official events commemorating the execution of 317 inhabitants by Nazi forces in 1943.

    Asked on the issue, Tsipras said: "I also hear and read about these scenarios. Now that the country is back on track, the economy is slowly recovering, unemployment is deescalating; whoever is thinking about elections can only be a fool.

    Whoever is requesting them, is twice the fool."

    [03] Gov't spokeswoman Gerovassili accuses ND of lack of responsibility

    New Democracy's election scenarios are ridiculous, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili on Tuesday said in statements to and accused the main opposition of lack of responsibility.

    As she said, New Democracy continues to show lack of responsibility in an effort to assume the leadership of the country. "Without a substantial political discourse, without proposals, without understanding the reality," she stated and added: "We continue our work seamlessly as well as the implementation of the program for which the Greek people voted us until 2019."

    [04] We cannot speak of elections right now, Deputy FM Amanatidis says

    "We cannot speak of elections at that moment because the plan for which the Greek people have voted for us is still in progress," Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Amanatidis said in statements to Praktorio 104.9 FM on Tuesday.

    "It is a plan that will bring results if it is implemented. This is our political will. The exit from the crisis and the healing of the society's wounds," he underlined.

    He stressed the need for measures to combat tax evasion and promote institutional changes. Referring to New Democracy and the other opposition parties, he said that they should contribute with their proposals.

    [05] ND says elections are 'only solution' to problems caused by the government

    New Democracy has asked and is asking for elections as the only solution to the unresolved problems and deadlocks created by the government, party spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said in a statement on Tuesday, responding to the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' comments against early elections.

    "In his first appearance after 15 days of summer muteness, Mr. Tsipras is rushing to express his annoyance for the election talk scenarios reported in foreign media and recycled by officials of his government," Koumoutsakos said.

    "We reiterate that one cannot exorcise developments with insults and nonsense. Mr. Tsipras' anxiety and annoyance are not caused by the media reports but by the deadlocks accumulated by his government," he added, noting that this is the reason ND is asking for elections.

    [06] ND: Greece is in need of a different economic policy mixture

    "The country is in need of a different and coherent economic policy mixture in order to meet its targets," New Democracy's Economic Affairs coordinator Christos Staikouras, the head of the Department of Fiscal Policy Christos Dimas and the head of the Tax Policy Department Apostolos Vesyropoulos said in a joint statement after the release of the budget execution data on Tuesday.

    As they said, the state budget spending was reduced by 2.4 billion euros compared to the target as it is the case with the primary surplus. "The funds of the last loan trance have not been channeled into the real economy," they said and added:

    "The government continues and expands the internal default, since state arrears exceed 7.2 billion euros, increased by 88 percent since the end of 2014. This has led to suffocation of the real economy."

    [07] ND asks for probe into Aegina speedboat accident

    New Democracy requested an investigation into the causes of the deadly accident in Aegina earlier on Tuesday when a speedboat crashed into a tourist boat, killing four and injuring three people.

    "The naval tragedy in the sea area off Aegina shocks every Greek. The relevant authorities must investigate immediately the causes of the accident," the party said and expressed its condolences to the families of the victims.

    Financial News

    [08] Greek budget shows primary surplus of 3.571 bln euros in Jan-July

    Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of 3.571 billion euros in the January-July period this year, from a primary surplus of 3.712 billion in the same period in 2015 and a budget target for a primary surplus of 874 billion euros.

    Regular budget net revenue was 28.019 billion euros, down 621 million euros or 2.2 pct from targets.

    Tax returns totaled 249 million euros in July, up 40 million euros from budget targets.

    State budget spending was 607 million euros higher compared to the same period last year. More specifically, budget spending totaled 4.833 billion euros in July, while regular budget spending was 4.430 billion, up 70 million euros from targets.

    Public Investment Programme spending fell short by 17 million from targets to 403 million euros.

    [09] Greek stocks end lower on Tuesday

    Greek stocks ended slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, following the downward trend in Europe. It follows four consecutive sessions of gains last week during which the composite index rose 2.81 percent in total.

    Trading activity remained at particularly low levels with significant losses for the stocks of Alpha Bank, Folli Follie, Piraeus Bank and Coca Cola HBC. The composite index of the market fell 0.64 percent to end at 572.43 points. Turnover totaled 18.885 million euros in a volume of 20,673,816 shares.

    The Large Cap index fell 0.89 percent and the Mid Cap index also declined 0.15 percent.

    HELEX (1.89 pct), Grivalia Properties (1.54 pct) and Terna Energy (1.12 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Alpha Bank (3.51 pct), Folli Follie (2.03pct) and Piraeus Bank (1.52 pct) recorded the biggest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Financial Services (1.39 pct), Real Estate (1.03 pct) and Raw Materials (0.74 pct) scored gains, while Trade (2.03pct), Banks (2.02 pct) and Food & Beverages (1.44 pct) suffered losses.

    Piraeus Bank and the National Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 36 to 32 with another 20 issues unchanged. Unibios (26.58 pct), Alpha Astika Akinita (15.31 pct) and Attica Holdings (11.46 pct) were top gainers, while Selonda (9.77 pct), Quest Holdings (8.57 pct) and Euroconsultants (8.99 pct) were top losers.

    [10] ADEX closing report

    The August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a marginal discount of 0.08 percent in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 1,520.98 points, registering losses of 0.89 percent.

    Volume on the Large Cap index totaled just 223 contracts with 5,238 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 8,790 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (3,485), followed by Alpha Bank (2,949), Piraeus Bank (1,320), Eurobank (435), OTE (180), MIG (119), PPC (93), OPAP (57), Mytilineos (28), GEK (28), METKA (21), Ellaktor (5), Hellenic Petroleum (3) and Viohalco (1), while no contracts were made on Motor Oil.

    General News

    [11] Four dead, 16 injured in speedboat crash in Aegina

    Four people were killed and 16 injured on Tuesday afternoon when a speedboat crashed on a vessel carrying 25 tourists onboard off the coast of Aegina.

    According to the first indications, the speedboat slammed on the other vessel at a high speed, cut it in half and overturned it.

    Those killed have been identified as a five-year-old girl and three adults aged 44, 58 and 40-50 for whom no further details have been released. Their bodies were transferred to Aegina's health center.

    Among the most seriously wounded is a 29-year-old woman, foreign national, who has suffered a partial amputation of her left leg and a 16-year old male with injuries on his chest and airway.

    Five of the wounded tourists were transferred to hospitals in Athens for further treatment: a 29-year-old woman, a 16-yearold male, a policeman and two more unidentified individuals.

    From the 11 people sent to the island's health center, five were released while another six will remain there for precautionary reasons.

    The coast guard is conducting the investigation on the incident.

    [12] Free full moon events start around Greece on August 17

    A series of events are planned in sites and museums throughout the country on five nights around the August full moon, which falls on August 18. The ministry of culture is opening 116 monuments, sites and museums, free of charge, and organising performances of music, dance, theatre, art exhibitions, film screenings and poetry nights in the moonlight, from August 17 until August 21.

    Some of the events are the following:

    Acropolis Museum

    On Thursday 18 August, at 21:00, the Museum will present at the entrance courtyard the "Swingin' Cats" band who will play Greek and foreign oldies and dance. The gleeful band that was loved as "Penny & The Swingin' Cats" will take us on a journey to older times with their incredible stage presence.

    On this day, the Museum will remain open from 08:00 to midnight (free entry from 20:00 onwards) and visitors will be able to enjoy the permanent exhibition as well as the temporary exhibition "Dodona. The oracle of sounds".

    On Friday 19 August, the exhibition areas will be open from 08:00 to 22:00 and the restaurant of the second floor until midnight. From 20:00 onwards entry to the Museum will be free and visitors will have access to both the permanent and temporary exhibition.

    National Archaeological Museum

    -A dance and music performance by leading dancer and choreographer of Cuba's State Television Ballet, Alejandro Ceballos and the composer and performer of ancient Greek lyre Nikos Xanthoulis, at the patio, at 20:30.

    -Museum archaeologists and tour guides will present unknown but very fascinating stories that concern some of the museum's most famous exhibits.

    -Artists participating in the exhibitions of modern ceramics, sculpture and visual arts will present their work at the cafe and the garden at the patio.

    -Musician Nikos Xanthoulis will play piano known Greek songs of the classic repertoire in the altar room.

    Numismatic Museum

    A concert by Zoi Tiganouria and her band, titled "Life on a full moon", during which she will play traditional music from Greece, Izmir and the Mediterranean. The event will be held at the cafe, at 20:00.

    [13] Thirty lighthouses open their doors on Sunday

    Greece's Navy is opening 30 lighthouses around the country to the public on Sunday (August 21) as part of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

    During the day, visitors will be informed about the importance of lighthouses and the other nautical aids in navigation, as well as the contribution made by lighthouse-keepers.

    Opening hours are from 10:00 to 19:00 at the following lighthouses:

    1. Aghios Nikolaos, Kea

    2. Akrotiri, Santorini

    3. Arkitsa, Fthiotida

    4. Avlida, Boeotia

    5. Vasilina, Evia

    6. Vrysaki, Lavrio

    7. Gerogombos, Kefalonia

    8. Gourouni, Skopelos

    9. Drepano, Achaia

    10. Drepano, Chania

    11. Cassandra, Halkidiki

    12. Katakolo, Ilia

    13. Keri, Zakynthos

    14. Kranai, Gythio

    15. Lakka, Paxi

    16. Megalo Emvolo, Thessaloniki

    17. Melangavi, Loutraki

    18. Plaka, Limnos

    19. Skinari, Zakynthos

    20. Sousaki, Korinthia

    21. Spathi, Serifos

    22. Psaromita, Fokida

    23. Kokkinopoulo, Psara

    24. Alexandroupoli, Alexandroupoli

    25. Tenero, Lakonia

    26. Koprena, Arta

    27. Kaki Kefaki, Halkida

    28. Thessaloniki

    29. Monemvasia, Lakonia

    30. Dana, Poros

    Olympic Games

    [14] Spyros Gianniotis takes silver in 10-km marathon swimming race in Rio

    Greek swimmer Spyros Gianniotis won the silver medal in men's 10-kilometer marathon swimming in Rio's Olympics on Tuesday, in a tight finish that saw Ferry Weertman from the Netherlands win gold.

    Both swimmers clocked 1:52:59.8. France's Marc-Antoine Olivier was third with 1:53:02.0.

    [15] President Pavlopoulos congratulates Olympic swimmer Gianniotis for silver medal

    President Prokopis Pavlopoulos congratulated the silver winner of men's 10-kilometer marathon swimming, Spyros Gianniotis, following the swimming event in Rio on Tuesday.

    "Your great Olympic recognition makes us all proud, not only for your tremendous success, but also for the athletic example you represent, which is an example for real life too. My warmest congratulations," Pavlopoulos said in his statement.

    [16] PM Tsipras, political parties congratulate swimmer Spyros Gianniotis

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras congratulated swimmer Spyros Gianniotis on Tuesday for winning the silver medal in the 10- kilometer open sea swimming race in Rio saying it was "thrilling", in a post on the prime minister's Twitter account.

    He was followed by SYRIZA, New Democracy, the Communist Party, the Democratic Coalition, PASOK, Potami and the Independent Greeks who hailed Gianiotis' victory and overall effort during his long swimming career.

    [17] Lefteris Petrounias won the gold medal in men's rings in Rio Olympics

    The Greek champion of artistic gymnastics Lefteris Petrounias won the Gold medal in men's rings on August 15 in the Rio Olympics, with a score of 16,000 points.

    Petrounias, who was the first torch bearer in the ceremony of the Lighting of the Flame for the Olympics at Olympia, executed an impressive and impeccable programme on the rings, for which the judges graded him with 9,200 points. He was followed by Brazilian Arthur Zanetti with a score of 15.766 in second place and Russian Denis Ablyazin in the third place with a score of 15.600 points.

    It is the first gold medal for the Greek gymnastics since 12 years, when in the Olympics of 2004 Demosthenes Tabakos had also won the gold medal in men's rings.

    On May 29, 2016 Petrounias had also won the gold medal at the 32nd European Championships Gymnastics in Bern, Switzerland with 15.866 points. Petrounias is the first athlete in the last 20 years, who has managed to win a gold medal in men's rings for two consecutive years.

    Weather forecast

    [18] Fair weather on Wednesday

    Fair weather and higher temperatures are forecast for Wednesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 18C to 34C. Fair in the eastern parts with temperatures between 19C and 36C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 23C-33C. Same weather in Athens, 22C-35C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki, 20C-33C.

    [19] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    DIMOKRATIA: The provocative head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Storm of confiscation notes

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Two speed penalties on early pensions

    ESTIA: A message of national rally

    ETHNOS: Significant increases on health insurance fees

    TA NEA: Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (EFNIA) notes to be sent next Thursday

    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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