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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-18

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

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

Thursday, 18 August 2016 Issue No: 5230

CONTENTS

  • [01] Labour minister to ANA-MPA: 80 pct of pensioners will see no changes in September's pensions
  • [02] Shipping ministry to re-examine marine laws after Aegina speedboat crash
  • [03] Alt. FM Xydakis defends President's comments on Pontic Greeks
  • [04] Singular Logic defends credibility in TV licensing row
  • [05] Revenue data are no cause for concern, say FinMin sources
  • [06] Central bank alerts public on fake insurance website
  • [07] Tourist arrivals at Zakynthos' airport up in July
  • [08] Greek stocks end lower; turnover drops to new record lows
  • [09] ADEX closing report
  • [10] 76-year old accused of the tragedy in Aegina receives extension to testify on Friday
  • [11] Greek Coast Guard rescues 70 refugees and migrants off Kos
  • [12] Eight refugees return to Turkey after implementation of EU-Turkey agreement
  • [13] 44 refugees and migrants arrived on Lesvos in 24h
  • [14] Wildfire burning low vegetation in eastern Peloponnese
  • [15] Clay amphora with human bones found in Ierapetra
  • [16] Fair weather on Thursday
  • [17] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Labour minister to ANA-MPA: 80 pct of pensioners will see no changes in September's pensions

    The vast majority of pensioners will not see any changes to their pensions as of September, Labour Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said on Wednesday in an interview with Athens- Macedonian news agency.

    The minister was responding to criticism by political parties that pensioners are in for a shock as of September, as their pensions will suffer further cuts.

    "As I have said, the truth is in the ATMs - neither in statements, nor in misinformation. So 80 percent of pensioners will not see any changes at the ATMs in September," Katrougalos said.

    "Those who receive one main and only one supplementary pension might see some extra euros because the retention rate for health will be on the actual amount paid into the pensioner's pocket and not on the virtual [income] calculated before the bailout cuts were applied, as was previously the case," he added.

    He said the remaining 20 percent of pensioners will see an 8-10 percent cut in their supplementary pension.

    The minister also explained that in August there was a recalculation of mainly public sector pensions which affected slightly over 20 percent of supplementary pensions and resulted in 8-10 percent cuts. The same recalculation will be done for pensions of the IKA-ETAM pension fund in September, he added.

    [02] Shipping ministry to re-examine marine laws after Aegina speedboat crash

    People need to adopt a different mentality on marine and traffic security to avoid tragic incidents similar to the speedboat crash in Aegina, as well as strengthen existing rules, Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas told the Athens-Macedonian news agency on Wednesday.

    "Any tragic incident generates questions on what we should have done and didn't do. There are however some things where whatever you do, if a sense of disdain is not embedded in people for such negligent behavior, for marine and land traffic, no measure, no control can be effective," the minister said.

    "I think yesterday's irrational incident raises issues mainly on the strengthening of regulations for areas that serve as passages, such as the one in Aegina," he added, noting that regulations must be targeted and establish laws that are implemented by everyone.

    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.

    He also said the team of maritime investigators sent to conduct the formal inquiry is investigating the causes of the accident "not to assess it in penal terms but to come up with the improvements needed in the maritime safety system."

    [03] Alt. FM Xydakis defends President's comments on Pontic Greeks

    Alternate Minister for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis defended President Prokopis Pavlopoulos' recent statements on Pontic Greeks on Wednesday and predicted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will toughen his policy towards minorities in the country, during an appearance on SKAI TV.

    Xydakis was referring to a recent ban on the performing of mass at Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, the decision of Turkish authorities to allow readings of the Quran in Aghia Sofia in Istanbul and the change of stance towards the Kurds.

    On Tuesday, Pavlopoulos said Turkey must apologise for the genocide of Pontic Greeks and slammed the arbitrary decision of Turkish authorities not to allow the mass at Sumela Monastery this year. In response, Turkey's foreign ministry said these statements have no historical or legal consistency.

    Xydakis said Turkey has consistently and continuously refused to acknowledge the genocide and is even outraged, when the issue of either the Armenian or the Pontic genocide is raised, creating diplomatic tensions. "We rightly pointing out these issues which have been historically recorded," he said.

    He said Pavlopoulos was right to respond to the unusual, but explainable ban on mass, which is part of Erdogan's overall plan for the Islamisation of the regime and a worrisome trend, because it violates religious freedoms and jeopardizes good neighbourly relations. Xydakis also noted that the political and diplomatic channels of communication exist and that the two countries agree on some issues and disagree on others.

    Asked about the eight Turkish soldiers who have requested political asylum, the minister said the issue is in the hands of judicial authorities who will decide on their extradition and noted the country will follow EU and international law.

    [04] Singular Logic defends credibility in TV licensing row

    The company tasked with developing the software system to conduct the government's TV licensing tender, Singular Logic, defended its credibility on Wednesday, saying its record in delivering large IT projects is well-established.

    "As in the general elections, Singular Logic is responsible for the collection and communication of results, but obviously doesn't form the results," a company source told ANA-MPA when asked about the issue. It also said it wants to stay out of any confrontation between the government and the participants in the tender.

    The statement comes after private broadcaster SKAI, which is vying for one of the four licenses, sent an out-of-court document to the company and a Eurobank subsidiary, Eurobank Business Exchanges, raising concerns about the tender procedure. In the document, SKAI requests the full details on the terms of the project awarded to Singular and Eurobank's subsidiary as well as the technical specifications of the project.

    Financial News

    [05] Revenue data are no cause for concern, say FinMin sources

    The course of public revenues does not raise concern on whether Greece will achieve its fiscal target in 2016, finance ministry sources said on Wednesday.

    The sources referred to the latest data on public revenues for January-July and separately for July, for which month revenues appeared to be 354 million euros below target. This prompted reports that revenues had collapsed and that there was a deviation from the targets.

    This deviation concerns solely July and is more than offset by the very positive trend of the previous six months, the same ministry sources said. Therefore, for the seven months to July, net revenues were 422 million euros above target, taking also into account that tax refunds were increased by 220 million euros above target.

    [06] Central bank alerts public on fake insurance website

    The Bank of Greece said on Wednesday it was alerted by Gibraltar's Financial Services Commission (GFSC), the country's regulator of the financial services market, that the website "enterpriseinsuranceclaim.com" has no relation with the insurance company Enterprise Insurance Company PLC, which closed down in late July.

    BoG said in a press release it wants to alert the public that information on this website concerning the validity of its insurance contracts and the status of the insured are false and misleading. For this reason, GFSC advises policyholders to rely solely on the information issued by the Commission and the provisional liquidator of Enterprise Insurance.

    Those who have already conducted transactions through this website should alert GFSC's enforcement division at the telephone: +350 200 40283 or e-mail the division at: enforcement@fsc.gi.

    Enterprise Insurance had business in France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Ireland and the UK before it ceased its operations.

    [07] Tourist arrivals at Zakynthos' airport up in July

    Tourist arrivals rose significantly this summer at Zakynthos International Airport "Dionysios Solomos," according to the official data.

    More specifically, tourist arrivals increased by 12,945 in July compared to July 2015. A total of 988 aircrafts landed at Zakynthos International Airport "Dionysios Solomos" compared to 908 aircrafts the same period last year. 1,357 tourists were from Slovakia, followed by Norway with 1,463 passengers and Serbia with 1,554 passengers, while 2,445 passengers came from Russia.

    [08] Greek stocks end lower; turnover drops to new record lows

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday as investment idleness dominated today's session.

    This reflected on turnover which dropped to a new record low for 2016.

    The composite index of the market fell 0.86 percent to end at 567.49 points. Turnover totaled just 13.677 million euros in a volume of 21,252,121 shares. The Large Cap index fell 0.89 percent while the Mid Cap index rose 0.39 percent.

    Eurobank (1.86 pct), Ellaktor (0.76 pct) and Jumbo (0.37 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while PPC (2.86 pct), Alpha Bank (2.42 pct) and National Bank of Greece (2.14 pct) recorded the biggest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Chemicals (2.14 pct), Technology (0.64 pct) and Personal & Domestic Products (0.51 pct) scored gains, while Utilities (1.88 pct), Trade (1.65 pct) and Banks (1.43 pct) suffered losses.

    National Bank and Cyprus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 45 to 34 with another 27 issues unchanged. Pasal (20 pct), Alpha Astika Akinita (19.67 pct) and G.E. Dimitriou (19.23 pct) were top gainers, while Inform Lykos (10 pct), Halcor (10 pct) and Intrakat (9.85 pct) were top losers.

    [09] ADEX closing report

    The August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a marginal discount of 0.02 percent in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 1,507.51 points, registering losses of 0.89 percent.

    Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 2,703 contracts with 5,252 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 13,681 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (6,799), followed by Alpha Bank (3,107), Piraeus Bank (1,489), Eurobank (831), MIG (536), PPC (274), OPAP (153), OTE (87), Mytilineos (79), Motor Oil (66), METKA (58), Ellaktor (41), GEK (20), Viohalco (13) and Hellenic Petroleum (8).

    General News

    [10] 76-year old accused of the tragedy in Aegina receives extension to testify on Friday

    The 76-year man accused of the naval tragedy in Aegina on Tuesday requested and received a 48-hour extension to testify on Friday.

    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.

    [11] Greek Coast Guard rescues 70 refugees and migrants off Kos

    Greece's Coast Guard rescued 70 refugees and migrants in an inflatable dinghy in the sea region of Kos on Wednesday.

    The migrants, who come from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, were transferred to a reception centre.

    [12] Eight refugees return to Turkey after implementation of EU-Turkey agreement

    Eight Syrian refugees returned to Turkey after the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement. Eight of them left with a special flight of Astra Airlines chartered from Frontex with destination Adana, Turkey.

    The Syrians gave up their right to asylum and will be brought into the camp of Syrian refugees in Adana, Turkey.

    [13] 44 refugees and migrants arrived on Lesvos in 24h

    A total of 44 refugees and migrants arrived on Lesvos island over the last 24 hours. None arrived on Chios and Samos.

    Another 4,045 people are stranded on Lesvos after the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement. More specifically, 3,072 are found on Chios and 1,058 on Samos. A total of 8,175 refugees and migrants are trapped on the islands of northen Aegean.

    [14] Wildfire burning low vegetation in eastern Peloponnese

    A fire that broke out in the area of Prosymna, in the regional unit of Argolida, on Wednesday afternoon has spread burning low vegetation but no inhabited areas are threatened, the fire department said.

    Thirty firefighters with 10 vehicles and a unit of 13 men on foot have been dispatched, assisted by two Pezetel aircraft.

    [15] Clay amphora with human bones found in Ierapetra

    A clay amphora with human bones inside was found in the area of Gra Lygia, Ierapetra, on Crete island.

    The amphora was found by an individual who informed the Coast Guard of Ierapetra and the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

    Another similar amphora was found in the same area a month ago. According to the archaeologists estimates', these are findings of the Minoan era as excavations have been carried out in an ancient cemetery nearby.

    Weather forecast

    [16] Fair weather on Thursday

    Fair weather and southern winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 4 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 33C to 35C. Fair in the eastern parts with temperatures up to 36C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 23C-33C. Fair weather in Athens, 20C-36C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki, 19C-33C.

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

    AVGHI: (PM Alexis) Tsipras' message to Berlin: We are claiming the war reparations, we are not begging

    DIMOKRATIA: Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA) notes postponed to late August or early September

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Diplomatic solution or legal solution. This is Tsipras' message to Berlin

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Mess over the law on the return of EKAS pension benefit

    IMERISSIA: Alarm over budget revenues

    KATHIMERINI: Lower revenues

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Imminent tax storm

    RIZOSPASTIS: 'Bloody' surpluses to help the capital recover

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


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