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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 Issue No: 5234


  • [01] Tsipras to propose switching to a social and growth-oriented agenda at PES
  • [02] Cabinet discusses fair growth and government's work ahead of TIF
  • [03] PM Tsipras meets Turkish ambassador in Athens Uras
  • [04] Parliament president Voutsis rules out early elections
  • [05] IFC signs 100-mln-euro trade deal with Eurobank
  • [06] Greek stocks end higher; turnover low
  • [07] ADEX closing report
  • [08] Greece pre-registered 27,592 refugees and migrants, 46 pct of whom are children
  • [09] Rhodos restaurant owners oppose to all inclusive packages
  • [10] Health ministry sees no reason for concern over malaria outbreak
  • [11] Fire breaks out in northwestern Corfu
  • [12] Storm uproots trees, floods houses in Trikala
  • [13] Street Mode Festival at Thessaloniki on Sept. 2-4
  • [14] Clouds, chance of rain on Wednesday
  • [15] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Tsipras to propose switching to a social and growth-oriented agenda at PES

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will propose strengthening Europe's growth and social agenda during a summit of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Paris on Thursday, government sources said on Tuesday.

    Tsipras has been invited for the second time to attend the event as an observer. Heads of state and party leaders who are members of PES are expected to focus on forming a common stance for the informal EU summit of Bratislava on September 16, which will discuss Brexit and the new realities it creates for Europe.

    "At the Paris meeting, the Greek side will propose adopting from progressive European leaders a common stance towards strengthening Europe's social and economic development agenda, which are already included in PES' declarations, as well as in those of the European Left," the sources said, adding Tsipras will also push for the adoption of a common asylum policy for all EU member-states.

    [02] Cabinet discusses fair growth and government's work ahead of TIF

    Greece's cabinet discussed on Tuesday ways to promote fair growth in the coming months and the coordination of the government's work ahead of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) this September, in a meeting headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at Maximos Mansion.

    According to government sources, every ministry will present an assessment and plan of its work so far, to prepare the prime minister's speech at TIF, when he will present the government's economic policy. In his speech, Tsipras is expected to place growth and society at the center of the government's economic policy.

    The cabinet also discussed the second program review and the preparation for the imminent negotiations with the institutions, the same sources said, adding that the government believes this will be an easier negotiation than the first and will be completed in time. Concerning the prior-actions requested, the sources said they are outstanding issues of the first review.

    Ministers also focused on speeding up work on investments and discussed Tsipras' meetings in the coming weeks, as part of the negotiations with the institutions, the summit of Europe's Mediterranean countries and the summit of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Paris.

    On Wednesday, Tsipras will meet with UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, at 11:00 (local) at Maximos Mansion.

    [03] PM Tsipras meets Turkish ambassador in Athens Uras

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday received the Turkish ambassador in Athens Kerim Uras, at Maximos Mansion.

    Uras delivered a letter from former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, on the latest developments in Turkey.

    [04] Parliament president Voutsis rules out early elections

    "The issue of early elections in not under discussion," the president of the Greek Parliament Nikos Voutsis said in statements to public broadcaster ERT on Tuesday.

    "These scenarios come from people having interests in going to early elections," he explained.

    Voutsis reassured that the government is working so that elections are held in 2019. He acknowledged that there is room for improving the agreements with the EU creditors when the country becomes more powerful and added that this is what the prime minister is struggling for during his international contacts.

    Financial News

    [05] IFC signs 100-mln-euro trade deal with Eurobank

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, signed a deal with Eurobank on Tuesday to provide 100 million euros to the Greek lender, as part of its global financing program.

    "IFC's trade facility will help Eurobank boost its trade finance activity and competitiveness, with a focus on export-related business, by providing risk mitigation for individual trade transactions through GTFP's growing network of issuing and confirming banks," the corporation said in a press release.

    "The agreement is part of our initiative to restore the Greek economy, and will benefit both entrepreneurs, who are struggling to remain competitive globally under unfavorable conditions, and the Bank," said Eurobank CEO Fokion Karavias. "Having returned to profitability, we prioritize supporting the Greek economy," he added.

    Eurobank Group and IFC have developed a strong partnership through the participation of the Group's subsidiary banks in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria in the GTFP since 2010. To date, IFC has extended over 1 billion euros in cumulative trade finance support to Eurobank's Balkan subsidiaries and their local customers, helping them tap new markets and commercial partners.

    "Greece has a competitive advantage in international trade with its geographical position as a historical, commercial, cultural and economic crossroads," said Marcos Brujis, IFC Global Director, Financial Institutions Group. "Unleashing Greece's export potential and connecting local companies to international markets can help tremendously to revive the Greek economy and drive development."

    In 2015, at the request of the Greek government, IFC's Board endorsed a selective and temporary IFC reengagement in Greece. IFC became a shareholder in all of Greece's four systemic banks by participating in their recapitalization, acquiring 150 million euros worth of shares to restore financial sector stability and investor confidence, strengthening the banking sector.

    [06] Greek stocks end higher; turnover low

    Greek stocks rose in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday but remained below the intraday high of 573.33 points, with turnover still at low levels.

    The composite index of the market rose 0.33 percent to end at 567.90 points. Turnover totaled 17.938 million euros in a volume of 27,229,032 shares. The Large Cap index advanced 0.41 percent while the Mid Cap index closed 0.29 percent lower.

    Eurobank (3.19 pct), Ellaktor (3.17 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (2.37 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Motor Oil (1.74 pct), Jumbo (1.64 pct) and Titan (1.35 pct) recorded the biggest percentage losses of the day.

    Among market sectors, Real Estate (1.48 pct), Trade (1.40 pct) and Chemicals (1.32 pct) recorded gains, while Personal & Household Products (1.50 pct), Construction (0.50 pct) and Oil (0.41 pct) suffered losses.

    National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 56 to 37 with another 14 issues unchanged. Sfakianakis (20 pct), Boutaris (18.52 pct) and SATO (13.04 pct) were top gainers, while G.E. Dimitriou (19.23 pct), Fieratex (9.42 pct) and Dromeas (9.32 pct) were top losers.

    [07] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a marginal premium of 0.13 percent in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 1,513.58 points, registering gains of 0.41 percent. Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 1,080 contracts with 5,367 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 17,761 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (5,049), followed by Piraeus Bank (4,227), Alpha Bank (3,750), Eurobank (3,085), MIG (485), OPAP (343), OTE (297), Ellaktor (150), Mytilineos (117), PPC (102), Hellenic Petroleum (33), Motor Oil (24), METKA (13) and Viohalco (1). No contracts were made for GEK-Terna.

    General News

    [08] Greece pre-registered 27,592 refugees and migrants, 46 pct of whom are children

    Greek authorities pre-registered 27,592 refugees and migrants for asylum in a period of two months, which the UN refugee agency's director in Greece, Philippe Leclerc, described as a "world record", during a press conference on Tuesday to present the results of the procedure in Athens.

    According to the data, of the total number of people pre-registered from June 6 to July 30, 57 percent are men, 43 percent are women and 46 percent are children. The data also shows that 54 percent are Syrians, 27 percent are Afghanis and 13 percent Iraqis. In terms of languages, 47 percent speaks Arabic, 22 percent Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish dialect), 15 percent Dari, 11 percent Farsi and the rest speaks other languages. Authorities also recorded 1,225 unaccompanied children. There are currently 54,000 refugees and migrants in Greece, according to the government's data.

    Leclerc hailed the effort saying that according to his experience in similar procedures around the globe, the speed with which this was concluded constitutes "a world record".

    Speaking at the press conference, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said the situation "is manageable, now that we have a clear picture", adding that another 5,800 people pre-registered earlier in the year through Skype, and 500 applied for asylum in refugee centers around the country.

    Commenting on Greece's relocation program, Mouzalas said 7,751 people are ready to be sent to other countries while 2,000 refugees and migrants have applied to the voluntary repatriation. He also said the ministry is preparing a plan to transfer the 11,000 people staying on the islands to the mainland.

    He also estimated that there are about 4,000-6,000 people who have not registered because they are "in movement". "It's a natural phenomenon. A percentage has been absorbed by the existing migrant communities, mainly from Pakistan and Afghanistan, another [percentage] refused pre-registration hoping for an opening of the borders, others happened to be out during the registration, others are staying in self-managed venues, while there's also human error," he told journalists.

    Mouzalas also announced that some hosting centers will eventually close or the number of migrants will, be reduced as some people will move into apartments and hotels rented by the UNHCR.

    Those who pre-registered will receive dates for their new appointments with the asylum office in the next two weeks, the head of Greece's asylum service, Maria Stavropoulou, said, adding that they will have to wait another year and a half to know if they succeeded in receiving asylum. Stavropoulou also said her office received 264 percent more applications n 2016 than in 2015 - without including the pre-registration numbers.

    The joint press conference was also attended by the representative of European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Dimitris Pagidas.

    [09] Rhodos restaurant owners oppose to all inclusive packages

    The restaurant owners of Rhodos expressed their opposition to all inclusive packages offered by the majority of the hotels on the island.

    Therefore they propose the cooperation between restaurants and hoteliers that will provide tourists with special vouchers to eat in local restaurants.

    As they said, the all inclusive model, inspired by the foreign tourist agents, is in full contrast with the economic interests of the local community and has serious effects on the local economy as hundreds of small and medium sized companies are struggling to survive.

    [10] Health ministry sees no reason for concern over malaria outbreak

    "There is absolutely no reason to have concerns over the possibility of a malaria outbreak," the secretary general of the Health Ministry Yiannis Baskozos said in an interview with the Athens - Macedonian News Agency on Tuesday.

    "Spreading unjustified concerns and defaming the country's image abroad is an irresponsible act," he added.

    Baskozos also stressed that "there is not a proven outbreak, which has started from a refugee or a migrant," adding that the state is taking action, monitoring the situation and based on the information available there is no reason for concern.

    [11] Fire breaks out in northwestern Corfu

    A fire broke out near the village of Doukades in northwestern Corfu on Tuesday in a hard to reach forest area, the fire department said. Dozens of firemen have been dispatched on foot to tackle the blaze assisted by Pezetel aircraft.

    A separate blaze that started on Monday night on the small island of Othoni, 11.5 miles off the northwest coast of Corfu, has been brought under partial control, the head of the Ionian fire-fighting service, Efthimis Georgakopoulos, told ANA-MPA.

    "So far the blaze has burned more than 80,000 sq-m of shrubs but no inhabited areas are at risk," he said. Corfu has sent 15 men to the small island.

    [12] Storm uproots trees, floods houses in Trikala

    Municipal crews in the region of Thessaly, in central Greece, have been called to pump water from flooded houses and open roads blocked by fallen trees after a storm hit the area on Tuesday, bringing gusty winds and hail.

    In the central square of Trikala, the main city of the municipality of Trikaion, the storm uprooted a large plane tree, without causing any injuries. Several municipalities reported power cuts and while authorities were also called to unblock storm drains.

    The weather service had forecast rain in northern parts of the country and the bad weather is expected to extend to the rest of the country on Wednesday.

    [13] Street Mode Festival at Thessaloniki on Sept. 2-4

    Street Mode Festival, a large street celebration, will be held on September 2-4 at the port of Thessaloniki, for an eighth consecutive year.

    The weekend will be filled with music, dance, concerts, parkour, demonstrations and competitions graffiti, as well as seminars, games and activities for young children.

    The 8th Street Mode Festival is jointly organized by the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization.

    Weather forecast

    [14] Clouds, chance of rain on Wednesday

    Cloudy weather with possibility of rain are forecast for Wednesday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Scattered clouds and rain in the afternoon in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 15C to 29C. Cloudy in the eastern parts with temperatures from 18C to 32C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 22C-30C. Fair weather in Athens, 22C-35C. Scattered clouds in Thessaloniki with rain expected in the afternoon, 18C-27C.

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

    AVGHI: Far-right climate in New Democracy

    DIMOKRATIA: Fortune tellers in Tax Bureaus

    ETHNOS: The formula for new contributions

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Four out of ten police stations to close down

    ESTIA: Distinctions for Greeks living abroad

    IMERISSIA: Alarm in the government ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair and the next programme review

    KATHIMERINI: End to the settlement of 100 installments

    KONTRANEWS: The euro caused losses of 200 trillion

    RIZOSPASTIS: The government is preparing new anti-labour measures

    TA NEA: The government is a hostage of ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax)

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Europe has a future

    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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