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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM chairs Election Campaign Committee
  • [02] Airspace violation reported over Fournous isle
  • [03] Foreign investors slightly increase participation in Athens bourse
  • [04] KKE head criticises opposition
  • [05] Inflation up 0.8% in Aug
  • [06] Stocks end 2.97% up

  • [01] PM chairs Election Campaign Committee

    Chairing a meeting of ruling New Democracy's Election Campaign Committee on Monday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis outlined the strategies and tactics that the party will adopt in the run-up to the October 4 elections, as well as the party's plan of action and planned tours.

    Briefing reporters on the meeting's results, newly-appointed ND spokesman George Koumoutsakos announced that Karamanlis intended to ask for a one-on-one debate with main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, one that would be as direct and to-the-point as possible.

    Koumoutsakos said that this decision, which met the agreement of government ministers, was demanded by the critical nature of the upcoming elections, in which voters would be asked to select that leader that would lead the country out of the crisis.

    "The result of the election of October 4 will determine the course of the country in the difficult times of a global crisis that has no precedent in the past 80 years," Koumoutsakos stressed.

    The spokesman defended the premier's decision to call early elections, saying they were necessary in order to protect the country from being cast into an extended six-month pre-election period by main opposition PASOK's irresponsible announcement that it would not cooperate in the election of the president in March.

    He stressed that ND was entering the election battle confidently, adding that the premier and senior party officials will be visiting all corners of Greece to relay a message of hope and determination.

    "We are certain - we are positive - that through collective and coordinated work we will once again be the victors with Costas Karamanlis as prime minister," he added.

    Attacking PASOK, Koumoutsakos said that Greek citizens "can be certain that in the next few days, the frivolous populism of PASOK and its leader will be shown to lead nowhere. Against this dead end of vague words and contradictory promises without limit, which lead to insurmountable dangers, ND has adopted a position of responsibility. At this crucial hour, we call on citizens to choose the policy and the leader that will ensure prospects and hope through difficult but absolutely necessary decisions, not pleasant in the short term but the only certain way for a final exit from the current crisis."

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis speaking during the customary press conference on the second day of the 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Sunday. ANA-MPA - Nikos Arvanitidis

    [02] Airspace violation reported over Fournous isle

    Greece's armed forces general staff on Monday announced that two Turkish warplanes flew over the eastern Aegean islet of Fournous in the early afternoon, an apparent continuation of recent high-profile provocations by the neighbouring country's military.

    The incident occurred at 3:57 p.m. (local time), with the violating F-16s flying at an altitude of 22,000 feet.

    Additionally, Greek authorities said four pairs of Turkish F-16s infringed on Athens FIR regulations the same day north of the island of Hios.

    It all instances Greek fighter planes were scrambled and directed to the area to recognise and intercept the violating warplanes.

    [03] Foreign investors slightly increase participation in Athens bourse

    Foreign investors marginally raised their participation in the Athens Stock Market‚s capitalisation to 48.38 pct in August, up from 48.13 pct in July, although it still remained below a 51.37-pct rate in August 2008.

    Greek investors slightly cut their participation to 50.3 pct in August 31, from 50.7 pct a month earlier. Foreign investors were net buyers in August with capital inflows totaling 291.93 million euros (309.8 mln from institutional investors), while Greek investors were net sellers with capital outflows of 268.57 million euros (198.1 million euros from private investors).

    Turnover in the Athens Stock Exchange totaled 4.174 billion euros in August, almost unchanged from July, but 15 pct up compared with August 2008 (3.631 billion euros). Average daily turnover was 198.8 million euros in August, from 181.6 million in July and 181.6 million in August 2008.

    [04] KKE head criticises opposition

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga called on voters to give their support to her party and "mete out a severe blow to ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK," speaking at a press conference on Monday in view of the elections scheduled for Oct. 4.

    In touching on other opposition parties, Papariga maintained that, in principle, both the Parliament-represented Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party and the neophyte Ecologists-Greens identify with the two mainstream political parties, respectively, and seek to have a good election showing in order to "bargain" for their participation in a future government.

    Papariga described the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliament grouping as being "100 percent unreliable", underlining that it was proven unable to become a challenge the two major political parties. She also added that its "alleged 'trump card', the unity of the left, has been left in shambles".

    The KKE leader stated that her party has a completely different policy compared to the rest political parties in the country highlighted by its stance toward what she termed monopolies, large multinationals, the EU, NATO and the United States.

    Referring to the coalition government scenarios in case no party wins a strong majority in the elections, Papariga stated that plans are being drawn up for a likely ND-PASOK government in which the strong family names will be brushed aside and maintained that an coalition government with the participation of smaller political parties is virtually impossible.

    [05] Inflation up 0.8% in Aug

    Greece's consumer price index grew by 0.8 pct in August, compared with the same month last year, rising from a 0.6 pct reading in July, the National Statistical Service said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a monthly report, attributed the 0.8 pct increase in the inflation rate to a 6.3-pct rise in alcohol/tobacco prices, a 4.7-pct increase in education prices, a 3.9-pct rise in other goods and services, a 2.9-pct increase in clothing and footwear prices and a 2.8-pct rise in health prices. The housing and transport price categories were the only ones to record declines in August (4.9 pct and 3.1 pct, respectively).

    NSS secretary-general Manolis Kontopyrakis, commenting on the figures, said the inflation rate in August reflected a 4.2-pct rise in fuel prices, a 5.5-pct increase in fruit prices and a 13.1-pct rise in vegetable prices. Kontopyrakis said he expects the consumer price index to remain unchanged at August's levels in September. Greece's harmonised inflation rate was up 1.0 pct in August compared with the same month in 2008.

    [06] Stocks end 2.97% up

    Stocks rose substantially in thin trading conditions at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday. The composite index of the market ended 2.97 pct higher at 2,497.15 points, off the day‚s highs, with turnover a limited 163.8 million euros of which 4.6 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the exception of the Insurance sector which ended 0.68 pct down. Media (25.91 pct), Technology (5.42 pct), Banks (4.23 pct) and Telecommunications (3.73 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 3.45 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 2.49 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 3.09 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 195 to 35 with another 34 issues unchanged.

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