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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Inner Cabinet focuses on election preparations
  • [02] Ex-pro basketball player Misounov charged in weapons, car theft ring
  • [03] …ndustrial production index down 9.2% in July
  • [04] Greek bond returns down in August
  • [05] Stocks end 0.91% higher
  • [06] Stocks end 0.91% higher

  • [01] Inner Cabinet focuses on election preparations

    The Inner Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, met on Wednesday and focused on the course of preparations for the Oct. 4 general elections .

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos underlined that all necessary preparations were launched immediately and there will be no delays in meeting the deadlines, according to government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros.

    Pavlopoulos stated that over 65 decisions, documents and circulars have already been issued, some 25 days ahead of the elections, while a large part of the state mechanism's preparatory work and coordination procedures have been completed in cooperation with the local administration authorities. He also stated that the Cross-Party Elections Committee convened on Tuesday for the first time to give its recommendations as regards the terms and preconditions concerning the broadcast time allocated to political parties and party coalitions with elected representatives in both private and state-run radio and television stations.

    The interior minister also briefed the inner cabinet on the composition of the electorate, the number of first-time voters and the citizens who are registered in municipalities other than their place of residence.

    [02] Ex-pro basketball player Misounov charged in weapons, car theft ring

    Authorities in Thessaloniki have reportedly discovered a veritable arsenal found in the possession of a former pro basketball player, as the latter was arrested on a variety of weapons and grand theft auto charges on Wednesday.

    Police on Tuesday arrested former Aris club player Michail Misunov, 45, seizing a rocket and two rocket-propelled grenade (RPG 8) launchers. An ongoing investigation is also focusing on whether notorious fugitive Vassilis Paleokostas was supplied his weapons by Misunov, alternately identified as a naturalised Greek citizen, hailing from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) or a Russian citizen.

    In a press conference on Wednesday, meanwhile, police said a rocket launcher discovered in Paleokostas' hideout in Aug. 2008, following his arrest for the abduction of industrialist Georgios Mylonas, was Albanian-made as opposed to those found in the possession of Misunov, manufactured in Yugoslavia.

    According to police, the weapons seized were destined for the criminal underground.

    During questioning, Misunov maintained that he was given the weapons by an individual who died recently and was involved in the extortion of nightclubs in Thessaloniki. The same individual had also been sentenced for the murdering a bouncer in front of a nightclub in a Thessaloniki suburb.

    Another two men, a 50-year-old and a 29-year-old, were also arrested in connection to the case. A police search in the residence of the 50-year-old revealed two pistols and a number of cartridges as well as 29 stamps that belonged to various state agencies, authorities and private companies, while a pistol purchased from Misunov and a number of cartridges were found in the house of the second detainee.

    The suspects are also charged with several thefts of luxury cars after forging documents allowing them to proceed with transactions.

    All suspects were led before a prosecutor and on Thursday they will testify before an examining magistrate.

    [03] …ndustrial production index down 9.2% in July

    Greece‚s industrial production index fell 9.2 pct in July, compared with the same month last year, the National Statistical Service said on Wednesday. The statistics agency, in a report, attributed the decline to a 9.0-pct fall in manufacturing production, a 14.3-pct decline in mining production, a 9.5-pct fall in electricity production and a 0.7-pct fall in water production.

    The consumer goods production index dropped 18.5 pct, while the capital goods production index fell 16.1 pct in July. The production index was up 4.9 pct in July from June, while the average production index in the January-July 2009 period was down 9.4 pct compared with the corresponding period last year.

    [04] Greek bond returns down in August

    Greek state bond returns fell in the long end of the yield curve, while the three-year benchmark bond's return rose slightly in August, the Bank of Greece said.

    In a monthly report, the central bank said the 15-year and 30-year bond returns fell by 15 and 11 basis points respectively to 4.89 pct and 5.23 pct, while the 10-year benchmark bond return eased by nine basis points to 4.49 pct and the three-year bond rose by 2 basis points to 2.46 pct.

    The yield spread between the 30-year and three-year bonds shrank to 276 basis points in August from 289 bps a month earlier, while the average monthly yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank significantly to 118 bps from 151 bps over the same period.

    The 30-year bond price jumped to 90.45 in Aug. 31, from 88.94 a month earlier, while the 15-year and 10-year bond prices rose to 98.06 and 111.78 at the end of August from 96.59 and 111.11 at the end of July. The three-year bond price eased slightly to 104.47 from 104.66.

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled 30.76 billion euros in August, from 18.19 billion in July and 25.08 billion euros in August 2008.

    Average daily turnover was 1.46 billion euros, up from 791 million euros in July. The seven- and 10-year benchmark bonds were the most heavily traded securities with a total turnover of 22.5 billion euros, 73 pct of total turnover in the market.

    [05] Stocks end 0.91% higher

    Greek imports dropped 34 pct in July to 3.837 billion euros, from 5.819 billion euros in July 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Wednesday.

    The statistics agency, in a report, said Greek exports fell 20.5 pct in the same month to 1.298 billion euros, from 1.633 billion euros last year.

    Imports fell 19 pct in the 12-month period from August 2008 to July 2009, compared with the previous 12-month period, while exports fell 12.3 pct over the same period.

    [06] Stocks end 0.91% higher

    Greek stocks continued moving higher in the Athens Stock Exchange, with the composite index of the market rising 0.91 pct to end at 2,534.57 points. Turnover was a moderate 197.7 million euros of which 25.3 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Commerce (2.05 pct), Constructions (2.05 pct) and Food/Beverage (1.99 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (5.77 pct), Health (1.61 pct) and Financial Services (1.29 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.85 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.86 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.50 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 111 to 100 with another 48 issues unchanged.

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