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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-07-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Interior minister unveils institutional initiatives
  • [02] BoG report on climate change in Greece
  • [03] Police crack ring buying cars with forged cheques
  • [04] Tornado champs cross Aegean non-stop
  • [05] Gov't on PPC privatisation
  • [06] Car registrations down
  • [07] ASE opening: Decline
  • [08] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Interior minister unveils institutional initiatives

    ANA-MPA/Interior Minister Haris Kastanidis on Thursday unveiled the institutional initiatives he is considering.

    The draft law introducing the referendum option for political and social issues, except fiscal issues which are constitutionally excluded, will be ready by the end of July. "The draft law's goal is to improve the quality of democracy," the minister stressed.

    Other draft laws expected to be introduced soon concern the funding of political parties, as well as, auditing and election campaign expenditures. The issue of the "source of wealth declarations" submitted by political figures will also be addressed, while the new election law will be considered at a later time.ana-mpa

    Kastanidis also said that the reduction of the number of MPs is an issue that could be settled through a referendum.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [02] BoG report on climate change in Greece

    ANA-MPA/Gradual climate change is having a negative impact on the health of the Greek people and the economy, according to a Bank of Greece (BoG) report "on the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change in Greece" prepared by the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee presented in parliament on Thursday.

    Parliament's Special Permanent Committee on Environmental Protection Chairman Kostas Kartalis underlined the need for immediate changes in the way cities are built and the methods used in the management of water resources.

    According to the report, climate change will have a considerable negative impact on many sectors in Greece. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, transportation, coastal activities and the built-up environment in urban centres will all be affected by the rise in air temperature, drought, extreme weather events and a rise in sea levels. This will lead to lower productivity, loss of capital and additional expenditure for damage repair. Biodiversity, ecosystems in Greece and human health will be negatively affected.ana-mpa

    The report was presented to the parliamentary committee by Christos Zerefos, member of the Academy of Athens and Coordinator of the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [03] Police crack ring buying cars with forged cheques

    ANA-MPA/Southeast Attica Police on Thursday announced that they had successfully cracked a ring that used stolen or forged cheques in order to fraudulently obtain luxury cars from their owners. Authorities have arrested a 26-year-old Greek national in Glyfada and are looking for four accomplices that helped him set up the scam.

    For the past three months, the ring had scoured ads on the Internet for the sale of expensive luxury cars and approached owners, pretending to be prospective buyers. They then drew up fake letters of attorney and persuaded owners to sell their cars in exchange for post-dated cheques that were either stolen or could not be covered.ana-mpa

    They then sold the cars on to other, unsuspecting buyers using more fake letters of attorney and other documents.

    The ring has so far been involved in the sale of five cars, with a total profit of 125,000 euro.

    The suspect under arrest has been led before an Athens first-instance court prosecutor while authorities are also looking into the ring's possible involvement in other crimes.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [04] Tornado champs cross Aegean non-stop

    ANA-MPA/Greece's champion tornado sailing team Iordanis Paschalidis and Costas Trigonis added another feat to their log on Friday as they completed an unprecedented crossing of the Aegean without navigation instruments, arriving at the Old Port of Chania, Crete after sailing for 72 hours guided only by the stars, a compass and the lights of lighthouses.

    Their journey began on Monday (July 4), when they set sail from Thessaloniki.

    The three-time European Tornado Championships winners covered the 540 nautical mile distance without any stops and without the assistance of sophisticated navigation instruments.

    The conditions proved exceptionally tough, while a lack of wind made their mission even more difficult.ana-mpa

    "Even if it had taken us a week, we still would have finished. There was no way that we would stop. We had promised it to ourselves," Trigonis said after completing the venture.

    This sea marathon was unique for this sport, as no one has achieved anything similar to it before, coupled by the fact that the Aegean is considered one of the most difficult seas to cross.

    The idea came up came up during the summer of 2009, when the two athletes took part in the Sailing Marathon for disabled people on Chios. After the initial excitement, it was time for careful planning which, combined with the athletes' love for sea and their will for adventure, became the starting point for this exciting journey.ana-mpa

    Iordanis Paschalidis has won 11 Greek, three Balkan, four European and two World titles, and has taken part in five Sailing Marathons for disabled people from 2001 to 2006, and in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    Constantine Trigonis has won 20 national, three Balkan, one Mediterranean, five European and four World titles in the categories 470 men and Catamaran (Tornado), and has taken part in four consecutive Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.ana-mpa

    The two athletes have been taking part in athletic events as a team since 2005, and are ranked among the top athletes in World and European Championships.

    Their most recent achievements in 2010 are the silver medal in the World Championship and the gold medal (third in a row) at the European Tornado Championship at Torbole (Lake Garda), Italy.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [05] Gov't on PPC privatisation

    ANA-MPA/The Greek government is examining three scenarios for the privatisation of Public Power Corporation, along with measures to open up the electricity market and allowing access to third parties in lignite production in the country, Environment, Energy and Climate Change George Papaconstantinou said on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, the Greek minister said the options examined by the government were selling PPC's shares through the stock market -which may not be the best solution as the minister said- selling PPC's subsidiaries and finding a strategic investor -an idea Papaconstantinou described as "interesting". "The way to privatize PPC needs careful talk. We are not just looking for revenue, PPC has a crucial role, we want it to make investments and to be a strong pylon in the energy system," Papaconstantinou told reporters, adding that PPC's pension fund will not be a problem for its privatization, although a dialogue with workers will continue.ana-mpa

    Commenting on a plan to allow third parties to participate in PPC's lignite production, a measure imposed by the EU Commission and the memorandum, the Greek minister said the issue was affecting PPC's privatization, although it was an independent issue. "I have not announced the sale of PPC's units," he said, adding that "in the overall negotiation selling is included along with a swaps procedure".

    Papaconstantinou said another possibility was to separate PPC from subsidiaries in transport and distribution of energy, in the framework of the enterprise's restructuring. Commenting on renewable energy sources, he said the government's goal was to install new units with a power of 300 MW from windpower and 400 MW from photovoltaic parks this year.ana-mpa

    Meanwhile, the ministry on Thursday tabled to Parliament a draft legislation -approved by the cabinet- envisaging the opening up of electricity and natural gas markets in the country, promoting hydrocarbon research, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis, the Greece-Italy and the South Stream oil and natural gas pipeline projects.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [06] Car registrations down

    ANA-MPA/Car registration fell 32.2 pct in June this year, compared with the same month in 2010, for a decline of 42 pct in the first half of 2011, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said new car registrations totaled 12,444 vehicles in June, down 32.2 pct from June 2010, while car registrations totaled 72,048 vehicles in the January-June period, after recording a 14.6 pct decline in the corresponding period last year.

    Motorcycle registrations fell 28.4 pct in June this, for a decline of 23.5 pct in the January-June 2011 period.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [07] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.99 percent, standing at 1,251.70 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 10.828 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward with the biggest gains in Constructions, up 0.87 percent, and Public Utilities, up 0.51 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Food and Beverages, down 1.24 percent; and Banks down 1.20 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.39 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.03 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.10 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 25 were up, 28 were down, and 20 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    [08] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The arrangement for structures lacking permits, the ECB's increase in interest rates and the government's plans for the Public Power Corporation's privatisation mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Structures lacking permits - What the draft bill foresees".

    AVRIANI: "Indignants and yoghurts scare deputies and ministers and paralyse government".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Regulation on the illegally (without permits) built properties as from 1983".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Arrangement, with fines and taxes, for structures lacking permits".

    ESTIA: "Notes from the Tax Bureau".

    ETHNOS: "Arrangement with semi-enclosed balconies recipe".

    AVGHI: "Public Power Corporation (PPC) 'party' begins".

    IMERISSIA: "Four major changes in energy - Strategic investor for PPC".

    KATHIMERINI: "Additional burden on loans".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Increase in interest rates burdens the economy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Rallies on July 20 for Health and for the people's interest".

    TA NEA: "If you pay for it, you can save it".

    VRADYNI: "The structures lacking permits to be legalised".

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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