|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-08-10
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 10 August 2011 Issue No: 3860
 Finmin: EU summit decisions must be quickly and fully appliedDecisions taken by EU leaders on July 26 concerning the new role of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the participation of the private sector in the cost of a second bailout for Greece had to be implemented rapidly and in their entirety, Greece's Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed on Tuesday following a conference call with top EU officials.
Others participating in the discussion included Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commissioner Olli Rehn, International Institute of Finance (IIF) head Charles Dallara, EFSF chief Klaus Regling and the chairman of the EU Economic and Financial Committee Vittorio Grilli.
A finance ministry announcement said the conference call conducted a detailed, point-by-point review of progress in implementing the summit's decisions.
Venizelos stressed that applying the decisions for Greece was even more important now that the global economic crisis had become worse.
"...the message that the Eurozone sends in this way does not only concern Greece but its own ability to do whatever is necessary to support the euro and global economic and financial stability," he stressed.
In Greece's case, the EFSF was a crucial factor for the participation of both governments and the private sector through the guarantees that it provided, the minister said.
Venizelos noted that the method by which the EFSF raised funds by issuing its own bonds, which had the strongest possible credit ratings, and the greater breadth of actions available to it until the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) took over were "something very tangible that opens many prospects, provided that it is accompanied by the necessary political discernment and determination."
 Government spokesman on Eurobond, ND reactionThe fact that main opposition New Democracy accepted the issue of a Eurobond as the right solution to the debt crisis was positive, alternate government spokesman Angelos Tolkas said on Tuesday in response to questions.
He noted that Prime Minister George Papandreou had repeatedly pushed for a Eurobond over the past two years and urged ND to "abandon petty politics" and also support and promote the idea where it was most strongly resisted, which was within the ranks of Europe's conservative and liberal parties.
Tolkas pointed out that Papandreou had raised the issue from December 2009, at international forums and in talks with European leaders, and also launched an initiative as Socialist International president to collect signatures in support of the proposal on an international level.
Similarly, MP Vasso Papandreou had set up a committee in December 2010 to form an alliance in favour of issuing a Eurobond while PASOK MEP and EuroParliament Vice-president Anny Podimata had submitted a report on Eurobonds and a tax on financial transactions that was adopted by the European Parliament.
He noted that the European Commission, under pressure from the spread of the crisis, had finally promised to propose legislative measures for both issues in October.
 Unpaid leave period extended to five yearsPublic-sector workers can now take unpaid leave for up to five years - instead of the two years allowed until now - or can ask to work reduced hours for the same period of time, based on administrative reform ministry regulations effective since July 1, 2011. The measures concern employees in the public sector, public-sector legal entities and local authority staff.
The unpaid leave can only be requested for serious personal reasons and the applications filed should have the approval of the responsible Service Council.
Employees are also given the option to request a reduction of working hours up to 50 pct with a corresponding cut in pay for a period no longer than five years. Applicants will be free to choose between reduced daily working hours or fewer working days.
The time of unpaid leave will not be taken into account for pension purposes.
 OSE has first-ever operating surplus, TRAINOSE deficit at 1.7 million euroA senior transport ministry official on Tuesday revealed that Greece's debt-ridden Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) has recorded an operating surplus of 3.0 million euro in the first half of 2011, the first operating surplus since the company was founded.
Train operator TRAINOSE, an OSE subsidiary, had also managed to reduce its deficit in July to 1.7 million euro, down from 20 million euro in January.
The figures were announced by infrastructure, transport and networks ministry general secretary Haris Tsiokas during a visit to northern Greece railway facilities in Thessaloniki, where he was accompanied by a TRAINOSE team.
Tsiokas noted that OSE's debts in 2009 had reached 11 billion euro and that it generated an annual deficit of 1.2 billion euro. Based on the provisions of the EU-IMF Memorandum, the company was scheduled to become profitable by the end of the current year.
TRAINOSE, which prior to reforms generated an annual deficit of 300 million euro, is predicted to have eliminated its deficit entirely by the end of September and thus become more attractive for investors seeking a strategic alliance.
Both German and French companies have expressed an interest in such a prospective partnership in the past, while Tsiokas said that participation by the Chinese in any future tender should not be ruled out. He estimated that a suitable strategic ally would be found some time in 2012 if the process goes according to plan.
A TRAINOSE executive announced that sales of discount seats on the Athens-Thessaloniki line over the Internet will begin next week, with the first tickets available from August 21. There will be a total of 45,000 discount seats out of a total 210,000 in the month, with 10,000 going for just 9 euro, 15,000 for 19 euro and 20,000 for 29 euro.
The company also announced the immediate launch of a compensation policy for passengers for delays due to work to improve railway infrastructure, payable through a discount on the next railway tickets they purchase that will vary depending according to the length of the delay and reach 100 percent for delays exceeding two hours.
Other new facilities on trains to be introduced from September 1 are continuous access to the Internet and mobile phone signals, and a door-to-door passenger service combining trains and taxis through the purchase of a single ticket at a lower rate.
As of October, a programme for combined train-truck transport between Athens and Thessaloniki will be launched, centred around the Thriasio logistics centre, with the price expected to be 25 percent lower than competitor transport companies.
 Greece raises 812.5 million euro from 6-month T-bill auctionGreece on Tuesday successfully auctioned a six-month Treasury bills issue raising 812.5 million euros from the market at an interest of 4.85 pct, down from 4.9 pct in the previous auction of six-month Treasury bills on July 12.
The Public Debt Management Organization said the issue was 3.06 times oversubscibed, with bids amounting to 1.913 billion euro submitted, while the previous auction was 2.88 times oversubscribed.
The Organization said it accepted supplementary non-competitive bids worth 187.5 million euros, raising the total sum raised to 812.5 billion euros.
 Greek exports up 35.8pct in JuneGreek exports jumped 35.8 percent in value in June 2011 compared with the corresponding month in 2010, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday.
ELSTAT, in a report, said the estimated total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, in June 2011 amounted to 3007.8 million euros against 3368.6 million euros in June 2010, recording a drop of 10.7%.
The total value of imports-dispatches in June 2011 amounted to 3343.0 million euros against 4405.0 million euros in June 2010.
The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, for the 12-month time period of July 2010 - June 2011 increased by 13.5% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of July 2009 - June 2010.
The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, for the 12-month time period of July 2010 - June 2011 decreased by 14,.% compared to the corresponding 12-month time period of July 2009 - June 2010.
The total value of exports-dispatches in June 2011 amounted to 1938.1 million euros against 1427.0 million euros in June 2010, recording an increase of 35.8%.
The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, in June 2011 amounted to 1343,6 million euros against 1286.3 million euros in June 2010, recording an increase of 4.5%.
 Industrial production down 13.1pct in JuneGreece's industrial production index fell by 13.1 percent in June, against the corresponding month last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
ELSTAT, in a report, said that the Production Index in Industry (IPI) in June 2011 compared with June 2010 recorded a decline of 13.1%. In June 2010, the annual rate of change of the IPI was -4.1%.
In the 6-month period from January 2011 to June 2011, the average rate of change of the IPI was -8.8%. In June 2010, the corresponding average rate of change of the IPI was -5.5%.
1. Annual rates of change of June 2011 compared with June 2010:
The IPI in June 2011, compared with June 2010, decreased by 13.1% due to the annual changes of the subindices of the industrial sections: a. Mining and quarrying production decreased by 22.3%. b. Manufacturing production decreased by 12.2%. c. Electricity production decreased by 15.7%. d. Water supply production decreased by 4.6%.
2. Average rates of change of the period January - June 2011 compared with January - June 2010:
The IPI in the 6-month period January - June 2011, compared with the period January - June 2010, decreased by
8.8% due to the 6-month average rates of change of the sub-indices of the industrial sections: a. Mining and quarrying production decreased by 3.3%. b. Manufacturing production decreased by 9.5%. c. Electricity production decreased by 9.0%. d. Water supply production decreased by 4.6%.
 Tele-conference on Greek PSIGreek and European senior officials will hold a tele-conference on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Greek bond swaps (PSI) programme.
Taking part in the tele-conference, which begins at 15:30 (Greek time), will be eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn, Institute of International Finance (IIF) managing director Charles Dallara, and other eurozone and banking officials.
The Greek finance ministry aspires to the swaps programme having been completed by mid-September.
 Foreign tourist arrivals near 10pct rise in Jan-JulyThe increase in tourist arrivals in Greece in the first seven months of the year neared a two-digit number, with arrivals up 9.95 percent in the period January-July against the same period in 2010, with the most popular destinations being the islands of Rhodes and Kos, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Federation of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).
According to the figures, coming from the main airports throughout the country, foreign arrivals in the 7-month period reached 6,458,612 compared with 5,874,144 in the same period last year.
The biggest increase in foreign arrivals was recorded on the island of Rhodes, with 28.2 percent, followed by the island of Kos, with 26.2 percent, while substantial increases were also recorded in Heraklion (Crete, 14.4 percent), Hania (Crete) with 8.52 percent, and Thessaloniki with 11.77 percent.
 Greek bank deposits down 1.9 pct in JuneBank deposits by Greek enterprises and households recorded a decline for a sixth consecutive month in June and fell 1.9 pct to 188.2 billion euros compared with 191.9 billion euros in May, the Bank of Greece announced on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the year, deposits dropped 10 pct corresponding to 21.4 billion euros. Deposits were reduced by 49 billion euros since early 2010, a decline corresponding to 21 pct.
 Business Briefs-- Energy crops grown in Greece will be used as a raw material for 87 percent of biodiesel distributed in the country in 2011, the environment, energy and climate change ministry announced on Tuesday.
-- The Aegean group on Tuesday announced its decision to pull out of the electric power market as part of a "restructuring of its business targets and priorities".
-- Retailers are fighting a losing battle against an economic recession that continues to bite deep into consumers' disposable income, with roughly a quarter of commercial enterprises in central Athens now closed, according to a survey unveiled on Tuesday.
 Bourse ends marginally up in highly volatile sessionThe strong downward pressures of recent sessions were first slowed and then timidly reversed on the Athens bourse on Tuesday, buoyed by the anticipation of new measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve in European markets, so that the general composite index crept back above 1,000 points and ended marginally up following Monday's heavy losses.
The composite index of the market had gained as much as 1.59 pct in the middle of the session before subsiding to end 0.19 pct higher at 1,000.13 points. Turnover was 112.572 million euros.
The Big Cap index rose 0.42 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.58 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.74 pct. The highest gains among blue-chip stocks were for Ellaktor (7.77 pct), OTE (5.25 pct), TT (4.76 pct) and Viohalco (4.29 pct). PPC (-6.24 pct), Folli Follie (-3.11 pct), Jumbo (-2.70 pct), and Marfin Popular Bank (-2.56 pct) were top losers.
The Telecommunications (5.25 pct) and Technology (4.94 pct) and Chemicals (3.40 pct) sectors scored the strongest gains, while Utilities (-5.33 pct) and Insurance (-4.54 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 81 to 65 with another 39 issues unchanged.
Ideal (9.33 pct), Forthnet (8.33 pct) and Mathios Pyrimacha (8.11 pct) were top gainers, while Kordellou Bros (20.00 pct), Euromedica (20 pct) and Imperio (18.75 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +0.72%
Personal & Household: -2.39%
Raw Materials: +0.81%
Travel & Leisure: +1.08%
Food & Beverages: -2.00%
Financial Services: +0.97%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, PPC, Alpha Bank and OPAP.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 2.66
Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.86
HBC Coca Cola: 14.99
Hellenic Petroleum: 5.85
National Bank of Greece: 4.09
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 2.33
Bank of Piraeus: 0.70
 ADEX closing reportThe September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.52 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday, with turnover rising to 53.625 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 18,746 contracts worth 40.089 million euros, with 30,661 short positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 39,316 contracts worth 13,536 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (18,482), followed by Alpha Bank (3,903), Eurobank (3,571), PPC (2,122), Piraeus Bank (1,876), OTE (1,102), ATEbank (1,090), Bank of Cyprus (929) and MIG (879).
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.448
Pound sterling 0.886
Danish kroner 7.561
Swedish kroner 9.350
Japanese yen 111.89
Swiss franc 1.075
Norwegian kroner 7.946
Canadian dollar 1.435
Australian dollar 1.42
 Health authorities prepared for more WNV casesSeventeen cases of West Nile (WNV) infection have been confirmed in Greece, five of them in the greater Athens region and the rest in the provinces of Central Macedonia and Thessaly, according to health authorities which are in a state of vigilance expecting more cases.
"The course of the disease is the anticipated," while "precautionary measures are being taken in regions most likely to have WNV infection cases," Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) experts told ANA-MPA on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the year, cases of the disease have been reported in other countries as well, namely, Romania, Russia and Israel.
Epidemiological monitoring, the adoption of systematic and timely measures against the mosquito population and individual protection measures are the recommended steps aimed at keeping the disease under control, according to KEELPNO.
The virus has been known for many years and the main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito. The infection caused is mild and most of the time asymptomatic with the elderly being more at risk of a central nervous system infection which, however, is easily curable, according to scientists.
 Substitute drug programmes in four hospitals in ThessalonikiFour public hospitals in Thessaloniki - Agios Pavlos, Ippokration, Special Infections, Papageorgiou - will undertake the implementation of substitute drug programmes beginning on September 1, it was announced on Tuesday.
Speaking in a meeting with managers of hospitals in northern Greece and local administration representatives held in Thessaloniki, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos repeated that "beginning in the fall the list of shame will no longer exist," referring to drug addicts on the waiting lists at OKANA drug rehabilitation centres.
Loverdos stated that methadone programmes in the Thessaloniki hospitals will be launched on September 1 and in Athens two weeks later on September 16, adding that very soon the measure will be in effect across northern Greece.
"The health ministry's goal is to have methadone programmes in all public hospitals, including military hospitals - with the sole exception of pediatric hospitals - even in certified pharmacies if necessary," Loverdos said.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Health Minister Markos Bolaris referred to the electronic data base for recipients of welfare payments that will be into effect in the fall aimed at ensuring cross-checking.
On the issue of the West Nile virus (WNV), Deputy Health Minister Mihalis Timosidis underlined that the ministry had been prepared since winter. He added that people should not be alarmed, stressing that they should take precautionary measures for their protection. He also said that aerial spraying for mosquitoes will take place when necessary.
 Paleopolis and 'Mon Repos' mansion on CorfuCorfu's ancient city of Paleopolis occupies a prime spot on the Kanoni Peninsula amidst lush wooded grounds and a view of the sea.
Surrounded by ancient walls, the ruins of ancient Corcyra (Kerkyra, or Corfu) lie just four kilometers south of Corfu town and the site is open to visitors free of charge year-round.
A walk around the grounds reveals a number of sites for visitors, including the St. Eufemia monastery, an old open-air theater still used today, a congress center, a Byzantine church, and ancient Roman house, and the famed Mon Repos villa -- the summer retreat of Greece's former royal family that today hosts the Paleopolis Archaeological Museum -- as well as the ruins of a temple dedicated to Hera, a Venetian fountain and what remains of the 5th century BC Doric temple built in honour of Apollo.
The Mon Repos, a major attraction for visitors to this day, is a neo-classical summer home built by Sir Frederick Adam, the second British High Commissioner, for his Corfiot wife in 1831. It remained a summer house for the Greek former royal family until 1967 before passing to the Municipality of Corfu, which carried out major restoration works inside and out.
Important archaeological sites from Paleopolis surround Mon Repos, and the mansion was converted into a museum to display its artefacts. The exhibits are well presented and informative, giving a fascinating picture of the house and the area, its history and ancient culture.
 Children from St. Petersburg hosted in summer camp in GreeceThirty children from Saint Petersburg orphanage aged 12-16 are being hosted at a summer camp run by the Holy Diocese of Messinia, southern Greece, for a period of 20 days.
The children and their chaperons visited Kalamata city hall and met with mayor Panagiotis Nikas who welcomed them to Greece and Kalamata and wished them a nice holiday.
 Foreign national arrested, arms cache seizedA 39-year-old foreign national has been arrested in the Athens district of Vyronas with a veritable arms cache hidden in his residence, police said on Tuesday.
Athens aliens police, acting on a tip-off that the suspect was involved in criminal activities, searched the latter's apartment on Monday and found and seized a Kalashnikov semi-automatic with ammunition, two pistols, a pen-gun, three rods of TNT weighing a total 727 grams, a double-barrel shotgun, three airguns, a taser, a sword, a handgrenade, 12 knives, a club and ammunition for several types of firearms, as well as two grams of cocaine, a precision scale, two laptops, two cell phones, 370 euros in cash, a plastic bag of cannabis, a large number of jewelry items and 13 automobile licenses.
The detainee, who faces charges of organised crime, possession of weapons, possession of narcotic substances, and of fencing, will be taken before a public prosecutor later Tuesday.
 Inspectors nab second IKA paediatrician charging for visitsA paediatrician at a Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) clinic in Iraklio has been arrested for charging the parents of children brought to his surgery at IKA, authorities said on Tuesday. Visits to the state social insurance fund's healthcare facilities are normally free of charge.
The rogue doctor was caught by public administration inspectors following up complaints from parents that had paid between 30-35 euro to have their children examined. The inspectors caught the doctors by using premarked notes that were later found in the pocket of his doctor's coat following a patient's visit.
This is the second arrest made recently of an IKA paediatrician for charging parents to treat children brought to him at IKA facilities. The first case is now in the courts.
 Stolen car scrapping yard discovered, one man arrestedAn illegal scrapping yard for stolen cars was discovered by Kalamata security police in Messini, which led to the arrest of a 23-year-old man who stole cars and took them to the yard where they were turned into scrap metal.
During a search of the scrapping yard, police found sections of various cars, while it also turned up that the 23-year-old had stolen seven cars in the last month.
The detainee, who is charged with grand theft and illegal withholding of documents, is being investigated for other similar crimes.
 Cables worth 80,000 euro stolen from tunnel worksiteCables worth an estimated 80,000 euro were stolen from a worksite for the construction of two tunnels on the Apomarma-Agioi Deka road, authorities said on Tuesday.
While investigating the theft, Messara Police Operations officers traced some of the stolen cables and returned them to the construction firm.
An inquiry is being conducted by the Moires police station.
 Copper cable thieves arrested in Kinetta, greater AthensPolice in Megara, greater Athens, on Tuesday reported the arrest of 4 local men, aged 18-43, who were members of a ring responsible for thefts of copper cable from the railway network. Another five individuals are still wanted.
The suspects were arrested in Kinetta district on the old Athens-Corinth national motorway on Monday morning, soon after they had removed a total of 450 meters of copper cabling.
Police confiscated the stolen cable, as well as, tools and equipment used by the suspects.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens dailies at a glanceThe slump in international stock markets and the new conditions on the international markets dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Government sets up new type of NGO to proceed with hirings!".
AVGHI: "Markets' dictatorship dismantling the international economy".
AVRIANI: "The 760 billion euros bubble of internal borrowing bursts".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Political inefficiency brings black-out in markets".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Emergency defence".
ESTIA: "The effects of the international crisis".
ETHNOS: "Hours of agony for the international economy".
IMERISSIA: "Drums of war in stock markets".
KATHIMERINI: "The politicians are not persuading the markets".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Markets in state of panic despite the commitments for action".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Social alliance against the new antisocial storm".
TA NEA: "Without brakes - Stock markets slumped despite USA's and Europe's interventions".
VRADYNI: "New blow to households".
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