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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-03-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Monday, 9 March 2015 Issue No: 4904

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Tsipras speaks with ECB's Draghi, France's Hollande by phone
  • [02] Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem 'responded positively to FinMin Varoufakis proposals', gov't says
  • [03] FinMin Varoufakis in Venice: 'Greece wants reforms, is discussing process'
  • [04] Finance ministry decries 'deliberate distortion' of Varoufakis statements by Corriere della Sera
  • [05] ND: Gov't measures to fight tax evasion 'ridiculous and embarrasing to Greece'
  • [06] FM Kotzias: Greece a source of stability in the area
  • [07] ND criticises FM Kotzias over statements made in Latvia
  • [08] Greek, FYROM foreign ministers meet in Riga on sidelines of EU meeting on Ukraine
  • [09] FYROM statement following foreign ministers' unofficial meeting in Latvia
  • [10] Foreign ministry: 'Turkey should keep its suggestions about responsible behaviour for itself'
  • [11] ANEL leader reiterates government support at party meeting
  • [12] ND leader Antonis Samaras: 'No' to congress or change of leadership
  • [13] New Democracy's political committee meeting concluded
  • [14] Gov't spokesman: Former PM Samaras ' has a hard time digesting' alternative to austerity he imposed
  • [15] Avramopoulos resigns ND vice-presidency, criticises party for lack of self-criticism
  • [16] Potami leader Theodorakis to PM Tsipras: 'Use the public's mandate to rule'
  • [17] 64% see Tsipras government in a positive light so far, per Marc poll
  • [18] Press report on former FinMin's tax statements draws ire of main opposition; Hardouvelis issues explanation
  • [19] Anarchists occupy SYRIZA's headquarters
  • [20] Council of State' freezes' works at the new port of Patras
  • [21] Gov't spokesman: Look who's talking about tax evasion
  • [22] Minister says up to 30,000 households will get 70- to 220-euro rent bonus, applications in April
  • [23] Gold mining company officials visit ministers, who commit to on-site evaluation of situation in Halkidiki
  • [24] Lion of Amphipolis not part of Kastas tomb hill, burial in last chamber belongs to unrelated era, researchers tell congress
  • [25] Officials attend anniversary of Dodecanese Islands' incorporation, on Rhodes
  • [26] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros transferred from mainland to new maximum-security jail on Crete
  • [27] Large quantity of contraband cigarettes confiscated
  • [28] Super League Results
  • [29] Locally rainy on Monday
  • [30] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras speaks with ECB's Draghi, France's Hollande by phone

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke by phone with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi and French President Francois Hollande on Saturday, the government said.

    Speaking with Draghi, Tsipras told him that he respects the independence of ECB, which must not succumb to political pressures, but noted that the Bank on its side should also see Greece independently of who is Greek finance minister.

    In his conversation with Hollande, Tsipras agreed with him to extend collaboration and to have the finance ministers of both countries meet in Paris very soon, repeating that meeting in Athens as well.

    [02] Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem 'responded positively to FinMin Varoufakis proposals', gov't says

    Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem has responded positively to the proposals sent to him by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, ahead of Monday's Eurogroup meeting, according to government sources on Saturday evening.

    In his response, Dijsselbloem stressed the need to continue talks both in the Euroworking Group and among technical experts, in order to put into effect the February 20 decision.

    The government said it continues in the implementation of reforms with responsibility and decisiveness in order to relieve Grek society and restart the economy.

    [03] FinMin Varoufakis in Venice: 'Greece wants reforms, is discussing process'

    The issue in the negotiations with Greece's creditors is not whether to apply the reforms or not, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said from Venice on Saturday, but what process will be followed.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a congress in Italy, Varoufakis referred to a relevant correspondence he had with Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, saying, "Eurogroup chairman Dijsselbloem has replied to my letter. The issue isn't the reforms, because Greece wants them, and wants them more. The task, therefore, is to agree on the process by which the reforms will be made more specific, implemented and evaluated so that they can be reviewed by the Eurogroup."

    He added that "the elaboration and assessment of the Greek government's reform programme will be discussed by technical teams that will convene shortly in Brussels."

    Varoufakis is in Italy to attend an Aspen Institute think tank congress on "Assessing Risk: Business in Global Disorder."

    [04] Finance ministry decries 'deliberate distortion' of Varoufakis statements by Corriere della Sera

    The Greek finance ministry charged Corriere della Sera with "yellow journalism" and called on the Italian daily to restore the truth immediately, following an interview it published Sunday of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

    According to the ministry, Varoufakis stressed in several ways during the interview that Greece's place is firmly in the eurozone, and in no way is this issue a part of the ongoing negotiations with its European creditors, as the newspaper seems to imply.

    The finance ministry statement said that the newspaper's editors added the phrase "for the euro" to Varoufakis' statement that if all Greek proposals were rejected by Brussels, the only recourse would be either to national elections or a referendum. The minister was speaking of the content of the reforms and of the fiscal policy, but the addition of the phrase gave an entirely different meaning to his words, it said.

    The ministry also cited statements made in the framework of a congress in Venice with Aspen Institute on March 7 where Varoufakis again reiterated that Greece is not negotiating its position in the eurozone, and any such discussion contravenes the interests of Greece and those of Europe.

    In a statement earlier in the day referring to the Corriere della Sera interview, the government said "the last few days we are observing an attempt to undermine Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, either by sarcastic comments or by false news - statements that were never made, or so-called clarifications being added that completely change the meaning of his answers, as happened with the minister's specific interview to Corriere della Sera."

    Noting the same attempts on behalf of certain media - "including constant fear-mongering about the possible non-payment of obligations by the Greek state to its creditors" - the finance ministry said these "are voluntary or nonvoluntary attempts to undermine the good progress of the Greek government's negotiations" with its credit partners.

    "Contrary to all distortionists, the Eurogroup agreement of February 20 is moving along normally and the country is ready to meet all of its repayment obligations in a timely manner and fully," the finance minister concludes.

    [05] ND: Gov't measures to fight tax evasion 'ridiculous and embarrasing to Greece'

    Main opposition New Democracy on Saturday called measures proposed by the government to fight tax evasion "ridiculous" and "an embarrassment for Greece abroad."

    "If that's how they expect to catch tax evaders, they [the government] are dangerous, since they do not understand the legal ramifications of the measure or its effectiveness, and they are ridiculous and embarrassing the country," ND spokesman Costas Karagounis said.

    [06] FM Kotzias: Greece a source of stability in the area

    Greece lies geographically in a triangle of uncertainty (Ukraine, Middle East and Libya) as a beacon of stability, and if it is destabilised - through the way its European creditors are dealing with it - the repercussions will reach the Russian-Ukrainian borders, sweep through the Middle East and up towards North Africa like a sickle, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Saturday, speaking to the press in Latvia.

    In statements to the press on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers' informal meeting on the Ukraine, meeting in Riga for the second day, Kotzias warned that if Greece collapses there will be millions of migrants that will come into Europe, including thousands of jihadis, and said Greece's credit partners should see Greece's position much more seriously. He added that if Greece and Cyprus fall, then Israel will be cut off from Europe.

    The foreign minister has been interviewed by German TV stations ZDF and ARD on Saturday afternoon.

    [07] ND criticises FM Kotzias over statements made in Latvia

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias' statements about the possibility of a lot of jihadists coming to Europe if the Greek economy collapses is "open to misinterpretation," main opposition New Democracy spokesman Costas Karagounis said on Saturday.

    Kotzias' statements, made on the sidelines of an EU ministers' meeting in Riga, Latvia on the Ukraine crisis, revolved around the role Greece plays as a factor of stability in a volatile area. "With what Kotzias says he tries to show the geopolitical aspect and the role Greece can play in Europe's security, but he ends up making a mess of it," Karagounis said, adding, "what he declaims internationally is also open to misinterpretation and may be sending the exact opposite message."

    "If Greece's role is to deflect jihadists before they flood Europe, shouldn't he maybe tell his government to stop opening the borders and freeing illegal migrants detained prior to expulsion? Don't they understand this contradiction?" he said.

    [08] Greek, FYROM foreign ministers meet in Riga on sidelines of EU meeting on Ukraine

    Greece stands by its positions on the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told his FYROM counterpart Nikola Poposki in Riga on Saturday, and expected the neighbouring country to show the same sense of responsibility and desire to resolve the issue, the foreign ministry said in an announcement.

    The two foreign ministers met on the sidelines of a two-day EU Foreign Minister's meeting in the Latvian capital which began on Friday and is focusing on war in eastern Ukraine.

    Kotzias noted that Greece had taken significant steps towards a mutually acceptable solution, that of using a compound name with a geographical qualifier before the word "Macedonia" which will be used in relation to everyone (erga omnes), for all uses domestic and international.

    Commenting on FYROM's application for membership in the EU and NATO, Kotzias said the decisions will be based on the same criteria as those used for all candidate countries and will be collective. He also said that in terms of the name, the real issue behind it is that of irredentism; in order to resolve the issue, he disclosed to Poposki that he plans to propose to the neighbouring country the adoption of confidence-building measures as another step of goodwill by the Greek side.

    [09] FYROM statement following foreign ministers' unofficial meeting in Latvia

    SKOPJE (ANA-MPA/N. Frangopoulos) - The foreign ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) met on the sidelines of the EU ministers' meeting in Riga, Latvia on Saturday and "came to some initial assessment over bilateral relations and the repercussions of being blocked in the accession process" to the EU, according to a statement issued the same day by FYROM's foreign ministry.

    (FYROM is among five candidate countries for EU membership. Talks with FYROM have not opened yet, as a recommendation by the European Commission in November 2009 to open access negotiations has not been formally approved yet by the European Council.)

    "At the meeting, the readiness for collaboration in all sectors was expressed," the FYROM foreign ministry statement said, "including the necessity of open dialogue" over the country's name.

    It would be beneficial for all parts, the statement said, to put an end to the practice of placing excuses as obstacles and "to take advantage of the possibilities of collaboration between the two neighbouring countries."

    [10] Foreign ministry: 'Turkey should keep its suggestions about responsible behaviour for itself'

    Turkey should keep its recommendations about responsibility for itself, Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Koutras said on Sunday, in response to a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry on Saturday calling on the Greek government to "curb the irresponsible behaviour" of National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos.

    Responding to press questions, Koutras said, "Nobody can indicate to Greece how the Greek government and the Greek nation overall must practice national sovereignty and the country's sovereign rights... Turkey should keep its suggestions about responsible behaviour for itself. No further comment."

    [11] ANEL leader reiterates government support at party meeting

    The SYRIZA-ANEL (Independent Greeks) ruling coalition will not implement austerity measures or lead to heavy taxation that in turn will lead to loss of personal property, ANEL party leader and National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos asserted on Sunday, while he also expressed support of the government and the finance minister in particular, who have been under a lot of fire here and abroad.

    Speaking at the party's national council, Kammenos said nobody who has cheated the state will escape "without punishment". He cited as example the investigating committees that will be set up, and the internal affairs committee at the general secretariat for procurements which he has already activated to examine "cases in which many politicians should have been jailed or non-politicians paid the public."

    Kammenos also urged party members "not to be led astray by the propaganda generated by the hangers-on of the memorandum policies."

    [12] ND leader Antonis Samaras: 'No' to congress or change of leadership

    New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras focused his speech at the party's political committee on Sunday on criticising the majority ruling party SYRIZA for its policies, while he rejected all calls for a party congress and change in leadership.

    "We lost the elections but retained our forces," he said, "even though we applied an extremely difficult but necessary policy for Greece, with cutbacks and reforms that were unpleasant for many - you do the math, with PASOK, which ruled by itself and lost 31 percentage points and was dispersed. We retained our forces and remained a ruling party... Is there any doubt we kept the country in the euro? Is there any doubt that we saved the country?"

    He said when the party took over rule, the deficit was at 9.5 percent, and when it left it had a 1.5 pct surplus. "It also was faced with a recession of 7 pct and this year it is expected that Greece will register 2.5 pct growth. If we had not been stopped, we would have exited the memorandums permanently this year," he claimed.

    Samaras stressed that the state of the Greek economy was dire and claimed the government was in panic, saying that the legislation the current government was passing to relieve society was already in place by his government. "We are not in a hurry to kick them out," he said, "they are doing whatever they can to leave sooner. We are here to make sure the country doesn't hit the rocks and we'll do whatever we can to prevent that."

    Party-wise, he said that holding a congress would "lead the party to becoming ingrown," while he said he would now open it to new members, both at the base and at the higher echelons.

    [13] New Democracy's political committee meeting concluded

    The meeting of New Democracy's political committee was concluded on Sunday with the party leader Antonis Samaras' intervention.

    According to sources, Samaras said: "Whoever puts himself in my shoes for a moment, he will see. I was always taking care so that the State coffers have money. I was working all day and all night. I did not go to my home. I did not stop even when I had a health problem. For me, it was only Greece."

    Samaras, former prime minister, said there were many things that could have been done but the country was in danger. "And we can now see that the dangers were real. We needed that 1.5 year to exit the tunnel and now they are getting us again into the tunnel," he added.

    Samaras was well applauded, putting an end to introversion, sources said.

    [14] Gov't spokesman: Former PM Samaras ' has a hard time digesting' alternative to austerity he imposed

    Former prime minister Antonis Samaras "has a hard time digesting the fact that it is obvious to all there was an alternative to the policy he applied," government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said on Sunday, responding to the main opposition leader's address at the New Democracy party's political committee meeting.

    "Samaras has gone down in history as the prime minister who, before the June 2012 national elections, was criticising memorandums, and the day after elections applied the cruellest memorandum-related austerity, leading wide segments of society to despair and to the margins," Sakellaridis said.

    The former PM "is bothered by the fact the present government does not follow his example, and he resents it deeply that the sense of dignity of the Greek people has risen under the current government," the spokesman said, calling on him to answer "how it was possible to negotiate [with Greece's creditors] with a finance minister who transferred his funds abroad in 56 installments so the Bank of Greece could not audit it and without declaring the amounts in his 'source of wealth' statement?"

    [15] Avramopoulos resigns ND vice-presidency, criticises party for lack of self-criticism

    Dimitris Avramopoulos, veteran politician and current EU commissioner, resigned his position as New Democracy (ND) vice president on Sunday during the meeting of the party's political committee, while also criticising the party line following the elections of January 25.

    Avramopoulos said his duties as commissioner of "one of the strongest political portfolios in the European Commission" prevented him from retaining the honourary position of ND vice president, which he would surrender in order to allow "an official who is close on a daily basis to our party's struggle to serve." He also suggested that a younger candidate should be considered for the position, adding, "It's time to bridge generations in this party."

    In his statement, the former minister said that in the national elections (that brought SYRIZA to power), "a significant section of the Greek people turned their backs on us. We cannot attribute the loss to an adversary's campaign promises, but we must recognise our mistakes and go through self-criticism. Today we must put an end to a phobic ND."

    [16] Potami leader Theodorakis to PM Tsipras: 'Use the public's mandate to rule'

    To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis on Sunday reiterated his decision not to participate in the SYRIZA government and criticised the government for contradictory stances on key issues, calling on the prime minister to respond to the people's mandate and rule.

    Speaking at the national meeting of his party, a year after its founding, Theodorakis said, "It is the prime minister who has been given the mandate, not the army of leader-hopefuls, and he should utilise it instead of trying to transfer the party's unsolvable issues onto the shoulders of others," he said.

    Among other things, he also asserted that Greece's future is in Europe, "and we are not visitors there - Greece's currency is the euro," in response to statements by government officials referring to new elections or a referendum.

    Speaking on top-level officials sending funds abroad, he said that "it is a patriotic duty that all ministers and deputies bring their money back to Greek banks." This new Greece "requires boldness, struggle and clashes, not just at the Eurogroup, but a clash against our ouwn bad selves, with fixed ideas and stereotypes," he warned.

    He said his party was ready to support any worthy initiative by the government, and announced that the party would hold its congress in June or September, depending on political developments. At the meeting, he also released the party's financial statement.

    [17] 64% see Tsipras government in a positive light so far, per Marc poll

    A majority of Greek people (64 pct) think positively of the new government's course so far, according to an opinion poll by private company Marc for "Efimerida ton Syntakton" newspaper published Saturday, while 31.4 pct see it negatively/probably negatively.

    Asked, in addition, "Are you happy by the progress of negotiations so far with our European [credit] partners?," 59.6 pct said yes/probably yes, while 37.6 pct responded no/probably no. Another 2.8 pct declined to answer.

    In terms of current employment distribution among those polled, the highest approval rate (83.4 pct) was registered by those who are now unemployed, followed by the self-employed/business owners (58.8 pct), civil servants (58.5 pct) and private sector employees (58.3 pct).

    Most of those polled (75.4 pct) agree with the assessment that the four-month extension granted Greece by its creditors to present its economic plan alternative does not signal the end of loan memorandums, while 14.1 pct believe it does. One in ten declined to answer (10.5 pct). In addition, more than half of those polled (54.4 pct) believe that if New Democracy had won the elections, things would be worse. Another 19.4 pct said they would be better, 22.9 pct there would be no great difference and 3.3 pct declined to answer.

    In terms of satisfaction with the choice of Prokopis Pavlopoulos as Greek president, 54.7 pct are happy with it, 36.3 pct are unhappy and another 9 pct declined to answer. In addition, the majority sees as positive the stance so far of Zoi Constantopoulou as Parliament president (61.6 pct, or 6 in 10 polled), while 36.3 pct saw her in a negative light and another 8 pct declined to answer.

    The poll was conducted on March 3 to 5 on national level.

    [18] Press report on former FinMin's tax statements draws ire of main opposition; Hardouvelis issues explanation

    The government and main opposition New Democracy (ND) exchanged criticism following claims by Real News daily on Saturday that there were questions over source of wealth ("pothen esches") statements of former finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis involving money transferred abroad.

    The press reports cited a document by state minister for fighting corruption Panagiotis Nikoloudis and commented that "while Hardouvelis was emailing the troika of Greece's lenders to agree with new antipopular memorandum measures, he was tax evading and sending funds abroad."

    This was followed by a SYRIZA - the majority ruling party - statement that "fighting corruption and tax evasion is a top priority" and that "the issue exposes the former finance minister and those who appointed him to manage the fate of the economy during such a difficult time for the country."

    ND responded through its spokesman Costas Karagounis that "ND's set position on issues of transparency was, is and shall be that everything will be brought to light," and said Hardouvelis will provide explanations himself.

    Karagounis also criticised majority ruling party SYRIZA for Economy Minister George Stathakis and Alternate Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, who he said have invested in mutual funds through Black Rock and JP Morgan, which SYRIZA has called "market vultures," and have also transferred money abroad. He added that it would be best for the party to explain other depositors abroad among its officers, such as Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani, over whose fund transfers abroad "there has been no explanation despite related requests a month ago."

    Meanwhile, former FinMin Hardouvelis said all cited amounts are "fully taxed and relate to income from long-standing paying jobs held by me and my wife." In an announcement he released on Saturday, he added, "There is full proof based on income tax filings, and (the amounts) are in deposits and accounts I held abroad, because of a long-term paying job I had there."

    "These amounts, in their totality, are included in the 'source of wealth' [pothen esches] statement for 2014, which I submitted in September of that year as finance minister," Hardouvelis said, adding that the funds "were sent abroad during a time I was not serving in the public sector and was under no obligation to 'submit a source' of wealth statement."

    He concluded, "The last few years, I have been annually declaring the same amounts and tax data also to U.S. tax authorities, in observance of American legislation (FBAR)."

    [19] Anarchists occupy SYRIZA's headquarters

    Anarchists occupied SYRIZA's headquarters on Sunday to protest against conditions in the country's maximum-security jails.

    According to sources, a group of 50 anarchists entered the offices of SYRIZA in downtown Athens and hung banners asking for the abolition of maximum-security jails, the release of Savvas Xiros, serving a sentence as a member of the November 17 terrorist group, as well as friends and relatives of 'Conspiracy of Cells of Fire'.

    [20] Council of State' freezes' works at the new port of Patras

    The Council of State found that that the legislative framework for the works in the new port of Patras is unconstitutional, and therefore works cannot continue, temporarily, if a presidential decree is not issued.

    More specifically, the Council ruled that presidential decrees are necessary instead of ministerial decisions or decisions made by the Committee for the Planning and Development of Ports (ESAL).

    Financial News

    [21] Gov't spokesman: Look who's talking about tax evasion

    It is "ridiculous for the main opposition to talk about tax evasion," government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said on Saturday, in response to criticism by New Democracy's spokesman about tax-evasion-fighting efforts by the government, as delineated in a letter by the finance minister to its European partners.

    "Those who humiliated the country internationally, serving every kind of interests and passing the tax burden onto the usual beasts of burden, had better keep quiet. They have received enough condemnation from society already," Sakellaridis said. The government will do anything in its power to close the tax evasion gaps opened by the previous government and the ridiculosity of each will be judged by the results, he added.

    [22] Minister says up to 30,000 households will get 70- to 220-euro rent bonus, applications in April

    The call for applications to humanitarian aid will be issued in April, in accordance with the provisions of the government's draft bill on the humanitarian crisis, Alternate Minister for Social Solidary (labour ministry) Theano Fotiou told private MEGA TV channel on Saturday.

    She said priority will be given to families with children and that there will be income ceiling conditions.

    In terms of a bonus for rent, Fotiou said it will affect 30,000 households in total, and will range from 70 euros to 220 euros. For reconnecting electricity to homes, this she said relates to main family homes were power was cut up to and including December 31, 2014. The reconnection will happen without a fee and regardless of who owes to PPC. Beneficiaries will get up to 300 kW per month until the end of the year, she clarified.

    The foodstuffs bonus she said will be applied through the use of a card that is yet to be set up.

    [23] Gold mining company officials visit ministers, who commit to on-site evaluation of situation in Halkidiki

    Government officials will pay a visit to the Halkidiki, northern Greece gold mines very soon, it was announced on Sunday, following a visit by delegates of the foreign investors to the environment ministry on Saturday.

    Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Alternate Environment Minister Yiannis Tsironis will soon visit the Halkidiki gold mining complex. They were paid a visit on Saturday by Canadian Ambassador Robert Peck, Canada-based Eldorado Gold CEO Paul Wright, and Hellenic Gold president Eduardo Moura and CEO Michalis Theodorakopoulos.

    The ministers want to do an on-site review and discuss issues with all sides, an announcement said.

    General News

    [24] Lion of Amphipolis not part of Kastas tomb hill, burial in last chamber belongs to unrelated era, researchers tell congress

    The famed Lion of Amphipolis statue could not have been placed on the Kastas hill covering a controversial tomb in northern Greece's ancient Amphipolis site, specialists said at a congress in Thessaloniki on Saturday, because it is too heavy to have been supported by the naturally formed hill, while the burial found in the tomb most certainly belongs to a different date than the original monument.

    Evangelos Kambouroglou, director of the Palaeoanthropology and Speliology Ephorate's department of archaeological research, told the 28th annual archaeological congress on Macedonian and Thracian archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki that according to current evidence the Lion, dated to the 4th century BC, could not have been placed on the monument.

    Kambouroglou said, "the Kasta tomb hill is natural, not artificial. It consists of sediments of quartzite sand, clay and sandstone, which give it a limited durability and render it unable to support any weight over 500 tonnes." The lion, with its base, weigh over 1,500 tonnes, and the conclusion he reached is the same that archaeologists of the site had already known.

    He added that the box-shaped grave found in the last chamber in the last excavated chamber of the monument was made at a different time from the main monument, and is "a cheap construction" that does not fit in with the surrounding monument, but did not date it as bone analysis is pending.

    Kambouroglou, who has worked closely with chief archaeologist at the site Katerina Peristeri, said that when he had entered the chamber with the burial "there were many human interventions and burnt remains (samples of which have been sent to a Massachusetts institute for analysis), while its roof showed the earth had shifted," possibly from the same earthquake as that of 597 AD, which is thought to have been so strong it changed the direction of the of Strymon River flow.

    University of Thessaloniki physics professor Grigoris Tsokas, another of the researchers involved in the excavation's analysis, said during his talk that the construction of the perivolos, or low wall surrounding the monument, has created problems in the earth layering and made it impossible to use imaging technology.

    The congress, held annually to present results from excavations and research of sites in northern Greece, is wrapping up its second and last day. On Friday, the presenters had announced that Peristeri would not be making any statements as results of research were not out yet, and made special mention of the media frenzy created around the excavation globally.

    [25] Officials attend anniversary of Dodecanese Islands' incorporation, on Rhodes

    Celebrations commemorating the incorporation of the Dodecanese Islands to Greece concluded on Saturday on several islands, with main events held on the island of Rhodes.

    National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, Parliament President Zoi Constantopoulou and National Defence General Staff Chief Michail Kostarakos watched a parade in the centre of Rhodes city proper, as did deputies from the Islands, in the 67th anniversary.

    Constantopoulou said Parliament will hold a special session about the incorporation of the Dodecanese and Kammenos spoke of a celebration without street barriers and with the Greek people united.

    [26] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros transferred from mainland to new maximum-security jail on Crete

    Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros was transferred to the Agia, Chania area, jail on the southern Aegean island of Crete on Saturday morning, from the maximum-security prison at Domokos in central Greece.

    Xiros, convicted for participation in the "November 17" terrorist group and other terrorist involvement, was transferred by judge's order under cover and maximum security measures on a regular ferry. He boarded the ferry in a special van after all passengers had boarded and was transferred off board once every other passenger had left, at Souda Bay port on the island.

    The jail he was transferred to, "Kriti 1", is a recently completed unit with state-of-the-art security measures.

    [27] Large quantity of contraband cigarettes confiscated

    More than 3,000 packets of contraband cigarettes were found on Sunday hidden in a car.

    The 45-year-old car driver was arrested on Amphipolis-Drama national road and the contraband cigarettes were confiscated as they had not been taxed.

    The driver was led to Instance Court of Drama for questioning.

    Soccer

    [28] Super League Results

    Games played for the Super League had the following results:

    Veria-Ergotelis 0-1

    Asteras Tripolis-Atromitos 1-0

    Panthrakikos-Olympiakos (postponed)

    Kalloni-Panionios 1-0

    OFI-Xanthi 0-1

    Panetolikos-Kerkyra 0-1

    Panathinaikos-PAOK 4-3

    Platanias-Levadiakos 9/3

    Standings:

    1. Olympiakos (25 games) 58

    2. Panathinaikos (26 games) 55

    3. PAOK (26 games) 50

    4. Asteras Tripolis (26 games) 47

    5. Panetolikos (26 games) 42

    6. PAS Yiannina (26 games) 40

    7. Xanthi (26 games) 40

    8. Atromitos (25 games) 37

    9. Veria (26 games) 34

    10. Kalloni (26 games) 34

    11. Kerkyra (26 games) 34

    12. Panthrakikos (26 games) 28

    13. Panionios (26 games) 28

    14. Platanias Chanion (25 games) 27

    15. Ergotelis (26 games) 25

    16. Levadiakos (25 games) 22

    17. OFI 13 (25 games) 13

    18. Niki Volou (26 games) -6

    Weather forecast

    [29] Locally rainy on Monday

    Overcast with local rain, even storms in the west, is the forecast for all of Greece; light snowfall expected at higher elevations. Mostly northerly winds from 4 to 6 Beaufort, rising to 7 in the north and eastern mainland and the eastern Aegean Sea. Temperatures from 06C (-1C up north) to 19C. In Athens, local rain in the evening and light snowfall on Mt. Parnitha. Northerly inds 4-7 Beaufort, temperature 7C-13C, lower in the north. In Thessaloniki, cloudy, north-northwesterly winds 3-4 Beaufort. Temperatures 3C-7C.

    [30] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: "Double negotiations - Battle for reforms and new agreement with [loan] partners"

    DIMOKRATIA: "[German FinMin Wolfgang] Schaeuble wants [Bank of Greece governor Yannis] Stournaras for 'new Papademos'"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Plans to borrow up to 8 billion euros from health fund bond"

    ETHNOS: "Ultimatums between Athens and Brussels"

    KATHIMERINI: "Threat of domestic bankruptcy"

    LOGOS: "Unemployment reduced GDP by 65%"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "A 'first installment' in the continuing anti-popular policy"

    TO VIMA: "Secret bargaining for [FinMin Yanis] Varoufakis list" of proposals

    VRADYNI: "Pension age raised; who is under threat" of having to work longer before pension

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