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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-11-02

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

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2016 Issue No: 5280

CONTENTS

  • [01] Second review of Greek program to be completed by end-November, Econ Min says
  • [02] Pension reforms finalised in 1st review, Labour minister insists after finance ministry meeting
  • [03] Social security issue has closed for good; pensions are not at risk, says Labour Min Katrougalos
  • [04] Greece can return to markets in 2017 if reforms continue, ESM's Regling says
  • [05] Short-term debt relief measures probably this year, Regling says
  • [06] Both pension system and labour reforms on the cards in Greece's 2nd review, Dijsselbloem says
  • [07] Tsipras meets central Macedonia prefect, discuss region's problems
  • [08] Lavros-Kotzias programme on Wednesday
  • [09] State minister welcomes ND's decision to propose a candidate for NCRTV chief
  • [10] Government stresses need for New Democracy to assume its responsibilities
  • [11] Government sources welcome ND's return to talks on new NCRTV board
  • [12] Defence Min Kammenos pays official visit to Jakarta
  • [13] Erdogan statements disputing Lausanne Treaty 'outrageous', Verhofstadt says
  • [14] Violation of minority rights a 'minefield' for Albania's European prospects, Athens says
  • [15] ND leader Mitsotakis meets with Norwegian ambassador Gjelstad
  • [16] The danger is to compromise with decadence, says Potami leader Theodorakis
  • [17] Greek Coast Guard chief meets with American counterpart in Athens
  • [18] Golden Dawn members rally in memory of killed members
  • [19] SETE: Negative business climate for tourism companies
  • [20] Return of deposits up to 25 bln euros possible, Karamouzis says
  • [21] Stelios Hajioannou presents the two faces of Greek crisis
  • [22] 100 mln euros investment in Papastratos historic buildings in Piraeus
  • [23] Seven funds express interest in Attica Bank's NPLs
  • [24] Heraklio to be promoted in Swiss tourist market
  • [25] Greek PMI down in October
  • [26] Rum Festival in Athens on 6 and 7 November
  • [27] Greek stocks end 1.47 pct lower
  • [28] Greek bond market closing report
  • [29] ADEX closing report
  • [30] 'State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History' exhibition opening at BCM in Athens on Wednesday
  • [31] Greek scientists sound alarm over pharmaceutical expenditure
  • [32] Restored ancient funerary in Kolones, Salamina, opens to visitors
  • [33] Sailing boat with migrants missing; 45 migrants rescued
  • [34] Fire in olive grove near Moria hotspot under control
  • [35] Schools in Greece to remain closed on Wednesday
  • [36] Ships to remain docked on Nov. 24 due to seamen's strike
  • [37] Mid-season sales start on Tuesday
  • [38] Mostly fair on Wednesday
  • [39] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Second review of Greek program to be completed by end-November, Econ Min says

    A second review of the Greek program will be completed by the end of November, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday.

    In a radio interview, Stathakis said that talks went very well in the first week of negotiations and noted that the two sides have identified the areas of general agreement and the issues needed further negotiations, taking as granted that there are different views of these issues. "The review will be completed within schedule by the end of November," he noted.

    Commenting on talk over the possibility of a fourth memorandum, particularly if the IMF put fresh money in the Greek program, Stathakis said: "There is a confusion. The IMF has no program with Greece. This ended in early 2015 when SYRIZA became government. It is a technical adviser. If it puts money, it must have some kind of a program with Greece. This is not a fourth, or a fifth, or a sixth program. It is the current program, on which the IMF will have to decided whether it will participate or not. Therefore, any discussion over a fourth memorandum is based on a misunderstanding".

    "If the economy recovers, if we have the minimum debt relief measures, a return to QE, all these would mean that Greece could return to capital markets. It is very positive that enterprises based in Greece can borrow from international markets for the first time. All these concluded that by the end of the current program Greece will have returned to markets and there will be no discussion on a fourth memorandum," the Greek minister said.

    Stathakis said the Greek government and its creditors were very near to reach an agreement on a new legislation on the management of non-performing loans, while he categorically dismissed talk of additional measures. "We have voted all fiscal measures up to 2018 so there is no issue of new measures," he said, adding that there is an agreement in principle over 2016 and 2017 and that we are fully within targets.

    He said that the Greek economy will turn to positive growth rates in the last two quarters of 2016, paving the way for a 2.7-2.8 pct growth rate in 2017, as the private investment index shows a very strong growth.

    [02] Pension reforms finalised in 1st review, Labour minister insists after finance ministry meeting

    The issue of Greece's pension system was settled during the first review of the Greek programme, Labour Minister George Katrougalos insisted on Tuesday, as he emerged from a meeting held at the finance ministry.

    "What is happening now is to check the implementation of the law and the operation of the Single Social Insurance Agency," Katrougalos told reporters, noting that the necessary decisions and circulars were still pending. This was a very difficult task, he added, but all decisions and circulars will be issued in time.

    The labour minister further explained that there will be a "clean-up" of welfare benefits, stopping those that "overlapped" with the Social Solidarity Income, but without cuts to special categories of welfare payments, such as those to the disabled or family benefits.

    Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis, replying to questions, ruled out an abolition of heating benefits and noted that the 105 million euros earmarked for this had already been added to the 2017 budget.

    In addition to Katrougalos and Chouliarakis, the meeting included Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Labour Minister for Social Solidarity issues Theano Fotiou.

    In a statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) and in response to a document that Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem sent to the Dutch Parliament regarding the second review of the Greek programme, Katrougalos said there had been an "extensive misinterpretation of these statements."

    "Others say that it will be a separate issue at the Eurogroup on November 7, others say that the pensions issue is opening again. None of that is the case. The pensions issue has finalised and will not reopen in the context of the second review," he said, repeating that the focus of the institutions was on the implementation of the measures, through the necessary ministerial decisions and circulars.

    "This must be what the Dutch finance minister was referring to and, in any case, no one has raised a repetition of a review of the social insurance system," he added.

    Finance ministry sources backed up the minister, saying that the pension system had not been among the issues for the second review and was not raised in meetings with the institutions held in Athens last week. The Social Solidarity benefit was among the issues included in the second review and this was presumably what Dijsselbloem was referring to, they added.

    [03] Social security issue has closed for good; pensions are not at risk, says Labour Min Katrougalos

    Pensions are not at risk, reassured Labour Minister George Katrougalos underlining that horizontal cuts in pensions, as it happened with the former governments, were not imposed.

    Speaking to public broadcaster ERT on Tuesday, Katrougalos noted that the ministry sent a memo to those pensioners that suffered cuts in their supplementary pensions in order to inform them on the real amount witheld. The social security reform was based on a totally new system with equality for all, he said and underlined that the insurance reform was the best possible.

    Moreover, he said that his priority is tackling black and undeclared work while referring to the negotiation on labour issues he said that Athens has set as condition the return of collective contracts.

    On the financing of the lowest guaranteed income, Katrougalos said that the government insists that it is not linked with tax-free reduction.

    [04] Greece can return to markets in 2017 if reforms continue, ESM's Regling says

    Greece can return to the markets in 2017, if it continues the economic reforms, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regling, said on Tuesday.

    "We have helped five countries during the crisis: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. Four of them are now success stories," Regling said at a conference in Nicosia, adding: "I expect that Greece, too, can begin to return to markets next year, if it continues to make reforms. "

    [05] Short-term debt relief measures probably this year, Regling says

    Short-term debt relief measures for Greece will be decided probably this year, the head of European Stability Mechanism, Klaus Regling said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, Regling said there is progress in negotiations currently underway on the issue. "The ESM has a mandate to look at short-term measures, which we do, and we will make proposals before the end of the year," he said.

    "There is quite a lot of agreement. We will not have a precise agreement on what to do in mid-2018 but on the short- term measures we will probably have decisions this year," he said.

    The short-term measures would aim to reduce the interest vulnerability of the Greek economy, he added. Regling said the medium-term measures on debt relief will be taken after completion of the current support program and could be followed by a long-term relief if Athens sticks to its reform program.

    [06] Both pension system and labour reforms on the cards in Greece's 2nd review, Dijsselbloem says

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Aroni)

    Measures concerning both the pension system and labour market reforms are expected to be the focus of talks during the second review of Greece's programme, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem informed the Dutch lawmakers on Tuesday, in the customary document sent by the Dutch finance minister prior to each Eurogroup.

    Dijsselbloen noted that the second review of Greece's programme, which is now underway, will be on the agenda of the next Eurogroup on November 7. He said the Dutch government considers the rapid completion of this review important, while adding that it included a broad range of measures.

    He said the institutions will brief Eurozone finance ministers on the details of these and noted a need for measures relating to privatisations, the financial sector, the energy market, public administration, medium-term and long-term budget strategy, the business climate, the market for products and education.

    Dijsselbloem also announced that the official conclusion of the first review now opened the way for short-term debt relief measures for Greece, as announced by the May 24 Eurogroup meeting, which will be mainly focused on reducing interest rate vulnerability, including a 'gentler' profile for European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) loans and debt repayments in 2017. The institutions' next mission to Athens has been scheduled for November 14-21, he said.

    [07] Tsipras meets central Macedonia prefect, discuss region's problems

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras discussed issues relating to the prefecture of central Macedonia in a meeting with local prefect Apostolos Tzitzikostas at Maximos Mansion on Tuesday.

    "I welcomed the prefect of central Macedonia Mr. A. Tzitzikostas. We can resolve daily problems together," Tsipras said in a tweet after the meeting.

    According to government sources, Tzitzikostas wanted to brief Tsipras on economic issues relating to his prefecture and other problems of the region. The said people's daily lives can improve but to do this he needs the help of the government and the prime minister. The same sources said Tsipras welcomed the initiative saying it's important to cooperate and resolve issues jointly.

    [08] Lavros-Kotzias programme on Wednesday

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, due to arrive in Greece on an official visit, and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias are to attend the start of the 4th Greek-Russian Social Forum opening at the Zappion building in central Athens on Wednesday.

    Lavrov is to then accompany Kotzias to the Byzantine and Christian Museum for the opening of the "The State Hermitage: Gateway to History" exhibition and the two men are then scheduled to have a one-on-one meeting at the foreign ministry.

    Following the meeting, there is to be a ceremony for the official signature of the Greek and Russian foreign ministries' consultations programme for 2017-2019, followed by joint statements to the press.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Kotzias will attend a ceremony naming Lavrov an honorary doctor of Piraeus University.

    [09] State minister welcomes ND's decision to propose a candidate for NCRTV chief

    State Minister Nikos Pappas welcomed New Democracy's initiative to propose a candidate for the new board of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), the country's TV regulator, saying it shows there's room for consensus.

    "We are on a path of convergence in setting up the NCRTV and that is very positive for the issue and for the country's political life," Pappas said during an interview with channel "E".

    "ND's proposal sends a message to other political forces that there's real room for convergence," he said, without commenting on ND's candidate. "I welcome ND's position to propose a person as president of NCRTV, there's room for ND to move from 'present' to 'Yes," he added, referring to the vote that took place on Monday night in parliament where the main opposition voted "present", thus blocking the election of the previous candidates.

    Pappas insisted on keeping just four nationwide broadcasters but added that because there is a tendency towards a consensus, "if the number of the channels is crucial for the opposition, we can examine a regulation which would require the NCRTV to agree on their number."

    [10] Government stresses need for New Democracy to assume its responsibilities

    The new reality formed after the wide majority achieved in the conference of parliament's presidents on Monday forces main opposition New Democracy to assume its responsibilities, the government said in a statement.

    "For the first time, after five meetings, the conference of presidents achieved wide majority, close to the required 4/5. Therefore, there is a consensus tendency for immediately forming the new Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), that is a constitutional obligation," it said.

    [11] Government sources welcome ND's return to talks on new NCRTV board

    The government welcomes New Democracy's delayed decision to return to talks over the formation of the new board of Greece's TV regulator, government sources said on Tuesday.

    "It is positive that ND is entering talks for the formation of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV). Even if it's a day late, as the issue could have concluded yesterday," a government source told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, commenting on a new candidate proposed by the main opposition for the position of the president of the independent watchdog.

    Concerning the actual candidate, the same source referred it to the Conference of Parliament Presidents which is expected to convene again in the coming days.

    [12] Defence Min Kammenos pays official visit to Jakarta

    Defence Minister Panos Kammenos is paying an official visit to Jakarta after an invitation of his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu.

    During his visit, Kammenos will be received by the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Vice President Muhamand Jusuf Kalla and he will visit the exhibition "INDO DEFENCE 2016" taking place with the participation of Greek state and private companies. He will also attend a forum of the two countries' defense industries.

    The official visit will be concluded on November 4.

    [13] Erdogan statements disputing Lausanne Treaty 'outrageous', Verhofstadt says

    NICOSIA (ANA/ A. Viketos)

    Attempts by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to dispute the Lausanne Treaty were "outrageous," Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt said on Tuesday at an Economist conference in Nicosia.

    According to the head of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Group, "it was dangerous and provocative to dispute a treaty adopted 100 years ago."

    Verhofstadt expressed support for the efforts of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to find a solution for the Cyprus problem. He noted that the negotiations were taking place at a time when Erdogan was laying claim to one Greek island after another and starting to dispute the Lausanne Treaty, with which Turkey had relinquished all claims on Cyprus.

    [14] Violation of minority rights a 'minefield' for Albania's European prospects, Athens says

    Reacting to the planned demolition of 19 homes belonging to ethnic Greeks in Albania's Himara region, the Greek foreign ministry on Tuesday again warned that proceeding with such actions will jeopardise Albania's European perspective.

    "Official Albanian agencies cannot claim urbi et orbi that minority rights are respected throughout Albanian territory at the same time as they are being violated in practice, creating a minefield for the country's European course," a Greek foreign ministry announcement said.

    Albania's leadership was confusing its own mistaken understanding of history with Albania's commitments arising from international law and the body of European laws concerning the protection of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, which was native and had established rights, the foreign ministry said.

    The actions of Albanian authorities pointed to the existence of an organised plan to violate the rights of the Greek minority, "with the events speaking for themselves," the ministry claimed. It noted, among others, that demolition notices as part of a plan for the redevelopment of Himara were all sent to individuals of ethnic Greek origin.

    "Yesterday's statements by Albanian officials smack of an outdated logic that directly conflicts with current standards for the protection of minority rights in modern, democratic and European countries," the announcement continued.

    The ministry was responding to an Albanian foreign ministry announcement on Monday, which said that there was no discrimination with respect to the law and that the legal procedures followed by the Himara municipality were all "transparent and in accordance with current legislation."

    Greece had urged Albanian authorities on Sunday to cancel the demolition order giving residents five days to quit their homes and begin meaningful consultations with the owners concerning Himara's redevelopment plans.

    "If Albania sincerely wishes to join the European Union, it should demonstrate in practice that it functions according to the principles of the rule of law, protecting the rights of all its residents regardless of their nationality and origin, against abuses and illegal acts," the Greek foreign ministry had added.

    [15] ND leader Mitsotakis meets with Norwegian ambassador Gjelstad

    New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Tuesday with the ambassador of Norway to Greece Jorn Eugene Gjelstad.

    On Wednesday, the main opposition leader will receive USA ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt in his office in parliament at 11:00, said a party announcement.

    [16] The danger is to compromise with decadence, says Potami leader Theodorakis

    "I never believed Tsipras (Alexis, prime minister) but know he is rolling down a hill that nobody knows where is the end and what wounds will leave to the country. He proposed extreme-right Polydoras (Vyron) head of Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), said Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis in an interview with mononews.gr.

    "The danger that lies before us is to compromise with decadance. The young to continue to migrate and the citizens to continue to suffer. People must understand that is not enough to change the governance but to change everything without devastating the country," said Theodorakis.

    He said that he admires Barack Obama and Nikos Kazantzakis (author) as politician. He has also been impressed by Olof Palme and Gerhard Schroeder. "People are making mistakes but we should become wiser by our mistakes. To learn and not repeat them but unfortunately here (in Greece) we are inclined to do the same mistakes.

    [17] Greek Coast Guard chief meets with American counterpart in Athens

    Greek Coast Guard chief, Vice Admiral Stamatios Raptis, discussed migration and refugee flows and the country's operational planning to manage the problem, as well as issues concerning shipping, during a meeting with the U.S.'s Deputy Commandant for Operations, Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray, in Athens on Tuesday.

    Raptis and Ray were accompanied by senior officers of the two countries' respective Coast Guard.

    [18] Golden Dawn members rally in memory of killed members

    Hundreds of far-right Golden Dawn members gathered outside the party's former offices in Neo Iraklio on Tuesday afternoon to commemorate the murder of two members killed there three years ago.

    Giorgos Fountoulis and Manolis Kapelonis were shot dead in 2013 at the party's offices by an emerging terrorist organization called "Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces". Police forces are in the area while traffic has been stopped on Irakliou Avenue.

    Financial News

    [19] SETE: Negative business climate for tourism companies

    Despite the rise in tourist arrivals this year, Greek tourism revenues dropped significantly in September, the research unit of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) said in its monthly statistical bulletin.

    There was an overall increase of 12.9 pct in regional airport arrivals in September, and 14.3 pct in the Athens international airport compared to the same period last year. In the January-September period the increase was 7.6 pct.

    Road arrivals in August 2016 rose 14.4 pct compared to the September 2015, while the first eight months of 2016 saw a decrease of 1.3 pct.

    According to Bank of Greece's data, travel receipts declined by 9.2 pct year-on-year in August while travel receipts in January-August 2016 totalled 9,853 million euros, falling by 7.1 pct, relative to the same period of 2015.

    The confederation said that the reduced revenues was a result of Greece's late entry in the tourism market with last minute offers and the over-taxation on tourism companies that creates a negative business climate.

    [20] Return of deposits up to 25 bln euros possible, Karamouzis says

    Improving economic climate and business outlook could lead to a return of deposits up to 25 billion euros in the domestic banking system in the next 18 to 24 months, Eurobank's chairman Nikolaos Karamouzis said.

    Addressing an event organized by the Hellenic Observatory of London School of Economics and Hellenic Bankers Association - UK, the Greek banker said that non-performing loans will begin falling from the first quarter of 2017 -unless there are any negative surprises in the Greek economy- something confirmed by prevailing trends in NPLs. He noted that it should be clear that reversing a trend in NPLs was not only related with their management by the banking system -which is necessary- but from the return of the country to a sustainable growth path, lifting capital controls and accessing capital markets.

    Referring to the Greek economy, Karamouzis said that the government was implementing a third adjustment program with success in several fronts, such as privatizations.

    "The Greek economy, having suffered a multi-year, double-dip recession, record unemployment, anemic investment and high public debt, is in urgent need to return to a path of strong and sustainable economic growth. This is the main priority of economic policy as it is both the targeted cure for the economic malaise, as well as a key prerequisite for the success of its third Adjustment Programme. While the steady and timely implementation of the reforms and fiscal consolidation measures contained in the agreement is a necessary condition for the resumption of growth, several additional pre-conditions have to be met. Perhaps the most important of all concerns is the ability of Greek banks to provide the credit needed to support economic growth. This, in turn, depends on the degree of success in dealing with four key challenges ahead, namely, restoring normal liquidity conditions, successfully managing a large stock of bad and problematic loans, reducing official sector interference in banking operations, and tackling the sweeping, transformational changes now gripping the European banking sector as a whole. Greek banks have more than adequate capital to simultaneously fund economic growth and effectively reduce the large stock of bad loans. However, improving the liquidity situation, hinges upon the Greek government demonstrating a convincing commitment to implementing the program and key economic reforms, as well as pro-market and pro-growth economic policies. Restoring market confidence in the Greek economy and proper business climate are a sine qua non for a Greek economic recovery. To this end, a number of front-loaded, bold policy initiatives are proposed. Those could arguably lead to a substantial reduction of risk premia and interest rates, resumption of positive credit expansion, significant repatriation of deposits and widening possibilities for Greek economic agents to raise debt and equity internationally on attractive terms," Karamouzis said.

    Karamouzis holds the position of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurobank Ergasias S.A.. He is the Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee and Member of the following Board Committees: Risk Committee and Nomination Committee. He is also Member of the Bank's Legal Counsel.

    [21] Stelios Hajioannou presents the two faces of Greek crisis

    Determination and dedication to business goals and personal risk taken to invest in an unstable economic environment with personal capital characterized young businessmen who participated in the final phase of a "Stelios Hajioannou Award for Young Entrepreneurs 2016".

    Addressing an award ceremony in Athens, Sir Stelios Hajioannou said the winners of this year's awards excelled by presenting positive financial results, a healthy business model, innovation and quality of services.

    The founder of easyJet, of easyGroup and Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, presented two different faces of the crisis and their consequences in Greece. In the morning, more than 2,000 waited patiently to have their free meal offered by the Stelios Hajioannou Philanthropic Foundation, as part of a "food from heart" program and noted that the number of people participating rose, offering a benchmark for the prevailing situation. A few hours later, we award eight new very promising entrepreneurs for their business ideas and this is an optimistic message, Sir Stelios Hajioannou said.

    A change in the selection criteria contributed significantly in the increase of participations, which hit a record of 67 particpations this year, 10 times more than in 2015, Hajioannou said. For the first in the nine year history of the awards, eight winners received a total of 100,000 euros in awards, double the amount of 2015, with the first receiving an award of 30,000 euros and the rest 10,000 euros each.

    The award has supported young entrepreneurship in Greece with 500,000 euros since 2008.

    This year's big winner was Sun of a Beach company, specializing in the production and commerce of summer accessories, sea towels, promoting "made in Greece" and Greek summer on a global level.

    The other winners were:

    - Agnotis, Jacko Carasso, baby diapers e-retailer company.

    - Apifon, Constantinos Stroubakis, innovative mobile and services and applications company.

    - Glowbox, Ekaterini Lyberi, beauty e-shop company.

    - Isostevia, Antonios Panagotas, stevia product production and distribution company.

    - Mermix, Christos Stamatis, farm machinery exchange company.

    - Finest Roots, Manos & Nikolas Smyrlakis, traditional liquor maker.

    - Sleed, Stylianos Iliakis & Evangelos Kotsonis, e-business and digital marketing company.

    [22] 100 mln euros investment in Papastratos historic buildings in Piraeus

    An investment project worth 100 million euros by Dimand Real Estate in Aghios Dionysios area will breathe new life into one of the most central regions of Piraeus. The company purchased three building blocks in the area, which used to be Papastratos tobacco industry's old warehouses and production unit, and plans their reconstruction into modern office buildings, along with a hotel unit, furnished houses, conference hall, shopping mall, underground parking and a Papastratos museum.

    Panos Panagiotidis, managing director Dimand Real Estate, speaking to reporters said that the company has agreed with Grivalia Properties to reconstruct Papastratos' old warehouses and their transformation into modern office building and was in talks with Cosco over a possible use of the building. Panagiotidis estimated that more than 5,000 job positions will be created in the project.

    Christos Charpantidis, chairman and chief executive of Papastratos, speaking to reporters, said that "Dimand Real Estate wanted to keep the soul of Papastratos' buildings alive and to exploit them and so we together found ways to keep our course here in Piraeus where the first tobacco production began in Greece". Charpantidis expressed his satisfaction over the way of exploiting Papastratos' historic buildings and said that this was the growth model needed by Greece, a combination of factor and a step-by-step progress.

    [23] Seven funds express interest in Attica Bank's NPLs

    Seven funds expressed interest in managing Attica Bank's mostly businesses' non-performing loans (NPLs), which amount to about one billion euros, according to sources on Tuesday.

    The same sources said the funds will also invest about 70 million euros to fully cover the bank's capital needs, which emerged following last year's stress tests. In the following days the offers made by the funds will be assessed in order to come up with a preferred investor by the end of November.

    [24] Heraklio to be promoted in Swiss tourist market

    The city of Heraklio, Crete, participates in Lugano's Swiss International Holiday Exhibition.

    In an exhibition area of 10,000 square meters, more than 200 booths, more than 26 countries represented, institutional seminars and thematic events, the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition in Lugano aims to please the different types of visitors (families, singles, young couples, students, pensioners, etc.) and exhibitors, transforming for three days the beautiful city of Lugano into the center of the world leading the way in the successful tourism promotion.

    The exhibition started on Sunday, October 30 and ends Tuesday, November 1.

    [25] Greek PMI down in October

    Greek manufacturing sector fell deeper into recession in October as both production and new orders fell in the month, Markit said on Tuesday.

    The country's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index PMI fell to 48.6 points in October from 49.2 in September, to a new five-month low, Markit said in a monthly report. The October figure underlined a slightly faster shrinking of the manufacturing sector, with production levels by Greek manufacturers falling for the second successive month. Weak demand was one of the reasons for the decline in production. New orders volume fell further in October, at a faster rate compared with September, while new incoming orders -domestic and abroad- remained low. New export orders fell at the fastest rate since June, although Greek manufacturers continued raising their workforce for the fifth successive month. Pending works deteriorated significantly in October, while average cost burden rose significantly, remaining on an upward trend for the seventh successive month affected by higher steel and dairy product prices. Meanwhile, Greek manufacturers continued lowering the outflow prices in October, for the fourth successive month. Delivery times slowed in the month.

    The PMI measures business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector, while readings below 50 a shrinking sector.

    [26] Rum Festival in Athens on 6 and 7 November

    Athens will be the capital of rum on November 6-7. A large festival, the first rum festival for the rum, will be held at the Zappeion Mansion organised by the bar Baba au Rum (World's 50 Best Bars 2013 and 2016) and the company Conf Expo Ltd. Founder of the festival is Thanos Pournarous, bartender and owner of Baba au Rum and founder of the magazine Fine Drinking.

    A large number of foreign bartenders and rum industries will participate in the festival.

    "Bars in Athens have made significant progress," said Pournarous and underlined: "Only a few cities worldwide can claim that they have a higher position than Athens and these are London, New York and probably Sidney. There are many Greek bars and bartenders that are internationally acclaimed. For us is very important to prove that Athens is a pioneer and we want to make Athens Rum Festival one of the best worldwide. It is very important that people from the specific industry as well as people that like fine drinking visit Athens."

    [27] Greek stocks end 1.47 pct lower

    Greek stocks ended significantly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday as investors took profits in banks and other blue chip stocks such as Athens Water, OTE and OPAP. The composite index of the market fell 1.47 pct to end at 582.45 points, with the Large Cap index losing 1.82 pct and the Mid Cap index ending 1.10 pct lower. Turnover was a low 33.986 million euros in volume of 35,602,231 shares.

    Aegean Airlines (1.53 pct), Hellenic Exchanges (0.44 pct) and Piraeus Port (0.40 pct) scored big gains among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank (4.66 pct), Piraeus Bank (4.64 pct) and Athens Water (4.07 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The Commerce sector (0.05 pct) was the only one to end higher, while Banks (3.62 pct), Telecoms (2.99 pct) and Utilities (2.23 pct) suffered heavy losses. National Bank and Eurobank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 62 to 26 with another 20 issues unchanged. Athina (19.67 pct), GE Demetriou (15.79 pct) and Haidemenos (10.71 pct) were top gainers, while Livanis Publications (13.64 pct), Leventeris (10.71 pct) and Elgeka (9.49 pct) were top losers.

    [28] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased further to 8.13 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Tuesday, from 8.21 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 8.31 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.18 pct. Turnover was an improved 8.0 million euros, all buy orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was -0.071 pct, the nine-month rate was -0.133 pct, the six-month rate fell to -0.214 pct from -0.212 pct, the three-month rate was -0.317 pct and the one-month rate fell to 0.379 pct.

    [29] ADEX closing report

    The November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.12 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,544 contracts with 6,877 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 19,036 contracts with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank's contracts (5,194), followed by National Bank (3,831), Piraeus Bank (3,913), Eurobank (2,708), MIG (455), OTE (891), PPC (677), OPAP (433), Mytilineos (430), Motor Oil (74), Hellenic Exchanges (35), Coca Cola HBC (56), Viohalco (34), Jumbo (94) and Intralot (52).

    General News

    [30] 'State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History' exhibition opening at BCM in Athens on Wednesday

    The "State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History" exhibition opens its doors at the Byzantine and Christian Museum (BCM) in Athens on Wednesday, following an official inauguration ceremony by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.

    In a press conference also attended by Hermitage Museum Director Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovski on Tuesday, culture and sports ministry general secretary Maria Andreadaki-Blazaki said the exhibition illustrated the "encyclopaedic spirit" of the St. Petersburg-based Hermitage Museum through the presentation of a great variety of works from different cultural environments spanning an extended period of time.

    BCM Director Aikaterini Delaporta said that part of the exhibition, which was designed by the BCM, aimed to introduce Greek visitors into a period in the history of art from the Renaissance in the 15th century to the present day, based on the Hermitage collections. It also includes some archaeological artifacts and works of art, including paintings, miniatures and sculpture, that are representative of Hermitage Museum collections dating from the 5th century B.C. to the 20th century.

    The exhibition is divided into two main sections, the first of which is devoted to miniatures and the personal objects of the Russian czars but also the Hermitage Museum itself and will be held in the main building. The second, featuring works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and would be held in the BCM's temporary exhibitions gallery.

    Among the most notable items were the gold decorative buckles and other jewellery made by the peoples on the north shores of the Black Sea, Scythian artifacts with a strong Greek influence, Hellenistic-era items and richly decorated personal items owned by Russia's royalty, included gifts presented by foreign diplomats. The second section includes works representative of all trends in European art, including masterpieces by El Greco, Rubens, Caravaggio, Canova and Rodin.

    The exhibition is considered the foremost event marking Greece Russia Year 2016 and will run until February 26, 2017.

    [31] Greek scientists sound alarm over pharmaceutical expenditure

    Pharmaceutical expenditure in Greece has been steadily reducing over the last years and needs to be increased by at least 200 million euros compared to the institutions' demands and the Health ministry's estimates, Greek scientists said in an international conference held in Vienna.

    They explained that in order for patients to have access to innovative medicine, pharmaceutical companies that produce this kind of medicine should continue to dispose them in the Greek market. However, this is at risk since the pharmaceutical policy followed over the last 5 years and the plethora of new expensive medicine have increased the clawback making it difficult for these companies to dispose expensive medicine in the Greek market.

    "If the policy of cuts in pharmaceutical expenditure continues without structural measures, we will soon be led to a new impasse. The use of medicine increases, but at the same time the returns of pharmaceutical companies to the state also increase. This is extremely negative for them," they said.

    The scientists stressed the need for rationalisation of the pharmaceutical expenditure in Greece. In 2009 Greece was a world champion with pharmaceutical expenditure amounting to 2.8 percent of GDP compared to an average of 1.5 percent of GDP in other countries.

    "But now we are on the other side. Institutions had been asking us to cut down on expenses and upgrade the whole system. Indeed we reduced the expenditure, but we are lagging behind in reforms at the same time when our Balkan neighbours are developing towards that direction," a professor of Health University said.

    He explained that according to the memorandum, pharmaceutical expenditure is GDP-linked, but GDP has significantly dropped. In addition it was not taken into account that the Greeks live by an average two more years than the average European and a large part of the Greek society is the elderly who are facing several health problems.

    "All the above combined with the fact that the penetration of generics remains low in our country (about 20 pct), when in England and Germany reaches 80 pct, increase the need for higher pharmaceutical expenditure," he added.

    [32] Restored ancient funerary in Kolones, Salamina, opens to visitors

    A 4th-century BC circular funerary located in Kolones, at the southernmost cape of Salamis island, has been restored and is opening to visitors, the culture ministry said on Tuesday.

    The ancient monument encloses four tombs and a stone pedestal, on which was placed a graves signal, visible even from the sea. The monument had collapsed, for the most part, due to natural causes - vegetation, weather, seismic activity, etc. In the initial restoration study, the monument would have been partly restored by resetting 43 ancient stones in their original location, but during works it was decided to include all of the 99 fallen stones.

    Work started in April 2013 and ended in December 2015. The monument will be inaugurated by the general secretary of the ministry, Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki on November 6, at 12:30.

    [33] Sailing boat with migrants missing; 45 migrants rescued

    A rescue operation is in progess in the sea region of Neapolis (southern Peloponnese) to locate a sailing boat with an unknown number of migrants on board.

    The sailing boat called 112 and asked for help late Monday. The rescue operation was launched with delay (early Tuesday) due to the adverse weather conditions prevailing in the area that did not allow coast guard vessels to sail.

    Meanwhile,45 migrants and refugees that were located late Monday in the area of Xiropotamos on Antikythera will be transferred to the port of Neapolis with the ferry Porfyroussa. The foreign nationals arrived on Antikythera with an unidentified vessel.

    [34] Fire in olive grove near Moria hotspot under control

    A fire that broke out on Monday at an olive grove in Moria on Lesvos on Tuesday was under control.

    The blaze did not threat Moria hotspot where are hosted refugees and migrants.

    Police said that the fire is not related with the hotspot, however local residents appeared certain that migrants from the hotspot that set fire to cook their meal are responsible for the blaze.

    Fire brigade is conducting an investigation.

    [35] Schools in Greece to remain closed on Wednesday

    Schools throughout Greece to remain closed on Wednesday as teachers will vote for the new members of their official councils. To facilitate voters and ensure the widest possible participation, teachers who will participate in the election are granted a one-day leave.

    [36] Ships to remain docked on Nov. 24 due to seamen's strike

    Hellenic Seamen's federation (PNO) has declared a 24h nationwide strike on Thursday 24 November in protest for the cuts in supplementary pensions, the re-calculation of pensions and the attempted new regulation in the labour relations, which as PNO's announcement said "can't be left without response".

    PNO calls on all Greek seamen to fight united in a common front against the devastating memorandum policies that dissolve the labour and social rights.

    [37] Mid-season sales start on Tuesday

    The mid-season sales in Athens will start on Tuesday, November 1 and will run until Thursday, November 10.

    The stores in the Greek capital will optionally open on Sunday 6 November from 11:00 to 20:00

    Weather forecast

    [38] Mostly fair on Wednesday

    Mostly fair weather and winds from variable directions are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 4 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 03C to 19C. Partly cloudy in the western parts with temperatures between 09C and 22C. Mostly fair in the eastern parts with temperatures ranging from 09C to 21C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 13C-21C. Mostly fair in Athens, 10C-20C; the same for Thes-saloniki, 07C-19C.

    [39] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance:

    ETHNOS: Web settlement of bad loans

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: State Min Pappas exposed

    ESTIA: The country is fully trapped

    AVGHI: "Double present" to TV channels owners

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Rupture in the intolerance front

    KATHIMERINI: The government 'burns' the consensus

    RIZOSPASTIS: They are criminals, enemies of the emloyees

    TA NEA: If only someome could hear what was happening in the Presidential mansion

    KONTRA NEWS: Bring the Karamanlis law on the main shareholder back

    IMERISSIA: The bomb of the public debt

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Alarm over public debt

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