|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-11-11
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Friday, 11 November 2016 Issue No: 5287
 Conference of Parliament Presidents votes in new NCRTVThe Conference of Parliament Presidents on Thursday finally reached agreement on the new members of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), voting in favour of the proposed new council with the required four fifths majority. Consensus was reached after the government agreed to main opposition New Democracy's proposed candidates for the posts of Council chairman and deputy chairman.
"We must proceed to regulate the television scene and the public frequencies at a fitting price. It must be a vehicle for communication with the world and there must be change. We must all help so that the regulation of the television sector has both a price and regulation and control," Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said before the start of the vote.
He noted that the ruling majority's acceptance of ND's proposals for the Council's chairman should be a "hallmark for the start of operation of the NCRTV" and that deliberations on the membership continued until the last minute "in a climate of consensus".
The final composition of the Council ratified by the parliament presidents is as follows:
Chairman: Athanassios Koutromanos
Deputy Chairman: Rodolfos Moronis
Members: Popi Diamantakou, Vassilis Karapostolis, Nikos Kiaos, Giorgos Plios, Lilian Mitrou, Dimitra Papadopoulou, Giorgos Saridakis.
The ruling majority's proposal was carried by 20 votes in favour, cast by the ruling coalition parties SYRIZA and ANEL, main opposition New Democracy and the opposition Democratic Alliance and Potami parties, and four abstentions from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Golden Dawn and Union of Centrists. It was the sixth, and as Voutsis had warned the last, meeting of the parliament presidents in a bid to reach agreement on the new broadcasting regulator.
 Agreement on independent media body is important step in regulating TV landscape-spoxThe agreement on Thursday evening among political parties on the new board of the country's independent TV regulator constitutes an important step in regulating the TV landscape, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said, following the end of the meeting in parliament.
He said the weight now falls on the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) to complete a new tender for TV licenses as soon as possible.
"After six consecutive meetings of the Conference of Parliament Presidents for the appointment of the members of the new NCRTV, we achieved the necessary majority required by the Constitution. The consensus achieved constitutes a decisive step for the regulation of the radio and television landscape after 27 years of anti-institutional and unsupervised operation of radio and television stations," he said in a statement.
 Pappas: Agreement on NCRTV board is 'exceptionally positive moment'The achievement of a consensus at the Conference of Parliament Presidents on Thursday over the new members of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), is an exceptionally positive moment which will allow the country to organize a TV licensing tender, Digital Policy, Telecommu-nications and Media Ministry Nikos Pappas said on Thirsday, after the Conference selected the board members.
"The achievement of a consensus at the Conference of Presidents is an exceptionally positive moment which delayed more than 10 months, or rather more than 10 years," he said in a statement, adding the country will now have a TV regulator with legally elected board.
"The road is now open for the tender and the licensing. Nobody argues any more that there should not be a licensing procedure. Nobody argues that [TV stations] shouldn't pay for broadcasting nationwide. Nobody argues we must continue with the 27-year lawlessness and impunity," Pappas said, noting that the human resources and technological infrastructure and software, developed during the first tender are at the disposal of the new NCRTV.
 Number of TV licences to be decided through consensus and consultation, Pappas tells ANAThe National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) will have the sole authority to conduct a tender procedure for awarding television broadcasting licences, Digital Policy and Media Minister Nikos Pappas said in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Thursday.
"We are confident that we will soon have a solution," he said, while adding that the number of TV station licences will be arrived at through consultation and broader consensus between the political forces and the new independent authority, the NCRTV.
Reacting to Pappas' statement, main opposition New Democracy's Parliamentary group spokesman Nikos Dendias told reporters that it was "moving in a good direction" and also welcomed the government's decision to accept ND's proposed candidate for NCRTV chairman, Athanassios Koutromanos.
 Agreement on TV regulator ensures no jobs are lost, say ND sourceThe agreement among political parties on Thursday on the new board of the country's independent media body ensures that no TV channel will close and no jobs will be lost, New Democracy source said in a statement after the end of a meeting in parliament.
"With New Democracy's responsible stance we ended the lawlessness caused by Mr. Pappas. We ensured we will have a truly objective, unbiased and strong NCRTV which will play its role responsibility and serve the citizens' right to objective information," the party source said, noting that the government suffered a great political defeat and was forced to a "disorderly defeat".
The same source said the main opposition was always in favour of independent watchdogs which it proved by agreeing to the formation of four out the five constitutionally protected independent regulators within a few months.
 Obama visit of 'immense importance' for Greece and Europe, gov't sources sayU.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Greece on November 15-16 was an event of immense importance for Greece and for Europe, government sources noted on Thursday. The sources criticised what they called a stance of "blind opposition" adopted by New Democracy in seeking to downplay the importance of a visit that gave active support to Greece and had global reach.
The United States and especially Barack Obama have adopted a stance supportive of Greek positions on a series of crucial issues, the sources pointed out, including on debt relief for Greece that was crucial for its transition to a period of growth and prosperity. Regarding the Cyprus issue, also, for the first time in years the groundwork had been laid for the various sides to agree on a substantive, truly just and viable solution, they pointed out, while also highlighting the visit's significance for Greece's foreign policy agenda and its goals to promote peace and stability in the region.
President Obama's keynote speech from the hill overlooking the Acropolis had historic significance, the government sources pointed out, given that the leader of the U.S. "is selecting the place where democracy was born to deliver his last public speech to an international audience before handing the baton to the new president Trump."
"A speech that will underline the legacy of the defence of progressive values on a global scale and will be a universal message in support of the universal human values of democracy, social justice, and respect for human rights. At the same time, it will highlight the principled stance, based on humanism and solidarity, shown by the government and the Greek people toward refugees and migrants," the sources said.
"However much some people might like to downplay, if possible, the significance of the U.S. President's visit, the reality is that this visit gives active support for Greece and is at the same time an event of global reach," they said.
"Unfortunately, the main opposition chooses to adopt such an attitude. It would be pettiness if it were not, in reality, another incidence of blind opposition that invests only in chaos and disaster. ND does not want the failure of the government but of the country. It wants to provoke destabilisation, the derailing of the programme and the failure of the negotiations on the debt. Its strategy is to implement a harsh austerity programme that it wants to blame on the present government. This is the 4th memorandum that it seeks to implement, offering it in exchange for the settlement of Greece's debt," the sources added.
 New Democracy says SYRIZA should recognize significance of Obama's visit to AthensNew Democracy said the country will welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to Athens next week and called on SYRIZA to also recognize the significance of the visit, after governing sources said it would be wrong to underestimate the importance of Obama's last official trip abroad as president.
"We welcome the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to Greece and we'd like to welcome SYRIZA to the world of reason, but with such statements it's impossible," the party said.
 ND leader Mitsotakis congratulates U.S. President-elect Donald TrumpNew Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis send a congratulatory letter to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday, noting the historic bonds of friendship between the two countries based on the principles of freedom and democracy.
He also expressed his certainty that bilateral relations will continue to develop to the benefit of both peoples.
 Greek-French relations can't be affected by acts of terror, says gov't spokesman TzanakopoulosThe Greek government on Thursday condemned the attack against the French Embassy in Athens and expressed its solidarity to the special guard that was injured. The Greek police will do its duty to locate the perpetrators and will guarantee the protection of all the citizens.
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos at an announcement on Thursday also added: "The relations of friendship between Greece and France can't be affected by such acts of terror."
 SYRIZA condemns attack against French EmbassyWe unequivocally condemn the terror attack against the French Embassy in Athens, said SYRIZA in an announcement on Thursday.
We express our solidarity to the special guard who was injured during the attack. This kind of actions undermine the democracy and the peoples' peaceful co-existence," noted SYRIZA announcement.
 ND leader Mitsotakis condemns terror attack at French embassy"Anxiety and anger over the attack against the French embassy. The citizens' safety is our first priority. I express our solidarity to the special guard injured and to all the officers for their difficult mission," New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted on his personal Twitter account.
 KKE condems attack against French EmbassyThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) condemned the attack against the French Embassy in Athens in an announcement on Thursday. "This kind of actions that are totally against the working class movement, offer only an alibi to repression that intensifies on the occasion of US President Barack Obama's visit to Greece They also terrify those who want to take part in the rallies against US President's visit.
 Athens mayor condemns terror attack against French embassyAthens mayor Giorgos Kaminis condemned the terror attack against the French embassy in the early hours of Thursday morning, during which a security guard was injured, saying efforts to create tension among society will fail.
"Interpreting the feelings of the entire city council, the tension and the climate of terror that individual marginal groups seek to create, will fall on deaf ears. Democracy and freedom will prevail over the dark and suspicious objectives. We express our support and best wishes to injured guard," he said at the start of the municipal council meeting.
 French ambassador to Greece Chantepy calls on French people to stay calmThe French ambassador to Greece Christophe Chantepy sent a message of calmness to French citizens living in Greece after the attack against the embassy earlier on Thursday and stressed the immediate mobilization of the Greek authorities.
In a statement posted on the embassy's website, he said that "two persons riding a motorcycle threw a hand grenade outside the French embassy at Vas. Sofias street," adding that "the Greek authorities reacted rapidly and are conducting an investigation."
"The embassy is in constant contact with the Greek authorities, so as to safeguard security for all," the announcement added.
"We are at your disposal as always," the ambassador said calling on French people to remain calm.
 Minor explosion outside French embassy in AthensAn explosive device was thrown at the French embassy in Athens early on Thursday, injuring a guard.
Unidentified attackers riding a motorcycle threw a hand grenade that exploded 3-4 metres from the guard of the embassy who was injured on the leg.
Police have cordoned off the area around the embassy where an investigation is underway.
 Alt FM Katrougalos signs economic cooperation protocol with his Polish counterpart GreyAlternate Foreign Minister responsible for European and International Economic Affairs George Katrougalos signed a economic cooperation protocol between Greece and Poland with his Polish counterpart Robert Grey. The protocol aims to support the further strengthening of the cooperation of the Greek and Polish ministries in the field of economic diplomacy.
Katrougalos who is paying a visit to Poland also met with the Polish Minister for European Affairs Konrad Szymanski with whom they had a constructive dialogue on Europe's future, the refugees issue and the European budget.
 Alternate FM Katrougalos to visit UK after Warsaw on ThursdayAlternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos will visit the United Kingdom on Thursday, travelling directly from Warsaw to London. His talks with British officials will cover issues of European and bilateral interest, in light of Britain's EU exit.
He is scheduled to meeting UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Damian Green, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe in charge of Brexit David Jones and several members of the Labour Party's shadow cabinet, among others.
 Sports minister says government will not tolerate football violence; will seek help from anti-terror squadThe government will not tolerate organized crime in football and may block Greek football clubs from European championships if it doesn't succeed in ending the violence, Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis said on Thursday, following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The meeting comes after a suspected arson attack on a referee's home, which prompted the indefinite suspension of all league games.
Vassiliadis said the government will seek the help of the anti-terrorism police to investigate the crime and any other similar incidents involving football noting it will not accept the "deep state being more powerful than the organized state and society".
"If we don't achieve this with these actions, then it sound be made clear that the government has the will and the way to impose the exit of the Greek clubs from the European championships until we succeed," he said.
 HFSF says may call extraordinary shareholders meeting on NBG chairmanGreece's bank rescue fund HFSF said on Wednesday it may call an extraordinary shareholders meeting at the National Bank of Greece (NBG) to discuss the appointment of the bank's new chairman, Panayotis Thomopoulos earlier in the day.
In its press release, HFSF says its representative at the bank's board meeting voted against Thomopoulos in today's selection, an action that it says is consistent with the previous decision of the HFSF's General Council.
"HFSF [...] is considering calling an extraordinary General Meeting taking into account that the smooth cooperation between the bank's board of Directors and the main shareholder is essential," the fund said.
 Greek unemployment rate eased to 23.4 pct in AugustGreek unemployment rate rose slightly to 23.4 pct of the workforce in August, from 23.3 pct in July, but fell from 24.6 pct in August last year, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, said that the number of unemployed people totaled 1,126,455, with unemployment remaining a big problem among young people and among people aged 55-64 where unemployment grew by 3.5 points in one year. Also, unemployment grew by 4.0 points in Aegean islands (attributed to a decline in tourism because of the refugee crisis).
The number of unemployed people fell 59,894 in August (5.0 pct) compared with August 2015, but grew by 1,669 or 0.1 pct compared with July 2016. The number of employed people was 3,687,465, up 57,683 (1.6 pct) from August 2015, but down 7,001 (0.2 pct) compared with July 2016. The number of economically non active people was 3,228,437, down 1.1 pct from August and up 0.1 pct from July 2016.
The unemployment rate among women was 28 pct in August, from 28.5 pct in the same month last year, while among men it was 19.7 pct from 21.5 pct.
The unemployment rate among young people, aged 15-24 years, was 46.5 pct from 48.3 pct in August 2015, in the 25-34 age group it fel to 30.2 pct from 30.9 pct, in the 35-44 age group it eased to 19.9 pct from 21.9 pct, in the 45-54 age group it fell to 18.8 pct from 20.1 pct, in the 55-64 age group it rose to 19.4 pct from 15.9 pct and in the 65-74 age group it rose to 13.1 pct from 11.7 pct.
Epirus-Western Macedonia recorded the highest unemployment rate among the country's regions (26.3 pct in August 2016 from 27.7 pct in August 2015), followed by Thessaly-Central Greece (25 pct from 26.7 pct), Macedonia-Thrace (25 pct from 25.3 pct), Peloponese-Western Greece-Ionian Islands (23.3 pct from 24.4 pct), Attica (23.2 pct from 24.7 pct), Crete (22.2 pct from 23.5 pct) and Aegean (19.5 pct from 15.5 pct).
 Greek inflation rate at -0.5 pct in OctoberGreek economy remained in a deflation trend for the 44th successive month in October, with the inflation rate falling by 0.5 pct, after a 0.9 pct decline recorded in October 2015 and a decline of 1.0 pct in September 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to an 1.5 pct decline in food/beverage prices, a 2.2 pct decline in clothing/footwear, an 1.5 pct fall in durable goods, an 1.1 pct fall in entertainment, an 1.0 pct fall in education prices, an 1.6 pct decline in other goods and services, while prices rose in alcohol/tobacco (1.5 pct), transport (0.4 pct), communications (0.7 pct) and hotel/restaurants (1.1 pct).
The consumer price index grew 0.4 pct in October from September, after a 0.1 pct decline recorded in the same period last year.
Greece's harmonized inflation rate grew 0.6 pct in October, after a 0.1 pct decline in September 2016 and a decline of 0.1 pct in October 2015. On a monthly basis, the harmonized inflation rate grew 0.4 pct in October, after a 0.2 pct decline recorded in 2015.
 Row breaks out between heavy industry, solar power producers over 'interruptibility'Representatives of large industrial power consumers and photovoltaic power producers faced off against each other in a series of press releases on Thursday, during a row that broke out over the so-called "interruptibility" clause.
The interruptibility legislation allows discount prices for large-scale power consumers, usually industrial plants, in return for them agreeing to lower their consumption at the grid operator's request. Power producers using Renewable Energy Sources (RES), mainly wind and solar, object on the grounds that the measure is primarily financed by them.
The last claim was contested by the Association of Industrial Power Consumers, with board member Antonis Kontoleon noting that the European Commission had approved an interruptibility mechanism in Germany a few weeks ago, which will remain in force until 2022. The Commission had underlined in its decision that "the measure supports precisely the stability of the system, especially in markets where there is higher penetration of RES."
"It generates a dismal impression that, in Greece, individual associations of photovoltaic power producers, who enjoy guaranteed high prices, have started a misinformation campaign against the interruptibility measure in our country, jeopardising the viability of hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs," Kontoleon said.
Greek industry had repeatedly expressed its support for a healthy development of the RES market in the framework of the targets set on a national and European level, he added.
According to Kontoleon, "individual trade or business interests were putting the preservation of the unacceptably high profitability rates they secured with state guarantees in the past first, using their contribution to the development of RES as a pretext."
The statement provoked a sharp reply from the Association of Photovoltaic Power Producers, in a note pointing out that interruptibility is not normally paid for by power producers but from the funds set aside specifically for system stability.
The association also noted that the German example cited by Kontoleon concerns only 2.2 pct of the average load of the German grid, whereas in Greece the equivalent percentage is 34.9 pct.
Lastly, it noted that in 2016 the thermal units were operating at around 40 pct of their full capacity on average - meaning that they had an available production margin of at least 2,000-3,000 MW. In spite of this, the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) was constantly auctioning an additional 1.5 GW to act as an interruptible load service when this was not needed for supposed system stability.
 Union of Greek Shiponwers celebrates 100 years of historyThe Union of Greek Shipowners celebrated its 100-year anniversary in a special event organized at the Athens Concert Hall on Wednesday at the presence of President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other government ministers, deputies and other officials.
Theodore Veniamis, president of the Union, addressing the event stressed that Greek shipping has a dominant position in international markets and said it could become a leverage to restart the Greek economy. Shipping was a national asset for the country and should remain present in the country, Veniamis said.
"Some of us had the luck to be at the same hall 25 years ago, celebrating our 75th anniversary," Veniamis said, adding: "We all feel joy that our Union, the home of Greek shipping celebrates 100 years of history".
He underlined that shipping, through its course in history, proved its importance and timeless supremacy in defending the national interests of Greek shipping.
 OTE says Q3 results best in a decadeOTE Group on Thursday said its revenue totaled 997.9 million euros in the third quarter of 2016, up 2.7 pct compared with the same period last year, boosted by a significant increase in fixed-telephony revenues in Greece.
OTE, in an announcement, said that third quarter performance was the best in a decade. Adjusted EBITDA was 357 million euros in the July-September period, up 2.0 pct from last year, with EBITDA margin rising to 35.8 pct. Net profits, on an adjustment basis, excluding one-off charges, grew 11.2 pct to 74.6 million euros in the third quarter. Investments grew 29.7 pct to 183.7 million euros, while total adjusted free cash flows fell 30.5 pct to 175.3 million euros in the nine-month period from January to September, compared with the same period last year. Adjusted net borrowing was 800 million euros at the end of September, down 27.2 pct from last year.
In Greece, retail broadband services customers in fixed telephony grew by 30,000 to 1,605,000. Fixed telephony revenue grew 5.4 pct, rising for the eighth successive quarter on an annual basis, while adjusted EBITDA grew to 43 pct.
TV services grew 16 pct on the annual basis, with OTE TV subcribers totaling 478,000.
In mobile telephony, subscribers totaled 7.7 million euros, up 3.2 pct. OTE Group said its 4G and 4G+ networks expansion continued with a population coverage of 90 pct and 72 pct respectively. A 56 pct of customer base are smartphone users.
In Romania, revenue rose in the third quarter although customer base fell 3.4 pct to 5.5 million. In Albania, Telekom Albania maintained its position in the market with its customer base at 1.9 million at the end of the third quarter.
Mihalis Tsamaz, chairman and chief executive of the group, commenting on the results said "It was one of the strongest quarters in the last few years, particularly in fixed telephony in Greece," adding "our strong performance in a difficult environment is the result of significant investments we are implementing".
 One in two Greek businesses sees deteriorating conditions aheadAlmost half of Greek businessmen expect a worsening in the business environment in the country in the next two years, a survey by Entrepreneurs' Organization showed on Thursday.
The survey, conducted on a sample of 435 businessmen in the country, said that 22.81 pct of Greek businessmen expected the business environment to improve, a 49.12 pct said it will worsen and a 28.07 pct said it will remain unchanged.
More analytically, the survey showed that the most significant challenges faced by Greek businesses currently, were: a new workers' profile (66.04 pct), changing consumer needs (66 pct), unstable and high taxation (65.69 pct), competition from abroad (45.75 pct), new technologies (45.56 pct).
In a small scale, significant challenges were also considered to be bureaucracy (23.61 pct) and non-friedly business state (23.35 pct).
The survey said that only 38.6 pct of Greek enterprises have made any significant investments in the last six months, particularly on building infrastructure (22.86 pct), new technologies (22.18 pct), research and development (22.91 pct), human resources (22.05 pct).
Looking forward to the next six months, a 36.84 pct of Greek enterprises said they were ready to make some significant investment while 63.16 pct of them not. These investments would focus on building infrastructure (22.76 pct), new technologies (22.67 pct), research and development (22.48 pct) and human resources (22.1 pct).
Only 19.3 pct of businessmen said they could launch a new business in the current economic environment, a 38.6 pct offered a negative response while 42.11 pct said they were considering such plans.
The survey said that despite prevailing adverse economic conditions a 60 pct of enterprises create new job positions in the March-August period, of which 94.12 pct were full-time jobs. These hirings were made in the departments of: domestic sales (50 pct), research and development (44.12 pct), international sales (41.18 pct), IT/new technologies (38.24 pct), marketing (32.35 pct), production (23.53 pct) and logistics (20.59 pct).
A 35.09 pct of companies in the sample said they planned to create new jobs in the next six months (Sept 2016-Feb 2017), a 35.09 pct said they might and 29.82 pct responded negatively.
A 47.37 pct of enterprises managed to raise revenue in the last six months, a 29.82 pct said revenue was unchanged and 22.81 pct said revenue fell.
The survey was conducted in October 2016 for the period March-August 2016. The sample included companies from the industrial sector (15.79 pct), new technologies (21.05 pct), services (29.82 pct), tourism (3.51 pct), agricultural products (1.75 pct), retail commerce (5.26 pct) and wholesale (15.79 pct).
 Greece present at the International Green Week in BerlinTwelve Greek enterprises under the auspices of the Agriculture and Food Ministry and the Greek-German Chamber will participate in the 82nd International Green Week (Food and Beverages Exhibition) that will be held in Berlin from 20 to 29 January 2017.
Greece will have representatives in the specific exhibition for fourth consecutive year.
The Greek-German Chamber says that companies interested to participate in the Greek pavilion should visit the exhibition's website: http://www.greenweek.de
 Greece ranks third in orange exports to GermanyGreece ranked third in the import of oranges to Germany, with a market share of 2.8 pct in the 2013-2015 period, a report by the Greek embassy's economic and trade affairs bureau in Munich said on Thursday.
Spain ranked first with a market share of 81.7 pct of imports, followed by Italy with 5.9 pct. In total, German imports of oranges came from EU countries (90.9 pct), with the remaining 9.1 pct from third countries. 2015 imports grew 25.2 pct from the previous year.
German exports of oranges were distributed to Austria (15.3 pct), followed by Poland (14.4 pct) and France (12.4 pct). German orange exports grew 25.3 pct in 2015. Wholesale prices were 56 euros per 100 kilos for Greek navel, 66 euros for Egyptian valencia late, 79 euros for Moroccan salustiana, 82 euros for Spanish Lane late, 81 euros for Spanish navel, 83 euros for Spanish navelate, 73 euros for Spanish navelina, 83 euros for Spanish salustiana and 88 euros for Turkish washington navel.
Orange grow covers an area of 147.7 thousand hectares in Spain, 84.5 thousand in Italy, 37.1 thousand in Greece and 54 thousand hectares in Turkey.
 Hellenic Petroleum says net profits up 110 pct in Jan-SeptHellenic Petroleum Group on Thursday reported record production and exports and an 110 pct jump in net profits in the first nine months of 2016. The group's refineries recorded a 19 pct increase in production to 3.9 million tons, the highest ever recorded, taking full advantage of capacity utilisation. Petrochemicals recorded another quarter of higher sales despite lower international margins, while the group raised its market share in sales and volume.
Demand in the domestic fuel market grew 8.0 pct in the third quarter of 2016 to 1.6 million tons, while in the January-September period demand was stable at 5.0 million tons. Exports jumped 45 pct to 2.459 thousand metric tons, a new historic high. Net profits totaled 80 million euros in the third quarter, up 110 pct from the same period in 2015, while nine-month net profits totaled 184 million euros, up 76 pct from 2015 and a new record high.
Hellenic Petroleum noted a successful sale of a five year bond issue worth 375 million euros, which was heavily oversubscribed, which led to an increase in the value of the bond and a reduction to its coupon compared with initial announcements.
The Group said that the bond will help reduce annual financial costs in 2017 by more than 15 million euros, as the coupon fell from 8.0 pct to 4.875 pct.
 Sea container companies must forge alliances, BCG reportSea container transport grew by 1.9 pct in 2015, after a 3.3 pct growth rate in 2014, while global demand is expected to grow by an annual rate of 2.2 - 3.8 pct by 2020, Boston Consulting Group said in an annual report on global commerce and sea container transport.
The report stressed that oversupply was expected to reach 2-3.3 million TEUs by the end of 2020, or 90-150 surplus vessels type Triple E, while the offer/demand balance is expected to see offer surpassing demand by 8.2-13.8 pct in 2020, fro 7.0 pct in 2015.
The report said that shipping companies in the container sector will have to adopt new strategies to survive in low demand conditions. Container transport in the Euro-Asia and intra-European lines fel 2.6 pct, in southeastern Asia transport grew 2.4 pct, while in China there was a slowdown in business. In Latin America, business fell 0.9 pct while in Africa business was slow (0.1 pct). In Asia-Northern America lines, business grew 3.5 pct.
Camille Egloff-Gika, head of shipping department in BCG, said that several container transport companies have been compressed between market leaders and companies specializing in this category and will have to improve their performance by creating scale economies, or through global mergers. "These moves will help them to reduce costs, creating synergies in a better distribution of fleet and agent networks. Maximizing synergies could reduce costs of merged companies by 5-10 pct," she said.
The report said that forging alliances could boost pre-tax and interest earnings by 3.0 pct.
 Creta Farms expands activities in RomaniaCreta Farms on Thursday announced its entrance in the Romanian market through a Licensing & Supply agreement.
In an announcement, the company said that Romania is the most rapidly developing economy in Southeastern Europe, with the local market of delicatessen meat products totaling 1.5 billion euros annually, triple the size of Greece. Based on these figures, Creta Farms has made detailed research and studies -that lasted 16 months- with excellent results of wider acceptance both of the concept and of its En Elladi products.
Creta Farms said its products will be on the selves of supermarkets in mid-January 2017 and in the channels of wholesale and open markets, through a strategic agrement with a local partner. Both sides will support an ad campaign to a population of 22 million euros. The Romanian partner has a customer base of 28,300 and has a workforce of 450 of which 296 in the sales department.
Creta Farms said it was certain of a quick penetration of patented products in Romania and noted that its activities were expanding in other sectors, such as cheese, ready meals (pizza, pies, etc) with the aim to become a food company.
 McDonald's celebrates 25th anniversary in GreeceMcDonald's celebrates its 25th anniversary in Greece this year with network of 23 restaurants and two McCafes around the country, with a workforce of 450, serving more than 4 million meals annually.
Premier Capital Hellas, owned by Premier Capital plc based in Malta, is the operator of McDonald's network in Greece. Premier Capital plc took over as Developmental Licensee of McDonald's in 2011. In the last six years, and despite adverse economic conditions prevailing in the country, Premier Capital is implementing a long-term strategy with the aim to develop and strengthen the brand and enhance its relation with consumers.
Premier Capital has completed investments worth more than 10.4 million euros to open new restaurants and to rennovate existing ones. The company plans to open two new restaurants soon, with the aim to open at least eight new restaurants in the next three years, raising its network to 33. New investments will total 11.9 million euros, creating around 250 new job positions.
Premier Capital is Developmental Licensee of McDonald's in Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania, serving more than 100 million consumers with annual sales of 230 million euros.
Victor Tedesco, managing director for Greece said: "We took over the operation of McDonald's in Greece in 2011 and we already see positive results. We believe that the Greek market is much biggest prospects and significant prospects of improving McDonald's network".
To celebrate its 25th anniversary in Greece, McDonald's cooperated with chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos to create new new anniversay premium burgers.
 Gastronomy and Tourism Festival on Nov 11-13 in KozaniThe Region of Western Macedonia will organise the Gastronomy and Tourism Festival on November 11-13 in the city of Kozani, with the view to promoting traditional products of the area such as the saffron, wild mushrooms, beans and pies.
"Our region is proud of its beans and peppers, its mushrooms, wines, and saffron. We will offer these products to customers and promote Central Macedonia," the president of the Tourism Organisation of Western Macedonia Panagiotis Kottas said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency's radio station Praktorio 104.9 FM.
The Festival aims to promote the region of Western Macedonia as an important gastronomy and tourist destination. In an effort to showcase the Greek products in foreign markets, Italian, Turkish, Romanian and Serbian journalists have been invited to the festival.
 Greek stocks end higherGreek stocks ended higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, in line with a positive trend prevailing in international markets as investors quickly overcame an initial shock from the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections.
Bank shares were at the focus of buying activity. The composite index of the market rose 0.88 pct to end at 587.02 points, off the day's highs of 592.33 points. The Large Cap index rose 0.90 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.36 pct higher. Turnover was an improved 61.257 million euros in volume of 71,170,483 shares.
Eurobank (3.53 pct), Alpha Bank (3.25 pct) and Viohalco (3.17 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Lamda Development (1.23 pct), Folli Follie (0.48 pct) and Aegean Airlines (0.48 pct) suffered heavy losses. Among market sectors, Banks (2.51 pct), Chemicals (2.15 pct) and Industrial Products (1.51 pct) scored big gains, while Commerce (0.48 pct) and Food (0.25 pct) suffered losses.
National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 61 to 39 with another 16 issues unchanged. Chatzikraniotis (18.60 pct), Boutaris (18.18 pct) and Lazaridis Estate (15.65 pct) were top gainers, while Pegasus (19.30 pct), Livanis Publications (17.65 pct) and Motodynamic (16.08 pct) were top losers.
 ADEX closing reportThe November contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a premium of 0.14 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,542 contracts with 8,090 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 63,166 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (28,701), followed by Alpha Bank (8,403), Piraeus Bank (12,218), Eurobank (7,795), MIG (2,160), OTE (1,462), PPC (448), OPAP (663), Mytilineos (641), GEK Terna (124), Hellenic Petroleum (113), Ellaktor (83) and Titan (40).
 Time spent watching TV and videos on mobile devices among Greek youths rose to 63% in 2016-studyThe amount of time dedicated to watching television and videos through mobile devices in for teenagers aged between 16-19 Greece rose to 63 percent in 2016, according to the annual study by Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report.
Based on interviews with 30,000 individuals in 24 countries, statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people, the Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media Report 2016 is the largest study of its kind into TV viewing habits. In Greece, the statistic sample corresponds to 5 million consumers.
Thirty percent of consumers in the country state they're very interested in mobile data programs that provide unlimited streaming time for videos, versus 40 percent on a global level.
According to the report, Greek consumers spend 18 minutes per day searching for content while TV and video viewing on demand through mobile devices show a significant increase, despite the fact that consumers are still struggling with content search.
The average percentage of content consumption in any form, including television, video, via fixed internet, theater and cinema, reached 53 euros per household in Greece. The corresponding figure in the U.S. reaches 186 dollars per household.
Watching video on demand reached 42 percent, similarly to the global rate, with 34 hours of watching on average per week. Among millennials (ages 16-34), the percentage rises to 52 percent, with the corresponding global percentage being 50 percent.
Another 53 percent of viewers in Greece watch YouTube on a daily basis, which jumps to 86 percent on the weekly basis.
Bingeing is changing the game: Watching many episodes of a TV series has become a main characteristic of the TV and video watching experience in Greece, with 75 percent of respondents saying they have binged on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, when the world average totals 71 percent. The rate rises to 86 percent for the ages 16-34 (millennials), following global trends.
Interviews were undertaken with consumers aged 16-69 across 24 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the US. All respondents have a broadband Internet connection at home and watch TV and video at least once a week. Almost all use the Internet on a daily basis.
 Open House Thessaloniki to be held on Nov 19-20Open House is one of the most important international initiatives for promoting architecture, strengthening local society and offering a different perspective of the cities.
Open House Thessaloniki is in its fifth year.
This year, Open House Thessaloniki will be held on November 19-20. The weekend promises to tour visitors to buildings they never had the chance to see from the inside. Neoclassical mansions of the 19th century, contemporary office buildings and innovative private home. However, there's also the city's museums and its dozens of monuments, from Gallerius' Palace to the Ancient Agora and the White Tower.
Open House is one of the most important international institutions seeking to promote architecture. The idea started in London, in 1992, and to this day has spread to more than 35 cities around the world, with regular visitors and supporters.
The initiative invites the general public to explore and understand the value of architecture and the constructed environment. Every year, architecturally interesting private and public buildings open their doors to the public for two days free of charge. The city is transformed into an open museum with its buildings and architecture on exhibition.
 European Court of Justice accepts EU appeal against Greece on caretta caretta sea turtleBRUSSELS(ANA/M. Spinthourakis)
The European Court of Justice announced on Thursday that it accepts European Commission's appeal against Greece submitted in 2011 on the protection of caretta caretta. Today's decision refers to the geographic area of Kyparissia while previous appeals referred to the Ionian islands.
In 2006 the European Commission included the sand dunes of Kyparissia in the list of areas of Community importance because of the existence of caretta caretta. The sea turtle is considered by the European law a species of community importance that needs protection and its existence requires the creation of special preservation zones.
 Diabetes, a silent enemy that can start from an early ageDiabetes is not an unknown enemy. Ignorance means fear, say scientists and note the people must be informed on the disease and the possibility to start at a very young age and to be in alert for early diagnosis.
Diabetes type 1 continues to rise throughout the world and according to Professor of Childrens Endocrinology and Youth Diabetes in Athens University Christina Kanaka "it is very difficult to think of juvenile diabetes" and until the diagnosis valuable time can be wasted.
"We must focus on the early diagnosis and on the right treatment to reduce the danger of chronic complicatons" she said during her address at a press conference on the occassion of World Day of Diabetes on November 14.
Diabetes, for the time being, can't be prevented, said Professor of Pathology, Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in the universities of Athens and Ulm in Germany Sotiris Raptis. "The environmental factors that appear to trigger the start of a process that leads to the destruction of the cells which produce the insuline are still being reasearched. However, diabetes type-2 in many cases can be intercepted with physical exercise and the appropriate diet", said Raptis.
In the last fifteen years the diabetes cases have posted a huge increase and have almost doubled. This outburst is expected to continue in the next years. In 2040 the people with diabetes are expected to exceed to reach 600 million worldwide.
1.2 million Greeks, approximately 12 percent of the population are currently suffering from diabetes type 1 and 2.
 Turmoil in the hotspots of Samos and ChiosClashes in the hotspot of Chios and Samos were reported late Wednesday.
The migrants protested against their long stay on the Greek islands.
The turmoil started in Souda hotspot on Chios at approximately 3 am when young migrants and refugees blocked the road with dustbins and afterwards they set fire. Three containers, housing the medical office, the pharmaceuticals warehouse and the food distribution, were destroyed. Order was restored after the intervention of riot police and coast guard.
On Samos, migrants rallied on the streets asking for dry clothes because, as they claimed, the rain washed away their tents and the water destroyed their belongings. The protest ended after the police intervention.
According to local broadcaster ERT local station, representatives of Samos local authorities stated that "those of the representatives of non-governmental organisations or UNCHR want to activate within the hotspot should show their sensitivity in the difficult times and support and offer their assistance."
 Around 1,700 Turks flock to Thessaloniki on anniversary of Atat?rk's deathAbout 1,700 Turkish tourists visited Thessaloniki on Thursday to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atat?rk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey.
The city's Turkish Consulate, which incorporates Atat?rk's former house in its complex, had organized an event to mark the occasion, the Vice President of the Greek-Turkish Chamber of Northern Greece, Stefanos Hatzimanolis, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), noting it is part of an effort to attract tourists from the neighbouring country.
Hatzimanolis said the number of visitors were slightly lower this year as the anniversary fell on a weekday, however around 2,000 Turks are expected in Thessaloniki during Christmas and more than 5,000 during the Greek Carnival in the wider region and especially Xanthi. He also urged surrounding municipa-lities to take similar initiatives to increase the number of tou-rists from Turkey.
 Man arrested with three kilos cocaine at Athens international airportAttica drugs squad police on Thursday arrested a 33-year-old man arriving at Athens' 'Eleftherios Venizelos' international airport after he was caught smuggling three kilos of cocaine into Greece.
The suspect had arrived on a flight from Sao Paolo via Zurich and was found to be carrying four packages of the drugs, which were carefully concealed in the lining of his luggage. Police also confiscated a mobile phone and 100 euros.
Investigating further, police discovered that the 33-year-old had been recruited to transport cocaine from South America to Greece by a 28-year-old woman, who was acting on behalf of a 42-year-old Nigerian and a criminal network that the woman and the Nigerian both belonged to. Both were subsequently located and arrested. All three suspects were then led before an Athens public prosecutor.
 Light quake shakes ThessalonikiA light earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded at 14:12 on Thursday .
According to the the Geodynamics Institute of Athens National Observatory, the tremor's epicentre was located 40 klm northwest of Thessaloniki, 10 klm west of the city of Kilkis.
 Partly cloudy on FridayPartly cloudy and westerly winds are forecast for Friday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 05C to 21C. Partly cloudy in the eastern parts and temperatures between 11C and 22C. Scattered clouds over the Aegean islands and Crete, 13C-23C. Mostly fair in Athens, 11C-22C; the same for Thessalo-niki, 06C-20C.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Dark age
DIMOKRATIA: Independence day
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Trump's typhoon in the US, Europe and Greece
ESTIA: The return of state-nation
ETHNOS: Shock and Trump
KATHIMERINI: Trump's triumph and global shock
NAFTEMPORIKI: The Americans' Brexit
TA NEA: Trump and us
TO PONTIKI: Trump shocks Europe
36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 210 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 210 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: MICHALIS PSILOS