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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-02-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tsakalotos briefed on issues affecting northern Greece while in Thessaloniki
  • [02] Incident with Turkish military patrol boat in Farmakonisi violates international law, say diplomatic sources
  • [03] Fraport Greece CEO travels to Kavala ahead of management transfer in March
  • [04] Romanian detainee escapes Korydallos prison

  • [01] Tsakalotos briefed on issues affecting northern Greece while in Thessaloniki

    The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) will hold a tender inviting bids for the Egnatia Highway road tolls concession within two months, the head of Egnatia Odos S.A. Apostolos Antonoudis said after his meeting with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Thessaloniki on Friday.

    The meeting was held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Thessaloniki, where Tsakalotos had a series of meetings with the heads of firms and organisations based in northern Greece.

    Antonoudis said that additional proposals for exploiting the highway were also on the table, such as public-private sector partnerships for energy networks, rest stops for motorists and logistics centres.

    The company's Managing Director Ria Kalfakakou, who was also at the meeting, said they had presented Tsakalotos with a proposal ensuring that the Greek state will also earn revenue from the highway's operation, not just the concessionaire. Finally, they discussed the issue of fines imposed on individuals that refused to pay road tolls and harmonising these with penalties imposed on other highway in the country.

    Earlier, the finance minister had also met the head of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall Prof. Nikitas Mylopoulos, who asked for an increase in the regular state grant to help meet the concert hall's requirements and ensure its ability to continue its artistic programme. According to Mylopoulos, the minister was "positively disposed" and promised to examine the margins for increasing the organisation's grant.

    Tsakalotos also had a meeting with the head of Thessaloniki's water supply and sewerage company EYATH, Ioannis Krestenitis, who said they had exchanged views on EYATH's business plan up to 2021, as well as discussing the company's inclusion in the privatisation 'hyperfund' and how this will affect it growth planning.

    According to Krestenitis, nothing new arose during the meeting, beyond what was already known, while he briefed Tsakalotos on the company's plans for expanding its network and installations over the next three to four years, in order to expand into new areas and better serve the public.

    In addition to the above, the minister also met the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) presidency, the board chairman of the State Theatre of Northern Greece Aris Stylianos, Deputy Minister for Macedonia-Thrace Maria-Kollia Tsaroucha, who discussed the challenges faced by the economy of Macedonia-Thrace, especially in the primary production and manufacturing sectors.

    In an announcement issued after the closed-doors meeting with Tsakalotos, SBBE said that the Finance minister, commenting on the expressed concerns of industrialists over a vertical fall in market turnover in December, due to uncertainty over completion of a second review of the Greek program, said: "every possible effort is made, but unfortunately external factor and particularly negotiations between European partners and the International Monetary Fund, are to blame for a not timely reach of a decision". SBBE said Tsakalotos expected that a Eurogroup meeting in February 20 will reach a political decision.

    SBBE said the meeting focused on the excessive taxation of medium and high-ranking executives of the industry and on the fact that during the last three months top executives were massively fleeing abroad. It is obvious, SBBE said, that this trend weakened the Greek industry's human capital with direct consequences on its competitiveness. The Greek Finance minister expressed his positive response to finding specific solutions.

    [02] Incident with Turkish military patrol boat in Farmakonisi violates international law, say diplomatic sources

    The shots fired by a Turkish military patrol boat on Friday morning in the area around the island of Farmakonisi, in the eastern Aegean, constitutes an unacceptable act which constitutes a serious violation of International Law, Greek diplomatic sources said.

    "Once again in recent weeks, Turkey is proceeding to take unacceptable action, causing great concern for the consequences that this behavior may have on the stability of the wider region. The foreign ministry is taking all appropriate actions by lodging the necessary demarches and briefing friends, allies and international organizations," the same sources said.

    [03] Fraport Greece CEO travels to Kavala ahead of management transfer in March

    The need to achieve a close cooperation with the local government to achieve common goals was expressed by Fraport Greece CEO Alexander Zinell on Friday, during his visit to the city of Kavala, whose airport is among the 14 regional airports the company will lease and operate under a 40-year concession deal signed with Greece's privatization agency HRADF.

    "Fraport Greece is here to create synergies and partnerships with the local government and authorities. Moreover, we all share the same goals of increasing passenger traffic and customer satisfaction, while creating business opportunities for the region. We are very confident of the development potential of Kavala as well as the other airports," Zinell said.

    As part of the agreement, he continued, Fraport Greece will spend some 330 million euros to developing these airports over the next four years, apart from the upfront investment of 1.2 billion euros to the Greek State.

    "We have already recruited airport staff and are operationally ready to take up the management of the 14 airports," he said, adding the company will take over the airports in March.

    As part of his trip to the city, Zinell met with Kavala Region's deputy governor Theodoros Markopoulos, Michael Amirides, the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region's deputy governor for tourism and external relations; as well as the mayors of Kavala, Dimitra Tsanaka, and of Nestos Municipality, Evangelos Tsompanopoulos. Zinell also met with Fraport Greece employees who have been recruited to run Kavala Airport.

    At the meeting with the vice governor of Kavala Region, Fraport Greece's Zinell also presented Nikolaos Daskalou as the designated airport manager of Kavala Airport.

    [04] Romanian detainee escapes Korydallos prison

    A 50-year-old Romanian detained in Korydallos prison for thefts and illegal entry into the country escaped on Friday, the ministry of justice said in a statement.

    According to the ministry, the detainee would have been released in the coming days and his behavior until now had not raised concerns. The ministry ordered a prosecutor's inquiry into the circumstances of the Romanian's escape and possible responsibilities of prison staff.

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