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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-10-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 18 October 2010 Issue No: 3621


  • [01] PM: The stakes of the local administration elections are political
  • [02] FM begins Middle East visit with Jordan as first stop
  • [03] Foreign minister visits Jerusalem Patriarchate sites in Jordan
  • [04] Samaras at ND Political Committee meeting: PM incompetent in managing the crisis
  • [05] Samaras in Egaleo, criticises PM
  • [06] KKE leader addresses open rally in Kypseli
  • [07] Papariga in Egaleo
  • [08] Karatzaferis tours Athens commercial center: 'Different policy needed'
  • [09] Bakoyannis on the verge of founding new political party
  • [10] Med Climate Change conference
  • [11] Turkish PMs attendance at Med Climate Change conference in Athens confirmed
  • [12] Juncker: We had rung warning bell since 2008
  • [13] Opinion poll
  • [14] Serious talk of debt rescheduling still 'far off', Finmin says
  • [15] Government plan underway for 600,000 jobless, labour minister tells 'Ethnos'
  • [16] 32nd annual Athens International Boat Show inaugurated
  • [17] No buses for six hours in Athens on Monday
  • [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [19] Noted filmmaker Dalianidis passes away
  • [20] 2nd Bread Festival in Thessaloniki celebrates World Bread Day
  • [21] Foreign national arrested on Crete on drug charges
  • [22] Newborn found abandoned in Kypseli
  • [23] Greek soccer results
  • [24] Rain and storms on Monday
  • [25] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

  • [01] PM: The stakes of the local administration elections are political

    Prime minister George Papandreou said Sunday that the stakes of the November 7 local administration elections are political as the citizens, with their vote, will respond to the quandary of whether they want the country to move forward - through continuation of the difficult task of saving the economy and deep-rooted reform - or backwards.

    Speaking in Larissa at a regional conference, Papandreou said the upcoming local elections were a crossroads for the country.

    He said that, for the first time, the overwhelming majority of the citizens are agonizing and demanding that the government succeeds in the task it has undertaken. "Even those who we have distressed or those who react, want us to succeed," Papandreou said, adding that "we will succeed".

    The premier also made a scathing attack on main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras and referring to the latter's repeated criticism of Papandreou's statement before the last general elections that "money exists", stressed: "Would that we had the time for all the measures we have taken to bring in money so that it would not have been necessary to ask for sacrifices from the usual burden-holders, the salary and pension earners. But we did not have that time. However, the measures we have taken will enable us to make restitution to all those we hurt, and we will succeed in gradually but firmly transferring the burdens to where the wealth truly exists and in striking a blow against wasteful spending."

    "This is our socialist commitment," he added.

    Defending his PASOK government's choices, Papandreou said that the recent positive articles in the international press and statements of acknowledgement of Greece's "titanic effort" over the past 12 months are the strong response to those who claim that with its struggle the government is slandering Greece.

    Papandreou further stressed that the EU support mechanism is a "shield", adding that "at a critical time, one would expect the main opposition to act responsibly, first of all by changing page itself from its own past, acknowledging truths and contributing to overcoming the national crisis that its own policy caused".

    "But they did not do so...and it grieves me that the present ND leadership does not find the courage to do so. It concealed and is concealing truths. It is banking on the failure of our own efforts for petty party reasons, forgetting the interests of the country," the premier continued.

    Even today, he added, Eurostat is finding "blue (ND) skeletons in the deficit closet".

    Papandreou further said that he agreed with Samaras on one point, that the Memorandum could have been avoided, but "if elections had been called a year earlier". At that time, the Memorandum could have been avoided, he added.

    The premier further accused ND of "opportunistic politics" and a "magical recipe" for eliminating the deficit. "They only had one magic recipe. They counted on the bomb they had created bursting in our hands. Fortunately for the country, however, we averted this," Papandreou said.

    Unlike preceding ND prime minister Costas Karamanlis and Samaras "we do not promise to eliminate the deficit in one year".

    "What we do promise, however, is to continue the struggle so as not to go through again that which we have gone through this past year and for Greece to have a respected and dignified name," Papandreou said, adding that his government is fighting for the country's independence so that lender forces will not be needed. "We took on a country in a state of collapse and had the patriotic duty to stop the downfall," he said.

    Admitting that the measures taken were neither in PASOK's pre-election pledges nor in the government's post-electoral intentions, Papandreou stressed: "Of course money exists. It exists in the state property that we are exploiting in the public interest, whereas the only thing they did was engage in deals with monastery-realtors. It exists in the waste in the public sector that we have curtailed by one billion euros. It exists in the medicine that is now being prescribed electronically, whereas they allowed an orgy of waste and profiteering. It exists in the offshore companies they left unscathed. It exists in every luxury home, craft and car, where they did not want to impose a single euro in taxes. We, however, with cross-checks, will tax justly."

    [02] FM begins Middle East visit with Jordan as first stop

    Amman (ANA-MAP/Ch. Poulidou)

    Foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas on Sunday began a four-day visit to the Middle East with Jordan as the first stop, where he had meetings with Jordanian prime minister Samir Rifai and foreign minister Nasser Judeh, and was received by King Abdullah II.

    In his meeting with Rifai, the foreign minister placed particular emphasis on matters concerning the economy, the reforms being advanced by the Greek government and the gradual change in the business environment.

    It was noted during the meeting that the assumption of major projects in Jordan by Greek companies -- such as the construction of large Aeolic (wind) parks by two consortia in which Greek companies are taking part -- as well as the wider Greek business activity in Jordan enable the convening of a Business Forum but also underline the need for a double taxation agreement between the two countries, the negotiation of which has already begun.

    During his meeting with Jordanian counterpart Judeh, a Memorandum of Political Deliberations was signed between the two countries, while the two foreign ministers also reviewed bilateral relations as well as the wider problems of the region. The results so far of the Greek scholarships program was also discussed, with the ministers stressing that 2,000 Jordanians have studied in Greece under the program, with multiple benefits on bilateral relations.

    On the Middle East, Droutsas underlined in statements to the press the stabilising role played by Jordan in the region, and its consistent support for the Middle East peace process, adding that he was briefed by Judeh on the most recent developments in all aspects of the process and on the latest developments in the endo-Palestinian dialogue.

    Droutsas noted the importance of this discussion given the corresponding discussion taking place in the context of the EU, where Greece is trying to credibly convey the prevailing climate in the region.

    The Greek foreign minister said that he and his Jordanian counterpart further discussed issues impacting stability in the region, such as relations with Iran and with Turkey and developments in Iraq and Afghanistan, while he also briefed Judeh on developments in the Cyprus issue and the FYROM name issue.

    Judeh, in turn, stressed the historic bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, adding that he had an "exceptional discussion" with Droutsas. On the Middle East, the Jordanian foreign minister stressed his country's opposition to all unilateral actions, and stressed the need for an independent and viable Palestinian state.

    The two foreign ministers were slated to continue their discussion during an official dinner on Sunday night.

    Droutsas was received later by King Abdullah II, whom he invited to visit Greece.

    The two men discussed matters concerning bilateral cooperation as well as the Middle East at this crucial conjuncture for the future of the peace process.

    Greece, Droutsas said, is interested in the developments in the issue given that its relations with the region but also its membership in the EU enable the country to play a constructive role.

    Droutsas will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territory on Monday, followed by Egypt on Tuesday and Lebanon on Wednesday.

    [03] Foreign minister visits Jerusalem Patriarchate sites in Jordan

    Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Sunday visited Madaba and the site where Jesus Christ was baptised in the river Jordan, both of which are under the supervision of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. With his visit to the two sites, Droutsas sought to signal Greece's respect for the role and importance of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

    The Greek government has made a major contribution toward the maintenance and improvement of the two sites, which are both tourist attractions of great historic interest. Among others, the Madaba archaeological park is exclusively funded by Greece with the sum of 487,000 euros for the construction of a hostel for pilgrims and for the maintenance of the Church of St. George dating back to the 6th century, also known as the Church of the Map.

    The minister additionally visited the St. John the Baptist monastery, which has received money from Greece to improve its grounds.

    In statements, Droutsas said that he had deliberately begun his tour of the Middle East at a crucial "turning point" in the course of the peace-making process in Jordan, because the country's role and the contribution of the Jordanian monarch was fundamental to stability in the region.

    "Greece also wants to contribute to peace and stability in the region," the minister added.

    [04] Samaras at ND Political Committee meeting: PM incompetent in managing the crisis

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras renewed his attack on prime minister George Papandreou on Sunday, accusing him of incompetence in management of the economic crisis, and criticising him for the situation prevailing in Greece, during an address to the ND Political Committee held at the Peace and Friendship Stadium (SEF).

    He added that next month's local government elections were critical for three main reasons:

    First of all, because the country is going through its most serious ordeal, as the crisis was not only an economic and political crisis but also a crisis of the entire society, he said.

    Second, society was now turning against the Memorandum policy, as it acknowledges that the PASOK government turned the borrowing problem to a deficit problem, while at the same time the country is being led to an impasse. "ND has belied, one by one, the propagandistic claims of PASOK," Samaras said, and accused the government of "imposing the path of desperation", while he also described the situation on the market as one of suffocation and shutdowns.

    Thirdly, because ND now represents the people. "After the heavy defeat in the national elections, we were considered finished," Samaras said, adding that "they tried to isolate us from the people, and now see that the people are now looking at us".

    Samaras said that ND's backing was on the rise because the people feel betrayed, because PASOK made unbelievable mistakes, and livid, because unbearable sacrifices are being imposed.

    The ND leader personally accused Papandreou of slandering the country abroad on the on hand and on the other protecting PASOK from the planned parliamentary fact-finding commission on the economy "obviously because he is afraid, both over his own tenure in the premiership and over the Simitis (PASOK former prime minister) period", in specifying that the commission will investigate only the period 2007-2009.

    Samaras called on the prime minister to visit the market and see for himself what is really going on in society, and challenged him to give a "clear-cut reply on whether the extension of the repayment period of the (EU-IMF) loan will also mean extension of the Memorandum withy even harsher measures".

    The main opposition leader anticipated that the government will go ahead with even harsher measures immediately after the local administration elections, and called on the Greek people to force PASOK to change course.

    "They (the government) are preparing the worst measures for after the elections. Let's force them to change their mind," he said, adding that the government was panic-stricken".

    ND, he concluded, brings a message of hope.

    In a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday, Samaras stressed that the great majority of the Greek people no longer consider the Memorandum as "inevitable" or the only way out, or even that it will save the country.

    "The trend against the Memorandum is now a majority and growing," he said in an interview with the Sunday newspaper 'RealNews'.

    Samaras also rejected any discussion of a national unity government comprising all the parties represented in parliament, questioning "what kind of 'unity' can there be between those who consider the Memorandum the 'only way' and those who are trying to rid the country of the Memorandum as soon as possible?"

    "The 'welding' of such opposite policies is not 'national unity', it is the search for accessories before the shipwreck," Samaras said, stressing that "we do not want to be accessories, we want to avert the shipwreck."

    [05] Samaras in Egaleo, criticises PM

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras sharply criticised prime minister George Papandreou on his intention to set up a parliamentary fact-finding commission on the economy that will investigate only the period 2007-2009, speaking in the Athens district of Egaleo on Saturday.

    Samaras also charged that Papandreou "believes that slandering the country and calling all Greeks corrupt is a political virtue", but "protects his own party by exempting the period under (PASOK former prime minister Costas) Simitis and the present government" from the fact-finding commission's inquiry.

    In doing this, however, the prime minister is not slandering only the country but his own party (PASOK) as well, Samaras warned.

    The main opposition leader pledged that ND will "search for and bring to light all the facts on those who slander the economy and contributed to the current situation, which has led the young people to unemployment, the shops to going out of business one by one and to national depression".

    Samaras said he will bring all the facts to light so as to give once again a "passport of hope to the youth and the citizens".

    In Egaleo to boost the ND-backed candidates in November's local government elections, Samaras toured the commercial center and spoke with residents and ship-owners

    The ND Political Committee meets on Sunday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium (SEF) to discuss the party's strategy for the local administration elections.

    [06] KKE leader addresses open rally in Kypseli

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Sunday urged voters to "defeat the policies built up for decades by the two main parties" when they cast their vote in the November 7 local government elections.

    Addressing an open rally in Kypseli, Papariga stressed that the result balance of powers would either be favourable for the people or for the government. She stressed the need to overturn the political balance of the past so there might be a different model for growth, warning that unless the two main parties received a major blow there would be new raids on worker incomes.

    In view of this, she stressed that supporting the KKE-backed election tickets was absolutely necessary and expressed confidence that the election result would bring positive message for her party.

    [07] Papariga in Egaleo

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, touring Egaleo on Saturday, accused the government of lying with respect to economic policy and the Memorandum.

    She said that the government was investing in "terrorising the people", adding that there was no bigger lie that finance minister George Papaconstantinou's statement in parliament on Friday that, were it not for the Memorandum "we would not have been able to pay the pensions".

    But, she stressed, the people have already gone bankrupt, and the country has defaulted on payments, it is not paying the VAT rebates, it has reduced salaries, it has stopped its subsidies to social security funds and hospitals.

    [08] Karatzaferis tours Athens commercial center: 'Different policy needed'

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis will hold an extraordinary press conference at the party headquarters at noon on Tuesday, regarding the dialogue for the Centre-Right.

    Karatzaferis visited Athens' commercial center on Saturday, accompanied by the LAOS-backed candidates in the upcoming local government elections.

    "We need a different policy that will give breath and hope to the people and the market," he said afterwards, adding that everywhere he went he saw glum faces, and was briefed by shopowners that the number of businesses closing down were increasing daily.

    [09] Bakoyannis on the verge of founding new political party

    Independent MP Dora Bakoyannis, a former foreign minister and high-ranking member of the main opposition New Democracy party, is apparently on the verge of founding her own political party. Bakoyannis revealed this in an interview with the Sunday issue of "Kathimerini", saying that she intends to make the announcement on November 21.

    Bakoyannis said that her new party was not intended as a 'protest party' but a "proposal for governance" and she predicted that the current government of George Papandreou would be the last single-party government in the country. She said the political profile of her new party would be a "movement covering a political and ideological area that is now not represented by anyone".

    She did not rule out the possibility that her brother Kyriakos Mitsotakis would follow her in the new political formation, "even though another political route is open to him".

    While criticising PASOK as "inadequate" for the circumstances, she also sharply criticised main opposition ND leader Antonis Samaras for his policy against the EU-IMF memorandum, stressing that at a crucial time for the country, a major party like ND should have supported the bailout package and restricted its disagreement to individual measures.

    [10] Med Climate Change conference

    An international conference on Climate Change in the Mediterranean will take place in Athens on Friday, October 22, at the initiative of Greece's prime minister George Papandreou.

    The Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative conference will focus on ways to advance policies and actions to tackle the repercussions of climate change and for the transition to a viable deveopmental model.

    The conference will be attended by government leaders and members from Mediterranean countries

    [11] Turkish PMs attendance at Med Climate Change conference in Athens confirmed

    Ankara (ANA-MPA)

    Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office on Saturday confirmed that the Turkish premier will be in Athens on October 21-22 for the Mediterranean Climate Change conference organised at the initiative of Greek prime minister George Papandreou.

    The Turkish premier's office also said that Erdogan and Papandreou will have a broad exchange of views on bilateral and multilateral issues during Erdogan's visit.

    The conference will be attended by leaders of the Mediterranean countries, Balkan countries, EU current chairman Belgium, and representatives of international organisations.

    Erdogan will be accompanied by foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the premier's advisor on foreign policy issues, the announcement added.

    [12] Juncker: We had rung warning bell since 2008

    Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview with a Greek newspaper appearing on Sunday that "since 2008 we had been pressing and ringing the warning bell to the Greek authorities to take measures to reverse the situation, which appeared to be taking on dangerous proportions", adding that efficient measures were taken by the current government and "I can say that I am very satisfied".

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of To Vima newspaper, Juncker said that even if the government were to change in Greece, the Memorandum will remain.

    He said he understands the difficult daily life of the Greek people "but there is no other path".

    Juncker further said he saw no need for taking new measures, nor for discussion about the possibility of extending the repayment period of the EU-IMF loan, since "Greece is making substantial progress as regards consolidating the public finances" and "the noteworthy reduction in the deficit".

    On corruption, the Eurogroup chief said that Greece indeed has a serious problem, "but it is not the only one (country) in the European Union to face such problems".

    He said that the current prime minister of Greece "had the courage to repeatedly acknowledge that corruption is a major problem for the country", adding that "he should not be criticised for what he said...Other prime ministers in the European neighborhood have also admitted to having such issues in their own countries".

    [13] Opinion poll

    An opinion poll, the results of which appeared in an Athens newspaper on Sunday, indicates that 7 in 10 people believe that the Memorandum could have been avoided.

    More specifically, according to the results of a Pulse RC opinion poll appearing in the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos newspaper, 7 in 10 of the respondents said that recourse to the Troika (EU-IMF loan) could have been avoided, while 28 in 100 said they will abstain from voting in next month's local government elections.

    Regarding voter intent, ruling PASOK was leading by a margin of 6 percentage points over main opposition New Democracy (ND) with 27 percent in favor of PASOK against 21 percent for ND, followed by 8.5 percent for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 4.0 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, 3.0 percent for the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance), and 2.5 percent for the Ecologists-Greens, while 6.0 percent said they would vote for "other parties".

    Financial News

    [14] Serious talk of debt rescheduling still 'far off', Finmin says

    Any formal discussion about extending the repayment schedule for loans given to Greece under the EU-IMF support mechanism was "very far off and would depend on Greece's success in reducing deficits, boosting growth and restoring confidence," Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stressed in an interview printed by the newspaper "Real News" on Sunday. He noted also that the speculation abroad in the last few days regarding a possible extension was linked to the progress made in these areas so far.

    "By 2013, Greek will be a country with much better public finances and a stronger economy. The Programme does not provide only for a reduction of deficits but also for the implementation of all the structural changes that will ensure that the fiscal adjustment and growth that come are viable," he said. He stressed that Greece will not need new memorandums in 2013 but only to preserve the progress made until that time.

    Concerning Germany's negative reaction to the talk about extending the repayment schedule, Papaconstantinou pointed out that Germany had contributed the largest sum of the loans to Greece and was naturally concerned that Greece was doing what was required to return its money.

    "They can see, however, that we have made up our minds to do this, that the effort is making a difference," he added.

    The minister promised that harsh austerity measures would not continue after 2013 and that the lower incomes and those on small pensions would be assisted as soon as the budget allowed.

    "We are now completing the first year and everything points to our ending the year by achieving the targets we had set. There is therefore no point talking in terms of 'harsh austerity' after 2013. I am absolutely convinced that we will succeed and we already have strong signs of this," he said.

    Among these positive signs he cited the drop in spreads for Greek bonds, saying that the government's target was to return to borrowing on the markets as soon as possible, ideally before the loans from the support mechanism were exhausted.

    Concerning the shortfall in state revenues relative to targets, Papaconstantinou said the gap was now starting to close and would be fully covered by the end of the year without additional measures in the budget. He admitted that sections of the taxation administration had been late adjusting and this had played a role in the revenue shortfall.

    Answering questions about the proposed Parliamentary inquiry into the economy, the minister said this would focus on the tampered data supplied by the New Democracy government and not economic policy in general.

    "I remind you that 'Greek statistics' were the main cause of the loss of confidence by markets and our partners. It is an issue being investigated by the European Parliament and a series of countries are raising questions. Is it not a basic act of responsibility for the Greek political system to seek out whether there are responsibilities for this fact?" Papaconstantinou said.

    The finance minister also defended the prime minister's now ironic pre-election slogan "there is money" by pointing out that the money was out there but failing to end up in state coffers where it belonged.

    "What about all those yachts and villas that we are now confiscating for debts to the State? The hundreds of millions in overdue debts that we are seeing enter state coffers this year, because we are chasing them up and collecting them? The more than one billion euros that we have managed to save in the state's operating and consumer spending," he pointed out.

    According to the minister, the government would this year reduce the debt by more than 12 billion euros and only a small part of that was the result of wage cuts and higher taxes.

    "The greater part comes for the work being done to find the money where the state has been losing it for all these years," he added.

    Finally, he stressed that the government's economic policy would not be affected by the result of the local government elections, regardless of the outcome, since that would mean a return to the situation the previous May when "Greece was on the edge of the abyss".

    [15] Government plan underway for 600,000 jobless, labour minister tells 'Ethnos'

    The government's plan for tackling unemployment was already underway and would help 600,000 jobless, Labour Minister Louka Katseli said in an interview with the newspaper "Ethnos" on Sunday.

    "The main directions of the plan are the preservation of jobs, integration into the labour market and the acquisition of work experience for young people, the re-integration of vulnerable groups into active economic life, support of social work and social enterprise," Katseli said.

    She said the ministry intended to fund the programmes by activating social funds of up to three billion euros from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

    The minister also announced the formation of a Social Economy Fund providing micro-credit and loans on favourable terms and decentralised one-stop shops or 'social Citizens Service Centres' to provide support, information and advice.

    "A condition will be close cooperation with the social partners, the private sector, the Church and all non-governmental organisations," she added.

    The former economy, competitiveness and shipping minister also answered questions concerning the government's economic policy and the current speculation of a possible extension of the debt repayment scheme for Greece, among others.

    [16] 32nd annual Athens International Boat Show inaugurated

    ิhe 32nd annual Athens International Boat Show opened to the public on Saturday evening at Metropolitan Expo exhibition center at Athens' 'Eleftherios Venizelos' International Airport.

    The Athens Boat Show is the most important specialised event of its kind, offering a unique show of equipment and services ranging from aquatic sports through surfing, water skiing and diving technologies to charters, motorboats and luxury yachts.

    A wide range of products will be on exhibit, including: boat and yacht engines, equipment, gear and accessories; navigation equipment; boat building material; repair and maintenance; trailers and hoists; Coast guard and emergency equipment; deck fittings; diving equipment and gear and fishing gear and tackle; jet skis and accessories; marina developers; motor boat;, nautical gift items; sailing boats and yachts; ship management; small boats; super yachts; water skiing equipment; aquatic sports clothing; aquatic tourism; cruise liners and charters; and wind surfing and equipment.

    The Athens International Boat Show, the slogan of which this year is "Affordable getaways for all", was inaugurated on Saturday evening by Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis.

    The Boat Show will run through October 24.

    Inaugurating the 32nd Boat Show, Diamantidis said that Greece is once again entering the road of development, creation and prosperity, stressing that the government is backing the healthy investment forces not simply to turn page but to write a new book of successes.

    Greece is a maritime country, he said, and stressed that "we will all work together" to bring the Greeks closer to the sea and the maritime world and to spread the Greek maritime spirit.

    [17] No buses for six hours in Athens on Monday

    The capital will be without buses for at least six hours on Monday, between the 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., when staff of the Athens public bus company ETHEL will hold a work stoppage in order to attend a general assembly of their union at the Sporting stadium in Patissia.

    The meeting will discuss the new measures believed to be in store for the public transport sector as part of the efforts being made by the government to reduce state spending in order to meet the terms of the EU-IMF bailout mechanism.

    [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.420

    Pound sterling 0.884

    Danish kroner 7.516

    Swedish kroner 9.296

    Japanese yen 115.19

    Swiss franc 1.353

    Norwegian kroner 8.157

    Canadian dollar 1.427

    Australian dollar 1.425

    General News

    [19] Noted filmmaker Dalianidis passes away

    Greece's most commercial filmmaker and "father" of the Greek musical, Yiannis Dalianidis, died on Saturday morning at the age of 87, after a month in hospital.

    He will be buried at Athens' First Cemetary on Monday afternoon after a civil service, in accordance with the deceased's request.

    The "Gentle Knight of Popular Cinema", as he was called, was born in Thessaloniki in 1923 and studied at the Drama School of the Thessaloniki Conservatory. After graduating, he went to Vienna, where he studied dance.

    He started out as a dancer, a choreographer and actor in musical theater, but soon expressed his love for cinema. In 1949 he appeared as an actor in the film Two Worlds. In 1958 he began writing screenplays. His first screenplay was Crazy Girl. His directorial debut took place the following year, with the film The Scamp (I Mousitsa), which established him immediately.

    He continued writing screenplays for romantic comedies and adapting plays which he directed for various production companies up until 1961, when he began working for Finos Film. His first film with Finos, "Downhill" (Katiforos) was a huge success. Since then he worked exclusively for Finos Film up until 1977, when the company's last film, Training Old Man Yorgis, was made.

    In 1962, with his film Some Like It Cold, which was a box-office hit, Dalianidis introduced a film genre which had not existed up unti that point: the Greek musical, although he preferred to call it "musical comedy". The same success accompanied his next musicals (all featuring music by Mimis Plessas), establishing Dalianidis as the master craftsman of this genre.

    He also made social dramas, starring Zoi Laskari, which were also hugely popular, while he continued adapting plays for the big screen.

    An extremely prolific filmmaker, he made numerous films each year (most of them on his own screenplays), and was steadily number one at the box-office.

    The year 1970 marked his debut as a stage director with the play Marijuana Stop. Everything Dalianidis touched turned to gold. Following the end of commercial cinema in Greece, he moved on to TV (1974), writing and directing Luna Park, which ran successfully for several years. Another popular series of his was The Lion Cubs. In the early eighties and until 1985, filmgoers flocked to the movie theaters to watch his films about the problems faced by the younger generation, the first of which was The Jackals, in 1981. Starting in 1986 he began making films on video, while his ability to adapt to changing conditions and always retain his unrivaled popularity was verified once again with his successful series made for private television (Penthouse, et al.).

    Dalianidis worked with all film genres (drama, comedy, the musical, and the detective film), directing more than 60 films throughout his career and leaving his personal mark on all of them. Above all. however, his importance stems from the fact that he changed the timing and pace of Greek Cinema, by introducing into it an American philosophy. The public followed him faithfully -during the sixties his name was as big as the name of Aliki Vouyouklaki- and, very soon, so did his colleagues.

    Dalianidis' style of fixed shots, singing, dancing and stylized poses caused a sensation and made his films immediately recognizable. Greek cinema is divided into the years before and after Dalianidis. He may not have been the greatest director to ever pass through Greek cinema, but he is the one who defined it more than any other.

    An adopted child, Dalianidis frequently spoke of his great love for his adoptive mother, revealing once that his love for her was the reason he did not leave Greece later for an international career. "It was unthinkable to me to leave behind an old woman after all that she had given to me."

    [20] 2nd Bread Festival in Thessaloniki celebrates World Bread Day

    World Bread Day is celebrated throughout the world on Saturday, and finds the three-day Bread Festival in Thessaloniki in full swing.

    The 2nd Thessaloniki Bread Festival at Aristotelous Square continued on Saturday with a "bread parade" in which children from all over Greece paraded in traditional costumes and displaying the plethora of local breads from all over the country.

    Bread with ornate designs and sculptures made of dough are also on display.

    The Bread Festival winds up on Sunday with local bakers giving out to visitors the traditional "Thessaloniki koulouri", the famed bread rings covered in sesame seeds. The target is to distribute one million "koulouria" to the public

    The Thessaloniki koulouria (plural of koulouri), or simitia, are perhaps the most popular street food in Greece, and simitia vendors can be found on most street corners. The Thessaloniki koulouri has Byzantine roots and its origins are from Constantinople (today's Istanbul), where Greeks and Armenians were the first bakers.

    The Greek word "simiti" derives from the Turkish "simit", which comes from the Arabic "semiz", which in turn derives from the Greek "simigdalis" meaning semolina or hard wheat, while "koulouri" is a diminutive of the ancient Greek "kollyra", or "kouloura" (circle), as the circular bread was called.

    [21] Foreign national arrested on Crete on drug charges

    A 22-year old foreign national was arrested late Saturday in the port of Heraklion, Crete, by the local police narcotics squad for drug possession and dealing.

    Acting on a tip-off that a woman of foreign nationality, a member of a drug trafficking ring, was due to arrive in Heraklion, police placed the woman under discrete surveillance. A search of her bag after she disembarked from a ship at Heraklion turned up two plastic bags of heroin weighing a total 1.01 kilos and another plastic bag containing 150 grams of cocaine, which were confiscated.

    A search of her residence in Athens also turned up 10.52 grams of cannabis.

    The detainee is due to be taken before a local public prosecutor.

    [22] Newborn found abandoned in Kypseli

    The Athens security police department for minors has launched an investigation to find the person that abandoned a newborn baby boy in the central Athens district of Kypseli. The baby had been left on the pavement in a plastic bag and was found by a passer-by at 11:30 on Saturday night.

    The man that found the baby immediately alerted the authorities and an ambulance was sent to take the baby to the Agia Sofia children's hospital. Doctors found that it was suffering from hypothermia but otherwise in good health and it will remain in the hospital until a public prosecutor decides what should happen.


    [23] Greek soccer results

    Olympiacos Piraeus defeated Xanthi 3-0 away in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while Panathinaikos Athens beat 1-0 PAOK Thessaloniki at home and AEK Athens subdued Aris Thessaloniki 4-0 away.

    In other action:

    Panionios Athens-Ergotelis Crete 0-1

    Atromitos Athens-Olympiacos Volos 2-2

    Kerkyra-Kavala 1-1

    Iraklis Thessaloniki-Panseraikos Serres 1-1

    Larissa -Asteras Tripoli 0-2

    Standings after five weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos P. 15 points

    2. Panathinaikos 14

    3. AEK 10

    4. Aris 9

    5. Ergotelis 9

    6. Kerkyra 9

    7. Kavala 9

    8. Iraklis 9

    9. Asteras 9

    10. Olympiacos V. 8

    11. Atromitos 6

    12. PAOK 5

    13. Xanthi 5

    14. Larissa 5

    15. Panionios 4

    16. Panseraikos 4

    Weather Forecast

    [24] Rain and storms on Monday

    Storms and rain are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with high winds at sea. Winds from mainly southeast directions, 3-8 Beaufort. Temperatures will range between 10C and 26C. Rain in Attica, with temperatures from 18C to 23C. Rain in Thessaloniki, with temperatures between 14C and 21C.

    [25] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and speculation of new austerity measures were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The (Athens) coastal zone a Greek Riviera? - As the government preannounces ambitious plans".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Expanses belonging to building cooperatives to revert to the State - The upsets being brought by the law on forest maps".

    AVGHI: "Emirate of Greece".

    AVRIANI: "The political scenery collapsing with a roar".

    CHORA: "Six+2 regions will be won by New Democracy" in Novembers local government elections".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The elections elect...Anti-Memorandum - Three opinion polls clear up the political message of the local administration elections".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Storm of taxes caused by increase in objective values of real estate".

    ETHNOS: "Shock reductions in incomes - The government's final decisions affecting 1 million working people".

    KATHIMERINI: "We don't know who are receiving benefits - The General State Accounts office's serious suspicions that the cutbacks in civil servants' salaries were rebated with a different formula (overtime or benefits)".

    LOGOS: "Cuts in incomes of pensioners who are working - Suspension of pension for retirees below 55 years of age".

    PROTO THEMA: "15 percent additional taxes each year, with Memorandum no. 2, up to 2016".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Vote for the popular rally tickets - Defeat PASOK, ND, reinforce the KKE".

    NIKI: "10 AEI and TEI (university and technical colleges) pulling down the shutters - Uproar in higher education".

    TO VIMA: "We were shouting, but you were not listening - Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker gives explanations to To Vima".

    VRADYNI: "Labor relations: Big upsets - How the individual labor agreements will be made - The Troika's new demands".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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