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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-04-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011 Issue No: 3768


  • [01] BoG Gov: Reforms 'last chance' for restarting Greek economy
  • [02] Gov't spokesman again rules out debt restructuring, gov't reshuffle
  • [03] Finance ministry denies Greece has requested IMF, EU for commencement of procedures for debt restructure
  • [04] ND on economy; debt restructuring
  • [05] KKE leader addresses Athens rally
  • [06] LAOS leader calls for end to debt restructuring speculation, early elections
  • [07] Daskalopoulos: Political foot-dragging to blame for Memorandum failure
  • [08] Commission: Greek reforms, privatisation plan 'ambitious'
  • [09] EU Commissioner Damanaki meets fish-farming, fishing associations in Greece
  • [10] Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce
  • [11] New projects announced for Piraeus
  • [12] Attica pharmacists threaten new round of action over delayed OPAD payments
  • [13] Fuel prices at all-time high
  • [14] Unions announce 24-hour strike for May 11
  • [15] Easter Holy Week shop hours
  • [16] Stocks end sharply lower
  • [17] Greek bond market closing report
  • [18] ADEX closing report
  • [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [20] Lyrids meteor shower to peak on Friday, Earth Day
  • [21] Singer, songwriter Nikos Papazoglou laid to rest
  • [22] Heart transplant recipient gives birth to baby boy in Athens
  • [23] Composer Mikis Theodorakis hospitalised for series of tests
  • [24] Anti riot police forces to withdraw from Keratea
  • [25] Police ID suspect in double murder
  • [26] Greek embassy in Beijing cultural review focuses shadow theatre
  • [27] Court upholds employee's firing over Facebook, Internet 'surfing' while at work
  • [28] Migrant smuggler arrests in NW Greece
  • [29] Greek football shocked over death of Adefemi
  • [30] Rainy on Tuesday
  • [31] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] BoG Gov: Reforms 'last chance' for restarting Greek economy

    Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. George Provopoulos on Monday called for greater determination by the government in promoting reforms, underlining that the Medium-term Fiscal Consolidation Programme - announced last week -- was the "last chance" for restarting the Greek economy.

    Presenting the central bank's annual report, Provopoulos noted that "promoting reforms was lacking behind the pact needed and often their implementation was delayed either because of civil administration bureaucracy or because authorities are hesitating in view of public reactions".

    The central banker stressed that an economic recession would be milder if the necessary measures and policies capable of encouraging recovery were implemented faster.

    The Bank of Greece expects the country's Gross Domestic Product to shrink by at least 3.0 pct this year, with unemployment to surpass 15 pct and the inflation rate - based on the harmonised consumer price index - to fall to 2.5-3.25 pct in 2011.

    Provopoulos once again rejected speculation of a restructuring of the country’s debt, saying such a solution was neither desired nor necessary. He said he supports measures to boost efforts towards fiscal consolidation along with adopting a new growth model, focusing on boosting saving, exports and investments.

    Moreover, the BoG head recommended four policy priorities:

    accelerating changes in the public sector combating tax evasion to achieve a fairer distribution of tax burden and to establish a feeling of social justice among citizens. Conversely, the central bank opposes the imposition of new taxes on wage earners and enterprises reducing spending in the public sector through the abolition of non-productive agencies and a better exploitation of the 4th Community Support Framework, and finally, attracting more foreign direct investments.

    On the competitiveness front, Provopoulos said that although steps have been made towards improvement, he noted that the government should abolish hurdles still plaguing various sectors and services. He noted that a 6.0-pct improvement in the labour cost/per product unit in 2010 was not enough to counterbalance accumulated losses in the period 2001-2009, which total -28 pct. The central banker estimated that the country's current accounts deficit will fall to 9.0 pct of GDP this year.

    In terms of the closely watched domestic banking system, Provopoulos cited a strong capital base for domestic financial institutions, however, he stressed that an adjustment to new conditions was necessary.

    Non-performing loans rose to 10.4 pct of total loans in 2010, from 7.7 pct in 2009, and predicted a continuation of the upward trend this year.

    Finally, he predicted that credit expansion to households and enterprises will remain slightly negative.

    [02] Gov't spokesman again rules out debt restructuring, gov't reshuffle

    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis on Monday ruled out the likelihood of debt restructuring stressing that this option "is not in our minds or our decisions" and underlined that the government focuses on finalizing the Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Framework which is designed to lead the country out of the crisis.

    Commenting on the position expressed on Sunday by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis who called for debt restructuring as soon as possible, Petalotis pointed out that the government's stance on the issue has been made known repeatedly and in the most official way. He underlined that "restructuring will be harmful for our country and Eurozone" adding that the government is now focused on the materialization of the goals set recently and through the "road map" announced.

    He flatly denied press reports on allegedly behind-the-scenes discussions made by the government, stressing that "debt restructuring is not in our thoughts".

    Petalotis also stressed that Simitis used to be a prime minister and president of PASOK but "now there is a government that has a totally different view".

    On whether the government is considering an extension of the repayment period, he underlined that "we are not discussing anything else other than the issues put on public debate. We are discussing only the road map."

    As regards the likelihood of a government reshuffle, Petalotis stated that "there is no reason for it and no such discussion is being made."

    Asked to comment on the Bank of Greece (BoG) governor report, he said that "the government is aware of the state mechanism's dysfunctions; is aware of the deficits and dysfunctions that go back for decades and which is now trying to correct through hard work."

    Responding to a relevant question, Petalotis denied that there were disagreements in last Friday's cabinet meeting as regards the issue of privatisations and spoke about "approaches and views". He clarified that the discussion on the national plan and privatisations will continue until May 15.

    [03] Finance ministry denies Greece has requested IMF, EU for commencement of procedures for debt restructure

    The Greek finance ministry on Monday denied a newspaper report that Greece has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union for the commencement of procedures for the restructuring of the Greek debt.

    "That is not true," a ministry official said in reply to the reports, and cited repeated denials by finance minister George Papaconstantinou throughout the weekend in Washington, where he addressed the annual IMF-World Bank meeting.

    [04] ND on economy; debt restructuring

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Monday again lashed out at the government, accusing it of not negotiating the EC-ECB-IMF memorandum.

    ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis referred to a joint statement on Ireland, issued by the EU, ECB and IMF, with which the three parties expressed satisfaction over the adoption of a new package of measures by the Irish government, ones aimed at the creation of new jobs.

    "It appears that the memorandum is not a taboo," he said, pointing out that the terms of the memorandum, in essence, were changed in the troika's first mission to Ireland. "This proves that there are policies, outside the memorandum, that can be implemented provided that somebody will negotiate them," he said, underlining that such proposals have been tabled by ND leader Antonis Samaras long ago but they were rejected by the government maintaining that they are not within the lines of the memorandum.

    Mihelakis stressed that "nobody knows the real state of the Greek economy, as pointed out by government MPs and ministers, who call on the economic staff to tell the truth to the Greek people."

    Regarding debt restructuring, Mihelakis said such talk is "not helpful" pointing out, however, that "the extension of the debt repayment period, a reduction of the interest rate or both is not a bad scenario."

    Referring to Parliament procedure, he stated that "the euro pact was signed by 23 EU countries, is a intergovernmental decision and does not go before national Parliaments," pointing out that "the permanent support mechanism - that will be in effect as of 2013 - will have to be ratified in national parliaments by 2012.

    Mihelakis accused the government of "misleading the Greek people" by presenting "a road map with lies" and repeated that censure motion is a tool that will be used by ND when deemed necessary.

    [05] KKE leader addresses Athens rally

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a rally in Syntagma Square in downtown Athens on Monday evening, underlined the party's electoral readiness and called on the people "not to be trapped in the political system's disguise scenarios," responding in this way to discussions on the creation of a cooperation government.

    Papariga focused her address on KKE's answers on the economiuc crisis and on the shaping of the political terms for the reversal of correlations and of the political system.

    She called on the people "to take the historic decision, to give unprecedented mass participation and effectiveness to the class struggles, the political struggle. Together with KKE, in cooperation and alignment."

    Papariga further said that her party also appeals to all those who, when asked which party, the ruling PASOK or the main opposition New Democracy, they trust, categorically reply "neither of the two."

    Also referring to discussions on the restructuring of the debt, Papariga said the discussions are real and not fixed and reveal what KKE has said many times that the margins of the capitalist system to achieve a relatively controlled and painless, for the system, exit from the crisis are much narrower compared to the past.

    [06] LAOS leader calls for end to debt restructuring speculation, early elections

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Monday stressed the need to stop ongoing public speculation that Greece might be forced to restructure its debt, saying that this debate "should be confined to a narrow circle, among those that have reason for it".

    He strongly criticised statements on the issue by former PASOK premier Costas Simitis, saying it was "sad" that the former and current prime ministers in the same party could not come to an agreement.

    Concerning policy on illegal migrants, meanwhile, Karatzaferis asserted that Italy's decision to give migrants legal documents and let them travel to other EU countries, such as France and Germany, was a proposal he had been making for the past two years. He stressed that Greece had to do the same in order to be rid of the burden of some two million illegal migrants.

    He also repeated a call for early elections, saying that these would be less damaging then "then keeping this incompetent government in power".

    Karatzaferis made the call while speaking to the radio station 'Real FM'.

    Financial News

    [07] Daskalopoulos: Political foot-dragging to blame for Memorandum failure

    Greece's political system has been dragging its feet and resisting necessary changes and it was this that had undermined the policy of the Memorandum, the head of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) Dimitris Daskalopoulos said on Monday at a Bank of Greece general meeting.

    "Nearly a year ago, in order to avoid bankruptcy, the country committed itself to an effort for overall reform within a specific time frame and measures, but these were undermined politically and implemented in a fragmented way. The failure that many attribute to the scarecrow of the Memorandum is in reality our own failure - our own foot-dragging," Daskalopoulos said.

    He asserted that the prospect of default remained because the government had delayed making reforms while the opposition parties and clientelist political system had 'sabotaged' their implementation.

    "In the end, we are collectively refusing to change culture," SEV's president stressed.

    Referring to the debate underway about a possible restructuring of Greece's debt and whether this was a "inevitable evil" or a way of solving Greece's problems, Daskalopoulos noted that those recycling such ideas were failing to tell the public critical truths about such a course.

    "Whatever form a debt restructuring were to take now, it would inevitably lead to even harsher measures, even greater sacrifices, an even greater lowering of living standards and greater poverty for the overwhelming majority of society," he stressed.

    Even if restructuring were to take place as part of a broader European solution, he added, it would not absolve Greece from the need to make painful changes to modernise its economy and society.

    Daskalopoulos also stressed that only such modernisation could bring about a rapid return to growth, which was the only real way of saving the country, and he emphasised that growth would not come about as a result of state planning, subsidies or any developmental policy mix.

    "[Growth] comes when economically active citizens decide to invest and take risks. We will see growth from the real economy when there is not the huge uncertainty created by the spectre of national bankruptcy and the financial suffocation created by the collapse of the public sector," Daskalopoulos said.

    SEV's president was strongly critical of those opposing the government's plans to exploit public real estate as a way of generating revenues to pay down debt, accusing critics of the plan of supporting the political party cliques and interest groups that had been busy looting the state sector for the past decades.

    Daskalopoulos repeated the view that reforms, privatisations and the medium-term fiscal plan for 2012-2015 unveiled by the government were the "last chance" for the government to make the changes that would restore Greece's credibility abroad and provide a sustainable future at home.

    He also called it the last chance for Greece's political system to act responsibly and tell people the truth about the difficulties that lay ahead and the cost that had to be paid.

    "Change is a painful one-way street but all other roads lead straight off a cliff," he added, noting that the political system as a whole was responsible for the current situation and would be held responsible in its entirety in the case of a "national shipwreck".

    [08] Commission: Greek reforms, privatisation plan 'ambitious'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Aroni)

    The Greek government's programme of structural reforms and privatisations, announced last Friday, is positive and ambitious, Chantal Huge, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, the EU spokeswoman said the EU's executive characterised as "ambitious" both the Greek government's programme to cut the country's fiscal deficit by 26 billion euros until 2015 and a privatisation programme for the period 2011-2013.

    The spokeswoman noted that an EC-ECB-IMF troika delegation will visit Athens in May as part of its quarterly report on the Greek economy, and will thoroughly examined the government's proposed plan. Commenting on recurring speculation over a debt restructuring, she reiterated that the European Commission was not taking part in such kind of talk.

    [09] EU Commissioner Damanaki meets fish-farming, fishing associations in Greece

    European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki held meetings with representatives of Greek fish-farming associations and Greek open-sea fishing enterprises on Monday, at the offices of the European Commission Representation in Greece.

    Her talks with fish farmers focused on competitiveness in the sector, which is the country's strongest exporters after the pharmaceuticals industry. Fish farmers' associations apparently pointed to delays in absorbing EU funds for fisheries that could be used for investment in the sector.

    Damanaki said the Commission had been making great efforts to active the mechanism for Greece and promised to closely monitor the reaction of Greek authorities and exert pressure to speed up the necessary processes to release the funds.

    Her meeting with representatives of the national fishing confederation and the Epirus federation of fishing associations focused mainly on environmental degradation in Amvrakikos Bay, which is threatened with an ecological disaster due to byproducts from industrial activity, agricultural run-off, sewage and fish farming. These are creating conditions of oxygen starvation and eutrophication that threaten to wipe out fish stocks.

    Damanaki briefed associations on the possibility of funding actions to reduce the environmental pressures on the bay's ecosystems and stressed the need to conform with EU fishing rules concerning the use of destructive bottom trawlers and other restricted fishing methods.

    [10] Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce

    Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce President Yiannos Grammatidis said on the announcement, last week, of the government's Medium-Term Plan that "the government is continuing not to clash with established minority social interests by not proceeding with the awarding of the management to natural monopolies such as electricity and water supply, maintaining the control of relative infrastructures and to its complete withdrawal from the banking sector. It is therefore doubtful whether it will achieve the showing of interest by the international investing community in these specific plans."

    He added that "there is no doubt that the Medium-Term Plan announced by the government as the continuation of the structural reforms programme in the framework of changing the country's growth model, is considered a positive step."

    However, the Chamber discerns hesitation on the part of the government in proceeding with the reforms. It also considers that this hesitation is going along with the lack of growth orientation of the measures announced.

    [11] New projects announced for Piraeus

    The Planning and Port Developmnt Committee convened under the chairmanship of Marine Affairs, Islands and Fisheries ministry secretary general N. Litinas on Monday and decided that the following projects will go ahead:

    1. The Exhibition-Convention and International Business Centre OLP SA.

    2. The Southern Side of the Passenger Port of Piraeus to be extended so as to serve the new places for the cruiseships.

    3. For the 5 "star" hotel complex in the port zone of OLP SA.

    Marine Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis said among other things in a statement that they are growth measures, they will provide vivacity and growth in the economy and will also provide many new jobs.

    [12] Attica pharmacists threaten new round of action over delayed OPAD payments

    Attica pharmacists are once again threatening to cut off the supply of medication on credit to those insured by the civil servants' social insurance fund OPAD, starting on May 1, unless the promises to settle OPAD's past debts to pharmacists are fulfilled by the end of this month.

    In an announcement on Monday, the Attica Pharmacists' Association said that not a single member of the association in west Attica had been paid so far and that the process for paying them had not even started.

    It also noted that very little of the money set aside to pay for prescriptions filled out in 2011 had reached recipients that were members of the association and that OPAD's debts to pharmacies for 2010 remained unpaid, while their future "looked grim".

    The head of the National Pharmacists Association Theodoros Abatzoglou made similar warnings during a press conference on Monday, though he appeared to consider that OPAD had set in motion the process to pay off outstanding debts to pharmacies. He pointed to continued problems with the Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers' fund, which he said had not paid its debts in over a year, and the fund of Hellenic Telecommunications Employees (OTE).

    Abatzoglou also asserted that the state was planning to restrict the profit margin for pharmacies to not more that 15 percent from the current 18.5-20 percent, which he predicted would lead some 20 percent of existing pharmacies to close.

    [13] Fuel prices at all-time high

    Holy Week began in Greece with fuel prices at an all-time record high on Monday, as the average price of unleaded climbed to 1.706 euros per liter.

    The highest prices were recorded on the island, especially Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades Islands complex, while the lowest prices were recorded in Athens and Thessaloniki, with unleaded ranging from 1.617 euros per liter (at the cheapest gas station in Athens) to 1.886 euros per liter (at the most expensive filling station in Piraeus).

    [14] Unions announce 24-hour strike for May 11

    A nationwide general labour strike has been called for Wednesday, May 11 by the country's two largest umbrella union federations in the private and public sector, GSEE and ADEDY, was announced by the GSEE executive committee on Monday.

    "The strike is the workers' response to the problems faced by the unemployed, the workers and the pensioners who, according to the national plan on the economy, are again the ones who are called to pay the bill," GSEE President Yiannis Panagopoulos stated.

    [15] Easter Holy Week shop hours

    Shops this week, the Holy Week before Easter, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday.

    On Saturday, shops will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    All shops will be closed on the Monday after Easter.

    [16] Stocks end sharply lower

    Stocks ended sharply lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, hit by worsening conditions in debt markets and by intensifying speculation over a debt restructuring.

    Bank shares came under strong selling pressure amid talk of a share capital increase plan by a major commercial bank. The composite index of the market fell 2.83 pct to end at 1,427.49 points, with turnover remaining a low 91.492 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 3.07 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.53 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 2.45 pct. PPC (1.42 pct) and Coca-Cola 3E (0.31 pct) were the only blue chips to end higher, while, ATEbank (7.69 pct), Alpha Bank (7.49 pct), Piraeus Bank (7.2 pct), Hellenic Postbank (6.89 pct) and National Bank (5.55 pct) were major losers.

    The Utilities (0.44 pct) and Food (0.17 pct) were top gainers, while Banks (5.67 pct), Financial Services (4.68 pct) and Constructions (4.17 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 120 to 30 with another 38 issues unchanged. Mouzakis (17.39 pct), Vovos (13.56 pct), Hatzioannou (12.5 pct) were top gainers, while Allatini Ceramics (20 pct), Boutaris (10 pct) and ETEM (9.80 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Industrials: -3.37%

    Commercial: -1.10%

    Construction: -4.17%

    Media: -1.93%

    Oil & Gas: -2.01%

    Personal & Household: -0.89%

    Raw Materials: -2.94%

    Travel & Leisure: -2.46%

    Technology: -3.55%

    Telecoms: -2.41%

    Banks: -5.67%

    Food & Beverages: +0.17%

    Health: -0.18%

    Utilities: +0.44%

    Chemicals: -2.29%

    Financial Services: -4.68%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, OPAP and Jumbo.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 3.83

    ATEbank: 0.48

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.46

    HBC Coca Cola: 19.20

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.18

    National Bank of Greece: 5.45

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.62

    OPAP: 14.51

    OTE: 7.68

    Bank of Piraeus: 1.16

    Titan: 17.00

    [17] Greek bond market closing report

    Speculation over a debt restructuring by Greece is harshly hitting the Greek debt market, with the yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widening to new record-high levels of 1,127 basis point.

    In the domestic electronic secondary bond market, the Greek 10-year bond yielded 14.53 pct and the German benchmark yielded 3.26 pct. Turnover in the market was an improved 107 million euros, of which 99 million were sell orders and the remaining 8.0 million euros were buy orders. The five-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 16 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 2.10 pct, the six-month rate 1.63 pct, the three-month 1.33 pct and the one-month rate 1.16 pct.

    [18] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.86 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday, with turnover remaining a low 34.643 million euros.

    Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 8,406 contracts worth 27.380 million euros, with 28,211 short positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 18,143 contracts worth 7.262 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (5,538), followed by Eurobank (815), MIG (419), OTE (720), Piraeus Bank (3,307), Alpha Bank (2,815), Marfin Popular Bank (761), Mytilineos (435), Cyprus Bank (657), Hellenic Postbank (826) and ATEbank (535).

    [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.438

    Pound sterling 0.884

    Danish kroner 7.518

    Swedish kroner 9.006

    Japanese yen 119.2

    Swiss franc 1.292

    Norwegian kroner 7.850

    Canadian dollar 1.388

    Australian dollar 1.368

    General News

    [20] Lyrids meteor shower to peak on Friday, Earth Day

    People in the northern hemisphere, including Greece, will be treated to a celestial 'fireworks' show this week, as the Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 22, Earth Day, with the greatest visibility between Friday night and just before dawn Saturday.

    The Lyrids, are a strong meteor shower occurring annually in mid-to-late April, and take their name from the constellation Lyra, where the radiant of the meteor shower appears to be located, but the source of the meteor shower is actually the periodic Comet C/1861 Thatcher.

    It is the oldest meteor shower recorded by humans, with the first recorded observation being in 687 BC by a Chinese man who wrote of "stars falling like rain".

    The 'shooting stars' are in actuality the dusty trail of the comet Thatcher. Particles the size of grains of sand shed by the comet shoot through the sky at over 100,000 miles per hour that "light up" when the reach the earth's atmosphere.

    [21] Singer, songwriter Nikos Papazoglou laid to rest

    Hundreds of people said their last goodbye to noted singer and songwriter Nikos Papazoglou on Monday, as he was laid to rest in Thessaloniki cemetery.

    Papazoglou died on Sunday at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer.

    He was born in Thessaloniki and began writing songs in 1965 when he was briefly a member of the pop band "Olympians". Over a course of 30 years he founded a recording studio in Thessaloniki's Toumba district, where dozens of local artists recorded their music.

    Papazoglou is regarded as one of the founders of the so-called Thessaloniki school of contemporary popular Greek music.

    [22] Heart transplant recipient gives birth to baby boy in Athens

    A 38-year-old woman that had undergone a successful heart transplant seven years ago gave birth to a healthy baby boy at an Athens maternity hospital on Monday morning. Doctors stressed that this was the only such case in Greece and one of the rare instances where a heart transplant patient had later become a mother worldwide.

    "The happy mother is the first instance where the entire process (heart transplant, pregnancy and delivery) took place in Greece," an announcement said.

    The delivery was carried out by caesarian section at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, while the mother had a history of serious heart disease and undergone a heart transplant operation in Athens in 2004.

    [23] Composer Mikis Theodorakis hospitalised for series of tests

    A stomach condition resulted in composer Mikis Theodorakis being hospitalised in Athens for a series of tests on Monday.

    According to his close environment, the composer felt stomach trouble on Sunday and his family decided that he should go to hospital for precautionary reasons.

    [24] Anti riot police forces to withdraw from Keratea

    Anti-riot police forces are to withdraw from Keratea, eastern Attica, where protests against the construction of a garbage processing plant by local residents continued for the past four months, it was announced on Monday after a meeting between Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis and Lavreotiki Mayor Costas Levantis.

    Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki served as a mediator during the meeting.

    "Having dialogue is very hard in cases where passions run high and dogmatism is a longstanding practice?Creative and appeasing interventions such the one coming from Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki are necessary to have results," Papoutsis said after the meeting at his office in the ministry building in Athens.

    Riot police started withdrawing from the area on the condition that local residents remove barricades, thus ending a months-long standoff, and opening the way to new proposals and a re-examination of the issue.

    A specific proposal on waste management will be presented by Levantis and a delegation of local residents in the meeting they will have next Thursday with the environment minister and other government officials, Papoutsis said.

    [25] Police ID suspect in double murder

    A double murder involving astrologer Miltiades Moutafis and Paraskevi Gezou, the owner of an online cosmetics sales firm, which took place in the Athens suburb of Halandri on Feb. 26 2009 has reportedly been solved.

    A 36-year-old owner of a coffee shop in the Aghios Panteleimonas district of Athens with a criminal record was arrested and charged with the double homicide. The motives behind the crime have not yet been clarified, although police are examining the possibility of a "murder contract".

    The suspect was led before a prosecutor on Monday.

    [26] Greek embassy in Beijing cultural review focuses shadow theatre


    The press & communication office of the Greek embassy in the Chinese capital will circulate the fifth edition of its quarterly cultural review "epiKoInoNiA" this week, a bilingual publication in English and Chinese.

    "Epikoinonia" is Greek for "communication", with the capital letters "K", "I", "N" and "A", ergo "KINA", meaning China in Greek.

    This quarter's edition will focus on shadow theatre medium in Greece, particularly the "Karagiozis" theme.

    The initiative is designed, composed and published exclusively by the press & communication office in Beijing.

    [27] Court upholds employee's firing over Facebook, Internet 'surfing' while at work

    A First Instance Court in Athens on Monday ruled in favour of an airline company that had fired an employee for "surfing" the social networking site Facebook and other websites while at work.

    The court ruled that the company was justified to end the work contract with a female employee without severance pay on the justification that she was visiting internet websites, including the best-known social networking sites, for hours at a time and on a daily basis.

    [28] Migrant smuggler arrests in NW Greece

    Coast guard authorities in the port of Igoumenitsa, extreme northwest Greece, on Monday announced the arrest of a 46-year-old truck driver after 34 illegal migrants, identified as Asians, were found in his Italy-bound lorry.

    The illegals were hidden in a specially designed crypt in the truck, which was carrying insulation materials.

    In a separate incident also in Igoumenitsa, police arrested an Iranian and an Iraqi on charges of transporting illegal migrants from Afghanistan (three adults and three minors) in their vehicles. The six had also been supplied with fake Turkish passports, reportedly for a sum of 12,000 euros each.

    Both alleged migrant smugglers and illegal migrants will be led before a prosecutor.


    [29] Greek football shocked over death of Adefemi

    The death of Xanthi defensive midfielder Olubayo Adefemi shocked the local football establishment on Monday.

    The 26-year-old Nigerian player was killed in a traffic accident on the Egnatia motorway in the early morning hours of Monday near the city of Kavala, in northeast Greece.

    Adefemi had received permission from his team to travel to his homeland for his wedding.

    Before arriving in the Greek Super League, Adefemi had played for France's Boulogne before arriving in Xanthi.

    He played in 24 matches for Skoda Xanthi in the 2010-2011, scoring two goals. Adefemi also had caps with the Nigerian national team, seeing action in Austria, Romania, as well as with three teams in Israel.

    Condolences poured in from other teams in Greece, players, and the federation.

    Weather Forecast

    [30] Rainy on Tuesday

    Rainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 4C and 19C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens, with northerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 7C to 15C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 7C to 15C.

    [31] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The economy and persistent debt restructure speculation were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Samaras: We will not become co-culprits in PASOK's disastrous policy".

    AVRIANI: "They're at risk of finding themselves behind bars if they do not leave now".

    DIMOKRATIA: "What the civil servants will lose".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Simitis proposal for debt restructure makes Papandreou livid".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "All the indebted municipalities in Memorandum vise".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Application has been made for (restructure) of the entire debt - Government has asked IMF and EU for extension of repayment period for the debt not included in the Memorandum, too".

    ESTIA: "Change of faces mandatory, immediately".

    ETHNOS: "Salary raises and promotions only after evaluation in civil service".

    IMERISSIA: "Privatisations with three speeds".

    TA NEA: "Debt restructure: Speculation, games and denials".

    VRADYNI: "Legalization of the unlicensed buildings".

    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 --1427249692-906930065-1303243466=:16262--

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