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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-04-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Friday, 29 April 2011 Issue No: 3775


  • [01] PM: 'We will lead the way out of crisis'
  • [02] PM reiterates need for ceasefire, implementation of UNSC resolutions to top Libyan official
  • [03] FM Droutsas holds talks with Serb Interior minister
  • [04] Papoulias to inaugurate Nebojsa Tower on Friday
  • [05] Greek Permanent Delegation at UN on clerical mistake regarding fYRoM name
  • [06] Parliament refers ex-minister Tsohatzopoulos to investigating com't in subs affair
  • [07] ND spokesman on 'legalisation' for unauthorised buildings
  • [08] Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Michael briefs federal president on issues of Austrian Orthodox faithful
  • [09] Commemorative event at Ukrainian embassy on Chernobyl catastrophe
  • [10] Draft laws on market operation; business, consumer protection
  • [11] IMF External Relations official on Greek debt
  • [12] EU Commissioner for fisheries visits Cyprus, meets agriculture minister
  • [13] Bank borrowing from ECB further reduced in February
  • [14] PPC union threatens strikes, legal action to block privatisation
  • [15] Hospital suppliers renew threat of 'embargo'
  • [16] Stocks flat on Thursday
  • [17] Greek bond market closing report
  • [18] ADEX closing report
  • [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [20] WHO to award PM for tough anti-smoking stance
  • [21] 70 arrested in police sweep in central Athens
  • [22] Police, Frontex intercept would-be migrants near Evros River
  • [23] Igoumenitsa residents to block port over presence of illegal migrants
  • [24] Tourism group calls for immediate summertime schedule for museums
  • [25] Athens Fun Run on May 15
  • [26] Rainy on Friday
  • [27] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM: 'We will lead the way out of crisis'

    While chairing a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister George Papandreou reportedly blamed the latest plunge of market confidence in Greek debt on the complexity of the debt crisis but also 'dissonance', as he said, within the European Union, government sources said.

    Referring to the 'road map' he presented before Easter, he stressed that this had outlined the framework for putting the economy in order and that the plan that the government would unveil in a few days would help bring the country out of the crisis.

    The prime minister strongly criticised those recycling speculation that Greece will restructure its debt and pointed out that similar scenarios centring on a Greek default had been circulating a year earlier, before Greece signed the agreements for the 110-billion-euro loans from the IMF and European Union.

    He stressed that rampant speculation and fear-mongering should not be allowed to dominate politics and the media, or to affect the government's responsible attitude toward tackling the crisis.

    Papandreou was also scathing in his criticism of media pundits and political parties, saying the majority preferred to prophesy doom and, at times inadvertently, linked themselves with specific interests.

    The prime minister pointed out that much had been done in the year since Greece had signed the Memorandum for the EU-IMF loans, most of which would not have been predicted by even the most optimistic.

    He emphasised that the government should focus on doing its job and also commented on rumours of early elections or a reshuffle, saying these were issues that were minor compared with the major and significant problems facing the country. The government did not have the luxury to waste time on such issues, he added.

    "We have an obligation to use all our strength to achieve the fiscal targets that are a condition for our country's success and to carry out the major changes that are our goal," Papandreou emphasised.

    In a later report dealing with the Cabinet meeting, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou underlined that a "deficit of unity", effectiveness and determination is being observed lately, adding that the talks on debt restructuring will intensify ahead of the next troika visit.

    On his part, Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the government will have to adopt a firm stance as regards the debt restructuring issue and called for an institutional intervention by the EU to prevent relevant discussions during the troika visit.

    The government's medium-term plan was not discussed in the cabinet meeting. However, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos expressed reservations as regards the operation of the justice system.

    The ministry of finance intents to finish with the technical details of the medium-term plan by the end of next week and settle additional details concerning different government ministries while deciding on the "ceiling" that will be placed on expenditures.

    [02] PM reiterates need for ceasefire, implementation of UNSC resolutions to top Libyan official

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou spoke on Thrusday by telephone with Libyan Premier al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi, with the former reportedly stressing to the Libyan official the need for an immediate ceasefire in the North African country and the full implementation of UNSC resolutions.

    [03] FM Droutsas holds talks with Serb Interior minister

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and visiting Serb Interior Minister Ivica Dacic on Thursday discussed Serbia's "European prospect" and regional issues.

    Speaking to reporters, Droutsas reaffirmed Greece's "absolute confidence" in the Serb government, which "has shown that it is devoted to the target of European accession, a vision that Athens shares".

    On his part, Dacic expressed satisfaction over the meeting, stressing the personal ties with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Droutsas, thanking Athens for its support and referring to the two countries' historical and economic ties.

    [04] Papoulias to inaugurate Nebojsa Tower on Friday

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Serb President Boris Tadic will jointly inaugurate the landmark Nebojsa Tower in Belgrade on Friday. The recently renovated tower was the prison in which Greek independence struggle hero Rigas Velestinlis (also known as Ferraios) was put to death by Ottoman Turkish authorities in 1798.

    Following the inauguration ceremony, Papoulias will be shown around all four levels of the new museum and then have a private meeting with his Serb counterpart, after which there will be a dinner in honour of the Greek delegation.

    Papoulias will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis and his itinerary during his stay in Belgrade will include a visit to the Serb Patriarch.

    The renovation of Nebojsa Tower was funded by Greece and the municipality of Belgrade and carried out over two years, at a cost 1.8 million euros. The Greek state, via the Greek foreign ministry international developmental aid service 'Hellenic Aid' has paid 1.38 million euro toward the project.

    The tower will serve as a museum exhibit site featuring exhibits related to the life and work of Rigas Feraios and also to the Serbs own struggle for independence from Ottoman rule. The second storey of the four-storey tower will be devoted to Feraios and the Greek revolution.

    Other exhibits will focus the tower's use as a prison at the end of the 18th and the start of the 19th centuries.

    Nejbosa Tower is a medieval structure built by Hungarians on the ruins of an older Roman tower dating from the 1st century A.D. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its history. Rigas Feraios was imprisoned there for roughly seven months before he was put to death by Turks, becoming one of the first martyrs of Greece's struggle for independence.

    [05] Greek Permanent Delegation at UN on clerical mistake regarding fYRoM name

    The reference to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) as "Macedonia" was due to a mistake by an employee of the UN's Secretariat, regarding a UN announcement on the meeting between the Foreign minister of the neighbouring country Antonio Milososki with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to explanations given by his office's director to the Greek Permanent Representative, anbassador Anastasis Mitsialis.

    The Greek side reacted immediately when the mistaken recording was ascertained in the UN's website earlier in the night. The Greek ambassador communicated with the director of the secretary general's office, stressing that the UN's Secretariat must be the guardian of the Organisation's decisions which impose the use of the term Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedoinia without exception. He also stressed the strong dissatisfaction of Athens over this new case of a mistake by a Secretariat's employee and asked to be informed on the action the Secretariat intends to take for such mistakes not to be repeated.

    The Secretariat's officials proceeded with the immediarte correction of the mistake, at 8:30 in the morning (New York time).

    [06] Parliament refers ex-minister Tsohatzopoulos to investigating com't in subs affair

    The proposal tabled by 112 ruling PASOK deputies on the establishment of an investigating committee to probe possible responsibilities of former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos in purchase of three German-made submarines was accepted by the Parliamentary plenum on Thursday with 226 votes in favour and nine against.

    The decision was taken with a secret ballot in which 250 deputies voted, while the Parliamentary group of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) party (15 deputies) did not participate, having withdrawn from the process earlier along with five deputies of the newly formed Democratic Alliance. Nine "present" votes were also cast, as well as one blank and five invalid ones.

    On Thursday, Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos will address letters to party leaders to appoint their members to the committee, which is expected to convene next week. According to Petsalnikos' decision, the deadline provided for the committee to table its report and whatever substantiating evidence is June 6, 2011.

    [07] ND spokesman on 'legalisation' for unauthorised buildings

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis was scathing in his criticism of apparent disagreements between Environment Minister Tina Birbili and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou over plans to raise revenue through measures legalising buildings erected without valid permits.

    "These people do not even know what they are signing," he said of the ruling party, pointing out that there was provision for the sums raised this way in the 2011 budget passed by PASOK.

    "When Mrs. Birbili signed the budget, didn't she know where this 400 or 300 million euro was coming from?" Mihelakis asked.

    The spokesman also noted that the rise in Greek bond spreads clearly reflected the failure of the government's policy.

    Commenting on a VPRC opinion poll published in 'Epikaira', the spokesman said the gap between the two main parties was closing and was now just one percentage point. ND's goal was to persuade undecided voters that it had a programme capable of leading the country out of the crisis, he added.

    "There is hope and a way out. The government is creating a sense of suffocation, a national depression," he said.

    Concerning claims in 'Epikaira' that the government was proceeding with additional hiring in the public sector, Mihelakis stressed that the government had to reply to the claims since the paper was citing entries in the government gazette approving 8,000 new government positions.

    "Instead of abolishing positions we are establishing them, driving the state's operating costs sky-high," he added.

    [08] Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Michael briefs federal president on issues of Austrian Orthodox faithful

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis)

    The outcome of the first General Assembly of the newly-established Episcopal Conference of Austria as well as the overall issues of the country's 500,000 Orthodox faithful, were presented to the Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer by the Conference's president, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria-Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe Michael, during the courtesy call paid by its members to the presidential mansion in Vienna, on Thursday.

    Metropolitan Michael was accompanied by the bishops of the Orthodox Churches of Russia, Romania and Serbia and the president of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria.

    Metropolitan Michael, stressing during the federal president's briefing that the Orthodox faithful in Austria constitute an inseparable part of its religious landscape, hailed the impending amendment in the Austrian Law on Orthodoxy with which, among other things, the Episcopal Conference of Austria that was established last October is recognised as the official interlocutor for the Austrian Republic, while the possibility of the recognition of Orthodox bishoprics in the country is also settled.

    [09] Commemorative event at Ukrainian embassy on Chernobyl catastrophe

    On the sombre occasion this past week of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) catastrophe, the embassy of Ukraine in Greece will host a commemorative event on Friday, April 29.

    April 26, 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of the nuclear power plant catastrophe, which produced disastrous consequences on the environment, human health and a deterioration of the social, economic and quality-of-life conditions in the surrounding region.

    During the event on Friday, a documentary film entitled "Chornobyl - The Chronicle of Hard Weeks" will be shown, while a photographic exhibition focusing on the devastating industrial accident -- with materials provided by the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform -- will be inaugurated.

    Financial News

    [10] Draft laws on market operation; business, consumer protection

    Regional Development & Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis presented two draft laws for second reading at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, draft laws aimed at improving the business environment, while defining company pre-bankruptcy procedures and establishing a concrete contractual framework for realtors and real estate agents.

    A draft law on brand names and products was brought for the first time before the Cabinet, and aims at improving and updating brand name protection.

    Chryssohoidis and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou also recommended Greece's participation in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) share capital increase.

    [11] IMF External Relations official on Greek debt


    The Troika will focus on the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Programme, the process of privatisations and the utilisation of public property and the financial ability of Greek banks on a medium-term horizon, during the next assessment of the course of the Greek economy that will take place in mid-May.

    This was stressed by the senior adviser of the IMF's External Relations David Holley, who clarified that the delegation of the IMF, the ECB and the EU will assess the implementation so far of what has been agreed and to what degree the targets set have been achieved.

    The ratification of the loan tranche to Greece that, if the assessment is positive, will be paid in June, will be judged by the results of the assessment of May.

    Speaking during the IMF's regular briefing, Holley reiterated the Fund's steadfast position against the restructuring of the Greek debt.

    Lastly, the Fund's official denied reports of the impending arrival of the IMF's general director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Greece in May in the framework of a joint initiative with the ECB's president, Jean-Claude Trichet and the EU's Finance commissioner, Olli Rehn.

    [12] EU Commissioner for fisheries visits Cyprus, meets agriculture minister

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA - A. Viketos)

    European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki held talks here on Thursday with Cyprus Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Demetris Eliades, during a visit to Cyprus.

    She praised Cyprus as an "excellent example" of the absorption of European Union funds in a creative and beneficial manner, referring especially to a fishing shelter that she will inaugurate at the village of Zygi on Friday with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    "That was a typical example where European funds were used in the best possible way," she said.

    Her talks with the Cyprus agriculture minister had focused on the preparations for Cyprus' EU presidency during the second half of 2012, Damanaki told reporters.

    The Commissioner said that the European Commission would announce her proposals for a major reform of the common fishing policy during the summer. She described the proposed reforms as deep and radical, designed to bring European fisheries in lines with the new state of affairs that now existed in terms of the environment and society.

    The Cyprus presidency of 2012 would play an important role in further promoting the reforms, she added.

    Damanaki said that they had also agreed on issues concerning small-scale, coastal fishing and pointed out that the European Commission was keen to protect small fishermen, who tended to fish in ways more friendly to the environment and greatly boosted employment.

    Concerning the harassment of Cypriot fishing boats by Turkey and its continued refusal to allow Cyprus-flagged vessels to dock at Turkish ports and harbours, Damanaki stressed that the European Commission's position was unchanged.

    "The chapter on fishing, along with other chapters [in EU accession negotiations], remains closed and is linked with the demand of the European Commission that Turkey proceed to implement the Protocol and open its ports," she pointed out.

    Eliades also stressed Turkey's violations of the rights of the Cyprus Republic under EU treaties and expressed satisfaction that Damanaki had repeated the Commission's position on these issues.

    [13] Bank borrowing from ECB further reduced in February

    The dependence of Greek banks on the European Central Bank continued to drop in February, according to figures released by the Bank of Greece on Thursday. These showed that sums borrowed by Greek banks from the ECB fell to 90.4 billion euro in February 2011, from 94.4 billion euro in January 2011.

    The Bank of Greece has asked highstreet banks to submit plans that will gradually 'wean' them from dependence on capital supplied by the ECB by mid-May.

    [14] PPC union threatens strikes, legal action to block privatisation

    The trade union (GENOP) that represents employees at the state-run Public Power Corp. (PPC) on Thursday threatened legal action "to safeguard the PPC employees' social insurance fund assets, estimated at 11.9 billion euros, which are incorporated into the company assets", as it announced.

    GENOP President Nikos Fotopoulos made the announcement during a press conference, while he also suggested that -- in an effort to avert the company's further privatisation -- "PPC employees are ready to lend the state the estimated 400 million euros expected to be collected after 17 pct of the company shares are sold".

    The union's leadership is scheduled to meet later on Thursday to decide on the form and date of mobilisations against the planned privatisation. According to proposals, the powerful union will hold 48-hour repeated strikes launched a week before a relevant draft law is submitted to Parliament.

    Commenting on the effects the strikes will have on consumers, Fotopoulos said the industrial action is a legal right and there are consequences every time it is exercised. He also maintained that if the PPC privatisation proceeds it will result in skyrocketing electricity bills.

    The PPC employees' trade union also criticised Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis, whos inspectors have concluded that financial support allocated to the GENOP union by PPC's management over previous years was illegal.

    [15] Hospital suppliers renew threat of 'embargo'

    The clash between the health ministry and state hospital suppliers escalated on Thursday after suppliers announced a three-day 'warning' embargo starting on Monday.

    In a press conference, the suppliers of surgical gloves, cotton wool, syringes and other basic hospital supplies claimed that their businesses were in danger of closing due to the debts accumulated by hospitals and that at least 1,000 people would lose their jobs as a result.

    They said an emergency system would be set up to ensure that hospitals could be supplied in cases of serious need, so as not to endanger or cause hardship to patients.

    The president of the suppliers' association claimed that only 31 percent of the money owed to suppliers by hospitals for 2010 had so far been paid. He also stressed that the bonds used to settle debts for past years are not cashed in advance by any bank.

    [16] Stocks flat on Thursday

    Stocks prices mostly stabilised at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with the market posting a marginal gain of 0.08 pct on the omposite index to end at 1,401.16 points. Turnover was a low 92.05 million euros, of which 24.73 million involved a package of Piraeus Bank shares purchased by a foreign fund -- 23,574,826 shares at 1.05 euros.

    The Big Cap index was up a negligible 0.03 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.65 pct up and the Small Cap index posted gains of 0.78 pct. Utilities (3.37 pct) and Health (0.38 pct) were the only sectors posted the biggest gains, while Foodstuffs (2.25 pct) and Insurances (1.69 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 73 to 74 with another 46 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.69%

    Industrials: -0.96%

    Commercial: -1.07%

    Construction: +0.08%

    Media: -0.34%

    Oil & Gas: +0.64%

    Personal & Household: +0.61%

    Raw Materials: +1.19%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.33%

    Technology: +0.07%

    Telecoms: -0.51%

    Banks: +0.68%

    Food & Beverages: -2.25%

    Health: +2.30%

    Utilities: +3.37%

    Chemicals: -0.38%

    Financial Services: +1.51%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 3.68

    ATEbank: 0.44

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 11.16

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.35

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.14

    National Bank of Greece: 5.03

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.43

    OPAP: 14.41

    OTE: 7.83

    Bank of Piraeus: 1.05

    Titan: 17.98

    [17] Greek bond market closing report

    The 10-year Greek benchmark bond yielded 15.79 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, while the German Bund yielded 3.25 pct, with the yield spread rising to a record high of 1,254 basis points.

    Turnover in the market was 52 million euros, of which 18 million were buy orders and the remaining 34 million sell orders. The five-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 10 million euros.

    In interbank markets, interest rates changed lightly. The 12-month rate was 2.12 pct, the six-month rose to 1.66 pct, the three-month was 1.37 pct and the one-month rate was 1.22 pct.

    [18] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount 1.36 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover rising to 34.590 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 9,207 contracts worth 28.743 million euros, with 30,075 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 14,195 contracts worth 5.846 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (4,741), followed by Piraeus Bank (3,353), Alpha Bank (1,952), Eurobank (1,513), OTE (641) and PPC (486).

    [19] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.501

    Pound sterling 0.902

    Danish kroner 7.569

    Swedish kroner 9.061

    Japanese yen 122.78

    Swiss franc 1.314

    Norwegian kroner 7.926

    Canadian dollar 1.427

    Australian dollar 1.379

    General News

    [20] WHO to award PM for tough anti-smoking stance

    RUSSIA (ANA-MPA - Th. Avgerinos)

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday announced that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is to receive a World No Tobacco Day Award for his steadfast campaign and tough anti-smoking legislation in Greece.

    The decision was announced in Moscow during the first global health ministers' conference on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), for which tobacco use is a major risk factor.

    The World No Tobacco Day awards are given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to reducing tobacco use and part of the reasoning used for presenting the award to Papandreou was the "political courage" he displayed in passing potentially unpopular measures at a time when the Greek government was also adopting strict austerity measures to exit the economic crisis.

    The award will most likely be presented when the WHO officially inaugurates its first special bureau for NCDs for southeastern Europe in Athens on June 3.

    [21] 70 arrested in police sweep in central Athens

    Seventy people were arrested during a police sweep conducted in central Athens late on Wednesday night, between 5:30-11:30 p.m.

    Police officers conducted checks of 1236 individuals and 275 vehicles, bringing 438 people into police stations for questioning. Of the 70 placed under arrest, 52 were illegal immigrants and will be detained pending deportation from the country, 12 were arrested for prostitution-related offences, five for gambling and one for drug offences.

    Police also confiscated 23 doses of heroin weighting 7.4 grammes and wrote tickets for 183 traffic code violations.

    Earlier on Wednesday, police and financial crime squad officers also conducted a raid on two houses on Fylis Street where they found 18 foreign nationals lacking valid documents, as well as 10 fake passports of various countries, 5 Italian foreign national registration documents and another three Italian documents, four visas, 38 photographs of foreign nationals and two computer hard disks that are now being investigated. One foreign national was arrested as the person responsible for the building.

    Small teams of police also patrolled to locate illegal street traders, confiscated 1509 articles on sale.

    [22] Police, Frontex intercept would-be migrants near Evros River

    Police in Alexandroupolis, NE Greece, in cooperation with Frontex forces, intercepted eight illegal migrants in the Peplo district (Evros prefecture) on the Greek-Turkish frontier, it was announced on Thursday.

    The illegal migrants were spotted by a Frontex aircraft patrolling over the area, and were intercepted while disembarking from a flimsy inflatable craft onto the Greek bank of the Evros River. A pair of migrant smugglers managed to flee back to the Turkish side of the river, authorities said.

    [23] Igoumenitsa residents to block port over presence of illegal migrants

    Local officials and residents of the major northwest port city of Igoumenitsa will reportedly block the main harbour on Tuesday in order to pressure the government to take measures over the problem of illegal immigrants congregating at the port and surrounding land.

    The specific day was chosen for the protest rally in the port, since truck traffic boarding Italy-bound ferry boats is expected to increase on Tuesday.

    An announcement signed by the mayor of Igoumenitsa, Georgios Katsinos, underlined that "the problem from the presence of illegal immigrants in our city negates every effort for the region's growth. The expected benefits from the operation of major projects, such as the Egnatia Motorway and the port, have been abolished in practice."

    As the mayor clarified, replying to a relevant question by the ANA-MPA, "the situation constitutes an obstacle for the growth of the region, because the first image a tourist has in the port is negative.

    "Exactly opposite the anchorage of ships docking from Italy, at Ladohori, is the migrants' encampment; shoddy huts of wood and nylon under the trees. They move about in groups, in a wretched state, through the port. A visitor feels insecure and this is confirmed by the calls we receive at the municipality on a daily basis," he said.

    [24] Tourism group calls for immediate summertime schedule for museums

    The national Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) on Thursday called on the culture and tourism minister to issue a decision that will immediately implement summertime opening hours for museums and archaeological sites nationwide.

    The federation underlined that the delay recorded makes the scheduling of summer season tourist visits to museums and archaeological sites impossible.


    [25] Athens Fun Run on May 15

    A press conference on the 28th Athens Fun Run was held on Thursday at the Athens City Hall. The Athens Fun Run, organised by the City of Athens and its Youth and Sport Organisation (ONA), constitutes the biggest mass sporting event organised at local government level in Greece.

    The 28th Athens Fun Run will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2011, beginning at 10 a.m., with the Panathinaiko (Panathenian) Stadium as the kick-off point for participants.

    This year's Athens Fun Run is dedicated to the Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011 and aims to spread a message of participation, brotherhood, social solidarity and the acceptance of participating individuals with special skills.

    Weather Forecast

    [26] Rainy on Friday

    Rainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Friday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 7C and 22C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 12C to 21C. Cloudy with possible local showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 9C to 20C.

    [27] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Plans to raise money by legalising unauthorised buildings and the unrelenting pressure on Greek bonds were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Thursday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "GENOP (Public Power Corporation staff union) demanding another 12 billion euro from PPC!!!".

    AVGHI: "A 'Samina' government". (refers to 90s Greek ferry disaster in which the ship sank after it was allowed to sail onto a rock outside Paros harbour, drowning 81 people)

    AVRIANI: "We are seeing Argentinian days".

    DIMOKRATIA: "KO in the 'gaza' strip...Doctors expose [Health Minister Andreas Loverdos] over lack of supplies in hospitals". (play on words with Gaza Strip and Greek word for bandages)

    ELEFTHEROS: "PASOK side derides New Democracy for [ND leader Antonis Samaras] criticism of state audit".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "[Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou's] 'unauthorised structures' torn down". (Claims dispute between Environment Minister Tina Birbili and the finance minister over measures for unauthorised buildings have created problems for prime minister.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The 'charge' for unauthorised buildings falls".

    ESTIA: "Government at sixes and sevens".

    ETHNOS: "Tax system traps concerning receipts".

    IMERISSIA: "Dangerous derailment. Suffocating pressures on bonds-shares".

    KATHIMERINI: "Crucial 10 days of decisions".

    LOGOS: "Speculation bumping up spreads".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Markets weigh in restructuring scenarios".

    NIKI: "Public services to open in the afternoons as well".

    PARASKEVI +13: "The Troika is earning, the people are paying".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Sell-off of PPC a crime with multiple repercussions for the people".

    TA NEA: "Tax prosecutor and sweeping tax inspections".

    TO PONTIKI: "Indulgences for corruption"

    VRADYNI: "Measure for unauthorised buildings locked in place".

    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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