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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-11-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 Issue No: 3933


  • [01] New Greek PM unveils policy platform in Parliament
  • [02] PM Papademos on written pledge on October 26 agreement
  • [03] Commission awaits written pledge from Greek gov't, main parties, spokesman says
  • [04] ND leader: We gave rise to the Papademos government
  • [05] ND leader's address 'rife with contradictions', PASOK secretary says
  • [06] ND spokesman on his party's stance in new gov't
  • [07] ND expels former minister Hatzigakis from Parliamentary group
  • [08] Hatzigakis reacts strongly to expulsion from ND party
  • [09] ND deputy refuses to give vote of confidence to new gov't
  • [10] Papandreou urges ministers to support new government 'in every way'
  • [11] PASOK leader contacts foreign leaders concerning new Greek government
  • [12] Prosecutors on standby over three-day Polytechnic anniversary period
  • [13] Tax reform program in two phases, ministry officials say
  • [14] Actuarial studies on pension plans to labour ministry on November 25
  • [15] Greece raises 380 mln euros from radio frequency range auction
  • [16] First electronic tender reduces hospital drug procurement costs by 92 percent
  • [17] Three-hour public-sector work stoppage on Tuesday
  • [18] Tourism agencies on additional Dep. Culture Minister
  • [19] Greek stocks end 0.95 pct higher
  • [20] Greek bond market closing report
  • [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [22] 12 Chinese illegal migrants caught in Evros; border police warn of rising problems
  • [23] Agricultural Cooperative of Gerakiou robbed of about 16,000 euros
  • [24] Opium dealers arrested in Athens
  • [25] Wildfire in forested area on island of Lesvos
  • [26] Rainy on Tuesday
  • [27] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] New Greek PM unveils policy platform in Parliament

    Unveiling his policy platform in Parliament late on Monday, at the start of a three-day debate that will culminate in a vote of confidence for the new three-party cooperation government, new Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said that the first priority will be to unlock the 6th tranche of EU-IMF bailout loans for Greece, by December 15 at the latest.

    "Greece is at a particularly crucial crossroads and the choices we make about the policy to be followed will be of definitive importance for the prosperity of the Greek people," he said.

    Describing his government as a "bridge that will facilitate the country's transition to fiscal reform and a developmental course," he stressed that it will seek to implement the commitments arising from the decisions made by Eurozone leaders on October 26 and the economic policies associated with them.

    Papademos said that the actions for meeting these commitments will be handled exclusively by the Greek finance ministry and stressed that the new government had to get started straight away and move quickly, since the work to be done was disproportionately large relative to its planned duration.

    He listed four priorities, starting with the release of the 6th tranche of bailout loans, completing talks with the EU-IMF troika on the second bailout, the signature of the new loan agreement by the end of the year and passing the state budget.

    Greece will soon make an official announcement concerning the PSI bond exchange programme, he added.

    "We are taking charge at this crucial time because the country's participation in the euro is at stake," Papademos said, stressing that a condition for success was to "regain confidence in our own strength".

    He said the government will seek to carry out structural reforms that will improve the competitiveness of the Greek economy, focusing especially on the implementation of those changes that had already been passed into law, such as the new wage scale and reorganisation of the public sector, policies in labour law, the opening of closed professions and action to ensure the viability of pension funds and support society's weakest and most vulnerable.

    Among these he emphasised policies designed to boost employment, lower the cost of the health system by extending e-prescription systems, reducing drug costs and restricting pharma profits and others.

    He also called for the need to adjust the National Strategic Reference Framework to reflect the new conditions, based on the Eurozone leaders' agreement of October 26 and referred to the need for reforms designed to support and encourage Greece's export sector, or to follow through the reforms already initiated in the education sector.

    The new Greek prime minister, a former central banker and economic policy expert, said that the policies so far attached with the bailout package for Greece had deepened the recession and increased unemployment but appeared confident that this could be mitigated through reforms.

    He particularly emphasised the need to broaden the tax base and clamp down on tax evasion in order to emerge from the crisis.

    Praising the leaders of the three parties that agreed to participate in his government, he said their decision was an important step in the direction of consensus and understanding for the country's salvation.

    Calling on the party leaders to support his government, Papademos stressed that this was not a demand of "faceless" organisations but of the national governments and tax-payers of other countries that were giving their support to Greece.

    He also underlined several times that the way forward for Greece was within the euro, stressing that this made conditions for a recovery easier and not harder, providing monetary stability and contributing to the cohesion and solidarity of European peoples.

    The debate in the Greek Parliament will continue on Tuesday and culminate in confidence motion on Wednesday afternoon.

    [02] PM Papademos on written pledge on October 26 agreement

    Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, replying to reporters on leaving the Parliament Plenum hall to the remark that in reading the government's policy statements he mentioned the word "commitment" (towards the European partners) and not "signing" by the parties participating in the government on the implementation of the agreement reached on October 26 and of the policies accompanying it, replied: "We shall see how it shall be done."

    [03] Commission awaits written pledge from Greek gov't, main parties, spokesman says


    The European Commission on Monday reiterated it was expecting a clear commitment in writing from the new Greek government and the country's "main political forces" that they will adhere to an agreement reached on October 27, in order to release a sixth tranche of bailout loans to Greece. EU spokesman Amadeu Altafaj, speaking to reporters here, said that the form of the letters was not the main issue.

    Altafaj stressed there was no time schedule for submitting these written commitments, although he noted it was to the benefit of both Greece and the Eurozone that they were sent as soon as possible in order to restore confidence, which has been shaken in the last few weeks. The EU spokesman said it has never been cleared if one or more letters were needed, stressing that what's more important was to satisfy the basic issue, which is a clear reassurance towards the remaining Eurozone member-states.

    Altafaj said a troika delegation was expected to visit Athens soon, saying that the delegation would meet not only with the Greek government, but all political forces in the country, stressing that the widest support was needed to promoting the necessary harsh measures.

    [04] ND leader: We gave rise to the Papademos government

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Monday outlined to his party's parliamentary group the reasons that led him to agree to back a transitional government which, he stressed, was formed for a specific purpose and has a specific duration.

    Samaras, whose ND party is participating in the interim coalition government with four members (two ministers and two deputy ministers), said that ND achieved all the goals it had placed, stressing: "We gave rise to the Papademos government and we will back it as a transitional government, and not as a co-governance (between former ruling PASOK -- most of which's ministers have remained in place -- and ND). It is clear that it is not a co-governance both from its duration and from its composition."

    "Much has occurred in the last days, the country faced risks, its continued presence in the EU was threatened," Samaras said, adding that with former PASOK prime minister George Papandreou's "indescribable" initiative (to call a referendum, which was subsequently retracted amid a storm of objections from the EU, the opposition in Greece and even his own ministers and MPs), Greece "found itself without a government and without a prime minister as the international crisis was spreading".

    "ND took the initiative to give an outlet, and we set out four targets: Change of prime minister, creation of a government with a national purpose that would ensure the country's presence in the EU, unblocking the 6th tranche (of the EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece) and leading the country to elections. In the space of seven days, we achieved all our targets," Samaras continued.

    "The opposition does not exist to shut itself into its shell and leave the initiatives to others. In ND, we do not believe in the 'ripe fruit' tactic. We are an opposition party of national responsibility," he said.

    ND, he said, "took initiatives and opened up roads, and all this with religious devotion to the constitutional order".

    Samaras further said that the specification of an election date which ND insisted upon, was a "safety valve in order to avert a social explosion".

    "When everyone knows that elections will be held in three months, this acts on a pacifying way. We insisted on what we had said, elections soon, on February 19. Earlier than that date, we would not have enough time to ratify the budget and pave the way for disbursement of the sixth tranche," he explained.

    "It is in no one's hand to extend the life (tenure) of the (transitional) government beyond the three months. When we say temporary, we mean temporary," Samaras stressed.

    "Some said that we should not be participating (in the transitional government), but that would be as if we were undermining it while, if we had assumed more ministries, as others suggested, that would be as if we were disputing its transitional nature," he added.

    As for the negotiations that preceded the final agreement on the transitional prime minister, Lucas Papademos, Samaras explained that only former (at the time outgoing) prime minister George Papandreou could have the initiative to propose the candidate, but added that Papandreou did not propose Papademos until Wednesday night.

    With respect to criticism that ND made an about-face on its anti-Memorandum policy, Samaras replied that "we did not abandon our policy against the Memorandum, that is the most foolish and ill-intentioned (criticism)... views are not like shirts that we change, all the more so that our views and predictions were confirmed".

    As for what ND will vote in favor of, he explained: "We will not vote for new measures. Besides, government and troika have said that new measures will not be needed. The 2012 state budget has in essence already been ratified with the Medium-Term Fiscal Programme and the Omnibus bill. The next measures will be negotiated after the first half of 2012, and that is why we want a strong mandate from the people (in the February elections).

    Samaras also replied to the "ill-intentioned" critics "who will say that ND backs" the extraordinary contributions and surtaxes: "To them, we reply that our signature does not exist below their signature".

    "They say that in order to unblock the sixth tranche that we, all the parties (backing the transitional government) must sign a joint statement," Samaras noted, and stressed: "I say this once again. I will not give such a signature. My commitments have been made publicly. I agree with the targets, the reduction of the deficit, the debt, containing the wasteful spending, but I do not agree with a policy without growth. We want the fiscal consolidation to proceed, but with realistic conditions."

    Samaras called on his parliamentary group to give a vote of confidence to the transitional government on Wednesday in order to unblock the 6th tranche and so that elections will be held in 100 days, without any new measures being taken. "No more, no less," he stressed.

    The ND leader further said that "those who think that Papandreou's withdrawal was an easy thing, they are mistaken", adding that "Mr. Papandreou wanted the impasse to perpetuate and to remain in his post (of prime minister)".

    "Is it better to have Mr. Papademos as prime minister for three months and then go to elections, or to have Mr. Papandreou for another two years," Samaras asked his MPs.

    "ND is the best guarantee for stability and security. We gave examinations in efficiency and responsibility. In the coming months, it is our duty to approach the people and give them hope," the ND leader concluded.

    [05] ND leader's address 'rife with contradictions', PASOK secretary says

    PASOK Secretary Mihalis Karhimakis on Monday criticised a speech made by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras to his party's Parliamentary group, calling it a "monument of contraditions".

    Karhimakis said the speech was the result of the confusion in which Samaras had found himself, at the same supporting the current government while terming his party's participation in it symbolic and claiming that he was not jointly governing even though top members of his parties were in the government.

    "Samaras wants the government to achieve its goals but disagrees with its policies, it votes for the terms of the October 26 agreement but does not accept their content," Karhimakis added.

    [06] ND spokesman on his party's stance in new gov't

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Yannis Mihelakis on Monday said that his party will support the draft laws which are on the right track and will vote against those that it does not agree with.

    Mihelakis also reiterated ND's stance that the new government's mission and term are very specific.

    [07] ND expels former minister Hatzigakis from Parliamentary group

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Monday expelled the MP for Trikala Sotiris Hatzigakis, a former minister with ND governments, from the party's Parliamentary group.

    The decision followed a statement made by Hatzigakis on Monday morning concerning "far-right droplets within ND that with the label of the popular right are seeking to distort the party's ideological identity".

    According to sources at ND's headquarters, the former minister has for some time been testing the patience and tolerance of the party's leadership, often questioning its positions and urging it to show greater degree of consensus and cooperation with the PASOK government.

    [08] Hatzigakis reacts strongly to expulsion from ND party

    Trikala deputy and former minister Sotiris Hatzigakis reacted strongly to his expulsion from the New Democracy party, criticising ND leader Antonis Samaras and stressing that "I do not know if it is his right, I regret, however, because a party I have been serving for 37-38 years ended up like this in the hands of Mr. Samaras."

    Hatzigakis was informed of his expulsion by reporters and reportedly said "I feel free now and I can say what I really believe."

    [09] ND deputy refuses to give vote of confidence to new gov't

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy Panos Kammenos reiterated on Monday his decision not to give vote of confidence to the new government regardless of what Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' policy statement will contain.

    Papademos is due to unveil his transitional government's policy platform on Monday evening in parliament, which will be followed by a debate culminating at noon Wednesday with a vote of confidence.

    Kammenos explained that he will hold to this decision even if he faces the consequence of expulsion from the ND party, and stressed that "this government is a government that was formed only to ratify the 26th October (eurozone summit) decision which, if it is signed and ratified, the Greek state property and the Greek private property will be the guarantee for the bonds that will be replaced by the PSI".

    "I will not vote, even if they send me to the firing squad. I prefer to be expelled from ND than being written off by my children and the coming generations, and to be spit on by the people in the streets and called a traitor to my country," Kammenos said.

    [10] Papandreou urges ministers to support new government 'in every way'

    PASOK President George Papandreou on Monday asked PASOK ministers participating in the cooperation government led by Lucas Papademos to support the new government in every way, sources within PASOK said.

    Papandreou concluded a meeting with the ministers and alternate ministers participating in the new government on Monday evening, in order to discuss PASOK's stance to the policy platform that the new premier Lucas Papademos is to unveil in Parliament on Monday evening.

    He stressed that the government's success would also be a success for PASOK, which had created the conditions for the country's salvation.

    Papandreou also disagreed with the view expressed by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras that the new government was a "special purpose" government with a limited brief, saying that it was a complete government.

    [11] PASOK leader contacts foreign leaders concerning new Greek government

    PASOK President George Papandreou has contacted a number of foreign leaders on the telephone in recent days, the PASOK party announced on Monday.

    The announcement said that Papandreou had spoken with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in order to discuss the latest political developments in Greece following the formation of the three-party cooperation government.

    In talks with Erdogan, Papandreou stressed that the new Greek government will continue to follow the same policy as before, while he informed Netanyahu that bilateral relations with Israel would not undisturbed and that the new prime minister will be contacting him soon.

    His talks with Barroso focused on developments in Europe and the eurozone and the steps taken to form the new government in Greece and the commitment on the Greek side to implement the decisions of October 27.

    We shall never accept the fait accomplis of the Turkish occupation, Foreign ministry announcement says on pseudo-state proclamation anniversary

    An announcement by the Foreign ministry on Monday on the occasion of the 28th anniversary, on Tuesday, of the proclamation of the pseudo-state in the part of Cyprus occupied by the Turkish military, stresses that "Greece, as well as Cyprus, will never accept the fait accomplis of the Turkish invasion and occupation."

    It adds that "our common aim remains the achievement of an agreed solution, on the basis of the Resolutions of the Security Council and the principles and values of the European Union" and points out that for this purpose "we shall continue to fully support the efforts of President Christofias, in the framework of the UN's negotiating procedure."

    The announcement refers to the explicit condemnation by the UN's Security Council of the legally void decision and also underlines that "until today, Turkey, unfortunately, is continuing to treat with contempt the decisions of the Security Council on the Cyprus issue and to provoke with new secessionist and illegal actions, such as the recent so-called "continental shelf delineation agreement" with the pseudo-state.

    [12] Prosecutors on standby over three-day Polytechnic anniversary period

    A first instance prosecuting court will be on standby as of Tuesday to handle possible incidents over the three-day period commemorating the Polytechnic anniversary on November 17.

    According to plans, 11 prosecutors will be on round-the-clock standby on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of whom will be at the Operations Centre of the Attica Police Headquarters.

    On Thursday, three prosecutors will be at the Attica Police Headquarters and another 12 will be on standby. The plans also anticipate, if necessary, the number of prosecuting officials to be increased wherever their presence will be required.

    Financial News

    [13] Tax reform program in two phases, ministry officials say

    The Greek government plans to promote changes in the tax regime in the country in two phases, Finance ministry sources told AMNA. The sources said that the ministry would table to Parliament a draft legislation aimed at simplifying a tax regime on book codes, while changes in the tax system would be completed by March with the introduction of objective tax criteria for self-employed individuals, simplifying wealth taxes, reviewing all tax exemptions and lowering VAT rates, on the precondition that all these changes would not lead to a loss in tax revenue.

    The tax reform program was discussing during a meeting between Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos with deputy ministers and ministry officials. Another ministry meeting discussed execution of the state budget by the end of the year. The ministry said that collecting revenues worth 12 billion euros in the next two months was a precondition to achieving a target set by this year's budget and to cover any shortfall. Ministry officials ordered its task force SDOE to intensify pressure on taxpayers with overdue debt to the state by November 24 or risk facing legal actions against them.

    [14] Actuarial studies on pension plans to labour ministry on November 25

    Actuarial studies on the supplementary pensions and retirement lump sums paid by state pension funds are to be delivered to the labour ministry on November 25, after which the Greek pension system will undergo assessment by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in order to determine whether further changes and reforms are necessary.

    As of January 1, 2012 a new law stipulates that there will be changes to supplementary pensions and lump sums paid by pension funds that the actuarial studies deem unsustainable.

    Some changes are deemed inevitable since the implementation of the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy plan envisages a 1.5-billion-euro reduction in subsidies to pension funds in the state budget, while rising unemployment has reduced contributions to pension funds and especially the largest fund IKA amounting to 300 million euro a year.

    [15] Greece raises 380 mln euros from radio frequency range auction

    Greek authorities on Monday successfully auctioned a new range of radio frequencies (in the range between 900 and 1800 MHz) to the country's three mobile telephony operators Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind, raising more than 380 million euros.

    The National Commission of Telecommunications and Posts (EETT) successfully completed the auction procedures, which raised 181.7 million euros from the first stage of the procedure and an additional 198,835,000 euros from the second stage. EETT said Cosmote acquired four sections in the 900 MHz zone and two sections in the 1800 MHz zone for 118,833,000 euros, while Vodafone acquired six sections in the 900 MHz zone and two in the 1800 MHz zone for 168,502,000 euros. Wind acquired four sections in the 900 MHz zone for 93,200,000 euros.

    The tender procedure began in January 2011, based on a tight time schedule and the European regulatory framework. EETT said the auction ensured adequacy in options and price competitiveness and promoted the development of new wireless technologies and services and 3G networks in the country.

    [16] First electronic tender reduces hospital drug procurement costs by 92 percent

    The cost of drugs bought by hospitals was reduced 92 percent through the first electronic tender held by the Greek state health system in November.

    A health ministry announcement on Monday said that the required quantities of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, a generic drug with no brand name,were bought with just 420,000 euro when the ministry had originally budgeted 5.2 million euro.

    [17] Three-hour public-sector work stoppage on Tuesday

    A three-hour work stoppage between noon and the end of the shift will be held throughout Greece's public sector on Tuesday, following a decision by the civil servants' union federation ADEDY. At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday the union plans to hold protest rallies at Klafthmonos Square in central Athens and the Eleftherios Venizelos statue in Thessaloniki.

    The union also announced plans for a new general strike in collaboration with the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) on the days when the new budget will be discussed and voted on in Parliament.

    During a press conference on Monday, ADEDY President Costas Tsikrikas and the union's new leadership team said the aim of the labour action was to "reverse the unfair, harsh and ineffective measures envisaged in the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy, the omnibus bill and the new loan agreement".

    Tsikrikas predicted that the new government will follow the same policy that "instead of leading the country out of the impasse, has sunk it into an even greater recession, with the result that the economy is collapsing and living standards are regressing by decades".

    He noted that the policies had led to a 100 percent increase in unemployment since 2009, with jobless rates now running at 20 percent officially and closer to 25 percent unofficially, while in young people under 24 they reached as high as 40 or 45 percent.

    ADEDY's president that this was leading many young people to emigrate, especially those with the highest educational level, so that Greece was losing its brightest minds and being condemned to poverty.

    He criticised the labour reserve measure that will affect 30,000 employees, noting that the only criteria for the mergers and abolitions of state agencies or the laying-off of staff were to restrict spending without examining the real needs of the services involved or the social cost they would entail.

    Tsikrikas underlined that the attacks on public-sector employees in Greece were unfair since their number was no greater than 400,000 or 10 percent of the country's active population at a time when public-sector employees in many northern European countries exceeded 20 or 25 percent of the total economically active population.

    [18] Tourism agencies on additional Dep. Culture Minister

    The travel agencies welcomed the entrance of an additional person, the new Deputy Culture minister Petros Alevizatos, in the tourism political authority and foresees that with this action the new government gives emphasis on the tourism sector. According to HATTA president Giorgos Telonis, with Alevizatos' arrival in the Culture Ministry the tourism sector will be subsequently upgraded, but the tourism entities' demands will also increase.

    Telonis underlined that the next tourism season will not be easy for Greece because the traditional markets for Greek tourism (Britain, Italy, Germany) will face economic problems while at the same time the markets of North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, etc.) will be recovering.

    [19] Greek stocks end 0.95 pct higher

    Greek stocks moved higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, although turnover shrank to very low levels as investors stayed on the sidelines, awaiting the policy statement by the new government. The composite index of the market rose 0.95 pct to end at 762.85 points, off the day's highs of 765.74 points. Turnover was a thin 26.555 million euros.

    The Big Cap index rose 1.27 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.90 pct lower and the Small Cap index fell 0.44 pct. Marfin Popular Bank (7.73 pct), Hellenic Postbank (7.5 pct) and MIG (5.33 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Titan (1.79 pct), Folli Follie (1.67 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.08 pct) were top losers.

    The Financial Services (3.46 pct), Food (3.28 pct) and Raw Materials (2.42 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Chemicals (2.64 pct) and Health (1.72 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 86 to 68 with another 27 issues unchanged. Hatzioannou (30 pct), Imperio (29.09 pct) and Evrofarma (27.24 pct) were top gainers, while T Bank (27.85 pct), Q&R (22.84 pct) and Tegopoulos (19.71 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +2.04%

    Industrials: -0.02%

    Commercial: -1.39%

    Construction: -1.13%

    Oil & Gas: -0.61%

    Personal & Household: -0.83%

    Raw Materials: +2.42%

    Travel & Leisure: Unchanged

    Technology: -1.49%

    Telecoms: +1.47%

    Banks: +1.48%

    Food & Beverages: +3.28%

    Health: -1.72%

    Utilities: +2.83%

    Chemicals: -2.64%

    Financial Services: +3.46%

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

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

    Alpha Bank: 1.08

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.86

    HBC Coca Cola: 13.27

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.40

    National Bank of Greece: 2.11

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.76

    OPAP: 6.76

    OTE: 3.45

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.25

    Titan: 13.15

    [20] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds remained at 16.1 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, unchanged from Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 17.9 pct and the German Bund 1.8 pct. Greek bonds resisted pressures that hit other European regional bond markets. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate was 2.03 pct, the six-month rate was 1.68 pct, the three-month 1.45 pct and the one-month rate 1.20 pct.

    [21] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.386

    Pound sterling 0.869

    Danish kroner 7.554

    Swedish kroner 9.251

    Japanese yen 106.76

    Swiss franc 1.255

    Norwegian kroner 7.870

    Canadian dollar 1.409

    Australian dollar 1.355

    General News

    [22] 12 Chinese illegal migrants caught in Evros; border police warn of rising problems

    Announcing the arrest on Monday of 12 illegal immigrants from China, the president of the border police union Haralambos Pantelidis warned that the situation in the northern prefecture of Evros was rapidly spinning out of control, with levels of illegal migrants entering the country having reached "unmanageable numbers".

    The 12 Chinese migrants and a 24-year-old Iraqi migrant trafficker were arrested by police and Frontex forces in a coordinated operation in Evros.

    Pantelidis said that more than 9,700 illegal migrants had entered Greece via Evros in October alone and called for policies and drastic measures to discourage the arrival of illegal migrants.

    During Monday's operation, Frontex officers and the Illegal Migration strike force located the migrant trafficker and 12 illegal migrants that he had smuggled over the border and then hidden in an empty building in a rural region called Gemisti.

    A dinghy used to transport the migrants was confiscated and the trafficker led before an Alexandroupolis public prosecutor.

    [23] Agricultural Cooperative of Gerakiou robbed of about 16,000 euros

    Five unidentified persons robbed the Agricultural Cooperative of Gerakiou, in the Laconia prefecture in the Peloponnese, of about 16,000 euros.

    Four armed robbers having their faces concealed entered the Cooperative's offices, located in the middle of the village and, threatening an employee and farmers waiting to be served, took the money from the cash register and escaped in a car in which another person was waiting for them.

    Police found the getaway car abandoned in the mountainous region of Parnonas several hours later, that had been stolen in Neo Faliro on November 1.

    [24] Opium dealers arrested in Athens

    Four foreign nationals were arrested early Monday in Athens charged with drug dealing. Two Iranians aged 35 and 34, a 37 year-old female from Iran and a 41 year-old Bulgarian woman were arrested while receiving a quantity of opium that was smuggled into Greece from Turkey via Bulgaria. The Bulgarian authorities had already arrested the transporter and confiscated two kilos of opium.

    The Bulgarian authorities allowed 775 grams of opium to enter Greece in order to locate the recipients.

    Police confiscated the opium, 6,350 euros cash and five cell phones.

    The perpetrators will be sent before an Athens prosecutor.

    [25] Wildfire in forested area on island of Lesvos

    A wildfire broke out in a forested area in Megalohori, on the island of Lesvos, on Monday and mobilised a large fire brigade force. The wildfire was ultimately placed under control in the afternoon, despite strong winds blowing in the region. According to initial reports, the fire was caused by a shortcircuit in an electric power cable.

    Weather Forecast

    [26] Rainy on Tuesday

    Rainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 3-9 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 1C and 16C. Cloudy with local showers in Athens, with northerly 5-9 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 7C to 12C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 2C to 10C.

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

    Expected policy statements by the new transitional Greek government under Lucas Papademos, reported pressure on Athens by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as the latest inspection of an EC-ECB-IMF 'troika' delegation mostly dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Crucial week...".

    AVRIANI: "Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras won't sign statement of national subjugation to troika".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Papademos' package in Parliament via express procedures".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "State revenues in the freezer".

    ESTIA: "People's psychology has totally changed".

    ETHNOS: "Stop to taxes - speed up cutbacks in state".

    IMERISSIA: "Test for disbursement of 6th tranche of bailout loan".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Germany, France: Move faster if you want 6th tranche".

    TA NEA: "This is the new Memorandum - Austerity 'marathon' until 2015".

    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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