|Friday, 21 February 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-11-15
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Thursday, 15 November 2012 Issue No: 4222
 Samaras hails HP-Cosco-TrainOSE deal as 'vote of confidence' for countryPrime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday publicly praised an agreement between Hewlett-Packard, Cosco and TrainOSE to use Cosco's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub to distribute the electronics giant's products in central Europe, Middle East, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and eastern Europe.
The Greek premier, speaking after a meeting with representatives of the three companies and in the presence of Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis, said the agreement was a "vote of confidence" for Greece in this effort towards an economic recovery, stressing that the agreement reasserted the role that the country can plan with its infrastructure in the global business map.
"I believe that our country can make it, when its production capacity is dynamically modernised, as this significant decision taken by the three partners shows," Samaras said.
The agreement was presented to the Greek PM by HP's senior vice-president, Tony Prophet, and Cosco chief executive Capt. Fu Cheng Qiu.
Under the agreement, HP will distribute its products by maritime transport to Cosco's terminal in Piraeus and then by rail using TrainOSE's adjacent rail infrastructure. The agreement coincides with the completion of a rail line linking the port of Piraeus with the country's inter-European railway networks.
HP's logistics and transport business totals 50 billion US dollars, of which the biggest part cover activities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
According to initial estimates, the agreement can increase local volume by 50 percent for the port and create hundreds of new jobs.
"With this agreement the role our country can play on the global business map is being confirmed. And at the same time, if this agreement goes ahead, as we would like, the volume of transactions at the port of Piraeus will increase, along with TrainOSE's transport work. Said differently, the port will help the railroad and the railroad will help the port, for the first time in Greece".
"... I believe that all of the Greek people are aware that Greece is a country in this part of Europe that can gain business allies, markets, in order to allow us to achieve the growth demanded by the times. Consequently, this is an important moment and I would like to thank both ministers and the representatives of the companies, who are providing this vote of confidence for Greece," the prime minister said.
 KKE party on PM's statements on COSCO-TRAINOSE agreementThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE), commenting Wednesday on statements by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the COSCO-TRAINOSE-HP agreement, saidthat the development which the prime minister "is promising to bring about is the same as that Cosco brought to the port: starvation salaries and labour hell. Only this sort of growth, which brings impoverishment and insecurity to working people producing the wealth, can be secured by the other parties that accept the capitalist profit-making, competitiveness and the country's stay in the EU".
"The ports and the infrastructures can only serve growth for the benefit of working people if they belong together with all the big businesses to the people, to a Greece of popular power, without the bonds of the EU and the plutocracy," the KKE added.
 Rehn on ratification of package of measuresBRUSSELS (AMNA/V. Demiris)
EU Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn on Wednesday termed a package of measures ratified by the Greek Parliament last week, with the adoption of the omnibus bill and the 2013 budget, as "absolutely convincing".
He said the twin developments were as acknowledged at the Eurogroup meeting.
The Commissioner added, however, that Greece's funding needs and the sustainability of the Greek debt must still be clarified.
 CoS overturns naturalisation law; PM orders immediate implementationA draft law prescribing stricter criteria for acquisition of Greek citizenship will be presented within the month, according to an announcement by the prime minister's office on Wednesday, hours after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras himself ordered the relevant interior minister to immediately implement a Council of State (CoS) ruling that overturned a controversial naturalisation law passed by the previous PASOK government.
The Council of State ruled on Tuesday that the so-called "Ragoussis law" streamlining the process for acquiring Greek citizenship by third country foreign nationals -- ostensibly aimed at long-term migrants in the country -- was unconstitutional, particularly the provisions allowing for legal immigrants to vote and stand in local and regional elections. Yannis Ragoussis was the former interior minister in the Papandreou government, and now former MP, who introduced the bill.
According to 2010 law, citizenship was granted in one of two ways: either to a child born in and residing in Greece of parents who are citizens of a third country and who legally live in Greece for at least five years (a Greek by birth clause); or, to a child of foreign nationals who has successfully completed six grades in a Greek school and who lives in Greece permanently (Greek by naturalisation).
The Ragoussis law was ruled incompatible with the Constitution because it did not allow for a case-by-case examination of whether the applicant had an actual affinity to the Greek state, a prerequisite that justices ruled should be included in considerations.
Ruling New Democracy party had sharply criticised the law at the time it was introduced, pledging to overturn it if elected to power.
Commenting on the prime minister's directive, a spokeswoman for PASOK, a junior coalition partner backing the current government, said the party will await the publication of the Court of State decision.
"Obviously, no legal initiative could be assumed by the government in haste and without the agreement of parties supporting it," PASOK representative Fofi Gennimata said on Wednesday.
Gennimata also said that that ties of legal immigrants living for years in Greece with their children is a reality that the state cannot overlook. She added that safeguarding of the rights of immigrants' children growing up in Greece was a priority for the socialist party.
"Greek society should be an open, modern, a European society, because that's the only way it can truly champion its national identity," Gennimata noted.
 No need for haste,' DI.MAR saysThe issue of Greek citizenship is an issue of democracy, junior coalition partner Democratic Left (DI.MAR) said on Wednesday, and it requires the agreement of the three partners governing before a decision is made.
"There is no reason for haste," a party announcement said. It added that the legislative approach to these issues must be steadily based on creating a safe and cohesive civic community which recognises the right of an immigrant to acquire Greek citizenship, objectively based on his or her ties to Greece.
"The ties to Greece of children of immigrants who were born and are growing up here must be recognised," the party said.
 SYRIZA: PM 'adopting agenda of hate'The government and the prime minister specifically "are adopting the agenda of hate and fear set by ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi)," main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) charged on Wednesday.
In an announcement, it said "the government is rushing to annul the Ragousis law on citizenship before the ruling by the Council of State has even been (officially) published."
Despite its flaws and vagueness, SYRIZA said, the law was the only relatively progressive legislatiion of recent years. To "deny thousands of our compatriots their fundamental rights is not just an act of flagrant injustice, it also undermines the cohesion of society in its totality," the party stated.
Gov't spokesman replies
Responding to the leftist party's charges, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou countered that "there is nothing 'progressive' in a country that is defenceless to whoever wants to settle in it without any control or legal conditions ... Greece is a democracy, and its citizens' rights cannot be made equal to those who enter the country illegally. All issues will be dealt by a legislative initiative that will include cooperation with coalition parties as well," he said.
 FM sources: Turkish media claims over 'terror camp' absolutely untrueAllegations that two women identified as "terrorists" by authorities in Turkey -- as reported in Turkish media -- were headed to Greece for training in bomb placement are "absolutely untrue" and "outdated propaganda," sources at the foreign ministry reiterated on Wednesday.
According to certain Turkish media reports, two alleged members of the terrorist organisation DHKP-C were arrested at Istanbul airport prior to boarding a plane for Greece with false identification papers. Turkish reports claimed they were going to a disused military camp in Lavrio, southeast of Athens. The same site had often been "featured" in Turkish media, and at times even cited by official circles in Turkey in the 1990s, as a training camp for Kurdish insurgents, a claim Athens had angrily denied.
In September, foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras responded to similar reports by the Turkish mass daily "Hurriyet" as "a false allegation that gets recycled frequently in the Turkish press."
He also charged that "there is no such training centre for any terrorist in Greece ... an end to the continuous reproduction of such false news that misinform and aggravate the climate in relations between the two countries is necessary."
 Creditors want to control gov't, KKE leader saysThe government will try to hold elections in the spring, but these will include Greece's creditors, Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga opined on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Larissa, central Greece, Papariga asserted that the creditors want to ensure that there will be no changes in austerity measures. They want to control the government fully, she claimed, and "if they do not succeed in this - since it depends on the popular vote - they will try to land softly." The next elections will be "creditors' elections," she forecast, adding that alliances supporting ruling New Democracy party and main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) will play an active role.
What the country needs is a party to rule that will not align itself with the European Commission but clash with it extensively, a role that cannot be fulfilled by SYRIZA, which is interested on clashing with the Commission at negotiation level alone.
Referring to farm policy, the communist leader said a farmer today is not helped by fuel prices lowered by one euro, but that production must be linked to the overall planning of socialised economy.
 German deputy minister addresses Thessaloniki conferenceGerman Deputy Labour and Social Issues Minister Hans-Joachim Fuchtel on Wednesday noted that the Greek government has devoted itself to the duties and is trying to bring a difficult task to fruition, adding that he personally is witness to the improved climate regarding Greece.
Addressing the 3rd Greek-German meeting, Fuchtel said that no country that has gone ahead with reforms has lost, noting the Germany, too, in the past had proceeded with reforms and now it has a low unemployment rate, and advised the Greek people: "Courage and daring so that you will not find yourselves in the position of the countries that did not dare".
He also said that there is nothing new regarding the disbursement of the 31.5 billion euro tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan to Greece beyond what was already known.
Germany, he added, was evaluating "with respect" all the efforts of the Greek government, which he said appeared to be bringing some results.
Fuchtel has been appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to promote Greek-German local administration cooperation.
 DM Panayiotopoulos watches 'KYMA 5/12' exerciseDefence Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos on Wednesday followed the "KYMA 5/12" exercise, which was held on the Saronic islet of Fleves, by the Underwater Destruction Administration, having the opportunity of ascertaining the high operational capacity and excellent training of frogmen.
Panayiotopoulos talked after the exercise with all who participated in it and expressed satisfaction over the outcome.
 Turkish training aircraft violates Athens FIRA Turkish T-38 military training aircraft reportedly flew over the eastern island of Lesvos on Wednesday morning, infringing upon Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) regulations.
According to an announcement by the defence general staff, the Turkish aircraft entered the Athens FIR at 9:52 a.m. without submitting flight plans, flying over the SE edge of Lesvos at an altitude of 15,000 feet, before exiting at 9:58 a.m.
It is the third time this year that Turkish military aircraft have violated Greek airspace. On Jan. 9 a helicopter flew over the islet of Ro at an altitude of only 200 feet and on Feb. 15 two warplanes flew over the small island of Agathonissi at an altitude of 3,700 feet.
All military aircraft were identified and intercepted by Greek fighter planes.
 IIF sees mobility in reforms, privatisations in GreeceThere is mobility in reforms and privatisations in Greece, Charles Dallara, the Managing Director of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, Dallara said the meeting focused on ways to continue supporting Greece.
The IIF's head confirmed that the meeting with the Greek Finance minister also included a bond repurchase plan, as a way to cut the country's public debt, however he noted that his visit to Athens was not to negotiate this issue, adding that "the game has gone to another field".
Addressing an event organised by the Hellenic Bank Association, Dallara said that a new haircut of the Greek debt by the official sector was not productive, nor necessary at the present time and stressed that such a move would not be compatible with the political conjucture. He supported, however, the idea of cutting the interest rates on Greece's loans.
 Deep recession in Greek economy, GDP down 6.7pct in Q3Recession in the Greek economy deepened by 7.2 percent in the third quarter of the year, taking the country back 11 years in steady GDP prices to 44.6 billion euro compared with 43.4 billion euro in the third quarter in 2001, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Wednesday.
In flash estimates on the third quarter national accounts, ELSTAT said that "available non-seasonally-adjusted data indicate that, in the 3rd quarter of 2012, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices of year 2005 decreased by 7.2% in comparison with the 3rd quarter of 2011".
The deepening recession is attributed to a decline in private consumption as a result of a constant decline in available incomes as well as to a literal freeze in investments, and is ameliorated somewhat by a reduction in imports.
According to ELSTAT, GDP declined by 6.7 percent in the nine-month period, given reductions of 6.7 percent, 6.3 percent and 7.2 percent in the first, second and third quarters respectively.
Financial experts told AMNA that achievement of the Middle-Term programme's target of 6.5 percent inflation in 2012 depends chiefly on when the outstanding tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan will be disbursed, but also on the size of the sum that will be earmarked for payment of state debts to the private sector.
Also according to the Middle-Term programme, the Greek economy is expected remain in recession for a sixth consecutive year in 2013, with a 4.5 percent reduction of GDP, while a marginal recovery is envisioned in 2014 with a 0.2 percent rise in GDP.
 New tax legislation envisages more tax burdensA new tax draft legislation -soon to be tabled in Parliament- envisages significant changes in income taxation, introducing a new income tax scale with three rates, new taxes on rents and lump pay and raising taxes on capital interest.
The draft legislation envisages the introduction of a new tax scale with three rates for incomes from wages and pensions, from eight currently, (21 pct for incomes up to 25,000 euros, 36 pct for incomes up to 48,000 euros and 45 pct for higher incomes. Also abolishes a 5,000 tax exempt level, to be replaced by a new tax return system up to 1,950 euros depending on incomes. This scheme will lower the tax burden for incomes up to 25,000 euros and add new tax burdens on higher incomes.
The draft bill also envisages introducing two new tax rates for self-employed people: a 26 pct for incomes up to 50,000 and a 33 pct for higher incomes. These taxpayers will have no tax-exempt nor a tax return system. Most tax cuts are also abolished with the exception of medical/hospital expenses, grants, sponsorships and alimony between ex-married people. A new tax rate on incomes from rents and lump payment will be introduced, while a tax on capital interest will be raised from 10 pct to 15 pct and capital earnings from property transactions will be taxed with 20 pct. For enterprises, a tax on non-distributed earnings will be raised from 20 pct to 26 pct, while a tax on dividends will be cut from 25 pct to 10 pct.
 Energy minister in Istanbul on Fri.Deputy Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Makis Papageorgiou will meet with Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz in Istanbul on Friday for talks on energy issues, according to a press report.
Greece and Turkey have linked much of their energy networks since 2007-2008.
Papageorgiou will represent Greece at the fourth Atlantic Council Energy & Economic Summit congress, a ministry announcement stated on Wednesday. The congress will consider business and political challenges and opportunities in the Eurasian region. It annually attracts political leaders, ambassadors and business people from the European Union, North America and Eurasian countries.
Papageorgiou will also be granted an audience with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
 European experts to submit study on land registry projectEuropean experts will prepare a detailed report, based on a study already carried out, containing necessary actions and moves for the implementation of a long-awaited land registry in the country, a plan to be conveyed in the near future to the environment ministry.
Environment Minister Evangelos Livieratos, Alternate Minister Stavros Kalafatis and Town Planning and Urban Environment Secretary General Sokratis Alexiadis participated in a meeting on Tuesday with the president and officials of Ktimatologio S.A. (Greek cadastre), as well as experts from Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and Germany, who completed the study for the implementation of a functional and unified registry in Greece.
 Business Briefs-- Greek enterprises are champions in wage cuts, while multinational enterprises are cutting wages less, a survey by Aon Hewitt showed on Wednesday.
 Stocks end 2.45 pct higherStocks ended significantly higher at the Athens Stock Exchange with market sentiment encouraged by reports that the country will receive a massive loan tranche from its creditors amid improved international climate for Greece. Bank shares attracted buying activity, after two days of sell-off, with the composite index of the market rising 2.45 pct to end at 794.72 points, off the day's highs of 797.56 points. Turnover, however, shrank to 60.514 million euros. The Big Cap index jumped 3.20 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 6.09 pct higher. The Health (11.50 pct), Raw Materials (7.65 pct), Banks (7.40 pct) and Financial Services (7.35 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Oil (1.82 pct) and Food (1.15 pct) suffered losses.
Piraeus Bank (11.78 pct), MIG (9.59 pct), National Bank (8.97 pct) and Mytilineos (8.16 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Motor Oil (2.89 pct), Coca Cola Hellenic (1.16 pct) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.11 pct) were top losers.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 92 to 34 with another 20 issues unchanged. Mohlos (25.18 pct), Audiovisual (20.29 pct) and Nutriart (19.18 pct) were top gainers, while Kathimerini (29.37 pct), Pegasus (19.06 pct) and Sidma (17.77 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -1.82%
Personal & Household: +3.00%
Raw Materials: +7.65%
Travel & Leisure +0.81%
Food & Beverages: -1.15%
Financial Services: +2.39%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, Bank of Piraeus and OPAP.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 1.59
Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.23
HBC Coca Cola: 17.00
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.26
National Bank of Greece: 1.58
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.74
Bank of Piraeus: 0.41
 Greek bond market closing reportThe yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 16.27 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Wednesday, from 16.68 pct on Tuesday, with the Greek bond yielding 17.61 pct and the German Bund 1.34 pct. There was no turnover in the market.
In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate was 0.58 pct, the six-month rate was 0.36 pct, the three-month rate was 0.19 pct and the one-month rate was 0.10 pct.
 ADEX closing reportThe December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading around its fair value in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday, with turnover shrinking to 18.051 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 5,409 contracts worth 7.714 million euros, with 29,897 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 69,402 contracts worth 10.337 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (25,947), followed by Alpha Bank (15,204), Piraeus Bank (12,290), Cyprus Bank (3,825), OTE (2,306), PPC (2,175), OPAP (1,623), Cyprus Popular Bank (2,009), Eurobank (1,351), Intralot (762), MIG (742), Mytilineos (439) and GEK (250).
 Foreign Exchange rates - ThursdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.291
Pound sterling 0.814
Danish kroner 7.57
Swedish kroner 8.755
Japanese yen 103.53
Swiss franc 1.222
Norwegian kroner 7.431
Canadian dollar 1.293
Australian dollar 1.24
 'Nikolaos Gyzis: the Great Painter' exhibition at the Theocharakis Foundation"I cannot paint Greece as beautifully as I feel it," Nikolaos Gyzis (1842-1901), one of Greece's most important 19th century painters and the major representative of the so-called 'Munich School', the major 19th century Greek art movement, had once humbly said.
Gyzis' multi-level artistic universe is unfolded in the exhibition "Nikolaos Gyzis: The Great Painter", at the B & M Theocharakis Foundation, which will be officially inaugurated by the President of the Republic on November 22.
The exhibition coincides with the 101st anniversary of the death of the great painter, who brought the eternal colors of his homeland to Munich.
The Foundation, in cooperation with the Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, presents a unique exhibition dedicated to Nikolaos Gyzis, one of the most important representatives of the famous Munich School with works from the much discussed donation of the Gyzis family to the Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki.
The exhibition depicts the evolution of the great painter through the presentation of 120 works, many of which are from the Gyzis family's donation to the Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, enriched with works from the collections of the National Gallery-Alexandros Soutzos Museum, the National Bank, the Alpha Bank, the Averoff Museum, the Holy Panhellenic Foundation of Tinos, the Bank of Greece, the Athens Concert Hall, the Emfietzoglou Collection, the Marianna Latsis Collection and many other private collections.
The exhibition features major paintings and rare oil paintings, drawings, sculptures and posters of the leading Greek painter of the 19th century. The thematic sections include, among others, portraits and scenes from the artist's family, religious and allegorical subjects, ethnographic themes, landscapes and still lifes.
The exhibition also includes a display of a separate chapter in Gyzis' art, comprising posters, diplomas, medals and newspaper inserts, as well as drafts and micro-sculptures that reveal his constant and arduous trials and search in the field of art.
Born in 1842 in the village of Sklavohori on the island of Tinos, which has a long artistic history, Nikolaos Gyzis was considered a realist in his folk themes, an idealist in his allegorical themes and a symbolist in his religious themes, according to art historians who studied his work.
In 1850 his family settled in Athens, where he studied at the Athens School of Arts, where he was admitted at the age of 8(four years earlier than the admission age of 12) and developed his natural skill in painting, following the curriculum as an observer for the first four years and as a student after that until 1864.
In 1865 he spread his wings for Munich, where he won a scholarship to continue his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, were he settled for the rest of his life, until his death in 1901. It was there that he approached great masters and came to know great artists, having the support of his fellow Greek artist and close friend Nikiforos Lytras.
In the decade 1875-1885, Gyzis' paintings in Munich were nostalgically reminiscent of scenes of everyday life in Greece, but his dream of returning to Greece one day never happened.
He was very soon incorporated into the German pictorial climate, becoming one of the most characteristic representatives of the Greek artistic movement of the 'Munich School'.
From 1886 onward he was a professor at the Academy of Munich and gradually turned from the detailed realistic depictions towards compositions of a singularly impressionistic character.
At the beginning of the 1870s returned to Greece for a period of several years, after which he produced a sequence paintings with more avowedly Greek themes.
Towards the end of his life, in the 1890s, he took a turn toward more religious themes.
Nikolaos Gyzis died of leukemia on January 4, 1901 in Munich, where he was also buried.
The exhibition, which opened last week and will run through February 3, 2013, is accompanied by a catalogue including texts by Marinos Kaligas, Marina Lambraki-Plaka, Nelli Misirli, Konstantinos Didaskalou and Takis Mavrotas, and is curated by Takis Mavrotas and Konstantinos Didaskalou.
 Pre-classical burial site found in southern coastal AthensPre-classical era remains of graves and funeral pyres were discovered during excavations on the site where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre will be built, where the old horse-track stood at the Faliro Delta site in southern coastal Athens.
The findings, including clay funereal jar objects, are dated to the 7th and 6th centuries BC and were found in the area enclosed by Filippou, Evrypidou, Sachtouri Streets and Poseidonos and Syngrou Boulevard. The artifacts were transferred elsewhere and the trenches will be refilled.
The Niarchos complex is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and will be entirely financed by the foundation, which has calculated its cost at around 566 million euros. It will include new buildings for the National Library and the National Opera House and a 42-acre park, and is expected to be completed by 2015.
 Police operation against major drug dealing ring continues on Wed.; 13 arrestsA major police operation against an organised drug dealing and weapon trafficking ring activate throughout the island of Crete continued on Wednesday for the second day.
Case files have been drawn up against over 40 persons and according to information 13 individuals have been arrested, among them three policemen.
A new round of arrests is expected to take place in the ongoing operation, which was launched early Tuesday.
The 13 suspects will be sent on Wednesday before the Lassithi prosecutor while an official announcement by Lassithi police chief will be issued later in the day.
 Former hotel building to be transformed into students' dormitoryThe building that once housed the hotel "La Mirage" in Omonia Square, in downtown Athens, will be converted into a students' dormitory, Defence Minister Panos Panayotopoulos and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos, who visited on Wednesday the building, announced.
The building, which has been closed since 2008, is owned by the Air Force Shareholders' Fund and has a capacity of 400 beds.
According to the two ministers, this will upgrade the area and will partially meet the needs of the student community, while its long-term lease will be a substantial source of revenues for the Armed Forces.
 Police intercept two trucks loaded with recycleable materialsTwo Bulgarian nationals driving trucks loaded with recyclable materials were arrested in a joint operation by the Economic Crime Squad (SDOE) officials and police in the northern city of Thassaloniki on Wednesday.
The Bulgarian-licensed trucks contained iron and paper goods that came from recyclable materials bins and it is believed that they were to be sold to local businesses or taken to Bulgaria. An ensuing investigation disclosed tax and customs violations.
 Recipient of bullet shipment arrested on CreteA 41-year-old man was arrested on Crete on Thursday in connection with a shipment of 200 bullets sent by courier through the Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in Irakleio.
The man was the alleged recipient of the package, which was discovered on Tuesday at the airport; the sender has not been identified yet.
Last Wednesday, a similar package containing 250 bullets was found at the same airport, sent via courier company from Hania, also on Crete, to a destination in Ilia prefecture.
 AMNA sports reporter wins awardThe Greek Sports Writers Association (PSAT) on Wednesday announced its awards for 2012, with the ESIEA award bestowed on AMNA reporter Aspasia Velonaki for an interview with the former coach of football club Olympiacos Piraeus, Ernesto Valverde. The article was published on May 7, a few days after the announcement of a decision by the Spanish coach to quit the post.
 The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe prospect of a disbursement of 44.6 billion euros to Greece via the integration of the three outstanding tranches of the EU/EIB bailout loan under strict control conditions and the reserve labour regime in the public sector, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "44.7 billion euros to Greece in one installment".
AVGHI: "Under international economic control".
DIMOKRATIA: "The price for the fortified tranche is heavy".
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Government obeys and proceeds with layoffs in public sector".
ESTIA: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' Herculean battle".
ETHNOS: "First exit wave from public sector".
IMERISSIA: "The new tax system".
KATHIMERINI: " 'Window' for 44 billion euros installment".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "45 billion mammoth installment but by handing over the control".
RIZOSPASTIS: "We must organise a movement that will make the opponent fearful".
6 DAYS: "The first executions".
TA NEA: "Christmas with 44 billion euros but under harsh conditions".
VRADYNI: "Who are not affected by the new retirement ages".
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