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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-03-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 Issue No: 5136

CONTENTS

  • [01] The implementation of the agreement isn't an easy task, PM Tsipras says
  • [02] Work to implement the EU-Turkey agreement began on Friday, EU Commission says
  • [03] Number of migrants and refugees in Greece exceeds 50,000 for the first time
  • [04] Frontex requests extra 1,500 police and 50 returns and readmissions experts for Greece
  • [05] Turkish liaison officers arrive at refugee hotspots on Greek islands
  • [06] Refugees and migrants protest against closed borders in Idomeni
  • [07] Investigation launched into Idomeni leaflet urging refugees to illegally cross into FYROM
  • [08] Health minister to visit Idomeni and surrounding region on Wednesday
  • [09] Government is currently preparing laws on asylum requests with EC
  • [10] There will be decisions at IMF level to take Greece out of the crisis, Defence Min Kammenos estimates
  • [11] Program review can take place within framework, says government
  • [12] Pavlopoulos: Greece is seeking good relations with neighboring Albania
  • [13] FM Kotzias says Greece-Albania can use international law to resolve issues
  • [14] No reason at all for Migration Minister to leave the government, Energy Min Skourletis says
  • [15] All EU pillars are in doubt, Bloco de Esquerda's spokeswoman Matias tells ANA-MPA
  • [16] ND leader, Greek industrialists' body discuss economic prospects
  • [17] Education Minister Filis visits New York
  • [18] Ten Turkish fighter jets enter Athens' FIR without submitting flight plan
  • [19] Book of condolences for former German FM Westerwelle open for one more day
  • [20] Significant progress on income tax and pension reforms, IMF says
  • [21] Greek crisis not caused by memorandums but 'unjustifiably expansive fiscal policy,' BoG governor says
  • [22] Government was to support outward-oriented economic sectors
  • [23] Ionian Islands plan first water airport network in Greece
  • [24] Interamerican says pre-tax profits 41.9 mln euros in 2015
  • [25] Greece extends tender timetables to sell TRAINOSE and EESSTY
  • [26] Terna Energy says profits up 198.4 pct in 2015
  • [27] Greek industrial turnover index down 13.3 pct in Jan
  • [28] Greek stocks end lower for fourth successive session
  • [29] Greek bond market closing report
  • [30] ADEX closing report
  • [31] Mother of Syrian boy suffering from cancer hopes family will be reunited soon
  • [32] Greek student seriously injured in Spanish bus crash no longer in critical condition
  • [33] 1,344 refugees and migrants rescued since Friday
  • [34] Civil servants' union federation ADEDY announces work stoppage in Attica on Wednesday
  • [35] Railway work stoppages cancelled
  • [36] Clouds, possibility of rain on Tuesday
  • [37] The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] The implementation of the agreement isn't an easy task, PM Tsipras says

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the EU-Turkey agreement as positive while welcoming EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopou-los at Maximos Mansion on Monday.

    "We now have to climb an uphill, because the implementation of the agreement will not be an easy task. However, if we did not have the agreement, we would have to face a domino of unilateral actions. Therefore, this European solution is important," the prime minister noted and stressed the need of its immediate implementation and coordination in order to be efficient. That is the reason why he established a special government body which he will chair, as he said.

    He also referred to two conditions that need to be met so that the agreement is successful. The first one concerns the reduction of flows from Turkey otherwise Greek islands will not be evacuated and the agreement will not be implemented. The second one concerns the manpower, adding that the Greek government will quickly proceed with the adaptation of the legislation, if needed, to facilitate cooperation between the Greek asylum committee and the European one.

    On his part, the European Commissioner estimated that the quick implementation of the agreement will improve the situation and estimated that Greece is moving rapidly.

    [02] Work to implement the EU-Turkey agreement began on Friday, EU Commission says

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ C. Vasilaki)

    European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas on Monday said that work coordinating the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement began at the Commission on Friday, with the first meeting of the member-state representatives to assess Greece's needs and promptly send help held on Saturday.

    Schinas said the legal arrangements may take some time, while repeating that the key date for the start of returns to Turkey of all new arrivals of irregular migrants on the Greek islands is March 20. The aim was to begin returns as soon as possible, he added.

    The meeting on Saturday chiefly discussed Greece's needs in terms of additional expert staff that will be sent by the member-states and the relevant European agencies (EASO and Frontex). The Commission's spokesperson for migration issues Natasha Bertaud said these needs were currently estimated at 4,000 people, of which 1,500 will be Greeks and the remaining 2,500 will be from other EU countries. The aim is that the transfer of personnel will start immediately and be completed by March 28, she said.

    With respect to the parallel 1:1 resettlement programme from Turkey, Bertaud said this was scheduled to begin on April 4. Asked to comment on a spike in arrivals on Sunday, when some 1000 new arrivals came to the Greek islands from Turkey, Bertaud noted that the Commission was "aware of the difficulties" and was doing everything possible to implement the agreement.

    Schinas announced that the in wake of the European Council decisions, the European Commission on Monday submitted a proposal to amend the legislation for the relocation scheme so that the 54,000 relocation positions not currently assigned to any particular country be converted to resettlement positions for the 1:1 refugee exchange scheme. These positions will be added to the 18,000 resettlement positions that the EU member-states had already committed to accept on a voluntary basis last July.

    With respect to the relocation process, the Commission said that this will now focus on the 50,000-plus refugees that are currently in Greece but predicted that this will concern only small numbers of refugees that for some reason cannot be safely returned to Turkey. The asylum applications and any appeals by these individuals will be examined in Greece and possibly some of these, if they meet the criteria, will qualify for the relocation process, Commission officials said.

    [03] Number of migrants and refugees in Greece exceeds 50,000 for the first time

    The number of refugees and migrants in Greece exceeded 50,000 for the first time since the start of the crisis on Monday, according to the latest figures released by Greek authorities. The number of new arrivals spiked one day after the EU-Turkey agreement on migration came into effect.

    At the last count, the number of refugees and migrants throughout Greece was at 50,411 people, of whom 1,662 had arrived in the last 24 hours. Greek authorities viewed the spike in arrivals with concern, with the spokesman for the Greek refugee crisis management agency Giorgos Kyritsis pointing out that there must be a reduction in migration flows from Turkey in order for the agreement to work.

    A video conference call with all the officials involved in implementing the EU-Turkey agreement has taken place, with the participation of the European Commission's Coordinator for the refugee crisis in Greece Maarten Verwey and Greek defence ministry general secretary Yiannis Tafyllis.

    The Greek government is already proceeding to transfer refugees from the islands to the mainland and is seeking additional areas for their accommodation, including a site next to the shipyards in Skaramangas. Roughly half the refugees from the islands are being transported to the mainland, leaving 5,538 on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Rhodes.

    According to the latest figures announced by the Greek coordinating body for the refugee crisis, there are 13,711 refugees in Attica, with 5,132 staying at facilities within the port of Piraeus and the rest in official accommodation centres at Schisto, Elaionas, Elliniko, Agios Andreas, Malakasa and Lavrio.

    There are 2,569 in central Greece, most of whom at the Ritsona army base in Evia (826) and the Koutsochero army base in Larissa (766).

    Numbers have also risen at the makeshift camp at Idomeni, where 13,250 refugees and migrants are currently estimated to be camped, while another 1,250 are at the petrol station in Polykastro. The total number of refugees and migrants in northern Greece at present is 28,593, with 1,045 refugees have been installed for the first time at the old military airfield at Katsika, Ioannina since Sunday.

    [04] Frontex requests extra 1,500 police and 50 returns and readmissions experts for Greece

    The European Union border agency Frontex on Monday asked EU member-states and other countries linked to Schengen to send 1,500 police officers and 50 experts in readmissions and returns to reinforce Greece. The aim is to support Greece in the return of migrants to Turkey.

    A Frontex announcement said that several member-states have already committed to sending additional officers.

    There have been intensive talks in the past two days between all the parties involved, including the European Commission, Greece, the other EU member-states and EU agencies such as Frontex, EASO and Europol, on how to best coordinate their efforts to implement the European Council decisions of March 18.

    Frontex will continue to assist Greek authorities in monitoring borders, search-and-rescue operations and the registration of migrants at hotspots, as well as with returns and readmissions procedures, the announcement said. Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri pointed out, however, that Frontex can only return migrants once Greek authorities have examined each case in detail and have issued a final return decision.

    [05] Turkish liaison officers arrive at refugee hotspots on Greek islands

    The Turkish officials that will act as liaison officers in the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on the refugee crisis arrived at the five hotspots on the Greek islands of the eastern Aegean on Monday, in accordance with the provisions of the agreement. Meanwhile, the transfer of Greek liaison officers to Turkey in order to monitor the returns has also begun, with the first five departing from Athens on Monday.

    A total of 25 Turkish officials that are not police officers but work for the Turkish interior ministry's migration service have arrived since Sunday, with six stationed on the island of Chios, eight on the island of Lesvos, five on the island of Samos, three on Leros and three in Kos.

    There was a problem with one of the officers on Chios, whose passport contained a stamp of the illegal regime in the occupied north of Cyprus and was thus rendered invalid, complicating the official's stay in Greece. Sources at the interior ministry told the ANA-MPA the matter was settled, with Greek authorities issuing and stamping a separate document giving the specific individual leave of entry into Greece, rather than the passport.

    This solution also sidestepped problems relating to whether the specific employee would need a visa, which he had not obtained as the holder of a "green" passport for government officials that normally don't need a visa to enter Greece.

    Three of the Greek police officers that left for Turkey on Monday will be stationed in Dikili opposite Lesvos and two in Cesme, opposite Chios. The Greek liaisons are police officers, since the issue of returns is handled by the police on the Greek side, and their total number will reach 25, as many as the Turkish officials in Greece. Their transfer to Turkey is expected to be completed by the end of the week, when Turkey informs the Greek side which ports will open to accept the refugees and migrants being returned.

    This is to be discussed on Wednesday, at a meeting with European Commission officials. With respect to the returns policy, a senior officer in the Hellenic Police said that readmission requests have already started to be drawn up for all the refugees and migrants, while any asylum applications will be examined using fast track procedures.

    [06] Refugees and migrants protest against closed borders in Idomeni

    Dozens or refugees and migrants of different nationalities continued to protest against the closing of the borders in Idomeni on Monday, saying they were disappointed by the decisions of the last EU-Turkey summit.

    Protesters blocked railway tracks in the neutral zone between Greece and FYROM and requested that they will be allowed to continue their trip to northern Europe. They held cardboards with slogans such as "Merkel, you've let us down", "If you don't want to give us human rights, at least give us the rights you would give to animals".

    Others shouted they wouldn't eat or drink until the borders open again.

    Earlier, Yazidi Kurds marched inside the village of Idomeni in an effort wanting to attract attention to their own cause, which is that they are a minority hunted by ISIS which has been persecuted and kidnapped and that the only solution is to open the borders.

    [07] Investigation launched into Idomeni leaflet urging refugees to illegally cross into FYROM

    Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani has ordered the Thessaloniki public prosecutors' department to begin a preliminary investigation into the origins of a leaflet distributed among refugees and migrants at the camp in Idomeni, urging them to illegally cross the border into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    According to sources, Koutzamani on Monday asked the first-instant court prosecutors to track down those responsible for producing and distributing the leaflet in the refugee camp on the borders between Greece and FYROM, which encouraged several hundred people to attempt to enter FYROM through an unguarded point along the border. Written in Arabic, the leaflet gave instructions that included a map and directions outlining an alternative route to cross the border.

    The justice and civil protection ministries had earlier sent information collected by the Hellenic Police concerning the provenance of the leaflet, with a query about whether there should be a preliminary judicial investigation.

    Koutzamani asked the Thessaloniki prosecutors to examine whether there is evidence to support a case against the individuals responsible for offences linked to illegally arranging the entrance, residence and social integration of third country nationals in Greece, as well as under laws relating to endangering the friendly relations of Greece or its allies with a foreign state or placing it at risk of reprisals.

    [08] Health minister to visit Idomeni and surrounding region on Wednesday

    Health Minister Andreas Xanthos will visit the makeshift camp of Idomeni and the wider region on March 23, the ministry announced on Monday.

    After Idomeni, the minister will also visit temporary accommodation centers in Herso, Nea Kavala, the hot spot at Diavata, the health center in Polykastro and the hospital of Kilkis. As part of the tour, Xanthos will also meet with local officials to coordinate efforts to help refugees and migrants in the region.

    [09] Government is currently preparing laws on asylum requests with EC

    The legal framework which will be used in the asylum application procedures which form part of the EU-Turkey deal is currently being drafted, sources from the Asylum Agency told ANA-MPA on Monday.

    The formulation of the framework which is being prepared in cooperation with the European Commission, will also determine the committees that will be formed and the Appellate Body that will examine asylum requests. Any announcements will be made after this procedure has been completed, the sources added.

    [10] There will be decisions at IMF level to take Greece out of the crisis, Defence Min Kammenos estimates

    "On the part of the IMF there will be all these solutions assisted by the US political side so that the decision on Greece's exit from the memoranda will have been taken by May 1," Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said in Washington.

    Kammenos was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) organization.

    "On the part of the European Commission, the program review is at a very good level," he underlined.

    He also estimated that "the Israeli organizations of the United States will help Greece's efforts to exit the crisis and have the chance for new investments in a safe environment. An environment which will be able to create the conditions for building a security arch that starts from Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and is extended to Bulgaria and Romania."

    [11] Program review can take place within framework, says government

    The program review can take place within the framework set, government members agreed during a meeting earlier on Monday.

    The government and the institutions are close to an agreement on tax issues and pension reforms, as they said, while differences remain on bad loans.

    It is estimated that the tax free threshold will not fall below 9,000 euros, the program review will be completed soon and the differences between the institutions and the IMF are clear.

    On the refugee issue, they stressed the need to reduce flows from Turkey and therefore there should be contacts at official level and perhaps the European Union, as the latest agreement is between Turkey and the EU.

    Meanwhile, the government is planning to upgrade the Ministry for Migration Policy.

    [12] Pavlopoulos: Greece is seeking good relations with neighboring Albania

    President of Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Monday in a meeting with Albania's Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati sent clear messages to the Albanian government for its stance on the refugee problem and its stance towards our expatriates.

    Greece is seeking to have good relations with neighboring Albania and has proven it in many cases, Pavlopoulos stated.

    On the basis of those agreed, Pavlopoulos stressed:

    "First, we ask from Albania to hold a stance that complies with the principles and values of Europe and on the basis of how Greece treated Albanians during their exodus. We also ask them to refrain from phobias, which some European countries and some neighboring countries in the Western Balkans have adopted.

    Secondly, we ask for a better treatment and the full respect of the human rights of our expatriates in Albania. Do not forget that Greece has behaved in the best possible way to the large Albanian community in Greece. And we ask for our expatriates to have the same treatment based on their rights as provided by the international law.

    Finally, we ask for a meeting of the committee that will solve the issue of burial of the Greeks who fell in the struggle against the Axis."

    [13] FM Kotzias says Greece-Albania can use international law to resolve issues

    Greek and Albanian Foreign Ministers Nikos Kotzias and Ditmir Bushati agreed on Monday that any problems between the two countries should be resolved on the basis of international law and European civilization and for the benefit of both peoples.

    The statement came at a joint press conference during Bushati's visit to Athens.

    "We're on a good path to find solutions to issues that constitute our common interests and to promote solutions for issues that constitute a point of disagreement," Kotzias said after the meeting, adding that the two sides have already found common ground to discuss and resolve problems.

    "The criteria are international law, European culture and the needs of our people and our countries," the Greek foreign minister said, noting the two countries should renew and upgrade their Friendship Agreement.

    On his side, the Albanian foreign minister said he's confident there's an understanding in both countries for the different nature of the problems which concern their diplomatic relations. "It is issues that are left from the past, with a significant importance, problems of current affairs, but also issues of our common future," Bushati said, adding there are no taboos in Greek-Albanian relations.

    "Our relations at a national and personal level are very good," he noted, and stressed that an even more established relationship between the two countries would also have a positive impact in the region.

    During their talks, the two ministers discussed, among other issues, the rights of the Greek minority in Albania, as well as the importance of Albanians who live in Greece and constitute, as Kotzias said, a bridge of friendship between the two countries.

    [14] No reason at all for Migration Minister to leave the government, Energy Min Skourletis says

    There is absolutely no reason for (Alternate Migration Minister Yiannis) Mouzalas to leave the government, Energy Minister Panos Skourletis on Monday said in statements on Mega TV.

    "I see no political issue born. If we are mature, we should consider this matter closed and I think that it has closed. There is absolutely no reason for him to leave," he said.

    On the refugee agreement between EU and Turkey, he said: "The best probably result was achieved. In objective terms what agreed was so little based on international rules and international treaties. It remains to be seen whether the agreement can be implemented... We are not happy with the way the powerful countries deal with the refugee issue. Progress was not made on that issue. On the contrary, weaknesses were raised."

    Regarding negotiations with the creditors, he spoke of convergence between the two sides on several issues and extreme positions on the IMF side. Among others, he said that the IMF "has submitted the most extreme proposals and this is why the issue has not closed; we are not aware of its stance from now on, if it will participate as an equal member, as an observer or if it will not participate at all."

    [15] All EU pillars are in doubt, Bloco de Esquerda's spokeswoman Matias tells ANA-MPA

    "All EU pillars, both institutional and economic ones, are in doubt, as a result of the economic and financial crisis, the social crisis and now the humanitarian crisis," said Marisa Matias, spokeswoman for the Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), participating in Portugal's coalition government.

    Matias participated in the conference "Alliance Against Austerity - for Democracy in Europe" organized by Poulantzas Institute and SYRIZA, in Athens, on March 18-20.

    "There is not one of those pillars that is not doubted. I believe that the only alternative is the development of a movement that will change the balance of forces. This means that the each country's policy should change, it means to conquer power, and at this period of time the correlations of power in each country are uneven. That is why I believe it is extremely important to change these power correlations at a national level before trying to change things at a European level."

    She also acknowledged that the European south is changing. "It is not by accident that these changes started from the south of Europe, because these countries and these people were mostly affected by the austerity policies and had the largest social impact - poverty, unemployment," she stressed.

    The full interview of Marisa Matias to George-Byron Davos is available in Greek at ANA-MPA's website.

    [16] ND leader, Greek industrialists' body discuss economic prospects

    The situation and prospects of the Greek economy, the problems faced by Greek businesses and the industry's proposals to create a competitive business environment in Greece were discussed in a meeting between the Association of Greek Industrialists (SEV) and the leader of New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday.

    [17] Education Minister Filis visits New York

    Education Minister Nikos Filis travelled to New York on Sunday to visit the Exhibition of Rare Antiquities from the city Dion of Olympus, organized by the Onassis Cultural Centre of New York City, under the supervision of Professor Dimitris Pantermalis, president of the Acropolis Museum and responsible for the excavations at Dion.

    During his stay in New York, the minister will meet with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake to discuss cooperation on the refugee issue, as well as Archbishop Demetrios of America, Greek and American academics, and teachers of Diaspora.

    [18] Ten Turkish fighter jets enter Athens' FIR without submitting flight plan

    Ten Turkish fighter jets and one CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft entered successively in Athens' FIR on Monday without submitting a flight plan, violating the Greek airspace 24 times in different regions of the Aegean. Athens' FIR also recorded six more violations of air traffic rules.

    In two cases, the intercepting procedure for two armed fighter jets by two Greek aircraft developed into a dogfight.

    The first dogfight took place at 15.00 (local) southwest of the island of Psarra, where two Greek fighter jets intercepted a pair of Turkish fighter jets which had entered Athens FIR without submitting a flight plan. Ten minutes later, the Greek aircraft intercepted two more Turkish fighter jets south of Chios.

    In all incidents, the Turkish aircraft were recognized and intercepted by Greek fighter jets. Two of the Turkish aircraft were armed.

    The incidents were witnessed by the Greek frigate "Salamis", the Turkish frigate TCG Goekova and the Dutch frigate HMS Van Amstel which were sailing in the region as part of the NATO operation to halt refugee flows into Greece.

    [19] Book of condolences for former German FM Westerwelle open for one more day

    The German embassy in Athens has opened a book of condolences to the public for the former foreign minister Guido Westerwelle who passed away on March 18 from acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 54.

    The book, which opened to the public on Monday, will remain open on Tuesday from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 16.00.

    Westerwelle, who was Chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) until 2011 and a lawyer, served as Foreign minister in the second government of Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2009 to 2013. Last winter, the former minister issued a book in which he described his battle with cancer. In an interview with Der Spiegel last November he had stated: "I want to live".

    "Guido Westerwelle stands for an open-minded, liberal Germany that is firmly anchored in the international commu-nity. Through his efforts in the service of a peaceful and civil Germany and Europe, he proved himself to be a true patriot," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on the death of his predecessor in a statement last Friday.

    "Guido Westerwelle was always a fighter - even in his last fight, which he has lost today. He gave a great many people courage and strength by allowing the public to share in that struggle," he added.

    Financial News

    [20] Significant progress on income tax and pension reforms, IMF says

    "The mission has been productive. Significant progress has been made on the income tax reform," according to an IMF announcement.

    "The mission made important progress on key aspects of the pension reform. Work is ongoing and will continue over the Easter break. The mission chiefs will return to Athens on April 2 to resume the discussions with a view to conclude them as soon as possible," the IMF added.

    [21] Greek crisis not caused by memorandums but 'unjustifiably expansive fiscal policy,' BoG governor says

    The crisis in Greece was not triggered by the austerity memorandums but an unjustifiably expansive fiscal policy, where state spending far outstripped state revenues, Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras said on Monday at an event organised by the 'Citizens' Movement'.

    "The crisis in Greece has a name: a great risk of default of the Greek state at the end of the 2000s, chiefly due to an unjusti-fiably expansive fiscal policy that shot the budget deficit to giddy heights via a great increase in state spending, without a matching increase in state revenues. All that followed and the memorandums were efforts to avert default. These efforts obviously had unpleasant repercussions, but the repercussions of default would have been incalculable," Stournaras said.

    The former finance minister noted that the debate that predominated in Greece had not been "sensible" and had created illusions. Among others, he noted, it had prevented public opinion from understanding and adopting the necessity for deep reforms. As a result, only Greece among the four Eurozone countries that entered memorandum programmes was still in a programme. The remaining three had all exited the programmes and Ireland was growing at a rate approaching 8 pct, he pointed out.

    In Greece, the public debate had instead deepened the uncertainty and eroded society's trust in politics and the institutions, he said.

    Referring to the imposition of capital controls in 2015, Stournaras said that the bank holiday had caused distortions and indirect consequences whose results could not yet be assessed, but also had some positive consequences, such as encouraging the use of electronic payments, with signs that this then had a beneficial impact on both private consumption and on tax revenues, while decreasing the size of the informal economy.

    Talking about Europe's response to the crisis, Stournaras said that the banking union could bring multiple benefits, contributing to fiscal stability and a better functioning of banks, as well as better financing of businesses and households. Another knock-on benefit of a fully operational banking union for Greece would be to break the vicious cycle between the problems of the banking sector and fiscal imbalances in the country, he added.

    [22] Government was to support outward-oriented economic sectors

    The government aims at improving the outward orientation of all sectors of the productive economy, Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said at his address at the general meeting of the Greek Aluminum Association on Monday.

    To achieve this, he continued, it is necessary to transition to a new development model that will ensure the stabilization of the economy. He also described the aluminum sector as one of the most dynamic and outward-looking of the Greek economy.

    [23] Ionian Islands plan first water airport network in Greece

    Ionian Islands Regional Authority plans to spend around 200,000 euros to build the necessary infrastructure in ports and to approve licensing of four new water airports in Cephalonia, Ithaka, Lefkada and Meganisi, after approving licenses for Corfu and Paxi islands.

    Theodore Galiatsatos, regional authority in Ionian Islands, speaking to ANA-MPA said the Ionian Islands Regional Authority will soon have the first water airports network in Greece.

    Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis is working intensively to speed up environmental approval for water airports and to simplify environmental licensing procedures for future applications.

    "Hellenic Water Airports" has set an ambitious goal to establish hydroplane operations in Greek islands. Tasos Govas, chairman of "Hellenic Wate Airports", speaking to ANA-MPA said that company was cooperating with top companies and recently reached an agreement with Aktor FM, a company focusing on airport installation management and offers operation, maintenance and management of building facilities and installation services.

    Yiannis Anastasiadis, the CEO of Aktor FM, said his company sees great potential in this investment and said the project will have a huge growth dynamism positively contributing to the country's economy.

    Galiatsatos said the Ionian Islands Regional Authority has begun contacts with a hydroplane company in Croatia.

    [24] Interamerican says pre-tax profits 41.9 mln euros in 2015

    Interamerican on Monday said its pre-tax earnings totaled 41.9 million euros in 2015, from a loss of 19.3 million in 2014, while repeated earnings rose to 25.8 million from 19.4 million over the same period, respectively.

    Earnings surpassed targets by 68 pct, with general insurance (26.6 million euros) and Life/health insurance (15.4 million) accounting for the biggest part of earnings. Gross registered premium was 341 million euros, very near the 2015 target despite a decline in the Life insurance category (particularly unit linked products) after the imposition of capital controls in the country.

    General insurance premium production was 185 million euros in 2015, down from 195 million in 2014, Health insurance premium production was 84 million from 87 million euros and Life insurance production was 72 million from 83 million euros. Interamerican said its market share was 9.5 pct in 2015.

    George Kotsalos, Interamerican's chief executive, speaking to reporters during a news conference, said that the company will offer car insurance products based on a minimum travel distance of 5,000 km, in a move designed to give an alternative solution to the problem of uninsured cars and to car owners that do not travel a lot. Interamerican will also begin activities in the agricultural sector. Kotsalos said the company will sign cooperation agreements with 2,000 insurance consultants seeking to triple its production in the Health insurance sector.

    [25] Greece extends tender timetables to sell TRAINOSE and EESSTY

    The Board of Directors of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on Monday decided to amend the timetables for the international tenders regarding the sale of 100 pct stake in TRAINOSE and EESSTY (ROSCO).

    HRADF has received requests from three potentially interested investors of TRAINOSE extending the deadline for submitting the Expression of Interest, which was set for March 21, 2016.

    Regarding the tender process of EESSTY (ROSCO), the Fund received a request from an interested investor in order to extent the date for submitting Binding Offers (was set for March 28 2016) on the grounds that the agreement between the Greek government and Institutions should be completed and two critical bills, tax and social security & pension reforms be approved by the Greek Parliament, which affect the financial bids to be submitted.

    The Board of HRADF, having these in mind and in order to successful complete the tender processes for the railway companies, decided to change the key dates of the schedule as follows:

    TRAINOSE

    New deadline for submitting the Initial Interest April 15, 2016.

    New Deadline for Binding Offers from 04/26/2016 to 05/31/2016.

    EESSTY (ROSCO)

    New Deadline for Binding Offers from 03/28/2016 to 05/31/2016.

    [26] Terna Energy says profits up 198.4 pct in 2015

    Terna Energy on Monday said its net after tax and minorities earnings amounted to 17.4 million euros in 2015, from 5.8 million in 2014, an increase of 198.4 pct.

    Consolidated sales jumped 25.2 pct to 198.6 million euros last year from 158.2 million in 2014. Electricity power production revenue rose 27.1 pct to 140.3 million euros, while electricity distribution revenue totaled 26.8 million euros.

    EBITDA rose 34.1 pct to 99.3 million euros, while EBIT jumped 44.2 pct to 60.3 million euros and pre-tax earnings soared 149.6 pct to 30.3 million euros.

    The company's board will seek shareholders' approval to a plan to pay a 0.09 euros per share dividend.

    Terna Energy said its investment programme totaled 79.7 million euros in 2015. The group operates a network with a total power of 665 MW, of which 394 MW in Greece, 138 MW in the US, 102 MW in Poland and 30 MW in Bulgaria.

    [27] Greek industrial turnover index down 13.3 pct in Jan

    Greece's industrial turnover composite index (measuring both the domestic and external markets) fell 13.3 pct in January this year, compared with the same month in 2015, after a 15.2 pct recorded in January 2015, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed this development to a 25.3 pct decline in the mining turnover index and a 13.1 pct fall in the manufacturing turnover index in January.

    The domestic market turnover index fell 14.2 pct in January and the external market index fell 12.1 pct.

    [28] Greek stocks end lower for fourth successive session

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, the first trading session after FTSE Group moved the Greek market from a developed into an advance emerging market. The composite index of the market fell 1.25 pct to end at 541.70 points, extending its losses for the fourth successive session during which the index has lost 6.49 pct. The index ended off the day's lows of 540.75 points.

    The Large Cap index fell 2.12 pct and the Mid Cap index shed 1.61 pct. Turnover was a low 60.528 million euros in volume of 93,878,887.

    Grivalia Properties (2.94 pct), Mytilineos (2.53 pct) and Terna Energy (2.02 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (10.11 pct), Eurobank (8.25 pct) and National Bank (6.49 pct) suffered heavy losses.

    Among market sectors, Raw Materials (2.33 pct) and Real Estate (2.08 pct) scored gains, while Personal Products (4.86 pct) and Banks (4.74 pct) suffered losses.

    Piraeus Bank and National Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 50 to 47 with another 17 issues unchanged. Fieratex (30 pct), Aeoliki (21.35 pct) and Boutaris (17.65 pct) were top gainers, while Frigoglass (14.87 pct), Tzirakian (10.71 pct) and Piraeus Bank (10.11 pct) were top losers.

    [29] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 8.34 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Monday, from 8.39 pct on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 8.56 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.22 pct. Turnover was a thin 8.0 million euros of which 7.0 million euros were sell orders.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was -0.002 pct, the nine-month rate was -0.069 pct, the six-month rate was -0.131 pct, the three-month rate fell to -0.238 pct from -0.234 pct and the one-month rate fell to -0.326 pct.

    [30] ADEX closing report

    The April contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.24 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,354 contracts with 11,165 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 34,562 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (13,892), followed by Alpha Bank (2,938), Piraeus Bank (9,329), Eurobank (4,264), MIG (878), OTE (653), PPC (836), OPAP (459), Hellenic Exchanges (111), Mytilineos (125), Hellenic Petroleum (180), Motor Oil (105), GEK (118), Ellaktor (191), Jumbo (103) and Grivalia Properties (100).

    General News

    [31] Mother of Syrian boy suffering from cancer hopes family will be reunited soon

    The mother of the Syrian boy who is suffering from cancer and is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant said on Monday she's hopeful she will be allowed to go to Germany along with the rest of her children to help her son.

    Rami, who his mother said he is 11 years old and not seven as initially reported, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma five years ago - just after the start of the war in Syria began. While he was in hospital, his family was displaced from their home in Tadamoun by violence. His father and Rami eventually made their way to Germany via the smuggling routes, where the boy was able to continue his therapy in a hospital.

    Speaking at a press conference, his mother Manal Babouli said she submitted a request to reunite the family to the relevant Greek authorities. The family is possible compatible donors for Rami and getting in Germany in time is crucial for saving the life of the young boy.

    Speaking of her family's turmoil in Syria, she said: "I couldn't take him to the hospital any more so I decided to take him to Lebanon where he continued his therapy for another seven months. But the high cost [of treatment] forced us to leave together for Turkey where Rami was hospitalized for three months until his doctor send him along with his father, at his own expense, to the University hospital in Munich, where he has been treated in the past 4 months."

    Babouli also has three more children aged 3, 8, 14, as well as an 18-year-old nephew, with whom they all crossed the Aegean on February 22. She said she reached Idomeni in a few days and when she realized the borers would not open, she appealed to Greek NGO "Arsis", who set them up in a hotel in Thessaloniki.

    Speaking at the same press conference, the lawyer of the Greek Council for Refugees, Nikos Garypidis said he believed the procedure would be completed in a few days. Until then, Babouli with her children will continue to be hosted at the hotel provided by "Arsis".

    [32] Greek student seriously injured in Spanish bus crash no longer in critical condition

    A Greek student who was seriously injured on Sunday in a bus accident near Freginals, close to Barcelona, is no longer in critical condition, the Education ministry said on Monday.

    Alternate Education Minister Sia Anagnostopoulou contacted the Greek embassy in Madrid and the student's mother who said her daughter continues to receive medical care at the hospital of Vall d'Hebron.

    At least 13 people have been killed after a bus carrying foreign students crashed on a Spanish motorway between the cities of Barcelona and Valencia. Most of the 57 people on board the bus were students on the Erasmus programme.

    [33] 1,344 refugees and migrants rescued since Friday

    "Eleftherios Venizelos" ferry with 1,433 refugees and migrants aboard arrived at Elefsina port on Monday.

    According to ANA-MPA sources, the migrants and refugees will be transferred to temporary hosting facilities at Skaramangas.

    "Ariadni" ferry carried another 582 refugees and migrants at Piraeus port earlier in the day. 200 of them were transferred at temporary hosting facilities at Ritsona and Malakasa.

    According to Greek Coast Guard, a total of 1,344 refugees and migrants have been rescued since Friday in 26 different incidents in the sea region of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.

    [34] Civil servants' union federation ADEDY announces work stoppage in Attica on Wednesday

    The civil servants' union federation ADEDY on Monday announced a work stoppage from noon until the end of the shift in Attica next Wednesday. The strike action is in protest against planned pension system reforms. There will be a rally in central Athens on the same day at 12:30.

    [35] Railway work stoppages cancelled

    Railway employees on Monday announced they would suspend the three-hour warning work stoppages declared against the privatization of TRAINOSE and the continuous depreciation of the railroad.

    The decision was taken after the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) postponed the submission of binding offers for the railway company.

    The work stoppages had been planned for March 22,23, and 28.

    Weather forecast

    [36] Clouds, possibility of rain on Tuesday

    Clouds and southerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 8 on the Beaufort scale. Cloudy in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 05C-20C. Clouds and rain in the western parts with temperatures between 08C-22C. Clouds in the eastern parts with temperatures between 05C-22C. Fair weather over the Aegean islands and Crete, 11C-18C. Clouds in Athens, 08C-21C. Clouds, possibility of rain in Thessaloniki, 09C-19C.

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

    DIMOKRATIA: SYRIZA's success story. Who will survive?

    ETHNOS: The Turks' sneaky games in the Aegean

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: New income cuts

    ESTIA: The big traps of the Agreement

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: European evacuation

    TA NEA: The document that the government had forgotten

    KONTRA NEWS: 450,000 black accounts movements in Swiss banks revealed

    H NAYTEMPOPIKH: High tax rises

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