|Sunday, 20 October 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-12-31
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 31 December 2007 Issue No: 2783
 Two mainstream parties lose ground; ND retains lead, poll showsThe two mainstream parties in the country, ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK, appear to have lost ground since the September general elections, according to results of a recent poll, published on Sunday in an Athens daily.
In one of the main findings, ND and PASOK together pooled 63.3 percent of respondents' preference if elections were to be held now.
Specifically, ND garnered 33.2 percent' PASOK 30.1; the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 8.2 percent; the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) 6.8, and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party 3.7 percent.
Additionally, the poll indicated a greater dissatisfaction on the part of PASOK supporters vis-à-vis the party's opposition tactics.
The poll, conducted by the Marc firm for the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Ethnos", was carried out on a nationwide basis between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20, 2007, on a sample of 1,244 households.
 Former FM Molyviatis awarded Pushkin medalMOSCOW (ANA-MPA/T. Avgerinos)
Former Greek foreign minister Petros Molyviatis along with a noted translator of Russian literature, Mitsos Alexandropoulos, and the chairman of the Greek-Russian parliamentary friendship group, Simos Kedikoglou, were named here this week as recipients of the Pushkin medal, by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to a Russian presidential decree dated Dec. 24, 2007, and announced by the Kremlin on Friday, the three Greek nationals along with nine other foreign citizens were bestowed the honor for their significant contribution towards the furthering and study of the Russian language and to build ties between their respective nations and Russia.
 KKE message for New YearIn a message released for the coming New Year, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday referred to the coming year as a "year of counter-attack to block anti-popular reforms dictated by (big) capital", among others.
Meanwhile, in an event on Sunday at the Technopolis venue in central Athens for the children of foreign guest workers in Greece, KKE leader Aleka Papariga said her party "has an obligation in 2008 to help the working class in Greece realise that this class does not only include Greeks, but also migrants."
She also noted that "we hope you some day return to your homelands; not because we don't want you here but because the proper conditions will have been created so that they (homelands) will be able to take you back".
 Woman apparently jumps off Corinth Canal bridge with infant in armsA 29-year-old woman clutching her three-month-old son apparently plunged to her death from a span bridge above the Corinth Canal - west of Athens -- late Saturday evening, a particularly heartbreaking incident that sent shock waves through the local community two days before the New Year.
According to authorities, the woman left a handwritten note for relatives at her home in the nearby Corinth prefecture village of Leheo, resulting in an immediate and frantic search by police and local residents.
The woman's body, however, was recovered after midnight in the water some 70 metres below the bridge, while the infant's body was found later in the day on Sunday by a fisherman near the canal's entrance as part of a search team.
The victim's vehicle was parked near the bridge.
 Latest police operation targets Zoniana districtPolice launched pre-dawn raid on a handful of villages in the mountainous portion of Rethynmo prefecture on Crete early Saturday morning, including a sweep of the infamous Zoniana township, the site where a police convoy was ambushed last month.
Seven individuals were arrested, according to authorities, as suspects in a string of ATM robberies throughout Crete over the past two years, while one man fled.
The Zoniana district erupted onto the national limelight as a reputed hub of drug trafficking, gun running and protection rackets in western Crete, following the brazen early November attack against the police convoy.
 Several suspects arrested in connection to ATM heists on CreteEight people charged over the weekend with establishing a criminal gang and in a series of ATM heists were brought before a prosecutor in Iraklio, on the island of Crete, on Sunday afternoon.
The suspects are accused of a Dec. 19, 2006 robbery at an ATEBank's branch in the town of Kroussonas. They are also charged with three counts of attempted homicide, the same day, since they fired on local residents that attempted to stop them.
Most of the suspects are residents of the Zoniana district in Crete.
 Quake felt in western GreeceAn moderate earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was recorded at 8:42 a.m. (06.42 GMT) in a sea region south of the Ionian island of Zakynthos.
No damages or injuries were reported.
 AEK remains atop Super League standings with 2-0 winAEK Athens stayed atop the Greek Super League standings at the end of 2007 with a relatively easy home win over PAOK Thessaloniki on Sunday 2-0 (1-0 halftime). Argentine striker Ismael Blanco put the yellow-&-black team ahead by volleying the ball into the net following a weak save by PAOK's keeper in the first half.
The Athens club's main rivals, last season's champions Olympiakos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens, remained within striking distance, however, as the former downed a tough Xanthi team at home 2-1 on Saturday, whereas Panathinaikos picked up a precious away win against Aris Thessaloniki 1-0 on Sunday. Xanthi missed a penalty shot in the 87th minute against an injury-plagued Olympiakos, while Panathinaikos went ahead with an own goal by an Aris defender at the end of the first half and kept the win due a handful of impressive saves by goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz in the second half.
In other action:
Ergotelis Crete - Larissa 0-0
Olympiakos Piraeus - Xanthi 2-1
Atromitos Athens - Veria 1-0
Levadiakos - Asteras Tripoli 0-0
Apollon Kalamaria - Iraklis Thessaloniki 1-1
Panionios Athens - OFI Crete 1-3
AEK Athens - PAOK Thessaloniki 2-0
Aris Thessaloniki - Panathinaikos Athens 0-1
Standings after 14 weeks of play:
AEK 33 points
 Cloud, rain on MondayCloudy and rainy weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, particularly in the Peloponnese, the Cyclades islands and Crete, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures in Athens ranging from 3C to 11C, and in Thessaloniki from -2C to 8C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glanceThe continuing furor related to an alleged case of blackmail aimed at former culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos, who remains hospitalised after a fall from his fourth-floor apartment, and the incarceration a 34-year-old woman who once served as his associate as well as a handful of end-of-the year opinion polls dominated the headlines of Sunday's papers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "24-hour police neighbourhood patrols in the works in all remote city areas"
APOGEVMATINI: "We'll pay fewer taxes in 2008"
AVGI: "From the colour pink to grey" a reference to the Zachopoulos blackmail case"
AVRIANI: "Fake DVD (related to the Zachopoulos affair) handed to PM's office"
CHORA: "55 tracts of lands in town planning zones"
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Results of an opinion poll on respondents views regarding politics, major issues
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Everything in (Zachopoulos affair) leads to prime minister's office"
EPOCHI: "A pink veil (sex) on scandals"
ETHNOS: "Opinion poll shows shift to the left"
KATHIMERINI: "2008 a crucial year for the economy"
LOGOS: "Counter-attack by opposition on account of Zachopoulos affair"
NIKI: "(Prime Minister Costas) Karamanlis' image fading due to scandals"
PARON: "Touching message by Archbishop Christodoulos"
PROTO THEMA: "They granting her permanent status in prison. Operation annihilation against Evi Tsekou (the woman charged with blackmailing Zachopoulos)"
RIZOSPASTIS: "Rallies by communist party-affiliated labour grouping on Jan. 22"
TO VIMA: "Omens for 2008. Government's impasses and ominous clouds on the international stage"
VRADYNI: "20+1 answered questions (in the Zachopoulos affair)"
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