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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-12-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 8 December 2008 Issue No: 3066


  • [01] PM promises 'no leniency' over boy's death
  • [02] President expresses condolences over boy's death
  • [03] Guards responsible for shooting before public prosecutor
  • [04] City centres laid waste by demonstrations, rioting
  • [05] PM Karamanlis chairs meeting in wake of riots
  • [06] Reactions to boy's shooting by police
  • [07] Athens municipality cancels Christmas programme
  • [08] Seven arrested for incidents in Athens
  • [09] Karamanlis carries out visit to Messinia
  • [10] PASOK party leading ruling ND in two opinion polls
  • [11] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos to attend Moscow Patriarch's funeral
  • [12] Condolences book for Moscow Patriarch at Russian Embassy
  • [13] Folias comments on crisis; rules out PPC rate rise
  • [14] Foreign Exchange rates: Monday
  • [15] Greek Navy marks feast of St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors
  • [16] Climate change rallies held in Greece
  • [17] Icons stolen from cemetery chapel in Grevena
  • [18] Two arrested for immigrant trafficking
  • [19] Mother killed by daughter in Spata domestic tragedy
  • [20] Whirlwind on island of Rhodes
  • [21] Super League soccer results
  • [22] Fair on Monday
  • [23] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance
  • [24] Papadopoulos' condition remains critical Politics

  • [01] PM promises 'no leniency' over boy's death

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Sunday said that those responsible for the death of the 15-year-old boy shot by police in Exarhia the night before should expect no leniency from the state. In a letter of condolence to the parents of the slain teenager, he promised the State would do everything in its power to prevent such a tragedy occurring again.

    The premier's promise came in the wake of the worst rioting in decades, which swept through Greek cities until the early hours of the morning, while police steeled themselves for further demonstrations and protests later in the day.

    Self-styled anarchists and youths belonging to far-left militant groups ran rampage throughout the night and again at demonstrations on Sunday afternoon, coming out in force to protest against the killing of the 15-year-old. The boy was shot during a skirmish between two police officers and a group of about 30 youths belonging to Exarhia's fringe anti-establishment movement that attacked their patrol car on Saturday night. The 15-year-old boy was shot in the chest and died of his injuries shortly after being taken to hospital.

    In a press conference on Sunday morning, Pavlopoulos said that he had spoken with the boy's mother on the phone the night before in order to say sorry.

    Even if the overwhelming majority of Greek police officers did their job correctly and this was seen as an isolated incident, the death of the boy on Saturday night was inconceivable in a country with a democratic framework of operation, the minister stressed.

    It was equally inconceivable that those responsible for the death of the 15-year-old should not receive the punishment they deserved, he added.

    The interior minister went on to appeal for calm, asking the public to assist the police in their legitimate function:

    "The police have and will have a defensive function in order to protect the property and the lives of all Greek citizens. It will continue to have this function after this isolated incident. And I appeal to Greek citizens to help so that there is calm and the legitimate work of the police can yield results," he said.

    Regarding the incidents that swept the country through the night, the minister said that he could sympathise with the pain many felt at this incident but that this could not lead to situations that turned against other people and the social whole.

    In response to reporters' questions, he also underlined his confidence in the leadership of the police, while stressing that the police would not leave the safety of people's lives and property at anyone's mercy.

    "In spite of these isolated incidents, Greek citizens have and deserve quality policing," he said.

    Regarding the circumstances of the boy's death, Pavlopoulos refused to answer questions until the police investigation was completed, particularly the ballistics report that would show how the shooting occurred. He stressed that the investigation would not end until all those shown to share in responsibility for what occurred had been punished.

    The minister also thanked the political parties for the responsible stance they had shown and appealed for the isolation of "extremist elements" in order to avoid more incidents and destruction during the demonstrations scheduled on Sunday and the following days.

    "It is everyone's absolutely democratic right to protest and demonstrate. Especially after such inconceivable incidents as that last night. But the police function defensively and will be present during the demonstrations so that the lives and property of citizens are not placed at risk," he stressed.

    [02] President expresses condolences over boy's death

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday sent a telegrams expressing the state's condolences to the parents of the boy killed by police in Exarhia on Saturday.

    "I express by deepest anguish for the loss of your son. His death was a wound to the operation of the state of law. I hope that it is the last and I am certain that those to blame will be held responsible," Papoulias said in his message.

    A letter expressing his condolences was also sent to the boy's parents by the prime minister:

    "In these extremely difficult hours, I beg that you accept my sincerest condolences for the unfair loss of your son. As all Greeks, I feel deep anguish. I know that nothing can assuage your pain at this time. I want to assure you that there will be no leniency in seeking out responsibility. The state, as is its obligation, will do everything possible so that yesterday's tragedy in not repeated," Karamanlis said in the letter.

    [03] Guards responsible for shooting before public prosecutor

    The two special guards making up the police patrol that shot the 15-year-old were led before a public prosecutor on Sunday. The officer that fired the shots against the boy was charged with homicide and illegal weapons use, while his partner was charged as an accomplice.

    The two officers must now appear before an examining magistrate, who will set a date when they will present their testimony.

    The two special guards were placed under arrest immediately after the incident when the teenager was shot dead. Also placed on suspension as a result of the incident was the chief of the Exarhia police station, where the two were stationed.

    According to the initial statement given by the two officers, the incident occurred shortly after 9:00 on Saturday night when a police patrol car responding to a call in the Exarhia district was surrounded by a gang of 30 youths that started throwing stones and bits of wood at them.

    The two special guards in the patrol decided to pursue the youths and, in the ensuing fracas, one of them fired his service revolver to disperse them, injuring the 15-year-old highschool student. The officer who fired claims he shot twice in the air and once at the ground and that the bullet that injured the boy must have ricocheted.

    Police headquarters said that an investigation was underway to determine whether the events had occurred in the way described by the two officers, while an autopsy and ballistics report have been ordered to confirm their claim that they did not shoot directly at the victim.

    [04] City centres laid waste by demonstrations, rioting

    Cities throughout Greece were licking their wounds and taking stock of the damage on Sunday morning, after the death of a teenager at the hands of police sparked some of the worst rioting seen in the country for decades. They then had to contend with a renewed bout of violence later the same day, as demonstrations against the killing degenerated into open battles between far-left demonstrators and riot police.

    Central Athens was the scene of chaos on Sunday as buildings, banks, supermarkets, shops and cars were put to the torch by rioters and streets were cordoned off as protestors wreaked havoc and skirmished with police.

    Violence was also reported in the cities of Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina and Hania, in incidents that lasted until the early hours of the morning and then resumed during demonstrations held after midday. Several police stations were attacked during the night and police officers in several cities became the targets of violence, while patrol cars were torched.

    The most serious damage in Athens during the night was to a three-storey Sprider sports good store in Kapnikarea streets, which was practically gutted, and an Intersport outlet at Monastiraki Square. During demonstrations on Sunday afternoon, protestors also torched an environment ministry building on Alexandras Avenue, while a Veropoulos supermarket and car dealership were burnt nearly to the ground.

    Extensive damage to shops, banks and cars was caused by rioters wielding rocks, sticks and other implements, while 24 police officers were taken to hospital for injuries caused by thrown objects, one of whom was admitted for treatment.

    The march in Athens on Sunday was once again marked by mayhem that carried on until late into the evening, as youths belonging to far-left groups came to blows with MAT riot police on Alexandras Avenue and later around the area of the Athens Polytechnic.

    The streets of the city were rank with the smell of tear gas throughout most of the day as Alexandras Avenue was turned into a battle field, with pockets of violence between rioters and police along the length of Patission and Stournari Streets.

    [05] PM Karamanlis chairs meeting in wake of riots

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis chaired a meeting at the Maximos Mansion on Sunday on Athens riots in the wake of the death of a 15-year-old boy who was shot by police in Exarhia, central Athens, on Saturday night.

    The meeting was also attended by Deputy Interior Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis, while Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said afterwards that the government is determined to implement the law.

    Pavlopoulos pointed out that crude violence is against social calm and the rights of citizens, noting that it is unacceptable and constitutes an abuse of the rights of citizens to demonstrate and express themselves freely.

    The Interior minister once again expressed his sorrow over the loss of the 15-year-old boy and underlined that Justice is dealing with the issue and that prosecution has been launched. He further said that the law will be applied.

    Meanwhile, the two policemen accused of the boy's death will be making their pleas on Wednesday, after requesting and being granted time to prepare their pleas by the 9th regular investigator.

    A prosecutor indicted the 37-year-old special guard who shot the pupil for willful homicide and the illegal use of a firearm and his colleague, who was present during the incident, for simple complicity in the homicide.

    [06] Reactions to boy's shooting by police

    Deep sorrow and pain for the loss of the 15-year-old boy shot by police in Exarhia was expressed by Greece's political leadership on Sunday, in statements and messages. Several stressed that those responsible must be made to pay, many of them at a meeting of the Union of Public Prosecutors that took place on Sunday.

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas said the tragic incident was "absolutely to be condemned" and that blame would be attributed where it belonged. At the same time, he said that society must show presence of mind "so we are not led to uncontrollable situations" and urged everyone to abide by the law.

    Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis expressed his sorrow and expressed faith that the government and its services would find out the truth and make sure justice was done.

    An announcement issued late on Saturday night by PASOK's press office, shortly after the incident occurred, condemned the stance of police for the incidents at Exarhia that resulted in the young boy's death. It stressed the grave responsibility of the political and internal leadership of the police for the incident, saying that this should be accepted in full.

    Main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou, speaking at the prosecutors' union, spoke of "arbitrary practices that increase barbarity" and of responsibilities that had to be attributed and stressed that Greece was living through "times of sorrow".

    Also present was the head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) George Karatzaferis, who proposed setting up a cross-party Parliamentary committee to investigate the event.

    Supreme Court Public Prosecutor George Sanidas, on his part, promised that public prosecutors will do everything in their power to shed light on the case, while the union's president Sotiris Bagias expressed sorrow on behalf of the Public Prosecutors' Union for the death of the boy and also promised that all legal culpability would be prosecuted to the utmost.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) statement condemned the "murder of a 15-year-old boy by a police officer in Exarhia" and said that the responsibility of ND's government for the incident was "great and self-evident," both in general and for the climate it had cultivated in the police force.

    The party also criticised the retaliatory violence that swept Greek cities, however, noting that the reply to state autocracy was not blind arson but direct reaction and organised struggle within a mass movement in order to ensure the true causes were not covered up.

    A KKE delegation went to central police headquarters in Athens on Sunday and lodged a protest over the death in Exarhia.

    An announcement by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) said that a "minor was murdered in the centre of Athens by police forces. Without any reason, police shoot and kill young girls and boys as if the country is in a state of war. This murder is a brutal, unacceptable and inconceivable event that indicates the point we have reached and raises a more general political problem."

    SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos, in statements on Sunday, said that SYRIZA shared in the pain and rage felt by the boy's family and the anger of all young people over his death.

    "There is no excuse. The 15-year-old is now alongside all the young fighters - Petroulas, Komninos, Koumis, Sotiropoulou, Kaltezas - whose lives were taken simply because they love freedom.

    In New Democracy's Greece, to be a young man or woman is considered a crime. Youth is murdered not just by bullets but by unemployment, insecurity, the inroads of profit in education, with the lack of expectations and prospects," he said.

    Alavanos said that ND could no longer remain the government of the country and called on young people in Greece to reply with peaceful, mass protests, while calling on the government to withdraw the "provocative presence of the MAT riot police".

    An announcement by LAOS on the incident claimed that the incident was the culmination of constantly escalating violence between anti-establishment youths and police.

    "It was a matter of time before blood was shed," the announcement stated, calling for a cross-party committee to look into the incident and ways to deal with the violence initiated by the "strike forces of the self-proclaimed anarchists and related forces in Greece".

    [07] Athens municipality cancels Christmas programme

    Condolences over the teenager's death were also expressed by Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis and the Athens municipal council, which said it would participate in the family's mourning for the boy and cancel all events planned in the city to celebrate Christmas, including the hanging of Christmas lights and decorations in central squares and monuments.

    He also expressed sorrow at the incidents that once more struck in the heart of Athens' shopping centre and economic life, further burdening the already heavy atmosphere of the market, promising the municipality would do its utmost to restore the city's normal operation.

    [08] Seven arrested for incidents in Athens

    Seven people were arrested on Sunday during the violence that occurred in Athens overnight after the fatal injury of a 15-year-old boy by police in Exarhia.

    A police announcement said that six people were arrested on charges of looting from stores that had their windows smashed in and one for illegally carrying weapons.

    The overall toll of damage inflicted during the rioting included the torching of eight shops, seven banks and 20 cars. The most serious damage was caused to a three-storey Sprider sports good store in Kapnikarea streets and an Intersport outlet at Monastiraki Square.

    Among the cars torched were also six police patrol cars parked outside the Acropolis police station, which was attacked with firebombs during the night.

    Damage by rioters wielding rocks, sticks and other implements was also caused to another 23 retail shops, five vehicles and two banks, while 24 police officers were taken to hospital for injuries caused by thrown objects, one of whom was admitted for treatment.

    Police said the incidents started after roughly 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Exarhia and then the Athens Polytechnic to protest against the 15-year-old's shooting. These then broke up into small groups and started to inflict damage and clash with police throughout the city centre.

    [09] Karamanlis carries out visit to Messinia

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis carried out a visit to Messinia in the Peloponnese on Saturday, where he had a meeting with local business people and officials at the Messinia chamber of commerce and inspected work for the construction of the Tripoli-Megalopolis national highway.

    In his speech during the meeting, the prime minister said there was an imperative need to join all forces available during this time of crisis for the global economy, and for all sides to commit to the effort.

    "Only by steadfastly following the road of responsibility can we ensure that the repercussions of the crisis are the least possible for the real economy, for enterprise, employment and household incomes," he stressed.

    He also stressed the government's strong concern to help those worst affected by the crisis, which had prompted it to establish "seven, new, tangible and targeted measures to support the less privileged, those on small pensions and the unemployed," such as the welfare actions announced in Parliament on Friday.

    The government, the premier said, was supporting small and medium-sized enterprises by increasing liquidity, by transferring as many funds as possible from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for the new period to assist them, by giving them access to loans through the Guarantee Fund and through programmes to boost employment and competitiveness for micro-enterprises and small enterprises.

    Karamanlis said that the Greek economy was showing strong resilience to the crisis and stressed that this was not a coincidence but a result of the reforms and fiscal overhaul that had been carried out in Greece in the past years.

    He noted that this strategy had also allowed the government to reduce taxes from 27 percent to 25 percent and to not impose any new taxes in 2009.

    The premier then pointed to the support made available for farmers, listing measures for the support of new farmers and to help farmers with servicing loans and receiving compensation for crops lost due to natural disasters.

    He then referred to several infrastructure projects that were underway in Messinia, which were designed to boost the competitiveness of the prefecture's agricultural and business sectors, and pointed to the measures taken so far to assist farmers and livestock breeders stricken by the 2007 mega fires.

    Among these he emphasised work to complete the Corinth-Tripoli-Kalamata highway, due to be delivered in 2011, which he said would give the Peloponnese a fast highway built according to European standards that would shorten travel times from Corinth to Kalamata to roughly 75 minutes and from Corinth to Sparta to 90 minutes.

    Earlier, the prime minister had visited the work being carried out on the Tripolis-Megalopolis road, accompanied by Deputy Employment Minister Sofia Kalantzakou, Deputy Education Minister Andreas Lykourentzos, a number of MPs for the region, Messinia Prefect Dimitris Drakos and ND Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis.

    He inspected a section of the Rapsomati tunnel, the bridge under construction at Thoknia and the section of the road from Paradisia-Tsakona that had collapsed in the winter of 2003 and was being rebuilt.

    Afterwards, Karamanlis said that the projects were making satisfactory progress and would be completed within the set deadlines.

    [10] PASOK party leading ruling ND in two opinion polls

    An opinion poll carried out by the Focus company for the Real News newspaper showed respondents giving a 22.3 percent vote for the ruling New Democracy party and 30 pc for the main opposition PASOK party, followed by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 10.6, the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) with 10.3 and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 5.1.

    Another poll conducted by the MARC company for the Sunday newspaper Ethnos tis Kyriakis gives ND 28.9 percent, PASOK 34.1, SYRIZA 8.1, KKE 7.2, LAOS 4.4 and the Ecologists-Greens 2.3.

    [11] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos to attend Moscow Patriarch's funeral

    ISTANBUL (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will be attending in person the funeral service to be held for the late Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy in Moscow on Tuesday.

    The Patriarch will be accompanied by the Archbishop of America Demetrios and the Metropolitan of Tranoupolis Germanos. This was decided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate Synod during a special session held on Sunday.

    Patriarch Vartholomeos who announced the passing of the Moscow Patriarch at the Synod, analysed the personality of the deceased and his contribution to the revival of the Church in Russia, as well as his contribution to the unity of the Churches.

    Patriarch Vartholomeos had said recently in referring to the deceased Patriarch's personality that "sometimes we had tensions in the relations of our two Churches, we did not always have the same view on the common problems of Orthodoxy."

    [12] Condolences book for Moscow Patriarch at Russian Embassy

    The Russian Embassy in Athens has announced that it will open a condolences book for the late Moscow Patriarch Alexiy on Monday and Tuesday, at its premises at 28 Nikiforou Lytra Street in Athens. The embassy will be open for condolences on Monday from 10:00 until 14:00 and from 16:00 until 18:00. On Tuesday it will be open from 10:00 until 14:00.

    Financial News

    [13] Folias comments on crisis; rules out PPC rate rise

    Greece would not undergo a financial crisis as such but could not avoid some of its negative side-effects when the crisis had gripped the rest of the world, Development Minister Christos Folias said while attending the 1st Panthessalian Economic Forum in Larissa, where he was the keynote speaker.

    At the meeting on Friday night, Folias said that the Greek economy was "standing firmly on its feet" and that this was something recognised by international organisations, who continued to forecast growth rates of 2.5 percent for Greece at a time when the growth of other European countries was at a standstill.

    He warned, however, that the times called for alertness, hard work and seriousness.

    Folias ruled out any increase in power rates imposed by the Public Power Corporation in the coming year, saying that he would not approve demands to increase rates made by the PPC's chairman.

    The event was organised by the Association of Thessalian Businesses and Industries and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and held on "Greece Enterprise - a new approach and innovation for Thessaly's Development".

    [14] Foreign Exchange rates: Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.276

    Pound sterling 0.873

    Danish kroner 7.509

    Swedish kroner 10.663

    Japanese yen 117.85

    Swiss franc 1.550

    Norwegian kroner 9.215

    Canadian dollar 1.648

    Australian dollar 2.005

    General News

    [15] Greek Navy marks feast of St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors

    The Greek Navy on Saturday paid tribute to the patron saint of sailors, St. Nicholas, during a special ceremony held at the Hellenic Naval Academy that was attended by National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.

    The event was addressed by Hellenic Navy General Staff chief Vice Admiral George Karamalikis, who stressed that the Navy was the only branch of the armed forces that was able to exert military pressure and support defence diplomacy without increasing tension and without provoking.

    He gave assurances that the Hellenic Navy was in a position to meet the challenges of the era and the demands of the nation.

    Meimarakis gave a brief address, conveying the best wishes and affection of the prime minister for the Hellenic Navy during its day of celebration.

    He stressed that the Armed Forces were an institution that enjoyed the highest degree of recognition among the general public and that this was an achievement that the armed forces had themselves brought about by abiding by an unwritten code of morality.

    [16] Climate change rallies held in Greece

    Rallies took place in Greek cities on Saturday, especially Athens and Thessaloniki, as people turned out in response to Global Day of Action on Climate Change.

    The gathering at Syntagma Square in the heart of Athens began at noon and was joined by 54 movements for the city and the environment, 27 local authority bodies, 13 trade unions, 10 environmental and social groups, as well as members of the public.

    At the same time, events are being held throughout the world in the first 10 days of December, coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali on December 3-14.

    The central slogan at the Athens rally was "The climate has changed. Have we?", with environmental groups stressing that the measures taken to arrest the march of climate change are minimal and inadequate, while global consumption rates are 30 percent above the world's capacity to replenish its resources.

    For Greece, in particular, they warn that the current economic model driving growth is untenable, while the rise in global temperatures will bring the Greek climate closer to that of north Africa, especially after the destructive fires that made it even more vulnerable to global warming.

    They forecast that life in Greece will become unbearable in coming decades and that the current productive model based on construction, large highways and tourism, combined with a thoughtless waste of natural resources, will lead to disaster.

    Groups participating in the rally stressed that Greece should conform to Kyoto Protocol targets and actively promote a global agreement imposing drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, drastically cut back on the use of fossil fuels for power production and construct no more coal-fired power stations, as well as taking measures to clean up polluting industry, promoting use of renewable energy sources, take measures for energy conservation and withdraw the recent General Spatial Plan and that for tourism.

    Demonstrators in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki formed a human chain around the site of the Thessaloniki International Fair and the 3rd Army Corps, creating a symbolic blockade around the area, in order to highlight their demand that it be converted to a green space available for use by people in the city.

    [17] Icons stolen from cemetery chapel in Grevena

    Three religious icons were reported stolen from a chapel within the Stavros cemetery, in the Ziakas muncipality of Grevena, authorities said on Saturday.

    The theft was reported by the church priest, who said that it probably occurred on either Wednesday or Thursday last week. The value of the icons has not been assessed.

    [18] Two arrested for immigrant trafficking

    Two men trying to smuggle an illegal immigrant into Greece were arrested by border police at 2:30 on Saturday morning at Koromilia, in the northern Greek prefecture of Kastoria.

    They were a 29-year-old Greek and a 21-year-old foreign national travelling in a car owned by the first man. They intended to give the illegal immigrant a ride to Athens for a sum that they did not disclose.

    During their inspection, border police at Kastoria discovered that the 21-year-old had a fake residence permit, which he had attached to a valid passport.

    Police confiscated the car the group was driving, four cell phones in their possession and the 21-year-old's passport with the fake residence permit.

    [19] Mother killed by daughter in Spata domestic tragedy

    In a domestic tragedy that occurred in Athens suburb of Spata in the early hours of Saturday, a 43-year-old woman was stabbed and killed by her teenage daughter after an argument in their home. She was found dead with a knife wound in her back.

    The woman lived alone with her two underage daughters, and neighbours reported that arguments and fights were frequent.

    According to witness accounts, the mother and daughter were fighting again at around 2:00 on Saturday morning and the girl stabbed her mother in the back for reasons as yet unknown, wounding her fatally.

    The girl is now missing and is being sought.

    [20] Whirlwind on island of Rhodes

    A whirlwind occurred on the Aegean island of Rhodes at 09:30 on Sunday, during rainy weather conditions, causing damage in various parts of the city of Rhodes.

    The worst damage was caused to the "Kallipatira" sports centre, where part of the roof was ripped off and extensive damage was caused to sports installations. Damage was also caused to a lesser extent to shop windows and signs, while power failures occurred in some parts of the city.

    The whirlwind only lasted for a few minutes but it was long enough to cause damage in the city.


    [21] Super League soccer results

    Olympiakos Piraeus retained its lead in the Super League after beating Levadiakos Livadia 1-0 at Karaiskaki Stadium over the weekend. Panathinaikos Athens beat Xanthi 2-1 away and climbed into third place and AEK Athens subdued Panthrakikos 1-0 at home. PAOK Thessaloniki remains in second place.

    In other action:

    OFI Crete-Aris Thessaloniki 0-1

    Panseraikos Serres-Ergotelis Crete 0-2

    Iraklis Thessaloniki-Thrasyvoulos Athens 1-1

    Panionios Athens-Larissa 1-1

    PAOK Thessaloniki-Asteras Tripoli 1-1

    Standings after 13 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiakos 32 points

    2. PAOK 26

    3. Panathinaikos 23

    4. Xanthi 21

    5. Aris 21

    6. AEK 20

    7. Ergotelis 19

    8. Panthrakikos 18

    9. Larissa 17

    10. Panionios 15

    11. Asteras 14

    12. Levadiakos 13

    13. Iraklis 12

    14. Panseraikos 9

    15. Thrasyvoulos 8

    16. OFI 8

    Weather Forecast

    [22] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northwesterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 4-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 4C and 17C. Fair in Athens, with northwesterly 4-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 11C to 16C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 7C to 11C.

    [23] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    The Vatopedi monastery land swaps furore, the financial crisis and the government's attempts to reverse the current negative climate in opinion polls dominated the headlines in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Criminal charges for the Vatopedi scandal"

    APOGEVMATINI: "Measures for semi-outdoor spaces. An end to a hostage situation for thousand of property owners".

    ARTHRO: "Rift within PASOK over preliminary examination committee"

    AVGHI: "Exit from the crisis with radical changes"

    AVRIANI: "Karamanlis decides on an electable government profile and bold initiatives to reverse the political climate".

    CHORA: "Government in freefall, opinion polls show. The parachute isn't opening"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Cyprus secret for the 'holy' business deals"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Charges for 5+1. The time to assign responsibility. The parties drafting the conclusions for Vatopedi. Who they incriminate, who they exonerate"

    ETHNOS: "The Church in a vortex due to Ephraim's financial sins"

    EPOCHI: "You don't get out of a crisis using the same door you came in"

    KATHIMERINI: "Crisis of confidence in the economy. Citizens question the policy being followed".

    LOGOS: "Political initiatives in the prime minister's 'quiver'. Reshuffle in 2009"

    NIKI: "Shocks for market. Difficult days on the way for businesses"

    PARON: "Karamanlis to 'pimps' and heirs: I will not become Simitis!" (claims PM will refuse to back a successor in the party coming up to elections).

    PROTO THEMA: "Ten New Democracy MPs dare: We are politically responsible for Vatopedi"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "All with PAME to satisfy our needs. Alert for the strike on Wednesday 10 December throughout the country"

    TO VIMA: "Karamanlis is playing his last card,"

    VRADYNI: "Shield-plan for unemployment"

    Cyprus Affairs

    [24] Papadopoulos' condition remains critical


    ‘he state of health of Former President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos remains critical, Cyprus Minister of Health Christos Patsalidis has said.

    Speaking Sunday after a meeting of the medical board, which examined the condition of Papadopoulos, Patsalidis said that ''the outcome remains the same as yesterday (Saturday), therefore the doctors did not consider necessary to issue a new report''.

    According to the medical report issued Saturday afternoon, the Former President, who has been in General hospital's Intensive Care Unit since November 22, is still facing severe breathing difficulties. He is suffering from lung cancer.

    Patsalides added that "the doctors continue with the same treatment, there is a constant communication and exchange of views with doctors and professors from abroad for a more comprehensive assessment of the situation, which remains critical.''

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