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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-12-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 15 December 2008 Issue No: 3072


  • [01] Papandreou: 'Country needs change'
  • [02] PM to attend Papadopoulos funeral
  • [03] Bakoyannis: Gov't will continue its course
  • [04] Greek envoy meets with Kissinger, Albright; FYROM 'name issue' discussed
  • [05] Dep. FM on issue of expatriates' vote
  • [06] Stylianidis: 'Take the hoods off'
  • [07] KKE condemns firebomb attacks against its Thessaloniki offices
  • [08] Leftist leader dismisses criticism related to urban disturbances
  • [09] Latest polls show declining party strengths, continued PASOK lead
  • [10] Moderate quake shakes south-central Greece
  • [11] Handful of protests on Saturday.; firebombings reported in southern Athens
  • [12] Protests in Melbourne, Skopje over teen's death
  • [13] Strike expected to affect archaeological sites on Mon.
  • [14] Illegals, suspected traffickers arrested in 2 separate incidents
  • [15] Total of 67 illegals picked up off Samos
  • [16] Greek Super League results
  • [17] Rain on Monday
  • [18] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

  • [01] Papandreou: 'Country needs change'

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Sunday reiterated his call for an "immediate change" in the country, addressing members of his party's national council, which was convened in the wake of the recent developments in Greece over the past week.

    Papandreou referred directly to a "cold-blooded" murder of a 15-year-old pupil a week ago in downtown Athens, an incident that triggered unprecedented riots and disturbances in parts of central Athens and in other Greek cities.

    The one-time foreign minister said the incident revealed the magnitude of the crisis enveloping the country and the younger generations, saying PASOK has a responsibility to sincerely and without inhibitions ask the major questions and provide solutions to those questions. Among others, he ticked off a series of questions, such as "what society are we creating? ... what society will be leave for the younger generation?"

    "PASOK does not want to divide the country; no is not the time, amid the crisis we are experiencing, for blind policies or social polarisation and conflicts. We want to unite the people and the progressive forces around the solutions we propose, from a radical programme of changes in a national and social pact," he told PASOK cadres.

    Papandreou again roundly criticised the government, saying it had lost people's trust yet continued to "grapple" onto power and "drag the country into adventures."

    "Enough already ... now the people must give the answer," he said, adding that the government created a "state of corruption and incompetence".

    Finally, in response to a press question, Papandreou dismissed what he called the image portrayed in a series of foreign press reports, calling on public opinion to remember the Greece of the 2004 Olympics, among others.

    The session began with a moment's silence in memory of Alexis Grigoropoulos, the youth that was shot dead by a policeman in the Athens district of Exarchia last Saturday evening.

    [02] PM to attend Papadopoulos funeral

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday will attend the funeral service in Nicosia of former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who died on Friday in the island republic's capital. Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, Popular Orthodox Party (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis and a delegation of the Greek parliament will also be present at the funeral services.

    [03] Bakoyannis: Gov't will continue its course

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, one the highest-profile Cabinet members of the government, was quoted by the German magazine "Der Spiegel" -- in its upcoming edition this week -- as emphasising the need to differentiate between reactions over the police shooting of a teenager last week in Athens and opposition to the government reforms.

    "Reforms cannot wait. Greece needs investments and secured job spots. We need privatisations and reforms in the education sector; deep reforms without reactions from those affected don't exist," she was quoted as saying.

    According to Bakoyannis, the former mayor of Athens, the Karamanlis government retains its ability to act, while there is no issue of its resignation or an early election.

    "Elections took place a year ago, and we Greeks know exactly what we want; and we know reforms are necessary. The government must continue its work if we want our economy to reach the level of the EU," she added.

    Bakoyannis also charged that the risk of such a tragic incident occurring were dangerously heightened due to stepped-up clashes of late between self-styled anarchists and police, while she referred to the former as "a group of people with an ultra-leftist ideology".

    [04] Greek envoy meets with Kissinger, Albright; FYROM 'name issue' discussed


    The Greek ambassador to the United States, Alexandros Mallias, met over last few days with former US Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger.

    Greece's upcoming Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chairmanship and the prevailing situation in the Balkans were reportedly discussed during the meetings. Moreover, Mallias briefed Albright on the latest developments in the still-unresolved FYROM "name issue" as well as Greek-Turkish relations.

    Kissinger received Amb. Mallias at his office in New York City, with talks also, at one point, touching on the FYROM "name issue". The renowned former US Secretary of State reiterated his publicly stated view that Greece has historic rights over the name "Macedonia".

    [05] Dep. FM on issue of expatriates' vote

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis on Sunday expressed his satisfaction over the work done in the last two years by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), speaking during a meeting with the SAE's presidency, on the sidelines of the organisation's meeting in Thessaloniki.

    "I am very proud for all Greeks working on the SAE council, because they succeeded in approaching our organisations to cooperate with us and expatriates," he said.

    The minister was also asked about the issue of expatriates' right to vote from their place of residence, where the deputy FM noted that the right is foreseen in the constitution.

    "Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has announced the government's intention to table in Parliament a draft bill in order to implement the decision. We have already discussed the bill with the opposition but we haven't reached a common solution ... With the new year, we will be able to proceed with a final discussion so that the bill comes to Parliament."

    [06] Stylianidis: 'Take the hoods off'

    Education Minister Evripides Stylianidis on Sunday urged young people taking to the streets over the past few days, included hooded rioters, to take off the masks and express themselves freely and democratically.

    In an interview published in the Sunday edition of an Athens daily, Stylianidis stressed that no extremist group has the right to use the younger generations as a vehicle for ideas that society has already rejected.

    "If you ask me what I have to say to those kids, the answer is the same one that a parent would give to his children; the same one that a conscientious teacher ... would offer to his pupils: Take off the hoods! Nobody has the right to keep your faces covered ... Express yourselves freely and we will listen to you."

    [07] KKE condemns firebomb attacks against its Thessaloniki offices

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in Thessaloniki on Sunday issued a sharp condemnation over what it called an "organised plan linked to centres that have as their main target the organised labour and popular movement", following a series of attacks against KKE offices in the northern city.

    Moreover, KKE underlined that "the attacks on the KKE's offices clearly reveal the powers hiding behind the masks, as well as their inspirers."

    According to police, unknown perpetrators attacked KKE offices in Thessaloniki with firebombs and home-made incendiary devices in the early morning hours. Several garbage cans were also set on fire during the same period in the city's centre.

    [08] Leftist leader dismisses criticism related to urban disturbances

    The leader of the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called an unscheduled press conference where he decried what he called "slanderous" statements against the his party and vis--vis recent protests by youths in the country, referring to a small minority's actions leading to "catastrophic tactics".

    In response to press questions regarding the ubiquitous hooded individuals that cause disturbances at many otherwise peaceful rallies and demonstrations in the country, Tsipras said that "Synaspismos and its affiliated Parliamentary group, SYRIZA, are in an ideological conflict with the hooded gangs, because violence brings forth violence and leads to an impasse..."

    Tsipras also presented six proposals "... to unite the majority of our society and give to youth and citizens a positive prospect for struggle," he said, adding that "youth movements must reach a victory and positive achievements".

    The leftist leader also announced that Synaspismos' proposals will be presented to President of Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    [09] Latest polls show declining party strengths, continued PASOK lead

    A slew of opinion polls were published in several Athens dailies and weeklies on Sunday, in the wake of the unprecedented riots in Athens and other Greek cities over the past week.

    In one poll, main opposition PASOK appears to show an increased lead over ruling New Democracy, 26.2 percent to 20.6 percent. The Communist Party is preferred by 6.3 percent of respondents; 7.2 percent for the Radical Left Coalition and 2.8 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS).

    The telephone poll, conducted by the Athens-based firm Focus on a sample of 1,000 respondents, was published in the new weekly Realnews

    On the question of most qualified for prime minister, Premier Costas Karamanlis was picked by 28 percent of respondents to 24.5 percent for PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    In another poll unveiled on Sunday, this time for the weekly "Proto Thema", PASOK is preferred by 31.4 percent of respondents to 26.6 for ND; KKE follows with 7.9; 7.5 percent for SYRIZA and 4 percent for LA.OS.

    Asked whether the government can overturn the current negative political climate in the country -- as the question was phrased -- 64.8 percent of respondents said "no".

    The poll was conducted by the Alco firm on a sample of 1,003 respondents between Dec. 9 and 11, during the height of disturbances in Athens and a handful of other Greek cities.

    [10] Moderate quake shakes south-central Greece

    A moderate earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was recorded on Saturday morning near Lamia, 214 km north of Athens.

    The trembler was recorded at 10:27 a.m., with an epicenter near the picturesque town of Amfiklia, 10 km southeast of Lamia.

    According to initial reports, more than 20 houses were damaged, two seriously. Boulders were also detached from a cliff only to fall on a provincial road. Damages in other villages were not reported.

    [11] Handful of protests on Saturday.; firebombings reported in southern Athens

    At least four different protests related to the shooting death of 15 year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos by a policeman a week ago took place in Saturday on Athens. The mostly youthful protesters also demonstrated in a number of Athens' outlying districts as well.

    In a more violent note, unknown suspects firebombed four bank branches, several shops and a supermarket at the coastal Athens suburb of Kalamaki early Saturday morning. Overnight, continuous rock-throwing and the lobbing of firebombs by hooded individuals was reported near the Athens polytechnic.

    [12] Protests in Melbourne, Skopje over teen's death

    A peaceful rally was held on Saturday outside Greece's diplomatic liaison office in Skopje, in protest over the death of 15-year old Alexis Grigoropoulos last Saturday in Athens. Protestors held a large banner with the word "Solidarity", while condemning what they called the Greek state's methods and the situation prevailing in the country. The rally ended 45 minutes later.

    On Friday in Melbourne, protestors held a rally outside the Greek embassy, expressing their support to demonstrators in Athens and condemning police for the fatal shooting of Grigoropoulos. Demonstrators held banners and shouted slogans against Greek police. The rally was organised by self-styled anarchists in Melbourne.

    [13] Strike expected to affect archaeological sites on Mon.

    Archaeological sites in Athens, including the Acropolis, as well as the White Tower in Thessaloniki, will remain closed on Monday due to a 24-hour strike called by a union representing culture ministry employees, in demand of pay hikes and other institutional claims.

    [14] Illegals, suspected traffickers arrested in 2 separate incidents

    A 55-year-old man and his son, 31, were arrested on Saturday on the 56th km of Alexandroupolis-Orestiada highway, extreme northeast Greece, on migrant trafficking charges after border guards found 11 illegals hidden in their vehicles.

    According to testimony by the illegals themselves, the traffickers met then on the Greek side of the Evros River, after the would-be migrants were ferried over from Turkey at 2,000 euros each.

    In a separate incident on Friday, police officers arrested a 51-year-old man on the Thessaloniki-Athens highway near the city of Katerini, north-central Greece, after detecting 33 illegal migrants, mainly from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, in a specially modified crypt located in a truck's cabin.

    The suspect had allegedly picked up the illegal migrants in Thessaloniki and was paid 2,000 euros each for transport to Athens. The suspect was sent before a local prosecutor while the illegals will be deported.

    [15] Total of 67 illegals picked up off Samos

    Another 67 illegal migrants were intercepted by the coast guard on Sunday off the eastern Aegean island of Samos, a favorite "destination" of migrant smugglers operating just across a narrow strait separating the Greek isle and the opposite Turkish coast. Traffickers were spotted in three different instances off Samos, amongst the closest EU territory to the Turkish coastline in the Aegean.

    Meanwhile, the number of illegal migrants hosted at a reception centre on Samos continues to swell, following a constant flow of mostly Third World migrants attempting to reach the island from Turkey. Despite increased coast guard patrols and newly arrived assistance by other vessels from EU countries participating in the "Frontex" initiative, traffickers are reportedly seeking new ways to sneak migrants into Greece.


    [16] Greek Super League results

    Olympiakos Piraeus remained atop the Greek Super League football standings over the weekend even after dropping two points in an away game on Saturday against Larissa, 1-1. PAOK Thessaloniki closed in on the first-place club with a slim 1-0 victory at home on Saturday

    In other results over the weekend:







    Standings after 14 matches


    PAOK 29


    ARIS 22

    AEK 21

    XANTHI 21



    LARISSA 18



    IRAKLIS 15


    OFI 11



    Weather forecast

    [17] Rain on Monday

    Rain is forecast for Monday in the most parts of the country. Storms and rain in the northern parts of Greece, 6C-14C; showers on the mainland, 7C-17C; cloudy on the islands, 10C-20C. Rain in Athens, 8C-18C; the same for Thessaloniki, 6C-13C.

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

    The fallout, political and otherwise, from the almost week-long disturbances and riots in Athens and a handful of other Greek cities, in the wake of the police shooting of a 15-year-old youth in Athens a week ago, expectedly dominated the headlines in the Sunday edition of Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "(To youthful rioters) Take off the masks. Education minister in candid interview."

    APOGEVMATINI: "Battle in EU over 48-hour work week".

    ARTHRO: "What is the generation of rage?"

    AVGHI: "Young people burning government: Nationwide opinion poll by VPRC firm."

    AVRIANI: "Foreign (interests) and 'pimps' (local business interests) setting the stage for another 'ecumenical' (coalition) government with dirty operation to ruin government".

    CHORA: "Government out of touch, out of place. No one willing to realise the deeper reasons for crisis."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Friends of Alexis (Grigoropoulos) speak out on their friend's murder."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Word for word testimony by Alexis' friend, who was with him the final moments of his life."

    ETHNOS: "Uprising and chaos gave the coup de grace to government, (PM Costas) Karamanlis."

    EPOCHI: "We're your children: the unknown-well-known (hooded rioters)."

    KATHIMERINI: "Mr. Karamanlis (the prime minister) before his responsibilities".

    LOGOS: "Change of target with people's confidence. Mr. Karamanlis made it crystal clear."

    NIKI: "Karamanlis' collapse."

    PARON: "What they want. What's behind the masked rioters?"

    PROTO THEMA: "Goodbye Mr. Karamanlis: They stole, killed and bankrupted us. Opinion poll: 65 percent believe (ruling) New Democracy's slide cannot be overturned."

    REALNEWS: "He doesn't regret pulling out his service revolver, interview of 'rambo's' (police officer) defence attorney."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Everyone valiantly in action for success of PAME's rallies."

    TO VIMA: "Abandoned country ... amid a handful of dust."

    VRADYNI: "Stop to violence so young people's voices can be heard."

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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