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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-01-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 19 January 2009 Issue No: 3099


  • [01] Papandreou issues stern warning to Ankara
  • [02] Series of interviews by ministers, politicians on Sunday
  • [03] Bisky, Tsipras address Party of Euro Left con'f
  • [04] Veteran leftist leader on possible PASOK-Synaspismos cooperation
  • [05] Latest opinion poll results in Athens dailies
  • [06] Solidarity rally for Palestinian people held in Athens
  • [07] Wife of abducted shipowner offers to take his place
  • [08] Noted songwriter, performer Danai Stratigopoulou dies
  • [09] Port authorities intercept Italy-bound migrants in 3 incidents
  • [10] Petrol station employee shot dead in Thessaloniki
  • [11] Top teams post wins
  • [12] Cloudy on Monday
  • [13] The Sunday editions of Athens' newspapers at a glance
  • [14] Palestinian, youth groups protest outside Israeli embassy Politics

  • [01] Papandreou issues stern warning to Ankara

    Main opposition leader George Papandreou, a former veteran foreign minister, on Sunday issued a stern warning to Turkish leadership that any future PASOK government will not tolerate or allow provocations, a direct reference to eyebrow-raising Turkish military activity in the eastern Aegean this month.

    Speaking before a gathering of supporters in the central Greece city of Trikala, Papandreou appeared confident that the next elections will produce a PASOK government and give him the premiership.

    Referring to the ongoing international economic crisis and Greece, Papandreou blamed the New Democracy government for "allowing the country to face the new developments without protection."

    He also blamed the government over what he called an excessive national debt, a widening of poverty and the current economic crisis.

    "Tomorrow in Brussels we will officially hear the bleak news about the Greek economy," he said, adding that "we know what Mr. (EU Commissioner Joaquin) Almunia will say; we've said this in Parliament a month ago."

    "The country is only a breath away from recession ... we will not allow it, PASOK has the solution for an exit from the crisis and a plan for economic development," he said.

    Speaking in a region that forms Greece's "breadbasket", namely, the Thessaly province, Papandreou made mention of ever-depleting water resources, promising that PASOK will "not allow Thessaly to turn into a Sahara (desert)".

    To fight whatever shortages in irrigation waters, he referred to better exploitation of resources, new infrastructure works (reservoirs, dams etc.) the promotion of less water-dependent crops and a new water management entity.

    Moreover, and again in view of the dominate economic activity in Trikala, Papandreou promised that a PASOK government will, through "tough negotiations", lobby and fight to continue EU subsidies beyond the current deadline of 2013, while referring to a modernisation of the agriculture sector through a public investment programme.

    Among others, he also called for one billion euros of a 28-million-euro liquidity guarantee by the state towards domestic banks be diverted to the agriculture sector as well as a string of measures to freeze, defer and reduce loan burdens faced currently by farmers and farm cooperatives; more subsidies for certain areas and increases in VAT returns, along with cheaper oil and heating oil.

    [02] Series of interviews by ministers, politicians on Sunday

    Interior & Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlo-poulos was quoted on Sunday as stressing that the government's priority is to solve citizens' daily problems, while also referring to the unified interior ministry's main targets in 2009.

    Pavlopoulos noted, among other things, that the main points on the agenda for the new year are the implementation of the operational programme "administrative reform" on the reorganising of public administration and local administration, the tabling in Parliament of an arrangement on speeding up the closure of illegal landfills and the further simplification of the institutional framework on the issuing of all kinds of immigrants' residence permits and the founding of immigrants' service centres.

    He comments were published in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Apogevmatini".

    Newly appointed Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, meanwhile, reiterated in a published article his intentions concerning changes in education sector.

    "My personal aim is, in cooperation with all the elements of the educational community, to seek solutions to those problems that have been preventing us for years from following a pioneering strategy on the big needs and requirements of the educational system," he stressed in an article appearing in the Sunday edition of the daily "Eleftheros Typos".

    On the same subject, main opposition PASOK education "shadow minister" Anna Diamantopoulou said PASOK aims at a consensus in education, although a prerequisite for dialogue is the tabling of a framework for the discussion.

    She added that what has been ascertained is not a proposal but an intention for dialogue which, indeed, is being made for the third time, comments published by the weekly "Real News".

    Asked about the possibility of a "front" being opened with the left on certain educational issues, Diamantopoulou said she herself is not giving away "visions and targets of the left to parties and politicians, because they are declaring themselves complacent leftists."

    Finally, former minister George Voulgarakis asked for forgiveness from New Democracy supporters if he disappointed them with his attitiude, while stressing that the biggest reprimand is that he felt that the party was injured because of him.

    Voulgarakis mentions that his resignation from the government is not related to the Vatopedi affair, and in any case, as he stressed, "I did not resign because of this".

    He also regretted his statement of "what is legal is also moral", since he conceded that "laws do not cover all issues concerning ethics."

    [03] Bisky, Tsipras address Party of Euro Left con'f

    Party of the European Left president Lothar Bisky addressed the European political grouping's extraordinary conference in Athens on Saturday, organised by the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party, where he extended his solidarity to those who demonstrated following the death of pupil Alexandros Grigoropoulos last month, while at the same time sternly condemning the violence of hooded vandals.

    Bisky said that the young people's uprising in Greece clearly showed the social repercussions of the economic crisis of neo-liberal policy, adding that the neo-liberal parties have no effective model to present and the only model in which neo-liberal state authority invests in the face of uprisings is suppression.

    At the same conference, Synaspismos party leader Alexis Tsipras outlined his party's strategy concerning young people's problems.

    Addressing the conference, Tsipras said "we were the only political force to speak of an uprising from the very first moment. We became the target of the entire political system."

    "Here in Greece we heard many interpretations about the uprising of youth" and assured that the party will not back down from young people's right to mass and militant peaceful protest, to seek a future that will not be uninsured and insecure employment, to free state-controlled and dignified education and to defend democracy and social rights from arbitrariness and suppression.

    Referring to the economic crisis, Tsipras said that the crisis is due to the system, because it was created by the elements that compose the nucleus of the neo-liberal sample.

    [04] Veteran leftist leader on possible PASOK-Synaspismos cooperation

    Veteran leftist leader Leonidas Kyrkos on Sunday was quoted as saying that room for election cooperation between main opposition PASOK and the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), which he once headed, leading to a "progressive government for radical change" is possible.

    In response to a series of urban rioting and even attacks on police of late, Kyrkos praises what he calls "youth's uprising" but he categorically condemned any use of violence, "a curse on anyone who acts otherwise," he characteristically said.

    [05] Latest opinion poll results in Athens dailies

    Main opposition PASOK continued to hold a lead over ruling New Democracy (ND) in the latest opinion polls published over the weekend, while Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis remained the preferred choice for premier -- a standing "contradiction" in results over the past few months.

    In one opinion poll, PASOK garnered 38 percent of respondents' preference to 33 percent for ND. The Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) picked up 10 percent; 8.5 percent for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE); 5.5 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) and 4 percent for an out-of-Parliament grouping identified only as "ecologists".

    In the same poll, published in the Sunday edition of "Ethnos" and conducted by the firm Marc, Karamanlis is preferred by 43 percent of respondents to 38.3 percent for PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    Another poll gives PASOK 35 percent to ND's 30.4 percent. SYRIZA picks up 7.5 percent to KKE's 7.4 percent and 3.8 percent for LA.OS. An "ecologists" entry does not appear to pass the 3-percent threshold for entering Parliament.

    Karamanlis is preferred by 40 percent of respondents to 31 percent for Papandreou.

    The second poll was published by "Kathimerini" on Sunday and conducted by the Public Issue firm.

    Finally, another opinion poll on the president of the republic finds that eight in 10 ND and PASOK supporters favor a second term of current President Karolos Papoulias.

    The third poll was published in the paper "Eleftheros Typos" and conducted by the MRB firm.

    [06] Solidarity rally for Palestinian people held in Athens

    A solidarity rally for the suffering people of Gaza was held in Athens on Saturday, organised by the "Stop the war alliance" and the ADEDY, GSEE and EKA labour unions, while Palestinian and Arab organisations participated.

    The demonstrators assembled in Syntagma Square in downtown Athens at noon, their main demand being an end to the war in Gaza, and then marched to the embassies of the United States and Israel, shouting the slogan "Israel out of Gaza."

    Stopping for a while in front of the U.S. embassy, the demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans and then marched to the Israeli embassy where they burnt flags and a wooden star, the symbol of the state of Israel.

    Shortly before the demonstrators departed, a small group of youths stoned police forces that had been deployed in front of the embassy building.

    General News

    [07] Wife of abducted shipowner offers to take his place

    Katerina Panagopoulou, wife of abducted shipowner Periklis Panagopoulos, said in an interview with the NET television channel on Friday night that she is prepared to take his place and appealed to his abductors to let him go.

    She added that the abductors have not communicated with her over the last two days and said "I am making a dramatic appeal to them to communicate with me."

    Speaking to private television channels as well, she again offered to take her husband's place in the hands of his abductors.

    [08] Noted songwriter, performer Danai Stratigopoulou dies

    Danai Stratigopoulou, a singer, musician, prolific songwriter as well as a onetime folklore professor of Greek at Santiago University in Chile, died on Sunday at the age of 96.

    Stratigopoulou, who was born in Athens in 1913 and raised in France, was also a noted translator, namely, of Greek demotic songs into Spanish and poems by Pablo Nerouda into Greek.

    Stratigopoulou will be buried at the First Athens Cemetery at noon on Wednesday.

    [09] Port authorities intercept Italy-bound migrants in 3 incidents

    A total of 38 illegal immigrants or undocumented foreigners, mostly Third World nationals, were intercepted by authorities in their bid to clandestinely board Italy-bound ferry boats in three separate instances at two western ports over the weekend.

    A total of 18 undocumented foreign nationals were detected on Saturday at the port of Patras in a specially modified crypt inside a truck trailer headed for Italy. The vehicle's driver, co-driver and another man were arrested on migrant-smuggling charges.

    Another 14 illegals were arrested at the same port on Saturday after being detected in an unaccompanied trailer.

    Finally, six foreign nationals without travel documents were prevented from boarding an Italy-bound ferry boat at the extreme northwest port of Igoumenitsa on Saturday evening

    [10] Petrol station employee shot dead in Thessaloniki

    Two occupants of a car shot and killed a 50-year-old petrol station employee as he was filling their vehicle up with fuel in the region of Stavroupoli, in the northern city of Thessaloniki, at 4 in the morning on Saturday. According to police, the employee was shot in the back, that meant that he was probably trying to run away to avoid being robbed.


    [11] Top teams post wins

    Olympiakos Piraeus retained its lead in the Greek Super League after beating Panseraikos Serres 1-0 away over the weekend. Panathinaikos Athens thrashed Aris Thessaloniki 4-0 at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Sunday and remained in second place, while AEK Athens clinched a 1-0 away win over Iraklis Thessaloniki on Saturday and kept up it chase of the top positions.

    In other action:

    Asteras Tripolis-Thrasyvoulos Athens 3-0

    Levadiakos Livadia-Ergotelis Crete 4-0

    OFI Crete-Panionios Athens 2-0

    Xanthi-Larissa 1-1

    PAOK Thessaloniki-Panthrakikos Komotini 2-0

    Standings after 18 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiakos 45 points

    2. Panathinaikos 36

    3. PAOK 36

    4. AEK 31

    5. Larissa 26

    6. Panionios 25

    7. Aris 24

    8. Xanthi 23

    9. Panthrakikos 22

    10. Iraklis 22

    11. Levadiakos 22

    12. Ergotelis 20

    13. Asteras 17

    14. OFI 14

    15. Thrasyvoulos 12

    16. Panseraikos 11

    Weather Forecast

    [12] Cloudy on Monday

    Cloudy weather and westerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -1C and 17C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with westerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 7C to 16C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 3C to 14C.

    [13] The Sunday editions of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    The economy, a couple of references to the Gaza crisis along the weekend "staple" of opinion poll results -- with accompanying long or short analyses by the papers that publish them -- again dominated the front-page headlines of Athens' Sunday editions.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "What type of university asylum do we want? A free exchange of ideas or firebombs?"

    APOGEVMATINI: "All school textbooks changing: Plan by pedagogical institute".

    AVGHI: "Crucial moment for economy".

    AVRIANI: "Swiss prosecutors point to former PASOK minister (as involved in the Siemens kickback affair)."

    CHORA: "Illegal buildings: 262 areas to be included in town planning zones".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Bush league: After he bloodied the entire planet he's now leaving the White House for his ranch".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Eight in 10 supporters of ruling ND party and main opposition PASOK say yes to another term by President Karolos Papoulias".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Economic heart attack. Athens without a remedy to coming recession in Europe".

    EPOCHI: "Bombs will not be victorious in Gaza".

    ETHNOS: "Opinion poll: Gap clips hopes by ruling ND for rebound. PASOK ahead by 4.6 percent".

    KATHIMERINI: "PASOK and Karamanlis ahead in opinion polls. Government majority (after next elections) problematic".

    LOGOS: "They're readying the ballot boxes (on the one hand) but officially denying the prospect".

    NIKI: "Bleak news from Brussels about Greek economy".

    PARON: "He's (PM) betting the pot on Euro-elections. Karamanlis determined to politicise elections in order to stop slippage (in support)".

    PROTO THEMA: "They're giving weapons to 50,000 private security guards without training and a monitoring regime."

    REAL NEWS: "We're (taxpayers) paying for a chef for (new Education Minister) Aris Spiliotopoulos!"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Government reinforcing plutocracy by using economic crisis as a pretence".

    VIMA: "Government analysing opinion poll results. (PM Costas) Karamanlis' decision pending".

    VRADYNI: "State coffers opening for citizens. National pension for all Greeks".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [14] Palestinian, youth groups protest outside Israeli embassy


    A number of organizations and associations, including the Union of Palestinians in Cyprus and youth organizations, staged a protest on Saturday outside the Israeli embassy to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza.

    The organizations issued a joint declaration by which they condemned the Israeli attacks against Gaza Strip and called for the termination of the blockage against the Palestinians of Gaza.

    They also called on the Cypriot government to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel as long as "Israel's policy to exterminate Palestinians continues".

    The demonstrators gathered at Eleftheria square in Nicosia and marched towards the Israeli embassy where they shouted slogans against Israel and in favour of Palestine and Gaza and burnt Israeli flags. They also threw shoes at the embassy.

    A strong police force prevented protestors from approaching the building of the embassy.

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