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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-10-26

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

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

Monday, 26 October 2009 Issue No: 3332

CONTENTS

  • [01] President arrives in Thessaloniki for triple anniversary
  • [02] Candidates for ND leadership on campaign trail
  • [03] Polls on ND leadership race
  • [04] First appeals related to Oct. 4 election results filed
  • [05] Tsipras addresses SYN Central Political Committee meeting
  • [06] Tsipras address concludes Synaspismos con'f
  • [07] Vouyias meets with Thessaloniki police representatives
  • [08] Flooding in Pieria, Imathia, destroys crops, infrastructures
  • [09] Man missing in flooding in Pieria
  • [10] Sailboat overturns, one dead
  • [11] Annual Chestnut Party begins in Kavala
  • [12] Drug arrest
  • [13] Greek Superleague Results
  • [14] Results of Greek Superleague play
  • [15] Rain, storms
  • [16] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] President arrives in Thessaloniki for triple anniversary

    "Patriotism has substance and a genuine content when it expresses selfless, active love for the country," President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said on Sunday, upon his arrival in Thessaloniki to attend events marking the annual "triple anniversary" in the city: the Oct. 28 "Ochi Day" commemorating Greece's entry into WWII as well as Monday's 97th anniversary of the city's liberation from Ottoman rule in tandem with feast day of the city's patron saint, Aghios Demetrius.

    Papoulias, who was greeted at the city's Macedonia Airport by Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and other officials, stressed that "proof of love for our homeland, in other words patriotism, is protection of the natural wealth. We inherited a magnificent land, with unique beauty, and we are handing it over to the next generation with fewer forest, fewer waters, with a worse climate".

    "Proof of love for our homeland is the contribution, by all those who have the ability, to the effort for social cohesion, which is put at risk when unemployment is galloping, when exclusion intensifies," the president further said.

    Papoulias noted that the triple celebration provides the opportunity "to remember the national anniversaries and have thoughts that help us give meaning to the collective ideals, principles and values."

    The October 28 "Ochi Day" national holiday, commemorating the anniversary of Greece's refusal to bow to fascist Italian demands and thus enter the Second World War on the side of the Allies, is celebrated throughout the country with students' parades and church services.

    The main events and traditional military parade take place in Thessaloniki, which also celebrates the Oct. 26 anniversary of its liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912, the same day as the feast day of its patron saint.

    [02] Candidates for ND leadership on campaign trail

    The campaigns of the four candidates for the leadership of main opposition New Democracy (ND) were in full swing over the weekend.

    Former health minister and ND deputy Dimitris Avramopoulos addressed a campaign rally in Sparta on Saturday afternoon. Former culture minister, MP Antonis Samaras, was in Tripolis on Saturday. Former foreign minister, MP Dora Bakoyannis, addressed a campaign gathering in Thessaloniki on Sunday, after which she was due to meet with local officials and producer classes in Kilkis. Finally, Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis sent a letter setting out his positions to ND congress organising committee chairman Dimitris Sioufas.

    Meanwhile, it was announced that the ND central committee will convene on Saturday, Oct. 31, to finalise its recommendation to the party's extraordinary congress on Nov. 7 for the amendment of the party's charter's regarding the provisions for election of the party president.

    Addressing a gathering in Thessaloniki, Bakoyannis pledged that she will do everything to ensure the party's unity and unanimity.

    "No one is redundant, especially today," Bakoyannis said, and sharply criticised all those who were presently attacking outgoing leader and former prime minister Costas Karamanlis: "It is unethical, 15 days after the general elections, to hit out at the party leader whom, until yesterday, you were cheering."

    Bakoyannis said bold changes in faces, positions and ideas are necessary, and proposed seven changes to the party's Charter, including a four-year term for the party leader, a proportional electoral system for internal elections ensuring the representation of all the tendencies, primary elections for the candidate MPs and local government representatives, the establishment of internal referendums, restructuring of the ND bodies and election of the Central Committee members from a single list of candidates, the establishment of an Ethics Council, and the auditing and release of ND's revenues and expenses, source of wealth statements and changes in the cadres' assets by an independent auditing firm and uploading on the party website.

    In his letter to the organising committee chairman, Psomiadis said everyone who wished to vote for the new party leader should be allowed to do so up until the day of and throughout the duration of the voting.

    He also called for a guarantee of overseas members' participation in the congress, and that they be allowed to vote in their place of residence.

    Samaras, speaking in Tripolis on Saturday, said his intention is to unite the party so that a "strong bridge" may be created with society, "a contact that has been torpedoed lately by the bad, melancholy electoral result".

    He further said that a "healthy incentive" must be given "to take the party into our hands and place it on an orbit of authority", adding that "we must speak with our displeased voters who didn't vote for us in the last elections".

    Samaras also said it was necessary to proceed with an ideological reformulation of the party's positions.

    Avramopoulos, addressing a gathering in Sparta, stressed that "ND lost the elections, PASOK did not win them".

    He said it was necessary to discuss in-depth the reasons for ND's defeat, in order to regain its contact with society and chiefly the young people.

    [03] Polls on ND leadership race

    Three opinion polls were released over the weekend on the leadership race for the main opposition New Democracy party (ND).

    Former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis had a small lead over former culture minister Antonis Samaras in the race for the helm, according to the results of an Alco opinion poll appearing in a weekly financial newspaper.

    Specifically, Bakoyannis was preferred by 35.8 percent of respondents, followed by Samaras with 34.0 percent, former health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos with 16.8 percent, and Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis with 9.8 percent.

    Of the respondents who stated they were ND voters, Bakoyannis was preferred by 35.7 percent, Samaras by 27.2 percent, Avramopoulos by 17.1 percent, and Psomiadis by 8.9 percent.

    The poll was conducted by telephone between Oct. 20 to 22 on a nationwide sampling of 1,922 respondents.

    In a second poll, conducted by Public Issue and appearing in the Sunday edition of "Kathimerini", Bakoyannis was preferred as the "most suitable successor" of Costas Karamanlis by 34 percent of respondents, followed by Samaras with 16 percent, Avramopoulos with 12 percent and Psomiadis with 6 percent, while 15 percent of the respondents considered that Karamanlis himself should be re-elected to the ND helm.

    In a third poll conducted by the firm Marc, appearing in the Sunday edition of "Ethnos" newspaper, Bakoyannis was preferred by 33.5 percent of respondents, Samaras by 30.1 percent, Avramopoulos by 17.3 percent, and Psomiadis by 10.4 percent.

    [04] First appeals related to Oct. 4 election results filed

    The first appeals related to Oct. 4 general elections were filed Sunday at the electoral court by New Democracy candidate in Argolida prefecture Dimitris Kranias, who challenged the election of the top vote-getter on ND's list from the same party in the prefecture, namely, Yannis Adrianos.

    Kranias claims Adrianos should be disqualified because he held a state position (head of former premier Costas Karamanlis' press office) from March 4 until Sept. 10, in contrivance of Article 56 of the Constitution.

    Meanwhile, three Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) candidates, Dimitris Aidinis (first Thessaloniki constituency), Constantinos Skandalakis (State Deputies list) and Manoussos Doukakis (first Athens constituency), filed appeals demanding additional votes be counted in several election precincts in favour of LA.OS.

    [05] Tsipras addresses SYN Central Political Committee meeting

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance leader Alexis Tsipras stressed that the goal was that SYRIZA play a leading role in the social struggles and the upcoming political shifts, addressing a meeting of the Central Political Committee of his Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party, which heads the SYRIZA alliance.

    Tsipras, who also heads the SYRIZA parliamentary group, said that only a few days since main opposition party and former government New Democracy's (ND) "spectacular collapse", the new PASOK government has given the first indications of its policy line.

    "It is a fact that a large section of the citizens, having reached the end of their tether with the preceding government, are willing to give the new government a grace period," Tsipras said, but warned that "they are not disposed, however, to seeing the same show twice".

    Tsipras criticised the new government on its proposals on the STAGE work experience programs, adding that it gave more the impression that it wanted to resolve the issue for fiscal reasons, in order cut state expenditure, rather than to solve a social problem. He also charged that the PASOK government hoped to transfer "this sui generis state of labor hostagery" to the private sector.

    The SYN leader stressed that no job without social security and with remuneration below the minimum wage set out by law should be accepted either in the public or the public sector.

    Second, he continued, ASEP (public sector hiring examinations board) examinations must be immediately called to fill the thousands of vacant organic positions in the sectors of health, education, social welfare, environmental protection and civil protection.

    Third, he added, the state must retroactively pay the social security pension contributions for all the people who had been employed under the STAGE (EU subsidised work experience acquisition) programs, while the STAGE employees should also be given additional grade points on their ASEP exams in accordance with the duration of their employment under the program.

    Meanwhile, it was decided during that meeting that SYN will launch an in-depth discussion with all the components of the SYRIZA parliamentary alliance to clarify the alliance's operation at political and organisational level.

    [06] Tsipras address concludes Synaspismos con'f

    Synaspismos party leader Alexis Tsipras, who also heads the SYRIZA parliamentary grouping, on Sunday expressed his view that the government is before an impasse, one created "because it does not have a specific target in economic policy."

    Tsipras spoke during the final day of a two-day conference of Synaspismos' central political committee, convened to focus on its opposition policy and preparations ahead of the leftist parliamentary grouping's congress in November.

    Tsipras referred to the STAGE programmes and what he termed as the "millions of young employees that are working, especially in the private sector, under precarious conditions and in a state of part time or undocumented jobs..."

    "This is the major issue we must face," he said, adding that the STAGE programmes are a part of the whole system of medieval-like employment, "of insecure and poorly paying jobs."

    [07] Vouyias meets with Thessaloniki police representatives

    Deputy minister for Citizens' Protection Spyros Vouyias met on Saturday with the presidium of the Union of Police Employees of Thessaloniki Prefecture.

    Discussions focused on the problems faced by the Thessaloniki law enforcement services, such as staff shortage, insufficient training and shortages in material infrastructure.

    Vouyias said that he will be at the side of the Security Corps in their difficult task, and will back the police in every way possible so that the citizens may feel safe.

    General News

    [08] Flooding in Pieria, Imathia, destroys crops, infrastructures

    Heavy rainfall fell throughout most of Greece over the weekend, while a sudden rainstorm caused flooding in the prefectures of Pieria and Imathia on Saturday night.

    Ten people were trapped in their cars, which were swept away by torrents on the roads, and required the assistance of the Brigade to remove them by boat.

    Tens of homes and shops were flooded in the two prefectures, while severe damage was caused to infrastructures, crops, storage facilities, sheep pens and irrigation works.

    Despite heavy flooding in the town of Dion, the nearby archaeological site has not suffered damage and is in operation, according to Pieria prefect George Papastergiou.

    The prefect said the rainfall and weather conditions in the region were "unprecedented", and has petitioned that the municipalities of Dion, Eastern Olympos, Litochoro, Petra and Elafina by designated as "flood-stricken" areas.

    [09] Man missing in flooding in Pieria

    Heavy rainfall fell throughout most of Greece over the weekend, while a sudden rainstorm caused flooding in the prefectures of Pieria and Imathia on Saturday night, and a man has been reported as missing.

    A massive search and rescue operation has been mounted for a 46-year-old man and father of three children, from Vrontou village in Pieria, who has been missing since noon Saturday, while his jeep was found on Sunday on the Aeson River bed near Nea Effesos, Pieria.

    Ten people were trapped in their cars, which were swept away by torrents on the roads, and required the assistance of the Brigade to remove them by boat.

    Tens of homes and shops were flooded in the two prefectures, while severe damage was caused to infrastructures, crops, storage facilities, sheep pens and irrigation works.

    Despite heavy flooding in the town of Dion, the nearby archaeological site has not suffered damage and is in operation, according to Pieria prefect George Papastergiou.

    The prefect said the rainfall and weather conditions in the region were "unprecedented", and has petitioned that the municipalities of Dion, Eastern Olympos, Litochoro, Petra and Elafina by designated as "flood-stricken" areas.

    [10] Sailboat overturns, one dead

    A 41-year-old man drowned on Sunday in a sea region off the village of Lechonia, east of the central port city of Volos, when a sudden squall overturned the sailboat with the victim aboard.

    Another man on the sailboat, which was participating in a yacht race, also fell overboard but managed to swim to the coast.

    [11] Annual Chestnut Party begins in Kavala

    The chestnut season is celebrated every October in many regions across Greece with special events organized to promote the chestnut's nutritional value.

    In antiquity, the chestnut tree was regarded in Greece as the tree of Zeus. Mount Olympus, home of the gods of the ancient Greeks, was said to have had an abundance of chestnut trees producing this sweet, edible nut.

    Once peeled of their hard, dark brown outer shells and bitter inner skin, chestnuts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, roasted, boiled, mashed, preserved and candied. A special type of coffee with calming effects is produced from dried chestnuts, while the chestnut tree leaves are used for their therapeutic properties in lung diseases and rheumatism.

    An annual "Chestnut Party" will take place during the weekend at Paleochori in Kavala Prefecture, northeastern Greece. According to organizers, over 5,000 people attend the event each year and consume roughly 5 tons of chestnuts and 1,000 kilos of wine.

    Similar celebrations are also held in Damaskinia in the prefecture of Kozani, Agiasos on the island of Lesvos, Karitsa in the prefecture of Larissa and in Arna in the prefecture of Laconia.

    The sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, was introduced into Europe from Sardis in Asia Minor; the fruit was then called the 'Sardian Nut'. It has been a staple food in Southern Europe, Turkey and southwestern and eastern Asia for millennia, largely replacing cereals where these would not grow well, if at all, in mountainous Mediterranean areas

    Alexander the Great and the Romans planted Chestnut trees across Europe while on their various campaigns. The Greek army is said to have survived their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. thanks to their stores of chestnuts. Ancient Greeks like the physician, pharmacologist and botanist Dioscorides and Romans such as Galen, the prominent physician and philosopher of Greek origin, wrote of chestnuts to comment on their medicinal properties. To the early Christians chestnuts symbolized chastity. Until the introduction of the potato, whole forest-dwelling communities which had scarce access to wheat flour relied on chestnuts as their main source of carbohydrates. In some parts of Italy a cake made of chestnuts is used as a substitute for potatoes.

    [12] Drug arrest

    A woman was arrested at Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos Airport on Saturday as she attempted to smuggle four kilos of cocaine, in liquid form, into the country.

    The liquid cocaine was contained in six decorative glass balls found in the luggage of the woman, who arrived in Athens from Buenos Aires via Frankfurt.

    Soccer

    [13] Greek Superleague Results

    ‘he leaders' board remained unchanged over the weekend as both Olympiakos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens posted victories, albeit difficult ones, with the former scoring a go-ahead goal in injury time against a tough Ergotelis Crete team at home on Saturday.

    [14] Results of Greek Superleague play

    Asteras Tripolis - Atromitos Peristeri 1-2

    Panionios Athens - PAS Yiannina 3-1

    Levadiakos - Iraklis Thessaloniki 1-0

    Panthrakikos Komotini - Larissa 1-3

    Aris Thessaloniki - AEK Athens 1-1

    PAO Athens - PAOK Thessaloniki 2-1

    Xanthi - Kavala 2-1

    The standings after eight weeks of play

    Olympiakos 22

    Panathinaikos 22

    Aris 13

    Ergotelis 12

    PAOK 12

    Asteras Tripoli 11

    Kavala 11

    Panionios 11

    AEK 11

    Xanthi 10

    Larissa 9

    PAS Yiannina 9

    Atromitos 8

    Iraklis 7

    Levadiakos 7

    Panthrakikos 1

    Weather Monday

    [15] Rain, storms

    Heavy rainfall accompanied by northeasterly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity between 5 to 6 on the Beaufort scale. Showers in the north with temperatures ranging from 10C to 25C; stormy on the rest of the mainland and islands, 14C-24C. Rain in Athens, 16C-22C; same for Thessaloniki, 15C-20C.

    [16] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and the government's planned measures in the face of the global crisis and the fiscal deficit were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Forum of agents in Athens on terrorism, on Monday and Tuesday, hosted by the "Center for Security Studies".

    APOGEVMATINI: "STAGE abolition: Aeolus' windbags have opened up - The 40,000 youths which it is sending into unemployment a 'bomb' in the government's hands".

    AVGHI: "We are paying the effects of decades of faulty handling of the economy".

    AVRIANI: "Who set up the mutiny in PASOK's National Council (on the election of the party secretary) and why".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Cutbacks in the public sector - Salary costs under the microscope - Extraordinary remuneration, overtime and many contract positions being re-examined".

    ETHNOS: "Dark codes under the microscope of the finance minister - Drastic cuts aimed at conserving 4 billion euros by 2010".

    KATHIMERINI: "Landing into reality - The government in the face of the dramatic fiscal situation of open problems".

    LOGOS: "The government's task and the first party mutiny just 20 days after the general elections".

    NIKI: "In the 'straits' for six months - George's (prime minister Papandreou) plan to avert the European Commission's 'vise'."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "United people's counter-attack against the new attack by the plutocracy - The PASOK government's first steps follow ND's footsteps".

    TO VIMA: "Trichet's (European Central Bank president) accusations - The government at a crossroads - What the bankers in Frankfurt discussed behind closed doors".

    VRADYNI: "Taxes: The entire new framework - What is changing for salary and pension earners".

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


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