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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-13

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

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

Monday, 13 September 2010 Issue No: 3591

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek PM calls for collective efforts to change the country
  • [02] PM denies plans for new austerity measures
  • [03] Messages to Turkey, Albania from Papandreou
  • [04] Parties strongly criticise PM
  • [05] PM affirms support at inauguration of 75th TIF
  • [06] Minor incidents outside TIF venue
  • [07] PM Papandreou arrives in Oslo
  • [08] FM at informal ministerial meeting in Brussels
  • [09] ND leader attacks government in 'Typos' interview
  • [10] Memorandum will not dominate local elections, opinion poll shows
  • [11] FinMin at UHCC General Assembly: Contract sought with banks to increase credit extension
  • [12] ND criticises government
  • [13] Truckers' strike on Monday
  • [14] New Pella Archaeological Museum inaugurated
  • [15] Schools opening on Monday
  • [16] A. Labed wins best actress award in Venice Film Festival
  • [17] Woman washed away by river found dead
  • [18] Super League results
  • [19] The Sunday editions of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [20] President: Turkey not ready for a solution in Cyprus
  • [21] FM: Turkey has done nothing towards fulfilling its obligations Politics

  • [01] Greek PM calls for collective efforts to change the country

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday sent a message of collective effort, collective responsibility and decision for reforming the country. In the traditional prime minister's speech to the country's producer groups, from the podium of the Thessaloniki International Fair, Papandreou said: "The battle we are waging is for the survival of Greece".

    "This not a battle that the prime minister or his government will win or lose. This battle we will either we all win it together or we will all sink together," the Greek Premier stressed, while he sent a message of optimism saying: "Together we will make it! Together we will reform Greece. This is not a party challenge. It is a patriotic one".

    Referring on the 11-month governance by PASOK, Papandreou said the government has averted the bankruptcy of the country. "We have made a really big effort. We gave a hard, daily, merciless struggle to save our country from what everyone though to be a fact a few months ago. The bankruptcy of Greece. The issue was not if, but when. Instead, with the struggle by all Greeks, with hard effort and sacrifices, we managed to avert what everyone inside and outside the country thought was inevitable".

    Papandreou said that positive comments made abroad for the country, for its will to change, belong to all the Greek people, "the only one deserving these praise, because everything we have accomplished over the last few months, we have accomplished together".

    "Greece is all of us," Papandreou said, adding that after saving the country from bankruptcy he believed we can also reform the country. He underlined that the Greek people not only have the right, but also has every reason, to hope. "We are here for all those wishing to change the country. Who want to live better, with opportunities and possibilities. I fully believe in the power we have".

    Papandreou said a 110-billion-euro loan agreement reached with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund was an unprecedented agreement, a move showing confidence in the ability of the country to restore its public finances and restructuring the economy.

    The Prime Minister said he was giving a battle from the European Union to the United Nations, from China to the US, from the Arab world to our neighborhood in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, without considering any political cost. "I do this because I believe in this place, I get angry when an injustice is done, I am anxious to take advantage of its huge human resources, the young and capable people, I hurt when I see the weak suffer".

    Papandreou presented his vision for economic growth and noted: "Our vision for growth is very closely linked with three basic principles:

    a) rule of law and strengthening democracy b) a social state guaranteeing equal rights for all and not privileges for the most powerful c) investing in the human to proceed to the green development of creation, cultivation and innovation

    "To us, sustainable growth means investing in the human potential, conquering knowledge, absorbing technology, investing in our products, in knowledge, history, know-how, aesthetics and quality. We can and, yes, it is underway! The people around us on a daily basis are the sound proof of this. They are making the revolution of the self-evident."

    Papandreou stressed that the big challenge for the government was to free all creative forces in the country, creating a Greece where innovation, science and entrepreneurship flourish because of the country's excellent human resources. Creating a Greece that is flourishing by investing in nature and in its history.

    "Greece is not a poor country," Papandreou said, adding that Greece was a country with many comparative advantages. ęBut what is keeping us pinned down? A deep, old, outdated view of our capabilities and our relations summarized into one phrase: 'It can't be done'. We built a world of bureaucracy and lust for power. A world of corruption, of small and big privileges and interests for anyone who could take advantage of other people. We managed to drown the hopes and dreams of a whole generation. And now we see our youth leaving to foreign countries again. Leaving in bitterness. Something we have not seen since the 1960s. That's why we began a battle side-by-side with the Greek people, against established rationales and sick mentalities."

    The Greek Premier gave an answer to all those saying that the government will not make it and stressed: "A few months ago, many people said we will not make it. With the passing of the days, however, with our work and the efforts of all the Greeks, we proved them wrong. No one believed that Greece - the Greeks -- could put their budget in order and cut their deficits. Here we are, in the first eight months of 2010, our budget deficit is shrinking at an unprecedented rate. Our fiscal deficit is 7.0 billion euros less than last year. ‘he deficit will be cut by as much as 12 billion euros by the end of the year. A 40 pct decline. Public spending is down 50%. Every day we build the prospect. Within months we have begun and completed major structural reforms, we have built the foundations to get out of the misery the soonest possible."

    He added:

    "-We created an independent statistical authority to stop this game with the Greek statistics.

    -We radically changed our tax system.

    -We introduced a new transparent fiscal framework, enhancing the inspection and participation of parliament.

    -We changed the country's administrative map with the "Kallikratis" plan.

    -We legislated the biggest reform of the pension system ever, to guarantee its viability and pensions for all people and in the future.

    -We managed to reverse a negative climate. The voices saying that Greece will make it, are multiplying.

    -Confidence and credibility are returning. National Bank of Greece announced a huge share capital increase plan, while foreign investors are returning to Greek bonds."

    Papandreou also referred to the next steps to be made by the government. By the end of the year, the government must deregulate the road cargo transport sector, open up all other so-called closed-shop professions, implementing a restructuring plan for Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) and the restructuring of all loss-making public sector enterprises. Also, restructuring the tax mechanism to combat tax evasion and to offer better services to citizens, introducing a new framework for a speedier implementation of justice, a new development law, promoting privatizations where necessary and a better management of the state's real estate property, promoting a plan for restructuring the country's banking system. Also, completing the creation of a Single Payment Authority in the public sector, a new framework for state hospital supplies, introducing a 24-hour hospital service, operating a general commerce register, simplifying procedures for new company set ups and promoting a new plan to promote research and innovation.

    Commenting on the big changes promoted by the government, Papandreou said:

    "Our first big change and message - with a huge impact on growth - is: we are changing the state.

    Our second big change/message is protecting the vulnerable population groups (protecting employment, supporting unemployed people and small- and medium-sized enterprises, equal employment rights for women, drafting a social rights charter, introducing a social card for citizens to replace the existing identification card issued by police authorities, offering special support to low-income pensioners), a third change is opening the road to new investments, drastically cutting corporate taxes, supporting healthy business activity, setting up an investment council by bringing together international and domestic experts, a fourth is putting an end to tax evasion and corruption (corruption totals 8.0% of the country's Gross Domestic Product or 20 billion euros annually according to estimates), a fifth change is green development, and a sixth change/message to the society is proceeding with a revolution in the education system."

    Papandreou said the country was making a fresh start. "We will win this battle together. All together. Turning the established view of 'It can't be done' into 'Yes, it can be done'.".

    "Fully confident in our power and abilities of being capable of doing everything. That we can make our country into all that it is capable of being. We owe it to ourselves and to our children," the premier concluded.

    [02] PM denies plans for new austerity measures

    There will be no new austerity measures as long as Greece was "doing well" with regard to the targets of the memorandum for the European financial support package, Prime Minister George Papandreou assured reporters during a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Sunday.

    "We either change Greece or condemn it," he repeated in statements to reporters, while stressing the need to stop constant speculation in the media about probable additional measures and thus generating fear and panic.

    The process foreseen by the memorandum comes to an end in 2013 and the sooner the changes were made, the sooner Greece would be free of the restrictions of the Memorandum and possibly even before 2013, he said at another point.

    The prime minister stressed that his government had successfully changed the country's course and averted a disaster during its 11 months in power, saying that Greece had been saved from defaulting on its debts. At the same time, he stressed that the alert was not yet over.

    Noting that there were still problems with the size of state revenues, Papandreou claimed that these were not insuperable and that the government was still on track to meet its target of reducing the deficit by 40 percent by the end of the year.

    The prime minister denied reports that the shortfall in revenue was around 3.5 billion euros, saying that the actual figure was closer to 1.5 billion euros.

    On the reaction of international markets, where spreads for Greek bonds were still steadily increasing, he appeared confident that the measures taken by the government would soon result in a positive response and that spreads will fall since Greece had shown itself "capable of tackling problems" and "generated confidence, that is rising".

    He also underlined, once again, that there was no question of Greece defaulting on its debts, stressing that such a course of action would be disastrous for the economy and the country's future. Avoiding this outcome was the reason for everything the government had done over the past 11 months, he added.

    Another point emphasised by the prime minister was the need for all Greeks to pay their taxes and contributions in order for the country to thrive. He noted that the government was doing its utmost to expand the tax base and ensure that those who should pay actually did so, pointing out that if people had been honest about paying their taxes, the austerity measures would not have been necessary.

    Papandreou described tax evasion as a "chronic illness faced by the state" that had to finally be tackled through major changes.

    "It is important to change the taxation mechanism and this is one of our priorities," he said, stressing that it was time for the rich to start paying. He said the government had launched a "relentless hunt" of major tax evaders that had taken refuge in tax havens abroad, initiating proceedings to obtain information from foreign banks as well.

    Concerning the tax breaks for businesses announced by the government, with a reduction of their tax from 24 percent to 20 percent, he was careful to clarify that the reductions were for funds that were re-invested and used to create new jobs rather than those that "went into company owners' pockets".

    "The money is there, the question is where it goes," Papandreou said, echoing his much-criticised statements in the run-up to the 2009 general elections that "there is money". Pointing out that more than one million Greeks currently had tax issues that were still open, he said the government would ensure that all the cases were "closed cleanly and fairly" with the aim of expanding the tax base and ensuring that everyone paid their dues.

    In another appeal to the media, he asked that journalists be careful not to present proposals or ideas under discussion as impending decisions and in this way "demonising" ideas and the exchange of opinions.

    With a call for "collective effort and responsibility," Papandreou underlined that the work of reforming the country had begun and stressed that the challenge before Greece was "patriotic and not party politics".

    "We either win together or we sink," he emphasised, adding that if all Greeks worked together the country would prevail.

    On fuel taxes, new cabinet

    Answering questions on more specific topics, Papandreou said that a system for equating taxes for heating oil and diesel used by vehicles would not go into effect until a redistribution mechanism was ready.

    Concerning the much larger cabinet created under the new reshuffle - in contrast to the much "leaner" cabinet appointed when PASOK was first elected to power - Papandreou said that the previous government had done well but that there was still room for improvement. He said the extra ministers were necessary in order to speed up control and supervision of the government's priorities.

    The prime minister denied any plans to "relocate" to some official position in the European Union or United Nations, stressing that he did not intend to "stand down".

    "I have taken charge in tough times and I will not shy away. This is where I have promised to be and this is where I will stay," he stressed.

    [03] Messages to Turkey, Albania from Papandreou

    Messages to Turkey to help in the progress of talks on the Cyprus issue but also to neighbouring Albania to protect the rights of its Greek minority were sent by Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday in his replies to questions during a press conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    "The Cyprus issue is, I repeat, an issue of occupation. Invasion and occupation. And this is the basic issue that must be resolved," Papandreou stressed.

    He called on Turkey to contribute to a constructive dialogue and negotiations process that would lead to a successful result "within the known parameters, which are the decisions of the United Nations and, of course, European rules".

    Referring to the initiatives taken by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, Papandreou noted that he had supported these in order to break through the deadlock and boost mobility around the Cyprus issue. He stressed that these initiatives were important and that they "could be supported by Europe and the international community in order that we might have clear progress on the Cyprus issue."

    Concerning the recent murder of a member of the Greek minority in Himare, southern Albania, Papandreou said that the incident was not "merely coincidence".

    "Unfortunately, we are seeing similar phenomena of a rise in nationalism by extremist groups that, sadly, seem to have political ramifications. These have targeted the Greek minority in Albania with, of course, the tragic incident of the murder of Aristotelis Goumas and other actions that show a hostile stance," he said.

    Papandreou stressed that Greece was treating this as a very serious issue that also affected bilateral relations, which Athens wanted to support positively, and one that would have an impact on Albania's European course.

    "Nationalism does not help the Balkans, it does not help neighbouring countries. And I would like to send a message to the Albanian side that nationalisms have always created huge problems, not just between countries but also between citizens," he added.

    Noting that the Greek government had made serious efforts to integrate many Albanians in Greek society, Papandreou underlined that the rights of the Greek minority in Albania had to be protected by the Albanian government.

    Concerning Greece's stance on Kosovo following the latest UN resolution on the issue, Papandreou said that Athens' position remained unchanged for the time being but noted that "our effort is to promote a solution in our region that will create a framework of calm, stability and the avoidance of conflicts and nationalism. Consequently, to ensure a European course."

    [04] Parties strongly criticise PM

    The prime minister's appearances at Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) had only served to increase concern and confusion about the fate of Greece, main opposition New Democracy spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said on Sunday in comments on the prime minister's speech and press conference.

    "One year after his false claims that 'the money is there', the prime minister has succeeded, in spite of his attempts to reassure us, to make us even more worried through the confusion, contradictions, inaccuracies and gaps in his statements," the spokesman said.

    According to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the prime minister's claims concerning "necessary" and "patriotic" changes were lies since the same barbaric measures were being imposed on peoples throughout the EU, with the same tragic results for people and "no cure for over-aged capitalism".

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) spokesman Kostis Aivaliotis was stinging in his criticism, saying the prime minister's press conference was "without substance, verve or result" and that it made "obvious the prime minister's inability to answer the questions that concern the country".

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and ecology party (SYN) said:

    "The only thing certain from the prime minister's presence at the TIF is the continuation of the failed and deeply antisocial and class policy of the memorandum. The reversal of this policy is a condition for the survival of society and of the country."

    [05] PM affirms support at inauguration of 75th TIF

    Prime minister George Papandreou affirmed his government's determination to support the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) and fair organisers HELEXPO, and by extension Thessaloniki and the Greek economy, during a meeting with the administrations of the two institutions immediately after the inauguration of the 75th Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday.

    Papandreou toured the fair grounds and pavilions, including the Fire Department pavilion and those of the Development and Environment ministries, which are projecting new forms of energy production through the use of photovoltaic technology and other innovative initiatives.

    The 75th TIF is dedicated to innovation and green development.

    The premier displayed special interest in the achievements in the fields of innovation and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), which are being presented at the TIF, such as the state-of-the-art 'flexible photovoltaic' technology.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Papandreou said that opportunities in the field of green development had been wasted in the past, "but now we are taking firm steps and Greece can be proud, because it deserves much more".

    "Today we are taking firm, sure steps. We are laying the foundations of a new era, a new phase, which naturally emerges from a very difficult transition but which will enable us to enter a new economy of innovation, green development, social cohesion and justice, but also a competitive ecnomy, so that Greece can be proud, because it deserves much better," Papandreou said after touring the TIF grounds and pavilions.

    He said the fair highlights to significant and worthy human potential that Greece has. "We have young people with imagination, businessmen with innovations and a desire for development and extroversion, the immense prospects that the country has," Papandreou said.

    Unfortunately, he noted 'these abilities were wasted by the underdevelopment of our democratic institutions, lawlessness, waste of public monies, bad management...practices and perceptions that hurt us and harmed us".

    TIF chairman Yiannis Konstantinou and HELEXPO chairman Paris Mavridis also presented to the premier the Solar Tree that has been set up at the TIF venue.

    The Solar Tree, the only solar energy tree in the world, designed by Ross Lovegrove and Artemide, is powered by solar collectors and is comprised of "smart fruit" that 'collect' solar energy during the day through photovoltaic panels and light up at night powered by the collected solar energy. The tree has been designed to operate autonomously, as well as in conjunction with a city's power grid. The tree was initially set up in October 2007 outside the Museum of Modern and Applied Arts in Vienna as a proposal for a 'green' lighting fixture for public places, and has since traveled to Milan, Frankfurt, Paris and New York.

    A man was arrested for throwing a shoe and shouting insults at the premier as he was leaving the TIF inauguration. The shoe fell short of the prime minister.

    [06] Minor incidents outside TIF venue

    Tension and minor incidents took place outside the Vellidis conference center just before the commencement of prime minister George Papandreou's address to the 75th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    A group of anti-authoritarians attempted to break through a police guard, but were dispersed by MAT riot police.

    [07] PM Papandreou arrives in Oslo

    OSLO (ANA-MPA/G. Milionis)

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived here late on Sunday afternoon to participate on Monday in the 'Oslo Conference 2010', that is being jointly organised by the International Labour Organisation and the IMF and will focus on growth, employment and social cohesion.

    The Greek prime minister was due to attend a dinner on Sunday night hosted by his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg that was also to be attended by the IMF's head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, International Labour Orgabnisation President Juan Somavia and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

    [08] FM at informal ministerial meeting in Brussels

    Foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas represented Greece at a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on the development of EU relations with its strategic partners and the development of the enlargement process, which wound up on Saturday in Brussels.

    On EU-Turkish relations, Droutsas said that there is no room for interim relations our other schemes. Turkey's EU candidacy was a "real" and not "virtual" candidacy, with real rights but also real and substantive obligations to the EU and all the member countries, with a clear direction and full membership provided all the relevant conditions are fulfilled and that Turkey has changed.

    [09] ND leader attacks government in 'Typos' interview

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras launched tough criticism against the government and its economic policy during an interview appearing in the Sunday newspaper "Typos on Sunday".

    He stressed that government policy was guided exclusively by the Memorandum signed with the EU, European Central Bank and the IMF for the economic support package for Greece and that these policies were plunging Greece ever deeper into recession, business failure and despair.

    "We don't need to try in order to convince anyone that PASOK's policies lead nowhere, we all know this now. What we must now do is convince people that we have an alternative policy and convert rage into hope," ND's leader said.

    As main opposition, ND's job was to give a political release for this accumulated pressure and let people see that there was another way out, beyond the vicious circle created by the Memorandum, Samaras added.

    He said the party's goal during the local government elections on November 2 was for this "message of hope" to reach all Greek people and give the electorate an opportunity to react politically.

    "Unless there is a political reaction today, there is a risk that popular rage will erupt later," he warned, saying that ND's goal was to come to power and change Greece with the backing of the Greek people and not using the Memorandum as the "boogie man".

    "Big changes can never be imposed by force, they never happen in the face of the rage and despair of society. We are therefore building the great alliance that will change Greece. The local government elections are only a moment, only one step, in building this great force," he said.

    Concerning the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, Samaras noted that LAOS' leader George Karatzaferis had been a fanatical supporter of the Memorandum, had opposed ND on all fundamental issues and had not lost any opportunity to remind everyone of this.

    Samaras also repeated his opposition to a series of Parliamentary inquiries into various scandals on the grounds that "PASOK knows it will find nothing against ND because so far all evidence of scandal found concerns former PASOK officials" and that their only purpose "was to keep ND hostage".

    [10] Memorandum will not dominate local elections, opinion poll shows

    Public opinion does not want local government elections dominated by the issue of the memorandum signed with the EU, ECB and IMF, according to a nationwide opinion poll conducted by Kappa Research and published in the Sunday newspaper "To Vima".

    Despite opposition party campaigns criticising the policies of the memorandum, the poll shows that 50.9 percent disagree with the stance adopted by main opposition New Democracy on this issue, compared with 39.1 percent that agrees. The poll also reveals widespread pessimism about whether Greece will be able to avoid defaulting on its debts, with 46 percent believing that it can't and 43.2 percent believing it can.

    Ruling PASOK is shown to retain a lead of 7.8 points over New Democracy in voter preferences, with 29.1 percent backing PASOK against 21.3 percent backing ND. Next in line is the Communist Party of Greece with 7.7 percent, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 4.55 percent and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 2.6 percent.

    Fifty-three percent of those asked had doubts that the new cabinet resulting from a recent government reshuffle would tackle the crisis efficiently, with 51.3 percent agreeing that the prime minister had shown a tendency to compromise and 65.6 percent agreeing that his main guideline was to preserve internal balances within PASOK.

    On individual ministers, six out of 10 believed that Mihalis Chrysohoidis would be capable of boosting the country's growth as development minister and that Andreas Loverdos would be able to tackle the problems in the health sector as health minister.

    Asked how they will decide where to cast their vote during local government elections on November 2, 46.7 percent said that they would vote based on whether they agreed with the measures of the Kallikratis plan or not and only 25.5 percent said they would base their vote on whether they agreed with the memorandum or not. A further 13.3 percent said that their vote would be based on their position on both issues.

    Asked whether they will support a candidate based on their personal abilities or based on their stance toward the memorandum, 71.7 percent said they would vote based on a candidate's abilities.

    Financial News

    [11] FinMin at UHCC General Assembly: Contract sought with banks to increase credit extension

    The process of agreeing a 'contract' between the finance ministry and Greece's banks will begin in September, aimed at increasing credit extension by the banks chiefly to Greek businesses through a network of specific agreements per credit institution, finance minister George Papaconstantinou said in Thessaloniki on Saturday, addressing the opening session of the General Assembly of the Central Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce (UHCC).

    The 'contract' will be preceded by negotiations and talks with the banks individually and their umbrella Association of Banks of Greece, Papaconstantinou said, noting: "Without claiming that we will see a credit extension comparable to the total amount available (referring to the new package of guarantees to the banks), we will do everything we can".

    Papaconstantinou told the delegates at the UHCC General Assembly that 'you will see the Greek economy reaching and surpassing the growth rates of the past", adding that the government has started to gradually see a light at the end of the tunnel, albeit that this may have not yet been perceived by the businesses.

    "We, as a society, are standing...the climate is changing. Talk has begun of a Greek rebirth," the minister stressed.

    Papaconstantinou reminded delegates that Greece's deficit was reduced by 7 billion euros in the first eight months (Jan-Aug) of 2010, and expressed conviction that the target of a total reduction of 12 billion euros by the end of the year will be attained. He noted that the government had not been "off" in its forecasts for the economy for 2010, since a 4 percent recession had been predicted whereas recession stood at 3 percent in the first half of the year.

    The finance minister further defended the government's measures, stressing that the government was exercising the only economic policy appropriate at this time, without caring about the political cost. The truth that everyone needs to "look in the eye" is that "if we hadn't done these things...the country would have gone bankrupt".

    Replying to opposition criticism that the government had delayed in taking the necessary measures, Papaconstantinou noted that "no government, since the restoration of democracy, has undertaken so many initiatives in the space of 10 months".

    He noted that the text of the Memorandum Greece has signed with the European Commission (EC), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) 'troika' contains the obligation of the Greek government to pinpoint, in the next few months, the 30 biggest impediments to entrepreneurship and take initiatives to remove them.

    UHCC president George Kassimatis, in turn, said that businesses in Greece have been extremely hard it from the repercussions of the Memorandum, with an unprecedented decline in turnover that in some cases nears 50 percent, even in the discount sales period.

    The impression, he said, is that the fundamental text 'legitimising' every initiative is not the country's Constitution but the Memorandum, and warned that any changes cannot be made in a climate of fear and misery.

    Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) president Constantine Michalos warned that the Greek economy was at a dangerous impasse, having entered a vicious cycle of stagflation.

    He stressed that the "Memorandum policy" of recent months "neither increases GDP nor lowers unemployment, nor improves competitiveness", adding that a change of policy is needed immediately, and further noting 'asphyxiation' in transactions, a tax storm, and "hermetically sealed bank doors".

    Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Dimitris Bakatselos said that businesses and the citizens had made "unprecedented sacrifices" in the first months of 2010, stressing that "the solution of the fiscal problem cannot continue in the same way", and warning that the measures taken by the government so far (over-taxation of businesses and increase of indirect taxes) will bring the opposite result of that desired, since they undermine development.

    [12] ND criticises government

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Saturday criticised the government of not taking the measures necessary for development of the economy.

    Alternate shadow finance minister Notis Mitarakis, commenting on earlier statements by finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the inauguration of the 75th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), said that not only had the government failed from the very beginning to take the necessary fiscal measures, but it also did everything to defame the country abroad.

    "And today, the government is once again not doing the right thing, in other words it is not taking the necessary measures for the recovery and growth of the economy," Mitarakis said.

    [13] Truckers' strike on Monday

    Truck owners, including public-use fuel tankers supplying petrol stations with fuel, have decided to begin another indefinite strike on Monday during a meeting held in Thessaloniki.

    The truck owners are demanding that the government withdraw a bill to "open" their profession and allow new licences to be issued.

    The previous truck owners' strike brought Greece to a standstill as the country was quickly starved of fuel.

    General News

    [14] New Pella Archaeological Museum inaugurated

    Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos inaugurated the new Archaeological Museum of Pella on Friday and stressed that landscaping work on the area around the museum will begin soon.

    Geroulanos also said that the ministry has incorporated the 1.6 million euros project under the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

    The original structure was built in 1960 to house the excavated finds in the nearby archaeological site, and operated as an archaeological museum since 1973.

    The new state-of-the-art museum covers an area of 6,000 square meters and is situated in the north-eastern section of the archaeological site.

    The museum contains prehistoric finds and exhibits describing the layout of the ancient city, finds from the agora, the sanctuaries, and the cemetery, and also six mosaic floors from the archaeological site.

    The exhibits include hydrias, mosaic floors, statues and statuettes, heads of statues, figurines, vases, and hoards of silver coins of the Macedonian and Hellenistic periods, all from excavations in the wider area of Pella.

    Among the most important exhibits are six mosaics from houses (depicting Dionysus riding a panther, a lion-hunt, a griffin attacking a deer, a pair of centaurs, and vegetal ornaments), an interior wall of a house decorated with coloured plaster in the first Pompeian style (2nd century BC), a marble portrait head of Alexander the Great and a marble statuette of Alexander as Pan of the Hellenistic period, a small bronze statue of Poseidon attributed to the sculptor Lysippos, also of the Hellenistic period, hoards of silver coins of the Macedonian kings (5th century BC) and of the Hellenistic period, a red-figure hydria decorated with a representation of Poseidon's duel with Athena, dated to the late fifth or early fourth century BC, and a headless statue of a youth on horseback.

    There are also several information panels consisting of topographical and architectural plans and drawings and photographs of the excavations, as well as copies and casts of figurines and vases.

    [15] Schools opening on Monday

    The new school year will begin on Monday for 1.3 million pupils and 160,000 teachers at 15,500 schools in all parts of the country that open for the 2010-2011 academic year.

    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou stressed that the ministry can cover shortages at any moment with substitutes, adding that the new measure of the "school card" will be activated by Christmas, through which it will be shown, among other things, where and which are the educational shortages and how many teachers and of which specialties are serving at each school.

    [16] A. Labed wins best actress award in Venice Film Festival

    Ariane Labed, who is of French origin but born in Athens, won the award for the best women's performance at the 67th Venice Film Festival, that came to an end on Saturday night.

    With the film "Attenberg" by Athina Rachel Tsangari, a Greek participation in the artistic film festival, the new actress received positive comments, the welcoming that the Greek film also received. In the coming days the "ATTENBERG" weill be travelling to the Toronto Festival.

    "We are happy for the awarding and of course very proud for Ariane. The award is big and the welcoming of the film was very good. In Venice we had a considerable Greek presence with 4 films, completely different between them. I met Ariane when she was in Greece for an artistic theatrical cooperation and I was impressed by the simplicity in her performance. I believe that she is excellent in the role of Marina," Athina Rachel Tsangari, the Greek film director, told the ANA-MPA.

    The "Attenberg" is the story of an antisocial young woman who lives with her father in some Greek province. Tsangari's film also received the parallel award of LINA MANGIACARPE in the collateral awards.

    [17] Woman washed away by river found dead

    A 38-year-old woman whose car was washed away while trying to cross a river swollen by heavy rains was found dead at 10:30 on Sunday. The incident occurred when the woman and her 40-year-old husband were trying to cross a bridge across the Enipeas River near Litohoro, Pieria in their car at around 1:30 on Sunday morning.

    The man was found alive but distraught by rescue workers at a distance of about 100m from where the car was washed away at around 7:30 a.m. He is now being treated in the 424 military hospital in Thessaloniki.

    The couple were both serving in the military and had two children.

    The woman's body was found about half a kilometre away from the bridge and also outside the car.

    Soccer

    [18] Super League results

    Panathinaikos Athens beat Aris Thessaloniki 1-0 away in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while Olympiacos Piraeus beat Super League newcomer Kerkyra 2-0 at home and AEK Athens also beat League newcomer Panseraikos Serres 2-0 at home.

    In other action:

    Asteras Tripoli-PAOK Thessaloniki 0-0

    Atromitos Athens-Iraklis Thessaloniki 1-1

    Olympiacos Volos-Ergotelis Crete 0-1

    Xanthi-Panionios Athens 1-1

    Larissa-Kavala 0-0

    Standings after two weeks of play:

    1. PAOK 4 points

    2. Iraklis 4

    3. Asteras 4

    4. Panathinaikos 4

    5. Larissa 4

    6. Olympiacos P. 3

    7. AEK 3

    8. Kerkyra 3

    9. Ergotelis 3

    10. Olympiacos V. 3

    11. Aris 3

    12. Xanthi 2

    13. Atromitos 1

    14. Panionios 1

    15. Kavala 1

    16. Panseraikos 0

    [19] The Sunday editions of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Economic issues, particularly various announcements by the prime minister and top ministers on the sidelines of a major trade exhibition in Thessaloniki (‘…F), as well as the ubiquitous headlines on speculation over political posturing by Cabinet ministers dominated the headlines on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Big Brother in the public sector: Electronic files on everyone."

    APOGEVMATINI: "100,000 new unemployed every month. Return to 1960".

    ŃRTHRO: " 'Beware of Greeks ...' IMF, bonds, corruption and Vatopedi (furor): An inflammatory article by 'Vanity Fair' about the Greek crisis".

    AVGHI: "No to memorandum".

    AVRIANI: "Doctor threw a shoe at prime minister in Thessaloniki! People riled up against politicians".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras: Whatever PASOK had to say is written in the memorandum".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Troika wants more pay cuts. Drastic reduction in public sector's payroll".

    EPOCHI: "SYRIZA (the rapidly fragmenting leftist grouping) a victim of a leadership scramble".

    ETHNOS: Banners a headline on an opinion poll commissioned for the newspaper.

    KATHIMERINI: "Confusion and dissent as economy in the danger zone, all while ministers' portfolios still up in the air".

    PARON: "George (Papandreou) snubbed them (ministers) all and picked his ... own successor. Ragoussis' upgrading causes counter-groups."

    PROTO THEMA: "Ministerial battles for lucrative business deals".

    Realnews: "(Expelled PASOK MP Yiannis) Dimaras' torpedo against PASOK, ND in Attica region (local government election)".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Common framework for struggle in demand of popular needs".

    VETO: "Deputy rector with a specialisation in ... sexual harassment. Shocking revelation for the Athens University".

    To VIMA: "Lower (corporate) tax rates, but only for businesses; goal is new investments, jobs".

    VRADYNI: "150,000 new hirings with state subsidy".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [20] President: Turkey not ready for a solution in Cyprus

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias saidthat Turkey is not ready yet to make the necessary steps that would lead to a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The president expressed the wish that soon the Turkish government would realize that it is to its own benefit to change its stance on Cyprus, saying that Ankara knows that without a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem it can not join the EU.

    "It seems that Turkey is not ready, at least for now, to proceed to the solution of the Cyprus problem, due to its own domestic and regional problems, which Turkey itself has created", he said, addressing Saturday an event for the inauguration of a theatre hall in the village of Palaichori.

    He pledged to do his utmost for justice in Cyprus, by defending principles and being flexible at the same time.

    The Cypriot president reiterated his commitment for a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, saying that this is the only way to reunite Cyprus, its people and its economy.

    He said that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must unite and be able to celebrate together, as they did in the past, the great religious feasts of Easter and Ramadan Bayram.

    "When I tell the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, that we must reunite to celebrate together Easter and Bayram, he agrees. But the positions he submits on the negotiating table, I am sorry to say, they do not bring us any closer", he concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway between President Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof.

    [21] FM: Turkey has done nothing towards fulfilling its obligations

    BRUSSELS (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou has stressed that Turkey must fulfill its obligations towards the EU and its member state, the Republic of Cyprus, noting that it has done nothing towards this direction.

    In an intervention at the Informal EU Foreign Affairs Ministerial Council in Brussels over the weekend, which exchanged views on the EU-Turkey relations, Kyprianou said that Nicosia favors Turkey's full EU accession, provided that Ankara fulfills all criteria set for all candidate countries and meets its obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, especially as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    "Unfortunately, until now, Turkey has done nothing towards this direction", Kyprianou underlined.

    Noting that Turkey's recent foreign policy on international matters has a different approach than the EU policy, he stressed that Ankara must prove that it follows a European policy and that it belongs to the West.

    The EU-Turkey relations, he said, must not be addressed outside the existing EU-Turkey framework, stressing that this would show a preferential treatment of Turkey against other candidate countries and other EU strategic partners.

    Concluding, he said that despite the fact that there is a prospect for strategic relations between the EU and Turkey, Ankara has not yet proven its reliability.

    Discussions at the Council focused particularly on the strategic relations that the European Union will need to strengthen with China and Turkey. The debates will be continued at the General Affairs Council, which will prepare for the European Council on Thursday 16 September.

    Turkey, which aspires to join the EU, occupies one third of Cyprus' territory since 1974. Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004.

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