|Wednesday, 23 May 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-12-25
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Saturday, 25 December 2010 Issue No: 3677
 PM visits children's institution on Christmas EvePrime Minister George Papandreou and his wife Ada on Friday visited the children's charity "Mazi gia to paidi" in eastern Attica suburb of Pallini, where they were treated to Christmas carols.
Papandreou congratulated the institution's staff for their contributions and praising the important work done in a very difficult period.
The premier also thanked the children for the joy they gave him, as he said, underlining that they are a "ray of light" for the country and us all.
 Christmas carols to ND leaderMain opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras and his spouse Georgia were treated to traditional carols on Friday by the children's chorus of Greek Police (EL.AS). The ND leader later offered the carolers presents and chocolate Santas Clauses.
Later, the Pan-Epirus Federation of Greece performed traditional songs and dances at the ND party headquarters.
Samaras expressed his season's greetings ''hope for the country".
 Christmas carols to party leadersCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Aleka Papariga was treated on Friday to Christmas carols sung by the Pan-Epirus Federation of Greece's chorus
Afterwards, Papariga, in a statement, noted that "we should not appear fatalistic before poverty, unemployment and the spreading squalor; nor should we remain idle. We must fill with rage and knowledge, and begin our struggle".
The same chorus also visited and performed carols for Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis, who expressed a wish that the birth of Christ bring hope and optimism to an extremely burdened, from government's austerity measures, country.
Members of the Federation of Pontian groups sang traditional carols to Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA parliamentary group president Alexis Tsipras.
"Today is a day of hope and feast. It's a day where all of us must consider that thousands of our compatriots will celebrate Christmas under extremely adverse conditions."
 Gov't sharply condemns bishop's anti-Semitic statementsStatements recently made on an Athens private television station by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus were sharply condemned on Friday by the government through its spokesman, Giorgos Petalotis, who referred to them as "unacceptable" and an insult to Greek culture.
"Such views are marginal, and an insult to Greece, our culture and society, an integral part of which is the Greek Jewish community," Petalotis said, adding that "everybody should be aware that (such comments) are flatly condemned by the Greek state and society."
Petalotis said that "it is not the government's role to judge and comment on statements made by priests. However, it is its (the government) obligation to condemn the language of hatred regardless of who speaks it. It is its duty to stigmatise as unacceptable the language that denies the Holocaust, the biggest crime against humanity".
 Greek IMF rep: Bailout repayment extension essentially OK'd by IMFGreece's representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Panagiotis Roumeliotis, on Friday was quoted as saying that the Washington D.C.-based institution has essentially approved an extension of the repayment period for Greece's 110-billion-euro EU-ECB-IMF bailout package.
In a published interview carried by the Athens daily "Kathimerini" on Friday, Roumeliotis cites an extension to 2020.
"The three years of implementation of the programme, plus the two years for the loan repayment will become 4.5 years of a grace period followed by5.5 years for the repayment," he was quoted as saying.
Asked about the high-profile memorandum government the bailout, signed by the Greek government with the EU-ECB-IMF 'troika', he underlined that Greece had no other option or alternative plan in the state it had reached, saying that any other possibility would have led to bankruptcy.
 Civil aviation ground staff strikeA union representing civil aviation ground staff has called a 48-hour strike on Dec. 29 and 30 to protest the transfer of approximately 500 employees of former Olympic Airways' technical support department.
 Athens hotel occupancy rates plummet in Nov.Hotel occupancy rates in the Athens-Attica region were absolutely disappointing in the off-season month of November compared to the same month last year.
A monthly report by the Union of Athens-Attica Hoteliers said the biggest decline in occupancy rates was recorded in five- and four-star hotels, 16.70 pct and 10.50 pct respectively; 6.10 pct in three-star and 10.4 pct in two-star hotels.
Combined with plummeting revenues per available room (17.20 pct in four-star hotels) the decline recorded reflects the fact that the Athens-Attica hotel market has become very "shallow" and the "undeclared" price war already in progress could lead to "cannibalistic" phenomena of earlier decades, the report mentioned.
As regards the occupancy rates in Athens hotels in the month of December, the holiday season atmosphere is absent and the decline in bookings is huge compared to past Christmases, union president Yiannis Retsos told ANA-MPA.
 Fingerprints found in terrorist safe house ID'dFingerprints found this week in a north Athens district apartment, allegedly used as a safe house by the ultra-leftist urban terrorist group "Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire", have been identified, Greek Police (EL.AS) announced on Friday.
Authorities said the fingerprints belong to Panagiotis Argyros, who was arrested on Nov. 1 in Athens in relation to the mail bomb attacks, as well as Christos Tsakalos, another terrorism-related suspect. The fingerprints of 23-year-old Damiano Bolano, against whom an arrest warrant is pending for participation in the terrorist group, were also identified.
The police statement is accompanied by photographs of the suspects.
 Child porn arrests in ThessalonikiTwo local men, 41 and 23, were arrested on Friday in Thessaloniki on child porn trafficking charges.
A police raid in two separate residences allegedly turned up a large number of child porn files stored in laptops. Authorities have not clarified whether the trafficking was done for profit.
The elder suspect is identified as a pizza parlour owner, while the younger man is listed as an unemployed expatriate from the former Soviet Union.
Both suspects will be sent before a local prosecutor.
 Cloudy on SaturdayCloudy and rainy weather and southerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, with wind velocity reaching 4-8 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 6C and 20C. Cloudy in Athens, with southerly 5-7 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 11C to 19C. Cloudy with local showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 9C to 14C.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesReverberations from the passing of the slimmed down 2011 state budget, pending changes allowing for more flexibility and the freeing up of the labour market and press speculation over new taxes mostly dominated the headlines on Friday, Christmas Eve, in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "25 changes in pensions, retirement age limits and incomes".
AVGHI: "Countdown for Memorandum and government".
AVRIANI: "All the changes in social security to be brought into effect as of Jan. 1."
CHORA: "2011 will bring a mountain of taxes".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Tough bargaining over gas, oil".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Reversals in 350 professions".
ELEFTHEROS: "Government selling off state property".
ESTIA: The newspaper republishes the 1940 edition.
ETHNOS: "Shocking recipe for doctors, students and medical staff".
KATHIMERINI: "Government between PASOK and troika".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "12.7 billion euros in new measures foreseen in March Memorandum".
NIKI: "350 euros pension ... and then we'll see".
PARON: "List of 1,991 Greeks with hidden bank deposits".
PROTO THEMA: "WikiLeaks burns Dora (Bakoyannis)".
REAL NEWS: "Prime Minister George Papandreou reflects on early elections and sends message: 'I will not become hostage'."
RIZOSPASTIS: "United class war against government, troika and big capital".
VETO: "State a collection firm, tax bureaus the detectives".
VIMA: "Immediate opening for 150 closed professions".
VRADYNI: "Public sector: All the transfers - Who loses, who gains".
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