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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-09-05

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

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

Monday, 5 September 2011 Issue No: 3881

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM rules out snap elections, says gov't will succeed in bringing Greece out of crisis by end of term
  • [02] Opposition reactions to PM's address
  • [03] Samaras: Early elections inevitable
  • [04] Papariga: PASOK, ND preparing co-governance
  • [05] Greece, Israel sign Cooperation Memorandum in security sector
  • [06] FM at informal EU council meeting
  • [07] Three polls show ND lead
  • [08] DM: Hope that political realism will prevail inTurkish leadership
  • [09] 'Indignados' hold rally in Syntagma Square on Saturday evening
  • [10] FinMin statement on 'scenarios' on talks with EU-IMF troika
  • [11] Fake class certificates for 16 ships
  • [12] Cephallonia migrant boat shipwreck toll reaches four, search continues for 15 still missing
  • [13] 40th Book Festival inaugurated
  • [14] Wildfire on Mt. Mainalos contained
  • [15] Fire in Kalamos contained
  • [16] Wildfire continuing on Greek-Bulgarian border
  • [17] Police arrest illegal immigrants and migrant smuggler
  • [18] Police arrest 16 illegal immigrants in northern Greece
  • [19] Fishing fest in Thessaloniki
  • [20] Greece beats Montenegro 71-55 in Eurobasket
  • [21] Fair on Monday
  • [22] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM rules out snap elections, says gov't will succeed in bringing Greece out of crisis by end of term

    Greek prime minister George Papandreou said that his ruling PASOK party will bring Greece out of supervision and dependence and have it stand on its own two feet once again, addressing a PASOK national conference on Saturday, and effectively ruled out early general elections, saying that "the citizens will judge us in 2013" (when the current government's term in office ends).

    By then, he added, "not only will we have succeeded in Greece emerging from the crisis but we will also have completed the many and important changes that will lay the foundations for a different course for Greece in the future".

    Papandreou's address marked the opening of the national conference, taking place amid stringent security at the Olympic Tae Kwon Do indoor complex in Neo Faliro, near Piraeus, which will set out the party's directions and priorities for the coming period. The conference is attended by PASOK members and friends, representatives of institutional social agencies and citizens' action groups.

    According to an introductory note of the national conference, "at the present political, social and economic conjuncture, through mass and democratic procedures, PASOK is attempting to make deep changes that will re-determine the country's developmental priorities, strengthen the social cohesion and reinforce social solidarity and justice".

    In a series of pre-conference meetings, discussions were held on six themes: Public Administration and Local Government, Development and change of production model, the Social State, National Security policy, Hellenism of the Diaspora, and PASOK and the socialist potential today.

    The conference marks the 37th anniversary of the founding of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement on September 3, 1974, by the late former prime minister Andreas Papandreou, father of current prime minister and PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    Premier's address

    "The citizens will judge us in 2013. By then, not only will we have succeeded in Greece emerging from the crisis but we will also have completed the so many and so important changes that will lay the foundations for a different course for Greece in the future. And then the citizens will judge, in its proper dimensions, the historic and national work that we have contributed during this term in office," Papandreou said.

    "But what is most important, above all, for us is that we will have an easy conscience. That we will be proud that at the critical moment, we responded to the national calling of history. It is with that pride and self-confidence that we are carrying on with the battle," the premier added.

    Papandreou also announced that the next PASOK Congress will be convened in the spring of 2012.

    The premier reviewed PASOK's 37-year course, noting that "our foundation came to express the visions of the Greek people and Greece and to satisfy the need for the representation of a large section of the Greek society which, until then, had been in the margins", stressing that "despite the misadventures, we passed into a modern era and a Greece that is among the 30 most prosperous countries in the world".

    "What I have to say today, from this podium, is that in the years that have elapsed since 1974, PASOK contributed decisively to the country's progress and the creation of a better Greece," he added.

    Papandreou said PASOK was proud of its country and certain of the abilities of the Greek people. "Solutions to the problems are not provided by hatred, polarisation or violence. Today we are more dedicated to our values of humanity, dialogue, the democratic and peaceful resolution of the major problems of globalisation," he said.

    The premier linked the past with the present in a series of critical sectors, with unemployment at the top of the list, on which he said today we are called on to create and real and efficient network of solidarity, support, education and participation for the unemployed, for the youth, for the weak, the pensioners and the immigrants".

    On national independence, he said that "we fought for Greece to evolve from a pawn of foreign forces into a country with an independent voice -- when others were waiting for orders from outside -- and become a modern European country in the core of the European developments and playing a significant role in international developments".

    Today, he added, "our party is called on to take Greece out of supervision and dependence so that it will stand on its own feet, and we will succeed".

    Outlining the problems of the previous period, Papandreou focused especially on the economy, speaking of inability to build a robust economy and productive country, inability to combat corruption, intransparency, bureaucracy, the para-economy, tax evasion and profiteering, and the prevalence of clientele and guild mentalities, on which PASOK's blame lay in that it tolerated or adopted such practices, although, he added, the clientele mentality was a deeply conservative one and "the mother of today's dependence on borrowed money".

    Papandreou said that PASOK had clearly stated that it was fully prepared to shoulder those responsibilities when it sought the people's confidence in the 2009 general elections, and has shouldered them, while at the same time it is doing everything necessary for a certain course to an exit from crisis.

    "In this time that has been given to us with the support of our partners, we are determined to change Greece," the premier stressed.

    On PASOK's ideological position, Papandreou said that "we neither deify nor demonise the market or the state, and this is what differentiates us from the Right and from the traditional Left".

    He said that PASOK considers the market as a tool that is regulated by the state, and the state as a democratic tool to serve the individual and society.

    As for the present period, he harshly criticised the preceding New Democracy (ND) government for not only failing to correct the country's weaknesses but instead inflating them "to such a degree that Greece found itself vulnerable as no other European country at the mercy of the international crisis".

    He said that his government acknowledges its own responsibilities, but was also the first to speak out on the European and global dimension of the crisis, adding that the battle being waged at this time was also a battle to deal with the global crisis.

    The first target, he continued, is "a global, or at least a more powerful European, democratic governance that will set out rules, regulations and checks".

    Papandreou also called for a new European developmental strategy founded on a "green economy", and stressed the need for finding new resources at European level through the imposition of a tax on financial transactions (Tobin tax) and on carbon emissions.

    The premier further called for the introduction of euro-bonds in order to deal with the debt crisis in Europe.

    On competitiveness, Papandreou said that the emerging economies were competing with the developed economies through the exploitation of inequality and cheap labor, whereas "we want competitiveness not through inequality but through quality".

    He also reiterated his call for green growth which, he said, "will break the vicious cycle of recession and prepare our societies for an economy beyond oil dependence".

    Papandreou also championed a Europe that would be a "model of humanisation of the global economy", stressing that a "Europe of only austerity has no future".

    On the decisions taken at the July 21 EU summit, Papandreou said they marked a new prospect for Greece and were proof of the correctness of the government's strategy.

    [02] Opposition reactions to PM's address

    The opposition party's reacted critically on Saturday to an address by prime minister George Papandreou at his ruling PASOK party's national conference earlier in the day.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND), via party press spokesman Yiannis Michelakis, said that Papandreou "in a boring text he read out today to a frozen audience, forgot that he has been governing Greece over the last two years".

    "In such critical hours, Mr. Papandreou unfortunately seems to be living in another planetary dimension without having any relation to the Greek reality," Michelakis added.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), in a statement, noted that in the past they were calling "arise Andreas (Papandreou) to see them", adding that it is easy for one to imagine the disappointment that PASOK's founder would feel today in his heirs".

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) called the premier's address an "example of the most arrogant right-wing government in the post-dictatorship, which has the audacity, after all the measures it has taken that demolish society, to speak of growth, work and democracy, while accusing the Left of being dogmatic".

    A SYRIZA statement said that "the people, in the squares and on the streets, with the demonstration at the (upcoming) Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF, where the prime ministers traditionally unveil the economic policy for the following year) as the landmark, will show the prime minister and the government that the fairy tales are finished".

    The non-parliamentary Democratic Left (DIMAR) party opined that the premier's address could have easily been delivered in 2005, 2006 or 2007, but not in 2011 and definitely not in the Greece of poverty, unemployment and recession.

    DIMAR seriously doubted that the PASOK government is doing what must be done to bring Greece out of the crisis: "All the indicators bear witness to the opposite, that with its policy the government is pushing the country to bankruptcy and the society to the margins".

    [03] Samaras: Early elections inevitable

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras said that early elections are inevitable for the government, in an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos newspaper, adding that "all control has been lost of the deficits and the debt".

    Samaras said that the government's dead-ends were growing daily, since it's "policy has failed".

    He reiterated that the government's programme is wrong, noting: "Of course there are many and large mistakes and delays in the implementation of the (economic) programme, but the programme itself creates a much deeper recession than originally predicted. That is why it is not meeting its targets."

    On the discontinuation of the government's negotiations with the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika', Samaras accused the government of "communications ruses", noting that "it held an entire press conference (by finance minister Evangelos Venizelos) to deny what they themselves were leaking", and predicted that the government will "soon put dilemmas again to the people, investing in fear that the next tranche (of the EU-IMF bailout loan) is at risk, etc...the same old badly-performed play".

    The main opposition leader also expressed grave concern over unemployment, stressing that "the only antidote is growth", and accused the government of "discovering the recession after the fact", after it co-signed a policy whose "chief element is recession".

    Samaras opined that the failure of the government's policy will bring back to the forefront the issue of changing the policy, and "this will be done through renegotiation", adding that ND has an alternative plan with an integrated proposal "and we will not stop persisting on this until we convince them (the government)".

    The ND leader further rejected any prospect of co-governance, adding that "our choice is to seek from the people a strong mandate for clear-cut solutions".

    "The people do not want a 'doormat' government in which everyone is fighting for a seat. Such officials have always been the enemies of our country," he said, adding that his plan is to form a small government with "people of the marketplace", but declined to give more details before he looked into this more deeply "because the deep changes require good preparation, and in critical times there is no room for easy experimentation".

    Samaras again insisted on reduction of the tax rates, which he said would increase the state revenues that are continuously on the decline due to over-taxation and the recession.

    [04] Papariga: PASOK, ND preparing co-governance

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga warned on Saturday that ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND) were preparing a co-governance, and that their clash at this time was over who will have the upper hand.

    In an interview with RealNews newspaper, Papariga said that "PASOK and ND are preparing a co-governance and their clash now is who will have the upper hand".

    She said that the two mainstream parties (PASOK and ND), Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis and Democratic Alliance (DYSY) leader Dora Bakoyannis were "accomplices in everything that has been done at the people's expense and will do everything to load off on the people the capitalist crisis".

    Papariga predicted "rapid and exceptionally dangerous developments" and called on the prime minister to call early elections "if he wants the citizens' opinion".

    [05] Greece, Israel sign Cooperation Memorandum in security sector

    Greek Defence Minister Panos Beglitis and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, with whom he met in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon starting his three-day official visit to Israel, signed a Cooperation Memorandum in the security sector between Greece and Israel.

    Beglitis said "I come as my country's Defence Minister to state our political will as a government, as well as the majority of the country's political forces, for the two countries, the two governments, the two peoples, to work together so that we can further develop and deepen our bilateral relations in all sectors of mutual interest and concern".

    This is the first visit by a Greek Defence minister to Israel and part of a cooperation memorandum agreed last year between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while it is also taking place at a moment when Israel's relations with Turkey are worsening, shaping new balance factors in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The Greek Defence minister clarified, however, that his visit exclusively concerns bilateral relations with the state of Israel and is not functioning competitively with other countries in the region.

    He said he shares concerns on the security of the state of Israel and its legal right that emanates from International Law on self defence, condemning all those terrorist acts from organisations that operate from occupied Palestinian territory against citizens of the State of Israel.

    Barak also spoke with positive words of the upgrading of the two countries' military and defence cooperation, expressing his satisfaction over his Greek counterpart's visit.

    "We are seeing with satisfaction the deepening and widening of relations between us and the Greeks in all sectors, including the security sector, and we desire to see the deepening and widening of this cooperation between the governments, between the Defence Ministries and between our peoples," Barak said.

    Beglitis also met with the chief of general staff of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz., while on Monday he will be received by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while he will also have a private meeting with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

    Lastly, Beglitis will visit the Jerusalem Patriarchate where he will be received by Patriarch Theofilos III.

    [06] FM at informal EU council meeting

    Greek foreign minister Stavros Lambrinidis, in coordination with his Cyprus counterpart Erato Markoullis, briefed their EU counterparts on the recent threats voiced by Turkey regarding the planned start of hydrocarbons exploration in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), during an informal EU foreign ministers' meeting in Poland on Saturday.

    The briefing took place on the second day of the conference, which was also attended by the foreign ministers of the EU candidate countries.

    Topping the foreign ministers' agenda was the Middle East Peace Process, in light of the Palestinian side's plan to put the issue of the recognition of a Palestinian state to the United Nations at the UN summit that opens in New York on September 19.

    Discussion focused on the Arab 'spring' and major changes at political, economic and social level entailed for the entire Middle East area that inevitably impact the Palestinian issue as well as Israel's relations with its neighboring Arab countries.

    Lambrinidis told the meeting that, given the above, maintaining the unity and cohesion of the EU in the UN was crucial, as was the EU undertaking a more leading role that will enable the Palestinian recourse to serve as an opportunity for an important step to rekindling the peace process rather than a cause for rift.

    The ministers also reviewed the outcome of the 'Friends of Libya' international conference hosted by France in Paris that discussed the developments in and prospects for Libya, with the emphasis on dealing with the humanitarian needs in the country.

    Lambrinidis briefed his counterpart's on Greece's ability to undertake, via the state Water Board (EYDAP), the supply of substantial quantities of water to Tripoli, while also stressing the decisive role of the island of Crete in the overall humanitarian effort.

    [07] Three polls show ND lead

    Opinion polls appearing in three newspapers indicate a main opposition New Democracy (ND) lead over the ruling PASOK party.

    An MRB opinion poll appearing in RealNews newspaper showed a 5.1 percent lead for ND over PASOK, with ND amassing 23.7 percent of the respondents' preference, followed by PASOK with 18.6 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 8.1 percent, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 5.5 percent and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) with 5.1 percent, followed by the non parliamentary parties Ecologists-Greens with 3.1 percent, the Democratic Left (DIMAR) party with 2.7 percent and Democratic Alliance (DISI) with 2.3 percent, while 4.7 percent of the respondents opted for other parties and the undecided vote at 25.9 percent.

    Also 52.1 percent of the respondents disagreed with an ND-PASOK co-governance before elections, while 56.4 percent disagreed with such a co-governance after elections if a self-sufficient government did not emerge.

    An ALCO opinion poll appearing in the weekly Proto Thema newspaper showed a 4.8 percent lead by ND over PASOK, with ND amassing 22.2 percent of the respondents' preference, followed by PASOK with 17.4 percent, the KKE with 7.1 percent, LAOS with 5.6 percent, SYRIZA with 4 percent, DIMAR with 2.4 percent, DISI with 2.2 percent and the Ecologists Greens with 3.4 percent, while 3.4 percent preferred other parties and the undecided vote was at 3.9 percent.

    Further, 55 percent of the respondents disagree with the formation of a cooperation government before elections while 67 percent are against early elections.

    Also, 76 percent said they do not have the money to pay taxes and the extraordinary contributions.

    As for expectations as to what the prime minister will announce at the upcoming Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF, where the prime ministers traditionally unveil the economic policy for the following year), 78 percent want a reduction in taxes, 66 percent want a commitment that new tax measures will not be imposed, 48 percent want a change of the electoral law and reduction of the number of MPs, 30 percent want abolition of tenure in the civil service, 27 percent want abolition and mergers of state organisations, and 26 percent want acceleration of the privatisations.

    A KAPPA Research poll appearing in the weekend edition of To Vima newspaper showed ND posting a slim 0.6 percent lead over PASOK, with ND amassing 21.8 percent of the respondents' preference, followed by PASOK with 21.2 percent, the KKE with 7.3 percent, LAOS with 5.5 percent, SYRIZA with 3.1 percent, the Ecologists-Greens with 2.1 percent, DIMAR with 2.3 percent and DISI with 2.2 percent, while 1.6 percent preferred other parties and undecideds were at 30.8 percent.

    Also 56.2 percent want the current government to complete its term in office while 41.9 percent believe the country needs a national salvation government with the participation of all the political parties.

    [08] DM: Hope that political realism will prevail inTurkish leadership

    Greek defence minister Panos Beglitis expressed hope that political realism will prevail in the Turkish leadership rather than unilateral actions, referring to threats by Turkey regarding the planned explorations in Cyprus for natural gas deposits.

    In an interview with RealNews newspaper appearing on Saturday, Beglitis stressed that, if needed, Greece will defend its national interests, warning that the Turkish threats were against international legality.

    He also said that expanding relations with Israel is a "strategic priority" for Greece, and not an opportunistic aim.

    [09] 'Indignados' hold rally in Syntagma Square on Saturday evening

    The "indignados" held a rally in downtown Syntagma Square in Athens on Saturday evening.

    "We have started, indignant, we are continuing determined and soon we shall be returned en masse for those who have led us here to leave," they said in an announcement.

    On Saturday September 10, "indignados" in the city of Thessaloniki are also scheduling rallies in the streets around the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    Financial News

    [10] FinMin statement on 'scenarios' on talks with EU-IMF troika

    Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos warned on Sunday that the recent developments do not offer themselves for "imaginative danger-mongering scenarios and the creation of fleeting impressions", in a statement prompted by the "press-political scenarios that saw the light of day over the weekend on the discussions with the troika".

    Venizelos reiterated that the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika's departure had been previously scheduled and agreed, and opened that full implementation of the July 21 EU summit agreements by mid-October can change the situation and de-escalate the pressure on the Greek economy.

    He also sharply criticised "everyone investing politically in the emergence of problems", warning that they are "not contributing to the national effort to find solutions" and that they "have no sense of the danger nor a conscience of national responsibility".

    Venizelos further said that the statements he made during his press conference on Friday, which has come under sharp attack by the opposition parties, had been in the knowledge of the Greek government's institutional interlocutors (troika), stressing that "it is said that press-political scenarios that aim at cultivating a climate of insecurity and danger-mongering are persistently being recycled, without it being realised that this is particularly harmful for the Greek economy and the hurt self-respect of the Greek people".

    The finance minister called on the Greek citizens to focus their attention on the points of substance of the presentation he made on Friday.

    "The government is discussing with the troika the macro-economic framework and fiscal targets for 2011 and 2012. Both we, and our partners, realise what the situation is, what the needs are and what the priorities of the Greek economy are in order that it may permanently exit the crisis," the statement said.

    "Is there anyone in our country who does not want measures for halting the recession to be taken, and instead measures to increase the recession? I hope not. Is there anyone in our country that does not want us to move dynamically in the direction of the required radical structural changes that enhance our national competitiveness and allow us to escape the vicious circle of the crisis? I hope not," Venizelos continued.

    "The government is simultaneously dealing with the issues concerning the implementation of the July 21 Summit decisions, matters that are vital for Greece but also for the eurozone itself, he said.?These include: Activation of the new role of the EFSF (European Fiscal Stability Facility) that must be approved by the parliaments of the member states in the coming weeks; Resolution of the matter of the guarantees sought by Finland, in the framework that is explicitly set out in the July 21 decision and which Greece held a bilaterally discussed with Finland before the matter was introduced to the Eurogroup at the level of ministers' representatives, where it is being discussed; and completion of the PSI, in other words ensurance of the largest possible percentage of participation of the international banking system in the plan to extend and improve the terms of the Greek debt," he elaborated.

    Venizelos said that all these issues mutually influence each other, with the common denominator being Greece's obligation to meet its commitments to its partners, "in other words our doing everything that must be done for the reconstruction of the country, not because it is imposed on us from the outside, but because all that we did not do for years we must now do voluntarily, in a short space of time, for the sake of our children".

    He stressed that the full implementation of the July 21 decisions by mid-October could change the situation and de-escalate the pressure on the Greek real economy.

    In that context, Venizelos reiterated that:

    1) The departure of the troika officials on Friday, in order to return in 10 days, had been agreed and planned from the outset, "as a working method that will enable us to have a fuller picture not only with respect to the execution of the 2011 budget but also on the draft for the 2012 budget".

    2) The deeper recession (than initially predicted) is a reality that automatically impacts the fiscal goal. But irrespective of the recession, there are the measures that have already been passed and are in effect that need to be implemented, and many structural matters "on which we, as a country, are bound to show better results, in a faster and more decisive way, and that is what we are doing".

    Venizelos warned that whoever believes that all these matters may be dealt with as political issues of an old, conventional type, or whoever believes that the offer themselves for imaginative danger-mongering scenarios and the creation of fleeting impressions "is outside the realm of reality", and whoever invests political in the expectation of problems arising and does not contribute to the national effort to find solutions "has neither the sense of the danger nor a conscience of national responsibility".

    [11] Fake class certificates for 16 ships

    The Russian Shipping Registry's office in Piraeus had issued fake class certificates for 16 ships. Evidence regarding the case has been forwarded to the relevant prosecutor from the Piraeus Central Port Authority.

    The Russian Shipping Registry immediately lifted its authorisation for its office in Piraeus.

    Citizen's Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis has also instructed the Internal Affairs Bureau to have an immediate and full investigation carried out in all directions.

    General News

    [12] Cephallonia migrant boat shipwreck toll reaches four, search continues for 15 still missing

    A massive search and rescue operation continued on Sunday for 15 people still missing after a migrant-smuggling boat capsized at dawn Saturday some 60 nautical miles west of Cephallonia island.

    The migrant-smuggling boat capsized with 30 people aboard, including the migrant-runner, of which 11 have been rescued and 15 are still missing, while four bodies have also been recovered. The survivors are Pakistani nationals.

    The accident occurred at the limit of Greek territorial waters.

    A Turkish freighter sailing in the area picked up the 11 survivors, who were in bad shape, and the bodies of two of the missing migrants, which were transported to Cephalonia on Saturday afternoon.

    Earlier, a military Super Puma helicopter brought another survivor, with a broken arm, to Cephallonia, while late at night 2 more bodies were recovered from the sea.

    [13] 40th Book Festival inaugurated

    President Karolos Papoulias inaugurated the 40th Book Festival at the Zappion Mansion on Sunday night. The Book Festival has been operating for 30 years and is dedicated to the European Year of Volunteerism, while it is being organised by the Federation of Book Publishers, together with the Athens Municipality's Cultural Organisation.

    The 40th Book Festival will last until September 18 and about 150 publishers are participating in 120 pavilions with over 50,000 titles and the entire modern-day publishing production.

    [14] Wildfire on Mt. Mainalos contained

    Firemen backed by two firefighting aircraft and a firefighting helicopter have succeeded in containing the wildfire at the location of Rapouni on Mount Mainalos, in the Arcadia prefecture, in a region where another wildfire had occurred in the year 2000.

    According to initial assessments, the wildfire was probably started by lightning and was noticed on Sunday when it became extensive.

    Another wildfire broke out in the region of Thana, in the prefecture of Tripoli, on Sunday, but firemen managed to extinguish it before it could spread.

    [15] Fire in Kalamos contained

    A fire that broke out in the northeast Attica coastal town of Kalamos at noon Saturday, in the Aghia Varvara and Agioi Apostoloi villages was contained at noon on Sunday.

    The blaze threatened homes and electricity pylons in the area, before being put under control by a strong team of 16 fire engines crewed by 40 firefighters, another 18 firemen on foot, and a water-dropping helicopter.

    [16] Wildfire continuing on Greek-Bulgarian border

    A wildfire is continuing to rage since last Thursday in an inaccessible region along the Greek-Bulgarian border, near Achladohori in the Serres prefecture, on mount Orvilos. Two firefighting aircraft and a firefighting helicopter are tackling the blaze.

    [17] Police arrest illegal immigrants and migrant smuggler

    Police have arrested nine illegal immigrants and a 39-year-old Greek migrant smuggler at the Nestani tollgate, who was carrying them in a stolen vehicle that had its circulation figures distorted.

    Checking a vehicle with Bulgarian licence plates, they arrested the 39-year-old carrying 24 foreign nationals. Fifteen of them had service notes from services in the Evros prefecture, but the remaining nine lacked documents legalising their stay in the country. The migrant trafficker will be brought before a prosecutor and the nine illegal immigrants will be deported.

    [18] Police arrest 16 illegal immigrants in northern Greece

    Police in Kavala have arrested 16 illegal immigrants, Iraqi, Somali and Afghan nationals, while two migrant smugglers succeeded in escaping.

    Police signalled to a car equipped with Swiss licence plates to stop but the driver sped away. The migrant smugglers then abandoned the vehicle on the Thessaloniki-Kavala motorway and managed to escape, taking advantage of darkness and dense vegetation in the area.

    Deportation proceedings have been launched for the illegal immigrants, while the vehicle was confiscated.

    [19] Fishing fest in Thessaloniki

    More than 50 children aged 5-15 and 200 adult amateur and professional fishermen gathered on the coast of Thessaloniki on Sunday for the first Fishing Meeting organised by the municipal youth, sports and volunteers department.

    Thessaloniki's Nea Paralia filled with youngsters and fishermen of all ages equipped with fishing rods, bait and accessories for a fun day in the sun, with members of four local fishing clubs and volunteers on hand to help.

    The slogan of the event, sponsored by the Thessaloniki municipality, was "Let's Go Fishing".

    Basketball

    [20] Greece beats Montenegro 71-55 in Eurobasket

    The Greek national basketball team beat Montenegro 71-55 in a Group C game played for the Eurobasket 2011 competition in Lithuania on Sunday evening, qualifying for the next round with three wins in four games. Greece's next game is with Croatia on Monday. The 10-minute intervals had the following results: 18-21, 31-32, 41-58, 55-71.

    Weather Forecast

    [21] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 35C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 3-6 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 20C to 33C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 20C to 30C.

    [22] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and the troika demands for disbursement of the 6th tranche of the EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece were the main front-page items in Athens' Sunday newspapers.

    AVGHI: "Prime minister 'shipwrecked' in Thessaloniki".

    AVRIANI: "Gang of tax bureau employees blackmailed businessmen".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Samaras: This is how I will govern".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Troika shows Greece 10 'yellow' cards".

    EPOCHI: "New measures coming - People take to the streets again".

    ETHNOS: "Russian roulette with troika, elections and sixth tranche".

    KATHIMERINI: "The dismissals a tribulation for the government".

    LOGOS: "Troika lost in the...labyrinth of the Greek economy".

    NIKI: "The debt at 501 billion euros in the next four years".

    PROTO THEMA: "Opinion poll: 76 percent say have no money, won't pay any tax".

    REALNEWS: "Take measures if you want euros".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Protest rallies in Athens and Thessaloniki on September 10".

    TO ARTHRO: "Beneath the circumstances".

    TO PARON: "Scenery of co-governance".

    TO VIMA: "Greece at the razor's edge".

    VRADYNI: "Heavy and hazardous professions: Which are saved, which are lost".

    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: ILIAS MATSIKAS


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