|Friday, 23 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-11-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 21 November 2011 Issue No: 3938
 PM in Brussels, Luxembourg on Monday-TuesdayPrime Minister Lucas Papademos will be in Brussels on Monday, where he will have meetings with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
On Tuesday, the prime minister will be in Luxembourg, where he will meet with eurozone president and Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker.
 Troika heads meet PASOK party leader Papandreou; 'No comment' on payment of 6th trancheTroika head Poul Thomsen, asked to comment on the payment of the 6th tranche of the loan, after meeting PASOK party leader George Papandreou in Parliament together with the other members of the troika on Saturday, responded by saying "no comment."
 ND leader Samaras holds talks with troika headsNew Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras met at the party's head office in Syngrou avenue on Saturday with the heads of the troika delegation who are currently in Athens, Thomsen, Mors and Mazouch.
The meeting, that included Foreign Minister and ND vice president Stavros Dimas and the members of the party's economic staff, focused on developments in Greece and Europe and the Greek economy's open issues, mainly regarding guarantees for the disbursement of the 6th tranche and the course for the implementation of the decisions taken on October 26. Samaras reiterated to the troika representatives that he has taken five actions that constitute the full and institutional expression and commitment of the ND party that it shall implement the European agreement of October 26:
First, that he has stated his position publicly in the Greek Parliament.
Second, that he has sent a letter to the European People's Party analysing his positions in the wake of the latest developments and the assumption of the premiership by Lucas Papademos and reiterates his commitments. The letter also appeals to the leaders of the parties and therefore to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy as well.
Third, that he has committed himself on the October 26 agreement at the meeting with the new prime minister under the President of the Republic.
Fourth, that the vote of confidence he gave to the Papademos government also constitutes a commitment.
Fifth, the approval of the 2012 budget in principle also functions in the same direction.
He let it be clearly understood in this framework that these actions are adequate and he does not intend to place an additional signature. However, asked while leaving whether additional written commitments will be requested from Samaras, Thomsen replied "no comment."
The first steps in negotiations between the Greek government and bankers for the PSI programme and the terms raised by bondholders were discussed during the meeting.
 Karatzaferis confers with troika: 'I will do what is needed for 6th tranche'Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis met with the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' chiefs in Athens on Sunday, and told reporters later that "I will do what is needed in order for Greece to receive the (8 billion euros) 6th tranche" of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece.
After the 50-minute meeting at his office in parliament with the troika chiefs and a five-member team of EU-IMF technocrats, Karatzaferis said "I will do what is needed in order for the country to receive the 6th tranche", referring to the possibility that written assurances will be asked of his party, but added that his statement had to do with "the party's stance" and not with any letter.
A close associate of Karatzaferis later clarified to AMNA that the LAOS leader is not addressing any letter to the EU partners or international lenders.
Sources told AMNA that the meeting focused on the written commitment by the three parties backing the transitional government under Lucas Papademos asked by the EU, and on adherence to the agreements between Greece and its international lenders arising from the October 26-27 eurozone summit decisions.
The sources said that the troika representatives told Karatzaferis that the EU will insist on the written assurances, as a condition for disbursement of the 6th tranche.
Karatzaferis told reporters after the meeting that all the parameters of the agreement were examined, adding that "it is clear that the disbursement of the 8th tranche is linked with the letter, from Mr. Papandreou (leader of former ruling PASOK party), Mr. Samaras (main opposition New Democracy leader) and the submission of our own views".
He said that things are "inelastic", adding that a way for agreement needs to be found in that area so that "the issues will be settled in time for us to meet the needs of the country".
Karatzaferis stressed that Greece at this time needs the money of the 6th tranche in order to pay salaries and pensions and, if it were up to him, he would do "what must be done".
During a confidence debate for the new government in parliament last week, Karatzaferis had said that the Greek political leaders were men of their words and men of honour, and had refused his signature to such a letter if requested of him.
Before the meeting with the troika, LAOS officials had said that no issue of a signature from Karatzaferis had bee put forward. Apparently the issue was put forward during the meeting, but it has not been made clear if this has to do with the LAOS leader signing a letter of commitment, as has been asked of Papandreou and Samaras, or simply the agreement of the LAOS party.
A close associate of Karatzaferis later clarified to AMNA that the LAOS leader will not send letter to Greece's EU partners and international lenders, but will address an open letter to the Greek people, via the party's newspaper, in which he will explain his views and the party's positions.
This letter will also be forwarded to Greece's EU partners and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, Karatzaferis' associate said, adding that the letter will set out the need for the 6th tranche in order for Greece to meet its needs, chiefly the inelastic expenditures which are salaries and pensions, and the bonuses and benefits in view of the upcoming holidays.
"Mr. Karatzaferis is not sending a letter to the EU partners, but will make the party's views known to them and, in that sense, nothing has changed from the position he had expressed recently in parliament," the associate added.
 PM Papademos meeting Environment ministerPrime Minister Lucas Papademos was meeting Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Minister George Papaconstantinou at the Maximos Mansion on Saturday evening to discuss issues pertaining to the Environment ministry's duties.
 ND on 2012 budgetThe 2012 budget tabled in parliament on Friday contains measures that have already been passed, as they were contained in the Medium-Term Fiscal Programme and the Omnibus bill, main opposition New Democracy (ND) shadow finance alternate minister Christos Staikouras said, adding that for this reason, and as ND has already said, the party will not dispute it.
Staikouras criticised the preceding PASOK government that 2011 was a wasted year with respect to fiscal and structural adjustment, despite the immense sacrifices by the Greek citizens, because of the immense divergences from the targets of the basic economic indicators.
At any rate, he added, ND backs and will continue to back the targets of fiscal consolidation, but with realistic terms, and chiefly through the containment of expenditures.
ND supports and will continue to support the realisation of structural reforms, the denationalisations, the exploitation of the state's assets, he said.
 KKE: 'Budget of bankruptcy and tax--annihilation of the people'The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said Sunday that the 2012 state budget tabled in parliament on Friday was a budget of 'bankruptcy and tax-annihilation of the people" and "butchering of the social security Funds and social expenditure".
A KKE announcement said that the "new, wild tax-raid on the popular incomes goes hand in hand with the provocative tax exemptions for the corporate groups", noting that, compared with 2011, the tax revenues from physical entities (individuals) will increase by 29 percent whereas the tax revenues from business will be reduced by a further 22 percent in 2012.
As for the social security Funds, the KKE said that "pensions and benefits are literally in the air", noting that in addition to approximately 12 billion euros in losses due to the "haircut" of their reserves, the already drastically reduced state subsidization of the Funds is reduced by a further 9.1 percent in 2012.
"This is a massacre, not reductions, given that funding for IKA (state-run Social Security Foundation) will be reduced by 41.6 percent, and by 10.6 percent for the OAEE (social security fund for the self-employed)".
At the same time, the new cuts in salaries and state spending for health, education and welfare will lead the popular family to despair, severe tribulation and serous hazards with respect to even its food and ensuring their basic needs in medicine and healthcare, the KKE continued.
It also described as "ruthless" the "co-governance of the black front" comprising the former ruling PASOK, main opposition New Democracy (ND) and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties, which are backing and participating in the new transitional government under Lucas Papademos.
The KKE called on the people to immediately organise a counter-attack in order to avert and reverse "the policy that protects the profitability and competitiveness of the big capital".
"No tolerance," it concluded.
 LAOS on budget: Tougher years aheadThe coming years will be tougher than those we've already gone through, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) press spokesman Costas Aivaliotis said on Sunday.
We need to remain standing, however, for the future of our country and our children, he added, commenting on the 2012 state budget tabled on Friday.
 PASOK party announcement on reports on George Papandreou and the 'day after' in the partyAn announcement issued Sunday by the PASOK party's press office, regarding reports in Sunday newspapers on the "day after" in PASOK and initiatives PASOK leader George Papandreou is expected to take when his meetings with senior PASOK members are ccompleted, stressed that "the success of the government, the country's stable course, PASOK's stable course, constitute a priority for the president of PASOK, George A. Papandreou."
The announcement adds that "the president of PASOK, George A. Papandreou, is interested in the smooth development, the stability and the effectiveness of the great effort that he has assumed for the country's exit from the crisis and for the shaping of the best possible terms and preconditions for the change of the political, administrative and growth model.
In this framework, consistency is required and the focusing of all the forces of the country on the implementation of the decisions of October 26-27 and the satisfaction of the obligations and commitments emanating from them, for the 6th tranche to be paid and the procedures for the conclusion of the new financial programme to go ahead."
Lastly, the announcement says that anything else, such as references or comments in media of all kinds reflect nothing else than moods, intentions and plans of others.
 PASOK party leader Papandreou holds meetings with party membersPASOK party leader George Papandreou concluded his contacts in his office in Parliament on Saturday with Mihalis Chryssohoidis, Miltiades Papaioannou and George Papaconstantinou.
The meetings are part of a series of similar contacts that the PASOK leader has started with party members and will be continued on Monday with meetings with Theodoros Pangalos, Apostolos Kaklamanis, Petros Efthymiou and Haris Kastanidis.
A total of 73.4 respondents want a change of leadership in the former ruling party PASOK, according to the results of a RASS opinion poll appearing in the Sunday newspaper 'Paron', while more than 8 in 10 (81.9 percent) consider the recent resignation of George Papandreou's PASOK government as a positive development.
Further, 68.8 of the respondents agree with main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras' decision to participate in the new transitonal government under Lucas Papademos.
With respect to voter intent (which party one would vote for if elections were to be held the following Sunday), ND was leading with 24.6 percent, followed by PASOK with 14.8 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 8.5 percent, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) with 5.9 percent and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party with 5.7 percent, while the non-parliamentary Democratic Left (DIMAR) party received 6.2 percent, the Ecologists-Greens 3.3 percent, the Democratic Alliance (DISI) party 2.9 percent, and the undecided vote reached 20.2 percent.
 Greek ministers in Cyprus on MondayGreece's new foreign minister Stavros Dimas and new interior minister Tassos Yannitsis will be on visits to Cyprus on Monday.
Foreign minister Dimas will be received by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias on Monday morning, while he is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou-Markoulli, Cyprus House of Representatives speaker Yannakis Omirou, and with the leaders of the parliamentary parties.
Dimas will further meet with Archbishop Chryssostomos of Cyprus.
Yannitsis is due on Cyprus on Sunday evening, to take part in an event on Monday titled "Preparing the Cypriot Presidency of the EU".
 Turkish FM congratulates new Greek counterpartTurkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday called his new Greek counterpart Stavros Dimas to congratulate him and wish him every success in his new duties.
The two ministers also discussed matters of Greece-Turkey bilateral cooperation and expressed their joint desire for continuation of the efforts, with the proper preparation, a Greek foreign ministry announcement said.
They further agreed to meet in the coming period, on the opportunity of the NATO and OSCE ministerial conferences.
 Chancellor Merkel on recent revelation that Neo-Nazis were the slayers of a Greek in Munich in 2005Folowing the recent revelation that Neo-Nazis were the slayers of a Greek in Munich (2005) and of eight Turks, in various cities in Germany, the government's assigned minister for incorporation issues Dr. Maria Bemer, held a meeting with the Clerical Commissioner of Bavaria, the head priest Apostolos Malamousis.
In the meeting the Federal minister conveyed to the Greek community of Munich the warm condolences of Chancellor Angela Merkel over the tragic loss of the Greek, that Malamousis conveyed to the congregation on Sunday.
The German minister once again expressed her abhorrence over the killkings and her warm condolences to the relatives of the victims. An extensive discussion followed, focusing mainly on what must be done to prevent more victims.
 Attica pharmacists call 24-hour warning strike on MondayPharmacies will remain closed on Monday in the Attica prefecture after Athens and Piraeus pharmacy owners' unions called a 24-hour warning strike to hold general assemblies in order to examine the prospect of continuation of their mobilisations.
The pharmacists are protesting over shortages in medicines and warn that "we are faced with an unprecedented attack against the medicines branch, which will result in a breakdown of the Greek people's healthcare".
The pharmacists further charge that the measures being take at their expense have nothing to do with Greece's exiting the crisis, and expressed their regret and indignation over new prime minister Lucas Papademos' "thoughtless and superficial duplication" of health minister Andreas Loverdos' methods.
The pharmacists' unions asked the Greek people for understanding and support of their coming mobilisations, given that the industrial action "chiefly concerns their own healthcare".
 PPC employees warn of rolling 24-hour strikes aheadThe federation of Public Power Corporation (PPC) employees' unions GENOP decided to call 24-hour rolling strikes, beginning at a date to be announced later, it was announced on Sunday. The decision was taken during an extraordinary meeting of the GENOP board on Saturday.
The rolling strikes are in protest against the planned sale of the PPC's lignite-powered electricity plants and what GENOP called the creation of a "small PPC".
The commencement date of the rolling strikes will be decided by the GENOP executive committee right after the government "specifies its unacceptable proposals".
GENOP charged that the above decisions of the government are unrelated to investments, will not create added value and will not contribute anything to the unemployed, the electricity users and the Greek society.
Private concerns' access to lignite-powered electricity production is required by the EU in the context of the deregulation of the energy market, and is also contained as a condition in the Memorandum that Greece has signed with its international lenders (EU-IMF).
 Athens Metro, electric railway and tram service to hold four-hour work stoppage on TuesdayThe Athens Metro, electric railway and tram service will be holding a work stoppage from 12 noon until 4 in the afternoon on Tuesday, November 22. However, trains will begin withdrawing from service at least half an hour earlier and the full restoration of service will take place at about 16:30.
The train drivers are protesting the labour reserve status, salary cuts, the abolition of collective labour agreements and agency abolitions and mergers, as well as staff reductions resulting in the inability of transort means to carry out route programmes smoothly and safely.
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.378
Pound sterling 0.870
Danish kroner 7.554
Swedish kroner 9.298
Japanese yen 105.62
Swiss franc 1.256
Norwegian kroner 7.937
Canadian dollar 1.408
Australian dollar 1.368
 Professor Neoklis Sarris passes awayNeoklis Sarris, professor of Sociology of History at the Pantios University, died of cancer at dawn on Saturday aged 71. Born in Istanbul, he had served as a professor at Defence ministry higher schools and focused on Greek-Turkish issues as a political analyst and columnist. His funeral will take place at the First Cemetery at 3 in the afternoon on Tuesday.
 Police dismantle migrant smuggling ringPolice arrested members of a migrant smuggling ring on the Egnatia motorway and at the Malgara tollgate. At first, three Bulgarian nationals travelling in a car acting as a guard fell into the hands of the police on the Egnatia motorway on Friday.
An accomplice of theirs was also arrested at the Malgara tollgate, who was driving a van in which he was carrying 10 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Palestine and Egypt.
Policed investigations revealed that each of the illegal immigrants paid the members of the ring 2,000-3,000 euros for their illegal entry and to be taken to Athens initially with other European countries being their final destination.
 Tempi valley opens to trafficThe Tempi valley was opened to traffic shortly before noon on Saturday, as the sponsoring company had announced on Thursday, and after work carried out to prevent rockfalls was completed 6 days ahead of the initial schedule. Traffic is now back to normal.
 Migrant smuggler arrested, 60 illegal migrants detained, at Elefsis toll postPolice late Saturday night arrested a 28-year-old Syrian national, believed to be a member of a migrant-smuggling ring, and an accomplice, also of foreign nationality, was wanted.
A total of 60 illegal migrants, all from Afghanistan, including 21 minors, were also detained.
According to police, the two migrant-smugglers were transporting the illegal migrants to Astakos, in Aetoloakarnania prefecture, from where they were to board them onto a boat destined for Italy.
The case was uncovered by the Attica Aliens Bureau police who, acting on a tip-off and following a subsequent investigation, located two trucks at the Elefsis toll post, which were transporting the illegal migrants.
Police arrested the Syrian, who they said was a member of a migrant-smuggling ring, while his accomplice, also a foreign national, was wanted.
The two trucks were seized, and the Syrian will be led before an Athens prosecutor.
 Muggers attack woman, make off with 14,000 eurosThree muggers, with their faces covered, attacked a 30-year-old woman as she was entering her home in Tyrnavos, near Larissa, on Sunday morning.
The attackers hit the woman in the face with their fists, ransacked her house and fled with 14,000 euros in cash and jewelry of small value.
The woman has been hospitalised at the Larissa Regional General Hospital.
Tyrnavos police are investigating the incident.
 PRO-PO agency robbery in Petroupoli two years ago solvedAn 26-year-old Albanian already being held in the Grevena prison for homicide is, according to the police, also the perpetrator of the killing of a 55-year-old PRO-PO agency employee that took place about two years ago, on 29-12-2009 in the Athens suburb of Petroupoli. Another person who is still at large is also being charged.
Police investigations revealed that in the evening of 29-12-2009 the perpetrators rushed into the PRO-PO agency in Petroupoli and shot the 55-year-old employee twice, resulting in his fatal wounding and snatching the proceeds.
Two bullet caps and two bullets from a 7.62 millimetre TOKAREV pistol were found in the store, while it was ascertained that the same weapon had been used in the killing of a 29-year-old on May 8, 2010 in Koropi and for which the 26-year-old Albanian had been arrested last May.
 Heroin arrestsFour Albanian nationals were arrested Saturday night along the Athens-Corinth stretch of the National Highway after a police check turned up a kilogram of heroin in their car.
Police, acting on a tip-off, launched an operation along the National Highway and arrested two Albanian men aged 33 and 26 and two Albanian women aged 24 and 33 after two packets of heroin weighting a total of 1.01 grams were found in their car.
Police confiscated the drugs, the car and 300 euros in cash, while the detainees will be taken before an Athens prosecutor.
In a separate incident, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Kalamata after a police search of his house turned up 434 grams of hashish, 0.7 grams of heroin, and an electronic precision scale, which were confiscated.
The man will be taken before a Kalamata prosecutor.
 Counterfeit moneyTwo Romanian nationals aged 18 and 24 were arrested Saturday night in Corinth, charged with manufacturing counterfeit money.
The two were arrested after a police search of a car owned by the 24-year-old, with the 18-year-old as the passenger, turned up a counterfeit 10-euro bill and seven fake 5-euro bills.
A subsequent police search of the 24-year-old's apartment turned up a fully equipped money counterfeiting laboratory with which the two detainees printed counterfeit 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro banknotes.
The house search turned up counterfeit bills totaling 2,765 euros.
The counterfeit money and equipment were confiscated.
 Thessaloniki police arrest super market owner for debts to statePolice in the northern city of Thessaloniki arrested a 46-year-old owner of a super market on Friday for debts owed to the state. The total amount of the debt is 560,378 euros. The arrested man will be brought before a prosecutor over the weekend.
 PASOK local office torched in Nea IoniaA PASOK party local office in Nea Ionia was torched early Sunday, police said.
Unidentified persons broke into the second storey office and set fire to the premises, causing minor material damage.
 Super League resultsOlympiacos Piraeus drew 1-1 at home with Panathinaikos Athens in games played for the Greek Super League over the weekend, while AEK Athens beat Asteras Tripoli 2-0 at home and PAOK Thessaloniki defeated Panetolikos Agrinio 3-0 also at home.
In other action:
Kerkyra-Ergotelis Crete 2-1
Atromitos Athens-Levadiakos Livadia 1-1
Doxa Drama-Panionios Athens 0-0
OFI Crete-Aris Thessaloniki 0-1
PAS Yiannina-Xanthi 0-2
Standings after 10 weeks of play:
1. Panathinaikos 20 points (8 games)
2. Olympiacos 18 (8 games)
3. Atromitos 17 (9 games)
4. AEK 16 (9 games)
5. PAOK 14 (10 games)
6. OFI 12 (8 games)
7. Panetolikos 11 (8 games)
8. Xanthi 11 (10 games)
9. PAS Yiannina 9 (8 games)
10. Ergotelis 9 (10 games)
11. Panionios 9 (10 games)
12. Aris 7 (8 games)
13. Asteras 6 (8 games)
14. Kerkyra 5 (8 games)
15. Doxa 1 (1 game)
16. Levadiakos 1 (1 game)
 Fine weather on MondayFine weather, with local fog in the morning, was forecast throughout Greece on Monday.
Sunny in Athens, with some limited visibility in the early morning hours, and temperatures ranging from 5C to 17C. The same in Thessaloniki with temperatures ranging from 0C to 12C.
 Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glanceThe economic crisis in Europe, the additional taxes envisaged in the 2012 state budget, a small extension to the implementation of the reserve labor measure in the public sector, and the uniform salary scale in the public sector, were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
AVGHI: "The Maastricht Treaty collapsing inside and outside the borders".
AVRIANI: "George (PASOK leader and former prime minister Papandreou) will step down only if kicked out - After destroying Greece, he is now determined to destroy the party".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Tax raid on empty pockets".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The euro at the brink of the abyss".
EPOCHI: "Europe on fire".
ETHNOS: "Horst Reichenbach's (European Commission task force chief for Greece) three bombs on tax evasion (in his first report on Greece)".
KATHIMERINI: "Athens seeking life raft at the same time as the euro is teetering".
LOGOS: "The chaos in the social security funds gives...extension to (implementation of) labour reserve".
NIKI: "Our life in drachmas, with simple examples".
PARON: "He's leaving in December - That's what Papandreou intimated during his meetings (with high-ranking PASOK officials) on Friday".
REALNEWS: "Three 'suitors' for George's (PASOK party leader) position".
RIZOSPASTIS: "People's counterattack to the misery and the 2012 state budget".
TO ARTHRO: "Work, work, work! - New prime minister demands results immediately from his ministers".
TO VIMA: "The big solution - Merkel's (German chancellor) plan and Papademos' (Greece's new transitional prime minister) hopes".
VRADYNI: "Public sector: All the new salaries (with the implementation of the new uniform salary scale) - Who will face the biggest cuts".
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