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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-01-30

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

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

Monday, 30 January 2012 Issue No: 3984

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'United we can succeed', PM says after meeting party leaders
  • [02] PM Papademos holds talks with IIF chief
  • [03] PM Papademos holds talks with troika heads
  • [04] FinMin Venizelos on PSI agreement
  • [05] PASOK party leader holds meeting with troika heads
  • [06] Papandreou in Brussels on Monday
  • [07] Government sources on commissioner report
  • [08] Government spokesman on budget's implementation
  • [09] FinMin Venizelos on proposal for special commissioner for budget
  • [10] PASOK party categorically rejects 'supervision' scenarios
  • [11] ND party on European commissioner proposal
  • [12] LAOS dismisses prospect of commissioner in Greece
  • [13] European Commission representative on press reports
  • [14] Tsipras calls for government's resignation, elections in February
  • [15] Tsipras on PSI, economic crisis
  • [16] Labour ministry's leadership continuing negotiations with troika
  • [17] KKE party says 'game fixed' between government and troika on labour issues
  • [18] KKE party leader arrives in Ankara
  • [19] Papariga addresses Turkish Communist Party event in Ankara
  • [20] Development minister to hold talks with Chinese official on Monday
  • [21] Bad weather conditions expected to last for long
  • [22] Annual commemoration of Holocaust in Thessaloniki
  • [23] Handful of incidents involving illegals reported, 2 fatalities
  • [24] Military serviceman arrested for migrant smuggling
  • [25] Two drug trafficking rings dismantled in Tripoli
  • [26] Jailbreaker arrested after raping women, attracting them with job offers
  • [27] Incidents between far-rightists and foreign nationals in Omonia Square
  • [28] Memorial service for late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos
  • [29] Seismic activity continues between Crete, Santorini
  • [30] Farmers hold protests at Malgara and Leptokaria tollgates
  • [31] Police arrest robbers in Corinth
  • [32] Arson attacks on super markets
  • [33] Explosion at bank ATM in Ehinos
  • [34] Greek Superleague Results
  • [35] Cold on Monday
  • [36] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] 'United we can succeed', PM says after meeting party leaders

    Prime Minister Lucas Papademos reiterated on Sunday afternoon that political leaders supporting his interim government "are in absolute convergence with the continuation of (PSI) negotiations and the positions we shall support."

    Speaking after a two-and-a-half meeting at the Maximos Mansion, he said " unity of political forces and their commitment to support necessary changes constitutes a substantive factor of reliability; they strengthen the effectiveness of economic policy and permit us to negotiate better terms."

    Papademos also referred to a "tough struggle" to secure the country's position in Europe, the euro and the community of developed countries.

    "... despite the progress which has been achieved for the stabilisation of the economy, despite the considerable changes and great sacrifices of the citizens, deviations from the targets and accumulated delays in the implementation of certain policies have, as a result, caused partners to raise additional commitments and terms," he warned.

    The Greek prime minister and former central banker said a new programme includes arrangements for the restructuring of the state and a distinct boosting of competitiveness.

    Papademos left for Brussels immediately afterwards, where he will attend an EU summit on Monday.

    Samaras

    On his part, New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras also reportedly reconfirmed his party's backing towards both the Papademos government and its ongoing PSI negotiations.

    According to the same reports, Samaras insisted that whatever measures are taken must not create generate a worse recession, and that on the contrary, measures should be taken in the direction of boosting growth.

    Moreover, Samaras expressed his absolute disagreement with the prospet of abolishing the 13th and 14th salaries, saying that such a measure would fuel the ongoing economic crisis.

    He left open the possibility of accepting a salary freeze, provided that social partners agree. Finally, he rejected a proposal by PASOK leader George Papandreou for parties to negotiate with the social partners on open labour issues.

    [02] PM Papademos holds talks with IIF chief

    The meeting between Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Charles Dallara, chief of the IIF (International Institute of Finance), at which the negotiations on the "haircut" for the Greek debt were continued, ended early on Saturday evening. Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos also participated in the meeting.

    [03] PM Papademos holds talks with troika heads

    Prime Minister Lucas Papademos held a meeting with the troika heads on Saturday evening. The meeting, lasting for about two hours, was also attended by Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    [04] FinMin Venizelos on PSI agreement

    Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking after his meeting with the troika heads on Saturday evening, said that we are a step before the agreement on the PSI.

    The minister also said that we shall conclude the negotiating next week, in parallel with the discussions on the new loan contract.

    [05] PASOK party leader holds meeting with troika heads

    PASOK party leader George Papandreou called on the troika heads, with whom he held talks in Parliament on Saturday afternoon, to realise the country's political, economic and social reality and to respond accordingly, as was said by the party's spokesman Panos Beglitis to reporters after the meeting.

    Beglitis further said that the PASOK leader raised the issue, appearing due to various reports on a commissioner being established in Greece, reminding of the efforts he had made as prime minister on October 26 and 27 to prevent such an eventuality.

    Papandreou also reminded the troika heads of the European Council's clear conclusions on this issue and, as Beglitis said, the troika heads reassured Papandreou that there is no such question.

    [06] Papandreou in Brussels on Monday

    PASOK president George Papandreou, who is also the president of the Socialist International (SI), will travel to Brussels on Monday to attend a meeting of the group.

    [07] Government sources on commissioner report

    Senior government sources, referring to a report in the "Financial Times" on a proposal by Germany for a commissioner to be appointed who will check and approve Greece's fiscal issues, stressed that "there is no question of such a thing being accepted. A similar proposal had been made in the past by a Dutch minister as well. We will not even discuss it."

    [08] Government spokesman on budget's implementation

    Minister of State and government spokesman Panos Kapsis, said on Saturday that the jurisdiction on the budget's implementation lies exclusively with the Greek government. He was commenting on reports according to which a plan has been submitted anticipating that the relative responsibility will be assumed by a European commissioner.

    Kapsis stressed that "this is also stressed in the decision taken by the European Council on October 26-27, where it is pointed out that the implementation of the economic adjustment programme constitutes the responsibility of the Greek authorities."

    [09] FinMin Venizelos on proposal for special commissioner for budget

    Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, replying to questions by reporters on the proposal for the appointment of a special commissioner to monitor the implementation of the Greek budget, shortly before leaving for Brussels on Sunday morning, said that "whoever poses a dilemma for a people between economic aid and national dignity is unaware of basic historical teachings. I am certain that the political leaderships of all the European countries and particularly of those who due to their size have, as a matter of fact, increased responsibility for the course of Europe, know in what way issues are raised between friends and partners who have joined their historical destinies."

    [10] PASOK party categorically rejects 'supervision' scenarios

    The PASOK party categorically rejects scenarios concerning "Greece's supervision" published in a section of the international press. The party's spokesman Panos Beglitis stressed in a written statement that "if the reports are valid, whatever idea of 'commissioners' in Greece must be repelled."

    Beglitis also revealed that certain partners had attempted to impose similar scenarios during discussions on the decision taken on October 26, that were rejected by the then prime minister George Papandreou and the government of PASOK.

    He added that "the cooperation with our EU partners is based on the decisions of October 26-27 and on the commitments that our country has assumed, following the clear rejection of the efforts for 'commissioners' and 'guardianship' to which prime minister G.A. Papandreou and the government of PASOK had reacted at the time."

    [11] ND party on European commissioner proposal

    New Democracy party officials on Saturday termed the proposal for a European commissioner for the budget "absurdities" and added "we shall discuss no such issue."

    [12] LAOS dismisses prospect of commissioner in Greece

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) on Sunday released the following statement regarding the possibility of an appointment of a "commissioner" for the Greek budget.

    "The idea of the appointment of a commissioner for Greece not only abolishes national sovereignty. It is something worse: occupation. The Greek people will not accept a second occupation."

    [13] European Commission representative on press reports

    BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni)

    A European Commission representative, called on to comment on press reports referring to a document distributed at the Eurogroup, proposing that a senior eurozone official assumes control of the implementation of Greece's budget, told AMNA on Saturday that "the executorial task must remain in the full jurisdiction of the Greek government, that is accountable to the country's citizens and bodies. This responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Greek government and must remain so".

    [14] Tsipras calls for government's resignation, elections in February

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras, in a statement on Saturday, called for the government's resignation and the holding of elections in February.

    Tsipras stressed that the troika's demands for the completion of the PSI agreement, that one way or another will not make the debt viable, exceed every limit of logic since, as he says, it is not a question of new measures but a plan for the looting of the country and the cession of its sovereignty to the European banking system and to international usury.

    He further said that "the three political party leaders and the prime minister of a limited period of office, who chose two months ago to sidestep the popular outcry, have no legalisation to sign in the name of all the Greeks the country's condemnation. The only national responsibility option left for them is, indeed today, to decide the government's resignation and the recourse to the popular decision, in February."

    [15] Tsipras on PSI, economic crisis

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras, speaking to the newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis", said that "the PSI will not solve any problem. After ten years of dissolution and looting, the debt will not be viable again. They are placing the markets and the banks above the people and society again. In a few months another haircut will be needed."

    Tsipras also reiterated his proposal for "the freezing of debt payments for at least three years, by a government that will refuse the memorandums and the PSI."

    [16] Labour ministry's leadership continuing negotiations with troika

    A new meeting began at the Labour ministry at noon on Saturday between the ministry's leadership and the creditors' representatives. Earlier in the day, a meeting was held between the ministry's secretary general and the technical delegation of the troika.

    The negotiations, that do not appear to be reaching an agreement for the time being, have taken on a dramatic character since the "troika" links the acceptance of all its demands directly with the completion of the PSI, the signing of the new loan contract and the disbursement of the next tranche.

    [17] KKE party says 'game fixed' between government and troika on labour issues

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on Saturday, stresses that "their game is fixed. The Federation of Greek Enterprises and the parties of the government, covering themselves behind the troika, are handling the new savage crime against the working people and GSEE (the General Confederation of Workers of Greece) is covering up for them," and calls on working people not to accept to be condemned "to salaries of 400-500 euros, to unemployment, without social security, without Health."

    KKE adds that it is up to the working people "to upset their plans and to punish the accomplices severely. Class organisation, popular alliance. Counterattack everywhere. Down with the parties of plutocracy. Out with their troika associates, disengagement from the EU with popular power that will write off the debt" the announcement concludes.

    [18] KKE party leader arrives in Ankara

    ANKARA (AMNA - A. Ambatzis)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga arrived here at noon on Sunday, accompanied by Costas Papadakis, a member of the party's International Relations Department, to attend an event of the Communist Party of Turkey titled "Socialism shall win."

    The event will be held at 4 in the afternoon in Ankara's indoor stadium, on the occasion of the 91st anniversary of the assassination of the historic leader of the Turkish Communist Party Mustafa Suphi and 14 members of the party's Central Committee on January 29, 1921.

    Papariga will address the event, which rerpresentatives of the communist parties of Syria and Portugal will also be attending. Papariga will be visiting the Greek embassy before the event.

    [19] Papariga addresses Turkish Communist Party event in Ankara

    ANKARA (AMNA / A. Abatzis)

    Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Sunday evening addressed an event here hosted by the Turkish Communist Party.

    In her address, Papariga cited what she said was a "policy of clashing and exiting from the European Union as a prerequisite for the outcome of the struggle by the working classes' interest and the socialist prospective for a united socialist Europe".

    "This perspective cannot materialise automatically and synchronised throughout Europe, it will be the result of a series of coordinated actions on a national level".

    Referring to the Greek economic crisis, she said that its reasons, namely, a small country with with low productivity within the framework of EU, are the same as Italy, which is considered the third strongest economy in Eurozone.

    Papariga will return to Athens on Monday.

    Financial News

    [20] Development minister to hold talks with Chinese official on Monday

    Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis will be holding talks at the ministry on Monday with Chinese Deputy National Reforms and Development Committee Minister Zhang Xiaoqiang, focusing on Chinese investments in Greece and the further strengthening of trade relations between the two countries. Special actions are expected to be specified and scheduled between the two countries in the framework of cooperation memorandums that have been signed.

    General News

    [21] Bad weather conditions expected to last for long

    Snow and strong winds will be the main characteristics of the weather throughout the country in the coming days and it appears that the phenomena will last for long, according to National Meteorological Service (EMY) meteorologists.

    On Saturday, temperatures will remain low, while light rainfall is expected in the east and north of the Attica prefecture and light snowfall in mountainous regions in the north of Attica.

    An EMY official also mentioned the possibility of strong snowfall as of this coming Thursday.

    [22] Annual commemoration of Holocaust in Thessaloniki

    Greece's historic commitment to continue the study of the presence of the Jewish communities in the country was reiterated on Sunday in the northern port city of Thessaloniki by Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis, who spoke at the annual event commemorating the WWII Holocaust.

    Dollis reminded that the ancient metropolis of Thessaloniki lost 96 percent of its dynamic Sephardic Jewish community in the Holocaust, as 50,000 men, women and children were dispatched by occupation forces to Nazi concentration camps and killed there.

    During his address, Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris called for the bestowal of Greek citizenship to the children of Greek Holocaust survivors who now live abroad, a return of the Thessaloniki Jewish community's archives from Moscow, as well as a proposal to rename a major square in the port city in remembrance of its Holocaust victims.

    Israeli ambassador to Athens Arye Mekel and representatives of the local Jewish community also addressed the event.

    Wreaths were laid at the Holocaust monument of Thessaloniki at the conclusion of the event.

    [23] Handful of incidents involving illegals reported, 2 fatalities

    Two illegal migrants, identified as school-age girl and her grandfather were declared missing on Sunday, after a boat they were on overturned in the Evros River, part of yet another effort by migrant smugglers to ferry people from Turkey to Greece.

    Meanwhile, a toddler that was part of the original group was hospitalised at a local hospital after falling into the frigid river waters near the town of Orestiada.

    A rescue operation was immediately launched to search the Greek side of the river. Seven more illegals were spotted and rescued together with the boy's parents.

    The rescued illegals were transferred to a public hospital. A search effort will continue at day break on Monday.

    In similar incidents elsewhere, a vessel carrying an estimated 120 illegal migrants off SW Greece was led by patrol boats to the west Peloponnese harbour of Katakolo.

    The skipper of the vessel initially refused to follow directions to head into port. The final destination of the vessel was apparently Italy.

    Finally, five would-be migrants were killed and 10 others injured following a traffic accident on a stretch of the Astakos-Mytikas motorway in western mainland Greece on Friday.

    Another two foreign nationals that were not injured were arrested.

    According to reports, the accident took place when a van carrying about 45 illegal migrants veered off a winding mountain road and overturned.

    Police on Sunday arrested a 44-year-old Bulgarian man on suspicion of being the driver of the vehicle. Police are also searching for two other suspects, a Russian national and a Middle Eastern man.

    According to police, the three foreign nationals received 3,000 from each would-be migrant for the illegal transport from Greece to Italy.

    Similar incidents involving migrant smuggling are almost a daily occurence, given that Greece remains a target of migrant smuggler trafficking mostly Third World nationals into the country from neighbouring Turkey.

    [24] Military serviceman arrested for migrant smuggling

    A Greek military serviceman serving in the northern Evros region has been arrested by port officials in Igoumenitsa as he was driving a truck carrying illegal immigrants.

    The refrigerator truck, together with its cargo of oranges, was found carrying 70 illegal immigrants, including two children and a woman, who were going to travel from the port of Igoumenitsa to Italy.

    The illegals were found in a special compartment in the truck, that had been equipped with forged licence plates.

    [25] Two drug trafficking rings dismantled in Tripoli

    Two rings involved in drug trafficking, thefts and burglaries in the city of Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, have been dismantled by police. Investigations have led to the arrest of three Albanian nationals, aged 26, 29 and 22,who were members of the one drug trafficking ring, while another two fellow countrymen of theirs, aged 31 and 33, are still being sought.

    The homes of those arrested were searched and five packages containing hashish having a total weight of nine kilos and 840 grams and two electronic precision scales were found and confiscated.

    Moreover, two 17-year-olds, a Romanian and an Albanian, as well as a 22-year-old Bulgarian, were arrested while obtaining drugs from the drug traffickers arrested.

    [26] Jailbreaker arrested after raping women, attracting them with job offers

    A 46-year-old jailbreaker was arrested in the Athens district of Votanikos on Friday for raping women whom he attracted with announcements supposedly offering employment.

    According to police, the man posted announcements in streets in Athens with which he offered employment. He secured telephone contact with women seeking employment and then arranged a meeting with them. During the meetings he persuaded the women to board a truck that he then drove to a remote area in the region of Skaramangas and, threatening them with a knife, eventually raped them. Two such cases have been recorded over the past 10 days.

    The jailbreaker had been at large since April 2011 when he violated a 10-day regular leave from the Malandrinos prison, where he was serving a 25-year sentence for attempted homicide, thefts, frauds, cheques and other offences.

    [27] Incidents between far-rightists and foreign nationals in Omonia Square

    Two people injured and another 42 held for questioning was the result of incidents occurring between far-rightists and foreign nationals at the Omonia Square Metro station at about 10 on Saturday night.

    The incidents occurred at the end of a march for Imia, organised by the National Memory Committee and in which far-right organisations participated. The march started from the Imia memorial, at the intersection of Rigillis and Vassilissis Sophias streets, and reached the Concert Hall where the demonstrators dispersed.

    According to the police, a group reached Omonia Square using the Metro, where the incidents occurred.

    [28] Memorial service for late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos

    A memorial service for late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos was held at the Athens First Cemetery church on Saturday, four years after his passing away, with Serres metropolitan Theologos officiating.

    Visibly moved, the Serres metropolitan referred at the end of the service to the spiritual father and brother, stressing that what people remember is the daily smile of Christodoulos, while adding that he had predicted all that the country is experiencing.

    [29] Seismic activity continues between Crete, Santorini

    Continued seismic activity was recorded on Sunday in the sea region between Crete and Santorini, in the same epicentre as previous ones quakes over the previous 24-hour period.

    The biggest quake was recorded at at 11:55 a.m. and measured 4.5 points on the Richter scale.

    According to seismologists in Athens and Thessaloniki, the tremor was pinpointed at a distance of 243 kilometres south-southeast of Athens, while the epicentre was located 50 kilometres southwest of the holiday isle of Santorini.

    [30] Farmers hold protests at Malgara and Leptokaria tollgates

    A group of farmers held protests at the Malgara and Leptokaria tollgates on Sunday morning, protesting the policy being applied in the sectors of agriculture and stockbreeding. The farmers lifted the bars at the tollgates for a short while, allowing cars to pass without paying tolls and briefed motorists on their demands.

    [31] Police arrest robbers in Corinth

    Police in the city of Corinth, in the Peloponnese, have arrested a 21-year-old and a 23-year-old and are seeking a 28-year-old for carrying out a string of robberies in the Corinthia prefecture recently.

    According to police investigations, from 20-11-2011 to 26-01-2012 they had carried out a total of 15 thefts and burglaries in stores as well as churches in the wider region.

    A search of their homes led to the finding and confiscation of a REPLICA machinegun, of the UZI type and two REPLICA pistols.

    [32] Arson attacks on super markets

    Two arson attacks on a super market chain occurred in the Athens district of Galatsi and in downtown Athens on Saturday night. Unknown persons placed incendiary devices, each composed of two gas cannisters, at the entrance to the stores that are located in Pythagora street in Galatsi and Petraki street in Athens. The ensuing explosions caused slight damage.

    [33] Explosion at bank ATM in Ehinos

    An explosion was caused by unknown persons, who were reportedly four, at 3 in the morning on Saturday at a bank ATM at the town hall of the Mykis municipality in the region of Ehinos, in the northern prefecture of Xanthi. They seized an unspecified amount of cash and made their getaway in a car.

    Soccer

    [34] Greek Superleague Results

    OFI Crete - Xanthi 1-0

    Panionios Athens - Kerkyra 2-0

    Olympiakos Piraeus - Ergotelis Crete 3-0

    Atromitos Athens - Asteras Tripoli 0-1

    PAS Yannina - Panetolikos 1-0

    Aris Thessaloniki - Levadiakos 2-1

    Doxa Dramas - Panathinaikos Athens 0-1

    AEK Athens - PAOK Thessaloniki 0-2

    Standings after 19 weeks of play

    Panathinaikos 48

    Olympiakos 43

    PAOK 35 (18 games)

    AEK 34

    Xanthi 29

    OFI 29

    Atromitos 27 (18)

    Aris 25

    Ergotelis 22

    Panionios 22

    Asteras Tripolis 22 (18)

    Panetolikos 17 (17)

    PAS Yannina 14 (17)

    Kerkyra 12 (17)

    Levadiakos 10 (15)

    Doxa Dramas 6 (15)

    Weather forecast

    [35] Cold on Monday

    Sleet and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 4-9 beaufort. Temperatures will range between -5C and 12C. Cloudy with sleet in Athens, with northerly 6-8 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 2C to 5C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from -2C to 4C.

    [36] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    Sunday's meeting between the prime minister and party leaders on the completion of the new loan agreement and the PSI and the position of the parties of the Left that are calling for immediate elections, were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    AVGHI: "Not in our name".

    AVRIANI: "KKE has the printers of 'Rizospastis' 8 months unpaid".

    EPOCHI: "Not even the three together are enough...".

    EXPRESS: "Discontinuation of work by 432,000 professionals".

    ETHNOS: "Cut everything otherwise forget PSI and loan".

    KATHIMERINI: "The obstacles of Mr. Papademos".

    LOGOS: "Merkel is sending us to the...freezer of markets".

    NIKI: "The new Memorandum".

    PROTO THEMA: "The last massacre".

    REALNEWS: "It is difficult for you to remain in the euro".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Resist-rise up to the slaughter of labour rights".

    TO ARTHRO: "Gift by troika to bankers".

    TO PARON: "He is threatening with resignation".

    TO VIMA: "The document of shame. The future of Greece in the euro is at stake".

    VRADYNI: "Storm after haircut. What will happen with deposits, salaries, pensions".

    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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