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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-05-21

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

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

Monday, 21 May 2012 Issue No: 4076

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM to confer with party leaders on Monday ahead of EU summit
  • [02] ND party spokesman proposes Samaras-Tsipras televised debate
  • [03] Independent Greeks party leader calls for two televised debates between all the party leaders
  • [04] Tsipras: Election goal is clear mandate to annul policies sinking country into recession and misery
  • [05] Tsipras in Paris and Berlin on Monday and Tuesday
  • [06] Panagiotis Tsimboukis appointed director of PM's press office
  • [07] Parliament dissolved, new elections called for June 17
  • [08] KKE party leader addresses members of KNE youth group
  • [09] Democratic Left party leader calls on people to give strength to the party
  • [10] LAOS party to participate independently in June 17 elections
  • [11] Ecologists-Greens decide independent participation in June elections
  • [12] ND party and SYRIZA on upward course, opinion polls show
  • [13] NATO summit to begin in Chicago with Afghanistan the main issue
  • [14] Papariga reiterates KKE position for disengagement from NATO
  • [15] Former PM Papandreou holds meeting with European Parliament president Schulz
  • [16] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [17] Search continues for 3 missing crewmen of capsized Turkish freighter
  • [18] Tsohatzopoulos' wife transferred to hospital from prison due to hemorrhage
  • [19] Man arrested in Ioannina for child porn through internet
  • [20] Young woman commits suicide by jumping off Corinth Canal bridge
  • [21] 1st Acropolis Half Marathon held on Sunday
  • [22] 33rd Marathon Peace March ends
  • [23] Super League playoffs
  • [24] Warm, partly cloudy, with local showers, on Monday
  • [25] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM to confer with party leaders on Monday ahead of EU summit

    Caretaker prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos will hold a series of separate meetings with the political party leaders on Monday, ahead of the upcoming EU summit.

    Pikrammenos on Saturday held a meeting at the Interior ministry with Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis, in the presence of Justice and State Ministers Christos Geraris and Antonios Argyros, as well as government spokesman Dimitris Tsiordas.

    The main purpose of the prime minister's visit to the Interior ministry was the preparation and holding of the June 17 general elections.

    The prime minister also visited on Saturday morning the Education Ministry where he was welcomed by the new Education Minister Angeliki-Efrosyni Kiaou.

    The purpose of the prime minister's visit was to be briefed on preparations for the holding of the nationwide examinations that are starting on Monday.

    On entering the minister's office, Pikrammenos said: "I wish for you every strength, every success in the examinations. This meeting aims precisely at this: For us to secure the preconditions that will safeguard the smooth holding of the nationwide examinations for us and for us not to create a climate of concern for the kids. And this is what is important, because my daughter sat examinations last year and I have first hand experience."

    [02] ND party spokesman proposes Samaras-Tsipras televised debate

    New Democracy party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis, in statements to the VIMA radio station, proposed a televised debate between ND leader Antonis Samaras and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras.

    Mihelakis proposed that the debate should take place in the last week before the elections.

    As regards the proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the possibility of holding a referendum (on whether or not the Greeks want to stay in the eurozone), Mihelakis reiterated that a referendum cannot take place and stressed that the citizens have given a specific mandate.

    [03] Independent Greeks party leader calls for two televised debates between all the party leaders

    Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos, in a statement called for the holding of two televised debates between all the party leaders.

    Kammenos said that if the leaders "are not afraid," debates should take place with all the party leaders "for the Greek people to understand what is happening."

    He added that it is not possible for political parties to be excluded "as happened recently with the discussions for the creation of a government."

    [04] Tsipras: Election goal is clear mandate to annul policies sinking country into recession and misery

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras said that the party's goal for the June 17 repeat general elections is to obtain a clear mandate from the people in order to permanently annul the policies that are sinking the country into recession and misery, addressing a meeting of the party's central political committee on Sunday.

    He also said that SYRIZA will continue its 'unity invitation' to all the other forces of the Left, adding that the Fiscal Agreement that was passed by parliament as an amendment will be placed again for a vote in parliament and, if needed, to the judgment of the Greek people via a referendum.

    Tsipras further charged that a return to the drachma, following the total impoverishment of the Greek people, is the plan of the "pro-Memorandum forces", "the last part of the plan of the Memorandum and the loan agreement that PASOK and New Democracy (ND) devotedly serve".

    [05] Tsipras in Paris and Berlin on Monday and Tuesday

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader and European Left Party Vice President Alexis Tsipras will visit Paris and Berlin on Monday and Tuesday, heading a SYRIZA delegation, to hold bilateral contacts with the leaderships of the French and German left.

    [06] Panagiotis Tsimboukis appointed director of PM's press office

    AMNA reporter Panagiotis Tsimboukis is assuming the duties of director of the prime minister's press office. His appointment took place by decision of caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos.

    [07] Parliament dissolved, new elections called for June 17

    A presidential decree dissolving Parliament as derived from the May 6 elections was posted on Saturday, with new elections called for June 17.

    The decree is signed by President Karolos Papoulias and caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos. According to the decision, a Parliament plenum that shall result from the June 17 elections will be convened at 11 a.m. on Thursday June 28.

    [08] KKE party leader addresses members of KNE youth group

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing members of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) group in the Athens district of Perissos on Saturday, stressed that the people deserve a government that will "cut" all contact with the EU, that will write off the debt unilaterally and that will give the people the power of wealth and of productive infrastructures and will develop all that can be developed in Greece with nationwide planning.

    Papariga added that this government will be controlled from "below" and with an "upward" trend and stressed that KKE will be a protagonist in such a government which, in addition, will abolish Greece's participation in the imperialist war and will develop relations with all countries, but beneficial for the Greek people since, as she said, "Greece cannot raise walls."

    She further stressed that the main rival of the working class and of the people is in Greece and pointed out that if the confrontation does not take place in Greece, then nothing will happen in Europe.

    [09] Democratic Left party leader calls on people to give strength to the party

    Democratic Left party leader Fotis Kouvelis, speaking to Parliamentary candidates and cadres of the party at a downtown Athens hotel, stressed that "we shall do everything possible and we call for strength from the people for us not to go to fresh elections again after June 17, for there to be a government of a progressive character for the country and the stronger the Democratic Left is the more decisively it shall shape conditions for there to be a progressive government."

    Kouvelis also assessed that the result that the party will achieve in the upcoming elections will be "considerably better" than that of May 6.

    [10] LAOS party to participate independently in June 17 elections

    The Executive Secretariat and former Parliamentary Group of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party held a joint meeting under the chairmanship of party leader George Karatzaferis at noon on Saturday and decided with an overwhelming majority to participate independently in the June 17 general elections.

    [11] Ecologists-Greens decide independent participation in June elections

    The Ecologists-Greens decided with a 78 percent majority during their Special Election Congress, that took place in a downtown Athens hotel on Saturday and Sunday, to participate independently in the June elections. The view in support of pre-election cooperations received 18.1 percent, while 3.9 percent were blank votes.

    [12] ND party and SYRIZA on upward course, opinion polls show

    Two opinion polls published in the newspapers PROTO THEMA and REAL NEWS show an upward trend for the New Democracy party and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), compared to the results of the May 6 elections, and marginally for the PASOK party.

    The poll published in "Real News" shows ND garnering 24.4 percent of respondents' preferences, followed by SYRIZA with 23.8, PASOK 14.5, Independent Greeks 8.5, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 5.9, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) 5.8 and the Democratic Left 6.9. Furthermore, the Ecologists-Greens receive 2.3, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 1.3, the Democratic Alliance 1.7, Dimiourghia Xana 1.9, Drassi 0.8 and other parties 2.2.

    The poll published in "Proto Thema" shows ND with 23.1 percent, SYRIZA 21.4, PASOK 13.5, Independent Greeks 7.3, KKE 5.2, Chryssi Avghi 5.2 and the Democratic Left 6, while 7.7 stated that they will vote for other parties and 12 percent are still undecided.

    [13] NATO summit to begin in Chicago with Afghanistan the main issue

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)

    The NATO Chicago summit was due to begin on Sunday evening, Greek time, with the main topic of discussion being Afghanistan.

    The sessions of the summit's first meeting will focus on the question of how defence capacity and security in the difficullt economic period will be maintained and improved.

    Greece, that completes 60 years of NATO participation this year, is being represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Defence Minister Frangoulis Frangos.

    The issue expected to attract the Greek delegation's attention is, mainly, the request by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for accession to the North Atlantic Alliance.

    [14] Papariga reiterates KKE position for disengagement from NATO

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga reiterated her party's position for Greece's disengagement from NATO, in a statement on Sunday as a two-day NATO summit opened in Chicago.

    Papariga blasted the other political parties -- those that want to govern or to participate in a coalition government -- for not taking a position on the NATO summit "which will be taking terrifying decisions for the peoples of Europe, the peoples of our region and the entire world".

    She called on the political parties to take a position on what Greece's participation in NATO should be, and on where those parties will say 'no'.

    Papariga said that the KKE condemns the NATO summit for the decisions it will take, including a decision that all the military structures in Europe will be included in the Alliance's military forces and will, she said, have the right to launch a "first strike" preemptively from Europe "and our region", while NATO will "assume even more jurisdictions to intervene everywhere on the planet -- and in our region-- not only for the specific pretexts it has put forward but even for internal changes or developments in the countries -- in other words when a people wants to take their destiny into their own hands".

    [15] Former PM Papandreou holds meeting with European Parliament president Schulz

    Former prime minister and Socialist International president George Papandreou met on Friday afternoon with European Parliament president Martin Schulz, who is on an official visit to Greece.

    The two men exchanged views on developments in Greece and Europe and agreed to meet again in Brussels on Wednesday in the framework of the European Socialist Party's conference.

    Financial News

    [16] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.291

    Pound sterling 0.816

    Danish kroner 7.544

    Swedish kroner 9.236

    Japanese yen 102.46

    Swiss franc 1.219

    Norwegian kroner 7.711

    Canadian dollar 1.313

    Australian dollar 1.307

    General News

    [17] Search continues for 3 missing crewmen of capsized Turkish freighter

    A search operation was continuing on Sunday for three missing crewmen of a Turkish cargo boat that capsized on Saturday morning in the sea between the port of Kyllini and the island of Zakynthos.

    The Turkish-flag "M/V Erol Senkaya", with a crew of 10 Turkish nationals, capsized as it was sailing from Zakynthos to Turkey with a cargo of 2,200 tons of olive pellets, and later sank partially, according to the Greek Coast Guard.

    Six crew members were rescued by Greek Coast Guard vessels and other boats sailing nearby, while the body of a 7th crew member, the ship's captain, was recovered by frogmen on Saturday afternoon from the deck of the half-sunken ship.

    The cause of the accident is as yet unknown, but Greek Coast Guard officials believe it was caused by a shifting of the cargo.

    The six rescued seamen were taken to the Zakynthos Health Center for precautionary reasons.

    The search operation was hampered on Sunday by strong rippling of the water that was dragging the capsized vessel, posing the threat of the capsized boat sinking abruptly and dragging rescuers with it.

    The vessel's chief officer (first mate), a seaman and an oiler are still missing.

    [18] Tsohatzopoulos' wife transferred to hospital from prison due to hemorrhage

    Vicky Stamati, wife of former PASOK minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, was transferred to hospital from her cell in Korydallos prison on Sunday after developing a "severe hemorrhage of a gynecological nature" that could not be treated at the prison's medical facility, her defence lawyers said.

    Stamati was remanded in custody on April 27 by order of the public prosecutor and examining magistrate in charge of a sensational bribery and money-laundering investigation against the one-time high profile PASOK politician.

    Stamati has been on a hunger strike since the morning of April 28, protesting what she says is her unfair remanding in custody.

    [19] Man arrested in Ioannina for child porn through internet

    Police have arrested a 56-year-old man in the northern city of Ioannina and charges were filed against him for child porn through the internet.

    Police arrested the man at a time when he was in an internet store and had entered, through an electronic computer, a website containing child porn. An ensuing search of his home revealed five hard discs and a portable apparatus for storing digital data.

    [20] Young woman commits suicide by jumping off Corinth Canal bridge

    A young woman committed suicide by jumping off the bridge of the Corinth Canal (Isthmus) on Saturday evening, in the second such suicide in less than 10 days.

    Coast Guard officers late Saturday recovered the body of the unidentified woman, which was sent to Corinth hospital for an autopsy.

    A 26-year-old man from Arcadia prefecture also jumped off the Corinth Canal (Isthmus) bridge shortly after midnight on May 10. The man drove to the spot with his car, which he left it on the bridge, and committed suicide by jumping off the bridge.

    Sports

    [21] 1st Acropolis Half Marathon held on Sunday

    Greece's Dimitrios Tsiounis took first place in the 1st Acropolis Half Marathon held in the Greek capital on Sunday, completing the 21,100-meter course in one hour, 14 minutes and 17 seconds (1:14:17). Greeks Dimitris Kotsolaris, Alexios Kontaratos, Georgios Alifierakis, Alexandros Raptis and Dimitrios Dritsakis placed second to sixth, while Javier Verdu Cabrejas placed 7th with a time of 1:22:53, followed by Greeks Michail Gelastos, Nikolaos Ramantanis and Argyris Pantelaios rounding up the top 10.

    With the slogan "Take a breath and join us in running the history of our city", the "Athens Run 2012", organised for the first time, was held on Sunday featuring the Acropolis Half Marathon and parallel races of 8 and 13 kilometers for both men and women, as well as a 700-meter race for people with special needs.

    The Organization of Culture, Sports and Youth of the City of Athens and the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (SEGAS), the organizers of the event, aim to establish the "Athens Run" as an annual event and one of the most important sports institutions in Greece with wide popular participation, as well as to promote the city of Athens abroad.

    All races set off from the gates of the ancient Panathenian Stadium (Kallimarmaro) and finished at the historic building of the Zappeion Mansion.

    All runners finishing the events, who were electronically timed, will receive a Special Medal and Certificate of Participation. More specifically, medals and certificates are awarded to the first three winners of the "Acropolis" Half Marathon and the 8 kilometer run for both men and women. In all races a cup will be awarded to the first winner, while all the runners who finish will be presented with a symbolic certificate and medal. Other special awards will be given to the first winners and to the biggest in number group participation of a School, Association, Union, etc.

    [22] 33rd Marathon Peace March ends

    This year's 33rd Marathon Peace March, in memory of assassinated (1963) pacifist Grigoris Lambrakis, ended with a protest rally opposite the Defence Ministry in the Athens suburb of Holargos.

    A large crowd of people, starting in the morning from the Marathon tomb, demonstrated for peace and disarmament, following the same course carried out by the peace fighter 49 years ago, on April 21 1963.

    Soccer

    [23] Super League playoffs

    Panathinaikos Athens beat AEK Athens 1-0 at home and Atromitos Athens defeated PAOK Thessaloniki 1-0 away in Super League playoffs played on Sunday.

    FINAL STANDINGS:

    Panathinaikos 14 points -- Champions League

    (3rd qualifying round)

    AEK -- 9 Europa League (playoffs)

    Atromitos 8 -- Europa League (3rd qualifying round)

    PAOK 7 -- Europa League (2nd qualifying round)

    Weather forecast

    [24] Warm, partly cloudy, with local showers, on Monday

    The weather will be warm and partly cloudy, with local showers on Monday, mainly in central and southern Greece, with southeasterly winds of 7 beaufort velocity in the northwest and 8 beaufort velocity in the southern Ionian.

    Partly cloudy in Athens, with easterly-southeasterly winds of 3-4 beaufort velocity, and temperatures ranging from 16C to 27C.

    Partly cloudy, with local showers in Thessaloniki and possibility of brief storms in the north of the prefecture in the afternoon, with southeasterly winds of 3-r beaufort velocity and temperatures ranging from 14C to 24C.

    [25] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    Speculation of Greece's exit from the euro, international pressures on Greece, the state of the economy, and new opinion polls ahead of the June 17 repeat general elections were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    AVGHI: "Gang of blackmailers".

    DIMOKRATIA: "The final showdown".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Package of changes in taxes and pensions".

    EPOCHI: "The guinea pig takes over the laboratory".

    ETHNOS: "Whip or carrot".

    EXPRESS: "Worry over larger recession in 2012 too".

    KATHIMERINI: "Europe prepared for every eventuality".

    KERDOS: "The economy at point zero".

    LOGOS: "The exemptions from the reductions in pensions".

    NIKI: "How to get out of the Tax Bureau's grips".

    PROTO THEMA: "Plan for ceiling on bank deposit withdrawals".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Strong KKE (Communist Party of Greece) a strong popular counter-weight".

    TO ARTHRO: "SYRIZA the refuge of the parasitic PASOK".

    TO PARASKINIO: "War! Everything you should know about the heavy economic attack on Greece".

    TO PARON: "Samaras-Tsipras clash to the end".

    TO VIMA: "Secrets and lies about the drachma and the euro".

    VRADYNI: "How to individually insure yourself - Guide for all the social security funds".

    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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