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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-06-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 11 June 2012 Issue No: 4092


  • [01] Venizelos reveals sent letters to ND, SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and DIMAR leaders to agree post-elections discussion on formation of government
  • [02] Samaras: Exit from crisis means new jobs, not taxes
  • [03] SYRIZA says developments in Spain vindicate its policy
  • [04] Venizelos unveils 8 points of letter to party leaders for formation of co-responsibility gov't
  • [05] Papariga: Crisis in Spain could impact Latin America, Turkey
  • [06] Kouvelis: We'll do whatever we can for country to have gov't
  • [07] ND spokesman points to extremist views by what he calls SYRIZA cadre
  • [08] Tsipras lashes out at German Chancellor
  • [09] Venizelos in Rome on Monday, to meet with Mario Monti
  • [10] Ultra-nationalist cadre who struck MP live on TV says he'll head to prosecutor
  • [11] 68th anniversary of WWII Distomo massacre observed
  • [12] 5.8R quake jolts Rhodes
  • [13] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] Venizelos reveals sent letters to ND, SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and DIMAR leaders to agree post-elections discussion on formation of government

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos revealed on Sunday that he has sent a letter to New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis in order that a framework may be agreed for post-electoral discussion among the most powerful political parties on how the country will proceed and to avert a "new, traumatic experience" similar to that of the exploratory mandates for setting up a coalition government that followed the inconclusive May 6 general elections.

    Addressing a cross-channel press conference, Venizelos added that he did not send the letter to Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, given the KKE's well-known and firm position against Greece's member ship in the EU, nor to the ultra-right Chryssi Avghi party, because that party was acting outside the framework of the democratic function of the state.

    Venizelos said that he sent the letter, ascertaining that although the Greek people want a government to emerge from the elections so that the lack of governance, which harms the country, will not continue, a climate of impasse was nevertheless being formulated, with ND and SYRIZA at blame.

    He said this 'bogus impasse' must be broken, and this could happen only with the people casting their vote for PASOK since no party will amass a parliamentary majority on its own.

    Venizelos further said that the developments in Spain have a great impact on Greece and if the signing of Greece's bailout loan agreement had not preceded it "we would have had very great difficulty", adding that the speed with which the EU partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) acted "shows that a safety net is being prepared for the eurozone, and also in connection with Greece",

    He noted that actions were developing, "unfortunately in Greece's absence due to the lack of governance", and stressed that Greece must send the message that it desires to revise the adverse terms of the loan agreement.

    Asked on the "life" of the national co-responsibility governance he proposes, Venizelos said he would prefer that it have a full four-year term ahead of it, but he could accept a minimum duration of one-and-a-half years.

    A fundamental condition for such a government is the participation of SYRIZA, he said, adding that the same holds true for DIMAR as well, and called on DIMAR to clarify its position in relation to SYRIZA.

    He also said he was awaiting the Independent Greeks party to clarify whether the country's European membership is an inviolable condition for it, too.

    As for the prime minister in the co-responsibility government he proposes, Venizelos said that this aspect has run out of steam, and that was why the discussion now was on the policy framework: "Let's agree on the policy content, and the faces will also be found."

    To another question, he said that Chryssi Avghi engages in blatant violence and insults democracy.

    As for Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, he said that Kammenos is critical of himself and Samaras because they co-signed an agreement that was endorsed by the two-thirds of parliament, adding that he is proud of his signature and will not give account to Kammenos.

    [02] Samaras: Exit from crisis means new jobs, not taxes

    New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Saturday continued his tour of provincial capitals around the country, with the city of Corinth next on his itinerary, where he addressed a crowd of local businesspeople and entrepreneurs at the main chamber of commerce.

    Achaia and Ilia prefectures, also in the Peloponnese, are his next stops, as the repeat June 17 election looms.

    In citing what he called the lack of liquidity in the markets, he said an "exit from the crisis means new jobs, not new taxes; not more unemployment, not more wage cuts..."

    He later walked through the city's centre and spoke with local residents, according to reports.

    In a direct reference to the rival Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), Samaras called on voters to say "no" to "those adventurists who want Greece to lose its support ... No to those searching for Third World solutions in a time where everything is collapsing, at a time when Europe itself is counting every euro. This time requires stability, determination, consensus and patriotism," he emphasised.

    [03] SYRIZA says developments in Spain vindicate its policy

    An announcement by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Saturday noted that developments in Spain, i.e. the banking crisis, "confirm what the European left and SYRIZA have emphasised all along, that the problem of public debt is a European matter, a result of the applied neo-liberal policy."

    The statement addded that a "solution at the European level can only emanate from a clash with the 'Merkel policy', which in our country (Greece) is served by Mr. (Antonis) Samaras and Mr. (Evangelos) Venizelos, and which translates into a memorandums of fiscal discipline, austerity and recession."

    The leftist party again calls for a Europe "refounded" on the basis of democracy, solidarity, growth, social justice and a "distribution of wealth", all "necessary conditions", as it states for a "European solution".

    [04] Venizelos unveils 8 points of letter to party leaders for formation of co-responsibility gov't

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos unveiled the 8 points that could form the basis for the formation of a "national co-responsibility" government after the June 17 general elections contained in a letter he sent to New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis, during a cross-channel live TV interview on Sunday.

    The points proposed by Venizelos are:

    1) The need to agree a government of national co-responsibility with the participation of all the political forces that respect the democratic parliamentary institutions and truly want to guarantee Greece's place in the euro.

    2) Agreement on a change of the terms of the bailout loan agreement "that was imposed on us due to the correlations that existed in the EU at the time".

    3) Extension of the timeline for fiscal adjustment, "which already appears to be accepted", by one year and with an additional target of its extension to 2017.

    4) Preservation of the sustainability of the debt, in tandem with the extension of the fiscal adjustment.

    5) Advancement of the reforms that will render Greece a "regular", rational and not wasteful state, and will render the economy competitive.

    6) Agreement on a 10-year National Taxation System that will be stable for a decade, simple, automated in its implementation, developmental and socially just.

    7) Real support for development and employment through the promotion of public and private investments.

    8) The creation of a "social protection" net for every household in a state of need, and particularly those in conditions of absolute poverty, through a system of interventions at municipal level that will ensure a dignified standard of living.

    Venizelos said that these eight points are the self-evident obligation of every government, all the more so of a national co-responsibility government.

    He further said that the list of points for an agreement of national co-responsibility is open, but added that he had chosen to underline the above eight points believing that they are the most fundamental in this conjuncture of crisis the country is in.

    [05] Papariga: Crisis in Spain could impact Latin America, Turkey

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga opined that it is highly likely that Spain will enter the support mechanism, noting that things are not at all simple, given that a crisis in the Spanish banking system could have repercussions on Latin America and Turkey, given that Turkish banks hold Spanish sovereign bonds worth some 40 billion euros.

    Addressing a campaign rally on Saturday evening, Papariga said that the Greek people are suffering direct repercussions of the Memorandum in their lives while, at the responsibility of the other parties, it is still murky whether the crisis is due to the Memorandum or vice-versa.

    "The Memorandum did not bring the crisis. The crisis brought the Memorandum and, even if it is abolished, the problems will continue to be before us because the cause is the capitalistic crisis," she said.

    On Spain, she said that the country did not have a Memorandum, but the entire package of changes to labour relations for the worse and other measures have been introduced in Spain since 10 years ago.

    The crisis in Greece had been incubating since the end of the 1990s-early 2000, noting that in early 2000 a total of 11 industrial branches in Greece with respect to production levels were below the corresponding levels of the 1070s while a series of industrial branches were leaving Greece.

    "When a number of parties, SYRIZA included, say that 'the Memorandum has failed', it means that they are searching for a 'different recipe'. The Memorandum, with respect to its class targets, succeeded, because its measures did not aim at the recovery of the economy. They say that 'investments are not being made', but in a crisis investments are not made, the working class is first destroyed, then a sector of the capital is destroyed, and afterwards investments are made -- if they are made at all -- but only there where the profitability of the big capital is maximised," Papariga said, adding that the implementation of the Memorandum measures delayed in Greece because there is a movement that prevented it, a movement to which the KKE contributed with its policy line and its efforts.

    Papariga further linked the capitalist crisis with a prospective war in Syria, noting that the closure of the Syrian embassies throughout Europe was a harbinger of war, and added that the situation was further complicated dangerously given that some quarters want to advance their interests in the region through war, while others, such as Russia and China, also want to advance their interests, but without war, since they fear the advancement in the region of their competitors, the Europeans, Germans and the US.

    She sternly criticised the other parties for not speaking at all about these issues,

    The KKE leader also stressed that the crisis is not due to the "thieves of PASOK and ND". She said that there was no doubt that "parasites" exist, but added that the people's attention should focus on the "legitimate theft, the main aspects of which are the class exploitation, the privatisations, the concession of sovereign rights following the Maastricht Treaty, the flow of capital abroad, "all of which were done legally".

    Papariga asked for a strengthened KKE to emerge from the elections in order to avert the worst.

    [06] Kouvelis: We'll do whatever we can for country to have gov't

    Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis on Sunday referred to a plan for "immediate governance" following next Sunday's election, citing seven points he said form his party's proposal for a "progressive government of cooperation", speaking during a nationally televised press interview.

    "The first thing that is necessary is the formation of a government. The question that dominates and is directed to all, as no single-party government will arise, is with whom to cooperate... Another question, however, comes first: Which political positions can you agree upon in order to govern," he said, adding:

    "We assume the political initiative today to present citizens with a plan for immediate governance ... We're presenting, in public, a plan before the election of all that we will negotiate with other parties after the election, and within the framework of exploratory mandates (to form a government)," he said.

    Kouvelis, a one-time high-profile cadre with the Radical Leftist Coalition (SYRIZA), reiterated that his party is against any unilateral actions terminating the country's bailout terms (Memorandum), whether from initiatives domestically or overseas, rather he referred to a "disengagement" from the Memorandum, gradually and via negotiations.

    "We will do whatever we can in order for the country not to remain ungoverned," he stressed.

    [07] ND spokesman points to extremist views by what he calls SYRIZA cadre

    A New Democracy spokesman on Saturday sharply criticised what he charged was a call for "urban guerrilla" warfare by a presumed Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party cadre, who apparently cites the need for executions, kidnappings, torching of public buildings etc. as part of a "popular uprising".

    The video, posted on several sites around the Internet, shows a man identified as one Ifikratis Amyras, whom ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis claims is a SYRIZA cadre and even a brief MP candidate with the party. Mihelakis said the man was later dropped from the May 6 ballot because of the uproar caused by his statements.

    Amyras has appeared as an "alternative web journalist" in a number of web videos.

    "SYRIZA is covering up such views, but it is not condemning them. It (SYRIZA) is harbouring and encouraging them (views) ... the shock caused by SYRIZA and its fringe groupings on Greek citizens, at times as fans of the terrorist Koufodinas (a convicted N17 hitman), at times as instructors of urban warfare, at times as the protectors of hooded (rioters), is shocking for Greeks.

    [08] Tsipras lashes out at German Chancellor

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras strongly criticised German chancellor Angela Merkel on her statement on Friday that Greece must fulfill all its commitments as a condition for remaining in the eurozone, and called on Merkel to clearly state "what article of the European Treaties sets out the Memorandums of austerity as a condition for membership in the eurozone".

    Addressing a campaign rally on Saturday evening in Kavala, Tsipras passed off Merkel's statement as "pre-election fireworks", and asked "where has it ever been heard that the annihilation of a peoples and dissolution of a country is a condition for participation in the euro?", calling the statement a "putrid bait of danger-mongering" which, however, "convinces no one because no one can be coerced by the pre-electoral rallying of the lenders with their 'people' in Greece, Mr. Samaras (New Democracy leader) and Mr. Venizelos (PASOK leader).

    Tsipras also cited a recent position voiced by US President Barack Obama, who doubted the correctness of the European policy on the eurozone debt crisis, in defending the correctness of SYRIZA's policy.

    The SYRIZA leader urged the Greek voters to lend strength to his party so that it may implement its platform to the benefit of the people and the country, for re-starting Greece, rejuvenating the society, economic recovery and growth, restoration of the country's international dignity and credibility, and putting an end to partisanship, lack of meritocracy, corruption and collusion.

    [09] Venizelos in Rome on Monday, to meet with Mario Monti

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos will visit Rome on Monday, where in the early afternoon he will meet with Italian prime minister Mario Monti and the leader of the Democratic Party of Italy.

    Venizelos, who made the announcement himself at the end of a cross-channel live TV interview, said the meeting will be a follow-up to recent meetings with French President Francois Hollande and the leaders of the European socialist parties.

    These are political forces that will "help us in our efforts over the coming period," Venizelos said.

    [10] Ultra-nationalist cadre who struck MP live on TV says he'll head to prosecutor

    The controversial press spokesman for the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party on Saturday reportedly announced his intention, via a statement posted on the group's website, to present himself to authorities, days after he was shown striking a female political rival on live television.

    Ilias Kasidiaris' on-air pugilism -- at least three open-palm swings -- against outspoken Communist Party (KKE) MP Liana Kanelli, seconds after he threw a glass-full of water at another rival leftist party candidate, generated intense public and press scrutiny in Greece and grabbed headlines around the world.

    The top Chryssi Avgi cadre, who was elected to Parliament on a party ticket in the inconclusive May 6 election, said he would personally arrive at a chief prosecutor's office to file lawsuits against what he claimed are the "moral and actual perpetrators of all the illegal acts that were committed against me over the past two days."

    Having avoided a 48-period for his arrest on assault charges immediately after the incident, the statement attributed to Kasidiaris stated that the incident was "staged", with the sole purpose of "provoking an extreme reaction on my part ... I am personally sorry that I was involved -- without wanting to -- in a case that disorientates public opinion, with the primary purpose being to politically injure Chryssi Avgi..." the announcement read.

    Ultra-right Chryssi Avghi members, including candidate MP, arrested in violence in cafe frequented by anarchists in Veria

    Eight members of the ultra-right Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) party, including party candidate for MP in Pella prefecture Ioannis Sahinidis, were arrested in Veria on Saturday night charged with being the 'protagonists' in violence that broke out at an anarchists' hangout in Veria.

    The incidents started at noon when a group of anarchists scuffled with Chryssi Avghi members who were distributing campaign material for the upcoming general elections in a central Veria street. Police arrived on the spot and the two groups fled.

    A short while later, according to police, some 15-20 Chryssi Avghi members sent to a cafe, which is frequented by anarchists, where they attacked and beat six customers and caused extensive damage to the cafe.

    One of the customers, a 53-year-old man, was taken to hospital for first-aid.

    Police took in eight people for questioning, all of whom were identified and arrested, including Chryssi Avghi candidate MP for Pella, Ioannis Sahinidis.

    The eight are charged with causing serious bodily harm and damage to foreign property, and will appear before a Veria prosecutor on Monday.

    General News

    [11] 68th anniversary of WWII Distomo massacre observed

    A memorial service was held on Sunday in the south-central town of Distomo on the 68th anniversary of a notorious war crime in occupied Greece, in which German occupation forces executed 218 civilians.

    Sunday's service was the climax of a 10-day series of events commemorating the sombre anniversary of the massacre, both in Distomo and Athens.

    Thousands of local residents attended Sunday's events, which began with a religious service in the town's main cathedral followed by the laying of wreaths and a roll call of the victims at a hilltop mausoleum dedicated in their memory.

    Caretaker Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis represented the government.

    [12] 5.8R quake jolts Rhodes

    A moderate earthquake measuring 5.8 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the Dodecanese island of Rhodes early Sunday afternoon, but no damage was immediately reported.

    It was followed five minutes later by a quake measuring 5.5 Richter, and a subsequent string of smaller tremblers.

    The earthquake was recorded at 15:44 local time (13:44 GMT), with its epicentre in the sea region 73 kilometers east of the island, between Rhodes and Turkey, and an epicentral depth of 37 kilometers.

    The quake, which lasted 37 seconds, was felt especially on Rhodes and the surrounding islands of Kos, Kastellorizo and Symi.

    The Athens Observatory's Geodynamic Institute put the magnitude of the initial earthquake at 5.8 Richter, while the Euro Mediterranean Institute put the magnitude at 6.0 Richter.

    [13] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The parties' campaigns as Greece enters the final stretch to the June 17 parliamentary elections and the state of the economy in Greece and the eurozone were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    AVGHI: "Hope is stronger than fear".

    AVRIANI: "Arsenis or Kammenos the defence minister in the new government".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Inflated deficit, IMF, CDS - George (former PASOK prime minister) to face the firing squad".

    EPOCHI: "Madrid in the flames of the Memorandum".

    ETHNOS: "Open derby with 'voters for a day'."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Tough battle for first place".

    EXPRESS: "Alert to maintain the cash reserves".

    KATHIMERINI: "Greece reaching its limits".

    KERDOS: "The spectre of Spain over the Greek elections".

    LOGOS: "Six taxes and contributions as of June 17".

    PROTO THEMA: "We are neither blind, nor deaf - Article by Olli Rehn (EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner)".

    REALnews: "Ten years outside the euro - Secret plan for expulsion of Greece from the eurozone".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Decisive step forward with strong KKE (Communist Party of Greece)".

    TO PARON: "Upsets coming".

    TO VIMA: "The country's future being played 'head or tails'."

    VRADYNI: "Retire now, even with just 4,500 work stamps".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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