|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-09-24
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 24 September 2012 Issue No: 4182
 Samaras, CDI leaders received by PopeROME (AMNA/Th. Andreadis)
Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras and the leaders attending the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) -- of which Samaras' New Democracy (ND) party is a member -- were received on Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo.
Addressing his guests, the Pontiff said that the social and political rallying needed a new boost in the search for a stable ethical basis, the lack of which, at economic level, has contributed to the creation of the international monetary crisis.
The Pope asked the CDI leaders for their political contribution to not suffice in dealing with the needs of the market rationale but to continue to consider of central importance the search for the good, for the entire social whole, and the advancement and protection of human dignity.
He further reiterated his opposition to abortion and euthanasia and asked the centre-right leaders to follow those principals in their everyday action.
The audience was concluded with the Pope having his picture taken with the CDI leaders.
 Italian PM Monti: Greece is not alone"Europe will help Greece, if Greece helps itself," Italian prime minister Mario Monti said in an interview with the Greek daily 'Kathimerini' appearing on Sunday, and on speculation over a Greek exit from the euro Monti stressed that "this is a scenario that is not being examined".
"Greece has already made great progress and must continue uninterrupted the process of fiscal discipline and structural reforms, because it is in its interests. I believe that the Greek government and people agree with that. They are not alone. Europe is helping, but they too must help themselves," said Monti, who met with his visiting Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras in Rome on Friday.
"We know from experience that the sacrifices are worth making," Monti added, and welcomed "the economic measures recently decided by the Greek government as a clear indication of the will to proceed to reform of the economy", at the same time expressing conviction that "Greece will abide by its commitments and implement the structural reforms it needs to give impetus to growth and employment, and will continue the painful but necessary process of fiscal discipline it has commenced".
Turning to the EU and its decisions aimed at an exit from the crisis, Monti said that it has "taken a quantum leap towards stabilization and solution of the crisis", noting that the June decisions were a major step forward in the right direction.
He opined that a clear political message was given that a comprehensive and balanced approach between short-term and mid-term measures to overcome the present crisis is required, and called the recent European Central Bank (ECB) announcement "very important".
 Package of measures must be finalized by Sept. 28The package of new austerity measures must be finalized by September 28, at which time Council of Financial Experts president Panos Tsakloglou will present the Athens-Troika agreement to the Euro Working Group, a high-ranking finance ministry official told AMNA.
The details of the "deviation clause" being discussed by the government's economic staff with Greece's international lenders must also be finalized by that time, so that the objections that have been put forward to the measures proposed by the Greek side will be withdrawn, enabling the package to 'close'.
Under the 'deviation clause', or Plan B, the Greek government will be obliged to take equivalent measures from the hard core (wages, pensions and benefits) in January 2014, for each point of deviation from its targets on primary deficit/surplus in 2013.
 FM Avramopoulos due to hold meeting with UNSG Ban Ki-moonNEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)
The Cyprus question and the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) were expected to dominate talks during in the meeting Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos was to have with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the international organisation's headquarters on Sunday night, Greek time.
Speaking in an interview with New York's weekly Greek American newspaper "Greek News", on the occasion of the sessions of the UN General Assembly's 67th conference, Avramopoulos said that the issue of Cyprus would be high on the meeting's agenda "because we must safeguard the UN's active role and shield the procedure under its auspices", as he said, stressing that "we shall also discuss the situation in the Western Balkans, the issue of the name and the developments in Kosovo. And of course, we shall examine the situation in the Middle East and North Africa".
As regards Greece, and to whether it will proceed with the declaration of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Foreign minister said "the delineation of all sea zones with all our neighbours constitutes a steadfast political choice and priority for Greece. Not only for the economic benefits it offers, but also because the conclusion of such agreements contributes to the consolidation of peace and stability".
"The Exclusice Economic Zone constitutes an inalienable right of Greece and its enactment will take place in the framework of the wider strategy and with the criterion of the maximisation of benefits for the country," Avramopoulos noted, adding: "Do not forget that we are already proceeding with determination with a research in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete, where the safest indications exist as well. Greece, at last, is entering the energy game and will proceed with consistency and good planning."
Referring to the rest of the issues that he will be discussing with the UN secretary general, Avramopoulos said that "Greece is very close to developments, it is affected directly by them and is waging its own struggle for peace to prevail, with respect for the sovereignty and the will of the peoples of the region. The crisis in Syria is threatening stability in the entire Middle East and has repercussions on world security. We shall discuss the UN's role in the crisis and the great humanitarian challenges we have to face".
After his meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the Foreign minister will be meeting with the UN secretary general's special envoy in the talks between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the name, Matthew Nimetz, at the headquarters of the Greek permanent delegation. "It will be my first meeting with Mr. Nimetz and it will give us the opportunity to exchange views on the prospects of solving the issue of the name," Avramopoulos said, stressing that "Greece has supported his mandate in a longstanding way and the process of the UN and has proved in practice its constructive stance".
 Greece seeks to express constructive positions, bridge differences, permanent representative to UN saysNEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)
Greece firmly seeks to express constructive positions, to bridge differences and to methodically promote its interests, Greece's permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Anastasis Mitsialis, said in an interview with AMNA on the occasion of the commencement of the 67th UN General Assembly proceedings on Tuesday, and Monday's high level meeting on the "Rule of Law", at which foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will represent Greece.
Mitsialis said that, as every year, a series of issues related to the UN's activities will be put forward at the General Assembly, adding that the focus will be on matters pertaining to world peace and security, given that the developments in Syria and the Middle East more generally continue to cause worry.
Therefore, he said, it is necessary that the international community intensifies its efforts in order to face the problems in the region and cultivate the ground for normalisation of the situation, which is aggravated more every day.
Further, there were other issues such as sustainable development, disarmament, promoting human rights and the principles of the rule of law, which will also be discussed at the Assembly.
As for Greece, he said the major issues of Greek interest remained on the UN Security Council agenda, such as the Cyprus issue and the FYROM name issue, both of which were in an ongoing process of efforts for resolution under the auspices of the UN.
 Tsipras addresses party political committee meetingMain opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras stressed that the party's central strategy comprised the triptych "annulment of the Memorandum, renegotiation of the loan agreement, and restructure of the country", addressing a party political committee meeting on Saturday evening, while he also said that his party will undertake and initiative for and be the protagonist in a movement to safeguard democracy.
Tsipras said that the crisis in the country could be dealt with only with a political solution, adding that annulment of the Memorandum would mean an end to the austerity measures and recession, renegotiation of the loan agreement would aim at a moratorium on payment of the interest on the external debt for a specific period of time, the write-off of a substantial part of the debt and repayment of the remainder with a 'growth clause', and a policy for the restructure of the country would put Greece in a developmental and productive direction, with broad distribution of the income and wealth, and with a social and environmental content.
On the discussions in the government and its negotiations with the Troika, Tsipras said that the "co-governance is pulling the trigger against any poor or weak citizen it locks in its target sight", and predicted that it would announce "an unprecedented, for a European country, package of (austerity) measures".
Warning that the programme imposed on Greece could not deal with the crisis but on the contrary aggravated it, he stressed the risk of Greece being led outside the new European architecture, and in that light, in the case of Greece "there is no margin for a technical solution, only for a political solution".
 Synaspismos Central Political Committee concludes two-day sessionThe Coalition's (Synaspismos) Central Political Committee concluded its two-day session on Sunday night and decided the guidelines of the Radical Left Coalition's (SYRIZA) political action regarding the handling of government policy and its organisational reconstruction.
These positions will be discussed in the coming days in the framework of SYRIZA with the aim of developing effective political action on the reversal of government policy, since it was assessed that the crisis is swelling and SYRIZA constitutes the only alternative solution for the country.
 KKE calls for mass participation in Sept. 26 strikeThe only for the people to obstruct and save themselves from the new devastation being brought by the government, the EU and the domestic plutocracy is their disengagement from the rationale of sacrifices in order to stay in the EU and for the recovery of the capitalist profitability, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said on Saturday in an announcement.
There should be no expectations of "new saviors", the KKE added, and called the Greek people to mass participation in the general strike that has been declared by the country's major umbrella labor federations on September 26, and to an organised counter-attack for a radical upset.
 Poll sees narrow ND lead over SYRIZANew Democracy (ND) posted a 0.5 percent lead over main opposition SYRIZA, in yet another opinion poll appearing on Sunday in RealNews newspaper, while the ultra-right Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) appeared to have risen to third place.
According to the results of the opinion poll, conducted by MRB, with respect to voter intent, ND was preferred by 22.9 percent of the respondents, against 22.4 for SYRIZA, 9.0 percent for Chryssi Avghi, 7.9 percent for PASOK, 5.0 percent for the Independent Greeks, 4.2 percent for Democratic Left (DIMAR), and 4.0 percent for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), followed by the Ecologists-Greens with 1.2 percent, while the undecided vote reached 20.1 percent.
Prime minister and ND leader Antonis Samaras was preferred by 35.2 percent of the respondents as the most suitable for prime minister, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 28.4 percent, while 26.2 percent of the respondents felt ND was more capable of dealing with the country's problems, against 24.2 percent who opted for SYRIZA.
With regard to the 3-party coalition government, 67.2 percent of the respondents had a negative impression of PASOK, 47.5 had a negative impression of DIMAR and 44.7 percent had a negative impression of ND, while the percentages of a good impression were 13.3, 23.9 and 23.6 respectively.
Also, 50.6 percent of the respondents assessed SYRIZA's opposition stance as negative, against 24.4 percent who approved, while 69.5 percent of the respondents felt that Chryssi Avghi was exercising the 'worst' opposition.
 Opinion poll sees SYRIZA leadNegative estimations of the Greek citizens are recorded in an opinion poll conducted by Metron Analysis, published in the financial newspaper Ependytis (Investor) on Saturday.
Nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) of the respondents said that Greece is headed in the wrong direction, while only 25 percent felt it is going in the right direction.
As for voters' intent, main opposition SYRIZA comes in first place against New Democracy (ND) in second, and the ultra-right Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) in third place, while prime minister Antonis Samaras (ND leader) is viewed by 36 percent of the respondents in a positive light over the way he is exercising his duties, a slightly higher percentage than the entire government as a whole.
The opinion poll, conducted on a nationwide sampling of 1,002 people over 18 on September 18-19, showed SYRIZA leading with 20.8 percent, followed by ND with 10.6 percent, Chryssi Avghi with 8.8 percent, PASOK with 7.3 percent, Independent Greeks with 5.4 percent, Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 4.8 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 3.9 percent, and the Ecologists-Greens with 1.1 percent.
In a comparison with the results of the latest general elections in June, the estimated percentages for the parties are 27.7 percent for SYRIZA (26.89pct in June) giving it a 1.6pct lead against 26.1 percent for ND (29.66pct in June), Chryssi Avghi 11.7 percent (6.92 in June), PASOK 8.9 percent (12.28pct in June), and DIMAR 6.3 percent (6.25pct in June).
 President to receive NBG chairman on MondayPresident of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will receive National Bank of Greece (NBG) chairman of the board George Zanias on Monday, at 13:00, the office of the President announced on Saturday night.
 GSEE and ADEDY unions to hold 24-hour nationwide strike on WednesdayThe General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) will be holding a 24-hour nationwide strike on Wednesday. The mobilisations are taking place in light of the finalisation of the new package of measures.
Civil servants in tax services, building services, local administration and public utilities will be participating in the strike, as well as tax officials, professors and teachers, doctors, merchants, lawyers, civil engineers and bank employees.
Buses and trolleys will be running from 9 in the morning until 9 in the evening, while the Metro will be running as normal all day to facilitate people wishing to participate in rallies.
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. Dollar 1,32
Pound sterling 0,81
Danish kroner 7,57
Swedish kroner 8,62
Japanese yen 103,1
Swiss franc 1,23
Norwegian kroner 7,53
Canadian dollar 1,28
Australian dollar 1,26
 Detainees in Korydallos prison refusing to return to their cellsUnrest was prevailing in the Korydallos pruison on Sunday evening as dejainees in the E wing were refusing to return to their cells. The wing houses 400 people, of whom only 20 are Greeks.
Earlier, detainees in the B and C wings had burnt improvised American flags and incidents broke out on a limited scale. The detainees in these two wings ultimately returned to their cells but in wing E they were still refusing to return.
Riot police are on guard outside the prison, without intervening so far and waiting for the situation to calm down.
 Clashes break out in Moslems' demonstration in Athens against Mohammed filmClashes broke out on Sunday afternoon as Moslems residing in Greece staged a demonstration in downtown Athens' Omonia Square, to be followed by a march to the US Embassy, in protest of film produced by an Egyptian Copt residing in the US mocking the prophet Mohammed, which sparked deadly protests in the Middle East.
The clashes between demonstrators and MAT riot police broke out when a MAT contingent obstructed a group or protestors as they attempted to march to the US Embassy, and the riot police used teargas, while the demonstrators responded by throwing objects at police.
The Metro station at the Megaron-Athens Concert Hall, which is situated next to the Embassy, was closed off for security reasons.
A strong police presence was deployed in the surrounding streets around Omonia Square, and was conducting an operation to evacuate the Square, after protestors caused damage to kiosks and shop windows.
 Forty taken for questioning during incidents in Omonia Square rallyPolice forces detained 40 people for questioning during the incidents that took place at a rally held by Muslims in Omonia Square in downtown Athens on Sunday afternoon.
The people were taken to police headquarters for their identity to be ascertained as well as whether evidence exists of participation in offences, otherwise they shall be released.
 One dead, two injured in dispute in PiraeusA man was killed and to others were injured, one of them seriously, in a fight that broke out, apparently for personal differences, at midnight in Piraeus.
The alleged perpetrator, a 40-year-old man, was later arrested by police after a manhunt.
Police sources said that the fight broke out among four persons in an apartment, during which the 40-year-old pulled out a gun and fatally shot a 48-year-old man and seriously injured the 39-year-old brother of the dead man, while a fourth man was hurt when he tumbled down the stairs as he tried to escape.
The two injured men were taken to a nearby hospital, while Piraeus security police were investigating the incident.
 European Day Without CarsEuropean Day Without Cars was marked in Athens and throughout the rest of Greece on Saturday.
Central city streets were closed off to cars in many urban centers, as bikers took advantage of the car-free streets and showed up in numbers.
The Bicycle Association of Veteran Athletes organized a 200-kilometer non-competitive large distance race, with more than 410 bikers participating.
September 22 was designated as European Day Without Cars as a self-standing day in 2000, under the auspices of the European Commission.
Pedestrians, bicycles, public transit and other forms of sustainable transportation are encouraged on these days, and people are invited to reflect on what their city would look like with a lot fewer cars, and what might be needed to accomplish that.
 Ferry develops engine failure, returns to portA ferry with 322 passengers on board developed engine trouble shortly after it set sail for Crete and returned to Piraeus port on Sunday.
The "Elli-T" was barred from sailing until the damage is restored and relevant certification is presented to authorities.
The passenger and crew are all safe and well.
 Three arrests at border for fake documentsThree Syrian nationals were arrested on Sunday at the Promahonas border station as the attempted to leave Greece on a tourist coach to Bulgaria with stolen and forged documents.
During a passport check, two of the Syrians presented genuine Greek police ID cards, but which belonged to other persons, and the third presented a forged Romanian ID, which were confiscated.
 4.9R earthquake jolts CorinthA light earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted Corinth early Saturday, but no damage or injuries were reported.
The quake, which was felt in Athens, was recorded at 6.50 a.m., with its epicenter 23 kilometers north of Corinth and 88 kilometers west of Athens.
 4.4R quake jolts KonitsaA light earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale jolted Konitsa, near the Greek-Albanian border, on Saturday morning, but no injuries or damage were reported.
The earthquake was particularly felt in the wider are of Konitsa and the Zagorochoria, but also in Premeti and Tepeleni on the Albanian side of the border, sending local residents out into the streets as it reminded them of the 1996 quakes that had caused serious damage and the collapse of buildings.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 9 kilometers southeast of the Konitsa village of Exohi.
 Super League resultsOlympiacos Piraeus beat Panthrakikos Komotini 4-1 in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while AEK Athens lost 2-1 away from OFI Crete and Panathinaikos Athens and Atromitos Athens will be playing on Monday September 24.
In other action:
Asteras Tripoli - Platanias Crete 2-1
Levadiakos Livadia - Panionios Athens 3-0
Xanthi - PAOK Thessaloniki 0-3
Veria - PAS Yiannina 1-0
Aris Thessaloniki - Kerkyra 1-0
Standings after four weeks of play:
1. Olympiacos 12 points
2. Panionios 9
3. Asteras 9
4. PAOK 9
5. Atromitos 7 (3 games)
6. Aris 5
7. Xanthi 5
8. OFI 5
9. Platanias 5
10. Levadiakos 4
11. Veria 4
12. Panthrakikos 3
13. Panathinaikos 2 (3 games)
14. PAS Yiannina 2
15. Kerkyra 1
16. AEK 1
NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.
 Sunny, with rise in temperatures on MondayFine weather was forecast throughout the country on Monday, with a rise in temperatures and northerly winds of up to 5 beaufort velocity in the Aegean.
Sunny in Athens, with variable winds of 2-4 beaufort velocity and temperatures of 17C to 32C.
The same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 13C to 28C.
 Athens' newspaper headlines on SundayThe talks between finance minister Yannis Stournaras and head of the IMF delegation in the Troika Poul Thomsen, the changes to the taxation system and the new package of austerity measures were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
AVGHI: "Strike, response to 'black package'."
DIMOKRATIA: "Revelation: Samaras' confidential letter to Gruevski".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The new retirement ages".
EPOCHI: "They pulled the trigger".
ETHNOS: "The unknown war".
KATHIMERINI: "Thriller with measures, loan tranche, extension".
KERDOS: "All the changes to taxes".
LOGOS: "NO more negotiation?".
NIKI: "How to get your money from unpaid rents".
REALNEWS: "Burning deposition for 3 ministers".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Everyone turn out for September 26 strike and PAME demonstrations".
TO ARTHRO: "The oligory of five ministers cuts salaries-pensions".
TO VIMA: "Hostages of Thomsen".
VRADYNI: "Who can retire this year".
A 24-hour strike will take place at the Athens Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) from 6:00 a.m. Monday to 6:00 a.m. Tuesday.During the strike news items and information will not be broadcast by the Agency and the AMNA website will not be updated. The strike was called by the Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA).
The Daily Bulletin will not be published on Tuesday. It will appear on Wednesday.
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