|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-10-08
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 8 October 2012 Issue No: 4193
 FinMin: No political solutions, only negotiations with troika"Negotiations with the troika will continue next week" Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said outside the Maximos Mansion on Saturday after his meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Stournaras expressed guarded optimism that a troika report to be submitted at the upcoming Eurogroup summit will be positive for Greece.
Referring to the negotiations, he said efforts for a compromise centre squarely on the economy's best interests, while he clarified that there are no political solutions, only negotiations with the troika. "
 Officials: Progress in gov't-troika talksProgress was reportedly recorded in negotiations between the government and representatives of the EC-ECB-IMF 'troika' to finalise a 13.9-bln-euro package of austerity and tax measures, finance ministry officials said Saturday after the end of Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras' meeting with the delegation.
Officials said there was progress on all the fronts during the nearly four-hour-long meeting, although "work will continue next week as well".
The main issue discussed on Saturday was the domestic banking and credit situation, as well as domestic banks' recapitalisation, given that 24 billion euros out of the 31.6 bln euros in the next bailout tranche will be funneled to banks via the Financial Stability Fund.
The troika delegation will depart from Greece on Sunday, while Stournaras will attend a Eurogroup Summit during the week.
 Tsipras: Merkel comes to support gov'tMain opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Saturday, addressing an audience at the party's affiliated youth festival in east Athens, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel "is coming in Athens to support the collapsing government and the criminal memorandum"
"Ms Merkel, whose obsession with the memorandum's austerity has led (Greece) to the cliff's edge, is not coming (to Athens) to support Greece; she comes to rescue the corrupt, unreliable subordinates to her interests."
He also told participants at the political fair that the "answer" to the crisis is "mass social struggles", which he defined as "the prospect of a major popular uprising against austerity..."
 Tsipras: Europe remains our strategic selection"Europe was and remains our strategic choice," main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said, adding that "Europe is being led into stagnation and dissolution because of neo-liberal policies.
In an interview with the Athens weekly "Vima", Tsipras accused the government for its austerity policy, noting that even if the package passes it will not be implemented.
"You can't receive taxes from someone who has no income," he said.
"The issue for us is a possible political change in Greece, which will signal wider changes in Europe as well," clarifying that SYRIZA's proposal is friendlier to the euro than the current policies, which jeopardise a united Europe.
 Gov't spokesman on SYRIZA leader's commentsGovernment spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Saturday responded to main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' statements on the upcoming visit to Athens by German Chancellor Merkel, referring to "outrageous" comments by the leftist leader.
"It is outrageous for Mr.Tsipras to charge that the German Chancellor is coming to Greece to rescue the country of corruption ... It is a shame that Mr. Tsipras does not understand that by insulting the German Chancellor at this crucial hour, he does major damage to the country's interests".
 Kouvelis addresses party cadresDemocratic Left (DI.MAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis reiterated his party's strategic decision to back the Samaras government, speaking to members of his party's central committee on Saturday.
"If the country today faces heightened pressure, and we as a leftist party participating in the government receive a portion of this pressure, you can image what would have happened if we had not provided a after the second general elections."
 EU Commissioner Malstrom to inspect migrant detention centres in Thrace on Mon.Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias will accompany EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecillia Malstrom on Monday on an inspection of migrant detention centres in Rhodopi and Evros prefectures, both in the Thrace border province, as well as the Frontex operations centre and a border post on the Greek-Turkish frontier.
Dendias and Malstrom are scheduled to tour facilities in the city of Komotini, near the town of Venna and Ferres, Evros prefecture, while they will also be briefed on efforts to combat the flow of illegal immigration by Greek Police (EL.AS) officers and Frontex officials.
 Heightened police, security measures for Merkel visitPolice measures, described as "draconian", are reportedly planned during a visit to Athens on Tuesday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to reports, 7,000 police officers will be on duty in the city's centre, with heightened security measures at the Athens airport and the downtown hotel with the German chancellor will stay.
Several main thoroughfares will also be closed to traffic periodically in the centre.
 Greek recession worse than expected; falls 7.1pct in 2011The Greek economy remained in a deep recession in 2011, with the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) revising, negatively, its projection of a reduction in GDP -- 7.1 percent from the initial forecast of -6.9 percent.
Total final consumption expenditures recorded a decrease of 7.2 percent.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) decreased by 16.4 percent.
Exports of goods and services increased by 0.3 percent.
Imports of goods and services decreased by 7.3 percent
 Unionists take-over PPC data processing centreUnionists took over the building housing the Public Power Corp's (PPC) data processing centre in northern Athens on Sunday evening, charging that a property tax tacked on to electricity bills is a "scandal against poor people".
The head of the union representing PPC employees, Nikos Fotopoulos, said the take-over will continue until the "specific data is confirmed", while promising a news conference to outcome his claims.
He also said the action occurred to prevent a "cover-up".
 Explosion aboard tourism craft; skipper diesAn explosion aboard the tourist vessel "Eva" on Saturday evening resulted in the death of the 51-year-old skipper of the vessel and the injury of a crew-member and five tourists.
The injured passengers were identified as two Dutch nationals, a 52 year-old man and 47 year-old woman; a 30-year-old Belgian man, as well as two minors from Germany, nine and seven.
The explosion occurred as the vessel was entering into Kos harbour, and possibly when passengers attempted to launch fireworks on the occasion of a celebration.
The skipper died on the spot.
All of the injured parties were transferred to a nearby hospital and are out of danger.
 Protests on Samos related to migrant reception centreA beefed up police presence guarded two opposing demonstrations on the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Sunday, one by members of the local chapter of the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) party, and the other by groups protesting against racism and fascism, as they said.
The backdrop to both protests was local opposition to the operation of a migrants' reception centre on the verdant island, one of the closest Greek territories to the Turkish coast, and thus a "favourite destination" for migrant smugglers ferrying illegal migrants into Greece.
Meanwhile, in northern Greece, residents in the Drama prefecture town of Paranesti announced that they were establishing an 11-member committee (five elected officials and six citizens) to consider proposals related to the temporary operation of a migrant detention centre in an abandoned army camp in the town.
Local residents protested last week over the operation of a such a facility, with televised footage showing at least one man attempting to fire a shotgun as riot police moved into the main square.
In an unrelated development, an attack was reported against the Chryssi Avghi offices in the southern Athens coastal district of Alimos. Damages to a glass pane in the entrance of an apartment building housing the offices as well as vandalism on the second floor.
 Antiquities smuggling arrestA 58-year-old local man was arrested on Saturday in Kozani, NW Greece, charged with antiquities smuggling and drug trafficking.
A search in his residence reportedly revealed artifacts dated to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras, whereas cannabis plants were also located.
 Trafficker, illegal migrants arrested in stolen carA 49-year-old Iranian man was charged with migrant smuggling after police found eight illegal migrants in a stolen car driver by the former.
The suspect was arrested when police stopped the vehicle during a routine traffic stop on the Egnatia motorway in northern Greece.
Three of the illegals said they were Iranian; two claimed to be Palestinian, another two from strife-plagued Syria and one from Eritrea.
The vehicle was stolen from Athens on Sept. 4.
All suspects were led before a Kavala prosecutor.
 Third world nat'ls arrested with fake travel documents at airportThree foreign nationals, a 22-year-old Syrian, a 28-year-old Nigerian and a Somali, 30, were arrested on Saturday at Nea Aghialos airport near Patras during their attempt to board a flight Brussels and Bergamo, respectively, using forged travel documents.
The suspects were in possession of a fake Finnish identity card, a forged French passport and a forged Ghana passport.
Migrant smugglers and illegal migrants, mostly from Third World countries, have targetted provincial airports in Greece of late in a bid to reach west European destinations.
Following the abolition by the Turkish government of a visa requirement for citizens of several countries, such as Yemen, for instance, would-be migrants land at Istanbul airport and then head to the nearest Greek border by bus. Smuggling gangs subsequently ferry illegal immigrants across the land border in Thrace or by boat to one of many Aegean islands.
Illegal migration over the past several years has led to hundreds of thousands of migrants congregating in Greece, as border points to other countries from Greece are better protected.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Athens, tax measures and the so-called "Lagarde List" mostly dominated the headlines on Sunday in Athens' newspapers.
AVGHI: "Merkel coming, government leaving".
DIMOKRATIA: "What Frau Merkel will not ... see in Greece".
ETHNOS: "Ten days of agony for last solution at EU Summit".
KATHIMERINI: "What brings Ms. Merkel to Athens".
PROTO THEMA: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Merkel's total rescue package".
Realnews: "Last chance for negotiation".
RIZOSPASTIS: "All at rally in Athens on Tuesday".
TO PARON: "What does Merkel want?"
TO VIMA: "The lists of shame and agony".
TYPOS: "Merkel, Samaras' plan for tranche and extension".
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