|Wednesday, 21 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-11-05
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 5 November 2012 Issue No: 4214
 Samaras: 'Good bye to eurozone' if measures, budget fail to passGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday outlined the very serious juncture at which the country finds itself, speaking to MPs of his ruling New Democracy Parliamentary group and ahead of this week's crucial vote on a latest austerity package and the 2013 draft budget.
The premier referred to the 13.5 billion euros in austerity measures and tax hikes that will be tabled on Monday in Parliament, reassuring deputies - as well as a television audience, given that the address was carried live by several television stations -- that no more cuts in salaries and pensions will be taken.
He also pleased with his junior government partners, namely, PASOK and DI.MAR, to continue their course together. Samaras clarified that ratification of the measures must be done immediately in order to receive a 31-billion-euro bailout tranche, of which he said only 10 percent will go to creditors.
"I have personally struggled to secure more money so that the state's obligations towards the private sector are fulfilled and that liquidity (in the market) is restored. The money that will be funneled to the market will be more that the cuts. When the measures are ratified and we receive the bailout tranche, liquidity will be directed to households and enterprises; the 'drachma phobia' will subside and investments will start to arrive".
Samaras also cited the danger in case of a rejection of the measures, stressing that the problem is not if one or another measure passes but what will happen if the measures do not pass.
"Greece would return to international isolation, we will say goodbye to the eurozone and the country would be looted by the drachma lobby. Conditions will be worse than any austerity measure that passes today. Unprecedented conditions will prevail in society, along with a social uprising, led by the two extremes, and conflicts in a society that dissolve and before a collapsing state. This is the nightmare that we will not allow to happen".
Samaras called on deputies to "wage the battle against our opponents, which remain stuck in the past ... We are not inconsistent in our promises. Our pledges, included in the coalition government's agreement, have a four-year horizon. We must save the country from destruction. We pledged that we will keep the country in the eurozone," he said, reminding that "we will keep our promises as soon as the country's economic condition allows".
The Greek prime minister cited two "enemies", as he said, state wasting and tax evasion, "which through restructuring changes we will be able to control them ...
We have won two crucial battles. We have regained our credibility abroad and we have changed the Greek society's direction."
In conclusion, Samaras said both the government and country will emerge stronger from this tribulation.
"We cannot take a step back now that Europe is changing; we have set conditions to exit from the crisis," he said.
SYRIZA on PM's statements
Main opposition SYRIZA, in an announcement on Sunday, sharply attacked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and accused him of lacking credibility.
"Mr. Samaras will soon have the fate of Mr. Papandreou (the former PASOK PM) and Mr. Papademos (who was appointed after Papandreou resigned)."
SYRIZA reiterated that the Memorandum is a disaster and a means towards the devastation of the country's potential for development, dissolution of labour rights, the abolition of the social state, poverty, unemployment and the closure of businesses.
"Samaras' every promise that there will be no further cuts in salaries and pensions is as reliable as his promises for a renegotiation and a change of the implemented policy."
The party reiterated its position that "the only position of responsibility and dignity is rejection of the package of measures and the state budget".
 Samaras meetings with coalition gov't partnersPrime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet with Democratic Left (DI.MAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis at the Maximos Mansion on Sunday evening.
Earlier, the premier had a meeting with PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos at the latter's office in Parliament.
The two meetings are held within efforts by the premier to convince his coalition government partners to vote through an upcoming austerity package and the 2013 state budget.
 Danger of bankruptcy, 'grexit' if state budget not passedFinance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Saturday again warned of a danger of bankruptcy and Greece's exit from the eurozone in case the draft 2013 state budget is not passed by Parliament, speaking during a relevant debate on the state budget.
Stournaras called the 2013 state budget and the mid-term programme "strong negotiations tools for the government", urging MPs to ratify them.
"The coming weeks will be very crucial. A mistake could lead Greece to bankruptcy and unpredictable tribulations outside the eurozone. Some say that this is blackmail, but it is only the reality," he said.
Stournaras emphasised that the mid-term programme includes the "last package of painful measures that the government is called on to implement."
"We have done much; we have shouldered a great deal of burdens and are still on our feet ... and for this reason it is unfair and irrational to abandon the effort now that conditions are changing. We have thoroughly sought an alternative solution but there is none..."
He concluding his comments by noting that "some are losing their courage and believe that we will not succeed; others may probably hope for this ... the government will complete its mission ... I am certain that all will stand up to these circumstances".
 Tsipras calls for early election to stop 'democracy's destruction'Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called for early elections in order to "stop the economy's and democracy's destruction in our land."
Tsipras spoke from Parliament ahead of the most crucial week for the Samaras coalition government, given that a more than 13-billion-euro austerity package is slated for vote by the 300 MPs in Parliament, along with the equally significant 2013 state draft budget.
The leftist leader's demand, if implemented, would mean that Greece would hold three general eletions within a span of a year.
He again called on all Greek deputies to "assume their patriotic duty" and for the people, as he said, to a "continuous peaceful uprising in order to block the measures."
Tsipras was addressing members of his party's Parliamentary group.
In brief but biting reaction, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou called on Tsipras to "first persuade (his parties') groupings that he is ready to govern, and then ask for elections". An immediate reply by SYRIZA said that if the government "is so sure" that the latter does not persuade, "then let them proclaim (elections) immediately to confirm this".
 KKE statement on SYRIZA snap election quipThe Communist Party (KKE) on Sunday evening warned, in a written statement, that the government shuns snap elections because it wants to continue the "policy in favour of monopolies", while main opposition SYRIZA wants elections to preclude that a "mobilisation is organised to uncover the real nature of its (SYRIZA) own policy".
KKE said SYRIZA's policy is one of a mere management of the crisis, "on the backs of the people".
 Venizelos: We want DI.MAR in gov't"We want the Democratic Left (DI.MAR) party in the coalition government," PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos emphasised on Sunday in statements during a 40-minute meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Venizelos underlined that the country has covered "two-thirds of the distance ... To retreat now is three times worse than to proceed".
The PASOK leader noted that until the country exits from the crisis and again becomes self-sufficient, there are only two selections, "one of them is extremely difficult and the other totally destructive, particularly for the weaker and poorer."
Referring to his meeting with Samaras, the PASOK leader clarified that "PASOK and ND do not coincide, neither in principles nor ideologically, but we cooperate with consistency in order for political stability to be safeguarded and the country's safe and final exit from the crisis, he said, adding:
"We want DI.MAR to remain in the coalition government and we will work on this with all our efforts to this end."
Venizelos also said that he discussed with the prime minister the Parliamentary procedures that will take place over the next days and the crucial stage of the political negotiations with Greece's creditors ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on Nov. 12.
According to reports, Venizelos will meet with DI.MAR leader Fotis Kouvelis.
 DIMAR leader adamant over position on changes in labour regimeDemocratic Left (DI.MAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis appeared adamant over his decision to reject changes in labour relations, in statements published by an Athens daily on Sunday.
Kouvelis pointed at the EC-ECB-IMF troika and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' handling are responsible for the political impasse.
Moreover, he said he supports the fiscal policy measures, citing his party's responsibility for them, while leaving open the prospect of whether DIMAR will ratify the draft 2013 state budget.
"We are examining the state budget and we will take our final decision when it is tabled in Parliament".
In a later high-profile statement after meeting in the evening with Samaras, he reiterated his party's disagreement with labour sector liberalisation.
Moreover, he said DIMAR's second choice is for the government coalition to remain stable.
Finally, he said labour relations are an "internal affair" for the country, and not subject to creditors' demands.
 Ind'p Greeks party: Another gov't only hopeIndependent Greeks party spokesman Christos Zois on Sunday, commenting Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' statements to his New Democracy (ND) parliamentary group, commented that the "only hope now, after the disappointing conclusions from Prime Minister's speech, should be sought in another government, which will defend the Greek people's rights, property, pride and the country's sovereignty and its dignity and equal position among other European countries".
Zois, addressing the premier, said: "When, Mr. Samaras, you copy Mr. (George) Papandreou (a premier between 2009-11), your worst (college) schoolmate, then you should know that you will not pass the class."
 Nimetz on Athens' MoU for solution to 'name issue'SKOPJE (AMNA - N. Frangopoulos)
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz has termed Athens' recently unveiled MoU to the government here as a "significant step" towards the direction of solving the long-standing "name issue" still plaguing relations between the two neighbours.
Nimitz said he is aware that the government in Skopje is seriously considering the framework proposal outlined by Greece, while adding, however, that prudence on his part now dictates that no more statements are made on the issue.
His brief statement was broadcast by a local television station.
Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos in early October 2012 proposed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Athens and Skopje in order to boost Nimetz's mission for a solution to the "name issue" -- a nagging and thorny obstacle to the complete normalisation in relations between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM).
The official letter by Avramopoulos to his counterpart in the fYRoM government, Nikola Poposki, was announced by foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras.
He clarified that the initiative was undertaken in support of the efforts by the UN special envoy, adding that Athens is merely attempting to jump-start the process. He added that whatever MoU will not replace the September 1995 Interim Agreement, "which is in effect until it is challenged ... and clearly sets the basis, the framework and the parameters of a solution to the "name issue".
 Protest, arrests at Dodoni dairy plantTensions flared on Friday outside the Dodoni dairy industry plant outside the city of Ioannina, in Epirus province, following the company's official privatisation a day earlier.
Local stockbreeders, opposition MPs, and a large crowd gathered to protest against its sale to Strategic Initiatives, a multinational.
The protesters first clashed with riot police and then forcefully entered the plant facilities after breaking open its main gate. Several people were arrested, amongst them trade unionists and newly independent MP Mihalis Kassis, who abandoned PASOK a few days ago after refusing to vote in favour of a government-sponsored privatisations' draft law.
 Fith suspect jailed in power company embezzlement caseThe president of the now defunct power provider Hellas Power, Vassilis Milionis, was ordered held in custody pending trial after the conclusion of his testimony before an examining magistrate on Saturday.
Milionis is the fifth suspect sent to jail on charges of embezzlement and money laundering, as five top executives of the private companies Energa and Hellas Power have already been arrested on similar charges.
The charges concern the companies' failure to pay a special tax for the consumption of electricity and transfer of money owned the tax bureau and Public Power Corp. to the suspects' bank accounts abroad. The lost revenue for the state is estimated at around 200 million euros.
 Heroin arrest in ThessalonikiA 48-year-old man was arrested on Saturday in Thessaloniki and charged with felony heroin trafficking.
A raid of the suspect's auto body shop and residence allegedly turned up 12 kilos of heroin, a kilo of hashish and a taser gun.
The suspect will be sent before a Thessaloniki prosecutor.
 Foreign national arrested for mini market armed robberyPolice in Thessaloniki on Saturday a 19-year-old foreign national charged with attempted homicide and robbery during a mini market heist in the same northern city last April.
Another 19-year-old foreign national is also sought in the case.
An employee of the store was assaulted and stabbed during the robbery, which netted the robbers 1,700 euros.
 Drug dealing arrests in AthensFour individuals, two Albanians, one Bulgarian and a local man were arrested early Saturday in Athens, charged with drug dealing.
Police, acting on a tip-off, located the suspects together with two buyers and arrested them.
Approximately 27 kilos of cannabis were confiscated as well as 500 euros in cash and six mobile phones.
The suspects were sent before Athens prosecutor.
 Migrant smuggling arrests in Evros prefectureThree alleged migrant smugglers were arrested while another suspect evaded apprehension during a police operation near Orestiadia, in extreme NE Greece near the Turkish border.
The suspects include a 21-year-old Iraqi, a 20-year-old Syrian woman and a 47-year-old local man.
Another suspect fled in a second car, which he abandoned during a police chase.
The trio was arrested after police spotted eight illegal migrants and one of the migrant smugglers crossing the Evros River from neighbouring Turkey and entering Greek territory.
The group attempted to reach two vehicles waiting in the thick underbrush along the river.
Both cars were confiscated along with 3,722 euros found on the alleged smugglers' possession.
The Evros River is a "preferred" crossing point for migrant smugglers operating out of Turkey who ferry undocumented and mostly Third World migrants into Greece with the intention of further smuggling them to west European destinations.
 Masked youths attack riot police unit in ThessalonikiRoughly 30 masked individuals attack a riot police unit stationed near the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki.
The suspects threw petrol bombs and pieces of pavement against police, causing damages to vehicles and a motorcycle.
Police detained 21 persons, who were later released.
Self-styled anarchist youths, alternately dubbed "anti-state" protestors or anti-fascist activists, are mostly suspected of similar attacks in central Athens and, at times, other urban areas. Overnight Saturday is a "favourite" day given that concerts and student parties are held on university campuses, which are traditionally a police "no go" area.
 Weather Monday: OvercastFair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 6 on the Beaufort scale. Overcast in the north of the country, with temperatures ranging from 10C-23C. Mostly fair in the south and islands, 11C-27C.
Scattered clouds in Athens, 15C-26C; the same for Thessaloniki, 13C-23C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: "With the people for other solution".
DIMOKRATIA: "Russian roulette! - Week of disaster".
EPOCHI: "Domino effect".
ETHNOS: "Coalition government's toppling a disastrous mistake".
KATHIMERINI: "Thriller with Parliament and troika".
PROTO THEMA: "Troika against judges".
Realnews: "Political typhoon".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Everyone at 48-hour strike".
VIMA: "Major crash in politics, economy, society".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Confidential plan by the '3' after vote for measures".
VRADYNI: "Zero hour for country and economy".
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