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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-01-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 21 January 2013 Issue No: 4275


  • [01] Explosion at the "Mall Athens"; two lightly injured
  • [02] SYRIZA leader in US on Tuesday
  • [03] SYRIZA criticises IMF report on Greece's economy
  • [04] 'IMF report reveals plans for tougher austerity,' KKE says
  • [05] ND and SYRIZA share a 29.5 pct voting preference, opinion polls show
  • [06] Antiracist march staged in central Athens
  • [07] Health insurance system needs complete makeover, Labour Minister says
  • [08] Athens Metro calls new 24h strike for Monday
  • [09] Author and playwright Pavlos Matesis dies
  • [10] Annual memorial service, retrospective for filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos
  • [11] Patras Carnival events kicked off on Saturday
  • [12] Igoumenitsa authorities confiscate large load of contraband cigarettes
  • [13] Improved weather lifts ban on coastal routes
  • [14] Super League results
  • [15] Overcast, windy on Monday
  • [16] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Explosion at the "Mall Athens"; two lightly injured

    A home made bomb exploded on Sunday morning on the first floor of the "Mall Athens"shopping center in the Athens suburb of Maroussi lightly injuring two security employees.

    At 9:55 an unknown individual called "Eleftherotypia" newspaper and said that a bomb will explode in 50 minutes at the Mall while another phone call to website warned again of the impending explosion.

    The caller did not claim responsibility on behalf of any organisation or group but said that an assumption of the attack will follow.

    The explosion occured at 10:50 while the evacuation of the Mall was still on process.

    According to initial information, the explosive device was low power. Police have cordoned off the area and a investigation is underway.

    PM in open line with Citizen Protection Min. on the explosion at the "Mall"

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was immediately informed on the explosion at the Mall and is in open line with Citizens Protection Minister Nikos Dendias and with government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou.

    Government's officials point out that the fact that the explosion occured at a place and time where children and young people gather is very alarming.

    Citizen Protection Ministry on explosion at "The Mall"

    "The makeshift bomb which exploded on Sunday morning at the "Mall Athens" did not only target the specific building. It targetted the democratic normality, the social peace and the prospect of the country's economic recovery" said a Citizen Protection Ministry announcement on Sunday adding that "This hour is the hour of judgement for all. The verbal condemn of the specific incident is not enough. A total isolation of violence and terrorism from the political world is mandatory, without exclusions, asterisks and footnotes...the message must be only one: Our democracy is not intimidated or terrified".

    Political parties condemn the attack at 'The Mall'

    All political parties strongly condemned the bomb attack in "The Mall" on Sunday that resulted in the light injury of two guards.

    New Democracy (ND) secretary general Manolis Kefaloyannis said that "it is a criminal act against democracy and society. An explosion of blind violence of ruthless terrorists against unsuspicious citizens and their children. The society will isolate them, democracy will not be terrified".

    On its part, main opposition SYRIZA denounced the criminal terrorist attack at the "The Mall"shopping centre. "It is the vested right of the political parties of the constitutional arc to condemn blind and terrorist acts of violence. Isolating such actions without compromises and political motives is the appropriate stance," its announcement said.

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) and Communist Party (KKE) in their announcements also condemned the attack.

    "Sunday's terror attack is an act of blind violence and particularly in an area with young children. Terrorism is now threatening society," stressed DIMAR's announcement.

    KKE's announcement said that the act was "part of a plan to terrify the people and serve those who wish to strengthen the mechanisms of suppression."

    PASOK party, one of the junior parties of the coalition government, stressed that "we are facing a new kind of terrorism, which not only selects symbolic targets but asks for dead people and blood." Moreover, the party also "warns those who want to sink the country into chaos that they will not succeed, the state will react."

    Independent Greeks deputy Vassilis Kapernaros, responsible for the party's citizens protection sector, said that "now that the government has failed in its preventative duties is being called upon to act suppresively and to protect the Greek citizens from the continuing criminal actions of extremist groups that cultivate a climate of terror." When Greece "is already being injured by the international and the local troika, we do not need strikes like this that disorientate mostly puzzle us."

    According to a Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) announcement, "The terrorists of the left showed us today their real murderous face by turning against society and injuring innocent citizens. The government must leave wishful thinking and verbal condemnation aside and immediately proceed to arrest and punish terrorists in an exemplary manner."

    Injured guards in explosion at the Mall to be discharged within the day

    The two security guards who were injured in the explosion at the Mall Athens shopping center at Maroussi suburb of Athens on Sunday morning were taken to KAT hospital.

    According to the attending physicians, both of them are slightly injured in the leg and the back from shards of window glasses and will possibly be discharged within the day.

    Maroussi mayor and president of the Athens Medical Association Giorgos Patoulis, said that approximately 220 people were at the Mall who were evacuated immediately after the warning calls to Eleftherotypia newspaper and website.

    Five persons remained in the Mall, including the two injured guards who probably, said Patoulis, understimated the seriousness of the situation.

    Police analyses bomb remnants at 'The Mall,' issues public call for information

    The makeshift bomb that exploded early on Sunday at "The Mall" consisted primarily of gelatin dynamite, possibly combined with ammonia nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO), that was placed inside a pressure cooker. Police found remnants of the pot and issued a call to the public for any information on the incident.

    In its announcement, the police said that the construction of the bomb resembled those used by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire terrorist group; ANFO has also been used by this group as well as by the Revolutionary Struggle terrorist group.

    Although warnings for the bomb were made anonymously to Eleftherotypia newspaper and the Zougla site, nobody had claimed responsibility by Sunday evening.

    [02] SYRIZA leader in US on Tuesday

    Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will visit USA from 22-25 January. Tsipras who will be heading a SYRIZA delegation will visit Washington and New York in order to participate in a series of open events organised by Brookings Instituition and Columbia University in cooperation with Levy Institute.

    Moreover, Tsipras will also have a series of meetings with academics and politicians.

    [03] SYRIZA criticises IMF report on Greece's economy

    An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on Greece's economy, published on Friday, has been described as an interference in the country's domestic affairs, in a statement issued on Saturday by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA).

    In its report, the IMF says that "in order for the government to deliver on its promise to avoid further wage and pension cuts, it is critical that it soon achieve efficiency savings via significant mandatory redundancies, and that it move to radically overhaul the corrupt and ineffective tax administration."

    In addition, the IMF sounded pessimistic over unemployment trends, expected to rise to 24.4 pct in 2013 and to 25.1 pct in 2014, while it also insisted on its position for a new haircut of the Greek debt held by the official sector in Europe.

    "The IMF report came as no surprise, as on the one hand it describes its fear of a possible SYRIZA government in Greece, which would rid the country of the Memorandum (MoU) and austerity policy, and on the other new tough measures in cutting salaries and pensions with simultaneous layoffs in state and selling off of public assets," noted the SYRIZA announcement.

    [04] 'IMF report reveals plans for tougher austerity,' KKE says

    "The IMF report [on Greece's economy] reveals that fresh and tougher anti-popular measures are being planned to be taken, and that the coalition government is lying," the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) charged in a statement on Saturday, commenting on the International Monetary Fund's report published on Friday.

    Workers and the society's poorer strata could put an end to austerity by rejecting sacrifices to capitalist profitability and competitiveness, KKE stressed.

    [05] ND and SYRIZA share a 29.5 pct voting preference, opinion polls show

    The country's two major political parties, the New Democracy and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), have been given the same preference rate by two different public opinion polls, out on Saturday.

    The surveys, VPRC (for Efimerida ton Syntakton) and Metron (for Ependytis), show that ND and SYRIZA share a 29.5 pct of voters preference, followed by extreme-right Chrysi Avghi's (Golden Dawn) 12 pct, PASOK's 6.5 pct Independent Greeks' 6%, Communist Party's (KKE) 5,5 pct and Democratic Left's 5 pct. All other parties totalled 6 pct.

    The VPRC survey shows an improved image for the ND party and prime minister Antonis Samaras, as he is ahead as most suitable premier with 21.2 pct, as against Alexis Ttsipas' 11.6 pct.

    However, of those asked, 67 pct believe that the country heads to the "wrong" direction, with only 21 pct believing the opposite.

    Metron's survey asked the question "If elections were held next Sunday, who would you vote for?," and 18.8 pct of respondents said they would vote for SYRIZA and another 18.7 pct for ND. Third place was taken by Chrysi Avghi with 7.2 pct, followed by PASOK with 5.2 pct, Independent Greeks 4.3 pct, DIMAR 3.8 pct, KKE 3.6 pct, Ecologist Greens? 1.2 pct, other parties 4.4 pct, blank/void 10.2 pct, won't vote 14.8 pct, undecided 6.8 pct and refused to answer 1 pct.

    [06] Antiracist march staged in central Athens

    An antiracist rally and march was organized on Saturday in central Athens, which started from Omonia square to end at Syntagma square, via Stadiou str.

    The "Athens, an Antifascist City" protest march was party sparked by the recent murder of a young immigrant in Athens' Petralona neighbourhood, and participation in it included many antiracist groups and organizations.

    An antiracist-themed concert will be held tonight at Syntagma square.

    Financial News

    [07] Health insurance system needs complete makeover, Labour Minister says

    The health insurance system needs to be revamped, even consolidated, in order to become more just, Labour Minister Ioannis Vroutsis said on Sunday.

    "This will happen only after taking stock of and studying facts and after negotiations with all involved agencies," Vroutsis said, adding that the restructuring of the system was "necessary in order to turn it into a healthy total of unified rules" and to create "a sense of justice, effectiveness and viability."

    He left the possibility of consolidation of different agencies open, but noted that the current system was "labyrinthine, fragmented, on different timeframes, and unequal." He said, for example, that Greece has 90 different lists of registered pensioners and another 60 different sector-related types health insurance," making it costly, administratively and financially, to the state and to citizens.

    Asked to comment on the recent IMF report, he said it advocated no further changes in labour regulations, but that the minimum wage already introduced "will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2014 to determine whether it's simple and effective in reducing unemployment and improving competitiveness."

    [08] Athens Metro calls new 24h strike for Monday

    Athens will be without metro services throughout the day on Monday after metro workers voted to extend strike action by another 24 hours on Sunday.

    The strike, which began on Thursday, was called in protest against government plans to extend the uniform public-sector wage scale to metro staff and thus automatically abolish the previous collective labour agreement.

    Moreover, ISAP electric train and tram will hold a work stoppage on Monday from 8:00-16:00.

    On Tuesday, metro, ISAP electric train and tram will hold a work stoppage from 12 noon until 4 in the afternoon following their unions decision.

    The Athens Metro employees union did not rule out the prospect to continue their mobilisations with more 24-hour repetitive strikes.

    General News

    [09] Author and playwright Pavlos Matesis dies

    Widely read Greek author and playwright Pavlos Matesis died on Sunday, aged 80.

    Matesis was born in Divri, Eleia prefecture, but lived in several towns before ending up in Athens as a bank employee. He gave up this career to devote himself to writing and also worked at the theatre, as teacher at the Stavrakos school and assistant director at the National Theatre. He wrote for the stage and for television, and his novels and translations, from ancient Greek to European authors, also enjoyed popularity. His funeral will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the Papagos cemetery.

    [10] Annual memorial service, retrospective for filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos

    A memorial service for the late internationally renowned award-winning filmmaker Theodoros (Theo) Angelopoulos, who died on January 24, 2012 at the age of 76, took place on Sunday at the Athens First Cemetery church in the presence of his family and friends.

    Theodoros (Theo) Angelopoulos died after being seriously injured in a road accident while shooting scenes for his film "The Other Sea" in a tunnel in the Drapetsona district of Piraeus.

    His career, spanning more than four decades, will be celebrated in a retrospective hosted next week by ten theatres in Athens, as well as cinemas in Thessaloniki and Larissa.

    Angelopoulos studied law at the University of Athens and French philosophy, cinematography and ethnology at the Sorbonne, which he left to study film at the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies (IDHEC) and the Musee de l'Homme (Museum of Man) research center.

    Between his return to Greece in 1964 until 1967 he worked as a journalist and film critic for the newspaper Dimokratiki Allaghi (Democratic Change), while in 1978 he was a jury member at the 28th Berlin International Film Festival.

    Angelopoulos became involved with cinematography in 1965, making his first short film, "The Broadcast" in 1968, which was presented at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival and won the Greek Critics' Award. This was followed by a series of political feature films in the 1970s about modern Greece. His first feature film, "The Reconstruction" (I Anaparastassi, 1970), which marked the dawn of modern Greek cinema, also won the top award (Critics' Award) at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival, as well as the awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film and Best Actress, while it further received several distinctions abroad, including the 1971 Georges Sadoul Award as "Best Film of the Year Shown in France" and the 1971 Best Foreign Film Award at the Hyeres Film Festival.

    He developed a trademark style marked by slow, episodic and ambiguous narrative charasterised by long takes such as in The Travelling Players, which consists of just 80 shots in some four hours of film, and his films frequently contained meticulously choreographed and complex scenes involving numerous actors.

    Considered by some respected international film critics as one of the word's greatest directors, Angelopoulos was awarded an honourary doctorate by Essex University in the UK in July 2001.

    Angelopoulos' films have enjoyed impressive acclaim internationally, receiving some of the highest awards at major festivals. They include the following, which will be screened during the retrospective:

    - "Days of '36" (Meres tou '36, 1970): 1972 Best Director, Best Cinematography Awards, Thessaloniki Film Festival; International Film Critics Association (FIPRESCI) Award for Best Film, Berlin Film Festival.

    - "The Travelling Players" (O Thiassos, 1974-75): 1975 International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), Cannes; 1975 Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Greek Critics Association Awards, International Thessaloniki Film Festival; Interfilm Award, "Forum" 1975 Berlin Festival; 1976 Best film of the Year, British Film Institute; Italian Film Critics Association "Best Film in the World", 1970-80; FIPRESCI: One of the Top Films in the History of Cinema; Grand Prix of the Arts, Japan; Best Film of the Year, Japan; Golden Age Award, Brussels.

    - "The Hunters" (I Kynighoi, 1977): 1978 Golden Hugo Award for Best Film, Chicago Film Festival.

    - "Megalexandros" (Alexander the Great, 1980): 1980 Golden Lion and International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), Venice Film Festival.

    - "Voyage to Cythera" (Taxidi sta Kythira, 1983): Best Screenplay and International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI) Best Film Awards, 1984 Cannes Film Festival; Critics' Award, Rio Film Festival.

    - "Landscape in the Mist" (Topio stin Omichli, 1988): 1988. Silver Lion Award for Best Director, Venice Film Festival; 1989 Felix (Best European Film of the Year) Award; Golden Hugo Award for Best Director; Silver Plaque for Best Cinematography, Chicago Film Festival.

    - Ulysses' Gaze (To Vlemma tou Odyssea, 1995): Grand Jury Prize and International Film Critics' Award (FIPRESCI), 1995 Cannes Film Festival; Felix of the Critics (Film of the Year 1995).

    - Eternity and a Day (Mia Aioniotita kai Mia Mera, 1998): Palme d'Or, 1998 Cannes Film Festival; Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

    [11] Patras Carnival events kicked off on Saturday

    Events leading up to the main Patras Carnival parade on March 17 began in the western port-city on Saturday with several happenings and performances in the city centre and a street party that lasted late into the night.

    The Patras Carnival kicked off on Saturday in the city's Aghios Georgios Square at 11:00 a.m., with revelries lasting to Sunday, March 17, the eve of the Clean Monday holiday that marks the beginning of the 40-day Great Lent leading to Orthodox Easter. "Patras sends a message of joy and reversal of optimism and hope in search of the antidote to the crisis" said Patras mayor Yannis Dimaras inaugurating the Patras Carnival.

    The Carnival culminates on Sunday, March 17, with the grand parade of floats, winding up with the traditional burning of King Carnival, which is accompanied by fireworks displays.

    The western port city of Patras, home of Greece's first and longest-running Carnival, also pulled out all stops this year with a bevy of events that will also culminate in the theme float parade on Sunday.

    The city promises a number of surprises, with music, dance, various happenings, activities for children and street theater designed to spread cheer and a merrymaking atmosphere

    Two musical scenes will also be set up along the Rigas Ferraios pedestrian street, where live music bands and orchestras will perform and troupes from dance schools will put on dance displays

    Street theaters will also put on a show complete with stilt walkers, puppet theater, and a Treasure Hunt organized by carnival float troupes.

    This year's Carnival King will also parade through the streets of the city center with due dignity, accompanied by the Carnival Queen and entourage on bicycles, winding up at Aghios Georgios Square where the official launch of the carnival season will be officially declared by Patras Mayor Yiannis Dimaras at 9:00 p.m. The traditional "chocolate war" will also be held, and a new song written for this year's Carnival will be presented for the first time.

    [12] Igoumenitsa authorities confiscate large load of contraband cigarettes

    Large quantities of contraband cigarettes have been discovered by the special mission squad of Igoumenitsa Port Authorities, in the country's northwest, during a check at the harbour entrance midnight Saturday, on two trucks with Bulgarian registration plates, bound for Italy.

    The cigarettes were found in specially shaped crypts beneath the merchandise and the side walls of the truck. The two drivers, one Bulgarian and one Greek, were arrested and the two trucks were seized.

    Customs counting the cigarettes estimate the total may even top 500,000 packages.

    Yesterday, customs finished counting 270,000 packets of contraband cigarettes, found in another truck with Bulgarian number plates and a Greek driver, while trying last Monday evening to travel to Italy.

    Authorities believe they are close to uncovering a major Greek-Bulgarian smuggling ring.

    [13] Improved weather lifts ban on coastal routes

    Coastal shipping schedules from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion returned to normal Saturday morning, as weather conditions improved and winds in the Aegean weekend.


    [14] Super League results

    Olympiacos Piraeus beat PAS Yiannina 2-0, in games played for the Super League over the weekend, retaining its lead in the Greek soccer standings.

    In other action:

    OFI-Panionios 2-1

    Panathinaikos-Panthrakikos 1-1

    Asteras Tripolis-PAOK 1-0

    Atromitos-Platanias 1-0

    Xanthi-Kerkyra 0-0

    Olympiacos-PAS Yiannina 2-0

    Aris-AEK 1-1

    Veria-Levadiakos 21/1/2013

    Standings after 18 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 48

    2. PAOK 35

    3. Asteras 34

    4. Atromitos 32

    5. Levadiakos 24 (17 games)

    6. PAS Yiannina 23

    7. OFI 23

    8. Panionios 22

    Panthrakikos 22

    Panathinaikos 22

    11. Xanthi 19

    12. Platanias 18

    13. Aris 17

    14. Veria 16 (17 games)

    15. AEK 16

    16. Kerkyra 13

    NOTE: Panathinaikos has had two points deducted.

    Weather forecast

    [15] Overcast, windy on Monday

    Overcast in general, with local rain developing midday, turning to thunderstorms in western Greece and the Ionian Islands. High southerly winds from 5 to 8 Beaufort, temporarily and locally rising to 9 at the Aegean Sea and on Crete. Temperatures from -1C in the north (8C at the Aegean) to 10C in the north and 18C most elsewhere. In Athens, scattered clouds, southerly winds 5-7 Beaufort and temperatures from 7C to 17C. In Thessaloniki, overcast with rain later in the day, southerly winds 4 to 5 Beaufort and temperatures from 3C to 14C.

    [16] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: "From the 'Lagarde list' to 'Lagarde's jaws".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Greek can you be still alive? ".

    EPOCHI: "After the 'Lagarde list' , the IMF's robbers".

    ETHNOS : "The Russian billions break the bank".

    KATHIMERINI: "Six month moratorium with the troika".

    KERDOS: "The seven pylons of the recovery".

    PROTO THEMA : "Each meal for illegal migrant cost three time the meal for a student".

    REAL NEWS: "Now the PC has been is lost".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "New antilabour raid that totally devastates the working class".

    TO ARTHRO: "IMF, Berlin to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras: Proceed with the privatisations or else we will ".

    TO VIMA: "Taxes minefield".

    TYPOS: "Suspicious list containing the names of 560,000 pensioners under the microscope".

    VRADYNI: "Reversals for old and new insured in public sector and Public Utilities and Organisations".

    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: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS

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