|Saturday, 21 October 2017|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-09-02
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 2 September 2013 Issue No: 4449
 PM Samaras: Primary surplus feasibleSeventy percent of the primary surplus that will be achieved this year will be channelled to the low pensioners, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Eleftherotypia", adding that the existence of primary surplus is the first decisive step to exit from the crisis and the need of continuous memorandums.
Samaras said that the primary surplus goal is feasible and that "even the harshest critics of our country in the past now accept that the Greek people's sacrifices were not in vain. Who are these who are attempting to demolish this picture and why?"
The prime minister reiterated that he was proven right when he had said that the first memorandum was wrong adding that mistakes can be corrected and brought as an example the reduction of VAT in restaurants.
"Those who do not see all that are only prisoners of their populism," adding that recovery will come next year.
On the thorny issue of unemployment, he said that the unemployment rate has slowed down but "if we do not have stability, investments will not come".
Referring to the government's course he noted that "this is a year of sweeping reforms that also stabilises the economy and brings us close to recovery and restores Greece's image abroad".
Samaras said that there will be no deregulation in first homes foreclosures adding that every layoff in public sector will be followed by a hiring.
The prime minister clarified that he does not seek early elections because "we must finish with that Greek peculiarity".
 SYRIZA on PM's interview: 'Someone inform him of actual salary levels'Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) charged Prime Minister Antonis Samaras with "the government's remorseless and cynical focus on a disaster policy" in an annoucement on Sunday, commenting on Samaras' statements to Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper.
"Samaras speak without shame about the government's results against unemployment and promises higher 'succeess' if, of course there are more layoffs in the public sector", SYRIZA said, adding that "we do not know whether he is a homeopathy fan, but at least he is more honest than his ministers when he admits that the putting people on reserve labour is a step before laying them off".
The main opposition also charged Samaras that "the defender of national interests, reassures us that state privatisation agency TAIPED will remain in Greek hands, because the European Commission is also denying it at the moment."
Referring to the minimun salaries, SYRIZA said that probably nobody has informed the prime minister on salary ranges in the market, while he doesn't seem to believe that the minimum salary is low - thus preparing us for its further reduction, in order to reach at some point Romania's levels and his work be completed."
However, said SYRIZA, because we want to be just "we must give the prime minister credit for recognising honestly that his antisocial reforms should have been done a long time ago and regardless of the memorandum." These words, it said, "summarized the memorandum's barbaric logic of layoffs and of poverty-level salaries and the real target of the government's policy that has nothing to do with the reduction of the public debt and the country's European course, but only with the banks' and the capital's profits."
 Gov't spokesman replies to SYRIZA criticism of PMGovernment spokesman Simos Kedikoglou responded to main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA)'s announcement on Prime Minister Samaras' statements to Sunday Eleftherotypia noted that "the really remorseless ones are those who insist that nothing should change in a system that had collapsed".
Moreover, Kedikoglou said that "the permanent misrepresenta-tion of the prime minister's and of the government's positions by SYRIZA has become comic; however, its persistence in wanting the country to fail in order to justify its delusion is tragic. Those who bet on the country's catastrophy have no shame".
 KKE response to PM's interview: 'Better days for capital, not workers'The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday commented on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' interview to the Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper, charging that "the recovery, the primary surplus and the investments invoked by the prime minister will not bring better days to the people, as he claims, but to the capital."
"The road to capitalist recovery presupposes the people's harsh exloitation through the widening of anti-workers', anti-popular measures, the attack against salaries and pensions, layoffs, heavy taxation as well as new hardships emanating from Greece's involvement in imperialist wars and interventions," the KKE also added in a press release.
 Premier, foreign minister to meet Monday at 6:00 p.m.Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet with government vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, it was announced late Sunday.
 SYRIZA leader sees early general elections; attacks PM on foreign and interior policyMain opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Saturday expressed his certainty for early general elections, maybe with our lenders' encouragement. He also attacked prime minister Antonis Samaras regarding his foreign and interior policy and called him "to listen to Greek people's feelings and to defend the country's interests instead of playing the pathetic role of the willing and obedient pupil towards all directions" in his address to SYRIZA's central committee two-day congress.
Tsipras said that when SYRIZA becomes government there will be no immunity and the responsible will be called to give account on Greece's economic genocide.
Referring to Syria conflict, he said that Greece must not get involved and sternly condemned the use of chemical weapons and expressed his opposition to Damascus regime, however, he sharply charged the countries of the West with hypocrisy. "The stance of the countries of the West are not at all persuasive" said Tsipras adding that it is unimaginable the powerful countries of the world to intervene without the approval and legalisation of the international community, adding that the real issue at stake are the new balances in the Middle East and the geopolitical interests of the powerful.
On government's stance, Tsipras said that it is surprising that when the military intervention in Syria finds no supporters in USA and Britain, it finds unexpected supporters in Greece with Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos first in the line, who in the government's name, rushed to offer support before even requested. "SYRIZA's position is that our country should undertake international initiatives in the region in order a military intervention to be prevented and political solutions to be promoted and expressed his concern over a new wave of refugees that will further burden Greece.
Referring to the prevailing situation in Greece, Tsipras predicted that very soon, probably with our lenders' encouragement this time, we will have early elections and our people will be called to take crucial decisions. "The Greeks will be called to decide if they want a government that says yes to all and that is willing to mortgage everything or wants a government determined to defend the right and the self-evident" adding that Greece does not need new loans but a way out from the crisis clarifying that SYRIZA will not burden the people with the banks' debts.
Concluding, Tsipras said that the country needs a SYRIZA government immediately, otherwise the country will permanently turn into an economic colony of our lenders, without state property, social and public sector, without independence, an instrument for the profiteering capital and of the catastrophic neoliberal policies.
 Gov't spokesman on Tsipras' addressGovernment spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Saturday referring to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' address to his party's central committee noted that "SYRIZA insults to cover its political nudity" adding that "there is no reason to answer to insults" .
However, he underlined that "we have heard again the threats to investors and to political opponents as well as the threat that the economy will become a desert" adding that Tsipras now added and the opportunisms in foreign policy issues that threaten to lead the country to isolation and marginalisation".
"In a period of crucial developments, SYRIZA proves that the most dangerous of all is the populists and drachma gang" concluded Kedikoglou
 PASOK : Tsipras undermines gov't efforts for growthPASOK severely criticised SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras saying that "he is in state of a delirium of intolerance? on the occasion of his address to his party's central committee on Saturday.
In its announcement PASOK said that between his well known clich?s an incredible revulsion exists and calls our EU partners and the investors to save their money for a more secure investment".
PASOK said that "Tsipras is undermining the efforts for growth and the efforts against unemployment by characterising Greece an insecure investment because he and his party's leading team, unfortunately, invest on their cheap petty politics interest".
 Venizelos against new 'haircut'Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos condemned the use of chemical weapons in an interview with Sunday newpaper Realnews.
On the economy, Venizelos said he supports actions as the extension of the deadline of the bonds and loans repayment along with a reduction in the interest rates, instead of a haircut.
He also sent a message to Greece's lenders that "what is important is the restart of the real economy, the protection of social cohesion and of the democratic institutions which must work with stability".
 Greece-Egypt ties strong and a factor of stability, FM says ahead of visit to CairoGreece and Egypt have multiple ties, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in an interview at Neo Fos Greek community newspaper of Egypt, ahead of his official visit to the Middle Eastern country on Thursday.
The protection and well-being of Greeks in Egypt is top priority, Venizelos said, and expressed Greece's desire to support Greek-language education in Egypt and its historic Greek schools, making special mention of the Alexandria and Cairo communities.
"We have a lot in common with Egypt - the Greek community of Egypt, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the long-term ties of friendship and our common desire for cooperation and peace in the Mediterranean," the FM said.
"As a result," he added, "Greece is interested in Egypt's stability and wants to keep open lines of communication with it at all times. Developing good bilateral relations is a joint desire of our peoples and contributes to peace, regional collaboration, and stability in the Mediterranean."
In Egypt, Venizelos is scheduled to meet with his Egyptian counterpart and Egyptian leaders, and to visit with Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa at the historical monastery of St. George in the old section of Cairo.
 Defence Minister on Syria, chemical weaponsDefence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos requested an in-depth examination to identify who are responsible for the use of chemicals in Syria in his statements to Sunday newspaper Realnews.
Avramopoulos noted that "we stand by the people that are struggling for democracy, but we can't ignore barbarous actions like the use of chemical weapons which consists a war crime against humanity".
The responsible for the use of these weapons must be found immediately because the use of chemicals in Syria, contrary to Iraq conflict, is not disputed, said Avramopoulos and clarified "from the first moment we supported the political solution and we note that the same solution support our friends and allies".
 Foreign Ministry chastises opposition parties over Syria-related statementsForeign policy is not a field for the opposition to exercise its policies, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, in a strong response to statements by opposition parties on Syria and Greece's related stance.
In its announcement, the ministry especially castigated what it called "the deliberate distortion of official positions expressed by the foreign minister on behalf of the government, when he addresses the international community" and asserted that "Greece has condemned and continues to condemn in an explicit and absolute manner the crime of the use of chemical weapons. Greece insists on the need to protect the political process (Geneva II), in order to find a final and viable solution to the drama of Syria."
Greece's stances are formulated on the basis of international law, it said, respect of human rights, safeguarding of national strategic interests in an area with a lot of open fronts and the need to update its stance on other critical issues - like stability in Egypt, concern for and care of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the whole Christian population and all peoples regardless of religion - and Greece's obligations in the UN, the EU, NATO and its bilateral agreements.
"Greece has not been asked either to participate in military action or to facilitate such action," the announcement said.
"During his recent briefing of the relevant permanent parliamentary committee on all foreign affairs issues, Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed his readiness to keep the committee constantly updated, while he also noted he is available for all parties for individual briefings, as often as requested," the announcement concluded.
 SYRIZA on Syria conflictMain opposition SYRIZA in an announcement on Sunday on the developments in Syria noted "While the voices from abroad multiply and the people express their opposition on the military intervention in Syria, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' government keeps its eyes shut before the catastrophic consequences of such an action. He does not even bother to inform the Greek people and the parliament on the developments and his own intentions".
The government, said SYRIZA, has no moral authority and political legalisation to involve Greece to a military intervention in Syria. Specific initiatives on UN level should be undertaken with aim the peaceful solution of the issue and the safeguarding of the Syrian people's freedom and rights.
 DIMAR requests gov't brief Parliament on SyriaDemocratic Left (DIMAR) asked the government to brief Parliament on developments in Syria and on Greece's position on the issue, in an announcement on Sunday.
"On a possible military intervention in Syria, US President Barack Obama requested the Congress' approval, the British parliament rejected Britain's involvement and the Italian government decided not to take part while member-states of the UN Security Council oppose it. At the same time, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos appears in a role of accelerating the invasion of Syria through Greece's enabling it. This stance does not serve either the country's interest or the need to avoid adding fuel to a greater conflagration in the region", DIMAR noted.
It added, "Greece should support a political solution and implementation of international law and rule out any involvement. Parliament must be briefed immediately on the issue."
 Independent Greeks leader: Gov't should brief parliament on Syria and Greece's involvement"Unfortunately the Greek government is the only government in the European Union in the NATO that has not briefed the parliament on the prevailing situation in Syria and on Greece's involvement" said Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos on Saturday after the extraordinary meeting of his party Foreign and Defence sectors and the Military and Armed Forces secretariat on the developments in Syria.
"We want an official information by the government as well as the convention of the Foreign Policy Committee" he said and noted that "Greece should be particularly concerned for the Christian populations in the area"
Finally, Kammenos said that Greece must face the developments in Syria with respect to the international law and with justice .
 KKE on military intervention in SyriaOne more US president announces an imperialistic military intervention by making use of provocations and lies, which have been refuted many times in the past, said Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in an announcement on Saturday on the developments in Syria.
"The reasons for the military intervention in Syria are the promotion of USA, NATO and EU interests in the wider region, the relentless competitiveness between strong capitalistic countries and business groups over the control of the energy sources and the distribution routes", said KKE adding that "Greece's participation in this war, as in the previous ones, is held in order the Greek capital to claim share of the loot.
That's what the government and the other parties mean when they refer to the "upgrading of the geostrategic position of the country".
"The Greek people must uprise against the military intervention to Syria as well as on Greece's involvement.
 FinMin on TAIPED transfer abroadFinance Minister Yannis Stournaras in a statement to Sunday newspaper "Ethnos" denies scenarios and articles regarding the management of the state property by foreign managers, under foreign law and to a foreign company of special purpose with its basis abroad.
"Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) and the Greek government are responsible for the development of the state's real estate and this is not going to change. "I sharply refute the possibility of TAIPED's transfer abroad" said Stournaras.
 Homemade device bursts into flames at judge's house; no injuries reportedA booby-trapped envelope burst into flames at a judge's residence in the Athens northeastern suburb of Holargos at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday night; nobody was injured, according to preliminary information.
The homemade device was placed in a loose-leaf binder and it included the use of gunpowder.
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.343
Pound sterling 0.866
Danish kroner 7.571
Swedish kroner 8.881
Japanese yen 131.96
Swiss franc 1.249
Norwegian kroner 8.211
Canadian dollar 1.414
Australian dollar 1.504
 Super League resultsOlympiakos beat Levadiakos 5-0 in a match played away on Sunday's game of the Super League.
The results are as follows:
Kalloni-PAS Yiannena 1-0
Asteras Tripolis-Apollon Smyrnis 2-0
OFI-Platanias (playing Sept. 2)
Atromitos-Aris (playing Sept. 2)
Standings after 3 weeks of play:
AEL Kallonis 6
Asteras Tripolis 5
PAS Yiannena 4
Panionios Athens 4
Apollon Smyrnis (Athens) 3
Platanias Crete 2 (2 games)
Atromitos Athens 1 (2 games)
OFI Crete 1 (2 games)
Aris Thessaloniki 0 (2 games)
 Cloudy on MondayCloudy with possibility of rain in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 18C-31C, scattered clouds in the south,19C-33C and fair on the islands, 22C-32C are forecast for Monday. Northerly winds will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale.
Mostly fair in Athens, 21C-32C; Clouds and rain in Thessaloniki, 19C-28C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Servant of two masters.
EPOCHI: Syria: Beyond the red line.
ETHNOS: The final plan for home foreclosures.
KATHIMERINI: Military intervention in Syria with multiple targets.
KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Over-optimistic, adamant and remorseless. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pins his hopes on the foreign investments.
KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Rise up and condemn the imperialistic war in Syria.
LOGOS: Week of mobilisations in Health sector.
PROTO THEMA: Europeans in amok, they want churches, hospitals and islets.
Realnews: Troika's (EC, ECB, IMF) five harsh conditions for the new loan.
TO ARTHRO: The constant minister - How the newcomer politician Adonis Georgiadis (Health Minister) outsmarted 'professional ministers' of the last decades.
TO PARON: Send away the Chinese.
TO VIMA: Reversal in Health sector.
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