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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-03-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Monday, 24 March 2014 Issue No: 4617

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Papoulias: Greek reconstruction an obligation to younger generations
  • [02] PM Samaras: 'Greece entering new era, with great growth potential'
  • [03] Gov't VP Venizelos: Patriotism before difficult decisions
  • [04] Parliament President: 'March 25, 1821 was the peak moment in the history of Hellenism'
  • [05] SYRIZA message for March 25 holiday: 'History shows there are no one-way streets'
  • [06] Deputy FM Gerontopoulos attends Melbourne parade for Greek Independence Day
  • [07] No new loan or memorandum, VP Venizelos says in interview
  • [08] Reforms for milk, non-prescription meds will benefit consumers, Hatzidakis tells 'Vima'
  • [09] SYRIZA leader calls on deputies to vote down bill; gov't spokesman responds
  • [10] SYRIZA leader Tsipras concludes Ioannina visit
  • [11] SYRIZA opposes cuts in state funding for parties, says more austerity agreed after elections
  • [12] KKE leader: Greek people must say 'no more' at elections
  • [13] Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos dies in Nicosia hospital
  • [14] PM Samaras offers condolences for the death of Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos
  • [15] FM Venizelos expresses condolences for the death of Cyprus Defence minister Mitsopoulos
  • [16] DM Avramopoulos on death of Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos
  • [17] National Defence minister to represent Greece, EU presidency at Mitsopoulos' funeral Monday
  • [18] Presidential decree introducing ankle monitors for prisoners sent to Council of State
  • [19] Independent Greeks leader claims 'collusion' by ruling coalition to duck party debts
  • [20] Court of Audit overturns Supreme Fiscal Court ruling, unblocks sale-and-leaseback of state properties
  • [21] Athens street shutdowns for Independence Day events Mon.-Tue.
  • [22] Rally and concert in central Athens to mark the international day of action against fascism and racism
  • [23] Farmer protest committees meet in Larisa, decide to join April 9 strike action
  • [24] Soccer
  • [25] Overcast on Monday
  • [26] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] President Papoulias: Greek reconstruction an obligation to younger generations

    Greece will exit the crisis only if it applies a national reconstruction plan beyond a memorandum's directives, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said on Sunday, in his annual message for the celebrations of Greek Independence Day on March 25.

    "Today we are at a threshold and the crossing over, the final exit from the crisis, depends on whether a national plan of reconstruction beyond the memorandum and the memorandum's mentality is implemented," Papoulias said.

    The president also stressed that "fulfilling fundamental targets on a specific timetable is not just an option, it is an obligation before the new generation, which has been greatly wronged by older generations."

    Referring to the struggle for independence from Ottoman rule that broke out in 1821, Papoulias said "the impossible can become possible through harmony (among us), courage and decisiveness," very much like the fighters of the time, whose "self-denial and faith in ideal and noble visions always serve as a source of inspiration and lessons on how national trials and tribulations may be overcome."

    "Our country has gone through a lot since them - wars, civil war anguish, bankruptcies. Today we belong among the most developed countries in the world and at the core of the European Union, having gone through four hard years because of the economic crisis," he said, noting that "several of our fellow countrypeople are being tried harshly, the social cohesion has been in jeopardy, and even the quality of our democracy has become opaque."

    Papoulias also said that "our thoughts are also with Cyprus, as 40 years after the Turkish invasion it remains partitioned and our Cypriot brothers are being harshly tried because of the economic crisis."

    [02] PM Samaras: 'Greece entering new era, with great growth potential'

    The recent agreement with the troika constitutes an official recognition of Greece's achievements in both the fiscal adjustment and the implementation of sweeping reforms, signalling a new era for Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told Sunday To Vima in an inter-view.

    "The fiscal targets achieved, especially the primary surplus, usher in a new era, in which Greece will not need to ask for loans every so often in order to deal with running operations, and they signal a Greece that is far more independent that it has ever been in the past," Samaras is quoted as saying.

    "All predictions of Greece's catastrophe are proven wrong, and those who circulated them, expected them and sought them have become obsolete themselves... A sad chapter ends for Greece and a new era is beginning - one that will release at last its great growth potential and will (transform it) into a true example of competiti-veness, extroversion and prosperity," he added.

    [03] Gov't VP Venizelos: Patriotism before difficult decisions

    This year's anniversary of Greek Independence brings to mind historical memories that stress what the real meaning of patriotism is before difficult decisions, PASOK leader and government Vice President Evangelos Venizelos said on Sunday in his message for March 25.

    The "reclamation of Greece's equal standing in the EU and the eurozone and the return to 'normalcy' after seven years of recession and unemployment is a truly national target," Venizelos said, "as the state of a country's economy is a critical parameter of that country's national power."

    After four very tough years, the country is on the straight path to exiting the crisis and the memorandum, he asserted. "But to complete this painful effort, we must guarantee our national unity and our ability to discern the dangers inherent in superficial words of inexistent alternatives, delusions and petty party investments," he added.

    "Our national holiday coincides with a period of critical final decisions and recalls historic memories that stress what the real meaning of patriotism is before difficult and responsible choices, in contrast to nationalistic and populist, easy and irresponsible statements," he stressed, adding, "Whether we like it or not, these heavy years of crisis we are scripting a chapter of our national history. Let us consider what this will say (for us) years later, and let us safeguard the foundation and pride of the nation of the Greeks."

    [04] Parliament President: 'March 25, 1821 was the peak moment in the history of Hellenism'

    In a message for the March 25 anniversary celebrating Greek Independence Day and the launch of the country's revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821, Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis on Sunday stressed that "March 25, 1821 was the peak moment in the history of Hellenism".

    "This day highlights the importance of contributing for the sake of national interest and proves that if there is a goal, strength, courage and determination, this goal is finally achieved, despite any difficulties and adversities," he said.

    Noting that Greeks were currently faced with a harsh struggle, Meimarakis expressed his "unshakable belief that with faith in our strengths, devotion to our common cause, unity and unanimity, we can overcome the difficulties and avoid the worst."

    "Greek men and women believed in their strengths and all together we made superhuman efforts, making personal sacrifices, and the sacrifices of the Greeks were not in vain. We are all together, we are united for the salvation of the country. This is today's message, especially for younger generations," Meimarakis said.

    [05] SYRIZA message for March 25 holiday: 'History shows there are no one-way streets'

    The March 25 holiday celebrating Greece's war of independence against Ottoman rule remained an anniversary "with a special importance," main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) stressed in a message on Sunday.

    "The Revolution of 1821 is one of the peak moments in the Greek people's lengthy course of battling for freedom, self-determination and independence. It shows the potential of peoples when they decide to take their fortunes into their own hands, to refuse predetermined fates, to clash with the powerful and write history," a SYRIZA message said.

    The party noted that the government, conforming absolutely to the dictates of the troika representing Greece's lenders, was presenting austerity imposed under memorandum policies as the only and unavoidable option for society and the country.

    "They are tearing down the rights and entitlements of decades, selling off public wealth, sacrificing the future of Greeks and especially the young, to serve an austerity plan and dismantle the social state, serving the rich and powerful," it said.

    It called for people to rally together to overturn memorandum policies and give support to a new strategy for Greece and Europe that put people and their needs first.

    "History has shown that there are no one-way streets. The only lost battles are those that aren't fought. The future belongs to us," the announcement ended.

    [06] Deputy FM Gerontopoulos attends Melbourne parade for Greek Independence Day

    Deputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos on Sunday attended the Melbourne Greek-Australian community's parade for Greek Independence Day on March 25. The minister is currently in Australia on a four-day visit ending on March 26.

    In addition to attending a mass at St. Eustathios Cathedral in the city, Gerontopoulos watched the parade carried out by Greek schools and associations before the Melbourne war memorial and had a series of meetings with Greek expatriate associations and clubs.

    In the presence of Victoria Premier Denis Napthine, he laid a wreath before the memorial and read out a message on the importance of the anniversary, saying that the 1821 Greek revolution had been the most significant event of its time but remained a "major challenge for us contemporary Greeks because it proved that the struggle and strong will of a people can change their historic fate. Free today, due to the many years of sacrifices by our ancestors, we fight in other arenas now," he said.

    [07] No new loan or memorandum, VP Venizelos says in interview

    There will be no new fiscal measures or a new memorandum, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in an interview on Sunday RealNews.

    "I am saying this categorically, for yet another time: No, there will be no need for a new loan - and therefore a new memorandum - and there will definitely not be a need for new fiscal measures; only measures of strengthening growth, competitiveness and social cohesion," Venizelos was quoted as saying.

    Venizelos also termed the loan "viable" since "80 percent is with institutional investors, not speculators," and said that "the 'haircut' of the debt held by eurozone members is an aggressive move against the voters and parliaments of those member-states."

    The VP said that "fundamental issues will be judged" in the May elections, therefore "there must be no relaxing" of efforts. Asked what he would do if he did not do well in elections, he said, "I am not concerned with my 'career', because if that were my concern, I would have made other choices and protected myself. I am also not interested with so-called conventional politics. The most critical and final stage of politics for nations, people, and each of us, at his own micro-microlevel, is history itself."

    Venizelos also levelled strong criticism at main opposition SYRIZA, sayind that the party "identifies with ultra-conservative cycles in Germany and other countries that express doubt about the success of the Greek programme" and said that "the opposition feels sadness at the prospect of Greece's exiting the memorandum and the crisis."

    [08] Reforms for milk, non-prescription meds will benefit consumers, Hatzidakis tells 'Vima'

    The new measures for milk and non-prescription medication will lead to lower retail prices and benefit consumers, Development and Competitiveness Minister Costis Hatzidakis said in an interview with the newspaper "Vima" published on Sunday. "This is the main social policy we are exercising," he added.

    "The changes we are promoting are reforms for the many, defenceless consumers," he stressed, adding that some might find themselves a little inconvenienced as a result but the majority will reap the benefits.

    Explaining the measures concerning milk, the minister highlighted the introduction of 'one-day' milk, which had been opposed by the troika, and the 'Greek product' label as two measures that will directly benefit local producers and give them a competitive 'edge'. He also ruled out any increase in prices of non-prescription medication as a result of deregulating prices within pharmacies, saying there would be a price cap at current levels.

    The degree to which prices fall we will see over the next quarter. This is in any case the test period in order to draw conclusion," he added.

    [09] SYRIZA leader calls on deputies to vote down bill; gov't spokesman responds

    New Democracy and PASOK deputies should take sides with the Greek people, not the memorandum policies, main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said in an interview on Sunday Eleftherotypia.

    Referring to the draft bill expected in Parliament that will ratify decisions between the government and the troika following the conclusion recently of negotiations, Tsipras was quoted by the newspaper as saying, "...deputies are being called upon to align themselves with popular will, not with memorandum directives. If they do this and take the people's side, instead of that of the memorandum, we will consider that a positive step."

    Tsipras said that any distancing by deputies from the official party line "we will welcome without a second thought, because our priority is to defend the rights of the people. These measures will be voted down and end anyway, when the people vote on May 25," the date of European Parliament elections and the second round of local government elections.

    Charging the government with agreeing to a new memorandum, Tsipras said "we will not allow this to remain secret up to voting day". Referring to the primary surplus for 2013, he said "this surplus came out of the meat grinder - they slaughtered society and now celebrate over its ruins. They are keeping hidden from the Greek people and the deputies the agreement they have reached."

    Asked what he would tell German Chancellor Angela Merkel if he were to meet with her, the opposition leader said, "I would tell her that Greece and Europe have a right to be treated the same way her country was treated in 1953, and that the time has come for Germany to stop being the bad payers of history. The WWII occupation loan and the war reparations are an unfulfilled historic obligation that we will soon claim in the most formal way possible."

    In response, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that Tsipras is revealing who he really is by his interview comments.

    The spokesman added, "Tsipras is called upon deputies again to revolt. Again, he will not succeed, but once again he shows the quality of his character."

    [10] SYRIZA leader Tsipras concludes Ioannina visit

    "We are going back to the times when work as a whole will be not a right, but a luxury," main opposition Racial Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras said in a speech on Saturday, ending his visit to the northwestern town of Ioannina.

    Tsipras met and spoke with a group of educators and school guards who are facing dismissal from public service, while he also gave an interview with the local former state radio ERA, which still transmits.

    He stressed that SYRIZA was "on the side of thousands of our fellow citizens - people with inelastic obligations who see their lives changing, school guards, teachers in vocational schools, municipal employees, EOPYY doctors, and all those who are joining the tens of thousands, millions of unemployed as a result of the disastrous policy of the bailout memorandum.?

    The main opposition leader also launched a stinging attack on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and government VP and Foreign minister Evangelos Venizelos on the new legislation on milk, saying they supported the interests of the multinationals and "the interests of the milk cartel in Europe.

    "What they want to do is to smash the production web and favour some retailers and importers; to favour some multinational interests also in the milk sector," Tsipras said.

    [11] SYRIZA opposes cuts in state funding for parties, says more austerity agreed after elections

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Sunday repeated its objections to cutting state funding for political parties, saying the plan sought to strike at the political forces not linked to corruption, cronyism and business interests.

    A SYRIZA announcement underlined the need to protect democracy by permitting the autonomous functioning of parties and not allow the media and big business to control a party's ability to promote and present its positions.

    "In this framework, state funding must be governed by transparency, democratic and social control and the amount must ensure the parties' ability to promote their policy and action, as well as their independence."

    In a separate announcement, SYRIZA was scathing about statements made by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos concerning the economy, warning that new austerity measures had been agreed with Greece's lenders after the European Parliament elections in May.

    "The government...is trying in vain to hide the new package of measures agreed after the elections," SYRIZA said, adding that the agreement with the troika inaugurated a "new memorandum era, in which Greece's role as a perpetual debt colony is confirmed." It accused the government of lacking the will to fight for Greece's interests, citing as an example its refusal to discuss any haircut of Greece's debt on the grounds that this would be 'hostile' to Greece's lenders, "even though [the debt] is in no way sustainable".

    Replying to SYRIZA's announcement, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said the main opposition was actually "begging for a new memorandum, that it might have a reason to exist."

    [12] KKE leader: Greek people must say 'no more' at elections

    The Greek people must convey a message of "no more" austerity at May's local government and Europarliament elections, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoumbas told To Vima newspaper on Sunday.

    In an interview, the KKE leader referred to a folk tale in which a householder complaining of no space at home is led by the village wise man to fill the house with all the farm animals, and then remove them gradually to create the sense of having more space. According to Koutsoumbas' description, the modern version is, "Stuff the people with antipopular measures and cutbacks - to the point of suffocating the poor - then start removing them one by one, and distribute a crumb here and there so the starving man can say 'Thank you' in gratitude that he didn't collapse," Koutsoumbas said.

    "The Greek people must not be led astray by promises for relief that will supposedly come from the revival and exit from the memorandum and the crisis, as any return to capitalist revival will not replace the lost rights or break the overall progression to the worse," he stressed.

    Koutsoumbas said that the old bipartisanship of New Democracy (ND) and PASOK was being replaced by the new bipartisanship of ND and SYRIZA, with joiners from all other new movements and parties such as Elia and Potami. He also accused the main opposition SYRIZA of "presenting its credentials to the European Union daily and swearing in the name of capitalist revival, regardless of whether it tries to fool people that all these can possibly work under its government rule in the interests of the people."

    The Greek people are in a worse situation than ever, the party leader said, and will continue to be in one. "Because even thought the memorandum is finishing, its laws, capital's demands, the EU's policy and the new oversight mechanisms are here. And these are not going to change with hollow words about dynamic negotiations," he warned.

    [13] Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos dies in Nicosia hospital

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)

    Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos died here on Saturday afternoon at the age of 49, following an extensive cerebral hemorrhage he suffered in his office on Friday. Doctors at Nicosia General Hospital said he passed away at 13:30 .

    Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades, after visiting Mitsopoulos in hospital earlier on Saturday morning, said in a state of shock that "in his condition, only prayers could help."

    Greek Ambassador in Cyprus Vassilis Papaioannou, who also visited Mitsopoulos in hospital on Saturday morning, was the last person who saw him on Friday in his office. Papaioannou said that at the customary meeting they had, Mitsopoulos looked good and nothing foreshadowed what would follow in a few minutes.

    A special Cabinet meeting has been scheduled for Saturday evening at 19:00, to be chaired by Anastasiades.

    [14] PM Samaras offers condolences for the death of Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Saturday expressed his sincere condolences to the family of deceased Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos, as well as to the people of Cyprus, the Cyprus Republic and the Democratic Rally (DISY) party.

    "A great patriot, a good friend and a wonderful person, Tasos Mitsopoulos, Defence Minister of Cyprus, has left us. He was distinguished for his love for Greece and his passion for the Cyprus problem. I am deeply shocked by his sudden death," Samaras said in a press release.

    Mitsopoulos, 49, died in a Nicosia hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering an extensive cerebral hemorrhage at his office on Friday.

    [15] FM Venizelos expresses condolences for the death of Cyprus Defence minister Mitsopoulos

    Government vice-president and Foreign minister Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday issued an announcement in which he expressed his deep sorrow and sincere condolences towards the people of Cyprus and the family of Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos who passed away earlier on Saturday.

    Mitsopoulos, 49, died in a Nicosia hospital after suffering an extensive cerebral hemorrhage.

    "Tasos Mitsopoulos was a responsible politician, a nice man who, throughout his life, in whatever office he served, worked tirelessly for the rights of the people of Cyprus. His memory will always be alive," Venizelos said.

    [16] DM Avramopoulos on death of Cyprus Defence Minister Mitsopoulos

    Defence minister Dimitris Avramopoulos issued a press release on Saturday in which he expressed his condolences to the family of deceased Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos.

    "It is a big and multiple loss of a close friend of mine, Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos; a loss for the Cypriot people and the Greek people at a critical juncture, both for Cyprus and the wider region. A loss also for me personally, as we traveled along a long path of cooperation and personal friendship. But above all, a loss to his family, father, wife and children," Avramopoulos said.

    [17] National Defence minister to represent Greece, EU presidency at Mitsopoulos' funeral Monday

    National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will represent the Greek government, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the presidency of the Council of the European Union at the funeral of Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos being held Monday in Larnaca.

    Mitsopoulos, 49, collapsed in his office in Nicosia on Friday and died on Saturday from a cerebral hemorrhage. He had been appointed to the post on March 14.

    Samaras, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Avramopoulos and other political leaders issued condolences on the Cypriot minister's death.

    "A great patriot, a good friend and a wonderful person, Tasos Mitsopoulos, Defence Minister of Cyprus, has left us. He was distinguished for his love for Greece and his passion for the Cyprus problem. I am deeply shocked by his sudden death," Samaras said in a press release.

    Venizelos remembered him as "a responsible politician, a nice man who, throughout his life, in whatever office he served, worked tirelessly for the rights of the people of Cyprus," while his counterpart, Avramopoulos said in a message, "It is a big and multiple loss of a close friend of mine; a loss for the Cypriot people and the Greek people at a critical juncture, both for Cyprus and the wider region....We travelled along a long path of cooperation and personal friendship".

    [18] Presidential decree introducing ankle monitors for prisoners sent to Council of State

    The justice ministry has sent a draft Presidential Decree introducing ankle monitors for prisoners on furlough, initially to be tested during a pilot phase, to the Council of State for processing. According to an announcement on Sunday, the decree takes into account the observations of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, which suggested a number of modifications in February.

    The electronic ankle monitor uses a GPS signal to track a prisoner's whereabouts at all times and will be worn on the ankle except when this is not possible for health reasons, in which case it will be worn on the arm.

    The pilot phase will last for 18 months and involve 250 prisoners from jails throughout the country, 50 of which will be permanent residents of Thessaloniki and the remainder from the Attica region. Some 50 inmates eligible for the bracelets will come from the Avlona juvenile correctional facility, provided they are permanent residents of Attica, while another 50 will be inmates receiving treatment in the Korydallos prison hospital wing, who also have a permanent address in Attica.

    [19] Independent Greeks leader claims 'collusion' by ruling coalition to duck party debts

    Opposition Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos accused the leaders of Greece's coalition government of "collusion" in an attempt to duck the debts accumulated by their respective parties, in a statement on Sunday. Commenting on announcements made by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, he said it was "abundantly clear there is an understanding between the parties of the ruling coalition".

    "In one newspaper, Samaras gives advance warning of a change in name - and also tax code number - for New Democracy to 'New Greece' and of PASOK to 'Elia', with the sole aim of writing off the debts of the two parties that have landed the Greek people with the bill for the bank loans they received and are not paying off," Kammenos said.

    He also slammed Venizelos' interview as an "anti-Greek rant that maligns the only hope for Greece's surival, which passes through a brave haircut of debt, siding with the positions of [German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble] and forgetting that Germany was saved in 1953 by the London agreement."

    [20] Court of Audit overturns Supreme Fiscal Court ruling, unblocks sale-and-leaseback of state properties

    A ruling issued by the 6th Department of the Court of Audit, presided over by justice Sotiria Douni, has overturned an earlier ruling of the Supreme Fiscal Court and thus unblocked the signature of contracts for the sale and leaseback for 20 years of 28 state properties for the sum of 261.31 million euros, it was announced on Sunday.

    The 6th Department of the Court of Audit judged that the reasoning behind the original ruling was flawed, finding that there had been no violation of the rules of transparency and impartiality. The lower court ruling had cited problems with the contracts because both potential investors participating in the tender and consultancy firms advising on the process were found to be owned and controlled by the same group of companies.

    An appeal against the original ruling was lodged by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), which is in charge of Greece's privatisation programme. The Court of Audit ruling said the HRADF board's decision had adequate, clear and specialised reasoning outlining the benefit and interest that would accrue to the Greek state and overturned the ruling to block the sale. The properties include ministry buildings, tax office buildings and five police buildings while the winning bids were made by Eurobank Properties AEEAP and National Pangaia AEEAP.

    General News

    [21] Athens street shutdowns for Independence Day events Mon.-Tue.

    Major streets will shut down in downtown Athens on Monday and Tuesday for events celebrating the Greek Independence Day of March 25.

    On Monday, March 24, the day of high school students' parade, streets will be gradually shut down around Syntagma Square and Parliament as of 10:00 a.m. The measures will affect the immediate vicinity as well as the sections of Panepistimiou, Stadiou and Syngrou closest to the Square.

    On Tuesday, March 25, traffic restrictions will be in effect earlier, as of 6:00 a.m. They will cover the area around the Church of Dionyssios Areopagitis in Kolonaki, where the official liturgy will be held, and extend more widely than Monday for the high school students' parade. The measures will shut down completely the Omonia Square area and the streets/avenues of Agiou Konstantinou, Athinas, Panepistimiou, Stadiou and Akadimias, as well as sections of others like Patission and Syngrou closest to the centre.

    Restrictions on Tuesday will be lifted around Kolonaki at the end of the liturgy and for the rest of Athens when the parade ends. The measures will affect all public and private transportation.

    Similar restrictions will take place in other towns of Attica holding student parades.

    [22] Rally and concert in central Athens to mark the international day of action against fascism and racism

    Rallies to mark the "International day of action against fascism and racism" are being organised on Saturday throughout the country.

    In Athens, the Movement Against Racism and Fascism Threat (KEEPFA) is scheduled to hold a rally in central Omonoia square at 14:00, to be followed by a concert at 16:00 in Syntagma Square.

    Similar events are being organised by KEEPFA in Thessaloniki and Chania, Crete.

    [23] Farmer protest committees meet in Larisa, decide to join April 9 strike action

    Representatives of the coordinating committees of protesting farmers throughout Greece met in Larisa, central Greece on Sunday to discuss ways to coordinate farmer action on a national and more permanent basis. During the meeting, they decided that farmers will also participate in a nationwide general strike on April 9.

    The meeting, which included representatives of farmers from Evros in the far northeast of Greece down to the Peloponnese, aims at a reorganisation of the farmers' movement so there is mass participation and local associations that deal with local problems, outside the general framework of demands.

    [24] Soccer

    League champion Olympiakos beat Ergotelis 1-4 in an away game played over the weekend for the 30th round of the Greek soccer Super League, reaching 80 points.

    ?

    In other action:

    Panetolikos-Asteras Tripolis 0-1

    Panthrakikos-Aris 2-1

    Panathinaikos-Apollon Smyrnis 3-1

    PAOK-Pas Giannena 2-1

    Kalloni-OFI 1-0

    Xanthi-Panionios 2-0

    Atromitos-Platanias 3-0

    Levadiakos-Veria 2-0

    Standings after 30 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiakos 80 - CHAMPION

    2. Atromitos 62

    3 PAOK 62

    3. Panathinaikos Athens 59

    4. Asteras Tripoli 54

    5. Panthrakikos 40

    6. OFI Crete 38

    7. PAS Yiannena 36

    8. Panetolikos 37

    9. Kalloni Mytilini 36

    10 Levadiakos 36

    11 PAS Giannena 36

    12. Ergotelis 35

    13 Xanthi 35

    14. Panionios 34

    15. Apollon Smyrnis 29

    16. Veria 28

    17 Platanias Chania 28

    18. Aris Thessaloniki 20

    Weather forecast

    [25] Overcast on Monday

    Overcast throughout Greece, with sporadic rain in most areas except at the Aegean Islands and Crete; snowfall expected on mountains in northern Greece. Winds mostly northerly, from 3 to 6 Beaufort. Temperatures from 6C to 20C, starting at 10C on the islands. In Athens, overcast possibly leading to brief rain spells at night. South-southeasterly winds, 3-5 Beaufort, turning to west-northwesterly overnight. Temperatures from 8C to 20C. In Thessaloniki, low visibility early in the morning, overcast with sporadic rain later. Same winds as Athens. Temperatures from 7C to 18C.

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

    AVGHI: "A matter of survival: Human sacrifices, with layoffs and tax onlaught"

    DIMOKRATIA: "The secret life of (Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Michalis) Chryssochoidis"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Main opposition leader "Alexis Tsipras' invitation to MPs, populace: Overthrow the gov't"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Provocative retirement lump sum for Parliament staff"

    ETHNOS: "All insured people to come under three health superfunds"

    KATHIMERINI: "State cuts to party funding"

    LOGOS: "Bond holders: All-around losers" after court rejects appeal on PSI "haircut"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Let's get off the road of monopolies and the EU!"

    TO VIMA: "We are re-entering Europe!" (markets)

    VRADYNI: "Favourable pension regulations expected this summer"

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS


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