|Friday, 19 July 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-06-16
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 16 June 2014 Issue No: 4683
 PM Samaras: Relief not austerity measuresPrime Minister Antonis Samaras plans interventions in the next six months aiming to relief the social weaker strata and to restore of injustices, says to an interview with the Sunday newspaper VIMA.
Samaras noted that the tax reduction plan will be ready in autumn and will have a few years horizon.
"The major changes come step by step. Not suddenly" he noted and set as immediate priorities the acceleration of the reforms that "will bring competitiveness and dynamic growth of the economy" along with the restoration of the injustices.
"Forget the elections" is the message Samaras sends in his first interview after the euroelections and the recent cabinet reshuffle. He preannounced relief measures and not austerity measures and noted that until mid autumn a complete plan on the reduction of all the tax burdens will be ready. He estimated that the outcome of the sustainability of the country's debt will be successful and underlined that it is time the government, and not the troika, to set the reform agenda.
"As long as we meet our targets and are standing on our own feet then we would be able to promote our own reform agenda and not only what the troika recommends" said Samaras clarifying that there will be no additional austerity measures. "We are examining a series of interventions that are all necessary, most of them will surprise and will bring relief. However, they must be realistic and based on the results of the current State Budget. Some of these interventions will be applied within the next six months" he said.
Regarding the negotiations for the debt, the prime minister noted that when the public debt is officially declared sustainable then Greece's importance as an investing destination will increase and capitals will arrive, work positions will open and the borrowing cost will drop.
On the possibility of early elections Samaras attempts to put an end to these scenarios "I believe that we will complete our four-year tenure. This 'game' must come to an end. Governments to be elected with mandate to govern for four years and not to exceed two years! This should happen only in emergency conditions" he said and estimated that the current parliament will elect President of Republic.
"The government's majority is more 'comfortable' now than it was a few months ago. This means that we also have improved the political stability and with the continuous improvement of the situations, I believe that we will have and a presidential majority in March.
Referring to main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, the premier said: He is a young man and speaks an outdated language. He returns to stereotypes and obsessions swept away by history. And he wants to return the country to the ...ice age".
 SYRIZA spokesman on PM's interview to newspaper VIMAMain opposition SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis sternly attacked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday whom he charged that "he is the last to make recommendations of respect to the principles of democracy because in his days democracy was devastated in all levels" referring to Samaras' interview to Sunday newspaper VIMA.
Skourletis opined that Samaras is afraid of the popular verdict and believes that he can govern without political legitimacy and for this reason he seeks to set a fake presidential majority (refers to the presidential elections) adding that only Mr. Samaras considers the antisocial and devastating policy that he implemented as "redemption for the society".
Samaras continues to ignore the people's condemning vote against his policy in the euroelections, concluded Skourletis.
 KKE on PM's interview to newspaper 'To Vima'The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday attacked the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for his interview at newspaper "To Vima".
"The prime minister is trying to embellish the current barbaric capitalist path of development, with promises of alleged relief, that aim to fool the most extreme poverty, while unpopular measures will continue, because they are imposed by the EU memoranda and the target of competitiveness," KKE said.
 Samaras and Venizelos agree on hiring 600 university administrative employeesPrime Minister Antonis Samaras and Government Vice-President Evangelos Venizelos on Sunday met to discuss their upcoming international visits and contacts as well as issues related to the coordination of the new government,government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi said.
Samaras and Venizelos also decided to immediately proceed with a call of tender and hiring of 600 university administrative employees. During the evaluation process of the staff under labour reserve and the completion of the re-hiring process, none of the employees placed in labour reserve will be fired, as provided by law, she added.
 PASOK expresses satisfaction over decision on university administrative staffPASOK on Sunday expressed its satisfaction over the decision on university administrative staff placed in labour reserve for two reasons. First of all, none of the employees in labour reserve will be fired during the evaluation and re-hiring process and secondly a new call of tender for additional hirings is likely to be launched.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Government Vice-President Evangelos Venizelos met earlier and agreed on the hiring of 600 university administrative employees that have been placed in labour reserve.
Samaras and Venizelos also discussed the overall course of the negotiations with the troika on debt sustainability and exit from the crisis, as well as the better coordination of the government.
Finally, ahead of the prime minister's international contacts this week, they also discussed the importance of those contacts as regards investments and the Greek economy.
 Foreign ministry spokesman's reply on email tapping report"We are confident that there will be an immediate reaction to the publication by the German side," Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Koutras said on Sunday.
Koutras was answering journalists' questions regarding the article published at newspaper "Ta Nea" on Saturday that the emails of many citizens, including Greeks, were tapped by German security agencies.
"There are certain rules of conduct and cooperation among friends, partners and allies, which have been, repeatedly, reported by the German government, and which has recently protested for their violation," Koutras added.
 SYRIZA on alleged BND's tapping mechanismMain opposition SYRIZA in an announcement on Saturday refers to Sunday's edition of NEA newspaper article according to which the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has set a mechanism in order to tap large number of data from the internet. This mechanism intercepts web data from 195 countries among them and Greece. Obviously the German BND follows US NSA's example that was uncovered by Edward Snowden.
SYRIZA wonders who are watching the German secret services and do these practices comply with the principles of the relations between partners and allies.
Moreover, the main opposition asks "The Greek authorities are aware of the German secret services actions? Will the Greek government request explanations from Germany and finally who will protect the citizens' personal data?
 Labour Minister: Milos' declaration "Holy Island" very important for HellenismLabour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis who attends the events held on Milos island in the presence of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos for the official declaration of Milos as "Holy Island" stated "It is a very important moment not only for Milos and for complex of Cyclades but for Greece in total given that the Milos' catacombs, this invaluable early Christian monument, establishes the island as an international pilgrimage center and enhances the country's image of a place of international spiritual radiance".
Concluding Vroutsis noted "for once more the government serves a national and responsible mission for the country's salvation with important economic achievements, with difficult but necessary reforms. In this battle the government draws strength from the timeless values and principles of the Hellenism and of the Orthodox Church".
 Justice Minister on alleged 'favourable treatment' to those involved in scandalsJustice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou on Saturday referring to recent speculations regarding 'cover up and favourable attitude" for those involved in scandals or embezzlers of state wealth stated "The government's adamant and solid stance is the drastic and effective tackling of corruption in all the public sector's range. And this is proved from the up to date legislative work".
Moreover, Athanassiou clarified that with his ministry recent legislations nobody who serves in the public sector, organisation or agency will be exonerated or acquitted or will have a more favourable criminal prosecution".
 Independent Greeks leader: Those who want to negotiate with the government should leave nowIndependent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos opened to all those who are against the Memorandum, in his opening address to the National Council of his party that started on Saturday.
Kammenos announced the radical restructure of his party organisational structures saying that everything will change and will start from the beginning and finally, called all the party members and MPs that "want to negotiate with the government to leave now from the party".
Concluding, Kammenos said that Independent Greeks' Congress will be held in autumn adding that "nobody is taken for granted."
 Independent Greeks elect new party secretaryPolitical scientist Yiannis Moiras was elected on Sunday Independent Greeks party secretary.
The 45 years-old Moiras was elected at the second round with 67 votes against 43 that received his opponent Thanassis Beltsos.
Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos wished success to the new secretary and in a statement he reiterated his intention to cooperate with other anti-memorandum parties and persons.
The new secretary in a statement to ANA-MPA noted among others that "The party's Founding Declaration and its programme along with the consistency and the fortitude of our leader Panos Kammenos are the guarantees that the Greek people can and should continue to have confidence in the Independent Greeks" concluding that "From today only work in the party and daily struggles in the society".
 VAT revenues may rise by 1.4 bln euros in 2014-2016, BoG saysBased on the current forecasts for economic activity recovery and reduction of the output gap, and provided that the VAT rates remain unchanged in the period 2014-2016, it is likely to have a cumulative increase in VAT revenues (approximately by 1.4 billion euros), which may also be higher if the recovery in economic activity is faster than forecast, according to a Bank of Greece (BoG) report on the 2013-2014 monetary policy.
The report underlined that Greece's fiscal adjustment over the last years has significantly contributed to improving the financial position of the country, which is partly attributed to the increase of the indirect taxes, especially the Value Added Tax (VAT).
 Council of State approves the transfer of eight companies' shares to state privatisation agencyThe plenary of the Council of State with 11 decisions (2179-2189/2014) dismissed the appeals of eight public entities (societe anonyme) seeking to annul the decisions of the Interministerial Committee for Asset Restructuring and Privatization according to which the Greek government has transferred shares of those entities to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED).
More specifically, the Council of State rejected the appeals of unions and workers in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH), Horse Racing Organization of Greece (ODIE), gambling firm OPAP, natural gas firm DEPA, Hellenic Petroleum, Hellinikon SA-Administration & Management of Hellinikon Airport and Egnatia Odos.
The Council of State rejected all the allegations of the entities as it considers that they have no legal interest to appeal to the Council of State.
 One more person arrested alleged to be involved in major heroin haulOne more person was arrested on Sunday alleged to be involved in the major heroin haul that was found last Thursday in two warehouses in Attica region.
According to Coast Guard sources, the arrested is an Albanian national to who was sent a SMS and had managed to escape. The suspect gave himself in voluntarily.
Eleven people arrested over one of the largest heroin hauls seized in Europe - totaling more than a tonne - got an extension on Friday evening to testify this coming week.
The 1,133.420 kilos of heroin, packed in a total of 443 plastic parcels, was stored in two batches of about 500 kilos each - one in a warehouse in Koropi and another in Filothei, at the house of a shipowner who allegedly owns four oil tankers in Dubai. The value of the drug is estimated at around 30 million euros, if sold unadulterated.
Of those arrested and being held at the Central Port Authority detention centre in Piraeus, six are Greek and five are Turkish nationals. According to unofficial sources, the Greeks arrested include the shipowner, his wife, and their underage son. The Greek nationals will testify on Tuesday and the Turkish ones on Wednesday. None of them were named because the operation is still under way, the Coast Guard said.
The breakup of the drug ring came after a major coordinated sweep involving the Greek Police, the Greek Coast Guard, the Financial Crimes unit of the Finance ministry and the United States' Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and was made public at a press conference by the Coast Guard on Friday.
Those arrested were read charges on violation of the law on drugs, the creation of a criminal organisation, drug trafficking, and other charges that include illegal possession of weapons.
 Cannabis plantation located on RhodesA cannabis plantation was located in a farming area on Rhodes following a coordinated police operation on Saturday.
Three persons, two locals and a Pakistani national were arrested red-handed while watering the 385 cannabis plants.
 Fuel smuggling ring dismantled; four arrestedA 40 years-old Air Force officer, a 46 years-old retired Air Force officers and a 28 years-old policeman and a 36 years-old who activated in fuel transport with trucks stole 50,000 liters of kerosene in the last 8 months from the 116 Air Force Wing in Araxos.
According to police the perpetrators adulterated the fuel and afterwards they distributed them illegally.
The suspects were arrested following a Police Internal Affairs Division operation in the wider area of South Achaia region. The four men are charged with setting and participating in a criminal organisation, grand theft, fuel smuggling and bribery.
Police set a major operation on Friday night during which the alleged members of the ring were found transporting 1,610 liters of kerosene which they have stolen from the 116 Air Force Wing reservoirs.
Police ordered a sworn administrative inquiry and the policeman was suspended.
The suspects will be sent on Friday to Patras prosecutor.
 Wildfire at Armenistis camping in HalkidikiA wildfire that broke out at 6.15 on Sunday at the camping of Armenistis in Halkidiki is still in progress.
A strong force of firefighters from Thessaloniki and Marmaras assisted by three firefighting aircrafts are currently in the area battling the blaze.
According to initial estimations the fire may be caused by lightning.
 Fifty undocumented migrants arrested in four separate incidentsA speedboat with 16 undocumented migrants on board was located early Saturday by a Coast Guard patrol vessel in the sea region of Oinousses. The Turkish captain and trafficker when he noticed the patrol vessel he rammed it and continued its trip. Finally the speedboat was stopped and the trafficker was arrested. The undocumented migrants were transferred safely to Chios island.
In a separate incident, 10 undocumented migrants were rescued after their dinghy sank in Turkish waters northeast of Lesvos island. A Greek Coast Guard vessel rescued the migrants while a Turkish vessel that rushed to the area refused to collect the migrants and left. Seven of the migrants were transferred to the port of Mytilene (Lesvos) while the three other were later collected by two Turkish vessels.
Finally, a trafficker and sixteen undocumented migrants were arrested in the sea region of Akrotiri, Lesvos island and another 11 undocumented migrants were also arrested at the area of Aghios Georgios, Symi island.
 Fair weather on MondayFair weather and winds from variable directions are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Cloudy in the northern parts of the country with rain in the afternoon and temperatures ranging from 17C-31C. Mostly fair in the central and in southern parts with temperatures ranging from 17C-33C. Sunny over the islands, 20C-31C. Fair in Athens, 20C-32C. Scattered clouds and rain in the afternoon in Thessaloniki, 19C-30C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI TIS KYRIAKIS: 'Black July' for salaries and benefits.
EPOCHI: Samaras (Antonis, prime minister) hostage of his government.
ETHNOS TIS KYRIAKIS: Against the tide. Young people that won unemployment in Greece of the crisis.
KATHIMERINI: over 260,000 businesses on the brink of foreclosure.
KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: First looting and then elections.
KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Who is the 'best negotiator' for the capital?
LOGOS TIS KYRIAKIS: Pensions after death.
PROTO THEMA: What ECB chief Mario Draghi said to Tsipras (Alexis, main opposition SYRIZA leader) in Frankfurt.
Realnews: "The war for the votes" Intense behind the scenes ahead of presidential elections.
TO PARON: They set fire to the political system and to justice.
TO VIMA TIS KYRIAKIS: Antonis Samaras opens his cards: Forget the elections.
TYPOS: The tax reduction battle plan.
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