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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 14-12-22

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

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

Monday, 22 December 2014 Issue No: 4842

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras proposal of consensus to overcome the crisis
  • [02] FM Venizelos hails PM Samaras' proposals on national consensus
  • [03] Venizelos proposes agreement of 'national prudence'
  • [04] SYRIZA quick to reject PM Samaras' call for political consensus, broader gov't composition and elections at end-2015
  • [05] DIMAR rejects PM's proposal
  • [06] Independent Greeks (ANEL) party also rejects PM Samaras' proposals
  • [07] Independent MP Vassilis Economou to vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas in 2nd and 3rd Parliament votes
  • [08] Independent MP Giannis Kourakos to vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas on Tuesday
  • [09] Independent MP Vassilis Kapernaros will not vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas on Tuesday
  • [10] PASOK leader Venizelos still confident political consensus can avert general elections
  • [11] SYRIZA leader Tsipras sternly attacks PM Samaras
  • [12] KKE leader: The country is heading to snap elections
  • [13] Extension of Greek bailout progamme tabled in parliament
  • [14] ESM/EFSF chief Regling: Higher uncertainty in Greece than in other countries
  • [15] Chaikalis' supplementary testimony completed
  • [16] Chaikalis did not reveal the identity of the person that attempted to bribe him, says prosecution's announcement
  • [17] SYRIZA on PM's decision to file lawsuit against MP Chaikalis
  • [18] Parliament's Ethics Committee votes against the screening of Chaikalis' material
  • [19] Prosecutor orders preliminary examination to locate who posted Chaikalis' audiovisual material on the internet
  • [20] Kammenos appears and currently testifies to prosecutor
  • [21] Kammenos' testimony concluded
  • [22] Apostolopoulos' testimony concluded
  • [23] Independent MP Yatayana: Apostolopoulos is still ANEL leader Kammenos' associate
  • [24] Amendment lifts opinion polls ban before elections
  • [25] SYRIZA leads over ND by 2.5 pct, shows opinion poll
  • [26] SYRIZA leads over ND by 3.4 pct, says opinion poll
  • [27] European Commission approves Greek NSRF projects worth 19 bln euros for 2014-2020
  • [28] Shipping Minister calls MPs to vote amendment on OLP-Cosco private agreement
  • [29] First waterway to open at the port of Corfu
  • [30] Over 11 kg of heroin found in truck at Patras port
  • [31] Mostly fair on Monday
  • [32] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras proposal of consensus to overcome the crisis

    Prime Minister Antonis C. Samaras in statements on Sunday put forward a proposal of consensus that includes a consensual election of President of Republic, broadening of the government and general elections until the end of 2015.

    The prime minister said "The Greek people do not want early elections and they are right. On our part we act according to the Constitution and to the country's interest in order a president to be elected by the current parliament. Snap elections should not be held. The political uncertainty must end. Greece must proceed to the next day".

    Samaras said that we can't finish with a period of uncertainty and immediately enter into another. The country's problems can't stagnate in a permanent pre-elections period. Neither can the orgy of ungrounded and despicable charges that are always wrong, of alleged bribery of MPs to continue and in the meanwhile to have poisoned our democracy. Charges, that unfortunately, the main opposition leader (Alexis Tsipras), his party's top cadres and his well known associate leader of a third party are the protagonists.

    I must remind, said Samaras, that Mr.Tsipras two months ago had said the impossible, that any deputy that will dare to vote for President will be paid-for! Two days ago, deputies that cooperate with his party dared to say the same for the five independent deputies that voted Stavros Dimas for president in the first round of the presidential elections. But the deputies do not succumb to such a campaign of discredit. Fear and terror will not pass! And this is the democracy's wager today!

    The prime minister called everyone to listen to the voice of their conscience, of their soul, to the voice of the national interest and of the common sense. He called them all to consent in the election of Stavros Dimas as president because that provides the constitutional requirement. It is extremely serious for the country's course to negotiate the new agreement that will shield Greece, after the end of the memorandum.

    I still expect for the deputies support in order to proceed and to complete the revision of the Constitution in order very soon Greece to have the new Constitution it needs. The country must not be thrown into a new series of adventures and to postpone the revision for many years.

    Moreover, said Samaras, after the presidential election we can broaden the government with the participation of more persons that believe in the European prospect of the country in order the next phase to find us more united.

    Concluding, Samaras said what is a national obligation and what the common sense dictates is to complete the negotiation with our lenders and to complete the Constitutional revision in conditions of safety and calmness. Afterwards, he noted, when we are shielded economically and politically we can find the right time for national elections, even at the end of 2015, because under conditions of pre-elections polarisation only fools would believe that anyone could negotiate for the economy or revise the Constitution. That's what the voice of responsibility says to the Greek people.

    [02] FM Venizelos hails PM Samaras' proposals on national consensus

    The Government Vice President, Foreign Minister and leader of junior coalition government partner PASOK party Evangelos Venizelos hailed on Sunday evening Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' public proposal earlier in the day, for consensus among the major political forces regarding the election of a new President of the Republic from the current Parliament, in return for a broader composition of the coalition government and for calling premature general elections towards end-2015.

    Venizelos requested that the main opposition Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA party "acts responsibly", but SYRIZA was quick to reject PM Samaras' proposals. The Foreign Minister reiterated it is imperative that national prudence - if not, national consensus - should prevail, so that a new President of the Republic is elected by the current Parliament. After that is achieved, Venizelos suggested that a "national team" should be formed, which will undertake to negotiate with the IMF another precautionary credit line for Greece, as well as discuss methods of reinforcing the sustainability of Greek public debt, maximizing Eurogroup's binding commitments towards the country.

    Just like PM Samaras, FM Venizelos suggested that Greece calls general elections "in a few months" instead of now, when Greek citizens will be able to make their choice "anticipating the best, without jeopardizing the worst".

    [03] Venizelos proposes agreement of 'national prudence'

    Government Vice President and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos in his article in Real News Sunday newspaper , proposes an agreement of national prudence if the national consensus is impossible" and re-tabled his proposal for election of President of Republic and establishment of a national negotiation team with the participation of all the forces of the democratic arc.

    The aim is, he says "to secure within the deadlines the country's major interests" and underlines that "of course in democracy are no impasses, but always looms the possibility to democratically choose the impasse even from inertia. This is something the Greek citizens should not allow to happen'.

    Finally, Venizelos set four questions on whether the country wants to turn page with the precautionary credit line, to remain safe and automatic the relation between the Greek banks and ECB, to transform IMF's programme that ends in 2016 into a programme of precautionary character and to develop our partners' commitment for further reduction of the debt or otherwise adventures with dangerous results.

    [04] SYRIZA quick to reject PM Samaras' call for political consensus, broader gov't composition and elections at end-2015

    In response to the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' public proposal on Sunday for the political forces to agree on the election of a new President of the Republic from the current Parliament - avoiding, thus, the apparent inevitability of general elections - in return for a broader composition of the coalition government and for calling general elections towards end-2015, the main opposition Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA party was quick to reject it all.

    "As Mr Samaras realizes that the requisite number of 180 votes [MPs] cannot be amassed, he reiterates his already known suggestions, interlarded once again with a considerable dosage of attacks against SYRIZA", said the main opposition party in an announcement on Sunday evening. According to SYRIZA, the Premier "is afraid of the judgement of the Greek people [via general elections] which he finally won't be able to avoid".

    SYRIZA views general elections as the only solution to the current situation in Greece and upholds that the country "needs a new strong government". The party's announcement ends by saying "The process of electing a new President will be completed and the people will speak, hope will vanquish fear, Democracy will win".

    [05] DIMAR rejects PM's proposal

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' proposal for consensus to overcome the crisis.

    In an announcement the party stated "DIMAR's bodies and its Congress have decided against the election of President of Republic by the current parliament because the policies that hold the society and the economy in a mire must not continue"

    DIMAR added that extension of the current government's existence means extension of the impasse policies. The country needs change of policy. The country needs progressive governance".

    [06] Independent Greeks (ANEL) party also rejects PM Samaras' proposals

    The leader of Independent Greeks (ANEL) party Panos Kammenos rejected on Sunday evening PM Antonis Samaras' public proposal earlier in the day, for consensus among the major political forces regarding the election of a new President of the Republic from the current Parliament, in return for a broader composition of the coalition government and for calling premature general elections towards end-2015.

    "Following his failure in attracting MPs through invitations, threats and bribery attempts, Mr Samaras auctions ministerial positions", said Kammenos, to add that "He must realize he [the MP] belongs to the past, as long as the country is concerned. It's time for him to return to his political wilderness".

    Both Democratic Left (DIMAR) party and main opposition Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA party have already announced they reject PM Samaras' proposals.

    [07] Independent MP Vassilis Economou to vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas in 2nd and 3rd Parliament votes

    In a statement offered to ANA-MPA on Sunday, independent MP Vassilis Economou said he intends to vote in favour of the coalition government's presidential nominee Stavros Dimas during the second and third Parliament votes scheduled for Tuesday the 23rd of December and Monday the 29th of December, respectively.

    He said that PM Antonis Samaras' public proposal on Sunday for a national consensus on the new President of the Republic, more than covers the prerequisites he was demanding in order to support Dimas' candidacy, being part of an eight-member MP group who had co-signed a public statement describing the conditions which would convince them to vote for Dimas.

    [08] Independent MP Giannis Kourakos to vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas on Tuesday

    Giannis Kourakos, one of the independent MPs of the Greek Parliament, offered a statement to ANA-MPA on Sunday evening that he intends to vote in favour of Stavros Dimas on Tuesday, the coalition government's nominee for next President of the Republic.

    The Greek Constitution provides for three votes in the Parliament - separated by a few days - for the election of a new President, before general elections are called in case this cannot be achieved. The first of these was conducted this week without success, while the second one will take place on Tuesday (23/12) and the third one on Monday the 29th of December.

    During the first vote Mr Kourakos did not support Dimas' candidacy, but following PM Antonis Samaras' public proposals on Sunday for a national consensus in return for a broader coalition government composition and for premature general elections at end-2015, he now considers all three conditions he had set as prerequisites in order to support Dimas' nomination to be satisfied.

    [09] Independent MP Vassilis Kapernaros will not vote in favour of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas on Tuesday

    Vassilis Kapernaros, one of the independent MPs of the Greek Parliament, offered a statement to ANA-MPA on Sunday, saying he does not intend to vote in favour of Stavros Dimas on Tuesday, the coalition government's nominee for next President of the Republic.

    The Greek Constitution provides for three votes in the Parliament - separated by a few days - for the election of a new President, before general elections are called in case this cannot be achieved. The first of these was conducted this week without success, while the second one will take place on Tuesday (23/12) and the third one on Monday the 29th of December.

    According to Mr Kapernaros' point of view, "since both largest political parties in Greece [New Democracy and main opposition Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA party] wish for general elections, let's do it and let everyone take their responsibility".

    [10] PASOK leader Venizelos still confident political consensus can avert general elections

    During a speech on Sunday at Kavala, northern Greece, the Government Vice President, Foreign Minister and junior coalition government partner PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos reiterated he is in support of premature general elections by end-2015 - not at the current period - expressing his view that it is possible for a political consensus to be formed by the 29th of December, in order for the current Parliament to elect a new President of the Republic and avert general elections being called immediately.

    Commenting on a widely publicized case regarding an alleged bribery attempt reported by an MP of the Greek Parliament, Venizelos noted that the 50-seat bonus offered by the Greek Constitution to the majority party in Parliament - a privilege enjoyed for years by both coalition government parties PASOK and New Democracy, when in power - is "irrational and democratically unfair" and needs to be revised.

    The leader of PASOK underlined his party is not afraid of general elections and stands ready to cope with them. He also emphatically noted, that he will fight until the end to avert any further breaking-up of PASOK.

    [11] SYRIZA leader Tsipras sternly attacks PM Samaras

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday sternly attacked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras at his address to his party's meeting in Alexandroupolis.

    Tsipras called Samaras "prime minister of the cafe" saying that at the parliament's cafe referred to bank deposits that will be sent abroad and charged a "behind the scenes irregularity" by an 'extreme-right environment" in the Maximos Mansion that plots also charging the co-governance that 'it burns everything and makes favours to the big interests because it knows that it is leaving".

    Referring to Stournaras' statement of the danger for an 'irreversible damage" Tsipras said that his duty is to protect the economy.

    "In Greece only exists a center of propaganda that attempts to keep alive a corrupted political system" said Tsipras adding "Remember what we said about the triangle of sin. Of a system that with the State's money produces information for its interest, information that attempt to impose the policy for its own benefit and works in order more money to be produced for the few and the selected. That's collusion and the triangle of the sin that bankrupt the country'. On one edge is the bankrupt system of New Democracy and PASOK on the other the bankrupt banks that were rescued with the people's money and afterwards were given back to those that bankrupted them and on the third edge the over-indebted, totally unreliable, media. That's the center that governed forty years and took for itself 70 billion euros from the European Funds. It's the centre that made the State its client and burdened the public debt on the Greek people's households. That's the center that today terrifies blackmails and misinforms, sets parties, dissolves parties and divides parties and conducts auctions of conscience. That's the centre that recently has left aside every pretext and insults the truth, the democracy and even the economy".

    All these will finish underlined Tsipras "whatever you do you can't blackmail us or play with us". He also said that when SYRIZA becomes government will seek not only the political but also the criminal responsibilities from those who are responsible for the country's disaster.

    On the alleged attempted bribery of MP Pavlos Chaikalis, Tsipras noted "We have a bankrupt political system that attempts to cover the stench".

    SYRIZA leader said that the country is already in an elections campaign and charged the co-governance that wants to conduct the elections in a climate of terror and scaremongering adding that SYRIZA will not follow on this slippery path and that it will stay calm in order to unite and not to divide the Greek people.

    [12] KKE leader: The country is heading to snap elections

    Communist Party (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas in his address on Saturday to the 11th Congress of the Communist Youth (KNE) referred to the latest developments regarding the election of President of Republic and estimated that everything indicates that the country is heading to snap elections.

    He underlined that the intensification of government and main opposition dispute and despite their difference in the administration of the crisis, always for the capital's benefit, hides from the people their real rival. He opined that their dispute and on bribery and corruption issues 'has elements of truth" however "the scandalmongering does not allow the people to see the essence of the political problem and leave them trapped in the superficial changes within the bourgeois system without affecting at all the corrupted and rotten system of the monopolies authority".

    [13] Extension of Greek bailout progamme tabled in parliament

    The agreement for the two-month extension of Greece's bailout programme was tabled in parliament as an amendment.

    The draft law that includes the extension will be discussed and voted on Monday, one day before the second vote for the presidential election.

    [14] ESM/EFSF chief Regling: Higher uncertainty in Greece than in other countries

    "In Greece seems to exist higher uncertainty in comparison with Spain, Portugal and Ireland where governments have changed but the adjustment programme continued with small changes but the governments supported the overall direction and therefore the markets were appeased" stated the head of ESM/EFSF Klaus Regling to the Sunday edition of Kathimerini.

    He also noted that the markets are monitoring the political condition in every country and it is "reasonable for them to worry more when the main opposition has radically different views".

    Regling said that Greece is the champion of reforms in the eurozone and stated that the "differences with the troika are not only on the fiscal issues but also on the progress of the restructuring reforms" adding that the decision for the settlement of tax payment in 100 installments took by surprise the troika.

    [15] Chaikalis' supplementary testimony completed

    Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Pavlos Chaikalis' supplementary testimony on his alleged bribery to prosecutor Panos Panagiotopoulos was completed earlier on Sunday.

    Chaikalis said to the prosecutor that Giorgos Apostolopoulos recorded his meetings with him in order to blackmail him if he did not vote for President of Republic and also asked civil lawsuit to the case.

    According to Chaikalis' lawyer Elena Tzouli statements, on December 6 Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, Chaikalis and herself agreed following a recommendation by the head of the Appeals prosecution Isidoros Doyiakos, to whom had filed the complaint for attempted bribery, not to reveal the name of the accused.

    Tzouli said that Doyiakos recommended them not to say the name of the accused for protection of the secrecy of the case and to reveal the identity the day that he would give the cash to Chaikalis. Doyiakos knew the name of the accused from December 12, because Chaikalis gave his name to police in order to be arrested in flagrante delicto.

    The lawyer claims that on December 15 she visited Doyiakos in his office in order to be briefed on the course of the investigation and he told her "we are waiting".

    In their statements both Tzouli and Chaikalis wondered why Mr. Apostolopoulos who says that he recorded the discussions did not give the material to the police and to Mr. Kammenos? They also said that they asked to read Apostolopoulos' testimony to the prosecutor in order to file a lawsuit.

    Referring to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' lawsuit, they wondered why Mr. Samaras chose to file a lawsuit against 'the accuser and not the accused'. They also said that they will decide if they will file a lawsuit against the prime minister's lawsuit.

    Finally, Tzouli said that ?police has not yet de-recorded the audiovisual material. It is currently underway. The prosecutor is conducting an investigation without the material. The investigation can't close before the lifting of telecommunications secrecy. It would be a coup d'etat".

    [16] Chaikalis did not reveal the identity of the person that attempted to bribe him, says prosecution's announcement

    The Appeals Prosecution in an announcement on Saturday signed by the head of the prosecution Isidoros Doyiakos said that Independent Greeks MP Pavlos Chaikalis has not revealed to the prosecutor the name of the person that attempted to bribe him.

    The prosecution also noted that absolute secrecy was kept regarding the investigation.

    The announcement says: On the occasion of MP Pavlos Chaikalis' complaint of attempted bribery and the relevant comments in the media, Athens Appeals Prosecution announces that absolute secrecy was kept during the investigation according to the law and of the nature of the case.

    Police was ordered to find out the identity of the suspect and in case the flagrante delicto to be applied in case of a repetition of a similar action by anyone until the end of the presidential election.

    It is noted that Chaikalis did not reveal to the prosecutor the identity of the accused. The necessary investigation is carried out according to the existing provisions, with total respect to the involved persons and with only aim the full investigation of the case".

    [17] SYRIZA on PM's decision to file lawsuit against MP Chaikalis

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' nervous reaction that with an unprecedented action decided to abandon his institutional role and to act as a private and file a lawsuit against a deputy raises questions, noted main opposition SYRIZA in an announcement issued on Saturday on Samaras' decision to file a lawsuit against Pavlos Chaikalis.

    The main opposition party said that someone would expect from Mr. Samaras a more cool-headed reaction by asking from justice the full investigation of the case. Someone will also expect the total complaint against the person alleged to have acted as a middleman and not to identify himself with his defence line, said SYRIZA and concluded "either the prime minister has bad advisers or the worst of them is panic".

    [18] Parliament's Ethics Committee votes against the screening of Chaikalis' material

    The Permanent Standing Committee on Parliamentary Ethics on Saturday voted against the screening of Independent Greeks MP Pavlos Chaikalis' audiovisual material copy which contains a recording of what the MP claims was an attempt to bribe him so that he would change his vote in the presidential election.

    The committee decided its president Christos Markoyannakis to go to the Supreme Court's (Areios Paghos) prosecution in order to ask from prosecutor Efterpi Kotzamani to speed up the investigation in Chaikalis' case.

    Regarding the issue raised by MPs Odysseas Voudouris and Haris Parastatidis who called the deputies that have changed their minds on the vote for President of Republic to abstain from the next two voting until the bribery shadow disappears. The committee decided to call both deputies on Monday to give explanations.

    Moreover, the committee expressed its deep concern on all those that are taking place regarding Greek MPs bribery attempts "These phenomena wound the institution and are against the democracy. The Committee expresses it total disappointment and calls all the Greek deputies to respect the parliament and their fellow deputies".

    [19] Prosecutor orders preliminary examination to locate who posted Chaikalis' audiovisual material on the internet

    The head of the Appeals Prosecution Isidoros Doyiakos ordered on Saturday a preliminary examination in relation with the revelation of the Independent Greeks MP Pavlos Chaikalis' audiovisual material.

    The prosecutor ordered the electronic crimes squad to find out who posted illegally on the internet the controversial material.

    [20] Kammenos appears and currently testifies to prosecutor

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos appeared to testify to the prosecutor a few minutes ago.

    In statements to the press upon his arrival to the prosecution building, he claimed that he had informed the Attica police chief Panagiotis Stathis who informed him on Saturday night that he should appear to give a supplementary testimony to the prosecutor at 11:00 on Sunday on the alleged bribery of his party deputy Pavlos Chaikalis, that he would not be able to appear because his son arrived from the US adding that he will be available to testify on Monday.

    Kammenos said that when he saw Sunday's press reports that the Appeals court was discontent, he contacted prosecutor Panos Panagiotopoulos who told him that 'all these were figment of the press's imagination'.

    However, according to Kammenos, the head of the Appeals prosecution Isidoros Doyiakos called later his wife and his lawyer Elena Tzouli and said that if ANEL leader did not appear today the investigation will close.

    He also said that the original audiovisual material that Mr. Chaikalis delivered to the prosecutor (of his alleged meetings with Giorgos Apostolopoulos) was not sent to the police's crime lab but is still at the prosecutor's office. Therefore, according to Kammenos the leaking from police that the material has undergone editing are false.

    [21] Kammenos' testimony concluded

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos supplementary testimony to prosecutor Panos Panagiotopoulos on MP Pavlos Chaikalis' attempted bribery case was concluded.

    According to Kammenos, the prosecutors asked for specific explanations in connection with accused by Chaikalis Giorgos Apostolopoulos testimony on Saturday.

    [22] Apostolopoulos' testimony concluded

    Giorgos Apostolopoulos testimony to prosecutor Panos Panagiotopoulos was concluded earlier on Saturday.

    Apostolopoulos was called by the prosecutor to testify as suspect in Independent Greeks MP Pavlos Chaikalis' alleged bribery.

    Apostolopoulos' lawyer stated to the press after the conclusion of his client's testimony "Mr. Apostolopoulos was called to give explanations on Chaikalis' allegations. We responded immediately and did not ask for an extension and clarified the reality.

    No criminal offence or political issue exists as Mr. Chaikalis claims. The truth is, as Mr. Apostolopoulos testified it, without montage. Political faux pas were committed by Mr. Chaikalis. The videotapes have been gone through a montage. Apostolopoulos revealed discussions that took place in order Chaikalis' ethical integrity to be revealed. The facts do not have the dimensions presented. The penal and the political issue concern the other side".

    [23] Independent MP Yatayana: Apostolopoulos is still ANEL leader Kammenos' associate

    Independent MP and former Independent Greeks deputy Chryssoula Yatayana said to the press on Saturday that she does not rule out the possibility Chaikalis' alleged bribery attempt to have been set up between Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos and Giorgos Apostolopoulos.

    Apostolopoulos is still Kammenos' associate and last October called me on the phone and asked me to return to the Independent Greeks, said Yatayana adding that she has no respect in Apostolopoulos.

    [24] Amendment lifts opinion polls ban before elections

    Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos and Minister of State Dimitris Stamatis tabled on Saturday an amendment with which the 15-day ban of opinion polls before the general elections is lifted.

    According to the explanatory report, our experience from the recent euroelections and local administration elections showed that the prohibition was totaly ineffective and its fulfillment was impossible to be secured.

    [25] SYRIZA leads over ND by 2.5 pct, shows opinion poll

    Main opposition SYRIZA leads over ruling New Democracy (ND) with 2.5 percentage points, according to an opinion poll conducted by Interview for private TV Vergina .

    Current prime minister Antonis Samaras is more suitable for prime minister said 41 percent of the respondents with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was preferred by 27 percent of those asked.

    According to the poll results SYRIZA leads with 27.5 percentage points over New Democracy that follows with 25 percent, in the the third place is the Communist Party (KKE) with 5.2 percent, PASOK with 5.1 percent, Golden Dawn and To Potami with 4.5 percent, Independent Greeks with 1.8 percent and Democratic Left with 0.9 percent . 8 percent of the respondents said the will vote for another party and 10.5 percent did not answer.

    Moreover, two days before the second round of the presidential elections, 59 pct has positive opinion for candidate Stavros Dimas and 30 pct negative.

    [26] SYRIZA leads over ND by 3.4 pct, says opinion poll

    Main opposition SYRIZA continues to lead over ruling New Democracy (ND) with 3.4 percentage points, according to an opinion poll conducted by Rass for the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos.

    Citizens believe that SYRIZA would win the elections if we had ballots now, however, current prime minister Antonis Samaras is more suitable for prime minister said 46 percent of the respondents with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras preferred by 32.8 percent.

    According to the poll results the third place goes to Potami with 5.8 percent followed by the Communist Party (KKE) with 5.3 percent, PASOK with 4.6 percent, Golden Dawn with 4.4 percent, Independent Greeks with 2.8 percent followed by Ecologists-Greens with 1.5 percent and ANTARSYA with 1.1 percent. 4.4 percent of the respondents said the will vote for another party and 16.2 percent did not answer.

    People are more afraid of SYRIZA and its strategy of reversal (41.9 pct) followed by ND (37.2 pct).

    Moreover, two days before the second round of the presidential elections, 43.2 pct has positive opinion for candidate Stavros Dimas and 32.5 pct negative.

    Financial News

    [27] European Commission approves Greek NSRF projects worth 19 bln euros for 2014-2020

    The European Commission approved projects in Greece worth a total of 19 bln euros, in the framework of the new National Strategic Reference Framework for 2014-2020.

    Sectors such as industry, tourism, energy and agriculture are prioritized, while also pharmaceuticals, information technology, telecommunications, waste management, commercial transportation services, specialized health services, aquaculture and many other sectors are scheduled to be distinctly promoted.

    Education and life-long training, as well as modernization of the public administration through the adoption of new information and telecommunication technologies, will also be supported by the new NSRF for Greece, in an effort to boost the country's growth potential.

    It is estimated that a cumulative 26 bln euros of EU and Greek State financial resources will be mobilized in Greece during 2014-2020 through the NSRF and various other EU projects aspiring to increase productive investments and employment, improve GDP per capita, increase total productivity, reduce the dependence of the Greek economy on internal consumption, improve the competitiveness and balance of payments, protect and promote the environment and the standard of living, reduce the economic and social inequalities and modernize the State through structural changes.

    [28] Shipping Minister calls MPs to vote amendment on OLP-Cosco private agreement

    Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis presented on Saturday to the parliament plenum the private contract between the Piraeus Port Organisation (OLP) and Cosco which he called the biggest investment in Greece from the start of the economic crisis and called the deputies to vote the relevant amendment that will ratify the contract.

    "It is an investment that will bring Piraeus port in the first place among the ports of the Mediterranean and we hope that the 560 million euros of the initial Cosco investment to climb at 1.1 billion euros.

    [29] First waterway to open at the port of Corfu

    A decision on the inauguration of the first waterway in Greece at the port of Corfu was signed on Saturday by Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitisiotis and Deputy Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Mihalis Papadopoulos.

    Varvitsiotis stated after the signing "today we introduce a new means of transport that contributes in the tourism sector as well as in the economic growth of the country. We will sign and give licence to more waterways in the near future in order this summer to have the first hydroplane flights in the country".

    General News

    [30] Over 11 kg of heroin found in truck at Patras port

    Patras port authorities found over 11 kilos of heroin hidden in a truck with oranges which was bound for Italy.

    The port officers arrested the 61 year-old truck driver and the 52 year-old owner of the vehicle as well as a 43 year-old who was responsible for the cargo.

    The drugs were divided in 22 plastic packages and were hidden in a part of tractor in the cabin's filter.

    Weather Forecast

    [31] Mostly fair on Monday

    Mostly fair weather and northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale. Mostly fair in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from -02C-10C. Scattered clouds in the western parts with temperatures between 01C-16C. The same for the eastern parts with temperatures between 02C-15C. Scattered clouds over the islands, 07C-16C. Mostly fair in Athens, 03C-15C; the same for Thessaloniki, 02C-08C.

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

    AVGHI: Democratic solution against corruption and collusion.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Only 5 pct of Greeks trusts SYRIZA (main opposition, says opinion poll.

    EPOCHI: Life jacket in the gutter.

    ETHNOS: Landscape in the mist with background ballots on January 25.

    KATHIMERINI: Course to ballots in a morbid climate.

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Rot, coercion and delusions. We respond with strong Communist Party (KKE) and organised struggle

    Realnews: Samaras (Antonis, prime minister) pressed to change his line.

    TO ARTHRO: SYRIZA is afraid of the election it wants to provoke.

    To PARON: Who informed the middleman?

    TO VIMA TIS KYRIAKIS: Greece is drowning in the mud and the degradation.

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