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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-01-26

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

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

Monday, 26 January 2015 Issue No: 4869

CONTENTS

  • [01] 2015 national elections - Official results by Interior Ministry (90.07 pct of votes counted)
  • [02] Tsipras: 'People's verdict cancels the memorandums of austerity'
  • [03] Tsipras: 'People's verdict cancels the memorandums of austerity' (Full text)
  • [04] National elections 2015-This is a historic victory for the Greek people, SYRIZA officials say
  • [05] President Papoulias congratulates Tsipras in phone call
  • [06] SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras receives congratulations of outgoing PM Antonis Samaras
  • [07] Outgoing PM Samaras: 'The Greek people have spoken'
  • [08] Samaras: 'I hand over a country without deficits..my conscience is clear' (Full text)
  • [09] PASOK leader Venizelos congratulates SYRIZA, blames Papandreou for loss of votes and for rise of Golden Dawn
  • [10] Potami leader congratulates SYRIZA's Tsipras; expected to meet within week, sources say
  • [11] Potami is the third democratic power, says leader Theodorakis
  • [12] SYRIZA leader Tsipras and ANEL's Kammenos to meet at 10:30
  • [13] Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader to meet with Tsipras, rules out collaboration with To Potami
  • [14] DIM.AR's Kouvelis congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA election victory
  • [15] KKE leader: SYRIZA will follow European monopolies, interests
  • [16] European Parliament president congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA victory
  • [17] 2015 national elections -French President Hollande congratulates Tsipras for victory
  • [18] Austrian Chancellor congratulates Tsipras on electoral victory
  • [19] EPP group President Weber on Greek elections
  • [20] German politicians comment on SYRIZA lead in elections
  • [21] 2015 national elections-Britain's Cameron says election result in Greece increases 'economic uncertainty'
  • [22] Spanish party Podemos welcomes SYRIZA's victory
  • [23] European Commissioner Avramopoulos congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA's election victory
  • [24] Matteo Renzi, Alexis Tsipras to meet at the next European Union summit, Italian government sources say
  • [25] SYRIZA leader Tsipras and ANEL's Kammenos to meet at 10:30
  • [26] Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann says the new Greek government should not make promises that the country cannot withstand
  • [27] Greece voted for an end to austerity, EU Parliament's Socialists and Democrats head says
  • [28] Costa-Gavras congratulates SYRIZA leader Tsipras
  • [29] 2015 national elections-This is a big step for the Left, Greece and Europe, SYRIZA's Voutsis says
  • [30] SYRIZA followers celebrate at Athens headquarters following exit poll results
  • [31] SYRIZA's Zoi Konstantopoulou visits the "ertopen" offices
  • [32] Golden Dawn leader hails party's placement as third power
  • [33] KINIMA leader Papandreou says the country must remain on a steady course within the Eurozone
  • [34] I hope that Potami will have a crucial role in a possible coalition government, head of Europarliament's Liberals and Democrats Alliance says
  • [35] Voter turnout as low as in 2012, reaches 62.66 pct
  • [36] Election process went smoothly throughout Greece, interior ministry gen. sec says
  • [37] The polling stations where President of Republic and party leaders casted their votes on Sunday's elections
  • [38] President Papoulias: These national elections are crucial
  • [39] PM Samaras: These elections will determine our future
  • [40] SYRIZA leader Tsipras voted in Athens
  • [41] PASOK leader voted in Thessaloniki
  • [42] Independent Greeks leader: It is a day of democracy
  • [43] To Potami leader Theodorakis voted in Chania, Crete
  • [44] Greens-Democratic Left co- leaders voted in Peristeri
  • [45] KKE leader: The next day will be difficult and with the new government
  • [46] Democrats Socialists Movement: We are at a crucial crossroads
  • [47] ANTARSYA-MARS members assaulted in Keratsini; GD representative attacked by unidentified individual
  • [48] Political party leaders wrap up campaigns ahead of election Sunday
  • [49] Greece preparing to go to the polls on Sunday (ADDS)
  • [50] Polling stations in mountainous Nafpaktia opened after 11:00
  • [51] Elections Press Centre in Zappion ready for 876 journalists from Greece, abroad
  • [52] Unprecedented media interest in the Greek national elections
  • [53] SYRIZA leader Tsipras talks with journalists in Athens restaurant
  • [54] PM Samaras and finance minister discuss Monday's Eurogroup
  • [55] SYRIZA's head of economic policy sector Yiannis Milios says "the programme on which Hardouvelis had agreed in the Eurogroup is dead"
  • [56] Greek FM Venizelos on missile strike in Mariupol, Ukraine
  • [57] Foreign Minister Venizelos' statement on the killing of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by ISIS executioners
  • [58] Thousands leave cities to vote, despite bad weather
  • [59] Convicted terrorist Xiros attacked by fellow-inmate in Domokos prison, sources say
  • [60] No sign of 12 Turkish tourists that called European emergency number, search moved to Evros
  • [61] Police announce arrest of Turkish national wanted by Interpol for terror crimes
  • [62] Rain on Monday
  • [63] The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance (due to elections, all papers released their Sunday editions on Saturday) Politics

  • [01] 2015 national elections - Official results by Interior Ministry (90.07 pct of votes counted)

    Official results released by the Interior Ministry (90.07 percent of votes counted):

    SYRIZA: 36.32%, 149 seats

    New Democracy: 27.86%, 76 seats

    Golden Dawn: 6.31%, 17 seats

    Potami: 6.03%, 17 seats

    KKE: 5.47%, 15 seats

    PASOK: 4.72%, 13 seats

    ANEL: 4.69%, 13 seats

    Kinima: 2.44%, 0 seats

    [02] Tsipras: 'People's verdict cancels the memorandums of austerity'

    "Today the people have written history, hope has written history," Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras stressed on Sunday, addressing crowds of people gathered at the Propylaea of the Athens University in central Athens, after SYRIZA's victory in the Greek elections.

    "The sovereign Greek people today gave a clear, strong, indisputable mandate," Tsipras said, adding that Greece was "starting on a new page, leaving behind it the austerity of destruction, autocracy and five years of humiliation and pain."

    "Our people have taken a step forward in history. From tomorrow we begin hard work. The people's verdict cancels the memorandums of austerity and destruction, makes the troika a thing of the past," SYRIZA's leader said.

    "We will form a government of all Greeks. We will fight to rebuild our country. Defeated today was the Greece of the elite, the oligarchs. Victorious was the Greece of toil, of labour," he said.

    He stressed that the new SYRIZA government "will prove wrong the 'Cassandras' within and outside the country" with the common interests of all the people of the European Union as its guideline, and "negotiate a fair and mutually beneficial solution".

    "Greece will come with its national plan of reforms, without new deficits but also without the unrealistic and unattainable surpluses. Neither a rift nor submission," Tsipras added.

    Concluding his speech, SYRIZA's president said the new government's priority was "that the country and our people regain their lost dignity. This is the message of this victory of the people. We have won back hope, our smile, the optimism and the lost dignity of our people."

    [03] Tsipras: 'People's verdict cancels the memorandums of austerity' (Full text)

    "Today the Greek people have written history, hope has written history," Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras stressed on Sunday, addressing crowds of people gathered at the Propylaea of the Athens University in central Athens, after SYRIZA's victory in the Greek elections.

    "The sovereign Greek people today gave a clear, strong, indisputable mandate. Greece is starting on a new page. Greece is leaving behind it the austerity of destruction, leaving behind it the fear and autocracy. It is leaving behind it five years of humiliation and pain. And Greece is moving forward with optimism, hope, dignity and a firm step toward a Europe that is changing. And SYRIZA, you and SYRIZA, our people are a characteristic example of this changing Europe. Our people who took this step and Greece, which took a step in history, a step forward, a step to meet the other peoples of Europe.

    "Today we have a celebration, a fete. From tomorrow we begin hard work. The people's verdict ends in an indisputable way the vicious circle of austerity in our country. The verdict of the Greek people, your verdict, cancels today in an indisputable way the memorandums of austerity and destruction. The verdict of the Greek people now makes the troika a thing of the past for our joint European framework."

    "We are fully aware that the Greek people have not today given us a 'carte blanche' but have given us a mandate for national revival and for restoring social cohesion with our party. We will make us of this trust and form a government of all Greek men and women. We will place our faith in every Greek woman and every Greek man individually, regardless of whether they did or did not vote for us. We will all fight together to rebuild our country on new, firm and fair foundations of justice and prosperity.

    "Today, my friends, citizens of Athens, I address every Greek man and woman that is watching us now. Today there are no winners and losers. Defeated today was the Greece of the elite, the Greece of the oligarchs, the Greece of antidemocratic deviation, the Greece of misappropriation and cover-ups. If anyone won today it was the Greece of toil, the Greece of labour, the Greece of knowledge, the Greek of creativity, the Greece of culture. If someone won today it is the Greece that struggles, the Greece that hopes, which asks for the space and time to against create a future with dignity."

    "Friends, I want to warmly thank all of you. But primarily I want to thank all those, and they are thousands, in every corner of Europe, who have come here and the foreign delegations, for this unprecedented wave of support and solidarity toward the Greek people that is coming from every corner of Europe. Our victory is at the same time a victory of all the peoples of Europe who are fighting against austerity that is destroying our common European future.

    "Guided by the common interest of all the peoples of Europe, I want to assure you: the new Greek government is ready to cooperate and to negotiate for the first time with our partners a fair, mutually beneficial and viable solution so that Greece can exit the vicious circle of excessive debt, so that Europe can return to stability, growth, social cohesion, the values and principles that were its founding values and principles, such as democracy and solidarity.

    "In this sincere dialogue, in this substantive negotiation, Greece, I want to assure you, will come with its own factually-supported proposals, with its own national plan of reforms and radical changes, with its own four-year fiscal policy plan without new deficits but also without the unrealistic and unattainable surpluses, with its own proposals for the debt, its own plan for investments and the productive reconstruction of the country.

    "Friends, the new Greek government will prove wrong the 'Cassandras' within and outside the country. There will neither be a mutually destructive confrontation nor will a continuation of the submission be tolerated. We have before us a great opportunity for a new start in Greece and Europe. For a new policy, for a new model for relations based on trust, mutual respect, solidarity and responsibility.

    "Friends, our priority from the very next day will be to tackle the great wounds of the crisis. It is to restore the people's sovereignty in our country. It is to deliver justice. It is a break with the establishment and pathogenic phenomena of decades; a break with the regime of intertwined interests and corruption; the promotion of sweeping democratic reforms to the state, public administration, everywhere. Our priority above all, however, is for the country and our people to once again regain their lost dignity. This is the message of this victory of our people today. We are winning back hope, we are winning back our smile, we are winning back optimism, we are winning back the lost dignity of our people.

    "I want to thank all of you, from one end of Greece to the other, who fought this wonderful fight. You fought it with self-confidence, with passion, with optimism. You took hope in your hands and raised it high. You defeated fear. You brought back the smile of every Greek man and woman. And I call on you at this historic moment and now, when everyone in all of Europe and the world is listening to us, to give the assurance and the promise that we will fight with the same passion, the same self-confidence. Forward to continue this great, difficult beautiful fight. Forward to raise the sun over Greece. Let us raise the sun of justice, the sun of justice, the sun of democracy, the sun of dignity. We will succeed. We will go forward together and we will succeed.

    [04] National elections 2015-This is a historic victory for the Greek people, SYRIZA officials say

    The election result, according to the exit polls, is "a historic victory for the Greek people that overwhelmingly opposed austerity," SYRIZA sources said on Sunday adding that the result "sends a strong message to Europe that can be the starting point of changes across Europe."

    SYRIZA, the same sources said, "assumes the responsibility of forming a social salvation government, of implementing the Thessaloniki programme and negotiating in Europe."

    Several party officials have already gathered at SYRIZA headquarters waiting for party leader Alexis Tsipras.

    [05] President Papoulias congratulates Tsipras in phone call

    The President of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, received on Sunday a congratulatory phone call by the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias.

    [06] SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras receives congratulations of outgoing PM Antonis Samaras

    Outgoing premier and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras spoke with Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras late on Sunday and congratulated him for his electoral victory.

    "I appreciate that," Tsipras said, while Samaras responded, "This is politically civilised."

    [07] Outgoing PM Samaras: 'The Greek people have spoken'

    The Greek people have spoken and we all respect their decision. My conscience is clear. We withstood, we averted the worst, we restored the country's credibility and laid the foundations for its return to growth," outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Sunday, in statements at the press centre in the Zappion building.

    "Today I hand over a country without deficits, that is emerging from the crisis in an orderly way, which is a member of the European Union and the euro. I hope that the next government will preserve these gains," the outgoing premier said.

    [08] Samaras: 'I hand over a country without deficits..my conscience is clear' (Full text)

    The Greek people had spoken and we all respect their decision, outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Sunday, in statements at Zappion building press centre after his party's defeat in the Greek national elections.

    "Deeply moved, I thank from my heart all the women and men that stood beside us in this difficult race. I want them to feel proud of this battle that we waged together, just as I feel very proud of them. "The Greek people have spoken and we all respect their decision," he said.

    "My conscience is clear. I took over a country on the verge of disaster. I was asked to hold 'lit coals' in my hands and I did it. Most gave us few prospects of lasting. But we withstood. We averted the worst. We pulled the country out of the deficits, out of the recession, we restored the credibility and the standing of our country, we laid the foundations for growth and for a final exit from the crisis.

    "In the last two and half years, we created a new tradition of consensus and coalition governments, unknown in Greece. Greece needs bold consensuses and we dared [to do this]. We were obliged to take painful measures. And there were some mistakes and injustices. But we averted much worse things.

    "So, today, I hand over a country without deficits, with security for the citizen, with firm support in the world and in our region. A country that is making an orderly exit from the crisis. Above all, I hand over a country that is a member of the European Union and the euro. For the good of this country, I hope that the next government preserves these gains. I have a clear conscience because I told the people the truth right to the end. I honestly hope that my predictions are not proved true. Because it is Greece we are talking about. But I had an obligation to give a warning."

    "The election result is not pleasant for us. But it showed that ND stood firm, that ND is on its feet. Despite the very difficult but unavoidable measures we were forced to take, in two and half years ND appears to have lost only two points in relation to the elections in 2012. And it remains ready to play a decisive role in developments from here on forward, as a guarantor of the country's European course, of stability, security and the reforms that must progress. ND's role in upcoming developments will be crucial, I guarantee that it will play this role to the utmost," he said.

    [09] PASOK leader Venizelos congratulates SYRIZA, blames Papandreou for loss of votes and for rise of Golden Dawn

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos congratulated Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras for his electoral victory on Sunday wishing him success, and blamed newly-founded Movement of Democratic Socialists (Kinima) leader George Papandreou for undermining PASOK and costing it its failure to place third in elections.

    PASOK came in sixth, with over 50 percent of the overall votes counted.

    Venizelos expressed disappointment over the low vote tally for PASOK and blamed former prime minister Papandreou with the rise of extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) to third place.

    SYRIZA has a right to celebrate its victory, Veniezelos said, and expressed the certainty that Tsipras understood the huge responsibilities he will shoulder. "In our era, the artificial majority of seats and votes is not enough; social and political agreement is also needed," Venizelos said.

    He also noted that in June 2012, PASOK's political proposal, to which coalition partners New Democracy and Democratic Left (DIMAR) had agreed, had collected 47 percent of the votes, but came up against the stubborn lack of agreement.

    PASOK with the Democratic Wing got a percentage that "does not satisfy us at all, compared to the effort we expanded and the truths we said during the campaign period," the outgoing government Vice-President and Foreign Minister said. "We held on, as long as the Greek people wanted, before the incessant demagoguery of danger-mongering and the relaxing of vigilance and easy promises, artificial polarisation and strong waves of opportunism."

    He also charged Papandreou, whose father Andreas had founded the party, with breaking up the party's unity "for a caprice, for some personal fixations that both PASOK and the country paid for dearly." For Golden Dawn's coming in third, "the responsibility lies with George Papandreou," he asserted.

    PASOK spoke the truth, he said, and that is now "our political heritage, the springboard for the party's new historic phase." Its position is easier now compared to the tremendous weight it had been lifting the last five years, Venizelos said and expressed the hope that the people will now start to see PASOK under a more favourable light.

    He said that in his political career he had assumed for national and party reasons large responsibilities that were not his personally. "In the main, I now fully assume the responsibility alloted to me" and said he was greatly honoured to have taken part in the front lines of his generation's war to prevent Greece's destruction.

    Now PASOK is moving ahead in orderly fashion and without any delays to a congress of radical renewal, unity, rallying of the wider area, with all issues remaining open to discussions, including the issue of party leadership.

    The congress, he said, will deal "with the party itself and not with other formations or factors that try to influence poor PASOK from outside, since they undermined it mercilessly from within, then they abandoned it and remain unrepentant." However, the congress did not mean the party's future turn to introversion, as the country and its problems remain a priority and there is no time to lose. "We want things to go better for the country, even if others take the political credit for it, but we will not let things go worse," he said.

    [10] Potami leader congratulates SYRIZA's Tsipras; expected to meet within week, sources say

    To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis congratulated Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras for his electoral victory on Sunday.

    According to sources, Theodorakis and Tsipras agreed to a meeting in the next few days, but a date has not been sent.

    [11] Potami is the third democratic power, says leader Theodorakis

    The leader of Potami, Stavros Theodorakis, said on Sunday his party managed to enter Parliament without money and without agreements with vested interests and unions.

    "Today, Potami is the third democratic power in the country. This is a victory of society. Without money, without protectors, without agreements with vested interests and unions, we achieved the unachievable: to enter Parliament with 16 lawmakers," Theodorakis told journalists, commenting on the electoral results of his party.

    The leader of Potami expressed his gratitude towards his volunteers, saying: "We won't betray you" and noted that their vote was not a vote of anger, but a vote of logic and courage.

    He went on to congratulate SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras for his great victory and said Potami expects him to meet his responsibilities.

    "But this is no time for celebrations," he added. "The country needs to strengthen its position in Europe, heal its wounds and enter a path of growth. We need big changes and wide social alliances. Greece will not change just because a party will have, if it has them, 151 lawmakers. We need large majorities and a patriotic action plan."

    Theodorakis described as a "bad sign" the smaller participation in this year's election compared to 2012 and especially the higher percentage of votes received by Golden Dawn, saying that at some point we will have to seek the real reason why half a million Greeks decided to vote in a reactionary way at this crucial time.

    The leader of Potami finally noted that his party will be "present" on Monday to say "yes" when it agrees and "no" when the country is at risk, offering specific solutions.

    [12] SYRIZA leader Tsipras and ANEL's Kammenos to meet at 10:30

    The leader of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and winner of the national elections, Alexis Tsipras, will meet with Independent Greeks (ANEL) president Panos Kammenos at the offices of SYRIZA, at 10:30 on Monday.

    [13] Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader to meet with Tsipras, rules out collaboration with To Potami

    The time has come for Greece to be led to prosperity, production, dignity and progress, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos said at Zappio Hall press centre late on Sunday, and dedicated his party's electoral results to "the pollsters who up to this morning hit on us mercilessly."

    ANEL received 4.70 percent of the vote (with 70.45 percent of the votes counted), giving him 13 seats in Parliament.

    In his statements Kammenos said he had contacted Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras to congratulate him. ANEL, he said, will help so that "this new social and political reality is stabilised for the good of the country, the nation and the Greek people."

    "I contacted Mr. Tsipras, congratulated him on his victory and said that the Independent Greeks, as we had said from the first moment, will support the change of the political scene in our country, based on the principles that we have publicly stated," he said.

    Kammenos said the time had come "to rebuild what was destroyed by the memorandums and to free Greece from the chains of subjugation. Today is a time of responsibility for all Greeks, regardless of ideological and political beliefs." It is time for all Greeks to come together, as the electoral results create a new social and political reality.

    In press statements later, from his party's office, Kammenos said he would be meeting with Tsipras on Monday. Ruling out collaboration with To Potami, he said, "We are not going to work with a government that includes To Potami."

    [14] DIM.AR's Kouvelis congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA election victory

    Democratic Left (DIM.AR) leader Fotis Kouvelis contacted Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday, following the announcement of the first firm estimate of the election results, and congratulated him on SYRIZA's victory in the elections, which he called a "historic victory of the Left".

    [15] KKE leader: SYRIZA will follow European monopolies, interests

    The national election results express "the great discontent and anger of our people for the New Democracy and PASOK parties that sank the country into poverty and unemployment all these years of the economic crisis," Communist Party of Greece Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoumbas said on Sunday night.

    His party came in fifth, with 5.45 percent (at 65 percent of the votes counted), which corresponds to 15 seats in Parliament.

    The result, he said, "also expresses, to a great degree, the false hope that the new government of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) can follow a people-friendly policy," Koutsoumbas said, and made particular mention of people who decided to vote for the KKE for the first time.

    "KKE believed and still believes that the Parliament's new composition and the formation of a SYRIZA government - whether by itself or by collaboration, and based on official statements and stances during and before the campaign period - will move along the same lines of an exclusively European path, of reduced demands, retreats and compromises and commitments to large capital, monopolies, the EU and NATO - with whatever that means for our people and homeland," Koutsoumbas said, adding that "it's the working class that will pay for that, once again."

    Koutsoumbas also commented on extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) coming in third, in votes, calling it "an extremely negative development in that a Nazi-friendly party, with specific criminal murderous actions over several years, created by the same mechanisms of the system that fight the interests of the people, still retains significant percentages in the electorate."

    "The KKE will intensify its efforts and initiatives in sharply rising labour, popular issues, through proposals to relieve the unemployed, working-class families, the self-employed, farmers and students," the party leader said. "In and out of Parliament, with the power granted us by the people, we will fight to reveal to the people any antipopular measures that are being planned," he pledged.

    [16] European Parliament president congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA victory

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz called to congratulate Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on his party's victory in the elections on Sunday.

    "It is a historic victory, a huge success," he said, according to sources in SYRIZA. They said that Schulz, who will visit Athens after the new government is sworn in, also assured Tsipras that he would do whatever was in his power to help a "mutually acceptable, viable solution" to be found, apparently referring to Greece's negotiations with its creditors.

    [17] 2015 national elections -French President Hollande congratulates Tsipras for victory

    French President Francois Hollande congratulated the leader of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras for his victory in Greece's national elections on Sunday and pledged to work together to achieve growth and stability in the Eurozone.

    In an announcement released by the presidency, Hollande expressed his "desire to pursue the close cooperation between our two countries in service of growth and the stability of the euro zone, in a spirit of progress, solidarity and responsibility that is at the heart of the European values we share."

    [18] Austrian Chancellor congratulates Tsipras on electoral victory

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/D.Dimitrakoudis)

    "I congratulate Alexis Tsipras for his electoral victory," the Austrian Chancellor and leader of the country's Social Democrats Werner Faymann said on Sunday evening, reacting to the election result in Greece.

    Faymann said he will cooperate constructively with the new government which will be formed in Greece and added he is convinced that in the European Union there will have to be a common base in the fight against unemployment and poverty.

    The Chancellor also said he believes the new government will honour its agreement with the EU.

    "A stable Greece in a joint monetary zone is in everyone's interest," he noted.

    [19] EPP group President Weber on Greek elections

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)

    The European People's Party (EPP) group president Manfred Weber on Sunday expressed his disappointment at New Democracy's defeat in the Greek elections and urged Greece to respect the commitments it has made.

    According to Weber's statement, it was disappointing that the right and the "sincere course chosen by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for Greece was not recognised." He stressed that the path of reforms had brought results and must be continued.

    It would soon become clear that the promises given to the Greek people by the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) candidate Alexis Tsipras "are nothing more than pre-election lies," he added, stressing that European tax-payers were not prepared to pay for the SYRIZA leaders "empty promises".

    Europe was ready to show solidarity with Greek, if the commitments agreed upon were fully respected, he said.

    [20] German politicians comment on SYRIZA lead in elections

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)

    Congratulations to Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras came in on Sunday night from German politicians.

    Bodo Ramelow, prime minister of the Free State of Thuringia, expressed his congratulations, to which Tsipras responded that "this is not a victory just for SYRIZA, but a new start for the peoples of Europe."

    German politicians continued to publicise their views on the apparent electoral victory of SYRIZA, with MEP Bernd Lucke, founding member of the party Alternative for Germany (AfD), who supported a "haircut" of the Greek debt followed by the country's exit from the eurozone, which he saw as the only way of dealing with economic problems and mass unemployment. "SYRIZA does not want to cast doubt on the euro," he said, "but he demands a debt write-off and further credits; these two don't go together."

    Angelika Niebler, head of the European Parliament's CSU Group, said that a new "haircut" is "not realistic" because it will not resolve problems. "Greece must continue its structural reforms and bring its budget back to health," she said.

    Gianni Pattella, president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, called on SYRIZA to create an alliance with a European focus, adding that the renegotiation of the Greek debt must not be seen as a taboo topic. Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) head in Brussels, Herbert Reul, ruled out a new haircut and said "Greece must continue on its part of reforms, if they do not want to risk an exit from the eurozone."

    In statements to the newspaper "Rheinische Post," Anton Hofreiter, co-chair of the Green Party faction in the German parliament said that the governments of Greece and Germany along with the EU must find a way out "to give people in Greece a future," and supported a haircut under terms, and in exchange with social and economic reforms in Greece.

    Greens member of German parliament Sven-Christian Kindler said in "Handelsblatt" that the haircut in the European public sector under controllablel terms would be a way out.

    [21] 2015 national elections-Britain's Cameron says election result in Greece increases 'economic uncertainty'

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said late on Sunday that the result of Greece's parliamentary elections may raise economic uncertainty across Europe and noted that this meant his country must remain committed to his plan for the British economy.

    "The Greek election will increase economic uncertainty across Europe. That's why the UK must stick to our plan, delivering security at home," Cameron wrote on his Twitter account.

    [22] Spanish party Podemos welcomes SYRIZA's victory

    The Spanish party Podemos welcomed the victory of SYRIZA in the national elections while expressing the hope that Spain will follow the example of Greece in the upcoming elections.

    "Hope comes, fear goes. SYRIZA, Podemos: we will win," the party leader Pablo Iglesias said speaking before some 8,000 members of Podemos in Valencia, eastern Spain.

    [23] European Commissioner Avramopoulos congratulates Tsipras on SYRIZA's election victory

    European Commissioner for Migration and New Democracy Vice-President Dimitris Avramopoulos telephoned Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday and congratulated him on his party's victory in the elections.

    [24] Matteo Renzi, Alexis Tsipras to meet at the next European Union summit, Italian government sources say

    SYRIZA leader and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will meet at the first European Union summit, Italian government sources said.

    Renzi's aides also said that Italian newspaper Il Messaggero on Sunday published a short discussion with the winner of the Greek elections. In this discussion, Tsipras said he did not know Renzi in person but their staffs were already in contact.

    Italian government sources noted that SYRIZA won thanks to "reinforced proportionality" which in Italy, however, does not "convince" the traditional Left.

    Renzi's aides said that Tsipras will definitely need the cooperation of the Italian premier and that the Italian EU presidency contributed to achieving quantitative easing, flexibility, the weakening of the of Euro against the dollar and the investment programme.

    The head of the Left, Ecology, Freedom party Nichi Vendola said "Alexis Tsipras' victory will be a true hurricane against austerity," while Sandro Gozi, Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs said that "Italy respects the result of the Greek elections and is ready to work with the new Greek government and waits for SYRIZA's new proposals hoping that Europe will have new opportunities in favor of growth."

    [25] SYRIZA leader Tsipras and ANEL's Kammenos to meet at 10:30

    The leader of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and winner of the national elections, Alexis Tsipras, will meet with Independent Greeks (ANEL) president Panos Kammenos at the offices of SYRIZA, at 10:30 on Monday.

    [26] Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann says the new Greek government should not make promises that the country cannot withstand

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA / F. Karaviti)

    Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann on Sunday told German public television ARD it is clear that Greece will continue to depend on support through an assistance programme, noting that this can exist only if agreements are observed.

    He expressed hope that the new government in Greece will not make delusive promises that the country cannot withstand and not question what has already been achieved. He also expressed hope that structural problems will be faced.

    Germany's Die Linke President Katja Kipping commented on the exit poll results in Greece and through her Twitter account she commented that "this is a beautiful day" and the "beginning of the European spring" from Greece.

    [27] Greece voted for an end to austerity, EU Parliament's Socialists and Democrats head says

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / V. Demiris)

    Greece sent a clear message to the EU to end austerity and the troika of dictations, the president of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament Gianni Pittella said.

    "The Greek people have clearly chosen to end the austerity imposed on them by troika's dictations and ask the new government to bring in fair policies with more social justice. The renegotiation of the Greek debt, and in particular the extension of the terms of its bailout, should no more be considered as a taboo. It is now time to invest in economic growth to reduce deficit and public debt," he underlined.

    [28] Costa-Gavras congratulates SYRIZA leader Tsipras

    French-Greek film director and producer Costa-Gavras spoke with Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras to congratulate him for his party's victory in national elections on Sunday.

    [29] 2015 national elections-This is a big step for the Left, Greece and Europe, SYRIZA's Voutsis says

    "I think this is a very big step for the Left, for Greece and Europe and an even bigger one for the Greek people and the people of Europe," the secretary of SYRIZA parliamentary group Nikos Voutsis told ANA-MPA after the release of the election exit polls.

    "This result, when it is finalized, will be a breakthrough in the developments and a precursor of a different political correlation in Europe -not just in Greece - so that the crisis can be overcome in a way that would be in favour of the workers and what was lost in the previous years can be restored," Voutsis said and concluded:" We are happy, the people sent a message to all and I think that as of tomorrow all the political leaderships will discipline or at least get concerned over the message sent."

    [30] SYRIZA followers celebrate at Athens headquarters following exit poll results

    Followers of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) gave a victorious welcome to its leader Alexis Tsipras outside the party headquarters on Koumoundourou Square in Athens on Sunday night, following strong exit poll indications that he will head the next government.

    Tsipras arrived at the offices at 21.05 and went straight to his seventh-floor office, where party officials are gathered.

    Party officials said that SYRIZA's priority is to recognise its clear victory, which serves as a strong message to Greece's creditors for a new negotiation. The popular mandate SYRIZA expected prior to such negotiations is already obvious and will become stronger if the party gains a large enough majority to form a government.

    Greece's creditors must respect this message, the sources said, in order to prepare a smooth transition to the new conditions being created.

    [31] SYRIZA's Zoi Konstantopoulou visits the "ertopen" offices

    SYRIZA's Zoi Konstantopoulou on Sunday evening visited the "ertopen" offices located opposite the NERIT public radio/television building in Agia Paraskevi district in Athens.

    Konstantopoulou said that her visit is symbolic to express solidarity to the laid off employees of the former ERT public television. SYRIZA will meet its commitments in the context of the legal institutional framework, she underlined.

    A MAT riot police squad is outside the NERIT building, while the former ERT employees have stated that they will not make any provocative move.

    [32] Golden Dawn leader hails party's placement as third power

    Extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) leader Nikos Michaloliakos hailed what he called "the great victory of the nationalist movement" after national election results showed his party came in third (with 40 percent of the votes counted) late on Sunday.

    The jailed party leader said that it is the second time his party comes in third, including the Europarliament elections in May 2014, "and this while I and fellow fighters and deputies and other GD officers have been illegally and unfairly in jail for the past year and a half."

    "We have a fresh popular mandate to be in Parliament, and we will represent the Greek people, and that not from jail," he added.

    [33] KINIMA leader Papandreou says the country must remain on a steady course within the Eurozone

    "Our position remains strong," Movement of Democratic Socialists (KINIMA) leader George Papandreou Papandreou said before the release of the official estimate of the election result, adding that a clear progressive framework must be formed, with broader consensus and partnerships. He also said that no party can govern on its own, even it has parliamentary majority.

    The country, he stressed, must remain on a steady course within the euro, with a Greek plan, with profound changes in order to respond to those who doubt our desire for major changes.

    [34] I hope that Potami will have a crucial role in a possible coalition government, head of Europarliament's Liberals and Democrats Alliance says

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)

    The head of the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt congratulated Stavros Theodorakis and the Potami party on their percentage in the Greek national elections based on the exit polls.

    The success of Potami is a viable alternate to the traditional parties of the left and the right and proves that Greek politics are friendly to pro-European and pro-reform forces, he said and expressed the hope that Potami would have a crucial role in a possible coalition government.

    "With their reform agenda they offer true hope for Greece's future," he said.

    [35] Voter turnout as low as in 2012, reaches 62.66 pct

    Voter turnout in the general elections was at the same low levels as in the elections of June 2012, according to official results which include over 68 pct of the vote on Sunday.

    Data shows turnout was at 62.66 pct versus 62.45 pct in the last general elections.

    In the 2009 elections, participation had reached 70 pct, in 2007 it was 74 pct and in 2004 it was 76 pct.

    According to the results so far, the blank and invalid votes constitute a 2.35 pct, while in the last parliamentary elections they had reached 1 pct.

    [36] Election process went smoothly throughout Greece, interior ministry gen. sec says

    The election process went smoothly throughout the country and the vote count has begun in all polling stations, interior ministry general secretary Yiannis Ioannidis said on Sunday. He said that the sorting of ballots has begun without problems.

    On behalf of the interior ministry, he thanked all the public sector for their contribution to ensuring that the procedures for voting operated correctly throughout.

    "Everything went well, it is a day for democracy," he said.

    [37] The polling stations where President of Republic and party leaders casted their votes on Sunday's elections

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday voted for the new government in the northern city of Ioannina, while Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras in Pylos and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in Athens.

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos voted in Thessaloniki, according to a party's announcement, and Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos on the island of Nisyros.

    Communist party KKE leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas voted in Kallithea, Athens, and Greens-Democratic Left (DIMAR) leaders Fotis Kouvelis and Nikos Chryssogelos voted in Peristeri, also in Athens.

    The leader of the Movement of Democratic Socialists (KIDISO) George Papandreou voted in Nea Erithrea, Athens, and the leader of Potami party Stavros Theodorakis voted in Chania, Crete.

    [38] President Papoulias: These national elections are crucial

    President of Republic Karolos Papoulias called the specific national elections crucial after exercising his voting right on Sunday at the northwestern Greek city of Ioannina.

    "I hope the Greek people who have a big experience will select the best to send them to the parliament. But, because I believe that the coming years will be years with problems, I would say that a unanimous confrontation and calmness must exist in order to face whatever situation. I believe and I reiterate it that the people, the Greek people have wisdom, knowledge and determination".

    [39] PM Samaras: These elections will determine our future

    Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras voted at the city of Pylos, Messinia.

    After casting his vote he made the following statement "These elections will determine our future and for our children's' future. Today, we decide whether we will move ahead with strength, security and safety or we will get into trouble. An unprecedented large number of citizens are still undecided. They will be the ones that will determine the result. I am optimistic because I believe that nobody will put at risk the European course of our country".

    [40] SYRIZA leader Tsipras voted in Athens

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in a statement after casting his vote at a polling station at the Athens district of Kypseli stated ?Today, the Greek people are called to complete this step for the return of the hope, the termination of the fear and the return of democracy and dignity in our country".

    Tsipras also noted that "today we decide if tomorrow the troika will return to Greece for the measures Mr. Samaras has decided or if tomorrow the country will demand the return of dignity through a harsh negotiation".

    [41] PASOK leader voted in Thessaloniki

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos in a statement on Sunday noted "the Greek people must make the selections that will lead them to something better and not to something worse, for them and for their children".

    Venizelos voted in Thessaloniki.

    [42] Independent Greeks leader: It is a day of democracy

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos sent a message of hope from the island of Nisyros where he exercised his right to vote on Sunday.

    "Today, from the island of Nisyros we send a message of hope. It is a day of democracy, a landmark for the history of Greece. A day that the Greek people decide for the restoration of the national sovereignty, of the democracy and of the Constitution. There will not be a Greece anymore that will be governed through e-mails" he said adding that " Independent Greeks have promised that will be the regulators and they will be. Starting from tomorrow we will be the guarantors for the country's course where all Greeks will be united. The terror and the theories of the two extremes have ended. We will unite our souls and our forces to defend our nation. When we are free we will have the chance to argue again".

    [43] To Potami leader Theodorakis voted in Chania, Crete

    To Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis voted on Sunday at the city of Chania on Crete.

    In a statement after casting his vote he noted "It appears that the country decides to change the first party. To punish those that brought the country into this condition. PASOK and New Democracy" he said adding "It is a huge opportunity, this change to be on the right direction. To vote for those who have the knowledge and the courage and they have proved it. We must not give ground to those that do not respect the democracy. Not to get into adventures. To change everything without destroying the country".

    [44] Greens-Democratic Left co- leaders voted in Peristeri

    "The citizens must give a mandate in order the country to move ahead and with the society on standing on its feet" said Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis after casting his vote on Sunday in Peristeri.

    Kouvelis, co-leader of the alliance Greens-Democratic Left added that the country must move ahead towards a progressive direction.

    On its part, Greens leader Nikos Chrysogelos said that the alliance is ready to participate in a government with plan for the economy and the society. The only condition is, he said, the citizens to participate in a plan of progressive and ecological direction.

    [45] KKE leader: The next day will be difficult and with the new government

    Communist party (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas expressed the hope all citizens to vote with an eye to the next day that "will be difficult for our people and with the new government, because the memorandums and the EU will be present along with the totally antisocial policy that has been followed until today and will continue to be implemented" after casting his voted at the Athens district of Kallithea.

    "We must strengthen the only real power, the real guarantee, the power of the struggling hope that will stand by the people and the day after the elections from the position of the dynamic working classes-popular opposition in order to defend the people's interests for better days for us and for our children" said Koutsoumbas.

    [46] Democrats Socialists Movement: We are at a crucial crossroads

    Democrats Socialists Movement leader George Papandreou made the following statement after exercising his right to vote at the Athens suburb of Nea Erythrea.

    "We are at a crucial crossroads. We can work it out, to really change Greece and free it for the burdens and from an establishment of favouritism that hold us hostages" he said adding that "Provided that the will for agreements and cooperation exists. Provided that we create our own Greek plan for deep changes and that the Greek plan to have the people's signature. Directly, via referendum. That's what our party' believes and with a strong voice in parliament that's what it guarantees".

    [47] ANTARSYA-MARS members assaulted in Keratsini; GD representative attacked by unidentified individual

    Five members of the extreme left-wing coalition party ANTARSYA-MARS (Anti-Capitalist Left Cooperation for Overthrow - Frontal Leftist Alignment) were attacked by 10 individuals outside the 5th Elementary School polling station in Pireaus' Keratsini district. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers had extreme-right Golden Dawn (GD) party symbols on them.

    No injuries were reported and following an investigation police detained 2 individuals for questioning.

    The Keratsini SYRIZA youth movement and ANTARSYA-MARS condemned the incident.

    Also, an ANTARSYA-MARS election campaign stand was damaged in Athens' Petroupoli district on Sunday afternoon.

    Earlier, a GD party representative at the 2nd High School of Kallipoli polling station in the district of Piraeus was attacked by an unidentified individual, who managed to flee the scene.

    The victim was slightly injured and was taken to Voula Public Hospital for precautionary reasons.

    [48] Political party leaders wrap up campaigns ahead of election Sunday

    Greece's political party leaders wrapped up their election campaigns on Saturday and prepared themselves for the voters' verdict, either by visiting their party's central campaign offices or meeting with journalists.

    Prime Minister and New Democracy President Antonis Samaras visited the ND campaign office in Syntagma on Saturday and appeared confident that the election result will favour his party, suggesting that the 14 pct of the electorate that has not revealed its intentions in opinion polls would finally back ND.

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras started off his day in the city of Chania on Crete, wrapping up a tour of the island by taking a stroll in the city's municipal market and talking to people, accompanied by SYRIZA parliamentary candidates and local party functionaries. He then returned to Athens for an informal discussion with Greek and foreign journalists in an Athens restaurant in the afternoon.

    The head of To Potami, business owner and TV journalist Stavros Theodorakis, started off his day by visiting Potami's campaign offices in Athens and Piraeus, accompanied by aides and party candidates, taking in the suburbs of Holargos, Maroussi, Nea Ionia and Kifissia and then heading south to Nikea, Korydallos and Ilioupolis before catching a flight to Chania, where he will cast his vote.

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos was already in his native Thessaloniki on Saturday, where he also had an informal talk with PASOK candidates, party officials and the journalists covering his campaign in a restaurant in the city's Ladadika district.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas visited the party's campaign office in the Athens district of Kaisariani, where he was received by the local mayor, party supporters and party candidates. Among those present was the Greek popular music singer Giorgos Margaritis, who spoke with him briefly.

    Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, who is a candidate in both Athens and the Dodecanese islands, spent the day on the islands of Kalymnos and Kos, where he spoke with local residents in the central markets. On Sunday morning Kammenos is due to arrive at the 138th election constituency on the island of Nisyros, where he is registered to vote, at 9:30 in order to cast his ballot.

    Democratic Left (DIM.AR) President Fotis Kouvelis, who is joint head of the Greens-Democratic Left alliance ballot, also chose to spend the day with the journalists covering his campaign tour, for whom he hosted a meal at a taverna in the Metaxourgio district in Athens.

    [49] Greece preparing to go to the polls on Sunday (ADDS)

    Everything is ready and in place for Greeks to go to the polls and elect their new government and Parliament on Sunday. The voting started at 7:00 on Sunday morning, when polling stations open, and continued throughout the day until they closed at 19:00 on Sunday night.

    The electoral body based on the last revision of the electoral rolls completed on October 31, 2014 is made up of 9,808,760 registered voters, who will cast their vote at 19,449 polling stations throughout the country. They include 99,007 non-local voters registered in a municipality other than that where they have asked to vote, who will be able to exercise their voting rights at 290 special polling stations, of which 178 are in the Attica region.

    Registered voters must bring some form of identification with them, which can be their police identity card, driving licence or state health insurance pass book. Those lacking any of the above identification documents are free to visit the ID-issue departments of police stations able to issue IDs, while municipality services will remain open in order to issue the necessary birth certificates, which will be sent internally to the appropriate authority by fax.

    In cases where an individual's details are not the same as those in the electoral rolls, such as women registered with their husband's surname or people that have changed their name for any reason, an identity confirmation certificate from the local municipality may be required.

    The 99,007 non-local voters that have applied to vote in their place of residence rather than the municipality in which they are registered - of which 79,413 are in the Attica region - will have their names marked with an 'E' on the electoral rolls held at the polling stations of their municipality and will be barred from voting there.

    Specific polling stations for this category of voters will only operate in the prefecture capitals, except in Athens and Thessaloniki where the large numbers of non-local voters allows both mixed and dedicated polling stations for them. At least 40 non-local voters must have applied in order for a non-local-voter polling station to be set up, a number that was judged sufficient in order to ensure the secrecy of the vote.

    Voters can find out where they can vote at through the interior ministry website www.ypes.gr at the 'Find out where you vote' link or at the telephone number 2131361500, from 9:00-19:00 on Saturday and from 7:00-19:00 on Sunday.

    The number of individual candidates that each voter can support on an election ticket varies according to the number of seats elected by the constituency. For those electing one to three candidates to Parliament voters can support only one, for those electing between four and seven up to two, for those electing between eight and 12 up to three and for those electing 13 or more, up to four. Voters can also request information on the maximum number of candidates they can support at polling stations.

    Once polling stations close at 19:00, the results will be collected and transmitted by the interior ministry and Singular Logic using largely the same methods as in previous elections, though results as expected to be updated faster, in one minute instead of five.

    Singular Logic estimates that a first reasonably accurate estimate of the election results will have emerged by 21:30 on Sunday, showing which party has come first but not necessarily whether it can form a single-party majority, since the share of seats will depend on the number of smaller parties that squeeze past the 3 pct barrier to get into Parliament.

    The company said that there were a couple of parties currently hovering around 3 pct and that it may not be possible to have an early reliable estimate on whether the leading party will be able to form a majority government, as well as on the number of parties finally enter the Parliament.

    [50] Polling stations in mountainous Nafpaktia opened after 11:00

    Polling stations in mountainous Nafpaktia opened after 11:15 on Sunday. The area was inaccessible due to snow on the roads.

    [51] Elections Press Centre in Zappion ready for 876 journalists from Greece, abroad

    More than 876 accredited journalists from 45 countries, of whom 497 have come from abroad, will be covering the Greek parliamentary elections on Sunday, the General Secretariat for Communications and Promotion said at the opening of the 2015 Elections Press Centre in central Athens on Saturday.

    The Press Centre, to be housed in the Zappion building that also served as headquarters of Greece's EU presidency, will remain open between 9:00 and 21:00 on Saturday and from 9:00 on Sunday until the results are in and the election process is fully completed, in order to facilitate members of the Greek and foreign media covering the Greek elections.

    An announcement from the General Secretariat for Communication and Promotion said that the press centre is fully equipped to meet the needs of media representatives and to keep them fully up to date on the progress of the election process.

    The press centre will also have a press conference room that will be made available after the completion of the elections to any political party leaders that wish to make statements to the media, with simultaneous translation into English.

    General Secretary Georgios Karagiannis said that Greece had found itself at the centre of international interest in recent years, as a result of the crisis and its "systematic efforts to stand on its feet again," and that the foreign media had shown an especially keen interest in the entire 2015 election campaign, culminating on Sunday.

    He noted that the number of accredited journalists and correspondents for these elections was 35 pct higher than in 2012, and that 100 television channels throughout the world will be covering the Greek elections from the Zappion building. "Clearly, global interest is heightened in relation to the elections in 2012," he added.

    Karagiannis said that everything at the Press Centre was prepared to work without a hitch on Sunday and he appeared confident that both Greek and foreign journalists would find their needs catered for in the best possible way, ensuring that Greece's image "was worthy of the country that gave birth to democracy".

    Providing comparative figures for the current elections and those in 2012, the General Secretariat said the number of accredited journalists had increased to 876 from 649 in 2012, the number of foreign journalists to 497 from 298, the foreign press correspondents to 148 from 100, the number of countries to 45 from 44 and the number of television channels had reached 100 from 66. The number of Greek journalists, by contrast, had fallen to 231 from 251, the number of news agency had dropped slightly from 31 to 27, radio stations also dropped from 31 to 27 and the number of newspapers had decreased by one to 84.

    [52] Unprecedented media interest in the Greek national elections

    The interest expressed by media in the Greek general elections is unprecedented, according to updated information by the General Secretariat for Information and Promotion made public late on Sunday afternoon.

    A total of 1,015 accredited journalists, correspondents, foreign observers and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions are at the 2015 Elections Press Centre in downtown Athens Zappeion Building to watch the election results.

    Roughly 741 are foreign media correspondents and 590 of them have come from abroad to cover the Greek national elections. The largest number of accredited journalists, at total of 70, are from Spain.

    [53] SYRIZA leader Tsipras talks with journalists in Athens restaurant

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras met with Greek and foreign journalists for a relaxed, informal discussion in a central Athens restaurant on Saturday afternoon.

    Tsipras said that he had carried out 11 tours in towns and rural areas throughout Greece over the last 15 days and had everywhere come across an upbeat climate, noting that this was the big difference with the elections in 2012 - that people were going to the polls feeling happy.

    He reported talking on the telephone with European Parliament President Martin Schulz earlier the same morning and again declined to open his cards regarding SYRIZA's candidate for the Greek presidency, replying with a quip from Greek leftist politician Harilaos Florakis that "the best decisions are taken lying on your pillow".

    Asked if he will ever wear a tie, he joked that he would wear one "when a debt haircut is achieved."

    [54] PM Samaras and finance minister discuss Monday's Eurogroup

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Saturday held a meeting with Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis to discuss an upcoming Eurogroup meeting on Monday, the day after Greek elections.

    Leaving the meeting at the government headquarters in Maximos Mansion, Hardouvelis commented that the ECB's decision for quantitative easing was positive but added that "the troika must come to Athens immediately and conclude the negotiation."

    The minister also appeared confident about the result of the elections on Sunday.

    [55] SYRIZA's head of economic policy sector Yiannis Milios says "the programme on which Hardouvelis had agreed in the Eurogroup is dead"

    This is a historic victory of the Greek people. A new page has turned. It is a historic moment for the entire Europe. We turn a new page in our country. The Greek people take their future into their own hands, SYRIZA economic policy sector head Yiannis Milios told ANA-MPA on Sunday.

    "The government of SYRIZA, the government of national salvation, is the government that will promote, defend and consolidate the interests of social majority but, at the same time, it is not just a message. It is the beginning of a major change for the entire Europe. Europe cannot continue with the deflation, recession, the rising unemployment and excessive debt. Greece leads the way, our country, our people are the pioneers of a huge change. We are all very emotional and happy," he added.

    Responding to a question by ANA-MPA, on what the finance minister will do tomorrow in the Eurogroup, he said "I imagine that Mr. Hardouvelis will settle pending issues of technical nature. Because the programme on which Mr. Hardouvelis has agreed as Mr. Samaras' representatives is now dead."

    [56] Greek FM Venizelos on missile strike in Mariupol, Ukraine

    Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday expressed deep concern over the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, where at least 10 civilians were tragically killed in a missile strike in the Mariupol area, a Greek foreign ministry announcement said.

    "Mr. Venizelos stressed that the security of the citizens of Ukraine is a chief condition for the continuation of the dialogue and the search for solutions that ensure the participation of all the regions and all of the political, social and ethnic forces in a credible framework of democracy, rule of law and respect for the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Greece's Embassy in Kiev and Consulates General in Mariupol and Odessa are monitoring the situation on the ground and are in ongoing contact with the region's Federation of Greek Associations and the Associations' members in order to provide any assistance deemed necessary to the families of residents of Greek origin in the region," the announcement said.

    [57] Foreign Minister Venizelos' statement on the killing of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by ISIS executioners

    "The abhorrent murder of a Japanese citizen, Haruna Yukawa, by the executioners of the 'Islamic Caliphate' is yet another cowardly and irrational act of barbarity, yet another heinous crime of this terrorist organization, the exclusive targets of which are innocent citizens and civilians. We call for the immediate release of the Japanese journalist who is also being held hostage by the Jihadists" said Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Sunday.

    "We express our condolences to the family of the victim and to the government and citizens of Japan. We express our solidarity with all of the populations and communities in the region who are suffering under the base regime of the 'Islamic State'. This new atrocity of the jihadist extremists of the "Islamic Caliphate" strengthens the international community's resolve to do whatever is necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice and to eradicate the threat that this organization constitutes to the peace and prosperity of the peoples of the region."

    General News

    [58] Thousands leave cities to vote, despite bad weather

    Undeterred by the bad weather, thousands of Greeks have left urban centres and headed for the home towns and villages where they are registered to vote, in order to take part in the elections on Sunday.

    Based on figures given by motorway managers Nea Odos, 36,185 vehicles went through the Afidnes tolls between Friday and 13:00 on Saturday, with traffic up 28.74 pct compared with the same period last week. Another 45,700 cars went through the toll posts at Elefsina between Friday and 14:00.

    According to the KTEL intercity bus station at Kifissos, some 50,000 people had travelled since Friday and traffic was up 50 pct, so that additional journeys were put on to meet demand. They noted, however, that traffic in relation to previous elections was relatively lower.

    The trains operator TRAINOSE has also increased the number of carriages on its trains and also offered a 30 pct discount on tickets to allow citizens to travel by rail to vote.

    [59] Convicted terrorist Xiros attacked by fellow-inmate in Domokos prison, sources say

    The recently recaptured convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros was attacked by a fellow-inmate in the Domokos maximum security prison, sources said on Saturday.

    Xiros, who was hit in the face and sustained minor injuries, was taken to the prison infirmary and given first aid. He has asked for protection in order to avert potential further attacks against him.

    A convicted member of the notorious terrorist group November 17, for which he is serving multiple life sentences, Xiros was recaptured and returned to prison on January 3 after spending roughly a year as a fugitive, following his failure to return to Korydallos prison from scheduled furlough on January 6, 2014.

    [60] No sign of 12 Turkish tourists that called European emergency number, search moved to Evros

    Despite an ongoing search-and-rescue operation that continued through Saturday, Greek authorities have been unable to find any trace of the 12 Turkish tourists that called the European emergency number '112' on Friday to ask for help.

    An initial search focusing on the Pieria mountains was called off earlier on Saturday after the Katerini Fire Brigade and the Central Macedonia Civil Protection Authority discovered that, due to a reflection of the signal, a mistake had been made in the initial tracking to the Pieria region. The search will now continue between Ormenio and Dikaia in Evros, with the help of the police force, fire brigade and Evros Region civil protection service.

    The call to the 112 emergency number was made on Friday by a foreign national that claimed to be Turkish and to be trapped with another 11 of his compatriots in an unknown, barren location far from any inhabited region.

    [61] Police announce arrest of Turkish national wanted by Interpol for terror crimes

    The Hellenic Police on Saturday announced the arrest of a Turkish national for which Interpol has issued a Red Notice on charges of terrorism-related activities.

    The 37-year-old, who is charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation operating in neighbouring Turkey, was arrested by Thessaloniki police on Friday and is being held at the orders of the Thessaloniki Appeals Court Deputy Prosecutor.

    Weather forecast

    [62] Rain on Monday

    Rain and winds from variable directions are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Clouds in the morning with rain in the afternoon and temperatures ranging from 04C-12C. Rain in the western parts with temperatures between 07C-15C. Partly cloudy in the eastern parts with temperatures between 03C-16C. Clouds in the morning and heavy rain in the evening over the islands, 10C-18C. Rain in the afternoon in Athens, 06C-15C. Clouds and rain in Thessaloniki, 05C-11C.

    [63] The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance (due to elections, all papers released their Sunday editions on Saturday)

    AVGHI: Overall majority for major change. Article by [SYRIZA leader] Alexis Tsipras.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The 5+1 keys that will judge the result.

    EPOCHI: Hope is coming. We vote SYRIZA

    ESTIA: No to new division from tomorrow's ballot box.

    ETHNOS ON SUNDAY: Party leaders 'debate' in the 11th hour before the polls

    KATHIMERINI: The big wager and the suffocating deadlines.

    KontraNEWS: Samaras: He forbid the Hardouvelis-Dragasakis meeting

    LOGOS: The time of truth. Greeks to the polls for a new government.

    NAFTEMPORIKI: Historic challenges for the new government.

    PROTO THEMA: Put on your seatbelts. Dangerous turbulence - explosive five-a-side final with the coffers empty.

    Realnews: The plans and alliances of the following day.

    SUNDAY DIMOKRATIA: The verdict of the ballot box. The end of illusions.

    SUNDAY RIZOSPASTIS: A strong KKE for the people now.

    TO ARTHRO: SYRIZA's transmutation a one-way street

    TO PARON ON SUNDAY: SYRIZA sweeping all before it, New Democracy collapsing

    TO VIMA ON SUNDAY: Tsipras interview: the plan for the following day

    VRADYNI on SUNDAY: Security and prospects. The Greeks vote responsibly.

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