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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK opposes changes to local gov't elections system
  • [02] Truck full of contraband cigarettes seized

  • [01] PASOK opposes changes to local gov't elections system

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) spokesman Nikos Athanasakis on Thursday expressed his party's "complete opposition" to proposals made by ruling New Democracy (ND) party Secretary Vangelis Meimarakis for changes to the electoral law vis-a-vis the local government.

    Atahanasakis said it was "total irresponsibility for someone to propose a number (percentage), because an electoral system concerns many more things."

    The PASOK spokesman severely the government and ND and accused it that, as a political party, "it stands opposite local government".

    Earlier this week, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the government was mullling the introduction of a system under which a candidate for mayor or prefect who amasses over 42 percent of the vote in the first round of municipal/prefectural elections is elected to the post. Introduction of the system was planned for before the next municipal elections, which are slated for 2006.

    Municipal elections in Greece currently take place in up to two rounds, with a run-off election held on the second Sunday between the two candidates receiving the highest proportion of the vote in the first round, unless one candidate receives an absolute majority from the first Sunday.

    Asked whether the law might be changed, Roussopoulos pointed out that the measure was included in New Democracy's platform for all municipalities and scheduled to be implemented before the next local government elections in 2006.

    He said the government was looking into ways that it might be implemented and stressed that there were no disagreements among government members on this issue.

    [02] Truck full of contraband cigarettes seized

    A truck full of contraband cigarettes was seized Thursday in the Attica coastal town of Lavrio by police.

    The contraband cigarettes were discovered Thursday morning when the Keratea traffic police, on the Attiki Odos highway, motioned to the truck driver to pull aside for a routine search, but the truck driver accelerated and fled.

    A chase ensued, but the driver abandoned the truck near Thoriko, Lavrio, and ran away, escaping on foot through nearby fields.

    A search of the truck revealed 194 cartons containing 97,000 packs of contraband cigarettes concealed in specially-constructed compartments.

    Police were searching for the driver and seeking the owner of the truck to arrest them.


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