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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-10

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

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


  • [01] Gov't, PASOK square off over Constitutional revision
  • [02] IKA Governor Vatholomeos murdered

  • [01] Gov't, PASOK square off over Constitutional revision

    The government and main opposition PASOK party on Friday bandied cross-accusations over PASOK's decision to back out of supporting a proposed revision of the Constitution. Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros slammed PASOK as "irresponsible" - to which PASOK's Petros Efthymiou replied that "Mr. Antonaros must have been looking at himself in the mirror".

    Antonaros was commenting on PASOK's stated intention not to participate in a vote on reforming certain articles of the Greek Constitution, both in the present and the next Parliament.

    Rejecting Antonaros' criticism, PASOK's spokesman stressed that PASOK's positions on the issue of Constitutional revision were "responsible and crystal clear".

    He counter-accused the government of leading the revision process into a complete deadlock by restricting its margins and not accepting any of PASOK's proposals.

    Efthymiou also accused the ruling party of trying to impose its positions with "unprecedented Parliamentary putsches" - a reference to an incident a week ago when an ND proposal for Constitutional article 24 was nearly passed at committee without the required majority by improperly counting an MP that was not actually on the Committee. The MP later claimed he had coincidentally raised his hand to signal someone at the time when the vote took place.

    The irregularity was picked up by opposition MPs on the spot and was one of the main arguments used by PASOK to justify last week's motion of no confidence in the government and its withdrawal from the vote on Constitutional reform that PASOK leader George Papandreou had earlier backed. PASOK has already participated in debates and voting on the proposed revisions at the Committee stage.

    According to Efthymiou, PASOK's proposal for early elections simultaneously suspends the process of revising the Constitution and the parties will go to the elections faced with a dilemma over which political force - and in what direction - will adopt Constitutional principles that are in favour of society and the citizens.

    He said that ND "was obliged to accept PASOK's position on this issue".

    Parliament president seeks PASOK MPs signature on withdrawal from Constitution revision

    In an exchange of letters with PASOK Parliamentary group secretary Dimitris Reppas on Thursday, Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki asked for a statement that PASOK is not participating in the remainder of the process for revising the Constitution, signed by all the party's MPs.

    Otherwise, she warned, the proposals made by PASOK MPs will be included in the Revision Committee's report to the full Parliament.

    In his reply, Reppas stressed that PASOK will not participate in the revision process in any way after the events in Parliament and that the party trumpeted its objections to such moves.

    PASOK's position is that, in order for a revision of the Constitution to take place, an initiative must be begun from scratch by the next Parliament.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou)

    [02] IKA Governor Vatholomeos murdered

    Up until 10 a.m. on Saturday, the husband of a woman which Social Security Foundation (IKA) Governor Yiannis Vatholomeos visited on Friday evening, was still missing and is being sought by police for murder. A police source said on Saturday that the man which is being sought communicated on Friday night with the police authorities saying "don't search for me, we will talk when the time comes."

    The 66-year-old IKA governor met with the 47-year-old woman, who is a senior official of the same foundation, at the apartment of her parents who were absent, at 20, Lykavou street in the Athens district of Zografou.

    At around 6 p.m. on Friday, the time when Vartholomeos was leaving the apartment, he was attacked by an individual who hit him in the face and head with his hands and with a piece of marble, which was found at the scene and was taken to the laboratory of the Criminal Investigations Department for examination.

    The woman, as stated by police, witnessed the scene from the door's peep-hole and described exactly what happened.

    From the autopsy which was conducted on Vartholomeos, as stated by the head of the Medical Examiners' Service, Filippos Koutsaftis, his death was caused by brain haemorrhage and the victim sustained severe blows to the head by a blunt instrument.

    Specifically, according to the medical examiner, Vartholomeos received four or five blows and there were no marks of a struggle on his body.

    Vartholomeos was found dead in the stairwell of the apartment building at 6:06 p.m.

    The police were notified of the event by the National Medical Emergency Centre (EKAB) by telephone and a police patrol car arrived at the scene and ascertained that a man aged between 60-65 was lying dead in the stairwell and found out that he was the professor who was IKA's governor.

    An investigation is being carried out by the Attica Security Department.

    The investigations are being supervised by Greek Police Chief Lieutenant General Anastasios Dimoschakis, who is being assisted by the General Inspector of Southern Greece, Lieutenant General Vassilios Tsiatouras.

    Dimoschakis had ruled out the possibility of a terrorist act.

    Mesages of condolences to Vartholomeos' family were sent on Friday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) spokesman Petros Efthymiou and by the press office of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos).

    Vartholomeos was born in Athens in 1941 and was a professor of the Economic Science Faculty of the Piraeus University. He spoke English and had attended studies at the Economic Faculty of the Athens Economic and Commercial Sciences University. He also received a masters degree in philosophy by the English York University in December 1973 and did his doctorate at Leicester University in England in 1980.

    Ioannis Vartholomeos assumed the administration of IKA on June 12, 2004.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of IKA Governor Yiannis Vartholomeos)

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