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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Time for responsible decisions', PM Karamanlis tells election rally in Mytilini
  • [02] KKE leader calls on workers to make new start
  • [03] SYRIZA leader speaks in Crete

  • [01] 'Time for responsible decisions', PM Karamanlis tells election rally in Mytilini

    Prime Minister and New Democracy party president Costas Karamanlis told an election rally on the north-eastern Aegean island of Mytilini on Wednesday evening, that this Sunday's general election "is the time of responsibility for all. The time for serious and responsible decisions regarding the future of the country."

    "Are we going to persist on the road which proovenly benefits all or are we going to return back to deficits, debts and yesterday's insecurity, are we to continue on the road of reforms or are we going to let the country slide down to uncertainty and impasse?" the prime minister asked his audience.

    "Negation does not lead to solutions, it does not open roads, Greece does not go backwards, the country has entered the road of development, welfare, hope," Karamanlis said.

    "With your participation in Sunday's feast of Democracy, and with a positive answer, we opt for a steady course towards the future...We opt for a firm government which can take quick decisions, which can advance with boldness and determination to deep changes which the country needs," he noted before referring to his government's achievements.

    "The deficit has been contained to 2.6 per cent from 7.9 per cent, growth is moving with much higher rates than the average Eurozone rate, Greece attracts, after many years, foreign investments, tourist arrivals have reached 17 million this year, from 12 million in 2004, exports are increasing considerably, entrepreneurial activity is being supported and becomes a lever of growth, more that 200,000 new jobs have been created in three-and-a-half years and unemployment fell to 7.7 per from 11.3 in 2004," Karamanlis indicated.

    He noted that many things remained yet to change, and should change fast. "Time is not waiting, the future is won by those peoples and countries which are not afraid to face and fight challenges, which are not afraid of the new."

    Placing man in the centre of his policies, Karamanlis said: "Our main target is social cohesion, our basic aim is a real social state." He also enumerated measures taken by his government for the tax relief of low and medium incomes, the increase in pensions and unemployment benefits.

    "The fiscal clean-up we achieved allows the government to proceed faster in enlarging the social state," the prime minister added.

    "2007 Greece is much better that the Greece of 2004, this is the truth, and we do dare making comparisons," Karamanlis underlined.

    He said the Regional Operational Programme for the North Aegean had been absorbing in the past "only 9 per cent, while today its absorption capacity increased to 59 per cent."

    "The THISSEAS programme allocates to the north Aegean's local government authorities the amount of 130 million euros for the 2005-2009 period," the prime minister added.

    Karamanlis also referred to the creation of the Democracy Museum on the island of Aghios Efstratios, where political exiles were deported last century, saying that "we pay tribute to all Greeks, men and women, who in difficult times, have fought defending principles and values, defending democracy, national dignity."

    [02] KKE leader calls on workers to make new start

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga addressed her party's main rally at Pedion tou Areos Square in downtown Athens on Wednesday evening, ahead of Sunday's general elections in the country, calling on working people to make a new start on September 17.

    Papariga called for support for KKE's election tickets all over the country, at the expense of the ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK parties, stressing that every vote for KKE "is a contribution towards raising a stronger social and political barrier against the new antipopular measures."

    "What is of interest on September 16 is for ND and PASOK to feel that they have sustained an election and political blow, while their opposite side, KKE, has become considerably stronger," she said, adding that "ND will not change, PASOK will not change. ND was the party of capital ever since its birth, while PASOK became along the way."

    Speaking about KKE's alliance policy, Papariga called on working people to support her party so that "what the country and the people need will begin to become a reality, meaning the formation of the social and political alliance."

    "The alliance policy is a very serious issue for us to burn it with offhand alliances for opportunist reasons," she said, reminding that "the country's political history has experienced alliances that have helped the popular movement, but also alliances that have harmed it and the question is not for us to make an alliance with eyes focused at the ballot box, in which differences on crucial issues are covered up for the sake of immediate and temporary benefits."

    Referring analytically to the policy of the two mainstream parties over the past 20 years and to their tactics in light of Sunday's elections, Papariga said that "the more we are getting close to the ballot box, the more the drums of extortion will be ringing out loud. This is the good sign in this election struggle. The two parties which have been alternating in power for years realise that this time voters from the popular classes in urban and semi-urban centres, in the countryside, have become aware of what they are, ".

    The KKE Secretary General said that ND and PASOK are using the danger of the lack of governance in a misleading way, "while they know that the system still has the power to promote an antipopular government, a government for businessmen." It is not by chance, she added, that "bastions are being sought and hands of cooperation are being extended. The question is that the people must not be afraid to pave the way. Otherwise, they will always be in the corner, with their backs against the wall."

    Papariga also referred at length to the different positions and policies that KKE has developed on all issues of domestic and foreign policy and addressing hersslef to the Coalition party said that "struggles, gentlemen of the Coalition, cannot take place against conservative policy on the one hand and on the other to cooperate in the election of bodies in labour centres and federations, and in the institution of local administration, with one of the partners, PASOK."

    [03] SYRIZA leader speaks in Crete

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos addressed an election rally in Iraklio, Crete, on Wednesday accusing Prime Minister and New Democracy (ND) president Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou of turning Greece into ?a vast tax free? country.

    At the same time, he launched an attack against PASOK, stating that ?what we see is unsubstantial political content of competition promises.?

    ?As Radical Left Coalition, we seek for the New Democracy to be ousted from power. Not to be able to win a majority.? He claimed that the main opposition PASOK ?is unable to project a substantial alternative program? against the government.

    ?Weāre impressed by PASOKās stance towards the ruling party. There are many fronts which someone could open from a progressive point of view. Article 16 (of the Constitution) and the state university, the privatization of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), the Public Power Corporation (PPC), of the National Bank, of the Post Offiice Savings Bank. Itās (PASOKās) stance towards the U.S. and NATO. The selling out of free countries.?

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