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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Protests in Athens
  • [02] Tsoukatos on Siemens case
  • [03] Kapralos on financial crisis

  • [01] Protests in Athens

    The Communist Party of Greece-affiliated labour group PAME held a rally against high prices at Omonia Square in downtown Athens on Thursday evening, that was followed by a march to the Finance and Economy ministry.

    The rally was also attended by the Communist Party's (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    "The struggle against high prices that must be intensified will not produce results unless it is combined with the struggle to have all that is being said about healthy and unhealthy competition come to the surface. We must know that the enemy is not only dealing a blow at popular interests, he also knows very well how to deceive," Papariga said in a statement.

    The General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), the PASEGES farmers union, the Athens-Piraeus supraprefecture, the municipality of Piraeus and consumer organisations held a rally in Syntagma Square in Athens on Thursday evening to protest high prices and profiteering and to demand a crackdown on such phenomena.

    Caption: Protests were held in Athens on Thu. 19 June against high cost of living.ANA-MPA/KATERINA MAVRONA

    [02] Tsoukatos on Siemens case

    A veteran official in main opposition PASOK, Theodoros Tsoukatos, on Thursday issued a written statement in which he denied rumours of his involvement in suspicious transactions with the German company Siemens, currently the focus of an international bribery scandal that has also spread to Greece. While admitting that he had mediated in a transaction between Siemens and the PASOK party, Tsoukatos claimed that everything had been above board.

    According to the former party official, he had received a visit from Siemens executive Michalis Christoforakos, who conveyed Siemens' offer to make a financial donation of one million German marks to PASOK's campaign and had asked Tsoukatos to supply details of a bank account abroad where the funds might be transferred. Tsoukatos claimed that he had asked for the assistance of an acquaintance in this, who had undertaken to assist the PASOK party without personal gain.

    In his statement, Tsoukatos asserted that the sum, the equivalent of 420,000 euros, was then deposited in the party's fund in its entirety without any further involvement on his part.

    He further stressed that he had never managed funds on PASOK's behalf and underlined that he would take legal action against anyone implicating him or implying that he had gained in some way through this affair.

    Tsoukatos' version of events was challenged later on Thursday, however, by the party's former personnel director and a past member of its Finances Committee Spyros Avgerinos, who denied that Tsoukatos had intervened so that the one million marks might be received by those responsible for PASOK's finances.

    "It is impossible that such a sum should have been received by PASOK all at once, especially if it came from a company, a cheque or a bank account," he stressed.

    Avgerinos clarified that all PASOK transactions were carried out using coupons, which were equivalent to cash, and he ruled out all possibility that money could have been paid into the party's funds without his knowledge.

    The Tsoukatos announcement and the reply by Avgerinos came in the wake of statements by the party's spokesman George Papaconstantinou on Thursday, who said that PASOK will suspend any members of the party who was "seriously implicated" in the Siemens affair.

    "Contrary to the cover-up tactics followed by New Democracy, PASOK will suspend party membership for all those seriously implicated in the Siemens case," he said.

    Papaconstantinou clarified that such a suspension would not pre-judge the outcome of the ongoing judicial investigation into the affair.

    In a related development, former prime minister and PASOK leader Costas Simitis expressed on Thursday evening his "sorrow" over developments.

    In a written statement, the former premier "expresses sorrow in case the claims that are being projected are proved to be real."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of veteran official of PASOK party Theodoros Tsoukatos

    [03] Kapralos on financial crisis

    Athens Stock Exchange President Spyros Kapralos, speaking on Thursday in the wake of his election to the European Stock Exchanges Union (FESE) presidency, expressed concern over the extent and duration of the current international financial crisis.

    Kapralos was speaking during the 12 session of the European Stock Exchanges Union that was held in Sweden.

    "The extent, the dimension and the duration of the crisis are elements causing concern. We are facing a series of problems that have a common origin and that have appeared at the same time, creating a crisis which is affecting all of us," he said.

    "I am convinced that the structure, the operating rules of certain markets and the products that are negotiated in them were the epicentre of the crisis and enlarged its repercussions," he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of European Stock Exchanges Union (FESE) and Athens Stock Exchange President Spyros Kapralos.


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