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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM picks new merchant marine minister
  • [02] Balkan communist parties meet
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM picks new merchant marine minister

    Merchant Marine & Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis resigned on Friday amid a political furore over his use of offshore companies to ostensibly reduce his tax load from real estate holdings and related transactions. Former justice minister Anastasis Papaligouras was named as his replacement.

    In his resignation letter to the prime minister, the veteran cadre of ruling New Democracy referred to "an orchestrated effort to slander him" and said that this was also affecting the government's image -- citing this as the reason for his decision to resign.

    He also thanked PM Costas Karamanlis for entrusting him with several ministerial posts since 2004.

    "Over the recent period the ND government's credibility has become a target, in order for conditions of political destabilisation to be imposed on the country. With a torrent of lies and mud aimed to create impressions, the cold-blooded termination of my political existence is being attempted, as well as a denigration of my honor and reputation. (Main opposition) PASOK is behind this unethical and slanderous strategy, again employing its old tactics in order to serve its petty partisan interests," he charged in his letter.

    Afterwards, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the premier had accepted the resignation and thanked Voulgarakis for his "significant political work" since 2004 at the public order, culture and merchant marine ministries.

    Among others, Roussopoulos cited Voulgarakis' effective work towards reforming and privatising the country's major ports.

    In comments on the resignation and the statements made about it, PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou said they failed to meet the expectations of the public and described them as "shameful", noting that the minister resigned "without accepting his responsibilities" and that Karamanlis had accepted the resignation while fully providing full coverage for his minister's actions.

    [02] Balkan communist parties meet

    The 9th meeting of communist and labor parties of Balkan countries opened in Thessaloniki, held at the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), with delegations from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Discussions will focus on recent developments in the Caucasus, a new escalation between major powers and repercussions on the region, as well as NATO involvement in the Balkans and NATO enlargement, Kosovo, workers' struggles and migrant issues, along with the undertaking of new initiatives by the communist parties of the region, according to a press release by the party.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Fallout from Friday's resignation of merchant marine minister George Voulgarakis and related political developments, such as a furor over controversial property exchanges between the state and a Mouth Athos monastery (Vatopedi) along with the ever-present opinion polls, dominated the Sunday editions of Athens' dailies. Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou's address at the Thessaloniki Fair on Saturday evening came too late to make it into the exclusively morning editions.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Supplementary pension for one million self-employed professionals".

    APOGEVMATINI: "(PM Costas) Karamanlis gives the signal for new beginning: Time for work!"

    AVGHI: "(Radical Left Coalition parliamentary leader) Alekos Alavanos: (Abbot of Vatopedi monastery Efraim as Rasputin‚¶". AVRIANI: "(Code name) Roccos as minister of PASOK. Swiss judicial authorities broke codes and opened bank accounts related to Siemens' slush funds". CHORA: "Everything passed through Vatopedi abbot Efraim's hands. National disgrace that must be erased here and now".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The 49 'holy' contracts that burned Voulgarakis". ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "They kicked him (Voulgarakis) out, so what? Voulgarakis exit doesn't defuse tension in ruling New Democracy party". ELEFTHERI ORA: "Government before the firing squad ⦠first 'victim' is George Voulgarakis".

    EPOCHI: "Voulgarakis the vehicle in effort to re-create the two-party system."

    ETHNOS: "Maximos Mansion (government house) gave its blessing to 'sacred dealings' by Vatopedi monastery".

    KATHIMERINI: "Electorate enraged. Conclusions of latest opinion poll a year after elections". LOGOS: "In anticipation of new initiatives by prime minister". NIKI: "Karamanlis powerless; He can't provide answers to problems".

    PARON: "Political developments in prime minister's hands ‚¶ but will he beat them to the punch or be overthrown‚¶"

    PROTO THEMA: "The 'high priest' of 'holy business': four abbots, a minister and a prosecutor point to (Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros) Roussopoulos".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Children's education an issue of popular movement; 'big capital's' option is to cultivate ignorance," is the headline by the communist party's official gazette.

    TO VIMA: "ND's star is setting, what Maximos mansion is afraid of".

    VRADYNI: "Express building permits by public works ministry".

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