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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Motion for parliamentary inquiry on Vatopedi
  • [02] FM spokesman on Cyprus issue
  • [03] Greek Parliament delegation in Sydney
  • [04] 28 billion support package

  • [01] Motion for parliamentary inquiry on Vatopedi

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday tabled a motion in parliament, counter-signed by 80 ruling New Democracy (ND) party MPs, calling for the setting up of a parliamentary fact-finding commission on the exchanges of properties between the State and the Mt. Athos monastery of Vatopedi.

    The prime minister further requested of parliament president Dimitris Sioufas that the discussion of the motion take place in the afternoon of Wednesday, October 22.

    According to the ND motion, "reasons of transparency and full implementation of the principle of legality mandate an investigation by parliament of the entire affair, since its creation, in other words from the time when the first Administrative Acts were issued, on which the concession of state properties to the Monastery were founded".

    The motion proposes the establishment of the fact-finding commission for the purpose of examining the entire Vatopedi Monastery affair, "without obstructing in any way the ongoing investigation being carried out by the justice system and its further development".

    Under Article 144 of the Rules of Parliament, the plenary of the 300-member House may set up fact-finding commissions comprised of parliamentary members to examine specific matters of public interest, and the relevant motion must be signed by one-fifth (60 MPs) of the total number of deputies.

    The motion is then entered into the agenda, while debate of the motion is conducted in accordance with the provisions governing a general interpellation, and must be completed in one sitting. An absolute majority of the MPs present at the debate -- which cannot be less than two-fifths (120) of the total number of MPs, is required for a parliament plenary decision to set up a fact-finding commission.

    The relevant letter to Sioufas by the 81 New Democracy MPs (Karamanlis, who is also an MP, and 80 other ND deputies) states that the investigation currently underway at both judicial and administrative level "reveals that the Vatopedi Monastery case has significant aspects that directly touch upon the public interest".

    The government, with its decisions for both the revocation of the controversial Administrative Acts and the stay of enactment of any other related Administrative Acts, has taken all the necessary measures to protect the interests of the State, the letter added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] FM spokesman on Cyprus issue

    The foreign ministry on Wednesday described as a "positive initiative" Cyprus president Demetris Christofias' decision to cancel the military exercise code-named Nikiforos.

    Foreign minisry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, in reply to press questins, said that, judging from the result -- given that Christofias' move was followed by a decision by the Turkish Cypriot side to cancel its own "Taurus" military exercises -- the Cyprus President's decision was a "positive initiative" that "contributes to the creation of an appropriate climate for enhancing the negotiations effort for resolving the Cyprus issue".

    [03] Greek Parliament delegation in Sydney

    A four-member Greek Parliament delegation will attend the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Oceania Region General Assembly meeting to be held in Sydney at the end of the month. The MPs to attend are Varvara Nikolaidou (KKE) 5th vice-president of the Greek Parliament, Theodoros Karaoglou (ND), Panagiotis Sgouridis (PASOK), and Adonis Georgiadis (LAOS). Greece's ambassador to Australia Giorgos Zois will also attend the convention.

    [04] 28 billion support package

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday said an inner cabinet meeting approved a package of measures aimed at offering protection to Greek banks and strengthening the Greek economy amid an international credit crisis.

    Presenting the package, Alogoskoufis said the government will offer a state guarantee worth 15 billion euros to all financial institutions in the country and noted that the move was aimed at cutting the cost of financing. Also, the package includes the issuance of special bonds to financial institutions, up to 8.0 billion euros, with banks offering adequate insurance for these bonds. The government will also offer up to 5.0 billion euros to strengthen Greek banks' capital base, with the Greek state purchasing banks' preference stocks.

    The Greek minister said that any bank interested to be included in the measures will have to apply for approval with the Bank of Greece. Alogoskoufis said that an international credit crisis has taken unprecedented dimensions, creating problems to banks, undermining confidence and liquidity problems in markets.

    The banking system in Greece, he add, has solid basis, but because of the crisis there was always the problem with rising interest rates and lack of liquidity. Alogoskoufis said the package of measures was taken to ensure fair competition, since other countries have taken similar measures to protect banks.

    The measures are compatible with actions agreed during an ECOFIN meeting and an special Eurozone summit last week. The Greek minister reiterated the government's political commitment to protecting all bank saving deposits and noted that the package of measures would not put a burden on the country's fiscal condition.

    Bank of Greece's governor, George Provopoulos, told reporters that Greek banks will take advantage of the government measures to avoid facing any competitiveness problems and said that the package of measures will be table to Parliament in the next 10 days.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of FinMin George Alogoskoufis

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