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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-10
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Papandreou : Protest without violenceMain opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou attended a silent protest organised by his party at the Metro station in the Athens district of Peristeri on Tuesday, with citizens holding lighted candles in memory of the youth killed on Saturday night, stressing that "we are lighting a candle for Alexandros in a protest event against violence without violence."
Papandreou said that his "can guarantee security and democratic procedures," adding that the government "has a great responsibility in allowing these events to develop and which are degrading the country on the international scene."
The only service the present government can do for the country is to depart, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou told the party's MPs on Tuesday. He said the country should resort to elections, so that the people can provide a solution.
PASOK's Parliamentary group convened shortly after Papandreou's meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
PASOK's leader said that he stressed in the meeting with Karamanlis that Greek society was undergoing a multiple crisis, one that was economic, social and a crisis of values and institutions. The government was unable to deal with this crisis because it had lost the confidence of the Greek people, he added.
Papandreou's call for the government's departure was greeted with a standing ovation by main opposition MPs.
He stressed that the country was going through a very difficult time in which all people were mourning and enraged at the murder of a child and the extensive violence that followed it.
According to the main opposition leader, the current situation was the result of the very poor way that ruling New Democracy exercised power, using insecurity and fear as a tool and trying to pin blame on others without ever assuming its own responsibilities.
He dismissed the offers of resignation made by ND government ministers to date, noting that these were either "for show" or had been forced as a result of public outrage.
Another charge laid by Papandreou at the government's door was that of cultivating tolerance of brutality in the police force through its handling of incidents that had occurred, such as the violence against immigrants or the beating up of a Cypriot student by plainclothes officers in Thessaloniki, as well as allowing para-state enclaves to form in the security forces.
Papandreou went on to condemn all forms of violence, whether by police or by rioters, stressing that PASOK's opposition to violence would be loudly proclaimed at the peaceful demonstrations organized by the party on Tuesday evening in all municipalities.
There are no "asymmetric threats," he added, and the government was being destabilised by its own policies, because it had put first its own interests and those of its friends, who were now enriching themselves through its policies, while ignoring the common good.
"There is no future with this government," he concluded, stressing that the future for Greece lay with a government of change.
Caption: Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou attends a silent protest organised by his party at the Metro station in the Athens district of Peristeri on Tuesday 9 December 2008. ANA-MPA/KATERINA MAVRONA
 Sixteen arrests in Athens on Tuesday, 25 foreign nationals arrested for possession of looted itemsSixteen people were arrested in Athens on Tuesday night, while a total of 55 persons were brought in for questioning by police, in ongoing incidents that continued for the fourth consecutive night.
Four of the detainees are charged with violence against police officers -- in which seven policemen were injured, and the other 12 are charged with looting damaged shops.
Further, 25 foreign nationals were arrested earlier Tuesday in police raids after quantities of items looted from shops in central Athens during Monday night's rioting were found in their possession.
 Nationwide strike on Wed.A nationwide labour strike was being staged on Wednesday, called by the country's two main umbrella union federations GSEE (General Confederation of Workers of Greece) and ADEDY (Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council).
Various rallies were scheduled throughout the day, including two PAME demonstrations in downtown Athens (Omonia Square) and Thessaloniki, a rally at the Thessaloniki Labor Center, and a GSEE-ADEDY demonstration outside the parliament building in central Athens off Syntagma Square, preceded by a rally at downtown Klafthmonos Square.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a people demonstrating in the center of Athens in the framework of nationwide strike
 Papariga on Wed.'s strikeCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga called Tuesday night on people, students and pupils to render Wednesday's strike the culmination of the recent days protests and mobilisations , stressing that this will be the best response to the latest events.
Papariga also announced that the party's Central Committee that convened at noon, after examining the political developments and the tragic events of the past days, calls on the party's members and friends to be in a state of electoral readiness.
Asked whether she believes that early elections can take place, Papariga expressed the view that the government "will not only be unable to exhaust the four-year term, but it will also be unable to hold out for long" and added that if the elections come earlier so be it, but stressed that "we shall not leave the struggles to look at the ballot boxes."
In a written statement released later in the day, the KKE's Central Committee "hails the young men and young women, pupils, students and working people who, from the very beginning until today, reacted with mass mobilisations and a catalytical protest to the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, they highlighted the longlasting political causes that armed the hand of the murderer, the specific responsibilities of the New Democracy party."
Referring to the activities of the hooded youths, the Central Committee said that "an effort is being made by the bourgeoisie state, the ND government to utilise the blind violence of the hooded people, which we are witnessing mainly through the television channels, to check the swelling wave of discontent and popular intervention that is developing."
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece leader Aleka Papariga
 ASE : Sharp declineEquity prices were declining mid-session on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.34 percent, standing at 1,822.33 points at 12:05 p.m., and turnover at 54.8 million euros.
Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 1.24 percent; Public Utilities, up 1.16 percent; and Food & Beverage, up 1.09 percent.
The heaviest losses were in Banks, down 4.03 percent; Insurance, down 1.74 percent; and Raw Materials, down 1.55 percent.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.89 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.18 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 1.02 percent.
Of the stocks moved, 40 were up, 82 were down, and 27 were unchanged.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The ongoing unrest in Athens and other major cities and four consecutive nights of rioting after Saturday's shooting death of a 15-year-old tean by police in the Exarhia district of the capital, with main opposition PASOK's demand for early general elections and the government's call for 'national unity' and postponement of a major demonstration called by the country's two main umbrella union federations GSEE and ADEDY outside parliament on Wednesday in order to avert new incidents dominated the front-pages in Athens' dailies on Wednesday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Hard-core hooded troublemakers executing orders - Explosive statement by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga" after being briefed by prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday on the situation prevailing.
APOGEVMATINI: "Enemies of democracy - Prime minister directly accuses those causing violence and vandalism".
AVGHI: "Radical change, with the youths and the working people - Alavanos (SYRIZA Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance leader, after being briefed on the situation by Karamanlis) intervention on the political impasse".
AVRIANI: "Citizens take matters into their own hands in Patras and Larissa - They chased off the hooded troublemakers and saved their properties, taking the place of the police".
CHORA: "Burnt souls - Unprecedented lack of authority in Greece".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "Terror hits maximum - Dark present, black future for the country".
ELEFTHEROS: "SYRIA 'caressing the hooded indivudials' - KKE leader openly 'fingers' Alavanos".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Our democracy is self-destructing, because it abused the right of freedom and equality, because it taught the citizens to see audacity as a right, illegality as a freedom, the people's audacity of speech as equality, and anarchy as bliss (Isocrates, 436-338 BC)".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Karamanlis called for consensus from the political leaders but...they pointed him to early general elections".
ESTIA: "Political irresponsibility - Everyone looking to party benefit".
ETHNOS: "Resignation (of the government) and solution with (early general) elections - PASOK, SYRIZA point the way, with elections".
KATHIMERINI: "The country at an impasse - Disagreements inside the government as well".
NIKI: "Greece hits rock bottom - Prime minister and government are non-existent".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Intensification of the popular action, through organization and safeguarding of the struggles - Militant call to people and youth".
TA NEA: "Government and ELAS (Greek Police) on verge of collapse - Fourth night of molotov cocktails (home-made fire bombs) and destruction".
TO VIMA: "The 36 critical hours - Clashes and destruction continued for fourth day throughout the country - Defusion (of the tension), or extreme police measures".
VRADYNI: "They are enemies of democracy - Message of national unity and isolation of the hooded troublemakers, from the prime minister".
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