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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Armed robbery in SE Athens
  • [02] Ex-Cypriot president dies
  • [03] Énterview with KKE leader Papariga
  • [04] Athens Xmas tree restored
  • [05] Exhibition 'Enviroment-Action 08'

  • [01] Armed robbery in SE Athens

    An armed robbery to an armoured car money shipment took place on Friday morning in the Athens suburb of Argyroupolis. Three hooded individuals holding guns blocked the armoured car that had just picked up a large sum of money from a local National Bank of Greece branch and forced the security guards to abandon the armoured vehicle, which the perpetrators fled with.

    The armored vehicle was found abandoned a short while later but the money and the robbers had dissapeared.

    Attica Police is investigating the incident.

    [02] Ex-Cypriot president dies

    Former Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos passed away on Friday in Nicosia. The Cypriot leader was admitted to the ICU of Nicosia General Hospital late last month suffering from lung cancer.

    Papadopoulos was elected president of the republic in February 2003 for a five-year term. During his presidency, Cyprus became full member of the EU and adopted the single European currency, the euro. In April 2003, he signed the EU Cyprus Accession Treaty and a year later, he called upon the people of Cyprus to reject the UN-brokered Annan plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem, stating that the Annan plan did not lead to the reunification of the island but in fact made the division permanent.

    Tassos Papadopoulos ran unsuccessfully for re-election in the 2008 presidential elections.

    Born in January 1934, Papadopoulos was married to Fotini Michaelides and had four children

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos

    [03] Énterview with KKE leader Papariga

    "The molotov cocktails (fire-bombs) and looting of the hooded individuals, whose steering center is linked with the state secret services and centers abroad, have absolutely no relationship with the mass rage of the pupils, the students, the people in general," Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga stressed in an exclusive interview with ANA-MPA, adding that the recent events were exploited in order to turn attention away from and disorient the mass moblisations of the youth and the people against authoritatiranism and the anti-popular policy.

    Papariga reiterated her harsh criticism of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), stressing that the KKE has fundamental differences with that party in strategy, ideology and policy.

    On the prospect of early general elections, the KKE leader stressed that it would be just "a hole in the water" if the disgruntlement with ruling New Democracy turned into a vote for main opposition PASOK, while, to a question on whether the KKE would vote for the establishment of a parliamentary preliminary investigation committee on the Vatopedi Monastery-State land transactions affair, Papariga explained that if presumptive evidence of criminal responsibility arose, her party would back the establishment of such a committee.

    Replying to questions, Papariga said that the state suppression and the hooded troublemakers "are from the same side". They are connected, mutually fuel each other and their target is to terrorise the working people and the youth, to confront the organised labor and popular movement, Papariga said.

    She attributed the killing of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in the Exarhia district of Athens by a police bullet on Saturday night to the result of escalating authoritarianism, reinforcement of the suppression mechanisms and their action, the network of reactionary laws and the "Euro-terror laws" created by the governments of ND and PASOK. "The molotov cocktails (fire-bombs) and looting of the hooded individuals, whose steering center is linked with the state secret services and centers abroad, had nothing to do whatsoever with the mass rage of the pupils, the students, the people in general. On the contrary, they were exploited in order to turn attention away from and disorient the mass moblisations of the youth and the people against authoritatiranism and the anti-popular policy. An effort was made, and is being made, by the government, and not only, to intensify the suppression measures," she said.

    The KKE, with its positions and action, found itself opposite them. "We obstructed and cancelled certain plans. And we are vigilant," Papariga said, adding that the "mass-turnout strike rallies by PAME throughout Greece and the demonstrations of the pupils, with their mass turnout and safeguarding, proved that mass organized action can confront suppression and terrorism, they proved that 'the spontaneous' can be converted into 'the conscientious and organized', that it cannot ruin the plans of the mechanisms".

    To another question, Papariga said that the scandals, the suppression, the threats and blackmail faced daily by the working people in their places of work were various sides of the anti-popular pollicy, and the result of the "Euro-one-way path" served by ND and PASOK, of the strategy that serves capital profit and competitiveness and aggravates the problems of the working class, the yough, the popular strata.

    She said that the people's rage and indignation, which intensified and was manifested, prompted by the murder of the 15-year-old, was not enought to halt the negative developments for the people. Nor, she continued, could any results arise from some struggles that simply exert pressure.

    Papariga said that the measures taken in recent years, and the "much worse" measures being planned, such as a 70-hour work-week, the report on separation of spare time into active and inactive that was voted by ND, PASOK and SYN (Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology) in the EU, which was a vital need to capital.

    The movement, in its current state, cannot face those problems, she said, adding that a re-structure of the labor movement was necessary, given that only through organised struggle, a popular alliance against the policy and the parties that serve the interests of the monopolies, couldhave positive results for the people, and this was why strengthening of the KKE -- which with its strategy and action was formulating the terms and opening the road for the expression of the people's counter-attack -- was needed.

    To another question, Papariga said that the KKE firmly believed that the working class of the cities and the peripery has the power to change things, provided that they acted and fought for their rights in very place of work, and created their own anti-monopoly alliance.

    The working people should not be afraid. Those who should be afraid are the capital, the EU and its parties, she said, because the crisis was a crisis of the capitalism they serve. The working class have for years been paying the price for increasing the profits of capital, she said, adding that they have no reason to now to also pay the price of its (capital's) crisis. The people must make use of their experience. The parties that lied to them about Maastricht, about the EMU, are lying to them now as well, Papariga said.

    Whether it is the bankers who are boosted, as proposed by the government, or the industrialists, as proposed by PASOK, the outcome for the people is one and the same. The outdated or administrative proposals put forward by SYN are not the solution. The young people, the popular strata, must permanently turn their back on their policies and dogmatisms. Only in that way will they be able to confront the worst that is yet to come, Papariga stressed.

    Caption: Communist Party of Greece leader Aleka Papariga . ANA-MPA/Manolis Pakias

    [04] Athens Xmas tree restored

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis met on Friday with Athens Ìayor Nikitas Kaklamanis at the party's offices in Athens in the wake of the devastating rioting in the Greek capital this past week.

    "Athens will remain stable and the ones that believe that we will be frightened and give up efforts to keep Athens stable are mistaken," Kaklamanis said.

    He also thanked Karatzaferis for the party's moral support and said the municipality is not yet ready to assess the total riot-related damage to buildings, streets and sidewalks. Kaklamanis also called on LA.OS Euro-MP Georgiou to investigate the possibility of financial assistance from the European Union to restore damages in Athens.

    Karatzaferis congratulated Kaklamanis on municipality's efforts to restore normalcy to Athens. He estimated that when "we exit from this crisis we will all be more powerful and wise, but we must be intensify our awareness and react more rapidly."

    The Athens mayor also announced that the city's centre-piece Christmas tree in Syntagma Square, across from Parliament, will again be erected and decorated. One of the most vivid images of the past week's rioting in Athens was of the Christmas Tree in Syntagma Square being firebombed and burning like a torch in front of Parliament and with the Acropolis in the background.

    Kaklamanis also pledged that a series of holiday events and festivities will commence next week.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of the decoration of the Christmas tree at Syndagma square in Athens

    [05] Exhibition 'Enviroment-Action 08'

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias inaugurated on Thursday an exhibition titled "Environment- Action 2008" at the historic villa Kazouli in the Athens district of Kifissia.

    Souflias said in his address: "Today, noted scientists describe with black colours the future of our planet if we keep the same attitude in the future. All of us throughout the world are responsible to meditate on what we must do for our future and the future of our children."

    He stressed that «It's not enough to call ourselves environmentally aware, we must also prove it with actions. This exhibition is, in my view, the most important meeting of people of culture for the environment that has ever been organised in Greece. The relationship between culture and is the human relationship with creation".

    The minister also referred to the recent riots that broke out in the country after the death of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos, stating that the country is going through a major tribulation and that it is imperative that an in-depth and objective study be conducted on its causes. We must, each one of us, calmly without exaggeration, ponder how important certain of the fundamental values are and how necessary it is to respect them. And, above all, respect of human life, which nothing else equals, and respect for everything each and every human being has created in his life, as well as respect for social peace".

    "No one has the right to take the law into his own hands" he concluded.

    The exhibition "Environment- Action 2008" is organised by the latter ministry.

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