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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-17
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 'Liberty' class ship turns into floating museumNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - The last American ship of the "Liberty" class, named "Arthur M. Hantel", set out for Greece on December 6 and is expected to arrive at the port of Piraeus in mid-January and will be turned into a floating museum which will be named "Eleftheria" (Freedom).
It concerns an initiative by the Merchant Marine Ministry and the Greek shipping community that began in February 2005 and achieved success with the ratification by the U.S. Congress, in June 2006, of a special law on granting the ship to Greece in the form of a donation.
A considerable role in the ratification of the law was played by Greek American Rhode Island Senator Leonidas Raptakis.
Ships of the "Liberty" class had been the main source for carrying supplies from America to Europe during the Second World War.
 Protests on state budget on FridayGeneral Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Yiannis Panagopoulos called on all working people on Tuesday "to participate massively in the mobilisations of youth and of trade unions and provide a dynamic and democratic response to anti-labour policies."
Panagopoulos announced that GSEE will be participating in the education rally on problems facing education, that will be held outside the Athens University's main building at 12 noon on Thursday, while GSEE and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) will be holding their own protest rally on the state budget outside the Parliament building at 3 p.m. on Friday.
He added that in the past days "youth and society in general are in a state of unrest at the main and exclusive responsibility of the government and of policies that are being applied, that are fuelling and reproducing political and social deadlocks in the country."
 Pavlopoulos on VatopediInterior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, addressing Parliament on Tuesday on the Vatopedi report issue, accused the main opposition PASOK party of political irresponsibility and stressed that PASOK has proved that "it is travelling with convenience flags, seeking a governance port, but in politics ships travelling with convenience flags run aground permanently on the reefs of political irresponsibility."
Pavlopoulos said that the main opposition PASOK party had reached its conclusions in advance, while its sole goal was the penalisation of political life, the distortion of reality, the dragging of the Vatopedi issue and then going to elections without it having to propose anything concerning the problems of the Greek people.
Referring as well to the stance of PASOK leader George Papandreou, the interior minister pointed out that if the Greek economy had more endurance than more developed countries at this time of global economic crisis it was due to the policy of the (Prime Minister Costas) Karamanlis government.
On his part ustice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, said that the address by main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou did not rise to the occasion.
The minister added that what the people want from their leaders is courage, frankness and sincerity and stressed that "Costas Karamanlis and the New Democracy party will be in the leadership again, in power again, whenever elections will be taking place."
Referring to the issue in question, Hatzigakis said that "all that has been said today had been said even before the Factfinding Committee had been decided and now, just as then, the colleagues of PASOK spoke of an Investigatory Committee."
He further said "with what evidence are you shaping this maneating against colleagues of yours, without any support, without any specific argument, without any tangible proof and you are leading people to degradation and to a state that should sadden you and avoid."
Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, accused the prime minister of "voiding the substantive assumption of his political responsibilities" in the case.
Papandrerou also called on the ruling New Democracy party to even request the creation of an Investigatory Committee for PASOK's former deputy ministers Drys and Fotiadis, so that it will not abstain from the discussion on the opposition's proposal on probing the penal responsibilities of government ministers.
"When ministers coordinate their action to poduce a scandal, then the political responsibilities are led to the level of prime minister and those who acted instead of him," he added.
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga said on her part that "we do not accept what Mr. Karamanlis said that he underestimated the issue. He might be sincere, and no prime minister can know everything in detail. The case of the Vatopedi Monastery, however, is an issue of general political orientation in relation to ecclesiastical land. And for this reason, neither Mr. Karamanlis nor Mr. Papandreoui were unsuspecting."
In this framework, Papariga proposed that all the laws that allow the Church and monasteries to possess land, which has not been given to them by private citizens voluntarily, to be abolished.
Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) President Alekos Alavanos expressed support for the creation of an Investigatory Committee to examine the possible penal responsibilities of ministers of both ND and PASOK.
Alavanos said that his party's view is that "two members of the PASOK government should be examined by an investigatory committee for their participation in possible penal responsibilities that have been written off, unfortunately, as well as for 5 ministers from ND, for this reason we are in favour of an Investigatory Committee."
Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis said the Factfinding Committee was ineffective, stressing that the process closed in "express" time, at the responsibility of both mainstream parties, and that "the case is not bound," there is no evidence pointing in one direction but only indications.
Caption: Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos address in parliament on Tuesday 16 December 2008. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES
 ASE opening: RiseEquity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.52 percent, standing at 1,750.55 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 13.4 million euros.
Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 8.75 percent; Construction, up 3.78 percent; and Telecoms, up 1.93 percent.
The biggest losses were in Personal & Household Goods, down 3.46 percent; Travel & Recreation, down 2.17 percent; and Raw Materials, down 0.75 percent.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.71 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.26 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.08 percent.
Of the stocks moved, 47 were up, 38 were down, and 19 were unchanged.
 100th anniversary of Ritsos' birthThe 100th anniversary of the birth of Yiannis Ritsos (1909-1990), considered one of the greatest Greek poets of the 20th century, will be celebrated by Laconia prefecture in southern Greece, where the castle town of Monemvasia where Ritsos was born is located. Following the culture ministry decision to proclaim 2009 Yiannis Ritsos Year, the Laconia Prefectural Council decided to hold cultural events as a tribute to take place between May 1 and September 15, 2009. Yiannis Ritsos (born May 1, 1909) together with Kostis Palamas, Giorgos Seferis, and Odysseus Elytis have marked contemporary Greek poetry. He was unsuccessfully proposed nine times for the Nobel Prize for Literature and among his notable works are Tractor (1934), Pyramids (1935), Epitaph (1936), and Vigil (1941-1953). Ritsos mainly wrote poems with political content and one of his few works that differ is the "Moonlight Sonata".
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Monemvasia castle town
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
Prime Minster Costas Karamanlis' address on Tuesday to his ruling New Democracy (ND) party's parliamentary group and discusssions in parliament on the Vatopedi report, pupils' mobilisations and the developments in the economy dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "PM states: I take full responsibility on Vatopedi affair".
APOGEVMATINI: "Mea culpa - Karamanlis courageously shouldered the government's responsibilities on the Vatopedi scandal".
AVGHI: "Cover-up for Vatopedi - Karamanlis makes late self-criticism in an attempt to avoid the establishment of a parliamentary preliminary investigation committee on the Vatopedi affair".
AVRIANI: "Karamanlis' brave stance on Vatopedi case unites ND MP's, cadres and the party's grass roots".
CHORA: "Karamanlis apologises for whatever happened in Vatopedi: They did not inform me".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "Democracy is not in danger.....ND is in danger".
ELEFTHEROS: "Karamanlis: I am the victim of a deception - He discoverd that his associates misled him on the Vatopedi case".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Mea Culpa and full speed ahead for government reshuffle".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "So, what?....Karamanlis: I take full responsibility".
ESTIA: "Karamanlis' brave stance - He personally took full responsibility".
ETHNOS: "He didn't know and....he didn't learn - Karamanlis' outdated Mea Culpa at ND's parliamentary group".
KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis' counter-attack aiming to reverse the political climate".
LOGOS: "My mistake.....Karamanlis makes self-criticism "I directly take our share of the responsibility on the Vatopedi case".
NIKI: "Karamanlis woke up late - He apologised 'after the fact' for the Vatopedi scandal".
RIZOSPASTIS: "We demonstrate on Wednesday in 51 cities - Organised, with aggression and determination against the anti-popular attack".
TA NEA: " He didn't know...why didn't he ask? Karamanlis' mea culpa on Vatopedi affair".
TO VIMA: "My mistake! Karamanlis personally took full responsibility on the Vatopedi affair and gave absolution to his ministers - Government reshuffle in January".
VRADYNI: "Karamanlis counterattacks - Full of confidence, he took on all the responsibility for the Vatopedi affair".
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