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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: ND responsible for crisis
  • [02] Greek Parliament passes 2009 state budget
  • [03] KKE warns of 'anti-popular' actions
  • [04] Alavanos: 'we won't budge'
  • [05] Karatzaferis calls for dialogue

  • [01] Papandreou: ND responsible for crisis

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, speaking in Parliament on Sunday evening during debate on the 2009 state budget, stressed that the economic crisis will deepen for as long as New Democracy party remains in power, charging that five years were enough to prove the major differences existing between ND and PASOK.

    Papandreou stressed that those seeking an extension of the present crisis will find no helping hand from PASOK, while to those promoting scenarios of joint rule to "protect their privileges and their parasitical jobs, PASOK tells them outright to look elsewhere. Not to PASOK."

    In a categorical way, the PASOK leader ruled out any prospect of a governing coalition with ND and called for the immediate holding of early elections, saying the "the ruling party is part of the crisis and not of the solution to the problems."

    He further pointed out that "we are not interested in solutions that save ND in order to get some ministerial seats. We are interested in the future of Greece."

    Papandreou went on to say that "if everything is going so well, why is the changing of the finance minister at the epicentre of the reshuffle. I don't know if you will find anyone to become a laughing stock to serve your economic policy. The result will be the same: You will not deceive anyone."

    The PASOK leader also focused on the mobilisations of young people, saying that their voice "is in danger of being buried behind the clashes between the riot police and the hooded assailants."

    He promised to call on the leaderships of the remaining opposition parties "to do all that we can to guarantee the rostrum for young people, without any intention of manipulation or party exploitation."

    Lastly, Papandreou said "there is a mood for society to take its fate in its hands in the face of phenomena of violence. PASOK is here to define a new course. We shall shape new consensuses and with a treaty of confidence for the Greek man and the Greek woman we shall turn authoritarianism into dialogue."

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou speaks in Parliament in Athens on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. ANA-MPA / KATERINA MAVRONA

    [02] Greek Parliament passes 2009 state budget

    Greece's Parliament passed the ruling New Democracy (ND) government's 2009 state budget with 151 votes in favour, 146 against and one MP declaring "present". Out of the 300 Parliament deputies, 298 participated in the roll call vote just after midnight in a nationally televised session.

    [03] KKE warns of 'anti-popular' actions

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, speaking in Parliament on Sunday during debate on the 2009 state budget, warned of the risk of "anti-popular" laws being adopted to tackle "troublemaking elements and phenomena," in reference to the recent unprecedented wave of street violence in Athens and a series of other Greek cities following the police shooting of a teen two weeks ago.

    Papariga expressed aversion for those who consider acts of vandalism as manifestations of "popular uprising", stressing that "what some parties call a 'popular uprising' is the ridiculing and vulgarisation of popular uprisings. A real uprising will have as its starting point the workers, wage-earners and youth. Not even one window will be smashed. It will have demands and goals, it will have a political purpose, it will not merely be indignation."

    She went on to say that "they are speaking of 10,000 hooded assailants. Even if they are 50,000, what does it mean? Does the number make the movement? We have seen much more massive reactionary movements. See in Venezuela who is demonstrating against Chavez, even students."

    Papariga further underlined that "we fear for the people, which at some time the government, with the assistance of degrading phenomena, will mobilise laws. For example, it will use the Euro-terror law. It may suspend articles of the constitution, there is also the possibility of the military getting involved in the event of strikes and takeovers of buildings."

    Lastly, Papariga pointed out that her party is not interested in the existence of intra-party government coalition solutions but in a decrease in the percentages of the major parties and the weakening of their governments.

    Caption: KKE leader Aleka Papariga speaks in Parliament in Athens on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. ANA-MPA / KATERINA MAVRONA

    [04] Alavanos: 'we won't budge'

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader president Alekos Alavanos on Sunday stressed that his party will not budge from its positions in support of the struggles of young people and their awakening and adherence to peaceful paths.

    Alavanos also criticised ruling ND party, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) as well as the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, citing an "unprecedented attack that they launched" against his party and referring to "an alibi that the government is seeking with the hooded assailants to transfer its responsibilities", while terming the education minister a "red cloth."

    He also noted that the budget is "a budget that has no life, even if this government has life."

    Alavanos stressed that "this budget is the same as the previous ones. There is no change, not even one euro more. We would expect the education minister to tell Mr. (George) Alogoskoufis that he wants one euro more. That he wants a commitment for tomorrow. Instead of this, we heard from the education minister that the murder of Alexis was carelessness."

    Moreover, he further said that "ND should realise, that is sleeping blissfully, that there is desperation among young people and give answers to their problems. The ministerial council must take lessons from the young people because their antennas are sensitive" and spoke, with regard to troublemakers, of "the government's known tape of a bad game that is being played with provocateurs who infiltrate mobilisations."

    Caption: Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader president Alekos Alavanos appears in the Greek Parliament on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. ANA-MPA / KATERINA MAVRONA.

    [05] Karatzaferis calls for dialogue

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party leader George Karatzaferis on Sunday tabled a proposal for national dialogue with the participation of the party leaders, former prime ministers and the former presidents.

    Karatzaferis, speaking in Parliament during debate on the 2009 draft budget, said that national consensus is necessary and "the need stemming from developments necessitates us listening to all those having some experience."

    He criticised all parties for their stance towards the conjuncture being experienced by the country and the Parliamentary group of ruling New Democracy party, in particular, of "waiting for the cheese of a reshuffle and of not speaking," as well as charging that PASOK is "reaching the point of speaking to its former prime minister" and of expecting political benefits from the crisis as the left "squabbles among itself and of playing a cat and mouse game."

    Karatzaferis termed the government "degraded in the eyes of public opinion" and warned the prime minister that "the future is not by his side but opposite him", while proposing that the best from all parties should get together to create an economic programme to enable the country to rid itself of the social crisis.

    Caption: Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party leader George Karatzaferis speaks in Parliament in Athens on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. ANA-MPA / KATERINA MAVRONA.

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