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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Farmers stand fast on Crete, in Serres
  • [02] Greek Press Review

  • [01] Farmers stand fast on Crete, in Serres

    Amid government appeals that they leave their tractors behind, farmers in Iraklio, Crete on Sunday disbanded their five-day road block at Linoperamata and arranged to meet at the island's port the same evening, in order to take their protest to the capital.

    They plan to board ferries headed for Piraeus in private cars and agricultural vehicles, arriving on Monday morning for a protest demonstration outside the agricultural development and foods ministry, where they will also seek to have a meeting with the minister and present their demands.

    From Athens, Deputy Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis appealed to Iraklio farmers to abandon their plans to bring their tractors to Athens, warning that it would result in traffic gridlock that would turn all of Attica against them.

    "I have no right to say that someone does not have the right to make demands, but they must bear in mind, those that create these things, that they will cause a huge problem and bring the entire society of Attica prefecture against them. For this reason I am appealing that they come as individuals, as farmers, to protest and make demands but not with tractors, not cars, not agricultural vehicles," Markoyiannakis stressed.

    In northeastern Serres at the opposite end of Greece, meanwhile, the tractor roadblock at the Promahonas border crossing with Bulgaria was still going strong as it entered its 14th day, with farmers there determined not to give in. The border remained closed apart for one hour after 6:30 in the morning, when trucks carrying perishable products were allowed through.

    The Promahonas road block was one of the last bastions of the farmer protests apart from the one at Nikaia, on the Thessaloniki-Athens national highway near Larisa, where the farmers were holding a meeting on Sunday afternoon to decide their next move.

    The farmers of Serres, Nikaia and Iraklio are the last three pockets of resistance that continue to reject the aid package offered by the government, believing that the aid on offer is being unfairly distributed, while elsewhere around the country protesting farmers have dispersed and gone home, returning roads to traffic.

    In comments on the aid package of 500 million euros that the government offered farmers to support their flagging incomes, which have been slashed by the collapse of global food prices, Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis stressed in an interview with the newspaper "Eleftheros Typos" on Sunday that this was "fully compatible with existing Community regulations".

    "Those trying to undermine Greek positions in Brussels offer a bad service," he added, noting that main opposition PASOK was "the big loser of the agricultural mobilisations" and expressing satisfaction that the majority of farmers had trusted him and left the road blocks.

    The minister also dismissed claims that the compensation offered farmers was based on "geographic criteria", stressing that the only criteria had been the true extent of damage suffered by farmers.

    [02] Greek Press Review

    The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    Political and economic developments, opinion polls, ongoing protests by farmers, an interview by former Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos and the Siemens case were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Panic over Siemens case. Upheaval within PASOK on the eve of revelations and detentions in custody.

    APOGEVMATINI: "Changes to public-sector salaries" (Forecasts attempts at radical changes to the public-sector salary system, in a government bid to restrain increases in wages, which represent 47 percent of the entire budget).

    AVGHI: "Fierce austerity and unemployment. Whiff of elections and promise of benefits against a backdrop of recession and economic crisis".

    AVRIANI: "Gangs of blackmailers in the guise of environmentalists. The same faces mysteriously keep appearing behind cases involving big financial stakes".

    CHORA: "New purse of 100 million euros. Attack of social policy by government".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The Cyprus Attila a war criminal. Let processes be launched to have him referred to the International Criminal Court at The Hague."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Everything about everything! [PM] Costas Karamanlis' five-month plan for the economy, opinion polls, elections".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Weapons blockade in Elefsina. A cargo of the substance CK22, which is used to construct missiles, impounded on its way to Iran".

    EPOCHI: "Unemployment swept under the rug".

    ETHNOS: "The noose tightens. Businesses, households without money. Shock figures from the Bank of Greece about the crisis".

    KATHIMERINI: "The public debt scares us but we still want benefits. Public Issue opinion poll reveals our contradictions as citizens".

    LOGOS: "Dialogue on the [nationwide university entrance] exam system a 'landscape in the mist'. What Babiniotis and Veremis propose for the exams".

    NIKI: "Planning in the sand. Tragic governmental mistakes leading the country to bankruptcy".

    PARON: "Overthrows from the prosecutions over Siemens, TOR-M1, Patriot, 'Hermes..." (Claims that major political upheaval, including 'overthrows' will follow as revelations unearthed by the investigation into the above cases are made public)

    PROTO THEMA: Runs story regarding a book by former finance minister George Alogoskoufis that is due out around Easter, in which he apparently claims that he proposed a much tougher stabilisation programme in 2007 that the premier turned down, fearing rebels within the ranks of his slim majority of 152 MPs in Parliament would topple the government.

    REALNEWS: "Without Karamanlis we will diminish". Message from Theodoros Roussopoulos to aspiring successors for ruling New Democracy‚s leadership.

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Two lines clash in the farmers' movement. The PASY line of struggle is in favour of the interests of small and medium-sized farmers".

    TO VIMA: "Balance of terror between the ballot box and Brussels. The planning and difficult dilemmas faced by Karamanlis".

    VRADYNI: "Free homes in all of Greece. Exclusive: ambitious programme by the Workers' Housing Organisation".

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