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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis on farmers protests
  • [02] Police officer remanded to custody
  • [03] MIG bid for OA discussed next week
  • [04] Athens Stock Exchange : Rise

  • [01] PM Karamanlis on farmers protests

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stated speaking in Parliament on Friday in response to a Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA) party leader Alekos Alavanos question on Cretan farmers' recent mobilizations that "protesting with tractors in Athens is not a matter of freedom". "Our position is clear," stated Karamanlis, adding that "it is the citizens' right to challenge and demand. Images of confrontation between police and protester are not what we want. However, the State has certain obligations toward the people as a whole." He also wondered why SYNASPISMOS party does everything in its power to undermine dialogue rejecting participation in the talks on the secondary education reform and the new examination system. Moreover, he wondered why farmers should flood downtown Athens with their tractors to have a dialogue on sector issues. Karamanlis pointed out that the blatant violation of laws does not constitute exercising of a right saying that "causing social unrest and conflict situations is not useful to anyone. Farmers do not benefit by adopting practices detrimental to economy and society. Therefore, neither SYNASPISMOS nor main opposition PASOK can maintain that it is a 'matter of freedom' to protest on the streets of the nation's capital. The opposition is in error if it thinks that can capitalize farmers' struggles in such a way." Referring to the damage caused to the agricultural sector he clarified that the compensations are not paid based on geographic criteria and that the products from Crete are included in the 500-million-euro package announced by the government. He pointed out that numerous projects were completed on Crete during the past four years while unemployment on the island is much lower compared to the average unemployment rate in the country, adding that "the priority now are the sectors hit more either by natural causes or by the global economic crisis." He also stressed that it is unacceptable for political powers to invest in misinformation and denial, pointing out that "the government cares and fights for the real interests of all farmers, respects all citizens indiscriminately and seeks dialogue and consultation on all major issues that concern the country's present and future." On his part, Alavanos said that the government practices are an insult to the sensitivity of the Cretan people and called him to apologize.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis speaks in parliament on Friday 6 February 2009. ANA-MPA /ALEXANDROS BELTES

    [02] Police officer remanded to custody

    An examining magistrate in Athens on Friday ordered the jailing of a police officer who shot and seriously wounded a private security guard outside the US ambassador's residence in the Greek capital on Wednesday.

    Specifically, the supect will be incarcerated at a local prison's psychiatric ward.

    Following an initial statement before the magistrate on Friday, he was charged with attempted murder and illegal use of a firearm.

    Defence attorneys have reportedly asked that their client undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

    [03] MIG bid for OA discussed next week

    The government on Friday said negotiations over an offer by Athens-based Marfin group (MIG) to purchase national air carrier Olympic Airways will begin next Tuesday.

    Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, in charge of efforts to privatise OA, said talks between government and MIG will begin over the latter's expressed interest in the company.

    "... the proposal is open to all investors to express their interest. It goes without saying that the formalities of whatever agreement on OA's privatisation will become official after EU approval," he added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis

    [04] Athens Stock Exchange : Rise

    Equity prices were rising on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.89 percent, standing at 1,730.88 points at 12:15 p.m., and turnover at 23.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 3.44 percent; Financial Services, up 2.33 percent; Raw Materials, up 2.07 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Media, down 0.98 percent; Telecoms, down 0.17 percent and Personal and Household goods, down 0.03 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.89 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.11 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.61 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 90 were up, 32 were down, and 42 were unchanged.


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