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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: Five priority nat'l targets
  • [02] LAOS leader in Pyrgos
  • [03] Paleokostas repeats helicopter escape
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou: Five priority nat'l targets

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said that the time has come for the people to speak and change the country's course, speaking at an open gathering on Sunday during which he outlined his party's five priority national targets for the 21st century.

    Papandreou said that the times were critical and as such he was personally assuming responsibility for bringing the country of the crisis, expressing optimism that a way out of the crisis existed.

    There were times in the career of every politician, "the big moments when the politician finds himself face-to-face with history", when he must meet the major targets and the coming generations, Papandreou said, adding that, for him, "that moment is now".

    He added that he has set a high standard, because the country's needs today were very great.

    The five national targets set out by Papandreou were foreign policy, so that Greece "will have a voice everywhere", green growth, education and culture, the welfare state, and a productive and well-governed state.

    Papandreou said that an exit from the present crisis was feasible only if those five national targets were also advanced as well.

    He expressed his full confidence in the Greek citizens that they could succeed in this, while stressing that he, himself, needed the confidence of the citizens, which he wanted to win daily.

    Papandreou said that the banking system could act as a developmental lever and function with crystal-clear reules and regulations for the private banks, "regulations that will not privatize the profits while nationalizing the losses".

    He further endorsed the nationalization of banks "where necessary", adding that "we will not allow the credit crisis to be paid by the ordinary citizen".

    The country, he added, cannot exit the crisis simply through a restrictive fiscal policy.

    PASOK, Papandreou continued, will govern with transparency as its primary and inviolable rule.

    To a question on where the money will be found to finance PASOK's plan, Papandreou said the funds would arise from a reduction in the tax-exemptions given by the New Democracy party to its 'select' friends, from cutbacks in non-productive expenditures, from a redistribution of expenditures aimed at boosting public investments, and from exploitation of the state's large real estate properties, as well as through the funds of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

    [02] LAOS leader in Pyrgos

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis visited the town of Pyrgos, Ileia prefecture, on Sunday, where he gave a press conference.

    Karatzaferis reiterated his position in favor of dialogue with other parties in the event that the next general elections did not produce a self-sufficient government.

    Questioned in an interview appearing in a Sunday newspaper and asked whether he would 'discuss' with main opposition PASOK in such an eventuality, Karatzaferis stressed that "if we begin with not speaking with anyone, as proposed by tye Left, we will not be helping the country".

    "We are obliged to speak with and discuss (with other parties) on the basis of the mandate that the electoral body will give, on what needs to be done," Karatzaferis said.

    The LAOS leader also reiterated his proposal for a national consensus (all-party) government under European Central Bank (ECB) vice-president and former governor of the Bank of Greece (the country's central bank) Loucas Papademos in order to take the country out of the crisis.

    He added that the New Democracy government's "anemic majority" of 151 MPs (in the 300-member parliament) was unable to give the country the momentum it needed to exit unscathed from the "worst global crisis of the last 100 years".

    [03] Paleokostas repeats helicopter escape

    Greece's most wanted criminal Vassilis Paleokostas and Albanian convict Alket Rizaj escaped Korydallos high-security prison on Sunday by helicopter, in a repeat of their Hollywood-style escape from the same prison in June 2006.

    Vassilis Paleokostas and Albanian convict Alket Rizaj were spirited away by helicopter on June 4, 2006 from the courtyard of Korydallos prison near Piraeus, in a spectacular operation masterminded by Paleokostas' brother Nikos, a fugitive from justice. After picking up the two at Korydallos jail, the helicopter dropped them off near a cemetery not far from the prison. The two escaped convicts then drove off on motorcycles, according to witnesses. Police said at the time that the two prisoners escaped with the help of two accomplices who had hired the sight-seeing helicopter from the southern coastal suburb of Aghios Kosmas, and then threatened the helicopter's pilot with a pistol and a hand grenade, forcing him to land in the prison yard before taking the two inmates.

    Vassilis Paleokostas was re-captured on August 2 in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, and was named by police as the mastermind of the abduction two months earlier of Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) president and Alumil aluminum industry CEO George Mylonas outside Thessaloniki, who was later released after his family paid a hefty ranson..

    Rizaj was captured three months after the escape in the coastal village of Prodromos in Viotia prefecture, while fugitive Nikos Paleokostas was arrested a few weeks afterwards near Livadia, also in Viotia prefecture, after years of eluding police capture.

    Second escape

    According to early information, the helicopter in this second attempt flew low over the Korydallos prison and its crew lowered a rope ladder with which the two inmates climbed upt to the helicopter, which sped off immediately afgerwards.

    Prison guards fired shots at the helicopter but failed to avert the escape.

    Police immediately launched a manhunt, but it was not known whether the helicopter or any trace of the escapees have been spotted.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greece's most wanted criminal Vassilis Paleokostas, who repeated a June 2006 spectacular escape from Korydallos prison on Sunday, again with Albanian convict Alket Rizaj.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The global financial crsis and renewed speculation of early general elections were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The 9-month conscription terms commencing - Important interview with (defence minister) Vangelis Meimarakis".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The first 20,000 unemployed being hired - Joint ministerial decision on the OAED (state-run manpower employment organization) program".

    AVGHI: "Elections dilemma via Brussels - Critical 10 days for political scene - The 'tsunami' of layoffs grows".

    AVRIANI: "Government-banks war - Provopoulos (Bank of Greece governor) seeks to condicut social policy with the banks' money".

    CHORA: "The changes to property taxation".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Greek tourism threatened with 'crash' - Predictions of 1.5-2 million fewer arrivals - Fear of 50,000 layoffs".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "German 'governess' - The Merkel (German chancellor) Directive now imposes regime of dual 'supervision' (excessive debt procedure) on Greek economy: by Berlin and Brussels".

    ETHNOS: "Business the past - Vatopedi (land transactions with state) scandal lives, reigns and produces money - They're seeking permits to build on their land plots".

    KATHIMERINI: "Appearaince of new generation of terrorists causes worry - Police investigations into 'Revolutionary Struggle' and 'Revolutionaries' Sect' in the dark".

    LOGOS: " 'Scent' of early elections - Karamanlis, Papandreou preparing 'for all eventualities'."

    NIKI: "We will not become co-culprits in the country's destruction - PASOK secretary Ragoussis".

    PROTO THEMA: "1,000 euros per capita tax - What incomes it will apply to - How it will be applied - Papathanassiou (economy and finance minister) plan for urgent collection of 700 million euros".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Strong KKE - Counter-attack - We're setting the standard high".

    TO VIMA: "They 'lost' 5.5 billion euros - 'Black hole' in the social security Funds - Financial crisis rocking the social security system".

    VRADYNI: "Package of 200,000 jobs (for unemployed) without ASEP (civil service hiring examinations board) procedures - 15 measures to boost employment budgeted at 1 billion euros".

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