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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 <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek ship attacked by pirates of Somali coast
  • [02] ONNED central committee meeting
  • [03] Papariga re-elected to KKE helm
  • [04] Paleokostas repeats helicopter escape
  • [05] SYN secretary on Euroelections

  • [01] Greek ship attacked by pirates of Somali coast

    The Malta-registered Greek merchant ship "Santalia" was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia on Sunday, according to an announcement by the Merchant Marine ministry.

    The ship, with a 24-member crew on board, was carrying a shipment of coal headed for Slovenia.

    [02] ONNED central committee meeting

    The ruling New Democracy (ND) party youth organization's (ONNED) central committee convened on Sunday, with ONNED president George Papanicolaou focusing on the global financial crisis, noting that the government has set out growth, fiscal adjustment, assistance to those needing and and cooperation among all the political forces of the country as the fundamental elements for bringing the country out of the crisis.

    ONNED, he continued, did not believe that the exit from the crisis could be found in the "tried and failed recipe of socialism and strong state interventionism, nor in the extremes of anarchy and uncontrolled operation of the market".

    "We deeply believe that the solution can be given by our ideas, which are encapsulated in the meaning of social liberalism, which on the one hand allows the citizens freedom to act and crate, while on the other sets out a distinct legal framework of rules to be abided by all, and an index of protection and social solidarity for the weaker members of our society," he said.

    Papanicolaou stressed that the optimum way to overcome the crisis was investment in the future and the young generation, but added that a condition for that was ensuring the present.

    ND central committee secretary Lefteris Zagoritis charged that it was only to be expected that main opposition PASOK was preserving the election talk, since it did not have a proposal or a plan of its own, and had nothing to say in this difficult conjuncture, repling to press questions after the prime minister's opening address to the ONNED conference.

    Zagoritis, echoing the prime minister, stressed that early general elections would not be called.

    What occupied the government and all the Greeks at this time was facing the immense issue of the financial crisis, shielding the country and fortifying the financially waker strata.

    Zagoritis further noted that Greece was among the five euro-zone member countries with a positive growth outlook, while its deficits and unemployment rate were below the EU average.

    [03] Papariga re-elected to KKE helm

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga was re-elected to the party leadership at the KKE's 18th Congress, it was announced on Sunday.

    A KKE announcement said that Papariga was re-elected as secretary general of the party by the new KKE central committee that arose from the 18th Congress, in its first meeting.

    The Congress further passed two central theme documents: A central committee account on activities since the party's 17th Congress and its responsibilities leading up to the 19th Congress, and a report containing assessments and conclusions of the socialist structure of the 20th century and the KKE's perception of socialism.

    The 18th Congress further ratified the party's Financial Audit report on the KKE's finances.

    The two theme reports will be released in the next few days.

    [04] 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.

    [05] SYN secretary on Euroelections

    The European Parliament elections will assume the dimensions of a generalized showdown among the political parties if (early) national elections are not held before them, Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) central political committee secretary Nikos Hountis said Sunday in Thessaloniki.

    SYN, he added, would wage the Euro-elections battle from within the ranks of SYRIZA (the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) and the European Left Party, adding that the SYRIZA group of Eurodeputies must be pluralistic.

    Hountis further said that SYN could not comply with prime minister Costas karamanlis call for consensus, given that there could be no consensus on the policy implemented by the government.

    SYN, he explained, had its own platform, which responds to the people's direct needs, the causes of the problems, and offers alternative prospects.


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