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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader calls for 'change of course'
  • [02] Three new opinion polls on election preferences
  • [03] FinMin: Election-mongering, not elections, hurt the economy
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PASOK leader calls for 'change of course'

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said now was the time for the country to change course, addressing a political rally in the north-central town of Veria on Sunday.

    "Let's give the say to the Greek people to decide: PASOK or New Democracy? Exit from the crisis or bankruptcy? Dignified life or poverty? Security or insecurity? Work or unemployment? With the bankers or with the citizens? Social sensitivity or insensitivity?" Papandreou asked.

    The PASOK leader said a different path existed, adding that the people, with their vote, would choose his party for a state that cared about the citizen and a human-oriented society.

    Greece, he continued, was at a critical crossroads, and what would be decided was whether it would continue on the same destructive decline or change course, and accused the government's policy of causing insecurity "which is becoming a noose around the throat of every Greek". Robberies had become routine, guns and shots had become a frequent phenomenon, and prison escapes had become an international joke. "The state is collapsing, and unlawfulness is prevailing," Papandreou added.

    He said that the ND government was unable to guarantee the country's equal participation in international developments, tolerated Turkish provocations in the Aegean, and was teetering constantly like a pendulum between retreat and adventurism.

    Outlining his party's platform on agriculture, Papandreou said PASOK had warned the government of the problems on the horizon, but the government had turned a deaf ear.

    [02] Three new opinion polls on election preferences

    Main opposition PASOK maintained its lead over ruling New Democracy (ND) in three opinion polls, two on national elections and one on European Parliament elections, which appeared on three Athens newspapers on Sunday.

    According to a Public Issue opinion poll appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini, PASOK posted a five percent lead over ND, with PASOK increasing its proportion by 1.5 percent and ND by 1.0 percent over a previous poll conducted last month by the same survey firm, but prime minister Costas Karamanlis maintained an 8 percent lead as the most suitable for prime minister.

    More specifically, in Public Issue's monthly political 'barometer' conducted by telephone on March 3-6 on a sampling of 1,018 respondents, PASOK was preferred by 40 percent of voters against 34 percent for ND -- while the previous month's poll in February 2009 PASOK was leading with 38.5 percent against 35 percent for ND -- with the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in third place with 8.5 percent (8.5 percent also in the February barometer), the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 7.6 percent (down from 10 percent last month), the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 5.0 percent (up from 4.5 percent last month) and the Ecologists-Greens with 3.0 percent (down from 3.5 percent in February).

    Karamanlis posted an eight percent lead with 40 percent, against 32 percent for PASOK leader George Papandreou, to the question on who was the most suitable for prime minister.

    According to a Focus opinion poll appearing in Real News, which was conducted on March 10-12 by phone on a sampling of 1,000 respondents, PASOK posted a three percent lead over ND, with the two mainstream parties again indicating an increase in their percentages over the previous month. Specifically, 30.2 percent of the respondents said they would vote for PASOK if elections were held the following Sunday (up from 29.4 percent in the same poll in February), against 27.2 percent for ND (26.3 percent in last month's poll), followed by the KKE with 7 percent, SYRIZA with 6.8 percent, LAOS with 3.6 percent, and the Ecologists-Greens with 2.8 percent.

    According to a RASS opinion poll appearing in To Paron weekly newspaper, conducted by phone on March 9-12 on a sampling of 2,003 respondents and concerning voter preference for European Parliament elections, PASOK posted a 2.5 percent lead over PASOK, although down a marginal 0.2 percent from the previous poll conducted on March 1. More specifically, PASOK was preferred by 32.1 percent (32.4 percent in the previous poll), ND posted 29.6 percent (29.7 percent), SYRIZA 7.9 percent (7.2 percent), the KKE 7.1 percent (7.8 percent), LAOS 5.1 percent (4.3 percent) and the Ecologists-Greens 3.2 percent (3.1 percent).

    [03] FinMin: Election-mongering, not elections, hurt the economy

    Election-mongering and benefit-mongering, not elections, hurt the economy, economy and finance minister Yiannis Papathanassiou warned, in an interviewing appearing in a Sunday newspaper.

    In an interview with To Vima daily, Papathanassiou said that the state of the Greek economy was manageable, and assured that the government would continue to follow a combination economic policy in order to support growth and the financially weaker strata.

    Questioned on the prospect of new taxes being introduced, the minister noted that he has already categorically denied speculations of an increase in VAT, warning that talk alone of such a prospect was harmful to the economy, created an inflationary mentality and only served to help profiteering games.

    However, he added, he would not adopt a rationale of denying every scenario that sees the light of day.

    On incomes policy for the civil servants, Papathanassiou said that it would be announced "by the end of March", adding that the government would handle this issue as well with due sensitivity, and noted that the fact would be taken into consideration that the public sector salaried employees had the security of tenure, which was not so for the employees in the private sector and the unemployed.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Political developments, an apparent rapprochement between main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and his predecessor, former prime minister Costas Simitis, the economy and crime were the main front-page items in Sunday's newspapers

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Crisis within Church of Greece; 'rebellion' in Mesogaia (east Attica prefecture) bishopric the reason".

    APOGEVMATINI: "New pay scales in public sector announced at end of March".

    VIMA: "Total recall of PASOK to power; new situation following Papandreou-Simitis rapprochement".

    VRADYNI: "How to secure your pension".

    ETHNOS: "September 'ground zero' for Greek economy".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Where is Church headed?"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "'I'll fight until the end', PM Costas Karamanlis reiterates his decisions amid economic crisis.

    Η ΕΠΟΧΗ: "They're killing off employment".

    KATHIMERINI: "New Scotland Guard unit in Athens on Monday to help reorganise anti-terrorism service".

    CHORA: "How to save money, time in this year's tax returns"

    AVGI: "Quo" in reference to unemployment.

    AVRIANI: "Businesspeople, bankers should assume their responsibilities in order to deal with economic situation".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "OK by Ecofin council for 5% VAT rate to achieve cuts in indirect taxes for tourism services, construction; Athens mute".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Struggle continues on Tuesday against plutocracy".

    LOGOS: "Rising crime rate a headache for government".

    REALNEWS: "(LA.OS party head George) Karatzaferis in front of us, not with us," interview by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    PARON: "Nightmares for Costas, George from economic crisis, terrorism".

    PROTO THEMA: "Live and let other Greeks die; brutal indifference by state".

    NIKI: "Most difficult summer ahead for tourism sector".

    FREE SUNDAY: "Desperate measures due to corruption".

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