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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis in Sweden
  • [02] SYRIZA Europarliament ticket
  • [03] ̀eeting on Euroelections
  • [04] Athens Stock Exchange:Rise

  • [01] Karamanlis in Sweden

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was in Stockholm on Monday. In the afternoon he will meet with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt and afterwards the two premiers will hold a joint press conference.

    On Sunday, Karamanlis stressed that "We are determined to tackle the challenges of the times head on and convert the international crisis into a national opportunity," The premier was addressing the regional conference of ruling New Democracy's youth party ONNED, which took place in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

    "Not even for a moment did we think of hiding the truth, of making things look better than they are. The only people that do not concede this are those who see the crisis as an opportunity for petty political gain. The leadership of PASOK defames the country abroad, chooses levelling, denial and nihilism. PASOK's leader is investing in scandal, in polarisation, in misinformation," Karamanlis added, stressing that ND would "not follow" and remain "focused on the big, crucial issues".

    The prime minister had earlier visited the work site for the Thessaloniki metro and inspected the progress of the project, stressing in statements to reporters that the "Thessaloniki metro is no longer just words, it is becoming action".

    "I visited the central worksite for the Thessaloniki metro and was briefed on how the work is progressing. The two tunnel borers are in full operation, the work is making rapid progress," he said, adding that the environment ministry had recently held a tender for the first extension of the Thessaloniki metro to the Kalamaria district, while there were plans for another extension to Stavroupolis.

    "The Thessaloniki metro is the biggest public works project for transport and the environment that is currently being carried out in Greece and it will be one of the most modern metros in Europe," he said.

    Earlier on Sunday, in honour of Mother's Day, the prime minister and his wife Natasa visited the SOS children's village in Plagiari, Thessaloniki and gave gifts to the 45 children aged six to 17 living and being cared for in the villages 10 houses.

    He then visited Greece's only 'green' school, the vocational lyceum of Kalamaria, and was briefed on issues concerning school facilities by Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis. Following his visit to the metro, the premier was then shown around new municipal parks recently created on the city's coast by Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] SYRIZA Europarliament ticket

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday unveiled his party's list of candidates for the June 7 European Parliament elections, which is headed by SYN secretary Nikos Hountis in the first spot.

    Addressing a press conference during which he unveiled the party ticket, Tsipras expressed certainty that the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) will record its largest percentage ever in next month's vote, and accused the two mainstream parties (ruling ND and main opposition PASOK) of creating manufactured polarisation in a "shadow theater", stressing that an end must be put to that performance.

    He accused prime minister Costas Karamanlis of "running, panic-stricken, into hiding in order to avoid his responsiblities" while, in reply to press questions, said that Karamanlis was governing without the consensus of the society nor even of those who have voted for him.

    Tsipras further charged that the adjournment of parliament announced last week ahead of the Euro-elections was aimed at the write-off of any penal responsibilities in the various scandals being brought before the House, adding that the political system was producing more scandals than the people could tolerate, and called on the people to "send the bill to the two mainstream parties on June 7".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Synaspismos (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras

    [03] ̀eeting on Euroelections

    The inter-party committee on the June 7 European Parliament elections held its first meeting on Monday, chaired by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to discuss preparation for the elections and television and radio campaign time for the political parties.

    "We're ready," Pavlopoulos told reporters afterwards in response to questions on the voter catalogues and the electorate both in Greece and abroad.

    The party representatives unanimously decided that the rules and terms that were in effect for the national elections in 2004 also be applied in the upcoming Euro-polls.

    The committee's decision would be conveyed later in the day to the Radio-Television Council (ESR) for its opinion, before being published in the Government Gazette.

    Under changes in the relevant legislation, the results of opinion polls may be released or published up to two days before the elections, namely Friday, June 5.

    The amount of money that can be channeled for radio and television time is six million euros, the same amount as in the 2004 parliamentary elections.

    Taking part in the committee were ruling New Democracy secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, Miltiades Papaioannou on behalf of main opposition PASOK, Antonis Skylakos representing the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Dimitris Dariotis on behalf of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN), and Constantine Skandalakis for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party.

    Questioned on the prospect of double elections (Europarliament and national) on June 7, Zagoritis replied that there was no such issue.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos

    [04] Athens Stock Exchange:Rise

    Equity prices were rising on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.04 percent, standing at 2,173.75 points at 12:15 p.m., and turnover at 72.3 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Food and Beverages, up 5.25 percent; Technology, up 3.77 percent; and Financial Services, up 2.84 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 1.88 percent; Telecoms, down 1.84 percent; and Public Utilities, down 1.40 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.99 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 2.03 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.64 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 116 were up, 43 were down, and 32 were unchanged.

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