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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Calm follows Monday protests in Athens
  • [02] German election model doesn't suit Greece
  • [03] Incidents mar rally in memory of shot pupil; calm reported by afternoon
  • [04] Stocks slide 2.73% on Mon.

  • [01] Calm follows Monday protests in Athens

    Police again clashed with rioters near the Athens university's administration building (Propylea) on Monday just prior to a scheduled protest rally marking the first anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old pupil last December.

    So-called "anti-establishment" activists threw stones and other objects at police dispatched to guard the Athens University, who initially did not react but later, yet when attacks intensified, they used tear gas and also detained some of the protestors.

    Police received orders to guard the neo-classical administration building, an Athens landmark, a day after hooded youths forced open its gate and proceeded with widespread vandalism, slightly injuring the school's rector in the process.

    A similar incident took place in Piraeus, when a group of about 500 youthful demonstrators gathered in a main square outside a local police precinct threw bottles and other objects.

    Demonstrations were also held by mostly youthful protestors outside various police stations throughout the greater Athens area, many of whom later converged on central Athens for a main rally.

    More than 140 people were arrested and nearly 800 taken in for questioning amid incidents throughout Greece over the past 48 hours, including more than a dozen foreign nationals. Although a large swathe of central Athens remained closed to traffic in the afternoon, and with some 20 storefronts and bank facades damaged, incidents were decidedly few in number and less violent in relation to last year's unprecedented riot-fuelled destruction.

    ΚανονικήIn a later statement, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis reiterated that the government "had made it crystal clear that it would show zero tolerance to those who, using the pretext of events in remembrance of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, attempted to again erect scenery of terror and chaos, similar to last year, in the centre of Athens."

    He concluded by saying that issues affecting public law and order comprise a "red line" for the government.

    [02] German election model doesn't suit Greece

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras outlined his first proposals, since assuming the party's helm last week, on tackling the endemic problem of corruption in the country, in comments published in the Sunday edition of Athens' "Kathimerini" newspaper.

    The ND leader expressed his opposition to applying the German election model in Greece, saying its implementation in the east Mediterranean country would lead to "absolute leadership models" and "more concentrated party structures".

    Additionally, he was confident that the country is not on the verge of bankruptcy and advised the elaboration of a long-term strategy for the economy, emphasising that the current crisis is more of a "wake up" call rather than a collapse.

    Referring to his party, he reiterated that no one has the right to divide ND and promised an in-depth renewal on all levels.

    In criticising the new PASOK government's policy, Samaras referred to "impromptu" actions and "back peddling".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras.

    [03] Incidents mar rally in memory of shot pupil; calm reported by afternoon

    Police again clashed with rioters near the Athens university's administration building (Propylea) on Monday just prior to a scheduled protest rally marking the first anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old pupil last December.

    So-called "anti-establishment" activists threw stones and other objects at police dispatched to guard the Athens University, who initially did not react but later, yet when attacks intensified, they used tear gas and also detained some of the protestors.

    Police received orders to guard the neo-classical administration building, an Athens landmark, a day after hooded youths forced open its gate and proceeded with widespread vandalism, slightly injuring the school's rector in the process.

    A similar incident took place in Piraeus, when a group of about 500 youthful demonstrators gathered in a main square outside a local police precinct threw bottles and other objects.

    Demonstrations were also held by mostly youthful protestors outside various police stations throughout the greater Athens area, many of whom later converged on central Athens for a main rally.

    More than 140 people were arrested and nearly 800 taken in for questioning amid incidents throughout Greece over the past 48 hours, including more than a dozen foreign nationals. Although a large swathe of central Athens remained closed to traffic in the afternoon, and with some 20 storefronts and bank facades damaged, incidents were decidedly few in number and less violent in relation to last year's unprecedented riot-fuelled destruction.

    Meanwhile, Athens chief prosecutor Ioannis Sakelakos ordered police to draft three case files related to violence during Sunday's protests, including a separate case file for the injury of Athens University rector Christos Kittas, who suffered a mild concussion after being hit over the head by hooded individuals. The Kittas incident, in fact, led to a letter by the university's three vice-rectors to the chief of police, requesting that the building's perimeter be guarded by police.

    Meanwhile, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, in a statement on Monday, said that the KKE is not absent from the anniversary of the murder of a child, "which must not be forgotten", but is present in mobilisations and activities focusing on the problems in the education system and labor.

    On its part, the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance said that Citizens' Protection minister Michalis Chryssohoidis had spoken with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in the framework of the former's contacts with political leaders, adding that SYRIZA's position had been made clear: "We will take part in the peaceful demonstrations on the anniversary of Alexis Grigoropoulos' murder".

    SYRIZA said any attempt, after the fact, by Chryssohoidis to incriminate the content of the contacts "introduces a new political morality in political practice", adding that the minister, in order to defend his own choices, was "personalising" the political conflicts.

    In a later statement, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis reiterated that the government "had made it crystal clear that it would show zero tolerance to those who, using the pretext of events in remembrance of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, attempted to again erect scenery of terror and chaos, similar to last year, in the centre of Athens."

    He concluded by saying that issues affecting public law and order comprise a "red line" for the government.

    [04] Stocks slide 2.73% on Mon.

    Stocks suffered heavy losses in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, hit by strong selling pressures on banks, with the composite index of the market losing 2.73 pct to close at 2,318.64 points. Turnover was a low 172.6 million euros, of which 10.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved downwards, with the Insurance (5.28 pct), Financial Services (4.80 pct) and Banks (4.69 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Food/Beverage (2.20 pct), Personal/Home Products (0.87 pct) and Media (0.58 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index dropped 3.70 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.49 pct lower and the FTSE 80 index fell 0.80 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 123 to 57 with another 56 issues unchanged.

    National Bank (5.56 pct), Alpha Bank (3.33 pct), Eurobank (5.98 pct) and Marfin Popular Bank (5.12 pct) suffered mostly among banks.


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