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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM's message for 2010
  • [02] Woman's body found in playground
  • [03] New Year's fireworks over the Acropolis
  • [04] Papoulias: Time for changes
  • [05] KKE: People must react
  • [06] Budget deficit at 12.2%
  • [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM's message for 2010

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed his wish for the new year, namely, for 2010 to usher in "major, bold and just decisions, major changes and reversals."

    The premier, in a message released on Thursday, stressed that "a difficult year ends and a new one is coming. We will welcome it with optimism and hope; with the expectation and belief that it will be a better year for all, for Greece and for Greek citizens. 2009 leaves our country in the midst of a turning point; beyond the problems in the economy we have experienced our country's depreciation; of democratic institutions, in our production chain and a depreciation of the social state. These problems did not appear from nowhere. Despite our country's progress in recent decades, only on a few occasions have we taken the trouble, or even attempted, to face the huge and long-standing problems in the country ... Today we are called on to give a battle for our lost credibility."

    "In 2010 we will together take the first step. the most crucial step. I deeply believe in our abilities, in the Greek people's significant reserves of creativeness," Papandreou said, expressing his best wishes.

    [02] Woman's body found in playground

    The body of a woman, aged 20 to 25 years old, was found in a playground in the Ano Patissia district of central Athens. Police said the woman fell victim to homicide. Her body was naked while her clothes, cellphone and purse were scattered nearby. According to police, the victim was hit by a brick or stone on the head.

    [03] New Year's fireworks over the Acropolis

    Fireworks light up the clear skies over the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in downtown Athens at the stroke of midnight in the first seconds of 2010. People around the east Mediterranean country celebrated the coming of 2010 in events held in the city squares and residences. Unseasonably warm temperatures made for a balmy New Year's Eve and New Year's Day around Greece, although mountainous destinations across mainland Greece still reported near capacity arrivals, despite the lack of recent snowfall.

    [04] Papoulias: Time for changes

    President Karolos Papoulias stressed in his New Year's message that every year at this time some seek the joy of the celebration in its material dimension.

    "I think that greater spiritual satisfaction can come if we turn to offering. Each of us has something to give to his fellow man who is suffering from illness, poverty, from loneliness, from exclusion form the lack of perspective and hope," he said.

    President Papoulias further said that his thoughts are first of all with the weak, the defenceless and those treated unjustly and conveyed his concern to them for all that the state owes to them and his regret for all that they have been deprived of.

    "My thoughts are also with the young people who are being called on to survive in an environment that is becoming all the more competitive, all the more harsher, all the more bare of humanitarian values and visions," he stressed.

    The President extended his greetings tho those who are distant from their loved ones, soldiers, those working in hospitals and those undergoing treatment, to seamen, to every fellow countryman who is not participating in the celebration.

    "I am absolutely sure of the creative forces of the Greek people and of their ability to face adversities and difficulties. It is now common knowledge that the time has come for decisive changes in the functioning of the Greek state and in collective mentalities and conceptions. In its history, Hellenism has shown that it succeeds with bigger issues more so than with small ones. The big ones are being judged in our times. And I am optimistic that 2010 will be a better year for the many," he concluded.

    [05] KKE: People must react

    Communist Party of Greece Secretary General Aleka Papariga said in a statement that "we can" in 2010 an this is "a case of decision and choice."

    Papariga added that "if the people do not decide to literally terrorise those above, the government, parties, the plutocracy, then it is certain that they, like real terrorists, will fall upon the people with the worst measures."

    She further stressed that the people can react, counter-attack, the movement can regroup

    [06] Budget deficit at 12.2%

    The state budget deficit between January-November 2009 reached 25.635 billion euros (10.7% of GDP) against a Stability Pact prediction of 12.691 billion euros, according to figures released by the General Accounting Office. The latter also forecasts that the deficit will rise in December to reach 29.372 billion euros (12.2% of GDP)

    [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' morning dailies at a glance (afternoon newspaper did not circulate on Friday, New Year's Day)

    Government measures for the economy in the New Year mostly dominated headlines on Friday in Athens' dailies.

    AVGHI: "Better days in 2010 in our hands". CHORA: "12 months of the Condor -What 2009 left us with and what 2010 brings". KATHIMERINI: "President Karolos Papoulias: Need for major reforms in state". LOGOS: "Government priorities: Social security, taxation and administrative model". NIKI: "Happy New Year 2010! Freeze in salaries, tax hikes and supervision". RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party message for 2010: A happy new year with popular (i.e. working classes) counter-attack". VIMA: "Poll: What citizens' want from government in 2010".


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