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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Bomb explodes outside Parliament
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Bomb explodes outside Parliament

    A makeshift explosive device went off early Saturday evening in front of the Greek Parliament building. The time-bomb was placed in a trash bin located several dozen metres from Parliament's facade and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The explosion caused minor material damage but no injuries.

    The country's political leadership condemned the attack, while Prime Minister George Papandreou tersely warned that "Democracy cannot be terrorised".

    An anonymous caller phoned the Athens afternoon daily Eleftherotypia at 7:45 p.m. local time (17:45 GMT) and warned of an impending blast in 10 minutes' time at a trash receptacle outside parliament near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Police quickly evacuated the area and cordoned off the vicinity, and also warned the Presidential Guard (Evzones) which, however, remained in place.

    The incident's modus operandi resembles previous attacks by self-styled anarchist groups and so-called "anti-state" terror cells usually operating in the greater Athens area.

    Counter-terrorismm officers arrived at the blast site, while a massive police presence rushed to the vicinity, one of the Greek capital's most central locations.

    The home-made time bomb exploded just before 8:00 p.m., causing minor damage to Parliament's entrance facing Syntagma Square and breaking a 3rd-floor window in the parliament building, while metal shards were found in the parliament's courtyard.

    Police bomb disposal experts said later that the bomb was a 'fast-burning' device made of dynamite and of medium power, while no remnants were found of the explosive material.

    Reactions

    "Democracy cannot be terrorised," Prime Minister George Papandreou stated tersely as he arrived at the parliament building after the attack while Citizens' Protection minister Michalis Chryssohoidis stressed that "we are not afraid or panic-stricken", noting that "some want to terrify and panic us".

    Chryssohoidis stressed that the Parliament's vicinity "is of high symbolism" and therefore is accessible and will remain so.

    "Athens is a safe city and will not become militarised," he said, adding that the perpetrators should know that they will be brought before justice, and very soon.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman and MP Panos Panagiotopoulos said that the bomb attack at one of the most well-guarded spots in Athens was a "heavy provocation against the democratic Greek state's lawful order".

    "Beyond its apparent symbolism, this attack also targets the entire Greek society and hurts our country's image abroad, harming the interests of the Greek people," he said.

    Panagiotopoulos stressed that terrorism is a major problem that needs to be tackled immediately with across-the-board cooperation of the government, the political parties, the social agencies, the trade unions and the wider society of the citizens, adding that it is a given that ND will give its full support if the proper measures and correct policy are applied for combating terrorism in Greece.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement, condemned the attack, stressing that "this action must in no way comprise an act of resistance to the government's harsh and all-fronted attack on the people's rights", and warned that, on the contrary, such acts "aid and serve those who wish to daunt the people".

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) spokesman Costis Aivaliotis opined that the "domestic terrorists perhaps got the idea from the website of the Turkish arms (rocket and projectile systems) manufacturer Roketsan's website that shows the Hellenic Parliament in flames".

    "Democracy cannot be terrorised, it cannot be daunted, it cannot be struck down. On the contrary, it reinforces its determination to confront its underminers," Aivaliotis added.

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN), in an announcement, condemned the attack as "a provocation against democracy".

    "At a critical time for the Greek economy, as it faces the repercussions of a deep economic crisis, such acts only mislead and are exploited as an alibi to discourage the necessary social and political struggles against a policy that negatively affects the majority of the citizens," SYN added.

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy, the government's first 100 days in office and taxes were the main front-page items in Athens' Sunday newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The encroached (state-owned) land up for sale (to the encroachers, be they individuals or building cooperatives, in exchange for deeds to the properties) in effort to raise money for the ailing economy".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Sweeping changes in education system and job market".

    AVGHI: "Stifling EU 'custodianship' on the economy".

    AVRIANI: "They're (government) withdrawing the shameful amendment on the property transfers tax".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Rage over the parental property transfers taxation".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Sur-tax on medium and large size real estate properties".

    EPOCHI: "They (government) take measures, we take to the streets - Drastic reduction in salaries and pensions, increases in VAT and fuel taxes, and privatisations being planned".

    ETHNOS: "Opinion poll: The people hope, and support - The people willing to make sacrifices, but want results".

    KATHIMERINI: "One-hundred days of arrhythmia - Lack of daring and absence of determination characterise the government".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The people will raise obstacles against the attack by the government, capital and the EU".

    LOGOS: "Impasse in the government after the 'visit' of the EU experts".

    NIKI: "The photo-finish of the (government's first) 100 days (in office) - The Papandreou government tallies its victories and defeats".

    PARON: "What was behind the...'chance' meeting (on New Year's eve) between prime minister Papandreou and main opposition New Democracy's number 2 man Dimitris Avramopoulos at the latter's house in the village Elliniko in Arcadia prefecture".

    PROTO THEMA: "Closure of the professional premises of doctors and lawyers who do not give receipts".

    REALNEWS: "Ministers vs. ministers - Civil war in government".

    TO VIMA: "The ministers' Calgary - The thirty days that will judge the economy".

    VRADYNI: "The salaries that will be 'scissored' - All the changes in the public sector".


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