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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Trial of policemen accused of 15-year-old pupil's fatal shooting postponed
  • [02] Papoulias re-elected President of the Republic
  • [03] Farmers continue moblisations
  • [04] ASE opening: Big rise

  • [01] Trial of policemen accused of 15-year-old pupil's fatal shooting postponed

    The Amfissa trial of two special police guards on murder charges related to the December 2008 shooting death of 15-year-old pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos was postponed on Wednesday, due to a death in the family of the chief prosecutor in the case.

    A new date was not immediately set by the court in Amfissa, western Greece.

    Absent from the session Wednesday was the main defendant Epaminondas Korkoneas, a 37-year-old father of three, who faces charges of intentional homicide with possible malice and illegal use of a weapon. Korkoneas was rushed earlier from the nearby Malandrinos jail where he is held to the psychiatric clinic at the Korydallos prison near Piraeus.

    The second defendant, Korkoneas' 32-year-old partner, Vassilis Saraliotis, who is charged with complicity, was present at the proceeding.

    Following Wednesday's development, the Amfissa court will set a new date, unless a petition is submitted to the Areios Pagos (Supreme Court) for relocation of the trial to Athens and such a petition is approved by the Supreme Court.

    The two special guards are standing trial for the shooting death of pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos in the Exarhia district of Athens during an incident on Dec. 6, 2008 that sparked an unprecedented month of urban rioting in Athens and in major cities across the country.

    [02] Papoulias re-elected President of the Republic

    Parliament on Wednesday re-elected the uncontested incumbent President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to a second term in Greece's highest office, with an overwhelming majority of 266 votes in the 300-member House among the 298 MPs in attendance, while 32 MPs simply declared their presence.

    Papoulias was re-elected with the votes of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), main opposition New Democracy (ND) and smaller opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties' MPs in a roll-call vote during a special session of the unicameral parliament.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) MPs did not vote for the incumbent, but simply declared themselves present when called.

    PASOK, ND, LAOS had all three nominated Papoulias for re-election in separate letters submitted to parliament president Philipos Petsalnikos.

    The KKE's parliamentary group, in an announcement last week, had clarified that its stance has nothing to do with the candidate, incumbent President Karolos Papoulias, himself, but with the political system and the office of the President of the Republic in that system, noting that it was a well-known fact that, according to the Constitution, the President of the Republic must co-sign and agree to "the anti-popular laws and decrees". Consequently, it added, regardless of who the candidate is and what his views are, the role of the President is pre-determined.

    Papoulias is the sixth President of the Republic since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974, following Mihalis Stasinopoulos, Constantine Tsatsos, Constantine Karamanlis, Christos Sartzetakis and Costis Stephanopoulos.

    He will be sworn in for his second term on Friday, March 12 at noon.

    Under the Constitution, a two-thirds majority of 200 votes is required for the election of a President of the Republic in the first sitting. If Parliament fails to elect a President in the first sitting, a repeat election is held five days later, requiring the same two-thirds (200 votes) majority.

    If in the second vote the set majority is not achieved, the vote is repeated in a third sitting, after five days, when a majority of three-fifths of the total number of deputies (180) is required to elect a President.

    If the reduced (three-fifths majority) is not achieved in the third vote, Parliament is dissolved within ten days of the third vote and general elections are called for a new Parliament.

    The Parliament which will emerge from the new elections, once it is constituted into a body, elects with a roll call vote the President of the Republic with the majority of the three-fifths of the total deputies.

    Should this majority not be attained, voting is repeated in five days and the person receiving an absolute majority (151) of the votes of the total number of Members of Parliament is elected President of the Republic.

    [03] Farmers continue moblisations

    Protesting farmers at Promachonas border post opened the road two hours after Tuesday midnight to private cars, which had been blocked at the site since Tuesday noon. Waiting trucks, lorries and cars formed a 20km line on both sides of the Greek-Bulgarian borders. The minus 8C temperatures prevailing in the area caused an outburst by aggravated drivers. Scuffles erupted between farmers and drivers when some of the latter attempted to break through the roadblock and drive across the border.

    A major police force remains at the site in order to prevent clashes between drivers and protesting farmers.

    Moreover, Ormenio and Kipi checkpoints at Evros prefecture are open with farmers intermmittently closing Ormenio checkpoint. Farmers on the Serres-Thessaloniki highway at the Strymonikos intersection are also intermittently blocking the road.

    Roads bypassing the Doirani and Evzoni checkpoints in Kilkis prefecture are open, as are the Krystallopigi and Niki checkpoints in Florina prefecture.

    Protesting farmers of Serres prefecture remained throughout the night at their roadblocks at the Kedryllia intersection on the Egnatia motorway.

    The Exochi border post in Drama Prefecture was open during the night but the Chryssoupoli interchange at Kavala was blocked.

    Grevena prefecture farmers remain on the Egnatia motorway and several others have gathered at the Servia bridge in Kozani, but without obstructing the traffic.

    However, Thessaly farmers remain at their roadblocks at the Nikaia and Microthebes intersections on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway.

    [04] ASE opening: Big rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 2.09 percent, standing at 2,100.56 points at 11:15 a.m., and turnover at 49,126 million euros.

    The biggest gains were in Banks, up 4.11 percent and Health, up 1.84 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 2.75 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.15 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.97 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 76 were up, 12 were down, and 22 were unchanged.


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