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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Customs strike declared illegal
  • [02] Ioannina liberation anniversary
  • [03] 'More measures on the way'
  • [04] 'Powerful blow against effort'
  • [05] SYN event on Lake Koronia

  • [01] Customs strike declared illegal

    An Athens court on Saturday declared an ongoing strike by Customs employees as "illegal", following an injunction submitted Friday night by the finance ministry.

    Before the ministry tabled the injunction, finance minister George Papaconstantinou had met with representatives of the striking Customs employees, but the talks ended in deadlock after the strikers stated their unwavering determination to continue their mobilisation.

    The Customs employees on Friday morning extended an initial three-day strike by three rolling 48-hour strikes, as reserves at petrol stations started drying up.

    The customs employees throughout the country had initially launched a three day strike from Tuesday to Thursday, but decided on Thursday evening to call an additional three rolling 48-hour strikes.

    [02] Ioannina liberation anniversary

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived in the northwest lakeside city of Ioannina on Saturday to attend events marking the 97th anniversary of the city's liberation from Ottoman rule by advancing Greek forces in 1913.

    The 3-day events commemorate the liberation of the region of Epirus and the city of Ioannina by the Greek Army and unification with the modern Greek State, after the flight at Bizani, on the 21st of February 1913.

    The celebrations culminate on Sunday with a parade through the city by pupils, students, scouts and Armed Forces and Security Forces divisions, which will be attended by the President and local authorities.

    Earlier Sunday, Papoulias will attend a doxology at the St. Athanasios Metropolitan church and lay a wreath at the Bizani Fighters War Monument.

    [03] 'More measures on the way'

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga expressed strong concern over what she called prospective agreements on the Aegean, the Cyprus issue and a series of outstanding issues in the Balkans, referring to "the other side" of the crisis Greece is facing.

    Papariga said that behind all these "so-called pressures" and the government's decision on whether it will "turn the steering wheel more towards the US or the European Union" is "the problem of an agreement on the Aegean, on the Cyprus issue with respect to the Greek government, and not Cyprus itself, and the agreements on a series of outstanding issues in the Balkans".

    She accused the PASOK government of putting the state of the economy -- the deficits and debts -- at the forefront in an effort to conceal from the Greek people "the agreements that seem to have been set in motion" which will have "economic, political and military consequences".

    Those agreements "will be at the expense of the Greek people and, more generally, could set off a new circle of clashes and confrontations in the region in the coming years", she added.

    Papariga said it was no coincidence that at the same time that the Greek government was giving the appearance of supposedly resisting and having an active policy on confronting the pressures, it was literally 'playing possum' on the daily Turkish violations (of Greek national airspace) in the Aegean.

    She said that the 'package' comprising the planned abolition of the '14th salary' (Christmas bonus) this year and increases in VAT and special consumer tax on fuel will strike a harsh blow to the working people's and farmers' incomes was intertwined with the developments in the Aegean, Greek-Turkish relations, the situation in the Balkans, and even with the course of the Cyprus issue.

    Turning to economic policy, Papariga charged that in saying that the Stability and Growth Program is sufficient, the PASOK government was attempting to put up a smokescreen over the new measures that are on the way.

    She charged that the drastic cutbacks that have already been introduced "are not putting our house in order" but rather "a lethal attack against the people".

    [04] 'Powerful blow against effort'

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis said his party opposed the government's intention to set up a fact-finding commission on the economy, warning that it would be the biggest and most powerful blow against the effort for Greece to exit the crisis. He was speaking during a radio interview on Saturday,

    [05] SYN event on Lake Koronia

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras cast blame on the Greek governments and the Thessaloniki Prefectural Authority for the ecological destruction of Lake Koronia, near Thessaloniki, speaking on Saturday at a party event on restoration of the Lake.

    "Reflected in the scant waters of the Lake are the criminal responsibilities of the governments and the Prefectural Authority, who did not put top priority on protection of the natural environment," Tsipras charged, noting that whatever measures taken for the conservation of Lake Koronia were inadequate, ineffective, and did not succeed in averting the destruction.

    "Thus, the Lake, a few years ago (summer 2002), reached the verge of fully drying up, and at the same time became a basin for disposing hazardous substances, toxic substances, industrial waste and pesticides, posing an additional threat to public health," he added.


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