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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: People's sacrifices not in vain
  • [02] Samaras: Gov't inflated deficit figure
  • [03] Foreign priest arrested in Thessaloniki on int'l warrant
  • [04] Thessaloniki metro works reveal archaeological finds
  • [05] Upgraded Greek-Albanian police pact
  • [06] Deficit down 77.4% in Jan-Feb
  • [07] Community in Chile needs support

  • [01] PM: People's sacrifices not in vain

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday was quoted by a mass circulation Athens daily as stressing that "the Greek people's sacrifices will not be in vain", referring to the recent batch of austerity measures announced by the government.

    "Our first order of business is saving our economy. It is the first and necessary step towards proceeding to the future," he said, in comments carried in an interview in the Saturday edition of the daily "Vima".

    "I will not tolerate scandalous favoritism being christened justice; the privileges of the few dubbed vested rights; provocative wealth as culture, parasitic profit considered as entrepreneurship and tax evasion as gumption," he added.

    Finally, he said the country's partners are recognising the volition to correct the problems facing the Greek economy, while at the same time acknowledging that Greece cannot be abandoned in the battle against international (financial market) speculators. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] Samaras: Gov't inflated deficit figure

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Saturday unleashed a scathing attack on the PASOK government over its economic policy amid the ongoing deficit and debt crisis, although he also appeared critical of certain ND policies when the party was in government.

    Speaking at a pre-congress party conference in the central city of Halkida, Samaras said the government is merely trying to blame its ND predecessor for all the problems it created, instead of searching for solutions.

    "We did not produce a deficit of 12.7 percent ... figures from the State Accounting Office show that two-thirds of shortfall in revenues for 2009 came in the last quarter..." he said.

    According to Samaras, the current PASOK government cancelled a series of revenue-generating measures, calculated expenditures that were not budgeted, transferred revenues to the next fiscal year and literally swelled the budget deficit to "as much as it wanted".

    In turning to his own party's tenure in government from March 2004 to October 2009, Samaras said ND bears responsibility for not changing the so-called "PASOK system", which it inherited.

    "ND is responsible for the 'mild readjustment' of the first three years in power, which were too mild and nary a readjustment," he told party cadres.

    The former ND minister said successive PASOK governments in previous decades created a model of power that was entirely based on borrowing and the distribution of clientele relationships, "when ND came to power in 2004 it simply managed this system instead of changing it."

    [03] Foreign priest arrested in Thessaloniki on int'l warrant

    Police in Thessaloniki arrested a 47-year-old foreign priest on Friday after acting on an international warrant issued by Serbia.

    The man is charged with felony fraud counts in Serbia, and now faces deportation to that country.

    He was arrested in coastal Perea district to the east of Thessaloniki.

    According to reports, the clergyman served as a board of directors treasurer for a foundation in Serbia assigned with the renovation of monasteries. He is charged with embezzling more than 73,000 euros.

    [04] Thessaloniki metro works reveal archaeological finds

    A large early Christian Basilica (1st to early 4th century AD) and an important late Byzantine period (1204-1430) building were unearthed at a same number of Thessaloniki metro construction sites over the recent period.

    Part of a three-aisled, 50-metre-long basilica was unearthed during earthworks for the construction of the Sintrivani station and according to archaeologists it belongs to a cemetery.

    An important building with centuries-long but undetermined use was discovered during construction works for the Venizelos station. The building was used from the late Byzantine Period until the 18th century and comprised two underground spaces accessed through a hatch. A coin dated back to the time of late Byzantine Emperor Ioannis V Paleologus (1332-1391) found inside the building is indicative of the period during which it was constructed. Its use during the Ottoman period can be associated with nearby Ottoman monuments of Bezesten and Hamza Bei Tzami (Alkazar).

    The 9th ephorate of Byzantine antiquities, responsible for the excavations, has proceeded with the creation of an electronic database to record and process the movable findings discovered during the Thessaloniki Metro construction works. More than 12,000 findings have been recorded so far.

    An e-book with all the findings unearthed will be published as soon as excavations are completed.

    Meanwhile, 15 tombs, dating to the Hellenistic and late Roman Period, were unearthed at the New Railway Station construction site; 35 tombs were found in Sintrivani Station and 17 Roman-era tombs were found at the Fleming station site. A building of undetermined use was discovered during works for construction of the Panepistimio station.

    Caption: A view of the early Christian Basilica recently unearthed at the Sintrivani metro station construction site in the northern port city of Thessaloniki. ANA-MPA / STR

    [05] Upgraded Greek-Albanian police pact

    TIRANA (ANA-MPA) - Greece and Albania signed an upgraded law enforcement cooperation protocol on Friday, during the visit here by Citizen's Protection Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis.

    The agreement anticipates the creation of a database for joint use by the two sides, as well as increased exchange of information, organising of joint police operations, cross-border cooperation in combatting organised crime and the implementation of educational programmes.

    Albanian Interior Minister Lulzim Basha, speaking during joint press conference, also thanked the Greek minister for Athens' support for Tirana's request to allow Albanian citizens visa-free travel to Schengen Pact countries.

    On his part, Chryssohoidis expressed satisfaction over the level of cooperation between the two neighbours in the security sector.

    Chryssohoidis was also received by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, followed by talks with Archbishop of Albania Anastasios and representatives of the ethnic Greek community in the country.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo.

    [06] Deficit down 77.4% in Jan-Feb

    (ANA-MPA) -- Budget revenues surpassed budget targets in the first two months of 2010, while spending was lower compared with budget targets for the year, official figures showed on Friday.

    [07] Community in Chile needs support

    SANTIAGO (ANA-MPA) - The Greek community's building in Santiago has sustained serious damage as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck Chile late last month.

    The extent of damage caused to the neo-classical building, built in 1876, renders the holding of events impossible.

    S.A.E. Region of Central-South America Region Coordinator Nikiforos Nikolaidis, in an announcement, called for solidarity and support for the reconstruction of the building that has been a Community Home since 1939.

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