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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-05-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Drug arrest
  • [02] KKE on economic developments
  • [03] Political leaders meeting
  • [04] IMF meets Sunday on Greece

  • [01] Drug arrest

    A foreign national was arrested by Serres police on Saturday along the Kilkis-Thessaloniki national highway, with 692 grams of heroin in his possession.

    The 27-year-old man was arrested while dropping off two packets of the narcotic substance on the highway to be picked up by an accomplice, who identity is unkown.

    The detainee will be taken before a Serres prosecutor.

    [02] KKE on economic developments

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said that the developments in the EU reveal that the claims and quandaries used by the government and its allies are "misleading", and aim at forcing the people to accept the harsh measures.

    A press release on Saturday commenting on the eurozone decision to activate the support mechanism for the Greek economy also said that the harsh sacrifices decided by the 16 eurozone countries for all the EU governments to impose on the peoples aim at protection of the over-concentrated earnings and capital of the monopolies 'which are responsible for the crisis'.

    An indicative example, it added, is their decision for a 600 billion euros injection to bankers, at the same time that they are reducing the salaries and pensions of the people in order to curtail the deficits, thus leading the working people and small enterprises to poverty in order that the euro will prevail over the dollar and for their own monopolies to prevail in the growing competition inside and outside the EU.

    The only way for the people to repel the escalation of the harsh measures is an organised and determined struggle for their rights, the establishment of an anti-monopoly alliance for reversal of the anti-popular policy, for popular authority and disengagement from the imperialistic organisations, the KKE concluded.

    [03] Political leaders meeting

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will convene the Council of Political Party Leaders at noon on Monday, at the request of prime minister George Papandreou, for an exchange of views on the course of the economy and the country.

    The meeting will be attended by premier and ruling PASOK party leader Papandreou, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis.

    The country's two Left parties represented in parliament -- the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance have refused take part in the meeting.

    KKE leader Aleka Papariga in a terse statement on Friday said simply that she will not attend the meeting of political party leaders, while SYRIZA parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras, who is also leader of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party that heads the SYRIZA coalition, informed President Papoulias in a letter on Friday that he will not take part in the meeting, stressing that "we cannot assume responsibility for irreversible destruction".

    Government spokesman George Petalotis later slammed the KKE and SYRIZA decisions not to participate in the council of political party leaders, speaking in Brussels where he was accompanying the prime minister for an urgent eurozone summit to approve activation of the EU support mechanism for the Greek economy.

    "At the time that Prime Minister George Papandreou and the government are waging a battle for the country's economic salvation, at the Eurozone Summit which is underway in Brussels, and when social cohesion is extremely necessary, the KKE and SYRIZA are looking for excuses again not to participate in the council of political leaders under the President of the Republic," Petalotis said.

    "Unfortunately, their only contribution to this great effort by the Greek people is once again absolute refusal as well as no respect for democratic institutions," the spokesman added.

    [04] IMF meets Sunday on Greece

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board will meet on Sunday to decide on the financial support to Greece, IMF external relations department director Caroline Atkinson said Thursday in Washington during a press briefing.

    She said the measures to be implemented by Greece and the EU/IMF financial support are "aimed to help the Greek economy- to support it with this difficult adjustment and to focus on addressing the two problems that the Greek economy has been suffering from -on debt and competitiveness-- and put the economy back onto a path of strong, sustainable growth with jobs and employment down the road", and stressed that default was "not on the table".

    "We are impressed by the determination of the Greek authorities, themselves, to carry through this difficult plan. Obviously, this is a very challenging situation, but we have seen a lot of determination from the authorities behind this plan," she added.

    Replying to questions, Atkinson said the IMF disagreed with speculation that the bailout package cannot prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts. "Our view is that, that is quite wrong," she stressed.

    "There is unprecedented effort in the Greek program to address Greeceās problems and also unprecedented support from European countries and the IMF," she stressed.

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