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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Rocket launcher found in terrorist safehouse was used in US embassy attack, police say
  • [02] Siemens: spotlight on ex-ministers
  • [03] 'Ptolemaida 1' shut down

  • [01] Rocket launcher found in terrorist safehouse was used in US embassy attack, police say

    The police crime lab in Athens has identified the RPG7 portable anti-tank rocket launcher discovered in a safehouse of the terrorist organization "Revolutionary Struggle" in the Athens district of Kypseli on April 19.

    Based on the crime lab test results, the specific launcher was used in a rocket attack on the US Embassy in Athens back in 2007, which caused minor damage to the building and no injuries.

    The attack had occurred at 5:58 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2007 and had originated from the environs of the US Embassy, using a "self-propelled explosive projectile", according to a public order ministry announcement that was issued following the incident.

    [02] Siemens: spotlight on ex-ministers

    Several of the former ministers whose accounts are to be opened and examined as part of the Siemens kickbacks investigation on Friday expressed objections to a decision that they said had singled them out unfairly.

    The Parliamentary Committee investigating the Siemens scandal on Thursday announced a list of 10 former ministers that had interacted with Siemens in various ways while in office, five of them under former PASOK governments and five under New Democracy, saying they will be asked to voluntarily open their bank accounts for inspection.

    The politicians named included Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Yiannos Papantoniou, Nikos Christodoulakis, Christos Markoyiannakis, Vyron Polydoras, Anastasios Mantelis, Christos Verelis, Mihalis Liapis, George Alogoskoufis and George Voulgarakis.

    The 10 chosen had either signed contracts or acted as legal representatives of the state in transactions with Siemens for the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE), contracts relating to the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation or the Olympic Games security system C4I.

    The committee also clarified that this was only an initial list and more names may follow.

    According to Verelis, however, the selection of names appeared "politically guided" and the only difference between people included and people omitted from the list was "their current political role". He also noted that no one involved in handling party finances was on the list.

    Voulgarakis also complained of a "selective" choice of names, with questions arising over those that had been omitted from such scrutiny.

    In a statement on Friday, Alogoskoufis said all his accounts were at the disposal of the committee but noted that he had never had any responsibility for any of the issues under investigation and had never signed any contract with Siemens.

    Former finance minister Yiannos Papantoniou, on his part, said the way the decision was being carried out was "unacceptable" and said the selection of some and not others "served ends foreign to the pursuit of truth and administering justice".

    "When absolutely no evidence has arisen, the criteria for opening accounts must be impartial and legally unimpeachable. I want to make it clear that will not allow anyone to slander my name and will use all legal means so that basic rules of ethics and principle are observed," he said.

    [03] 'Ptolemaida 1' shut down

    In a symbolic gesture that she said marked the end of an era, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Friday shut down the 50-year-old lignite-fired power plant "Ptolemaida 1" - one of the oldest owned by the Public Power Corporation (PPC).

    "The closure of the PPC's first polluting lignite plant marks the end of an era and the start of a new one, using cleaner lignite, and with renewable energy sources acquiring a central role in Greece's energy mix," an environment ministry announcement said.

    The ministry's plan is to gradually close the lignite plants at Ptolemaida, Kardia, Amyntaios and Agios Dimitrios between now and 2024, with the exception of unit 5, which is relatively new and uses modern technology.

    The 70-MW Ptolemaida plant first went into operation in 1959.

    According to a PPC announcement, Birbili promised in a speech at the plant to preserve state control of the PPC, while underlining that anthracite and the nuclear option were not part of Greece's energy strategy.


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