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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND leader : We must condemn the Memorandum
  • [02] U2 returns to Greece after 13 years
  • [03] Latest opinion poll results
  • [04] New drug price list
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] ND leader : We must condemn the Memorandum

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras urged citizens to use their vote in order to condemn the Memorandum signed with the EU-ECB-IMF for the bailout package for Greece during an interview with the newspaper "Ethnos" published on Sunday.

    ND's leader warned that, should PASOK be able to present the result of the upcoming local government elections as a victory, then it would then feel free to go carry out even harsher measures.

    "We are calling on people to react politically," Samaras said, stressing that PASOK's only fear was the people's reaction and that it must feel things strongly at the local government elections.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] U2 returns to Greece after 13 years

    With a spectacular set that was a triumph of technology and had perhaps the best sound quality achieved by any gig in Athens, U2 won over OAKA's Olympic Stadium in Athens during their first-ever appearance in the Greek capital.

    "You are not defined by financial markets," Bono roared to an ecstatic audience that packed the stadium on Friday night, arriving from all areas of Greece to fill the stadium in defiance of the country's grim economic reality.

    After opening acts Avin Geffen and Snow Patrol, U2 appeared on the stage playing the only unreleased song on the setlist, the instrumental opener "Return of the Stingray Guitar". They then proceeded to drive the crowd to delirium, with the audience roaring along to stock favourites like "I Still Havent' Found What I'm Looking For", "Get on Your Boots", "Vertigo", "Elevation", "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Pride".

    The encore reserved more treats that had fans jumping in their seats, including "One", "Where the Streets have no Name" and "With or Without You".

    This was only the second time that U2 have played in Greece, their first being 13 years ago in Thessaloniki. The next stop for the 360° Tour will be in Istanbul, Turkey where the band play on Monday.

    Caption: Bono on stage in Athens on Friday night during U2's 360° Tour. ANA-MPA - Katerina Mavrona

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Latest opinion poll results

    Ruling PASOK retains a solid lead over main opposition New Democracy based on opinion polls published on Sunday, although "none of the above" remains the firm favourite among disillusioned Greek voters, with percentages vying those of the top party.

    PASOK has a 7.1-percent lead over ND according to an opinion poll conducted by MRB for the weekly "Real News", though the percentage support for both parties is fewer than 30 percent. The poll was conducted on September 1-2 using a sample of 1,000 people throughout Greece.

    Specifically, 27.1 percent of respondents said they would vote for PASOK (down from 27.2 percent in the previous MRB poll conducted in May). Support for ND was 20.0 percent (up from 18.5 percent in May), followed by 7.5 percent for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 5.3 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), 3.0 percent for the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), 2.9 percent for the Ecologists-Greens and 7.8 percent for other parties.

    The percentage of voters that don't back any party was 26.4 percent, down from 30.8 percent in May.

    Asked to choose between current premier George Papandreou and ND leader Antonis Samaras as most suitable premier, 35.1 percent chose Papandreou against 22.5 percent for Samaras, while 38.3 percent chose neither. During a poll in May, 37.1 percent had chosen Papandreou, 21.5 percent Samaras and 37.9 percent had chosen neither.

    On the need for a cabinet reshuffle, 57.2 percent agreed that this was necessary, 30.9 percent said it was not necessary and 11.9 percent replied don't know/won't answer. On the timing of a reshuffle, 72.3 percent consider that it should take place soon, 23.7 percent some time in the future and 4.1 percent replied don't know/won't answer.

    A poll conducted by Rass for the weekly Paron placed the difference between PASOK and ND at 6.2 percent, with PASOK receiving 26.4 percent of the vote and ND 20.2 percent, KKE 7.3 percent, LAOS 4.7 percent, SYRIZA 2.9 percent, the Ecologists-Greens 2.8 percent, other parties 4 percent and spoiled/blank votes 4.3 percent. Voters that have not specified which party they back came to 27.1 percent.

    The Rass poll was conducted over the telephone on August 31, using a random nationwide sample of 1,503 people.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] New drug price list

    The Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry has unveiled a new list of prices for pharmaceuticals that will apply as of Monday. According to the ministry, the list contains drugs representing 97 percent of total spending on pharmaceuticals in Greece and achieves a 20 percent median price reduction for most drugs, while the overall cost savings for social insurance funds is expected to reach 1.2 billion euros a year.

    The new pharmaceuticals price list includes a total of 7,154 products, including 324 new drugs. Prices for 1,370 products have been increased while for another 613 they remain the same. For a small number of pharmaceuticals there was a problem in the pricing process requiring further investigation and inspections. In these cases the repricing process will be completed with the issue of a corrected price list on September 27.

    In relation to the horizontal price reduction provisionally imposed last May, the prices of 3,373 products are lower, the prices of 2,658 are higher and 799 remain unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Sunday edition of Athens ' newspapers at a glance

    An anticipated cabinet reshuffle, the selection of PASOK's candidates for regional authorities and opinion poll results were the issues dominating headlines on Sunday in Athens newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The great fraud in a 'legal' fashion. White coats, 'black disability pensions'." [on suspected high incidence of 'fake' disability pensions]

    APOGEVMATINI: "Lay-offs imminent in state enterprises".

    ARTHRO: "The time of Leviathan. Cooperation that changes geopolitical balances in the Aegean".

    AVGHI: "An economy and politics crossword" [analysis of current economic policy]

    AVRIANI: "Sharp plunge in PASOK percentages changes [PM George Papandreou's] plans"

    CHORA: "Victory course. [Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras] close to the people.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Hope for sale. Moves by G. Papandreou from now until Thessaloniki International Fair with the aim of raising low morale".

    EPOCHI: "Unifying solution without rivalries" [article on opposition SYRIZA party]

    ETHNOS: "George's dilemma for the changes at Maximos Mansion - government".

    KATHIMERINI: "The problems on hold for the reshuffle..."

    LOGOS: "Selection of regional authority candidates a 'thriller' scenario".

    NIKI: "Who will receive and who will lose the EKAS low pension supplement".

    PARON: "Slaughter in the court. Ragoussis versus Pamboukis for first place, with PM looking on"

    PROTO THEMA: "Nikos versus the 'Czar' over taxes". [refers to PM's brother and finmin]

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Joint organised struggle to overthrow the policy of PASOK-ND-EU-big capital".

    TYPOS ON SUNDAY: "Lost votes and abstention shock PM's office".

    VETO (weekly): "Government of business people with 'someone else' as prime minister"

    VIMA: "New means and asset statement. 'Prove how you got it'. Draconian laws for property".

    VRADYNI: "Further salary reductions. Who is not affected by the new list. Changes arising from the uniform salary scale."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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