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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: No snap elections on horizon
  • [02] Samaras: Message of policy change sent
  • [03] Frigate pulled out of Turkish naval exercise over air space violations
  • [04] Regional and municipal election results at 1:00 a.m. on Monday

  • [01] PM: No snap elections on horizon

    (ANA-MPA) -- In an announcement late on Sunday night, Prime Minister George Papandreou said that he would not lead the country to early general elections. Speaking after the first solid results in local government polls began to emerge, the premier stressed that the result confirmed that people still wanted the changes they had voted for a year ago.

    The prime minister stressed that Greece needed to operate with a different outlook and fulfil its obligations, meeting the challenges together. He stressed that he had undertaken the country's helm at a difficult time and that the effort underway was the effort of all Greeks, not just that of the government.

    "At this difficult time, we succeeded," he emphasised, adding that there was no easy way and no magical solutions.

    Papandreou expressed concern over the high levels of abstention during the regional and municipal elections, urging those that had abstained to cast their vote in the second round of run-off elections.

    He also appealed to social partners, stressing that this was a national effort that had no room for petty party politics and attitudes.

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

    [02] Samaras: Message of policy change sent

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Sunday evening referred to a distinct message of "political change" in the country, speaking hours after the polls closed in municipal and regional elections around the country.

    "The Greek people have spoken. These elections have sent a message of change, so we can exit the crisis with growth and not (economic) asphyxiation ... Today, those who were threatened, those who were blackmailed and live with the spectre of unemployment, replied to the government," he added.

    Moreover, Samaras said PM George Papandreou's attempt to employ a dilemma towards the voters backfired, saying the results yielded (ANA-MPA) no "carte blanche" for the PASOK government.

    Additionally, the ND leader said his party is leading in most prefectures and municipalities, while saying that the 10-point difference PASOK enjoyed from the previous general election has been "wiped out".

    "Never has a main opposition party brought about such a total turnaround," he said, underlined that the results bore "multiple messages for all". (ANA-MPA)

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

    [03] Frigate pulled out of Turkish naval exercise over air space violations

    (ANA-MPA) -- The Hellenic Navy frigate "Themistocles" was pulled out of the Turkish naval exercise "Mavi Balina" on Saturday and Sunday in protest over Athens Flight Information Region infringements and Greek air space violations by the Turkish air force.

    The 'Themistocles' is part of the standing NATO maritime force in the Mediterranean, which is participating in the Turkish exercise.

    During an aeronautical cooperation exercise forming part of "Mavi Balina", 10 Turkish military aircraft entered the Athens Flight Information Region without (ANA-MPA) submitting flight plans on Saturday. A total of seven infringements within the Athens FIR were recorded, which turned into six violations of Greek national airspace east of Rhodes. Two of the Turkish aircraft were armed. (ANA-MPA)

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

    [04] Regional and municipal election results at 1:00 a.m. on Monday

    The results of Sunday's municipal and regional elections in Greece at 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning continued to record high rates of abstention nationwide and especially in key electoral constituencies, including the Attica region and the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki.

    In the crucial election for Attica regional authority chief, with 33.87 percent of the vote counted and an estimated voter turnout of 55.1 percent, PASOK-backed candidate Yiannis Sgouros was in the lead with 24.10 percent of valid votes, versus 20.43 percent for main opposition New Democracy-backed candidate Vassilios Kikilias. Rebel PASOK candidate Yiannis Dimaras, widely seen as opposing the EU-IMF memorandum was third with 15.82 percent.

    In Athens, the largest municipality in the country, ND-supported Athens mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis appeared to be heading toward re-election with 35.04 percent of valid votes at 1:00 a.m. with 40.2 percent of votes counted. He was tailed by George Kaminis, the candidate backed by PASOK, with 28.50 percent of the vote. The clear winner, however, was abstention since participation by Athens voters stood at record lows of just 41.84 percent.

    In Thessaloniki, the second-largest Greek city after the capital, participation in the election stood at 53.43 percent. With 39.27 percent of the vote counted, ND-backed candidate Costas Gioulekas was ahead with 38.59 percent of the valid votes and Yiannis Boutaris, the candidate backed by ruling PASOK, was second with 33.08 percent of the vote.

    In Piraeus, Yiannis Mihas backed by PASOK was in the lead with 30.46 percent and second place went to ND-backed Vassilis Mihaloliakos with 23.04 percent.

    In the regional elections, the PASOK-backed candidate Yiannis Maheridis won outright in the Southern Aegean with 50.34 percent but no clear winner had emerged in the remaining 12 regions during the first round.

    Ruling PASOK candidates had come first in Attica, Western Greece (43.66 pct vs 26.39 pct for runner-up), Crete (49.33 pct vs 18.79 pct for runner-up), Peloponnese (42.24 pct vs 40.62 pct for runner-up) and Central Greece (39.61 pct versus 35.62 pct for runner-up).

    ND-backed candidates were in the lead in Eastern Macedonia & Thrace (41.55 percent against 41.34 for PASOK), in the North Aegean (38.32 percent against 36.55 percent for PASOK), Western Macedonia (37.78 pct versus 32.47 pct for PASOK), Epirus (43.71 pct vs 37.18 pct for PASOK), Thessaly (38.62 pct vs 34.25 pct for PASOK), Ionian Islands (28.93 pct vs 26.85 pct for PASOK) and Central Macedonia (43.61 pct vs 30.99 pct for PASOK).

    In the regions where no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote during the first round of the elections there will be a run-off election between the top two candidates in the first round on November 14.

    Similarly, roughly a third of all municipalities elected a mayor in the first round and most of those elected were independents running in relatively small communities. Here also, there will be a run-off election between the top two candidates in the second round.

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


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