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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-05-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Ex-PM Simitis under fire during Parliament debate on Siemens furor
  • [02] ND on inner city violence
  • [03] Stocks end flat on Fri. 

  • [01] Ex-PM Simitis under fire during Parliament debate on Siemens furor

    (ANA-MPA) -- Monumental delays on the part of Greek justice but also the role of former premier Costas Simitis came under the spotlight in Parliament on Friday, as MPs discussed the findings of a Parliamentary fact-finding committee investigating scandals involving the multinational Siemens.

    All political parties agreed that the affair had been a major and unprecedented political and economic scandal and called for further investigation by a Parliamentary Preliminary Examination Committee empowered to send politicians to trial.

    Stinging accusations levelled against Simitis by Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis also caused a major stir, with Kastanidis accusing the former premier of having stalled and eventually quashed legislation designed to restore political control over the way public contracts were awarded.

    Revealing correspondence between Simitis and himself in period 1996-1997 when he was transport minister, Kastanidis said the former premier had at first delayed him from bringing draft legislation setting up an independent authority for public procurements to Parliament and then scrapped the proposal outright as unnecessary, even though it had been among PASOK's pre-election pledges.

    According to Kastanidis, a series of public-sector functions had been handed over to "mechanisms outside the control of the legal representatives of the popular sovereignty" during the mid-90s and the independent authority he proposed sought to "restore the principle that politics takes precedence and economic factors follow".

    While initially appearing supportive of the proposal, Simitis had then expressed doubts when this was ready to be tabled and later, when Kastanidis was away on a trip to the United States, had presided over a Cabinet meeting that rejected the proposal outright. (ANA-MPA)

    Kastanidis went on to claim that the former premier had failed to reply to repeated letters that asked for such a system to be set up, at least in the transport sector, until the minister finally decided to resign his seat at the end of August 1997.

    Speaking in Parliament, the justice minister went on to claim that these events were "a crucial turning point" and that the future of the country would have been different if the entire political establishment had then accepted a different operating methods for awarding public procurement and public works contracts, cutting off the "umbilical cord" between politics and business.

    He said he was prompted to reveal this correspondence by Simitis' statements the previous day, which he claimed were "completely inaccurate".

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    

    [02] ND on inner city violence

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Friday referred to proposals unveiled a day earlier by ND leader Antonis Samaras, as well as to the situation inside the government, rampant unemployment and street violence in an Athens inner city district this week.

    Mihelakis cited Samaras' speech when he was called to comment on media reports alleging that the ND leader is being pressured from abroad and the EC-ECB-IMF troika to give his consent to the government's austerity policy.

    As regards government reactions to the economic programme unveiled by Samaras for leading the country out of the crisis, he said "the government stance is not unified".

    "Our proposal suggests a 'creative shock' as the first step for the country to exit recession. There will be other proposals as well that will concern shipping, the farmers, etc. The first reactions are very positive," he said.

    Commenting on the situation inside the government, he spoke about "undeclared war with hot incidents".

    He characterised the rising unemployment as a "nightmare that becomes more and more scary", adding that the government has adopted the wrong policy mix that has disastrous consequences on the economy and tears down the country's social cohesion. (ANA-MPA)

    The ND spokesman characterised the situation in downtown Athens as "desperate", stressing that "crime rules, as well as, violence and vigilante phenomena that kill the economy and paralyse social life."

    "Small minorities have turned the inner city districts into a war zone, while the government watches what takes place in a state of paralysis making comments like an observer that has no responsibility," he said.

    Mihelakis repeated that ND categorically condemns all forms of violence regardless of its origin and added that Samaras has pledged that as soon as ND is elected in office a PASOK government-sponsored naturalisation law for non-EU foreign nationals -- including many who entered the country as illegal aliens -- will be rescinded and be replaced by a policy similar to that implemented by all European states. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    

    [03] Stocks end flat on Fri.

    Stocks ended flat in the last trading session of the week in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday. The composite index rose 0.09 pct to end at 1,356.24 points, after rising as much as 1.60 pct during the session. The index was down 1.01 pct in the week, while turnover remained a low 60.829 million euros.

    The Big Cap index rose 0.38 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.4 pct down and the Small Cap index eased 0.08 pct. ATEbank (5.77 pct), Piraeus Bank (4.08 pct) and Viohalco (2.87 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while MIG (3.08 pct) and Titan (1.60 pct) were toplosers.

    The Insurance (1.75 pct), Chemicals (1.57 pct) and Banks (1.13 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (14.10 pct), Financial Services (3.21 pct) and Commerce (2.39 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 66 to 65 with another 48 issues unchanged. Hatzioannou (14.29 pct), Koumpas (12.5 pct) and Creta Farm (12.43 pct) were top gainers, while Druckfarben (19.15 pct), Audiovisual (16.67 pct) and Sato (10 pct) were top losers.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


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