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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-03-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras at EPP summit, meets with Angela Merkel
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • [03] Gunman frees hostages, surrenders to police

  • [01] Samaras at EPP summit, meets with Angela Merkel

    BRUSSELS (AMNA/M.Aroni) - New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras took part here on Thursday in a European People's Party (EPP) summit meeting. Earlier in the day, he held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker and EPP Europarliamentary group leader Joseph Daul.

    Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of his talks, Samaras said:

    "During the EPP's meeting as well as during my meetings with Chancellor Merker, Jean-Claude Juncker and Joseph Daul, I reiterated the need for (a) achieving the targets we agreed upon and have already voted for and (b) taking immediately measures for the economy's recovery and growth. Because, without growth neither the fiscal targets will be achieved nor will the debt become viable."amna

    The ND leader added that his discussions also focused on "concrete initiatives to achieve growth in order to contain recession and decrease unemployment, particularly among the young."

    In his meeting with Chancellor Merkel, Samaras stressed the need for elections to be held in Greece in April.

    Samaras pointed out to the chancellor that elections are necessary in Greece for the easing of the tension prevailing in the country, while expressing concern that otherwise there shall be a rise of anti-European parties.

    Referring in particular to the meeting with Merkel, that lasted for about an hour, Samaras said that it took place in a very positive climate. As he said, he made a brief analysis of the situation in Greece.amna

    Samaras also raised with the German Chancellor the issue of the declaration of the Exclusive Economic Zone that constitutes a source of energy for Greece and can bring revenues to the country.

    Lastly, according to Samaras, Merkel, intervening in the session of EPP leaders, acknowledged that the situation in Greece has improved, but noted that the recent period of calm must not lead to complacence.amna

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The disbursement of a 30 billion euros installment of the 130 billion euro new bailout loan to Greece, the general elections in April, the reduction of unemployment benefits and the explosion of crime, mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Murders in cold blood and robberies".

    AVGHI: "University entry exams in the air!".

    DEALnews: "Burning report for the banks".

    DIMOKRATIA: "3 billion euros new 'black hole' until June!".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Europeans give the green light for general elections in Greece".

    ESTIA: "Three challenges for Greece".

    ETHNOS: "Finally, good words for Greece!".

    IMERISSIA: "Double message of optimism - Yes to the loan, PSI on positive course".

    KATHIMERINI: "First installment with conditions".

    LOGOS: "They (government) cut the unemployment benefit too".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Eurogroup: Green light for four contracts of 93 billion euros".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "They slaughtered the unemployment benefit".

    TA NEA: "Caution! Google is keeping files on us".

    VRADYNI: "Survival loans guide for the heavily indebted".

    [03] Gunman frees hostages, surrenders to police

    AMNA--A gunman that shot and injured two people on Thursday and held another two men hostage at a factory in the industrial zone of the northeastern Greek city of Komotini was persuaded shortly after midnight to free the hostages and give himself up to police after handing over his rifle.

    The two injured men were admitted to Komotini General Hospital, where doctors said their condition was not life-threatening. They were identified as a major shareholder of the company that owned the garbage bin manufacturer HELESI PLC, who had been shot in the chest, and a Bulgarian factory worker who was shot in the right thigh. amna

    The hostage-taker has been identified as a former employee, a father of two, who was laid off by the company eight months earlier. He turned up at the factory premises with a shotgun at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday and started shooting indiscriminately, demanding his job back and claiming that the owner had repeatedly assured him that he would be re-hired.

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