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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-05-03
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Venizelos: Future of our country at stakePASOK President Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday stressed that he is totally opposed to the likelihood of a new round of elections.
Responding to questions in a televised press conference in Zappeion Hall, he added that the country's future for the next 20 years is at stake in Sunday's general elections. amna
He underlined that repeat elections would increase uncertainty and hurt the country, accusing New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras of courting with the issue and Democratic Left (DIM.AR) leader Fotis Kouvelis of attempting to do the same. amna
Venizelos stated that repeat elections are not a solution and stressed that the voters should give a clear mandate adding, however, that "we cannot blackmail the people to get their vote". He repeated that PASOK has made a bold proposal aimed at overcoming the memorandum in three years leading the country out of the crisis.
 KKE central campaign rally in AthensAMNA--Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a rally at Pedio tou Areos Square in Athens on Wednesday evening, criticised the political parties, with her first target being the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), stressing that she will not participate in any "so-called antimemorandum government."amna
Papariga appealed to all the weak social classes to vote for KKE even if they do not agree with all of the party's positions, warning that on May 7 KKE "will not remain idle".
She further said that "every day the working people, the unemployed man, the pensioner hears from New Democracy (ND) and PASOK that these elections are the most crucial of the post-junta era. They hear from the other parties that there is the opportunity now for a government to be created of the antimemorandum forces, a government of the left, that will negotiate in the organs of the EU. Indeed false arguments were mobilised on the bonus of the 50 seats and the one-seat constituencies."
 Samaras wants clear mandate to change everythingAMNA--New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening, called for a clear mandate to enable a majority New Democracy government to be formed. He termed the rally "amazing" and said that "Thessaloniki has spoken and on Sunday ND's victory will begin from Thessaloniki."
Samaras's address was also watched by former prime minister Costas Karamanlis.amna
The ND leader clarified that he does not desire joint governance with PASOK. "We are saying it clearly: we do not want to rule jointly."amna
He went on to say that "we want a clear mandate to change everything. Those speaking of joint governance, do not want anything to change. And we are their great fear. Because we want to change everything...It is not only PASOK. Many do not want anything to change. Many want to have control in the coming years. And how will they have control? If there is a weak two-party government, that will hesitate to go ahead and will fear each other? And that will jointly fear elections?"amna
Samaras attacked PASOK and the parties of the Left and at the same time appealed to their voters. "I did not chew over my words in my criticism of PASOK. Because the PASOK government has a great responsibility for what are experiencing now," he said.
 PM: Elections will judge Greece's futureAMNA--The results of the upcoming general elections on Sunday will determine the future of the country in coming decades, its strategic orientation, not just which government will come to power, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos stressed while addressing the last cabinet meeting to be held by the current government on Wednesday.
"For this reason, I believe that public debate must focus on a better understanding of reality. But I am certain that the decisions of the citizens will look toward the future, not the past," he added, thanking the ministers for their cooperation and the work that was carried out.amna
According to Papademos, the government's main mission had been achieved and Greece had avoided the imminent risk of default while at the same time establishing the best possible conditions - though even these were extremely difficult - for continuing the effort to restore and restructure the economy.amna
The prime minister stressed that the present government had also proved that ideological and political differences were set aside for the good of the country and he noted that the government's achievements included 48 acts of legislation, with 70 percent of Greece's obligations under the Memorandum completed by the end of April, another 25 percent on the verge of completion barring a few details and only 5 percent not carried out.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' newspapersThe Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The parties' campaigns, party leaders' speeches and their efforts to persuade the undecided voters, and Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' message ahead of the May 6 general elections, dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras' victorious speech in Thessaloniki".
AVGHI: "Current of reversal and hope".
AVRIANI: "Samaras sends invitation of victory".
DIMOKRATIA: "Change from the first minute".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Unremorseful former prime minister George Papandreou's cynical confession: I used you as guinea-pigs".
ESTIA: "Rapid ascent of the Left".
ETHNOS: "Opinion polls indicate grey zones for ND and PASOK".
IMERISSIA: "Papademos' message on the elections".
KATHIMERINI: "ND and PASOK face final quandaries".
LOGOS: "Foreigners foresee political paralysis...".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Elections that will determine the next decades".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Message for hope and counter-attack".
TA NEA: "Fireworks and dilemmas".
VRADYNI: "Samaras: Give us the strength to change Greece".
 Prostitutes found positive with AIDS virus reach 17Health checks being carried out by KEELPNO (Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases) crews with prostitutes in squares and outdoor premises in the historical centre of Athens have revealed 5 new HIV persons, increasing the number of prostitutes found positive with the AIDS virus to 17.amna
According to KEELPNO, the checks will be continued on Thursday and will be repeated on a daily basis.amna
In an emergency press conference, KEELPNO officials on Wednesday said that following the release of the names and photographs of 12 alleged prostitutes that tested HIV+, a total of 1,600 men have contacted the centre's hotline, while the number is expected to rise. Officials said callers who claimed they had unprotected sex with prostitutes are the most concerned.
On his part, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday laid a large part of the blame on the "clients" of prostitutes, saying their photos should be made public as well, "because they are also responsible for the spread of the virus that causes AIDS."amna
He stressed that people who have unprotected intercourse with prostitutes are more than 50 pct responsible for the spread of the HIV virus, adding that that such individuals should face criminal charges.
 Bear protection fence along EgnatiaAMNA--Approval of funding for the construction of higher, reinforced fencing along the section of the Egnatia highway and roads leading to this between Siatista-Koromilia and other areas passing through bear country is expected to help reduce the number of accidents involving vehicles and bears. The amount of 10.5 million euro was approved for the project on Wednesday while a tender for the project is due to be completed within the month.amna
According to the environmental group "Callisto", there have been 24 road accidents involving bears since 2009 in western Macedonia's road network alone.
 Athens Stock Exchange opening: DeclineEquity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.35 percent, standing at 683.82 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 3.03 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.50 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.21 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.43 percent.
Individual sector indices were moving downward, with the biggest gains in Telecoms, up 0.87 percent and Industrial Products, up 0.36 percent.
The biggest losses were in Constructions, down 1.57 percent; and Personal and Household Goods down 1.56 percent.
Of the stocks traded, 15 were up, 19 were down, and 10 were unchanged.
 State broadcaster reports profits in 2011AMNA--The state broadcaster ERT's profits before taxes amounted to 57 million euros in 2011 - despite a revenue reduction recorded in the past two years - as opposed to 2009, when it recorded losses of 9 million euros, it was announced on Wednesday.
"The goal is to keep ERT independent and strong," Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT S.A.) CEO Lambis Tagmatarhis stressed.amna
ERT's main source of revenue is a surcharge added to practically every electric bill in the country.
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