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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-04
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 SYRIZA forms special committee to monitor MemorandumAMNA--The main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group met on Tuesday and focused on the establishment of government monitoring committees by its MPs as well as the appointment of those in charge.
A special committee to monitor Memorandum developments and legislative initiatives was also formed.
Three parliamentary spokesmen were appointed to specific sectors, namely, Panagiotis Lafazanis was assigned to the sectors of economy and justice; Dimitris Papadimoulis the sectors of trade, production, national defence and public order, and Panagiotis Kouroublis the social affairs sector.
 Amnesty Int'l: Police violence in Greece not isolated incidentsAMNA--Greece lacks adequate mechanisms to investigate complaints of police brutality and Greek authorities seem either "unable or reluctant" to follow up such cases, according to an Amnesty International report presented in Athens on Tuesday. Entitled "Police Violence in Greece: Not just isolated incidents', the report suggests there are long-standing problems in the system for investigating, prosecuting and punishing human rights violations by the law enforcement forces in Greece.
The report was presented by AI in collaboration with the Hellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) during a press conference at the Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) and concerns the non-governmental organisation's monitoring of policing in the country for the last 10 years until April 2012.amna
The report criticises the police for use of excessive force in several instances, including the liberal use of irritant chemical substances and flash-bang grenades during demonstrations in ways that violate international standards. There are also accusations of mistreatment during arrest and detention, of which migrants, asylum seekers and marginal groups such as Roma gypsies are frequent victims.amna
Lia Gogou, a researcher for AI in Greece and Cyprus, noted that there was no official mechanism in Greece to record attacks that had racist motives.
The head of the photo journalists' union Marios Lolos, who filed a report against MAT riot police after he was attacked while covering a demonstration in April 2012 and hospitalised with severe head injuries, reported that there were incidents of police violence targeting photojournalists at almost every demonstration, with 46 percent of photojournalists having been victims of police violence at some time.amna
According POESY President Giorgos Savvidis, journalists were increasingly the victims of rising police lawlessness, while ESIEA President Dimitris Trimis suggested that attacks on those working the media was a "state policy".amna
Amnesty International will hold meetings with Greek authorities in order to discuss the findings of the report and in suggestions to the justice ministry had proposed the creation of a truly independent body to investigate complaints, along the lines of a citizens' ombudsman.
 Greece must not become 'purgatory' of Eurozone failureAMNA--Greece must not become the 'purgatory' of the Eurozone's failure but a workshop for the collective success of the European Union's aims, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos stressed in his address to the Economist conference in Athens on Tuesday. He also proposed a 10-point plan that he said would help kickstart Greece's economy after the elections.
Venizelos, who heads one of the two junior parties in the coalition government, called for a change in the national and social way of thinking after the elections with the assistance of the political forces. He noted that the way the Greek people had cast their vote in the recent elections showed that they were against any unilateral actions and supported a revision of the more unfavourable terms of the bailout loan agreements in collaboration with Greece's EU partners.amna
PASOK's leader also stressed, once again, that Greece will fufil its commitments and added that the problem is at the heart of the economic programme. He once again supported extending the period of fiscal consolidation until 2017 but also allowing Greece, Portugal and Cyprus to benefit from decisions made at the recent EU summit for direct lending to banks for their recapitalisation.amna
He opposed a policy of reducing public-sector jobs and firing staff, with 150,000 scheduled for the current year, saying that it would be more effective to conduct an 'honest assessment' of public employees and services and make more effective use of public-sector staff and would lead to better fiscal results.
 Papoulias receives Greek-Canadian supreme court judgeAMNA--President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received Canada Supreme Court justice Andromache Karakatsanis and her husband Tom Karavanis, both members of the Greek-Canadian community, who paid him a visit accompanied by Canada's Ambassador in Athens Robert Peck.
 Task Force head says meeting with FinMin constructiveAMNA--"Task Force" head Horst Reichenbach, speaking on Tuesday after his meeting at the Finance ministry with the new minister Yiannis Stournaras, said the repayment of the State's overdue commitments to private citizens for the funding of the economy to improve constitutes the big challenge for the Finance ministry.
Asked about the state of the tax-receiving mechanism in the past months, Reichenbach replied that "we provided considerable assistance to the tax authorities and we see that there is an improvement and we are on the right path." He added, however, that "there is no technical assistance for the problem of liquidity." Also according to Reichenbach, negotiating with the troika is not the responsibility of the "Task Force", while terming the meeting with Stournaras "constructive" since the next steps in their cooperation were agreed.amna
On their part, Finance ministry circles also spoke of a constructive meeting. They said that fiscal adjustment and growth issues were raised and an exchange of views took place on the handling of malfunctions, mainly on the issue of the mechanism for the collection of revenues and of tax reform, as well as for the better control of the expenditures of the general governance. On the Greek side, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis were present at the meeting.
 PM orders abolition of ministry several special secretariatsAMNA--Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday ordered the abolition of several ministries' general secretariats and salaried committee memberships.
A statement issued by the prime minister's press office underlined that special secretariats deemed necessary will continue to operate, after being completely overhauled.
The prime minister's order will not apply to special secretariats, like the financial crimes squad SDOE, whose operation cannot be interrupted. amna
The statement underlined that in "this way, a considerable amount of money is saved for the benefit of taxpayers and the state mechanism is put in order." amna
The prime minister's decision was made after a relevant recommendation by Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis, according to AMNA reports.
 The Wednesday edition of Athens' newspapersThe Wednesday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance
The government' plan for the civil servants and the privatisations programme and Task Force chief Horst Reichenbach's statements on the course of the Greek economy, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Ministries' committees and special secretariats to be abolished".
AVGHI: "Fast(er) track... looting!".
DIMOKRATIA: "The first battle".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Blackout in citizens' pockets and queues of despair outside PPC branches".
ESTIA: "Governmental co-habitation difficult".
ETHNOS: "Who will leave the public sector until 2015".
IMERISSIA: "Signal to international markets with express privatisations".
KATHIMERINI: "Privatisations and hirings reduction in public sector"
LOGOS: "How much the Troika's visits to Greece cost the Greek markets".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Reichenbach's red card on course of economy".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Labourers' red line is the end to sacrifices for the crisis".
TA NEA: "Public sector: Haircut instead of layoffs".
VRADYNI: "360 euros unemployment benefit to unemployed professionals".
 Summer sales to begin on July 16AMNA--The annual summer sales season will open throughout Greece on Monday, July 16 and run through August 31, it was announced on Tuesday.
Summer sales offer consumers the opportunity to purchase products at discount prices. In the ten days ahead of the formal opening of the summer sales, stores can make special offers.
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