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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-11-15

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] High court overturns naturalisation law
  • [02] Nimetz invites Greek, FYROM representatives to talks at UN next week
  • [03] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies
  • [04] Domestic banking system poised to turn corner, BoG chief writes in WSJ
  • [05] Gov't hails HP-Cosco deal centred on port of Piraeus
  • [06] BoG chief: Greek banking system poised to turn a corner
  • [07] Ancient burial sites found in Faliro Delta
  • [08] Rare letters by 1821 revolution hero Georgios Karaiskakis up for auction

  • [01] High court overturns naturalisation law

    AMNA / A draft law prescribing stricter criteria for acquisition of Greek citizenship will be presented within the month, according to an announcement by the prime minister's office on Wednesday, hours after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras himself ordered the relevant interior minister to immediately implement a Council of State (CoS) ruling that overturned a controversial naturalisation law passed by the previous PASOK government.

    The Council of State ruled on Tuesday that the so-called "Ragoussis law" streamlining the process for acquiring Greek citizenship by third country foreign nationals -- ostensibly aimed at long-term migrants in the country -- was unconstitutional, particularly the provisions allowing for legal immigrants to vote and stand in local and regional elections. Yannis Ragoussis was the former interior minister in the Papandreou government, and now former MP, who introduced the bill.

    According to 2010 law, citizenship was granted in one of two ways: either to a child born in and residing in Greece of parents who are citizens of a third country and who legally live in Greece for at least five years (a Greek by birth clause); or, to a child of foreign nationals who has successfully completed six grades in a Greek school and who lives in Greece permanently (Greek by naturalisation).

    The Ragoussis law was ruled incompatible with the Constitution because it did not allow for a case-by-case examination of whether the applicant had an actual affinity to the Greek state, a prerequisite that justices ruled should be included in considerations.

    Ruling New Democracy party had sharply criticised the law at the time it was introduced, pledging to overturn it if elected to power.

    PASOK reaction

    Commenting on the prime minister's directive, a spokeswoman for PASOK, a junior coalition partner backing the current government, said the party will await the publication of the Court of State decision.

    "Obviously, no legal initiative could be assumed by the government in haste and without the agreement of parties supporting it," PASOK representative Fofi Gennimata said on Wednesday.

    Gennimata also said that that ties of legal immigrants living for years in Greece with their children is a reality that the state cannot overlook. She added that safeguarding of the rights of immigrants' children growing up in Greece was a priority for the socialist party.

    "Greek society should be an open, modern, a European society, because that's the only way it can truly champion its national identity," Gennimata noted.

    SYRIZ: PM 'adopting agenda of hate'

    The government and the prime minister specifically "are adopting the agenda of hate and fear set by ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi)," main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) charged on Wednesday.

    In an announcement, it said "the government is rushing to annul the Ragousis law on citizenship before the ruling by the Council of State has even been (officially) published."

    Despite its flaws and vagueness, SYRIZA said, the law was the only relatively progressive legislatiion of recent years. To "deny thousands of our compatriots their fundamental rights is not just an act of flagrant injustice, it also undermines the cohesion of society in its totality," the party stated.

    Gov't spokesman replies

    Responding to the leftist party's charges, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou countered that "there is nothing 'progressive' in a country that is defenceless to whoever wants to settle in it without any control or legal conditions ... Greece is a democracy, and its citizens' rights cannot be made equal to those who enter the country illegally. All issues will be dealt by a legislative initiative that will include cooperation with coalition parties as well," he said.amna

    [02] Nimetz invites Greek, FYROM representatives to talks at UN next week

    AMNA--The UN Secretary General's personal envoy in the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz has invited the chief negotiators of the two countries, Ambassadors Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece and Zoran Jolevski of FYROM to meet with him at the UN headquarters in New York on November 19 and 20, and both sides have accepted the invitation, a UN announcement said on Wednesday.amna

    According to the announcement, Nimetz will meet with the two representatives separately and jointly, with the purpose of assessing the state of the UN-brokered talks and aiming at progress in the search for a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue.

    [03] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    A prospective tax on retirement superannuations, the recession in the economy for the 5th straight year and the government's efforts to attract investments were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Thursday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Disbursement of the 31.5 billion euro tranche certain by the end of November".

    AVGHI: "They've turned us back to the drachma GDP".

    DIMOKRATIA: "Kicks for Venizelos - Angry small-scale holders of Greek bonds, who saw their life's earnings diminished, lashed out when they saw the former finance minister outside the central Bank of Greece (BoG) on Wednesday afternoon".

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "Layoffs via ATM".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: ""New 'haircut' on retirement superannuations and severance pay via Tax Bureau".

    ELLADA: "Simitis (former PASOK prime minister) spirit in Samaras (current PM) body".

    ESTIA: "Shocking (newspaper) article from 80 years ago".

    ETHNOS: "New cut to retirement superannuation via 10-45 percent tax".

    IMERISSIA: "Moves for growth".

    KATHIMERINI: "Naturalization issue divides the government".

    LOGOS: "Bomb from (IIF chief) Charles Dallara".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Recession in the economy out of control".

    NIKI: "13 landmark rulings that save the bank borrowers".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Struggle for welfare structures based on the needs of the persons with disabilities".

    TA NEA: 'Haircut again to retirement superannuations and severance pay".

    VRADYNI: "All the changes on taxation of real estate and rents".

    6 DAYS: "New measures will mean collapse (of coalition government)".

    [04] Domestic banking system poised to turn corner, BoG chief writes in WSJ

    AMNA / Greece's domestic banking system is poised to turn a corner, and the broader economy will follow, central Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos noted in an article appearing in a guest column in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Wednesday.

    He said that the country's reform process is creating a leaner, structured banking sector, which will bring new confidence for depositors and renewed access to capital markets, and opined that three large, strong banks and a few smaller banks will remain on the Greek market, forming the basis of the country's banking system.

    This development in the Greek banking sector matters a great deal both to Greece and the rest of Europe, he wrote, stressing that returning Greece to growth is the lever that will finally address the country's challenges: from its debt burden to its budget deficit and rising unemployment.

    With the Greek banks well on their way to recovery, the general economy will follow, he opined: ""As Greek banks turn the page on a very difficult chapter in their history, the broader economy will follow." amna

    [05] Gov't hails HP-Cosco deal centred on port of Piraeus

    AMNA / Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday publicly praised an agreement between Hewlett-Packard, Cosco and TrainOSE to use Cosco's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub to distribute the electronics giant's products in central Europe, Middle East, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and eastern Europe.

    The Greek premier, speaking after a meeting with representatives of the three companies and in the presence of Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis, said the agreement was a "vote of confidence" for Greece in this effort towards an economic recovery, stressing that the agreement reasserted the role that the country can plan with its infrastructure in the global business map.

    "I believe that our country can make it, when its production capacity is dynamically modernised, as this significant decision taken by the three partners shows," Samaras said.

    The agreement was presented to the Greek PM by HP's senior vice-president, Tony Prophet, and Cosco chief executive Capt. Fu Cheng Qiu.

    Under the agreement, HP will distribute its products by maritime transport to Cosco's terminal in Piraeus and then by rail using TrainOSE's adjacent rail infrastructure. The agreement coincides with the completion of a rail line linking the port of Piraeus with the country's inter-European railway networks.

    HP's logistics and transport business totals 50 billion US dollars, of which the biggest part cover activities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

    According to initial estimates, the agreement can increase local volume by 50 percent for the port and create hundreds of new jobs.amna

    [06] BoG chief: Greek banking system poised to turn a corner

    AMNA--Greece's banking system is poised to turn a corner, and the broader economy will follow, central Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos noted in an article appearing in a guest column in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newspaper on Wednesday.

    He said that the country's reform process is creating a leaner, structured banking sector, which will bring new confidence for depositors and renewed access to capital markets, and opined that three large, strong banks and a few smaller banks will remain on the Greek market, forming the basis of the country's banking system.

    This development in the Greek banking sector matters a great deal both to Greece and the rest of Europe, he wrote, stressing that returning Greece to growth is the lever that will finally address the country's challenges: from its debt burden to its budget deficit and rising unemployment.amna

    With the Greek banks well on their way to recovery, the general economy will follow, he opined: ""As Greek banks turn the page on a very difficult chapter in their history, the broader economy will follow."amna

    The next step, he said, will be to recapitalize Greece's most important banks. "Once that process is complete, it will mean stronger, well-capitalized banks, new confidence for depositors, and renewed access to capital markets," he said, adding that he expected that three large, strong banks and a few smaller banks would form the basis of Greece's banking system.

    [07] Ancient burial sites found in Faliro Delta

    AMNA / Pre-classical era remains of graves and funeral pyres were discovered during excavations on the site where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre will be built, where the old horse-track stood at the Faliro Delta site in southern coastal Athens.

    The findings, including clay funereal jar objects, are dated to the 7th and 6th centuries BC and were found in the area enclosed by Filippou, Evrypidou, Sachtouri Streets and Poseidonos and Syngrou Boulevard. The artifacts were transferred elsewhere and the trenches will be refilled.

    The Niarchos complex is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and will be entirely financed by the foundation, which has calculated its cost at around 566 million euros. It will include new buildings for the National Library and the National Opera House and a 42-acre park, and is expected to be completed by 2015.amna

    [08] Rare letters by 1821 revolution hero Georgios Karaiskakis up for auction

    AMNA--A rare collection of letters written by Georgios Karaiskakis, the revolutionary hero and a top general in Greece's 1821 war of independence against Ottoman rule, is being put up for auction by the P. Vergos auction house next week on Wednesday, November 21.

    The collection includes seven letters addressed to a committee of refugees from Psara on the island of Aegina, one to the Greek Command and one to the British general Richard Church.

    One of the letters includes an account of the victorious battle of Arachova that had just been won by the Greeks on November 24, 1826 in what would be one of the key moments of the Greek revolution.amna

    In his account, Karaiskakis describes arriving in Arachova on the 18th of the same month and waging a five-hour battle that trapped the Turkish forces on a barren, rocky slope without food, water and supplies, where they remained under siege for seven days before they attempted a charge earlier that morning. amna

    He then recounts how Greek forces took up their positions and slew approximately 1,300 of the enemy, naming several leaders of the Turkish forces (whose heads would be sent on in a second letter) that were killed. He also reports taking some important captives and how Greek troops shared a wealth of spoils and loot, including a thousand horses.

    His letter to the Greek Command on March 4, 1826 betrays his bitterness at being sidelined by the leaders of the Greek revolution while that to Church on April 18, 1827 is among the last he ever wrote since he died of wounds sustained in battle just five days later.amna

    Letters by Karaiskakis are extremely rare and very few have been put up for auction to date.


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