|Monday, 19 February 2018|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-11-26
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 'Reserved optimism' for crucial Eurogroup meetingAMNA/ The Greek government holds 'reserved optimism' over the outcome of a crucial Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers in the early afternoon Monday in Brussels.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras held another round of telephone deliberations with his EU counterparts on Sunday night ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on the long-awaited solution to the Greek debt problem.
According to unconfirmed reports, Samaras has over the last few days been holding talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde, in search of common ground between the IMF and Germany over the sustainability of the Greek debt.
The finance ministers held telephone talks on Saturday evening, while a Eurozone working group held consultations over the weekend, preparing the final stages of a solution.
Also, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on private BFM television station on Sunday that the EU was close to an agreement on the Greek debt. "Indeed, I believe that we are close to a solution. To not reach one on Monday (Eurogroup meeting) would not be responsible, taking in mind the efforts everyone had made," he said.
"I don't know if there will be agreement tomorrow, but it is feasible, and I desire this," Moscovici added.
 KKE celebrates 94th anniversary of its foundingAMNA/
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), sworn enemy of capitalism, has forged its endurance on ties of blood with the working class, party leader Aleka Papariga said on Sunday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro, where the KKE celebrated the 94th anniversary of its founding.
"No party can survive for 94 years just because its cadres and members want it so," Papariga said. Instead, it must rely on two factors, "First, our unwavering faith in the revolutionary theory of marxism-leninism and the principle of proletarian internationalism.[...] We have been unwavering in [our support of] exploited peoples, and sworn enemies of capitalism. We have rejected compromise and Eurocommunism."
Second, she added, "the KKE is the conscious organised forefront of the working class, of the pioneering revolutionary class in an era of transition from capitalism to socialism. Its endurance was forged on ties of blood with the working class, the people."
The KKE led in great events of national and international significance and its ideals and sacrifices "inspired revolutionary scientists, intellectuals and artists" who left behind a cultural treasure for the younger generations, she said.
Referring to the party's refusal in May 2012 to support a coalition government "masquerading as a 'union of the Left' or 'a Leftist government'", Papariga attacked Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party for a double message of "not doubting the European Union's monopoly-capitalist nature, on paper, while in practice casting doubt only on Germany's domination in the Eurozone."
The KKE could never support or participate in a government that "trumpets national independence and dignity as the EU has decided that the imperialist European Community law overrules the national one; a government that believes that there are good monopolies and good capitalists and in a EU that officially supports an ideology that equates fascism with communism and supports Cuba's embargo," Papariga said.
Speeches from Spanish and Turkish communist parties
Stability, consistency of positions, ideological purity and the party's struggles make the KKE an example for communists the world over, said Julio Diaz, of the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, at the Stadium event.
Based on past experiences, the communists know that the class enemy will not give up power peacefully, thus the only solution is for the working class to take power along with its allies, and to break with imperialist organisations like the EU and NATO.
Communist Party of Turkey (KKT) representative Kemal Okuyan said that the ruling party in Turkey has begun a war against workers with a combination of capitalism and Islamism while nurturing neo-Ottoman delusions, and has declared war on the peoples of the area with the support of the United States. "Long live the brotherhood of the workers of Greece and Turkey, long live the brotherhood of KKE-KKT, long live revolution and socialism," he said.
 Alt. FinMin calls for 'clean, effective' solutionAMNA/ Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras calls for a "clean and effective solution" to the Greek debt problem, in an interview with RealNews newspaper appearing the paper's Sunday edition, adding that only this way will the solution also be convincing.
He also expresses hope that German chancellor Angela Merkel will finally take a "macro and micro approach" to the issue, noting that he expects Monday's Eurogroup meeting to give answers to the problem of the outstanding tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan to Greece, since "the lenders have no alibi after the consistent stance of the cooperation government".
 Athens Newspaper Headlines on MondayAMNA/
The Eurogroup meeting on Greece scheduled for early Monday afternoon in Brussels and the provisions of the new tax bill were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Monday.
DIMOKRATIA: "Taxes to the extremes".
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "In the vise of the EU and IMF".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "They're withdrawing the taxes on the lump sum retirement superannuity and severance pay".
ESTIA: "Europe without a compass - The consequences for Greece are devastating".
ETHNOS: "The agreement in the hands of the two ladies (German chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF chief Christine Lagarde)".
IMERISSIA: "Everything at stake today".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Yes to reduction of interest rates, bonds buy-back".
TA NEA: "Hopes of agreement in Brussels".
VRADYNI: "Pensions: All the changes for free-lance professionals".
6DAYS: "All three (coalition government parties) in a free-fall".
 Migrant traffickers arrested in Alexandroupolis, KomotiniAMNA/ Greek authorities on Sunday announced the arrest of four individuals suspected of bringing illegal migrants into Greece, during an operation by Alexandroupolis security police and a Rodopi DIAS police team. The four arrested were a 22-year-old Syrian national, a 17-year-old Albanian national, a Greek man aged 19 and a Greek woman aged 20.
They are accused of bringing 10 illegal migrants into the country, five from Iraq and five from Pakistan.
The arrests were made after police flagged down two private cars moving along a country road near Alexandroupolis, one driven by the 19-year-old and the second by the 22-year-old.
The 19-year-old driver stopped the vehicle and both he and his 17-year-old accomplice got out and attempted to flee in order to escape arrest but did not succeed. Checking their vehicle, police found that the two perpetrators were carrying five illegal migrants into the country.
The second driver did not comply with the signal to stop and initially got away, whereupon police issued an area-wide alert and the car was spotted by a DIAS police patrol shortly afterward on the eastern Komotini intersection of the Egnatia highway, where authorities successfully arrested the 22-year-old driver and the 20-year-old woman. Another five illegal migrants being carried into the interior of Greece were found in the second car.
Police also confiscated the two vehicles, three cell phones and the sum of 515 euros and 500 dollars.
The four arrested will be led before a public prosecutor, while a preliminary inquiry is being conducted by the Alexandroupolis Border Police department in Feres.
 Gorgopotamos bridge blow-up commemoratedAMNA/ The 70th anniversary of the destruction of the Gorgopotamos bridge in south-central Greece by Greek resistance fighters and British commandos, the pre-eminent wartime act of resistance against the Nazi occupation of the country, was celebrated on Sunday at the site.
Attending the ceremony were representatives of the presidency of the republic, Parliament and the parties except Radical Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA), which laid a wreath at the statue of Aris Velouchiotis, one of the leaders of the Greek People's Liberation Army, in Lamia on Saturday. The government was also not represented at the event, for the first time.
The event was organised by the municipality of Lamia and the Region of Mainland Greece and attended by resistance fighters organisations, whose speakers called on people to show the same unity as that required for Gorgopotamos.
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