|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-30
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM Samaras says hope being reborn in countryAMNA/ Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in an article in the Real News newspaper, refers to the battles that Greece must win in 2013.
"Until a short while ago Greece showed signs of dissolution internally while nobody trusted it abroad," the prime minister said, adding that all this has changed today since hope is beginning to be reborn in the country, while reliability has been restored abroad.
Samaras further said that what must be won is "the battle of growth, the battle of social cohesion, the battle of competitiveness, the battle of security, the battle of justice".
According to the prime minister the big wager is "for us to believe in our value and strength. To remain united, so as to take the country's fate in our hands again".
 Venizelos: Optimism for new year, but warns 'crisis is not over yet'AMNA/ PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos expressed optimism on Greece's course and also his party's course in the new year, in articles appearing in the Sunday editions of 'Eleftheros Typos' and 'RealNews' newspapers, although he acknowledged that "the crisis is not over yet".
Venizelos wrote that 2013 is the year of Greece's turnabout, noting particularly the first half of the year will be very difficult, calling it "the dusk and dawn of the crisis", but added that he is optimistic that "it will be the half-year of liberation from the vicious circle of recession".
He outlined the hardships that the Greek people will face in the first half of the year, describing it as the "half-year of the additional income cuts to salaries and pensions, of the new tax regulations, the new electricity rates and the more expensive heating fuel".
Despite the difficulties, however, Venizelos expressed optimism that 2013 will be "the year of the national recovery" but also the year of PASOK's political recovery, as it is the time when the party's "nationally and socially responsible choices" will be "fairly assessed".
 SYRIZA leader: Greece's future extremely gloomy, unless...AMNA/ Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader Alexis Tsipras, in an article in the Real News newspaper, characterises Greece's future as being extremely gloomy unless it raises by itself the issue openly and publicly that "the policy of the harsh fiscal restrictions that has been imposed through the memorandums causes a vicious circle of uncontrolled recession that will only end with social ruin and uncontrolled default".
Tsipras added that Greece must "play a leading role in seeking alliances and a plan for a European-wide exit from the debt crisis, with societies remaining upright".
 Low shopper turnout on last Sunday of yearAMNA/ Shops throughout Greece opened on Sunday, the last Sunday of the year, despite a strike called by shop employees, but merchants expressed concern over the low turnover rather than the strike.
According to figures from the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE), shopper turnout was much lower than last Sunday (the Sunday before Tuesday's Christmas holiday). The figures were collected via a survey conducted throughout the entire holiday season, which will then be processed and forwarded to the Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks ministry in the context of the dialogue that has commenced on allowing shops to open on Sundays.
"The weather was the cherry on the cake," ESEE president Vassilis Korkidis told AMNA, noting that shopper turnout on the market was low, with the Christmas market rates some 15-20 percent lower than last year nationwide, while the Piraeus market was some 25 percent lower than the Christmas season last year.
The federation of private employees called a 24-hour strike on Sunday and staged a protest demonstration in Athens' main commercial street of Ermou, near Syntagma Square.
According to the holiday shop hours announced by merchant federations, shops were to remain open to 6:00 p.m. open Sunday, while on Monday, New Year's eve, shops would be running from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Shops will remain closed on Tuesday (New Year's Day) and Wednesday, and will return to normal shop hours on Thursday, January 3.
 28 arrests in operation against major drug trafficking ringAMNA/ Police on Sunday launched a major operation in Thessaloniki, Volos and Agrinio and made 28 arrests in a major drug trafficking ring.
Three police officers were among the arrestees in the operation, which was continuing.
 Defendant in Lavrentiadis case released after testimonyAMNA -- Constantine Ballis, a defendant in the case concerning insecure loans, has been released following his voluntary testimony before the investigator in the case regarding Proton Bank's loans to companies of interest to Lavrentis Lavrentiadis.amna
Ballis, who appeared voluntarily before the 2nd special investigator and made his testimony, reportedly delivered evidence on the Lavrentiadis case.
Ballis is being accused of involvement in two loans for 20 and 70 million euros respectively.
 Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glanceAMNA/ Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance
The developments in the case of the so-called 'Lagarde list' of Greeks with large bank deposits abroad and the implication of former PASOK finance minister George Papaconstantinou (the finance minister at the time that Greece took recourse to the EU/IMF bailout loan and Memorandum of severe austerity measures) dominated the front-page headlines in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
AGGELIOFOROS: "The difficulties that 2013 will bring, analyses for EU, Greece".
AVGHI: "They're burning 'burnt' cards to save themselves - Referral of only Papaconstantinou (former PASOK finance minister) over the Lagarde list a fiasco".
DIMOKRATIA: "The authentic Lagarde list blows everything sky-high - Nuclear explosion for the IMF duo".
EPOCHI: "Molotov...list - Venizelos (PASOK leader), Papandreou (former prime minister, ex PASOK leader) jointly to blame, as well as Samaras (current prime minister) and New Democracy (Samaras-headed ND party) for knowing but keeping silent".
ETHNOS: "He, they and the mysteries of the Lagarde list - The burning report of the prosecutors and the SDOE (finance ministry's financial crimes squad) submitted to parliament".
EXPRESS: "Organizational changes in tourism sector - Transfer of authorities from EOT (Greek National Tourism Organization) to (tourism) ministry foreseen in bill".
KATHIMERINI: "The Lagarde list ignites developments - The behind-the-scenes of Papaconstantinou's implication and the new field of investigation of the judicial authorities".
LOGOS: "Alaska-size deposits off Crete - Scenarios of mythical deposits".
NIKI: "Earn good money from your bank deposits - New opportunities following the recapitalization of the banks".
PROTO THEMA: "Wanted: The unbelievable liar and arrogant Papaconstantinou - Dragged by the ear to Special Court and Korydallos prison".
REALNEWS: "He burned Greece to cover up for the family - The 'cousin' to face court - Papaconstantinou interview".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Message from KKE (Communist Party of Greece) to the people for the new year - May 2013 be the year of the people's emancipation".
TO PARON: "Papaconstantinou to face felony charges of tampering with and concealing public documents - He purposely altered the (Lagarde) list to save himself and his relatives - No issue of statute of limitations expiry".
TO VIMA: "Interview with Stournaras (finance minister) - Ultimatum to those on the lists (of Greeks with large deposits abroad): Bring back the money to save yourselves - Announces assets registry as of the new year".
VRADYNI: "Social security guide - New Year begins with upsets for old and new insured".
 FinMin urges return of Greek deposits from abroadAMNA/ Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras urged Greek depositors who have sent their money abroad to bring it back to Greece now that the conditions have returned to normal, but warned them not to expect 'amnesty', in an interview with the Sunday To Vima newspaper.
"Now that the conditions have normalized, all those who withdrew their deposits from the Greek banks should return them. This will be not only to the benefit of the national interest, but to their own benefit as well," Stournaras said, adding that an assets register "for everyone" will be introduced in 2013.
He ruled out any kind of tax amnesty, however, for the repatriation of capital sent abroad.
Stournaras said that the factors that will determine the course in 2013 will be the determination of the prime minister and the leaders of the two other parties supporting the coalition government and an acceleration of all the necessary changes to the state and the economy. "The fact that we distanced the danger of a return to the drachma does not mean that our national effort has ended. The struggle now begins to put in operation a new productive model that will support innovation, extroversion and entrepreneurship and will ensure an increase of employment," he said.
Asked about the high rate of unemployment among young people, Stournaras said that the economy at this time was still full of isolated islets of privileged professions that held the doors to their professions closed to younger people.
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