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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] ‘Villa Amalia' sparks intense political confrontation
  • [02] Visas to Greece issued in Russia up 30 pct in 2012

  • [01] ‘Villa Amalia' sparks intense political confrontation

    AMNA -- Following a successful police operation on Wednesday morning to remove a large number of squatters occupying a central Athens building known as "Villa Amalia," Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters that the government "will not allow the forces of anarchy and chaos to upset the country's course to recovery." He added the government will not tolerate the idea of squatting.

    Dendias described as even more serious another occupation, that of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) party offices, on central Ag. Konstantinou St., on Wednesday morning, as DIMAR is a parliamentary party and member of the current coalition government. The occupation ended after a police operation. More than 140 persons in total were taken to police headquarters.amna

    Main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party issued a statement in which it condemned the DIMAR offices occupation, but charged that the government was attempting to disorientate citizens attention from other major issues.

    "At a time that households do not have to pay for heating and dozens of businesses are shutting down and millions of jobless are crashed in society's margins," it is ridiculous for the government to use the Villa Amalia, abandoned for the past 22 years, "as a number one issue," the statement said.amna

    Commenting on SYRIZA's announcement, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said it was inconceivable for the main opposition party to offer support to acts of violence and anarchy.

    "At last, SYRIZA should clarify whether the party covers up the so-called 'koukouloforoi' (masked anarchists). A hypocritical condemnation of the DIMAR offices occupation is just not enough, as violence is never symbolic," the spokesman stressed.amna

    The New Democracy party press office later in the afternoon issued an announcement in which it said that "it is now clear that SYRIZA uses all its energy to establish its position in one of two extremes, either by supporting of and participating in illegal acts by its political comrades."

    "SYRIZA's people and leader Alexis Tsipras should realise that…the days they could burn down Athens and citizens' properties are over," ND said.

    In response, SYRIZA said in another statement that the "row of lies" continues. "The struggles to defend democracy will win over fear," it stressed.

    [02] Visas to Greece issued in Russia up 30 pct in 2012

    AMNA – The number of visas issued to Russian tourists visiting Greece in 2012 increased by almost 30 pct, to 581,984, compare to a year earlier, according to Greece's Consul in Moscow, Yiannis Plotas.

    In addition, "multiple visas, issued for special categories of citizens making frequent trips to Greece and countries of the Schengen area also increased by as much as 90 pct," Plotas said.amna

    Based on initial reservations and data from cooperating tour operators, the Consul estimated that tourism from Russia to Greece in the current year will be up some 20 pct.

    A similar positive trend is recorded in tourist numbers from the Ukraine to Greece, as the visas to Greece issued by the Greek Consulate in Kiev jumped by more than 104 pct in 2012, compared to 2011.amna

    Especially Kiev has set an all-time record in December 2012, with visas issued to Greece skyrocketing a massive 784.49 pct (to 5,590 from 632), which just shows the increased Ukrainian and Russian interest to visit Greece also during the Christmas period.


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