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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-02-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] SYRIZA leader: Halt application of Memorandum immediately
  • [02] Tourism minister to make official visit to Israel on February 6
  • [03] Final decision on tax allowance for property deferred until next week
  • [04] Bank robbers linked to terrorist group
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Saturday
  • [06] TAP natgas pipeline agreement to be signed in Athens on Feb. 13
  • [07] Seamen extend strike to dawn Monday
  • [08] TAP natgas pipeline agreement to be signed in Athens on Feb. 13

  • [01] SYRIZA leader: Halt application of Memorandum immediately

    AMNA/ Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras called for an immediate halt of the application of the Memorandum, speaking at the opening session Saturday of a SYRIZA central committee meeting, and demanded that the three-party coalition government take up the issue with its EU partners.

    Prompted by the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) recent admission that a mistake had been made with the fiscal multiplier used for the Memorandum, Tsipras attacked the government for not putting forward a demand for a change of policy, and reiterated his proposal that a European conference be convened to deal with the debt problems faced also by all the countries of the EU south.

    "We've reached the point where the lenders admit the mistake and the government insists on the mistake," Tsipras said, and posed the question: "What else is the government waiting for in order to put the issue to the partners? What is the reason why we should continue to apply the mistake? Because Mr. Samaras (prime minister) said that no one is without sin, because he doesn't want to ruin Mrs. (German Chancellor) Merkel's electoral campaign? And is he condemning an entire people, an entire country, to squalor and humiliation because he has assumed the responsibility and proprietorship of the programme?'

    Tsipras defended his decision to visit and hold talks in Germany and the US recently, stressing that in his meetings in the two countries he put forward issues that no Greek government has ever done, such as the war reparations from Germany and the exercise of Greece's sovereign rights, as well as matters related to the economy and Greece's international relations.

    "The diplomacy of subjugation ends with SYRIZA, and the diplomacy of demanding the just rights of our people begins," he said.

    [02] Tourism minister to make official visit to Israel on February 6

    AMNA/ Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni will be making an official visit to Israel on February 6, during which she will be received by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    Kefaloyianni will be meeting in Tel Aviv with Israeli Tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov, for talks focusing on tourist cooperation between Greece and Israel. On the same day she will be visiting the Jerusalem Patriarchate where she will be received by Jerusalem Patriarch Theofilos.

    The Tourism minister will also be going to Bethlehem on Wednesday, where she will be having a meeting with the Tourism minister of the Palestinian Authority Roula Maayah.

    During her two-day stay in Israel, the Tourism minister will be having meetings with tour operators and will also be giving interviews to major mass media means.

    [03] Final decision on tax allowance for property deferred until next week

    AMNA/ A government meeting on Friday to discuss planned changes to property tax ended with agreement that there should be a tax allowance but deferred a final decision until next week, when another meeting will be held with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.

    The meeting on Friday was chaired by Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis, with the participation of officials from the three parties in the coalition government.

    A finance ministry announcement said the meeting had examined the proposals of various bodies and the citizens, as well as the size of the tax allowance for property. It noted that the finance ministry's aim was to ensure a fairer distribution of the tax burden by broadening the tax base and reducing the burden on individuals through a progressive taxation scale and a rationalisation of taxation of legal entities.

    [04] Bank robbers linked to terrorist group

    AMNA/ Two of four people arrested for a simultaneous armed robbery of two banks on Friday in the town of Velvento, Kozani, are wanted as suspected members of a terrorist organization, police confirmed on Saturday, a day after the counter-terrorism squad took over the investigation into the incident.

    Four people were arrested Friday after a police pursuit and another four were wanted, hours after a double bank hold-up by eight suspects of an Agricultural Bank (ATEbank) and Post Office Bank (TT-Postbank) branch in Velvento on Friday morning.

    The counter-terrorism squad took over the investigation after heavy weaponry was found in their possession.

    The four detainees were taken in for interrogation by the Thessaloniki police counter-terrorism squad, where it was found that arrest warrants were outstanding against two of the suspects for participation in the "Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire" organization, while the other two detainees are university students active in the anti-establishment sphere.

    The four detainees will be taken at the Kozani prosecutor, under draconian security measures, for indictment.

    Meanwhile, police were continuing a search by land and air to locate the other four suspects of the double bank robbery that were still at large, while an extensive investigation was being conducted in the wider Kozani region for a possible safehouse used by the suspects.

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Saturday

    AMNA/

    The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: "The numbers belie them".

    DIMOKRATIA: "The middle class in flames".

    EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: "For sale".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New arrangement for debts to social insurance funds".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The...sacred and the confidential...go to the investors".

    ELLADA: "Bankers smuggled out 3 billion euros to offshore companies".

    ESTIA: "Redistribution of wealth via disdain".

    ETHNOS: "Tax exemption for 50,000 euro on real estate".

    IMERISSIA: "Three bombs for the government - Privatizations, expenditure, taxes in the red".

    KATHIMERINI: "Turbulence due to real estate".

    LOGOS: "Scent of terrorism at Velvento".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Expensive euro and oil new threat to economy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Immediate satisfaction of the just demands of the farmers".

    TA NEA: "Where the real estate prices and taxes are heading".

    VRADYNI: "The farmers' blockades at the (coalition government parties') leaders' conference".

    6DAYS: "The first reverberations at...Villa Stournara (finance minister)".

    [06] TAP natgas pipeline agreement to be signed in Athens on Feb. 13

    AMNA/

    The interstate agreement for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will be signed by Greece, Italy and Albania on February 13 in Athens, Greece's foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced on Saturday after a meeting with the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, in Munich.

    The approx. 800-kilometer-long pipeline will transport gas from the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan through Greece (starting in Komotini), via Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.

    The signing ceremony will be attended by a representative of the Azeri government as well, at the invitation of Avramopoulos.

    According to Greek foreign ministry sources, Avramopoulos had telephone contacts on Friday night with the foreign ministers if Italy and Albania, Giulio Terzi and Edmond Panariti respectively, to finalize the relevant details, while the deliberations are continuing among the three TAP countries on the text of the final agreement. The three foreign ministers had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in materialization of the TAP project at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2012.

    In joint statements after their joint meeting, Avramopoulos underlined the great prospects for cooperation between the two countries, especially in the areas of the economy, investments and tourism, while Mammadyarov spoke of the strategic relationship between the two countries, stressing that it is necessary for the bilateral cooperation to be extended to more sectors, beyond that of natural gas.

    The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian.

    TAP's shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway's Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

    The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

    The TAP route will be approximately 800 kilometers in length (Approx.: Greece 478 km; Albania 209 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 105 km; Italy 5 km).

    Avramopoulos is in Munich for the International Security Conference, on the sidelines of which he is conducting a series of bilateral contacts with his counterparts and leaders from all over the world.

    The Munich Security Conference (MSC) was founded in 1963 and has grown into one of the most important annual gatherings for policymakers on international security

    [07] Seamen extend strike to dawn Monday

    AMNA/ Striking seamen held a demonstration in the port of Piraeus on Saturday, launching a second consecutive 48-hour strike after talks with Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis ended in a deadlock on Friday.

    A meeting between Mousouroulis and the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation on Friday fell through, prompting a 48-hour extension of the two-day strike launched on Thursday, which will end at dawn Monday, while the PNO executive committee is due to convene again on Sunday to decide its further action.

    The strikers are demanding the withdrawal of a Merchant Marine Ministry omnibus bill, the provisions of which, they say, will lead many seamen to unemployment and to the collapse of their social security/pension funds.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga addressed the seamen's rally on Saturday, charging that: "At the time when the bosses of Greek shipping are in first place world-wide, in Greece a bill is being prepared that will send the last remaining thousands of seamen to unemployment, after a series of other measures with the abolition of cabotage at their core."

    "At the time that Greece has the ability to resolve the problem of communication with the islands, a large number of our islands are facing problems in winter, but also in the summer, since the only thing they (government) care about is the smooth operation of the ships, which bring foreign exchange to the big hotels," Papariga said.

    Another protest demonstration will be staged on Sunday.

    [08] TAP natgas pipeline agreement to be signed in Athens on Feb. 13

    AMNA/

    The interstate agreement for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will be signed by Greece, Italy and Albania on February 13 in Athens, Greece's foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced on Saturday after a meeting with the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, in Munich.

    The approx. 800-kilometer-long pipeline will transport gas from the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan through Greece (starting in Komotini), via Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy.

    The signing ceremony will be attended by a representative of the Azeri government as well, at the invitation of Avramopoulos.

    According to Greek foreign ministry sources, Avramopoulos had telephone contacts on Friday night with the foreign ministers if Italy and Albania, Giulio Terzi and Edmond Panariti respectively, to finalize the relevant details, while the deliberations are continuing among the three TAP countries on the text of the final agreement. The three foreign ministers had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in materialization of the TAP project at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2012.

    In joint statements after their joint meeting, Avramopoulos underlined the great prospects for cooperation between the two countries, especially in the areas of the economy, investments and tourism, while Mammadyarov spoke of the strategic relationship between the two countries, stressing that it is necessary for the bilateral cooperation to be extended to more sectors, beyond that of natural gas.

    The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian.

    TAP's shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway's Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

    The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

    The TAP route will be approximately 800 kilometers in length (Approx.: Greece 478 km; Albania 209 km; offshore Adriatic Sea 105 km; Italy 5 km).

    Avramopoulos is in Munich for the International Security Conference, on the sidelines of which he is conducting a series of bilateral contacts with his counterparts and leaders from all over the world.

    The Munich Security Conference (MSC) was founded in 1963 and has grown into one of the most important annual gatherings for policymakers on international security


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