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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-08-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Venizelos warns against lifting homes foreclosure ban
  • [02] PM's trip to U.S. a 'failure', SYRIZA says, urges Amygdaleza inquiry
  • [03] Fire on Andros raging unchecked, village threatened

  • [01] Venizelos warns against lifting homes foreclosure ban

    ANA-MPA -- Government Vice-president, Foreign Minister and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, the junior partner in Greece's coalition government, opposed plans to end a home foreclosures ban and warned that this would "help no one" if it went ahead, in an interview with the newspaper "Proto Thema" on Sunday.

    "The ban on foreclosures must not be lifted. The primary residence of poor and middle-income households cannot be put in jeopardy," he said.

    "This would help no one - not even the banks, which want loans to be settled and serviced rather than 'knock-down sales' of the homes of this level of borrowers," he added.

    Venizelos offered assurances that there was no new austerity cuts and described the debt as "sustainable". He also dismissed euro exit scenarios as "practically foolish" and said he shared the concerns of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for "Greece's final exit from the crisis and for it to once again become self-supporting and essentially equal within Europe".

    To support his views, he pointed to the "impressive structural surplus" already achieved by Greece and the fact that all sides "must understand that the crucial figure was an increase in GDP".

    "In terms of market impressions, steadfast political support from the partners is of critical importance," he added, stressing that this support must not be seen to waver.

    [02] PM's trip to U.S. a 'failure', SYRIZA says, urges Amygdaleza inquiry

    ANA-MPA -- In announcements issued on Sunday, main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) again described the Greek prime minister's trip to the United States as a failure and also demanded an inquiry into allegations of mistreatment at the Amygdaleza migrant camp where a riot occurred just hours earlier.

    "The government tried to make a PR investment in the U.S. trip but essentially failed because [Prime Minister Antonis Samaras] neither wanted nor could stammer anything, being himself in direct confrontation with Greek society and tied to Mrs Merkel's chariot of memorandum austerity," the main opposition said.

    It warned that the two-party coalition government was preparing to lead thousands to joblessness while dismantling the social state and planning even harsher austerity measures in the autumn.

    In a separate announcement, it called for the immediate launch of an inquiry into allegations of police brutality at Amygdaleza and of injuries after the intervention of special police forces to quell the riot.

    "Greek and foreign organisations for human rights but also, more recently, the mayor of Acharnes have reported that conditions of incarceration at the Amygdaleza concentration camp are inhuman and humiliating, a fact made worse by the high temperatures," the party noted, adding that the conditions and the extension of the period of detention to 18 months pushed inmates to despair and prompted the riot.

    "This despair, as well as the riot, are the fruits of the inhuman policy of [Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias], who insists on the racist Xenios Dias and the implementation of detention even when their ineffectiveness is obvious even by the ministry's standards," the announcement added, calling for the immediate closure of camps and their replacement with open reception and hospitality centres for migrants and refugees needing international protection.

    [03] Fire on Andros raging unchecked, village threatened

    ANA-MPA -- A wildfire on the island of Andros was still raging unchecked by Sunday afternoon, continuing to pose an an imminent threat to the village of Ano Pitrofos nearby. A second fire on the island of Evia, meanwhile, was reported to be partially under control.

    Fanned by strong winds blowing over the Aegean, the fire on Andros was burning low-growing vegetation and moving rapidly toward the village, which had been evacuated as a precaution. Meanwhile, the air turbulence caused by the strong winds made it impossible for four water-bombing airplanes sent to the area to assist in the fire-fighting effort, leaving only a single helicopter to operate from the air.

    Reinforcement were continuing to arrive on Andros to help fight the fire, in addition to the 12 men flown in by Super-Puma helicopter from Athens on Sunday morning. Ten firemen were sent in from the island of Syros while five fire engines from Athens are due to arrive at 5:00 p.m. on a ferry from Rafina.

    Forces on the ground on Sunday afternoon included 20 fire-men and five fire engines, in addition to a 12-man team flown in from Athens.

    Meanwhile, the fire in Polypotamos, near the town of Karystos on Evia, was reported to be partially under control though ground forces remained on the scene to fully extinguish the flames.


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