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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-09-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Public Order minister: 'A historic day for Greece and Europe'
  • [02] SYRIZA urges resort to 'people's verdict' against Golden Dawn
  • [03] FinMin, troika agree on fiscal 2013 closing, leaving major issues pending

  • [01] Public Order minister: 'A historic day for Greece and Europe'

    ANA-MPA -- There is no place in Greece for criminal organisations operating under the mantle of a political party, Public Order and Citizen Protection Ministry Nikos Dendias said on Saturday evening, referring to the arrests of 20 people affiliated with extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) party, including its leader and another four deputies on Saturday morning.

    At a press conference after the arrest of the 20, who were led before prosecutors on Saturday night, Dendias said he had orders from Prime Minsiter Antonis Samaras to continue investigations "in all directions".

    Calling Saturday "a historic day for Greece and Europe," Dendias said that events "proved to all, especially young people, that the rule of law is not bare or infirm against the crude threat of irrational violence."

    "In Greece there is no place for criminal organisations which hide under the mantle of a political party to try to conquer the country's life, undermine the state's institutions, incite ethnic hatred, cast doubt on human rights and disturb the peace," Dendias said, adding that from the very beginning of assuming his duties as minister he told parliament that Greece cannot tolerate assault battalions.

    "Despite this," he added, "Golden Dawn attempted to test the strength of democracy. It is now collecting its answer from the rule of law," and referred to his report to the Supreme Court asking for all pending suits against Golden Dawn members to be examined in totality in order to deal with the party as a criminal organisation, a neo-Nazi phenomenon. "Greek justice and Greek Police acted swiftly and decisively, and I express my deep gratitude," the minister said.

    Of the 32 warrants issued, the anti-terrorism squad is still looking for 12 people, including Golden Dawn deputy Christos Pappas, whom the Supreme Court has named as "second in command of a criminal organisation."

    [File photo, Dendias at another press conference Sept. 3]

    [02] SYRIZA urges resort to 'people's verdict' against Golden Dawn

    ANA-MPA -- In an announcement issued on Friday, main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) called for a resort to the polls as a reply to the "tacticism" of far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) and so that voters can give a "double reply to fascism and the policy of impoverishment."

    The people want an end to the immunity enjoyed by GD, SYRIZA claimed, and stressed that this required shedding full light on cases involving GD, removing far-right enclaves within the state, implementing the existing legal framework and boosting anti-racist legislation. "There is no room for half-hearted words and provocative delays," the announcement said.

    The main opposition party blamed the government for attempting to politically exploit the phenomenon represented by GD in order to further a "strategy of tension and the theory of the two extremes," at a time when Greek society was faced with the "monster of fascism and realising the massive responsibility of the police and its political leadership for the spread of Nazi violence."

    According to SYRIZA, the government's stance was "extremely dangerous and irresponsible" and led to its further isolation from the majority of the Greek people that wanted a clear answer defending democracy from its enemies.

    [03] FinMin, troika agree on fiscal 2013 closing, leaving major issues pending

    ANA-MPA -- The first stage of the troika of lenders' review of the Greek economy has been completed and the representtives are leaving Athens, with agreement having been found only on the closing of the 2013 state budget.

    According to high-level sources from the Finance ministry, following Saturday's meeting between the troika and ministry officials, negotiations will continue for the next 15-20 days through email. The Greek side must show it's proceeding in the implementation of its commitments and the lender representatives must coordinate their stance.

    Pending issues include the following:

    - The state budget for 2014, on which there is a three-prong disagreement between Greece and the troika: the draft law setting out the amount expected to be collected under the unified real estate tax, including its collectability; the initiatives needed for the health and pension funds; the General Accounting Office's assessment on "tax conformity" (meaning an increase in tax revenues because of the economy's resetting).

    - The four prior actions for the release of the 1-billion-euro tranche, which is pending since July; according to the Finance ministry source, it is already too late to place the issue of the tranche on the agenda of the Euro Working Group convening early in October.

    These include the defence industries and Larco; the mobility scheme for the public sector, especially university staff; the translation of the lawyers' code in English so the troika may review it; the state's payment of debts to the Athens and Thessaloniki water companies (which is expected to be completed within a fortnight).

    - The promotion of infrastructural changes Greece has committed to

    - The completion of the recapitalisation of the banking system and liquidity improvement in the market

    - The privatisation schedule, which the troika is requesting be accelerated and become more flexible

    - General regulations affecting health and pension funds.

    The new state budget will be tabled in Parliament on October 7 and will essentially reflect mostly the closing of the 2013 financial year, with an expected a recession of 4% (it is assessed that 2014 will show a slim rise of 0.6% in the GDP). The primary surplus is expected to come to about 100 million euros. Finance ministry sources said agreement had been reached that there will be no emergency fee levied on businesses in support of OAEE, the self-employeed and professionals insurance and pension fund, and that individuals in the armed forces and police and security personnel will not come under the unified wage regulations.

    Troika representatives will return to Greece on October 14. The troika's technical experts, however, will remain in Greece to continue negotiations with ministry officials.


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