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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-12-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece must complete current programme, Schaeuble stresses
  • [02] Skourletis: 'Majority needed for president's election does not exist'
  • [03] Prosecutor calls for fraud charge against IKA governor

  • [01] Greece must complete current programme, Schaeuble stresses

    ANA-MPA -- Future plans for Greece's economy depend on the successful completion of the current fiscal adjustment programme, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stated on Wednesday just before his meeting with Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, adding that the Eurogroup has expressed willingness to grant a precautionary credit line if the programme is successfully completed.

    "This, however, is a step that will be made after the programme is successfully completed," he reiterated, adding that Greece should continue on this path. He said that the successes so far are encouraging, for everybody, to continue on this path and he underlined the big steps of progress made by Greece, noting that the path of solidarity and reforms was painful but the right choice.

    On his part, Venizelos referred to the issue of political stability explaining that the decision to speed up the election of the Greek president was made to clear up the political situation and, in case of a successful outcome, the government to be able to work unhindered to achieve the lift-off of the Greek economy.

    "The partners know that the Greek people are ready to meet the challenge of the day after, the day after the memorandum," Venizelos underlined.

    [02] Skourletis: 'Majority needed for president's election does not exist'

    ANA-MPA -- Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) spokesman Panos Skourletis on Wednesday expressed certainty that the necessary majority of votes for the election of Greece's new president by the present Parliament cannot be secured and that the country will be led to general elections.

    Referring to the government's decision to speed up the procedure for the election of the new president, Skourletis said in a scheduled press briefing that the government, forced by developments, was trying to ensure a "dignified defeat" that will be manageable in the forthcoming general elections.

    On the nomination of Stavros Dimas, he said that the candidate selected was of lesser importance at the moment, noting that the dilemma raised was whether Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be allowed to continue the current policy or whether SYRIZA's plan will be implemented, based on a fresh mandate by the people.

    He criticised the prime minister, saying that "based on the policy he implements he is proven to be unreliable, has no plan and acts in an opportunistic manner to the detriment of the country's interests and once again tries to deceive the Greek people."

    Skourletis said that in the next two months the government will attempt to organise its own political dilemmas and hide its commitments to the lenders as they are expressed in Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis' mail, which was not refuted.

    On the debt issue, he said that the negotiation will begin not for the sake of SYRIZA or Greece, but because a discussion has to open in Europe "on its policies of the dominant economic strategies". The debt's structure (most of the debt is institutional, to the ECB and European states' central banks) "allows us to open a discussion with a political approach," he said.

    Skourletis denied the rumors that DIMAR President Fotis Kouvelis will be a presidential candidate in the third round of the election in parliament, noting that DIMAR's and Kouvelis' stance on the issue is clear.

    On the likelihood that ultra-right Golden Dawn MPs will support Stavros Dimas' candidacy, Skourletis responded that it will be unprecedented to use their votes for the election of Greece's president.

    A meeting of SYRIZA's Political Secretariat focusing on the party's election campaign was scheduled to take place at noon, while regional party conferences in Crete, Thessaly and Peloponnese will take place during the weekend.

    [03] Prosecutor calls for fraud charge against IKA governor

    ANA-MPA -- Social Insurance Fund (IKA) governor Rovertos Spyropoulos could face charges for breach of faith and aggravated fraud against the state, according to a proposal tabled to a Judicial Council by the prosecutor investigating the case of a supermarket chain with million-euro debts to the social insurance organisation, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The case file concerns a decision by Spyropoulos to lift the confiscation order of bank accounts that belonged to "Arvanitidis" supermarket chain even though the company owed to IKA 18 million euros in contributions.

    According to the prosecutor, the two company owners should be charged with moral complicity.

    The decision made by Spyropoulos to lift the confiscation of the bank accounts in question, caused damages to the social insurance organization, considering that within a few days after the decision, large amounts, that could have been impounded to repay the debt, disappeared from the company's bank accounts, the prosecutor underlined.

    Spyropoulos denies all charges against him, maintaining that all his actions were legal. He underlined that he asked that the confiscation order be lifted to give time to the company to settle its outstanding debts and backpay to its employees, enter a settlement with IKA and avoid bankruptcy.

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