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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND's Mitsotakis repeats call for early elections, addressing Parliament
  • [02] Police clash with anti-establishment rioters in Exarchia, Syntagma Square
  • [03] Open letter to European leaders to help Greece, wrap up review

  • [01] ND's Mitsotakis repeats call for early elections, addressing Parliament

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis launched a full frontal assault on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his address to lawmakers in Parliament on Sunday, while dismissing the proposed measures in the draft tax and pension reforms bill as bound to fail.

    "In this country it has now become a historic necessity to speak the language of truth," he said and noted that the country was now being asked to take additional measures by its creditors as a "premier's personal unreliability clause".

    "There are lies, damned lies and Mr. Tsipras," he said, paraphrasing Mark Twain, citing the prime minister's earlier promises and accused the Labour and Social Insurance Minister George Katrougalos of "amoralism of the worst kind," noting that he had in the past gone to court over measures that he was now proposing.

    "The measures we are voting on today are the bill for your delays, ineptitude and the end of 2014 there was no demand to reduce main pensions, only supplementary pensions," he said.

    He criticised the proposed measures, saying they relied too heavily on taxation and would not allow a return to growth, while noting that the pension system reforms did not touch the so-called "aristocratic funds" that burdened the system, calling for a reduction in spending.

    Greece needed a reduction of taxation and a reduction of state spending, Mitsotakis said, whereas the government's bill increased taxes and contributions, leading to an inevitable increase of tax evasion and contribution evasion.

    "This bill is the epitome of you took you nine months to deliver this mess," he added, noting that the proposed measures cut pensions of those retiring from now on, "wiped out" the self-employed, mocked farmers and reduced the real income of all workers, as well as their tax-free allowance. "Will this, perhaps, be the last intervention? Unfortunately, the precise opposite is true. It is certain that the citizens' sacrifices will be for naught," he said.

    According to Mitsotakis, there was another way and hope, "a way of truth, an agreement of truth that addresses the biggest problem in relations between politicians and society, which is a problem of trustworthiness. The country must create wealth and not redistribute poverty."

    The fiscal policy mix chosen by the government would not achieve this and the precautionary measures demanded by the creditors would be made mandatory, he added.

    "Unfortunately, the creditors are also responsible for this development because they have accepted a package of tax raids that they know will not bring a result and demanding additional measures, so that the total of measures reaches 12 billion," he said, promising that ND will reduce taxes and repeating his demand for elections.

    [02] Police clash with anti-establishment rioters in Exarchia, Syntagma Square

    Nine people were detained during clashes with anti-establishment protestors in Athens' Exarchia area and the protest rally in Syntagma Square on Sunday, the Hellenic Police (ELAS) announced.

    Six were detained during violence that erupted in Exarchia at around 22:30 on Sunday night near Stournari and Bouboulinas Street, where the rioters set up makeshift barricades using burning dumpsters and attacked police with fire bombs and other objects.

    Three had been detained earlier during incidents around Syntagma Square.

    ELAS said that around 50 people currently remain in Exarchia Square but calm has been restored throughout.

    Police also announced the launch of an investigation into the injury of Popular Unity (LAE) Political Secretariat Sofi Papadogianni, who claimed she was hit on the head by a teargas canister while peacefully protesting in Syntagma Square.

    [03] Open letter to European leaders to help Greece, wrap up review

    Dozens of academics, analysts, politicians, journalists and trade unionists throughout the world have appealed to European leaders and European institutions - including those conducting the ongoing negotiations with Greece - to change their stance and agree to disburse loans to the country, avoiding additional austerity measures, delivering humanitarian aid and restructuring Greece's debt in the current year.

    In an open letter, they noted that this was necessary in order to avoid provoking a suffocation Greece and its democratically elected government under the pressure of permanent demands by its creditors to service the debt.

    "The catastrophic humanitarian situation in Greece has been known for some time. Added to it are the unusual burdens borne by the Greek people for the reception and care of refugees. In this situation, Greece needs the real support of its European neighbours and not additional measures for cuts. After years of deprivation and economic collapse, to ask these is political blindness to reality, is economically inexcusable and unacceptable to demand of the Greek people," the letter says.

    The letter was reproduced by the German economic magazine and is addressed to the leaders of several large EU countries, including the UK's David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

    The list of those that have signed the letter so far is given below:

    Nicola Acocella, Roma, Italia, economist

    Elmar Altvater, Berlin, Germany, political economist, member of the scientific council of ATTAC-Germany

    Antoine Artous, Paris, France, political scientist

    Étienne Balibar, Paris, France, philosopher

    Thomas Barth, Ilmmünster/München, Germany, sociologist

    Rudolph Bauer, Bremen, Germany, sociologist, publicist

    Seyla Benhabib, Yale, USA, philosopher, political scientist

    Stefan Bestmann, Berlin, Germany, social research

    Jacques Bidet, Paris, France, philosopher

    Hans-Jürgen Bieling, Tübingen, Germany, political scientist

    Gretchen Binus, Berlin, Germany, economist

    Joachim Bischoff, Hamburg, Germany, sociologist and journalist

    Heinz – J. Bontrup, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wirtschaftswissenschaftler

    Andreas.Botsch, Berlin, Germany, economist

    Miriam Boyer, Berlin, Germany, sociologist, social scientist

    Reiner Braun, Berlin, Germany, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB)

    Michael Brie, Schöneiche, Germany, philosopher

    Andrea Brock, Hürth, Germany, international relations

    Susan Buck-Morss, New York, USA, philosopher, intellectual historian

    Judith Butler, Berkely, Calif., USA, philosopher

    Claude Calame, Paris, France, social anthropologist

    Mario Candeias, Berlin, Germany, political scientist

    Patrice Cohen-Séat, Paris, France, lawyer, honorary president of Espaces-Marx

    Laurence Cox, Dublin, Eire, sociologist

    Alexis Cukier, Strasbourg, France, philosopher

    Rolf Czeskleba-Dupont, Hvals, Danmark, geographer

    Bo Dahlqvist, Waterloo, Belgium, student

    Georgios Daremas, Athens, Hellas, member of the Executive Committee of Attac-Hellas

    Nick Dearden, London, Great Britain, campaigner, director of a democratic justice organisation

    Judith Dellheim, Berlin, Germany, political economist

    Andreas Diers, Bremen, Germany, historian

    Stéphane Douailler, Paris, France, philosopher

    Sebastian Dullien, Berlin, Germany, economist

    Rolf Eckart, München, Germany, social activist

    Roland Erne, Dublin, Eire, Senior Lecturer, School of Business, University College Dublin

    Trevor Evans, Berlin, Germany, economist

    Michael Ewert, München, Germany, Germanist

    Jean Louis Fabiani, Budapest, Magyar Hungary, sociologist / social anthropologist

    Karl Fischbacher, Wien, Austria, Labournet-Austria

    Nancy Fraser, New York, USA, critical theorist,

    Hans-Peter Gase, München, Germany, member of "Sozialforum München"

    Dorothea Härlin, Berlin, Germany, member of „Berliner Wassertisch"

    Peter Herrmann, Roma, Italia, social scientist

    Gustav Horn, Düsseldorf, Germany, economist

    Claus-Dieter König, Brussel/Bruxelles, Belgium, director of the Brussels office of a foundation

    Joachim Klein, Offenbach, Germany, political theory and philosophy

    Jürgen Klute, Herne, Ex-MEP, Germany

    Sudhir Kumar, Chennai, India, architect

    Jeremy Leaman, Loughborough, Great Britain, European Political Economy

    Steffen Lehndorff, Duisburg, Germany, social researcher

    Jürgen Leibiger, Radebeul, Germany, economist

    Brian Leslie, Tunbridge Wells, Great Britain, economist

    Jakic Ljubomir, Bruxelles, Belgium, journalist

    Camille Louis, Paris, France, philosopher and dramaturgist

    Alberto Martínez Sánchez, Valencia, Spain, Vicepresident of ATTAC in the Valencia Region

    Angie Mathieu, Paris, France, student/squatter

    Sandro Mezzadra, Bologna, Italy, political theorist

    Hans Misselwitz, Berlin, Germany

    Margret Moenig-Raane, Berlin, Germany, former services trade union leader

    Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Oxford, Great Britain, international relations

    Norman Paech, Hamburg, Germany, jurist

    Dagmar Paternoga, Bonn, Germany, Council Member of ATTAC Germany

    Helmut Penschinski, Wuppertal, Germany, economist

    Bruce Robbins, New York, NY, USA, English and Comparative Literature

    Michelle Riot-Sarcey, Paris, France, historian

    Thomas Sablowski, Frankfurt a.M., Germany,political scientist

    Pierre Salama, Paris, France, Latin-American studies

    Thomas Sauer, Jena, Germany, economist

    Patrick Saurin, Paris, France, Spokesperson for the French Union Sud Solidaires BPCE

    Gesine Schwan, Berlin, Germany, political scientist

    Mechthild Schrooten, Bremen, Germany, economist

    Ingo Schulze, Berlin, Germany, writer

    Ursel Schumm-Garling, Berlin, Germany, sociologist

    Lynne Segal, London, Great Britain, psycho-social Studies

    Jai Sen, New Delhi, India, Director of CACIM – India Institute for Critical Action: Centre in Movement

    Francis Sitel, France, political analyst

    Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Coimbra, Portugal, social scientist

    Dieter Spöri, Berlin, Germany, former minister of economics

    Elsa Stamatopoulos, New York, NY, USA, jurist, anthropologist

    Roland Süß, Birkenau, Germany, member of council of Attac-Germany

    Rolf Sukowski, Berlin, Germany, chair of OWUS e.V.

    Barbara Spinelli, MdEP, Roma, Italia

    Axel Troost, MdB, Leipzig, Germany, economist

    Hans-Jürgen Urban, Frankfurt a. M., Germany, Board of the Metalworkers' Union

    Marie-Dominique Vernhes, Hamburg, Germany

    Lode Vanoost, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium, former Deputy Speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives

    Guido Viale, Milano, Italia, economist

    Antje Vollmer, Vizepräsidentin des Deutschen Bundestages a D, Berlin

    Immanuel Wallerstein, New Haven, Conecticut, USA, social scientist and social historian

    Angela Wigger, Nijmegen, Nederlands, international political economist

    Ulrich Wilken, MdL, Germany, Frankfurt a. M.

    Frieder Otto Wolf, Berlin, Ex-MEP, Germany, philosopher

    Harald Wolf, MdA, Berlin, Germany

    Andrea Ypsilanti, MdL, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    Gabi Zimmer, MdEP, Werder, Germany, group president

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