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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Justice Minister Kontonis promises action to speed up delivery of justice
  • [02] 'We will continue the struggle to exit the crisis with society still upright,' Tzanakopoulos says
  • [03] Kalambaka seeks to change its name to Meteora
  • [04] Tram and metro system staff announce more work stoppages in the week ahead

  • [01] Justice Minister Kontonis promises action to speed up delivery of justice

    Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) about his plans for speeding up the delivery of justice in Greece, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis on Sunday promised action to finally activate the institution of out-of-court settlements and introduce administrative penalties, such as fines, in the case of minor offences that do not necessarily have to go before a court.

    "The great delay in trying cases is an open wound for justice and has effectively become a denial of justice," he said. The thousands of cases now clogging the courts meant that people no longer saw justice as a way of settling disputes or a refuge for the wronged but an "arduous and sometimes endless process".

    In addition to shaking their faith in justice, it led people to take the law into their own hands and disrupted the peace, Kontonis said.

    The minister said the effort was now focused on updating trial law and the penal code so that they met current needs and standards, including the provisions for out-of-court settlements. "It is inconceivable that the institution of out-of-court settlement has for 15 years...produced no meaningful result," he noted.

    The ministry was also examining and would soon begin a period of public consultation on a series of proposals for processing cases that do not necessarily have to go before the courts, such as divorces by mutual consent or matters that could be dealt with by imposing administrative fines.

    "We have much to do and an awareness that it must be done quickly," Kontonis said.

    Asked about the cause of the delays, the minister denied that judges were to blame and said the problem was the long delay between filing a law suit and getting a trial date. This would not be resolved by more disciplinary measures against "errant" judges but "meaningful legislative intervention," he added.

    "I am certain that by the end of the four years, the current unacceptable situation will have been fully reversed," he said.

    [02] 'We will continue the struggle to exit the crisis with society still upright,' Tzanakopoulos says

    The government will be able to get through the current difficult phase of the second review without backing down on matters of principle and get its partners to commit to specific measures for relieving Greece's debt, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview with the newspaper 'Avghi' published on Sunday.

    "We will continue the struggle to get the country out of the crisis with society still upright," Tzanakopoulos said.

    According to the spokesman, U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Athens had yielded "exceptional and meaningful results" and supported the effort for a debt settlement. He ruled out the possibility of early elections and attacked main opposition New Democracy and its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for "constantly undermining the government's effort for a debt settlement, so that it can blame the harsh austerity that it is planning on SYRIZA, offering this as a trade-off for a debt settlement."

    A prompt conclusion of the second review and good news on the debt will mean the collapse of the "Leftist interlude theory" and Mitsotakis' plan, Tzanakopoulos added.

    [03] Kalambaka seeks to change its name to Meteora

    The municipality of Kalambaka, a town nestling at the foot of the unique Meteora district and the cluster of monasteries perched on their peak - which together comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site - has officially applied to the interior ministry to change its name to Municipality of Meteora.

    "It is a request that is ripe and also urgent. It is a name that could promote our area throughout the world in the best way," Kalambaka Mayor Christos Sinanis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

    The mayor said that he would attend the discussion on the town's request at the ministry and noted that "For geographic, historical, cultural and developmental reasons but also to enhance recognisability, we propose that the current Kalambaka municipality be renamed Meteora Municipality, with Kalambaka as its capital.

    [04] Tram and metro system staff announce more work stoppages in the week ahead

    Staff on the Athens tram, electric railway (line 1) and metro (lines 2 and 3) have announced that work stoppages will continue next week, starting on Monday.

    On Monday there will be no trains on line 1 from the start of the shift until 10:00, on Tuesday there will be a four-hour work stoppage between noon and 16:00 on the metro and tram lines and on Thursday there will be a work stoppage on line 1 from 21:00 until the end of the shift.

    Workers on line 1 (electric railway) will continue work stoppages on Saturday (21:00 until the end of the shift), the following Monday (start of shift until 10:00), the following Wednesday (noon until 16:00) and Friday, December 2 (21:00 until end of shift).


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