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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-20

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Helicopter Crashed in Pella
  • [02] Zagoritis-Papakosta Are Candidates
  • [03] Thessaloniki Metro Underway
  • [04] Turmoil at Greek Ports
  • [05] K. Papoulias in Ioannina
  • [06] Alavanos' Visit to Zefyri
  • [07] Pope Intervenes in Cartoons' Issue
  • [08] Iran Won’t Back Down
  • [09] M. Abbas – Hamas Meeting
  • [10] Labour Solutions through Dialogue
  • [11] AEK Lost to Panionios
  • [12] Dead Swan in School
  • [13] New Attack by Papandreou
  • [14] Karatzaferis Puts Nomination
  • [15] Investigation into Strike Incidents
  • [16] KKE Candidates

  • [01] All Four Operators Were Killed Helicopter Crashed in Pella

    20 Feb 2006 21:19:00 (Last updated: 20 Feb 2006 23:46:25)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET

    A nighttime helicopter training mission turned into a tragedy for the four officers onboard. A Huey military helicopter, which set off from the 3rd TEA Alexandria, Imathia, to Krya Vrysi, Giannitsa, was lost from radar a little after 8pm Monday, while the wreckage was located in the village Melissi, Pella. As soon as the signal was lost, the Army Chief notified Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis, while a red alert was declared twenty minutes later. One Super Puma, one other helicopter, two fighter planes and police forces assisted in the search and rescue operation. Mr Voulgarakis, who was in Ioannina to attend the anniversary celebrations for the towns liberation, briefed the President of the Hellenic Republic and then arrived at the 8th Military Division. At the moment, he is heading towards the crash site. The initial indications point to mechanical failure, as the area is quite flat.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] For ND Central Committee Secretary Zagoritis-Papakosta Are Candidates

    20 Feb 2006 20:21:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Lefteris Zagoritis and Katerina Papakosta will eventually run for the position of secretary of New Democracys Central Committee. The two MPs for Athens B officially put in their nominations before 8pm on Monday, which was the deadline, while the elections will take place on Friday. Earlier, asked whether he received the "ring" i.e. whether he was supported by the PM he said "The only ring I wear is my wedding band," while he added that the party has principles, views, context and continuity. At the same time, he noted that the Central Committee has over 500 members and no one can influence anyone. On her part, Katerina Papakostas asked for the elections to be delayed so as to give more time to the candidates to prepare. She also declared that she will ask for the nominees to present their views to the Central Committee prior to the elections, while she will personally propose for the party to have more of a socially claiming character.

    Messrs Giannis Manolis, Michalis Papadopoulos and Panos Kammenos did not put in nominations, despite the fact that they had expressed interest.

    Mr Manolis withdrew his nomination, while he visited NDs central offices on Rigillis Street on Monday morning to propose a discussion for the partys character, however, his proposals was rejected.

    Mr Kammenos mentioned that he would have run for secretary only if he was supported by everyone, while he added he did not want to create the impression that he was causing problems for the party and the Government.

    Finally, Mr Papadopoulos said the majority of the Central Committee has already made its decision and the circumstances do not favour his nomination.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Proceedings for ND Secretary

    [03] Works Will Begin in May Thessaloniki Metro Underway

    20 Feb 2006 17:05:00 (Last updated: 20 Feb 2006 21:50:53)

    Sources: NET - ANA

    On Monday, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias announced that the works for the construction of Thessalonikis Metro will start in May. According to the studies, the works will finish in 2012, while the line will be 9.5km long, with 13 interim stations (New Railway Station, Dimokratias, Venizelou, Agia Sophia, Sintrivani, Panepistimio, Papafi, Efkleidi, Fleming, Analipseos, Voulgari and Nea Elvetia), and will serve 250,000 passengers daily. The cost is estimated at 1 billion euros. The construction was delayed because of futile tenders, funding problems and numerous motions and appeals filed at Greek and European courts. As per the Minister, the procedures for the tenders have been totally cleared up, since all 34 motions filed were rejected by the EU. In addition, Mr Souflias also referred to the Metro expansion in Athens, clarifying that a contract was signed for the Egaelo-Chaidari line, which will ready by 2008.

    This line will also include a station in Eleonas, close to Panathinaikos new pitch. Later on, the line will be extended from Chaidari to Evangelistria, Piraeus, as the original line, which was to stop at Marina Zeas, has been changed due to geological problems.

    With regard to the extension to Elliniko, Mr Souflias mentioned that it will be ready by 2009, will be underground and will have four interim stations.

    As for the Agios Antonios-Anthoupoli extension, a contractor will be chosen by summer and the line will be ready by the end of 2008.

    Mr Souflias also noted that the Nomismatokopio and Cholargos stations will be ready by 2007, while the Agia Paraskevi station will finish in 2008.

    Answering to articles that spoke of delays in the Chaidari extension, the Minister claimed that they were inaccurate, while he also voiced his sorrow. However, he noted that there was a 3.5-motnh delay because of geological problems in Eleonas.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Attiko Metro

    [04] Ships Docked for the 5th Day Turmoil at Greek Ports

    20 Feb 2006 14:31:00 (Last updated: 20 Feb 2006 23:36:29)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Problems accumulate at ports, following maritime employees decision to prolong their strike until Wednesday morning. In Heraklion, Crete, new incidents occurred on Monday in town, when producers threw away their goods in protest and then invaded the islands regional offices. The Prefect of Lasithi will call for a meeting to declare the prefecture in a stare of emergency. Apart from lack of drugs and fuels, there is a major problem in exporting perishable farming products to Europe and farmers are threatened by total economic disaster. There is no intention of political mobilisation, underlined T. Roussopoulos and added that all institutional demands have been fulfilled. In the meantime, speaking in Parliament, the Mercantile Marine Minister addressed a plea to maritime employees to stop their strike and engage in dialogue.

    Restraining Order

    "The Government has asked the PNO (Panhellenic Seamens Organisation) to allow one-two ships from each port to perform their route, given that there is always safety personnel during strikes," noted the Government spokesperson and called the Organisation to show social sensitivity.

    It was released late in the afternoon that shipping companies have recourse to Justice asking for the maritime strike to be declared illegal and abusive.

    The claim filed by the Ship Owners Union will be discussed on Tuesday morning at the Piraeus First Instance Restraining Order department.

    Kefalogiannis Met with Truck Drivers

    Earlier, Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis met with truck owners, who voiced their discomfort and the troubles they are faced with, because of the maritime employees' strike.

    Meeting a while later with reporters, Mr Kefalogiannis noted that maritime employees' institutional demands have been fulfilled.

    Aleka Papariga in Piraeus

    The KKE Secretary General met with the strikers at the port of Piraeus. Aleka Papariga voiced her support to the maritime employees' fight and accused the Government and the Mercantile Marine Minister of using machinations to make isolated reactions look like mass ones.

    Problems with Perishable Goods

    More than 400 trucks remain parked at the Piraeus port, while over 2,500 trucks have been left stranded around Greece.

    Apart from lack of drugs and fuel on the islands, there is a major problem in exporting perishable farming products to Europe and farmers are threatened by total economic disaster as tonnes of products are rotting.

    In addition, many trucks carrying products for Italy are crowding the port of Patras, while dozens of truck drivers have been left stranded at the ports of Bari and Ancona, Italy, since no routes are performed.

    Finally, 35 students and three teachers from Mytilene, who were on a field trip on Chios, were transferred home late on Monday night onboard a C130.

    Wrangling in Parliament

    The maritime strike and the subsequent problems stirred turmoil in Parliament during a discussion of an interpolation filed by PASOK MPs.

    The MPs accused the Government of inability to provide specific answers to the maritime employees demands.

    "The State is open to dialogue. I invited the PNOs representatives to my office twice and I gave specific answers to all of the strikers demands," responded Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis, addressing a plea to the workers to continue the dialogue.

    Tension was created when PASOK MP for Heraklion, Vassilis Kegeroglou, raised an envelope that had "When will the ships sail for Crete?" written on it, at the time when Opposition MP Anna Diamantopoulou was speaking of a great disaster for the island.

    Deputy Speaker Giannis Tragakis interrupted Ms Diamantopoulou and addressing Mr Kegeroglou he said, "Your action is unacceptable and I hold you responsible." However, the MP raised the envelope once again and Mr Tragakis called the session to order, warning that he might have to proceed with other measures. "We are not pupils for you to point you finger at. Crete is suffering and there are Cretan MPs here," reacted Ms Diamantopoulou. The matter concluded when Mr Tragakis said that raising banners in Parliament was inadmissible.

    On concluding the discussion, and following Ms Diamantopoulou and ND MP Vassilis Magginas proposal, Mr Kefalogiannis stressed that there will be an immediate meeting with the PNO. "We will assume this initiative, and through this climate of consent created in Parliament, I am leaving more optimistic, since I know that we will find a solution soon."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Ships Docked for the 5th Day

    [05] Regional Growth a Major Bet K. Papoulias in Ioannina

    20 Feb 2006 21:41:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The citizens of Ioannina warmly welcomed the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, who is visiting the town to attend the three-day celebrations marking the 93rd anniversary since the liberation of the area for the first time in his current capacity. Mr Papoulias inaugurated the Epirus General State Files and Historic Archive building, attended an event for the towns liberation at the Municipal Civic Centre, while he then sat to dinner hosted in his honour by the Mayor of Ioannina. In his speech, he did not hide his emotions, while he revealed that every time he visits Ioannina he has a new reason to feel proud. He spoke about the towns progress and growth, while he referred to the issue of regional development, describing it as a major bet. "A strong Greece without strong districts is inconceivable," he said, adding, "The villages are empty in winter, the necessary escape of young people to the urban centre and the unemployment plague are hurting us and are obligating us to continue our efforts so the other Greece will not be a Greece of abandonment, but of progress and prosperity."

    Tied with History

    Earlier, Mr Papoulias had inaugurated the Epirus General State Files and Historic Archive, housed in a fully restored historic building, built in 1881 by Ali Pasha and which operated as an Equestrian School within Ioanninas castle. The ceremony was also attended by Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, who announced a program for the digitalisation of the countrys Archives, which include the files of PMs and ministers. "It is a 6-billion-euro program, while a further 1 billion euros will be made available for restorations of building in any Greek cities needed," said the Minister.

    She also added that a series of seminars were organised to train the employees dealing with state archives, so that they can contribute towards the digitalisation. As a result, after 30 years, the material will be available on the Internet and accessible by all the Greeks, and anyone writing up reports and dissertations, as well as scientists and historians. So, the history of Greece will be more accurate, based on the archives and not presumptions and arbitrariness, which triggered open disputes among historians in the past.

    Celebrations for the Area's Liberation

    At 10:15am on Tuesday, the Greek President will attend Mass at the Agios Athanasios Cathedral. At 10:40am, he will visit the 8th Military Divisions headquarters, while he will then lay a wreath at the Bizani Fighters War Memorial. He will then visit the offices of the Prefecture, while at 11:30am he is scheduled to watch the grand student and military parade. At 1:30pm, Mr Papoulias will attend a luncheon hosted by the Commander of 8th Military Division at the officers hall.

    At 11:30am on Wednesday, the Mr Papoulias will visit the Living and Training Centre for Adults with Autism in Zitsa. At 12:30pm will attend the handing over ceremony of commission homes in Kato Marmara. Immediately after, Mr Papoulias will visit the Ioannina University Hospital, while he will depart for Athens at 2:00pm.

    The celebrations will also be attended by Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, Deputy Employment Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos, Deputy Public Works Minister Stavros Kalogiannis and LAOS President Giorgos Karatzaferis.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] To Discuss the Gypsies' Problems Alavanos' Visit to Zefyri

    20 Feb 2006 19:40:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    During his visit to Zefyri on Monday morning, SYN President Alekos Alavanos discussed the problems faced by the 3,500 gypsies in West Attica with their representatives. They presented to Mr Alavanos a list of their major problems, including education, health employment and housing. SYNs President stressed that the problems require immediate and positive actions, so that the people can become equal to the rest of the Greek citizens. Mr Alavanos was accompanied by G. Panousis, candidate for Attica Prefect, and Magda Spiliopoulou, head of SYNs Rights Division.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Asked for Respect for Religious Symbols Pope Intervenes in Cartoons' Issue

    20 Feb 2006 19:29:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA - Reuters

    The continuing Muslim protests over the publication of Prophet Mohammads cartoons, as well as the ensuing discussion over the limits of the freedom of Press, have prompted Pope Benedicts intervention. The Pope asked for full respect for the symbols of all religions, while during his speech to the new Moroccan ambassador to the Holy See, he warned that violent protests are wrong. In the meantime, Romes prosecutor commenced an in-depth investigation into Roberto Calderoli, the former Reforms Minister in Silvio Berlusconis Government who quit after his continual attacks against Islam. Calderoli, an outspoken member of the radical and xenophobic Northern League party, is considered a suspect of "insulting the religious faith" of Muslims, after appearing on a TV show last week wearing a T-shirt with the one of the controversial cartoons printed on it. This resulted in incidents outside the Italian Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where 11 people were killed.

    Denmark Asks for Independent Investigation

    At the same time, in Denmark, the country where the cartoons were first published, opposition parties called for an independent investigation into the governments handling of the case.

    Frank Aaen, a spokesperson for the formerly communist Unity List party, told AFP, "The government carries the greater responsibility for its misinterpretation of a letter by the 11 Muslim ambassadors protesting against these drawings and for underestimating and ignoring the repeated warnings from Egypt last fall."

    Aaen, who is backed by the other three Opposition parties (Radicals, Social-Democrats, Peoples Socialists), called for an explanation in writing from the Danish PM and an investigation into the cartoon affair as soon as the protests die down

    In the meantime, Denmark and Norway condemned as incitement to murder a Pakistani clerics offer of a reward to anyone who kills any of the 12 Danish cartoonists who drew the cartoons.

    "It is murder, and murder is also forbidden by the Koran," Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told a Press conference, also attended by his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Putting a Stop to Protests

    [08] European Pressure Increases Iran Wont Back Down

    20 Feb 2006 12:43:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Tehran has no intention of changing its stance regarding its nuclear activities. Government spokesperson Gholam Hossein Elham proceeded to a new statement, stressing Iran will not minimise its nuclear programme-related activities. The Europeans, on the other hand, are to ask the Iranians on Monday to cease their nuclear activities and mainly stop uranium enrichment. However, Elham clarified that "any effort to deprive Iran of its right to nuclear technology at any level," constitutes a red line for the country.

    Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who is in Brussels for a meeting with his Belgian counterpart, stressed there is still time to reach an agreement. "There is still time for all parties to reach a compromise and hopefully they will take advantage of that time," he told reporters.

    Mottaki will also have talks with the EU's High Representative for the the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana.

    At the same time, an Iranian delegation is in Moscow to go over a uranium enrichment programme in Russia. Russian authorities announced they would seize the opportunity to remind Iran it should "postpone its nuclear activities."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] M. Abbas Hamas Meeting

    20 Feb 2006 14:03:00

    Today, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will hold a meeting with a delegation of Hamas, during which he is expected to order head of the national combination Ismail Haniya the formation of the upcoming Palestinian Government. Shortly before the meeting, Hamas delegates will hold discussions with representatives of other organisations, among which the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FDLP). On his part, representative of Hamas Parliamentary Group Sallah Al-Bardawil stated that meetings on the issue have been scheduled with Fatah, even if the latters members have ruled out the event of participating in the Hamas Government. Haniya will have three weeks to form the Government and receive its approval by the Palestinian Legislative Council. If he does not succeed he will be given two more weeks.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Tsitouridis Urges Social Partners Labour Solutions through Dialogue

    20 Feb 2006 20:12:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The new Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Savvas Tsitouridis, who met with the PM on Monday, urged the representatives of employers and employees to engage in dialogue over the controversial issues. "It is not always necessary for all of us to agree, however, it is necessary to communicate," said Mr Tsitouridis upon exiting Maximos Mansion, adding that the Governments main aims include combating unemployment and dealing with everyday problems, as well as focusing on growth. In the meantime, on Tuesday, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) will discuss further collective actions around the beginning of March, in collaboration with ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) and OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions), while PAME (All Workers Militant Front) has scheduled rallies in the centre of Athens, as well as other major cities.

    Focusing on Reforms

    During his first meeting with reporters at the Ministry of Employment, Mr Tsitouridis declared that he will focus on reforms, noting that reforms without social references are not possible.

    At the same time, he repeated that the Government will urge the bankers to exhaust all the margins for dialogue, while he also addressed the same plea towards SEV (Federation of Greek Industries), since its proposal for 2.8% raises has triggered collective actions.

    With regard to social security, Mr Tsitouridis described the Governments stance, i.e. that the responsibility lies with the Minister of Employment, as self-evident. He also underlined that no changes will take place during this four-year term, but a discussion among parties, social partners and OKE (Economic and Social Council) will take place in Parliament.

    GSEE Discusses Further Strikes

    Dimitris Stratoulis, member of SYNs Political Secretariat, accused Mr Tsitouridis of making "hypocritical and disorientating statements," while OTOE President Dimitris Tsoukalas described the Ministers statements as positive, adding that everything will be judged by the results.

    Moreover, on the occasion of small raises and OTOEs contract, which the bank representatives are refusing to sign, on Tuesday, GSEE will decide on staging further strikes in the beginning of March, in collaboration with DEKOs (Public Utilities and Enterprises) and ADEDY.

    On Monday, OTOEs leadership filed a complaint to the Labour Inspectors for the banks that stay open in the afternoons.

    Asked to comment on the matters, Mr Tsitouridis declared that he is not afraid of the strikes continuing, adding that a great degree of responsibility lies with everyone in Greece.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Labour Issue at Maximos Mansion

    [11] AEK Lost to Panionios

    19 Feb 2006 21:42:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Panionios claimed an important win over AEK with 89-75 points on match day 17 of the basketball championship. With this win, Panionios took an important step towards making it to the play-offs. As for AEK, their ninth loss has made them rank one point behind Panionios and things are not looking good. Oikonomou (19p), Iliadis (18p), Harvey (17p) and Avery (16p) were unstoppable for Panionios and left AEK no room to react. Papaioakim (21p) and Panteliadis (16p) fought on their own, but it was not enough to grant AEK victory. The score per period: 16-23, 42-34, 71-54, 89-75.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] EU Agriculture Ministers' Meeting Dead Swan in School

    20 Feb 2006 13:12:00 (Last updated: 20 Feb 2006 19:38:49)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    While waiting for the test results from the three swans found dead in Rodopi and Chalkidiki, Greece, turmoil was created at the 1st Technical High School in Lagadas, Thessaloniki, when a student found a dead swan in the schoolyard on Monday. What is more, 500 chickens were found dead in Serres in a pit near an inhabited area.

    Concern in Lagadas-Serres

    In Lagadas, the dead swan alarmed students and teachers at the school, while Health authorities were notified immediately. Students were ordered not to touch the dead bird and the School Principal informed competent authorities.

    A panel of veterinarians arrived on site and collected the dead swan, while disinfecting the schoolyard and the other school areas. The dead swan was taken for tests at the Thessaloniki University Reference Laboratory.

    The 500 chickens, found in decay at a pit outside Serres, were discovered by a passer-by, who immediately notified the authorities.

    Three poultry-breeding units are operating in the area and apparently someone threw the dead birds at a spot, which is usually full of debris. Veterinarians of the Serres Prefecture reassured the dead chickens did not die of avian influenza, but of common causes. However, the chickens were removed and samples were taken for precautionary reasons.

    Measures to Aid Poultry Farmers

    At the same time, during the EU Agricultural Ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, Greek Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos asked for financial support to poultry breeders, who are suffering losses because poultry sales have decreased.

    Backed by his EU counterparts, Mr Basiakos asked for the withdrawal of available reserves and the payment of compensation to producers.

    In addition, Mr Basiakos briefed the Council on the effective measured implemented in Greece with regard to preventing and dealing with avian flu.

    The Council has not reached any decisions yet.

    Europe Bracing Itself

    Up until now, avian flu cases have been detected in six EU Member States: Germany, Austria, France, Greece, Italy and Slovenia.

    Even though all cases related to wild birds and not domestic poultry, the outbreak of the virus has resulted in a significant reduction in poultry consumption.

    Meanwhile, several European Governments are making systematic efforts to convince the population there is no danger in consuming poultry products, while strengthening measures to prevent the virus from expanding.

    New measures are being implemented in the Netherlands, including the confinement of poultry under covered sheds, both for professional breeding or small domesticated units. Moreover, the Dutch Government has launched an awareness campaign to inform citizens, while it is also promoting a proposal over a broad poultry vaccination programme in Member-States, an action also supported by France.

    In Germany, Rugen Island in the Baltic Sea has been declared a quarantined zone, as 18 new avian flu outbreaks were detected.

    In Romania, authorities will proceed with culling over 35,000 birds at the provinces of Tuzla, Navodari and Constanca, after detecting the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in samples taken from dead birds.

    At the same time, the Veterinary Agency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is running tests on samples taken from 14 dead chickens found at a village near Bania Luca, while 15 swans were culled for precautionary reasons after finding two dead swans in lake Plivska, Bosnia.

    Situation in India Under Control

    Meanwhile in India, Sanitation Authorities announced that the first outbreaks of the avian influenza are under control. Moreover, in the village of Maharastra, in Nadurbar, west India, where 50,000 birds were found dead and the H5N1 strain was detected in several farmhouses, around 30 persons are undergoing medical examinations.

    However, the Sanitation Authorities Director noted, "the avian flu is under control and there is no reason to panic."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Summit over Poultry Breeding

    H5N1 Hits France

    [13] From Kranidi and Lygourio New Attack by Papandreou

    20 Feb 2006 15:59:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET - ANA

    On Monday, George Papandreou harshly criticised the Prime Minister once again. Speaking from Lygourio and Kranidi, PASOKs President accused Kostas Karamanlis of breaking his pre-election pledges, and using party politics and expediencies in the Ministry of Culture, while he spoke of lack of initiatives and foreign policy.

    Speaking at a coffee shop in Kranidi, PASOKs President voiced his and his partys opposition to cheap labour, stressing that the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer.

    "Mr Karamanlis made many pre-election promises, but after the elections, we witnessed unemployment, high prices, poverty, and abandonment of farmers, pensioners and regional Greece," said Mr Papandreou, to add that the PM busies himself with party politics and serving the interests of the powerful.

    "Contrary to ND, which wants Greeks to bow their heads and become submissive, we want Greeks to hold their heads high," stressed PASOKs President, noting that his country does not separate citizens into categories.

    At the same time, remembering that Kranidi is the hometown of the late Deputy Foreign Minister Giannos Kranidiotis, he criticised Kostas Karamanlis for his Governments foreign policy, speaking of policies that resemble recreational walks rather than serving national interests.

    George Papandreou, who was warmly greeted by the locals, received as a gift a copy of the decree signed by Greek Revolution hero Thodoros Kolokotronis and which called on Kranidis chieftains to assist in the siege of Athens.

    Upon receiving the gift, PASOKs President noted, "We will once again siege the Athens-based state to assist regional Greece."

    He then made a brief stop in Lygourio, which is situated close to the theatre of Ancient Epidaurus. As per the local residents, the village is facing a serious problem this year due to the shorter duration of the Epidaurus Festival.

    The locals asked Mr Papandreou to raise the issue with the PM, to which PASOKs President agreed. On the occasion of this issue, he also accused the Government of abandoning culture.

    Roussopoulos Response

    In answering, Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos declared, "Inconsistency is becoming synonymous to PASOK and its Presidents political speech with each day that goes by. Those who held Greece back and the Greeks subdued are now saying that they want Greeks to hold their heads high. Those who extended poverty by sacrificing the rights of the many for the interest of the few are now saying that they oppose poverty and pay cuts. Those who led regional Greece and the farming community to despair are now talking about abandonment of farmers and regional Greece. Those who made party politics and dividing lines synonymous to their policies are now talking about separating citizens into categories. They judge, compare and assess people and political arenas based on their works and days. This is why they are actively supporting the great reform implemented on all aspects of public life by the new Government."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] For the Municipality of Thessaloniki Karatzaferis Puts Nomination

    20 Feb 2006 15:57:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    On Monday, LAOS President Giorgos Karatzaferis announced his intention to run for Mayor of Thessaloniki and hence "teach a lesson to arrogant people." He also said the action of an unknown man to give the Nazi salute during the 3rd LAOS Convention in Thessaloniki and while the National Anthem was heard is provocation. "I don't know which of the two is more offensive. The tragedy of wiretaps or the farce of provocation," stressed Mr Karatzaferis, officially announcing he will run for Mayor of Thessaloniki. Meanwhile, LAOS official Dimitris Tsipidis told reporters he will run for Thessaloniki Prefect.

    Commenting on the matter, Government spokesperson T. Roussopoulos told reporters that Karatzaferis' candidacy does not trouble the Government.

    KKE Secretary Aleka Papariga, who was also asked to comment on the news, underlined everyone is entitled to the right of expressing themselves and referred to other cases in the past, when members from the two major parties had formed new political parties. However, in these past cases, said Mrs Papariga, we knew their positions. In the case of LAOS, Mr Karatzaferis is hiding his positions, because he knows the people would react if the truth came out.

    In an announcement, SYN spoke of a blurry scenery, which Karatzaferis supports with his stance.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] At the Agricultural Bank on Friday Investigation into Strike Incidents

    20 Feb 2006 15:29:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    On Monday, Public Order Minister Byron Polydoras voiced his opposition to the use of clubs during the incidents in front of the Agricultural Bank, on Panepistimiou Street, between the police and strikers on Friday. He made this statement during a meeting with an employee delegation, made up of representatives from PAME (All Workers Militant Front), private employee unions, and trade and private clinic employees, which handed to him a resolution for Fridays incidents. As he told the employees representatives, the order given to the police was discreet repression and not use of violence. At the same time, he expressed his surprise over the police officers reaction.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Incidents Marked OTOE's Strike

    [16] KKE Candidates

    20 Feb 2006 14:36:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    On Monday noon, KKE Secretary Aleka Papariga announced the party candidates for the upcoming municipal elections. In particular, KKE will support Spyros Chalvatzis for the Municipality of Athens, Elpida Pantelaki for the Municipality of Piraeus and Agapios Sachinidis for the Municipality of Thessaloniki. Excluding all eventualities of collaborating with PASOK and New Democracy, KKE stressed it does not criticise combinations based on people but on strategic choices. Both ND and PASOK would never support people-friendly combinations said Mrs Papariga and called citizens to stop supporting the two major parties.

    Asked how KKE would react in case PASOK or New Democracy would voice their support to KKE's combinations, Mrs Papariga called the two major parties "to stop playing around." She also added that in such a case, KKE would reveal their plans and inform the people it is a mere trap to acquire votes from elsewhere," and this is why KKE does not wish for the support of the two major political parties.

    Announcing the names of the candidates, Mrs Papariga stressed KKE's aim in these elections is to get as many places in Local Self-Government as possible.

    Representatives from DIKKI, Communist Renewal and Left Citizens' Intervention announced their collaboration with KKE in the upcoming municipal elections.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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