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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-11-11

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

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

Monday, 11 November 2013 Issue No: 4508

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Parliament rejects SYRIZA censure motion against government
  • [02] PM comments on result of censure motion, says government 'emerged stronger'
  • [03] PM: 'Economic recovery will begin in 2014; elections in 2016'
  • [04] Venizelos: SYRIZA's censure motion an 'admission of its political impasse'
  • [05] Finance Minister Stournaras: 'No more horizontal measures'
  • [06] SYRIZA's Tsipras: 'Elections the only solution'
  • [07] Gov't spokesman Kedikoglou: 'SYRIZA seeking to sow doubt at this crucial phase.'
  • [08] Clash between vice-president Venizelos and SYRIZA leader Tsipras in parliament
  • [09] PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri expelled after voting for censure motion
  • [10] Independent Greeks leader: 'This is a vote of confidence in the creditors'
  • [11] KKE's Papariga lashes out at both government, main opposition
  • [12] PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri to be expelled after voting for censure motion
  • [13] Censure motion debate heats up ahead of midnight vote
  • [14] Ministers review their work on final debate day before censure motion vote
  • [15] Government flouting Constitution, SYRIZA MP Constantopoulou says in Parliament
  • [16] Independent Greeks' leader Kammenos says MPs will 'toe the line' in censure motion
  • [17] FinMin, troika meeting concludes; follow-up set for Tuesday
  • [18] SYRIZA leader accuses gov't of manhandling its MPs at ERT
  • [19] ERT building had to be cleared for EU presidency, public broadcasting minister tells Parliament
  • [20] Admin Reform minister to Mega: censure motion a 'gift' to government
  • [21] Development minister on foreclosures: 'We won't protect those pretending to be poor'
  • [22] DIM.AR leader accuses main opposition leader of 'tacticism'
  • [23] FM spokesman responds to further statements by Turkish FM to EU commissioner
  • [24] Deputy Foreign Minister Gerontopoulos to attend ASEM ministerial meeting on Monday
  • [25] Those seeking to divide society will be punished, public order minister tells Sunday 'Vima'
  • [26] Education minister at 37th UNESCO general conference in Paris
  • [27] Mantelis trial for Siemens kickbacks to begin Monday
  • [28] Ancient Roman villa and spa discovered by archaeologists in Loutraki area
  • [29] Protest rally against Halkidiki gold mines held in Thessaloniki
  • [30] Council of State upholds decision allowing icons in courtrooms
  • [31] Far-right Golden Dawn organises food handouts in Athens, Thessaloniki
  • [32] Prisoner found dead in cell at Hania prison
  • [33] Kenyan runners dominate Marathon race, as race is gradually being completed
  • [34] Super League results
  • [35] Thunderstorms on Monday
  • [36] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] Greek Parliament rejects SYRIZA censure motion against government

    The Greek Parliament rejected a censure motion tabled by main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) in a roll-call vote held in the early hours of Monday morning, with 153 votes against, 124 votes in favour and 17 'present', reaffirming its confidence in the New Democracy-PASOK coalition government.

    Addressing Parliament in the three-day debate that preceded the final vote, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK leader and government Vice-President Evangelos Venizelos interpreted the censure motion as an attempt by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to forge a unity between diverging elements within his own party, rather than a serious attempt to topple the government.

    In the final speech during the three-day debate, Samaras said that Greece's economic recovery will begin in 2014 and the country's ordeal is nearing its end.

    Outlining the steps that will lead the country out of the crisis, Samaras predicted that Greece will be ready to return to borrowing from the markets at the end of the next year and promised lighter taxation and improvements to property tax.

    "In two years, the primary surpluses will become proper surpluses," he forecast, underlining that elections will be held in 2016, at the end of the government's four-year term.

    Addressing Tsipras, he asked the main opposition leader what message he was trying to send abroad with his censure motion, underlining that "at the moment that the country is regaining its credibility you are asking for the government to fall."

    He also criticised the main opposition for the protest rally it had organised outside Parliament during the last hours of the censure motion debate, wondering whether SYRIZA was trying to "intimidate Parliament from the street".

    The prime minister defended the government's economic policy and its actions in relation to the former broadcaster ERT, including the decision to clear the former broadcaster's building that had been occupied since its closure last June. Samaras said that the interim public broadcaster DT would move in to the facilities at the broadcasting building, which had been occupied "by a handful of trade unionists for five months".

    "Do not poison Parliament with cheap populism; you cannot become main opposition and you want to be a government?" he asked, addressing Tsipras.

    "I will not tolerate such behaviour, I will not endure your insults," he added.

    The prime minister emphasised the high cost that Greek people had paid in order to exit the crisis, asking Parliament to reject SYRIZA's censure motion.

    According to Venizelos, the censure motion was an "admission of SYRIZA's political impasse," and an "institutionally extreme, politically awkward and national irresponsible" action taken at a sensitive time for Greece. He said it undermined the country on a national and European level at a time when it was seeking to confirm that it had entered the final stage of exiting the bailout memorandums and just before Greece took over the EU presidency, "when our country will have the opportunity to participate in the euro on a basis of institutional equality and not as a poor relation."

    He also noted that at a time when the country should be sending a message of stability and optimism and the democratic parties presenting a united front against Nazism and fascism, SYRIZA's move had "marshalled a dangerous 'amalgam' of disparate opposition forces," with those supporting the motion including the right-wing Independent Greeks, a 'reluctant' Communist Party of Greece and even the far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi).

    Addressing Parliament in the final hours of a debate, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras dismissed the government's assurances that there will be no new measures as fake and stressed that elections were the only solution.

    "No government can cancel the memorandum. The memorandum can only be cancelled by the people with their vote," he underlined, promising that a new government backed by the people's mandate will revoke all the memorandum laws and pass others to boost growth.

    In a message addressed to the prime minister, he said that SYRIZA had tabled its censure motion "because you have failed in everything that you promised to do before the elections and in everything that you implemented afterwards."

    The main opposition leader called on Parliament to withdraw its confidence from the government and align itself with the reality prevailing in the country and among the Greek people, ending with a challenge to the prime minister to call early elections.

    Independent Greeks' leader Panos Kammenos noted that this vote of confidence will determine whether this policy that leads to recession, unemployment, poverty will continue or whether we will proceed to the constitutional right of Greek citizens to scrap the memorandum.

    "We are called today as Greek MPs sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws to decide whether to give a vote of censure or a vote of confidence," Kammenos said, adding that the Democratic Left (DIM.AR) party's intention to vote "present" meant that the 151 votes that would lead to elections cannot be collected.

    Kammenos accused the government of having failed utterly, saying its policy is leading to a deadlock. "This is not just a vote of confidence to government. It is a vote of confidence in the creditors and their institutions," he said.

    Far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) leader Nikos Michaloliakos, in a message from prison where he is held on remand, said he was in favour of the censure motion "against a government which we consider dangerous and which has bowed to foreign interests and power centers, and whose policy has already led our people into misery and our country to sign over its national sovereignty." Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Parliamentary group president Aleka Papariga, a former leader of the party stressed that KKE did not intend to "lend a helping hand to either the bourgeois parties nor 'imitation' solutions [represented by SYRIZA]".

    She noted that the present Parliament was dominated by two basic proposals: the authentic proposal for liberal policies and growth and SYRIZA's 'imitation' proposal of growth supposedly favouring the popular masses.

    "However, both are in the same camp. In this growth it is the sharks who will survive," she added.

    Democratic Left (DIM.AR) party leader Fotis Kouvelis said his party will vote "present" during the censure motion while harshly criticising both the government and SYRIZA. He stressed the need for political stability in the country, explaining that "this does not mean the same thing to everyone."

    "We do not want to inflame the climate or impose new measures. We do not invest in disaster. We are against any new measures. Political stability means to make changes to the programme, which even its designers agree has failed," Kouvelis noted, while adding that political stability also meant "to support the same things within Greece and outside of Greece and not perform for an electoral clientele."

    [02] PM comments on result of censure motion, says government 'emerged stronger'

    The government has emerged stronger, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said early on Monday morning, commenting on the final outcome of a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

    "It is even stronger. Our course is forward. Elections in 2016," Samaras said after the conclusion of a roll-call vote resulting in the rejection of SYRIZA's motion by 153 votes, cast by New Democracy and PASOK MPs supporting the coalition government.

    Out of the 294 MPs present during the voting, 124 cast votes in favour of the censure motion and 17 voted 'present'. Those voting in favour included MPs for SYRIZA, the Independent Greeks, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Golden Dawn, PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri and independent MPs.

    The Democratic Left (DIM.AR) and the independent MPs Andreas Loverdos, Christos Aidonis and Georgios Kasapidis voted 'present'.

    The MPs Nikitas Kaklamanis (ND), Manolis Glezos (SYRIZA), Mimis Androulakis (independent) and the three Golden Dawn MPs jailed in Korydallos prison on remand were absent during the vote.

    [03] PM: 'Economic recovery will begin in 2014; elections in 2016'

    Economic recovery will begin in 2014 and the country's ordeal is nearing its end, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underlined in Parliament just before midnight on Sunday, ending a debate on a censure motion against the government tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

    Outlining the steps that will lead the country out of the crisis, Samaras predicted that Greece will be ready to return to borrowing from the markets at the end of the next year and promised lighter taxation and improvements to property tax.

    "In two years, the primary surpluses will become proper surpluses," he forecast, underlining that elections will be held in 2016, at the end of the government's four-year term. In a few years, he added, Greece will return to the levels of GDP and prosperity it had enjoyed before the crisis, but without the dysfunctions that had led to it.

    "We are regaining our confidence and improving competitiveness - something reflected chiefly in the fact that our balance of trade does not have a deficit this year, after several decades. Quite possibly we will be able to turn to the markets in 2014, so that we can borrow like a normal country. Step by step we are gaining additional control," he said.

    Samaras also stressed steps taken to widen the tax base and stressed that, while people were suffering during the current year because they were having to pay taxes for three years, this would no longer apply.

    "We will gradually reduce taxation until we bring it to where it should be. In 2016 we will cover not only our expenses but also interest and debt payments," he said.

    "By 2016, we will have extricated the country from the problems. All countries in the euro area will have some supervision - but when you have sustainable surpluses, you have nothing to fear from a supervision that applies to all your partners. That is how countries get out of major crises. With sacrifices, not magic tricks, lies and false promises," Samaras stressed.

    The prime minister emphasised that the hardest part was over and the sacrifices people had made were beginning to yield a result. The greatest test was at the end of the marathon but the great marathon was now near the end, he said.

    Addressing SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, he asked the main opposition leader what message he was trying to send abroad with his censure motion, underlining that "at the moment that the country is regaining its credibility you are asking for the government to fall."

    He also criticised the main opposition for the protest rally that it had organised outside Parliament during the last hours of the censure motion debate, wondering whether SYRIZA was trying to "intimidate Parliament from the street".

    The main opposition was lagging behind developments, Samaras said, and this had led its leader to resort to bizarre tactics:

    "What you said in Texas was correct. Greece will not leave the eurozone. This is exactly what we said to you 18 months ago, when you called me a dangermonger and a Merkelist. If Mr. Tsipras has changed positions, he should say so clearly from here, so that his supporters can hear it, not serve it up bit by bit from far away," he commented.

    The prime minister defended the government's economic policy and its actions in relation to the former broadcaster ERT, including the decision to clear the former broadcaster's building that had been occupied since its closure last June. Samaras said that the interim public broadcaster DT would move in to the facilities at the broadcasting building, which had been occupied "by a handful of trade unionists for five months".

    "Do not poison Parliament with cheap populism; you cannot become main opposition and you want to be a government?" he asked, addressing Tsipras.

    "I will not tolerate such behaviour, I will not endure your insults," he added.

    "You vote against us with Golden Dawn. That's what you are reduced to, what you have reduced your party to - and it will soon prove to be your biggest mistake," he concluded, addressing Tsipras.

    Responding to criticism from SYRIZA over the collaboration with PASOK, the prime minister noted that "we do not agree with everything concerning yesterday between us. But the people did not send us here for yesterday but to secure tomorrow."

    The prime minister emphasised the high cost that Greek people had paid in order to exit the crisis, asking Parliament to reject SYRIZA's censure motion.

    [04] Venizelos: SYRIZA's censure motion an 'admission of its political impasse'

    The censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) was an "admission of its political impasse," PASOK leader and government vice-president Evangelos Venizelos told Parliament just hours before the final vote on the motion was due to begin at midnight on Sunday.

    Venizelos called the move "institutionally extreme, politically awkward and national irresponsible," and strongly criticised its timing at a doubly sensitive time for Greece. He said it undermined the country on a national and European level at a time when it was seeking to confirm that it had entered the final stage of exiting the bailout memorandums and just before Greece took over the EU presidency, "when our country will have the opportunity to participate in the euro on a basis of institutional equality and not as a poor relation."

    He noted that at a time when the country should be sending a message of stability and optimism and the democratic parties presenting a united front against Nazism and fascism, SYRIZA's move had 'marshalled a dangerous amalgam' of disparate opposition forces, with those supporting the motion including the right-wing Independent Greeks, a 'reluctant' Communist Party of Greece and even the far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi).

    Addressing SYRIZA MPs, Venizelos said he had been waiting for the main opposition to table a proposal concerning the shipyards and the submarine contracts and warned SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras that "slander is a dishonourable act". He also hinted that those "leading" Tsipras down this path had their own motives, referring to links with "grey business interests" and "former secret service members" seeking to control Parliament, while adding that PASOK may table its own proposal for a Parliamentary inquiry into these issues.

    Referring to the incidents outside the former ERT building on Saturday, PASOK's leader suggested that these were a "show" timed to coincide with the evening news on television.

    Wrapping up, Venizelos said that the coalition government raised the issue of the responsibility of the EU-IMF troika, noting that this was a problem of European institutions that were voluntarily being downgraded.

    "The government is acting under a programme agreement, is fully aware of its content and is dominated by a sense of responsibility because we know that we are faced with a historic challenge," he said, adding that SYRIZA was no more than a "party of circumstance and a vehicle of protest".

    Venizelos ruled out new measures, saying there would be no further cuts in pensions and wages but instead a wave of structural reforms. Regarding the plans for a property tax, he said a negotiation was underway within the government to ensure it was socially fair.

    [05] Finance Minister Stournaras: 'No more horizontal measures'

    In the financial sector, we have already covered 80 percent of the effort required for 2009-2016, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said during Sunday's debate on a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

    "The remaining 20 percent of the adjustment will not come from horizontal measures but the development of the economy, tax compliance, targeted spending cuts, restructuring of organizations, the pursuit of reforms and the removal of various barriers to competition," Stournaras noted.

    At the same time, Stournaras referred to the new development model for success, according to which "every one will have to contribute according to his ability", while noting that "there is no fairer tax than the real estate tax."

    The finance minister said he hoped the Parliament would give a green light to the government to complete its economic programme, which has made impressive achievements and been praised worldwide.

    Stournaras referred specifically to the "huge adjustment in the primary deficit and the current account balance, the negative inflation that is the lowest in the eurozone, the 'historically unprecedented' improvement in the primary balance by 20 billion euros (10 percent of GDP) since 2009, the achievement of a primary surplus, the improvement of competitiveness by 20 percent since 2009."

    "Our estimates are not intended to beautify the situation, but to realistically capture reality," he said, adding that "this is reflected in financial markets as 10-year bond spreads have fallen by 650 points from 3,000 were when we came to power."

    Stournaras defended the "ambitious" privatization programme implemented by the government, stressing that it has generated 3.5 billion euros, of which 2.0 billion euros have already been raised.

    "Some call it selling out, but without documentation. They ask for the cancellation of the programme, which is the main source of foreign investment and threaten investors. These are not consistent with our staying in the eurozone," noted Stournaras.

    Another key source of revenue is the new tax system, with which the finance ministry aims to crack down on tax evasion. "We are now able to deal effectively with tax evasion with extensive checks. Revenues in the first ten months have exceeded the target by 400 million euros," he added.

    He also stressed the need for a new development model with a focus on investments, the main guidelines of which will soon be presented.

    [06] SYRIZA's Tsipras: 'Elections the only solution'

    Addressing Parliament in the final hours of a debate on the censure motion that he had tabled four days earlier, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday dismissed the government's assurances that there will be no new measures as fake and stressed that elections were the only solution.

    "No government can cancel the memorandum. The memorandum can only be cancelled by the people with their vote," he underlined.

    With the people's mandate, the new government will revoke all the memorandum laws and vote new laws that will boost growth, SYRIZA's leader said.

    "More and more people are suffering and you ask us why we are tabling a censure motion," he said in a message addressed to the prime minister, "It is because you have failed in everything that you promised to do before the elections and in everything that you implemented afterwards."

    Tsipras accused the government of having no plan to address the country's humanitarian crisis and of violating the Constitution and the laws with its barbarous policies. You are proceeding with the help of riot police, to rule through acts of legislative content, he added, while calling Antonis Samaras "the prime minister of recession and de-investment."

    The government, he asserted, served the interests of "the very few, the shysters and corruption, which operates via underground routes".

    The main opposition leader called on Parliament to withdraw its confidence from the government and align itself with the reality prevailing in the country and among the Greek people.

    "This policy has led the country to an indescribable disaster," Tsipras said and urged the prime minister to see the censure motion not as a threat but as an opportunity.

    "Here is the solution, here are elections, here is democracy," he said.

    Tsipras accused the government of talking about a "success story" as if they live in another country, adding that even the EU creditors have admitted the programme is wrong.

    Tsipras called the government to answer whether the European Commission's intention to set up a committee of inquiry to look into the reasons for the programme's failure is a positive or negative sign and to elaborate on the governments' intentions on the issue.

    The opposition party leader levelled harsh criticism on both the government and the troika of EU/ECB/IMF lenders for pretending to negotiate while they can not avoid taking new strict measures.

    "When you have set a target for a primary surplus of 2.8 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2015 while economy is in recession, you have no alternative other than reduce wages and salaries", Tsipras commented.

    "You have to tell people the truth which is that you will impose taxes on estates, you will shut down universities and hospitals and take away their homes," he added.

    He also wondered about the negotiations with the troika, citing IMF mission chief for Greece Poul Tomsen' advice to the government to avoid promising it would not take further measures.

    "The fact that you negotiate with unsuccesful employees of international organisations, whose employers have admitted the failure of the programme, proves your submissive policy", Tsipras concluded.

    [07] Gov't spokesman Kedikoglou: 'SYRIZA seeking to sow doubt at this crucial phase.'

    Addressing Parliament during the Sunday night debate on a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou attributed the main opposition's move to internal problems within the party as well as the failure of its plans to hurt the government, accusing it of seeking to sow doubt at this most crucial phase of negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors.

    After recalling that some months ago SYRIZA's leader Alexis Tsipras had rejected a censure motion, he raised the question: "What has changed in so little time to revise such a central policy?" Replying to his own question, Kedikoglou suggested that the reason was the failure of all Tsipras' plans and an attempt to avoid mutiny within his own party after his confession, in Texas, that an exit from the eurozone would be catastrophic.

    "And while no one is surprised, as it has become clear that destruction is for SYRIZA a legitimate way for the conquest of power, what surprised us was the fact that they tabled the censure motion over the former state broadcaster ERT," noted Kedikoglou, adding that apart from validating the closure of ERT, the Council of State had also tasked the government with taking all necessary steps to ensure that the interim public broadcaster DT (Public Television) was able to broadcast efficiently.

    In conclusion, Kedikoglou said the main opposition party should be able to present its programme by 2016, as elections are not expected earlier than that.

    [08] Clash between vice-president Venizelos and SYRIZA leader Tsipras in parliament

    Government vice-president Evangelos Venizelos and the Radical left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader AlexisTsipras clashed in Parliament late on Sunday while discussing the censure motion tabled by the main opposition party.

    Venizelos criticised SYRIZA for being inadequate as main opposition while Tsipras accused him of embarrasing the prime minister every time he speaks.

    "I have one answer to the challenge to a duel. I went to El Paso to learn how to duel", Tsipras said prompting Venizelos to reply:

    "I congratulate you for turning to the US for education."

    [09] PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri expelled after voting for censure motion

    The PASOK party, the junior partner in Greece's coalition government, announced the expulsion of the MP for Pella Theodora Tzakri after she voted in favour of a censure motion tabled by main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) in a roll-call vote early on Monday morning.

    Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis said that PASOK President Evangelos Venizelos had informed him in a letter that Tzakri was no longer a member of PASOK's Parliamentary group.

    [10] Independent Greeks leader: 'This is a vote of confidence in the creditors'

    Independent Greeks' leader Panos Kammenos, speaking in Parliament during Sunday's debate on a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), noted that "this vote of confidence will determine whether this policy that leads to recession, unemployment, poverty will continue or whether we will proceed to the constitutional right of Greek citizens to scrap the memorandum."

    "We are called today as Greek MPs sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws to decide whether to give a vote of censure or a vote of confidence," Kammenos said, adding that the Democratic Left (DIM.AR) party's intention to vote "present" meant that the 151 votes that would lead to elections cannot be collected.

    Kammenos accused the government of having failed utterly, saying its policy is leading to a deadlock. "This is not just a vote of confidence to government. It is a vote of confidence in the creditors and their institutions," he said.

    [11] KKE's Papariga lashes out at both government, main opposition

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Parliamentary group president Aleka Papariga, a former leader of the party, levelled harsh criticism at both the government and main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) while addressing Parliament on Sunday, the last day of a debate on a censure motion against the government tabled by SYRIZA.

    Papariga stressed that KKE did not intend to "lend a helping hand to either the bourgeois parties nor 'imitation' solutions [represented by SYRIZA]".

    She noted that the present Parliament was dominated by two basic proposals: the authentic proposal of the liberal pole for liberal growth and SYRIZA's 'imitation' proposal of growth supposedly for the masses.

    "However, both are in the same camp. In this growth it is the sharks who will survive," she added.

    [12] PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri to be expelled after voting for censure motion

    PASOK announced the expulsion of the MP Theodora Tzakri after she voted in favour a censure motion tabled by main opposition 'Coalition of the Radical Left' (SYRIZA) in a roll-call vote early on Monday morning.

    [13] Censure motion debate heats up ahead of midnight vote

    The final day of a debate on a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) continued with increasing acrimony in the Greek Parliament on Sunday, leading up to a midnight roll-call vote. As the debate heated up, a protest rally called by SYRIZA got underway in Syntagma Square opposite Parliament on Sunday evening.

    Several top cabinet ministers took the stand to address Parliament throughout the day, criticising the main opposition's motion but also highlighting the progress made in meeting targets at their respective ministries. The debate was also dominated by SYRIZA's accusations that police had harassed main opposition MPs outside the former ERT broadcasting building in Agia Paraskevi on Saturday.

    Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in charge of crucial efforts to reduce the size of the public sector, noted that the size of the state had been significantly reduced but still lagged in terms of quality services, needing to become more friendly to citizens and more efficient. "From 915,000 permanent employees and contractors we have come down to 700,000," Mitsotakis said, "but we also reduced the wage burden on the state, from 24.5 billion euros to 16 billion. This is one of the major reasons we managed to achieve the sought-after (primary) surplus."

    He also criticised SYRIZA for saying it would rehire laid-off workers. "This will cost four billion euros, if we assume that half are rehired and wage cuts are corrected by half," he noted.

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, speaking on Saturday, appealed for calm ("as it is in no one's interest to have a civil-war-like climate") and announced a 600-million-euro investment to set up a National Land Cadastre, creating 10,000 jobs, as well as referring to measures regulating unlicensed construction throughout Greece.

    Also on Saturday, Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis reviewed the investments sector and said that the government had succeeded in restoring its image in 2013, while the targets for development and new jobs will be met in 2014. "We are entering a post-memorandum era," he said, accusing SYRIZA of obstructing growth efforts "by its actions such as the censure motion, which discourage future investors."

    Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis referred to restructuring plans at the ministry and Greek port operations in order to free 10 percent of personnel from desk jobs for use in on-site action. "Greece is able to safeguard its sea borders during the crisis and supervise its exclusive economic zone, and whoever doubts this provides poor service to the country," he said.

    Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said significant steps had been taken in 16 months, and expressed her conviction that tourism could serve as "a huge lever of growth."

    Education Minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos said that restructuring and a check on excess spending led to a 550-million-euro reduction of expenses at the ministry, while more remained to be done. He also accused SYRIZA of bearing responsibility for the loss of the first semester at universities by encouraging strikes.

    Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis accused the main opposition of "double messages" and tabled documents showing that SYRIZA's proposals for healthcare are harsher than those of the EU Task Force, to which doctors had objected.

    Replying to the government assertions, main opposition MP Zoi Constantopoulou accused the coalition government of engaging in "unconstitutional practices" and insisted that she had been harassed by police outside the broadcasting building on Saturday in what she called an attack on democracy.

    "You will fall, gentlemen of the government. You have already fallen very low, you have already fallen in the eyes of the Greek people a long time ago," she added.

    SYRIZA MP Andreas Xanthos warned that the government should not confuse society's current "inertia" for consent to its policies.

    "You are naive and unaware of the dangers if you translate the fear, insecurity and despair that you have caused, as support for a destructive programme that generates misery and brutality," he said.

    Of the other opposition parties, Independent Greeks' leader Panos Kammenos, in statements to the ANA-MPA, expressed certainty that MPs within his Parliamentary group will "toe the line" and vote in favour of the censure motion during the midnight vote, hinting that anyone straying from the party line will face expusion.

    Far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) leader Nikos Michaloliakos, in a message from prison where he is held on remand, said he was in favour of the censure motion "against a government which we consider dangerous and which has bowed to foreign interests and power centers, and whose policy has already led our people into misery and our country to sign over its national sovereignty." The message was also signed by the party's MPs Christos Pappas and Giorgos Lagos, also in custody on charges of forming a criminal organisation.

    Democratic Left (DIMAR) party leader Fotis Kouvelis said he will vote "present" on the censure motion against the government, and levelled harsh criticism against the government and SYRIZA.

    Kouvelis stressed the need for political stability in the country, explaining that "this does not mean the same thing to everyone."

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Parliamentary group president Aleka Papariga, a former leader of the party, was equally harsh in her criticism of both the government and main opposition, saying KKE did not intend to lend a helping hand to either the "bourgeois parties nor 'imitation' solutions".

    KKE MP George Lambroulis, on his part, said that KKE said does not want the longevity of the government, but it wants the people to play the leading role, and not leave room for any civil government." KKE parliamentary spokesman Thanassis Pafilis earlier said the party will vote for censure during the vote.

    [14] Ministers review their work on final debate day before censure motion vote

    Cabinet members speaking in parliament during the plenum's debate for a motion of censure tabled by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on the weekend used their time on the podium to present their progress in meeting targets at their respective ministries.

    Over the past few days, including Sunday - the third and last day of debate before voting at midnight - ministers opened by criticising the opposition's motion, but ended their speeches with a review of the targets they met during their term in office.

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, following a call to calmness ("as it is in no one's interest to have a civil-war-like climate") said on Saturday that a 600-million-euro investment would complete the setting up of the National Registry, creating 10,000 job openings, while a regulation favoring environmental concerns had regulated unlicensed structures and building modifications throughout Greece.

    He also said that new, updated regional growth plans affecting all 12 districts of Greece were expected at the ministry. These will include the new growth model for Attica and the new city plan regulation for Thessaloniki, he added.

    Also on Saturday, Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis reviewed the investments sector briefly and said that the government's target of restoring its image had been reached in 2013, while the target of development and of new jobs would be met in 2014. "We are entering a post-memorandum era," he said, referring to the agreements between Greece and its lenders, and he charged SYRIZA with obstructing growth efforts "by its actions such as the censure motion, which discourages future investors."

    Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis noted that the ministry and Greek port operations would be restructured, which he said would lead to freeing people from desk jobs and releasing 10 percent of the ministry's resources for on-site action. "Greece is able to safeguard its sea borders during the crisis and supervise its exclusive economic zone, and whoever doubts this provides poor service to the country," he said, in an indirect criticism of the opposition.

    During Sunday's speeches, Alternate Culture and Sports Minister Yiannis Adrianos said that a law preparation committee had been set up to work on a new sports law, as the one currently in effect is out of date. Priority would be given to preventing incidents of violence at sports events and dealing with doping of athletes. "Our goal is to again see families with their children attending sports games," he added.

    Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said significant steps had been taken in 16 months, and expressed her conviction that tourism could serve as "a huge lever of growth." Among the ministry's successes were the simplification of business-setup procedures, regulations on where and how growth projects should be carried out, efficient use of EU infrastructural funds, and a change in Greece's image abroad, she said.

    Administration Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the size of the public sector had been reduced significantly although it was behind in quality services, needing to become more friendly to citizens and more efficient. "From 915,000 permanent employees and contractors we have come down to 700,000," Mitsotakis said, "but we also reduced the wage burden on the state, from 24.5 billion euros to 16 billion. This is one of the major reasons we managed to achieve the sought-after (primary) surplus."

    He also criticised SYRIZA for its statements on rehiring laid-off workers. "This will cost 4 billion euros, if we assume that half are rehired and wage cuts are corrected by half," he noted.

    Education Minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos said that restructuring and a check on excess spending led to a reduction of expenses at the ministry by 550 million euros, but said more remained to be done. He also accused SYRIZA of "supporting and strengthening the loss of the first semester at universities" by encouraging strikes. He added that 4,500 teachers were transferred to fill in vacant positions, career training was restructured entirely, and increased the absorption of EU NSRF funds from 27 percent to 48 percent.

    Speeches by ministers and deputies will continue in parliament until midnight, when voting is to begin by roll call.

    Besides main opposition SYRIZA, which tabled the motion, Democratic Left (DIMAR), a former coalition partner of New Democracy and PASOK, has said it would vote "present", while Communist Party of Greece (KKE) parliamentary spokesman Thanassis Pafilis said on Sunday the party will vote for censure.

    [15] Government flouting Constitution, SYRIZA MP Constantopoulou says in Parliament

    Attacking New Democracy and PASOK, the two parties making up the coalition government, during Sunday's debate on a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), main opposition MP Zoi Constantopoulou accused them of engaging in "unconstitutional practices".

    "You have put the country on autopilot with acts of legislative content, emergency bills and extortionary dilemmas, calling on ill-informed and fatalistic MPs to vote for them," she said.

    She also commenting on the attack against her by Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, talking of "smart-mouth, black humour and a crass display of wit".

    Constantopoulou insisted that she and other main opposition MPs had been harassed by police outside the former ERT's broadcasting building in Agia Paraskevi:

    "Orders were given to exercise violence against MPs and myself personally. This is an act abolishing democracy and, for myself, I will do what I have a right to do," she said.

    According to the MP, Greece was living through a time that "redefined" the Greek people and their collective consciousness.

    "You will fall, gentlemen of the government. You have already fallen very low, you have already fallen in the eyes of the Greek people a long time ago," she added.

    [16] Independent Greeks' leader Kammenos says MPs will 'toe the line' in censure motion

    Independent Greeks' leader Panos Kammenos, in statements to the ANA-MPA on Sunday, expressed certainty that MPs within his Parliamentary group will "toe the line" during the vote on the censure motion to be held at midnight in the parliament.

    Kammenos hinted that if any MPs strayed from the party line, they would be expelled.

    [17] FinMin, troika meeting concludes; follow-up set for Tuesday

    A meeting between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras with economic officials, on one hand, and representatives of the troika of Greece's lenders, on the other, concluded on Sunday afternoon with a follow-up meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

    An unnamed top-level source at the ministry said that on Tuesday the government will focus on the basic outlines of the execution of the 2013 and 2014 budgets, and on whether Labor Ministry interventions and tax revenues and restructuring will be able to cover the fiscal gap for 2014.

    At the same time, other sources said that an agreement between the government and the troika on the fiscal gap amount itself and the manner of covering it is unlikely, as reports say the government puts the figure at 500-700 million euros, while the troika has allegedly assessed it at 2-2.5 billion euros.

    The Greek government is under pressure to table the new draft budget for 2014 in parliament by November 21, as negotiations with the troika must break for a Eurogroup meeting on November 14 and as the troika has been continuously requesting additional data from the government, delaying a conclusion to negotiations, another Finance Ministry source said. Negotiations have stalled on two problem areas, those of the insurance and pension fund budget and the taxation system itself. No figures were used, the source said, during the meeting on Sunday, and the possibility of a corrective draft budget being tabled with in 2014 was out of the question.

    On Monday, the troika representatives will visit the Adminsitrative Reform ministry to discuss the mobility scheme for the second set of transfer or layoffs of civil servants - the 12,500 who are now working in local governement agencies, the health sector and the insurance funds.

    [18] SYRIZA leader accuses gov't of manhandling its MPs at ERT

    Discussion in parliament on the censure motion tabled by main opposition SYRIZA rose in pitch late on Saturday night when SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused the government of manhandling its deputies outside the premises of the former public broadcaster ERT, where riot police evicted staff occupying the main building since June as protesters are gathered outside.

    "These are outrageous images," Tsipras said of television broadcasts from the site. "They show a small group of MPs being pushed by riot police in helmets. This image does not honor democracy and parliament. We asked you to condemn such incidents and to assume your very heavy responsibilities," he told the government.

    State Deputy Dimitris Stamatis denied the charges and responded, "You invoke witness reports by your deputies, while I invoke the minister's observation. I believe he is a lot more reliable than your deputies."

    Stamatis also condemned SYRIZA's decision to hold a protest rally outside parliament, ahead of midnight's roll-call vote on the motion of censure, calling it "a dangerous attempt at frightening deputies that lies outside political ethics."

    [19] ERT building had to be cleared for EU presidency, public broadcasting minister tells Parliament

    Outlining the reasons why riot police were ordered to clear the broadcasting building of fired former employees that had occupied the premises after Greece's state broadcaster ERT was closed in June, Deputy Public Broadcasting Minister Pantelis Kapsis on Saturday told Parliament that the needs of the upcoming European Union presidency had necessitated the move.

    Riot police were ordered in because "a handful for workers" were jeopardising the coverage of the Greek EU presidency and because the majority of ERT's former workforce wanted public television to get up and running so that they can start working, Kapsis told MPs debating a censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in response to the developments.

    Earlier, SYRIZA Parliamentary spokesman Panagiotis Lafazanis had accused the government of dictatorial-type practices during the riot police operation at the Aghia Paraskevi broadcasting building, earning a sharp response from Kapsis.

    "You have lived through a junta. You are cheapening those struggles by drawing such parallels," the minister said.

    Kapsis said he had first asked for the intervention of a public prosecutor to restore control of the broadcasting building in September, because "we have delayed enough already".

    "The wager is NERIT (the planned successor to ERT). It is an economic wager, because we must produce a product that is the same or better at lower cost," he said. The minister also denied that there had been any cronyism or political patronage in the hiring of the new broadcaster's staff, noting that the hiring was "unfair because it was carried out based on social criteria". He also highlighted the need to ensure that the new public broadcaster remained independent and that this was the aim of the new law for NERIT.

    Responding to the reactions from ERT's union POSPERT and the Athens journalists' union ESIEA, Kapsis asserted that they had not sought to protect the interests of the workforce but to create a political issue. He also defended the record of the interim broadcaster DT, saying its failings were largely due to the fact that it did not have access to ERT's archives and facilities.

    The minister also levelled criticism at SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, accusing him of adopting a tough stance at home but a 'soft' stance when talking abroad, noting that in speeches made during his visit to the United States Tsipras had ruled out a euro exit as disastrous. He also hinted that Tsipras' speeches in Texas had been carefully edited in their Greek translation to 'correct' such disparities.

    Responding to the claims, Lafazanis retorted angrily that Kapsis "seemed unaware of the crimes he had committed" and had been set in charge of "one of the dirtiest operations in post-junta Greece".

    "You are an illegal government committing illegal actions. Do you know what government's that issue legislative edicts are called? Do you know the name for such governments and regimes," Lafazanis added.

    [20] Admin Reform minister to Mega: censure motion a 'gift' to government

    Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday described the censure motion tabled by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) as a "gift" toward the government, in statements to a morning television programme broadcast by the private channel Mega.

    "SYRIZA gave us a very big gift. The government will get the votes it needs and the government majority will be cemented," Mitsotakis said.

    Criticising SYRIZA's decision, he noted that the aim of a censure motion was to topple the government and, in order to do that, one then had to be prepared to rule. "With what positions," he added, pointing out that SYRIZA had not said a word about what it intends to do.

    Regarding the public sector, Mitsotakis said the memorandum signed by Greece made provision for 15,000 layoffs by the end of 2014 and that 4,000 layoffs had to be found by the end of 2013.

    He said that there had to be intervention in public-sector legal entities for a further 1,000 job cuts and staff cuts in Greek defence industries, but clarified that there were no margins for more 'sudden death' type measures, such as that employed for the former broadcaster ERT.

    Regarding staff from the abolished municipal police forces now in the labour reserve pool, he said these would be to fill positions at the finance ministry, the Greek Police and the prison system and that these would transfers would not be random but take into account factors such as employees home location.

    [21] Development minister on foreclosures: 'We won't protect those pretending to be poor'

    Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis stressed that the government was not prepared to contemplate "political suicide" over the issue of home foreclosures, in an interview due to appear in the Sunday edition of "Real News".

    "We will not protect those pretending to be poor," the minister clarified in a comment on a lifting of a ban on auctioning homes for unpaid debts.

    He said the effort would target the "big fish" and large loans, adding that the new rules will apply from January 1, 2014.

    Concerning the agreement with the troika to determine minimum acceptable living standards and the definition of 'poverty', he said the government's goal was for acceptable living standards to be defined at a level above the poverty line.

    [22] DIM.AR leader accuses main opposition leader of 'tacticism'

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Eleftherotypia", Democratic Left (DIM.AR) leader Fotis Kouvelis accused main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras of "tacticism" in relation to the censure motion tabled in Parliament.

    He repeated DIM.AR's intention vote 'present', saying this stance was imposed "by the policy exercised by the government, on the one hand, and SYRIZA's tacticism, on the other hand." He also noted that DIM.AR and SYRIZA's position were not close on crucial issues, while the main opposition's policy was marked by constant changes.

    [23] FM spokesman responds to further statements by Turkish FM to EU commissioner

    The Foreign Ministry denied late on Saturday statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the effect that talks had begun at a community representative level on the Cyprus issue.

    Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Koutras, responding to press questions, said that there were erroneous references made by Davutoglu following his meeting with European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule, in Ankara, concerning the results of the Sept. 23 meeting he had with his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    "As government Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos has repeatedly stressed, Greece - in response to a relevant request from the President of the Republic of Cyprus, and in order to facilitate direct contact between the Greek Cypriot negotiator and the Turkish government - agreed to a meeting, on the corresponding level, of the Secretary General of the Greek Foreign Ministry with the negotiator for the Turkish Cypriot community, which is provided for by the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, and not, of course, with a representative of the pseudo-state," Koutras clarified.

    Such meetings, he said, "on the highest level, in fact, of the President of the Republic of Cyprus with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, take place very frequently, without ever raising an issue of indirect recognition of the pseudo-state, which is, in any case, prohibited by the relevant explicit resolution of the UN Security Council."

    He concluded that as Venizelos "has also repeatedly stressed, these meetings neither constitute an indirect quadrilateral conference, nor prefigure such a thing, which has been ruled out by the Cypriot and Greek governments, which respect and support the UN Secretary General's mission of good offices."

    [24] Deputy Foreign Minister Gerontopoulos to attend ASEM ministerial meeting on Monday

    Deputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos will represent Greece at the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which begins on Monday in New Delhi, the foreign ministry said in an announcement.

    The ministerial meeting entitled "Bridge to Partnership for Growth and Development" will be attended by 48 European and Asian foreign ministers.

    The Greek delegation will focus on areas of cooperation for renewable energy, small and medium size companies, disaster management, education as well as human resource development, according to the foreign ministry.

    On Monday, Gerontopoulos will address a plenary on "Revitalizing Development" and on Tuesday he will participate in the foreign affairs ministers' meeting, talking about "Developments in the Southern Mediterranean. Democratic and socio-economic transition."

    On the sidelines of the ASEM meeting, Gerontopoulos will hold bilateral meetings and talks with foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers of other countries.

    [25] Those seeking to divide society will be punished, public order minister tells Sunday 'Vima'

    In a statement to the Sunday edition of the newspaper "To Vima", Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias said the government would deal harshly with those seeking to sow discord in Greek society.

    "Those who are indifferent to human life and attempt to destabilise and divide society will be called to account and punished," Dendias stressed in a comment on the recent double murder targeting far-right Golden Dawn supporters in Athens' Neo Iraklio district.

    "We will not allow the extremes to push us into a civil war," he added, while expressing concern at the prospect of similar hits in the future and the possibility that killings marked "the start of a spiral of terrorist attacks and a vendetta of blood that will once again sow insecurity in society."

    [26] Education minister at 37th UNESCO general conference in Paris

    Education Minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos represented the Greek government at the 37th UNESCO General Conference held in Paris, the education ministry said in a press release on Saturday.

    In his speech, he referred to the role that education can play in dealing with the ongoing economic crisis and said that the government's goal for education in Greece was to encourage the active involvement of citizens and improve the skills of the labour force in order to combat unemployment. He also highlighted the role of education in order to boost growth and competitiveness in a country and said Greece had harmonised its actions with the guidelines of UNESCO's 'Medium Term Strategy'.

    He said Greece's upcoming presidency of the EU would be an opportunity to work in order to make life-long learning a reality, improving the quality and efficiency of education and training.

    [27] Mantelis trial for Siemens kickbacks to begin Monday

    The trial of former minister Tassos Mantelis, who held the transport portfolio under past PASOK governments, and four other defendants accused of taking kickbacks from Siemens in 1998 and 2000 is due to begin before an Athens Criminal Appeals Court on Monday.

    The charges against the former minister are that he laundered money received illegally from the German international company slush funds as kickbacks for a contract awarded to Siemens to digitise the Greek state telecoms firms systems.

    According to Mantelis, the money was a campaign contribution for PASOK.

    On trial with Mantelis are the businessman Georgios Tsougranis, tax office employee Antonia Markou, former Siemens executive Ilias Georgiou and his associate Aristidis Mantas.

    General News

    [28] Ancient Roman villa and spa discovered by archaeologists in Loutraki area

    Archaeologists working in the Katounistra area, in the spa town of Loutraki near the Corinth Ishthmus, on Saturday announced the discovery of a large Roman villa that was in use up until the 6th century A.S. but also the remains of a spa and thermal baths facility nearby.

    According to experts, the finds illustrate the importance of the Isthmus region in antiquity but also that the use of thermal springs had been developed in the region at that time.

    The announcements were made during an event marking the end of the 2013 archaeological digs season in the area and included a tour of the site.

    These finds, as well as remains of a Classical era temple excavated in 1920, point to Loutraki's existence as an independent settlement dating back to the Classical era, in addition to Roman references to the town as 'Thermae'.

    According to the Peloponnese Region deputy head Apostolos Papafotiou, the authority's plans for the area include the eventual development of the dig as an archaeological site open to visitors.

    [29] Protest rally against Halkidiki gold mines held in Thessaloniki

    Residents from the topmost 'finger' of the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece on Saturday staged a protest rally in the city of Thessaloniki against a gold mining venture underway in the region's Skouries area.

    Organisers, who were assisted by representatives of parties and Thessaloniki organisations, said that November 9 had been proclaimed as a day of action against gold mining in Halkidiki, with protests held in various cities throughout Europe on this day.

    The protestors arrived in Thessaloniki in private cars and buses, gathering in XANTH square armed with banners and placards and shouting slogans against the government and Hellas Gold, the company carrying out the gold mining investment.

    They then carried out a protest march through central streets of the city, ending outside the building that had housed the former state broadcaster's channel for northern Greece, ET-3, in a show of support for fired former employees that are still occupying the premises.

    Traffic police closed the roads to vehicles in the centre of Thessaloniki while the march was taking place, with police deployed at strategic points along its route. The protest ended at 13:00 without the slightest incident.

    [30] Council of State upholds decision allowing icons in courtrooms

    The Council of State rejected as unacceptable a petition by three plaintiffs requesting that all religious icons and symbols be removed from courtrooms.

    In its ruling, the court referred extensively to European Court of Human Rights rulings, the Greek constitution and regulations, saying that an earlier decision by the managing committee of Thessaloniki's administrative courts which ruled in 2010 that icons were allowed was inviolable.

    The Council also said that the three plaintiffs did not prove their legitimate interest in bringing the case to court, nor did one of the three, who claims she is a lawyer, prove her identity as such. The Council accepted an intervention by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus supporting the Thessaloniki decision as his having a legitimate ethical interest in intervening. The metropolitan said that icons were first placed in court halls during the first era following liberation from Ottoman rule in Greece, or 1828-1833.

    [31] Far-right Golden Dawn organises food handouts in Athens, Thessaloniki

    The far-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party on Saturday organised handouts of food, clothing and childrens' toys outside the party's headquarters in Athens and Thessaloniki. The party said the handouts were organised in memory of slain party supporters Giorgos Foudoulis and Manos Kapelonis, who were recently gunned down by unidentified assailants outside GD offices in Neo Iraklio.

    A minute's silence was observed for the two victims before the distribution got underway.

    [32] Prisoner found dead in cell at Hania prison

    A 67-year-old inmate of Hania prison, remanded in custody on charges of drug dealing and as a member of a criminal organisation, was found dead in his cell on Saturday morning. Correctional officers entered the cell after a fellow-inmate reported that he had lost consciousness.

    An ambulance was called in to take the man to Hania hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

    An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

    Sports

    [33] Kenyan runners dominate Marathon race, as race is gradually being completed

    Kenyan distance runner Hillary Yego, 26, is the winner of the 31st Classic Marathon of Athens on Sunday, completing the race at the Panathenaic Stadium (the Kallimarmaro) in Athens at 2 hours, 13 minutes and 59 seconds.

    Second and third place were claimed by Yego's compatriots Dickson Kimeli (2.14.40) and David Rutoh (2.14.47), respectively. The first Greek athlete in the classic Marathon race this year is Christoforos Meroussis, with 2.24.09.

    Among women runners, Kenyan Nancy Joan Rotich came first (2.41.38), and Greek Magda Gazea second (2.46.03).

    Runners are still coming in. More than 10,000 people have registered for the classic 42 km race, which started in Marathon northeast of Athens.

    Two shorter anc circular races were also run the same day - 10 km and 5 km - both starting at Syntagma Square's Amalias street and ending up at the Panathenaic Stadium as well. The longer race ran up to the National Defence Ministry on Messoghion avenue and the shorter one up to the Athens Concert Hall on Vassilissis Sofias street.

    Winning the 10km race was Russian national Iadgarov Istander (phonetic spelling) at 32 minutes and 28 seconds, with Kostas Drossos coming in second (32.35). Among women runners, Anastasia Karakatsani came first with 35.40.

    The 5km race was won by Kostas Nakopoulos (15.48), with Katerina Berdoussi coming first among the women (17.58). Approximately 8,000 people had registered for each of these shorter races.

    Soccer

    [34] Super League results

    Olympiakos Piraeus beat PAOK by 4-0 in a match played at home over the weekend for the Greek soccer Super League and retained its lead in the standings.

    In other action:

    Platanias Crete-Apollon Smyrnis 2-0

    PAS Yiannena-OFI Crete 2-1

    Aris Thessaloniki-Panathinaikos 0-2

    Panionios Athens-Atromitos Athens 2-1

    Veria-Kalloni Mytilini 0-3

    Ergotelis-Panthrakikos Xanthi 3-1

    Panetolikos-Levadiakos 2-1

    Olympiakos-PAOK 4-0

    Asteras Tripoli-Xanthi 11/11

    Standings after 11 weeks of play:

    1. Olympiakos 31

    2. PAOK 25

    3. Atromitos Athens 18

    4. Panathinaikos 17

    5. PAS Yiannena 17

    6. Panetolikos 17

    7. Ergotelis 17

    8. Panionios Athens 15

    9. Kalloni Mytilini 15

    10. Asteras Tripoli 1 14

    11. Panthrakikos Xanthi 1 14

    12. Xanthi 13

    13. Platanias Crete 11

    14. Levadiakos 11

    15. OFI Crete 9

    16. Aris Thessaloniki 8

    17. Apollon Smyrnis 8

    18. Veria 7

    Weather forecast

    [35] Thunderstorms on Monday

    Overcast and rainy with sporadic thunderstorms throughout

    Greece on Monday. South-southeasterly winds 3 to 6 Beauforts, rising to 7 at the Aegean Sea. Temperatures from 9C to 22C (starting at 3C in northern Greece). In Athens, rainy with sporadic thunderstorms from midday on. Southerly winds 4 to 6 Beaufort, and temperatures from 13C to 20C. In Thessaloniki, the same, with winds starting at 3 Beaufort but rising to 6 in the aftrnoon, and temperatures from 12C to 18C.

    [36] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: "Samaras government a public hazard"

    DIMOKRATIA: "Karamanlis bombs dropping eight years later"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Every 'no' to censure in Parliament is a 'yes' to the troika"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Contributions cleared out of insurance fund accounts"

    ETHNOS: "Black money, bank vaults and kickbacks"

    KATHIMERINI: "Critical vote under troika's shadow"

    LOGOS: "A poor man's Christmas, this year"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Popular response will not come from within Parliament"

    TO VIMA: "Samaras or Tsipras?"

    VRADYNI: "Last chance to buy out missing pension years: Dec. 31"

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