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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 13-11-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 18 November 2013 Issue No: 4514


  • [01] PM Samaras chairs meetings ahead of Monday's talks with the troika
  • [02] SYRIZA leader: First 100 days plan of the government of the Left
  • [03] Gov't spokesman on SYRIZA leader's interview
  • [04] Tsipras: Polytechnic's uprising alive in Greeks' conscience
  • [05] KKE party leader says there shall be new measures regardless of the form they shall have
  • [06] Europarliament president: Strategic investments necessary to revive the economy
  • [07] Interior Minister: Greece one step before growth
  • [08] Dep.FM to attend EU General Affairs Council meeting
  • [09] Samaras to attend former Cyprus President Clerides' funeral
  • [10] Opinion poll sees ND lead over SYRIZA
  • [11] Terror group claimed responsibility for attack at GD offices in Iraklio
  • [12] University Administrative Staff Federation calls 24-hour strike on Monday
  • [13] Polytechnic anniversary march concludes smoothly, limited scale incidents in Exarchia
  • [14] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [15] Four arrested in case of Palero migrant trafficking
  • [16] International colloquy on repatriation of Parthenon Marbles held in Sydney
  • [17] Greek film "Miss Violence" awarded at Stockholm film festival
  • [18] Syria nationals arrested for using fake travel documents
  • [19] Fair on Monday
  • [20] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras chairs meetings ahead of Monday's talks with the troika

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras chaired over the weekend a series of ministerial meetings ahead of the resumption of negotiations between Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and the EC/ECB/IMF troika of lenders' representatives on Monday.

    A prolonged meeting, chaired by Samaras, was held at the Maximos Mansion at noon on Sunday, in the presence of Government Vice President, Foreign Minister and PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos. The red lines set remain and an effort will be made for whatever difference exists with the troika to be covered with structural changes.

    Finance Minister Stournaras said after the meeting that an effort is being made for the gap to be bridged and a solution to be achieved in time. He stressed that there is no open issue, as regards labour issues, and that a part of the fiscal gap will be covered by interventions of the Labour ministry and with the implementation of the Unified Salary Scale. However, he clarified that he does not believe that there can be a solution immediately.

    Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis presented the changes that he is promoting on the insurane issue and with which he believes that he will be able to save at least 600 million euros. In a statement he spoke of "tidying up the insurance issue", saying he is optimistic that a solution will be ultimately found.

    "With the tidying up of the country's insurance system that we are attempting lately, we have succeeded in saving very considerable amounts which are very important for this very crucial negotiation. And I believe that we are very close to the targets we have set", he said after the meeting.

    As regards the issue of house foreclosures, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis clarified that the prime minister's statements stand and that poor people must not be afraid. "The entire discussion on the part of the government is taking place for the big loans and the big 'fish'. This is our direction. It is clear", Hatzidakis said.

    Stournaras' scheduled meeting with the troika on Sunday, was postponed for Monday due to the traditional march on the Polytechnic uprising anniversary on November 17.

    Emerging from Sunday's meeting, Government Vice President Venizelos told reporters that "the preparation is going well and the framework is clear: no fiscal measures, salary and pension cuts, we discussed restructuring changes and want to promote them".

    Venizelos stressed that the distance on the fiscal gap is being "bridged", adding that "the unprecedented success" must be acknowledged, meaning, as he stressed, that "Greece of 2014 shall be, not in terms of primary stage surplus at an impressive level, but also in terms of fiscal deficit will be below the supervision, below 3 percent".

    "This must be appreciated," he said and stressed that "naturally all these targets are targets emanating from the debt's sustainability".

    Referring to the issues raised during Sunday's meeting, Venizelos said the government's message is very clear on social sensitivity issues with the most characteristic example being, as he said, the house foreclosures issue for which he pointed out ?will be turned into practice and will be enacted clearly" clarifying that the primary residence of the poor and medium-level household will be protected as the government has said.

    He also noted that issues concerning labour relations will not be touched now, however, the issue of the special real estate tax was discussed for which, as he said, "very good work has been done and there is convergence and satisfaction by all the parliamentary groups".

    Venizelos left the meeting before its conclusion in order to depart for Brussels to participate in the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council on Monday.

    On Saturday evening, premier Samaras chaired another meeting of the government's economic ministers. Stournaras told reporters afterwards that an across-the-board discussion took place and the government's steadfast position is to go ahead with the necessary structural reforms.

    Referring to the issue of structural changes, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said that the structural changes being promoted will place emphasis on competition and the fall in prices.

    "There is a study that we have ordered with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we have the initial data of the study, we shall have the finalised data at the end of November, on the basis of which we are trying to make a horizontal intervention in the market so that certain overprotected groups will not have this protection and ultimately the consumer to have lower prices for products and services", he said.

    "Of course, this intervention concerns tens of sectors and attention is necessary and dialogue with the deputies supporting the government and, of course, with the relevant agencies as well, however the government's direction is clear: We shall go ahead with structural changes, we shall proceed with reforms that will indeed support the defenceless Greek citizen and the field of the market is exclusively such a field," Hatzidakis said.

    [02] SYRIZA leader: First 100 days plan of the government of the Left

    The government's fear of the Europarliament elections works as a catalyst for developments before May, noted SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in an interview with the Sunday edition of Avghi newspaper entitled "the first 100 days plan of the government of the Left" in which opens a window of cooperation to those MPs that will vote against the new measures.

    In the second part of his interview, that will be published on Tuesday, the main opposition leader refers to the first measures the government of the Left will undertake that will concern the replacement of the Memorandum by a National Growth and Restoration plan for the country that will foresee the restoration of the collective labour contracts and of the minimum salary to before the Memorandum levels, the lay-offs control, the new development law, the property register and a stable and just taxation system.

    The government's priority will be the re-negotiation of the loan contract, the tackling of the humanitarian crisis and the re-opening of Greek Radio Television (ERT) and the following of the law regarding the operation of private media.

    [03] Gov't spokesman on SYRIZA leader's interview

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou in an announcement on Sunday referring to main opposition SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras' interview to the Sunday edition of Avghi newspaper, said "After the dogma "money exist" Mr. Tsipras now shamelessly states that "where we will find the money is a wrong question" ! Deception has limits but obviously Mr. Tsipras disagrees..." he concluded.

    [04] Tsipras: Polytechnic's uprising alive in Greeks' conscience

    The three-day commemoration events for the 40th anniversary of the student uprising against the junta on November 17, 1973 continued on Saturday and will peak on Sunday with the demonstration that will start at 15.00 from the Polytechnic Gate to the American Embassy. The gates of the institute will be open to public until late in the evening while students and professors are responsible to safeguard the Institute's premises.

    On Saturday at 11.00, a SYRIZA delegation headed by its leader Alexis Tsipras, laid a wreath at the Athens Polytechnic.

    In a statement, Tsipras noted that "despite the forty years that passed, the Polytechnic uprising remains alive in the Greek society's conscience and the message of the popular unity and resistance for democracy, life and dignity is more timely than ever. Maybe, because today as then, the society's demand for a huge change and release from the regime of destruction, the downgrade of democracy and the dissolution of the social cohesion is mature and pervasive. And when something is timely and alive in society and the demand exists it will find, sooner or later, dynamic ways to be expressed. However, we must be more experienced from this collective knowledge and conscience. Nothing will be offered to us. We will gain it with struggles".

    Moreover, an exhibition of posters and documents from November 1973 uprising is on display within the Polytechnic while former Greek Radio and Television (ERT) employees broadcast a nine-hour programme from 12.00 on Saturday from the Polytechnic.

    Police announced that security measures in the city center during Sunday's demonstration will be high and there will be also traffic regulations in streets around the Athens Polytechnic. There will also be changes in the public transport (buses, trolleys) routes and stops.

    [05] KKE party leader says there shall be new measures regardless of the form they shall have

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Dimitris Koutsoumbas, speaking in an interview with the newspaper Real News, said he believes that the tug-of-war between the government and the troika is not a clash but individual disagreements on the way and time of implementing agreed antipopular measures and places them in the framework of overall competition between the U.S. and Germany, and the IMF and the Eurozone that are manifested in Greece as well.

    He added that there shall be new measures, regardless of the form they shall have.

    On the question of elections, Koutsoumbas said "nobody wants them at the moment, not even SYRIZA, who is probably calling for them from a point of safety and to rally an audience of its voters in the expectance of possible elections".

    As regards the possibility of support for a SYRIZA government by KKE after the elections, Koutsoumbas said the party "will not become the 'cherry' in a government to praise Obama, the EU and the proposals of the IMF on the debt and the course of the economy".

    Lastly, the KKE leader expressed concern over developments in Greek-Turkish relations and the issue of Cyprus, that he linked with acute competition in the region for the control of energy sources and paths.

    [06] Europarliament president: Strategic investments necessary to revive the economy

    "The Greeks have made huge sacrifices. Today, we should not talk about cutbacks, but on how we will revive the economy. We need strategic investments in the country" said Europarliament president Martin Schulz on Saturday in an interview with NEA newspaper.

    "In Greece we saw that the position that the unilateral fiscal discipline will lead to the fiscal consolidation and the restoration of the investors' trust is wrong. The new EU government will particularly focus on the huge problem the small and medium enterprises are facing and how it will be solved. How they will have access to capitals" said Schulz.

    According to Schulz, the economic policy in the eurozone will be a combination of the fiscal consolidation with strategic investments for growth and employment.

    [07] Interior Minister: Greece one step before growth

    The certainty that the country is one step before growth, expressed Interior Minister Yannis Mihelakis in an interview with the Sunday edition of Typos newspaper.

    Mihelakis also underlined that the majority of society is aware that there is no other way to exit from the crisis.

    "We are entering into the most crucial battle for our country exit from the crisis" he noted adding "that nobody should forget that after so many sacrifices, the country succeeds to have a primary surplus in 2013.

    The Interior Minister also noted that the stability of the government and the social normality are not at risk and whatever arguments in New Democracy and PASOK will be surpassed through dialogue.

    [08] Dep.FM to attend EU General Affairs Council meeting

    Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas will be in Brussels on 18 and 19 November to participate in the EU General Affairs Council's meeting.

    On the meeting's agenda are the European Commission's working programme for 2014, the Annual Review for Development and the preparation of the European Council that will be held in Brussels on 19-20 December.

    [09] Samaras to attend former Cyprus President Clerides' funeral

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will attend the funeral of former Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on Tuesday in Nicosia.

    Clerides died on Friday 15 November at the age of 94.

    [10] Opinion poll sees ND lead over SYRIZA

    New Democracy (ND) leads by 1.6 over main opposition SYRIZA, according to an opinion poll conducted by Rass for the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos newspaper.

    According to the poll results, ND leads with 24.2 percent, followed by SYRIZA with 22.6 percent, ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 6.2 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.8 percent, Independent Greeks with 4.8 percent, PASOK with 4.6 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 3.1 percent.

    In response to who would be most suitable for prime minister, current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (and ND leader) was preferred by 49.2 percent of the respondents, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 33 percent.

    According to the poll results 55.5 percent of the respondents wants the government to complete its four-year tenure while 41.9 percent of the respondents want early elections.

    [11] Terror group claimed responsibility for attack at GD offices in Iraklio

    The group "Fighting revolutionary popular groups? claimed responsibility on Saturday for the murder of Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) members Giorgos Fountoulis and Manolis Kapelonis and the serious injury of Alexandros Gerontas, outside the party's offices at the Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio on November 1.

    According to the 18- page proclamation posted onto website the attack was held " in retaliation of Pavlos Fyssas' murder in Keratsini by Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias and other scum on September 17, members of the neonazi party" and threatens all members of GD and those who approach them, noting that" the 'democratic' police that 'cooperates with them' will not save them".

    The website said that an unknown individual called late in the afternoon at switchboard and said that the proclamation was in an envelope containing a USB at the entrance of Kesariani shooting range memorial where it was later found by the Anti-terrorism Squad.

    [12] University Administrative Staff Federation calls 24-hour strike on Monday

    The Federation of university Administrative Staff has called a 24-hour strike on Monday, while on the same day the staff unions of the Athens University and the National Metsovio Polytechnic will be convening to determine their further position.

    It is reminded that the Council of State rejected last week the recourse made by staff requesting the annulment of the suspension measure.

    The two universities have, meanwhile, prepared an examinations and lessons programme to prevent the loss of the six-month period.

    [13] Polytechnic anniversary march concludes smoothly, limited scale incidents in Exarchia

    Events marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Polytechnic uprising against the military junta were concluded smoothly with the traditional march on Sunday evening. Streets were opened to traffic and the Athens Metro stations of Ambelokipi, Megaro Mousikis, Evangelismos, Syntagma and Panepistimio reopened.

    Thousands of people had gathered at the Polytechnic and surrounding streets as of noon for the march, which developed smoothly and came to an end at 8 in the evening without tensions and considerable incidents.

    Demonstrators honoured the anniversary with timely slogans, expressing their disagreement with austerity and the memorandum. Police forces maintained a strong presence throughout the entire course of the march up to the U.S. embassy and, with the exception of certain limited tensions, everything went smoothly.

    Reaching the U.S. embassy, that was being guarded by strong riot police units, the demonstrators stopped outside, shouting slogans and shortly afterwards dispersing through Alexandras avenue.

    However, before the last groups of the march dispersed limited incidents broke out, initially at the intersection of Harilaou Trikoupi street and Alexandras avenue and continued for a short while in the region of Exarchia. According to police, a group of demonstrators attacked riot police stationed in the area with stones and other objects. Police used tear gas and the youths left, heading towards Exarchia square where tension continued briefly.

    Police forces arrived in the square, where they were remaining on Sunday evening, and took people for questioning. Altogether, by Sunday evening and both before and after the march 149 people were taken for questioning and two arrests were made.

    Financial News

    [14] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.366

    Pound sterling 0.850

    Danish kroner 7.570

    Swedish kroner 9.078

    Japanese yen 137.01

    Swiss franc 1.253

    Norwegian kroner 8.377

    Canadian dollar 1.429

    Australian dollar 1.463

    General News

    [15] Four arrested in case of Palero migrant trafficking

    Police and the Harbour Corps have arrested four people who reportedly participated in the case of the trafficking of the 27 migrants up to Palero, in the Etoloakarnania prefecture, where 12 people lost their lives, while two more are still being sought.

    Acting on information received, Lefkada port officials arrested a 34-year-old foreign national and in the region of Xiromerou, in Etoloakarnania, police arrested a 53-year-old woman. Both are accused of being members of a criminal organisation for trafficking foreign nationals.

    Meanwhile, the 34 and 53-year-olds, together with the other two arrested, the 58-year-old navigator of the vessel that capsized in the sea region of Palero and the 20-year-old arrested in Konopina, as a suspect in creating a criminal organisation, were brought before a prosecutor in Lefkada late on Saturday evening. They will be taken to court in Lefkada again on Monday to testify before an investigator.

    However, police and port officials are continuing their investigations to have two more foreign nationals arrested who, according to evidence the authorities have, are reportedly organisational members of the migrant trafficking ring.

    [16] International colloquy on repatriation of Parthenon Marbles held in Sydney

    SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)/ANA-MPA/ S. Hatzimanolis

    The Parthenon Marbles must be returned to Athens. There is no excuse now that the new Acropolis Museum has opened; said New South Wales Prime Minister Barry O' Farrell, at his opening speech of the international colloquy for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles entitled "Parthenon, an Icon of Global Citizenship".

    O'Farrell also noted that the western world owes a lot to the Greek civilisation and called all the deputies to adopt the position that the Parthenon Marbles should return to Athens.

    Greek ambassador to Australia Haralambos Dafaranos also addressed the meeting in which participated experts and scientists from all over the world.

    On her part, the chief of all Australian Museums Bernice Murphy said that "Britain and Greece must start a dialogue. A solution could be to share these treasures?.

    The colloquy is organised by the Australian Committee for the Restituition of the Parthenon Marbles and opened on Friday at the Nicholson Museum of the University of Sydney.

    [17] Greek film "Miss Violence" awarded at Stockholm film festival

    The Greek film "Miss Violence" received the award for the best scenario (Alexandros Avranas and Costas Peroulis) at the 24th international film festival of Stockholm.

    Alexandros Avranas' film has also won the silver lion at the 70th film festival of Venice while Themis Panou won the lead actor award .

    [18] Syria nationals arrested for using fake travel documents

    A 27 year-old man and a 20 year-old woman, both Greeks, along with two Syrian nationals aged 36 and 17 were arrested on Sunday at Kalamata airport, southern Greece.

    The Syria nationals used two fake Greek identity cards while attempting to leave the country.

    The Syrians and the Greeks, alleged to have assisted the foreign nationals, will be sent to Kalamata prosecutor.

    Weather Forecast

    [19] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday. Winds 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures between 7C and 20C. Fair in Athens with northerly 4-6 beaufort winds and temperatures between 11C and 19C. Slightly cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 11C and 16C.

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

    AVGI: SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to newspaper: Left (SYRIZA) government's first 100 days plan.

    ETHNOS: Thirty-day trial.

    KATHIMERINI: The shocking report on prices and distortions.

    KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: The three gates of hell: Real estate taxation, 2014 State Budget and foreclosures.

    KYRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Government brings shocking measures and seeks crutches.

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: Declaration of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) central committee: 95 years of struggles and KKE's sacrifices

    LOGOS: Environmental contamination by hospital waste.

    PROTO THEMA: 1,600 wealthy people called to give account for the assets.

    Realnews: Real estate 'looting' tax.

    TO ARTHRO: Primary surplus a catalyst of irresponsibility

    TO PARON: They gift tens of millions - That's where exist the money the country needs.

    TO VIMA: Europeans' pressure bring developments.

    TYPOS: Opinion poll: Samaras dominates, slap for Tsipras.

    VRADYNI:Pensions:The favourable arrangements for the armed forces.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS

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