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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis to begin 3-day state visit to India
  • [02] Papandreou addresses Parliament on OTE, PPC
  • [03] KKE leader bashes media
  • [04] DE.PA on natgas supply

  • [01] PM Karamanlis to begin 3-day state visit to India

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis is due to leave on Thursday for a three-day official visit to India, where he will meet the following day in New Delhi with the Indian state and political leadership.

    Karamanlis' itinerary on Friday includes separate meetings with Indian prime minister Manmohan Sing, President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, and main opposition Bharatiya Janata party (BJP-Indian Popular Party) leader Rajnath Singh.

    At noon on Friday, Karamanlis will attend a luncheon in his honor hosted by the Indian Chambers of Commerce, which will be attended by Indian commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath, while on Friday night an official dinner will be held in honor of the Greek prime minister.

    On Saturday morning, Karamanlis leaves New Delhi for Agra.

    Karamanlis will be accompanied on his India visit by foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, minister of state and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, and head of the prime minister's press office Yannis Andrianos.

    Caption: File photo of prime minister Costas Karamanlis (ANA-MPA/S. Pantzartzi)

    [02] Papandreou addresses Parliament on OTE, PPC

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday accused the government of looking for accomplices over its downfall, although it will not find them in PASOK, speaking in Parliament during debate over the establishment of a National Social Cohesion Fund, which was ultimately passed by the legislature. Referring specifically to a rider included in the draft legislation regarding protection of public utilities from aggressive buyouts, Papandreou charged that government policy has made the Hellenic Telecommunication Organization (OTE), Greece's largest telephony and telecoms company, vulnerable to aggressive buyouts.

    This amendment is nothing but a desperate attempt to gain time - in search of strategic investors (for OTE), Papandreou told the Parliament plenary session.

    He also charged that the government has turned state-run Public Power Corp. (PPC), the listed power utility in the country, into a loss-maker, while eying its eventual sell-off.

    Referring to the ongoing Zachopoulos affair still reverberating on the country's political scene, Papandreou said the government is not in a position to investigate an affair of which it is a party to.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [03] KKE leader bashes media

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga accused the mass media of an "ideological attack" on her party, during a press conference on Wednesday following an announcement issued by the KKE political bureau on the media's post-electoral treatment of the KKE and the popular movement.

    She also accused media owners of 'doctoring' the political developments, aimed at manipulating the developments and obstructing developments detrimental to the two mainstream parties, ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK.

    She said the situation that has been created in the private and state media at the KKE's expense, particularly after the last general elections, was "blatantly provocative".

    She said the real time allotted on news programmes for the KKE barely exceeded 2 percent, and accused the Radio-Television Coucil of being a 'simple observer' to this phenomenon, adding that it was the choice of the electronic and print media owners, noting that they use public frequencies, and charged that the declarations on polyphony and equality had proved to be hypocritical.

    Another indication of the KKE's unequal treament was that a large number of programmes on state channels did not invite representatives of the KKE, although they did invite people who had left the party decades ago and now belong to other parties to speak, even about the KKE's 90-year history.

    Papariga further charged that the majority of mass media ridiculed and slandered demonstrations and take-overs decided collectively by workers and the youth because they were counter to the choices of capital, while the only mobilisations they project are those that aid the two-party alternation in power.

    She said all the mechanisms were being used to obstruct and cancel the growth of the popular movement, and to protect the two-party alternation, aimed at formulating bi-partisan solutions when the margins for single-party governments were depleted. The media interventions to influence the election of party leaders, as shown in the recent developments and leadership election in PASOK, and the ongoing developments in the Coalition of the Left (SYN), were in that direction,.

    "The KKE's electoral rise and the increase in its influence worries them," she said.

    Papariga termed the situation prevailing in the field of information as unacceptable, and criticised the government which, she said, has forgotten its older declarations against the collusion of business and publishing interests, adding that, with the new law, the concentration of media in the hands of capital was being strengthened.

    [04] DE.PA on natgas supply

    <!--Press reports out of Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday noted that regular natural gas shipments from Iran to Turkey should resume next week, possibly on Monday, following a same-day confirmation that gas shipments to Greece, via Turkey, from Azerbaijan were halted, a negative development two months after a milestone Turkey-Greece natgas pipeline was inaugurated in November 2006.

    Reports from Turkey cited statements by Iranian officials claiming that weather conditions in Iran caused a decrease in gas shipments to Turkey and not a total interruption.

    Meanwhile, other press reports said Turkey will import electrical power from Greece in the short term, given that the shortage in natural gas was reportedly straining power output in the neighbouring country. According to reports, 50 percent of power generation in Turkey is fuelled by natural gas. A figure of 185 MW of imported electricity for January and February was cited.

    Meanwhile, officials with Greece's state-run natural gas utility (DE.PA) on Wednesday noted that the development will not affect the country's production, as supplies from other providers (i.e. Russia) are uninterrupted, while reserves of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are also available from the utility's Revythoussa isle site south of Athens.

    In an announcement, DE.PA said it is in direct contact with its Turkish partner, BOTAS, to ensure the fastest possible resumption of natural gas supplies from Turkey.

    Caption: EPA file photo from the inauguration ceremony for the natural gas pipeline in Turkey /Sergey Zhukov -->

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