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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't denies alleged DVD deal
  • [02] Énflation holds steady at 3.9 pct

  • [01] Gov't denies alleged DVD deal

    Greek government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos once again fielded questions on Wednesday regarding the ramifications and complications of the scandal surrounding former culture ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos, who is still recovering from a suicide attempt following his resignation and implication in an illicit sexual affair.

    After the furore surrounding the identity of the journalist that provided the notorious DVD of intimate bedroom scenes of Zachopoulos and a woman formerly employed at the culture ministry, press questions focused on the latest twist in the affair concerning journalist and newspaper publisher Themos Anastassiades and the latest round of allegations against him and the government made by his fellow journalist and partner in the newspaper "Proto Thema", Makis Triantafyllopoulos.

    Roussopoulos was asked whether the government had sought to learn the name of the ruling New Democracy MP that Triantafyllopoulos claimed informed him about an alleged deal between the government and Anastassiades. The spokesman refused to comment, saying that he would wait to hear the "completed allegation" in which the MP allegedly involved was named.

    Replying to further questions on the same issue, meanwhile, Roussopoulos urged reporters to address their questions to their "colleague that made the incomplete accusation" and noted that the government had "not cast any shadows on anyone".

    Questioned about the head of the prime minister's press office Yiannis Andrianos - who had initially refused to name the source of the DVD he had given to justice as evidence claiming his right as a journalist to protect his sources - Roussopoulos did not clarify whether Andrianos had photographs that could prove the identity of the journalist who met him at the Hilton Hotel to pick up the DVD in question.

    The spokesman again stressed that Andrianos had answered the questions of the examining magistrate and had sent the DVD to a public prosecutor in December, the day after Zachopoulos' attempted suicide.

    He also dismissed questions about why Andrianos had agreed to accept the DVD, claiming that it was standard practice for governments and journalists throughout the world to exchange information, without this implying any wrongdoing or suspicious transaction.

    He strenuously denied any form of give-and-take, stressing that the government did not enter into transactions with anyone and this this had been proved over the past four years and would also be proved by justice's investigation into this case.

    The spokesman further denied press reports that the government had learned of the DVD's existence before it was given to Andrianos:

    "I heard on television that [the DVD] was circulating in journalists' offices. We didn't happen to hear about that at all. No journalist had told us earlier," Roussopoulos said.

    Commenting on main opposition PASOK's proposal for a Parliamentary inquiry into the affair, he noted that it was the government's standing practice not to set up such inquiries into cases being investigated by justice.

    "Afterwards, we are open to all ideas," he added.

    Asked if the government had been subjected to political blackmail, meanwhile, Roussopoulos replied that the government "is not blackmailed by anyone" and added that he was unaware of any such attempt.

    Fielding other questions concerning the testimony given by the prime minister's aide Yiannis Aggelou in the affair, he replied that this information was confidential while the investigation was underway.

    Finally, in comments on rampant media speculation that Zachopoulos had been guilty of widespread financial malfeasance during his time at the culture ministry that had also figured prominently in a Tuesday night broadcast on Alpha TV, Roussopoulos said that any wrongdoing would be discovered by the examining magistrate.

    "If there is anything blameworthy, something I have been hearing about for about a month now but have yet failed to see, the examining magistrate will find it, given that the government had nothing to hide and has given all the evidence to the public prosecutor," he stressed, while adding that the government's programme had not been affected by the Zachopoulos furore.

    Caption: The head of the prime minister's press office Yiannis Andrianos emerges from the courthouse on Monday, January 14, 2008. Andrianos had been summoned to give additional evidence in the ongoing investigation into the affairs of former culture ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos to an examining magistrate in charge of the case. ANA/MPA - Pantelis Saitas

    [02] Énflation holds steady at 3.9 pct

    Greek annual inflation was unchanged at 3.9 pct in December, compared with the previous month, Eurostat said on Wednesday. The EU executive's statistics agency, in its monthly report also said that inflation was unchanged in the Eurozone during the same month. Greek inflation was 3.9 pct in December, Eurostat said, noting that the inflation rate was 3.2 pct in December 2006. The inflation rate in the Eurozone was 3.2 pct in December, up from 1.9 pct in December 2006, while in the EU-27 the inflation rate rose to 3.2 pct in December, from 3.1 pct in November and up from 2.2 percent in December 2006. Eurostat said Finland (1.9 pct), the UK (2.1 pct), Sweden and Slovakia (2.5 pct each) recorded the lowest inflation rates in December, while Latvia (14 pct), Bulgaria (11.6 pct) and Lithuania (8.2 pct) recorded the highest inflation rates. The inflation rate rose in 16 EU member-states in December, it fell in six countries and was unchanged in Greece, Slovenia and the UK. Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph recording scenes related to the transition from Cyprus pounds to euros on Cyprus, three days after the country entered the eurozone on January 1, 2008.
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