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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: PASOK lacks serious policies
  • [02] Party reactions to Papandreou press conference
  • [03] Opinion polls ahead of Oct. 4 elections
  • [04] A mountainous 18th century 'Parthenon'
  • [05] Tsipras on labour insecurity

  • [01] PM: PASOK lacks serious policies

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing an event of the ruling New Democracy party's women sector on Sunday evening, severely criticised main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou for his comments on the economy, made the previous and same day on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    Karamanlis accused Papandreou of "exceeding every limit in vagueness, generalities and wellwishing," adding that the lack of any serious economic policy measure proves that PASOK has no plan to confront the crisis and the only thing it possesses are unattainable promises to all and extraordinary grants in every direction.

    "He is giving promises that no government can keep in the coming years; he only cites uncoordinated, pleasant measures. Even one unpleasant and necessary measure in the crucial conditions we are experiencing is absent," the prime minister said.

    Karamanlis went on to ask, out loud, how "the consequences of such a serious international crisis can be tackled only with pleasant generalities? Where will the unbelievable amounts of money to fulfill the so many promises be found?"

    Karamanlis stressed that the aim of the PASOK leader's address was to mislead citizens. He added that no one can ignore the truth and that the huge public debt that the PASOK governments created and bequeathed must be tackled now.

    He also stressed that PASOK's promises are completely unrelated to reality, the economy cannot stand them, they will lead to major economic impasses; valuable time will be lost and problems will multiply.

    "We are appealing to all citizens with a clear message, with a clear gambit, to make the difficult decisions today so that our children can have a secure future tomorrow," the prime minister further said and underlined that 2011 must be the beginning of a new perspective and the international crisis must be turned into a national opportunity.

    Karamanlis also pointed out that 2010 will be decisive for the course of the economy. The extent, intensity and duration of the unfavourable consequences will depend on the policies that will be implemented, the endurances of the economy will be determined and the future of the country will be determined.

    The prime minister accused the main opposition party of failing to realise the seriousness of the current situation. He said that in government, PASOK received the public debt at 30 percent and ballooned it to 100 percent, obliging the country to pay 12 billion euros a year for interest alone, "and in opposition they always say a monotonous 'no' to every necessary change."

    Karamanlis referred to his government's reforms, ones he said have strengthened the economy's endurance, "the unprecedented infrastructures programme that changes our country's image, the national land planning, the path for the green economy that opened with projects and not with words and the big energy agreements that have included our country on the global energy map, the educational reform, the social security reform, the improvement of all the economic indexes and the continuous decline of unemployment."

    The prime minister concluded his address by saying that "I am determined to meet your expectations, determined for us to make the victory of New Democracy -- a victory against the crisis, a victory for our country."

    [02] Party reactions to Papandreou press conference

    Party reactions to main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou's press conference on Sunday in Thessaloniki were quick to follow the event.

    In a reaction to Papandreou's statements, ruling New Democracy party spokesman George Koumoutsakos said:

    "We listened to the candidate for prime minister Mr. G. Papandreou yesterday (Saturday) and today. Complete disappointment. Convenient vagueness. Significant contradictions. Extraordinary proposals.

    "It's a 100-day programme of a ... three-year duration; a programme that is inapplicable that if turned into practice would cost, in a time of crisis, more than 10 billion euros, money that does not exist.

    "They are not saying it, they are not admitting it, but they will borrow. If they ever come to government they will borrow a great deal. Increasing inconsiderately both the deficit and taxes; burdening the Greek people for many generations. Their logic is one: For them to come to power and ... to see. The citizens will not do them the favour."


    Commenting on the same interview, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said, in an announcement, that "Mr. G. Papandreou is attempting again with his press conference today, but in vain, to cover up the main axis of his policy, that is supporting big capital, meaning the same course with the New Democracy party."

    KKE added that the increase that will be given to wages will not exceed 30 to 50 cents. It will preserve the five years increase in pensioning limits for women in the Public Sector that ND ratified and all the anti- social security measures that have been taken."

    Finally, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MP and high-ranking cadre Yiannis Dragasakis underlined that "PASOK's policy does not constitute a 'different path'. It also moves along the one-way path of austerity, an increase in unemployment and the widening of inequalities," adding that "what PASOK announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair is a 3-year austerity programme in a wrapping of communication terms without value."

    [03] Opinion polls ahead of Oct. 4 elections

    A series of opinion polls appeared in Sunday's newspapers, all focusing on the upcoming Oct. 4 general elections.

    A poll by the Public Issue firm, published in the newspaper "Kathimerini", gives PASOK 41 percent of respondents' preferences and 151 seats in the 300-seat Parliament. Ruling New Democracy follows with 35.5 pct; the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 8.5; the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) 4 pct, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 7, Ecologists-Greens 2 pct and other parties 2 pct.

    The poll by the Marc firm for "Ethnos" gives PASOK 40 percent, ND 35, KKE 9 pct, SYRIZA 4.5, LAOS 6.5, E-G 2 pct and other parties 3 pct. The seats they would receive based on such figures are: PASOK 149, ND 96, KKE 25, LAOS 18 and SYRIZA 12.

    A poll by MRB for the "Real News" weekly gives PASOK 41 percent, ND 35.1, KKE 8.4, LAOS 6.6, SYRIZA 3.7 and other parties 5.2. PASOK would gain between 148-152 seats and ND 92-101. ND leader Costas Karamanlis is considered the most suitable for prime minister with 38 percent, followed by PASOK leader George Papandreou with 36.3.

    The Pulse poll for "Apogevmatini" gives PASOK 35.9 percent, ND 31.2, KKE 5.5, SYRIZA 3.5, LAOS 4, E-G 2.5 and other parties 2. Karamanlis is most suitable for prime minister with 37.5 as against 35.5 for Papandreou.

    Lastly, the Rass poll for "Paron" gives PASOK 35.1 percent, ND 30.3, KKE 7.2, SYRIZA 3.5, LAOS 5.7 and E-G 3.1. Karamanlis is most suitable for prime minister with 44.7 percent, followed by Papandreou with 37.1.

    [04] A mountainous 18th century 'Parthenon'

    Characterised as the "Parthenon" of the Pindus Mountain range that dominates northwest and north-central Greece, the monastery of the Holy Cross, near the community of Doliana, is one of the most significant ecclesiastical and historical monuments in Trikala prefecture. Trikala prefecture already features the imposing Meteora rock formations and the stunning Orthodox monasteries and chapels built on the rock summits. Built at an altitude of 1,150 metres in the "heart" of the rugged mountain range, the monastery's architectural style is a composite, according to university professor Pavlos Mylonas, with the domed basilica and other domes showing at least three chronological periods of construction, beginning in 1770. Prof. Mylonas, in fact, cites influences from as far away as Moldavia, old central European architecture as well as Ottoman and even Armenian styles prevailing in the 18th century. "We're led to think of a chief builder that was well-travelled and cosmopolitan, probably someone that travelled and worked as far as the Danubian principalities," he said. ANA-MPA / STR

    [05] Tsipras on labour insecurity

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) head Alexis Tsipras on Saturday evening visited a well-known fast food outlet in Athens' central Syntagma Square, where he handed employees booklets on labour and workers' law rights.

    Tsipras' Synaspismos is the lead bloc in the leftist SYRIZA grouping, which is vying in the Oct. 4 election.

    "... one million wage-earners, the majority of whom are young adults, are today in a state of (employment) insecurity. More than 300,000 are part-time (employees)," he said in statements at the McDonald's outlet.

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