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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Two shot in attempted robbery in Nafplio
  • [02] Spanish PM calls on EU to support Greece
  • [03] Synaspismos political secretariat convenes
  • [04] Amendments on retirement age
  • [05] Interior Min on election law
  • [06] KKE on Samaras' initiative
  • [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Two shot in attempted robbery in Nafplio

    Two employees were injured in the legs on Wednesday during an armed robbery at an industry's accounting office in the southeastern Greek city of Nafplio.

    Two unidentified individuals threatened the accounting department's employees with a gun and demanded that they give them the money in the office. The gunmen fired shots, resulting in the injury of two of the employees. The robbers finally left without taking any money, and escaped on a motorcycle that had been reported stolen on January 6 from Athens, heading in an unknown direction.

    The injured employees have been hospitalized in Argos general hospital.

    Police issued an all-points bulletin (APB) for the robbers, while Nafplio security police are conducting a preliminary investigation

    [02] Spanish PM calls on EU to support Greece

    MADRID (ANA-MPA/V.Demiris) - Spanish Prime Minister and current European Union President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said here Thursday that the EU should demonstrate its solidarity towards Greece in handling its economic difficulties.

    Presenting to reporters the Spanish EU presidency's priorities, Zapatero expressed his belief that the EU Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Central Bank would support Greece by indicating the path that should be followed and the proper measures that should be taken in order to deal with its economic difficulties.

    [03] Synaspismos political secretariat convenes

    The Political Secretariat of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) convened on Thursday with talks focusing on this year's local government elections and the party's special congress.

    The meeting, which was also attended by the party's deputies, decided to promote a cooperation among leftist forces in view of local government elections, while it postponed, until the end of the month, a decision on holdoing a special congress.

    Party leader Alexis Tsipras said he was against cooperation between Synaspismos and the ruling PASOK party in the upcoming elections, including cooperation in large municipalities of the country.

    A statement issued after the meeting said that Synaspismos should work towards "overturning a climate of fiscal terrorism, fear and fatalism that is being cultivated so that harsh anti-social measures be promoted."

    [04] Amendments on retirement age

    An amendment sponsored by the ministry of labour and social insurance tabled in parliament on Thursday suggested that the gradual increase of the retirement age for working mothers of underage children will be postponed for a year until Jan. 1, 2011 "to have the issue examined in greater detail".

    The current provision suggested that beginning on Jan. 1, 2010 the retirement age limit would increase gradually for this category of employees from the 50th to the 55th year.

    A second amendment sponsored by the health ministry reintroduced the list of approved prescription drugs for social insurance funds aimed at putting an end to the unreasonable prescription of medical drugs.

    Also, Piraeus Port Authority SA employees can apply for voluntary retirement until Feb. 28, 2010, according to another amendment tabled in parliament. The cost for the voluntary retirement of the entire Piraeus Port Authority personnel is estimated to 12.8 million euros.

    [05] Interior Min on election law

    Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis said Thursday that the government with its election law reform bill was aiming at an electoral system that "reinforces the autonomy of politics, the role and the prestige of deputies."

    Asked to comment on letters that main opposition New Democracy (ND) President Antonis Samaras had sent to Prime Minister George Papandreou and the leaders of the political parties in parliament earlier in the day regarding the issue of election law reform, Ragoussis added that the bill also aimed at an electoral system that would "contribute to cracking down black political money and corruption by restricting election expenditures," and safeguard the formation of stable governments.

    "Deliberations and exhaustive dialogue is a constituent part of the government's every legislative initiative," the minister concluded.

    [06] KKE on Samaras' initiative

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Thursday expressed support for an election system based on simple proportional representation, responding to an earlier initiative by main opposition New Democracy (ND) President Antonis Samaras who called for a cross-party debate on the election law reform issue.

    Coalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology (SYN) expressed opposition to the adoption of an election law that will be based on the "German model" and underlined that simple proportional representation is the only electoral system that can reflect the political landscape.

    [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The EU and ECB experts delegation's visit to ministries and their briefing by the relevant ministers on the government's updated Stability and Development plan, and their positions and proposals, mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Brussels pressingly demands reduction in pensions and freezing of salaries and hirings in public sector".

    APOGEVMATINI: "EU auditors demand shocking measures from ministers".

    AVGHI: "European delegation's initial order: Dismantle the social security system".

    AVRIANI: "Parliament employees receive 16 salaries per year".

    CHORA: "Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras says no to the (proposed) anti-popular electoral law".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Salaries, pensions and labour issues in the vise".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Auditors not satisfied by government's program".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Inheritance, parental gift and donation tax returns".

    ESTIA: «Government's policy on the wrong path - Additional taxes will lead to recession".

    ETHNOS: "Warning bells sound for five ministries - Heavy pressure from EU auditors".

    IMERISSIA: "EU auditors 'interrogate' ministers".

    KATHIMERINI: "Front opens in ruling PASOK party over the new electoral law'.

    LOGOS: "EU experts pressure over the social security system and demands for immediate solutions".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "EU demands convincing answers on the state's finances".

    NIKI: "Raid on our pockets".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The planned anti-popular measures require a response via a united popular battle".

    TA NEA: "Retrospective tax on parental gifts".

    TO VIMA: "What the auditors demand".

    VRADYNI: "The auditors thwarted the State Budget - Ministries' expenditures being put through the sieve".

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