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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM visits Centre for Public Administration
  • [02] 'Sect of Revolutionaries' proclamation examined
  • [03] Government orders civil mobilisation to end truckers strike

  • [01] PM visits Centre for Public Administration

    Prime Minister George Papandreou visited the National Centre for Public Administration and Decentralization (EKDDA) on Wednesday, stressing that it can contribute decisively to the efforts aimed at reforming the public sector and the life-long learning and training of civil servants. He added that the organization's goal is to bring a change to the state and shape a new relationship with the people based on trust.

    "Our goal is the country's reconstruction and the creation of a productive society based on transparency, meritocracy and life-long learning for civil servants," Papandreou underlined.

    "The crisis can be turned into an opportunity to carry out long overdue reforms," he added.

    Papandreou observed that "a functional state costs less and the proper relation between civil servants and the citizens will contribute effectively to the change of the state."

    "Our goal is to ensure the definitive change of our country to the best so that we will never be faced with such a crisis again," he underlined, adding that "the government is betting on that."

    The prime minister was accompanied by Interior Minister Ragoussis and Dep. Min. Dolios.

    [02] 'Sect of Revolutionaries' proclamation examined

    Counter-terrorism squad experts are carefully examining the "Sect of Revolutionaries" proclamation claiming responsibility for the murder of journalist Sokratis Giolias, Greek police said on Wednesday.

    The proclamation was sent to the newspaper "Ta Nea" on Tuesday and published in full by the paper on Wednesday.

    Concerning a reference within the proclamation that Giolias had in recent months had a two-man police guard, police headquarters confirmed that two men on motorbikes had been accompanying the journalist recently but said that only one was a police officer.

    They clarified that the police officer in question was serving as a guard for the Supreme Court president but was not acting on the orders of his superiors, while neither the police nor the president of the Supreme Court had been informed of his activities.

    The man involved told his superiors that he was helping out Giolias because they were old friends who met through their involvement in sports.

    The proclamation itself is seen by experts as a "show of strength" on the part of the terror organisation, since the seven-page written text was accompanied by a photograph of their equipment that included three Kalashnikov automatic rifles, 12 guns, a revolver, and a semi-automatic thought to be a "Scorpion".

    The guns are also arranged in such as way as to be reminiscent of the way the now dismantled "November 17" presented its own arms cache.

    A large part of the proclamation was devoted to the group's inactivity over the last 13 months, which it said was a stage of preparation for taking its action onto another level, when it would emerge "more capable, more meaningful and more dangerous".

    "During this time several of us trained in weapons, learned new techniques, read and were informed on unknown until then fighting situations, exchanged experiences and thoughts with other fighters and restocked in the supplies/equipment sector."

    It also refers in detail to the operation to kill Giolias, from the initial surveillance to his final execution, saying the journalist "had made his choices".

    "He chose to live as a rodent in the kingdom of mud, his sordid circle, and we as wolves outside of the herd".

    As the main reason for targeting Giolias, the group gave the journalist's "dominant position in the electronic form of new journalism".

    Aside from Giolias, the proclamation contained heavy-handed criticism of other well-known television journalists and high-profile publishers, such as Makis Triantafyllopoulos, Petros Kostopoulos, Themos Anastasiadis, Nikos Hatzinikolaou, George Kouris and Dimitris Kontominas.

    The group stressed, however, that it is not imposed with the blogs that made Giolias its target and was in favour of anonymity as a "necessary shield of protection for enemies of the establishment and a healthy condition for truly alternative, self-managing mass media."

    The group claimed that it took pains to ensure that Giolias' execution would not take place within his home with his wife and child but warned eye-witnesses not to cooperate with police in any way, saying that anything else would be "unacceptable".

    The proclamation went on to say that the execution of the specific journalist and the urban guerrilla attacks of the last year had created a negative image of security in Greece abroad and were a direct blow to the Greek tourism industry.

    "The ultimate planning and duty of an urban guerrilla is to disorganise the interior of his country, to strike the national economy and stain the public image abroad," it said. This section was also in the proclamation sent on the murder of police officer Nektarios Savvas in June 2009.

    As its next targets, the group turned its fire on the DIAS police units and threatened public prosecutors and prison system staff, warning them to "change their stance" in their treatment of prisoners.

    Police are taking the organisation's threats seriously and have instructed police officers on patrol to exercise exceptional caution.

    They are also carefully analysing the phrases used in the proclamation, whose author they believe is the same as the one who wrote the "Sect's" first proclamation after the attack on a police station in Korydallos and on Alter television station. They hope this will help them gain clues concerning the identity of the culprits and their background.

    [03] Government orders civil mobilisation to end truckers strike

    The government on Wednesday decided to order a civil mobilisation to end a strike by truck owners that has starved Greece of fuel, by order of Prime Minister George Papandreou. The decision was made after a Wednesday meeting between transport ministry officials and striking freight truck owners, including tanker trucks that transport fuels, ended in deadlock.

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas had earlier left open the possibility of a civil mobilisation order (requisition of labour) if the strikes continued.

    Asked whether this was a possibility as he emerged from a meeting with EU-IMF inspectors, Reppas said the ministry was "looking into" this option and stressed that "the state is not defenceless, society is not unprotected".

    The minister also emphasised that he would not make amendments to the draft bill opening the road freight market tabled in Parliament, which truck owners object to.

    Transport ministry general secretary Haris Tsiokas, who had participated in the negotiations with truck owners earlier on Wednesday, said the government continued to be in favour of dialogue but would not allow the country to become paralysed.

    During the meeting, the striking truck owners rejected the government's proposal to end their strike and then begin dialogue on the measures, as well as a second proposal offering them a second free licence as compensation.

    The strikers are asking that the draft bill should not be tabled until the end of August, an option that has been ruled out by the government since it is bound by the EU-IMF memorandum for the financial support package to Greece.

    Truck owners are also demanding compensation equal to the value of the licences they now hold and security for the pension rights.

    After the outcome of the meeting, the owners' representatives said that they will recommend the continuation of the sector's mobilisations.

    Tsiokas said the ministry had presented proposals for further measures that would help truck owners cover their investment during the transitional period. He urged truckers to consider continuing dialogue in a calmer atmosphere and "not in a regime of blackmailing Greek society".

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