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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Debt restructuring not on agenda
  • [02] ND leader addresses election rally
  • [03] Two dead bodies found in Strymonas River
  • [04] FRONTEX border guard forces launched in Evros, RABITs first activation
  • [05] Police on parcel bombs
  • [06] Judicial probe on 'fixed' games
  • [07] Tsipras on local elections
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: Debt restructuring not on agenda

    ANA-MPa/Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in an interview with the American CNN television network on Wednesday, stressed categorically that the restructuring of the debt is not included in the government's political agenda.

    Replying to a relevant question, the Greek prime minister said that "I am very explicit as regards this. We also believe, as things show, that we shall not deviate from our course" and repeated the position that as of 2012 Greece will have a very low first stage debt and looks forward to growth for 2012.

    Papandreou further said that this means that "we shall have a very viable serving of our debt." He also said that the government decreased the deficit by 5.5 percent and is on a steadfast course and praised the Greek people's "impressive maturity" for the way with which they are facing the painful, as he said, changes.

    Asked about the rift in European societies due to the wave of strikes, both in Greece and other European countries, such as France, Portugal, he did not rule out the existence of imbalances and cohesion problems might possibly arise. "I hope, however, that we shall have the insistence and the ability to succeed," he noted.ANa-MPA

    Referring to the decisions of last week's European Council, Papandreou expressed his satisfaction over the fact that the temporary support mechanism that was created for Greece is now acquiring a permanent character and will also be included in the texts of the Treaties governing the European Union.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] ND leader addresses election rally

    -PA/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in Athens on Wednesday, accused Prime Minister George Papandreou of "absolute paranoia in relation to the dilemma of elections" and added that "the people cannot stand more measures."

    "Mr. Papandreou is threatening the people that if they vote against his candsidates he will hold elections" Samaras said and wondered "for what reason? for them to vote against him again? is he possibly escaping? is he possibly abandoning and why should we be afraid?"

    The ND leader further said that the prime minister "does not trust his policy, he is aware that his policy is not advancing, that figures are not in his favour, that public revenues are off course and is bringing new measures.

    "The people, however, cannot stand more measures and will say this with their vote on Sunday," he pointed out.

    Samaras referred to the prime minister's address in Ioannina on Tuesday and said that "Mr. Papandreou is requesting from the citizens legalisation for the memorandum that he signed, he is requesting pardoning of sins, he is requesting authorisation for even tougher measures."

    He further said that Papandreou has a secret agenda for which he is requesting approval in advance with the "extortionate dilemmas."

    The ND leader noted that the economic policy has not yielded results and for this reason on Sunday the people will say "we reject the sacrifices without hope, we will not give a blank cheque for painful measures."

    He added that if on the night of the elections Papandreou feels satisfied, then he will take tougher measures that neither society nor the economy can stand.

    Samaras concluded that the citizens' free expression in the ballot box does not constitute destabilisation, on the contrary, destabilisation is created by "the reckless extortion of Mr. Papandreou" and called on the party's voters to wage the blue struggle so that "it will appear all over Greece on Sunday night."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Two dead bodies found in Strymonas River

    ANa-MPA/Two dead bodies were recovered from the Strymonas River in the northern Greek prefecture of Serres on Wednesday. According to authorities, the two incidents are unrelated and their discovery on the same day is a coincidence.

    The first body found was that of an unidentified man around the age of 60 that was washed up on the shores of the river between Koumaria and Varikos. It was found by a local fisherman and the initial autopsy indicates that death was the result of pathological causes.

    The second dead body was that of a younger man and was found around noon at Heimarros by a special disaster management team (EMAK) from Thessaloniki. The body had not been identified nor the autopsy completed but authorities were investigating whether it was that of a 48-year-old forest ranger from Lithotopos who had been missing since Monday.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] FRONTEX border guard forces launched in Evros, RABITs first activation

    ANA-MPA/The deployment of European border guard forces under Greek command has been launched in the northeast Evros region along the river border with Turkey, following an official request by the Greek government.

    The Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) will be briefed by Greek authorities upon their arrival in the Orestiada municipality, focusing on the EU and national legislation provisions concerning migration inflow and illegal migration, legal issues -- use of weapons and handcuffs, arrests, etc. -- as well as the geography of the 12.5 km-long river bank along which they will be deployed.

    The RABITs will patrol the region together with Greek forces to help curb illegal migration. The European border guards will be under the command and coordination of Greek authorities, bear their countries' insignias and use their weapons only in self-defence.ANA-MPA

    They will move into designated regions defined in an already approved operational plan. The deployment of the 175-member team and their equipment (including vehicles, thermal cameras etc) will serve as a deterrent against illegal immigrants streaming over from Turkey, a problem that has assumed explosive dimensions in the specific region.

    Greece on October 25 asked the EU for the immediate deployment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITS) and the EU Agency for the Management of the Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX) operational means on its eastern borders to stem the mass influx of undocumented migrants.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Police on parcel bombs

    ANA-MPA/Greek police authorities on Wednesday released additional information concerning two parcel-bombs sent abroad via Greek courier firms, based on their investigation so far.

    This showed that the parcel sent to the offices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been given for postage to a courier firm near Larisis railway station in Athens by an unidentified young man. The sender of the package was given as the Greek finance ministry.

    The private courier firm then transferred the package to its own central headquarters so that it might undergo required security checks for suspect items and it was then taken to the airport, where it was loaded onto an aircraft operated by a private airline destined for Germany.ANA-MPA

    The second package that made it out of Greece was posted on the same day, again by an unidentified young man, at the branch of another private courier firm based in the west Athens district of Perissos. The package was ostensibly sent by a high-ranking member of a Greek political party and addressed to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] Judicial probe on 'fixed' games

    ANa-MPA/Twenty bank accounts belonging to the presidents of football clubs under investigation in "fixed" games, as well as a list of about 1,000 people who illegally -- via the Internet -- bet on "suspicious" games are being examined by the the Athens first instance court prosecutor's office.

    The judicial investigator handling the case was recently provided details by the Financial Crime Squad (SDOE) regarding 20 bank accounts of club presidents charged with fixing matches, according to UEFA's list.

    The judicial official intends, through the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), to summon former UEFA investigatory chief Peter Limacher to testify on the issue.

    In the framework of the investigation, the judicial official has requested from EPO and the Super League all particulars of football players who participated in the games under investigation.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [07] Tsipras on local elections

    ANA-MPA/Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras, speaking in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, said that on Sunday the citizens, with their vote, "can change the climate and, condemning categorically the government and the Memorandum, throw their weight on the course of things."ANA-MPA

    Tsipras called on citizens to send a "resounding message of hope and change, a message of condemnation for government policy and the Memorandum which are dragging society and the economy to a vicious circle of recession, unemployment and poverty."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Speculation of snap elections, a Financial Crime Squad's order for the opening of 2,000 doctors' bank deposits and the parcel bombs case aftermath, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Plan for double elections".

    AVGHI: "No money for Health".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos proclaimed war on prime minister George Papandreou's 'friends'."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Police still seeking two parcel bombs in courier offices".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Venizelos targets government vice president Theodoros Pangalos".

    ESTIA: "Final blow to economy".

    ETHNOS: "Tax Bureau sends 'letters of terror'."

    IMERISSIA: "National Bank of Greece returns to the state 350 million euros (received from the state's bank liquidity package)".

    KATHIMERINI: "The simplification of procedures for founding business enterprises was a blank letter".

    LOGOS: "Finance Ministry's financial crime squad opens doctors' bank accounts".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Liquidity injection totaling 600 billion euros to markets".

    NIKI: "Pensions can be saved".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND) will not change but you can (bring change) by voting for KKE-backed ticket in local government elections".

    TA NEA: "Doctors without frontiers evasion".

    TO VIMA: "The list of doctors who looted the largest Greek social security fund (IKA)".

    VRADYNI: "Full speed ahead to an ecumenical government'.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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