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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government on economy
  • [02] Samaras: PM moving from bluff to misdirection
  • [03] Rizaj ruled guilty in helicopter prison break
  • [04] GSEE calls strike for Dec. 15
  • [05] Traffic lights problem
  • [06] Expansion of Attiki Odos
  • [07] Fixed football games case
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Government on economy

    -P/The government spokesman on Thursday noted that "by meeting the goals we have set we will be able to get the country out of the crisis," in reference to economic measures.

    Spokesman George Petalotis also stressed that revenues falling short of estimates will be covered by the sum expected to be collected through the settlement of outstanding tax obligations, a large real estate property tax and the car circulation fees, among others.

    "The prime minister and the government have stated repeatedly that we are in the middle of a very difficult situation; that the crisis is not over; the alert is still on and therefore, the steps we take and the decisions we make are cautious," Petalotis said when called to comment on a relevant statement made by the premier earlier today.ANA-MPa

    Asked about rising spreads, he said this development is recorded when there is destabilisation in the country and when there is indication that destabilisation is possible.

    Petalotis underlined that "layoffs are not in the government's plans," stressing that the permanent working status of civil servants is constitutionally guaranteed and the government is trying to implement reforms in the wider public sector.

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

    [02] Samaras: PM moving from bluff to misdirection

    ANA-MPA/Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday attacked the prime minister, accusing him of having a secret agenda and asking voters to send an even stronger message of their displeasure through the polls on Sunday.

    "After the blackmail and bluff of the first Sunday, (Prime Minister George Papandreou) has changed his tune again and remembered the local authority nature of these elections. Mr. Papandreou has gone from bluff to misdirection and always with the same goal, to avoid getting the message of the Greek people and changing course," Samaras said while touring the island of Hios.

    The ND leader was on the island to support his party's candidate for the Northern Aegean region.

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

    [03] Rizaj ruled guilty in helicopter prison break

    ANA-MPa/Alket Rizaj, one of the two protagonists of a Hollywood-style repeat helicopter escape from Korydallos Prison in February 2009, was found guilty on several felonies by a criminal court on Thursday, and threatened the state prosecutor after the ruling was announced.

    The trial concerned the helicopter escape from Korydallos Prison on February 22, 2009 by notorious fugitive convicts Vassilis Paleokostas, who is still at large, and Rizaj.

    Codefendants in the case are Rizaj's companion Aspassia Mitropia, an Albanian couple and a businessman. The charges include participation in a criminal organisation, grand possession of arms and ammunition, abduction of the helicopter pilot (in the second prison break in Feb. 2009) and forcing him to commit a criminal action, hijacking of the helicopter, endangering the security of aircraft, moral instigation of a crime, theft, forgery, and repeated counts of illegal possession of a weapon.

    The Criminal Appeals Tribunal found Rizaj and Mitropia guilty on all charges.ANA-MPA

    Upon hearing the verdict, Rizaj threw a tissue in prosecutor Yiannis Angelis' face and threatened him: "You will be dealing with the Revolutionaries' Sect (terror group). You'll see".

    A sentence of 25 years and 10 months for Rizaj was handed down by the criminal appeals court later the same day (arising from the merger of a total sentence of 28 years and five months).

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

    [04] GSEE calls strike for Dec. 15

    The private sector union GSEE called a nationwide 24-hour strike for Dec. 15, expressing opposition to "all anti-labour measures", as it charged.

    According to a statement issued by GSEE on Thursday, all trade unions must express their strong opposition to the anti-labour policies by participating in the strike action announced

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

    [05] Traffic lights problem

    -MPA/A problem that has arisen with the operation of several traffic lights in the wider Athens area will be solved within the weekend, public works secretary general Yiannis Economidis told ANA-MPA on Friday.

    He said that the problem was not extensive as presented (by the media), noting that it concerns some 20 junctions in the center of Athens and another 10-15 in surrounding municipalities.

    The problem that has arisen in the traffic lights' operation should be treated comprehensively, together with the Siemens company, but also with the delay in the Metro expansion works, Economidis said.

    Relevant decisions for overall resolution of the problem will be taken in the immediate future, at government level, he added.ANA-MPa

    The issue of the traffic lights has two parameters, those that concern the system's overall junction equipment, regulators, controls, etc., and the second parameter concerning the disposable materials, bulbs, wiring, etc., he explained, adding that a major section of the traffic lights system has been undertaken by Siemens.

    At the present, a tender has been completed for the maintenance of the traffic lights network, which was won by a different company which, over the next 2-3 days, will normalise the system, and wherever junction material (controls, etc.) will be transferred from other parts points of the network, Economidis continued.

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

    [06] Expansion of Attiki Odos

    ANA-MPA/The ministry of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks plans to expand the road network of Attiki Odos highway, adding 22 km to its network including a large tunnel in Hymettos mountain.

    The ministry will begin auctions of the projects in 2011. The new planning envisages the expansion of the Hymettos western ring road to reach Vouliagmenis Avenue, a road extension of 8.0 km length, and construction of a tunnel, with a length of around 14 km, linking Attiki Odos with Koropi, facilitating access to the Athens airport for citizens living in the southern suburbs.ANA-MPA

    According to sources, the new plan will cut 40 pct of the original plan announced by the New Democracy government in September 2009 as being environmentally unacceptable.

    The ministry expects the winner of the accession contract to be announced in early 2012.

    The Infrastructures ministry also plans expansion projects for other road networks around Athens.

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

    [07] Fixed football games case

    (ANA-MPA) -- UEFA documents on 15 football games played in Greece in 2010 that are suspected of being "fixed" were forwarded on Thursday by General Secretary of Sports Panos Bitsaxis to an Athens prosecutor, the Economic Crimes Unit and the Special Audit Service.

    The documents were delivered to the head of the Greek Football Federation (EPO), Sofoklis Pilavios, and concern four Greek Super League football teams, eight second division matches and one third division team.

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

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Concerns -- mainly aired by the press -- over EU-ECB-IMF 'troika' pressure for the imposition of additional austerity measures and whatever alliances ahead of the second round of local government elections on Sunday mostly dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Lay-offs in public utilities, enterprises".

    AVGHI: "The 'memoranda' leading to bankrupt Europe".

    AVRIANI: "Let illegal migrants enter Greece freely".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Exit (firings) for thousands in public sector opens".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "1.5 million beneficiaries threatened in social security funds".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Heating oil price hikes as of January 2011".

    ESTIA: "Prime Minister has lost part of his power".

    ETHNOS: "Hard rock (politicking) for Sunday's ballots".

    IMERISSIA: "Irish virus infects euro".

    KATHIMERINI: "What the government is afraid of".

    LOGOS: "Unemployment skyrockets to 12.2% in August".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Tax police and immediate court date for huge tax evasion cases".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "All in Syntagma square for Communist Party rally".

    TA NEA: "25 years of work the key in public sector".

    TO VIMA: "Government prepares to give battle with troika".

    VRADYNI: "Unemployment a nightmare"

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

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