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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Motion tabled for parliamentary probe committee on former FinMin
  • [02] President delivers strong message on tax evasion
  • [03] Tsipras: 2013 can be year of the 'great reversal'
  • [04] PM: 2013 will be year of Greece's rebirth
  • [05] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [06] 57 face criminal charges in drug trafficking ring case
  • [07] New Year wishes from AMNA
  • [08] Greece names primary dealers for bond market

  • [01] Motion tabled for parliamentary probe committee on former FinMin

    AMNA/ Seventy-one deputies from the three-party coalition government have tabled a motion in parliament calling for a parliamentar preliminary investigative committee on former PASOK finance minister George Papaconstantinou over the so-called Lagarde list.

    The motion, drafted on the charges of falsification of documents and breach of duty with simultaneous harm to the public interest, needed a minimum of 30 signatures to be submitted. It was signed by 36 MPs from New Democracy, 22 from PASOK and 13 from DI.MAR and comes under the law of ministerial accountability.

    Signatories did not include former ministers Evangelos Venizelos, currently head of PASOK, Apostolos Kaklamanis or former prime minister George Papandreou.

    The "Lagarde list" of Greek owners of bank accounts in the HSBC bank was first given to Greek authorities by the French Finance Ministry in mid-2010 on a cd and forwarded to Papaconstantinou, the deputies said in their proposal. The investigation proposal centres around a discrepancy based on a discrepancy in data between the original list and a newer one provided by French authorities recently, as found through a comparison between lists by investigating judges.

    The motion must be discussed within 15 days from the day it is tabled and voting on it at the plenary session will be carried out by secret ballot; it will require 151 votes in the 300-member parliament to be passed.

    [02] President delivers strong message on tax evasion

    AMNA/ The state has the obligation to be democratically present and leave no ground to be used by "newly-made heralds of a new order of things," President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said on Monday in his New Year's message.

    The president also spoke extensively in his message about tax evasion, calling on Greeks to "agree that fighting mass tax evasion, which is a major national priority, requires relentless, flexible and just tax laws that will be based on transparent and effective application methods."

    Greece's "economic elite does not just have an ethical obligation to bear the load corresponding to it. It also has an imperative obligation: to avert the painful repercussions befalling the economically weakest and poorest segments," he said, warning that "those who continue to ignore their duties must be forced by the state to do so immediately, not sometime in the future, and to be liable to the state of law."

    [03] Tsipras: 2013 can be year of the 'great reversal'

    AMNA/ The year that passed may have been marked by the continuation of the destructive memorandum austerity programme for the Greek people, but it created a hope for its overturn, the main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party said in its New Year's message on Monday.

    "The hope for a better future lies in the resistance and solidarity struggles to get rid of the memorandums, to redistribute wealth and to have social justice," it added, "for another Europe, rid of neoliberalism and the domination of markets."

    In his own message, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that 2013 can be the year of the great reversal, in New Year message, stressing that "it is the duty of all of us to make 2013 the year that democracy will defeat the Memorandum and the markets, and the year of revolt by dignity and solidarity".

    "It is our obligation to not allow the Memorandum provisions for 2013 to become reality, otherwise we will witness the biggest humanitarian crisis ever to occur in Greece in times of peace," Tsipras said, stressing that the politicians "who bankrupted Greece, who legislated collusion and corruption, who secured impunity for the culprits, have nothing more to offer but more hardships, more destruction, new scandals and impunity".

    "The political and economic establishment that has for the past three years humiliated the country with Memorandums, turning it into a 'debt-ridden colony', must have 2013 as its expiration date if we want our country and our people to have a better future and prospect," Tsipras said, stressing that "in 2013 we will put a stop to the destruction and topple the political establishment of corruption, in order to re-build our country from the start, as we deserve, to rebuild Greece with a just growth, solidarity and diligence".

    [04] PM: 2013 will be year of Greece's rebirth

    AMNA/ This past year was a difficult year and 2013 will not be easy either, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in his New Year's message, but the prospect of a better future will show up within the year, stressing that 2013 will be the year of Greece's rebirth.

    Samaras made extensive reference to correctinginjustices, saying his government was committed to restoring justice. "We shall keep our promise, giving priority to low pensions, to cancelled bonuses for the economically weaker and to taxation, especially the VAT, which remains high," he said.

    Jump-starting the economy was this coming year's goal, the premier said, vowing that he would do whatever possible to bring more investments to Greece in order to stop relying on loans and stop being restricted by memorandums. The PM briefly reviewed the reforms his government had pushed through and said these were "changes nobody could imagine a few years ago... Everyone sees the difference now and we shall not stop until we complete what we started."

    "Few believed us when we said we would avert Greece's exit from the euro," Samaras noted. "But we succeeded...With the funding we have secured, whatever the state has owed private individuals for years will be paid off within the next few months. Banks are being recapitalised, to be able to give loans to families and businesses. Fluidity will return to the Greek market, and the money that will flow into the Greek economy next year will, for the first time, be more than what is leaving the country because of austerity."

    Samaras also stressed that his government brought an end to extensive lack of accountability and justice in the public sector, and warned that "whoever is thinking of continuing old bad habits will find the law's arm waiting for them."

    "In 2012 we changed the image of Greece abroad. In 2013 we shall change Greek reality, with an emphasis on recovery and social cohesion," Samaras said. "Having support is good, having strong alliances is good, but we are the only ones who can save our own country, with our labour and with our spirit," the PM added, making special mention of a need for unity, his wish for the coming year. "I wish for unity, which is the most difficult but most effective condition of success," he concluded.

    [05] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AMNA/ The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AGGELIOFOROS: "Fuel smuggling on the rise - Huge tax evasion with liquid tank trucks from Bulgaria and FYROM", and "Lagarde list - Motion for parliamentary probe committee submitted to parliament".

    AVGHI: "2013 the year of reversal, catharsis, rebirth", and "Expensive heating oil and 'raids' on salaries lead to uncontrolled burning of wood, resulting in a smoke smog that threatens the public health and the environment".

    EXPRESS: "Plan to limit the VAT rebates - Finance Ministry mulling exemption of very small enterprises with turnover of up to 10,000 euro".

    KERDOS: "Review of predictions, hopes, expectations and fears for the new year - The main wager and the 'list of obligations'."

    LOGOS: "Tax 'gift' - The first cuts to salaries in January".

    NIKI: "Save your home with installments beginning at 200 euro - The changes to mortgage loans in 2013 - The conditions for saving your main residence".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "2013 could be a good year - The hope for the people is in their own struggles", and "Problems due to the bad weather - The heavy rainfall reveals once again the lacks in the infrastructures".

    [06] 57 face criminal charges in drug trafficking ring case

    AMNA/ The number of people arrested for their involvement in a drug trafficking ring in the northern cities of Thessaloniki, Volos and Agrinio reached 35 as of late Monday, police said, who added another four policemen to the three already arrested, including the head of a counter-narcotics division in Volos.

    A total of 57 people are facing criminal charges related to drug trafficking; of these, 43 were active members of the ring, the police said, while 14 were collaborators.

    According to Thessaloniki police chief Athinagoras Pazarlis, the ring was led by two 34-year-olds and a 29-year-old man, all of Albanian nationality, and distributed at least 400 kg of marijuana, 20 kg of heroin and 1 kg of cocaine from Balkan countries in Greece.

    Policemen involved in the ring worked with traffickers to frame others as drug dealers; the traffickers would then be "rewarded" by those they aided, by collecting either 10,000 euros or drugs. Some of those benefitting from the scheme were prisoners, whose "tips" would help them reduce their jail sentences at court hearings.

    Thirty-five people, appearing before the Thessaloniki prosecutors under heavy security measures late on Monday, were indicted and given a date for their deposition.

    [07] New Year wishes from AMNA

    The Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA) staff wishes you and your families a happy, healthy, productive and prosperous New Year!

    [08] Greece names primary dealers for bond market

    AMNA/ A total of 22 financial institutions will be eligible to participate as primary dealers in the Greek electronic secondary bond market in 2013, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.


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