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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-04-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] SYRIZA leader: PM is a 'parliamentary defector'
  • [02] Nationwide strike on Wednesday
  • [03] Six Nigrita prison employees held in custody
  • [04] Greece reports 3.5-bln-euro primary surplus in Jan-Feb‏
  • [05] Greece will return to growth this year, IMF report‏

  • [01] SYRIZA leader: PM is a 'parliamentary defector'

    ANA/MPA---Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday characterized the prime minister as a "parliamentary defector" because he avoids coming to the Parliament regarding SYRIZA's proposal for an off agenda debate on a leaders' level over the case of the government former secretary general Panagiotis Baltakos.

    Tsipras said in a statement "now that it was revealed that the one representing the prime minister, who apparently was aware of this, met and talked with the one ‘representing' the Fuhrer, who is behind bars, I think that everything comes out to the open. And everyone realizes that those who govern us respect nothing. They will not hesitate to use all means to halt the course of the people and SYRIZA towards a government of social salvation and therefore towards the overthrow of the political plans."

    "Today (on Tuesday) I read in a pro-government newspaper that the off agenda debate requested by SYRIZA so that the prime minister can explain the international vilification of the country after the latest revelations, will not take place tomorrow, as the President of the parliament had planned and informed us, but supposedly the day after tomorrow as the prime minister is available but the opposition leader cannot attend it as he is travelling abroad. Indeed, I do have to travel abroad. I publicly declare, however, that if Mr. Samaras decides to honour us with his presence and appears in Parliament to give us an account, I will cancel any trip so that he comes and give explanations to the Greek people over Maximos' right-wing sect that governs us."

    [02] Nationwide strike on Wednesday

    ANA/MPA---Public and private sector unions GSEE and ADEDY hold a 24-hour strike on Wednesday against layoffs in public sector, the mobility scheme and privatisations.

    The main rally has been scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Klafthmonos square while Communist affiliated PAME union has already gathered at Omonoia square.

    Greek hospitals will operate on skeleton staff that will service solely urgent health incidents and pharmacies will remain closed. Municipality employees, bank employees, teachers and staff at Tax Bureaus also participate in the strike.

    The Athens public transportation system and the railway network will be disrupted. The Athens Suburban Railway and the trolley of Athens participate in the general strike. On the other hand, the metro railway system, the electric railways and the tram will operate normally, as their workers remain mobilized by government decree. Nevertheless, the metro system ends service at Doukissis Plakentias station and does not stop at Syntagma station after 10:00 a.m. by police order.

    Buses will be in service between 09:00 a.m. and 09:00 p.m., while airports will operate normally, after air traffic controllers decided to abort their participation in the general strike.

    The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) also participates in the 24-hour general strike.

    [03] Six Nigrita prison employees held in custody

    ANa/MPA---Six of Nigrita prison employees who are being charged for the death of Albanian inmate Ili Kareli were held in custody pending trial after their testimonies before examining magistrate Georgia Toutountzi.

    Two other Nigrita prison guards were released with restrictions.

    Seven more employees charged for the same case are expected to testify on Wednesday. According to information, Toutountzi will give them an extension to prepare their testimonies.

    All Nigrita prison employees are facing charges of severe torture by complicity which led to the death of inmate Ili Kareli.

    Kareli, 42, who was serving a life sentence for homicide, had stabbed 46-year-old police sergeant George Tsironis to death in the Malandrinos prison, central Greece, on March 25. He was found dead two days later, in his cell at Nigrita prison, Serres prefecture, where he had been transferred for safety, with evidence of having been beaten.

    [04] Greece reports 3.5-bln-euro primary surplus in Jan-Feb‏

    ANa/MPA---Greek general government's primary surplus totaled 3.5 billion euros in the first two months of 2014, sharply up from 1.4 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2013, Finance Alternate Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday.

    "The country continues, for the second successive year, to have high and sustainable primary surpluses, which are strengthening the country's negotiating position, help in an effort towards a sustainable public debt and contribute in the improvement of economic and investment climate in the country, placing the Greek economy in course to return to international capital markets," Staikouras said.

    [05] Greece will return to growth this year, IMF report‏

    ANA/MPA--Greece will return to growth this year and will achieve a more stronger economic growth rate in 2015, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook.

    In the six-month report, released on Tuesday, the IMF said the Greek economy was projected to grow by 0.6 pct in 2014 and by 2.9 pct in 2015, while unemployment was expected to fall to 26.3 pct this year and to 24.4 pct in 2015. The IMF, however, expects low inflation rates to continue in the country, with the inflation rate at 0.4 pct in 2014 and 0.3 pct in 2015.

    The IMF said it expected inflation rates in the Eurozone to fall far below goals set by the European Central Bank and asked "bolder action" on the matter.

    Olivier Blanchard, head of economic research in the IMF, presenting the report said that the German economy will be stronger than expected, with a growth rate of 1.7 pct this year and noted that for the first time in the last two years, problematic economies in the European south will have a "low, but stable growth rate". He noted that austerity measures imposed by some governments with the aim to reduce their spending "have been relaxed" while investors were "less concerned" about the possibility of a default in the these countries. He added that banks were "gradually strengthened".

    Blanchard stressed that there were still risks for the global economy and noted that an important risk was the problem of an uneven distribution of wealth.

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