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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-09-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Paul Mason: Greece 'a laboratory of a new kind of Europe'
  • [02] We have exceeded the limits of society, ND leader Meimarakis tells ANA-MPA
  • [03] SYRIZA must win in order to affect EU developments, Tsipras says
  • [04] No need for army to control migration flows, head of police border protection service says

  • [01] Paul Mason: Greece 'a laboratory of a new kind of Europe'

    ANA-MPA -- Paul Mason, an economic editor for British broadcaster Channel 4 News and author of several books, among them "PostCapitalism- A guide to our Future", talked to the ANA-MPA about the economic situation in Europe, the debt crisis and the refugee crisis.

    Paul Mason believes that Greece "is more than just a hostage of the international banking system. It is a laboratory of a new kind of Europe" and thinks that there isn't a single serious economist who believes Greek debt is viable. He also points out that the refugee crisis has just began, and is threatening the European project.

    He also points to signs that an alternative economy of the kind examined in his book is starting to emerge, "even in beleaguered Greece".

    "The "Omicron project" in Greece recorded something like seventy alternative economic projects, parallel currencies, time banks. Even in beleaguered Greece there is the beginning, I think, of an economy that can change the way we live," Mason notes.

    He then underlines the need for change in the Eurozone, saying that the entire project is in danger, regardless of what happens in Greece.

    "What we have now, I think, is a machine for destroying jobs. It's not only destroying jobs in southern Europe, where as you know we have youth unemployment that is at spectacular and tragic levels, but even in Germany where we have the so called "black zeros" principle of no government deficit. It is strangling investment, it is strangling the ability of Germany to modernize itself and my fear is that the new orthodoxy, the German imprint on the euro, will actually strangle the European economy. So whatever happens to Greece, the project itself is in danger."

    The full audio interview is available to subscribers on the ANA-MPA website.

    [02] We have exceeded the limits of society, ND leader Meimarakis tells ANA-MPA

    "It is a difficult battle that will be given vote by vote until the last moment," New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis on Thursday said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    Regarding the next day, Meimarakis warned that "there are no easy ways and we have difficult months ahead of us." He called on citizens to vote for New Democracy, reiterating that the party is "determined to work hard in order to implement the required structural reforms."

    Meimarakis expressed his certainty that New Democracy will be the first party and it will receive a mandate to form a government on Monday. He underlined that the most capable persons from political parties and the society will participate in his government and called on SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to also participate in the government.

    As regards a possible coalition government with SYRIZA, he said that compromises have a limit: "If you consider compromise to adopt the view that the Aegean does not have maritime borders or that excellence in education is a bad thing, I am telling you that there is no basis for such a discussion."

    Referring to the refugee-migration issue, he said that the society and the economy have exceeded their tolerance and argued that "the policy of open borders creates deadlocks." However, he noted that "we must face a real problem, the problem of the explosive increase of refugee flows based on a plan and humanity. We have to separate refugees from undocumented migrants, taking advantage of EU resources, and effectively guarding the country's borders."

    [03] SYRIZA must win in order to affect EU developments, Tsipras says

    ANA-MPA -- SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras once again ruled out the prospect of a 'grand coalition' with New Democracy as being "against nature" in an interview published on Thursday by 'Efimerida ton Syntakton'. He stressed that such a plan, which would cancel SYRIZA's identity and strategic plan, must not be allowed to proceed and pointed to the "painful experience" of the last such experiment with the Papademos government. "SYRIZA and New Democracy represent different social interests," Tsipras said, adding that ND remained the party of Antonis Samaras and was organised around the same people and programme. "It represents the interests of the oligarchy, of the social forces that came out winners in the crisis," he said. Tsipras noted that his party and the European Left "have the only viable plan and form the core of the forces fighting to overturn neoliberalism in Greece and Europe, to put an end to austerity and deepen democracy." This plan was able to help the social classes subjected to exploitation extricate themselves from the dead ends of neoliberalism, he added. Referring to likely political developments in Europe, such as the recent elections of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour party leader in the UK, Tsipras stressed that SYRIZA must win the upcoming elections in order to play a catalytic role in the shifting power balances of the EU. If elected, SYRIZA will continue with initiatives started by the previous government, such as the draft bill on television licences and legislation for combatting illegal trading in fuel and tobacco, he said. Referring to the promises he made as part of the Thessaloniki programme a year ago, he noted that many of these had been implemented and that the "fight continues". Over the government's entire four-year term, he added, "the total of the Thessaloniki commitments will be implemented policy."

    [04] No need for army to control migration flows, head of police border protection service says

    ANA-MPA -- The police and coast guard were in control of the migration situation, the head of the Greek police Aliens and Border Protection service Zacharoula Tsirigoti said on Thursday in an exclusive interview with the ANA-MPA. She estimated that the assistance of the army will not be needed, even if there is an increase in the influx of migrants and refugees. Tsirigoti said that between 3,500-4,000 people were arriving on islands of the northern and eastern Aegean daily. These individuals were being identified and processed at a rate of about 3,000 a day, she added, and singled out the greatest problem as the lack of first reception facilities on the islands of the Aegean. According to Tsirigoti, the current rate of migration and refugee flows was unprecedented in any European Union country, including Greece, and all services were making an effort to meet the challenge. "Experience until now, both on Lesvos and on Kos, has shown where the weaknesses are, what we can improve and what we must do to deal with this phenomenon. Solidarity, coordination and honest effort are primarily what is needed from all the agencies involved," she said. Asked whether the army might be called in to assist, as in other countries, Tsirigoti noted that the armed forces were already helping in some areas, such as providing food, technical resources and in setting up tents. "Using the Army at the external borders or anywhere else in the interior of the country is a purely political decision that I believe will not be made, because we will not need to reach that point. The situation until now is controlled, both by us as police and by the coast guard," she said. She also praised cooperation between the police and FRONTEX and the assistance by European organisations generally in tackling the crisis.
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