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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-16

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The problem with Greece's welfare and tax measures must be resolved politically, Euro area official tells ANA
  • [02] Suspension of debt relief measures for Greece is 'shameful', Massimo D'Alema tells ANA
  • [03] Court acquits HIV-positive women charged with 'transmitting the virus' via prostitution
  • [04] Upheaval at Moria camp after false rumours about opening of Greek borders
  • [05] Municipality opens heated venues for homeless people ahead of cold spell

  • [01] The problem with Greece's welfare and tax measures must be resolved politically, Euro area official tells ANA

    BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Aroni) A solution to the problem that has arisen with the social welfare and tax measures recently announced by Greece must be sought on a political level, not a staff level, a well-informed Euro area official told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Friday.

    The official noted that from a legal standpoint, the implementation of the short-term measures to relieve Greek public debt already approved by the Eurozone is not linked to the implementation of the measures announced by the prime minister.

    Referring to the objections to the measures raised within the Eurogroup, the official noted that each member-state appears to have its own interpretation of the institutions' preliminary assessment of the impact of these measures and whether these were compatible with Greece's MoU commitments. Given this fact, a resolution of the difference will be political, not technical, the European official said.

    [02] Suspension of debt relief measures for Greece is 'shameful', Massimo D'Alema tells ANA

    ROME (ANA/T. Andreadis) The decision to put the Greek debt relief measures on hold is "shameful", socialist politician and former Italian prime minister and foreign minister Massimo D'Alema said, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) in an interview on Friday.

    "I believe that the European Parliament and the European Commission must react in a clear way. I would like to hope that the Italian government will also want to clearly distance itself from this position of the Eurogroup, because Alexis Tsipras is redistributing money that arose from the primary surplus. These are funds, in other words, that do not increase the debt," he said.

    A key figure in the Party of European Socialists (PES), D'Alema said he supported cooperation between the socialists, the radical Left and the Greens to create an alternative political platform on a European level. He expressed hope that he will be able to have an in-depth discussion with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the political and economic state of Europe.

    He noted that Europe should treat the social situation in Greece and the poverty of pensioners as a problem that has to be addressed, while the attitudes of certain European organisations were "among the reasons why European citizens trust Europe less and less."

    The margins for action to alleviate poverty, currently restricted, could be increase if Europe finally followed through on a promise to deliver growth, D'Alema added, noting that the much-trumpeted European programme to support investments was still "largely on paper".

    "Greece and other countries, such as Italy, are paying the price of an absence of a strong European programme for growth," he added.

    D'Alema supported brave debt relief and restructuring measures for Greece, in the same way that banks restructured and renegotiated debt terms when a debtor was unable to pay.

    "The aim is to help Greece promote a growth policy and fight poverty, so that it can pay its debts in the long term. The death of the debtor, I repeat, will never benefit a creditor," he said.

    [03] Court acquits HIV-positive women charged with 'transmitting the virus' via prostitution

    An Athens Misdemeanours Court on Friday acquitted a group of HIV positive women arrested in 2012 and charged with repeated counts of grievous bodily harm on the grounds that they were transmitting the HIV/AIDS virus by working as prostitutes and having unprotected sex. The arrests were made when Andreas Loverdos was minister and caused a huge stir at the time, since authorities had published photographs and personal details of the women arrested "to protect public health".

    The case concerned 11 women addicted to drugs, three of which have since died. They were acquitted of the grievous bodily harm charge, while the charges of prostitution had been converted to a minor offence and become statute-barred. The court adopted the public prosecutor's position recommending that they be acquitted because the state had not proven the charges against them.

    "In no way is it shown that the accused were engaged in prostitution, in no way that they came into sexual contact with other individuals without using a condom nor, apart from the first of the accused, that they knew they were HIV positive," the prosecutor noted. As such, the malicious intent required to support a charge of grievous bodily harm was not proven, she added.

    The court's ruling was greeted with applause in the audience and tears of relief from the defendants.

    [04] Upheaval at Moria camp after false rumours about opening of Greek borders

    Refugees and migrants waiting to be registered by authorities inside the camp in Moria, Lesvos, celebrated what they believed to be news that Greece's borders will open at the end of the year and they will be allowed to continue their trip to northern Europe.

    According to police, the rumour spread through social media on Wednesday causing wild celebrations in the camp for two days, with hundreds of people abandoning their tents. Police watched from a distance the events which ended about an hour later without any incidents.

    On Thursday, police arrested inside the camp a 33-year-old Greek who was distributing leaflets to the refugees. He was arrested for disturbing domestic peace, but the prosecutor released him and ordered a preliminary examination on the incident.

    [05] Municipality opens heated venues for homeless people ahead of cold spell

    The municipality of Athens said on Friday it is opening two heated venues in central Athens to protect the homeless from the cold temperatures forecast for the coming days. The city is also sending out street patrols to inform homeless people of the existence of these venues.

    The addresses are: Leshi Filias (Agiou Pavlou, Mamouri & Dimys Street) and the hall of the 4rth Municipal Community (Lenorman and 33 Alexandrias street). The municipal Reception and Solidarity Center will also be open with two action teams which will be available 24/7 to distribute clothes, blankets and food.

    Athenians who want to alert municipal authorities emergency cases relating to homeless people can call: 210 5246515 - 210 5246516, as well as 1595.


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