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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Mitsotakis in Salamina: 'A great collective effort is needed'
  • [02] Roupa, 25-year-old remanded in custody; Authorities deny 'arresting' Roupa's child

  • [01] Mitsotakis in Salamina: 'A great collective effort is needed'

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday celebrated Epiphany on the island of Salamina, off the coast of Attica, where he attended the customary ceremony for the blessing of the waters.

    "As we come into the eighth year of economic crisis and Greece resembles, more and more, a blocked society, our Church's prayer for divine inspiration is today more timely than ever and also more necessary than ever. By itself, however, it is not enough. A great collective effort is needed," the ND president said in a message afterward

    "United, we Greeks will once again regain our self-confidence as a nation, guided by the values of sincerity, seriousness and responsibility, to begin the great effort for national reconstruction," Mitsotakis added.

    In an intervew published by the newspaper "Parapolitika" on Friday, which also coincided with the first anniversary since he took over ND's leadership, Mitsotakis again expressed certainty that Greeks could emerge from the crisis if they worked together. He said his party was changing and providing the country with a way forward, saying that all the healthy forces in society had to be mobilised toward this end, without the divisions and exclusions of the past.

    "I address all Greeks with the certainty that together we can succeed. We have survived much tougher times. The fundamental requirement now is that we speak the language of truth and restore trust between ourselves. To work together for a better present and future for the children of all Greeks," he said.

    Talking about his party's internal elections on January 10, Mitsotakis said it was the "citizen's mandate" that he proceed with a creative renewal of the country's major centre-right party and that he was now acting on this mandate, promising major changes and new blood within ND.

    [02] Roupa, 25-year-old remanded in custody; Authorities deny 'arresting' Roupa's child

    Greek authorities on Friday pressed fresh charges of forming a terrorist organisation against recaptured terrorist Panayiota "Pola" Roupa, in addition to the 48-year-old's existing convictions for her role in the terror group "Revolutionary Struggle". Roupa and a 25-year-old woman arrested with her on Thursday were charged with criminal counts of forming a terrorist organisation, aggravated by the construction, supply and possession of weapons and explosives, and theft with the intent to commit terrorist acts, as well as with lesser charges of forgery and refusing to submit to fingerprinting. Both women were remanded in custody after their appearance before a public prosecutor.

    Meanwhile, the justice ministry issued an announcement in response to Roupa's claim that her six-year-old child had been "abducted" by the authorities, stressing that the child was neither under arrest nor detained. In a formal complaint she filed with a public prosecutor, Roupa claimed authorities were holding the child and refusing to turn it over into the custody of her mother and sister, in accordance with her wishes. As she was leaving the prosecutor's office on Friday, Roupa shouted that the child was being held under guard at the children's hospital as "a prisoner of war" and repeated her demand that the boy be put in the care of her mother and sister.

    The justice ministry clarified that the child had simply been put into care, under the supervision of trained experts, until a final decision assigning custody, while arrangements had already been made to ensure regular contact between the child and the members of his immediate family. A formal request that Roupa's mother and sister be given temporary custody was submitted to a prosecutor for juveniles on Thursday but authorities note that the relevant procedures take time, since it must be confirmed that the family members proposed meet the necessary requirements.

    "Ensuring the best interests of the child is foremost and this will be judged by the established bodies, as happens in any similar case," the ministry said.

    In a written statement, Roupa was defiant regarding the charges against her, saying she was a revolutionary and that she had "nothing to apologise for." The "terrorists, criminals and thieves" were the economic elite and the governments implementing the bailout memorandums, she said.

    The younger woman arrested with her identified herself as an anarchist and a member of "Revolutionary Struggle" and announced the start of a hunger and thirst strike to demand that Roupa's child be released into the care of its family.

    Roupa and the child's father Nikos Maziotis, also convicted for his part in "Revolutionary Struggle", started a hunger strike on Thursday, claiming the police were refusing to hand over custody of their six-year-old son to Roupa's relatives as revenge for "choosing the armed struggle".

    Roupa was arrested early on Thursday, after being on the run since July 2012 when she disappeared with Maziotis while on conditional leave after serving the maximum of 18 months in pre-trial custody.

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