|Sunday, 16 February 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-11-23
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 23 November 2009 Issue No: 3356
 PM in Dominican Rep. for SI sessionsSANTO DOMINGO (ANA-MPA / V. Mourtis) Prime Minister George Papandreou, in his capacity as Socialist International (SI) president, arrived here on Sunday to preside over the organisation's three-day series of meetings, set to begin in the evening and continue until Tuesday.
The meetings are expected to host discussions on a final proposal by the SI regarding the climate change issue and the environment, which will be tabled at the upcoming Copenhagen summit, along with positions on the global economic crisis, the gap between north and south and worldwide efforts at more disarmament.
 Alternate FM Droutsas holds talks with Tirana mayorTIRANA (ANA-MPA/N. Melissova)
Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met on Saturday with main socialist opposition leader and Tirana Mayor Eddy Rama, concluding his contacts with the Albanian political leadership.
During the meeting, Droutsas presented to Rama the Greek initiative concerning the political aim of incorporating the Western Balkans in the European Union in 2014.
"Greece is a reliable ally and partner for Albania and in this course democracy, in the entire spectrum of procedures, is of great importance," he said.
On his part, Rama briefed Droutsas on developments in Albania which, at political level, are characterised by his party's refusal to accept the results of the June elections.
 Final stretch of ND leadership raceThe three-way race to succeed Costas Karamanlis at the helm of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party entered into the last week before the Nov. 29 election next weekend, with all three candidates touring the country and giving speakding to crowds of supporters.
Former minister Antonis Samaras spoke to an audience in the central Greece city of Larissa on Sunday, while former minister Dora Bakoyannis spoke in Thessaloniki, whereas Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis toured the Thrace province.
Speaking in Thessaloniki, Bakoyannis, the up-until-recently foreign minister, honed in on ruling PASOK, charging that less than 50 days after the election it has lost control in all sectors, "from Brussels all the way to the port of the Piraeus".
"PASOK is good only in its communications in easy words. The government is proceeding without a plan, a compass, and without knowing what it wants; PASOK will pay for its unreliability and its incompetence," the former foreign minister characteristically said.
Meanwhile, in a reply to high-profile criticism against her, Bakoyannis, the daughter of ex-prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, said she never advised Karamanlis to hold a snap election on Oct. 4, yet when elections were proclaimed she said fully waged a campaign battle and did not hide.
Speaking from Larissa, Samaras, an ex-culture minister in the last Karamanlis government and a one-time founder of his own political party (Political Spring) in the 1990s, referred to what he called the triptych of "unity, organisation and ideology" as the backbone of a reborn New Democracy.
"I want to proceed with something from scratch. The battle does not end on the 29th (of November), but instead, begins on the 30th, because opposed to ND is PASOK," he said.
In referring to the disastrous election result of Oct. 4, Samaras underlined: "PASOK did not rise; it was our own (voters) who left us and stayed home. We need to give them our apology..." he said.
Finally, Psomiadis visited the town of Xanthi on Saturday, followed by Komotini and in Alexandroupolis in the evening, where he spoke to party cadres and supporters.
 LAOS party on party leaders meetingPopular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party spokesman Kostis Aivaliotis said over the weekend that the party welcomes the proposal made by Prime Minister George Papandreou for a meeting of party leaders under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic concerning the issues of transparency and corruption.
He further said that this "was a proposal made by LAOS last year" and stressed that "apart from transparency in issues of the economy we expect to see transparency in the national issues as well."
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.493
Pound sterling 0.906
Danish kroner 7.501
Swedish kroner 10.437
Japanese yen 132.92
Swiss franc 1.524
Norwegian kroner 8.492
Canadian dollar 1.600
Australian dollar 1.642
 Gorgopotamos anniversary celebratedThe 67th anniversary of the blowing up of the bridge was celebrated at Gorgopotamos on Sunday next to the bridge bearing the same name.
The special details concerning the coordinated and joint effort by the ELAS and EDES resistance forces in 1942 were stressed by both the representatives of the resistance organisations which participated in the event and the representatives of parties and the government.
"The flash from the explosion at Gorgopotamos brings messages up until our days," said Agricultural Development Minister Katerina Batzeli, being the government's representative, at the celebrations. She stated that Gorgopotamos "has all the elements to be characterised a monument under the supervision of UNESCO".
 50th Thessaloniki Film Festival awardsThe 50th Thessaloniki International Film Festival came to an end on Sunday night with the closing ceremony and the giving of awards.
The Golden Alexander was awarded to to the Israeli-German production "Crossroads of life.The award was given by German film director Werner Herzog who, as it was announced on Saturday, will also be the president of the critics committee at the 60th Berlin Film Festival. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of 40,000 euros.
The Silver Alexander (25,000 euros) was given to the Romanian film "Medal of honour." Its leading actor Viktor Rebencuk received the award for the best performance by a man.
The best director award was given to the Mexican Rigoberto Perezcano for his film "Northless."
The best actress award went to Ruth Nyrere for her performance in the film "The Day God Walked Away" (Belgium).
Lastly, the award for Artistic Achievement went to the film "Missing Person" by Seo Lee (S. Korea).
 2 H1N1-related deaths reported; victims plagued by severe health problemsAnother two H1N1-related deaths were reported in Greece over the weekend, with victims in both cases suffering from serious pre-existing conditions, health officials said.
In the first instance, a 16-year-old teen tested positive for "new flu" in Thessaloniki suffered severe respiratory and multiple organ failure while being treated in a local hospital.
Additionally, a 70-year-old man, also in Thessaloniki, also succumbed to a severe form of pneumonia in a local hospital's ICU. He was also earlier diagnosed with H1N1.
 Greek-owned vessel eludes piratesThe Greek coast guard command on Sunday clarified that a Greek-managed bulk carrier was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Yemen on Nov. 16 although attempts to board the vessel were unsuccessful.
The vessel, identified as the Red Sea Spirit, reportedly eluded two pirate speedboats after its skipper took evasive measures at sea.
According to the shipping company Secure Hold, the Panamanian-flagged vessel is continuing its course for Karachi, Pakistan.
 Illegals arrested in Evros prefectureA total of 11 illegal immigrants and five migrant smugglers were intercepted on Sunday in two separate instances in a rural and border region of Evros prefecture
 Super League resultsPanathinaikos Athens drew 1-1 at home with Asteras Tripoli over the weekend to remain atop the Greek Super League standings, two points ahead of Olympiacos Piraeus who was held to a 2-2 draw away by PAS Yiannina, while AEK Athens lost 2-1 away to Kavala.
In other action:
Xanthi-Levadiakos Livadia 1-0
Iraklis Thessaloniki-Atromitos Athens 2-2
Panionios Athens-Panthrakikos Komotini 3-1
PAOK Thessaloniki-Aris Thessaloniki 4-1
Ergotelis Crete-Larissa 02/12/09
Standings after 11 weeks of play:
1. Panathinaikos 29 points
2. Olympiacos 27
3. PAOK 21
4. Kavala 18
5. Panionios 17
6. AEK 15
7. Aris 15
8. Asteras 15
9. Ergotelis 14 (10 games)
10. Xanthi 13
11. Iraklis 12
12. PAS Yiannina 11
13. Larissa 10 (10 games)
14. Atromitos 10
15. Levadiakos 8
16. Panthrakikos 1
 Fair on MondayFair weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-4 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 3C and 24C. Fair in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 9C to 23C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 4C to 19C.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesEconomic policy following the tabling of the draft 2010 budget, developments in the ND leadership race and instances of H1N1 flu mostly dominated the headlines in Sunday's newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "End of illegal double bonuses - Pension at 67 for anyone hired after 2002".
APOGEVMATINI: "Everything changing in building cooperatives."
AVGI: "Recipe for recession -- Budget"
AVRIANI: "Government freeing up 'closed professions' "
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Rendezvous at the tax office - 3.5 billion euros foreseen as additional tax revenue for 2010".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Participation brings about new president - New opinion poll on New Democracy leadership race".
ETHNOS: "Flu out of control as vaccination of health professionals coming amid obstacles".
EPOCHI (Weekly): "Economy: From the tunnel to ICU."
FREE SUNDAY: "What's changing in public sector, taxes".
KATHIMERINI: "Timidness and vaccilation as markets, EU watch - Nervousness from lack of economic strategic planning intensifies".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Everybody out for communist labour union rally on Nov. 24".
LOGOS: "Economy's collapse brings new taxes".
PARON (Weekly): "(PASOK) Party against government! Revolt by MPs and cadres".
PROTO THEMA (Weekly): "Tax dodgers directly to jail - Failing to pay VAT a felony".
VETO: "Ms 'E' in handcuffs - Message by government after adventurous arrest of 'Eleftherotypia' co-owner".
VIMA: "Debate! - Dora Bakoyannis and Antonis Samaras -- 20 common questions - 40 different answers".
VRADYNI: "Properties with hidden benefits, bargains".
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