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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 12-12-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 3 December 2012 Issue No: 4237


  • [01] PM: With reforms implemented, no more pension, wage cuts
  • [02] Venizelos: PASOK against elimination of tax break for children; attack on SYRIZA
  • [03] DI.MAR leader against tax changes
  • [04] SYRIZA leader again calls for early elections
  • [05] Gov't spokesman on Tsipras statements
  • [06] Tsipras on renegotiation of 'memorandum'
  • [07] Dep.FM completes high-profile visit to China
  • [08] Former PM condemns press report claiming he's on so-called 'Lagarde list'
  • [09] 'Greek Day' on Wall Street
  • [10] Gov't dismisses press reports of PPC rate hikes
  • [11] Stolen items returned to ancient Olympia museum
  • [12] Homeless man critically injured in fire
  • [13] Rain on Monday
  • [14] The Sunday edition of Athens' papers at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM: With reforms implemented, no more pension, wage cuts

    The agreement is viable," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday by an Athens weekly, in reference to the recent Eurogroup decisions.

    He also noted that if the country implements necessary reforms, no more cutbacks in salaries and pension will be taken.

    Samaras added that a bonds buy-back process does not concern pension funds and that the money channeled into the market in 2013 is greater than austerity measures.

    He pointed out that greater liquidity is the goal in order to reverse the vicious circle of recession.

    Moreover, Samaras again indirectly attacked the so-called "drachma lobby" in Greece and abroad, saying that if the country exited the eurozone the situation would worsen, with even harsher measures then necessary.

    Referring to his political opponents, the prime minister said he feels ashamed that certain politicians clearly demonstrated that they would have preferred a failure last week in Brussels, terming as "malicious" the criticism that the eurogroup solution is not final.

    "Those claiming that the country will be turned into a debt colony are ridiculous," he concluded.

    His interview was published in the Sunday weekly "Proto Thema".

    [02] Venizelos: PASOK against elimination of tax break for children; attack on SYRIZA

    A framework that will boost the real economy and lead to an exit from the crisis in the wake of recent Eurogroup decisions was emphasised on Saturday by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, who addressed a conference of his party's organising committee in downtown Athens.

    Venizelos noted that changes in the tax regime should not include an abolition of tax breaks for children, adding that "we will heal" the injustices in the law regarding disability pensions and the payment of the civil servants retirement lump sums.

    The PASOK leader sternly attacked main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, saying the latter 'is ignorant of the danger" and that with his statements undermine investment prospects in the country, something Venizelos called "suspicious and deplorable".

    Referring to PASOK's initiatives in the coming weeks, Venizelos said that on Monday PASOK will present its proposal to declare the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) party unconstitutional".

    Moreover, he added that a prerequisite for national recovery is that the current government completes its four-year tenure, while in the meantime operating with coordination, stability and with clear rules regarding not only the three-party majority but also within the government, in statements carried by the Saturday edition of "Ta Nea

    [03] DI.MAR leader against tax changes

    Democratic Left (DI.MAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis on Saturday expressed his disagreement over tax hikes and elimination of tax breaks, particularly the abolition of breaks for families with children, noting however, that a final decision has not been taken.

    Moreover, he said that in the next days a draft law for over-indebted households will be completed, explaining that "the target is for no one to have to pay more that 30 percent of his total income".

    Kouvelis' statements were published in the Saturday edition of "Imerissia". .

    [04] SYRIZA leader again calls for early elections

    Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday, during his closing remarks at the party's nationwide conference, again aimed his criticism at the government, stressing that "the only service left for you to offer the country and democracy is not to accept the 'no solution' that Eurogroup offered you, but to open the way to the people to give a solution with their verdict."

    Tsipras called the government to "smoothly lead" the country to general elections.

    Greece held repeat general elections in 2012, in both May and June.

    Moreover, the SYRIZA leder expressed a certainty that the recent Eurogroup's decisions cannot lead the country out of the crisis, adding that very soon the government will face increased pressure and will unveil new austerity measures.

    [05] Gov't spokesman on Tsipras statements

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, commenting on Sunday in response to main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras' address at a party conference, charged that "it is the first time that the head of the main opposition officially wished for Greece's bankruptcy and exit from Europe".

    [06] Tsipras on renegotiation of 'memorandum'

    "The minimum patriotic duty of a coalition government with mandate for the renegotiation and disengagement from the Memorandum is not to accept a repetition of the same disastrous choices," main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras was quoted by the Athens daily "Ta Nea" on Saturday.

    Tsipras said the government should not accept the "looting" of social security funds in order to buy back bonds and use it as a pre-election campaign "gift" to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The SYRIZA leader also opined that as long as the recession escalates "semi- measures" for the debt will last for only three months.

    [07] Dep.FM completes high-profile visit to China


    Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas on Sunday completed an official visit to China with an address at a business forum here.

    In his address, Kourkoulas reiterated Athens' message to international investors, stressing that "now is the right time to invest in Greece," with discussions, on both the official and business level, pointing to additional Chinese investments in the east Mediterranean country. The talks come in light of Chinese multinational Cosco's successful investment at the port of Piraeus, something that Cosco's leadership confirmed.

    Speaking to AMNA, Kourkoulas expressed satisfaction with the organisation of his visits and contacts, as well as the noteworthy promotion of the business forum in the Chinese media.

    Reviewing the results of his contacts, the Greek official stressed that the maritime shipping sector remains the main pylon of Greece-China bilateral cooperation, given that 120 Greek-owned vessels are currently being constructed in Chinese shipyards, while a whopping 30 percent of China's foreign trade is carried by Greek-owned vessels.

    Another growing and important sector is exports of Greek agricultural products to China, with the goal being to expand the market beyond Shanghai and Beijing.

    Moreover, a report that the China Development Bank is considering a mission to Athens was warmly received by the Chinese and the Greek sides, given that beyond funding large-scale Chinese investors, such a prospect would be positive for the Greek economy.

    Finally, Cosco's leadership also welcomed Kourkoulas, with the multinational's president, Capt. Wei Jiafu, reminding that Cosco's managers that the company aims to turn Piraeus into a "regional centre of distribution".

    [08] Former PM condemns press report claiming he's on so-called 'Lagarde list'

    Press reports in at least one mass weekly on Sunday, claiming that ex-premier George Papandreou and his mother, Margaret, are amongst the depositors on the so-called "Lagarde list", generated a harsh reaction by the former.

    In a statement late Saturday, Papandreou said "it is obvious that the articles target me and the policy I applied against all political and self-serving expidiences".

    Additionally, a statement issued by Margaret Papandreou stated that "from now on justice (court system) will have the first say".

    Financial News

    [09] 'Greek Day' on Wall Street

    NEW YORK(AMNA-P.Panagiotou)

    Friday was "Greek Day" on Wall Street, with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis sounding the "closing bell" at Friday's session.

    This special event is organised every year within the framework of the investment forum, "Capital Link", which features Greece , the Greek delegation and companies that participate in the event as well as companies with a Greece link that are listed in the NYSE.

    Hatzidakis was accompanied by Environment, Energy & Climate Change Deputy Minister Assimakis Papageorgiou

    [10] Gov't dismisses press reports of PPC rate hikes

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Sunday evening issued a statement flatly denying weekend press reports claiming that the Public Power Corp. (PPC) is eying significant increases in electricity rates.

    "Claims of increases in PPC rates are not based in reality. These are clearly journalistic scenarios," a statement read. The spokesman said he asked for and was briefed on the matter by the relevant deputy energy minister.

    General News

    [11] Stolen items returned to ancient Olympia museum

    A brief but special ceremony was held at the Museum of Olympic Games History at the ancient Olympia archaeological site on Sunday to unveil the artifacts that were stolen from the same museum last February, generating an international furor over lax security at the facility.

    Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras thanked the law enforcement authorities who recovered the priceless items. Several suspects, in Patras and Athens, were arrested and charged with the audacious early morning robbery at the museum.

    [12] Homeless man critically injured in fire

    A homeless man, believed to be a foreign national, was in critical condition on Saturday after suffering serious burns when his makeshift shelter under a bridge in central Athens caught fire in the early morning hours.

    The blaze spread rapidly to a pile of old clothes and papers, while initial reports cited that an antiquated oil burner was found in the makeshift shelter.

    Firefighters rescued the man from the blaze. He was taken to an Athens area hospital. An investigation was launched into the incident.

    Weather forecast

    [13] Rain on Monday

    Rain and northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 9 on the Beaufort scale. Rainy weather in the northern parts, with temperatures ranging from 7C-15C. Same weather in central and southern Greece, 9C-17C; rain on the islands, 16C-20C. Overcast in Athens, 11C-17C; rain in Thessaloniki, 8C-13C.

    [14] The Sunday edition of Athens' papers at a glance

    AVGHI: SYRIZA nationwide conference's message: Ready for government of social salvation".

    ELETHEROS TYPOS: "New landscape in government, political parties".

    ETHNOS: "Church Metropolitans' suspicious bank deposits".

    KATHIMERINI: "PM Antonis Samaras' direct aims: Privatisations, overdue debt and infrastructure works in progress".

    PROTO THEMA: "Antonis Samaras' across-the-board interview: Opportunity will not be lost- Pension funds excluded from bonds buy back".

    REAL NEWS: "German FinMin Wolfgang Schauble's document a 'bomb' for Greek debt".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Call for struggle to all workers in all labour unions".

    TO PARON: "Banks' rebellion - Halt to bonds' buy-back".

    VIMA: "A Europe of accountants and ... 'gifts' ".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ANTONIS SKYLLAKOS

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