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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK pledges 'aggressive line' on civil liberties
  • [02] Greece again asks Christie's to stop auction
  • [03] Alavanos raps PM for attacks by ND 'hawks'

  • [01] PASOK pledges 'aggressive line' on civil liberties

    Greece's main opposition leader George Papandreou on Tuesday pledged that his party would take a "hard, aggressive line" on issues related to democratic rights and individual freedoms, while addressing his party's Parliamentary group.

    The head of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) stressed that the government seemed incapable of delivering results on issues concerning the security of citizens and guaranteeing their democratic and individual rights.

    According to PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou, Papandreou said the government's inability had led to its attack on democratic rights but also political parties.

    During Tuesday's meeting, PASOK decided to make the issue of democratic rights a central topic of confrontation with the government, on which it would take a hard, aggressive line, Efthymiou said, noting that the party intended to take a dual approach to the issue.

    The first was that the concept of security and of individual and democratic rights were not conflicting but complementary.

    Secondly, it would stressed that PASOK government had proved that it was possible to improve security conditions with respect to ordinary crime and the effective handling of terrorism, while fully respecting citizens' freedoms and rights.

    [02] Greece again asks Christie's to stop auction

    Greece's government on Tuesday repeated a demand that the London auction house Christie's call off the sale of items belonging to the early 20th-century Greek monarch George I, stressing that the precise origins of the items in the collection had not been made public.

    According to an ANA-MPA correspondent in London, meanwhile, a British solicitor representing the Greek culture ministry had already sent a letter to Christie's, formally asking that it cancel the auction scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday. The auction house had not yet responded.

    "The culture ministry is systematically and methodically trying to protect our cultural heritage, namely Greek history," Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis told reporters on Tuesday amid the uproar over the auction. He underlined that the objects in question are indisputably part of modern Greek history.

    "In spite of the fact that the list of objects is long and detailed, their exact origin and the way they reached the auction house has not been made public," Voulgarakis said, while adding that the Greek state will notify auction participants that it reserves all legal rights.

    According to alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, meanwhile, the government intended to do whatever was necessary in order to find out how the objects came into Christie's possession.

    Asked whether the Greek State might participate in the auction to bid for some of the items in the collection, Antonaros stressed that the culture minister "had not raised any such issue".

    A day earlier, Voulgarakis had issued an "extrajudicial protest" to Christie's Auction House, calling for the withdrawal "of cultural goods appearing to belong to the collection of the King of the Hellenes, George I". The auction has been scheduled for Jan. 24-25 in London.

    The protest was also conveyed to Britain's ambassador in Greece.

    Should Christie's ignore Greece's official request, the Greek state has prepared a team of experienced British lawyers that will exhaust all legal avenues of preventing Thursday's auction, possibly by seeking an temporary injunction from London courts.

    A culture ministry announcement underlined that "from the list of the auction and from the investigation being conducted, it arises that the auctioned goods constitute part of the history of the modern Greek state and of our cultural heritage, resulting in the issue being raised of illegal export of cultural goods from Greece."

    [03] Alavanos raps PM for attacks by ND 'hawks'

    The leader of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party Alekos Alavanos on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, holding him responsible for "systematic attacks" against his party by ruling New Democracy hardliners.

    "The prime minister cannot be the prompter and behind-the-scenes conductor of a persistent, long-term, systematic and amoral attack by ND officials against the Coalition," Alavanos said after a meeting of SYN's Political Secretariat.

    Stressing that SYN was strenuously opposed to violent actions and groups, Alavanos counter-accused the government of using such activities and incidents in order to be able to pass laws that were unpopular with society and the educational community.

    At another point, he accused Karamanlis of being "absent both as a prime minister and as ND president" since the attacks on SYN were being made by members of his party.

    Alavanos said that Tuesday's meeting by SYN's Political Secretariat had been devoted to the party's strategy in view of the upcoming elections.

    This would be centred on action in support of exclusively state-run universities, protecting university asylum, preventing any change to article 16 of the Constitution, dealing with global warming and the greenhouse effect and protecting democratic freedoms.

    Alavanos said the party would hold two events, in which it would outline its positions in favour of free access to all highschool leavers to state universities and, secondly, the changes that must be made to Greece's political agenda in response to global warming.


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