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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin on 'corruption' comment
  • [02] Samaras: PM's job is to solve problems
  • [03] Spinalonga: The island no one wants to remember
  • [04] Center for missing children in Athens
  • [05] Building activity 29.1% down
  • [06] ASE opening: Small decline

  • [01] FinMin on 'corruption' comment

    ANA-MPA/Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stressed that "we all know that there are phenomena of corruption in the country", charging that "during the Karamanlis (New Democracy) government corruption reached gigantic proportions", speaking in an interview on a private television station Monday night, and added that the current PASOK government is trying to tackle the problem.

    The interview came on the heels of a furor that broke out in Greece over statements by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday that EU officials had been aware for years of an impending financial crisis in Greece but had kept quiet about it, and that he himself had broached the problem with a Greek prime minister, who he did not name, but had received the reply that "I am governing a country of corruption".

    Asked point-blank which prime minister Juncker had been referring to, Papaconstantinou clarified that "I did not say that the statement was made by Mr. Karamanlis, but that it was not made by the present prime minister (George Papandreou)".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Samaras: PM's job is to solve problems

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking on the Ionian island of Corfu on Monday, sharply criticised Prime Minister George Papandreou over recent statements by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker.

    "As it is being revealed today, Mr. Juncker did not mean some other former prime minister, he meant the present prime minister, George Papandreou. A prime minister's job is not to defame his country. A prime minister's job is not to judge the country 'from the outside', as a 'third' person, as a 'neutral observer'. His job is to solve problems. Prime ministers do not criticise the countries that elected them. They govern them. Prime ministers do not 'comment' on the problems of their countries with the darkest colours. They solve them," Samaras said.

    Samaras also criticised Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, saying that "he tried for two days to accuse New Democracy, attributing the Papandreou statements to the former prime minister. Now that it has been revealed who Mr. Juncker meant, what do they (PASOK) have to say? Will they at least say they're sorry? Does the word 'sorry' exist in their vocabulary?"

    The ND leader further said: "Mr. Juncker, the president of the Eurozone, comes forward and reveals the following: That the problems of Greece have their roots three decades ago. What a coincidence. This is precisely what I have been saying for months. That Greece made 'growth' and 'social policy' with borrowed money. And it did not do this in the recent years, it did it in the past decades. And for this I requested that, if a Fact-finding Commission is to be established on the economy, it must go back to 1981. Senior European officials are noting precisely the same thing now."

    Samaras reiterated his proposal that a "Fact-finding Commission should go back before October 2009 as well, so that we can see exactly how we have been led to the Memorandum, while we could have avoided it, as other countries avoided it."

    Samaras said in his address that the Memorandum was not the only option, and that "we resorted to the troika through the mistakes and omissions of the present government."

    "The Memorandum is proving to be unfair, painful and ineffective," Samaras stressed and called for the non-imposition of more taxes but for growth measures to be taken.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Spinalonga: The island no one wants to remember

    "Here, one feels that there is an invisible force that urges you to tell the story," says Thodoris Papadoulakis, the director of a television series just launched on a private Greek tv station based on British writer Victoria Hislop's best-seller "The Island" that recounts the fictional story of a family's ties to the now-unoccupied island of Spinalonga that served as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957.

    "That must be how Victoria Hislop felt, who revives a stigmatised era in her book 'The Island'," adds Papadoulakis.

    After 1957, when the last patient left the island, Spinalonga fell into abandonment, until it was re-discovered by tourists in recent years.

    Spinalonga boasts its own glorious pages of history. Located off Lassithi prefecture in eastern Crete, the island's name has its roots in the Venetian period, coming from Spina Longa meaning "Long Thorn".

    Due to its position, the island was fortified from its earliest years to protect the entranceway of the port of Ancient Olous. Significant fortifications as well as buildings of architectural interest today were built later by the Venetians.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Center for missing children in Athens

    Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Monday inaugurated in Athens the Centre of Southeastern Europe for missing and under exploitation children. The specific Centre was created with the cooperation of the "Child's Smile" and the International Centre for children missing and victims of exploitation.

    "This centre is proof of trust in our country that we can be leaders in many things in our region and play the leading role that our country deserves," the minister said.

    Droutsas added that he will be a helper and great supporter of all these efforts, saying that "the Foreign ministry and I personally will always be with you in this effort."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Building activity 29.1% down

    ANA-MPA/Building activity dropped 29.1 pct in volume in July this year, for a 24.8 pct decline in the January-July period, substantially contributing to an economic recession in the country, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Monday.

    The statistics agency, in a report, said a total of 5,156 building permits were issued in July, down 20.1 pct compared with July 2009. Only two out of the 13 regions of the country reported n increase in building volume (Thessaly 9.6 pct, Central Macedonia 4.0 pct), while Attica (48 pct), Western Macedonia (47.9 pct) and Ionian Islands (41.6 pct) recorded the biggest percentage declines.

    In the seven-month period from January to July, building volume was down 24.8 pct and permits were down 10.6 pct. All 13 regions recorded declines.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] ASE opening: Small decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.44 percent, standing at 1,541.95 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 1.656 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were mixed, with the biggest gains in Food and Beverages, up 0.95 percent and Chemicals, up 0.62 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Telecoms, down 0.72 percent; and Industrial Products, down 0.59 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.75 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.08 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.18 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 32 were up, 25 were down, and 21 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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