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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-02-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND leader deplores Sunday's disturbances
  • [02] New memorandum envisages 3.2 bln euros measures
  • [03] KKE chief on new political landscape

  • [01] ND leader deplores Sunday's disturbances

    AMNA--New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras on Monday reacted strongly to Sunday's disturbances in Athens. amna

    "They wrecked the city, they wrecked the market, they chose historical buildings deliberately and they burnt them. These hoodlums must know that when the time comes, I shall pull down their hoods. Because the hoods must come off not only for us to see who they are, but also who are hiding behind them, who do not want the Greek people to be able to have the right to express themselves freely," Samaras said.

    [02] New memorandum envisages 3.2 bln euros measures

    AMNA-- A new memorandum approved by the Greek Parliament on Sunday envisages additional fiscal measures worth 3.2 billion euros, as the government has committed to measures worth 14.2-14.5 billion euros in the 2012-2014 period, -- while a one-year extension of the memorandum until 2015 is also examined.

    In June, the troika will assess whether the government has achieved the targets set, in order to avoid additional, such as additional wage cuts in the public sector and further cutbacks in social and defense spending.

    The programme will be assessed on a quarterly basis, while the government has pledged to take additional measures if necessary. The state budget is expected to record a primary deficit of 1.0 pct of GDP (2.2 billion euros) this year as a result of a deep economic recession in the country, instead of a primary surplus of 1.5 pct of GDP as previously estimated. The government is projected to record a primary budget surplus next year (1.65 pct of GDP rising to 4.4 pct of GDP in 2014).amna

    The new memorandum among others also envisages new cuts in wages and pensions in the private sector, lay-offs in the public sector, closing down public sector agencies, freezing new hirings, reforming the labor market, raising property values, imposing more tax burdens, simplifying VAT, changes in property taxation, full opening of so-called closed professions, massive selling of public sector enterprises and the state’s real estate property.

    The program envisages revenues totaling 4.5 billion euros from privatisations this year, namely, the natural gas provider DEPA-DESFA, Hellenic Petroleum, OPAP, Athens Water & Sewerage, Thessaloniki Water and the IBC (the procedure is expected to begin in the first half), followed by ports, airports and the Egnatia motorway in the second half.amna

    By the end of March 2012, all assets included in a privatisation programme – with the exception of bank shares and loss-making assets (TrainOSE, Hellenic Vehicle Industry and Hellenic Defense Systems) - must be transferred to the State’s Private Property Fund. The memorandum also envisages further increases in the fares of Hellenic Railway, the urban bus systems and electricity bills issued by the Public Power Corp..

    [03] KKE chief on new political landscape

    AMNA--Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday said pressure exerted by the popular labour movement has led PASOK and New Democracy (ND) MPs to vote outside their party lines creating a new political landscape. She spoke about a small victory that can become a notable one if the movement is protected from “Trojan Horses”.

    Speaking in a press conference, Papariga expressed strong reservations on whether the move of tens of MPs to break with their party lines can lead to new political scenery or to one that is perceived as being new.

    As regards the time of the general elections, she said that she is not sure if they will be called by the eurogroup or the prime minister and the political parties supporting his government. amna

    Papariga said that the political system will seek ways to be disguised in order to manipulate the people. She expressed certainty that the new political forces that could be created by the “rebel” MPs will cooperate either with PASOK or ND to have the memorandum implemented.

    The KKE general secretary also lashed out at Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and the Democratic Left saying that they defend the EU while being against the memorandum. amna

    Referring to Sunday’s violence and destruction in downtown Athens, Papariga spoke about “organised state provocation” which is aimed at hurting the popular movement.

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