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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-01-05

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

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

Monday, 5 January 2015 Issue No: 4851

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras: SYRIZA is leading the country to bankruptcy and a credit crisis
  • [02] 'We have to win this battle no matter what,' says Greek PM Samaras
  • [03] PM Samaras: 'No one has the right to jeopardise growth and the future of farmers'
  • [04] PM Samaras on two-day visit of northeastern Greece starting Monday
  • [05] 'There will be a negotiation, there will be an agreement,' SYRIZA's Tsipras says
  • [06] SYRIZA leader Tsipras invites leftist parties, Ecologists to join forces
  • [07] SYRIZA's central committe approves Tsipras' proposals
  • [08] PASOK leader Venizelos: Greece needs a national unity government
  • [09] 'PASOK is the guardian of the country's national strategy,' says its leader Venizelos
  • [10] DIMAR leader urges party committee to join electoral battle autonomously, cooperate with ecologists
  • [11] Former premier Papandreou makes inaugural speech at party meeting
  • [12] Former premier Papandreou's new party is called 'Democrat Socialists' Movement'
  • [13] Papandreou's new party is 'personal' and 'individual', says PASOK leader Venizelos
  • [14] Stefanos Anagnostou new government spokesman during election campaign
  • [15] 'Germany believes Greece will continue to fulfill its obligations,' German gov't spokesman tells ANA-MPA
  • [16] Der Spiegel: Germany believes a possible Greek exit form the Eurozone would be manageable
  • [17] SYRIZA lead shrinks to 3.1 pct against ND in Rass poll
  • [18] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros charged with running terrorist organisation, weapon possession
  • [19] Convicted terrorist Xiros was preparing attack against Korydallos prison, says minister, police
  • [20] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros appears before prosecutor
  • [21] Fugitive and convicted Nov. 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xiros recaptured by police
  • [22] Fight against terrorism is continuous, says public order minister after arrest of fugitive Xiros
  • [23] OLP's management welcomes 2015's first cruise ship in Piraeus
  • [24] Italian experts enter 'Norman Atlantic' for third time, prosecutor to ask Greece for help
  • [25] Third Greek victim identified in 'Norman Atlantic' ferry disaster, relatives of missing Greeks arrive in Italy
  • [26] Attempted break into military camp in Attica thwarted, security measures increased
  • [27] Traffic in Attica region gradually restored, traffic police warns drivers of frost on roads
  • [28] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Samaras: SYRIZA is leading the country to bankruptcy and a credit crisis

    LARISSA (ANA-MPA/S. Goutzanis)

    Prime Minister Antonis C. Samaras blasted main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) for leading the country to bankruptcy, to a credit crunch and eventually out of Europe, during a speech in the city of Larisa, in central Greece, on Saturday night.

    The Greek premier expressed his optimism for the upcoming general elections saying the opposition's lead in the polls has narrowed.

    "From Larisa we start a path of victory, Greece will win. SYRIZA's wind of victory is waning, the climate is changing.

    The Greek people voted us two and a half years ago to pull Greece out of the crisis. Two and a half years ago few people believed it. In two and a half years Greece made the biggest 'tidying up', it has no deficits, it was ready to exit the crisis, but they didn't let us. A minority of lawmakers dragged the country to elections that people didn't want," Samaras said.

    He noted that SYRIZA is afraid the country is finishing with the bailouts and that every year will be better than the previous one. "It was wrong to lead us to elections at a time when the county is recovering. This is why people will punish them for ignoring them," he added.

    Samaras also said the markets' reaction to the general elections shows how dangerous what SYRIZA did is, as it is leading the country to bankruptcy. "The international press and international bodies tell them every day. Everyone is shouting that what they're saying cannot happen and will lead the country to huge problems."

    Speaking to the people of Larisa, the premier explained that what he's saying is not fear mongering, as SYRIZA claims. "The institutional decisions taken in their conferences include not paying interest rate and not meeting debt payments, but these decisions lead to bankruptcy. Even worse, they're also saying they will resort to forced lending. We're telling the truth," Samaras said.

    The prime minister noted that EU funds earmarked for the next seven years totaling 43.5 billion euros and directed at farmers and the periphery will be jeopardized by SYRIZA.

    "The first one to lose will be the farmers and the agricultural periphery. We'll also risk losing 15 billion euros after March. We'll lose it because we've been warned that whoever doesn't abide by the conditions set by the EU will not get any money. They will lead the country to a credit crunch. This is the truth and I have an obligation to say it," he added.

    [02] 'We have to win this battle no matter what,' says Greek PM Samaras

    Greece is in the air right now and the battle the government is giving must be won, Greek Prime Minister said on private Vergina TV station after his speech in Larissa on Saturday.

    "Greece is a coin in the air and this is why we have to win this battle no matter what it takes," Samaras was quoted as saying exclusively to the channel. "Otherwise, there will be no farmer, like we know him today," he added.

    Asked about opinion polls, the prime minister said the gap is closing and it will soon be reversed in favour of New Democracy.

    [03] PM Samaras: 'No one has the right to jeopardise growth and the future of farmers'

    No one has the right to jeopardise economic growth, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Saturday, during a visit to a model unit for the production and processing of goji berry in the village of Mataranga, near Larisa in central Greece.

    Kicking off his election campaign, Samaras was shown around the premises and spoke to the young farmers who have joined forces to create the unit which is mainly export oriented.

    "The future for the Greek farmer is exemplified in these large, innovative units which represent tomorrow, they provide potential. They are exporting units that support the farmer who wants to differentiate his production and do something different," the Greek premier said.

    "With 20 billion euros ensured from the European Union, our farmers have the ability to support new dreams. No one has the right to tear down the potential for something new. No one has the right to play with the subsidies of the Greek farmer, with the exports of his products. This is the Greece of tomorrow, this is the Greece we're building," he noted.

    Samaras also visited a model quality control unit for agricultural products and he later strolled around the square of Sofades village in Karditsa.

    [04] PM Samaras on two-day visit of northeastern Greece starting Monday

    The Prime Minister and leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras will visit the prefectures of Evros, Rodopi, Xanthi and Kavala in northeastern Greece in the next two days, as part of his election campaign.

    On Monday evening, Samaras will speak at Komotini's Music Hall and on Tuesday, the day of the Epiphany, he will attend a service for the blessing of the waters at the Church of Aghiou Nikolaou in the city of Kavala.

    [05] 'There will be a negotiation, there will be an agreement,' SYRIZA's Tsipras says

    The leader of main opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, presented two messages during his speech at the party's Standing Conference late on Saturday - one towards Greece's lenders and one towards Greeks.

    Welcoming him to the pontium, Nikos Voutsis, SYRIZA MP and secretary of the party's parliamentary committee, said Tsipras will be the first prime minister from the Left.

    Tsipras described the framework of the negotiations between the country and its international lenders and also clarified that the party's programme is non-negotiable.

    "There will be a negotiation (with the country's international lenders). There will be an agreement. And the memorandum, along with the troika, will become part of the past!" he said as he opened the meeting, referring to the negotiations he's planning to hold if he's voted prime minister.

    The leader of SYRIZA said the party's opponents are accusing him of planning a rift with the country's Eurozone partners. "But what we want and what we're planning is a break with barbarity. A break with the irrational and what is wrong," he said.

    Tsipras reiterated his position that Greece's debt is not sustainable but that the policy followed today is not sustainable either. He explained he will claim from Greece's lenders the write-down of the largest chunk of the country's debt through an honest and determined negotiation, so that the country can finally enter a path of growth.

    [06] SYRIZA leader Tsipras invites leftist parties, Ecologists to join forces

    The President of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Saturday invited all social forces that "suffered from the memorandum disaster, struggled and are fighting for political change in the country and for the victory of our people" to join forces in the upcoming elections.

    Speaking to a meeting of SYRIZA's central committee, Alexis Tsipras said he is mainly opening up towards the Left and called on leftist socialists, extra-parliamentary leftist groups, the Communist Party of Greece and ANDARSYA to "realise that the battle we have to give is above the existing differences within the Left."

    He said it's a battle that concerns the present and future of labour forces and the popular movement.

    "We are urging them to set aside everything that divides us and work each from his own post to end the social disaster, to overthrow the memorandum government and replace it with a government that places the interests of the majority in the centre," Tsipras noted.

    He also urged Green and anti-memorandum parties which agree in principle with the programme presented by Tsipras in Thessaloniki to coopeate with SYRIZA and to supplement it with their own priorities.

    Commenting on the negotiations with the Democratic Left (DIMAR) which fell through, the president of SYRIZA said that despite their recent disagreements, his party was monitoring closely the political processes that followed DIMAR's departure from the government coalition and added that both parties agree that a change in government will be beneficial.

    Tsipras clarified that his position and invitation extended by SYRIZA are sincere and that the party will respect the decisions of DIMAR, whatever they may be. He also added that even if there's no cooperation before the elections, the need for a broader coalition will remain after the voting.

    [07] SYRIZA's central committe approves Tsipras' proposals

    The central committee of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) completed its meeting on Saturday evening, after adopting the proposal by President Alexis Tsipras which included, among others, a policy of forming alliances.

    The Leftist Platform, which during the meeting had voiced many objections for the participation of several independent MPs or former PASOK officials, didn't participate in the final vote.

    The issue of finalising the list of candidates to be included in the party's tickets is expected to be completed over the next three days with a few frictions but without serious problems, party sources said, adding that a middle ground will be achieved and SYRIZA will come out of this process stronger.

    [08] PASOK leader Venizelos: Greece needs a national unity government

    TRIPOLI (ANA-MPA/D. Maniatakos)

    Greece needs a national unity government as the country is now facing its destiny, the President of junior government coalition partner PASOK Evangelos Venizelos said in a speech in the city of Kalamata, in the southern Peloponnese on Sunday.

    Venizelos, who is also Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister, said PASOK will withstand the challenge presented and noted the deep roots the party has in the prefecture of Messinia and Kalamata.

    He said the city exudes optimism and this optimism must become an emblem for the entire country "now that some people are trying to take it away from us".

    Venizelos said that if PASOK hadn't chosen the difficult path it did, the country would have suffered a total disaster and noted that the party is a force of responsible policy.

    The leader of PASOK reiterated his belief that it doesn't matter who's first or second, but who will have the third mandate, because he's the one who will be the regulator and guarantor of stability, adding that this third party will be PASOK, because the country needs unity and stability.

    Venizelos also said that "the truth is that there was and there is only one national strategy which can be guaranteed by only one force, which is PASOK."

    [09] 'PASOK is the guardian of the country's national strategy,' says its leader Venizelos

    The main aim of PASOK is to receive the third mandate to form a government and be a catalyst for developments, the party's leader Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday, speaking at a meeting with party secretaries at a central hotel in Athens.

    "PASOK is the guardian of the country's national strategy," Venizelos, who is also Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister said, noting that PASOK is not "hooked" on power.

    "We have an obligation to deliver the country intact on the day of the elections and we will, there will be a safe framework. For the day after the elections, the responsibility lies with the people who have the power to determine their fate," he said, adding that this is "the moment of truth, you have to prove everything you say and that's where we'll get to know each other again."

    The head of PASOK noted that his party is heading towards elections with a very clear political position which is real and reality is difficult. "But there is no other way," he said and the party will analyse all those details next Saturday, when it will present its programme.

    Commenting on former premier and leader of PASOK George Papandreou to form a new party, Venizelos said: "PASOK is asked to give a battle in tough conditions because, apart from everything else, we have the decision of Mr Papandreou to form his own private party, something which had been decided for some time and there was no need to keep up appearances."

    Venizelos said it was pointless trying to present proposals, show good will, create unity and keep everyone in the ballot, under the emblem and name of PASOK.

    [10] DIMAR leader urges party committee to join electoral battle autonomously, cooperate with ecologists

    The President of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) Fotis Kouvelis on Saturday recommended that the party goes to the general elections autonomously, with the cooperation with ecology movements whose final answer is expected within the next few hours.

    "The presence of DIMAR is both useful and necessary. DIMAR and its allies can be the catalyst for a positive development for the country," Kouvelis told a meeting of the party's central committee.

    Commenting on the collapse of DIMAR's negotiations with main opposition SYRIZA, Kouvelis said: "With SYRIZA we started a dialog during which we discovered common ground but also differences which needed further process and effort. There was an effort to come to an immediate understanding with SYRIZA and consider cooperation during elections...The conditions we set were a common electoral and programme declaration and ensuring the political autonomy of DIMAR. In the end there was no agreement because we were asked to enter SYRIZA as individuals and to completely accept its programme."

    [11] Former premier Papandreou makes inaugural speech at party meeting

    The speech of former Greek prime minister George Papandreou during the inaugural Democrat Socialists' Movement's party meeting on Saturday started with the slogan "Let's go" and "We'll write history", amid cheering.

    According to the organisers, participation exceeded every expectation.

    Papandreou set the tone for the new party from the beginning, noting that the basic principle is humanism and a commitment to human dignity.

    "We're inspired by the values of political liberalism. Citizens must control the government; the power of law should override everything and not the law of the powerful. We're inspired by the principles of socialism and our faith in Justice and the principles of ecology," the former premier said.

    Papandreou also said his party wants to express politically a social alliance between Justice and creativity. "This is the alliance we must forge."

    He said that in 2015, the post-dictatorship era ends in Greece and now the new struggle is to free democracy which has been imprisoned by economic and media interests which are supported by a clientelist state.

    [12] Former premier Papandreou's new party is called 'Democrat Socialists' Movement'

    Former Greek prime minister George Papandreou, the son of the PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou, on Saturday submitted to the prosecution of the Supreme Court the founding declaration of his new party, which will be called "Democrat Socialists' Movement".

    The new party's emblem is a rose in a red background. The declaration was signed by 252 individuals; including former PASOK ministers Philippos Petsalnikos and Michalis Karchimakis, as well as his brother Nikos Papandreou.

    [13] Papandreou's new party is 'personal' and 'individual', says PASOK leader Venizelos

    The President of junior government coalition partner PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos, called the initiative of former premier and party leader George Papandreou to form a new party as a sad event, saying it's a "personal" and "individual" formation, during an interview with private TV channel Alpha on Saturday.

    Venizelos, who is also Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister, said that no one has the right to attempt to break the unity of the party, but that some people have additional responsibilities because of their position, name and history.

    "We are sad with what is happening in PASOK, but also determined to get over it," he said. Besides, he noted, only a handful of people are following Papandreou, as PASOK's officials remain within the party.

    Venizelos continued with his criticism of Papandreou, saying that former prime ministers and former party leaders in Greece are supposed to act in a certain way, mentioning as examples socialist former premier Kostas Simitis and conservative former premier Kostas Karamanlis.

    The aim of PASOK is to reach third place in the general elections and no one will be allowed to stop this effort or divert attention from it, he said.

    He added however that Papandreou's place is and will remain in PASOK's ballot.

    [14] Stefanos Anagnostou new government spokesman during election campaign

    The General Secretary of Mass Media, Stefanos Anagnostou, is appointed government spokesman during Greece's election campaign, the government said in a statement.

    [15] 'Germany believes Greece will continue to fulfill its obligations,' German gov't spokesman tells ANA-MPA

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)

    The German government believes that Greece will continue to fulfill its conventional obligations towards the troika, Georg Streiter, the German deputy government spokesman told ANA-MPA news agency on Sunday, commenting on an article in Der Spiegel magazine, according to which the German government believes a Greek exit from the Eurozone would now be manageable.

    The article, which caused reactions from European and Greek officials, cited unnamed government sources which claimed that because contagion risk for other countries has disappeared, a possible Greek exit from the euro could be imagined.

    "Greece in the past has respected its obligations. The federal government believes Greece will continue to fulfill its conventional obligations towards the troika," Streiter said.

    A few hours after the article was published on the magazine's webpage, Germany's Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, said in his Twitter account: "Greece is part of the Eurozone. And it must stay in it. We should not be provoking with words what is both economically and politically unwise."

    [16] Der Spiegel: Germany believes a possible Greek exit form the Eurozone would be manageable

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)

    The German government believes now that the euro zone would be able to cope with a possible Greek exit, Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Saturday, adding that there's been a radical shift in Berlin's stance on the issue.

    In an article titled "Exit from the Monetary Union: The Federal Government considers Greece's exit from the euro manageable," the magazine cites an unnamed government sources who said that because contagion risk for other countries has disappeared, a possible Greek exit from the euro could be imagined.

    Breaking from the policy followed so far, the German government, according to Der Spiegel, is willing to allow Greece to leave the Eurozone.

    Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble believe the euro zone has implemented enough reforms since the height of the regional crisis in 2012 to make a potential Greece exit manageable, Der Spiegel reported.

    In addition, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the euro zone's bailout fund, is an "effective" rescue mechanism and is now available, while major banks would be protected by the banking union, another source said.

    It is yet unclear how a Eurozone member country could leave the euro and still remain in the European Union, but Der Spiegel quoted a "high-ranking currency expert" as saying that "resourceful lawyers" would be able to clarify the issue.

    According to the report, the German government considers a Greece exit almost unavoidable if the main opposition party SYRIZA led by Alexis Tsipras wins the general elections, abandons austerity and stops servicing the country's debt.

    [17] SYRIZA lead shrinks to 3.1 pct against ND in Rass poll

    Main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) continues to lead in an opinion poll published on Sunday, just weeks ahead of national elections, but its lead over the main coalition partner New Democracy (ND) has narrowed.

    According to the poll, conducted by the Rass polling agency and published in the Sunday edition of the Eleftheros Typos newspaper, SYRIZA would garner 30.4 pct of the vote if elections were held today and ND would follow with 27.3 pct, placing the opposition 3.1 percentage points ahead of ND, versus 3.4 pct in the last poll.

    The Communist Party (KKE) follows third with 4.8 pct, To Potami gains 4.7 pct, Golden Dawn has 3.8 pct, PASOK 3.5 pct, Independent Greeks (ANEL) 2.5 pct, ANDARSYA 1.4 pct, while the Democratic Left (DIMAR) is not recorded.

    Another 3.8 pct of respondent said they would vote for "another party", 2.6 pct would vote "Invalid" while the undecided vote reaches 15.2 pct.

    Between the two main leaders, Premier Antonis Samaras garners a wide lead of 7.6 percentage points over his political opponent Alexis Tsipras on who would be a better prime minister. Samaras got 41 pct and Tsipras 33.4 pct.

    Rass' poll also shows 74.2 pct think the country should remain within the eurozone at whatever cost. Another 41 pct said the possibility of Tsipras being elected PM causes them fear while 38.1 pct say it gives them hope.

    The poll also asked respondents about their opinion on former premier George Papandreou's plan to form a new party with only 6.1 pct saying they would trust him. Papandreou's party name had not been announced at the time of the poll.

    [18] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros charged with running terrorist organisation, weapon possession

    Two public prosecutors on Sunday charged convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros with forming and running a yet unknown terrorist organization and with aggravated possession of weapons, following the discovery of heavy weaponry in the house he was renting in Anavyssos, where he was arrested on Saturday.

    The prosecutors said Xiros was running a yet unnamed terrorist group with unknown members which aimed at making, finding and owning explosive materials and bombs which they were planning on using to cause damage to objects or people.

    Charges also include forgery, violation of detention rules, illegal carrying of firearm (the one he had on him when he was arrested).

    Prosecutors pressed charges against three unknown individuals who appear to have rented the house to Xiros for harboring a criminal.

    Xiros refused to respond to the charges included in his file, and only said: "Our country is under foreign occupation by the troika and Merkel and I consider resistance my obligation. Those mechanisms who support the occupation forces and the domestic collaborators I believe have to right to accuse me. On the contrary, as part of the mechanism, you are the ones who should explain yourselves to the people and to history."

    The convict will now be led before an investigator.

    [19] Convicted terrorist Xiros was preparing attack against Korydallos prison, says minister, police

    Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros who was recaptured by police on Saturday in Anavyssos, southern Attica, was planning an attack against Korydallos prison in the coming days, Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias and the head of police Dimitris Tsaknakis said on Sunday.

    In the rented house in Anavyssos police found a large number of weapons, explosives and many objects used to create explosive devices. They also found a fake identity card bearing the name "Eleni Melani" for whom authorities are searching for information. Police is also still looking for the man who rented the house to Xiros in June 2014. Among other evidence, police found some notes detailing possible routes to approach and escape from Korydallos prison, as well as alternative routes for the hit he was apparently preparing.

    Tsaknakis also said police got DNA from Xiros on Saturday which they were able to match with DNA found in an explosive parcel bomb sent to the police station of Itea in April 2014.

    [20] Convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros appears before prosecutor

    Recaptured convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros appeared on Sunday evening before the prosecutor under heavy police guard following his arrest on Saturday at the coastal town of Anavyssos, in southern Attica.

    The 57-year-old, who has been convicted to multiple life terms for crimes committed while he was a member of the disbanded November 17 terrorist group, was charged for possesion of heavy weaponry which was discovered in the house he was renting.

    Leaving the police headquarters (GADA) earlier to head to the prosecutor, Xiros, wearing a bullet-proof vest, said: "I don't talk to the troika's detectives." He's expected to return to GADA where he will spend the night.

    [21] Fugitive and convicted Nov. 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xiros recaptured by police

    Wanted fugitive and convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros, who had been serving multiple life sentences for murder and membership in the terrorist organisation November 17, was recaptured by anti-terror police on Saturday in the area of Anavissos in southern Attica.

    According to information, police had been watching a person believed to be harboring Xiros in a house in Anavissos and this is what led to his arrest.

    The operation is underway and more information will be published in the next few hours by police.

    [22] Fight against terrorism is continuous, says public order minister after arrest of fugitive Xiros

    The fight against terrorism is continuous and strenuous, Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Saturday, speaking to press after the recapture of wanted fugitive and convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros earlier in the day.

    "We are safe and this strengthens the stability we all want and which is necessary for the country," he added.

    According to the chief of police, Dimitris Tsaknakis, authorities discovered Xiros' hideout after many months of search and by utilising information received.

    He said police had been searching the area of Anavissos door-to-door for the past three months in order to locate him, adding that the anti-terror unit has already started searching the house in which Xiros had been hiding.

    Xiros, who had been serving multiple life sentences for membership in the terrorist organisation November 17, has been missing since January 6, 2014, when he failed to return to Korydallos Prison after being granted furlough.

    Financial News

    [23] OLP's management welcomes 2015's first cruise ship in Piraeus

    The current year will be very good for the cruise industry and especially for Piraeus port, as investments worth 136 million euros, funded 95 pct by the EU, will be initiated, the president of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) said on Saturday as he welcomed the first cruise ship to dock in 2015, the MSC Sinfonia.

    Giorgos Anomeritis said Greek cruise has seen its arrivals and departures jump from 600,000 in 2004 - the year of the Olympic Games - to about 2,000,000 annually. He also noted that with the help of projects launched by the Cultural Coast, OLP aims at establishing Piraeus as a world centre of culture and peace by 2021, the year which marks 2,500 years from the legendary Battle of Salamina.

    The management of OLP presented the Captain of MSC Sinfonia, Pietro Scarpato, with the harbour's crest and books for himself and the ship's library. They also distributed Christmas deserts and drinks to passengers.

    MSC Sinfonia is on a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean with 1,857 passengers onboard representing 42 nationalities and 675 crew members.

    OLP is keeping its rates for cruise and coastal shipping stable for a fourth year in a row, in an effort to establish Piraeus as an economically attractive port of call for cruise companies.

    General News

    [24] Italian experts enter 'Norman Atlantic' for third time, prosecutor to ask Greece for help

    ROME (ANA-MPA/Th. Andreadis-Syngelakis)

    Italian experts went aboard "Norman Atlantic" on Sunday for the third time, along with firefighters who are trying to put out new blazes caused by oxygen that entered in areas of the ship after it was towed to Brindisi.

    The action follows a similar effort on Saturday when the team was again unable to open the garage door because of some ongoing fires. Prosecutor Ettore Cardinali, who is coordinating the investigation, stayed on the burned ship for about five hours. "We're still at a phase of secondary importance," he told reporters after he disembarked, adding that high temperatures don't allow access to all the areas of the ship.

    Cardinali was not among the team who went aboard "Norman Atlantic" on Sunday but told representatives of the Greek embassy in Rome he will ask the help of Greek authorities in order to shed some light in the causes of the tragic incident and find who is responsible.

    [25] Third Greek victim identified in 'Norman Atlantic' ferry disaster, relatives of missing Greeks arrive in Italy

    ROME (ANA-MPA/Th. Andreadis-Syngelakis)

    The Greek embassy in Rome on Saturday confirmed that a third Greek was among those confirmed dead in the "Norman Atlantic" ferry disaster in the Adriatic.

    According to the embassy, the dead body was identified as that of Greek national Gerasimos Kazantzidis, whose name had been listed among those missing on the website of the Greek Coast Guard.

    Another body which was initially believed to have belonged to that of Greek passenger Giorgios Doulis, has not been identified by relatives and the man is now considered missing. According to Italian authorities, nine Greek nationals are still missing and their relatives arrived in Italy on Saturday.

    Assisted by a representative of the Greek embassy in Rome, they contacted the municipalities of Bari, Brindisi and Lecce which claimed that no Greek nationals are being treated in hospitals of Apulia, the wider region.

    Later, it is possible that relatives will be allowed to approach the wreck of "Norman Atlantic", which has been towed to the port of Brindisi, but they will not be allowed onboard.

    Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors entered the ship once again as they're trying to determine if it's safe to open the garage and look for dead immigrants or truck drivers.

    However, authorities say there are still some fires burning in parts of the vessel and prosecutor Ettore Cardinali said that "it might take several days to open 'Norman's' garage".

    According to the Italian press, Italy's transport ministry launched an investigation into the exact causes of the fire, while a team of Greek experts will be arriving at Brindisi in the afternoon.

    [26] Attempted break into military camp in Attica thwarted, security measures increased

    Unknown persons tried to break into a military camp in Attica just after midnight on Saturday but their efforts were thwarted, according to National Defence General Staff Chief, General Michael Kostarakos, who informed National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias.

    According to information, the attempt was made about 20 minutes after midnight, when two people tried to break into the military camp of Malakasa, in eastern Attica, by cutting the fence. The alarm went off and the two individuals ran away. Police was notified of the incident.

    It is noted that the camp was used to guard, among others, explosive projectiles and several types of weapons confiscated by police from people arrested for their possession.

    Following an order by Dendias and Army Chief, Lieutenant General Christos Manolas, security has been increased in military units where antitank weapons are guarded.

    The order came after information emerged a few weeks before Christmas for a possible attempted theft of antitank weapons from a military camp in Korinthia. A Special Forces unit has been sent to the camp for additional security.

    [27] Traffic in Attica region gradually restored, traffic police warns drivers of frost on roads

    The problems caused by bad weather and heavy snowfall around Athens in the past few days are gradually being resolved, but traffic police is still urging drivers to be watchful of slippery roads where frost has formed.

    In the region of Attica, traffic has been restored in the Mt. Penteli peripheral road linking it to Nea Makri, but the section between the cable car until the casino remains inaccessible, as well as Fylis avenue in the area of the Kleiston Monastery and the rural road network in Alepochori, Vilia, Psatha and Porto Germeno.

    Snow chains are now only required in Attica in Ippokrateios Politeia and the rural road network at the Oenoe area, northwest of Athens.

    [28] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    ETHNOS ON SUNDAY: The five keys that will determine the outcome (of the general elections)

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS ON SUNDAY: The tough derby crushes smaller parties

    VRATHINI ON SUNDAY: What quality polls show - The great surprise. New Democracy takes first place.

    AVGHI ON SUNDAY: Popular mandate to give majority seats. SYRIZA sends a message of victory from conference

    I EPOCHI: The seed of terror doesn't grow

    KATHIMERINI: Liquidity in Greece (to be discussed) at ECB's meeting

    DEMOKRATIA ON SUNDAY: What does...Joker wants. An unrepentant Papandreou returns (with a lot of nerve!) at the scene of the crime

    RIZOSPASTIS ON SUNDAY: You need a strong KKE (Communist Party) for the next day!

    KONTRANEWS ON SUNDAY: Scandal-Samaras gave 3,000,000 euros to MPs as a gift

    LOGOS ON SUNDAY: Party staff in the 'track' for the electoral battle

    PROTO THEMA: The mystery with the starched money. How much more can the economy withstand?

    TO ARTHRO: The alliance of swindlers

    TO VIMA TIS KYRIAKIS: A race for two with broken breaks

    TO PARON: An unholy alliance against Tsipras

    REALNEWS: 'You don't have an emergency plan'. A shocking document for the tragedy on Norman Atlantic

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