|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-01-07
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 7 January 2015 Issue No: 4853
 PM Samaras attends Epiphany celebration in KavalaPrime Minister Antonis C. Samaras on Tuesday attended the Epiphany celebration in the northern Greek city of Kavala.
After the ceremony, Samaras wished that the country continued standing on its feet. He also offered wishes for health to all Greeks and "progress for our country; now that it is standing on its feet, may it never slide back."
The blessing of the waters ceremony was held at the city port where swimmers, defying the low temperatures, jumped into the sea to collect the cross. Dimitris Giannikopoulos, 35, an employee at the Manpower
Employment Organization (OAED) of Kavala, was the lucky one who collected the Cross. Samaras congratulated all swimmers and wished them health and enlightenment.
 SYRIZA leader attends Epiphany ceremony at port of PiraeusSYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday attended the Epiphany ceremony at the port of Piraeus. "Today is an important day for the Orthodoxy, a bright celebration for the Greek people. I wish that the light of justice and truth warms our country from this day forward," Tsipras said after the end of the ceremony and while visiting the Piraeus City Theatre.
The waters blessing ceremony, officiated by the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Ieronymos, was held at the country's main port, where Special Forces men jumped into the sea to collect the cross.
The government was represented by Education and Religious Affairs Minister Andreas Loverdos, who wished a "happy new year and that we are all enlightened by the light of reason."
 FM Venizelos' statement regarding the new Turkish NAVTEX for the vessel 'Barbaros'Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday expressed his disappointment at the fact that "Turkey, in a NAVTEX, announced the decision it has taken to continue, through the activities of the vessel "Barbaros", the flagrant violation of international law and blatant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus; that is, the sovereign rights of a member state of the European Union."
This stance, Venizelos said, directly undermines the potential for reopening of the dialogue in Cyprus. "Instead of efforts towards de-escalation, we once again see tension being created in a region that is very close to the hotspots of all the pending crises in the Middle East and North Africa," he said.
"Greece is moving in complete coordination with the Republic of Cyprus, guided by respect for international law, for the existence and sovereignty of Cyprus, and for the prospect for dialogue, which presupposes the acceptance of the framework of the European acquis," he added.
 Samaras to deliver speech in Halkida on WednesdayNew Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday at 19.00 will deliver a speech in Halkida, according to a party announcement.
 SYRIZA has a fake interest in economic figures, ND spokeswoman saysNew Democracy would not consider discussing the issue of deposits on the basis of the scenarios supported by SYRIZA," New Democracy spokeswoman Maria Spyraki said on Tuesday.
Spyraki also spoke of SYRIZA's fake interest in economic figures and said the party could have had all those data at its disposal by simply filing an application at the Parliament.
After noting that SYRIZA would get a reply by the Finance ministry, she posed several questions to SYRIZA regarding among others the protection of the primary residence from foreclosure and legislation on fighting tax evasion and avoidance. She also asked if SYRIZA planned to 'invade' small depositors' accounts by issuing T-bills.
 SYRIZA poses 11 questions to New Democracy on citizens' depositsThe Taxation Team of SYRIZA's Economic Policy Department posed eleven questions to New Democracy (ND) on "what ND did with the citizens' deposits" and referred mainly to confiscations for debt to the State as well as the imposing of fines.
SYRIZA asked among others whether it was true or not that many people saw their savings disappear for debts to the State. It also asked for specific figures relating to the confiscations of this kind.
It also referred to the minimum amount of deposits that cannot be confiscated and asked whether deposits confiscations for debts to the State take place without any prior notice from the Bank.
SYRIZA also spoke of social benefits being confiscated and referred to high fines imposed for arrears to the State.
 PASOK claims the role of the guarantor, Venizelos saysPASOK is against the strategy of fear and lie, its leader Evangelos Venizelos said on Tuesday in a party meeting in Thessaloniki. He added that the wager of the election is not which of the two parties (SYRIZA or ND) will be the leading one as well as PASOK's opponent in the elections but the risks to the country, as the sacrifices of the last five years should not get wasted.
According to Venizelos, PASOK wants to be the third party and claim the role of guarantor rather than the one of the wildcard.
"We are aiming at the third place," he noted. "Others want the role of the guarantor as well. We are the guarantors. Guarantor is one thing and a wildcard is quite another. ..We claim the third mandate to form a government."
"There is no majority government, there are no second round elections, there is no excuse, no one can blackmail a second election; there should be cooperation because the negotiations with the troika should be concluded within a month," he warned.
He also attacked SYRIZA on its view over extending the extension that already has been agreed with the Troika. "An extension on the extension equals staying in the Memorandum, without a new loan, just on the terms. What a great idea! Of course, markets will have reacted violently, foreign investors would have rushed out, banks will be facing problems with the European Central Bank and we will be begging to remain in the Memorandum!" he said.
He called on citizens to vote for PASOK as his party guarantees the exit from the Memorandum. "We are not saying 'vote for us' to continue austerity; we are saying there are no new austerity measures," he said.
PASOK central pre-election rally will take place on Sunday, January 18 in Thessaloniki.
 KKE sec gen Koutsoumbas attends Epiphany celebration in LevadiaCommunist KKE party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Tuesday attended the Epiphany celebration in Levadia and wished many happy returns of the day.
"The best wish for our people is...for the people to get organized...develop its fight, its alliance and strengthen KKE in the upcoming elections. It is the only political force that is truly the guarantee for the day-after, for the good of our people and our country," he said according to a party statement.
 ANEL leader speaks of investigation committees and Special Court over the memorandumIndependent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, who is visiting the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, on Tuesday held a press conference lashing out at Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' policy and presenting the party's proposals on local issues.
Kammenos said that Alexandroupolis should become the country's energy hub in cooperation with Russia and that he would put forward a proposal for significantly lower taxation so that the country can be more competitive in investments.
Referring to the Greek-Turkish relations said that "Independent Greeks will not let Greece get blackmailed" and sent a strict message to the Turkish consulate in Komotini, saying that "they should limit themselves to the strict diplomatic activity and not attempt to alter the characteristics of the Lausanne Treaty." He put special emphasis on the education and said that "all Greek citizens, Muslims by religion, have the right to learn the Greek language."
Moreover, he emphasized that "all will be held accountable for the situation in the country" and spoke of "investigation committees over the memorandum" as well as of a "Special Court."
He also announced that the party's spokesman Terence Quick would have the leading position in the nationwide "State Deputies" ballot ticket in the upcoming elections.
 Speculation on a possible 'Grexit' is a waste of time and to the wrong direction, Commission Vice-President Katainen saysBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)
Speculation on a possible Greek exit from the Eurozone is a waste of time and to the wrong direction, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said and stressed that the euro membership is irrevocable.
Addressing an event on development organised by the Group of Liberals in the European Parliament, he underlined that the European Commission was fully committed to the integrity of the Eurozone. At the same time, he stressed the need for Greece to have strong commitment to Europe and for voters and political leaders to support development-oriented reforms that are essential for Greece. Greece needed the European citizens' help, which it got, and Greece offered commitments, he stressed and expressed the confidence that all Greek citizens wish to honor these pledges to other European citizens.
What we need is stability and not having speculation which ultimately does not help in attracting private investment, he concluded.
 EU's Moscovici-Commission 'takes no position' in Greek election campaignThe European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday said the European Commission "takes no position" in Greece's election campaign.
On December 29, when snap elections were called for January 25, Moscovici had underlined the need for "broad support among the Greek voters and political leaders for the for the necessary growth-friendly reform process."
That "does not constitute taking a position in the Greek political debate," Moscovici said on Tuesday. "There is no call to vote one way or another," he told reporters. "Greeks will freely choose their next leader."
 Greece will remain in the Eurozone, European Parliament President Schulz saysBERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti)
The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz late on Monday expressed the confidence that Greece would remain in the Eurozone and described talks on a possible "Grexit" as speculation.
He added that he has already told SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras that a unilateral moratorium of payments would trigger a similar moratorium on the part of the EU. He stressed, however, that the turmoil in the markets has never been caused by Tsipras' statements but by the standoff in Brussels and Berlin.
In an interview with German state TV ZDF, Schulz said Greece was a member of the Eurozone and "I believe it will remain a member of the Eurozone."
"My advice is that we wait for the elections on January 25. They all act as if Tsipras has already won the elections. Even if SYRIZA is the leading party, it will have to form a coalition. I cannot see any coalition partner that would support its radical positions," he said.
"All members of the EU and the Eurozone, regardless of which government is in power, are aware of their responsibilities. I think this applies to Mr. Tsipras as well. Of course he has an extreme rhetoric, but I must say it again: he will not be able to govern alone and for the things he promises there, I cannot see how he can get a majority in Parliament. So he will have to make compromises in Greece and compromises with the European partners."
 Weapons found in recaptured terrorist Xiros' hideout in Anavissos have not been used before, police sayThe weapons that police found during the arrest of recaptured convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xiros have not been used before.
According to a police announcement, the pistol that was found on Xiros as well as the three pistols and the eight Kalashnikov rifles confiscated in the hideout in the area of Anavissos in southern Attica have not been used for any terrorist or other criminal act.
The counter-terrorism squad continues its search in the other hideout in the coastal region of Perahora in Loutraki, southern Greece.
 Criminal charges against Romanian national for writer Koumantareas' murderProsecutor pressed criminal charges against a 25-year-old Romanian national and his still-at-large accomplice, who are accused of murdering acclaimed Greek writer Menis Koumantareas last month in the Athens district of Kypseli.
The two individuals are accused of homicide and attempted robbery. The arrested Romanian, who is also accused of resisting arrest, has been taken to an examining magistrate.
 Greece hit by new wave of bad weatherSnowfall and freezing temperatures have hampered road traffic in several parts of the country as a new wave of adverse weather conditions - the second one in a few days - has hit Greece.
Early in the morning, the Fire Brigade rescued a couple that had been trapped in their car near the Mt. Parnitha casino due to heavy snowfall.
Snow chains are required in many parts of northern Greece, while traffic has also been disrupted in certain areas of northern Attica.
Even lower temperatures are forecast for Wednesday in Attica, while adverse weather is expected to abate as of the evening. Local snowfall is expected mainly in Attica, Viotia, Evia island, the Sporades islands as well as Crete and the Cyclades islands, with northern areas of the country being hit by frost.
 Snowfall and very low temperatures on WednesdayLocal snowfall, low temperatures and mainly northerly winds are forecast for Wednesday. Winds will reach 8 on the Beaufort scale. Overcast and light snowfall in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging between -13C and 4C. Mostly fair weather in the western parts of the country with temperatures between -05C and 10C. Cloudy weather and snowfall in the eastern parts with temperatures between -09C and 7C. Overcast with sleet and snow in the mountainous areas of the islands, 1C-9C. Overcast and snowfall in Athens, temperatures between -2C and 6C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki, temperatures between -03C and 3C.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance?
AVGHI: The European South cuts in on (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel
KATHIMERINI: Paris, Berlin: Keep your commitments
LOGOS: Country in the 'freezer'
RIZOSPASTIS: KKE, a power of resistance and hope for a different perspective
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