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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-01-12

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

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

Monday, 12 January 2015 Issue No: 4857

CONTENTS

  • [01] We are all in Paris today to defend democratic ideals, PM Samaras says
  • [02] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos' statement on Paris Unity rally
  • [03] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos: Full respect to the freedom of speech
  • [04] SYRIZA delegation in Paris for Unity Rally
  • [05] Samaras: Rifts, reforms and competitiveness everywhere
  • [06] Samaras unveils ND's tax reforms plan
  • [07] PASOK leader Venizelos: The elections' wager is the country's course in the next years
  • [08] PASOK leader: Stability or retreat the wager of the elections
  • [09] SYRIZA's Tsipras speaks of a 'growing victorious wave'
  • [10] New Democracy' statement after Tsipras' speech
  • [11] Tsipras: SYRIZA's seven immediate priorities
  • [12] Tsipras: We will free the farmers from the shackles of an unjust taxation
  • [13] SYRIZA leader: The best and the most honest will become ministers
  • [14] SYRIZA economist: We do not want additional loans
  • [15] SYRIZA delegation to meet with French ambassador on Monday
  • [16] Independent Greeks leader: Nobody can take us off the EU
  • [17] KKE addresses to everyone who does not want to compromise with misery and defeatism, party sec gen Koutsoumbas says
  • [18] There is a possibility for KKE to be third in elections, says party leader Koutsoumbas
  • [19] KKE leader: We will not give vote of tolerance
  • [20] Potami leader Theodorakis says his party will win third place in upcoming general elections
  • [21] Potami leader presents plan for public administration
  • [22] Democrats Socialists Movement leader addresses party's candidate MPs
  • [23] George Papandreou's interview to ANA-MPA
  • [24] SYRIZA continues to lead over ND, show opinion polls
  • [25] 21 parties, 4 coalitions of parties and one independent applied for participating in elections
  • [26] ND spokeswoman on global mobilization against extremism and terrorism
  • [27] PASOK leader Venizelos to speak on Monday
  • [28] BoG: The condition is under total control
  • [29] SYRIZA on BoG announcement
  • [30] ND spokeswoman lashes out at SYRIZA on BoG report
  • [31] SYRIZA on ND spokeswoman's statements
  • [32] 4.2R quake jolts Crete
  • [33] Super League Results
  • [34] Rain on Monday
  • [35] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] We are all in Paris today to defend democratic ideals, PM Samaras says

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/ O.Tsipira)

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday attended along with other heads of state and governments the Paris Unity rally against terrorism.

    In a statement to a journalist of the French television France2, Samaras said it was an amazing experience.

    "France was a beacon of freedom for the whole world," he said and added: "Today we are all on its side. We are united with the French people, we are thinking of exactly the same things, namely freedom, the ideals of democracy. Furthermore, we are at your side in this battle for the defense of democratic ideals. That is what we seek, and that is why we were all here today. What we experienced was amazing."

    When asked if this day marks a new beginning for Europe and the world, he said: "I hope and really believe it will do so."

    Samaras is expected to return to Athens on Sunday.

    [02] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos' statement on Paris Unity rally

    Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, who participated in the Paris Unity rally against terrorism, made the following statement:

    "We are gathered here today in order to express our solidarity to France, to the French people and to the families of the victims. We are here to declare our termination to move ahead in the spirit of solidarity in order to combat terrorism. We are united and determined. So it is in this spirit that we are here today.

    The press communique we just issued was very clear on what we have decided. Here, today, Europe united sends a strong message. We are determined to move ahead in coordinating our efforts within Europe and with our international friends in order to give an end to this drama and this phenomenon, which puts in danger, our democratic values, human dignity, and human lives.

    So here, in my capacity as European Commissioner for Home Affairs and Citizenship, I convey a strong message of solidarity of all Europeans to France and the French people. Because today, here in Paris, we can say loudly that Europe is Charlie."

    [03] EU Commissioner Avramopoulos: Full respect to the freedom of speech

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/ O.Tsipira)

    European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is in Paris to participate in the extraordinary meeting of EU Interior Ministers, made the following statement on the occasion of the arson attack against a newspaper in Hamburg. "After Paris, Hamburg. The crime has no frontiers. The new attack underlines for one more time that full respect to the freedom of the speech and of the press. We will defend our values and among these values are of course and those of tolerance. It is not time for stigmatisation but for rallying. The solidarity that is expressed today in the streets of Paris is the living proof"

    Avramopoulos will also take part in the Unity Rally for Freedom and Democracy on Sunday in Paris.

    [04] SYRIZA delegation in Paris for Unity Rally

    A SYRIZA party delegation will go to Paris to take part in the Unity rally and march for Freedom and Democracy on Sunday on the occasion of the terror attack at Charlie Hedbo magazine.

    The party announcement said that the delegation will be comprised by Eurodeputies Manolis Glezos, Giorgos Katrougalos and Constantina Kuneva as well as candidate SYRIZA MP and former SYRIZA parliamentary group spokesman Panagiotis Kouroumblis.

    [05] Samaras: Rifts, reforms and competitiveness everywhere

    With the words "rifts, reforms and competitiveness everywhere" prime minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras presented live on TV his party's National Plan of Reforms and Development on Saturday.

    "Some want the businessman's partisan state, others the prevalence of statism but what we want is growth" he said adding that the country must start to produce again with outward-looking economy. "We must create an environment that will support the entrepreneurship and that will liberalise the people's dynamic. The government prevented the country's exit from the eurozone while a political party exists that wants to set a trap to the Greek people" he said.

    OECD in its report placed Greece among the first countries in reforms. A storm of changes and reforms took place in the country in conditions of crisis. In the coming years we will proceed to reforms in conditions of growth, said Samaras adding that "we have closed three very difficult State Budgets and now we can leave from the memorandum a year earlier. We began to develop the state's property that can bring investments and revenues to the state while some others still dream of renationalisations, something that is not applied nowhere. Thirdly, a balanced budget was voted and now the state covers its needs and we have money to pay the debt's interests.

    [06] Samaras unveils ND's tax reforms plan

    Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras unveiling on Saturday live on TV his party's National Reform and Development Plan he presented a series of tax reforms that will not burden the deficits but will strengthen the growth process.

    The major reversal, said Samaras will be the reduction of all the tax rates that will be applied gradually in order the country not to return to the deficits. "We will proceed with incentives for the repatriation of the capitals...this will be achieved with the completion of the agreement after the memorandum through which we will succeed a reduction of interests in order the primary surpluses to be fuelled to the social sector. All those comply with our targets provided the normalcy will not be disturbed" he said.

    Samaras presented the map of the post-memorandum Greece that foresees the economic planning, the reforms, the tax reliefs and the strengthening of the social state "Greece will return to the level before the crisis through seven sectors. Agriculture growth, tourism, energy and environmental sources, research and technology, shipping, logistics, pharmaceutical industry and transit trade, that will bring 50 billion additional euros and will create 750,000 job positions. The truth is more impressive because in the latter are not included the sectors of construction, trade, development of Greece's cultural heritage, metallurgy and advertising. Every day from now on will be better than the previous one. Development for us means investments.

    He also said that his target is sweeping changes and competitiveness everywhere with investments that support the entrepreneurship, reforms that strengthen the competitiveness and favour new businesses' entrance, the development of the State property and privatisations, reforms in the labour market and in the public administration for a small and flexible state and reforms to tackle the corruption and the tax evasion.

    Samaras committed that there will be no more "cuts in pensions and incomes. We now enter into growth and there will be increases. ENFIA (Single Real Estate Ownership Taxation) will be further reduced and the first home will be fully protected".

    Attacking SYRIZA party, Samaras said that "they are an accident that will not happen to Greece. We will win the populism not to divide but to unite the Greek people...on January 25 elections we are called, as a nation, to decide the Greece we want. We must move ahead and take our fate in our own hands, to escape from the populism".

    [07] PASOK leader Venizelos: The elections' wager is the country's course in the next years

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos at a live TV press conference on Sunday said that "the national elections' wager is not who will govern but the country's course in the next years".

    Venizelos noted that the question is if we will take a step forwards to exit the crisis and the memorandum and enter into the new phase and into normalcy or we will make many steps backwards and everything that we succeeded with the people's sacrifices will be lost "The question is if stability and progress or uncertainty and retreat will prevail".

    He said that the government on January 25 will hand over the country intact an beyond the importance who will be first or second in the elections more important is who will be third and will have the third mandate and will play the role of the guarantor of the national and not the governmental stability.

    The third party will have the third mandate and it is very important to have been tested and to have the experience to call the citizens to ask themselves who will be the persons that will go to negotiate.

    Venizelos also referred to Sunday's rally in Paris in the name of the democratic civilisation, against the blind hatred, terrorism and absurdity and expressed his support to the French society.

    [08] PASOK leader: Stability or retreat the wager of the elections

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said that the wager is if the day after the general elections stability and progress or uncertainty and regression will prevail in the country, during his speech on Saturday at PASOK's congress.

    He added that the upcoming elections have a strategic character that no other elections in the past had and noted that it is very important if we will take the final step towards the country's exit from the crisis and form the memorandum or if we will make many steps backwards.

    The conditions are not normal and things are not simple and ordinary. The issue is where the country will head after January 26 and what our fate will be.

    [09] SYRIZA's Tsipras speaks of a 'growing victorious wave'

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday spoke of a "growing victorious wave" during his speech in Kalamata, Peloponnese.

    Tsipras lashed out at Prime Minister Antonis Samaras saying that "he has resorted to fake pre-election promises" and added that he has been isolated in Europe as he cannot persuade anyone with his silly intimidation on Grexit.

    He also accused Samaras of having invested in three things: deposits outflow, Grexit and unsustainable debt. All of which were not only directed against SYRIZA, as he said, but against the economy and the country with the view to undermine the country's credibility.

    However, Tsipras noted, these have come to an end thanks to European institutional officials, European governments, the international press and top economists all over the world. "And it is only Mr Samaras of the black propaganda, along with the darkest European perpetrators of austerity, that insist on the fairytale with the dragons. And he is unable to understand what all Greeks have well understood. That 2015 is not like 2012," he pointed out.

    Tsipras reiterated that SYRIZA is aiming at a majority government, clearing out, however, that this is not a selfish target. This majority government will reflect the democracy, the people's will and the power to negotiate debt with the country's lenders.

    He pledged that unlike other parties in the past, SYRIZA is determined to share responsibilities. It will place people in the government and key positions based on their efficiency, honesty and selflessness, he said.

    "On January 26 there will be a government of social salvation and recovery, a government of all Greeks," Tsipras stressed.

    Moreover, he reiterated some points of the party's programme, such as the implementation of a National Agricultural Policy and the return of tax-free threshold, he guaranteed the pension of farmers and pledged that he will support all young farmers though the investment bank, adding that no first home foreclosure will take place and no home will pass in banker's hands.

    Tsipras lashed out at Samaras on his stance to the terrorist attacks in Paris, accusing him of using this drama for the purpose of his own propaganda and strongly condemned these murderous acts while expressing his strong support to the French people.

    [10] New Democracy' statement after Tsipras' speech

    New Democracy on Sunday lashed out at SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras following his speech at Kalamata, Peloponnese.

    In a statement, New Democracy underlined that while the Prime Minister along with the heads of the free word are struggling united against terrorism, Mr Tsipras opts for insults and nastiness.

    Referring to Mr Tsipras' programme on the economy, it said that "it causes laughter to the Greek people, as it promises everything to everyone."

    New Democracy also spoke of a "different migration policy" that was announced on Sunday by Mr Tsipras providing for the implementation of SYRIZA's programme, that is abolishing Frontex, opening the borders, granting citizenship to everyone, and demolishing the fence of Evros.

    New Democracy joins the countries of the free world in their effort to boost security in borders, leaving SYRIZA alone with its obsessions, the statement added.

    [11] Tsipras: SYRIZA's seven immediate priorities

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in his address on Saturday in Corinth referred to seven top priorities that his government will implement in order Greece to become a European country again. "The sealed lips have turned into clenched fists and the fear has changed camp" said Tsipras.

    "The hope is coming, the dignity, the democracy; Greece is ready to make the huge step. Nobody can stop this hope...the time has come for the memorandum to leave together with the politicians that supported it" he noted.

    Tsipras sternly attacked prime minister and New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras that he attempt with fear and mudslinging to stop SYRIZA's course.

    He referred to the terror attack in Paris saying that it concerns us all because it targeted the freedom of speech and the democracy.

    "We should not give in to the racism voices that are heard in Europe aiming to promote the extreme right agenda".

    Tsipras said that Samaras invests in the fear and in the black propaganda and he is the only one that speaks of a Grexit, given that the foreign media and the European institutional entities have 'buried' the issue and noted "after the recent developments Grexit has finished and the only thing left is the Samaras-exit".

    He expressed his certainty that the Greek people with give the parliamentary majority to SYRIZA and called the prime minister to abandon the scaremongering and to accept to take part in a TV debate with him.

    Finally, SYRIZA's seven priorities are according to Tsipras, free electricity to households that can't pay their bills, food allowance to 300,000 people, free healthcare, Christmas bonus to pensioners with low income, free transport card for the poor and abolition of the tax equalisation on heating oil and diesel.

    Moreover, he clarified "we do not want the governance in order to take the summer palace. We will never forget where we started and this is something you should always keep in mind".

    [12] Tsipras: We will free the farmers from the shackles of an unjust taxation

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras who is visiting the region of Argolida on Monday said that "we will re-establish on healthy roots the cooperative movement and will release the farmer and the producer from the ties of an unjust taxation".

    Tsipras underlined that the time has come to support the country in order to exit the crisis noting that the country can't leave from the crisis without supporting the primary production and the labourers. He pledged that the 'government of restoration and reconstruction' that he will create will support the farmers and the primary production by decreasing the production cost. He also said that he will cancel ENFIA (Single Real Estate Ownership Taxation) because it taxes the agricultural production means and that he will set the tax free limit at 12,000 euros and will settle the bad loans with aim, as he said, the farmers not to face the risk of losing their properties.

    He said that Mr. Samaras' (Antonis, prime minister and New Democracy leader) threats do not find their target because the people are aware that if the memorandum policy continues in Greece then the country will become a colony without production and farmers in the future.

    "Rifts are needed with the past and with all those that have led us to 2009 and we are here to show the difficult road of reconstruction" he said, stating that he is certain that the people have taken their decisions and that "from January 26 we will be a country with people with heads high and dignity in Europe".

    Tsipras clarified that the subsidies will not be cut from the farmers adding that the European Funds will be used to support the primary production.

    Asked on the Greek debt's haircut he said that "the haircut is necessary in order a sustainable development and prospect to exist for all Europe. It is an unavoidable development" he said adding that "the crucial issue is whether it will be applied through new measures of unsuccessful austerity or via growth prospect measures, that's what is at stake on January 25 and regarding the memorandum, SYRIZA will not be the one that will cancel it but the people the night of the elections".

    [13] SYRIZA leader: The best and the most honest will become ministers

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in an interview with Sunday newspaper Realnews underlined that "the best and the most honest will be appointed ministers in order to manage the people's fate. A government of all Greeks and not of a party" he said.

    Tsipras also stressed that "we will remain in the eurozone and we will be pioneers in the battle against the austerity...we are going to pay the bonds that mature in March" he clarified.

    On the President of Republic election issue he said "we want the President of Republic to have wide acceptance and broader appeal and not to move in a party's restricted lines".

    SYRIZA leader also answers on the possibility of a cooperation with other parties and which will be his first moves if SYRIZA wins the elections.

    [14] SYRIZA economist: We do not want additional loans

    SYRIZA party head economist Yiannis Milios in an interview to the magazine Focus stated "we will not proceed to new fiscal deficits" and preannounced reform of the State, transparency and a just taxation system. We ill re-examine privatisations for which we have indications for corruption and scandals, he noted and asked for a European conference on the debt.

    "We do not want additional loans; we do not want additional help from the troika. Mr. Schaueble can keep his money" (Herr Schaeuble kann sein Geld behalten), he said and rejected whatever thought of a Grexit "SYRIZA is fighting for the end of the austerity in Europe -undoubtedly inside the eurozone", clarified Milios

    [15] SYRIZA delegation to meet with French ambassador on Monday

    A SYRIZA party delegation will visit on Monday the French Embassy in Athens and will meet with the French Ambassador Jean Loup KUHN-DELFORGE in order to express the party's " deep sorrow and abhorrence over the tragic incidents that occured in Paris and to present SYRIZA's political positions on the tackling of terrorism and of its generating factors.

    [16] Independent Greeks leader: Nobody can take us off the EU

    Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos on Saturday evening addressed a political event at the port city of Patras. Kammenos said that the upcoming elections are the elections for the liberation of our country because we fight for the restoration of the principles that we have lost by the operation of the co-governance and the foreign lenders' sovereignty".

    Kammenos referred to the European Union noting that "we support the Europe of the nations, of the people's equality and of the democracy and not the Europe of the German sovereignty and of the banking union and the abolition of the flags".

    Regarding the eurozone he said that "nobody can take us off EU for which we had paid to get in".

    On a possible cooperation with SYRIZA he said "we say yes to a government of national unity and to go all together to our lenders but we have our red lines on the national issues".

    Concluding his speech, Kammenos attacked Prime Minister Antonis Samaras calling him "the greatest politician liar".

    [17] KKE addresses to everyone who does not want to compromise with misery and defeatism, party sec gen Koutsoumbas says

    "The communist party KKE addresses to every young person, worker, pensioner and to everyone who does not want to compromise with the misery and the defeatism and calls on them to vote for KKE," the party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Sunday said during his speech at an event for the party's 96 year anniversary since its foundation and ahead of the national elections on January 25.

    He underlined that whatever party wins the elections, it will move on the same course of the EU strategy, the profitability of monopolies, the capitalistic path of growth.

    "This government will be - either we like it or not - an anti-popular government because it will implement the EU commitments. It will be a government that will negotiate the debt because it considers it a debt of the people, of the country, it will be a government that will support the interests of the large business groups," he added.

    Koutsoumbas underlined that no government will restore the income losses and the social acquis of the working class, adding that unemployment, poverty and insecurity will be present.

    Referring to rumours that KKE will be forced to give a tolerance vote to a SYRIZA government, he stressed that "a culprit asks for tolerance".

    "SYRIZA members are asking for the people's tolerance because some already know and some others suspect what it is about to come, what their real agenda is, if the evolutionary pre-election crowns and big words - slogans are removed" he noted.

    [18] There is a possibility for KKE to be third in elections, says party leader Koutsoumbas

    Communist Party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas said that his party's aim in the upcoming elections is to come out stronger in comparison with previous elections in an interview to Efimerida ton Syntakton on Saturday.

    Asked on whether the third place is a realistic target he said "it is not our custom to set numerical targets or position target, however given the up to date opinion polls it seems possible KKE to take the third place in the general elections'".

    At a query what will KKE do in case it is the key of a new recourse or not to elections he said that history in Greece and in Europe has proved that whenever a communist party, in conditions of capitalism, has participated in a government it had negative consequences to the working classes' movement orientation and led to the dissolution or brought changes to the Communist movement.

    Koutsoumbas referring to the possibility of a Grexit he opined that "the possibility exists as well as the possibility of a deep Grentry" he said adding that he gives more possibilities to the second (Grentry).

    Asked if a country can leave from the eurozone but to remain in the EU he underlined that alternative proposals of a multi-speed EU have been already tabled, however, the antipopular policies continue to be applied in all EU country members.

    Finally, KKE leader noted that the people should not be trapped in the monopolies competition adding that "only the way of reversal of the socialisation of the monopolies can lead to the people's prosperity and the people will choose the country to disengage from Europe as a selection within the context of radical changes.

    [19] KKE leader: We will not give vote of tolerance

    "When the people say to the opinion polls that they consider the euro a guarantee, what they have in mind are some bank deposits that they may lose, a distaster that may hit them," Communist Party (KKE) leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas said in an interview with Sunday newspaper TO VIMA.

    "KKE does not set the issue of the exit from the eurozone with opportunism or with generalities. If the exit from the EU and the eurozone is not combined with a specific plan-programme in the economy, the society, with new social organisation meaning, with socialisation of the collective production means, unilateral write-off of the debt and with the working class in authority, then it is opportunism, a blind course. KKE guarantess all the above as well as that it will not let the people alone. It will be with them in the struggles and the battles for exit from the crisis for its own benefit," underlined Koutsoumbas.

    He opined that Greece can survive economically without any negotiation for the debt because with popular authority the productive potential of the country will be liberated starting with its huge working and scientific manpower that remains trapped in today's road of profit and of EU's engagements. Greece with the people in power can sign beneficial international agreements for example on oil import and extraction.

    Referring to the vote of tolerance to a government of the Left, he said that "KKE will not give a vote of tolerance".

    Finally, Koutsoumas said that when the speaks about of opportunists and political fortune hunters he refers to "those that from socialism now swear in capitalism. Those who fool the people with promises or ask for a blank cheque to turn the people life into a hell.

    [20] Potami leader Theodorakis says his party will win third place in upcoming general elections

    Potami party will win the third place in the January 25 general elections, its leader Stavros Theodorakis on Sunday said during the central pre-election rally in Thessaloniki.

    Theodorakis also noted that it would be a shame for democracy if Golden Dawn won the third place in the elections.

    He also attacked on SYRIZA, New Democracy and PASOK. More specifically, he said that while SYRIZA is accusing Potami of not having clear positions, "it does not know whether Greece will use the euro or the drachma in the summer." He added that SYRIZA members have no answer to the question of how they will find the funds to pay the debt, the salaries and the pensions, if they "break" with the lenders.

    Asked whether Potami will support SYRIZA or New Democracy after the elections, he said he will support neither party. Potami will support Greece, if it needs to, it will become the catalyst of understanding. Potami does not claim government positions, but seeks to have power in the Parliament so as to ensure that worthy and honest people will be placed in key governmental and state positions.

    Regarding migration policy, he said "no to Mr Samaras fear" and "no to open borders of Mr Tsipras." He asked for a single European confrontation of the problem with closed borders, European asylum for refugees and rights for migrants.

    [21] Potami leader presents plan for public administration

    Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis presented on Saturday its party's three-points that aim to change the confusing condition that prevails today in the public administration which foresees rifts, laws and manpower. "No ideological positions but practical, specific, operational and costed proposals" that will be based on "purely political selections" for "a state for all Greeks" as he said and called all his political rivals to state their views because as he noted "SYRIZA answers with generalities and the New Democracy and PASOK with pseudo-reforms".

    A reform that Potami considers a red line is the operation of the State that must "be based, operate and reproduce via rule and law and will have universal validity".

    The reorganisation of the structures with the creation of an effective coordination center of the administrative work, complete action plans and continuous evaluation of the actions, organisations and people constitute the three points of the 'mother of all reforms' as Theodorakis call it.

    [22] Democrats Socialists Movement leader addresses party's candidate MPs

    Newly founded Democrats Socialists movement (KIDISO) leader and former Prime Minister George Papandreou noted on Sunday that "the country needs leaderships that set Greece and its citizens before their personal or political cost" in his address to his party's candidate deputies from the northern and islands' regions in Athens.

    Papandreou said that the representation in parliament of the forces that showed that can bear the responsibility burden with courage is necessary and underlined "we have a clear political identity. This is the guarantee for whatever cooperation, governmental or other within a clear progressive framework...My role is to secure the broad democratic procedure of the reconstruction of the wider field of the democrats and socialists in Greece" he said and called his interview to ANA-MPA soul-searching in which he gives answers to everything.

    Papandreou on Monday will visit the city of Lamia.

    [23] George Papandreou's interview to ANA-MPA

    Democratic Socialists Movement leader and former Prime Minister George Papandreou in an interview to ANA-MPA on Saturday referred to everything and everyone and shed light to a number of questions and speculations regarding his actions and policy when he was prime minister to a Greek media after three years of silence.

    In his interview referring to his meeting with former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the summer of 2009 and the allegations that it was then that he decided Greece's accession to the IMF and not in the spring of 2010 called them nonsense." No decision has been taken before or after the elections in any discussion with Strauss-Kahn. We both agreed that Greece took the right steps but without EU's support the markets will not calm. But I was worried", said Papandreou, "because I saw that Europe underestimated the Greek problem, they said 'it's your problem, your created it you must solve it'. I discussed all possible scenarios to protect my country. Neither the IMF was the solution because the money was not enough to cover Greece's needs. Based on these discussions I started a diplomatic marathon to persuade the Europeans to support us. There was no accession into the IMF but into the European Support Mechanism which I, with the support of Strauss-Kahn and other European leaders, persuaded EU to set from zero at a record time".

    Asked on who finally brought the IMF in Greece, German Chancellor Merkel or himself, George Papandreou said "It is widely known that many countries and particularly Germany demanded IMF's participation into the programme, they have said either the IMF will participate or we will not participate at all. You can see even now, that we are at the final phase before our exit from the adjustment programme, some EU partners' insistence to IMF's involvement. It sounds strange but IMF was hesitant. I do not believe that the Fund wanted to get involved into the eurozone, many non-EU country members of the board as Brazil expressed their opposition. I had asked for a purely European mechanism. I had proposed the establishment of a European Monetary Fund.

    You are charged by your former party PASOK and its leadership that you are responsible for the rapid fall of its popularity because you did not ask the programme to be approved by parliament's vast majority and did not proceed with a referendum or elections before the signing of the memorandum asked ANA-MPA reporter Vassilis Mourtis. "I asked for consensus" said Papandreou "I did not take into account the political cost. We undertook the whole burden. I do not apologise for that. Those that should apologise are those that did not help and who have huge part of the responsibility for the Greek crisis. New Democracy's leadership had taken a final decision not to vote the programme and I remind that ND threw out its deputies that voted it. They should apologise today for their stance and their refusal to assist a government that did its patriotic duty.

    On charges that he handed over the authority to Antonis Samaras in June 2011, Papandreou said "I did not hand over the leadership. I saw what was happening in PASOK. Some deputies were against the government's efforts not for ideological or political but for personal reasons. They simply did not want me to be prime minister or finance minister. I also saw what was happening in the Greek society and the manipulation of the people's rage. When I left the protesting people disappeared from the squares. I have called Antonis Samaras and asked him to rise to the occasion by accepting a coalition government with a specific framework of progressive reforms to tidy up the public sector with specific timetables, against corruption and a new growth model. He did not react negatively. On the contrary. Unfortunately, later I was informed that there were leaks in ND saying that I have resigned. That's what Samaras' associates had understood. Shame, a unique opportunity was lost then.

    Asked on what happened at the EU informal Summit in Cannes, a few days after the agreement in October 2011 with Greece's EU partners and speculations that the order for his overthrow was given after Cannes, Papandreou opined "In October's EU Summit we reached a historic agreement for Greece. An additional 120 billion euros loan with better pay off conditions and a huge debt write off. In Greece, those who did not call me a traitor rejected the agreement. I knew that it would not be voted in parliament and even if it was, it would be impossible to be implemented in such conditions of 'civil war' in society. There was a long time that I was thinking the referendum. I wanted to have the time and the permission by law to call it before the first memorandum. I had made known my intention to European leaders as well as to Chancellor Merkel a few months ago. Yes, there was turmoil over the referendum, but if the government collapsed and went to election there wouldn't be a turmoil? In Cannes I had an argument with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, - none of the exaggerations written- he could not understand that the referendum was and is the only democratic way to implement successfully the Brussels' agreement if the citizens' approved it. The referendum was a proposal for the Greek people to decide, without middlemen, good or bad protectors. Sarkozy wanted the question to be 'yes' or 'no' to the euro currency. I resisted. Obviously, the decision for a referendum would affect our position in the eurozone and that was the reason I believed and believe that the Greeks would have said YES to the agreement. But the dilemma could only be the agreement package not our participation in the eurozone. The truth is that suddenly the main opposition's stance towards the agreement changed and during the vote of confidence debate in parliament, a number of PASOK deputies demanded my resignation in order to vote. I had already been overthrown. Everything else is history. And another thing. I was charged that with my proposal for a referendum I set indirectly into doubt Greece's position in the eurozone. Do you remember those who charged me which direct and clear dilemma used as their campaign slogan in the national elections? Euro or Drachma. Hypocrisy?

    [24] SYRIZA continues to lead over ND, show opinion polls

    Main opposition SYRIZA leads over ruling New Democracy (ND) with 2.6 percentage points, according to an opinion poll conducted by Kappa Research for Sunday newspaper TO VIMA.

    According to the poll results SYRIZA comes first with 28.1 percent followed by ND with 25.5 percent. In third place was Potami with 6.5 percent followed by Golden Dawn with 5.4 percent, PASOK with 5.2 and the Communist Party (KKE) with 5 percent, new founded George Papandreou's party Democrats Socialists movement 2.8 pct and Independent Greeks with 2.6 percent. 4.1 percent of the respondents said the will vote another party and 14.8 percent did not answer or said they will cast blank.

    Prime minister and ND leader Antonis Samaras is more suitable for prime minister said 43.9 percent of the respondents with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras preferred by 36.2 percent .

    The poll was conducted between 7 and 8 January 2015.

    According to another opinion poll conducted by Public Issue for the Sunday edition of Avghi newspaper conducted between 2 and 9 January 2015, SYRIZA leads with 38 percentage points over ND that was preferred by 30 percent of the respondents, followed by Potami with 7 pct, PASOK with 5.5 pct, KKE with 5 pct, Independent Greeks with 3 pct and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 1 pct.

    SYRIZA also leads in a third opinion poll conducted by Alco for Sunday newspaper Proto Thema with 31.2 pct followed by ND with 28 pct. In the third place was Potami with 4.5 pct followed by Golden Dawn with 4.2 pct, PASOK with 4 pct, KKE with 3.7 pct, Democrats Socialists Movement (KIDISO) with 2.4 and Independent Greeks with 2.2 pct. 4.4 pct of the respondents said they will vote another party and 9.6 pct said they haven't decided yet.

    The poll was conducted between 7 and 9 January 2015.

    [25] 21 parties, 4 coalitions of parties and one independent applied for participating in elections

    The deadline for Greek political parties to apply for participating in the upcoming national elections expired on Sunday.

    More specifically, 21 parties, 4 coalitions of parties and one independent have applied.

    The Supreme Court in the coming days will rule if the applications submitted are eligible.

    [26] ND spokeswoman on global mobilization against extremism and terrorism

    New Democracy spokeswoman and MEP Maria Spyraki on Sunday made the following statement on the occasion of the global mobilization against extremism and terrorism.

    "While SYRIZA announces the opening of the borders everywhere so that undocumented migrants can freely pass at the same time that indiscriminately grants nationalities and announces the demolition of the fence in Evros, 11 European countries and the United States seek tighter controls at the EU borders. New Democracy joins the countries of the free world and is doing everything possible to fight extremism and terrorism. SYRIZA will be left alone with its obsessions," she underlined.

    [27] PASOK leader Venizelos to speak on Monday

    PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos on Monday, January 12, will speak to members of mass social movements, at Caravel hotel, according to a party's announcement.

    The speech has been scheduled for 6.30 pm.

    Financial News

    [28] BoG: The condition is under total control

    The Bank of Greece (BoG) issued on Sunday an announcement noting that "the condition is under total control" answering to articles referring to deposit outflows.

    "On the occasion of a number of articles referring to deposits outflows from Greek banks, the Bank of Greece underlines that the condition is under total control. BoG and the European Central Bank (ECB) are watching closely the developments and intervene when this is necessary".

    According to the same announcement "articles referring to the date of the national elections as a landmark for the offering of credit facilities by ECB do not correspond to reality. ECB follows a standard policy of credit facilities for the countries that are in a programme which is not affected by the political developments".

    [29] SYRIZA on BoG announcement

    "Bank of Greece's (BoG) announcement clarifying that no deposits outflow issue exists is a strong deny to those articles that attempt to spread the scaremongering and undermine the Greek economy," SYRIZA said in an announcement on Sunday.

    "Moreover, BoG belies all those who spoke of credit facilities from ECB until the elections. Following this refute of the scaremongering scenarios from the de facto and institutionally responsible ones, we expect that the pre-elections contradiction will focus on purely political issues and not on terror fiction scenarios," it added.

    [30] ND spokeswoman lashes out at SYRIZA on BoG report

    New Democracy spokeswoman Maria Spyraki on Sunday accused SYRIZA of distorting the reality.

    More specifically, Spyraki pointed out that in the Bank of Greece (BoG) report there is no reference to deposit outflows, but to the fact that that situation is under control.

    "The difference is clear," Spyraki said and accused SYRIZA of "pretending it does not understand the essence of the BoG's report, that is that the ECB will continue to cover the needs of our banks only as long as we are in a programme, that is until February 28, 2015."

    "That is exactly the same day that Mr Tsipras has said it would take the country out of the programme. We are now waiting to tell us how the banks' financial needs will be met," she noted.

    [31] SYRIZA on ND spokeswoman's statements

    SYRIZA on Sunday replied to New Democracy spokeswoman's statements regarding the BoG report saying that she is neither the spokeswoman of the ECB nor the spokeswoman of the Bank of Greece (BoG).

    "What is certain is that she is doing everything to terrorize the world with lies and arbitrary interpretations," SYRIZA's announcement said.

    As for her attack on the party on the occasion of the global mobilization against extremism and terrorism, SYRIZA said: "We would have expected from New Democracy to show more "self-restraint" to its extreme-right rhetoric after the attacks it has received from the international press. It is a political grave robbing that discredits the country internationally."

    General News

    [32] 4.2R quake jolts Crete

    A light earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale was recorded on Saturday at 16:00 at the sea region off the coasts of Siteia, eastern Crete.

    According to the Geodynamics Institute of the National Observatory and the Geophysics Institute of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki the quake's epicentre was located in the sea region 15km north-northeast of Siteia, 367km southwest of Athens.

    No injuries or damages were reported

    Soccer

    [33] Super League Results

    Games played for the Super League had the following results:

    Veria-Kalloni 1-1

    Platanias-Panionios 3-0

    Asteras Tripolis-PAOK 3-0

    Panetolikos-PAS Yiannina 0-0

    OFI-Kerkyra 3-2

    Panathinaikos-Ergotelis 5-0

    Panthrakikos-Atromitos 1-1

    Xanthi-Olympiakos 1-3

    Niki Volou-Levadiakos 0-3

    Standings after 17 games:

    1.Olympiakos 39

    2. PAOK 37

    3. Panathinaikos 33

    4. Asteras Tripolis 31

    5. Panetolikos 28

    6. Veria 26

    7. Xanthi 25

    7. PAS Yiannina 25

    7. Atromitos 25

    10. Kalloni 23

    11. Kerkyra 21

    11. PLatanias Chanion 21

    13. OFI 20

    14. Levadiakos 18

    15. Panionios 15

    16. Panthrakikos 14

    17. Ergotelis 11

    18. Niki Volou 7

    Weather forecast

    [34] Rain on Monday

    Rain and northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 9 on the Beaufort scale. Rain and sleet in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from -01C-09C. Rain in the western parts with temperatures between 06C-15C. Clouds and rain in the afternoon in the eastern parts of the country with temperatures between 05C-15C. Storms over the islands, 09C-18C. Scattered clouds in the morning and rain in the afternoon in Athens, 05C-09C. Rain and sleet in Thessaloniki, 02C-06C.

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

    AVGHI:SYRIZA's huge victory, shows opinion poll.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: The threat of a Grexit and the security of bank deposits.

    ETHNOS: Bridges and flirt on the way to the ballots.

    KATHIMERINI: The thorns before and after the national elections.

    KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: 25 January's crazy scenarios.

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: All on Sunday at Communist Party's rally at Peace and Friendship Indoor Stadium.

    PROTO THEMA: Draghi(Mario, ECB chief): Money only until the elections.

    TO PARON: Merkel(Angela, German Chancellor),lenders and ECB add water in their wine before Tsipras (Alexis, SYRIZA leader).

    TO VIMA: The Left's opportunity.

    VRADYNI: Victory strategy with hope for tomorrow.

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