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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-11-28
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Weekend Bulletin
Monday, November 28 2016
 PM Tsipras: The human capital is Greece's comparative advantagePrime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined the government's decision to develop Greece's comparative advantage, the human capital and to invest in it, after his tour to Thessaloniki Science Center and Museum NOESIS on Saturday.
"We chose to form a special ministry for research and innovation" said Tsipras adding that "despite the fiscal difficulty we managed to increase the budget for research and innovation. It is now approximately 1pct of GDP.
 PM Tsipras on Fidel Castro's death: Goodbye comandante; until the peoples' eternal victoryGoodbye comandante. Until the peoples' eternal victory, posted Alexis Tsipras on his twitter and facebook saying goodbye to Cuban historic leader Fidel Castro.
On his personal facebook account Tsipras wrote: Fidel Castro was the guarantor of his people's dignity and independence and set the foundations for the regional cooperation in Latin America. The generation that leaves bequeaths us a huge historic, symbolic and political legacy which we are called to deal with in conditions extremely difficult after the failure of neoliberalism and the vision of socialism to still seek its new structure. So, as Fidel said, those who struggle today against the disasters that threaten the world should analyse and implement carefully each political decision. Goodbye comandante. Until the peoples' eternal victory!
 PM Tsipras inaugurates prime minister's office in ThessalonikiPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined the need the city of Thessaloniki to regain its lostproductive rate and its old historic identity. The identity of a multinational, commercial and industrial hub, he said addressing the productive entities of the city during the inauguration of the prime minister's office in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.
"This is a difficult wager that goes through the upgrading of the infrastructures and the invigoration of the commercial and productive activity" he said and referred to the upgrading of government's diplomatic presence and activity in Thessaloniki.
Referring to the operation of the prime minister's office, Tsipras said that the aim is "the as quick as possible transfer procedure of the issues to the highest level of the state's and government's administration" underlining that "this wouldn't be necessary if the public administration's dysfunctions did not exist".
He said that he will visit the office in Thessaloniki twice every fortnight and whenever necessary and will call cabinet meetings with the participation of the local entities in order to solve whatever problem arises".
 The country is now ready to turn page, says EU Commissioner Moscovici"The Greeks have done so many sacrifices in the last years and finally the country is ready to turn page. The success story we are writing together means the return to normality but a normality with sustainable public economic policy and a competitive economy that will be able to create the job position that the Greeks need so much" stated European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici in an interview with the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.
Moscovici who arrives on Monday in Athens said that "according to the conclusions of the first review and the good progress in the second review, I believe that now the conditions are suitable for the discussions that must be held in the next Eurogroup meeting" adding that
"May's agreement defines clearly the next steps, with three packages of measures (long-term, short-term and mid-term) that remain to be agreed. The further discussions on the debt will play a very important role in IMF's participation in the programmes as it was agreed in May".
Moscovici said it is 'absolutely feasible" the staff agreement to close in the following days. Based on this agreement the Greek authorities must implement those agreed and to rapidly proceed with the necessary next steps in order the second review to be completed "This, however, demands the total cooperation and participation of all the interested parts".
Referring to the thorny issue of the changes in the labour market, Moscovici noted that there is still work to be done adding that progress has been recorded.
 EU Commissioner Moscovici: An agreement for the debt is not farEuropean Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he is pleased with Greece's progress in an interview with public broadcaster ERT
Moscovici said that the negotiations on the second review are on the right direction adding that we are entering a new phase, the phase of success.
I am aware that the Greek people must continue their efforts, I have understood that but I believe the compensation will come through growth, trust and job positions. I believe an agreement for the debt is not far. We need IMF to be with us, he said.
 I am not afraid of Erdogan's statements, says Alt. Defence Min Vitsas"I am not at all afraid of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "threats" because I know our military powers. As we know the powers of the neighbouring and ally country.
However, these statements call us to be alert" stated Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas in an interview with Saturday newspaper Agora.
"Turkey, at political level, is facing problems and has open many issues. It has problems on its east borders and has problems with its policy on the Cyprus issue, there is turbulence in its northern part and in its relations with EU. If the whole matter has to do with the negotiation with EU or with the superpowers I believe that diplomatically Turkey is on the wrong way.
 ND leader Mitsotakis tours the region of EpirusNew Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis who is paying a two-day visit to the region of Epirus had a series of meeting on Saturday.
The main opposition leader met early in the morning with the Metropolitan of Ioannina Maximos who called him "a promising person".
Later, Mitsotakis met with the governor and the mayors of Epirus who briefed him on the infrastructures and the growth prospects of the region.
On his part, Mitsotakis expressed the certainty that "the new government will be formed very soon, sooner than some believe and will be strong enough to get the country out of the crisis".
 Ghost of extreme right populism looming , says europarliament VP PapadimoulisThe ghost of the extreme right populism is looming not only over the US but also over Europe, underlined European parliament vice president Dimitris Papadimoulis in his article on Sunday in the newspaper Epochi.
"The European Left holds the historic role to not allow phenomena as Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump to become hegemonic" he said adding that the "economic crisis is present worldwide and the slowdown of the world economy apparently creates a number of additional problems to the EU countries. After Britain's decision for Brexit now the US with the elections of Donald Trump send a resounding message"
Papadimoulis also claimed that "the new US leadership brings uncertainty to Europe because it strengthens the disastrous voices of the extreme right and the voices of those that seek the reconstitution of the national competitiveness. EU's duty is the immediate change of course.
The establishment of a new relation of trust between politics and the citizens, a fair and sustainable growth, the employment and the peace in the wider region are the points that the European elite should take crucial decisions in the next period"
The progressive forces, the Green parties and particularly the European Left have the historic role to intercept the extreme-right populism wave and to prevent phenomena as Trump and LePen to become hegemonic, said Papadimoulis in his article
"The election results in US either will be the omen of bad developments for the world or the alarm clock that will wake up Europe and an example to avoid for a new course towards a progressive and social direction" he said and concludes "the Left must rise to this historic challenge by organising the necessary reactions and alliances".
 It is imperative the conditions in the hotspots to become better, Migration Minister Mouzalas says to ANA"We will continue to seek consensus but at some point we will proceed with the solutions" stated to Athens Macedonian News Agency Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Sunday
"Climate of consensus does not mean we won't do anything" clarified Mouzalas adding that "the government has a programme to implement".
Mouzalas referred to 'black propaganda' on the islands and accused main opposition New Democracy that it has aligned with extreme-right elements and motivates the people.
On the death of two people in Moria hotspot, Mouzalas called it an accident that could happen anywhere but "it is imperative the conditions in the hotspots to become better" and made a plea to the islanders to stop listening to populistic solutions and to support the creation of better living conditions for the refugees".
Mouzalas said to ANA that in the next period that hosting centers will be reduced to half with the parallel reduction of the population that lives in them.
The minister expressed his concern over the possibility EU-Turkey agreement to collapse and described the government's three battles at diplomatic level: on the transfer of the refugees from the islands to the mainland, the change in the Dublin Treaty and the request for the establishment of a single European mechanism for the return of the migrants to their country of origin.
On Belgium's decision to not renew the Belgian experts' tenure on the islands of the northern Aegean for security reasons, he asked the discussion to focus on EU's responsibilities which, as he said, does not meet its commitments.
 Tsakalotos to meet with Moscovici on MondayFinance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos will meet on Monday at 18:15 with European Commissioner for Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici at the Finance Ministry in Athens, it was announced on Sunday
 There is no early elections issue, says Interior Minister Skourletis to ANA"There is no early elections issue and the government has made it crystal clear" said Interior Minister Panos Skourletis in an interview with Athens Macedonian News Agency on Sunday adding that main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis raises the issue as a smokescreen to "cover his unbelievable commitment to the memorandum recipes and to cover his own programme which is a programme based on the logic of the memoranda" he said.
Skourletis referring to the second review of the Greek programme explained that the "government's intention is the current programme, the current measures that have been already voted, to be the last and the estimations that 2017 will be a year of growth to be justified. Moreover, to be a year of stabilisation of whatever successes may come in order to be able to say that we have formed the conditions that will disengage us from the austerity policies".
On IMF's participation in the Greek programme, he estimated that "it demands the adoption of a number of positions that will be against the country's interest and particularly against the interests of the world of work" he said and concluded "I believe that the discussion should continue with our European partners and without the IMF".
 FM Kotzias: We insist on full withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus"Some want to create a rift between Cyprus and Greece and the easiest way is to undermine the Greek foreign policy" said Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias referring to the recent attacks against him after the collapse of the negotiations on the Cyprus issue in Switzerland in an interview to private radio Alpha on Sunday.
"The bottom line is the definition of the Cyprus problem which is the occupation of northern Cyprus by the Turkish troops" he noted adding that "unless some consider 'solution' the handover and mean the Turkish occupation troops to remain on the island. Let's say it clearly. They charge me because they do not dare to say clearly that they support the legalisation and remaining of the illegal occupation Turkish troops on the island".
He referred to the same forces that had sternly attacked him when he was appointed Foreign Minister "forces from abroad and from inside the country that do not want an independent multidimensional foreign policy", he said.
"What annoys them is that we can't support the position that Turkey can have guaranteed interventional rights in Cyprus or that Turkey can keep forever its troops on Cyprus". We insist that the troops must withdraw within a reasonable period and a clause to exist that will give a specific date of the final withdrawal.
Kotzias clarified that the Greek government was not involved in the five stages of the negotiation adding that he even refused to express his opinion to Cyprus' government. "I was attacked when we refused to go to Switzerland to discuss the territorial issue" he explained and certified Greek government's intention for a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to examine if there are "any bridges and possibilities for an agreement'.
Finally, asked on Erdogan's provocative stance, Kotzias said that the Turkish president "has his eyes fixed on the Middle East and want to reach the oil of Mosul and to have some rights in the area".
On Albania and its Prime Minister Edi Rama, Kotzias referred to the package of deliberations on the solution of the existing issues between Greece and Albania before the start of Albania's accession procedure to EU and expressed the hope the Albanians, in the next period, to meet more and better the conditions for their accession course. "Personally, I want Albania in EU as well as a more democratic Albania with European characteristics that will also be a good neighbour".
Asked on newly elected US President Donald Trump, Kotzias said that his election expressed objective and international trends and phenomena that exist and in EU . On the Greek positions he referred to his contacts with Trump's staff noting that "we will explain and struggle to keep the ears of Mr. Trump's government open".
 Teleconference on open issues of second review at the Finance ministryA teleconference between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Interior Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou, Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis and the representatives of the institutions is currently underway at the Finance Ministry.
The discussion focuses on the open issues of the second review of the Greek programme ahead of the Euro Working Group on 28 December and 5 December's Eurogroup meeting.
 29 migrants and refugees rescued; two traffickers arrestedCoast Guard spotted early Saturday a dinghy with migrants and refugees off the coasts of the island of Oinousses.
A pursuit followed and the two traffickers managed to reach the coast where all the passengers disembarked.
The two traffickers were arrested and the migrants were transferred to the port of Chios. The dinghy was confiscated.
 Ships to remain docked on Dec.8Hellenic Seamen's Federation declared a 24h nationwide strike on Thursday 8 December which asks for the safeguarding of the Greek seamen's fundamental labour rights.
Ships will remain docked in all Greek ports.
 Lefteris Petrounias: You must experience defeat if you want to reach successAt this moment I am nothing, said Olympic gold medal winner in artistic gymnastics Lefteris Petrounias said to Athens Macedonian News Agency after receiving his award in the framework of the 2nd International Sports Science Congress organised by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
"At this moment I am nothing, I start from point zero. I am not an Olympic champion, a world champion or even a European champion; I start from the beginning to meet again my targets. This is what keeps you high, to continue to fight and to make a repeat. If I win again the European championship I will not think that I have won already three, I will believe that I am back to the start, that's the way I think" he said.
At a question what is more difficult to deal with, the victory or the defeat he said "Each one has its own difficulty and gives its own lessons. I believe that you must experience the defeat if you want to reach success. Success is the most difficult part because you must continue to prove that you deserve to be there, to be an Olympic champion. When you participate in a competition all the eyes are fixed on you and in parallel my wish to continue to want to see my country's flag high, is a heavy burden for me. To remain high and continue to win titles is more difficult than to deal with the defeat. Defeat makes you sorry but you can only learn from it. If you are a strong person and you are a strong person if you are an athlete, you kneel, you fall and then you get up stronger.
 Weather ForecastHeavy rainfall and winds from variable directions are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 7 on the Beaufort scale. Clouds and rain in the afternoon in the northern parts of the country and temperatures ranging from 02C to 13C. Rain and storms in the western and eastern parts with temperatures between 11C and 19C. Heavy rain over the Aegean islands and Crete, 15C-21C. Rain in Athens, 13C-18C. Clouds and rain in afternoon in Thessaloniki, 08C-13C.
 Athens News Headlines at a glanceAVGHI: The second review closes; the discussion for the debt opens.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: They are gambling with the 4rth memorandum and elections.
ETHNOS: We are ready to discuss the Greek debt, says Pierre Moscovici (EU Commissioner for Financial Affairs) to newspaper.
KATHIMERINI: Fears for new measures and general elections scenarios.
KYRIAKATIKI DIMOKRATIA: SYRIZA collapsing.
PRIN: Hasta siempre Comandante- the revolution's everlasting charm.
PROTO THEMA: The Turks are ready to send hundreds of refugees and migrants to Greece.
REAL NEWS: Someone should 'stop' him! Erdogan (Recep Tayyip, Turkish President) threatens and blackmails Europe.
RIZOSPASTIS: The people should not accept the new antipopular developments.
TO VIMA: Tsipras (Alexis, prime minister) held hostage.
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