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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-28

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Schaeuble's electioneering responsible for deadlock on Greece, Axel Troost tells ANA
  • [02] Staikouras: 'Government sets the bar high then passes beneath it'
  • [03] 'Lighting Up Athens' night run to begin at 20:00
  • [04] Bomb targeting Milan rating agency in March stopped in Athens, police say
  • [05] Archbishop Ieronymos: 'I see Europe of exploitation, not solidarity'
  • [06] Greece needs clear roadmap for the debt, SYRIZA MEP Papadimoulis says

  • [01] Schaeuble's electioneering responsible for deadlock on Greece, Axel Troost tells ANA

    Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was responsible for the failure to reach a final agreement on Greece at the last Eurogroup, the Vice-Chairman of Germany's left-wing Die Linke party Axel Troost said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Sunday.

    "His stance makes a solution impossible," the German economist said, noting that it was "unacceptable that the entire process for Greece is stalled due to the German elections."

    Germany's internal political affairs could not be allowed to create such a catastrophic situation for Greece, Troost underlined. He accused Schaeuble of "wanting to present positive forecasts, squeezing [Greece] like a lemon in order to service its debt and thus getting rid of IMF demands for its relief."

    The German finance minister had to reconcile himself with the idea that he was not Greece's prime minister, Troost added.

    Instead of keeping Greece hostage, he said, Schaeuble should "make a decision for realistic debt relief" and do so before, not after, the German elections in September.

    Commenting on the Greek opposition's criticism of the government, Troost noted that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos were "constantly being asked for something new, something more" and this made their mission harder.

    "Tsipras is right when he says that if we reach an agreement things will improve. But if the lenders do not observe the agreed framework, he is not to blame. I have never seen such long negotiations in my life. It is truly a very tough negotiation," he said.

    Troost agreed that Schaeuble was deliberately "cheating" and "does not want the issue of the IMF's participation and debt relief to be concluded."

    "He uses the most incredible reasons. First its the fault of the Greek government, then of the IMF that there is no agreement, he goes to Brussels empty-handed and puts pressure on the others," Troost said.

    Troost was in Athens at the invitation of the ENA Institute of Alternative Policies.

    [02] Staikouras: 'Government sets the bar high then passes beneath it'

    Greece's review was not yet completed because the government had still not implemented a series of prior actions included in the agreement with the country's lenders, main opposition New Democracy's sector head for economic affairs Christos Staikouras said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Sunday.

    The government suffered from illusions and "was constantly setting the bar high, then forever passing beneath it," Staikouras said. He expressed hope, however, that a solution will be found soon that leads to a completion of the review and decisions for specific measures to relieve Greece's debt.

    "A further delay in the completion of the review will mean an even greater burden on the real economy, which has already been deprived of 13.3 billion euros in funds due to the many months of delay," he added.

    Failure to make the debt measures specific, he said, could create additional difficulties when Greece attempts to resume borrowing from the markets on realistic terms.

    According to Staikouras, finally, the government's goal was to "remain in power a little longer, at any cost, in any way and by any means."

    [03] 'Lighting Up Athens' night run to begin at 20:00

    Several main roads in central Athens will be closed to traffic on Sunday night, from 20:00 until 23:00, for the "Lighting Up Athens" night-time fun run taking place in the city centre.

    Traffic police are gradually restricted vehicle access to Vassilisis Sofias and Vassilisis Amalias Avenue, sections of Panepistimiou Street, Pesmazoglou, Stadiou Street, Vas. Georgiou I, Synggrou Avenue, Athanasiou Diakou, Vassilisis Olgas, Rizari, Meleagrou, Kleanthous, Akadimias, Vas. Konstantinou and Ardittou, leading to the Panathenian Stadium.

    With the weather service predicting that earlier rain will subside in the Greek capital from the evening, the race is expected to go ahead as planned, organisers said.

    [04] Bomb targeting Milan rating agency in March stopped in Athens, police say

    The Greek counter-terrorism service in Athens was responsible for the interception of a parcel bomb reported in the Sunday issue of the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera", according to sources in the Greek police force.

    The package addressed to a Milan-based rating agency was one of eight intercepted by Greek authorities at the Hellenic Post (ELTA) sorting centre in Kryoneri, the source said. The eight parcel-bombs were found after two identical booby-trapped parcels were sent to the German finance ministry and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in Paris. All eight packages were neutralised by Greek authorities, the source added, and the specific package never left Greece for Italy, though Italian authorities had been informed.

    According to the newspaper, a parcel-bomb addressed to the rating agency had been intercepted and neutralised in March, while the news was leaked now because Italian counter-terrorism forces had decided to reopen the "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" case and "its continued connections with Italy."

    The terror group's past proclamations have repeated referred to the Italian terror group Fai and expressed support for Italian members of Fai convicted by Italian authorities.

    The newspaper also referred to the possibility that more such packages will be sent in June.

    [05] Archbishop Ieronymos: 'I see Europe of exploitation, not solidarity'

    Europe's current face was not one of solidarity and support but more one of exploitation, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos suggested on Sunday, in an interview broadcast by the state television channel ERT1.

    "Today, I do not see a Europe of solidarity but I see every day, more often and more clearly, the Europe of exploitation," he said. The foundations of this Europe had to "go back to the starting point, from where it began, with the same thoughts and the same purpose," the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece added.

    The Archbishop also commented on the recent terrorist strike in Manchester, expressing his horror and condemnation and noting that "terrorism is one of the worst repercussions of war." It was necessary, he said, "to also look at the other side, to see who are those leading these people to become terrorists."

    On Church-State relations, he said the role of the Church was to talk to everyone, including those responsible for the state, because the Church was not a political party and "cooperation is therefore necessary". On the issue of Church property, he noted that the Church's spiritual mission could not be carried out without economic support. "The Church must be free and financially independent," he said.

    With regard to refugees, Ieronymos said the Church sees them as "people in need" and that their final destination "should be their own country." In the future, he added, we must consider whether "refugees have also become a part of the exploitation of humanity."

    [06] Greece needs clear roadmap for the debt, SYRIZA MEP Papadimoulis says

    European Parliament Vice-President and SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis repeated a call for a "clear roadmap" on Greece's debt before June 15, in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday.

    "Greece needs a clear roadmap for the debt on June 15. Only in this way will an exit from the memorandums be possible in August 2018," Papadimoulis said.


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