ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.9)

News in English 9-10-13

This is our news bulletin in English by the free Hellenic Radio, still broadcasting for almost  4 months after the unconstitutional closing by the government, – 11th of June 2013 – and by ERT employees and those in solidarity that  undertook the restoration of legality and the defense of the Greek people’s constitutional right to access public media.

Ert news

One more unconstitutional action of the government is the non-conduct of voting in parliament on the issue of ratification of the Legislative act by which the black screen of ERT was applied. In an announcement issued from the Prime Minister’s office in the House, it was stated that the scheduled voting on the ratification of the Legislative act by which ERT was closed will not be held today. After a request of PASOK, all issues relating to ERT’s closure will be approved by the body of the Parliament, through amendments in a bill of the Ministry of Justice. The party of DIMAR, in their announcement requested the immediate admission for voting of the joint proposal of PASOK and DIMAR for the non-ratification of the Act and the immediate implementation of the decision of the Council of State of June 17th., while they are highlighting the political and legal consequences of the ongoing non-compliance to it.

Aegean Airlines and Olympic airways got the green light for merger by the European Commission, a deal that, both Aegean Airlines and Olympic air, try to achieve long time now. The official announcement of the approval of the purchase of the 100% shareholding of Olympic air by Aegean Airlines was issued today. Aegean would emerge as the sole Greek domestic carrier anyway because Olympic was likely to close in the near future, the EU said in an e-mailed statement.

A prosecution order, by which the University administrations are called to provide the lists and information within the time limit set, followed the relevant circular sent by the Ministry of Education and the letter of Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos to the administration of the Universities. However, the long lasting strike of the administrative employees which is undergoing, did not allow for the data required to be collected in order to be sent to ASEP. The Rector authorities of the eight universities, ask for the Joint ministerial Decision to be withdrawn and then to find a mutually accepted method of assessing university structures, in cooperation with the Ministry.

The three students of the 1st vocational high school of Lamia, who had staged an occupation of their school have been sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment each, by the Flagrant Court of Lamia, while four months of imprisonment is imposed to another three youngsters. Against this court decision, students and teachers organized a protest march in the center of Lamia, while the president of the Teachers Union of Fthiotida, Thymios Paletsos, spoke of an “unprecedented court decision”.

The strikers, administrative employees, organize a reception event at Propylaia, in order to inform the freshmen, while earlier today, similar events took place at the Polytechnic campus at Zografou.

The deadline for submission to ASEP, by the Administration of 8 Universities of the lists with names of 1.349 administrative University employees who will be suspended, expires today.

The employees of Coca-Cola of Thessaloniki continue their 24 hour rolling strikes until Saturday, asking for the revocation of their thirty three colleagues’ layoffs.

On a 48 hour strike today and tomorrow are the employees of INMADE company, a subsidiary of ITRACOM; a 24 hour strike today by employees of WIND telecommunications’ company and on Friday by employees of VODAPHONE; rolling work stoppages today and tomorrow by employees at the Management and Development unit of the Ministry of Development; a strike blockade, at the sorting centre of the ACS courier company at Petrou Ralli street, until 10 pm tonight in protest against the unpaid layoffs from franchise branches of the company.

The protest gathering of workers at Skaramagkas Shipyards outside the Ministry of Defence is over and traffic at Mesogeion Avenue is back to normal. The workers protested against the non-payment of accrued, for the last 18 months, asked for the continuance of operation of the shipyards, and their working problem to be solved.

A large scale police operation took place yesterday, in Acharnes municipality at Roma settlements. A lawsuit filed by the Mayor of Acharnes, Sotiris Ntouros last July, on escalation of delinquency and crime in the region, preceded the operation. During the intervention, 155 people and 125 vehicles were checked, 45 people were arrested and 18 of them were detained, for outstanding arrest warrants on drug trafficking, robberies, and snatching children, convictions for possession of drugs, traffic code violations, and one person for violation of health regulations.

The thirty two year old Giannis Kazantzoglou, who is accused of complicity in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas being one of the co-passengers of Roupakias the night of the murder, took time to submit his confession before the investigating magistrate of Pireaus on Monday.The murderer of Pavlos Fyssas, Giorgos Roupakias, will appear before the investigating magistrate, again tomorrow, to submit his confession on the accusation of being a member of a criminal organization.

The request of the judicial authorities for waiver of parliamentary immunity of the Golden Dawn MPs, Mr. Germenis, Eliopoulos, and Mpoukouras will also be discussed in the ethics committee of the House tomorrow.

The assembly of Appeal’s Judges will decide whether the case of Golden Dawn will be assigned to a special appellate investigator given the importance of the case the voluminous case file and the big number of  testimonies.

This afternoon, students and anti-fascist movements, organize a concert in memory of Pavlos Fyssas, at Propylaia.

A work stoppage from 11am to 3pm tomorrow scheduled by the unions of workers for the conduct of their general assemblies will put metro and electric railway transportation to a standstill.

Members of the organizations “Youth without Frontier” and “Welcome to Europe” held a discussion with reporter’s yesterday afternoon at ERA radio of Aegean. During the discussion, several immigrants that had passed from Lesvos Island and now live and work in European countries, recounted the hardships and adventures they had, in pursuit of their right to Life.

Open Animation Workshop on the history of ERT, will start on Sunday October 13th at 5 pm in the Dubbing studio of ERT in Agia Paraskevi and lessons will be held every Sunday throughout November. The workshop is addressed to youngsters and adults, and no special knowledge is required in order to participate.

The participants will create animation spots which will be broadcasted by ERT OPEN, and will refer to the cultural heritage of ERT and its bright historical presence, contradicting to the black screens of today.

An avant premiere will be held tonight at ERT’s premises of Agia Paraskevi. At 7.30 the film “Engraved Lives” by Spiros Tsekos will be screened – a day before the official commercial screening on cinemas -
A documentary about Truth and lies, a film about Democracy and Fascism in modern Greece. A press conference and discussion with the audience will follow.

Read all ERA news in English at openert.wordpress.com

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.8)

News in English 8-10-13

In a historic verdict, an Athens court on Monday passed down a 20-year jail sentence to former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos after finding him guilty of laundering millions of euros in kickbacks from defense deals. It also handed heavy terms to another 16 of his co-defendants. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos wife Vicky Stamati and his daughter Areti Tsochatzopoulou were sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment. The three, along with three other co-defendants, did not get suspension on their sentences, and will remain in prison.

Hospital unionist, head of the union representing workers at Sotiria Hospital in Athens has been arrested for blackmail, illegal possession of weapons and resisting arrest, faces prosecutor after being caught accepting bribe to stop protest. The 45-year-old is alleged to have demanded 50,000 euros in cash to call off a protest by workers. He was arrested after a sting operation in which he picked up the cash in marked bills from the hospital director’s home.
The Minister of health, Adonis Georgiades, pointed out at an interview with SKAI television, that the president of the employees of Sotiria hospital will be dismissed from his work position. Moreover, the Health Department of Syriza mentions in an announcement, that Mr. Georgiades, in a hilarious way, tried to connect the particular unionist, with the left wing, while it is widely known that the arrested unionist, was elected as president of the workers union with the votes of Pasok and New Democracy unionists, only five months ago.

Groundbreaking changes in Greece’s pension schemes are on the way as the social insurance funds are about to collapse due to high unemployment and liquidity shortage in the labor market. There are plans for a national pension of just 360 EUR and a ‘compulsory life insurance’ to cover the rest of a pensioners’ needs.

The plan is not new. The idea of a national pension of 350 EUR was announced by former Health Minister Andreas Loverdos (Socialist PASOK) in January 2010 and was supposed to go into effect as of 1.1.2015. In fact, the plan that was put on the rails before Greece sought the “rescue” of the International Monetary Fund in May 2010.

Golden dawn news

Revelations against the Golden Dawn MO, Stathis Boukouras, were disclosed by an old member of organization, Panagiotis Manavis, whom the MP named as a protected witness and he denied it.
In his interview with the newspaper TA NEA, the former Golden Dawn member, claims that the MP of Korinthia region of Golden DAwn, was taking money from the organizations’ fund

In the target of the Internal Affairs Division of Greek Police, are thirty five police stations, in which either interweaving relations were developed, or they were practicing a modulated regime of tolerance in unlawful activities of Golden Dawn.
10 police officers have already been suspended.
The “incorruptible” force of the Greek police, investigate more than 80 cases of racist violence in which police officers are involved.

Thorough investigation of the financial activities and accounts of Golden Dawn, and the accused MPs of the party, was ordered to be conducted by the Financial Crime Authorities by the investigating corruption magistrates, who handle the case file of the criminal organization, in order to determine if the case shows the commission of the offence of money laundering.

From the inquisitorial office, it is expected to be asked to waiver of the banking secrecy, in order to further investigate, the probability of committing other offences of economic nature.

A request for the waiver of the immunity of Golden Dawn MP, Elias Panagiotaros was sent to the Parliament by the Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Mr. Pliotas, after the order issued by the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Eyterpi Koutzamani. The MP is charged with the crime of staging, which was committed in April 2010 in Larissa, after a scuffle with police. Four other members of Golden Dawn, are prosecuted along with Mr. Panagiotaros on the same offence.

Other news

The Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, is in Israel today, accompanied by eight ministers and a group of business men.

His meeting with the Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is underway. At the same time, meetings of Greek and Israeli Ministers will be held while the signing of ten agreements and cooperation protocols will follow.

The Prime Minister will return to AThens tonight, while Mr. Venizelos will stay, to travel to Ramallah tomorrow, where he will meet with the Head of the Palestinian Authority

The trial of the journalist and publisher of the HOT DOC magazine, Kostas Vaxevanis, regarding the disclosure of Lagarde list names, started today, . The journalist, who was initially arrested for publishing the list, was acquitted by the court but theprosecutor appealed against the initial decision and the journalist is on trial again.
The tragicomic in the case is that while Kostas Vaxevanis is being tried for publishing the list, the former minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou, who had the list, is facing the possibility to be tried, for the cover-up of Lagarde list, by a Special Court, after the the Investigator’s Commission proposal, .

The president of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, mentions a “political crime against Greek tax payers, and an economic scandal, in Skaramangas SHipyards, in his question submitted in the Parliament to the Minister of National Defence.

Mr. Tsipras accuses the owner of holding the Shipyards as a “collateral”, and keeps the unpaid workers hostages in it

As mentioned inter alia, the Shipyards were given as a “gift” to a company whose direct contracts of 3 billion euros, were secured, and an astronomical advance amount of over 1 bilion euros was handed, thus violating any known principle, practice and methodology for the implementation of projects and contracts, and it resulted, for the NAvy today not to have the submarines that were ordered ordered, and are necessary for the defencive design and the employees of the shipyards are left without jobs literally on the street..

Nearly one third of the IMF’s Board of Governors, representing more than 40 non-European countries, strongly objected to Greece’s first bailout plan, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The countdown for the completion of the privatization of OPAP has started, and before the bourse opens on Friday Greek-Czech fund Emma Delta will have completed the acquisition of 105 million shares in the gaming company and paid state privatization fund TAIPED 622 million euros. As soon as the transaction is completed, OPAP’s governing board will hold a meeting during which 10 out of its 11 members will tender their resignations. The new board – including three Greeks and eight foreigners, possibly Czech – will be appointed and convene on the same day.

The eurozone will take a decision on how to cover Greece’s funding gap shortly before the end of the year, a senior official told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday. The official also said that the issue of further debt relief will only be discussed by the Eurogroup if Eurostat confirms that Greece produced a primary surplus in 2013. Confirmation is expected after April 2014

The public will face problems in transportation by metro, and the electric railways, next Thursday, October 10th, from 11am to 3pm, due to a four hour work stoppage of the employees, who claim the immediate cancellation of the measure of civil enlistment

Solidarity events continue at the ERT headquarters in Agia Paraskevi. Nikos Filippidis and his clarinet will keep us company this evening with traditional music and songs. He will appear with notable musicians such as Kostas Filippidis on lute and vocals, Andreas Pappas on percussion, Nikos Karatasos on santouri, Kostas Kikilis on violin, and others.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.7)

News in English 7-10-13

Former Pasok defence minister, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, was found guilty on all charges,- inter alia – guilty of money-laundering and taking kickbacks for armaments’ procurements programmes while in office.This  was announced on the verdict of the Three-Member Felony Appeals Court, after a five-month trial procedure, and more than 60 court meetings. The penalties for Mr. Tsochatzopoulos are expected to be announced tomorrow.

An estimate of 30.000 people attended the unique concert against gold mining in Skouries held yesterday in the former military camp of Pavlos Melas in Thessaloniki. The event was co- organized by the Committees of Struggle of Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki against the Gold mines. “We sing against the plundering of nature, against the criminalization of social struggles, against the “investments at all costs”. We sing for the release of our unjustly detained comrades, for the right in life and a better future. We sing for a mining that will never be done”, as announced in their call.

A new round of cuts on consumption and investment spending is imposed by the budget of 2014, the draft of which is submitted in Parliament today. The budget of 2014 is under revision in view of the new contacts with troika members and the preparation of the final draft of the budget, which will be submitted to the Parliament in November. In the final version, the goals and policies of the government will be clarified and especially the ways of addressing the financial gaps of pension funds.
The deputy Finance Minister, who presented the draft budget, today, estimated that in 2014 the economy will return in positive growth and that primary surplus of 2.8 billion euros will be recorded in 2014.

A draft law by the Ministry of Finance ratifying the legislation with which ERT was shut down is to be submitted within the next few days to parliament’s Standing Committee on Economic Affairs for editing.
This law will ratify legislation passed on the 10th of June, 2013 that enables each government minister to restructure or close organisations and bodies under his or her area of competence. The legislation, which has a general reach, was initially applied to national television. However, it may be implemented in other cases, notably those of the EAS, LARKO and ELVO defense industries. The government’s objective is for the first channel of the final carrier of public television – namely NERIT – to be operational by the end of December. According to the agreement between the government and the troika, the former ERT employees will not cover more than 656 positions under permanent contract at NERIT to satisfy the creditors’ demands for 2,000 civil servant layoffs. It should be reminded, that the parties of DIMAR and PASOK, have submitted a bill proposal, for the cancellation of the Legislative Act. Demitris Chatzisokratis, member of the Executive committee of DIMAR, threw the gauntlet to PASOK MPs, stressing out that its still to be seen what will the parliamentary members of the party do, since they party has co-signed the proposal of the bill relevant to the repeal of the Legislative act.

The Hellenic Federation of Petrol Station Owners (OVE) has decided not to make diesel available for heating due to what it claims are issues that remain unresolved shortly before the reduced tax for heating oil is to go in effect for the winter. “Consumers do not know at what price they will be buying, who will receive subsidies, how they will receive it and when. Petrol sellers do not know how heating oil will be distributed”, announced OVE. Heating oil is to be made available from the 15th of October. According to the industry, its price is expected to reach approximately 1.3 euros per litre. The Federation is repeating its demand for the reduction of the special consumer tax to 2011 levels, and the abolition of the Hephaestus electronic tracking system for petrol sales.

Trolley buses will stop their routes on Tuesday from 12 noon until 4 in the afternoon, because of the general assembly that will be held by the employees.

The Labour Center of Chios island, participates and calls upon all workers of the island to support the boycott of air routes AThens-Chios-Athens, from 13 to 19 of November which was proposed the the Consumer Association of Chios

“Golden Dawn” news

The probability of the arrest of more Golden Dawn MPs is open, while Elias Kassidiaris, Elias Panagiotaros and Giannis Lagos will be called to submit additional confession to the investigator magistrates, after the testimonies submitted by the protected witnesses, which were held under extreme secrecy.

One of the witnesses broke his oath of silence and described the organisation’s structure in great detail. He claims the hierarchy was changed in 2009, with Ilias Kasidiaris assuming the role of first deputy.
The new key witness did not hesitate to tell all, maintaining that all the MPs representing Attiki knew of Golden Dawn’s criminal activity since they gave it the ‘green light’ themselves. The witness offered revelations into the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas, who he said had been targeted and the outstanding order to kill had been approved by Mihaloliakos.
His revelations about the military training and weapons for members of Golden Dawn were particularly eye-opening. The training of new members who are being prepared to become killing machines was taking place in a shooting range in Haidari under the supervision of a party MP, while the weapons were being stored in a warehouse in Aspropyrgos.

A handwritten document titled “The Golden Dawn Oath” date 30 June 1983 has been found in the home of Christos Pappas in Yiannena. MEGA channel revealed that the document rips apart all the claims by the arrested Golden Dawn members that they have no relation to the nazis and to Hitler. The text concludes with the familiar nazi motto “Hail Victory” – which the shackled Nikos Mihaloliakos called out when leaving the courtroom – and at the end features a large swastika and “A. HITLER” in capital letters.

Solidarity events continue in support of ERT’s Employees, at the premises of Agia Paraskevi. Tonight at 8pm the film of Leonidas Vardaros, “all of us master” will be screened, the film takes us to the middle of 40’s decade in Ikaria Island, trying to unite history and politics. The screening will take place with the presence of the director, and a discussion will follow.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.6)

News in English 6-10-13

Golden dawn news

Two more Golden Dawn’s MPs, according to information are involved in unlawful activities of the organization, as recorded by the testimonies who have been under the protected witness status, and who submitted their testimonies yesterday to the investigating magistrate that is handling the case.

The defendant considered key figure on the murder case of Pavlos Fyssas has been remanded to custody yesterday with the consent of both the investigating magistrate and the prosecutor. The defendant is the 37 year old Giannis Aggos, who surrendered voluntarily to the Counterterrorism authorities on Friday. From the evidence included in the case file, it is shown that Aggos was in the same coffee shop with Pavlos Fyssas, the night of his murder. According to the recorded telephone calls – made by his wife’s phone- it was him that alerted the rest who are involved in the case, at the critical time of the incident.

Other news

The draft budget for 2014 will be submitted to the Parliament on Monday. It will include, according to information of Kathimerini newspaper, more taxes and less state expenses.
The primary expenditure will shrink by 3.2 billion to the amount of 41,1 billion euros, while revenue is estimated to increase by 1.5 billion Euros, and reach 45.1 billion, after the multiple interventions in income tax, and the new tax on real estate.
The expenditure reduce will come from reducing the funds for salaries, pensions, social security, health care, public investments and consumer spending.
With these data, it is estimated that the primary surplus will reach 2.8 billion euros from 300 million euros of this year, while the fiscal deficit will remain under 3%.
However, the additional austerity measures that will be required for the budget of 2014 to be realised. remain a thorn for the government.
A literal storm of confiscation papers, for bank accounts of debtors, by tax authorities, custom’s authorities, public services, municipalities, insurance funds etc. is coming upon the citizens. According to a publication of Ethnos newspaper, banks receive more than 500 requests to freeze bank accounts , even for amounts ranging from 120 to 150 euros, related to debts by water bills, electricity bills, even fines by municipal police.

Large increase in depression cases is recorded in the last two years in Greece, due to the economic austerity crisis.
Specifically, a research by the Research Institute of Mental Health of AThens University indicated that a considerable increase of serious depression episodes has been recorded from 2011 until today, in a rate that exceeds 50%.

Monthly prevalence of major depression reaches a rate of 12.3% of the Greek population

The administrative employees of the Universities, decided upon a new five-day strike mobilization, against the measure of availability, while the decision on the appeal of Rectors to the Council of the State, for the annulment of the relevant joint ministerial decision is pending.
By the announcement of their new strike mobilization, administrative employees, enter as of Monday, the fifth week of strikes. On the same day however, it is expected that some classes will be held in Universities. The Rectorate Authorities have called the first-year students to attend classes despite the fact that their records and enrollments are not updated, due to the administrative employees strike.

The Government’s attack against Alexis Tsipras comes at a time when the president of SYRIZA expands his presence in Europe, and publications show him as the new leader of the European Left. “Le monde” refers to the desire of the European Left Party for Mr Tsipras to be the successor of Jose Barosso in The European Commission, mentioning the enormous electoral rise and the leading role of SYRIZA in politics. “Mr. Tsipras dared to impose a new dynamic, against the political class which is dominated by nepotism, and profit relations, and the exchange of governing power between PASOK and Nea Dimokratia, parties that are both responsible for the economic crisis that plagues the country. SYRIZA has become the first choice party, at population groups under 40 years of age, as published in “Le Monde.”

The trade union of ERT employees, POSPERT, condemns the behaviour of Golden Dawn’s members that were temporarily released under restrictive terms, attacking against press and media employees.
”The violent actions, the spitting to the employees that try to do their job properly, and inform the Greek people, reveals their fascist nature and character,” stated POSPERT.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.5)

“Golden Dawn” news – Antifascist rallys and festivals.

The involvement of other MPs of the party in the pyramid that specified the hierarchy of the paramilitary section of Golden Dawn with criminal action is expected to be revealed by the ongoing investigation, according to press information that became public. Violent incidents, assaults and bombing attacks in Volos which are already included in the voluminous case file are under thorough investigation.

The active member of Golden Dawn and candidate of the party during the last parliamentary election, Themis Skordeli, is expected to appear before the court for trial on Monday. The 50 year old Themis Skordeli is known as “an indignant resident of Agios Panteleimonas” and is accused of racist attacks against Afghan immigrants. Her trial has been postponed a total of eight times!!!!

An antifascist gathering was held at 12 noon in Thiseio, Athens and a march to Propylaia until 3 p.m with the presence of 1,000-1,500 people, as estimated. At the same time a solidarity march in support of the squats took place in Thessaloniki. At 6pm a protest gathering is scheduled to be held in Agios Nikolaos square of Volos.

The three-day festival in solidarity of “Parartima Squat” is ongoing in Patras. Today a bicycle protest ride was held in the centre of the city. The antifascist documentary, “Stories for extremists”, will be screened in Keratsini today at 8 pm in the framework of promoting the call of the antifascist march organised for the 11 of October. A three-day Anti-racist festival is being held in Arta until tomorrow. The festival is being held in the summer cinema “Orpheus”, with free entrance and main moto “Because we want to sing freely”. Music Bands and Artists from Arta are participating to the festival that is organized by the Friends of Music Society “Avlos”.

The Movement against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA) is organising a two-day long antifascist event. Tomorrow a protest march is scheduled to be held in Keratsini, in memory of Pavlos Fyssas, who was murdered by members of Golden Dawn.

Other news

The tax retentions, applied on tax receipts for freelancers and self employed will rise to 26% according to the new regulations and tax measures that troika requested to be applied by the Ministry of Finance.

The president of the Federation of Hospital Doctors (EINAP), Matina Pagoni, reported in her interview at a private television station, that about 40 patients are on waiting list for just one bed in the intensive care units of public hospitals.

The Panhellenic Federation of Employees at the Special Education sector organise today an event at Propylaia in order to inform about the problems of the special education sector in Greece. Thematic kiosks and informative activities will be operating at the pedestrian street, Patriarchou Georgiou at Propylaia. The event will conclude with a concert this evening.

The employees of Skaramangka Shipyard, with an extra judicial invitation they sent to the management of the company, ask for the immediate opening the shipyard. The pending obligations to the employees – that are not covered for about 18 months now – will be paid when the payments by the Greek state start.

The only hope is the People’s alliance and the release from the EU, said the General Secretary of the Greek Communist Party, Demetris Koutsoumpas, during the protest march organized by PAME Worker’s Front in Omonoia, and called the class movement to join with the trade unions.

The Nobel laureate Proffessor, Christoforos Pissarides, exerted strong criticism- in an interview published at the European informative publication, “Europolitique”- of the existing fiscal policy in Eurozone, which as he said, is affecting the countries of Southern Europe.

Ert news

The events of solidarity to ERT’s employees continue on a daily basis, at ERT’s premises. Tonight there is a screening of the movie of Julian Eisnembal, “before nightfall” with Javier Bardem and Sean Penn. The film describes the dramatic story of the Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.4)

News in English 4-10-13

“Golden Dawn” news – Antifascist rally’s.

In specially adjusted prison cells in women’s prisons of Korydallos are held since yesterday the leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, the deputy leader, Christos Pappas, and the MP of the party, Giannis Lagos. The deputy sergeant, Veta Popori, has been transferred to women’s prisons of Elaionas, while the branch leader of Nikaia, Giorgos Patelis, to Malandrino prison where Giorgos Roupakias is already held in custody.

Files concerning the Golden Dawn MPs awaiting trial are being sent to the Parliament by the Supreme Court prosecutors in order to initiate procedures regarding other crimes for which they are being accused and which involve felonies, they were not caught committing. These are offences such as illegal arms possession on which the Special Permanent Committee on Parliamentary Ethics will have to rule as such cases will require the lifting of parliamentary immunity.

To the fifth investigating Magistrate of Piraeus were presented today, two out of the four people that have been identified by members of the Communist Party of Greece and the Trade Union of Metal, as the assailants of the attack with crowbars and rafters in Perama, on September 12.Both of them took time to submit their confession in the presence of their lawyers on October 15.  In the same case, two more people are involved, among which, the leader of the Perama branch of Golden Dawn, who surrendered to the authorities yesterday. The fourth person has not yet appeared to the court. If he does not come voluntarily an arrest warrant will be issued against him, since a notice to appear before the magistrate to submit his confession has already been handed to him.

This morning, the retiree army officer, who is alleged to have a key role in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, surrendered. According to information, from the records of telephone communications it is indicated that the retired officer has spoken to Roupakias 12 minutes before and three minutes after the murder. The wife and mother in law of Giorgos Roupakias submit their confessions to the magistrate today.

Yesterday the Minister of Justice, Haralambos Athanasiou, has heralded the tabling before parliament of the anti-racist legislation by mid-month in an effort to reconcile the proposals that the parties will submit.

The former Minister of Justice, Antonis Roupakiotis, stated in an interview on “Skai” Tv, that circles from within the Government and Maximou have frozen the anti-racist bill last year in order to bring golden Dawn’s voters back to Nea Dimokratia”. Mr Roupakiotis added that the government rushed to exploit politically the case of Golden Dawn. The blood of the unfortunate Pakistani immigrant drowned into oblivion, but society reacted when a Greek was murdered.

“We crushed the neo-nazis”, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a speech in New York. He added: “To fight extremism you must make sure that you do not go to extremes yourself”.

Meanwhile, a political row has broken out after the Prime Minister’s recent statements in which he presents the opposition as the opposite extreme of Golden Dawn. SYRIZA speaks of an effort to divide the Greek people. The Communist Party of Greece calls it a bundling of communism with the far right, while the Democratic Left notes that the government’s contradictions are not helping.

The Movement against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA) is organising a two-day long antifascist event. On Sunday, the 6th of October, a protest march is scheduled to be held in Keratsini, in memory of Pavlos Fyssas, who was murdered by members of Golden Dawn.
The Movement’s positions on recent developments are as follows: The release of the heads of the neo-Nazi attack battalions of the Golden Dawn is a move driven by the New Democracy government. The hypocrisy became apparent with the Prime Minister’s cries and those of his ministers, for the crushing of the neo-Nazis under the constitutional arc, and with his party’s command. In order to save the mechanisms that promoted the display of power against the Left and the trade unions, together with its racist policies, Samaras’ government opened the doors of its jails and released neo-Nazi criminals. On the other hand, fighters for freedom and human rights can be detained for up to eighteen months, without having been charged or accused of any crimes at all.

Antifascist gathering will be held today afternoon at 6 p.m. in Agia Paraskevi Square. At 8.30 pm, antifascist concert will take place in Peristeri, in the Metro Station square. Antifascist gathering will be held on Saturday at 12 noon in Thiseio, Athens. A solidarity march in support of the squats will be held tomorrow at the same time, in Thessaloniki and at 6pm a protest gathering is scheduled to be held in Agios Nikolaos square of Volos. The three-day festival in solidarity of “Parartima Squat” is ongoing in Patras. The antifascist documentary, “Stories for extremists”, will be screened in Keratsini tomorrow at 8 pm in the framework of promoting the call of the antifascist march organised for the 11 of October.

A three-day Anti-racist festival will be held in Arta, starting today, until Sunday, October 6. The festival will be held in the summer cinema Orpheus, with free entrance and main moto “Because we want to sing freely”. Music Bands and Artists from Arta will participate in  the festival that is organized by the Friends of Music Society “Avlos”.

Other news

Greece has been sentenced by the European Court of Human rights, for the dismissal of an HIV carrier employee, which the Greek courts had accepted as legitimate. In 2005 the HIV positive woman, revealed to her colleagues that she was carrying the virus, and they demanded her dismissal. The employer succumbed to the pressure and his claims were accepted by the Court of Appeals and the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court. The employee appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which judged the decision of Greek courts contrary to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, and sentenced our country to pay a compensation of 14,430 euro to the woman, for moral and material damage.

Unrest continues in education with university officials reacting strongly to the redundancies of administrative employees in institutions of higher learning. At the same time, a barrage of lawsuits is expected by secondary education teachers who have been made redundant in the wake of favourable court rulings for their colleagues. Many schools remain occupied by students and reactions are growing against internships in businesses.

Nine Syriza MPs denounce the dissolution of Universities through the availability measure, applied on their administrative employees, in a relevant question submitted to the Ministers of Education and Administrative Reform, Konstaninos Arvanitopoulos and Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Speaking on ERT, the former Minister of Administrative Reform Antonis Manitakis referred to the redundancy measures in the public sector. Mr Manitakis characterised the abolition of civil servant posts as illegal. His assessment was that those seeking legal recourse will be vindicated in court and he foresaw an institutional dead-end. In fact, he described the decision as paranoid since it has no restructuring characteristics and offers absolutely no fiscal gain whatsoever.

A significant response from press and internet media was caused yesterday when it was noted in an article in a legislative bill by the Ministry of Administrative Reform that it is left to the discretion of each author of a legislative act whether or not it will be posted to the government site ‘Diavgeia’ in order to gain legal effect.
In a statement issued yesterday the ministry categorically denied this fact, but was forced to admit that the article’s wording was open to interpretation. The statement mentions that the relevant provision (Article 20, paragraph 4) that caused so much discussion will be rewritten “in order to dispel any misinterpretation that is in good, or ill, faith”.

500.000 of Property tax notes for 2013 have sent the General Secretariat of Public Revenue. Recipients are owners with property assessed value over 200.000 euros. The Property Tax of 2013 will be paid in four monthly instalments and the first one will have to be paid until October 30.

The Ministry of Administrative Reform is finally withdrawing its ordinance imposing a 1,000 euro fine for not issuing receipts or for issuing them improperly. Ministry of Finance officials had pleaded ignorance concerning the ordinance in question which foresaw the imposition of an on-the-spot fine of 1,000 euros by the taxation service or the police.

The Ministry of Labour gave Sprider Stores until Monday to present a payment timetable for their redundant employees’ accrued wages and compensation. The criteria to qualify for unemployment benefits, is changing from 1 January 2014. The total unemployment allowance days within a 4 year period, will be reduced from 450 to 400 days. According to sources in the Ministry of Labour, this is the implementation of Article 11 of the Law 3986 of 2011 that restricts the cumulative amount of unemployment allowances within four years. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night in Crete, the Heraklion branch of Sprider Stores was “looted” when the company attempted to remove products from the store using security guards. When they were stopped at a road block in the area of Messara and their car was searched, the sacks they were carrying which supposedly contained olives were found to contain hidden merchandise from the Sprider Stores shop with anti-theft security tags still attached. The private security company’s employees were arrested.

Defence industry workers in the Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS) the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ALVO) and the LARCO mining company are also in dire straits given that the government must come up with another 1,000 layoffs by the end of the year. Visiting the defence systems at Egio the leader of the Independent Greeks Pavlos Kammenos said: The handling of the closure of the factory in Egio, and of the Hellenic Defence Systems overall, is not a policy with which we simply disagree. It is a criminal act that is punishable on the basis of the constitution and the laws of the Greek state and we as Independent Greeks will pursue legal action.

Employees of the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) have submitted an appeal to the Council of State requesting cancellation of the transfer of the Hellenic Company for Rolling Stock Maintenance ROSCO to the TAIPED fund for privatisation. The rail workers maintain that the change in ROSCO’s ownership would raise safety issues for the network. They also point out such an action is contrary to national and European legislation.

A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights appears to open the way for claims by Greek nationals on properties seized by the Turkish state. The court unanimously ruled that Turkey should pay damages to the Fokas brothers worth 5 million euros, plus 3% interest for late payment and 15,000 euros for costs and expenses. The case of the Fokas brothers began in 1991 in Istanbul and in 2000 the property they were to inherit was taken over by the Turkish state under a 1964 decree.

Greece may need a new aid package, as it is clear that they will not return to the markets in 2014″ stated the head of the European Support Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regklingk. In an interview with the German Handelsblatt, he stated that countries that receive support from the mechanism, including Greece, have recorded progress. “Greece started from the most difficult position compared to all other states, and up until now has applied the majority of reforms. “It is quite clear that Greece, will not be able to refinance through the markets with its own bonds, in the next year” and continued, “to this degree, an additional aid package will be probably necessary” explaining that such a decision will be taken by the Finance Ministers of Eurozone”, he added.

No garbage is collected since 3 days now in the Municipality of Hleia, due to the prohibition of use of the Area of Uncontrolled Waste Disposal of Konideika.

Ert news

President and Managing Director of NERIT, was appointed the professor at the National Technical University of Athens, Georgios Prokopakis.
Members of the board of Directors of NERIT S.A., have been appointed, Katerina Evangelakou, Theodoros Karounos, Nikolaos Xanthoulis and Konstantinos Polyzogopoulos, who will cover the position of legal advisor. The president of the Supervisory Board of NERIT, Theodoros Fortsakis, stated: “we had more than 130 remarkable nominations to choose from, for covering the positions of the Board of Directors, and we finally chose based on the criteria set by the law in these independent nominations, in order to reorganize the public television”. Immediately after the announcement of the names, the Supervisory Board held its first meeting with the new president and board members.

The government is proceeding to totally wipe clean the slate of 23 years of corruption in the television industry with the comprehensive bill submitted to parliament by the Ministry of the Interior. The tv station operating licenses are abolished in six lines contained in article 43. Under the pretext of granting digital frequencies to network providers, the private television stations that were broadcasting on the 31st of August 2013 were re-baptised as “legal” channels that could henceforth sign legal contracts with the network providers for the digital broadcast of their signal. In this manner the government is navigating past the obstacles of Council of State decisions which ruled that the prolonged extension of temporary legality is unconstitutional.

ERT’s employees continue their dynamic mobilization and invite us today at 9pm at the cinema of ERT’s premises, to watch the screening of the award winning animated film “Persepolis” by  Vincent Paronnaud and  Marjane Satrapi. From Iran, with the start of Islamic Revolution, starts the bizarre adventure, the coming of age of young and fearless Marzan, ending up in Paris of today. With self sarcasm, and sharp humour, images from modern Persia come to life, through the audacious, funny and so real story of Marjane Satrapi.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.3)

News in English 3-10-13

“Golden Dawn” news

The General Secretary of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, and the head of the local branch of the organisation of Nikaia Giorgos Patelis, will be transferred to Korydallos prison along with the MP of the party, Giannis Lagos, and the female deputy sergeant who was involved in the case. Their transfer is expected today afternoon.

According to his indictment, Nikos Michaloliakos appears to have absolute leadership, on both the political and the operational sections of Golden Dawn. It is stated, inter alia, that the leader coordinated and knew about the unlawful activities of the organisation, since every one of the attacks, assaults and attempts to cause serious injury, were carefully planned.”

Golden Dawn, characterized the custody of the party’s Secretary General as “unfair and unconstitutional”, claiming that it has been “dictated by foreign centres of power”.

Golden Dawn MP, Christos Pappas, appeared before the investigating magistrate shortly before 1pm. He is the last of the party’s arrested MPs to submit his testimony. The MP, who is charged for integrating and directing a criminal organization, shouted to the reporters that “Golden Dawn will come down to elections again, whenever they will be held”

The judge’s decision to release three out of four Golden Dawn MPs, was met with surprise by the government. According to information, the Minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias, handed his resignation to the Prime Minister, but it was not accepted.

Rapid and massive developments concerning the leadership of Greek Police are estimated to occur. Already, the Inspector General of Police of Southern Greece and the General Police Director of the District of Central Greece have submitted their resignations to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Order.

A woman with a warrant pending for her arrest turned herself in to the Counterterrorism Department this morning. According to information, she is the wife of one of the fugitives allegedly involved in the murder of musician, Pavlos Fyssas.
Mrs Themis Skordeli, who was wanted by the police, for cooperation in criminal activities in the case of Agios Panteleimonas has been arrested.
The 50 year old Themis Skordeli is known as “an indignant resident of Agios Panteleimonas” and is accused of racist attacks against Afghan immigrants. Her trial has been postponed a total of eight times!!!!
Meanwhile, the parliament will begin discussing four anti-racist bills today.

Other news

An appeal to the Council of State has been filed by the rectors of eight universities that are affected by the measure of availability. The rectors claim that by the Joint Ministerial Decision, the self-managing principle of universities has been violated and that the State deprives the institutions from funding necessary for their operation. At the same time, the appeals for temporary suspension of the availability of the administrative employees of Athens University have started to be submitted.

Twenty-two educators from vocational institutions, who were under availability, are returning to their positions temporarily, following the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeals in Athens.

Students are on a protest march in the centre of the Athens protesting against the “New high school law”. The march joined university student unions and administrative employees unions. The University Students Front of Struggle, has called upon massive participation to the mobilization scheduled outside the Ministry of Education at 12 noon, “against the underfunding of high education institutions, the degradation and privatization of basic functions, the layoff of employees and the dissolution of student welfare”

A protest gathering against the privatization of the Water distribution company of Thessaloniki, EYATH, has been organized by “PAME” Workers Front of Greece outside the company’s premises in Syntrivani Square in Thessaloniki. The event is a part of the Internatinal Day of Action of the World Federation of Trade Unions, and the key speaker was the representative of PAME and general secretary of the Federation, Mr. Giorgos Mavriko.

A protest gathering is taking place now in Kannigos Square, organized by the Associasions of employees, at the General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumers, at the General Secretariat of Industry and Energy and at the ministry of Education, against the availability measure and the redundancies at the public sector.

Under occupation is the Directorate of the Regional Unit of Evoia, located in Chalkida. The employees, led by the Labour Centre of Evoia, are protesting for the raise of unemployment at their region which reaches 25% and for the layoffs that multiply fast without even compensations and accruals being given.

Greece’s unemployment rate will rise to 34 percent by 2016 according to a survey by GSEE’s Institute of Labour, published today. It is indicated that from October 2008 until today approximately 1.000.000 jobs have been lost. It is pointed out, that the percentage of 27.4 that has been recorded as unemployment rate last March by the Greek Statistical Authority was the highest percentage to be recorded by a western country in the past 30 years.

The Institute of Labour of The General Federation of Greek Workers, warns that “the continuation of the policy applied by the Greek Government and the troika of foreign lenders, will continue to have “devastating consequences” for the Gross Domestic Product and will further affect employment in the coming years.

The criteria to qualify for unemployment benefits, is changing from 1 January 2014.The total unemployment allowance days within a 4 year period, will be reduced from 450 to 400 days. According to sources in the Ministry of Labour, this is the implementation of Article 11 of the Law 3986 of 2011 that restricts the cumulative amount of unemployment allowances within four years.

The first notice letter, to settle their debts is being sent to debtors of the Social Security Fund (IKA). All employers that will not come to settle their debts will face coercive measures for debts’ collection (for example, foreclosure auctions etc.) 6000-7000 notices will be posted to active businesses. An overall of about 300.000 businesses are indebted to the Social insurance and welfare funds, IKA, but so far the participation to the new settlement does not leave much room for optimism. Based on a circular of IKA, since Tuesday, all pending debts of the fund have been transferred to the newly founded centre of Collection of Arrears, (KEAO).

Greece’s biggest lenders, National Bank of Greece and Piraeus plan to put their troubled loans into separate “bad banks” in order to restore consumers’ confidence in the rest of their business, the banks’ executives told Reuters. National Bank of Greece (NBG) deputy chief executive, Petros Christodoulou, said he was also talking to private investors about a joint venture that would involve them taking on a minority stake in some small and mid-sized business loans.

The President of European Socialists in the European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda, characterizes the economic and social situation in Greece as “unacceptable and unviable”, highlighting the very high youth unemployment rate, now over 60%. In the same statement, after the meeting he had with the president of SYRIZA in Brussels, he expressed his deep concern about the “rising neo-Nazi extremism and violence in Greece, which led to the murder of Pavlos Fyssas by members of Golden Dawn”. Mr. Swoboda welcomed the “appropriate and strong response” of the Greek Government on the issue of Golden Dawn” noting that “we must ensure that the same level of control will be maintained in the future. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Tsipras that neo-Nazi extremists and violence in Greece and Europe can only be combated by the unity of all democratic forces”, said Mr Swoboda.

Alexis Tsipras requested a European Conference and “debt haircut” in Brussels. The President of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, during his two-day trip in Brussels, had the opportunity to present the positions of his party on the ways of solving the problem of the country’s debt, within the European framework. Mr. Tsipras reiterated to his interlocutors the firm position of his party for convening a European Conference on the public debt, i.e. of an urgent Summit, where the 28 will decide on the reduction of Greek debt to the bailout mechanisms, on a moratorium of rates’ payment and on the interconnection of the fiscal efforts with development.

ERT news

ERT3 participates with four productions in the 6th Annual Greek Film-Festival which will be held in London from 7th to 17th of October.
The organizing committee have chosen ERT3’s documentaries to participate in the competition part of the festival.

The solidarity events in support of ERT’s employees continue in ERT’s premises. Today, Elina Skaprathioti, will be with us in a concert with songs of nueva canción, titled “Be a song cry “. Roman and Demian Gomez from Buenos Aires will accompany her on guitar and percussion.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.2)

News in English 2-10-13

“Golden Dawn” news

Released under restrictive conditions are the members of Golden Dawn, Elias Kassidiaris, Elias Panagiotaros and Nickos Michos. Giannis Lagos has been remanded to custody. The cameras of several news organisations have recorded the attack of Elias Kassidiaris against a camera operator, at the time of his departure from the Court premises. Specifically, he attacked the Reuters’ television crew, and kicked a photographer. Only Yiannis Lagos was remanded to custody by unanimous decision of prosecutors and magistrates as it appears significant evidence against him exists. More specifically, Ilias Kasidiaris was ordered not to leave the country and was granted bail of 50,000 euros. Mihos and Panayiotaros were only ordered not to leave the country

Golden Dawn MPs Kasidiaris, Panayiotaros, Lagos and Mihos were taken to the Evelpidon courts yesterday to enter pleas before magistrates handling the case of their participation in a criminal organisation. A leadership role is being attributed to all four. Two of the Golden Dawn regional members who submitted pleas to the magistrate were released on bail earlier.

The General Secretary of the neo-Nazi party, Nikos Michaloliakos, is submitting his confession to the investigating magistrate today, while Christos Pappas, the party’s spokesman, will submit his confession tomorrow

Very serious questions are posed by the disclosure of the identity of the witness who testified under protection in the case of Golden Dawn. On behalf of the authorities, it is stated that the document with the personal data of the protected witness, was accidentally included in the case file that was distributed to about 50 lawyers.

Meanwhile, a deputy director officer of Greek police, who was the former commander of the police station of Agios Panteleimonas, was arrested, charged with collaborating with Golden Dawn. He already has been suspended and an official investigation has been ordered.

Moreover, the police officer part of Greek Police, charged for illegal gun possession and trafficking of arms, alleged to be a supporter of Golden Dawn, will be tried today to the Flagrant Misdemeanor Court of Thessaloniki

The President of SYRIZA highlighted the need of reconstruction and democratization of Greek Police, in a statement after the meeting he had today with Unions and Federations of Police Force.

News of the three Golden Dawn MPs being released under restrictive terms following their depositions made headlines around the world. Reuters mentions a surprise decision complicating the government’s efforts to suppress the party after one of its supporters stabbed an antifascist rapper to death.

“We crush extremism. As a government we have the political will, always respecting the Constitution and laws. The leadership of Golden Dawn, has been jailed”, said Antonis Samaras at an event he attended at the Petersen Institute. The Jewish council was the first stop of A. Samaras when he reached the United States, and from which he elicited congratulations for his stance towards the Golden Dawn.

The MP of SYRIZA, mr. Demetris Papadimoulis in a post on his Twitter, wondered on the release of Golden Dawn members: “If they were to be released/set free, what was all the show with the handcuffs about?”

Revealing about what really happen in the narrow environment of the Prime Minister prove to be the statements of Failos Kranidiotis, who is a member of the Political Committee of New Democracy party and is considered a personal friend and advisor of Antonis Samaras.
In his statements mr. Kranidiotis, says inter alia: “I do not belch patriots, not revile nationalists. I save up my “bullets” for the real opponent which is the rabble of Syriza and anti-authoritarians. I don’t curse, because I address to the base of Golden Dawn and because I claim, and I am a Nationalist.”

The lawyer Pavlos Sarakis, member of “Nea Dimokratia”, who has undertaken the defence of the MP of Golden Dawn, Elias Kassidiaris, has been deleted from the register of members of the party. As stated in the announcement of New Democracy, mr. Sarakis, is deleted for “unethical and anti-party, behaviour”

Theodoros Margarites, member of the party of DIMAR, states in an interview “we will vote for the amendment relating to the funding of Golden Dawn and the payment of its MPs, and we will vote for any legislation that prevents us from having snap elections, caused by abusive/improper resignations of MPs”.

Other news

The Federation of Secondary education Servants is holding a Panhellenic work stoppage today, from 11am to 2pm for day schools and 2pm to 5pm for evening schools.

The Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital employees has appealed to the Council of State asking for annulment of the Ministerial Decrees, which are shrinking the Public Health System. According to the Federation, with the specific decision of Adonis Georgiades, 8 hospitals of Attica and Thessaloniki have closed, 770 units and thousands of beds and staff have been abolished, organisations have been merged and 1,815 health care workers have been made redundant.

Greece holds the first position among the 28 countries of the European Union, in unemployment rates. Unemployment rose to a new record high of 27.9% in June, leaving almost three in five young people without a job, the Hellenic Statistics Authority (Elstat). The unemployment rate among youth under 25 years of age, reaches a percentage of 61.5

More than 50% of Europeans consider austerity policies implemented since the beginning of the crisis to have failed according to a Gallup poll. In particular, 51% of EU citizens feel the austerity policies that were implemented to revive fiscal results had no result.

As denounced by the Federation of Educators, “the decision of the Minister to proceed to further increase of the number of students in each classroom of high schools, along with the mergers and closure of school units across the country, attempts to create artificial supernumerary teacher positions and push thousands of colleagues to availability and dismissal”.

Ert news

Yesterday’s publications, according to which the special administrator and liquidator of ERT, mr. Gkikas Manalis, was to resign in order to assume the post of CEO of Attica Bank are refuted. According to today’s reports, he will remain in his position, since it was deemed impossible for a new liquidator for ERT to be found, at the time that the so-called Public Television (DT) functions in a very problematic way, and the transition to NERIT is delayed. A significant pressure is raised by the problem of the coverage of Greek Presidency of the European Union, since there is no actual public broadcaster to take over. Among the circles of the government, the possibility of using private companies with relevant experience is being considered, which if it is done will raise serious expense and cost issues, and many legal issues as well.

Solidarity events in support of ERT’s employees in ERT’s premises of Agia Paraskevi, continue. Tonight Giannis LEmpesis, Maria Katinari, and the group “Laiki Strata” are with us, in a performance under the title”: “leave all the fake aside and come to rebetika”.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Oct.1)

News in English 1-10-13

Aiming to end the deadlock created in higher education by the availability measure, University Deans submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education. The Deans suggested Ministry of Education suspend the implementation of the Joint Ministerial Decision to layoff of 1,349 administrative employees of eight universities, and instead, to try to find a mutually acceptable assessment method. Universities are expected to file an appeal to the Council of the State today or tomorrow, requesting the cancellation and suspension of the specific Joint Ministerial Decision.
Last Friday, the prosecutor intervened after a lawsuit was filed by the Minister of Education to the Supreme Court, regarding the closure of universities.

“Golden Dawn” News

The arrested MPs of Golden Dawn, Kassidiaris, Lagos and Panagiotaros, accused for directing a criminal organization, will submit their confessions today. Nikos Michaloliakos, is expected to submit his confession tomorrow, while Christos Pappas – in whose house in Ioannina, a whole arsenal was found, will submit his confession on Thursday

Three police officers charged with illegal possession of ammunition and related items have been suspended, and an official investigation has been ordered.

Following investigations by the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Greek Police, the following items were found and confiscated: a metal knuckle in house of the 29-year old constable serving in Attica, an airgun and 160 metal bullets in the house of the 41-year old police officer serving in Volos; and in the house of a 40-year old police officer serving in Attica, 121 45mm calibre cartridges, 15 – 32 mm cartridges, eight 38 millimeter cartridges, pepper spray cans, four firecrackers and a wooden police rod.
The most recent arrestees to be hauled before prosecution authorities were previously serving as security guards to Golden Dawn MPs.

There are ten more arrest warrants pending. Golden Dawn’s alleged hidden weapons arsenal has not been found yet.

An additional testimony before the 5th examining magistrate of Pireaus, are expected to give nine members of the Greek communist party and the Metal Trade Union from Perama Ship-yard, who were injured in an unprovoked attack against them with crowbars and wooden clubs, during putting up posters

Meanwhile, the legislative amendment regarding suspension of State Funding to parties whose leaders or MPs are charged with, or prosecuted for, criminal activities, has been submitted to the parliament. According to the provisions of the legislation, no direct reference to Golden Dawn will be made, since it will address the issue of proper handling of any party or party members in the future, that are found to have committed crimes. The President of the Parliament made contact with all the political parties, and the legislation will be discussed in parliament after 7 October, when the plenary sessions resume.

A classified report of the National Intelligence Service (EYP) published in the ‘Nea’ daily newspaper describes Golden Dawn MP, Yiannis Lagos, as a person with “multifarious activity in the underworld”. The report mentions countless times that the parliamentary representative of the second Pireas district was detained in police stations of Athens and Thessaloniki. Details contained in the MP’s file include weapons, pimping, extortion, nightclub protection, trafficking of women for prostitution and illegal carrying of arms. According to the article, Intelligence analysts had reported and issued warnings concerning the illegal activity of the Golden Dawn MP since 2012, prior to the party’s election to parliament.

Other News

A new case similar to Skouries of Chalkidiki evolves at the village of Sapes in Rhodopi, since the “Sapes Gold Project”, as the investment project of gold mining is called, emerged in publicity recently. The reaction of the local community is intense and the Mayor of Maronia – Sapes, Elias Ioannakis, refused to attend the relevant meeting held in the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change.

Twenty-three residents of north-eastern Halkidiki and four from Thessaloniki, members of the movement opposed to gold mining in Skouries, “have been given a deadline until next Thursday and Friday to submit unsworn statements to the Thessaloniki security police as suspects of forming a criminal organisation”. The crimes being investigated by the Poligiros misdemeanors prosecutor are those of establishing and joining a criminal organisation, aggravated intentional bodily harm, serial attempted dangerous bodily harm, explosion, construction, supply and possession of explosives, gross damage to foreign property, unprovoked damage to foreign property, disturbing the peace, and illegal possession and use of weapons. It is obvious that the twenty-seven are being dealt with as terrorists, like their fellow protesters who are in jail for the arson attack against the installations of Hellas Gold in Skouries. According to secure information, one of the pre-trial detainees and a pregnant woman are among the twenty-seven.

A forest fire just above Perdiki village in Ikaria Island has been burning since 2am today. Speaking at the morning news briefing of NET, the Mayor, Mr. Stavrinades, said that fire-fighters are struggling to contain the fire, but due to the foggy weather conditions, aeroplanes cannot be of assistance.

A heavy downpour caused serious problems in many areas of Western and Central Greece. In Patras, traffic problems resulted from the heavy rainfall, while many calls were made to the fire department, to pump water from flooded homes and remove fallen trees. Damages to houses, shops and basements have been caused by the torrential rainfall in Agrinio. Many vehicles were stuck on Acheloos’ Bridge, as the heavy rain made the crossing impossible. In Arcadia, damages to the electricity supply network were reported, due to lightning strikes, and the area remained without power for an hour.

President of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, stated during his visit to Perama Shipyard that the Greek Government should terminate the contract and claim damages and compensation through legal appeals, by the company Abu Dhabi Mar, and  should regain the public control of Skaramagas shipyards. Mr. Tsipras highlighted the need for completion of the construction of the submarines, and the preservation of working positions, while he spoke for a crime against the Greek taxpayers, and against the armed forces, since 2.5 billion euros have been already spent for the construction of six submarines with only one delivered so far.

Greece will be called upon to adopt new measures in 2014 to cover missed fiscal objectives. The troika disagrees with the government’s finance officials on the way to achieve the primary surplus target.
The Greek side considers existing policies to be sufficient while the creditors maintain the shortfall must be covered with new fiscal interventions, both as to the scale of revenue and on the health care and insurance fund spending front.

According to the records of pending criminal and disciplinary cases involving public servants, given to publicity by the Ministry of Administrative Reform, public servants who are under disciplinary investigation have reached the 2,113. 226 public servants have been permanently dismissed, due to serious criminal and disciplinary reasons during the period of July 2012 until September 2013

The Federation of Private Educators of Greece – OIELE – state in their announcement, that fascist violence is punished, but wonders when the memoranda violence will be punished as well.

The Federation of Public Educators of Greece is holding a nationwide work stoppage on Wednesday, from 11am to 2pm for day schools, and from 2pm to 4pm for night schools. The Federation is also calling for a protest gathering in Athens and other cities, under their local union’s initiative. Tomorrow at 6 pm teachers who are under the “availability” measure have scheduled an assembly at the 6th vocational high school of Athens, convened by their coordinator body.

All of the “Sprider Store” outlets are closed as of today.
According to an announcement, the main reason for the closure was the intransigence, and refusal of the banks to continue financing the company. The Federation of Private Sector Employees is asking the Ministry of Labor, to intervene, in order to safeguard the rights of all Sprider Store employees.

Coca-cola 3E closed the department of product distribution of Thessaloniki, and fired 33 employees. According to an announcement issued by the company, the layoffs are due to the fact that there have been changes in the way they distribute their products, which from now on will be transported through external partners. The employees of the company are on a 24 hour strike today.

There is a new round of job redundancies in the Lambrakis press organisation. This time the employees were notified about their layoff via telephone.

Ert News

According to an article published by the daily newspaper TA NEA – the handling of the “ERT – the New Public Television and – NERIT” issue is changing hands. According to the newspaper’s sources, the special liquidator – administrator, Mr. Gikas Manalis, who was appointed by the Ministry of Finance to oversee the discontinued ERT and the transitional Public Broadcaster ‘DT’ is alleged to be resigning according to one scenario, and according to another h is being transferred to take over as CEO of Attica Bank.

The Athens journalists’ union issued a press statement regarding the operation of public television a short while ago:
The construct of Simos Kedikoglou, Pantelis Kapsis and Gika Manali the so-called Public Television (framed by the newly-formed Public Radio) already completes two months of existence as a so-called regular mass medium! The supposed public broadcaster has not yet announced the hiring of any colleagues to either the journalists’ funds or social security.
Any journalist colleagues who caved in and signed a two-month ‘seasonal staff’ contract are working uninsured. Portions of their income are not being withheld. Our insurance funds are not aware of how many, who, and under what conditions are working for ‘Public Television’. The Ministry of Labour, the Hellenic Labour Inspectorate and the administrations of welfare and pension funds are called upon to exercise all their rights since the totality of labour and insurance legislation is being violated, as is being proven in the case of ‘Public Television’ ”.

Meanwhile, the solidarity events in support of ERT’s employees continue at ERT’s yard in Agia Paraskevi. Tonight at 9pm the composer and lyricist Christos Giannopoulos will be with us.

ERA Radio News Bulletin (Sep.30)

News in English 30-9-13

The budget for 2014 includes new taxes worth 1.5 billion euros – with the main burden falling on individuals (salaried workers, retirees, professionals, and personal businesses) – and dramatic spending cuts reaching 2.2 billion euros, in pensions, health care, education and defence. The budget draft will be submitted to parliament on 7 October. Legislation has already been passed for the implementation of these measures but it is possible the troika will request additional measures for the coming year.

New evidence is emerging concerning the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, the anti-fascist rapper stabbed to death in Athens on 18 September. According to the police ballistics report on the 9mm pistol legally owned by Elias Panagiotaros, it was from his gun that “unnecessary shots” were fired, during the funeral of the last junta member serving a life sentence, Nickolaos Dertilis, in January 2013

The father and girlfriend of Pavlos Fyssas offered testimony today at the Pireas courthouse before the 6th examining magistrate. The woman’s testimony is highly significant, because she was present throughout the entire incident and the antifascist activist and musician took his last breath in her arms.

Police are conducting ongoing searches to locate Golden Dawn’s secret weapons arsenal which, according to the prosecutor’s findings is “hidden in an unknown location”. According to press reports, the Counterterrorism Service found two pistols, swastikas and SS helmets in the home of Christos Pappas in Ioannina. His office inside parliament was also searched but the results have not yet been disclosed

Four of the arrested Golden Dawn MPs will submit their pleas tomorrow. Pleas will be submitted by the party boss on Wednesday and by the parliamentary spokesperson on Thursday.

ERT’s police correspondent reports that one of the eight suspects has apparently confessed his involvement in the murder and has revealed the names of his accomplices. Among the arrested is a person claiming to be the driver of the assailant, George Roupakias’ car, contradicting Mr. Roupakias’ statement about events that night. The alleged driver’s presence at the murder scene has been verified, as well as his contact with other key people invlolved in the killing. Also arrested is the so-called ‘henchman,’ George Patelis, who heads Golden Dawn’s local branch in Nikaia, Pireus. G. Patelis is reported to be one of three people who had a verbal argument with Pavlos Fyssas the night he was killed. Among these eight arrestees, is an insurance consultant from the Moschato area, G. Patelis’ wife, who regularly organised lectures containing hate speech at local branches of the party, and the female companion of Mr. Lagos, who was also actively involved in Golden Dawn. There are 10 more arrests pending, for which the prosecutor has issued warrants. The police have stated that after more than 300 telephone conversations have been examined, a new round of about 20 arrests will follow, and are likely to include serving policemen. The Financial Crime department’s report on the financial details and activities of Golden Dawn is being awaited with much interest, and due to be published in the coming days.

Legislation for the suspension of state funding to political parties whose leading members or MPs, have been accused or prosecuted for criminal activities, has been submitted to the parliament, and is being discussed today

In a press conference given today by the Deputy Prime Minister, Vangelis Venizelos clarified that the government is not blackmailed by anyone and that him personally never considered seriously the claims of Golden Dawn’s MPs on their resignation. He stressed out that the Constitution provides with precision what should be done in case of MP’s resignation, so there is no question of elections. He ended up, stating that all the discussion on elections are politically groundless and dangerous, calling upon everyone to see what is happening in Italy with the governmental instability, and how markets react to it.

On the same context, the president of DIMAR, mr. Fotis Kouvelis, speaking at a private television channel, opposed on the announcement of elections due to the developments with the far-right-wing party, saying that “we should not let the Golden Dawn become a factor of the developments”. But he did not rule out the probability of elections within 2013.

During a speech yesterday at the party’s youth festival, SYRIZA president, Alexis Tsipras, noted that the murder of Pavlos Fyssas will go down in history, along with the murder of Petroulas, of Lambrakis, Temponeras and others.” He reminded everyone that the Prime Minister, Mr. Samaras, only a few days earlier, was equating Syriza with Golden Dawn, and complained that neo-Nazis “denounce the “extreme” actions of Left-wing parties, thus pushing them to respond with violence and extremism. Mr. Tsipras called upon the youth to isolate fascism in a democratic and peaceful manner, mainly ideologically and morally.
Government Spokesman, Mr. Simos Kedikoglou, commenting on Mr. Tsipras’ speech, characterised it as “an unacceptable and divisive delirium”.

The ministry of Finance has nominated Konstantinos Maniatopoulos as president of the Hellenic Republic Asset Developement Fund (TAIPED).
Prior to the nomination, Mr. Maniatopoulos was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company of Public Assets.

Employees of the Thessaloniki water company, members of the movement “SOS Water” and SYRIZA party officials disrupted a meeting between the administration and representatives of banks and other commercial representatives. The meeting was scheduled in the context of the upcoming tender for the privatisation of the water company. The meeting was to be held in the offices of the Water supply Company, at Tsimiski Street. However the protesters gathered outside the building with banners and slogans against its privatisation, and a group of them went inside the offices and disrupted the meeting.

The National Federation of Teaching and Research Employees (POSDEP) is calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Joint Ministerial Decree regarding the availability of employees of Universities. They are calling upon all unions of employees in Teaching and Research to join the struggle of university employees, and have scheduled a 48 hour strike for 1-2 October.

Meanwhile, former rectors of the Kapodistrian University have expressed their opposition to the closure of the University of Athens. “No matter how big a blow the University has suffered”, they ask for its immediate reopening.

The Union of Hospital Doctors of Chania, Crete released a statement following the surprise visit of the Minister of Health to the city’s hospital.
“The ‘so-called’ Minister of Health came to visit our Hospital, in silence and pretty much like ‘a thief’, unexpectedly through the back door, and escorted by heavily armed police men,” they said. After only a few minute meeting with the hospital administrator and a few others, he left as quickly as he arrived, apparently fearing the “warm welcome” he would receive from doctors and hospital employees.

Panathinaikos and Olympiakos soccer fans arrested for involvement in a scuffle at Mesologgi have appeared before the prosecutor this afternoon. One person who sustained injuries during the scuffle has been hospitalised in a critical condition.

A support gathering was held outside the Thessaloniki courthouse yesterday morning in solidarity with the people who were arrested during the re-occupation of the Orphanage squat. All were released and the date of their court hearing was set for 16 December. They are accused of disturbing the domestic peace and for contravention of the royal decree against occupation of public property.

The great popular singer Poly Panou was buried at 3 pm at the cemetery of Kokkinos Milos. The public had been paying their last respects since the morning.

Solidarity events in support of ERT’s employees continue at ERT’s premises in Agia Paraskevi. Sakis Tsilikis will be with us tonight, performing songs with his friends and colleagues, in protest against ERT’s ‘black screen’ imposed by the Samaras government. Joining him on stage are Dimitris Psarianos, Vasilis Gisdakis, Kostas Karalis, Alexandra Koniak, Vasilis Panagiotides, Anastasia Malandrenioti, Eleana Finokalioti, and Alkeviades Konstantopoulos. The great percussionists Nikos Touliatos will accompany them along with other distinguished musicians.