News in English 28-9-13
Political developments are unfolding rapidly in Greece, as an extensive operation gains pace throughout the country for the arrest of Golden Dawn members. Fourteen senior party officials have already been arrested. Among them are the leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, and other MPs, Elias Kassidiaris, Giannis Lagos; and Elias Panagiotaros and Elias Mihos who voluntarily turned themselves in.
Amongst the arrested is Giorgos Patelis, who was head of the local Golden Dawn branch in Nikaia, Athens.
A total of 34 arrest warrants have been issued by the Athens public prosecutor of the first instance court. Meanwhile, according to reports, ten felony cases connecting the party to homicides, extortion, and evidence of money laundering are included in the ten-page report drafted by the Supreme Court Prosecutor. In the same report it is noted that the involvement of members of the police should be investigated.
The arrestees are presently in the anti-terrorism unit’s offices on the 12th floor of the Attiki General Police Directorate where they are expected to give statements. After that, possibly, they will be transferred to the forensic department and then, instead of the Evelpidon courts, to the Supreme Court, where the court briefs are located.
Some Members and supporters of Golden Dawn, have gathered since noon, outside the Police Headquarters of Attica, *GADA.
News of the arrest of Golden Dawn members is making headlines around the world. CNN, Reuters, the BBC, and the websites of the New York Times, Hurriyet, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera and Sky News mention the arrest of a far-right political party, charged with founding a criminal organisation.
Mr. Tsipras referring to the probability of re-runs on the regions where golden dawn’s members were elected, pointed out that the Prime minister should not succumb to the blackmail
Fotis Kouvelis, estimates, that the route of early National elections, should not be ruled out, since discussions for new austerity measures with the troika is ongoing
Panos Kammenos, stated that the party of Anexartitoi Ellines, expects for an official update on political level
The Communist party of Greece in their statement, point out that, the interests that spawned, supported, and orientated the action of Golden Dawn, still remain. The people should put the seal on the political developments.
The spokesman of the government, Simos Kedikoglou, denies the possibility of early elections.
A legislative regulatory act will be submitted by the Government to the parliament on Monday, by which, the state funding of parties, whose members or MPs, have been accused or prosecuted for felonies, will be suspended.
The officer responsible for investigating the activities of Golden Dawn, has been expelled, yesterday, from the National Intelligence Agency EYP. He had been conducting investigations via telephone surveillance. His assistant and immediate colleague has been slated for replacement. The reasons for their dismissal are not yet known
The meeting between the Prime Minister and the troika inspectors at the Maximou prime ministerial residence has concluded. Both the government and creditors are required to reach an agreement regarding the loopholes of the bill for the unified tax on real estate, on the initiatives necessary for social security and welfare funds, and the estimates of the State Treasury for «tax compliance». During the meeting, Mr. Samaras briefed the troika representatives on developments concerning the Golden Dawn party. The Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, departed at 2 p.m for a five-day visit to New York and Washington.
15 Neo Nazis, from Sparta, Molaoi and surrounding areas, attacked and beat a 40-year-old man last night in Molaoi, during a demonstration in the city centre, where Golden Dawn leaflets were handed out. The badly injured man is being treated at the local hospital.
Meanwhile, anti-fascist demonstrations are continuing in the Athens area (including protests in Halandri, Petralona, Zografou), and throughout Greece. Anti-fascist assemblies are also convening
The protester who got seriously injured in the eye, during the anti-fascist rally in Keratsini, and had an urgent surgery, has permanently lost 95% of his vision. This is confirmed by diagnostic tests done, at a special ophthalmology centre. His physicians suggest one more surgery for the aesthetic restoration of the eye bulb, so to avoid its complete removal. The injury of the protester was caused, according to eyewitnesses, by a straight shot of a stun grenade, fired by a yet unidentified riot police man, an action that is strictly prohibited.
Clashes among soccer team supporters that occurred last night in the centre of Messologgi, resulted to one man seriously injured. According to the police reports, clashes with stones and wooden sticks occurred among fans of Panathinaikos and Olympiakos teams. Shops were damaged, and the police proceeded to 20 arrests.
The squat at the Orphanage in Thessaloniki has been re-occupied. The squat had been evicted by a police operation on the 2nd of September, 2013.
The 10th consecutive two-day anti-racist festival is held since yesterday in Larisa (Thessalia). The festival is organized by the anti-racist initiative of Larissa, in the central square of the city. Movements, collectives, and citizens that fight united against all forms of racism, send a message of «10 years of disobedience, solidarity and respect to diversity. This is the way that opens when people keep walking»
The Hellenic Police has banned the gathering at Syntagma Square of the army reservists scheduled for Saturday, 28 September. The decision was taken by the General Police Director of Attiki «for reasons of public order and security».
According to reports on several journalist websites, the Greek police deny the complaints filed by the government’s spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, about the attack to his brother’s house by a group of motorcyclists, shortly after the attack at the newspaper Proto Thema. The Greek police states that during the date and time reported by the government spokesman, six people were arrested, by patrolling policemen for suspicious movements.
But there was no scuffle reported, as stated by the government’s spokesman on yesterday’s television interview at ANT1, nor an attack to his brother’s house was recorded.
The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) is reacting to the revelation by European Commissioner Olli Rehn that the troika is negotiating a revision of labour rules concerning mass layoffs. The union points out that the EU finance chief’s statement on mass layoffs proves, that “the country has been surrendered to the creditors”, and that “the government is merely watching the developments”. The confederation also warns that very shortly the unions “will respond in an organised, coordinated and decisive manner to all the provocations, continuing the struggle for the repulsion of memorandum policies”.
The troika representatives will respond to the postponement of the second wave of 12 500 layoffs from the public sector, during their next visit to Greece.
The Council of State has deemed unconstitutional the measure of pre-retirement redundancy for civil servants whose employment contracts fall clearly under the purview of the public sector. The court’s councillors decreed that the redundancy contravenes article 103 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of equality. Additionally, one of the judges ruled that it is also contrary to the constitutional principle of meritocracy. As stated in the decision issued by the Council of State, the dismissal of public sector employees from their service without the prior evaluation of a service board is permitted only on two occasions: the first is dismissal after a court order and the second is withdrawal due to the retirement age limit. The Greek Confederation of Public sector Employees and other unions had appealed for annulment to the Supreme Court.
The focus of the latest meeting between the troika inspectors and the minister of finance focused on the budget, the revenue shortfall and preliminary data for the 2014 budget and the 2014-2017 Medium-Term Framework. According to sources, it appears that the troika and the government are agreeing on a primary surplus for the 2013 state budget of between 400 and 450 million euros.
The Greek music scene is mourning the loss of an authentic popular voice with the passing of Poly Panou, yesterday, at the age of 73. The public will be able to pay their last respects at the chapel of the First Cemetery between 9:30 Monday morning and 3:00 in the afternoon, when the funeral service will be held. Her remains will then be taken for burial in a family tomb at the Kokkinos Milos cemetery.
Zoe Mavroudi’s documentary ‘Ruins: Chronicle of HIV witch-hunt’ will be screened at 8 pm this evening in the courtyard of the ERT headquarters. The program will continue with a discussion between people involved in the making of the film, the public, and ERT employees. The documentary about the criminalization of HIV tells the story of a group of HIV-positive women who were detained by the Greek Police, forcibly tested, charged with a felony, imprisoned, and publicly exposed when their mug shots and personal data were published in the media in the run-up to the 2012 national elections.