Greece under EU protectorate ? (from freeinternetpress)
Debt-ridden Greece has come under increased pressure to implement tough austerity measures after the European Union announced plans to closely monitor the country's efforts to cut its enormous budget deficit. The new wave of belt-tightening could spark more protests by workers. Pressure on Greece to get its public finances into shape increased Wednesday as the European Union announced unusually strict measures against the country. The European Commission, the E.U.'s executive body, is to put Greece under closer monitoring than any euro-zone country has ever been subjected to and also criticized Athens for faulty reporting of statistics. Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, European Economy Commissioner Joaquin Almunia welcomed Greece's new plan to reduce its enormous budget deficit. On Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a package of austerity measures that includes a freeze on salaries in the public sector, a possible increase in the retirement age and a hike in fuel prices. Almunia said that the Commission was endorsing the program, which he described as "ambitious" but "achievable." "We know that the implementation of the program will not be easy," he told reporters. "It's extremely challenging, but absolutely necessary and urgent." However, the E.U. wants Greece to do even more and is urging it to adopt a "comprehensive structural reform package" that would include cuts in pension spending and reform of the health-care system. The Commission also wants Greece to increase the competitiveness of its economy by making its labor market more flexible, among other demands.
Greek President Papoulias wins second term (from Focus Information Agency)
Greek President Karolos Papoulias has been re-elected for a second term, as both main parties backed him for the sake of political stability, the BBC reports. The 80-year-old won 266 votes in the 300-seat parliament, with support from both ruling socialists and opposition conservatives. Failure to reach agreement would have forced a parliamentary election. Mr Papoulias urged his country to unite to overcome the debt crisis putting it under huge international pressure. "A fair, strong and efficient state can overcome the current situation and open better avenues for Greece," he said. The president's role in Greece is largely ceremonial, with limited powers.
Third week of Farmers’ protests - Incidents at the Greek-Bulgarian Border (from Indymedia)
Despite the European Commission threatens for using european court's laws against them, the farmers under none syndicalistic leadership still keep strong their blockades on highways, side-roads and toll station borders, so the running products of the capitalistic system cannot be transfered from a place to another. Today they also blocked Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki. As they state, during this year's fights, they do not solidarise under the colour of a political flag, but only the colour of the ground connects them. As further as they decide on their own about their fight, as stronger becomes the blackmail against them from mass media and strong elitarian economical circles. (For more news, see Novinite)
Resistance against EU highway project at Peranthi's Hill (from Indymedia)
People keep their fights against the government's plans to build up a highway close to Peranthi's Hill which will destroy the National Nature Park of Amvrakikos Bay. This fight against the european development's plans, comes next to other fights against green or gray development's plans which want to destroy nature, such as Acheloos river and Naxos island.
First day of Mylanos kidnapping trial (from Indymedia and Ekathimerini)
It was the first day of the trial about the kidnapping of Thessaloniki industrialist Giorgos Mylonas. The industrialist stated that he recognizes Polys Georgiadis as responsible, because of his voice and body type. Some police-men tried to block students of journalism from entering the court, action that is against the greek constitution. The wife of Mylonas stated that she doesn't recognize Polys Georgiadis or Vaggelis Chrysochoidis as the persons who took the money or used to keep in phone communication with her during the kidnapping. There are altogether 11 people accused of implication in Mylonas' kidnapping in June 2008. The defendants charged with the abduction of the 50-year-old entrepreneur include Vassilis Palaeokostas, the legendary social bandit who has been on the run since he escaped from Korydallos Prison in February. Mylonas was held for 15 days by his kidnappers, who freed him after receiving an 11-million-euro ransom from his family.
Factory occupation in Volos (from Indymedia)
Workers of KANAKIS factory in Volos town occupied the building. The owner company of the factory said it's bankrupt and the workers are unpaid since seven or even ten months now. The workers enforce pressure to PAME (official syndicate of parliament communist party) for radical actions. Today, the workers' assembly decided for a demonstration on 9th February against the bankruptcies, redundancies and poverty that comes from the European Stability Programm, which is designed by the greek "socialistic" government and the bloodthirsty crows of Brussels. Outparliamentary political organisations get in contact with the workers, so they can kick away all the official and legal syndicalistic leaders, who betray any workers' fights.
Jailhouse revolt at Diavata (from Indymedia)
A serious rise up took place at Diavata jailhouse today. The imprisoners revolted, after the authorities' decision to expell a kurdish prisoner with greek passport to a russian jailhouse. The trial of him is planned for 24th February, he has the right for political asylum in Greece but despite all these facts the authorities decided to transfer him today to Korydallos jailhouse in order to be expelled to Russia. The other prisoners rised up before the transfer and a prosecutor gave orders to special police forces to enter the prison and attack. Fifteen prisoners after the police attack got injured, some of them seriously, and the jail authorities deny their hospitalisation. Unrest also in Trikala and Amfissa jailhouses in solidarity with the Kurd and the prisoners of Diavata.
Solidarity with Alfredo & Christos - Anarchists took the street in Berlin (from Indymedia)
German anarchists paid a short visit to the Greek consulate in Berlin, located at the Wittenberg square. With a banner reading in both Greek and German „The passion for freedom is stronger than any prison – Freedom to Alfredo Bonanno and Christos Stratigopoulos“ they raised attention on the situation of the two comrades imprisoned in Greece and and delivered to the Greek consul a statement which reads as follows: "We wish to denounce the abusive and illegal detention of Alfredo Maria Bonanno in unacceptable conditions in the prison of Koridallos (Athens). The vindictive politics of the State is aimed at the physical and psychological annihilation of the 73-year old comrade who is facing serious health problems. Alfredo Bonanno is an anarchist, who has been involved in the movement for decades, militant in the resistance against the dictatorship of the Greek colonels (1967-1974), and writer and editor of many works. We demand the immediate liberation of Alfredo Maria Bonanno. Solidarity initiative to Alfredo M. Bonanno". (For more news, see 325.nostate.net )
The new adress of the two prisoners is:
DIKASTIKES FILAKES KORYDALLOS