Greece is going to hold parliamentary elections on Jan. 25, the country’s Premier Antonis Samaras, announced on Monday.
Samaras’ statement came only few minutes after his Presidential nominee, former EU commissioner Stavros Dimas, failed for the third time to garner the constitutionally mandated parliamentary support to be elected to the post and consequently avert snap general elections.
Only 168 MPs voted for Mr. Dimas, the same result as in the second ballot on Dec.23, in the 300-seat House, 12 short of the 180-vote threshold required.
“The government did everything possible to get a new president elected and a minority of MPs now drags the country to early elections,” the Prime Minister said.”Victory will be ours. The people will not allow their sacrifices to go to waste.”
Stocks and bonds plunged after the government defeat. The country’s main Athens stock market index fell 7 percent while Greek bond yields rose above 9 percent.
“With the will of our people, in a few days the bailout agreements of austerity will be history. The future has started, be hopeful and happy,” said Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition leftist Syriza Party.
Mr. Tsipras has promised to put an end to the belttightening fiscal measures attached to the EU-IMF bail-out loans that have kept Greece afloat since 2010.
Opinion Polls published in two Greek Sunday newspapers gave Syriza a 3 to 4 percentage points lead over Antonis Samaras’ conservative New Democracy party.
Article written by LGR
Italian coast guard inspectors are on board the Norman Atlantic ferry after the completion of the evacuation process.
All the passengers and crew were airlifted from the ship, which was left stranded between Greece and Italy after a fire broke out on board on Sunday morning.
Seven bodies were also recovered on Monday, taking the total death toll in the ferry disaster to seven.
Greek George Doulis was the first of the fatalities to be recovered. The 62-year-old man and his wife, who was injured, had fallen into the water as they tried to reach a lifeboat.
Inspectors are also trying to establish the cause of the discrepancy between the passenger and crew list, which contained the names of 478 people, and the list of those who were rescued, which came to a total of 432 passengers and seamen.
Article written by Kathemerini-BBC News
The Greek government’s presidential nominee, former EU commissioner Stavros Dimas, has failed again to secure the support needed by the members of the country’s legislature in Tuesday’s second round vote.
Mr Dimas received 168 votes out of the 200 required in the 300- seat House, meaning that a third ballot will take place on Dec.29.
The outcome was in line with the conservative-led ruling coalition’s estimates, which at no point expected its candidate to meet the 200 threshold. Moreover, the improved total from the first round, after eight more independent lawmakers backed the former EU Commissioner, has lifted spirits in the government’s camp ahead of the third and final round of voting where the parliamentary majority, according to the Greek constitution, drops to 180 votes.
This result came after Greece’s Premier, Antonis Samaras, proposed, during an unscheduled televised address on Sunday, to include pro-European non-aligned parliamentarians to his Cabinet and hold early elections toward the end of 2015 in return for the election of Mr. Dimas to the Presidential post.
However, Mr. Samaras has to win the backing of 12 other MPs in the third presidential vote in less than a week to attain the total of 180 required. If not, then the parliament must be dissolved and elections called within the next 10 days.
Article written by LGR
Με γκολ του Καρέλη στο 45′ και “κεραυνό” του Χουχούμη στο 85′, ο Παναθηναϊκός επικράτησε εύκολα 2-0 της Κέρκυρας στο “Απόστολος Νικολαϊδης”, σε αναμέτρηση με την οποία ολοκλρώθηκε η 16η αγωνιστική της Σούπερ Λίγκας.
Με τη νίκη της η ομάδα του τριφυλίου ανήλθε στην τρίτη θέση της βαθμολογίας με 5 βαθμούς διαφορά από τον πρώτο ΠΑΟΚ και 4 από τον δεύτερο Ολυμπιακό.
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Στην κορυφή της βαθμολογίας στη Σούπερ Λιγκ επέστρεψε ο ΠΑΟΚ μετά τη νίκη με 2-1 εκτός έδρας επί του Λεβαδειακού.
Τα τέρματα για τον ΠΑΟΚ πέτυχαν οι Τζαβέλλας (12`) και Περέιρα (51`), ενώ ο Λεβαδειακός μείωσε στο 80` με τον Κονέ.
Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι οι δύο ομάδες αγωνίζονταν από το 23` με δέκα παίκτες, λόγω αποβολής των Μάντζιου και Τζαβέλλα με απευθείας κόκκινη κάρτα.
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Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Pavlos Haikalis (pictured) claimed on Friday that someone tried to bribe him to vote in favour of Greece’s ruling two-party coalition Presidential nominee, former EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas, in Wednesday’s first round of presidential elections.
The deputy of the small right-wing party , an actor by trade, told Ant-1 television channel that two weeks ago a person, whose name he has disclosed to the police, well-known in the debt stricken country’s political and financial circles offered him 700,000 euros in cash, a loan repayment, and 2-3 million euros in professional contracts to vote for Mr. Dimas.
Last month another Independent Greeks MP, Stavroula Xoulidou, made a similar claim, saying that someone tried to bribe her to support the government’s presidential candidate.
Article written by LGR
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed its Executive board meeting scheduled on Friday for the approval of the fifth review of Cyprus`s economic programme which would allow the disbursement of the next tranche of its contribution in Cyprus’ bailout of 86 mln euros.
IMF decided to postpone the meeting as a result of a decision made by majority vote yesterday by the House of Representatives to suspend until 30 January 2015 the enforcement of the law on foreclosures of mortgage property.
In response to press requests, a spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund, issued a statement noting that following the suspension of the existing legislation on foreclosure, “critical requirements for the completion of the 5th program review are now no longer met” therefore the IMF Board meeting has therefore been postponed.
“We support the Cypriot authorities in their efforts to progress on their ambitious and far-reaching reform program. We look forward to continued cooperation, and will agree with the authorities on next steps in the period ahead” he added.
The implementation of the foreclosure law was a thorny issue of the Cyprus economic adjustment programme`s fifth review last July. Due to the delay the sixth review was postponed for January 2015.
The sixth tranche amounts to €436 million of which the €86 would be disbursed from the IMF. The European Stability Mechanism approved the disbursement of €350 million on Monday, December 8.
Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said in a written statement issued yesterday that the Parliament`s decision critically undermines the country`s credibility.
Article written by CNA
Την 5η εντός έδρας νίκη του (σε 8 παιχνίδια) πανηγύρισε ο ΠΑΣ Γιάννινα, αυτή τη φορά επί του ΠΑΟΚ με 3-0, στο πλαίσιο της 15ης αγωνιστικής του πρωταθλήματος της Σούπερ Λιγκ.
Ο Λίλα στο 26`, ο Κοροβέσης στο 73` και ο Μανιάς στο 93` ήταν οι σκόρερ της ομάδας του Γιάννη Πετράκη, που υποχρέωσε τους πρωτοπόρους στην 3η εφετινή τους ήττα και 2η διαδοχική εκτός έδρας (προηγήθηκε το 4-2 στη Ξάνθη).
Νίκη της Ξάνθης επί του ΠΑΟ
Με εμφατικό τρόπο η Ξάνθη διατήρησε το απόρθητο της έδρας της (6 νίκες, μία ισοπαλία), επικρατώντας με 4-2 του Παναθηναϊκού, στο παιχνίδι με το οποίο έπεσε η “αυλαία” της 15ης αγωνιστικής του πρωταθλήματος της Σούπερ Λίγκας.
Ο Γούτας στο 3`, ο Βασιλακάκης στο 16`, ο Σολτάνι στο 52` και ο Καπετάνος στο 63` ήταν οι σκόρερ της ακριτικής ομάδας, ενώ για τον Παναθηναϊκό και τα δύο γκολ πέτυχε ο Καρέλης (17`, 65`).
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The Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus has decided to file criminal charges against five former senior officials of the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and the Bank itself as a legal entity in connection with the country`s near financial collapse.
These are former Chairmen of BoC Board of Directors Theodoros Aristodemou, Andreas Eliades, Andreas Artemis, Yiannis Kypri and former Deputy CEO of the Bank, responsible for branches in Greece, Yiannis Pehlivanidis.
In statements to CNA, Attorney General Costas Clerides said that the decision was taken during a meeting held today at the Law Office following the examination of police files regarding the case which suggest that criminal offenses may have been committed.
Clerides also said that the meeting decided who will be prosecuted and what charges will be filed against them.
The Attorney General told CNA that BoC former officials will face charges related to the manipulation of the price of BoC shares and misleading statements on the capital adequacy of the Bank.
“The next step is to write the official indictments to be registered in the Court and then they will be handed to 5 persons to appear before the Assize Court at a date to be set by the court,” he explained.
He noted that this is expected to be done on Friday or Monday.
The Attorney General said that investigations, related to the case of the former Laiki Bank, are underway with regard to similar offenses and are “at an advanced stage.”
Article written by CNA
The government garnered 160 votes in the first round of crucial presidential elections on Wednesday, performing slightly worse than anticipated and increasing speculation about snap polls.
In addition to the 155 coalition MPs, five independents backed the government’s candidate, former European commissioner Stavros Dimas. Another 135 voted “present” while five were absent. The result was far short of the 200 votes required in the first round, a target that the government is also certain to miss in next week’s second round. However, ahead of the critical third vote on December 29 when the threshold drops to 180, the government had hoped to gain between 161 and 165 in the first round in a bid to build momentum for the votes to come.
There were some surprises, including the decision by independent Panayiotis Melas to vote “present” rather than backing Dimas (Melas later suggested he might change his stance in the coming votes). Also two former MPs of neofascist Golden Dawn, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos and Stathis Boukouras, who was released from prison earlier on Wednesday, did not turn up for the vote.
Meanwhile seven Golden Dawn lawmakers were granted day release from Korydallos Prison to attend the vote. They were subdued for the most part despite fears of upheaval.
As the government ramps up efforts to win round undecided MPs, sources suggested that an initiative by five independents and three Democratic Left MPs aimed at securing a cross-party consensus for president and setting elections later next year could gain extra backing in the coming days.
“The fearmongering of the last few days failed,” said Alexis Tsipras as he left Parliament. “The strategy of fear has collapsed. Tomorrow will be a new day because democracy cannot be blackmailed. The people and democracy will provide the way out.”
SYRIZA sources said that the opposition party feels Wednesday’s result fell below the government’s expectations and now makes it very difficult for a president to be elected by the current government. SYRIZA had estimated that a maximum of 163 MPs would back Dimas in the first round.
The opposition party believes that the government has secured the backing of several more independent MPs who did not show their cards on Wednesday. It believes that these lawmakers might support Dimas in the next vote to give the impression that there is some momentum behind his candidacy.
Ahead of the vote, Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with his MPs and suggested that the government would be open to suggestions that might help reach a compromise with the opposition so a president could be elected. He suggested, for instance, providing SYRIZA with representation on a Greek team to negotiate with the troika.
“We advance to the third round while waiting for a response from opposition parties to an approach that would link the presidential election to the national negotiation team,” he said. “Then we would be open to discussing all options because what we are concerned about is the national interest.”
Article written by ekathemerini