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International Court of Justice Ruling on Distomo Case

In an announcement, issued on February 3, concerning an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling upholding Germany’s position, that it enjoys state immunity from being sued in foreign courts by victims of Nazi atrocities during World War II, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the Greek government will study this Judgement closely, in the light of its firm and longstanding position that the matter of German compensations remains open.
The judgement affects the case of the south-central Greek village of Distomo, where Nazi troops killed 214 civilians on June 10, 1944, one of the numerous instances of WWII atrocities in occupied Greece. The court case concerned the confiscation of German property on Italian soil for reparations to be paid to victims of Distomo.

  • MPs Raise War Reparations Issue

Meanwhile, in Athens, 28 MPs from PASOK, New Democracy (ND), Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) as well as independent deputies tabled a motion in Parliament requesting a discussion on issues concerning the so-called German occupation loan from Greece during WWII, as well as the issue of war reparations to victims of Nazi atrocities and stolen treasures from the country.
In a letter addressed to the presidents of competent parliamentary committees, the MPs called on Parliament to adopt a clear stance on this “crucial national issue.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Papoulias re-elected President of the Republic

 Parliament on Wednesday re-elected the uncontested incumbent President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to a second term in Greece’s highest office, with an overwhelming majority of 266 votes in the 300-member House among the 298 MPs in attendance, while 32 MPs simply declared their presence.
Papoulias was re-elected with the votes of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), main opposition New Democracy (ND) and smaller opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties’ MPs in a roll-call vote during a special session of the unicameral parliament.
 The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) MPs did not vote for the incumbent, but simply declared themselves present when called.
Papoulias is the sixth President of the Republic since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974, following Mihalis Stasinopoulos, Constantine Tsatsos, Constantine Karamanlis, Christos Sartzetakis and Costis Stephanopoulos.
 He will be sworn in for his second term on Friday, March 12 at noon.(Πηγή: ANA-MPA)

Greece’s New Parliament Sworn in

Greece's new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House. (ANA-MPA/Aliki Eleftheriou)

Greece's new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House. (ANA-MPA/Aliki Eleftheriou)

(ANA)  Greece’s new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House.  The swearing-in took place after the traditional blessing, officiated by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.  “I swear in the name of the Holy Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to keep faith in my Country and in the democratic form of government, obedience to the Constitution and the laws and to discharge conscientiously my duties,” the MPs pledged, with the exception of PASOK MPs Nikos Sifounakis, Maria Damanaki, Spyros Kouvelis and Maya Tsokli, and the MPs of the two Left parties, while the two Muslim deputies elected on the main opposition PASOK party’s tickets in Xanthi and Rodopi took a similar oath with their hand on the Koran.  The MPs of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), with the exception Liana Kanelli, did not take a religious oath, while the MPs of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) did not attend the religious party of the ceremony.  The KKE and SYRIZA parliamentary groups submitted letters to the parliament presidium endorsing a political oath instead of the religious oath, which is set out in the Greek constitution.  Ruling PASOK holds 160 seats in the new parliament, followed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) with 91 seats, the KKE with 21 seats, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 15 seats, and SYRIZA with 13 seats.

Greece: Parliament’s Disolution Ahead o the Elections

karapapoulias1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias received yesterday (September 3) the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis at the Presidential Mansion.  Karamanlis formally requested the President’s approval to dissolve the parliament on Monday. The decision to call early elections on October 4 “was made to serve the nation’s interest,” Karamanlis said following talks with Papoulias who gave his consent adding that decisions of such kind belong to the Prime Minister and should point to the people’s best interest.  The Prime Minister stressed that the reasons for this decision are strictly linked to the challenge of dealing with the global economic slump and its ramifications on the Greek economy. “The following two years are decisive for the Greek economy and especially 2010,” the premier concluded.  After the meeting, Karamanlis chaired an Inner Cabinet meeting and asked his ministers to resign. Official pre-election period opens on Monday September 7, in view of October 4 parliamentary elections.   Kathimerini Daily: PM appeals to voters as date set for elections; Secretariat General of Information – About Greece: Political System and Elections in Greece 

Euro – Elections Campaign in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The campaign for the upcoming elections for the European Parliament –which in Greece take place on June 7- is official underway with the announcement yesterday (17.5), by their respective leaders, of ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK parties’ candidates lists.  ND’s party list is headed by former education minister Marietta Giannakou while PASOK’s list is headed by its current spokesman, George Papaconstantinou.   Unveiling his party’s candidates, Karamanlis stressed that ND’s nominees constitute a strong and renewed team, capable of defending both national positions and EU principles. During the previous week, the Greek Communist Party (KKE), the Coalition of Radical Left(SYRIZA), the People’s Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the Ecologists-Greens and Action party(DRASSI) had unveiled their respective candidates list.  Meanwhile, the office of the European Parliament in Athens is inaugurating on May 21 the “Citizens Euro-Parliament,” a multi-media kiosk where citizens from the 27 member states of the EU can express their views and expectations by sending a recorded a video-message to the EU’s decision-making bodies.