Friday, 12 March 2010

President Papoulias in second swearing in
Greek President Karolos Papoulias was scheduled to be sworn in at 11:30 on Friday morning for a second term. The question of his re-election in parliament triggered a general election last autumn, after then-opposition Pasok said it would not vote for him. The conservative government in power at the time needed socialist support to gain a two-thirds majority. The New Athenian wrote extensively about the constitutional question raised by the socialists at the time.

New strike paralyses Greece 
The third one-day strike this year in protest against austerity measures was probably the widest-reaching, with transport, schools, the public sector and even landfills shut down. Anarchists also made their presence felt chiefly in the Athens Polytechnic area, their traditional haunt. Three bank branches and four hotels suffered damage, as well as shops, according to reports.

Scandal file goes missing
A key government file that could shed light on a scandalous land exchange between the last conservative government and Vatopaidi Monastery has gone missing, Kathimerini reports. The file, thought to contain over 1,500 documents, was requested from the agricultural ministry by a parliamentary committee of inquiry now underway into the New Democracy government's economic management. The ministry's general secretary, Yiorgos Kanellopoulos, told Skai television that a now retired civil servant, a Ms. Manteli, took the file home by her own admission, in order to defend herself against charges in the case. The scandal involved the exchange of valuable parcels of public land in Attica and the Halkidike peninsula in northern Greece for land nominally held by Vatopaidi around Lake Vistonida in Thrace, but disputed by farmers in the area.

ECHR ruling boosts Turkish-Cypriots
For many years, Greek-Cypriots have been taking their claims for land compensation to the European Court of Human Rights and winning. The claims concern properties seized by a Turkish invasion in 1974, which continues to occupy more than a third of the island. A new ruling by the court now forces Greek-Cypriots to apply first to a Turkish-Cypriot property commission, the Economist reports. The commission has the power to restore property or award compensation.

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