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The Great Saturday of December

06 December 2014 / 19:12:25  GRReporter
1545 reads

The government is experiencing critical December days, during which it must deal with several important issues, apart from negotiations with the troika. The pressure is high and might have unexpected consequences.

A number of things are happening today in Athens, which one way or another will affect the political situation.

The negotiations with the troika are undoubtedly in the spotlight. The government is expected to find the thread that will drag it out of the memorandum labyrinth.

Another major event on St. Nicholas day is the meeting of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu and the session of the 3rd Supreme Council of cooperation between Greece and Turkey.

Much will depend on the stance of the Turkish side, which is likely to make the atmosphere rather volatile with a request for the conducting of a high profile visit to Thrace by the Turkish Prime Minister accompanied by half of the Turkish government ministers.

The government building is abuzz with preparations for the meeting with the Turkish delegation despite concerns about the course of discussions with the Troika. The odds are that the Turks will put all sticky issues on the table. According to diplomatic sources, the subject of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus will be among them.

Parallel with that, the government is bracing for the anniversary of Alexis Grigoropoulos’ murder. December 6 marks 6 years to the day when policeman Epaminondas Korkoneas shot the boy dead. Events are planned in his memory in the centre of Athens and other cities. Security measures are draconian: around 6000-7000 policemen will take care of security to prevent unrest during the march scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

The atmosphere is already tense because of the hunger strike started by Nikos Romanos, a close friend of Grigoropoulos. The situation is compounded by what happened in the Exarcheia district two days ago. Concern is mounting, despite the measures taken by the Ministry of Justice, which put in place legislative changes concerning prisoners admitted to universities who would like to pursue their undergraduate studies.

It is possible that today the police "cleanse" the upper part of Syntagma Square. Syrian refugees have been on hunger strike there for quite some time.

The battle over the budget has been raging amid this atmosphere for a while, and is expected to peak on Sunday; then the leaders of the political parties will make their speeches and deputies will vote by their names at midnight. On Saturday, the parliament will see the head-to-head between the political parties supporting the government and the opposition.

Extra security measures are planned for the whole day. According to the report of the Athens Police Directorate, motorists will have to avoid Vasilissis Sofias Avenue along its entire length, Vassileos Konstantinou Avenue along its entire length, Mesogeion avenue in the area between Katehaki avenue. and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, and Michalakopoulou St. in its stretch leading to the centre.

Restrictions will be phased in. Traffic police informed that measures would be taken to ease traffic in the broader centre of Athens.

Metro stations Katehaki, Evangelismos, Megaro Mousikis will be closed from 11:00 AM.

Meanwhile it became clear that the Zografou campus server building occupation by an unknown number of people has been causing internet access glitches to members of the university’s medical faculty as well as to physicians from university hospitals.

According to initial information, occupiers broke into the building shortly after 12:30 AM on Friday in protest against the decision of the University Rector, Prof. Theodore Fortsakis, to close certain buildings in view of the expected rallies commemorating Alexis Grigoropoulos’ death. According to the same sources, the police has already been informed because of the seriousness of the event. At the same time, there have been concerns that an eventual heavy-handed intervention could exacerbate tensions.



Tags: Alexis Grigoropoulos anniversary of the death Ahmet Davutoglu visit rallies restrictions
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