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Thessaloniki Fair opened today

08 September 2012 / 17:09:36  GRReporter
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Today, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras opened the 77th Thessaloniki International Fair. His visit to the city lasted less than three hours. After the ceremony he addressed with a congratulatory speech a limited audience. There was a brief meeting with the managements of the institutions - the International Fair, Helexpo and the Hellenic Organization for Foreign Trade.

At the start of his speech, the Prime Minister said that Greece is experiencing a different year and it has reached the most critical point. He said that "These are the last cuts and we are trying not to make them horizontal ... Debts will be deducted and when we receive the next tranche, there will be liquidity."

Meanwhile, around a hundred people carrying flags of SYRIZA tried to stretch a banner on the White Tower, but were prevented by the police.

Since yesterday, Minister of Development Kostis Hatzidakis has also been in Thessaloniki. He had several meetings with representatives of the production sector, and today he spoke at the General Assembly of the Central Union of the Chambers of Commerce.

On Sunday the baton is taken by the President of PΑSOK Evangelos Venizelos, who will speak to young businessmen, farmers and scientists at a meeting at the trade fair area entitled, "A generation won, not a lost one". SYRIZA's chairman, Alexis Tsipras, who is today in Thessaloniki as a protester, will visit the city again next weekend, as the visit will include tours of the pavilions, a speech before manufacturers and a press conference. General Secretary of the Communist Party Aleka Papariga is also in Thessaloniki today and will speak tonight at the 48th Festival of the Hellenic Communist Youth.

In the afternoon, workers, pensioners, unemployed, youths, members of professional, political, social and sports organizations will protest in the city against the government policy.

The first to hail the flag of the protest in front of the White Tower will be the uniformed personnel (police, fire-fighters, port police). Supporters of Iraklis football team are protesting because of outstanding issues concerning the group in which the team will compete. In front of the International Fair will be the meeting point of the Trade Unions' Federation and the Workers' Centre of Thessaloniki. They are expected to be joined by demonstrators from SYRIZA, led by Alexis Tsipras. At 6 p.m. in Aristotle Square supporters of the mutual workers' front for fight PAME (All-workers militant front) are gathering in the presence of Aleka Papariga. At the same time, supporters of the anarchists and the non-parliamentary Left are gathering as well.

Due to the cancellation of the Prime Minister's speech in front of the "Velidio" Congress Centre  on Saturday evening, the protest's strategy is different, as the different groups will protest in different directions. 5 different assembly points are planned and at least 4 different routes with the same number of endpoints, which is creating tremendous difficulties for the police. 3,500 police officers from Athens and other areas of the country will be deployed in two main points - the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace and the "Velidio" Congress Centre. Metal barriers will be erected as well. In addition, police officers will accompany the various demonstrating groups and they will guard some points in the city - potential targets for attacks.

Tags: International Fair Thessaloniki Antonis Samaras protests Aleka Papariga Alexis Tsipras Evangelos Venizelos
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