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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 01-02-05

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Both NATO and European defense system contribute to Europes security, Tsohatzopoulos says
  • [02] Greek premier arrives in India for official visit
  • [03] PASOK secretary outlines party's priorities
  • [04] Mitsotakis says government must be helped
  • [05] PASOK, Cyprus' Social Democrats active in promoting Cyprus' accession to the EU
  • [06] Avramopoulos sees 'absence of positive mobility' in Cyprus issue
  • [07] Justice minister briefs lawyers on new anti-terrorism legislation
  • [08] Seven trillion drachmas in CSF farm subsidies: minister
  • [09] Composer Xenakis dies at 78, Venizelos pays tribute
  • [10] Mouscouri to say farewell to performing
  • [11] Greek, Turkish townships with same name 'twinned'
  • [12] Minoan Age ship to be constructed in Crete
  • [13] German who lured Florida runaway to Greece over Internet still in police custody
  • [14] Clerides says Denktash does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem

  • [01] Both NATO and European defense system contribute to Europes security, Tsohatzopoulos says

    MUNICH, 05/02/2001 (ANA D. Konstantakopoulos)

    The dilemma of supporting NATO or a European defense and security identity does not exist, both contribute to the security of Europe, Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday, addressing the NATO Security Policy conference here.

    During this conference of NATO on inter-Atlantic relations, he said that the European countries want to contribute to European security, stressing, however, that the funding for European defense means increased defense spending.

    He said that American and European defense industries should cooperate more than they already do, in light of the aforementioned prospect.

    Tsohatzopoulos noted that many European countries in the south and east of the continent want to enter both the European Union and NATO, a fact that proves that those two institutions comprise the foundations of security in Europe.

    He stressed that the enlargement of NATO and EU to include the Balkans and southeastern Europe is necessary.

    The conference begun on Saturday with the opening remarks of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, to the defense ministers and the secretary of the Alliance George Robertson.

    Tsohatzopoulos stressed - on the sidelines of the conference the need for a real European defense and security system and noted Russia's importance in relation to the anti-ballistic missile system and the European defense.

    The undertaking of greater responsibilities by Europe in the defense sector will establish the base for an equivocal cooperation between Europe and America, the Greek defense minister said, adding that the conference in Munich brought to the surface a lack of confidence regarding the aims of European policies.

    [02] Greek premier arrives in India for official visit

    NEW DELHI, 05/02/2001 (ANA - G. Papachristou)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Sunday arrived here for a five-day visit in India that was planned before the destructive earthquake that hit the subcontinent, killing many thousands of people.

    Despite the quake and its results the two sides decided to follow the schedule of the visit, reaffirming the importance of the contacts for both Greece and India.

    Simitis will meet with Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, among other officials.

    The New Delhi University Law School is planning to award Simitis an honorary doctorate.

    The premier heads a delegation that includes Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas, Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and National Economy Deputy Minister Yiannis Zaphiropoulos.

    Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Apostolakis also departed for India responding to the official invitation of his Indian Counterpart George Fernadez.

    Apostolakis' visit coincides with the international exhibition "Aero-India 2001", where the Greek deputy minister will have a series of meetings with his counterparts of several countries.

    The delegation also includes Greek businessmen who want to develop contacts in India with the prospect of investing in the country.

    The focus of bilateral talks will be economic cooperation, as the premier is expected to sign along with his Indian counterpart a series of agreements, including double taxation avoidance, investment protection measures and cooperation in the agricultural sector

    Upon arrival in the Indian capital, officials of that country and Greek embassy staff met Simitis and the Greek delegation.

    Simitis and his wife Daphne will be hosted to a dinner by Narayanan on Monday afternoon, while during that day the Greek premier will visit and lay a writhe on the Gandhi Monument.

    [03] PASOK secretary outlines party's priorities

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    Ruling PASOK party should be true to its pre election commitments and forge forward with its policies, party Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis said on Sunday, addressing the prefecture party organization in Iraklio, Crete.

    He outlined the next hurdles PASOK has to deal with, which he said included the 6th Party Congress, the local elections of 2002, the Greek European Union presidency of the first half of 2003, the national elections and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    He accused main opposition New Democracy of using conditions in the Athens Stock Exchange for petty party politicking, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) for anti-PASOK politicking and called on the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) to "decide which course they want to follow".

    [04] Mitsotakis says government must be helped

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis on Sunday advised his party to "help" the PASOK government so as to avoid a "scorched earth" landscape following ND's return to power.

    "We have no reason to wish for a disintegrated Greece when we come to power ... that is why we have every reason to help the government," the former ND prime minister (1990-93) said in an interview with a private radio station.

    He also urged his party to put forth "correct proposals for the benefit of the people" and to help the government.

    However, Mitsotakis vehemently criticized the ruling PASOK government's policies, saying they were "even worse than the tragically failed policies of the '80s", when PASOK was again in power.

    He was most critical of the government's attempts at privatization, saying its options were not the best.

    [05] PASOK, Cyprus' Social Democrats active in promoting Cyprus' accession to the EU

    NICOSIA, 05/02/2001 (ANA-G.Leonidas/CNA)

    President of the Cyprus Movement of Social Democrats Vassos Lyssarides and Greek PASOK EuroMP leader Giorgos Katiforis stressed at a press conference here on Saturday that both parties were active in promoting Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU), by contacts with members of EU-country parliaments. The press conference was given after the conclusion of a seminar on "Cyprus-EU: The Final Phase", organized by the Movement of Social Democrats, with the participation of the eight PASOK EuroMps, who arrived in Cyprus Friday night.

    Lyssarides said both parties were "paying as many visits as we can, having contacts with the national parliaments that will be asked to have the last word, and inviting key-persons who may play a role in the final decision".

    Katiforis, who is also the Vice President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, said he was certain that "when the time of Cyprus' accession reaches, European governments will want to take Cyprus in as a member of the EU".

    He added that the presence of the PASOK EuroMPs on the island underlined that "Cyprus is a candidate country very near accession and we hope we will be able to welcome the six Cypriot EuroMPs in the European Parliament after the next elections".

    Katiforis also noted that it was the first time Greek EuroMPs were having their meeting in Cyprus, saying that this was a good omen.

    Commenting on Turkey's European course, Katiforis said "Turkey is facing a dead-end because she is following a 19th century policy in the 21st century".

    He said "a truly democratic, modern European Turkey would be a gain for Hellenism", noting at the same time that a truly democratic Turkey was "light years away".

    Katiforis said Greece wanted Turkey to become more European and that her true candidacy could not be given to her on a plate.

    [06] Avramopoulos sees 'absence of positive mobility' in Cyprus issue

    NICOSIA, 05/02/2001 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos said here on Sunday that there was "absence of a positive mobility" regarding the Cyprus issue.

    Avramopoulos, who late last year announced his intention to create a new Greek political party, arrived on Cyprus for a private visit.

    Addressing a press conference and commenting on Athens' foreign policy, he said it "limited itself only in reacting to others' initiatives", adding that such a policy was "fruitless".

    "Only damage can be expected when foreign policy is influenced by partisan politics and personal positions," Avramopoulos said.

    Commenting on the island republic's European Union accession talks, the Athens mayor emphasized that Cyprus fulfilled all the EU's conditions and offered all guarantees for a speedy accession.

    [07] Justice minister briefs lawyers on new anti-terrorism legislation

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos on Saturday briefed the plenum of Greece's bar association leadership on new legislation focusing on the bill regarding terrorism and the bill on "express" trials.

    Speaking to the presidents of Greece's regional bar associations, he announced a series of bills including the amendments to the Code of Civil Law and changes to the way real estate contracts are validated, among other initiatives of the ministry.

    Regarding the bill on terrorism and organized crime, he said that the major new element the bill introduces is a witness protection program and an amnesty clause for those criminals who turn states' evidence.

    [08] Seven trillion drachmas in CSF farm subsidies: minister

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    Greece's agriculture minister specified over the weekend that approximately seven trillion drachmas out of the 11 trillion in Community Support Framework (CSF) funds earmarked for the local agriculture sector between 2000 and 2006 would go towards farm subsidies.

    Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis unveiled the figures on the sidelines of the 17th annual "Agrotica" trade show in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

    Anomeritis said the rate of allocation would be about one trillion drachmas per year, with subsidies paid directly into farmers' bank accounts. He noted that 558 billion drachmas from the European Union-allocated 3rd CSF have been disbursed between October 2000 and January 2001.

    A noteworthy recent development lies in the abolition of a 3-percent deduction off paid subsidies, which were siphoned into the state-controlled crops insurance funds (ELGA). The EU ruled against the deduction with a Directive, effective as of Jan. 1, 2001.

    Asked about the gap in farm production costs and wholesale crop prices, Anomeritis said his ministry would formally establish a "farm products price directorate" in the next few days that monitors and collects data daily in order to issue a report every 15 days. Such reports, according to the minister, will allow authorities to impose sanctions when necessary.

    As far as the agriculture sector exhibition is concerned, Thessaloniki-based Helexpo said nearly 25,000 people visited the four-day trade show, the largest such event in Greece.

    [09] Composer Xenakis dies at 78, Venizelos pays tribute

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    Noted composer and architect Ianis Xenakis died on Sunday at the age of 78 in Paris, his adopted hometown for several decades, following a long illness.

    Born into a wealthy Greek family of Romania, Xenakis fought with the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Greece (1941-44), losing an eye during battle. He was expelled from Greece in 1947 for his political views at the height of the Greek Civil War and sought refuge in France, becoming a naturalized French citizen in 1965.

    In a brief statement on Sunday, Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos praised Xenakis' work, saying, "Ianis Xenakis represents with his work one of the most advanced chapters in the history of music".

    "Xenakis identified himself with modernity and research, that is, with two basic components of cultural creation. His talent, his profound and multi-faceted culture and his cosmopolitan spirit fascinated and will fascinate people. His death is a great loss but in no way does it signal the end of a work which has been and will always be 'open'," the minister said in a statement.

    Xenakis developed a new composing technique using computers, based on the mathematical probability of the recurrence of notes and rhymes.

    [10] Mouscouri to say farewell to performing

    MELBOURNE, 05/02/2001 (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    Internationally famous performer Nana Mouscouri announced here that she would retire from signing as her work with UNICEF demanded more of her time.

    During an interview with the local Herald Sun newspaper, the 63-year-old Mouscouri said that "the tour she plans for Australia in March will be her farewell one," meanwhile announcing that her 30-year-old daughter Elena will make her debut as a performer. Mouscouri will appear on the stage on March 14 at the Melbourne Concert Hall.

    [11] Greek, Turkish townships with same name 'twinned'

    ISTANBUL, 05/02/2001 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Two townships, one in central Greece and the other in northwest Turkey with the same ancient name - Nikaea - were "twinned" over the weekend during a ceremony attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    Nikaea, a common toponym in Greece, is the ancient and mediaeval name of modern-day Isnik in Turkey and, among others, the name ancient Greek colonists selected for France's Nice.

    Speaking at a ceremony attended by the two mayors of the respective townships, Vartholomeos said the event demonstrates the recent rapprochement and cooperation between the Greek and Turkish peoples.

    In a brief address, the Patriarch also stressed the historical significance that Isnik holds for Orthodoxy - as the site of two ecumenical Christian councils, including the seminal council of 325 AD, and as the Byzantine capital for 57 years following the Crusaders' sacking of Constantinople in 1204.

    [12] Minoan Age ship to be constructed in Crete

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    The Crete Maritime Museum in cooperation with a group of scientists announced on Saturday that it will build a Minoan seaworthy vessel, a replica of ships that used to travel with in the Aegean 3,500 years ago.

    Museum Director Konstantinos Manioudakis and chief of the scientific team Apostolos Kourtis announced that the Copper Age ship would be constructed with the technology and means of the 1,500 B.C.

    Once the ship is built, it will travel to Attica and then back to Crete where it will remain as a permanent exhibit.

    [13] German who lured Florida runaway to Greece over Internet still in police custody

    Athens, 05/02/2001 (ANA)

    A German man who lured a Florida minor to Greece over the Internet was still in custody in Thessaloniki and was interrogated, following the discovery of pornographic material found in computer disks in his Attica home.

    Meanwhile the mother of the 15-year-old American girl arrived in Greece and authorities released her daughter but bared their exit from the country, as they might be needed for additional interrogation.

    The man, 35-year-old Franz Konstantin Baehring, a German national who has been residing in Thessaloniki for several years, was arrested late Thursday in a home in Pendeli, Attica where he purportedly stayed with 15-year-old American runaway Lindsay Erin Shamrock periodically since the girl arrived in Greece in September, sources said.

    Beahring denied charges that he had sexual relations with the girl, insisting that he wanted to marry her.

    Police found Shamrock -- who was reported missing on August 28 from her hometown of Mulberry, east of Tampa -- after staking out an apartment in Thessaloniki late Wednesday and took her to the local security police offices until procedures for her return to her family were completed. Her mother was tentatively expected to arrive later Friday in Thessaloniki.

    Meanwhile, police in Athens had been constantly watching the apartment rented by Baehring and Shamrock in the northern suburb of Pendeli, which they had located on January 30. When Shamrock was found in Thessaloniki, they searched the flat and found photographs of the girl and various personal items belonging to her.

    According to the police report, when Shamrock was picked up by police in Thessaloniki, Baehring returned to Athens had his hair dyed red at a hairdresser's to avoid capture. Police staking out his flat in Pendeli, however, arrested him when he went home.

    Shamrock and Baehring apparently communicated over the Internet over a period of several months before she ran away from home, police said. The girl flew to Greece using an American passport in the name of Dawn Arnder, 17.

    An arrest warrant has been issued for Baehring in Florida on charges of interfering with parental custody, which Greek authorities have said they will honor.

    Two people have been arrested in the US on charges of helping the girl get to Greece.

    [14] Clerides says Denktash does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem

    NICOSIA, 05/02/2001 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said on Sunday that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash did not want a solution to the Cyprus problem, if it did not include the element of recognition for his self-styled regime in the north and a form of confederation on the island.

    In an interview with daily "Simerini" newspaper, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, President Clerides also said the new administration in the United States may not continue to maintain presidential envoys to help solve the Cyprus problem and that they would give priority to helping regions, which are under the immediate threat of unrest.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. In December 1999, the UN embarked on a new effort to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, through what have been named proximity talks.

    Five rounds of proximity talks have taken place so far, but Denktash is refusing to participate in another round of separate meetings with the UN officials unless the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus is recognized and there is a change in the procedure of the talks and their basis.

    Referring to Cyprus' accession to the European Union, President Clerides said the Greek Cypriot side must prove to the Union that it was Denktash who was obstructing a solution to the Cyprus problem, and that the legal government of the island was not to be blamed for the situation.

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