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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 01-09-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

September 14, 2001


  • [01] Friday declared day of mourning in Greece
  • [02] Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch expresses condolences to the US
  • [03] SAE expresses its abhorrence over terrorist attacks in US
  • [04] Trade group deplores terrorist attacks in US
  • [05] No connection between Osama bin Laden and his brother
  • [06] FM to visit Israel for Patriarch's enthronement, talks with Peres, Arafat
  • [07] Reppas says securities probe was politically motivated
  • [08] FYROM's defense minister to observe Greek military exercise
  • [09] Meeting of Greek, Turkish officials in Athens ends on positive note
  • [10] Foreign ministry denies paying for Archbishop's Serbia trip
  • [11] Gov't appoints new secretary general for ports
  • [12] Gov't prepares law on co-financing projects under EU package
  • [13] OA's flight attendants announce strikes
  • [14] Balkan agriculture ministers to meet in Istanbul on Friday
  • [15] Shareholders OK buyback for Hellenic Stock Exchanges
  • [16] Greek stocks rebound moderately on ASE
  • [17] Athens 2004 president sends condolences to Bush, Powell
  • [18] New homes turned over to quake-stricken Liosia residents
  • [19] Stephanopoulos arrives on Kastellorizo for events
  • [20] Greek education minister inaugurates linguistics conference at the Sorbonne
  • [21] Youth Parliament begins on Saturday
  • [22] Cyprus declares Friday Day of mourning for victims of terrorist attacks
  • [23] Foreign ministry issues statement on terrorist attacks in US
  • [24] US gov't expresses support for Cyprus' EU accession

  • [01] Friday declared day of mourning in Greece

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The Greek government announced that Friday, Sept. 14 has been declared a day of mourning for the victims of the devastating terrorist attacks this week in New York and Washington.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the announcement on Thursday at his regular press briefing in Athens, adding that a relevant circular will be dispatched to public sector offices and agencies within the day. Flags at Greek diplomatic missions will also fly at half-mast, he said.

    Asked about the application of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty calling for mutual assistance to alliance member-states, Reppas said:

    “The message we will send must contain a higher political symbolism. We cannot be conciliatory with those hiding behind such actions.” He added that it would be "premature to talk about the practical application of Article V.”

    “Let us once again express our anger (over the terrorist strikes). The Greek government, in cooperation with other countries, will plan its next steps,” he said.

    A telephone hotline (001.212.988.5500) at Greece's general consulate in New York City was inaugurated for any inquiries. Additionally, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New York along with expatriate groups and the country's diplomatic missions in the United States were working to coordinate blood drives.

    So far, there are reports that eight Greek expatriates who worked in the WTC Towers have been missing since the time of the attack, though the foreign ministry earlier stressed that there has been no official information regarding Greek victims of the horrific terrorist hits.

    According to an ANA dispatch from New York on Thursday, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) expressed its horror at the terrorist attack and pledged the Greek expatriate community's support for bringing the terrorists to justice.

    In statements by SAE president Andrew Athens and SAE vice-president Christos Tomaras, the expatriate organization also offered its services to local authorities to assist "both expatriates and our fellow US citizens."

    Meanwhile, main opposition New Democracy announced that the inauguration of an event in Thessaloniki, scheduled to be opened on Friday by ND leader Costas Karamanlis, had been postponed to observe the day of mourning for the victims of the attacks in the US.

    Flags at half mast throughout Greece in show of solidarity to terrorist victims: The European Union and the Council of Europe declared Friday September 14, 2001 a Day of Mourning in a show of solidarity to the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States and called on the citizens of all countries of Europe to observe a three-minute moment of silence.

    The Greek ministry of interior, public administration and decentralization ordered that flags on all public, municipal and state run enterprises and agency buildings be raised half mast, in observance of the decision of the European Union council of ministers.

    NATO invocation of mutual defense clause is 'active proof of solidarity': NATO's decision to invoke a mutual defense clause following the coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States earlier this week was "active proof of the spirit of solidarity among the allies", Greece's foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday.

    "The Atlantic Alliance's decision to activate article 5 on 'mutual assistance' when one of its member countries faces an external threat comprises active proof of the spirit of solidarity among the allies," foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said.

    He said Athens "considers as a very important development the activation of this Article, which confirms the volition for closer cooperation among the allies".

    The North Atlantic Council on Wednesday agreed that if it was determined that Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington were directed from abroad, it would be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an attack against one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all.

    Replying to press questions, Beglitis said that at this time, the US had not requested any specific action.

    He explained that the decision was first of all of a "symbolic nature" aimed at "reaffirming the solidarity among the NATO member countries".

    "The activation of the Article is in effect for all and vis-a-vis all," Beglitis said.

    To another question, Beglitis said that NATO secretary general George Robertson attended Wednesday's emergency meeting of the EU council of ministers, at the invitation of the Belgian EU presidency in order to brief the EU '15' "in the context of the institutional relations between the two organizations".

    He said the EU foreign ministers approached the issue of terrorism with "realism and moderation", and "stressed their direct support for the US, stressing that any moves from here on should not reinforce the hysteria against such phenomena nor undermine the democratic institutions".

    "It would be a mistake to make a distinction between domestic and international terrorism," Beglitis said.

    He said the EU troika would visit the US soon for talks with the American administration.

    Hotline for concerned relatives of Greek expatriates in US: There has been no official information relating to Greek victims of the multiple terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the United States, the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

    Responding to reporters' questions, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said the ministry had set up a telephone hotline at the number (Athens) 3685555 for people in Greece with requests and questions regarding relatives who were expatriate Greeks living in the US.

    Greek main opposition leader "stuck" in Boston, at the wake of terrorist attacks: Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis was still "stuck" in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, as US authorities have not allowed overseas flights to resume, following the multiple terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

    This development may force a postponement to Karamanlis' scheduled visit to the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair for the traditional address of the main opposition leader. More information on his plans will be available on Friday.

    Taking advantage of his prolonged stay in the United States, Karamanlis will meet with Archbishop of America Dimitrios and will participate in a memorial service for the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks, which will take place at the Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.

    [02] Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch expresses condolences to the US

    ISTANBUL, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Thursday expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attack in the United States.

    In his telegrams to Archbishop of America Dimitrios, to Greek-American organizations, to the president and vice-president of the USA, to the secretaries of state and defense as well as to the US ambassador to Ankara and the general consul of the US in Istanbul, Vartholomeos expressed his condolences over the tragic events.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch postponed his planned visit to Crete in light of the human disaster in the US.

    [03] SAE expresses its abhorrence over terrorist attacks in US

    NEW YORK, 14/09/2001 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens in an announcement on Thursday expressed the Council's abhorrence over the terrorist attacks in the US on Tuesday.

    Athens said that the Greek-American community, alongside American society, will contribute in efforts to track down and punish those responsible for the attacks and for justice to be restored.

    SAE Vice-President Christos Tomaras also said that America needed the support of the Greek-American community in order for the country to maintain its prestige and "work for world peace."

    [04] Trade group deplores terrorist attacks in US

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The National Confederation of Greek Commerce on Thursday condemned terrorist attacks in New York and Washington earlier this week.

    "We condemn these acts by barbarous and perverted minds that have created a sense of insecurity in millions of people," the trade group said in a statement.

    Amnesty International's Greek chapter condemns attack in US: The Greek chapter of Amnesty International on Thursday issued a press release condemning the terrorist attacks in the United States "whether they were conducted by a state or by an armed political group."

    Such attacks "lead to more grievous violations of fundamental human rights and of the fundamental principles of humanity," the press release said.

    Service at Anglican Church in Athens for terrorism victims: The British embassy in Athens on Thursday announced that a Holy Eucharist service would be held at 8 a.m. on Friday at St. Paul's Anglican Church (29, Philellinon St., near Syntagma Square) in memory of the victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the United States.

    Additionally, the British embassy will observe a three-minute silence at 1 p.m. (local time) - to coincide with the same action throughout Britain -- while the flag in front of the diplomatic mission will be flown at half-mast.

    Foreign ministers of the 15 EU member-states declared on Wednesday that Friday, Sept. 14 be observed as a "European Day of Mourning".

    Greek rescuers ready to leave for US when airports open: The Greek Search and Rescue Squad is ready to leave for the United States to help in rescue operations after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and was waiting for the airports in the US to reopen, a Squad official told ANA on Thursday.

    The official said that the Squad "is in constant contact with the appropriate services (in the US) so that, it may leave for the US as soon as the airports reopen".

    The Greek rescuers will be fully equipped with their search and rescue equipment and gear.

    [05] No connection between Osama bin Laden and his brother

    NICOSIA (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Cyprus Justice and Public Order Minister Nikos Kosis confirmed on Thursday that the brother of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden has business dealings in Cyprus, lives permanently in Switzer-land, has excellent relations with the Americans and has nothing to do with his brother who is the main suspect behind the terrorist attacks in the US on Tuesday.

    "He is in the clear," Kosis said, adding that the American military services have assured the government of Cyprus that they have nothing against him.

    The minister, however, avoided to deny or confirm reports that the brother of Osama bin Laden was in Cyprus.

    Two German and Dutch newspapers reported that people associated with Osama bin Laden were in Cyprus.

    A source from Cyprus' security authorities said that there were no associates of Osama bin Laden in Cyprus and maybe that the report from the two foreign newspapers concerned the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus where the authorities cannot fully check the situation.

    Cyprus police are continuing to take security measures at the US Embassy in Nicosia and at other places of American interests. At the same time, checks are being made of people of Arab origin who are viewed as suspects.

    [06] FM to visit Israel for Patriarch's enthronement, talks with Peres, Arafat

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Foreign minister George Papandreou will be in Israel this weekend to attend the enthronement of Patriarch Irineos and for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials, it was announced Thursday.

    Papandreou is due to arrive in Jerusalem on Saturday for a two-day visit, during which he will attend the ceremony of the enthronement of the new Orthodox Patriarch, Irineos.

    While in Israel, he will also have separate meetings with Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

    [07] Reppas says securities probe was politically motivated

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    A public prosecutor's report on an alleged financial scandal involving the Public Securities Company (DEKA) S.A. was "a clear-cut political maneuver by New Democracy," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday, accusing the main opposition of "investing (politically) in the decline of the stock exchange."

    Losing out through ND's stance were investors, the stock market and the Greek economy, the spokesman added.

    In a document sent to Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis on Wednesday, the prosecutor said evidence from a preliminary inquiry pointed to a breach of duty and trust by three government ministers, who were responsible for approving the decisions of DEKA's board before general elections on April 9, 2000.

    The government members named were National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, former deputy finance minister Nikos Christodoulakis (now development minister), and Deputy Finance Minister George Drys.

    The prosecutor said the evidence also supported charges of breach of duty and breach of faith involving members of DEKA's board and of the Capital Markets Commission.

    Commenting on Thursday, Reppas noted that the public prosecutor in question, Dimitris Asprogerakas, had completed his investigation in February but had handed his report to Parliament six months later.

    He also hinted that Asprogerakas could be accused of over-stepping his authority, while pointing to a article in Thursday's 'Eleftheros Typos' which claimed the report attributed criminal charges to the three ministers involved.

    Since the three government officials are members of the present government and Parliament, they cannot be charged and prosecuted unless Parliament votes to have their parliamentary immunity lifted.

    "Only Parliament has the authority to make charges. No report could contain an assessment or charge," Reppas said.

    He called on ND and the other parties to state their positions regarding the affair.

    Reiterating statements made on Wednesday, the spokesman pointed out that DEKA's activities extended over a much longer period than that examined by the Asprogerakas report.

    The company had to act in the way it did, he added, to counteract pressures on the stock market.

    According to the spokesman, DEKA had been acting to protect public interests and had largely succeeded in this.

    The investigation focused on DEKA's activities from March 21 to April 10, 2000, before Greek general elections on April 9 that year, during which the company bought stock in Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Hellenic Petroleum, National Bank of Greece and Commercial Bank, representing an outlay of 250 billion drachmas in state funds.

    The report claimed that stock market fraud could be discerned in that share prices were disrupted by non-market factors unrelated to supply and demand, misleading the market and resulting in long-term losses for retail investors.

    The investigation was ordered following charges filed by main opposition New Democracy deputy Miltiades Evert last year.

    He had accused the state-owned investment agency of bulling up the market through bulk buying in state-owned firms before the elections, and being responsible for losses suffered by retail investors in the subsequent artificial slide.

    ND response regarding report on DEKA: As soon as Parliament reconvenes, ND will take action within the framework of the constitution and the rules of Parliament to have the DEKA case fully cleared up, ND spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Thursday, responding to Reppas' statements.

    The government was in a panic over the exposure of its role in the stock market scandal, the spokesman added, and its attempts to divert attention from it were "not only unconvincing but a provocation to 1.5 million Greeks who were ruined on the stock market, losing the savings of a life time."

    [08] FYROM's defense minister to observe Greek military exercise

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski will observe the last phase of the large Greek military multi-branch exercise "Philippos", which will take place on Friday in Florina prefecture, northwestern Greece.

    The exercise will be completed with Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Greece's armed forces' leadership observing the maneuvers or the troops outside the village of Lofi. Tsohatzopoulos and Buckovski will meet on the sidelines of the exercise. The two men are expected to discuss developments in the region.

    [09] Meeting of Greek, Turkish officials in Athens ends on positive note

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    A meeting of Greek and Turkish officials in Athens ended on a positive note, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said on Thursday.

    The meeting between the political directors of the Greek and Turkish foreign ministries, Alexandros Skopelitis and Yigit Alpogan respectively, had examined the implementation of bilateral agreements related to tourism, the environment, economic cooperation and non-military aspects of confidence building measures.

    The spokesman said that progress was made during the talks, and that the two sides had agreed to discuss the issues again at their next meeting in Ankara in March.

    Both countries wanted the talks to progress, Beglitis added, and the climate was very positive but there were no specific measures to announce at this time.

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to meet his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem at the end of September on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York.

    [10] Foreign ministry denies paying for Archbishop's Serbia trip

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The foreign ministry makes no financial contribution whatsoever to visits abroad by the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said on Thursday.

    The statement followed reports by several newspapers on Wednesday, claiming that the foreign ministry had covered the expenses of a trip by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece to Serbia.

    Beglitis added that Foreign Minister George Papandreou had very good relations with the Archbishop and the Greek Orthodox Church within the framework of his ministry's brief.

    [11] Gov't appoints new secretary general for ports

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The government announced on Thursday that it had appointed Nikolaos Thomopoulos as the merchant marine ministry's new secretary general for ports and port policy.

    Thomopoulos, an engineer with experience in public administration and in the private sector, is a specialist in growth planning and infrastructure projects.

    [12] Gov't prepares law on co-financing projects under EU package

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The government is working on a bill that will set the terms for inviting investors at home and abroad to plough capital into domestic projects co-funded by the European Union.

    Chairing a meeting with cabinet ministers on Thursday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said private funds would be sought for projects that are included in the EU's Third Community Support Framework package of funds.

    Private capital for the projects was key to the government's wide-ranging growth plan in 2001-2006, and to all domestic infrastructure works. The bill would define the roles of the state and of private companies, ensuring fair competition, transparency and minimum red tape, Simitis said.

    He added that the EU funding scheme should act as the main instrument of balanced regional growth.

    "Our main target is real and social convergence with our developed partners, parallel with further improvement of the quality of life for the public and continuous improvement of their daily lives," the prime minister told the meeting.

    [13] OA's flight attendants announce strikes

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Olympic Airways' flight attendants union will hold three 48-hour warning strikes September 29-30, October 6-7 and 13-14, in protest for the on-going tender to sell a majority stake in the national carrier to a private investor.

    A union statement said on Thursday that "it is unconceivable that the government was still examining Axon's - an indebted, regional airline - bid which is not even half the cost of OA's technical support newly-build depot at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport."

    OA's flight attendants asked the government to "stop this bad joke" and to annul the tender.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus Airways reaffirmed their will to expand in Greece. The airline's chairman, Haris Loizidis, said on Thursday that the company would seek alternative ways to gain access in the Greek market if its bid to buy a majority stake in Olympic Airways would fail.

    [14] Balkan agriculture ministers to meet in Istanbul on Friday

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    A two-day conference of Balkan agriculture ministers begins in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday, with Greece to be represented by Farm Minister George Anomeritis

    Other countries sending ministers include host Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, FYROM and Romania.

    An agreement regarding cooperation in the agriculture sector is also expected to be signed by the participating ministers. Additionally, Anomeritis is scheduled to meet with Ecumenical Patriarchate Vartholomeos, as well as with his Turkish counter-part.

    [15] Shareholders OK buyback for Hellenic Stock Exchanges

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Shareholders of Hellenic Stock Exchanges SA, which includes the Athens bourse, on Thursday approved management's proposal of a share buyback of up to 10 percent of company stock between September 12, 2001 and September 11, 2002.

    The price range for the buyback was set at 5.05 euros (1,721 drachmas) to 16.23 euros (5,530 drachmas), the company said in a statement.

    [16] Greek stocks rebound moderately on ASE

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended Thursday's session moderately higher, rebounding after Wednesday's 7.74 percent plunge helped by a stability in international markets and the reappearance of bargain hunting.

    The Greek market, however, remained worried over developments in Wall Street when the US market will reopen after their three-day close.

    The telecoms and textiles sectors led the market's advance with the general index ended 0.75 percent higher at 2,376.2 points, off the day's lows of 2,352.84 points.

    Turnover was a low 140.86 million euros, or 48 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 1,333.66 points, up 0.64 percent, the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.15 percent to 252.38 points, and the Small Cap index ended at 732.93 points, up 0.04 percent.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks ended at 225.42 points, off 0.95 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 179 to 139 with another 42 issues unchanged.

    Equity futures at discount in thin trade: Equity futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday finished at a discount in lower turnover.

    Changing hands were 6,025 contracts on turnover of 35.3 million euros, traders said.

    Prices drop in heavy trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Thursday finished lower in heavy trade focusing on 10-year paper.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.31 percent, and the yield spread over German bunds was 50 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 1.1 billion euros.

    Sell orders accounted for the bulk of turnover.

    [17] Athens 2004 president sends condolences to Bush, Powell

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki on Thursday sent a letter of condolences to US President George Bush, expressing her grief to the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Tuesday.

    Similar letters were sent to State Department Secretary Colin Powell, to the Governor of New York and to the local authorities.

    Daskalaki referred in her letter that "we pray for the families of the victims and for all the US citizens," underling that "we hope that all the states in the world will unite against these insane acts of violence."

    [18] New homes turned over to quake-stricken Liosia residents

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The government turned over 100 new residences to some 200 quake-stricken families on Thursday in the northwest Athens municipality of Liosia, one of the hardest hit districts from a devastating Sept. 7, 1999 earthquake.

    A total of 1,300 new residences are scheduled to be built over the next year and a half for around 2,700 families, at a cost of 65 billion drachmas. As of Thursday, 163 units have been completed and turned over to local residents, along with the completion of a new elementary school in the area.

    Keys to the first two residences were presented to their new owners by Prime Minister Costas Simitis during a brief ceremony.

    In his address, Simitis said some 30,000 quake-stricken families in the greater Athens area have received a special monthly allowance totaling some 40 billion drachmas, while almost 7,000 prefabricated houses were set in days following the 5.9 on the Richter scale tremor.

    [19] Stephanopoulos arrives on Kastellorizo for events

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos arrived on the small Dodecannese island of Kastellorizo on Thursday with a two-hour delay, as a twin-rotor military helicopter set to take the president and other officials to the island from nearby Rhodes was grounded to due a mechanical problem.

    The official delegation later flew to the island aboard another helicopter dispatched from Athens, in order to attend events commemorating Kastellorizo's liberation.

    [20] Greek education minister inaugurates linguistics conference at the Sorbonne

    PARIS, 14/09/2001 (ANA - O. Tsipira)

    Greek Education Minister Petros Efthimiou, who is visiting the French capital, on Thursday inaugurated a three-day linguistics conference focusing on the Greek language, here, at the Sorbonne University.

    The chairman of this the fifth international conference on the Greek language is Linguistics Prof. of the Fifth University of Paris Christos Clairis.

    "The building of closer relations in the educational and university sector" is the main aim of the Greek education minister's visit to France, and for this reason he is accompanied by a delegation of university professors.

    Efthimiou stressed that Greece is constantly supporting university seats dealing with the Greek language and culture, adding that "languages do not separate us, rather they unite us when through them the values of human life are recognized".

    Meeting with Jack Lang, Luc Melenchon: Education Minister Petros Efthimiou is currently on an official visit to France where he had meetings with his French counter-part Jack Lang and Alternate Education Minister Jean-Luc Melenchon.

    The aim of Efthimiou's visit is to promote cooperation between the two countries in education.

    Efthimiou on Thursday also inaugurated a three-day linguistics conference focusing on the Greek language at the Sorbonne University.

    In his meeting with Melenchon, agreement was reached for the promotion of bilateral cooperation on issues of vocational training. In this context, the education ministries will cooperate for the implementation of a pilot program concerning the creation of a unified European Union diploma for professions in the hotel sector. The possibility of extending the pilot program for car mechanics will also be examined.

    Efthimiou later met with Lang with whom he discussed matters concerning cooperation between the two countries in the sector of education.

    [21] Youth Parliament begins on Saturday

    Athens, 14/09/2001 (ANA)

    The Greek Parliament will house for a four-day period the Youth Parliament. A total of 350 youths, which were selected among 17,847 students from high schools from Greece, Cyprus and abroad, will take part.

    The institution of the Youth Parliament was established six years ago. Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis will open the sessions of the Youth Parliament on Saturday.

    [22] Cyprus declares Friday Day of mourning for victims of terrorist attacks

    NICOSIA, 14/09/2001 (CNA/ANA)

    The Cyprus government has adopted a decision taken by the EU to declare the 14th of September as a Day of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place in the USA. According to an official press release, Friday people in Europe and Cyprus will observe a minute's silence in the memory of those killed during the attacks. Air raid sirens will wail at midday Friday whereas flags will be flying half mast all over Cyprus.

    [23] Foreign ministry issues statement on terrorist attacks in US

    NICOSIA, 14/09/2001 (CNA/ANA)

    The terrorist attacks against the US underline that the members of the international community, both individually and collectively, must redouble their efforts in a more systematic and coordinated manner to fight terrorism and its sponsorship, a statement issued by the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.

    It stresses that these attacks were attacks not only against the United States and its people but against the international legal order, democracy, freedom and the most fundamental of all human rights, that of the right to life.

    "Terrorists attacked humanity and human dignity. The government of Cyprus unconditionally condemns these criminal acts of terrorism of which the aim was to indiscriminately kill, maim and terrorize, whoever the perpetrators were. There is no cause that can be justified by criminal acts against innocent people such as those witnessed yesterday", The Cypriot Foreign Ministry notes.

    It adds that the Republic of Cyprus holds as a central value respect for the rule of law and the Charter of the United Nations and its party to the international conventions dealing with terrorism and has always unequivocally condemned terrorist acts whilst cooperating with other governments to suppress it.

    "Tragically however terrorism is an increasing phenomenon that transcends borders wreaking havoc and suffering on individuals, communities and countries alike," the statement underlines and notes that the condolences of the government and the people of Cyprus to US President George Bush, the American people and the relatives of the victims have already been expressed at the highest level, condemning at the same time these abhorrent acts of terrorism that brought carnage, terror and loss of life to many innocent people.

    [24] US gov't expresses support for Cyprus' EU accession

    NICOSIA, 14/09/2001 (CNA/ANA)

    US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman has expressed his government's unreserved support to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and the strong belief that EU membership will function as a catalyst to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    At a meeting Wednesday at the State Department with the Chief Negotiator of Cyprus for accession George Vassiliou, Grossman also commended the huge efforts by Cyprus and the progress achieved in accession negotiations.

    He expressed regret that the Turkish Cypriot side has not so far seized "the unique opportunity to participate" in the accession effort and the hope that benefits from a solution of the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' accession to the EU will soon materialize.

    Vassiliou expressed sincere condolences and solidarity with the relatives of the victims of the terrorist attacks against the US. He briefed Grossman on progress in Cyprus' accession negotiations and referred to the catalytic role that the EU membership is expected to play in a Cyprus settlement.

    Special Coordinator on Cyprus at the State Department Tom Weston and Cyprus Ambassador to the US Erato Kozakou-Markoulli attended the meeting.

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