|Wednesday, 22 May 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-10-02
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 2, 2002
 Greece hopes Cyprus to be slated for 'final stretch' to EU membership
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Greece had every reason to hope that Cyprus would be among the candidate countries to be slated for European Union membership at the EU summit in Brussels later this month, foreign minister George Papandreou said Tuesday.
Speaking after consultations with prime minister Costas Simitis and deputy FM Tasos Yiannitsis, ahead of an Athens visit by Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Papandreou explained that very important decisions on EU enlargement would be taken the Brussels summit at end-October, including which of the candidate countries would be slated for the final stretch for the Copenhagen summit at the end of the year.
''We have every reason to believe that Cyprus will be among those countries,'' Papandreou said, adding that the island republic was a front-runner in its efforts for assimilation in the acquis communautaire, and ''we believe that all the appropriate moves have been made to ensure the best''.
Papandreou said that EU enlargement was ''a train that will not stop'', and that the EU was called on to strengthen itself from within that process.
Questioned on developments surrounding the prospect of an attack on Iraq, Papandreou said that the outcome was not known, and that the relevant discussion was still ongoing at the UN Security Council.
He expressed hope, however, that the first important step had been taken, given Saddam Hussein's gesture of good will, so that the doors would open, and that the next moves would lead to a diplomatic solution.
Simitis pledges support to Cyprus: Prime Minister Costas Simitis has assured that Greece will not stop backing Cyprus in its struggle for a comprehensive, just, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions.
He gave the assurance in a congratulatory telegram to President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides on the occasion of Tuesday's 42nd anniversary of the island's independence.
Simitis said Cyprus' accession to the European Union ''is Greece's top national priority''.
''Your excellent progress in the accession negotiations justifies our expectations that Cyprus can, very soon, join the European Union, to benefit all the residents of the island'', he said.
He also extended the Greek government's wishes and assured ''Greece will not cease to stand by in your struggle for a comprehensive, just, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions''.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
The island opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998 and is expected to be called by the Copenhagen European Council in December to join the Union's ranks.
Hope for speedy Cyprus solution voiced on Cyprus independence anniversary: Greece on Tuesday expressed hope for a speedy solution of the Cyprus problem so that the single Cyprus State could return to its course, in a statement marking the 42nd anniversary of the island republic's independence.
Replying to questions on the Turkish threat that it would annex the Turkish-occupied northern sector of the island republic in the event that Cyprus gained EU membership prior to a solution of the island's political problem, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said that if Turkey resorted to such action "the only thing it will achieve is to place its own European course in doubt".
Questioned on prospects of obstruction of Cyprus' EU accession, Protopapas noted that there had been no such indication to the present, but added that if such a problem arose "Greece's stance will be particularly decisive".
 Turkish PM seen to tone down stance on Cyprus' EU accession
ISTANBUL 02/10/2002 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit appeared to be toning down Ankara's stance to the prospect of Cyprus joining the EU without a solution to the Cyprus problem but nevertheless warned that Europe should not 'overlook' the illegal Turkish-Cypriot regime on the island.
The Greek-Cypriots could join the EU on their own and Turkey might not like this but it would not make a huge fuss, Ecevit said in statements appearing in Tuesday's issue of the Turkish daily ''Hurriyet''.
There would be serious problems, however, if the EU did this without taking the existence of the self-styled ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'' into account, he added.
He was referring to the illegal breakaway state established in northern Cyprus after a Turkish invasion in 1974 that is recognized only by Ankara.
The Turkish premier was unrelenting, however, on the question of the Cyprus problem, saying his government would 'resist to the end'.
Ecevit avoided a direct answer when asked if EU-Turkey relations would revert to levels following the Luxembourg summit in 1997 if Turkey was not given a firm date for the start of accession negotiations and if EU leaders agreed to let Cyprus join the Community in Copenhagen.
In response to another question, the Turkish premier said that the two sides on Cyprus were now making efforts to find an intermediate solution and that a possible formula might be modeled after existing island states that had their own flags and laws but were linked to a ''base country'' in foreign relations.
He stressed, however, that if the EU insisted on such a stance the results would be dire.
''Think of it like this: On the one hand there is an island republic with a population of 600,000 and on the other hand there is Turkey, with a population of 70 million and a steadily increasing importance in the world,'' he noted.
Asked how Ankara would react if Turkey were given a date for the start of accession negotiations with conditions attached, Ecevit again stressed that Turkey would not accept an EU denial of the ''existence, autonomy and freedom'' of the illegal Turkish-Cypriot regime in northern Cyprus.
He also underlined that the Cyprus problem could not be one of the conditions for Turkey's full accession to the Community.
''We will be very determined. There might be a few intellectuals and politicians in Turkey who do not embrace my views but I believe that this is not the case for the great majority of public opinion. We cannot consider the 'TRNC' separately from Turkey,'' he said.
According to Ecevit, an autonomous Turkish-Cypriot state was important to Turkey from the point of view of security, and had become even more vital since the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline began.
''This is why we are so determined on this issue. Some circles feel annoyed with us. Certain intellectual circles in Istanbul act this way and I don't understand them. We will fight to the very end on this,'' the Turkish premier concluded.
The two sides on Cyprus have been engaged in intense talks for a final settlement in the run-up to the next wave of EU enlargement, though hopes that accession could act as a catalyst for a solution appear all but dashed on flinty Turkish intransigency.
The Greek Cypriots, who run the island's internationally recognized government, want a reunification based on a federal model of two ethnic regions, one Greek and the other Turkish. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots want a union of two largely independent states.
 FM meets with Ecumenical Patriarch in Athens
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou held a dinner for Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Tuesday and then had a 15-minute private conversation.
Vartholomeos is in Greece for a four-day private visit that began on Sunday.
At the end of the meeting, Papandreou said that the topics of their discussion included the Patriarchate and Europe, since Vartholomeos is to meet with European Commission President Romano Prodi.
The Greek minister also said that issues pertaining to the dialogue of religions, the relations of Europe with Turkey and the enlargement process of the European Union were discussed.
Papandreou concluded stressing Greece's support for the just efforts of the Patriarchate to establish its rights in a space it occupies for centuries and thanked Vartholomeos for his efforts and especially those that concern the European course of Turkey.
On his part, Vartholomeos expressed his joy for his meeting with Papandreou, with whom he said he is connected with a long-time friendship, also saying that issues of common interest were discussed.
"He briefed me on his recent contacts in Europe with Mr. Prodi. We are trying to coordinate some issues concerning the Patriarchate, which does not become entangled in political issues, rather it in the European scene it can have a substantial weight," the Patriarch said.
Vartholomeos meets with deputy FM Magriotis: Visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Tuesday met with deputy foreign minister Yannis Magriotis, who stressed the important spiritual and social role played by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Magriotis, who is the foreign ministry official responsible for Church issues, noted that the Ecumenical Patriarchate's role had also been acknowledged recently by Ankara.
Ankara, he said, was taking small steps, which the Greek side hoped would be completed as that would be to the benefit of Turkey itself but also of Istanbul as an ecumenical city.
The two men discussed the new international initiatives planned by the Patriarch, the inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, and also the ecological initiatives which Magriotis said were very important and which the foreign ministry and entire Greek state supported.
 Papandreou reiterates Athens' support for Turkey's EU prospects
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday reiterated Athens’ support for Turkey’s European orientation, during a meeting in the Greek capital with the president of Turkey’s industrial federation (TUSIAD) Tuncay Ozilhan.
Papandreou noted, characteristically, that Greece is in the “forefront of those countries supporting Turkey’s accession”.
He also thanked Ozilhan for TUSIAD’s efforts to further expand the ongoing Greek-Turkish rapprochement, while saying that the Cyprus issue was also discussed.
“We believe the Cyprus issue’s solution will further improve Greek-Turkish relations,” the Greek FM stressed.
On his part, the well-known Turkish industrialist lauded Greece and Papandreou, personally, for the latest efforts at strengthening bilateral relations and for support of Ankara’s EU accession prospects.
“As you know, Turkey is anxiously awaiting the EU Summit in Copenhagen, from which we expect a date for accession negotiations to begin,” he said.
 Restructure of Hellenic Armed Forces procurement system outlined in Defense News
WASHINGTON 02/10/2002 (ANA - A. Ellis)The substantial savings arising from the administrative rationalization and simplification and transparency of the procurements system will enable Greece to reduce its defense spending to 4 percentage points of GNP within the current decade, Greece's defense ministry secretary general Spyridon Travlos said in an interview appearing in the latest edition of the US defense periodical ''Defense News''.
In the interview, Travlos outlined the planned restructure of the procurements system in the context of the ongoing modernization program of the Hellenic Armed Forces.
Travlos also noted the completion of the procurement of battle tanks, attack and transport helicopters, and also corvettes for the Navy, in the context of the 2001-2005 armed forces armaments program, which he explained was the second such program in a 3-stage 15-year procurements plan.
He further stressed the desire for the greatest possible participation of Greek companies in defense procurements.
A chart accompanying the interview notes that since 1996, Greece has signed 330 contracts for defense procurements worth a total 19 billion euros, of which 34 percent of the orders have been placed in the US, 24 percent in Germany, 14 percent in France, and 12 percent in Greece.
 ND leader criticizes gov't policy from Kozani
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis said on Tuesday the government has become a regime after 20 years in power and is struggling for its preservation.
Karamanlis, who was speaking in the northern city of Kozani, added that the government has given all it had to give and can do no more.
He further said the results of government policy are easily distinguishable all over the country and in all sectors: in health, education, public services and administration.
''The failure of economic policy is even more clear, which is depicted in detail at the stock exchange and which, according to the prime minister, would rise after the elections but turned into a disaster for a million and a half investors and a number of public enterprises,'' he said.
Karamanlis went on to say that his party is optimistic about the future, which can be built together, and provides a substantive content to the meanings of trust and participation.
Addressing the citizens of Kozani, Karamanlis said ''our message is clear: come with us to unite forces and coordinate our efforts on common targets. Society has overcome the trenches of the past and is seeking a new prospect and a living hope. We have left the past aside and are forging ahead, extending our hands to all Greek women and Greek men.''
 Richard Zink new director of European Agency for Reconstruction of Balkans
BRUSSELS 02/10/2002 (ANA - B. Dimiris)Richard Zink, a 51-year old German national with some 25 years experience in international development, was appointed on Tuesday as the new Director of the European Agency for Reconstruction of the Balkans.
Zink has been 15 years with the European Commission, which seconded him in May 2001 to hold the position of Head of Operations in the Agency's Belgrade office.
The Agency has its headquarters in Thessaloniki, and operational centers in Belgrade, Pristina, Podgorica and Skopje.
It employs some 300 staff. Its current mandate, under Council Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000, runs until December 2004.
The Board of the Agency congratulated Zink on his appointment, and also expressed its appreciation to Mr. Hugues Mingarelli (who held the post of Director from February 2000 until July 2002), for his significant contribution to the success of the Agency.
The European Agency for Reconstruction is a key player in delivering EC assistance to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), in support of the EU's process of 'Stabilization and Association' in the region.
The Agency was created in February 2000, as the successor to the European Commission Task Force for Kosovo.
Its mandate was extended to include the whole of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in December 2000, and subsequently the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in December 2001.
It now manages some 1.6 billion euro across its four operational centers: Kosovo 830 million euro, Serbia 560 million euro, the FYROM 186 million euro, and Montenegro 74 million euro.
 Greek EU commissioner meets Euronem members
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Greek European Union Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said on Tuesday, during a meeting with members of the Euronem, European Communication and Informatics Network, in Brussels that EU enlargement and the possibility of Cyprus joining the EU are two of the major issues to preoccupy the Greek EU presidency over the first half of 2003 since discussions on the future of Europe are continuing.
Diamantopoulou referred among others to European strategy on employment issues, the combatting of poverty, access for women to the labor market on equal terms and the need for a European army to safeguard the EU's borders.
The meeting was organized by the EU as part of a briefing on European issues at the initiative of Euronem President Nasia Mihalopoulou.
 Manolis Glezos opposes Greek involvement in planned Iraq war
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Attica prefect candidate Manolis Glezos, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, expressed absolute and categorical opposition to any involvement by Greece in the planned attack against Iraq.
''Humanity is giving humanization examinations,'' Glezos said, adding that ''the threat of a world war is placing each person before his responsibilities.''
Glezos said that the Greek government should proclaim that it will not participate and at the same time condemn the planned war.
He said the role of NATO should be ''exposed'', which is not at all defensive despite what has been said to the contrary, and went on to add that ''the role of NATO is not defensive when it participates in aggressive acts, as was the case in Yugoslavia and is about to take place in Iraq now.''
Glezos believes the main reasons why a war is being planned against Iraq are two. The first is control of oil deposits and the second the desire of weapons industries in the United States to sell their products.
 Former minister gives evidence in 'N17' case
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Former minister George Petsos on Tuesday gave evidence regarding a murder attempt against him by the terrorist group ''November 17'' on May 8, 1989 before special examining magistrate Leonidas Zervobeakos, the appeals court justice assigned to the case.
The attack on Petsos had been made through a booby-trapped car near his home in Filothei.
Through his lawyer Sakis Kehagioglou, Petsos filed for the face-to-face interrogation of eyewitnesses with Christodoulos and Savvas Xiros and Dimitris Koufodinas, three top N17 suspects.
He also asked that the three suspects be brought in to give additional evidence, that eyewitnesses be questioned again, that debris from the explosive device used against him be re-examined and for the comparison of hand-writing on a note found near the site of the attack with notes by the suspects accused in connection with N17.
Petsos has also filed a civil suit in the N17 case.
 Justice minister backs ban on media images of detainees
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos on Tuesday said he was in favor of a ban on photographs and video footage of people brought in for questioning, ordered by the head of the Athens primary court public prosecutor's department Sotiris Bagias.
Speaking to 'Flash' radio, Petsalnikos announced that the justice ministry was preparing a bill to protect the public, especially the under aged, from this sort of publicity.
According to the minister, the bill would introduce rules for media coverage of trial proceedings and would not allow radio and television cameras in courtrooms during trials.
In exceptional cases, TV cameras would be given special permission to broadcast trials by the courts, when these judged that the public had a legitimate interest in the case involved, while there would also be strict guidelines governing the use of hidden cameras.
 Demonstrators march in Athens to protest ''state terrorism''
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)A protest-march numbering around 800 people took place on Tuesday evening in central Athens under a strong police presence.
Organized by the “Rally Against State Terrorism” the march was held with the participation of the extra-parliamentary left, anarchists and other small groups.
Organizers said that the march advocated “resistance against state terrorism and the terrorism related riffraff of the mass media”, while in a written resolution they said “the state is the sole terrorist” and that the struggle will continue until “the terrorist-state stops its barbaric behavior against the citizens”.
Some of the marchers chanted slogans for two suspected terrorists who died a few years ago, while “pro-November 17” slogans were written on the walls of buildings on a central Athens street.
After eluding arrest for 27 years, the terrorist group November 17 was disbanded by authorities last summer.
 A. Papandreou Institute examines recent German elections
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The Andreas Papandreou Strategic and Development Studies Institute and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation organized an event at the Goethe Institute in Athens on Tuesday on the political repercussions of the recent German elections in Europe.
German Socialdemocrat Deputy and member of the party's presidium Skarpeli-Sperk expressed regret over the absence of the previous government's justice minister from the new German government.
Addressing the same event, PASOK Deputy Paraskevas Avgerinos stressed the importance of election results in Germany and Sweden in relation to Europe's independence from the United States and the reversal of the trend towards more conservative and far-right political movements taking place on the continent until recently.
 Greece's current accounts deficit rises to 4.95 bln euros in Jan-July
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Greece's current accounts deficit rose to 4.952 billion euros in the first seven months of 2002, up 594 million euros from the same period last year, or 3.6 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday.
The central bank said that the wider deficit reflected Greece's low competitiveness and negative developments in this year's tourist market. Current accounts figures also reflect a trend by Greek investors to put their money abroad and not in the domestic market.
The Bank of Greece attributed the higher current accounts deficit to: a wider trade deficit, a larger shortfall in the incomes balance and a wider deficit in the transfer balance.
Greek exports' value fell by around one billion euros to 6.0 billion euros, while imports eased to 19 billion euros, from 19.5 billion in the same period last year, with the trade deficit increasing by 172 million euros to 13 billion euros.
The services' surplus rose by 544 million euros, with tourist foreign exchange rising to 5.796 billion euros in the January-July period, from 5.712 billion last year, while payments on tourism and transport eased to 6.7 billion euros from 7.6 billion over the same period.
The incomes' deficit rose in January-July reflecting higher net payment for interest, dividend and profits.
The transfer surplus fell in the first seven months of 2002 following a reduction of net transfers from the European Union, higher government payments and lower net revenues.
The financial balance showed a net outflow of 333 million euros, despite 6.056 billion euros net inflows in the investment fund sector.
The Bank of Greece said that the country's foreign exchange reserves totalled 8.6 billion euros at the end of July.
 Greek commerce urges for SMEs commissioner post in EU
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The National Confederation of Greek Commerce on Tuesday urged for the creation of a commissioner post with the European Commission responsible for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The request was presented to Foreign Deputy Minister Tassos Yiannitsis in the framework on the Greek government's preparations to take over the EU's presidency in the first half of 2003.
The Confederation submitted a memorandum to Mr. Yiannitsis, calling for actions to support SMEs, creating a SMEs commissioner post in the EU, speeding up procedures for the European Authority on Food Safety and supporting companies investing in Southeastern Europe.
 'Defendory ' trade fair opens in Piraeus
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The international conventional weapons system trade fair 'Defendory 2002' opened at the Piraeus Port Authority exhibition center on Tuesday, inaugurated by Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.
There are 500 companies from 35 countries taking part in this year's Defendory, which ends on October 5 and features land, sea and air weapons systems. Russia is particularly strongly represented, with 35 companies and the same number of pavilions.
In statements at the opening, Papantoniou noted the need for a unified European strategy for the defense industry, while reiterating that the Greek government planned to increase its support of the domestic arms industry over the next 3-4 years, upping its contribution to arms programs from 12 to 20 per cent.
He also announced that developments in Iraq would be discussed by EU defense ministers in Rethymno on October 4-5.
Gen. Yves Gleizes to head French delegation in ''Defendory 20: The French delegation to the ''Defendory 2002'' exhibition in Athens will be headed by Gen. Yves Gleizes, who will represent the French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, according to a press release issued by the French Embassy in Athens.
Gen. Gleizes, who is the general director of France's armaments, will participate in the exhibition on Friday.
The presence of the French defense industry in the exhibition is a notable one and will take place under the auspices of DGA, France's general directorate for armaments.
 Gov't may allow part-time work in local government
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The government is considering introducing part-time work in local government, sources said on Tuesday.
The move to aid employment was discussed at a meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas. They also looked at the cost of overtime, and boosting employment for women and youth.
The cabinet is due to meet on Thursday to debate measures for the labor market, with the prime minister expected to announce any final decisions.
 National Bank leads Greek stocks to lower closing
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)A recovery in other European stock markets during the last hour of trading in the Athens Stock Exchange, helped Greek stocks end off their day's lows on Tuesday.
The general index fell 0.25 percent to end at 1,832.97 points, with turnover a low 60.4 million euros.
National Bank's shares plunged 8.5 percent, pushing the market lower.
The Insurance, Bank and Base Metal sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (2.36 percent, 1.61 percent and 1.08 percent, respectively), while the Textile (2.50 percent), Construction (2.27 percent) and IT (1.37 percent) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.78 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.42 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.04 percent higher.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 175 to 144 with another 38 issues unchanged.
The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Football Pools Organization, Intracom, Commercial Bank of Greece, and National Bank of Greece.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 72.7 mln euros Tuesday
Equity Index Futures:
Day's Market Turnover: 111.8 mln euros
Bond Market Close: Buyers match sellers on Tuesday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
 Gov't announces 26 kilometers of much needed metro extensions
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The government on Tuesday unveiled plans to extend the current metro network under the congested Greek capital an additional 26 kilometers by the year 2010 via a scheme to lure private investments in order to fund the 2.5-billion-euro project.
Some 14.3 kilometers of underground lines and 12 stations are currently being constructed, with completion dates scheduled for between June 2004 – a couple of months before the upcoming Olympics return to Greece – and the end of 2006.
Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said concessions to operate the new stretches of metro lines or other loan schemes will be sought to fund extensions on the three lines that currently comprise Athens’ new metro network.
One projected 7.5km and five-station extension would connect the current Panormou station in central Athens with the northern suburb of Maroussi. Another 8.2km extension would continue from the working-class district of Aegaleo, southwest of downtown Athens, to the port of Piraeus, while a 6.3km extension on Line 2 would connect central Athens with the densely populated residential district of Galatsi to the north, a route that would conceivable pass under some of the most heavily congested inner-city neighborhoods of Athens.
Finally, a 4.2km extension is envisioned from the Ilioupolis suburb -- east Athens -- southeast towards the upscale coastal districts and the old airport at the Hellenikon site. The last extension may be partially constructed above ground, reports state.
The estimated 2.5-billion-euro cost, according to Papandreou, includes rolling stock and the construction of an extra depot.
 Sorensen elected new president of European Alliance of News Agencies
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)Uffe Riis Sorensen, managing director and editor-in-chief of the Danish news agency Ritzaus Bureau, has been elected president of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) for the next two-year term, EANA announced on Tuesday.
Sorensen succeeds Andreas Christodoulides, general director of Greece's Athens News Agency (ANA), who decided not to stand for re-election after completing his two-year term in office.
Also elected were two new members to the EANA's Bureau, for three-year terms. They are Italian news agency ANSA CEO and managing director Giuseppe Cerborne and Russian news agency ITAR-TASS first deputy director general Mikhail Gusman, who join Dutch news agency ANP managing director Paul Tesselaar, and EANA secretary general Erik Nylen on the Bureau.
EANA was founded in 1956 and comprises 30 European news agencies. It is a non-profit membership association serving as a pan-European professional forum for contacts and cooperation, as well as exchange of information, experience and know-how among its members.
 Athens Academy inaugurates new medical research institute
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The country’s religious and political leadership, including President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and visiting Ecumenical Patriarchate Vartholomeos, gathered at the Athens Academy on Tuesday for a ceremony to inaugurate a new medical and biology research institute affiliated with the Academy.
In a brief address, Prime Minister Costas Simitis praised the Academy’s board, particularly noted cardiology professor Grigoris Skalkeas, for establishing such a research center without state funding.
“Research in Greece is lacking because we are not dedicating resources. However, slowly and surely more and more resources are being dedicated to research,” he stressed before dozens of dignitaries in the Academy’s grand hall.
On his part, the Patriarch cited what he called a “negative stance towards scientific knowledge, one that is not justified by the fear of misuse (of such scientific knowledge). Man must offer responsible answers to scientific and moral questions, and not cast those away without answer.”
 5th int'l conference on Acropolis restoration begins
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The fifth annual international conference focusing on the Acropolis’ restoration began in Athens on Tuesday with the participation of several international scholars and the Greek culture ministry’s top leadership.
“The fifth international conference is, as you understand, an opportunity and an occasion to again deal with the program being implemented for the restoration of the Acropolis’ monuments; for an evaluation of the work done so far and for observations regarding our planning; in general, for an evaluation of this entire colossal project,” Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said, adding:
“... in my opinion, this is the largest restoration program of its kind in the world today, especially in terms of its symbolism, and in terms of its scope and extent.”
 Greece & Spain EU members with most violations of landfill directives
BRUSSELS 02/10/2002 (ANA - B. Demiris)Greece and Spain are the two European Union member-states that violate more than all others the directives of the Union concerning waste management, European Commission services said.
In a seminar entitled ''Name, Shame and Fame'' that took place in Brussels on Tuesday at the initiative of Commissioner Margot Wallstrom and focused on the safe use of landfills in the European Union.
It was announced that the European Commission began the process of taking seven member-states to the European Court for their lackluster performance in waste management.
According to Commission data that were announced, Greece and Spain - with 10 different cases pending against them - top the list of the seven member-states, while Italy with eight, Ireland with five and Great Britain, France and Germany with one each follow.
Greece ten cases concern waste management improprieties in Pera Galini of Iraklion, Crete; Peania, Attica; Aegion, Achaia; Halandri, Attica; Ftelia, Arta; Ierissos, Chalkidiki; Aliki, Paros; Maroula, Rethymnon Crete; and Skiathos Island.
According to data provided during the seminar, the per capita annual production of waste in the EU stands at 540 kilos for household garbage, of which 57 per cent ends up in landfills, 16 per cent is burned, 13 per cent in recycled, 7 per cent is composted and 7 per cent is disposed by other means.
 Greece's 20 years in Europe commemorated in an album
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The European Union European Commission Representation in Greece on Tuesday launched a deluxe edition of an interesting commemorative album commemorating Greece’s twenty-year participation in the European Union.
Published by the Hellenic Literary and Historic Archives (ELIA) and including over 300 pages with texts and illustrations from Greece’s 20-year-long journey in the EU, the book was presented at a special event held in the foreign ministry’s amphitheater.
Attending the event, Environment, Town Planning and Public Projects Minister Vasso Papandreou said “twenty years after our accession to the EU, the feeling that we belong with Europe is deeply rooted in the consciousness of the Greek people; the circulation of the Euro, the symbol of European identity in our country, will deepen that conviction”.
The event was also attended by the head of the Commission Representation in Greece Giorgos Markopouliotis, former Eurodeputies, diplomats, journalists and members of the university community.
 Controversial soccer executive, businessman convicted in forgery trial
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The owner of a defunct Athens tabloid and the man who controls one of Greece’s most popular football teams was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday for forging a document with the intent of damaging the state.
A three-judge appellate court in Athens handed down the sentence by a 2-1 margin against night-club entrepreneur, racehorse owner and ex-publisher Makis Psomiadis, whose high-profile forgery trial emanated from a lawsuit initially filed by former public works minister and current ruling PASOK secretary Costas Laliotis.
Laliotis was initially awarded 100 million drachmas (300,000 euros) by a first instance court which found Psomiadis – who controls the AEK Athens pro club -- guilty of slander. A three-year sentence was handed down for that conviction.
A 1996 front-page story in Psomiadis’ obscure daily “To Onoma” claimed that Laliotis had received a massive kickback for making sure the Germany-based Hochtief consortium won the right to build and operate the new Athens airport at Spata. The paper also ran a photograph of a Swiss bank check it claimed constituted the kickback, although Psomiadis later agreed on the stand that the check had been forged.
Tuesday’s verdict followed a recommendation the relevant prosecutor that Psomiadis be found guilty, whereas all three jurists ruled against issuing bail leading up to an expected appeal. That development resulted in the businessman’s immediate incarceration in an Athens-area prison.
Laliotis testified last week that the Greek state would have incurred millions of euros in damages in the event the European Union interrupted funding for the new airport, something he said the contested article aimed to provoke.
Finally, the trial’s conclusion proved to be particularly ill timed for Psomiadis’ football interests, as AEK hosts one of the world’s most formidable soccer powerhouses, Real Madrid, on Wednesday in the third week of first round Champions League play.
 Supreme Court prosecutor proposes slander conviction of Roussel be upheld
Athens, 02/10/2002 (ANA)The high-profile father of Onassis shipping heiress Athina Roussel, French national Thierry Roussel's petition to cancel a decision by an Athens appellate court, by which he was found guilty of slander was discussed by the criminal law section of Arios Pagos, Greece's supreme court.
Roussel was convicted in March 2001 by the appellate court, which decreased his prison sentence to three years and six months, from the initial five years imposed by a lower court.
The prosecutor of the Supreme Court proposed that the petition be turned down, as the decision of the appellate court was well reasoned.
Roussel, a permanent resident of Switzerland, had been found guilty by an Athens misdemeanor court of slander, perjury and of filing a frivolous lawsuit against the board members of the influential Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, whom he had charged with mismanaging the foundation’s financial assets.
The fine was