|Friday, 18 October 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-11-08
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>November 8, 2002
 Culture minister meets with IOC Coordinating Committee president
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordinating Committee President Denis Oswald and Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki at the culture ministry.
Oswald has arrived in Greece to inspect the progress of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games
Following the meeting Venizelos said ''my colleagues and I had a very interesting and long talk with Mr. Oswald, who will hold tomorrow, on Friday, his customary press conference''.
''In any case the first subject on our agenda was our contact with the press,'' he said, adding ''Mr. Oswald himself stressed with emphasis that many a time misunderstandings happen with the mass media and the information on the progress of the Olympic preparations does not reach public opinion''.
''It is only logical that reports in the press and comments are fragmentary and present several problems and do not show the entire picture, which is particularly positive,'' Venizelos noted.
''Mr. Oswald stressed time and again and with great emphasis that the visit is particularly successful, that there is very great satisfaction with the progress of the Olympic preparation. In comparison with the last visit and in comparison with the condition that existed last year, today's picture of the Olympic preparation is really excellent and time and again he congratulated all the ministers that are participating in the Olympic preparations and in the organizing committee,'' the minister stressed. ''I am absolutely certain that tomorrow at the press conference he will reiterate, with a very clear way, these statements,'' Venizelos said.
''Of course, as it was to be expected we spent most of our time in the meeting on issues that needed attention, not on issues that are progressing normally,'' he noted, adding ''we discussed in detail the issues concerning the Hellenikon (site of the former airport of Athens) especially the installations of basketball, the issues that are related to Goudi (a park in Athens) and with the modern pentathlon and other sports that will take place there, as well as the issues of the operational upgrading of the Athens Olympic Stadium''.
''The picture of the road works is very good, we discussed the issue of the tram, which is being dealt with by Mr. (Transport Minister Christos) Verelis, I believe that the plan is developing very well and will be completed in time,'' he added.
 FM to meet with French, UK counterparts in coming days
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is currently accompanying PM Costas Simitis during his official visit to Paris, is scheduled to meet with his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin.
According to a foreign ministry spokesman in Athens, Papandreou will subsequently travel to London for talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
The Cyprus issue is expected to be discussed at both of the Greek FM’s meetings, along with the island republic’s EU accession course and EU-Turkey relations, among others.
 Gov't announces Erdogan visit on Nov. 18
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Athens on Thursday officially announced that the leader of the Turkish party that won Sunday’s elections in the neighboring country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will arrive in the Greek capital on Monday, Nov. 18.
Government spokesman Christos Protopapas made the announcement during his regular press briefing, while he also commented on growing media speculation about a pending Cyprus solution being worked on by UN chief Kofi Annan.
“There is nothing showing that the Annan plan for Cyprus will be negative. Of course, it’s a compromise solution, and what’s necessary is for it to fall within the framework of UN resolutions.”
Asked about the matter’s link with Cyprus’ pending EU accession, the spokesman reiterated that it’s preferable for a solution to precede the island republic’s membership in the Union, although its accession is in no way tied to a previous solution.
Along those lines he echoed Greek PM Costas Simitis’ comments on the subject during an official visit to Paris on Wednesday, a more-or-less standing policy expressed by all of Greece’s top leadership.
 Christodoulakis, O'Sullivan discuss Greek EU presidency
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Thursday met with European Commission's secretary-general, Mr David O'Sullivan, and discussed issues related with the Greek EU presidency.
The meeting was also attended by Mr Vassilis Rapanos, chairman of the Council of Economic Experts.
Greece takes over the rotating six-month EU presidency from Denmark on January 1, 2003.
 Alternate FM meets with O' Sullivan to discuss Greek EU presidency
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis on Thursday met in Athens with European Commission General Secretary David O' Sullivan to discuss the program of the Greek EU presidency, due to begin on Jan. 1, 2003.
The two men and their respective delegations discussed the prospects of the Cyprus issue and it was stressed that the Copenhagen summit will conclude the enlargement process, with or without the resolution of the political problem. They also noted that the developments concerning the Cyprus issue over the next few weeks will be crucial.
Discussions also focused on enlargement in general and the signing of the agreement of accession of the ten candidate members in particular, in Athens in April.
They agreed that it would be of great importance to promote issues of security and stability in the EU and support policies of sustainable and cohesive development.
Yiannitsis and O' Sullivan also discussed issues of competitiveness of the economy and job creation, issues of foreign affairs and the great institutional changes proposed by the Conference for the Future of Europe.
In statements to the press, O' Sullivan said 2003 will be called ''Enlargement Year''.
 Turkish war-jets harass civilian aircraft
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Turkish war-planes on Thursday harassed two civilian aircraft in the air corridor connecting Greece with Cyprus, at the border of the Larnaca and Athens Fight Information Region (FIR).
According to sources, 18 Turkish F16 in six formations infringed on Greek airspace over the islands of Samos and Hios, while in ten different instances they violated the Athens FIR.
Specifically, two Turkish F 16 war-jets, harassed the Olympic Airways flight 332 that took off from Larnaca and was bound for Athens, about 30 nautical miles west of Rhodes and at an altitude of 34,000 feet.
Ten minutes later, quite possibly the same pair of aircraft harassed Cyprus Airways flight 323 that took off from Athens and was bound for Larnaca, about 35 nautical miles west of Rhodes and at an altitude of 33,000 feet.
 Rumor of dual-name solution for FYROM denied
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Greece's foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis on Thursday denied recent statements by FYROM officials concerning a resolution of the issue of the neighboring country's name on the basis of a dual name.
Beglitis told a press briefing that such statements did not contribute to the ongoing negotiations for finding a name for FYROM acceptable to both sides, in the framework of the UN.
 FM spokesman says ministry considers islet issue as over
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)A foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday said the issue of a rocky islet identified as “Tsouka”, three nautical miles from Kalymnos, is considered as over by the government.
“We continue to stand by the ministry’s announcement (that the islet is under Turkish sovereignty),” spokesman Panos Beglitis said.
He added that “after the examination of all the facts by the relevant services we consider the issue as ended.”
The issue of the Tsuka islet was also the object of a tabled question in Parliament towards the foreign minister by former minister and current independent MP Stephanos Manos on Thursday.
 ND leader sends message to Chinese Communist Party congress
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis addressed a message of greetings to the 16th congress of China's Communist Party which opened on Thursday.
Karamanlis referred in his message to relations of cooperation between the two parties and underlined the considerable and constructive role currently played by China in the world.
He said that China, presiding over the UN's Security Council at present, ''can contribute to the just solution of longstanding problems, which are at a decisive turning point today, to ensure security and peace in the particularly sensitive region of the eastern Mediterranean.''
Karamanlis expressed hope for the Congress' success and certainty that ''the results of the congress will become a starting point for new policies for the prosperity of the friendly Chinese people.''
 KKE requests Parliament debate on Cyprus issue
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The secretary general of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Aleka Papariga, has requested an off-the-agenda Parliament debate at the political leaders’ level regarding the Cyprus issue.
In tabling her request on Thursday, Papariga cited what she called the appearance of “negative developments for the future of Cyprus in the upcoming period, ones not found within the framework of UN resolutions”.
 Gov't to use stickers on passports as migrants' residence cards
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The interior ministry announced on Thursday that it has ordered two million special stickers for use on the passports of non-EU foreign nationals issued temporary residence and work permits over recent years.
According to the announcement, the stickers – printed by the Bank of Greece’s printing presses – will be filled in with the passport bearer’s personal data, thereby serving as a one-year residence permit extension.
The decision was taken in compliance with the European Union-wide practice in place since last June.
Meanwhile, a council of regional directors that convened on Thursday, chaired by Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis, considered the overall issue of illegal immigration as well as the status of recently legalized migrants in the country, in light of the expiration of temporary residence permits, “white cards”, issued six months ago.
According to one top interior ministry official, the goal is for a unified data bank listing foreign nationals’ information to be created in each of the 13 regions and at the ministry itself, with each individual’s ID, gender and profession listed.
 Nat'l Council on Foreign Policy bill completed
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The foreign ministry has completed work on a draft bill for the establishment of a National Council on Foreign Policy, as foreseen by the new Constitution, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis announced on Thursday.
Beglitis said that the draft law would be submitted for signature immediately to the ministers of foreign affairs, justice, and national economy, after which it would be tabled before the relevant parliamentary committee.
 Greek tourism authorities discuss next year's trends
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Greek tourism authorities are seeking to promote new tourist products amid gloomy forecasts over the international tourist market in 2003.
Greek authorities expect next year's tourist trends to be evident in a forthcoming International Tourism Trade Fair in London, opening November 11.
The issue was discussed in a meeting held at Greek National Tourist Organization’s offices in Brussels. The meeting was attended by GNTO's country directors in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.
The meeting concluded that despite negative conditions in international tourist markets, certain main markets of Greek tourism fared satisfactory this year (England), while others recorded increases (Netherlands) and other declines (Sweden).
 E-business lags in Greece, prospects rosy
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Electronic business' prospects were rosy in Greece despite its low levels of growth currently recording in the country compared with growth rates in America and Europe, Christos Kallias, an executive at Hellenic Company of Business Managements (EEDE) said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, during a news conference held ahead of a seminar on "e-business" in Thessaloniki, November 14-15.
"Electronic business is largely misunderstood by the majority of Greek businesses and consumer," Mr Kallias, said. He attributed the current situation to a rapid entry of new companies in the sector, a climate of irrational expectations in the market, soaring share prices in international stock markets and a resulting collapse of both shares and companies in the last two years. The Greek executive, however, stressed that these turbulences did not stop e-Business' success in establishing its presence in daily business activity worldwide.
Mr Dimitris Mylonas, chairman of the conference's organizing committee, said that according to data by Forrester Research, the Greek e-market's value totalled 8.0 million euros in 2001, a figure likely to more than double to around 17 million euros this year. The value of the market is projected to reach 722 million euros in 2006 in Greece.
Internet users in Greece accounted for 10.1 percent of total population, a percentage reaching 40 percent in Europe and 70 percent in the US. The global rate of Internet users as a percentage of global population rose to 34 percent in 2002 from 31 percent the previous year.
Mr Mylonas said e-business accounted for less than 1.0 percent of total retail sales in Greece, although it was projected to total 1.5 percent in the next five years.
 Greek-Turkish trade soared in the 1990s
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Turkey emerged as a main trade partner of Greece in the 1990s, a survey by the Panhellenic Exporters' Union said on Thursday, with Greek exports to Turkey rising by almost five times in the previous decade accounting for 5.0 percent total Greek exports in 2000 from 1.4 percent in 1990.
Turkey currently ranks fifth in Greece's list of international trade partners, from 14th in 1990.
Greek imports from Turkey also rose spectacularly, although at slower average growth rate (12 percent) compared with exports (18 percent), ranking Turkey in the 19th position in a list of the country's suppliers.
Bilateral trade jumped to 976 million US dollars in 2000 from 223 million US dollars in 1990, with exports falling significantly in the 1998-1999 period due to a financial crisis in Turkey, the report said.
Greek exports peaked in 2000 (582 million US dollars) to drop in 2001 and stage a spectacular recovery in the first half of 2002, while imports rose 24 percent in 2001 only to drop 6 percent in the first six months of 2002.
Greece recorded trade shortfalls in 1998-1999 and a surplus of 188 million US dollars in 2000.
Fuel and raw materials (mainly cotton) accounted for the biggest part of Greek exports to Turkey, 38 percent and 28 percent, respectively, while manufactured products accounted for 86 percent of Turkey's exports to Greece.
The Panhellenic Exporters' Union said that Turkey was the third most significant competitor of Greece, accounting for 9.4 percent of the country's total international competition.
 ASE ends lower, follows European markets' lead
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The decisions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to leave their interest rates unchanged at 3.25 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, negatively affected sentiment in European stock markets, including the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Disappointed investors became net sellers after the two central banks announced their decisions, one day after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 50 basis points to boost the fragile US economy.
The general index ended 1.05 percent lower at 1,829.10 points, with turnover a low 81.8 million euros.
The Investment and Retail sectors scored gains (5.29 percent and 0.15 percent, respectively), with the first sector supported by an EFG Eurobank Ergasias' decision to absorb all listed investment and closed-end funds under one portfolio.
The Bank, Wholesale and IT sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (1.99 percent, 1.79 percent and 1.44 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 1.62 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.83 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.19 percent lower.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 228 to 95 with another 35 issues unchanged.
The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Informatics, Vardas and Cosmote.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 123.4 mln euros Thursday
Equity Index Futures:
Day's Market Turnover: 123.4 mln euros
Bond Market Close: Buyers outstrip sellers on Thursday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
 IOC Coordinating Committee president meets ND leader
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis received the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordinating Committee President Denis Oswald at the party's offices on Thursday.
Oswald was accompanied by Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
He briefed Karamanlis on existing problems regarding the holding of the Olympic Games, shortcomings faced by the IOC and delays in infrastructure works and certain sports installations.
Karamanlis said the major target is to make up for time lost due to the lack of a strategy and vision on behalf of the government, adding that ND has handled and is handling the Olympic Games as a national issue and whatever criticism is based on facts and realistic proposals.
He further expressed concern over the delays, the cost of projects, the exceeding of budgets and foreign loaning to which, as he said, the government will resort.
During their discussion, Oswald expressed satisfaction over the fact the marathon course is going ahead, without any further reference to the issue being made.
 IOC Coordinating Committee members visit Acropolis
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordinating Committee, headed by its President Denis Oswald, has ascertained considerable progress in main Olympic Games projects, while on Thursday the IOC's representatives visited the Acropolis.
They were briefed on the unification of archaeological sites and then went to Nikaia, Faliro, Ellinikon and Agios Kosmas. Oswald also made unscheduled visits to the Rizoupolis, Karaiskaki and Nikos Goumas stadiums.
During a presentation of various sectors of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the Coordinating Committee ascertained considerable progress.
The only concern of the IOC's representatives is the tram issue and, more specifically, possible reactions by new mayors from regions the tram will be passing through.
However, they expressed satisfaction over the rate at which the project is proceeding, while the IOC's transport official said ''we are satisfied by the speed with which the tram project has developed, which is absolutely essential for the Olympic Games.''
 Showers cause flooding, traffic jams throughout greater Athens
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)Flash flooding was reported on the Kifissos River, southwest of downtown Athens, Thursday afternoon as the latest autumn rainfall in the Greek capital again caused the area's largest floodway to overflow.
Recently installed floodgates and makeshift dykes, following three devastating instances of flooding in the mostly working-class districts near Kifissos’s juncture with Pireos street, were unable to contain waters on Thursday, reports stated.
The roadways on either side of the concrete-lined Kifissos River were impassable, as were several other major thoroughfares in the greater Athens area.
In other weather-related problems, port authorities banned the sailing of ferryboats from Attica prefecture's two main ports, Piraeus and Rafina, as of Thursday afternoon.
The continuous downpour and lightning also hampered the takeoff and landing of several flights at Athens' 'Eleftherios Venizelos' International Airport.
 Athens mayor hands $375,000 cheque to Archbishop for reconstruction of church
NEW YORK 08/11/2002 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos on Wednesday handed a $375,000 cheque to Archbishop Dimitrios of America for the reconstruction of Aghios Nikolaos Church which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the U.S.
The donation was made by the Athens municipality and the citizens of Athens.
The Archbishop also received on Wednesday former minister and deputy of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party Byron Polydoras who was due to meet with officials of the Greek American community in Astoria on Thursday evening.
 Council of Europe conference on youth issues begins in Thessaloniki
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The sessions of a Council of Europe ministerial conference on youth issues began in Thessaloniki, northern Greece on Thursday.
Taking part in the conference are 30 ministers and representatives of ministries from 45 European Union and south-eastern European countries.
''Youth is building Europe'', is the main theme of the 6th Interministerial Conference for youths of the Council of Europe.
Welcoming the participants, Deputy Education Minister Eleni Kourkoula referred to the 30-year course of the Council of Europe and its contribution to issues concerning youth.
At the same time, she stressed that for the future and the creation of a new Europe, it was necessary for youth to participate in all the democratic procedures. Referring to the countries of southeastern Europe, Kourkoula said that there should be prevention for the combatting of violence in daily life.
The sessions of the conference will come to a close on Saturday with the signing of the Olympic Truce, in the presence of Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
 Alleged "N17" terrorists to go on 48-hour hunger strike
Athens, 08/11/2002 (ANA)The alleged "November 17" terrorist group members jailed in the women's section of the Korydallos prison complex on Thursday announced to the press that they will go on a 48-hour hunger strike.
The prisoners, with the exception of Kostas Telios who is ill and may not participate in the hunger strike, are protesting the conditions of imprisonment. They are demanding that their prison-cell door are left open and that they have right to spend their recreational time with each other.
Also Alexandros Giotopoulos and Angeliki Sotiropoulou are demanding to receive educational material for courses they are taking from the university.
 President Clerides says Annan will decide this week on solution plan
NICOSIA 08/11/2002 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said here Thursday UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will decide this week whether he will submit a solution plan to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
''The reports we have indicate that this week, Annan will decide whether he will submit a plan or not'', President Clerides told reporters.
Asked whether the solution plan will be handed to him by Secretary-General's Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto, Clerides said he had no information on that.
Invited to say whether preventive government moves to avert any unpleasant elements in such a plan has yielded any results, the president replied ''I have nothing to say on this issue''.
The president declined to comment on statements on Cyprus by the winner of Sunday's elections in Turkey, leader of the Justice and Development Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the fact that Erdogan's first visit abroad will be to the northern Turkish occupied part of the Republic to ''celebrate'' the illegal declaration of independence of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime.
''It is too early to assess what the Turkish government policy on Cyprus will be'', the president pointed out.
The UN has been conducting peace talks on Cyprus since January with a view to find a comprehensive settlement.
 Eckhard says UN Chief still considering actions
NEW YORK 08/11/2002 (CNA/ANA)UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has not decided whether to present a solution plan on Cyprus, his spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said here on Thursday.
The UN Chief is still considering his actions, Eckhard said replying to questions during the daily press briefing.
Asked whether the Secretary-General has made up his mind about presenting a plan, Eckhard said Kofi Annan "has not decided whether to present the plan. He is still considering his actions".
The UN has been conducting peace talks on Cyprus since January with a view to find a comprehensive settlement.
 Cyprus solution possible by December 12, Denktash's advisor says
NEW YORK 08/11/2002 (CNA/ANA)Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's advisor, Ergun Olgun, in an interview with CNA, has indicated that a solution to the Cyprus problem is possible by December 12, if it satisfies the basic concerns of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
However, he stressed that if a proposed UN plan for a solution is far from realizing those concerns, ''then of course we are in trouble''.
Olgun also told CNA that Denktash will undergo new medical tests on Friday and sees no reason for the Turkish Cypriot leader not to depart on November 12 from New York.
Asked if there is enough time by December 12 (when the European Union summit takes place) to reach a settlement, should the UN chief submit a solution plan, Olgun said "I can say that if this plan can satisfy and can answer the basic concerns of both sides, it is a balanced plan, if it is within the range of elasticity for not only one but both sides, I think there is a chance that we may be able to reach an agreement". However, "if it is far from realizing those", he said, "if the plan is far from realizing at least the minimum objectives and desires of any one side, then of course we are in trouble", Olgun stressed.
Asked if he thought people on both sides are ready to accept a painful compromise, Olgun said "there is a need for leadership, there is a need for vision and courageous decisions to be taken by both sides", adding that "we cannot continue forever to be in a state of hostility and confrontation".
According to Olgun the "principle that can unlock