|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-08-14
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 14, 2003
 ATHOC chief promises ''magical' Olympic Games in Athens
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, from Lausanne on Wednesday, exactly one year before the 2004 Olympic Events, said she was convinced that Athens would organize ''magical'' Games.
Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, in a ceremony held in the Swiss capital, along with International Olympic Committee President Jaques Rogge formally addressed an invitation to 201 National Olympic Committees - a record number in modern Olympic history - to parti-cipate in the XXVIII Olympiad.
''For the first time since 1896, the world's greatest athletes coming from a record-breaking number of countries are invited to compete at the Olympic Games in Athens, a come-back to the birthplace of the Games for the athletes, for all nations, for everyone'', the head of ATHOC told the ANA.
The ATHOC chief said that Olympic preparations in Athens are on schedule, work is carried out at a much higher speed, and all Greeks are waiting to welcome everyone in Greece. She said Greece was undergoing a transformation.
''Europe's most contemporary airport is now open, public and private mass transportation in Athens is taking a new shape. Hundreds of public and private construction programmes are underway and they will be ready for the world on 13 August 2004'', she stressed.
''We believe that we will organize 'magical' Games. We believe that as our history with the Olympic Games goes back 3,000 years, the next Olympic Games could be the best ever'', she added.
''In one year from now, as the Olympic torch will glare above Athens, everyone's systematic and hard efforts will be met with recognition as the Games that will be hosted in Athens will make Greece feel proud and will fill the world with the true spirit of the Olympic Games'', the ATHOC head concluded.
 Thessaloniki officials meet to prepare PM Simitis' visit
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)A number of officials in Thessaloniki, including Macedonia-Thrace Minister Harris Kastanidis, held a meeting at the specific ministry on Wednesday, to discuss details in preparing Prime Minister Costas Simitis' scheduled three-day visit to the city during the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), taking place early September.
During his stay in the northern Greece city, Simitis is scheduled to inaugurate TIF, inspect various major infrastructure projects and meet with government officials, ruling PASOK party cadres, and representatives of employees and employers' organizations.
In statements after the meeting, Kastanidis said that in the coming days he would invite representatives from all bodies and agencies to formulate a common framework for their meetings and discussions with the premier.
 Thessaloniki mayors demand payment of withheld funds to local gov't
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Municipalities around the country are faced with bankruptcy as a result of an 'illegal' withholding by the state of funds earmarked for them, a number of Thessaloniki mayors and PASOK-backed city councilors said in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
In a joint press conference on Wednesday, the mayors said the funds not given to local government bodies in 2003 amount to nearly one billion euros, while warning that they would propose action unless the government responds positively to their demands.
 New road to connect Bulgarian city with Xanthi
SOFIA, 14/08/2003 (ANA – B. Borisov)Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi on Wednesday announced that the road to connect the city of Rudozem, southern Bulgaria with the Northern Greek city of Xanthi, will begin being constructed in April.
He added that the timetable for completion was projected to be within 2005, while he added a new border post to serve the highway will be constructed on the Greek-Bulgarian border.
The European Commission will fund the 10-kilometer long road with eight million euros.
 Merchant marine minister addresses 6th World Conference of Thracians
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Merchant Marine Minister George Paschalidis on Wednesday addressed the 6th World Conference of Thracians and underlined the systematic efforts of the government over the past few years to promote the development of the region of Thrace with significant infrastructure projects.
The conference, which is in its second day, focused on the issue of sustainable development, business creation and the role of Thrace in the European Union.
 New rules to apply in fish market
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)New rules are to be introduced in the Greek fish market following a decision taken by the Agriculture Ministry and signed by Minister George Drys on Wednesday.
All fish sold either in shops or open markets would have to be labeled in accordance with their type, production method, and fishing zone.
Production method is divided into three types: (a) sea, (b) lakes and rivers (sweet water) and (c) fisheries.
 Israeli vessels in Cephalonia for 50th anniversary of major quake
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Authorities on the Ionian island of Cephalonia will organize a special event on Aug. 17, 2003 to honor the international forces that offered assistance following a devastating there in 1953.
According to a press release by the Israeli embassy, a high-ranking Israeli Navy delegation will participate in the event, while two Israeli warships will sail into the port of Argostoli.
Besides participating in the ceremonies, the Israel naval delegation is also expected to hold meetings with high-ranking officers of the Greek navy. Rear-Adm. Yuval Tsur, commander of the Haifa Naval Base, will head the Israeli delegation. Moreover, Adm. Schlomo Erell (ret.), the commander of the Israeli warships who gave the order for the assistance in 1953, will also be present.
Finally, the Israeli delegation will organize a tour on one the Israeli ships (deck only) where Rear-Adm. Tsur will hold a press conference on Aug. 17.
Four navy warships of the newly established State of Israel, under the command of Adm. Schlomo Erell, were sailing in international waters in the Mediterranean on Aug. 12, 1953, when they received an urgent message for help from quake-ravaged Cephalonia. Immediately Erell ordered his crews to rush to the area, with the Israeli vessels carrying the first international forces to reach a devastated Argostoli.
“Immediately, the Israeli crews divided themselves into rescue teams providing stretchers, injections, water and food. They offered medical attention to many wounded aboard the ships. By command of Admiral Erell, one of the Israeli vessels also carried out trips transporting wounded Cephalonians to Patras. Meanwhile, Israeli sailors worked to help free victims of the earthquake trapped under the rubble,” the press release read.
The assistance offered by Israel in the 1953 earthquake has been recognized. Every year, local authorities in Cephalonia organize an event to honor the members of the international forces, who provided assistance to the island’s residents. In fact, to honor the assistance, a road on the island has been named “Israel Avenue.”
 Kypseli residents improvise to kick out drug dealers
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Residents in the inner Athens suburb of Kypseli have issued a poster-proclamation in which they warn they are determined to take action by themselves unless drug dealers get away from their area.
Trafficking of drugs is an every-night operation in the streets of Kypseli, according to the residents, who say drugs change hands even in the presence of kids.
In the past month or so, they have been asking help from the police and lodged complaints with the local police authorities to stop the phenomenon, but as nothing was done they equipped themselves with cameras and went out in the streets and managed to take pictures of drug deals while selling narcotics, especially heroin.
Such photos are printed in the posters the residents put up in a main Kypseli street.
Meanwhile, the Public Order Ministry is said to have ordered the local police station to increase its patrols in the area during the evenings, while assistance has also been sought by the anti-drug squad.
 Clinton among spectators at Greek night in NY
NEW YORK, 14/08/2003 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)Former President of the United States Bill Clinton enjoyed last night's full moon by watching a baseball game between New York's Mets and San Francisco's Giants, which was dedicated to Greece and its culture.
It was the third year that the New York-based baseball team organized a cultural ''Greek night'' event at its Queens stadium, with this year's event aimed at helping a Greek-American charity organization for children suffering from cancer.
Among spectators was Greek-American state representative Michael Giannaris, who told the ANA that the night was an honor to Greece and the presence of Clinton as well as of other municipal and state officials ''signified their respect for the Greek-American community''.
 3 more British nationals arrested for bloody Faliraki brawl
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Another three young British men were arrested on Wednesday on the holiday island of Rhodes in relation to the death of another compatriot holiday-maker two days earlier during a rowdy nightclub brawl.
Paddy Rodan, 17, was fatally slashed in the neck by an unidentified assailant using what local police believe was a broken beer bottle in the resort town of Faliraki, an incident that has generated a crescendo of press coverage about Mediterranean holiday enclaves mostly catering to young British tourists bent on cheap “sun and suds” vacations.
The arrest of the trio brings the number of British nationals arrested in the case to 10, with those in custody ranging in ages from 19 to 33.
All of the arrestees were still awaiting arraignment before a local magistrate on Rhodes at around 3:30 p.m. local time (1:30 GMT).
Additionally, three of the original suspects in the brawl have been charged with drug possession, mostly cannabis. One man was also found in possession of a half-dozen “ecstasy” pills and another reportedly had 1.5 grams of an unidentified white powder in his hotel room.
Finally, in comments to Greek television reporters over the past few days, the police chief in charge of the Faliraki district also cited "nationalistic" causes behind the early Tuesday morning fracas, besides the excessive consumption of alcohol.
 Grasshoppers beats AEK Athens 1-0 in Champions League qualifier
Athens, 14/08/2003 (ANA)Grasshoppers of Switzerland beat AEK Athens 1-0 in a Champions League third qualifying round, first leg soccer match played in Zurich on Wednesday night.
The second leg match will be played in Athens on August 27.
 Government to persist on effort for solution
NICOSIA, 14/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)The Greek Cypriot side is determined to continue working for a political settlement before May next year, when Cyprus will join
the European Union, on the basis of a UN proposal, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said.
The spokesman expressed hope that Cyprus' accession course will contribute to a European solution and said Turkey should comply with EU principles, as a candidate country aspiring to join sometime in the future.
''Our efforts will continue to find a functional and mutually acceptable solution after negotiations without any preconditions, on the basis of the Annan plan, prior to May 1, 2004, but even after that date, if need be, in the same constructive spirit,''
Chrysostomides said in a written statement on the eve of the 29th anniversary of the second Turkish offensive against Cyprus, which resulted in the division and occupation of the island's northern areas.
The spokesman stresses that the fight to end the continuing Turkish occupation is a collective effort, by all the people of Cyprus, and notes that personal interests should not be placed over and above national interest.
''We are trying to build bridges of communication with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots for a common course towards a solution and a common future within Europe,'' the statement said. The spokesman notes that the only obstacle to a solution is the adherence of Turkey and its puppet regime in occupied Cyprus to divisive designs and an expansionist policy.
Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974, after the legal government of the late Archbishop Makarios III was toppled in a military coup. Three weeks after a ceasefire was declared on 22 July, Turkish troops launched their second offensive which left the country divided with its northern part under Turkish occupation.
Nearly one third of the population, some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, became refugees, over 1,000 persons were listed as missing and scores were killed during hostilities.
UN-led attempts to broker a peace deal have so far stumbled on the persistent demand by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, backed by Ankara, for recognition of his self-styled regime in occupied Cyprus, which the UN have described ''legally invalid.''
 French Secretary on private visit to Cyprus
NICOSIA, 14/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)France's State Secretary for Sustainable Development Tokia Saifi has expressed hope that with Cyprus' accession to the EU, relations between France and Cyprus would be further strengthened.
She was speaking after meeting on Tuesday government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides. Saifi noted that relations between the two countries are traditionally extremely good.
The French Secretary, who is on a private visit to Cyprus, invited Chrysostomides to visit France.
The French official had also a meeting with Foreign Minister George Iacovou.
The two examined issues of mutual interest, an official press release said.