|Thursday, 6 August 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-08-16
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 16, 2003
 PM focuses on Lefkada quake in holiday message
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday celebrated the Dormition of the Theotokos religious holiday on the Cyclades island of Sifnos, where he issued a message in light of an earthquake that rocked the Ionian Sea region, especially Lefkada, on Thursday.
''Today is a day of joy and celebrations, but we have to think of our fellow citizens in Lefkada who where hit by the earthquake. It was a very strong quake. The government will do, as always, everything possible to deal with the effects of the earthquake,'' Simitis said.
''A government delegation is already in Lefkada and is confronting the issues at hand ... This earthquake, a strong one, as I said, proved one thing, that the damages, in relation to other quakes in the same region or other regions, were limited.
This is due to the fact that the state has implemented, for some years now, a systematic seismic protection policy,'' he underlined.
in holiday message
The 6.4 on the Richter scale quake, which was recorded at 8:15 a.m., caused serious damage to several older buildings in Lefkada's main town, while roads also were damaged and about 50 people were injured. Five were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Several top government officials departed for the island to assess damages in the hours after the quake, while a team of engineers was also dispatched. Additionally, police on the island were increased by an extra 120 officers.
Aftershocks were recorded in the region over the past 48 hours, leading most tourists to depart. Thursday's quake comes almost 50 years to the day since a destructive 1953 earthquake claimed the lives of hundreds of people on the neighboring island of Cephallonia.
 ND leader's message on Dormition of the Theotokos Day
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis celebrated the Dormition of the Theotokos Day, on Friday, in Paros Island of the Central Aegean, calling on Greeks to turn their gaze to the pool of values of Hellenism on this grand day of celebration for Orthodoxy and the Armed Forces.
"We are obliged to unite our forces, to create a society of development and cohesion. A society of progress and solidarity," Karamanlis said.
 ASE pushes towards 2,200 level on Thursday
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Strong buying interest for all categories of stocks, particularly Hellenic Telecommunication Organization’s shares, lifted Greek stocks higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The general index ended 1.32 percent higher at 2,190.81 points, after rising to 2,197.14 points early in the session. Turnover was an improved 137.6 million euros.
All sector indices ended higher, with the Insurance, IT and Construction sectors scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day (5.0 percent, 3.05 percent and 2.24 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.43 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 1.05 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index jumped 2.38 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 267 to 60 with another 37 issues unchanged.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover
at 95.5 mln euros Thursday
Equity Index Futures:
Closing rates of August 14 2003
Parities in euro
For. Exchange Buying Selling
US Dollar 1,136 1,110
 PM to meet with IOC Games coordination commission chief on Monday
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis will receive Dennis Oswald, who heads the IOC's Coordination Commission for the Games, on Monday, in a meeting with the participation of Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
An IOC delegation headed by Oswald will be in Athens over the weekend to observe the ''test events'' leading up to the Olympic Games of Athens in August 2004. These ''test events'' include canoe-kayak games, equestrian games, and the European Bicycle Championships that will take place in the streets of Athens Metropolitan area.
According to sources, along with the IOC delegation, delegations from Turin, which will host the 2006 Winter Games and Beijing, which will host the 2008 Summer Olympics, will be in Athens to gain important know-how from the Greek experience with the Games.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki stressed that the bicycling tour, as well as the rest of the test events, taking place in August, showcase Greece's work over the past few years.
Speaking after the completion of the first day of the Bicycling tour, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki stressed that these events ''prove how decisive are the Greeks to aid, so that Greece may organize Games of a high level one year from today''.
She thanked the police and the mayors of Athens metro, where the test events are taking place, for making the events as painless as possible for the residents of the regions impacted.
''If we continue like this, in 2004, Athens will organize the best Games ever,'' Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said.
 Olympic count-down celebrations held in four cities around Greece
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Large crowds in four cities around Greece on Wednesday attended simultaneous celebrations to mark the official beginning of the 365-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games of Athens.
The star-studded "One-year-to-go" open-air concerts were held in the “Olympic cities” of Thessaloniki, Irakleio on Crete, Volos, central Greece, and the western port city of Patras, where local performers joined thousands of spectators to celebrate the countdown to the Olympics’ “homecoming”.
Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki greeted crowds in the Cretan capital of Irakleio.
"Today, we are celebrating throughout Greece – in the four Olympic Cities – the mark of the year before the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Games. Our Games, our unique Games", she said in an address carried by the state-run TV channel.
A confident Angelopoulos-Daskalaki assured cheering crowds that the Athens 2004 Games will be the best ever.
"We are moving on with our preparations, we are learning from the problems and focusing on solutions so that we can be ready in one year, and we will be ready.”
Meanwhile, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos was in Thessaloniki, the district where he is elected, to attend count-down celebrations held in the northern Greek port city.
The four Olympic cities will host soccer preliminaries during the 2004 Olympic Games.
 Five deaths reported after migrant-laden vessel capsizes off Lesvos
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)Three children and two adults drowned when a wooden vessel reportedly carrying 39 illegal immigrants capsized early Thursday morning off the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, authorities said.
The Greek coast guard rescued 33 survivors after local residents at a nearby village, on the island’s northern part, reported that they heard cries for help in the sea.
Authorities resumed their search on Thursday morning, as more illegals were reportedly on board the vessel.
The 33 survivors were transported to a local hospital on Lesvos.
Authorities said an unidentified Afghan man had earlier called the merchant marine ministry's operation room and informed them about the transport of approximately 20 illegals by three Turkish smugglers.
In an unrelated incident, Lesvos officials on Wednesday arrested 10 Iraqi illegal immigrants and two Turkish smugglers who dropped them off on a beach north of island’s capital, Mytilene.
The nearby Turkish coast has been a favorite crossing point for mostly Third World migrants over the years in their attempt to reach Greece, the nearest EU territory in the region.
 Police ID suspect in British teen's murder at Faliraki
Athens, 16/08/2003 (ANA)A 21-year-old British tourist has reportedly confessed to the murder of a 17-year-old compatriot earlier this week during a nightclub brawl at a raucous youth-dominated resort on the island of Rhodes.
Police identified the man as Peter-Mark Navarro, one of 11 British holiday-makers arrested in the aftermath of the incident at Faliraki. Paddy Doran, from Peterborough, England, bled to death in the early morning hours of Tuesday after his jugular vein was slashed with a broken beer bottle.
According to reports, Navarro was identified by three of the men in custody as the assailant.
On his part, the suspect claimed the brawl began over a minor altercation.
Navarro was charged with intentional homicide, while another five British nationals – mostly in the early 20s – were charged with complicity in the murder. Another four were slapped with charges related to the fracas and drug possession offences.
All 11 men remain in custody and will be formally arraigned before a local magistrate on the popular holiday island.
In a related development, the police directorate of the Dodecanese islands, which covers Rhodes, has recommended to the municipality where Faliraki is located that the nightclub “Q”, where the incident occurred, be shutdown. Additionally, a local prosecutor has invited representatives of travel agencies specializing in the tour packages for young, mainly British holiday-makers, to his office on Thursday for a meeting over the situation at Faliraki.
 Cyprus: Highest rate for respect of political rightsNICOSIA, 16/08/2003 (CAN/ANA)
The Cyprus Republic is given the highest rate for its respect of political rights, civil liberties in the 2003 survey of the New York-based ''Freedom House'' organization.
Cyprus for the tenth year is given the rates 1,1 (political rights, civil liberties status) which is received by countries and territories which ''come closest to the ideals suggested by the checklist questions, beginning with free and fair elections. Those who are elected rule, there are competitive parties or other political groupings, and the opposition plays an important role and has actual power. Minority groups have reasonable self-government or can participate in the government through informal consensus''.
Describing the political situation, the survey named ''Freedom of the World'' notes that efforts at resolving Cyprus' decades-old dispute over reunification of the divided island intensified during much of 2002, ahead of an assessment of the country's European Union (EU) candidacy but eventually broke down.
Cyprus completion of negotiations and invitation by the EU for accession by May 1, 2004 is also noted in the survey. The survey further notes that the freedom of speech in ''Cyprus (Greek)'' as it describes the Republic of Cyprus (government-controlled areas) is respected, ''and a vibrant independent press frequently criticizes authorities. Several private television and radio stations in the Greek Cypriot community compete effectively with government-controlled stations''.
''Workers have the right to strike and to form trade unions without authorization. More than 70 percent of the work-force belongs to independent trade unions'', the survey adds.
The ''Freedom House'' survey also refers to the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, as ''Cyprus (Turkish)'', saying those areas are rated 2,2 in political rights and civil liberties because ''such factors as political corruption, violence, political discrimination against minorities, and foreign or military influence on politics may be present and weaken the quality of freedom''.
It is noted that ''T/C police (who are under the control of the Turkish military) sometimes flout due process rights and abuse or intimidate detainees''. Concerning the freedom of press the survey finds that T/C left-wing newspaper Avrupa (Africa) ''has faced judicial harassment unprecedented for its criticism of Denktash, his policy on the division of the island, and the Turkish military presence in the territory''.
The survey adds that in May 2000, hearings began before a ''criminal court'' on 75 lawsuits against the paper for ''instigating hatred against the 'TRNC' and the Turkish army''. In August 2002 a ''court'' in occupied Nicosia sentenced two Turkish Cypriot journalists (also from Avrupa) to six months imprison-ment and a fine of 30,000 dollars ''for undermining the authority of Denktash'', the organization says.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
 Cyprus Airways steps up its operation to tackle growing demandNICOSIA 16/08/2003(CAN/ANA)
Cyprus Airways operates extra flights during this period to face growing demand, Michalis Konstantinou, a company spokesman, has told CNA, adding that between 11th of August and 1st of September, the airline will put on 90 extra flights. He said 50 flights are carried out on a daily basis transporting around 8.000 persons, with Greece being the first destination of preference.
The airline carried 33.000 passengers between 10-13 August to and from Cyprus, he added. Konstantinou said the national carrier is also making plans to meet the needs of students traveling at the end of this month and the beginning of next month. He assured that the company will put on extra flights for the students.