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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-09-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

September 6, 2003

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM calls next four years a high risk period
  • [02] FM participates in EU foreign ministers' meeting
  • [03] Karamanlis criticizes gov't, premier over ''social package''
  • [04] Samaranch meets with Greek leadership
  • [05] Development minister dismisses pre-election talk as premature
  • [06] Protopapas says UN must undertake reconstruction of Iraq
  • [07] PM says he will work towards Thessaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008
  • [08] Strong French participation in Thessaloniki Trade Fair
  • [09] US investments to Greece steadily rising, US embassy says
  • [10] Alte gets contract to build new Acropolis museum
  • [11] Siemens, Aktor get suburban railway contract
  • [12] EU to give 10 million to Greece for vineyard upgrade
  • [13] Public prosecutor asks for probe into OA flight cancellations
  • [14] Greek stocks end week 2.90 pct lower
  • [15] New terrorist group assumes responsibility for court bombings
  • [16] Giotopoulos refuses face-to-face examination with his accuser Tselentis
  • [17] Human trafficking and prostitution ring busted
  • [18] Europarliament to pay tribute to late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis
  • [19] Pilobolus dance group at Herod Atticus this weekend

  • [01] PM calls next four years a high risk period

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday said that the next four years will be a high risk period, since national issues, the European position of the country and the development and prospects of society and economy are at stake.

    In his inaugural speech at the 68th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (TIF), Simitis stressed that the issues at stake concern the future of the country and their outcome will be determined over the next four-year government term. The Athens 2004 Olympic Games, he said, was one of the country's top priorities.

    Simitis noted that ''we should intensify the efforts, so as to succeed in organizing the Games'' and noted that the effort, which was made up ''till now, has proven false all voices of danger-mongering''.

    He added that the funds now used for the Olympic preparations stemmed from the national budget and that once the Games are over this development surplus will be funneled to the regions of the country.

    The premier also focused on the Cyprus issue and the Greek-Turkish relations, two issues, he said, that should be settled, calling 2004 a landmark year for Greece and Hellenism during the past 30 years.

    He said that in 2004 Turkey's contribution toward the resolution of the Cyprus issue and the Aegean continental shelf issue on the basis of International Law, will be assessed.

    The resolution of these two problems will release funds and forces from today's huge defense spending and will direct those funds to other aims, that is toward the support of development and social policy.

    A third issue at stake this next four-year term, Simitis said, will be Europe's Constitution and Greece’s position in the European Union.

    The premier also made mention of the new election law his government is drafting, noting that the new district delineation in conjunction with transparency will comprise a complete cluster of changes that will upgrade the political process.

    ''Our aim is to establish a progressive governance, which will support an open society,'' Simitis under-lined.

    Comparing today's Greece, with that of the past, he said that conditions in the country at present can not be compared with conditions in 1992 or even with 2002, adding that ''we have conquered a truly strong position in the European Union and our region''.

    Simitis said, however, that the hardest battles are still ahead and that 2004 is one of the most critical years for Greece's interests and those of Hellenism, since during this period Greece's national effort to converge with the rest of the European Union countries on all issues, but mainly concerning the economy, will be at stake.

    The premier said that the most important achievement of the country was the regaining of the national self-confidence, which in turn, as he said, will show the path ''which we must follow in the future''.

    ''We Greeks must fight this battle united and we should aim for a wider victory, which will overcome the traditional party lines and it will be a victory in the fight for a permanent overturning of the traditional image of the country,'' the prime minister said.

    He spoke in extensively about his government's economic policy, saying that ''the economy now is at a stage from which we can move faster''. ''The policy that has been implemented has already yielded results and was proven correct for the development and prosperity of the country, in contrast to the neo-liberal recipes, which lead to the decrease of laborers' real wages.''

    Confronting criticism on the economy's ability to support the recent governmental social policy measures, the premier said that the measures announced on Tuesday are based on the 2004 budget that will be tabled on Oct. 1st, adding that with this new spending, Greece exceeded the EU average funding for social policies.

    Simitis also noted that ruling PASOK's fiscal and economic policy plan for the next four years is based on the idea of growth and continual progress by improving the productive structures of society, stressing that pressures from special interest groups for more money that do not reflect real need will not be accepted

    He concluded by underlining that 2004 will mark Greece's capability to make a leap to tomorrow.

    PM's program at inauguration of TIF:

    On Saturday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon, will visit projects underway in the area, while at 12.30 he will inaugurate the ''Cyprus 1700-2000'' Fair held on the grounds of the ''Tellogleio Foundation''.

    In the afternoon, Simitis will join PASOK cadres at a luncheon at Pier C of the city's port, at 7.00 p.m. he will have a meeting with representatives of local organizations and at 9.30 p.m. he will deliver a speech at an official dinner hosted by representatives of local businesses.

    On Sunday morning, the prime minister will visit the pavilions on the grounds of the TIF, while later at 13.00 p.m. he will hold a press conference at the ''Vellidis Foundation''.

    Simitis will fly out of Thessaloniki at 4.30 Sunday evening, after he visits the new wing of the ''Macedonia'' airport.

    Opposition parties lash out against PM's TIF inauguration speech:

    Commenting on the speech by Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the inauguration of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Friday night, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Thodoros Roussopoulos said that ''for the first time in 68 years of the institution, the TIF has been used this year as a platform for electoral party propaganda.''

    ''The highly expensive electoral spot which was projected today at the inauguration ceremony of the international exhibition will remain in history as a document of shame. And as such, it will also stigmatize its inspirers,'' he added.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in an announcement said that the premier's speech contained ''a cover-up and reversal of reality, that is, many lies.''

    The announcement said that ''Simitis covered up the fact that those who have gained from the economic growth taking place in Greece are the plutocracy and that the losers are the working and middle classes,'' adding that ''he made everyone appear as winners and furthermore, everyone happy.''

    The KKE announcement added that ''the people should reject as hostile the much talked about terms of competitiveness, increase of productivity, a strong Greece and convergence. They are turned against the people, while the government presents them as of the general interest. They mean the people being sucked dry in order for a few to gain.''

    The KKE calls for ''a relentless battle against the anti-popular policy, daily and everywhere, in order for the worse to be averted.''

    The Coalition of the Left (SYN) in an announcement said ''Simitis insists, despite the undisputable facts on the course of our economy and the daily living conditions of the Greek citizens'' to recourse to ''the communication projection of a virtual reality, apparently for reasons of electoral expediency.''

    The announcement added that the prime minister ''uses the rhetoric of convergence, while at the same time, yet again, he shows a lack of strategy for convergence, as the government's neo-liberal policies only create exclusions and inequalities.''

    Protest rallies take place during PM's inauguration of TIF:

    A number of protest rallies took place in Thessaloniki on Friday night during the inauguration of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    Members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) affiliated PAME union as well as representatives of peace movements gathered at a square to protest against the government's

    economic policy and then marched to the ''Ioannis Vellidis'' conference centre where the TIF inauguration ceremony was taking place.

    A demonstration was also held by uniformed police who demanded that their profession be officially recognized as dangerous. Some officers carried placards with photographs of colleagues on which were written ''he fell in the line of duty'' and ''show some respect to our dead''. A rally was held earlier by the Greek Social Forum.

    [02] FM participates in EU foreign ministers' meeting

    RIVA del GARDA, Italia, 06/09/2003 (ANA/E. Boukaouri)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou represented Greece in the informal meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers' council here on Friday.

    Speaking to journalists before the beginning of the meetings, Papandreou said that Europe will support an increased role for the United Nations in Iraq during this difficult transitional phase, in the process toward stability.

    ''It is a positive development that the Iraqi issue is placed once again in the framework of the United Nations. Despite the different approaches of the European countries, we all have interest in the smooth development and stability of the region and for Iraq to be given back to the Iraqis. The way to achieve that is at issue,'' Papandreou said.

    The ministers' agenda include both the Iraq issue and the Palestinian issue. The defense and security policy of the European Union is also on the agenda.

    [03] Karamanlis criticizes gov't, premier over ''social package''

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Friday said that the ''prime minister and his government, after failing to produce policy, are now exclusively working to create impressions only''.

    Speaking in Halkida, Central Greece, he said that ''after having forgotten, for eight years, the 'non-privileged', they remembered them before the elections. They minded other people up to now. They serve others behind a smokescreen that they create with their communications tricks''.

    Tsohatzopoulos comments on govt's "social package":

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Friday said that a package of measures announced by the Prime Minister Costas Simitis a few days ago, would contribute in justifying the demands of part of the Greek people that did not participate adequately and in accordance with its contribution to the country's economic growth rates, exceeding two or three times the EU's average in the last few years.

    Speaking to reporters in Thessaloniki, ahead of a conference organized by GSEE, the country's largest trade union umbrella, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stressed that the measures were a government intervention to support all productive groups in the country, citizens, pensioners and marginalized people.

    "The measures, however, also support businesses, producers, farmers and the country's productive process in general."

    The Greek minister said that the government was expected to unveil a Convergence Chart, "what I would translate as a master plan for regional Greece," with specific funds and priorities offering the country a growth plan by 2008.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also commented on a phenomenon of increased prices in the country, saying that the government was hoping to promote a social dialogue as a part of a new wave of reforms in the country's political system, decentralization and development.

    [04] Samaranch meets with Greek leadership

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch on Friday met in succession with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis.

    Samaranch was in Athens to attend the presentation of his book "21 years in the IOC Presidency".

    Samaranch holds book presentation in Athens

    Honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch on Friday attended the presentation of his book ''21 years in the IOC Presidency'' at a central Athens hotel. The date coincided with the sixth anniversary since Samaranch announced that Athens would be hosting the 2004 Olympic Games in 1997.

    During the event, Samaranch expressed conviction that the Athens Games would be a great success and would greatly help the Olympic movement.

    He was particularly warm in his praise of Athens Organizing Committee (ATHOC) president Gianna Angelopoulos, stressing that without her at the helm of the committee preparing Athens' bid, the city would have had difficulty winning the Games.

    [05] Development minister dismisses pre-election talk as premature

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Friday underlined that it is illogical to speak of a pre-election atmosphere in the fall of 2003, since the elections will take place in the spring of 2004.

    Speaking to local government officials in Thessaloniki's Stravroupoli Municipality, Tsohatzopoulos detailed the government's plans for the relinquishing of land belonging to the defense ministry for use by the municipalities and responded to questions concerning local infrastructure projects.

    [06] Protopapas says UN must undertake reconstruction of Iraq

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Christos Protopapas said on Friday that ''as we had timely noted,'' the United Nations should have undertaken the reconstruction of Iraq after the war in the country.

    ''It should also undertake it now and the governance of the country should be assumed by the Iraqis as soon as possible,'' he said.

    Protopapas, in reply to a question whether the European Union and the United States were heading towards a new dispute, said ''I do not think we are heading in that direction.''

    [07] PM says he will work towards Thessaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, on arrival in Thessaloniki at 6 p.m. on Friday to inaugurate the Thessaloniki Trade Fair (TIF), said that the northern Greek city's next major objective is to bid for the 2008 EXPO world exhibition, noting that he personally will work for a successful outcome.

    The prime minister was welcomed at the airport by Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis who told Simitis that promises and announcements made over a period of time by the government that it will support Thessaloniki have not yet materialized.

    On his part, Simitis stressed the significant developments which have been made these past few years in promoting the city, noting that during his stay in Thessaloniki, he will discuss with local officials the major plan for the city's successful bid in hosting EXPO 2008.

    Concluding, Simitis said that the government was aware of Thessaloniki's problems, noting: ''We never had the impression that our task has finished ... We will proceed for the better.''

    About 2,000 members and supporters of PASOK gathered at the airport to greet Simitis.

    The prime minister was welcomed at the airport by prefect Psomiadis, Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Haris Kastanidis, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and military, police and church officials.

    [08] Strong French participation in Thessaloniki Trade Fair

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    The French pavilion at this year's Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is designed to promote French companies' latest achievements, the Greek-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Friday.

    The French pavilion includes some of the biggest industry sectors, such as aeronautics, automobile, electric products, electronic systems, media, educational organizations, household equipment and services.

    A chamber statement said that the French participation in the 68th trade fair was expected to bring bilateral trade relations closer.

    Mr. Luc Asselin de Williencourt, first secretary of the French Embassy, is expected to officially inaugurate the pavilion on Sunday.

    [09] US investments to Greece steadily rising, US embassy says

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Greek-American trade relations have a lot of room for further expansion with US investments to Greece steadily rising, officials said on Friday.

    Speaking in a new conference, held on the occasion of the official US participation in the 68th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Walter Hage, US Embassy's Trade Attache, said that "In my opinion America holds a relatively small share in the Greek market. I believe there a lot of room for further expanding partnerships." Mr. Hage stressed that American investments in Greece were "steadily rising”.

    Stephanos Costopoulos, chairman of the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce, said that US exports to Greece totalled 1.5 billion US dollars in 2002, while Greek exports to the United States were around 750 million dollars.

    American investments in Greece totalled 2.5 billion dollars, while Greek investments in the US reached 1.2 billion dollars last year.

    Mr. Walter Hage, the new US consulate in Thessaloniki, said that a total of 24 small and large enterprises were participating in this year's 68th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, several of which for the first time, such as Marriott Hotels International, Genesis (a representative of 3M in Greece) and Mobile Medical.

    US Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Thomas Miller, will inaugurate the US pavilion on Sunday, while a reception will be held on the same day at the American Agricultural School on "America's Day".

    The companies participating in the US pavilion are: Arcat S.A., Aroma Hellas S.A., Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel, Chrysler Jeep Import Hellas, Dow Hellas S.A., ForthNet S.A., Fourlis Trade S.A., Fulbright Program, Genesis S.A., Health Care Solutions S.A., Hellenic Fur Federation, Hollywood Tans Hellas, Idilka Co., Interwater –Anastasios Tempos, Katrantzos Security S.A., M.Levis S.A.-Linguaphone, Manpower Team S.A., MesseHaus S.A., Mobile Medical International Corporation, South Eastern-The American University of Athens, Time-Life Puplications-Kyriakos Mlakozis, University of Indianapolis-Athens Campus, Water Pik, Xerox Hellas.

    [10] Alte gets contract to build new Acropolis museum

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Alte SA has won a tender for construction of a new museum for the Acropolis in a project budgeted at 49.8 million euros.

    The company will also undertake landscaping work around the museum and maintain the building, whose construction will take two years.

    [11] Siemens, Aktor get suburban railway contract

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    A consortium of companies comprising Siemens, Aktor and Terna won a tender to supply an electrification, signaling and remote operation system for a suburban route commissioned by state-owned Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE).

    The project for the stretch between the port of Piraeus and Ano Liossia in the west that will run through Athens is budgeted at 159,844,144 euros, OSE said in a statement.

    The construction deadline is eight months after signature of a contract, so that the railway is operational in time for the Athens 2004 Olympics in August of that year, the statement said.

    The suburban railway network that will extend as far as Corinth in the Peloponnese and Athens airport is expected to carry 420,000 passengers on a daily basis by 2010.

    A journey from Piraeus to the airport will take an estimated 40 minutes; and from Athens to the airport, 30 minutes, the statement added.

    [12] EU to give 10 million to Greece for vineyard upgrade

    BRUSSELS, 06/09/2003 (ANA - B. Demiris)

    Greek grape producers will receive a total of 10 million euros for the cultivation restructuring of about 1,300 hectares of vineyards, of a total of 443,2 billion euros allocated for grape producers around the European Union.

    According to a decision of the European Commission 58,651 hectares of vineyards in eight EU countries will be subsidized for their restructuring, with Spain being the front runner, since it will receive some 150 million euros for more than 20,000 hectares.

    [13] Public prosecutor asks for probe into OA flight cancellations

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    The intervention by a public prosecutor was prompted on Friday by reports in the press regarding the cancellations of Olympic Airways flights one day earlier.

    An Athens public prosecutor forwarded a letter to the Athens Airport Police Directorate asking that an emergency preliminary inquiry be carried out to investigate incidents reported in the press with regard to flight attendants collectively calling in sick.

    A 24-hour strike by civil aviation workers on Thursday severely disrupted Olympic Airways flights, mainly to destinations abroad.

    The Federation of Civil Aviation Unions went ahead with the stoppage despite a court ruling declaring the action illegal.

    In addition, flight attendants collectively called in sick, apparently to bypass the repercussions of staging a strike ruled as illegal.

    Workers were protesting against a government bill to restructure Olympic Airways, which is to be renamed Olympic Airlines and restrict its business to flights.

    [14] Greek stocks end week 2.90 pct lower

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended higher the last trading session of a negative week in the Athens Stock Exchange as fading pressures in the market helped prices reverse a six-day decline.

    The general index rose 0.35 percent to end at 2,146.39 points, for a net loss of 2.9 percent in the week. Turnover was a low 122.6 million euros.

    The IT Solution, Insurance and Wholesale sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (3.84 percent, 1.94 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively), while the Base Metals (0.84 percent), Holding (0.52 percent) and Cement (0.16 percent) sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.29 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index gained 0.17 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index jumped 1.29 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 224 to 77 with another 61 issues unchanged.

    The most heavily traded stocks in value were Intracom, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Alpha Bank, National Bank of Greece, and Vodafone.

    Derivatives Market Close: Turnover

    at 100.7 mln euros Friday

    Equity Index Futures:

  • FTSE/ASE-20 (high cap): Close to fair value

  • Underlying Index: +0.29% percent

  • FTSE/ASE-40 (medium cap): At premium

  • Underlying Index: +0.17 percent

    Stock Futures:

  • Most Active Contract (volume): Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (1,318)

  • Total turnover in derivatives market: 100.7 mln euros

    Bond Market Close: Buyers

    outstrip sellers on Friday

    Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond

  • Yield: 4.41 pct

  • Spread over German bund: 12 bps

  • Most heavily traded paper: 10-yr, expiring May 2012 (540 mln euros)

  • Day's Total Market Turnover: 3.0 bln euros

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE

    Closing rates of September 5 2003

    Parities in euro

    Banknotes

    For. Exchange Buying Selling

    US Dollar 1,101 1,075

    [15] New terrorist group assumes responsibility for court bombings

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    A previously unknown terrorist group on Friday claimed responsibility for two separate explosions that rattled the down-town Athens court complex in the early hours on Friday, causing slight injury to a policeman who went to investigate the first blast.

    An unidentified man called the offices of an Athens newspaper 30 minutes after the second explosion and said that the ''Revolutionary Struggle'' claimed responsibility for the explosions.

    According to police, a bomb exploded at the entrance of the court building complex at 2:47 a.m. on Friday.

    The second device went off at 3:05 a.m. at a few yards from the site of the first explosion, causing slight knee injuries to one of the two policemen who had rushed to the scene to investigate.

    Police said the two explosions were caused by makeshift devices equipped with timers using dynamite, which had been placed on a stair-landing outside building No.7 and in an empty information booth.

    A high-ranking Attica police officer told the ANA that substantial police forces were sent to the scene by the chief of Attica police immediately after the explosions, and that pieces of bomb shrapnel found at the scene were taken for forensic testing. In a second search of the scene, forensics experts also discovered fingerprints.

    Questions were raised with regard to security measures, since the entire court complex is guarded only on the side where the main entrance is located.

    The rest of the area is not guarded by police officers and the only security measures in place are rotating security cameras. According to courthouse employees, however, these cameras only operate during the hours that the courts are operating.

    Investigating authorities say the attackers may have entered the area of the court complex by breaking in through the gate of the small park in the back of the buildings and then climbing over a railing into the courthouse grounds.

    According to sources, there is an eyewitness account given to police providing the description of two individuals fleeing the scene minutes after the second explosion.

    Meanwhile, the courts opened as normal on Friday morning. The misdemeanors court and the administration offices housed in Building 7, which suffered damages due to the explosion, were temporarily transferred to another building within the complex.

    Commenting on the attack, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos called it an ''entirely senseless act'' and said he did not know whether it was associated with the on-going ''November 17'' trial.

    ''If the attackers intended to influence justice with their act, they should know that Greece's justice is absolutely not swayed or influenced by anybody'', he said.

    Officers at Athens police headquarters and the anti-terrorist squad are concerned, however, saying that the double explosion was targeted at police. The 18-minute time lag between the two explosions points to a desire on the part of the bomber to injure police officers, who were sure to be on the scene to investigate the first explosion.

    Opinions among police are divided on whether the bombing was linked to current events, such as the inauguration of the Thessaloniki International Fair by Prime Minister Costas Simitis or developments in the November 17 trial, or whether it is a "blind" hit.

    There are thoughts that the group might be linked to the organization "Liberation Struggle" that later merged with "Revolutionary Cells", which in 1997 claimed responsibility for a twin bomb explosion. Unlike on that occasion, however, there was no warning phone call of the double hit.

    [16] Giotopoulos refuses face-to-face examination with his accuser Tselentis

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Alexandros Giotopoulos, who is charged with being the leader of the terrorist group ''November 17'', on Friday refused to be cross-examined simultaneously with fellow-defendant Patroklos Tselentis, whose damaging testimony naming Giotopoulos as the dominant personality within N17 is one of the strongest cards in the state's case against the 62-year-old alleged mastermind of N17.

    The Three-Member Criminal Appeals Court in Korydallos began Friday's session by granting the state prosecution's request for the simultaneous face-to-face examination of Giotopoulos and Tselentis but Giotopoulos adamantly refused to cooperate, as he had earlier refused to answer questions put to him by lawyers representing those who had filed civil suits in the case.

    Referring to Tselentis as a ''vile and miserable little person'' who was trying to incriminate him in order to get out of prison and whom the authorities were using to secure his own conviction, Giotopoulos declined to answer any questions.

    Earlier, alleged N17 terrorist Sotiris Kondylis also testified that he had met Giotopoulos through N17, responding to questions put to him by prosecutor on the bench Christos Lambrou, but insisted that their discussions had been political and general.

    Commenting on Giotopoulos' refusal to be examined, Lambrou said that this stance was the mark of someone who was steeped in crime and one who wanted to deceive the court, adding that he did not expect anything different from Giotopoulos.

    The court then moved on the rejoinder by defendant Anestis Papanastasiou, who is accused of supplying the group with a blueprint of security measures in an army camp he served at.

    Papanastasiou insisted that he was innocent and said that he totally disagreed with the views of N17. As to how the blueprint found its way into the hands of the organization, he could only

    surmise that it had been stolen without his knowledge - possibly by his cousin Nikos Papanastasiou, since he did not know any other members of the group.

    Anestis Papanastasiou was also examined face-to-face with his cousin Nikos, who told the court he was absolutely convinced that Anestis Papanastasiou was not a member of N17. He also had no explanation for how documents written in his cousin's hand had found their way into the group's safe house.

    Immediately after Papanastasiou's statement and examination, presiding judge Mihalis Margaritis granted a request made by the defendant Savvas Xiros to be allowed to make his rejoinder when the rest of the 19 defendants on trial had concluded theirs.

    Xiros also submitted to the court the reports of an independent psychiatrist and a neurologist who found that he was suffering from "intense mental confusion and disruption of consciousness'' during his hospitalization at Evangelismos and asked that the two doctors be examined so that his depositions during that time might be disregarded.

    The court denied this request, however, deciding that the expert opinions of the two doctors would be assessed alongside those of the doctors at Evangelismos Hospital on the issue.

    [17] Human trafficking and prostitution ring busted

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    Thessaloniki police on Friday announced the arrest of a 49-year-old bar owner suspected of running a human-trafficking and prostitution ring exploiting foreign women.

    Police said the man had five women working as prostitutes on his behalf in his Thessaloniki bar, charging 50 euros per 'date'.

    They said their suspect is believed to have contacts in a wide range of former Soviet and Eastern bloc countries, including Lithuania, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Bulgaria, as well as in Turkey and Greece.

    [18] Europarliament to pay tribute to late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    The European Parliament on Monday will pay tribute to Late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis by giving his name to a hall of the mansion of the Parliament.

    European Parliament President Pat Cox will unveil an honorary plaque while speaking at the event will be European Peoples' Party President Wilfred Martens, Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and, representing the Greek government, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader and Vice-President of the European Peoples' Party, Costas Karamanlis will also address the event.

    Taking part in the event will be Greek members of the European Parliament as well as representatives of the Greek political parties. Ruling PASOK will be represented by Panagiotis Antonakopoulos and the Coalition of the Left by Ioanna Stergiou.

    Old friends and associates of the late statesman have been invited to attend the event.

    The Karamanlis family will be represented by Achilleas Karamanlis and the ''Constantine Karamanlis Foundation'' by the ND's Deputy of State Ambassador Petros Molyviatis.

    [19] Pilobolus dance group at Herod Atticus this weekend

    Athens, 06/09/2003 (ANA)

    The U.S. dance group Pilobolus is to stage two performances at the Herod Atticus Theatre beneath the Acropolis on Saturday and Sunday, as part of the Athens Festival.

    The six-member group is noted for its extremely dynamic and energetic performances, that combine movements derived from modern dance, circus acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts, theatre and pantomime in a unique mix that combines authentic movement and improvisation.

    The name of the group, which was founded in 1970 by Moses Pendleton of the equally innovative dance troupe Momix, is inspired by the tiny pilobolus mushroom, which is no more than a quarter of an inch tall, but can eject its seeds up to eight feet into the air.


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