|Friday, 6 December 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-09-06
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>September 6, 2005
 Greek Chambers expect strong economy in 12 months
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Greece's Central Union of Chambers sees "light at the end of the country's economic tunnel" in the next 12 months. Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, George Kasimatis, the Union's president, said he urged the Greek Premier to speed up reform procedures and to disregard any political cost, while he stressed that this policy was an one-way road with one more difficult year ahead in the economy. "The market needs calm and the creation of the appropriate investment climate," he said.
Kasimatis said more efforts were needed to bring the country's fiscal condition in order, while he urged for speeding-up of a government plan envisaging joint ventures between the public and private sectors, boosting economic growth rates above 3.5 pct, to support exports and tourism.
"The laws adopted by the government are in the right direction," Kasimatis said, adding more emphasis was needed to support small- and medium-sized enterprises in manufacturing, services and distribution.
Kasimatis stressed that in 12 months from now Greece would be enjoying a strong economy equal to other European economies. He noted, however, that the next 12 months would be a period of hard work.
 Greece to provide humanitarian and food aid to hurricane-devastated New Orleans
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Greece will provide emergency humanitarian and food assistance to the wider area of New Orleans in the US, which has suffered heavy damage from the devastating Hurricane Katrina, govern-ment spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos told a regular press briefing on Monday.
Roussopoulos said that the Greek foreign ministry has under-taken an initiative to provide emergency humanitary assistance to help amelieriate the repercussions and provide aid to the hurricane victims and for restoration of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrine in the wider area of New Orleans.
He said the Greek assistance included emergency humanitarian and food aid via the European Union, the despatch of a team of EMAK rescue workers, and the despatch of two passenger ships to provide shelter for the coming months to locals left homeless by the hurricane, adding that the offer was immediately accepted by the US authorities.
Roussopoulos added that the foreign ministry was in constant contact with the US State Department, via the Greek diplomatic delegations, to advance requests for locating Greek Americans in the devastated area put forward by their relatives in Greece.
A foreign ministry announcement later said that the ministry, in an expression of the sentiments of solidarity of the Greek people with the US citizens suffering from the catastrophic events of Hurricane Katrina, offered from the first moment to contribute to confronting the repercussions, providing assistance to the victims, and restoration of the damages, with emergency humanitarian aid.
The ministry said the Greek offer included emergency humanita-rian and food aid, the despatch of an EMAK disaster confron-tation team to the area to help in rescue operatins and the trans-portation of the population, and also the dispatch of two cruise-ships to provide shelter to the homeless over the coming months.
The announcement said that US embassador to Greece Charlies Ries communicated on Sunday with Greek foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, to whom he conveyed US president George Bush's warmest thanks and the gratitude of the American people for the offer of aid, and particularly the active solidarity dis-played by the Greek government and people from the very first moment to the residents of the stricken areas.
The coordination and materialisation of the emergency assistance operation has been undertaken by the foreign ministry's Hellenic Aid (YDAS) service, the ministry announcement said.
 Church of Greece willing to offer aid to hurricane victims if necessary
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos said that the Church of Greece organisation "Solidarity" is at the service of the state in terms of providing emergency relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina that swept through the southern US a few days ago.
Christodoulos' announcement came in response to Archbishop of America Dimitrios' request for help.
 PM Karamanlis to meet with Italian FM Fini on Tuesday
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Prime minister Costas Karamanlis will met shortly after noon on Tuesday with visiting Italian foreign minister Gianfranco Fini, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos told a regular press briefing on Monday.
Roussopoulos also said that Karamanlis was continuing his round of contacts ahead of his economic policy address at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday evening.
Karamanlis conferred Monday with the president of the Panhellenic Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives' Unions, while he was also due to meet separately with the presidium of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) and the presidium of the Union of Prefectural Governments of Greece later in the evening.
 Nicosia wants further improvement to EU answer on Turkey's non-recognition of Cyprus
Nicosia, 6/9/2005 (ANA - A. Viketos)Nicosia on Monday said that it wanted further improvements to the text of the European Union's answer to Ankara concerning its refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, during the COREPER meeting on Wednesday.
Cyprus government spokesman Kypros Chrystostomides said it was significant that the Community had almost unanimously agreed on the need for a counter-statement to Turkey's unilateral statement of non-recognition of Cyprus that would put things in their proper dimensions concerning Turkey's stance.
The spokesman said that Cyprus was seeking a time schedule for Turkey's implementation of the customs union protocol but did not say whether Nicosia would ask for an October 3 deadline.
 PM Karamanlis meets KEDKE and ENAE presidiums
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday evening had a meeting with the presidiums of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE) and with the Union of Prefectural Administrations of Greece (ENAE).
Following the meeting, Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said:"The prime minister discussed with KEDKE and ENAE on the future of local government in the sense of supporting local government. The government's basic position was, is and will remain that the future, particularly regarding the 4th Community Support
Framework (CSF), belongs to local government. The framework is the Framework of Regions and of Local Government. And we are obliged to prepare local government both institutionally and economically, to face this great challenge. It is a known fact that local government was left for whole years without funds, without institutional possibilities. A great effort is being made. Naturally, we are never pleased by what we are doing. I have said it many times and I'm saying it yet again. However, the truth is that the steps being made are particularly significant."
Pavlopoulos added:"For the first time last year and this year their funds were fully given and at last the development programme was created. The 'THISEAS' Programme, which for five years gives double the amount of money than what the Special Local Government Programme (EPTA) gave for seven whole years. That gave 1.7 billion euros for seven years. The 'THISEAS' Programme, with development prospects, gives 3.5 billion euros for the next five years."
On her part, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyiannis termed as useful KEDKE's meeting with Prime Minister Karamanlis and noted that "the prime minister through the reform logic he has, con-fronted successfully the issue of reforms and of the institutional framework, which was raised by the representatives of local government."
Bakoyiannis noted that the government is the first which has put into practice and is fully implementing the law and is not witholding funds of local government.
Regarding the change of the electoral law for local government, Karamanlis reportedly said:"Any changes will not have a party or colour expediency. We believe that the democratic develop-ment is better with such a change. The government is judged by its work and effectiveness."
ENAE president Fofi Gennimata reiterated his opposition for a change in the electoral law which foresees the election of mayors and prefecets from the first round with a percentage above 42 per cent.
 Deputy FM Valinakis to discuss EU's fiscal prospects with Spanish and Portuguese deputy ministers
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis will have a working meeting in Athens on Wednesday with Spanish Deputy European Union Minister Alberto Navarro and Portuguese Deputy European Affairs Minister Fernando Neves. The two deputy ministers are visiting Athens at the invitation of the Greek deputy minister.
The objective of the tripartite talks will be the European Union's fiscal prospects for the 2007-2013 period.
According to a foreign ministry announcement on Monday, the deputy ministers are expected to examine the next steps of the activities of the group of "17" EU member-states, which had been set up at the initiative of Greece, Spain and Portugal in support of the European Commission's proposals on the EU budget. Other issues of European interest are also expected to be discussed.
In the afternoon of the same day (16:30 p.m.), Valinakis will meet at his office with Swedish Deputy Foreign Minister Hans Dahlgren. During the meeting, the two men will exchange views on issues of mutual interest, such as matters of the United Nations, in light of Greece's participation in the UN Security Council, prospects for finding a solution of the Comnmunity budget during Britain's EU presidency, as well as general European issues.
 Deputy FM Stylianidis meets representatives of the Association of Japanese Industrialists
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis met in Athens on Monday with a 20-member delegation of the Association of Japanese Industrialists and told them that "Greece can operate as a central headquarters for Japanese business which would want to be active in the Balkans and the Black Sea."
Stylianidis encouraged the Japanese business delegation to chose investing in Greece, stressing that "the geopolitical position of Greece facilitates major investments aiming at the broader market, utilising Greek experience and the Greek network."
The deputy foreign minister also praised Greece for "possessing security, stability and a high level of manpower."
Particular discussion was made on the prospects of an increase of tourism to Greece from Japan, the development of air transport and the promotion of consortiums.
Stylianidis also termed as "constructive the two countries' cooperation within the framework of the UN and the OECD."
 PM and Minister of the Aegean discuss islands' water shortage problems, passenger ferry sector
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Minister of the Aegean Aristotelis Pavlidis discussed issues related to island policy during their meeting on Monday.
After the meeting, Pavlidis told reporters that the premier had provided instructions for handling water shortage problems on the islands.
He also said that matters pertaining to the passenger ferry sector had been discussed and that solutions to pending problems are being sought in cooperation with Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis.
Finally, Pavlidis stressed that a bill, which calls for passenger ferry companies serving low-traffic density routes to extend the duration of their contracts to five years from one year presently, will soon be tabled in Parliament.
 Parliament president Psarouda-Benaki to attend World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments at UN
NEW YORK, 6/9/2005 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)President of the Hellenic parliament Anna Psarouda-Benaki will attend the 2nd World conference of Speakers of (national) Parliaments, convened by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, at the UN headquarters from September 7 to 9, it was made known in New York on Sunday.
Psarouda-Benaki, who will be heading a delegation of the Hellenic parliament, which is due to arrive in New York on Tuesday, will meet on the sidelines of the conference with UN secretary general Kofi Annan, as well as with the presidents of other national parliaments.
While in New York, she will also meet separately with the dean of NYU's faculty of ars and science Richard Foley, and Archbishop Demetrios of America, while on Sunday afternoon she will attend an event in honour of Greek-American members of the US Congress, to be held at the Greek consulate.
Psarouda-Benaki will address the Conference on Thursday, while she will also give a press conference at the Greek Press and Communications Office in New York.
 Patriarch Bartholomew notes EU and US support for Fanar
Istanbul, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Monday said that the government of the United States, as well as the European Union, showed active interest and support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar and its rights.
Addressing a congregation made up of ethnic Greeks in Istanbul but also from America and other countries of the world, Bartholomew said that both the US administration and the EU had repeatedly and unreservedly expressed support for Fanar's role as the centuries-old and historic centre of Eastern Christia-nity.
His sermon also focused on the ecumenical nature of the Orthodox faith.
 President Papoulias addresses 70th TIF
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday expres-sed his best wishes for the success of the 70th Thessa-loniki International Fair (TIF) this year, in an address on Monday.
Papoulias stressed that the 70th anniversary of the trade fair was a particularly important event, since it was an institution that had helped highlight the role of Thessaloniki and northern Greece as a regional economic and cultural centre and had provided an important service to Greek trade and industry.
He also noting that efforts to enhance the fair's international character and also turn it into a regional exhibition centre were moving in a correct and highly necessary direction.
 PASOK's Political Council deals exclusively on Monday with the issue of education
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Education is the main priority of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movment (PASOK) and the top national matter for the survival and participation of Hellenism in the new international environment, PASOK leader George Papandreou stated after a six-hour meeting on Monday of the Movement's Political Council which dealt exclusively on the issue of education.
A decision for a framework of principles and commitments by PASOK was agreed on the basis of a report presented by Maria Damanaki.
Papandreou stressed that PASOK is committing itself to finance, "once it comes to power," education with 40 per cent of the funds which Greece will secure from the 4th Community Support Framework (CSF).
ANA to introduce multimedia news service, a growing sector on the internet
The multimedia news format is constantly gaining ground on the internet market, and thus brief news items containing video footage, sound, pictures, text and graphics are continuously enriching the news services of many European news agencies, while the Athens News Agency (ANA) on Monday announced plans to introduce a multimedia news service by the end of the year.
A few days ago the British national agency Press Association announced that, following an agreement with the Sun newspaper, it was proceeding to an agreement with the network firm Tiscali for the purpose of enriching its web page with multimedia news items.
PA will be preparing daily news items of a duration of 90 seconds enriched with video footage, sound, photographs and graphics, which will appear on the company's webpage www.tiscali.uk. These news items will be stored for a month, thus enabling internet users to have a full and integrated pictorial overview of the developments. This multimedia news service will contain domestic political, athletic and entertainment news.
Also, the PA and Sun (www.thesun.co.uk) agreement includes collaboration between the PA multimedia team with Sun journalists for the provision of additional information on items contained in the multimedia news service, as well as determination of a common agenda of items with the newspaper.
In addition to PA, other European news agencies (in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium, for example), have also proceeded with the creation of multimedia news items to enrich the various web pages of major companies.
The Athens News Agency (ANA), in cooperation with the Greek Radio/Television S.A. (ERT), has also decided to introduce a multimedia service that will contain television footage provided by ERT, which will be enriched by the ANA with text, sound, photographs and graphics, and will be available on the Internet.
The ANA team has already met with ERT journalists and technical staff to determine the format of the multimedia service and iron out technical problems. The Multimedia news service will be introduced on a trial basis in the next few months, with the target of rendering the service functional and available to the public by the end of the year.
 PM says economic policy likely to start paying off in a year
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reportedly said on Monday that the government's economic policy was likely to begin paying off in a year.
"I am cautiously optimistic. In a year, barring anything of cosmic dimensions, we will see the first signs of a take-off for the Greek economy," Karamanlis was quoted as saying during a meeting with the Central Union of Commerce Chambers of Greece.
He said that this would be a point to emerge in his annual economy policy speech in Thessaloniki on Saturday.
"Don't expect anything different. I have dedicated myself to reform ," he reportedly added.
 Farmers' trade coops present demands to PM, Agriculture Minister ahead of TIF
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Representatives of the Panhellenic Confederation of Farmers' Cooperatives (PASEGES) presented the sector's demands and positions ahead of the International Thessaloniki Trade Fair (TIF) during their meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Minister of Agricultural Development Evangelos Basiakos on Monday.
After the meeting, Basiakos said that talks had been constructive and that there was a convergence of views on a government farm bill, and on management of the European Union's common agricultural policy and Third Community Support Framework package of funds in terms of measures to reduce production costs and control imports.
Furthermore, Basiakos said that farm exports had increased by 21% in January-May 2005, while imports were down 4%.
Regarding the growing gap between the cost of production and consumer prices, Basiakos said the long-standing problem was not one the ministry was authorised to solve.
PASEGES President Tzanetos Karamichas emphasised that the most serious problem is the growing gap between the price farmers receive for their products compared with the prices consumers are charged.
He said that extreme competition and high production costs had led to uncertainty and insecurity among farmers.
 Drop in private tax from 2007, finmin says
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday that the next round of tax breaks for the public will begin in 2007.
Asked by a reporter whether he could pledge that Value Added Tax would not be increased again, Alogoskoufis said: "With the initiatives that we have taken, the risk of blanket tax measures has been eclipsed."
The minister was speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the Central Union of Commerce Chambers of Greece.
 Average unleaded gas price up 4%, ministry says
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The average price of unleaded petrol was 1.015 euros per litre on September 2, up 4.0% from 0.976 euros on August 26, the development ministry said on Monday.
The same comparison for international petrol prices was an 18.42% hike, with Greek unleaded retail prices the lowest in the European Union, or 20.07% below the bloc's average, the ministry said in a statement.
Surveyed were 2,300 gas stations around the country, the statement said.
 Transport Minister rejects reports over mergers in public transport sector
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Greek Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis on Monday categorically dismissed recent press reports over a wave of mergers between public transportation enterprises, saying these reports were inaquerate.
Speaking to reporters in Thessaloniki, Liapis said all public transport enterprises and organisations would continue their operation as independed public sector enterprises, although he stressed that a single agency would be created to coordinate transport actions between them.
The Greek minister reiterated that public transport enterprises should offer cheaper services to citizens and announced that the government would continue subsidising public transport fares.
Liapis was speaking to reporters during the first trip of a new railway service line linking Athens with Thessaloniki in four hours and 15 minutes. The Greek minister said that Hellenic Railways was constantly upgrading its services making railroad a more competitive means of transportation in the country.
 Hellenic Post automated sorting centre to be ready in 2007
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The Hellenic Post's (ELTA) new automated sorting centre in Oreokastro, Thessaloniki will be up and running in the fall of 2007, Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Liapis announced on Monday during the facility's foundation stone ceremony.
The facility, which will cover roughly nine acres, will cost ¬ 18.9 million to construct.
The minister emphasised that the centre will contribute to regional growth, covering the postal needs of northern Greece and serving as the springboard for ELTA's activities in the Balkans.
ELTA's Chairman of the Board Angelos Bratakos said that the organisation is seeking to expand services and improve quality with investments totalling ¬ 300 million between 2004 and 2008.
Investments in new technologies, IT systems, and modernisation of ELTA's current infrastructure stood at ¬ 80 million in 2005.
Other officials attending the ceremony included Oreokastro Mayor Nikolaos Batos, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Nikos Tsiartsionis, Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Anastasios Nerantzis and others.
 Olympic Airlines reports higher January-July revenue
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)National carrier Olympic Airlines, which is under privatisation, on Monday reported revenue of 298.6 million euros in January-July 2005, up 14.6% on the same period a year earlier.
The number of passengers rose by 3.6% to 3,345,628 against January-July 2004, management said in a statement.
Passenger movement to destinations abroad rose by 12.3% in the first five months of this year, despite a fleet reduction of four aircraft since 2004, the statement said.
Load factor was 69%, up seven percentage points, it added.
 Japanese business delegation visits Greece
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday met with a group of Japenese businessmen and discussed ways to attract more Japanese investments to Greece.
The meeting, with Nippon Keidanren -Japan's largest employers' union- followed the Greek minister's visit to Japan in May during the EXPO 2005 world fair.
Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, Alogoskoufis the talks reaffirmed increased interest by Japanese businesses for Greece and for the country's role as a centre in Southeastern Europe. The Japanese interest focused on transportation, electronics, IT and auto industry. Japanese businessmen were briefed over the government's economic policy such as a tax reform, corporate taxes, a new development law, joint ventures between public and private sectors, improving infrastructure in Northern Greece and market deregulation.
Alogoskoufis stressed Japanese businessmen's interest for the energy and tourism sectors. "The general climate coming from the meeting is that this interest will not take long to become real economic initiatives and direct investments," the Greek minister said adding that Japanese were very careful in their investment decisions.
He noted that there were no specific investment interest and added that the companies themselves would announce any such decisions. He stressed, however, that the detailed and focused questions made and the composition of the delegation proved Japan's increasing interest for Greece. "They are examining Greece as a potential hub for Southeastern Europe what is exactly the Greek government's strategy, to develop the country as a centre for the wider region," Alogoskoufis said.
The two sides also discussed ways to begin direct air flights between Athens and Tokyo.
 Gov't announces package of measures to boost Greek wine
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The government said on Monday that it had prepared a package of measures to boost Greek wine - its production at home and promotion abroad.
The measures focus on production of quality-assured products, especially exports, and the promotion and labelling of farm products that will further strengthen Greek wine's competitive advantages in the world market, the deputy agricultural development and foods minister, Alexandros Kontos, told a seminar in the northern port town of Kavala.
In the pipeline is creation of regional professional trade groups to cover stages in the wine-making process, including grapes, Kontos said.
Support will be given to modernisation investments for wineries and for new units to open in mountain areas and islands, accompanied by tighter controls on illegal imports, he added.
 Athens Bourse Close: Stocks nose down in bid to consolidate
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Stocks finished lower in thin trade, trying to consolidate, traders said.
The Athens general share index closed at 3,288.09 points, mar-king a decline of 0.02%. Turnover was 143.9 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalisation shares ended 0.04% up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks closed 0.32% higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished 0.97% up.
Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 137 to 118 with 80 remaining unchanged.
Bond Market Close: Buyers outpace sellers
 RAF Red Arrows give 'taster' above Acropolis, before upcoming Archangelos Airshow
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)A squadron of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows that will be participating in the international airshow "Archangelos 2005" arrived in Elefsina on Monday afternoon, giving the public a taster of what they are likely to see on those days by flying in formation above the Acropolis.
The nine aircraft will give a display on Tuesday afternoon at 17:00 in Faliro, and will return for the Archangelos 2005 airshow in Tanagra on September 16-18.
The Archangelos Airshow has been organised by the Greek Airforce to honour its patron saint the Archangel Michael for the first time this year, with aircraft from 19 military airforces and 12 aerospace companies taking part, in addition to the Red Arrows.
The Red Arrows were first built in 1965 and have carried out 3,837 displays in 52 countries. In 2005 alone, they are booked to take part in 75 airshows in Britain and other countries of Europe.
Their characteristic formation is the 'diamond', which is also their emblem, while they are noted for the professional and are considered an asset to RAF recruitment and defence diplomacy.
For the past year they have been led by a commander of Greek descent, 34-year-old Dicky Patounas, whose father was born on Rhodes. One of the youngest pilots ever to fly with the Red Arrows, he now has 3,000 hours of flight time under his belt and said he felt honoured by the invitation to take part in the Archangelos Airshow.
 USS Kearsarge delayed 8 hours due to missing sailor
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) left eight hours later than scheduled from the island of Rhodes due to a 22-year old sailor who failed to show up on time.
The US navy ship was to set sail at 8 a.m.
The ship's captain contacted authorities in Rhodes in an effort to locate the sailor, who turned up at shortly before 3 p.m. unaware of the delay he had caused.
 Gov't agency to promote Greek culture abroad
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The Hellenic Culture Organisation (HCO) will be promoting Greek culture abroad by participating in a series of performing art exhibits around the world, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis announced during a press conference on Monday.
The HCO is planning a series of initiatives in order to become an active member of cultural networks. It will begin this initiative by participating in the Fira de Teatre al Carrer de Turrega exhibition in Spain from September 8 through 11.
The purpose of these initiatives, Tatoulis said, is for Greek state and private art groups to network with their foreign counterparts in order to encourage foreign exchanges and thus to export Greek performances.
The HCO will also be participating in similar exhibitions in New York (January 2006), Hong Kong and the UK (June 2006) and Montreal (November 2006).
 President Papoulias on death of Grigoris Grigoriou
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday described the late film director Grigoris Grigoriou as a pioneer in Greek cinema, after he was informed of the director's death the day before.
Noting Grigoriou's successes in both film and television, he said that as founder of the Director's Union he had struggled to raise the quality of Greek films.
 Youth Parliament ends with praise from PM and President
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)The 10th Youth Parliament was concluded on Monday by Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki, who said the teenage "parliamentarians" had brought a "breath of youth, energy, freshness and uncorrupted thinking" into Parliament.
"The views you presented express the pulse of our times and we will study them through the detailed minutes, making note of ideas and proposals useful for our work," she noted, addressing the 350 high-school students from Greece, Cyprus and abroad.
Delegations of the students also met with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, who said he had been impressed by their passion, involvement and the concerns they expressed, and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
The prime minister also praised the teenagers for the high level of their arguments and proposals, saying that he considered the Youth Parliament to be a successful institution that he intended to develop further.
"Some of your proposals were realistic and we will look into them. I heard some of your thoughts on how it can be made ven better and they are interesting," he added.
 Eleven injured in prison brawl
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Eleven people were injured in a brawl that broke out between Albanian and Greek inmates at the Korydallos prison near Piraeus late Sunday.
According to prison security officials, the brawl broke out after an Albanian inmate asked a Greek inmate who was using the common phone to end his conversation, but the Greek inmate refused, saying that he was contacting his family.
The Albanian inmate then sought the assistance of other Albanian inmates, who attacked the Greek inmate with 'glass knives' and wooden sticks broken off from chairs, and Greek inmates then rushed to the aid of their compatriot.
The clash escalated, but prison guards rushed to separate the two sides before the brawl took on wider proportions.
Eleven inmates were injured in the brawl. Five of the injured inmates suffered serious wounds and were taken to the state hospital in Nikaia, while the other six were taken to the prison hospital.
 PM congratulates Greek athlete Polymeros on winning the gold at World Rowing Championship in Japan
Athens, 6/9/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a congratulatory telegram to Greek athlete Vassilis Polymeros, who won the gold in the World Rowing Championship in Japan.
Karamanlis congratulated the rower and also expressed his wish that Polymeros' victory will motivate other young athletes to become involved in the sport and to win distinctions for Greece.
Polymeros won the gold medal in the lightweight men's single sculls final at dawn in Japan on Saturday during the World Rowing Championship at the Nagaragawa International Regatta Course in Kaizu, Gifu Prefecture. Polymeros won the final with a time of 7:17.19 seconds.
The 29-year-old champion from Volos, central Greece, became the first Greek rower to win a gold medal in a world champion-ship.
He had won a bronze medal, along with Nikos Skiathitis, at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
 Cyprus President departs for USA
LARNACA, 6/9/2005 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said he has not discussed with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan the appointment of a special representative for the Cyprus issue, adding that such an appointment is not imminent.
Kofi Annan ''is continuing his efforts'' towards this direction and has already prepared a shortlist of candidates for the post, the president said, noting that the final decision lies with the Secretary General.
Papadopoulos was speaking at Larnaca airport on his departure for the United States to represent Cyprus at the 60th UN General Assembly in New York (14-19 September). He is due to address the Assembly on Sunday the 18th.
Responding to questions, he said that the Millenium Summit (14-16) will deal with programs aiming to tackle poverty, disease and illiteracy. He will address the Summit on the Thursday the 15th.
He said that during his stay in NY he will sign the convention on combatting nuclear terrorism and hold meetings with the UN Secretary General, members of the Security Council and heads of state attending the General Assembly, especially those where Cyprus does not have diplomatic representation or states members of the Islamic conference.
This week President Papadopoulos will undergo annual medical examination in a clinic in Florida.
 Cyprus President: air crash investigations are on the right track
Nicosia, 6/9/2005 (ANA-CNA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said the government is on the right track with regard to the investigations aiming at finding the cause of last month's crash of an Helios Airways Boeing 737, that killed all 121 people on board.
Papadopoulos stressed that the government is determined to get to the bottom of this tragedy and see where responsibility lies, to meet public demand.
Head of the Greek Investigating Commission on Air Accidents and Incidents Akrivos Tsolakis, speaking on departure from Cyprus, said Commission members had gathered enough information and vowed before the Cyprus people that they will spare no effort to answer all the questions relating to this tragic accident in order to find the cause or the possible cause.
He thanked Papadopoulos, Communications and Works Minister Haris Thrasou and the members of the Cypriot Commission investigating the crash, the families of the victims and the media.
President Papadopoulos said that Tsolakis had promised to give him as soon as possible an interim report, indicating the areas in which responsibilities should be sought, adding that it is too soon to judge who is responsible. The courts will deal with whatever punishment may be called for, he added.
''The government has dealt with the issue in the appropriate manner, with attention and caution,'' the president said, adding that the role and the responsibility of the government lie in the way it carries out the investigations and this is how it should be judged.
Tsolakis said the Commission was returning to Athens to coordinate the next steps, noting that the first results will be known after six months. He announced that he will be heading to London in the middle of the week and said that a reconstruction of the fatal flight on August 14 that crashed near Athens will take place about 20 days later.
Responding to questions, Tsolakis said three weeks after the air crash investigations lead to different directions and at present it is too early for the Commission to follow any one of them.
''These directions are gradually being reduced but it would be flippant on my part, at this stage, to point to one or another cause for the air crash,'' he concluded.