|Monday, 24 July 2017|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-10-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 1, 2005
 FM Molyviatis briefs President Papoulias on foreign policy issues, developments in Turkey's European course
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Foreign minister Petros Molyviatis said Friday that 'every-thing will be decided Sunday night" at the emergency meeting of the EU Council of Foreign ministers in Luxembourg, vis-a-vis Turkey's European course.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Molyviatis said he had briefed the President on "the latest developments in the major foreign policy issues and the prospects".
Immediately afterwards, Molyviatis met with US ambassador in Athens Charles Ries.
After the meeting, Ries expressed hope that the Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU would commence according to schedule on Monday, "as decided by the European Council (summit) of December".
Asked to comment on the Greek government's stance vis-a-vis Turkey's European prospects, Ries said that for a long time Greece has made it clear that it considers support of Turkey's European expectations to be of strategic importance.
The British EU presidency on Thursday called an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers for Sunday in Luxembourg, on the eve of the formal commencement of Turkey's European Union accession negotiations with the EU, after the EU's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) failed on Thursday to adopt the negotiations framework for Turkey, or negotiations mandate.
A spokesman for the British EU presidency said Thursday that it had not been possible for COREPER to reach agreement on the text of the negotiations mandate. According to sources, the stumbling block was Austria's insistence that the text should explicitly offer Ankara a 'privileged partnership' with the EU as an alternative to full membership in the event that the accession negotiations were not satisfactorily concluded.
The draft negotiations mandate acknowledges that the shared objective was Turkish entry into the EU, but states that the negotiations are an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed beforehand.
The draft EU political declaration, or negotiations mandate, is due to be presented by the EU's British presidency to Turkey on October 3 (Monday), at the formal commencement of the Turkey-EU accession talks.
The spokesman added that efforts will continue and, prior to the EU foreign ministers' meeting, bilateral talks would be held between the British EU presidency and Austria.
 Austria toughening its stance on EU-Turkey negotiations
VIENNA, 1/10/2005 (ANA/D. Dimitrakoudis)Three days before the scheduled beginning of negotiations between the European Union and Turkey, on Monday October 3, Austria is toughening its stance and, according to reports from diplomatic sources in Brussels broadcast by the Austrian media on Friday night, it reportedly appears to be requesting now the removal from the negotiations mandate of the wording "the common target of the negotiations is accession."
According to the diplomatic sources, Vienna is insisting on the wording "the negotiations constitute an open procedure, for whose outcome there can be no guarantees in advance." Until now, the Austrian government was also requesting an additional "alternative option" for Turkey instead of complete accession.
The same diplomatic sources were expressing pessimism over the possibility of an agreement being reached during the crucial meeting between EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Sunday night, increasing the possibility of an agreement to only 50 percent.
They noted that if no agreement is reached there are fears that Turkey itself will no longer participate in accession negotiations in Luxembourg.
According to Austrian media reports from Brussels, Vienna is also continuing to support its position on an "alternative association" of Turkey in EU structures, if this country is unable to fulfill its obligations for its participation in the EU.
Moreover, the Austrian side wants the wording that there will be a "fair distribution of economic burdens" included in the negotiating framework following Turkey's possible accession.
 Papandreou outlines PASOK demands vis-a-vis EU-Turkey, Greek-Turkish relations
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Friday continued his sharp criticism of the government, touching mostly on various press allegations of cronyism and favoritism dealing with hirings in Greece's massive public sector, while at the same time outlining his party's demands vis-a-vis EU-Turkey and Greek-Turkish relations.
The former foreign minister spoke to supporters and cadres during a fourth national council of PASOK.
Among others, he called on the Greek government to aim for a "Helsinki II" bolstered by specific commitments, guarantees and a timetable, including the resolution of the Aegean continental shelf issue. He said Athens should propose a December 2006 timetable for solving pending issues, otherwise, Turkey should accept jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague if negotiations fail.
Regarding the long-standing Cyprus issue, he said a specific reference should be made to the commencement of stepped negotiations within a prescribed time period under the UN's auspices and with the active participation of the European Union, given that Cyprus is an EU member-state.
Echoing long-standing Greek foreign policy strategy, he said such negotiations should lead to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the Union's acquis communautaire, while he said it was "self-evident" that implementation of the EU-Turkey customs agreement will begin.
Additionally, Papandreou said a negotiation framework for the EU-Turkey accession talks should include a monitoring mechanism to make sure that Ankara implements and meets criteria.
Finally, he criticized the government for implementing a 42-percent election limit for mayors and prefects in next year's local government elections.
Gov't reaction: In response to Papandreou's comments, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said:
"With leaps into the past and efforts to perpetuate divisionary dilemmas that injured this land, the only thing that Mr. Papandreou is doing is to demolish the view of 'another policy' that he once cited."
 Greece to contribute 86,000 euros to UN for efforts to determine fate of missing person in Cyprus
NEW YORK, 1/10/2005 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)The Greek government, responding to an appeal by the UN's Fact-finding Committee regarding missing persons in Cyprus, has decided to contribute financially to efforts being made to determine the fate of people missing after the tragedy in Cyprus in 1974, after the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island republic's northern part.
According to an announcement by Greece's permanent delegation at the UN, the amount to be provided at an initial stage reaches 86,000 euros.
Lastly, it was stressed that "it is also necessary that investigations taking place in the Committee's framework to be accompanied by parallel actions and measures on the part of the Turkish government which must be taken in the direction of Turkey's response to the decision taken by the European Human Rights Court on the Fourth Interstate Appeal by the Republic of Cyprus against Turkey."
 Greek President congratulates Cyprus on Independence anniversary
NICOSIA, 1/10/2005 (CNA/ANA)President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias sent a congratulatory message to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Republic of Cyprus' Independence (October 1st), according to an official press release issued here on Friday.
 Defense minister to represent Greece at parade for Cyprus Independence Day
NICOSIA, 1/10/2005 (ANA - A. Viketos)Greek Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos on Friday arrived in Nicosia, where he is to represent the Greek government at a military parade for Cyprus' Independence Day on Saturday.
On his arrival, Spiliotopoulos said that the aim of the parade in Nicosia was to show that Cyprus' defense and security was not negotiable. He also noted that the seamless cooperation between Cyprus and Greece had once again been proven with respect to the start of EU-Turkey accession negotiations, where the goals of the two governments had been fully achieved.
The Greek minister was met by his Cypriot counterpart Kyriakos Mavronikolas, who also underlined the highly developed cooperation between their two ministries and between the Greek Armed Forces and the Cypriot National Guard.
On Saturday, Spiliotopoulos will be received by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and have talks with Mavronikolas, as well as watching the National Guard parade.
 Greece and Cyprus seek EU funding for regional development program
NICOSIA, 10/10/2005 (ANA/A.Viketos)Greece and Cyprus will try to secure European Union funding for the extension of the program "Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus," visiting Greek Minister of the Aegean and Island Policy Aristotelis Pavlidis said on Friday.
Pavlidis made the announcement after his meetings with Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou and Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris.
The Greek minister said that both sides are looking to extend the 10-year program to include other activities such as trade and maritime shipping.
To date, the program, which has a budget of ¬ 1.5 million and is financed by the two countries, has covered sectors such as environmental education and viniculture technology among others.
Finally, Pavlidis said that Greece and Cyprus would seek other EU island member-states, such as Malta, as partners to develop parallel activities through other EU programs.
 ND sec't meets with outgoing Palestinian envoy
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Ruling New Democracy party secretary and top deputy Vangelis Meimarakis on Friday received the Palestinian diplomatic mission's envoy here, Marwan Abdelhamid, as the latter is expected to leave his post in Athens next month.
Afterwards, Abdelhamid said he thanked Meimarakis for both his and the party's solidarity vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue.
 Thessaloniki mayor attends 'Balcinet' mayors meeting in Romania
THESSALONIKI, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos was among mayors of large Balkan cities that attended the 'Balcinet' mayoral conference that began in Craiova, Romania on Friday.
The main topics discussed during the annual meeting, which was opened by Romanian President Traian Basescu, were the fight against crime and narcotics.
Addressing the conference, Papageorgopoulos stressed that the mayors of major Balkan cities could help bring about a "new spring" in their cities when they were united. He also noted the start of cooperation agreement on Friday between Balcinet and the ANA-MPA news agency for the publication of a newsletter focusing on the news and initiatives of Balkan cities.
 Senators criticize US gov't on passing up Greek aid for hurricane evacuees
WASHINGTON, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Two United States senators criticized the US government for turning down the Greek government's offer to provide cruise ships for free to house evacuees from hurricane-stricken New Orleans.
In a letter addressed to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) state that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accepted the Greek government's offer but failed to implement it.
Instead FEMA signed a six-month, $236 million agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines.
According to the senators, the amount is "four times the price of a seven-day western Carribean cruise including entertainment and fuel costs."
Obama and Coburn ask Chertoff to confirm whether the Greek government in fact made the offer and whether FEMA failed to implement it or not.
"If the offer was not implemented, we request that you provide us with information as to the reasons for the lack of implementation," they said in closing.
 Violence in Iraq due to presence of occupation forces, Iraqi trade unionist says
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Iraqi trade unionist Alaa Marai, speaking on Friday during a presentation of the overall situation prevailing in his country and in the sector of people employed at petroleum installations, said that "violence in Iraq is due to the presence of occupation forces and their withdrawal will be a blow for terrorism."
Marai, who was invited by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) to be present at the presentation, is currently in Greece to attend the three-day peace events organized by the "Labor Solidarity" at the Pedion tou Areos Square in Athens from September 30 to October 2.
The speaker referred to recent events in the city of Basra with the arrest of two Britons and their release by their army with the use of tanks, as well as to the clash that ensued.
Marai attributed this act and other similar ones to the British policy of "divide and rule" so that there will be a conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.
As regards the situation in the employees' union at petroleum installations, continuous resistance exists until control passes to the people of Iraq from Kellog Brown and Root.
Representatives of GSEE and ADEDY expressed the Confederation's solidarity for the struggling people of Iraq, stressing that "the continuing occupation is obstructing cooperation among unions, while the paramount right to life is being sacrificed in the name of big interests and of oil."
 Ambassadors of Romania, Luxembourg, Egypt and Kuwait present credentials
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Friday received the credentials of four new ambassadors posted to Athens, during consecutive ceremonies at the presidential mansion, and specifically the new envoy of Romania, George Ciamba; Luxembourg, Conrad Bruch; Egypt, Hamdy Sanad Loza; and Kuwait, Khaled Mutlaq Al-Duwailah.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis also attended the ceremonies.
 Greek deficit to fall below 3.0 pct of GDP in 2006, FinMin says
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Friday expressed his optimism over economic developments in the country and said the fiscal deficit would fall below 3.0 percent of GDP in 2006.
Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to discuss the draft plan of next year's budget -to be tabled to Parliament on Monday, Alogoskoufis said economic developments were moving according to targets set in a convergence program. The Greek minister stressed the government would not introduce any new measures and noted that emphasis would be given in dealing with tax-evasion and reducing spending.
Economy ministry sources expect the country's fiscal deficit to fall to 3.6 percent of GDP this year, from 6.6 percent in 2004, and to 2.8 percent in 2006. The same sources dismissed recent press reports over increases in registration fees and VAT.
Gov't on economic performance: The government spokesman on Friday stressed that supervision and monitoring are both elements of democracy, in answer to reporters' questions over ruling New Democracy deputy and former minister Miltiades Evert's tabled question seeking figures on ministries' outlays between 1995 and 2005.
Regarding the economy, spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos reiterated that the government's serious efforts, as he said, are beginning to bear fruit. His statement comes in reply to questions about recent reports by international organizations gauging Greece's economy and competitiveness.
Pointing to one bright spot, the spokesman said direct foreign investments in the country -- for decades amongst the lowest in the developed world -- reached the 1.35-billion-dollar mark in 2004, up from US$661 million in 2003.
Finally, in an unrelated development, Roussopoulos dismissed charges, mostly aired by main opposition PASOK over the past few days, regarding favoritism in public sector hirings. He noted that the specific hirings criticized by PASOK relate to temporary contracts for teachers, with most contracted teachers also being hired in their home region or prefecture.
"Greek citizens see, judge and remember," Roussopoulos said of PASOK's charges.
 National bank governor sees improved climate toward Greek economy
NEW YORK, 1/10/2005 (ANA/A. Lidorikis)The governor of New York-listed National Bank Tassos Arapoglou on Friday reported that foreign institutional investors were more positive in their attitude toward the Greek economy than they had been a year ago.
After meetings with investors holding shares in the bank's capital in Washington and New York, Arapoglou said there had been a "fundamental reversal of the climate" and "fewer questions" relative to the year before.
Foreign institutional investors currently own 33 per cent of the bank's share capital, up from just 18 per cent in March 2004.
 Development Minister continues US tour
NEW YORK, 10/10/2005 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas arrived in New York on Friday, the final leg of his US tour.
He is scheduled to attend a dinner organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening, while on Saturday he will be meeting with Archbishop of America Dimitrios, executives of major corporations and members of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.
Sioufas will depart for Athens on Sunday.
SAE Conference: On Thursday, Sioufas attended a conference held by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), titled "Technology and Development in Greece."
More than 120 academics, researchers and Greek-American businessmen attended the conference which focused on the economic potential in Southeast Europe and Balkan countries' European Union prospects.
Addressing the conference, Sioufas emphasized the Greek government's strategy in the region which is based on peace, cooperation and development.
Regarding Greek communities abroad, he said that the government is working towards upgrading their role by improving communication with the communities but also with the host countries.
As an example of the government's initiatives, Sioufas referred to the creation of the Expatriate Service Centre in Athens. He also referred to the significant contributions made by SAE and its President Andrew Athens who played a key role in supporting health care centers in former Soviet Union countries.
As for research and technology, the development minister said that they are among the priorities of the National Strategic Plan for Development which will be funded by the EU and the Greek state.
Because of its geopolitical position, Greece is an attractive location for western European and US companies to establish their strategic headquarters and research centers as they try to enter markets in eastern European, the Balkans, the Black Sea region, Caucasus and the Middle East, he said.
Sioufas also highlighted Greece's role in the energy sector making references to major projects such as the Greek-Turkish and Greek-Italian natural gas pipelines, and the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline.
The minister also referred to Greek-US relations.
"Greece and the United States maintain close ties of friendship and cooperation; ties that become more essential due to Greek communities in the U.S,," he said, adding that the objective is to continue strengthening these ties.
In Washington, Sioufas met with US Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell and discussed Greece's role as a regional energy channel, especially in light of major pipeline networks underway in Greece.
In Chicago, the development minister met with regional government officials, entrepreneurs and members of the Greek community.
Also part of the Greek delegation are the ministry's development secretary general, Nikos Stefanou and research and technology secretary general, Yiannis Tsoukalas; Professor Dimitris Nanopoulos, President of the National Research and Technology Council; Vassilis Makios, Professor at Patras University; and other ministerial officials.
 Coalition (SYN) leader demands penalties for subsidized firms shirking obligations
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)The leader of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party Alekos Alavanos on Friday demanded that the government provide a full list of companies which, since 1995, had received subsidies but shirked the obligations arising from them, such as keeping staff.
He also asked the government to clarify how many of these companies had been made to face the penalties required by law and to hold an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament on this issue.
Pointing to a report released on Thursday by a trade union group affiliated to his party, which listed some 80 businesses that received generous subsidies from national and EU funds but had not observed requirement not to lay off staff or transfer their productive activities elsewhere.
According to Alavanos, the deliberate inaction of governments had made subsidized industrialists completely unrestrained.
"They don't care about the obligations they take on since no one ever calls them to order," he added.
Alavanos rejected the position of the Union of Greek Industrialists, Greece's largest employer group, that the names of companies breaking the law should not be made public.
"The government knows it is obliged to protect the money of the Greek people, that it is obliged by national and community law to provide complete transparency and demand the return of the funds with interest," Alavanos said.
 EU to fund study on eastern Mediterranean transport network
BRUSSELS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)The European Union's executive Commission has approved a proposal submitted by Greece, Cyprus and Italy that a study should be undertaken for creation of a transport grid in the eastern Mediterranean that would form part of the 25-nation bloc's network, the merchant marine ministry said on Friday.
The ministry undertook coordination of the proposal for the three countries. Advocated is a study on transport corridors linking Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Malta and Slovenia.
The EU budget for the study is two million euros, the statement said.
 Greece top tourist destination for Chinese
BEIJING, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Greece emerged as the favorite tourist destination among Chinese vacationers according to a survey conducted by Voyage, a China-based, large circulation travel magazine.
Eighty percent of those surveyed - which included travel writers and the magazine's readers - chose Greece as the leading destination of all countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
France placed second winning 60% of the vote, followed by Italy.
Greek Ambassador to China Mikis Kampanis, accompanied by Stelios Korkidis, Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) representative and press attache in Beijing, received the prize.
 Belgian travel agents to hold conference in Crete
IRAKLION, 1/10/2005 (ANA)The annual conference of the Union of Belgian Travel Agents (UPAV) and the Union of Belgian Tour Operators (ABTO) will be held in Crete, at a hotel in the coastal town of Hersonisos, between October 1-4 with the participation of 165 delegates.
Events to take place parallel to the conference include a visit by delegates to archaeological sites, as well as to other sights in Crete.
The Greek Tourist Organization (EOT) is participating actively in the holding of the conference with the purpose of promoting Greece in Belgium's tourist market.
 Conference on Cretan wine opens in Iraklio on Friday
IRAKLION, 1/10/2005 (ANA)The second European conference of "Malvazia" wine was scheduled to begin on Friday evening in Iraklio, on the island of Crete and focus on the topic of "Cretan wine in data sources of Venetian rule."
Delegations from the regions of the Canary Islands, Madera, Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Crete are participating in the conference. Crete is being represented by the region of Malevyzi, being the exclusive region on the island which produces this wine.
An address was to be made on the first day of the conference by the Mayor of Ghazi Mr. Markoyiannakis on the topic of "The wine Malvazia and Malevyzi." The conference is due to end on Sunday.
 Greek stocks jump 4.02 pct in the week
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Greek stocks surged to new highs on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday with buying activity encouraged by better-than-expected first half results. The composite index rose 1.10 percent to end at 3,381.96 points, up 4.02 percent in the week. The index is up 43.75 percent from October 1, 2004.
National Bank's shares jumped 5.38 percent in the wake of the announcement of a 62 pct jump in six month profits.
Sector indices scored gains with the Textiles (7.14 pct), Banks (3.01 pct), Investments (2.96 pct), Holdings (1.69 pct), scoring the biggest percentage gains, while the Insurance (1.13 pct), IT Solutions (0.92 pct), Telecoms (0.88 pct) and Mineral-Cement (0.62 pct) suffered losses.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.42 pct, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.93 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.02 percent up.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 153 to 114 with another 73 issues unchanged.
Derivatives Market Close: OTE top in stock futures trade
Equity Index Futures:
Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday
Reference buying rates per euro released
by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.213
 Simulation of ill-fated Helios Airways flight conducted
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)A simulation of an ill-fated Helios Airways flight that crashed north of Athens on Aug. 14 killing all passengers and crewmembers aboard was held on Friday at an Olympic Airways pilot training centre in Hania, Crete.
According to reports, all collected data so far regarding the flight will be used to accurately recreate the conditions aboard the plane.
 Large Albanian police delegation in Athens this week for training
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)A 28-member delegation of Albanian police officers and officials is on a four-day visit to Greece this week as part of the Police Assistance Mission of the European Community to Albania's (PAMECA) efforts to improve professional training of the neighboring country's police force.
Training will take place at the Greek Police's (EL.AS) continuing education and training academy, with the emphasis on know-how gained via the "Olympic Security" model; security for major events; effective border patrols and security, as well as further upgrading cooperation between the two countries' law enforcement services.
 Bust of 20th century Greek statesman Venizelos to be unveiled in Belgrade square
BELGRADE, 1/10/2005 (ANA)A bust of pre-war 20th century Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos will be erected in a central Belgrade square near a main thoroughfare that will also be renamed in his honor, with a relevant ceremony scheduled for mid October.
The bust, financed by a grant from the Eleftherios Venizelos Foundation, will be unveiled during a ceremony organized by the Municipality of Belgrade, the Foundation and the New Society for Greek-Serbian Friendship, all in cooperation with the Greek embassy in the Serbian capital.
 Thessaloniki hopes to get icon of St. Demetrius for Oct. 28 national holiday
THESSALONIKI, 1/10/2005 (ANA)A priceless Byzantine-era icon of St. Demetrius, patron saint of Thessaloniki, has been requested by the northern Greek city from an Italian museum in order to be placed on display for the October 28 national holiday, when Greeks celebrate their resistance to the Axis powers of WWII and the feast day of St. Demetrius two days earlier.
The icon is a miniature, measuring just 9x6 centimeters, and portrays the saint in military uniform, bearing a lance and a shield, against a gold background. The icon is from the Sasso Ferrato Museum and dates from the 13th century. It was taken to Italy from Constantinople before the city was sacked and this is the second time it will be traveling outside Italy's borders after it was loaned for an exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum.
The request of the icon was an initiative of the Thessaloniki municipality and the Italian Educational Institute in the city.
According to the head of the Italian Institute in Thessaloniki Enzzo Perraro, the icon has historic as well as artistic value, being an example of cooperation between Greeks and the Catholic humanists that helped usher in the Renaissance.
The icon's transfer has been approved by local authorities in Sasso Ferrato, while the approval of the Italian Culture Ministry is still pending. If the ministry's approval comes through, the tiny icon will be placed on display in the Church of St. Demetrius for about a month, city officials said.
This year's holiday marks the conclusion of 17 centuries since the saint's martyrdom. According to Deputy Mayor of Culture Haris Aidonopoulos, the icon is considered of equal importance with the lost icon of the Virgin that was once paraded on the walls of Byzantium during a siege.
 Discussion held at German Institute on 'Journalism and War'
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)A discussion held at the German Institute on Thursday night focused on the issue of "Journalism and War, Truths and Lies." Three journalists, correspondents on war fronts, spoke of journalism, the soul of truth in war and of interests being "played" to manipulate public opinion.
Panos Haritos, a correspondent of the NET television channel in the Middle East, Pavlos Nerantzis, a journalist of the ET3 television channel and correspondent of the newspaper Manifesto in Greece and Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian correspondent in Iraq of the newspaper Manifesto, who was abducted in Baghdad and was held prisoner by the Iraqis for one month, outlined aspects of a bitter reality whose ultimate victims are information and journalists. The discussion was coordinated by Nicolas Voulelis, managing director of the Athens News Agency (ANA).
Haritos said the journalist is called on to move on a scene between the propaganda game and the serving of the truth. Nerantzis said that journalists find themselves victims of intimidation and disinformation operations. Sgrena said on her part that information in its entirety is a victim of war and this is clear by the present situation prevailing in Iraq.
But even if in war the mass media often function with conceptions that maintain conflicts, only free journalism, as Voulelis said, can doubt established information and contribute to the shaping of a peace culture capable of orientating towards a de-escalation of war.
 Greek artists participate in 2nd Beijing Biennale
BEIGING, 1/10/2005 (ANA)Fifteen Greek artists are taking part in the 2nd Beijing Biennale held in the Chinese capital from September 20 through October 20.
A total of 500 artists from 60 countries are participating in what is described as the largest and highest level art exhibition in China, which was officially inaugurated on September 20 and attended by Greek Ambassador to China Mikis Kampanis.
For this year's theme, the exhibit's organizers chose "Contemporary Art with Humanistic Concerns", in light of the 60th anniversary since the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations.
The exhibit has been organized by the Chinese Federation of Literary and Artists' Unions, the Municipality of Beijing and the Chinese Union of Artists.
 Greek 'Children of Olympus' Music Festival to begin in Vienna
VIENNA, 1/10/2005 (ANA/D. Dimitrakoudis)The Greek Music "Children of Olympus" Festival will begin in Vienna's renowned "Concert Hall" on October 4 with a concert by Maria Farantouri who will be singing works by composer Mikis Theodorakis. The Hall will be hosting a total of four concerts in October.
Farantouri's concert will be followed on October 13 by a concert with Elli Paspala who will sing works by the other great Greek composer Manos Hatzidakis. George Dalaras will be singing an assortment of Greek songs on October 22, while the Greek Music Festival will close with a presentation of his works by Dionysis Savvopoulos on October 27.
The "Children of Olympus" Festival, with its four concerts for Greek music, is taking place abroad for the first time and the aim is to have this effort continued, both in Austria and other countries, in the same form.
 Supreme Court Council places two judges on suspension
ATHENS, 1/10/2005 (ANA)The Supreme Court Council on Friday placed two judges on suspension for misconduct.
First-instance Court judge Maroulio Daviou was found guilty of abuse of authority for failing to press charges against former archimandrite Iacovos Yiossakis, currently being held in remand, for an antiquities-smuggling case in Kythera.
The second case concerned Appeals Judge and former Athens First-Instance Court Supervisor Nektarios Vazaios for the misdemeanor of concealing a reason to be recused. Vazaios apparently tried a case in which a close family friend Athanassios Varlamis was a lawyer.
Vazaios had submitted his resignation, which was not accepted by Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras.
Misdemeanor charges filed against Supreme Court VP Zissis: An appeals court prosecutor on Friday filed misdemeanor charges against Supreme Court vice-president Achilleas Zissis, the head of the union of justices and prosecutors, as well as a contractor linked with the former.
The charges against Zissis include dereliction of duty and violating the statement of means law, all tied with allegations that Zissis attempted to intervene with judges presiding in cases involving businessman Konstantinos Avramidis, in return for construction on a vacation home owned by Zissis' wife on Crete.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras has requested a recommendation by the Supreme Court's top judicial council on whether Zissis should be temporarily suspended in light of the indictment against him.
 President says Cyprus exists without Turkey's recognition
NICOSIA, 1/10/2005 (CNA/ANA)The Republic of Cyprus will continue to exist and be recognized, even if Turkey, following its lonely path, insists on not recognizing it as a state, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said, adding that soon Ankara will realize that she must take seriously into consideration Cyprus' word as a state, which is a full EU member, for her own European orientation.
President Papadopoulos said that ''this message was given in a clear and explicit way to Turkey, during recent procedures for the beginning of Turkey's accession negotiations.''
In a declaration Friday night for the 45th anniversary of Cyprus' independence, President Papadopoulos said that the issue discussed during the procedures for the beginning of Turkey's negotiations was neither the Cyprus problem nor the determination of the parameters for a right solution to the Cyprus problem.
''The issue discussed was the determination of Turkey's obligations towards the EU, for the beginning of the negotiations and their conclusion,'' he noted, adding that ''the Cyprus settlement, as we want it, was not such a condition and could not be imposed as a new condition.''
President Papadopoulos said that ''only with a functional and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem the evolvement of the current state to a bicommunal, bizonal federation is possible,'' adding that ''a functional and viable settlement was and remains our primary and main goal.''
He pointed out that ''the United Nations Organization was and remains the right framework and the appropriate procedure to promote a right settlement of the Cyprus problem, with a more active, this time, EU participation in the negotiations,'' and expressed hope that prospects for a fresh dialogue on Cyprus will not be cancelled by the usual intransigence and negativity shown by the Turkish side.
President Papadopoulos also addressed the Turkish Cypriots and called on them to join a common effort ''for the sake of our common homeland and for constructing our common future.''
''Only in a reunited homeland, society and economy, only in a common state that will function without any deadlines and insecurities, will we be able to secure a balanced and equal progress and prosperity. Reunion means reunion of the space, the society, the economy and the institutions. Cyprus belongs to all of us, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Let us cooperate in good faith, so that a better future belongs to us as well,'' he added.
As regards the anniversary of Cyprus' independence, President Papadopoulos said that on this occasion ''we pay the rightful respect and honor to the first President of the Republic of Cyprus'' Archbishop Makarios and to all those who with their heroic struggles and sacrifices created and established the Cypriot state, a state of justice and legality, which all its citizens, Cypriot and EU citizens, have the right to be proud of.
President Papadopoulos said that the fact that Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus does not affect or decrease the prestige, the reliability or the legality of the Republic of Cyprus.
''Turkey, as the illegal invader and conqueror, has every reason not to recognize our state's existence and to purse the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus, to accept to recognize another succeeding state regime. Fortunately, the existence and functioning of our state is not pending on the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey,'' he said.
He noted that during the deliberations on Turkey's accession negotiations, ''we achieved the support of a large number of EU member sates, in order to have conditions and preconditions (for Turkey), on which we can now build and demand effectively the fulfillment of Turkey's obligations towards the EU, towards all member states, including Cyprus, which in an explicit way and as an exception is mentioned in the negotiating framework for Turkey, not after a long time passes by, but from the beginning of Turkey's accession course.''
President Papadopoulos said that he remains optimistic for better days, ''which will surely come'' for the Cyprus people, pledging that he will continue as the legal President of the Republic of Cyprus to struggle and spare all his efforts for a better future for Cyprus and its people.