|Tuesday, 18 December 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-10-24
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 24, 2005
 PM Karamanlis calls for more democratic and effective UN on occasion of 60th anniversary of its founding
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary on Monday of the founding of the United Nations, in a statement on Sunday said that "the United Nations, in the 60 years of its presence in international life, conducts, through many challenges and difficulties, a unique in importance mission for the safeguarding of peace and stability in the world."
In a written statement released by the premier's press office, Karamanlis said the United Nations "was and is the guardian of international law and international legality, necessary elements for peaceful co-existence and cooperation between states and peoples."
Prime Minister Karamanlis added:" Of course, 60 years after its founding, the organization is called on to continue this most important mission of it, in conditions completely different from those prevailing when it started its action.
"Our world is faced with new challenges and new threats, such as international terrorism, poverty, humanitarian crises, the plague of narcotics and natural disasters, many of which are due to the lack of effective protection of the environment."
The Greek prime minister went on to say:" It is therefore imperative for the United Nations to proceed to those necessary reforms which will render it more effective. This procedure of reform must also include the Security Council, of which the existing composition does not reflect the present international community."
Concluding, Prime Minister Karamanlis said:" Our country, a stable and ardent supporter of the United Nations, has the opportunity, but also the will, to contribute in this effort in its capacity as non-permanent member of the Security Council, for the time period 2005-2006, as well. With all our strength, we are working for a more democratic and more effective United Nations in the modern world."
 SYN says U.S. stands in the way of UN implementing its objectives
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party in an announcement on Sunday on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations on Monday, said that "the 60th anniversary of the founding of the UN is not offered for celebration but for concern and vigilance."
Synaspismos said:" Today, the UN is undermined by the claim of the United States for the monopolistic direction of the world. It is harmed by the Bush government for 'preventive wars' and by its scorn of international law."
The announcement added:" The current world inequalities, which are intensified by the neo-liberal globalization under the hegemony of the United States, constitute the main obstacle of the implementation of the UN's objects."
Concluding, the Synaspismos announcement said:" The main message of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations is the claim for its democratization. The reinforcement of its capability to serve international law and to promote its founding objectives for a peaceful and just world. This interests in particular the smaller countries, such as Greece, which are often harmed by the policies of strength."
 Greek officials call for lifting of recent restrictions following negative tests for bird flu
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Deputy Agriculture Development Minister Alexandros Kontos has conveyed a letter the Greek foreign ministry requesting that Athens' diplomatic services emphasize to the governments of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria that no instances of bird flu have been detected in the country, days after a single and much-publicized suspected case tested negative for the H5N1 virus.
Kontos also called for the lifting of any restrictions on Greek poultry exports to the neighboring countries, most in place since last week.
In a related development, agriculture ministry officials informed Albanian ambassador to Athens Bashkim Zeneli on Friday that tests on poultry in the country turned up negative for bird flu, while again stressing that this fact certainly "does not justify the unilateral measures" taken by Tirana against Greek exports to neighboring Albania.
On his part, Deputy Health Minister George Constantopoulos told an audience of delegates at a pharmaceuticals exhibition in Thessaloniki that he was confident a vaccine against the specific virus will be found within the next six months.
 Creation of Greece-Bulgaria-Turkey cross-border centre against bird flu
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The creation of a joint coordinating cross-border centre for the confrontation of possible cases of bird flu was decided on Friday night during a meeting held at Didimotiho, northern Greece, between veterinarians of the department of the prefectures-members of the Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey Network.
Also decided was the operation of a system of continuous communication between them and the briefing of all the prefectures of the Cross-Border Cooperation Network, as well as the exchange of visits by scientific and and technical personnel.
 Papoulias again touches on issue of war reparations
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday again touched on the issue of war reparations being demanded from Germany, during a memorial service in northern Greece in memory of 268 people executed by Nazi forces during WWII.
Papoulias reiterated that it was modern Germany's obligation to pay war reparations, adding that relevant Greek ministries should pursue the matter in the wake of the formation of a new government in Berlin, in order for a "satisfactory solution to be found".
The Greek president spoke during events in the village of Mesovouno in the Vermio municipality.
President comments on scandals plaguing
Greek politics and society
"We must be the fighters in the front line against these new ethics in Greek society," President Karolos Papulias stated on Sunday when asked to comment by reporters on scandals plaguing the country's political and social life.
President Papoulias attended the events in memory of the 268 victims by the Nazi troops in the village of Mesovouno in the Municipality of Vermios and referred to the issues of the German reparations.
He underlined that it was Germany's obligation to pay compensation and that after the formation of the new government, there should be contacts with the relevant Greek ministries in order for a satisfactory solution to be reached.
The president was proclaimed honorary citizen of Vermios Municipality.
 Opinion poll on stance of Greeks towards Turkey's European course
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)"Greeks believe that Turkey's accession to the European Union is in the interest of Greece (46 per cent against 38 per cent) and assess in their majority that Greek-Turkish relations will probably improve (65 per cent against 28 per cent."
This arises by a survey conducted by the VPRC Institute which was taken nationwide one week after the formal start of Turkey's accession talks with the European Union and which was published in Saturday's edition of the "Kathimerini" newspaper.
According to the same survey, "most Greeks believe that the outcome of the course Turkey's negotiations will be successful (60 per cent against 29 per cent).
However, the percentage is high of those who are against Turkey's European prospects (58 per cent against 29 per cent) and as shown by the survey, church-goers and women appear more negative.
Greek public opinion also expresses pessimism that Turkey's entry into the European Union will contribute in solving the Cyprus issue.
 Stylianidis to represent Athens at informal EU Summit
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis will represent Greece at this week's informal EU ministers' Summit in Britain focusing on developmental cooperation within the framework of the UN's millennium goals for combating world poverty as well as a EU-Africa strategy for growth.
 Public order minister's visit to Russia postponed for a later date
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The scheduled five-day official visit to Russia by Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis which was due to take place from October 23-27 has been postponed and transferred for a later date.
According to a Public Order Ministry announcement on Saturday, the visit will be transferred to the immediate near future, due to urgent and unforeseen obligations of the minister's interlocutors.
 Interior minister addresses conference of regional general secretaries
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, addressing himself to local government representatives but also during a press conference he gave in the framework of the 11th Conference of Secretary Generals of Regions which was held on the island of Poros on Saturday with the participation of many mayors, prefects and regional secretaries, said that "the time has come for the regions."
Pavlopoulos, speaking on the necessary growth of the regions, noted that "this is a commitment of the prime minister" and reminded that from the forum of the Thessaloniki Trade Fair immediately after the end of the Olympic Games, he had stressed that the time has come for the regions. He added that "all will be made with the necessary consensus and extensive dialogue."
He reiterated that the 4th Community Support Framework (CSF) "is not the framework of the central state, it is the framework of the regions and of local government." He said that for this reason, "the country is divided into five developing regions which will undertake to a great extent the 4th CSF."
To a question if he will discuss with local government officials the issue of the change of the electoral system for the forthcoming prefectural and municipal elections, Pavlopoulos clarified that the draft law will be voted before the budget and that the mayors and prefects will be able to be elected from the coming elections with a percentage above 42 per cent.
 ND Secretary Meimarakis says 'there is no tough line against the mass media'
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Ruling New Democracy (ND) party Secretary Evangelos Meimarakis, in an interview to the "Kosmos tou Ependyti" newspaper on Saturday, declared that "there is no tough or any other line of attack against the mass media and of course I am not leading it."
He clarified that "what I had said and I repeat, is my opinion on the different hierarchy of issues which takes place or the disproportionate time given on each topic at certain times."
He addded:"On the occasion, I have not seen anyone reproducing and dealing with what (main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement deputy Theodoros) Mr. Pangalos described the situation as being a 'brothel'. And I did not see it because the issue was not risen under pressure by (PASOK spokesman Nikos) Mr. Athanassakis. I believe that PASOK must answer if it wants the public dialogue to be held with terms of a coffee shop. (PASOK leader George) Mr. Papandreou cannot speak on the one hand of profundity and ethics and leading cadres of his party to behave publicly in this manner and not be pressured in taking a stand ... If I had said such a phrase publicly such strong pressure would have been exerted on me with continuous questions to the press spokesman to say whether he covers up for me or not."
Asked on the primary shareholder, he said that "the best legal and technical adjustment will soon be found to restrict or eradicate all these phenomena." He added:"PASOK, which did everything possible for the primary shareholder not to pass and to block all the reforms, attempting to delay us, to accuse us today of phenomena of 090 which itself legislated."
 PASOK leader Papandreou says that 'gov't is becoming part of the problem of corruption'
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou, speaking at an event at the Civic Education Institute in Athens on Saturday, launched a stinging attack against the government, with particular references "on issues of corruption."
The PASOK leader accused the government that "it operates as a conqueror in a foreign country and that its establishes party profligacy," adding that "never has a government in Greece slid so fast in the dark side of politics."
He stressed that the ruling New Democracy (ND) party "is becoming part of the problem of corruption and not combatting it."
Papandreou further accused the ND and the government that "they are attempting to pass the view that they are all the same," adding that "in this manner, they are striking the heart of the self-confidence of the Greek people and passing the view that the Greek is incorrectable." The PASOK leader said "we will not allow this logic to pass," adding that "we proved that when we want to, we can achieve many things."
Roussopoulos responds to PASOK's accusations of gov't corruption: Minister of State and Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Saturday launched an attack against main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in response to issues of corruption.
"Hostages of corruption and of vested interests are not those who make shielded laws but those who made photographic laws so as to serve interests," Roussopoulos said.
The spokesman added that "the present government, wherever there are charges, explores them and sends them to the public prosecutor."
 Archbishop Christodoulos takes aim at proponents of absolute separation of Church-state
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Sunday lashed out at what he called "neo-progressives", following recent high-profile public appearances by proponents pushing for a complete separation of Church and state in the east Mediterranean country, more-or-less along the lines of the French model.
"We cannot allow this by the neo-progressives, who want to drastically transform the people and country, because we here have a history, a history of struggle and sacrifices," the influential head of the Greek Orthodox Church from the pulpit at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral during a Sunday morning mass.
Among others, a vocal group of noted proponents of a complete Church-state separation in Greece have called for a mandatory civil marriage ceremony and the abolition of any religious oaths throughout the wider public sector in Greece.
In other comments, Christodoulos criticized what he called a campaign by various mass media in the country, under the banner of a "catharsis" of public life that essentially demolishes and slanders long-standing institutions, as he said.
 Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos receives Cypriot senior clerics
ISTANBUL, 24/10/2005 (ANA/A. Kourkoulas)Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, in welcoming here on Sunday Morphou Metropolitian Neophytos, Bishops of Trimythountos Vassilios and of Kykkos Nikiforos, clerics and pilgrims from Cyprus, said that "we wish for a speedy and in a most possible excellent manner the solution of the political and ecclesiastic problems of Cyprus."
The Patriarch said that "the Churches of Constantinople and Cyprus have cooperated for the unity of Orthodoxy."
The three senior Cypriot clergymen are visiting Istanbul and on Monday will be received at the Phanar to discuss the Ecumenical Patriarchate's contribution for the confrontation of the ecclesiastic problem faced by Cyprus.
Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos has been ill for some time and is unable to carry out his duties.
 KKE reiterates decision against cooperation with other parties in local gov't elections
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) central committee on Sunday announced that the Parliament-represented party gives next year's municipal and prefectural elections in the country a "political significance".
Among others, KKE's top policy-making body reiterated that the party will not cooperate at the central or local level, either directly or indirectly, with any of the three other parties in Parliament -- ruling New Democracy, main opposition PASOK or the smaller Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos).
 SYN leader Alavanos on municipal elections
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos, in an interview he gave to Saturday's edition of "Eleftherotypia" newspaper, said that his proposal for the candidacy of Alexis Tsipras for the Municipality of Athens, is part of his effort "for the generation of the 30-year-olds to enter political life" and that this decision "caused a great earthquake...higher than 6 points on the Richter scale."
On the fact that Michalis Papayiannakis insists on his candidacy, Alavanos answered that "it is not bad and does not constitute a crisis for a party to have many good candidates."
On the possibility of cooperation with the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in the municipal elections, Alavanos said that "this is not possible in the big municipalities, where there exists, for example, great unemployment, for which it is responsible along with the New Democracy party."
The Synaspismos leader termed unemployment, the state of education, the difficulty in technological innovations and public administration as the country's biggest problems.
 IKA deputy director resigns
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Social Security Foundation (IKA) deputy director Nikos Gerassimos on Saturday submitted his resignation to Labor and Social Protection Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos following the stir which was created due to a report by a television station.
Gerassimos said that "I immediately submitted my resignation to the relevant Labor and Social Protection Minister, who, in communication with his office, during his trip towards Australia, accepted it."
 U.S. centre honors Greece and Cyprus for humanitarian aid towards those affected by hurricanes
WASHINGTON, 24/10/2005 (ANA/T. Ellis)European countries which contributed in the care of those affected by the catastrophic hurricanes "Katrina" and "Rita" which struck the southern states of the United States a month ago, were honored by the Washington-based "Eurasia Centre".
Among the countries which were honored on Friday for contributing humanitarian aid were Greece and Cyprus, while during the event, the ambassadors of the two countries in Washington, Alexandros Mallias and Evripides Evriviades, received commemorative plaques.
 EU Commissioner Hubner on absorption of Community funds by Greece
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner, in an exclusive interview she gave to the Sunday edition of "Vima" newspaper, said "it is still too early for us to assess at this moment whether Greece will lose the funds of 2005 and 2006, due to the regulation of automatic release."
The commissioner added that "however, it is clear that the danger must not be underestimated of such an eventuality, not only in 2005-2006 but also in 2007-2008, when the payments will still continue, according to the current 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF)."
She added that "it is important" for there to be speedier progress in public works projects, "given that that the recent reforms in this sector will bring about results, that is, the absorption in the works in question will be increased."
 OPE presents 'Kerasma' initiative for export of quality products
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The EXport Promotion Organization (OPE) aims at increasing exports with more qualitative brand name products.
In an effort for the global promotion of Greek food, wine and beverages, it will use as a "vehicle" its new initiative named "Kerasma" which was presented at a central hotel in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Saturday.
Taking part in the event were representatives of the food, wine and beverages sector and of hotel businesses.
The presentation of "Kerasma" was made by the director of the unit of communication of PRC Group, Nikolaos Panoussopoulos.
In their speeches, the general secretaries of ministries stressed the need for there to be extroversion of the Greek economy for the development of competitiveness and of productivity aimed at increasing exports.
From March 16-19, 2006, a world conference will take place in Athens on Greek food and beverages with the objective of promoting them abroad.
 Thessaloniki taxis to be upgraded through use of new technologies
THESSALONIKI 24/10/2005 (ANA)The installation is in progress of new systems of managing a fleet of 1,500 taxis in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, which was subsidized with the sum of about 2.5 million euros by the Transport and Communications Ministry.
The same procedure, which aims at upgrading the existing services to the citizens, through the use of new technologies, has already been completed in Iraklion, Crete, Thessaloniki Taxis Association President Paris Kissas told ANA/MPA at the close on Sunday of the 1st European Taxi Forum.
The conclusions of the conference will constitute the basis for a dialogue to start between the representatives of taxi drivers of all the countries for the forming of a common legal framework and regulation of operation of taxis.
Taking part in the conference, which was held at the initiative of the Panhellenic Taxis Federation, under the auspices of the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry, were representatives from Germany, the United States, Great Britain, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, Cyprus and Turkey.
 Construction begins of Smokovos Hydroelectric Plant in Karditsa
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Saturday morning laid the foundation stone of the Smokovos Hydroelectric Plant in Karditsa, central Greece, and thus is starting the construction of this important project.
The project is budgeted at eight million euros and is expected to give a breather to the agricultural population of the broader region of Thessaly, while it will also create a new impetus for the growth of tourism in the mountainous regions.
The project will be constructed near the exit of the Leontarios tunnel which transfers the water from the Smokovos lake.
 Police charge 6 men in Israeli jewel trader's death
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Authorities on Sunday said they have arrested a total of five local men in connection with the murder of an Israeli jewel trader, whose body was discovered a day earlier in an abandoned mine shaft southeast of Athens. Another suspect remains at large, reports state.
Two of the six suspects, according to reports, are diamond cutters and dealers that reportedly did business with the victim, identified as Sam Levi, 66. The latter had been missing since Oct. 10 shortly after arriving in Athens for one of his frequent business trips to the Greek capital.
Police said four of the suspects confessed to the homicide, claiming it was part of a planned armed robbery. Conversely, one of two men believed involved with the planning has denied any role.
Authorities said the perpetrators claimed they had failed to find any precious stones on the victim, instead taking 3,000 euros his wallet, a cell phone and his watch.
The victim's body was found inside a truck left near the opening of the mine shaft in the Aghios Konstantinos site of Lavrio, in extreme southeast Attica prefecture.
Only the ages and professions of the arrested men, two are construction workers apparently hired for the crime, have been announced so far.
 Event held in presence of Alexandria Patriarch marking 63rd anniversary of battle of El Alamein
24/10/2005 (ANA)In the presence of Alexandria Patriarch Theodoros B' an event was held on Saturday in memory of the 63rd anniversary of the historic battle of El Alamein, in Egypt.
Speaking at the site of the monument, the head of the multiple delegation from Greece, Major-General George Karampelias, referred to the battle which took place in 1942 and stressed the bravery which the Greeks showed, not only for Greece but for the freedom of the whole of Europe.
At the end of the event, wreaths were laid at the monument by Greek Ambassador in Cairo, Panagiotis Vlassopoulos, his Cypriot counterpart Phaedon Anastasiou , Karampelias and others.
 Youths throw fire-bombs at Acropolis police station
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)The area outside the Acropolis police station on Leoharous Street was turned into a "battle field' in the early hours of Saturday morning when about 20 youths on motorbikes launched self-made fire-bombs at the police station and then fled.
The attack resulted in six patrol cars and one motorbike of the police station being burnt.
Considerable damage was also caused to window panes of shops and entrances of apartment buildings.
 Illegal immigrant arrests
ATHENS, 24/10/2005 (ANA)Nineteen illegal immigrants were intercepted by coast guard authorities on a remote beach on the large eastern Aegean island of Lesvos early Sunday morning.
According to reports, the illegals, whose nationality was not announced, were landed on Greek territory by a Turkish migrant smugger who first set off from the opposite Turkish coast with a speed boat.
Meanwhile, four foreign nationals were arrested in two separate instances at the port of Patras, western Greece, over the weekend in their attempt to board Italy-bound ferry boats.
Additionally, a local truck driver was charged in one of the two cases, as two would-be migrants were found hidden in his vehicle.
Results of the Greek first division soccer
championship matches played over the weekend:
Iraklis Thessaloniki - Atromitos Athens 2-0
Levadiakos - Kallithea Athens 1-0
Akratitos Athens - Panionios Athens 0-1
PAOK Thessaloniki - Ionikos Piraeus 6-1
OFI Crete - Olympiakos Piraeus 1-0
Egaleo Athens - Xanthi 3-2
AEK Athens - Panathinaikos 3-0
Larissa - Apollon Kalamaria
(Match to be played on Monday Oct. 24)
The point standings after
seven weeks of play:
Apollon Kalamaria 8 (six matches)
Larissa 6 (six matches)
 Cyprus President: A new dialogue needs to be well prepared
NICOSIA, 24/10/2005 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said he believes the UN Secretary General will continue to send emissaries to ascertain the climate and the positions of both sides in Cyprus.
He also noted that ''if dialogue begins without the proper preparation then it will soon collapse with all bad repercussions this will have.''
Invited to say which the next move of the UNSG will be for Cyprus, Papadopoulos said: ''That I don't know. The SG has the ideas and I think that he will continue sending emissaries to ascertain the climate and the positions of both sides.''
Asked if he expects a new UNSG emissary to visit the region, Papadopoulos said it was not right for him to try to foresee the next move of the Secretary General.
Invited to say if the UNSG will evaluate the positions of he Greek Cypriot side according to their priority, Papadopoulos said ''all of our positions are interrelated and equally important. He will just prepare the ground, a precondition accepted by himself.''
He said that everyone realizes how necessary the preparation of dialogue is.
To a remark that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat tries to distort the positions of the Greek Cypriot side, Papadopoulos said ''this is a usual Turkish tactic.''
 President Papadopoulos: Violation of Cyprus airspace reminds Turkish occupation
NICOSIA, 24/10/2005 (CNA/ANA)The only thing Turkey achieves by carrying out military exercises in Cyprus and violating Cyprus airspace is to remind Europe that in Cyprus there are still Turkish troops and occupation goes on, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said.
President Papadopoulos who watched Saturday maneuvers with the use of live ammunition that took place in the framework of ''Nikiforos 2005'' military exercise said ''these actions do not help Turkey very much''.
''The political message of Nikiforos military exercise is that we want peace'', he said adding that ''in order to maintain peace you must be prepared for war''.
President Papadopoulos said he was impressed by the accuracy and coordination of Cyprus military forces.
 "Nikiforos - 2005' National Guard military exercise in Cyprus
NICOSIA, 24/10/2005 (ANA/A. Viketos)The offensive operation with real fire which took place on Friday night within the framework of the "Nikiforos - 2005" military exercise of the National Guard was crowned with success.
Defense Minister Kyriakos Mavronikolas stated that the government's decision for the holding of the "Nikiforos" military exercise shows the government's interest for the existence of a worthy National Guard.
Mavronikolas noted that "a state without an army cannot be considered a state, given that it cannot exercise its sovereign rights."