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

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

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

June 9, 2006

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government: Greek foreign policy strategy specific and steady
  • [02] Bakoyannis' agenda during visit to Turkey
  • [03] Turkish FM Gul stresses importance of Greek counterpart Bakoyannis' imminent visit
  • [04] Koumoutsakos on visit by Turkish EU Harmonization Committee
  • [05] EU to present Turkish FM with joint position text on Monday
  • [06] NATO defense ministers hold meeting in Brussels
  • [07] PM Karamanlis meets with Archbishop Anastasios of Albania
  • [08] Premier receives former ND leader
  • [09] FM meets president of Albania's ethnic Greek 'Omonia Party'
  • [10] VPRC opinion poll: ND maintains lead while Greek-Turkish relations deteriorate
  • [11] PASOK slams government's social, drugs and sports policies
  • [12] Group claims responsibility for bomb attack targeting minister
  • [13] Foreign ministry spokesman on UNFICYP
  • [14] PASOK secretary announces events in memory of late statesman Andreas Papandreou
  • [15] President Papoulias to attend memorial service at Distomo Municipality
  • [16] Greek Ambassador to U.S. hosts reception for the foundation 'Fund for American Studies'
  • [17] Greece, Ukraine sign cooperation pacts
  • [18] Greek, Ukrainian industry groups sign pact
  • [19] Development Minister Sioufas briefs EU Energy Commissioner Piebalgs
  • [20] International Economic Relations secretary general outlines Greek economic diplomacy
  • [21] Greek inflation slowed to 3.1 pct in May, yr/yr
  • [22] Employment minister addresses international conference of International Labor Organization
  • [23] Shipping minister meets Panamanian official
  • [24] Athens Airport shows 2005 profit rise
  • [25] HELEXPO sponsors Euro-Chamber Summit in Thessalonica
  • [26] Opposition sees neglect of home tourism
  • [27] Greek-Turkish business youth forum
  • [28] Kri-Kri to pay 0.073 euros dividend to shareholders
  • [29] 'Metropolitan Park' in southern Athens to be ready in 2013, minister says
  • [30] Physicist Nanopoulos honored by Thessalonica mayor Thessalonica
  • [31] President Papoulias receives Committee of the International Children's Games
  • [32] Athens' Camerata Orchestra to perform in Vienna
  • [33] Greeks dance for peace in Vienna
  • [34] Police round up 40 youths after rioting at student march
  • [35] Danish national and Greek man killed in traffic accident
  • [36] Tract of wild cannabis found in Chania, Crete
  • [37] Cultural events in Greek prisons
  • [38] Italian designers hold charity fashion show in Athens
  • [39] Snowflakes on Mts. Vitsi and Olympus
  • [40] Cabinet reshuffle announced
  • [41] AHI tables US bill against illegal usurpation of G/C property

  • [01] Government: Greek foreign policy strategy specific and steady

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    "Our country has a steady, specific strategy on foreign policy that has been supported for more than 30 years by the two main parties - and not just by them," alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stressed on Thursday.

    "One of the tools [of this policy] is recourse to The Hague for the continental shelf issue. This will happen when conditions are ripe," Antonaros added.

    The spokesman had been asked to comment on a proposal put forward on Wednesday by the leader of Greece's main opposition party, Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) president George Papandreou, who said that Greece should exercise the right to extend its territorial waters before taking differences with Turkey over the Aegean continental shelf for arbitration to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    He also disputed that the Papandreou proposal "deviated" in any way from Greece's established strategy toward Turkey: "There is no new element in the 'new strategy' that Mr. Papandreou announced that he would propose," Antonaros asserted in response to reporters' questions.

    This position was echoed in statements made by foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on the same issue, who added that the core of Greece's strategy toward Turkey was to encourage its European orientation while at the same time promoting contacts in the energy, tourism and economic sectors.

    Pointing out that exploratory contacts with Turkey were continuing, Koumoutsakos noted that "within this coherent strategy, the possibility of a role for the International Court at The Hague was always there and remains always as a tool, an option for Greek foreign policy."

    Questioned about an upcoming meeting on Saturday between Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Istanbul - and whether Bakoyannis intended to raise the issue of Turkey's 'casus belli' threat against Greece - the spokesman stressed that Greece had always rejected the threat to use force.

    "It is a policy that we have repeatedly described as an anachronism, especially after the start of Turkey's EU accession process, and at no time has any Greek government accepted the logic of this threat of the use of force," he underlined.

    Asked if extending Greece's territorial waters was a necessary first step before going to the international court, Koumoutsakos said that delineating the Aegean continental shelf depended on drawing up the borders of the coastal zone on the basis of the international treaty for maritime law.

    Greece has reserved the right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, instead of the current six miles, which is the limit allowed under international treaties for maritime law.

    Regarding a request by the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party, whose representative at the National Council for Foreign Policy Nikos Constantopoulos had asked to be given access to the minutes of the 22 rounds of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey, both Antonaros and Koumoutsakos stressed that these were held in confidential foreign ministry files.

    According to Antonaros, giving Constantopoulos access to these files was a matter for Parliament, while Koumoutsakos ruled out any possibility of a handover:

    "These files do not belong to anyone apart from the foreign ministry," he said.

    Interpretation of Papandreou's proposals 'completely wrong', PASOK claims

    According to main opposition PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanassakis, meanwhile, the interpretation given to Papandreou's proposals was "completely wrong".

    He said that Papandreou had not called for an immediate extension of Greece's territorial waters but had presented a comprehensive strategy, whose starting point had been that the government and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis take initiatives to de-escalate tension with Turkey.

    "Papandreou's proposal says that before one has recourse to The Hague, one must have reached a decision as regards extending territorial waters. Is there anyone who says that we must go to The Hague with the present six miles? If so, they should come out and say so," PASOK's spokesman stressed.

    He also urged reporters to assess the proposal itself and not what is "being manufactured and circulated as the so-called proposal of PASOK's president".

    [02] Bakoyannis' agenda during visit to Turkey

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is due in Turkey on Saturday, where she will attend and deliver an address at the opening session of the 4th Greek-Turkish Meeting of Media Representatives in Istanbul on Saturday morning.

    Also due to speak at the meeting is Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who will have an informal meeting with Bakoyannis immediately afterward.

    Talks between the two ministers are expected to focus on confidence-building measures between the two sides, issues related to Turkey's EU accession efforts and cooperation between the two neighboring countries on so-called 'low-policy' issues, such as energy, tourism and economic affairs.

    They are also expected to sign an agreement setting up a direct phone line between the NATO sub-headquarters based in Larissa, central Greece and a military base in Eskisehir, Turkey.

    On Friday, Bakoyannis will be received by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who will give a dinner in her honor on Friday night. She is also due to attend the Sunday morning mass at the Patriarchate before departing for Athens, where she will head on for Luxembourg after a brief stop in order to attend the EU General Affairs Council on Monday.

    FM gives interview to Turkish news agency ahead of visit to Turkey

    Turkey's European prospects and bilateral relations will be the focus of attention in talks between Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.

    Speaking in an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadolu, ahead of her visit to Turkey Saturday, the foreign minister said that her visit has a double target: discussing bilateral relations, particularly in the framework of the new European environment created after October 3, and Turkey's European prospects.

    "Greek-Turkish relations are not only within the framework of the borders of the two countries, but should be understood within the framework of the broader limits of the EU and within the framework of Turkey's relations with the EU," she said, adding that " a particularly important issue is, undoubtedly, the finding of a workable and permanent solution to the issue of Cyprus."

    Replying to a question on the International Court at The Hague, Bakoyannis said "resorting to the International Court at The Hague might be beneficial for the issue of determining the continental shelf in the Aegean between Turkey and Greece" but stressed that taking into consideration that Turkey does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Court, resorting to it must be prepared carefully.

    The foreign minister added that the sides must sign an understanding and, before anything, they must determine the issue of the problem clearly.

    [03] Turkish FM Gul stresses importance of Greek counterpart Bakoyannis' imminent visit

    ISTANBUL 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas)

    Turkey's foreign minister Abdullah Gul on Thursday stressed the importance he placed on his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis' upcoming visit to Turkey, during a press conference with Greek media correspondents in Turkey.

    Gul said that this would be Bakoyannis' first visit to Turkey in her capacity as foreign minister, adding that he knew the minister well, and said he was very pleased that he himself was overseeing the success of the visit.

    "I want our guest to be happy, and her visit fruitful," the Turkish minister said.

    Bakoyannis is due to arrive in Istanbul on Saturday to take part in a conference of Greek and Turkish journalists, being organized for the fourth time since 1999 by the contact group set up by journalists of Greece and Turkey. She will return to Greece on Sunday.

    Gul stressed the important role played by the press and other media in relations between the two countries. "It is natural that there are different views and different policies. It is natural that there are problems between two neighbors," Gul said, stressing, however, that what is important "is our desire to solve the problems".

    "In the past, we thought that by multiplying the problems we were improving our positions," the Turkish foreign minister said, adding that he no longer shared that view.

    Gul stressed the great progress achieved in bilateral cooperation in the economic and banking sector, noting that the timing of Bakoyannis' visit was of particular significance, and adding that it paved the way for his own visit to Athens.

    The minister further reiterated his conviction that "Greece, Turkey and a unified Cyprus" will comprise in the future an important regional centre, the centre of SE Europe, within the EU.

    He noted that regional centers were being created in Europe, such as that of the Scandinavian countries in Western Europe, "and Greece, Turkey and unified Cyprus will comprise such an important centre, in the EU".

    [04] Koumoutsakos on visit by Turkish EU Harmonization Committee

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's EU Harmonization Committee, headed by former foreign minister Yassar Yakis, will hold meetings with Greek officials in Athens next Wednesday, the foreign ministry announced. The Turkish officials are also scheduled to visit Thrace, northeast Greece.

    Asked why the Turkish officials intended to visit Thrace, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said that Greece is a totally democratic country and has no reason to raise objections when someone wishes to visit one its regions.

    The spokesman added that a request was made for the visit to Thrace and the response given by the authorities was positive. Greece has no reason to be alarmed, it has nothing to hide and believes that these meetings should be held within the framework of the efforts aimed at improving bilateral relations in compliance with international treaties, Koumoutsakos said.

    [05] EU to present Turkish FM with joint position text on Monday

    BRUSSELS 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)

    The European Union will be presenting Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul with a joint position text in the framework of the EU-Turkey Association Council that will be held in Luxembourg on Monday.

    The compromise solution on the final formulation of the text was given at the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) held here on Thursday. The agreement on the EU's joint position satisfies basic Greek and Cypriot demands and calls for the curbing of the role of the military in Turkey.

    The discussion on whether the beginning of negotiations, scheduled for Monday, regarding the adjustment of Turkish legislation to the acquis communautaire on matters of research and technology will be continued at a new meeting of COREPER to be held here on Friday, while the conclusions plan of the summit -due to take place on June 15-16- will be examined at the General Affairs Council on Monday.

    As regards Greek-Turkish relations, the joint position text refers to Turkey's obligation to maintain relations of good neighborliness with member-states. The text requests from Turkey to handle every source of tension with its neighbors, avoiding every threat or act that could have a negative effect on relations of good neighborliness and the process of settling border differences peacefully.

    In this context, according to the EU's joint position, the EU encourages Turkey to intensify its efforts to settle border differences pending with all its neighbors in accordance with the principle of a peaceful settlement of differences and the UN Charter including, if considered necessary, the jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague.

    The text mentions that "the EU expresses its regret over the recent event in the Aegean which resulted in the collision of a Turkish and a Greek aircraft and the loss of a Greek pilot. Similar events have a negative impact on relations of good neighborliness."

    The text also requests from Turkey the reopening of the Halki School of Theology and protection for the rights of religious minorities and for their property, while special reference is made to the need to solve problems faced by the Greek minority in Imbros and Tenedos.

    Also included in the text are all the decisions taken by the EU concerning commitments undertaken by Turkey towards the EU on Cyprus such as the implementation of the customs union protocol with the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot ships and aircraft. An obligation which, as stressed in the text, has been pending on the part of Turkey.

    Reference is also made to the need on the part of Ankara to normalize relations with Nicosia and Turkey's active participation in efforts to solve the issue of Cyprus.

    On the question of general issues, emphasis is placed in the joint position text on the slowdown in the course of Turkey's democratization which occurred over the past year and a speedup in the reform process is called for to ensure the complete fulfillment of the political criteria set in Copenhagen.

    Koumoutsakos

    A COREPER meeting in Brussels on Thursday was trying to finalize the joint position of the European Union regarding the upcoming EU-Turkey Association Council on June 13, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told reporters in Athens earlier in the day.

    Asked to state the foreign ministry's position on Cyprus' demand that there be a clear-cut reference to the possibility of suspending accession talks with Turkey if it does not implement the Ankara Protocol (an agreement to extend customs union to the 10 new member-states of the EU, including Cyprus) by the end of the year, Koumoutsakos said that this was an "standing obligation that exists after the adoption of the EU counter-statement on 21 September 2005."

    [06] NATO defense ministers hold meeting in Brussels

    BRUSSELS 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni)

    NATO defense ministers concluded their spring session here on Thursday after examining the alliance's defense planning for the next decade, the rapid reaction forces, the course of operations in Afghanistan and the security situation in the Balkans.

    Greece was represented by Defense Minister Vangelis Meimarakis who met on the sidelines of the session with his Finnish counterpart Sepo Kaariainen, whose country will assume the European Union presidency as of July 1, 2006.

    The minister also held brief meetings with his counterparts from France, Germany and Turkey.

    The new ministerial guidance on NATO's defense planning, approved by the defense ministers on Thursday, provides directives on basic policies and strategies concerning the planning of the alliance's forces over the next decade.

    The new ministerial guidance maintains the possibility of operations being carried out simultaneously without the alliance's defense orientation changing.

    According to statements by NATO's spokesman, James Aparthurai, NATO must have the readiness at any moment to carry out simultaneous military operations that will mobilize a total of 300,000 troops.

    NATO must be in a position to carry out two major military operations at the same time (60,000 troops) and six smaller ones (from 20 to 30,000 troops).

    In addition, the defense ministers discussed issues to be examined at the upcoming summit in Riga in November 2006. These issues concern the development of NATO, the rapid reaction forces, the course of implementing military possibilities agreed at the previous summit in Prague, strategic transportation and the battlefield surveillance system.

    Addressing the meeting, Meimarakis referred to the security situation in the Balkans and reiterated the Greek position that NATO's involvement in Kosovo must be maintained at the present high level of operational readiness.

    The Greek minister also said that the UN, NATO and the EU must commit themselves that the multinational character of Kosovo will be maintained.

    [07] PM Karamanlis meets with Archbishop Anastasios of Albania

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Thursday morning in Athens with visiting Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.

    No statements were made after the meeting, which was also attended by deputy foreign minister Theodoros Kassimis.

    [08] Premier receives former ND leader

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received on Thursday former New Democracy (ND) party president Miltiades Evert. No statements were made after the meeting.

    [09] FM meets president of Albania's ethnic Greek 'Omonia Party'

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Thursday met with the president of Albania's ethnic Greek Omonia Party, Ioannis Yiannis, and discussed with him issues concerning the Greek minority in Albania.

    [10] VPRC opinion poll: ND maintains lead while Greek-Turkish relations deteriorate

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    The ruling New Democracy party (ND) was leading over main opposition PASOK party by 3 percentage points with respect to “voters’ intent” (the party the respondents would vote for if general elections were held tomorrow) while voters see a deterioration in the Greek-Turkish relations, according to the monthly VPRC barometer-opinion poll aired by the Athens-based SKAI radio and television.

    Specifically, 42 percent of the respondents believe that Greek-Turkish relations are stagnant, 48 percent think that they have deteriorated and just 6 percent replied that they have improved. Seven out of ten (68 percent) regard the Aegean as the most important problem in the Greek-Turkish relations followed by the Cyprus issue (11 percent) and the Moslem minority in Thrace (7 percent).

    Also, six out of ten (58 percent) do not have confidence in the International Court of Justice at The Hague for the resolution of the Greek-Turkish differences, while 24 percent regard a war conflict with Turkey as likely, as opposed to 72 percent who see such a possibility as unlikely.

    Current Prime Minister and ND leader Costas Karamanlis is regarded as most suitable for prime minister by 49 percent of the respondents followed by PASOK leader George Papandreou with 27 percent.

    In terms of voters’ intent, ND is leading with 41.5 percent followed by PASOK with 38.5 percent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 8.5 percent, the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party with 4.5 percent respectively.

    Also, to a question on which party they believed would win general elections if they were held now -- regardless of their own political affiliation or party preference -- an overwhelming majority of 56 percent opined that ND would win the elections, compared with 23 percent who believed that PASOK would emerge the winner.

    [11] PASOK slams government's social, drugs and sports policies

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Twenty-nine deputies of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), headed by Social Policy coordinator of the party's Parliamentary Group, Paraskevi Christofilopoulou submitted a motion in Parliament on Thursday which ascertains "the non-existence of social policy for the granting of support to the family and the child and the prevention of crises."

    Furthermore, 29 PASOK deputies headed by the secretary of the party's Parliamentary Health Division, Manolis Skoulakis, submitted a motion regarding the government policy on drugs which denounced what it termed, "dangerous government indifference on the issue of the combating of drugs."

    PASOK's Sports Division, in a press conference on Thursday, attacked the government's policy on sports. The party accused the government over "the lack of transparency in the Greek Soccer Pools, partisanship of the sports federations and the non-drastic confrontation of soccer violence."

    [12] Group claims responsibility for bomb attack targeting minister

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    The "Revolutionary Struggle" organization assumed responsibility for the recent failed bomb attack against culture minister and former public order minister George Voulgarakis near his home on Lycabettus Hill, and warned more attacks would follow against political and financial targets, in an 11-page proclamation sent to the To Pontiki weekly newspaper, published on Thursday.

    A strong explosion took place May 30 at the foot of Lycabettus Hill in central Athens, near Voulgarakis' home, and Voulgarakis later revealed that he had received a barrage of threats, adding "I have been targeted". The explosion, at 7:42 a.m. on the corner of Doxapatri and Sarantapichou streets, just 200 meters from Voulgarakis' apartment, was caused by a home-made remote-controlled bomb placed in a travel sachet that the perpetrators had hung on a bicycle they placed between two parked cars.

    In its prologue, the proclamation says that Revolutionary Struggle (EA) takes responsibility for the remote control mechanism meant to execute the former public order minister and current culture minister George Voulgarakis, whom it called one of the most important members of the ruling New Democracy party (ND) and a close associate of prime minister Costas Karamanlis, as well as a warm proponent of the New World Order.

    The group said it decided to target Voulgarakis because "during his term (as public order minister) the Greek state upgraded itself in the area of domestic security, adding that the organization of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens played a catalytic role, and because, as the (political) head of the security forces he had responsibilities over the crimes against the peoples, against the people's rights and freedoms, such as the telephone tapings and the abductions of Pakistani immigrant workers.

    Regarding "future" attacks, the authors of the proclamation wrote that "although we failed this time due to an unfortunate coincidence, this does not mean that we will fail the next time we choose to attack a lowlife of the political or economic authority". The group also verbally attacked Karamanlis, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, and defense minister Vangelis Meimarakis, regarding Greece's 'incorporation' into the "neo-liberal globalization".

    On the Pakistani abductions, EA said that main opposition PASOK's stance had been consistent with the political direction of the social-liberals in the "counter-terrorism" war, since it stated that it "consents to the international cooperation for eradicating terrorism", and that its goal was "censure of the government on its handlings, so that no mistake is made".

    On the telephone tapings, the proclamation says that the specific case of telephone tapings that was brought to light as well as "other cases that have not been made public" made it clear "even to the most naive" that the "American, and not only, state security services are now permanently on an open line with life in Greece and recording data they consider utile for their 'counter-terrorism' policy".

    In closing, the EA proclamation said that "the development of a revolutionary movement and rebellion in Europe and the US, and its linking with the liberation movements -- anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist -- in the rest of the world, is a prerequisite for the global overthrow of capitalism".

    No dialogue with terrorist organizations, PASOK party spokesman says

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said on Thursday that "there can be no dialogue whatsoever with terrorist organizations whatever they support in whatever text of theirs."

    Athanassakis added that "all the political world of our country and all the parties have the same position on terrorism."

    Asked whether "relevant infrastructures on combating terrorism have slackened", the PASOK party spokesman said that "I do not wish to embark on opposition criticism on this issue at the moment. The prosecuting authorities must do their job in the best way at all times."

    Athanassakis was referring to "Revolutionary Struggle" terrorist organization’s statement by which it assumed responsibility for the recent failed bomb attack against culture minister and former public order minister George Voulgarakis near his home on Lycabettus Hill.

    [13] Foreign ministry spokesman on UNFICYP

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Thursday announced that the renewal of the of United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate for another six months was currently under discussion and was expected to be approved on June 15.

    He said that the relevant draft decision had been prepared by the United Kingdom, which was in charge of coordinating the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate within the UN Security Council.

    Koumoutsakos also reminded reporters that the countries participating in UNFICYP met on May 31 at the UN Security Council, while on June 2 the UN Security Council members discussed the latest report by the UN Secretary-General's office, which mentions that in absence of an overall solution to the Cyprus problem the continuation of the UNFICYP presence on the island is deemed necessary and therefore, suggests the six-month extension of the mandate under the present makeup and terms.

    [14] PASOK secretary announces events in memory of late statesman Andreas Papandreou

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Main opposition PASOK's National Council Secretary Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou announced on Thursday a series of events in honor of late Prime Minister Andrea Papandreou, which aim at paying tribute to the party's founder. The events will take place June 17-25 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Papandreou's death.

    The events aim at "highlighting his work, as well as his values and visions at a period of crisis and decline of values," she said.

    During a press conference, Xenoyiannakopoulou also announced the framework of political programming that the party will be following in the near future.

    The "constant presence of PASOK in the people's everyday problems", the promotion of its own alternative plan for the governance of the country, special emphasis on local administration issues, the upgrading of its political presence, the continuous restructuring of its organizations, are included in the party's programming.

    According to the secretary, PASOK will go ahead with the restructuring of organizations of working people and people living in different constituencies from those they are registered in, on June 18-19, while the party's youth congress will be convened on July 7-8 that will lead to an electoral congress in November.

    The events in honor of the late prime minister will begin with an exhibition on the work and life of Andreas Papandreou at the Zappion Hall on June 17, that will be inaugurated by PASOK's leader George Papandreou, a documentary will be shown on June 18, while an event will be held on June 19 titled "Andreas Papandreou the leader of change" at which addresses will be made by Costas Laliotis, George Katiforis and Theodoros Sakellaropoulos.

    [15] President Papoulias to attend memorial service at Distomo Municipality

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will visit Distomo Municipality in central Greece on Saturday to attend a memorial service for the town's inhabitants who were slaughtered by the German occupation troops in World War Two.

    The president is due to arrive on Saturday morning and afterwards attend the memorial service at Saint Nicholas Church.

    Papoulias will later visit the city's Town Hall and afterwards the Mausoleum where a Te Deum will be held and he will lay a wreath.

    [16] Greek Ambassador to U.S. hosts reception for the foundation 'Fund for American Studies'

    WASHINGTON 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis)

    In the presence of the Chairman of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, Richard G. Lugar, the former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Natsios, and Greek Foreign Ministry Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation, Theodoros Skylakakis, who is currently visiting Washington, Greek Ambassador to the U.S. Alexandros Mallias on Thursday hosted a reception at the Greek Embassy for the foundation "Fund for American Studies".

    The Fund for American Studies organizes in Greece since 1996 an annual educational program for students, young scientists and politicians from the U.S., the Middle East and Southeast Europe, in cooperation with the Hellenic Union for Atlantic and European Cooperation.

    [17] Greece, Ukraine sign cooperation pacts

    KIEV 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/N Melissova)

    Greece and Ukraine on Thursday signed a series of cooperation agreements in a bid to forge closer economic links between the two countries, visiting Deputy Foreign Ministry Euripides Stylianidis said.

    A joint ministerial committee of the two countries signed the protocol for economic, industrial, technological and scientific cooperation. An agreement was also initialed by the Greek Standardization Organization and its Ukrainian counterpart; and another on post offices is due to be signed in October.

    "The contacts I had on an economic and political level were constructive. They represent the first step for implementation of a joint decision by the Greek prime minister and Ukrainian president on building strategic economic relations between the two countries," Stylianidis told a news conference.

    During his visit at the head of a 50-member delegation, Stylianidis pointed out that Greek investment in Ukraine totaled about 350 million dollars from 80 companies. Among them are a subsidiary of Athens-quoted engineering contractor Mechaniki; and Athens-quoted Germanos, which is expected to run 300 stores in Ukraine by 2008.

    "There is great leeway to upgrade business ties," Stylianidis noted.

    Stylianidis held talks with Ukraine's deputy foreign, industry and finance ministers.

    He also addressed a Greek-Ukrainian business forum on the sidelines of the committee's meeting, saying that bilateral trade was low, despite rising to 250 million US dollars in 2005; and that the trade balance was in Ukraine's favor.

    "This needs to be equalized, benefiting both countries," he noted.

    Greek firms were especially interested in construction projects in Ukraine, along with tourism and energy, he added.

    [18] Greek, Ukrainian industry groups sign pact

    KIEV 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/N Melissova)

    The Federation of Greek Industry (SEB) and Association of Ukrainian Industry and Business on Thursday signed a cooperation agreement in Kiev.

    The pact is linked to work by a joint ministerial committee of the two countries which is meeting in the Ukrainian capital during a visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Euripides Stylianidis.

    According to SEB, the agreement will aid Greek firms to find reliable business partners in Ukraine, and falls under the trade group's strategy of networking with associations in countries of interest to domestic firms, including the Black Sea region.

    [19] Development Minister Sioufas briefs EU Energy Commissioner Piebalgs

    LUXEMBOURG 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris)

    Greece's Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Thursday briefed EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on the advancement of the process for the deregulation of the energy markets in Greece and on the new institutional framework regarding renewable sources of energy, which was passed in Parliament on June 6.

    The meeting was held here on the sidelines of the EU Energy Ministers Council and the meeting of the energy ministers of the Energy Community of the countries of Southeast Europe, sessions in which Sioufas represented Greece.

    Minister Sioufas also briefed Commissioner Piebalgs on the course of the implantation of the major international links, in which Greece participates in, in the sectors of natural gas, electricity and oil, as well as on the promotion of energy saving policies in Greece and on the new initiatives undertaken by the government in this direction.

    [20] International Economic Relations secretary general outlines Greek economic diplomacy

    WASHINGTON 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis)

    Greek foreign ministry's International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Secretary General, Theodoros Skylakakis, speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation here on Thursday, outlined the strategy, Greece's initiatives and results they have brought in the economic diplomacy sector.

    Skylakakis also had a series of contacts with officials of the State Department, the American International Development Service (USAID) and members of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in which, as he said, he met with a positive response for the initiatives of Greek economic diplomacy.

    [21] Greek inflation slowed to 3.1 pct in May, yr/yr

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Greek annual inflation, measured by the consumer price index, slowed to 3.1 pct in May, from 3.3 pct in April and 3.2 pct in May 2005, the National Statistics Service said on Thursday.

    NSS, in its monthly report, said the consumer price index rose 0.2 pct in May from April, while the average inflation rate in the first five months of the year (January-May) slowed to 3.22 pct from 3.32 pct in the corresponding period in 2005. Excluding oil prices, the consumer price index was up 2.2 pct in May.

    The statistics service attributed the slowdown in the inflation rate to a relatively low rise of fuel and vegetable prices over the month.

    Housing prices rose 7.0 pct in May, transportation prices increased by 4.0 percent, education prices were up 3.9 pct, alcohol and tobacco prices rose 3.7 pct and clothing-footwear prices rose 3.3 pct.

    The country's harmonized inflation rate also slowed to 3.3 pct in May from 3.5 pct in April.

    [22] Employment minister addresses international conference of International Labor Organization

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Employment and Social Solidarity Minister Savvas Tsitouridis on Thursday addressed the 95th international employment conference of the International Labor Organization (ILO) taking place in Geneva.

    The minister, who was accompanied by the ministry's secretary generals, Dimitris Kontos and Constantine Tsoutsoplidis, stressed that the promotion of the European social model all over the world can contribute to the strengthening of global stability.

    The European Union should and can contribute actively to the handling of the negative repercussions of globalization, incorporating the values of the European social model in its foreign relations.

    Tsitouridis said that social solidarity and social integration must continue to constitute a part of the new strategy of Lisbon.

    Referring in particular to flexibility in the labor market, he said that wisdom and caution are required since any action in this direction must proceed with consensual processes and strengthen the security of working people.

    The employment minister also said that reformist processes are necessary at both national and European level but the active role of social partners is required in advance to achieve success in reforms.

    [23] Shipping minister meets Panamanian official

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis met on Thursday with the deputy president of Panama, Ruben Arosemena, on the sidelines of the Posidonia international shipping trade fair.

    The meeting on bilateral shipping ties took place in a climate of cooperation and the two sides expressed willingness to work more closely on matters of global shipping.

    [24] Athens Airport shows 2005 profit rise

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Athens International Airport on Thursday reported revenue of € 331.4 million in 2005, up 0.5% compared to a year earlier, while pre-tax profit rose 31% to € 61.8 million due to a decrease in financing and operating expenditure.

    “The sustained growth of profitability marking the 5 years of operation of Athens International Airport, confirms the success of the public-private partnership, as well as the airport’s contribution as a major development engine for Greek tourism and economy. We pledge to continue offering quality, competitive services to all our customers and added value to our shareholders, while consistently contributing as a responsible citizen to the neighboring communities and the Greek society at large,” management said in a statement.

    With passenger traffic reaching 14.3 million in 2005, up 4.5% on 2004, AIA posted an increase of 2.8% in aeronautical revenues, contributing 61% to total revenue.

    On the basis of agreement with airlines, AIA maintained airport charges at the previous year’s levels, aiding flight operators in reducing operating costs, the statement said.

    Non-aeronautical revenues contributed 39% of revenues in 2005; and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 4.1% to € 224.1 million.

    In 2005, the company reduced its debt by repaying the principal (€ 45 million) of a private shareholders loan, thus contributing to a reduction in financing expenses for the year and in forthcoming years, management added.

    [25] HELEXPO sponsors Euro-Chamber Summit in Thessalonica

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Helexpo S.A, the national exhibition agency of Greece, responding to a proposal by the Thessalonica Commerce and Industry Chamber will sponsor the 2006 Euro-Chambers Summit in Thessalonica on October 4-6.

    According to HELEXPO, the decision to sponsor the summit was made to contribute to the success of an event of high standards and importance expected to bring to Thessalonica more than 1,000 visitors, among them Euro-deputies, European Commissioners, government ministers, agency presidents and leading executives from Europe, Asia and the United States.

    [26] Opposition sees neglect of home tourism

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) on Thursday charged the government with neglecting domestic tourism.

    "There is a lack of planning to strengthen internal tourism, a lack of legislation, a mass of irregular and illegal administrative acts, and a lack of substantive intervention in tourism education and training," twenty six PASOK parliamentary deputies said in question tabled in parliament.

    [27] Greek-Turkish business youth forum

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    A Greek-Turkish business forum for youth will be held in the northern port city of Thessalonica on June 23-24, also attended by delegates from other Balkan countries.

    The forum is organized by the Federation of Greek Associations of Young Entrepreneurs working with its Turkish counterpart, TUGIAD.

    It will be held under the aegis of the Greece's development and foreign ministries.

    [28] Kri-Kri to pay 0.073 euros dividend to shareholders

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Kri-Kri, a Greek-listed dairy company, on Thursday announced it would pay a 0.073 euros per share dividend to its shareholders, up 12.3 pct compared with the previous year.

    The company said its consolidated turnover totaled 25.4 million euros, up 12.4 pct, operating profits rose 34.6 pct to 4.63 million euros and pre-tax profits rose 26.3 pct to 2.57 million euros in 2005. Kri-Kri expects this year's sales to total 289 million euros and its consolidated pre-tax profits to rise by 10 percent.

    Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop

    The Athens share index closed at 3,475.50 points, showing a decline of 0.86%. Turnover was 363.1 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalization shares ended 0.45 down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks closed 2.21% lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished 2.82% down.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 224 to 58 with 28 remaining unchanged.

    Foreign Exchange Rates

    Reference buying rates per euro released

    by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.283

    [29] 'Metropolitan Park' in southern Athens to be ready in 2013, minister says

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias announced on Thursday that work for the creation of the "Metropolitan Park" at the old Athens international airport of Hellenikon in southern Athens will start at the end of 2007 or early in 2008.

    He said the enormous Park will be ready in 2013. The Park at Hellenikon will cover an expanse of 1,000 acres, and will exceed the size of London's Hyde Park, which at present is the biggest in Europe and covers just over 600 acres, as well as New York's Central Park which covers just under 900 acres.

    The minister also said that only 250 out of a total of 1,325 acres will be constructed for housing. Revenues from the building activities will fund the park's creation and maintenance, he added.

    [30] Physicist Nanopoulos honored by Thessalonica mayor Thessalonica

    6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Thessalonica mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos honored academician and physics professor Dimitris Nanopoulos with a gold olive branch, at a special ceremony held at the City Hall.

    Papageorgopoulos, addressing professor Nanopoulos, said that the eminent physicist enabled Greece to pride itself that one of its children had conquered the highest summits of knowledge, which he continued to broaden, and expressed the belief that the country will repay him for everything he has done.

    Professor Nanopoulos stated characteristically that these are times of epochal importance in terms of acquisition of knowledge and scientific discoveries.

    The distinguished professor at Texas A&M University is the author of over 540 referred articles, 13 books and over 30,000 citations. He is the chairman of the National Council for Research and Technology, National representative to CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

    [31] President Papoulias receives Committee of the International Children's Games

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received at the Presidential Mansion on Thursday the Committee of the International Children's Games (ICG).

    The six of the eight members of the Committee who are in Athens, including ICG President Torsten Rasch, were accompanied by the president of the Youth and Sports Organization of Athens Municipality, Nikos Apergis.

    The reason for the meeting was Athens Municipality's bid to host the International Children’s Games in 2009, games which President Papoulias has placed under his auspices.

    The ICG are held each year in different cities of the world and last four to five days with the participation of children aged between 12 and 15.

    This year, the ICG will be held in Thailand.

    [32] Athens' Camerata Orchestra to perform in Vienna

    VIENNA 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/ V. Dimitrakoudis)

    The most important Greek chamber music group, the Camerata Orchestra of the Friends of Music in Athens, will perform in Vienna on Sunday, in the context of the Vienna Festival and of "Mozart Year", at the renowned Concert Hall of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna.

    The concert by the Kamerata of Athens, which will present works by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, will be conducted by Sir Neville Mariner.

    [33] Greeks dance for peace in Vienna

    VIENNA 6/9/2006 (ANA-MPA/ V. Dimitrakoudis)

    Greek youths living in Austria will “Dance for Peace” at the center of Vienna on Saturday, June 10, declaring through this unique way their opposition to war, at an event being organized in the Austrian capital for a fourth consecutive year.

    Thousands of spectators will have the opportunity to watch the young Greeks of Austria dance Greek folk dances “for peace” dressed in traditional costumes. The funds raised through donations will be donated to the international organization “Doctors without Frontiers”.

    The event, first held in the spring of 2003, has attracted many admirers and this year a total of 12 dance groups from all five continents will also participate with their own performances.

    [34] Police round up 40 youths after rioting at student march

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Police said that 40 people had been rounded up and taken into custody as suspects after rioting that broke out at student rally in central Athens on Thursday.

    They said trouble spots centered in the streets around the Athens Polytechnic, where groups of youths pursued by police had fled. From there, they were emerging to pelt MAT riot police with stones, while police were answering with tear gas. Groups of youths had also set fire to dumpsters on Stournari and set up road blocks, they said.

    Authorities said that one man had been injured as a result of the incidents at Haftia and had to be taken to Evangelismos Hospital, while there has been extensive damage to banks, shops and apartment buildings along the length of roads between Syntagma, Omonia and Exarhia.

    According to police, the violence erupted at around 15:30 when a group of youths that had infiltrated the march suddenly started throwing paint and firebombs at police stationed near the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma.

    The police did not react at the time, but the same group returned about 15 minutes later and attacked riot police standing at the corner of Stadiou Street and Syntagma with stones, wooden boards and firebombs.

    Police then responded by throwing teargas and pursued the youths toward Exarhia, who managed to cause extensive damage along the way.

    Commenting on the student rally, meanwhile, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said he was unable to understand the justification of the protests.

    "The present government had carried out wide-ranging dialogue on education issues with the participation of all sides, as no other government has done in recent years. Consequently, I cannot understand why some - not very large - groups are proceeding with these mobilizations," he said.

    Five people, according to latest police reports, will be brought before justice on Friday since specific evidence was collected against them for participation in the incidents that occurred during the student rally.

    According to a police report later in the evening, the incidents were caused by a group of youths who "at various points along the march, attacked police forces on many occasions with firebombs, stones, pieces of wood and other items and were repelled with the use of chemicals. They also caused damage to buildings, bank branches, vehicles, etc."

    During the incidents 10 policemen and four students were injured who were taken to the "Evangelismos" hospital with ambulances, although according to the students the injured people were more.

    Commenting on the incidents, main opposition PASOK party spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said that "the ND government has full responsibility for today's tension and the spreading of incidents all over the centre of Athens."

    He added that "the government, with arrogance, detonated tension in past days with its refusal to commit itself that it will not produce its bill on higher education in the summer."

    [35] Danish national and Greek man killed in traffic accident

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    An elderly Danish national and an elderly Greek man were killed, and two other Danish nationals were injured, in a traffic accident in northern Greece early Thursday, in a head-on collision between two passenger cars.

    According to traffic police, the two cars collided head-on at the 62nd kilometer of the Kozani-Ioannina stretch of the national highway, outside the town of Neapolis, in Kozani, for reasons as yet unknown.

    An 80-year-old Danish national was killed, while the Danish driver and another Danish national in the one car were injured. The 79-year-old Greek driver of the second car was also killed.

    Kozani traffic police were investigating the circumstances of the road accident. According to early information, the three Danes were in Greece on holiday.

    [36] Tract of wild cannabis found in Chania, Crete

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    A total of 1,251 cannabis plants were discovered by police in Chania, on the southern Aegean island of Crete.

    Acting on a tip-off, police searched a remote region in the municipality of Platania and found a collection of 0.15-1.5-meter-tall, fully grown, cannabis plants which they destroyed.

    Police believe that they were wild cannabis plants that grew in the same spot where a plantation was found and destroyed by authorities last year.

    [37] Cultural events in Greek prisons

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras on Thursday presented at Zappeion Building in Athens the third round of “Life is everywhere” cultural events taking place in the country’s correctional facilities.

    Papaligouras stated that the 71 cultural events to be held within the framework of the Third Round of Events send out a strong message of hope to the thousands of fellow human beings who, at this phase, have been deprived of their freedom but not of their right to life. He added that the goal is to help them rediscover the necessary faith in themselves and their future and assist them in having a real second chance in life.

    [38] Italian designers hold charity fashion show in Athens

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Well-known Italian fashion designers Renato Balestra, Guillermo Mariotto of Gattinoni and Marisa Padovan joined forces with local fashion designer Makis Tselios to put on a charity fashion show in Athens this week, sponsored by the Italian Embassy in Athens and Greece's Health and Social Solidarity ministry.

    The show was held at the Nasioutzik Estate Museum on Wednesday night, with Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta as guest of honor.

    The evening was held to coincide with the screening of the film "All the invisible children" produced by Cucinotta, which explores the struggle of survival by children all over the world in the face of poverty and abuse.

    It also provided an opportunity for a charity art auction organized by the non-government, non-profit society "Fronditha (Care)", featuring works by world-renowned Greek artists like Alekos Fassianos, Mina Valyraki and others.

    [39] Snowflakes on Mts. Vitsi and Olympus

    Athens 6/9/2006 (ANA)

    Beginning of summer and snowflakes fell on the mountains of Vitsi, northwest Greece, and Olympus, central Greece, in the early morning hours of Thursday, while rainfall and strong winds were recorded in many parts of northern Greece.

    Unseasonably low temperatures were recorded in most of northwestern Greece. Temperatures in Florina were as low as 9C, Kastoria 10C, Kozani 12C and Thessalonica 13C.

    [40] Cabinet reshuffle announced

    NICOSIA 6/9/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    President Tassos Papadopoulos reshuffled his Cabinet on Thursday, the first such move since he took office in March 2003.

    The composition of the new Council of Ministers, announced by Undersecretary to the President Christodoulos Pashiardes, is as follows:

    Minister of Defense: Phivos Klokkaris

    Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment: Fotis Fotiou

    Minister of Justice and Public Order: Sophocles Sophocleous

    Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism: Antonis Michaelides

    Minister of Foreign Affairs: George Lillikas

    Minister of Labor and Social Insurance: Antonis Vassiliou

    Minister of the Interior: Andreas Christou

    Minister of Finance: Michalis Sarris

    Minister of Education and Culture: Pefkios Georgiades

    Minister of Communications and Works: Haris Thrasou

    Minister of Health: Haris Haralambous

    Undersecretary to the President Christoulos Pashiardes has been assigned the duties of Government Spokesman.

    The new ministers will assume their duties on Tuesday 13, 2006.

    [41] AHI tables US bill against illegal usurpation of G/C property

    NICOSIA 6/9/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has introduced a bill that will pave the way for American citizens of Cypriot origin to proceed with law suits against Turkey for the illegal usurpation of their properties in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    During a press conference here Thursday on the results of AHIs annual visit to Cyprus and the institute's activities, Nicholas Karambelas, AHI's Legal Advisor said that the bill has been initiated by AHI and endorsed by Congressman Frank Pallone from the State of New Jersey. The bill already has 32 co-sponsors, adding that he expects AHI to table the bill before the US Senate next week.

    According to Karambellas, the proposed bill will enable US citizens who own property in occupied Cyprus to sue in American Federal courts for back-rent for their property.

    ''It will also direct the Secretary of State to open the 'government to government claim Act' with the government of Turkey, just like the US government has done in connection with Vietnam, Iraq and wherever American property has been taken,'' he said, adding that the bill ''will amend our (US) foreign sovereign immunity Act, which means that Turkey is immune by law suits by US citizens in US courts at the moment and will amend it to allow suits directly against Turkey in American courts".

    He also added that American citizens will also be able to sue any private entity which is occupying their property in the occupied north of Cyprus.

    AHI's President Gene Rossides, said that AHI's aim is to strengthen US relations with Cyprus.

    ''Our aim is to support the proper reunification of Cyprus, to get rid of Turkish occupation troops and Turkish settlers and to allow the return of refugees to their homes,'' Rossides said.

    Regarding the US positions on Cyprus, Rossides said that ''unfortunately we have not been able to move the executive branch that much'', adding that AHI can ''win, I think any vote that comes up to the House of Representatives floor and I think we can come pretty close to that now on the Senate floor''.

    He added that the US position towards the Greek Cypriot side since the April 2004 referendum, when the Greek Cypriots rejected a UN reunification plan, has improved.

    He also expressed disappointment over comments made by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Athens and Ankara ''but we still have an open mind to convince her that it is in the best interests of the US to give strong support to a reunification plan for Cyprus based on American principles and based on the rule of law and majority rule and protection of minority rights.''

    Asked about the response of US officials when AHI outlines to them the Cyprus problem, Rossides criticized them for equating the two sides in Cyprus.

    ''Take the missing persons for instance, as if there is some equality between the Greek missing and the Turkish missing. They always try to patch it over. And some times they won't answer when we sent letters'', he said, adding that ''the key to getting them to do it (respond) is through the Congress."

    ''But that takes more time and effort,'' he concluded.


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