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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-06-26

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

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

June 26, 2006

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Papoulias, parties on Int'l Day against Drug abuse
  • [02] PM Costas Karamanlis in Helsinki, Stockholm
  • [03] PASOK party leader George Papandreou to visit Iran and Israel
  • [04] Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou comments on reforms
  • [05] KKE leader calls on people to shape new political stage
  • [06] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos meets Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos
  • [07] Health minister calls for hirings apart from Staff Selection Council processes
  • [08] Defence ministry considering compulsory military service at 19 years of age
  • [09] Events in memory of Andreas Papandreou culminate with concert
  • [10] Alexandria Patriarch thanks Navy for aid to missionary work
  • [11] Finmin indicates new tax scale as of January 1
  • [12] Tourist development minister concludes visit to China
  • [13] Recent hailstorm in Serres prefecture damages crops
  • [14] Widely popular TV series' effect on Greek-Turkish ties detailed at Samothrace conference
  • [15] Journalistic conference continues in Samothrace for second day
  • [16] Interior minister inaugurates town hall during visit to northern Greece
  • [17] Earth tremor in sea region off island of Cephalonia
  • [18] Arson attack on ND party suburban office
  • [19] Explosion destroys cars, damages buildings on island of Crete
  • [20] Thessaloniki store seriously damaged by blaze
  • [21] Gay Pride march held in Athens
  • [22] Propo agency in Athens robbed of about 5,000 euros
  • [23] Police arrest drug dealer with nine kilos of heroin
  • [24] Sailing boat sinks off Voula after colliding with yacht, woman missing
  • [25] Cyprus FM: EU partners have an understanding on Turkey's obligations

  • [01] President Papoulias, parties on Int'l Day against Drug abuse

    ATHENS, 26/06/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Messages to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking were issued on Sunday by President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and all the Greek political parties, with all sides emphasizing the international scope of the problem and the need to focus on prevention and treatment, rather than punishment of drug users.

    President Papoulias' message noted that responsibility for "the deficiencies, inadequacies and pathogeneses of society" was to some extent shared by all, since everyone participated in society's structure.

    He also stressed that the "scourge of drugs" was caused and interlinked with these negative sides of society, such as "unemployment, a lack of real values, the hard individualism and egocentricity that pervades all levels of the social fabric."

    Recognizing and accepting one's share of the social responsibility was the most important thing, beyond the measures taken by the state, the president added.

    According to ruling New Democracy, prevention should begin in Greek primary and secondary schools and the fight against drug dealers should be expanded on an international and European level. The party also called for the contribution of social insurance funds in helping to treat drug users.

    The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) called on the government to begin dialogue with social bodies and experts on formulating a strategy and policy for dealing with drugs, while criticizing ND for "dragging its feet" on the issue of an action plan for fighting drug use.

    It also accused the government of "not implementing existing anti-drugs policies and of starving drug rehabilitation programs and organizations of funds."

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), on its part, released an announcement pledging to "intensify the struggle to reverse the causes that produce addiction" and expressing warm support for the families of drug users, support for rehabilitation programs and their staff.

    "Drugs are a hallmark of a society where capitalist profit is raised to be the supreme value and where individualism and 'riding roughshod over others' are an example to be followed. A society that instead of jobs, education, entertainment and rights, gives its young people unemployment, appalling working conditions, commercialization, autocracy and cultural refuse," the announcement said.

    According to the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party, meanwhile, the problem of drug abuse could not be "wished" away but needed a modern approach with pluralistic treatment methods so as to reduce the damage done.

    It joined with PASOK in criticising the government for "not supporting drug rehabilitation programs," which it said were short of staff and funds, and of "flirting" with a private-sector approach.

    SYN also accused ND of proceeding to draw up a new national action plan against drugs without consulting with the expert bodies.

    [02] PM Costas Karamanlis in Helsinki, Stockholm

    HELSINKI, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be having talks in Helsinki on Monday with his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen focusing mainly on European Union Issues. Finland assumes the Union's six-month rotating presidency as of July 1.

    The prime minister will then be visiting Stockholm for talks with Swedish premier Goran Persson.

    PM and New Democracy party secretary discuss local elections

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the ruling New Democracy party's secretary Lefteris Zagoritis held an extensive discussion at the Maximos Mansion on Saturday on municipal and prefectural elections due to be held in the country in October.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Zagoritis said that he and the prime minister discussed organizing issues since the final stretch has been reached before the local administration elections.

    Asked to comment on "rebel" tickets, the secretary said that the issue was not discussed with Karamanlis, adding that ND has far fewer problems than other political forces.

    Commenting on ND's targets in the municipal and prefectural elections, Zagoritis said "we are supporting prefectures and municipalities at institutional and economic level with the purpose of improving the lives of citizens. Our target is that the most capable be elected and we are supporting the best tickets. We have selected the best candidates."

    Zagoritis further said that there will be deputies for all regions who will be playing a coordinating role in the election campaign.

    The secretary was also asked about unrest prevailing in the sector of education and said that dialogue will provide a solution. He called on all sides involved to participate in the dialogue and predicted that everything will be fine. Zagoritis pointed out that education is an issue of national importance and consensus and understanding is necessary from all those who are involved.

    Slight increase in women's participation in local elections: A slight increase in the participation of women in municipal and prefectural elections has taken place in past years, according to a report prepared by the Informatics, Training and Local Development SA Company.

    In the previous elections, women candidates accounted for 4.3 percent of the total number of candidates, while candidacies announced so far for October's local elections indicate that the women's share has increased to 6 percent.

    The data was revealed by the company's managing director, George Vasardanis, representing the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) at the conference of Elected Women and Women's Societies of Thessaloniki, organized by the municipality of Thessaloniki in a downtown hotel.

    [03] PASOK party leader George Papandreou to visit Iran and Israel

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou will visit Iran and Israel on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Papandreou will visit the two countries in the framework of an initiative by the Socialist International and himself personally regarding consultations on Iran's nuclear program.

    The PASOK party leader had repeated contacts on this issue with International Atomic Energy Committee President Mohammed el Baradei recently.

    Papandreou, who will arrive in Tehran on Monday, is expected to meet the president and the foreign minister of Iran, as well as the Supreme Security Council secretary whom he had met in Athens recently.

    He will then be visiting the Middle East on Tuesday and will be having meetings with the new government of Israel.

    Papandreou's program includes a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    PASOK's leader will also be meeting Patriarch Theofylaktos during his stay in Jerusalem.

    [04] Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou comments on reforms

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou, commenting on educational reforms in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", said she preferred adjustments that would be implemented in full instead of so-called revolutionary changes.

    "I prefer certain adjustments which, however, will be implemented in full and which will produce results instead of certain so-called revolutionary changes which will never be applied at all in the end," she said.

    The minister did not conceal the fact that she would like even greater changes in universities. However, she is obliged to adjust herself and her aim is that at least the changes that will be ratified will be implemented.

    Yiannakou further spoke of "some from among the professors' establishment who find the present situation suitable for themselves and who do not want any change or evaluation because they are afraid."

    The draft law on education is expected to be presented in Parliament in November at the earliest, while associates of the prime minister consider it likely that it might even be produced for ratification in January or February next year.

    University professors consider suspending protest action: University professors are considering suspending their protest action as of the week after next.

    Their Panhellenic Federation board convened on Saturday to evaluate the current situation as it will be participating in Tuesday's rally in Athens.

    Protests are also scheduled outside Parliament at the end of next week when the issue of the amendment of article 13, related to private universities, is expected to be debated.

    [05] KKE leader calls on people to shape new political stage

    KOMOTINI, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing a press conference in the northern city of Komotini on Saturday, urged the people to play a leading role in shaping a new political stage and reversing the existing political system.

    Papariga called for dissatisfaction with two-party rule, which has led the Greek people to poverty with its sterile and deadlocked policy, to be shown in practice.

    "We shall not fall into the trap set by New Democracy (the party currently in power) to take votes from us by exercising ideological pressure and reducing criticism against us for us to lower our guard in turn and the opposition tactic we are applying," she said.

    Referring to local elections due to take place in the country in October, Papariga called on the people to support the cooperation tickets proposed by KKE for the creation of a strong pole of resistance to changes being attempted and to the abolition of rights achieved by the people and by working people that is being attempted by PASOK (the main opposition party) and ND.

    [06] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos meets Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos

    ISTANBUL, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos repeatedly thanked visiting Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos at the Saint Constantine and Helen Church here on Sunday, since he did not limit himself to addressing a letter to him containing greetings for his Name Day but chose to visit him in Istanbul personally.

    The Patriarch also noted the solidarity provided by the Greek Church during the Patriarchate's difficulties.

    Archbishop Christodoulos said on his part that praying together with the Patriarch at this historic Constantine and Helen Church was a "great honor and a dear privilege."

    The Archbishop also called on the Patriarch to bless "the people of Greece and our holy clergy and all of our Church."

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos arrived here on Saturday to extend his best wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos for his Name Day.

    "I am coming out of love and respect for the Patriarchate and the Patriarch, to exchange an embrace of love and to convey the greetings and support of Greece in every difficult time faced by the Patriarchate," Archbishop Christodoulos said.

    The Archbishop went to the Fanar and visited the church of Saint George before going to the Patriarchal Residence.

    "As you can see, matters are very simple. What has been dramatized by your colleagues is groundless," the Archbishop told reporters waiting for him at the Fanar.

    Asked to comment on issues he will be discussing with the Patriarch, Archbishop Christodoulos said "we shall be together for two days. We have no specific agenda. We shall have discussions and see what the results of the talks will be."

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos to visit Kozani from July 1 to 3, ATHENS, 26/6/2006

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will visit the northern city of Kozani between July 1 and 3 for the presentation of the book titled "183 Ecclesiastical Hymns."

    The Archbishop's visit and the presentation of the book will take place at the invitation of the Holy Metropolis of Servia and Kozani and the municipality of Kozani.

    According to the program, he will be welcomed at the Polymylos toll gate on the afternoon of July 1 and then go to Kozani where the city's Mayor Paris Koukoulopoulos will be addressing him in the central square.

    [07] Health minister calls for hirings apart from Staff Selection Council processes

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", said he intends to promote the issue of hirings apart from processes anticipated by the Supreme Staff Selection Council (ASEP).

    Avramopoulos said that the problem concerning staff shortages at hospitals "is mature enough for a solution to be found."

    He added that he intends to take the initiative to have the issue brought before Parliament since, as he pointed out, according to the constitution if 200 Parliamentary deputies agree processes anticipated by ASEP can be sidestepped.

    The health minister intends to take another initiative and propose the carrying out of hirings by an all-party Parliamentary Committee.

    Avramopoulos was also asked about the possibility of problems between Greece and Turkey being brought before the International Court at The Hague, having diplomatic experience himself, and said that "such a decision cannot be taken under the pressure of conjunctures", adding that in such a case it cannot be ruled out that the International Court might address other issues as well, apart from that concerning the continental shelf, such as "territorial waters, air space and other issues that Turkey is invoking and which it will raise for its own reasons."

    [08] Defence ministry considering compulsory military service at 19 years of age

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Defense Minister Vangelis Meimarakis, speaking in an interview with the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Adesmeftos Typos", said that the defense ministry is considering compulsory military service for young men at the age of 19, while at the same time it is proceeding with changes in the promotion system for armed forces officers.

    Meimarakis said that the issue of compulsory military service at the age of 19 has been examined for some time and that the ministry's aim is to address whatever problems of adequate manning are being faced by border units.

    As regards the issue of promotions, the minister said that what is being aimed at is "the creation of an even more objective system of promotions for officers in accordance with their abilities."

    Meimarakis also referred to subsidization for housing loans for members of the armed forces, saying that a law legalizing the subsidization of loans by the National Defence Fund is already being prepared and the first subsidized loans are expected to be given this year.

    Lastly, asked to comment on Greek-Turkish relations, the minister said that support for Turkey's European prospects by Greece "is not a blank check", adding that this course "requires Turkey's full compliance with the criteria and principles set in the relevant negotiating framework."

    [09] Events in memory of Andreas Papandreou culminate with concert

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A week of events marking the 10th anniversary since the death of Andreas Papandreou, founder and leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and three times prime minister of Greece, ended on Sunday with a popular music concert at the Olympic baseball stadium in Athens.

    The gathering was addressed by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, the son of the late Greek statesman and now head of the party he founded, while among those attending was world-renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis with his daughter Margarita and senior members of the PASOK party.

    [10] Alexandria Patriarch thanks Navy for aid to missionary work

    CAIRO, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II on Sunday expressed his gratitude to Greece's Navy for its assistance in the Patriarchate's missionary work in Africa, while presenting the Cross of the Apostle Mark to the naval attaché at the Greek Embassy in Cairo, Captain Costas Leventis, who will soon complete his tour of duty and return to Greece.

    Captain Leventis thanked the Patriarch and stressed the importance of the work done by the Patriarchate through its missions in numerous countries.

    Among those attending the ceremony were Greece's General Consul in Alexandria Theoharis Lalakos, the head of the Greek Institute of Culture Vassilis Philippatos and other officials.

    [11] Finmin indicates new tax scale as of January 1

    ATHENS,26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, in an interview with the newspaper "Eleftherotypia", indicated that a new tax scale will go into effect as of January 1 next year.

    He assessed that the arrangements to be made will result in medium-level incomes being relieved by about 6 percent.

    Alogoskoufis also indicated that a less stringent incomes policy will be applied next year, stressing that pay hikes to be given to civil servants and pensioners will be definitely higher than this year's, which amounted to 3 percent for salary-earners and 4 percent for pensioners.

    [12] Tourist development minister concludes visit to China

    BEJING, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Tourist Development Minister Fani Pallipetralia has concluded her visit to China with interviews with the newspaper "China Daily", "Beijing TV" and CCTV, as well as with travel magazines.

    Petralia attended a reception given by the Greek embassy in China for the members of the official mission, reporters and Chinese tour operators on Friday night.

    Speaking during the reception, she pointed out that Greece is a modern and safe European country having advanced infrastructures and high-quality services.

    "The Olympic Games left a considerable heritage for the country which we are utilizing. We are strengthening the promotion of Greece in all international markets. China is our priority," the minister said.

    Petralia also praised the very good relations existing between the two countries and what they have in common, while noting that Greece has high expectations from the Chinese market and is proceeding with immediate initiatives to pave the way between the two countries.

    [13] Recent hailstorm in Serres prefecture damages crops

    SERRES, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The recent hailstorm in the northern prefecture of Serres caused damage to crops over an area of about 60,000 acres, according to Deputy Agricultural Development and Food Minister Alexandros Kontos who toured the region.

    Speaking during a meeting at the Serres prefecture over the weekend, Kontos assured producers that the ELGA insurance fund will provide support for them and that fair and objective evaluations will be made to enable beneficiaries to receive compensation as soon as possible.

    [14] Widely popular TV series' effect on Greek-Turkish ties detailed at Samothrace conference

    SAMOTHRACE 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Surging interest amongst the Greek public in neighboring Turkey, especially since a warming of relations following 1999's "earthquake rapprochement", was more-or-less backed up by results of a study detailed here on Saturday, as Greek and Turkish researchers presented data related to viewership of a widely popular Turkish television series aired in both countries.

    Speaking during the 14th annual Panhellenic Journalism Conference taking place in the verdant northeastern Aegean island of Samothrace, researchers presented data from a survey conducted exclusively on undergraduates at Athens' Panteios University and Istanbul-based Bilgi University, a premier English-language liberal arts institution in Turkey.

    This year's "Greek-Turkish" component at the annual conference follows last year's joint study gauging how major Greek and Turkish daily newspapers covered or even manipulated a serious January 1996 crisis over a rocky islet in the eastern Aegean, an incident that almost resulted in an armed conflict between the two often argumentative neighbors.

    On Saturday, Panteios professor Martha Mihailidou and Bilgi professor Asli Tunc presented survey results collected from roughly 500 Panteios and Bilgi college students' regarding their views about Turks and Turkish society and Greeks and Greek society, respectively, along with their television viewing habits vis-à-vis the series. Additionally, the respondents were queried, via 40 or so questions, about the personal attitudes towards a possible romance with a member of the opposite sex who happened to be from the other country.

    The specific television series, entitled  Yabanc1 Damat ( Foreign Groom ) in Turkish and  Ta Sinora tis Agapis ( Borders of Love ) in Greek, was produced for and aired by Turkey s Kanal-D network beginning in November 2004. It was later broadcast throughout Greece by the private Mega channel, generating phenomenal TV ratings in a "football-less" summer season in the country. According to the survey paper, the series "deals with the relationship between a young Greek man and a young Turkish woman and the problems -- and especially the prejudices -- encountered in an inter-cultural relationship (and later marriage). Its comedic tone and play on historic Greco-Turkish antagonism made it a huge hit in both Turkey and Greece, well as making stars out of the leading actors."

    Asked why the study did not venture into the general population but instead concentrated on student bodies at the two more liberally minded universities, Mihailidou directly cited practical and funding considerations, before adding that the characteristics of youth and a student's status would generate results that could then be compared with the views of older generations.

    Both Tunc and Mihailidou also noted that the parameter gauging whether the particular series piqued viewers' interest in the "opposite" country and society to the point of stimulating Internet searches will be examined in any follow-up to the study.

    The three-day conference, entitled "Greek Television Today", was kicked off on Friday with a wide-ranging discussion on solidifying a code of ethics for the sector in the east Mediterranean country, moderated by Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) President Panos Sobolos.

    Other facets of the local television landscape, including relations between print and broadcast media; television and politics and the continuous issues related to the quality and tone of the "8 o clock newscasts" are also on the agenda.

    This year's conference is attended by several hundred journalists, foreign correspondents, college students and mass media professors from Greece and a handful of other countries - Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia, among others.

    The conference, held under the auspices of the Union of Prefectures of Greece, is again organized by Greece's press unions in cooperation with the prefecture of Evros - extreme northeastern Greece -- and the municipality of Samothrace.

    [15] Journalistic conference continues in Samothrace for second day

    SAMOTHRACE, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The 14th Journalistic Conference continued on the northern Aegean island of Samothrace for the second day on Saturday, with speakers referring to the change brought about by television, particularly by private television channels, in politics and in the attitude of politicians.

    Ruling New Democracy party Deputy Sofia Voultepsi recalled her skepticism on the state prevailing in television, meaning its mission to inform and freedom of the press, adding that her skepticism does not change according to which party is in power.

    Main opposition PASOK party Deputy Yiannis Dimaras clarified that he was attending the conference as a journalist and not as a representative of his party and criticized private television and its program.

    During the discussion held late in the afternoon on 8 o'clock news bulletins, officials in charge of television channels' news bulletins justified their content and spoke of pluralism. However, strong reaction came from some journalists regarding the standard of information provided by television channels.

    [16] Interior minister inaugurates town hall during visit to northern Greece

    IOANNINA, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Saturday inaugurated the town hall in the municipality of Anatoli in the northern prefecture of Ioannina that is housed in a renovated school.

    "There can be no democratic, social and economic development without strong local administration," the minister said, adding that the authorities to be elected in the local elections in October will have far greater means at their disposal.

    On Friday night, Pavlopoulos also inaugurated the town hall of Zalongo in the prefecture of Preveza, as well as another one in the municipality of Arachthos in the prefecture of Arta.

    [17] Earth tremor in sea region off island of Cephalonia

    THESSALONIKI, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    An earth tremor measuring 4.6 points on the Richter scale occurred at 5.49 a.m. on Sunday in the sea region off the island of Cephalonia in the Ionian Sea. The epicenter was located in the Myrtou Gulf at a distance of about 12-13 kilometers away from the island.

    According to seismologists at the Thessaloniki Aristotelio University's Geophysics Laboratory, the tremor is no cause for alarm since it is part of normal seismic activity in the region.

    [18] Arson attack on ND party suburban office

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    An incendiary device composed of four gas canisters exploded outside the ruling New Democracy party's suburban office in the Athens district of Vyronas at dawn on Sunday. The blast and the ensuing fire caused material damage to the office.

    [19] Explosion destroys cars, damages buildings on island of Crete

    HANIA, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    People in the community of Pirgos in the municipality of Therisos, on the island of Crete, took to the streets at dawn on Saturday after a loud explosion, even heard in the city of Hania, shook their homes. No injuries were reported.

    Police revealed that a large quantity of explosives, possibly dynamite, had been placed under a parked car, which was completely destroyed together with another car parked nearby, while a third vehicle was badly damaged.

    The fact that no injuries were reported is attributed to pure luck since five buildings in the region of the blast were badly damaged and a fire also broke out in one of them.

    [20] Thessaloniki store seriously damaged by blaze

    THESSALONIKI, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A blaze in a store specializing in electrical goods in the region of Ambelokipi, in the northern city of Thessaloniki, caused damage estimated at 20,000 euros over the weekend.

    Serious damage was caused to the premises before 30 firemen were able to place the fire under control.

    [21] Gay Pride march held in Athens

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Gay communities held a march in downtown Athens on Saturday afternoon, in the framework of their annual "Gay Pride" festival, with their main slogan being "Open, Strong, and Proud."

    The communities had prepared pavilions with posters and printed material to brief the public and place emphasis on recognition for the right of sexual preference and the abolition of discrimination.

    Community representatives said in a statement that "we are also society and marriage is a right for all. No more discrimination against us. We demand equality and equality of rights."

    [22] Propo agency in Athens robbed of about 5,000 euros

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A Propo soccer pools agency was robbed in the Athens district of Kallithea on Saturday night, when four assailants hit the 56-year-old owner over the head with a pistol and seized the day's proceeds, which amounted to about 5,000 euros, before making their getaway in a car.

    The injured owner was taken to an Athens hospital for treatment and attending doctors diagnosed that he had sustained slight concussion as a result of the blow.

    [23] Police arrest drug dealer with nine kilos of heroin

    THESSALONIKI, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A 20-year old drug dealer was arrested at the railway station in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, shortly after midnight on Friday after being found in possession of nine kilos and 270 grams of heroin.

    Police posing as potential buyers had communicated with the dealer when he had been in Athens. After necessary arrangements had been completed, the man came to Thessaloniki by train, carrying the quantity of heroin in nine packages.

    Police waiting for him at the railway station arrested him and confiscated the drugs.

    [24] Sailing boat sinks off Voula after colliding with yacht, woman missing

    ATHENS, 26/6/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Harbor authorities were alerted at about 1.50 p.m. on Saturday after, under conditions that have not yet been clarified, the British-flagged yacht "Slips", with three people on board, collided in the sea region off the coastal town of Voula with the Greek sailing boat "Simerg", resulting in the sinking of the sailing boat and one woman to be reported missing.

    Super Puma helicopters and coast guard vessels rushed to the scene and rescued the husband of the missing woman.

    [25] Cyprus FM: EU partners have an understanding on Turkey's obligations

    LARNACA 26/6/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    The European Union's 25 partners will maintain their understanding on Turkey's so far failure to respond to the obligations assumed towards Cyprus and the EU during the discussions that will take place prior to the Commission's progress report on Turkey's EU bid the coming October, Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas said over the weekend.

    In statements after his return from Greece and Portugal, Lillikas was invited to comment on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's remarks that Turkey should respect and implement its obligations towards Cyprus and the EU.

    ''It is obvious that there is an understanding among the 25 partners regarding Turkey's negative stance to respond with particular steps for the implementation of the obligations, which it intentionally assumed and signed,'' Lillikas said adding that he believes that this understanding will apply during the discussions to take place when the Commission will issue its progress report on Turkey.

    The Cypriot FM also reiterated that Cyprus seeks to convince Turkey to use the time until October to implement its commitments, adding ''we deem as more important for Turkey to proceed with its accession course, implementing its commitments towards the Republic of Cyprus and not to take any measures against this country.''

    Replying to a question on the EU's decision about the allocation of the financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots, through the Republic of Cyprus, Lillikas said that he discussed the issue with EU Enlargement Commissioner Oli Rehn, reiterating that Cyprus has suggested ''particular measures'' for the implementation of this regulation.

    He noted that the plans which will be made should be consistent with the decisions included in the regulation and namely ''Cyprus's economic integration, the development of cooperation between the two communities and that they should contribute to Cyprus' reunification.''

    ''Furthermore any projects to be funded from EU funds should not take place on Greek Cypriot property,'' he added.

    Referring to his visits on Greece and Portugal, Lillikas expressed satisfaction because the meetings he had with his counterparts were productive and satisfactory.


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