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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-09-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

September 21, 2006


  • [01] FM Bakoyannis addresses UNSC thematic debate on peace and security
  • [02] Greek initiative for debate at UN Security Council on Arab-Israeli dispute
  • [03] Foreign ministry outlines goals of Greek UNSC presidency
  • [04] New bill on corruption to introduce severe penalties
  • [05] Two calls for parliamentary committee discussion on corruption incidents
  • [06] Roussopoulos denies irregularity in employment ministry appointments
  • [07] PASOK party tables questions for government in Parliament
  • [08] President Papoulias continues visit to Germany, arrives in Dusseldorf
  • [09] Papoulias meets Greek community of Dusseldorf
  • [10] Government on Gul visit, Turkey's EU course
  • [11] PM and education minister to meet on Thursday
  • [12] Teacher-student rally held under pouring rain
  • [13] Deputy education minister meets Chinese counterpart
  • [14] Parliament's Constitutional Revision Committee to begin discussions next week
  • [15] Plans for new Greek-Turkish checkpoint at central Evros
  • [16] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR, violate national air space
  • [17] Jetfighter crashes near Araxos airport, pilot ejects to safety
  • [18] Greek gov’t determined to safeguard smooth operation of markets
  • [19] Gov't to subsidy SMEs for information systems upgrade
  • [20] Greece has widest interest rate spread in eurozone
  • [21] EU imposes heavy fine on copper market cartel; member-states implicated, including Greece
  • [22] Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference on industry in Rhodes Island
  • [23] Memorandum signed for the management of Olympic stadium in Patra
  • [24] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise
  • [25] Transport minister inaugurates first pilot 'smart' trolley stop
  • [26] International seminar on new cooperation policies in the Mediterranean
  • [27] COPPEM board to meet in Hania on October 1
  • [28] Police arrest illegal immigrants on Samos
  • [29] Holding of beauty contest in Halkidiki with underaged girls forbidden
  • [30] Samos visited by 50 members of 'Friends of Greece' society from Finland
  • [31] President: T/C reply to Moller's proposal positive only in heading
  • [32] Spokesman: Unconditional approval of Moller's ideas a possible step
  • [33] Papadopoulos addresses UN General Assembly

  • [01] FM Bakoyannis addresses UNSC thematic debate on peace and security

    NEW YORK, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed here on Wednesday a thematic debate of the United Nations Security Council, on a foreign ministers level, on the UN's cooperation with regional organizations in maintaining peace and security. Greece holds the SC presidency for the month of September.

    Presenting the Greek SC presidency's theme Bakoyannis noted:

    "I would like to begin the debate by making a statement in my national capacity.

    "First of all I wish to express my gratitude to the Secretary-General for his presence here today. We greatly appreciate his tireless efforts to bring increasing significance to the issue of the relationship and cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in maintaining peace and security.

    "We fully share his stated vision, of a mutually reinforcing regional-global mechanism for peace and security, which in our view will prove critical to effectively addressing future threats and security challenges in the 21st century. We strongly urge the next Secretary-General to continue these efforts and further strengthen this partnership.

    "I also wish to express my appreciation to the representatives of regional organizations for being here today to share with us their views and experience on this most important subject.

    "This debate offers a good opportunity to discuss the developments that have taken place recently to implement resolution 1631 (2005), which was adopted last year under the Romanian Presidency. But most importantly, this meeting can stimulate an interesting discussion on the vision to create a ‘’Regional-Global Security Mechanism’’. The report of the Secretary-General, in response to resolution 1631, identifies challenges and opportunities to make the relationship with regional organizations more effective and paves the way for the construction of such a mechanism that will enable the world community to handle future threats and challenges in a more consistent and coordinated way.

    "On our part, we would like to raise three issues which are relevant to the findings and recommendations of the above report.

    "First, in the previous Security Council debates it was recognized that, given the nature of the new security threats, a greater involvement by international organizations in conflict prevention and management, in cooperation with the Council, is required. We fully subscribe to this position and we believe that a greater role by regional agencies in peace and security would not only lessen the burden of the Security Council in this area, but it would also increase the legitimacy of the Council by a more balanced input into its decisions and deliberations from various regions with different cultural, religious and historical background.

    "Second, many important developments have taken place in this regard, particularly through the convening by the Secretary-General of the Six-High Level Meetings, that have high-level attendance and a broadening substantive agenda. The meetings have identified an important set of modalities for cooperation on conflict prevention and for guiding principles in peace building. It is now important to ensure a more effective implementation of these principles in close coordination between the UN and international organizations.

    "The Security Council on its part has conducted its own meetings with regional organizations and has developed an enhanced relationship with regional and subregional organizations, focusing on peace and security challenges such as conflict prevention and management, peace building and counter-terrorism.

    "However, despite the above developments, many challenges remain to be addressed to make this relationship more substantive and operational. While Chapter VIII of the Charter refers to regional agencies and arrangements and sets forth the functional relationship with the Security Council (Articles 52 and 53 of the Charter) it is silent with regard to their constitutional relationship with the Security Council. We believe that the time has come for greater clarity as regards a series of issues that will facilitate to shape the vision of a global-regional mechanism for peace and security, agreed by both the Security Council and the regional organizations. We need to identify regional and subregional agencies and to clarify the criteria on the basis of which these agencies are distinguished, for the purpose of applying Chapter VIII of the Charter, from other international organizations.

    "Such clarity will give real meaning to the envisaged global- regional mechanism and should restore more authority to the Security Council and greater reliance on constitutionally delegated executive functions to genuine regional agencies under Chapter VIII of the Charter.

    "The importance of this issue has been identified in the report of the Secretary-General, in response to resolution 1631, which emphasizes the need to clarify both the membership and the mandate of regional and other organizations to make coordination more effective and ensure a clearer collective effort. We endorse his recommendations on this issue and in this respect we have suggested in our concept paper some basic elements to be applied for the potential identification of regional and other organizations.

    "We also support all the other recommendations contained in the above report.

    "In conclusion, I would like to express our full support for all the efforts aiming at building the capacity of regional and other organizations. The UN and Member States should promote the capacity building of these organizations through the provision of human technical and financial assistance, if they really wish to develop an effective partnership. In this respect the Seventh High-Level Meeting that will take place immediately after this meeting, to which I have been invited as President of the Council to report on the findings and decisions of the Council, will focus on the implementation of the 10-year process of sustained capacity-building for African regional and subre-gional organizations. We are looking forward to the report of the Secretary-General on the UN contribution to this effect, in accordance with the World Summit Declaration."

    Contacts in New York: Greece's foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning, Greek time) had a brief discussion with US president George W. Bush during a reception hosted by the president for the heads of the delegations of the UN member countries taking part in the UN's 61st General Assembly.

    Bush asked Bakoyannis to convey his greetings to Greek prime minister Costas Karamanlis, adding that he considered his father, former president George Bush, very lucky for visiting Greece nearly every year, and expressed the desire to take a holiday in Greece, too, some day.

    Earlier, Bakoyannis took part in a discussion of women foreign ministers on UNSC Resolution 1325,referring to the protection of women on peacekeeping missions, as well as a working breakfast hosted by the President of Finland.

    At noon, Bakoyannis hosted a luncheon in honor of the Security Council members, in the context of Greece's presidency.

    Her bilateral contacts on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the General Assembly, included meetings with the foreign ministers of Algeria, Spain, Andorra, Brazil and Nigeria, and the defense minister of India.

    On Wednesday night, she was to attend receptions hosted by her Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, and the president of the UN General Assembly, as well as a dinner being jointly hosted by the president of Pakistan and the prime minister of Italy on the theme Reform of the Security Council.

    Tuesday's meetings: On Tuesday, Bakoyannis started off her program with participation in the coordinating meeting of EU foreign ministers, after which she attended the opening session of the 61st UN General Assembly, followed by an address at the inauguration of the "Encomium to the Olive" exhibition, which she officially opened together with UN deputy secretary general Mark Malloch Brown, which will run for the entire month as part of a series of parallel events throughout Greece's presidency of the UN Security Council. The exhibition was first presented during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and is organized by the Athens Academy's Archive Centre for Folklore.

    Bakoyannis also met separately with the foreign ministers of Syria, Egypt, Iran, Kenya and Russia, and attended a luncheon hosted by UN secretary general Kofi Annan in honor of the heads of delegations to the General Assembly.

    She was accompanied at most of her meetings by deputy foreign minister Yannis Valinakis, who also had separate discussions with several ministers, deputy ministers and representatives of UN member countries.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of the day, Bakoyannis spoke in detail on her talks with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, which mainly focused on the Middle East and Iran.

    Asked whether her talks with Lavrov and other foreign ministers included the prospect of holding a Security Council discussion on the Middle East, Bakoyannis said that "Greece has launched a very difficult effort to hold a discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict at the Security Council at foreign ministers level, which has not been done for many years".

    "Our effort, as I had stressed at the outset, seeks to assist in restarting this peace process, with all our powers, because the message of peace must reach all the peoples of the region. This is the goal," she said.

    "Consequently, in the context of this effort, a series of bilateral meetings have taken place with my Russian counterpart, and my counterparts from Iran and Syria, as well as with my Israeli counterpart yesterday (Monday), with my Egyptian counterpart, and they are continuing. They are too many to list at this moment, but that is the main item of discussion, and also our bilateral issues, which such meetings always provide an opportunity to discuss," Bakoyannis said.

    "I want to say that Greece has exceptionally good relations with its neighbors and with very many countries throughout the world," the foreign minister stressed.

    Asked whether she had had the desired response from Lavrov, and Russia at the Security Council, Bakoyannis said that initial response from Lavrov and also from all her European counterparts, during the coordination meeting, had been positive.

    "We had a meeting with Russia, and the majority of the European ministers support the Greek proposal. I want to hope that during these two days we still have ahead of us, we will be able to achieve our targets," Bakoyannis said.

    [02] Greek initiative for debate at UN Security Council on Arab-Israeli dispute

    NEW YORK, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis also had on Wednesday a series of contacts at the UN headquarters, while earlier, she presided over the UN Security Council on a thematic debate for the "Cooperation of the United Nations with the regional organizations for the maintenance of world peace and security".

    The debate was held on a level of foreign ministers and "constituted a determinative factor for showing the importance of the relation between the UN and the regional organizations, with the purpose of a joint promotion of targets for the prevalence of world peace and security," as stressed by a diplomatic source at the UN headquarters.

    Meanwhile, the Greek delegation, headed by Bakoyannis, made intensive efforts for the convening at the UN Security Council, possibly on Thursday, of a debate on the Arab-Israeli dispute. A diplomatic source expressed the hope that despite the obstacles that exist, due to "a rift in rapprochement" between the involved sides in the Middle East issue, finally the topic will be discussed at the UN Security Council.

    The Greek foreign minister participated in the morning (local time) at a meeting of women foreign ministers to discuss the implementation of resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council for the protection of women in peacekeeping missions and activities. Later, she attended a morning working session organized by the president of Finland and executive director of UNIFEM, at which participated women heads of states and governments, foreign ministers, members of the UN Security Council and members of the international women's agency for Palestinian-Israeli peace.

    With regards her meetings with counterparts of other member-countries of the UN, Wednesday's program included the foreign ministers of Algeria, Spain, Andora, Brazil, Nigeria and with the defense minister of India.

    Bakoyannis, after the thematic session of the UN Security Council which was held at the initiative of Greece, hosted a luncheon for the members of the UN Security Council on the occasion of the Greek Presidency.

    The foreign minister also met with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, with whom she discussed the Middle East issue, Iran's nuclear program and the future status of Kosovo.

    [03] Foreign ministry outlines goals of Greek UNSC presidency

    NEW YORK, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Greece's goals whilst occupying the presidency of the United Nations Security Council were outlined during a press conference on Wednesday by Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, who has accompanied Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis to the UN.

    According to Koumoutsakos, Greece has two main goals during its month-long presidency: to facilitate the resolution of various international and regional issues to the best of its ability and to promote Greece's image as a modern democracy.

    Though a final tally of Greece's performance in the rotating presidency will be made at the end of September - and of its contribution as a non-permanent member of the Security Council at the end of the year - positive steps had been recognized and recorded concerning the way Greece exercised the presidency, he added.

    "Our participation on the Security Council is diplomatic capital for our country," he told reporters.

    Regarding Greece's initiative for a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict by the Security Council, the spokesman said that this effort was "respected, because Greece is a reliable interlocutor, it has no selfish interests in the region and is genuinely interested in solving this major international issue."

    Echoing earlier statements by Bakoyannis, Koumoutsakos repeated that Greece had "begun a very difficult effort to help begin the peace process once again" and said that the Greek proposal had the support of EU member-states.

    He also announced that Bakoyannis, during her meetings on Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Syria, Egypt, Iran and Russia, had received invitations to visit those countries.

    On Wednesday, the Greek foreign minister will chair a Security Council discussion proposed by the Greek presidency on "Challenges of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations and other intergovernmental bodies in maintaining international peace and security".

    [04] New bill on corruption to introduce severe penalties

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Measures to combat corruption, contained in a justice ministry bill slated to be tabled in parliament in the next few weeks, were the focus of talks on Wednesday morning between prime minister Costas Karamanlis and justice minister Anastasis Papaligouras.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Papaligouras explained that, under the provisions of the bill, the crime of bribery in the private sector will be punished under the provisions of the penal legislation, whereas as under current law only bribery in the public sector is punished under the said provisions.

    He also said that the bill instituted stricter penalties for MPs and members of municipal and prefectural councils.

    In addition, "offer (implying money, gifts, goods or services in exchange) for the exercise of influence" will also be instituted for the first time as a penal offence, while responsibilities are introduced also for legal entities committing offences of bribery, offer for the exercise of influence, or money laundering, the minister explained.

    Further, accounting offences will be punished with imprisonment and fines, he said. With respect to MPs and members of prefectural and municipal councils, active and passive bribery will carry stricter punishment, namely with imprisonment of 1-5 years and a fine, instead of the current punishment of imprisonment of up to two years, the justice minister continued.

    Papaligouras said that, in essence, these are rulings taken by the Council of Europe in 1998, noting that a legislation drafting committee had been set up, chaired by Areios Paghos (Greek Supreme Court) president Margaritis -- who was also the chief judge at the 'November 17' terrorist organization trial, to draft the bill.

    To a press comment that there has been a delay in advancing such measures, Papaligouras said that the justice ministry has a series of legislative initiatives ongoing, and several bills were still pending discussion in parliament. He added that the bill on supervision of the judicial functionaries also prospectively dealt with corruption matters.

    The justice minister further rejected criticism on the appearance of the defendants in the case of the attempted extortion of the MEVGAL dairy industry in handcuffs, noting that the procedure was standard in the public order ministry regulations, which were duly applied. He said the "the essence of the case is that there was a problem regarding competition, a problem of moral order, and that the reaction was immediate".

    [05] Two calls for parliamentary committee discussion on corruption incidents

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Nineteen main opposition PASOK party deputies called for a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Production and Trade meeting to discuss Competition Commission issues, with the attendance of the Development Minister, in a letter to the committee submitted on Wednesday.

    In the letter to the committee chairman, the 19 MPs, headed by deputy Theodoros Pangalos, said that the scandal involving the Competition Commission and certain of its senior officials gave rise to major and crucial questions regarding the way it operates. They also charged that the Competition Commission is unable to ensure smooth market operation, adding that the government continued to manipulate and impose strict checks on the Commission.

    Meanwhile, two Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliament deputies, Ioannis Dragasakis and Asimina Xirotiri-Ekaterinari, also called for a joint meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Economic Affairs, and Production and Trade, to discuss “recent revelations on profiteering, the absence of competition and the dairy industry corruption incidents”.

    They requested that the joint meeting should be held in the presence of the Competition Commission chairman, the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) president, a Hellenic Food Inspection Agency (EFET) representative, and dairy industries and supermarket chains representatives.

    [06] Roussopoulos denies irregularity in employment ministry appointments

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Wednesday disputed claims of irregularity in employment ministry appointments, specifically questions regarding a member of staff in the office of Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis that supervised tax inspections for businesses.

    "I would like to believe that there is nothing irregular with respect to this issue," Roussopoulos told reporters and urged them to address their questions to the employment ministry, while promising to look into whether Panagiotis Adamopoulos and Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos, two of the men accused in connection with the MEVGAL blackmail case, had been part of the Greek delegation that attended the EU Summit in June.

    The spokesman also described as "adequate" explanations given by Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis concerning the appointment of his relatives to jobs in the prefecture.

    Asked whether the government was considering ways to monitor the operation of independent authorities, Roussopoulos stressed that the operation of independent authorities was established by the Constitution, pointing out that they were made independent by a decision of a majority of Parliament and operated within a framework.

    "I am aware that it will take time for us to get used to the logic behind these authorities. Given that the appointment of the members of an Independent Authority requires a 4/5 majority in Parliament, people possessing the requisite standing are selected," he said.

    [07] PASOK party tables questions for government in Parliament

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The "enactment of a paradministrative apparatus and the creation of groups at the employment ministry" was denounced by 32 deputies of the main opposition PASOK party, headed by Evi Christofilopoulou, in a question tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

    In another development, 37 PASOK deputies, headed by Constantine Rovlias, also tabled a question in Parliament regarding "hiring procedures in the entire spectrum of the public sector that lacked transparency and merit and were unfair and unacceptable."

    [08] President Papoulias continues visit to Germany, arrives in Dusseldorf

    DUSSELDORF, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived here on Wednesday, in continuation of his five-day state visit to Germany.

    Earlier, he concluded his contacts with German political leaders by meeting Brandenburg prime minister Matias Placek and visiting Potsdam.

    In Potsdam, Papoulias and the Greek delegation accompanying him visited the Cecilienhof mansion where the Potsdam Agreement was signed between the then Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S., in August 1945.

    Papoulias will continue his visit by traveling also to Cologne and Bonn where he will be meeting with local authorities, businessmen and Greek community members.

    The president of the republic is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis.

    [09] Papoulias meets Greek community of Dusseldorf

    DUSSELDORF, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, who is on a five-day official visit to Germany, on Wednesday evening met with members of the Greek community in Dusseldorf.

    Papoulias expressed his pride over the progress which the Greeks have made in Germany.

    In the first visit by a Greek president to the region, Papoulias thanked the Greeks in Germany for their efforts "for cultural, political and economic bridges" which they are building with Greece and noted "You are no longer 'gastarbeiter'."

    [10] Government on Gul visit, Turkey's EU course

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The upcoming visit to Athens by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul formed part of the progress of Greek-Turkish relations, in which Athens would like to see constant improvement, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Wednesday.

    He had been asked whether the timing of the visit, shortly after local government elections and the assessment of Turkey's accession course by the European Commission, sought to send out some form of message.

    The spokesman also repeated that Athens supports Turkey's European orientation, provided Turkey fulfils its obligations, when asked whether the Commission might postpone issuing its report on Turkey's progress.

    Regarding an apparent reduction in Turkish military activity above the Aegean over the summer, the spokesman noted that this development was possibly the result of talks between the two governments, based on an earlier agreement made when Karolos Papoulias was foreign minister.

    "This is a positive sign and we hope that this will continue," he added.

    [11] PM and education minister to meet on Thursday

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Education Minister Marietta Yannakou will meet on Thursday morning, government spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos announced on Wednesday.

    Responding to a question on the size of the teachers’ mobilizations, he reiterated that “the workers’ right to protest is constitutionally guaranteed”.

    On the teachers’ wage increase demand, he cited a response he had given earlier based on a statement made by the education minister regarding benefits.

    On the overall demands of the academic community, the government spokesman pointed out that a dialogue got underway 21 months ago and was continuing in parliament.

    Even though this dialogue had been widely requested, only DAP (ruling New Democracy affiliated student union) was participating in the debate in Parliament, while PASP (the PASOK affiliated student union) delivered a memorandum and walked out, Roussopoulos added.

    Commenting on the prime minister’s vision on education, he stated that it coincides with the vision on education shared by the majority of the Greek people based on relevant opinion polls. Roussopoulos added that this vision includes the improvement of education, wage increases, and the upgrading of the diplomas offered by the Greek universities.

    He also clarified that the teaching personnel will receive the grant pledged by the government as soon as the course of the economy allows it.

    [12] Teacher-student rally held under pouring rain

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Teachers and students from all levels of education defied the pouring rain on Wednesday and gathered outside the gates of Athens University for a scheduled protest rally and march to Parliament, demanding overall improvements to education and higher pay.

    This was the first student-teacher rally of the new school year, which began with a five-day strike by primary school and kindergarten teachers that ends on Friday.

    The head of the primary school teachers’ union federation, DOE president Dimitris Bratis, said teachers will decide whether to continue strike action at meetings by local teacher unions on Saturday.

    The secondary school teachers union OLME, meanwhile, has warned that more work-stoppages may take place next week, in addition to the three-hour work stoppage on Wednesday to allow its members to attend the noon rally.

    As the march approached Parliament, scuffles broke out between police and protestors that tried to break through a police cordon to reach the prime minister's offices. The marchers were dispersed by tear gas and fell back to the Athens University gates where there were more incidents and police again used tear gas.

    Nine people held for questioning during teachers' rally in Athens: Nine people were held for questioning during the teachers' rally held in Athens on Wednesday. According to an announcement by the police, the participation of those held in punishable acts is being investigated.

    "The organizing committee showed no intention to cooperate with police forces regarding order and security measures but, on the contrary, they insisted on breaking through the police cordon on Vassilisis Sophias and Academias streets and to go wherever they chose," the announcement said.

    "They attempted three attacks with sticks, planks, stones, bottles and other metallic objects that were capable of causing serious bodily harm to the men of the police forces. And in all three attacks, the police forces made limited use of chemicals to stop the attacks," it added.

    The announcement further said that about 100 people from the anti-establishment sector participating in the march "had full equipment capable of causing damage and arson against people and property of public and private interests."

    Lastly, it said that "the police forces showed calmness and acted methodically, preventing extensive damage against people and things in the centre of Athens."

    [13] Deputy education minister meets Chinese counterpart

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Deputy National Education and Religious Affairs Minister Spyros Taliadouros met in Athens on Wednesday with Chinese Deputy Education Minister Zheng Shushan and a six-member delegation of the Chinese education ministry.

    The purpose of the meeting was to promote educational cooperation and exchanges between the two countries, mainly in the sector of university cooperation and the teaching of Greek and Chinese.

    [14] Parliament's Constitutional Revision Committee to begin discussions next week

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The parliamentary ad-hoc committee on Constitutional Revision will formally commence operation next Wednesday, September 27, with discussion of the first unit of Articles up for revision -- 5, 14, 17, and 20-22 -- which concern individual and social rights, it was unanimously decided by the members of the revisionary on Wednesday, which met to decide on the procedures, given the January 31, 2007 deadline for completion of its project.

    The committee further agreed, unanimously, to exclude Constitutional provisions 3 and 13, which concern Church-State relations, Article 16 on Higher Education, and Article 24 on forests and forest expanses, from the first unit, so that they can be discussed separately due to their political importance.

    Institutions and Transparency Committee members visit parliament president: The majority of the members of the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency visited Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda on Wednesday and expressed to her the position that the decision to complete the committee’s work on the phone tapping issue is absolutely correct based on parliament regulations.

    The parliament president stated that she will express a consultative opinion in due time and pointed out that the president and the members of the parliamentary committees operate independently based on the Parliament regulation.

    The findings of the committee majority will be submitted to the parliament president within the next few days.

    [15] Plans for new Greek-Turkish checkpoint at central Evros

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Evros prefect Nikos Zabounakis and the mayor of the Turkish municipality of Uzun Kiopru, who met at Didimoticho on Wednesday, reconfirmed their intention to proceed in the opening of a new checkpoint at the Greek-Turkish border, in the central part of Evros.

    At the meeting, discussed were developments in the matter and the coordination of actions, while agreement was reached for pressure to be placed on the foreign ministries of the two countries for the implementation of the project.

    After the meeting, Zabounakis stated that "our demand is for the creation of a second customs office in central Evros."

    [16] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR, violate national air space

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The National Defense General Staff announced that 26 Turkish warplanes entered the Aegean on Wednesday without submitting flight plans, resulting in seven infringements of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and 12 violations of the national air space in the region of the northern and central Aegean.

    In all cases, the Turkish aircraft were recognized and intercepted immediately by corresponding Greek fighter jets, while in one case, the process of interception developed into a mock dogfight.

    It was reported that ten of the 26 Turkish aircraft were armed.

    [17] Jetfighter crashes near Araxos airport, pilot ejects to safety

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A Hellenic Airforce Corsair-A7 jetfighter crashed near Araxos military airport in the early afternoon Wednesday, but its pilot managed to eject to safety.

    The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off at 1:35 p.m., near Araxos Airport.

    The pilot successfully used the aircraft's seat ejection mechanism, according to sources, and was taken to the 251 Airforce Hospital for precautionary reasons.

    According to initial assessments, the aircraft's crash was due to engine failure.

    [18] Greek gov’t determined to safeguard smooth operation of markets

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Wednesday said the government was determined to "break and neutralize" any hurdles in the smooth operation of domestic markets and expressed that more results of a new legislation would be seen in the future.

    Speaking to reporters, on the sidelines of an event to mark the Commerce Day in the country, the Greek minister urged for efforts to promote a "low prices-higher quality" view and underlined that enterprises in the commerce sector would be included in a Fourth Community Support Framework program.

    Addressing the event, Development Deputy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou said efforts were made to overcome "ancient" regulations and noted that the ministry was pursuing intensive inspections in domestic markets. Papathanasiou said the ministry also planned changes in a regulatory framework on the terms and preconditions to creating and operating super markets and department stores in the country.

    D. Armenakis, president of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce, said its members were "100 percent opposite to the operation of cartels in the market" and stressed that such methods undermined development. Armenakis said a properly organized consumer movement could help effectively in efforts to combat such phenomena in the country.

    [19] Gov't to subsidy SMEs for information systems upgrade

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Greek small- and medium-sized enterprises wishing to modernize their information systems are eligible for subsidies up to 45-55 percent, the Development ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The financial support is given in the framework of a Business Program "Information Society". Any interested company can apply in the program for projects budgeted between 100,000 and 800,000 euros and covers up to 40 percent of its turnover in 2005. The preconditions is to have activities in manufacturing, commerce, tourism, or services and to have began operating before January 1, 2003, to have a positive average earnings pre-amortizations and interest in the 2003-2005 period and to employ between 15-250 workers.

    [20] Greece has widest interest rate spread in eurozone

    FRANKFURT, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Greek banks show the widest differential in the eurozone between deposit and lending rates, the European Central Bank (ECB) said in a report released on Wednesday.

    According to the survey in all countries of the eurozone, the differential in the Greek banking market was 3.65% in favor of lending rates against a eurozone average of 1.68%.

    Ranking second and third in terms of a high differential were Portugal at 2.76% and Italy at 2.17%. The smallest spread was seen in the Netherlands at 1.14%.

    The average rate among Greek credit institutions for personal and consumer fixed-rate loans with a 12-month duration was 9.33%, rising to 9.82% for longer terms, the second highest rate in the eurozone for the category.

    In mortgages, Greek banks showed an average 12-month, fixed-interest rate of 4.25% versus 3.59% in the eurozone.

    The Greek average for one- to ten-year mortgages was 5.39% versus a eurozone average of 4.05%; for 5-10 year terms 6.08% against an average of 4.59%; and for over 10 years, 4.84% against a 4.51% eurozone average.

    The report entitled "Differences in MFI interest rates across euro area countries" was prepared by experts at the ECB and at national central banks under the joint mandate of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Statistics Committee.

    It presents the first comprehensive assessment of cross-country differences in deposit and lending interest rates that are offered and charged by euro area monetary financial institutions to households and non-financial corporations.

    "Despite the remarkable convergence that has taken place in the euro area in recent years, similar types of interest rate still vary considerably across countries. Several factors, in many cases operating simultaneously, contribute to this dispersion," the ECB said.

    "One factor may be remaining product heterogeneity, which may reflect differences in national commercial conventions and practices, as well as in regulatory and fiscal arrangements. Other factors such as differences in credit risk, including differences in collateral practices, and market structure may also contribute. At the current juncture it is not possible to disentangle the effects of all these factors," it added.

    [21] EU imposes heavy fine on copper market cartel; member-states implicated, including Greece

    BRUSSELS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The European Commission on Wednesday decided to impose a fine of 314.7 million euros to a cartel of 30 copper manufacturing companies, which since 1988 until 2004 determined the prices in a number of EU member-countries, among them Greece.

    It is the fifth largest fine which the European Commission's competition directorate has imposed to a cartel of companies to date.

    Specifically, as announced by the Commission, the 11 groups (from Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, France and the United States) to which these 30 companies belonged, created a cartel in the copper market, determining prices and reaching agreements for the creation of apparatuses to increase prices.

    The Commission said that in 1991, these companies determined prices in eight European countries and specifically in Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Great Britain, Portugal and Sweden.

    [22] Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference on industry in Rhodes Island

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The 6th Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Industry is to take place on the Aegean island of Rhodes on Thursday and Friday, in the presence of European Commission Vice-President Guenter Verheugen.

    Participants will include ministers and delegations from 37 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

    The ministerial is taking place in Rhodes instead of Finland, following a proposal put forward by Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and consultation with the Finnish Minister of Trade and Industry Mauri Pekkarinen, who heads the EU industry ministers' council.

    The aim of the meeting is to give a new impetus to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in industry, in a climate of peace, stability and development. Among its targets are to extract a commitment from the various sides that they will establish new incentives for investment in the region in order to create more jobs and that they will harmonize their legislation in order to contribute to the creation of a free trade zone in the area by 2010.

    [23] Memorandum signed for the management of Olympic stadium in Patra

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The Achaia Chamber and Achaiki Cooperative Bank will submit in November a joint business plan for the management of Pan-Peloponesian Stadium in Patra, under a memorandum signed on Wednesday with Olympic Real Estate SA.

    The business plan to be submitted will be examined thoroughly to reaffirm it offers a stable, viable and socially benefiting management of the Olympic Stadium in the city of Patra. The memorandum was signed by Olympic Real Estate president Christos Hatziemmanuel, Achaia Chamber president Costantinos Antzoulatos and Achaiki Cooperative Bank chairman and chief executive Evaggelos Floratos.

    The two sides aim to complete the signing of a final contract in December and to immediately begin the management of all infrastructure by the two local agencies.

    The two agencies will pay a monthly lease and a percentage of their net profits to Olympic Real Estate. Both payments will be determined with the final contract.

    [24] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The Athens share index closed at 3,926.52 points, showing a rise of 1.02%. Turnover was 270.2 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalization shares ended 1.18% up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks 0.80% higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished 2.37% up.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 181 to 54 with 79 remaining unchanged.

    Stock Futures:

  • Most Active Contract (volume): ELTEH (1320)

  • Total derivatives market turnover: 127.1 million euros

    Bond Market Close: 10-yr benchmark at 4.06 pct

  • Greek benchmark 10-year bond (exp. 20.7.2016): 4.06 pct yield

  • Most heavily traded paper: 10-year bond, expiring 20.7.2016 (1.4 bln euros)

  • Day's Total Market Turnover: 2.6 bln euros

    Foreign Exchange Rates

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.277

    [25] Transport minister inaugurates first pilot 'smart' trolley stop

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Transport and Communications minister Michalis Liapis on Wednesday inaugurated one of six pilot "smart" trolley stops, at Klafthmonos Square in central Athens, in the framework of events marking European Mobility Week.

    The installation of the "smart" stops is in continuation of the efforts to upgrade public transport, aimed at better service and, mainly, providing quality services to commuters.

    Six smart stops are being inaugurated in the wider Athens-Pireaus region, with differencing characteristics.

    As of Wednesday, the smart stops in Ano Kypseli and Klafthmonos Square are in operation, while in early October the remaining four trolley stops will be in operation at Plastira Square, Syntagma Square, Agia Triada (Piraeus), and the trolley stop outside the ISAP train's terminal station in Piraeus.

    The 'smart' stops pave the way for smart commuting, as passengers will have access to immediate information on the number of the commuter line, the name of the line in both Greek and English, anticipated arrival time (with one-minute precision), while informational messages sent by the ILPAP (trolley service) Management Centre will also appear on electronic bulletin boards.

    The technical characteristics of the smart stops allow smooth operation, as the messages on the electronic bulletin boards are fully visible in the sunlight, special sensors regulate the brightness of the screens in conjunction with the outside lighting, the optical degree of the bulletin boards is 120 degrees horizontally and 60 degrees vertically, and other technical aspects.

    Some smart stops will have two-sided screens (in front of and behind the stop), while others will have one-sided screens, while the messages on the board will vary from 1-4 lines of print. Also, the messages on the electronic boards are clearly visible from a distance of 35 meters.

    [26] International seminar on new cooperation policies in the Mediterranean

    ATHENS, 21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The 2nd Monitoring Committee and the INTERMED International Seminar on new cooperation policies in the Mediterranean, held within the framework of the INTERREG III / INTERACT Community initiative, will convene in Iraklion, Crete hosted by the Region of Crete, southern Greece on September 21 and 22.

    Seven partners from an equal number of European Union regions are participating on the committee and in the international seminar, namely, the regions of Valencia and Murcia in Spain, Corsica in France, Sicily in Italy, Portugal’s Alentejo Region Regional Development Organization, and Greece’s Western Greece Region and the Region of Crete.

    The participants will discuss the new EU Neighborhood Policy 2007-2013 and its funding, INTERREG programs, the experience of Cretan local government in interregional cooperation programs being materialized in the Mediterranean region, as well as operational, organizational and administrative details.

    [27] COPPEM board to meet in Hania on October 1

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The board of the Standing Committee for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership of the Local and Regional Authorities (COPPEM) is to meet in Hania on October 1.

    The meeting will be held in the Hania Municipal Council chambers with the participation of European and Mediterranean countries. COPPEM has 101 basic members and 101 reserve members that represent local authorities in 35 Euro-Mediterranean countries.

    Its aim is to promote local development through its activities and through dialogue and cooperation between local and regional authorities.

    Members of the committee will be in Hania between September 28 and October 3, when they are scheduled to depart.

    [28] Police arrest illegal immigrants on Samos

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Police arrested 26 illegal immigrants, all of them men from Afghanistan, on the island of Samos on Wednesday morning, while the immigrant smugglers who had left them at various places on the island are still at large.

    The illegal immigrants were taken to the hospital on the island for medical checkups and then to the Reception Centre.

    [29] Holding of beauty contest in Halkidiki with underaged girls forbidden

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Following coordinated action by police in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, the organizing by a tourist agency of a beauty contest with underaged girls from countries of southeastern Europe, which was due to be held on Wednesday evening at a hotel in the region of Elani, in Kassandra, Halkidiki, Macedonia, was finally forbidden.

    The public prosecutors of Thessaloniki and Halkidiki informed the police that the holding of such an event contravened the Employment and Social Protection Ministry's legislation regarding employment of minors.

    Thessaloniki police informed the organizers that if the event was held, they would be arrested.

    The organizers decided to abide by the legislation and cancelled the beauty contest. Instead, they held a "special festival," as they called it, in honor of the underaged guests, under the watchful eye of the police.

    [30] Samos visited by 50 members of 'Friends of Greece' society from Finland

    21/9/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A delegation of 50 members from Finland's "Friends of Greece" society began a week-long visit to the Aegean island of Samos on Tuesday, in the framework of visits they are making all over the country.

    The visitors were welcomed at their hotel by the mayor of the town of Vathi Costas Karaminas. The members of the group were given a guided tour of archaeological sites, while on Monday they will be attending the Greek night to be held in their honor, with dancing by the "Kapetan Lachanas" society.

    [31] President: T/C reply to Moller's proposal positive only in heading

    NEW YORK, 21/9/2006 (CNA/ANA/MPA)

    The Turkish Cypriot reply to the UN Secretary-General Special Representative's proposals on the way forward to the discussions between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots on a technical level was positive in its heading but not in its content, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Wednesday.

    Speaking to a press conference on the completion of his contacts in UN Headquarters, where he addressed the UN General Assembly, Papadopoulos said that the Greek Cypriot side has wholly accepted Moller's proposal, adding however that during the meetings of the aids of the two leaders with Moller ''not enough progress has been made.''

    In his opening remarks, Papadopoulos referred to his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose term is ending at 31 December

    2006. ''This was possibly our last meeting before he retires,'' said Papadopoulos.

    Referring to Turkey's EU bid, Papadopoulos said that Cyprus was one of the first countries that supported Turkey European course.

    ''However, Turkey must fulfill its commitments it assumed towards the EU,'' Papadopoulos said, adding that these commitments have been assumed by every EU candidate state.

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on July 8th 2006, during a meeting in the presence of UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day to day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Following the agreement, senior aides of the two leaders in Cyprus, Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Pertev, began meetings in Moller's office in the UN-controlled buffer zone to work out the modalities for the implementation of the July agreement.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third.

    [32] Spokesman: Unconditional approval of Moller's ideas a possible step

    NICOSIA, 21/9/2006 (CNA/ANA/MPA)

    A positive reply by the Turkish Cypriot side to UN Special Representative's ideas on the way forward of the discussion between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot's on a technical level, would be a positive development provided that this reply is accompanied by the necessary political will for a full and unconditional implementation of the July 8 agreement, Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said here Wednesday.

    Pashiardis comments came in the wake of a statement by Turkish Cypriot leader's spokesman Hasan Ercakica's that the Turkish Cypriot's reply to Moller ideas is ''positive''. UNFICYP Spokesman Brian Kelly told CNA last Thursday that Moller has given to Talat ''some ideas as part of his exchanges with the two sides.''

    Replying to questions after a cabinet meeting, Pashiardis said however that the UN has not yet confirmed the information that the Turkish Cypriot side has approved Moller ideas.

    ''If this information is true, this development could prove a positive one, provided that it is accompanied by the necessary political will for a full and unconditional implementation of the July 8 agreement,'' the spokesman said.

    However diplomatic sources in New York told CNA that the Turkish Cypriot side's reply does not constitute a clear approval to Moller's ideas and includes plenty of ''gray points.''

    ''If the information that the Turkish Cypriot approval is accompanied by such terms, such preconditions and such gray areas, then this would not be an essential approval for a substantive progress but would in any case constitute an infringement and a violation of what has been agreed on July 8,'' Pashiardis added.

    Commenting on a comment made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan during Tuesday's meeting with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos that all concerned in the Cyprus problem must show the necessary flexibility, Pashiardis said this is an accustomed phrase always used by the United Nations.

    ''The need for flexibility basically refers to the Turkish Cypriot side, which always observed a stance of provocative rigidity,'' he concluded.

    [33] Papadopoulos addresses UN General Assembly

    NEW YORK, 21/9/2006 (CAN/ANA/MPA)

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that the Cyprus problem epitomizes the inability of the

    international community to redress the massive violations of international legality, adding that the Greek Cypriots remain committed to reunification through a functional bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and that the Annan plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community precisely because it did not provide for the reunification of the country nor did it address core issues and key concerns in a satisfactory manner.

    Speaking during the General Debate of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday night, President Papadopoulos said Cyprus had hoped that by now the accession course of Turkey to the European Union would have taken its catalytic effect, and invited Ankara to recognize that there is no room for military doctrines with regard to the Cyprus question and to seek a lasting solution for the benefit of all Cypriots, Turkey and of the region.

    President Papadopoulos clarified that the Cyprus question is ''a problem of invasion and continuing occupation, by Turkish military forces, of 37% of the territory of my country for more than thirty-two years now,'' noting that it is ''mistaken by some for a protracted conflict.''

    ''The Cyprus problem essentially epitomizes the inability of the international community to redress this set of massive violations of international legality,'' he added.

    He referred to Turkish efforts for the recognition of the occupation regime, as well as the issue of missing persons, noting that ''in the political field we have continued to exert efforts on two key axes, that is coming closer to a negotiating process that would guarantee a peaceful settlement alleviating the results of the invasion and bring about the re-unification of Cyprus, that is, of its territory, people, society, economy and institutions in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.''

    ''The political agenda of projecting a separate political entity in Cyprus has been in recent years pursued under the pretext of a campaign to lift the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. However, with the per capita income in the occupied areas of Cyprus currently standing at approximately 11,000 dollars, it is clearly acknowledgeable that the argument for economic development is exploited for political reasons and is a manifestly unsubstantiated allegation,'' he pointed out.

    He noted that ''in seeking a fair and viable resolution of the core and substantive issues comprising the Cyprus problem, we should avoid inherent shortcomings which flawed the last negotiating effort undertaken by the UN and which diverted attention from basic principles that must be upheld.''

    President Papadopoulos assured that ''the Greek Cypriots remain committed to reunification through a functional bi-zonal, bi-communal federation'' and noted that ''the failure of the last initiative did not alter our commitment, nor our willingness to work resolutely towards the reunification of our country.''

    He also said that the UN solution plan, known as the Annan plan, which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community in a referendum, ''was not accepted precisely because it did not provide for the reunification of our divided country nor addressed core issues and key concerns in a satisfactory manner'' and that ''the search for a settlement firmly remains for us in the UN framework, within the context of the good offices mission mandated to the Secretary General by the Security Council.''

    Referring to developments of a political nature that have taken place over the past few months, President Papadopoulos said it was agreed that bicommunal discussions at the technical level would commence to address substantive aspects of the Cyprus problem as well as issues that affect the everyday life of all Cypriots as long as the status quo persists, a process that would be complemented by parallel confidence building.

    ''This expert level process is a sine qua non for the preparation and presentation of issues before the two leaders for purposes of meaningful negotiation,'' he said, adding that ''while sharing the assessment of the Secretary General that a cautious and step-by-step approach is the appropriate way forward given the fragility of the process, we also hold that an effort to avoid another failure with potentially lasting catastrophic consequences demands laying the necessary groundwork.''

    President Papadopoulos said that ''for us this imperatively includes some of the core and more complex dimensions of the Cyprus problem such as determining the lawful population of the island, bringing an end to the unlawful exploitation of properties of Greek Cypriot refugees in the occupied area in accordance with case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and ensuring the integral and viable character of the economy of the Cypriot state in line with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact of the EU.''

    He added that the solution of the Cyprus problem should provide for the establishment of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federal state of Cyprus with a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship, and guarantee the independence of Cyprus and its territorial integrity without any foreign troops on its soil and the possibility of foreign interventions.

    ''We had hoped that by now, the accession course of Turkey to the EU would have taken its catalytic effect producing the necessary political will on her behalf and changing their perception of Cyprus from that of an adversary to that of a partner, a valuable neighbor and a potential ally in the EU,'' he said.

    President Papadopoulos added that ''we maintain our expectation of Turkey to at least proceed with the implementation of its legally binding obligations vis-à-vis the EU,'' noting that ''this is a unique opportunity for them to prove their willingness to turn the page by meeting obligations that they undertook years ago.''

    ''Unfortunately they have so far persistently refused to adhere to them. Instead, our generous attitude towards Turkey's accession to the EU is met with a blockade against my country in its bid to join several international and regional organizations and with a refusal to open their ports and airports to Cypriot vessels as required,'' he pointed out.

    The president said that ''in our relations with Turkey there is only one way forward, that is creating a future of peace and cooperation and building bridges and mutual understanding, normalizing our relations and working hand in hand to achieve the goals of the EU in our region.''

    ''I once again invite Turkey to recognize that there is no room for military doctrines with regards to the Cyprus question and to join us in seeking a lasting solution for the benefit of all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike, of Turkey and of our entire region'', he said.

    Referring to the work of the UN and the reform process, President Papadopoulos said the establishment of the Peace Building Commission and the Human Rights Council, alongside other important achievements, constitute important building blocks towards a consolidated international system based on effective multilateralism but pointed out that ''legitimacy and the relevance of the reform achieved will be judged by its impact on the lives of our peoples.''

    Regarding the Middle East and the recent crisis in Lebanon, he said ''Cyprus had from the very first moment of the outbreak of violence supported the calls for an immediate ceasefire and joined in the effort to provide assistance both to the Lebanese people and to evacuees.''

    ''Unfortunately it took almost a month for the Security Council to discharge its responsibilities effectively towards the peoples of the region, causing disappointment and frustration,'' he said, adding that ''in parallel to the Lebanese crisis, the world continues to witness the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a heavy civilian toll and worsening humanitarian conditions.''

    President Papadopoulos said ''it is imperative to urgently revert to the implementation of international agreements, including the Road Map, providing for the creation of a viable Palestinian State that will peacefully coexist side by side with Israel within agreed borders.''

    He also said that ''Cyprus, as a member of the EU, is represented by and fully subscribes to the statement delivered this morning by the President of Finland on behalf of the EU.''

    President Papadopoulos furthermore warmly welcomed the Republic of Montenegro as the 192nd member of the United Nations.

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