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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-11-27

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

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

November 27, 2006

CONTENTS

  • [01] FM at Greek-Turkish business con'f: 'Absolute respect for EU principles, rules should mean accession'
  • [02] Papandreou addresses French Socialist Party meeting
  • [03] Papoulias on official visit to Oman
  • [04] New round of Greece-Australia talks on Greeks' pensions
  • [05] Public order minister gives interview to Sunday newspaper
  • [06] Minister attends events marking 'Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women'
  • [07] Alavanos calls on gov't to 'abandon cynicism, barbarity' against contract workers
  • [08] 'No early general elections,' ND's Zagoritis reiterates
  • [09] ND leading PASOK by 2 percentage points, poll shows
  • [10] 'National Resistance Day' commemorated at Gorgopotamos
  • [11] Greek-Serbian economic relations discussed in Belgrade
  • [12] Employment minister announces social security coverage for Alexandria Patriarchate Bishops
  • [13] Foreign Exchange Rates until Monday
  • [14] Killing of 5 hunters in W. Greece a mystery
  • [15] Delivery of personal archives of statesman Eleftherios Venizelos
  • [16] Int'l section of Thessaloniki Film Festival ends
  • [17] Sports
  • [18] Turkey's EU course does not depend on Cyprus alone, says president

  • [01] FM at Greek-Turkish business con'f: 'Absolute respect for EU principles, rules should mean accession'

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed the 10th Greek-Turkish business conference in Athens on Saturday, where she again reiterated Greek leadership's policy vis-à-vis the neighboring country, an EU hopeful.

    "We desire a policy of rapprochement towards Turkey, the strengthening of bilateral relations and solution of our issues, with objective stability and growth in the region, a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue and a European Turkey that will respect the European Union's principles and rules. We do not mince words and we are clear: Absolute respect and adjustment to these principles should also mean absolute (EU) accession," Bakoyannis said.

    The two-day conference began on Friday with the participation of 200 Greek and Turkish entrepreneurs and business leaders. It was organized by the Greek-Turkish Athens Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the corresponding Istanbul-based council.

    Taking part in the conference were presidents, directors, counselors and members of Greek and Turkish businesses and organizations, as well as the presidents of the Chambers of Istanbul, Izmir and Bodrum.

    Referring to the prospects of Greek-Turkish relations, Bakoyannis said "our vision is two countries -- and I would say three, with Cyprus -- that cooperate closely, with enormous mutual benefit."

    Regarding the prospects of Greece-Turkey economic relations, she referred to the two countries' business cooperation in the construction sector, such as the building of an urban complex in Oman, for instance. This cooperation is "courageous" and should constitute "an inspiration for other ventures as well," the foreign minister said.

    Asked by reporters whether the pending visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will contribute to the improvement of bilateral relations, Bakoyannis said that “relations are built on mutual will for friendship, peace and development in the Aegean, and we believe that Turkey has this will as well."

    She also referred, in particular, major acquisitions of Turkish banks by three Greek banks -- National Bank, Eurobank and Alpha Bank -- and to the "enormous cooperation" between the two countries' construction firms on the Oman project, budgeted at US$20 billion. "This cooperation should become a beacon and an inspiration for other ventures as well," she said.

    The foreign minister also spoke about the strategic cooperation in the energy sector with the agreement for the construction of a Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas pipeline.

    Regarding tourism, she said 585,000 Greek citizens visited Turkey in 2005, whereas 60,000 Turks came to Greece, noting that "this negative balance must be adjusted."

    Finally, Bakoyannis called for the upgrading of transport links between the two countries, particularly the upgrading of the Thessaloniki-Istanbul railway line and of a road network in eastern Thrace, as well as an increase in Athens-Istanbul and Athens-Izmir ferry and air links.

    [02] Papandreou addresses French Socialist Party meeting

    STRASBOURG, 27/11/2006 (ANA-MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, in his capacity as Socialist International president, attended a meeting of the French Socialist Party in Paris on Sunday at the invitation of Segolene Royal, during which elected delegates nominated the latter as their candidate in next year's presidential elections.

    Addressing the meeting in French, Papandreou said "the choice of a dynamic woman for the candidacy for the presidency has a great symbolic value. It constitutes a revolutionary gesture ... Segolene Royal has a vision for France and for her fellow countrymen."

    Papandreou went on to say that "the renewed and modern Left is being called on today to give peoples a new vision for society."

    He further said that it is the Left that will be able to secure for peoples social cohesion, sustainable development, justice without fanaticism and exclusions and education based on great values.

    The PASOK party leader also noted that "this new page for the Left is beginning in France, a country of freedom and tolerance, with the victory of Segolene Royal in the presidential elections."

    Lastly, Papandreou said her choice "has inspired many citizens in every corner of Europe, it has inspired all the progressive citizens who desire a just society and a just world. We have need of a French voice, a strong and progressive one in the world."

    [03] Papoulias on official visit to Oman

    MUSCAT, 27/11/2006 (ANA-MPA / N. Megadoukas)

    President Karolos Papoulias and Oman's Sultan Qaboos Bin Said al-Said held official talks here on Sunday, as Greece and Oman confirmed their political will to advance political, economic and trade relations.

    Official talks held both on Saturday night, during an official dinner in honor of Papoulias, and on Sunday in private talks between the two leaders and with the participation of delegations of the two countries. Talks focused on relations between the two countries in the trade, investments and business sectors.

    The situation prevailing in the Middle East was also discussed, in which the need for peace and stability in the region was stressed, as well as relations between Oman and the European Union, relations which Greece can assist, as it was pointed out.

    Athens places significant importance on its relations with the Arab world given, as Papoulias has stressed, the geopolitical importance and the economic capabilities of countries in the Gulf region, whereas Oman considers Greece "the country closest to it" with regard to the other countries of Europe.

    The Greek president also announced to the Sultan of Oman that Greece will soon open an embassy in Muscat, while he expressed a desire for a Greek studies faculty to be established at the Sultanate's university. Papoulias will visit the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Dubai on Tuesday.

    [04] New round of Greece-Australia talks on Greeks' pensions

    MELBOURNE, 27/11/2006 ([ANA-MPA / S. Hatzimanolis)

    The next round of talks by technocrats of the governments of Greece and Australia for the signing of an inter-state pensions agreement will take place in Canberra from December 4-9.

    A nine-member delegation of the Employment and Social Protection Ministry, headed by Social Security Secretary General Demosthenes Mammonas, will arrive on December 2.

    It is expected that the Greek delegation will make every possible effort for the completion of the agreement with Australia to occur as soon as possible.

    Greek and Australian circles assess that "the dialogue between the two governments is on a good road after the signing in Sydney last year of the Cooperation Protocol by the two governments."

    [05] Public order minister gives interview to Sunday newspaper

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras gave an interview to the Sunday newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis" and kept a distance from the events taking place in the city of Thessaloniki recently and the beating up of a Cypriot student by the police.

    Replying to a relevant question, he said he could not imagine "that such an incident could take place", terming it "barbaric."

    Polydoras also keeps a distance from the handlings of the Thessaloniki Police Department, saying that "I expected a more responsible and fair assessment of the unfortunate and dramatic incident from Thessaloniki."

    The minister further spoke of "some hotheads from Thessaloniki who resorted to violence" and who ruined "the best, the most peaceful and harmless celebration of the Polytechnic from the restoration of democracy until today."

    Polydoras also rejected criticism directed against him by the opposition, saying that "in no way is it political criticism" and attributing it to "argument poverty."

    [06] Minister attends events marking 'Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women'

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras attended events in Athens on Saturday marking 'International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women'.

    With the slogan "Defeat fear", the Justice Ministry started from early morning, at a special stand on Ermou Street, an awareness campaign by handing out briefing pamphlets on the four main reforms of the new law against domestic violence.

    Papaligouras headed the campaign and he also handed out pamphlets and talked to citizens.

    "Phenomena of systematic violence in the home trouble one in four Greek families, a bleak reality which fear, shame or need covered up until today," said Papaligouras.

    [07] Alavanos calls on gov't to 'abandon cynicism, barbarity' against contract workers

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos on Saturday said "the intention of the Culture Ministry to terminate the contracts of more than two thousand contract workers, despite their vindication by Justice, is a completely illegal act which aims at the creation of a private state of the (ruling) New Democracy (ND) party."

    Alavanos spoke of "mass purges of working people, an act which violates every meaning of labor rights and constitutes a coup by the executive power against justice and is an attempt of intimidation of judges."

    The Synaspismos leader called on the government to "immediately revoke the Culture Ministry's document and to abandon this stance of cynicism and barbarity against the contract workers."

    [08] 'No early general elections,' ND's Zagoritis reiterates

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Ruling New Democracy (ND) party secretary Lefteris Zagoritis on Sunday visited Lamia, central Greece, where he echoed repeated government statements to the effect that early general elections are not planned.

    "We will not have early general elections. The government has many serious matters to deal with and first and above all with the solution of problems (main opposition) PASOK left on the country."

    Zagoritis added that "during the next period, the government is obliged to deal with matters that concern Greek citizens and the quality of their lives."

    [09] ND leading PASOK by 2 percentage points, poll shows

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    The ruling New Democracy party is leading the main opposition PASOK party by two percentage points, according to a nationwide poll carried out by the ALCO firm with the ballot box method. The poll was carried out between Nov. 9-19 and was published in the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Ethnos".

    The margin in ND's favor has widened by 0.8 percent, compared to the difference appearing between the two parties in the poll carried out by the same company a year ago.

    ND is leading in vote intention with 35.3 percent, followed by PASOK with 33.3, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 6.6, the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) 3.2 and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) also with 3.2.

    On the question of which party they think will win the next general elections, 59.2 percent of respondents said ND and 22 percent PASOK.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is considered to be the most suitable to hold the post, garnering 40.0 percent of respondents' preferences with PASOK's leader George Papandreou getting 28.9 percent.

    [10] 'National Resistance Day' commemorated at Gorgopotamos

    27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Scores of veterans of the national resistance during WWII attended a ceremony at Gorgopotamos, near Lamia, on Sunday, marking the 64th anniversary of the blowing up of the Gorgopotamos Bridge, when rival resistance groups joined forces, along with British commandos, for the operation.

    The various events marking National Resistance Day is organized by the national union of veterans of the National Resistance (PEAEA).

    Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, who represented the government at a memorial service at the Athens Cathedral on the occasion of the commemoration, noted that "today is a day of reflection and memory." The minister later laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Present at the ceremony at Gorgopotamos were Deputy Interior Minister Athanassios Nakos, ruling ND party secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, main opposition PASOK cadre Rovertos Spyropoulos and Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) MP Thanassis Leventis.

    [11] Greek-Serbian economic relations discussed in Belgrade

    BELGRADE, 27/11/2006 (ANA-MPA)

    The development of economic relations between Greece and Serbia but also the cooperation between entrepreneurs of the two countries was the main topic of a meeting in Belgrade last Thursday and Friday of the Greek-Serbian Business Council.

    At the meeting, which was organized by the Greek company TGI Group International, entrepreneurs from the two countries examined the possibility of cooperation between them.

    It was ascertained that Serbia's economic reforms favor foreign investments.

    International Economic Relations Minister Milan Parivodic said at the meeting that the economic relations between Greece and Serbia "are excellent."

    Parivodic called on Greek entrepreneurs "to invest without fear in the Serbian market." He referred specifically to the construction of the highway E-75 and stated that on December 1, the Greek government will proceed in allocating 100 million euros, as foreseen by the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans.

    [12] Employment minister announces social security coverage for Alexandria Patriarchate Bishops

    CAIRO, 27/11/2006 (ANA-MPA - N. Katsikas)

    Employment and Social Solidarity Minister Savvas Tsitouridis, visiting the Saint Savvas Monastery in Alexandria on Saturday, announced that the Greek government will cover, through the Farmers’ Insurance Organization (OGA) and at the state's expense, medical and hospital treatment for Bishops of the Alexandria Patriarchate.

    The issue will be handled with a legislative arrangement to be ratified by the Greek Parliament in the next few days, solving a problem that had existed for 50 years.

    The Patriarch of Alexandria expressed his great satisfaction to the Greek minister, saying "a big thank you to our Greece that always supports the apostolic work of the Patriarchate of Alexandria."

    Visit to Cairo's Greek Hospital: Meanwhile, on Sunday he praised the local Greek community in Cairo over the operation of the Greek Hospital in the city.

    Referring to the Greece-funded medical institution, Tsitouridis noted: "It constitutes a very important effort. We ascertained that Cairo's Greek ethnic community is continuing its struggle for the preservation and utilization of the Greek Hospital.

    [13] Foreign Exchange Rates until Monday

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

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

    U.S. dollar 1.318

    Pound sterling 0.682

    Danish kroner 7.513

    Swedish kroner 9.109

    Japanese yen 152.57

    Swiss franc 1.595

    Norwegian kroner 8.328

    Cyprus pound 0.582

    Canadian dollar 1.493

    Australian dollar 1.695

    [14] Killing of 5 hunters in W. Greece a mystery

    27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    The killing of five hunters, all young adults, near the municipality of Agrinio, in western Greece, on Saturday remained a mystery on Sunday, as police have yet to detect any motive or suspect(s) for the unprecedented crime.

    An initial examination by police and a medical examiner revealed that the five victims, found on a country road, were shot, although authorities did not clarify whether the murder weapon was a shotgun, a hunting rifle or an assault weapon -- the latter two being off-limits to most civilians in Greece. The time of death was placed at between 5 and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

    According to other reports, each of the victims were "laying in wait" in separate locations, as they had ostensibly fanned out in a rural part of Aetoloakarnania prefecture in search of thrush.

    The victims were identified as the brothers Vassilis and Christos Nikolopoulos, 23 and 21, their cousins Lambros Andressas and Ilias Pipas, each 33, and Alexios Nikolopoulos, 17.

    A second detailed examination began at the scene of the crime by a medical examiner and law enforcement officials from Athens. A ballistics report will be released in Athens on Monday.

    [15] Delivery of personal archives of statesman Eleftherios Venizelos

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    The official delivery of the personal archives of the late statesman Eleftherios Venizelos, currently in the possession of the Benaki Museum, to the "Eleftherios Venizelos" National Studies and Research Foundation will be taking place on December 1.

    The event will be held in the city of Hania on the occasion of the anniversary of Crete's unification with Greece.

    According to an announcement by the Foundation, the delivery of the archives will take place in the framework of the project titled "Scientific substantiation and digitalization of personal archives of Eleftherios Venizelos-Electronic issue."

    [16] Int'l section of Thessaloniki Film Festival ends

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    he international section of the Thessaloniki Film Festival concluded here on Sunday evening with the presentation of the awards, although screenings will continue throughout the week.

    The post-festival screenings will last until Nov. 29 and will include a total of 50 films (from the Greek and international sections as well as dedications to film directors).

    On Monday night, the presentation of the state quality awards for this year's Greek films will take place at the Thessaloniki Music Hall.

    [17] Sports

    ATHENS, 27/11/206 (ANA/MPA)

    Results of the Greek Super League soccer matches played over the weekend:

    Ergotelis Crete - Aris Thessaloniki 0-1

    Egaleo Athens - AEK Athens 1-2

    Iraklis Thessaloniki - Kerkyra (Corfu) 1-0

    Ionikos Piraeus - OFI Crete 0-2

    Xanthi - PAOK Thessaloniki 1-0

    Panionios Athens - Atromitos Athens 0-0

    Olympiakos Piraeus - Larissa 4-0

    Panathinaikos Athens - Apollon Kalamaria 3-2

    Standings after 12 weeks of play:

    Olympiakos 30 points

    Panathinaikos 28

    AEK 27

    PAOK 21

    OFI 17

    Egaleo 16

    Kerkyra 15

    Xanthi 15

    Atromitos 14

    Larissa 13

    Aris 13

    Ergotelis 12

    Panionios 12

    Apollon 10

    Iraklis 9

    Ionikos 6

    Note: Ionikos was deducted two points for disciplinary reasons.

    [18] Turkey's EU course does not depend on Cyprus alone, says president

    NICOSIA, 27/11/2006 (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    The continuation of Turkey's EU course and the way this will be done, if the country does not comply with its EU obligations, does not depend solely on Cyprus but on all EU member states, President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos said here Sunday.

    He was speaking on the sidelines of a reception he hosted at the Presidential Palace on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day.

    Asked whether the EU will allow, without taking any substantial measures, the continuation of Turkey's EU course, despite not having fulfilled its obligations and how the Republic of Cyprus sees this, the president replied "this does not depend on us alone, but on all member states."

    "We have stated our positions, have explained them, some understand them, while others although they do understand them, have their own interests, therefore I cannot predict nor make an evaluation," the president said.

    President Papadopoulos noted he was not aware of reports which said the UN Secretary General has asked the Finnish presidency of the EU to include in its proposals the opening of the illegal Ercan airport at the Turkish occupied village of Tympou.

    "The newspapers write these things," he said adding that "Famagusta is surely included" in the proposals.

    "Our positions as stated repeatedly by me and the foreign minister, as well as the Greek FM and Prime Minister, remain the same," the president remarked.

    The Finnish Presidency of the EU is conducting negotiations to reach an agreement in order to prevent a crisis between the EU and Turkey.

    The Cypriot government has stressed that the precondition for the success of the Finnish EU presidency's initiative is the return of Varosha to its legitimate inhabitants.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, which provides for the opening of its ports and airports to Cyprus.


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