|Saturday, 25 May 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-07-16
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 16 July 2007 Issue No: 2645
 PASOK party leader addresses 'Symposium of Symi'Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addressed the opening of the "Symposium of Symi" on Sunday night, that is taking place on the islnd of Paros this year, extending his "undivided solidarity" to the Ecumenical Patriarchate which, as he stressed, "is experiencing crucial moments again," while referring to the cancellation of a concert by George Dalaras in Istanbul on Saturday.
Papandreou also said that "at such moments Greece must not remain silent," adding that these days our support must be manifested more directly and should be more visible.
The PASOK leader called on the government to undertake initiatives in defence of the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, both in the framework of the European Union and in meetings and discussions that the EU has with Turkey.
Papandreou further referred to the issue of forest fires, since the main issue of this year's Symposium is the environment. He accused the government of failing to assume its responsibilities on the protection of the environment and of being absent.
PASOK in government, he also said, will assume the responsibility of remedying damage, compensating sufferers and, mainly, creating once again the infrastructures and conditions of security for the citizen and his property.
This year's Symposium is dedicated to Yiannis Diakoyiannis, the inspirer of the Symposium, the journalist who passed away recently.
Papandreou said that the choice of the environment as the main issue at the Symposium took place to highlight a comparative advantage for Greece, as well as an advantage in PASOK's programme speech. He also said that the Symposium will contribute substantively to further shaping PASOK's programme positions.
Attending the Symposium in Paros, among others, are Estonian President Toomas Ilves, Turkish former finance minister Kemal Dervis and Ipek Cem, a journalist and daughter of Turkey's late foreign minister.
Earlier in the day, Papandreou met with local party members and discussed, among other issues, election planning at local level. He said that not even a day must be lost during this summer, adding that the dialogue on the final shaping of regional programmes must be continued.
Among those taking part in the Symposium are 30 internationally acclaimed politicians, business people and academics that include intellectuals, Nobel prize winners and activists, while the symposium is scheduled to end on July 20.
The subject for this year's is the environment and climate change - one that is particularly relevant in Greece after the recent ecological destruction of Parnitha and the unique national park on the mountain by a devastating fire.
Discussion will cover climate change, alternative energy sources, energy security and the so-called "green" economy, divided up into the following units:
"Green Economy: who will lead the next economic revolution?"
After Kyoto: How to design a New World Agreement;
Energy: A safe transition to the future of alternative solutions;
The role of non-governmental organisations in formulating environmental policy; Climate change in the developing world.
In addition to discussions on the central theme of this year's Symposium, there will also be working groups to discuss current international issues, such as political developments in Turkey in view of the parliamentary elections and its relations with the European Union, as well as the role of Russia.
Next Thursday there will be a joint meeting of the Symi Symposium with representatives of Greek environmental organisations that will focus on the role that they can play on deciding policy for the environment.
The aim of this year's Symposium according to an announcement by the Papandreou Foundation, which this year is headed by former minister and veteran PASOK member Costas Laliotis, is to make a decisive contribution to the further discussion and formulation of the party's programme positions and policies for the environment and to further sensitise Greek public opinion on this issue.
It will end next Friday with a speech by PASOK's leader, during which the conclusions of the Symposium will be presented.
The Symposium was organised by the Andreas Papandreou Foundation for the first time in 1998 on the island of Symi, which lent its name to subsequent versions of the event, each year on a different Greek island.
 Alogoskoufis: 'no date ruled out for elections'No date can be ruled out for the next elections, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said in an interview published by the newspaper "Vima tis Kyriakis" on Sunday.
"For me, the requirement is whatever is in the interests of the country so that it is not derailed from its course during the pre-election period," he said.
He remarked that it was "a bad tradition" that whenever elections were held at the end of a government's four-year term then things did not go well, neither for the government nor for the country, while adding that "traditions are there to be broken, even if with difficulty".
Asked about his decision not to stand for ruling New Democracy's Political Council - and the fact that he was the only top-flight minister not to have done so - Alogoskoufis said his current top priority was to focus on his duties within the government and that he felt he had to be devoted to these.
He also underlined there would be none of the pre-election handouts and pledges that were traditionally made prior to elections, and which threw the country's budget off course.
The prime minister's announcements at the ND congress about a national pension and the creation of a fund against poverty "will be carried out over the next four years and will be reforms to the way that our welfare state operates that will bring results," he added.
 EU member-state armed forces participate in French military paradePARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)
The armed forces of all European Union member-states participated in the great military parade held on Saturday for France's National Holiday, commemorating the French Revolution, at the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Greece participated with a company of commandos, while Greek Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis participated in the events, to which he had been invited together with his European counterparts.
Following the "garden party" held at the Elysee Palace, the Greek minister said in a statement to reporters that the invitation by President Sarkozy for armed forces companies from all European countries to participate in the parade was an "excellent initiative."
Meimarakis said that "it was an invitation that we all accepted and for this reason all the defence ministers of European countries are present. I believe that we are sending a message to the European citizen in this way that indeed Europe, step-by-step, can develop even more its relations in security and defence policy, to enable the European citizen to feel even safer."
The defence minister further said that "it was an honour and I felt pride when I saw the Greek flag and the companies of the armed forces with their stature, with the very good pace and the overall presence they had, parading in this great military parade, coming down from the Arch of Triumph."
Lastly, Meimarakis confirmed that Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, will be visiting France on July 30, where they will be holding talks with President Sarkozy.
 KKE leader on reforestationCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said Saturday that it was correct that attention was focusing on the reforestation of Mt. Parnitha and other mountain areas that were devastated in the recent forest fires, "but the issue is that the reforestation should be carried out by state services and not be assigned to private concerns".
Speaking at a press conference just after her arrival at noon at Ioannina airport, the KKE leader added: "And the main issue is what is being done with all the mountains, in other words with those that have not burned and we hope will stay that way. There is a serious issue of ownership which is not being touched on at all, and a census must be made must be made, even under the current status quo, on what belongs to the construction cooperatives, the Church and other agencies, because what is coming over the next years is the cementisation of the mountains, but also the concession of land use to them, to private concerns, tolarge hotel complexes and other activities...".
"Without 100 percent of the proprietorship passing to the state, even if we have no fires, over the next 20 years we will lose the mountains," she concluded.
As the pre-electoral confrontation was climaxing with clashes, sword-crossing, rhetorical schemes and one-liners taken from books and the words of great personalities, "there are issues of which mention is not made and which have expiration dates," she said.
For example, she said, what was the political parties' position on the imminent second Kapodistrias plan (Kapodistrias-2, the legal framework surrounding local government organisation)? She said it entailed a serious change to the administrative structure of the country, and what was of mjor importance was that it would lethally harm such sectors as health, education and welfare, and more generally whatever social infrastructure the country had.
The political parties must take a stand on this, she said, adding that the KKE was opposed to the plan "not only with respect to the organisational scheme, but chiefly with respect to the target and role the change in the country's administrative structure will serve".
"We cannot go to elections discussing issues of the day, no matter how tragic they are there are other issues which, on their side, are equally tragic and will have serious consequences for the Greek people and the situation in the region," Papariga said, citing as an example the Aegean, and putting forward the question on whether the Madrid and Helsinki agreements were still in force, while she also wondered hat the parties' and government's positions were on Kosovo.
Papariga departed after the press conference for Preveza, where she addressed a KKE rally on Saturday night.
 Alavanos visits fire-ravaged Mytilinies on SamosCoalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alekos Alavanos on Sunday paid a visit to the fire-ravaged village of Mytilinies on the Aegean island of Samos, where he again called for coordinated policy to prevent fires and restore burnt forests.
Speaking during the second day of his tour of the island, Alavanos said that "under the policies being followed in the past years, and especially by the government of New Democracy, Greece is turning into charcoal."
He underlined that the current policy for the environment did not yield results and this was also obvious on Samos, which had a huge volunteer movement that was a model for the rest of Greece and fire-fighting aircraft stationed on the island that, however, required an order from Athens in order to fly. SYN's leader pointed out that this wasted valuable time when the fire could be put out at its inception.
"There is a need for a true policy for protecting forests from fire, which means having a single body, in order words to coordinate the fire brigade, the forest service, volunteers, prefectures, everyone," he pointed out.
Alavanos also stressed the need for funds, pointing out that the local forestry service had been virtually left without any money to deal with basic issues chiefly concerning prevention, while local government had neither the right nor the money to intervene, either for prevention but also for fighting fires and then restoring the damage done.
Lastly, he pointed to the need for more staff and repeated a call to give permanent jobs to fire-fighters currently employed through temporary contracts.
Alavanos was briefed by the Pythagoria Mayor and Samos Prefect about the shortfalls, the extent of the damage and the measures that must be taken immediately in order to alleviate serious problems now faced by the area's inhabitants.
 Memorial services for slain during Turkish invasion of CyprusMemorial services were held in Athens and Thessaloniki on Sunday in honour of the Greek-Cypriots that fell during the invasion of the island republic by Turkish forces 33 years ago.
A service was organised at the Athens Cathedral by the Athens Municipality with the support of the Cyprus Embassy in Athens and the Federation of Cypriot Organisations of Greece, which was followed by wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of Parliament.
Attending the ceremony were representatives of the political parties on Cyprus, Greece's military and political leadership, the Cyprus Ambassador, representatives of Cypriot unions and associations and many ordinary Cypriots working in Athens.
The government was represented by Deputy Defence Minister Vassilis Mihaloliakos, while the MP Sofia Voultepsi represented Parliament and New Democracy Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis represented the ruling party. The other political parties were each represented by one of the MPs in Parliament, while the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) was represented by the party's leader George Karatzaferis.
In Thessaloniki, the annual memorial service was held at the Aghios Constantinos Church of the 3rd Army Corps and was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Army's war memorial, while a speech was given by Cyprus's Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Fotis Fotiou.
 Licence for Dalaras concert in Istanbul revokedISTANBUL (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas)
A scheduled concert by renowned Greek laika singer George Dalaras in Istanbul was cancelled after the Istanbul prefecture revoked the licence it had issued for the use of the open-air threatre in the Rumeli Hisar fortress in the European coast of the Bosphorus, it was announced on Saturday.
The concert was to take place in the framework of the 2nd World Congress of Orthodox Youth being organised in Istanbul by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and was to be the closing event of the congress.
Strong protests had appeared in recent days in the Turkish press over the licence granted for the Dalaras concert, given that the Turkish Archaological SErvice has prohibited the use of the theatre in order to protect it.
The Rumeli Hisar is a 15th century fortress built north of Istanbul by Mohamed the Conqueror in order to obstruct the Russian fleet from sailing to Constantinople to enable completion of the siege of the city.
An international dance festival was held at the theatre for several years, until its use was prohibited by the Archaeological Service.
Several Turkish newspapers also protested that the licnece was issued for a concert by Dalaras, whom they described as a nationalist and anti-Turk, noting his membership in organisations supporting Abdullah Ocalan.
 Foreign ministry spokesman on cancellation of Istanbul concertForeign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Saturday commented on the cancellation of a concert due to be held in Istanbul, with the participation of singer George Dalaras, saying that the decision "created justified surprise".
"Today's decision by the Prefecture of Constantinople, with which the scheduled concert of an artist of international recognition and calibre, particularly loved in Turkey as well, causes justified surprise. All that is being expressed as excuses for this decision sound like pretexts," he said.
 World Orthodox Youth Congress ends in TurkeyISTANBUL (ANA-MPA/A.Kourkoulas)
The 2nd World Orthodox Youth Congress, organised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, came to an end at Saint George Cathedral on Sunday.
More than 900 young men and women from all over the world attended mass at the Cathedral and received Holy Communion, as well as pieces of Holy Bread from the Patriarch's hands.
Sunday's experience erased the regret caused for all the Congress members by the cancellation of the concert by Greek singer George Dalaras which was due to take place.
Entertainment will take place for the young people on the Congress premises at the Hilton Hotel with the participation of music groups and of the delegates themselves.
Singer George Dalaras bid farewell to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who gave him a commemorative disc, and returned to Athens, hoping to organise a concert here soon.
 PASOK spokesman visits Kyrkos at hospitalMain opposition PASOK spokesman Petros Efthymiou visited on Sunday evening veteran leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos, on behalf of PASOK leader George Papandreou. at the "Alexandra" hospital in central Athens. Kyrkos was admitted to the hospital after suffering a heart atttack.
 Record trips to Greece by Greek-Australians this yearMELBOURNE (ANA-MPA - S. Hatzimanolis)
Record levels of Greek-Australians are heading back to the mother country to visit this year, according to Australian travel agencies.
They reported that the numbers might have been even higher if those interested were able to find return tickets, since all airlines linking Australia with Greece said they were 100 percent booked for the return flights at the end of August and the beginning of September.
Travel agents said that visits toward Greece had increased by around 10 percent this year and attributed the rise to the strong Australian dollar, which has risen sharply in the past year and gained 15 percent against the U.S. dollar, greatly increasing the buying power of Australian tourists abroad.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.389
Pound sterling 0.683
Danish kroner 7.501
Swedish kroner 9.229
Japanese yen 170.03
Swiss franc 1.671
Norwegian kroner 7.976
Cyprus pound 0.588
Canadian dollar 1.452
Australian dollar 1.600
 Extensive forest fire breaks out on island of SalaminaAn extensive forest fire broke in the location of Batsi on the island of Salamina shortly before 9 on Sunday night. The fire is burning near a residential area. The task of extinguishing the blaze has been undertaken by 54 firemen, backed by eight vehicles and two helicopters.
 Wildfire near Mytilene, Lesvos; fears for homesA strong fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday during the night in an area outside Mytilene on the Aegean island of Lesvos, initially burning mainly pasture and grass lands. Due to strong winds blowing in the area, however, the fire is still burning out of control and there are fears that homes in the refugee settlements of Lagadas and Palies Filakes might be at risk.
The fire broke out at the border between the north diversion around Mytilene and the town.
 Two forest fires break out in Western CreteTwo forest fires broke out in Western Crete on Sunday, that were reported under partial control in the evening.
The first fire started in an inaccessible region in Agia Triada, in the prefecture of Rethimno, at noon. Firemen managed to contain the fire with the assistance of a firefighting helicoper. According to initial assessments, about 15 acres of scrubland were burnt by the fire, but residential areas were not threatened.
The second one occurred at 5 in the afternoon between the settlements of Kathiana and Argoulides, in the municipality of Akrotiri, in the prefecture of Hania. The fire, combatted by firemen and a helcicopter, burnt an expanse of scrubland and small olive trees before reaching the yards of houses, where measures had already been taken to check its advance.
Despite strong winds blowing in the area, firemen succeeded in controlling the fire fairly quickly, since the many roads existing in the area facilitated the access of firefighting vehicles and forces.
 Forest firesA fire broke out in the early afternoon on Saturday in the village of Militsa, in Pylos, Messinia, and was burning a heavily shrubbed expanse of holly bush.
A strong force of 20 firefighters with 9 fire engines and a land team were fighting the blaze, assisted by 4 firefighting airplanes and three helicopters.
Earlier, another new fire broke out in Mesargia, on the island of Andros.
Meanwhile, a fire that had broken out shortly before 3:00 p.m. in a forest expanse near Menidi has been partially contained. The blaze was being battled by 45 firefighters with 15 fire engines, assisted by a land team, two firefighting airplanes and two helicopters.
Also, a fire that broke out at noon in the Spiliadeza area in Keratea had been partially contained a half hour later by a strong team of firefighters, aided by two firefighting planes and a helicopter.
 Man killed, three injured in supermarket fireA 21-year-old man was killed and three people were injured in a fire that broke out early on Sunday in the store rooms of a supermarket on the Veria-Patrida road. The man was working in the store room, while those injured included his father, mother and his wife.
The fire was later placed under control by the fire brigade.
 Fire on Corinth-Tripolis road extinguishedA fire that broke out on Sunday in farm land adjacent to the Corinth-Tripolis national highway, near the Spathovouni toll posts, was quickly extinguished by fire-fighters before it spread very far.
The damage has been confined to a fairly large olive grove and vineyards, while firemen are currently putting out the last of the flames with the aid of two fire-fighting aircraft.
 Fire in Ierissos, Ptolemaida under controlA fire that broke out on Sunday morning in the Stratoni area of Ierissos in Halkidiki was quickly placed under control by six fire engines, a team of firemen on foot and two fire-fighting aircraft from above.
Meanwhile, another fire that broke out in a lumber warehouse in Ptolemaida was successfully put out by five fire engines and 12 firemen.
 British KFOR solder killed in hit-and-run accident in ChalkidikiA young man was arrested by Nea Moudania police on Saturday, accused of hitting a British soldier with his car and abandoning him. The victim died on the spot
The accident occured on the 25th kilometre of the Nea Moudania-Paliouri provincial road, when a car, driven by a 22-year-old man, hit a 24-year-old pedestrian and fled the scene, abandoning the victim. The driver was located by police a few hours later and confessed the hit-and-run.
The victim was later identied as Bret West Malmsley, a resident of Darwin, who was serviing with the KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo and was in Chalkidiki for a brief holiday.
 Sunny, strong breezes on MondayHot weather and high winds are forecast throughout most of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 6-7 beaufort in the southern Aegean. Fine weather forecast in Athens, with winds reaching 5-6 beaufort and temperatures ranging from 22C to 33C. Sunny in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 33C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "High ranking personages in 'pink' lists".
APOGEVMATINI: "Preparations for Archbishop's trip have begun. His departure for Miami planned after August 15".
AVGHI: "NO MORE CHARCOAL".
AVRIANI: "They've locked the elections for 23 September - alarm rung at New Democracy and PASOK headquarters".
CHORA: "Subsidies for home repairs - how owners will be financed".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "One in three wins - On the podium of the prime minister's throne TWO ...LIONS and one LEOPARD".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Double electoral dilemma for Karamanlis-Papandreou: what the politicians are saying behind the cameras".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Parliament not in tune with climate - tally of shame - Among thousands of questions, only 280 concerned the environment".
EPOCHI: "The fall of the two-party system, hope for society".
ETHNOS: "Athens left without oxygen - scientific measurements cause shock".
KATHIMERINI: "Shake up in business arena - upheaval of the previous balances with new players, big risks and new companies".
LOGOS: "On hot coals - until the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
NIKI: "Tight embrace - Refoundation of the State with an army of ND-backed officials"
PARON: "National comedown! Humiliating slap from our partners in Europe as well".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Profitable businesses from the fires in the forests".
THEMA ON SUNDAY: "They're selling Macedonia piece by piece - Karamanlis-Bakoyannis secretly 'giving away' the name".
TO VIMA: "See you in September - Karamanlis holding back - Announcement of elections after August 15".
VRADYNI: "14,600 new jobs for unemployed graduates".
 Cyprus remembers those killed during 1974 military coupNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
Cyprus paid tribute Sunday to those who lost their lives in defending the Republic during the 1974 military coup against the democratically elected President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios.
The wailing of sirens was heard at 08:20 local time, the very time when the coup began, engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece.
The coup was followed five days later by the Turkish invasion, which resulted in the occupation of 37% of the Republic's territory.
A church service for those killed during the coup, officiated by the primate of the church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II, was held Sunday morning at Panagia Evangelistria Church in Nicosia in the presence of President Tassos Papadopoulos, House of Representatives
President Demetris Christofias, Ambassador of Greece to Cyprus Demetris Rallis, leaders or representatives of political parties, other political and military officials and relatives of those killed.
Minister of Education and Culture Akis Kleanthous addressed the ceremony.
President Papadopoulos and other officials laid wreaths at the tombs of those killed defending the Republic, at Saints Constantinos and Eleni cemetery in Nicosia.
 British MPs call for the respect of the Cypriot cultural heritageNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
British MPs called for the respect of the cultural and religious heritage in Cyprus, "noting with concern that up to 100 Christian churches in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus have been stripped by looters".
A draft resolution to the House of Commons, introduced by Labour MP Edward O'Hara and signed by 17 MPs, "notes with concern that up to 100 Christian churches in the occupied north of Cyprus have been stripped by looters of all removable items such as floors, bells, altar tables, iconostaseis and over 23,000 icons for sale in the international art black market".
The draft also notes that many other churches ''are used as stables, barns, cafes, military bases and mosques and that there has been widespread destruction of their associated cemeteries and grave monuments.''
It also ''calls upon all the communities of Cyprus not to use religious and cultural monuments as objects for hatred but to respect them and work together to protect and preserve them as their shared Cypriot heritage.''
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
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