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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-01-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Wednesday, 2 January 2008 Issue No: 2784


  • [01] PM Karamanlis' message for New Year
  • [02] Greek President Karolos Papoulias' message for New Year
  • [03] Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou's message for New Year
  • [04] Left parties New Year messages
  • [05] Greek stocks end 2007 with 17.86 pct gain
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [07] Crime lab's report on Zachopoulos' DVD handed to judicial magistrate
  • [08] Fatal car crash near Thessaloniki
  • [09] Flights cancelled at Ioannina airport due to fog
  • [10] Cloud, rain on Wednesday
  • [11] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [12] New era dawns on Cyprus with the euro, says President
  • [13] President's New Year message Politics

  • [01] PM Karamanlis' message for New Year

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated his determination to carry on with reforms, in his New Year message released on Monday

    "On Sept.16 2007 you have sent us a direct mandate: To carry on with the changes and accelerate the reforms. Your mandate is a commitment for me. My power and my support is the confidence you show me. Today, once again I assure you that I am determined to preserve this relationship of confidence and trust. Nothing and no one can cast shadows over this pact of honour that we have co-signed. I am and we are in a constant clash with phenomena of corruption.

    "The New Year arrives full of challenges. For all of us! I am sure that with the same feeling of social responsibility and solidarity that we showed in the preceding years, we can, all of us together, take Greece further and higher.

    Happy New Year."

    [02] Greek President Karolos Papoulias' message for New Year

    President of the Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias called for social justice and a new enviromental mentality in his New Year message released on Monday evening for the New Year.

    "I wish to everyone peace and happiness for the New Year.

    "These days our thoughts are with people that need us. To those who suffer from illness, poverty and loneliness, who have lost hope and faith that better days will come..We owe them fellowship, care and struggle for social justice.

    "These days are not only days of consumption but must also days for contemplation. Everyone of us must look near and around him and focus on working children, unemployed,elderly that can't live on their pension and immigrants who are trying to find a new homeland. No society can trully prosper if there are dividing lines and contradictions. No society can progress without virtues and ideals, if the personal prospect does not identify with the whole world's dreams for tomorrow.

    "This past year was marked indelibly by August's devastating wildfires. The houses will be rebuilt but the lost human lives will not return and the ecological destruction will be difficult to restore. We must have passion and commitment to turn burned land into a forest again, a new enviromental attitude is needed in order to avoid a new disaster in the future.

    "This summer changed us. We lost the illusion that climate change is a phenomenon that is far from us, that doesn't touch us personally and directly. This awakening must be the beginning of redefinition of our social culture. The ecologic conscience of each and every citizen and his mobilisation in enviroment's protection is the only way to save nature. We have inherited a wonderful nature and are responsible to preserve it for future generations and history if we must hand it over the way we received it.

    "With these thoughts I wish to all of you a Happy New Year."

    [03] Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou's message for New Year

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou stressed in his message for New Year that a just future for us and our children cannot be built with policies and governments that are part of the problems. With governments which instead of serving values govern for the sake of power. A better future can't be built with governments which cover-up scandals, appoint friends, shamelessly engage in political favouritism, make the powerful even more powerful and forget the weak, do not respect people's money and choose the favourites rather than the best.

    [04] Left parties New Year messages

    The Leftist parties in their message for the New Year focused on the elimination of bipartisanism and the protection of people's rights.

    On behalf of the Communist party of Greece (ΚΚΕ) the Central Committee's secretary general Aleka Papariga asked 2008 to be the year of counterattack against government's pending reforms and outlined that the party's enhancement and the elimination at the same time of bipartisanism must be broadened and added that the success of the general strike against government's reforms showed strength.

    The Central Political Committee of SYNASPISMOS stressed in its message that this passed year we all became wiser. We realised that we can't keep on living disregarding the climate change, the fear of unemployment, the loss of our dignity and the diminishment of democracy. A radical reverse is mandatory and must be our only aim.

    Financial News

    [05] Greek stocks end 2007 with 17.86 pct gain

    The Athens Stock Exchange extended its bull run for the fourth consecutive year, ending 2007 with a net gain of 17.86 percent. The composite index of the market ended the last trading session of the year with a 0.52 percent increase at 5,178.83 points although turnover was a new low for the year at 144 million euros, of which 10.2 million euros were block trades.

    The higher closing mainly reflected gains in certain blue chip stocks, such as PPC (up more than 3.0 pct), Motor Oil, OPAP and Marfin Investment Group. Viohaclo, Hellenic Petroleum, Mytilineos, Hellenic Telecoms, Alpha Bank, National Bank, Eurobank, Cyprus Bank and Postal Savings Bank were also among gainers, while Hellenic Technodomiki, Intralot and Marfin Popular Bank were among top losers.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 172 to 64 with a total of 21 stocks recording gains ranging from 5-29.19 percent.

    Kathimerini (+10.16 pct)m Tsoukaridis, Vell Group, Aspis Insurance, Compucon, Sato, GEK and Thessaloniki Water were top gainers.

    The FTSE 20 index ended the day 0.40 percent higher, the FTSE 40 index rose 0.89 percent and the FTSE 80 index was up 0.98 per cent.

    Main indices ended as follows:

    FTSE ASE Intl 7,297.52 +0.47%

    FTSE ASE 140 6,219.28 +0.49%

    Banks 7,296.42 +0.16%

    Insurance 5,959.38 +3.43%

    Financial Services 10,544.95 +1.28%

    Industrial Products 7,982.01 +1.04%

    Commerce 7,990.73 +1.46%

    Personal/Home Products 8,018.95 +1.35%

    Food/Beverage 10,109.20 +0.22%

    Raw Materials 7,713.75 -0.03%

    Constructions 6,015.79 -0.31%

    Oil 4,476.18 +0.56%

    Chemicals 12,890.36 -0.56%

    Media 5,505.62 +0.76%

    Travel 5,591.38 +0.95%

    Technology 4,037.19 +0.60%

    Telecoms 6,937 +0.81%

    Utilities 9,418.33 +3.05%

    Healthcare 16,861.74 +0.06%

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.481

    Pound sterling 0.740

    Danish kroner 7.516

    Swedish kroner 9.523

    Japanese yen 167.4

    Swiss franc 1.673

    Norwegian kroner 8.037

    Cyprus pound 0.589

    Canadian dollar 1.450

    Australian dollar 1.686

    General News

    [07] Crime lab's report on Zachopoulos' DVD handed to judicial magistrate

    Police crime lab's report about a tape containing private scenes of former culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos was handed on Monday to the judicial magistrate.

    The judicial magistrate will order in the following days, the release of phone-records in order to ascertain Zachopoulos' contacts before his fall.

    Meanwhile, the prosecutor Panagiotis Athanassiou called three journalists to give testimony on the case.

    [08] Fatal car crash near Thessaloniki

    Two men 22 and 31 years-old were killed and three other were injured in a crash between a car and a taxi that occurred early Monday morning near Thessaloniki, northern Greece.

    [09] Flights cancelled at Ioannina airport due to fog

    All morning flights to and from Ioannina airport were cancelled on Monday due to fog. The passengers continued their trip by car as all following flights were fully booked.

    The fog cleared at 12 noon and all flights are carried out regularly.

    Weather Forecast

    [10] Cloud, rain on Wednesday

    Cloudy and rainy weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Wednesday, as well as snow in eastern Macedonia and Thrace, with wind velocity reaching 4-6 beaufort. Temperatures in Athens ranging from 3C to 10C, and in Thessaloniki from -3C to 4C.

    [11] The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Government's economic policy for 2008, political developments, the alleged case of blackmail at a former Culture Ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos who remains hospitalised after a fall from his fourth-floor apartment and the efforts to curtail bureaucracy dominated headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    AVGHI: "Bad start to the New Year for bipartisanism- 2008: the year of the Left parties"

    KATHIMERINI: "Incomes and taxes for 2008- 3 per cent raise in wages-6.2 billion euros additional tax revenues"

    LOGHOS: "Social security issue, national air carrier Olympic airways and foreign policy are government's main issues for 2008".

    NIKI: "Corruption at a peak- The scandals bear PM Costas Karamanlis' seal".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist party of Greece central committee's message for the New Year-2008 will be the year of counterattack for the working class families' rights and for popular authority"

    TO VIMA: "2008 will be the year of changes in the new political landscape".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [12] New era dawns on Cyprus with the euro, says President


    The introduction of the euro in Cyprus, on January 1st 2008, marks the beginning of a new era for the Republic, full of hope and changes for the better, President Tassos Papadopoulos has said, as he welcomed the country's new legal tender.

    ''If our accession to the European Union is rightly considered as a great achievement, our entry to the eurozone and the adoption of the euro, can be justifiably described as an even greater deed," the President said in his brief remarks.

    The government and the people of Cyprus have every right to be proud of this achievement and feel vindicated, he added.

    "The last day of 2007 is the last day of the Cyprus pound - as of tomorrow the euro will be part of our lives as the official currency of the Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the European Union," he said as he withdraw the first euro banknotes from an ATM machine at the Ministry of Finance.

    Speaking at a special ceremony to welcome the new year and the euro, President Papadopoulos said ''tomorrow marks not only the beginning of a new year but also the start of a new era for Cyprus, a hopeful era for the Cypriot citizen, the European Cypriot citizen."

    "The introduction of the euro is not simply a change of our national currency, it is in essence a change of the way of life, the crown of our European identity, the culmination of a correct fiscal policy, which we have followed with consistency and responsibility over the past few years,'' he added.

    Cyprus, he noted, has managed, with the help of all the social partners and the political parties, to meet the criteria for entry into the euro-area.

    The President referred to the economic achievements that have led the country to the euro-area - lower inflation, a drop in interest rates, a reduction in the fiscal deficit, restriction of public debt and stability in the exchange rate.

    ''As of tomorrow, our lives will change gradually for the better. The euro will secure currency stability, open new horizons for the local economy and bring European citizens closer," he said.

    President Papadopoulos thanked all those who have worked very hard to make the introduction of euro in Cyprus a reality.

    "A happy New Year with the good new currency," he wished everybody.

    [13] President's New Year message


    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has expressed hope that a functional and viable solution will become a reality in 2008, saying he would contribute to this goal with "reasonable proposals" and "with an initiative to facilitate effective implementation" of a UN agreement, reached in July last year between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

    The President also said that the objective is to ensure the survival of the Republic of Cyprus and the physical and natural survival of Cypriot Hellenism, stressing that a bad solution in Cyprus would consolidate and legalise the prospect of destruction.

    Addressing in particular the Turkish Cypriots, Papadopoulos assured them of his sincere friendship, saying that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can, working together, demolish the wall of artificial division and build a happier future for everybody in a common reunited homeland, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    In his New Year message, President Papadopoulos, says ''we look forward, with faith and optimism, to ensuring peace and safety in our divided country through a truly viable and functional solution to our national problem that will reunite our people and our land.''

    To safeguard this, he President points out, ''we will continue to work hard, with a sense of responsibility rather than with improvisations and with consistency rather than with vacillation.''

    We shall try to achieve this, he says, with prudence and a constructive spirit, rather than through vague words and experimentation.

    "The main and pivotal question is not how to prove Turkish intransigence and Turkey's negative stance on the Cyprus problem.

    This intransigence and negative stance has been repeated and escalated for 33 years now. Turkey's goals on Cyprus are not a mere suspicion, they are a manifest policy," he adds.

    Papadopoulos stresses that Turkey's goals for the division of Cyprus must be rendered unattainable and its intransigence must be curbed so that in 2008 the road will open for a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ''To open up this road, we must urgently start and productively engage in substantial negotiations on fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem that may bring the commonly accepted framework for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem,'' he adds.

    President Papadopoulos notes that ''the Gambari agreement (the July agreement of 2006) provides both the principles as well as the correct procedure for a proper preparation, so that the negotiations may be substantial and productive, leading to a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem.''

    ''We have both the strategy as well as the alternative proposals for properly solving the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem. This solution cannot be the outcome of abstract initiatives or ceremonial and social meetings that may create fleeting impressions but cannot produce substantial results.''

    Our exclusive aim, he continues, was and still is to find a compromise solution, which however will be workable and viable.

    Accepting the demands of the other side simply "to close at long last" the Cyprus problem does not constitute a proper and advisable prospect.

    ''Our firm position was and still is a solution based on a bizonal and bicommunal federation with the right content of each term, but surely not a settlement in which federation will simply be a pseudonym of division,'' the President stresses.

    President Papadopoulos points out that ''in the New Year we will renew and intensify our efforts in order to fully materialise the July 8 Agreement. The entire international community insists on promoting the implementation of this Agreement. We also persist precisely on fulfilling this goal.''

    ''We will not abandon and render useless an important tool for making progress, which we have achieved, simply because the Turkish side does not wish to honour its signature. We will not limit ourselves to the demand that the Turkish side should comply with the provisions of this Agreement. At the right time and with the appropriate preparation we shall proceed to taking initiatives, through specific and reasonable suggestions, that will facilitate the effective promotion of the agreed procedure'', the President says.

    We are not going to stop our efforts just because the Turkish side refuses to fulfill the commitments it has undertaken, he says, adding that we will move to every direction with alternative and very reasonable proposals, certainly not aiming at creating impressions but at contributing practically to opening up the road that will lead us to a solution through substantive and fruitful negotiations.

    ''Our firm position has always been that a solution to the Cyprus problem can be achieved only through an honest and productive dialogue. With attempts for the political upgrading of the pseudo-state and with voices for the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, we can neither make progress in the dialogue nor facilitate a solution. It is also certain that neither a correct dialogue nor a correct solution can be achieved by making reductions from our correct positions and by retreating from our just demands,'' Papadopoulos points out.

    The fact that due to the unacceptable Turkish stand and attitude an early and correct solution to the Cyprus problem is blocked, does not mean that we are obliged to ''close'' the Cyprus problem with a distorted compromise just for the sake of time, the President says.

    ''Our effort does not aim at winning time but losing the substance.

    Our effort aims at safeguarding the survival of the Republic of Cyprus and the physical and national survival of Greek Cypriots in our country. If the passage of time consolidates the fait accompli of the invasion and occupation, a bad solution consolidates and legalises the prospect for destruction,'' he stresses.

    Our target has always been to find a functional and viable solution as soon as possible, he remarks, adding that ''if a solution is to be found soon, this depends on the Turkish side. We shall continue making efforts to break the deadlock and reach a correct solution, based on UN principles and the values of the European Union.''

    Speaking on the adoption by Cyprus of the euro as the official currency, on January 1st 2008, President Papadopoulos said ''in a few hours we shall witness the fulfillment of our great strategic target of acceding to the euro-zone through the introduction of the euro as the national currency of the Republic of Cyprus.''

    ''Apart from the obvious economic benefits that the introduction of the euro will bring to the citizens and the economy of our country, there are also political benefits. The foundation is laid for a unified economy with a common currency. Tiny Cyprus enters the 'heart' of Europe with a strengthened role and say,'' he adds.

    President Papadopoulos underlined that the most basic prerequisite for succeeding in our effort and struggle is the political unity of our people and a commitment to reach a solution that will guarantee the best future of a European Cyprus.

    In his New Year message, the President of the Republic expressed his best wishes to the refugees, the Greek Cypriots living in Turkish occupied Cyprus, the relatives of missing persons, the young people serving in the National Guard and the entire people of Cyprus.

    Concluding, the President of the Republic sent out the following message to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots: ''On this happy occasion, I wish to reassure them of our feelings of sincere friendship and I repeat that through mutual understanding and cooperation we can and must bring down the walls of this artificial division and build a happy future for all in a reunited homeland where Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins will live free and secure, enjoying the fruits of peace, prosperity and progress.''

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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