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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 25 August 2008 Issue No: 2978


  • [01] Bakoyannis: FYROM PM's comments undermine 'name issue' talks
  • [02] Ecumenical Patriarch, UN envoy Nimetz meet on Mt. Athos
  • [03] PM to hold meetings ahead of TIF address
  • [04] ND, PASOK secretaries' press comments
  • [05] KKE head criticises Olympics
  • [06] PASOK MP airs concern over symbolic attempt to reach Gaza Strip
  • [07] Activists' boat to return to Cyprus from Gaza
  • [08] Summer camps overseas Greek children
  • [09] Dozens of illegals intercepted over weekend
  • [10] Large group of illegals arrested on Lesvos
  • [11] More illegal migrant arrests reported
  • [12] Fake travel documents lead to arrests
  • [13] Event on Greek immigration in Buenos Aires
  • [14] Fair on Monday
  • [15] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance Politics

  • [01] Bakoyannis: FYROM PM's comments undermine 'name issue' talks

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Sunday called the latest eyebrow-raising comments over the weekend by the premier of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) regarding the thorny "name issue" as utterly provocative and intransigent.

    Moreover, in response to press questions and only days after a UN special mediator visited both Skopje and Athens, Bakoyannis emphasised that FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had proceeded with "actions and statements aimed to undermine the (name issue) negotiations even ahead of his recent most recent meeting with (UN mediator) Mr. (Matthew) Nimetz."

    "The intransigent and provocative statements by Mr. Gruevski are beyond any moderation. They simply confirm the difficult position in which he himself has chosen Mr. Gruevski is committing a serious error. Responsibility for whatever involvement in the negotiations, and by extension, his country's European and Euro-Atlantic course, is exclusively his responsibility," Bako-yannis said in response to press questions dealing with the latest developments in the still unresolved "name issue" between Athens and Skopje.

    Gruevski comments

    Bakoyannis sharply reacted to statements a day earlier by the recently re-elected Gruevski, who among others opined that Athens' latest insistence over the 17-year-old "name issue" stems from that the fact a "major scandal erupts in Greece every two weeks", while the head of government of the small landlocked country to Greece's north initially expressed a view that "Greece has deep and major problems".

    In an ANA-MPA dispatch from Skopje, Gruevski attempted to counter last week's high-profile statement in Skopje by Nimetz, saying his government considers a new name for the one-time Yugoslav republic for all international uses as "unacceptable", merely adding that the object is a name that EU member-state Greece will use in bilateral relations.

    "For us it is unacceptable and thus we stopped there. Certain aspects of Nimetz's ideas were interesting, we've reviewed and analysed them. Nevertheless, one of the aspects which we could not approve and for which we said there was no point in going further was that," Gruevski was quoted as saying by local media, during a tour of a Roman-era archaeological site in the country.

    Furthermore, the FYROM premier said he advised Nimetz that it would be best if he could persuade Athens over his "double name solution", namely, retaining the country's "constitutional name" for all international purposes with only a "mutually acceptable solution for communication with Greece".


    Referring to the same issue, a top main opposition PASOK deputy and former minister also sharply criticised the FYROM PM's statements.

    "Mr. Gruevski has confirmed, with his statements yesterday, the views of all of Greece's political parties, namely, that he wants to divert the dialogue from within the framework of the United Nations," Loverdos, a former deputy foreign minister with extensive involvement in Greek-FYROM relations, said on Sunday.

    "The reason for these evaluations (by Greek political parties) emanates from the commencement of an international letter-writing campaign by Mr. Gruevski ... It is obvious that the nationalistic spiral of the government in Skopje lessens the prospects for a solution to the problem of FYROM's name," he concluded.

    [02] Ecumenical Patriarch, UN envoy Nimetz meet on Mt. Athos

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos (Bartholomew I) briefly met with UN special mediator for the FYROM "name issue" Matthew Nimetz on Saturday in the semi-autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos. The "primus inter pares" of Eastern Orthodox patriarchs arrived in the monastic community to attend events at the Dionysiou Monastery.

    Nimetz, who held talks with the Greek envoy in the negotiations, Amb. Adamantios Vassilakis, a day earlier in Thessaloniki, arrived in Mount Athos for a private visit accompanied by Vassilakis and Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria Mihail.

    In a brief comment to attending reporters, the American diplomat said he provided the Ecumenical Patriarch with an overview of the ongoing talks between Athens and Skopje, while adding that Vartholomeos also offered his encouragement and support in his diplomatic mission.

    According to press, reports the two men also discussed issues dealing with other Orthodox churches in the region, peace and human rights.

    [03] PM to hold meetings ahead of TIF address

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will have a series of meetings this coming week, beginning on Monday, with representatives of production sectors, chamber leaderships and union leaders, as well as with meetings with top ministers, all ahead of early next month's keynote address at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). The latter trade show traditionally serves at the venue where Greek prime ministers unveil their government's economic priorities and strategy for the upcoming year.

    [04] ND, PASOK secretaries' press comments

    Both secretaries for two large mainstream political parties, ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK, were quoted in an Athens daily on Sunday, with ND Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis dismissing the latest press speculation regarding early elections, a recurring theme in many Athens dailies' political coverage in non-election years.

    In referring to the ongoing difficult international economic situation, Zagoritis said the government is working hard to push through with its reforms and changes.

    Meanwhile, PASOK secretary Yiannis Ragoussis stressed that "all of our cadres realize that the party cannot suffer another (election) defeat", whereas the country's good demands that the next government be led by PASOK. He also projected that PASOK will win the most votes in the 2009 Euro-elections.

    Both men were quoted in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia".

    [05] KKE head criticises Olympics

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, attending an event in the Piraeus-area municipality of Nikaia on Sunday to commemorate the 1944 Kokinnia blockade and massacre during the Nazi occupation of Greece, predicted a worsening of working people's living standards in the coming months, while separately, she sternly lashed out at the the modern Olympic Games.

    Focusing on the issue of doping and the Olympic, Papariga said that "the question is that the role and whatever value the Olympic Games had is over," adding that "we must disengage ourselves from this institution."

    She further said that top performances in search of medals are "being encouraged by banks, industries."

    [06] PASOK MP airs concern over symbolic attempt to reach Gaza Strip

    A top PASOK deputy on Saturday expressed the main opposition party's concern over the sailing of two wooden vessels (traditional caiques) attempting to reach the Gaza Strip, as part of efforts by a local peace initiative to symbolically reach the territory's coast, which is being patrolled by the Israeli navy.

    Former minister Andreas Loverdos said the symbolic nature of the two vessels' sailing should under no circumstances entail any danger for human life.

    Loverdos said Israeli authorities have reportedly jammed the vessels' communications, preventing even the possibility of sending out a distress call, "something that creates increased concern on what can follow".

    [07] Activists' boat to return to Cyprus from Gaza


    One of the two wooden vessels (caiques) that arrived on Saturday afternoon in Gaza, part of an effort to symbolically bypass an Israeli blockade, will attempt to return to Cyprus on Tuesday carrying 10 Palestinians students, according to reports.

    The two boats, carrying 46 peace activists, arrived without incident in the Gaza Strip from Cyprus on Saturday, despite warnings from Israeli officials. Thousands of Palestinians were on hand at the Gaza Strip's fishing port to welcome the activists.

    Speaking to the CNA from Gaza, one of the activists, Israeli professor Jeff Halper said that "we broke the siege of Gaza ... the reason Israel let us through was because we did not constitute a security threat."

    "Israel has no right not to allow free movement in the region as long as a ship, or an airplane, or a traveller does not constitute a security threat and is willing to be checked for weapons," he added.

    He announced that one of the two boats that arrived last night in Gaza will attempt to return Cyprus on Tuesday carrying 10 Palestinians students, adding that "this is a test of breaking the siege".

    General News

    [08] Summer camps overseas Greek children

    Summer camp programmes organised by foreign ministry's overseas Hellenism department for expatriate Greek children from all over the world have concluded for 2008, the ministry announced on Sunday.

    About 700 children of Greek origin from 61 countries and aged between 8-12 stayed at the foreign ministry's summer camps in the towns of Malesina, central Greece, and Epanomi, in the prefecture of Thessaloniki. Children attending the programmes took in Greek language lessons, visits to archaeological sites, history and mythology lessons and various recreational activities.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis attended the farewell event at one of the summer camps, where he stressed that "it is moving to see Greek children from every corner of the earth coming and spending three weeks full of Greece. They learn Greek, they stage an ancient tragedy, and learn traditional dances and songs."

    [09] Dozens of illegals intercepted over weekend

    A total of 110 illegal immigrants were intercepted and arrested throughout the weekend in nearly a half dozen instances in eastern Aegean waters and on islands in the region, including 21 would-be migrants attempting to approach the island of Samos on Sunday, one of the favorite "targets" of foreign nationals attempting to illegally land on Greek islands via Turkey.

    Two alleged migrant smugglers were also arrested. All of the detained individuals were identified as Third World nationals, while authorities said the groups of would-be migrants had disembarked from the opposite Turkish coast by paying migrant smugglers a fee.

    Finally, port authorities in the city of Patras, western Greece, arrested a 24-year-old foreign driver on Saturday afternoon, as well as four other foreign nationals riding with him on charges of possessing forged travel documents with the intent of leaving the country illegally.

    [10] Large group of illegals arrested on Lesvos

    A total of 42 illegal immigrants were intercepted and arrested overnight Saturday and in the morning in three separate instances on and around the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos.

    In two instances, the illegals were detected aboard flimsy vessels attempting to approach Greek, and by extension, EU territory. Thirty-two illegals, all described as Third World nationals, were spotted in the Eptalofos site on Lesvos.

    Coast guard officials said the would-be migrants claimed they had disembarked for the opposite Turkish coast in an attempt to cross-over into Greece.

    [11] More illegal migrant arrests reported

    Port authorities in the city of Patras, western Greece, arrested a 24-year-old foreign driver on Saturday afternoon, as well as four other foreign nationals riding with him on charges of possessing forged travel documents with the intent of leaving the country illegally.

    In another development, a coast guard vessel intercepted a dinghy in the sea region off the small isle of Farmakonissi early on Sunday that was being piloted by a 30-year-old foreign national and carrying 19 illegal immigrants -- 11 men, two women and six minors.

    According to reports, the vessels had entered Greek territorial waters from the Turkish coast with the intent of landing on a Greek island, probably Leros.

    [12] Fake travel documents lead to arrests

    Three Albanian nationals were arrested on Saturday at a border station in northwestern Kastoria prefecture for possessing fake consular documents, with the men later telling authorities that the bogus travel papers were purchased from a compatriot in Albania at 1,000 euros a piece.

    [13] Event on Greek immigration in Buenos Aires

    A cultural event entitled "The Greek Immigrant: Travel Through Time and Emigration" will be organised on Sunday at the Argentina's National Library in Buenos Aires by the expatriate NGO Nostos.

    The event will be held under the auspices of the Greek embassy in Argentina.

    Weather Forecast

    [14] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather with northwesterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 3-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 18C and 37C. Fair in Athens, with 3-4 beaufort northerly winds and temperatures ranging from 25C to 37C. Northwesterly 5-6 beaufort winds in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 23C to 33C.

    [15] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    Political developments in the country, ubiquitous press speculation over early elections and the state of the economy again dominated the front pages of Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Cyprus outdoes Greece" in reconstruction efforts in wildfire-stricken areas of Ilia prefecture.

    APOGEVMATINI: "State benefits locked" ahead of PM's address at upcoming international exhibition in Thessaloniki.

    AVGHI: "Economy collapses. High prices for all, skyrocketing public debt".

    AVRIANI: "(PM Costas) Karamanlis' business with (Russian counterpart) Putin has enraged US side".

    CHORA: "Stop to auctions, foreclosures envisioned in new draft bill".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: The newspaper banners a headline referring to a recent decision allowing students to opt out of theology classes in high schools, sans students of the Muslim minority in Thrace.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Investigation on doping ring in the city".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Summer hike in fixed (mortgage) interest rates".

    ETHNOS: "Four-month attack aimed at pension reform".

    KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis on the road to political clash with guilds, professional special interests"

    LOGOS: "Government readies new sets of social spending packages".

    PARON: "On the verge of an overthrow, Karamanlis' lack of resoluteness for clashes accelerates collapse."

    PROTO THEMA: "80 percent pay hike-provocation by MPs".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Apocalypse now for working classes' living conditions".

    TO VIMA: "Mr. Karamanlis doesn't want early elections but... he's afraid of Siemens case, economy".

    VRADYNI: "Free housing by state organisation".

    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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