Browse through our General Nodes about Greece A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Thursday, 20 February 2020
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-09-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Saturday, 20 September 2008 Issue No: 3001


  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses official parallel event for World Maritime Day, hosted this year in Athens
  • [02] Karamanlis, Rasmussen meeting in Athens
  • [03] Bakoyannis finds support for FYROM name issue in Paris
  • [04] FM Bakoyannis holds talks with FYROM counterpart
  • [05] NATO DMs hold informal session in London
  • [06] Gov't spokesman: Reforms take centre stage
  • [07] PASOK slams minister over Vatopedio comment
  • [08] PASOK leader hosts dinner for party MPs
  • [09] OA plan the 'only solution', transport minister tells Parliament
  • [10] OA employees protest restructuring plan
  • [11] Deputy FinMin Bezas visits U.S.
  • [12] Deputy Employment Minister Kalantzakou to visit New York
  • [13] President briefed by FinMin
  • [14] Balance of payments' deficit up 12.7% in Jan-July
  • [15] Turnover index in Greek industrial sector up 16.8 pct in July
  • [16] Greek stocks surge 8.68% on Friday
  • [17] ADEX closing report
  • [18] Greek bond market closing report
  • [19] Foreign Exchange rates: Saturday/Monday
  • [20] Major storm front in Greece over weekend
  • [21] Massive tumors removed from patient's ovaries
  • [22] Suspect arrested in Tirana for Athens homicide
  • [23] Minister inaugurates courthouse on Samos
  • [24] US consulate closed on Wednesday
  • [25] Cloud, local showers on Saturday
  • [26] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [27] President Christofias to strive for a just Cyprus settlement
  • [28] Foreign Minister says Cyprus settlement difficult but feasible Politics

  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses official parallel event for World Maritime Day, hosted this year in Athens

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis praised the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for its contribution to reducing maritime accidents as well as for its sensitivity on matters of environmental protection, during an event in Athens marking the IMO's 60th anniversary and the annual World Maritime Day, which is observed this year on September 25.

    Opening the event, which was organized by the Merchant Marine ministry at the Evgenidio Foundation, Karamanlis described the IMO as "an example of multi-sided and institutional cooperation".

    Karamanlis pledged that Greece would assist IMO in every way towards attracting young people to the maritime sector, and suuport efforts for speedy introduction of new technologies.

    The official international celebration of World Maritime Day is the traditional diplomatic reception held annually at IMO's headquarters in London, with national events taking place in many countries throughout the world, but since 2005 an official parallel celebration is hosted in a different IMO member country each year, with Greece the host of the official parallel events of the 2008 celebration.

    The past host cities have been Lisbon, Singapore and Sao Paolo.

    IMO secretary general Efthimios Mitropoulos, addressing the event, noted that this year it was Athens' turn to host the parallel celebration, adding that it was a pleasant conjuncture that IMO was celebrating its 60th anniversary in the service of maritime, in 2008, in a country with a top maritime tradition.

    Mitropoulos stressed the strong environmental awareness of modern-day shipping and pledged that one of IMO's fundamental priorities will be to reduce gas emissions by merchant vessels, while he also outlined IMO's significant initiatives for combatting the phenomenon of modern-day ship piracy.

    The parallel celebration closes on Saturday with special events in Galaxidi.

    The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry's contribution towards the world's economy, especially in shipping. The event's date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September. The IMO will celebrate World Maritime Day on September 25 in 2008.

    The theme for World Maritime Day 2008 is "IMO: 60 years in the service of shipping". This theme was chosen as an appropriate way in which to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the IMO Convention (1948) and the 50th anniversary of its entry into force (1958). The celebrations will coincide with the 100th session of the IMO Council, which will be held from 16 to 20 June 2008 and, at the same time, with the Organization's return to its refurbished Headquarters building.

    [02] Karamanlis, Rasmussen meeting in Athens

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday received his Danish counterpart Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a meeting focusing mainly on European issues, energy policy and climate change.

    "It is absolutely clear that international cooperation is imperative in order to deal with these huge [environmental] problems," Karamanlis stressed after the meeting.

    The two premiers also noted the excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and Denmark and a common desire to develop these further, particularly in the areas of trade, investments and research, while they also discussed the prospects of joint business projects in shipping.

    On a European level, Karamanlis and Rasmussen discussed the fate of the Lisbon Treaty and its implementation after it was rejected in an Irish referendum, the issue of EU enlargement and the latest developments in the Western Balkans, and the situation in the Caucasus in view of Greece's upcoming presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    Karamanlis said that he outlined Greece's positions concerning the dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and attempts to find a solution, and briefed Rasmussen on the latest effort to negotiate a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Immigration, asylum and European-wide cooperation to guard the EU's external borders, which is a matter of particular interest to Greece, were also covered during their talks.

    Karamanlis said that the crucial question of combating climate change and dealing with environmental threats was emphasised during the meeting, with the two sides discussing possible cooperation between Greece and Denmark in the use of renewable energy sources.

    The impact of the current global economic crisis on Europe and the priorities for protecting the dynamism of Europe's economies and providing relief to its more vulnerable groups was another issue discussed at length, the Greek premier added.

    Replying to reporters' questions, Karamanlis said that Europe did not face problems on the same scale as the U.S. but only problems that arose as result of the crisis in the U.S. financial system, adding that the EU had rules allowing it to play a regulatory role in the financial sector.

    Like Karamanlis, the Danish premier emphasised the importance of action against climate change and the need for Europe to lessen its energy dependency on fossil fuels by adopting renewable energy sources.

    On the issue of illegal immigration, Rasmussen spoke up in support of effective repatriation policies for illegal immigrants, while he categorically condemned Russia's actions in violating the sovereign rights of Georgia.

    In response to questions, meanwhile, he ruled out standing for the post of NATO secretary-general at this time, saying that he wanted to remain in his position as Denmark's prime minister.

    A working dinner for the two premiers and their delegations followed the meeting.

    [03] Bakoyannis finds support for FYROM name issue in Paris

    PARIS (ANA-MPA - O. Tsipira)

    After a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in Paris on Friday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kuchner expressed support for Greece in its ongoing dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name issue but stressed the need for a speedy resolution of the problem.

    "I want to say that we support Greece, because we have always done so, and that we also want the problem to be solved. In fact, we want it resolved as soon as possible because we do not want to remain trapped for long - it has already taken far too much time - and hope that we will have progress in the next weeks," Kuchner said when asked if the name issue was discussed.

    The French minister also stated that the name issue was a "common problem" that concerned the entire EU and underlined that there was not a single point of disagreement between France and Greece on any issue.

    Kuchner said that his meeting with Bakoyannis had focused on a number of thorny issues for the Community, such as the policy that the European Union must adopt regarding Georgia up until October 15, especially in view of the UN General Assembly in New York the coming week and the EU-Russia meeting next Tuesday.

    "We talked at length about what can be done and what is provided and specified under the six-point agreement signed by [Russian President Dmitriy] Medvedev, [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili. This demands major work and it is imperative that we be together, France and Greece," he said.

    Bakoyannis expressed satisfaction with her meeting with Kuchner and praised France for "very specific initiatives" taken at a difficult time for Europe and the world.

    She said her meeting with her French counterpart had also provided an opportunity to outline Athens's position regarding the latest developments surrounding the Cyprus problem, relations between Europe and Turkey and, of course, the progress of talks on the name dispute.

    "It was a very useful discussion. Greece and France, as Mr. Kuchner himself said, have common positions and for us this cooperation is very important," Bakoyannis added.

    She also announced that she will make statements concerning Greece's relations with FYROM after her meeting with FYROM's foreign minister Antonio Milososki at around 19:00 on Friday evening.

    [04] FM Bakoyannis holds talks with FYROM counterpart

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/O. Tsipira)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met with her Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Antonio Milososki here on Friday, on the sidelines of her visit to the French capital. The meeting lasted for half an hour.

    Replying to a question on whether the meeting means the beginning of negotiations on FYROM's name issue, the Greek minister said: "I wish to be clear. The process that exists under the auspices of the UN is not being replaced. The foreign ministers talk and I have declared that I am open. Greece is present and it is discussing in good faith and with a clear will."

    Bakoyannis further said that "the essence, however, is that the two countries are turning up to negotiate. To negotiate within the known frameworks of the UN." The minister added that the Greek side intends to table views, observations and comments on the latest ideas submitted by UN mediator on the issue Matthew Nimetz.

    "Negotiating is continuing. The aim is the finding of a mutually acceptable solution," she added and, referring to her meeting with Milososki, stressed that it was an open and good discussion that was held in a good climate.

    "Greece has turned up for this negotiating with good faith, determined to do what it can for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution in the framework of the known Greek position: A name with a geographical qualifier for all uses," Bakoyannis concluded.

    Milososki said on his part that "as we are all aware, the issue of the name is an issue that is not easy to be resolved. In the interests, however, of both sides, of 'Macedonia' and of Greece, this discussion remains open. And for this reason this meeting was held today at my initiative."

    [05] NATO DMs hold informal session in London

    The informal session of the NATO Alliance's defence ministers came to an end on London on Friday, with the participation of Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis. The session focused on issues concerning the Alliance's development.

    Meimarakis said in his address regarding NATO's development and its new Administration Structure that the advantages of the equal distribution of the administration structure's posts are clearly greater and much more important than economising through cutbacks in human potential.

    [06] Gov't spokesman: Reforms take centre stage

    A government spokesman on Friday dismissed queries referring to "shakiness" of the ruling New Democracy government, speaking during a regular press briefing and amid recent opinion polls showing ND as trailing main opposition PASOK.

    Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos declined to comment on questions citing personal attacks against him in press, countering that the government is focused on its reforms, such as privatising Olympic Airways, education reform, ports privatisation and the recent ratification of a treaty for the South Stream pipeline.

    [07] PASOK slams minister over Vatopedio comment

    Main opposition PASOK on Friday strongly criticised a comment by Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis regarding the Vatopedio Monastery affair, saying that it was tantamount to interference with a judicial investigation of the case now underway.

    "I would ask the justice minister, instead of jumping to conclusions that fly in the face of logic, to let Justice get on with its work and stop dictating to judicial officials where the case should and should not go," PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou said.

    The spokesman had earlier pointed to press revelations that prime pieces of land given by the Greek State to Vatopedio monastery had not been exchanged for lake-side properties on the shores of Lake Vistonida, as asserted, but "the actual contents of the lake".

    "In the face of self-evident responsibilities of highly-placed government officials, the justice minister stated in Parliament the inimitable: "the whole affair was committed, carried out and completed under PASOK," the spokesman said, repeating PASOK's demand that the file on the case be sent to Parliament.

    "There are political responsibilities and Parliament must seek them," he added.

    [08] PASOK leader hosts dinner for party MPs

    "The latest developments reveal the true face of the ruling New Democracy (ND) party," main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou said on the sidelines of a dinner he hosted Thursday night for his party MPs participating in the third summer recess session of parliament.

    Speaking to reporters, Papandreou pointed out that two factors have played a decisive role in this revelation, namely, the people's awareness and the systematic effort made by PASOK to bring the problems to light.

    Referring to the results of recent opinion polls, Papandreou said that they are the reflection of the governmental policy and the problems faced by the people.

    He said that the top issues for PASOK are the "people's finances" and the "lack of a social state", stressing that if the sectors of health and education were functioning properly the people would feel less burdened. He also pointed out that PASOK's priorities were on transparency and unemployment.

    Financial News

    [09] OA plan the 'only solution', transport minister tells Parliament

    The government's plan was the only way for Olympic Airlines to emerge from a long-standing impasse and the most beneficial for the state and Greece's ailing national carrier, Transport Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said in Parliament on Friday. The minister was replying to a question tabled by main opposition PASOK.

    Hatzidakis defended the proposed solution as permanent and viable, repeating that the new company would retain the airline's name and logo, that all its assets would be used and the airline's current flights and slots retained, while the investors would be expressly required to continue flights to the islands and all the airline's current employees could be assured of a job.

    He stressed that the government was confident that an investor would be found to buy the newly formed company minus OA's current debts.

    Responding to PASOK claims that the plan was doomed to failure and would "bury the national carrier" while creating a private monopoly, the minister urged patience and asked opposition MPs not to rush to pessimistic conclusions that generated insecurity for the airline's staff.

    He also emphasised the very serious problems that the airline had inherited from the past:

    "Olympic, in its present form, cannot become a profitable enterprise - under no government, under no minister, in no country," Hatzidakis underlined.

    PASOK could not even convince its own supporters that the airline did not have serious problems, the minister added.

    "You are trying to convince us that the world is flat and that the sun rises from the west. But reality is recalcitrant. OA is the only company in the EU that keeps making a loss, the only one facing so many problems and with four negative rulings against it for illegal state subsidies," he added, while also pointing to PASOK's three failed restructuring programmes and three abortive attempts to privatise the airline.

    He stressed that OA was only able to stay afloat with the infusion of tax-payers' money, since 36 out of every 40 foreign flights and many subsidised domestic flights were currently operating at a loss. The minister also played down the repercussions for tourism, pointing out that 90 percent of tourists arrive using other airlines.

    The government plan came under strong fire from former transport minister Christos Verelis, who claimed that his own failed attempt to privatise the airline under PASOK had fallen foul of the EU partly due to the actions of New Democracy MEPs. In later statements, Verelis also predicted "negligible chances of success" for the plan because the timing had been missed and it was "already collapsing".

    "I doubt if Olympic will fly. And I doubt whether anyone will be found to put their money in this company. You have come to manage the funeral march," the former minister said.

    [10] OA employees protest restructuring plan

    A group of Olympic Airlines (OA) employees on Friday held what union representatives called the first of several mobilisations to protest a government restructuring programme aimed at privatising the ailing national air carrier.

    Protesters held a demonstration on Friday morning outside the company's headquarters on Syggrou Avenue in downtown Athens, blocking traffic on the major thoroughfare. According to OA's unions, however, strikes will not be called during the mobilisations.

    Protesters later attempted to reach the offices of Pantheon Airways, the successor vehicle that will replace debt-ridden OA but retain the assets, name and logo of the currently state-run company for prospective investors.

    The development coincided with the mass mailing of letters by the transport ministry, signed by Minister Costis Hatzidakis, in fact, towards every OA employee.

    Three different letters were sent out, one to pilots, another to permanent staff and another to seasonal contract employees.

    Among others, the minister reiterated that no employee will be left jobless, regardless of position or tenure, noting the options that will be available to them, namely, voluntary retirement, transfer to the wider public sector or hiring by OA's successor company.

    [11] Deputy FinMin Bezas visits U.S.

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    Deputy Finance and Economy Minister Antonis Bezas said here on Friday that so far the Greek economy is showing strong resistance, meaning it has not experienced considerable repercussions due to the international economic crisis and this is mainly due to the shielding of the economy that has been achieved with the changes and reforms made since 2004.

    Bezas referred to the course and prospects of the Greek economy and to the role of the ethnic Greeks, both in boosting the economy and in promoting the national issues of Hellenism.

    During his meeting with his compatriots at the "Ipirotiko Spiti" in Astoria, Bezas had the opportunity of exchanging views on many issues concerning the region of their origin and the problems facing the ethnic Greeks.

    Bezas met during his visit to the United States with his U.S. counterpart responsible for taxation issues in the U.S. and with officials of the International Monetary Fund, while also having the opportunity of meeting Greek American politicians, such as congressmen Costas Bilirakis, John Sarbanes and Zacharias Space.

    [12] Deputy Employment Minister Kalantzakou to visit New York

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    Deputy Employment & Social Protection Minister Sofia Kalantzakou will head a delegation to New York to project the prefecture of Messinia, Peloponnese.

    Kalantzakou will speak as the government's representative at the conference of New York University (NYU), on September 25-26, on the theme "From slavery to freedom: Ancient Messini and cities of Messinia".

    The main speaker at the conference will be Archaeology professor Petros Themelis, while taking part will be distinguished academics from the United States.

    During their presence in New York, Kalantzakou and the members of the delegation will meet with Archbishop of America Demetrios, Consul General of Greece, Agi Baltas and officials of Greek-American agencies.

    [13] President briefed by FinMin

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Friday received economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis, who briefed him on economic developments, particularly following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank on Wall Street.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Alogoskoufis noted that for the past year a major crisis has hit the international credit system, coupled by an exacerbation in inflation worldwide, while referring to the recent developments in the US, he said that the crisis that started out in the US has impacted the entire world, since it has resulted in an increase in interest rates but also a lack of capital liquidity on the markets.

    Regarding the impact in Europe, Alogoskoufis said that there was stagnancy in many economies during the first six months and an increase in inflation. Referring to the Greek economy in particular, he said repercussions were chiefly in interest rates and inflation, which in turn affect households, the public finances, and the economy in general, and also growth.

    The minister added, however, that the effects on the Greek economy were much smaller compared with other economies, and it was important that the guidelines set out by the government's economic staff be continued with consistency and continuity, so that growth would continue and the problems of inflation and rising interest rates could be ameliorated.

    [14] Balance of payments' deficit up 12.7% in Jan-July

    Greece's balance of payments' deficit widened by 12.7 percent in January-July 2008, compared with the same period last year, the Bank of Greece announced on Friday.

    The central bank, in a report, attributed this negative development to an explosive increase of international oil prices, with fuel imports totaling 9.55 billion euros in the seven month period, up 45 percent from the corresponding period last year.

    The Bank of Greece said the country's trade deficit widened by 19.5 percent. Exports receipts grew 13.9 pct, while import payments rose by 10.1 percent in the January-July period, while the services balance's surplus grew by 966 million euros, reflecting a 24.3-pct rise in shipping receipts, while gross receipts from tourism rose by 5.9 pct, or 382 million euros.

    The incomes balance's deficit widened by 893 million euros, reflecting an 18.7 pct rise in net payments on interest, dividend and earnings, while the current transfers' surplus jumped 80 pct to 1.085 billion euros, reflecting a significant increase in the transfer of EU money to the general government.

    The capital transfers balance showed a surplus of 2.585 billion euros in the January-July period, up by 95 million euros compared with the same period in 2007, while the financial transactions' balance showed a net inflow of foreign direct investments totaling 2.8 billion euros.

    [15] Turnover index in Greek industrial sector up 16.8 pct in July

    The turnover index in the industrial sector jumped 16.8 pct in July, compared with the same month last year, the National Statistics Service said on Friday. The statistics service, in a report, said that the turnover index was up 4.7 pct in July 2007. The average turnover index in the industrial sector in the 12-month period August 2007-July 2008, was up 11.8 pct, from 3.3 pct last year.

    The new orders index in the industrial sector jumped 11.4 pct in July, after a decline of 0.6 pct in July 2007, with the 12-month average index rising 2.7 pct.

    [16] Greek stocks surge 8.68% on Friday

    Greek stocks surged ahead in the last trading session of the week as the Athens Stock Exchange followed a spectacular rebound of prices in international markets following news of a US government plan designed to put an end to the credit crisis.

    The composite index jumped 8.68 pct to end at 3,209.26 points, with turnover soaring to 588.9 million euros, of which 25.1 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Financial Services (14.15 pct), Banks (13.07 pct), Telecommunications (6.45 pct), Technology (5.96 pct), Food/Beverage (5.72 pct) and Constructions (5.59 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index soared 10.64 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 4.59 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 4.29 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 255 to 16 with another 17 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +3.35%

    Industrials: +5.50%

    Commercial: +2.72%

    Construction: +5.59%

    Media: +3.28%

    Oil & Gas: +3.65%

    Personal & Household: +5.06%

    Raw Materials: +5.27%

    Travel & Leisure: +3.32%

    Technology: +5.96%

    Telecoms: +6.45%

    Banks: +13.07%

    Food & Beverages: +5.72%

    Health: +2.53%

    Utilities: +4.01%

    Chemicals: +4.48%

    Financial Services: +14.15%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank and OTE.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 16.00

    ATEbank: 2.21

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.16

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.00

    National Bank of Greece: 31.60

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 14.08

    Intralot: 6.88

    OPAP: 23.48

    OTE: 14.52

    Piraeus Bank: 17.22

    Titan Cement Company: 25.98

    [17] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday, with turnover a strong 306.779 million euros. The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 1.03 pct and the October contract on the FTSE 40 index at a discount of 0.86 pct.

    Volume in futures contracts on the Big Cap index totaled 31,489 contracts worth 268.528 million euros, with 39,364 open positions in the market, while on the Mid Cap index volume was eight contracts worth 144,705 euros, with 17 open positions.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 50,023 contracts worth 47.813 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Marfin Popular Bank's contracts (6,868), followed by Eurobank (2,246), Marfin Investment Group (2,214), OTE (3,966), PPC (2,057), OPAP (1,038), Piraeus Bank (1,002), National Bank (4,444), Alpha Bank (2,617), Intracom (5,975), GEK (1,146), Mytilineos (2,556) and ATEbank (5,471).

    [18] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 500 million euros on Friday, reflecting a turn of investors to more quality securities. The 10-year benchmark bond (August 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security of the day with a turnover of 95 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 0.90 percent, with the Greek bond yielding 4.99 pct and the German Bund 4.09 pct.

    In money markets, interest rates moved slightly higher. The 12-month Euribor rate was 5.41 pct, the six-month rate 5.23 pct, the three-month rate 5.0 pct and the one-month rate 4.63 pct.

    [19] Foreign Exchange rates: Saturday/Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.435

    Pound sterling 0.793

    Danish kroner 7.519

    Swedish kroner 9.614

    Japanese yen 154.25

    Swiss franc 1.610

    Norwegian kroner 8.324

    Canadian dollar 1.527

    Australian dollar 1.764

    General News

    [20] Major storm front in Greece over weekend

    Inclement weather is forecast early Saturday throughout most of the country with heavy rains and gusty winds expected to reach 8 on the Beaufort scale.

    On Saturday, heavy rains and storms are expected initially in the Ionian Sea, western mainland and the western Peloponnese, which will gradually spread to the rest of the mainland and islands. The eastern Aegean and Dodecanese will be affected in the early morning hours on Sunday.

    Én the greater Athens area, heavy thunderstorms are forecast for much of Saturday and early morning Sunday.

    [21] Massive tumors removed from patient's ovaries

    Two huge tumors weighing 24.5 kg and 4.5 kg were surgically removed from the ovaries of a 52-year-old woman in northern Greece, according to reports on Friday.

    For almost two-and-a-half years the woman, who lives in the northern city of Serres, gained weight rapidly and watched her abdomen swell inexplicably, although she said she was afraid to seek medical attention.

    Doctors at the Serres Hospital said the specific incident is very rare due to the size and weight of the growths, while nevertheless stressing that the woman was very lucky because biopsies showed that both tumors were benign.

    [22] Suspect arrested in Tirana for Athens homicide

    Cooperation between Greek and Albanian law enforcement authorities netted one suspect in Tirana accused of involvement in the shooting death of a 23-year-old man in Athens more than four years ago.

    The 33-year-old suspect, an Albanian national, was nabbed on Friday after presenting local authorities with fake ID papers. An international arrest warrant had been issued for the suspect, while Greek authorities have already requested his extradition.

    Akritas Savouras, the son of former New Democracy deputy Ippocratis Savouras, along with a friend had met with the suspect and another two foreign nationals to reportedly settle "personal differences", when an exchange of gunfire broke out. Besides Savouras, an Albanian national was killed in the incident.

    [23] Minister inaugurates courthouse on Samos

    The new courthouse on the eastern Aegean island of Samos was inaugurated on Friday by Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis in the presence of political, judicial and local authorities. The minister underlined the importance of an independent justice system, stressing that its role in democracy is fundamental. The fully renovated 1,320-sq.m. three-storey courthouse is already in use.

    [24] US consulate closed on Wednesday

    The consular department of the United States embassy in Athens will be closed to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, for internal administrative reasons, according to an embassy press release.

    The routine closure occurs on the last Wednesday of every month and includes the non-immigrant visa unit (i.e. tourists and students), immigrant visa unit, federal benefits unit, American citizen services unit, and passport unit.

    For emergencies during the 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. working hours on this day, call 210.721.2951 and after 5 p.m. on 210.720.2490, or 210.720.2491

    Weather Forecast

    [25] Cloud, local showers on Saturday

    Cloudy weather and local showers with northeasterly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, with wind velocity reaching 4-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 9C and 27C. Cloudy weather and local showers in Athens, with 4-5 beaufort northeasterly winds and temperatures ranging from 16C to 24C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 12C to 19C.

    [26] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    New poll results indicating for the first time that main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou is most suited for prime minister, the Vatopedi monastery case, press speculations of in-party dissent in ruling New Democracy (ND) and of a government reshuffle dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Polls' result indicates Papandreou as the most suitable for prime minister".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Evidence on Vatopedi monastery revealed - Metropolitan of Xanthi testified in 2002 to Supreme Court's prosecutor that former PASOK minister Apostolos Fotiadis gave away the Vistonida Lake properties to Vatopedi monastery".

    AVGHI: "Government paralyzed in the feace of profiteering - Development Minister Christos Folias admits failure".

    AVRIANI: "Intense backstage activity for foundation of a new party, as polls indicate the two mainstream parties (ND and PASOK) dropping under 30 percent" in opinion polls.

    CHORA: "People demand reversals - The negative for the government poll results call for devastating changes on the individuals on the front stage of the political scene".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Expel the yes-men and the Golden Boys (yuppies in the government)".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Double blow for the government from the new poll results and deputies' uprising".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Second shock for ND - Poll result gives 1.8 percentage point lead to PASOK ".

    ESTIA : "What ND had pledged - The governmental platform was not followed".

    ETHNOS: "Rebels and polls confuse ND - Agonizing calls to Karamanlis for government reshuffle".

    KATHIMERINI: "The reversal of the political climate is a difficult quandary for Karamanlis".

    LOGOS: "Poll results: Karamanlis intervention is mandatory - The financial crisis a sharp blow for the government".

    NIKI: "Karamanlis' rapid decline (in popularity) - The MPs' cries of despair multiply".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga says at press conference: We must ruin government's plans on OA with a united popular struggle".

    TA NEA: "Karamanlis sinking in Vatopedi 'quagmire' - Poll: PASOK, Papandreou take the lead".

    TO VIMA: "Karamanlis to seek a life raft in parliament - Maximos mansion (premier's office) ready to expel rebels and seek vote of confidence".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [27] President Christofias to strive for a just Cyprus settlement


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias assured on Friday that ''with confidence and a shield of principles and values of international law and human rights, we will give the last of our resources for final justification and the materialisation of our vision, a reunited Cyprus, in which Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be masters of their homeland and will be able to build their peaceful future.''

    Speaking at an anti-occupation event organised by the municipality of Famagusta, which has been fenced off since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's northern third, President Christofias said he was attending direct talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat ''with good will and the political sincerity necessary for a dignified and viable compromise.''

    ''With the necessary flexibility and good will we will exhaust every margin of our resources and potential in order to keep hope alive and achieve the successful outcome of the talks. However, at the same time we strongly reiterate that we remain constant and focused on the basis and the principles of a Cyprus settlement,'' he added.

    President Christofias said that in this effort ''we expect all to act in the same spirit of good will and compromise, and we credit the Turkish Cypriot side with good will and hope that it is attending with political will, so that the talks have a positive outcome.''

    He noted that Turkey has an important role to play and said ''we expect the international community to act with determination and exert its influence'' on Ankara.

    Referring to Famagusta, he said ''Turkey continues to hold it hostage and use it as a negotiating card in efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem,'' totally ignoring its obligations emanating from high level agreements and UN resolutions.

    President Christofias assured that ''we will never stop having the issue of the return of Famagusta high in our priorities,'' noting that ''at the right time it will be raised at the negotiating table and we expect the Turkish Cypriot side to see it positively, as a gesture of good intention and a confidence building measure.''

    ''We insist that the solution must come from the Cypriot for the Cypriots. We seek, along with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, to determine the future of our homeland and reach a solution that will serve the interests of the Cypriots and not third parties,'' he pointed out.

    [28] Foreign Minister says Cyprus settlement difficult but feasible


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said on Friday that the process to solve the Cyprus problem will not be easy, noting that, although there is still a gap to bridge in many vital issues, it is feasible to do so.

    He added that the time needed to solve the problem depended on the Turkish Cypriot side. Kyprianou explained that if the Turkish Cypriot side observed the agreed principles, a settlement could be found soon, but if it continued its current approach, it would take much longer.

    Kyprianou was speaking during a meeting with foreign officials who have been invited by the municipality of Famagusta, which has been fenced off since the 1974 Turkish invasion, to attend anti-occupation events on September 19 and 20.

    The minister congratulated the municipality for its initiative to organise the events, which he described necessary and useful.

    Referring to Famagusta, Kyprianou said the Greek Cypriot side has always insisted that the matter of the fenced off town could be settled prior to a Cyprus solution, and expressed hope that through the new process of direct talks currently underway, Famagusta would be returned to its legitimate residents as a confidence building measure.

    On the Cyprus problem in general, Kyprianou said the solution should provide for a bizonal bicommunal federation, noting that the Greek Cypriot side was attending the talks with good will, in order to achieve a settlement that would be functional and serve the interests of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    He added that the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities are being carried out in a good climate, under UN auspices, with an aim to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

    Kyprianou also referred to the role of Turkey, which had to be constructive, adding that Cyprus is an EU member state and thus did not need guarantor powers.

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

    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

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ana2html v2.01 run on Monday, 22 September 2008 - 20:06:20 UTC