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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-09-29

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

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

Monday, 29 September 2008 Issue No: 3008

CONTENTS

  • [01] Bakoyannis ends UN visit with round of contacts
  • [02] Papandreou address in Astoria, NYC
  • [03] KKE's Papariga calls for 'new political solution'
  • [04] LA.OS leader sees early elections
  • [05] PASOK ahead in latest opinion polls
  • [06] Dep. FM visits Beloiannaz village in Hungary
  • [07] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in Armenia
  • [08] President inaugurates gallery exhibition in Metsovo
  • [09] Tourism minister opens Kapodistrias exhibition in Nafplio
  • [10] Woman's body found in Olynthos
  • [11] Car torched in petrol bomb attack in Athens
  • [12] Civil servants get jail time for driving licence scam
  • [13] Greek Superleague results
  • [14] Rain and showers
  • [15] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Bakoyannis ends UN visit with round of contacts

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA - P. Panagiotou)

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis ended her visit to the United Nations in New York on Saturday afternoon with a round of contacts prior to addressing the 63rd UN General Assembly.

    Among these was a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and meetings with her counterparts from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Brazil and Egypt.

    Her talks with Babacan focused on relations between Greece and Turkey, the Cyprus issue and the situation in the Caucasus, particularly Georgia.

    In statements afterwards, the two ministers reported having had a "friendly discussion" and expressed support for the efforts being made by the two communities on Cyprus to solve the problem.

    Bakoyannis said that she and Babacan had had "a very good meeting and an opportunity to discuss Greek-Turkish relations and the effort to further improve these.

    In the meeting with the UN Secretary-General, the discussion focused on the general re-organisation of the UN, the Cyprus issue and the progress of efforts to resolve the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through a UN-mediated process.

    Bakoyannis said she was given an opportunity to once again remind the UN chief of Greece's positions on the Cyprus problem, an issue of particular interest to Greece, and to brief him on the progress of the talks over the name issue.

    "I also discussed an invitation for a major conference we are preparing in Greece in 2009 on immigration issues that we hope the Secretary-General can attend," Bakoyannis added.

    FM refers to Cyprus problem, Turkey's EU course in UN address

    Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon, the Greek FM spoke at the 63rd UN General Assembly in New York, where she opened her address by quoting Sophocles, "to err from the right path is common to all mankind."

    She stressed that Greece subscribes wholeheartedly to the goals of limiting damage from the worst of those errors and lives up to the mandate of the United Nations. "My government subscribes to the views in the address delivered by Nicolas Sarkozy of France in his capacity as President of the EU," she said.

    "In such critical times", Bakoyannis added," individual countries have two choices: We can look inward to pursue narrow self-interests and promote nationalist goals to distract our people from the world's dangers. Or we can look outward, open our minds and our boundaries, engage and motivate our people to understand the only way to deal with the threats before us is to face them together" adding "The Greek people have chosen the second course because our history and our character demand it. We were the first society to develop the ideals that free people throughout the world now cherish-democracy, equality, individual rights. In our more recent history we suffered numerous wars and bitter poverty and privation. Yet we endured, and in time we managed to make our way back to those ideals we first professed".

    Concerning Greece's neighborhood, Bakoyannis expressed her pleasure on Croatia's and Albania's accession to NATO, outlining that Greece will welcome FYROM to the alliance when a mutually acceptable solution is reached on the "name issue".

    Greece, Bakoyannis said, will continue to be guided by the letter and the spirit of Security Council Resolutions 817 and 845 on the issue, "and I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the U.N. Secretary General and his personal envoy, Mr. Mathew Nimetz, for their commitment and tireless efforts to settle the dispute."

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, the Greek FM expressed her certainty that modern Turkey, with a clear European orientation, will add "to the stability of the western Balkans and Greece will support Turkey's European aspiration as it moves to meet the prerequisites set out in the negotiating framework of the European Union but the peaceful settlement of disputes with other nations are in the essential preconditions and the occupation of over one- third of Cyprus is a serious obstacle."

    Bakoyannis welcomed the recent decision by Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to resume negotiations, under the auspices of the U.N. Secretary General adding that a viable solution can be achieved by the Cypriots themselves through negotiations between the two communities without artificial deadlines and arbitration.

    Continuing her speech, Bakoyannis referred to climate change saying that a new, truly global, agreement must be achieved in 2009." In this agreement we need to have ambitious binding mitigation targets, but we also need a much stronger effort on adaptation, where there is a huge deficit between the needs and the actual financing provided. A deficit exasperated by the fact that no matter what we do we are locked in for significant climate change in the next three to four decades, which is going to especially affect the least developed countries. It is an unjust reality that those that are least to blame for the creation of the problem are to suffer most. Greece is moving to face this challenge. We have signed this week in New York agreements with the African Union and CARICOM, for the funding of adaptation projects and plan to do that also with the Alliance of Small Island States, providing a total amount of 20 million euros, for the next 4 years. One might argue that this is just a drop in the adaptation bucket. It is however a drop in an empty bucket".

    On the South Ossetia conflict, Bakoyannis said Greece's position on this crisis is rooted in the principles that have always guided Greece's foreign policy - peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states.

    "In both the EU and NATO, we supported the six-point Agreement that helped end conflict in the area, but we are anxious to see measures that will alleviate the anger and mistrust that now pervade the region."

    Concerning the broader Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Greek Foreign Minister stressed that it is at the root of most of the problems and the region requires a comprehensive and lasting solution. "I think that we all agree that the Peace Process, re-launched last year at the Annapolis Conference, has the potential to achieve tangible results and merits the strong support of all of us where on Lebanon, we welcome the election of President, the formation of the national unity government and the resumption of the national dialogue. Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected in conformity with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions".

    On regional security, Bakoyannis stated that Greece is preparing to assume the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe next January. "The OSCE, the world's largest regional security organization, can be a forum for frank and fruitful talk on security issues and can contribute effectively to such crucial concerns as early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation."

    Bakoyannis urged the UN to strengthen its efforts to alleviate the bitter poverty that still grips many parts of the world, expressing her regret the lack of progress in the Doha round talks. "In 2000 we agreed on the Millennium Development Goals, probably the most ambitious development project ever undertaken by man. Time-wise we are half-way there. Yet, a lot remains to be done. The progress achieved so far is jeopardized by higher prices - particularly of food and oil - and the global economic slow down. Our success will be judged primarily in Africa.

    "We believe that one way to help jump-start development in Africa is to involve women in the economy more extensively. Providing women entrepreneurial opportunities at local, national and regional levels will allow them to strengthen their role in society, increase their involvement in education, and ultimately allow them to play a more active part in decision making. As the French social theorist Charles Fourier said more than 200 years ago ... The extension of women's rights is the basic principle of all social progress."

    Concluding Bakoyannis spoke of migration, saying that Greece aims to provide a platform to explore solutions and initiatives for the benefit of all countries and especially for the immigrants themselves, reminding that Greece will host the 3rd Global Forum on Migration in the fall of 2009, as she urged the international community to show its strong commitment to combating terrorism while protecting human rights and the rule of law.

    [02] Papandreou address in Astoria, NYC

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA - F. Karaviti)

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou addressed a gathering of Greek-Americans in New York's Astoria district on Saturday night, focusing on issues like voting for Greeks living abroad, major foreign policy issues and the global credit crisis.

    Reminiscing about his own experiences as a Greek living abroad, he stressed the need for Greek expatriates to feel proud of their country and accused the present government of lacking a plan or a vision and of "having done everything to make us lose our self-confidence and make us feel pessimistic and miserable."

    Referring to domestic issues in Greece, the main opposition leader stressed that people were tired of a constant stream of scandals:

    "We do not want to deal with scandals. This is not Greece. Greece belongs to the Greeks with decency, pride, values and certainty about the future. For this reason we must - and I have made repeated proposals on this to the prime minister - work together to strike at corruption, introducing rules for the operation of the state," he stressed.

    The state in its current form did not protect the weak or public property, or the institutions, forests and beaches of the Greek people, he added.

    Regarding the global financial crisis, Papandreou said this was not a crisis that concerned numbers or statistics so much as values and democracy, adding that it was mirrored in the neo-liberal climate currently prevailing in Greece.

    "This happens when a party becomes bound to big interests that are not interested in the good of the people and do not reflect democratic institutions. We hope for a democratic overthrow in Greece but also in America," he added.

    PASOK's leader, also current president of the Socialist International, then referred to an SI initiative to create a committee under Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz to chart a "road map" for emerging from the present economic crisis.

    Papandreou devoted some time in his speech to the Cyprus issue, stressing that it was unacceptable that the island republic was still under occupation in 2008, as a member of the EU:

    "Today, a window of opportunity is opening. The president of the Cyprus Republic, Demetris Christofias, is a leader with broad horizons and goals, who has succeeded in gaining the respect of the international community," he said. Papandreou also stressed his close personal ties of friendship with the Cyprus president and expressed his own and PASOK's full support for Christofias' efforts.

    PASOK's leader appealed to Turkey to "finally allow the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots solve their problems by themselves, without outside intervention, so the island can be reunited." He also called on Turkey to respect the decisions of the United Nations and the rules of the EU and to withdraw its troops.

    Regarding the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Papandreou said the results so far had been disappointing and repeated his position, calling for a composite name using a geographic determinant for all occasions, without any double names.

    He stressed that PASOK was displeased with the course taken by the negotiations for the name dispute, especially after the new proposals made by the UN mediator that he said linked the name issue with issues of minorities.

    On the vote for Greeks abroad - and in reply to government claims that PASOK was stalling and blocking the relevant legislation - Papandreou said his party had been the first to open the way for an expatriate vote, but disagreed with the draft bill presented by the government, which he claimed would amount to no representation for Greeks abroad.

    [03] KKE's Papariga calls for 'new political solution'

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Sunday said that people's anger over the latest demonstrations of political corruption should lead to "another solution" for the country's political life and problems.

    "From the righteous rage and popular outrage let there arise another way for the struggle, which has at its heart the problems of the people of labour, in factories, in businesses in all sectors," KKE's leader said while speaking in the village of Pertouli, Trikala prefecture.

    She was in the area in order to attend an event dedicated to a WWII-era partisan army (ELAS).

    [04] LA.OS leader sees early elections

    The head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party George Karatzaferis on Sunday predicted a high likelihood that the country would go to early elections that would result in a left-leaning coalition government.

    Speaking at an event in Hania, Karatzaferis said the country was not being governed effectively and claimed that a government arising from the collaboration of main opposition PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party would be "catastrophic" for the country.

    [05] PASOK ahead in latest opinion polls

    Main opposition PASOK and its leader George Papandreou moved ahead of ruling New Democracy and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in the latest opinion polls published on Sunday, especially on by the firm V-PRC in the Sunday issue of the newspaper "Eleftherotypia".

    According to its findings, PASOK is ahead of ND by two points as the party most people believe would win the elections, with 34.5 percent predicting a PASOK victory over 32.5 percent for ND.

    Another four parties receive more than 3 percent of voter support, the minimum required to get a seat in Parliament: Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 8 percent, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 14 percent, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 4.5 percent and the Ecologists-Greens with 4.5 percent.

    When asked to choose between Karamanlis leading ND or Papandreou leading PASOK, 36 percent of those asked voted for the prime minister, 41 percent for the main opposition leader and 20 percent for neither.

    According to an opinion poll conducted by Public Issue concerning the leadership profile of the political leaders, published in the Sunday "Kathimerini", Karamanlis retains his lead over Papandreou in the area of leadership qualities, with 45 percent seeing him as a strong leadership figure against 18 percent for Papandreou.

    In reply to a question on who could best deal with the problem of corruption, however, Papandreou was ahead with 34 percent against 21 percent for Karamanlis.

    PASOK's leader was also seen as "closer to the people and better able to understand their problems" by 48 percent of those asked, against 15 percent for Karamanlis.

    In an opinion poll conducted by ALCO on behalf of the newspaper "Proto Thema", 62.3 percent of those asked said that the government spokesman and Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos should resign, while 27.1 percent said 'no' and 10.6 percent replied 'don't know/won't answer'.

    [06] Dep. FM visits Beloiannaz village in Hungary

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis visited on Sunday the small community of Beloiannaz (Beloyannis) in central Hungary, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its establishment by civil war-era Greek political refugees.

    The village was built in 1952 and is located 60 kilometers east of Budapest. Today one third of the residents are of Greek origin.

    Kassimis was received warmly, attending a reception organised by the village's youth. He also toured the village and reiterated that "Greece will always stand beside you and for us you are the best link between the two countries".

    On Monday, Kassimis will meet with his counterpart Márta Fekszi Horváth, Minister to Prime Minister Ferenc Gemesi and representatives of expatriate Greek groups in Hungary.

    [07] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in Armenia

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos (Bartholomew I) arrived for an official visit to Armenia on Saturday, where from Yerevan he expressed his brotherly wishes towards the Armenian people.

    Vartholomeos' visit to Armenia comes on the occasion of his participation in Armenian Patriarchate services, while he also expressed his satisfaction on at his first visit to the Caucasus country.

    "I am specifically happy because a dialogue between Armenia and Turkey has begun," he said, outlining an initiative by Armenia's president, who invited his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on the occasion of a national football match, thereby, contributing to a rapprochement of the two countries.

    [08] President inaugurates gallery exhibition in Metsovo

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated the exhibition "Portrait of a Museum" in the Averoff Gallery in the mountain village of Metsovo in Ioannina, which opened its doors to the public over the weekend.

    The inauguration ceremony on Saturday was part of a series of events held to mark the 20th anniversary since the gallery was opened and the centenary since the birth of its founder Evangelos Averoff.

    [09] Tourism minister opens Kapodistrias exhibition in Nafplio

    An exhibition on the life of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of the modern Greek state, was inaugurated in the coastal city of Nafplio in the Peloponnese over the weekend by Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos.

    The exhibition was organised by the branch of the National Gallery based in Nafplio, in collaboration with the local municipality and the Ioannis Kapodistrias institute. The exhibition is entitled "Ioannis Kapodistrias: first martyr of Greece" and was opened on Saturday night.

    General News

    [10] Woman's body found in Olynthos

    The body of a woman in her early 30s, believed to be a foreign national, has been discovered in a rural area in Olynthos, Halkidiki prefecture, police announced on Sunday.

    They said the body was found by a passer-by on Saturday, who immediately alerted the police.

    An investigation has been launched, while the estimates of the woman's age and the fact that she was not Greek were made by the coroner that examined the body.

    Her death was caused by severe cranial injury caused by blows to the back of her head, her face and her torso.

    [11] Car torched in petrol bomb attack in Athens

    Unidentified culprits armed with petrol bombs torched a car belonging to a private security firm shortly after 15:00 on Sunday afternoon. The car was parked at 93 Solonos Street in central Athens at the time. The group also vandalised a nearby bank branch and then fled toward the Athens district of Exarchia.

    [12] Civil servants get jail time for driving licence scam

    Four civil servants working at the Trikala transport department received prison sentences ranging from 24 to 48 months for violations involving the issue of driving licences, according to an announcement on Sunday.

    The sentences were handed down by a Trikala misdemeanours court, which found that the former supervisor and three members of staff were guilty of illegally issuing driving licences to three applicants in January 2003.

    All four were set free pending appeal.

    Sports

    [13] Greek Superleague results

    Olympiakos Piraeus acquired a co-occupant atop the Greek Superleague standings over the weekend as it left two points on OFI Crete's pitch on Saturday in a 0-0 tie. Meanwhile, PAOK Thessaloniki joined Olympiakos atop the standings with a 1-0 home victory on Sunday against cross-town rivals Aris Thessaloniki.

    Results of the 4th day of the Greek Superleague:

    OFI Crete - Olympiakos 0-0

    Panserraikos Serres- Larissa 1-3

    Iraklis Thessaloniki - Panthrakikos 0-0

    Levadiakos - Asteras Tripolis 1-0

    Panionios - AEK 2-2

    Xanthis - Thrasyvoulos 1-0

    PAOK Thessaloniki- Aris Thessaloniki 1-0

    The match Panathinaikos Athens - Ergotelis Crete will be held on Oct. 29, 2008.

    The standings after four matches:

    OLYMPIAKOS 10

    PAOK 10

    XANTHI 9

    AEK 8

    ERGOTELIS 7 (3 matches)

    LARISSA 7

    LEVADIAKOS 7

    PANATHINAIKOS 6 (3 matches)

    PANIONIOS 5

    ASTERAS 4

    ARIS 3

    PANSERRAIKOS 3

    OFI 3

    IRAKLIS 2

    PANTHRAKIKOS 1

    THRASYVOULOS 0

    Weather forecast

    [14] Rain and showers

    Rain and showers are forecast on Monday, especially on the mainland, with weak northerly winds and temperatures ranging from 10C to 25C. Clouds and showers in Athens, with temperatures from 15C-23C; more of the same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 14C-18C.

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

    The latest domestic political developments and the crisis within the ruling party, the repercussions of the global credit crunch, the scandal over controversial property exchanges between the state and a Mouth Athos monastery (Vatopedi) along with the latest opinion polls, dominated the Sunday editions of Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "[PM Costas] Karamanlis rolls up his sleeves to tackle the economy - as he showed the Central Committee, he won't let things slide any further".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Benefits for the economically vulnerable - the 2009 budget will not include additional measures"

    ARTHRO: "Toplou monastery the new 'Vatopedi' - How [main opposition party] PASOK 'conceded' 3000 hectares on Crete"

    AVGHI: "Karamanlis a hostage - leadership bluster with empty bravado". [Critices PM's performance at ND's central committee and his attack on party rebels]

    AVRIANI: "Plan to overthrow Karamanlis founders - too bad about the opinion polls raising [PASOK leader George Papandreou] and the operation to...buy an MP". [Claims failure of an organised plan by 'political bullies' to topple Karamanlis]

    CHORA: "Miracles industry set up by Ephrain [Vatopedi monastery abbot] - who are those 'caught up' in his habit". [Claims abbot exported 'miraculous' icons and makes revelations about those behind the monastery's land deals]

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Game reversal using three killer moves - Counter-measures planned by Karamanlis: expulsions, reshuffle, reforms". [Claims drastic plan by PM to emerge from current political crisis]

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Karamanlis' great depression - Opinion polls a slap in the face for ND and the prime minister. PASOK two points ahead, 14 percent to Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and six parties in the new Parliament".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The lads are in pain, dear Costas! He let them have it, he creamed them and made them act like seminary schoolgirls" [refers to strong stance taken by PM Karamanlis against the party 'rebels' at the recent Central Committee meeting, claiming that it silenced any critics within the party].

    EPOCHI: "[Karamanlis] is challenging them to overthrow him so that he doesn't fall any lower"

    ETHNOS: "Rocketing interest rates choke households-businesses - a second blow after [Finance Minister George] Alogoskoufis' tax gouging measures".

    KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis' wager and behind the scenes at New Democracy (ND) - the proposals to Maximou [PM's offices], the moves of the top echelons and the reshuffle".

    LOGOS: "Prime minister turns the page - the next steps for emerging from the crisis".

    NIKI: "He's broken off the relationship with society - Karamanlis has lost his outward good image". [Criticises PM's performance at ND central committee, claiming it revealed a failure to pick up society's messages]

    PARON: "Behave yourselves! Karamanlis is awake at last." [Sees new tougher stance by PM against rebels and wrong-doers within party]

    PROTO THEMA: "62.3 % - Get out, Theodoros - ALCO opinion poll - Citizens point to the door while Karamanlis pretends he doesn't understand".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "18th Communist Party of Greece (KKE) conference - Announcement by the central committee.

    TO VIMA: "Plans of engagement against 'rebels' and 'privileged' - Mr. Karamanlis attempts to escape the deadlock".

    VRADYNI: "53,000 to be hired within the year - Exclusive: recovery plan for economic crisis".

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


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