|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-11-03
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Politics
 Papandreou addresses TI conferenceTransparency is a fundamental component of democracy, as it enables the people to check authority, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said on Sunday, addressing a Transparency International (TI) conference in Athens.
Papandreou also stressed that a strong democratic state was necessary, one that would impose laws and rules of transparency.
He cited the Siemens slush funds scandal as an example of intransparency, adding that the company had managed to create a cliamte of corruption for the purpose of advancing its own commissions.
The PASOK leader further stressed that corruption must be combated, and that the battle must begin from the political leaderships, as it is a battle against the captivity of politics from the concentration of power.
Such phenomena, he warned, could even lead to "buying" politicians".
Among the measures that needed to be taken for transparency in the administration of state property was the democratization of the system of financing of the political parties and their access to the media, Papandreou said.
He also linked the current international financial crisis to corruption matters, saying that such phenomena had contributed to the creation of the crisis due to the captivity of the democratic institutions by the concentration of capital and the political authority of the few.
The 13th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), being held at the Megaron-Athens Concert Hall, isorganized by Transparency International in cooperation with Transparency International's Greece national chapter under the auspices of the Greek government.
 Papandreou to chair Vienna meeting on crisisVIENNA (ANA-MPA/D.Dimitrakoudis)
Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou was due in Vienna on Sunday night to chair an SI sponsored meeting of the Stiglitz Commission on Monday.
The commission was set up by an SI presidium decision during its meeting in New York last September to address, from a socialist point of view, the present global credit crisis.
The Vienna meeting is expected to shape "proposals of the world's progressive forces for dealing with the international economic crisis."
Papandreou is expected to have Monday morning meetings with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, who hosts the meeting of the Stiglitz Commission
 PM Karamanlis in Brussels on MondayGreek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be leaving for Brussels on Monday afternoon. He will be holding talks with European People's Party (EPP) President Wilfried Martens and Eurogroup President and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.
The prime minister will also address a conference jointly organised by the European Policy Studies Centre and the "Constantine Karamanlis Foundation" on European integra-tion
 FM in Marseilles on MondayForeign minister Dora Bakoyannis will be in Marseilles on Monday to attend an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, and afterwards a conference of the foreign ministers of the Barcelona Process-Union for the Mediterranean.
The EU ministers will discuss cross-Atlantic relations, the situation in the Near and Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and EU-Russia relations.
The two-day Barcelona Process conference, which opens Monday, will discuss institutional and regional issues, including the Mediterranean.
 Deputy FM Doukas gives interview to Serb Tanjug news agencyBELGRADE (ANA-MPA/N. Pelpas)
Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas said in an interview with the Serb Tanjug news agency that Greece desires to have an active presence in Serbia and to strengthen its European perspective.
Doukas began a two-day visit to Belgrade on Sunday, accompanied by over 90 Greek businessmen who are interested in investing in Serbia.
"In this difficult period, we, being a longstanding partner of the Serb people, wish to show strong confidence and support for the Serb economy and for its future perspectives," he said.
"We wish to bring investments and knowledge with the aim of enriching the infrastructures of Serbia, as well as to contribute to the implementation of our common goal, the creation of a peaceful and prospering region through our incessant cooperation," Doukas added.
The Greek deputy foreign minister, who is responsible for economic diplomacy, stressed that Greek investments in Serbia have exceeded 2.5 billion euros and that over 27,000 Serb citizens are employed by Greek businesses.
 Education minister in KarpenissiEducation Minister Evripidis Stylianidis on Saturday paid a visit to Karpenissi for a meeting with local educational authorities in Evritania.
During a press conference, he said his visit had both a symbolic and practical purpose, both to pay homage to the late Pavlos Bakoyannis who hailed from Evritania and also to address problems faced by education in the area, particularly the local Technological Educational Institute that was having trouble attracting new students.
 Papariga addresses party eventThe Communist party of Greece's (KKE) 18th congress can assume a special position as one of the most important congresses, party leader Aleka Papariga said on Sunday, speaking at a rally of party organizations at the KKE headquarters in Perissos, ahead of the February 18-22 congress.
Explaining the significance of the upcoming congress, Papariga said it would be of exceptional importance given the party's rise in both the last general elections and European Parliament elections, adding that today the KKE was more resilient, more mature and chiefly, had acquired the ability to organise the daily battle in the correct direction.
Turning to political developments, Papariga noted with satisfaction that the KKE had predicted the international financial crisis and therefore was ready to confront it, noting the relevant draft laws tabled in parliament.
Regarding the stance of the other parties, Papariga said that ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK were parties that served the urban class while the other two parties, SYRIZA and LAOS, served as "life rafts" of the system.
 Opinion poll puts blame on banksAn opinion poll conducted by Public Issue, the results of which were published in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper, indicated that 80 percent of the respondents put blame on the banks themselves for the crisis in the banking system.
According to the opinion poll, 46 percent of the respondents believe that the banks should be financially supported by the state, while 44 percent believed the opposite. Also, 51 percent believe that the banks should solve their problems by themselves, while 29 percent endorse their nationalization.
Further, 50 percent of the respondents believe that their deposits are secure, while 61 percent believe that the banking system gives out home loans too easily, and 88 percent consider that households are over-indebted to the credit institutions.
In addition, 62 percent of the respondents believe that the economic situation worsened over the past year, while 61 percent believe that things will become even more difficult in the economy in the coming year.
To another question, 78 percent of the respondents said they were quite or very worried about the global financial crisis, while 90 percent believe the crisis will also impact the Greek economy, whereas only 22 percent believe it will not affect their finances and 51 percent feel it will greatly influence their finances.
The nationwide poll was conducted by telephone on October 30-31 amont a sampling of 684 people.
 Works programme for western Macedonia announcedAgricultural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos on Saturday announced the start of what he called an "ambitious programme" for the region of western Macedonia in northern Greece, which he said would make a major contribution to increasing employment in the region's rural areas and boosting the agricultural economy, while at the same time protecting the environment and the countryside
He made the announcement while chairing a meeting of western Macedonia organisations and bodies in Kozani, during which he unveiled the works to be carried out under the "Alexandros Baltatzis" programme for 2007-2013.
The programme is comprised of 18 projects with an overall budget of 300 million euros, to be carried out in all four prefectures of the Western Macedonia region, including dams, irrigation networks, pumping stations, reservoirs and works to replenish the underground water table.
The minister then inaugurated the dam at Sisani in Kozani, stressing that this realised a demand made by farmers and local residents for many years. Constructions costs for the dam came to a total of 6.9 million euros and will allow the irrigation of 200 hectares of farm land.
 Foreign Exchange Rates: MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.285
Pound sterling 0.793
Danish kroner 7.506
Swedish kroner 9.985
Japanese yen 125.97
Swiss franc 1.480
Norwegian kroner 8.598
Canadian dollar 1.580
Australian dollar 1.940
 Ecumenical Patriarch attends beatification in Drama conventEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Saturday visited the Ascension of our Lord convent in Drama, northern Greece, to attend services for the beatification of a new 'Blessed' of the Orthodox Church, Georgios Karslides the Confessor.
Bartholomew was accompanied on his visit by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Margaritis Tzimas and Drama Metropolitan Pavlos, who spoke about the rich spiritual and social work carried out by Georgios Karslidis and stressed that he had dedicated his entire life to God. The Patriarch noted that his life had many things in common with the older and important confessors of the Orthodox Church and faith.
 Ecumenical Patriarch officiates liturgy in DramaVisiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Sunday officiated a liturgy at the Metropolitan Church in Drama, which was attended by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and several Metropolitans from Northern Greece.
Afterwards, the Drama Metropolis declared Macedonia-Thrace minister Margaritis Tzimas a great benefactor of the local church, decorating him with the gold medal of St. Christoforos, the Metropolis' highest distinction.
 Greece donates medical equipment to Bitola hospitalGreece on Saturday donated medical equipment to a public hospital in Bitola, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as part of a joint programme organised by the Greek health and foreign ministries. The donation includes a mammograph, ultrasound monitor and arthroscope worth 150,000 euros in total.
The equipment was presented at a ceremony held at the Bitola hospital, attended by a delegation from the Greek health ministry, the head of the Greek Liaison Office in Skopje Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou and FYROM Deputy Health Minister Vladimir Popovski.
The minister stressed that the donation would help protect the health of local citizens by allowing prompt diagnosis of diseases, while Ambassador Papadopoulou said it would contribute to improving good neighbour relations and further cooperation in promoting FYROM's development in all areas.
 Police arrest illegal migrants, immigrant traffickers in IlionTwo suspected members of a ring smuggling illegal immigrants into the country have been arrested by police in the west Athens district of Ilion.
The arrest was carried out on Friday night by local police, who have taken a 46-year-old Greek man and a 44-year-old foreign national into custody after finding 16 Pakistanis hidden in a specially designed secret compartments in two trucks that the men were driving. The trucks had been picked up in the northern Greek prefecture of Evros, where the illegal migrants had been smuggled across the border from Turkey.
According to arresting officers, each of the migrants had promised to pay the ring 6,000 euros in order to reach Greece, of which 1,500 they had paid in advance to a Pakistani man in their own country. The remaining 4,500 was promised to the rest of the gang in Greece.
All those arrested were taken before a public prosecutor on Saturday.
 Man shot in petrol station robberyAn employee was shot and injured during an armed robbery at the Aspropyrgos petrol station where he worked in the early hours of Saturday morning
Police said that two armed men entered the petrol station at the 17th kilometre of the Athens-Corinth national highway, shot the attendant in the leg and grabbed all the money they could find on him and in the till before getting away in a stolen car.
The injured man was taken to Thriasio Hospital in Elefsina, where he was admitted for treatment.
 Worker electrocuted in quarry accidentA 30-year-old labourer at a quarry in Mandra, Larissa died of electrocution on Saturday in an attempt to remove a severed high-voltage electricity cable from a truck.
Alexandros Zintras from Servia in Kozani was tipping gravel from the truck near a high-voltage cable that was accidentally severed during unloading. Although he initially managed to get out of the truck and was assisted by fellow workers in putting out a fire that broke out, he then attempted to remove the cable that was touching the truck, using first a broom and then a shovel
During this attempt and in full view of the rest of the workforce he was electrocuted. His fellow workers managed to pull him away and called emergency services but he was dead before the ambulance arrived.
 Demis Nikolaidis resigns as AEK Athens presidentDemis Nikolaidis announced on Sunday night that he was resigning from his post as president of Athens soccer club AEK, shortly after his team beat Asteras Tripoli 2-1 at home with a goal scored in injury time, adding that his resignation was final and irrevocable.
The 35-year-old official focused on the jeering he experienced from AEK's supporters, as did team coach George Donis, and explained his decision by saying that he did not wish to be president of a team where such situations occurred.
 Super League soccer resultsOlympiakos Piraeus retained its lead in the Super League after beating visiting Ergotelis Crete 2-0 at Karaiskaki Stadium over the weekend. Panathinaikos Athens edged Panionios Athens 2-1 away and AEK Athens downed Asteras Tripoli 2-1 at home with the winning goal being scored in injury time. Panathinaikos is fourth and AEK fifth in the standings, behind Xanthi and PAOK who are second and third respectively.
In other action:
Levadiakos Livadia-Panseraikos Serres 0-0
Aris Thessaloniki-Larissa 0-0
OFI Crete-Xanthi 0-2
Panthrakikos Komotini-Thrasyvoulos Athens 1-0
Iraklis Thessaloniki-PAOK Thessaloniki 1-1
Standings after eight weeks of play:
1. Olympiakos 19 points
2. Xanthi 17
3. PAOK 16
4. Panathinaikos 14
5. AEK 13
6. Larissa 12
7. Ergotelis 12
8. Panionios 11
9. Aris 10
10. Panthrakikos 10
11. Levadiakos 9
12. Panseraikos 8
13. Asteras 7
14. Iraklis 5
15. Thrasyvoulos 4
16. OFI 4
 Cloudy on MondayCloudy weather with variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 10C and 27C. Fair in Athens, with 2-4 beaufort variable winds and temperatures ranging from 14C to 25C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 12C to 21C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glanceThe impact of the international financial crisis, unemploy-ment and public investments were the main front-page stories in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "This is how we will exist the crisis - What the government's plans are to avert social unrest".
APOGEVMATINI: "Cash from the banks for normalization of the market".
AVGHI: "The dismissals have begun - And it's only the beginning".
CHORA: "Duel between Bakoyannis-Avramopoulos - Rumors of changes in ND ".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The key to benefits and elections is in Brussels".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Bankers and big-time contractors battling it out for the state money to be given for confrontation of the crisis".
ETHNOS: "Unemployment nightmare for 330,000 employees in tourism, banks, shipping, construction".
KATHIMERINI: "Crisis of confidence in the economy - Dangerous disdain of state bonds".
NIKI: "The country paying the prices of Karamanlis' and his ministers' inadequacy".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Suppot of the people's income and counter-attack against the policy of plutocracy".
PROTO THEMA: "Bonds scandal no. 2 - The Funds lost 4.5 billion euros in one year".
TO VIMA: "Reducation of taxes decided by government - To be announced as soon as it gets the 'green light' from Brussels".
VRADYNI: "Benefits/breather for SMEs - Interest-free loans, liquidity injections".
 President Christofias: International community should influence TurkeyNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, has underlined that is important the international community to exert pressure on Turkey, in order for Ankara to demonstrate a positive approach in efforts to reach a Cyprus solution.
President Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side has the political will to reunify Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
"We work with the necessary flexibility to create those circumstances that would lead to a mutually agreed solution", he added.
Addressing Saturday an event to mark 100 years of the Akanthous Municipality, one of the nine Turkish occupied municipalities in Cyprus, President Christofias referred to the role of the international community.
"Since the solution of the Cyprus problem depends to a great extent on Turkey's political will, we deem as necessary the involvement of the international factor, so as to use its influence on Ankara with determination in order to show the necessary flexibility and positive approach", he said.
The Cypriot President assured that the Greek Cypriot side will work with consistency to achieve a just solution of the Cyprus problem, to the benefit of all its citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
He noted that the initiatives undertaken by the Greek Cypriot side have paved the way for the resumption of the negotiations aiming at reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The solution, he added, must free Cyprus from the Turkish occupation and restore human rights.
"We seek to determine the future of our country together with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, to reach a solution that would serve Cyprus' interests, through a process with no suffocating timeframes or arbitration", he stressed.
President Christofias added that "we expect all to act with the same spirit of good will and compromise".
The Cypriot President reiterated that the solution must be based on the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, which provide for the termination of flows of settlers coming illegally to Cyprus, as well as the demilitarization of the island.
The state, he noted, must have one and only sovereignty, one international personality, political equality, as outlined in the relevant UNSC resolutions.
President Christofias also stressed that the solution must be based on EU principles and values.
The solution, he said, must reunify the island, its people, its economy and institutions, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, and be based on the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979.
President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began last September direct negotiations with a view to reunify Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of the island's territory.
 President Christofias attends funeral in occupied NicosiaNICOSIA(CNA/ANA-MPA)
President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, attended Saturday in the Turkish occupied areas of Nicosia, the funeral of Zehra Ozgur, wife of Turkish Cypriot politician Ozker Ozgur, who passed away three years ago.
President Christofias, accompanied by first lady Ersi, crossed over to the Turkish occupied areas for the first time since he assumed office last February.
Expressing his deep sorrow, President Christofias said that the loss of Zehra Ozgur and her husband, almost three years ago, is a great tragedy both for their family and Turkish Cypriots, as well as for all people of Cyprus.
"We lost two real Turkish Cypriots, real Cypriots, patriots. This is a loss for the whole people of Cyprus," he said.
The funeral was also attended by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
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