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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-12-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 1 December 2008 Issue No: 3060


  • [01] PM Karamanlis tours natgas network
  • [02] FM on domestic political scene, Parliament majority
  • [03] Papandreou in Madrid for socialists' con'f; speaks to Pakistan's Zardari
  • [04] Alavanos meets with hunger strikers in Hania
  • [05] Polls on politics, economy
  • [06] Papoulias declared honorary citizen during Crete visit
  • [07] Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrates feast day
  • [08] Folias inaugurates Thessaloniki Industrial Park
  • [09] Greek survivors of Mumbai attacks safe in Paris, returning to Athens
  • [10] Police bust int'l credit card 'clone' ring
  • [11] Hellenistic Studies Centre inaugurated in Alexandria
  • [12] Olympiakos posts easy win
  • [13] Cloudy on Monday
  • [14] The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance
  • [15] Spokesman: Exploratory surveys in Cyprus' EEZ continue

  • [01] PM Karamanlis tours natgas network

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday toured the Natural Gas Control and Distribution Centre in Elefsina, west of the port of Piraeus, as well as a high pressure central pipeline at the Aghioi Theodoroi site and the liquefied natgas station at the Revythoussa islet, emphasising afterwards that the government's strategic choices ensured substantial current and future benefits for the country during a period when energy security and environmental protection were major challenges.

    Noting that the Liquefied Natural Gas station on Revythoussa had been constructed under preceding governments, Karamanlis said his New Democracy government, in the space of 22 months, had in the summer of 2007 materialised one of the most significant energy investments in Greece, namely, the upgrading of the installation and its tripling of production.

    The premier said the project was continuing with the construction of a third storage tank, while he said the extension of the natgas network to the industrial zone of Corinth has been completed, whereas relevant studies for further extension of the network to the Peloponnese are currently being advanced.

    The premier stressed that the first station will be Megalopolis, and in 2011 the present low-tech and environmentally unfriendly Public Power Corp. (PPC) power units in the area will be replaced by two high-tech gas-fired plants.

    The government, he said, was, "with actions, and not words" protecting the environment, and proving that economic growth and the environment are not incompatible concepts.

    The premier further stressed that natural gas consumption in Greece had doubled in the last five years.

    All these, he said, were visible and tangible results of his government's energy strategy, a strategy which, with international agreements and that major projects such as the Turkey-Greece pipeline and the Turkey-Greece-Italy interstate agreement and the South Stream pipeline were upgrading Greece's role and rendering the country a natgas hub from the Caspian to western Europe.

    [02] FM on domestic political scene, Parliament majority

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was quoted by a Thessaloniki newspaper on Sunday as calling the latest spate of opposition press speculation over Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' succession merely "imaginative scenarios".

    "We must put an end to such unsubstantiated talk ... the country has a prime minister that is a major asset for its history and the history of (ruling) New Democracy, where he is supported and honored by everyone. What I see is that we have a long way to go and much work to do; a path in which personal strategies have no place," she was quoted as saying.

    Bakoyannis also referred to ND's razor-thin majority of 151 parliament deputies, out of 300, in the legislature, noting that "there is no a problem of cohesion in the party. Don't underestimate ND's MPs. Today, all of us, the 151 deputies, are well aware that we are responsible before the citizens, and whatever that word includes".

    Asked about calls by deputies for changes in the government's economic policy, Bakoyannis said

    "We face each crisis with seriousness and responsibility. We believe that what is needed at this important juncture is lots of work, less words and absolutely no populism."

    The interview was carried in the newspaper "Aggelioforos".

    [03] Papandreou in Madrid for socialists' con'f; speaks to Pakistan's Zardari

    MADRID (ANA-MPA / V. Mourtis)

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou arrived in Madrid on Sunday to participate in a European Socialist Party conference being held in the Spanish capital on Monday and Tuesday.

    Papandreou is scheduled to participate in a reception on Sunday evening of socialist party leaders. Among others, the former Greek foreign minister is due to have meetings with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Bulgarian Premier Sergei Stanishev.

    Additionally, Papandreou will meet with the conference's host, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.

    One of the primary issues on the agenda of European socialists will be formulating a manifesto to tackle HIV proliferation and to offer aid to AIDS sufferers, as Monday is the World AIDS Day.

    The ongoing international economic crisis and socialists' strategy ahead of the 2009 European Parliament elections will also be on the agenda of talks.

    Phone contact with Zardari

    In an unrelated development, Papandreou, in his capacity as the president of the Socialist International, spoke by phone on Sunday evening with Pakistani President Ali Zardari, with the dastardly terrorist attacks in Mumbai last week reportedly discussed.

    According to reports, the prospect of establishing an international committee to focus on anti-terrorism cooperation -- along the lines of the Stiglitz group -- and within the auspices of the Socialist International, was discussed by the two men.

    Zardari reportedly said Pakistan was ready to participate in such a committee, together with India, while stressing that he absolutely does not accept that there are responsibilities on the part of Pakistan vis-ŗ-vis the attacks, rather Pakistan was itself a victim of such terrorists attacks.

    Zardari also called for a calm reaction to deal with the problem, without creating new tensions.

    Papandreou is expected to discuss the issue of such a committee with the president of India's Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi.

    [04] Alavanos meets with hunger strikers in Hania

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary leader Alekos Alavanos, on a visit to Crete, on Saturday went to the public economic services in Hania where 15 illegal immigrants were on their 19th day of a hunger strike demanding their legalisation in Greece.

    Alavanos was briefed on their condition, and in statements after-wards said that their demands was just, and called for simplification of the conditions for their acquisition of a residency permit.

    [05] Polls on politics, economy

    The latest opinion polls gauging the local political scene, a staple of Athens papers' Sunday editions, were publicised, with one poll giving main opposition PASOK 30.7 percent of respondents' preference to 26.2 percent for ruling New Democracy.

    The Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) garnered 7.8 percent to the Communist Party's 7.6 percent and 3.8 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS). The undecided "vote" reached 14.1 percent.

    The poll, conducted by the firm Alco, was published in the Sunday weekly "Proto Thema".

    Meanwhile, another poll published in "Vima" on Sunday showed, expectedly, that a vast majority of respondents believe the ongoing international economic crisis will affect them negatively. The figure, however, reached 97.7 percent of respondents.

    [06] Papoulias declared honorary citizen during Crete visit

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday was proclaimed honorary citizen of Voukolia, near the well-known port city of Hania on Crete.

    In his address, Papoulias stressed the need to proceed as a nation by putting forth the things that unite us. Earlier, Papoulias laid a wreath and attended a memorial service at Voukolia Tower.

    An uprising against Ottoman rule of the large Aegean island occurred at Voukolia on Feb. 7, 1897, with one of the injured in the battle being Lt. Napoleon Papoulias, the grandfather of the current president of the republic.

    [07] Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrates feast day


    A Roman Catholic Church delegation, led by Cardinal Walter Casper, participated here on Sunday in ceremonies marking the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle (Aghios Andreas), the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the "Primus inter pares" of the world's Orthodox Churches.

    Ecclesiastical ceremonies commenced with a liturgy at the Patriarchate's St. George Cathedral, officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

    Afterwards, a message was read out by Pope Benedict XVI.

    In an unrelated development, the Ecumenical Patriarch cited the "anger and emotion" he felt for the "state of disrepair" of the Patriarchate's confiscated orphanage on the Marmara Sea island of BŁyŁkada or Prinkipo, the largest of the Princes Islands.

    The orphanage was the object of a special event at Greece's general consulate in Istanbul over the weekend.

    The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled in favor of the Patriarchate's appeal to reclaim the building, which was confiscated by the Turkish state

    Financial News

    [08] Folias inaugurates Thessaloniki Industrial Park

    Development minister Christos Folias on Saturday inaugurated the Thessaloniki Industrial Park (BIPATHE), which he said would, in the coming years, play an important developmental role for Thessaloniki and Northern Greece in general.

    Inaugurating the Terna Group's 32 million euros investment -- co-financed the Greek state and the Third Community Support Framework - in Aghios Athanasios, in the western part of Thessaloniki, Folias said that the operation of the Industrial Park substantially facilitated the restructure and strengthening of industrial production in the region, conserved resources due to the achievement of scale economies, and ensured more efficient protection of the environment, noting that the modernisation and multiplication of industrial and entrepreneurial zones in Greece was the spearhead of the government's industrial policy.

    In that respect, Folias said that a bill would soon be tabled in parliament on the organizational and operational arrangement of existing Industrial Zones and introduction of a new flexible framework for the establishment of Business Parks, with a simultaneous simplification of industrial licences.

    General News

    [09] Greek survivors of Mumbai attacks safe in Paris, returning to Athens


    An airplane chartered by the French government arrived in Paris on Saturday carrying the 77 survivors of the attacks in Mumbai, including the two Greek citizens, Ioannis Prokopiou and Alma Panagiotaki.

    Prokopiou and Panagiotaki were met at the airport by the Greek consul, and were due to return to Athens on another flight later in the day.

    The two Greek citizens, as well as the other survivors, declined to make any statement to the media, while their expressed desire was "discretion" and their speediest possible return to Greece in order to forget "the nightmare in Mumbai".

    Prokopiou -- a businessman -- and Panagiotaki were staying at the Oberoi Hotel, one of the targets of the concerted attacks in Mumbai, and spent several hours as hostages before managing to escape.

    [10] Police bust int'l credit card 'clone' ring

    Authorities arrested four Romanian and three Bulgarian nationals in three separate operations targetting an international credit card fraud ring.

    The suspects were allegedly in possession of a large number of fake credit cards, clones of originals copied via the "skining" method in both London and Athens, police said.

    Specifically, two Romanians were arrested on Friday in the working-class Nikaia district of Piraeus on charges of tampering with banks' ATMs and illegally retrieving 33,200 euros.

    On Saturday, Bulgarians were nabbed in downtown in Athens in possession of nine fake credit cards. The suspect had allegedly used the clone cards for several withdrawals from a bank ATM in western Athens, and also in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

    Two other Romanian nationals were arrested on Sunday at Athens Airport after arriving from with 328 cloned credit cards in their possession.

    Interpol, Europol and the Hellenic Banks Federation were briefed on the incidents.

    [11] Hellenistic Studies Centre inaugurated in Alexandria


    The modern-day restoration of a beacon of knowledge in the ancient world, the Library of Alexandria, will soon host a new programme offering post-graduate and doctoral courses in Hellenistic studies.

    The Centre of Hellenistic Studies will open in the next academic year, with funding by the Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation, the Vardinoyannis Foundation and the Alexandria University, under the auspices of Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak, all part of the Alexandria Library partnership.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II, the president of Onassis Foundation Antonis Papadimitriou and UN Goodwill Amb. Marianna Vardinoyannis attended the centre's inauguration on Friday.


    [12] Olympiakos posts easy win

    Olympiakos Piraeus pulled further away from its cross-town rivals over the weekend with an easy 4-1 win at home over Panionios Athens. A day earlier, Panathinaikos Athens failed to capitalise on its stunning midweek 1-0 win in Milan over Inter in Champions League play, dropping points at home in a 1-1 tie with feisty Asteras Tripolis. PAOK Thessaloniki stayed four points behind Olympiakos with an injury time goal to slip past relegation candidate Thrasyvoulos Athens 1-2.

    In other results of in the Greek Super League over the weekend:






    Standings after 12 matches


    PAOK 25

    XANTHI 21


    ARIS 18


    AEK 17

    LARISSA 16





    IRAKLIS 11


    OFI 8


    Weather forecast

    [13] Cloudy on Monday

    Scattered clouds are forecast for throughout Greece on Monday. Temperatures in the north will range between 5C and 16C; 6C-20C on the rest of the mainland and islands. Cloudy in Athens, 11C-20C; more of the same for Thessaloniki, accompanied fog, 7C-14C.

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

    Continuous local press focus on the ongoing Vatopedi monastery furor in the wake of the monastery abbot's offer to resign, as well as the state of the economy, dominated the headlines in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "What Ephraim's resignation hides -- The behind-the-scenes talks at the Patriarchate"

    APOGEVMATINI: "Exams for colleges' graduates: Interview by Education Minister Stylianidis".

    AVGHI: "Who is Cosco: Chinese company a giant with clay legs"

    AVRIANI: "Dirty games by washed up pimps", a barbed reference at so-called vested interests in the country.

    CHORA: "Incredible hypocrisy: Some people don't want to realise the depth of the Vatopedi scandal"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Freeze in firings, VAT rate reduction on the table"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Millions of euros from Vatopedi Monastery's accounts ended up with 'unknown recipients' "

    ETHNOS: "The latest government gift for the Vatopedi Monastery"

    EPOCHI: "No place for policy of inequality, racism and prejudice"

    KATHIMERINI: "Support package for Greek economy expensive: foreign experts".

    LOGOS: "Ephraim's ouster gives government a breather"

    NIKI: "Tragic economic condition: Greece turns 40 years back"

    PARON: "(Prime Minister Costas) Karamanlis' worrying comment about exceptions to European acquis," in relation to statements about Cyprus issue.

    PROTO THEMA: "68 percent (of respondents in a poll) want (Vatopedi Abbot) Ephraim jailed"

    REALNEWS: "Who much do you have (George) Voulgarakis," in reference to the former minister and high-profile ND cadre.

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Rise up now for satisfaction of popular needs"

    TO VIMA: "State benefits via borrowing -- Prime minister prepares 'Christmas counter-attack',"

    VRADYNI: "Retirement: Why apply for pensioning now"

    Cyprus Affairs

    [15] Spokesman: Exploratory surveys in Cyprus' EEZ continue


    The Republic of Cyprus and its government will decisively defend the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as these derive by the international law, government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said, adding that exploratory surveys for hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are continuing and will soon be concluded.

    Referring to recent Turkish obstructions against a vessel, which was conducting an exploratory survey for hydrocarbon reserves within Cyprus' EEZ, Stephanou recalled that Cyprus has made representations to the UN and the EU, and stressed that the Republic of Cyprus and its government are determined to defend the sovereign rights of the country.

    "It is our sovereign right to conduct surveys," he added, noting that these surveys have been conducted for a long time now and will soon be concluded.

    Stephanou said that the stance of the Cyprus government on this issue was highly appreciated by the international community, as the government is defending the country's rights, basing its argumentation on the provisions of the international law.

    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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