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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-11-02

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

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

Monday, 2 November 2009 Issue No: 3338

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou talks with Brown in London
  • [02] Bulgarian PM on Brussels meeting with Papandreou
  • [03] Karamanlis, ND leadership hopefuls address con'f; congress in early Nov.
  • [04] UN chief in Athens
  • [05] Canada's Gov. General visits Olympia
  • [06] Justice minister on draft bill
  • [07] ANA-MPA special consultant addresses news agencies con'f in Sofia
  • [08] Body of missing jewelry store owner found
  • [09] Appeals court upholds sentence against ex-consul in Kiev over document forgeries
  • [10] Greek Superleague results
  • [11] First snowfall reported
  • [12] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou talks with Brown in London

    LONDON (ANA-MPA)

    Visiting Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday held a 45-minute working meeting in London with British Premier Gordon Brown, with the former citing an in-depth cooperation and talks on a new "developmental strategy" aimed to create new jobs and deal with climate change.

    Papandreou told reporters that he also discussed issues of particular importance to the Greek side, namely, developments in the Balkans, the Cyprus problem and even issues related to Turkey.

    He also cited the positive cooperation he had with the UK side during the previous two days at the EU Council meeting in Brussels.

    Following the meeting with Brown, Papandreou walked the short distance to the official residence of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    Talks with Miliband reportedly dealt in detail with the matters and issues raised earlier in the meeting with Brown.

    [02] Bulgarian PM on Brussels meeting with Papandreou

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA)

    Meanwhile, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Saturday commented about his recent meeting, which he termed "excellent", with his new Greek counterpart on the sidelines of an EU Council meeting in Brussels on Friday evening, touching directly on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project.

    Borissov, who spoke on Saturday in the Bulgarian capital at the opening of an international meeting of news agencies of Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, initially touched on the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen and the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, pending the Czech Republic's signature.

    In terms of the eagerly watched pipeline project, Borissov said every discussion over the strategic project must take place "when we not only have 100 percent, but a 1,000 percent guarantee for the environment".

    Additionally, he said the issue of new border crossings on the Greek-Bulgarian frontier was discussed, while stating that there is communication with the Greek side on jointly inaugurating a new border crossing, with the Greek PM, when a new crossing is ready.

    Finally, Borissov said recent statements by the prime minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) in Australia -- initially condemned by Bulgarian leadership as inflammatory before "clarifications" by the former -- were behind an idea discussed with Papandreou for the hosting of an international meeting to condemn the use of a "language of hate" -- something that he added has plagued the Balkans in over its history.

    [03] Karamanlis, ND leadership hopefuls address con'f; congress in early Nov.

    Main opposition New Democracy president and former premier Costas Karamanlis on Saturday called for all four candidates to succeed him as party leader to agree over the election procedure and eligible voters, namely, members of the party -- including new members up until the election -- but not "friends".

    That proposal was later passed, with final ratification pending at a ND extraordinary congress, to be held on Nov. 7 and 8 at the Athens Peace & Friendship Stadium in Faliro.

    Karamanlis, who is stepping down as ND leader after 12 years at its helm, spoke at a central committee meeting in Athens, where he emphasised that a new leader of the party must be elected as soon as possible.

    Speaking during a second, unscheduled intervention, Karamanlis issued a tough-talking call to cadres, noting that "the primary goal of the (upcoming) congress is very specific. From there on, we are not preventing anyone from speaking," he said, adding that he will personally act to make sure every cadre backs the new leader.

    All official candidates agreed, earlier this month and following the poor election showing of the party on Oct. 4, to amend ND's charter, allowing for party members to vote for a new ND president.

    Moreover, he called on the four candidates to focus on "politics and substance, instead of petty politics."

    Former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, former minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, former minister Antonis Samaras and current Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis are the four candidates vying for the spot. Both Bakoyannis and Avramopoulos have previously been elected as mayors of Athens, while Avramopoulos and Samaras have at separate times left ND to found other political parties, which eventually dissolved.

    In closing his first address, Karamanlis again assumed responsibility for ND's election defeat on Oct. 4, which toppled the party from government and led to a sweeping PASOK victory, adding however, that he will remain active in the party's struggles.

    Sioufas

    On his part, the chairman of the party's organising committee for the election, former Parliament president Dimitris Sioufas, underlined that only the central committee is responsible for changes in the party's charter. He also reiterated that the agreed to changes now allow grassroots members to vote for the new leader, including people that sign up until just before the ballot boxes are placed.

    In case no absolute majority, then a second round will be held based on the election rolls validated for the first round.

    Sioufas said Bakoyannis and Samaras have accepted the organising committee's proposals, while Avramopoulos and Psomiadis have different views.

    Candidates

    Avramopoulos, speaking at the same central committee meeting, reiterated his proposal for "friends" and "supporters" of the party to also have the right to vote, something he said will open the way for "a new and more dynamic (political) formation".

    Additionally, he called on all his fellow candidates to pledge their support to whoever eventually is elected as the new ND leader.

    On her part, Bakoyannis appeared confident that a compromise will be found very soon regarding the coming election, while saying that if the organising committee eventually allows voting by friends and supporters, she will acquiesce and not oppose the measure.

    Samaras, meanwhile, called the election process a "necessary leap of faith", and that all, candidates and organising committee, have agreed to an election by grassroots cadres.

    Finally, Thessaloniki Prefect Psomiadis said he agreed with Avramopoulos' proposal, namely, a right to vote for a new ND leader by unregistered party supporters.

    Meimarakis

    Former party secretary and minister Vangelis Meimarakis, meanwhile, was caustic in his criticism of several aspects of the envisioned process, charging that the election of a new ND must come only from delegates at a party congress, as foreseen by the party's charter.

    Moreover, he flatly dismissed criticism of an "ND party mechanism" opposing the rank-and-file vote, saying the party's supporters are disappointed, while furthermore expressing his lack of interest in putting his view to a vote.

    "I will serve whoever is elected; I do not vie for any position of responsibility. We don't want our rank-and-file to even speak out, all we want is the applause and their vote; do not provoke us ... Speak in political terms," he stressed.

    Press comments

    On Sunday, three of the four candidates had comments, interviews or articles in a same-number of Athens dailies.

    Bakoyannis called for a "social front against blind violence," adding that over the last year "we are experiencing a condition of a lawlessness, for which we are all responsible."

    Avramopoulos, in an interview, decried what he called the power of party's bureaucracy, which he said hinders ND's modernisation, while calling for ND's "re-establishment".

    Finally, Samaras said he is against the idea of any debate amongst the candidates because it would be detrimental to the party's image, adding that if he is elected he will not divide the party's rank-and-file into "conservatives and centrists".

    [04] UN chief in Athens

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to arrive in Athens on Tuesday to take part in a conference focusing on Inter-faith dialogue.

    On Wednesday, Ban Ki Moon will address the 3rd Forum on Immigration and Development, during which he will be welcomed by Prime Minister George Papandreou. The forum will be held under the auspices of the interior ministry.

    Later, the UN chief will give a press conference and afterwards hold talks with Papandreou at the Maximos Mansion on issues related to climate change, illegal immigration, global financial crisis, and Greece's participation in peacekeeping missions, as well as issues of Greek interest, such as the Cyprus issue and the fYRoM "name issue".

    Afterwards, Ban Ki Moon will be received by President Karolos Papoulias, who will host a lunch in the UN chief's honor. In the afternoon, the UN Sec-Gen and his wife will visit the New Acropolis Museum and in the evening will dine with the premier and his wife.

    On Thursday, the UN secretary general will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and afterwards will be welcomed by Parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos at the Greek Parliament, where he will address a special plenary session.

    [05] Canada's Gov. General visits Olympia

    The Governor General of Canada, MichaŽlle Jean, on Friday evening the "Art Matters" forum in Athens along with her Canadian filmmaker husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, with the focus on possible film co-productions between Greece and Canada as well as international film festivals.

    Jean and her husband were welcomed to the forum -- which was created by Lafond -- by the president of the Greek Film Centre Giorgos Papalios.

    Metropolitan of Canada Sotirios accompanied Canada's Governor General.

    The Canadian delegation visited the ancient Olympia site and adjacent museum on Sunday.

    The Canadian Governor General symbolically planted an olive tree outside Olympia's town hall, while announcing that Canada will offer 1,500 olive trees as a contribution towards the reforestation of the wildfire-ravaged areas around ancient Olympia.

    Jean will pay a private visit to the New Acropolis Museum on Monday before departing for Ottawa.

    [06] Justice minister on draft bill

    New Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis was quoted in a Sunday paper over the weekend as announcing that the first draft bill to be tabled by his ministry will focus on compensation for victims of crime.

    He said subsequent and quickly tabled bill include a harmonisation of Greek criminal law with the International Criminal Court and measures aimed to speed up the judicial and court process.

    Additionally, Kastanidis said a pre-election pledge by now ruling PASOK party to establish a Parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Siemens kickback and bribery affair still stands.

    His comments were carried in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia".

    General News

    [07] ANA-MPA special consultant addresses news agencies con'f in Sofia

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA) -- Rising trends in news agencies' work amid a changing media situation include coverage of local issues and the provision of useful information in tandem with international and local news stories, Andreas Christodoulides, special consultant to the general director of the ANA-MPA, said here on Saturday.

    Christodoulides spoke at an international meeting of news agencies of SE Europe and the Black Sea Region, hosted by the BTA agency in Sofia and Veliko Turnovo over the weekend.

    Christodoulides quoted a survey of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and other surveys, which found that the news and information providers will have to meet the requirements of the "five As" in the digital age: "Any volume, Any time, Anybody, Anywhere, Anything."

    [08] Body of missing jewelry store owner found

    ‘he body of a missing 50-year-old jewelry store owner in central Larissa was discovered on Saturday, in a rural area near the town of Tyrnavos, north of Larissa.

    According to initial reports, the man's body showed distinct signs of bruising and abrasions, either from a fall or a criminal assault.

    [09] Appeals court upholds sentence against ex-consul in Kiev over document forgeries

    A Thessaloniki court of appeals on Friday handed down a 10-and-a-half-year prison sentence to the former general director of the Greek consulate in Kiev, upholding an earlier first instance court ruling, which handed down a guilty verdict against the man for forging invitation certificates used to issue tourist visas for Ukrainian citizens.

    Another two defendants, a consulate office messenger and a tour operator were sentenced to five and three years, respectively.

    The first instance court sentenced the consulate's former director, who also served as a consul general, to 21 years, while the office messenger had received a 19-year sentence. The jail terms were reduced after the appellate court acquitted the defendants of charges of money-laundering and bribery, while certain felony counts were commuted to misdemeanors.

    The case had surfaced after a police officer in Thessaloniki allegedly certified blank invitation forms for foreign nationals wishing to enter Greece, using the official stamp of a specific Thessaloniki police precinct. In 2002, the forms were forwarded to a Greek tourist agency for delivery to the Greek consulate in Kiev.

    The blank forms were used by the two consulate employees to make more than 2,500 photocopies, which were then filled out with random names of Greek citizens who appeared to invite Ukrainian nationals to Greece.

    A final ruling in the police officer's case, which was tried separately, is still pending in court.

    Sports

    [10] Greek Superleague results

    Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens continued to share first place in the Greek Super League standings, following victories, albeit difficult ones. Olympiacos pulled out a late victory 1-0 against Atromitos Athens away on Saturday, whereas Panathinaikos outlasted Panionios 2-1 at home on Sunday.

    Results after nine weeks of play:

    Larissa - Aris Thessaloniki 2-2

    PAOK Thessaloniki -Xanthi 1-0

    Iraklis Thessaloniki - Asteras Tripoli 1-0

    Kavala - Panthrakikos Komotini 3-0

    PAS Yiannina - Levadiakos Livadia 1-1

    Ergotelis Crete - AEK Athens 2-2

    Standings

    Olympiacos 25

    Panathinaikos 25

    PAOK 15

    Aris 14

    Kavala 14

    Ergotelis 13

    AEK 12

    Panionios 11

    Asteras 11

    Xanthi 10

    Larissa 10

    Iraklis 10

    PAS Yiannina 10

    Atromitos 8

    Levadiakos 8

    Panthrakikos 1

    Weather forecast

    [11] First snowfall reported

    The first snowfall of the season were reported on Sunday in the mountainous areas of northern and central Greece, as well as some flurries on the highest summits of Crete.

    Fair weather with decreasing northerly winds in the Aegean is forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 8-9 on the Beaufort scale. Fair in the north with temperatures ranging between -1C-18C; cloudy on the mainland with light snowfall in the mountainous areas, 4C- 14C. Rainy on the islands, 10C-16C. Cloudy in Athens, 6C-12C; fair in Thessaloniki, 5C-12C.

    [12] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    News on the economic front and the leadership race to succeed Costas Karamanlis as president of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party mostly dominated the headlines in the Sunday edition of Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "(Public sector) Bonuses under scrutiny. 170,000 employees affected".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Four ND leadership candidates speak with newspaper".

    AVGI: "Crisis' terrorism, 180,000 permanent positions lost 2009!"

    AVRIANI: "Sharp criticism of (ND leadership candidate Antonis) Samaras by (former minister) Vangelis Meimarakis polarises climate in ND".

    ELEFTHERI ORA "New Democracy party supporters: confused, bitter and upset, now enjoying 'presidential election'."

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Measures aimed at relieving borrowers and boosting liquidity cause financial institutions' reaction".

    EPOCHI (weekly): "They're (government) building a climate for tough measures; commitment in Brussels for massive changes with 'aggressive reforms'."

    ETHNOS: "Majors changes for high schools, college entrance regime, universities".

    KATHIMERINI: " 'Black hole' of 30% in public expenditures. Interview of BoG governor about budget deficit".

    PARON (weekly): "While unscrupulous terrorists again appear, Greek Police (EL.AS) appears leaderless".

    PROTO THEMA (weekly): "ND managing director of OPAP gives secretary a 5,000-euro salary and two-year contract renewal amid PASOK government."

    Realnews (weekly): "Women of terror! Second female terrorist with Kalashnikov".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Government, EU, large employers want 'elastic' workers, promoting modern-day slave trade".

    VETO (weekly): "Land squatting method used to expand Karamanlis plot in Rafina".

    VIMA: "Five-fold increase of taxes for large property holdings. New regime for more than 3.5 million owners (out of 11 million residents in Greece)".

    VRADYNI: "Massive changes in public sector".

    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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