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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-05-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Tuesday, 25 May 2010 Issue No: 3500


  • [01] PM in interview with El Pais: Give us time to make the necessary changes
  • [02] ND leader Samaras gives newspaper interview
  • [03] Foreign ministry spokesman on sinking of South Korean corvette
  • [04] Alternate FM Droutsas gives newspaper interview
  • [05] ND leader on Monitoring Group for economy
  • [06] Samaras on forest fire prevention
  • [07] KKE leader gives newspaper interview
  • [08] Papariga attends event on late party leader Florakis
  • [09] Tsipras gives interview to Sunday newspaper
  • [10] RASS company poll for 'Paron' newspaper
  • [11] Ecumenical Patriarch and Moscow Patriarch jointly officiate in Moscow
  • [12] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos visiting Russia
  • [13] Katseli addresses Central Chambers of Commerce Union general assembly
  • [14] Culture, tourism minister gives interview to newspaper
  • [15] Deputy culture, tourism minister in Frankfurt on Wednesday
  • [16] Expatriate newspaper encourages Greek Americans to visit Greece
  • [17] Deacon, foreign collector arrested on antiquities smuggling charges
  • [18] Freighter runs aground on islet off Lesvos
  • [19] Events commemorating Battle of Crete
  • [20] Thessaloniki petrol station robbed
  • [21] Makrinitsa, the 'balcony' of Mt. Pelion
  • [22] Detainee commits suicide in police lock-up facility
  • [23] Rainy on Tuesday
  • [24] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance
  • [25] Christofias and Eroglu to attend a dinner offered by the UN

  • [01] PM in interview with El Pais: Give us time to make the necessary changes

    Prime minister George Papandreou ruled out the prospect of renegotiation of the country's debt, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, adding that Greece was doing everything that needs to be done, and is only asking for time to make the necessary changes. He also stressed that it is a matter of credibility for the country to repay the loans it has received.

    "It is a matter of credibility for the country to return the money it has borrowed," Papandreou said.

    The premier reiterated that the economic measures being taken by his government are tough but necessary, adding that the reason the measures are so painful is because Greece must prove to the international community that it is prepared for sacrifices.

    He also put blame on the preceding government for the situation, due to bad management, as well as on extensive tax evasion and corruption.

    Papandreou further noted the role played by speculators, stressing that the international community had not reacted promptly, and pointed out that what happened in Greece could have happened in any other country.

    "Give us time to make the changes that need to be made," the premier said.

    Stressing that Greece has done all that needed to be done, he addressed himself to Greece's EU partners and called on them to contribute to Greece's development which, he added, will benefit Europe as well.

    [02] ND leader Samaras gives newspaper interview

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper Eleftherotypia and referring to his meeting with leaders of the Left, said that "New Democracy now speaks with the entire spectrum of political forces, a privilege that PASOK had exclusively until now."

    Samaras exlains in his interview why he voted against the economic measures taken by the government, saying that he applies his policy on the criterion of tomorrow and "is giving the Greek economy an alternative option, outside the vicious circle of recession" and "an alternative solution to political life, so that it will have something to hold on to and to hope for."

    Lastly, asked about the possibility of participation in coalition governments, he replied that "the country needs the implementation of a totally different programme and not fine balances in the framework of a fragile government."

    [03] Foreign ministry spokesman on sinking of South Korean corvette

    Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Saturday made a statement on the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan.

    "Greece unequivocally condemns such actions which constitute a threat for regional peace and stability and undermine relations of good neighbourliness," the spokesman said, referring to the report on the causes of the sinking of the corvette Cheonan.

    "Greece expresses its deep concern over the reports on the investigation regarding the causes of the sinking of the Corvette on March 26, that resulted in the deaths of 46 people and particularly over the evidence indicating the involvement of the People's Republic of Korea," the spokesman added.

    [04] Alternate FM Droutsas gives newspaper interview

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, speaking in an interview with the newspaper "Isotimia", commented on the recent visit to Athens by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "We created the Supreme Cooperation Council and we proceeded with the signing of 21 agreements, some of which concern issues that have been pending for years," he said.

    On the question of the disarming of aircraft, he said that such a thing "does not also mean a decrease in tension and of the danger of an accident. What is necessary to be eliminated is the threat."

    [05] ND leader on Monitoring Group for economy

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras has decided to create a Monitoring Group on the Programme accompanying the Greek economy's Support Agreement by the eurozone member-states and the International Monetary Fund.

    According to an announcement by the ND party, the purpose of the Group's creation is to monitor the implementation of the Programme in the framework of the Greek economy's support mechanism, as well as the submission of economic policy proposals to the party's leadership with the aim of achieving a speedier exit from the crisis.

    The announcement stresses, among other things, that this decision "expresses the will of the president of the New Democracy party to achieve a continuous and in depth assessment of developments in the economy, both at local and international level."

    [06] Samaras on forest fire prevention

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras visited the Operations Centre of Volunteer Groups of the Hymettus Protection and Development Federation on Saturday and criticised the government of being absent from preventive fire-protection measures, while the fire-protection period has already got underway.

    "Mount Hymettus remains alive thanks to the self-sacrifice of the Firefighters, the Volunteers and Local Adminisatration that protect it all the year round," Samaras said, adding that "the government is absent. Green development cannot and must not be fireworks, but a daily way of life. The fire protection period has already started three weeks ago."

    Samaras went on to say tha no forest road has been maintained, rubbish has not been cleared away and no fire protection project has been approved, while subsidisation for civil protection on Mount Hymettus has been decreased to 50 percent.

    The ND leader concluded by calling on the government to assume its responsibilities, since it is permitting Mount Hymettus to remain unfortified, while the crucial period has already begun.

    [07] KKE leader gives newspaper interview

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper Eleftherotypia, stressed that "either the people will go bankrupt or the plutocracy, there is no middle solution."

    Replying to a question on the unity of the Left, she said that "I represent the Communist Party and not some left. As far as we are concerned, we have our minds primarily on the movement and not the ballot box."

    Commenting on the checking of parties' finances, Papariga stressed categorically that "we are not going to deliver the list of our members to anyone. It is a matter of principle. The same applies to whoever backs KKE financially and does not want his name to become known."

    [08] Papariga attends event on late party leader Florakis

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Saturday attended an event on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the death of the party's former secretary general Harilaos Florakis, in his home town of Paleozoglopi in the prefecture of Karditsa in central Greece.

    Papariga said in a statement, among other things, that Florakis "lived an entire life that he dedicated, not with words but in practice, to the struggle for the rights of the people, for the improvement of their lives."

    Lastly, referring to KKE, she said that "it has a 92-year history that gives it the possibility of having both political maturity and reaching conclusions from its course and improving."

    [09] Tsipras gives interview to Sunday newspaper

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group President and Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper Avghi, sent a strict message that he will not allow any other phenomena of decay in the sector of SYN, as well as competitive political plans that are developing within SYRIZA.

    Two weeks before the crucial congress, Tsipras expresses his faith in SYN's unity and continuation and also believes that the government will not hold out for long.

    [10] RASS company poll for 'Paron' newspaper

    The electorate appears divided as to the way that the government and the opposition are doing their work, according to a poll prepared by the RASS company and appearing in the newspaper "Paron."

    On the question of satisfaction with the governance of the PASOK party, 58.4 percent of respondents are more or less positive, while 41.3 percent are not pleased at all.

    As to how opposition is being applied by the main opposition New Democracy party, 42.3 percent give a more or less positive response and 56.8 percent are not at all satisfied.

    Asked about how Prime Minister George Papandreou is handling affairs, 50.8 percent of respondents are more or less positive in their responses and 48.5 percent negative.

    Lastly, on the question of whether they trust businessmen to become involved in politics, 47.4 percent of respondents expressed little or great confidence in them, compared to 51 percent who do not trust them at all.

    [11] Ecumenical Patriarch and Moscow Patriarch jointly officiate in Moscow

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/Th. Avgerinos)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill jointly officiated at the Cathedral of Christ Savior here on Monday.

    "His reverence Patriarch Kirill is filled, as few are, with concern and zeal of safeguarding and promoting the Orthodox identity of the Russian people at a time when all the Orthodox peoples are sustaining the strong pressures of a temporalised culture and the disputing of the traditional principles of Orthodox life," the Ecumenical Patriarch said in his address.

    "At a time when distances between peoples are tending to be nullified, what takes place in a Church automatically reflects on the rest as well," he added.

    Referring in particular to the issue of the Halki Seminary, the Ecumenical Patriarch pointed out that despite the promises of the Turkish government it has not yet operated and added that "we do not give up, we believe that it will open one day."

    The Ecumenical Patriarch is in Moscow for the third day in the framework of his first official visit to Russia in 17 years.

    [12] Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos visiting Russia

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos expressed his gratitude to God for being able to visit Moscow again after 17 years on an official visit, speaking to the Russian and Greek media after his arrival in the Russian capital over the weekend.

    Vartholomeos reminded that he had visited Moscow again in December 2008 to attend the funeral service for the late patriarch Alexiy, but that visit was "a small parenthesis."

    Vartholomeos also thanked the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill "for his fraternal invitation."

    During his stay in Russia, Vartholomeos will also be having separate meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    Financial News

    [13] Katseli addresses Central Chambers of Commerce Union general assembly

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli, addressing the general assembly of the Central Chambers of Commerce Union, said that the programme concerning facilitating businessmen to pay off tax and social insurance contributions will be publicised halfway through next week.

    Replying to issues raised by businessmen from chambers all over the country, the minister said that it has not yet been decided whether chamber mergers will be taking place according to the models of the Kallikratis plan.

    Katseli stressed that the government is open to dialogue and mentioned, as an example, that amendments were made to the bill on the licensing of businesses, even at the last moment when the bill was in Parliament.

    [14] Culture, tourism minister gives interview to newspaper

    Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, speaking in an interview with the newspaper "Kathimerini tis Kyriakis", referred to measures he has taken to reverse the bad climate in tourism.

    Geroulanos mentioned facilitating the issuing of visas, the decreasing of airport duties and efforts to lift the cabotage.

    "We are putting order in the way with which hirings at museums take place. It is a shame for foreigners to find museums and archaeological sites closed," he added.

    On the question of the wave of young scientists and worthy people departing, the minister underlined that their staying in Greece is such an important matter as the settlement of our economic issues is.

    [15] Deputy culture, tourism minister in Frankfurt on Wednesday

    Deputy culture and tourism minister George Nikitiadis and tourism secretary general George Poussaios are due in Germany on Wednesday for a series of meetings in Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart.

    In Frankfurt, Nikitiadis will visit the Greek pavilion at the IMEX international trade show for conference tourism, the most important fair of its kind in the world.

    Nikitiadis will hold talks with conference tourism officials and tour operators.

    In Munich and Stuttgart, he will hold talks with local culture and tourism officials, while Poussaios will visit Hamburg in tandem for meetings with tourism officials.

    [16] Expatriate newspaper encourages Greek Americans to visit Greece

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    The bilingual weekly Greek American newspaper "Greek News" began a two-month campaign on Monday with the slogan "We are going to Greece this summer", appealing to every expatriate and every lover of Greece, calling on him to visit Greece this summer.

    According to an announcement by the newspaper, the campaign covers apart from the printed issue its electronic one as well, which is one of the Expatriate community's three biggest, with visitors from all over the world.

    In a frontpage article by the newspaper's publisher, Apostolis Zoupaniotis, being presented is "the triptych of the campaign: We love Greece, We are helping Greece in these difficult economic conjunctures and if we Greek Americans do not do it, who will?"

    The newspaper's relevant report includes messages by Greece's ambassador to the United States, Vassilis Kaskarelis, the president of the Council of Hellenes Abroad, Stefanos Tamvakis and the CHA US coordinator Theodoros Spyropoulos.

    General News

    [17] Deacon, foreign collector arrested on antiquities smuggling charges

    A 24-year-old deacon of the Sidirokastro Metropolis has been arrested by Thessaloniki police for attempting to sell to a 43-year-old Swiss collector items he claimed were relics of Saints, police announced on Monday.

    The deacon was arrested on Saturday after the Swiss collector was found at Thessaloniki's Macedonia airport with human bones in his luggage as he was preparing to fly to Germany.

    A police investigation turned up approximately 200 bones in a silver reliquary in the collector's luggage, which were seized, and an examination of the bones found them to be well-preserved and scented with myrrh, while the name of a Saint was written on each.

    The bones and reliquary were picked up by the collector from the deacon at Sidirokastro, in order to hand them over to a high-ranking cleric of the German Church, according to the collector in questioning by police.

    A search of the deacon's home on Monday by Thessaloniki Security police turned up 10 narcotic pills, 505 bones and 15 skulls on which names of saints were written, as well as a 19th century Byzantine icon, a 19th century Byzantine cross, two Byzantine rings, and five ancient and Byzantine coins which are protected under antiquities laws.

    The two men were arrested on charges of violation of the law on antiquities, the law on desecration of the dead, of grand theft, of accepting and disposal of the product of a crime, and on drug charges.

    The investigation is continuing into the activities of the two detainees and the origin of the bones, which are being examined by an Archaeology Service anthropologist.

    The two were taken before a Thessaloniki prosecutor.

    [18] Freighter runs aground on islet off Lesvos

    The Maltese-flag freighter 'Palmali Discovery', with 13 crewmembers on board, ran aground on a rocky islet off Mantamados on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos at 6:55 on Monday morning.

    The vessel, that had sailed from Russia travelling to Beirut, is carrying 3,300 tons of barley and according to Mytilene port officials it has a controlled inflow of water.

    Harbour vessels have gone to the scene, while a frogman is expected to make an assessment of the damage so that the vessel can be towed.

    The conditions leading to the naval accident are still unknown.

    [19] Events commemorating Battle of Crete

    Events marking the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Crete in May 1941 and the ensuing Nazi occupation of the island were held in the city of Hania.

    The battle that has been characterised as one of the most crucial moments in the struggle against axis forces in World War II was honoured once again in the presence of veteran fighters, repre-sentatives of allied delegations, inhabitants and local authorities.

    The main event was held at Maleme airport on Sunday afternoon, and included a religious service, speeches, a rollcall for the fallen and the laying of wreaths.

    [20] Thessaloniki petrol station robbed

    A petrol station in western Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, was robbed late on Saturday night by two men who had their faces covered and who seized about 1,300-1,500 euros after threatening the employee on duty with a gun and a knife.

    [21] Makrinitsa, the 'balcony' of Mt. Pelion

    The first references to the community of Makrinitsa on Mt Pelion, Magnesia Prefecture in central Greece, date back to 1204 and since then it has played a major role in the region's history as well as in the local economic and social life. It is located roughly 18 km from Volos, the capital city of the prefecture, and is among the most traditional settlements in Greece with exceptional architectural characteristics.

    Visitors to the picturesque village of Makrinitsa, also called the "balcony of Mt Pelion" for the panoramic view of Volos and the Pagasetic Gulf, can see numerous mansions, two Towers, churches and unique fortified houses dating back to late 17th and early 18th century, cobbled paths, traditional stone-built fountains, stone-built arched bridges and beautiful squares.

    The village is a major tourist destination and the main occupations of the local population are farming and woodcutting, while there are also many builders specializing in stone-carving and the maintenance and construction of stone-built traditional houses.

    Makrinitsa also features the Pelion Folk Art and History Museum, an Environmental Education Center, as well as a traditional coffee house decorated with an original large fresco by folk painter Theofilos.

    It is an all-year-round tourist destination located close to the Hania ski resort and the beaches at the foothills of southeastern Pelion.

    [22] Detainee commits suicide in police lock-up facility

    A 30-year-old detainee in a security police lock-up facility in Polichni, Thessaloniki, committed suicide on Monday, hanging himself with the belt of his slacks.

    The man had been arrested earlier for grabbing a handbag from a woman in Polichni, and passers-by managed to grab the mugger until police arrived.

    Police at the police station called an ambulance as soon as they became aware of the incident, but the paramedics ascertained that the man was already dead.

    An investigation has been launched into the incident, while a Sworn Administrative Inquiry (EDE) has also been ordered.

    Weather Forecast

    [23] Rainy on Tuesday

    Rainy weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-5 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 10C and 27C. Cloudy with possible rain in Athens, with variable 3-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 14C to 27C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 12C to 25C.

    [24] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The tackling of tax evasion, cracking down on corruption in hospitals and the social security issue were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "They have laid out a red carpet for the Chinese now".

    APOGEVMATINI: "First exams show drop in bases".

    AVGHI: "This government will not hold out".

    AVRIANI: "The stench of scandals choking public life, while paralysing government and opposition".

    CHORA: "Karamanalis must give an account before the people now".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Operation minister courts".

    EPOCHI: "Wild bunch. Merkel envisaging labour camp in Europe".

    ETHNOS: "The black lists with the heavy names of tax evasion".

    KATHIMERINI: "Arythmia in government and ministers' contrasts".

    LOGOS: "E.U and I.M.F. having summer 'bonus' in store for us".

    NIKI: "Greece the country of the green sun, PAOK, AEK, Kalamaria."

    PARON: "Slap for all. RASS poll fire for parties, politicians and businessmen".

    PROTO THEMA: "SDOE looking for Akis, Yiannos and Spilios."

    REAL NEWS: "Proposal-bomb by leading ND cadres to Antonis Samaras. Get rid of Karamanlis."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "People's reply to antipopular policy strengthening".

    VETO: "Their bank accounts are opening now".

    TO VIMA: "Here are the robbers of hospitals. Doctors, paramedics and tens of companies in circuit of corruption".

    VRADYNI: "Key-dates for the insured. The big losers and the few who benefit".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [25] Christofias and Eroglu to attend a dinner offered by the UN


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias will attend a dinner along with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Tuesday, Government Spokesman has announced.

    In a written statement, issued here Saturday, Stephanou said that "the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias will have on Tuesday, May 25, at 8 am, a dinner with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu".

    UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus issue, Alexander Downer, and the two leaders' advisors George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay, will also attend the dinner, which is hosted by the United Nations in a restaurant near Ledra Palace crossing point.

    The two leaders will be accompanied by their spouses, Stephanou concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began peace talks in September 2008. Talks are set to resume on May 26, between President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu, who succeeded Talat.

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