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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-07-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 12 July 2010 Issue No: 3538


  • [01] Alt. FM: Future of SE Europe lies in EU
  • [02] PM to chair SI com't meeting on Poros on Mon.
  • [03] Efthymiou elected as chairman of OSCE Parliamentary assembly
  • [04] Kouvelis elected president of new leftist party
  • [05] Ag minister on Rehn proposal
  • [06] Renovated Thassos archaeological museum re-dedicated
  • [07] Gaza-bound vessel carrying Libya-financed humanitarian aid
  • [08] 2 foreign nationals fatally shot in separate incidents
  • [09] Makeshift bomb located at abandoned Parnitha hotel
  • [10] Suspect linked with bomb planted in abandoned hotel
  • [11] Massive cargo of contraband cigarettes seized; 11 arrests
  • [12] Fair on Monday
  • [13] Athens Newspaper Headlines Politics

  • [01] Alt. FM: Future of SE Europe lies in EU


    Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas represented Athens here on Saturday at the Croatia Summit 2010, which brought together several European heads of governments and foreign ministers.

    "Greece's message for the Balkans is constant, and is one we repeated at today's session here in Dubrovnik: the future of the region lies in the EU, in our European family. It is a future that guarantees peace, stability, security, good-neighbourly relations and economic prosperity for the entire region," Droutsas said after the summit's conclusion, while adding:

    "We are referring to Greece's immediate neighbourhood and we have every interest in promoting this European future of our neighbours. Greece's role in these efforts is a leading one, and this is recognised by all of our neighbours and all of our partners in the European Union.

    "When we speak of the future of Southeastern Europe, a proposal is enough - and I could conclude my speech with that - that is coming from the depths of my heart and I believe in it steadfastly: The future of Southeastern Europe, the immediate future of our neighbouring region belongs to the ranks of Europe, the European Union. This is the criterion for Greece. This is our steadfast conviction. This is - if you wish - our vision. The vision of a unified European area, fully integrated in the European Union, without gaps, without 'black holes'."

    Referring to Turkey, he said: "I take the opportunity due to the presence here of another good friend, Mr. Egemen Bagis, for me to reiterate once again our message to Turkey, a very clear message: We want to see; Greece wants to see Turkey become a member-state of the European Union. For this to happen it is required that necessary reforms must take place, Turkey must fulfil its commitments towards the European Union and all its member-states. But we are prepared to support Turkey on this path.

    "We selected therefore the year 2014 as the end, as the time framework, but with very symbolic terms. And I would like to repeat this, because many friends and colleagues of mine referred to the difficulties of promoting enlargement before public opinion in the countries of the European Union, in this enlargement fatigue to which I also referred a short while ago. It is a deeply symbolic date, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War from Sarajevo, considered as the start of many of the open wounds still (plaguing) the region."

    On the sidelines of the summit, Droutsas met with Turkish Minister of State and chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolay Mladenov and Austria's minister for European & international affairs Michael Spindelegger.

    Attendance at Srebrenica memorial

    A day later, Droutsas travelled to neighbouring Bosnia to attend a memorial in Srebrenica on the occasion of the 15-year anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and youths during the Bosnian civil war.

    Droutsas also laid a wreath at a memorial on behalf of the Greek government, according to an ANA-MPA dispatch from the eastern Bosnian town. He was joined by Serbian President Boris Tadic, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and the entire political leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    "We are here to honor the memory of the victims; what occurred here must never happen again," he underlined, stressing that Athens backs the democratisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the rapprochement of the ethnic groups that reside in the country.

    Moreover, he reiterated that the future of the countries in the region belongs within the European family.

    [02] PM to chair SI com't meeting on Poros on Mon.

    A meeting of the Socialist International's committee on international economic issues will take place on the Saronic isle of Poros on Monday morning, under the chairmanship of Greek Prime Minister and Socialist International President George Papandreou.

    Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will serve as the coordinator of the session.

    The committee's main topic of discussion will be the evaluation of decisions taken during the recent G20 meeting in Toronto and initiatives ahead of the next meeting, set to take place in Seoul, Korea in November.

    [03] Efthymiou elected as chairman of OSCE Parliamentary assembly

    Greek Parliament deputy and former PASOK minister Petros Efthymiou has been elected as chairman of the OSCE's Parliamentary assembly.

    Greek PM George Papandreou later phoned to congratulate Efthymiou, while congratulations were also extended by Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos, main opposition ND leader Antonis Samaras and LA.OS party leader George Karatzaferis.

    Speaking from Dubrovnik, Croatia, where he is attending the Croatia Summit 2010 conference, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas extended his congratulations to Efthymiou over his election to the post.

    [04] Kouvelis elected president of new leftist party

    The newly formed Democratic Left party, an offshoot of the two-decades-old Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), on Saturday elected its first president, veteran leftist MP Fotis Kouvelis, during the inaugual meeting of its national political committee in Athens.

    A party congress was set for the end of the year, officials of the new party said.

    Financial News

    [05] Ag minister on Rehn proposal

    Agricultural Development & Food Minister Katerina Batzeli, speaking during a press conference during a tour of the northern prefecture of Serres on Sunday, referred to the strengthening and restructuring of the agricultural economy.

    Referring to a recent proposal by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn favouring a discontinuation of EU subsidies to the farmers and fishermen of member-states that have a deficit exceeding 3 percent as a percentage of GDP, Batzeli stressed that "this approach is very far from reality ... it is far from a substantive handling of the economic recession in which the European Union is finding itself and on the contrary a cutback in growth funds and EU subsidies will create more problems for member-states instead of giving them backing to overcome this problem."

    General News

    [06] Renovated Thassos archaeological museum re-dedicated

    The archaeological museum on the northern Aegean island of Thass´s was re-dedicated on Saturday in the isle capital of Limena following extensive renovations at the facility.

    Some 1,700 objects are on display at the 1,400-square-metre museum' s 16 halls, which host exhibitions dating from the early an˘Úquity right down to the Byzantine period. Additionally, the remains of Classical and Roman-era buildings are visible in the museum's basement.

    The newly renovated museum was inaugurated by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos.

    [07] Gaza-bound vessel carrying Libya-financed humanitarian aid

    A Moldavian-flagged vessel loaded with 2,000 tons humanitarian aide will attempt to transport the cargo to Gaza, according to reports here on Saturday.

    The vessel, identified as the "Amalthia", was docked at the small port of Lavrio, east of Athens.

    The shipment is reportedly being financed by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, Saif al Islam Qadhafi, will the final recipient being the Palestinian Red Crescent. Aid is described as flour, sugar, rice, tomato paste, cooking oils and pharmaceu-ticals.

    According to local reports, the vessel was expected to depart on Saturday evening or Sunday morning and is carrying accompanying activists.

    [08] 2 foreign nationals fatally shot in separate incidents

    Two homicides involving Albanian nationals as victims were reported in separate incidents on Saturday morning in the greater Athens area.

    In the first instance, two suspects in a moving vehicle fired on and fatally wounded a man walking under a highway underpass. According to police, in fact, the vehicle was speeding up a highway entrance ramp while at least one gunman shot the victim.

    Roughly 45 mintues later another unidentified suspect shot the clerk of a street kiosk in the inner city district of Aghios Panteleimonas. As in the first incident, the perpetrator fired a handgun from within his vehicle at the clerk.

    [09] Makeshift bomb located at abandoned Parnitha hotel

    A makeshift explosive device was discovered in the early morning hours on Saturday in the abandoned building that once housed a luxury hotel atop Mt. Parnitha, overlooking Athens from the northwest.

    According to police, the mechanism was found inside a plastic barrel and comprised of a 12-litre propane gas canister attached to a car battery and an electronic receiver, possibly for activation via remote control.

    A tip reportedly led police to the bomb.

    [10] Suspect linked with bomb planted in abandoned hotel

    A 32-year-old local man with ties to organised crime has been arrested and charged with placing a makeshift bomb inside an abandoned hotel atop Mt. Parnitha, with authorities saying the suspect was reportedly testing a new explosive device for use at another target.

    The bomb, consisting of a 12-litre propane tank and attached to a homemade remote control detonating device, was discovered and disarmed by bomb disposal experts on Saturday.

    According to reports, the suspect has a criminal record and has previously come under investigation for his role as a contract killer.

    [11] Massive cargo of contraband cigarettes seized; 11 arrests

    Eleven people (nine foreign nationals and two local men) were arrested by the coast guard aboard two separate vessels off the coast of Elefsina on Saturday and charged with massive contraband cigarette smuggling.

    According to authorities, the Ukrainian-flagged freighter "Alla" was stopped and boarded by the coast guard a sea region off Elefsina after being discreetly monitored over a course of several days.

    Officers discovered more than 2.3 million packets of cigarettes aboard the "Alla" packaged in 4,636 large cardboard boxes. Unpaid taxes for the contraband cargo were estimated at seven million euros.

    Another vessel shadowing the freighter, identified as the "Argonaftis", was also boarded, with two Greek nationals, aged 49 and 27, charged with facilitating the illegal transfer of the cigarettes.

    Weather Forecast

    [12] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 17C and 36C. Fair in Athens, with northerly 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 23C to 36C. Cloudy with possible local showers in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 33C.

    [13] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The recently passed social security reform bill and concerns over the economy mostly dominated the headlines in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Ankara's hawks sharpening their claws".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Entry level scores for universities".

    AVGI: "Government passed (social security reform) in Parliament, which will be blocked by society."

    AVRIANI: "Siemens blackmailing 12 former ministers to stop company's prosecution."

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New VAT 'bomb' will finish off markets".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Prices on fire, markets frozen".

    KATHIMERNI: "State's debts and cost of money suffocating the market."

    ETHNOS: "Clashes between ministers cause ... restructuring in government".

    EPOCHI: "Unjust, unconstitutional provisions (in social security bill) provoke public sentiment".

    NIKI: "Banks saying 'I won't pay' to househoulds, businesses."

    PARON (weekly): "They're (government) aiming for political polarisation to deal with government's political isolation".

    PROTO THEMA (weekly): "18 former Parliament deputies appointed as directors in national health system."

    Real News (weekly): "PASOK MPs demand intervention by PM George Papandreou."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Businesses within hospitals with increased risks for people's health."

    VETO (weekly): "War in Saronikos municipality (southeast of Athens) over candidacy of Mrs. Pangalos".

    VIMA: "Shocking cuts in pensions to achieve surplus funds by 2014".

    VRADYNI: "All of the changes: How to gain more social security contributions."

    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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