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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-02-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Special Olympics-Kaklamanis
  • [02] Manhunt-Shooting: RECASTS(adding second death, detail)
  • [03] Archbishop-Ethics-Tirade
  • [04] Banker-Alliances
  • [05] Athens Bourse-Banker-Interview
  • [06] Albanian Business Delegation-Trade Fairs
  • [07] Greek Parties-Iraq-Attacks
  • [08] Weather Forecast-Sunday
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday
  • [10] Amateur Athletics-Greece-Balkans
  • [11] Kavala-Thassos-Ferries-Strike
  • [12] Contraband Cigarettes-Arrest
  • [13] Manhunt-Felon-Shooting

  • [01] Special Olympics-Kaklamanis

    17/02/2001 19:34:32

    Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis on Saturday hosted the organisers of the Special Olympics for handicapped people, which are to be held in Alaska next month.

    "Modern democracies must offer all their citizens without exception the variety of resources that will allow them to fully develop their personalities and cultivate their creativity, overcoming natural weaknesses and social prejudice," Kaklamanis said.

    Among his guests in parliament were Timothy Kennedy-Shriver, the president and managing director of the Special Olympics committee; NATO's supreme allied commander, General Joseph Ralston; and a delegation of US senators, accompanied by US Ambassador in Athens, Nicholas Burns.

    [02] Manhunt-Shooting: RECASTS(adding second death, detail)

    17/02/2001 19:11:24

    Police launched the second day of a manhunt on Saturday for a convicted felon who escaped from an Athens hospital and shot two police officers and a prison warden, fatally wounding two of the men.

    One police officer, Athanasios Drakopoulos, 45, died on Friday at the Athens General State Hospital where he had been shot hours earlier by 26-year-old Constantine Passaris, arrested a year ago in a shoot-out with police in a downtown Athens square.

    Passaris, who was taken to hospital from jail for a brain scan, used a 5.45 mm pistol to shoot the guards, identified by police as a weapon of Russian origin used by security forces. It is the second time such a weapon has been found in Greece.

    Another police officer, Dionysis Alevizopoulos, 48, died on Saturday after undergoing two operations at the same hospital. Prison warden Andreas Fysekis, 27, was reported in stable condition.

    Passaris was wearing handcuffs when he fired at his guards, which he removed using a key given to him by an accomplice or taken from one of the policemen, officials said.

    Police are investigating how Passaris knew when and where he was to be taken in order to arrange his escape.

    On Friday, the police chief suspended the director of the police detainees transfer division for negligence in handling Passaris' security. More police officers may be suspended on Saturday if evidence of culpability is found, authorities said.

    Also suspended were the governor of Korydallos prison, where Passaris was imprisoned, and its managers and doctor.

    Police are looking into whether officials of the detainees transfer division were aware of Passaris' record; whether they had informed police accompanying him; and why police services had not been asked to take additional security measures during the felon's transfer.

    Witnesses said Passaris and an accomplice headed towards an adjacent hospital facility after the shooting, while another accomplice walked out of the main entrance before forcing a hospital employee at gunpoint to turn over the keys to a black Lancia. The vehicle was recovered nearby.

    Passaris, a convicted robber, was imprisoned in Korydallos after he and two Romanian outlaws opened fire on police with a submachine gun and handguns in a routine traffic check near Vathis Square in late February 2000. One of the Romanians was killed and three police officers were wounded during the incident.

    Patrol officers at the time escaped serious injury due to bullet-proof vests they were wearing.

    The second Romanian man was killed a few days later in another shoot-out with police in the western Petroupoli district.

    [03] Archbishop-Ethics-Tirade

    17/02/2001 18:55:20

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece on Saturday sternly criticised what he called slack standards in medical and social ethics.

    Addressing the Attica Dentists' Association, Christodoulos slammed abortion, euthanasia, test-tube babies and a future option for parents to choose the gender of their child.

    He also attacked commercial exploitation that was linked to organs for transplants.

    [04] Banker-Alliances

    17/02/2001 18:31:21

    Strategic alliances forged by Greek banks with major players abroad are likely to have an adverse impact by lessening their freedom of movement, Theodoros Karatzas, governor of the National Bank of Greece, said on Saturday.

    "A banking alliance (of this kind) will probably have an adverse impact on the (domestic) bank, eliminating a major flexibility factor, which is National's ability to associate with all the large financial houses abroad," Karatzas told the weekly Ikonomikos Tahydromos magazine.

    Key examples of alliances between domestic banks and large credit institutions abroad are private EFG Eurobank Ergasias with Deutsche Bank of Germany, and state Commercial Bank of Greece with Credit Agricole of France.

    State-run National is the country's largest commercial bank and a blue chip on the Athens bourse.

    [05] Athens Bourse-Banker-Interview

    17/02/2001 18:18:37

    A leading banker on Saturday called on political parties to keep their noses out of the daily workings of the embattled Athens bourse.

    "The daily operation of the Athens Stock Exchange is not aided by being lent a political direction, either one way or the other," Theodoros Karatzas, governor of the state-run National Bank of Greece, told the weekly Ikonomikos Tahydromos financial magazine.

    "This type of action must be avoided. Political parties must have principles and a viewpoint about the market's operation, but they mustn't get involved in day to day workings," said Karatzas, who heads the country's largest commercial bank and a bourse blue chip.

    The stock market needed to revert to its natural role of housing long-term placements and recycling banking deposits, and move away from speculative trading, he noted.

    "Greek enterprises must have the chance to tap the long-term capital they need from a calm capital market," Karatzas added.

    [06] Albanian Business Delegation-Trade Fairs

    17/02/2001 18:02:59

    An Albanian delegation of engineering contractors on Saturday visited two international trade fairs in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, and held talks with regional business leaders.

    The trip by the delegation from the Tirana Chamber of Trade and Commerce to the Infacoma and Marmin fairs was arranged by the commercial attache at Greece's embassy in Tirana, Mihalis Vrettakis.

    [07] Greek Parties-Iraq-Attacks

    17/02/2001 17:49:28

    Three domestic political parties on Saturday strongly criticised the US and Britain for staging air strikes against Iraq in which Baghdad says two people were killed.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) called the raids "criminal", saying their perpetrators should be punished.

    "The murderers of the Iraqi people and their children, who are dying due to the impact of an embargo and radiation-bearing weapons, should not go unpunished," the KKE said in a statement.

    The party repeated its long-standing call for Greece to leave NATO.

    In addition, the Coalition of the Left and Progess decried the bombings as a "show of strength" by new US President George Bush and Britain.

    Calling on the Greek government to condemn the air strikes, the Coalition accused the US and British governments of using terror tactics in the Middle East at a time when a bid for peace in the region was sorely tried.

    Finally, the Democratic Social Movement charged the United Nations, European Union and other international groups of remaining silent over what it called "a disgrace to humanity", and serving the interests of the west instead of working for human rights and international law.

    [08] Weather Forecast-Sunday

    17/02/2001 17:48:22

    Fair weather is forecast throughout the country on Sunday, with limited early morning visibility. Winds west-northwesterly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from -5C to 12C; on the rest of the mainland from -1C to 16C; and in the islands from 5C to 15C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 4C and 14C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from -1C to 12C.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    17/02/2001 17:48:14

    Monday's buying rates

    U.S. dollar 370.944

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 537.910

    Irish punt 429.202

    Belgian franc 008.379

    Luxembourg franc 008.379

    Dutch guilder 153.389

    Italian lira (100) 017.457

    Austrian schilling 024.565

    Danish kroner 45.287

    Swedish kroner 37.719

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 322.283

    Swiss franc 219.923

    Norwegian kroner 41.247

    Cyprus pound 583.595

    Canadian dollar 241.598

    Australian dollar 195.810

    [10] Amateur Athletics-Greece-Balkans

    17/02/2001 17:44:33

    The Balkan Athletics Union on Saturday chose as its president for a four-year term the head of the Greek Amateur Athletics Federation (SEGAS), Vassilis Sevastis.

    Meeting in Athens, the Balkan union also approved the founding statutes of a new Athens-based group to be named the Amateur Balkan Athletics Federation (ABAF), officials said.

    [11] Kavala-Thassos-Ferries-Strike

    17/02/2001 17:21:46

    A three-day-old strike by workers on ferries and hydrofoils that ply the northern Kavala to Thassos route has severely disrupted transport between the port city and tourist island, port officials said on Saturday.

    Strikers are considering extending their walkout for another 48 hours, which would cause Thassos severe problems due to a lack of supplies, the officials said.

    [12] Contraband Cigarettes-Arrest

    17/02/2001 17:12:38

    A suspected cigarette trafficker was arrested in northern Greece after 4,000 packs of contraband goods were found in his possession, police said on Saturday.

    The man, identified as Aftadil Karypidis, 38, of Xanthi was arrested on a motorway between the port cities of Thessaloniki and Kavala after a search of his car revealed the illegally imported cigarettes, police officials said.

    Karypidis refused during questioning to reveal the source of the loot, which police believe was intended for street sale in Thessaloniki, Kavala and Xanthi.

    Police are also investigating whether the man is a member of a sprawling crime ring that trades large quantities of cigarettes from Greece and abroad in the north of the country. The cigarettes are often made in Ukraine of poor quality tobacco that may contain added health risks for smokers.

    The police, financial crimes squad and customs authorities are conducting an extensive enquiry in the north, focusing on Thrace, in a bid to catch members of an international cigarette trafficking ring that imports cigarettes to Greece from the former Soviet republics, costing the government around a trillion drachmas in lost tax and tariffs.

    [13] Manhunt-Felon-Shooting

    17/02/2001 16:06:29

    Police launched the second day of a manhunt on Saturday for a convicted felon who escaped from an Athens hospital and shot two police officers and a prison warden, fatally wounding one of the men.

    The police officer, Athanasios Drakopoulos, 45, died on Friday at the Athens General State Hospital where he had been shot hours earlier by 26-year-old Constantine Passaris, arrested a year ago in a shoot-out with police in a downtown Athens square.

    Passaris, who was taken to hospital from jail for a brain scan, used a 5.45 mm pistol to shoot the guards, identified by police as a weapon of Russian origin used by security forces. It is the second time such a weapon has been found in Greece.

    Another police officer, Dionysis Alevizopoulos, underwent surgery after the shooting and was listed in critical condition.

    Passaris was wearing handcuffs when he fired at his guards, which he removed using a key given to him by an accomplice or taken from one of the policemen, officials said.

    Police are investigating how Passaris knew when and where he was to be taken in order to arrange his escape.

    On Friday, the police chief suspended the director of the police detainees transfer division for negligence in handling Passaris' security. More police officers may be suspended on Saturday if evidence of culpability is found, authorities said.

    Also suspended were the governor of Korydallos prison, where Passaris was imprisoned, and its managers and doctor.

    Police are looking into whether officials of the detainees transfer division were aware of Passaris' record; whether they had informed police accompanying him; and why police services had not been asked to take additional security measures during the felon's transfer.

    Witnesses said Passaris and an accomplice headed towards an adjacent hospital facility after the shooting, while another accomplice walked out of the main entrance before forcing a hospital employee at gunpoint to turn over the keys to a black Lancia. The vehicle was recovered nearby.

    Passaris, a convicted robber, was imprisoned in Korydallos after he and two Romanian outlaws opened fire on police with a submachine gun and handguns in a routine traffic check near Vathis Square in late February 2000. One of the Romanians was killed and three police officers were wounded during the incident.

    Patrol officers at the time escaped serious injury due to bullet-proof vests they were wearing.

    The second Romanian man was killed a few days later in another shoot-out with police in the western Petroupoli district.


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