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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-01-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek premier visits "Ground Zero" of Sept. 11 heinous terrorist attack
  • [02] Govt announces measures to compensate farmers
  • [03] 4.5 R earthquake in Ileia prefecture
  • [04] Gov't promises OA deal by end of January
  • [05] Turkish Fashion Exhibition 2002 to be held in Thessaloniki
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Snow and rain on Thursday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [08] Teenager charged with murder claims his motive was rage, not robbery
  • [09] U.S. DEA gave the tip for the large drug haul bust in Piraeus
  • [10] Public prosecutor charges two for Zonas kidnapping
  • [11] Parliament installs cellphone jammer to stop MPs disrupting sessions
  • [12] Greek stocks continue losing ground in ASE

  • [01] Greek premier visits "Ground Zero" of Sept. 11 heinous terrorist attack

    09/01/2002 21:01:40

    NEW YORK (ANA - T. Ellis) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday paid homage in person to the site of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that came tumbling down on Sept. 11, as airplanes flown by terrorists destroyed them taking the life of thousands of innocent people.

    Simitis expressed his deep sorrow and sympathy of the Greek people for the victims and their families, as he stood at "Ground Zero" of the deadliest terrorist attack in history.

    "At the point we stand now, ?Ground Zero?, as it is called, is a site where thousands of people are buried, many Greeks and Greek-Americans among them. Each one of us should bow his head and think of these souls who were lost in this shrine by an act of an unbelievable brutality, a disgraceful terror act, a display of unimaginable savagery," Simitis said.

    ?This is an act that all civilized nations condemn, Greece first among them. From the very first moment of this terrorist attack the Greek government and the whole Greek nation sided with the families of all Americans mourning their relatives, espoused the grief of every Greek-American family for their lost ones and supported the just cause of the struggle against terrorism," he concluded.

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Dimitrios was present during the Greek premier's visit to the site of the Twin Towers.

    Simitis seized the opportunity to promise to the Archbishop Greece's aid in rebuilding the church of St. Nicolas that was utterly destroyed as the two towers fell on it.

    ?Greece will also help you rebuild here the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas not only to honor the victims of this tragedy but also as a symbol of human endurance and hope," Simitis said.

    U.S. Senator from New York Chuck Shummer who was also present, thanked Simitis for his visit to Ground Zero and stressed that with the Sept. 11 attack, the U.S. and New York "lost something very valuable".

    Following his visit to the site of the terrorist attack, Simitis departed for a central Manhattan hotel, where was to meet with the leadership of the Greek-American Community.

    [02] Govt announces measures to compensate farmers

    09/01/2002 21:01:29

    The Greek government on Wednesday announced five measures aimed at compensating farmers from crop and livestock damages suffered by recent heavy snowfall.

    The measures, announced by Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, Agriculture Minister George Drys and Finance Deputy Minister George Floridis, envisage:

    -the immediate payment of 50 percent of estimated damages,

    -ELGA, the farm insurance agency, will cover 75 percent of total damages,

    -compensations will cover all crop and livestock capital and costs of reconstructing facilities,

    -credit facilities to farmers whose loans expire in the first six months of 2002.

    "ELGA is currently visiting damaged areas to assess the situation," Christodoulakis told reporters.

    Drys said that all payments would have been made by the end of May and that any due loan payments would be paid interest-free.

    The two ministers did not exclude a move by the Greek government to ask for European Community's financial support to compensate for crop damages in the country.

    [03] 4.5 R earthquake in Ileia prefecture

    09/01/2002 20:58:41

    A moderate earthquake jolted the Ileia region Wednesday, but no damage was reported.

    The earthquake, registering 4.5 on the Richter scale , was recorded at 11:15 a.m. with its epicentre in Vartholomio, Ileia prefecture, at a depth of 20 kilometres below ground, according to the University of Patras' Seismology Laboratory.

    The tremor was also felt in Achaia prefecture.

    [04] Gov't promises OA deal by end of January

    09/01/2002 20:56:03

    The government on Wednesday promised to finalise a long-delayed majority sell-off of troubled Olympic Airways (OA) by the end of January, as the only consortium still in the running commenced a final round of talks this week in Athens.

    A 105-million-euro offer by the Australia-based Integrated Airline Solutions (IAS) for 51 percent of state-owned OA along with an accompanying commitment to retain 5,000 out of the debt-plagued airlines 7,000 employees -- is apparently the only option left on the negotiation table.

    An IAS delegation arrived in Athens on Tuesday for talks with officials from Credit Suisse First Boston, as the latter serves as the Greek governments consultant on the OA privatisation.

    Both parties met with the Greek National Economy and Transport ministers on Wednesday, Nikos Christodoulakis and Christos Verelis, respectively.

    It was Christodoulakis, in fact, who promised a conclusion to the OA deal by this month.

    [05] Turkish Fashion Exhibition 2002 to be held in Thessaloniki

    09/01/2002 20:53:25

    The Turkish Fashion Exhibition 2002 will be held at the premises of HELEXPO's International Exhibition Centre in Thessaloniki from January 18-20.

    More than 80 exhibitors of readyware clothing and of leather goods will take part.

    The exhibition is held under the aegis of the Greek-Turkish Chamber of Commerce.

    It is the second Turkish exhibition of its kind held in Greece. The first was held in Athens last year.

    The exhibition will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Snow and rain on Thursday

    09/01/2002 18:56:14

    Mostly sunny in Greece with cloud and light snowfall in the east early in the day on Thursday. Winds northerly, northeasterly, of gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from -7C to 6C; on the rest of the mainland from -2C to 9C; and in the islands from 0C to 9C. Cloud with light snowfall in higher elevations of Athens with temperatures between 1C to 8C. Mostly sunny in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from -3C to 6C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    09/01/2002 18:34:56

    Euro foreign exchange rates for tourists - Indicative buy rates

    (Amount of currency per 1 euro)

    U.S. dollar 0.899

    Pound sterling 0.623

    Danish kroner 7.497

    Swedish kroner 9.320

    Japanese yen 118.99

    Swiss franc 1.490

    Norwegian kroner 8.011

    Cyprus pound 0.580

    Canadian dollar 1.434

    Australian dollar 1.720

    [08] Teenager charged with murder claims his motive was rage, not robbery

    09/01/2002 18:14:01

    A 16-year-old highschool student who murdered his village grocer said on Wednesday that his crime had been motivated by "rage against the world and an urge to kill," shortly after he was remanded in custody by the public prosecutor and examining magistrate.

    The 16-year-old was charged with homicide and robbery on Tuesday after police said he confessed to the killing of Anastasios Polatsidis, 68, in his grocery store in Paralimni, near the northern city of Yiannitsa, about two weeks ago.

    Police searched the boy's home and found evidence of the crime, as well as blood stains. Evidence included a pickaxe, the clothes he wore on the day of the crime, packets of tobacco, cigarette lighters, bus tickets, 50 euros and 14,000 drachmas.

    Appearing before the examining magistrate on Wednesday, the boy appeared to feel remorse for his act and said he suffered from psychological problems.

    He denied that he considered notorious escaped convict Costas Passaris, who stands accused of multiple homicides, to be his role model but said that he felt rage like Passaris and wanted to kill as he did.

    In statements to the ANA, the boy's defence lawyer said he had asked for an expert opinion on the state of the 16-year-old's mental health and claimed that the boy felt rage against the whole world and had made it his goal to kill - even his own father, if possible.

    "This is why he categorically denied that his motive was robbery and why, once he realised what he had done, he went to a friend in tears and confided in him," the lawyer said.

    In his own statements, the teenager said he did not want to become an example that any child would emulate.

    [09] U.S. DEA gave the tip for the large drug haul bust in Piraeus

    09/01/2002 18:05:12

    The United States Drug Enforcement Administration provided the imformation to Greece's economic crime squad that led to the confiscation of more than 200 kilos of cocaine smuggled into the country from Colombia on Tuesday.

    The container with the drugs was discovered at a Piraeus customs house.

    According to police, the large cache of cocaine was hidden inside a container that arrived at Greeces largest port from Bogota, Colombia.

    Evidently the cocaine originate in Barraquilla, Colombia.

    [10] Public prosecutor charges two for Zonas kidnapping

    09/01/2002 17:36:50

    An Athens public prosecutor on Wednesday charged two people in connection with the Zonas kidnapping, which hit the headlines in December after the young businessman was released by his captors.

    Christoforos Lasithiotakis, 43, and Iranian national Albert Norusnian were charged with extortion, abduction and forming a gang under the new legislation relating to terrorism and organised crime. Norusnian was additionally charged with violating laws regarding the possession of explosives.

    The two are expected to appear before an examining magistrate later in the day.

    Earlier on Wednesday Attica police announced that they had cracked the Zonas kidnapping case and had two suspects in custody, while another two whose identity had not yet been discovered were still at large.

    Businessman Yiannis Zonas, 34, was kidnapped on October 2, 2001 and set free 63 days later in December, after his father paid a ransom of one million dollars.

    [11] Parliament installs cellphone jammer to stop MPs disrupting sessions

    09/01/2002 16:55:41

    A machine that switched off mobile phone devices in Parliament's debating chamber had been installed in order to stop MPs disrupting the sessions by talking on their cellphones, Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis said in Parliament on Wednesday.

    The device had been installed on a trial basis since the previous Friday and would begin operating immediately if it proved to be effective, he told the body.

    Reassuring the gathered MPs that the device did not emit hazardous radiation, Kaklamanis nevertheless expressed his regret at having to resort to such measures in order to limit the use of mobiles phones "given that this has become a plague, not just for Parliament's debating chamber but in other areas as well."

    Feelings on the issue among parliamentary deputies were mixed.

    [12] Greek stocks continue losing ground in ASE

    09/01/2002 16:35:02

    Equity prices remained under pressure for one more session on Wednesday pushing the general index below the 2,600 level for the first time this year.

    Traders said the fall was more a result of lack of buying interest and not as much of selling orders.

    The index ended 0.74 percent lower at 2,582.26 points, with turnover a low Dr 32.15 billion, or 94.37 million euros.

    The Bank, Publication and Holding sectors suffered the heaviest percentage gains (1.82 percent, 1.76 percent and 1.35 percent, respectively), while the Telecoms, Constructions and IT Solutions sectors scored gains.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.11 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 0.70 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.37 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 217 to 94 with another 36 issues unchanged.

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