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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-02-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM sees dirty tricks campaign against the government (ADDS)
  • [02] Balkan support for return of Parthenon Marbles by 2004
  • [03] PM sees dirty tricks campaign against the government
  • [04] Opinion poll gives main opposition lead over government party
  • [05] Chief engineer of sunken Samina ferry released on bail
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

  • [01] PM sees dirty tricks campaign against the government (ADDS)

    23/02/2002 21:19:36

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis charged on Saturday that a no-holds barred campaign was being waged to discredit the government, implying that the main opposition New Democracy party was involved.

    "A carefully orchestrated campaign has recently emerged to sully the goverment, politics and politicians; a campaign with no barriers, rules, principles or bounds; a campaign camouflaged in masks, with the people who seek to benefit from the mire remaining out of sight," Simitis said.

    Speaking in the northern town of Edessa, the prime minister also said that the current climate evoked a time before the country's 1967-1974 dictatorship.

    "If we take a good look at the people moving in this murky landscape, we will remember past eras with murky landscapes that took Greece into dictatorship and put the country back years," he said.

    Simitis called on the public and politicians, regardless of party political affiliation, to create a united front against what he called an endeavour to degrade politics and weaken democracy.

    "There is a certain kind of information being given out that is not a true picture of Greece. The Greece it manufactures wrongs the Greeks," he said.

    "This is an attempt to overturn the coherence and meaning of modernisation for the country," the prime minister added.

    Later in the day, he repeated that national elections would be held on schedule in the autumn of 2004.

    Simitis wound up his tour of the Pella prefecture with a visit to an archaeological museum; and to a rowing centre used for Olympics training, where he met members of Russia's national team using the facility.

    He also met children with special needs ahead of the opening of a new centre in Edessa; and visited a newly built workers' housing complex.

    [02] Balkan support for return of Parthenon Marbles by 2004

    23/02/2002 21:05:02

    Culture and sports ministers from southeastern Europe said on Saturday that they would like the United Kingdom to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in time for the Athens Olympics.

    "The sculptures must be in Athens for the 2004 Olympics," the ministers said in a joint statement at the end of a two-day meeting in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

    The session was arranged by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos who is seeking cooperation from the region for the Cultural Olympiad, which forms part of the main event.

    Agreed was that southeast European countries would host the travelling Olympic flame; and that the countries would organise cultural events as part of the Olympics through newly created arts networks in the Balkans, including cinema and theatre.

    In addition, a Balkan book fair is to be held in Thessaloniki from next year, and a regional website created.

    Adopted was a proposal by the culture minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, musician Ganka Samolovska Cvetanova, to found a southeast European orchestra.

    Attending the meeting were ministers or their representatives from Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, the FYROM, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.

    They are due to meet again in Thessaloniki in the first half of 2003, timed to coincide with an informal meeting of European Union culture ministers that will be held in the city during Greece's presidency of the 15-nation bloc.

    [03] PM sees dirty tricks campaign against the government

    23/02/2002 20:18:50

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis charged on Saturday that a no-holds barred campaign was being waged to discredit the government, implying that the main opposition New Democracy party was involved.

    "A carefully orchestrated campaign has recently emerged to sully the goverment, politics and politicians; a campaign with no barriers, rules, principles or bounds; a campaign camouflaged in masks, with the people who seek to benefit from the mire keeping out of sight," Simitis said.

    Speaking in the northern town of Edessa, the prime minister also said that the current climate evoked a time before the country's 1967-1974 dictatorship.

    "If we take a good look at the people moving in this murky landscape, we will remember past eras with murky landscapes that took Greece into dictatorship and put the country back years," he said.

    Simitis called on the public and politicians, regardless of party political affiliation, to create a united front against what he called an endeavour to degrade politics and weaken democracy.

    "There is a certain kind of information being given out that is not a true picture of Greece. The Greece it manufactures wrongs the Greeks," he said.

    "This is an attempt to overturn the coherence and meaning of modernisation for the country," the prime minister added.

    [04] Opinion poll gives main opposition lead over government party

    23/02/2002 16:48:19

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party was 6.3 percentage points ahead of ruling PASOK in an opinion poll published on Saturday by the Imerissia daily financial newspaper.

    Conducted by Metron Analysis, the poll gave ND 37.2 percent of voter preference against 37.5 percent in an equivalent survey in November 2001. PASOK secured 30.9 percent of the vote from 32.2 percent in November.

    The latest survey gave the Communist Party of Greece 5.3 percent; the Free Citizens' Movement 5.1 percent; the Coalition of the Left and Progress 3.9 percent; and the Democratic Social Movement 1.7 percent.

    At the same time, the poll revealed voter dissatisfaction with both main parties. Of respondents, 41.7 percent expressed displeasure with the government, and 37.5 percent with ND.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis secured 33.6 percent of voter confidence against 33.4 percent for ND leader Costas Karamanlis. The remaining 23 percent felt confidence in neither of the two party leaders.

    [05] Chief engineer of sunken Samina ferry released on bail

    23/02/2002 16:16:55

    The chief engineer of the Express Samina ferry, which sank off the Aegean island of Paros in September 2000 with 81 deaths, was released on bail on Saturday after questioning.

    Facing a barrage of charges including premeditated murder, chief engineer Gerasimos Skiadaresis was called by an investigating magistrate to give evidence in the case.

    A request by the magistrate for Skiadaresis to be detained was rejected by a prosecutor, who recommended release on bail and prohibition from leaving the country.

    A judicial body on the island of Syros, where the shipwreck case is being handled, will rule on the detention dispute in coming days.

    A report on the causes of the shipwreck released in September 2001 found that the ferry had sunk rapidly because hatches separating its watertight compartments had been left open.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday

    23/02/2002 15:36:06

    Cloud turning to rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country, with snow on high ground in the north. Winds west-northwesterly, moderate to very strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 3C to 11C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 5C to 14C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 15C. Overcast in Athens with rain likely to fall in the evening. Temperatures between 8C and 14C. Rain and a storm in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5C to 11C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    23/02/2002 15:08:44

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro until Monday

    U.S. dollar 0.881

    Pound sterling 0.616

    Danish kroner 7.492

    Swedish kroner 9.228

    Japanese yen 118.0

    Swiss franc 1.491

    Norwegian kroner 7.824

    Cyprus pound 0.581

    Canadian dollar 1.402

    Australian dollar 1.711


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