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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-31

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece worried over developments in Middle East, calls for int'l
  • [02] Balkan Information Centre being set up by Macedonia-Thrace and
  • [03] Two-day conference on children's rights ends on Saturday in Athens
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Cloud and showers on Monday
  • [05] FM Papandreou postpones Jerusalem visit in Mideast tour
  • [06] FM Papandreou to begin Mid-East tour on Monday (CORRECTION-New Lead)
  • [07] FM Papandreou to begin Mid-East tour on Monday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates-New ECB rates on Tuesday

  • [01] Greece worried over developments in Middle East, calls for int'l intercession

    31/03/2002 22:46:03

    The Greek government on Sunday expressed concern over the latest dramatic developments in the Middle East, which it warned posed a direct threat to peace and stability in the wider region.

    ''The Greek government is following with particular worry the latest dramatic developments which place peace and stability in the wider region of the Middle East in direct danger,'' prime minister Costas Simitis said.

    ''The military blockade and operations of the Israeli army against (Palestinian) President Arafat in Ramala, coupled by the terrorist actions against innocent citizens in Israel, widen the cycle of violence and blood and breed the impasse into which the entire region has entered,'' Simitis said.

    He issued an appeal, ''in these difficult hours'', to the Israeli government to respect the decision of the UN Security Council for the withdrawal of the Israli military forces from Ramala, to guarantee the life and safety of the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, and to lift the blockade.

    The Greek premier further underscored that the international community, the UN, the European Union, and chiefly the United States had a ''historic duty to react immediately''.

    ''Greece has close ties with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, and is prepared to offer its services to put an end to the conflict and give a new opportunity to the peace process. There are plans that can comprise the gbadis of dialogue, such as the Saudi Arabian one,'' he continued.

    Greece, he added, was in close contact with its EU counterparts ''for a collective reaction on the part of the EU that will guarantee directly the safety of President Arafat and avert expansion of the conflict''.

    Meanwhile, parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and main opposition New Democracy (ND) MP and honourary president Constantine Mitsotakis, in Hania, Crete, also called on the international community to intercede so as to put an end to the bloodshed.

    Late Saturday night, foreign minister George Papandreou, on the island of Mytilene, said that the Greek government, political powers and people were watching with concern the developments ''related to the blockade and beseiging of President Arafat and his officials in Ramala by the military forces of Israel''.

    Papandreou said that Greece has stood by the side of Israeli people in very difficult moments, and that the Greek people share the pain of the families of the victims of terrorism, particularly in recent days, adding that he had personally stated this to Shimon Peres earlier in the day.

    At the same time, however, ''we are making a last-minute appeal to (Israeli) prime minister Ariel Sharon and foreign minister Shimon Peres to not go ahead with the attack we are hearing about and to personally ensure and guarantee the safety and life of President Arafat''.

    [02] Balkan Information Centre being set up by Macedonia-Thrace and Bulgarian press

    31/03/2002 22:35:58

    The establishment of a ''Balkan Information Network'' headquartered in Komotini is being advanced by the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Regional authorities in collaboration with the Macedonia-Thrace Union of Journalists (ESIEM-TH)and press representatives of neighbouring Bulgaria.

    The announcement was made Saturday by Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Regional secretary general Aris Papadopoulos during a day-seminar on ''Mass Media in Eastern Macedonia-Thrace - Crossroads in the Balkans'', attended by journalists from all over northern Greece.

    The Network would be directly linked with the Athens News Agency (ANA) and Macedonian Press Agency (MPA), and would contribute to the multi-faceted development of the region and cultivation of the intellectual ties and communication among the peoples of the region.

    [03] Two-day conference on children's rights ends on Saturday in Athens

    31/03/2002 22:34:39

    A two-day conference organized by Amnesty International and focusing on the protection of children's rights continued for its second day on Saturday in Zappeion Hall.

    The conference, also sponsored by the Athens News Agency, entitled ''Protection of children's rights: Absolute obligation - Unique prospect'', focused on the exploitation of children throughout the world.

    Speaking on the Greek realities, the participants noted their concern over the rise of drug use by minors, as well as the increase of mortality among minors due to drug use, while they also focused on the trafficking of children in sexual slavery conditions or for plain exploitation as street light children of children reaching Greece as refugees.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Cloud and showers on Monday

    31/03/2002 22:33:27

    Cloud and rain was forecast in Greece on Monday. Scattered cloud was forecast in western and northern Greece, while cloud and local showers were expected throughout the rest of the country, with local storms in the sea regions. Winds variable, weak in the west turning to storm and gale force in the east and the Aegean. Temperatures of -2 to 14 C in the north, 1-17 C in the west, and 2-14 C in the rest of the country. Athens will be cloudy with local showers early in the morning in the north and east of the Attica prefecture and temperatures of 5-13 C, but 2-3 degrees lower in the north of the prefecture. Cloud in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 2-13 C.

    [05] FM Papandreou postpones Jerusalem visit in Mideast tour

    31/03/2002 21:56:15

    The Greek foreign ministry late Sunday refuted an AFP dispatch from Jerusalem quoting Israels foreign ministry as announcing a visit by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou there on Monday, as part of his Mideast tour.

    According to foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis, Papandreou will depart on Monday evening for a one-day visit to Cairo.

    The Greek FMs previously scheduled visit to Israel and the Palestinian self-rule areas was postponed due to the dramatic escalation in fighting in the region, as well as an inability by the Greek side to approach the besieged headquarters of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.

    [06] FM Papandreou to begin Mid-East tour on Monday (CORRECTION-New Lead)

    31/03/2002 21:27:01

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday will visit Jerusalem, the first leg of a Middle East tour that will take him to Damascus and Cairo, the Israeli foreign ministry announced on Sunday, according to an AFP dispatch from Jerusalem.

    Papandreou will have talks with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres on the latest dramatic developments in the region.

    [07] FM Papandreou to begin Mid-East tour on Monday

    31/03/2002 21:14:20

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday will visit Jerusalem, the first leg of a Middle East tour that will take him to Damascus and Cairo, the Greek foreign ministry announced on Sunday.

    Papandreou will have talks with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres on the latest dramatic developments in the region.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates-New ECB rates on Tuesday

    31/03/2002 15:46:12

    New indicative euro foreign exchange rates for tourists will be released by the European Central Bank on Tuesday. Monday is a market holiday abroad for Catholic and Protestant Easter.


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