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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-10-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greeks go to the polls this Sunday to elect mayors, prefects
  • [02] Internet ''chat'' with Valery Giscard d' Estaing
  • [03] Widow of last 'N17' victim praises Greek authorities' efforts (recast)
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Rain on Saturday
  • [05] Greek stocks end 4.1 pct up in highest one-day gain in 2002

  • [01] Greeks go to the polls this Sunday to elect mayors, prefects

    11/10/2002 23:25:29

    Greeks will go to the polls on Sunday to elect their mayors and prefects, following a tame pre-election campaign that focused on the problems of local societies, with a strong political undercurrent.

    Athens and Thessalonki candidates used the television debate style ''confrontations'' widely, more so than any other time in Greek elections' history, and on Friday concluded their appearances as law prescribes.

    This will be the first of a possible two Sundays of elections, as many municipalities and prefectures will fail to give the necessary 50 per cent plus one vote to the winning candidate, thus forcing a runoff.

    On Friday morning, the ministry of interior conducted a general test of its polling procedures, to verify the ability of the mechanism set up to collect and publish the results of the election from all over the country.

    An all-party committee will be present to verify the results of the process, during the day and until late evening when the final tabulations are expected to be concluded.

    Meanwhile, the country's largest municipality, Athens has set up special computer centers to inform citizens of their balloting centers and more than 450 taxis and 137 mini-buses were commandeered to transport elderly and handicapped voters.

    The 200,000 voters of Athens will have to choose between ruling PASOK's candidate Christos Papoutsis, main opposition New Democracy's Dora Bakoyianni, Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) Spyros Halvatzis, the Coalition of the Left and Progress(Synaspismos) Fotis Kouvelis and DHKKI's Yiannis Dimaras .

    In a related development, the state traffic police announced measures to facilitate the ''travelling voters'', that is residents of large cities who will exercise their democratic right in their rural hometowns.

    [02] Internet ''chat'' with Valery Giscard d' Estaing

    11/10/2002 20:30:15

    Former French President and now Chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe Valery Giscard D'Estaing will hold a ?direct dialogue with the citizens of Europe? on 28 October 2002, from 18.30 20.00 Central European Time (CET).

    More information about participation in the Internet chat is provided at http://europa.eu.int, while information on the Convention on the Future of Europe is provided at http://european-convention.eu.int.

    [03] Widow of last 'N17' victim praises Greek authorities' efforts (recast)

    11/10/2002 18:21:16

    The widow of the notorious ''November 17'' terrorist group's last victim and the woman who helped crystallize public opinion against the terror band over the past two years offered her insights in Athens on Friday, stressing that she always felt the perpetrators would be apprehended.

    Heather Saunders, the wife of slain British defence attache Stephen Saunders, spoke to reporters at the British embassy in downtown Athens, where her husband was headed to on the morning of June 8, 2000 when he was assassinated by ''N17''.

    With British ambassador David Madden at her side, Saunders briefly addressed a room full of reporters and television cameras, offering praise for local police authorities, the government as well as the Greek people and media. Saunders' latest return to Athens comes more than three months into the ongoing and unprecedented effort by police and prosecutors to eradicate the lethal terror group.

    Asked about the 17 alleged ''N17'' suspects currently jailed pending trial, Saunders noted that ''if they are proven to be guilty ... I'd just like them to go to prison; to be deprived of the company of their loved ones... just as we've been''.

    ''We are still victims, despite the fact that some people being held may or may not be the perpetrators,'' she added, before calling on the media to also focus on some of the lesser-known family members of the ultra-leftist terrorist group's victims. Along these lines, she said any compensation emanating from convicted ''N17'' members should be allocated to the ''families of victims in a less fortunate economic condition''.

    A day after she provided pre-trial testimony here to an appellate-level investigating magistrate regarding her husband's shooting death and days after filing a civil lawsuit in the case, Heather Saunders avoided speculating on whether every member of the elusive terror group has been apprehended. She also stressed that guilt would be established in a Greek courtroom, where forensic evidence will be presented as well.

    In touching on speculation often aired in the local media, Saunders noted that Scotland Yard's involvement in the ''N17'' probe following her husband's death was ''small'', whereas ''Greek police have worked very, very hard ... they've (Greek police) dispelled the doubts''.

    Finally, she categorically dismissed a ''claim'' published in a ''N17'' proclamation following her husband's assassination, namely, that he was involved in the NATO military strikes against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis in 1999.

    ''If it's any consolation, he was against the war in Kosovo,'' she said, adding that her husband believed that ''although some atrocities'' had occurred in the troubled Yugoslav province, the path of negotiations should have been continued.

    ''Basically, he was a man of peace,'' she said. Heather Saunders also told reporters that her husband was with her in England at the time of the Kosovo crisis.

    ''Even if someone was involved (in the Kosovo strikes) that's not a reason to be killed by terrorists,'' Ambassador Madden added.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Rain on Saturday

    11/10/2002 18:10:36

    Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country, easing off for short spells in the centre and south. Winds southerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 13C to 23C; in the west from 16C to 25C; and in the rest of the country from 15C to 29C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 25C; and in Thessaloniki from 15C to 22C.

    [05] Greek stocks end 4.1 pct up in highest one-day gain in 2002

    11/10/2002 16:32:27

    Greek stocks recorded the biggest one-day rise this year on Friday as a strong recovery in other European markets encouraged buying activity in the Athens Stock Exchange, particularly for blue chip stocks that have suffered the heaviest losses in the last two months.

    The general index soared 4.10 percent to end at 1,807.09 points, near the day's highs. Turnover was an improved 98 million euros.

    The IT Solutions and Holding sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (6.99 percent and 6.43 percent, respectively), while the Investment, Banks, Wholesale and Telecommunications sectors ended with gains of more than 5.0 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks jumped 5.0 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 3.75 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 3.66 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 339 to 14 with another 12 issues unchanged.

    The general index ended the week with a net gain of 0.82 percent.


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