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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] SEECP member-states sign rail agreement
  • [02] 4th European Social Forum kicks off in Athens

  • [01] SEECP member-states sign rail agreement

    Transport ministers from South East Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP) member-states on Thursday signed a rail agreement in Thessaloniki laying out a framework that will allow the creation of a regional network in a quadrant of Europe notorious for substandard rail services.

    In signing the agreement, Greek Transport Minister Mihalis Liapis emphasised that Athens alone is finalising a one-billion-euro budget for upgrading the country's rail lines and rolling stock.

    Broadly, the agreement foresees the development of a total of 16 rail axes in the Balkans, cutting travel times and speeding up border checks via hi-tech on-board police and customs screening.

    The most recent regional rail agreements in the region inaugurated a Thessaloniki-Istanbul and Thessaloniki-Sofia route.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] 4th European Social Forum kicks off in Athens

    The sessions of the 4th European Social Forum got under way in Athens on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday with the movements' assembly.

    According to the organisers, about 10,000 people from all European countries arrived at the fromer Western Airport to take part in the Forum's events.

    The organisers said that the number of participants at the Forum exceeded all expectations.

    The issue which prevailed in Thursday's discussions was the threat of military intervention in Iran and was also the topic of a press conference which was given early afternoon by three leading activists. The speakers claimed that the U.S. and the European Union have launched threats against Iran with the sole objective of securing their sources of energy, under the guise of so-called world peace and the combatting of terrorism.

    The speakers claimed that what the U.S and the EU are interested in is to control Iran's oil deposits and to determine themselves which countries can have nuclear power. At the same time, doubt was expressed on whether there would finally be a war in Iran, because, as the speakers said, the U.S. military leadership does not desire this.

    The speakers also noted the resistance of peoples against the eventuality of a war and the stance which the Social Movement will maintain and called on pacifists and activists from all over the world to be on the alert.

    According to senior officials, 8,000 police officers will be on duty during the Forum, which will also include a march from Pedion tou Areos park to the parliament building on Saturday at 3 p.m.

    More than 3,500 police officers will be sent to cover the march.

    Police have already stepped up protective measures for possible targets, such as embassies and businesses, and are in continuous communication with European police authorities and Interpol.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.


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