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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Prosecutors begin probe into Siemens deal
  • [02] Gov't backs Finnish proposal on timetable for Turkey
  • [03] Sioufas at Greek jewellery exhibition
  • [04] Voulgarakis in Brazil for int'l conference on culture

  • [01] Prosecutors begin probe into Siemens deal

    The head of the Athens first instance prosecutor's office on Monday ordered a supplementary investigation into international press reports alleging, among others, bribes by German multinational Siemens to sell and install an ultimately problematic C4I system in Greece ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics Games.

    A related investigation is already underway by another Athens prosecutor, Panayiotis Athanasiou, into the system itself, which cost the Greek taxpayers hundreds of millions of euros but reportedly never operated properly based on prescribed specifications.

    According to press reports out of Germany on Monday, a dozen former and current Siemens executives are being investigated on charges of funneling bribes and embezzling millions of euros in order to win contracts.

    Moreover, the German weekly magazine "Focus" reported over the weekend -- on its online edition -- that investigators had detected 40 million euros in the bank account of a Siemens executive in Greece and another 40 million euros in Austria.

    The C4I system was ordered by the previous Simitis government from the California-based SAIC Corporation and Germany's Siemens.

    Caption: Siemens' headquarters in Munich on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 following a large-scale police raid by federal prosecutors on the building. EPA / ANA-MPA / F. Leonhardt.

    [02] Gov't backs Finnish proposal on timetable for Turkey

    The government on Monday was again called on to comment on neighbouring Turkey's European prospects, with Alternate Government Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros noting that the "Greek government fully agrees with a timetable set out by the (Finnish EU) presidency, within which Turkey is obliged to fulfill its commitments regarding Cyprus".

    Meanwhile, spokesman Antonaros also responded to press reports out of Turkey quoting a high-ranking general as threatening to "down" Greek fighter planes in case of another mid-air "incident" in the Aegean region.

    "The Greek government lends particular significance to the promotion of good-neighbourly relations with all neighbouring countries, and it is well known that countries are judged by their behaviour," he said during his regular press briefing.

    Evert

    In a more-or-less related development, former New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert on Monday pointed to high-profile remarks over the weekend by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who cited major obstacles placed by Turkey's senior state bureaucracy in the 1,700-year-old Christian Patriarchate's operation and even its future status in the predominately Muslim country.

    "Of course, Turkey's policy not only harms the Patriarchate and Orthodoxy but all of the Christian churches, and this attack, in fact, comes during a period when the Pope is set to visit Istanbul. This is in order to create problems for his visit and to put the Pontiff in a difficult position," Evert emphasised, adding:

    "Turkey's leadership must ultimately prove, in practice, that it has the qualifications that lead to the European family."

    [03] Sioufas at Greek jewellery exhibition

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, addressing the inauguration of an exhibition on the promotion of Greek jewellery organised by the Greek Silver and Gold Jewellery Centre at the Syntagma Metro Station's auditorium, referred on Monday to the considerable prospects for the sector of silver and gold jewellery in Greece and abroad.

    According to Sioufas, the fact that 2,300 businesses are involved in silver and gold jewellery, 7,500 businesses are selling silver and gold jewellery and 40,000 people are involved either directly or indirectly shows the dynamism of the sector and its prospects.

    "The jewel is identified with Greek civilisation. Its 5,000 years of history are indicative in highlighting the skill and the desire, a well as the survival and the prospects this sector has though the centuries. I believe that with a strong programme it can have even greater prospects for the future," he said.

    [04] Voulgarakis in Brazil for int'l conference on culture

    Culture Minister George Voulgarakis will attend sessions of the 9th annual ministerial meeting of the International Network on Cultural Policy, to be held in Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 22-25.

    The network includes representation of culture ministries from 68 countries and functions as a platform for the exchange of views on matters of international cultural policy. Brazil holds this year's rotating presidency.

    Greece has played a noted role in the Network, having organised the 3rd ministerial meeting on the well-known Cyclades island of Santorini in 2000.

    The conference's theme, as chosen by the Brazilian presidency is: "Access to Culture: Copyrights and New Technologies, Evolving Challenges to Cultural Diversity".

    Caption: Voulgarakis is shown in an ANA-MPA file photo showing a repatriated fragment of the Parthenon in September 2006. K. Mavrona.


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