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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Killing of 5 hunters in W. Greece a mystery
  • [02] FM again cites policy towards EU hopeful Turkey

  • [01] Killing of 5 hunters in W. Greece a mystery

    The killing of five hunters, all young adults, near the municipality of Agrinio, in western Greece, on Saturday remained a mystery on Sunday, as police have yet to detect any motive or suspect(s) for the unprecedented crime.

    An initial examination by police and a medical examiner revealed that the five victims, found on a country road, were shot, although authorities did not clarify whether the murder weapon was a shotgun, a hunting rifle or an assault weapon -- the latter two being off-limits to most civilians in Greece. The time of death was placed at between 5 and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

    According to other reports, each of the victims were "laying in wait" in separate locations, as they had ostensibly fanned out in a rural part of Aetoloakarnania prefecture in search of thrush.

    The victims were identified as the brothers Vassilis and Christos Nikolopoulos, 23 and 21, their cousins Lambros Andressas and Ilias Pipas, each 33, and Alexios Nikolopoulos, 17.

    A second detailed examination began at the scene of the crime by a medical examiner and law enforcement officials from Athens. A ballistics report will be released in Athens on Monday.

    Caption: Authorities at the scene where one of five bodies of a same number of hunters was found on Saturday in western Greece. ANA-MPA photo / D. Dimitriou.

    [02] FM again cites policy towards EU hopeful Turkey

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed the 10th Greek-Turkish business conference in Athens on Saturday, where she again reiterated Greek leadership's policy vis-?-vis the neighbouring country, an EU hopeful.

    "We desire a policy of rapprochement towards Turkey, the strengthening of bilateral relations and solution of our issues, with objective stability and growth in the region, a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue and a European Turkey that will respect the European Union's principles and rules. We do not mince words and we are clear: Absolute respect and adjustment to these principles should also mean absolute (EU) accession," Bakoyannis said.

    The two-day conference began on Friday with the participation of 200 Greek and Turkish entrepreneurs and business leaders. It was organised by the Greek-Turkish Athens Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the corresponding Istanbul-based council.

    Taking part in the conference were presidents, directors, counsellors and members of Greek and Turkish businesses and organisations, as well as the presidents of the Chambers of Istanbul, Izmir and Bodrum.

    Referring to the prospects of Greek-Turkish relations, Bakoyannis said "our vision is two countries -- and I would say three, with Cyprus -- that cooperate closely, with enormous mutual benefit."

    Regarding the prospects of Greece-Turkey economic relations, she referred to the two countries' business cooperation in the construction sector, such as the building of an urban complex in Oman, for instance. This cooperation is "courageous" and should constitute "an inspiration for other ventures as well," the foreign minister said.

    Asked by reporters whether the pending visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will contribute to the improvement of bilateral relations, Bakoyannis said that "relations are built on mutual will for friendship, peace and development in the Aegean, and we believe that Turkey has this will as well."

    She also referred, in particular, major acquisitions of Turkish banks by three Greek banks -- National Bank, Eurobank and Alpha Bank -- and to the "enormous cooperation" between the two countries' construction firms on the Oman project, budgeted at US$20 billion. "This cooperation should become a beacon and an inspiration for other ventures as well," she said.

    The foreign minister also spoke about the strategic cooperation in the energy sector with the agreement for the construction of a Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas pipeline.

    Regarding tourism, she said 585,000 Greek citizens visited Turkey in 2005, whereas 60,000 Turks came to Greece, noting that "this negative balance must be adjusted."

    Finally, Bakoyannis called for the upgrading of transport links between the two countries, particularly the upgrading of the Thessaloniki-Istanbul railway line and of a road network in eastern Thrace, as well as an increase in Athens-Istanbul and Athens-Izmir ferry and air links.

    Caption: FM Bakoyannis addresses the Greek-Turkish business council meeting in Athens on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / K. Mavrona.

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