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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Plaque on Karpathos unveiled for fallen pilot
  • [02] Gov't: 82% of 4th CSF to provinces
  • [03] Euro champ to be crowned in Athens

  • [01] Plaque on Karpathos unveiled for fallen pilot

    A plaque bearing the name of fallen Hellenic Air Force pilot Costas Iliakis, who died a year ago in a mid-air collision with a Turkish warplane over the southeastern Aegean Sea, was unveiled on Wednesday on the Dodecanese island of Karpathos by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.

    The Greek pilot had been attempting to intercept a formation of Turkish fighter jets that had entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) about 15 miles southeast of Karpathos without submitting flight plans -- a regular violation in skies above the Aegean Sea by Turkish military planes.

    Also present during the ceremony were main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis and the family of the fallen aviator.

    In his address, Meimarakis underlined that Greece "works for peace, stability and the reduction of tension in the Aegean, something that Turkey should do as well".

    He also called on Turkey to put a stop to its practice of regularly violating air traffic regulations in the Aegean and to work for the region's security and the prospect of the country's accession to the EU.

    Papandreou's remarks at the ceremony underlined the need to provide material and moral support to the Greek armed forces and to forge a national strategy that brought peace and security but also guaranteed Greece's territorial rights and its just national causes.

    In comments on Iliakis, meanwhile, Papandreou quoted a phrase by the early 20th-century Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos, who had said that "freedom is not offered but won".

    There followed the unveiling of a plaque at the head of a central road of the island's capital, while a pair of air force fighter jets flew over the island in formation during the ceremony.

    Caption: Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis (R), along with main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou (L) and Deputy FM Yiannis Valinakis (C) at the ceremony on Karpathos on Wednesday, May 23, 2007. ANA-MPA / K. NIKOLAIDOU.

    [02] Gov't: 82% of 4th CSF to provinces

    The government on Wednesday reiterated its intention to funnel the "lion's share" of 4th Community Support Framework (CSF) funds to Greece's outlying provinces, with the relevant minister again citing the same commitment during a one-day seminar organised in Athens.

    Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos reminded that more than 82 percent of dedicated 4th CSF funding for Greece, namely, 16.8 billion euros, will be directed to areas outside the country's two main urban areas. He added that funding from national coffers will be added as well.

    In outlining an ambitious and huge, by Greek standards, CSF-related development budget between 2007 and 2013, Pavlopoulos put the figure at 36.4 billion - 16.8 billion euros in direct CSF funds; 7.6 billion euros in agriculture development and fishing subsidies by the Union, along with 10 billion euros in envisioned national investments.

    Pavlopoulos spoke at a seminar organised by the national centre for public administration and decentralisation.

    Caption: Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. ANA-MPA.

    [03] Euro champ to be crowned in Athens

    A mostly cloudy Athens was only hours away from the 2007 UEFA Champions League final on Wednesday evening at the Olympic Stadium (OAKA) as thousands of foreign fans, supporters of both Liverpool and AC Milan, continued to arrive the same day, joining tens of thousands of fans already on hand in the Greek capital.

    Beyond the strictly game-related news, Greek police union leaders in the afternoon announced that a planned strike and protest during the match had been suspended, following days of back-and-forth manoeuvring by both the government and unionists. The development means a full compliment of nearly 14,000 uniformed officers in and around the stadium in north Athens, as well as in the capital's centre, metro stations and the airport. The area around the stadium will, expectedly, be off-limits to individuals without tickets, whereas mass transit routes have been increased and will operate throughout the night.

    Moreover, authorities on Wednesday said video walls have been set up at the Zappeion Gardens in central Athens - only a stone's throw from the Greek Parliament -- in addition to two giant video walls erected (for Liverpool supporters) at the U-shaped Panathinaiko stadium - the venue for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

    As of the afternoon, local time, only a handful of related criminal incidents were reported, with the most serious being the theft of 43 registered tickets from inside a downtown Athens hotel room used by UEFA officials as an office.

    On the ticket scam front, a 28-year-old British man on Wednesday was added to the list of suspects arrested on charges of attempting to sell forged Champions League final tickets. According to reports, he was picked up in central Syntagma Square after previously having sold 50 "extremely high-quality" forged tickets, totalling 58,000 euros, to an Italian tour operator.

    A bevy of arrests for ticket scalping (touting) and possession of forged tickets have also been reported over the past few days, with Greek authorities joined by UEFA and Greek football federation officials equipped with special scanning equipment to spot bogus tickets.

    Only one brawl between rival fans was officially reported overnight, with one British national slightly injured, police said.

    Caption: A view of the Athens Olympic Stadium in the northern district of Maroussi. ANA-MPA file photo.

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