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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Political parties critical of deal for OTE
  • [02] Greece ups patrols in Aegean

  • [01] Political parties critical of deal for OTE

    Political parties on Friday sharply criticised a deal being negotiated between the government and Deutsche Telekom for the management of the state-run phone utility Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), accusing it of engineering a bargain-basement sell-off. The government is surrendering OTE to DT using summary procedures and secret diplomacy, stated main opposition PASOK's political spokesman on transport and communications issues Nikos Sifounakis. He accused the government of offering no official briefing to political parties on the course of negotiations, stressing that attempts are made on its part to prepare the ground for the selling off of OTE through selective news leaks. OTE is a public asset of strategic importance for the country's national security and development and selling it off at bargain basement prices constitutes a political and economic crime against the Greek people, he said.

    SYN criticises government deal for OTE

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party accused the government of engineering the "handover cum sell-off" of the phone utility through the deal that it was preparing to sign with DT.

    In an announcement, SYN stressed that the government had not made any commitments regarding the phone company's price policy, which would henceforth be decided by the market, as well as paving the way for handing over an even bigger share of OTE to DT.

    "A national weapon for development is being disabled, with massive repercussions for the economy, while the country's special role in the surrounding region is being cut back," the announcement added, pointing out that OTE's penetration in the Balkans was very high. According to SYN, the one sure winner in the affair was MIG, which sold its share of OTE to DT. "The government is, in any case, well acquainted with the game of serving private interests," the announcement concluded. Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph showing the exterior of the OTE building at the phone company's headquarters in Maroussi, Athens.

    [02] Greece ups patrols in Aegean

    The increased numbers of illegal migrants who attempt to cross the Greek sea borders from the coast of Turkey has led to an increase in the number of Coast Guard patrols following instructions issued by Merchant Marine, Aegean and Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis. A total of 115 illegal migrants were intercepted on the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Leros and Farmakonisi during the Easter season alone. Since Thursday evening, the Coast Guard arrested 20 illegal migrants on the island of Farmakonisi, while a search is being conducted to locate 15 illegal migrants brought to the island's coasts on board the boat of a 30-year-old Turk migrant smuggler. Seven illegal migrants were arrested on the south-eastern Aegean island of Kos. According to official figures, a total of 20,314 illegal migrants and 640 migrant smugglers have been intercepted since 2004 while attempting to cross the Greek sea borders.
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