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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM due in Brussels for extraordinary EU Summit
  • [02] European Socialist adopts Papandreou proposal
  • [03] US ambassador on American elections
  • [04] Papoulias meets with NCHR
  • [05] Helicopter crew found dead
  • [06] Athens Stock Exchange : Dive
  • [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM due in Brussels for extraordinary EU Summit

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will depart on Thursday evening for Brussels to take part in the extraordinary EU Summit for a concerted European confrontation of the global financial crisis.

    Moreover, the Summit is expected to set out its position ahead of the G20 International Conference that will take place on November 15, in Washington.

    Karamanlis was due to meet earlier with Justice Minister Costis Hatzigakis at the Maximos mansion (government headquarters).

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] European Socialist adopts Papandreou proposal

    The European Socialist Party adopted during its special session here on Wednesday a proposal by Greek main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou on a substantive readjustment of the stability Pact to enable economy backing funds to be led to supporting the real economy and not to be spent meaninglessly.

    Socialist leaders are expected to convey this proposal to the next European Union's summit, while speaking to reporters Papandreou stressed that whether this proposal will be ultimately accepted by the EU depends on the 22 right-wing governments. He also mentioned comments made by certain socialists that "it is not easy to change from an arsonist into a firefighter."

    "We socialists of Europe have hailed with great enthusiasm the great victory of Barack Obama, but we also had the opportunity of discussing the role of Europe and of the progressive forces in light of the EU summit, in relation to the economic and political crisis," Papandreou said after the session, adding that "we demand a Pact of viable, green development and social cohesion, with the citizen, that will make Europe invest in it, as well as in a different Europe, not merely of markets but of political and social cohesion."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of president of Socialist International and main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou

    [03] US ambassador on American elections

    Athens dailies' front pages were thoroughly dominated on Wednesday by the news of US Sen. Barack Obama's historic victory on Tuesday in the closely watched US presidential election, whereas Greek leadership extended laudatory congratulations to the president-elect.

    Speaking at a packed banquet hall gathering of Obama supporters at a downtown Athens hotel hours earlier, US ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard again took the opportunity to praise the two major candidates, Obama and his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, as well as the unprecedented voter turnout and enthusiasm in America for the 2008 presidential race.

    Asked about the effect an Obama administration will have on Greek-US ties, Speckhard said that "in terms of Greece, a lot of the issues, as I have said before, are going to remain important and fundamental for both Greece and the United States.

    "But my sense has been that we very much have the same fundamental interests. So, whether it's stability in the eastern Mediterranean, whether it's Cyprus, whether it's other issues, you'll find that the interest of the United States is to find solutions that Greece is happy with, that your neighbors, the countries involved in these issues are happy with, and that promote stability in the region."

    Additionally, the US envoy, who first visited a noticeably low-key gathering of GOP supporters at another Athens hotel, said Washington was working hard with Athens to get Greece included in the visa waiver program, a development clearly amongst the Greek foreign ministry's priorities.

    " final negotiations are taking place right now. It's still possible that we'll see that (issue) solved before the end of this administration, and if not, I'm sure we will continue working on it until it's completed," he told reporters.

    Finally, asked about the nagging FYROM "name issue" that continues to sour Athens' relations with the one-time Yugoslav republic to Greece's immediate north, Speckhard said:

    "I think that, really, the future of that issue depends less on the United States, and more on Greece and your neighbor. The result will come when Greece and your neighbor find the solution that you can both live with. That's what's really important. It's the two parties that need to find the solution. The US has tried to facilitate that process, but at the end of the day, it is really a decision for your country and your neighbor.

    Other reactions

    Asked about what foreign policy issue he thinks will be a priority for the new Obama administration, former senior US diplomat Brady Kiesling -- who resigned from the US diplomatic corps while stationed in Athens five years ago in protest over the Iraq war -- stressed that "the Obama administration must implement a massive shift of taxpayer resources away from military-based 'security' and toward economic and environmental security. On the foreign policy front, this means negotiating a sustainable international economic system that includes environmental costs in the pricing of goods and services."

    On her part, Obama in Greece campaign head Yvette Jarvis, an early supporter of the Illinois Senator now set to become the first African-American US president, emphasised that she was immediately inspired by Obama.

    "I felt an immediate connection with him, I felt as though he spoke to me! His honesty, his humility, complacency, strength, patience, family values, incredible intelligence and oratory skills are all qualities of a formidable leader; secondary are his charm, good looks and humor.

    Jarvis, a Brooklyn native, broke Greece's "color barrier" a few years ago to become the first elected black official -- in the Athens municipality.

    [04] Papoulias meets with NCHR

    President of Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday suggested that the correctional system in Greece needs radical reform, speaking during a meeting with the board members of the National Commission for Human Rights, NCHR. During the meeting at the presidential mansion in Athens, the NCHR board handed over to the president its annual report,which this year focuses on conditions in the Greek jails and prisons. NCHR is a statutory National Human Rights Institution having a consultative status with the Greek state on issues pertaining to human rights protection and promotion.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias

    [05] Helicopter crew found dead

    The charred bodies of the two crew members of an army Apache gunship helicopter that disappeared from radar screens on Wednesday night while on a training mission were located at noon on Thursday near the crash site.

    The helicopter, which was flying with another Apache near the town of Kymi in eastern Greece, disappeared from radar screens at 20:11 while on a training mission.

    According to the Defence Ministry on Wednesday, explosions were heard in the area and a fire broke out. Police and firefighting forces immediately rushed to the area and two Super Puma helicopters and a C-130 aircraft also lifted off, while ground forces were deployed in the region on a massive search and rescue operation

    The National Defence General Staff (GEETHA) announced on Wednesday night on that wreckage of the helicopter had been spotted in the environs of Sotiros Monastery in Kymi. Police forces sealed off the area and firemen battlied a fire that broke out.

    [06] Athens Stock Exchange : Dive

    Equity prices were plunging on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the major European markets, with the basic share price index down 6.37 percent, standing at 2,079.61 points at 12:15 p.m., and turnover at 61.8 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward across the board, with the heaviest losses in Banks, down 8.17 percent; Raw Materials, down 7.34 percent; Technology, down 7.17 percent Industrial Products, down 6.88 percent; Construction, down 6.78 percent and Oil & Gas, down 6.27 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 6.86 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 5.87 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 5.93 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 9 were up, 172 were down, and 5 were unchanged.

    [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Barack Obama's election as US president and international reactions, and the planned adaptation of the 'Spanish model' to the Greek economy's particularities dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The government examining the possibility of freezing the real estate bank loan instalments for the financially weaker strata".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The payment of first house bank loans freezes - FinMin George Alogoskoufis adopts the 'Spanish Model'."

    AVGHI: "The 'weak' of America sealed Barack Obama's victory - Call for change".

    CHORA: "Following in Kennedy's footsteps - Tears and emotion over Obama's election".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Main opposition PASOK exceeds SYRIZA party in progressive mentality by tabling a draft law on the marriage between same sex couples".

    ELEFTHEROS: "FinMin launches major attack against bankers and 'interests' to protect the economy".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Obama-mania - The world 'discovers' America".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Breath of hope for the planet - International relief for Bush's end and Obama's election".

    ESTIA: "People demanded leaders with vision - What indicated Obama's sweeping victory".

    ETHNOS: "Worldwide party for change - The globe relieved and hopes arise for a new day".

    KATHIMERINI: "Historic victory, huge challenges - Barack Obama called to administer the credit crisis and Bush's 'legacy' ".

    LOGOS: "The US voted with financial instability as the criterion".

    NIKI: "Wind of change from the Atlantic - Obama's victory brings to the world new perspectives".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Ruling New Democracy party, PASOK and Synaspismos party voted for the 65-hour work-week".

    TA NEA: "Promise of change with a human face - Emotion at Obama's address".

    TO VIMA: "Obama won - Can he? - Obama's major challenges".

    VRADYNI: "Expectations and realism - The day after Obama's election".


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