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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis tours natgas network
  • [02] Police bust int'l credit card 'clone' ring
  • [03] FM on domestic political scene, Parliament majority
  • [04] Papoulias declared honorary citizen during Crete visit
  • [05] Cypriot leader concludes visit

  • [01] PM Karamanlis tours natgas network

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday toured the Natural Gas Control and Distribution Centre in Elefsina, west of the port of Piraeus, as well as a high pressure central pipeline at the Aghioi Theodoroi site and the liquefied natgas station at the Revythoussa islet, emphasising afterwards that the government's strategic choices ensured substantial current and future benefits for the country during a period when energy security and environmental protection were major challenges.

    Noting that the Liquefied Natural Gas station on Revythoussa had been constructed under preceding governments, Karamanlis said his New Democracy government, in the space of 22 months, had in the summer of 2007 materialised one of the most significant energy investments in Greece, namely, the upgrading of the installation and its tripling of production.

    The premier said the project was continuing with the construction of a third storage tank, while he said the extension of the natgas network to the industrial zone of Corinth has been completed, whereas relevant studies for further extension of the network to the Peloponnese are currently being advanced.

    The premier stressed that the first station will be Megalopolis, and in 2011 the present low-tech and environmentally unfriendly Public Power Corp. (PPC) power units in the area will be replaced by two high-tech gas-fired plants.

    The government, he said, was, "with actions, and not words" protecting the environment, and proving that economic growth and the environment are not incompatible concepts.

    Karamanlis added that the pipeline project creates conditions for link-ups with other major cities in the Peloponnese, while in the coming period the extension of the natural gas network to 13 other regions of the country would also be completed.

    The premier further stressed that natural gas consumption in Greece had doubled in the last five years.

    All these, he said, were visible and tangible results of his government's energy strategy, a strategy which, with international agreements and that major projects such as the Turkey-Greece pipeline and the Turkey-Greece-Italy interstate agreement and the South Stream pipeline were upgrading Greece's role and rendering the country a natgas hub from the Caspian to western Europe.

    [02] Police bust int'l credit card 'clone' ring

    Authorities arrested four Romanian and three Bulgarian nationals in three separate operations targetting an international credit card fraud ring.

    The suspects were allegedly in possession of a large number of fake credit cards, clones of originals copied via the "skining" method in both London and Athens, police said.

    Specifically, two Romanians were arrested on Friday in the working-class Nikaia district of Piraeus on charges of tampering with banks' ATMs and illegally retrieving 33,200 euros.

    On Saturday, Bulgarians were nabbed in downtown in Athens in possession of nine fake credit cards. The suspect had allegedly used the clone cards for several withdrawals from a bank ATM in western Athens, and also in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

    Two other Romanian nationals were arrested on Sunday at Athens Airport after arriving from with 328 cloned credit cards in their possession.

    Interpol, Europol and the Hellenic Banks Federation were briefed on the incidents.

    [03] FM on domestic political scene, Parliament majority

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was quoted by a Thessaloniki newspaper on Sunday as calling the latest spate of opposition press speculation over Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' succession merely "imaginative scenarios".

    "We must put an end to such unsubstantiated talk ... the country has a prime minister that is a major asset for its history and the history of (ruling) New Democracy, where he is supported and honored by everyone. What I see is that we have a long way to go and much work to do; a path in which personal strategies have no place," she was quoted as saying.

    Bakoyannis also referred to ND's razor-thin majority of 151 parliament deputies, out of 300, in the legislature, noting that "there is no a problem of cohesion in the party. Don't underestimate ND's MPs. Today, all of us, the 151 deputies, are well aware that we are responsible before the citizens, and whatever that word includes".

    Asked about calls by deputies for changes in the government's economic policy, Bakoyannis said

    "We face each crisis with seriousness and responsibility. We believe that what is needed at this important juncture is lots of work, less words and absolutely no populism."

    The interview was carried in the newspaper "Aggelioforos".

    [04] Papoulias declared honorary citizen during Crete visit

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday was proclaimed honorary citizen of Voukolia, near the well-known port city of Hania on Crete.

    In his address, Papoulias stressed the need to proceed as a nation by putting forth the things that unite us. Earlier, Papoulias laid a wreath and attended a memorial service at Voukolia Tower.

    An uprising against Ottoman rule of the large Aegean island occurred at Voukolia on Feb. 7, 1897, with one of the injured in the battle being Lt. Napoleon Papoulias, the grandfather of the current president of the republic.

    [05] Cypriot leader concludes visit

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias emphasised from Athens that he was fully satisfied with the results of his official visit to Greece last week.

    ''The convergence of views regarding the Cyprus problem and the policy to be followed with a view to reaching a just and viable solution to the problem as soon as possible was reconfirmed,'' President Christofias told a press conference at the Union of Foreign Press Correspondents in Athens.

    He described the Cyprus problem as an ''Odyssey,'' assuring however, that ''we will keep travelling until we reach Ithaca.''

    The Cypriot president described the stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as contradictory, noting that ''while at the negotiations' table Talat underlines that he does not seek a confederal solution all of his proposals tend to a confederal model.''

    Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side has entered the direct negotiations, which commenced early September under the UN auspices, with the sole aim of reaching a mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ''We remain focused on this target. We will keep with the same good will with the same determination and flexibility but with the same consistency on the principles, we will continue to work for the solution of the problem,'' Christofias added.

    Addressing the Turkish Cypriot leadership, Christofias said that it is necessary to ''respond to our goodwill and submit to the negotiations table rational and negotiable proposals.''

    Expressing the belief that if Turkey shows good will in the negotiations a solution within 2009 is possible, Christofias called on the international community to exert pressure on Ankara.

    He also called on Turkey to understand that it is impossible to aspire to enter the EU while at the same time continue violating the international law, the sovereignty the independence and territorial integrity of an UN and EU member-state.

    ''It is not possible for us to acquiesce to Turkey's accession to the EU, while it will continue violating international and European legality,'' he stressed.

    Replying to a question, Christofias said that the exploratory survey in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) continue and will be completed with the next few days, reiterating that ''the Republic of Cyprus has a sovereign right under the Treaty on the Law of the Sea to hold surveys in its EEZ.''

    On Nov. 13 two ships under foreign flag that were conducting an exploratory survey on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus within its EEZ, 27 miles off the south coast of the island, were forced by a Turkish warship to cease operations and withdraw within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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