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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Poll shows strong lead for PASOK
  • [02] Bakoyannis: Olgac case to UN
  • [03] Greek aid shipment to Gaza

  • [01] Poll shows strong lead for PASOK

    Main opposition PASOK has a strong lead over ruling New Democracy in voter preferences, according to the results of an opinion poll by ALCO that were published in the newspaper "Proto Thema" on Sunday.

    This gave PASOK a 4.1 percent lead over ND, with a total of 31.9 percent against 27.8 percent for the ruling party. Next in line were the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 7.5 percent, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 6.5 percent, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party with 4 percent and the Ecologists-Greens with 2.9 percent.

    Questioned about the farmers' mobilisations, 77.8 percent of those asked considered that farmers' demands werereasonable - as opposed to 12.9 percent that considered them unreasonable - but 65.3 percent believed that neither farmers nor any other group of individuals had a right to close roads.

    Asked whether PASOK should trigger general elections via the process for electing the President of the Republic (which requires a majority of 180-plus in Parliament), 51.9 percent replied 'no'.

    [02] Bakoyannis: Olgac case to UN

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said in a newspaper interview appearing on Saturday that Greece intends to react to a recent admission of atrocities committed during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkish actor Attila Olgac, raising the issue at the United Nations and the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    "In no instance will Greece content itself with a verbal condemnation," she said.

    Olgac admitted on Turkish television that he killed 10 Greek Cypriots, including a Greek Cypriot prisoner of war, during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    In statements in Parliament on Friday, Bakoyannis told MPs that Greece and Cyprus were working together to carefully plan their response to Olgac's admission.

    "Hurried actions without substance, simply in order to impress, could lead us away from the goal of finding out the truth in the specific case and that on the issue of the missing," the minister underlined, responding to a question by Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis.

    "It is a new lead that Greece intends to use based on a specific plan," she said at another point.

    Bakoyannis said that she had discussed the issue with her Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou in Brussels, and they had agreed on the need for "well planned and methodical actions".

    She said that an investigation carried out by foreign ministry into Olgac's televised statements, which the actor retracted the following day as the hypothetical plot of a movie script that he was 'testing' on the public, showed that the case did not meet the formal criteria for referral to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    The same applied to the possible referral of Olgac and his superiors to the International Criminal Court, since this had no jurisdiction over crimes committed before its charter came into force in July 2002.

    Bakoyannis expressed her horror at Olgac's admission and said the later attempt to "revise" this was not at all convincing and did not address the heart of the problem, which was Turkey's fundamental responsibility to carry out a full investigation into the fate of the Greek Cypriot and Greek missing of 1974.

    "It neither changes nor countermands Turkey's responsibility to use every legal means for an in-depth investigation of this case. It also makes current in the most dramatic way Turkey's obligation to comply fully with the 2001 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the Fourth Interstate application by Cyprus against Turkey," she stressed.

    She underlined that the Olgac statements, apart from their shocking brutality, lifted a veil of silence that official Turkey had for 35 years attempted to draw over the flagrant violations of international law and human rights that accompanied and marked its illegal occupation of Cyprus.

    Outlining the steps that the Greek and Cypriot sides intended to follow in this case, Bakoyannis said they had agreed on the need to use the Fourth Interstate application by Cyprus at the ECHR, which had already issued a ruling against Turkey on the issue of the missing persons.

    "The question of Turkey's compliance with this ruling against it is already being examined since 2001 by the Council of Europe, specifically the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The confession of the Turkish actor should be screened and assessed as a new lead in all its aspects by this Committee of the Council of Europe. In consultation with the Cyprus Republic, we will proceed with all the required actions," she said.

    In addition to the above, the Olgac issue will be raised within the framework of the United Nations, specifically at the 3rd Committee of the General Assembly, where Greece raises the issue of the violation of human rights on Cyprus every year, the minister said.

    "We will do the same this year, at the Human Rights Council and in Geneva," she added.

    Regarding action within the European Union, Bakoyannis reminded MPs that the issue of the missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was being dealt with in the framework of accession procedures for Turkey, as a human rights issue.

    "It is assessed as such constantly and the relevant findings are included by the European Commission in the annual progress reports on Turkey," she pointed out, adding that the Olgac confession would also be raised in this framework.

    Caption: Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressing an event on Rhodes on Friday, 30th January 2009. ANA-MPA - Nikolas Nanef

    [03] Greek aid shipment to Gaza

    A new shipment of humanitarian aid from Greece was sent to Gaza on Sunday, continuing the country's efforts to support the beleaguered Palestinian people, according to the Greek foreign ministry.

    A ministry announcement said that six containers containing 105-110 tonnes of aid left the port of Piraeus headed for the Gaza Strip. These contained food (flour, olive oil, pulses) bought by the foreign ministry and supplies such as food, medicine and medical supplies that were collected by the Church of Greece in collaboration with local authorities, private companies and associations.

    The transportation of the aid has been undertaken and paid for by the foreign ministry's Hellenic Aid organisation and it will be delivered to the appropriate United Nations bodies so that it can be taken and distributed in Gaza.

    Among those that assisted and contributed to the collection of the aid consignment were a number of non-governmental organisations, such as 'Pharmacists of the World' and 'Doctors of the Heart', companies such as Lavipharm, groups such as the Hania Pharmacists association or the Macedonia-Thrace journalists union, and a number of local authorities.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph showing aid shipment destined for Gaza earlier this month.

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