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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM to meet President, party leaders
  • [02] Track theft for ransom alarms authorities

  • [01] PM to meet President, party leaders

    <!--Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis intends to seek a common denominator that will enable consensus between the political forces of the country in dealing with the economic crisis, the government announced on Tuesday. Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that Karamanlis will have successive meetings on Wednesday with President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias at 11:30 and Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas at 13:00, while the prime minister's office had started contacting the political parties in order to arrange a round of meetings over the next few days between the prime minister and the opposition party leaders.The spokesman stated that the premier had himself announced the start of this initiative to bring about a consensus, citing statements made by Karamanlis during a press conference in Brussels regarding what the government hopes to accomplish through these meetings, adding that it was only natural for discussion on such issues to occur at top level.

    Cabinet briefed on EU summit, Bakoyannis tripsThe inner cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis focused on the global financial crisis and the results of last weekend's EU summit meeting, held in view of the ECOFIN meeting to convene next week.National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou stated afterwards that "each day we experience unexpected and unpleasant developments in the unprecedented financial crisis that touches economies worldwide and, therefore, Greece's economy as well." "The goal is to manage the crisis with the fewest possible consequences, particularly for the middle and lower incomes. Our plan aspires to contain the public deficit and support developmental actions that will create new sources of income and jobs for the Greek people. We are, however, on the lookout to protect the country's economy," he stressed. On her part, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis briefed the inner cabinet on her trip to the United States and the international donors' conference for the rebuilding the Gaza Strip held in Egypt. Referring to the global economic crisis, she stressed that "every day, new facts are creating concern across Europe, particularly after the EU Summit meeting and in view of the upcoming one.""Our goal is absolute coordination of all European countries, as well as cooperation and solidarity in efforts aimed at managing the crisis," Bakoyannis stressed. Referring to an incident targeting Greek tourists in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), in the city of Ochrid, she stated that the foreign ministry has issued an announcement briefing the Greek citizens wishing to travel to FYROM on "all the facts". "The unfortunate events in Ochrid show that (FYROM PM Nikola) Gruevski's election campaign rhetoric has an impact," she commented. Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis-->

    [02] Track theft for ransom alarms authorities

    Police and the management of Hellenic Railways on Tuesday said they were gravely concerned by a strange case of theft discovered that morning, in which a small section of railroad track was "abducted" by an unknown individual or individuals for ransom.

    Though small, the section of track removed was sufficient to cause an accident and the theft was preceded by a threatening phone call to demand money.

    A railway maintenance engine discovered the missing section of track - a piece just 10 cm long - about 2.5 kilometres from Zevgolati station on the railroad track going toward Kalamata. The line was immediately closed down until the damage was repaired.

    The ransom call had been made to the Kalamata station master shortly before midnight on Monday. The unidentified caller had demanded 1.5 million euros in return for not sabotaging the track and had even pinpointed the location between Zevgolati and Kalo Nero.

    The station master had contacted engine drivers using the line and advised them to use extreme caution.

    The site where the piece of track was removed was inspected by local police and a team sent by Attica Security, who collected evidence and are conducting an investigation.


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